Too dreary and chilly and dark to post today. So I'll just redirect you here for new material and go make some hot chocolate now.


I. Can. Not. Wait. For. This. Movie.
So close! I've almost completed "The Mezzanine" by Nicholson Baker. I borrowed this book from my cousin what seems to be ages ago. At 135 pages, you'd think I would have plowed through the slender novel in a heartbeat. The deceptively simple premise of the narrator's ride on an escalator and his contemplation of everyday actions (tying his shoes, opening a carton of milk, performing bathroom rituals) is so very engaging and entertaining, but there are a number of reasons why it is taking me so long to finish the book.

Every little tangent (often in the form of gargantuan footnotes that can, at times, flow over the course of several pages) deserves attention. No joke, the passage on the safety of escalators produced a four-page footnote focusing on grooves. The grooves of the escalator. The grooves left by an ice-skater. The grooves of a record. Each example he gives instills in me the need to meditate upon the subject, quietly turn it over in my head, and then next thing I know, I'm napping.

Every little observation triggers a recognition of my own experiences and I find my eyes drifting away from the page as my mind rolls over my own memories. Take, for example, this appraisal of escalator protocol:

Often in department stores I would get stuck behind two motionless passengers and want to seize their shoulders and urge them on, like an instructor at an Outward Bound program, saying, "Annette, Bruce - this isn't the Land of the Lotus-Eaters. You're on a moving stairway. Feel your own effortful, bobbing steps melt into the inexhaustible meliorism of the escalator. Watch the angles of floors and escalator ceilings above and around you alter their vanishing points at a syrupy speed that doesn't correlate with what your legs are telling you they are doing. Don't you see that when you two stop, two abreast, you are not only blocking me? Don't you see that you indicate to all those who are right now stepping onto the escalator at the bottom and looking timidly up for inspiration that if they bound eagerly up they too will catch up with us and be thwarted in their advance? They were wavering whether to stand or to climb, and you just sapped their wills! You made them choose to waste their time! And they in turn impede those who follow them - thus you perpetuate a pattern of sloth and congestion that may persist for hours. Can't you see that?" Sometimes I rudely halted at the step just below the one the pair stood on, my face a caricature of pointless impatience, tailgating them until (often with startled sounds and offered apologies I didn't deserve) they doubled up to let me pass. Headway was easier to establish going down, because the rapid thump of my steps would scare them over to one side.

I read this passage and then started thinking about my own escalator experiences: how, when I encounter these kinds of two-on-one-step people blatantly ignoring the signs stating that passengers wishing to stand should do so on the right so that those wishing to pass may do so on the left, Fezzik's booming "Everybody MOOOOOVE!" or Ed's "Turn to the RIGHT!" always echoes in my mind.

Every little witty turn of phrase and clever description demands my appreciation. I rinsed my glasses quickly under the tap, eager to be able to study my shoes in detail once again; I polished the lenses with the fifth paper towel, making bribe-me, bribe-me finger motions over the two curved surfaces until they were dry. Wha? "bribe-me, bribe me"? Oh, I get it! Hee hee!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have 30 pages left. Oz, you'll get the book back sometime in the fall.


Sure, I've got a firehouse nearby with its fire engines wailing at all hours. Granted, I've got a bi-polar, hateful neighbor (we call her 'Crazy Daisy') upon whose sighting I take six flights of stairs to avoid riding in the elevator with her and risk being yelled at or attacked. Of course, I've got the streets peppered with potholes formed by godzilla, the creaky wooden floors that second as a cheap alarm system, and the rats and roaches scuttling about in the cracked driveway at night. But at least my front yard doesn't look like this.

Time for The Simpsons. Tonight's guest voice: Buffy! To be followed by the show I've come to love to hate: Alias. But before I go, here is tonight's sweet treat. Enjoy.


Mmmmmm, is there anything yummier than cool spicy tuna rolls from Sushi-Ko on a warm, spring day? I submit that there is not!

(later that day)
Well, unless it is, of course, a nicely chilled home-made brownie!


Fun with Dubya! Clickety Click Click . . .
This weekend I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Although I approached the movie with some trepidation because I was not in the mood to see Jim Carrey in his signature super-spaz mode, I was pleasantly surprised by his subdued performance and really enjoyed Charlie Kaufman's latest endeavor. I can imagine Charlie (yes, I'm on a first name basis with him) pitching the story-idea: "It's like Memento but without all the murder." The plot follows a backwards timeline much like Memento and Following which leaves the viewer trying to piece together the puzzle (how did the couple meet at first, why did the romance sour, what's up with that creepy, tall hobbit) after the movie is over. Me likey. For another blog-review, check out upyernoz's March 6th entry.


