Wednesday, October 31, 2007

drag racin'

no, motorheads. not what you think. last night was the annual dupont circle high heel drag race. yes, you heard correctly. drag queens. in high heels. sprinting down 17th street nw. well, some of them anyhow. there aren't any videos up on youtube yet from last night, but here's one from last year.

an accepting neighborhood. guys complementing ladies on their straight boyfriends. ladies complementing guys on their gay boyfriends. open praise of how "fabulous" the queens looked.

man, i love this city!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

slow down

just rec'd this in an email. now, i've got "inaudible melodies" running through my head. not a bad song for this busy life in the big city...


Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask
How are you?
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,'Hi'

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before the song is over.

Monday, October 29, 2007


not a week goes by that i don't hear some bad news about someone's parents. used to be my friends whose parents were considerably older than mine. now it's shifted to moms and dads that are the same age or younger than my own. i'm blessed that they're both in reasonably good health for the ages of [section redacted for personal security purposes]. just another one of those consequences of growing up, i guess.

just a quick request for prayers for those friends of mine whose parents or other close family members aren't in great health, or recovering from an illness or accident. i won't explicitly name them here. the big guy in the sky will know who you're talking about. and if you're lucky like me, say a quick one to thank Him (or her, or them, whatever your beliefs are!) for that blessing.

much love to you and yours.

book learnin'

lee sent me a walk in the woods by bill bryson. he wouldn't stop raving about it. i've never really known lee to go on and on about a book, especially not to the point that he asked for my address, and it was in my mailbox 3 days later. anyhow, it was a fast read. took me three or four nights to polish it off. much like kerouac's on the road, it filled me with wanderlust. my long-forgotten dreams of completing a thru-hike of the appalachian trail were rekindled in part. perhaps this summer i'll forgo my route 66 coast-to-coast plans (mostly because i'm not sure if the old danger ranger can hoof it to california one more time!) and hit the AT's full length in virginia. 550 miles in all....we'll see.

anyhow, what struck me most in the book was not the memoir of life on the trail. that i easily related to, recollecting many nights spent in my tent after many miles on my feet. it was the commentary on everything else running through his head along the way that most interested me. oddly enough, here's the passage that resonated the most with me, for its absolute truth:

Consider this: Half of all the offices and malls standing in America today have been built since 1980. Half of them. Eighty percent of all the housing stock in the country dates from 1945. Of all the motel rooms in America, 230,000 have been built in the last 15 years...At the time of our hike, the Appalachian Trail was 59 years old. That is, by American standards, incredibly venerable. The Oregon & Santa Fe Trails didn't last that long. Route 66 didn't last as long...Nothing in America does. If a product or enterprise doesn't constantly reinvent itself, it is superseded, cast aside, abandoned without sentiment in favor of something bigger, newer, and alas, nearly always uglier.

agreed? in 274 pages of prose, that is what i agree with. no tradition in america. my kids won't have the experience of visiting my "hometown" when they're growing up. my folks won't live there anymore, though they may be in my adopted hometown by then. my grandma has lived in the same house for close to 50 years. i haven't lived in the same house for more than 10 years at any point in my life. perhaps my itchy feet aren't really helping me grow roots by the same notion, but that's the america i've grown up in. the woods that brian, mark, adam and i used to goof off in are actually the land that my mom's current school sits on. the once-deserted stretch of sw 20th ave that i once took a trip on as a pledge is glutted with gaudy apartment complexes, cookie cutter subdivisions, and too much traffic for a two-lane road.

wow. my fingers just wandered. i'm not sure where that came from. my subconscious types quickly.

in the woods again...

i just can't wait to get back in the woods again!

sending temps today. lots of quizzical looks from non-climbers about the crash pads on our backs. barrett and dani's super positive vibes, even though the rock was marginal at best. no lrc or hp40 sandstone here. schist, granite, and other metamorphic rock. the weather was beautiful, there were a couple of pretty cool lines. a slab solo or two. i finally understand michael reardon's 8-foot bubble explanation. it sure is serene when everything else just goes away. not saying i'm going to do it often, but i certainly enjoyed it.

this after a long day under the hood yesterday. 5 hours or so to change the spark plugs and wires in the engine bay. $80 or so, a few skinned knuckles, and yes, pop, i still have grease under my fingernails. much better than ten large for a new (used) vehicle!

