A squash-friendly blog for our times
Friday, July 29, 2005
Friday Spies: The "I've Been Bad" Edition?
It's been nearly a week since I last posted, and I have no good excuse.
Oh, it's been a busy week at work, and it's been hot, and I've started about a dozen different posts . . . but I just haven't been able to get it together. Maybe answering this week's questions from the boys at BTQ
will help:1. What five things should you never buy used?
b) Swimwear (Do you sense a pattern?)
c) Toilet paper (Is this part of the same pattern?)
d) Socks (Ewwwww.)
e) Textbooks (Someone else's underlining/highlighting will lead you astray.)
P.S. I wish I'd said porn
! Best. Answer. Ever.2. Sony BMG just ended a payola investigation by settling with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. So let's engage in some reverse payola: What song or artist would you pay to never have to hear again, and how much would it be worth to you?
I'd pay a good part of a day's salary to erase the theme song from Laverne & Shirley
from my memory.3. In honor of the new Bad News Bears: Did you ever play Little League, or other organized youth sports?
You may be surprised, but the answer's no. I grew up in the sticks, and the nearest league was a long way away. Do you feel sorry for me?4. What was your biggest fashion faux pas?
I'm probably repressing the worst examples.... One summer, though, I did go through an unfortunate phase involving lots and lots of pleated
Ralph Lauren shorts. Just say no to the pleats, ok?5. In honor of all our readers who took the Bar Exam this week: What was the hardest test you ever took?
The answer might
be the bar exam, which I took nine years ago this week. I never really thought I might fail, though, so maybe that's not the answer. On the other hand, as I've recounted before
, I went sleepless for two straight nights during the bar exam. That
was tough on me. Oh, let's go with the bar exam, then. And if that's not, then it was a pop quiz I took in science class in the sixth grade. (Really.)
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Phillies 2, Padres 0.
Yes, I was there. It was a day game
(the Fox Game of the Week), and it was a day made for sunscreen. Whew.
The Phillies looked good, executing well when they needed to. The highlight of the game for me occurred when pitcher Rob Tejeda hit a triple in the fifth inning. Sadly, even though there was only one out, the Phils couldn't get Tejeda home. I love it, though, when a pitcher shows some skills with the bat.
Except for the sun, it was just about a perfect day at the ballpark for me. I got there early enough to snag a cheesesteak from Geno's
(with Wiz, without onions), and I survived the heat with the aid of plenty of water ice
(lemon). And, of course, the Phillies won.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Friday Spies: The Navel-Gazing Edition
Here's what I have to say about this week's questions from BTQ:1. Why did you start blogging?
Mostly, I think, I was just bored. I also felt that I had things to say but nowhere to say them. (Unfortunately, my job still
keeps me from writing about many of the topics that I'm most interested in addressing.) In other words, I needed a life, and I thought I'd give this a try. Plus, back when I started, in November 2002, I got to feel (sorta) like an early adopter.2. Are the reasons you blog now the same as when you started? If not, what's changed?
I obviously still need a life. And I still like having someplace to say what's on my mind. These days, I particularly enjoy interacting with my four-and-one-half regular readers. When I started, I wasn't even sure I'd have any readers aside from friends and family, and I definitely didn't anticipate that I'd form web-based quasi-relationships with people I didn't already know.3. What would make blogging better for you?
If I could be Jason Kottke
and blog full-time, the Garden
would be a helluva place. Actually, it might be a sort of whimsical alternative to How Appealing
.4. Do you have comments on your blog? Why or why not? Do you comment on other blogs? What motivates you to post a comment?
Well, of course, I have comments. Why? I like conversations. (This conversational aspect is a big reason that blogging took off.) For the same reason, I'm an avid commenter. Sadly enough, I'm a lot more likely to comment elsewhere than I am to receive comments here. Hint, hint. Throw me a bone sometime, ok?5. What is your philosophy of the blogroll?
