Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
December 20, 2018
Shouts in the night
Category: Miscellany … Travels

So last night was the first time I ever shouted (in part) out of fear.

First, let me note that I've never properly understood screaming or yelling in terror. Like, I get that it could have certain altruistic advantages -- warning others of danger, for instance. It might also be useful for driving back certain kinds of danger. But also -- at least insofar as the danger isn't right on top of one -- it alerts danger to one's location and betrays one's fearful state. Making noise has never been my instinctive answer to a threat. And when I think about that response, particularly as it relates to my own situation, it seems... unwise.

But last night I was at a stoplight in downtown Baltimore, my thoughts occupied with serious subject matter as I stared into the distance... and then suddenly a face loomed large to my right and a hand seemed to be reaching toward me. I was definitely startled; I jerked back in my seat threw up my hands as if to defend myself. And even before I had consciously registered what this figure was or what was happening, I was waving my arms back and forth and shaking my head and yelling, "Ahhhh! No! No! NO!!!!"

The guy had already squirted and begun to wipe down my windshield, but he held up a hand by way of apology and silently retreated back to the curb.

-posted by Wes | 6:38 pm | Comments (0)
April 20, 2018
DC, It’s Been A While.
Category: Miscellany … Travels

Tonight I had a thing in DC -- and since driving to a metro station and riding the metro during rush hour aren't my favorite activities, I figured I'd head into DC several hours early and hang out for a bit. I think the last time I went into DC was before my ex broke things off and skipped town, so it felt a bit weird stepping off the metro and not seeing her leaning against a post in her sushi skirt or some stylish top hat or something. Also weird: the rows and rows of people all on their cell phones and all holding them basically the exact same way. I've seen that setup in movies and it's always struck me as artificial (though it makes for a nice visual), but holy shit people really do that.

Anyway, DC. I still enjoy the museums (today I mainly explored the African Art Museum; I don't recall ever having been there before; it was super neat and gave me things to ponder), but the bar scene... nope. Still seems to me like a bunch of kids all talking at the same time and trying to out-cool each other, which really means out-douche each other, and while that wasn't my scene even when I was 15 years younger it super-duper isn't my scene now. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 12:14 am | Comments (0)
April 30, 2017
They’re so 144!!!
Category: Miscellany … Travels

So this weekend I got to be "that guy" (or at least one of "those guys") at the East Coast Comicon in Seacaucus, NJ -- by which I mean that guy who's interested in this super obscure thing that nobody's heard of. Since this sounded like a more comic-focused con than most of the ones I attend these days, and since I'm currently all about Madballs (I mean, I'm always all about Madballs, but right now I can actually walk into stores and buy them!) I went to ECC with a mission more specific than my neverending quest for cheap toys: to acquire Madballs comics from the 1986-1988s Star series.

Of the multiple vendors I asked, only two even seemed to remotely know what I was talking about. One didn't have the books on hand, but he did get excited and asked me if I was familiar with a particular artist (I wasn't, but I also don't know the names of the Madballs artists). This artist, he said, not only drew for the books, but was actually in attendance at that very convention and had lots of relevant art with him! I spent a good amount of time looking for that artist and was disappointed when I couldn't find him, but I did find the work of an artist (with a different name) who had done Garbage Pail Kids art. Still, it was clear that that vendor at least sort of knew what Madballs were, even though he got certain details confused. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 8:58 pm | Comments (0)
June 5, 2016
My weekend and stuff
Category: Miscellany … Serious … Travels

So I get that everyone has pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and that staying positive (at least according to general wisdom) means appreciating the good ones while mostly ignoring the bad ones... but I think it's kind of interesting that my negative experiences are frequently bizarre or memorable -- or costly -- enough that I'm inclined to comment on them to the exclusion of the more uplifting ones. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 9:19 pm | Comments (0)
April 12, 2016
I dislike terrorism, too?
Category: Serious … Travels

I got to work an hour or so early today, and since it was such a beautiful day I decided to take a delightful walk along the trail near the tutoring center. Seriously, it was a super pleasant walk and I should plan to arrive early far more often than I actually manage it! Still, here's a multiple-choice question for you.

Which of the following yard signs did I see during my walk?

A) THIS PROPERTY PROTECTED BY
SMITH+WESSON

B) FREE ROCK SALT
DELIVERED BY 12 GAUGE

C) JIHAD FREE ZONE

D) TRUMP
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

E) ALL OF THE ABOVE

Again -- it was a lovely walk. I think people sometimes get the impression that I post with the intent to complain or to spread negativity or to garner sympathy, but mostly I just think those observations provide for more interesting discussion than simply noting that I went for a relaxing walk (not that I won't post those sorts of comments as well). Like, what kind of person publicly displays a sign like (C)? At face value, it's basically the equivalent of "I DISLIKE TERRORISM" -- except I'd wager that most of us dislike terrorism. (I hope that I never find myself in a place that I am conclusively convinced is NOT a "jihad free zone.") So why would a person feel the need to express that sentiment in bold, capital letters unless he/she intends to suggest something beyond the simple meaning of the words? And given that likelihood, how should we interpret the sign? Is it making a positive/worthwhile comment, or is it functionally the equivalent of "I KINDA SUCK"? Hmmm.

-posted by Wes | 9:19 pm | Comments (0)
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