Monday, September 29, 2003

First day of new job

Today I started my new job at the regional library near my home. I think I am going to like it there. The new boss is real nice and she gives us a lot of freedom. I guess she figures that we are professionals and don't need someone to remind us of what needs to be done. Pretty nice concept.

All of my new coworkers are nice also. I am going to miss the people I have been working with for the last several years and it's going to be hard to keep in touch with them. The last job I left I went back a few times but it was always a little awkward.

Already today I lamented that lack of restaurants within walking distance of the new gig. I got spoiled by working downtown. It looks I will have to start bringing my lunch to work more often or start to develop a taste for Harris Teeter samiches.

What did feel good though was when I was walking to lunch and realized I had just spent my first four hours as a real librarian. It's literally taken ten years of school and 13 years of my life to get to where I am right now.

What happens next?

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Last night

Last night was ridiculous. What am I, 21 years old?

I started off the evening going to Tremont Music Hall to see a few bands with Ingrid, a friend from Greenville, SC. She's a cool chick who likes to travel the southwest to see good bands. The band that really caught my ear was called Eastern Youth. They are from Tokyo and are super nice. I even bought their CD. Here's a picture of them in action.

At some point during the night I ran into Dutch. Dutch was celebrating because he got a cool new job. He's going to be working in the position I am vacating. We're both excited about new beginnings, I reckon. Here are a few pictures that show how happy old Dutch was.

Before you accuse me of trying to shame the guy, he told me to put these up. Of course he told me last night but, as you can see, he was rockin' out.

One thing I notice last night was that every guy under 25 looked like he was in the Strokes. That kept me amused.

The headliner Cursive was a disappointment. Ingrid pointed out that the siger was probably the drunkest person in the club. They played a quick set and then Ingrid dropped me off at the Comet Grill because Lenny, John Wicker and Bobby Donaldson were playing. Here's a picture of Lenny and John.

Wendell was there along with a few of Lenny's sisters. Wendell and I closed the place and helped Lenny load his gear into his van. Lenny was nice enough to give us a ride home and we talked a bit and had a few more beers and I showed him a couple songs from the Led Zep DVD.

My head hurts.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Nice photographs

I came across this blog today. She takes wonderful photographs.
Heads up

I was standing at the bus stop this morning quietly chuckling to myself while reading "Stupid White Men" my Michael Moore. I glanced up for a second to see if the bus was coming down the hill and I saw a black Range Rover with both its tires over the white line. It's front end is pointed right at me and all I can think is, "fuck" and "Jesus!" and "better ways to die." The driver corrects and the Range Rover completes the turn and does not splatter me all over the new concrete bus stop.

Naturally I attempted to get a good look at the driver as the SUV goes by and I see it is a borderline anoerexic woman with black hair cut in a severe modern style. She's wearing big bugeye sunglasses and she is...talking on her fucking cell phone. I hope she crashed into a gas truck later and died in a fire. She was driving around a sloping curve at around 45 mph in a 35 mph zone in an unstable SUV while talking on the telephone. Her arrogance is almost as breathtaking as the site of an SUV grill coming right at you.
Yowza, opportunities galore!

Does this bother anyone?

Thanks to Joshuah Marshall for the link.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Something you don't care about

I noticed recently that I had a shortage of bath towels. I used to have several towels but through loss and emergency cat vomit clean up my towels dwindled down to two. How in the fuck did that happen? I was so short of bath towels that I had started using toilet paper to dry off with. I would wrap it around myself while still wet. After the paper was saturatd I would allow my cats to lick it off my body. It tickled mostly and hurt in some places. The best part was when they would hack up the paper like a hair ball. Instead of hair they would hack up papier mache and Wendell would make a pirate hat out of it.

Last night I decided that enough was enough. I wasn't going to live like that anymore. I went to Belks. Wouldn't you know it, they were having a sale. Eight dollar bath towels for $4.99. What a bargain. I bought three.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The Big Guy

I wasn't going to mention Gordon Jump until I saw the quote by Tom. I came across WKRP in Cincinnatti when I was in high school and it was syndicated in the afternoon on a local station. I fell in love with in right away. Two things about the show:

1) One of the funniest sitcom episodes ever has to be the Turkey Drop episode of WKRP. Gordon Jump as the hapless station manager, known to some of his employees as the Big Guy, delivers the punchline after an almost 30 minute buildup. After dropping turkeys from a helicopter that plummet to their deaths he enters the station after escaping the chaos caused and says to his employees "As god is a my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." I dare you not fall off your couch laughing.