This has definitely changed over the years. Originally, the blogroll was just a list of blogs that I visited regularly. It was mostly for me; I actually used the links. Now, however, I use a newsreader
to keep up with my favorite blogs, and the blogroll is more of a list of recommendations to others. And, hey, I have good taste. Check out the blogs in my blogroll; you'll like 'em.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
This post culminates in romantic loneliness.
People are lining up at Broadway theaters, sometimes hours ahead of performances, and no one is exactly sure why. It's almost un-American.
I recently mentioned my childhood affinity for Emergency!, the early 1970s TV show about two L.A. paramedics, and now I learn it's coming out on DVD (link via Lost Remote). Woo hoo! And so is Adam-12! I can't wait. (Gosh, I guess you now know precisely what kind of kid I was.)
It may be the Oklahoma in me, but I always like a good picture of a grain elevator. Check out this one from Sam Javanrouh's Daily Dose of Imagery. Why do I like grain elevators so much? Well, I think I associate them with a sort of romantic loneliness, probably because I typically see them in gorgeous places that are rapidly de-populating. Anyway, the grain elevator speaks to me.
Speaking of Oklahoma, would you be interested in a t-shirt based on the state's first flag? Very cool.
Speaking of romantic loneliness(?), the beautiful poster for Brokeback Mountain conveys something along those lines. I really, really hope director Ang Lee credibly captures Annie Proulx's short story about two cowboys in love. The film is set to open in December.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Topics for a New Week?
At Coffee Hour, a Unitarian Universalist group blog, Matthew Gatheringwater engagingly asks how individuals react to theological change in their faith communities. Today, in UU circles, the question is whether religious humanists like Gatheringwater will continue to have a home in a faith that is increasingly open to neopagan spirituality and symbolism. Sixty years ago, though, the question was whether Unitarianism would be open to religious humanism. Gatheringwater sees the ironies in that, discusses why UUism may be particularly prone to theological change, and asks how someone would know whether she still "belonged" in her religious home.
I haven't read anything lately that was more insightful. If you have any interest in the topic, be sure to check out the interesting reader comments, too. Highly recommended!
Sam Javanrouh lives a long way from Louisiana, but a Daily Dose of Imagery photo—called "Water Lines"—sure made me think of Lake Pontchartrain. I miss living someplace exotic.
Lleyton Hewitt, the world's second-ranked tennis player, still needs a sensitivity coach. Oof. And, hey, I think I might just be the man for that job.
It's summertime, and kids get sent to camp. But gay re-education camp? How medieval. (Link via The Kitchen Cabinet.)
Two posts by Tyler Green on his recent trip to Marfa, Texas, are must-reads for fans—like me—of minimalist Donald Judd. Right here and right now, I vow to get to Marfa this year. Who's going with me?
Sunday, July 17, 2005
I didn't do much blogging, I know, but I had a great weekend.
It's amazing what the freedom of a rental car will do for someone who usually drives an unreliable jalopy....
I also did a little work around the apartment, and it quickly became clear to me that I had a problem: The magazines had taken over. I love magazines, and I subscribe to way too many. Often, when a new issue arrives, I'll see an interesting article and tell myself I'll read it when I have time. There's never enough time, of course. The magazines just stack up.
It was time for magazine triage. Magazine triage, of course, requires sorting into three piles—the magazines that can't be saved, those that must be read immediately, and those that can be saved for later. Things were out of hand, though; in fact, I was fairly close to declaring magazine bankruptcy
. So I was aggressive in tossing magazines away.
Just to give you a sense of how bad the problem had gotten, here's the stack of magazines I faced when I started:
AAA World - 3 issues
ABA Journal - 2
Administrative & Regulatory Law News - 3
American Craft - 3
Art in America - 16(!)
Bluegrass Unlimited - 3
Cargo - 3
Chronicles of Oklahoma - 1
Consumer Reports - 3
Contexts - 1
Dwell - 12(!)
