Thursday, February 27, 2003

"i'm sorry. i have power."
-eastern-european au pair after shocking me with static electricity while handing me a dime for a print job at the reference desk

in lieu of pouring some of this forty out onto the concrete, i'll just share one of my favorite things about mister rogers' neighborhood. i'm sure everyone liked something different about the show. maybe it was how he could talk to the trolley or how, when the credits rolled, the camera panned through that tiny city with the miniature cars. for me, it was the movies he would show about how things are made. i was particularly fond of the crayon one and, when i trawled for photos that i could link to, i was surprised to find the entire video.

sit back. enjoy the calming voice. enjoy the guaraldi-esque piano. enjoy the factory pictures.

last seen: the conversation, persona
last heard: the gentle waves 'rose i love you'
last read: adrian tomine's optic nerve #7

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

i'm no professional, but i'm guessing it's bad if the smell of burning plastic emanates from your car's speakers. i started the car. the stereo lit up like usual, then, two seconds later, a piercing noise came from the speakers. what do i know from car stereos? so i just tried to turn down the volume which, of course, didn't work. finally, the noise stopped, but my sigh of relief was cut short by the aforementioned speaker smell, kind of like someone frying up a big helping of wires.

you see, i have this crappy little ford escort. it is teal. yeah, i know. it has over 90,000 miles on it and it's paid off, so shut up. whenever there is a mechanical problem, my face gets all twisty and i pound my fist into my knee. just on principle, i don't want to sink another dime into a car that's paid off. this, however, is serious. after the smelly speakers episode, i have no bass to speak of. now, as i endure the commute with tea in hand, the voices i hear are tinny at best.

maybe i should just go all out, buy really nice speakers and one of these steering wheels.

last seen: the hours
last heard: tullycraft 'cowgirls on parade'
last read: "The Watch List, on the other hand, serves not to convey an honorific designation, but to affect change, to save and ensure the preservation of significant but endangered sites by bringing viable solutions to light."

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

a post in two parts
part one: when the alarm went off, i didn't get up right away. it took a while for my eyes to adjust to the light. it was one of those times when a dream is still fresh, mostly because it was so unsettling. i fear i may have crossed the rubicon, because i had my first dream starring bloggers whom i've never even met. and, though it shames me to admit it, in this dream, i was even on a date with one of them. [editor's note: i promise that i will get out more. i have tickets to the yo la tengo show with mike and ed next month and a week's vacation.]

part two: a few fun facts about kathleen, mark's friend who was visiting from out-of-town
in her youth, she had to attend a lutheran bible camp in the mountains for two weeks. it was called lutheridge. she has fully recovered from the experience. she travelled to the bronx for a debate tournament in high school. her boyfriend is still in africa studying intestinal parasites. she has really swell eyes. she just adopted two cats. she accompanied her sister, who had a baby last week, to an appointment with a lactation specialist. it's full steam ahead for her sister in the lactation department.

last heard: go sailor 'together forever in love'
last read: "i took the first pic on a flight to turkey in october 2001..."

Monday, February 24, 2003

my sister and brother-in-law drove up to virginia last week. they both had interviews and both returned to charlotte with job offers. if only everyone's search were that easy. in a few weeks, they'll be moving up to the winchester area, stomping grounds and final resting place of patsy cline. since we hadn't seen each other in a while, we met at our favorite cuban place to discuss the interviews, eat ceviche, and conduct the trunk-to-trunk handoff of my parents' record collection.

my folks kept their 78s, but were generous enough to pass along all of their other albums to help me break-in the newly-acquired turntable. i sat there until the wee hours, surrounded by stacks of dusty records. the warm tones and crackily-pop of each one reminded me of hearing them as a little kid.

the collection itself is a nice little capsule of late-60s to mid-70s pop rock. clapton and hendrix and joplin. just about every permutation of crosby, stills, nash, and young, including solo stuff by each. santana's abraxas and sabbath's paranoid. carly simon, carole king, simon and garfunkel, a pile of james taylor. tommy and jesus christ superstar. there were also some that seemed not to fit with the rest like the random blondie album or 12-inch singles by the police and bob marley which i may have purchased in my youth, forgotten about, then left at their house.

last heard: the shop assistants 'i don't want to be friends with you'
last read: "Three-thousand-page novels? Earnest costume parties? What gives?" [thanks for the link, megan]

