Well, you asked. Replies below the cut:
I envy anyone living in a city with real mass transit. You mentioned your mom’s experience with the El, but if you’ve got any other stories — or if you want to post about what you mentioned — I’d love to hear them.
My mom’s experience with the El — the story I told Michael was that I never, ever, ever have any serious problem with people on the train unless someone is visiting from out of town, especially someone who suspects I live in a bullet-riddled hellhole. Which means that the day I took my mom on the El would be the day there was a guy peeing off the underground Red Line platform and singing to himself while he was doing it.
I’ve got the usual collection of weird-but-harmless encounters with the public on public transportation, but I think my favorite was the time Mr. A and I were on a late-night Green Line run coming back from a party and he ended up involved in a very spirited conversation with a half-dozen complete strangers about history and the Bible that was spurred by a guy running through the train yelling, “JESUS WAS A BLACK MAN! JESUS WAS A BLACK MAN!” I love this town so much.
What’s the stupidest thing you have ever done?
I’ve done some stuff that I look back on and wonder how I’m still alive, like all the times my cousins and I used to ice up the toboggan run near my house and then go down it the next day on a piece of cardboard rubbed with Cricso, or the nights we’d ride our bikes down a trail affectionately known as “Dead Man’s Curve,” or the time I followed a strange man down a side street in a country where I didn’t speak the language because he told me he knew the way to where I wanted to go, or the night I drove home in a blizzard, or how I once went down the Eisenhower Expressway at about 80 miles an hour taking notes in my lap with the phone pressed to my ear because I needed the interview AND I needed to get back to the office.
But flat-out stupidest? I would have to say drinking margaritas and then drinking eggnog the same night. Not only did things happen that I have to take people’s word for (every day I thank God there were no cell phone cameras; back then I thought I could SING), both margaritas and eggnog are utterly ruined for me for the rest of my life. Just typing this is making me nauseous.
I am wondering why Mrs Kennedy Onassis is not referred to as such but as Mrs Kennedy. I am reading some history of the Bush family. I was surprised to see that Bobby Kennedy was investigating Mr. Onassis. And Mrs Kennedy ended up marrying him? Would be interested in your take on this. Thank you and aloha
Rich people are weird, is my take on it. Honestly, the fascination with the Kennedys is frustrating because it takes any discussion of politics into the realm of celebrity worship. But: Jackie took a lot of shit, and then her president husband got shot in front of her, and I say after that maybe you do some stuff you wouldn’t have done otherwise.
Since your birthday’s coming up, what’s your favorite thing to do for yr birthday. And/or, what’s the best present you ever got?
Birthdays are not really a giant thing for me. In my family we had small get-togethers with the aunts and uncles, and a cake and presents, but nothing too elaborate usually. Christmas is when we all go bonkers. Birthdays, meh.
I will say my 23rd was pretty epic. I spent it drinking beer in a pub in Ireland. That didn’t suck.
The best present I ever got? I’ve got some creative friends and family. The joke with us is you don’t just casually mention you’re interested in something, unless you want my dad to spend the next six months Indiana Jonesing all over the place trying to find it, especially in the days before Ebay. Last year for my birthday Mr. A got us Leonard Cohen tickets. That show was frickin’ mindblowing.
If I had to run for office, ie the fate of the world depended on it, I’d want to be the mayor of a mid-size Midwestern town, because those are the places that are getting screwed the hardest by our so-called economy, and in the next ten years that’s not likely to change. So that’s where a lot of work would need to be done, and if I have to go out and raise money and go to parties and be nice to people, I’d like to be of some use at the end of the process.