Thursday, May 30, 2002

this morning, i shaved. ever since i was able to, i've cultivated a small tuft of hair on the end of my chin. some folks call it a 'poet's beard'; they are idiots. i grow this thing, not a goatee and not quite a soul patch, to offset the roundness of my face and every couple of months, i shave it off and start over. so, this morning, i shaved, then i splashed on some old-man-aftershave that i got from my grandfather. it is a large bottle of yellowish liquid from venezuela. i can't read the writing on the bottle. the smell reminds me of him. i use it sparingly because it is one of the few things i have that belonged to my grandfather. when he died, i kept the bottle and all of his neckties. my grandfather, louis, this kind filipino man, also gave me this distinctive nose and a proclivity for thriftiness.

last seen: the sum of all fears
last heard: belle and sebastian "the model"
reading: zadie smith's "white teeth"

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

i am a worker bee. like most worker bees, i get 60 state-sanctioned minutes in the middle of my day to do with as i please. part of that time is spent eating. this generally takes 15-20 minutes and involves last night's leftovers, a trip to chik-fil-a, or a homemade sandwich of some type. for me, food during work hours is simply fuel, because (a) out here in the 'burbs, there are no swanky establishments teeming with lithe young professionals and (b) it is my opinion that the finer epicurean indulgences should not include a time limit.

so, after eating my whatever, i am left with 40 minutes. while i would like to read, i, inevitably, fall asleep. sometimes i'm sitting in an over-stuffed chair in the breakroom drifting off to the lilting conversations of women whose husbands obviously don't talk to them enough. other times, i'm napping in my car, my seat reclined at an obtuse angle, and the wind floating in through my opened-just-a-crack window. i always wake up 5 minutes before the state-sanctioned 60 are up, having only read 3 pages worth of my book.

last seen: north by northwest
last heard: sleater-kinney "ironclad"
last read: charles baxter's "the feast of love"

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

a few thursdays back, i turned 29. there was dinner and pabst and friends and music and david cross and chocolate cake. had the night ended at that point, i still would have slept the sleep of angels; all tired and smiley-like. but, before the night was over, my friends presented me with a gift: a shiny new DVD player.

of course, that is a swell gift for anyone, but it is especially nice when you don't have cable TV like me. it is kind of like...hmmm, what's it like. it's like, if you have a spork. now, you really like this spork and it works just fine, but if anyone asked you what you wanted for your birthday, you might say "a butter knife would be just perfect. i could use it with my spork. i'd be set."

then your birthday comes and they give you a whole set of silverware. not just a butter knife, but everything, that tiny two-pronged fork for getting crab out of claws and those little silver grabby things for holding escargots. if you can imagine this, then you can begin to understand how i felt when i unwrapped my DVD player.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

i was reminded, yet again, why i like living in the south. it, so completely, satisfies my need to have high culture and white trash in my daily life without having to make any road trips. yesterday, i walked up to the mint museum of craft and design for an exhibit on american modern design (1925-1940). it was beautiful. full of bakelite radios and furniture shaped like skyscrapers and fabric with college kids doing the charleston. i stood in the gift shop for a few minutes talking to a woman about the exhibit; then i walked out onto tryon street and into the middle of 'speed week', a celebration of NASCAR and a prelude to Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. the heavy scent of fried food hung in the air and mixed with the smell of excitement. there was a booth to let you try out a new flavor of chewing tobacco, people walked around gnawing on huge turkey legs, and, on the main stage, NASCAR pit crews raced against the clock to change tires and win fabulous cash prizes. i walked home feeling whole.

Friday, May 17, 2002

a few famous people that i've met:

dan fouts, former quarterback for the San Diego Chargers
don shula, former coach of the Miami Dolphins
turbo and ozone (AKA boogalooshrimp and shabba doo), from Breakin'
quincy jones
spike lee
del the funkee homosapien
marilyn whirlwind (elaine miles), from 'Northern Exposure'
chuck d
prime minister pete nice, from 3rd bass

a few famous people that i've seen in real life but didn't talk to:

reggie white, former defensive end for the green bay packers
nancy reagan
ashley banks (tatyana ali), from 'fresh prince of bel air'
bill clinton
cornel west
lynn vaughn, CNN newsanchor
KRS-ONE
louis farrakahn
steven segal and kelly lebrock
the guy who threw the chair at geraldo rivera

famous people who sent me a signed publicity photo after i wrote them a fan letter when i was in 5th grade at pebble hills elementary school in el paso, texas:

Mr. T