Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SUV - CATastrophic problem

I'm afraid that starter has to be replaced.

Buster's been working on the 90,000 mile check-up of our SUV. It's taken him a few days but he's very thorough and able to get into the smallest places. Unlike most mechanics you rarely hear him curse or swear - he never hits his knuckles with a wrench. Other than the occasional tuft of red hair, you'd never know he was working on the vehicle all day. 

Get Low

"A movie spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party... while he was still alive. "

We saw this at the Movie Experience in Temecula last night. Beautiful looking, the art direction and cinematography are wonderful. Even if the rest of the movie stunk I would have enjoyed watching the shadows, the light and the gorgeous shots of the Georgia countryside where the film was shot.

Robert Duvall is excellent, but then he's played a similar part before. Stern, silent, withdrawn and mysterious his
story unfolds a millimeter at a time. He's riveting on the screen as always. 

Sissy Spacek is shot with full turkey neck, crows feet and the other gifts of aging. Her upturned nose hasn't sagged a millimeter and I thought she looked as beautiful as ever. Her character was a bit underdeveloped, but her performance was good. 

Bill Murray was perfect. They wrote great lines for him and he plays perfectly the almost-honest shyster, operating just on the edge of larceny. 

It's surprising to me that lines sneak into period movies that simply weren't expressions used at that time - doesn't somebody check out that stuff? A black preacher (the excellent actor -Bill Cobbs) states, "I'm outta here." 
I think he also said, "Isn't going to happen." These aren't expression used in the 30's and they stick out of the dialogue like a sore thumb - or am I wrong? There were a few others as well. 

There were a few disconnects in the story....the editing could have been better, but it was overall well paced. 

Well worth the $7.50 each, we thoroughly enjoyed the film.

Great french fries

Sunday was gorgeous in La Jolla where I went furniture shopping at the La Jolla Village Center mall. The parking lot was full and it took a while to find a space - you'd guess the economy is booming.  Just inside the entrance to the complex, there's a currency exchange booth. Hmmmm....maybe these are mostly tourists?

The black antiqued bench and a couple of pots were pretty good finds. The heavily distressed and aged coffee table/bench might be a little too much for the spot I have in mind.

About 1:30 my monthly craving for french fries hit with a vengeance. The food court is loaded with Asian fast food places and I actually had to search for french fries. Finally I finally located them at Steak Express. And boy, were they great! I watched them drag out a grey plastic garbage pail full of giant Burbank Russetts, cut them on the spot with their french fry cutting machine and pop them straight into the fryer. Glistening, hot and slightly browned with crispy edges but a potatoey interior and with the ideal level of greasiness, they were perfect with malt vinegar and lots of salt. I enjoyed them immensely while watching the ice skaters whirling and twirling below. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eat Pray Javier

I tagged along with a couple of girl friends for lunch (the principal purpose) and secondarily to see Eat Pray Love. Even though we all knew it would be chick flickorama and it has received generally bad reviews, I wanted to see the Bali scenes -  plus I'd heard there was some good food photography.

Richard chastised me for being snooty about the way Bali "used to be" and for my predictions that the film would ruin Bali. He claims that since the second tourist on earth went anywhere, the first tourist has always claimed to have seen the real ___________, fill in the blank. He's right. Every spot in the world morphs to some degree every day and whatever you see on your visit is your personal particular version of the place, not more and not less. Lesson learned - let it alone.

The film as expected was unbelievably sappy and Julia Roberts seemed awfully miscast - way too old for a character so immature and so naive - after all, the point of the whole story was the author "finding herself" which is hard to buy for someone who clearly looks over 40 - she looks good, but she's no longer a cute young thing. The character as written (in real life) is so self-absorbed that you want to gag. She has looks, money, success (at writing) - all the opportunity and resources in the world and can't find happiness. Boohoo. 

She is portrayed as the typical over-indulged twit who is never thankful for the many, many wonderful aspects of her life; beautiful and talented she has the world at her finger tips. What's wrong with this picture? Because she doesn't want children, we are supposed to feel sorry for her? The shitty husband is dump-able - come on...you get over it!  

