Monday, May 31, 2004

my sister was in town this weekend, visiting her in-laws. we were able to have dinner and go to a movie on saturday night. she moved out-of-state over a year ago, up to where my parents live. we don't see each other all that often which is kind of sad, since we're a pretty close family. i envy those of you who live in the same town as your kin and i'm sure some of you envy me, because i don't. if i lived where my folks do, i would make my dad teach me guitar and i would take long walks with my mother.

so, saturday night, for our movie, my sister suggested mean girls. i could tell she really wanted to see it. i also knew she'd never be able to convince anyone else in our family to go. it would prove to be their loss, since the film was tim meadows' finest work since the ladies man (which, incidentally, is a film that my sister has given me on DVD as a gift). seriously though, i enjoyed mean girls a lot more than i thought i would.

there were many scenes where my sister and i were the only ones in the theater cackling. we decided the silence was because most of the jokes were poking fun at the habits and language and lifestyle of spoiled rich girls and, since those were the exact people who packed the theater, most of them probably did not see what was so funny.

last seen: mean girls, the business of strangers, the professional
last heard: joy division 'she's lost control'
last read: My bedroom walls are plastered with posters of Robert Smith.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

my itinerary for each of the past five days was brief and redundant, just three bullets-- work, bike, sleep. each day melted into the next, discernible from the last only by the fact that i was wearing a different tie. i have been lucky or spoiled, i can't decide which, in that i've never had a full-time job that physically exhausted me. mentally sure, but not physically. this first week at the new place changed all of that. it was the combination of the library's really huge staircase and a training schedule that, literally, paired me with a different staff person every hour to get a feel for things. the whirlwind will surely dissipate in the next few weeks when i'm no longer new and all of the kids who are finishing final papers and tests are released for the summer. this jeremiad was just to give you an understanding of why i needed a night like the night i had last night.

mark and i finished work at the same time and i had already scouted out movie times for the day after tomorrow. i am not ashamed to admit that i've been anxiously awaiting this film for the special effects alone. here is my one line review:

dennis quaid's really forced science-y sounding lines PLUS me laughing at a lot of really inappropriate moments PLUS a tidal wave hitting manhattan PLUS someone a few rows back from us smoking a fat J and blowing smoke over the heads of the crowd every half-hour EQUALS movie magic.

oh, my other favorite part happened as we were walking down the steps of the theater on our way out. two high school kids behind us were talking about the movie which had an admittedly-preachy, pro-environment bent. one of the abercrombie-and-fitch swathed kids turns to the other and says that movie was obviously made by democrats. ah, rich kids.

since there had only been time to change clothes between work and the movie, when it finally let out around ten, mark and i were starving. we headed to the penguin for a quick bite and a few drinks, then wandered over to the double door inn to meet some folks. little did we know that we would stumble into the cash bash, a tribute to johnny cash.

we arrived around midnight and had already missed the first two bands. the last one, 4 on the floor, was just setting up their gear. if you ever have a chance to see them, you should go. they were the best local band i've seen in over a year [visit their site for sound clips]; not only did they cover six days on the road, but their lead singer wears a hollowed-out, taxidermied deer head during some of the songs. they will be playing at the rockabilly BBQ in a couple of weeks.

i finally made it home a little before 4AM and i didn't even vomit.

last seen: elephant, the day after tomorrow
last heard: kinks 'big sky'
last read: Combines best elements of Blanche DuBois and Abraham Lincoln
bonus: ed's coca-cola 600 qualifiers photo-ganza

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

last week, i took a giant leap into the late nineties and ordered something from amazon. it was my first time. yes, i am just that daring. i'm thinking about getting one of those fancy flush toilets for inside-the-house next. actually, the online shopping thing is not so new for me, since i've purchased concert tickets and booked flights before; it was just the amazon part that was new.

so, excuse me if i'm seven years late in my realization, but isn't amazon pure evil? i went there thinking that i would save a few dollars on books for my bookclub by purchasing the next three months' worth of titles online. after being amazed by the ease with which they could be clicked into my cart, i browsed around for some music and, before checking out, clicked a couple of CDs into the cart, too. so rather than saving $15, i spent $20 more. damn technology and its making everything so easy.

what's even worse is now i drive down my street just a little bit faster after work each day hoping to catch a glimpse, through the trees, of a little cardboard box on my stoop. it's like i'm waiting for my secret decoder ring or something.

