Monthly Archives: October 2005

Leaf Peeping

This week my friend Nan visited me from Sheffield in the UK, and we took a little road trip up to New England to see the World-famous fall foliage — an activity described on talk radio as “leaf peeping.”

We spent the first night in Brattleboro, Vermont, in the Latchis Hotel, an interesting art deco hotel and cinema that unfortunately caught fire as we were getting up the next morning, forcing us to evacuate and forage for breakfast at a nearby bagel shop (Nan still wearing her pajamas!).

We spent the second night in Bennington, Vermont, in a lovely old late Victorian B&B called the South Shire Inn. Fortunately there were no fires there.

On the way home, we stopped off at Mass MOCA in North Adams, which had several of the most interesting contemporary art exhibitions I’ve seen in years — I particularly liked Inopportune Stage One by Cai Guo-Qiang, a series of nine white Ford Crown Victoria cars suspended tumbling at various angles from the ceiling of a 300′ long gallery with flashing illuminated rods emanating from them. The Becoming Animal exhibition was also good, although some of the pieces featured live animals (rats and birds) and were quite disturbing.

High points of the trip were playing pool with the locals in Brattleboro, driving down windy country roads in the Fall foliage, and Mass MOCA. The low point was definitely the weather — the tail end of Hurricane Wilma conspired with another weather system in the Atlantic to dump heavy rain for almost the entire duration of the trip. But we still had lots of fun!

Bowling Logic

Tonight I went bowling in Brooklyn for my neighbour’s birthday. It was a lot of fun!

Particularly entertaining was an interaction I had getting a pair of those ugly bowling shoes (and why are they so damn ugly?). The lady behind the counter wanted one of my shoes in exchange for a pair of bowling shoes. This left me with 3 shoes. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind taking both of my shoes, but she said she couldn’t do that because then I might steal their bowling shoes!

Grim & Depressing

It seems to me that World news been exceptionally grim and depressing recently.

Straight after Hurricane Katrina wipes out New Orleans, kills almost 1,000 people and shatters the lives of countless thousands of others in the southern U.S., Hurricane Stan then causes mud-slides in Guatemala, killing hundreds, followed shortly by an earthquake in Pakistini Kashmir yesterday that already has a death toll of 19,000 and rising.

And this in a year that began with the tsunami in the south Pacific that killed more than 200,000 people, plus the constant backdrop of senseless killing as fallout for the West’s disastrous crusades in Afghanistan and Iraq, such as the 7 July London bombings or the recent bomb blasts in Bali. And I’m probably forgetting a bunch of other, more “run of the mill” disasters or atrocities.

And it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better any time soon… Next up: The avian bird flu pandemic that could kill up to 150 million people Worldwide.