My housemates (with the exceptions of Penley and Chesney, but with Brooke and Ed, Elizabeth's friends) suddenly arrived at the RSB, and there was suddenly no avoiding an interaction. But Andrew was apologetic for last night's accusations. He claimed it was the "Bourbon talking." I was relieved to learn he'd actually found his missing camera. I went to Comet at 10pm. That's early, but someone needed to cover this evening, and I volunteered to. Bn had somehow accidentally mailed a love letter intended for his girlfriend Helen at JMU to a complete (though 3 month old) Comet.net subscriber list, and KenH (one of my superiours) was forced to scramble around erasing the messages from Grendle (the mail server) before too many customer complaints came flooding in. Ah, the travails of a small Internet Service Provider.
Bn says that it was actually Helen's sending mail that accidentally triggered the e-mail explosion that transpired.
So at the earliest possible chance I left and rode my bike to Jessika's house in deepest Fratville. Jessika was seated in her room, painting in her portable off-line "homepage." She's been doing lots of watercolour recently, in concert with drawing. The combination is impressive, and I have delighted in her sudden burst of creative energy. But Jessika was in a foul mood. The thing that made me feel the worst was when she told me (speaking of my standing her up) that she had "come to expect disappointment." So I was eager to fix the situation. We got some Mickeys and the clouds more or less parted.
Of course, what happened was that we ended up getting very drunk...we drank a whole fifth between the two of us. At a certain point we went to Shady Grady (an expensive but intriguing convenience store down on Grady Avenue near Preston) to get tomato juice with which to make bloody marys. The bloody marys we made left a little to be desired, unfortunately. I passed out at a certain stage in Jessika's bed.
When Jessika revived me, we went on a walk through deepest Fratville on a party crashing mission. We wanted to steal oven knobs, which is a traditional crime of the Malvern Girls. We hoped to include oven knobs in our space outfits somehow. But we found no Fratville parties and thus no oven knobs.
We did, however, stumble into a roaring scene down at Coup deVille's off of Elliewood. We didn't enter the fray, choosing instead to talk over a fence to a couple of meat and potato kind of guys in the back of the outdoor section. They wanted to know our names. But while Jessika was steadfastly going by "Mary Walter Bellows," I would only allow myself to be called "Satan." The guys were irritated with me for a couple reasons. The first such reason was that I was Jessika's apparent date for the evening and the second was that my attitude was so flip. They said, "you're walking around with a bombshell here, and some day she's gonna get tired of [my flip attitude]." We were briefly distracted by an overindulgent Coup deVille patron who projectile-vomited over the fence nearby to the roaring approval of the two meat and potato gentlemen. The vomit was foamy and contained white nuggets in it. It issued forth with such involuntary abandon that it gushed from both nostrils as well as from the unfortunate lad's mouth.
Jessika and I went to Hot Tomatoes to take advantage of the "midnight madness" dollar/cheese-slice deal they have after ten pm. But the confounded establishment had already closed. So Jessika and I walked separate routes to our respective homes.
I must submit that I fell in love when I saw it, and agreed to buy it without having ever driven it.
I went to fetch my bike from Jessika's porch, and she wanted to go with me to see the new car. And, much harder than I had, Jessika fell in love with my new car.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Dodge Dart (which included me until this day), the Dodge Dart is a big classic American car with a big engine and big plush seats. And two people can call "shotgun" since the front seat is a whole seat! My new car has an automatic transmission, which is not my preference. But, my rationalization goes, the car is designed for gang bangers who are too busy capping homies to have to deal with shifting as well.
Jessika and I rode in the Dart out to Belmont (a small town absorbed within the southern tier of Charlottesville) to steal some galvanized steel from a radiator/air duct tubing manufacturer there. Mostly what we were getting was scraps from the dumpster, thinking the whole time how the pieces would fit into a space suit or space probe (there is a plan to build a space ship of some sort in my front yard as one of the decorations for the space party). Some little do-gooding boys saw us loading up on stuff and went to tell their mommy and daddy, so Jessika urged me to flee. I was a little unfamiliar with the starting of the car (which happens in Neutral, not Park, for some reason) and there was an anxiety-stained moment as I fumbled with the keys. But when the Dart roared to life, it was unstoppable.
We went north, to the Little High Street neighborhood wherein Nathan VanHooser and girlfriend Janine now live in a house that they own. You see, I needed to pick up paintings for an emerging show of my art at the Rising Sun Bakery. I feel shitty about never visiting Nathan anymore except to get things from him. But Nathan and Janine are always just as wonderfully hospitable as ever, this time (for example) offering Jessika and me fresh from the oven lasagna and fresh from the brewery beer. (Nathan went in on financially and helped brew a batch of beer produced at a local microbrewery.) We all went out to admire my new car. Then Jessika and I returned to the Corner and Nathan and Janine set off to the train station to pick up a friend of theirs who is a political refugee from the Gambia.
I hung out with Elizabeth for the balance of the evening. We went out to purchase a large bottle of vino, Carlo Rossi Rhine Wine. It's a bit on the sweet side. But I couldn't fathom drinking red wine tonight.
Meanwhile storm clouds gathered and winds picked up as Hurricane Fran drew ever closer like a howling natural army from the south.
Things became decidedly surreal when a group of me and my housemates went for a walk with Bad Bumpersticker to the Corner. There we found a bunch of people sitting on the sidewalk loitering like the fourteen year olds often do. But these were all young adults...the hip and popular ones of Charlottesville, including the likes of Emily Tisdale, a movie star of regional import. One person in our entourage was Katherine; she is a tall blond who recently bleached her hair into that yellowish bleached hair colour that Jessika always somehow manages to transcend. Katherine was researching pornography for one of her classes, and so our ever-expanding crew inevitably drifted with her to the Lucky Seven where we all perused the girlie magazines despite a sign which read "this is not a library" and a fat counter-lady who bitched at us. We all sat for a long time outside the Lucky Seven, socializing and giggling. I was drinking vino from a big plastic coffee mug. A policeman came among us and sat beside Emily Tisdale to help her leaf through a porno magazine called Barely Legal which purports to feature naked girls who have not been adults for very long. I could tell he was finding this to be a very titillating experience in a manner not unlike that of Joe the Cop. Meanwhile Elizabeth was sucked up into a long boring conversation with Mel the drunk (a Rising Sun regular). Mel was wanting to follow us home, but he ended up acting as though he was ignoring Elizabeth as a way to demonstrate some power in his fancied relationship with her. And still the hurricane drew nearer.
I drank wine all the next morning as I watched the rain come down in sheets. The power had a few hick-ups, but never expired. The wailing of sirens frequently punched through the conversation amongst the winds. I needed to go to the bank as did Elizabeth. So she, Andrew and I set out through the rain on foot. It wasn't falling that hard by this point (10 am?). The streets on the way to Nations Bank were littered with twigs and leaves that had been shorn from the trees. Power was out throughout most of the corner, including Comet. Thus there was to be no e-mail or personal web narcissism for me today. I noted that some of the Corner restaurants were open, but the customers pretty much sat in window seats so as to see their food. Nations Bank, on the west end of the Corner, had power. But the teller had to call in my information to find out if my account had sufficient funds for a withdrawal of the $300 I needed to buy the Dodge Dart and incidentals. Their computers were not in operation, so I take it. The Rising Sun Bakery also had power, and it was crowded with customers.
I went to UVA and did a little web surfing and found that the whole internet was in disarray. Even old standbys like Altavista and Lycos were out of operation. And Frognet.net came up as lacking a DNS entry (as did Comet, by the way)...and they're out in Ohio, I think. So I wrote about the hurricane in the Washington Post's feedback section. Yes, the Washington Post web site was running fine.
