Saturday April 26, 2003

Where does the time go? It’s been a week. Between these bloggin’s I think of a lot of things that I want to write about and then I don’t and eventually forget whatever it was. But here’s what’s happening here.

….

Well, nothing really. Nothing’s happening here on the east coast. People are doing things of course. Society is still functioning, such as it is, and the citizenry is going about their daily lives. They’re working, going to school, procreating, playing Uno, eating crab cakes and picking up prescriptions. But I’m not doing anything particularly interesting. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

There have been 84 unjustified homicides in Baltimore as of April 24, 2003. On pace to hit 300. Sad, sad, sad.


DMV to MVA

I’m in the process of trying to get my car legalized in the state of Maryland and lemme tell you. It sucks. I haven’t had to jump through this many flaming hoops since my rookie years with Cirque d’ Soleil. I mean, good grief. The latest barb-wired hurdle is getting a Maryland auto safety inspection, which I need to apply for a MD title and registration. But Pep Boys, a certified inspector, told me they can’t do the inspection if I don’t have proper MD tags. And I can’t have the tags without having the registration which requires the inspection and … so on. So in that case, I would have to apply for ($20) temporary tags that last for 15 days and which can only be used to transport your car to and from an inspection place. Of course, I found this out after I took the car there at 8am on Friday and had my mother pick me up and drop me off, etc. I even asked on the phone before I made the appointment if I need any documents or anything and they said no. By this point I was already wary of runarounds.

For instance, I need MD auto insurance in order to apply for title and registration. But the insurance people asked me for the registration in order to transfer my coverage from CA to MD. But they were cool, though. That’s taken care of. The easiest thing so far.

So I have another appt. on Monday at 8am at another place and they say I don’t need those temporary tags. I hope not. But I guess there’s no rush since I’m still waiting for the duplicate title to arrive from the DMV that I sent away for almost two weeks ago now.

Meanwhile, I’ve been stagnant and house-bound under self-lock down. I can’t afford any financial/legal troubles at this point. Argh. But man. What is the big deal with this car stuff? It’s not like I moved to another country. I left one state in the UNITED States of America for another.

Well, I’ve been longing to go to Europe lately and so have been looking at a lot of maps of France and Germany. And I realized that in essence, the states in the US pretty much are different countries. That’s part of the psychological makeup of the States. That wantonly rugged, individualistic you-can’t-tell-me-what-to-do-I-don’t-care-if-it-makes-more-sense attitude. Sovereign. That’s the word I’m looking for. I mean, wouldn’t it make more sense to have one federal Bureau of Domestic Transportation so that moving a car from one state to another wouldn’t be as much trouble as moving to another %$#@ing country with livestock? But noooooooo! But heck, it wasn’t until too recently that there was a federal database for fingerprinting, which proved itself to be invaluable with its first few runs.


Scott Peterson/Abortion

I actually don’t have much to say about this because it pretty much speaks for itself. I just wanted to point out something interesting I saw in an article in The Sun. Laci Peterson was 8+ months pregnant when she was murdered and the baby was somehow delivered and found with the umbilical cord still attached. This has raised interesting issues as far as how the media has been reporting the story. Due to the touchy subject of abortion they can’t decide whether to refer to the baby as a fetus or a baby. Christine Hanley and Dan Morain of The Sun split the difference. Going for the King Solomon maneuver, I guess. I mean, check this out:

“Scott Peterson was arrested Friday in his car near San Diego, shortly before law enforcement authorities had confirmed that the bodies of a woman and full-term fetus that had washed ashore in San Francisco Bay were Laci Peterson and the couple’s unborn son, Conner.”

Full-term fetus or unborn son, Conner. Talk about manipulation of language. If you look at that sentence closely it implies that before we knew the names of the two masses of deceased organic tissue found floating in the Bay they were a woman and a full-term fetus but after we knew who it was, they were Laci Peterson and her son, Conner. I mean, doesn’t “full-term fetus” = baby? I guess that is a very shrewdly constructed politically correct sentence, though. Gotta hand them that.


German is Hard

I’ve been trying to get acquainted with the German language a little. German is hard. I read a hilarious and informative essay by Mark Twain called, “German: That Awful Langauge”. And he’s right. It’s tough. It’s a lot to learn. I also want to learn French, of course. Actually, I wish I could just absorb them all but it doesn’t work like that.

