This is today, the penultimate game. What a great matchup: the Deutsche versus their own auslanders! Starts at 2:45 Eastern. Carried by ESPN and maybe ABC. None of the Turkish team are returning from their 2002 World Cup lineup (3rd Place finish).
My parakeets’ cage was a little barren and boring. I had an extra copy of this week’s “Review For Genest’s Final Exam” lying around so I clipped it up inside the cage wall. The birds snapped to life,going nuts tearing the review sheet apart. God, I hope the kids engage that sheet with similar vigor.
This is Fall 2000 at Nan Li Ao Beach, near Hsin Chu Taiwan. We're standing on a 14 foot tall dike. Pictured: Heather and David McLeod. David is the greatest biology teacher ever. They’re both back in Kansas now, both working on their PhD’s, he in Herpatology, she in Civil Engineering.They taught me my first phrase in Mandarin Boo Yow Shi Gua, Shie-Shie, ("I don't want any watermelon, thank you") Taiwan doesn’t have too many beaches since the Taiwanese mostly don’t know how to swim. They have a mythical relationship to the sea, knowing somewhere in the back of their subconscious that the goddess (Guan Een?) protected their ancestors when the family originally came over from the mainland. Having been lucky enough to survive that crossing they now figure they’ll be and damned if they’re going to tempt fate and go near something as dangerous as the ocean again. I went here a dozen times alone. If I took the bus, I felt proud that I knew the way. If I used my Vespa I had the thrill of passing and being passed on a winding road with many blind curves and swampy bogs along the edge. If I rode my bike, I got a epic bout with dehydration and the sun: 1hr 45min each way, plus whatever hours you spent in the sun while actually at the beach. I remember peddling with a big "coolie hat" but the string didn't really hold it on in the wind of a bike ride.
Each trip was great. On sunny days you could go a half mile south past the tank traps and share the entire horizon with nothing but a couple of soldiers in towers, staring at the waves for Chinese invaders that, knock on wood, have so far never materialized. [But amphibious assault is so passé in 2008 anyway. The latest prediction on how Beijing could do it, I read in Janes Defense, was that the real invasion would come via commercial airliners landing thousands of armed soldiers in commandeered 747s. But the same source predicted the invasion would come in late 2006, so what do they know.]
I went to Nan Li Ao Beach once around midnight and waded out to my waist to look at the tide while I talked to my mom in the dark on my cell phone. Once I sat on the broken concrete beneath the breakwall and listened to the entire Play album by Moby while I stirred the sea lice with a piece of driftwood.
Beachcombing here usually yielded a lot of bobbing motorcycle helmets and jettisoned flip flop sandels.
Local teens would drive out here to neck. What’s funny, is that they arrived via scooter and more than once I saw them making out while sitting on the parked scooter.
Here's some vital knowledge I learned this morning: my music is not skewed towards living in the past. This was somehow a burning question when I woke up this morning.
[Methodology: Draw a histogram of the 100 most played songs from my iPod, ranging from "Where is my mind?" to "Don't Know Why I Love You" sorted by decade.]
This sort of morning project fulfills all my ideals for a perfect activity:
time spent perusing my "records"* [on iTunes/iPod]
impractical waste of time
produces a quantified result
produces a graphic result
There's something very hunter-collector about pawing over a box of things you collect [model trains, tubes of oil paint, baseball cards, kitchen supplies]. A modern gloss on it would be to call it a curatorial instinct but I think it's really just some part of our cerebellum that feels compelled, feels soothed even, to sort out the day's seeds and roots into little piles on the Savannah. We are not all that far removed from birds, fish, and other compulsive stackers of things.
Great grab #1 from the American Heritage Dictionary, under "D", the illustration for Daredevil: Great grab #2 from a dictionary, the usage example for last: "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" (Martin Luther King, Jr)
Too unwieldy for the bathroom but just right in the bedroom, I have rediscovered that this dictionary is great bedtime reading. I cherish it as our cultural ark or time capsule. Pithy, even at 2.5 lbs, how great would it be if we could have sent THIS, the AHD, in 1979 as our coppercoated message to distant solar systems.