May 29, 2004


Gardened at SMASH today with Mike. Cool school.

May 24, 2004

seeing green?

Here are two drive-by photos from yesterday in Washington D.C., for the amusement of it. What do these ads mean?

Interestingly, here's an image of Wrigley's Doublemint gum wrappers over the years.

May 23, 2004

People in panda suits?

I went to the National Zoo today after brunch with Anne since she lives a block away.

When we first saw them, Anne thought they'd been starved by the way they were eating. After we learned that pandas eat 40 lbs. of bamboo a day, we figured they have to eat so fast as it's the only way you can get through it all in a day. Anne felt bad that they eat the same thing every day all day for their entire lives. And of course, we thought it was sad that they lived in these glass boxes for people to gawk at. Like what we were doing.

Here are the pandas lunching (you need Quicktime to see the movie clip), but I swear, they look like people in bear suits.

More Yellow

This is Nike's site to promote the LAF WearYellow LiveStrong campaign. They continued to sponsor him when he was diagnosed with cancer, not dropping him like Cofidis did. Loyalty breeds loyalty.

thirty seconds

I've always liked commercials better than shows. Not sure how much CGI was used for this one, but on television, it looked really pretty.

May 22, 2004

Live Strong

Lance Armstrong Foundation is selling yellow wristbands with the LAF motto, "Live Strong" in an effort to raise $5,000,000.

I haven't watched television in a few months (I've never cared to own one), but vegging in front of dad's today, I came across the cheesily named "Lance Chronicles" on OLN. I've got a few issues with OLN (mostly that their sportscasters who cover the TdF are awful/don't understand cycling as a sport/don't understand how the TdF works/can't pronounce "Tour de France" or "Sylvain Chavenel" properly), but it's cool that they show so much coverage during the actual tour. Back in '96 I used to have to watch half hour snippets of Big Mig on ESPN2 at 2 a.m. just to see what was going on (and they didn't have the live internet updates back then either!). And of course, I watched "the Lance Chronicles." The only time in a year that I commit to television (if I can freeload off an understanding soul) is for three weeks of the tour every year. Otherwise, no T.V. unless catsitting Godzuki and Atari.

Even though I'll wish Lance good legs, I kinda want Tyler or someone else get a chance to win. There's something about excelling in what you do (which Lance has done stunningly so) but the other men who stand with him as five-time winners (Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx -- arguably cycling's greatest, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain) were tremendous riders too. It would be sad for them to be left a notch down if Lance's win overshadows them. Of course, I could go on about the drama and interest Lance brings to the race and love that he'll be riding. And besides, I'm a huge fan (and when dad watches LA with me, he likes to shout out "I'm a survivor, too!"). Well, because he is.

May 21, 2004

Hello hello!

This is very cool. I have to figure out how to get started on it on my Mac.

My Left Arm for a Gmail Account

The Gmail Hype. Amusing. And to think, I just handed them out to people I thought would be good beta users.

*&%$#! HMO's

HMO's suck. Medicare HMO's suck worse. Had a lot of trouble getting dad in to see his cardiologist (the Kaiser Medicare triage nurse thought he needed an opthalmalogist for the purple spots he was seeing, caused by his abnormally low coma-inducing 70/50 blood pressure from his over-medication) but he's ok now.

May 19, 2004

The Tissue Box

I went to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for a tour on Monday with my friend Mike who is a guide there. Met some interesting folks he volunteered with, and enjoyed a pretty good tour of the place. They've got a really ugly Circle room known as the "Bird Room" that looks like a really bad meeting room in some West Virginia hunting lodge. Our favorite Circle room was the Africa room, where the structure of the walls represented an African hut, and with gorgeous artwork. Worth seeing! Exceptionally beautiful was the Lobmeyr crystal chandelier in the Opera House, a gift from Austria. See that too.

Having met the White House Chef on Saturday night at a party, I got invited on a private tour of the White House and I asked if I could take mom. See, the chef said the magic words, "I'll show you the kitchen". Considering I bought my All-Clad eight months before I bought a bed, you know I wouldn't turn that offer down.

