Thursday, October 31, 2002

just a matter of time

I wondered when an article such as this on Wellstone show up. Ted Rall does a good job in explaining how the current climate around the president's administration is directly responsible for the growing mistrust we have of them. He uses the = suspicions concerning a possible assassination of Wellstone as a telling example.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Crazy Kooky Caller #4645878655878466846

'I have this long-named mental disorder. I've met a guy and I am going to get married. I will probably have to get sterilized before I get married. My question to you is have mental patients ever been sterilized while hospitalized?'

I heard there's a new sheriff in town, who wants to kill him?

Remember that scene in Blazing Saddles when the character played by Slim Pickens asked that question of the farting cowboys gathered around the cooking fire and all of them jumped up, raised their hands and exhuberantly volunteered to wipeout the new sheriff? So far the sniper has been indicted for murder in three Virginia couties, by the federal guvment, Montgomery county,MD and Montgomery, AL. We caught us a sniper, who wants to kill him?

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

The Christian right and the end of the world

I was off yesterday and a couple of hours before I walked to the post office in the rain I listened to the NPR program Fresh Air. The first guest was nutjob Jesus freak, Tim Lahaye. He scared the piss out of me. He's one of those guys that takes the bible literally (a translated document taken literally!!) and believes that if you aren't born again, not just a Christian but born again, then you are going to hell. Of course railing against fundamentalist Christians is pretty pointless, you can't change the minds of the doggedly ignorant.

After his smug proclamations the host, Terry Gross, then interviewed journalist, Gershom Gorenberg, whose analysis of Lahaye and the Christian right about put me in an apoplectic state. I have been aware than the Christian right is a supporter of Israel, or at least a Jewish state. According to Gorenberg, the only reason they support a Jewish state is that a Jewish state, in the book Revelations, is the first sign of Armageddon. So, the only reason they support Israel is so that they can bring about the end of the world. Also he pointed out that Lahaye portrays his personal interpretation of the bible as a fact-based research. The bible is full of allegorical language how can it possible be researched in the way Lahaye portrays his work? It's dishonest at best, fucking evil if you dwell on it for more than a minute. I liked how Gorenberg spoke on the topic. He seemd very knowledgeable. He has a book out called 'The end days' which is about the ultra-right Christian wackos. I have a copy on hold and hope to get my hands on it soon.

Check out the opening of Lahaye's website. It is a graphical showing of god calling saved souls to heaven during the rapture. What a bunch of shit.

Top Ten

In the long colorful history of human warfare many imaginative names have been attached to famous battlefields. Memorable names like hamburger hill, bloody lane, and bloody ridge stand the test of time. Here are a few history forgot:

10. Fort Dysentary
9. Big Oil Canyon
8. Bone Splinters Boulevard
7. Decomposition Ditch
6. Gore Gully
5. Chum Channel
4. Bored 'n' Buggerin' Bluff
3. What's-for-dinner Point
3. Grimy Gulch.
2. Incineration Incline
1. Camp Cannibalism

Monday, October 28, 2002

Walking in the rain

I needed to go to the post office today. The post office is located at Park Road Shopping Center which is just far enough away that I usually get passed by the bus on the way there. Today, since it was drizzling lightly and the next bus was not going to be by for 45 minutes I decided to hoof it the poist office. Besides, I have been a slug recently and I figured a short walk would be good for me.

I had my umbrella opened and I was keeping pretty dry and it felt good to stretch my legs. About halfway to my destination the sky just opened up and I was in danger of being overwhelmed. I ducked under the shelter of an abandoned gas station for about ten minutes and waited out the deluge.

After the downpour ended I resumed my trek. I got to the post office. Dropped the cable bill in the slot and got in line to buy postage for my most recent application. This one was for Aurora, CO. Someday I would hope to at least get a telephone interview from one of the libraries. I was waited on by the strange postal worker with the mole. Her special talent is pathetic attempts at jocularity. It's hard for me to humor the unfunny. I smile a lot when she jokes and complete my business as quickly as possible.