The Economist - 1
Entertainment Weekly - 5
Games - 2
Gay & Lesbian Review - 1
Harper's - 1
Judges' Journal - 2
Legal Affairs - 3
Mensa Bulletin - 4
National Geographic Traveler - 1
NMAI Magazine - 2
No Depression - 3
Oklahoma Today - 3
Pro Rodeo Sports News - 6
Saveur - 1
Sports Illustrated - 14(!)
Tennis Weekly - 3
Whew. That's a serious problem, huh? After the triage, the stack is down from 102 to a more manageable 17.
It's good to have a fresh start. I feel lighter now.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Friday Spies: The "Living and Dying in 3/4 Time" Edition
It's summer. According to my my referral stats
, traffic to the Garden
has been near an all-time low, and—as a consequence—I have little motivation to blog. Sigh. Happily enough, the boys from BTQ
have given me my weekly assignment, and I'm proficient at following orders. New content is good, even if the only people reading it are actually looking for pictures of a shirtless Handy Andy Kane
. Anyway, here are my responses to this week's Friday Spies questions
.1. What time do you go to bed? What time do you wake up?
Ideally, I would go to bed at 10:45 p.m. because I absolutely have to wake up at 6:45 a.m. to be at work by the stroke of 9 o'clock. It's usually closer to midnight, though, when I go to bed...so it's no wonder that I'm almost always seriously dragging by the end of the work week. I'm one of those people who really
needs his eight hours of sleep every night....2. What do you want done to/with your body after you die?
I haven't given this enough thought, and I hope I still have some time to make the right decision. My family has a plot in a particularly ugly cemetery in my hometown. I don't think I want to be buried there. I've thought that it might be nice to be buried in a rural, quiet cemetery somewhere further out on the Oklahoma prairie (maybe where one set of my grandparents is buried?), but I've obviously made no arrangements. Cremation is something for me to consider, too.3. Describe your dream house. I've said this
before, but my dream house would be fit for Dwell Magazine
. I like modern architecture, glass, concrete, wood—and, yes, there'd probably be a stream nearby.4. Are you an excellent driver? Do you speed, or drive the speed limit? Ever been ticketed?
I'm a good driver, although I'm not sure I can honestly claim to be an "excellent" one. After all, I (a) never took a driver's education course and (b) only drive about once a week. That said, I grew up in a part of the world where long distances are driven as a matter of course, so I'm comfortable behind the wheel.
As for speeding, well, I rarely drive more than five mph above the limit. But, um, I have been ticketed—once—for speeding. I was clocked going 31 mph where the speed limit was a mere (bogus!) 15 mph. (For context, this occurred on campus when I was in law school. Did I mention it was bogus?)5. What is your favorite animal, mineral, and vegetable?
Gosh, this is hard—especially the mineral. [Insert a 30-minute pause here, reflective of the time it took me to ponder this.] My favorite animal
is probably just the dog. Dogs are loyal, playful, and loving. How anyone can resist a good dog escapes me. As for, um, wild animals, I'm particularly fond of manatees....
I've apparently never contemplated what my favorite mineral
might be. After a good deal of thought, I decided to go with sapphires. I'm not entirely sure why. They're pretty, I guess. I nearly chose table salt, by the way....
My favorite vegetable
is asparagus. The black-eyed pea is a close second.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
It's puzzling, I know.
Should God, if He/She/It exists, have gone to engineering school? David P. Barash suggests that the answer is yes:
Ask yourself, if you were designing the optimum exit for a fetus, would you engineer a route that passes through the narrow confines of the pelvic bones? Add to this the tragic reality that childbirth is not only painful in our species but downright dangerous and sometimes lethal, owing to a baby's head being too large for the mother's birth canal.And that's just the beginning. Barash notes that the prostate is situated too close to a man's urinary system, the male reproductive system is arranged in a way that no "minimally competent designer" would have chosen, and knee joints wear out too easily. And then, of course, there's the lower back. Mine is actually hurting today....
