Speaking of the formal party; which was a sort of birthday party for housemate Elizabeth Stark...well among the things that happened was:
Elizabeth's being brought into the party triumphantly on a wooden platform, the sort Persian potentates are hauled around on-it had been made secretly by my other housemates. My job during Elizabeth's hauling was to feed her grapes one by one. Meanwhile others played instruments: Penley played violin and a visiting friend named Kelly played a budget accordion supplied by raver housemate Andrew.
Andrew also supplied raver glow sticks which were subsequently broken open and the bright green contents thrown around the darkened kitchen in a surreal display.
Crispina's sister, (see the Glossary, "large meat pizza") started kissing a perplexed Jessika. Later Crispina's sister had to be shooed out of Andrew's room; she was doing something extreme with a boy ontop of an enormous stuffed polar bear in there!
Oh, and Andrew claimed that every time he yawned, the Tussin feeling intensified greatly.
from left: Sadie the Dog, Deya, Jessika & Andrew on "the rock"
Sadie & Deya tubing on the James
Read some more tales of tussin.
Later, I had hitch hiked back to Staunton, and I heard the differences between the reactions of the two American presidential candidates to news of possible life on Mars. Bill Clinton sounded very presidential, calling for more scientific inquiries and seeming full of wonder. It was as though he was acting like a spokesman for all of life here on Earth. It resonated well, even if it was just typical Bill Clinton opportunism, to which I long ago became cynical. Bob Dole, on the other hand, met the possibility of life on Mars with a stupid little joke that displayed an old man's contempt for both the science and novelty.
My father, Robert F. Mueller, a former NASA Scientist, is a big skeptic on the subject of life on Mars. but he and I agree that if Bill Clinton can use life on Mars to keep the possibility of life on Earth (by defeating the Republicans) then more power to him!
I have been missing out on the Charlottesville party scene ever since I started working weekend nights here at Comet.Net. Jessika and Deya had two litres of vodka to play with tonight, and under its effects, they went to the house of Soiled Little Boy's Underpants in order to wage war; the girls view him as a dreadful walking-penis type (he has boasted to me about "doing" five girls simultaneously). Instead, though, they met an even worse victim of testosterone poisoning, a guy calling himself "James Brown." JB had some nasty tiff with Jessika but claimed, despite the heated words, "I'd still fuck you." Jessika attacked him physically and wrote "BULLSHIT" in permanent marker on his new The Gap shirt. Of this she was very proud.
Later Kiki (aka Bad Sex) came by while we were hanging out on the front porch of my house. He joined Deya, Jessika and myself in the drinking of vodka over at Jessika's house. Soon, though, he became insane and took to conversing in Spanish. Outside, he raved and smashed a beautiful blue glass mug on the ground. Jessika was infuriated.
Later he spoke with a calm Jessika in front of the Rising Sun Bakery as Plutonium (a local mostly instrumental band) played. But then as she prepared to leave, he said horrible things to her and a fight ensued. He punched her in the side of the face and her glasses flew off. That's when the macho men stepped forth to break up the situation, unnecessarily chastising Kiki for "hitting a girl." Jessika and I departed as Kiki raved in the distance.
The next day we noted that Kiki had apparently driven a vehicle back and forth over the clunky red-turned-blue ten speed I'd been riding before, utterly destroying it. What the hell is wrong with that guy? Still, Jessika is for some reason drawn to people who are "intense" in this way.
Jessika has been teasing me on account of all my recent concern about my various "home pages." She has even started using the term "home page" to describe her principle artistic creation, a tattered notebook full of drawings, astrological charts, writings, and strange media experiments. In response, I took some of her drawings that I had at Comet, scanned them in, and created an actual online/Internet accessible home page of her art. Since Deya has left to attend college at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, Jessika is down to just me and Peggy for close friends in Charlottesville. Or so she says. So, what with all her time not wasted socializing, her artistic production is up to all-time highs. She is even painting again! I hope to scan more of her peculiar drawings and thus put more of her "home page" online.
