Thursday, March 6, 2008

Flowers are nice, but...

The Philadelphia Flower Show started it all.

As I was pulling into the Haverford train station this morning at 8:56, I saw the train speeding away. It left the station 3 minutes early. Another person left behind on the track told me it was because of the flower show. I'm not quite sure that I grasp why a flower show would cause my train, which usually comes 2-3 minutes late, to leave 3 minutes early. But anyway, I missed my train because of the flower show. I was warned that train regulars hate the flower show crowd, and now I know why.

So anyway, I had to drive to school, and I had three mini-adventures. First, I was in the parking garage for the first time, pulling into an impossibly thin spot (I later found out that these were compact spots, but there was no sign). I backed out a little because I was having trouble getting into the spot, and I heard a beep. Now, I knew there was a car a little behind me, but it was stopped, waiting for me to park. I turned my head to look at the beeping, silver car, of course mouthing the words "What, you asshole", when I recognized my professor as the driver. So I stop - it's my professor, I'll let him have his way - and he peels by. This is a parking garage, and I can hear his tires screech against the concrete because he started up so fast. So now I am wondering if the professor recognized me or not. I guess it doesn't really matter, but he seems to be kind of a jerk (although I like him as a prof), so I don't want to be on his bad side and I want to know if I am on his bad side.

Second, I was in the garage later to leave. As I got to the unmanned ticket window, the red and white striped arm raised, allowing me to drive through, so I proceeded. All of the sudden, a loud, fire alarm-sounding beep starts, so I figured I did something wrong. I backed up and found no ticket slot, no one coming, people peering into the garage wondering about the noise, and a silver car behind me again. So I just left. Hopefully the silver car wasn't my professor again, and hopefully I won't get a call from the garage asking why I just left (I did pay!).

Third - and this is the big adventure - I drove down Lancaster Ave through West Philly. I've done this before, put it was particularly circus-like this time. There were double-parked cars (I've never actually seen one before, and there were multiple here!), wheelchaired-men with one elevated leg pushing themselves along with their other leg while jaywalking through the crowded and busy road, groups of 10 leisurely crossing the street at a 60-degree angle, cars passing trollys, cars driving in the bike lane, bikers zigzaging between the bike lane and the road. It goes on. If you want to test your driving skills, I'd recommend Lancaster Ave in West Philly - maybe try it during rush hour!

Now I remember why I take the train. Thanks for the reminder, flower show.


PS Still working on the cable.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Reply to Steve

Dear Steve,

Your reasoning is crap.

I don't really care to get into a debate about Playboy so I'm not even going to go beyond that.

Well, maybe just one thing - when have we ever heard one of the Girls Next Door ever talking about how hard they worked to get where they are? Maybe Bridget, as she has mentioned that she has 2 master's degrees or something like that, but that is a legitimate thing to be proud of and to brag about. Or maybe I've heard Kendra say something once about how she is a model now and she worked hard to get to that - but that would be hard work. But the girls are not saying that they worked so hard to get where they are as in getting to Hef's mansion - if they mention how hard they worked they mean other pursuits that we don't see too much of on TV. And how would you know? You don't watch the show - you just play on your iphone or computer whenever it is on (but I guess that is no different than any other time).

Anyway, the show is fun and it is something to watch for lazy entertainment. But your arguments about the show and about the show related to your magazine subscription are crap. I realize that my reasoning here is also probably crap, but that is because I haven't been thinking this through as you have and I am just posting my initial reaction to your tirade below.


Why I am letting my Playboy prescription lapse

No, it's not just because Des always had to move them from the basket on the toilet whenever her parents visited. And I still plan on hiding my stack in an obvious place when I someday have an adolescent child.
However, I can't continue to feed the hijacked media monster any more, even if I just read it for the articles. And it's all because of a woman...or three women.
Yes, of course, I'm talking about the Girls Next Door, Holly, Bridget, and Kendra. I really just don't get them, I suppose. Playboy claims to be the premier men's entertainment outlet, and yet this program runs on E!...and seriously, would any man watch E!? I won't get into the fact that these three vacuums do about as much for women as did Monica Lewinski, yet their viewership is primarily women...including the one I live with.
The popularity of their show has really opened up a lot of opportunities for these women, and more power to them, I suppose. But how many times do we have to hear at least one of them talk about 'how hard they've worked to get where they are?' Seriously. If you consider sleeping with an emaciated old Skipper wannabe 'hard work' (which it is, no doubt) then I'm sure they have worked really hard to get to where they are, but if there was ever a need for a group to get a reality check, I think this is it.
And speaking of the Hefner, what is up with the ladies always talking about what a 'gentleman' he is? The only difference between that 'gentleman' and any dirty old man at the train station is that the gentleman gets to do what the dirty old man only fantasizes about. That and a pile of cash, a mansion, a stable full of luxury vehicles, and a never-ending chain of parties with celebrity guests. That must be what makes a gentleman.
The problem with all of this is that the more I look at my expiring subscription, the more I realize that the magazine has become simply a platform to promote the TV show. The three girls are taking up more and more copy every month, and when the new DVD review column is primarily devoted to talking up the release of last season's boxed set (5 bunnies, of course) I start to wonder if the magazine has lost its identity.
The magazine has always been focused on the materialistic side of culture, but now I fear it is moving from the civilized man's brand of refined materialism to the valley girl's shopping day brand.
So before anyone says "If you don't like them, don't watch them!" I say, hey, that's exactly what I'm going to do, and I'm not going to contribute to the institution that facilitates it anymore. I'm sure they won't miss me.


A nice day for a run

Because it was so nice out today I decided to skip out on my usual library time after class and go for a run. I'm pretty happy because I ran around 5 miles - 2 laps of the Haverford College Trail. I know 5 miles isn't that far and I've definately done more before, but I really haven't gone more than 3-4 miles at a time since my triathlon this past summer. So I guess I am halfway prepared for the 10-mile Broad Street Run in May! Broad Street should be fun - Steve and I are going to do it, as well as my dad and a few other family members. I've also been trying to convince other people to join in - so sign up here. It's only $25 and it is on Sunday, May 4 - that is 2 months to train.

On another note (I have to write this because I told a few people at Jess' party that I would), here is the best Taboo clue I've heard for a long time: An antagonistic bat. Answer: Vampire.

And now, because I didn't do my work after class like I should have, I have to get to my assignments for tomorrow. Luckily I only have the normal 13 pages for one class and 2 chapters for another, as opposed to the 57-page behemoth that was my Criminal Law assignment for today!