November 2007 minutiae

  • Never fly Alaska Airlines. Even compared to other carriers, Alaska is breathtaking in its ability to be consistently, ludicrously late. A year or two ago when my flight, which was scheduled to land around nine, instead landed at one-thirty in the morning, after the trains had stopped running, and I swore never to fly Alaska again. But then this month I had a visitor who flew Alaska... and her plane was three hours late, ruining our dinner plans. By contrast, on our next set of flights we got to the airport way ahead of time and Southwest cheerfully let us board a different, much more expensive flight for free, and we got home 2½ hours early.

  • San Diego is supposed to be this wealthy city but from what I saw the entire place is pretty seedy. When people say that "San Diego" is so affluent do they really mean "La Jolla"?

  • I guess if I had to sum up my impression of San Diego, I'd say this: it's California's version of the south, and not just because of the poor upkeep. Over half the male population was wearing some sort of football paraphernalia (not just for the Chargers — on one street corner I counted one Chargers jersey, two Steelers, a Giants and a Broncos) and the other half was wearing outmoded camouflage. I even saw some W bumper stickers.

  • I find pacing behavior at zoos very upsetting. If an animal is pacing back and forth and back and forth in front of an enclosure, that means the enclosure is too small. Poor animal! ixi

  • Almost nightly now I am having dreams that I am giving grad school another try, but cannot bring myself to do any of the work and therefore have to drop out again.

  • For about three weeks I found that all of a sudden I strongly preferred tacos to burritos. Then I had enough bad tacos that my preferences came back into balance.

  • Why do people use leafblowers? They're heavy, they consume fuel, they're not very controllable, they necessitate the use of ear protection and masks, they make one of the most annoying sounds on earth... just because they were invented more recently than rakes doesn't make them better.

  • I ordered a custom-made doll from Korea for Elizabeth. I specified that I wanted "very natural-looking face makeup." When I received my receipt, the phrase "face makeup" was underlined. I moused over it. IT POPPED UP A PICTURE OF A CLOWN. Nooooooooo

  • Elizabeth reports: "I dreamed last night that we were watching Dumbo together. It was a masterpiece! It had the cartoon elephant at some parts, but it was about a young man's descent into schizophrenia."

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