Avast, ye scurvy kraken

September 19th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! Start your celebration with some pirate riddles for sophisticates. Arrrrrr.

Maybe All This

September 18th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

Maybe all this
is happening in some lab?
Under one lamp by day
and billions by night?

Maybe we’re experimental generations?
Poured from one vial to the next,
shaken in test tubes,
not scrutinized by eyes alone,
each of us separately
plucked up by tweezers in the end?

Or maybe it’s more like this:
No interference?
The changes occur on their own
according to plan?
The graph’s needle slowly etches
its predictable zigzags?

Maybe thus far we aren’t of much interest?
The control monitors aren’t usually plugged in?
Only for wars, preferably large ones,
for the odd ascent above our clump of Earth,
for major migrations from point A to B?

Maybe just the opposite:
They’ve got a taste for trivia up there?
Look! on the big screen a little girl
is sewing a button on her sleeve.
The radar shrieks,
the staff comes at a run.
What a darling little being
with its tiny heart beating inside it!
How sweet, its solemn
threading of the needle!
Someone cries enraptured:
Get the Boss,
tell him he’s got to see this for himself!

—Wislawa Szymborska (translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Claire Cavanagh)

Jeff be not proud

September 16th, 2004 § Six comments § permalink

Ben and Jerry’s can be part of a balanced breakfast, right?

So what am I so afraid of

September 12th, 2004 § Two comments § permalink

One of my high school classmates is in contention for the role of Keith Partridge on the VH1 series In Search of the Partridge Family. And not just any classmate, but one who I betrayed, on stage, for 30 pieces of silver. I hope he doesn’t exact revenge if he becomes famous.

Heavy little objects

September 9th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

This is so great: Heavy Little Objects, a compendium of small, beautiful things.

The kind you find in a secondhand store

September 7th, 2004 § Three comments § permalink

I made a strawberry sorbet this evening, but it failed utterly to solidify. My ice cream maker scarcely chilled it; even after another couple of hours in the freezer, it’s just starting to form icy chunks. Either it’s too damned hot in Oakland to be making sorbet or I’ve invented an amazing new strawberry-based antifreeze.

Now more than ever

September 6th, 2004 § Three comments § permalink

My work-avoidance tactic this morning: watching more old presidential campaign commercials. I especially like this treacly 1972 ad for Nixon. Who, I wonder, thought it wise to make an ad for Richard Fucking (expletive deleted) Nixon that opened with a shot of a butterfly? Meanwhile, George McGovern, who had Watergate and Vietnam to talk about, apparently couldn’t do any better than a weird little newspaper montage and a stream-of-consciousness monologue from an undecided voter.

Learning

September 2nd, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

Summer’s over, and I’ve started filling my brain with city planning facts once again. Two of my classes are engaging and enjoyable; two of them are dull but practical; and a fifth was so laughably bad that I dropped it. Not a bad ratio, actually. It should be a good semester.

I joined several of my fellow students last night at the Parkway to see Spider-Man 2. It’s quite a treat to watch a movie on a big screen while sitting on a couch and drinking Newcastle (and eating pizza, should you choose to). The movie was cheesy but entertaining. All of us cracked up when the dean admonished Peter Parker by saying, “Planning is not a major at this university.” We are such dorks.

In unrelated news, I received spam today from “adulterous putt.” What exactly would that entail?

You don’t know Jack

August 26th, 2004 § Two comments § permalink

A friend of mine emailed Jack Bishop, the executive editor of Cook’s Illustrated and author of several excellent cookbooks, to tell Bishop about a ravioli-making tool he had discovered. Bishop, who apparently reads his own email, sent a very nice reply. This prompted my friend to forward the reply to his wife and me; add the acronym “OMFG” to the subject line; refer to himself as “JUST ANOTHER GIBBERING JACK BISHOP FAN BOY”; and use more exclamation points than I’ve ever seen outside of an eBay seller review.

I have pretty awesome friends.

Tragically, they were out of greens

August 23rd, 2004 § Two comments § permalink

The House of Chicken ‘n Waffles is awesome. It sounds like a weird combination, I know, but a fried chicken breast with a waffle on the side is in fact brilliant.

Where am I?

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