Friday, October 31, 2003

Tour de Charlotte

Yesterday my bike and I took a trip to a car repair shop located about a mile northeast of downtown. It's owned by a fella that used to date my mom and he not only repairs cars, he also sells them. I have recently found myself walking through the parking lot of the Harris Teeter near where I work and longing after the cars of others. Recently there was a show at the Double Door I wanted to see and I didn't go because the club is not near a convenient bus line. At least I think it's not. I haven't really checked. I need a car. I don't really want one but I gots to have one.

I got off the bus downtown and pedaled the 1 1/2 miles to the shop. The owner, Ahmed, is not there. His second mechanic is a Spanish speaking gentleman that I do not know. I try to ask him when Ahmed will be back. He says "Uhhh...I no speak Ingles." I try again and he says, "Uhhhh...back in five minutes." I have the suspicion that he would have said that if Ahmed had been due back next week.

I give Ahmed a half an hour. I read a bit and get bored and hop on my bike and head back downtown to catch the bus home. When I get downtown I decide to do something that I have been considering for a while, I just keep riding. I figured I could get home in about an hour.

It was fun. I spent a few minutes downtown trying to avoid the watery trail of a street cleaner. I stopped at two music stores. I helped a lady with a motorized wheelchair get into her car. I paused to watch a lady fish at the pond at Freedom Park and scared her when I coughed. At the second music store I bought a used copy of Madden 2004 for my Xbox. I Chatted with the middleasterner at Mikes Discount Beverages. He thinks Charlotte drivers suck. I also went to bed fairly early last night. Excercise makes for good sleeping.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Boo Yah!

Let's keep the props for Margaret going!

" This is some Old Testament kind of judgment coming down on people, as in the case of Rush Limbaugh. I keep wondering if Rush is having some type of awakening in rehab, as he probably has at least a week clean now. What if he becomes a total liberal huggy bear, invests a large sum of his earnings as a conservative icon in Ben and Jerry's, so much they name a flavor after him "Recalcitrant Rush""

OK, one more

"I don't even know what the new drugs are these days, and I don't want to appear like I am doing anything for the first time." -- Cho
My big laugh of the day

I've always thought Margaret Cho was dang funny (who can forget the bowling bowl bearthing commercial on Comedy Central?) but this is fucking genius: "She is Cunta Kinte."

Thanks to James for the link.

I know we both linked to the same entry but we had different favorite quotes so I think I'm in the clear.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Christopher Moore quote

From the book "Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story."

"Everywhere they looked there were quotes carefully written in magic marker tacked on the walls; there were books, pens, and typing paper; there were poster-sized photos of authors. Ernest Hemingway stared down at them with a gleaming gaze that seemed to say, "You fuckers should have gone fishing."

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Last of days

This is my last day in telephone reference. As I prepare to turn off the phone in a few minutes I am sad to report that I didn't get one last call from Evil Antique Lady this weekend.

Here's to you Evil Antique Lady! Your ignorance has unknowable depths, your rudeness is confusing and your stupidity shakes me to my soul.
Right before Arnold grab the contestant's tits...

I know I'm not the only one that thinks so and it's been said before but I have to say it: body builders are fucking gross looking.

Since I'm borrowing pictures from yahoo here's another one that caught my eye.
When it all comes together

It's no secret that Chris, Wendell and I love to see Lenny play at the Comet Grill. We've been doing it for years now. In fact, the Comet Grill just had their seventh anniversary. Last Saturday was a special night at the Comet. Wendell had gone out there earlier and I was going to stay home and watch some of the World Series and mess around on the Xbox a little bit.

Somewhere between nine and ten Jill calls and says she is going out to the Comet to see Lenny (Jill and Lenny are married and I live on the route she takes to the bar). My evening home alone had grown boring and I accepted Jill's offer of a ride to the show.

That night Lenny was playing his acoustic guitar which he hooked into a synthesizer. It allows him to create all kinds of useful sounds like the pan flute and the harmonica. At one point during the night we were looking the harmonica player but it was just Lenny on the guitar. Pretty cool stuff.

