Saturday, September 29, 2007

project 365 #270: water glass and coffee cup

I still feel like shit. I wasn't even going to take a picture yesterday but then at around 11:45 I felt guilty and tried to take some pictures from bed. This was the best of them. I wanted to take one of those artsy nudes, you know the kind where you're not at first sure whether you're looking at a landscape or a woman, but that didn't work out AT ALL. It occurs to me that those are usually taken by photographers of models, not by women lying alone in bed with a camera at almost midnight feeling bleary and resentful. The photos taken by women like that turn out to be just sort of blurry orangeish lumps. You can't tell it's a nude, that's true, but then you can't tell if the camera just got dropped into a vat of dough either. So I took a closeup of a glass of water. At least this one is better than the one I took first, in which I hadn't cleaned up moved the crumpled Kleenex from the background. That one was nasty. Whooo hoo.

I'm going to the party, goddamnit, even though I feel - and look - like death warmed over. I'll bring a bell so as not to infect anyone, but I have to go because otherwise I'll end up taking pictures of my knees in bed again and I simply cannot face it.

And I think I might go to the doctor next week too, because I just went back through my blog to discover that I felt exactly as horrible as this exactly one month ago and that seems to me to speak eloquently of one of those female type things. Great. My gynecologist is one of those laissez faire healthy mother nature will fix it types; she'll probably charge me $200 or so to say, hey, this is what happens when you get older. First I'll have to spend 45 minutes naked on a metal table hoping against hope that I haven't been forgotten and worrying about obscure tropical diseases that I might have picked up from some grimy dollar bill at the register at work. Then my doctor will breeze in, poke me uncomfortably for a bit and then say, hey, it's almost certainly nothing, or we could run some tests. Eeeep. Yet again, aging bites.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Great, a cold

So I'm sick again. This is happening waaaaay too much lately. I felt fine yesterday; this morning I woke up with a low fever, headache, sore throat, sore ears, stuffy nose - you know, the works. Naturally, of course, because the party I've been looking forward to for weeks is tomorrow.

This sucks. I woke up and thought at first I was hungover, but even for me, that would be a remarkable feat given that I haven't had a drink in four or five days. Yeah, I live clean and look where it gets me - sick and dizzy and out of it. I walked the dogs and that didn't make me feel better - although I saw two herons, which was awesome - and I found a bottle of prescription meds on the path. They were from Kerr drug and they were nothing I had ever heard of before, which I assumed meant they weren't anything fun or useful. After I got home and took a shower and still felt rotten and called, after much internal debate, in sick to work, I took them over to Kerr and turned them in like a good citizen. I also went to the post office and to Earthfare to get all kinds of hippie illness remedies which I have been dutifully drinking all day because, goddamnit, I am going to that party tomorrow even if I have to carry a bell and shout "Unclean! Unclean!"

The only good thing about being sick is the floaty feeling. Driving to Earthfare I kind of felt like I'd just done three or four bonghits or maybe some acid. It would have been tons of fun if my ears and throat didn't hurt quite so badly and I could breathe through my nose. Also, if my body didn't want to be horizontal so very much indeed. But the floaty feeling led to dreams when I went back to bed, which was very shortly after my trippy Earthfare visit, and maybe someday I'll figure out whether I was dreaming about picking slugs off leaves and throwing them or if it was me who was the flying slug. It's not quite Coleridge level high, but it's inspirational.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

project 365 #269: morning glories

This morning there was a great blue heron standing in the French Broad River while I was letting the dogs run. The river used to be deep and brown (a color which may be attributable to the staggering numbers of tires that form the native riverbed) but now it’s shallow and rocky and you can see the bottom – hey, check out those tires - and it only comes up to a herons’ knees. I watched the heron for a full five minutes; he didn’t catch anything, but once or twice he made hopeful movements with his neck.

Then I walked back with rocks in my pockets in case there were driveling psychopaths waiting in the scrubby woods to ambush me and eat my soul. I don’t think there were and, unfortunately, I don’t really think that I’m good enough with a couple of fist sized rocks anyway to scare anyone off. Too bad I can’t juggle – then I could juggle them, causing the psychopath to come back to sanity and coo in delight at my incredible juggling act and feats of balance. Then I could escape while he was lost in a juggling induced reverie.

See, the other day a friend of mine expressed fear that I would walk in that park alone in the early mornings just as the sun was coming up. “They find bodies there,” she said darkly. Yeah, they probably do. I wondered about that while I was walking this morning: what it would be like to find a body, what I would do, if the police would think I was a suspect (why the fuck would any self respecting murderer do something as dumb as “discover” the body anyway? I mean, it’s just so stupid. Dump the body quick and go about your daily life with an aura of blameless innocence, people.) and if, by finding the body, I would have locked myself into becoming a Detective. Then I would be driven to find the murderer and, to that end, would get myself all mixed up with a bunch of clues and quirky people who are just demanding 27 profitable sequels, which would mean that then I would have to start finding a body every week or so. That would be a drag, and anyway, I never feel afraid at that park. I have those scary, terrifying dogs with me, after all, poised to destroy any attacker's furniture and possibly his shoes. I do worry a little about coyotes and bears and raccoons and rabies, but that’s just one of those underlying thrums of panic that I’m supposed to be medicating with something other than alcohol, which of course, I’m not. I think I should start worrying about something more fun, anyway, like a tentacular river monster, birthed from tires and old planks, who seeks vengeance on humans for driving big trucks on bridges over the river every day and night and making it hard for him to sleep.

None of this is what I meant to write about today. I meant to write about waking up in a cranky funky mood, which I’m doing a lot lately (yeah, I’m not getting laid. At all, let alone enough. Yeah, there’s some truth in those old misogynistic sayings. Yeah, if you said that to me I’d totally kick you in the shins, male chauvinist pig. I get to say it and you don’t.) and stalking down the trail cursing my new bunion and the world, thinking about some tales of woe my daughter told me about people who are poor and hurting and desperate in this fine new world where the rich get richer, ever and ever, and the poor get poorer and poorer, and, in that lovely twist that may be the devils own special contribution to our time, blame themselves for it and noone else. I thought about money and Christmas and vacations and kicked a rock or two and then I watched the heron for five minutes and, briefly, it was better, just like hours later it would be better when I was slouching my way off to my car to drive to the bulk mail office and then stopped to take pictures of morning glories in a vacant lot and watch the leaf shadows on an old brick wall and think, god, this world is fucking insane, it can’t go on like this but yet, you know, it does, it lurches onward and around and somehow, someway, there’s some kind of crazy glory in that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Saturday is the Party of the Year

Also, if you go to BlogAsheville right now, you can find the links to the surveys wherein you can vote and you might want to vote for me, or, on the other hand, you could totally vote for other people and not for me so I won't win any prizes because, after all, I do well with disappointment and misery and probably my blog will be the better for it. Hee. Like you would vote for anyone else. Like I would let you sit by me at lunch unless you vote for me and I have ways of finding out who you voted for, too, and if you don't vote for me I will so not be your friend anymore, just see if I don't.

