Why I Bought My Shredder

Posted on December 24, 2008
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I bought a shredder. A Staples-brand shredder, by the way, and it died after a few uses. I swapped it for a different model, which has been in (very infrequent) operation for several months, and doesn’t spit out the paper it chews up very well, so you must frequenty pull the debris from the bottom of the shredder to keep it from jamming up. This is not a full-bin problem–it will happen with an empty bin, because the shredder’s meal just dangles from its behind.

This flaw makes using the shredder a bother, and often when I am pulling wads masticated paper from the shredder I wonder why I even use the thing. But then we got into a situation where Tenant A thought, with some reason, that Tenant B was stealing other tenants’ mail. To help prove this, Tenant A was going through the dumpster looking for mail for Tenant A in Tenant B’s garbage.


Shred everything!!!

What ocean are we in now?

Posted on December 4, 2008
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I’m bad at poetry.

I bought Lissa Schneckenburger’s CD of the same name and began playing it frequently. One of the songs, “The Irish Girl,” has the chorus

Let the wind blow high and low my boys let the seas run mountains high
It is the seamen’s duty the helm to stand by

After a month or two–maybe three–I realized that the narrator need not be any kind of sailor. In fact, the chorus can be understood as a straightforward analogy: that the lover should not abandon his love no matter what treatment he gets. All that time I had taken the chorus to be merely some phrases to conjure a general sense of lonely, desolate resolution. I’m sure this connotation is entirely appropriate, but I don’t know why I missed the more direct bearing the chorus had on the whole point of the song.

I’ll also confess that I had trouble at first with “The first time that I saw my love I was sick and feeling bad,” because, clearly, the first time that he saw his love he was out roving, not lying on his death bed. I got over that a little quicker, though.

Hey–maybe she wasn’t really wearing a golden dress!

The death of a prophet

Posted on December 2, 2008
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O Father!
Darkness all around
Unrevealing night,
And a tumult of orange fire

A mother holds her children.
This too will pass—but when?

The man on a white horse
Rides into the night.
He must go first.
Will he return?
How long?

O Father! The chariots of Israel
And their horsemen!


Lest they see

Posted on December 2, 2008
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“ Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:10)

Somehow Tanta’s death seems like a seal of doom. Not that the economy was not already collapsing, nor that Tanta could in any way prevent that; rather that if there was any hope for divine intevention, for some mitigation of the calamity, our reaction to the enormity of the disaster gathered against us has been found unworthy, and Tanta’s prophecies have been stilled so that we can be given over to our folly without restraint.

It’s capricious for me to say any such thing, because I read hardly anything Tanta ever wrote and had only the vaguest understanding of her entire subject. Nonetheless, that’s how I felt when I heard.

Hat Tip: Ethereal Voice