After the post office I sauntered on down to the happiest place on earth, Blackhawk Hardware. Blackhawk is a classic big neighborhood hardware store. You can by everything from paint, tools, candles, lumber to bird feeders. I was actually pricing bird feeders. My current feeder is one of those cheap $9.99 Wal-Mart models and it tends to clog up very easily. I need a nice bird feeder. The birds are staying away. I gots to have the birds. The cats gots to have the birds. My cats' lives have gotten less interesting ever since I got that cheap piece of shit feeder from Wal-Mart. Blackhawk has a great selection of feeders. It looks like I am going to have to spend about $20 to get a nice one. Did you know you can spend over $50 for a bird feeder? Who in the hell buys those?

That was the exciting experience of my day off, walking in the rain to shop for bird feeders.

The world series

Last night Chris, Wendell and I watched game seven of the series. I hadn't been watching many games of the baseball playoffs. I have become more of a NASCAR fan that a baseball fan. I will sit and watch a game seven though. There is something special about a game seven. Every pitch, every play and every decision literally has implications on the outcome of your season. An key hit or defensive play can cement a player's place in baseball lore for decades. Conversely, a bad pitching performance or a fielding error can place you among the ranks of one of the all-time goats. The only place the spotlight may be brighter is the superbowl.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Crazy kooky caller #4455834353187665

A lady who called yesterday that wanted to know the real name of Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, called again today and at some point during the call she actually said to me, "I was married to a Jew for 13 years." She also made sure I knew that she felt there were good jews and bad jews just like all other people. I can't thank her enough for sharing with me the wisdom she has gathered over her lifetime.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

We don't need no education, a personal reminiscence.

OK, we all remember that song "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd which was the band's only big single in their long career. It hit #1 on the singles chart in the week of March 22, 1980 and stayed there for four weeks. I remember it being a big hit among kids since kids pretty much hate school even those that enjoy it. We had no idea it was about the repressive English school system of the 40's and 50's. My experiences up to that point with the Catholic school I was in were mostly pretty positive. There were no big bullies and any scraps I had gotten into were my fault. When I did enter the public school system in my seventh grade year I was ahead academically and so far behind socially I couldn't see everyone else on the other side of the horizon. What's the point? The point is that Holy Rosary was a pretty secure, backwards and happy place.

My teacher at this time was Albin Tarsa. You can read his obituary here. He was a fine, caring and occasionally intimidating teacher. One of my most treasured memories of his classroom was the time he read the entire text of Don Quixote to us, a chapter at a time every day. I remember one day the discussion in class turned to the song by Pink Floyd that was climbing up the charts like a bullet and thrilling school children everywhere. Heck, it was even being sung on the bus. Not the whole thing, mostly that memorable chorus. I remember Mr. Tarsa did not like the song one bit. One day during the spring of 1980 the classroom discussion turned to "Another Brick in the Wall." Mr. Tarsa informed us authoritatively that the song was wrong. It angered him that we had been exposed to it. He knew we had all heard the tune and that we most likely liked it. I don't want to put words in the his mouth but the gist of his thoughts was that an education is priceless and almost reverential and he couldn't understand why these pop musicians would think otherwise. Why should they spread such views and corrupt children? I know he did not tell us not to listen to the song but I left that day knowing that Mr. Tarsa would prefer we didn't. There was no discussion about the song. We were lectured to and then the topic was dropped. I find his tactics interesting. No orders but also no opportunities to express dissent.

I find it interesting when I think back on how this 48 year old man and a 12 year old boy, me, completely missed the true meaning of this song. To me it gave an outlet to express simple frustration at being in school. It both emboldened and confused me. I didn't hate school but there were various times throughout a single day I didn't want to be there. All Mr. Tarsa heard was the chorus also. Looking back I am a little disappointed that he did not investigate the song a bit further. A cursory examination of the artist's intent would have revealed to him what the song really meant. Of course, I am sure it was a bit more difficult to research the intentions of pop musicians in 1980 than it is now. Perhaps he was unable to allow that a rock musician was able to use lyrics in a manner which allowed them to have meanings beyond the surface of the words. I just like that idea of the teacher and the student sitting in a classroom in northern Michigan, joined in ignorance as they were both equally confused by Pink Floyd and their only #1 song.

Friday, October 25, 2002


Umm, ever been in a situation where you have absolutely no idea what is going on and you are all alone? Help! I'm in the Carolina Room!! The Carolina Room is the 'brary's genealogical and local history library. One of the ladies that works here passed out a short while ago and here I am, waiting for one of the regular staff members to come bail me out. Please, god, don't bring in a busload of old people from Georgia in here to trace their Carolina heritage.

Mr. Cannon, the library director, just walked by and laughed at me. He knows I have no idea what's going on in here. At least the queer homeless guy with a chip on his shoulder that was listening to gospel music at the listening station has left. He was circling the desk while railing against the cops and one of his former restaurant supervisors. According to him, he grew up tough. What does that mean anyway? He assured me that "he tells it like it is" which is refreshing in this euphemism-filled world.

OK, I'm back in telref where it's safe. It wasn't so bad up there. I think the air is different on the third floor.

Just now said to Shouting Deaf Man by Barbara: Prose poetry can be very powerful, you don't have to rhyme.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Home invasion!

So I'm sitting around my spacious luxury apartment waiting for the world series to start and there is a knock knock upon my front door. I'm not expecting anyone so I don't answer. The only person that might swing by would be Chris and it wasn't the thunderous knock you would expect from the big guy.

I then hear whoever-the-fuck-it-is knocking on the door of the apartment across the hall. I figure it's probably another damn teenager selling magazines. I jump off the couch and peer through the peek hole in the door. I see a couple of young modestly dressed caucasian chicks holding pamphlets. The douche bag across the hall isn't home so they place a small pamphlet in his door. After they leave I open my door and, sure enough, a pamphlet falls on the floor at my feet. The cover reads "If you died today are you sure you will go to heaven?" I crumple it up and throw it in the garbage immediately.

I had noticed that the hallway was cool when I opened the door which meant either that the douche bag across the hall or the crazy lady upstairs had propped the door open again. That drives me crazy so I bound up the steps to shut the door. As I reach out to grab the door I notice four modestly dressed caucasian women standing in the parking lot. Under the sickly yellow of the streetlight they look more like devils than angels of mercy.

Seeing a chance to harass Jesus freaks I pulled the full kitchen garbage bag our, tie it up and head outside only to see a short bus pull away. Mission: failure. The nice neighbor who lives on the second floor is coming in as I am going out. For a moment I think she is one of the kooks. I don't recognize her until she speaks, "Did they get you?" I 'splained to her I didn't open my door. She said she had sat in her car until they left. She's smarter than Rodney King.

I can't stand these fucking assholes who come to your door trying to save your soul. If by chance one of you idiots comes across this page and haven't stopped reading by now in order to pray for my soul, do me a favor, stay home with your friends and read the bible to each other so I don't have to keep putting on my pants and then go check the door.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

A warning to non-creative garbage.

I saw on This Modern World that the guy who draws the
Doonsbury comic strip
is doing a segment on blogging. Tom Tomorrow said that he thinks Troudeau misunderstands the nature of blogging. Yeah, he does. But it also seems to me to be elitism. How dare the masses express their opinions? Maybe he's afraid we'll stop reading Doonsbury if were too busy reading each other's blogs? I stopped reading his strip years ago. Honestly, I don't think it's all that funny anymore.

Ed and James go to Sleater-Kinney

We drove up to Chapel Hill last night to see the rock band Sleater-Kinney who are on the label Kill Rock Stars which is almost as good a label name as Sympathy for the Record Industry.

Like seeing any band for the first time you are curious to see if they can pull off live what they offer you on their releases. The ladies delivered. It was great to see a three-woman power trio sell out a fairly large club and draw the incredibly enthusiastic response that they got last night. This was not self-conscious are or a statement. It was a rock and roll show, pure and simple. Unlike the two opening bands who felt the need to proselytized on the subjects of gender rights and queer power between songs,Sleater-Kinney let the songs do their talking. You could have walked into Cat's Cradle last night with no previous knowledge of the band and just enjoyed a fine rock and roll show. Unlike other bands with prominant female members, SK doesn't stoop to exploiting their feminimity while onstage. It was all about the music.

The crowd was really with band the whole night. I haven't heard girls scream like that since I saw Ani Difranco at the Tremont Music Hall here in Charlotte several years ago.

Their musicianship was impeccable. They play some rather intricate duel guitar parts that they pulled off flawlessy. The drummer, Janet Weiss who shook James' hand, was not afraid to hit those skins hard. She can bash with the best of them.

Also, the club was full of the cutest punk girls from all over North Carolina. Pick my favorite? I can't, although the tall girl with the bleached blonde hair, giant Paul Stanley boots, raggedy jean miniskirt and ashen complexion with way too much eye shadow is a contender.

