3. High school basketball player passes ball to mentally challenged player on the other team.
On occasion, San Francisco cab drivers will ask where you’re going to see if your plans match theirs before they give you a ride — maybe they’re returning the cab, or picking up a fare someone has called in. A cabbie pulls over, determines that I am headed his way, and unlocks the doors.
I climb in back to find two large, white boxes taking up the seat. “Sorry, do you mind?” the cabbie asks. No, I say, not at all, and shove one of the boxes over to make room. The box has a strangely even weight to it, and I read the label.
“Is this blood?” I ask the driver.
“Yep,” he says.
“Oh,” I say. “Oh.”
I imagine us getting in an accident, and the ambulance arriving to nonsensical amounts blood. Biblical blood. Carrie blood.
“I would think they’d have a… specialized vehicle to transport this.”
“Nope. They have a contract with us. Saves them money.”
I swallow hard. I wonder if the blood is still warm. If it’s packed in dry ice? Or just in the medical equivalent of some ziplock baggies? “The Blood Cab’s here! Just throw it in a box and stick the label on it. They’ll figure it out.”
This seems awfully casual, don’t you think? Is there a black market for blood in the city? I mean, do they keep careful track of who has the blood, or does it mostly show up where it’s supposed to, because? I guess, what are you going to do with a bunch of ziplock baggies filled with blood? Unless you’re a vampire.
Crap. This cab is a vampire food truck. When I opened the door to climb in, it was like that sandwich chain that pumps out the artificial smell of freshly baked bread. The Creatures of the Night Who Lust for Human Blood were all like, “Dang! Where is that coming from? I could go for some warm O+ in a zippy bag, you know?”
At about lunchtime, we arrive at the DNA Lounge, a windowless, after-hours nightclub that’s hosting BSides SF today. BSides is a convention of information-security enthusiasts who are probably as uneasy about sunlight as I am about using the wifi in their presence. Why is everyone looking at me? Onstage they are holding a handcuff-picking competition. I do not mention that the food truck is out front.
A few hours later, the door flaps closed behind me, and I squint against the late-afternoon sun. I’m starving, so I decide to get ramen downtown. I go to hail a cab.
On second thought, I’ll walk.
We celebrated Hank’s birthday at my sister’s place, Wise Acre Farm, this weekend. She raises chickens, and this is her hand washing the eggs from her hens. Her farm is in the paper today!
Raina has always been a bird person, but for some reason I never connected a love for animals with farming until I saw her feeding all her chickens — she chats with them like they’re puppies, and chases down the hurt ones so she can take them home for rest and extra attention in the backyard.
If you’ve never had a pasture-raised egg, they’re delicious. It’s sort of like the difference between a home-grown tomato and a store-bought one. The yolks are super bright, and once you get used to them the eggs from caged hens start to taste egg-flavored, like an imitation of a real egg. Try one if you get a chance.
I’m proud of you, sis.
In middle income families, there are thirteen books per child at home. In low income families, there is one book available per three hundred children. Libby wants to change the statistics in her community and she needs a little advice.
I love a good quest. Go, Corinna.
“I think about the families that made these dilapidated structures homes when they were shiny and new. I think of how tough life must have been in this dry, hot land before all the modern conveniences. I wonder where the people went.” – Chriss wants to photograph 100 abandoned houses.
Want a simple way to learn a new language? There’s an app for that. Thanks, Mary.
Hey! We’re on a New York Times blog today, go see:
Go Mighty or You Might Not Go At All by KJ Dell’Antonia
We talked about Life Lists and I said, “If you’re constantly looking to cross the next thing off, it can make you frenetic. You become immune to contentment. It’s smart to pursue happiness — I mean, go for it — but stop and savor it when you catch it.” Read more.
Also, if you’ve been meaning to make a Life List but aren’t sure where to start or would just like some teammates to help motivate you, sign up for our Go Mighty Skillshare class. One of the attendees gets a $1,000 grant to cross something off their list. Fingers crossed that it’s you.
Photo by Ryan Marshall
“You Are My Wild is a weekly portrait project that brings together 14 photographers to document how they see their children.”
Photo by Shelby Brakken
Remember when the Web was just projects like this?
Photo by Anje Bridge
Is there a project that made you happy recently? Tell us in comments.
I’ll read anything by Joan Didion because she’s so skilled, but this is not an uplifting work. I once made the mistake of reading Metamorphosis on a beach vacation. Similarly, Play it as it Lays does not belong anywhere near sand. I had to skip Chapter 25. I know I probably cheated myself there, and yet. Still, you should read it. It’s very good.
The best parts of Joan Didion’s Play it as it Lays:
NOTHING APPLIES, I print with the magnetized IBM pencil. What does apply, they ask later, as if the word “nothing” were ambiguous, open to interpretation, a questionable fragment of an Icelandic rune.
…just the snakes stretched out on the warm asphalt and my mother with a wilted gardenia in her dark hair and my father keeping a fifth of Jim Beam on the floorboard and talking about his plans, he always had a lot of plans, I never in my life had any plans none of it makes any sense, none of it adds up.
I’m not crazy about a lot of people. I mean maybe I was holding all the aces, but what was the game?
He was watching a very young girl in a white halter dress dancing on the terrace.
“I’d like to get into that,” he said contemplatively to BZ.
“I wouldn’t call it the impossible dream,” BZ said.
Only by an increased immobility did he acknowledge her presence.
She knew all the indices to the idle lonely, never bought a small tube of toothpaste, never dropped a magazine in her shopping cart. The house in Beverly Hills overflowed with sugar, corn-muffin mix, frozen roasts and Spanish onions. Maria ate cottage cheese.
All the daisies in the garden had been snapped by the wind.
…the infant in the driveway, rattlesnake in the playpen, the peril, unspeakable peril, in the everyday.
By the time Carter came back to town in February the dialogue was drained of energy, the marriage lanced.
By the end of the week, she was thinking constantly about where her body stopped and the air bgan, about the exat point in space and time that was the difference between Maria and other.
In the heat of some mornings she would wake with her eyes swollen and heavy and she would wonder if she had been crying.
Krait — A highly venomous Asian snake (genus Bungarus) of the cobra family.
presentiment — An intuitive feeling about the future, esp. one of foreboding.
Macht nicht –An American spelling of the German expression “macht nichts” which means roughly, “it makes no difference.”
wen — Pathology a benign encysted tumor of the skin, especially on the scalp, containing sebaceous matter; a sebaceous cyst.
Note to self:
See Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight
Ed note: Ha! Just went to set this on my bookshelf and realized I already owned a copy. I attempted this one years ago, and abandoned the effort on page 40. Good thing I have a terrible memory for titles. Also, this was made into what looks like an awful movie in 1972.