Saturday, July 21, 2007


This was one of our weekly topics about six weeks ago, and I never wrote on it.

"Today on MSN". This is the little side column that shows up on the web page when I log into Hotmail...(the account that I have been trying to phase out for about four years, but it just never happens). It has little blue links to the day's top stories. Here are today's.

Confessions of a dating...
Gossip: Meg Ryan's new...
Is it time to dump your bank?
Games: Try the 'Potter' puzzle

and then, under the red "Only on MSN" header:

America's riskiest real estate markets.

Who could resist these tempting morsels?

If it's eating you alive, I have now clicked on three of the five topics and can fill you in. Incidentally, MSN stories come up more slowly than almost anything else on internet. I've downloaded entire movies faster. But perhaps it was worth it to discover
"Confessions of a dating late bloomer." A guy starts dating in his twenties, and after some initial anxiety, realizes that everyone gets nervous about dating, adn that there really are no set rules in overcoming this.
Meg Ryan is rumored has a new boyfriend. I already forget who it is. I rebember that they described her as the "pillow-lipped actress" though.
Los Angeles is indeed one of the riskier real estate markets, while Indianapolis is one of the least risky. The article suggests that one should consider buying a house to be investing in a home, not a get rich quick scheme.

Thirty minutes later, I am armed with mundane bits of information I mostly remember from some after-school special in the 8th grade, and a kind of regret induced nausea as I realize that there's thirty minutes (or two hours, depending on how far I follow a chain of links)I'll never get back again. That I could have used to write something amazing, or volunteer at a soup kitchen...or at least read the CNN feed instead.

So, guilty? Yes, I think so. Pleasure? That's one to think about. Certainly I feel compelled to click on the links, but now I have done so enough to know how empty the results will be that the disappointment actually begins when I move the cursor. Kind of like a chocolate sundae ruined by the thought of all the calories. Where's the joy?

I don't know, but maybe if I "try the Potter" puzzle, I can rediscover it.

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