please remember to vomit to leeward.

Much as I appreciate the grace and politeness of the late-night weekend waiter at IHOP (he addresses everyone as "sir" without a trace of unctuousness--what he's doing at IHOP I'll never know), he took the liberty of ordering me the Never-Ending Pancakes instead of the Short Stack, since the former are on sale for the same price as the latter. Good intentions, but if there's one thing I don't need, it's an excess of pancakes.

In a sort of poetic justice about sprawl, the original suburbsare dying.

Today's interesting discovery: my jacket, which I swear has been waterproof before...isn't. Yet another thing to spend money on. I had a go at it today, but it wasn't imperative enough for me to spend to $200-300.

I stopped by the San Carlos thrift store today to get rid of some stuff, and their CD collection offered me another surprise--you may recall I found there an album so obscure I thought I was buying back my own copy. This time I was startled to see this a cappella album from 1990 which I'd rather forgotten about, the soundtrack to a Spike Jones a cappella TV special; I have another compilation with several of its tracks, and many more are familiar from college groups singing them, but my intention to find this album had long passed. I must have taped it from someone, because I know all the songs as the artists sing them. I'm happy to have it at last: these groups and arrangements, most notably Rockapella and the Mint Juleps, really laid a foundation for my a cappella experience of 1993-2001. As one Amazon commentator notes, the Mint Juleps phrasing of "Higher and Higher" has become very much standard, and most a cappella singers would agree that the Mint Juleps/Ladysmith Black Mambazo version of "Lion Sleeps Tonight" is, bar none, the only good a cappella rendition of that overdone and under-interesting standard. (And not copyable unless you have some mighty women singers and a small chorus of beefy South African black guys.)

In my travels today, I saw this sticker on a car. I don't have any definitive comment on it, but I did think it worth photographing and sharing.

I had a long talk today with a woman who, besides liking to talk, shares the feeling many of us have that we're born a bit different. "Meandering to a different drummer", to quote a button Mom got me years ago. Tonight I ran through my life briefly, and with the exception of one very well-balanced inflection point (my choice between two jobs in late 2000), I don't really know how my life could have turned out substantially different, because step by step I've been willing and able to make the decisions I thought were right at the time, given all possibilities and constraints. I wonder if that's a quiet curse of age, to lose sight of the contingency of history and start to believe that everything is as it is because that is how it must be. But no; if circumstances had changed, I would have made different decisions.