May 17, 2004


One of my favorite things to do.

Something I would really like to own
by Kurt Vonnegut.

I'd actually also like to own "Once Upon A Time" (in color), or especially "Mondrian's Socks" because it makes me laugh. But really, I really like "Sleep."

Cold Turkey -- In These Times

Cold Turkey -- In These Times by Kurt Vonnegut.

Stone Diarist

Yet another article on my favorite contemporary sculptor, in The New York Times Sunday magazine.

Here's the NYT audio slide show and an image of older works:

Art and Photographs © Andy Goldsworthy from Lelong Gallery

May 16, 2004


If you don't know what a Baobab is, you should read The Little Prince.

Since 1999 I've been listening to Orchestra Baobab - "Senegal's finest musicians on the World Circuit Label." I've got a cruddy cassette tape copy of the Pirates' Choice album that I've listened to over and over since then. As it turns out, the band made this recording in 1982 on a four-track shortly before disbanding. The album was a coveted bootleg, and it was finally released under World Circuit in 1989. At some point, I would really love to own the albums. It's a fantastic sound, amazing guitar, and oddly, NPR did a brief on them last week because of some Dave Matthews Band coverage (who I don't even listen to). It's cool they've re-banded (in 2001) and they've got a new album out (since 2002), which has been reviewed by several critics, including BBC, who says "This is a come back to beat all comebacks."

National WWII Memorial

Golden stars on the Freedom Wall of the National World War II Memorialphoto © NPR
I went here today, though the fountains were off. Somewhat gargantuan, its location didn't destroy the minimalism of the reflecting pool (technically called the Rainbow Pool) between the Lincoln (my favorite of all the monuments) and the Washington (at 555 feet, the tallest building in Washington) as I expected.

Our next-door neighbor will be performing in the Army Band for the dedication the weekend of May 29th, but I'll be in Santa Monica by then... too bad I'll miss it, but if any of you is up for a crowd, you'll be sure to find one there. The articles are worth a read.

CNN Article
NPR's Article
NPR's Photo Gallery
National WWII Memorial
National World War II Memorial (National Park Service)


the Creatures in my Head.

Daily illustrations by Andrew Bell

Great little joys to greet you every morning.
Very cute. And damn, that's diligence!

May 12, 2004

How Rich Are You?

My sisters and I often talk about how rich our lives are in our experiences, in our family, in the friends that surround us. Growing up, my dad (a tri-lingual former intelligence director) worked as a cashier at a grocery store for 27 years, bought a house and got five of us through college with a piddly salary, and my mom's hard work from home. As kids, we WORKED HARD. We helped our parents through tough times, we sold food at the county fair (since I was seven until I was 21), we labeled packages, and had assembly lines. Though we were allowed only one pair of shoes a year, wore hand-me-downs from the local charities, and were thrilled to receive one new toy under the Christmas tree, we never considered ourselves want for anything. In fact, we had a pretty perfect childhood and we look back on it rather fondly.

As an adult, single and financially stable, I always appreciated that I lived relatively comfortably - even when I'm unemployed and paying student loans. In fact, I think I even blogged about it a few blogs ago, aware I was 'up there' for what I ought to be grateful. I spent a year in Vietnam where the people I knew made $50 U.S. dollars a month (and sent money home to provide for their families outside of the city). I watched my cousins, who couldn't flee in 1975, selling fabrics in the 98-degree market - could've been me. Children playing with rubber bands, sticks and stones. My appreciation for my environment and opportunities, my life in America, for what I actually have, while always there, grew. I don't think most people realize how well off they are, but here's a REALITY CHECK. See how rich you are.

This is how I once stacked up in my last job (I've had six in ten years). Now that I'm retired/unemployed/a vagabond, I'm sure my ratings have dropped a few billion.

You are in the top 0.77% richest people in the world.
There are 5,953,760,935 people poorer than you.
Oh, and in case you’re interested you are the 46,239,065 richest person in the world.

