Mind wanders at coffer shop

40 So what does the “40” mean? Why is it there? Here goes.

In November, for the second year in a row, I participated in National Novel Writing Month, nanowrimo. org . The idea is that you write 50,000 words in November. And if you do, you can print out a certificate. I did. (Thank you, thank you.)

Was trying to think of how to do a December repeat, and for some reason calculated out 50,000 words divided by “x” number of tweets. Voilà! Rounding up, 1500 tweets. I have a ways to go. (These “tweets” have morphed to be longer.)

Next: price of coffee. It’s going up. And so is the price of other commodities. My coffee was two fifty. Gas likewise is rising. It is three dollars a gallon again, as the price of oil passes ninety a barrel. Of course even at that price, there are beaucoup subsidies and hidden costs. A few days ago, I googled the price, in US dollars, of a gallon of gas in France. Almost six. Oh well. Paul Krugman points out this commodities increase is not attributable to speculation alone — http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/27/opinion/27krugman.html .

Fell in love with the graph paper “cut outs” exhibited at Nina’s. I snapped the picture and then wandered around the coffee shop, looking for some curatorial information. Finding none, and having finished my precious commodity coffee, I went to the counter to enquire. “Who’s the artist?” “He is.” The man standing next to me in line? No. Him, the barista with the dark bushy hair and big glasses? Well, no. Actually it is the man sitting at the top of the stairs. As a side note, the woman running the expresso machine is his spouse.

So I get my pot of Moroccan Mint tea (wholesale price skyrocketing by the second) and approach the stairs. Query. Indeed, he’s the artist. Complement, ask about photo. He tells me his name, inspirations, okays photo. I didn’t get his name or sources, but here’s the art.

Mind wanders at coffee shop

40 So what does the “40” mean? Why is it there? Here goes.

In November, for the second year in a row, I participated in National Novel Writing Month, nanowrimo. org . The idea is that you write 50,000 words in November. And if you do, you can print out a certificate. I did. (Thank you, thank you.)

Was trying to think of how to do a December repeat, and for some reason calculated out 50,000 words divided by “x” number of tweets. Voilà! Rounding up, 1500 tweets. I have a ways to go. (These “tweets” have morphed to be longer.)

Next: price of coffee. It’s going up. And so is the price of other commodities. My coffee was two fifty. Gas likewise is rising. It is three dollars a gallon again, as the price of oil passes ninety a barrel. Of course even at that price, there are beaucoup subsidies and hidden costs. A few days ago, I googled the price, in US dollars, of a gallon of gas in France. Almost six. Oh well. Paul Krugman points out this commodities increase is not attributable to speculation alone — link .

Fell in love with the graph paper “cut outs” exhibited at Nina’s. I snapped the picture and then wandered around the coffee shop, looking for some curatorial information. Finding none, and having finished my precious commodity coffee, I went to the counter to enquire. “Who’s the artist?” “He is.” The man standing next to me in line? No. Him, the barista with the dark bushy hair and big glasses? Well, no. Actually it is the man sitting at the top of the stairs. As a side note, the woman running the expresso machine is his spouse.

So I get my pot of Moroccan Mint tea (wholesale price skyrocketing by the second) and approach the stairs. Query. Indeed, he’s the artist. Complement, ask about photo. He tells me his name, inspirations, okays photo. I didn’t get his name or sources, but here’s the art.

Graph paper dimensions

Mind wanders at coffee shop

40 So what does the “40” mean? Why is it there? Here goes.

In November, for the second year in a row, I participated in National Novel Writing Month, nanowrimo. org . The idea is that you write 50,000 words in November. And if you do, you can print out a certificate. I did. (Thank you, thank you.)

Was trying to think of how to do a December repeat, and for some reason calculated out 50,000 words divided by “x” number of tweets. Voilà! Rounding up, 1500 tweets. I have a ways to go. (These “tweets” have morphed to be longer.)

Next: price of coffee. It’s going up. And so is the price of other commodities. My coffee was two fifty. Gas likewise is rising. It is three dollars a gallon again, as the price of oil passes ninety a barrel. Of course even at that price, there are beaucoup subsidies and hidden costs. A few days ago, I googled the price, in US dollars, of a gallon of gas in France. Almost six. Oh well. Paul Krugman points out this commodities increase is not attributable to speculation alone — http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/27/opinion/27krugman.html .

