Cheers to Simone for putting me on to this:

Laura Bush recently postponed a poetry event at the White House because “some invited guests wanted to turn what is intended to be a literary event into a political forum.” As if literature and politics are independent entities?! One of the poets to be celebrated at the event was Langston Hughes – lord knows he never mixed politics and poetry. Oy!

More info here. More poems here.

posted January 31, 2003 – 7:31 am

I spent some time on the road last night, and, being the thoughtful citizen I am, decided to create a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) regarding the stretch of Route 3 between Lowell and Route 95. Without further ado:

1. Do I have to obey the speed limit?
Heavens no! In fact, we suggest rolling a six-sided die and using the result to determine your speed. Anything between 15 mph and 90 mph is acceptable. Don’t worry about looking at the road while you roll either (see question 5 for more info on this).

2. I see some funny lines painted on the road – what do those mean?
Nothing. Pay no heed to them.

3. But really, my friend told me something about “lanes” – what are they?
On some of our competitor’s roads, you might find yourself locked in driving how they want you to drive. On Route 3, we let you decide. You’ll notice that even though there are “lane markers” in some places (remnants from times past, we assure you), it’s not conceivable that you could fit two cars abreast due to the jersey barriers we’ve erected.

4. Is it okay to drive with my high-beams on?
Sure. Some drivers might complain that high-beams blind them or distract them, but they’re wimps. Trust us on this one.

5. Can I weave back and forth erratically on your road?
Yes please! You’ll notice not a single stretch of more than 20 yards of road is actually in a straight line – this is actually by design. Wouldn’t want anyone falling asleep from boredom, now would we?

6. Does your road suck?
No! Of course not. You’ve been listening to that DZ character again, haven’t you?

posted January 30, 2003 – 8:02 pm

I posted some pictures from our cross-country skiing outing the other night – you can find them here.

I also put up some of the sketches I’ve done as part of my life drawing class at the CCAE. A brief word to note that the models were nude when I drew them, hence the sketches show bits that some might find offensive. If that’s you, don’t look, otherwise check ’em out.

posted January 30, 2003 – 7:50 pm

Yesterday I bore witness to one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen: a clerk at the supermarket actually asked someone to leave the “12 items or fewer” lane because they had more than 12 items. I shed a single tear.

posted January 28, 2003 – 1:31 pm

What’s with the pet names? I’ve had a few incidents recently, and am starting to wonder if there’s something about my voice or appearance that warrants the pet name calling.

In dealing with one of our electronics suppliers in New Jersey, my now good friend Mort called me both “Daveluh” (said in the finest NY/NJ jewish accent) and “bubbe” (pronounced “buh-bee”). Then, today at the pizza place near work, the woman who sold me my calzone called me “doll” not once, but twice! Yikes.

Our cross-country skiing expedition was a success, and I only fell over like eight times. Not bad for the first time out, and the number would’ve been much smaller had I remembered that cross-country skis don’t have edges.

I put up some pictures that Matty took in Florida. Check ’em out here.

posted January 27, 2003 – 11:18 am

I went shopping tonight at REI in Reading and got all outfitted for a cross-country ski trip in Weston. Among other things, I bought a good fleece and a shell to keep the wind out.

My mom and grandmother would be proud, as I made out like a bandit on the shell – marked down from $189 to $64.83. My initial reaction was not, however, “Wow, great deal!” It was instead, “Do they put gold in the pockets to make it worth $189 in the first place?” The one I got had no gold in the pockets. Bummer.

posted January 23, 2003 – 8:19 pm

If you like Alexander Calder, check out his website, which has plenty of pictures and info to keep you occupied while you surf at work. You’re surfing at work, aren’t you. I knew it.

posted January 23, 2003 – 9:07 am

I posted some pictures from the frisbee tournament this weekend. Check ’em out here.

posted January 23, 2003 – 6:21 am

Oh yeah, it’s gonna be a piratical Superbowl Sunday. Can you believe there was a time in my life (not too long ago) when I thought “piratical” wasn’t a real word? Pitiful.

posted January 22, 2003 – 7:57 am

High temperature in Florida today? 72°. High temperature in Boston today? 18°. Yikes!

The weekend was fun, though the tournament wasn’t the best. The organizers seem not to hold co-ed frisbee in as high a regard as they do men’s play, and we were relegated to some pretty crappy fields for most of the weekend. The weather held up, though, and we even got a little ocean swimming in yesterday (chilly as the water was). Look for pictures soon.

