Archive for the 'Miscellany' Category
- 11th: Quit my job*
- 18th: Last day
- 20th: Off to Iceland
- 23rd: Turn 31
- 27th: Return from Iceland
- 29th: Nick “officially” moves in
Yeah, so, you know… not busy or anything.
*It was a contractor position, so technically I ended the engagement.
Well, here it is 2008 and I haven’t made a new post in months, a fact noted by more than a few of you. I know, I know, I suck.
But really, it’s not like much noteworthy happened to me in the last few months of ’07. Other than:
- I ended a (quasi-)relationship
- I turned 30
- I lost my sole surviving grandparent
- I went to Australia for a few weeks
- I split Christmas between 2 states
Hmm, maybe I could have had a word or two to say one some of those items (like the Oz trip, woohoo!) I’ll just have to do better this year…
One, the opening line from a “thriller” I found left behind in a parking garage, made me groan:
The house in Silverlake was dark, its windows as empty as a dead man’s eyes.
Blech. That book’s getting donated.
But turn that frown upside down, as there’s this one, from NYT:
“It’s going to be really good for international travel over the next year and a half,” Mr. Seaney said.
Excellent! Iceland, anyone?
I’m feeling proud of my native state today.
So I’m checking my credit card balance the other day (eep!) and I see this little gem in the “special offers” section:
Aww, isn’t that sweet? Why not coax a smile out of someone just by GIVING THEM ACCESS TO YOUR CREDIT LINE. No biggie — it’s like a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day.
I have to say, if the best way to make your special someone smile is with plastic, it might be time to reconsider the relationship. Or at the very least, try a few alternatives first:
- “Have you lost weight?”
- “Let me do those dishes.”
- “Why don’t you take the rest of the day off?”
Not, of course, that a credit card issuer is going to make any of those suggestions. If they were looking to be honest, they would have said so:
One of the great joys of Google News, in which “the selection and placement of stories…[a]re determined automatically by a computer program,” is the highlighting of stories (sometimes from fringe sites) occasionally juxtaposed with bizarre images.
Take this story from yesterday, which reported on the supposed difference between IQs of children born first and subsequently:
Of course, they’re old hands at this. Check out this one I grabbed a few months ago…
The downside of living in a high-rise is that when it rains (as now) you don’t really hear it — barring an excellent thunderstorm, that is.
The upside is you don’t have gutters to clean.
So the girl whose apartment I rent called me while I was on vacation, wanting a favor. Would it be possible, she wondered, to sleep overnight at the apartment — with four friends? Sure, I said, deep in my relaxed vacation chillout state.
Except now that state’s gone, chased away by a Wednesday that had me walking a total of 10.5 miles. (Yes, I calculated.) Starting from my court date* downtown, up to an impromptu Evanston site visit in the early afternoon, through to a scheduled equipment swap on Fullerton that ran long, I left my place at 8 and didn’t return (save for a 7 minute lunch) until after 11.
Now my feet have blisters, my back’s fucked, and though I’d just as soon close the curtains and sleep until next Tuesday, she called again to confirm her arrival tomorrow, this time adding a new wrinkle: she’ll be here with crew at 8am!
Which means I should probably spend tonight cleaning and piling my junk in the closet. Wheee….
* Went like butter. Showed up for my 9am at 8:50, court started at 9:05, was out on the street at 9:16. He didn’t show, so my ticket was dismissed.
Eek, it’s getting a little dusty around here so let’s try to clear away the cobwebs.
First, I just got back from a nice weeklong vacation (yes, it was Lake Geneva, WI, Matt) which I very much enjoyed despite the paucity of Internet connection options. But then, I’m used to that since I still don’t have any internet in the apartment.
I returned from vacation to face a fairly busy week: tomorrow is the “court date” to which I’ve been alluding in the sidebar, but it’s not so dramatic as people think. (Basically, I’m contesting a ticket.) This will give me the opportunity to a) ride the El during rush hour, b) arrive at court at 9am, to be called at an unknown time, and of course c) experience the judicial system in all its heady, dramatized glory.
In about a week it will be September, and that will bring with it yet another move, as my summer sublet term is coming to a close. Thus I’ll be spending the rest of the week poking around various alternatives around here and possibly downtown. (Even, perhaps, another town?)
Throw in some on-site installs (Wed night), client lunches (Fri and perhaps Thu) and the fact that I’m kinda-sorta-quasi-dating now, and it all adds up to what (for me, at least) is some pretty active stuff.
So that’s the update for the moment. Oh, and: Mr. Moore, thanks for checking in; Joel, I haven’t yet had the time to see Advise & Consent, but I’ll let you know. (And your sister sounded pretty cool on YouTube.)
Here are some of the things blowing my mind this week:
- “Night Ripper.” This album, which my cousin brought to my attention, is just an assault on the senses. As Pitchfork puts it, “The record’s pacing is astonishing– with more than 150 sample sources (all thanked in the liner notes), it ricochets from Top 40 hits to obscure gems and back again like a cool breeze.” Identifying what sources you can is a fun, audible version of that Motorola movie. Except much, much more difficult. (There’s still this bit in track 8 that’s driving me crazy.)
- “The Oil We Eat“, an old Harper’s article [via]. Sample line: “David Pimentel, an expert on food and energy at Cornell University, has estimated that if all of the world ate the way the United States eats, humanity would exhaust all known global fossil-fuel reserves in just over seven years.”
- Chicago recycling. Or, more specifically, the appalling lack thereof. There’s a sidebar to that story, not online, that notes that Chicago garbage crews feature three people including a Teamsters driver who gets $29/hr and is not required to handle garbage. And surprise: they still work slower than smaller crews.
- Tokyo trains. Now this really sounds too good to be true: “I just saw a travel program on Tokyo, Japan, and […] it said that the [bullet] trains are _so_ accurate on time, that if one is actually late, you can get a _note_ from the station for your boss, because otherwise they won’t believe you about the train delay.” (A subsequent comment agrees.) I want bullet trains!
- Oh, and that Landis thing was pretty good too.
Update [21:50]: Oh, and this is definitely blowing my mind. On so many levels.
German law allows shops to be open only from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, nearly everything is closed except for some restaurants and snack kiosks. [from AP: Up Late? Why not shop]
Also I remember being told (when visiting restaurants near Checkpoint Charlie) that free soft drink refills were “against the law” in Germany. I think we later disproved that, but maybe it’s true. If so, wow, what an unholy nexus of suck.
…there’s something about Canadians.
Canadian: You know, Canadian Bacon was made by Canadians*, but Americans never get it.
Canadian: Yeah, it was made by Canadians to mock American stereotypes of Canada. Then they put John Candy — who everyone thinks is American — in it, so America would just think it was mocking Canada, when really it was mocking Americans.
I: I see.
( later… )
I: Of course, just for the record, when you have a country that has 9 people for every 1 of yours and said country spends more money on weapons than every other nation in the world combined, and the only thing that separates you from them is the world’s largest undefended border, well, you have to realize that it would take about 45 minutes to annex you.
( pause )
Canadian: We burned down the White House, you know.
I: Two hundred years ago. Try it now, bitch.
* Not actually true, as far as I can tell.
Somehow, when I wasn’t looking, the odometer rolled ’round to a full decade since I graduated high school. It’s an anniversary that I would probably have managed to ignore, were it not for the slim green flyer that my parents thoughtfully forwarded on to me last week. “Remember when…” it reads in part, “‘the Macarena’ heated up dance floors”?
Of course I do, but is that really the best way to pitch a high school reunion? After all, like flannel shirts with denim collars (also mentioned), some things should just stay buried.
Yet this little green sheet keeps popping back to my thoughts. It makes me recall — vaguely — my time as a (nominal) Senior Class officer. At 18, you see, I was greatly in favor of the idea of a class reunion. “We’ve seen the start of the movie,” I liked to tell people when the subject came up, “then we’ll get a chance to see how it all turned out.”
In fact, I made other plans partly based on this worldview. When I also served that year as editor-in-chief of the school yearbook, I made the decision (along with the faculty adviser, who was in full agreement) to spike all the “best”/”most” voting.
True, this was mostly because I hated what those sorts of popularity polls did to those who didn’t make the cut. Why bother to enshrine “best smile”, “most likely to succeed”, “most athletic” and all that in print when everyone knew the pecking order, anyway?
But to a degree I was also thinking of those on whom the titles were bestowed. Would the “mostly likely to succeed” person be most likely to ditch the reunion if (s)he wasn’t doing something impressive? I would have expected so.
Anyway, fast forward to the present, and my plotting as a youngster seems all but irrelevant. I’m not even sure that I want to go this thing.
Well, maybe to see who else turned out a ‘mo…