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A brand new old me.

I used to be that guy who knew the news. Really, really knew what was up in the world.

Like, every day I'd read the Washington Post, The New York Times, stuff from the Guardian, and various news/analysissy blogs. I was a Journalism hopeful at the time, so these things were basically mandated reading. (I was also eagerly avoidant, then, and so this was a wonderfully purposeful means of killing time.)After I failed that journalism class, that habit fell by the wayside.

But I've always missed it. Partly, that wonderful feeling of being knowledgeable; partly, also, that ability to explain important things/current events to other people. I felt I had a grasp on the world around me, which for a out-and-out space cadet like me is something kinda mind boggling.

I'm not sure why I never quite picked up the habit/news-bug again. I think I always thought it'd be such a time commitment (indeed, reading even just the A sections or frontpages of all dem papers can get a bit intense...) or maybe I simply forgot to.

Yesterday, I spent maybe 30 minutes, or a bit more, following some links from my twitter feed to some articles--and almost instantly tasted some of that old, familiar in-the-know-ness. It felt so good; I've been only vaguely, occasionally aware of the goings on recently I haven't been following, that have gone on developing and happening beyond my awareness. Even following up just a bit on only a few of them, as I did yesterday morning, felt so awesome.

I don't know if I'll get back to my old level of insane news-fever, but I do think I've found an easier way to keep current.

It used to be I had the front page RSS feeds for all those news publications in my feed reader, and I'd scroll through it on my laptop and read the ones that interested me. Using a feed reader actually isn't all that bad a method--you always know you're following sources you trust, that you've personally selected.

But for now I think I'll settle with the news feed widget I put on my phone yesterday. It brings in top stories in various categories from virtually all the same sources--and even a few others I don't mind reading terribly, either--and does so simply.

I hope that spending even 10 or 15 minutes a day browsing what's up will be enough to keep me on top of my smarts/satisfied. That's not too hard, right? Soon enough, I'll be all impressive & knowledgeable all over again, just like I used to be; soon enough, I'll be explaining what's going on with OWS or in Congress or in whatever completely overblown and ridiculous scandal is big.

I suppose I might want to look closer at why that feeling is so alluring, so satisfying. Knowing what's going on and having people come to me like some news analyst. Perhaps it's a need to impress or have someone(s) rely on me; maybe it's even a desire to feel somehow superior.

Frankly, though, at this point I just don't want to get left behind by the goings on of the world anymore. I think I'll just focus on that for now.


Other things that might interest you...

This moment: A tattoo.

So I read Mrs. Dalloway in high school, and it was perhaps the most beautiful thing I'd ever read. One passage in particular, very early in the book, hit me hard with my first experience of the sublime, and stayed with me—and led at last to my first tattoo.
In people’s eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment of June.  (Emphasis added; full paragraph included below. From the full text of the novel as made available by the University of Adelaide.)

The paragraph this is from, the 4th paragraph of the novel, is the 1st passage with the stream of consciousness the book is famous for; although self-limited here, the flow is no less gorgeous. In the passage, Clarissa is walking on a street to get those famous flowers herse…

Losing Doolittle.

I recently got to spend a few days at the lake house my family used to visit through most of my childhood; we no longer own it, and it turns out I missed it more deeply than I realized.

Anthony and I both got the week before NYC Pride off this year, so I contrived to get us a little time there. The cousins who own Greenshore gave Anthony and me permission to relax there for several days rather than just the 1 or 2 I had expected. Good god, I'm grateful for that.

I missed this place. Standing on the balcony, the porch, or the dock and looking out over the lake, I was reminded of the beauty and tranquility this lake represents for me. The meaning and memories, too.

This was always a place of solace and stability for me. We moved around a lot when I was a kid, but we always came back to this place. It had been in our family for generations before I was even born—if we'd been able to keep it, it would have been a solid 4 generations including mine. This was where I figured out I w…

Sarracenia 'Palmerpink.'

So I posted the other day about my rekindled carnivorous plant obsession—I mean, hobby. I mentioned, in passing, that I had "discovered" a possible cultivar, so here's the lowdown on what that means and what I meant.

The term "cultivar" is short for "cultivated variety," and signifies that a particular plant is so desirable and interesting that people want exact copies of it rather than simply seed from it. Some famous American pitcher plant (Sarracenia) cultivars include the legendary Adrian Slack, the massive Leah Wilkerson, and the classic Judith Hindle.

Part of how these come about is that, unlike horses x donkeys = mules and certain other hybrids, Sarracenia hybrids aren't sterile and can be crossed and recrossed without limit. Further, random chance can create crazy combinations of genes such that even hybrids between the same species—heck, even the same parents—can demonstrate quite the variety. More on that elsewhere.

Depending on how easy…