Before the show James and I went to a record store called Schoolkid Records. I picked up the new
Waco Brothers' album. It's playing right now for the third time in a row, so, yeah, it's good.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Ed goes electric

Like Bob Dylan it was time for me to move beyond the limitations of an acoustic guitar and plug in. Of course the purchasing and subsequent playing of my Fender Squire Stratocaster did not cause the furor that Dylan created when he went electric. It's my own little personal revolution. Mine is the same color as the one in the photo but it is a lefty which means it is a mirror image of it. That also means it's cooler.

I played it all day Saturday and tips of me fingers are still sore. I have a cheap acoustic I have been playing for a couple of years. I was actually getting bored with it because I no longer enjoyed its sound. When I heard it on home recordings I made with friends it always sounded flat and tinny to my ears when compared to the real guitars my friends own. I hope this will encourage me to play more. Now I just need to save up some dough to buy an amplifier. Wendell has allowed me to use his Gorilla brand practice amp which suffices for now but it's just not loud enough.

The nicest thing about the new guitar, next to high volume, is how much easier it is to play. The neck of the guitar fits my hand much better than my acoustic's. Fretting is much smoother for me. Playing the guitar is a much more pleasurable. I wish I was home right now.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Chatting with the department of labor

There's a guy up in Raleigh who is an elevator inspector and he calls us for telephone number of various buildings in town so he can contact the businesses inside those buildings. I guess he wants to tell them that the elevator inspector is on the way and they best clean up them elevators real good. I talked to him a few minutes ago and since he is from the department of labor he told me to "have a safe workday." Which state government department has the duty of wishing you a safe weekend? Would that be the department of transportation?

They be divine

I was just chatting to Barbara and I was trying to come up with a word that would describe the majority of the callers to telephone reference. I think the word that best describes those that call telref is: Christ-like.

What to do when you die

Hey, do you treasure your loved ones? Do you consider your dead spouse to be a gem? A diamond in the ruff? Then looky here!. Barbara just said if you once had your spouse wrapped around your finger now you can recreate that relationship after their demise by wearing them on your finger.

You know, I really am surprised no one has yet made diamonds out of a celebrity and auctioned them off. I bet when founding member of KISS dies they will do
just that. I am sure they will do their best to make money until the bitter end. They have marketed every other aspect of themselves this is a natural progression. You can buy a KISS coffin, why not purchase some fucking KISS carbon?

A step in the right direction

We all know that before he was caputured, tortured and then crucified (which is dying by torture), Jesus had a last supper with his apostles. Since the Catholic church has recreated this vinous sharing continuously for two millenia it touches something deep within us. Before the Romans come and get me I want to celebrate a last orgy. There's something worthy of transubstantiation.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

What I found in the book sale.

The other day I found a paperback version of the book 'How I won the war' by Patrick Ryan. It is the book that the movie starring John Lennon and directed by Richard Lester was based on. The cover of the paperback features a smugly smiling John Lennon with cartoon-like ballooned text next to his head that makes him appear to be speaking the title. I thought I had found a treasure, a true collectible. They don't appear very often. Alas, it is not. It is what those in the bidness call a 'reading copy.' Shit. Chris collects Beatles stuff, I wonder if he would want it?

It is so beautiful in Charlotte today. Days like today and similar days we experience in the spring are extremely pleasant. The temperature is floating around 70 and when you look at the sky you really understand what people mean when they talk about 'Carolina blue." For a live view go here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

What did that guy say?

This morning there was a slight drizzle coating me and everything else. It has been raining for a couple of days in a row. It has been such a long time since we have had long stretch of rain that I have not yet gotten the rainy day blues. I am enjoying this cold wet stretch. It has been a long nasty summer and I prefer to enjoy the grey chill that has settled over the city. As I was walking from the bus stop to work this morning I had my headphones on and I was enjoying Lenny Federal's CD called 'All the Good People.' Crossing the Trade and Tryon intersection, which long-time residents call the Square, I nodded to a young man in a floppy hat. The usual cordial silent greeting. A little nod that says 'how ya doing, pal." He said something. I have no idea what he said but I think it ended in 'headphones.' Was he messing with me or was he saying 'howdy?' His expression was neutral and his words word indecipherable. Maybe he was giving a stock tip or offering me his sister as a sex slave. I may have missed out on a great opportunity or a he may have been offering to whup my ass. I guess the best thing for me to do is the next time I see him is to punch him in his face since the stock market is volatile, he shouldn't offer his sister to strangers and if he was going to whup me I need be aggressive and get the first shot in.

