So I go to Blockbuster to rent a season of QAF because I feel like kicking back for a marathon today, only when I get them home, it turns out the DVDs won’t play in my player. Grr. So I go online, don’t like the download rates, go on Ebay, and half an hour after I first went to Blockbuster I’ve bought shrink-wrapped VHS box sets of seasons 1 and 2 for less than the rental fees would have been.
I don’t know which is more amazing about the internet and its impact on our lives: the fact that you can get nearly anything you want online or the fact that we take it for granted that anything we want is obtainable through the internet. And the converse of that mentality: if it’s not online, you must not want it. There have been a couple of times when I stopped researching a topic or didn’t buy a product because I couldn’t find it online and didn’t know where to start looking in the real world. I know people a couple of years behind me in school who had no idea what the Dewey decimal system was because they never had to look anything up in a library.
The rotten thing about writing or drawing or any creative talent is that sometimes it just goes away. Sometimes even when I have good ideas and energy and the will to write, what comes out on the page is crappier than the drek I used to write in fourth grade. I mean, it’s bad enough when I just can’t think of anything to write, but when I have ideas but the talent and skill are just gone, it freaks me out, man. Because if you’re stuck, you know you’ll work through it, and if you’re uninspired you’re pretty sure something will catch your eye again eventually, but losing your talent? What if it doesn’t come back? It’s like opening your mouth to speak and realizing you’ve lost all your words, or trying to tie your shoes when your fingers are numb. Not just being thrown off by it, but feeling so freaking pissed off that this is something you knew how to do when you were five, and all of a sudden you can’t.
Man, this year rocked. First off, getting off from work for yontif is great: I basically had a whole week’s vacation. Second, I actually had fun helping my mom clean. And third, the Seders were splendid. The second Seder always has the same core people, old students of my dad’s and family friends, people who rocked me to sleep as a baby, people whose kids were kids the last time I looked but who are abruptly searching for colleges and stuff. And this year we had two new people who really meshed well with the group–my mom’s Italian Catholic yoga instructor and her Israeli husband–even though some of the old hands couldn’t make it this year.
The first Seder, though … for the first time in my entire life, we didn’t have guests. It was just me and my parents. And the thing about a Seder is, you’re supposed to have old-timers and newcomers and kids and adults so that you’re always sharing and teaching and passing on the traditions. Which can be really cool. But just having the three of us rocked, because we got to riff on the liturgy and we were really flying. We were making up new rituals and tracking down the original citations for the liturgy, and finally getting some of the oddball passages that just seem tacked on, which sounds really boring, but having an intellectual discussion between three people who know what they’re talking about and who don’t have to keep stopping to go over the basics with less experienced people is like flying down the highway at eighty miles per hour and watching the speedometer inch up to ninety. Flying.
Yeah, I know I’m weird.