2) Several years ago at Officemax my friend Jeff was the dock manager. He used to wear suspenders and he was a short squat guy and I used to refer to him as "the Big Guy" around the cashiers when he wasn't near. One day one of the cashiers referred to him as the Big Guy when he was standing next to her. I think some other employee asked her a question as she said something like, "Heck if I know. Ask the Big Guy." She was embarrassed and Jeff thought it was funny. I love it when shit like that happens.
Keeping up with the Jameses

Not one to be left behind I now have comments also just like James and Beth. Boo yah!.

Ka pow

Nothing has been happening recently. That's why my blog has been a mere depot of links to other peoples' thoughts. I have been trying to cause little events in my life which would lead to interesting blog entries. I have been jumping through doorways hoping to catch my forehead at the top. I have been executing superfluous jumps off of sidewalks and cutting across traffic on my bicycle. I even set my cat on fire but that wasn't interesting, just gruesome.

But last night. Yes, last night. While I was sleeping something happened and today when I viewed the area where the incident took place I could find no clues as to what happened in the dark.

I had been asleep for about half and hour when around 12:30 I heard a big bang. I'm a heavy sleeper so if a noise woke me up it was loud. I thought it may have been a gunshot, maybe a firecracker or a stack of two by fours dropped onto cement surface. The noise came from the back courtyard of our building and it felt like it had been really close. I have a window that faces the yard at the head of my bed. I carefully pulled down one of the slats of the blind. It had been raining all night and the moisture prevented me from seeing any detail of the back courtyard. Shit, I thought, that was really loud. My roommate was still up playing video games. I wondered if he had heard that noise. All this took about twenty minutes.

I went out and asked him if had heard a noise a little while earlier. Yes, he said he had even seen a blue flash. A blue flash? What the fuck does that mean? Was it a gun? A big firecracker? A meteorite? No, not loud enough for a meteorite. Maybe it was a pile of two by fours exploding...

I sat there for a few minutes and watched Wendell play the video game. Dang, that was a big noise, I thought. As the clock approached one I decided to not worry about it and try to go back to sleep. Surprisingly I did.

This morning as I walked through the backyard to the bus stop I looked around for clues to last night's big bang. I saw nothing. There were only a few extra leaves on the ground that had been torn from the surrounding trees by last night's windy autumnal rain storm.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Interview Magazine

I picked up the new edition of interview today. Usually there's at least one or two interviews that interest me. But this goodness! Bill Murray, David Bowie and a huge collection of Nicole Kidman photographs. Even an essay by Camille Paglia. I may have to save this one.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

The Reagan Letters

"There are more hard-line Reaganauts in the second Bush White House than there were in the first; Bush's staff, his rhetoric, his world view, his habits, his virtues and faults, all give rise to descriptions of this as Reagan's third term. And so the principles that emerge from Reagan's letters provide not only a source book for a past presidency but also a guide to a present one."
Etta Baker

Friday evening I went to the Festival in the Park and saw blues musician Etta Baker play guitar. She is 91 years old and played a solo set on a cream colored Fender Stratocaster. What did she sound like? A crisp 78 record from 1931.

Friday, September 19, 2003

A picture

Yesterday evening there was a rainbow. I was at work. I went outside to photograph it. A co-worker from another department came outside to look also. I took this picture of her just because she was there, the streets were wet and it was close to dusk. I figured something good would come of it.

I like this picture.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Hoo ha!

Cool Pic

My best swing

A while back I wrote a entry about the best catch I ever made. I described a diving catch I made for a ball while playing softball in Okinawa. What the hell, I'll brag again today.

