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March 6 1998, Friday


  ran a set of errands in the afternoon while Jessika sanded a bike frame that had languished in our garage.

I'd filled out yet another state application form and while on my errands, I dropped it off at UVA's department of personnel.

    This sort of thing is beginning to pay off, because today I received my first unemployment check: $100 for filling out a few forms, not too shabby.

I also picked up some groceries and a new chain tool so Jessika can fix up the formerly-languishing bicycle and use it for getting around town.

    My old chain tool, in case you've forgotten, was accidentally broken by Rory. He has the worst luck with inanimate things. And animate things, for that manner.


everal girls came over today to visit Jessika. They were all girls with families: Peggy and the Baboose (and Zach) and Ana with Nemo (and her sidekick, a girl named Harmony). To avoid the squalling downstairs I spent most of my time scanning pictures for these musings. There's some new cute animal pictures, some black and white Aquarius Party pictures taken by Jessika, as well as a picture of me on Carter's Mountain with what appears to be a tiny fairy.


n the evening, Deya came home from work and we all prepared for the usual first-Friday-night-of-the-month Downtown Mall art opening extravaganza. This particular night was somewhat special, because Deya's brother would be at some of the openings, and neither Jessika nor I had ever met him before.

First, however, I prepared dinner, using some of the groceries I'd bought today. It was supposed to be a special thing done by Jessika and me as a token of appreciation for Deya (since she's always cooking dinner for us). But Jessika was hopelessly distracted and I prepare to work alone anyway, so I did it all myself. I made that one dish that I always make, pasta stir fry. But I guess I made it just a bit too hot, because I noticed Deya discretely dumping most of her helping into the trash can. Jessika and I liked it okay though. I think the pepper and garlic were instrumental in canceling some of the obnoxious pre-head-cold feelings I felt developing throughout the day.

When you're Jessika, a night on the town is not something one faces without preparation. I'm used to it now, that long period before we set out when she's up in the bathroom and her room getting prepared. Finally you here the galump galump of her boots coming down the stairs. In this case, of course, those boots were here extremely tall platform boots. I won't venture to guess how tall they are, but she ends up being about my height with them on.

Jessika also wore her candy-orange wig, the one Joanna Road Rage had worn at the Aquarius Party. I can only really remember the wig from that time, and I made the mistake of mentioning this to Jessika. It was an obvious sore point, and one, moreover, peculiar to womenkind. It seems that women are very protective of things they regard as characteristic of their "look." They jealousy guard aspects of their look against would-be imitators and co-opters, resorting to everything short of legal action. At the Aquarius Party, Joanna had begged to borrow Jessika's orange wig, and for some reason Jessika gave in and allowed her to. But that was before Jessika had decided to move to Charlottesville. Now Jessika has the uneasy feeling that everyone in this town associates the orange wig with Joanna, that, in effect, the wig has been "tainted." According to Jessika, Joanna has an unusual capacity to taint things. And I'm not just talking about wigs and clothes here. She also taints music by listening to it or attempting to sing along to it when it is played on the stereo. Jessika believes Joanna's tainting behaviour is inextricably wrapped up with her flamboyant Leo personality. By contrast, someone as unassuming and unflamboyant as Deya can borrow Jessika's wigs without tainting them even slightly. Tonight, for example, Deya wore Jessika's short black wig; Jessika had loaned it to her without hesitation.

At Gallery Neo, the first stop on our tour of openings, we looked at the simple pastel paintings of Stephen Ingham. They were mostly depictions of cars and planes, seemingly blown out of bubbles. Fred Oesch and I talked a little about RealVideo, and when he spied Jessika, he suggested she'd make a good photographic model. Several people have told me, by the way, that her photos in these musings don't do her justice.

Deya's brother David looks exactly like her except he's tall and has a fairly big nose, like Deya's father. He has a long pony tail and enthusiastic almost gee-whiz social tendencies, both traits that remind me of Jamie Dyer (even though Jamie has short hair these days).

