Thursday, October 31, 2002

'kick off shoes, jump on the jock/
listen to the jam master as he starts to rock'

-from Run DMC's Jam Master Jay

in 1986, derrick was this kid, a seventh-grader just like me, who appreciated the finer, seemingly incongruous, things in life, namely the equal genius of bands like the cure and run dmc. we lived on the same block, we were both skate rats, and a big group of us (tony, stewart, matt, mike, jason, derrick, me) would tear ass around base on our boards, sneaking cigarettes and listening to music. had you walked by while we were playing basketball or skating in the bowling alley parking lot, there would be music playing and you would be as likely to hear 'king of rock' as you would 'jumping someone else's train.'

we began hanging around the youth center and quickly took it over as our own. marge, the boss of the place, would let us work the concession stand and, after a short time, she let us DJ the dances on friday or saturday nights. the building was new, so there was a sound booth above the floor and even though we had to use the old speakers, the rest of the equipment was pristine- two turntables and a numark mixer with a couple of channels and a crossfader. good enough for a few of us to learn on.

one piece of vinyl that was never far from reach was run dmc's self-titled debut. even years later, when derrick and i were sharing a dorm room in new orleans crammed with bunkbeds and turntables, that record was always sitting on the stack or leaning against the brick wall. there were so many good breaks on that album and the cadence of the emcees and their lyrics lent themselves well to our amateur turntable wizardry. it was also a perfect record because it was inundated with shouted Js and Ds...for as long as i can remember, i have always called derrick, D, and, instead of james, he has always called me, J.

all of this might help to explain why it hit me a little harder than most to wake up this morning and read about this. i'm sure, like proust, everyone has their own madeleine; mine seems to be the first run dmc album.

last heard: call and response 'rollerskate'
last read: the news that was the catalyst for today's entry

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

reasons the cup is half-empty
-they closed I-77 this morning
-my highway commute was diverted to a two-lane side road
-the typical ten-mile, twenty-minute journey took me two and a half hours
-i didn't get to call work to explain my tardiness because the cell phone that i ordered online two days ago hasn't arrived yet

reasons the cup is half-full
-i sat for over two hours drinking tea and listening to CDs
-i practiced breathing meditation
-the two-lane road meandered through woods and pastures
-i didn't run out of gas despite being dangerously low
-i wasn't involved in the fiery tractor-trailer accident that caused the highway shutdown
-the first two hours of work are in the can

last heard: belle and sebastian 'waiting for the moon to rise'
last read: Amnesty International briefing on the human rights situation in the Russian Federation

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

after the gettysburg battlefield bus tour, mom was kind of tired. dad and i brought her back to the hotel where she decided to indulge in nap and cable while we ventured out, anxious to walk the grounds which had been described over the bus' loudspeakers. dad steered his lumbering buick down the hotel drive, out towards little round top, and i sank down in the cushiony leather seats, feeling the october air rush into the open window and over my face. we spent most of the afternoon climbing around the rocks at devil's den and visiting the monuments that dotted confederate avenue. standing there in the middle of a pennsylvania field, i listened to my dad, a career military man, talk at length about troop movements and the motivation of specific soldiers.

it's no secret that our individual political views are widely divergent, but, last saturday was the first time in over a year that we allowed ourselves to drop our guards and just hang out like a normal dad and son. him lecturing about civil war history and me reverently soaking it up. in a moment of weakness, he even conceited that he voted democratic in the last state election and was considering doing so again. i am so proud that my little boy is growing up.

last heard: the softies 'favorite shade of blue'
last read: 'Dear Mr. President, I was wondering if you could feed my cats for me this weekend.'