That, in a nutshell, is why I actually kind of have problems with this yearly competition thing, but, oh well, it's happening and I'm nominated and just because it turns me into a psychotic raving ego monster is no reason not to do it. Except I don't think blogging is or should be a contest.

However, blogging, at least in this fair city, sure as HELL should be a party, and it's going to be, and you're all invited and if you email me, which you can easily do up in the right hand corner there, then I will send you directions, or you can go straight to the email address on the incredibly brilliantly fabulous work of art poster up there that I created and get directions thataway. However, you NEED to be there. I WANT you to be there. And I also want to find some totally adorable male type and leave that party posthaste (with him. Not because I get overcome and am unable to make conversation with cute guys and then I start feeling weird and freaky about it and before you know it I'm hiding under my bed with the dogs, often before the guy even knows I exist, no, that would never happen) but I'm alas not holding my breath. Still. Bring your single friends. Let's all help the hangover journals have a hangover that's, finally, worth every minute of it!

project 365 #267: theo under my bed

My stomach hurts. Again. Since yesterday morning, when M also woke up with a horrible stomach ache and ended up staying home from school. I'm starting to wonder if our house is poisoning us in some subtle way, like the water is bad or possibly the dishwasher is toxic or maybe it's in the air? This is the second time in 2 months that we've ended up miserable with some kind of intestinal not so good thing going on and we're both, usually, iron-tummed. So I'm kind of miserable, since it's just not easy to concentrate on anything else when your middle section is unhappy.

In other news, I just found a cardinal feather and then was told by a coworker that it's actually illegal to collect songbird feathers. Even if you found them. Even if it's on your own property. Hmmm. I hate to break this to y'all, but I have in my life broken a few laws here and there and, well, this is just going to have to be another one. It's not even going to be one that worries me much at all. I guess I can see why - you don't want people shooting at cardinals for their feathers (tries to imagine alternate world where this happens) - but hey, this feather was sitting softly on the sidewalk. The cardinal left it for me. It was a gift.

Monday, September 24, 2007

project 365 #264: drinks with ladies

I just did the dance of joy. Yes, the actual, the real, the one and only Dance of Joy around my dining room. Why am I dancing for joy? Have I won the lottery? Has Prince Charming arrived at last, 20 years late but still holding that damn glass slipper? No. No, my needs and wants and joys are simpler now: my boss called and I don't have to go into work until noon at least because the floor people are there doing whatever it is that they do to floors that means you can't walk on them for several hours, which would make getting to and from my office a bit problematic. Dance of Joy!

I'm in a good mood anyway since I did absolutely fucking nothing yesterday. I worked all day Saturday and then met friends, pictured here, for drinks afterwards and then a couple more friends came on over to my house and we ate pizza and drank beer and smoked too much and it was good. So given that I only had a one day weekend, I decided to spend it in bed with James Hetley. Yeah, me and James had quite the Sunday: I read all four of his books yesterday, or, well, 3 3/4 of his books. They were great. Exactly what I needed - pure D escapism and magic in everyday life. Yes. I kept thinking, these are the kinds of books I love to read and I want to write - what's stopping me? Plot, people, plot is what's stopping me. I can't resolve a plot to save my life, anymore than I can resolve my own damn life.

Oh well, who cares? I tell you what, in the name of simple joys, the carpet spot cleaner I just used on the mysterious stains in the den actually worked too. Okay, it is possible that it worked by taking up a little of the dye, but I care not. Those stains had the distinct appearance of dollar bills gong up in flames - ah, there went my security deposit - and now they're like little patches of light hope. Damp light hope that smells of naphtha, but you can't have everything.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

project 365 #263: downtown after five 1

Went to Downtown After Five last night, drank some beer and listened to Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band. It was fun although for whatever reason I was in full on evil mode, which means that I got to sit on the curb smoking cigarettes and saying mean things about peoples' outfits. This is a bad and rotten and horrible way to have fun, I know. I'm going to hell, I know that too. But still, honey: metallic silver raincoat with metallic gold purse AND silver sandals? Please. And dude? My son used to have that T-shirt with the bugs on it - when he was 3.

Actually, although I usually don't like crowds and will go out of my way to avoid them, I kind of liked the crowd at last night's downtown after five. Asheville hasn't completely gone over to the dark side and there's still a nice wide variety of people on view. Also, when I was sitting at the Flying Frog waiting for my friend S to get downtown, this cute young guy stopped by to tell me I had beautiful hair. That was nice. And as always, I ran into a whole bunch of people I know, and that was good too.

Friday, September 21, 2007

And Today's Horoscope

You may be driven by your needs for pleasure today and satisfaction could certainly be linked to love or money. You are more determined than ever and you won't let anything get in your way. If you notice that you have become compulsive about fulfilling your desires, keep in mind that life probably won't be as intense next week.

Isn't that brilliant? I was just thinking that I felt blah as hell today and have, in fact, all week mostly. If life is not as intense next week I should probably just stay in bed making bubbling noises with my lips. So, given that, to up the intensity factor, I obviously need to go rob a bank and take a good looking male hostage while I'm there. That should cover my satisfaction with both love and money. Probably the only way I'm going to get satisfaction from love and money, actually. I feel compelled to do it. Compelled, I tell you!

In other news, did you know that if you google springer spaniels or look them up in any of the lavishly illustrated coffee table books about dogs from the 70s and 80s that your mother still has in the living room, you will find that they are listed as smart? This is a bad and serious typo that should immediately be addressed. Springer Spaniels are many things but smart is not one of them. Collies turn out to not be as smart as I thought either, unless digging your way frantically into a groundhog or other kind of largish riverbank dweller's hole, heedless of the possibility that there could well be a cornered and unhappy largish monster with fully functional claws and teeth at the end of that hole and staying at it until your human has to pull you out by your tail is some kind of indicator of smartness that I was not previously aware of.

