But my ignition was by far too brutalized now to accept the key. So I called the Charlottesville Wrecker Service from Alderman Library (some quarter mile away from where I was in Fratville). A dreary rain had begun to fall.
The man who came to get my car was a nice enough guy. He was perplexed that my car would still roll in Park, but it was going to have to; the shifter wouldn't work without being able to turn the key.
I came to realize that tow truck drivers have to be capable psychologists in order to be good at what they do. People who need tow trucks are not happy people. In addition to needing their cars moved, they need psychological support. My tow truck driver had a folksy disarming attitude that I liked. It almost made the financial and other burdens of having my Dart towed seem like a sort of life experience, at least as much pleasure as a vacation to Malvernia. Of course, I lied and told him someone had tried to steal my car.
I had initially wanted to take my Dart to an official Dodge dealer (where I figured one had to go to get a new ignition key system). But no, the truck driver said I'd be much better off having my car towed to some nearby place where one can have work done cheaply and even walk home. So he towed me to a place on Preston. No go; the boss man wasn't there and the rather stupid-looking youthful mechanic didn't want to do anything without approval of superiours. The next place was as bad as the first; they wouldn't take my car if they had to pay the tow charge (I had $17 and the tow truck guy needed $25), even though such a bill would simply be passed on to me. So the Dart ended up at Jimmy Dettor's big auto repair place in Belmont. Under grey washboard skies, I received a ride back to the Corner from one of Dettor's own tow truck drivers on a run to make some poor college kid's life miserable.
I had an existential calm about me as I went to the Rising Sun Bakery and ordered a bottomless cup of coffee. I told Sarah, the tall blond counter girl, the tale, the depressing tale. She was wearing a Franz Kafka tee shirt.
I did much work at UVA's Cocke Hall, this time without any CDs to play through the tinny little speakers inherent to the multimedia Macintoshes there.
After a long nap at my house, I awoke near sundown and went to the Rising Sun for yet another installment of my bottomless cup of coffee. Elizabeth, my housemate, was working the counter, playing Sonic Youth. She's the only one who can be counted upon to reliably play good music there...according to my tastes, that is. Jessika had shown up, and when I said this about Elizabeth's music, Jessika suggested that she, Jessika, played the best music...which is mostly (or has been mostly, since Jessika has been gone nearly three weeks) the soundtrack from the Wizard of Oz. Terry, the owner of the Rising Sun Bakery, came by and told Jessika that, despite her extended absence, she still had a job there. Apparently her one phone call last Thursday had been all it had taken to preserve her job. She has mixed feelings about still being among the weirdo dishwashers and cute counter girls of the Rising Sun Bakery. Terry had already lined someone up to wash dishes tonight, though, so she was free to roam. And as always, I was to be a part. We picked up my videotape of the Jehu End of the World Party at my house and continued on to the little store at the corner of 10th and Wertland. We'd never been in before; we'd mostly known it by the crew of Black men we often saw hanging out in front. It was rustic in precisely that way Jessika so likes. And the Mickeys Big Mouths were cheap...$3.23/six! We continued through the mall, with a quick stop at Gallery Neo's opening, where there was photography and an uncomfortable upper-middle class pretension fest in full effect. I stole some peanuts but no vino, telling Jessika, "I hope no one like that ever buys my art." We avoided bozART. I didn't feel like explaining my black eye to people who wouldn't think it was cool.
We waded through an extensive outdoor manifestation of the youth of today in the center of the downtown mall, and ended up chatting with my mature sixteen year old punk rock friend, Josh. He's sort of activistic, if you will. He goes to city council meetings to protest plans to legislate an 11pm curfew for youths in the city of Charlottesville. Jessika led me on a very bizarre route to Nemo's House, where she now lives, on High Street.
Along with infant Nemo and Nemo's mother, Ana, Jessika and I watched the Jehu End of the World Party videotape in little pieces. The best part is the performance of Rain Gorgeous, of course.
Bad Beef appeared again tonight, uninvited as usual. Jessika wants him to warn her before coming, but with no phone yet installed, he's going to have to send post cards. I showed videotapes from inside my shaque; one featuring my recording of I Think This Once, which was better than I had remembered.
I slept all day after work, apparently with a gross sleep deficit to pay back. When I got up at 12:30 am, Nov. 3rd, my housemates Chesney, Steve and John were hanging out in Ches' room across the hall drinking Jim Beam, of which I had a few ceremonial sips.
At work I was amazed to find the Big Fun Glossary had received 200 hits since I set up a counter on it last night.
I hung out for a time with Peggy and then Jessika at the Rising Sun Bakery. We discussed such issues as the yellow aura developing around my black eye, the persistence of Bad Beef, Jessika's latest purchase (a Nick Cave CD; Nick Cave is to Jessika as Guided by Voices is to me), and Peggy's guacamole-coloured sweater. Later Elizabeth came by to be the cute counter girl as a foil to Jessika's role as psychotic dish washer. I took a nap after a bath at my house.
Then, as I awoke, Jessika and Elizabeth appeared from having gotten off work at the bakery. We three sat around in the kitchen drinking Jim Beam (not so much for me!) and talking about issues. Slowly it turned into a vitriolic debate between Elizabeth and myself on the subject of animal rights. We both seem to have our angel and devil sides on this issue. While (now at least, in my maturity) I would never squish a bug unless it was attacking me, I still occasionally eat meat, particularly chicken. Elizabeth is a vegetarian (naturally), but she kills spiders for the crime of walking on her pillow! I wasn't dogmatic in saying I didn't understand her view on this. But she got all worked up at what she viewed to be my hypocrisy, telling me to "fuck off" and such. I left for work in the midst of such heat.
After work I went to pick up my Dart from Belmont; I rode my bike. The price for my Halloween: secret! I refuse to humiliate myself so easily. At least I got a new inspection sticker and windshield wiper blades in the deal...
After sleep I was almost completely antisocial except for conversations with Bn at Comet and Jen Fariello on the way back to my house. They both read my musings and will tell you if asked that these conversations were short. My black eye is as evident as ever.
At the onset of my pre-work nap, I felt a little anxiety as I drifted off to sleep. What if Bob Dole wins the election? Strange things happen these days. What if those right wing loonies really did get complete control of this country? The thought is too dreadful to pursue.
I drove us all, Don, Hoagie and RF, as a team to the polling place at my alm-ya-momma, Riverheads High School, some mile or more north of Greenville on US 11. The school looks rather different than it did back in the day (circa 1986). Some architectural klutz stuck big concrete ramparts on the front. Now it looks more like a big personal computer and less like a widget factory.
My brother was his typical self: embarrassing manic lunatic. He charged in the school's auditorium (little old ladies flying left and right) to do his psychotic duty. He shouted his full name at the ladies checking the register, "DON--- OLIN---- MUELLER!" Then he took a lifetime behind those curtains. Then he charged up out of that auditorium, where some 12 years before my health class was shown a movie that graphically demonstrated the horror of abortion, where many times the student body was led in organized prayer, despite good taste, despite law...
I voted a straight democratic ticket. All of the proposed state constitutional amendments were ridiculous or incomprehensible.
Hoagie paid for gas and everyone remarked on how smooth and comfy my Dart is. Meanwhile my brother flavoured the inside of my car with his own sweetly nauseating pungent aroma.
I napped until 3pm. In the evening Hoagie and I went on a run to pick up 2 large pizzas from Papa John's, as well as 12 beers. These we consumed while the poll results trickled in. I was amazed by the real time computer graphics ABC could call up to demonstrate election returns. Three dimensional bar graphs came pouring up out of the floor and enveloped the commentator like real objects. It was unnecessary to tell the story, of course, but that didn't take away from my awe. Such stuff was impossible (in real time, that is) a few short years ago. All my concerns about Dole winning evaporated when Florida fell to Clinton. I went to sleep.
At 3am (11/06), then, I awoke and set to work creating a website of my satirical writings. This involved lots of HTML conversion and linking. I put the whole shebang online once I made it back to Charlottesville (all before noon). I strongly urge all readers to waste their time in that site; there is (if I do say so myself) much inspired writing to be found there. Now I sit here in Cocke Hall listening to GBV on CD with uncomfortable head phones. They pinch my ears painfully!
