12. Seven Swans by Sufjan Stevens
11. Funeral by Arcade Fire
1. Sufjan Stevens at 7/31 Great American Music Hall
2. the Mates of State 2/6 at the Los Gatos Outhouse
8. Pedro the Lion with John Vanderslice 6/03 at Bottom of the Hill
3. Iron and Wine at Great American Music Hall
13. Our Endless Numbered Days by Iron and Wine
10. Damien Jurado 11/09 at Great American Music Hall
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5. the Cameraman (with Buster Keaton) at Stanford Theater with live organ accompaniment
6. the Polyphonic Spree 7/18 at Slim’s
17. Napoleon Dynamite free screening at Stanford
7. Arcade Fire Live at Museum of Television and Radio (archived by KEXP)
16. From a Basement on a Hill by Elliot Smith
14. Before Sunset
9. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring
12. Seven Swans by Sufjan Stevens
Lauren wanted to show her friend some photos of Tanzania, so I had the motivation to finally scan the rest of my photos in. Here they are.
I watched Shark Tale on the plane. In an era with many amazing good-enough-for-adults-too animated movies, it was a bit of a disappointment. An entertaining movie. The voice acting is good, but not as good as, say Shrek or Finding Nemo. It’s funny, but not as funny as many of them. The story is interesting but not as entralling as, say, the Incredibles or Monsters Inc.
Basically, if it had been the first of these sort of movies, it would be good and rememberable, but as it is, it’s pretty forgettable.
Ian’s (Le Mayoure) in town visiting his mom, so we grabbed some food at the Alpine Inn and then went bowling at Mel’s Bowl in Redwood City. I wanted to check it out to compare it with Palo Alto Bowl, hoping that it was more divey. Shad and Dale joined us for the bowling.
It is a little more divey than Palo Alto Bowl (PAB), but I haven’t been to PAB in a while, so I can’t compare too well. It was of course expensive compared to rural American bowling alleys, but I suppose not too bad considering it’s the Peninsula. If I remember correctly the games are cheaper than PAB, the shoe rentals about the same and the beer more expensive.
We played two games. My scores were a respectable 147 and a disappointing followup, 127. The first game, I had a Turkey (three strikes in a row) and the second, I picked up four spares in a row, but failed to get any strikes.
The highlights of the night had to be Ian’s incredible sooper-spin style with the 6 lb. ball, the style of the guy two lanes down (he’d sort of run and then stop and lean backwards while he slid toward the line and then drop the ball), the Turkey and making movies with Ian’s camera. I’ll try to put a couple of those up here if I have a chance.
My life is a movie. A perfectly scripted movie. I have come to an obstacle and fallen, only to persevere and be rewarded in the end.
Pittsburgh-Las Vegas-San Francisco. Easy enough. I can do that. Easy. Nothing to it. The first flight was at 8:45am. I arrived at the airport at seven am. I waited outside in the cold, the twelve degree cold. You do not make up a temperature like twelve degrees; you make up a temperature like nine or sixteen. I saw the line inside. It was long, too long. The line outside was shorter, but still long. Maybe a third the inside. I’ll wait outside. It’ll take forty minutes. Maybe forty-five. An hour tops. You must check in half an hour ahead of time. Relieved! It was eight twelve when I handed my driver’s license to the skycap. SFO via Las Vegas, thanks. Woo. That was close. Twenty minutes and I’ll be through security. It’ll be tight, but I did it.
Expletives! Expletives under my breath! Expletives muttered aloud! They thought it was past eight fifteen! It’s not! Can you not see my watch! Do you see a five or a six or a seven in that time! No, you see a three at the end so it is clearly not quarter past! You are clearly mistaken. My computer has shut that flight down; I can’t do anything about it. First one locked out of the flight.
Seconds! Missed it by mere seconds. Perhaps many seconds, perhaps one hundred or two hundred, but not five hundred. Not one thousand.
Another line. My feet are warming up at least. My feet are freezing. Blocks of ice! Another forty-five minutes in line. I was on the Las Vegas flight, eventually to SFO. Oh, you won’t be able to get there till tomorrow. Tomorrow? I work tomorrow I’m being picked up today! I am being picked up at half past two today! Don’t you see?
I’ll see what I can do.
Minutes past. Where is she? I think she’s eating breakfast. Surely she cannot be working on my flights still. She cannot be still seeing what she can do. I look around for commiserating glances from people in line, people at neighboring check-in counters. I only get blank stares ahead. Everyone is tired, exhausted.
My supervisor wants to put you on the ten fifteen Charlotte and the evening flight to SFO. You’ll get there at eight fifty-one. Tonight. I can do tonight. Maybe Dave can still pick me up, maybe not, but I’ll get there tonight.
Still on standby. Bischoff, there’s one seat on the flight if you want it, unless you want to give up your ticket for a voucher and another ticket. No no, I’ll go now. I’ll go now. Thanks.
I’m that guy. I’m the last guy on the plane. I’m the guy that everyone stares at. Where were you? they burn at me with their eyes. Sorry. I’m sorry. I wanted to be here earlier. They wouldn’t let me on. I was standing out there ready but they were not ready for me. I have a guilty look on my face, but I can’t help it; it’s not actually my fault.
But do you see? But do you see where I am now? (This is where the rewarding for perseverance comes in.) I have been rewarded. I am four hundred miles from San Francisco and seven miles off the ground and I have leg room. I can put my ankle of one leg on the knee of the other right in front of me. Do you want to see me do it? Did you see that?! It was great. I’m done doing it now though because I am typing and that is not comfortable for typing. I did it just to show you I could. I just ate my third snack—cashews, chocolate-covered wafers, pretzels—and I’m on my fourth drink—heiniken, coke, water, coke. Do you know what the people had for dinner in coach? Nothing. I had stuffed chicken with and excellent salad and an impressive, but not untoppable, pecan pie.
You cannot make up a story like this—you can actually and people did and then people stopped because they thought it was too far fetched, too cliché. This is it though. It happens. Persevere. Persevere and be rewarded.
The comment preview should look pretty similar to the comment post at this point to correct the earlier problems.
It’ll say your comment is the first comment (“1. your comment”) and it won’t display the date or the time correctly, but everything else looks pretty much correct.
Thanks to Alex Bischoff’s CSS mastery for help on the correction. Who knew <div> tags could be so much fun.
- explaining why jokes are funny
- explaining any slight connnection someone or something has to Pittsburgh
- reading lips. Over many years I noticed that I read lips in addition to listening to people when they’re talking. I have a markedly worse time on the phone than in person for comprehension
- recognizing people from afar. When recognizing people from a long way off (say 500 ft.), I use a person’s stature and any tell-tale articles of clothing, but I mostly recognize people’s walk. Ody walks with a lot of angular movement of his shoulders. Amrys has this long, loping sort of stride. Greg, at work, has this very pronounced toes-hit-the-ground-first shuffle.
We were talking about football at the dinner table tonight. I am going to watch the Steelers game tomorrow with my mom and explain how it works (and I suggested she drink beer and smash the can on her forhead as well, but she didn’t like this suggestion) and as to illustrate why, I’m going to excerpt some of our conversation from dinner.
Mom: Why is the quarterback so important?
Dad: Because he directs the play on the field. He throws the ball.
Mom: He always throws the ball? They always give it to him?
Dad: I thought I didn’t know anything about the game. I’m an expert compared to you!
Yeah, that’s how it is in the Bischoff household. I think my mom finally figured out the rules of baseball though.