Some of the scenes, without her, were pretty good, one in particular featuring Richard Jenkins who delivered a fine piece of acting. The cinematography which I expected to be good was crashingly disappointing - lots of corny star bursts and icky light reflections. Lighting and focus was appropriate for the food scenes. There weren't that many: the markets in Rome ...a Thanksgiving turkey which looked splendid (even though I know it was never roasted, only painted with kitchen bouquet), pasta dishes shot from straight overhead and best of all, a food market in Bali, with lingering shots on the rambutan and the durian.  

The movie was interminable and the editor should have been shot. Even I (who know nothing about editing) could have cut out 30 minutes and made a film with a better pace.  In the end, the Bali part was only about 15 minutes long and only a few minutes really of Bali itself. One sweeping aerial shot of the rice terraces was gorgeous, a couple of exterior shots showing the jungle views of houses were good but there were only snippets here and there of offering towers and the decorative festival banners that hang over the streets. Oddly, the principal scenes between Julia and Javier could have been shot anywhere which puzzles me. Too much beach emphasis. Bali is really not about beaches but about the culture - which was minimally exposed. If I knew nothing about Bali, I'd look at this and think hmm - another beach resort. Yawn - except for Javier Badeem, who does stir the imagination.

There was one excellent bit of film. Julia, attending an Indian friend's wedding and watching the loud, colorful celebratory wedding dance, recalls the "first dance" at her own wedding. The DJ announces the event and the couple walks onto the floor - her arms fold around the new husband's neck, he tells her she looks beautiful and the DJ starts playing some loud disco thing. She looks at her husband aghast and says, "but this isn't our song". He replies that he knows, turns to go over to the DJ presumably to make the correction and then he turns back to face Julia, assuming a horrible Saturday Night Fever dance pose. He proceeds to dance around her and all the guests, disco-ing all the way, clearly a shock for Julia. She expresses disbelief, shock, dismay, horror, disgust, embarrassment - all in about 20 seconds. As the emotions flicker across her face, you can hear her thinking to herself, "Is this what my marriage is going to be - who is this narcissistic a-hole?". Yet her words mouthed to him are "I love you". And as it turns out, yes - that's what her marriage turns out to be - a sham.  The scene summed up story of the marriage efficiently.

An aside: I attended a wedding somewhat like this where both husband and wife were narcissistic bores. They sang to each other, then sang to us, danced for us and finally, the food was served and we could get outta there. The marriage started with a fight for the spotlight and that battle continued throughout the five years of their marriage. The bride's daughter (18 years old) sidled up to me during the dueling duets and whispered, "Can you believe this?" 

My two friends fell asleep mid-way through the film and had a nice half hour snooze during the ashram scenes. Gives you an idea of the pace. 

Grand Opening and Closing Sale

Dragging myself through a block of furniture stores yesterday I looked at 500 dark brown couches. All the seating seems to be brown, probably a sign of the times. You don't buy a white couch if you're buying for durability, I guess -  although Pottery Barn sells plenty of those white slip-covered jobs. In fact, I looked at so many brown couches that the occasional red couch, which sticks out like a sore thumb in the sea of brown velour, looked weird and undesirable. I've been conditioned brown. 

In Temecula, a furniture salesman told me that business had picked up considerably. People have purchased the foreclosed houses for half price, they plan to stay in them (flipping days are gone) and they are investing in furniture. These houses have now become homes instead of investments. People used to buy them, throw in a bean bag chair, sit down and wait for the price to double. Interestingly many of these stores post huge signs that state, "No credit checks". I guess they'll sell to anyone with a heart beat. 

In another store, I was looking at a lamp and took the opportunity to sit down on a chair next to it. Jorge, my salesman, flopped in the chair next to me. "Thank God you sat down." he said. "Tired?" I asked. Wiped out", he replied. "I only had four hours of sleep - up partying last night." So we sat for fifteen minutes and I dragged out some questions for him so we'd both get a much needed rest. But there are only so many things you can ask about a lamp - three way? energy consumption :)? come with the shade? will it scratch the table? will it tip over easily?..... and the conversation wound down, just like Jorge. I left him looking pale, leaning against a brown couch, looking at his watch and counting the  minutes until he could go home to bed.