He Who Shall Not Be Blogged About, on the other hand, is very smart. So smart that his teachers gathered this morning to explain to me at length his potential as eventual Evil Overlord and inquire of me in exasperation and despair as to why he simply will not work. I tell you, sometimes it's just no fun at all being the mother of Bartleby the Scrivener.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Have No Snappy Title

I don't have a title or much of anything to report, but remember that in 10 days it's time for the big old blog party get together with the funny name, as reported here. And if you read this blog, you are invited to the party, so drop me an email if you would like directions. You also have less than 24 hours to email your nominations to my friend G, a.k.a. Screwy, which should all be on top of that link. So do it. And spend some time reading the Blogasheville blogroll, because there's some damn good stuff in there.

That was your public service announcement. As for me, I'm reading Fay Weldon - Rhode Island Blues - and realizing again, like I always do when I read Fay Weldon, how much I like her. I've also been reading some Tim Powers short stories and a whole bunch more Elizabeth Hand which I could rave on and on about but I won't, tonight, since my elbow hurts for some inexplicable reason and I'm cranky, because tomorrow I have one of those dreaded and dreadful parent/teacher conferences.

I've been having one of those days when I brood about being single. This is usually tied to PMS, but apparently not this time. This time it was triggered, I think, by a conversation I had with my friend S, who recently met a guy I decided against a long time ago for a host of excellent reasons (3 am drink & dial person. 'Nuf said?) and she, not knowing this history, thought that he and I might make a good match. So I lamented my woeful, yet eerily predictable, lack of taste a bit and she pointed out that the odds are against the kind of guys I'm attracted to aging well or, really, sort of getting anywhere. Most of them tend to fall into the substance abuse abyss, and that's because I really only like guys who, like me, walk on the thin edge. My, that sounds pretentious, doesn't it? What this means in actual fact is I'm hopelessly attracted to bad boys and if they're smart, creative, bitter, slightly insane bad boys with a twisted sense of humor, well, I'm lost.

The only problem is that bad boys don't just sort of fade away - they burn out and only a few of them ever take that creativity and actually do anything with it, besides keep some barstools from getting lonely. Now there's nothing wrong with that - I myself am a close personal friend of more than a few barstools and I've accomplished little in this world. Except I do have a job and a car and a place to live and a bunch of great friends and two dogs and all those accoutrements of the vaguely civilized life and I sort of feel that it ought to be possible for me to find a guy who also has these things or some facsimile thereof. Yet it seems not to be and I'm tired of dating the homeless. But at the same time, to the despair of my friends and no doubt my therapist, I automatically assume that if a male has those things then he's pretty much certainly out of my league and definitely not going to be interested in me anyway. Which has been the case in the past, let's face it.

Of course, I'm not actually dating anyone, homeless or otherwise. And maybe that should worry me more than it usually does, but except for occasional days like this one, mostly it makes me feel relieved. It's easier. And it seems to be damn near impossible for me to meet anyone anyway - bad, good or otherwise, so it's all a moot point. Whine. Whine, whine, whine.

Ah, fuck it. I made a kickass Irish stew tonight and ate it with good French bread and I still have like 7 books I haven't read yet. That's more than enough for one life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

project 365 #261: sunrise under I 40

This is a post in which I expose to the world at large the total assholery of the employees of the Amoco on the corner of Haywood Road & Vermont Avenue. Yes, all of us who live in West Asheville already know that they are all assholes, but this is where I . . .um, tell y'all something you already know. Actually, it's kind of weird. It's like working at that convenience store just strangely morphs quite nice people into psychotic, raging assholes. I could completely understand it when they were playing that jingle, that horrible, horrible jingle, that is so horrible I have managed, thank gods, to completely forget it since its terrible inception of evil about a year and a half ago and then its atrocious apotheosis in the summer of 2006, when, apparently, all the convenience stores in Asheville had been taken over by one giant megaconglomerate convenience store which all played the same jingle - over and over and over again. Until you ran screaming away with an axe handle in your brain. So, yeah, I can get turning into an asshole if they're making you listen to that jingle all day long. Asshole, hell, I personally would have gone way beyond asshole and well into psychopathic serial killer - perhaps the first serial killer who concentrated exclusively on the personnel of Atlanta marketing offices.

But. They no longer play that jingle and the West Asheville Amoco has a much longer history of serious assholedom than that. I go to the West Asheville Amoco once a week to do my laundry. I've been doing this for about five years (I used to go to the place next to BurgerMeister, before there was a BurgerMeister, but the guy in there kept hitting on me and eventually, although his tales of being from the waaaaaaaahn country were charming, if complete bullshit, unless Spartanburg, unknown to me, suddenly became wine country, I got tired of it and had to split) and I have watched any number of WAA employees go from being human beings to beings that have left all human feeling, compassion and emotion well behind them. Except for the kind of cute sort of punk boy who was a manager there briefly and drove a truck with good bumper stickers and who I always had a sort of crush on - hey, if you're reading this, I'm still single.

Nevertheless. Tonight I was running late-ish at the laundromat and alternating laundry with beers across the street at the Westville, which is, let's face it, the main attraction of the WAA laundromat to me, and so I ran back in at about 8:15, just as my dryers were finishing, and piled all my laundry into baskets without folding and asked you, yes, you, curly headed asshole boy, to unlock the laundromat doors so I could carry my heavy baskets of clothing out.

Whereupon you unlocked the door ungraciously and stomped immediately away without, you fuck, opening the door for me, although it would actually have been less effort for you to do that than it was for you to avoid me and my gigantic basket while not opening the door. Nice. This is not the first time, curly headed asshole boy, that you and I have had a run in. A few weeks ago I got to the laundromat late, and when I went in for quarters (the convenience store/gas station and the laundromat, for those non Asheville readers, are all one building, with a connnecting door as well as their own doors) you threw a small tantrum and said angrily, "I guess this means you're just starting your laundry?" Yes. Yes, it did, and that would have been at 7:45 and, according to the woefully designed signs liberally placed about your laundromat, son, that would be 15 full minutes before the euphonically named Last Load.

Back off, kid. I am not to blame for your less than fortunate career choices. I have horrifying career choices of my own to brood over - viz., I am at the fucking laundromat once a week - and all you need to do is act like a human being. It isn't going to kill you. And if it's that bad working there, then quit, because, face it, you already have a job that is about the worst of the worst and it's something you will always be able to look back on and tell stories about that will make people go Ooooo, wow, that is horrible. So buck up. Quit being an asshole.

And, arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Avast, ye hearties! It was Talk Like a Pirate Day again and hey, yet again, I managed to not talk like a pirate pretty much at all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

project 365 #259: dogs on the path

I've decided to keep track of every single penny I spend and whoa, jesus, is it adding up fast. Yesterday afternoon I went to Sav Mor and to Aldi (where I ran into my delinquent son, who was skateboarding and cadging quarters in the parking lot, heavy sigh - I gave him and his friends each a Mountain Dew ($5 for a 12 pack at Sav Mor, cheaper than beer) and they went away happy) and I spent oh, lord, a fortune. On weird cheap crap, too: I'm still bribing the dog every day with new and ever more novel chew toys and Sav Mor has a wide selection of scary, horrible yet cheap dog chewie things made out of, apparently, whatever part of the pig does not in fact go into the hot dog. It's cheaper than the couch, I tell myself; it's cheaper than new shoes and even cheaper than doggie day care.

Then I finally got around to returning the overdue movies and suffered the terrible pain of the delinquent movie returner who hasn't even watched one of the movies yet. That would be 300, because I figured M would want to watch it with me and he's been too busy (see above) and I couldn't quite get myself into the mood for a lot of clanging sword noises. This is odd for me, since I'm a big fan of clanging sword noises, particularly when they're accompanied by sweaty, scantily clad men, but ah well. I had to watch that weird ass post apocalyptic miniseries instead.

The travails of the car are what brought me to this penny pinching pass. I had to get two new tires for it and I'm happy to report that it is now street legal. Unless the tail lights actually don't work. They worked fine the whole time the car (who, I confess, is called Batly, in reference to a long vanished MD license plate that happily said BAT on it) was taking her ease at the Saturn dealership. The guys there said there was nothing they could do if Batly refused to exhibit the same behavior that I brought her in for, which is kind of what pediatricians say when you bring in a child with a mysterious stomach ache that prevents him from attending school. I think probably my only logical course of action is to hire someone to follow me everywhere I go and if my brake lights don't work, they can take appropriate action. Like, maybe slamming into me while screaming "Dear God, no brake lights!!" would work. Or they could wave huge semaphore flags out their car windows. The details haven't been worked out yet but clearly, there is no other option.

Monday, September 17, 2007

project 365 #257: ferris wheel 1

On Saturday, I went to the fair with S & J. I also cleaned the house and ran around doing errands and was generally productive. On Sunday, I did, as our friends across the pond like to say, sod all. Although I did watch this lengthy and baffling miniseries/movie called The Fire Next Time about global warming and one family's heartwarming struggles to stay together and wholesome despite weather armaggedon. Which I swear I've seen before and not only that, I have some weird memory of watching it with my mom, and how that's possible, I do not know.

The fair was fun. All three of us were in full geek out photo safari mode - somebody asked S in a confused voice just why she would be taking pictures of a chicken. A chicken pecked my lens, too, but both the chicken and the lens survived just fine. I fed the llamas! Yes, I muscled my way in through hordes of children, put a quarter into the machine and fed the llamas. Llamas have amazingly soft lips. Like, the softest lips ever. Like, nothing on earth is as soft as llama lips and now I have a basis of comparison by which to judge the softness of everything.

We walked through the midway and I went into the freak animal tent, which had a repeating recorded barker going on and on outside "Alive! See Freak Animals - Alive!" And they were, in fact, alive, although not all that freaky except that they were all obese, which, given their proximity to the fair crowd, didn't seem unusual. "This is what Europeans probably think Americans are always like," observed J as we sat down to eat our universally disappointing fair food - never again will I stray from the ways of the Italian sausage sandwich and the blooming onion. No, the steak sandwich from the place with the horns glued on it was gnarly in the extreme, J's chicken "fajita" was probably cat and inedible and the ribbon fries, which are like a weird combination of potato chip and french fry, were stone cold. S had barbecue, which she said was okay. Next year I'm going to take more time picking out my horrible fair dinner and not just lunge for the second booth I see.

So, what else was at the fair? My pictures (there are way too many, I know) are here - about the last half of that set are new ones. There were Christian clowns doing some kind of scary sermon: no photographs; they were just too scary. There were howling kids and happy kids, fat people and thin people and short serious guys in large cowboy hats. There were camel rides, a guy from Texas selling sugar gliders which he said were as smart as a smart dog, rides and booths and the North Carolina Baptist Men doing first aid. It was the fair. And the fair is good.

Friday, September 14, 2007

project 365 #255: shadows at the meat puppets show

C & I went to the Orange Peel last night to see the Meat Puppets. I can't even barely remember the last time I went to the Orange Peel, because, frankly, I pretty much hate it. My knees don't like the terrible lack of seating, my anti authoritarianism doesn't like being carded six ways from Sunday and not being allowed to carry a beer outside when I smoke and my cheap, poor, alcoholic part hates the small, expensive beers in plastic cups. On the bright side of that equation, though, is the fact that I am totally unhungover today despite the fact that I was dancing until midnight.

The show wasn't as well attended as I thought it would be - or as it should have been, what is the matter with you, Asheville? Banjo music and plaintive singer songwriters are all very well, but sometimes a girl needs screaming electric guitars and drums that make her ears bleed to feel human, for gods' sake. The Meat Puppets rocked. They were fantastic. It was a great show. Y'all should have been there. There was almost a mosh pit (there would have been one, but the Orange Peel disapproves of such goings on, so they had some poor guy in an orange T-shirt that said Intern on it standing there with his arms crossed, frowning sternly at would be moshers) and there was even a guy who C christened the Fun Nazi - he kept running around in circles, leaping a bit, skipping almost - and telling everyone to Dance! It's the fuckin' Meat Puppets! Move your lazy asses!! He was adorable although, okay, it is beginning to come to my attention that my generation is just sort of getting uglier by the minute. Middle age, thou art not attractive. Whence the lissome, skinny young punks of yesteryear? Whence, oh lord, their hair? They are no longer skinhead by choice, methinks and all that PBR hath taken up permanent residence on their middle section. Like it has on mine.

But who cares? The music was awesome. Although the opening act was kind of like The Unholy Spawn of Heart and Nirvana - still, they had a couple of good songs. And really, it's tough to be an opening band - 90% of the time noone wants to hear you and they're not always very polite about it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

project 365 #254: downtown

project 365 #254: downtown
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
It took 45 minutes at the DMV for me to change my license address and get a new license. In this time I read an entire issue of Redbook, which caused me to squirm in horror at the decorating suggestions (these fun aluminum decals fit inside one another on your wall, making wonderful shapes! Aiyeeeee!!) and convince myself that I was in imminent risk of contracting diabetes due to the coke that I had this morning, not to mention all the cokes I've ever had in my life. Add those cokes to my spring 2007 addiction to vitamin water and clearly, it is just a matter of time.

