Sunday, May 29, 2005 · posted at 2:50 AM
This is our island. It’s a good island. Until the grown-ups come to fetch us we’ll have fun.
      ~ Ralph, Lord of the Flies

If you put people on a bus like a bunch of third graders, they will act like a bunch of third graders. Shoot me if I ever becoming the scrunchy-wearing, Talbots-shopping woman encouraging the abandonment of a 13 year-old boy and shouting to the driver "10 points!" for the Dutch cyclists - and 50 for the pregnant ones.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 · posted at 2:34 AM
I had a stereo that was very decent, a wardrobe that was getting respectable -- I was almost complete.
      ~ Narrator (Edward Norton), Fight Club

Sneaker pimps. A while back, after looking at my checkbook balance, or what was left of it anyway, I made this decision: I would no longer purchase anything that didn't improve the quality of my life.

This meant abstaining from Target's $1 spot, skipping on mediocre movies in the theater, passing on second rate sushi, and no more reckless spending on jackets I "just had to have" (and wear 3 times before becoming dust collectors in the closet). Clothes for work, okay. Cute shirts for laughs, not okay. Books that imparted knowledge, okay. Chick lit "junk food" books, not okay.

And I was pretty good about it... and then I found the Moby Dick of shoes - the Converse Chuck Taylor Low-top in Simply Taupe.

For those of you who have never gone shopping with me, for those of you who have never had to hear me whine about these chucks, and for those of you who have never seen my crestfallen face after learning they only have the shoe in the ginormous sizes... finding this shoe has been my Everest.

I'd been looking for these shoes for the past 2 and a half years (before Natalie Portman sported them in the movie "Garden State"). I'd visited countless Journeys, Macys, Shiek Shoes, and Robert Wayne stores. I'd tried special ordering from Nordstroms. Shopping for these shoes even trumped looking at grad schools during my last visit to New York.

And then... there they were. Sitting on the shelf of a hole in the wall shoe store five minutes until closing A swipe of plastic and $37.07 later, I owned the Holy Grail equivalent. And now they're sitting pretty with their chocolate-colored laces... and I've not been happier since.

Quality of life? Upgrade.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 · posted at 6:09 AM
Here's the truth: People, even regular people, are never just any one person with one set of attributes. It's not that simple. We're all at the mercy of the limbic system, clouds of electricity drifting through the brain. Every man is broken into twenty-four-hour fractions, and then again within those twenty-four hours. It's a daily pantomime, one man yielding control to the next: a backstage crowded with old hacks clamoring for their turn in the spotlight. Every week, every day. The angry man hands the baton over to the sulking man, and in turn to the sex addict, the introvert, the conversationalist. Every man is a mob, a chain gang of idiots.

This is the tragedy of life. Because for a few minutes of every day, every man becomes a genius. Moments of clarity, insight, whatever you want to call them. The clouds part, the planets get in a neat little line, and everything becomes obvious. I should quit smoking, maybe, or here's how I could make a fast million, or such and such is the key to eternal happiness. That's the miserable truth. For a few moments, the secrets of the universe are opened to us. Life is a cheap parlor trick.

But then the genius, the savant, has to hand over the controls to the next guy down the pike, most likely the guy who just wants to eat potato chips, and insight and brilliance and salvation are all entrusted to a moron or a hedonist or a narcoleptic.

      ~ Jonathan Nolan, "Memento Mori"

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