Friday, October 31, 2008


Don't drink and Blog; someone could get hurt.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


It was the end of the day and I was on my way home. The darkening fall sky framed buildings and cars in a soft evening light. I slumped down in my seat and leaned my head against the cool glass window of the bus. We pulled up to a stop at a light and I glanced outside towards a grey concrete apartment complex.

A flash of movement caught my eye and I looked up to the roof where I saw a large man in a black puffy jacket pacing near the edge. His hands were stuffed deep in his pockets and his hat was pulled down low over his face. He would take a step to the edge, look over and then turn back away. I watched him do this three times, each with a longer pause at the precipice.

The stoplight finally changed to green and the bus pulled away as the man turned back from the edge once more.

Kids These Days.

Middle-aged woman with a bad perm, riding the shuttle bus to the Coast Guard Headquarters building, “…Well my Seth is wearing these skinny little jeans now.”

Other middle-aged woman with a bad dye job, riding the shuttle bus to the Coast Guard Headquarters building, “You mean those Jonas Brothers jeans? My Tim used to squeeze himself into girls jeans, but now he wears those skinny ones for boys.”

Bad Perm , “Seth just doesn’t have the body for those things. I see him walking out of the house and his boney little butt is poking right out!”

Bad Dye, “It’s because all of those kids from High School Musical wear those skinny pants. But what can you do about it?”

Friday, October 24, 2008


We were only a little bit lost when we came across this pond. It was nice out and the weather had finally started to turn cool so there was no real rush to find our way back to the main trail.

However, I was very amused by the sign next to the pond warning us about the perils of ice skating.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Signs of the Times.

Southeast DC has a strong Democratic Party presence, so you have to be a bit weird to fill you yard with McCain/Palin signs to begin with. But can someone please explain what the fuck is going on with some of these things?

It took me a while but I finally realized that this is some sort of reference to Joe the Plumber. But what are you trying to say about him? You think he's good? You want to hang him from a tree? You hate plungers and they should be lynched? If you're trying to make a comment about a candidate's tax policy, you might want to consider something slightly more coherent.

And what the hell is going on here? Why are Obama and Hillary in A Chorus Line? Did Obama kick Hillary off a stool at some point, because I missed that debate. Would a grown up woman not have allowed Obama to join The Rockettes with Hillary while she had jelly legs? Because if that's the point you're trying to make I can't really argue with that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Country/Gourd First.

Look, I realize that I'm living in a company town and we all owe our jobs to politics in some way or another, but can we please keep the politics out of our pumpkins. Halloween is not about 'Hope.' It's about pagan rituals and teaching kids how much fun it is to go into a diabetic coma.

A Grisham novel it was not.

I wish I had something much more interesting to write about my day as a possible juror at the Superior Court of DC. But really, the highlight of my day was eating lunch at the Cosi across the street during the two hour lunch break we were given. (Have you tried the wasabi beef sandwich? It’s quite good.)

Here is a brief overview of what I did today at the court:
I stood in a line.
I stood in a different line.
I waited in a room.
I was divided into a group of sixty and stood in a line.
I was re-divided into a group of thirty and stood in a line.
I waited in a different room.
I had a two hour lunch break.
I waited in a room again.
I spent 45 seconds answering questions from the judge and the two attorneys about my suitability as a juror.
I waited in the same room.
At 5:30 the jury was selected and I was told I could go home.

And even though I was not even considered for this trial, most likely I would have been kicked out anyway. It turns out that the (alleged) crime was committed about four blocks from my house. My legal advisor/roommate says that would have been enough to keep my off the jury even if I had been called up.

So I guess I did my civic duty and should be pleased that I was a part of civil society. I’m just happy to have gotten a lot of reading done. In a strange coincidence I received my jury summons the same day that I started reading a book about the Gulag system. It made for interesting reading at the courthouse.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To the Left of the Dial

In my second year of college I joined the college radio station, KCPR – Home of the Burnt Dog. KCPR was many things for me and I ended up working there for the rest of my time in college, eventually becoming a music director for the station. It was easily the most fun I had in college.

But when I first started I had to endure what every new DJ had to endure. Once a week I was live on the air for a three hour graveyard shift.

The quarter that I had to work the graveyard shift coincided with the same quarter that I had to take a 7-9am Intermediate Macro-Economics class. Some how I came up with the idea that it would be wise to do my radio show from 4am to 7am and then go directly to class. I mean after all, I was already awake right?

The night before my show I would go for a run or go skateboarding or both in an attempt to tire myself out and thus go to sleep early. Usually I would be in bed by eleven. Then my alarm would go off at 3:30am. I would pull on a heavy sweater and ride my bike in the cool, dark night over to the campus. The DJ before me would just be finishing his 1am to 4am shift and usually looked like he was about to fall asleep on the board.