Then I went to the mechanic to get my car inspected. That was really, really fun. Not only did my car fail inspection - the back tires are just too gone to be driving on - but there was a nail in one of the BRAND FREAKIN' NEW front tires AND, get this, my brake lights don't work. No, wait, they do work. No, wait, they don't. My tail lights have apparently decided to go all dada-esque on my ass and start working only randomly. Yeah. Nifty for performance art, not so great for, you know, driving safely or not getting pulled and all that good shit. So now I'm terrified to drive the goddamn thing, to which end it is going to the Saturn dealer in the morning. Of course, for all I know, the tail lights have been random for a year and I just haven't noticed and, fortunately as hell, no police officers have noticed either and no antique Floridian tourist has rearended me. This is nothing short of a miracle and I am loath to keep on counting on it.

Oh, and in the hour and a half that I spent at the mechanics I read an entire issue of Ladies Home Journal, which convinced me that I was about to die of some kind of weird undiagnosed symptom less heart disease. Also, that marriage? Can NOT be saved, sorry. I hate the way they always save the marriage in the Ladies Home Journal. My mom said she read it for 25 years until they finally found a marriage that couldn't be saved and only then, vindicated and happy, did she stop reading. I wish I could come across one - besides my own, I mean.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Hello, and welcome, all you hordes of Mountain Xpress readers and please god, tell me you’re not friends of my mom. She’s excited about my picture being in the paper – hell, we all are. Right? Right? And now, the gratuitous use of the word fuck: fuck! We do a lot of that here at Hangover Headquarters. Also, we say Jesus H. Almighty Christ sometimes, which is a good old Irish Catholic curse much beloved of my father and if it bugs you, go away.

Anyway, forget the introduction. Today we will be discussing, among other things, the horror that is the Innsbruck Mall. Whoa. The Innsbruck Mall is a zombie mall, a lurching, shuddering undead thing plonked down on a particularly unsavory part of Tunnel Road. Why am I thinking about the Innsbruck Mall on this bright Wednesday? Well, it has come to my attention that a) my car inspection sticker has expired which means that b) my car registration has likewise expired and c) my driver’s license has somehow faded so it’s illegible.

I knew about the inspection sticker but it was brought rather more forcibly to my attention at a roadblock over the Labor Day weekend. The very nice cop smiled at me – it helped that C and M and the dogs were all in the car, so we looked all nice family-ish, ah, how appearances can deceive! – and told me I needed to get that done right away, since it expired, um, a while back. Like a month. Okay, July – but that’s almost August and August is only barely over so I sort of thought maybe it didn’t really count.

So it’s been about two weeks and I’ve seriously sort of been trying to get all this sorted out, without much luck. I tried to renew my registration on line but unfortunately, it turns out I still owe Buncombe County money from my vehicle tax. Naturally, you can’t pay this at the same place where you go to renew your registration – that would be too easy. You must go down to the courthouse to pay your taxes and go through the metal detector and up to the third floor and then pay the whopping lump sum of SEVEN DOLLARS to the nice lady behind the counter and THEN you go on over to the Innsbruck Mall.

Well, first you go to the creepy little Ingles behind the Innsbruck Mall, because the tag people don’t take credit cards and thus you must buy lettuce or something and get cash back. The creepy little Ingles, which is entirely staffed, as far as I can tell, by senior citizens and slowish seniors at that, is still there, by the way, in case you, like me, were vaguely wondering. It’s still horrible too. It hasn’t changed since, I would guess, about 1974. Neither, for that matter, has the Innsbruck Mall – the stores have all gone, to be replaced by thriving businesses like the tag office, the genealogical society, the Carolina Hair Academy and a few desultory realty/lawyer offices that reek of despair. The whole place reeks of despair, actually, starting with the tangible smell on the escalators and, well, escalating by the time you get into the drooping, miserable, broken down main plaza, with it’s sad linoleum floor and forlorn kiosk advertising some children’s hospital that isn’t even in Asheville. And then the line for registration renewals was out the door and I waited around for a while, but the futility of it all got to me and when the Muzak – god, why Muzak? – started playing, I kid you not, a horrifying Muzakified version of John Hiatt’s Ethylene, well, I had to leave. Or slit my wrists, one or the other.

So I have to try to do all this again tomorrow as well as get a new driver’s license. Why do I need a new driver’s license? I need one because the state of North Carolina, in it’s infinite wisdom, is using some kind of bargain basement laminating on their licenses that rubs all the info off and you can no longer see my birthday, height or weight. This is just fine with me, as I feel that that information is none of anybody’s business and, let’s face it, I don’t get carded anymore.

Well, until yesterday, that is. Yesterday, I went over to the Orange Peel to get two tickets to the Meat Puppets (which I am DAMN excited about wahoo!!! Who’s going? Let’s all go! It’s gonna be awesome! Woot! For those about to rock . . &etc. Yeah.) and the girl at the counter told me that they probably wouldn’t take my license and thus probably would not let me in the door. At first I scoffed at her and said, look, my daughter is now over 21, okay, so get a grip, but now I have become infinitely paranoid and, while it would be kind of fun (at my advanced age; we cougars have to get our lameass fun wherever we can, okay?) to be not allowed into the Orange Peel because my ID looks fake, well, it wouldn’t be as much fun as the Meat Puppets. So wish me luck as I venture yet again into the NC DMV. The Patton Avenue ones, this time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

project 365 #253: I 40 at sunset

I'm having a crisis. My mother called me fat. Not only that, which after all she's entitled to, because I am, in fact, fat, but I read this AskMe thread and it introduced me to a whole new slang term I had never heard before and I was faced with the definite possibility that I am actually a cougar. Except for the part where they're supposed to be rich and well groomed and the part where they pick up young guys, because frankly, I'm poor and shabby and, while I certainly am completely down with the idea of picking up young guys, in practice I'm hopeless at it. At the bar, anyway. Hee.

I was never even very good at it when I myself was young and nowadays I sort of more or less assume that no one in the bar could ever possibly be interested in me at all and thus I think I may be missing any number of subtle hints and cues that could lead to me having, if not a satisfactory sex life, at least a much more, um, diverse one than I have now. Or not. Maybe it's the part where I get out the reading glasses to peer at them that turns them off - go figure.