on tap this week, lots of conferences with parents, a sub for thursday and friday. quirky city stuff that i'm sure i'll write about afterwards. time to get back to work on my table. pictures to follow when it's all done.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


it's not enough that florida lost. i'm strangely okay with our losses this season. they were banged up, kestahn moore had a case of butterfingers, tebow was tentative when running.

mark richt showed an absolute lack of class today. in case you missed it, knowshon moreno scores the first touchdown of the game. georgia's ENTIRE BENCH runs onto the field like they've just won the super bowl and starts dancing around. wait wait, it gets worse.

mark richt was asked at halftime what he said to his team. ""i told them if they didn't get a penalty for celebrating after the first score i would be mad at them." so there it is. pissed off as i was at that lack of control over his team, and his apparent lack of class, it only took me a moment to realize why. he's a bowden disciple. he coached under bobby bowden at fsu during the spurrier years when neither bowden nor spurrier had any sense of class when dealing with the other. twisted knees in the pile, late hits on quarterbacks, sniping at one another in the media. it carried over today when richt improved his record against florida to a not-so-commanding 2-5. 0-1 against spurrier. 1-2 against ron zook, who went 8-5 for three straight seasons. 1-2 against urban's gator squads. impressive, eh?

gary danielson and verne lunquist actually PRAISE this lack of sportsmanship. something along the lines of, "way to be fired up!" what are you teaching our youth, cbs? that taunting is ok? sportsmanship is no longer the cool thing to do? it's no wonder when terrell owens and chad johnson are lauded as the greats in the game, and kids look up to them as they make an "art" of celebration and being assholes. i'm glad that i don't have any kids right now. i have a hard enough time teaching my class right from wrong, class, and manners. try teaching sportsmanship these days with the utter lack of nolan ryans, walter paytons, cal ripkens, and michael jordans in pro sports these days. guys that were great, and knew it, but were never cocky about it. they did their job and let their play speak for itself. i lost a lot of respect for georgia today, and i will root against them from now on, SEC pride be damned. i hope they lose the rest of their games this year, and dwell in the bottom of the east from here on out.

here we go again...

stalling in rush hour traffic on the beltway is a bad idea. too bad my truck doesn't really go the whole logic route when deciding to break down. driving home. a different way. to stop at dick's sporting goods for a bocce ball set. to stop at target for houseware type stuff. the danger ranger says to me, "nah, i think i'm going to live up to my nickname. let's stall!" and proceeded to stall, in the pouring rain, at 5:00 somewhere south of arlington blvd.


i waited about 10 minutes, started her up again, goosed her about another 3 miles down the road, but i smelled burning, and fear of stalling in the rain should not be my primary concern in wet rush hour traffic. so, i called AAA.

conventional wisdom says that i can fix this problem. wikianswers says that it's a 45 step process to change my spark plugs. in the (hopefully unlikely) event that i cannot fix it, it's car shopping time.

damn you carrquest. i want my repair money back. $800 only lasted 4 months. not much of a ROI in my book...

Friday, October 26, 2007


i guess i watch too many mob flicks. this morning, as i came in, one of my co-workers greeted me with an excited, "the rico man is here!"

my first thought was, "why are the feds here? was our school infiltrated by the mob?" of course, my sleep-deprived brain thought rico as in the racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act so often mentioned in post-1970s mob movies. meant to bring down the organized crime, yes. investigating copier problems at school, no.

which is the ricoh man she was talking about. i added the H moments later, and it made much more sense.

i'm just glad it wasn't gerardo singing rico suave. that would've been awful...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ear-to-ear grinnin'

go heavy on the good, and light on the bad. a hair more happy and a shade less sad. turn all the negative down just a tad...

wrinkles only go where the smiles have been...

i'm growing older but not let the winds of change blow over my head. i'd rather die while i'm living then live while i'm dead.
yeah, this leopard's changed his spots. life is good. the bones creak a little bit more than they used to in my early 20s, but hell, i'm having a lot more fun now! it's nothing a little vitamin i and ice can't fix. i think i've finally grown into the laid back, que sera sera attitude that jack johnson and jimmy buffett have been filling my dreams with for years. it's about damn time...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


misleading advertising, especially from quote unquote respectable sources has always irked me. perhaps moreso now that i need to try to save what i can on travel since it's so darn expensive to get anywhere in florida for a trip.

