28 August 2003

On September 4, the first nationally televised Democratic Presidential Debate will take place in Albuquerque. I volunteered to help out at the debate, and I learned today that my duty will be staffing/escorting one of the candidates during the debate. Due to the ever-present danger of getting in trouble for blogging something you shouldn't, I will just say that the candidate is male, a U.S. Senator, a former V.P. candidate, and is named Joe. I am definitely looking forward to it.
Strongbad hits the big time.

I know homestar runner has taken my group of friends by storm. I've concluded my summer can be summed up by: "family guy and strongbad."

27 August 2003

From msnbc.com: 12-year-old begins medical school. I was going to comment further on this story, until I read the following:
The response from the public — and some of his undergraduate classmates — has not always been positive. Recently, Sho did an Internet search of his name and was surprised to find many people commenting about his life in blogs (or Web logs).

“One person said, ’Look at this miserable child with a pushy mother,”’ Sho says. “Another said, ’Look at this miracle of God with his supportive parents.”’

Sho smiles at the notion that his parents have pushed him. “Sometimes, I kind of pull them along,” he says.

You know, it's much harder to make unfair generalizations about someone you've never met when there's the distinct possibility that they'll do an ego search and find your blog....
This is a little weird... Those crazy Portland Beavers...

26 August 2003

Alright, alright, I'm back, there's no need to post things that you say Nat would love to entice me to post. My computer at home has been down for three weeks and I have a hard rule of not blogging at work. (I have this annoying job where if some stupid reporter wants to write an article about me misusing the internet at work, they might consider it news.)

The news from my end of town is I found a house to move into next weekend. No pictures yet, but I'll take some with the digital camera when we move in.

Pluses: 2 fruit trees, clean, lots of space, close to work, $675/mo., nutty guy in the other half of the house, 1 block from the "river".
Minuses: 2 blocks from junior high school, faces north, in a "be careful" neighborhood, nutty guy in other half of the house.
More pluses and minuses will follow when I move in. There will be a housewarming party soon for all who would like to attend. There is also a spare bedroom for all who would like to visit. This seems like a very strange step, as I actually have never rented before. And it is weird to do it in the town where you grew up.
It's fall which means that tuesday morning quaterback is back (and also, as someone pointed out yesterday, "the leaves are falling back east..." All I don't like about berkeley is the lack of fall). Here's the highlight of today:

Dear France, You Can Keep Your Politicians, But Marianne Is Welcome Anytime: Marianne, traditional symbol of French womanhood -- best-known as a topless warrior in Delacroix's mural Liberty Leading the People -- is now being posed for by Laetitia Casta, a lingerie model. Only in France could a lingerie model be a national patriotic symbol!

Casta was chosen by a vote of France's 35,000 mayors; the French population is 61 million, which means France has one mayor for every 1,750 people. Prior to the vote, many mayors pored over photos of the candidates sans shirts. Only in France could looking at bare-chested babes be a patriotic duty! Le Monde writer Debra Ollivier has said that the essence of Marianne is her exposed breasts -- "flush, freewheeling, insolently raised in protest or subdued in a state of heraldic order." TMQ never dated a woman with flush, freewheeling, insolent breasts. Apparently I missed something.

Figured Nat would really appreciate the number of mayors statistic.
From the New York Times travel section: If a Bear Knocks, Don't Answer.
This is probably common knowledge to Fed groupies, but while looking for resources on the Federal Reserve, I came across this interesting piece from 1997 on Alan Greenspan's relationship with Ayn Rand. Apparently they were close enough (the article refers to Greenspan as Rand's "special pet") for Greenspan to read the manuscript of Atlas Shrugged straight from Rand's typewriter. The article also has some interesting material on Greenspan's reputation as a ladies' man, speculating that he was "a good kisser."
Over the course of the summer I'd somehow managed to completely forget just how ridiculously many undergraduates there are... They're like ants. You can hardly move without running over several of them.

25 August 2003

Today is a sad day for musicians and music lovers everywhere: Wesley Willis is dead.