"Tom" was my salesman at Linder's Furniture. More brown couches. Tom was charming and personable. I noticed his business card says only "Tom". I wonder if he's really Tom or if they have groups of cards made with a variety of simple names. "Bob", "Harry", "Shaquille" and the like. I was going to say "Tom", "Dick" or "Harry" but I doubt that anyone has been named "Dick" for the past 40 years or so. Generic cards would certainly save on the printing costs. 

A Chinese man owned the next store. We talked a few minutes about a coffee table and a baby started to cry. "Excuse me" he said and ran over to a king-sized bed where I'd seen a pink blanket earlier. The pink blanket had a baby under it - a tiny, beautiful little Chinese doll about 3 months old. "I'll take two of those" I told him. Although a bit dour, he actually chuckled a little as he picked up the gorgeous baby and lovingly positioned her on his shoulder. He carried her around, gurgling happily, as we looked at a few more pieces. I lost interest in the furniture altogether and thought about asking him if I could hold the baby for a few minutes, but thought better of it.

On to the final store on the block called "Grand Opening Sale". This name for a furniture store is just as popular as "Big Closing Sale" which the other furniture stores are called. More brown couches, ugly (in my opinion) huge sectionals and recliners with drink cups, popcorn holders, remote control holders and God knows what else built in. I did see one with a ledge and electrical outlet so you could pop the popcorn in your couch eliminating the old-fashioned trip to the kitchen to make the stuff. Another popular item is a coffee table that has a pop-up top making the table top rise into a kind of banquette table you can eat at presumably while watching television. Another improvement on our generation's old TV tables. Young people seem to love these things and I enjoyed watching young couples with kids come in and "get it" immediately. 

If one of these retailers called their store "Grand Opening and Big Closing Sale", I'd buy something from them just to reward the sense of humor. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

No more arias

We went to an acoustic neuroma support group meeting yesterday. It was graciously hosted by one of the local acoustic neuromas societies members with a potluck at his lovely home in Bird Rock in La Jolla. We rang the doorbell several times and nobody answered. Figuring we'd screwed up somehow, we turned around and were walking back to the car when the host came to the door. Of course...he couldn't hear the doorbell!!!

All of us acoustic neuromists were walking around like crabs, trying to present our hearing ears to each other. It's really funny and we all laugh about it - staggering into each other, bumping the doorways etc. There's something warming about being in a group who all experience the same things. Most of the people there have had "real" surgery as opposed to radiation. None had facial nerve problems or bad outcomes. 

Richard enjoyed talking with the family members who share the misery of having to repeat everything twice and scream  (sometimes) to be heard. Everyone there expressed the same frustration over trying to eat with a group in a noisy restaurant. Marty and Shelly do what we do - sit side by side and position ourselves so that the hearing ear is on the spousal side. Shelly told me she taps Marty on the shoulder to get his attention and then makes sure he's looking at her before she speaks.  

Ironically, the host of the event had been an opera singer and another one of the attendees was a piano tuner. Loss of hearing was more serious for both of them than for me. Interestingly, they both still enjoy music, which I do not. I can't sing anymore either...it sounds strange to me, so I don't do it. No more arias but that's no loss to the world. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Yesterday was sweet

In the south they drink very sweet iced tea and refer to it as Sweet Tea...which is pronounced Sweetea, like it's all one word. In Steel Magnolias, Dolly Parton refers to Sweet Tea as the "house wine of the south". More information is available in this good Slate article about sweet tea written by Jeffrey Klineman. I'm working on a zero calorie version of this product. Because it's cloyingly sweet to me, I can only taste a couple of samples an hour taking a break between sessions to suck on a lemon, sing Sugar Sugar (Archies)
and drink plenty of water. In the middle of the night I woke up with a sweet taste in my mouth, realizing that there's a label declaration problem prohibiting a zero calorie claim! How amazing that the brain works away at things (in this case Title 24, Code of Federal Regulations) even while you are asleep!  I wonder if it had something to do with the fact that my tasting mechanism was still at work.

It appears that I've dreamt myself out of a job. Another first.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Contact Paper - Devil's spawn


The devil invented contact shelf paper. It's evil stuff and I defy anyone, no matter how pious, to try laying it on a shelf without finding themselves cursing everyone and everything in ear shot.  I came close to a nervous breakdown today trying to keep that crap from sticking to itself, to me and to the walls of the cupboard instead of the shelves. The damn stuff stretches, on top of all the rest of the engineering problems; when you pull it to straighten, a big bulge forms which they suggest you prick with a pin. A dumb prick must have come up with this solution because if you prick that bulge, it's going to tear -  for sure, no doubt about it.

