30 October 2006

Journey to Boston

I like Journey. I do. I love songs like "Lights," and "Anyway you want it," and "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," and, of course, "Be Good to Yourself." But then, I also like The Patridge Family, so I know that I am not the last word in music appreciation.

David does not Journey, but he does like Boston. For quite some time, anytime he would mention Boston, I would laugh and he would think that I was laughing at him and deriding his musical taste. And while that is always possible, it wasn't the case. I also like Boston. I was laughing, well, yes, at him, I suppose, but laughing because liking Boston while sneering at Journey is pretty much like liking Happy Gilmore while sneering at The Waterboy. It's not like Journey is Happy Gilmore and Boston is Punch-Drunk Love or anything here. (Although, considering Journey's eminence in the power ballad area, maybe Punch-Drunk Love and The Wedding Singer would be a better comparison. But I digress.) And when I pointed this out to Beej and Stacey, they not only agreed, but Beej was able to add Kansas to the that particular set. (Set as in "an interesting exercise in set theory" not set as in "and we'll play another set after we smoke a lot of cigarettes and down a lot of Scotch.)

So one could have sets of sets, like [Journey, Boston, Kansas]; [The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones]; [Rick Springfield, Shaun Cassidy, Bobby Sherman]; etc. Hmmm. I have stuff recorded by all of these guys.....

Anyway, one of our local classic rock radio stations is doing the lunchtime requests and today's theme is songs that have people's names in them. (Which means that we just got to hear the World's Most Perfect Rock Song - Bruce Springsteen's Rosalita. Ahhhhhhhhh.) So someone just called in and requested (and here I quote) " "Amanda" by Journey or Boston."

Which pretty much shows that liking the one group while making fun of the other is like liking red M&Ms while laughing at the tan ones.

17 October 2006

Lay off the horn

Someone downstairs - someone 8 floors below me - someone 8 floors below me and across an intersection - is annoyed by someone else. So he's laying on the horn. For half a minute at a time.

Which means he is annoyed by the guy in front of him. And everyone within the sound of his horn is annoyed with him. It's impressive how loud a horn still sounds from a distance of an intersection and 8 floors. Admittedly, our windows aren't well soundproofed, but even so. And car horns, like unhappy-small-babies-that-you-don't-personally-know-but-who-are-on-your-plane-with-you, are really hard not to hear. Kind of piercing sounds, really, and for about the same reason: to let everyone nearby know that there is something wrong or something about to be wrong so that - with luck - the right person, the person who can do something about it, will also hear the sound and be motivated to act.

Well, I'm motivated to act right now, but not in a good way. I'm motivated to get Mr. Noisy Horn's tag information, track him to his lair, and key his vehicle.

I'm not actually going to do it, of course, but I'd like to.

13 October 2006


In the spring-time seed is sown,
In the summer grass is mown
In the autumn you may reap
Winter is the time for sleep.

Spring is hope -- Summer’s joy
Spring and summer never cloy.
Autumn, toil -- Winter, rest
Winter, after all, is best.

Spring and summer pleasure you,
Autumn, aye, and winter too.
Every season has its cheer,
Life is lovely all the year!

W.S. Gilbert, Ruddigore

We are now in Mid-October, which, besides being birthday time for a lot of friends and family, is when Maryland finally decides to acknowledge autumn. The daytime temperatures have dropped out of the 70s and 80s and into the 60s and there was a bit of frost on the car this morning.

I love all the seasons, but over time autumn is starting to take the lead. I love the explosive new growth of spring, the hot sun on my skin in the summer, and snow in the winter. Of course, loving snow is easy around here because we don’t get that much of it, so it remains a novelty. We get a couple of one- or two-inch dusters and at least one foot-and-half or greater snow dump every winter, which comes pretty close to meeting my snow needs for the year.

And the seasons have their downsides. My car is black, so getting into it in the summer means not be able to touch things until the A/C kicks in. Spring waits for you to plan outdoor activities and then dumps really cold rain on them. Winter snow is always followed by winter ice and I hate ice. I also hate being cold, which I am all winter long, even when I remember to wear a coat or gloves or anything like that.

But in autumn, the breeze is crisp, the leaves are hundreds of colors, the sky looks as though it were painted by Turner, and migrating birds poppyseed the air. It’s fun to eat hot food outside and wear sweaters and drink hot chocolate. And the peasant-y sorts of food that I love – root vegetables and stews and sausage – take a front seat in the autumn.

I’m fickle when it comes to the seasons. Just as my favorite show is whichever I happen to be working on, my favorite season is the one that’s just starting. So it’s entirely possible that I’ll write a similar paean to winter when it sets in here in January.

12 October 2006

It's not like we have already have a mascot or anything

I was chatting with one of our new hires this morning when a dark little shape caught my eye. A biggish spider was scurrying across a wall and when she* noticed that we noticed her, she jumped off the wall and tried to blend in with the corporate blue carpet. (And, to be fair, she blended in a lot better than I would have.) So I grabbed a disposable cup and a paper towel from the kitchen, knelt down, and put the cup near her - preparatory to putting it over her - when she jumped into it. I praised her and would have given her a spider treat (if I'd had any) and covered the top of the cup with the paper towel.

As none of my co-workers wanted to admire our newest acquisition (average response: "Ewwww - no!"), I carried her downstairs, took her outside, and walked over to the shrubs. I gently turned the cup upside downish and set it down so that she could scurry out of her improvised cell. Instead, she came gingerly to the edge of the cup, looked at the wild, untamed suburbia, and scuttled immediately back to the farthest reaches of the cup. She doesn't speak much English, but I clearly understood her meaning: "Oh, no thanks. I don't want to be here. I want to go back upstairs." So I felt kind of bad about dumping her out of the cup and returning to the office, but what could I do?

And anyway, removing spiders and other miniature fauna has always been my job. When I was a teenager, Sara and Mom were the sort to hop from foot to foot and make girly distress noises while I got a jar or something and piece of cardboard and escorted the terrifying predator to the border for deportation.

*No, I didn't check her ID or absolutely determine her sex, but be real. Everyone knows that all spiders are female and named Charlottte.

06 October 2006

A persuasive argument

From Brad Hathaways's review of 12 Angry Men, currently running at the Kennedy Center:

The audience enters to see the set on the stage, violating what should be a cardinal rule of theater: never dispense with a curtain. Not only does it rob the audience of that valuable moment when the world outside yields to the world on stage, it lets critics examine the space at close range and notice things like the Kleenex box with a design not yet adopted in the 1950s.