Traffic this morning was not fun. My new commute is anything but convenient – good thing the job’s fun enough to counter that.

posted January 21, 2003 – 5:49 am

Off to Tampa, FL again for the annual Janus frisbee tournament. Last year was a blast, and this year promises to be fun, too. The temperature’s only supposed to be in the sixties down there, but compared to single digit temperatures in Boston, I won’t complain.

posted January 15, 2003 – 10:48 am

I posted some pictures of the Harvard Bridge and a red-tailed hawk I saw a few weeks ago here. Hope ya like ’em.

I also moved the pictures from First Night here – sorry for the switch.

posted January 13, 2003 – 8:36 pm

I’m starting a drawing class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education tonight entitled Creative Anatomy. I’m excited.

posted January 13, 2003 – 11:55 am

I went skiing up at Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire this weekend, and had a blast. The snow was the best I’d ever seen on the east coast, and the mountain was pretty empty. Absolutely couldn’t have been better.

In the course of the morning, I went to riding the lift up with my roommate. Just after we’d boarded the chair and while we were chatting (only about 20 yards from where we’d boarded), my ski tip got caught on a mound of snow, and I got yanked off the chair into a snow bank. In near-cartoon fashion, my roommate felt the chair jump a little, and all of a sudden I wasn’t sitting next to her anymore; she was talking to no one.

Uninjured, save my pride, I skied down to the boarding area, dodging the oncoming chairs, and got on again. On the ride up, my new chair-mate and I had the following conversation:

Her: I just skied this amazing double black diamond [the hardest terrain to ski] off the back side of this lift. It was amazing!
Me: My ski tip got caught and I fell of the lift.

Oh yeah.

posted January 12, 2003 – 7:59 pm

As one parting gift, my old boss & colleagues bought me a copy of The Illustrated Sourcebook of Mechanical Components, a 1000 plus page behemoth of a book detailing all kinds of mechanical goodies. Hmm, I now have a desire to go build things with lots of gears, springs, cams, etc. Go figure.

Home Depot, it turns out, does not rent biscuit jointers, in case you were interested. I was, and now I’m just disappointed. Anybody got one they’d lend me for a weekend?

I just finished Word Freak, a great book on the Scrabble subculture. I’d definitely recommend it, unless you’re worried about becoming obsessed with the game just by reading the book. I should’ve thought of that before I read the book, but I guess that just means the author (Stefan Fatsis) did his job well.

posted January 9, 2003 – 10:37 am

My search for employment has ended happily, and it looks like I’ll be starting a new job on Monday. This round of retirement wasn’t sitting as well with me as the last (which lasted five months and included a trip to Paris), and the work appears pretty interesting, so overall I’m quite excited about things.

The one thing that gives me pause about the job is its location – Peabody, MA. I’ve been spoiled for almost five years with commutes that involved public transportation, so to have to buckle down and drive to work every day seems barbaric. For the time being, my brother’s generously offered the use of his to commute, but I’ll eventually have to buy a car – any recommendations? Any ones to avoid? What about hybrids? Fill me in.

posted January 7, 2003 – 10:30 pm

I asked at the Star Market in Porter Square in Cambridge yesterday for some anchovy paste, and they looked at me as if I had walked into their market without pants or had grown horns (or both). Now I understand that not everyone uses anchovy paste, but it’s not that foreign a concept, and for chrissakes, they’re running a supermarket! And it was the manager of the place who had this reaction! I imagine they get requests for unusual things all the time – was it just the stigma of anchovies that garnered such a harsh response or do they do that every time someone asks for a slightly strange food?

At least dinner turned out well. Thanks mom for the recipe.

posted January 4, 2003 – 3:27 pm

I posted some pictures from my dino-tastic New Year’s Eve – check ’em out here. My apologies for the water drops in some of the photos – it was so misty that the flash reflected off the droplets and clouded the pictures.

I also put up a page (resurrected from the old site) about the camera dolly we made. Check it here.

posted January 1, 2003 – 9:44 pm

I was part of the First Night procession/parade last night as a member of the Dino Man team. We manhandled a few inflated dinosaurs through the streets of Boston, wreaking havoc left and right (okay, only the really little kids were scared).

Gil’s New Year’s party was a blast, and I’m thankful not many pictures were taken – sufficeth to say, no one at that party will be running for office anytime soon.

Happy 2003!

posted January 1, 2003 – 3:51 pm
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