Fortunately I learned to swear from my father who was a master at it. Assisting him remove the screens from the windows in the fall provided me with a very colorful collection of curses appropriate for any construction or maintenance related situation. Dad was not exactly handy -  in fact, he had a hard time arranging the forks in the silverware drawer. My mother, a farm girl, was a fearless do-it-yourselfer so she took care of all the maintenance in the house.  When fixes were necessary, Dad fell naturally into the job of supervisor, cheer leader, curser extraordinaire (when necessary) and above all, bartender.  I failed to really appreciate the value and originality of his cursing when I lived in the parental home...only now in my dotage can I really put this part of my education to full use. 

But my rant digresses: Surely someone could come up with a better shelf lining product!! I spent about an hour on the first shelf and the result was kind of OK. Unfortunately I didn't get better as time went on. Finally I was just slapping it on any which way, cutting off the excess with an exacto knife and considering using the thing to slit my wrists just to end the misery. The cupboard shelves are an embarrassment and look like they've been lined by a deranged child. How about someone inventing a spray of some kind - which sets up into a rubbery kind of mat that you can remove when you move on?

The whole experience put me in such a foul mood that I was more than irritated when I read the word "prick" in the instructions. In the food business we avoided this term, even though it is a legitimate culinary term and very meaningful in a utilitarian way to most cooks. Men seem to find the word discomforting when used in package instruction or recipe copy and I was never able to slip it past anyone I worked for. Instead we used the unnecessarily convoluted and weird instruction to "pierce the surface with the tines of a fork". 

And now the devils of contact paper just let it all hang out and tell us blatantly to prick. Well, same to you  - you sticky morons. Get thee to the lab and develop a better product! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In other rooms, other wonders

The beautiful Abby Finwall contemplating July's book
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, by Daniyal Mueenuddin was Kathy's excellent choice for July's book club reading. Everyone enjoyed the book, a collection of short stories with a common thread subtly linking them together. The stories cover many aspects of the Pakistani feudal system with the over- arching character being the primary land owner, KK Harouni.  Characters from one story show up in another, albeit in a minor way; you read a name and it rings a bell. The recognition draws you further in the story.

The opening story in the book, my favorite, was about Nawabdin, the electrician who exemplifies the cunning people on the lower end of the feudal scale, who scrape out a living by wheedling, begging, giving and taking favors, cheating, persuading and out and out graft. The people on the upper end of the scale have their own problems trying to do something with their lives. We discussed the particular plight of the women in the book whose lives, whether they are rich and poor, are ultimately in the hands of men. They don't get much support from each other either: as an example of mother love - when Saleema, pregnant, went home to her mother, Saleema catches her stealing from her money pouch. Saleema's mother says to her, "You owe me, you gravid bitch, coming here puffed up after your whoring. This isn't a hotel". Whew....I tried to imagine any woman I know saying such a thing to her own daughter. Life is tough for women, self-determination is simply not possible. It's every man and woman for his or herself.

All of us being word lovers enjoyed the title "sweepress"  - one who sweeps. Saleema refers to a woman as the "slut sweepress", an eye-catching alliteration on the page. The book was well written and many of the paragraphs were good enough that you could go back and read them over several times, if not for content then for the clever wordsmanship.

Ironies abound. In the final story, "A Spoiled Man", Rezak an elderly man who works as a gardener, lives in a box which he has rigged up ingeniously to meet his needs. He has a funnel and pipe spittoon, a mirror and shelf that allow him to shave without getting out of  bed and carefully chosen photographs of actresses on the walls and ceiling to keep him company. Cupboards and drawers are set into the outside walls for his tools, clothes and kits. There's a skylight made of red glass and cleverly engineered evaporative cooling. Guests (this class of people are frequently bored) on the estate where he lives tour the place for fun and one states that "The poor man should have electricity for a radio and for lighting. He lives all alone here, imagine how bored he is." Harouni, the estate owner, says "Are you kidding? These guys don't get bored."

