Sep 27, 2006

We will need a new quiz, then.


We all agree that their's something wrong with that O.C.D. quiz. Help me make a new one, here, you can beta test this for me:

DUBIN's New and Improved O.C.D. test!
Or, how to know if you're a Bossy Know-it-all 4th-Grade Snot or not.

1. Did you notice that I spelled "there's" wrong in the first sentence?
a. yes (1 point)
b. not really (negative ten points)

2. If you noticed, did you:
a. hate my guts for it (2 points)
b. decide I'm an idiot and stop reading at that point (impossible, you're totally still reading)
c. give me the benefit of the doubt (negative 1 point)
d. I didn't NOTICE, you idiot, I already TOLD you that in question #1!!! (1 point)

3. Are you upset because the a-b-c-d part isn't indented beyond the 1-2-3 part?
a. yes, very (10 points)
b. yes, a little bit (zero points)
c. not really (are you sure? it's really annoying. ok, fine, zero points.)

4. Do you think O.C.D. is a smart person's affliction?
a. yes, I do (1 point)
b. no, that's a foundless theory (negative 2 points, you're not smart enough to be in our cool club)

5. Think about your favorite color. Is it odd, or even?
a. what are you talking about? (zero points)
b. even (1 point)
c. odd (1 point)
d. it's irrational (zero points, you're trying too hard)

6. What time is your alarm set for?
a. 7:08 (1 point)
b. 7:21 (1 point)
c. 7:33 (1 point)
d. 7:49 (1 point)
e. 8:00 (zero points)

7. What will happen if you don't make a basket when throwing out a piece of litter?
a. the world will end (1 point)
b. something unknown but bad will happen (1 point)
c. something unknown but good will happen (ok, that's a new one, 1 point for that)
d. nothing (you poor, blissful soul: zero points)
e. you have to go back and try it again seven times, and if you miss any of those you have to start over but you can only achieve success if you complete this task on a try that is a power of seven in itself, and if you make seven baskets on the seventh try you're damn lucky because otherwise you wouldn't get a good chance until the 49th try or even later (stop here, you win)

8. Is there a correct way to jog around the park (counterclockwise vs. clockwise)?
a. No, because if you always go the same way 'round, you'll develop asymmetrical muscle tone so you should mix it up (zero points)
b. No, because if you go the same way every time, then you will get tan on one arm and one leg and one half of your face, so mix it up (true, but zero points)
c. Yes, G-d intended us to only go counterclockwise around the park (1 point)

9. If you think you see a ghost in your house, you should
a. scream (zero points)
b. talk to it rationally and assume it's a good ghost (1 point)
c. convince yourself that you are crazy and that there's no such thing as ghosts (negative one point)
d. walk around the location where you saw it, counterclockwise, seven times, and it will never bother you again (1 point)

10. Which part of the floor is lava?
a. cracks (1 point)
b. all the black tiles (1 point)
c. every seam in the hardwood floor (ooh, sorry for you but you get three points)
d. the actual lava part (zero points)

11. Do you have hand sanitizer in your desk drawer at work?
a. yes--doesn't every woman? (1 point)
b. yes, next to my toothbrush and floss and first aid kit (2 points)
c. yes, and I make people use it before they touch my mouse (3 points)
d. yes, and I use it to clean up after I murder anyone who EVER tries to touch my mouse (4 points)

12. The following things help a commercial airplane stay aloft:
a. your walkman being ON even when the stewardess says it can't be during takeoff (1 point)
b. air pressure differential above/below the wing (zero points)
c. the fact that you touched the safety card three times (2 points)
d. angle of the flaps and adequate air speed (zero points)
e. competent pilot and copilot (zero points)
f. the fact that you winked three times in the pilot's direction before he turned around and saw you (1 point)
g. fuel (ok, one point for fuel)
h. the dedication with which you repeat your mantra silently and continuously to yourself throughout the entire flight ("please lord don't let us all go down in a gleaming silver death machine, please lord don't let us all go down in a gleaming silver death machine, etc.") (three points)

OK, let's SCORE YOU:

Negative points: You're really, truly, amazingly normal. Congratulations.

1-3 points: You're probably ok. It may be that you're just a little paranoid, or neurotic, or maybe you're just obnoxious and got that point from question #2. All in all you're not that hard to relate to, but you still might be the type to squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle and leave it like that. (Shivers.)

