March 2008 minutiae

  • Elizabeth says:
    Tomorrow I will probably walk to London Drugs and buy a lint brush
    Elizabeth says:
    Ha ha
    Elizabeth says:
    That is such a boring sentence

  • I have always had some slight OCD-ish tendencies (as documented here from time to time) but recently one of them has started to become really strong: I go outside, I lock the door behind me, I go down the stairs to the car, I get in the car, and I think, "Oh no — did I lock the door? I need to check." Sometimes this is because I lock the door without consciously registering that I am doing so, like when you're in the shower and are about to turn off the water and have to check the wetness of the shampoo bottle to see whether you washed your hair. But sometimes I think to myself, "I am now locking the door," and fifteen seconds later I'm about to start up the car and I think, "Did I lock the door? I need to check!"

  • Vanity Fair: There is no one more hated among Hamas members than Muhammad Dahlan, long Fatah's resident strongman in Gaza. Looks like I picked the right two names to drop!

  • I noticed that the Berkeley BART station has a phone book dangling along a wall that used to support a bank of pay phones, all of which have been removed. Pay phones have almost disappeared, of course, but it occurred to me that it's especially telling that they would vanish from a train station. I mean, yes, you can make an argument that almost everyone has a cell phone now, so at this point those who still don't just have to deal. But couldn't you make the same case about cars?

  • Seen on Sproul Plaza: a sign for the "Cal Queer & Asian Club". I thought, "Hunh, what's the point of getting those two groups to hang out together?" Then I looked at the people sitting at the table and realized the ampersand signified the intersection and not the union.

  • Seen on Sproul Plaza: a sign for the "Cal Pre-Dental Society". I guess that one's for babies. Once you start teething, you're out!

  • Ah, the 1980s. I'm sure all those parents nervously pacing the halls of the ICU, as their three-pound infants locked away in their incubators struggle to survive, are thinking the same thing: Man, this would be a great idea for a toy line!

  • In the past year I have encountered multiple women named Michael. What's up with that?

  • I was recently asked to what extent my mind works visually. Here's my response: "I'm not a hugely visual reader or writer, not enough to be able to draw you the scene (even if I could draw). I do tend to get pieces of images, though. A room might be mostly a blank in my mind, except I know exactly what the corner of the coffee table looks like, as well as the newspaper on the desk (but not the desk itself). I'll never have a full picture of a character, but I can imagine her eyes in one scene, the left corner of her mouth in another, the curve of her right breast in another. Maybe this is why I like aspect-to-aspect transitions."

  • I cannot begin to measure how important it is to my mental health to look out the window while taking a shower and see some blue sky.

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