Later in the day at UVA I made a grand effort to download photos from NASA and scenes from space alien movies. I printed out zillions of these. But they were so full of space-black that I wore out the toner on the very robust printer in the newly upgraded computer lab in Cocke Hall. So I returned to my house and started decorating for tonight's space party.
Between my room and Andrew's are a set of double doors that can in theory be opened. Since we like our privacy, these doors are normally closed. But for the purpose of creating a large public space for the party, it seemed like a good idea to scoot everything to the walls and open those doors. With Andrew's double-doorway to the hallway also open, a vast 6-shaped room is formed that stretches from the living room to my room across the hallway and back again. Cleaning my room was sort of a pain since I normally just let things accumulate in random piles on my floor. Once the cleaning was done, I put up many of the NASA and alien-movie images I'd printed out. Chesney put his colour classic Mac in my room to sit alongside my SE and Elizabeth's 386. They all ran different screen savers at once to give a convincing "Ground Control" look to the room.
Meanwhile Andrew had obtained lights and a smoke machine from his raver friend Stroud, and Penley was busy making tin foil stars and planets.
I was becoming increasingly drunk, and also just a little aggravated for some reason. I certainly did not want any help from Elizabeth when I set about to erect, in the front yard, a space probe made of galvanized steel and Venetian blind elements. So I grumbled at her advice until she left me alone. The probe ended up being an impressive looking sculpture, especially once Will (an Electrical Engineering Student/bus driver/RSB regular/friend of Elizabeth) bedazzled it with a chasing-light chain. I went on to push the limits of decoration by spray painting silver heavenly bodies in the middle of Wertland Street in front of the house.
I was so aggravated from the tensions of the party preparation that I was forced to leave. Eventually I drove the Dart downtown to see what if any art openings scheduled for this night had not been cancelled by the Hurricane (which had passed on to the north by evening time).
I parked virtually in front of Spencer's, a sort of music store/coffee shop on Market Street. Instantly I ran across Nellie. The opening at Spencer's was winding down just upon my arrival, and Nellie was enthusiastic to check out my new Dodge Dart. With Nellie was a certain Liz, a sort of well-tanned "alterna-chick" if you will and frequenter of Jerusalem. They both rode with me in the front seat of my Dart around the Downtown Mall to the parking lot near the C&O. From there we walked to the rear of the Jefferson Theatre where a certain Nikolai was having an art opening in the single room he lives in as well as the grubby hallway outside. I was in sort of a drunken state and very relieved to be out of the Corner region of the world. So I sat with Nellie and a certain former Tandem student named Sarah. Nellie was being her usual very affectionate self, perhaps with excesses resulting from the vino that we found ourselves drinking so much of. But it was all very agreeable to me. Nellie gave voice to what was happening, saying "You're so fun to flirt with Gus." I countered that Nellie was a wonderful partner in flirtation. I said I liked girls and thus I have a tendency to flirt but that I never push the issue beyond that, thus never letting the situation grow uncomfortable. Tandem Sarah was less at ease with the situation she saw developing, but she was also obviously amused, asking semi-serious were we now going to go off and have sex when we finally got up to go. But no, I left on my own and drove to the Rising Sun Bakery to pick up Jessika.
As I waited in the RSB for Jessika, I got into a conversation with this seemingly gay guy named Alexis who took a shine to me rather rapidly. He just sort of joined Jessika and me on the drive to Jessika's place and chose to hang out through the long and labourious process of Jessika's getting into space alien costume as well as "alien-i-fying" me. Since he was there, what the hell, Jessika alien-i-fied Alexis too. Jessika had fashioned herself a metallic tank top which she wore with her vinyl pants and blue wig. She gave herself funny eye make-up and a third eye cut out from a magazine and glued to her forehead. Likewise I was given a third eye. Jessika also spray painted my hair silver.
I was pretty drunk, but this only manifested when I drove the unfamiliar Dodge Dart. I got just a little too close to a stone wall outside Jessika's house and then, on 12th street, nearly hit one of those horrible tow trucks that ply the University District. This terrified Jessika.
The space party was hopping nicely by this time. The beer issued forth copiously from the one keg on the back porch and punch was available in the kitchen. A band called Curious Digit eventually set up and played in Andrew's Room. I'd never heard the Digit and had just assumed they were yet another me-too Charlottesville funk band. But no, they're more in the genre of Pavement and they impressed both Jessika and myself. Elizabeth had always been enthusiastic about Curious Digit. But she also likes Paul Simon.
The party grew fabulously, though I regret to say not all that many people took the space outfit requirement seriously. At some point the place was wall-to-wall humanity in that way that few parties ever attain. Out on the front porch, Emily Tisdale the regional movie star wanted to have a conversation with me. I was in an increasingly foul mood, so I didn't care what I told her. She'd read Farrell's publication of my Fall 1995 writings (The Jehu End of the World Party, etc.) and was obviously impressed, saying that I was a good writer and all of that. We chatted like this for awhile, and I eventually said something to the effect that she is a beautiful girl and that is all I know about her, as though that evident fact wasn't going to be sufficient for whatever bond she was wanting to establish with me. I rather liked her really; she even seemed kind of deep. But I was reluctant to make new friends.
At a certain hour I played my guitar in my room, which as you recall was serving as party space. Raphael set up with me and played too until housemate Steve complained. I went back to playing later. I took a certain delicious delight in revealing to a complaining party patron that it was my room he was in and I could do what the hell I wanted to in it. When Steve complained again (this time saying a DJ was upset that I was blaring over his music and threatening to quit) I became indignant and got into a shouting match with him (though I was the only one really shouting) saying I hadn't been informed about this DJ, didn't know him, didn't care about him, and still was expected to pay THIRTY DOLLARS for the party. Steve assured me I wouldn't have to pay anything...anything to shut me up. Elizabeth was there and when she spoke up I told her to be quiet.
I was enraged and so went off to find solace in Jessika. But she wasn't really supportive at all, saying something about how different I act towards her when drunk than when sober. So I felt utterly abandoned and exhausted with the party and disgusted by the patrons and so went off to fall asleep in my car, since I sure as shit couldn't sleep in my beer soaked room.
I felt guilty about what I recalled as brutish behaviour expressed last night towards Jessika, so I timidly called her in the afternoon. She was surprisingly unaffected by any weirdness I felt sure I must have spawned. So we planned a drive in the Dodge Dart. I set out to pick her up.
A combination of weaknesses added up in two components of the Dart to rob my car of its ability to start. The battery is apparently weak and the starter is worn. Thus when I did a few stupid things that robbed the battery of its charge, the starter couldn't manage to start the car when I stopped it outside Jessika's house. So she and I sat in it awhile waiting for the right person amongst the many of Fratville who would give us a jump start. The Frat Brothers were too busy cleaning up from their frat party, the maintenance men were too busy cleaning up downed limbs from Hurricane Fran and didn't have cables anyway, and the sorority sisters were just too, well, clean-looking to ask for a jump. But finally I asked one and she hooked me up right away to an older man inside the sorority who had all the things we needed. Yay!
We went downtown. I managed to get a few of my works out of bozART, especially Tower of Babel, which I wanted to include in my Rising Sun Bakery show.
Jessika and ran across Wei Liu the so-called Alien on the Downtown Mall. He'd been in Western State Lunatic Asylum recently, making harassing calls to my housemate Elizabeth at her job at Jerusalem. But on the Downtown Mall today, he was speaking in complete sentences, smiling, and full of relatively interesting things to say. He followed us to Sylvia's Pizza and chatted with us while we scarfed down spinach and mushroom doo dee doo pizza. He was amazed to learn we knew so much about him, that he is a Libra, and how his name is spelled. Wei has never really said anything to me before, but today he spoke with me in addition to Jessika. She told him all about the Glossary and how to find it on the World Wide Web, and had me write down the URL for him. Wei said that once when Jessika had been stalking him, when he had been trying on hats in a store, she had strangely reminded him of his mother, what with her 60s-era spectacles. Wei also claims to have several different styles of "walks," including his famous mechanical gait.
