April 2007 minutiae

  • I went to the discount supermarket at 1:30 am on a Saturday night (or, I suppose, Sunday morning). Ahead of me were a couple of guys with a bottle of brandy and a bottle of mouthwash. Ahead of them was someone with four 24-ouncers of malt liquor and a box of sleeping pills. Behind me were people with a case of beer, a bottle of vodka, and two bottles of something called Patron. I had apple juice and broccoli. The guy in front of me looked at my items and said, "SOMEONE's having a party."

  • The discount supermarket is one of those warehouse dealies. It has birds in the rafters. It is weird to be indoors looking at cauliflower and hear tweeting and the flapping of wings.

  • cnn.com headline: Vonage lawyer: Ruling a 'bullet to the head'. But then the story says: A lawyer for Vonage, Roger Warin, told the court the ruling was a "slow strangling" of the company. The difference between a partial stay or a total prohibition on using the technology amounted to "cutting off oxygen or a bullet to the head," he said. In other words, he explicitly says that the ruling is NOT a bullet to the head. Someone needs to be fired.

  • I go to restaurants and pay $7 for dessert all the time, even though the dessert is gone in a few minutes. But if I go to Andronico's or Whole Foods or someplace and see a tub of cookies that's $6.99, I'm like "HOLY CRAP SEVEN BUCKS FOR A DOZEN COOKIES WTF" when the cookies would probably last several days.

  • I was sorting through the change in my wallet and suddenly AAAAAAAHH MONTANA QUARTER! It has a frickin' skull on the back! That's like picking up your poker hand and finding a Death tarot card in it.

  • I put a stick of butter in the microwave and set it for a minute. When the minute was up the microwave had drilled three holes in the butter, which was otherwise unscathed.

  • I have a student who lives in a fairly rural area. The house two doors down from hers is encrusted with cliff swallow nests! The nests are really quite gross — reminiscent of wasp nests, mounds of dried mud with a hole at the bottom — and the birds swarming around like insects only add to that impression. Unnerving.

  • In other bird news, on one of my all too frequent drives to Monterey County I saw a single crow driving off a turkey vulture. Then on my return trip I saw a red-winged blackbird singlehandedly driving off another turkey vulture with frantic attacks! Not a good day to be a turkey vulture along the 101.

  • Walking up a hill in San Francisco, I passed a guy who was speaking French. Then I passed a couple greeting a guy in French. Then I passed a guy talking on a cell phone in French. In fact, suddenly everyone around me was speaking French! Then I discovered that I was at the French consulate and the people around me were standing in line to vote. The line stretched down the block and around the corner.

  • Seen on a menu: "flower quesadilla." It took me a moment to realize that this wasn't a froufrou experiment with rose petals or something.

  • espn.go.com: Who killed Pakistan national cricket coach Bob Woolmer? Patrick Hruby was sent to the Carribian to find out. Gah. Should ESPN really be allowed to carry the spelling bee anymore?

  • I don't think anyone enjoys the smell of skunk, but lately I find that I'm extremely sensitive to it. These days if I'm driving along somewhere and get a whiff of skunk I'm almost incapacitated by it. Distressing.

  • The collapse of the E80-to-E580 connector onto the W80-to-S880 connector kind of made me want to cry a little. Not just because it means that commutes are going to get a lot worse, or because an impressive feat of engineering has been destroyed, but because, well, the W80-to-S880 connector is such a friendly road! Once you've made it through the crush of University to Powell and onto the 880 connector, it's smooth sailing! Hello, 880 connector! You're looking very clear today! Thank you for assisting me on my journey! The 880 connector did not deserve to have the 580 connector fall onto it. :(

  • My day job has me driving to Monterey County and back four times a week on top of my local tutoring. The workload is lucrative, but I hadn't really taken into account that it might not be great for my health: it's one thing to lead a sedentary lifestyle, but at least working at a computer offers you the opportunity to occasionally get up and move around. Being stuck in a car for five hours a day is beyond sedentary. It's getting up into iron lung territory.

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