Yesterday I had a long talk with Farrell in front of Mudhouse. Farrell thinks that our generation is bereft of completely unique ideas generally, particularly with regard to style. He thinks it would be innovative if the mall rats would start painting the whole of their faces green or blue. He doesn't think there should be designs or anything like the face painting of the goths; he sees the sort of face painting he envisions as being not decoration but more of a statement concerning the nature of race (done of course as a statement of style as well). Farrell went on, in the vein of style, to hand me a wondrously tacky polyester shirt featuring gaudy illustrations of beach scenes. Farrell indicated that the lovely elongated women depicted were revealing their pubic hair; it projected above their bikinis. I wore the shirt for the rest of the day.
That evening there was a sort of low-key party at my house. Elizabeth likes Donovan, I discovered. You know, that guy from the 60s who sings about being called "Mellow Yellow." I thought her interest in Donovan was satirical at first. But then, under the influence of Cannabis sativa I found myself agreeing with her that it sounded much like such a respectably progressive band as Stereolab. I really must submit that Donovan impressed me upon hearing it in such a state.
The Swami Rami (aka "Bad Ironing Board") is continually having personality clashes with his on-again off-again employer, Terry, the guy who owns the Rising Sun Bakery. After only 36 hours back in employment, he quit his job as baker much as he had done early in the summer. Rami and I went around drinking vodka mixed with various other things as he applied to work at Hot Tomatoes (the corner pizza venue) and then we played with the freshly installed computers in UVA's Cocke Hall. I was amused to learn that after someone made a fake Daniel Reitman homepage, he discovered it and posted a complaining message on the Usenet. I later discussed this with Jen Fariello who is a photographer that works at the Rising Sun. She agreed to give me photographs for an "Unofficial Rising Sun Bakery Homepage" I am working on.
So I went to Comet and did some scanning, mostly a picture by Jen Fariello of a semi-aerial view of the Rising Sun Bakery for my Bakery Homepage. I also scanned in a rotund woman's face because she resembled to some extent the visage of Bad Beef, the entry for which I need a picture in the Glossary. Later at night (at Comet), I drew hair on the woman's face using Adobe Photoshop until she literally became Bad Beef.
I saw Sundew Evans today for the first time in awhile. She's someone from my pre-Big Fun days; she used to let Jatasya and I sleep at her house after a night gallivanting in Fratville. Anyway, Sundew is leaving in two days for Oberlin to attend college, much as I did ten years ago. Instead of living in Harkness, though, she'll be staying in Tank, a non-vegetarian co-op that throws really good parties. I suggested that Sundew keep track of this "Musings" section to follow the happenings back here in Charlottesville.
For lack of a Jessika to track down (she's at Bread & Puppet in Vermont with Nellie of Peirce & Nellie fame), I went to the Downtown Mall to maybe see the Fridays After Five thing. I found Farrell, much like two days before, in front of the Mudhouse waiting with hopes of ensnaring excitement in its most animal form. He's always got a good idea. Today it was the making of black 2-D cut outs much like the big decorative steel silhouettes currently on the Mall. Only his would be of plywood and would relate more of the sorry truth of human existence. Instead of frolicking families and avid shoppers, his cut-outs would feature downtrodden bums holding bottles aloft and overweight husbands beating even more overweight wives. Perhaps, he mused, the contrast could be drawn by painting his silhouettes red instead of black. He also asked did I have a jig saw.
The presence of so much vital new blood on the campus of UVA was to flavour the whole of the day. After watching the Simpsons at my house, my male housemates and I (a contingent consisting of Andrew, John, Steve and myself) decided to go "check out" the rumoured "pandemonium" on campus. But our walking foot tour of the campus quickly became possessed with a not-completely-in-jest predatory spirit as we neared the first year dorms and became aware of all the new girls on campus. But we couldn't really carry through on such sordid details as, say, eating at a first year dining hall.
