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March 13 1998, Friday


  was out and about fairly early, at UVA printing out fresh new resumés, then to UVA's department of personnel to apply for another job (they were closed though). I had a bunch of Burger King coupons, so I ate a $1 Whopper at the nearby BK, except it wasn't just a dollar since (ruled as they are by the Jewish kosher-promoting conspiracy) cheese was an extra 20 cents.

On the Downtown Mall, I drank a cup of coffee in the Mudhouse which was unusually crowded with nubile young women considering the time of day. The Mudhouse is a big caffeine-fueled scoping scene, and like everyone else, I was scrutinized by those present. Of course, I looked like crap, tears streaming from my eyes across my windburned cheeks from having bicycled in the unseasonable cold.

At noon I had an appointment with Jen Fariello to work on a website for her Artspace, but she was late and the Artspace was locked, so I went to the library to maybe correct some nagging problems with the wording of the musings entry for the 11th. The library computers are all PowerMacs, but they're uselessly hobbled by AtEase. Still, they had SimpleText, and I could edit files even if I couldn't figure out any way to upload them to Al Gore's information superhighway. I was experiencing an analogous situation to the many times I've been carlessly traveling (or coping with) the Interstate system, designed exclusively for the comfort and behaviours of cars. This time, though, I was a content provider coping with a system designed only for content consumers.


s I was about to leave the Mall in disgust (having given up on Jen) she materialized, apologized for her tardiness, and invited me directly to lunch with the words "my treat," music to the ears of the unemployed. We went to Higher Grounds and each ate those new-fangled late-90s entrées, "salad wraps" (Higher Grounds is always sure to keep track of the late culinary fads). "Salad wraps" are bunny food (a cornucopia of lawn clippings) drenched in honey mustard and wrapped up in a big soft taco. But it's not just one soft taco, it's two, with a thin layer of cheese in between, sort of borrowing from the stuffed crust pizza fad of the mid-90s. It was more flavourful than you'd think, and it simply must have been nutritious.

In the Artspace, Jen kept distracting me with other computer-related tasks, and it took awhile to get up to speed on creating the rudiments of her actual website. But by that point she'd been distracted by a fellow camera enthusiast, and she didn't participate much as I was putting it all together. I shouldn't have been surprised, it was like making sausage.


ack at Kappa Mutha Fucka, Jessika and I hung out for awhile and in the evening we walked down to the JPA Fastmart and bought a six of a raspberry-flavoured hard cider.

I was startled today to open the refrigerator and find a can labeled "Nigger Hearts" (someone had carefully replaced the word "Artichoke" with "Nigger"). Our watching Crumb the other night has perhaps affected us just a bit too much. (For those of you who have never seen Crumb, there's a part where R. Crumb is interviewed about a parody comic he created about both racism and consumerism in which "Nigger Hearts" are marketed as scrumptious food to well-scrubbed middle America.)

Also, since watching Crumb, Jessika has been drawing a lot more in her blank book. Today she was working especially diligently on creating a caricature of Joanna Road Rage.

Caricature dominated our thinking all evening. One thing that I found especially funny was Jessika's attempts to master the vocal style of Kirstin the Eco-radical. Many times tonight Jessika was heard to say (as Kirstin evidently once said), "The Outback Lodge is full of rednecks who like to hit on women."


irstin, you see, had sold Jessika on the idea of going to the Outback Lodge [or so Jessika had told me, but I found out later that was actually one of her meaningless lies] (in Preston Plaza) to hear some local homegrown bluegrass band as well as The Snakeoil Medicine Show, some sort of bluegrass-influenced band from out of town. Deya was enthusiastic about the Snakeoil Medicine Show, but I was skeptical as to whether I would have a good time, especially since there was a five dollar cover charge.

But we all went anyway. Before leaving, I dressed up sort of as a dork, with a short-sleeved button-up blue shirt with the words "I LIKE SCIENCE" written in black permanent marker above one of the pen-filled pockets. But Deya said she thought my arm muscles were too big for me to successfully pull off the dork look. I'd been drinking vodka with bitters all night, so I was in, let us say, a festive mood.

