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Back to work, class, and Salon VIII...

~Monday~ I rode the Wolfline in this morning for more options to get home in time to make it back to campus for class at 6:00. I wanted my car with me as tonight was Salon VIII, right after class, and we were meeting out at Sarah's as she's been having some health issues.

On the bus this incredibly good-looking guy sat across from me and I contemplated what features made him so extraordinarily handsome. He had dark hair, but all stubbled, including on his head, and he had beautiful blue eyes. However, I spent the most time studying his face, as they say that the more symmetrical a person's face is the more attractive they are considered.

I like these two ads that are on most of the university buses:

The difference between a career and a purpose is about 8,000 miles.


You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps




I spent a a lot of my day catching up on e-mail and minutes of missed meetings. I also edited two communiques that will go out as part of our student e-mail migration to Google.

I attended an afternoon meeting with my officemate, my manager, and a colleague, Noah, regarding an organizational "Incident Communication Plan" that he's devising.



After seeing a communique about a change in our State Health Plan that is going to require us to have a BMI of 40 or less in 2011, and 35 or less in 2012 in order to be able to opt into the 80/20 health plan, I calculated mine via this website. I was surprised, and pleased, to find out that I'm already below the requirement for 2012, although I am still classified as "obese" at my current weight.

What I was not pleased to find out was that I would have to weigh what I haven't weighed since high school in order to fall out of the overweight and into the normal weight classification. Ridiculous.



Class was fairly engaging tonight. The presentation given by Courtney was on photo-sharing sites, and when she was done I mentioned a totally different aspect of photo-sharing by telling the class about Blaise Aguera y Arcas' Photosynth presentation on TED.




Tonight was Salon VIII, and we met at Sarah's home to accommodate a health issues she's been having. Brad and Etta were unable to attend, and we appropriately and customarily pondered their absence, which we captured pixelly:


Where's Brad?


Where's Etta?

Tonight's salon topics with various and sundry notes and sound bites interspersed:

  1. Discuss the Mind Games episode of This American Life, particularly Act Two, which starts at about 12 minutes into the MP3.

    Sarah doesn't find humor in any of the Mobius "performances" that have any kind of safety or security issues around them at all. This discussion led to the topic of flash mobs, which neither Anna nor Andrew knew about. We discussed. A brief description of the Flash Mob from August of 2003 at the Streets of Southpoint in Durham, NC.

    Who's this Andrew character you ask? A lurker, as well as co-homeowner, and beloved husband of our hostess and salonniere, Sarah. He was allowed to witness our antics, but he is sworn to secrecy about all the things that are noted here in this public record.

  2. Since we'll be at the This American Life site, I'd like to discuss The Valentine's Day 2008, particularly Act One, "Before and After" and Act Three, "Istanbul." Here's the URL / linkish thing: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1231

    Since this was Etta's item, we tabled it until the next meeting at which she is present. With regards to her absence this evening, she did send her regrets using the rhetorical device known as poetry:

    The Suitor

    by Jane Kenyon

    We lie back to back. Curtains
    lift and fall,
    like the chest of someone sleeping.
    Wind moves the leaves of the box elder;
    they show their light undersides,
    turning all at once
    like a school of fish.
    Suddenly I understand that I am happy.
    For months this feeling
    has been coming closer, stopping
    for short visits, like a timid suitor.


    At some point in the evening, Etta was outed for, surprisingly, having a sailor mouth. I smile imagining her belting out the likes of this profanity.

  3. What would you like to be named after you when you die? Or, when you become fabulously rich and famous. Your choice.


    • Anna said that this poem answers that question for her:

      OZYMANDIAS

      I met a traveler from an antique land
      Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
      Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
      Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
      And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
      Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
      Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
      The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
      And on the pedestal these words appear:
      "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
      Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    • I noted that I have actually had a discussion about this with my financial advisor around establishing "The John Martin Foundation," from which, for one thing, I'd award something like a "Courage for Coming Out" college scholarship to out high school students.

    • Sarah actually had three things that would be acceptable to her, which are (in order of preference):

      1. A performing arts center focusing on dance
      2. An addition to the J.C. Raulston Arboretum
      3. An aquarium, preferably something associated with an octopus or octopus tank.

    • Kim would like a science museum named after her, and one that is not just for children, but that allows adults to "play," too.

  4. Luxury versus Extravagance--what luxuries do you indulge in occasionally and what extravagances would you indulge in if you could? (Example, one luxury is getting a massage once a month. It would be an extravagance to get a daily massage.)

    • Kim: waxing, which of course immediately digressed back to a previous discussion on Wikipedia's extremely graphic (with no warning—consider this one yours should you decide to check it out) pictoral representation of the various kinds of bikini waxing, and average prices of various extremes and varieties of waxing.

    • Anna considers hair coloring a luxury and would do it more often and try more colors if she did it regularly. She also mentioned expensive yarn, which started a discussion about bison yarn, which quickly digressed into a discussion about beaver yarn, and shaving a beaver to get that yarn, to the sound bite of, "What if it were your beaver?" Another profound statement made some time during this discussion was, "I think you can shave just about anything [meaning any animal in the context in which we were speaking] you want."

    • Sarah's was a massage (as this was her question), and she talked about some of the Stepford wives in her neighborhood having massage envy.