Only one thing really got me through the last semester of my senior year in high school: baseball season. By the time that last semester rolled around I had already signed the contract that was going to put me in the Marines and I was ready to get the hell out Northern Michigan. But I loved baseball. I loved everthing about it. The two hours of practice every day after school, taking ground balls at my position of first base, taking batting practice and just being on the field. I loved the caraderie among teammates, the foul language and the secretive use of chewing tobacco. Playing my last season of baseball is what kept me from completely losing what little interest in schoolwork I had at that point. You had to pass all your classes to play on a sporting team and that is what I proceded to do. Pass. I took the hard classes and paid just enough attention to pass the tests. I always figured that getting a C in trigonometry was better than skating through general math.

The week before the actual baseball season started there was a big party at some state park in the area. It was one of those legendary parties where everyone from the school shows up that can only happen at a small high school like the one I attended. At some point in the night someone hooked a chain up to some of those bullet shaped wooden structures that keeps vehicles from driving into the picnic area and pulled several of them out of the ground. This brough in the authorities and names were named and it turned out that every upperclassmen member of the baseball team was there except for me and my friend, Dennis. Dennis wasn't at the party because his car broke down on the way there and I wasn't there because I was spending the weekend in another county at my Father's home. Every other upper classmen was suspended for a quarter of the baseball season. That left our baseball team with Dennis, me and a bunch of freshmen and sophomores.

Our first game of the new season that meant anything took place at our home field. Our field was one of the better fields in the county. That was all due to our coach and his ability to get people to do what he needed. I assume from his comments that it meant getting the maintenance crew off their butts.

That first doubleheader was against a team from a larger school that considered to have a good program. I don't remember if we won or not. All I remember is the Hit. I am a left-handed batter which put me a great advantage at the level of ball we were playing. In the two years I started at the varsity level I faced only one left-handed pitcher. He made me look like an idiot. For some reason I walked into this doubleheader really confident.

The at-bat that sticks in my memory is one where the only time in my life I actually stood in the batter's box after hitting a ball and watched it fly. It was an inside pitch and I jumped all over. I was a dead pull hitter and feasted on inside fast balls. The only time I have ever hit a ball harder was in the batting cage which is easy because the speed is constant. I knew when I hit this ball it was either going to be a homerun or a foul ball. After it travelled a ways I knew it was going to be foul so I stood there. A sophomore teammate named Chris screamed, "Run!" from the dugout but I didn't move. I continued to watch as the ball curved to the right and landed out beyond the fence way out in foul territory.

On the next pitch I did the same thing and Chris was joined by the rest of the team in screaming at me to run. This one was closer to being a fair ball but I could tell for sure it was going to land foul. My standing in the batter's box was causing a near riot in the dugout. They couldn't understand why I wasn't running. After the second foul ball I turned and said to Chris, "It was foul!" He yelled back, "You gotta run it out!"

I guess it looked like I was showboating. I wasn't. Even the opposing catcher and the umpire could tell they were foul balls but I guess we were the only ones that could truly tell.

Hello, I've been reading about Johnny Cash

"Johnny Cash, on what may be his final albums, has staked a claim to being the embodiment of the central spirit and conscience of every true rock and roll song ever written."

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

A letter to the editor

From the New York Times:

"To the Editor:

Re "Ashcroft Mocks Librarians and Others Who Oppose Parts of Counterterrorism Law" (news article, Sept. 16):

As the author of legislation that would restore privacy protections to libraries, booksellers and their patrons — protections that were stripped away by the hastily passed Patriot Act — I find Attorney General John Ashcroft's flippant remarks about the justified concerns of America's librarians disturbing.

Librarians throughout the country are fighting hard to temper the sweeping new powers given to federal agents to gain access to Americans' reading records. Millions of Americans are grateful to librarians and to the American Library Association for defense of their basic constitutional rights.

Instead of making derisive remarks, one would hope that the country's chief law enforcement officer, who is sworn to protect the Constitution, would be working with librarians, booksellers and civil liberties groups, not against them.
Member of Congress, Vermont
Washington, Sept. 16, 2003

Recently I just got a new job at a regional library here in town. I pretty gassed. It's a chance to finally use my degree, do some good for the world and get a little bit of a pay raise.