This design flaw is all the more dramatic because anyone glancing at a skeleton can see immediately that there is plenty of room for even the most stubbornly large-brained, misoriented fetus to be easily delivered anywhere in that vast, non-bony region below the ribs. (In fact, this is precisely the route obstetricians follow when performing a caesarean section.)
I love a good enthronement. And, oh, by the way, Monaco's Prince Albert just might be the answer to one of those questions I didn't answer yesterday. I'll think about it some more.
BoiFromTroy, who is tired of hearing that baby pandas are about the size of a stick of butter, is having a Baby Panda Analogy Contest. I point this out (a) because it's really amusing and (b) because it's a good launching point for me to blog about what I really want to talk about: What must Mama Panda be thinking?
Ok, Mei Xiang must surely know that she didn't mate this year, right? She, of course, has no idea what happened to her while she was under anesthesia. So, did she have any clue she was having a baby and, if so, when did she realize it? Is she confused by how she got pregnant? Does she think it might've happened when she wasn't paying attention? Does she think she just forgot that she mated? Does she think some sort of quasi-religious miracle has happened? Or am I just expecting too much self-awareness from a dumb panda, anyway? Inquiring minds want to know.
I might should blog about the use of multiple modals in Southern American English (link via Marginal Revolution). As some of you know, I actually say stuff like that all the time.
Having some experience of his own now, Jason Kottke understands why movie critics use a four- or five-star scale—not the 100-point scale he tried.
Did the passing in 1993 of the New York Times crossword from the hands of (word-)curmudgeon Eugene T. Maleska to puzzlemeister Will Shortz signal an important cultural shift? Grant McCracken of This Blog Sits... thinks so. At the same time that academics were newly recognizing (or admitting) that so-called popular culture demanded a complex critical engagement in readers/viewers, he says, the NYT puzzle "began to demand a dynamic engagement" from its fans, too. One now has to learn from the puzzle in order to do the puzzle. Wow.
Speaking of puzzles, will every blog soon need its own puzzleblogger?
Monday, July 11, 2005
If I could be . . .
I had a long day at work, and I'm not sure how much real blogging-energy
I can muster tonight. This is probably a good chance to do this interesting little meme that I spotted ages ago at Mode for Caleb
. I'm simply supposed to finish five sentences from the following list:
If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world-famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...
- If I could be a musician, I'd be a guitar-strumming singer-songwriter who aspired, someday or other, to open for Dar Williams.
- If I could be a linguist, I'd try to keep a dying language or two—probably American Indian languages—alive.
- If I could be an athlete, I'd be a professional tennis player. (Is anyone surprised by that?) And, yes, Mary Carillo, I'd be a clay-courter. In most things in life, it seems, I'm better as a counter-puncher.
- If I could be a world-famous blogger, I'd be just like Jason Kottke. Micropatrons, anyone?
- If I could be a justice on any one court in the world, I'd be a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. And, hey, I hear there's an opening!
Hey, this was actually a lot of fun. In fact, the hardest part was choosing just five of the sentences to finish. I bet you were just dying to know which current political figure I'd marry if I had the chance....
Heaven really is a place on Earth.
I've been seeing a lot of interesting shots on my favorite photoblogs:"Angel," Justin Ouellette, Chromogenic.net: Every time I look at this, I'm so, so impressed. It's sort of a cross between an establishing shot from an old b&w film and, well, actual heaven itself.
"O'ahu Signs," Mike Epstein, Satan's Laundromat: As I just pointed out, I've never been to Hawai'i. This folio of O'ahu's, um, underbelly makes me really want to visit. Highly recommended.
"Moon at the Beaches," Sam Javanrouh, Daily Dose of Imagery: Despite the title, I thought this photo showed the sun. Who knew that a Toronto beach would be so beautiful at 1 a.m.? Javanrouh, by the way, has made this picture available for use as desktop wallpaper. I'm using it, and I'm enjoying it.