DJing the graveyard shift on a small college radio station on the central coast to a small population was a great way to learn. At any given time in the night I had essentially zero listeners and I could make all the mistakes in the world. If I needed to run downstairs to get a soda out of the machine or if I was really tired and needed a quick nap on the filthy, tattered sofa I could just put on a 20 minute Mogwai track and not worry about anyone calling in to complain.

I did get the occasional phone call from insomniacs or late night drunks, but for the most part things stayed quiet. (Some of the female DJs got regular fan mail from the inmates at the nearby California Men’s Colony. At that time it was where Suge Knight was incarcerated but no one was so lucky to receive mail from him.)

By the time the end of my shift rolled around I was usually feeling pretty good. The sun was up and I had usually consumed a couple of candy bars and a 20oz Mountain Dew Code Red. I would bound into my econ class, usually humming whatever song I had finished my set with. The rest of the bleary eyed students must have hated me.
The only problem was that all of the caffeine and sugar would wear off by the second hour of class. My stomach would burn from the soda; my head would throb from the music and lack of sleep.

Pedaling home in the rising morning sun was excruciating and I would immediately fall into bed the moment I set foot in my room. Inevitably I would wake hours later, positive that I had somehow slept through class only to realize that I had a binder full of notes and no recollection of how they got there.
I loved working at KCPR.

Self Defense.

On the Metro tonight I rode home across from an old man. He had a grey and white beard and was wearing a pair of dusty old work boots. His baseball has was pulled down low over his eyes. He sat down with a groan and picked up a newspaper that had been left on the seat.

He flipped through the pages of the paper while in his right hand he gripped an orange box cutter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Street Gleaning.

Every couple of weeks or so this box appears on the corner a few blocks from my house with this sign. I'm not sure if it's put out by someone who works at Safeway and is trying to help out hungry people or if it's just someone who is rethinking their purchase of a trailer full of potatoes, but it's always the same thing; a box of kinda old looking potatoes and a few other random food items thrown in.
The food and box are usually gone the next day.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Barbershop Wisdom.

"I tell you what; I lost a lot of money in the past few weeks. A lot of money. And this bailout thing for these big investment places? Please, I could have told you that would happen. The rich always find a way to stay rich. But the poor, well the poor have to stay on top of their game. Otherwise they’re going hungry.

But I lost a lot of money.

Hey, do you think I should get my hands insured? Some guy came in here and said I should get my hands insured because they’re my livelihood. I can’t cut hair with stumps!"


If you want to put on a little bit of lipstick while riding the Metro in the morning, that’s really not a big deal. But when you decide to pull out your tackle box sized make-up case and start applying foundation things have gone too far.

The thick layer of foundation was followed by powder (which was spilled on my bag), then blush, then eye liner and then that eye lash thingy that looks like some kind of torture device straight out of A Clockwork Orange. Finally, the whole routine was topped off with the lip gloss. (Which for the record was neither poppin’ nor cool.)

Can we please make a deal? I promise not to shave or brush my teeth or put in my contacts on the Metro (and I hope it’s implied that I also promise not to spill any of the aforementioned items on you) if you promise to keep the mobile cosmetics to a bare minimum. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Local News.

The only reason a camera crew would show up in my neighborhood? A crime report for the local 6 o'clock news.
Apparently a young woman who moved into the neighborhood last weekend was attacked in in her house while she was in the basement. After being stabbed 17 (!) times she fought the attacker off and is now in stable condition in the hospital with two punctured lungs and a perforated liver.
I walk by her house every day to and from work. This really bothers me.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I guess you could just brush it off as life in Santa Cruz, but I'm not sure I will meet anyone soon with a pet duck that they take out to the beach for walks. His name was Darkwing (although I thought the woman said Duckwin, in my opinion a better choice) and he waddled along behind his owner just as happy as could be.

When I turned on the faucet to wash the sand off my feet, Darkwing scooted away in a hurry. John was full of really excellent questions about the whole thing, "How could a duck be afraid of water?" and "What's going to happen when he starts flying?"

I can only assume that he will start wearing a mask and fighting crime every afternoon on weekdays at 4:30.

Over the Weekend.

It was a really nice wedding. And jumping off the cliff into the ocean ended up being a lot more fun than I thought it would. After we had gotten out and dried off I told Dominic, "If you weren't getting married today, there was no way I was jumping in that freezing cold ocean." He smiled and thanked me while the rest of the guys piled into the car and we drove back into the mountains for the big event.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm not from around here.

Um, could someone from the South please explain to me what Tub Trim is and why you would want to pay $11.75 for it?

Is this perhaps the scariest place in the world?