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I've Been Everywhere, Man
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Within the past week I traveled to Bethlehem (vegan cake for my 18 year old’s birthday, which turned out to be the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had), Baltimore (family obligation), Ohio (job interview), and southern California (well, only in my imagination, and mostly courtesy of the novel The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais, but it was quite vivid). All of this required a good deal of driving (though not while reading). With little more than a week until the mid-term elections, the roadsides are filthy with the inevitably patriotically-themed campaign signs. The blight is thicker this year than in recent memory, which makes me long for the legalization of car-mounted flamethrowers, although then one might be tempted to use them on both the candidates *and* their signs so I can understand the prohibition. Does it make me a shallow person that I get a little frisson of political pleasure when the signs in front of houses I am fond of reflect my own sensibilities and proclivities?

In addition to this extremely sporadic/erratic journal, I’ve been keeping a paper journal since the beginning of the year. Some days there is writing, other times just pictures. When the announcement came about the US population reaching the unthinkable 300,000,000 mark, I wanted to find a picture of a crowd of people to put into the journal. Looking through a variety of magazines, including a couple of news rags, a few house and home types, and not a few catalogues, I came up empty. All of the glossy ads portrayed glossy individuals or just the shiny item being hawked, and then it dawned on me – we don’t want to see crowds in our ads. We want commercials and print ads to portray a world which does not have 6.5 billion people in it, but one in which we can enjoy our car/beer/soda/diamonds-are-forever in solitude. Except for the person on the other end of our incessant cell phone conversations.

Speaking of diamonds – I spent a fruitless hour the other evening trying to find out who sings the version of What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life on the commercial that shamelessly shills for diamond jewelry. Not Barbara Streisand. Not Dusty Springfield. Turns out to be a jazz singer named Laura Fygi. Which Google found in about 23 seconds tonight. Fickle, fickle Google.

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