Monday, October 28, 2002

when the old man standing at the urinal to my left started talking about the terrible weather outside on 81-south, it was, for me, already one conversation too many with strangers at the rest area. i quickly finished my business and began washing my hands. over my right shoulder i could hear someone standing at the hand dryer and, holding my dripping hands out in front of me, i spun in time to watch said hand-dryer guy tap the button on the dryer next to him, then motion with his head, by way of invitation, for me to join the dryer next to him.

leery of excessive hospitality at rural virginia rest areas, i cautiously accepted the invitation of the dryer next to this good samaritan. he continued to dry his hands, taking time to investigate reddish splotches on them, holding them out in the way that people do when they want others standing right next to them to notice whatever it is they are doing. i kept looking down, considering whether i should just wipe my wet hands on my jeans and leave, but then he spoke.

'man,' he said, 'that cleaner i use in here has sulfuric acid in it.'

'wow,' i said, still looking down, relieved that he was an employee, but wondering why he hadn't heard of gloves.

'...but it kills HIV on contact,' he added.

'wow,' i said again.

he began contorting his hand in a weird angle so that i could see a particularly red splotchy place. he said, 'look at this.'

'wow,' i said, starting to walk out. i was out the door when i heard, 'i don't like to wear gloves because it feels like...' i turned around, standing there in the rain, politely waiting for him to finish his sentence.

' feels like...,' his face started to get twisted and his hands wrung in the motion of cleaning something, as though doing the international sign for washing-a-toilet-with-your-bare-hands would help him find the right analogy to what wearing gloves feels like.

' feels like...reaching for something through a pile of jello.'

'oh,' i said.

last seen: say anything, i'm the one that i want, enemy at the gates
last heard: the 6ths 'falling out of love (with you)'
last read: 2 zines- muse by courtney & these are the days by kyle

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

ed and i are back in charlotte after the sojourn to chapel hill. sleater-kinney rawked! neither of us had ever seen them live and both of us were truly impressed. there were two opening bands, the quails (san francisco) and v for vendetta (providence, RI). quails were OK, but v for vendetta didn't really do much for me as math rock is not my thing; however, the lead singer and her song titles were pretty funny-- i.e., "math rock is not a four letter word (it is two four letter words)."

we spotted several other small groups of charlotteans who had made the journey. most were people we knew from work or the penguin or other shows. by the time S-K came on, the sold-out venue was packed. being a man of constant shortness, i was happy to have a place to stand, on a little elevated wooden platform about 20 feet from the stage. this placed me a full head taller than everyone else for once.

after the show, people slowly filed out and some of us just hung around, not wanting to fight the crowds in their rush for the door. so, ed takes off to use the bathroom and, while i'm standing there by my lonesome, janet weiss is walking right by me. i stopped her, shook hands, and we chatted for a brief time. she was really nice and not at all rock star-ish in that asshole-y way. i was happy to have met someone from the band, but, alas, i didn't get to meet carrie brownstein or propose, i'm still available, ladies. grrrr.

last heard: dennis driscoll 'sarah jane part II' [thanks for the tip, christine]

Monday, October 21, 2002

a quiet evening on the reference desk allows much trawling of the internet and the rare, second post of the day.

since i am slow, many may already know about this, but chickfactor has a cool site.

while waiting for the shop to look at my car, i wandered over to the waffle house across the street. a waitress named deena kept running from the jukebox to the grill. she'd pick up an order, find its hungry, eager owner, then return to the jukebox where she made careful selections to complement diners' breakfasts. david allan coe's 'you never even called me by my name' started to play as deena slid a BLT in front of me on the worn formica counter.

hearing a twangy voice sing the words, you don't have to call me darlin', darlin', actually put a tiny smile on my face as i sat there struggling with the sugar. it had solidified into a fist-sized clump at the bottom of the container and would only allow a few grains to escape at a time.

after breakfast, i headed to the library. the shop continues to work on my sick car and promised that i'd be able to pick it up this afternoon provided i can leave $600 with their cashier.

