Wednesday, September 10, 2003

A is for Aosta. This was the Italian town I thought of today. It's a lovely place in the mountains, and French-speaking of all things, and on the way there you look up and the mountains have these delicate spidery waterfalls 700 feet above you. Sigh.

B is for Bellucci because, well, it's expected of me.

C is for Cilantro, the world's most overused spice.

D is for Delaware, where I buy things because they have no sales tax. A lesson for us all.

E is for Evanescence. One of the funniest running stories of the year is watching this band desperately running away from their original status as a "Christian" act. It's funny because every single interview they ever gave up to that point contradicts them, so now they go around saying "F*ck sh*t p*ss” every interview so people get the message.

F is for Friday, when I will probably take advantage of my unemployed bum status and see all three of the movies that I want to see that are opening Friday, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Matchstick Men, and Cabin Fever.

G is for Neil Gaiman, whom I can never resist quoting, even grotesquely out of context: "Touched by her fingers, the two surviving chocolate people copulate desperately, losing themselves in a melting frenzy of lust, spending the last of their borrowed lives in a spasm of raspberry cream and fear."

H is for Howard "there is no difference between Israel and the Palestinians" Dean. That position lasted exactly one day before Joe Lieberman shamed him into a flip-flop.

I is for Inevitable Distractions.

J is for Joseph, my smarter and handsomer brother. I miss him.

K is for Kansas City, whom I am quietly rooting for this year in the AFC because of Dick Vermeil.

L is for Lira, the now-discarded former currency of Italy. I remember one time I was at the Duesseldorf airport's train station, trying to get to the Essen Toy Fair, and I had stupidly forgotten to change money before going. I went up to the ticket booth and told the ticket agent, "Ich muss nach Essen gehen, aber...." He eyed me suspiciously as I went on: "...Ich habe kein Deutschmark." "Was Geld haben Sie?" he asked. I cleared my throat and told him: "Ich habe Lire..." (His eyes narrowed) "....und Dollars." At the mention of dollars, the guy actually smiled. I don't miss the lira.

M is for Mostar, Bosnia, where they just rebuilt the old bridge that gives the town its name. Unfortunately, if the international (still mostly American) troops leave, I wouldn't give odds on the bridge being around long....

N is for Naomi, for obvious reasons, even though I still haven't been able to bring myself to see Le Divorce.

O is for Octopus, one of which I ate tonight.

P is for Philadelphia School District, which Abe (one of our customers at the store) invites me to work for every week. "Are they really that desperate, Abe?" "Well, yes."

Q is for Quentin Tarantino. Is it too much to ask that we don't see his ugly mug in Kill Bill?

R is for Andy Reid. Being badly outcoached by Jon Gruden two games in a row is not a good thing. His job is not in jeopardy, but maybe it should be.

S is for September 11th, which is tomorrow, and I guess it's not cool to observe it anymore, because, you know, the cool people have moved on. There was actually a story in the New York Times last week to this effect. Oh well. Like my fellow uncool person Christopher Hitchens, "I think about it every day, without fail."

T is for Taiwan, which is about to rename itself, oddly enough, Taiwan, to the consternation of the mainland Chinese, who demand that Taiwan not be called Taiwan. Simple, no?

U is for UN. No matter how much you might dislike the UN, hold on. this story will make you hate it more.

V is for Violence, which occasionally solves things.

W is for Oscar Wilde, probably the single most abused author after his death.

X is for Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Google hits for "Guantanamo" and "Auschwitz" together are now up to 2250, which, God forgive me, I find hilarious.

Y is for Yeats. "While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core."

Z is for Zeno of Cittium. "The world is ordered by reason and providence, inasmuch as reason pervades every part of it, just as does the soul in us." Obviously he never visited the city of Philadelphia.

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