Print Story 2007.06.12: Hush little Cylon, don't you cry ...
Diary
By BlueOregon (Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:18:44 PM EST) (all tags)

... bo's gonna sing you a lullaby ...

Now you ordered a $4.81 skim-no-whip mocha Valencia and spent the afternoon hammering out the chase scene for your future Oscar-winning Miramax project in the public library–slash–pickup joint of the new century. The baristas gave you another reason to stick around. The guys were damp-haired brooding-musician types. The women, shopgirls before Steve Martin coined the term—shy, geeky-hot chicks who knew how to foam your 2 percent milk just the way you liked it.

Inside: GPotD and more? From Madison Ave. back to Madison. Poll.



I

“Seraphine” II

An dem stillen Meeresstrande
   Ist die Nacht heraufgezogen,
Und der Mond bricht aus den Wolken,
   Und es flüstert aus den Wogen:

Jener Mensch dort, ist er närrisch,
   Oder ist er gar verliebet,
Denn er schaut so trüb und heiter,
   Heiter und zugleich betrübet?

Doch der Mond, der lacht herunter,
   Und mit heller Stimme spricht er:
Jener ist verliebt und närrisch,
   Und noch obendrein ein Dichter.

—By Heinrich Heine

II

As mentioned early in the morning (my time) I am a bit of an idiot. A kind, well-meaning, all-works-out-well-in-the-end sort, mind you. I misremembered my return-to-Madison date ... I thought it was the 13th when in fact it was and is today (the 12th), and so early in the morning (1:30–2a.m. my time) I packed and made sure I had taken care of the little details. I awoke shortly after Jy did; she's an early riser.

Showered, shaved, the whole shebang, and so around 7 we went back to the West Way Cafe (Broadway and 108th) for eggs, toast, coffee, and OJ. Not the murdering football player turned actor, mind you. You know, I did enjoy his movies. He had charisma, perhaps still does. Imagine how Bill Clinton would have made it through a bloody glove, dead Hillary, and dead Hillary's lover scenario ... that was the OJ situation, except for the whole skin color, white Ford Bronco, and interrupting my NBA Finals freak show.

We picked up my things and worked our way to Penn Station (ticket, make sure I know where the tracks are); and from there off to the Empire State Building. Jy parked herself in a local Starbucks to read and watch my luggage. I paid my $18 for the privilege of wandering through a maze of ticketing lines, hallways and rooms under construction, and attempts to get even more money from me. “Be sure to get the audio guide!”—after one buys one's ticket one see that there is a free printed guide. I was not foolish enough to get the audio. They photograph everyone in front of a green screen; on your way out you can pay $5 for a good photo of you on the observation deck ... magic! It was the most crassly commercialized and whorish thing I'd experienced in a while.

The view from the 86th floor, though, is quite magnificent and worth the hoop-jumping. Today's tourist flavors? Japanese and French. I heard some British English and a handful of a speakers from elsewhere in the U.S. There were a couple Dutch families as well. My later attempt to get the “special” at Papaya Dog was thwarted by breakfast; they weren't yet at the whole hot dog and juice combo yet. So back to Penn Station we walked and I decided I needed some Dunkin' Donuts goodness; I accidentally ended up with three donuts rather than the two I ordered, and I guess it's my fault. I wish I knew where that third donut came from, actually.

I thought of MillMan.

Sure, Newark serves as the third NY airport, but it's clear that it's in Jersey. First of all one must pass through a grotesque landscape of rusting factories inhabiting wetlands and then the post-apocalyptic looking city of Newark itself. But suddenly one is in the airport and it's bizarro-fuglyland. Call me shallow, if you will.

I waited a (long) while at my boring gate, 114A, and then got into the sardine tin. A 2 1/2 hour flight in that midget-mobile? I was a head too tall to even stand, and even with my aisle seat (A   B C) I had only enough leg room so as to induce cramps that I could, alas, feel. The flight attendant was perky, polite and always ready to please; perhaps she was just oblivious to the bad air and close quarters. We got into Madison on time, perhaps a few minutes ahead of schedule. While flying over Lake Michigan I made two observations that likely interest only me (call me Peter King): 1) gorgeous ice crystals had formed on the windows, but my camera was barely able to capture their beauty, and 2) on both the eastern and western edges of the lake it was fascinating to see how cloud fronts/formations stopped abruptly at (above) the shore.

I strolled purposefully through the airport, intent upon getting the f**k out of that pleasantly ACed but otherwise soul-digesting (the Langoliers in miniature, I tell you) institution. But there's always a but. As I approached one of the overpriced bookstores I noticed someone who looked like a colleague of mine. I'll call her $COLLEAGUE. $COLLEAGUE and I share initials. Well, I've never asked about her middle name, but I think it differs, which means, if I'm not making sh*t up, that she actually shares initials with my doppelgänger who works in Michigan. But to make a long story short (too late!) I stopped in said overpriced bookstore, realized that it was $COLLEAGUE, and started a brief conversation. $COLLEAGUE is off to Berlin for a day, and then Iceland. Yes, from here things often go in reverse, since if one flies with the right airline(s) Iceland is “on the way.” But it's not my vacation, and after two weeks in the land of geothermal energy $COLLEAGUE will return to Germany, Leipzig in particular, to do some exams-related research. I had a bus to catch (once every half hour) and $COLLEAGUE had a flight to a larger city, likely Chicago, to catch.