[editor's note: i embark upon a week's worth of vacation tomorrow. posts will be scattershot at best. perhaps you'd enjoy visiting the archives? they are lovely this time of year.]

last heard: the softies 'me and the bees'
reading: the mess on calvin's desk

Sunday, October 20, 2002

the car, she is dead again. driving home from work last night, she cut off about halfway through a right-hand turn onto church street. i leaned my right shoulder into the door frame and pushed her into a dusty lot, part of a construction site for one of those huge condominiums they are putting up around fourth ward. being one of the last remaining holdouts in the cell phone revolution, i was forced to hoof it in search of a pay phone; the whole time promising myself that i'd break down and finally buy that phone michael showed me last week.

there was a days inn just a block away but the clerk at the front desk didn't deem my breakdown enough of an emergency to warrant the use of his phone. when i asked if they had a pay phone anywhere nearby, he simply said no. as payment for his generosity, i silently hoped that the flourescent lights above his desk had already or would soon render him sterile. the folks at Me-N-U restaurant, next door, were kind enough to lend me their phone and i was rescued by triple-A and whisked away to engel-bretz manor for the evening.

tomorrow, the shop will look at my car and hopefully tell me that repairs total less than $500, but, today, i'll just try not to think about it, finish out my workday, then enjoy a nice dinner with my gracious hosts.

last seen: the pie-oh-my episode of sopranos
last heard: elvis costello 'pump it up'
reading: fun with bjork

Saturday, October 19, 2002

lisa g. and her young doctor friend hosted an engagement party for michael and christine last night. it was an intimate gathering. not only were the respective parents of the soon-to-be (in nineteen months) bride and groom in attendance, but so were dutch, juicy fruit, big show's wife, and myself. i felt kind of special what with being one of the few people invited who was not related by blood or marriage. it was a lovely dinner featuring the holy trinity o' good times: italian food, cake, and several instances of people almost passing liquid through their nostrils from laughing.

bonus entry
bored at work? visit the new york public library's picture archive. thanks to an IMLS grant, some of their collection has been digitized and can be found in all of its browsable glory here.

last heard: birdie 'linus' [actually, this album is on repeat because it's just so swell.]
reading: la perdida #1

Friday, October 18, 2002

at manifest discs this morning

tony- clerk at manifest, local musician, and palomine
me- petey wheatstraw, the devil's son-in-law
cute girl- cute girl

browsing the used cd racks

tony: hey, man!

me: hey, good to see you.

tony: [grips one of my hands with both of his and bows head in the traditional tony greeting] we have a show coming up. [hands me a flyer] japan air is opening, they are a band from winston-salem.

me: cool.

[chit-chat and a few minutes pass]

cute girl: [browsing a few feet away]

tony (to girl): do you need some help?

cute girl: do you have anything by poison?

tony: poison? heh, hee hee!...maybe. [walks away]

last heard: birdie 'let her go'
reading: sharyn's scathing and dead-on entry, 'big brother is everywhere'

Thursday, October 17, 2002

this scruffy, tough guy image is difficult to maintain when you have a stomach as delicate as a two-month-old child's. (hence, my over-compensation with the manly, tom selleck-esque 'stache.) so, as i sit here with my innards in distress, my pores reeking of red onions, and three more hours worth of work to do, i'm starting to think that trying something new at the deli was probably a poor decision.

still, as gustatorial troops are steadily being deployed to the front lines of my nether regions, i can't help feeling that it was somehow all worth it, just this one time, since i got to hear a mexican guy behind the counter, who could barely speak enough english to keep my order straight, spontaneously burst into michael jackson's beat it, during the first few bites of my baked potato, with all the clarity of eliza doolittle, the passion of a young richard simmons, and in english that would have made the Queen weep.

last heard: astrud gilberto 'oba, oba'
reading: The Rural Studio seeks solutions to the needs of the community within the community's own context, not from outside it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

in my town, people don't believe in having the windows open. this troubles me as i have, for many years, been a fan of the open window in both houses and cars. nevertheless, in my town, every residential and commercial structure must instead keep its AC running for eight months of the year; this, i believe, is a county ordinance. then, after the first below-60 degree day, you are allowed to turn your heat on. the heat must run until the following spring or until the first above-60 degree day, whichever should occur first. this week, after 24 hours of solid rain, the mercury plummeted and the charlotte change over had begun. my upstairs neighbor frantically ran down the metal steps to meet my car last night in the hopes that i could help him light his pilot light. yesterday, i even saw people in sweaters and a few girls in knitted hats.

