Hey, I got engaged! As

Hey, I got engaged!

As you probably know, I’ve been dating the inimitable Kate Smith for a year and a half now. I actually bought an engagement ring last October, and it’s been hiding in a safe-deposit box since then, waiting for the right moment. Which turned out to be this weekend!

We happened to have just bought a digital camera, and we visited Longwood Gardens to check it out. I had actually been planning to propose later that day — I had a speech prepared, and everything, based on George Santayana’s Ode on Reaching Fifty, and we had hotel and dinner reservations in the city, but the combination of the day and the incredible beauty of everything at Longwood and my love for Kate overcame me, and I proposed halfway beween “Roll 1-42” and “Roll-1-45” in these pictures. I actually proposed in the gazebo you can’t see because it’s behind the branch in “Roll 1-41”, the photo where Kate is making Formal Topiary Face.

So the engagement is central to my life, but incidental to these pictures, I guess — kind of like Breughel’s Death of Icarus, or catching the birth of a baby on an ATM camera. The proposal is something that occurs tangential to the “hey, let’s try out the macro lens!” photo (1-16) and the “Remember the Irish rapper posing on the steps in Okay magazine?” photo (1-42).

I’m very happy! Hurrah!

Hey, I got engaged! As

Superlative February continues… …with another

Superlative February continues…

…with another lifetime best for me. Wow, I’ve gotta go buy a lottery ticket or something!

Friday, February 15th, 12:58PM:

[My employer] phone rings on the outside line.

John: Hello, this is John.

Caller: Hello, Super Tito, please.

John: Sorry, I think you have the wrong…

Caller: Oh, sorry, bye.

John: Hang on a minute, did you just say “Super Tito“?

Caller: Uh, yeah.

John: That’s what I thought you said. Hey, that’s the best wrong number I’ve ever gotten!

Caller: Um, okay, bye.

One quick Google search later, and I’m wondering: what permutation of digits in my office phone number connects you to this star of underground wrestling?

Superlative February continues… …with another

Canine Fleet Week My diagonal

Canine Fleet Week

My diagonal officemate Genevieve Futrelle played hooky on Tuesday to visit the Westminster Dog Show with her friend Francesco Vitelli. (If you’ve seen my new year’s pictures, Francesco is in the white tie.) Genevieve came back reporting a large number of large, middle-aged dog women and slender, middle aged dog men (dog queens?) Her pictures, to me, show an oceanic contrast. Fleets of identical dogs and their identical handlers sail in formation over unruffled acres of flat green Astroturf, then crash on blocky jetties of travel crates and grooming tables piled head-high in the back room.

That metaphor needs work, but the pictures are cool. Here they are! (You may have to sign in to Ofoto to see them.)

Canine Fleet Week My diagonal

I’ve been at jury duty

I’ve been at jury duty yesterday and today, serving on a civil case. The judge is crusty but fair; the bailiff has a big mustache, and is crusty but fair with a big sidearm on his hip, and the courthouse building is a freaking colossal rotunda. Actually, the building is a central rotunda attached to an outer hexagon with eight-story spokes, and it is one imposing pile of masonry. Made back in the day when public architecture’s form followed function, I guess, it seems like a cross between the Panopticon and a giant gear; like something that Mario would spend nine levels getting to the top of, only to see it collapse in rubble when he jumps on the dragon’s head.

Seriously, though, being in such an imposing structure lends an impressive amount of oomph to the proceeding. In The Man in the Iron Mask, Alexandre Dumas describes Aramis’ feelings on touring the Bastille: he is opressed by the mighty masonry walls, depressed by the sheer size of the fortress. I poo-poohed that at the time, dismissing it as romantic-era vapors. You know what, though? It’s true! The colossal building seems like a huge, heavy machine for churning out justice. With steam heat.

I’ve been at jury duty

You know, it almost hurts

You know, it almost hurts being this cool.

Dude, I am the coolest. Before you vow to pants me for the preceding statement, check out this evidence right here:

TO: john@tikaro.com

FROM: Sea World San Antonio


Good morning, I work for Sea World San Antonio. My
supervisor for Creative Services, Al Torres, had a
meeting with the entertainment dept. and they heard
about your watergun effect. we would like to
incorporate it to our ski lake show. it’s a remake of
a show that we had here when the park first opened,
but now we are doing a more contemporary version of
it. Our lead actor plays a nerdy type and we’d like
him to have the best gun in the show. […]

Is that cool, or what? I’m just envisioning the “nerd” character, some tanned 16-year old on waterskis with sixpack abs and black birth-control glasses with white tape wrapped around the bridge. It’s like all the 80s movies where Paulina Poriskova starts out working in a pizza parlor with her hair around her face and mismatched Converse All-Stars on her feet. This is gonna rock,
You know, it almost hurts