Later at the Salvation Army, Jessika purchased a new bag and I invested in a Men Without Hats tape as well as CD from a musician called "Gus" simply because Jessika thought it was an appropriate thing for me to buy. I also picked up a few items with which to litter the dashboard of my Dodge Dart. Jessika was confronted yet again with one of the employees there asking her "out on a date." She said she didn't have time for boys and dates, but then, when pressed, claimed that I was her boyfriend "sometimes" in hope, foolish hope, that her would-be suitor wouldn't bug her anymore. But he pressed on with lines such as, "What, you don't date black men?" and "[the Gus] can't handle you" (upon hearing this last line later on I had to agree that I can't).
I attempted sleep at the nearly abandoned Comet offices at 22 Elliewood, but there was too much going on in my head.
I went to my house on Wertland and gave the Dart's license plates back to Kelly. Then she signed the deed over to me. Elizabeth meanwhile was exhausted from a day spent catering some event in Crozet with a crew from the the Rising Sun Bakery.
I called the folks and told them of the new car and they told me of what all Hurricane Fran had wrought. Apparently Folly Mills Creek, which runs near my house and can normally be crossed in a number of places with a single leap, rose higher than ever before, totally swallowed the road, poured down into the neighbor's auto body repair shop, setting it akimbo and putting a foot of water in the trailer in which the same neighbor lives with his wife and adult child (water even reached into the basement of my childhood home, despite the fact that it is uphill a bit from the stream). This same neighbor is famous for having shot guns at members of my family some twenty years ago when we were just damn yankees. But with acts of nature so sublimely scary it is difficult not to have some sympathy for the guy. Yet witnesseth: the flat land near the rivers of the earth is not a gift of God for the house sites of man!
I slept at Comet from 10pm until Midnight and then Bn came and swapped with me; I went on to work and he took my place on the couch.
Jessika arrived to scan lots of work from her tattered "home page." We also had some fun scanning our faces and objects such as the jolly green alien she has attached to her bag (the bag, by the way, she calls a "space ship." We made one as a message to Deya, complete with silly "Doo dee doo Deya" written on our foreheads.
At Comet, Jessika and I got caught up in a many-hour chat session at something called Sam and Ellas Punk Rock Chat room. There we hung out with Annie (I taught her all kinds of HTML tricks to apply in the chat window) and Skittle the very depressed teenager. We learned some things about punk rock hair dye techniques, especially Prism, which is a permanent colour hair dye unlike Manic Panic. This really caught Jessika's attention: in fact she really got into the whole chat concept, but I had to do all the typing for both of us. We even sent pictures of our faces in the scanner.
I was ill but slept hard until a phone call at 5:30pm from Jessika. I'd missed an appointment with her to go visit Charter Hospital and her friend Glen. But I was in no mood to go and told her so through my grogginess.
I couldn't get back to sleep and so eventually went to the Rising Sun bakery, where I stumbled upon a woman who was very interested in my art. She gave me her phone number and e-mail address. Terry, the guy who runs the bakery, enthusiastically told me that my Unofficial Rising Sun Bakery Homepage had landed him a customer!
Later I drank a few Milwaukee's Beast Ice in front of the bakery and chatted with my housemates, who happened to be there, for a time.
At work, I hung out in the punk rock chat room with the likes of Brad Religion and others. I mentioned how much I hated reggæ with a link to my "reggie" definition in the Big Fun Glossary, and rather startled one of the characters there. They all agreed that reggæ sucked, calling it "slow ska with bad lyrics."
I use Altavista to check my spelling these days, doing searches and thus polling the web as to the best way to spell words. Some words come up with equal numbers based on two spellings, an example being "separate" and "separate."
Terry, the owner of the Bakery, seems to rarely be in a good mood in these stressful times. After one minor infraction committed by Morgan in front of the Bakery (thankfully the breaking of my chair was not witnessed!) Terry asked Morgan to leave. Morgan asked why and was reluctant to leave the presence of his friends (which at the time included the likes of Ray, Jessika, maybe Jesse, Josh Mustin and myself). So Terry decided to the use the technique of being insulting, telling Morgan "you look funny and you smell funny." Morgan retaliated with an allusion to Terry's being a hippie and then he threatened to kick Terry's ass. "You and who else?" Terry scoffed. "I'll do it all by myself." Morgan promised. "Not now." Terry said, and he went inside while Morgan retreated over to the vicinity of Higher Grounds. Later Jessika and I made pasta at my house from some store bought stuff my housemate John had. Some dumpster-dived noodles had been looking pretty sad and had been tossed. The dumpster-dived Frank Sinatra Alfredo sauce wasn't too bad even if it was a bit curdled.
In addition to Morgan Anarchy, another famous Big Fun Aquarian is back from a nationwide vision quest: Matthew Hart. He suddenly showed up with Sarah Kleiner in tow at my house while I hung out with Jessika and my housemate Andrew. What a surprise, though I'd heard he was back in town. Like Morgan, Matthew was all sun tanned and even still a bit dirty, I dare say. He'd allowed himself to become quite a gutter punk as well in such diverse places as Mexico, where his car, the Vomit Comet, was broken into and pillaged, and New Orleans, where the cops made off with his precious Habib I.D. Matthew Hart is good natured and fatalistic/philosophical about such things. When asked about items stolen in Mexico, he speaks of how "the Mexicans are listening to that tape now" and "a whole family of Mexicans is using that pillow now." The lack of an I.D. to "prove" he is more than 21 years of age has profoundly weakened Matthew Hart, though. In a way, he has been returned to a state of childhood from a many-month-long foray into the adult world of purchase-capable alcoholics. In the future I can see that I will be more important to Matthew's drinking plans. Meanwhile, though, Jessika is turning 21 on October 15th!
We sat around admiring my new Dodge Dart, which, owing to a lack of battery power and proper paper work, sits forlorn on Wertland Street.
On the inevitable trip to the ABC store Matthew Hart spoke of dodging santa clause throughout all his travels. True, despite being a precious commodity that must be smuggled in, marijuana is hard to avoid and, it seems, virtually the sort of peer pressure we were warned about in high school is employed to get folks like us to smoke it. Jessika and I have been doing our best to avoid the stuff, though I have had little luck in this regard of late. Jessika, for the record, has been referring to pot as "poison." At the ABC store I purchased a big bottle of vodka which we discretely took to Peggy and Zach's place on Altamont Street. Peggy and Zach have been living there since about mid August; its the old residence of Big Haired Sean and Head to Toe Leather and (before them by some years) Farrell.
Peggy seemed like she was dealing with some personal problems, so I mostly spent my time at her house telling her my personal problems. For some reason I feel very comfortable telling her just anything, completely honestly. Unlike some people, Jessika in particular, Peggy never passes judgment or raises an eyebrow on a word. Talking to Peggy about problems, even very personal ones, is a pleasant experience. Not that Peggy always seems to understand my problems. But she is an exceptionally warm and attentive listener. Others present at the time included Ray, Morgan, Jesse, Josh Smith, both Brazilian Girls, Vanna, Josh Mustin, and that guy Torrin. The conversation among the others, especially issuing from Ray, got to be really annoying and so I left by myself. I was rather drunk and it was a long walk back to 1100 Wertland Street.
I didn't see Jessika until evening, when she came riding up from having been visiting Glenn at Charter. At the time Bad Beef was hanging out with me and my housemates on my front porch. Andrew was wondering at every possible opportunity how we were ever going to get rid of Bad Beef. Once Jessika showed up, that certainly wasn't going to be easy.
