10:23 AM

across the street from the coffeeshop is an old movie theater, the majestic, which has been converted to a night club.

the marquee now reads THEOLOGY ON TAP.


cars suck

Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams.

Mary Ellen Kelly

not only did bill & I spend weeks trekking around the country in my car this summer (~7800 miles) we got sucked into the california car-o-centric lifestyles while living in san jose (~2400 miles). worse, the car has been creeping into my life here in madison. my writing group is in monona, 6.23 miles and a 15-20 minute drive from rivendell and I have a weekly appointment out past whitney way, 5.97 miles and a 15-20 minute drive, so that's a minimum of an hour and fifteen minutes in the car every week.

which is all really quite extraordinary when you consider that I hate driving. really, I do.

not only do I hate driving, I also think that cars suck. I was reminded of just how much cars suck this morning when I (accidentally) wandered by the kickoff for a two-week-long campaign to reduce car use, madison's car-free challenge, which starts today with world car-free day. (car-free quotations)

alas, the car has already insinuated itself into my plans for the next two weeks. this saturday bill & and I are going to american players theater to see twelth night. (I went to cymbeline by myself last sunday.) on sept. 29th mignon arrives from CA, I'll be picking her up at the airport and then we're driving down to northeastern missouri for a visit to dancing rabbit. however, I think I'll sign up for the challenge anyway and make a commitment to ride my bike to my writing group next monday and to my appointment next tuesday because it's easy to have good intentions when the sun is shining crisply for the first day of fall but who knows what the weather will bring by next week. plus you can win cool prizes. it won't do bill any good to sign up for the car-free challenge because it only counts if you substitute walking/biking/bussing/paddling for driving and he already walks to work every day. no prizes for him :-P well, except for a reduced risk of dementia.

in addition to free coffee and pastries I got an excellent map (online version) from the event organizer madison environmental group that combines most of the information needed for alternative forms of transportation in madison. one side shows where and when city busses run (you need a bus schedule to find out the bus number, times and transfers required) and the locations of intercity bus stations, car rental agencies and park-n-ride lots. the other side shows bike paths and routes and the locations of bike shops, boat access points and boat rentals. the map puts all the pieces together --- what a great idea. I wish I had picked up a few extra to give to people. (update: they still had an info table when I walked home, so I snagged some maps to give to my housemates.)

I also learned about community car, a car-sharing organization in madison that maintains a small fleet of vehicles parked at various locations in madison. community car members can use the cars for a small hourly and per mile fee. I've often thought this would be a perfect system for occasional car use, and they're offering a free trial membership in conjunction with the car-free challenge.

the madison environmental group is also organizing the footprint festival this weekend, sept. 23-24 at the monona terrace.

you break it, you own it

How could we have gone to war without friends, without equipment, without thinking, without strategy, without understanding who the enemy really was, because I don't think we even knew that. We still don't know that today.

Nita Martin
Wallingford, PA
mother of two Marines serving in Iraq


I don't understand!
It just shouldn't be this hard
to write a haiku!"

from a cartoon in
the funny times.


3:23 PM

the sun glints on the flickering edges of the waves.
small low-riding clouds cast rorschach shadows on the surface of the lake.

if the plane fell out of the sky right now I would be very dead.

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entries from 08.04