case in point, last week, i booked my flight home for christmas. more than i expected to spend, of course, but i'd certainly spend that much in gas if i (for some odd reason) decided to drive instead. which would also be nerve-wracking for the simple fact that i'm not so sure how many more epic trips my 168,000 mile-old truck is up to. anyhow, back to my point. i get an email from spirit airlines today advertising travel specials between now and april if you travel on tuesday, thursday or saturday. no big deal, it's christmas break, i can swing that. problem is, they say fares starting at $55. therein lies the rub. it's not deceptive, only misleading. in the circuitous route their website wrung me through, nowhere was i able to find the advertised special. the closest i got was an $89 fare one-way on, you guessed it, christmas morning.

yet another case of don't believe everything you read, especially online. they wanted to get me to their website, they succeeded. luckily, the skeptic in me held off on canceling the prior made reservation until i made the new one. which i was unsuccessful at.

sorry, ma. i tried to extend my trip by a few days. shame on you spirit airlines for getting my hopes up!

Monday, October 22, 2007

quote unquote

"Perhaps animals are smarter than men...taking only what they need to live today, leaving something for tomorrow...Maybe it is man who will eventually perish as he destroys the land and all that it offers."--Patrick D. Smith

one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite authors. i think it's from allapattah, which takes place deep in the everglades. the protagonist is pissed off at developers for ruining the environment. the take take take mentality that so pervades our culture, with no thought for the ramifications today's decisions have on our descendants. it appears to be coming true in the southeast today. in case you've been living under a rock, you might have noticed that there's a pretty awful drought going on right now. lee sent this article to me. it's about his neck of the woods, but it hits home for me too (since i am too a tree hugger at heart). drought sucks. couple it with overpopulation of cities, and the american sense of entitlement for raping and pillaging natural resources., and i have little sympathy for the many millions that caused the problems, or the stupid politicians that lack the backbone or intelligence to fix the problem. here's how to fix it: move somewhere else. the ecosystem that you chose for your home was not made for 5 million people. [steps off soapbox]

the red is lee's commentary. blue, that's me.

CUMMING, Ga. - With water supplies rapidly shrinking during a drought of historic proportions, Gov. Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency Saturday for the northern third of Georgia and asked President Bush to declare it a major disaster area. Georgia officials warn that Lake Lanier, a 38,000-acre reservoir that supplies more than 3 million residents with water, is less than three months from depletion. Smaller reservoirs are dropping even lower.
Perdue asked the president to exempt Georgia from complying with federal regulations that dictate the amount of water released from Georgia's reservoirs to protect federally protected mussel species downstream.
"We need to cut through the tangle of unnecessary bureaucracy to manage our resources prudently — so that in the long term, all species may have access to life-sustaining water," he said.
On Friday, Perdue's office asked a federal judge to force the Army Corps of Engineers to curb the amount of water it drains from Georgia reservoirs into streams in Alabama and Florida. Georgia's environmental protection director is drafting proposals for more water restrictions.
More than a billion gallons of water is released from Lanier every day. The Corps of Engineers bases its water releases on two requirements: The minimum flow needed for a coal-fired power plant in Florida and mandates to protect two mussel species in a Florida river.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said Perdue's request will be reviewed. "In the meantime, we have already begun drafting interim rules to use procedures and flexibility to address the endangered species requirements and the Army Corps has started the process of revising the operations manual for the river basin," Perino said.
Georgia lawmakers say neighboring states also are exploiting the law as a tool to draw more water from Georgia's lakes.
"We've learned from this what a blunt weapon the Endangered Species Act has become," said state Rep. John Linder. "We need to understand this lake was created not for mussels but for people."
(Funny, I thought the ESA was for endangered species that people made "endangered." All along I thought the building of a massive man-made reservoir has somehow affected the mussels. Next thing you know, they're going to be telling me they not only need water, but it has to be clean too! It's a good thing I'm not a policy maker, I get these things so confused! Thanks Rep. Linder for clearing this all up for me, I sure was mislead. Those crazy enviro-libs nearly pulled the wool over my eyes that time.)
More than a quarter of the Southeast is covered by an "exceptional" drought — the National Weather Service's worst drought category. The Atlanta area, with a population of 5 million, is smack in the middle of the affected region, which encompasses most of Tennessee, Alabama and the northern half of Georgia, as well as parts of North and South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. Georgia was placed under statewide water restrictions in April that limited outdoor watering to three days a week. By May Atlanta allowed watering only on weekends, and in September environmental officials banned virtually all outdoor watering through the northern half of the state. Funny how this seems to be years in the making, and only now it's getting attention. I don't think a 38,000 acre reservoir dries up in 6 months. Just a guess.
Restaurants have been asked to serve water only at a customer's request and the governor called on residents to take shorter showers. More limits will probably be needed, said Carol Couch, the state's environmental director. You reckon?
"This is not something we can conserve our way out of," said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
Well, it appears that one politician gets it!
The state of emergency Perdue declared Saturday affects 85 Georgia counties, more than half of the state. Conditions were worsened by stifling summer heat and a drier-than-normal hurricane season. State climatologist David Stooksbury said it will take months of above average rainfall to replenish the system. Perdue said the state has not yet formed a contingency plan in case the reservoirs run dry. "The backup plan is to conserve and use our water wisely," he said.
Gee, did Cher help you come up with that idea? I think it's a little late for that, Sonny!
The emergency declaration creates an emergency team that will oversee the state's response to drought. It also could free up some state money to respond to the drought, Couch said.