That D.C. sniper shit.

This article makes a good case for the sniper attacks being a new terror attack. Initially I thought it was some resident wacko but I starting to think it is more than that.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Things is gettin' scary, bubba.

Another sign this war on terrorism and the campaign to fight a war in Iraq is just a cover for shredding our freedoms.

More info here.
Blogging, like all the great sciences, has its own vocabulary!

First up: Fisking.

Not all right-wing wackos are guys. I love this woman's peace and god and guns and love and Islam hate stance. She comes from that school of the right that thinks you are a pussy if you are against war. Her blog is good for a chuckle but don't read too much or you'll want to hit her.

I was pleasantly surprised to read this nice letter in today's 'letters to the editor' section of the Charlotte Observer:

Committee was right to criticize Bush

How wonderful to see Jimmy Carter's service to humanity acknowledged.

Even if he did ache for the Nobel, he deserved it. How wonderful also to see the committee's integrity in its admonishment of Mr. Bush's aggressive policy toward Iraq.

For what prize, I wonder, does Mr. Bush ache?

Judy Dancing

Monday, October 14, 2002

Let's get the word out

A couple of years ago I started a website devoted to a regular caller to telephone reference. We call her Evil Antique Lady. I thought I would mention the website because traffic had died down recently. It's all about the traffic, baby. I must state that every question on this website is real. It would be impossibleto make up these questions. You would have to stab yourself in the forehead with a steel spike in order to come up with questions like these. I thought I would mention the page just in case you haven't been there. It's worth a look. You will be amazed.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Evil Antique Lady. Ok, maybe it's a tolerate/hate thing. I guess I should explain what she is. You really can't acquire a full appreciation for what she is by looking at her dumb questions. The questions could have been asked by any run of the mill idiot over a period of time. This person get her hands on worthless pieces of junk. She must go to yard sales, flea markets and she may dumpster dive. She acquires a particular worthless piece of junk and, through her calls to us, tries to convince herself that what she possesses is collectible. I guess that's not entirely true, she is already convinced that what she has is valuable, she just wants us to confirm that fact. Also, the item in question cannot merely be collectible or even valuable it has to be a lost treasure that is priceless. Se absolutely refuses to think at all. She asked once which of two baseball players were older. I tried an experiment with that question by giving her the birthdate and birth year of each player. She then axed for clarification rather than digesting the data. She is the devil.

I would be willing to bet that there are vendors at flea markets in this surrounding area that save stuff just for her. I bet when she comes waddling through a flea market there are vendors whose stomachs fill with butterflies as they see another chance to fulfill their only reason for existing, making a few bucks and fleecing a mark.

This last weekend was Lennyfest for me, Wendell and Chris. Lenny Federal was playing at the Comet Grill on Friday and Saturday. Friday he did the acoustic thing with John Wicker and another guitarist, Bobby, whose last name I will insert later. Since I have been sick I hadn't touched liquor in about ten days. I accidently got toasted Friday night and pretty much wasted Saturday morning and afternoon laying on the couch, holding my head. I guess my tolerance was low and I had a little too much fun. I did get to see a two-part episode of Justice League on the Cartoon Network. Whoever is responisble for that cartoon really nails down the personalities of Batman and Superman. I don't want to dork out on you but I love me a good superhero cartoon. I didn't have much else I was capable of doing, anyway. Might as well watch cartoons.

2nd Floor Bathroom Aromas

Today's delicate homeless ass stench reminded me of an old leather boot that had been pissed on and then stored inside the rotting carcass of a deer for a month.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

I be a Linux user

Last week Wendell decided to fix the computer. He fixed it so well that it no longer is able to run Windows 98 due to the deletion of an important file. We don't have the Win98 setup discs.

Martin hooked me up with a new version of Linux so I installed it and I actually figured out how to get it to access the internet. I talked to Time/Warner Roadrunner customer service and they told me I had to find out which ethernet card this computer has. I had to open up the box and take a look at the card and then go back to internet set up in Linux. I done did and it done now works. I hadn't planned on having to use my brain on a Sunday afternoon and I hope I never have to again.

