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Note · · Mexico City

In which Diego shaves me.

Diego shaves me in Roma

Diego shaves me.

Hiram took this photo of me getting a shave at the shop “Famous” near where we are staying in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood. This is the first time I have gotten a shave at a barber shop. I don’t think the barber, Diego, believed I speak Spanish because we both had to repeat ourselves a lot. Or perhaps this being my first shave in Spanish, I was speaking Spanish but not the Spanish you use when getting a shave. Perhaps because I didn’t understand what he was asking me to do or perhaps because I continue to be haunted by the beautiful film Roma, when Diego put the chair down and told me to stretch out, I tried to put legs up like the film’s protagonist Cleo at her OB Gyn appointment. It was a good shave.

Note · · Tucson

Music: All This Useless Beauty

October. The temperature drops below 100 for a few days here and there and weeknights sing.

Note · · Hermosillo

They are called Mexican wedding shirts

I have been to two Mexican weddings in the past year. Both times I have agonized over what shirt to wear.

Last night my sister-in-law married her sweetheart in a cozy ceremony in the garden of a hotel in Hermosillo. As I was putting on a tie I had brought to wear with the white shirt and black slacks I had bought earlier in the week, Hiram asked if I didn't have another shirt.

“I'm afraid people will think you are a waiter.”

So I lost the tie and wore the other shirt — the one with the tiny polka dots. 

On the way to the hotel, we passed a pair of missionaries dressed in exactly the same clothes I was going to wear originally.

Ho hum.

It's hot in the summer in Hermosillo and it's just as well I didn't wear the tie, which I had only retrieved in the first place from a box from the nineties in the closet because I felt guilty for not wearing a blazer I don't own.

At the wedding I took some photos because I can't not take photos. Later, looking at Hiram's brothers in the pictures I had a thought.

Light bulb.

What they are wearing is what English speakers call Mexican wedding shirts. They are for sale in many places in Tucson in many colors and styles, new and vintage, expensive and not.

The answer to my question of what shirt to wear was sewn into the shirt I could have worn. 

Family and friends at Zayra and Arturo's wedding

Family and friends at Zayra and Arturo's wedding

Note · · Tucson

Lane 9

Ken, bowling
Golden Pin Lanes
Lane 9
Hiram, bowling

We were looking for something to do and Ken suggested bowling. I don't remember the last time I went bowling. I think this was maybe the fourth time ever. Golden Pin Lanes, the last non-chain bowling center in town will close sometime in the next year. We decided to go there. 

Note · · Tucson

Groundhog Day

The owner of the market was cashiering and couldn't remember how to ring things up. He said, “This is my store, but every time I have to work the register it's like groundhog day.”

People have really warmed up to this analogy. I hear it a lot anymore.

Note · · Tucson

Compatibility Issues

A rainy day and riding my bike to work are two things I love but prefer to love not at the same time.

Note · · Tucson

A Fact about Me

I love that song. Go ahead, rickroll me.

Note · · Tucson

Prototypes & Abominations

You form a prototype in your mind, based on your first exposure, and anything that deviates from that is an abomination. — Leela Punyaratabandhu

She's talking about stir fry, but it's a thought applicable in many other contexts.

Note · · Tucson

UA Science Lecture Series: Problem Solving with Algorithms

We attended the first lecture for this year's UA Science Lecture Series at Centennial Hall, Humans, Data and Machines.

Professor Stephen Kobourov humorously explained how algorithms, which have been around forever, are used in computers to solve problems such as: What are you drawing? Also, are the robots drunk? They sure walk like it.

Thanks to the algorithms used in machine learning, those robots will one day outgrow this awkward phase. By then they'll be self-aware, which is a kind of self-consciousness they'll prove to everyone by effortlessly passing a Turing test. Then they'll stride over to where we're sitting and exhibit frightening self-confidence as they knock our phones out of our hands and begin exacting revenge for laughing at them before.

When this happens, we may not know what it is they're thinking, but at least we'll know how.

Note · · Tucson

Cost Cutters

Cost Cutters sat me down and told me the truth about cheap hair gel. Did you know cheap hair gel can be on the shelf for three years or more? It's true. That’s why it often has so much alcohol. At Cost Cutters they get fresh product every two weeks. If you’re buying gel at the dollar store – my god, how did they know? – you need to watch out for flaking. It could be caused by cheap hair gel and its alcohol (a preservative) drying out your hair and scalp. Thank you, Cost Cutters.

Note · · Tucson

Joe Frank

Joe Frank created radio that didn't sound like radio. His programs are dark and funny and sad waking dreams that I looked forward to finding on the dial.

Radio great Joe Frank has died. He had a long radio career, including decades at KCRW. Frank’s storytelling influenced many young radio journalists, who had never heard anything quite like him before. This includes ‘This American Life’ host, Ira Glass, who shares what it was like to be a young production assistant for Frank. — Remembering radio legend Joe Frank

Note · · Tucson

New Year’s Day 2018

We’re watching Saturday Night Live on a Monday night that feels like a Sunday. Happy New Year.