When I was in college, my roommate and I decided one evening that the only possible way out of our current financial dilemma was to become high class hookers. Clearly, there was no alternative. To this end, we smoked a joint and dressed up in what we considered high class hooker wear, which, if I recall correctly, was our old prom dresses or maybe some party dresses of my mothers from the 50s that I had snagged out of the Goodwill bag, put on a lot of makeup and hied ourselves down to the bar at the Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston, where, we reasoned, there would be tons of out of town men looking for high class hookers. We sat at the bar for a while, drinking up our rent money, waiting to be approached and beginning to appreciate the function of the pimp. Finally, just as our career path began to look dim, a very nice dentist approached and bought us each a bourbon and coke. He told us kindly that perhaps we should go back to the dorm and then he said that dental hygiene was an exciting and lucrative career for smart girls and maybe we should drop the poetry and art and go for that instead. And if only I'd taken his advice, I probably wouldn't be writing this. But I'd still be fat.

It was mean of my mother to comment in her inimitable way on my tummy. Plus, she just had to call it that, as in, "Felicity, you need to lose that tummy, dear!" I had to call my daughter and say, "Guess what Gramma said right when I was leaving?" "Umm, let me guess," said my daughter, "She said, "You're fat?""

It's all very well for Mom to say. She hit the starved-out waif-thin Kate Moss look about four decades early and was occasionally told firmly by doctors to gain weight, which always made her laugh merrily. Yeah, it would make me laugh merrily too. My mother lives in a nice retirement community that is fully stocked with widows with incredible bone structure. I mean there are 85 year old women in there who look better than I did at 22; it's depressing. It's the kind of thing that ought to make me come home and eat a lettuce leaf and vow never to eat again but what it really does is make me want nothing more than to chow down on a giant bag of Doritos while drinking a 6 pack of the most fattening beer I can find. If there's a 22 year old boy with good bone structure in the picture, well, hey, fucking bonus. It's vaguely possible that this is not a healthy attitude, yeah, but what can you do?

Update: M has never heard this term "cougar" before either. "Have you ever heard the term "cougar"?" I asked him. "Sure," he said, "Like, oh god, there's a cougar, run away! Hey, a cougar ate my baby! Of course," and then he looked at me strangely. "Mom, a cougar is a moun-tain li-on." he said slowly, emphasizing the syllables. So if this is slang, it hasn't made it to WNC yet. Thank the gods.

Gossipy Update on the 40 Foot Bike Guy

Asheville is a small town. This morning, when I arrived at the river to run the dogs (and no, I'm not even going to say where I go, because it's usually deserted and I like it that way) there were two kayakers already there, getting ready to put in. I see these guys occasionally and I am always amazed at their dedication - I mean, it's all I can do to roll out of bed and into the car with the dogs. Usually I'm still in my pajamas, even. There is no way I could actually kayak at 7 am. Granted, I can't kayak at any time, or at least I never have, but still. So anyway, I overheard kayak guys talking about 40 foot bike guy. "He got his tail caught in the scaffolding," said one guy, "That's why he overbalanced." Hmmm. At first I was all set to say, hey, I was there and I didn't see that, but I didn't actually dare to stop long enough to talk to them because I was afraid that if I did, the dogs would enthusiastically pee on their kayaks. Somehow I felt that would be one of those terrible park faux pas, like the time my old dog Toby peed on a guy's leg at Patterson Park and I had to explain that it was simply because he (the pee-ee, not the pee-er) was wearing brown pants and a green shirt and Toby thought he was a tree. A simple mistake any dog could make.

Anyhow, on looking back at the picture, I think maybe kayak guy was right. You can see that his (bike guy, not kayak guy) tail or train or streamers or whatever you call those purple ribbon-y things coming off his hat or shirt, are extended to the left, towards the scaffolding. So perhaps that was what went wrong. Who knows?

This update has been brought to you by the totally unreliable overheard in the park news network.

Monday, September 10, 2007

project 365 #251: LAAFF 40 foot bike rider just before the fall

Good weekend for partying - for blogging? Not so much. Sorry, y'all.

Friday night was the weekly girls' get together at Broadways and that was fun. Yes. Leave your car on Lexington Avenue until 3:00 Saturday afternoon fun. Sleep most of Saturday fun. You know. I did make it over to yet another discount grocery store - the Sav Mor on Patton Avenue, which my friend C had told me was actually the Ingles discount store. I would like at this point to point out that six months ago, there were at least three and often five people living in my house, along with two dogs, and I used to go to two grocery stores - Ingles and Earth Fare. Now, there are two people and two dogs living in my house and I'm going to three grocery stores, all of which fall under the category my friend N calls "Used Food Stores" and my weekly grocery bill is almost a third higher than it was then. This is just not right. I'm not even going to Earth Fare but maybe once a month at this point and then it's only for Emergen-C, Greek yogurt, pink lady apples and good bread, none of which are obtainable at the other stores.

Anyway, I came home from the grueling shopping experience with a pathetic yet expensive array of groceries and made dinner and watched Pan's Labyrinth. It was not at all what I expected. Whoa. Dark. Sad. Dark and sad, in fact. But kind of weirdly beautiful, for all that. It's always a little disconcerting when you turn on a movie expecting a fantasy, get away, total escapist thing and get instead, well, a bleak Spanish war movie.

I also read Elizabeth Hand's new book, Generation Loss, which I highly recommend right along with all her other books because she is a fucking genius. Yes. She's a genius and also, she has shot right up to the top of my Famous People I Would Genuinely Like to Go Out Drinking With. One caveat: if alcohol & drug abuse bother you, you won't like this book. But then if that's the case, honey, why would you be reading my blog? Hee. Actually, I'm kind of surprised I liked it so much. Usually I have a hard time with protagonists I don't like, who I find pretty much utterly unsympathetic, and I really didn't like the heroine of this novel, but the book drew me in nevertheless. Also, bonus, there's a lot of terrific information about contemporary photography.

Ah. And then Sunday was LAAFF, the Lexington Avenue Art & Fun Festival, or the Lex Ave Freak Fest as we like to call it. The big event was the 40 foot bike ride, which alas, did not quite happen. I mean it happened but very briefly because he fell over, which was terrifying even though we all knew that he was attached to a crane. Apparently, he had fallen off his 12 foot bike (one of the things I love about Asheville is that there is a guy who rides around downtown on a 12 foot high bike and we all see him often) on a warmup ride a few minutes before and messed UP his knee. We missed this part being as we were up on the Broadways roof deck drinking a quiet beer in the shade. So he gamely went on to climb the scaffolding and ride the 40 foot bike but I think his injuries from the 12 foot fall were worse than he thought and anyway, he keeled over quite quickly. 40 feet, by the way, is very tall. I mean it is huge. I mean it is bigger than every building on Lexington Avenue and it was scary as all get out. But then someone released a whole bunch of superballs into the wild and the party recommenced and all was okay.

It was hot as hell at LAAFF but fun and full of photo opps. After that we went on over to my friend J's new house for the end of his housewarming and it is a supercool and adorable new house and I am jealous. He has cool paint karma, does J - everywhere he moves is already painted in all these wacky luscious shades.

So that was my weekend. Also, I cleaned my house with bleach spray - fuck the hippie cleaners, man, they do not work - and it looks awesome and I got horrific cramps, which has not been so awesome but is, after all, the way that the gods in their kindness make sure that women are really incredibly happy to see the end of their menstrual cycles when it finally comes. Because you need 5 - 10 years of ever increasingly awful periods to prepare you for menopause. Grrrrrrr.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Blog Awards

So, as if being in Mountain Xpress is not enough Asheville bloggy goodness, it's time yet again for the annual Blogaverseapaloozathonawhonkawhonkadingdong. Or something like that. Screwy came up with the name and for some unknown reason, like maybe that particular brain cell got burned at some art student party in the woods in the late eighties or something, I cannot remember it. Can you imagine? Anyway. The party is happening on September 29, 3 weeks from today, which is, yeah, too much time away for anyone to be expected to remember it, so I will bring it up again closer to the event. It's at K & J's place, not mine. Thank god. ANYHOW, you can now nominate various asheville bloggers for prizes here. Yes, prizes, that will be given out at this faboo event. Last year I won a naughty box of faux sex toy type stuff for being funny. I think it was for being funny; it's all a blur. Brain cells were burned. Or you can email your nominations (which will, naturally, include me, for something - maybe being naked? I see that K is aiming for that one, and well, okay, I grant you that she is probably a very fine sight naked, but hey, what am I? Chopped liver? Does noone want to see ME naked? Don't answer that. No, really, don't answer that.) to scrutinyhooligans AT yahoo DOT com.

I, er, haven't done my own nominations yet either. But I'm going to! I am! I swear! I promise! Any minute now!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

project 365 #248: kitchen counter just before dinner

I'm about to be famous again. I doubt it will last 15 minutes, but it's still making me nervous. Apparently the Mountain Xpress is doing one of those "Hey, check out local bloggers! Aren't they just." . . whatever it is that we are this year. Cute, maybe. Hopefully cute, because the photographer from the paper came over and took like forty minutes worth of photos of me and the dogs. I suppose it's too much to hope that the article is actually on the dogs. Not Particularly Famous Local Bloggers Pets! Yeah, catchy. I did get the dogs to do their trick, which is awesome.Their trick is impressive. It's called "Looking Very Attentive When There Are Treats Around." They're good at it.

In other news, I've spent the evening reading the New Yorker food issue and eating. Sometimes I wonder why I can't lose weight and then I bethink myself of things like the New Yorker food issue and the Travel Channel which is apparently the Food Channel in mufti, given that it runs Anthony Bourdain marathons. I have a mild crush on Anthony Bourdain and I was hungover on Monday, and the couch was folded out into a bed since A spent the night the night before and, well, yeah, okay, I confess: I lay down and watched five straight hours of Anthony Bourdain making his cosmopolitan way around the world. And ate. He ate amazing Mexican mole things; I ate french fries. He ate Vietnamese noodle salads; I ate peanut butter. He ate organic cheese made in a stone barn in the snow; I ate Kraft and a bag of generic barbecue potato chips. You get the idea. We had us a good ole time, Tony and me. I'm seriously thinking about Weight Watchers.

I can't quite believe I'm thinking about Weight Watchers - I'm just not, um, normal enough, for one thing - but apparently they're going to open up a center or have meetings or whatever it is that they do right around the corner from where I work on Wednesday evenings. This has struck me as a gift from the fat gods. I mean, the skinny gods - the ones whose muscle tone looks so awesome in marble. Some years back, a couple of my friends lost a lot of weight with Weight Watchers, though. They kind of liked it. One of them told me, "Look, you can save up all your points by just not eating anything for a day or two and then you can drink a whole bottle of wine, and then after that you don't care anyway, so you can have another one." At the time, this struck me as a dubious strategy at best, but that was a few years ago. Now, I think it's a sound plan with definite possibilities, if you can substitute PBR for red wine. I think I'm going to do it. Think. Maybe. Possibly. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

project 365 #247: fair setup 1

Yesterday night I went to the fair. No, it hasn't started yet - it was my fifth year of being the grandiosely named Assistant Superintendent of Art at the Mountain State Fair, which means, basically, that I go every year a couple of days before the fair opens and work for four or five (or, on a couple of particularly godforsaken years, six) hours hanging up the Art that people have entered, hoping for a ribbon, at the Mountain State Fair. In other years I've also gone back at the crack of dawn the next day to help judge the art and hand out ribbons and record all this most faithfully for posterity on many complicated forms. This year I pled pressure of work (which is true) and skipped the morning bit. Besides, my view of art is not always the one shared by Mountain State Fair Artists and I think perhaps the dropoff in number of entrants I've noticed over the last five years could just possibly be related to the fact that I tend to give blue ribbons to meth inspired ballpoint pen drawings of Ozzy Osbourne on napkins (damn, that was a good year) and heap scorn upon PBS inspired insipid oil landscapes in big expensive ugly frames. Heh. I think I've improved the art at the fair no end.

Also, every year they give me an embroidered button down shirt that says Mountain State Fair on it and sports the yearly theme and logo, which this year is a goat looking all tough and biker-y and saying Full Throttle Fun! The goat beats the hell out of the pig saying Go Hawg Wild from a few years, which was on a khaki shirt and which I gave to N in hopes that he would wear it up to Baltimore and start some kind of strange new fashion. Last year's shirt was black, which was awesome and also featured a hog on a Harley and I wear it often.

It's fun to go to the fair before it opens and watch people unloading giant pumpkins and listen to people argue passionately over where creepy needlepoint dolls should go and so on. There was a man at the fair with 12 perfect eggs and he was arguing passionately that there should be a category for his eggs to be entered into while five fair volunteers were arguing back that while, in a perfect fair universe, this would be true, alas, at this non Platonic fair, there was in fact no category for eggs. One of the men arguing this had no arms and no legs, but he offered to make an omelette the next morning. It was highly entertaining.