ahhhh, girls in knitted hats...

more important than clothes, however, is the fact that the change over marks the time to dust off cold weather music. 'what is cold weather music?', you ask. well, that is a little neurosis i have developed whereby i have learned to associate particular artists or albums with particular climates. rarely, if ever, will you find me playing nick drake in the spring or summer, because, naturally, he is a fall and winter artist. ditto, tracy chapman's first album, cold weather music. however, shuggie otis...strictly summertime. i believe that playing shuggie in the winter could result in serious injury, maiming, and, in rare instances, death. another cold weather artist: vince guaraldi. i don't pretend to understand this phenomenon.

last seen: the guns of navarone
last heard: jimmy smith 'back at the chicken shack'
last read:
"It seems our unlikely partnership has come to an end," said Bruno Levi, Orthodox Jewish Bounty Hunter. "And to think, we almost had Rodriguez this time."
Brock smiled. "Until we meet again, Christ-killer."
They both laughed.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

the pipes in my apartment have started to whine and cry. i wish it weren't so. plumbing problems are not new in this place but the crying pipes are a recent twist. the landlords have been trying to pretty the place up. my guess is they want to charge more rent for the one vacancy in our four-apartment building. they gave us swell new steel doors and some shiny mailboxes, but, really, the improvements are only superficial. last winter, when one of my windows wouldn't close all the way, thereby allowing a steady cool breeze to waft in and nullify the work of my shoddy gas heater, their remedy was to bolt that window shut. when fairer weather came, i longed for the luxury of windows that opened.

i don't want to move. the neighborhood is great, the rent is cheap, and i'm walking distance to a bunch of stuff. on the one hand, it really isn't so bad since i am sans a ladyfriend, but i'm sure, should one fall into my lap, any ladyfriend of mine would quickly grow tired of the plumbing, heating, and noise problems whenever she wanted to have a sleep-over.

if you know of anything in the elizabeth area that is close to the $475 that i'm currently paying, let me know. i would be willing to be a houseboy for a married rich old woman. i'd even let her spoil me and touch the secret place for low rent. just kidding, i wouldn't let her spoil me.

last seen: la collectionneuse
last heard: cocteau twins 'heaven or las vegas'
reading: Crazy Legs and other members of the Rock Steady Crew kept breaking...

Monday, October 14, 2002

they tell me there is nothing wrong with my brake pads, but my rotors might need to be shaved down(???). i brought the car in at 7:45am and, when they gave me this news sixty minutes later, that left 3 hours to kill before work. 3 hours in the cultural mecca of cornelius, NC. i ate a leisurely breakfast and 2 hours and 45 minutes were remaining. nothing left to do but go spy on people at starbucks. i sat there reading my new book, nursing a chai, and writing down overheard comments from other tables. as dutch would say, the creme de la shit appears below and i invite you to provide your own context, because it's more fun that way:

-is it champagne colored?
-you gotta choose your market and focus.
-christian radio just plays to the crowd.
-you need your own satellite.
-that's all radical and relevant.
-the turbo ridge is gerryrigged to the steering column.
-they're going to create customized bugs.
-it's kinda landlocked, but dey got it like dat.
-we got an evangelistic meeting once a month.
-i just want excellence.

last seen: cinema paradiso, spiderman
last heard: stereolab 'the spiracles'
last read: chuck palahniuk lullaby
reading: manil suri the death of vishnu

