Tuesday, November 18

Everyone's Favorite German Word

I'm sure you saw the story. In case you didn't: the Bloomberg Budget Takedown. Aaaaand the pull quote:
“I’m not addressing,” Mr. Page began,before burying his face in his hands, and mumbling, “Oh, forget it. Fine.”
I mean, it's kind of terrible how much I'm enjoying Bloomberg's failures lately. I'm TOTALLY on his side for the bag tax. Ask me about how much I believe in the power of taxes to change people's habits. (Uhm, little known fact: I did major in economics.) Also ask me about when I lived in Ireland, where there was a bag tax of five euro cent. Or maybe it was two euro cent? Whatever it was, it was high enough that you would often see single people stumbling home carrying one roll of toilet paper, a jar of pasta, and four tall boys of beer. No plastic bag, though.

A New Respect for Stunt Doubles

Would you believe me if I told you that at 9th Street this weekend, the drawbridge over the Gowanus was raised? What if I told you that there were barriers? And that I ran by them, dodging the yellow cones, vaulting smoothly the four feet to the drawbridge, and then leaping the four feet down on the other side? No? No, you wouldn't believe me? You're probably right not to -- you've probably met me, seen my too-big converse at the end of my legs, my collection of black-and-blue marks.

Nonetheless. The words "Just do it and don't ask any questions" were said to me, and I did, in fact, climb over the drawbridge. It's just that it was somewhat awkward and slow-motion. At one point, I was half suspended over the drawbridge, but it was not at all Spider-man like.

Monday, November 17

Well, the Flight to China Is Pretty Long

But this does seem a bit optimistic.

Sunday, November 16

On Sunday, I Made Bread

This bread, to be exact. It's my first. It's by no means perfect -- this picture was selected because I thought it hid (a bit) how little the bread rose. Making bread is a series of very simple steps, and I think my mistakes lay in (a) using too much flour; (b) not thinking about how melting butter left a bunch behind in the pan; and (c) maybe not letting the yeast work it's magic long enough / stirring it in well enough? For all that though, this is a tasty -- if dense -- loaf of bread.

Saturday, November 15

Insults, Vegas Style

I'm so pleased to know that I've likely been to Vegas for the last time in my life. That said, I did have a good time -- seeing Cirque Du Soleil exploded my brain, I developed an obsession with the Texas Tea slot machine, and ate at BLT Burger entirely too many times for someone who doesn't eat meat. (Salmon burger, x2)

Saturday night, we spent at a dive bar far from the strip, then back in our hotel casino. Gambling is a weird beast, so deeply unsocial yet requiring that sense of crowd and shared purpose. I kept losing people; I'd look up from Texas Tea and see that everyone I knew had disappeared. After a little bit of wandering, I'd see Brian looking anxious at the roulette table, or someone else eyeing the craps. Down $15 bucks at the slots after having been $30 up at a highpoint, I decided to go to bed. It was a little bit early.

In the elevator, there were two girls in their young twenties, dressed to slut, and a middle aged man. He looked at the two of them, and asked them about their night. They'd been at dinner, and were about to go clubbing. Then he looked at me, and asked "Gambling?" I said yes, and then he said, "The penny slots, right?" OH. It was a great put-down because it was all too true. When I got to my room, I thought about that elevator ride and when back downstairs to the casino.

Friday, November 14

For one thing, there was a very large turtle tank in front of that window. A creaky, difficult to open window. For another, you had to turn off the alarm completely, or shunt it, leaving that window the only escape out of the house. So we didn't go on the fire escape often.

The one time, though, we did. It was spring, or fall, or some day when sitting outside seemed like a great thing. I have no sense of where my family was. I sat firmly on the fire escape, not leaning against the house at all, trusting in the old metal.

We brought a six pack of Zima. "Tastes like 7-Up," I was told, but it didn't. There was a strange aftertang, and it seemed too fizzy and altogether gross. But I drank one, fairly easily. By the time I struggled through the second, now warm, but still fizzy, I was officially tipsy for the first time.

I haven't had a Zima in a long time. In fact, that first time may very well have been my last time. Maybe, then, it is my fault that Zima has been discontinued. I'm not a karaoker - just like on the fire escape, I wasn't really a drinker. But maybe -- for nostalgia's sake -- I should venture to karaoke and Zima in Chinatown for one last sip of faux-lemon-lime-ick.