Thursday, May 31, 2007

Up too late

I'll regret it tomorrow morning, which starts in approximately six hours, but right now it's fun!

Dan and I wandered about the city Monday afternoon, taking pics for his card game (I won't say the name here until he gives me the nod), so we put on our Sarcasmo eyes to see familiar things in a new way. We took dozens of pics, my personal favorite of which appears here. If you look closely you can see in the pawn the reflection of Dan and I crouching to get the right angle. Who knew that the plaza around the Municipal Services Building was strewn with giant chess pieces? There were dominoes, bingo chips and Monopoly game bits too.

We trekked through Love Park, took some pics of the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, got some nice shots of the Free Library, and stopped for a while at the fountain near the Academy of Natural Sciences. It being a hot day I decided to dunk my feet in the fountain, which was a good idea at the time. I didn't realize that the little pebbles strewn about the water are Stones of Eternity, meaning they get in your shoes and stay there forever. I'm like the Princess and the Pea with stones in my shoe; they have to come out right away, wherever I am, whatever I'm doing. (Some might say I am a princess in other ways. Quiet, you!)

Then it was vanilla-butterscotch ice cream with bits o' Kit Kat. Mama.

New favorite lyric:

"Every time I see him he smiles
And he tells me how well he's walking these miles
But he never, ever asks a single thing about me
If I died, he'd hear about it eventually"

Artist: Patty Griffin (Patty Griffin)
Song: Moses
Album: Living With Ghosts

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Yay! Yay! Yay!

I'm going to San Francisco, and I'm staying for free! You see, Dan's flying out to attend the Apple conference (sorry, VisMajor), and he gets his own hotel room on the company nickel. Yesterday he said, "You want to fly out and stay with me?" Needless to say, I did, and do, and am.

Unfortunately I have to fly by myself, which I dislike since I hate air travel, but the prospect of a free room for five days is too good to pass up. I'll also have to spend the days alone - Dan will be at the conference - but that gives me opportunity to troll the streets of San Francisco and get to know the city a little better. I really enjoyed my last trip, and I am sure I'll enjoy this one no less. So excited! So excited!

Hey, can I tell you that Alberto Gonzalez is my new favorite person? Seriously. The longer he hangs on at the DoJ the worse Bush looks, assuming of course that it's possible for Bush to look any worse. Go Alberto!

New favorite lyric:

"We played cards, mostly blackjack
As we sat out on the tarmac

We sang songs we knew in Spanish
As we both loved songs of language
He'd heard me on the radio
I'd seen the flyers of San Antone
Now I would give anything to have that flyer for my own"

Artist: Nanci Griffith (Nanci Griffith)
Song: The Flyer
Album: Flyer

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wishful dreaming

I dreamt last night not of Manderly but of the Go-Go's. I was interviewing them for a magazine or something so Dan and I flew out to L.A. to meet them at the offices of their record company. They were fun and friendly, but so normal and easygoing that I knew it was a dream. While I was interviewing Belinda, Dan and the rest of the gals went down the hall and were giggling like crazy. Just as I was sitting down with Jane it was seven o'clock and my alarm was alarming. Stupid buzzer.

Here's an untimely comment, now that the Democratic primary is over. Since when does a millionaire political candidate qualify as unbribeable? If people with lots of money somehow shed their avarice no millionaire would ever become a billionaire. As Genna Lannister asked, "Why does a man with one pot of gold want another? Men are greedy." Also, just because a person can't be bought with money doesn't mean he can't be bought at all. Their are inducements other than cash, such as power, influence, and prestige, that can be just as tempting.

I'm currently engaged in a war with the houseflies somehow infiltrating my apartment from the back yard. I found today what I think (hope) is their point of entry, and Flypocalypse Now ensued as I killed about a dozen of the little bastards and then sealed up their secret tunnel. It was one of the few times I wished for a spider.

New favorite lyric:

"If you've got somewhere to be, if you've got someone besides me
Let me know, don't put me on, if it's not right then I'll be gone
All those dancers can't be wrong
All those answers would take too long
So tell me, tell me, now"

Artist: Go-Go's (Jane Wiedlin/Ron Mael/Russell Mael)
Song: Yes or No
Album: Talk Show

Friday, May 11, 2007

Isn't George Bush... a real-world, male Cersei Lannister? Both possess a certain cunning but are blinded by arrogance and hampered by incompetence. They both deal with massive debts they're doing nothing to pay down, tick off foreign powers, use their military in the wrong way, and cover up malfeasance in government. But at least Cersei's hot.

I'm wearing my "Intelligent Design Isn't" t-shirt today. I've worn it around Center City dozens of times, yet today it's getting all sort of positive attention: smiles, chuckles, nods, etc. I'm still waiting for money, because nothing says appreciation like dollars tucked in the waistband.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I bought some chocolate milk - which I hadn't enjoyed in a long time - at the Reading Terminal Market yesterday. I've always liked milk, but lately I've had a hankering for it but good. (Of course I like chocolate, but then who doesn't? Terrorists, that's who.) Anyway, after one sip I said to myself, "Why the heck did I ever stop drinking this wonderful stuff?" Then I turned around the container and read that the pint of chocolate milk contained 400 calories. "Oh. That's why."

The biggest news is [blare of trumpets] that I finished my graduate certificate this week. Somehow I pulled off an A in my last class (pixies, I tell ya) which put me over the finish line. A master's degree lurks about another 18 credits beyond my grad certificate, but I think I'm going to leave that beast alone.

Hey, hey! The Decider is doing his level best to sink the Republican Party. Who knew he was on our side? Seriously, though...28%? I imagine that if you polled Americans about my performance at least a third would say, "Well, I don't know who he is, but he's probably doing an OK job."

New favorite lyric:

"They invented a reason, that’s why it stings
They don’t think you matter because you don’t have pretty rings
I keep telling you I don’t care I keep saying there’s one thing they can’t change"

Artist: Jonathan Coulton (Jonathan Coulton)
Song: I'm Your Moon
Album: Thing a Week IV

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bitch, bitch

I saw the other day what must have been the overlord of all foolish driving maneuvers. A woman was backing her car out of a parking garage, across a sidewalk and into rush-hour traffic, watching for pedestrians and oncoming vehicles, whilst yammering away on a cell phone. Yes, I am one of those curmudgeons who thinks that cell phone use and driving just don't mix.

Part of my objection I can support empirically. Look at this, and this, and this. Google it yourself and you'll find more. The rest of my objection is more anecdote, but in my view no less compelling. When you're having a conversation in person, you are in the present, aware of the space you're actually occupying. When you're on the phone, you're kind of in between where you are and where the other person is. I've had phone conversations whilst staring at the TV (when I had cable service, that is), and I found that I could concentrate either on the program or the conversation, not both.

Maybe you're thinking, "Well, that's just you." Is it? Those studies I cited earlier indicate that it's not just me, and my own experience confirms this. Being a Center City resident, I'm always walking about crowded streets, and the most obnoxious walkers are those on cell phones. They'll walk into traffic, step directly in your path, completely unaware of what's going on around them. That's the point: They're unaware of what's going on around them. On the sidewalk it's no big deal, but do we want that kind of behavior encouraged on the road?

Maybe you trust that drivers will be responsible regarding distractions, and if so I applaud you. I find it refreshing that in this day and age anyone can hold that kind of unblemished, idealistic faith in the skill and dedication of the average motorist. My own view is a bit more cynical, shaped by years of driving to work watching people eat, drink, shave, apply makeup and read the newspaper behind the wheel. Ban cell phone use while driving, I say. If you have a conversation that's so important pull over; if not, keep your mind on your driving and we'll all be safer for it.