I don’t make many mix tapes or burned CDs or playlists or whatever we’re making these days — if we’re making things like mix tapes at all and not just letting iTunes sort things out for us. When I have made them, they’ve tended to resemble each other. They’re drifting or evolving. If I made one today, it would need to include Andrew Bird‘s song Tables and Chairs from The Mysterious Production of Eggs. I’ll tell you why. It’s partly because Andrew Bird’s lead with Nora O’Connor‘s harmony vocals stings really good, but mostly because the lyrics promise that there will be snacks after the apocalypse. Tables and Chairs goes in right after the Talking Heads’ Heaven, either that or Heaven is the first song and Tables and Chairs is the last.
A flurry of birds pasted onto the old Chang’s Mongolian Grill sign. I may have posted a picture of this before, but when I saw it today — midday, sunny, warm — it just seemed really compelling.
A hot hot girl in a short short skirt walks out of a Starbucks carrying two paper cups in a cardboard tray. She’s smiling and swaying her hips, basking in attention. She heads down the hill toward me, passing two girls who are crouched on the steps waiting for the bus. Their eyebrows raise and their heads turn and follow those hips until the girl and I pass each other. That’s when they look up at me and watch my face burn red. I gather from their reactions as I close the distance between us that I’m entertaining. When I pass them, one of the seated girls makes an encouraging “woohoo” sound and looks back down the hill at the girl with the swaying hips.
Oddly, I’m cited alongside Mike Whybark in an academic paper: “Memes, literacy and affinity spaces: Implications for policy and digital divides in education” (PDF) (Here’s Google’s html-ized version), “Conference paper presented to the ‘Policy Options and Models for Bridging Digital Divides’ Conference Global Challenges of eDevelopment Project, March 14-15, 2005.”
The reference is to the Hopkin Green Frog story. The section on Hopkin Green Frog begins on page 11, Mike and the t-shirt come up on page 12, and this Beans for Breakfast entry is excerpted on pages 13-14.
I saw an old Ford Escort parked on my block earlier. Its front license plate was sitting loose on the dashboard in front of the steering wheel. The number on the plate nearly matched the number on my replacement plates — the letters were the same and the numeric part was just 31 higher than mine. It seems likely that the plates were picked up sometime in the last couple of weeks from the same suburban Department of Licensing storefront where I picked up my replacement plates. (This DOL location didn’t seem to be state run, by the way. It appeared to be a private sub-licensed DOL. The name on the sign out front was something closer to “Bill’s Department of Licensing” than “State of Washington Department of Licensing”.)
When I saw the license plate in that car window this morning, I stopped and stared for a few seconds and thought about coincidence. Then I crossed in front of the Escort and into the street — the sidewalk was blocked ahead where a construction crew has been making an empty lot out of a couple of old houses — and I walked the rest of the way to my car and realized that I’d caught a glimpse of a pattern, not a coincidence.