Well, damn. I had a perfect quote for a long rambling about Memorial Day, which is “Only the dead have seen the end of war,” which is popularly attributed to Plato. Turns out it probably wasn’t him; MacArthur used the quote in his farewell speech and said it was Plato, and then it appeared everywhere. Turns out George Santayana probably said it in a soliloquy about World War I, and MacArthur got it backwards. Oh well.
So it is Memorial Day weekend, which most people usually attribute to the banks closing, or a big car race, or the beaches opening. Even in a time when a war is ending, not many people think about those who paid the ultimate price of freedom, because even as I type the phrase “ultimate price of freedom”, it sounds so tacky that it’s hard to fathom. But I was happy to see the ships here for fleet week, and even with the crappy weather, it looked like people were out for wreath-laying and parades, which is good. I didn’t go out for any celebrations, but I did stay in to watch the Rolling Thunder guys on CSPAN, and I watched Black Hawk Down today, which I guess is a fitting Memorial Day thing to do, since it shows the “leave no man behind” motto in action.
Other than that, it’s been a very bland weekend. We had cold and rain and grey skies for the most part, and it made me want to sleep forever, never leaving the cocoon of my bed. I’ve been too frustrated with my progress at Blitzkrieg to keep playing; I’ve been too bored with what’s on the tube; I’ve been waiting for some spark to get going again on this book. I’m not actively reading anything, either. In fact, I’ve been mostly reading my road atlas, which easily burns away lots of my dead time as I study all of the places I haven’t been yet.
As far as my fifty-stage goal, now that I hit Hawaii, I have 11 states to go: Alaska, Nebraska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South and North Carolina, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont. I can hit those last four in a good weekend car trip, so I want to do that this summer. I really want to go to New Orleans, and when I do, it’s a simple matter to jump in a rental car, drive to Mobile, and get two more states. I have no interest in either of the Carolinas or Nebraska, but maybe a Delta last-minute deal will kill a weekend and those states. Alaska is the last big deal, and I’ve wanted to go there for years. I’ll save up and get out there at some point.
Not much else. The sun almost came out today, so I went to the Virgin in times square and ran through the CDs, coming out with about ten or so new things and a couple of DVDs. I got the Black Hawk Down DVD, which is great, and I got the last Austin Powers because it was on sale, but I mistakenly got the full screen version and I didn’t get the one with Heather Graham in it, so I’m pissed there. I found a Peter Gabriel single for “More Than This”; the Jackass soundtrack is pretty cool; they rerelased the first Crowbar album; and I found a copy of the first Flotsam and Jetsam album and it wasn’t $19. I’m reluctant to admit I finally found a copy of the Night Ranger album “Seven Wishes” and the first Dokken album – more proof that people always seem to gravitate to some of the first music they discovered. I also found a Saga album I was unfamiliar with that was rereleased by SPV, and after getting it home, found it was the most unbalanced and bizarre album I have, maybe next to the GG Allin discography and Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica. Very weird.