Fell in love with the graph paper “cut outs” exhibited at Nina’s. I snapped the picture and then wandered around the coffee shop, looking for some curatorial information. Finding none, and having finished my precious commodity coffee, I went to the counter to enquire. “Who’s the artist?” “He is.” The man standing next to me in line? No. Him, the barista with the dark bushy hair and big glasses? Well, no. Actually it is the man sitting at the top of the stairs. As a side note, the woman running the expresso machine is his spouse.

So I get my pot of Moroccan Mint tea (wholesale price skyrocketing by the second) and approach the stairs. Query. Indeed, he’s the artist. Complement, ask about photo. He tells me his name, inspirations, okays photo. I didn’t get his name or sources, but here’s the art.

“…but you can never leave…”

Sitting at the Dunn Brothers, Lake Street & West River Road, because I can. 5th of July. Noodling on the ShapeWriter iPhone app. Pandora Radio: Listening first to Bungle in the Jungle, then to Behind Blue Eyes via ear buds, which I can do now since getting iOS4. (Otherwise, pre- multitasking, moving away from Pandora to ShapeWriter meant music stopped.)

Led Zepplin “Rock and Roll” soothes my mind while I survey a coffeeshop of other folks similarly self- absorbed. Amazingly humid. Like last night, the sky is filled with a complex, dense jumble of clouds, thunderheads rising at regular intervals in all directions.

Went to Common Ground again this morning, making four consecutive days of sitting for two hours at a time.

Last night to Martha’s house for a neighborhood gathering. Men sitting on the porch, women in the kitchen. Does it never end? And the “kids,” shit– twelve years on, and damn– they’re BIG, they’re ADULTS, fer Christssake. I retreated to the air conditioning and solitude of my bedroom hours before the official fireworks. Stella decided she was most comfortable UNDER the bed.

What I SEE is quiet self- absorbed, computerized individuals. What I hear beyond the sonic iPhone Hubble Sphere is many voices, a la there’s a party going on.

Cable go bye-bye

For weeks, the text message had been scrolling across the top of the television screen. A warming to call the cable company and arrange for the installation of a digital converter, a “set- top box.” (Funny, but there’s not much “set-top real estate” on top of TVs anymore.)

The children were itching to call 1-800, for fear of “a possible lose of service.” The irony is that, for years, we’d been getting a pretty sweet deal. And placing that call was certain to end it.

Years ago, when we switched our Internet from DSL to cable, a cable guy came to our house to do the install. He determined that all the cable from the pole to the set needed to be replaced. It was too old. And replace it he did, at no cost to us. When done, however, he couldn’t figure out how to give us just the basic channels package that we were paying for. So we got the next level up package. No questions asked.

A few days after the children made their call, a UPS delivery appeared—the cable box. The children opened it up, plugged it in, and called the cable company. Software was pushed. Systems updated. And POOF! the carriage was a pumpkin, the prince a frog, our extra channels gone. No more Twinkies.

Kind of miraculous, that the kids really can’t say much since it was their actions that caused the change. While I’d like to watch Twins games, going with the flow and not having the full TV thing is an interesting change. If I had simply taken it away—oomph. But since they took it away from themselves—it has been workable.

Metaverse

Watched with Dorothea episode two of Fringe. There were two gooey parts that I fast-forwarded through. She is much tougher about such things. A naive view of parallel universes: snapshot is taken, then replicated. All stuff thereafter proceeds in each independent of the other. (That’ s my verbiage.) Led directly to Wikipedia. Whoa, before finishing coffee.

Multiverse, many-worlds. Meta-universe, metaverse.

Hugh Everett III–remember the New Yorker article by his son?

“In cosmology, the Hubble volume, or Hubble sphere, is the region of the Universe surrounding an observer beyond which objects recede from the observer at a rate greater than the speed of light, due to the expansion of the Universe.” (Wikipedia)

Near death experiences

Last week, while driving hither and thither, I passed a recent bicycling accident on Marshall, so recent that the bicycle, crumpled, was still lying in the street as people tended the cyclist, sitting, leaning against a parked car. Last Thursday, Stella dropped a barely breathing baby bird at my feet. Watched as it took its last breath. This morning, dying rabbit laying in the intersection, chest heaving, legs twitching. Immediately after, coming to yellow, then red at Summit and stopping in the median, I watched in shock as an oncoming bicyclist ran the red and then made a left. Very ballsy, very unnecessary, very stupid.

