Crime report: A guy named Tom I knew at Newsweek moved to D.C. recently, and his apartment was broken into. The criminal, who made it all the way up through the second-floor window for this momentous heist, took the coins out of Tom’s change cup (nickles and dimes, the quarters had been used for laundry) and an old boom box.
“Attention Barnes and Noble shoppers, will the customer who wanted I Am Free, I Am Me please come to the front desk.” — p.a. announcement
Funny thing: I just found out that one of my classes for fall quarter is a 15-person seminar. FIFTEEN PEOPLE. Ok, as if that’s not bad enough, it’s a philosophy course. Worse, it’s called the Philosophy of Psychology. Yeah. I know very little about those things. And it’s not like I can hide in the back of the room.
There’s a thing that Zen calls the stuck mind, the point where no thoughts are coming, the channels are clear of static. Well, I’m stuck, all right. But I’m more like a car stuck in a snow bank. I’m spinning my wheels. Trying to come up with story ideas. Spinning. With Zen you see infinite possibilities. I got nowhere to go.
American pedestrians usually get shafted, but in D.C. some people fight back. Like this morning. A white-haired man in a suit ran over to a car that had just flown through a crosswalk. He shouted in the window: “WAIT FOR PEDESTRIANS.”
Saturday night was like an old movie. Patrick, Mark and I cruised the main drag (ha) of Rockville, Maryland, then stopped for ice cream at the place where Patrick’s younger brother works. The place was full of young people who, in any other town (like, say, mine) would be off drinking in a field somewhere. I felt like we were at the local soda fountain, clean-cut kid behind the counter giving us a 70 cent discount. Then we drove around listening to retro-weekend radio shows, through Georgetown, where the whole thing could have dissolved at any moment into American Graffiti. Sports cars gunning it off the stop lights, people hanging out windows and sun roofs in stalled traffic, music mixing from open windows… I was entertained.
I wrote a po-em today while I was proofreading! Wanna hear it? It goes like this:
once upon a time… i had something really good.
i had a blue pencil.
it was made of wood.
That’s all I have so far.
Bob: This is why we have USA Today. For front-page stories on why CD cases are hard to open.
Barbara: It’s a danger to humanity.
–overheard in my office
“I wish I were willing to moon people.” — Amanda, after an interaction with George
Phil Connors: What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?
Ralph: That about sums it up for me.
Tourists of the Day: We were on the Metro. I noticed the hair first. This woman was 60-something years old, 5 feet tall, and her white hair added about 6 inches with a pouf in front. She and another woman, who could have been her sister, had almost-as-large hair, and they both wore identical denim dresses and carried Smithsonian shopping bags. Their husbands (?) both wore pastel plaid shirts, and one had a camera hung around his neck, the boxy kind with a big lens. The Metro was lurching around as usual, and they were all standing up holding on to the poles. The woman with 6-inch hair swung toward and away from the pole jerkily, exaggerating how everyone was getting knocked around. The husbands grinned at her.
I’m high on Sudafed Severe Cold Formula today. (Yeah, I have no tolerance for chemical substances.) It’s sort of fun… I feel all groovy and decongested.
Now hear this. When I grow up I need to work in a cluttered, colorful place full of conversation. I can’t be alone in a gray box all day. And it has to be a laid-back place. Sometimes I just sit back and stare into nothing, and I must work in a place where that’s acceptable. It also must be acceptable to: Call my mom, munch on Reese’s Pieces constantly, listen to music (with headphones) and wear sneakers. I must also be paid enough to cover $250 a month in student loan payments. That is all.
Update: Went to Boston this weekend… more later. Somehow I wound up sick. I want to be in bed right now. Instead I’m at work. Where the air conditioning is broken and it’s 95 degrees. Yay. Yay for that.