lord, i was born a ramblin' man...

Vamos. Vamos United. Esta noche, tenemos que ganar.

i got to go to my first football game last night. i, of course, mean football in the world sense, not our American sense. d.c. united games are fun. i expect to attend more matches next year. i hope i can decipher and learn the words to the fight songs that the screamin' eagles never stop singing...

good...nay, great day outdoors today. ramblin' around the woods. watching people climb rocks. scrambling up 5.2 slabs in sneakers. enjoying the spectacular weather. shenanigan-ing (because tomfoolery was apparently against the rules, so says bubba).

Saturday, October 20, 2007


nothing like waking up after a stormy night, rays of sunshine streaming in through the window. fall leaves finally starting to pop. doesn't seem real.

here i sit on the couch, watching the grapes of wrath. seems like a normal saturday from high school. cut the grass, come in, cool off, and watch some old movie with pop on amc that he's seen a hundred times.

i am my father's son...

Friday, October 19, 2007

second base

a little levity for your friday. have a great one!

Students Strike Out With Breast Cancer T-Shirts

WICHITA, Kan. -- Two high school seniors in Kansas must scrap their fundraising project for breast cancer awareness.
They started selling pink T-shirts with two baseballs on them. The text on the shirts read "save second base." The girls thought selling the shirts would be a good way to spread the health message and raise money for research.
The students' school said the sexual innuendo was too suggestive for the classroom.
"I think that if girls can wear shirts that imply sexual messages, they should be able to wear breast cancer shirts. They're trying to do it for a good cause," shirt supporter Cassie Werner said.

climbing culture

i miss my humble, boisterous, raucous, uproarious GRG. i could add in all kinds of other adjectives, but you get the point. it was to me what cheers was to norm. my lovingly degenerate college/climbing bum people. always welcoming of new blood, as long as they're there for a good time and a good climb. well, at least the boulder rats!

this new place couldn't be more different. i cowboyed up yesterday and joined the gym. being winter, i seriously doubt i'm going to get to the crag on my way home anytime soon (keep your mouth shut, lee!). for those of you who don't know, up here in the arctic, the sun goes down earlier in the winter. moreso than barely-not-tropical gainesville. i'm not rushing to judgment by any means, there seems to be a familiar friendliness to the place, but i reckon i'm going to have to introduce a few interactive games to make it more GRG-like. portuguese make-up, take away and add-on might well be foreign languages. these folks climbing walk in tottering on high heels or rocking business suits. on their way home from work i presume. i guess i am too, but i don't have to dress that nice for my jobby-job. too many boogers and dirty hands to wear good clothes.

anyhow, today was a good day climbing. i sent a pretty V4 on my second go. i was climbing with a guy that spent 4 months at hueco last year. pretty chill, my kind of climber. i need to get serious and train if i'm going to keep up with eme jota in december. a card full of V5s, including my first repeat of genghis khan and a first send of fat cat, is sure going to be hard to come by.

for those of you that read this in spite of having no earthly clue what i'm talking about, you rock (pun intended)...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

wine vs. water

I've read this one before, but my mother sent it to me. It still makes me laugh. You reckon this is why Jesus turned the water into wine?