Friday, October 11, 2002

Holy Hell!

War is only a last resort but we still have an occupation plan......From the New York Times, "The White House is developing a detailed plan, modeled on the postwar occupation of Japan, to install an American-led military government in Iraq if the United States topples Saddam Hussein, senior administration officials said today."

If our occupation plan is based on Japan then cosider that we still have bases in Japan and WWII ended how many years ago?
Madonna is still a shitty actress

Enjoy reading negative reviews? I sure do... Check out the scathing reviews of Madonna's new piece of garbage.

Headline of the week: NY Daily News.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Telref Haiku

The phone at my elbow signals
the carousel in motion
a bouncy ball rolls into a corner.

Shouting deaf man who fought the japs
ignorant woman collecting junk
Tom curled under his desk.

Old woman searching for doctor
dropout needs pro bono
a cordless phone hits the floor.

A little science fiction

I just finished a collection of short stories by a writer I was not familiar with, Willam Tenn. He is a science fiction writer of great talent. Of course, I hadn't really heard of him until I read a review of the book I just finished. I don't feel too bad about not knowing who he was since he seems to have stopped writing fiction in the early seventies and concentrated on teaching. I did recognize one story which I probably read in some anthology over the years. I was impressed by the darkness and humor that was present in his stories. He's the writer Harlan Ellison thinks he is. He reminds me of two other SF writers, Cordwainer Smith and Roger Zelazny. All three have the ability to create a world or situation that can stun you with its uniqueness yet seems entirely probable and is filled with characters wothy of empathy.

I will say one thing about science fiction (which is a shitty term for the genre but we aren't going to go there), within the genre the short story is alive and doing very well. I have read, or attempted to read, short stories in magazines like the New Yorker and Playboy but they are never as interesting as the stuff that appears in Analog or Asimov's Science Fiction. Science Fiction is not escapism. Sci-Fi is escapism. Good SF, or as I like to call it, speculative fiction, is able to better examine the human condition by taking us outside our everyday lives. If we view us from the outside we are then better to see our foibles and our strengths. I have read historical fiction and time travel fiction. To me, time travel fiction better reveals a past time since the modern character's interactions with the past so effectively shows similarities and differences through action and dialogue. It does not get bogged down in explanation.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

More Mekons

Like millions of others, I shamefully deserted when they started charging a subscriptoin fee like all decent magazines do. Since I expect everything on the internet to be free I have contributed to the downfall of a pretty darn good magazine. They have an article about the Mekons, whom I love. Maybe I should subscribe...

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Allow me to rifle through your memories

I think I mentioned that I take care of the book sale here at the brary. Occasionally a middle aged adult will bring in a stack of cardboard boxes full of all the books his 80 year old progenitor has collected over his or her long pointless life. Today I dug through the life of one Margaret C. She is a Methodist. Likes Emily Dickinson. Studied the Synoptic Gospels. She either considered or did actually travel to Japan to do missionary work. She went to Central High in Charlotte. Went to college at UNC-Chapel Hill. Travelled to D.C. in the sixties and saved her brochures from the museums. Went to the 50th anniversery of D-Day in Normandy. In her later years she read a lot of popular fiction from the likes of Jan Karon and Danielle Steele. It's both fascinating and depressing. You spend you whole life amassing these items and they end up on a shelf in the library being pawed by one-eyed homeless people looking for something to barf into. I hope when I die I have at least one book in my possession a library will add to their collection. Maybe when my progeny hauls my book collection to the library or Salvation Army someone will go gaga when they see my nearly complete Robert Heinlein collection.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Big big sale.

I found out this morning that our book sale on Saturday brought in almost $950. Not bad at all.

Great telref moment #84541

Patron wants a telephone number for a radio station and tells Barbara that they are pretty sure the call sign starts with a "w." Hey, thanks, that narrows it down to the eastern half of the United States. We'll get right on that, bubba.

The Mekons rock and roll

I can't believe it. The world is not completely mad. The Mekons are profiled in yahoo news! Now we can evolve and move on.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Wordplay Saturday

There's this event called Novello, a reading festival sponsored by the library here in Charlotte. It's a good event though they don't bring in too many authors I read. They brought Kurt Vonnegut to town a few years ago and if they never bring in another author I love they have done fine by me with that event. The Novello website will show you what's going on this year.

