Saturday, February 07, 2004

Runaway Planet, revisited 

Last night's show at the Whitewater was another doozy. Megan and I had missed the December show for various reasons and neither of us had the money to even think about going out. Besides, work at seven in the morning would be hell with a tired-ass hangover. A good show, of course, is all we need to cave in to the pressure to indulge, and Runaway Planet has quickly skyrocketed to the capstone position in our canon of cave-in-to-the-pressure caliber local acts.

Before I even talk about the night, let me preface by commenting that I didn't realize I had left my debit card (with its open tab, naturally) at the bar until I tried to buy gas on my way to my tutoring gig. Damnit. I got to buy $0.46 (cash!), some quarter of a gallon, as a result. Judging from his body language, I don't think the attendant at the Kavanaugh/University area Shell had seen someone pay with pennies in his entire life.

Back to the bar: when I picked Megan up she immediately cheered, "The Jews got me drunk!" When I stopped laughing she explained that she had accompanied a Jewish friend to a festival celebrating fruit in symbolic shows of religious heritage. On top of all the fruit-eating, white/rosé/red wines are blended together in order to gradually tell a story of something-or-other. Sorry, all religious details seem to slip through my fingers. The important part is that Megan, observing the tenets of a major world religion, got giggly drunk. Bravo, jewish people, for welcoming M. into your clan and sharing your abundant liquors with her.

Now, a drunk Megan is a sight to see. Her excitement is channeled into purely sexual/sensual channels, meaning that, after a few drinks, her conversation entirely shifts away from smarty things and directly into her cleavage. I might be gay, but even I can't turn down a good conversation about nipple strength and the exercises necessary to keep strong nipples totally ripped. I mean, come on, Meg's got great boobs; 'nuff said.

When we finally got to the bar (after a failed detour/safari to see the Soused Stranger and a bit of smoke), we were shocked that it looked so sparse. It wasn't dead, but the parking lot didn't look anything like the last time we had come to see Runaway Planet. Had we come on the wrong night? Shit, I hoped we hadn't, but, whatever, the pitchers are cheap. Lucky for us (unlucky for the band) it was indeed the correct night, but the slimmer crowd meant less ambient noise to talk over and an easier time navigating tiny walkpaths during the show.

At the encouragement of the eagerly agressive drinkers at the table behind us, I dedicated myself to an evening cut loose from sobriety. I had no intention of getting sloppy, only a credo of "drink it 'til it don't taste good no more." The band starts playing, not too intensely during the warm-up period of the first couple of tracks, but at some point they do a rendition of "Eleanor Rigby" to announce to the audience that everybody needs to shut the fuck up 'cause we're ready to play; it worked.

Another pitcher? Yeah, whatever's the cheapest.

The band played on, we drank and goofed off. Every few songs some detail would catch my attention and I'd just start staring ahead, not focusing on anything, listening as closely as possible to the music. I wish I knew the name of this bit during which the bass player (you know, the guy with three fucking lungs and, I think, a mushroom sticker on his double bass) sang lead; I realized about halfway through said track that I'd just let my jaw start to hang slack like a fish. It got a laugh out of Megan, mostly because I think it caught hold of her as well.

Pitcher, Bud Light, last name Brown.

Brady showed up somewhere between the first and second sets and, as I should only expect, hilarity ensues. More titty talk. And bouncing. Okay, not only by Megan, but, hey, it was Friday night, right? At some point Mr. Alexander comes over to assure me that I would get a copy of the Thanksgiving show eventually, as if I had any right to expect it. Even cooler. I suggest that, if the set list isn't too set, they ought play the Thompson Twins' cover that'd caught my ear at the last (the first) first show I'd seen. We should be able to do that, he estimated. Right on. Holy shit, did I just say that? Right on. Right ON. Okay, I guess I'm getting buzzed, slow down with the beer for a bit.

Second set kicks it up a notch with plenty of yokel hollerin' (how does one spell that wavily intoned 'aaaahhh-haaaaaa?') and I start getting retarded (although I did figure out that I can hold a cigarrette with my beard). They play the TT cover (score!) and, as the songs get better and the players start to click, the crowd starts getting up to dance and stomp feet in general.

Sadly, the set ends and we have to get going in spite of encouraging guarantees from the band that more sets are to come (sets? sets?! jesus, no wonder they only do this monthly). Megan's got to be up the earliest so she gets to pick our departure time.

Long story short, after I drop Megan at her doorstep, I can't stand just going home, so I go and find various company for a couple of hours until I am thoroughly saturated with contraband. By the time I get home I'm so tired that I feel like I earned that night, I worked long and hard for it. From garage door to bedroom door I manage to get completely undressed for bed, swipe a handful of CDs from the computer desk for bedtime, and swallow some acetaminophen. I was proud of my efficiency. I threw on a CD, checked my mail, turned off the lights, and flopped onto the soft, happy, friendly bed.

