Saturday, December 01, 2012

been reading this really excellent article about texas politics and how a totally red state, anchor of the romney coalition, might just as well go blue if demographic trends catch up to it, the two big trends being, hispanics voting democrat, and a million people, myself included, moving into the state. i brought my obama hat and my illinois license plates with me, but, texas invited me by offering my wife a job. they may be sorry but they haven't tried to kick me out yet. they even gave me a texas driver's license; guess they figured one more blue vote wouldn't make much of a difference. they should read this article.

at night i go to this big park, almost a mile around, and do a few miles walking. it's the kind of park where people park alongside it in order to be alone, and then get a little nervous when a guy like me walks by. lots of stars out there; on the far side, i look across the wide grassy park, about two or three blocks across, and above, orion rules, him and the full moon and a bunch more that i'm less familiar with. sometimes the dog people occupy the middle of the park, but usually not late at night when i'm there; the dog people often don't clean up after themselves, so the middle of the park is somewhat hazardous for walking. the edges too. as my eyes get accustomed to the dark, i try to watch where i'm going. sometimes i miss. sometimes i miss, right while someone is looking from their car nervously, as if they saw it coming.

had a red raider experience, with the family and some visitors; hundreds of people filled the central campus for some music and a march, and they turned on hundreds of lights, mostly red, all at once, in a stunning display. i had to admit that the marching band playing 'silent night' was a unifying christian experience, though i have no idea how others saw it or what kind of rancor this stirs up in others who happened to be there. i myself have always loved the song; hearing it in the dark, in anticipation of light, with a decent college band, and a bunch of college kids with glow-in-the-dark necklaces, was actually very nice. as traditions go, you have to pick the ones you like; well, i liked this one, reminded me a bit of the lights parade, except it was warm and nice out, nobody was chilled to the bone. we're new to the place, have to admit it, us and a million others, and the way they do it, sometimes we have to just step aside and watch. i'll give you the bigger picture in a little bit.

i get partway around this park, and my legs get tired and sometimes i stop and text my son, or check the news, or whatever. we hear lots of ambulances in our neighborhood also, because we are near two hospitals, and they have to go near us just about wherever they go. i sometimes see them down the street from the park, or hear them in one direction or the other. tonight i checked my phone for the game score; we'd lost big to arizona, this is basketball, a sport which i care about and one in which the coach, as far as i know, is not guilty or even accused in any way of brutalizing his players or coaches. maybe nice guys are more likely to lose, or, the ones with the tempers are always at the top because they have their guys running harder. i'd like to think it's just some game, with young kids playing their best, the finest of amateur competition at the peak of their skill. ha!

i come home a little stiff, almost unable to bend my legs, definitely not in great shape. i fight the body's natural tendency to collapse into a creaky rusted heap of no-moving-parts. i have to get back in the water one of these days, work out those rusty joints, get back into a groove. have to play some music too. the ebb and flow of traffic on flint, coming back from the game, heading up to campus for the light display, or just walking around looking at the place: i'm pretty used to guarding this little corner, i've made my presence known. there's a little cat, a maine coon, belongs to one of the neighbors, saunters by and crosses flint easy as you please, unlike me, who looks both ways several times, on the top of my observationsal skills. this cat seems not to bother hurrying, crosses diagonally even. a friend of mine said she saw a fox near my corner, a gray fox, and first thing i thought was, maybe she saw suzie, the maine coon. but suzie doesn't look like a fox, not even close, though she's gray, and she saunters. next thing i thought was, maybe the fox ate suzie, and took off for other urban neighborhoods where strays can be found. and sure enough, suzie was gone for a couple of days, really left me worried.

but tonight, there she was again, back for more, with an entirely different view of flint. and if there's a fox around, i haven't seen him. the traffic fades a bit, though there's sure to be a slight rush at what, about one thirty. i'll be down by then; with all that fresh air, i don't last long on the pillow.


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