June 15, 2003

Hey, I published my first entry a year ago today. That was back when I assumed that scalping (I mean, um, nontraditional ticket reallocation) only meant buying at face value and selling high. Silly me.

Anyway, I'm celebrating a year o' blogging with a short hiatus. I'll be back July 1st. In the meantime, keep counting down to election day.

June 13, 2003

If youíre in Seattle, you should check out Painted Visions from India and Pakistan, Past and Present. Shahzia Sikander is particularly nifty.

June 11, 2003

It's been too long since I've written an entry with some heft, but I'm still feeling empty-headed, so I'm raiding the filing cabinet. Here's something I wrote way back when - it contains what is, in my estimation, the worst joke I've ever written. First person to identify the joke wins a ghostly visitation from Raymond Chandler and Christopher Marlowe...

Philip Marlowe's Doctor Faustus

FAUSTUS: It was a slow day, a slow day like every other day here in my office. Nothing to do but drink whiskey that curls around my stomach like a snake, and think thoughts that curl around my brain like an even bigger snake - an anaconda, maybe. Sure, Iíve been a doctor, Iíve been a lawyer. Iím even ordained - by one of those two-bit, nickel-n-dime, penny-for-your-thoughts operations that advertise in the back of Playboy - the Church of I Buy It for the Articles. And now Iím a dick. A private dick. But it ainít enough.

MEPHISTOPHELES suddenly appears under a red light.

MEPHISTOPHELES: Of course it isnít.

FAUSTUS: I havenít seen that much red light since I was on the vice squad. "Who are you?" I said.

MEPHISTOPHELES: Mephistopheles. Why are you still narrating?

FAUSTUS: ó he said. "Listen, pal," I answered. "This is my office, you got that? My turf, my space, my digs, and mi casa ainít su casa, so Iíll narrate whenever I ó"

MEPHISTOPHELES: Your phone is going to ring.

It does. FAUSTUS answers it.

FAUSTUS: Faustus, private dick. Yeah. No. No, I canít pay it this week. No, not next week, either. Listen, pal, Iím broke. Iím busted. I ainít got any dough. Well, same to you!

MEPHISTOPHELES: I can help you with that. Power. Money. Fame. Dames.



FAUSTUS: And what do you want in return? You donít look like the philanthropic type.

MEPHISTOPHELES: A small thing, really...infinitesimal ó

FAUSTUS: Iím not switching long distance companies.

MEPHISTOPHELES: You donít have to...if you give me your immortal soul.

FAUSTUS: Youíre bughouse, pal.

MEPHISTOPHELES (producing a contract): No harm in signing, then.

FAUSTUS: Power, money, fame?


FAUSTUS: What the hell.

MEPHISTOPHELES: Yes. What the hell. FAUSTUS signs the contract. Excellent. Now, your wish is my command.

FAUSTUS: I could use a vacation.

MEPHISTOPHELES: Rome? Bangkok? Rio?

FAUSTUS: Sounds good.


Dramatic lighting change as MEPHISTOPHELES produces...a Viewmaster.

MEPHISTOPHELES (as FAUSTUS clicks through the pictures): There it is, Faustus. The whole world. And itís all yours. Everest. The Taj Mahal. Machu Pichu. The Parthenon. Disneyland.

FAUSTUS (whistles): Whoís the dame standing next to the six-foot mouse?


FAUSTUS: Great gams.

MEPHISTOPHELES: You can do better. Faustus, meet Helen of Troy.


FAUSTUS: Helen of Troy. What a knockout. She had a face like a face that could launch a thousand ships. She looked like trouble. The kind of trouble that says to a guy, "Hey pal, come get me."

HELEN OF TROY: Hello, Faustus.

She kisses him passionately.

FAUSTUS: She was a great kisser. And me without a Trojan.

MEPHISTOPHELES: One more joke like that and youíre going straight to hell. I can do it, too. Itís in the contract.

FAUSTUS checks the contract and shrugs.

HELEN OF TROY: Say, gumshoe, letís find someplace more private.

FAUSTUS: Well, dollface...

HELEN OF TROY: Come on, Faustus. Remember, youíre damned if you do ó

MEPHISTOPHELES: ó and youíre damned if you donít. So you might as well have a little fun in the meantime.

FAUSTUS: Thatís where youíre wrong, Mephistopheles. (He pulls out a gun.) Your days of Pelopennesian pimping are over. Iím bringing you in on vice charges. Youíre going downtown.

MEPHISTOPHELES: You fool, Faustus! Youíll never take me alive!

He disappears in a flash of red light and a quick blackout.

FAUSTUS: Damn. Come on, Helen. Youíve got an appointment with a paddy wagon.

HELEN OF TROY: But Faustus, what will I do without you?

FAUSTUS: Well, sweetheart, youíll always have Paris.

HELEN OF TROY (as they exit): You are going to hell if you keep making jokes like that.

FAUSTUS: What can I do? Iím a dick. A private dick.

June 10, 2003
Phosphorus Moon

Big chemistry fun from the folks at the University of Leeds.

June 07, 2003
Weather System

There's a heat wave in Seattle, so this morning I made iced coffee. I poured boiling water through a small cone filter, and let the extra-strong coffee drip straight into a mug full of ice.

I wonder what kind of complex but tiny weather pattern I destroyed as I lifted off the filter.

June 05, 2003
Please Excuse Me While I Smash This Cactus

"I have tequila makings at home. I mean margarita. Margarita makings. Triple sec and limes and so on."

June 04, 2003
Not to Mention the Student Loans

Courtesy Jim via Rebecca, So You Want to Go to Grad School, a great article from the Chronicle of Higher Educationís Career Network.

June 03, 2003
The Cats, the Dog, and the Bobblehead Armadillo

June 02, 2003
T-Minus 518 and Counting

I've spent the last week or so working with my pal Rhonda on a new blog we're calling Countdown to Election Day: 525 Reasons to Dump Bush.

Regular Jane antics will resume in this space tomorrow.