Archive for September, 2005

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A Year Ago: London

September 19, 2005

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The Eye
The Eye,
originally uploaded by photoq.

This time last year, I was on my honeymoon in the UK. This week, I’m digging up photos and notes from the trip and reliving that trip, one day at a time.

We arrived in London in mid-morning and, after quite literally dragging our luggage over the cobblestones of Notting Hill to our comically small room at the so-called Portobello Gold, headed into downtown London to stay awake until nightfall. This was our plan to sync up with the local clock. It mostly worked.

We rode the London Eye like tourists, visited the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill like locals might (where we caught Michael Winterbottom’s Code 46), fell asleep in the cinema’s deep leather chairs and crashed in a tiny room that was at least 50% mattress. I recall the ad for the room joked: “Do not bring your cat, for you will not have room to swing it.”

To put it another way: The room was so small that both I and the door to the WC could not occupy the WC at the same time. My feet would not fit in the lou. ‘Twas a small room.

From My Notebook:
“At the tube station: A bald man, like Mr. Clean w/his eyebrows & earrings, in a Betty Ford Clinic t-shirt, practically eats his issue of Maxim magazine.”

“Re: Jet Lag @ the London Eye: It’s like falling asleep on the train & waking up surrounded by strangers, except instead of the people changing, it’s the whole country.”

“Re: Code 46: Eh.”

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Bought Ecto

September 18, 2005

So I finally bought Ecto. If you blog, you might as well do it, too.

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Three Things

September 11, 2005

For today, I’ll play along. John Kovalic has a feel-good meme going from his site, in which folks list three little things that make them happy. Here’s three I thought of:

1. The Orkney Islands: When you read a lot of history and fantasy and sci-fi, it’s easy to develop a big interest in places you can never visit. Every once in a while, I get a dose of giddy when I remember that Scotland — and especially Orkney — isn’t some place in a book. I’ve been there. When I saw Simon Schama standing at Skara Brae on his History of Britain program I thought it seemed so remote, so distant. I’ve since been there, and it is remote and wonderful.

2. Fodo: Just this afternoon, while waiting for the AC to come back on, I was looking at my bookshelves from across the apartment and Fodo caught my eye. He’s a little shyly poised gargoyle that was given to me years ago by some very dear friends who eventually decided that I had “changed” and didn’t so much keep talking to me. Yet, at one time, those people had liked me enough to buy me a gargoyle because “they saw it and thought of” me. The notion that folks remember me when I’m not around still seems somewhat alien sometimes, but there’s Fodo to prove me wrong.

3. The Ring: Little things, right John? I’ll say my simple, white gold wedding ring, then. My first wedding anniversary is next week.

Noise: Guster, “I Hope Tomorrow Is Like Today”

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Self-Revelation #231

September 10, 2005

I write because without the flurry of work at the end of it procrastination is the same as just wasting time.

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People I’ve Served Coffee

September 8, 2005

Ira Glass
Joan Cusack
James Young
Allison Payne

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Nice

September 7, 2005

Overheard in New York: I know from experience that the feeling Store Dude got from this lasted all day.

Guy: Your copy machine is out of cards.
Store dude: Yes, I’m sorry.
Guy: Can I just pay you to make copies?
Store dude: It’s out of cards, I have no way to make it work.
Guy: Can I use this one?
Store dude: That one’s just for color copies. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
Guy: You sound like a real loser.
Store dude: And yet, I’m about to complete my objective–which is to tell you to fuck off–while you still don’t have your copies.

–Internet Garage, Williamsburg

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Trapped in the Cubital Tunnel

September 7, 2005

I’ve never been one of those people, but I am today. With my good hand, I grabbed a fistful of descriptive words and sprinkled them into Google, like a dose of eye of newt dropped into a cauldron for consultation with spirits. The search terms came in tiny glass phials with handwritten paper labels that read “left hand,” “numbness” and “tingling.”

The cauldron gave off a lot of smoke, but a few leads came out of it. It seems likely that my ulnar nerve has become trapped in the cubital tunnel. (I plugged “cubital tunnel” into Mapquest, but Mapquest was no help, ’cause it turns out the cubital tunnel is something of mine, and I just didn’t know it — it’s the second-most-popular tunnel after the carpal, don’t you know.) This means that about 15% of my typing tools (that is, one and a half of my fingers) become numb every few minutes. According to the Internet (which was wearing a round reflector and a white coat when it said this), this is worse when it’s cold, so naturally I’ve got the AC and a ceiling fan on when I learn that.

Reading about the entrapment of the ulnar nerve in the cubital tunnel, I find myself imagining it as a spiny filament in the driver’s seat of a modest sedan, stuck in New York traffic or confined in the tunnel by burning wreckage and a hostile helicopter. Or, remember The Fugitive? Like that. “Entrapment” makes it sound illegal.

Since then, I feel like I’ve had this strange relationship with my ulnar nerve. It’s like we’ve been working together in the same office for years and have just recently been introduced, but we’re not quite getting along and now I keep bumping into him at the copier or walking in on him in the men’s room.

So now I’m thinking about going back to the doctor. For nine years, I didn’t go once except for emergency room visits (both of them for damage to my hands, by the way), and now I’ve been twice this year already, to fret about everything from brain chemistry to jittery eyelids to tumors in my arms and midsection. (Don’t panic; the eyelid thing was caused by shoulder tension and the tumors are benign.) Going again makes me feel like a hypochondriac, but then so did plugging symptoms into a search engine. The thing is, even though I’ve got ten fingers and we’re talking about just 15% of them, I’d really like for none of them to be permanently paralyzed or curled into tingly, mutant claws.

Noise: Juno Reactor, “Zwara”

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