They’re real people?

Filed under: random,slice @ 22:41

You know in Junior High when you saw one of your teachers in the grocery store and you were all surprised? “Woah! Teachers are real people?”

I have just discovered the adult equivalent. I saw one of the Amigo’s bartenders drinking shots at La Fiesta Grande.


Man in the Mirror — 20:54

Whenever I wear my MIT shirt, I always like to stop by at the mirror and say hello to Tim.


You don’t want your waitress to say

Filed under: shenaniganity,slice @ 13:52

This is my favorite beer; it tastes like Fruit Loops.


The best songs are the sad songs

Filed under: a group of folks,music,slice,useless @ 14:35

I had a debate with Michelle the other day that started with me making the statement above. My argument was that artists are going to spend a long time composing and brooding over a work of sadness because they have nothing better to do; they’re sad. A happy song, however, will be written quickly; the artist has better things to be getting on with.

Now, I know there will be many who disagree with this assessment (or the conclusion), so allow me to seal the deal by offering up a concrete example grounded in objectivity that will surely convince even the most fervorous of dissenters: Elliott Smith v. The Village People.

As long as nobody brings up Belle and Sebastian, I think we’ve got that all settled.


The Ballad of Lincoln and Chana

Filed under: neat!,slice @ 17:04

Standing at the docks Anacortes
Trying to get to Orcas by sea
The port it is packed
with friends it’s a fact;
Why can’t we get a minute of peace?

Christ, you know it ain’t easy:
too many people to greet.
We should have secretly eloped
Like you in Code Davinci.

Shabbat we had on Friday at dusk
having just settled into our yurt.
We stand in the cold
with friends young and old
The wine made everybody go “yurt!”

Oy, this wouldn’t be easy,
for him who parted the sea.
And Moses he never saw such
long lasting high revelry.

On Saturday we finally had time
to frolic in the sun and relax
We slipped and we slid,
and saw dudes wet and naked.
This Doe Bay policy is sure lax.

Heck, now this is real easy
right here just resting our feet.
Nobody making us think now
(’till Nava wanted to meet).

Mingling at the party on this sunny day
Love Cannon and the Bro having fun
Last night to be free
Ever then to be
a troth built up from chocolate and yum (Think!).

Sunday afternoon we were wed
chuppah over us and the fam.
We stomped on the glass and
made off through the grass and
we finally ran and hid on the lam!

Oh, our life it ain’t easy,
but at least it’s a blast.
This weekend is good fun,
now let’s go see that it lasts.

We dined with our family and friends.
They laughed a good laugh at our expense.
But the beer how it flowed!
The musicians they crowed!
(in their outfits bought that day for two pence)!

They say marriage ain’t easy,
but we’re as pleased as can be.
The way things are going
we’ll ever after happy be.
The way things are going
we’ll ever after happy be.


Cal Poly, Shame on You. Don’t cheat the People!

Filed under: slice,useless @ 16:49

That’s the war cry I heard walking down Wilson Ave next to Caltech this morning.

A man was shouting these words at Broad over and over again with an odd accent. I believed it to be Middle Eastern.

cal polY
SHAME on you
the PEOple

I have tried to capture the rhythm of his chant by denoting the accented syllables with capital letters.

I walked by him, not really catching the words he was saying, and ran into Will. Will told me what the lone protestor was yelling and asked, “Do you think it’d be appropriate to tell him this is Caltech?” I smiled and said, “sure”. We walked over to him and he and Will exchanged the following words.

Will: Excuse me?
Protestor: Yes? (with polite anticipation)
Will: This is Caltech, not Cal Poly
Protester: Thanks! Cal Poly has a better rhyme (very kindly and thankfully, and with no trace whatsoever of any accent)

We walked away and exchanged amusement. Right before we parted ways, we heard the guy start to mix it up: “Caltech, shame on you. Don’t cheat the people! Caltech poly, shame on you. Don’t cheat the people!” and so on.

I have no idea what issue the guy was airing. It was just a great way to start the day hearing some dude shouting at Broad caring more about how his chant sounded than to whom he was actually directing it.


Lefthand Black

Filed under: a group of folks,neat!,slice @ 17:57

It being the birthday yesterday of a friend who will remain nameless, but whose gothic tendencies are at a solid “black is the new black, jackoff” level, Michelle, Bryan, Bonnie and I joined the birthday goth, spouse and sibling at Bar Sinister in Hollywood.