In Scottsville, Jessika and I had sloppy big cheeseburgers, Raphæl had a bacon cheeseburger, Ana (a vegetarian, I supose) had that staple of greasy spoon vegetarianism, a grilled cheese sandwich. With this came the large order of french fries, though it was not as large as usual. And young Nemo complained that his mother should be so presumptuous to eat anything, so she placated him with the milk of human
kindness mammation. I also had a Moosehead beer. Meanwhile, in the booth behind me, the Scottsville psycho-barfly, her voice rancid with a hideous Piedmont lilt, chatted up a skinny man with tight blue jeans and a cowboy hat. His accent was not dissimilar and he claimed to be from Texas. As an appropriate auditory wallpaper, the jukebox belted out one country song after another.
We went to Skippy's down behind the big dikes on the James River floodplain. The Arab guy who runs Skippy's had not seen us in months, and was pleased. He tried a key Jessika had given him to the lock on the collar around her neck, but it didn't work. "You've been cheating on me!" he jokingly protested. Apparently she'd changed the lock at some point along the way. I bought some Red Wolf beers, though Jessika wanted MALT LIQUOR.
At Big Fun, we noted all the work that had been put into making the place look nice: the exterior paint, the floor refinishing and the patches in the drywall knocked in (by among other things) the head of Bad Sex. Althia Hurt apparently intends to find another group of suckers to occupy the house in the upcoming year. But she appears to be behind the schedule set by last year. The Malvern Girls moved into Big Fun on November 15th last year (1995), and still boxes of their debris were to be found here and there around the house. Jessika recovered a tea pot and some canned food. Despite knowing better, Raphæl expressed renewed interest in Big Fun from this brief reencounter. He spoke of maybe renting it next year!
Back at Nemo's house on High Street, we were joined at length by Peggy and Zach and a Corner regular known as Abraham. We sat around listening to classic rock and German Folk music that Raphæl DJ'd. Jessika had a particularly strong negative reaction when Raphæl played a little Steve Miller Band, which Jessika always cites as music that she especially loathes.
We men (Zach, myself, driven by Raphæl) went to the Corner to drop of Abraham and get a little coffee. Owning to a brand new job at the Downtown Mall Higher Grounds, Raphæl is now a member of a special exclusive Charlottesville "coffee clique" and can get free coffee at any coffee shop. Supposedly too he will need to go through some kind of humiliating initiation as well. Patrick Reed may have been the one who hooked Raphæl up to the job.
I chatted with KC briefly about Dodge Darts. Hers will have an interior done in leopard patterns.
Zach, Raphæl and I went to the practice space in Belmont and played for awhile...me and Raphæl on guitar, Zach on drums and vocals mostly. I noted that my hands and fingernails have weakened from a lack of practice. Zach and I also looked at some "Big Scary Monster" and "Needlewerk" graffiti that has mysteriously appeared on some freight cars on the nearby railroad tracks.
At Nemo's, Jessika had grown restless from hanging out with "married couples" as she calls Zach & Peggy and Raphæl & Ana (when they are together). So she and I went to the Lucky Seven near the Mall and got a forty of the Blue Bull (Schlitz Malt Liquor). The homely overweight woman staffing the counter wanted to see my ID when I contributed some pennies to Jessika's purchase. Did she really think I was having Jessika buy beer for me? We ran across Dave, one of Jessika's male friends from Belmont (to Jamie Dyer both a (former?) housemate and former husband of his bride-to-be). That conversation dragged along far too long for my wishes. But Jessika and I made good work on the 40 during that time...right there in public.
Then we chatted awhile with Josh Smith at Pixels, where he was just getting ready to leave. Jessika had some things to say about Peggy being sexually forward while very drunk. She went on to use the word "molest" to describe my behaviour when drunk. This I took to be an unfair and untrue assault (as bad as I was with Red Headed Diana the night of my worst blackout, it probably wasn't molestation. And as bad as I ever was with Jessika back in the day, we were both sober. Encouragement...no objections...no encore.).
While Nemo slept, we all worked on mechanical projects behind the house. I replaced six quarts of oil in my crank case. Jessika tinkered with the idea of putting a banana seat and matching swooping handlebars on what remains of her blue mountain bike, and Ana played with her own bike. I used Raphæl's ramps to get my car up off the ground. When I was done, I was very sleepy and so took a multi-hour nap in Jessika's bed.
I woke up at nearly 7pm and sat around drinking a beer as the first thing. Jessika and I had a very amusing conversation, and I found myself laughing a lot, but I cannot recall what it was about.
At 8pm, I had arranged to meet Nellie at my house to work on posters for an upcoming show at the art space at the Jefferson. The show will be in the basement of the Jefferson Theatre near the center of the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville at 6pm on Friday, November 15th and will feature maybe ten different artists (I learned that I can hang a couple pictures there too). Jessika and I both went in my Dart to my house and were eating swiss cheese bagels when Nellie arrived. She'd been to a puppet show.
She brought with her a 1.5 litre bottle of Cabernet Savignon. But it was kept back from us by a cork, and for some reason there was no cork screw to be found in my house full of overachieving winos. So Jessika and Nellie set off, eventually securing a corkscrew from a pad in Wertland Apartments where a number of Rising Sun employees and Big Funsters occasionally congregate.
We sat in the kitchen drinking the vino and procrastinating on the whole purpose of Nellie's visit: posters for the upcoming art opening.
We went back to Wertland Apartments at a certain point to return the corkscrew. Who was there? Let's see...Peggy and Zach, that woman Raphæl who delights in public manifestations of poetry, that girl Brooke who occasionally appeared at Big Fun, and a number of familiar male Rising Sun Bakery people whose names always escape me. One of these is big guy and has a missing tooth. He took Jessika aside and chatted with her, occasionally giving her hugs and suggesting to her that she go back to his room and meet his imp named Bob. After we three left, we wondered about this imp named Bob. Jessika had a scandalous story to relate along a similar line, but I'll spare myself the ramifications of telling it.
Elizabeth appeared and started playing the Dead Kennedys in the kitchen. DK is one of my least favourite punk rock bands. Jessika doesn't like them much either. She and I hate Biafra's voice. And I hate what he sings about. Interestingly, though, once the Dead Kennedys were playing, everyone left the kitchen except Jessika and myself. But we left too, and Jessika read a hard copy of Warren Wilson, Invaded. She made a few indignant corrections (which I subsequently handled).
Others appeared and left, and we all ended up in Chesney's room. The idea soon came to us that we should go to Tokyo Rose to see some Pavementesque band. I was happy to go, but Jessika didn't want to pay. She started complaining and trying to persuade me not to go, but it was not my plan to sit around my house all evening. She said Well...I'm walking home, then!" and I said "fine, walk home." And she made another whiny comment so I said (as I often do), "all you ever do is complain." So she socked me as hard as she could in my arm. I unlocked the door so she could get her shit and left with Elizabeth and Chesney in Elizabeth's car.
Except Elizabeth's car had a dead battery. So we three went in my Dart instead.
The cost was what bothered me mostly about the Tokyo Rose this particular time: $5, more than usual. Then, to combat sobriety, I had to buy a drink, which came to $5 with tip. It was a good Bloody Mary, though. Nellie didn't understand the music at all. She understood making that sort of noise at Big Fun without an audience while not charging anyone...but in front of an audience for $5/head? I pointed out that the music was a little more structured than it had been at Big Fun. But no, she wanted to be able to make out some lyrics. She tried to get a refund and I doubt she had any luck.
I was not having a good time since the only people I felt like talking to were my friends, and they were already having conversations, so I fell asleep in my Dart in the parking lot. I had a weaker but similar existential feeling of loss that had characterized my Halloween a week before. Nothing seemed to be going right for me again.
Then I worked at UVA's text center on what I should have been working on last night with Nellie: a flyer for next Friday's Jefferson art opening. After much aggravation, I did finish it. Interestingly, I made it as a web page that can be printed out as a flyer. Thus, by submitting the web page to Altavista I was able to web-market the opening as well (it has a good description in the Meta tags).
Then came an epic nap, stretching from 3:30pm until 12:30am! I woke up at times during this and considered getting up. But I never did. At one point I had a dream that I was confused as to whether it was now AM or PM and that my confusion had caused me to miss a whole shift at Comet.