I was introduced to Wesley by Todd Gustafson, who graduated from my high school in 1996 and went to Northwestern. Some time during his freshman year, he gave a member of our Quiz Bowl team a tape of Wesley's music, and we played it during a log car trip to somewhere in northern Minnesota. The only description we got was that it was music by "a 400-pound black schizophrenic from Chicago who writes songs and draws pictures." We heard such classics as "Rock and Roll McDonalds," "I Whupped Batman's Ass," "Northwest Airlines," and "Chicken Cow." We were hooked.

I saw Wesley in concert in San Francisco in January, 2002. He was amazing. He played for about two hours, headbutted dozens of admiring fans, and consumed about ten litres of Pepsi onstage. He played many of the old favourites as well as some timely pieces such as "Osama Bin Laden" and "Grand Buffet" (the name of one of the opening acts). It was well worth spending $20 and waiting through three pretty dreadful opening acts.

In case the Reuters brief doesn't convey the full meaning of Wesley, here are an article and a concert review that do him better justice.

Rock over London, Rock on Chicago.
Suzanne Vega learns to drive in New York City. All I have to say about driving in New York City (to pick up alec, haiwen, tamara for a trip to bessie's) is that within the first 10 minutes I was hit by a taxi driver (just a little love tap) while spending nearly 10 minutes in a traffic jam that was one block long!

Oh, that and realizing that I was driving through a scene from 25th hour, that was pretty nifty...
Last weekend at Middle Haddam, I was trying to remember one of the more memorable financial queries I've seen: a reader asks CNN Money how he should invest today to save $100,000 for his six-year-old daughter's wedding in two decades. Of course, if we put the girl to work now, she might be able to save most of it herself!
If this murder trial were a novel, I'd toss it out the window for sheer implausibility: New York real estate millionaire disappears, disguises himself as a woman, checks into a rooming house in a sleepy resort town, then allegedly shoots his drifter neighbor (nicknamed "Gilligan"), dismembers the corpse, and drops the pieces into the shipping channel. There's also something about the mysterious disappearance of his wife from twenty years ago, and a 45-day national manhunt that ended when the suspect shoplifted a Band-Aid and a sandwich, despite having almost $40,000 in the trunk of his car.

Anyway, I'm tempted to quote the whole story, which strikes me as the sort of thing that Nat would love. Sample quote: "At the Poop Deck, a second-floor tavern with a porch that catches a breeze off the Gulf that rarely makes it inside the bar, neither man was known to have been argumentative or to have dressed as a woman."

22 August 2003

Amusing incident on the other side of the ocean.
I probably should have pointed this out earlier, but unfortunately, these replica letters of transit wouldn't have done you much good in Casablanca: the artist fell into a common misconception and had the letters signed by "General De Gaulle" ("copied from the real thing!"). However, as the Casablanca goofs page on imdb.com makes clear, the letters of transit were actually signed by General Weygand (that is, Maxime Weygand, the Vichy minister of national defense), although Peter Lorre's accent makes this difficult to hear. Most people, including me, seem to hear "De Gaulle" when they first hear the line, despite the fact that De Gaulle's signature wouldn't have been very useful on a Vichy document.
The day after my last post, an actual Grail Diary appeared on eBay, at what seems to be a bargain price. I'm tempted, I'm really tempted....

19 August 2003

More Indiana Jones replica merchandise: This fellow sells every amazing artifact you've ever wanted, from Sankara Stones to Nazi collapsible coat hangers to the letters of transit from Casablanca. His Grail Diary replica is simply amazing.
You can also buy a discount Grail Diary (at 1:6 scale) from this guy.
Like everyone who saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I've always wanted my own copy of Henry Jones's Grail Diary, arguably the coolest movie prop ever. You can imagine my astonishment, then, upon discovering that there's an entire online community of artists who apparently spend much of their time preparing beautiful, hand-crafted, hand-aged replicas of the Grail Diary, which retail for something like $900 apiece. (A bit steep, perhaps, until you learn that the "original" diary sold at auction for about $18,000….) The site I found is really fascinating, with pages and pages devoted to the different sketches, inserts, entries, etc. that the diary contains. This may even be cooler than the Codex Seraphinianus...

