Thursday, July 15, 2004

Heat index: 105.3º F  

It's hottt.
In honor of my last summer of pure, unadulterated Arkansas heat (for a couple of years, at least), a selection of tracks that either revel in it or, alternately, make one feel a few degrees cooler.
Feel free to make suggestions (and I'll add more in the coming days).
The Gossip, Arkansas Heat
GusGus, Polyesterday
Jolie Holland, Poor Girl's Blues
The Cramps, Bikini Girls with Machine Guns
(pardon the lack of the last few files... I think the university might be blocking my ftp access; resolution soon)


Wednesday, July 14, 2004


And I quote:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush has failed in his attempt to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage after a divided U.S. Senate blocked the measure, virtually killing it for at least this election year.

As a note to those in favor of keeping marriage, um, 'protected:' look, we don't want to spoil your faith or anything, that's why we, the faithful and faithless among us, are willing to leave god out of the picture. Let us worry about our individual states of damnation or salvation, after all, god does the judging, not you, right? Read the constitution the next time you try to build Jesus into our political schema; there's a nice little exclusionary principle written right into it for just such a purpose. As you may try and try again, as per your rights (hey! those are granted by the very same document!), we'll keep bouncing it back and knocking you down with your own rhetoric. You just make sure that we get the same civically binding marriage rights as you, and I promise I won't ask you to have your god's blessing of my (deliciously decadent, perverted, sodomitic, horny, nymphomaniacal) behavior. It's all about the rights, you babies.

I never fully doubted that this would come to pass, but then again I also thought Bush had no chance in hell of winning a presidential election. That's why I've been holding my breath a little bit about this.

But, man, it felt good to read those first words, "President George W. Bush has failed..."

I hope to hear them again in November, with the word 'President' replaced with 'lame duck.'


Tuesday, July 13, 2004


I dislike this word every time I hear it used with a decidedly proud tone. I think only the most bourgeois of the bourgeoisie find 'gentrification' a pleasant (or even a tolerable) concept.

I was speaking this morning with a very nice young lady who is renting rooms from her house in DC. Her basement room is available for a very reasonable (read: cheap) figure, and we were talking about it, about whether or not I would be interested in renting before I have an opportunity to see it. She sent me pictures and everything looked very pleasant: the neighborhood has a few shops and grocers here and there, there are some trees about, and the basement room is bigger than I had expected, not to mention that the house has wireless internet and new appliances. When I started asking her about ambiance, she tripped up in the ultimate, offering that, "the place is nice enough but it's getting better, the whole area is gentrifying."

I hear this word and I think about the old south, about people who have that certain rationalizing air about them that permits wholesale disavowal of humanity. The cynic in me accuses these people for the grand success of, say, Wal-Mart over everything else, Starbucks over everything else, the homogenization of culture and the marketing of lifestyle as commodity. The fucking asshole in me (no, not that one, the metaphorical one) blames these folk for shamelessly pushing financially depressed folk out of the neighborhoods they can afford and into the downward spiral of propogated poverty, misery, ill-health, and so forth. These are all drastic admonishments, but there is not a grain of doubt in me as to the validity of the basis of such complaints that aiming to socially 'reclaim' an area is a dirty, irresponsible thing to do.

If I'm extended the offer (which I doubt), I don't think I'll be moving into that house.


Monday, July 12, 2004


For about six months of the year I can't stand the thought of cold soups. Every year I protest when people ask me to make gazpacho or some cucumber stock, but, inevitably right around my birthday, I'm walking across some parking lot with arms extended, eyes closed, and sweat rolling into my eyebrows when I think, "Oh god, I want gazpacho, I want cold saltiness right now, and a bloody mary." Avocado gazpacho, by the way, is where it's at.

Here's to Polly for hiking across sweltering University Avenue so that we could eat Subway instead of campus fare (which would have been something like butter-soaked old broccoli and a bean burrito). She laughs at how much we've converted her, the hushed Kenyan, to needing climatization. She will never again be able to ride in a car during summer without air conditioning.

My parents and sister drove into town yesterday for a visit, and mom fried some green tomatoes. While eating them (her tomatoes are better than mine, and she uses buttermilk), I wondered if there will be any gardens to pilfer in DC. Doubting it, sadly, I focused on enjoying the ones on the plate before me.

Speaking of DC, though, my culinary fantasies have been running wild (with the gracious aid of the internet). A place called Kanlaya Thai Cuisine boasts over thirty vegetarian (mostly vegan) dishes; I haven't had more than five options (ond one of them is always "house salad without the chicken") at any restaurant in my life (vacations excluded). Indulgences previously alien to me in which I will be wallowing:
Jerk Portabello Mushroom Sandwich (at Asylum)
Lamb(less) giuvech (at Cafe Sofia)
General Tso's Textured Vegetable Protein (hilarious, at Peking Garden)


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