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The Book of Days

Publisher's Note

Baltimore - 29 August, 1999 - You would think that after having done this 181 times it would get easier...

Part of the problem may be that I am not sleeping well lately and find that I have almost no appetite. For someone who has been accused of eating like a bird, losing appetite means that you begin to live on vapor after awhile. It makes you light-headed, but not light-hearted.

All of this may have something to do with my increasing sense of loneliness... Yeah, yeah, I know: how can a man who gets 400-500 emails a week, multiple comments on the discussion forums over at Andover News Network, spends most of his time interacting on the 'Net, possibly consider himself lonely?

It's easy. When my friend Darryl, his wife Carolyn and their son Corey, visited me two weekends ago, for about five hours, it was the first time I had seen humans I actually knew in a month.

I don't think passing strangers on the street, or in the supermarket, can be considered actual human contact. Sure, the check-out cashier might touch your hand when she gives you back your change, but that's not a touch more significant than one gets from a keyboard, in my estimation.

If you're like most of the people I know, you're now thinking: "That problem's easily solved, Rod. Get up from your damned computer and go out and meet people. Take a class, volunteer at the library, spend more time out and about."

Yeah right. While my eleven columns per week at Andover miraculously write themselves, G21 handles its own promotions and editing and page design, and people in Hell no longer crave ice water.

It's very easy for someone on the outside of the problem to imagine a simple solution.

http://www.thehungersite.com FEED THE HUNGRY. You can help someone else in this world and IT WON'T COST YOU A DIME. If you simply remember to drop by The Hunger Site every day that you surf and click a simple button ONE LESS PERSON WILL GO HUNGRY. The food is distributed by the United Nations World Food Programme and paid for through the sponsorship of companies that care. Do your part.

Another site made on a Macintosh If we get Real for a moment, though, most of us will admit that it is much more difficult to make new friends as we grow older. First there is the fact of "Been there, done that" which you feel when some Dufus opens their mouth and begins to parrot the opinions of a Talking Head they heard on television. Then, admit it if you are my age or near it, there comes a time after about age 35 or so when there are lots of people you simply aren't willing to give as much slack and benefit of the doubt as you would have at, say, age 20 or 25.

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Event #181: The Book of Days

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You don't have many "hang out" friends at my age either, because most of them have wives and families to attend to when they are not working, and besides, coupled people don't usually hang with singles. If you're a single at my age, there must be something wrong with you.

And as far as potential paramours go, you bring the baggage of your old relationships along with you and know they are bringing theirs. Call me picky, but I've had so many bent-coin girlfriends in the past that I can spot a complex or a neurosis a mile away.

"Bahdges? Bahdges? We don' need no steenking bahdges!"

I got a spam e-mail from this couple in Florida the other day whose pitch was: "Hey, tired of asking for a table for one? Feeling lonely and ready to make a lifetime commitment? Join our match-making club and we'll introduce you to intelligent, traditional, wonderful women who feel the same. Once you pick that perfect someone, we'll help you arrange to fly down to Bogota for your wedding..."

NOW WAIT A MINUTE!! BOGOTA? AS IN COLUMBIA? AS IN KIDNAPPED & RANSOMED FOREIGN NATIONALS, THE DRUG WAR, COCAINE CARTELS THAT MAKE EVEN JUAN VALDEZ FEEL LIKE HE SHOULD BE CARRYING AN UZI --- HIS DONKEY, TOO?

Yes, Chil'ren, THAT Bogota.

And I actually took about a minute to consider this option.

That's when I started losing sleep...

ABOUT THIS ISSUE: It's good. Very good.


Thanks for coming back this week.

Work like you don't need the money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
Dance like no one is watching,
Rod


EDITORIAL CORRECTIONS: Last week was too good to be true. This week, I must apologize for AMERICAN DREAMS where the following words were incorrectly spelled during our first 24 hours of publication: smoke, shoo-in, resucitating, Chomsky. We regret the errors.
ROD AMIS has published this magazine since 1990. It first appeared as a hardcopy 'Zine. In March, 1996, he launched it here on the Web. Rod was a Contributing Editor at Suite101.com, where he wrote the " 'Net Publishing" feature. His work has been featured in the San Francisco Bay Guardian Online, NRV8, and at WebLab's Reality Check site. Rod was also a contributing writer on technology for Faulkner Information Services.

Andover News NetworkRod is a columnist for the Andover News Network, where he writes on web design and development issues every Thursday. He is principal writer and Editor for IT Manager's Journal, where he reviews technology issues five days a week. His opinions on the Info Age began appearing on MethodFive's HYPER technology newsletter in March.


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