I discovered, after looking through the access logs, a new site called "dot" which purports to give the scoop on "the underground" in Charlottesville. I found that my Big Fun Glossary, part of my heroin page and my other sites are pretty much the featured links this month, along with other things that lead me to think that Waldo Jaquith is behind the project and that he has had a recent acrimonious dispute with a certain hurricane that has rained on more than one underpaid effort here at my erstwhile employer.
There was a very annoying thing happening in Charlottesville today, that being a football game between the University of Virginia and some other alien band of thugs. All manner of over-dressed pedestrians could be seen walking through the chilly and occasionally rainy conditions to watch dumb guys kick a ball around on a field for a number of hours. I suppose you have by now guessed that I am not a football fan. I have never been able to understand the mentality of anyone who is. Perhaps this is why I relate so well to women. But not the sort I saw today vacantly marching off to the stadium, clutching their boyfriends' hands like babies at the breast. Aliens. And the few retarded enough to drive found themselves suspended in a La Brea Tar Pit of gridlock.
My housemates occasionally attend football games. But again they proved to me that they are among the few UVA students I actually have something in common with. Because when I went to Cocke computer lab, Chesney and Andrew and a few of their friends constituted the bulk of the students there doing work (as opposed to being out shivering in the cold as a masochistic demonstration of school pride).
I was distressed to find that a certain other Web Diarist, Doug Franklin in Topeka Kansas, who had quit smoking on Halloween, had broken down and started smoking again yesterday. From the way he told the tale, it sounded like his craving had exceeded rational control, as though he was powerless. That accounts for why people continued to smoke in the Ottoman empire even when they could count on being executed on the spot if discovered by authorities. Another reaction I had to the revelation of his backslide was that of betrayal, not by Doug himself, but by the plot of the story! I have apparently become so accustomed to the western idea of a happy ending that I had come to feel that indeed he was bound to succeed at this attempt, the only attempt I'd been witness to in the plot of his life. But online diaries transcend the western idea of plot because they are merely front-end presentations of the sheer anarchy of life. The tales they tell are remote and read like fiction almost...honed text on flashy screens. But they reflect on real lives of real people in all their glorious imperfection.
In other things, I noted that a lot of people were hitting one of my contrived right wing letters to the editor because I'd mislabeled it as containing a reference to "spanking." As such it was near the top of an Altavista search on "spanking" and there are lots of people out there with a spanking fetish, it seems. So I wrote a little essay on the actual spankings dealt out to people in my public elementary school. It has a web counter on it so I can see how many spanking perverts hit it. Over the coming weeks I can subsequently watch the hit rate fall as the page sinks in the Altavista listing, which will happens as it becomes less timely. This will provide good insights into "Altavista marketing" if you will.
I "obtained" a flyer for Tussin Fest '96 after it was somehow created. The version you may have just surfed to was obviously jazzed up from the print version using "carve" in Photoshop.
At work while Evan tinkered away with some nagging problems, Matthew Hart and Jessika dropped by. Jessika checked her e-mail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Matthew Hart started up an e-mail account (email@example.com). Then they hung out for awhile in San & Ellas Punk Rock Chat. They kept distracting me from my work to help them get out of places they'd gotten stuck in.
I also swapped motherboards between my two Mac SEs, hoping the older ROM would work with System 7 and a 68030 accelerator card...it didn't. Now it looks like I need to either go back to System 6, a lower clock speed, or not use the accelerator. These are dull nerdy technical details from a life that at times gets as exciting as my getting a bottle broken over my head. Sorry to you big fans of the car chase...
Much like yesterday, I enforced semi-depressing loneliness in a desire to forge a more autonomous, monastic lifestyle. I have not drunk any alcohol in two days, which for me constitutes remarkable abstinence. I sort of found myself craving it, but not in a debilitating way. It was easy enough not to get any, what with the terrific cold outdoors this evening. It is empowering to create killjoy restrictions on myself as opposed to having them imposed by forces beyond my control, which is usually how my hedonistic phases meet their end.
Yesterday I bought Pantera's Far Beyond Driven for $4, used, at Plan Nine Records. It's good, but I'm not fully into it yet. Tonight I hope to thoroughly saturate myself with its abusive rhythms. I'd had some songs from it on a tape prepared for me by my redneck friend Josh Furr, and I'd really liked "5 Minutes Alone" which arguably affected some of the paintings I did in late 1994. To those who do not know, Pantera is nothing like Guided by Voices.
At home after lots of eating, I went directly to sleep and slept until at least dark. It was my father who woke me up, wanting me to do what is fast becoming a tradition on these Tuesday homecomings: me driving into town to pick up take-out food. In this case I drove my Dad's 69 Chevy (since it doesn't require near the warm up that the Dart demands). I have become spoiled from the Dart's power steering; I almost had the feeling that the Chevy was undriveable what with the exertion required to turn the wheel! And I'm not a weakling by any means. I purchased three large pizzas and a six of Sam Adams. After eating all I could of that, I went to bed and slept until dawn of the next day.
I noted upon my return to Wertland that the paintings that had been hanging at the Jefferson Theatre had all been brought to my house. After a little tinkering around...playing with System 6 on my accelerated Mac SE for example (the verdict ultimately is that the clock rate, 48 MHz, is too fast and will have to be slowed)...I took a number of my paintings to the Rising Sun Bakery and swapped them for ones already there. The most impressive of the paintings new to the Rising Sun display is my large painting Original Sin. As darkness descended, I bought a 3 litre jug of discount white vino at the IGA near the Downtown Mall and continued on to Mudhouse. I was, of course, powered by my Dodge Dart, since I was actually on a mission to take new paintings to the Jefferson Theatre Artspace.
At Mudhouse, I ran across Farrell and a male friend of his named Mark (long blond hair, blue eyes). I eventually joined them for dinner at a Chinese place off the the eastern part of the Mall. Farrell wants to involve artists in a guerilla project of decorating alcoves, nooks and crannies on the back streets of downtown Charlottesville with hasty paintings on measured surfaces designed to fit such alcoves. Then he wants to present a map for people to tour the installations. I suggested that such a thing could be easily hyped on the Internet, especially with the complicity of the C-ville Weekly which, as I have stated before, he has considerable influence upon for some reason.
I took my stuff to the Jefferson as prearranged with Nellie, at 7pm. Jen Fariello was there at the time, and Nellie came later. Nellie then proceeded to involve me in a few pedestrian projects first to get coffee and then to get more paintings, in this case from the BMW of my housemate John, who works at the hoity-toity Metropolitan restaurant on Water Street.
Farrell had told me that Jamie Dyer was going to be playing later at the Mudhouse, allegedly one of his only performances since the infamous Jehu End of the World Party. I went to the Mudhouse with Nellie and a mug of vino in hand (Nellie was simply scamming a refill of coffee; she had much work to do tonight for the Jefferson show; rendering photographs on panties mostly). But there never was an appearance of Jamie Dyer... just endless Dixieland Jazz, which was well performed but not my genré at all.
I returned to my house and went to bed at 9:30pm. Note that I didn't seek out any of my usual friends. I wanted to visit them, true, but I've been trying to overcome that addiction to an extent. In the end my social life will be healthier if I can restructure it around less selfish disaffection. I'm not angry at anyone. I just need more of something else.
For some reason while I used EMACS to edit this, the damn file was deleted! I guess I'm sticking with FTP and a text editor. This is frightening and infuriating...I have managed to recover only the end of this file. The rest will soon be restored from back ups!
In the evening I improved a problem that had been dogging my vintage mid-seventies stereo amp. The audio was given to dropping away mysteriously, though it would come back with a jab or a sudden increase in volume. So I pulled the amp apart and found lots of old-school printed circuit cards with edge connectors. I pulled them out and placed them back in. The problem still exists, but it is much less frequent. I can, if I must, solder a series of connections that I suspect to be weak.
An interesting side effect of a deliberately attenuated social life is that I now have time to do useful things with my hands like fix electronic gear in my room. Hell, I may even start painting again!
Of course tonight is my art opening as well as the Tussin Fest. I didn't get a chance to do certain things so I wonder how the latter will turn out. I don't even really want to go, you know. It will be cold and dreary there, and I'll have to field questions about where I've been for the last week. But I'll probably have to do that anyway.