How can this be? This city lives and breathes protests. It seems as though every other weekend, there is a rally, a march, or a benefit concert to attend to represent your opinion on anything from IMF and the World Bank to the government's unfairness to tobacco farmers.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Iraq war. I walked down to the White House in search of a demonstration in which to participate. To my disbelief, the only activity near the White House that I observed (other than the packs of roving school children touring the area) was the same teeny tiny protest that has been waged against nuclear weapons every single day since 1981. Otherwise, nothing, nada, kuch be nayh. Even Israel is hosting a protest! How can D.C. be missing from the list?!


In honor of the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, I have added a handy reference button to indicate the appropriate level of terror under which the nation should be.

(idea gleefully stolen from Gunnar).


Something to look forward to:

Infestation of Brood X Cicadas Forecast
Millions of cicadas are expected to infest the nation's capital and parts of Maryland and Virginia this spring. Periodical cicadas, who've been underground for 17 years, will tunnel out of the ground, fling their winged bodies through the air and sound off day and night. Bug experts say their coming will be of biblical proportions.

Some cicadas emerge annually in the eastern United States. Others come out every two to 13 years. But this variety, known as Brood X, invades every 17 years.

The last time they covered the Washington area was in 1987, when remnants of cicadas covered roadways and sidewalks. Residents pulled them out of their hair. And the bugs drove some outdoor events, such as weddings and graduations, inside.

When exactly they emerge will depend on the weather.

The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History is planning a cicada exhibit in May, complete with sounds and live specimens.

From the Washington Post.
Cold. So cold. Need to make some hot chocolate, snuggle under my lemon yellow blankie, and watch the new episode of Sopranos. I'm pleased that Steve Buscemi has joined the crew. The blue language will match my blue lips perfectly. Shame, Shame, Budi Mame...


The countdown until the finale of Netflix has begun. I've just finished watching one of my last three DVDs -- "American Splendor". An interesting concept -- an autobiographical account of the comic book writer Harvey Pekar's rise to fame told in a variety of media such as comic book art, live footage, clips of old tv shows, and interviews with the actual Pekar -- but the movie seemed so roughly cobbled together that it detracted from my enjoyment of it. That, and I liked it better the first time I saw it when it was called "Crumb" (although, truthfully, I didn't like that movie as much as I did "Ghost World". Now that was a good movie, especially with that soundtrack which included a great, bouncy tune by Mohammed Rafi called "Jaan Pehechaan Ho").
KA-BLOOM! The sun is shining, the trees and flowers are blossoming, and although there is a prediction for snow tomorrow, it is one-layer warm outside today. Happy Ides of March!


Lil Baji and I went to see The Strokes last night. It was the first show on their US tour and was completely sold out. Who bought all of the tix? The Abercrombie & Fitch, backwards baseball-hatted crowd. The wearing-the-band's-t-shirt-at-the-band's-concert crew. The all-ages, all-smoking, all-posing, all-annoying crush. If I hadn't gotten the tix for free (thx, LB!), I would have gone to the Black Cat instead. At least there, I have my personal space, my personal couch in the back, and my personal homeless man to greet me with the familiar, singsongy mantra "Black Cat, Black Cat, please help the homeless."


Back by popular demand (and by 'popular demand' I mean 'just because'), newly digitized and uploaded with pix galore is my Iceland/Denmark travelogue for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy and check out the pix gallery at the end of the story (if you make it that far).


Another lovely weekend. Today, I took a walk through the National Zoo, which is practically in my backyard. In the summertime, with the windows open, I can hear the monkeys in the morning. These are the people in my neighborhood, in my neighborhood, in my neighborhooooooood . . .


New Morrisey album, You are the Quarry, coming out in May. Best track title on the album? "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" Classic Woe Is Me, Morrisey.


Hmmm, what if the Simpsons were Desi . . . (thought bubble)

(thx, LB!)


Some girls are bigger than others,
some girls are bigger than others,
some girls' mothers are bigger than other girls' mothers...

do you have "Dunlop's Disease" or are you the porridge that Goldilocks chose?
greetings stop updated travelblog stop stop by for a visit stop


Yay! March! Basketball throws some 'bows and shoves football off the tv court, Mom celebrates her birthday, and hints of crummy old winter taking its much anticipated leave are in the air. The best thing about March is that pretty soon, the city will dress itself in a beautiful, fantastic gown of delicate, dizzying, darling cherry blossoms. Spring should be shouting its official arrival in a few weeks as the Yoshino cherry trees explode into puffs of white and pale pink blossoms. The shivering branches shower the cars and pedestrians beneath them with gorgeous blooms that dreamily float along the gentle breezes as they please. Domo arigato, Japan!