    • I noted that the only kind of massage I would consider a luxury would be one with a happy ending; otherwise, "I don't want anyone kneading my fat." and "Don't fuck with my feet." My luxuries are more about once in a blue moon outrageous spending, such as staying in inordinately expensive hotel rooms and resorts during my 50th birthday trip to Australia, or picking up the tab for an outrageously expensive meal, like I did for my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary dinner for 13 at Emeril's in Orlando.

  5. How do you organize music on your iPod (or other device)?

    • Anna has quite a collection of categories, such as "Just Fun" and "Dinner." After listing several others, she said, "I didn't say it was a tidy taxonomy."

    • Kim mentioned having a category for yoga, and for various moods was it?

    • Being the "rulesy" kind of folks we are and taking to following time-honored conventions already established, Sarah and I just were nonplussed, as the answer to this question was the totally obvious: artists, albums, and songs—all defaults provided by the iPod.

    • This question was posed by Anna and its impetus was having noticed that Brad's iPod had some songs categorized by decades.

  6. This (short) article and the books you've bought or borrowed from the library, perhaps multiple times, but haven't read, and why you think that's so. Bonus points if you bring a photo of the stack on your nightstand.

    • I didn't at all do a good job of capturing the answers to this one. We did have a discussion around "quitting" and "abandoning" books, and I at first said that I've never abandoned a book, but then remembered that I recently abandoned "The Audacity of Hope," which I was reading on a Kindle on loan from the university library. And as I'm typing this, I'm remembering that I also recently abandoned (but only after I renewed it at least five times) a book called Big Machine.

    • Anna noted that she has no problem abandoning books, to which I ejaculated something about being a "quitter."

    • We inserted a 6A question here: What's the last book you read that kept you up finishing it?
      • Anna: Leaving the Saints
      • John: The Kite Runner
      • Kim: Stranger in a Strange Land
      • Sarah: She just turns off the light and gets to work on that one New Year's resolution of hers.

  7. Being asked to leave. Where? Why? When? What happened next?

    • Sarah was in charge of a bunch of drunks, and paid off the waitstaff before dragging her shit-faced friends away. I didn't capture the name and location of the place.

    • Kim was unofficially thrown out of Sammy's Tap & Grill for essentially the same reason. Her friends got to the point of throwing big glasses of water on each other.

    • Anna noted that as a bartender, she had people thrown out of her bar before.

    • I can't recall this ever happening to me, but that doesn't mean it hasn't.

  8. Dying to get tenure.

In closing, Sarah told us about a family tradition of making "naughty eyes" for a photo, which we all tried to do:



Immidiately aftewards, we all cracked up, which Andrew caught on film. We all agreed that we can't imagine anything that captures the spirit of salon better.... except a photo exactly like this one that includes Etta and Brad, of course. :-)

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Feb. 17th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
Ozmandias vs. A Stupendous Leg of Granite
Ozymandias is one of my favorites as well. Trivia fact about that poem: Shelley wrote it as part of a competition with Horace Smith to write a poem about the same subject. Smith's poem ended up with the title "On A Stupendous Leg of Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt, with the Inscription Inserted Below"

Will
dailyafirmation
Feb. 17th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Ozmandias vs. A Stupendous Leg of Granite

How interesting! And you acquired this obscure backstory, how?

Thanks for reading and commenting, Will.

Edited at 2010-02-17 02:09 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous)
Feb. 17th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Ozmandias vs. A Stupendous Leg of Granite
I think I heard it during an undergrad course on British literature, but I'm not entirely sure.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 18th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
from anna
Thanks for your thorough and thoroughly entertaining documentation of our conversations, John.

Been thinking about the books I've quit (or from which I've liberated myself, depending on how you look at it) and they're mostly things I felt like I should read (Gravity's Rainbow, Paradise Lost, Canterbury Tales, Beowulf). And then I thought about this book--- http://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-Beach-What-Literatures-Greatest/dp/0307409570/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1U6LGF981E0GO&colid=3TI04BXBPR6PN ---which came from that salon-esque catalog I brought a few salons back, and which I apparently need badly.

And only because I've heard you say you don't mind minor corrections, my music taxonomy may not be tiny, but it's data quality issue is that it is not "tidy."

Now, off to shave my cats and make a muff. (Not only is that what she said, but she said it with naughty eyes.)

Love you ever and always!
anna
dailyafirmation
Feb. 18th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)
Re: from anna

All fixed! I love you, Anna! Thanks for your constant and careful reading. Now back to muff-diving! :-) xxoo-j-
(Anonymous)
Feb. 18th, 2010 06:06 am (UTC)
Re: from anna
"Paradise Lost" is great, but only the parts in Hell. Lucifer has a way with convincing you that it's "better to reign in hell than serve in heaven," and the debates between demons are a good read.

The Heaven parts are predictably boring (as was probably the intention), because everyone obeys God and agrees with everything he says.

Ditto for "Canterbury Tales." Some parts are great, others are more boring. I had a good lit, teacher though, so we spent a lot of time analyzing the relationship between the tale and the teller.

Will
(Anonymous)
Feb. 18th, 2010 06:07 am (UTC)
Re: from anna
lit needed a period, not comma
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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