So I went to the Downtown Mall by bike after I got off work at 6pm. The opening had already begun. Of course this particular opening was in keeping with all such openings I have been to in my day. But there were crazy aspects...such as the dozen or so panties hanging on clotheslines, all imprinted by Nellie with photographs of friends and familiars. There was also a remarkable triptych-ish arrangement of photographs on thick watercolour paper, and the people in these photos were none other than Big Funsters such as Jessika, Zach, Peggy and Raphæl. This was the fruit of a photo shoot at Nemo's a few days ago (in which the Big Funsters had participated with enthusiasm, dressing up in outrageous clownlike outfits and posturing in a seemingly ritalin-influenced way before Nellie's fish-eye lens). The result was the visual embodiment of LSD-enhanced socializing, though all weirdness captured probably resulted simply from copious amounts of alcohol.
Matthew of Plutonium twanged away on his guitar the whole time, putting the sound through a dizzying analogue network of stomp boxes and digital effects processors. I would have preferred it had Raphæl the poet had an opportunity to do her thing for awhile as well. Suddenly most of the Big Funsters relevant theses days appeared (actually, Peggy had already been there)...including Morgan Anarchy (freshly deported from Canada for his punk rock excesses), Jesse, Matthew Hart, Theresa Venesian, Persad and Jessika. Persad was in a bad mood when he appeared, since he was parked illegally and the Big Funsters were supposed to just breeze in to pick me up. But they lingered, drinking vino and posing for photographs. I didn't want to leave so soon, see, so they were forced into deliberations. There plan was to whisk me off to the Tussin Fest. But in the end they were forced to leave without me. Jessika didn't like my attitude one bit. At one point she said, "I'm going to kill you."
I kept circulating among the youthful art scene of Charlottesville, periodically chatting with folks who I found particularly interesting. Whenever I passed by it, I blinked away on a horrible manual typewriter various phrases as they came to me. At some point I smoked some pot and then things really got weird. I escaped a last minute drunken commitment somehow and fled back to my house on Wertland by bicycle.
While sobering some and waiting for MY CAR TO WARM UP, I listened to Guided by Voices' Under the Bushes Under the Stars and was, in my marijuana-enhanced state, deeply moved by the lyrics, in which great new profundities could be found.
I then drove to Big Fun to participate in the Tussin Fest scheduled for there. Alarmingly, though, no one was there. In the Big Fun driveway I ran across that guy named Abraham and he told me he'd been there a half hour before and the place had lots of broken windows and other evidence of mayhem.
At a loss for other things to do, I went to Nemo's house and found the likes of Zach, Peggy, Nemo and Ana, soon joined by Raphæl.
At this point everyone except Ana, Nemo and I left in Raphæl's car to go see what had really happened at Big Fun. Ana had by this point been joined by two of her female friends, each holding a baby. There I was, sitting silently while three girls discussed the arcania of child rearing, occasionally ministering to their charges. The oldest of the babies could talk to an extent, but he was apparently not too old to breast feed. There was something surreal about his mother asking him if he wanted to nurse.
I was rather hoping Jessika would come by so I could touch bases with her. I haven't been too nice to her of late and I don't want her thinking I'm mad at her. But I was so bored by all the babies that I went home. I was in bed before midnight.
Under the influence of santa clause, I went with my artistic housemates (Ches, John and Elizabeth) to the brunch at the Jefferson Theatre Artspace. On the way we waited in line for cigarettes at the Woolworths on the Downtown Mall. I was amazed (in a THC-influenced way) by how retarded the patrons waiting in line appeared to be, especially in comparison to the scintillating intellects of my housemates, who kept me endlessly entertained...first with John's happy-go-lucky matter-of-factness, then Ches' almost-brutal ridicule and concluding with Elizabeth's right-on if overstrung parodies.
In the Jefferson basement, it was a return to baby appreciation...this time with the recently-born second child of Senna (a Leo and former Rising Sun Bakery employee whose first child was fathered by nome other than Phil the Rogue Ginini). I was pretty damn sick of babies by this point. But Senna is fun to talk to anyway. Among the few people also present included Jen Fariello and Nellie Appleby as well as a big mysterious guy who'd been at the opening the night before. I might well have mistook him for a UVA Fratboy jock in as much as he appeared to have no neck!
I kept feeling paranoid that I had ticked off Nellie and Jen in some way. Santa Clause does that to me. For this reason I found myself associating best with Elizabeth.
I met Matthew Hart outside the Rising Sun Bakery and he told me some interesting tales from the night before, including how he'd delivered pizzas roaring drunk and infuriated numerous customers, almost getting fired. In case I haven't said, Matthew Hart now works for the Gumby's pizza across 14th Street from the bakery. For the record, Gumby's pizza always upsets my gastrointestinal tract whenever I eat any amount of it.
KC awoke me from a nap and had me run an errand for her.
At work, I was very pleased to get an email from Encina Riffini, who, the Atlas logs revealed, had done a search for "Gus Mueller" on Altavista! Encina Riffini is a gutsy and at times obnoxious girl whom I met in Oberlin. Her example is one of the few I can point to as strongly influential in my life. I'm sure she was pleased by the goings on reflected in this website.
Nathan and Janine came to my house after 4pm. We drank vino and discussed web pages with Ches and Andrew, my housemates. After Nathan and Janine left, Elizabeth and John came in, all loaded with things like Christmas lights and the makings for Sangria, which Elizabeth prepared warm on the stove.
My housemates and I discussed religion from numerous angles, including its spread through cultures, the reliance or lack of reliance on literature, and how children are indoctrinated. I was sure to point out that prayer was a reality in my public school days. My housemates and I all have relatively undogmatic or agnostic views, seeing religion mostly as a cultural interest. Andrew sees a certain fundamental value in religion and said he would raise any children he might have within a religion.
I kept going back for more Sangria; this is why I was in bed again at 7pm.
When the alarm went off at 10:30pm, I rescheduled it for 11:30. Then 12:30. And then there was no ballast left to toss; I had to go to work. And here I am, listening to Sugar's Beaster, which I got at Plan 9 for $5 used today. I don't know that I like it all that much yet, but the endless repetition of a CD player in loop mode will surely impregnate me with an affection for it eventually. It has a strongly symbolic religious theme throughout. The fuzzy guitar textures are as good as ever, too.
Recent projects on my web pages include a very satisfying animation for my Big Fun Gallery page and a newly-jazzed up "Nuclear Volunteer Registry" page (complete with subtle radioactivity emissions!).
At work I found a good site by underage (less than 18 year old) Internet users who are not just anti-Communications Decency Act, but anti-blocking software as well. Their logic, which has occurred to me before, is that blocking software makes parents rely on the politics of a company to decide what their kids will see on the Internet. For example, one such blocking package, Cyber-sitter, blocks access to the National Organization for Women site and any discussion of atheism or activism. What a bland world a kid must live in when kept back from sites by such Walmart-ifying software! Speaking of which, Walmart censorship is another issue lurking on the net...it seems many record companies produce sanitized CDs and CD art specifically for the repressively squeaky-clean Walmart market which, with its monopolistic tendencies, is the only music resource for many in rural America.
I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Infoseek on greatly improving their search service. It isn't as good as Altavista, but it is better than it has been; it is both faster and the search results are more relevant. It is always a good day for all on the web when a search service used by such a large fraction of novice users is improved.
I did some do-it yourself bodywork on the Dodge Dart too, sliding some wooden pieces under the sheet metal exterior above the rear left wheel where a dent has been of late. There's some rust holes there which gave me sufficient access. I secured the wooden pieces with liquid nails. Interestingly, they worked well at punching the dent out. I'll have to try some similar method on a dent in the front as well.
The somewhat widened rust holes contributed a roaring sound in the wind as I drove back to Charlottesville at highway speed.
In the evening I accompanied my most artistic housemates Elizabeth, Ches and John on a movie-watching mission to cool-bearded Josh's house on 15th street in deepest Fratville. Cool-beard Josh is sort of an emo-ish (in appearance only) guy who was in the band The Curious Digit before its recent breakup.
The movie we watched was At Play in the Fields of the Lord. Interestingly, we watched it on a Digital Video Disk player from disks borrowed from the university. Such disks are two sided and have an hour of material per side. And the movie was four hours long. As we watched, we drank forties of malt liquor.
