Is there nowhere on Earth you can escape Rod Stewart?
Lunch conversation in a restaurant filled with bottles:
– If you’re lucky, I’ll be one of those guys who collects novelty whisky bottles.
– What’s the lucky part of that?
– It would be something we could do together.
– (shakes head)
– Um. We’d get to go to bottle shows!
– (shakes head)
– Um. I’d spend most of my time in the basement?
For the last five years or so the airports have had a new program to detain me at every possible opportunity. I’ve experienced seemingly every new development in airport security as it comes up. I was among the first to have my cuticle scissors confiscated, remove my shoes to have them carefully searched for hidden wiring, drink from my flask to prove it didn’t contain lighter fluid, have my computer dusted for chemicals, have my bra hand-searched for hidden explosives, remove my underwear for chemical testing, do the required gyrations to shake loose any wiring attached to my person. All that stuff that’s become a standard part of travel in the U.S.
Anyway, I’m happy to do it. I’d rather be delayed for fifteen minutes than face the gradual erosion of our belief in the basic goodness of humankind. Or, you know, death.
A few days ago, we flew through Dallas, where I learned of a new security development. It’s a machine that looks like an elevator compartment with glass doors in the front and back. When you’re one of the select few who gets to step inside, it blasts you with a series of air “puffs.” They’re supposed to blow chemicals off of you to see if you’ve been mucking around with nitroglycerin lately.
These “puffs,” are surprisingly forceful. When you’re not expecting them, it’s a little like being blasted with twelve mini fire hoses. Except, you know, creepier and more invasive.
Anyway, I passed. We’ve been in Argentina for a week or so. I’m on steak number 73.
I had to stay home and work this weekend, but Bryan and his sister worked at the Dalai Lama’s meeting with several religious scholars in San Francisco. I spent the morning writing, and walked over to meet them. The hotel lobby was filled with people in festive dress and a few long-haired guys in trance states. Bryan ushered me through security, and opened the ballroom door. And there, right in front of me, was the Dalai Lama. My life is weird.
One of the most surprising things about turning thirty is how my pulse no longer quickens when I pass an H& M. I feel like I need to fortify myself before entering, the very idea of it exhausts me.
The only way I can now face this store is with a Power Bar in my pocket, and a machete to clear a path through the racks of anemic hippy cotton. I wander from item to item, tilting my head at a blouse, trying to figure out how it fastens, or recoiling from the exact multi-tiered ruffle skirt that I wore in my Welcome to the Dollhouse days. I spend three hours there and emerge with a pair of earrings and a pressing sense of disquiet.
This couple is crossing the street on a cold Sunday morning. He’s wearing a baggy sweatshirt, jeans, and a baseball cap. She’s wearing a black halter top, dangling earrings, tight jeans, and high heels.
-Wow. He’s walking her home from last night.
-They had a good night last night.
-That’s why he’s walking her home.
-She’s extra cute. That’s why he’s walking her home.
-He’d like for that to maybe happen again sometime, please.
-Why didn’t he offer her a sweatshirt or something?
-He did. She’s fine. Thanks though.
-Look at how he’s looking at her, he wants to keep her around.
-If he were on his game, he would have dressed up a little so she wouldn’t look so Saturday-night next to him.
-That’s why, when you shrink a sweater in the wash, you should keep it around.
-For the tramps?
-She’s not a tramp. Tramps walk home alone.
Look everybody, it’s a new design! I’m so excited, I even pulled from my precious store of exclamation points. I realized a few weeks ago, that I haven’t touched the design since 2001. Apparently, I fear change.
As you can see, the new site has photos, and comments (on occasion), and a recent photo of me in which I’m not wearing the glasses that I sat on in 2002. It also has ads, which I hope will not annoy you, and which will definitely not annoy you if you use an RSS reader. Many thanks to Thor of Rubyred Labs, who spent much more time on the redesign than he should have, because he’s committed that way.
I hope you like it, because I love it. If you don’t like it, I suspect you’ll have the decency to pretend that you do. You’re good to me like that.