18 August 2003

Today Mike Develin told me, "You look very California." I took it as a compliment.
Interesting article on human evolution. However, I don't quite understand the necessity for covering up the breasts and genetalia of the australopithecus and archaic human. It's not like they would be particularly titillating...
I miss being at the frontier of the new day...it's already 9 am in England, and I haven't gone to bed yet.

17 August 2003

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend from high school who's now out here and I hadn't seen in several years. We went to Cafe Intermezzo, which was quite tasty and quite crowded. So crowded, in fact, that we couldn't find a table and were forced to share one with a couple of other people. This wasn't so bad, however, as those other people were a pair of attractive undergrad girls. I then spent most of the next hour catching up with my friend, trying desperately in the back of my mind to figure out some way of opening up the conversation to include our tablemates, and cursing my introversion.

I then went to San Francisco to hang out with John, where we played Scrabble (I broke 400, bingoing with 'novella' and 'falsies') cooked dinner, and then went with his roommate to 'The Buddha' in Chinatown, where we played 'Liar's dice' and drank numerous different kinds of bad American beer. At one point I helpfully interpreted the order of a British girl who was trying to order a 'vodka and lemonade' and getting only confusion from the bartender (she meant 'vodka and sprite') but she didn't seem particularly interested in conversing.

At some point during the course of the evening we engaged in a game of 'blind chess,' which invloves two players who can't look at the board and have to determine everything by touch, and a referee whose task is to inform players whether their moves are legal or not. It was great fun. Bishops, we discovered, are incredibly difficult to move, and taking your opponent's piece with your piece of the same type is quite a good move. It also pays to figure out what your opponent is doing, as we discovered early on when Nathan lost his queen to John's knight after 4 moves.

16 August 2003

I'm now posting on a high-speed connection from my laptop with no wires connected whatsoever. It took more than 3 hours to get it going; the trick was figuring out that I didn't actually need to deal with any Microsoft software at all, and could configure everything on my Mac.

I wish Noah luck in getting his computer set up.

15 August 2003

In case you're wondering how I survived the Blackout of '03, the answer is: I broke out the unopened bag of tea candles that I bought a year ago at IKEA, drank half a bottle of wine, and ate a bag of frozen (but rapidly thawing) jumbo shrimp. Also, for some reason I watched the first half of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon on my laptop, which had four hours' worth of batteries; maybe it was all those candles....

It would have been a romantic evening, if there had been someone else in the room.

14 August 2003

I disagree with the current New York Times headline, "Power failure across nothern U.S." They seem to have forgotten that there are states west of Michigan, and in fact, the outage only hit the northeastern U.S.

I hope all you northeasterners are managing ok. :)
Since the frozen head of Ted Williams is back in the news again, I thought I'd finally check out the website of Alcor, the cryogenics company at the center of the controversy. Their FAQ page is especially interesting. No mention of the lucid dream option, though.

13 August 2003

There's really no need for them to leave all the "like"s and "you know"s in Bergman's granddaughter's comment. As the Nixon tapes proved, everybody talks like that.
I'm curious as to how Dave's bike incident fits into our whole East Coast-West Coast morality debate from back in March.
Maureen O'Dowd on political blogging.
Thanks to Bessie for this link to the NY Times article on the Casablanca anniversary screening.
Random question: what are your favorite math words?

12 August 2003

Today I went bike shopping, and after looking at several stores came to the conclusion that Cambridge is actually a relatively cheap place...I got my bike there for 70 pounds, and the cheapest thing here was $249. I think I'm going to look into shipping mine form home. Let me know if you have any suggestions as to how to do this.