"Mini Cooper in Blue," Peter Tongco, Manila in Byte Size Edible Pieces: Did this attract my attention because I ought to buy a new car? I don't know, but this Mini is awfully sweet.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Warning: Earwax is mentioned in this post.
The Impulsive Buyer tried earwax-flavored jelly beans so you wouldn't have to. Ewww. I have to admit, though, that I'm intrigued by the idea of spinach-flavored jelly beans....
A New Yorker won 12 round-trip flights for two anywhere in the world. When he did the math, however, he discovered that he'd pay more in taxes than it would cost to buy that many tickets. Serious bummer, huh?
Garrett Fitzgerald just got around to watching the best concert film ever, Stop Making Sense. Gosh, I miss the Talking Heads....
This is one of the most depressing things I've read in awhile. Somehow or other, Tyler Cowen got it into his head that Woody Guthrie was a Texan. Egad! The great Woody Guthrie was from Okemah, Oklahoma. I thought every Guthrie fan knew that.
Speaking of Oklahoma: Okiedoke reminds that, if things had worked out just a bit differently, I'd be from Sequoyah, not Oklahoma.
And, finally, is it really possible that taking regular showers might be dangerous?
Friday, July 08, 2005
Friday Spies: The "We Are Really Reaching This Week" Edition
Here are my answers to this week's questions from BTQ:1. Tropical Storm Cindy and Hurricane Dennis are causing trouble in the Southeast this week. Share a natural disaster story.
Given all the time I lived in New Orleans, you'd think I'd have a good hurricane story, but I really don't. I was in New Orleans, though, for the flood of May 1995
—when the city received more than an inch of rain every hour
for more than a day. I was in the midst of law school finals (as a 2L), and I was already pretty stressed. At some point during the day, I realized, too, that my car—which was in a fairly high spot—might get water in it. And there was nothing I could do about it. To move my car, in any possible direction, I'd have to go through water. So, as the rain kept falling, as I kept trying to study (for my American Legal History final, by the way) despite a persistent power outage, water slowly edged up to my car and took it over.
My final exam, by the way, was postponed. I spent the next couple of days (a) studying for a different final and
(b) trying to get some delightful-smelling water out of my car. Good, good times.Random aside
: I'm not working today because the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy took out a tree this morning on my commuter rail line. Unfortunately, it didn't happen until I was already on the train, so I was stuck there for an hour or so until the conductor decided to return us home. On the walk back home from the train station, a car—going, oh, about 50 mph in a 35 mph zone—splashed water all over me. More good, good times.2. What is your favorite work of art?
On one level, I'm not sure how I ought to choose. Yet, when asked, I immediately thought of "Point of Tranquility
" by Morris Louis. If you'd like to see it in person, and you should, it's usually in the display rotation at my favorite art museum, the Hirshhorn
.3. Do you squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle or the bottom?
Occasionally, I vow to start squeezing exclusively from the bottom, but I rarely remember until the tube is a complete disaster.4. What is your favorite "cult" film?
Pedro Almodóvar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
. I wonder if it even qualifies
....5. Would you go into space if given the chance? Where would you go?
I wouldn't mind going into space on the Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation
. Life there was all modern, and there was an interesting, diverse community on board. Going into space in the next few hundred years probably won't be anything like that, though, so I'll have to pass. Can I go to Club Med instead?
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Prettier Than Napoleon reminds us that tomorrow is International Kissing Day.
How should you celebrate? Well, PTN
urges participation by "creating a kissing-themed post, sharing a kissing story, or just plain kissing someone." I'll see what I can do.