Sunday, February 23, 2003

using a men's room urinal is a lot like working with mortars in battle. you look down, you make minor adjustments to account for wind and distance and trajectory, then you let fly. those calibrations are where most of your real work is done. after that, protocol dictates that your eyes move quickly north to avoid any glimpses of neighboring soldier's mortar adjustments. time passes slowly as you count the number of tiles in front of you or read some not-very-clever graffiti, but, in your classier joints, the front page of the newspaper might be tacked up, in a locked-case, for you to peruse while you make water. in some bars, management has even seen fit to sell this prime above-the-urinal real estate to, who else, advertisers. they hawk all manner of man-gadgets and services.

the ad i spotted last night was for a product called the armored humidor. now, before you laugh, wait a second. i thought this was as ridiculous as you do, but how many times have you been out in the woods hunting and you have all of your essentials: camoflage jacket, check. cooler full of meister brau, check. armor-piercing bullets, check. and, of course, your bulky cedar humidor. you're in the tree stand, having just sprayed doe's pee on yourself to attract a big twelve-point buck, but all of the deer are scared off by the hinges on your bulky cedar humidor which creak everytime you or one of your buddies tries to get a cee-gar.

well, fret no longer, friends, armored humidor is here. worried about quality? read the warranty; it is made of "a light-weight space age structural resin with a neoprene o-ring seal and an exclusive purge valve to control internal pressure." kill stuff and get mouth cancer in the quiet solitude that god intended. (provided, of course, your local deer can't smell cigar smoke.) if you aren't a hunter, don't worry you damned pinko. the armored humidor comes in handy on the golf course or on your boat.

last seen: minority report
last heard: tex williams and the western caravan 'smoke! smoke! smoke! (that cigarette)'
last read: "Republican campaign strategist Vern Wilson says he is advising his clients to "put some distance between themselves and the President" on war with Iraq. "When you have former military leaders questioning the wisdom of war, then you have Vietnam and Gulf War veterans marching against the war, when you have Republicans in Congress questioning the President's judgment, it tells me we could have a problem," Wilson said Wednesday.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

my masking tape nametag said 'jimmy' and always had a number written after it. sometimes the number was circled, but not always. it corresponded to a menu option on the lobby wall. when i'd walk into the nursery at fort bliss, texas with my mom, she would always ask me what i wanted to eat that night. she'd write the number on my nametag in blue ballpoint pen. sometimes 3 meant peanut butter and jelly, sometimes 3 was beef-a-roni.

the nursery was this expansive brick building with two playgrounds and several large rooms. each room had a giant TV which always seemed to be tuned to the muppet show or hee-haw. i must have checked-in around the same time those shows came on; these were the days before VCRs, so it couldn't have been a tape. around each TV sat a semi-circle of slack-jawed kids. behind them scores of others ran around playing with heavy, metal toys or just talking.

if i didn't feel up for animal or beaker, i'd wander outside to the far back corner of the playground, hoping that one of the three steam shovels was available. they were just like mike mulligan's except they were yellow and stationary. i'd sit there with two other kids on the steam shovels next to me. none of us would talk. we'd just build piles of sand and move them around until it was time for me to go sit with the other number 3s in the cafeteria.

last seen: glengarry glen ross, black narcissus, the piano teacher
last heard: bright eyes 'false advertising'
last read: "The melody in the verse is so fucking good I can't stand it: "And oh, oh, I can feel the magic of your touch, um hmm," etc."

Thursday, February 20, 2003

after cutting TV, most forms of exercise, and dating out of my diet, it seems i still don't have enough time to read. yesterday was book club and we had a nice discussion of mcneal's goodnight, nebraska. the tiny band of regulars was in unanimous agreement that the selection was well-written and only meandered in a few places, like the pheasant hunting scene.

since i didn't have to work until noon, i stayed up late last night re-reading catcher in the rye and managed to finish it this morning. some parts that made me smile:

i like to be somewhere at least where you can see a few girls around once in a while, even if they're only scratching their arms or blowing their noses or even just giggling or something...

he always had to know who was going. i swear, if that guy was shipwrecked somewhere, and you rescued him in a goddam boat, he'd want to know who the guy was that was rowing it before he'd even get in...

that's the thing about girls. every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you half fall in love with them and then you never know where the hell you are...

our next book club title is fury which i want to hurry up and finish, so that i can start the new eggers book. its "philosophical rambling, buddy-novel clichés, and middle class agony and ambivalence" are sure to cure all ills.

last heard: outkast 'ain't no thang'
last read: "And then there are all the footnotes. I always felt he overused those in his valentines, too."

