Hello. Konnichiwa. Moshi moshi.
Did any speakers of Japanese catch my faux pas? You only say moshi moshi on the phone.
Oh man. It’s fun to break Japanese rules. Try it.
This week’s Spartan Holiday will be random crap style. I wish I had a special script for that, some kind of cursive baroque font. Well anyway, picture Random Crap Style written all fancy and flourishy.
Even though I call it random, I don’t think any series of things generated from a human brain on a given day are random. Weather is random. Roulette is random. But stringing together thoughts is not random. Still, I would say it is random-esque, seemingly random. Like the insertion of this picture of Andy and a pile of apple peelings:
So let us begin long, long ago with:
Dinosaurs on Fire
Big news from the Cretaceous period in May’s National Geographic. Scientists have discovered that the air the dinosaurs breathed contained 25% oxygen, as opposed to the 21% of our current epoch (the Holocene in case any of you were wondering what the hell epoch we’re in). 25%! Do you have any idea what that means? It means everything was more flammable, fires didn’t just burn, they flashed, like when you shoot a stream of kerosene on a camp fire. Scientists say that even damp things were easy tinder.
So now we know that dinosaurs spent a fair amount of their time fleeing fires. Next time your kid has to draw a dinosaur for school, make sure he/she draws some raging flames in the fore or background. Like this:
This discovery reinforces my unpopular, but staunchly held view that the Cretaceous period is not a wise destination in a time machine. Unless it is a quick in-and-out kind of thing. I suppose we would all like to peep between some ferns fronds at all the crazy shit going on for just a minute. But seriously, no more than a minute.
Oh hey. If you type “dinosaurs” and “fire” into google you get the bandcamp site for Dinosaur on Fire. Check it out. It sounds exactly like theme music to the Cretaceous period (though the guy claims the synthesizers “dictate the wonder, anticipation, and fear of exploring a 16-bit moon”).
Next, also from National Geographic: Check out this awesome bike ring in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Hovenring it’s called, after various nearby locales with the same suffix: Eindhoven, Meerhoven and Veldhoven. This non-motorized-vehicle-only bike path is suspended so it appears to float like a lilypad over the intersection. I like it not just for its elegant design, but because it embodies my thoughts on cars vs bikes. Cars: dirty, stupid, earthbound. Bikes: Sleek, smart, gliding on air.
Do you wonder how they engineered the ring? I don’t. Because I looked at this picture:
I biked down there today, specifically to take a picture of the pole and I wondered about all of the dames (and ladies) who once wore these shoes, their names, their history, their foot problems, the streets they walked, and the endless waste of our fashion-accelerated material culture. I thought the pole was probably an ironic totem to the cult of femininity.
Then I looked down at my own feet and realized that I am a hypocrite because I was wearing high heels. What?!! I was biking in high heels?!!!
But they are sporty heels that are actually more comfortable than a lot of my flat shoes. Anyway, just when I getting ready to reconcile my bias against heels as symbols of oppression, with the empowerment of footwear that heightens your stature and, if used correctly, can help you clamber over rocks, the dogs in the yard started barking their brains out at me. At this point I got scared and pedaled off.
The lesson I learned? I learned that high heels are dainty and attractive objects; in an aesthetic sense high heels have value, hence the appeal of this pole. But they are also just another example of how women suffer for fashion and sexual allure, and that makes high heels utter crap. But my shoes aren’t crap because they’re comfortable. I like my shoes. Come to think of it, this isn’t really a lesson.
So forget lessons. Let’s move to important questions. Why couldn’t those dogs see I’m a harmless, friendly person? Why are dogs such poor judges of character? Why did that stupid mutt sneak up and bite my leg in Truchas last year? Why did I have to get a tetanus shot? Why were the animal control people so blasé about the whole thing? Why did I eat both of those sesame balls, when I could have just eaten one?
I’m writing an article for the Alibi about sesame balls. So my job in the next few weeks is to try as many different kinds of sesame balls as I can find. On the one hand this is awesome. On the other hand, I think my occidental constitution may not be equipped to eat this many sesame balls. It feels like the sticky rice dough is forming its own massive ball in my stomach.
And that is all of the random crap I have for this week. Join me next week for more intentional, deliberate and ordered things of inherent value.