Einstein often forgot to wear pants.

Details from a receipt found between pages 56 & 57 of Journey Without Maps by Graham Greene, bought at Twice Sold Tales in Seattle:

727 E. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs CA, 92262-0000

Table # 006
ORD# 0063 PTY#01
Name : VICTORIA (4)


SUB 9.97
TAX 0.77

TOTAL 12.74

VISA 12.74
Exp: 0801

20:14 1/29/2000

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by the reservoir park

Walking home from late night grocery shopping, What I first see as someone riding a 6-foot unicycle in the dark, turns out to be a man riding a tricked-out bicycle. Part of the frame of one bike is welded to another bike frame, making it twice the height of a normal bike. Adjustments have been made to the pedals and handlebars so that he can control pedal and steer from that unwieldy height.

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Road movie

Another in a series of films I only saw the end of:

In a gas station, Mary Steenburgen is talking crazy talk at a bunch of country bumpkins. Frustrated, she steps outside into the desert and sees the kid from the Sixth Sense drive by really fast in a convertible. A man is stuck upside down in the back seat, yelling and waving his legs around. Mary Steenburgen panics, jumps into her car, and chases after them.

Quotes from the first moon landing are cut in throughout these scenes, “Tranquillity base, the Eagle has landed.” It’s not clear if the characters are hearing this over the car radio, or if these are dubbed in for dramatic purposes.

The kid approaches the end of the road and we see a sign that says, “Crater National Monument”. “I can do this,” he says, as he presses down on the gas and makes other non-specific adjustments.

Meanwhile, the man in the backseat has righted himself. It is Ted Danson (Mary Steenburgen’s real life husband). He has picked-out curly hair. He looks up and sees that they’re approaching the crater. We know it’s not simply a crater because he yells out “Oh no, the crater!”.

“We can do it,” the kid yells.

It becomes clear that they’re going to try to jump the crater. Ted Danson pulls the kid into the back seat and hugs him. The car lands inside the crater with a crash.

Mary Steenburgen pulls up and the three of them are reunited. There’s some awkwardness between Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. The kid says something cute though, and they tentatively decide to stick together. They speed away.

We cut to a half dozen police cars, sirens wailing, tearing along the desert highway. The sheriff says something to underscore that he’s a backwater hick.

Now a few more words from Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Back to our heroes: Ted Danson is driving, Mary Steenburgen keeps calling him “Washington”. They stop when they reach a big body of water.

“Washington, what’s on the other side of that lake?” We get the impression that she already knows the answer to the question.

“Canada,” he says.

They discuss among themselves whether or not they should do something. They’re not sure if it’ll work, but they decide to give it a try. Ted Danson pulls off the road. (A few more moon landing samples.)

They drive through the dust and slow down a little as they reach the edge of the lake. They drive along on top of the water. Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen smile broadly at each other.

Neil Armstrong climbing out of his spacecraft (this time with visuals) onto the surface of the moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

About halfway across, Ted Danson reaches over the edge and splashes a little water. The kid from the Sixth Sense looks straight up and cups his ears listening, listening to the sky.

We get a long shot of the lake. Our heroes are driving their car on the lake. The flashing lights of the police cars are just arriving.

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Easter Beagle

At the coffee shop, a single serving of jelly beans sealed in a little plastic bag inside a clear plastic egg.

At Westlake Center:

Kids are break dancing. People are holding giant crosses aloft. A stage is set up where a man is singing. Someone mans a booth with a sign that says, “Are you going to heaven? Two question test will tell you.” The busker with the truckload of supplies – stereo equipment, several umbrellas, two or three saxes, a group of teddy bears, and the signs declaring his religious and/or political affiliations – is there (but he’s always there). People hand out flyers & tracts.

Other people are handing out plastic eggs. These people have a mischievous spark in their eyes, and I think the eggs must contain something designed to strike a different impact than that of the others. A tract-person and an egg-person are having a restrained conversation with a cop. No one hits me up with an egg, so I’ll never be sure what exactly was going on.

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Justin writes about grout puns

Justin writes about grout puns written between the tiles of the men’s restrooms at PSU. By chance I was dumbfounded by a similiar piece of work in the men’s room at the Elysian a while back. Every piece of grout graffiti in sight was some kind of post-modern comment on grout or grout graphiti.

I did a quick search and it seems that this phenomenon is more widespread than one might expect.

Who is responsible for this? As far as I know this only occurs behind urinals, so the culprits would be male. Since the only convenient time to create this graffiti is when one is standing there with the tile one foot in front of one’s face, it would be fair to assume that the culprits are also near-sighted. And so . . . all signs point back to Justin.

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He’s wall-eyed, has a weathered

He‘s wall-eyed, has a weathered face, stocking cap, & a thin goatee. He came up to me one day and asked if I had any baseball cards that I could give him. I don’t know where that came from, maybe he saw me reading a comic and assumed I was a collector.

So over the last couple of years he’s been coming up to me and asking if I have any cards, pictures, slides, or anything for him. I always tell him no and then we’ll walk a little and he’ll tell me a convoluted story about finding a box of slides in a dumpster or about someone giving him their expired passport.

His stories are kind of difficult to explain, because they kind of have there own logic and he sometimes leaves out key parts of the story.

One time I was having lunch with a friend at Noodle Studio, he walked by and waved. A couple of weeks later he said, “Last time you were with your wife.”

He’s starting to grow on me. He’s some kind of anthropologist/artist. That’s what I’ve decided.

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A rusty old Dodge pickup

A rusty old Dodge pickup and its driver are stranded at the corner of Olive and Melrose. Somehow the truck has been maneuvered onto the sidewalk and is backed up against a tree. The hood is propped open with a golf club and the driver is leaning against it, waiting. I walk past and nod hello. The stranded man asks, “Can you drive a stick?”

So we work out what we’re going to do: We’ll push the truck into the interchange. I’ll steer the car left onto Melrose. The truck will pick up momentum on Melrose. I’ll hop into the driver’s seat, push down on the clutch, turn the ignition, and the car will start.

I can see his confidence in me wane as we review what steps involved in starting the car. “Just as if I were starting the car like usual.” “That’s right.” He closes the hood and hands me the golf club. I move into position and drop my backpack and the golf club into the passenger seat.

We put in an effort through a couple of stop light cycles, but we’re not getting very far before we roll back toward the tree. So my new friend recruits a few more pedestrians for our venture. I offer up my place in the driver’s seat, but there are no takers. We wait for the green light and the traffic to go by and get moving. As we start taking the corner, I hop in and the car starts rolling on the slight downgrade.

The car won’t start. I try again, no good. A couple more tries, I’m losing momentum, the truck stops. I sit and wait for the driver. I can’t locate the parking break, so I sit there with my foot on the break pedal.

The driver follows me, allows traffic to maneuver around me, and comes up to the door. “You didn’t get it started?” “No. It wouldn’t start. It didn’t even make engine sounds.”

He’s growing more and more frustrated with me, he doesn’t trust me, maybe I did something wrong. I don’t know. I don’t think the car is going to start this way, but we give it another try. This time I push and he sits in the driver’s seat. (The other pedestrians have continued on their way.) We’re working toward different ends now: I want him to get the thing parked, but I think he’s sure he can make it go.

A huge pickup with a grid of bumpers on the front pulls up and the driver signals that he can help. I negotiate vague terms between the two drivers.

I stand on the sidewalk and watch the big truck push up against the little truck’s tailgate. Other things happen. At some point the driver of the big truck gets out to ask the driver of the little truck a question. I don’t know what’s going on anymore. I hesitate, wave at the driver (he doesn’t see, busy with other things), and leave.

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