Friday, September 09, 2005

Following the Rabbit

There was a very nervous looking very young woman wearing all the university-student regalia buying a pregnancy test in front of me in line at the store today.  It’s amazing how alone and skittish she looked.  The cashier, perhaps from experience, seemed to know better than to give the customary, “Hi there, did you find everything alright?”  Not that I blame her really.  I’m not sure there’s a Miss Manners approved set of talking points for either side of that conversation.  
I tried to spin it upbeat.   Maybe she’s nervous because she’s happy.  Maybe she is ready psychologically and financially for a child.  Maybe there’s a loving, caring and thoughtful partner at home anxiously awaiting the results, or unknowing and apt to be happily surprised.
The thing is though, I’m a cynical twit.  I don’t believe any of that is the case.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find that there is a much sadder story behind that purchase.  I do hope it turns out ok.

The Chosen Run

5.99 km – 31’57”

Woohoo! 5’20”/km pace!  It’s always nice to look down at your watch and see that you’re running at a faster pace than you feel you should be.  There were even a couple of times at the start when I had to pull back a little bit, ‘cause I knew I was running too fast.


Now lets see if I can pull myself away from the Pierce – Dementieva match and go to the café to get some more work done.  

Pierce just took the second set though…

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Class Divided

Maybe some of you folks have seen this before, or even seen it when it was on TV, but it was new to me. This is a video of an experiment that was started in ’68 by a third grade teacher.

What she did was build an experiment in racism based on eye color. She divided her class into the blue-eyes and the brown-eyes, and alternately gave and revoked privileges based on eye color. It’s a bit like the Stanford Prison Experiment in that you think you understand where things will lead, but to actually see the people reacting is very moving.

There’s a second section that is even more revealing – she does a similar exercise with a group of corrections officers.

Very interesting stuff.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Well, that's nice to know.

Your past life diagnosis: I don't know how you feel about it, but you were female in your last earthly incarnation.
You were born somewhere in the territory of modern North New Zealand around the year 1350.
Your profession was that of a banker, usurer, moneylender or judge. Your brief psychological profile in your past life:
As a natural talent in psychology, you knew how to use your opportunities. Cold-blooded and calm in any situation. The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation:
Your task is to learn, to love and to trust the universe. You are bound to think, study, reflect, and to develop inner wisdom. Do you remember now?

I wonder how many Northern New Zealander bankers there were in 1350. I must have been a real trailblazer.
found here.

Hey Jack Kerouac

The Smoking Gun is a great repository of strange (usually government) records. Usually they just have mug shots of famous folks or funny mug shots of regular folks (Best in Show goes to this paint-sniffer), but they just got ahold of the military records of Jack Kerouac. He was kicked out of the navy after 10 days for mental issues. In the conclusion, they note that, equally damning, Mr. Kerouac also had a, "rambling, grandiose philosophical manner." I can see how we wouldn't want that in our navy.

So when the draft comes, ladies and gentlemen, after you listen to Alice's Restaurant again, take a look at the tale of Jack Kerouac.

US Open

Did I mention, perhaps, that Martina Navratilova is 48 years old?

She's out of the mixed doubles, but she just won a doubles match, knocking off the #2 seeds. She and her partner are into the semifinals.

She's good.

Agassi's 35 and still in the singles run, too. And his middle name is apparently 'Kirk.'

Also, I may have mentioned this before, but healthy athletic tennis women are gorgeous.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


5.91km – 32’45”

Well, I did my first post-trip run and my first run from my new duplex-thingie.  I am really happy about the run.  I was a bit dehydrated and my breath wasn’t completely back, but my legs seemed happy enough.  I held a 5 min 33 sec /km pace, which isn’t too bad, and more importantly, my heart rate didn’t get too crazy.  

It was nice to get back out there though.  My new place is just a little further from the trail than my last place, so I’m just adding a bit onto my old run.  Now I just need to try the campus run and see if I can hold up.  

It was hot and dry and the cracked ground gave out puffs of dust with each stride.

There is some kind of hawk or other bird of prey that flies out there and they will fly really low.  You can see their shadows follow you run along, and then look up and see them above you.  

The squirrelly squirrels were out and standing dumbly in the path until you’re almost right on top of them.  Suddenly they perk up and scamper off into their little holes.  

I even found a few humans out there.  One was flying a remote controlled airplane in the open field area.  Another one was an elderly gentleman with a big floppy hat who responded with a startled ‘Yes!’ when I bade him a good afternoon.  And then there were the other runners.  Two of them.  I shouldn’t feel as good as I do about passing them, but I did.  And I was taking the long way.  They were taking the shortcuts.

It’s good to be back.

Monday, September 05, 2005

It Sure Looks Nice Outside, But...

I am sloth incarnate.

There’s football and tennis on TV and a very readable book right here next to me.  There is also a very readable journal over a little further away, but oddly, it hasn’t been opened yet…

The true test is whether or not I order out for pizza.  If that happens, I might as well give up.

By the way, Navratilova is playing mixed doubles.  How can you not love that woman?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Here Comes the Photographer

I’m shooting a wedding for a friend that’s coming up pretty soon – like a couple of weeks from now.  Every photographer I’ve talked to has said basically, “Don’t do it.  For the love of god, if you want to keep your friends and sanity, back out now!  Claim that you’ve got SIDS or SARS, or some other acronym, but just get out!”

The thing is, as a photographer, there are a billion ways to screw up someone’s wedding, and of course, this is the most important day in their lives.  These will be the pictures that they show everyone ‘til their dying day.

So, I’m a mite bit nervous, but I think it’ll go ok.  I’ve talked to both brides, and they both like my journalistic-style photos, and they both abhor the ‘produced’ feel that the pro photographers were offering.  They also have told me several times that they want the posed shots at a minimum.  They want candid shots and crowd shots and some other basics.  I think I can do that.

Frankly, I’ve worked with a lot of photographers who have done wedding jobs for strangers for pay, but I’ve only known one guy personally who is trying to do weddings full time.  He was/is not a sane man.

It seems like a particularly masochistic thing to do.  You insert yourself into some of the most intimate times of a couple’s lives and have to have the class and artistry to turn it all into ‘the’ history of the day.  And heaven help you if the only clean shot you got of the favorite uncle is when his zipper was down, or if your shot of the garter throwing shows the tattoo that the bride had been trying to hide all day.

I’ve got another photo job today, too.  I’m hoping there wont be any brides, grooms or uncles…