When in a Suburban Pittsburgh Airport on a Saturday Morning…

…and sleep-deprived and really irritable, why is that the loudmouthed homo and his two female companions had to choose the seat next to me from among the hundred or so available in an large, empty waiting room?

Of course, he probably assumed I fled to the other end of the room because I was a raging bigot rather than because I just wanted him to shut the fuck up. Or to go be annoying somewhere other than five feet away from me. Or at least to use his indoor voice.

Building Fall Down Go Boom IV


Among the benefits of spending our first full week in Pittsburgh was that we got to be there for the implosion of the Penn Circle public housing complex in East Liberty on Sunday. The high-rise was part of a misguided urban renewal project of the 1960s (yes, I know that’s redundant) that flattened an entire Pittsburgh neighborhood, and it was demolished this weekend to provide space for a Target store as part of a misguided urban renewal project of the 2000s that’s rebuilding the neighborhood as a suburban shopping center.

It was my fifth implosion and Mark‘s second (but his first “real” one).

Video here and here, and photos from one of my earlier implosion road trips here.

Many more pictures and thoughts on Pittsburgh shortly. Right now I have lots of email to slog through.

Cutting the Cord

As of later this week, I will no longer have anything but old-fashioned antennae connected to my TV sets. After a vaguely unpleasant six-month experiment using Time Warner Cable rather than Dish Network, I finally realized that:

  1. There actually is a worse option than Dish. While their customer service may be slightly better, Time Warner’s product is awful. The interface and customization options on their turners suck, their DVRs are absolute garbage (hardware and software) and in the long run, they’re not even any cheaper. Instigating this change was not one of my better moves.
  2. I rarely watch TV anymore, anyway, and that’s only partly due to the factors above. Either way, I don’t watch sixty dollars worth of TV a month, so it’s hard to justify that expense with two houses to pay for and who knows what kind of job prospects upon graduation in December.
  3. Even when I do watch TV, it’s usually local news or Simpsons reruns or DVDs, anyway, none of which require cable or satellite.

I’ll miss TCM. But I’ll read a lot more, which can only be a good thing. So maybe swicthing to cable six months ago was a good thing too, in an odd sort of way.

The land line will probably be the next thing to go.

On a completely unrelated note, UNCG is using a finding aid I wrote and encoded with XML using EAD last semester as a class project. That was kind of a suprprising thing to discover by accident (and yes, they had permission).

The Weekend

I had so much stuff I wanted to do this weekend. The last six weeks or so have been really hectic and I needed a weekend with no agenda very badly. And I have one now. I just can’t do much with it because I start coughing, wheezing, sneezing, or just generally aching and moaning every time I stand up. And don’t get me started about what passed for sleep last night.

I feel like shit.

Actually, I  feel more like something that’s been shit on.

I don’t find forced relaxation very relaxing, alas, and goddammit, I don’t want to watch another movie.

Videolog: Let’s Hear It for the Boy

Deniece Williams
Let’s Hear It for the Boy, 1984

This video is here primarily becuse it was the number one song in America twenty-five years ago today, which makes me feel incredibly old, but it also means I’m now old enough to admit I always really liked the song. So there.

It’s My Life

Yeah, there’s been a lot of that here lately, too. There are a lot of things I’d like to be writing about, if only so I’ll remember them later, but time and energy seem to be in short supply.

It strikes me that this online journal has in many ways been the primary record of my life for the past thirteen years or so. And I’m a little frightened about that, because much —  in fact most — of what I’m thinking at any given moment is never expressed here. I love you all, really, but I’ve gotten past that need to share every aspect of my life and all my most personal thoughts online. In fact, I don’t think I ever really had that need to begin with. But the website is the only place where I really document things, which means a lot of events, thoughts, and emotions have gotten lost in the shuffle over the years. Email makes a good secondary record (I keep all of mine, and have just about every piece I’ve received in the past fifteen years or so) but it’s not a complete record either. Video and photos are helpful too, but also not 100% satisfactory.

I used to be a very obsessive keeper of paper journals; that phase lasted from about 1979 to 1988, although it was very sporadic the last couple of years. Some longtime readers may remember that I used to have excerpts from those old journals posted here. In the earlier years, my entries were more “what I did today” with occasional commentary. The later ones were more detailed, “analytical” narratives with more stream of consciousness type babbling. I think I like the earlier format better in retrospect, although the latter sometimes has its charms as well.

I’ve toyed with starting to journal (journalize?) again over the years, and even rigged up a nifty journal interface using Filemaker Pro six or seven years ago. It seems always to come in spurts, though. I’m in one right now, documenting the new house and my last months in graduate school, albeit not very well, but it always seems I manage to miss keeping journals during the parts of my life I ultimately most wish I’d done so. Maybe that’s because at those times (e.g. my first years in San Francisco, my first months with Mark, my alcohol-enhanced first term in Charlotte, etc.), I was too busy actually living life to spend time reflecting on it.

It could be the budding young archivist in me, but I’m really going to try to do a better job of getting some of those memories down on paper, or at least in some uncensored format.

Not that you’ll be reading them.