26 September 2009

A Celebration of Special-Ness

by Cecily
As I was leaving campus last week after teaching at College-That-Is-Past-Damascus, I was stuck on Main Street for half an hour because there was a parade.

I don't know what the parade was for. It wasn't a holiday. I was pretty close to it all, so I could see what the parade consisted of, and what it consisted of wasn't informative. What it consisted of was marching bands, walking people with glowy necklaces, pickups with people in the beds, and various emergency vehicles with their fancy lights all flashing.

I sat there smiling at them all and feeling alternately gleeful and guilt-ridden. Because all I could think about was True Stories and how much I love David Byrne.


I have something to say about this. But I've forgotten what it is. I have it written down at home though.

22 September 2009

Big Brother is taking good care of me

by Cecily
Cab drivers in DC used to just drive around until they got somewhere and then turn to you, palm up, for money. An amount of money that as far as anyone could tell they had invented, or dreamt, or received from the gods. And the place wasn't always the place you had in mind, either.

Now, cab drivers in DC have meters and GPS. And my world is much better.

It is particularly difficult to correct-en-route a cab driver when you are deaf. Even if your voice is pretty understandable and the cab driver can hear you, he* probably won't internalize the fact that you can't hear him*. So when you try to say "turn here" or "take a right on Rhode Island" he* will probably respond to you with something you can't hear, and then later chastise you for it.

If you don't talk, and you just hand him* a piece of paper with the address/directions written on it, then you have no way of knowing what kind of mental processes are occurring as you drive. Particularly if you are a little bit or a lot drunk, this is true. Which is problematic because everyone [read: me] takes cabs a lot more often when they are a little bit or a lot drunk.

But, now, with the new fancy Fare Meter GPS rule, it is much better! You can sit in the back seat, drunkenly musing on whatever you would care to muse on, and keep an eye on the little screens in the front. One little screen will tell you where you are, and what the cab driver thinks he* is doing. There is a big bright line telling you where he* thinks he* is going! It is easy to object and correct when necessary.

Tonight, for example, I gave the nice cab driver man* a piece of paper with my address and several other ways to consider my address written on it. First, the actual mailing address. Second, the cross streets with letter and number streets. Third, the actual closest intersection to my house. In the past, this same information has yielded widely varying results, including cab drivers who thought I meant I (Eye) Street when I wrote 1st (First), and also multiple confusions between quadrants even though I was very careful to specify.

But tonight, Cab Driver Man* just typed what I wrote into his little GPS meter dealy, and I could tell right away that we were on the right track. The GPS even knew the appropriate shortcuts to take. Cab Driver Man* did not get stressed out, and I got home with zero problems and for an acceptable number of dollars.

Moral: I love GPS.

*I've not yet had a female cab driver in DC. I have no idea if this is a statistically useful sample.

21 September 2009

holy ridiculous, Small.

by Cecily

Also, she purr-snores.

12 September 2009

I mean, I'm proud of Elizabeth, too...

by Cecily
This kid kind of blows my mind. As usual.

School's going good. I might actually get a degree at some time in the not terribly distant future. A student told me my class was "one of the hardest I've ever taken" which my roommate thinks I should take as a compliment but I'm not quite as sure about. DC got taken over by rabid wingnuts this weekend, but since I never leave my house it didn't really affect me. Maryrose is back in town for a visit, and the air is cool enough at night that I am contemplating the addition of another down comforter. So all in all things are pretty okay.

08 September 2009

Family Update: Bullet Point Edition

by Cecily
- my mother has a pet cricket.
- my father is moving to a war zone.
- all of my siblings are enrolled in institutes of higher learning.
- Happy birthday, Tom!

01 September 2009

So far I have been neither lost nor converted

by Cecily
The semester started! Summer is over. The pool is about to close. Yesterday evening you needed a SWEATER. If you left the house I mean. Not that I did that.

I'm teaching two classes this fall. So far I've taught one of each. So far so good.

One class is at a small college way far north of me, in a state*. To get to it, I have to follow the road to Damascus. I find this endlessly entertaining, and I tell myself various phrases that involve "on the way to Damascus" over and over as I drive.

*I have to leave my neighborhood, and my quadrant, and the whole DISTRICT. It is very exciting.