Friday, September 13, 2002

I am seeing dizzy and double these days, due to a recently quadrupled commute. Waking up before the sun rises and getting home after it sets. And it’s not even post-Solstice. All work and no sleep is making me an extremely dull observer, I fear. Nevertheless, one must make an effort. Today I saw a lot of people wearing coats in the morning (again, very early, cold and dark) and then a lot of people wearing not enough clothing to construct one coat from (at lunchtime, in a warmer clime).

Now I know how those bicoastal commuters feel. If you dress for the ride to the airport, you’ll be too hot or too cold once you land. Anyway, I bought myself a pretty pen to facilitate some letter writing on these long hauls. Must-find-job-without-big-commute.

Enough grumbling. I went into Kate’s Paperie, a store that should be heaven for us letter writing types but generally just makes me feel not rich enough to buy something as simple as paper.

But…and this is a big but. They were having a sale. I got a pretty birthday card for a dear friend (not on sale but she is a dear friend and it was a sweet card) and a nice pen to write letters with (75% off. Really. You should go.) (And they should give me kickbacks for all this free promotion).

See, I told you! Commuting makes me boring. Bo-ring! What else did I see? Little amoebas that float through one’s vision when the sleep is lacking. And a pushy cat trying to get into the bathroom to drink out of the faucet this morning at 5:35 am.

Screws with the perception of time, too. Sleep deprivation is just like Star Trek — anything can happen at any time. This is the episode where Valencia meets Data the artificial human and she doesn’t notice that he’s any different from the Wall Street banker type down the bar drinking a dirty martini — except that Data is drinking a pink martini and this makes him seem instantly more loveable and so she takes him home with her and discovers that yes, he is FULLY functional. I suppose Tasha Yar could have told her that, but Tasha died in the first or second season. Next Generation fans are the TV equivalent of Elvis Costello fans. When we say Captain we mean Picard, not Kirk, when we say Elvis, we mean Costello not Presley. Both blasphemous, I know. But both absolutely correct. ZZzzzzzz.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

There’s a thing you should see. For my money it’s the best memorial I’ve seen to the people who died on the 11th last year. It’s just their names, in plain text on a black background, and it’s tremendously affecting, in a way that lets you think about the monumental sorrow of those events in human terms, rather than as a carefully crafted media montage.

Just take a look, and see if you don’t think so too. It takes a really long time to scroll through them all. Longer than it did for many of them to go from wide awake and breathing to ashes floating through the air.

See, the temptation to describe is nigh irresistible, isn’t it? Better just to look at their names, and wonder what they liked to have for breakfast, and how their ride to work was that day, and what they were planning to ask for for their birthdays, all 3,044 of them. We miss them, even if we didn’t know them personally.