Vaccine!!

Here’s an update: I had my second dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine yesterday.

So far, the only definite side-effect so far has been that classic sore arm. The arm was sore for a day from first dose also, but that soreness seemed to be as much mechanical as anything else: The result of having liquid forcibly injected into a spot not intended for such. One can imagine the cells in that vicinity on the nerve-wire to the conscious “I” complaining vociferously about the insult, ending with: “Furthermore, we’re calling the police!”

Yes, thank you, that was the intent.

This time the shot seemed smaller in volume and the soreness had a burning quality that suggested something other mechanics. To pursue the earlier image, this time the T-cells were reenacting the 1968 Democratic National Convention police riot. Chicago cops seem to like that idea. And this time, there’s a virus worth clubbing.

Some folks have reported fatigue, but there was none that I noticed. Bedtime that day was at its usual time. But I ended up awakening just three hours later, and it was a wide awakening, that definitive certainty that this day’s sleep is over. Don’t bother to try to recapture sleep. It’s gone.

Unlike the first dose, I was unable to avoid the weather. It was a chill and rainy day until an hour or two after I got home. It may not have warmed much, but the rain stopped and the sun appeared.

But this did offer the amusement of watching some of my fellow CTA passengers come on board dressed for yesterday’s weather. There’s always a few.

Coming home, the bus pulled away from the Michigan Avenue bus stop just a minute or so before I got to the stop. Bummer! But there is a shelter for the stop, and the kiosk helpfully informed me that the next arrival for that bus route would be in 10 minutes.

A Story Goes With It

“Now,” Herbie says, “wait a minute. A story goes with it,” he says.

Well, of course this is a different matter entirely. I am such a guy as will always listen to a tip on a horse if a story goes with the tip. In fact, I will not give you a nickel for a tip without a story, but it must be a first-class story, and most horse players are the same way. In fact, there are very few horse players who will not listen to a tip if a story goes with it, for this is the way human nature is. So I turn and walk back to Hot Horse Herbie, and say to him like this:

“Well,” I say, “let me hear the story, Herbie.”

–“A Story Goes With It” by Damon Runyon

Within a few minutes, other buses arrived and the shelter’s population dropped to two. On a quick and careless glance, the other inhabitant might be a bag-lady about my age. On reflection, I’m not so sure, but she suddenly demanded my attention.

When this happens in the big city, it usually means that something is wanted of you. My strategy is to give that person my undivided, non-judgemental attention, even sometimes including questions to expand on some point or other. All the while, I’m listening “with a third ear” to what is included in the story, what is left out, but not whether it is true or not because I do not need to know.

“Listening with a third ear” is one of those phrases from mid-20th Century pre-feminist America, back when psychoanalytic self-help grifters suggested to women that, if their spouse was a troublesome character, the strategy to deal with it was not to dump him but rather to understand the root of his problem so as to avoid the next manifestation. In the meantime, the woman was to be alert for those “teachable moments” that would in theory enlighten said spouse to the errors of his ways. You can still find this advocated in family drama movies aimed at a religious female audience.

I don’t think it worked out happily ever after very often, but it is a useful technique.

I won’t go into her story, but it did make what turned out to be rather more than 10 minutes seem fairly brief. More to the point, it distracted her from the bite. The bus arrived and I was gone for the bus door before she could shift gears. It turns out that she just wanted to have someone pay her bus fare. And she really did not need me. She just contritely confessed to the driver that she had no money and could she ride the bus for a few blocks? She coulddah been his grandma and letting her ride would only cost the CTA a few pennies more in fuel. Why not?

She got off at Michigan Avenue and Delaware Place. Now do not jump to conclusions. She could have been going to work, even with her wheeled shopping basket. She could have been going to visit a friend. She may have been going home and home, on Delaware Place, could be an outrageously expensive condo, a tent, or a cardboard box. What is most certainly true is that she really did not want to walk in that rain.

Me neither.

“Chasing Reality”

It’s getting on towards storm chasing season in the Great Plains and here in the Midwest. I’m very much a fan of it, but strictly from home as aside from finances, this short documentary by Chris Kridler done back in 2011 shows what actual chasers actually do and much of it is stuff I’d rather not. Storm chasing is not a bed of roses… bedbugs sometimes…

Except for the stay-at-homes (like me), storm chasing is one of those avocations / vocations where basic photographic or videographic competence is almost a necessity and therefore formal documentaries abound. As well as for its focus on the gritty, this one is worth watching because: You may have also noticed that storm chasing is a very testosterone soaked occupation. I like to think this is changing…

Pura Vida

This short video by Chris Shimojima is perhaps the most wonderfully apt courtship story I’ve yet seen. There’s a lot to chew on. But don’t take my word for it:

Pura Vida is a short film based on a recurring dream I’d been having for years. I always woke up before the story ended. It was frustrating, so I gave it an ending the only way I could: on film. Two actors and I traveled to Costa Rica and spent a number of days exploring, rewriting, and improvising. I haven’t had the dream since.”

Women & Power

Hey, Dude. They’re taking over, women are. You know that, don’t you? No use in making a fuss about it, Dude.  🙂

I’m teasing the conservative wanna-trolls out there, of course.

Classics scholar Mary Beard was awarded the 2019 Getty Medal, and this video was commissioned by the Getty Museum for that occasion. IMHO, it’s an award well deserved.

It caught my attention as the Alt-Right tends to make a big deal over classical Greece and Rome, for good reason as you’ll note if you watch the above video by Matthew Miller.

If you want to further explore the link between the classics and the Alt-Right, I’d recommend Sean Illing’s interview with Donna Zuckerberg at Vox.

There are those out there who feel, with some justification, that hierarchy is an inevitable part of being human. Often the reaction among such people is to view efforts to subvert the current hierarchy as merely an attempt by one group to replace whatever group is on top. The uneasy feeling then is that the displaced get treated as shittily, at least, as the new winners had been. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

It could happen. Considering how poorly women have been treated in most patriarchal cultures, it’s something guys ought to think about.

But I’m teasing again. IMHO, nothing like that is inevitable, including hierarchy As We Know It… In any case, isn’t this what guys often do anyway: make a mess and leave it to the women to set things straight?