The movie, despite what Elizabeth criticized as its "contrived" nature, was entertaining throughout. The basic plot was along the lines of Dances With Wolves. Our hero is a United States citizen and an American Indian pilot. To get his papers back from a corrupt Brazilian commandante, he is given the mission of destroying an Amazonian indian village. But in his blood, he is too sympathetic to his victims' plights, and so he parachutes among them and becomes one of them. Meanwhile, some overly-deodourized missionaries are trying to convert the savages. But the sexy wife of the chief missionary gives our hero a cold with along with a passionate kiss, and this soon devastates our hero's native lover and then the whole village. The whole thing builds from there to a tragic climax. My favourite parts were when the goofy missionaries and their ridiculous religion were repeatedly shown to be tacky and irrelevant to the lives of the natives. The movie seem to be pushing a few limits with regard to just the sheer volume of nudity presented. Much of this was for anthropological reasons...to show Brazilian Indian babes in print dresses would have been ludicrous. Still, there was also much child nudity presented, even of a non-Indian white missionary kid. And you know how freaked out people get in this country when it comes to THE PRECIOUS CHILDREN.
Near the end of the movie, Cool-beard Josh's distinctly retro girlfriend, Katie, appeared with pizza from Gumby's, and this provided something to munch on while sickness swept the lives of the people on screen.
It was 3am before we returned to Wertland.
Steve Weiner was at the Rising Sun Bakery today, talking with Seth Alekka. For some reason, Steve had just had his top front teeth extracted. He complained at the brevity of my conversation with him.
I added a surreal hairless cat to my witchcraft page after scanning him in at UVA's text center. He'd been the eye-catcher for an advertisement about computer printers in the Nov. 18 Newsweek which I'd been reading in the bakery.
I went to the Downtown Mall and hung out for a time with Morgan Anarchy. What I took to be a trendy gay gentleman sat among us and chatted with us intermittently, occasionally offering hellos to passing homosexual familiars of a far more effeminate breed. Dave, Jessika's friend in Belmont, came by from an unsuccessful attempt to get medical attention at UVA hospital for a chest cold. From the waiting room he'd stolen a magazine that contained horrifying photographs of the results of Chinese foot binding and other traditional body alterations of non-western cultures.
I bought a short Guided By Voices CD "EP" at Spencers (on Market Street) for $8, new. It is copyright 1996 and is entitled Sunfish Holy Breakfast. I subsequently learned it came out only yesterday, and as such there is no material on the Web about it at all.
At my place I found the CD a little hard to appreciate immediately. The first song, interestingly, sounds very like the Velvet Underground, complete with Niko!
I finally got my Mac SE working nicely with the accelerator set at 40 MHz. But I cannot get the Superdrive in it to work. At least now I can edit web pages in the comfort of my own room.
I would like to take this opportunity to state that obsequious beautiful girls who laugh at all my jokes and pet me temptingly but have nothing of any interest in their own minds to contribute are to be given even less attention in the future.
I had a six of Milwauki's Beast Ice which I split with Elizabeth while she baked her first ever batch of bread. Rye it was. The bread turned out tasty though it was rather dense. Still, there is nothing like fresh warm bread with butter. It gave the character of out humble kitchen the cozy and complex feel of Harkness. Meanwhile, Steve was providing advice to one of our house's frequent female visitors on the subject of what to do about a former boyfriend who continues to request (and grudgingly receive) sex. Sex is always the last thing to go, long after the conversations and romance has died.
We boys...Ches, Andrew, Steve and John...hung out with Elizabeth in the living room and discussed in a fairly frank if tasteful way how we discovered our sexuality...in terms of wet dreams and masturbation. Typical of my behaviour, I was being more revealing in this public forum than I ever was in private with Elizabeth back when we actually were doing stuff. I admitted, for example, that I am somewhat fetishistic. This I mentioned as a reason for my not appreciating overly revealing pornography. The whole subject of pornography had grown out a discussion of what passes for scandal these days: a Penthouse Magazine we'd seen in Cool-beard Josh's bathroom last night. And Cool-beard Josh had come up in a discussion of emo. And I'd brought up emo when I put on a tight polyester orange sweater to combat the chill of the living room.
Then Jessika called. She was talking at first with housemate Steve, wondering about a mysterious head that had appeared at her house. She didn't even know if I wanted to talk to her. But I did, of course. I explained that I hadn't come over of late because it's been so cold and it takes my car a long time to warm up. I also pointed out that she never visits me either. I also stated that I am more "introspective" these days. She expressed interest in maybe coming to visit me (with a ride from someone else) but she never did.
Again there was snow, wet snow that clung first to grass. But then on the walk here to Cocke hall I noted that the sidewalk was slippery too.
Back at my house I took a nap until 4:30pm. The phones' repeated ringing in the hallway was the principle agent responsible for my awaking. One of those calls was my mother, who left a message in the voice mail. She's staying at the Omni Hotel on the west end of the Downtown Mall so that she may attend a "teachers of the blind" conference. We'd arranged to meet if at all possible. But phoning her room proved fruitless.
So I called Nemo's house to see if Jessika wanted to maybe help me find my mother. But from Raphæl I learned she was out running errands with Nemo, Ana and Matthew Hart. One of those places would be the public library. In other news, Raphæl told me that much progress has been made in getting the school bus at Deya's house to run.
At the public library on Market Street I found Jessika checking her Hotmail account, joined shortly by Matthew Hart doing the same. Ana had found some books about dolls that she and Jessika intend to xerox. In a weird manifestation of positive feedback, their affection for doll heads seems to have reached insane dimensions borne of their common home. Nemo smiled shyly as I showed him particularly grotesque heads.
I went off to find my mother again. I again failed to find her, so I did some work at the Mudhouse and tried again. Success!
We went first to Miller's, but that place was too smoky for both of us. We ended up at Sal's pizza (near Chap's in the middle of the mall) which was the only open pizza joint on the mall. We had the deluxe pizza and Becks beer. The waitress had a swarthy Mediterranean accent and wondered if I was from Germany. She was the sort of waitress that inspires good tips in the blood of men. But my mother was paying for everything, and she had a decidedly more pragmatic view, though this was a wordless understanding.
I drove my mother and myself back to my house on Wertland. In John's second floor room a sort of "art party" was happening. Nellie was there, as was another blond friend-of-the house named Danielle, and most of my housemates, intermittently. On black velvet, John was creating an acrylic painting of a Sperm Whale inspired by Moby Dick. Elizabeth was working on various stylized visions of the Virgin Mary. Nellie seemed to have drawn inspiration from Odilon Redon. Danielle wasn't content to use acrylics and began using her oil paints, as did Ches his. My mother painted a dolphin on a black velvet panel prepared by John while I did a fussy little grey rooster in a field of brilliant lime green. Inspiration or distraction therefrom was provided by a bottle of Jim Beam. All our works found their way to the walls with enthusiasm, especially that which always dwells within the soul of Nellie.
Before becoming too intoxicated, I dropped my mother back at the Downtown Mall and returned to my house, where things continued as they had until the Jim Beam was gone.
Before midnight, I set out on a covert beer run which was facilitated by a chance ride with Josh Mustin. I went to the Rising Sun Bakery where for some reason Jessika was working tonight (I'd had the impression that she no longer worked there). While she worked, Jen Fariello's housemate, Amy was having a heated political argument with Terry the owner. Terry was taking a right wing stand on topics of the day such as "Partial Birth Abortions" while Amy represented the liberal view. All these people had been drinking heavily. Especially Jen Fariello, who was remarkably uncomposed when Jessika and I later passed her on Wertland as we walked back to my house.
Jessika and had a nice little conversation in the kitchen of my house. We hadn't talked in something like two weeks after all. Presently we were joined by Elizabeth who'd been at the Tokyo Rose on a "girl date" with Emily, yet another one of the Rising Sun Bakery's many sexy counter girls. Elizabeth had just gone through the whole "drunk wave," culminating, like so many others this particular night, in vomiting. So I offered her one of the beers from the twelve of Beast Ice I'd just purchased and she accepted it with resignation. Come to think of it, I think Jessika turns down more beers than Elizabeth does, and that ain't many.