I felt rather ashamed of the emergent subtext for our walk; you see Elizabeth had once told me that Soiled Little Boy's Underpants had, in the past, been so desperate for new first year lay that he'd "even been in the habit of walking around the first year dorms."
Later that evening, a number of first year girls actually did make it back to my house; it seems they had some social connections to other girls who are often over visiting some of my housemates. But I couldn't stay and be predatory; I needed a pre-work nap. This nap went on a half hour too long, and upon awaking, I was aghast and hurried to Comet.
Never to fear, though. Evan was reading and greatly enjoying the Correspondence with Christin section of my personal web site. He told me he liked the manner in which I analyze the world (I don't recall exactly how he put it; I was very groggy).
It had been a good day for positive reviews; also Jen Fariello e-mailed me highly positive feedback on my Unofficial Rising Sun Bakery Homepage.
The walk home was longer than expected, and I looked like a certified freak in the long crimson trench coat Cecelia had given me. Someone in a convertible pulled over and in a concerned voice asked if I was sleep walking. He probably had wished I was a girl. I didn't know where I was and was forced to navigate by keeping track of Polaris, the glow of downtown Charlottesville, and the flashing radio towers on top of the Ragged Mountains.
There was a sort of party happening at my house when I got there; I have a feeling that my house is going to be more of a social scene than I had first anticipated. And that is fine with me.
There are lots of Melrose-Place type incidents happening around me. Not me so much anymore, but they are pretty close. That is an unfortunately mysterious thing to say, I know, but that's all I can given that the people involved are occasional visitors to this page.
On a somewhat related note, Sarah Williams, an employee at the Rising Sun Bakery, is planning on extracting tuition money that had been destined to fund this semester's education at UVA and using it instead to fund travel throughout Europe, starting in France. She aims on visiting dear Peirce of Peirce & Nellie fame; he will be in Prague in the Czech Republic.
Today Sarah came to Comet to learn how to use Telnet to check her e-mail during her travels. Well integrated into her employ at the Rising Sun Bakery, she is adept at the art of "having fun" while on the job. That's all well and good, but the likes of Evan, Steve and Ken (my coworkers and superiours, not to disparage them in any way, mind you) were all here at once in an anomalous instance of late night hands-on equipment installation, sprinkled heavy with the acronymns of techno-speak. And what with no couch or equipment of entertainment to speak of (very unlike my old Comet stomping grounds: 22 Elliewood), the facilities here at 1517 University are not ones that encourage or facilitate guest visits.
As I stir my Taster's Choice Instant Coffee with a handy screwdriver, I ponder the nature of a society that pays for the service I am now providing it: security that their web pages, news and e-mail will be quickly back on line in the unlikely event that the computers crash during the hours I am here.
UVA was over-run with disoriented students. Some were actually using Macintosh's "Mouse Practice" application to familiarize themselves with the Macs. This is the first time I have ever seen someone using that training-wheels-ware.
1...Nellie's getting pulled over and searched for drugs (a small personal stash of marijuana was found, but Nellie had agreed to the search, much to Jessika's discomfort).
2...An obnoxious truck driver named Ruufus who Jessika used her "canned response" on. The canned response is something I developed for Jessika for those times when guys compliment her on her transcendent beauty. It goes, "Thank you, you have just boosted my self-esteem immeasurably; I am forever in your debt." Jessika had never actually carried out a conventional conversation with this truck driver; she'd flashed him messages on a piece of paper. Said Jessika of the truck driver retrospectively, "he was slimy." Welcome to the real world.
4....A little sad black kitten in Baltimore was rescued and brought back. It was named "Ruufus" after the truck driver. He's very smart and has a brown head.
Jessika managed to get me to accompany her back to her place to look at Ruufus, who took an obnoxious stinky poo onto a sheet of newspaper put out for such eventualities. I was intoxicated so I spent the night at Jessika's. Outside, the tranquil calm of chirping insects had been overtaken by the roaring parties of Fratville.
