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December 12, 1996, Thursday

a 600 square foot fenced platform suspended from a hot air balloon over the floodplain of my childhood home
The dream last night featured my mother riding one of her horses on a 600 square foot fenced platform suspended from a hot air balloon over the floodplain of my childhood home. There were a few horses on the platform in addition to the one my mother was riding. One of these was an anonymous bay, and it didn't like being on the platform one bit. It kept going to the edge and rearing up as if considering jumping off to its death. Finally it did just that, falling thirty or more feet to the ground. But it landed on its feet and galloped off, not seemingly injured in the least. It appeared to be a little stiff some minutes later when I joined it on the floodplain (I had apparently been on my own independent airship, since at the time of the horse's suicide attempt, my perspective had been at equal altitude to the suspended platform, but some short distance away). In reality, I should say, my mother has three horses which she rarely rides; one of these being 12 years old and almost completely untrained. My view of the horses is that they are completely useless and tediously stupid, prone to breaking fences and escaping for no reason. I have no use for them. But my mother loves horses and tries every now and then to reassert their usefulness. The dream could be interpreted as a parody of her motives.

I purchased two more CDs today, truth be known. One was used and cost $8: Sugar's File Under: Easy Listening. The other was new and cost $12, Guided by Voices' Propeller. Both are excellent and it will take me a while to absorb it all. An immediate favourite from Propeller is "Lethargy" continuing through "Unleashed! Large Hearted Boy." It's very heavy stuff, really. Then, with Sugar's "FU:EL," I particularly like "Company Book" and "What You Want it to Be." The latter, though, I used to have on a mix tape and you have to view my quick analysis while bearing in mind that with music, "familiarity breeds nostalgic love." There's more to be said about both these and I have only just begun to listen.

At five pm there will be an art opening for some of my housemates at the University Gallery (Fairweather). Free vino, cool people, the usual, and of course I'll be going there. There will be details when I get a chance to update the musings.

The opening was centered around the novel Moby Dick and was designed to be, as much as possible, a multimedia affair. There were paintings by housemates John, Elizabeth, Penley, and Ches, as well as others I know, there were some sculptures by a number of familiar faces at my house, there was poetry and prose read by professorial types, there was a disgusting performance art display of squeezing lumps out of fake spermecetti (made of various gloopy dairy products), and a display of the results of video editing projects. The vino didn't last long, and I wasn't too entertained, mostly because despite my knowing many of the people there, I was still mostly in my reclusive mode, and as such was mostly ignored even by people rather familiar with me.

In the evening I was walking past the Rising Sun Bakery when I ran across Jessika just getting back from taking out the trash. She works every Thursday Night now, it seems. We had a pleasant conversation and she even said she'd come to visit me later on tonight.

I fell asleep intermittantly listening to Propeller and reading parts of Dostoevsky's Tales from the Underground. But Jessika did at last come over after midnight and ended up staying until 4am or so. We reached some combination of verbal and nonverbal understanding, I suppose. I felt better about things, so I even offered to drive her home. While I warmed up my car, I had her read some stories I'd written in 1975 when I was in the second grade in Lanham, Maryland, attending Magnolia Elementary School.

I've decide I like every song on Propeller except for "Particular Damaged." Again on this album I notice that occasionally Pollard's voice is similar to Niko's back in the days of the Velvet Underground. Guided by Voices is forever reminding me of other music, but there is also some quality there that isn't to be had anywhere else. It's the damaged quality, combined with an amazingly skillful avoidance of pretense and cheese. Plus, the lyrics, as fucked up and obscure as they are, seem to peer into my life like nothing I've yet heard or read.

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