I don’t expect to really be able to speak it, but when I went to France I realized that even if I had some idea of the structure of the language I would have been able to pick things up a lot quicker. But German has got some complex things happening. It’s like trying to put together a puzzle where the pieces change depending on what color the pieces next to it are. Vocabulary (including gender-specification), grammar, reading, aural comprehension, speaking (including accent). That’s a lot of info to cram into a brain where the neuron pathways have already been stubbornly set.

I want to invent a pill that makes your brain more receptive to absorbing languages. I’d be a zillionaire. Although I don’t even want to think of what the side effects could be. And you couldn’t test it out on animals first, really. I’ll have to allocate more funds to R&D for this one. Marketing has already chimed in and says the target groups want color-coded capsules corresponding to different languages. They also recommend time-release capsules.


Patapsco Valley State Park

I guess I should go to sleep soon since I’m going mountain biking in the morning. Early in the morning for me, which is about 10am. I went hiking on Friday with a friend. God, I love that place. I realized how well I know that park and how that translates to how much time I’ve spent there. Or how much time I used to spend there many moons ago. But what was very cool is that we went on a trail that I’ve never seen before. There’s a whole area of trails that I’ve never been to, including trails that are between the ones that I know of, but they all drop out in very familiar places. It feels like … like if you went to Disney World/Land and walked down an out of the way side street next to the cotton candy stand and came out behind your high school. And this doesn’t include the trail system to the west of the river that I’m vaguely familiar with. But that will have to be explored on mountain bike and with a map handy. It took us three hours of hiking just to check out the part of Santee, Soapstone and Vineyard that we did.

I plan on taking pictures tomorrow. Sadie requested muddy pictures. It rained today so I shouldn’t have any trouble obliging. Hmmm. Disposable camera or digital camera? Can’t really take any action shots with the digital. Oh well. I should probably be paying attention to not falling and breaking things anyway, especially when the roots, ruts and rocks will be slick. Rocks, roots, mud and stickerbushes. Biker’s bane.

Alright. That’s enough already. Sheesh. If you’ve made it this far it’s time for you to get up and walk around a bit. Relax your eyeballs, get the blood flowing in your legs. In fact, go outside. C’mon. Get outta here. It’s too nice out there to be in right now.

I’ll be seeing you later. Or sooner.


Robby, Taylor and Toby

Oh! One more thing. I’ve been meaning to mention that I bought the CD of a guy I met at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, Robby Marshall. It’s great. And they’re all young guys with scary talent. Pretty intimidating from an old man’s point of view. Well, I may not be an old man but I feel like it when I hear 18 year olds making heavy, ageless music. Same goes for my friend Taylor Eigsti‘s CDs as long as I’m hockin’ other people’s wares. There’s an entry for Taylor on allmusic.com, too. Coincidentally, both Robby and Taylor go to USC. But check them out if you’re looking for good music, namely jazz.

Toby Backhaus is worth checking out, too, but he’s all the way over there in Germany. And he doesn’t have a CD available yet. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do a project together some day. Oh, if I could just hit the Lotto.

Financial independence, wherefore art thou?

Ok, really. I’m done. Have a good night. Carpe nox.


C*O*P*S

It is 3:11am. There’s a helicopter hovering not too far from where I’m sitting. The house is shaking. There are two reasons a helicopter scans the neighborhood like this. Either it’s a Shock Trauma Med-o-Vac chopper that lands in the field at the track a street over to the west or it’s looking for someone who has recently committed a serious crime. Often of the murder variety. I looked out of the side window and could see it. That spotlight has a creepy effect just like in movies where there are alien abductions. I looked out the back window and could see beyond our back yard, across the alley and through the backyard of the house across from us and to the street where there are a few police cars and cops gathered.

I guess I might as well not bother trying to go to sleep until the whirlybird goes away.

3:40am and they’re gone. I looked out of the back window a few minutes and it was all dark except for a pulsating blue light from one of the squad cars. It seemed quiet and then one of the policemen turned on his flashlight to search by the side of a house. Man, they’ve got some bright lights. But anyway, they all drove off. Either they found what they were looking for or they didn’t and gave up.

Oh well.

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