Friday, October 11, 2002

we met yesterday afternoon to discuss the big winter dinner for staff organization. we had to figure out invitations and music and such like. the meeting was all the way across town and, by the time i left, the ladies had sweet-talked me into making nametags for a couple of hundred people and spending part of an upcoming weekend spraypainting pinecones and leaves, white or silver, for the centerpieces. afterward, i had enough time to go home and change before the reading, but not enough time to eat anything for dinner.

i stood at the doors to neighborhood theatre with jenny. we ripped tickets and chatted. about five minutes after the reading began, someone came to relieve us of our duties and we had a chance to watch the rest of the show. i got to hear him read one of my favorites, so i was happy. collins' work is humorous and clever, but it is another thing entirely to hear it in his worn-in-sounding, yankee monotone. it seems to breathe more. (did i just say that?)

when he finished, i had to wait around forever to help with cleanup. he spent about 90 minutes signing books, so i sat on a bench killing time and eating cubes of fruit and cheese with a tiny wooden toothpick. it could have been the fact that i hadn't eaten anything in nine hours, but i think food always tastes better when eaten with a tiny wooden toothpick. the room finally cleared out, sam whisked the poet back to his hotel, and the rest of us began loading the event coordinator's car with all of the extra food. i got to bed around 11:30 and was out by 11:35.

last heard: magnetic fields 'busby berkeley dreams'
last read: In a particularly controversial case, the Food and Drug Administration has asked an obstetrician-gynecologist who strongly opposes abortions to serve on the panel that reviews reproductive health drugs. The doctor, Dr. W. David Hager, teaches at the University of Kentucky and has written popular books asserting the healing power of faith in Jesus.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

i don't have a black t-shirt with 'SECURITY' printed on the back. i don't have a huge maglite with 10 'D'-batteries, the kind cops use to bash people in the head with. i don't even have the huge pythons necessary to frighten grown men and give women the vapors, but, tonight, i will be the bouncer for a poet.

i believe there are four of us, all librarians, who will be responsible for crowd control when several hundred bookish types descend upon the neighborhood theatre this evening. the billy collins reading is one of the first events in this year's novello series. if you were one of the lucky ones who managed to get a ticket before they sold out, look for me. i'll be standing against the far wall, letting poetry groupies backstage so that mr. collins can have his way with them.

last seen: sexy beast
last heard: white stripes 'i'm bound to pack it up'
last read: charlton heston to michael moore regarding our nation's gun problems- Moore even tracks down Charlton Heston (with the aid of a Hollywood star map) and sets up an interview with the National Rifle Association president, who, to Moore's shock, blames "mixed ethnicity."

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

i installed that little counter on here a few months back and site meter says i just had my thousandth hit. there are so many sites that i visit during the course of a slow day on the reference desk. they probably get a thousand hits in a day or a week. still, i can't help feeling like i got a gold star or it's my first day to ride a bike without training wheels.

dear little kid who pushes entire rows of books off the shelf,

we haven't met, but i'm the librarian who has to put all of those books back in order and straighten them on the shelf. for many months, i have observed your handiwork on knee-level shelves throughout the library. it has often troubled me to see whole rows of art books (heavy, heavy art books) pushed straight back and falling off the shelf, but today a line has been crossed my tiny friend. i noticed that some of lower shelves in fiction (fiction!!!) were trashed. pearl buck, albert camus, truman capote...pushed all the way back. are you working out aggression against your father with this maniacal book-pushing of yours or do you simply find camus in bad taste?

if i find you, i will cut your hands off...slowly.

the librarian

last heard: erik satie 'trois morceaux en forme de poire'
last read: On Saturday, October 5th, 75 demonstrators came to a press conference and anti-war rally outside South Park Mall in Charlotte near the office of Representative Sue Myrick....the Charlotte Observer was conspicuously absent.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

eight things i'm thinking about

1. our little boy is all growns up.

2. today is my dad's birthday. tomorrow is my mom's.

3. exactly two weeks until the sleater-kinney show.
(carrie brownstein, will you marry me?)

4. i can't get the music from koyaanisqatsi out of my head.