On the abstract level, dressing up to go out to a club in LA sounds really lame. But in practice, Bar Sinister was a wholly unlame experience in part because the dress is themed and not just ‘typical LA trendy’ but mostly because the venue is just plain awesome.
Read more…


It’s harder to catch typos on Dvorak

Filed under: slice,useless @ 23:32

Several months ago, I switched to the Dvorak keyboard layout. On the whole, I’m quite happy about the switch. I’m still a little disjointed when going back and forth between it and QWERTY, but otherwise things are quite smooth.

I do still, however, make a few common typos; I’ll sometimes mix up the following pairs of letters: a and o, e and o, k and x, m and w, and l and s (each pair has adjacent constituents). I’ll also sometimes type characters out of order (presumably because the Dvorak “rhythm” is somewhat different than that at the QWERTY layout).

But I always made lots of typos. It seems, however, that more typos slip through my pinky’s erstwhile diligence at backspace patrol. I believe there are several factors at play here.

  1. I make more typos than before. This explanation is extremely dull. Let us never speak of it again.
  2. I don’t make more typos, I just catch more; I’ve become better at proofing my writing. This explanation I’ve included only for the sake of completeness. I can’t imagine I’m actually any better at proof reading now than a year ago, say.
  3. I don’t yet feel the typos when typing on a Dvorak keyboard (as I do on QWERTY) and so must depend on my eyes to catch them. This would be related to my relative lack of comfort with Dvorak’s “rhythm”.
  4. And finally, I treat vowels and consonants differently. Most of the single character typos I make swap two vowels. When proof reading, it seems harder for me to catch the difference between “color” and “coler” than between “color” and “colwr”. This is interesting. Two possibilities come to mind. To work backward, the second possibility is that the letters a o and e, in their respective lower case forms, look somewhat similar: round (as opposed to the letters o and w). Indeed, the consonants I swap most often also have some sort of “shape similarity”: w and m, and k and x. I don’t think this can be the whole story, though. Continuing backward, the first possibility is that I only read the consonants and that the vowels act mostly as placeholders (and as the occasional disambiguators). This possibility I called “first” because I am irrationally attached to it and proclaim it to be “likely” without any data to back me up. Since all the vowels are grouped together on the Dvorak layout, vowel swaps may be more common and (given this “likely” possibility) cause commensurate unnoticed typos. Perhaps Dr. Language person can comment on the merit of this “I don’t read vowels” possibility.

In any case, I’m not that good at typing, but I never have been. Don’t blame Dvorak.


My cell phone and car are clearly in collusion — 10:39

After nearly six months, I finally received the $200 cell phone rebate I’ve been waiting for. Just in time for $191.89 worth of car repair (the battery and electronics system). Any suggestions on what I should do with my new found $8.11 riches?


LA in the rain: a harrowing drive

Filed under: a group of folks,slice @ 14:39

Michelle got a call from a good college friend of hers on Friday telling her that she’d be in Santa Monica for the weekend at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. Not having any set plans for Saturday, we decided to drive down in the afternoon to hang out. The problem? It was raining Saturday.

Most people who’ve lived in the area for more than a few months dislike driving the freeways in the rain. There’s two main reasons for this. First, since it rains so seldom here, the water brings up a lot of oil from the roads when it actually does precipitate. Second, and for the same reason of frequency, LA drivers aren’t any good at driving in the rain; they go too fast, think they can stop faster than the conditions allow, and can’t control their cars when they skid out.

Having lived in Pasadena for well over the specified time interval, I count myself both among the people who dislike driving LA highways in the rain, and now among the people who cause chaos when they try.

We were driving down the 110 and had to stop short. My wheels locked, and (close your eyes, Mom) the car skidded across two of three lanes of traffic (thank the Lord there wasn’t anyone in the next lane). I got back control of the car and managed to avoid hitting anything: both cars and walls. Everyone was fine. We went on our merry way (after being stuck in traffic for thirty minutes or so).

Personally, the worst part of the whole experience was that I had a passenger with me; though she was able to help calm me down afterward, I don’t think I’d have been as freaked if Michelle hadn’t been sitting in the passenger seat. The best part (if there is one) is that I humbly believe my reaction times will be significantly faster if anything like that happens again (though I pray nothing will). There’s at least that to be said for honest to God experience.

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