Friday, December 6, 2013

School stuff

Having a rain-soaked afternoon in the GU library working on projects. It can be much easier to complete tasks when you're outside the home environment. I don't know where to go to find snacks, there are no video games, and nowhere to take a nap. Might actually get something done.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Postal Service

I got a wonderful card from the wonderful J tonight. The art of thank-you notes is underappreciated. What does it cost a person to thank someone by mail? Not much more than a stamp and ink. I appreciate it. I won't dally in the societal implications. No, there is more business-speak to be written in my paper tonight. I must away.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Can we please ride bikes not just sit inside all day letting fresh Georgia air go to waste

Heading out on the ICC trail with a bike on a magical Columbus Day. Sourdough starter is on the windowsill catching magical wild yeast straight from the air. Things are looking good right now.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

R-I-D-E I wanna ride

Bike ride after 2 days of rain. Paths cleared, cars wiped of bird leavings. The ghostly golf course soon to be turned into condominiums. We talked brightly and exchanged views on appropriate bike gearing. The temperature was on the right side of cool. The wheels rolled free of friction, spinning for their own contentment. The handlebars felt solid in my hands. The brakes squeaked as I slowed down the hill. The minivan gave us a wide margin as it slowed down. Everything was in harmony.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Call Me Maybe

The achievement of Carlie Rae Jepsen in this song is to have made something fun and catchy that does not lack a soul and identity of its own. I hear so much music now that is all catchy with no soul. Call Me Maybe has something to it. Maybe it's the string section, maybe it's the meeting-a-romantic-interest jitters inscribed in the lyrics, but it has something different. This is in opposition to the two-line EDM/faux dubstep tracks that litter the radio waves. These all seem to be manufactured with the same set of machine tools in a music factor somewhere in Denmark. They do not move me. Good job, Carlie Rae Jepsen, good job. Yes, I know the song came out two years ago and I'm unfashionably late to the party, but good job.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My brain hurt like a warehouse

Let's shut down the shutdown! Am I right, people? This is clearly not working. Our legislators have lost all purchase on the national interest. What the country needs, not pandering to what the country wants. It burns me up, so that I have to start ignoring the news. There's never any hope any more. No hope of good governance. No hope of real change. Not anything that you can use to fuel yourself with. What keeps us going? The pursuit of cash. Is that all there is? A crass, advertising-driven profit society? I am so disappointed.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Il est trop tard (This post is mobile friendly)

The beautiful Georges Moustaki wrote:

Mon enfant ceci loin
Il est deja demain
passe passe le temps
Il n'y en a plus pour tres longs temps

Pourtant je vis toujours
Pourtant je fais l'amour
M'arrive meme de chanter
Sur ma guitar

Tu etais si jolie
Je suis seul dans mon lit
Passe passe le temps
Il n'y en a plus pour tres longs temps

I couldn't have said it better myself. Nor could I have conjugated those verbs without assistance. Well played, Georges. Here's the link.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blog by numbers: Number in the title, call to action

You wished you had done internships.

You're glad you went to college.

Spending all this money.

Sitting on the floor with a copy of 'The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest.'

4 pack of Jello.

Wasn't the best student.

Made his way in the world.

Meta-commentary not welcome.

Hologram Johnny Damon.

You're feisty.

Vegetarianism is not the only answer.

The internet has become commercialized.

A motorist honked at me for cycling.

Matte paint jobs on cars.

PDAs went out in the 90s.

Smart cars are too small.

Wheelock's Latin and accompanying story book.

Monday, September 9, 2013

This old town's filled with sin


Person 1: Yeah, it's funny, if you ask for something they give it to you!
Person 2: That's all this town is!

This town? What are you, Mark Leibovich?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

List of Lists

1. List of government encyclopedias of ethical failure
2. List of top 7 comedy podcasts
3. List of top 20 hurricane names starting with b
4. List of top 13 Italian apertifs
5. List of top 8 frozen french-fry brands
6. List of 32 vacation spots in the southern hemisphere
7. List of nonfatal hairspray accidents
8. List of Hollywood actors named Gene
9. List of international sports bureaucrats convicted of corruption
10. List of books read by President William Jefferson Clinton
11. List of ethical questions inspired by cricket matches
12. List of charities providing address labels more than biannually
13. List of lists of lists
14. List of sports websites
15. List of fictional dentists
16. List of incorrect horoscope predictions
17. List of chess puzzles solved by computers
18. List of future accounting conferences
19. List of yet-to-be-conceived artworks
20. List of French Elvis impersonators
21. List of Dilbert books
22. List of decisions made by Chicago police chiefs
23. List of decommissioned summer camps
24. List of hat manufacturers
25. List of broken mirrors
26. List of audio cues
27. List of deceased Malaysian film directors


My attention span is getting better. I can read for 10 or 20 pages without stopping. My focus is increasing. My concentration does not lapse as easily. I feel better. The distraction falls away.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Walking with a ghost

Slept downstairs to stay out of the heat. The basement is full of shadows and has no doors. I kept imagining a ghost who would walk in. I looked for it, anticipated. It never came. I scared myself.