5. tonight = skillet queso + tivo'd sopranos at mike's

6. my brakes need a-fixin'

7. i'd like to drive to the pacific northwest next spring

8. the girls in the fall jcrew catalog are so nice

last seen: chopper
chopper's dad (to mark 'chopper' read):
'that's a nice shirt. do they make one for men?'
last heard: stereolab 'one small step'
last read: After that, the confirmation of the United States' handpicked candidate Hamid Karzai (former consultant with Unocal) was swift and sure.

Monday, October 07, 2002

the wedding industry is a racket. after spending part of my saturday in a nondescript building in a soulless business park, i am convinced of this fact. there is a company, who shall remain nameless, that is planning almost every aspect of my sister's upcoming wedding. they are designing her dress, they are making the reservations for the honeymoon, they have a finger in every pie.

my parents were down, visiting from bucolic front royal, virginia. we went to this place so that they could bleed more money and we could be fitted for tuxedos. waiting for my turn, i sat, flipping through the sample wares of several photographers and listening to a man at a computer mix the music for an upcoming ceremony. i can't tell you how traumatic it was to flip through page after page of reception photographs, each album a sepia-toned anthropological study in nouveau-riche, area rednecks, whilst 'tonight, i celebrate my love for you' wafted out of the computer behind me.

thinking back on the countless weddings i've attended...the ice sculptures, the garters and bouquets, the clinking of forks on glasses, the horrible DJs. it all seems so contrived and overdone and cliched. it is supposed to be your day, but, instead, you have a day just like everyone else's...a day with the chicken dance, the electric slide, and a gross of jordan almonds wrapped in squares of lace and tied with pieces of ribbon.

last seen: anatomy of a murder, red dragon, koyaanisqatsi
last heard: blind boy fuller 'sweet honey hole'

Friday, October 04, 2002

remember that time you scrimped and saved and finally came up with enough side money to buy that ball gag? the twenty-minute drive home from the bad side of town seemed to take hours, you couldn't wait to get your new toy out of the box. then, there you were, sitting indian-style on the cold cement floor in your basement clad only in red cowboy boots, a dog collar, and a paisley vest. your mom yelled down from the kitchen to say that she was making deviled eggs and, after yelling back that you weren't hungry, you made your way up the creaky, wooden stairs to ensure that the door was bolted shut.

your hands trembled as you took the ball gag out of the box and fussed with the rubber straps to make sure that it fit snuggly around your head. that's when it happened. like in slow motion. one of the straps popped and swung around your head at lightning speed, the buckle leaving a nasty mark on your left cheek. you were too embarrassed to return the ball gag for a refund or store credit and besides you'd thown the receipt away when you got that vanilla shake at mcdonald's. at that moment, you wanted nothing more than to be able to tell everyone...the whole world...don't ever buy adult toys at clovis', because all he sells is cheap crap!

well, now you can tell the whole world. troy's newest project, boycott city, went live yesterday. it is a forum which allows you, the individual consumer, to post a boycott, explain why you hate a business (or person or service or product), then other folks can post comments and join your boycott. you really should go check it out, not just because i contributed an essay and i'm a moderator for the site, but because you need to tell other people about clovis'.

last seen: ghost world
last heard: dressy bessy 'jenny come on'
reading:A New Zealand apple is cheap because fuel oil is cheap, and fuel oil is cheap because it's subsidized by taxpayers and future generations. It's like a bad TV ad: "Price does not include the $1 billion spent yearly by the US military to secure MidEast shipping lanes; the $1 billion spent on air pollution-related illness in Ontario, the $1.8 billion the UK will spend to "adapt" to global warming, the $15-billion cleanup for every record-breaking hurricane that spins out of the changing climate..."

Thursday, October 03, 2002

most days, i am mindful of the fact that being a librarian is about offering equal access to information. i am emboldened by the notion of the public library as everyman's university, a place where all people are welcome to come and learn about anything that interests them. i get a warm feeling when i see that a community has pooled its collective resources for the betterment of all in the citizenry. i remember that the library is the one of the few places committed to the idea of an informed electorate, the backbone of a healthy democracy.

again, that's most days...