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

have you seen the video for johnny cash's cover of hurt? all i have to say is god bless, rick rubin, as, i'm sure, he is the one who passes along these suggestions to cash. unless, of course, the man in black is just sitting in his breakfast nook one morning, reading scripture and eating coffee cake, when june saunters downstairs and starts spinning the nine inch nails.

a friend of mine once said that these last few cash albums are rick rubin's ticket into heaven and i'm pretty sure that he is right. when you hear hurt, as sung by reznor, granted, it is haunting in that brooding, cliched, aren't-my-black-clothes-bitchin', teen-angst-y kind of way, but you could just as easily pass it off as a misanthropic rant by a spoiled rock star whose life is [cue somber violin music here] soooo hard. when cash sings it, in that lived-in, leathery voice of his, and you see how old and sick he looks in the video, it's not so easy to cast it off. same goes for his cover of one which, i will go to my grave claiming, is an infinitely better version than U2's original.

take it from someone who knows, when the two of you break up (and, let's face it, you probably will), put cash's one on a blank tape alongside sinead's the last day of our acquaintance, then let the despondency begin.

last heard: the clash 'london calling'
last seen: hurt
last read: "If you were gonna have a child and could choose the sex and your wife didn't care, what would you choose?"

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

there was this kid when i was in elementary school who was allergic to milk. everyday we’d go through the line and the cafeteria ladies would have a glass of juice waiting for him on the cooler where the rest of us would grab our milk cartons. sometimes it was apple juice. i figured it was apple juice because of its distinctive pee color. other days, the juice was red. maybe it was cherry-flavored or cranberry. i’m sure i’m not the only one who envied his juice, which is stupid because I didn’t really even like juice, it was just that he got to be special and different and the lunch ladies knew his name and would say 'todd, here's your juice' everyday. even though, todd's juice was always there and always in the same place.

also, i didn’t like him because i had a crush on this girl named anne-marie dougherty and they were boyfriend and girlfriend.

last seen: fellini's 8 1/2
last heard: rainer maria 'broken radio'
last read: "Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil, denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types of crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good...Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the nation of Iraq -- a population, I might add, of which over 50% is under age 15 -- this chamber is silent...Our mistake was to put ourselves in a corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find a graceful way out of a box of our own making."

Monday, February 17, 2003

buried deep within the sunday edition of my local paper, behind a long, front page article covering the daytona 500 and another riveting piece about the guest appearance of charlie pride and barbara mandrell on the wheel of fortune, there appeared a tiny blurb about the peace rally here in charlotte. the turnout to saturday's event was only around 500. it sounds pretty terrible for a city of our size (a little over a million in the metro area), but if you consider the socio-political makeup of your garden variety charlottean, you'd be as happy as i was to see those 500 faces.

even though i went solo, i ran into several library folks at the rally. ed was one of them and he later wrote, "WBTV had a short story on their six o'clock news. I saw myself standing in the background greeting James as he was walking up. I think I am onscreen for about 7 1/2 seconds. Almost long enough for an officially scored bull ride." for the rest of his take on the rally, go visit him.

organizers might consider the following for future rallies:
-less forcing the crowd to sing dylan
-more speeches by locals of note
-also, are there any local politicians willing to come speak? long shot, i know.

last seen: daredevil, arsenic and old lace, amelie, 42nd street
last heard: the aislers set how i learned to write backwards...i'm sure the whole album is good, but i have been unable to take 'mission bells' off repeat
last read: "Before it takes any further action, I call upon the UN Security Council to assess the human rights and humanitarian impact on the civilian population of any military action against Iraq." [thanks for the link, janet]

Friday, February 14, 2003

i am usually able to maintain my composure on the reference desk and not laugh out loud about things i read on the internet. today, this was not so. i had the great fortune to stumble across the lotion and the basket, the online journal of jame "buffalo bill" gumb, and it is pure genius. be sure to read the post, "ask catherine."

dear my insurance guy and his secretary, jessica,

thank you for meeting with me this morning at such short notice. as you know, on wednesday, i received a note from your office, dated february 10, in which you claimed that i was two months delinquent on my car insurance. it also read, in part, that my coverage would be terminated on march 28th and that, without it, i would therefore be in violation of north carolina law. i found this threat especially repugnant, since i was able to provide you with two cancelled checks for the payments in question.

while i thank you for giving me the opportunity to skip an hour of work, drive to the hinterlands of south charlotte, and finish reading my comic book while i waited for your office to open, the whole experience left me wondering what, if any, kind of customer service training you have in place. i mean, jeez. furthermore, jessica's astute interjections, like 'i don't know what happened?' and 'it must have been our mistake,' made me want to kick her in the stomach. she should thank her lucky stars that i'm a christian man.

