full life

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Had a very lovely day today; mom and Paul came over and spent the afternoon with us, and after they left Kath and I watched Cloverfield (via Netflix) and then, randomly, Rattle And Hum.  Now I'm blasting "Achtung Baby" throughout the apartment.

Cloverfield was actually pretty good, or at least better than I'd thought it was going to be, even if there were some staggeringly obvious problems (i.e., cell phones never work in the subway, and they especially don't work when all hell is breaking loose, like 9/11 and, more recently, the steampipe explosion near Grand Central last year; it does not take 10 minutes to get from Spring Street to 59th Street; NOBODY has a circle of friends that consistently good-looking).  I also could probably have done without the love story.  Still, though, at its best moments it was quite effective.

Rattle And Hum doesn't hold up as well, if only because Bono in the late 80s is a little ridiculous and Edge wears ridiculous clothing.  Still, though, some of the performances are fucking awesome, and no band does the larger-than-life thing better than U2. 

Good night, NYC.
I'm not a New Yorker, but from my perspective the city seems to go into some sort of low-grade infrastructure crisis whenever weird shit happens. 9/11 is one polar extreme, obviously; but what's on the other end? What is the lamest thing that has made your day hell (couldn't get to work, couldn't complete a phone call, etc.)?

For instance, about a year ago downtown Austin was evacuated when about 60 bird carcasses were found in the same area one weekday morning. Authorities re-opened the area several hours later, not having found any chemicals or other hazards.
Try this on for size - the subways in Manhattan have been known to shut down because of - get this - heavy rains.

It makes sense, in a certain light, for cell phones to get fucked up in a major event - especially during something like 9/11, where the actual cellphone tower got destroyed along with the WTC. During the steam-pipe explosion I alluded to earlier, everybody in midtown was scrambling to call their loved ones on their cellphones, and as a result nobody could get through. Which is why it's ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE for that scene in the subway station in Cloverfield to have taken place - that scene, however necessary it may have been in order to keep the plot moving, TOTALLY took me out of the movie, if only because it was ridiculous.

I'm also a little surprised that they were the only people on the subway platform. Kath and I ended up taking the subway back to Brooklyn on the afternoon of 9/11, and it was absolutely PACKED with people. You wouldn't necessarily think that you would want to go below ground during a crazy, Cloverfield-esque event, but it was an option available to us on 9/11, and we were far from the only ones trying it.
I'm surprised the subway was running on 9/11.

After Katrina, my parents and I had trouble communicating for a couple days, since they'd evacuated to Mississippi and couldn't make or receive any calls on their cell phones. Every time I called I'd get a "network too busy" recording or some similar message. After a while, local news on TV and radio told people to try text messages — they were getting through just fine.

So I got a text message from my father with the phone number for their room at the Motel 6 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. It was spelled out (four oh three five five five oh one three eight). I don't think he'd ever texted before.