last heard: camera obscura 'number one son'
last read: people act like june 30th is the iraqi democracy rapture. whatever. you know what it's gonna be like in iraq on june 30th? it's gonna be hot and dusty.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

dear kids, sorry i haven't found time to post lately or to reply to emails. i, truly, suck. job orientation marches on. the brand-spanking-new computer they supposedly ordered for my office hasn't arrived yet; so, it was day two of no direct access to email. by ten AM, i started to get the shakes.

i never realized how un-occupied a desk looks without a monitor on it. there is also this unweildy cage thing under my desk, where the tower is supposed to sit, but it just hangs there, empty, waiting for me to jam my knee.

i have little else to complain about. the people seem nice. the collection is great, since it is less than a year old. my office is about the same size as the one at my last library but instead of sharing it with five other people, i only share it with one. plus, there's all kinds of empty cabinet space. if i don't find some boss-type stuff to fill it with, i'll just start storing snacks there.

last seen: lost in translation, hiroshima mon amour
last heard: elliott smith 'everything means nothing to me'
last read: A state of emergency went into effect on Monday in six Georgia coastal counties as the state prepared to host world leaders at the G-8 Summit.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

my parents drove down from virginia this weekend. they wanted to wish me a happy belated birthday; so we spent a couple of days watching movies and eating lots of food that was really bad for us. by noon today though, my guilt was becoming too much to bear. i saw them off and then went for a bike ride. it ended up being my longest ride in the two months since i bought the bike. by the time i pulled back into my driveway, my legs were on fire and my knees felt like they might pop.

the only thing i had energy for, besides a shower and a nap, was grocery shopping. i grabbed the few items on my list, without paying much attention to the prices on them, and walked over to the self-checkout area. there a cashier named floyd was standing watch over the four self-checkout stations. that is when the following exchange occurred--

me (weighing and scanning a bag of grapes): [shocked] excuse me, sir, is it really eight dollars for this bag of grapes?

floyd: yes, sir. they cost about three dollars a pound and there are about two and a half pounds in that bag.

me: are they magic grapes?

floyd: .....

last seen: spellbound, the party, confidence, a guy thing
last heard: the beatles 'long long long'
last read: The fall of the darling of the right from leader of a free Iraq to embarrassing liability is another black eye for the Pentagon...

Friday, May 21, 2004

in every job i've ever had, the last couple of days are always the most productive. i finally make time for all of those problem books and videotapes which have been sitting around my work space with sticky notes attached to them, each one waiting patiently for resolution. this is also the time when i rake out my desk and empty hanging folders that are bursting with minutes from meetings that i attended two years ago. even your smaller bureaucracies tend to create an embarrassing amount of detritus and, as a librarian, it is in my nature to squirrel all of it away; maybe i should have stuck around for that weeding song on monday afternoon.

my desk is completely cleaned out now. the papers that i'm taking with me and the floppy disks and the back issues of facets and my picture of a guy doing a jump on his dirt bike, all fit into one small box. now it feels like i'm really leaving.

last heard: the decemberists 'i was meant for the stage'
last read: Many feel she has betrayed the millions who voted for her.
bonus: photos of the new seattle PL; it's rem-tastic.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

isn't it funny how even years after someone is out of your life, you are left with this list of things, usually authors or musicians, that always remind you of them? you just can't shake the association. it is always harder for me when i end up really liking the artist and their work becomes part of my permanent collection. i stumble upon a book on my shelf written by an author that some girl introduced me to, or i hear a record that we played over and over on long car trips. i can't not listen, but it always ends up being bittersweet.

one ex used to have a jazz show on her college radio station; she gave me fats waller. (when i say it like that, it sounds like some kind of dirty code-- yeah, i got fats waller and now it burns when i pee.) for those who have never heard of fats waller, he was this amazing stride piano player from the twenties. he would have turned 100 this week, so there was a tribute to him yesterday on fresh air. you should check him out.

while i'm in the thankful mood, this same girl also gave me stereolab and the arts and crafts movement and aveda. other girls have given me the cocteau twins, david james duncan, thai food, kiehl's, and hal hartley. there's lots more, but those are just off the top of my head. i am thankful for each of these girls and for each of these things, even if they do make me a little bit sad.

last seen: ABCD
last heard: squeeze 'pulling mussels (from the shell)'
last read: jose saramago blindness
reading: michael chabon summerland

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

yesterday, as the second hour of a staff workshop was coming to a close, i examined our itinerary, printed on a little gray sheet of paper, and tried to plan my escape. a friend of mine had a layover in charlotte and we were going to meet for coffee at the airport.