that's all. have a good day.
james

last seen: the outlaw josey wales
last heard: the magnetic fields 'crazy for you (but not that crazy)'
last read: adrian tomine optic nerve #6

Thursday, February 13, 2003

the newly-appointed fiction editor at the new yorker is just thirty-two years old. i know that she is qualified, she must be, but doesn't that seem awfully young? when you think 'fiction editor at the new yorker,' don't you picture a bohemian intellectual type in her late fifties, slightly sunken eyes, a deep sensual smoker's voice, a barely manageable mane of grey hair, big eyeglasses hanging down around her neck by a string of painted wooden fish lined up head-to-tail, head-to-tail? or maybe i'm just jealous, hearing about this thirty-two-year-old editor at the new yorker because i'm so close to turning thirty.

last heard: mc paul barman 'i'm fricking awesome'
last read: "When I hear the word culture," said Nazi leader Goebbels, "I reach for my revolver."
bonus: "iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place." -G.W.Bush

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

hey. g'mornin'. good to see you, too. so, uh, yeah, internet sign-ups. sometimes, when the men walk up, the women sometimes, too, they'll just grunt or say nothing and, before they even reach the last step, they will have their arms extended, pushing a library card into your face. you can assume they want to sign up for the internet, but, if you are feeling particularly feisty, you can ask, real sugary-like, "did you want to sign up for the internet?" not sarcastic. you have be nice about it, see? that will force them to talk and they hate that. anyway, we need to scan that card in order to sign them up for a computer. the arm-extender guys are always in a hurry. you'll know from the huffing, the cell phones, or the way they always shift their weight from foot-to-foot every few seconds. also, they will be the first to complain about crying babies. some of them will pick their card out from their wallet with thumb and forefinger. one even leaves his card in the plastic page of his dayrunner, surrounded by a field of different colored business cards, each sheathed in an individual plastic square; he will push the metal tabs down at the top and bottom with his thumbs and the three rings will open. he will hand you the whole plastic sheet with all of its many cards. yeah, i know. some will remove their cards, but instead of handing them to you politely, they will place them on the counter in front of you, lest they risk touching your hand. oh, and one guy, he's kinda new, he gets his nails done. yeah, i know. the overhead lights reflect off them. you can place his card back on the counter after scanning it, lest you touch his hand. a lot of them, their breath reeks of smoke. they are the ones that like to talk, often selecting words with long, lingering 'ahhh' or 'ohhh' sounds, so as to punish you. you'll wonder why they are here so often, for so long in the middle of the day. some will say "to work on resumes and job searches." but, mostly, i just see them online playing checkers or chess.

last seen: igby goes down
last heard: sleater-kinney 'step aside'
last read: "We have so much fun when we make our sea shell crosses."

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

let's go do some crimes: or, a short list of
stuff i done with michael


-saw skavoovie in blacksburg
-split the queso
-rode drop zone
-drove a moving truck across half the nation
-suffered for art

last heard: the aislers set 'one half laughing'
last read: "This proposed law, he added, “would...create a DNA database based on unchecked executive ‘suspicion,’ create new death penalties, and even seek to take American citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political groups.

***NOTE: the charlotte coalition for peace and justice is having a rally at marshall park on saturday at 11am. if you don't live in charlotte, go here to find an event in your area.***

Monday, February 10, 2003

i'm taking an informal poll by show of hands. who likes libraries? who likes art? who thinks librarians are sexy? ok, hands down. that's what i thought. you are in good company.

as mentioned here previously, i was elected treasurer for the library's staff organization this year. at our most recent meeting, we discussed ways to raise cash for the ASC. so i stopped daydreaming about punk rock girls long enough to chime in with, "how's about we contact local venues, get them to donate tickets, then we have a raffle for staff members? $5 a try." [editor's note: we have a couple of hundred staff members.] everyone looked at each other and then said, "great idea, you do it."

what do i know from fundraising? so i just sent out a bunch of emails to people. children's theatre, charlotte rep, neighborhood theatre...and they actually wrote me back. now we've got tickets to the miracle worker with hilary "although-i'm-not-a-librarian, i-too-am-sexy" swank. tickets to arlo guthrie. tickets to all manner of plays. over $200 worth of tickets to stuff. all for free and all because i asked nicely.

so you see, people like libraries, people like art, and people think librarians are sexy.