Bisexuals, bicycles, and an exterminator, too
New research, reported prominently in today's New York Times, suggests that most bisexual men are actually only attracted to other men. Of course, every gay man I've ever known has thought that, so I guess we shouldn't be surprised. If Ann Althouse's post, and particularly the comments to her post, are any indication, however, some parts of Blogistan were taken aback. (Some of the comments are laugh-out-loud funny, by the way. For instance, one Althouse commenter seems to think that that he turns lesbian heads.)
I certainly enjoyed this list of Seldom Asked Questions about Japan (link via Marginal Revolution). If you've ever wanted to know why Japanese people slurp their noodles, won't cut their fingernails at night, or keep their bicycle seats so low, this is the list for you, too.
Today's tasty photoblog pic(k): "Chinese Cakes," by Tracey Hoyng, Shutterbug. (By the way, the photo reminds me of those beautiful paintings of cakes and pastries by Wayne Thiebaud.)
At F Minus last week, an exterminator gave a husband and wife the bad news. If your sense of humor is as offbeat as mine seems to be, I'll bet you laugh....
Still 10 to Go
the states you've been to, underline
the states you've lived in and italicize
the state you're in now...
Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C. /
to have a form generate the HTML for you.
(I, um, caught this meme at Ministrare
. By the way, you can see the same information about me, in a different form, here
Monday, July 04, 2005
A Small Holiday Crop
More than one blogger has pointed to this interesting Wall Street Journal article on odd requests that interviewers now make. (I definitely hope the handwriting analysis doesn't catch on. Legibility is not my strong suit. Thanks, Law School.) But I was just as intrigued by some of the comments to The Obscure Store's post: One commenter was asked to walk like a duck at a pre-hiring physical. If that wasn't an audition to be a stadium mascot, then I don't have any idea what that was about....
At Ten Years of My Life, Matthew Haughey posted a photograph entitled "Testosterone clean up, aisle five." Gosh, that made me smile. Click the link, and you'll see why.
I'm also taken with a Zone IX photo entitled "blue thistle." Steven Noreyko takes the most exquisite close-up shots.
Religion is a rarely covered subject here at the Garden, but I was intrigued by Left Coast Unitarian's recent visit to the chapel at DFW airport. When traveling, I've wondered what those airport chapels are like. They seem like something from another era—before traveling became a harried, your-connection-is-in-32-minutes kind of thing. I suppose the airport chapel makes particular sense at large airports, where international flights and long layovers are commonplace. And as a commenter to LCU's post points out, some religions ask adherents to pray at several points of the day; it can't always be easy to find a quiet place to do that.
While I'm on the topic of religion, I found interesting a recent Boy in the Bands post about the communion cup that Christians use. There's an interesting history behind the move in some denominations from the common cup to the individual communion cup.
It's Independence Day!
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Warning: This is not a nut-free post.
Kaliningrad—a little bit of Russia that's surrounded by Poland, Lithuania, and the Baltic—is having a celebration. The BBC's news story, though, calls Kaliningrad an "enclave." I don't think that's quite accurate, however. This is just more proof, by the way, that I really should've been a high school social studies teacher.
I love lists, and Jeffy B's list of the 10 best Saturday morning breakfast cereals is a good one (link via Okiedoke). The allure of Cap'n Crunch eludes me, though. I couldn't even get it down when I was a sugar-addicted kid. I'm with him on the Froot Loops, though. Yum.
Even though I'm an ex-pat, too, I can't help but be sad that Jeffrey Rowland recently moved the brilliant web comic OverCompensating (and himself) to Massachusetts.
I've never eaten a single pistachio. And after reading about Dan's trip to the emergency room, I'm not sure I'll ever risk it. Anyway, only Dan could make 70 pistachios and a near-death experience so much fun. There are pictures, too! You should take a look.
Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes is living the life I want. First, he visits Spiral Jetty, and now he's in Marfa, Texas. I keep intending to make a pilgrimage to Marfa to see, among other things, the Chinati Foundation—the art museum founded by minimalist (he hated that word, I think) sculptor Donald Judd. But I don't think I'd make a pilgrimage to west Texas in July.... Update (7/10/05): When I said I wanted Tyler Green's life, I didn't mean the flat tires out in the middle of west Texas. Thanks, anyway.