i spotted the perfect opportunity to leave as a cowboy hat-wearing presenter stepped to the front of the room to teach us the words and accompanying pantomimes to a song about weeding. the weeding song was set to the tune of rawhide; hence, the cowboy hat. (honestly, could i make up something that good?) even though there isn't anything sexier than a roomful of socially-inept and poorly-coordinated librarians gyrating and singing, i somehow managed to tear myself away.

lucky for me, our workshop happened to be at the library closest to the airport. i hightailed it down west boulevard and was walking through the sliding glass airport doors less than ten minutes later. the astute reader/well-seasoned traveller will have already said to themselves, why, that james won't be able to meet the young lady in the main terminal for coffee because he isn't a ticketed passenger. well, fancy pants, you're right. a very official-looking security person told me just that. so, instead, christy brought two drinks down to the baggage claim and we sat there for a while.

it was a brief visit, but i was happy to see her before she continued on to the west coast.

last heard: a tribe called quest 'youthful expression'
last read: you’re not gonna have much trouble surpassing my generation. If you end up getting your picture taken next to a naked guy pile of enemy prisoners and don’t give the thumbs up, you’ve outdid us. [link via jenn]

Monday, May 17, 2004

standing here, post-wedding, with the bride and groom and out-of-town guests gone, feels like i'm in a roadhouse parking lot after an afternoon spent drinking; a spray of gravel just hit the wall and the faint cloud of dust is finally beginning to settle.

we groomsmen spent the better part of three days together. i'm lucky, because i do laugh that continuously on a fairly regular basis. what made this weekend special, though, was laughing with a batch of guys i don't see too often. we cleaned up pretty well in case you're wondering. i'm the guy pictured at right who looks like he showed up for a casting call of the littlest groom. highlights included: good music, an open bar, and none of us passing out. the wedding planner, whose name was dot i think, kept warning us, repeatedly, about locking our knees. knee-locking is apparently a huge problem in the wedding industry.

somehow in the middle of all of this rehearsal dinner-ing and driving and wedding and reception-ing, i managed to volunteer for hands on charlotte saturday morning. mark and spoole and i met up with another team to help out at crisis assistance ministry. don't worry, it isn't as churchy as it sounds. this organization offers financial assistance to people who can't make rent or are about to have their utilities cut off. in addition, they run a store where people can shop for clothing for free. as in, it doesn't cost the people in need a dime.

the space is bright and clean and organized. we worked in the warehouse adjoining the shop. some groups sorted donated clothing, some built large wooden carts. our team taped and primed and painted these large bins that employees use to store hangers and clothes.

during a break, a volunteer coordinator gave us a speech about global economy and the working poor. it was a good speech, but he was kind of wasting his breath, preaching to the choir as he was. after all, we were there giving our time before 9am on a saturday morning. i think most of us agreed with the cause. still, it made me feel glad that i was helping. plus, while he spoke, i got to eat free donuts and everyone knows that the free makes them taste better. so, i wasn't complaining.

last seen: troy, the fog of war
last heard: the smiths 'frankly, mr. shankly'
last read: But Norman Morrison writes a brief letter to his wife, takes Emily from her crib and drives one hour to Washington, D.C. He mails the letter, and arrives at the Pentagon by dusk.

Friday, May 14, 2004

dream analysis for dummies

the wedding party began making its way to our fair city yesterday. a few were here by nightfall and the rest arrive today. a handful of us ended up at the usual spot last night. in one of the booths not far from our table, there were two young ladies who were very james-style. i'm pretty sure the collective sigh from our table was audible.

as i've mentioned here previously, i have a really hard time talking to girls. this floored the visiting married guy in our group who launched into coach-mode quickly devising statagem and feeding me clever things i should say. mark sat there, shaking his head as he had been through this with me many times before. in a way, i think he was just relieved that he had the night off and someone else was giving me this talk.

it's true though; fear and shyness always prevent me from making that long lonely approach. the few times that i've ever talked to girls in a public place, it is usually mark who does all of the initial introductions and pitches easy ones across the plate for me, so that i can appear witty in front of strangers. i went home last night thinking about all of this and awoke, just a few minutes ago, from the following very disturbing and easily-interpreted dream.

