Sunday, June 30, 2002


We bought fireworks today in South Carolina. We are going to celebrate our country's disappearing freedom by shooting off illegal fireworks during drought conditions.

Chris and Wendell have been lighting single firecrackers inside plastic Mountain Dew bottles. Sometimes it hard to get some people to go outside for anything.

Global Combat. We never really knew ya.
I done got back from Chicago at 6 pm on Saturday. Long car trips squashed in to a much too small period of time are categorized in that strange region next to, boot camp, reggae road trips, drunken trips to Myrtle Beach and well-intentioned trips to Mexico and other areas of South Carolina: humorously recountable but, when rationally viewed, hard to justify.

But, when such advenutres are analyzed from the spiritual portion of your brain, they are unquestionable.

In the previous entry I mentioned I was on my way to Wrigley Field. I went. Recounting that will take some thought.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Hey, I'm in Chicago. Actually, I'm in Downers Grove where a friend grew up. Small fucking world, eh?

We are leaving for the northside of Chicago soon to eat an unhealthy breakfast and go to a Cubs' game.

On the way up here I noticed the smog that sits over Charlotte seems to extend through Kentucky and into southern Indiana. The air actually cleared up as we approached Chicago. Figure that out.

North of Indianappolis we left the interstate. As we got within 120 miles of Chicago the interstate was just full of trucks filling up both lanes. We had had enough of dealing with those bastards so hit a state highway that paralelled the interstate. It's amazing you can actually see things once you get off the interstate. We enjoyed the drive so much that is the way we are going to go back tomorrow. Fuck the interstates.

It was in the upper 80's yesterday. I can't express how disappointed I was that it was just as hot in Chicagoland as it was in Charlotte. The air was cleaner and that counts for something, I reckon.

Monday, June 24, 2002

Helped a couple of friends move last night. Wendell and I got there in time for the unloading which is so much easier than the loading. Like most moving days the evening degenerated into a beer fest with Lenny exhuding much pleasure that all the "big stuff" was now moved.

Lenny and Jill have a cool backyard in their home and I can't wait for the horsehoe pitching to start. The backyard is completely shaded and even on the warmest days the pitching should take place.

I am heading out tomorrow on a road trip to Chicago. I just got done ordering tickets to the Thursday afternoon Cubs game. I am very excited about going to Wrigley Field. I haven't been to a major league baseball since the spring of 1990 in San Diego. After Wrigley I will have to set my sites on Fenway.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

John Stewart just said it's easier to get kicked out of Guns 'n' Roses than get kicked out of the priesthood.
Security, Security, look at all the goddamn security.

It's Saturday. I'm working. It's cool, it gives me time to work on my paper that is due Monday. I took a trek at about ten am to drop a letter off at the imitation post office inside Bank of America's giant granite cock. Inside is a nice non-secular mural and all the security guards in the world. Where did all these hillbillies and recovering drug addicts work before September 11th, 2001? This fake war on terrorism has been a boon to those people who spend their life standing in doorways with their hands folded in front of their crotches. Given the women with acne scars a new lease on their self esteem. Given old retired storekeepers a reason to get up in the morning. And, most importantly, it's placed these most useful of Americans inside huge towers where they will be safe instead of having to stand outside convenience stores breathing Charlotte's bad air and getting emphysema. All this security may be a nuisance but it has allowed the fat guy with the Rollie Fingers moustache to buy a new truck.
John Stewart is funnier that Dennis Miller.
Dennis Miller is funnier than Letterman.
John Stewart's Daily Show comes on at 11:00
Letterman comes on at 11:35.
Miller comes on once a week for about half the year at 11:30.

None of them feature women on trampolines or one-eyed pimps.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Product Awareness

At the building down the street from where I work the nice folks at Baskin Robbins have occupied the afternoons of tweny individuals so that the drones of center city can have free ice cream. Them guys at Baskin Robbins sure are generous. They gave me free ice cream and asked for nothing in return.

If I had to spend my afternoon handing out free ice cream to those cubicle inhabiting, stretch pant wearin', flower print sportin' yayhoos that pour out of that building during lunch at the bottom of each serving you would find a free sample of glass shavings.

Creative Capital Punishment

How about you take two guys. Each guy has his hands tied behind his back and his two feets tied together. Then you put a heavy leather strap around their heads which has a big metal spike sticking out of it. You place the spike over the forehead. Then you point the two convicts towards each other and they try to peck each to death. Winner gets to go free. This would be a great preliminary to a Tyson fight. If we got lucky Tyson might even end up as one of these murderous roosters. Don King would make billions and what's good for Don King will drag the rest of us into a fiery pit.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Headline of the year (so far):

"Court Bans Executions of the Retarded."

I can sleep better now knowing that we are no longer killing by proxy those that are unable to tell between right and wrong. Maybe someday we will stop executions all together. I've said this before, we either need to go directly to the Running Man scenario or stop state sponsored murder. Either we make it fun and allow the state to make extra revenues off it or we forget about it. George Carlin can be the state's consultant. He's got lots of good ideas on how to creatively kill people.
Fellowship of the Ring Revisited

Is it just me or does the Eye of Sauron in the movie look like some kind of geeky woman hater's version of the evil vagina? Am I the only person that saw this? Am I projecting? I don't know. I guess it was supposed to look like a pupil, an evil pupil that never sleeps or winks. I saw a flaming vagina. What did you see?
A three hour movie brings home a memory of childhood.

I went to see The Fellowship of the Ring for a second time the day afore yesterday. I had wanted to do this for a while and I finally got a chance at the one-dollar theater. I still couldn't see the car that is supposed to be in the background in one scene. I did see what appeared to be dust kicked up by a car. Maybe that's what they mean.

