2010 August minutiae

  • I was highly amused to read that the corporation that runs Chuck E. Cheese, Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre, renamed itself CEC Entertainment, Inc. So many corporations are ashamed of their own business!

  • I was looking at apartments on Padmapper and saw that they'd added a Walkscore link to each listing. I figured I'd scroll down to my neighborhood, pick a nearby listing, and see what the Walkscore around here was. What I found was a link to a Craigslist ad showing four pictures of my own apartment. The ad was for the place next door but the photos were definitely of mine.

  • I also discovered that my 1994-5 landlord was later convicted of smuggling underage sex slaves into the country. He served a bit under seven years. The sentence was especially light given that he got caught because two of his sex slaves were overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning in one of his shitty apartments and and a passerby spotted him trying to load the dead body of one of the girls into a van to be dumped somewhere.

  • How does Barack Obama keep track of the 715,000 Twitter feeds he's following? Yes, yes, I know — Teleprompters. Har har.

  • At Berkeley Bowl I saw a guy who looked pretty much exactly like Prince circa 1984 or so. He was even wearing an all-purple outfit.

  • Many houses where I tutor have libraries full of old books. At one house I noticed that a lot of the titles were in Swedish and remarked, "Wow, who here speaks Swedish? Jag förstår lite svenska!", to which the dad replied, "Oh, is that what that is? They're just for decoration." Same story everywhere: "We just picked those up at an estate sale," "they're just for looks," etc. But this month I found a house that topped them all. The kid had taken a quick bathroom break and I sauntered over to the shelves, only to notice that the antique-looking volumes on display... were shrink-wrapped.

  • At another house we held a lesson in an upstairs rec room that contained a huge shrine to Barry Bonds. It took up most of the wall.

  • My Fastrak tag stopped beeping, so after weeks of putting it off, I finally swung by the Fastrak office at 745 Embarcadero, where I was shocked to find (a) parking right out front and (b) no line. I had my new tag in five minutes. Wha? Was this really San Francisco town? Disconcerting.

  • I dreamed that I regretfully fended off an attempted seduction by a 30ish, very cute Ayn Rand.

  • After a tutoring session in San Francisco town I was sitting out in the hall of the student's apartment building, putting my shoes back on (she has a no-shoes policy). A mother and her two children — one an infant, the other a preschooler — were walking down the stairs from the top floor, but when they reached the floor I was on, the preschooler froze and then backed up the stairs out of sight. This led to the following exchange:

    Boy: "Who's that?"
    Mother: "It must be a friend of [the student]'s. Come on, down the stairs."
    Boy: "Why?"
    Mother: "We can't go to the park if you don't come down the stairs."
    Boy: "...is that guy gone?"

    Kids love me!

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