[warning: the following could be read as uncharacteristically misogynistic given the usually progressive politics of this weblog. also, it involves the killing of a bunny.]

mark and i are outside. for some reason we are both carrying shotguns which is weird because i don't hunt. it is windy in this expansive grassy field, conveniently located just outside of a liquor store. the grass is high but, every few seconds, i spot a bunny in flight, at the apex of its hop. out of some kind of instinct, i raise my gun without thinking and pull. i run over to the bunny which i can see has been stunned but is not dead. it keeps hopping around, always about three paces in front of me. i'm just following behind the bunny and i keep apologizing. finally, mark comes up, lifts the bunny off the ground, puts two thumbs on either side of its tiny head, and breaks the bunny's neck. he places it at my feet and leaves to wash his hands.

last heard: hank penny 'progressive country music for a hollywood flapper'
last read: love isn't...using "Velveeta" as your S&M safe word.
bonus: affordable housing-designing an american asset

Thursday, May 13, 2004

when i started my book club, most of the staff at my library didn't think it would work. they told me that people don't like to read those kinds of books and, besides, in this bedroom community, people do not come to adult programs in the evenings. i decided to try anyway because i'm stubborn or idealistic or both or neither; i can never be sure.

a couple of years have passed since we first started and my group is still meeting on the third wednesday of every month. the biggest turnout i ever had was twelve (for bee season) and the smallest turnout was one (for one hundred years of solitude), but most months i have about five or six and it's perfect.

when i decided to start my club i had to write this statement of purpose for the honchos. it sounded really touchy-feely, really i-just-got-out-of-library-school-and-i'm-super-enthusiastic-about-librarianship, but, at least, it was honest. over the last couple of years, i feel like i really did make connections to other people through literature and foster a stronger sense of community. i know, i'm such a dork.

the regulars who come to my book club are probably what i'll miss most when i start my new job. a few of them have heard about my imminent departure. some are not happy that i'll be leaving and that another librarian will be taking over the book club. i have decided it is nice to feel wanted.

last heard: jeannie c. riley 'harper valley PTA'
last read: Doesn’t anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools or health insurance for all? [link via tom]

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

the post where i use the pronoun I way too much, ramble on for a bit, and then look around and wonder how i ended up standing on a soapbox talking about my relationship to art

i met mark for beers last night. he just finished the night shift and i just finished watching one of the saddest documentaries ever. there was a short wait for a free table, so we stationed ourselves against the wall and jawed about the upcoming wedding and other small-talky kinds of things, mostly things like girls and how nice they are.

finally, a table opened up, so we got as comfortable as our wooden chairs would allow and ordered another round. i just watched one of the saddest documentaries ever, i said, to which mark replied, that's saying a lot coming from you.

i make no secret of the fact that i like my art depressing--depressing movies, depressing books, depressing music. mark and michael both joke about my penchant for this kind of art, like the time i put on some random cd and mark asked is someone going to wet themselves for the final time in this one?

i'm not sure what the attraction is. it doesn't feel depressing to me, it just feels honest. i hate it when you watch a movie or read a book and you already know what's going to happen, not because that's what would happen in real life, but because you start to recognize the formula. that kind of art just leaves me feeling empty, like i'm just killing time.

i suppose it comes down to the motives we bring to our enjoyment of art. if we come to books and music and film for escape or if we come to these things for engagement, to make connections to society and to each other, to foster empathy and dialogue. i think both motives, escape and option two, are valid. i just prefer the latter.

last seen: southern comfort
last heard: pharoah sanders 'creator has a master plan'
last read: Yet the fact remains that governments already have very large aid budgets, which they apportion somehow among competing demands...Implicitly, their decisions already reflect underlying estimates of costs and benefits, but the process is arbitrary and closed to inspection. Even if the Copenhagen Consensus project does no more than force that fact to be acknowledged, it will have been worth the trouble. [more info here]

Monday, May 10, 2004

the califone record player on my french teacher's desk was boxy and brown and industrial. it didn't look like something you could play music on. rather, it looked like something you used to cut wood. the day finally came and it was our turn to sing. my partner and i stood beside mademoiselle's desk, shuffled nervously from foot to foot, and watched as she slowly lifted the needle between her thumb and forefinger. she did this gingerly; yet, in spite of her delicate attempt, the meaty paw betrayed her, forcing the entire class to sit through a long chorus of crackly hisses and pops before the needle finally settled into the first familiar strains of the french national anthem. that was sophomore year, the year that i failed french, unable to catch up and conjugate irregular verbs after a three-week bout of pneumonia. still, i did learn one thing that year. even now, more than a dozen years later, i can sing you the first ten lines of La Marseillaise.