Playing his Fender Stratocaster with the fretboard with all the varnish worn off was Bobby Donaldson. Bobby is an amazing and incredibly accomplished player. John, who runs the place along with his wife, was playing drums and adding background vocals.

Around 11 Chris shows. We're all surprised and gave him a rousing cheer. Around midnight the band takes a break and a few of us go outside to cool off and chat. We come back and the bar has emptied out and there are less than ten people left. The place had been pretty packed earlier.

After midnight at the Comet is the best time to see Lenny and the guys play. The show is over and he just plays for himself and for us. He no longer has to worry about bad requests for Jimmy Buffet and he knows whatever he plays we'll listen to. We also know that he is going to experiment and jam and take us for a ride and that it will always be familiar but never the same.

I can't say enough how much of a privilege it is to be able to have experiences like last Saturday every few weeks or so. Lenny has started playing every Friday now at the Comet. There is an open invitation to anyone who reads this blog to join us there.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

A Dutch response

My response to the challenge by Dutch is that I am a good person because I have not flamed by email or insulted on the phone or in person the many friends and family that have forwarded to me those horrible emails about friendship and Jeebus.

Today's telephone reference question of the day

"Hello, I hurt my knee and am having trouble moving around can you do my job search on the internet over the phone for me , please?"

A general rule of telephone reference work is that when someone mentions a physical ailment they are expecting you to do all their thinking and leg work for them. How does a sore knee exclude you from having to use that big fucking brain god gave you, lady?
An example of why everyone should read Pitchfork

Britney Spears [ft. Madonna]: "Me Against the Music"
Oops! Looks like it's all over for your girlfriend, and it's not just 'cause her fanbase has grown up-- Britney's been accosting all of us too fucking long with her Disney-fried, sub-Abba teen-pop, and now, like the awesomely savage barbarians we are, we want blood. Even her record label seems to want to end it here: they've tossed her "Me Against the Music", one of the greatest disasters in pop music history, as a surefire ship-sinker.
An abomination even by Spears' standards, "Me Against the Music" is rank enough that last weekend's SNL audience was as reluctant to applaud for it as they were to acknowledge Jimmy Fallon's mock-Asian accent. The ridiculously defiant title ambitiously pits her-- not a typo-- against the music, suggesting a final showdown in which Britney suits up to, once and for all, eliminate that colossal aural evil by turning it on itself. It almost works: I think I felt a ripple in the fabric of sound around the 3:30 mark. There are so many subtle intricacies here conspiring to form the ultimate musical horror: the frogthroat effect buried at the bottom of the a capella intro, the blink-and-miss-it prechorus lyric "chic-a-tah" (seriously! like four times!), the orchestra hits slamming like a Fox news update, and-- okay, this one isn't so subtle-- Madonna.

The Material Mom-- desperately paddling to float her own tanking career after bombing with American Life and her recent "Into the Groove" rehash-- follows a dialogue with Britney that actually tops Wendy & Lisa's intro to Prince's "Computer Blue" for most heated inane Lesbian-themed discourse in a song ever. The breakdown is shameless, and not just from the obvious sex-sells angle, as a sultry (did I mention 40-year-old?) Madonna pants, "Hey Britney, you say you wanna lose control/ Come over here, I got somethin' to show ya/ Sexy lady, I'd rather see you bare your soul."

"Me Against the Music" is a true feat: it not only hideously topples "Lucky" in terms of sheer patience-testing, but actually ranks, with ease, among the all-time most devastating pop chart embarrassments: Bobby Brown's "On Our Own" from Ghostbusters II; C + C Music Factory's "Things That Make You Go Hmm" and Twisted Sister's cover of "Leader of the Pack". If there's ever a hall of fame for American culture's laughable nadirs, this one'll have its own room. --Ryan Schreiber

Friday, October 24, 2003

The holidays aren't far off

I finally decided what I want for Christmas

Man, what a treasure chest!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

New Job

My new job as a real actual living breathing librarian requires me to do a book talk at least twice a year. As I understand it our manager is one of the few in the county that actually requires her librarians to do book talks. My co-workers seem to be split in half in their enthusiasm for book talks but they do them and, judging from the one I have sat in on so far, do a good job. I do not enjoy talking in front of people but I am going to have a few months to prepare for my first book talk.
I'm not complainging, I knew this requirement when I accepted this position.