Friday, July 5, 2013

thou canst not smile as the wind sits

Dark house, red wine. Solo Friday night. The lack of structure is becoming a small problem for me. There seems to be almost no reason to do anything if I'm the only one in the house. I have the air conditioning off, so the basement is often the best option for a tolerable temperature. Making food, then eating too much. Playing video games. Drinking aforementioned red wine. Podcasts. It's a tough life.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Who does not love women, wine, and song....

Remains a fool! But may we add, anyone who automatically disdains box wine will soon be parted from his treasure. A 3 liter box of wine gives you the equivalent of four standard 750 ml bottles, usually at a very good price compared to buying by the bottle. I got a box of Big House Cabernet, a nice discount label from California, for about 20 bucks yesterday in DC. Why pay more for bottles? Because a box is uncouth? I beg to differ. A box is economical, and probably better for the environment in the long term. If I don't pay for the glass in the bottles, I come out ahead. And you can always go for glass when the occasion calls for it. My kingdom for a good box of wine!


Back in the USA and better than ever. I have a huge mustache growing from not shaving in Ghana whatsoever. I'm settling back into life here. The house is cavernous and empty without A for the next two weeks. Now avoiding working on my paper.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The new jam

Stuff I'm enjoying for summer

-Zinfandel (very hospitable to Cabernet enthusiasts)

-Wearing a T-shirt and khakis to work and putting on a sweater when I get there

-Curry and cayenne in my oatmeal. To literally spice things up

-Biking around DC. Bikeshare is here to stay

-Lightly dressed salad consisting only of cabbage, ginger, carrots, and capers. If you don't like raw cabbage yet you're missing a bet

-Saving lots of money and getting a nice tax deduction for IRA contributions

-T.B. Sheets: haunting when you know what it's about

-Making my own (everything)

-Rapid tomato growth

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mr. Money Mustache review

After seeing a column about the Mr. Money Mustache site and its founder in the Washington Post, I've been reading through some of the posts on the site.

He's basically a guy who decided he wanted to retire at 30, then went out and did the damn thing. He and his wife saved the majority of their take-home pay, lived cheaply on what remained, and didn't get into debt. Presto, retirement at 30.


-The rhetoric can be a little overheated. Here's a sample line: "After years of careful study, observations, and interviews with real car drivers, I have come to the conclusion that about 90% of the car use that occurs in the United States is Pure Bullshit." This might put me off if he didn't have something important to say

-The advice is generally good, based around the principle that you should avoid credit, save more than you spend, and invest in the stock market via low-fee index funds

-It's a little easier to retire at 30 when you're making 100k a year at a software job in your 20s, but I think the writer would counter that he's pushing a philosophy more than encouraging you to exactly replicate his example

-Box wine is a steal!

-It makes me want to save more and try to retire by 40 if I can (too late to try for 30)

-The site encourages an anti-consumerism mindset, which can't be a bad thing if it catches on. It encourages readers to be conscious of the financial choices they make and remember that habits can be costly.

Rough edges aside, the man has something to say. Is anyone listening?

Monday, May 27, 2013

KoS Installment 6

Failure having been eliminated by fiat, there would be only one other option: success.

Friday, May 24, 2013

KoS Installment 5

When you stop having fun, that's when it's time to start perambulating.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Everything is building to me making mead this weekend! I have my supplies and tools in place. I'll probably be doing primary fermentation in the airlock-equipped bucket from my beer kit. I won't be doing the five gallon batch that all recipe seem to specify, but I'm going to try a pretty large batch. Looking for a sweet mead, still if possible, with some nice color and depth of flavor. Dry and sparkling don't sound like qualities I'm interested in quite yet. I will report on the findings here and on the fermentation/food blog I'm planning to start.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I have no idea what's goin' on lately

I am still at this date processing the Boston Marathon bombings.