I also concluded that people in California really are nice. I was testing a road bike, which I'd never ridden before, and I wanted to see how quickly it would stop. So as I was coming up to an intersection, I yanked on the brakes, and was thrown forward over the handlebars onto the street. Immediately the guy working in the furniture store I was in front of ran out and said, "Are you okay? Can I do anything?" I was pretty much ok, just a few bruises, so I just asked for water. While he was gone someone else saw me sitting with the bike by the side of the road and asked if I was ok. Would this happen in other parts of the country? Anyway, after sitting for a few minutes I retuned the bike to the shop and then hightailed it out of the neighborhood before they discovered that the handlebars had gone slightly crooked...
There ought to be a word for the relief you feel for getting a girl's voicemail rather than having to actually ask her out over the phone. This reminds me of the following famous (and slightly modified) exchange between me and Haiwen:

He: "Did you call Clarissa?"
Me: "No, I got her machine."
He: "You mean robo-Clarissa?"

Yep, I'm clearly robosexual. The only problem is that Clarissa is occasionally and intentionally (robot voice) inaccessible....
More good stuff from Ebert on Gigli.
Here's Drew Hu on Chinese-American rapper Jin, currently featured in the New York Times:

So I had all these ambitions to somehow be the foremost Asian American rapper, called MC Wonton, of course (what else?), but now, and this is not really new news, as my kids told me about him, and that he was legit (though of course this is not very meaningful, perhaps, as my kids, while they are useful for "keeping it real" relative, to say, Alric's affection for Eminem, buy into a lot of corporate capitalistic misogynistic materialistic hip hop nonsense), apparently Jin is the act to beat. But it is too early to judge without listening to the music. It just seems a bit too packaged. NMBHS is not really ghetto. He is not a Chinatown native, blah, blah, blah. These issues of authenticity I am familar with, perhaps. I dunno: I suppose it wouldn't hurt to much to go and fucking buy an album. I imagined my own work being more polemical and in Chinglish [Ed: Really? Explain!], less foregrounding my ethnicity than speaking from it, like my self-racist fiction, perhaps. Worth thinking about.

Granted, I can't imagine Drew writing a line like "Every time they harass me, I wanna explode/We should ride the train for free/We built the railroads." Also, I'm not sure what the Times means by calling Jin "a less angry Eminem," because Eminem without his anger would just be a novelty act. No comment on Alric's affection for him, though.
I've already mentioned that I sometimes forget that Ingrid Bergman is in Casablanca, because I get so caught up in the incidental pleasures of the setting and the supporting cast and the atmosphere of intrigue in the early scenes. One of the astonishing things about Casablanca is how easy it is to "forget" scenes, lines and moments that, in a lesser film, you'd spend the entire movie awaiting, just because there's so much to love at every turn. Things that I've sometimes "forgotten" about Casablanca include: Peter Lorre. The Bulgarian bride. "That is my least vulnerable spot." "Round up the usual suspects." "Was that cannonfire, or is it my heart pounding?" "The Germans wore gray; you wore blue." Sidney Greenstreet, swatting flies. "We'll always have Paris."
Went to the sixtieth anniversary screening of Casablanca last night, which was just perfect: the best movie in the world with, as Haiwen would note, the best girl in the world.

During the discussion before the movie, the panelists repeated the old chestnut that no one believed, during the filming of Casablanca, that they were making anything special. I don't buy that. There's one shot in particular that argues otherwise: that long, lingering shot of Ingrid Berman's face as she listens for the first time to "As Time Goes By." That shot, arguably the greatest closeup in movie history, must last for almost half a minute, and there's nothing onscreen but the music and Bergman's beauty. If the director didn't know that he was making something very, very good, and that he could depend upon that song and this extraordinary woman to carry the moment, he would have cut away or livened up the scene somehow. That extended, melancholy, introspective closeup implies a supreme confidence in the materials at hand, and it's the precise moment when Casablanca passes from superior melodrama to become the best Hollywood movie ever made.

11 August 2003

Life imitates The Onion: According to the New York Times, the failure of Gigli has prompted Kevin Smith to recut Jersey Girl so that Jennifer Lopez dies within the first fifteen minutes.