As usual, we ate well. There was humus and pita chips, a delicious ratatouille made from the "end" of Lori's garden, a summer vegetable pasta salad, goat cheese on cucumber appetizers and a goat cheese log wrapped in cranberries. Roxanne served a delicious potion made of an Italian aperitif, Aperol and prosecco, light, refreshing and perfect for a summer meal. Dessert was Susan's rice pudding laced with cardamom which is used frequently in Indian and Pakistani cuisine.

Earlier in the week, Barbara posted some great pictures on her blog http://banardesigns.com from her years at  Hixson and Jorgensen and a discussion of fashion from that era ensued. One of the women in the group office pictures wore an eye catching get-up which included harlequin horn rimmed glasses and elbow length black leather gloves and I think a hat.  It's a long way from there to "casual Fridays" a concept that would have been shocking in that time frame when even  women wearing pants was controversial. Barbara and Nancy recalled wearing shorts and boots and going to a dance at the Ambassador hotel where the group Chicago was playing. They were admitted free of charge because they were female and wearing shorts (I hope I have this right). They arrived late but heard the last set and were able to go around to all the tables and eat the left-over appetizers and drinks. I would have loved to have been there....but wait, maybe I was!!! Well, maybe not at that particular event but being of the same vintage, one like it, no doubt.

The conversation jumped from short shorts to dress shields -  Kathy recalled them being permanently attached to better clothes. Our "madwoman" Barbara talked of her time working as an art director with a photographer who was shooting a model wearing very expensive clothing. The model perspired on the clothes and Barbara was chastised for not telling her to wear dress shields, something she'd never heard of. Dress shields and perspiration opened the way for Beth to tell us about her experience modeling at a nudist colony. And that's another whole hilarious story involving naked sky divers dressed in native
American costume and MORE.

There were more interesting conversations on-going but unfortunately I can hear only one end of the table so if I've missed something pithy, I apologize.

Rox picked the book for August,  Summer at Tiffany, by Marjorie Hart -  a light summer read. She has contacted the author, who is former chairman of the Fine Arts Department at University of San Diego and a professional cellist. She lives in La Mesa and is now over 90 years old.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's India!

The cavernous show room at the rustic furniture store in Escondido dwarfs the proprietor, an Indian man whose phone never stops ringing. "It's India" he said as the ring interrupted our conversation for the fourth or fifth time." It's India" he said, the sixth time. "Family?", I asked. "No - business" he replied. It was none of my business, but you could hardly ignore either the ringing or the loud conversation.  I was hoping my phone would ring so I could say, "Fallbrook" and then turn away and shout into the phone.

Wagon wheels, iron gates, iron pot racks and huge light fixtures hung ponderously over head. Everything in the store is covered with layers of dust; cobwebs loop and twist around furniture and objet. What would happen if there was an earthquake?  

Though the light was murky, there was enough for me to see that Mr. India had particularly beautiful blue-grey eyes. While I was admiring his eyes, he told me he spends much of his time traveling around  Indonesia, primarily Jakarta; in Thailand and in Spain, searching out furniture, antiques and home decor items to sell retail and wholesale. Spain is his source for old doors.  He has the feral look of a skilled treasure hunter, who buys low and sells high. I'm sure at some point he would sidle up and whisper a lower number in my ear.

The store is dark with the lights wired on a sensor of some kind  - they turn on as you walk further and further back into the bowels of the place. Visually sorting through the sea of darkish looking antiques is difficult for me. The beauty in each individual piece is lost as everything is crammed together. You can't see the legs on the tables, or appreciate the lines of the chairs.  

In my humble opinion, I think he would benefit from hiring a stylist to stage some of that furniture in the front of the store. If it were lit well and set up in tableaux, he'd probably sell more. 

I liked a long, authentically antique, sturdy looking elm dining table that he told me he would re-stain to match whatever sample I brought in. The table was close to what I want, but expensive and hard to see properly because it's buried in a sea of other tables and chairs. I probably won't go back.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Freeway day

Driving north on the 15 Thursday, the outside temperature was reading 73 degrees at 9:00 am and the air was clear as a bell. Another perfect day in a summerful of perfect days. Billboards along the route, while ugly, provide entertainment for the cruising brain: K9 training for your dog; We'll pay money for your old spa!; Obscene radio.com; PUS. PUS???? PUS = Precision Utility Services. This company locates underground utilities and provides other complicated engineering services related to utility operations. What an acronym! The type style used was straight forward and serious. The bill board is small and simple, black on white. It doesn't look like any kind of levity was intended. Still, PUS?

