hotlinking blows

And Futurama fans suck. Which is disappointing to me, because I’m a Futurama fan. The image referred to in the message below I had titled ‘Beast’, it was the cover art for the Futurama: Beast With A Billion Backs DVD release. Because a ton of assholes were far too lazy to download it and host it themselves, I took the consequences. I do believe Maiki is working on a hotlinking solution where the image they desire to steal is replaced with a picture of a giant penis or something. (I can only hope!)

I’m writing to let you know that unfortunately we had to deactivate the
http web service on your malnurturedsnay.net domain. A file called
‘beast.JPG’ was being accessed so many times, that it took up all
connections on the apache web service. It appears that you already
deleted the file, but the requests were still coming in. I even tried to
just put up an empty file with the same name to make the connections
faster (instead of having to generate the 404 error), but that wasn’t
enough.

The apache service needs a new IP, and your domain needs to stay inactive
for about a day to make sure that no referrers will follow to the new DNS
record. Please write back to me tomorrow, and I’ll turn your domain back
for you. My direct support address is andrea@dreamhost.com.

-Andrea D

How popular is Snay?

Very, it appears.

Figures in parentheses refer to the 7-day period ending Jul 20 2008 at 2:52 AM.

Successful requests: 1,195,173 (398,729)
Average successful requests per day: 62,894 (56,961)
Successful requests for pages: 94,627 (35,169)
Average successful requests for pages per day: 4,979 (5,024)
Failed requests: 363 (0)
Redirected requests: 7,693 (184)
Distinct files requested: 14,850 (2,271)
Distinct hosts served: 284,305 (24,534)
Data transferred: 27.13 gigabytes (9.19 gigabytes)
Average data transferred per day: 1.43 gigabytes (1.31 gigabytes)

We ended up moving it over to a virtual private server, and I blocked a few sites that were hammering this site pretty hard. Hopefully this will keep the site up for a little while.

Now we will see if Snay knows how to use WordPress 2.6. ^_^

Thoughts on THE DARK KNIGHT

With the exception of Indiana Jones, I don’t think I’ve been looking forward to any movie this summer season more than this sequel to Batman Begins. I attended the 3:30pm Saturday showing at the Uptown Theater in Washington, DC with a couple of bloggers from Baltimore, Claude and Jomiwi, and Jomiwi’s friend Len. Here’s to prebuying tickets on Thursday: no waiting in line for us. We actually met up at Cleveland Park Bar & Grille (although Jomiwi and I wound up bumping into each other on the Cleveland Park Metro platform, both of us coming north on the Red Line) for drinks and food beforehand.

Here’s a warning: although this post is not going to be a blow-by-blow description of the plot, I’m probably going to mention some plot points. Actually, I’m pretty damn sure I will. So, unless you don’t care if you know what happens in the film, or you’ve already seen it, or you have no intention of seeing it and just have nothing else to read, be forewarned.

So I was actually a little disappointed by this film. I know that the sequel will never be as good as the first, and this is true to that formula. I’m still trying to figure out how to express my feelings towards this film logically and clearly. So here we go: there was an emotional anchor to Bruce Wayne in the first film — primarily, his father’s death. The stethascope, the musical cue, Alfred’s gentle jibe, “Why do we fall down, sir?”, first asked to young Bruce by his father. Now then we come to Rachel, and her passion for justice and laws. If Alfred is the film’s father figure for Bruce, the literal personification of a man gunned down outside an opera house, then Rachel is Bruce’s mother figure. His father installs the work-ethic, the drive to do something, his mother shapes how those impulses show themselves.

That dynamic just doesn’t seem to exist in this film: if that theme was the cohesive thread through the plot, this sequel is missing it. There are some forced attempts between Bruce and Rachel, but the attempt to set up a love-triangle between Bruce and Rachel and Harvey (with whom Rachel is seriously involved) just doesn’t work.

Let me just take a moment to say: I’m not a Katie Holmes hater. I don’t understand why she got into a relationship with Tom Cruise, I don’t care to understand, but while I like Maggie Gyllenhaal just fine, I do wish Katie Holmes had been brought back for this film. Not just for continuity purposes (although this film series might have a legacy of double-casting roles: read in an interview Nolan wanted to bring the Joker back, and Ledger’s death might not have ended that plan).

