The car is loaded, I'm out the door. Tonight I sleep (or not) in Black Rock City! I'll be on the playa for nine days. SO EXCITED.
Neuroscientist Michael Bach has assembled this amazing collection of "optical illusions". These fanciful displays exploit quirks in our visual system, wrongly altering our perceptions of motion, color, size, etc.
This one is Bob T's favorite, and indeed, it left me absolutely slack-jawed. The explanations are satisfying, but it's still disturbing to know how easily we can be duped.
I am now in possession of three bottles of real absinthe, thanks to a connoisseur friend who put together an order, and had it shipped from Europe by courier. I got bottles of Alandia Bohème, an anise-free absinthe from Germany, Absinthe La Blanche Limited, a French absinthe in gorgeous a psychedelic bottle, and Absinthe Blue Velvet, a bitter from Germany.
Two new messages in my in-box, from two friends of mine who don't know each other. Both with the same subject line: Hey cutie!
An interesting moment from each day:
Fri, 8/5 - Party at our house. People come and go in waves. Some time after midnight, a group of people from my workplace show up. Seeing them out of context is impossibly funny, and I can't stop laughing. Perhaps a bit freaked out at first, they soon get into the swing of things.
Sat, 8/6 - Pre-compression party at RWB beach. A 20' tall Man is built, and torched. People are still dancing when I leave at noon the next day, and Strawbery is doing some seriously funny shit.
Sun, 8/7 - I'm at a friend's garden party. Having just been named CIO of a large grantmaking foundation, he's moving house, and giving stuff away. I leave with a breadmaking machine and a fine pair of shoes.
Mon, 8/8 - Peter Jennings has died. As I watch the tribute, tapes of his 9/11 coverage are played, and I get shivers. Backstory: I was watching Jennings on that traumatic morning, as he narrated the horrors live. I was in Cambridge, in the Harkness Commons at Harvard Law School, watching with perhaps a hundred other stunned people. And at 9:59am, as I watched the first tower collapse (the worst moment of it all for me), I would not have believed what I was seeing if it hadn't been for Jennings, announcing with cool poise that 'the South Tower appears to have completely collapsed.' All around me law students gasp and weep and make desperate cell phone calls to New York. It was truly awful.
Tues, 8/9 - Getting crafty for Burning Man, I start making fire hoops with friends in Orange's basement in the Mission. This mainly involves hacksawing through long carriage bolts.
Wed, 8/10 - Jerry Garcia died August 9, 1995, but I got the news on the morning of the 10th, ten years ago. I was in Pusan, Korea, making breakfast and listening to the news on the Armed Forces Korea Network. I was terribly shocked, and thought my youth was over. Alas, ten years later, it's still not over!
Thurs, 8/11 - I discover Urban Ore, the huge re-use/recycle warehouse at 7th & Ashby, and consider starting a sewing machine collection.
Fri, 8/12 - I take Jiwon to the theatre, to see Tim Barsky's Invisible Cities, a collection of meanering musings on the SF underground...with beatboxing and tap dancing. Outstanding.
Sat, 8/13 - I move gracefully from 8-to-12 faculty dinner party to 1-to-6 underground dance party. The False Profit renegade is in a most audacious location, and it rocks out. Tim Barsky is there.
Sun, 8/14 - I finally deer-proof our garden. At least I think it's deer-proof.
Mon, 8/15 - The film Viktor Vogel renews my interest in the German language. Echt geil!
Correction: On 8/12 it was Jiwon who took me to the theatre, OK?
If you think my car was a mess before, you should see it now.
There are certain things that usually happen to someone by the time they're my age, but have somehow never happened to me. Among them: I've never broken a bone, I've never had jury duty, and I've never had my car broken into.
One of those three finally happened. On Saturday night, I was at the House of Lotus party in San Francisco, near Hunter's Point. While I was dancin' and lookin' all silly, someone came upon my car, parked a block away. No valuables were visible, and the stereo's faceplate was stowed in the glove compartment. But never mind, my time had come: This loser smashed my passenger side window, found the faceplate, ripped out my car stereo, mangled the dashboard, stole my CDs and other stuff, and made an awful mess of things. So rude.
Seeing the dashboard all messed up, I was just happy the car started. And so off I went, with papers fluttering and glass glistening, through the City and across the Bay Bridge, with nothing but the sound of the chill wind pouring through where the window should've been. Brrr.