Drinks for my friends

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Does anyone else feel the void left by the election? I’ve got to admit I developed some kind of funny habits over the last few months (few months, heck—year). For one, I got in the habit of having my laptop sitting on the coffee table. While the rest of my family watches television or does homework, I’m sitting there on my wifi-ed computer, playing with my new browsers. (Have you tried Opera or the new Mozilla Firefox? They’re pretty phenomenal—extremely customizable, fast and leave Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in the dirt.)

I’m also continually going to the formerly 24-hour news sites, but I’m finding nothing. I’m like the new ex-smoker who pats his shirt pocket looking for his old crutch and finding a flat spot—nothing, conspicuous by its presence. I go to salon.com or slate.com or cnn.com or abcnews.com and come up with the same news that was there 20 minutes ago.

It makes me a little sad. I’m not one of these guys who begrudge Bush the election, but I’m not doing backflips, either. I’ve got a pretty firm belief in karma (not in a spiritual way, but in a societal way), and I know that nothing increases a desire for personal liberties like efforts to suppress them—the ’60s grew from the ’50s. But the end of the campaigns makes me sad because winter is upon us, and there’s no gardening to be done, my welding class ended three weeks ago (and I’m out of sheet metal), and I’m feeling the vacuum.

Nature hates a vacuum, though, and I notice I’ve gained five pounds. Maybe I’ll start getting to the gym again. I do have one project on the side of my house that needs some attention. I’ve got a novel that’s ping-ponging around in my mind. I knew all along that this election would someday end, and we’d all have to go back to our lives, but life was sure interesting when every world development seemed to carry the weight of history.