At my current and soon to be old job we have a large construction in the room that was built from scratch by our maintenance crew. It's a three-leveled rotating bookshelf that we call the carousel. It holds a large number of helpful books and it spins freely and easily. You have to be careful, if you spin it too fast books will start to slide off and you can have a bookalanche on your hands. You don't want that.

Want to see a picture of it?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The Movie I watched last night

Last night Wendell and I sat and watched "Bowling for Columbine." I think everyone should watch this movie. His basic point seems to me is that Americans live in fear of each other.

Throughout the movie last night I was reminded by a routine by George Carlin where he talks about the rhetoric used by Americans when we attempting to fix a situation. He points out that we have a war on cancer, a war on drugs and a war on poverty. We can't simply attempt to eradicate cancer, get drugs off of our streets and end poverty. We have to have a war on these problems.

This then points directly at our bogus war on terrorism. It's not enough to simply end terrorism. It's unthinkable to even consider changing the climate that breeds terrorism. No, we have to wage war on it and crush it. If we don't do that then we haven't won. Victory does not come from creating a safer world. Victory comes from making the world more dangerous while we flail around killing people.

I think the movie's most poignant moment comes with a cut to the current president after a portrayal of poverty in America and the lack of poverty in Canada. What is our president doing? He's standing in front of a bunch of soldiers. He dressed in a flight jacket and he's demanding that congress make the military budget their number one goal. Happy Days. Nothing will make things better than making our military bigger. Yummy, I can taste the peace and prosperity. It's like a cooling apple pie around the corner. Of course the pie is inaccessbile to me. Between me and the pie is an electrified fence and a private security company. But I feel safer.
More RIAA bashing

This is brilliant. (This is via NY Times and requires registration).

Monday, September 15, 2003

Fair and self-censored

Once again Fox News shows it isn't really news after all: "Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti said of Amanpour's comments: "Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda.""
Why John Ashcroft is full of bunk and G.W. is dangerous

Within six months of passing the Patriot Act, the Justice Department was conducting seminars on how to stretch the new wiretapping provisions to extend them beyond terror cases," said Dan Dodson, a spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Sunday, September 14, 2003


I was out walking during lunch yesterday and there was an international festival going on featuring Indian dancers. I snapped this shot of some girls who had just finished and were standing to the right of the stage watching other dancers. I love traditional Indian dress.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

The Waterhead Miracle Babies Science Fair

"2nd Place: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking"
Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker."

One thing he forgot to mention was that due to childbearing needs women have a higher pain tolerance than men so that makes it OK to smack 'em around now and then. I can't believe they forgot to include that.
Another book excerpt

This is also from "Parachute Infantry" by David Webster.

He describes an attack by German 88's.

"Sitting in an inch of water. I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth, held my breath, and clutched my elbows with my arms around my knees.

Three more shells came in, low and angry, and burst in the orchard.

"They're walking toward us," I whispered.

I felt as if a giant with exploding iron fingers were looking for me, tearing up the ground as he came. I wanted to strike at him, to kill him, to stop him before he ripped into me, but I could do nothing. Sit and take it, sit and take it. The giant raked the orchard and tore up the roads and stumbled toward us in a terrrible blind wrath as we sat in our hole with our heads between our legs and curses on our lips.

"I never felt so helpless before," I confided to Wiseman in a dry whisper an hour after the shelling started. "I'd give a foot to get out of here."


Three pounds of TNT. A muzzle velocity higher than a rifle bullet. Hundreds of pieces of jagged, red-hot metal. Black clouds of smoke. Eighty-eights. Death.

Three more came in. The Germans were firing in battery, probably from tanks or SP's. The last shell was so close that it clanged when it exploded. Three more arrived.

The ground quaked, and a rancid black thundercloud curled down into our hole, making us cough and choke. An ugly chunk of hot steel an inch square plunked into Wiseman's lap. He grinned.

"Close," I whispered. "They're traversing the orchard." I felt as if the giant were near enogh to hear me, and I was afraid to raise my voice for fear it would draw him to us.

Thee and then three and then three.

No wonder men went crazy in a shelling. it was the worst experience on earth. You could fight a tank and shoot back at an airplane and meet a man on equal terms, but there was nothing you could do about artillery. The Germans called it the whispering death.


