The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

8 November 2003

Notes from around town

A not-entirely-random collection of observations from behind the wheel, nothing more.

  • There's a narrow strip of park along the east side of the avenue as you head north toward my new digs, and piles of pipes are arranged parallel to the pavement. Looks like the city's planning to update the water and/or sewer lines, which is probably a good thing once the traffic headaches (I'm guessing my street will be closed at this end) subside. Oddly enough, new utility work is making it tricky to negotiate the way to my old digs.

  • When I was a teenager back in the Jurassic period, I bicycled to work, and that work was on a southside street that at the time was a major thoroughfare for an area largely populated by working-class whites. Thirtysomething years later, it's still a major thoroughfare, and some of the businesses (not the one for which I worked) are still there, but the area is now largely populated by working-class Latinos. Memory, especially my memory, is incredibly fallible, but apart from the occasional sign in Spanish and a paint job here and there, to me things look just about the same now as they did then. Frozen in time? Not really; it's more likely that nobody has ever had the bucks to give any of the buildings more than a perfunctory facelift. This is not one of those "gentrified" areas by any means, and it probably won't be one anytime soon.

  • The local United Way is running billboards with stark black-and-white photography of the presumably needy. One such ad shows an elderly gentleman with his brow permanently furrowed, saying "My phone never rings." For some reason, this bothered me, perhaps because there's a very real fear of being old and forgotten lurking in the back of my head. Probably why I keep blogging: my phone may not ring, but I get 3500 visitors a week, a handful of which actually say something now and then.

  • The chap in the checkout line ahead of me explained: "We're having house guests, and they will not drink tap water under any conditions." Which is why he had purchased every last bottle of Fiji Water in the store, a cart and a half, about two hundred dollars' worth. Either these guests are going to be in town for an extended stay, or they sure are thirsty. (Oh, and he bought a 12-pack of Barq's Root Beer for himself.)

Posted at 7:23 PM to City Scene


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I wanna be needy. I don't want my phone to ring (and as I say it, the phone rings) all day with people trying to sell me stuff, collect stuff, or want me to accept a collect call from HARB!!! who is apparently in the county lockup (this happens every month, almost like clockwork, one day, I'm going to accept the charges and actually talk to this guy who yells his name into the recorded county collect call thingy).. I get a lot of wrong numbers, which is why (when we got digital cable phone service) we didn't keep our old number (No, Lequisha/Heather/Mike/Honey/Tommy/HARB!!! doesn't live here. Try a 3 instead of the 2, retard). Sometimes, when I'm feeling naughty, I say that Lequisha/Honey/Heather *is* here, but she's got a mouthful of "something good" and can't talk on the phone right now. She's too busy humming... I wouldn't have a phone at all, but it's The Woman's house, and she wants a phone..

Now if we could only do something about having that pesky front door..

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 10:55 AM on 9 November 2003

Now about the tap water/drinking water thing.. :)

When I moved to Oklahoma, I suddenly developed this amazing dandruff problem. I figured it was from various things, and eventually settled on the presumed fact that I wasn't rinsing the notably harder water (than where I grew up) off my head enough. For 18 years, I lived with these huge flakes of stuff on my head. Dandruff shampoos of any strength didn't do much, so I just said Screw It and lived with it. Fast forward to about 2 years ago, when I decided to drop a chunk of Me so I could ride a bike without my ass hurting from the extra Me on a relatively small mobile chair.

One of the things I gave up on this Decrease Myself Campaign was soft drinks a la Cokes. I drank a half case of soda every day, probably. I started drinking Ozarka water instead. After about a month, I noticed I had *zero* Head Funk. Wow, I thought, this diet thing has had a really positive effect on my body (which *is* the point, after all).. Then, in a money-saving venture, I started refilling and refrigerating tap water in the Ozarka handy bottles. A week later, back comes the Head Funk. Back to real Ozarka, and away goes the head funk.

To Sum Up: Don't assume that just because someone insists on bottled water, it means they're a water fascist. Sometimes, there *is* a good reason to avoid tap water.

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 11:05 AM on 9 November 2003

I know what piles of pipe you are talking about. From the looks of it, the city is going to be working on that project for a LONG time.

Posted by: Goof Beyou at 2:50 PM on 9 November 2003

There are no shortcuts in the water/sewer biz — at least, none that do anybody any good.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:06 PM on 9 November 2003

shortcuts in the water/sewer biz

Oh thanks, Chaz. I'm not going to be able to sleep at all after that thought.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:24 PM on 9 November 2003

As a brand-new Iowan, I have to second Dawn. The place fascinates me. Maybe I'm still in a daze because I always thought "Iowa" was more or less just some Midwestern place more proverbial than real (as a matter of fact the entire Midwest was always more proverbial than real to me) and I would never in a million years have predicted that I'd end up living here.

"Idiots out walking around" is pretty funny though. But who do Iowans sneer at? I've got a lot of practice sneering at Yankees, Californians, and Texans, but who do I get to pick on here?

Posted by: Moira Breen at 11:08 AM on 10 November 2003

Jeez. See what Iowa has done to me? Can't even comment on the right post.

Posted by: Moira Breen at 11:11 AM on 10 November 2003

I'll put a copy of it on the correct post.

Posted by: CGHill at 11:54 AM on 10 November 2003

Thanks Charles. I'm just an idiot out walking around, I guess.

Posted by: Moira Breen at 1:47 PM on 10 November 2003