3+ points: You know who you are. Practice getting a grip by purposely sabotaging some of your own routines to prove to yourself that no one's gonna die. If anyone actually does die, that would be a shame and would actually be a serious setback for you. But that's beside the point.

Congratulations! You have finished my first ever quiz that I wrote all by myself.

Sep 20, 2006

Obsessive but not Compulsive? Uh huh, sure.

This one's for you, P-John.

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? Before you go on reading, you might choose to take this screening quiz just to determine if you have it. Not that I particularly care whether you have it or not, but it's curious to see how low the threshold is set. For example, I scored between 12 and 17 (I took it twice, but either way I am totally O.C.D. girl) even though I stated that all my obsessive-compulsive tendencies do not affect my life in negative ways, and that I don't avoid activities because of them. But I am still it.

This came up because I was listening to This American Life on my satellite radio at work. There was this episode that was really great, but it was probably especially compelling to those who can recognize behaviors like this in themselves. It covered:
  • The woman obsessed with the number 2
  • Lauren Slater story about getting obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Orthodox Jew talks about whether Hasidic Judaism is like an obsession
  • Woman who made a kitchen out of beads

Never mind for the moment that at least two or three of these four bullet points are related to Judaism* or have to do with a person who is Jewish, that connection is a topic for another day. The first act was a discussion back and forth between a guy and his ex-girlfriend regarding her obsession with bilateral symmetry and with the number 2, i.e. she had to do everything twice, among other things. He claimed this affected their relationship; she claimed he was just being silly and mean about it all, and that it was no big deal. The second act was a rather serious story about a girl's sudden onset of severe O.C.D. symptoms.

As I was listening, I remember how both my sister and I used to have hallmark O.C.D. behaviors, most of which we both grew out of over time. I think neither of us did the whole germ and hand-washing thing, but we both definitely had to touch things a certain number of times (for me it was three, because OBVIOUSLY 3 is the best, most whole, most perfect number) and conducted pointless little rituals. These things were never accompanied by voices saying "you must do this or something terrible will happen," but nonetheless the feeling was there that one must really continue doing the rituals JUST BECAUSE.

I remember that for a long time, every time I closed my closet door in my bedroom, I had to flip the lightswitch on and off three times. I also had to look out a certain window three times before going to bed. Then there were the more spontaneous compulsions, ones that just popped up based on circumstance -- like you must say something three times in your head before the light turns green. I still sort of do that, like my mind will determine that I have to reach the other side of the crosswalk before the hand starts to flash. Or else? I dunno, just or else.

It is interesting to note that these feelings come up mostly when I feel out of control of my destiny, namely when I am on a plane. Since I'm nervous on the plane anyway, because I can't simply hop out and fix the thing if it breaks and I certainly don't have any control over the piloting or any previous maintenance, I launch into rituals mode. I start doing things that will supposedly keep the plane aloft -- it used to be that if I didn't have my walkman (remember those?), that would suck because the walkman was the key ingredient in keeping the plane up. You know, stuff like that. It's less bad now, but still there.

So anyway, the other day P-John was waiting for me at lunch so we could go visit our friend's baby in the hospital. He said, "when are we leaving?" and I said, "two minutes," and he said, "two real minutes or two girl minutes?" and I was like, "no need to drag gender into this, you can just say 'two real minutes or two Dubin minutes' and be specific about it."

Then, I had an epiphany! The reason there are "Dubin minutes" so often is because of my O.C.D! You see, I can't actually get up from my chair until some specific unit of my work is done, OR ELSE! So if I say "two minutes" what I really mean is "until my O.C.D. requirements are met, and I don't know when that will be," but as you can imagine, one can't really SAY that because it's too long and somewhat antagonistic. So you just say "two minutes."

On the way to the hospital, I explained my epiphany to P.J. -- I thought he would relate because the guy is totally obsessive, too. But he then claimed that he's "obsessive but not compulsive." I challenged that, of course, but he was adamant; for example, he said that although he prefers his pens and pencils all lined up orthogonally to the edges of his desk, he knows the world won't end if they aren't that way. Dude, ok. He gave a few more examples like that, but I remained unconvinced.

I guess what I am proposing is that you CAN'T be obsessive without being at least somewhat compulsive. Whatever moves you to have obsessions, whether minor or major, rules you to at least some degree and causes you to act out semi-pointless rituals in order to fulfill them. I also think that O.C.D. is a spectrum, ranging from benign obsessions that don't really hurt anyone to full-fledged life-ruining dedication to the gods of the disorder. On the low end, we have people who simply can't concentrate if their desks aren't neat, and on the high end we have the crazy hand washers who would benefit from medication.