last seen: chicago
last heard:
stereo total 'i love you, ono' [from millie's mixed tape]
(re-)reading: catcher in the rye

Saturday, February 08, 2003

sometimes you have to take it in the nuts for family. conflicting schedules and other extenuating circumstances have conspired to reduce the amount of family time i've had of late. so when my aunt dee phoned last night, we blocked off our sunday afternoons to bond over lunch and a movie. she doesn't venture out much, except to work or doctor's appointments, so i try to get her out of the house when i can. lunch and a movie sounds like a rather innocuous time, but you don't understand. my aunt only likes happy movies and i don't mean funny, like the royal tenenbaums, i mean happy. there can be no sadness or violence or death...at all. go look at the paper, i'll wait. see, almost every movie has sadness or violence or death or some permutation there of. the last film that we saw together was snow dogs which she purchased on video. that's right, snow dogs. i think she was punishing me because, before that, i'd taken her to see about a boy which i thought would be a good bring-your-aunt movie (it has hugh grant for christ's sake) but, alas, one character attempted suicide.

so...the measure of a nephew's love...tomorrow afternoon, i will probably be sitting through kangaroo jack or shanghai knights.

last seen: american psycho
last heard: the pacific ocean 'there's no one you won't walk past'
last read: tom mcneal's goodnight, nebraska

Thursday, February 06, 2003

the summer before sixth grade, i lost a fight. my parents were unpacking boxes in the kitchen and i left to chase after a group of neighborhood kids i saw running through the yard. they were playing war. they handed me a rifle. it was a toy gun, but the wooden stock and metal barrel weighed heavy in my hands. we ran through the woods in front of my house, through other yards, and, eventually, ended up in a big ravine. loose clumps of dirt formed the steep sides and, near the bottom, the brush had grown tangled and thick. the first few rocks landed not far from where we stood, each one raising a tiny cloud of dust; then, one stone hit a kid in our group. he yelped and teared up, but wouldn't cry. we looked across the ravine and saw a group of kids throwing rocks at us. we couldn't see who they were, because it was far away and besides, i was new, so i wouldn't have known them anyway. i yelled, 'hey, cut that out!' at which point, i watched them drop their rocks and walk away from their edge of the ravine.

i felt powerful.

fifteen minutes later, they walked up behind us, having hiked to a bridge i didn't know about that crossed the ravine. words were exchanged but i don't remember what was said. this boy, david, pushed me. he charged me and tried to punch at the same time. i moved, not because i was good at fighting but because i didn't want to get hit. he slipped on the loose dirt and fell to the ground. i stood over him. i held that toy gun over my head. i was going to bring the wooden butt down into his skull. then, i just didn't. i thought about how much trouble i'd be in if i bashed this kid's head. david crawled a few feet away and stood up. he walked over to me and punched me squarely in the eye. the socket throbbed and i told myself to just leave, get away before i started to cry. the other boys watched me. i let the gun drop at my feet and i walked home.

last seen: the thin red line
last heard: fila brazillia another late night
last read: an article on the suicide girls [editor's note: if you are patient and wait for the page to load, the whole article will magically appear. work-safe, by the way.]

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

i was thinking...
oh yeah, my vehicle tax notice is overdue. heh. // come on, three-day-weekend // mmm, nutella // don't look her in the eye, don't look her in the eye, don't look her in the eye // what a swell pewter belt buckle // when you are on a committee, the bad part of proposing a good idea is that you are then in charge of it. // north county au pairs = cute european girls in their late twenties roaming the library armed with dictionaries = sweetness // nice sweater, coz // sure, i can fax my written request even though you think you may not be able to help me // hey moose! // maybe i should move to DC and work at CRS // being transferred on the phone twenty times before i get to talk to the right person makes me cry on the inside // dinner at the jen(n)s tonight, dinner at juicy fruit's on saturday // despite being only 5'5'', i'm taller than most of our latin american male patrons // his idea for a photo-diary of spills might be a good one // oversized books: shelve them spine-up or spine-down? the debate marches on // what do i want for lunch? // was i dreaming when i read in premiere magazine that gary oldman would be playing herve villechaize in an upcoming film?

last seen: tadpole
last heard: siouxsie and the banshees 'cities in dust'
last read: "There are separate categories for men, ladies, and children, as well as a whistling contest and a conch shell and hunting horn blowing contest." [editor's note: for local legacies projects in other states, click here.]