I am reading a book suggested by my boss and I think I'll use it in my first book talk. Yesterday I spent some desk time searching for articles and biographical information on the author. Yes, that's right, I got paid to do literary research. How cool is that?
Part of the problem

I once wrote about sitting on a seawall in Okinawa, Japan while drinking beer and then smashing the empt beer bottles on the giant concrete jacks that break up the surf. I just found this picture from 2002 where locals were cleaning up around the seawall. I feel terrible.
German civilian victims of WWII

Probably only Tom will be interested in this story but I found in fascinating.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Jumping on the revealing post bandwagon

I knew they were aliens because they talked and I could almost visualize the triangles and wavy lines of their speech. I was 10 and 4/12 years old and I was riding my bike really fast through my neighborhood because there were kids with sticks trying to crack my young innocent skull. In fact, I was riding so fast I didn't see the spaceship in front of me and I rode ride up the ramp and into the bowels of the ship.

I don't remember what the aliens looked like. All I do know for sure is what they didn't look like. They did not look like frogs, hotdogs, roses, Rod Carew or any of the Beastie Boys. They didn't probe me either but they did test my eyesite. The strangest thing to me was the apparent excitement they displayed when I crossed my eyes when they brought an object close to my nose. They made me do it so much that I got a headache and started to cry.

After a couple of hours they let me out in a park a few blocks from my home. The kids that were chasing me earlier were there throwing rocks at seagulls. As soon as they saw me stumble out of the bushes they chased me down and beat me up. The fuckers.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Thanks but no thanks, you prick

I don't know of anything that displays how sleazy some people are better than all the junk emails I have been receiving that claim to offer ways to avoid...junk emails. Fucking assholes.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Who hasn't been there?

It sucks but keep smiling, bubba.
World Series

I am half watching the World Series right now and the shots they show of all the celebrities in the crowd amuse me. Nothing will ever top the time they showed Clarissa Flockhart back when she was the center of an anorexia controversy. Each time they showed her on camera they were sure to do it when she was eating.
I have a bobblehead goth girl

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

John, again

I have been using a portion of this quote about Johnny Cash by Tom Waits in my email signature recently. I saw it in a story about Cash's death. I saw tonight that it originally came from a quote by Tom Waits in a tribute to Cash on his 70th birthday. I'd like to print the entire quote just because Tom Waits and Johnny Cash are two of my heroes. I always wished they could do a song together like David Bowie and John Lennon did: incidentally.

"When Johnny Cash comes on the radio, no one changes the station. It's a voice, a name with a soul that cuts across all boundaries and it's a voice we all believe. Yours is a voice that speaks for the saints and the sinners -- it's like branch water for the soul. Long may you sing out loud.

"I Don't Know Where I'm Bound" on Live at San Quentin will always touch me and the fact that a prisoner wrote the poem and you put it to music for him that night on stage for the first time. ... It was a real moment for him and for us.

Happy Birthday, Johnny.

Tom Waits"

Monday, October 13, 2003

Bikin' to work

The Charlotte transit system has bike racks on the front of each bus. I have been meaning to utilize these racks for quite a long time. Today that day finally came.

I take the bus to my new job. The bus drops me off at the mall and I have been walking to work from there. It's a fairly short walk and is rather pleasant now that the temperature in the Carolinas has dropped in the seventies.