So, think about it. Can you be obsessive without being compulsive? Can you be compulsive without being obsessive, and if so, is that what Tourette's Syndrome is all about? Please think about it this week and get back to me. In the meantime, I'll be messing up the pens on P-John's desk.

* Unrelated: My mom went to services this week at the Valley Outreach Synagogue, where the service was conducted by the cantor who officiated our wedding. She said it was totally Rosh Hashana: The Musical! I am sorry I missed it... you gotta love reform Judaism.

Sep 19, 2006

Chocolate = Dog Poison -- Fact or Myth?

I guess we will find out.

After we babysat Ravi for two weeks, Patty gave us some treats from Greece: a bag with some chocolates and some foil-wrapped chocolately baklava. In the bag was a note that said, "Thanks for taking care of me. Love, Ravi xoxo." I guess Carmen thought the note was for her because she jumped up and ate the whole bag, plastic, wrappers, candy and all.

As if that weren't enough, she also jumped up on a different counter and ate some candy from a baby shower I went to on Saturday. This candy was like little non-pareils of what seemed like toothpaste mixed with pastel food coloring mixed with chalk. Well, she ate all that plus most of the tulle it was wrapped up in.

Dr. Khuly, if you are reading this, IS MY DOG GOING TO DIE?

She seems chipper as always.

Please tell me the truth.


Sep 17, 2006

Jazz Hands and Nekkid Ladies, Part I

I want to post something every day so that you will come back and check in with me, but it just isn't happening. It's not that I have little to say, it's that I have lots to say and can't seem to relax enough to sit down and type it out. Most of the time I'm obsessing over things that have to get done. You know it's a bad scene when your mom starts telling you to just C.T.F.O.* and that the world won't end if certain things don't get done.

Like right now, I have to go to work. Yes, I know it's Sunday. My work situation is one where working on the weekend has become completely normalized.

At least I got to sneak out on Friday with enough time to meet S.Wag. for dinner at the bar at Caribou, and then go to the last Fringe show I'd likely be able to make before the festival ended on Saturday night. The thing we went to was called "HELL" and was somehow inspired by Dante's Inferno but seemed to be about a lot of other things, too.

When approaching a fringey-type contemporary performance of art/dance/multimedia, I'm usually pretty open at first, and then immediately judgemental about whether it's quality or whether it's some far-reaching allegorical bullshit with no real talent to back it up. That's the thing about "the contemporary arts"- with modern dance and performance, we're defining the genres as we go, so you never know what box to put something in until you're halfway into it. For example, if you went to see an action movie with some famous action star, you'd know what box it fits in before you see it. If you went to see Disney's The Lion King Musical, you wouldn't know what the costumes or sets would look like, or what the music would sound like, but you certainly would know the format (part one, intermission, part two) and basically what to wear and what to expect.

So, we go to see "HELL" and the first thing that happens is that we sit down and the house lights are still on, but there are some people up on stage doing sort of Fame-esque dances to pop songs, and lip synching with enthusiasm. This clip shows bits of that part, which I later found out was called the "cabaret" section.

So, what you have is a situation where I don't even know if this is the actual show, or some kind of opening number, or what. The house lights are completely on, and people are kind of still trickling in. I am starting to suspect that this will be the lamest production ever, akin to me dressing up in my bedroom and doing "modern dance" moves that I made up. I can't tell what S.Wag. is thinking, and I purposely refrain from looking over at him and giving him the eye-roll because I still want to give it a chance and don't want to taint his perception. I also am amused because I feel like this is somehow a completely tongue-in-cheek thing and I'm waiting to see if I'm being Punked and how it pans out.

The "cabaret" continues for three or four numbers, and then drastically changes to a weirder version of the same. Soon after that, the bulk of the piece commences, which the above video clip skips entirely (the seemingly poorly synchronized topless people at the end are really at the very, very end of the piece). There is weird stuff going on on stage. People come out in sloppy clothes and with music stands, and then procede to do some spinning and swirling and slapping while a few of them light up cigarettes in succession. Ok, first of all, I'm amused that they are lighting up on stage and realize they must be European. But then I get pretty into it because I can actually smell the smoke from where I'm sitting and the lighting makes the rising plumes look really cool. More slapping and writhing happens, but I find myself sort of liking it.