The next three shells came in so fast that their zipping sound was intermingled with the explosions. The giant grabbed our hole and shook it back and forth.

I dissolved and waited to die. Each salvo had come closer; this was the closest of all. One of the shells had hit a tin shed ten feet away. The next three would bracket us."
A-rooma zoom zoom!!

Just because I can: More pictures from Lancaster Speedway!

Lawdy Lawd!

If you need me I'll be hiding under my bed.

Thanks to the great and indestructable Neal Pollack for the link

Friday, September 12, 2003


I took this picture at work Thursday evening. I posted one earlier of the same view but this is at sunset and it's a nice contrast to the other.

Lancaster Speedway

I took this picture at the track last Saturday. I think it shows the track nicely.

Book quote

"Several guns in E company returned fire. Manned by veterans, they carefully sprayed the windows of a long row of two-story apartment houses that faced us. Their toomtoomtoom mixed very pleasantly with the wonderful noise of breaking glass. I smiled. Everybody liked to shoot at windows."

David Webster from the book "Parachute Infantry."
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine

I crawled out of bed hatefully this morning. I crawl out of bed hatefully anytime I get up before nine. With my eyes sticky and half-closed I dragged my butt to the bathroom. In the hall my roommate's clock radio is playing Johnny Cash. After I shower the radio station is still playing Johnny Cash. Uh oh. I go into my room and catch the NPR obituary.

I first started listening to Cash back in my early teens. My grandmother had a few of his cassette tapes featuring his biggest hits, old and new. I borrowed them to record and never gave them back. I still feel bad about that.

I don't know what more I can say about you, Johnny Cash other than Dylan thought you was "the bomb," I try to play your songs on guitar, your first album with Rick Rubin was the album I had been waiting ten years for and it is Rubin's ticket to heaven and when I heard you had died I got the sniffles.

On June's album "Press on" that came out a couple of years ago you and she sang a duet that was about meeting in heaven. I reckon a few hours ago that meeting took place.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Oh, wow, man

I just saw that Tommy Chong got sentenced to nine months in prison and fined $20,000 just for selling bongs over the internet. The drug laws in this country...I'll stop before I start. We all know we have them just so we can keep a cerain percentage of our population in prison and guarantee that we have a desperate underclass that scares the crap out of aspiring middle classers like me.
What the?

Is it just me or does this cartoon character have a vagina on her tummy? I saw this image while looking over a game review website.

Today's computer joke

Microsoft Windows has more backdoors than the Village People.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Jumping on the "interview yourself" grenade

1) If you could have an x-ray taken of object up your butt which object would you choose?

2) Name three inanimate objects that would look cool getting shot by a .22 rifle.

3) Outline a plot for the new Star Wars movie. Be sure re-read it after seeing the upcomng movie. Was your plot better? Much better? Much much better? Much much much Better?

4) Think up a funny name for a new giant SUV

5) List three reasons why you don't trust the liberal media.
Lyrics Bob Dylan hasn't written yet

1) I've never heard the wind blow/ but I've seen trees bend in the breeze.

2) Two school teachers painted their faces in the hall/ Paul heard Jesus mumble instructions to Saul.

3) If his face was a shoe iron/ and his shoes was a friend/ his mother, the banker/ would have bought him an urn.

4) I'm the king of spades throwing shoes with the crowd

5) It's all over now, baby buddha

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Sail on, Oh Ship of State

The administration is choking on its own lies and evasions. And we have to bail them out because the ship of state is our ship.

Credit goes to Atrios for the link.

Monday, September 08, 2003

And my best friend, my doctor

A few weeks back I received a phone call at work from a lady who wanted to donate her late husband's book collection to the library. Right off the bat she praised his collection of books and professional journals and wanted to donate them to us so that we could use the items to start a psychiatry collection.

I tried the usual tactic of 'splaining that we were a public library and would not have the space of the need to start a psychiatry collection and that we would prefer items in donation that would be sellable in our book sale although some items do get put in the collection a majority of our donations end up being sold to raise money for new books. As is the usual response of those with a collection of books they consider valuable she reiterated the value of her husband's lifetime collection of material and how it would be extremely useful in starting a collection of books about psychiatry.