I was off warming up the Dodge Dart to take Jessika home when Jessika and Elizabeth came out together. Elizabeth claimed later that she hadn't seen Jessika in awhile and needed more of her companionship. So off we three went in the Dart, me sipping a beer as I drove. First we went on a specific mission of compassion to the humours of Taurus Rising, then we continued to Jessika's house, where we drank more beer and engaged in increasingly intoxicated conversation. The only reason I use the term "increasingly intoxicated conversation" is that I remember none of what was said. Then Tom Tom or "Tom Boy," one of the respectable employees of the C & O and an Aquarius with Virgo Rising. If there's no other reason for us to like Tom Boy, he's an air sign with an earth sign rising, the most common profile at Big Fun. He proposed we visit a local private club near the Downtown Mall, one I'd heard is frequented by gay men. He added that he'd get us our drinks for free. This sounded like a great idea to us, so off we went in the Dodge Dart. But the club was closed, and we were left to react to the fact that all of us present had earth signs rising: Jessika and I Taurus, Tom Tom Virgo and Elizabeth Capricorn.
Elizabeth and I returned Tom Tom and Jessika to Nemo's house and we continued back to our house. I didn't know it at the time, but Elizabeth was going into and out of blackout. We must have both been pretty drunk because we found ourselves kissing in the front seat of my Dodge Dart. Elizabeth puked later on, having completed a second drunken cycle in one night.
I was involving my mother in a mission to return to Jessika the pictures she'd loaned me last night when we ran across Morgan Anarchy, all decked out in his punk regalia. I invited him to join us and I drove us to Nemo's house. No one was there, so I dropped off the pictures there and Morgan on the Corner. I was noticing again how difficult it is to steer a car that doesn't have power steering. My Dodge Dart has completely spoiled me and given me such lazy habits as turning the wheel one-handed whenever cornering at low speeds.
My mother treated me to dinner at the Rising Sun Bakery and then headed back to Staunton. I headed off to bed. The time was about 6:30. I slept until work time.
As I left for work, it seemed a dreadful tragedy that I should be missing out on what appeared to be a fairly rocking part happening in the hallways and Andrew's room.
At work, I put a lot of time and effort using Photoshop to cut to ribbons the picture of Deya on the homepage of the Big Fun Glossary. The reason for this wasn't anger (though we have had some vitriolic emails of late). No, I want her picture to load as fragments of a table that otherwise is many different colours. The idea is to create a more visually interesting experience for those watching the Big Fun Glossary load over slow links. In the process I learned much about tables. The first scheme proved too complex, with too many nested tables for either me or Navigator to keep track of. It actually crashed the Netscape process since it had tables nested 19 deep. So I tried a simpler plan with tables nested only three deep. With a little tweaking this worked nicely. Viewed with Internet Explorer, the loading is almost like a fireworks display.
Because Deya's head was now just a small picture in a sea of such things, I substituted in a little animated GIF of her head seeming to chew gum. It isn't actually all that good, but the potential here...to animate small pieces of large JPEGs by using tables, is very exciting. I showed Jim Hoff, the Webmaster here at Comet, and he'd never even heard of nesting tables. As for me, I only know about them because I tried them as an experiment. The literature on them is very sparse and there are few examples of nested tables anywhere on the web.
I had to carefully pace myself while drinking tequila in as much as I had to work tonight. The fact of having to go to work put a sober damper on the evening. But it probably made me a better Gus to hang out with for my increasingly intoxicated friends. I humoured Jessika by letting her crimp my hair with a zig-zag crimping iron. Now I have frizzy rock star hair as though perhaps my hands slipped while attempting to pirate electricity.
We watched a videotape of Crumb, a sort of documentary about the underground comic R. Crumb. The thing that struck me most about the movie was how Crumb the comic felt as free as he did to express his deep and otherwise repressed perversions to make works of remarkable insight and beauty. Dirty, filthy disgusting beauty, but beauty all the same. Stuff our paternalistic opportunistic elected officials want to protect us from here on the Internet. I myself have some very shocking material that I do not feel comfortable placing on the Web in any but fully anonymous ways, and I have shocked people with it already. People as tolerant as Jessika. I had the feeling that their watching Crumb (something that has apparently become a recurring event at Nemo's) has given my friends, Jessika particularly, an insight into the burden I have as an artist to render the filthiest and most diabolically complex nook of my experience. There is dirt there, but there is also truth. Interestingly, just from what she says, Ana seems to me to have the best grasp of this of anyone watching Crumb tonight. Both her and Jessika predicted I would love the movie, and I did.
At a point Bill (the Leo guy who used to work at the Rising Sun) Crispina's sister, Bad Ironing Board, and a red headed Rising Sun regular named Stephanie appeared. Zachary and Matthew Hart were feeling all hostile towards Bad Ironing Board, partly because he apparently called ABC authorities on the Rising Sun Bakery recently, alleging that underage counter staff have been selling alcohol.
Later, Peggy, Theresa Venesian, Persad and Nada the Brazilian Girl appeared. That's when I returned to my house in preparation for work.
At night I worked on Deya on the Big Fun Glossary homepage. Instead of chewing gum, now their are changes of her head and shoulders from other photographs. It's an interesting idea, but I don't know if it will last. The efforts required took much of my time.
I went to Nemo's house to pick up what I thought was the Jehu End of the Word Party videotape. But it wasn't, I learned later. There was no one there. I continued on to the Pantops Mountain Foodlion to buy ramen, soup and a case of Beast Ice.
In the evening there was an opening of a new record store on the corner of Market and 2nd Street West near the Downtown Mall. The record store, which mostly sells punk rock and jazz CDs, is an outgrowth partly of the imagination of the Charlottesville artist Nikolai. I went to it with Elizabeth and one of her friends.
The crowd was mostly unfamiliar, though Nellie showed up with a latest incarnation of boyfriend and Jessika's friend Dave was there. Dave played some music on an acoustic guitar with a moderate amount of accompaniment on drums and violins (he sang though) and I must say I was very impressed with his talent. He had to deal with folk instruments in what amounted to a relatively dissonance-intolerant environment, but somehow, with minor chords and what not, he managed to transcend it all.
Then Nikolai played. I knew I was going to like anything he played the moment I noted his Guided by Voices tee shirt, and he did not disappoint me. He was harder and more distorted than others had been (though not so fast as Dave), and was forced to relent only when cooler heads forced his replacement by a more folksy guitarist who didn't even sing. Oh well.
In other things, Elizabeth got mad at me when I informed her of some things I put in the musings for the last few days. Oh well. I don't even care anymore if people like me; it seems too many do anyway.
At the opening I bought Superchunk's On the Mouth for more than I can probably afford.
After all the beers and vino, I returned to my house and continued on to the Bakery, where Jessika was working while Morgan Anarchy hung out. Morgan and I, joined by this guy named Steve and a female friend, went back to my house and hung out, listening to Slayer and Pantera and drinking my Beast Ice. As previously arranged, Jessika showed up, joined by none other than Bad Beef.
At a point some sort of conflict erupted between Jessika and myself about my revealing stuff in the musings that I don't discuss in person. She stated that I must not want to have friends. I felt almost indifferent about this analysis, which is rather what she expected and was insinuating. She added that Deya, watching me through my musings, had determined that I am being "weird." I told Jessika that, what with what I view to be her judgmentalness, I don't feel particularly comfortable telling her anything anyway. I went on to say that I really don't feel close to anyone, which is true. I might as well talk to the world this way when I have reached such a position. If everyone should begin to hate me, to avoid me, so be my fate. It's as though I do not care at all. I know I will not be abandoned no matter how bad I get in any of this. Despite how bad she might have felt after our little conversation, I felt strangely closer to Jessika because of it. It seems she'd never really confronted me for such deep truths before. Bad Beef appeared behind Jessika during our conversation, and when he lingered there Jessika asked him, "what, are you just going to stand there?" When it became clear that that was his intent she asked him to leave.
One thing I have wanted to say at some point in these musings is that the Internet, or more particularly the Web, is an ideal tool for people to find people like themselves. If I do a search for "Pantera" and "Guided by Voices" in Altavista, there's a chance I'll find a human with my musical interests. There is, of course, the so-called "Similarities Engine" which is a database of bands with links to bands that a statistical sample of fans also like, by increasingly remote relevance. But it makes all the predictions you would expect. People who like Slayer, no surprise, like Sepultura too. Interestingly, according to the Similarities Engine, people who like Husker Du tend to like Guided by Voices.
