May 30th, 2008

sideview, obamame_sideview

Fantastic Friday - inspired by murnkay

Fantastic Friday!
More info here

Post about the fantastic in your life, the things no matter how small they may be that you truly love. Leave out all negativity. All of it. And then pass this on. Let’s see how much positive fun we can get moving here today.

My Lists

I don't have to wear a suit to work. In fact, I don't have to wear socks.

I revel in a life free of traffic, gas price worries, engine trouble or other car-related BS.

Every morning my cat very sweetly prods me out of bed.

My co-workers are almost to a one unfailingly pleasant.

The local NPR station, WABE, has a great programming schedule, esp. in the evening.

My parents don't nag me or get over-nosy about anything and pretty much never have.

My two best friends both live within just a couple of blocks of me.

My condo comes with DirectTV and high-speed Internet built into the condo fees.

I have wicked cool dreams, which I often remember in great detail.

My office has a window that looks out on pine trees.


Writer's Block: Creepy Crawlies

If you had the chance to go crazy and completely overhaul your appearance, what would you do? Or: Recount a remarkable incident involving insects.

My first night in Atlanta, back in Sept. 1996, involved insects in a BIG way. The story:

Insect Incident #1

Caleb and I arrived in Atlanta, where we planned to spend a few days before moving on to Athens, where we'd be attending UGA for the year. We had booked a reservation at a youth hostel just off of Ponce (de Leon Ave). We show up and are directed to our room. Almost the entire room was taken up by a king-size bed, with only a small aisle by the door available to stand on. We only had a couple of packs so we were like "OK, whatever..." and after leaving our stuff, went off to dinner.

A couple hours later, near dusk, we returned to the room. I went to turn on the ceiling lamp, but the light was out. "Fine," I thought, "I'll turn on this goose-neck floor lamp!" Only it didn't work either. Then it did, but turns out, it was some kind of weird heat lamp or something. Okaaaay. So we just ignore it and pull out maps and things to plan our stay in the city. Since there isn't any furniture except the huge bed, we lie down there. Within a minute, I start to notice something -- something biting me. Caleb feels it, too. We are lying there going "Ow! Ow! WTF! Ow!" We figure out there are FIRE ANTS in the bed!

We go over to the mgt. office and we're like "Dude, there are fire ants nesting in our bed. Oh, and the lamp doesn't work." So the kid working, seriously, hands us a big can of Raid and says they'll send somebody to fix the light. I go back to the room and, probably due to the heat, just go ahead and spray Raid right on the bed. On the covers of the bed! Caleb and I then wait a few minutes and then lie down. On the Raid. Finally I'm like, "Argh, there's insect poison spray all over me!" and get up to request a new room.

Insect Incident #2:

After scoping out available spots in the hostel, which has a very weird layout, divided amongst 2-3 buildings, we discover a bunk bed hidden in the basement. We ask mgt. if we can switch over there instead of sleeping on poisoned fire ants, and they're like "Sure, whatever." So we go down there and settle into what is really a very odd basement: the floor looks wet but is actually pebbles that have been covered in thick lacquer, and the walls are stone, like piles of shale or something. There's also an old arcade game and some random posters and 70s paneling.

So we settle down in there for the night. Then as it gets dark, we discovered another oddity of the room: It's infested with crickets. They start to chirp... and chirp... and chirp. They get louder and louder. Where the hell are they? We investigate and discover that there are crickets living in the niches between the piled-shale of the wall. Presumably there are hundreds of them. All night long they do their cricket thing, which really could drive a person nuts (think "The Tell Tale Heart") except we thought it was cool. It was like sleeping outside, only we weren't. We stayed there for two or three nights.


Caleb has since developed a severe allergy to fire ant bites, for which he's had to get shots for years. I wonder how this developed?

And no, we didn't get any sort of infestation discount.

Reviews of hostel here. So flattering -- not! I do seem to remember the litter smell. What. A. Dump. The only hostel I've been to that was worse was the one in Savannah.

Atlanta Experience: Bus Driver Snack Break

292K 1:32
“Another Atlanta experience, I am on the no. 6 bus going south of Moreland Avenue except the bus isn't going anywhere cos the driver just decided to stop in front of the TP(?) and got on his phone and he's going in there I guess probably to get a soda or dinner or to take peek. I'm never been on any other transition agency where the driver like get off to get snacks. I mean have you? And then just prior to getting out this bus it was another Atlanta experience also involving Transit and that was to peak critical mass ride. I don't know. It looks like about 200 300 bikes went down Moreland Avenue and like took over the street or at least half the street going one way. So that was pretty awesome. You know Atlanta is not a friendly place for bikes particularly. Would you have a critical mass group and people are working very hard to make it better. Anyways I'm still waiting here for the the bus driver to come out but I'm carrying groceries that is why I'm on the bus and not walking. Ok such could be Atlanta experience.”

Auto-Transcribed Voice Post - spoken through SpinVox

The driver made it back about two minutes after I finished my post. Again, I ask: Anybody else live somewhere where bus drivers regularly stop the bus to grab a snack, drink, or make a phone call? I remember this one driver on a bus I took regularly used to stop at Dairy Queen half the time. And people wonder why bus drivers are usually fat?