Immediately I'm awoken by a loud clang in the kitchen. I sit up so quickly that I feel that alcohol dizzy come swirling up from gut to temples. Ugh, is that the sun? It's so bright, I think, as I look from my window onto the street... where I see my parents' car. Shit shit shit shit shit, where are my pants, where's my jacket from last night. I'm hoping so hard that I hadn't left a joint on the kitchen table. I hear them talking so I poke my head out the door and shout, "out in a minute--shower." The tension melts away as I realize that all my naughty stuff I'd left with a friend in the city.


In the shower I realize that, although it's light out, it's still so early that the sun hasn't even risen above the horizon. The water is waking me up and I start remembering a dream, a concert dream. I'll be damned, it's Runaway Planet. But everyone's in Robinson Auditorium, or something resembling it. And I start remembering songs, songs that (I don't think) I'd heard them play the night before. Would RP cover The Breeders' "Sinister Foxx?" What about the Kinks' "Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin'?" Better still, is a bluegrass version of Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Black Tongue" even possible? God, it seems like they rocked the hell out of them all.

I'm looking at the mix CD I'd thrown in the player last night and each of those songs is on it. Figures, but I'm intrigued by what bluegrass versions of some of the other tracks would have sounded if we assume that my brain playlisted all of the CD tracks as songs from the RP set: the Kills "Fuck the People," Aphex Twin's "Mont St. Michel/St. Michael's Mont," the Slits' "Shoplifting," Sonic Youth's "Little Trouble Girl," etc.

It's now almost 5 p.m. and I've (finally) completed my furniture moving with mom and dad as well as my entire weekend's tutoring duties. I'm going to build a big fire and take a barbaric nap. Take it easy, y'all.

Overheard, on overindulgence 

"Oh, lordy... more?"


Friday, February 06, 2004

Oh, Plato, you've done me in again... 

The only thing I can learn about you if you tell me that you "live by [your] ideals, tooth and nail," is that you have really, extremely, pervasively weak ideals.

Think of a circle: an unreachable Platonic ideal, circle-ness, the abstract portrait of an intangible definition of measure. Regardless of the simplicity or complexity of the machine, in spite of the potential advancements of the specificity and precision of lofty circle-drawing technology, a perfect circle will never, and indeed cannot ever, be drawn in the reticulate media we have available in the universe. Period.

And you've reached, mastered your circles? Already?

I hate to judge but, damn, you're way out of my league. I can't live around one who has the self admiration to declare with such sureness and conviction that, yes, I do live at the top.


Thursday, February 05, 2004


Andy Brennan
You're Deputy Andy Brennan. Dimwitted but
loveable, you are deeply sensitive and
sometimes a lot more insightful than anyone
would guess. Your puppy-dog charm may get a
little grating after a while, but you're so
endearing that nobody has the heart to swat you
with a rolled-up newspaper.

Which Twin Peaks character are you?

Guess I have to start wearing a brown tie. Cool.

Don't forget the Runaway Planet show tomorrow night.

"I'll steal a sled" 

After a couple of years of an ill-defined antagonism, Amber and I have rediscovered one another through our common use of online publishing. Detente by communicative coevolution--the irony is unbearable!


Wednesday, February 04, 2004


In spite of the facts that a) the temperature is currently hovering about ten degrees above the freezing point and b) I get paid by the hour, I am counterintuitively excited about the potential sleet that is, supposedly, on the way. If ice falls from the sky I go home regardless of how quickly it melts (on contact, in this case) and I don't care if I lose a few hours. A partial day off at the hands of circumstance, however, is much cooler than taking a day of your own accord (hence my subject-line mantra), so why won't the pink band just move the eighth of a mile east it needs to cover Little Rock?!

After Super Bowl Sunday at Billy's place I kinda think fate owes me one (although hearing the other Jeff explain that he had to change pants because he peed a little with joy when the Patriots won was a little bit of a reward). I did, however, get to see Carlos and Caleb, company that I don't get to keep very often these days. And Dawn became Bowie-esque in her 180 degree transformation from sleepy-on-her-way-to-bed to wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am when the camera came out.


Sunday, February 01, 2004


Some people have really good eyes. I've been copyi-, um, I mean I've been taking inspiration from some of the photos I stumble upon at the site where my images are hosted. Dale (his) has plenty of cloud-filled Canadian sunsets (mine), Dragan (his) sees Swedish sun on the snow (mine), and so on. Thanks, all.

Also, if Casey's fondness for dick is anywhere near the magnitude of his own dickheadedness, which I imagine it is, then he'll enjoy his little surprise.


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