Friday, October 15, 2004


Two midterms and a case study after the last one drearily passed, the new one is thankfully upon us.

My parents will be in town at some point over the next couple of days, which is a good thing--above all else, I finally get my mattress after seven weeks of various futons/floors/couches and, most recently, my reconstructed slatted bedframe with a blanket thrown over it. Nothing makes one feel the bane of age like sleeping on a plank, I can tell you that much. Hooray for mattresses.

The other nice thing about having my parents in town is that is gives me the perfect excuse to ignore my schedule and do all the standard tourist activities that no DC resident will ever admit to being interested in, and since everything on the Mall is free it perfectly fits my budget. Exculding the art museums and the Botanic Garden, I've really done nothing museum-oriented in the past month and a half, which just seems odd considering I lived within walking distance of the Capitol until about a week ago.

Sitting on the balcony of my new place last night, I decided to spark the little joint I'd been given by a like-minded friend. I figured no one would be the wiser considering roommate #1 was absent and roommate #2 was holed up in the living room with her boyfriend, doors closed and lights off. It was nice, especially after having been unintentionally dry since coming here, so I sat back under my jacket and listened to my little audio recording of the PJ Harvey show, occasionally trying to lure the neighbor's cat to come sit on my lap. Half an hour later or so, roommate #2 emerges from guyville, drunk, and we start chatting. At some point she makes an analogy to emphasize what she's talking about, and it went a little something like this: "...it's like when someone goes and lets you smell pot and then doesn't offer you any." Ba-dum-bum. I suppose I should have known considering she lived on the Dutch/German border at some point, not to mention having lived in the Phillipines for six years, but it's still so taboo to so many people that I just assume anymore that mum's the word.

Soon enough roomate #1 reappears, and the two of them box me into conversation about heterosexual women things, like how unable to come they always seem to be, and how shyness can be overcome with sexual liberty in the bedroom. All in all fun topics, but not exactly what I'd had in mind for my first buzz in the new house. Soon enough, though, the sex talk is replaced by the blandly irritating I-hate-my-low-paying-job-and-I-want-to-die sort, which, frankly, I can't stand when I know that one of the complainers is making $41K working in a paper-pushing job in the tobacco settlement sector. Then conversation again randomly swerves back to talk of lame boyfriend and dumb males, at which point I, sitting silently under my jacket at the other wnd of the pation, am called into conversation to answer their questions about gays. More precisely, I should say, to asnwer their questions about gay sex. Are thirty year-old women supposed to be this naive about sexuality? Whatever, I fulfill my purpose and let them giggle at a few frank answers before their conversation again drifts wildly and I make my move for the door. Enough of that for one night.

So somebody give me weekend ideas for things to do when I peel myself free from my family. I'm thinking about Blowoff and Bob Mould deejay action unless I can find something cheaper (like a wedding reception with an open bar to crash).


Thursday, October 14, 2004

Fifty foot queenie 

I lost my 9:30 cherry to PJ Harvey; how does one top that?

Speaking of the show, it was absolutely brilliant. The material from the new album sounds much better performed live than it does on a tinny little stereo and, though I didn't get to hear many of my favorites, every track was a hit. I'd never seen her live before; I like how responsive she is to the percussion in person, using her body language to punctuate the snap of it. When an audience has an opportunity to watch a performer moving to his or her own music, it gives a sort of perceptual metronome for everyone to judge the piece, it tells you how the mind that made it moves to it, and that's an important aspect of being an active listener.

After bumping into Kyle at the main entrance, I thought it would be easy to find him on the inside, a suspicion that quickly evaporated once among the crowd (when it's dark and everyone's standing on a level floor, we determined that one has a depth perception of exactly two people).

Amber made it in from State College at about five and, in so many ways, let me sigh the first sigh of Arkansan familiarity since I've been here. We Mills High children have scattered like spores, so it's good that I've got one near here who doesn't mind driving for a couple of hours to go see music with me. We were actually supposed to meet up with two other locally-resident Mills alums (neither of whom I know too well), but, as mentioned with Kyle, we had no chance in hell of meeting on the inside.

Ah, well. Live and learn. Who's up to go see Ratatat with me on October 21 at the Black Cat? They'll be playing with Mouse on Mars and Junior Boys if that piques interest for anyone.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

What's the point prevalence of apathetic disinterest among public health students? 


Tonight we're having our second guerrilla case study, a three hour free-for-all of panic and desperation, of trying to simply fill in all the blanks and worry about comprehension later. It's a total drag, but, hell, I look around in the library right now and the normal ratio of 30 medical students to 1 public health candidate is notably reversed.

Thursday comes the midterm examination for the biological basis of public health class, the one lecture that I actually consider easy. This classification is working to my disadvantage, though, in that I simply can't make myself study cell biology without boredly feeling like I remember all of it well enough to take the exam blind. Whatever, I haven't got any classes tomorrow, so I figure I'll get up at 5, throw on a pot of coffee, and sit on the balcony with a highlighter and a stack of notebooks.

I can do all of this, you see, because of a certain motivating detail that demands I complete my study regimen by 6 p.m. What is it, you ask? Why, it's a dinner date with the dreamy P.J. Harvey at the 9:30 with Amber, who is driving in all the way from State College so we can collectively represent Wilbur Dwight Mills University Studies High School as a screaming cadre of giddy fans. I might even faint.

When I think about tomorrow (which has been happening frequently during tonight's marathon readings), I can't believe life's so complex...


Monday, October 11, 2004


The pointless nightlife of Washington, DC achieves its absolution; ladies and gentlemen, Taint has managed to put every bar and club I've visited since moving here to shame, and it does it all in a small upstairs bar without charging a cover nor requiring that you wear shiny shoes.

After a rivetingly gaudy performance by some ostensibly French ensemble (he had me at the hand mirror), the crowd gradually began to shimmy as the drinks started showing their effect. Moving up onto the stage for more room to exercise my own need to jiggle, I noticed that said French-esque act had foolishly left out a copy of Yoko Ono's "Grapefruit," which, in its own perversely and esoterically overcultured way, was begging to be stolen.

And so, walking up Fourteenth tired and a little more inebriated than I had planned, I pulled Yoko out of my pants and turned to the concise, appropriate introduction: "Hello, I am Yoko Ono. When you finish, burn this book." I tut-tutted the band for not heeding her words and torching the little volume onstage. Fire would have kicked their schtick up that extra notch that can't be achieved with even the most copius applications of glitter and eyeliner. Instead they wore bellyshirts, which, in my opinion, knocked them down a couple of notches (it's hard to legitimately pull off le anti-cool when you dress like you shop in the ladies' section at Express).

Ah, well. I suppose I can't judge them too harshly. I mean, I do wanna email Tokyo.


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