Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Awful enchiladas

It’s pouring rain outside, and cold. My work computer completely crapped out, and I spent all day on a loaner laptop, doing nothing but reinforcing the already-present idea that my work environment is so specialized and weird, it can’t be replicated easily. And I gave up on roaming profiles in Windows a long time ago, as I realized how stupid an idea they were, so today I had a snapshot of my desktop and favorites circa 2003. It was weird to go to my favorites menu and see all of the sites I used to read on a daily basis, but have long since forgotten. I think I get a new power supply for the old machine tomorrow, but I should probably bring a paperback to read, just in case.

Oh, for whatever reason, I’ve been reading Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, although it’s really hard to get into, for a person who doesn’t understand American football, let alone the English game of the same name, and all of its various cultural idiosyncrasies. I think I may have to give up on the book after 60 or so pages, but I do get his general message. It’s weird, because I never got into sports, but I got into death metal (to an extent), and I guess that’s close to getting into Arsenal. There was a point in my life when I thought for sure I was going to have an entire room of my house devoted to Motorhead and Entombed CDs, and I’d build some giant custom speaker system that would cost way too much to drive the extreme metal sound. Now I’m listening to the soundtrack to Broken Flowers on the tiny speakers built into my monitor, and couldn’t be happier. Weird how things switch up on you like that.

I saw Broken Flowers I think a week ago. Going into it, I thought it was going to be another Bill Murray doze-fest, like Lost in Translation. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised with the way it worked, and even though Jim J. was minimalist with how the individual scenes unfolded, he had a story that flowed in such a way that you really wanted to know what happened next, how the mystery would unfold, and the tension made some of the scenes intentionally ridiculous. And the whole film was shot in Jersey and New York, but it looked like he was zipping all over the country, which was great. The ending, not so good. I won’t ruin it, but it was unfulfilling for me. But, that’s Jarmusch.

One more thing before I pass out from the awful enchiladas I just ate. This is under the category of “I remember when this happened, but there’s no god damned record of it online – I thought you could find everything on the internets.” Okay, in like February of 1988, there was some kind of freak windstorm, and the windows at the top of the Sears Tower broke out, raining glass on the downtown Chicago area. I remember this because I saw Rush on 2/26/88 and when we drove up there, we saw this post-apocalyptic vision of this giant skyscraper with a bunch of windows at the top broken out, and it was a pretty freaky vision. And, of course, this is the first thing I thought of when, 13 years later, I was standing a couple blocks from the World Trade Center watching it burn from a bunch of broken out windows. Now, for an event this big, you’d think entering a search term on the level of “sears tower windows fucked up” or “raining glass and shit on wacker drive” would bring me something. NOTHING. So if you remember this or have any leads on a better search term, let me know.

Okay, I think I need to go eat something to counteract this bad Mexican food, like maybe a box of lye…