Bad Beef was in a generous mood; he had intended to buy Tequila, but upon finding the liquour stores closed purchased 36 Budweisers instead. My housemates may have been down on the very idea of Bad Beef even being at our house, but they weren't so principled as to refuse his beer.
The ESCAPE that Jessika hatched was labeled as an appointment with "Sam 'n Ellas"-but that's just the name of the punk rock chat room that we like so much since its discovery early in the week. Unfortunately, not much was afoot tonight on Sam 'n Ellas. We chatted instead with Evan, one of the yankers of my chain here at Comet (aside from the fact that this "chain" has managed to take me into a whole new world of creativity). Evan can always be counted on for some good dialogue. Maybe it's just that he's so encouragingly positive about whatever the hell it is we're doing with our silly little lives.
I found my way off to Comet to work on internal links for the Glossary. Such linking is enormously labour intensive, but I'm obsessive about it, even though the work is really rather dull. It's the results that makes for such a living, breathing hypertext.
Nellie came by in amongst this and she was all game to make flyers for our September 20th art show to appear beneath the Jefferson Theatre on the Downtown Mall. Jen Fariello, who will also be in the show, had already made flyers featuring my Guitar Solace painting. But her flyer had a friendliness and straightforwardness that Nellie was seeking to avoid in the flyers she planned to make with me today. Using the Comet scanner and Adobe Photoshop, we soon forged two flyers against a background of Nellie's photographs. The first called the Jefferson Theatre show "The Coughed on Cheeseburger" (her name) and the second called it "Rubber Chicken Attitude," my idea. We had a major ordeal actually printing the flyers out. I didn't want to use the limited resources of Comet for the print out, so we went first to Alderman Library. But as fate would have it, on PCs there is still no way to scale print outs as there has always been on Macintoshes. Without scale, the JPEGs I had prepared were too large to fit on single sheets of paper.
The solution was the Cocke Hall Power Macs. Luckily the printer was fairly well stocked with toner. We made roughly 100 flyers there.
I was aggravated after all the day's work and was mostly interested in sleeping at this point. Jessika, when I ran across her, was with Morgan and Jesse near the Rising Sun, she talked about cluttered homepages, whatever they are to her. Jesse, meanwhile, was having much success using tweezers to yank a backload of quarters out of a nearby pay phone, which is broken.
I rode my bike to the Downtown Mall to partake in Fridays After Five madness. This was maybe my first time of going to the Downtown Mall with no one and no expectation of running across someone I knew. This was very good, since the person I hung out with as a result was Nathan VanHooser, who was hanging out just then in front of the Mudhouse. We spoke of a number of recent topics: the hurricane, his new job as a teacher at the Charlottesville Technical School (one of his pupils is sixteen year old Nada the Brazilian Girl!)
Daryl Rose was the featured artist at Gallery Neo. Daryl is a well known and very talented African Drummer. But I found his colourful paintings held no allure for me. Maybe that will change, though I doubt it. Steve Keene's work, on the other hand, has grown on me considerably of late. The shrimp was good, though the vino was out.
bozArt actually had a good show going. I liked the strangely simultaneously silly and sinister works of Judith Dike, this month's featured artist. I took advantage of the eats there.
At Comet at night, I read some of the ordeal Dave Pearce, whose intriguingly unique Hedonist Imperative web site and Web Diary I have been following and even imitating since I discovered them early in the summer. Dave, whose point of presence is Brighton, England (or nearby) has been threatened legally of late by a British Hunters' group called "the British Field Sports Society" because of his anti-hunting "Killing for Kicks" website, which includes "British Field Sports Society" in its title and Meta tags. The argument by the BFSS is that they hold some kind of control over their name when used in these parts of web pages. They are most especially upset that Killing for Kicks is listed above their propaganda in the results of an Altavista search. In sympathy for Dave, a British group called "Digital Jihad" has created a curt sardonic web page that is ranked even higher than Dave's page in the results of a search for "British Field Sports Society." These rankings result mostly from currency (lateness of submission) of these pages.
And so to "pile on" (as it were) in the cause of free web expression, I created my own British Field Sport Society page and submitted it to Altavista. What, after all, can the BFSS do about a fully international assault? Then I sent an e-mail to Dave telling him just what I did.
Dave responded before the end of my shift; he was pleased at the trouble I had taken and went on to say very kind things about both this web diary and my art.
Then I decided to get a little free money from the broken pay phone that Jesse had effectively harvested yesterday; here's what happened as I related it later in the Sam 'n Ellas Chat Room:
I just had an interesting interaction with the sales lady at a trendy dress store (the Phoenix)! There's a pay phone outside the store that is fucked up so quarters build up in it like in some old lady's colon when she doesn't drink her prune juice! Well, then I was trying to fish the quarters out with a paper clip and I even got one! Well, then the lady who runs the place came out and asked what I was doing. I said, "It's harvest time!" She asked what does that mean I said "I'm harvesting." She asked did I lose a quarter and I said no, but, beaming with a smile, I said, "I got one and it wasn't mine!" The trendy dress sales lady said, "Well, I own this store and customers were complaining." So I got my best Dan Reitman accent and said "Did they say, 'Emmm, excuse me, but it seems someone is stealing from the telephone outside your store.'!" Since what I said was so obviously hilarious (poking fun at some anally retentive fuck), the sales lady almost broke into a smile, but caught herself at the last moment. Then I added some astrological insight, claiming that the person complaining was in all likelihood a Virgo. So then I said, come on Jessika, let's go talk to Sam and Ellas and so here we are.
Jessika found the interaction with the dress saleslady very amusing, especially my matter of fact attitude. She said she would have lied had she been in my shoes but that what I did made it a more enriching event. Much like the Jehu End of the World Party story. But Sam and Ellas were pretty much lame. I later took a nap while Jessika began a shift of cleaning dishes at the Rising Sun Bakery.
When next I made it to the RSB to check in on Jessika, she was listening to her Wizard of Oz soundtrack tape as she blasted big bakery dishes clean in the back of the Rising Sun kitchen.I went to Comet to do a little work and I chatted with Evan about things afoot in Comet..now some philosophy.
Every munchkin land has its Wicked Witch. The identifying characteristic of every Wicked Witch is a desire to retain a tenuous hold of power through the blunt assertion of what remaining power that witch has. Every wicked witch also has an aspect they look for in seeking new people to cast evil upon, since it would take too much evil power to cast evil upon everyone. Appearances and associations are the normal criterion selected, since powers of clairvoyance are actually fairly rare in most wicked witches (you see, their magical powers really are rather limited). For Dorothy, the association that caused her independence to be noted by the Wicked Witch was that of her Dog Toto, who was simply being a dog and wasn't a problem to anyone. Dorothy would not abandon her dog, and in the end it was this attachment that gave her most of her strength. But still, the Wicked Witch knew this attachment was crucial and acted against it with her evil powers throughout Dorothy's experience. Ruby Slippers contributed to Dorothy's survival. We all need a protective agent, and it would be a foolish munchkin not to take advantage of those things given to us to protect us. But ultimately the bucket of cold water is what it takes to set the witch to melting.Later, after Jessika got off work, we spent much time in Sam 'n Ellas Chat Room. Jessika was so into it that she took notes. We e-mailed Ruby Slippers to Skittle at one point, to guard him/her against the evil of the likes of a certain Crazy Ronnie. A Norwegian known as Gas Fumes cracked us up with his constant talk of inhaling gasoline vapours. Jessika liked Gas Fumes especially. At one point we called for him to be installed as King of Munchkinland.
Now the suburban witch who finds contemporary conventional American culture so reassuring will surely act to further it, much as the Wicked Witch of the West sought to maintain her hegemony over the dark and scary woods and the field of poppies. Such a witch will train her children to accept without question the ridiculous assumptions of American Culture (the need for mowed grass and white bread being examples). Such children, unless somehow reached by the wisdom of the Wizard will soon grow up to be witches in their own rights, perhaps settling in their own respective compass points to further the emerging victory of evil. The only thing that can unsettle this campaign is the example set by Toto. Thus, for the victory of good and at all costs, Toto must be preserved and allowed to thrive in defiance of all things superficial, wicked, hurricane-ish and witchlike.
