further adventures

I promise to add up the points for What's in the Truck and reveal all, including a winner—soon. But we've been too busy socializing. For now, we can say that fireworks were both added to and subtracted from that list.

"See Rock City," the signs have read for miles around for as long as I can remember. And so we did, finally, See Rock City, with its vaunted view of seven states, its concrete, black lit fairytale caverns and its Lover's Leap into downtown Chattanooga (sp?.


what's in the truck?

OK, everybody say
It's that time of year again, when spring calls with an urgency that can no longer be denied, and we all pile in the truck to go—who knows where? Missouri, certainly. Louisiana, maybe. Key West, Florida?
Guess what's in the truck—really, a less-piggy rented SUV.

I'll get you started:
3 people
2 road atlases
1 camp stove
6 pounds Zabar's "quiet coffee," ie, already ground dark expresso.
1 bottle Xanex

The traditional point system applies:
5 points for each correct answer
10 points for each answer that should be correct

So what do you think is in the truck?


wild blue yonkers

Scour the streets and yard sales for old plates and dishes. Cut up, and make mosaics on—toilet seats?


muddy missouri

No, this is not the river—this is the road outside the house of our correspondent in Peace Valley, Mo. "The house sprang a few leaks and the country roads on all sides of us were impassable, but we were spared the worst of the rain," she says. From nearby West Plains, Mo., Bill says, "My toes are webbed and I am growing feathers!"
Today is the full moon:flood tide.


i don't care what they say

Yes, I know that bananas supposedly stay good in the refrigerator despite the fact that the peels turn color. But would you eat something that looked like this?
It's Ace's birthday and the first day of spring.
Everybody say: "Road trip!"
I suppose I could save the bananas to take on the road—after all, bananas in the car tend to be aromatherapy rather than food.


alas, philip

Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths, father of Katherine and Fanny (with him above, at Magnum's anniversary celebration last year), former lover of Donna Ferrato and mentor of Chien-Chi Chang, among many others, has died after a long war with cancer. I think it was colon cancer that he started out with when I first visited him in hospital in New York a long time ago. Then it was liver and finally lung. He managed to complete books, lectures, and pictures as well as travel all over the world between treatments. Here is one of the last interviews he gave in London, cracking jokes at the brink of the grave. He liked his jokes, did Philip, as well as beautiful women and his own opinions. He was passionate about photography and photographers and the ravages of war. He lived large and died fighting. Peace, now.


the dharma path

A dry desert valley opened out, and I saw a handful of lamas and young boys, acolytes, toiling over a piece of terrain. Closer, it was apparent that they were sculpting a miniature city—stores, temples, houses, people, dogs in the street—of sand. It stretched for half a mile, but was only about two inches high. So tiny and perfect.
"Wow," I thought when I woke up."What a lot of work to just crumble as it dries and to be swept away by the wind."
I think that, too, about those colored sand mandalas that Tibetan monks make.
And about the theocracy they built. Which the prevailing winds and the bootprints of Chinese soldiers have erased.

now the truth can be told

Surprise visits from New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro.


perils of autofill

"Chere C," the e-mail began.
So far so good. I use the initial C. "Chere" was going a little far for the just-friends relationship I have with this person, but ok. Some stuff about work, phone batteries, and then the signoff.
"Bisous x 1000."
Hmm. My French not so good, but in Spanish it's besos,
so the translation I'm getting is "a thousand kisses."

As I'm puzzling over that, I get the oops e-mail:
"I've been meaning to get in touch with you, but not with the message you just received because I didn't realize that the auto-completion had somehow grabbed your name/address rather than C-----'s.
So ignore the last, but I'll phone you soon."
No kisses for Claudia!


all is marketing

It's my new realization—that all is marketing and marketing is all. Maybe not that fresh, but confirmed daily. Latest: Wear Your Music is being ripped off by a guitar string bracelet company that gives its money to Christian Charities! The girl came up with the idea last month, she says. If God gave her that idea then God is a big ole copycat.
CWG responds with a series of branding You Tubes like the one above. Also available in Latin, Country, Reggae and etc.


twisted spitzer

Our own Elaine Rivera has been in the maelstrom of the Spitzer Scandale since the press conference at which he admitted the Sordid Truth. And she was well prepared for the ensuing news by having done a long interview with the next governor of New York some time ago. Here she airs her views.
BTW, I can't imagine that the Post hasn't already used this headline.



mac attack

And on our Macs we found an extremely funny website called Stuff White People Like. Check it out. And ask yourself: Are you wearing shorts today?


but a dream

Barack Obama and I were engaged in a meeting about branding (as in creating the Obama brand, not as in dogies at the Triple C Ranch or your friendly local dungeon), when he decided he was tired of working and wanted to take a cruise. I drove the truck, and he just stared out the window into the darkness.
We took back roads, and soon I was lost. Finally I spotted a gas station, and Obama allowed as he needed to take a whiz while I got directions. But the place was closed. As I pulled out of the station, I forgot to turn my headlights on, and cut off a cop car. I looked into the rearview mirror to see the gumball turning and pulled over.
"Uh oh," I said to Obama. "It looks like you're going to be compared to the Kennedys again—and not in a good way."