The plan was to avoid paying to get in to the show. We'd brought markers with us and stood outside looking at hands to see what the mark was. We saw Christin (he's a guy, a mandolin player, and he may still live at Abundance House) and when he came out briefly, I followed him back in. The bouncer asked if he was in the band (he was) and then asked if I was too. "Yes!" I lied. So I got in for free. There was some complication at the door with Deya and Jessika because they had no money and were going to write a check. The bouncer told them to cash it at the bar, and they disappeared into the crowd. They'd made it in for free too. Our household had just saved $15.


t was a mixed crowd of hippies and rednecks, both of whom seem to like bluegrass. One fat hippie chick had an enormous butt and it fascinated me for some reason. I kept commenting to Jessika about it, and about how ugly she was, but that I kind of wanted to ... her anyway just because of her butt. Jessika said I was being way too loud and that big butted hippie chick could hear me.

Jatasya was there, hand over her mouth as is her habit of late. She's different these days. If you ask her a question, it's unlikely she'll answer. She'll just giggle and keep her hand over her mouth. Jessika thinks there's something wrong with her, that perhaps the accumulated effects of marijuana are finally taking their toll on her mind. Another theory is that she went out and got lobotomized. I was in a weird mood, introducing myself to strange girls with the line that I had lost my virginity to a chicken. When I told Jatasya this, she shrugged her shoulders and giggled as if I had said "the sky is blue."

Jessika was drinking some sort of vodka concoction out of a blue bottle, getting away with drinking without having to purchase anything. She was even doing this at the bar, and eventually the bartender caught her. "What's in the bottle?" he demanded. Then he insisted that she give it to him. They had a back and forth. I would have felt guilty for my bar-crime, crumbled and given the bartender the bottle. But not Jessika. Finally they reached an understanding, and she agreed to put the bottle away. Of course, out on the dance floor she started drinking it again.

Not that Jessika was dancing, mind you. She doesn't dance, she just stands there while the world gyrates around her. One aspect of the gyrating landscape was a big tall guy with a huge head and longish curly hair. He looked like Acid Adam, Jessika's friend back in Pennsylvania who grew up in the King of Prussia Mall. But he was actually someone I knew. I believe his name is John, and he's the old boyfriend of Katherine, the blond girl who used to live across the street. He's also the rockstar Kelly's landlord. Kelly, for those of you who've forgotten, is the girl I awoke to find sleeping next to me back on October 5th. I think of John as a normal, responsible guy. But not tonight. Tonight he didn't just look like Acid Adam, he was acting like him as well. He was incredibly drunk, and out of control with benevolence and excitement. He put his arm around me and told me that he's always liked me a great deal and "my house is always open to you, man!" Then he focused on ever-glamourous Jessika. He told her "I've been watching you and you're a wild wild wild wild wild wild child!" John kept dancing with his back to the band, talking to Jessika or me, and occasionally offering me a sip from one of several beers he was holding. I was sure he was going to wake up the next day and be very embarrassed.

There were a number of other guys (black guys mostly) who tried to get Jessika to dance, but all she would do is smile and sip her vodka concoction.

I actually rather liked the Snakeoil Medicine Show. They're a motley assembly of musicians and instruments, and they all have a great deal of stage charisma. Their music is hard to describe, but I would say it veers from bluegrass to 20s-era big band (and even rag time), occasionally with a pronounced funk or rap influence. I hate it when a band feels they have to be funky to please the audience, and this case was no exception, but it was a conceit I was willing to overlook. Especially when the girl started singing. She had a high tinny voice, like the female vocals one hears on an old Victrola. It had a humourous and mysteriously retro quality that had me (and Jessika and Deya) begging for more.

After the show, we came home and I tried to order a pizza, but it's Spring Break and Gumby's was closed. So we ate chips and salsa instead.

one year ago
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