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Random Thoughts from Quarantine

I’ve got a sinus infection and the flu.

No, I’m not writing this post for sympathy. Let’s face it, sympathy doesn’t get me anywhere. (Though I do appreciate it).

No, I’m writing this post because I’ve been quarantined to my bedroom at home. My wife–in equal parts reason and paranoia–has barred me from walking around the house a lot, and particularly without a mask on.

The reason: my four-month-old daughter. And it’s a great reason.

But without a TV, I can’t fall back on the solace of the TV as background noise (and hours and hours of SportsCenter, might I add) with the computer in front of me… and I’m not moving a 50″ Plasma into the bedroom for three days.

And I’m a terrible sleeper during the day, even when I’m sick. So it’s led to random thoughts and thinking this may be a good time to share a couple of thoughts I’ve had over the past few months that were too random for “Game Time” here on the blog.

When the Power Goes Out

George Carlin used this phrase in one of his acts: “These are the things I think about when I’m home alone and the power goes out.”

We sometimes forget in our technological world how quiet things can get. In my house, between the humidifier and the air purifier (yes, I’m a mess), there’s always a constant sort of “whir” going on. Several nights ago, we lost power, several times. And it’s weird. When it’s early in the evening I don’t really think about it. I just light candles and either grab the Scrabble or grab a book. (Or heaven forbid, I actually talk to my wife.)

But at midnight, when I’m the only one awake in the house (even the dog and the baby are asleep), THAT’s when I notice every noise in the house. And I start to get paranoid.

Now, with Nora in the house, the paranoia’s even worse. Being the first power outage since we born, I found myself making sure a) she’s alive (you know, breathing and the like), and b) there were no sounds that might indicate that someone is trying to steal her away in the middle of the night.

Is this normal husband-like behavior for when the power goes out? Maybe it’s some genetic instinct to be on, for lack of a better phrase, “high alert” when the power goes out.

…or maybe I just watch too much TV.

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“Proposition”

I have a solution to the political process. Let’s put the absolutely ridiculous “American Idol” type process to work for us.

It’s a political “reality” show called “Proposition.” The premise of the show (hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, naturally) is there each week, a panel of Democrats and a panel of Republicans tackle the issues and America decides how the bill for that topic should be written.

Here’s how it would work:

Let’s say the topic is healthcare reform. The Democrats produce a simple presentation of what they want in the bill (let’s say Ignite-style where the slides move every minute to two minutes, so it has to be easy to follow). The Republicans do the same thing. There is a panel of judges made up of random Americans selected through the same process as Jury Duty (so yes, actually random). The judges ask questions, give opinions.

Each “side” has a total of 22 minutes to present their cases–after all, there has to be commercial breaks. At the end of the show, each of the judges gives their opinion about which side should win. Then it’s tossed out to a text or Internet vote. America has 47 hours to make a decision. (The “decision” show is two days later.)

The presentations will be made available online for review. The show itself will be put online for review.

The winning “law” is then written up and passed by Congress and sent to the President to sign.

… it’s just an idea.

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