last seen: fireworks, the element of crime, tranceformer
last heard: radiohead 'exit music (for a film)'
last read: It's not listed on the stock market and doesn't have to show its accounts to any but its 550 investors.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

there was this guy sitting across from us. he was at the club for his bachelor party. he was wearing a viking helmet with two large horns protruding from the sides of his head. a woman's thong dangled precariously from one of the horns. i'm not sure who the thong belonged to, because it was already hanging there when he arrived at the club. oh, also? also, he was carrying a medium-sized inflatable sheep. that wasn't my favorite part though. no, my favorite part was his t-shirt. it had two arrows on it. beside an arrow pointing up, it read-- The Man, and, beside an arrow pointing down, it read The Legend.

last heard: tullycraft 'pop songs your new boyfriend's too stupid to know about'
last read: Rather than finding a story that I want to tell and then adding the details, I collect the details and then try to construct a puzzle of story. I have a theme and a kind of mood and the characters but not a plotline that runs straight through.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

when i was small, i went through this phase. i would sprawl out on the living room floor and play my parents' records at the wrong speeds. for some reason, this gave me great joy. there was a little plastic lever on the front of the player with four settings-- 16, 33, 45, and 78. pushing the lever to the left made black sabbath sound drunk; it reminded me of the way people sounded in movies to the character who had just been drugged. while, pushing the lever to the right made black sabbath sound like alvin and the chipmunks. the last few days have felt a lot like that.

there were times when someone pushed my lever to the left which allowed me to watch two movies in a row, read 70 pages of my book, and take a few naps. then there were times when someone pushed my lever to the right, so that i could go look at an apartment, help babyface finish our lit review, get some grocery shopping done, buy a wedding present, mail a mother's day gift, and pick up my ticket for the camera obscura show.

it has been a slow/busy last few days. the forecast calls for a 35% chance of continued slow/busy. tonight is michael's bachelor party. there will be billiards and dancing girls. i hope to return tomorrow with a PG-13 version of the night's events.

last seen: papillon, the bicycle thief
last heard: elvis costello 'still'
last read: America and Its Moral Superiority Complex

Thursday, May 06, 2004

i don't see the jen(n)s as much as i used to, but, last night, we had a chance to meet for dinner. jen has a new man-friend these days and jenn has a job that, while not brand-new, doesn't have all of the shiny rubbed off of it yet. in addition to the job, she's also getting ready to move into her own place, so there was a lot to catch up on.

we met for thai food on east boulevard. the jen(n)s arrived bearing gifts. when i am not expecting such things and don't have items with which to reciprocate, i always end up feeling embarrassed. i'm japanese that way. shortly after being showered with multimedia objets d'art, the waitress arrived. jasmine tea and vegetarian pad thai, right? i got to feel like a rock star for about two seconds, since she knew what i wanted before i said anything. the jen(n)s were awestruck, but really it only proves how terrible i am when it comes to cooking at home.

pleasant dinner and conversation were had by all and we parted ways before the sun had set. with a few hours to fritter away before i was supposed to hang out with mark, i decided to go CD hunting. i did not find the music i went looking for, but that didn't stop me from leaving with a few replacement copies of things that i'd lost or lent or only had dubbed cassette copies of.

last heard: velvet underground 'oh! sweet nuthin'
last read: There's clearly some kind of thirty-something, listener-supported vibe between us.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

after waking up this morning to the third plumbing problem in as many months, i think i am finally ready to start looking for a new place to live. yes, i know i've threatened this before. longtime readers probably recall the many trials that i've endured in this old building for the sake of living in a beautiful neighborhood. i put up with quite a lot for baking-cookies-scented air and streets lined with enormous trees whose canopy makes you feel like you're in a great green cathedral during the middle of spring.

to recap: there was the time that i came home from doing laundry to find my tub out in the backyard and the floor of my bathroom ripped out; the landlord had forgotten to mention that they would be starting some repairwork that day. there have been occasionally-irritating things, like old wiring that causes the lights to flicker and outlets that work only sometimes, and there have been persistently-irritating things like a lack of counter space in the kitchen and a couple of windows that are bolted shut and a wall-mounted gas heating system that projects heat in a semi-circle exactly three feet from the wall leaving the far corners of the room frigid.