My favorite scene still is when Gandalf faces down the Balrog at the bridge near the exit of Moria. When that big beasty opens its mouth and roars the special effect is incredible. It's like he has a mouth full of molten lava, like he has an industrial furnace in his mouth. You can see heatwaves. Not just some wussy-ass fire but the heat that only exists in the depths of the earth. It's really understated and very effective. It reminded me of this pit of molten metal that was constantly cooking at this bronze work plant in norhtern Michigan that my father still works at. You could feel the heat from it a couple of meters away. It always fascinated and intimidated me. Lamina

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Religion dominated my Monday.

First, at the bus stop outside my apartment complex, I was reading a story out of the most recent edition of the magazine "Asimov's Science Fiction" which David from work found downstairs among the returned magazines the library receives. My headphones are on. I'm listening to the Pine Valley Cosmonauts and I am completely engrossed in the music and words. It was a good story about some guys who go back in time to the first century A.D. and take over the Roman empire and make the world a better place through technology. The only thing I want to hear or see in the next ten minutes is a bus.

In my peripheral vision I catch movement and it's a young lady climbing out an older Honda or Toyota. She is waving at me in the slightly desperate way that makes me think she needs directions. I tuck the magazine under my arm, slide my headphones to my neck and prepare to give her directions to I-77. The only directions I have ever given in my neighborhood is how to get to 77.

I am always willing to give directions. Doing so makes me look knowledgeable and allows me to do a fairly simple good deed. It puts me in the plus column with god for a couple of days with minimal effort. Instead of allowing me to feel benevolent and wise she says "I know you are aleady reading something but can I offer you this?" She holds out to me a pamphlet bearing the face of the ultra-white Christ. As politely as possible I explain to her that I am familiar with him. She smiles and moves on. Jesus freaks leave in peace much more quickly when you seem pious and in on whatever secret Christians share rather than behaving as annoyed as you really are. It annoyed the piss out me. I was reading and listening to music and in that zone where I am no longer conscious of reading but deep into the story and she chooses this time to testify to me. Me!?

I just told Wendell this story and he said "would you rather she was asking for money?" My answer was "Yes. If she was a homeless drug addict at least she would have a real problem and not some made up shit to bug me with." It takes me a couple of minutes to get back into that zone. Don't bug me unless it's important.

Later at work, while I am completely screwing up my attempt to shift our microfiche magazine collection into some empty drawers to make room for the recent arrivals sitting on the floor next my desk, I hear two guys discussing Revelations and other books of the bible I haven't read. From their conversation I gather that San Francisco is just a few years or days from facing the wrath of god. Which is good, I think, since a good disaster might bring Primus together for one more great album.

Later, after work, I was walking home from Park Road Shopping center. I was suffering a bit because I was wearing my work clothes and I was durn hot. After I finally got into my air-conditioned apartment I sat on my couch, looked up at the ceiling and said, "Jesus Christ." You see, religion really did fill my whole day.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Shitty Food.

When the mighty fall it's always sad. Or, do big city restaurants just change hands and the food quality changes as does the staff?

Chris and I went to Chinatown last night. Of all the crappy Chinese buffets in town, Chinatown was Chris' fave. I guess it had been a year or two since he had been there because when we got there last night about 6:30 the parking lot was nearly empty. We had misgivings but we were there. We went in.

I knew we were in trouble because they were playing lounge music which was so bad as to be indescribableablle. I heard "My Way" for the first time since 1990 when these two morning DJ's in LA, called Mark and Brian, used to play the version by Jim Nabors whenever they had some quest. The version I heard last night was not even as good as the version Mr. Nabors massacred.

Since the place was empty, the food was old. The sesame chicken was, as Chris stated to our camarera, "hard as a rock" which is an OK AC/DC song but not how you want your sesame chicken. I filled up on spring rolls which were fine. We all know that these Chinese buffet places are all crap. The food all comes out of the same bag. But this food was especially bad and Chris got mad. So mad his eyebrows started sweating (just kidding, Chris). He was anger on two legs, as Michael just said. He almost complained but they brought fresh sesame chicken when he asked and all was mediocre once again and we filled up and got the hell out of there.

All this because there was a street festival in front of the Penguin. Damn revelers.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

OK, I just sent this address to a bunch of people I know. I regretted it as soon as I hit send. This had a really good chance of making me look more foolish than is usual.

Hi, how are you? Glad you could make it.

I hope Chris calls before 5 and wants to go to the Penguin and eat dinner like he said he wanted to earlier in the day. A sentiment he retracted after he got his butt conforably in front of the tube and directed his eyeballs toward it. Penguin: good. Staying home watching rich ball players: bad.

The Penguin is a cool restaurant off Central Ave here in Charlotte. They have a very interesting afternoon drinking crowd that mills around in a corner talking loudly to each other while everyone else is eating and drinking. These people are professional drinkers. The real life Norms with their feet placed widely apart so they don't fall over and spill their drink. Not a person under thirty in the bunch. They look like the kind of people that populate all neighborhood bars. The question they ask themselves every Sunday afternoon is not" what am I going to do today" but "where am I going drinking today?"

After only one entry in six months and the accumulated cries for my return. Here I is. I promise to attempt, at least half-heartedly, to not be excruciatingly boring and sound like all other blogs.

Now, onto my cats.

I have two cats. My roommate has one cat. Cats are funny. My cats like to watch the birds eat seed out of the birdfeeder. Sometimes they jump at the window and the birds fly off. The birds always come right back because they are hungy and the food is free. I think they also know the cats can't get to them but they are unable to stop their natural flight instincts from taking over whenever one of the retarded felines from my apartment bangs his skull against the glass once again.