When faced with such blind obstinance there is no other option but to inform her that we would be happen to accept her donations and we will give them a looksee. The books came later that week and the books and journals are even worse than I hoped. Half the books are moldy and the majority of them are from before 1980.

After seeing how useless these books are after having spoken to the dead psychiatrist's wife on the phone her desperate need to assert that this moldy pile of books must have some value is depressing. Is it so hard to admit that these books are moldy? That they may be out of date and no longer be relevant? Why is it wrong to be irrelevant? It's like she felt that if her husband's books were no longer useful then whatever tiny bit of legacy he may have left behind is then nullified.

What would cause this woman into such denial? Did she put too much value in his professional accomplishments? She was old enough to come from time when that could very commonly be the case. I just hope she has her own personal collection of books she was unwilling to part with. More than likely her books would be more valuable to us than the pile of refuse festering in our basement.

Reading: "Through the magic of marketing, the recording industry has made something otherwise worthless into a precious commodity, restricted public access to it by making the prices ridiculously high (have you seen what they're charging for CDs these days?!), and then screaming bloody murder when a black market develops."

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Wendell in the rain

Well, not really in the rain. He's standing under a tent as it rains. This picture was taken at that party last weekend. I had forgotten about this shot and wanted to share it with the world.

Friday, September 05, 2003

The Three

In 1983 three albums were released: Swordfishtrombone by Tom Waits, Born to Laugh at Tornadoes by Was (Not Was) and Infidels by Bob Dylan. Both Swordfishtrombone and Infidels were released in the fall. I couldn't find a release date for the Was (Not Was) album. I mention these albums because they are three of the first five or six albums that I bought on my own. I still own and regularly listen to all three.

Since fall is approaching we are arriving at the twentieth anniversary of my purchasing of these pieces.

I reckon today I will talk about Swordfishtrombone and address the other two albums in the coming days. I want to do this because each of these albums has had a huge affect on what I listen to now and also how I think and view the world. I was 16, they must have twisted me in some way since I played the damn things over and over again.

Swordfishtrombone by Tom Waits: I owe a great debt to a DJ at an unknown radio station at a small college in Traverse City, MI. The radio station is called WNMC, it's still going strong, and the DJ was called Dennis Sofie (Sofi?). He had a program that came on for three hours every Wednsday called "Mondo Radio Show." I used to have one or two audio tapes and I would record his shows and play them all week and then record the next show over that show the following Wednesday. I'd give anything to have a copy of one of those shows. I discovered so much music because of Dennis and his show but the most important musician he turned me on to was Tom Waits.

I remember he would play a cut or two by Tom Waits every week. Late in the summer he announced that he was going to play two whole hours of Tom Waits because the following week Waits was coming out with a new album which he would play in its entirety the week following the two hour special.

Anticipating the two-hour special I bought extra cassette tapes and was prepared to record and save the Tom Waits two-hour special. I bought the only tapes an unemployed 16 year old could afford: the cheap kind that came three in a plastic bag. Cases were not even included. I recorded the show and naturally played it all week while waiting for the unveiling of the new Tom Waits album. Remember when playing an album from start to finish on the radio was considered risky because people might steal it with their evil tape decks? We all know how audio tapes almost killed the recording industry.

The Tom Waits I was accustomed to (along with anyone else who cared) was the drunken piano crooner who emulated the, then unknown to me, beat poets. The album Swordfishtrombone was nothing at all like Waits' earlier material. I remember that Swordfishtrombone was the first time music ever completely surprised me and shifted the whole planet. Imagine a socially retarded (normal, I reckon, but didn't know it then) 16 year old listening to a radio at night and hearing noises come out of his radio that are totally unlike anything he has ever heard. A 45 year old man in 1955 hearing Elvis for the first time couldn't have been more shocked. It was like the landfill across the county highway had come to life and started a band. Some of the percussion sounded like rusted machine parts, Tom Waits used his vocals to add weird atmoshpere and the combination created a sense of place, a soundscape, that had only been approached before on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland.