Here are a few moments that I'll describe as examples of things I found compelling --There was a figure dressed all in black with a black sock over its head, and it would just occassionally come out and immitate what the main person was doing, but towards the edge of the stage and without fanfare. It was as if the stage became a double-exposed negative, with the images out of synch with the frame. You'd see a motion in the foreground, and then something twitching on the edge of the frame. It was fantastic, but I can't describe why.

Another part was when a figure, who I later knew to be the choreographer, was standing on the stage facing the back. He just kind of stood there, wearing too many clothes and a tarantula-like wig, facing the back. Every once in a while he'd move. The urge I felt for him to turn around was so strong, I could taste it. I don't know if that was the intention -- to set up this tension where everyone's WAITING for this dude to TURN AROUND ALREADY. But it was very effective and made me feel tingly.

* Chill the F Out. (Not that my mom actually said that.)

J.H. and N.L., Part II

Right, so we are now at a moment in the performance where I don't know WHAT I think. Is this LAME or is this AWESOME? I usually don't have this ambivalence problem* but I still couldn't figure out how to judge it. Every once in a while, the dancers would do a series of moves that made you realize just how beautiful and weird and particularly good they were, but then they'd go back to writhing.

An arch of lights stood on the stage. At one point a character unscrewed random bulbs. Very disturbing. Then later, another character screwed them back in, which was an immense relief.

And then gratuitous partial nudity happened, starting with just boobs. Later, there was full nudity, followed by some costumeage, followed by full nudity again. Here's the conversation I had with myself:

Me: Oh, great. Gratuitous nudity.
Me: Gratuitous? Gratuitous of what?
Me: Well, I just don't think it adds anything.
Me: So you think it's for shock value?
Me: No, I just think it doesn't help the point of the piece.
Me: What's the point of the piece?
Me: I don't know.
Me: Ok, Einstein.
Me: Well, how are people supposed to concentrate when they're all wondering if it hurts to dance without a cup? The choreographer know everyone's just going to be looking at boobs and tan lines and navel piercings and the diversity of the human form and that kind of stuff. They'll be deciding who's hot and in what order they find them attractive. People aren't evolved enough to not notice that nakedness and sexuality are related and sexuality is titillating so it's sort of a cheap thrill onstage.
Me: Ok, so what?
Me: Well, I think that's all beside the point of the piece so it's distracting.
Me: Maybe it's not beside the point.
Me: Just SHUT UP, ok?

Meanwhile, the onstage activity starts to happen to the strains of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. This is ever more confusing to me. Why Beethoven's Fifth? Why evoke a familiar piece, one so familiar, in fact, as to have lost most of its emotional content?

The dancers seem to be punishing themselves onstage. They must be exhausted by this point, since the performance has been very athletic. They must be sweaty and tired of being exposed and tired of the bright lights on their privates and tired of staring out at a crowd of not-particularly-stylish Americans. In fact, lots of people in the audience are retired-looking. What do older people think of this craziness? The smoking and the nudity and the writhing? Are they shocked? No one's walked out yet...

* Yes, I do.

And, finally, Part III

You may be interested to know that when the curtain finally fell on "HELL," there was a question and answer with Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, the joint choreographers.

And I was surprised to find that people were REALLY INTO IT. Even the dowdy old ladies raised their hands and asked pointed questions about the choreographing process, about the varying meaning of nudity for an American audience and a European one, and about the games the artists played with lighting -- who was being viewed and who was viewing? The house lights being on some of the time gave the audience a sense of being watched; you, the dancers, are watching us as we watch you, except you are naked. What does that dynamic signify? What images of Hell are really being put forward? Who is the anonymous shadow, and what does he want?

The choreographers spoke about their work -- Greco is Italian, and his English is good but not perfect. I couldn't understand a word he said. That is to say, I understood all the words he said. But I had no idea what he was saying. I sort of felt like I was back in architecture school, but without the anxiety, as he expounded on how, "the preparation of body and mind, which has to become receptive to deeperlying impulses in ordertobeabletobefaithfultothebody we havedeveloped a toolforsuchapreparation whichisatrajectoryforthebodytotravel throughthatallows ittoreachtheawareness andreceptivityneededtocope withnewinformationandpossibly preexisting movementmaterial."


