Interesting people

Manny, a barber at my neighborhood barber shop, talking about the clientele of a juice bar he was in once: “There was this kid in there sitting near me. This kid, he must have had more earrings than a jewelry store! They weren’t all in his ear either.”

Also, laudromat callers. After discussing whether to live in the house next year, the sweatpanted sorority sisters began to load their laundry into the machines and encountered a problem. Luckily, they had their cell phones at the ready to combat it. One made the call: “Mom, hi! Hey, what temperature do you put whites on in the washing machine?” Somewhere, instruction tag writers were crying.

Why do so many people feel compelled to call at the laundromat? My two theories:

1) People are bored at the laundromat. They’ve brought their bags of laundry, and they’ve brought their quarters and detergent. That’s already a lot to think about. Bringing something on top of that might be too much to ask.

2) People are lonely at the laundromat. The elements are so intimate; the environment is so sterile. This dysfunction — this crush upon the psyche, this wash-dry tease — is extreme. Or something like that.

Where you been?

Good question. Wednesday — work, haircut and paper-writing. Thursday — work, laundry. Friday — job interview, lightning fast packing, then flight home. Saturday — lazy, then Maryland game. I’ve returned home for spring break.

Patrick, you’re boring

Yes, this week at least. I don’t expect anything exciting to happen because relaxing doesn’t quite lead to anything exciting. Instead, this week I’m going to write about other people. Specifically, I’m going to write about my friends Brendan, Tara, Nate, Jamie and Mark as they venture to New Orleans. Because they’re out of contact, we’ll just have to make it all up.

Here’s what we do know: Early Saturday morning, the five loaded into Brendan’s white pick-up truck and chugged out of Evanston, Ill., pop-up camper in tow. The camper, which belongs to Nate’s family, is where they will sleep once they arrive on the outskirts of New Orleans. After a few days in the Big Easy, they will drive back to Evanston.

This is all I know. It’s a good start. Tomorrow: On to Memphis!

My kind of joke

From Andrew’s AIM profile: A guy walks into a bar, and there’s a horse behind the bar serving drinks. The guy is staring at the horse, when the horse says, “Hey buddy, what are you staring at? Haven’t you ever seen a horse serving drinks before?”

The guy says, “No, it’s not that… it’s just that I never thought the parrot would sell the place.”

Maybe someday I’ll visit their offices too

Back in the pre-digital days, back when we had to (but often failed to) write things down, we got the magazine Your Big Backyard from the National Wildlife Federation. When we got a little older, we subscribed to Ranger Rick.

Cue you, the rapidly aging youth: “Oh yeah, I remember that! Or, alternatively: “I forgot about that!”

Thanks. It turns out both magazines are both still around and thriving. My friend is giving her niece Big Backyard for her birthday. It’s a great idea. No matter how much changes, some things stay the same. Like knowing your animals and picking up trash. I’d sure like to see my computer tell me what a pelican is! That’ll be the day.

Somewhat on the topic:

Is Ranger Rick anti-hunting?

Is Ranger Rick pro-squirrel?

The only connection ever between Springsteen and Ranger Rick

Also, an FYI for all the magazine majors at Medill: Ranger Rick circulation: 550,000. Boy’s Life: 1.3 million. Highlights: 2 to 2.5 million. Thar’s money in them thar Goofi.

This is a dream, not a political statement

In a dream last night, my roommate and I did not live in Evanston, Ill. We lived in sunny Florida. We did not live, either, on the third floor. Instead, we lived in a high-rise, somewhere in the upper parts. Living in a Florida high-rise as we did, our apartment was far nicer than the one we actually have. (Tracy, for one, would be glad for that.)

But all of this is just to set up why the Bush brothers had the apartment across the elevators from us. One day Amit and I were sitting in our living room with Nameless/Faceless Neighbor, just making conversation. Then there came a knock at the door! I went and answered it, and there were the Bush brothers. Jeb, George W. and another one.

They were chasing a dog around the marble and glass elevator area. Finally, remembering he had rung the doorbell, Jeb looked up and noticed me. “Hey,” he said, “we were wondering, you know, if you all wanted to go out and get something to eat.”

I went back inside to ask Amit and Nameless/Faceless Neighbor if they want to go. Jeb followed me in and went looking for a snack in the kitchen. The conversation went like this:

Me: Jeb Bush wants to know if you all want to go get something to eat.

Amit: The governor? Where is he?

Me: He’s here. He lives in our building apparently.

Neighbor: You mean those Confederate Bushes? Where are they?

Me: Hey, be nice, Jeb’s in the kitchen right now!

And that was the end of that dream. Presumably George W. and the other brother (Marvin or Neil) were still playing with the dog by the elevators.

This dream was followed by a shorter, less coherent dream that involved winning a 100-disc CD changer as part of a SPJ contest. The song Desperado was involved somehow. That’s the last time I eat Almond Joy Bites right before going to bed.

It’s that time of year

Ireland’s Greatest Hits in the CD player. Elvis’ take on Danny Boy on Winamp. Yesterday, dressed up in green shirt, green jacket, and Pat hat (pictured left — ugly, isn’t it?). Went downtown with Linz yesterday and saw the Chicago River dyed green for the parade. Stopped in at a packed Houlihan’s next to the river. Drank a green beer. It’s a good holiday.

If they can dye the river green today, why can’t they dye it blue the other 364 days of the year? — Dep. Biggs, The Fugitive.

A reply to Richard Myers

Richard Myers posted a very funny entry to my guestbook a few days ago. Mr. Myers is from Newcastle, England, where he is an Internet tycoon with Ethic Internet. The company seems like an interesting place to work, producing such sites as BBC Radio. Anyway, I just replied to Mr. Myers by e-mail:

Dear Mr. Myers,

I enjoyed your entry in my guestbook: “What are you doing with my son’s name?” To answer your question, I was given your son’s name nearly 22 years ago. Had you said something then, maybe I would have considering giving it back. Now, however, it is too late for me to adopt a completely new name. Unless of course you had a extremely good suggestion.

In the meantime, I have a question for you: What are you doing with my ninth grade English teacher’s name?