Then Bad Ironing Board, showed up with the likes of Ray, Vanna and Cecelia the Brazilian Girl. The presence of so many people caused me to feel wildly out of control. So before too long I kicked out everyone except Jessika.
When Jessika left, I worked more at my anti-British Field Sports Society, even creating a how-to guide for others so they could establish their own BFSS-bashing sites.
I'd bought my first CD ever today...Guided by Voice's Alien Lanes. It is amazingly good, if Beatlesque. It reminds me of Spring 1995 when I used to have a collection of many of the songs on a tape I'd made from James Madison University College's WXJM College Radio.
We later found a place under a tree away from dog poo to drink some Beast Ice. Meanwhile a mix up at the Rising Sun Bakery (little Jason thinking Jessika would be working for him tonight) set in motion a process that would ultimately lead to his being fired.
Jessika hung out with me for awhile before my pre-work nap at home.
Count Rommula came by Comet in the middle of the night wanting to play Quake, which is a game played over the internet in which people assume the form of dungeon warriors and shoot each other. Since actual humans are behind the characters, it makes for real human-human interaction, though it is very stylized and primitive in that way that computers are supposed to lead us away from. What's more, it is extremely violent, but that issue doesn't bother me.
Jessika showed up at about 8am having stayed up the whole night. She is essentially homeless now that Morgan is back living in the room which she'd gleefully occupied rent free during his absence. Not that she can't sleep with Morgan...but it's weird for some reason. She needs to sleep elsewhere. Jessika was acting as though in delirium, referring to a conversation she had had with me in a dream and getting upset when I had no idea what she was talking about. She was obsessed with the subject of parasites (a word she increasingly uses as a metaphor for the losers who want to romance her and thus never give her any rest from their stalking whenever she appears in public). She assumed I knew more than I did about parasites. Ultimately, we researched the subject on the Internet; she playfully looked at and printed out pictures of Hagfishes.
We ended up getting Jim Beam, the makings for nachos, and some movie. What that movie was proved irrelevant since I never saw it.
At my house, both Peggy and Count Rommula had shown up and quickly joined us in the drinking of bourbon and the eating of nachos, once I had prepared them. By now there were five of us in the kitchen: the Swami Rami, Jessika, Peggy, Elizabeth and myself (Andrew had been abducted by a girl named Alex). Of those five, three were smokers (all but Jessika and me) and at times they three would be smoking at once. The kitchen is small, so the air soon became bad and I was forced to go find other, better, air elsewhere. I did return for the eating of the nachos, but as soon as we finished munching, out came those infernal cigarettes that virtually all of my friends helplessly smoke. As a nonsmoker, there is no peace, there is never a breath of fresh air. Thanks a lot Phillip Morris. Ah, but your days are drawing ever neigh....
We eventually hung out on the front porch and were joined by Nellie (that's how she spells her name). Nellie was putting up posters for Friday's opening, but she was happy to join us in the drinking of the bourbon. All was well until the Alien showed up, or was rather brought; Peggy had gone to pick up her husband Zach and had grabbed the Alien too, since she and he have become friends of late. The problem is that Elizabeth doesn't like the Alien one bit; a few weeks ago he was in the habit of calling her at the Bakery to profess his love. Since he's come back from the lunatic asylum she'd done well to keep him from finding where she lived. She wasn't comfortable by his reputation for knocking on doors on Wertland late at night...in the nude....(that's how he ended up in Western State to begin with).
Elizabeth's response was to flee to her room. I took Peggy aside and explained the situation, that Elizabeth had legitimate reasons to be fearful of the Alien, even if he is "normal" now (as we have been saying)- because there's no telling when he might snap again. Peggy hadn't realized any of this and she was pretty shook up by my making her aware of it; she took the Alien away with her. Then Elizabeth, Jessika and I discussed the matter with housemate John. Since it was obvious we were never going to watch any movie, I went off to take a bourbon-enhanced pre-work nap.
Today's visit to the DMV, however, had many things going for it: it was in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day, in the middle of the month. Thus no one who was there was motivated by a deadline. That made crowds light and lines short. And for this reason it only took a few straightforward minutes for me to secure the title transfer and plates that would make my Dodge Dart fully legitimate. But Jessika had one form of identity too few to secure an official Virginia State ID. And Raphael and Ana, by coincidence also then at the DMV with their infant son Nemo, were unable to accomplish what ever they had come to do. The moral: even when the computers are up and running and even when there are no long lines, the chance of getting any business done at the DMV is only 33%.
Jessika was bummed by having failed at this her second attempt to get an ID. But her mood improved at my house, where Nellie sat waiting for us. The plan: to drive out to Scottsville and eat at the Pig 'n' Steak Too (formerly known as the Dew Drop Inn). Since the Dart was already hot and running, Nellie just slid into the front seat with us and off we went. We stopped first at Fairview Farms' mansion to harvest vegetables from Nellie's garden, long untended since her departure a monthly or more ago. Althia Hurt is again back at James Madison University, so we could carry out our harvesting without her casting evil spells upon us.
The garden burgeoned with vegetables, mostly of the family Solanaceae (peppers, tomatoes). They hung in various states of ripeness on the vines and lay scattered thickly on the soil. Most of them hadn't even begun to rot yet. Hurricane Fran could probably be held accountable for most of the chaos we found there, including the toppled and broken sunflower and even a large tree that had come down relatively non-destructively upon Nellie's old house. But one unsettling presence had origins that clearly predated Fran, that being the spirit of Molly, Althia Hurt's lap dog, which had been famous for interfering with Althia's neurotic lawn mowing. Molly's spirit was able to assert its pathetic presence only by issuing forth the constant odour of a decaying animal; you see, poor Molly had been hit by a car out in Route 20 some weeks before, and then buried in a shallow grave in the garden.
When our vegetable harvest was over (meaning we had no more bags to fill), we attempted to drive away. But damn it if my car refused to start! It was serious this time...no amount of subtlety or brutality (beating on the starter) would coax the engine to crank even once. So we left it there and hitch hiked into town.
The first thing I did in Scottsville was to go into into the little auto parts place and order up a starter for my car. The old man there running the counter was old and slow, and asked me three times what year and make my car was before handing me what I needed...a big piece of iron for about forty dollars. Since I intended on installing it once we made it back to Fairview, I also purchased a wrench set. I did this in preference to purchasing yet another "me-too" crescent wrench, which I have millions of as it stands now.
At the Pig 'n' Steak Too I happily fondled my new tools as Jessika, Nellie and I made perfect messes of ourselves eating big thick juicy cheeseburgers until our hands and faces were yellow with mustard. We didn't really care how disgusting we were being. And to top it off we had the extra big basket of fries. Jessika was disgusted that the old jukebox was being replaced with a big glitzy CD machine without "Blue Velvet." Later, though, we heard a humourous Country Music song I have made note of before; it goes something like:
It's like a lost and found in a border townThe cheapness of the new starter and the wrenches put me in a spending spree mode. At the dollar store I bought a $3 Swissesque Army Knife and a little cheap knock off on a Barbie Doll, this one called a "Fashion Girl" and lacking such features as bendable knees.
Looking for a diamond ring
They just look at you like you've lost your mind
and say they haven't seen a thing.
Our hitch hiking attempt back to Fairview proved fruitless; after much time (and how uncomfortable this was, walking and standing with stomachs bloated with cheeseburgers and french fries), Nellie went off to phone for a tow truck. This wouldn't cost us anything because, lucky for everyone, Nellie has AAA coverage! But the wait for the tow truck, which had to come from Charlottesville, seemed to take a very long time, even though we passed much of it eating ice cream in the austere anti-atmosphere of the Luvin Uvin. Jessika gradually became obsessed with the cause of converting my fashion girl into a punk rock alterna-chick.