Jessika and I rode down from her place to the Corner with little Ruufus (I carried him in a bag with his head sticking out, watching the world and meowing cutely). We eventually went to my house.
The cat made a big hit with all my housemates, who, with the exception of Elizabeth and Andrew, wanted to adopt him. Elizabeth had some unnerving things to say about what she likes in a pet; she likes dogs because they are so eager to please and she considers cats simply animated nick-nacks. Andrew, as revealed in a later conversation, has largely the same view. Jessika and I like animals with a sense of independence and could not understand such anthropocentrism expressed by people we thought we'd understood. Jessika and I go further, too. We feel that people who want a certain trait in their pets also want that trait in their human companions. A scary thought, to be sure!
Ruufus, though intelligent, did not managed to maintain his perfect public relations campaign. At some point he took an enormous stinky shit in Chesney's bed, precipitating a climate of "no cats" in the house.
But later, even Elizabeth had to admit that Ruufus is very cute. He looks right into your eyes and says "meow!" in that squeaky little voice of his, through those pointy little fangs. It is adorable. He is also very intelligent and direct. He never leaves a crumb when he eats...and he always eats voraciously. One obviously must be this way to survive on the mean streets of Baltimore.
Jessika and I ate some weird Chinese food she had dumpster dived some weeks ago; it had been in my freezer for a long time. It was beef-something and noodles. Once cooked, it was very filling and sleep-inducing.
Comparing notes with Jessika, it became apparent that Ruufus had disappeared somehow during the night. No one at my house knew what had become of him, and Jessika's last sight of him had been him pathetically meowing at her as she left my house last night on her blue bicycle. The fact of Ruufus' disappearance hung like a solemn cloud over the events of the rest of the day.
Jessika finished my haircut today, and for the most part, it met with rave reviews when it made its public debut. I must admit that the haircut presently on my head is the best I have ever had.
Jessika and I were at the Rising Sun Bakery just as their new dishwasher resigned his job. So Jessika, on a whim, agreed to take the position. Terry, Jessika's boss-to-be and owner of the Bakery, told Jessika, "I finally get to know you" and went on to indicate that he had been sort of intimidated by her always.
For a time today I realized I had not been alone for several days, and I vanished on my bicycle and did nerdy computer things.
Jessika and I set out at sundown to dumpster dive Bodo's Bagels, but the dumpster was too choked with disgusting stuff for us to reap any harvest their. We're really not that hardcore, you see. We did find some usable veggies at the grocery store across Preston Ave., and we also obtained a couple of milk crates to increase the haul potential of our bicycles. Inside that same grocery store, which is like a relic from the sixties, Jessika was so intrigued by the strange food products for sale that she seemed to want to spend the night in the rustic indoor ambience. I had to almost drag her out of there. She's a distractible dreamer with no feet on the ground.
At length I found my way to the Downtown Mall, which would have been a mistake had I sought to remain in my carefree glorious anonymity. I'd purchased a small bottle of Carlo Rossi Chablis (my gut had sickened at the thought of red wine), and soon found myself having a very nice chat with Nellie Apple-B (of Peirce and Nellie fame). She and I did all the necessary gossip, though we strayed often and wonderfully into meaningful conversation as well. She and I have rapport that I don't find myself having with many others, though I don't think such uniqueness extends to her part of the dialogue: my feeling is that she manages to have intense rapport with lots of people. It's a social skill or something.
I ran across John Zawacki, one of my first friends when I first started socializing in Charlottesville back in November 1994. He was, as is usual for my interactions with him, on the threshold of a major change. This time he was just about to move to Los Angeles and teach kids at a Science Camp. So he was kissing his nice apartment far upstairs from the Jefferson Theatre goodbye. We showed the place to KC, the spunky sixteen year old artist girl.