In the final analysis, I loved the whole thing.

I can only say that it was exhilarating, rather than frustrating, not to be able to decide whether this "art" was valid or not. I loved it as a sum of its parts, all it's little dissonances and resolutions. People in the audience surprised me with an openness that seemed out of line with their appearances. I loved hearing the Italian speak about nonsense.

S.Wag. liked it, too. He said, "I'm so glad that didn't suck like the show I went to on Tuesday."


Sep 12, 2006

Oh, and in case you were wondering...

... today, in two separate incidents, I dropped my cell phone into a sink full of "water" and I dropped my ATM card from my back pocket into the loo.

UPDATE: Miraculously, phone is working again. I don't know if this is going to last or what. ATM card works, verified this morning. I am back in business.

UPDATE: No, on second thought it might be actually dead. The phone, I mean.

A Tiny Morsel from the Fringe

The Fringe Festival has been upon us these last couple of weeks, and it feels like camp. Philadelphia often seems like a small town anyway, seeing as how you tend to run into people you know a lot. But the Fringe is a time when the collective will-to-be-weird encompasses a nice cross section of the population, and people come out to watch performances where nothing is guaranteed to be good but everything's guaranteed to be a little off. (And to be fair, most of it's really good.**)

The reason it feels like camp is that, more than at any other type of performance series, there's a sense of camaraderie amongst the audiences. There's a thing called the Late Night Cabaret, a big bar and informal music venue that doesn't even exist 50 weeks out of the year, where everyone congregates after the shows each night. People actually talk to each other at the shows, and often times the performance spaces are unusual, like inside a UHaul, or at someone's house, or at the hotel pool at the Sheraton in Society Hill and you actually get wet, or in an abandoned movie theater, or as was the case last Friday, at my old belly dancing studio.

T.J. and Nate and I went to go see "Madison to Madurai: 134 Days in Mother India," a monologue by H.R. Britton.* I knew it would be one of the smaller venues and one of the less famous performers, but other than that I didn't know what to expect so I told Nate that we should just imagine it will be a grossly under-attended little one-man show that only costs $5, and then we couldn't be disappointed. (I have a thing about going to events where I secretly suspect I will be one of the few people there... I feel a lot of empathy for performers in general, so I just can't take it when things are under-attended and I wind up laughing extra loud and generally embarrassing myself to make the performer feel better. Duh, Jesus, Dubin.)

So we get there, and it's not empty at all! Or, more to the point, the ratio of people attending to chairs set up is pretty high, even though there aren't that many chairs set up. There's a cat wandering around the place, something I remember from belly dance class... that gregarious cat. And then H.R. comes out and starts his story, just sitting peacefully on a stool talking about traveling in India.

We went because we are going to India in December, but mostly we went because the blurb described the piece as "an anxiously comic travelogue." I couldn't pass up an anxiously comic anything.

The thing I liked most about it was that the performer hit a nice sweet spot between taking his youthful self seriously (the self he reminisces about in his stories) and being able to look back and laugh at it. In other words, he respects the mindset he was in at that time, but also tells the story knowing that sounds kinda laughable to recount how you saved your pennies for an open-ended trip to India to go deeper into Buddhist thought and learn from the great eastern spiritual swami-types. You know? Kind of cliched, like "boy sets out to find himself amongst a totally foreign culture" kind of story.

Anyway, it just got me thinking about travel and how I get when I am out of my element. In the past, I've tended to hide until I felt like I could assimilate. Like, if I had to look at a map, I'd sneak into a restroom, memorize it, and come back out with the map securely tucked away. Or when on a bus in Italy, I'd put on some dark glasses and try to make people think I was Italian by limiting anything I said to three words. I can't help it, I just feel very vulnerable when I stand out as a stranger in a strange land.

However, if you aren't willing to be silly and different and just be you in all your American doofiness, you stand to lose track of yourself while traveling. H.R. Britton, on several occasions in his piece, described himself as becoming a "mascot." Like, he said he got on a 58-hour train to the south of India, and became the mascot of the sleeping car -- everyone asking him questions and staring at him and enjoying his differentness.

I figure that this is how one travels without losing one's own personality. I have always worried that my totally overblown urge to keep my dignity at all costs ruins a lot of perfectly fun fiascos, and I am going to try to relax just a little bit this time around, when we go in December.

* 9/15 and 9/16 at Studio 1831 (1831 Brandywine Street), $5.

