Saturday, June 30, 2007

Encountering the Past

I met up with a friend from college today. I had not seen him since I graduated way back in the previous century. Fourteen years to be precise (to those of you who can do the math: congratulations!).

It is strange.

Reconnecting with someone whom you knew pretty well, but then just took different paths and fell out of touch.

The irony of it is that in college he was a music major and he now works at the UN, while I was an IR (international relations) major and I am not quite sure what I am doing.

I also studied abroad in Sweden a year before him. I convinced him to go the following year and to stay with the host family I had, which he did. Now he is still in touch with the family, while I have lost touch.

In a reminder of the passing of time, he updated that the host family's youngest daughter is now a medical doctor. She was 8 or so when I was there. Interacting with her was great because she did not speak English and it forced me to speak in Swedish. She would laugh at me all the time because as she put it, "I was a grown up that spoke like a two year old."

Back to my friend, it is a strange dynamic when you meet up again. So much has happened since we last saw each other, but there are clear memories that still linger: debating the virtues of Clinton, Tsongas, third party candidates, the Blue Jays World Series run (he's Canadian), and the wonders of Mongolian Bar-B-Q.

As I sit here writing, I wonder whether we will reconnect or whether it was a parenthetical encounter in our respective lives.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Friday Date

Friday was Sara's Birthday. To celebrate we went to visit some old woman.

We got to see all sides of her.

We also saw a nautical replica of one of our dogs.

There were some spooky moments.

Some close moments.

Some strange encounters.

And some very intimate views.

We also popped over to the place where some of our ancestors passed through.

And we looked back on where we had been.

And what would a visit and photo show be without a bird picture for Scott?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Simple Things that Still Leave me in Awe


AKA - lightning bugs, glow worms, luciérnaga, lucciola, eldfluga, Leuchtkäfer

Amazingly there are some in our corner of New York City.

I had to take Sara out to see them.

She enjoyed them too as they don't have them in New Mexico.

Nature's firework show.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Why It isn't so Good to Live in NYC: Reason #381

Our lease is up for renewal and they are raising our rent by 10%.

Is my paycheck going up 10%?

I wish.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I guess Blogger didn't like my nudie pictures of bikers.

I will leave it up to your imagination then.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Yet Another Entry in the Bad Idea Book

Recently in Spain they had some kind of protest bicycle ride.

Their choice of attire - or rather lack of it - just doesn't seem like the smartest way to go.


Um, yeah.

Especially when this happens:

I wonder if you need a special seat or something...

I would definitely think you would need to clean it off after a long ride.

I hope this isn't a fad that catches on.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Mall Chaos: The Holy Temple of Postmodernist Consumption

I take my students to one of the most obscene malls ever created for many of my classes. Anthropologically, it is a fascinating place. From a humanist perspective, however, it is tragic.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I am going to be attending the Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday.

If any of you have any tips about a good place to go, something to see, or how to survive, please let me know.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Added Traffic Irritation

The other day as I was stuck in traffic trying to cross the George Washington Bridge, the sticker on the bumper of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid in front of me chastised me:
If you care about the environment, why aren't you driving a hybrid?
Now, I do care about the environment and I think people in general should care about how we are harming our little planet (ultimately, though, the planet will be fine, it is us humans who will lose out), but I don't like being preached at by ignorant and arrogant individuals speaking though their rear (bumpers).

Let me offer my rebuttal:
  • My car, while not a hybrid, gets 35 mph on average while I commute to and from work.
  • Your SUV hybrid officially gets 31 mph on the highway (we all know those numbers are elevated and from what I have read, it is closer to 24 mph). So who is doing more damage?
  • You hybrid has a nickel based battery that when you decide to junk it, will also hurt the environment.
  • I would in fact have bought a hybrid if they were more affordable and even available when I was buying a car. Unfortunately, most of us can't afford they hybrids that are available now.
  • Last, if you cared about the environment so much, you would not be driving at all. Rather, you would be driving a hybrid with better mileage, in a bio-diesel, in a compact fuel-efficient car, or even better yet, on a bus or on a bike.
So please, peel that bumper sticker off and stop thinking you are more environmentally friendly than I am just because you are appeasing your conscience by thinking it is ok to drive an SUV if it is a hybrid.