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~Sunday~  I got up at about 10:00 to the most phenomenal weather! I took care of a bunch of to-do items, and enjoyed lunch out on my deck before heading for a walk around Lake Johnson.

During my 3-mile, 55-minute walk, I listened to the True Urban Legends podcast episode of This American Life.

I found the first act, "What's that smell?" more compelling from a rhetorical perspective than a topical perspective; which is to say that at the end of it, it was one of those stories that left you seeing or at least entertaining the possibility that both sides of the debate at hand have merit, meaning either of the very opposite versions of what happened could be "true."

Act One. What's That Smell?

A retired millionaire tries to understand the reality of a tough, seedy, inner city neighborhood. But what if the neighborhood is none of those things? Ira Glass evaluates the claims of this millionaire, Steve Poizner, who is also running for governor of California.


The second act was quite amusing, as it enumerated things that foreigners hear about the United States that they think can't in a million years be true until they get here and find out that they are. The instances in which they interviewed people about how and when they found out something, and what their reactions were, were particularly entertaining.

Act Two. Fleeing is Believing.

Foreigners arrive in the United States believing all kinds of misinformation about us... misinformation that turns out to be true. Mary Wiltenburg tells the story.


The final act made me glad that I am not a phone chatterer.

Act Three. Sleeper Cell.

Do cell phones give people brain tumors? Ira speaks with Christopher Ketcham, who wrote an article on this subject for GQ magazine. Another article on the subject appears in the current issue of Harper's Magazine.


When I got back home, I set up my laptop out on my deck and worked on a word project due tomorrow. Again, the weather today was just incredible, and I wanted to take maximum advantage of it. I even turned off my air-conditioning and opened my windows.

I called mom for Mother's Day, and we concluded our conversation by my asking her if she was going to bingo tonight.

"Of course," she replied.

"Have you been winning lately?" I asked.

"No. I always need one more number and then someone else who needs one more number gets their number called. But that doesn't stop me from going. I keep practicing." she replied.

"Yeah, I'm a practicing homosexual, too. Always trying to get better at it," I retorted, and she actually laughed.



I met Joe at Flex at 7:00, where we parked and walked over to The Borough for dinner and drinks. I had their most delicious:

Home on the Range . . . . . . . . . . 8.00
Marinated buffalo chicken breast sliced and served open-faced on a baguette topped with jack cheese, chopped jalapeños and a side of spicy ranch.

and we used a "Groupon" coupon (i.e., $24 worth of food and drink for $12) to pay for it.

We met Shawn-daddy's momma and daddy, who was visiting, presumably, for Mother's Day.

Later we walked back to Flex for some scareyoke, where a guy I have mentioned here on and off (who sings songs on the occasion of his dead partner's birthday and anniversary of his death) was there to sing songs to his (still-living and present in the bar) mother.

When we first got there, Rick and his gang (Military Mary, Robert Fox, et. al.) were all there and Rick had brought leftover snack foods from his Derby Party of last Saturday. In the process of putting some Frito Scoops, with some killer bacon-swiss-mayo dip on it, into my mouth, four huge drops of grease dripped onto my purple shirt. Not a good look.

I ran home and changed, and when I returned, two guys—Brian and Jack—had befriended Joe, and the four of us pretty much stood together taking in the karaoke for most of the rest of the night. Joe sang his signature song, At This Moment, at one point and the three of us (me, Brian, and Jack) were his pips—from the peanut gallery and unsolicited, of course.

Jack got a little needy and clingy as the night wore on, so at one point we bee-lined it outta there when he stepped away. Done with him. Get him awf us.

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