Most of my time on the internet involves the virtual version of compulsive mailbox checking. I realize I'm in a sick sad loop but there's nothing I can do about it. It begins, of course, with email. My aol 'cause it's friendly, mostly, except for the occasional threatening note from my ex ex girlfriend, asking me why I haven't yet paid off a mutual credit card. That's not so fun. but mostly aol is friendly, banal, spammy. Calls for papers from my days as an enthusiatic graduate student, for conferences and collections I'll never attend or read, let alone submit papers to. Solicitations for mortgages. I don't know what I'm checking for, but I think I hope I'll see an email that says "You've been accepted to Northwestern law School!"
After I check my aol mail I go to my UIC mail. I think I hope for a message that says, "We paid you twice as much this month and you don't have to pay it back."
Then it's time for compulsive astrology. That's when your horoscope is going to tell you what's going to happen and why you should be happy about it. First Jonathan Cainer. I want my Week Ahead Forecast to say that this is the week when all my fortunes turn around and I finally get started on the career that will make me happy and enable me to buy a house. And own a car that's less than 10 years old. I want my today forecast to say that I'm smart successful, and soon to be rich. And that today I will get the phone call that will turn my life around. For the better.
Then it's on to Astrodiest (my girlfriend calls it Astrodentist). This scope usually charts celestial influences. I want it to say that I am entering a period of prolonged prosperity, the likes of which I have never yet seen. I want it to talk about talents recognized, opportunities realized, employment verified, worries on the back burner. I want Astrodentist to give me a clean bill of artistic, intellectual, financial, and carnal health.
After the horoscopes, it's on to the job lists. I want academic jobs on the MLA list, lucrative corporate jobs in laid-back companies on the aol jobs list, publishing jobs that want me on Monster.com, creative jobs that want to train me on Craig's List. There are so many careers with bright prospects. How can I possibly check all these lists? But I do.
By now I might have missed important emails, so I have to check again. Unfortunately I still know the horoscopes. I could check various love match sites to see if my girlfriend and I are suited and will last. Netscape has the best browser for procrastinating because it has lots of weight loss tips, morbid stories, and tips about sex. Granted that I always read the men's tips on how to please a woman. Then it may be time to shop for shirts or light jackets on sale, and then hit the shoe sites. Eventually I might dream by looking at real estate for sale, which brings me to wondering again if I'll hear whether or not I got into any law schools. At that point it's time for a bath, and maybe something the least little bit productive.
Later in the day, though, the European astrology sites will change to tomorrow's forecast. It's best to check as soon as possible.
You never know.