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02.august.2008 :: saturday :: the kindness of strangers
yesterday i crashed on my bike. i was on my way home from work [tgif],feeling large, when my single front brake got the best of me and i went tumbling over my handlebars. i could feel all my momentum carry me and my rear wheel up and over--there was nothing i could do to stop the spill. blasted physics! it all happened so quickly i didn't even get a good "shit!" in. lost opportunity. as soon as i came up, hoping to laugh it off and get back on, there came the blood. my chin ate the road pretty hard, and as head wounds do, it was bleeding profusely. the driver who witnessed my acrobatic ungrace luckily knew a couple who lived right there. they quickly and very generously came to my rescue with a peroxide-soaked towel, the conclusion that i was going to need stitches, and a ride to the emergency room. nice man--didn't even seem to mind all the blood in his car and offered to pick me up when they released me, to boot! oh-and they're hanging on to my bike, helmet, and sunglasses for me 'til tomorrow when i can get back over there to pick them up. now, i always like to think that people are generally kind-hearted and would be willing to help in an emergency. but i don't often have occasion to test that rosy outlook. these folks confirmed it handily. i couldn't have expected more from family. so i'm thanking the universe for the good energy and looking to pass it on. peace to all!
25.august.2008 :: tuesday :: torrence torrents and the dnc
rains from tropical storm Fay finally reached these dry piedmont hills yesterday afternoon and have been soaking us ever since. You can practically hear the ground thirstily slurping all the water down. there's so much—and it's coming so fast—that much of the rain is just washing away, carrying with it the red clay that covers this region. and, as if this one day of rain meant our drought was over and we were again blessed with bountiful water, the street construction crew just outside my office has opened up three mains full blast, quite literally making a river out of Torrence street. for no apparent reason. for no apparent reason—that [and throwing caution to the wind] has characterized this construction process. Aside from this monumental waste of water [to say nothing of the debris the torrent is delivering straight to the storm sewers and ultimately our creeks and streams], my favorite has been the digging—then re-digging, in exactly the same place only days or weeks later—eight foot-deep caverns in the street in random places. Sometimes these caverns are then flooded, which combines my favorite two construction gaffs into a perverse super-favorite construction mystery. Maybe our softball game will be cancelled this week due to soggy field conditions…
[Now for a clumsy segue to current events] Last night I flicked on the television shortly after eight o'clock looking for Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention. When we finally found the Convention, Nancy Pelosi was speaking. Rather, she was torturing the delegates and viewers with a mechanical, flat, and ill-advisedly substance-free introductory speech. Somehow I've managed to miss other public speeches she's made and the lackluster delivery was, as a result, surprising to me. Granted, I missed the beginning of it—whether that was 30 seconds or 30 minutes, I don't know—but the part I did catch lacked a trajectory, connectivity, and (yes, I mentioned this already) substance. It was gimmicky (with repeated “Obama is right! McCain is wrong!”), cliché (democrats good, republicans bad), and downright embarrassing (all rhetoric, no substance insults our intelligence and detracts from Obama's message of the importance of setting aside politics for good governance). One public television guest analyst commented on the crowd's subdued energy during the Pelosi speech. But I wasn't surprised by the coma that seemed to overtake the delegates while Pelosi droned on. Her speech was bathroom break material.
Fortunately, the lineup of speakers quickly improved. Obama's sister eloquently gave us a picture of their shared childhood experiences that gave rise to the candidate's public service aspirations. Jesse Jackson, Jr. electrified the crowd with his fantastic oratory highlighting the historic significance and magnificent potential of this event. Caroline Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy reminded us that the Democratic Party still rallies behind the common desire to ensure equal rights and equal opportunities for all Americans. Note that I have nothing to say about Michelle Obama's speech, which is what I was looking for when the TV went on in the first place. By ten-oh-five, it was past my bedtime and I flicked the tube off again even though the soon-to-be first lady had yet to appear. So much for Michelle Obama on prime time…guess I'll have to catch her speech online sometime.