The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Archive for August, 2008

Cutest Story of the Day

Posted by thearrow on August 25, 2008

Tough New York bikers with barely an inch of skin not covered in tattoos, caring for kitties and puppies. What a great story! From The New York Times (of course :).

“Heaven’s Angels,” by Caroline H. Dworing

Make sure you see the slide show, too (great pics):

Photo: Librado Romero/The New York Times

(I hope I’m allowed to post the pic and NYT won’t ask me to take it off).


Posted in pets | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Offline but Wired

Posted by thearrow on August 23, 2008

I read newspapers only online just because I don’t have time to flip through the paper versions, even if they’re under my nose. I know the print version would attract my attention to articles I’m probably missing online, but time is unforgiving.

I can’t do the same with magazines, though. I really think that print is here to stay and that good pubs (see The New York Times) have understood that web and print have their own feel but they need to complement each other. There has to be some coherence, but they’re different and each has its own strengths. Online is probably a better medium for newspapers because of the constant churning of news, whereas with magazines, which focus on analysis, you get in that print mood: At the end of the week, you slouch in a comfy chair sipping your coffee, pondering on how the writers are connecting the dots, and wishing you were as brilliant as they are :).

I subscribe to Wired, Fast Company, and Time. I’d subscribe to more (at least the The Economist) if I had more time and money. I have to say I was very impressed by Fast Company’s recent six-part special report, “China in Africa“; one of the best pieces of investigative journalism I’ve seen.

When thinking about this online vs. print rivalry-cum-complementarity, I realized that Wired, with all its focus on tech and Internet culture, offers a much more exciting experience in print than online. Their website is really nice, too, but boy, those print graphs! I simply can’t imagine not reading it in print. And if the design is dazzling, the writing is crackling with energy. It’s easily among the best writing around. I love the Economist’s superbly concise style, too, but Wired is somethin’ else. I feel like I have to read it cover to cover, that I can’t miss one snippet of it. I am constantly in awe as to how much research is behind every sentence that sounds casual but is packed with food for thought. And I can’t read it before going to bed because my brain goes in overdrive; it’s like drinking a double espresso at 10 p.m. I did that a few times until I realized I couldn’t calm down the turbines for a couple of hours after I put it down.

So when I pick it up on weekends, I see the brilliant design and flaming colors, read a few intense lines jam-packed with information, and I feel fired up for the rest of the day.

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Biking Addict

Posted by thearrow on August 22, 2008

This is becoming serious. I’m in my third week of biking to work and have never imagined I would get so hooked. I’m panicking at the thought that I might not be able to do this beyond September unless I get some special clothing; I’ll probably have to do that. I panic when I think of getting back on the bus. I wasn’t even tired after the spin class any longer; the hills seemed just fine. I know I’m used to them by now, but have thought that I’d always be exhausted after the spin class. Speaking of the class, I chatted with Susan (my favorite trainer) briefly yesterday and told her about biking home after spinning and she exclaimed, “You’re an animal!” I thought that was hysterical.

Read a story in the paper recently about a guy who started biking to work and discovered he liked it so much that he moved farther away only to have a longer commute. First I thought that was a little extreme, but now I completely understand, particularly since the commute from the town where he moved is an absolutely gorgeous trail. I’m not there yet, though. I have to figure out the clothing stuff; it can get quite expensive since cycling gear is very high-tech. And I should get special shoes, too, for the spin class; Susan has been pestering me about it for more than a year now. My meager budget feels very threatened :).

Posted in fitness | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Third Time’s Almost a Charm

Posted by thearrow on August 19, 2008

I was just going to say that it’s happening again, when, with the help of someone at the Netflix customer service, I finally figured out what was wrong with all these Little Britain DVDs: you have to hit “play all” to be able to get through all the sketches. Ugh… I was only watching one episode at a time, and they were all screwed up completely AGAIN. Anyway, at least I’ll be able to watch everything and get this off my list of obsessions before going on vacation. I felt like I was in Groundhog Day, seriously.

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More Little Britain Silliness

Posted by thearrow on August 16, 2008

Two favorites from the third series. I got my replacement DVD and it has the same sketches for all episodes AGAIN. Unbelievable. Makes me think there’s some sort of divine plan according to which I’m given only little doses of the show lest I OD on it and then go directly into withdrawal since it’s the last one 🙂

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Olympic Frustration

Posted by thearrow on August 15, 2008

Watching the Olympics in a country other than your own is an underwhelming experience. I’m happy I’m not in Romania, which for the most part drives me nuts, but I’m still attached to it to a certain extent. So when I turn the TV on these days and I inevitably see only coverage of the American team, I lose my interest at some point. I like the side stories by reporters on the ground, I like the excitement, but not being able to watch the Romanian team is disappointing.

Posted in immigration, rants | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Weekend Update

Posted by thearrow on August 11, 2008

The crazy friend canceled her trip at the last minute (which you might already know if you’ve read the comments); great relief. Her flight got delayed and the airline offered her a full reimbursement, which worked out great for everyone involved :). I slept like a log the whole weekend and I really think it’s because I bike a lot more. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and, not being able to pick between playing with Precious and biking, I decided to do both, so I biked to Alexandria on Saturday. The bike trail takes me from close to where I live right to Old Town Alexandria, a delightful historic port in the DC area, in just a little over 10 miles (16 km).

I was so happy to just be by myself and enjoy my camera that I had no qualms about scaring an annoying guy away :). First, he pissed me off because he took his sweet time on the trail. I kept biking behind him because there was too much traffic and he didn’t pass the people in front of him even when he could and there wasn’t enough time for me to pass several people at the same time. I whizzed by at the first opportunity and stopped further down on the Potomac bank to take some pictures. I was immersed in my camera experience when the guy shows up and asks: “Do you mind if I share the shade of this beautiful willow tree?” In an instant, I saw red and turned toxic. I could already hear the cheap pick-up lines that he was probably going to throw at me and I was in no mood to listen to that. “As a matter of fact, I do. I’m sorry.” The guy couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing, so I repeated, with a firm and irritated voice, looking straight into his eye: “As a matter of fact, I do, I’m sorry.” He started going away, mumbling, “I was only going to read a book.” I was not impressed: “doesn’t matter.” Other than that, the day was great.

The weekend was not entirely perfect, though, as my computer collapsed under the attack of trojan horses, so I couldn’t download any pics :(. A friend is coming to my rescue on Wednesday so hopefully peace will be restored in the electronic realm and no files have been lost; we’ll see. The only downside is, no pics until then. As luck had it, I couldn’t enjoy Little Britain either because the DVD was defective :). It had the same sketches for all the episodes, over and over again. For a minute I thought I was the stupid one and couldn’t figure out how to jump from one episode to the next 🙂 After operating the remote very carefully and saying out loud, “this is Episode 2, this is Episode 3,” I decided the DVD was the stupid one.

But I’m not complaining because I enjoyed my little trip on Saturday and read a lot on Sunday. I finished Therapy, which was really fun and bitter-sweet, I read a bit from the camera manual and some other stuff but, most importantly, I napped and rested my eyes.

And yes, I biked to work today. What took me so long to do this? I’m not gonna be back on the bus until it’s freezing in the morning.

Posted in fun | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »