Saturday, December 06, 2003

Homage to Peaches 

Innuendo is the greatest aspect of language given our current cultural climate. I love that every day as I interact with wholesome people, I am told jokes or simply pick up in random conversation these incredibly thin euphemisms for sex and drugs. I love that, in the complicated math that is the human decision-making process, we can convince ourselves that an offensive concept can simply be given a new, lighter name with which one can reference said repulsive act in public. The 40-something woman at the end of the hall in my office actually uses the word "boinking" to refer to casual sex, and she giggles when she says it. How naughty. You know, I'm pretty sure that using a garishly non-conversational word like "boinking" draws more attention to the act than would "fucking," simply because when we hear it ("boinking" that is) it seems so goofily out of context. Come on, seriously think about the last time you heard an adult mute his/her conversations with words like these--you couldn't help but laugh, could you? You had to laugh because of the fact that someone you know, someone shy and awkward, actually said "chokin' the chicken," and you couldn't control the immediate, involuntary mental images and associations provoked by the thought of that guy doing that thing. It's a free pass for the shy set, a way for even the timidly consistent people to get dirty, to admit they have grown-up knowledge. And for me, it's a great invitation to abuse the hell out of having permission to talk about virtually anything I want, "in code" as it were. I see it as a project: I'm a pretty vulgar guy, but since I started working in an office I've been looking for ways around the conversational eggshells I've been walking on for the past several months. I found in innuendo the ability to have a completely salacious conversation with that same 40-something co-worker! I'm overjoyed... if you know what I mean ah ha ha haaa!

Le soleil brille 

I think somebody turned the sun up to eleven this morning. It's bright as hell--my bathroom only has one tiny window, but the entire thing is fantastically illuminated now.

I'm groggy and tired today. I feel like I hit it hard last night, but all I did (um, I swear?) was help M. in the printing studio for a few hours. Damn, I'll bet lifetime printmakers have massive biceps. I love helping her out when she's working; it isn't just our friendship that stimulates me, as the ambiance a room takes on when I see her in her element is equally intriguing. She picks up tools and devices that look very gothic and of unknown use and just starts whipping them into submission with the greatest of unquestioning ease. Sometimes when I come across a photo I've taken of her working, I'll spend minutes looking at all the little accoutrements that make up the sense of familiarity of a well-used (and frequently-used) space: a roll of masking tape stashed on the press crank, the hand-powered litho fan suspended from a cabinet, various lengths of scrapers, color charts, etc. It's thrilling, almost like cultural anthropology for friends.

S. just finished taking the LSAT (he's so grown up now) so I'm off to buy him a beer.


Friday, December 05, 2003

Ho-lee shit! 

I always knew that I enjoyed money and material wealth, but I never felt consumed by it... until right now. I got a credit card recently for the dual purpose of paying off some medical bills from this summer while building up some positive credit. After work today I took my fancy plastic rectangle to the credit union, told them I wanted cash, and they gave it to me! I don't know which is worse: a) the fact that I seriously got dizzy and had to press my body weight into the counter as the teller started speed-counting out the cash (one hundred, two, three, four, five, ...), or b) that I was bowled over by $990.

Previously I thought that I would do anything on demand for about one million dollars--today I learned that my limit is more realistically somewhere around four hundred... maybe less if I get to see the cash first.

UPDATE: Received: two rebate checks in the mailbox for $4... each! Score!


Thursday, December 04, 2003

Police presence 

My brother's recommendation for parole was honored, and he will be released on or around the first of March--good for him; bad for me. This morning at work I received a call from a very nice lady who will be serving as my brother's parole officer. The call seemed pretty standard at first: are you aware that you brother has been paroled? are you aware that he has listed your address as his place of residence? do you have any weapons in your home? My opinion of the call quickly soured when the tone of questioning took a more invasive path, repeated below as approximate dialogue:

Parole Lady: May I have your verbal permission to perform a search of your home without issuing a search warrant?
Jeff: Is this a standard part of the parole procedure?
PL: Yes. If necessary we can contact the police department and have a warrant approved.
J: That won't be necessary, but I do have a couple of questions before I agree. What time of day will I need to be home for the search?
PL: I can't tell you that.
J: How will I know to be there?
PL: If you aren't home I'll leave my card.
J: Regardless, will you come by after working hours? I tutor after work so my schedule is pretty irregular. I'm usually not home during the week until between seven and ten.
PL: I can't tell you when I'll show up. It's unscheduled.
J: I don't want to know a date and a time, I just want to know a timeframe. If you only do this from nine to five odds are you'll never come when I'm home. Can you come on a weekend?
PL: Sir, it's unscheduled, so I can't tell you when I'll come for the inspection, [sassily] and I certainly don't work weekends.
J: [Sigh] OK, we'll just let circumstance work this out. I should also tell you that I plan to videotape your inspection.
PL: What?
J: I would like to videotape the inspection of my house. Is there a problem with this?
PL: Why do you want to videotape it?
J: Is that pertinent?
PL: Mr. Brown, you do know that your brother's parole clearance may be revoked if you do not cooperate with a search.
J: I think I'm cooperating quite well. You may search my home, and I plan on videotaping the search.
PL: I don't think there is any need for that.
J: For the videotaping?
PL: Yes.
J: The two arresting officers that came into my home to arrest my brother were released from their jobs about a month after the arrest for tampering with evidence. I'm not taking any chances.
PL: [Pause] So you are agreeing to the search, right?

What a fun morning this has been.


Wednesday, December 03, 2003


I'm adapting the idea of a self-defining "life movie soundtrack" from this character.