Plastic cups of vino in our hands, we stood for awhile at the place where 2nd Street crosses the Downtown Mall chatting with both of Deya's parents and a wide variety of passers-by whom we knew.

Over in the York Place Higher Grounds, there was an exhibit of cityscape photographs taken by a smiling girl in tall platform shoes. She'd used funny fish eyes lenses and somehow had managed to coax an almost erotic organic look from old buildings leaning out over thin streets and complicated intersections.

Ana, Nemo and Harmony had shown up by this point and they sat with us on a window seat talking about anything but the photographs. I watched a guy with a thick black mustache approach numerous nubile young ladies. He tried to talk to Ana and even Nemo but both pretty much ignored him.

Over at the Downtown Artspace, a group of serious artists were having an alcohol-free opening featuring mostly paintings of nude men with big penises. The figures were hilariously distorted, with very wide shoulders and short little necks. I noticed that one of the guys from the Staunton emo band Union of a Man and a Woman was there; I wonder if he was one of the artists. I know that the Union of a Man and a Woman scene is sort of straight edge, that is, they deny themselves all the pleasures of life such as caffeine, beer, sex, and drugs, and this might account for the sadly temperate nature of this opening. Though there wasn't any vino on tap, I was very pleased to find V-8 Juice.

I talked a little with Jen Fariello and Raphæl, who were hanging around out front, acting kind of bored. About this time Nathan VanHooser, the childhood friend whom I almost never see, turned up randomly. He told me his wife Janine was off in Tennessee helping a friend move and that he was free to hang out tonight. We agreed to rendezvous at the Mudhouse.

Jessika and Deya had gone to the C&O to hang out with brother David, and by this point I found myself with Jen the Wacky Tokyo Rose bartender, Kirstin the Eco-radical, and Kirstin's friend Leslie (who I hadn't met before). Leslie is married to some kind of computer dude, and she suggested that I ask him for a job.

With this new crowd (joined shortly by Nathan and one of his friends), I sat in the Mudhouse drinking coffee and tea. We were a funny bunch, talking about a diversity of concepts, such as masculine facial hair.

That Leslie person kept giving me strange food items to eat. She was weird in that way that I like.

By the time Nathan and I got back together with Jessika and Deya, they'd been joined by my former co-worker Bn. We all headed back to Kappa Mutha Fucka.


e sat around talking in various permutations and combinations. People disappeared for long periods to do things such as plot invasions of the local fraternity. Meanwhile, I hung out with Deya's brother David and Nathan. We smoked pot (or some of us did some of the time) and discussed such things as the fact that no one can touch Bill Clinton as long as the economy is booming. Indeed, as I pointed out, people respect Clinton more if he can manage a booming economy while getting casual head in the Oval Office from an intern.

Under the effects of the marijuana, I realized that our cheesy little stereo is not anything like the high-fidelity set-ups that audiophiles love and admire. I'd always thought that big stereos were a waste of money unless they were played loudly. Suddenly, though, I realized that big speakers were important for big sound, no matter the volume.

Deya's brother David had brought a friend with him named Johnny. That was interesting to me only because, on Jessika's new 8 track called Jukebox Saturday Night, there's a song that goes

Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny Oh
You're not handsome it's true, but when I look at you
It's just Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Uh Oh!
Of course, Jessika had sang this song to Johnny many times, but he acted as though it was an offensive thing. He got to the point where he'd stick up both middle fingers every time we sang it. He had lots of neuroses like this. Bn thought it was all a big act to come across as mysterious. But in terms of sliminess, the only evidence of any such thing was a joking interest in Deya, his friend's younger sister.

The evening wore on, Nathan set off for home on foot (it's a long walk back to Little High Street), and I passed out on the couch. Jessika woke me up and told me to go to bed so Bn could sleep on the couch.

one year ago
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