Eugene Volokh has been thinking about words that straight men don't use, and he nominates "adore" as one such word. But I really don't think many gay men use that word, either. I have a candidate, too, but it's a word I'd probably never use here. Hee. (Email me or leave a comment if you're curious.)
I said something yesterday, I know, about having no life. Now that I think about it, though, the Japanese mental health counselor(!) who memorized pi to over 80,000 places makes me seem well-centered.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
I know, I know. This is supposed to be the Friday Spies.
I was too busy yesterday having absolutely no life to get to the questions from BTQ
, though. 1. Is Tom Cruise correct that we're not alone in the universe?
We're probably not alone, especially if bacteria or insects (or the extraterrestrial equivalents) count. I'm less certain that sentient life exists outside of (or even on?) Earth, but it may. If it does, I seriously doubt that we have much in common.2. What is a fashion trend that you would like to see go away, and what is a fashion you would like to see come back in style?
I really don't understand the allure of the clamdiggers
that French Open champion Rafael Nadal wears. They really
don't look good when someone a little less fit wears them. And, yes, John McEnroe, I'm talking to you. Meanwhile, as odd as it may be, I'd like to see tri-corner hats
come back into vogue.3. I was going to ask what city will win next week's vote on the host of the 2012 Olympics, but everyone knows it's going to be Paris, so I decided to tweak it: What city that you have visited (or lived in) would be a good Olympic host city, and why?
The Summer Games need to be conducted in a large city, one able to put together several spectacular, separate venues. Public transportation should be—or, at least, should potentially be—good, too. Other than Mexico City, which has already hosted the Games, I'd say New York is the city I've visited that best qualifies. It's a shame NYC couldn't really get its bid together for 2012. Maybe 2016?4. Happy Canada Day to our readers in the Great White North! In light of that holiday, and our own upcoming Independence Day, tell us your favorite Independence Day memory.
Well, I didn't get my answers up quickly enough to join BTQ
in wishing Canadians a timely Happy Canada Day. For what it's worth, I nearly flew to Ottawa this weekend to avoid the Live 8 madness going on here. I've always wanted to visit Ottawa, and the summer seems like the right time. Does anyone out there have any advice about visiting Ottawa?
Gosh, that was a serious digression, huh? I'll focus, I promise. As for my favorite Independence Day memories, I guess I have to choose between (a) meeting Gary Coleman at a charity event in New Orleans in 1996 (I think) or (b) some childhood 4th at home with family, fireworks, and watermelon. I think I'll go with the latter, even though I can't even really be sure I'm not mixing and matching several childhood Independence Days....5. The Supreme Court ruled this week on one set of commandments, but we want to hear yours. What are the Ten Commandments of [X]? Pick a topic and reveal its ten most important rules. Phrasings with "shalt" appreciated but not required.
And without further ado, I present:The Ten Commandments of Driving a 14-Year-Old Bomb
I. Thou shalt always wear sunglasses when driving in fashionable neighborhoods.
II. Thou shalt always take your cell phone and AAA card on trips.
III. When pretty people are spotted in a parking lot, thou shalt pretend that you're actually walking toward the Lexus.
IV. At every opportunity, thou shalt remind friends that you usually take public transportation.
V. Under current gas prices, thou shalt never fill up the tank because one's gas should never be worth more than one's car.
VI. Thou shalt cultivate mechanics and tow-truck drivers as friends.
VII. Thou shalt memorize what exactly to do to that doohickey under the hood when the car stalls on hot days.
VIII. Thou shalt continually save money to purchase something better.
IX. Thou shalt investigate which charities will accept donations of automobiles, whether "running or not."
X. Thou shalt purchase fuzzy dice and other paraphernalia that "fit" the look.
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