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January 22, 2010

Bus vs. Bike: A One-Act Play with Themes of Prejudice, Obscenity, and, of course Transportation

The scene: No. 4 bus headed downtown, 8:15 a.m.
The characters: Balding bus driver with deep-seated anger issues; biker with a potty mouth; bus rider innocently reading about Mormons in her new book “Under the Banner of Heaven”

Bus rider is learning about a Mormon prophet’s plan to build a City of Refuge at the foot of the Dream Mine near Provo, Utah to prepare for the coming apocalypse, when all of a sudden she is distracted by a commotion at the front of the bus.

Driver: This is my lane! Get in your own lane!
Biker: I’m in my own lane, ***hole!
Driver: (kissing noises) You’re just jealous!
Biker: F**k you! (obscene gesture)
Driver: Sticks and stones! Sticks and stones!
Biker: F**k you, ***hole!
Driver: (kissing noises) Sticks and stones! Report me! Get on the phone and report me!
Biker: I will! (obscene gesture)
Driver: Report me! My supervisor’s right over there! (indicates nearby TriMet office)
Biker: (obscene gesture)

Both parties scowl at the other. Exeunt.

January 11, 2010

i cannot control the volume of my voice

I may be 10 days late in posting my resolutions, but one of them was to procrastinate to my heart's content. So really I'm right on track. And now, without further ado, I give to you that which I resolve to accomplish in '10:
  • Learn at least three new knitting skills. I've maxed out on boring hats and scarves, and I'm in the middle of a blanket that looks exactly like the last one I made. My buddy Danielle taught me how to do a cabled pair of fingerless gloves on Saturday, the first of which I finished last night. Goes to show me that I shouldn't fear the un-knit-known. I'd like to make 2010 the Year of the Sweater and Sock.

  • Keep the apartment in better shape. I usually have a frenzied cleaning sesh once per week and then let crap pile up for the next six days. I have yet to internalize the notion that if I could just tidy up a little bit every day I wouldn't have to devote half my Sunday to Messrs. Clorox and Swiffer.
  • Freeze more leftovers. I recently started freezing leftover soup in my favorite found muffin pan. It amuses me to no end to open my freezer and see soup masquerading as muffin-pops. Plus it's really satisfying to pop soupcicles out of the flexible pan.

  • Speaking of cooking, I would be a waste of space if I let 2010 pass without attempting Julia Child's Boeuf Bourginon from her chef d'oeuvre Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The dullness of my knives and my tendency to chop vegetables far slower than the average bear will probably make this an entire day's labor, but I shall persevere. Maybe for Valentine's Day.
  • Keep my French up to snuff. Dieu knows je can't get by en France with seulement my Franglais, hardcore though it may be. I'm going to attempt to watch French news at least three nights a week for the double benefit of increasing my comprehension skillz and getting in tune with French current events. I used to have to listen to five hours of spoken French per week for my French Business class in college--three of which I knocked off with dubbed American thrillers like House of Wax, and the rest I spent watching the 8:00 news on TF1. If I want to be vraiment sage, I'll write down the vocab I don't understand and look it up, and write a summary of what I learned. Chances of that happening: slim to none. But in case you were wondering, it snowed a lot this weekend in France. It was hard to drive due to freezing rain in some areas. The storm made one very unhappy leek farmer, who lost about 50% of his crop. A dairy farmer was also upset, but I'm not sure why. They are using sand and salt to make the roads more passable. Bam.
  • Make my biceps disgustingly large. In the year 2009 I gave my muscles some definition for the first time in my life. 2010 will be the year I make my gigantic muscles define me.
  • And, finally, I resolve to increase the clarity and volume of my speech. While home for the holidays, I had a record number of people exclaim in frustration that they had no idea what I was saying. One of them, whom I had just met, told me to, "Speak the F**K up!!" In lieu of keeping exclusive company with fellow low-talkers, I suppose it's time to give my vocal chords some exercise.
All of these resolutions seem fairly doable, though not quite as doable as the ones I made two years ago-- all of which I kept to a T, by the by.