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August 15th, 2009

transport

See, it's like this.

It's like that subway map. It all looks orderly, and like everything is spaced neatly and falls into place. But they just drew the map that way, because it's easier to read. The stations really don't line up like so many slices of blueberry pie. They're cobbled together, a bit, with blood and sweat and welded rails, and the whole system holds together in ways you could never map.

So you can't look around you in the subway car and decide that everyone else either knows where they're going, or knows not to care. You have to realize that they're like subway maps, too. They may seem as predictible as station names, but in fact they've all got little ugly twists and secret gardens and turns into corners beside quaint Italian restaurants.

You can spend a lot of time obsessing about directions. You can lament that you don't seem to have the monthly pass, or that the neighborhood from which you must catch the train is a lot further from where you want to go then you wish were the case. You can even point to the holes in your pocket from using token after token, just to find that you're still stuck on the light rail on the outer rim circling the inner places where all the action takes place.

But sometimes you just gotta take out that map, and fix upon a destination, and just ride without all those inner voices telling you about the problems with railroading. You're in it for the ride, not the exit turnstile. You scan the map like it's a lot more colorful and a lot more interesting than you ever imagined,if you just look carefully at the colors.

Jazz Memories

You plot a point, and ride there,when you can. You may have to hop off the train to earn your tokens, sometimes. Someday you may even earn a monthly pass. Until that day, you ride as if you have a destination, and just keep working the map.

today's list

1. feel back asleep at 9 a.m. and slept until noon. I am glad we postponed our mountain drive.
2. had a great time with my 17 year old nephew at the Main Event, winning tickets at silly arcade games
3. saw a huge giant swallowtail butterfly fluttering around our postage stamp backyard
4. went to Car Toys. They quoted me a small fortune to put in a new CD player plus speakers, and yet the
salesman was so matter-of-fact and straight up, I didn't mind at all. I went instead with a simple install of a nice Alpine tuner, which gives me improved sound and the all-important mp3 jack. Now I can listen to my music from my active mp3 player in the car, and not just when I rent a car out of town somewhere.
5. My wife and I went to Verizon to see about our phone plan. Because I travel much more moderately nowadays, we were able to reap a huge savings by changing plans. Verizon is very easy to deal with, and our salesman was super high quality. Two great purchase experiences in one day is a wonderful thing. Both arose from companies which stress salesmanship. I am beginning to remember that it's not always the lowest price that matters, but the best delivery at a reasonable price.
6. Because I have had my last phone for a few years, I was eligible to get a phone that will be much more use when I am traveling. I'll miss my old phone, but I am excited by having a full-featured phone at very little cost.
7. We ate grilled fish at Fishmongers Restaurant, along with a Mexican shrimp cocktail. Our waitress was very nice, and wore a carved turtle a friend got for her on the island of Anguilla. I love to hear little stories about little objets d'art.
8. I wrote a record review today. I cannot remember why I stopped writing them, because I always enjoy listening and writing them so much.
9. Tomorrow I must recharge more. I am still a bit beaten, but at least I am not bruised.
10. Current reading list: a mystery, "The Rest is Noise", and a survey of the pre-Raphaelites.