As Ben Franklin said, "In wine, there is wisdom; in beer, there is freedom; in water, there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop. However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health

Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


this being the first year that the bulk of my kids aren't divided by how their church reads the bible. i learned a little about hari krishnas 2 years ago, but not enough. this year, i've got two boys in my class who are observant muslims. this being the end of ramadan (eid al-fitr), i checked out a book for the class about it. i learned a little bit. i read it today with them filling in any gaps, and getting really really excited about teaching me.

it was pretty awesome actually seeing them excited about their holiday. best part was, it was genuine excitement at telling me about the religious aspects of it, not the commercialism that clouds most of america's perception of christmas. maybe this year for christmas, i'll make a lenten-esque sacrifice of my time and do something good for my soul by giving back some of the gifts bestowed upon my life. (i mean gifts in the i-have-a-good-life sense, not the i-just-unwrapped-something sense).

"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."--James 2:14-17

friend love

for the first time in a while, i feel like the effort i'm making to stay connected to my friends and family is paying off. for the past two nights, everyone that has said they were going to call me back has kept their word and talked my ear off. twenty minutes here and there, or an hour plus with relatives not heard from in months.

the really strange part is that some of these conversations are deeper than i ever had with some friends before i moved away. so let me get this straight: i got closer to my friends by moving away? who'd'a thunk it?


Monday, October 15, 2007

junk mail

aside from the wasted paper of it, i generally get agitated at junk mail for the simple fact that it rarely, if ever, offers any services or prices that i'm interested in. chances are, if i'm a homeowner, i'm not going to get my gutters replaced by some fly-by-night operator that sent me a flyer in a stack of coupons and ads as varied as check reordering and closet organization.

case in point today, though this one made me laugh out loud. an ad for a restaurant called the stray cat cafe. no, i'm not joking. my first inclination was that it was a joke, perhaps a clever name for an animal shelter (or a sleazier-than-most strip club). no, no. this was an actual ad for an actual restaurant. i half-expected to see dishes with strays as the dining fare. but no, just mildly clever titles working feline or meow into the dish name.

i should send this to jay leno for headlines. what were they thinking?


as an unfortunate consequence of being a single male surrounded by primarily older (presumably happily) married women, i've been subject to, let's say, encouragement to get settled and get myself hitched. one thing that's certainly changed in the last year or two (believe it or not) is that i don't need someone else to "complete me." sure, it'd be nice to have someone since a good number of my friends have taken the plunge and making plans with them would be easier if there were two of me, so to speak.

anyhow, friday afternoon, i was subjected to the funniest session of razzing regarding that since amber and cheryl used to get after me at lunch. or denise telling me she's going to set me up with so-and-so's daughter. or everyone saying they needed to approve of who i dated personally before giving their blessing to the relationship. especially after i related a summer fling with a girl from starke. anyhow, i got a few of my digs in back at them. oddly enough, the ringleader actually apologized this morning. said i probably get enough of it from my own mother. hell, under past circumstances, maybe i would have been offended, but i was giddy from the high of laughing my ass off.

laughter cures all. i think that's why i'm adjusting to the move so well. all my new friends make me laugh. maybe that's why i'm fending off cold and flu season too...


in an continued effort to simultaneously make myself more smarter and more interesting, i'm pledging to read more this month. before i get reconnected to the media-filled life that is american society. yep. november 10th-ish, internet, tv and a landline (how retro!), and my descent into ignorance begins anew.

anyhow, here's a sampling of the stuff i've read in the last year or so. any recommendations based on what's written below? classics, non-fiction, new fiction. pretty much anything but sci-fi or fantasy. just can't get my head around it.


A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen
Big Trouble by Dave Barry
Red Grass River by James Carlos Blake
Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey
All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Freakonomics by Steven Levitt
Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
The*Bully*of*Bentonville: How the High Cost of Wal-Mart's Everyday Low Prices is Hurting America by Anthony Bianco
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales


oh, what to say. what to say. 400 miles added to the odometer.

friday night movie. saturday cooking lesson with granny. interesting times with the rest of the family. table in the apartment now. climbing with brad today. long talk with a california cousin tonight.

oddly enough, this was the most i've gotten to sit still in months it seems. aside from driving, of course. this city is nuts, and i absolutely love it!

next weekend, it begins anew. houseguest. futbol and football. go gators.