Outside I returned to a sunny sauna but the bus was chilled. It smelled air conditioned. It was as if breathing through your nose would provide an ice cream brain freeze. After I dropped off my belongings at home (and brought in the mail—mostly advertisements) I headed into town, checked for the Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy at the bookstore but didn't find it, returned my checked out but recalled copy to the library, got a receipt from the library staff person, asked said person to renew my late books but changed my mind once she informed me that she would have to renew them one at a time (I can do a “select all” via the web interface), and walked up State Street. It was a lazy afternoon, a town in slumber almost. More like a siesta. And I intended to go straight to Fair Trade, but the used CD and DVD place is going out of business (Thursday is their last day) and so all CDs are $4 and all DVDs $5.99 (box sets are 25% off). I actually found two copies of Battlefield Earth; $5.99 was clearly too much. $-5.99 might work, that is, if I get credits for taking such dreck off their hands. So I just limited myself to a couple things, one I'd seen and one I hadn't. And then to the coffee shop, which was poorly populated, as if a plague had decimated (I love misusing that word) downtown, leaving only a few immune folks to chat about the weather. Or, in my case, about the recent Doctor Who episodes I haven't yet watched. All I can say is: Captain Jack!

And before I left to walk up the street and get a slice of pizza for dinner I finished Kakfa on the Shore, which turned out to be one of the best books I've read so far this year. I think I finished HoL in January, and in many regards it was more fascinating, but Kafka on the Shore is the better “novel.”

Now I have a bottle of Trapiche malbec to consume.

III

“Songs to Seraphine” II

Over all the quiet sea-shore
   Shadowing falls the hour of Hesper;
Through the clouds the moon is breaking,
   And I hear the billows whisper.

“Can that man who wanders yonder
   Be a lover or a dunce?
For he seems so sad and merry,
   Sad and merry both at once.”

But the laughing moon looks downward,
   And she speaks, for she doth know it:
“Yes, he is both fool and lover,
   And, to cap it all, a poet!”

—Translated by Emma Lazarus
< Now, Number 2 Practiced the Snake Style | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
2007.06.12: Hush little Cylon, don't you cry ... | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Pubic Libraries by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:58:53 PM EST

Apropos of nothing, I now feel a strong desire to collect library cards while vacationing wherever I vacation from now on.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
that sounds ... by BlueOregon (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:03:27 PM EST

... like a fabulous, magnificent, brilliant idea.

As in those animated Guinness guys sort of "BRILLIANT!"

I haven't been in a regular public library in a while. The university library here; I was on the steps of the NY PL, but not inside; I've never been in the Madison PL; the Stabi in Berlin (Prussian State Library) was the last 'public' library I used.

Though there was the Athenaeum in Boston ... a curious institution. I support it!

As a kid I loved trips to the Meridian Public Library, which was an improvement over my elementary school library.

[ Parent ]
Sheee-it by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:39:25 PM EST
Libraries here *demand* a piece of mail with your frakking address on it, before you get a card.

Not that I caved to The Man, or anything.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
it's all about ... by BlueOregon (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:48:45 PM EST

... identity theft.

Nothing says "love" like borrowing a random person's post so as to get a library card.

[ Parent ]
People around here who steal mail... by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:55:39 PM EST
probably only need one thing from the library; meth recipes.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
... as if ... by BlueOregon (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:01:18 PM EST

... you need a library for that.

[ Parent ]
Well, I don't. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:08:45 PM EST
Hold on, then-- Holy Shit!

I just realised that I'm a rogue ex-cop, the most dangerous animal on teh planet.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
as long as he vacations in CA by R343L (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 04:22:34 PM EST
he has a lot of choices. Almost all public libraries in CA will give you a card as long as you are a resident of the state. Hence the reason I have four+ library cards in three years.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
..daddy's gonna buy you a glowing red eye by alien zero (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:10:28 PM EST
   (no content)

"MOCHA VALENCIA", EH? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:41:45 PM EST
ANOTHER BRILLIANT TWIST FROM THE HOUSE OF IDEAS BURNT-ASS COFFEE BEAN PODS.

WERE THEY OUT OF CRAPPUCINO?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

oh, did you say something? by BlueOregon (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:50:40 PM EST

Sorry, I was lost in thought about "geeky-hot chicks who knew how to foam your 2 percent milk just the way you liked it."

Now back to your regularly schedule deprogramming.

[ Parent ]
There is such a thing as 'too much facial metal' by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:54:00 PM EST
IYKWIM

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
ick? by BlueOregon (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:00:31 PM EST

... now you have me thinking of a combination of braces, retainer, head-gear, and nose-, tongue-, chin-, ear-, and eyebrow rings.

Recycle that face.

[ Parent ]
Rowr. by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 04:00:11 PM EST

If you'll excuse me, I have a phone call to make!


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
+1 Iceland Air by Phage (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:00:48 PM EST
I've used them from JFK to Heathrow. New planes, lots of legroom, short queues and cheap.

Also AC in Singapore makes the outside of the cabs dew up like a tall glass of lager. Quite a shock when you first go from 35C - 10C. Brrrr.

Seconded by alien zero (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 04:30:14 AM EST
Every flight I've taken with Iceland Air has been very pleasant.  Highly recommended.  As is the fantastic land itself, though stay away from the Hákarl.  And take a suitcase full of alcohol for making friends with the locals.

[ Parent ]
Hmmmm by Phage (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 05:15:15 AM EST
Toxic with ammonia and buried in gravel for a week.
Yummy...

[ Parent ]
As you might imagine by alien zero (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 02:44:17 PM EST
It's as tasty as it sounds.


[ Parent ]
Sadly, mocha valencia is no more. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 03:19:09 AM EST
The Buck no longer carries valencia syrup. At least the ones in NoVa no longer do.

I wish I knew where that third donut came from. The donut fairy, of course.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

2007.06.12: Hush little Cylon, don't you cry ... | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback