Ann convinced me to come along for the Sasquatch music festival, at the Gorge amphitheater a few hours east of Seattle. I like Sufjan Stevens, and I enjoy me some Neko Case from time to time. But during Neko Case’s second song, hail started coming down, and it just kept getting worse and worse, until the stones were as big as gumdrops. Ann and I cowered in our ponchos, listening to the yells around us: “ow!” “*owwwwwww!*” Eventually we gave up and headed home, but along the way we stopped at Roslyn, the town where Northern Exposure was filmed. I’d never seen the show, but Ann’s a huge fan. We ate at the cafe that has some significant mural of a camel on it.
Archive for August, 2006
I almost hesitated to post about this, but then I realized that it’s a *checkout lane at a major grocery store*. I shouldn’t have to have qualms about posting such a thing on my journal. For years I’ve been tracking the trends of Cosmopolitan cover story titles. When I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, my choices of activity are that or meditation. Every, every, every issue of Cosmo has the word **SEX** on it. Usually it’s quite large. Sometimes it appears more than once. Often it’s associated with a number (as in **977 sex tricks to try tonight**). Lately, for some reason, **Bitch** is another popular word to put on the cover. This issue is a real winner: **SEX** appears three times (in *HEAT UP SEX*, *Sexy Summer Beauty Tips*, and, somewhat smaller, *Sex Positions You Haven’t Thought Of*). Of eight cover stories, three are collections of sex tips; apparently the diligent researchers at Cosmo are able every month to come up with dozens-to-hundreds of novel techniques that haven’t been mentioned in any of the other hundreds of issues over the years. For bonus points, **Bitchy** appears twice in a row, and **Ballsy**, a new one, appears once. I’m not sure what this says about Cosmopolitan, about people who read it, about the people who decided it is a good product to put in the checkout line for everyone to stare at, or about me. It’s just morbidly fun to calculate the magazine’s score every month. In Green Bay, I tried to patronize Festival instead of Copp’s because their checkout-lane impulse-buy items were fruit, instead of crappy magazines and candy bars. And now in Seattle, I’ve discovered Whole Foods, which is pleasant and deserves a post of its own.
In crowded areas of Tokyo, fast food restaurants are a favorite way for people to sit down and relax. I think many people are paying not just for the food, but for the seat and the relative quiet, in a town where it’s hard to escape the bustle. So restaurants often advertise how many seats they have. The storefront of the first level may be tiny, but there are 150 seats upstairs. If you’re worried that they might all be full, or if you just feel like spying on people eating hamburgers, check out the live camera feed.
Spotted at a home furnishings type store in Shinjuku. My buddy Kang has a similar product with more colorful packaging. At the same store I bought some handsome, small notebooks. I’ve been using them to take notes while reading. Often I think back to books I read a long time ago, and I lament that I don’t remember most of the fascinating stuff they contained. Now when I run into one of those sentences that makes me drop the book to my side and stare at the wall for a few minutes, I can write it down and keep it. Galaxies may be quantum jitters smeared across the sky during [cosmic inflation](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375727205/)? A huge portion of my DNA is actually made of viruses who [spliced themselves in](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000G740PI)? This stuff is astounding, and now I won’t lose it.