When I work at noon, like today, the bus that takes me home leaves the mall at 9:40. I get off work at nine. If I ride my bike from work I get home at 9:20. If I waited on the bus I'd get home around ten. A little sweat is worth the extra time. I do need to get a car before the summer. There's no way I'm riding a bike in work clothes in July. Ain't gonna happen.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Why I'm losing interest

I admit it, I like racin.' Here's a quote by Humpy Wheeler from an article in the Charlotte Observer that 'splains pretty well why I am losing interest in Winston Cup.

"but Lowe's Motor Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler thinks the sport's growth has changed some of the basic aspects of the culture within the drivers' fraternity.

"I had a Winston Cup driver of some prominence who told me he'd never even met some of his fellow drivers," Wheeler said. "Granted, he hasn't been around all that long, but these days the drivers' meeting and driver introductions before the race are about the only times these guys ever get together. Those are just fleeting moments.""

It also is a pretty good explanation as to why I spent so much time at the dirt track in Lancaster, SC this summer.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

To mis-speak is to lie

"Tim Russert challenged Vice President Dick Cheney to defend his claim, made on Meet the Press before the war, that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons. 'Yeah, I did misspeak,' Cheney admitted. 'We never had any evidence that [Hussein] had acquired a nuclear weapon.'"

Has there always been this much lying in politics or is it getting worse?
Whisper Alley (another Okinawa story)

A couple of blocks over from BC Street is a dark alley with one-story traditonal style structures. The walls were concrete, the doors were of cheap wood and the roofs were made of the ubiquitous red tile. The structures housed prostitutes that were either too old or not attractive enough to be displayed openly in the "hotels" in the alleys off of BC Street.

I had heard of Whisper Alley and I thought it was a legend. My friend, Mike, who was my partner in crime for about a year claimed that it was real. He said that he had even been there and he wanted me to come with him because he had his camera with him that night.

Whisper Alley is about as close as I've come to actually living inside a Tom Waits' song. There were no street lights. Either that or they were burnt out and no one bothered to fix them. There was also no vehicular traffic. Only a few small groups of GI's walking close together, their usual robust drunkenidity dampened by the blackness of alley.

As we walked down the middle of the narrow street I noticed that there was some light. The doors, sitting loose in their frames, allowed a soft pink light to escape. Upon passing each door a woman would give you a soft "psst" followed by an offer not unlike the prostitute's offer in "Full Metal Jacket." If you looked at the door you would see a vaguely feminine head sillouetted by red light in a rectangular sliding opening. If you didn't respond the opening closed quickly. Occasionally you would see a pink beacon as a door opened to a horny but judgementally challenged GI.

After a few doors had passed us Mike decided to act. He had the flash ready to go on his 35mm camera. At the next "psst" he walked up, held his camera to the opening in the door and popped off his flash. The woman at the door would hiss or yell and slam the opening shut. Mike and I would fall against each other laughing.

Since the women in the other brothels couldn't see what was happening on the street, Mike was able to do this about seven or eight times. We then considered the expedition a success and went to a bar so we could get drunker.

Mike had the film developed and the pictures came out black. He had left the lense cap on. We were crushed. We didn't go back though. It was one of the missions that you only get one shot at.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Legitimate Free Music

A couple of days ago I did something that I had been meaning to do for a while.

I frequent a music news website called Pitchfork. They have a section that is titled "Free Downloads." The free downloads consist of songs in the mp3 format by bands you've never heard of. Monday night I downloaded about seventeen of the songs and burned them to a CD. I've been playing the CD exclusively on the best for the last two days. About half the songs are really good and four are standouts. All the songs are listenable.

The best song so far has been by a band called the Singles.

This has been a nice experiment and I think I'll keep doing this every few weeks or so.
Jesus god

A picture

I wish I had taken this

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

He has my stapler

Today I went to the annual mind-numbingly dull county orientation on our new health insurance. County employees are very interesting. It was a room full of either outdoorsy hard-drinking maintenance guys or nerdy office workers that spend their life avoiding contact with other humans. A lot of people who reminded me of Marvin from the movie Office Space. I walked in there and felt like the coolest kid in class. That's how nerdy the room was.

