Outtakes from my life

August 28, 2006

None of the items below quite deserves its own entry, but they collectively indicate what I’ve been thinking about lately, sort of.

August 23rd: The International Astronomical Union votes to revoke Pluto’s status as a planet. Some educators lament the sudden obsoleteness of nine-planet mnemonics such as “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles.” My reaction is to lament the sudden obsoleteness of all those songs about the planets. Think I’m kidding? There’s Meet the Planets by Monty Harper, Planet Jive by Tickle Toon Typhoon, The Planets by the Animaniacs, Les Planetes by Chris Rawlings, Planet X by Christine Lavin, Nine Planets by AstroCappella, Nine Planets by Teacher and the Rockbots, and of course the Schoolhouse Rock classic Interplanet Janet, among others.

August 25th: I’m standing at a bus stop, and I notice that several teenagers there are carrying powder-blue duffel bags. I ask them about the bags, and they explain that they are being given away as part of a new government program encouraging people to stop smoking. The idea is that you get a free bag, you pack it with clothes that have been stained or smell bad as a result of cigarette use, you take the bag to Olympia, you heave it into a landfill there … and then you go forth and smoke no more. It sounds ridiculous, but the bag-wielding kids seem genuinely fired up about the program, bus trip to Olympia and all. Maybe the state is onto something, I think…. And then I wake up.

August 27th: I’m running around Lake Union with my shirt off when a vehicle approaches from behind. Not just any vehicle, but an amphibious Ride the Ducks vehicle full of tourists. And it’s blasting “Gonna Fly Now” from Rocky — a musical joke clearly aimed at me. So do I play along? Yes I do. Without breaking stride, I raise my right fist to emphasize that my 7:00-per-mile pace is intimidating and heroic. Then I throw a few punches for no extra charge. The tourists cheer; the Duckmobile pulls away. Surreal, but not a dream.


  1. The first "Rocky" did more for Running, than "Ali" did for Boxing… arguably …

  2. It's good to give the good people what they want (a show in this case). At least it kept them from beaning you with pennies.

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