Archives for the month of: July, 2006


charlie’s brother, chris, was in town so we did a lot of fun stuff:

  • portillo’s – chicago red hots and italian beefs
  • border’s – hour until movie starts
  • miami vice‘ – most satisfying deaths ever
  • michigan ave. at night
  • dick’s sporting goods – buy swimsuits, encounter employees unhappy with their jobs
  • jimmy john’s
  • beach – swim, sunbathe, fly kites, i watch chris and charlie throw a football at each others’ crotches, the lifeguards tell us that basically, fun is not allowed in the water
  • showers and blessed blessed air conditioning
  • la pasadita for carne asada burritos
  • travis’s – margaritas, bond with kareem re: macgyver is kickass, watch ‘unbreakable’
  • tuman’s – meet up with puma crowd, drinking, dancing



eric: the golden age of syphilis!

eric: whoa i like 7/20

eric: it looks like a franz ferdinand album

eric: that’s what they should call their 3rd album

eric: Syphilis!

kara: as old as creation!

kara: lol

eric: 20/20 is great too

kara: 13,000 between 11 and 15?!?

kara: wtf?

eric: “The Great Crippler” would be a fantastic album title

kara: what does syphilis do exactly

kara: i don’t even know

eric: well i read in vice magazine one time that either syphilis or gonareaha (sp?) is basically the same as a UTI

eric: forget which one

kara: ew

eric: but isn’t syphilis the one that makes you crazy later

kara: hm i think ‘the clap’ is the one that causes burning urination

eric: like on House?

kara: but i don’t know which one is the clap

kara: yeah, syphilis makes you crazy

eric: ok, and i think “the clap” is another name for gonnareah?

kara: like in the baroque cycle

kara: is it?

eric: good then, that’s sorted

kara: LOL this is the best conversation ever

eric: hehe


eric: incidentally, how come there is not a band called “The Clap”

eric: it would work so well with all those other “The Something” band names

kara: LOL

kara: your band should be ‘the clap’

eric: maybe make it harder to get groupies to have sex with you tho

update: ok get this – there actually is a band called ‘the clap‘. sorry eric. you’ll have to find a different name for your band.

last night matt and i saw ‘raiders of the lost ark’ at the music box. ‘raiders’ is one of my favorite movies and was a big part of my childhood. it was one of the few movies my dad and i would watch when i was small(er). he loved it because it reminded him of the serials he saw as a kid at the 5¢ movies (or however much they cost) and i loved it, initially, because my dad seemed to really like it and it was something we could enjoy together.

watching it for the first time on the big screen was very exciting. ‘raiders of the lost ark’ was released just before i was born so i’d only seen it on television or in a smaller screening room at northwestern. i’ve noticed that when i watch movies i loved as a child, i can suddenly see where all sorts of seeds of my personality were planted. ‘wargames’ made me forever fall in love with nerds and be attracted to guys that are good at video games and good with computers. ‘clue’ shaped what i think of as funny and influenced my admiration of early to mid-century fashion. when my cousins forced me to watch some episodes of ‘star trek’ because they wanted to watch them and were stuck babysitting me, they hardly could’ve guessed that they launched my life-long obsession with all things roddenberry.

however, while watching ‘raiders of the lost ark’ i saw some other parallels – things that i’d never really noticed but would probably be obvious to anyone familiar with the movie and with me. my fascination with archaeology and ancient egypt is directly related to this movie and i even remember my friend holly, an archaeology major, also talking about how much she loved these movies when she was young.

last night i recalled thinking many years before that marion was the kind of girl i wanted to be. pretty with moxie and able to fit in with the boys. i remember seeing her out-drink that huge guy, handle a machine gun and keep pace with indy as they ran from the exploding airplane and thinking, “she is so cool”. i remember seeing the effect she had on indiana and thinking, “she is AWESOME”.

watching ‘raiders’ so often at such a young age also impressed upon me the idea that indiana jones is What a Man Should Be: intelligent, handsome, physically fit and bold. he always has a dry rejoiner and like macgyver (another childhood crush) he knows how to do stuff – how to survive ancient booby traps, how to find lost treasure, how to fight nazis and escape secret egyptian rooms. he’s also wise/knowledgable – he knows to avert his eyes from the opened ark when the others do not. and…HE’S AN ARCHAEOLOGIST. not a particularly ethical one, but still. brains AND brawn. the only thing missing is music – if indiana played a musical instrument i’d be beside myself. i’m also very aware that this feeling of indy-as-man-to-adore was strengthened by seeing how my father enjoyed the movie and liked the character. if my dad liked this guy – was impressed by him – he must be pretty cool.

i guess i don’t really have an elegant way to wrap up this post. last night i was just really struck by how often i thought, “so THAT’S where that comes from!” did movies influence anyone else this strongly or just me?

it’s official! i’ll be in los angeles friday august 25th through early afternoon, monday august 28th. california friends, mark your calendars and check out my backpack page for details and updates.

update: pat & jessie’s photos

spelunking/cave exploring/whatever was….incredible. the single most exhilarating experience of my life. we drove down early – the drive is about six hours. mark picked me up at 5am and we picked up lindsay and katie at 5:30. we met up with pat and jessie at 6 then started the trip to wyandotte caves near corydon, IN. once we got south of indianapolis the drive was really pretty – lots of exposed rock, hills and trees. the final few miles to the caves was gorgeous – a winding road with trees all around that would part every once in awhile to allow a view of a beautiful valley or hillside.

after lunch at the cracker barrel, we changed into our spelunking clothes and met our guide, dave. we got our helmets and headlamps and were briefed on general cave etiquette. once in the mouth of the cave and through the gate it was immediately much cooler and surprisingly dark. the next 3 hours were spent scrabbling over rock fall, climbing up steep walls of rock and piles of snot rock (dave: they’re slipperier ‘en snot), and crawling through narrow holes.

at one point a sideways cartwheel-like maneuver was required to pass into the main room containing the actual pillar. pat, jessie and mark are all over six feet tall, and had some difficulty with this. for once, i was happy to be small; i could shuffle through it sideways (still very awkward and involved a lot of contorting though). once everyone was through, we found places in the big room to sit and switched off our lights. for the first time we experienced complete darkness; you couldn’t even see a hand right in front of your face. it was very relaxing and not scary at all. we sat for awhile and listened to the bats squeaking and flying around above us.

the way back was much easier and faster. we already knew what we could do and what we could climb, what slippery or stable ground looked like. as we were approaching the mouth, we ran into a walking tour group in the lighted room at the beginning of the cave system. they looked at us – sweaty, happily exhausted, and covered in mud (and possibly bat guano). we looked at them – khakis, gleaming white sneakers, tucked-in polos and button-downs. it was an odd feeling of…i don’t know – accomplishment? macho superiority? no, probably closer to pity because they wouldn’t be able to have the same sort of fulfilling experience we had just had.

we went to the restrooms to clean up and change. everyone’s knees were pretty badly and widely bruised, elbows too. heels of palms were sore and abraded. i got away with the least amount of bruising because i could crouch down in a lot of places where the others had to go on hands and knees. we went for dinner right away and i have never felt like i really earned a meal until that evening. the blue moon was delicious and the steak was fantastic. there was a lot of napping on the drive home.

i think overall it was more strenuous than any of us had anticipated. there was a lot more climbing and lowering yourself down steep angles than i thought there would be. at some point we had just half-slid half lowered ourselves like crabs down a very steep and slippery wall and those of us in the front had a moment to stop and catch our breath. we were standing in the bottom of a steep-walled room, at least fifty feet to the ceiling, with no visible way out. dave pointed his light to the ceiling opposite. there was no opening we could see and the way up looked almost featureless – there was no real rock fall to climb on. we all looked at each other. “we’re going up there??”

everyone had to sign a waiver first, and it was easy to see why. there were a lot of moments when a slip or a misstep could’ve led to someone falling down a rock-lined hole. at any given moment, not being aware of where you were putting your feet and also making sure you had a good hand-hold could’ve meant a bad fall.

i realize looking at this that i’m making it seem impossible or terrifyingly perilous. it was hard and definitely dangerous, but i was surprised by how much i was capable of – i think everyone was surprised to find they could do more and push themselves further than they thought. i was surprised i could climb out of a narrow hole, surprised i could free-climb slippery rock, surprised i could balance in a chimney on one tiptoe while getting my other foot right in front of my chest to lever myself up to the cave floor. surprised by how confident i felt in my ability to do all these things.

i wasn’t surprised by how much i loved it. i think i said “i love this” at least ten times while we were down there. a quarter of the way through mark and i were already planning out our next trip. it was the most wholly physically demanding thing i’ve ever done – today, two days later, my body still hurts in places i didn’t know i had muscles – and every minute was thrilling. i’ve never felt so alive – cliché? yeah, but completely true.

my ds lite is so fun! the mini-game based titles i’ve been playing are fun and i had forgotten how much fun mariokart is. i can’t wait to go to la and play mariokart with pat and glen via wifi! i’m looking for other titles to try out. suggestions?

cardboard-flavored water isn’t awful tasting, but it’s pretty gross when you’re expecting regular water. after the initial shock it wasn’t so bad.

…ok, it was still horrible.


mythlandia is a giant mural by julian hector. it depicts all sorts of scenes from mythology, religion and literature. pretty cool, and viewer is neat too – it’s sort of like the new google maps ‘where are you in this city’ locator.

i like the minotaur all alone with his tiny shaft of light (lower right). he looks so lonely! he just needs a hug. …but someone else try that; i’m not gonna.

pirates of the caribbean 2: longest movie ever.

…fun though.

life (briefly) near a supernova‘ (PDF) is a paper written by steven i. dutch which speaks in layman’s terms about what it would be like to actually witness a supernova. for illustrative purposes, he offers some pretty chilling comparisons to smaller-scale events:

The sun going supernova would be the equivalent of standing a kilometer away when the entire Earth’s nuclear arsenal goes off every second. And this radiation flux would go on for several days before dropping to a plateau of “only” a billion times solar luminosity for roughly 100 days. Clearly, the Earth would not survive.


How bright is 10 billion times solar luminosity?…It would take 100,000 Suns to cover the visible sky. Imagine the entire sky covered with Suns. Now imagine each of them 100,000 times brighter than our Sun. You could never see anything this bright. Your light receptors would overload instantly and you would probably vaporize before the sensory input could reach your brain. Very likely the flux of penetrative (X-ray and gamma ray) radiation would be enough to disrupt every atomic bond in your body before the sensory input could reach your brain.

good reading for any of you who are interested in sci-fi, astronomy or really big explosions that result in entire planets being boiled away by radiation.

via metafilter