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1 March 2005 to 2 February 2005
Stochastic in our causes, patriots in a republic of disingenuity, discarders of our angels, prophets of the silently unwound, we cede imbalance to inertia and the slow wind to the quickening hours. Give us reticence to the measure of our tolled waiting, and open ways that we may be escaped by the enchantments we helped tether. And we kneel in parted seas, shelter us with black clouds and the sinuous disenfranchisement of sand. When we stray from the islands of your tenuous grace, lead us to half-hatched disarray and limn our scars in the exhalations of convulsive repose. Give us panic for wakefulness, and tiny hatreds for eyes. Place our souls in the thick throats of lost doves, and our doubts in the deepest vaults of your sightless candor. Lead us to webs of dread and the shut exits of last year's mice, and let their thinset tremors smooth us as we diminish. We are the unmoved and the yet to know; we are the hollows of the bled and the disintegrated confidence of our practice. We are always here, and we are nowhere found.  

So we are undone.
I periodically find myself with small amounts of tabular data that I want to share, and hand-building HTML tables each time is tedious in repetition and awkward to instrument. I have finally amused myself by writing a simple server-side perl script that renders data from a csv file into an HTML table, and you are welcome to it if you have similar needs.

Dublin/Pleasanton BART platform
1. This terrible town in which my employer is sub-headquartered has the tedious contours of a Sim City game played with dogged consistency in place of any shred of imagination. Numbingly uniform tiles snap together with cultivatedly anonymous diligence. The streets have individual names, but absolute characterlessness, and preferring one over another would be like having a favorite ounce of hypoallergenic hand lotion. If the question of whether there should be a picture-framing outlet every 2.79 miles or every 2.83 fascinates you, you'd love it here.  

2. The wishful insistence that two numbers constitute a trend or an anomaly based on whether the second one is more or less desirable than the first.  

And I'm still allowed to hate a third thing today, so the service at dinner better be good.
I have decided to limit myself to disapproving of no more than three things each day. Today's are:  

1. The pointless hubris of claiming superlative excellence in activities which should not be done at all.  

2. Any article of clothing which appears to have been made from the pelts of characters in the original Planet of the Apes.  

3. Coffee which is neither palatable without sugar, nor appreciably improved by it.  

For the remainder of the day, I am at peace with all other folly.
It is impossible to feel comfortable with yourself in the wrong shoes.  

Until you feel comfortable with yourself, it is difficult to recognize the right shoes.
The man in the seat in front of them has the body proportions of an overfed infant, the mannerisms of a sleep-deprived eight-year-old and the mustache of an octogenarian Groucho Marx impersonator on his deathbed. He is drinking, compulsively, from a battered cardboard coffee cup that has been empty at least since the station, and may have been brought empty from home for not the first time. A chewed plastic straw intended for bubble-tea sticks far out of it, pushing along the side of his face into the frame of his glasses as he gulps determinedly at nothing. Periodically he sets the cup down in the aisle beside his seat to put on or take off a layer of clothing, which he does in multiple small, furtive movements, reclaiming the cup in between each, the way one might reassemble a broken cassette player while riding a bicycle. When not drinking from the cup, he holds it in front of his face with his left hand, and alternately presses his right one against his mouth in a fist, knuckles out, and then opens it to bat lightly at the cup with the tips of his fingers, as if trying to dislodge aphids from the rim without killing them.  

He wears heavy, yellowing work-boots worn nearly through on the outside of the heels, and sits with his feet splayed sideways like a limp doll's. Dressing and undressing reveals a white T-shirt with the logo of a car wash I've never heard of, under a green cardigan that seems to be acrylic abused to the texture of terry-cloth, under a plasticky black jacket with a powder-blue anime horse on the back, under a red hooded cotton sweatshirt with the insignia of a high-school junior-varsity hockey team called the Waltham Hawks. When he takes off his hat, a dense ring of hair on the sides of his head fans out around a perfect bald dome like a disarrayed crown of soap-stiffened black felt jammed too far down onto an old volleyball varnished pearlescently pink. He carries thick stacks of colored paper in two thin plastic shopping bags, and also an empty vinyl courier bag on a long and tightly-twisted shoulder-strap.  

They exchange relieved glances when he gets off the bus less than a mile into the route. They have identically trim legs in identically snug tan corduroy pants with back-pocket flaps like birthday-card envelopes, and I am surprised to be surprised when I look up and discover that they do seem to be twins. Their earrings are different, and their hats, and the one on the aisle is wearing athletic shoes in which you wouldn't actually run.  

In the seat behind them, I am listening to a Japanese metal band playing American Christmas songs at triple speed, and daydreaming about new shoes I didn't wear today, and waiting for the bus to drive slowly off the end of the world.
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