Friday, October 12, 2007


man, these meetings are about to kill me. i can't hardly get ahead in my classroom because of this or that. last night, left school at 4, right after the kids, got home at 8. in a meeting all day today, sub in my classroom. the meetings pile up, one after another. it's intense. that's the best i can put it.

at least it's friday, and i'm going to see granny this weekend. she's going to teach me some more italian cooking skills. let's see if i can remember the recipe because i bet she doesn't use one!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

80s "cinema"

Thus far:

"Look, I like you, I really like you, but I gotta tell you, I have become seriously and emotionally involved with someone who isn't my aunt."

"First of all Rat, you never let on how much you like a girl. "Oh, Debbie. Hi." Two, you always call the shots. "Kiss me. You won't regret it." Now three, act like wherever you are, that's the place to be. "Isn't this great?" Four, when ordering food, you find out what she wants, then order for the both of you. It's a classy move. "Now, the lady will have the linguini and white clam sauce, and a Coke with no ice." And five, now this is the most important, Rat. When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV."

"With Mogwai, comes much responsibility. I cannot sell him at any price."

name those 80s movies!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

kids these days

most days, i spend more time with my students than their parents do. that ain't right. 8:50 to 3:40 i see their smiling, wiggling bodies and try my damnedest to squeeze all kinds of knowledge into their sponge-like brains. can't waste a drop. some of these poor kids get dropped off at school before i get here and leave after i do. spend two, maybe three hours with mom and dad to do their homework, eat dinner, get a bath, and get to bed. it's no wonder that they're absolutely starved for attention. maybe attention deficit disorder has its roots in a lack of interaction with their parents instead of being overstimulated by television and video games. getting attention as the problem, not paying attention.

what do they call this, a moment of clarity?


i was looking for the intro to the pool scene from sandlot, where the kids are all playing ball and bitching about how flippin' hot it is. my a/c is running and i don't like it one bit. it was gainesville august-like today. 94 degrees. what the foxtrot!?

"The waters? What waters? We're in the desert."..."I was misinformed."
"It's so damn hot... milk was a bad choice."

Oh I wish...
"One day it started raining, and it didn't quit for four months. We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin' rain... and big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath."

Monday, October 8, 2007


one of the things i've looked forward to most with the move is a change in seasons. bright leaves in the fall, the need to wear a coat in the winter, an actual spring, a summer that doesn't last 11 months. right now, it's apparently 20 degrees above normal temps in d.c. yes, that means 90s in october. i thought i left all that behind.

the people up here seem to enjoy it.

the few trees that have started to change colors seem so surreal to me. yes, i've seen them before at hound ears and horse pens in the fall, but it's almost digital in my brain. my peripheral vision seems to be searching for the edges of the tv screen because it's not quite sure how to take it all in.

there's apparently selling seasons up here too. you can't buy patio furniture in october. why can't i enjoy a nice fall evening on my balcony eating dinner? oh yeah, summer is the time for that up here because it's not 97 degrees with 85% humidity. one thing hasn't changed though. today's date: october 8th. the christmas season is underway once again. is it just me, or does it seem like we'll be seeing santa in september pretty soon? retailers need to get a grip and remember the holidays between the fourth of july and christmas. perhaps....thanksgiving?

just what i needed

though the wounds say otherwise, this weekend was just what i needed. again.

great weather. outdoors. missed friends. big laughs. oh yeah, i guess i climbed a little too. seems secondary or tertiary in retrospect. it was the reason for the trip, but it turned out to be the least of my worries the past few days.

if i can keep up this pace, i may just stay sane in this crazy town. it's hard enough to meet new people in a new place, but with the added pressures of a new job instead of college, it gets lonely sometimes. i'm doing well and staying pretty busy with the few new friends i've made, and the old ones i've reconnected with. last time i relocated like this, it was 1997. it was gainesville, and i got dragged out kicking and screaming long after the ink was dry on my diplomas. of course, in college, you do nothing but meet new people. every semester you get a new crop. between rush week and new classes, if you're halfway sociable, your circle of friends can expand exponentially in a few years. i don't regret the extra time i spent in gainesville. i've made quite a few amazing friends in the 4 years after i graduated. at the same time, though, i was constantly reminded of some not-so-happy memories on a daily basis. perhaps that's why i'm adjusting so well right now--no more ghosts.