20,000 and counting

This little site is pretty much a closed circle, which is why I don't get 20,000 hits a day but rather am totaling that now. That was not my plan initially, when I thought it would be a home-building site and hoped that the related commercial content would attract enough interest that I might actually earn a little money. (You know what I'm talkin' bout—you people haven't been doing your share.) As it proved, however, it's been a way for a handful of people to keep up with each other's doings. There's plenty of stuff I know that I don't talk about—divorces, diseases, affairs, arguments, deaths. So, yeah, it's kind of lightweight, but it does mean I don't have to repeat myself quite so often.
I could do the blind item thing. You know, "Why is a reporter for a major news organization avoiding the office?" Or, "What lesbian songstress appears to be having trouble at home?" Should I get more hard core or just stick with the lah-di-dah? Yes, I'm talkin' to you.


a brain on autism

This is an amazing video by Amanda Baggs, 27. In it, she shows her autistic rituals as a kind of conversation with objects around her and then explains them using a computer-generated voice. Apparently, she is the subject of an article in Wired. The name of the piece is "In My Language." I had to watch it twice.


my dream house

I hanker after a rural lifestyle that includes petunias in tractor tires painted white. The plan has long been that sometime (in the distant future) when I am decrepit, I will move my trailer onto a piece of Ozark woodland and convince all my friends to join me. We will have a central cookhouse (or cooktrailer)and hired help to cook in it and drive us to the doctors' in Springfield or Memphis. Or maybe we'll have a plane.
Never have I seen this dream so fully realized as in this picture sent to me by my West Plaines, Mo., correspondent. Of course, all those stairs with the canes and wheelchairs won't work, and there's the tornado problem. But wouldn't it be fun? I'm accepting checks for the land fund for those who want to reserve their little piece of paradise now. Plan ahead. I have seen a mailbox made out of a cowboy boot. I know where there are a bunch of cowboy boots. . .


bad electronic karma

I hope that Mercury or Mars or whatever is finally out of retrograde, because I have had it with my wireless electronics that all have to be plugged in to both an electrical socket and a phone line.
It started when I removed the cable for the cable TV. Perhaps the coaxial gods were angry? I have two remaining functional phone jacks after tripping over the one in my bedroom. The cable seems to have shared space with one of the other phone lines, the one in your bedroom, my friends.
So that's where I had the master wireless phone, wireless DSL router and yes, the wireless printer (And supposed fax machine that I have to return by tomorrow to get my money back since it doesn't feed the paper. Also the cable box has to be returned by tomorrow).
Well, with all systems down, I tried to trace the phone line in and out of walls to see where it might have been disturbed. However, it's one of those really old twisted ones that was likely installed before my birth and certainly before I moved into this apartment 30-some-odd years ago, so it's been painted over and is impossible to follow on its absolutely nonsensical rounds. Plus, I was afraid to mess with it much lest the last remaining phone jack go on the fritz.
Naturally, the last remaining phone jack is in the middle of the kitchen wall nowhere near an electrical outlet. Just shoot me.
So now there are are phone wires and extension cords garlanded all around the kitchen with no place to set up the "wireless" printer/fax, which is okay because I have to return it anyway.
I know, I know. More than you needed to know.


the adventurers

Some people like going out in the freezing cold, strapping slats to their feet, hurling themselves down precipices and attempting to stay upright. Those people always seem to want other people to try it too, just assuming that since they themselves are deeply into self punishment, everyone else will be as well.
CG is one of the faithful; HG is more the hot chocolate and roaring fire type.Do you think he'll get her up this hill? I notice she shot this pic from the bottom.


just one more

The great house party is over. At its height nine people shared quarters—a king, three fulls and a couch, to speak as a vacation rentals manager. There was barely room to walk between the beds. And then Dolores showed up. . .


cai guo qiang is a genius

I wasn't supposed to take this picture, but then neither was anyone else in the Guggenheim. And they were all doing it.