04 January, 2007

It's like a daily affirmation, only without the religious part

I was telling James the other day that the majority of exciting goings on in my life happen on the way to and from work. Often on the way home I will take a very circuitous route through the city which allows me to be on my bike for a little bit longer, but also affords me the opportunity to people watch. That said, I always relish having what I've termed 'my daily experience' early in the day, because it hangs in my mind all day, the only exciting thing that happens between waking and coming home at 5ish. I can mull it over all day, breaking the monotony of sitting at a desk. Of course, it generally gives me something to write about in this thing later.

Today I had my daily experience just after locking up my bike as I was heading across the street to pick up a blueberry scone from Bucks County Coffee. Most colleges are on break, but there are still some students, faculty and staff skulking around campus. There is one skulker in particular that I've seen a handful of times, and who always makes me smile to myself in that 'man this guy seems full of himself' kind of way. He's the type of person I would term 'that guy.' Long overcoat; sport coat in warmer weather, tweed with patches. Long, thin scarf hanging at all times. A head of huge curly hair and glasses. None of this in an ironic sense, of course. He's always walking with his head down in some book, as if it were possible to weave through pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk (which he does) while immersed in some philosophy rag. Always with a cigarette in hand, but never seeming to smoke it. Seems like someone who wants to be perceived as a professor but got cut from his TA position.

This morning, as I crossed the street on my way to Bucks, he came around the corner of a building on Sansom St., posturing exactly as I described above. I was walking in the opposite direction, spied him, and moved to the side so we could pass each other uninhibited. When he was about seven feet from me, he looked up. We made eye contact. He stepped into my path, looked down to his novella, and walked directly in to me. Cigarette ash cascaded down my left jacket sleeve from the brush of his cigarette. I stress the fact that we made eye contact only moments before.

"Apologies" he said tersely, tossing his hair and pushing his glasses up to that perfect position of disdain where the fleshy cartilage tip of the nose meets bone.

"Yeah, sure," I reply. Whatever the reason he decided to run into me may be, I don't care. I just want my coffee. Apparently he cares, because he chooses to divulge.

"I didn't notice you there, I was reading," he said. Ah, his motives become clear: he's a pompous ass. There was nobody else around to speak of, and he wanted to make damn sure I noticed his functional literacy and ability to walk. He looked me right in the eye and altered course specifically so that I might walk away thinking 'wow, he's so smart he can't be bothered with anything. What an intellectual.' Of course, my natural responses don't always run parallel to decency.

"That's why you looked at me before burning my jacket then, right?" I asked offhandedly.

"Oh, did I? I just didn't notice" came the reply, in a clear 'I can't be bothered with this any longer' tone.

I pulled a remark from the mental vault: "Get bent." Bet Kant never strung those two words together. He looked surprised. I felt satisfied.

Bucks County had Columbia style coffee this morning. I had to get it; it was delicious.

Further rambling: Since when did college basketball players get to be 18 and 19 years old? Greg Oden, the consensus #1 pick if he declares in the spring is 18. In fact there is nobody in the ESPN top 25 college draft class over the age of 20. Joakim Noah, the best player in the tournament in March, is 21 (although he's slipping in his game this season.) Maybe I should start following the NBA.

I'm sorry, but if you are in a band named Gnarls Barkley, you should sew a tail onto all your clothes just to put it between your legs. I cringe in disgust whenever I hear this bands a. name and b. music.

If your press shots crib directly from a pop culture phenomenon (see example at left), you need to re-examine what you're all about.

Speaking of music, a lot of the year-end top 10 lists are so predictable. Cat Power. The Decemberists. Regina Spektor. Yawn. Not to say that these albums are bad, but if these are widely considered among the best albums that came out in '06, we are fucked. Also if I never hear Cat Power again I could live with myself quite happily.

1 Comments:

Blogger Sara said...

FINALLY. Someone else who can't stand Gnarls Barkley.

5:23 PM, January 04, 2007  

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