25 june 01

I spent this past weekend in Lancaster, PA driving around and watching the Amish. It took a little while to get used to sharing the roads with their horse-and-buggy vehicles, but eventually I got past the feeling that I was visiting a movie set. The black buggies, I believe, are the Amish, and the blue ones belong to the Mennonites. I could be wrong about that, however. Sometimes we'd pass a buggy with a couple of young Amish (or Mennonite?) men inside, lounging in their black vests and hats, and smoking. It seemed odd to see smoking Amish, but apparently while they're young and single they're allowed to go out and experience worldly things before they take the vows of the church. Which means they can go out to bars and get trashed and let the horses drive them home. Some of the buggies had no tops. Those topless buggies are the "courting buggies" which basically means the people riding inside are unmarried and keeps them from fooling around under cover. It was great to be lying in bed at night and hear a car or motorcycle drive by outside the window, followed by the sounds of horses clip-clopping along. And the country out there is really beautiful.

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In other news, AOL Time Warner (the company I find myself employed by) restructured its magazine wing in such a way that Time magazine is now controlled by People magazine. To me, this is an unbelievably egregious turn of events. What is the world coming to? At least Daniel Handler and Stephin Merrit are cowriting a movie musical.