“No choice but to leave”

At the end of yoga class, Dorothea and I were lingering and chatting with the teacher, Kitty. I bought an eye pillow. As she finished packing up and we were walking to our cars, Kitty said, “I miss Thomas.” Not sure what the context was. Either just before that or soon after, she was speaking of a woman, Betty White, who, while crossing Grand Avenue in a crosswalk, had been struck and killed by a car. This happened maybe ten years ago. Perhaps it was a comment by Dorothea about dying in corpse pose, just like Thomas. Not sure. But of Betty White, Kitty said at the time, Betty was on her way home from one of Kitty’s yoga classes at Ramsey Junior High. I vaguely knew about a Quaker who’d been killed by a car some years ago. That was Betty.

Note that you will be required to do some decoding in the following passages. Think: IBM = HAL. (I wikipedia’d it, and both Kubrick and Clarke disavowed; but what can you do?)

Later that night, Dorothea and I watched the first episode of the first season of Fringe a la Netflix DVD. (Netflix for the summer has become a tradition.) My most memorable moment was when Walter said, enthusiastically, “Let’s make some MTE!” (Reference note above.)

Friday, we sent Madeline driving Enzo, Elsa, and Liam as they all went to the Riverview to see First Date. Just as they left, however, we experienced the most torrential downpour. It was a hurricane. Dorothea and I questioned our judgement. But was also felt like hey, sometimes, adventures are good.

Dorothea, Beauty, Liz, Madeline, Liam, and Elsa were all queued up to go cabin camping that Friday, but that plan was abandoned due to threatening weather. If they were going to be gone, I was going to go to the Common Ground Full Moon Walk, and maybe have me an Illusione djhbs. (Ibid.) When I told her of my dashed plans, Dorothea said “let’s _____ something else.” So, instead, Dorothea went and got some of Thomas’ now five-year old qpu. From her sock drawer. We sat out in the shed, imbibed, and enjoy the views of the rain and sky. All quite unexpected, unplanned, and wonderful. When we heard the children returning, just after nine o’clock, we both wished that the movie had been longer.

Saturday for me was an all-day retreat, again at Common Ground. Liam went swimming and on a overnight with his buddy. Others went to graduation parties. Today was the Gay Pride Parade, though we didn’t make it in time to see the parade. Just were able to soak up the general atmosphere.

And, after all that, Beauty stopped by and gave us three plastic storage bins of Thomas mementos. Dorothea’s younger brother, Thomas, died in September, 2005. (He was 39.) His “girlfriend” at the time–her name is Dorothy. Because he already had a sister named Dorothy, he gave his girlfriend the nickname “Beauty.” The nickname has stuck. Beauty has essentially become another member of the Hansmeyer clan. She has moved on–has another partner–and is in the process of purging. The first thing we saw, when we opened the first container, was this newspaper and its headline

no choice but to leave 02

The Complete Sonnets Festival, Part One

Google Maps says that the 21 should arrive in seven minutes. I sit on the bus stop bench, NE corner, Cretin and Marshall. A few periodic bicycles, but mostly individuals in their four-wheel, interno-cumbusto exoskeletons. Left-turn green-arrow lane, east-bound Marshall to north-bound Cretin: they honk; they swear; I hear the drivers through their open windows– it is a warm, humid evening–“Come on! Go! Goddamn it!” cursing the car ahead that isn’t left-turning fast enough. Nevermind the bicycles entering the intersection from the other direction. As a species, we’re doomed.

I am on my way to Intermedia Arts on Lyndale for The Classical Actors Ensemble production, The
Complete Sonnets Festival, Part One, http://www.classicalactorsensemble.org/

Carrot Muffin

I am sitting in Brewberry’s, having finished coffee (in a real cup!), a carrot cake muffin (300 calories, conservatively), and a few more pages of The Big Short by Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Blind Side). I just got it from the library, where I’d been on a waiting list for a couple of weeks. A great if sobering read, especially for me, since my job currently is to set up a computer system for bond traders. I also have been reading Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor, on Kindle on the iPhone and laptop. Historical Buddha, sans reincarnation.