Thursday, November 18, 2004

"We don't have a message, we're just a stupid band." 

Since, one by one, my compatriots are falling to the sword of poverty (whether at the hands of graduate school, law school, or a new residence and single-handed approach to rent), I think it's high time that we institute some sort of periodic potluck. I can cook some wickedly inexpensive vegetarian meals (assuming you all like broccoli and sweet potatoes) and the Mexican bakery near my house has $10 twelve packs of Miller Lite (in cans, hooray!).

Little Rock is all aflutter under the influence of a megadose of presidential heat, with all the trimmings that usually affords (y'know, the Streisand and lackey, Robin Williams, etc.) I apparently missed the chance to snag some Grade-A Sexually Ambivalent Superstardom, as even Kevin Spacey made his way to the Little City to bask in Clinton's popular sentiment. I would like to have been there, but every time I try to plan an absence my conscience reminds me of the per-course meeting breakdown of the costs of graduate school that I so frequently bemoan. I'm happy enough imagining the juxtaposition of Little Rock creed with the confluence of Great Airs that have there descended for the feast of reportage: "Good God, y'all, is that James Brolin? Did he become a Jew fer her? Y'all, I don't care, he is grreaaaaat."

Yesterday, my fun roommate and I ventured out to 18th street to hound the used CD store, whose collection at least suggests that something other than top 40 hits have existed in the past few years (some entrepreneur should seriously think about opening a true independent music store here; it could only flourish if properly and variously stocked). I managed to snag K&D Sessions to replace my killed-in-transit copy and The Soft Pink Truth's Do You Party? for under eight bucks total, a triumph. I can't stop playing and freaking out to S.P.T.'s Real Shocks (The Swell Maps), making it decidedly more difficult to focus on statistics. Ah, well, Thursday is essentially the weekend, right?


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Ken Fandell somehow stole my conceptualism but I love him anyway because his art is of quality 

So I'm not the only one obsessed with the sky, its documentation and symbolism, post-pruduction manipulation and the superimposition of text within field of view in photography. Who knew?

Now, if only I could get to Chicago...

Money, classes, booze and porn 

I found out today, after a lengthy and bitter "discussion" with another random CitiBank assistant, who I shall call "Cliff," that my supplemental educational loan (applied for on August 23 of this year) will be validated and disbursed within 48 hours.

Ho-lee shit, people, do you know what this means?

This means that I am able to pay for the rapidly approaching spring term for which I registered today: cancer epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, design of health studies, statistical packages for health research, and a few courses more boring of title and content.

This means that I was able to spend the remaining six dollars of my anemic checking account on two forty ounce Coronas from the Mercado Latino down the street, noticing afterward that the crisp autumnal air of my entire neighborhood smells like tortillas (and wondering, then, if tortilla-scented potpourri would sell).

This means that I'm able to spend tonight in a fuzzy good mood of aimless internet play, hunting through my music collection, chatting with friends online, and otherwise being magnanimously unproductive.

This means, of course, that I have come across (ha!) the Most Amazing Gay Porn Blog Ever, the appropriatlely titled bjland, an amalgam of blog, sociological commentary on gay porn, extensive gay porn catalog, gay porn auctions, and so forth. My, I've managed to type gay porn four times in one sentence (five times in two sentences)! It's pointless to ignore bjland, for you all know, gay, straight and middling degrees, that your curiosity is piqued by such indiscretion. Read, spank, purchase, enjoy!

Additionally, I have purchased (on credit, mind you, due to the bank's promise of "money soon") my tickets home for the holiday season. I was initially planning to spend Thanksgiving at home (for the sake of vegetarian stuffing, my cat, and the annual Thanksgiving Runaway Planet bluegrass extraordinaire), but those plans fell through when, after waiting so long to look into it that round trip DC to Arkansas airfare would have cost about $600, simple cost-benefit analysis told me to just wait until Christmas. Rightfully so, as the one-way ticket I've bought cost just slightly over a hundred bucks, and I'll be driving back out here (!!!) with more of my stuff (I need my lamps and easel) coutesy of my gracious mom and her willingness to ride out with me and then drive her car 16 hours back home (hopefully we'll get out here early enough to have a few days to kick it in the Big City before my classes begin).

So that's that. Anyone in the Little Rock this week should definitely hit up the Clinton Library opening, if for nothing else than to scam off the appetizers and to boo GW Bush (why the fuck does he have to tarnish the event?). Home city, reprazent (this means you, Megan, and get Brady and Dawn and Angie and Caled and Carlos out there too). For shits and giggles, also go come on a dress (in spirit, as it has yet to be constructed) at the Counter Clinton LIE-brary (isn't that clever?).

I'm out of 40's.


Sunday, November 14, 2004

Les nouvelles de la p'tite roche 

Little Rock is set to be hopping for the next week or so as this Thursday brings the long-awaited grand opening of the Clinton Presidential Library. For almost two years after the structure took its earliest skeletal form there has been a countdown sign maintained by the workers, pinned to the highest beam, declaring the "days until opening." When I moved out here they were somewhere around ninety seven, and now that the day is almost upon us, I'm almost ashamed that I can't be there for the celebrations.

The building itself is rather impressive, especially when considered among the generally plain corporate architecture that defines the tiny downtown. Designed by Polshek and Olcott, whose firm is also designing the Newseum journalism museum to be built in DC, is a $165 million cantilevered glass building that extends out over the waters of the Arkansas River, visually echoing the six bridges that span the river at Little Rock. Some have joked that it's slender, elongate form harkens back to a certain famous cigar (which, personally, I think is a fantastic legacy--what other city can claim to have an illustrious library that recalls an inspirational cunny cigar?). As a downtown addition, the building adds an amazing 28-acre park to the waterfront, promising that, as the city inevitably expands Southward, a large public green space will be guarded from the grey dominance of concrete and steel. Additionally, one of the old railroad bridges is being converted to a pedestrian walkway, and there has even been speculation about constructing a restaurant or café to crown the structure in the former controller's box.

In addition to the Thursday event, last week saw the unveiling of the revitalized electric trolley system, connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock, which hadn't been working in something like sixty years, and for the past couple of years had contributed plenty of storm und drang to the mechanics of driving through either downtown. Hooray for efficient, local public transportation!

In concert with all of this, every city in the state with a connection to Clinton is using the ceremony as an appropriate excuse for huge civic parties. Hot Springs, Hope, Fayetteville etc. are all pitching in their two cents for the coming of the Natural State's Native Son.


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