Archive for September, 2007

September 30, 2007

Why Southwest Airlines Sucks

This whole thing about boarding zones is ridiculous.

I flew from Oakland to Reno.

The flight takes 27 minutes.

But people were waiting in lines for an hour to get a good seat.

There was an old lady standing for about 45 minutes in zone B.

All of these people were standing and wasting time needlessly.

What is the purpose of herding people into zones and making them line up like boarding a plane is a zealously pathetic mission like buying an iPhone or buying concert tickets?

I am posting this now as I sit watching zone A board. I am zone B. I am one of exactly 4 people sitting.

One of the guys sitting looks like he has been up all night. The others just don’t give a shit about where they sit on the plane.

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September 28, 2007

Why Serentripity?

I was asked what “serentripity” means.

I made the word up.

Serendipity means “the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely”.

I decided that “serentripity” is a fortunate thing you discover when you feel like you are tripping, which is how I felt when I found out about my brother.

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September 28, 2007

That One Spot

There always is one spot you have to reckon with.

Small, annoyingly afflicted parts of your body.

My electric razor refuses to cleanly shave the lower left part of my jaw, so I have to use the old school razors to hit that spot everyday.

But when I travel, I sometimes forget to bring that second razor.  And so I grow a small patch of odd whiskers that is clearly not a fashion statement.

I went to Hawaii and forgot to put sunscreen on the top part of my left ear.  That spot got supremely sunburned.  I had to cover it when I was showering.

And then there was the Achilles tendinitis for months.

Maybe I think too much about these things.  But when I tell myself to think less about them, I am suddenly talking to myself, which brings a subconscious thought into a full discussion with YOURSELF.

I try not to talk to myself.  It’s the only thing I ever do that creeps me out.

Other than worry about that one spot.

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September 25, 2007

The Dish on Pizza

NYC Pizza

I grew up on Long Island.

And like many New Yorkers, my appreciation for pizza is nothing short of devout cultural chauvinism.

The fact that people in Chicago think that their heavy, sodden, blasphemous variation on pizza is in any way noteworthy other than for garnering contempt is worthy of no more commentary than this sparse paragraph.

New Yorkers love pizza, yet resent the second class, fast-food status of the dish.

The magic in a perfect slice is created by the dough.

Chicago pizza creates dough that has the presence of a bad mattress: its firm, alien presence has no dialogue with what is laying on it.

New York pizza, on the other hand, is about the thin slice.

Thin slices create osmosis between the cheese, the sauce, and the dough. The three elements become one.

I’ve been in NYC now for almost a week, and I always go out of my way to find the city’s best pizza.

The other day I had a treat in a nameless place somewhere around 39th and 8th Ave.

The pizza had just come out of the brick oven. I could see by the thin, golden crust that I was in for a special piece of pizza.

I was able to easily fold the slices and bite into the oneness of its creation.

When you really look at a piece of pizza, you will see the cheese and sauce create an overlapping pink middle ground. The dish is at one with itself.

And then there is California pizza.

Somehow, Californians lost in translation the fact that you do NOT add ingredients to pizza to make it better.

There is a term in fashion known as “peacocking”. The word refers to dress that is so loud and extreme that its first objective is grabbing attention.

California pizza is not unlike fashion peacocking: the overuse of any ingredient in the kitchen is meant to dress up a dish that is best appreciated naked.

Have you ever had a bad burrito: the kind where the beans are in on place, then you get a mouthful of sour cream, or rice?

These burritos are bad because their ingredients have great proximity to one another on the menu, but not on the plate.

And the zenith of pizza is the oneness of dough, sauce, and cheese.

September 23, 2007

marriage & war: what are they good for?

I am in NYC staying with my good friend Dave.

Dave is a divorce attorney, and he’s very accomplished.

He represents an elite clientele, and his stories are fascinating.

Being an ethical lawyer (oxymoron?), he tells me stories without revealing names or divulging information that would be a breach of confidence.

He tells the stories in a round about way. He gives you the gist, the theme, the take away.

Dave doesn’t think his job is particularly interesting, which is peculiar to me because I am enthralled by his stories.

The characters are wealthy beyond belief. They are on top of the world, living a dream, and then all hell breaks loose.

Daytime soap operas aspire to have the drama that Dave must regularly extinguish.

Someone has an affair, is indicted on tax fraud, or the financial stakes are raised so high that families create wars amongst themselves.

An oil tycoon uncle dies and his vague will creates a feeding frenzy.

But the message I keep hearing is that the sacred marriage you thought you had is not quite so sacred when a lot of money or your legacy is on the line.

Ultimately, what I love about Dave’s stories are his conclusions.

You wouldn’t think a divorce attorney would be a champion of honesty, but Dave concludes his tales by noting where the characters departed from their personal honor.

Dave knows that his job begins when a wheel flies off someone’s moral axis, and he’d rather be in the business of tightening up the screws than picking up shrapnel.