Tuesday, September 7, 2010

random junk

Here's two things, in no particular order:

1. Jogging. When suburbs were first being created, I imagine someone must have said, "hey, you know that grid system we used for the rest of the city? The one where streets and avenues run at right angles? Well, I'm sick of right angles. Damn straight lines. For these suburbs, I want nothing but big, looping doughnuts. Doughnuts with jellied centers. Doughnuts with sprinkles. Doughnuts with a bit of a honey glaze that has a hint of maple, so when you bite into the center..."
Sorry, I skipped lunch today. Anyway, the point is, I've always found it miserable to jog in a suburb for the first few weeks, because the place is a seemingly randomly laid out maze. This time included. The feeling is somewhat ameliorated, however, by the sheer friendliness of the other joggers around here. I've gotten about half a dozen "hi"s and even a few high fives. Considering that in previous areas, the best I've gotten is catcalls unfavorably comparing my running to a scene from Forrest Gump, I'm willing to forgive a few twisty turns.

2. Speak into the void. I had to leave a phone message today, and it reminded me of just how much I hate phone messages. It's a number of factors. First, when you make the call, there's the uncertainty on whether you'll go to voice mail or not. I'm simultaneously constructing a conversation and a monologue in my head. Much as I love a good multitasking session, playing Schroedinger's receiver is not my idea of a good time. Second, and this point goes for phone calls in general, I have a harder time with a conversation when I can't support my side with gestures, and can't receive them. Third, with the recorded message there's the knowledge that you're being recorded; if you're talking to someone, at least anything you say that's idiotic can be glossed over fairly quickly. In a recorded message, it just sort of... hangs there. And the more you try to recover, the worse it sounds. I'd even prefer email--it's just as lacking in gestures, and just as recorded, but at least you can edit before you send. (And actually, I've read some interesting papers on how emoticons take on gestural and tonal connotations in text messages and emails. ;) ) Even a blog post is better, because since no one ever, ever replies, I can pretend that I'm speaking to myself.

There was gonna be a third thing, but I got distracted. So... tomorrow, quick review of "Book of Eli." Feel anticipation!

Later Days.

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