May 2003 Archives

May 29 22:36:00 2003

No predicting what the driver of a Ford Exploder will do...

So about a half an hour ago, i was walking home through the beginning of night, after spending the evening at Quack's & Mother's. From behind me came a brief (American) horn honk, and i turned to see one of my very favorite vehicles of all time, a Ford Exploder.
I was walking on a small street (44th), and crossing in front of a dirt alley. The heading of the Exploder suggested it wanted to turn off the street into said alley. I probably had a less than friendly expression on my face as i stared into the headlights and worked through this analysis. But the Exploder wasn't going very fast, so i just kept walking. A moment later, a female voice from the Exploder said, "Sorry."
Somehow, through the shock, i managed not to trip and fall on the ground. The Exploder did indeed turn into the alley, and as i watched it go i did try to evidence something like a smile, but i probably should have said something like, "No problem." Maybe they just accidentally hit the horn, or thought i was someone they knew. I don't really know, but she seemed like a decent enough person.
This is the second time something like this has happened. One night, i was riding my bike home, also in Northish Central Austin, and i stopped at a Stop sign. (Some of us cyclists actually do this...well, at least when there are other vehicles present) There was a Jeep already at the intersection, and it also stopped, but it did not have a stop sign. I waved the vehicle on, and the male driver said, "Go ahead." I blinked a couple of times. The Jeep looked determine to wait, so i rode through the intersection. As i passed in front of the Jeep, i said, "Thanks," and the driver of the Jeep replied, "You're welcome."
I'm just not used to this kind of decency from motorists towards peds or bicyclists. Perhaps my 7 years away in big bad metropoli cultivated an overly cynical attitude. But i like this decency; this courtesy. Though it's still a bit odd to find Austin occasionally vindicating the most obnoxious (long-distance) descriptions of its best qualities i made while away, generally immediately preceded or followed by an explanation of how Chicago or suburban MD was so much worse. But there it is.
Tonight's encounter punctuated an evening of introspection about my mood over the last few months, which generally coincides with my move back to Austin. I actually feel as if things could not be any better right now (in the ways that truly matter); that i find myself noticing (which is in and of itself remarkable) that i'm calmer, happier and more pleasantly "chilled" that i can ever remember being. It's almost as if my youthful idealism is lurking somewhere in the dusty fringes of my psyche; chased away 25 years ago by my teen-age angst and cynicism, but not dead and gone as i had for so long assumed. And i don't really know what to make of that, but i like it.

Posted by johan | Permanent link

May 29 11:07:00 2003

Cool online comic: Spiders

I ran across this online comic last week, and found it thought-provoking and cool.

Posted by johan | Permanent link

May 21 15:12:00 2003

Does this seem humorously strange to anyone else?

I was surprised and amused that The University of Texas' Student Union is offering (informal) classes on how to be a "Go-Go" dancer, closing with a comment about how this class will help the student get a job. Maybe this is an indication of current career options for newly-minted college graduates.
Here's the course description:
Go-Go Aerobics
The most fun you will ever have working out! If you love to dance, be in the limelight, dress up and get down, this is the class for you! We will provide the wigs, gloves, hats and glow sticks, you bring your attitude and energy and let Chrissy show you how to throw down and catch eyes Go-Go style. Christen Leach has been a Go-Go dancer for 3 yrs in the hottest clubs from Houston to Austin and can show you how to obtain this exciting job while getting a cardio workout.

Posted by johan | Permanent link