This is not an easy night to stay awake. There has been no sleep, only a prior evening of the usual social obligations. My eyes feel like bowling balls sinking into the quicksand of my face.
I was sort of paranoid that maybe my friends Jessika, Morgan and Bad Beef had gotten blitzed and gone on a rampage after my leaving for work last night. But no, they'd left things almost disquietingly orderly. I slept until maybe three, took a shower, returned to bed and slept until...get this...eleven pm.
I really wanted to have the videotape of the Jehu End of the World Party for frame captures tonight at work, and that meant a trip out to Nemo's house. So I fired up the Dart and drove there.
Nemo's parking lot was crammed with all manner of vehicles (including the C&O van, driven by Tom Tom). I really didn't have time to get too involved in anything, but I did drink a rich dark Sam Adams offered to me by Matthew Hart and Tom Tom. We sat out on the porch while almost everyone else watched a Muppet Movie. Jessika, for her part, kept mostly to her overheated room playing surprisingly thrashy music. But she appeared here and there to hang out on the back porch. She obviously was full of issues with me, and I didn't know what to do in the time allotted. So I just left. As I was about to pull out, she came out to the Dart and returned my Shadow Men on a Shadowy Planet CD, asking if all I came for was the Jehu End of the World videotape. I didn't know what to say except to ask if she was mad at me. She left in a huff and I saw her heading off down High Street in the warm November rain. This left me feeling terrible. It was a complex emotion that I rarely ever experience...and it was so overpowering it kept me from driving my car well. Back at my house I sat in my Dart and cried. I don't know why or even what had just happened.
I didn't recover until I went to work and did some frame captures off the Jehu Party tape. Thomas Vinson, who works for both Ping and as a tech for Comet, gave me a tutorial of the basics sufficient for me to nab lots of quality images, which will soon decorate my Big Fun Glossary. Bn hung out for hours too. He was upset that he had just broken up with his girlfriend Helen. But he's done that before.
After a night of work and learning, I managed to get lots of fairly high quality black and white images (as JPEGs mostly) from the Jehu End of the World Party videotape. I also pieced together an animated GIF of a Sara Poiron freak out which I put on the second Big Fun gallery page. It is about 300 k, but I'm rather pleased with it. It was one of the few things on the videotape for which animation was a must... the need to incorporate that sequence in the Glossary website has haunted me for months. For some reason all the images obtained by my screen captures ended up being gray scale. Thomas didn't know why this was, but he says colour is possible, so there will be color video frames in the Glossary's future. To see changes made to the Jehu End of the World Party web page, surf there now.
I found KC at her place of employ at Chaps near the center of the Downtown Mall. She wrote out a long and complex set of directions for finding her cabin in the Blue Ridge where tonight a party was to happen. Yes, I still accept invitations to parties from 16 year old girls.
I'd seen a few things that constituted egregious loose ends in the new stuff in the Big Fun Glossary, so I drove back to the Corner and went into Comet and fixed them. I am utterly obsessed with perfection with regard to my acts of creation. It must be all that Virgo in my chart.
I chatted some with Elizabeth, Andrew and Will the bus driving Electrical Engineering student back at my house. Will was still unwinding from a harrowing experience with some politically correct
girls wimmyn and was hoping to seek solace in the rational minds he was now surrounded by. I advised him that it makes no sense to deal with ones friends in any but a sincere way. If one must be fake to have certain friends, what sort of friends can they be, anyway? Of course, job interviews are another matter entirely. Typing this reminds me of my relationship with Jessika, someone in theory I should be fairly close to. But it is clear that though I don't act fake around her, there is so much I don't let her in on regarding the content of my thoughts. And it would be irresponsible to blame my detached Aquarian nature for this.
I drove out to Nemo's house after dark. Matthew Hart was there with the family of Ana, Nemo and Raph. Jessika was off on a dinner date with that most suave of Charlottesville's toothless psychotics, Steve Weiner, at the Continental Divide. And Morgan and Zach had just gone to Zach's place on Altamont for a dinner of food purchased with Matthew Hart's foodstamps.
Matthew Hart's financial and housing situation has deteriorated badly over the past several weeks. There was that three day period in which he had a job at Gumby's Pizza (burnout pizza cooks R-Us), but the night of the tequila drinking (it was the night recently where I had to control myself since I had to work), Matthew was fired for his outrageous drunken deliveries. So he went on food stamps and moved into a dungeon-like crawl space that leads from Peggy and Zach's place on Altamont. Now, though, the neighbors have apparently complained to the landlord about "noises and cigarette smoke," neither of which Matthew Hart can recall making, except for the time he was putting up tapestries to hide the view of the cobwebs between the floor joists that constitutes his ceiling. That time these complaining neighbors had come down to investigate and Matthew had thought he'd smoothed things over with them. Not so. Despite their nice facade, they'd gone running to the landlord with cries of "WAA WAA, there's somebody in the house that AIN'T 'POSE TO BE HERE!" It very reminiscent of the Malvern Girls' experience at their first Charlottesville residence on Altamont Street, Spring 1995.
So now Matthew Hart needs a place. He can't really stay at Nemo's since Morgan Anarchy is already the official couch surfer there (he having been kicked out by the landlord at his mom's place in deepest Fratville on the charge rowdy livin'). So Matthew is thinking he needs a girlfriend. Normally Matthew is not given to the attachment that having a girlfriend requires. But in this case his thinking is that a nice warm bed would be worth the bother of having to actually sleep with someone in it. As with me, KC had invited Matthew Hart to her cabin party tonight, and he could see this as an opportunity to obtain for himself a girlfriend. For a period then as we hung out watching teevee at Nemo's house, everything Matthew said and did kept coming back to the subject of his obtaining a girlfriend tonight. There was, for example, the instance when Matthew was holding young Nemo and, in a moment of whimsy, turned him upside down and flew him around like a little airplane. But Nemo had just been breast feeding and became airsick on on the shoulder of Matthew, who found it impossible to clean the pukey smell away. So Matthew knew tonight when he'd be romancing the girl that was to his girlfriend, he'd have to see to it that she rested her face on his right shoulder, not the puked on left shoulder.
On the teevee meanwhile we watched an action-thriller starring Sylvester Stallone called Cliffhanger. The movie was appallingly juvenile and simplistic, of course, the sort of thing my brother would love. Emotions throughout the movie were kept to the basics...lust, anger, and honour. The heroes were absolute in their flawlessness and the villains were so evil that they were forced to do ridiculous extra-bad things that had the effect of thwarting their evil plans. I kept complaining about this as I watched the movie, asking aloud if real life villains such as Althia Hurt ever were consistently so evil. I hate being patronized by such a transparently unrealistic fantasy world of brave heroes and darkest evil.
Jessika returned from her date with Steve Weiner. She was impressed with the Continental Divide, even saying it seemed like a cool place to work, especially given the fact that they give free lizard tattoos to their employees. She and Matthew also spoke of how Steve Weiner is enjoying the new gap in his mouth, finding all sorts of advantages to it. According to Matthew, Steve claims he can now suck a guy's dick while smoking a cigarette. For those who do not know Steve Weiner, I feel it important to point out that he said this only for humourous effect.
When the movie ended, Jessika, Matthew and I set out in my Dodge Dart to attend KC's party. The moral of the story is that one should never accept directions from an Aquarius, especially if the one accepting such directions is himself an Aquarius. We became hopelessly lost somewhere at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains amongst the flood damage and bridges of Madison County, debating possible interpretations of the cryptic directions, which read like the lyrics of a Guided by Voice album. So we turned back. Throughout the entire drive we were drinking my Beast Ices and tossing the empties out the window. Luckily we made it back to civilization in time to buy more. And we were heroes to the cause of increased transportation options.
I became sleepy in Jessika's overheated room chatting with her and the two homeless Aquarians, Morgan and Matthew. When I was awaken, I drove Matthew back to "Zach and I's" on Altamont (where he has a grace period before complete eviction) and I continued off to my own undisputed bed.
