Tuesday, September 27, 2011

weekend, 9/23-9/25

Friday afternoon. At coffeeshop. I overhear a couple at the table next to me debating whether or not they want to meet up with the girlfriend's friend Jen at some park. The boyfriend is not really into it ("You're sure you don't just want to go to Whole Foods and then go home?"). "Lemme call Jen," the girlfriend says, as if this will solve everything. "Jen... hi..." she begins. She gossips with her for a minute, then asks about her location... and finally it comes, drenched in exaggerated nonchalance: "Who are you with?" The girlfriend gives her boyfriend a relenting smile while listening to Jen's answer. Dawns on me how many plans live or die on that question.

Saturday afternoon. Mom on Sarah Jessica Parker: "She's trying to hold on to something that just isn't hold-on-able."

Saturday afternoon, later. Family of four on the subway: mother, father and two young sons. One son is eating some sort of sticky candy on a stick (looks like something Katy Perry would put in her hair). "Travis, how did you get stuff on your cheek?!" his mom says, all exasperated, trying to wipe orange candy remnant off his face. "It's Travis," his brother says, "How did he get spaghetti sauce in his ear last night?" I realize that this type of name-based exclamation ("C'mon, it's Mary we're talking about..." etc.) always strikes me as the most poignant and affecting kind of description.

Sunday evening. It hits me for the first time ever just how strange it is that the Thai place I've been ordering from for the past year is called "35 Thai." Like, what???? Imagine "71 Italian" or "88 Mexican."

Sunday evening, later. Never feel more "of my generation" than when I catch myself, hardly even conscious of the action, lethargically dragging my mouse to open Photo Booth at 12:23am.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

stepping out

Surprisingly invigorating: You're at a family dinner in a hotel restaurant (or in some other "small group amongst a whole lot of strangers" setting). Something happens (not like something terrible, but rather a logistical development... like, your aunt cuts her finger and needs a Band-Aid) and you're entrusted with completing the task. So you do this half-run though the hotel lobby to ask the concierge for a Band-Aid and then you walk briskly back into the restaurant and exchange nods with the hostess and you have this sense for a split second that you're the protagonist in a CBS procedural or something.

Related, to me, somehow: I realized the other week during an especially boring meeting I had to sit in on that one of the qualities in a person I've always found most attractive is the ability to synthesize. I always found it weirdly appealing (hot even?) in high school/college when -- during one of those classes when the teacher would break us up into small groups for inane/unproductive discussions -- the chosen representative from my group would present our "conclusions" to the class in some unexpectedly sharp and articulate way. All the better if he hadn't really contributed much (or seemed like he were even paying attention) during the small group discussion.