My experience of the ride back to my house on Wertland Street featured my being crammed between Jessika and the passenger door of the tow truck. My car started fine when the tow truck guy used jumper cables in front of my house...now why didn't he do that at Fairview?
Jessika and I held on to the hope that Matthew Hart would manage to see our faces today. You see, a few days before we'd all made plans to have a slumber party at his house in Waynesboro tonight. But trouble with the Dart had precluded our driving to his house. I called his Dad and learned he was in Charlottesville. But we never saw him; he obviously had a solid fall-back date to replace us, his flaky friends.
Then there was Bad Beef, talking to Jessika in my room, having some kind of big pow wow. She was telling him exactly how she felt about his emerging dependency on her, that she felt he was being parasitic. Bad Beef was paying for his annoying presence at least; he'd brought a bottle of tequila and margarita mix and was kind enough to fix me a margarita in addition to those he fixed himself and Jessika. As we all became increasingly drunk, Bad Beef, became increasingly agitated, raising his voice to make assertions such as "I love you" and "I want exclusivity." Did he really not know Jessika well enough to see the futility of such protests? It was a bit hard to take, suffice it to say. I told him bluntly at one point that Jessika has no interest in a "relationship" with him, or anyone for that matter. So Bad Beef informed me he thought he was having a private conversation with Jessika and I responded that no it was my room. He complained about Jessika's leading guys on, asking in existential anguish, "how many have you done this to?" Finally, he left in a huff, saying the tequila was gone and so too he would now be. He also made some kind of threat that he wouldn't have anything more to do with Jessika henceforth. This last point he was to make good on, for a while at least.
I included Jessika in today's drive to Staunton. This was my first return to my home town in many weeks, and it was made possible by the fixing of the Dart and necessitated by the damage of the Hurricane Fran-spawned flooding and my need for more art for both the Rising Sun Bakery and the Jefferson Theatre basement show. My mother had even written, in coloured pens mind you, a plea "HELP" for me to come home and fix fences.
Getting anywhere with Jessika in your company is never easy business. She wants to stop places and have slow deliberate little adventures. When we stopped in Crozet, for example, she went directed me to a thrift store where well over an hour passed as she looked through everything and decided on things. As an aside to all that, I purchased a water bottle, a beautiful black belt with metal studs (all for a quarter each) and a nice record player for $5. I was tempted to purchase an old Radio Shack colour computer since it would be cheap and it had a disk drive, printer and sound card. But I thought better of my anachronistic nostalgic love for old worthless computer junk. Further, the whithered and technologically unsophisticated ladies who run the thrift shop might see the thing as worth more than it is simply because it is a computer.
At my childhood home, Jessika and I toured the damage to the floodplain, where water had raged at about eye level, leaving debris at that height on trees as a legacy of its natural freakish abandon. The neighbour across the street, Bobby Shipe, seems to have more or less recovered from his woes; his garage has been pushed back out of skew and the body-shop driveway has received ample loads of gravel to reverse the action the stream had taken to convert said driveway into a desperate channel of expedience.
Next I showed Jessika my old Temple of Laepohm on Pileated Peak, where a ring of stones and a mound of stoned and skulls keeps perpetual watch over the graves of Betström, Forager, Explo, and Dragon aka Adam, famous barnyard fowl from my childhood. Today we both actually entered the sacred grounds within the circle of stones. I pushed aside tufts of grass to reveal the grave stones of pressed wood I'd carved back in 1982 and 83; they had barely even weathered in that time despite being against the soil. I hadn't seen those "stones" since they had been swallowed by the hummocks in the mid-80s.
We went up to the region just below the meadow and into the cove where a hearty hemlock I long ago planted now stands in harassed glory over an elfland of mosses and birds' nest Ascomycete fungi. We considered the miniature worlds present on every twig around us and mused how they would look if scanned in on Comet's scanner. We also thought of ways to redo the Big Fun Glossary logo with animated objects such as blue bottles, tussin boxes and Jessika's trademark glasses as opposed to the animated graffiti writing that constitutes the Glossary's logo at this point.
In the end, one of the goals of this trip to Staunton, the fixing of fences, was not to come to pass. I had to hurry back to Charlottesville with art and such in order to get it to the Jefferson show so that Nellie A. and Jen Fariello could hang it. While I was doing the labourious work of hauling paintings and stereo components from the Honey House down to my Dart, Jessika was lost in her own little world in my Dart's passenger seat, making the "fashion girl" I'd bought in Scottsville yesterday into a punk rock alterna-chick. This transformation had begun yesterday at the Luvin Uvin with a haircut and a septum piercing and continued today with the creation of vinyl pants and a delicate little black brazier out of electrical tape. Jessika was so engrossed in what she was doing she barely noticed how much stuff I loaded into the parts of the car that she was not occupying.
After the art had been delivered to the Jefferson on the Downtown Mall, Jessika and I purchased beers from the Kroger in the Barracks Road Shopping Center. Since Pidge, who we'd met in Sam 'n' Ellas Punk Rock Chat, had spoken so highly of Black Label, we got a six pack of that as well as a six of Mickey's Big Mouths. The Black Label was better than I had recalled it from Oberlin days. Morgan Anarchy, Jessika and I drank it together until I pretty much passed out from being tired and fairly drunk for some reason. As I drank, I set up a stereo system in my room using telephone wire as speaker cord...which worked perfectly fine. The only problem was regarding my new turntable; the needle was worn out completely such that it went flying across the record without stopping to actually play anything.
I returned in the mid afternoon to Charlottesville in anticipation of the big Jefferson Theatre basement art opening. My housemates were all eager to go, and didn't want to show up sober. So they purchased the wherewithal to construct gin and tonics. These we drank with abandon in the living room, hoping subconsciously perhaps to appear at the opening in a drunken state.
And so we did. Jessika and I went by bicycle, whereas the housemates (John, Elizabeth, Steve) walked. The quality and the presentation of the art left little to be desired. As Jen Fariello had warned me, my work was set up as a sort of living room above the comfy couch that commands the center of one of the walls. The eats were good mostly by virtue of the salsa, made by Nellie of garden veggies harvested Tuesday from her old garden on Fairview Farms.
The turnout for the opening was good, but as expected, there were no hot offers for my works, which in any case hadn't been priced because Nellie had been intimidated by the prices I had assigned my paintings long ago in writing that could still be found on their reverse sides. This opening was really more of an opportunity for crazier things such as....
Firstly, I commandeered a video camera and videotaped the interaction between an older man and the obviously very sexy Liz the Alterna-chick (referred to earlier in these Musings). I panned from rock solid views of his face to rollicking woozy tracings of her contours and zooms into her uniquely female qualities. I delighted in the fact that anyone who would look at the tape tomorrow would not know by what hand was forged the invasion I was recording. For their parts, the older man and Liz didn't notice me at all or at least didn't seem to.
