I drive around from time to time looking for new places where the next interesting book to add to the collection could be hiding. The invariable part of every new town I pass through is that you can tell a lot about where you are by the kind of businesses occupying prominent or high traffic areas.
As a general rule, once I hit the part of town where pawn shops, storefront check cashing, and empty buildings predominate, I’ve probably gone too far. The likelihood of finding what I’m looking for seems to diminish with every payday loan processor I pass. Often enough, these are parts of town when I have no business being or otherwise stick out like a sore thumb. If there’s treasure hidden somewhere there, I’ll leave it to someone else.
Last week I had something of the opposite experience. Returning home from a successful book buying expedition, I found myself driving through a picturesque bit of Delaware – long lawns, gated drives, and the early 20th century impression of old money. Soon enough the residential gave way to the commercial – cheese mongers, wineshops, and a several block stretch of insurance agencies, understated banks, and “wealth management firms.”
Sure, I felt altogether more comfortable there than I do driving down a block of abandoned and burned-out row houses, but it was still very much a case of being a stranger in a strange land. Less likely to get mugged, maybe, but far more likely to be offered a “can’t lose” investment opportunity, so perhaps they’re not all that different, really.
I don’t suppose there’s anything particularly insightful here… just a musing on the oddities of finding yourself out of place.
The modern world is full of cameras. I’m willing to bet that every person who reads this post has at least one of them within arms reach at all times of the day and night. With that being said, I have not earthly idea how there is still a small army of college students employed by a company to spend their days trolling up and down the beach taking pictures and then selling them inside $.10 plastic key chains for $15. I would have thought that was a business model that should have died off with the rise of the cell phone. Apparently, though, it’s still very much a thing and steps in to fill in the gap when even the most artful selfie won’t do.
That was my one piece of learning for the week, so if you were stopping by hoping to find something deep and insightful on a Sunday night, boy did you come to the wrong place.
It’s so much more than a warm, filling meal. In fact since I was a kid stewing has been my preferred approach to whatever is bothering me at any given time. It’s as if letting the issue simmer there on a low flame will give me some insight, or at least not make it taste not quite so bad going down. Mostly, I think it’s the mechanism my brain uses to buy time to try looking at things objectively before flying off on a wild tangent. That’s a theory. Possibly a bad one, but it is a theory.
So yeah, I’m stewing this afternoon. Unfortunately for the blog, there are (believe it or not) some parts of the day that even I consider off limits for publication, so instead of telling a fun story on Saturday afternoon, all you get to know is I’m stewing. I’m thinking. I’m pondering. And I’m trying to find my way into an objective head space. As usual, that’s easier said than done
The next posts don’t need much in the way of introduction. I think we’re getting into one of the parts of the old MySpace blog that everyone seemed to enjoy. Yes, we’ve reached the end of January 2007 when the old blog took on a real “Jeff’s gonna bitch about work in almost every post” flavor. Like most of these other old posts, some are better than others. A few might actually rise to the level of being insightful in their own way, but even the least of them is jam packed with snark… and after all, isn’t that really what you want to see? So go ahead and grab a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and enjoy today’s feature… posted live in and color in January and February 2007.