That’s the Tilt-O-Whirl up there, of course. Always my favorite. You can control the ride. You can bang your corpus from side to side and read the momentum, lean into the centrifugal forces and whip yourself around with cheek-rippling speed. I remember riding the Tilt-O-Whirl at the NoDak fair and calling the shots - left! Right! Lean in! AHHHHHHHHH! It’s the only ride over which you have influence.
Nowadays it’s in the Kiddie Midway. I wonder if that’s because people are unaccustomed to a ride that requires something of them. It can be a dull ride if you don’t work it. It can be exhilarating if you learn how to make it do your bidding - and even then you’re up against the bucking plates, which can cancel out your plans in a second and send you falling backwards, stuck on the crest of the wave again and again. Initiative isn’t enough. There’s luck. There’s timing.
Why, it’s a metaphor! Lost on the Kidway crowd, alas. I tried explaining all this to my daughter years ago after we did the Tilt-O-Whirl but I was trying not to barf.
Say, you know what? I went to the Fair today. I did. At the end, on the way out, I ran into the sister of a friend’s old girlfriend. From 30 years ago. I don’t know what else sums up living here - big city, throngs of people, a hundred thousand milling in the grounds of the biggest small town in the state, all of us citizens of this sweaty Brigadoon, and you end up running into someone and having a conversation about how much you both wished back then that they hadn’t split up. It’s like every day a gong is struck, and you learn to tune out the reverberations, until you meet someone and you both say “I hear it too.”
Only two more Fair days to go. Video #7 goes up tomorrow, I think. It’s okay. It notes how the parade is getting a bit thin, and then I try out a paddle board mounted on a swiveling wheel in a field of grass, because it’s the Fair. It was ridiculously hot today; had to be 93. Almost didn’t make it: drove to the usual parking spot and saw that it was closed because there was a football game in the evening. Eight hours away. Okay. Drove to the Media lot, which is always a hike and something of a risk: you never know if there will be a spot. When I got out my Media Parking Badge - it has a shiny foil with a hologram to keep out the fabricators and false agents - and it said parking was not available from 1 to 3, due to the Parade. Aw, criminey. But! I have access to the main parking area as well, for free, so I parked and stumbled in. Hot before I got through the gates. Dead by the time I stumbled out, but happy. One of those strenuous days where summer roars back and reclaims September. Evidence of Autumn is nowhere to be found. The green maintains; the green persists.
For a guy who gets free parking and free admission, I do complain a lot, don't I.
Daughter wasn’t home when I got back to Jasperwood, because she was at her first day of work. She applied at a little coffee house, and she got the job, and today she had to learn her responsibilities, which appear to be “everything.” She’ll even be a barista, which she finds delightful. Wife asked if she wanted to work at Starbucks, and she said “no, I don’t want to go work for the soulless big corporation.” She was kidding; she loves Starbucks. I found it amusing and heartening that she parrots back those lines with sarcasm - and that all things considered, she’d really rather work for the small, independent place with its own charm.
“You can be the quirky, spunky, free-spirited gal who works at the indie shop,” I said, and got a scrunched-nose smile intended to say “put a sock in it.” But in a way that is what she is.
Then I napped as hard as one can possibly nap, awakened by a text from a friend wanting to know what the new Google logo font is called (Product Sans.) I had my phone off, but because this is the modern world I heard my computer bong! with an incoming message in the next room, and my iPad bong! as well. It’s not enough to mute your phone and mute your landline; you have to pot down every device connected to the great thrumming network as well. The dog must be fed prior to the nap; he expects this. It’s amusing: I can come home, find him snoozing on the sofa, let him out, count to ten, then bring him in and feed him and he’ll head back to the sofa as if he’d been outside chasing things for an hour. The ability to constantly reset to the imperatives of Now is one of the canine’s most admirable traits.
Then I did the Hugh Hewitt show a few minutes after Trump was on, which marks the second time, I think, I have followed Trump on the air within the space of 20 minutes. The Trump segment had ended poorly - not so much because he bobbled a foreign policy question, but because his response was a long, blustery, irrelevant, boasting, blast of words that made you feel like you’d put your face in front of a firehose blasting highly carbonated water. Trump took offense to the question, and apparently - I’m getting this second-hand, not from the producer - threatened to never come on the show again. First-rate temperament, that one.
Friday basics: the ongoing con / de struction at Downtown East. It's taking a while, but the main part of the building is finally coming down.
The moment this happened, I realized I was seeing something that had never been seen before. Of course, you could say that about any moment of any day, but this is a view that has never existed before.
Lest you think I just point the camera and let it roll, there are over 35 shots in this video. I happened across the demolition on the way back from the Fair, and had to pull over and shoot for an hour. Because the part they were taking down was where I sat. A place in the air that no longer exists.
I'm still surprised I'm not more emotional about this. It's almost unreal to see your window clawed and shattered. But it's a dead place, an empty place. Its soul was still there when they started picking apart the front, but it's gone now.
As usual for Friday, the Music Cues. Of course we begin with the Couple Next Door, with its cheerful soundtrack of the mid-century domestic scene.
CND Cue #578 Staccato horns usher in the Chord of Domestic Ease.
CND Cue #579 Yikes. It's a mocking version of a familiar cue, and it's not happy.
Here's the latest in a series of Public Service Announcements that ran on the Armed Forces Radio service. They served no purpose whatsoever, except to make GIs homesick.
Chicago: it's still there!
Finally, our ad of the week: words I have never used to describe a hot cup of joe.
Puuuure coffee nectar!
The Velvet Fog spots a trend and pounces:
Wikipedia: "With the exception of the title track, an original song by Tormé, the album mostly consists of covers of popular songs from the late 1920s and early 1930s, around the period when the real-life Bonnie and Clyde were committing their bank robberies."
The title track. More romanticizing these losers.
Fair rules are over! Back to normal next week. See you in the usual places!