Friday, August 26, 2005

Sex shy

Just finished The Inner Circle, T.C. Boyle's fictionalization of Dr. Kinsey and the beginnings of the Kinsey Institute in the 1940s. Interesting read, and I liked the writer's choice to mirror Kinsey's own research style; this novel is all about sex research, and yet the sex described is clinical, detached, and devoid of any excitement or romance. In my opinion, Boyle made a distinct choice to write a flat, passionless (dare I say flaccid?) book to show the main flaw with Kinsey's own research: sex is more than statistics and fluids, it's about excitement and raw emotions. It made the book annoying to read at times, but it was an interesting stylistic choice.

Good read, although I'll admit sometimes I wondered if anyone was reading over my shoulder and what they thought of me. Then I wondered what Kinsey would have thought of me getting embarrassed about what other people thought of me. Then, to quote Kevin Nealon, suddenly I lost interest. I'll give it a solid B: good read, interesting subject, great style choice by the writer.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Food affair?

I got home very late last night, and was both ravenously hungry and so tired I couldn't imagine cooking. So I picked up some Thai take-out and was walking home...when I ran into Mr. Ha, owner of our favorite Chinese restaurant on the block. He looked down, saw the take out bags that clearly were from some other establishment, looked up at me, and (this could have been my overactive imagination) I could have sworn I saw a brief look of disappointment flit across his face before he smiled and we engaged in small talk, all the while completely ignoring the small pink bag I was carrying.

I felt a little dirty, and wanted to reassure him that it was a one-time thing, that their pad thai meant nothing to me, and that I would always love his basil chicken in the future, first and foremost. But it all went unsaid.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What video games say about my mood

If you are curious, my Xbox game du jour is Destroy All Humans!, a fun-filled romp through 1950's America trying to...well, to do exactly what the title suggests. No false advertising for this one.

Not sure I like what this says about where my head is at recently, but I guess it's better to take out my frustrations on pixels and bits than on my idiot neighbors or the moron who keeps parking in front of my driveway.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Yabba Dabba Doofus

We bought an iPod this weekend; if you look at your calendar, you will notice that we are about two years behind the trend, which is actually pretty fast for us. Our only far right tendencies are our position on the bell curve when it comes to keeping up with current technology (we still use dial-up, we got our first DVD player last December, etc.).

In the past, it hasn't been that big of a deal. But then we brought our new little toy home...and got stopped cold. It turns out that our Windows operating system is two systems behind the minimum needed to operate an iPod, our USB port is too slow, etc. I asked the pterodactyl inside the hard drive for help, but couldn't hear his answer over the wooly mammoth vacuum cleaner.

BTW, in case you were wondering, yes, I felt very old just buying the damn thing. Even the bag made me feel bad; it is designed to be worn like a backpack, unless you look like me. Then it is designed to be carried awkwardly in both hands, like a combination of nuclear waste and a present for the grandkids.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Get ur Freak on...

I don't review many books on this blog, but I should, so I thought I'd start with a book I finished on the train yesterday. Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, is an odd ride through the correlation between seemingly unconnected events in our world. I was impressed that they even tried to connect the dots between things as (seemingly) disparate as Roe v. Wade's impact on crime years later, and while I think they jump to several unsubstantiated conclusions with the greatest of ease, I enjoyed the writing style and moved through it quickly. I will share also that there is little to no "hard" economics, so if you are a math-phobe like me, you'll be just fine.

Since I'm an ex-teacher, I'll go with grades: I give this book a solid B for being thought provoking and entertaining, if a little quick to make assumptions. Good effort.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The City of Pride and Purpose

I went to visit a client in Richmond yesterday, lately of Coach Carter fame. In the 15-20 minutes it took to drive off the highway and to my client's house, I witnessed the following:

  1. A large fight down a side street, which looked like it involved at least five young men, arms and legs swinging.
  2. An almost-fight at the gas station, in which the gentleman in front of me and the cashier got into a huge profanity-laden argument, resulting in the cashier coming out of his bullet-proof booth with a baseball bat, and the gentleman in front of me reaching into his jacket, but then apologizing to me and the two small children behind me in line, turning, and leaving. [cue release of breath]
  3. Four loud pops in succession (which I am trying hard to pretend were firecrackers), followed a few minutes later by four racing Richmond police cars, three of which pulled into a housing unit, leaving the fourth to park across the entranceway, so no one could get in or out.

When I was in the gas station, the little kids helped me pick out a Vitamin Water (they said I should buy the Formula 50, because Fifty Cent [or, as I call him, "Fiddy"] advertises it). They were adorable, and very pleased that I made the right choice (btw, Fiddy makes a pretty good drink). I thought of them when I got back on the highway later and realized that I got to leave. They have to live there.