Friday, August 19, 2011

i have a number of scams up my sleeve, but all of a sudden school is starting and i'm pressed for time and everyone, at every place where i go, is asking for my personal time to generously volunteer in the coming school year, for this school, that school, or the very place where i work which should be, i suppose, my first priority. meanwhile it's back to 99/99 (99 degrees, 99 percent humidity which these days is called "feels like hundred eleventeen" or some such), and i'm driven indoors and here, by the computer, for my own protection.

a big school bus fiasco runs like this: new bus company promises they will take kids to school throughout the city; bus fails to show up in usual place for several days in a row; bus company doesn't answer the phone at the number given; school phone also puts you in a taped loop so you can't talk to a real person; bus continues to fail to show up and can't seem to give anyone a proper time to expect it; people complain but nobody hears it; parents give up & give their kid a ride to school. i guess that last one is what they wanted, but it's not what we wanted. so heads will roll, if someone will only answer my phone call.

so here's the scams. number one: 1. local media outlet: make a local media outlet that is somewhat like google: it links to all the local news stories, links to weather, links to good sports stories, links to any and all of anything on the web that has southern illinois on it. it's essentially a for-profit operation (relying on online advertising...does anyone make real money on those?)...but must also have a good name, good logo, sellable t-shirts, etc. so my name is SoIllEye (which would be pronounced so ill eye or so will I) but the name is negotiable. and it could be started in small increments, one story at a time, one link at a time. 2. saluki t-shirts which can also be re-envisioned as area t-shirts as the train man of carbondale would be one of the first to be so glorified. the idea here would be to make and sell graphic design of a kind that would glorify the area in the way i would like to see; thus there would be a new generation of local, so-ill pride that would or would not catch on (sell) depending on how well i pull it off. once again the main roadblock is time. i would be slightly worried about taxes here: do people pay taxes on shirts they sell on the street or in farmers' markets? probably, if they intend to follow the law. one could always make them "donation only" i suppose. 3. write! nice story contest; this one could have various iterations, like write purdy, write lively, write friendly, etc. the idea of a writing contest is that everyone contributes $1 (or some such amt.) and then the winner takes the vast majority (90%) of the pot; somebody just collates and counts judges' responses, and keeps or spends (on marketing) the remainder of the pot; the contest runs every three or four months, or perhaps every month, if a person could pull it off. it would require a pay-pal account (maybe?) or some such.

with a flurry of phone activity the bus crisis is now over; the boy is home for the weekend; the bus company and the assistant to the superintendent swear that we will have prompt and appropriate service in the new week. it is reassuring to know that someone somewhere will answer one's phone call; that they don't want angry parents out here in school-district land, entirely under served and with nobody to talk to about it. by going to the top, one talks to real people and gets some results, i guess.

the tomatoes and peppers rot on the vine a little, as it's too steamy to go out there and pick them before they turn, and they turn quickly, fall, get eaten by bugs, etc. the question is whether they will be damaged by spilled chlorine-water from a nearby pool. another question is whether this spilled water will be breeding territory for more bugs which already make it almost impossible to just sit out there. i long for minnesota, where good hard frosts have probably already resolved the problem. but where tomatoes themselves probably never get a chance to get fully ripe...

a new year; one son moves into a new apartment; new students arrive all over town. the dawg paws that they paint on the street to welcome them (i call them clues from an old blues clues video) are fading a little. maroon itself is not a great color to base your whole university loyalty scheme on, who can be loyal to maroon? i'm having a terrible time making a quilt out of it; i'm stumped. i'm ready to turn to pink and gray (as i have on my work blog), as at least those colors are a bit classy if not a perfect match.

i remain agitated. it's not just that i didn't get a decent novel to read until the very end of my break, and now that it's over, i'm inspired to write but have no time; it's not that, by spending lots of time w/kids, i can't do other stuff that i'd really like, in fact, i'm lazy on those other fronts, but have got good results from being a good dad, i'm not begrudging that at all. it's not that, in a small town, everything is a major hassle, even driving across town to school, and a person has trouble getting anything done. it's more that, when you get right down to it, i don't quite do well, everything i need to, to really move into the "scam" or the "writing" business, and really move out of this job that i just got oriented to, that i've been working for seventeen years now. it's a rough world out there. not a whole lot of jobs, not much of a future either, or economy, for this country, i'm afraid. i hate to be negative, but i see my children having a lot of trouble in the near future, and don't know where it will lead. i'd like to say, pick a country, and give it a try. here are some candidates: canada. zambia. peru.

or, take a rest, before i cook for a couple of starving boys.


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