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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Is "Kombat" Latin?

In the immortal words of Jim Anchower: Hola amigos. I know itís been a long time since I rapped at ya, but things have been crazy. Blogging at work is harder to do than before. Busy job this is, though this is the time of year it starts to slow down.

So many things Iíve wanted to rant about that have no doubt been lost to the ages. And important events. Letís see what I can reconstruct.

My longtime associate Marc Heiden is temping at my job now. Thatís trippy. I was helping Marc move a couple of weeks ago and it made me think of Time Magazineís then current article bemoaning the number of twentysomethings who continue to live with their parents for a couple of years after college. ďRefusing to grow upĒ was the clucking consensus from our media elders. I was in this situation a little over a year ago, still have some friends who are. Itís a relief to have it explained that its our collective immaturity and ďhedonismĒ (because you can throw such great parties at mom and dadís house that you canít in your own place) and that it has nothing to do with the collapse of the industrial economy, stagnant wages, outsourcing, the increasingly educated workforce or any of those messy factual things. I was worried there for a minute.

I myself get to move to Lincoln Square in a few weeks, alongside my friend Reina. Lincoln Square is awesome. No Evanston or anything but I will be much less poor and wonít have to travel such great distances living there. My exile from Evanston is temporary however, like Macarthur and the Philippines. Macarthur returned when he had more soldiers, I will return when I haveÖmore money. And a car. Definitely a car.

Also, I passed the Latin correspondence course Iíve been technically taking since I think, summer of 2003, the last of my undergraduate degree requirements. I want to see if I can hire the guy who does the voice on Mortal Kombat to say ďLATIN 104-FATALITYĒ for me. So my college graduation is imminent. Nine years after the undergrad odyssey began. My friends tell me I should be happy and I am when I donít think too much about it. When I do think about it, itís like, well, kind of pathetic really.

Arthur Miller is dead. What I find extraordinary is not that Arthur Miller is dead, but that a week ago, Arthur Miller was alive. How easily we forget that giants walk the earthÖ

Hamlet is winding down, next weekend will be the last. I hope to be going down in a blaze of grave digging gloryÖ

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Replies: 4 comments

It only took nine years? I managed to go 13 from first class to final requirement fulfilled. Granted, nine or so of those were filled with various non-educational pursuits, most alarmingly non-productive (as pursuits should be). Dude...you made it, you did it, you got out. Nice shootin', Tex.

Honestly, I consider the lives and deaths of Miller and Chaplin far more important than whether I get a lousy BA after nine years of half heartedly trying, so no need for apologies. The image of you as a child dressed up like the Little Tramp makes me smile ridiculously.

But "rest"? Would that I were more familiar with that concept...

You know, that was a weird thing for me to post after you announce you're primed for graduation. Really -- congratulations, man. You've trekked through the scorched wastes of language requirements, reached the summit of Mount Doom University and cast your One Course into the crack of fire. Now take a rest. You've earned it.

You still have all your fingers, right?

Giants alive, giants dead. You hit the nail on the head.

Back in the dim, far-off year of 1977, I was a full-blown Charlie Chaplin fan. My mother was a library technician, and some weekends she would bring home 8mm movies, including many of Chaplin's. After dinner, we'd hook up the projector, tack a blanket to the wall to use as a screen, and watch Charlie do his thing. I was enthralled. He was weightless, immortal. He could do anything except fit in.

The Halloween of 1977 might have been the Halloween I dressed as Chaplin. Well -- my Mom dressed me as Chaplin. I just did the walk and wiggled my toothbrush mustache, and twirled a little cane. I was only the latest in a long line of imitators from practically the dawn of his career, shadows stretching from his giant feet. It never occurred to me that the shadow might be that of a human being.

In 1977, just after Christmas, I saw in the paper that Charlie Chaplin had died. Until that moment, I hadn't known that Chaplin had been alive.

I remember thinking that now I'd never meet him, although the chances of any given 88-year-old resident of Switzerland meeting a 10-year-old boy from East Central Illinois have always been pretty remote.

I also remember that Elvis had died earlier that year, and people had to explain to me who he was. "He was a rock star," as if that ever explains anything.

Just another guy you'll never get to meet.

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