maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller


Jellyfish Sailboats

In a week full of serious news stories, my favorite bit of levity is this: the giant squid has, at last, been captured on film.

I mean...come on. This thing is legendary. There was like a fifteen page article about it in the New Yorker a while back, and I just ate it up. For it to be 2005, and there's an animal that no human has ever seen alive? With eyes the size of DINNER PLATES? It's too good to be true.

And yet, some scientists from Japan are now the proud owners of an 18-foot section (section!) of tentacle. So true it is.

My away message the other day was about the squid, which inspired the following conversation with HSG about scary possibly-real animals:

HSG (10:38:36 AM): i think bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. it's not the photographer's fault. bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me, because there's a large, out of focus monster roaming the countryside. run, he's fuzzy!
bex (10:39:52 AM): but even the new york times calls the giant squid a "sea monster"
bex (10:40:00 AM): freakin' huge
bex (10:40:26 AM): they brought up an 18 foot PIECE of tentacle. that means tentacles are bigger than 18 ft!
HSG (10:40:33 AM): i'm just saying, if bigfoot really is blurry, that solves the mystery of all the blurry photographs of him.
bex (10:40:45 AM): that makes sense
bex (10:41:06 AM): but some people in japan have solved the mystery of the giant squid, so you can stop thinkign about that one
bex(10:41:17 AM): except to be terrified of a 26-foot sea-beast
HSG (10:41:31 AM): bigfoot and werewolves are one phenomena, by the way... people cyclically turn into some sort of big werewolf, but then they get embarassed, so they go into the forest and run away from photographers
bex (10:41:39 AM): ugh gross. they baited it with small squids. that's so wrong.
bex(10:42:07 AM): eight arms AND two longer tentacles. bonus arms. like super-octopi.
HSG (10:42:44 AM): forget the sea thing, in a couple million years there are gonna be serious electriv eels, who shock everything close to it and then eat all the dead animals... i saw it on animal planet. future animals scare the shit out of me, and they should scare you too, because we're all screwed.
bex (10:42:59 AM): in a couple million years i'll be fertilizer
HSG (10:44:26 AM): damn straight you will be, once the turtle dinosaurs get to you, and the jellyfish sailboat
bex (10:44:51 AM): well, with that happy thought, i have to go to physics
bex (10:45:32 AM): turtle dinasaurs. pft.
HSG (10:45:38 AM): they're huge
bex (10:46:28 AM): i love that oyu saw like forty minutes of something on the discovery channel and it changed your life
bex (10:46:44 AM): you should watch more shark week
bex (10:46:51 AM): less apocalyptic, more funny
HSG (10:47:30 AM): animal planet. discovery channel is for people who want to learn stuff.
bex (10:48:05 AM): of course. i'm out.
HSG (10:48:18 AM): animal planet is for people who want to see a future animal that can only accurately be described as a cross between an ostrich and a pack of tigers
bex (10:49:29 AM): bye

I like it when that he makes me laugh before physics.



Crazybrains woke me up with a phone call at 730 yesterday morning. I knew something was wrong-- we had talked just the night before, and 730 is pretty goddamn early.

"Patrick's mom died."

And I just...lost it. It's obviously awful to lose your mother, but here's the kicker: Pat's dad died in April. That's six months ago. When I saw him this summer he seemed to have dealt with his Dad's death with such maturity, such poise. But now this? In half a year he's gone from carefree college student to...orphan.

You know, I know that bad things happen to good people. I get that. But come ON. I mean, this kid is practically Job. He's New Orleans.

God has one hell of a sense of humor.


First Paper

My first real (read: long) paper of the semester is due tomorrow afternoon, and while I'm no stranger to cranking out a seven page paper in an evening, I'm out of practice. So I'm sitting here at the computer with like two pages written since I started this thing about an hour ago, and what I really want is to go to sleep.

No dice, I guess.

The ascriptive theory of Americanism is interesting enough to fill the pages-- if only my concentration were good enough. Instead tonight has been all about the West Wing premiere. And then the Desperate Housewives premiere. And then, uh, Grey's Anatomy. I love Sunday night TV. I'm weak, what can I say?

So I'll make another pot of coffee on my illegal-in-the-dorm coffee maker and toss my cool new rugby ball up in the air for a little while as I consider the legacy of Alexis de Tocqueville, and hopefully get to sleep sometime soon. Or, you know, not. We'll see.