I found myself walking back and forth up and down the Downtown Mall several times, always in the company of a different girl. Let's see, there was Nellie, then KC, the Theresa Venesian. Onlookers making assumptions must have been very confused indeed.
The purpose for all my traffic was to attend yet another Steve Keene opening at Gallery Neo, and I kept wanting other people to join me there only to decide I wasn't having a good time, going out to the mall, and finding someone new to accompany me. Nellie, by the way, never actually made it to the gallery, but my housemates did, as well as a small contingent of my house's "groupies" if you will. The best thing about the Neo show was the vino and the eats, which I reflect upon as having eaten in rude quantities. I didn't know it at the time, but Elizabeth and Andrew, as well as Ed (Elizabeth's old boyfriend, here for a visit) were on Tussin DM while at the Gallery Neo opening.
Second Street has been reopened across the Downtown Mall for the first time in anyone's memory. White Plastic tape had been laid out to guide the cars through, and there were many signs advising pedestrians of the "new traffic pattern." My friends, especially Nellie and Jessika (when she heard about it) were unanimous in their revulsion at the concept of cars driving across the Mall. For my part, I can say that I actually drove across the Mall way before it was legal, back in November of 1995 when I was setting out from Downtown for my first ever trip to the house subsequently known as Big Fun. That was the night of the infamous Housewarming Party.
I went to the Corner to see how Jessika was doing on her first night as dish washer at the Rising Sun Bakery. I offered her a sip of my vino and then went to my house to take my pre-work nap. Her new job came in the nick of time; for having failed to make it back in time from Bread and Puppet, she'd just been fired from her job as dish washer at the C&O.
As I awoke from my pre-work nap, Jessika arrived with Bad Beef tagging along. She related later that Bad Beef had not made a stellar impression on my housemates.
Jessika came to hang out with me at Comet, though she was pretty sleepy and tried to take a nap on one of those little half-couches in the so-called "Comet Select Lounge." Meanwhile, I hung a set of blinds and watched with revolted fascination the stupid jock Wahoos with identical haircuts streaming by, drunk and boisterous, below me. They were a joke; did they really think they were cool? My co-workers here at Comet might not be in the far flung fringe that Jessika and I occupy, but their emotions and humour are understandable. These jocks just looked like aliens.
When Jessika woke up, I used a power drill to install holes in her bike such that wire would support her plastic milk crate and give her a reliable payload capacity. Then I hung out in the Comet Select lounge and read Internet World. The September issue concerned various blocking software to protect the innocent (read ignorant) minds of our precious children. In the past I'd found the concept of blocking software repugnant to my ideas about the supposed preciousness (or lack thereof) of the innocence of children. And it infuriates me to consider the warped view that someone will get when, beyond their control, software is deciding what is appropriate for them to view. You see, software that blocks access to sites will always have a political subplot, perhaps one not even consciously intended. But then I read about a rating system where page creators rate their own work using META tags or what not. This system is promulgated by a group called the Recreational Software Advisory Council, and it was originally designed to rate the content of video games. Since such ratings actually provide more, not less, information to the browser, I rather liked the idea. True, no browser of mine is going to doing anything with such info, but if someone wants such info, I see nothing wrong with providing it. With this in mind, I rated the Big Fun Glossary by taking a little question and answer test about its content. The test was a bit confusing since it was really designed for graphics-intensive fantasy video games, but in the end my Big Fun Glossary was given a rather mild rating based on occasional strong language and a few rare references to violence (i.e. Jessika's breaking a bottle over my head; other examples can be found in the Glossary entry for blackout). I'd always considered the Glossary rather hard core because of its gossipy references to real people and its casual unbiased view of drug use/abuse. But the RSAC test had nothing to do with scandalous gossip and drug use; it didn't seem that concerned about anything that didn't come with a photograph.