One hour 15 minutes of driving and I had brunch with a vivacious friend at Mimi's in Yorba Linda - she's very excited about moving to Sedona and in the throes of house hunting, flying back and forth every couple of weeks.  I'm helping her recruit a speaker for an IFT meeting. A short visit with Shari followed where I scored a jar of her latest batch of apple butter. I brought along a piece of bacon from brunch as a treat for her dogs but they are far more interested in having a ball thrown than in bacon. One of dogs has a knotted rag he likes to catch. He brings you the rag and drops it at your feet - if you don't get the hint, he picks it up and puts it in your hand, then fixes you with the most intense stare until relent and throw for him. After 40 or 50 tosses, he's panting but he won't give up - he's relentless. Shari is flying to Salt Lake City tomorrow to help her son get settled in an apartment for the next school year and then drive back to Yorba Linda with him where he'll have a few weeks off. Kevin is 18 and this car ride together is a rare opportunity for conversation - he communicates by with text her, but she's looking forward to hearing some actual words from her quiet, thoughtful son. Shari is an excellent parent and has always had an uncanny ability to foresee that a great moment - one of the big pay-off moments- might be in the offing.

To finish off the day and wait out the traffic I spent an other half hour driving to South Coast Plaza where a cluster of stores are located shoulder to shoulder: Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Z Gallerie, Napa Style. Another stop at IKEA for more shelf paper and the Swedish pancake mix to try with a jar of their lingonberry preserves. Once again I'm impressed with the shopping convenience - the little measuring tapes they provide, the shopping lists and the grids for laying things out. Their kitchen design section is set up with computers on which you can plan your kitchen using their various cabinets in combinations. Too bad about the self-retrieval of items from the warehouse - I find this part utterly impossible and such a barrier to purchase. I wonder what their sales would be like if they actually delivered furniture to your car. Maybe they do, although all I see are people navigating big carts with huge heavy cartons through the cash registers.

I hit the freeway at 6:30 expecting the worst but made it home by 8:00 just at dusk. Like a reverse vampire, I have to make it home before dark or driving is too dangerous. My speedometer was nudging 90 at one point which was just barely "keeping up" in the fast lane; for a dizzy dame that's too damn fast. My foot lightened up, I moved over to the right and cruised home at a more conservative 75.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Traffic in Fallbrook

Driving along De Luz Road
Our neighbors moved to Palm Springs because the traffic was getting so bad in Fallbrook. Today I drove up to the rancho and from the turn onto De Luz Road all the way to Dailey I didn't pass a single car. Traffic and our lack of it has been on my mind since I read the August 2nd New Yorker article "Stuck" by Keith Gessen about traffic in Moscow.
How would you like to face this every day?

Or every night.
It's a nightmare and universally acknowledged as the worst in the world. 300,000 cars were on the roads in 1992 and there are 3,000,000 today. The number of cars is a problem but even worse is the hi-jacking of the roads by those in power. All day, cars speed around with blue sirens on top - the mark of an official - and they bring whatever movement there is in the traffic to a stop. Officials and their body guards battle over who has more right of way status. Last November there was total grid lock for days. People talk about living the traffic...they're stuck in it so often that they cease to merely endure it to get where they are going - they actually live their lives while stuck. "The cars standing in endless lines on the crowded Moscow streets resemble nothing so much as the people who used to wait in endless lines outside the Moscow stores."

There are no solutions in sight. The incompetent and impotent Mayor keeps traveling around the world and coming back with solutions such as bike travel...all Muscovites should ride bikes. Uh huh.
On Yandex, the Russian search engine, red lines indicate stopped traffic.

The author of the article calls it a classic Hobbesian dilemma. I had to look this up - Hobbes State of Nature postulates that in the "state of nature", that is a state without government  "each person would have a right, or license, to everything in the world. This, Hobbes argues, would lead to a "war of all against all" (bellum omnium contra omnes), and thus lives that are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (xiii).
The alternative is the metro.

I've always wanted to see Moscow but I've changed my mind.