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

i am feeling uninspired today. there are several reasons for this, not the least of which is the realization that i will spend valentine's day alone, painfully crunching candy hearts to spite myself. the lack of inspiration means that i have to fall back on an idea that works. that's right, theft.

yesterday, sarah asked her readers which three people they would choose in a fantasy round of spin the bottle. she has already received more than 80 submissions. mine was: amy linton-isobel campbell-carrie brownstein, not only because they are all cute, but also because, whenever the bottle is spun, the odds are good that it won't land on me and i'll get to watch two girls kiss.

many people who submitted choices commented that it was hard to choose just three people and, since i agree, i offer the following alternate lists.

actresses
audrey tautou-franka potente-helena bonham carter

girls who work around here
that girl who works at visart-that girl who works at manifest-that girl who works at the penguin

first ladies
grace anna goodhue coolidge-julia gardiner tyler-claudia taylor 'lady bird' johnson

mixed bag
martha plimpton-madame x-a random girl with cute shoes and tiny glasses

last seen: monsoon wedding
last heard: bettie serveert 'sower and seeds'
last read: "Perhaps even more worrying is the pressure this is placing on UNHCR's emergency programmes elsewhere in the world. Mr Hassan says the time may arrive soon when funds for vital operations in Angola, Afghanistan and Ivory Coast may have to be diverted to contingency planning for the potential crisis in and around Iraq."

Monday, February 03, 2003

sometimes, as you scurry through the parking lot, into the back door, and down to your office, a person in the circulation department will tell you that your hold has arrived. you'll think to yourself, 'i don't remember placing anything on hold,' but your days are so busy, perhaps you forgot about it. inevitably, you will go to the hold shelf and pastor, i'm gay or how to love a black man will be sitting on the shelf with your name written on a little slip of paper sticking out of the top of the book. chances are, one of your friends in the system is trying to have a little fun with you. unless, of course, you were wondering how to love a black man a few days ago and forgot that you put the book on hold...and there's nothing wrong with that...

a quick glance at my record shows that, even as i type this, holy mackerel!: the amos 'n' andy story is on its way from the far reaches of the county. surely, it was someone i know well, someone who hears me oft exclaim 'holy mackerel, andy!', who put the book on hold.

one time, an employee (who is no longer in the system) confessed to doing this for local celebrities. he claims to have put a book on hold for a charlotte news anchor on becoming a professional male model. ah, library humor.

last heard: junior kimbrough 'lonesome road'
last read: "Poverty happens, war happens, imperialism happens, when all the little bad decisions of a nation's people accumulate and find political expression."

Sunday, February 02, 2003

reasons i'm about to be so poor

at cat's cradle

mon. mar 10th
yo la tengo
$14

fri. mar 21st
cat power
$12

wed. mar 26th
bettie serveert
$12

at go studios
mon. mar 24th
aislers set

i'm confused by many things. most recently, it is when people say 'we are trying to have a baby.' the phrase makes it sound like an ordeal, something that would involve timing and meetings and plans and maps. the other night, mark mentioned that he knows a couple who have been trying to have a baby for about a month. then, this afternoon, a character in the book that i'm reading said the same thing.

now, i'm a simple man, but how come unmarried couples have to concentrate so hard on not making babies, when, apparently, it is so hard to make one?

last heard: stereolab 'metronomic underground'
last read: 'While Mrs. Bush respects the right of all Americans to express their opinions, she, too, has opinions and believes it would be inappropriate to turn a literary event into a political forum.'

Saturday, February 01, 2003

we showed up at 3pm as instructed. we folded and taped the table tents. we cut out entry forms for the scavenger hunt. we placed silver-painted pine cones on the tables in several rooms. we made the married girls laugh a lot. we completed the scavenger hunt to test for difficulty. we even played with the bongos and drum kit which were conveniently left on stage in the serving room. after all of that, mark and i still had 3 hours to kill at this south charlotte country club before a couple of hundred people showed up for the library's big, postponed-due-to-december's-ice-storm, annual dinner.

so while everyone else [read: the girls] put flower arrangements together for each of the thirty odd tables, mark and i wandered out back to the driving range. it had been raining all day. it was dark and overcast and what i imagine england must be like all the time, but, since i've never been, i can't really say. the girl in the pro shop sold us a huge bucket of balls (for $12) and let us borrow two clubs (for free). even though we were the only ones out there, she turned those huge overhead lights on when it got dark. it was fun. at dinner, i won three days off in a raffle.

last heard: dimitri from paris 'sacre francais'
last read: 'And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians' [thanks for the link, michael]