Yesterday was Wordplay Saturday. Basically they close off a couple of streets downtown and have many booths set up that feature activities for kids, have children's authors in to meet folks and autograph and, for the first time, had a booksale. I volunteered to work the book sale. It was on the street outside the library. I helped set up the night before so I went in at noon yesterday to help out and assist in tearing it down when it ended at 4. I was in the way for the first hour but two people left at 1 and I had more to do. It's fun watching people at one of the library book sale's. Hardbacks go for 50 cents and paperbacks are 25 cents. Like all good sales there is a slight sense of desperation to the shopping. There are quality books out there and the prices are so good people just do not want to be passive and miss out on a great deal. They trashed it. We expected that and didn't really venture into the feeding frenzy to straighten up very often. It was very similar to being in the middle of an NFL pash rush.

We had a lot of stuff to move so about 2:30 we started selling brown grocery bags for one American dollar. The deal was, buy a bag, fill it full of books and get out of the way. It was great fun. When you told people they could fill a bag for a buck their eyes would get as big as saucers. The most common response was, "really?" What I had thought was a feeding frenzy before was merely wildebeasts grazing compared to the action with the bags. Ever seen children pick of money dropped on a baseball field from a helicopter? Same thing. They cleared out the children's section in about 30 minutes. I have to hand it to my bosslady, Susan, she could sell empty bags to a grocery store. She was handing out bags like they like they were burning her hands. Word spread around the festival like wildfire and people were coming up to us asking for bags. We made a lot of dough and really cut down on the amount of books we had to take back inside the library after the festival ended. Since the large pile of books was ulitmately my responsibility, being in charge of the main library's book sale, I blessed every book that left the area in a brown paper bag.

The Friday Before

After setting up on Friday I weasled a ride home from a former co-worker and classmate. As she and I were walking back to her car parked in a parking deck called Seventh Street Station we had to manouver our way through club goers and the street people that feed off them. I tried to explain to the little skinny loud guy with the polaroid camera that we weren't revelers but he moved on to other potential victims too quickly for a full sentance from me once he intuited our disinterest in his services. Kathy and I marveled at the revelling club goers and were humbled by our complete foriegnness to what was swirling around us. I felt like we were invisible to the beautiful people and their large breasts packed into stretchy material and their beaus wearing expensive t-shirts. Where do you buy t-shirts of such apparent quality? We were also shocked into realizing that we used to participate as enthusiastically in this heavily perfumed booty chase. I'll take a small smoky bar with a guitar band any day over that shit. Club drugs are for losers. Remember, only clubheads use club drugs.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Sarnac in telref

The answer is "701."

The question is what is the area code for the entire state of North Dakota?
Today, even though I still have the sniffles and have been coughing up baby Oompa Loompas, I will go to work. I know, my bravery is inspiring but there are some things a man has to do at certain points in his life. Besides, I am bored out of my skull.

The oncoming American Empire

Gore Vidal has referred to his time in the military during WWII as years spent in "service of empire." According to this guy soon our quest for empire will become overt.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

The Onion nails it

Check out this Onion story. How is it that the Onion can sum up such complex issues with a headline and a few paragraphs? So few things can be called genius and they consistently strive for that label.

Did you know that the FX network shows MASH in the mornings? I guess being sick isn't all bad. Just as long as I don't have to sit through any episodes through the last two or three years of series. MASH did jump the shark but they did it slow motion. I think the show started sucking ass when they stopped filming outside. Or when the characters all became to friendly and all conflict left the show. You gotta have conflict.

My head hurts.

According to the TV "plastic holds the promise for a better world." Plastic can reduce traffic make the air cleaner? Did you know L.A. Confidential was nominated for nine academy awards?

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Being sick sucks balls

Oh sure, it's "only a cold" but it's a tough ole cold. One of them borderline debilitating colds. Last night my head felt like it was going to explode when I laid down to sleep. I had to move to the couch and sleep half sitting up. It worked, kind of. I think I passed our from exhaustion instead of drifting off into a deep sleep. I think I woke up once an hour to cough and sniffle, I didn't go to work today and didn't half enough energy to ridicule Wendell as he went off to work. I consider that a wasted opportunity. I may go to work tomorrow. It will all depend on whether or not I can sleep tonight. Fucking cold.