Having a Veruca Salt Moment...

I want a baby panda.

The Washington Post has been reporting all summer on the giant panda birth at the National Zoo, and you know what? The thing is really freakin' cute. Is there a waiting list for getting one of these things? You know, before it grows up to be 250 lbs and eats 60 lbs of bamboo every day. At that point it's probably going to be more trouble than it's worth.

Seriously. I want it now.


Things I Know

Here are some things I know right now:

"so pissed off right now" is a frustratingly passive-agressive away message.

Plum pits are good to suck on, especially on long drives through the Berkshires.

By the end of this weekend, I will have read Alexis de Toqueville's Democracy in America in its entirety. Just how this will happen is up in the air, but happen it must, so happen it shall.

Sports Night was a great show.

I know that my favorite season is baseball season, but rugby season is a close second.

Today was the first half of our big-season opening tournament. We got pretty well killed in our first game, but it was against the second-best team in the country, so I was prepared to deal with that. But that game tired the hell out of my team, so we fell hard in our second match, which we could have won. Oh well...two more games tomorrow, and starting with another 5:15am departure from campus. I should feel great come Monday.


Thursday night I got reeeeeal drunk and brought home a very cute freshman football player. For a C-span-watching nerd, I got some game.


Four More Years

Today I wish that I was in New York.

It's Sunday and there are brunches to eat and books to read and last night to disucss, and all I can do is look up at the pale blue sky and wish that I wasn't the only one in the room feeling like this. On the first anniversary I was at home in the city, and there was no doubt of what the day meant. Year two, I was a freshman in college, sitting in my religion 101 class between 8:30 and 10 AM, watching the minutes pass by on my watch, ticking off the events in my mind.

8:45. First tower hit.
9:03. Second.

So now it's four years on, and I sit here at my computer, and I'm sort of nauseous and fidgety. I don't know what I expect on this day. I don't know what to do. I still hate most memorials, most things people write about it. I loved something I read once about the FDNY football team in Sports Illustrated, and an essay by Colson Whitehead (later published as the first chapter of The Colossus of New York), and this, and the Portraits of Grief that became daily reading for those first few months.

Mostly I like things by New Yorkers, other people who on September 12th came out of the video store and thought something else had happened because of the smell, but no, the winds had changed and were blowing things uptown and that's what the smell was, and oh god I haven't watched the news in half an hour what if something else is happening?

I wish that I could walk by my neighborhood firehouse today with the permanent memorial to the nine guys that didn't make it out of the fire that they ran in to. It's comforting knowing that if there are people on this earth who will crash airplanes into buildings there are also people who will run straight in to fires to pull people out.

I have nothing particularly eloquent to say, no conclusions or realizations today. But here we are, four years later, another mayoral primary in the city, another early fall day with a bright blue sky.

I wish I was there, is all.


"It's a good thing we have classes, or else we'd be so goddamn bored all the time."

(quote courtesy of The Dish, in our 6 days before classes started when we pretty much sat around doing nothing all day.)

So it's been a big couple of days since my last post.

Started school. Three out of four classes so far, and they seem pretty good. I think I might be in over my head in a class on Duke Ellington, but that's what we overachievers call a challenge, right? Sure. Poli Sci and bio both sound manageable, and physics starts tomorrow. So while I'm looking forward to working hard, classes shouldn't be killer this semester.

I had a very intense dream the other night about a guy that I barely know. This swimmer named Blake. We had a class together last semester where we joked around a lot, and I've run in to him a few times this week. The dream was kinda graphic, truthfully. I was surprised by my own imagination! Anyway, I'm now totally on the lookout for Blake wherever I go. Totally weird and unexpected, but kinda fun, you know?

I'll end here with some pictures of my dog that Nanno and I took before I left home, because in all honesty, Abe might be cuter than Blake.


Long Night.

So it's my second night back at school, and I spent it in the hospital. Classes don't start til Thursday, so naturally we're all drinking irresponsibly while we still can, and one of my friends overdid it and so we went. It totally sucks for her, and I hope I made the right decision in calling the ambulance-- hospital bills (and telling her parents what they're for) are going to be unpleasant, but I guess that's what you get when you drink yourself unresponsive.

Anyway, I'm back in the dorm now (she's still at the hospital for at least a few hours), and I'm hoping this is the last time for a while that I'll have to watch a friend strapped to a stretcher in an ambulance.

I mean, can't we find a way to be responsibly irresponsible?