Then there was, Raphael, the girl who is an artist and poet and former waitress at Miller's and former Tandem student. She read some poetry through a PA and at other times Andy Roland (locally famous jazz/fusion musician) played saxophone. I always see PAs and electric guitars as big opportunities, especially when drunk, and by this point I was, well, let us say, drunk. At the first possible moment of dead air, I commandeered the microphone and started spewing random poetry made up right there on the spot. I don't recall what it was, I was just allowing the moment to move me and have its way with me. But for some reason the crowd paid attention, even being distracted from their flirtateous & pretentious little conversations. Through the evening, my microphone behaviour fed on itself, and I would lapse between calm spoken pieces, singing, and roared death-metal vocals. Andy Roland got in on the act and played his saxophone to my poetry and tales. It was all very beat, if that word is appropriate. Jessika loved it, and encouraged me to do ever more, telling me how much people were enjoying it, even if it was ridiculous stuff like
I'm a horseflyAnd other things, tales about Dinosaurs having parasites for example. Jessika finally convinced me to do my "Large Meat Pizza Tale" even though Crispina's sister and Crispina were both present. So I changed the relevant name to "Peggy's sister" though Jessika tipped Crispina's sister off that the tale was about her.
and I'm looking for a horse
I'm a horsefly
and I'm looking for a horse
- here comes the Lone Ranger
- on his horse Silver
As the event wound down, I chatted with some random woman about art, rather pleased with how big a fool I'd made of myself. Interestingly, I had enough restraint to curtail my drinking at this point. Apparently, despite the foolishness of my typical drunk, I act rationally with regard to my job. This may be the same agent within me that somehow curtails the strong urge to sleep I would normally feel from staying up all night. I rode home alone and took a two and a half hour nap before my one o'clock shift at Comet.
Upon awaking, I felt kind of weird, but not terribly so. I managed to accomplish my normal amount of tasks during my nine hour shift.
And now a little parable that illustrates the nature of human social psychology:
In the Oompaloompa region of Undabundaland, there is a tribe of people called the Woompagumbalites. The Woompagumbalites have many practices and traditions that would strike most Westerners as odd. Perhaps the strangest of their traditional practices is the sacred "Berumba Rite."
What exactly is done during the Berumba Rite remains a complete mystery to all anthropologists in the West. What is known, though, is that few Woompagumbalites ever participate in the rite, that the rite can happen no more than once in a person's life and that there are a number of taboos concerning the rite. These taboos include:
1. No one may ever discuss what happens during the Berumba RiteSince few know what happens during the Berumba Rite and since all Woompagumbalites wish to get a chance to participate, there is much gossip concerning the ritual throughout the Oompaloompa region of Undabundaland. Mostly, this gossip consists of rumours about the likelihood that certain popular or socially powerful Woompagumbalites have participated.
2. No one may ever tell anyone that he has participated in the Berumba Rite
3. No one can allow anyone to maintain the false suspicion that he has either participated or not participated in the Berumba Rite.
The press in the Oompaloompa region of Undabundaland are forever trying to determine if the trendy and cool Woompagumbalites have been involved in the Berumda Rite. The typical technique employed is to congratulate someone on his having completed the Berumba Rite. According to the taboos, then, the interrogated Woompagumbalite is expected to do one of two things:
1. Say nothing, in which case it is assumed that the subject has in fact participated in the Berumba Rite.The complication here is that, despite the taboos, there are many in Undabundaland who, despite having never participated in the Berumba Rite, covet the social advantages that attend the suspicion of having participated. Thus taboo #3 is not uncommonly overlooked (always with a deployment of silence) during occasions when someone incorrectly expresses to a Woompagumbalite the incorrect belief that he has in fact participated.
2. Deny having participated.
Later I went drove the Dart the Hell of 29 North to the Fashion Square Mall, all by myself, for the one purpose of going to the Radio Shack. I wanted a needle for my phonograph. The needle was $30 though...a bit of plastic for that kind of money? Who are they kidding? But I showed them...I punished them by shoplifting an item! Anarchy on 29 North! Across 29 was another, much less patronized backwater Radio Shack from which I purchased a whip antenna for my CB radio. But none of the parts I had fit together for some reason. Karma? All in all, 29 North has a success rate nearly equal to that of the Department of Motor Vehicles. It was fun to drive my car around, though. I salvaged the experience by buying a bottle of Cribari Chablis that I never even opened today.
When I next saw Jessika, she spoke of what had happened since I last saw her at the Jefferson opening. Sure enough, she'd gotten drunk, ripped flyers down off the kiosks on the Mall (sound familiar?) and gone into blackout. She'd spent the night sleeping in the basement of the Jefferson, though it had been way too cold for comfort. Despite the chill in the air that increasingly is attending this time of year, many buildings (including the Jefferson and Comet) still run their air conditioners.
There is yet another new gothic dude is in town. Today he was at the Rising Sun Bakery during a Plutonium concert (Plutonium is yet another funk band headlined by Matthew of Full Flavor), a big guy with long hair and refined poise wearing nothing but black and high heeled boots. Jessika and I, for reasons completely unrelated to gothic ideals or co-ordination, were also dressed entirely in black and he kept looking over at us as though we might be fellow travellers.
Nemo, Raphael and Ana arrived in Raphael's black Volvo and while Ana and Jessika chatted about things, Raphael and I compared the stuff under the hoods of our respective cars. We both have slant-six engines, though Raphael's is diesel.
Since Nathan VanHooser lives so close by, Jessika and I set off to visit him. But first we purchased some oil for my car and some Beast Ice beers and then went to a cheesy little nearby diner called Tubby's for sandwiches.
At the Tubby's, over a BLT (for me) and an ersatz-Italian sub (for Jessika), we mainly had a discussion about Jessika's friend Glenn (who, I might add, is one of the few avid readers of these Musings). Today was the first time that I brought up to Jessika the fact that Glenn has been sending me e-mail concerning her. Glenn, you see, had been telling me that Jessika wasn't to come over, that this might spoil something with another girl who, while being in love with Glenn, also owes him $5,000. The impression Glenn had been giving me via e-mail (not confirmed by the evidence, however) was that Jessika is so interested in him that she constitutes some sort of nuisance. He also claimed not to want to be a distraction from some sort of partnership he saw developing between us. My response had been that it wasn't any of my business what his relationship with Jessika was and that I didn't care what the hell he did with her as long as she was agreeable to it. Jessika was alarmed to discover all of this; it seemed to especially infuriate her that Glenn was telling me that he "would rather be left alone" (regarding Jessika) when, for example, according to her, the fact is that Glenn would not leave her alone the one time she tried to spend the night at his place. She says that Glenn is just playing games with her. She cited the fact that in recent discussions he never once mentioned that he had sent me e-mail or mentioned that she wasn't to come over, choosing instead to test her using subtle conversational techniques to determine what if anything I had told her. Furthermore, he has been tracking her actions using these Musings. Jessika says she hates people playing games, but that everyone seems to do it. "Why are men so stupid?" she asked me as we headed off to Nathan's house. "They're stupid with you," I replied.
I got lost in the tangle of streets leading to Nathan's house...but once there Nathan, Jessika and I went in search of a "secret ninja" (as Elizabeth, my housemate, might say) path from Nathan's house to Jessika's new house. Such a route was discovered, as was an old refrigerator with pastel blue shelves inside. Jessika wants to steal it and use it as a shelf.
I became concerned about an extra pint of oil I added to my car...it seems I have two dip stick and the one I looked at first was the wrong one...not only was my Dart full of oil already, but (very good news here) the oil was still clear and clean from whenever it was last changed (not on my watch). On a punch buggy, overfilling the oil results in blown gaskets. Thus I was concerned that similar things might happen with my Dart.
I dropped Jessika off at her new house so she could help Ana paint the place, and I returned to my house to take a nap. The remarkable thing was that I slept from circa 7pm until 1am completely uninterrupted. That's a lot of make-up for my normal weekend sleep deficit.
The heaps of old clothes salvaged by Jessika from the pile of junk behind her new house were still in my Dart. They were moist and old and contained dead insect remains. With the greenhouse effect very active in my car, bacteria were having a massive party and the fumes of their activity had given my car the stinky shoe odour that normally pervades Matthew Hart's car. To remedy this intolerable situation, I did a massive laundry and then took my nap.
When I next awoke, I started a laundry of the white things Jessika had salvaged. The only things I didn't wash were the dozens of salvaged ties; these I hung like Tibetan prayer flags from the rail on the rear porch.