Meanwhile, Gigli has dropped to #1 on imdb.com's bottom 100 movies of all time list, which is just ridiculous. As I try to argue in my post below, Gigli isn't much of a movie, but it's far from worthless.

The makeup of that bottom 100 list has changed dramatically over the past few months. Before, it was almost entirely populated by movies from the MST3K canon, but now there's room for recent debacles like From Justin to Kelly, Glitter, Rollerball, Ballistic, and On Deadly Ground.
I had dinner with Erin Larkspur last night. When the bill came, she paid with a $2 bill, a Susan B. Anthony dollar, and two Sacajawea coins. Clearly, she hasn't changed a bit....

10 August 2003

Playing with Friendster all week has led me into some Malcolm Gladwell-esque reveries about Connectors and Connectees and what my real Friendster network, as opposed to the virtual one, would look like. Bessie's refusal to join Friendster means that my online network will forever be a pale shadow of what it might otherwise have been, given that Bessie is the Connector Supreme. (I do, however, sympathize with her reasons for abstaining: she'd spend all of her time writing testimonials and never get any work done. However, she should also know that she should expect to receive many dozens of invitations to Friendster over the next few years if she doesn't join....)

Oddly enough, my most significant Connector these days is Drew. Something about gay men seems to put them at the center of social networks, I guess; after all, I wouldn't know most of the people reading this blog, ultimately, if it hadn't been for Albert (via Robby, via Dave). Last night, for example, I actually managed to get the phone number of a girl at the Beer Garden; she was, no exaggeration, the friend of a friend of a friend of Drew's boy. It's always complicated explaining how you know people through such tenuous connections. In another context, you'd be surprised how often I've had to explain, when asked "How do you know so-and-so?": "Well, her brother and my ex-roommate went to the same math camp...."
Thanks, Dad....

09 August 2003

Only a few days after my confusion about Keira Knightley's true age (I'd pegged her for her mid-twenties; she's only eighteen), imdb.com points out that today is the birthday of Audrey Tautou, star of Amelie...and she's only twenty-five. I would have guessed thirty. Clearly I'm not very good at gauging the age of breathtakingly beautiful women.

08 August 2003

One of my boxes sent from England 5 weeks ago arrived yesterday. The shipping charge was about £44, and for some inexplicable reason the Post Office decided that the best way to do this was to use one £1 stamp and about 150 28p stamps featuring a mischeviously smiling Prince William. The stamps covered every square inch of the box that did not contain the address or tracking label.

I am now a bit scared as to what the £80 box due to arrive in San Francisco will look like...
Oh yes, Gigli. Haiwen will no doubt contest everything I say here, but I might as well be honest: it's overlong and overwritten, and it's slack in places, and there are long stretches where nothing at all seems to be going right…but once you accept that the movie is going to run the whole "cute retard" thing into the ground and isn't going to make a damned bit of sense, it's generally pleasing, especially in the second hour. Which is to say: it's never boring, it looks and sounds great, and it contains a handful of juicy, juicy acting moments and memorable bursts of violence and comedy. I'm not saying that it's a great movie, or even a good one, and I'm certainly not recommending that you rush out and see it tonight...but I certainly don't think it deserved the reception it's received. Bad movies are always boring, but Gigli never is, and it's more memorable than a lot of conventionally tasteful movies I could name. There's something heady about its sudden shifts of tone, and I eventually came to feel a vague sort of affection for its willingness to make odd detours and its refusal to go anywhere in particular: as I tried to explain to Haiwen last night, Gigli sometimes feels like Punch-Drunk Love made not on purpose.
Noah, I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. I hope that your weekend goes well.

07 August 2003

So one of my grandmothers died today, which means I'll be headed home early for a funeral. This means I'll miss Dave's move in, but it means he'll have a bed. It also means I'll be visiting Ross... Should be fun if really weird.

