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2008-09-09 - 2:33 p.m.

Among other things, the advent of the internet has allowed us, I think, to more easily follow and develop little obsessions. It's given us reasons to check on something at two in the morning, a reason to duck out of a party real fast or to never really show up at work, even though by all accounts we're sitting right there.

For example, I'm a fan of soccer. I like international soccer, especially. This is a recent thing. I followed the US team the past few World Cups, but nothing obsessive. But now, though we're still two years--two years--from the next World Cup, I find myself reading news stories about particular dudes who play in Europe, whether they're getting playing time and whether they'll likely start in tomorrow's very-early-in-the-process--very early--qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago. I know it's silly, as I'm reading these online news items. And yet, I go on, and will go on, tomorrow. I remember a few years ago, thinking the exact same thoughts about my older brother, who's deep into fantasy football. I remember thinking, if I knew where the backup fullback for the Minnesota Vikings went to college, that's when I'd know I had a problem. Answer: I am now aware of where Maurice Edu, midfielder for the U.S. national team and new signing of the Glasgow Rangers, went to college.

It's so easy to get to the stuff now. I'm sitting here, and I'm listening to James Brown, and I'm mildly curious about his guy Maceo Parker and what did he play again? and then I'm off.

I'm a little ashamed, in other words, of my lack of self-control. I need to better marshal my forces, command my attention, more capably defend against rogue interests, be more ready to launch counterstrikes of focused intensity. What? Yes.

I'm trying. It's a battle, every day. Last night, I sent a little 800-word essay off to a local magazine. Fingers crossed.

I've also begun to have dreams about internet people I've never met. About seeing them in grocery stores. I should garden, or something.

I'm thinking of buying a road bike soon. I currently have a mountain bike and I'm tired of getting passed by those people who wear the skin-tight European-style lyrca stuff. They go so fast. I want to go faster, too. That's the point of bicycling, a lot of times. I see that a lot of people in my neighborhood have Bianchis. They're locked up snug to street signs and little trees all over the place. They look pretty cool. Maybe that's what I'll get.

The goal is to have a complete draft, start to back, by the time I start up again with the teaching, in the spring semester. Gears engaging, metal on metal.

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