Thursday, January 16, 2003

Since 2002 was such an unpleasant year, with so many obstacles to overcome, the bet is that 2003 must be better, at least along some scale of measurement. Maybe this will be the year that contests are won or the year that unpleasant people and events do not cross our path. I've entered a contest to win a fancy-shmancy oh-so-modern magazine rack, even though it's a constant goal not to have magazines kicking around, even though we subscribe to so many periodicals of all sorts. I like contests that are not pure raffles but that don't involve a great deal of effort. Of course some claim not to be matters of pure chance, but are, posing, for example, three easy questions and drawing from among the thousands of correct answers received. This contest is a good one because it follows a favorite format--the old 100 words or fewer. We read everything as quickly as possible and then pass it all along, usually to the swap table at the library, since the Austin Public Library seems to budget an ever smaller amount for subscriptions. We keep three old canvas boat bags to tote all this stuff. As soon as all three are full, off they go to the library. Last weekend, we were extremely close to being caught up entirely on periodicals, having only a TV y novelas and an Economist left. Because so many mags publish on an abbreviated schedule over the holidays, for a while the mailbox has been less jammed. But now the onslaught begins again. Martha S. even sent a free copy of her new food magazine. We don't seem to get comped much these days in magazines, though we do get very good targeted deals. We've already been suckered into "Entre el amor y el odio" but at least we're able to record it and have the sense to watch it in a time shift. As Televisa does better and better with premium national commercials on its hit shows, more and more time is saved by recording and skipping.


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