A went with me to help out his year. Last year, S did it, and before that my friend D went with me two years in a row and we snuck beers in the parking lot, which helped the whole art hanging thing a whole lot. One of those was the year that the hurricane hit and the wind was howling and water was bucketing through holes in the roof and the art was getting wet but the intrepid fair volunteers were still there, worrying about the dioramas and the Very Special Arts exhibition. So, next year I'm going to need another helper. I swear it's kind of fun. Honestly. Yeah. You should do it. It used to be that they gave all the volunteers a packet with a t-shirt and a pin and a coupon for J&S Cafeteria and a couple of free passes to the fair and an invitation to the volunteer appreciation pig picking (which I have never attended, because I can never get anyone to go with me and besides, I'm a little afraid that I'll recognize the pig in question from the fair and that will traumatize me for life.) This year, though, volunteers don't get nothin'. Not even a free pass and that's ridiculous. The coordinator lady, new this year, said, "They only get a pass if they work 8 hours during the actual fair." Hmmm. So working 4 hours in a hot hall hanging heavy art and hurting your back doesn't count. What the hell? This isn't LEAF we're talking about here - it's a five dollar ticket. They should get a free pass.

Of course, I do. Get a free pass and also VIP parking, that is, but last year I didn't make it back to the fair after setup. This year, I wish to change that. Let's go to the fair! I'll drive! And I'll even pay for half your ticket if you promise to go look at every single llama with me, because I like llamas. And chickens. And fried things on a stick. Yes, it's fair time - wanna go?

Monday, September 03, 2007

what hath dog wrought

what hath dog wrought
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
I didn't do much this weekend. I wanted to; I wanted and meant to go camping, go tubing, go somewhere, but Saturday afternoon's hike was all I actually managed. Other than that I've just been puttering around the house doing basically nothing. I did go to K Mart today though and buy three small inflatable boats. One Man Boats is what the box says, with a picture of an 8 year old boy sitting in a boat and looking like he's not really enjoying himself. Hopefully the boats are actually fun and big enough for One Man and not just for One 8 Year Old. They were 7 bucks each, though, so how can I go wrong? I really want to take them out and float hither and thither. Only not in the French Broad around Asheville, because I'm not sure my immune system is up for it.

The only other thing I've done all weekend is mourn my music. I went through the chewed and shredded remnants and made a list of what's missing. Django did a fucking job this time - he got just about half of my CDs. And we're not even going to talk about the picture CDs he ate; let's just all be thankful for Flickr.

So, this is the list. A couple of people have already offered to burn me some copies and they ROCK and, okay, this is the part where I beg: if you have any of these and you can burn them for me I will thank you from the bottom of my heart. Is it piracy? Considering that I bought them in the first place, no - and I'd still have them if it wasn't for my psycho dog. Why couldn't he just have eaten The Great Indian Masters that I got with a freeze dried pack of curry? But no, that one is still intact.

John Prine - In Spite of Ourselves (this one actually I can live without)
David Bowie - Hunky Dory (this has already been replaced, thank you K & J!)
James McMurtry, St. Mary of the Woods AND Walk Between the Raindrops (a friend has promised a copy of St. Mary, thank you, thank you, because these are vital)
Southern Culture on the Skids - Plastic Seat Sweat (my very first intro to SCOTS)
Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks Volume 20, CD 2 and some mix that someone made that had a whole lot of cool stuff on it. Argh. Argh.
Lucinda Williams - the self titled album. My favorite Lucinda album. That I can't live without.
Elvis Costello - Spike (I can also live without this one)
John Hiatt - Crossing Muddy Waters (this is another vital one that I need badly.)
Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway
Robert Earl Keene - Gringo Honeymoon
Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts Now
NOFX - Punk in Drublic
Static X - Wisconsin Death Trip
Pogues - Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (I should just fucking kill this dog for this alone. And not kill him humanely, either.)
Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack
Mary Prankster, the mix that had like all of her stuff on it that I love that I listen to on every roadtrip and argh, argh, argh.
Nanci Griffith - Other Voices, Other Rooms
Rage Against the Machine - Ghost of Tom Joad
Blues Live From Mountain Stage
and three or four mix CDs, that I made, that other people made for me, that can't really be replaced.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

project 365 #244: c and theo by the old bridge in the woods

My friend C and I and the dogs went hiking yesterday afternoon, up past Candler to this trail where we'd gone once before, years ago. It's a steep trail and very overgrown, which always makes me wary of bears, although we did have the dogs with us, but I have absolutely no clue how the dogs would react to bears. Anything from puppy affection to abject terror to simply refusing to acknowledge them - all possibilities are equally likely and I hope I never find out. But we saw no bears; instead, we came to an old bridge with a hole right through it that C climbed down through while I, more cautious, scrambled around the banks and rocks of the mostly dry creek to take pictures from downstream. It was a nice hike and then we went on over to S' house where she was having yes, another dinner party, which was tremendous fun.

The other good thing I did yesterday was go to work. I actually kind of like going to work on the weekend when I'm not expected or supposed to be there, because it's quiet and cool and I can actually work with no distractions. I finished the newsletter and felt very proud of myself - I taught myself InDesign in the process and the newsletter looks okay. Not bad, really: I wrote 90% of it and edited the other 10% and imported the various bits of data into lists and took all the photographs and did all the layout and design. Yay me, I have mad skillz, or at least I felt like I did when I left work.

I got an unexpected phone call from an old friend late last night too, and he sounded good and we talked about inconsequential things for about an hour. I was surprised to hear his voice. But glad. It's funny the way phone calls can shake and rock your small universe and the ones that do are always the ones that you don't expect at all: you don't glance at the screen to see who's calling, you don't wonder, or you partly think that it's someone from the party you just left calling to tell you that your camera is still there or something like that. I suppose it's been over a hundred years now of human evolution that the ringing phone can skew the universe; I wonder if, or how, really, we've changed in that time. Like everything, I suppose it's just speeded time up: from the courier on the lathered horse with the parchment missive or maybe just the black fletched arrow coming out of his back (message enough) to the multi page letter in elegant script that your great great great grandmother read by the window in a small room with too much velvet furniture to the restless getting native and sending out easily misinterpretable drum signals ("Og say, M. . m. . mouse coming?" "Mouse? What Og mean?" (ground shakes) "M. . . mm. . mammoth!" (all trampled)) the message gets through, it's just that maybe there was more time to assimilate it then. Or not. It's just the message and the medium, all getting tangled up together.