...but then there are days like today. when the platonic ideal of the library begins to blur at the edges and all i can see are the annoying quirks of the regulars. how Mr D. rushes downstairs, reeking of cigarette smoke, salivating at the thought of one more game of internet chess. how Mr S comes in to make a daily check of his e-harmony account in the hopes of wrangling himself a Mrs S. how Mrs L. appears at my desk everyday for help and never, ever smiles.

last heard: the carter family 'single girl, married girl'
last read: jonathan lethem motherless brooklyn
reading: indiepages & chuck palahniuk lullaby

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

yesterday: a (very long) primer

driving up to chapel hill on I-85, i was a little gunshy. my tire had recently blown out/off the last time i tried driving over 60mph, so, in my mind, it was only a matter of time before the others blew off as well. i white-knuckled the steering wheel and gingerly pushed the car to 55. ok, no A-Team-style car flips. then, 65. the tension in my hands relaxing a bit. by the time i got to salisbury where the highway turns to 70, i was back to driving with one hand, not looking at the road, and shuffling through my stack of CDs on the passenger seat.

i was practically giddy. not only was i going back to chapel hill, the ol' grad school stompin' grounds, but i was going to meet chuck palahniuk, too. (more on that later) i pulled into town a few hours before the signing, so i went to mama dip's. aside from the family and friends that i'd left in north carolina during my oh-so-brief sojourn to the kansas plains, one of the things that i missed most was mama dip's. in fact, should the state ever see fit to silence me for the lascivious and incendiary posts herein, it is likely that my requested last meal would be a two-piece dark with mashed potatoes and gravy, fried okra, biscuits, sweet tea, and a piece of sweet potato pie. i would likely skip to the gallows and cross the river jordan a happy man.

with lunch finished, i sauntered over to internationalist books to load up on zines. 11 dollars and 72 cents worth of zines to be exact, all with interesting titles like ghetto garden, burn collector, 6x6, these are the days, and muse. that's a mess o' zines. then i popped into schoolkids records and, finally, made my way over to the bookstore where chuck would be signing.

it was 2pm and the event didn't formally start until 3:30, but i just wanted to scout it out. there were already people seated and others lining up. five minutes later, the man arrived and decided that he'd sign for an hour. since some authors will only sign their most recent book, the first kid in line asked what he'd be willing to sign. chuck said that he'd sign 'anything ya got.' everybody opened their backpacks and copious amounts de stuff were brought forth. many people had a copy of each and every book, some had news clippings, others were toting the fight club DVD. me, i only brought a lone copy of lullaby. he was gracious and signed everything.

we were standing there on the verge of peeing our pants like excited schoolgirls about to meet britney, only these schoolgirls were muscular or tattooed or brooding and, for whatever reason, we kept calling our britney 'sir' and he would reply in kind. it was like an assembly line. you'd get to the front and hand your camera to the person behind you, so that they could click you talking to chuck. you could tell that each person was trying really hard to maintain composure and not turn into some gushing groupie like chris farley interviewing paul mccartney on SNL. ("you remember that time when you were in the beatles?...that was awesome!")

the biggest surprise: girls at the chuck palahniuk signing. cute ones, too. my universe was thrown out of balance, my planet tilted off its axis, other third-rate astronomical analogies also sprung to mind...this brought up all kinds of questions- they couldn't all be getting books signed for fathers or boyfriends, could they? girls read chuck palahniuk? why wasn't one of them married to me?

after the talk, i drove back to charlotte in time to catch mark and bill at michael's. they had the newly-released swingers DVD, a movie we'd seen innumerable times. however, we decided to watch key scenes with the french dubbing. all i can say is: swingers + french = belly laughs.

as ice cube would say 'today was a good day'.

last heard: blackalicious 'alphabet aerobics'