things that are trying to distract me from feeling like I'm poised on the edge of a precipice ready to jump or get pushed I

1. B.Fleischmann's album Pop Loops for Breakfast. This carefully textured electrocutie stuff is gentle and beautiful, while still bringing the edge. This record is so good that the real tracks overshadow the surprise bonus track, a flanged-out space cover of Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn."

2. This, which was the text of an email I just received: "Suzanne, although somewhat soothed by near photon and defined by bonbon.When stalactite for razor blade flies into a rage, starlet inside asteroid dies.Where we can accurately mourn our ball bearing.Furthermore, waif from marzipan ruminates, and bubble bath over boogie from gonad.Any stovepipe can laugh and drink all night with mortician living with, but it takes a real waif to tea party toward razor blade."

3. This new alt.paper which I'm writing some stuff for. For which I'm writing some stuff.

4. Nice friends who check in with me. If you are one of those people and you've been derelict in your duty, then check in with me, dammit, even if it's just to yell at me for not checking in with you.

5. Michael Redd being named an All-Star. Come on, you have to admit he deserves it. LeBron James should have been in, yes, but in place of Paul "Team's Going Nowhere" Pierce. Everyone picked Milwaukee for the bottom of the barrel this year, but instead we* are kicking ass, loftily perched above .500, and it's pretty much due to team old-school hoops, except that every once in a while old Square-head Redd puts up a 40-spot. It's beautiful.

*Yes, "we." Milwaukee is officially my favorite team now, over the Trail Blazers even. More about this later.

4. Berghoff Dark beer. Smooth like Terry Porter's head.

5. My big-ass Donner boots. We're expecting seven inches of snow tonight.

6. Old Navy plain-front khakis. Perhaps the perfect pant.

7. Manchester City, yesterday, coming back from nil-3 and down a man, to beat Spurs on a Jon Macken header in the 90th minute, and the new resolve it might bring. I don't even mind Anelka being banned for three matches...maybe it'll help the team get more resourceful. Onward, Shaun Wright-Phillips!

8. little else, really

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