So if that dynamic is the primary reason I prefer the first film to this, here’s the second reason: the plot. The first film was tightly written, with every scene serving an absolute purpose towards crafting what, at the end, was not just a great superhero film, but was a great film period. Plot holes in Batman Begins? I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Compare that to The Dark Knight, where often times, it seems like the school bus so often being used to rob banks or cart hostages away from a hospital could be driven right through them. I mean, seriously, at the end of the film Batman has Gordon blames Dent’s murderous rampage on him: um, hello? Why not on, I dunno, the Joker?

Here’s another reason I disliked the film: the gadgets. If there’s one thing I’ve found ridiculous about so many of the Batman films and TV shows, it’s the vast array of gadgets he has, seemingly one for every occasion and need, all conveniently on hand. Batman Begins didn’t go gadget-crazy, and played down those it had: the Tumbler, the memory-cloth, the bat-sonar-calling thing. Then, in this movie, we’ve got phones that can display virtual maps of a city, and the Tumbler, originally a military-bridging vehicle, suddenly gets an “escape motocycle” and remote-control functionality. The latter, straight out of 1989’s Batman, the former, totally ridiculous: what was the point of this device? Somehow I figure if the military was to cheap to spend $300k on the armor that becomes the Batman’s suit, they’re equally going to be opposed to spending the money to have a bridging vehicle sprout forth a motorcycle. But that might just be me.

I disliked Jim Gordon’s contrived death scene: one of the nice things about Batman Begins is that when you watched it a second time, you noticed scattered hints about what was coming up. There’s really none of that in this film: it’s almost like the writers just thought of interesting action sequences and then wrote a story around those.

If Batman Begins was Gotham City from the point of view of Bruce Wayne, the Dark Knight is Gotham City from no-one’s point of view. In a sense, there’s no cohesive narrative, no character who holds it down. It almost feels like there’s an attempt for the point-of-view to be of three people, Gotham’s Holy Trinity: Batman, Dent, Gordon, but it just doesn’t come across that way.

Also: what was the point of the Scarecrow showing up? Batman pops him in the face, ties him up with the Batman-impersonators, and leaves him be. Did Scarecrow get his mind sorted out, because he doesn’t seem insane anymore. Weirdest cameo ever, even if only to remind the audience that the whole Arkham crowd is running around.

Minor Nits: did Wayne Tower get a make over? Does Lucius Fox prefer a different board-room? What’s with the set changes?

Here’s what I did like:

I liked Rachel’s death, and the way it was played out. I was sure Batman was going after her, but no, he went for Dent. “Batman must make the hard choices, the no one else can,” Alfred reminds Bruce. Batman can even make the choices Bruce Wayne can’t. It’s just too bad this wasn’t explored further. It could’ve been the emotional anchor for this film, but it wasn’t.

There’s a character, a relatively minor character, who works as an independent accountant for Wayne Enterprises. He discovers Wayne’s secret and is about to reveal it on national TV when the Joker — who really likes Batman — declares that if this joker isn’t killed in sixty minutes, Joker’ll blow up a hospital. There’s a great little sequence where Wayne intervenes and saves the man’s life at the expense of his fancy Lamborghini, and the accountant realizes that a.) his guesswork is absolutely correct and b.) there’s no way in hell he’s not taking this secret willingly to his grave.

I liked the ferry sequence, big cheers for Tiny Lister — best known from The Fifth Element (for me, anyway) — who stole the scene to a rousing round of applause from the interactive audience at The Uptown. As contrived as the sequence was — honestly, I expected that the Joker had lied and the detonators were actually for the ferry they were on (i.e., the asshole civvy guy was going to press the button and blow his ferry to kingdom come, and, um, how exactly did the Joker get those bombs wired without anyone noticing?) — it worked. It really really did.

I liked the Joker. Well, I mean, no. I didn’t like the Joker. But I liked how he was portrayed. Heath Ledger is unrecognizable, although I don’t know I’d go so far as to say it’s his best performance to date as some have. It was enough to wipe Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker out of mind, and I think that was the biggest question of the film. I mentioned earlier that I’d read Nolan wanted to bring the Joker back. While recasting Rachel Dawes was a move I disagreed with, I don’t think Gyllenhaal did poorly in that role, but I also don’t see how another actor could then be expected to remove Ledger’s portrayal from the mass consciousness. I mean, hell, Nicholson’s Joker was twenty years ago about!

Summary:

Disappointing. Not a taunt work of action-drama storytelling, but a bit like a puzzle whacked out of alignment, sadly missing the unity and cohesiveness of its predecessor.