Another thing to note: only 107,565 in the world make more than $200,000 a year.

It's a lot to be grateful for. And I'm happy to donate to several charities a year. If you're looking for a place to donate, please read about my friend Jeff Dreiblatt's Paradise Ride event and consider an hour's salary.

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March 15, 2006. update: Nevermind, this has been moved back to

May 09, 2004

new digs

Blogger went through a major overhaul, and prompted me to do the same. Get your blog here.
And look, a place for you to talk back!

May 07, 2004

Brood X (that's ten)

How could I not blog about it?

The Economist wrote about it and so did National Geographic. National Geographic also has a good "quick facts" on the lower right column of the page. And even better, they can tell you how best to prepare cicadas for a meal.

All I remember about the swarm in 1987 is that they blanketed the area, and you couldn't help but crunch them under your feet because they were literally all over the ground. I guess the point to remember however, is that for every mating couple, the females lay 400-600 eggs, which then hatch, and these billions of cicada nymphs fall from the trees to burrow in the ground. Mental Note: If you don't want them on your head, stay away from trees!

Apparently, Brood X is the largest of the twelve broods of the 17-year cicada (there are three additional 13-year broods). Disgusting. Good thing I'll be in California for 3 weeks.

Just like that.

OK, so my plans changed, just like that. Like always. I forget what I've told anyone and everyone's got a different story whether I told it or whether they heard it from someone else.

First, a gmail update. I sent an update to about 300 peeps yesterday and G-Mail is just brilliant. It collected every person's response to my message, it color coded each person, and when I responded to each person and they sent a follow-up response, it keeps their color for each conversation. Therefore, conversations within conversations. I know, this doesn't make sense to some of you, but believe me, it's an amazing and very cool feature, and it's keeps everything so neat and tidy.

So the update said I was going to be in Santa Monica in June, and I booked my ticket tonight -- I'm going to be around in May instead, leaving in a couple of weeks, and then going to stay there for about three. At least now I know where I'll be past May 30th -- in Santa Monica until June 16th. Now I have to figure out where I'm going to be beyond June 16th.

I plan on going to Rehobeth for a weekend in late June (to finally meet Kurt), and possibly a quick trip back to the city. Dad's asked me to escort him on a trip to visit his 96-year old brother up in Boston (must travel by ground as Dad -- who was trained to jump out of airplanes in the military -- has an aversion to flying). And maybe by the time I get back, the billions of cicadas will be gone.

May 05, 2004

naturally ephemeral

Andy Goldsworthy is one of my favorite sculptors, whose work I've been following for over ten years. He was invited by the Met Museum this year to create the installation for the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The special exhibition just opened today, and if you want, you can read the Met's press release. You can also try to go see the documentary on him, Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time which will be screened at the Met. Unfortunately, I missed the chance to sit in on one of his lectures on Saturday!

The Roof will be open May 4, 2004–October 31, 2004.
The Met is open late on Friday and Saturday evenings until 9:00 p.m., and closed on Mondays except for certain holiday Mondays (listed on their site, here).

In 2000, I went to see Goldsworthy's special exhibition at Storm King Art Center, a unique 500-acre outdoor art center whose collection includes gigantic Calders, a 40-ton granite sculpture by Isamu Noguchi that you can sit on and in, and Goldsworthy's 2,278 foot wall built over two years (the other installations are no longer there). If you ever want someplace to go on the weekend away from the city, Storm King is a great spot for a picnic.

May 01, 2004

Paradise Ride

JeffSome of you may have met my dear friend Jeff at my party the other night. In his past four rides, Jeff raised more than $30,000 on his own to benefit three comprehensive AIDS service organizations in Hawaii: Life Foundation in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Malama Pono Kauai AIDS Project, and Maui AIDS Foundation which serves the islands of Maui, Lana'i and Moloka'i.

His goal is to raise at least $6000 this year.

It is a great, grass-roots fundraiser and the people of Hawaii can really use the support.

You can easily donate online and visit his personal web page to help Jeff's efforts in Hawaii!