Opening credits Fantastic Plastic Machine--Honolulu, Calcutta
Waking-up scene Cocteau Twins--Little Spacey
Average-day scene the Method--I've Got a Cat
Best-friend scene P.J. Harvey & Josh Homme--Crawl Home
Falling-in-love scene Air--La Femme d'Argent
Love scene P. Glass & B. Eno--Heroes [Aphex Twin Remix]
Fight-with-friend scene Yeah Yeah Yeahs--Black Tongue
Break-up scene Jeans Team--Juli 96
Get-back-together scene Sigur Rós--Svefn G Englar
Group-of-friends scene Pink Floyd--Any Color You Like
Driving scene Air--Kelley Watch the Stars
Heartbreak scene Magnetic Fields--Meaningless
Mental-breakdown scene Primal Scream--Vanishing Point
Nightclub/bar scene Peaches--Lovertits
Sex scene Madonna--Justify My Love or (and?) Boards of Canada--Beach at Redpoint
Stripper scene Nightmares on Wax--Ethnic Majority
Fight/action scene LFO--Freak
Lesson-learning scene Sublime--40 oz. to Freedom
Bitter/angry scene Amon Tobin--Verbal
High-school/flashback scene Fulflej--Work in the Universe
Party scene The Rapture--Echoes
Happy-dance scene Stéphane Pompougnac--Closer to Julie
Regret scene Boards of Canada--Dawn Chorus
Death Scene Claude Debussey--Des Pas sur la Neige
Funeral scene Les Negresses Vertes--Face à la Mer
Closing scene The Gentle People--Journey [Aphex Twin Care Mix]

To Isom: many thanks for the unintentional inspiration. This took longer than I had expected (a good thing); in the spirit of rediscovery, occasionally one needs to shuffle the material to which one exposes oneself [even if it just happens to be your CD collection].


Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Four days off 

Doesn't it just piss you off when you get some sort of bronchial sickness over a four day weekend? It pisses me off. Even more so because I didn't even make out with anyone, which, I might add, is the only fun way to get ill.

At least I didn't start to feel rough until Sunday. I'd much rather feel like this at work than at home on my own time.

The quick skinny on this past weekend:

Wednesday night saw a flood of out-of-towners coming home for the holidays. What a nice day. I met up with some people I don't get to see more than twice a year and we all went out to Whitewater Tavern to see Runaway Planet [by the way, if you like Bluegrass, you should listen to R.P.--they did a cover of the Thompson Twins' "Hold Me Now," which sent me into giggling fits]. I bought a couple of knit hats from the gyrating she-hippy as X-mas gifts for two friends in attendance, and then I promptly lost mine before we even left the bar. Damnit. After the bar, we smoked and went to watch Baraka at M.'s.

Thursday I slept until noon and stayed in bed for almost another two hours. Glory. It had been quite warm so I'd had the windows open for days, and when it started raining late in the afternoon it was an instant recipe for nap. The sounds of a windy rain are a potent sedative. After the nap I drove through the same sleepy rain to my parents' home about 90 minutes distant. We ate, we lounged, we watched t.v., and I got a back rub. At some point the rain ceased dramatically, cut down to Earth by a blisteringly cold mass of air that left the atmosphere supremely dry and clear. I got to watch twinkling stars as I drove from isolation back into the city. I'd forgotten to put my windows down so my home was frigid when I arrived. The cold made me hurry under the covers for some deep-ass [not deep-assed], full-bellied sleep.

Friday was a riot. Our Wednesday night gang regrouped at J.'s city-limits home for a monstrous bonfire. All of J.'s friends had guitars and mandolins, so much singing ensued. The French guy sang lots of cool songs about human-turtle sex and fat dogs. At one point they all demonstrated how well "Ice-Ice Baby" and "Summertime" blend together. The crowd would occasionally gravitate toward the cedar guest house that J. had built. At some point my friend B. arrived from Fayetteville. I remembered one of the girls at the party from her wicked choreography at Governor's School way back when, but she turned out to be an irritating braggart now that she'll be studying at the Scripps Institute. I left when M.'s boy toy wouldn't stop shouting Wesley Willis song titles... no lyrics, just titles.

Saturday morning I awoke to B. having sex in my guest room. It was about 5 in the morning. I didn't even see the guy--he was gone before I got up, and B. made little mention of it. Apparently this fellow wouldn't return her calls after their, ahem, "morning interlude," which put B. in a terribly sour mood for the rest of the weekend. M. came over that night and we went shopping for grooming products together. After eating at the Starlite Diner, we smoked and chilled out at my place until Megan fell asleep and I had to start doing some Photoshop work. B. was very irritated that I wouldn't go to the clubs with her, so she pouted and went to sleep. I remember coughing a little before I went to bed at about 2.30 a.m.

Sunday morning I awoke to the sound of my own rasping lungs and a persistent muscular pain in my abdomen from, apparently, coughing all night. I felt like hell. I started washing dishes and B. decided it was time to go back to Fayetteville. I went back to sleep. My parents showed up to help me fill out FAFSA (again?!), and I got my dad to help me rig some lumber-and-cinder-block shelves so I could organize the studio. We watched a Rick Steeves marathon on PBS, and I got another backrub. I started painting (a difficult task when you cough or sneeze about twice per minute) which invariably got me all awake and alert. I got a call from M. and C. (in the printmaking studio at UALR), and we met up at B.'s, smoked, and watched Baraka again.

It was an altogether interesting weekend. Have fun back at work, all.


Sunday, November 30, 2003

Freelance workers are the new no fun bullys 

This is the general sentiment I'm picking up from my weekend guests. I sincerely apologize that I need to sit in front of the computer and work on a Saturday night, but, y'know... the money I'm earning pays for that water bill you're running up washing four loads of laundry. And the wooley cap you convinced me should be your Christmas present. And those last two pitchers.



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