My TV Isn’t Bigger Than Yours (But I Don’t Care)

What’s the big deal about TV sizes? Right now, I’ve got a 22″. I’ve got Batman Begins up — although I watch it a few times a year, I want it to be fresh in my mind: I’ve got tickets to the Saturday afternoon showing of The Dark Knight at the Uptown Theater. Anyway, my point is this: so I’m watching this film, this really good film that doesn’t even seem like its based on a comic book, and it really doesn’t seem to matter that the last time I watched it was on the now-busted 36″ that dominated my living room in Timonium.

Okay, granted: this new apartment is much smaller. Although the actual living room/bedroom space is about the same size as it was in my last apartment, it seems smaller because it doesn’t have the dining room opening up onto it. In any case, I’m watching the movie, and I think that when you find yourself drawn in and lost into a film the way certain ones have a way of doing, you forget that you’re looking at a 10″ monitor or whatever. I mean, okay, I think to an extent it depends how far from the TV you are — if you’re twenty feet away from a 10″ monitor, you probably can’t see what’s happening. But I think my TV — as small as it might be — is as big as I need in this apartment, and seems larger than it actually is.

John Adams’

I’ve been watching HBO’s “John Adams” miniseries. It’s good — it’s very good. But, for as good as Paul Giamatti is, he’s no William Daniels:

Good clip, though:

David Morse makes for a wonderful George Washington, in my ever so not at all humble opinion.

breaks

I wonder if all big-box stores schedule the way the bookstore I work at does. I dislike referencing it as big-box, but it seems to meet the qualifications: large location, large company support, many many employees. The schedule is done on a spreadsheet, each hour for each employee a designated working location. Walk in the store, look at the daily schedule, and know exactly what you’re doing for the entire day: Register, Info Desk, Music Info Desk, Recovery, Merchandising/Books, LP, Café. And there, spaced throughout the calendar, /BREAK and BREAK.

Breaks.

I’m not, actually, used to them. Like, at work, I mean. We have them at the bookstore for anything over a four shift, a ½ hour non-paid mandatory break. Over seven, and it becomes an hour. In addition to these, everyone has, depending on their shift, one or two ten-minute breaks to be used whenever (with the permission of a manager). Personally, I’ve got mixed feelings about these breaks.

I dislike them because they inspire an entitlement mentality. Here’s what I mean: you only get X amount of time for your break. There’s some flexibility with the half hour break, but not so with the hour break – you’re expected to be back in the store ready to work when the clock hits XX:00, and if you stay an extra five minutes on the register helping whittle down a long line of customers, that’s five minutes out of your break, five minutes you don’t get back (although, of course, you do get paid for it). So, the end-result is that, for me, when I’ve spent all day at my professional job, and then I grab the shuttle and run down the Metro and get into work and I’ve got my break at 6:30 and this is when I’m eating lunch and dinner and I’ve only got half an hour to run down to the break room, clock out, then hurry down a block to Subway, every minute is precious. This is when I’m saying into the stupid little radio with headset, “Hey, service manager, this is Snay. It’s 6:25, I’m going on break at 6:30, um, there’s a long line at register, can I get some assistance?” which is followed five minutes later by, “Look, I need food, I’m out, and, um, there’s no one at registers…”

That’s a (bit of a) joke. Actually, my approach is more along the line of, “Hey, if you want me to stay an extra fifteen minutes, I’d be willing to postpone my break …”

The managers don’t like that, but at least it makes them aware of the situation. The worst – the absolute worst – is getting your break at 6pm when you leave at 8pm. It’s like, “Can’t I just skip the break and leave at 7 instead?” But, no.

Aside from that – hey, yeah breaks!

Random Thoughts

Sunday, I wanted to do something. Maybe go out and see Hellboy II. Visit the Zoo. Something. Instead, I read Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather.” Never read it. I’ve seen the movie, twice, I think. The book is incredible. It’s amazing how accurate the movie stayed to the novel. It’s amazing how in-depth this work is. Previously, the only Mario Puzo I’d read was “The Fortunate Pilgrim.” That’s some high-falootin’ literature that is, compared to The Godfather, which is good, but it’s sort of the difference between “Good Bye Lenin” and “Waiting”, if you want to talk cinema.

The book, by the way, was incredible. I simply could not put it down.

***

I’m trying to decide if I’ll go to the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight” on Thursday/Friday. I’ve used enough flex time that I only have to be in for four hours Friday (and my team is going to a Korean lunch on the clock), so it’s not like I have to stay particularly awake. I think the easiest thing would be to just go Saturday after I get off at Borders (2pm). There’s a 3:30pm … perfect, I’d say. Anyone want to meet up?

***

Looks like DC will still be banning semi-automatics, and limiting ownership to one revolver per household. That’s fine: I’m a cylinder man myself. Lady Friend, now would be a good time to e-mail me if you’re still interested in The-You-Know-What.

Friday’s a Blur

But that’s what happens when you go to a relaxed happy hour Thursday night organized through work and find out — surprise! — it’s also being sponsored by your employer. I think I was rather incoherent on the telephone that next day, and I’ve no idea how I made it through the night at my part-time job either. Best part? It was stumbling distance from home.

Why’s It So Dark In Here?

I got home today from my part-time job and was busy unloading my cell phone, smartrip lanyard, keys, wallet, and glasses, when I heard Tippy mewl. She always cries when I walk in the door because, inevitably, she’s always hungry. I glanced down at the floor, and didn’t see her, which is odd, because she always tries to give me her “look at me I’m a cutie kitty” expression when she wants something. As I notice I don’t see her, I also notice her meows seem, um, muted. Like she’s behind something. To be more specific, like she’s behind a door she can’t get out of.

Which is, really, not the thing any cat owner wants to hear. Well, any pet owner, I’d wager.

So here I am, tired after a long day at work, wanting not much else beyond a light supper, watching the second episode of HBO’s John Adams, and reading more of New City (which I found hidden on my bookshelf, by the way), and all of a sudden I’m a frantic mess. I rip open the closet door: no kitty. I’m hurrying through the kitchen opening every pantry door. I freak, because I’m afraid she somehow managed to get atop the fridge and then down behind it onto the window ledge (yes, my fridge just about completely obstructs a window).

So the meowing continues and I can’t find the fucking cat. After a few minutes of frantic searching, I think any cat owner in my position goes from thinking of their pet as a beloved furry companion to “that fucking creature.” Actually, one of my coworkers calls them “rats”, which makes no sense as I think even dog-lovers would find the average feline more attractive than a rat.

It occurs to me, as I glance about, that there’s one door I haven’t looked. There’s a linen closet in my foyer. I don’t actually use it for linens — I have a big old nice reading chair which blocks the door and makes access inconvenient. For that reason, I use the closet mostly for long-term storage, stuff I don’t need to access on a daily basis: lightbulbs, tools, extra paper towels, cat litter. At this moment, my mind clicks. What’d I do before going to work? I took out the trash, and changed the cat litter.

I pull the chair forward and open the door. Poor Tippy. She spent ten hours on the second shelf from the bottom, with no light, and little room to stretch or relax. The cat practically exploded out of the closet into my arms and showed her gratitude by rubbing her face in mine, purring, pawing at me, and then, finally, stretching her rump out into the air so that I’d scratch it for her. All this accomplished, she fled to the futon, where she’s spent the last half hour stretching out and contorting herself and rolling about.

I’d say that perhaps she won’t be interested in the closet the next time I open the door, but I think she probably will be. I feel so silly for not checking the closet. For all that they fight, my two cats are actually pretty closely attuned to the other’s noises. I think Tippy was probably crying for rescue every time she heard a noise: every time one of my neighbors opened their doors or walked past my apartment. And I think that was probably torture for Guy. Right now he’s lying at the foot of the futon, his back paws stretched out, his front two tucked under his white chest, his head inclined slightly up to where he can see through the slats of the frame as Tippy cleans herself.

I Pay $5.40 Per Day To Go To Work … You?

So, I sold my car Friday. And I really missed it on … well, no. Wait, I really needed it on … oh, no, I didn’t. Hmm. Actually, so far, I can’t really think of a point where I’ve been like, “Man, I really want a car right now!” Everything I need — so far — is either in walking distance, or Metro distance. I took the Metro up to Van Ness on Sunday and came back with a few bags of groceries from the Giant there. Probably the smallest Giant Food I’ve ever seen (although the one on Wisconsin is in two buildings: the food in one, the pharmacy across the street), and it had a beer/wine aisle. Yuengling was on sale this week: $7.99 for a twelve pack. I don’t think I’m allowed to bring glass onto the Metro, so I’ll probably just stick to the liquor store across from the Zoo’s Conn Ave entrance.

I take the Ride-On from Grosvenor to work, and back again. Coming home, I get off at Cleveland Park and walk south. Going in, I head down to Woodley Park. Leaving or coming, I’m always going downhill, although, admittedly, I do use Woodley Park coming home from the bookstore at night: it’s a shorter walk.

I wear my Smartrip card in a lanyard. Also in the pouch is a single dollar bill, two quarters and two dimes (two-way fare on the shuttle if I forget to bring coinage). There are no car keys on my key ring, which seems ridiculously lightweight.

It’s weird: I remember, when I got back in touch with my friend Russell, how I felt when he said he lived car-free, taking the Metro to and from work, and walking everywhere else he needed to be. That was about a year ago. Now he’s down in Atlanta, and I’m living in DC, without a car, taking the Metro, the bus, or my feet, everywhere I need to go.

I love it. I love DC. I grew up down in this area, so it’s sort of like a belated homecoming. Don’t get me wrong, Baltimore’s a great city, but it’s a bit harder to live without a car down there, and I don’t know how safe I’d feel walking some of those streets after dark. Oh, and there’s the whole thing about how I got a job down in the DC area (not the Baltimore one), too.

So, what’re my commuting costs?

.35 for the shuttle, one way. .70 cents per day.
$2.35 one way for the Metro, depending on what time I go. What’s that make it, $5.40 per day or something? How much does it cost you to get to work?

Reading & Viewing Recommendations

I hate writing a really long post and then just not having a clue what happened to it. That’s what happened last night. A really long post. Then I thought I hit “post”, but it never showed up. It wasn’t saved, it just … wasn’t.

I have some book reviews: Soon I WIll Be Invincible, a send-up of the comic book genre I read this last weekend. It was hilarious, even for someone like me, who is mostly familiar with comics through the movies based on them.

Little Green Men by Chris Buckley: very funny, although not his best, I think.

Working on Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants. I’m actually only about 20 pages into it so far, but right now, I’m really enjoying it.

I can’t find two books. I think this means they were packed into long term storage (or loaned away), sadly, because I’ve been thinking about re-reading them: Simon Ings’ Weight of Numbers and Stephen Amidon’s The New City.

On my TV right now is a BBC production called “State of Play”, a six-part miniseries. Here’s what Netflix’s envelope says about it: “Powerful politico Stephen Collins (Chris Morrissey) is embroiled in a scandal when his research assistant dies in a freak accident and his former campaign manager Cal McAffrey (John Simm), now a reporter, realizes the incident may be linked to the death of a drug dealer. As McAffrey digs deeper, he uncovers a dangerous connection between government and big business in this exciting conspiracy thriller from the BBC.” It’s pretty good, and is, of course, being Americanized into a film set for release in 2009. But the movie won’t have Bill Nighy.

Happy Fourth of July!

I have blisters on my feet. That’s the big difference between living in Timonium and living in DC: I’m walking a lot more, and my body is noticing. If I keep this shit up, I might start losing weight, too.

So Monday was my last day to clean out my old apartment: and I did. I also stocked up on alcohol: a full case of Boh, half a case of Bass. Today, I braved July 4th traffic to sell my Matrix to my dad. Pending the arrival of the lien release, and the official turning in of the license plates, I no longer own a car.

I do own a bike: after a few attempts to locate one on Craigslist failed (“Oh, sorry, just sold it…”) I went up to Target and bought one. Ran me about $150, a bit more with accessories: a bike pump, a lock, a helmet. Took it out very early this morning on the dead and desolate streets of Woodley Park where my legs burned after about half an hour of mad vicious cycling. It’s going to take some getting used to. At the moment, it’s parked in my (gigantic closet): soon, it’ll be in the bike storage room in the basement (once I get a key to it).

mycloset

I have irregular wi-fi access in my apartments. My attempts to get Comcast up here have met with disaster: I canceled one because I thought I had a work-related event, then realized it was actually for the day I’d rescheduled. When I rescheduled that, I asked for a Thursday install date, and assumed that the date I was given was correct — it was actually for following Friday. I figure I’m going to wait a few weeks before trying to reschedule — I do, on occasion, have wi-fi I can steal (this being one of those occasions), and it isn’t like there isn’t a lot else to do in this city without internet: Adam’s Morgan is waiting to be explored, I haven’t been to the Zoo since I moved here, and Cleveland and Woodley Parks offer a whole host of entertainment opportunities (there’s another work related event a block north of the Zoo this coming Thursday, and if you’re reading “work related event” as “happy hour”, you’re right on the money).