JD had been away in Puerto Rico and not followed the coverage in the media. This may have been to his great benefit, but you could tell there was a wave of it hitting him here on the mainland. He watched with rapt attention the interview and the first-hand video of the explosion. It's almost too much to bear. This does not happen in Boston, should not, can not. We go through different verbs, but this is not the Patriot's Day we know from growing up on the North Shore with a Marathon fanatic mother. This was not supposed to happen.

The surprise. The explosion tearing through the blue-skied, triumphant, privileged finish line, orange white clouds rising with the screams. The deep-rooted cynicism latent in the second explosion, timed to hurt people rushing to the site of the first one. These things scythed deep in the psyche of a child of Boston.

Pictures of Success

They say California is a recipe for a black hole.
I say I've got my best shoes on-- I'm ready to go

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring has sprung

Spring is full of light. Green grass. Budding trees. Warm air. Hazy evenings. The look of the National Mall with people strewn everywhere in crazy quilt patterns. Coming together. Rolling down roads with no friction on your bike wheels. Eating outside in the pleasant breeze. The feeling that everything getting better every day. The music of the new season.

April Excitement

This month is full of surprises and return engagements. The mead is in the jug. The wild yeast is bubbling. Fermentation holds so many possibilities. Cycling continues to improve my commute and I now look forward to it every day. Jennifer, JD, and my mom are all scheduled for visits. Shipping up to Boston for a quick weekend on Friday evening. So much going on!

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Days when I would have been hanging on every pitch of the baseball season have gone by. I would not have foreseen this at age 15, with ERAs filling my head and Pedro Martinez at the top of his game. Baseball is not compelling in the same way. I feel that I have seen through the pseudointellectualism of its culture at last. This is sad, in a way.


The joys of a wet Easter day. Westminster, Maryland for brunch and a show of marshmallow Peep art. It was just fun.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The scientists say it'll all wash away

We went dancing last night. It was a great time. The floor was a little packed by the end of the night and one's feet will hurt from 3 hours of dancing without a break, but we had so much fun. A good thing to remind myself that it's good to get out of the house, now and then.

I'm sitting in the basement office now, enjoying the sonic experiments of Atlas Sound. It's good to feel different sensations, to leave the comfortable routines of every day. I feel like an explorer in my little basement room.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The smell of New Jersey

Listening to New Jersey bands as the bus transits New Jersey:

Bands/artists (and their most NJ-emblematic song)

-Saves the Day (Always Ten Feet Tall or Shoulder to the Wheel)
-Titus Andronicus (Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ or My Time Outside The Womb)
-Bruce Springsteen (Open All Night)

What is it with New Jersey and producing great music? These are three artists whose music I haven't gotten over. They all have reams of really good songs across multiple albums. New Jersey is an idea to me, raw and unfiltered, symbolizing everything good and bad about America. The music reflects that.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Jersey in the morning like a lunar landscape

Live blog:

Sudden trip to NYC
Alex has business at the consulate
Solid bus with internet and power
New Jersey Turnpike
Rifling through iTunes favorite for Bruce Springsteen
1 Box of Whoppers already down
Radio relay towers won't you lead me to my baby
Raw Bruce of Nebraska days is wildly powerful
Sometimes you have to just drop everything and go to New York with a friend
Head full of patent law; excellent social science research papers downloaded from the web
Still very young

Monday, February 4, 2013

Capturing Moods

The joy of discovering an entire Rilo Kiley live album that I had never heard before. Includes the transcendent 'I Love LA' and a cover of 'Rock n' Roll Suicide. It did feel right. My attempt at capturing the feeling of having seen a band that broke up 5 years ago.

Monday, January 21, 2013


One problem right now is me getting too excited about things that have a long time horizon. I keep checking my newly minted batch of sauerkraut, hoping to observe some change, some magically tangible fermentation. I keep checking my retirement account, hoping for some sign of new progress towards financially secure golden years. There's nothing to see, really, but I keep checking and checking. I just can't shake the feeling of excitement over these things! Imagine, there are unseen changes happening ever so gradually right now that will benefit me at some time in the distant future. The kraut will be finished, deliciously tangy and crunchy, and redolent of my own hand in the process. My retirement funds will grow, sheltered from taxes, buoyed by dividends, into a handsome nest-egg born of my own prudence. The checking will have had no effect on these simmering, fermenting, independently growing things. But check I must!

Grueling schedule

When focus is required, distractions must be eliminated. This is why the library awarded me 8-month renewal intervals. I keep books circulating, and when the chips are down, I focus.