Emblems of the half-generation gap

Sophisticated IM habits. My sister Abby and cousin Shannon are 10 and 13 years younger than me, respectively. They are my primary insight into the half-generation younger than me. I already knew that their primary way of talking to their friends is AIM and that there are nuanced etiquettes and mores that I can’t even decipher. Now that I’m actually logging into AIM (well, iChat) regularly, I see that one of these is leaving elaborate and detailed away messages. “studying!!!” “real world” “laundry”.

Napolean Dynamite. T and I saw this last summer when Kim was in town, and we all were really craving going to the movies, and there was officially nothing playing but this. There were exactly two things I thought were funny: 1) when he stuffs Tater Tots in his pocket 2) yeah, the dance scene. Everything else was just painful. But damn if the kids don’t love it, with their Vote for Pedro T-Shirts and their little pranks.

Not psychic enough? Or TOO psychic?

Yesterday I was standing in line at the José’s truck near the MIT bio building at lunch yesterday, and an asian woman wearing a Baby Björn came by handing out flyers that said “Do You Believe in The Sixth Sense”. She handed one to each of the two guys standing in front of me, got to me, looked me up and down, and went to the next person in line, and handed them a flier.

What the hell? Am I that un-psychic looking? I knew you were going to pass me by, Baby Björn Lady, that’s how psychic I am!

Well, today on my way to the bank, someone else thought so, Baby Björn Lady. She gave me one of your “Sixth Sense” flyers. “We are all spriritual beings!” indeed! See if I use the “Park Street” subway station to go to your “Boston Family Church”.


I have been slack in reporting what a fabulous dinner Editrix and Mr. Villain provided us with Saturday. Veggie lasagna, spinach strudel, fab salad— it would have been two fabulous dinners, except it was all at once. We listened to the Red Sox win on the radio (yay!). Sunday, Simi and Ezra made us a lovely turkish thing whose name I forget and a salad built (partially) from garden produce. We watched the Steelers lose to the damn Patriots on TV (boo!). We also played speed Scrabble, and Simi also gave us a heads up on Web Boggle. We used to play this fun web boggle game in the early days of the T&E Show in 1997, which were also the youthful days of web games; Parker Brothers shut it down, even though it was just some poor Stanford CS student’s grad school project and he wasn’t making a nickel from it.

Dream locations

The recurring dreams I’ve had in the last 5 years or so aren’t really situational or plotted, but instead are just distinct and dreamlike locations.

  • Last night featured The Himalayas. Terri and I are looking down from above an impossibly high mountain range. We’re not in a plane but we’re not flying ourselves. There are lots of eagles around, and the motion of the flight is what you’d think it would be if you were riding a bird, but it doesn’t feel like we’re riding a bird. The overall feeling is cold and clean and exciting. We’re travelling to get somewhere, but taking our time. We stop for a break at an ancient but very active rest stop which is also a retreat center. Here, what’s going on varies. Once it was a retreat with a Dalai Lama-ish buddhist leader with a handful of handlers and dozens of disciples. But there’s usually a phone call or a visit from someone in our family. Last night, Terri’s parents were there, figuring that except for our trip, there would be little other reason for them to ever visit the Himalayas.
  • An early variation of The Himalayas was The Mountain Ranges of Iowa, where Terri and I would be headed to some sort of major college football game at some mammoth midwestern land grant university, and would quit our jobs and drive on interstate highways through this enormous mountain range, which was supposed to be in Iowa.
  • Then there’s the decaying science center. I drive up to a big, flat building in 70′s style, and go in to meet a friend who’s some sort of biologist there. There is supposed to be cutting edge science going on there, but the place looks like it’s sort of old and somewhat gone to seed. The equipment is not new, and it’s definitely pre-digital. It exists in sort of a Wes Anderson time. There are rooms and rooms of aquariums, many of them empty and some filled with nothing but algal water. The dreams are usually filled just walking through the rooms and looking at the variety of unusual living things in tanks.
  • I almost hesitate to include the mall, because it hasn’t shown up in so long, but for a period, I spent many a night stuck in the world’s largest and most boring mall.
  • The last one I’ll save for sometime when I’m feeling more confessional.


  • Talked to Simon this evening. They made it to Dallas at 5:30am. It took them 24 hours, but they got there.
  • A woman on the T this evening was seriously engrossed in her Boston Metro with a pen. She seemed pretty normal, middle aged, slightly severe. I assumed she was working on the crossword, but she flipped the page over, and she had drawn googly glasses and Hitler mustache on a photo of Johnny Depp.
  • You know one of the nice things about Fenway Park? They don’t play “We Will Rock You”.
  • Haruki Murakami is speaking at MIT October 6. Terri and I were supposed to go to Dead Can Dance at the Orpheum, but since she’s probably going to be in D.C. visiting Kim at that point, I may go.


I checked in with Simon & Frances today at around noon EDT to see if they had to evacuate Houston. They were indeed on their way to Dallas to stay with some friends. They had left at 5:15 CDT and had only made it about 8 miles. It was 11 EDT.

At about 6:15, I called back. First try, all circuits busy. Second try, horrible connection, but I got Frances. They were still only about 25 miles from Houston. Yikes.

Here’s hoping traffic gets a little better.

Daily Reading

I’ve gone back and forth a couple of times on what to do with things I just want to link to but don’t have a lot of additional stuff to say about, or that don’t warrant a full blow post with the great big title. So I’ve set up the Daily Reading thingy over there on the right, which are things I’ve come across that I think are worth reading. It has its own separate RSS feed.

For those of you who care about such things, it’s done with del.icio.us and the WordPress del.icio.us plugin.