August 6 1998, Thursday
y the time Kim and I made it out of her place, it was fairly late in the day. We took Sophie the Schnauzer for a walk in the park down along the Huron River (beside a tall building that Kim has introduced to me - on several occasions - as "a world-famous eye center."). A heavy rain, perhaps the same one I'd encountered around Toledo, had come through Ann Arbor later in the night and left massive puddles in the fields on the floodplain of the river. I was barefoot at this point, so it felt good to walk through the puddles. Little things like me deciding to walk around outside barefoot automatically instigate motherly responses from Kim, but she seems to know what the deal is, and after a perfunctory cluck-clucking, she lets the issue drop. She knows I gotta be me.
Kim in her apartment.
I'm finding I relate to Kim a lot better in person than I did in email. In email, it just seemed she was always overly-gushy and incapable of understanding my interest in the paths lesser-traveled. In person, though, she comes off as funny, intelligent, even a bit mischievous. And she's a hottie too; text is not especially suited to transmitting that attibute.
Kim and I have even reached an understanding about these musings. She realizes that this is what I have to do, and she won't say anything more about them. Since Matt Rogers has decided it best to stop reading my musings, I'm suddenly much more free to say what I want without the risk of too much feedback. At the same time, I'm trying not to cause too many of the kinds of problems that plagued me in Charlottesville.
ince I'm to be living with Kim for the next month, we decided to go have a key made for me so I can get into and out of her apartment as I choose. We walked down to Kim's old place of employment, Café Zola, and had a key made at a locksmith shop across the street. It crossed my mind that we should tell the woman we wanted to have Kim fitted with a chastity belt.
We went into Café Zola, which was kind of weird since Kim hadn't been back since getting fired over the phone back on July 14th. But all her old co-workers (especially the ever-energetic & wryly-delighted Missy) were pleased to see us. They kept bringing us out various free things to eat and grossly undercharging us for things we ordered. Missy wasn't quite as bouncy and vivacious as I'd remembered her being when last I saw her; perhaps this was due to the fact that she hadn't just fallen freshly in love (as she had a month ago).
As they came in, Kim gave me the low-down on the people she knew from two years of having worked at Café Zola. There was the severe woman who was always particular about her food but never left tips of any consequence and her young teenage daughter, always very friendly and perhaps a bit embarrassed. Then there was a guy I called "Oxygen Man"; a fat unhealthy man who carried around a tank of oxygen everywhere he went. He made enough Darth Vader noises as I approached him in the bathroom that I thought it better not to try going back. Kim says he always asks for lots of napkins and sometimes is accompanied by a crazy wife, who he is always advising to take her medication.
Kim (left) and vivacious Missy at Café Zola
Suddenly an almost shaven-headed figure dressed smartly in the alternative convention came in. I would have felt a kindredship with him anywhere, but then I realized that I actually did know him; it was Matt Rogers. He looked different -better- without the hair. It made his encroaching baldness less apparent and it gave him an aura of intellectual intrigue.
Now, as you no doubt recall, the last time I wrote of Matt Rogers in these musings, I was ticked off about his insistance on creating a feedback loop between real life and my writing. I became so enraged I actually published his irritating emails on the web. That pretty much worked; he decided at that point that it's best if he doesn't read my musings. So I'm pretty much free now to write what I want about him without having to deal with the consequences (immediately, at least).
Anyway, Matt was friendly enough. We talked about this and that. The only irritating thing he did was obsessively mention that he wasn't reading the musings, which he often referred to in code as "the Monster." It seems he always finds some way to tick me off.
e three decided to go back to Kim's house so I could give Matt some things I'd brought for him: pirated software, a CD to copy, and a dumpster-dived Pentium motherboard. We drank some Budweisers and listened to Guided by Voices. Eventually we took Sophie for a walk along the Huron and I continued on my way to the Angell Hall computing center at the University of Michigan to do that internet thing. I stayed until well past dark.
want to extend apologies to Jim Valvis, whose idea I completely plagiarized in my August 4th musings. Mr. Valvis has, I am given to understand, a copyright on disliking Geocities pop-ups. If any of you in my readership has ever thought for a moment that you hate Geocities pop-ups, remember that it was Jim Valvis who gave you this idea.
I suggest you read for yourself Jim Valvis' vehement enunciation of this point (among other amusing things) at his site. By the way, he's the first person who has ever referred to me as "Karlie." Though I can't say I like the name, I'm not especially insulted, certainly not enough to justify his abundant reiteration of it. While I'm well aware of the fact that judicious use of insulting names can do wonders for the winning of arguments, I also believe one needs to consider the æsthetics of including them too abundantly in one's prose.
I don't think Mr. Valvis really deserves my publicity, but oh well, here you go, dude!
.....Oh, it's clear now. Jim Valvis was recently called to task by Grinder for a paragraph rather similar to one our friend in Leeds wrote a year and a half ago. But in all fairness to Mr. Valvis, it's quite possible that these two paragraphs are completely unrelated. It's also possible that the copyright Mr. Valvis holds on the right to criticize Geocities pop-ups has far greater legitimacy than Grinder's claim on discourse concerning the inconsistent nature of society's views on the respective masturbation narratives of the two genders.
I'm getting an increasingly clear picture of what sort of person this Jim Valvis is, and to me he's a really rather engrossing subject. He writes in a grandiosely hostile manner, warping all events to build himself up into a decadent hero (admittedly, we all do this to an extent, but rarely so transparently; Alan of heinovision's brilliance is that he almost succeeds in doing exactly the opposite). Every statement Valvis writes he gives with the overbearingly bombastic authority of Moses (Charlton Heston) coming down from Mount Sinai. But when challenged or questioned in however slight a manner, Valvis' response is to lash out in the most unattractively infantile fashion imaginable, resorting to name calling and gratuitous, unsupported innuendo.
.....And there's yet more from Jim Valvis. I've decided that Jim is a more readable version of Eric Lawson, the guy who does An Interview of Decadence. The arrogance, the embarrassingly awkward insult-names and the thin skin are all there, but Valvis somehow manages to string together sentences into an entertaining reading experience.
I'd like to pause for a moment and recount all the insulting names that have been hurled at me during my long and illustrious online life.
hen I returned to Kim's place, she was in bed watching a movie. I was all energized from a cup of Espresso Royale coffee I'd drunk on the way home, and soon enough this energy had rubbed off on Kim. I drank a few beers to mellow out and after an hour or so, I was the sleepy one and it was Kim who was bouncing off the walls (this had a little to do with the effects of marijuana).
Eventually we took Sophie for another walk. Under the moonlight, I was in another of my goofy moods. I'd been vaguely obessed with the "Total" brand of gas station to be found in Michigan (and perhaps nowhere else), and I found myself talking about it repeatedly. Kim became self conscious; she says "total" and "totally" a lot in conversation, and she thought maybe I was mocking her. But I wasn't; it just seemed to me a hysterically funny name for a gas station, and I don't even know why. Total. Ha ha ha ha ha. Like... Total. Ha ha ha. It's sort of like "ham sandwich" back in April, 1997.
one year ago
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