[warning: this post is quite long.]
dear everyone, the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. the last five days have been a blur, but a good blur. i wasn't ripped apart by dogs. nothing terrible happened. are you sitting? ok, good. here's a list of what i've been doing since thursday last.
i went to the airport to pick up a friend who was visiting from san francisco. while waiting, i created a game whereby i stand at the bottom of the escalator in the baggage claim area and try to guess which cities flights are arriving from based only on the evaluation of people's shoes and their carry-on luggage. when i'm stumped, i eavesdrop on their cell phone conversations. i quickly determine that i am the world champion at this game. enjoyed a lovely dinner and conversation with christy. she gave me a librarians do it between the covers
t-shirt-- purchased at the public library association conference a couple of weeks ago. no one else on my block has such a shirt.
the following day, the young lady leaves to visit family in south carolina. i bid her adieu and hightail it to a tuxedo fitting with michael and mark. i spend a little time watching mark play max payne 2
. we all go to chili's for dinner where our waitress looks like a countrified version of scarlett johansson. she is wearing one of those white necklaces that shrinks to the circumference of your neck when you get it wet. you know, the kind that kids buy in florida when they go on their senior trip. she is very nice and refills my sweet tea promptly everytime. she also has unusually large teeth. i'm not being mean, i'm just saying. we silently hoped that she would grow into them, the way a puppy does its huge, huge feet.
the next day, i visit my aunt who requested (what she has started to call) a community service
day. this is where i go over and take care of a bunch of chores because i'm such a sweet nephew. on saturday, community service
meant clean out the storm gutters, move some furniture around, and secure the wire from the satellite dish, which had snaked its way off the roof. my parents drove down from virginia and met me at the aunt's place in the late afternoon. they were delivering a bed which i helped move out of the truck. with the chores complete, we all went to dinner at red lobster. my aunt asked the waiter if a particular dish had real lobster
or some kind of lobster substitute
, at which point he said--
real lobster, ma'am. we're called red lobster, not red substitute.
it was about here that i choked on my drink from laughing. the folks and i drove back to my place where we enjoyed krispy kreme and out of time
sunday morning arrived. after breakfast, the folks headed back to virginia and i packed a bag and drove up to chapel hill for a conference the next day. i took the scenic route through the small towns on highways 49 and 64. i got to town early and stopped at schoolkids records where i bought one ticket to next month's stereolab show and a copy of underachievers please try harder
by camera obscura
. the gushing will begin.....here. while it is true that i've only had this cd for about 48 hours, it has quickly become my latest favorite thing and certainly the best music i've purchased in tha '04. you should get it, too.
now, back to our story.
i checked into my hotel and rolled on the large bed and played with the cable television. i never watched anything all the way through. at 7pm, i met jan
and elizabeth and pinky
and mr. p for dinner. pinky gave me a cowboy hat (score) and a mixed cd (i win again). dinner was great. i won't give the whole story away but there was sweet potato pie involved and afterwards i went to see ted leo
in concert. i finally made it to bed sometime between 1 and 2am with that tinny hearing where everything sounds like you have cotton in your ears. the professionals call it acute hearing loss
, i believe. perhaps i'm getting old, but i think i should invest in ear plugs before my next show.
just 5 short hours later, i was checking out of the hotel and driving to the conference on reading. i saw lots of friends and former professors. the lectures were great. i will spend part of my workday tomorrow trying to decipher my frantically-scribbled notes and sift through lists of casually name-dropped, though apparently seminal, titles and authors.
and that's what i did on my summer vacation.
: out of time
: camera obscura underachievers please try harder