And the Lyrics! My goodness. After I heard the album on the radio I went out and bought the audio cassette version of it. I don't know where I got the money for that. Since I had it on cassette there were no lyrics. The vocals were often distorted and slurred and I had to interpret. "He went down down down and the devil jumped on his head." I think he said that. "Me and that mule scrambled back up the pole? Into the hole?" I was never sure. I was familiar with the Beatles and Hendrix at this point in my life and this was the first time I heard someone contemporary attempting such obvious poetry.

Science fiction novels had caused me to want to experience a different world but this music made me realize that there were concurrent people and things that were weirder and more interesting than what I find in a SF book. I also began seeing things under my nose that I had missed before.

I was also astonished to find that only one other person in my high school had even heard of Tom Waits. The guy that had heard of Tom Waits was one of the scary stoner guys and he had a cursory knowledge of the artist. This was the first time I had ever discovered music on my own that no one else had heard of and when they did hear of it either didn't like or were confused by it and hated. It felt good. Real good.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

The girl can't help it

I know I am being cruel but is there anything in the world that smells more nauseating than certain people who work in food service? OK, homeless ass smells worse but that's a different topic completely.

A girl just came in and she works at a restaurant in the area and she has this odor emanating from her that we have all whiffed before. It's the I've been working in a kitchen for the last eight hours, I sweat a lot and my hygene isn't all that great to begin with odor. Eau de eeeeeew. She smells like a dead pizza.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

A co-worker trudging to work

I snapped this today as Senor Casa was arriving at work. Dig his purposeful stride and his apparent resolve to serve the public well.

Back in the saddle again

I went to work today. I was still feeling queezy but not dangerously so. It still feels like someone has reached their hand into my lower intenstines and is gently squeezing them like a judge at a dog show squeezes a dog's balls.

I just received a hold today. It's Michael Chabon's "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh." After reading the book "Kavalier and Klay" I was informed by a beautiful women I would die for that I should also read "Pittsburgh." I will.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

I'll never eat pork again

I mentioned I went to a party Saturday. I didn't mention that they were roasting a pig. Wendell didn't mention that Sunday night he felt like shit. Last night I started feeling shitty. Literally. This morning I called in sick to work. When Wendell got home from work tonight he mentioned that a couple of other people got sick after the party.

I feel less like hell but I don't know if I should go in tomorrow. I don't want anything to happen that'll give my coworkers a story to tell ten years from now.
Ever heard of this guy?

Heard this artist mention on NPR.

Interesting stuff.
Is this art?

I don't know but it's definately a wall.

Monday, September 01, 2003

The band

Saturday afternoon a guy who used to play bass in my roommate's former band held a Labor Day party. It's an annual even that I have been to only once before. It surprised me when Wendell said this would be the sixth one. Maybe the sixth one. I guess he hashed that out with a couple of guys that have been to others and since they always ended up smashed at each event they couldn't determine how many there have been. Let's call it six.

I stayed for a few hours and then took the bus home. Walt called me a "Nancy" for leaving early but I bet I felt better the next day than he did. Besides it was obvious I wasn't going to score so I figured I go home where there was air conditioning.

Here's a picture of Wendell performing with his most recent project. They don't have a name yet just like that band on Happy Days.

I gots clothes

Over the past couple of weeks I have been buying clothes. Because I didn't go to New York on vacation and just bought a digital camera instead and didn't eat out much while on vacation I found myself with enough savings left to actually buy clothes. Man, did I need some.

Those that know me know that I am not a fancy dresser. I am a jeans and t-shirt kinda guy and don't dress up for anything. I'm not a slob but I just don't give a shit about fashion. I dress for comfort, baby, and I don't wear long pants unless I am at work from about May until late September since I live in the Carolinas.

I did find myself recently being a little short when it came to work clothes. A couple of shirts and trousers got to worn and I didn't bother to replace them. Dadgummit, I was forced to spend money on work clothes. That's all right. Until these clothes get worn I am going to look damn good or, at the very least, presentable. Of course, it didn't hurt that I have a very important interview this week and I want to look my best. If I do get this job I may even consider buying a car. Not sure that I want to but I might have to.

Next up: shoes!