** The best place to get a sense of the Philly Fringe is at the website of my former next-door neighbor. He is a great photographer, but more interestingly he is totally ubiquitous... J.J. is everywhere, photographing everything, at all times.


Sep 10, 2006

A Poem

Oh silence! Why is the house so quiet?
The animals aren't moving, and T.J. is in Korea.

Arise, Carmen, and taunt the lazy cat,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That her food bowl is empty.

Be not her tormenter, since she is your ally.
"Dubin was gone all day yesterday,
and apparently is a deadbeat mom. Let's revolt!"

These are my pets, and they get my love,
but, oh that they tended themselves!
She meows, yet she says nothing. What of that?

T.J. is in Korea, so I will answer it!
I am too bold, she only wants wet food.

We had an agreement with the cat,
A matter of serious business, to give moist food on weekends
and on that promise much is weighed.

What if _I_ waited all week for moist food and was denied?
The brightness of my cheeks would shame my owners
As daylight doth a lamp. My green eyeshade would attest
to endless nights spent counting and awaiting la fin de semaine.

And Carmen would through the airy house whine so loud
That birds would sing and think she were not right.
See how she leans her cheek upon her paw?
The sound of her sighs, muffled by her floppy lips,
lying on the futon!

She rests. O, rest awhile, bright angel!
For I already took you to the dog park and you ran into Ravi
and humped him wrong-way'round, being o'er his head,
As if a leashed messenger of heaven
Unto the white, upturned, wondering eyes
as he fell back to kick your ass
in the gravelly dust, under lazy-puffing clouds
and sails upon the bosom of the air.

P.S. T.J. we miss you.

Sep 8, 2006

Fractions and Numbers

I.  Values

    A.     The topic of "fractions" is following me around these days

         1. TJ is taking a fancy extra-hard algebra class this semester

             a. He's also taking Marathi, which is unrelated but cool

             b. I'm jealous as usual

         2. Fractions have numerators and they have denominators

             a. My sister's post about jam is really about the relative size of the numerator compared to the denominator.

                  (1)    in this case, the numerator is quality people you’ve met in NYC

                  (2)    the denominator is the total number of people available for dating you

                  (3)    both numbers are huge

                  (4)    the overall value approaches zero even though the numerator is large

             b. The Genghis situation

                  (1)    I was speaking to P-John about the Genghis Problem

                  (2)    I have been feeling sorry for Genghis lately

                  (3)    Genghis sets up impossible outcomes and then fails to meet them

                  (4)    this means that the denominator is always very large and consists of promises made and appointments scheduled

                  (5)    the numerator is the total number of promises kept and meetings that actually happen when they are supposed to

                  (6)    the total approaches zero -- even though the numerator is non-negligible, the denominator is ridiculous

                  (7)    Life in this mode must be highly unsatisfying

             c. New Year’s resolutions

                  (1)    last year I resolved to start fewer things

                  (2)    that way my denominator can be smaller

                  (3)    so my total contentment value is greater!

                  (4)    cheating, but so what

                  (5)    I have failed at keeping this resolution so far

    B.     Fractions aren’t mentioned in the epic rock opera called “Numbers” by Cat Stevens; only whole numbers are addressed

         1. only non-negative integers get to sing

         2. no irrational numbers, please


II. Proper outline format

    A.     If you have a “I” you must have a “II”

    B.     If you have an “A” you must have a “B”

Sep 4, 2006

Sunday at the Dogpark: A Play in Four Acts

On Sunday morning, before we went up to Litchfield to visit T.J.'s Dad and meet his new wife-to-be, we took Carmen and Ravi to the D.P. to make sure they pooped and got some of the lead out before a long car trip. It had been raining for days, but the sun had come out finally and I noticed that some mushrooms had bloomed in a little patch.

The mushrooms looked downright lush. They seemed so happy to be there, so tender and robust -- I imagined how stoked I would be if I were a bunny.

You ever look at the underside of a big, clean mushroom? It's so nice. These ones, especially the whole ones, reminded me of fresh snow at dawn before all the mammals come out and tromp through it.

I had the simultaneous urge to smash these to bits and to build a plexiglass box around them so no one else would.

Instead, I picked some of the coffee that had sprung up nearby and we hit the road...

Sep 1, 2006

I wasn't kidding about my Sports Card

These will be extremely unvaluable someday.

This is what happens when the photo booth is free