I also discovered that JetBlue's flight changing policy is that you can switch tickets to any other open one for just the difference in price plus $25 extra if the difference is below $100. Not bad at all.

Probably won't get to post until tuesday or so.

06 August 2003

British people barhopping on their summers abroad are highly amusing. Met this cute british girl from bristol, too bad she's only here for 4 days...

05 August 2003

More info, courtesy of Google.
"God Bless America" update: I read in the Minneapolis paper that on Sunday at the Metrodome, the top of the seventh inning ended in a close play, and Tigers manager Alan Trammell came out to protest, but was stopped short when he had to stop talking and put his hand over his heard for the playing of "God Bless America."

This report got me really ticked off again, so I determined to find out who was responsible and write them a nasty letter. I called the Twins' executive office, and the man who returned my call told me that there has been an order from Major League Baseball this year to play "God Bless America" at all ballparks during the seventh inning stretch on Sundays and national holidays.

"Does this apply to Canadian ballparks too?" I asked.

"Yes. The broadcasters in Toronto made fun of it the first time it happened."

"I see."

So I think I will proceed with this letter, though I now have far less hope of having any effect or even getting an explanatory letter in response. In case any of you would like to join my crusade and write your own letter, I will post the address I eventually get from MLB.
For once, Blogger's targeted advertising does its job (and no, I'm not referring to the Gay and Lesbian Blog list): I was unaware that The Simpsons third season is finally coming out on DVD later this month, but now that I know, I've got to say that this is the best news I've heard in a long time. I don't have TV these days, so I've been working my way through the flawed but worthwhile second season collection for the past few weeks. The second season is quite watchable, but it isn't until the third season that we get episodes like "Bart the Murderer," which I think is the first unambiguously flawless episode in the series. (I'm strangely fond of Fat Tony, who seems to feature in half of my favorite episodes.)
Some interesting stuff on Mike Tyson's bankruptcy proceedings from nytimes.com and The Smoking Gun. How do you spend $230,000 in two years on cellphones?
For Kevin Smith's take on Gigli and how its failure might (not) affect Jersey Girl, see here and here.

I think I actually may end up seeing this movie.
I hate to venture controversial artistic opinions on this blog, of course, but boy, do I love Casablanca. I was just revisiting its quotes page on imdb.com in anticipation of its sixtieth anniversary release, and it's just stunning how much power these lines retain, even after being quoted (and misquoted) so many thousands of times. My favorite moment is still: "I am shocked! shocked!" Also wonderful: "I'll hum it for you. Da-dy-da-dy-da-dum, da-dy-da-dee-da-dum...."

As I'm sure I've mentioned many times before, whenever I watch the first half hour of Casablanca, I get so caught up in the atmosphere of intrigue and the wonderful supporting characters that I actually forget that Ingrid Bergman is in the movie. When she finally appears, it is like seeing an old love at an unexpected moment, because I can never quite remember when her first scene is coming.

This is all prologue to the point that I'm going to be attending the anniversary screening of Casablanca at Lincoln Center this Monday, where Isabella Rossellini herself will introduce the film. I love New York, too.

04 August 2003

Got my first rejection slip in the mail today. It stings, but not too badly.
I do enjoy reading Drew's blog. It's so crabbed and cryptic and manic that I often have trouble figuring out what precisely is going on, even when I was there at the time: "...and there is woe looking for a locksmith with the last four digits rubbed out, like an amputee who has only and only and only his thubm on his right hand, which is crucial, because Joephet is occasionally and intentionally (robot voice) inaccessible like the location of the minimal fixed point in Kripke's theory of truth...."
A couple of pleasant encounters yesterday: I met Sharon Harvey, Latin-teaching New Hampshire farmgirl and possibly the least pretentious girl in the world, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a stroll and a chat about my empty life; and then Angela, who is far from the least pretentious girl in the world but is arguably one of the more interesting, for dinner and a chat about her extraordinary artistic schedule.