there's always been an excuse not to move. the biggest excuse was laziness. recently though, the excuse has been my waiting to hear about some jobs that i interviewed for. you see, i didn't want to get tied to another year's lease, if i might have to move out-of-town soon. now that i have a new job though, i will probably be in charlotte for at least the next few years. i think i'm ready to make the leap. thankfully, i won't have to leap too far because mark just moved to a place about three blocks from my own, and i think there are other vacancies. anyone want to help move furniture in late june or early july?

last heard: the decemberists 'the tain'
last read: We were reaping what we had sowed.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

simple math: or, what might likely be my over-simplification of a more complex problem (but i'm right, so i don't think so)

a colleague and i are working on a project for some of the higher-ups, so i've been reading more than my recommended daily allowance of articles about library funding. trust me, it is as scintillating as it sounds, especially since the national landscape is so dismal in terms of state, county, and city budgets. we are looking for examples of how other libraries are doing their belt-tightening. this colleague and i are low on the food chain. neither of us has to make any crucial decisions about what/who gets kept or what/who gets cut, so there is a small amount of relief in that; however, the proposals that the honchos make will be based, at least in some very small part, on the lit review that we are cobbling together.

i can already see how interested you are in my ranting on about library funding models, so i'll continue. a lot of systems are set up like the one that i work in, they get a good portion of their budgets from property taxes. there are other community services that get funding from the county, too. people like the parks department and the school system and the police, sheriff, and fire people and street maintenance crews. many, many folks, all who need tax money to provide their service.

these same taxes that people don't want to pay more of. these same taxes that people, even some really close friends of mine (no offense), are moving out of the county to avoid. at the same time, the citizenry do not want to see their services cut. so my question remains-- which is it, fewer taxes or more services?, because you can't have everything.

now, you might be thinking shut up, james. you rent an apartment, so you don't even pay property taxes., but guess what, genius, my landlord does and why do you think my rent keeps going up. so, you shut up.

here's the thing. i'm a liberal (surprise) which means i don't mind paying taxes. do you know why i don't mind paying them? because i understand simple math. i know that if we have to pay for a service, like schools or libraries or cops, it costs money. i also know that the price of things goes up. i also know that the more people move into the area, the more it is going to cost to provide a service to a greater number of people. i also know that if people move out of the county and there is less tax money, we have to cut things. (and, i also know that the folks who are moving to the exurbs are just one small step ahead, because the taxes in their new county will increase because of a population boom.)

it amazes me that i live in a county (country?) that pays so much lip-service to quality of life issues, but when it comes time to write the check, they refuse.

...or it could just be that i have a huge bug up my arse today because i've been reading way too many library budget articles.

last seen: casa de los babys
last heard: coleman hawkins and ben webster 'la rosita'
last read: They have never lived in fear of an Indian insurrection.

Monday, May 03, 2004

juicy fruit invited a handful of us over for dinner on friday evening. she wanted to have a gathering to help celebrate my new job. we are a cozy group, relaxed and comfortable in each other's company, so most of the after-dinner time we simply lazed in front of the television, flipping channels and randomly cracking-wise about what or whomever appeared on the screen. we could spend hours doing that. also, the term neckfurters* was uttered at some point in the evening, so it was a good night.

the next day, after sleeping in until 11am to recover from several nightcaps, i went to (brace yourself) a shopping mall. i don't buy things very often but i needed new work clothes and, remarkably, there happened to be sufficient funds in my account with which to purchase said items. whenever i do have to buy things, i am a big fan of the sale racks at j crew. i scored two pairs of trousers. pants are a tricky species when you happen to be the height and width of me. the two pair i purchased will still require a trip to the tailor, but they were close enough.

after my capitalist orgy, i went to a matinee screening of dogville. the general public will hate this movie which is why it won't see wide release despite the big names. i imagine even some cinephiles will have trouble with what is essentially a three-hour filmed play. as for whether you agree with the message of the film, i think it depends in large part upon how cynical your view of american society is. thankfully, mine is pretty dark, so i didn't mind von trier's latest feel-good hit. i'll be interested to hear what others have to say about it.

*neckfurters=when a bald guy is so fat that the back of his head looks like a package of hot dogs.

last seen: dogville, zatoichi, indiana jones and the last crusade
last heard: xtc 'harvest festival'
last read: john updike rabbit, run
reading: jose saramago blindness
bonus: Let us desire, conceive, and create the new building of the future together. It will combine architecture, sculpture, and painting in a single form, and will one day rise towards the heavens from the hands of a million workers as the crystalline symbol of a new and coming faith.