Zachary and Wonderboy Neek came to visit me at Comet after being kicked out of my house by my housemates (where they had been rude and invasive, for example, Zachary had claimed to want to "stalk" Elizabeth). Wonderboy had spent the summer in Chicago, though now he is on his way back to college in Haverford, PA. Once they were gone, I could finally get to work on finishing up my art page.
The party was in one of the gardens off "the lawn" of the University of Virginia, behind one of those curvy walls that Jefferson, in his wisdom, was so fond of. The food was abundant and the clothes worn by the friends -particularly the ladies- of my housemates were all very "doo dee doo" as I kept saying. Alcohol was drunk from discrete stashes for some reason, though it was clear that nearly everyone was fairly drunk. John had brought his Croquet set, and a hardy game was played, to the faux-sophisto commentary of the likes of housemate Steve and me (and perhaps others). Photographs were taken, some by me using housemate Andrew's camera.
When things wound down and I became bored, I went to he Corner in the ridiculous garb I'd worn to the garden party. Jessika was working at the Rising Sun at the time; it was already evening, see.
A large number of people arrived at my house soon after dark. They were mostly the female "groupies" of my housemates and for the most part they seemed to be of the social-butterfly/trendy sort. However, they had a sophistication and intelligence that is generally not found at frat parties. As such they, and perhaps my house in general, represents a sort of elite at the University. These are the people who will one day rule the world while the frat boys can go ahead and rule K-mart. I'd never really had that sense before. It had been building to this over the summer, sure. But I'd sort of assumed that my housemates were the weird ones on campus. I mean, it took virtually no convincing to get Elizabeth and Andrew to chug down the Dextromethorphan-containing variant of Tussin! And now they brag about drinking cough syrup!
The very hipness of my house is not exactly a comfort to me. I like life on the fringe of popularity and what with so many "cool people" at my house it is going to mean that challenging the status quo will have its negative consequences. You know me, I walk on toes. And even though standards of "social acceptability" are known to me, they only exist so I can go about violating them.
Elizabeth's old boyfriend, Ed, has a lady friend named Brooke who came with him on this visit to Charlottesville. She has a cute red Super Beetle Volkswagen. Since she was intoxicated, I got to drive it on a beer run. It was the first time I had ever driven a punch buggy since the March demise of the Punch Buggy Green. She and I talked about last night's interaction with Zachary and Wonderboy Neek. She said that though she rather liked Neek, she found Zachary's "arguing for the sake of argument" style amateurish and "boring." She went on to repeatedly mention how very distracting she found pretty girls to be. We got beer. I made the mistake of getting Leinenkugel Berry Bier. It was very cough-syrup sweet and too -er- truckdriver-girlfriend-girlie for my liking, if you know what I mean.
Back at the house, I have was having a conversation with some of the various girls on the front porch when Andrew comes storming up and suggests that it was my fault that his camera had not turned up yet from my having used it to take his pictures at the garden party earlier that day. I calmly asserted that I would take no responsibility for the loss of his camera. He tried to argue this point with me, but Brooke led him away. The vibes were bad from this event, and at this point the party at my house wound to a conclusion. I was put in a foul mood, and I left the house with only the curtest of conversations with the likes of housemate Chesney, though certainly my emotional state was not his fault. It wasn't Jessika's fault either, though I was kind of cold to her as well as we sat together in front of the Rising Sun Bakery some moments later. She'd just gotten off work and was trying to be helpful, but all I'd say was "I don't want to talk about it" while staring off into cluttered space. Finally I just left and went to hang out by myself at the old Comet Tech headquarters at 22 Elliewood. That place is a nice, quiet retreat, I soon decided.
When I got off work at 11am the next morning, I couldn't bear to face my housemates, especially Andrew. Plus, I needed lots of sleep, and my neighborhood can be rather noisy on a Sunday afternoon. So I sacked out on the comfy couch at 22 Elliewood. I slept like a champ, completely undisturbed until 8pm. It was perhaps my most successful daytime sleep on record.