Monday, February 27, 2006

Link Roundup

Photobooth Yearbook Rice 1970 (via Boingboing)

My coworkers couldn't believe that Posh Spice has never read a book. Its like not having sex or never having climbed a tree. One can conceive of it happening in this life--but why?

Malcolm Gladwell's blog.
I am huddled by the computer helplessly consuming the crack sold to me by a cluster of short pushers in khaki sashes with little badges on them. Mmm--minty.

Another Story from the EL

To the guy with the wandering hands standing immediately behind me on the Brown line this morning all the way to the Loop :

Either you developed a spontaneous crush on me, or you're the world's worst pickpocket. Since I've still got my wallet, I'm thinking its the former.

Stories from the EL

I sat next to Santa on the Red Line.

No kidding.

Older guy, in that hard-to-tell-what-age phase. He says, "Did you see that group of people who won the lottery? I think that's great. It's so awful when just one person wins."

"Yeah," I say, "once you've got past the first ten or twenty million, what're you going to spend it on?"

"I could spend it," he says.


"Well, first, I'd go into work wearing my dad's coat," he heaves a sigh, "then, I'd buy bicycles for every kid in town, find out if people were in need, send a lawyer over there to make sure they were above board, and get 'em taken care of."

He continues, "I remember there was a guy who did that, you know, gave a bike to every kid in his hometown, rented out the football field, and had a truckload of bikes sent over there for 'em to pick out."

"That's awfully nice," I say.

"Sure, I'd do that all the time...I play Santa Claus every Christmas, why not do it the rest of the year?"

"Well," I say, "this is my stop, but I hope you win."

"And if I don't, I hope you do," he says.

So I bought a ticket, and if I win, it's bikes for everyone.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I've seen things

First run of the season, due to a persistent series of upper respiratory hoohah. Valentine's Day, and a very clear night with a full moon rising out over the lake. Two lines of planes making final approach to O'Hare--one on either side of the moon--hanging against the sky like strands of Christmas lights. It reminds me of my favorite quote from one of the all-time great movies:

Batty: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. -Blade Runner
When I woke up at 5 in the morning, my first coherent thought was, "I miss waking up at 10 in the morning."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

In Cold Blood

My friend Joyce is a hard woman in many ways. Her husband, the Platypus, likes to bounce quarters off her abs.

Tonight, she called me and asked, "When are we going to do our dive bar project?"

"It's not our project, Joyce," I said. "It's more something you and Eric want to do. I don't like going to dive bars. I end up getting into fistfights and waking up next to women in Jagermeister hats."

"Yeah, sure. I bet you go to dive bars all the time."

"I'm trying to cut back."

"Have you seen Capote yet?" she asked, "because you remind me of him."

I'm shooting for Viggo Mortensen levels of manliness, but I'm willing to accept that I come off as, say, Matthew Broderick. Truman Capote is not where I'm placing the energy, thank you.

The woman is hard, I tell you.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Groundhog Day

Sixty children on a field trip
Jump out of their skis with excitement
'Cause, Hey, they're on a fieldtrip
Standing outside the Corner Bakery
About to eat lunch out and what's
More there are window washers
Above putting on a show just for them
Business people walking by in formation
Talking into cell phones just for sixty
Kids jumping out of their skins watching
The floor show

The guy outside the Borders looks like Jesus
He's holding breath mints
Not asking for money
Jesus looks tired
Jesus looks tired
(and maybe a little misplaced)
You'd look tired too at two thousand and five
Mother Theresa used to say
Every day I try to see Jesus in everyone
I meet, Jesus in all his uncomfortable disguises
So all the way back from lunch
Even the people who don't look
Like the guy who looks like Jesus
Look like Jesus to me

Except the old woman
Selling papers from a wheelchair
If it were a little warmer
She wouldn't need the jaunty hat with
Many peaks and wouldn't look
So much like the moon wrapped in a patchwork
Rainbow coat
Nor so much like a fairy grandmother

After I get off the train
Because I tripped and slashed
A single fingernail across
The bindi of a kindly Indian lady
The three punk kids
One with prodigious sideburns
Tells stories of nomad classrooms
Our school is too full they say
So whole classes just wander the halls
Following a teacher
The second with a backpack full of
Sketchpads asks If I fell on the tracks
Would you catch me? Would you give your
Life for me? For a stranger? The first one says
No, runs slowly in a circle
We are all running
We are all running to our death
Slowly, slowly
The third points at the incoming train
Asks where do all these businesspeople come from?
From floorshows for schoolchildren.