Sharon is always refreshingly direct; when I told her about my current job, she asked, "Doesn't that kill your brain?" We also agreed that Sharon is extremely competent in ways that will be useful when the apocalypse comes (farming, locksmithing, carpentry, groundskeeping, seamstress work, shelling lobsters), whereas my forms of competence, as limited as they may be, are entirely predicated on the continuation of our current civilization. When the apocalypse does come, I'll probably be eaten.

Angela also puts my competence to shame, but in the opposite direction: not only does she care deeply about art, but she makes it happen.
I also love it when a small change results in a measurable increase in my quality of life. Last week I switched from my old soft contact lenses, which had to be removed, cleaned, and stored every night, to these wonderful "night and day" lenses that Tamara told me about, which can be worn for up to a month without removal. These lenses are the best thing to happen to me in a long time; I can see the alarm clock in the morning and doze off on the couch with a clear conscience, and I've shaved a good five minutes from my getting-ready-in-the-morning routine. Almost as good as laser eye surgery, and this way, after ten years my eyes won't even fall out.
I love it when something inexplicable becomes explicable. For the past few weeks I'd been haunted by the word "cabotinage"; at night or while I was walking home, it would just pop into my head for no particular reason, even though I had no idea what it meant or how to spell it. I finally managed to track it down in the OED, and a quick Google search revealed how it became lodged in my brain: it's one of the words from Spellbound.
Posting again from pirated Wi-fi. The connection won't work from my desk so i have it propped up 2 feet in the air on a rolled up airmattress where it will work. The lengths I go to for my diplomacy fix...

Oddly google's targeted ads has decided we're no long "noah feldman" related, nor are we a beatles fan site, instead we are now a "gay and lesbian blog." I'm not quite sure how that has happened.

Today I won $5 on an initial investment of $3 playing 5 cent ante poker with a max raise of 25 and a cap per round of 50. Not bad at all, and this includes losing nearly 2 bucks having the lower of two full houses.

03 August 2003

This is my first post from dave and my new house. Wi-fi pirating is great. I'm running off one of my neighbors networks. It's a little slow, but it'll do.

The bike ride down from this house is amazingly fun and exhilirating, my mornings just got a whole lot better. On the other hand the walk back from my old neighborhood is really really long.

01 August 2003

This is my last post from my july room. I had a great time here, and its hard to believe it was only a month. Today was the first day I didn't sleep in. I got along splendidly with my roomates and got myself in with another set of math grad students who i knew but didn't hang out with so much. I drank way too much. I did a little math. Certain sad patterns involving places i've lived since graduation continued, but c'est la vie. And I'm really looking forward to the next place. And it'll be nice to come back and visit this one, after all it'll be downhill.
I don't know; despite the reviews, I have a hunch that I'd probably like Gigli more than, say, Seabiscuit, which is enormously enjoyable but a bit too beautiful and polished for my taste, which tends to run toward the messy and ill-conceived. I do have to agree with Roger Ebert's comment, though: "Affleck plays Larry Gigli, rhymes with 'Geely,' and one wonders, learning that they rejected several earlier titles for the movie, which ones could have been worse than this."

In any case, I have a hunch that Haiwen and I will end up watching American Wedding this weekend instead, if only because it has a character named Bear who may, in fact, be the first real Bear ever featured in a mainstream Hollywood movie. Besides Baloo, of course.
Watched (on TV) the Twins beat Baltimore 10-9 in 10 innings tonight. The Twins tried their darndest to lose the game, letting Baltimore come back every time they had a lead, but Baltimore worked even harder: up 9-8 in the ninth with two out and two on, the catcher (1) let the third strike get past him, and (2) threw to first, in plenty of time to get the batter (who had stood there stupidly for about 5 seconds before he realised he was supposed to run), but put it in the dirt so the first baseman couldn't handle it. The runner from second never stopped, and scored the tying run.

Much as I'd like to hope, this is not a playoff-caliber team. I guess I'll just have to root for my new adopted home team, the Giants (sorry Nat, the A's are just too evil), but my heart won't be in it the same way...