Monday, October 06, 2003


I'm reading "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse for the first time. So far it hasn't brought me inner peace and enlightenment. I'm a little disappointed. It's starting to appear that I am actually going to have to meditate and contemplate in order to reach Nirvana instead of just reading a book. Dammit.

Saturday, October 04, 2003


Being human the only way we can avoid public executions is to not have executions.

I thought about that when Wendell and I were discussing the alleged suicide attempt during the metal band Hell on Earth's upcoming show. Did it already take place? I forgot to check the time. I started to think about execution and how state-sponsored killing is really just as bad as what the band proposed. I find it funny that the same people who support the death penalty are probably the most vehemently against this stunt. From a Reuters' report: "Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also denounced the band's plans and said band members might be prosecuted under a state law banning assisted suicide."

Whether it's a stunt or real I am interested in our reaction.

What does it mean that I can't get to their site right now?
The Guardian interviews Michael Moore

I haven't read it yet but I am about too. Enjoy!
A few thoughts (sure beats trying to put some kind of coherent what-I-saw-on-the-bus story together

Holy Jeebus, I love watching playoff baseball but staying up until midnight when you have to work the next morning is for the birds. Go Cubs.

I saw in the news that today's big story is that one of Siegfried and Roy was bitten in the neck and drug offstage by a tiger. I reckon that if you play with the big cats long enough one of them is going to take you out someday. It's similar to being a male and having a prostate; one day it's going to turn on you.

I have been completely enjoying the Arnold bashing. I wonder if he's surprised that all this stuff is coming out. Was he prepared for this? Was he honest with his party? Did he think people would keep quiet? Did he delude himself? Next we'll find out that in his wrestling days he ate the brains of little boys so he could gain their youthful strength. His quote on that will be "I don't remembuh eating the brains of little boys. But if I did I apologize to all those I hurt either indirectly or less indirectly."

I saw that on Talking Points Memo that Joshua Marshall has a very long interview with Wesley Clark. I printed it out and I am going to try and read it today.

Friday, October 03, 2003

File under "Only in America."

"'Has life become so cheap that people will actually watch someone die for entertainment?'"

I think the answer to that question has been 'yes' since we've been sitting in trees throwing poo at each other.
For the love of jeebus, turn off your television!

Picture link via Atrios.
Wow, he's got my vote. If I could vote in California

Arnold praises Hitler. The link is via Drudge so it probably won't be up long.

To be fair isn't it true that Arnold probably would express an admiration of our president? Hey, he created a concentration camp so maybe Arnold isn't so far off.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Wow, was I wrong

I just saw that Limbaugh resigned from the ESPN NFL pregame show. I don't get it. What did ESPN think they were going to get out of Rush Limbaugh?

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

The amateur sports commentator

Ah, Rush Libaugh: radio pundit, right wing partisan and football commentator. I heard Rush's comments about McNabb, the lead goat of the early part of the NFL season. I remember thinking that he could have phrased his comment better. Like instead of saying that he was overrated because he was black, Rush could have merely stated he considered McNabb simply overrated.

I sincerely belive the lovable lug was merely trying to sound like Rush. He couldn't just make a football comment he had to put a social spin on it. I think it was expected of him by ESPN.

I thought it was great. Rush proclaims to be the voice of the right wing masses and his inability to address McNabb without mentioning his race displayed how he and his peeps think. Or, at least, it showed his followers what they are expected to believe. The first sign that Rush made a boo boo was when the other talking heads starting tying to bail him out. They almost succeeded and, if I remember correctly, Rush did back off from his original statement.

Don't think the folks at ESPN aren't dancing in their offices because Rush's ill conceived comment is all over the news. There's going to be a ratings spike this Sunday. If the ratings stay up and the furor dies down the Rush will stay. If the ratings dive and the furor remains then Rush is gone.

Die, recording companies!!

Hey, look, file sharing doesn't hurt artists! We already knew that anyway. Again RIAA is shown to be a pack of liars.