Friday, October 5, 2007

reaching out

so, in this effort to stay connected to my past, i am finally taking some of my own advice that i frequently dispense to seven and eight year-olds. you've got to be a friend to be a friend. i've caught up with quite a few "long-lost" friends this week. heard some awesome news. made plans for far in the future or the uncertain length future.

in this effort, i'm finding myself swallowing my stubborn pride and trying to bury a pet peeve of mine that probably bothers me a little too much.

now, if i could only get my damn internet at my apartment so i can stop being at the library!

milk was a bad choice!

mental note: at happy hour, never EVER order a burger with enough gorgonzola cheese on it to induce vomiting in an otherwise sane (and sober) person.

thus a lesson was learned: what tastes good the night before, might very well haunt you the next day. good choice: four pieces of lettuce and a crouton (or half the contents of your fridge). bad choice, rottenest cheese ever (next to the stank stuff the french call cheese that smell like rotten feet) on a burger, with onions and a glaze that makes your tongue spasm...

Monday, October 1, 2007

a weekend in 1 minute or less

i had all kinds of interesting things running around in my head this weekend. alas, they've all disappeared without sharing them due to my lack of internet. i will regale you with a brief rundown of the events of the weekend.

friday, georgetown waterfront. nice place, expensive beer. me, severely underdressed.

saturday, oil change, attempt to go climbing. 395 was a parking lot, so i bagged the climbing, went to yet another street festival and added to my already sagging bookshelf with a few new purchases from the arlington library's book sale. some classics, some random stuff, a new record to hang on the wall. no, it's not quite as awesome as zamfir, master of the pan flute. ok, it's not even close. but it's a good fit for the nature theme i've got going in my bedroom.

saturday night didn't happen. that's the only way i can deal with the loss. kudos to auburn, look out lsu.

sunday, climbering. much happiness and soreness today. creek running through boulderfield, will be awesome in the summer. jump in the creek if you get too hot! will be even better in the winter when some of the little pools freeze over and i can play on the waterside boulders and still have a crashpadded landing zone. for now though, michele enjoyed her first outing, and i'm definitely going back with whoever comes to visit up here.

which reminds me, who's coming to visit? spots are disappearing fast!

oct. 5-8 hound ears in boone, nc.
oct. 12-14 visiting grandma in e-burg
oct. 19ish brockway's interviewing up here
nov. 2-4 clowe comes in from rhode island
thanksgiving, my folks will be in town

beyond that, i have interested parties telling me they're coming to visit. we'll see when they buy their tickets.

people watching deux

everyone rides the metro. western suburbs, all the white kids ride it into the city to party like a rock star. eastern suburbs, it's the only way some people get around. i got to ride the orange line all the way through the city this weekend. what a demographic shift as you go from west to east and back again. cases in point:

1) friday night, short trek for me to georgetown to some high-fallutin' riverfront bar/restaurant. white kid. white boy 'fro. khakis. pink lacoste shirt, popped collar. boat shoes. in his whitest, loudest voice, he's telling about some night where he was presumably out of his element, talking about the music they were playing, "so, i'm the only one in there that knew all the words. i mean, they're playing eminem, c'mon!" no one else apparently knew the words, but he added, "if it would've been fifty cent (yes, he annunciated every phoneme, quite unlike curtis jackson and the rest of g-unit), they would've been like, 'in da club....'" at this point, everyone around me is laughing at him under our breath. the guy behind me is muttering under his breath all kinds of insults about how utterly oblivious he was to the people that were around him.

2) my first experience with a positively insane metro rider. saturday, after the debacle of a football game, i'm back on the orange line headed west. car's pretty much empty. this guy stumbles on, sits down, and immediately starts babbling incoherently. after about 5 minutes, he starts trying to get everyone else's attention in our car. at this point, that consisted of a black couple many rows from him and me, seated across the aisle from him. when i realize he's talking to me, i turn. he proceeds to tell me that president bush was killed by the space shuttle. "really? i hadn't heard that." through the rest of his babbling, i figure out that he wanted directions because he doesn't live in the city (why do people always ask me for directions? that's fodder for another blog though). i only understood about every fifth word he uttered in his drunken cajun-english slurring. when he got off at l'enfant plaza, i figured out why. drunk as a skunk. i wonder if he made it.

city life is never dull.