My living room windows are open: it’s raining, but not quite the thunderstorm they’d been calling for on WTOP, DC’s local FM talk station — I can’t quite figure out if they’re right-leaning or left-leaning, but I do know they broadcast from “the glass enclosed nerve center.” If you’re driving in this area, 103.5 for all the traffic info you could want (it’s like almost all they do). There are odd hoots and exotic animal noises drifting this way from the Zoo, but my cats are curled up under the bed hiding from the cleaning I’ve been doing: I spent an hour today putting my giant walk-in-closet together. If anyone has a Billy bookcase from IKEA and would like a pair of glass doors for it, please e-mail me: they’re beech, they’re missing some of the hardware (which you can get from the Swedish superstore free of cost), but I’m reasonable on pricing.

My apartment looks nice: I’m totally unpacked (I even brought some stuff out of storage because I have more room than I’d expected), my fridge is stocked, my pantry is stocked, my carpets could use a cleaning, and I’ve got a few lamps I need to get plugged in, a few books to put back on the shelves, and a run to the trash-chute to make this place done.

I’ve got pretty basic plans tonight: I’m not fighting crowds on the Metro (after handing over the car to my dad, he dropped me off at Silver Spring and the crowds that popped up at Gallery Place were about as touristy-hellacious as I can stand), especially when I’ve got a roof-deck available to me with a fantastic view of the District. So my plan is to relax, drink, read, drink, have dinner, drink, then head up to the roof-deck around 9pm, drink, maybe meet some neighbors, watch the fireworks, then come back to my little 400-square foot part of DC and … drink some more.

Exciting, I know.

The full-time job is going well: I just had my three month review yesterday. Hard to believe I’ve been there that long, sometimes. It can be a hard job, and there tends to be a lot of turnover. Within my department, probably half the staff has started after I have. Some of this is attributable to the expansion they’ve been working on — there’s talk of a wall coming down and a physical enlargement to take place soon — some of it is just people moving on to other jobs. Still, my review, went well. My team lead was very complimentary, and in addition, a fellow blogger, who swore he’d have nothing to do with my company if we got in touch with him, was gracious enough to spend time on the phone with a new colleague who I’d shown the ropes. (But at this point we’re getting too much into specifics, and I do want to keep that job out of this blog, although I have trusted a few of my coworkers with the address for this blog — god help them if they actually read it!) Back to the review: this was primarily a “where you’re heading” review, so that I could make course-corrections if necessary before the big six month review comes around in three months. There are a couple of things I need to work on, but all-in-all, a pleasant way to end the work week.

So is the part-time job, actually. I hate working the register, but I’m getting the hang of the rest of it. It’s a bit of a weird store, mostly in terms of hours: weekends are dead, weekdays post 6pm are fairly slow. Within the company, it’s the number one store in the nation for the politics section, and that, economy, and history sections are some of the largest I’ve seen in any big box book store. Most of my coworkers are very cool — sadly, a lot of the hot bohemian cute college girls from the nearby colleges have left for the summer — but some are not: thankfully, none have yet to chide me for engaging in lightsaber duels in the multimedia section (rather, they drastically discounted them and now they’re almost all gone: bastards!)

I turn thirty in a little over a month. I’d been dreading that birthday for the last couple of years, but not so much lately, and I think it has to come with something a friend of mine said about two years ago or so, when she was coming up on her thirtieth. “My twenties weren’t that great,” she said. “I’m hoping my thirties will be better.” I think, so far, the last few months of my twenty-ninth year have been pretty damn good: I’m not delivering pizzas; I’m living in a city, which is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time; I’m living in a city with a pretty good public transportation system, and with a lot to do that doesn’t cost anything: the Smithsonian — all those museums, the Zoo, are free; on weekends and holidays, the roads in Rock Creek Park are open to hikers and bikers and closed to traffic. Okay, sure, the Uptown Theater is fucking expensive, but, hey, it’s the fucking Uptown, y’know? And if you don’t, you should!

So that’s what’s new. Hopefully, tourists will stand on the right and walk on the left of the Metro escalators, and soon wi-fi will become more regular, and I can post more frequently, but only time will tell and I’m not counting on that first thing to happen … ever.