I tried to visit Nathan VanHooser, but of course he was off somewhere for that Thanksgiving thing. I considered stealing tussin from Food Lion, but I was sober and had second thoughts. So I went to Nemo's in that same East Charlottesville area. I had brought what tussin I have, which amounted to five ounces...enough for me but no one else. This I drank as we all (Jessika, Nemo, Ana, Raph, Morgan, Zach and Peggy) prepared to watch yet another movie, in this case a French movie with subtitles, The City of Lost Children.
The weirdness of the movie was not affected in the least by the tussin (the same CVS tussin you see in the tussin page animation along with a 1 ounce sample containing pseudo ephedrine). But it was plenty weird on its own, complete with strange face makeup, people aging at high speeds forward and backwards, and an obviously computerized animation of a flea leaping through the air and injecting diabolical substances. I think the tussin mainly had the effect of making me unable to follow the convoluted plot; I have noticed this to be an effect of tussin in other cases as well. But I was still able to appreciate the stunning imagery and some of the plot weirdnesses (for example, that the hero of the movie appears to be involved in some sort of relationship with an apparently pre pubescent girl).
Later I began to drink beers and hang out with Jessika. The most interesting thing from all of this was my analysis of the blindness of boys and girls with regard to the essential motivations and natures of member of the opposite sex. I see this in Jessika all the time with regard to her few but notable recent romantic choices. She herself says of these that she didn't know what the hell she was thinking.
Peggy was there intermittently, invited specifically by Jessika for a peculiar reason which I won't divulge. Peggy asked if I'd ever had sex with Jatasya, and of course I haven't. It seems that Peggy was amazed by recent revelations divulged by a drunken Matthew Hart on just how promiscuous Jatasya was during a couple years ago. More recently, of course, Jatasya has seemed more asexual or at least monogamous.
Read some more tales of tussin.
This was the first Thanksgiving on record in which my family actually had a turkey. In the past, we've eaten things like duck, roast beef, and even, in one case I seem to recall, a big pot of beans! The turkey was out of the oven in the mid afternoon and that's when we started eating. We had it all, the cranberry sauce, the stuffing, and later, the pumpkin pie. My brother's large intestine always becomes activated by gluttony, thus the festivities had a certain damper placed on them by his clogging the toilet at about the time I stopped eating.
I napped until dark, had a piece of pumpkin pie, collected my things (including a stack of unmarked videotapes) and headed for Charlottesville.
The first place I went was Nemo's, where a large family-oriented feast had just concluded. In addition to all the usuals there were the likes of Zachary's father and sister, Ana's mother, and one little girl.
We immediately went through my blank videotapes in search of segments of old Needlework (or Needlewerk, as it is now spelled) clips. We went through a whole tape and a half that documented our first encounter with Bad Beef, then into a series in Sara's room back in January 1996 when Jessika was drunk, in blackout, and on ritalin. The scenes were not pleasant for Jessika to watch in as much as she hadn't recalled the events documented. We did find the piece of Needlework tape, which contains a fairly well done if incomplete performance of "Riot," in which Morgan Anarchy, the vocalist, manages to maintain an entertaining and somewhat threatening punk rock stage presence. Ritalin is good for such things.
Matthew Hart showed up from at least two different Thanksgivings at his respective parents' houses in Augusta County. When our hunger had built back up somewhat, we all finished off some good vegetarian sushi that Ana had made as the vegetarian alternative. Raphæl was acting strangely under the effects of all the turkey he had eaten; he was giggling uncontrollably. And for his part, Matthew Hart had been so full that driving back to Charlottesville had been difficult. It seems that eating lots of food can at times act in a druglike way.
We, the big drinkers, Morgan, Matthew, Jessika and myself, felt starved for alcohol, the one thing neglected in the Nemo-house feast. So we set off in Matthew's car to make a purchase with what meagre funds we all had. But even the Kroger was closed. We went to the Lucky Seven on the Corner, but we bit the bullet and decided not to buy any of the overpriced options there. This was good; I was afraid that I would have to buy everyone's alcohol, which has been my fate recently ever since all my friends became unemployed and I started working full time. Some of my friends, Morgan particularly, have no sense that they take all the time without ever offering anything in return. And he has always done this, even when he had money.
The teevee was full of Christmas stories in a crass effort to prime the consumer tendencies that attends that season. One was the ridiculous movie Home Alone, which has the implausible good versus evil affliction I'd noted the other night in the Stallone movie.
Jessika slipped off to her room and refused to answer the door when Morgan knocked. Theresa V. came over for awhile and talked about how her boyfriend Persad was off in a hotel participating in a medical experiment for which he was going to earn $400. Jessika is always talking about participating in medical studies, but she never manages to. Nellie, on the other hand, frequently does the medical study thing.
I was sober, cold, and bored, so I returned home. My house was big, warm and empty (the housemates were off with the families), so I went and took a nice long bath while reading about my Dart's power steering.
I took another bath, just because I could and it seemed like the most enjoyable way to warm up after a walk from the corner. This time I read about the Dodge Dart's air conditioning. At about this call I get a call from some guy who said "this is 1-800-COLLECT" and that I'd just won $5000, but when I asked about when I'd be getting the check, he hung up. He called back right away, and it turned out it was Josh Mustin, and he said he and the Nemo House drunkards would all be coming over, along with Deya, now on Thanksgiving break.
Sure enough they did, with what remained of a half gallon of Smirnov's 100 proof vodka. Everyone was pretty fucked up, with the exception of Zachary, who hadn't been drinking, and Jessika, who can drink anyone I know under the table.
Being as sober as I was, I found most of them a little hard to take. I drank some of the remaining vodka mixed with flat sparkling cider and had a little conversation with Deya. I didn't really know what to do with her, though. Then Josh and Zachary come carrying Morgan Anarchy in, his left eyebrow split open from some gratuitous drunken violence against a sturdy inanimate object. I cleaned that up and applied neosporin while he tearfully and incoherently derided "society" and Charlottesville. And before long I found myself having to clean up the kitchen floor of Deya's vomit.
Somewhere in the midst of all of this, before it got too bad really, I got a call from Nathan VanHooser. Surprise of surprises, but not really too weird given the circumstances, he'd gone off with Janine and gotten married Thanksgiving Eve. He'd tried to call and tell me, but Elizabeth had thought he'd asked for "Ches" and had said I was in New York. So I missed the wedding of Nathan and Janine. He said it had been a memorable experience, up on Humpback Rock on the Blue Ridge. The master of ceremonies was a Baptist Minister he found somewhere. Of course, nathan and Janine had been living in unmitigated sin for a year...
* Once Morgan and Deya had passed out and Zach and Josh had left, I got in this intense conversation with Jessika in which she accused me of being arrogant (because I have a casual and fatalistic attitude to having friends), and claiming that these musings are designed to make me out to be "the hero." She wanted to know why I had started treating her differently. I said that it was because I was weary of such a trivial friendship taking all my time (in truth, it seems I have a more intimate relationship with some of the counter girls I barely know at the Rising Sun Bakery than I do with Jessika) I said that for this reason, I was trying to restructure my social life around more substance. As for my "arrogance," I stated that I do not feel at all powerful in my relationship with her. What's more, I said that it was a surprise to me that she really cared whether I spent time with her or not. She said that she'd felt our relationship to have improved since late summer. I said that I still was having trouble getting past issues left over from Big Fun, including, among other things, stuff I didn't want to talk about related to the peculiar days in the aftermath of the Storm of the Century, stuff she addressed briefly anyway. She then gave me an ultimatum: either spend more time with her or be given the status of ordinary guy in her life. I found it amazing that she could just turn tables and be the one issuing ultimatums.
We went in pursuit of free food on the Corner, but were cut off at every possible place. We asked Gumby's about their "Free Pizza Extravaganza" (a promotional event I created on the spot), but of course there was no such thing. So now Jessika wanted to blow the place up, hassling Eddie the Ness, who happened by, for explosives.
Back at my house, Morgan and Deya had left. But after a phone call, they returned and took Jessika away for free drinks at Miller's, where at the time Theresa Venesian was serving as a waitress.
It was about midnight, so I took a nap that lasted about a half hour before setting off to work.
At work I restructured my Big Fun Gallery pages to include a new Jehu End of the World party page. It sucks that photos that look good on a PC look like shit on a Mac and vice versa. This latest batch looks good on a Mac, but are too dark on a PC. The other pictures look best on a PC. Meanwhile, Evan was restructuring the modem answering order on the Comet modem bank.