The second quart of oil that I added to my car today was obtained after I awoke; but obtaining it was not easy. The little gas station on the Corner of Emmet and University only sold premium oil, for $2.50/quart. No thank you. So I went out towards Barracks Road. But again, oil was not being sold for less than $2! There obviously is a conspiracy afoot near the University to sell only the expensive oil; the thinking is that rich University Students don't care about what they pay for the oil they put in their precious jeeps. The oil I finally bought was from the 7-11 on Barracks Road, but still its cost was $1.71. Yesterday, by comparison, the oil I bought on High Street had only cost $0.89. Let this be a lesson to the person who seeks to purchase motor oil in Charlottesville.
A lot of puttering around and getting together of things occurred after I rendezvoused with Jessika at Jerusalem. The plan (and I haven't mentioned this yet; this reflects the spontaneous forces propelling us): to visit Deya at Warren Wilson College in distant Asheville, North Carolina.
Jessika had me run her around to a a couple places East of the Downtown so she could gather disparate but necessary belongings for our emerging adventure. I gassed up the car in Belmont, and soon enough (per directions casually mentioned by Evan Moore) we were heading south down US29, swigging on a Red Dog and munching on a extremely greasy form of trail mix known as Doo Dads. The sounds of various familiar Jessika mix-tapes constituted the auditory fog that rendered any communication between us impossible.
The events that transpired next are to be found on my peculiar Warren-Wilson, Invaded page.
In a pursuit of the time (no clocks in Jessika's house) she and I went on an adventure around the neighborhood. Jessika was very disappointed to discover that the coveted blue refrigerator had vanished from its easy-to steal location. We ended up at Jack & Jill's, a linear but relatively shiny/clean/colourful diner on High Street. The temptation of a foot long hot dog had been too much for me to resist (I have nostalgic memories of eating them at the long non-existent Perry's Grill in Staunton). The preparation of the french fries we purchased was nearly identical to the way they are prepared at the Luvin Uvin - with a sprinkled-on spice called "Soul Seasoning." A jar of Soul Seasoning used to grace the Big Fun spice ensemble. But we'd only ever seen the stuff in Scottsville up until this point. It must be a trapping of the Olde Southe. A dumpy mother, with make-up applied in the Tammy Faye Bakker style so prevalent in Asheville, North Carolina, was in the Jack & Jill with her son and tiny post-toddler daughter, eating some totemic examples of American Cuisine when, quite suddenly and most apparently accidentally, the daughter spilled a drink all over the son. This sent the enormous mother into a great rage at the tiny little daughter, who was made to sit at another booth and advised that she should remember this because she "would be punished." "I'm thawy!" the sad little girl cried. "Sorry isn't gonna cut it," was big mamma's reply. It was now apparent that this neighborhood of Charlottesville, with its 89 cent quarts of motor oil and thriving redneck culture, was very little different from Asheville. We'd deceived ourselves into thinking Charlottesville is different based on our experiences in the uncharacteristically liberal environments of the Downtown Mall and the Corner.
There was a long and typical phase later in the afternoon in which we (Jessika, Peggy, Morgan Anarchy, even Ray) sat in front of the Rising Sun Bakery having almost nothing interesting to say to one another. I amused myself by fishing quarters out of the broken pay phone. But eventually I found my way back home to take a pre-work nap.
I'd set my alarm to give me some play time before work. As I walked on 14th street approaching the RSB, a big jock Wahoo confronted me, asking, what with my "green jacket" (one of the articles of clothing salvaged from behind Jessika's house, an olive sports coat) was I gay. "No, are you?" I mused in disgust. I went on and suggested he liked to lick ass holes. He really should have wanted to beat me up, and he surely would have been able to. But my casual assertiveness and intense - though almost bored- glare apparently gave him second thoughts. He said a few weak remarks over his shoulder at me as he continued briskly away. I was full of adrenaline with a feeling of ape-level empowerment. Serotonin and testosterone levels were adjusted appropriately.
Glenn was stalking around the Corner in his now familiar fugue state (hair in his face, ape-like posture, psychotic visage). He wouldn't talk to Jessika at all. She figures it is from what he's read in these musings. That he was acting in this fashion upset her greatly. She doesn't like that he just abandons friends when a slight tension arises. Though he was acting cold to Jessika, Glenn had become interested in others; he talked for a long time with Elizabeth, telling a long paranoid tale about how Jessika and I would be killed by some manner of Corner conspiracy.
Jessika and I ran across KC and some Tandem Girls at the Kroger and I got them a bottle of vino (they are very under age). We all hung around the salad bar for awhile eating stuff. A salad that Jessika prepared for herself weighed a lot, so she walked around eating as much as she could before she went through the line and had to pay $2.99/lb.
Drinking Mickey's back in my room, we were soon descended upon by lots of our friends, including Morgan, Peggy, Nada the Brazilian Girl, Josh Mustin and Torrin. Josh and Morgan left to go to "Deer Rock" -a big Woodstock-like festival in Nelson County, and the others hung out and chatted and wished Jessika and I had bought more than a six pack. Eventually Peggy got a bottle of vino. I kicked everyone out (via Peggy) after a shower I took at 11pm. I needed a before-work nap.
Jessika and the Brazilian girls showed up. And Jessika was none too pleased about the mounds of dishes relict from Foxfield that she would be required to wash. But she did manage to convince Terry to pay her the $7/hour that the caterers had earned.
Cecelia was eager to go get vino, and that was going to require me and my ID. Since I have a car, what the hell, we would go in that. Thus we would be able to get jugs of inexpensive wine. Such jugs are unavailable on the Corner for some reason, though I am sure there is a reasonably large demand for them amongst the Wahoos. Apparently there is more going on here than simple Adam Smith economics.
We harvested Theresa Venesian from her apartment at 1300 Wertland and the five of us set off for Kroger at Barracks Road. Not, however, before my car got caught in an improbable position in my driveway and needed to be pushed out by the gothic girls in my company. But this provided a wonderful photographic opportunity with some of the last frames in the disposable camera I'd purchased in Asheville.
Jessika was returned to the Corner, but Theresa, Cecelia, Nada and I continued on to Cecelia's house off Preston Ave. near Bodo's Bagels.
We sat around listening to the Cure and other fine goth music (Skinny Puppy, perhaps?) as we cut pictures from magazines and made collages. I wove two pictures together like a reed mat in the style I'd experimented with in 1988 with my diary. Then Josh Mustin showed up. They (and Persad, Theresa's boyfriend) all left to go to the Deer Rock Woodstockesque festival and I drove back to my house, somewhat under the effects of both santa clause and vino. Santa clause tends to curtail the bravado excesses that vino can bring to driving.
Jessika was still struggling away with pots at the Bakery. But she wanted me to hang out and talk to her anyway. It was too uncomfortable, though, so I returned to my house and took a nice little nap.
The nap was terminated by Jessika's arrival, as I'd requested her to do. But all she wanted me to do was drive her to her new East-Charlottesville home in my Dart. This I refused to do, saying I didn't want to start doing the "small trips around Charlottesville" scene. It is too damn easy to become a taxi service for ones friends, and I'm not about to start that, even though it is a great misfortune that her beautiful blue bike was stolen. Jessika was obviously angered by my refusal, and she left in a huff. She's pretty spoiled, really. No one here in the real world ever denies her anything she wants, and she doesn't know how to react to my occasional proclamations of "no." But I'm always doing nice things for her and I owe her nothing.
On my suggestion and her concurrence, Jessika and I went to Tubby's for greasy french fries. Yes, Tubby's is an ardent believer in Soul Seasoning as well. It occurs to me that there should have been an entry for Soul Seasoning in the Glossary.
We hung out for awhile with Nathan VanHooser at his house, though regrettably this involved interrupting his bathing himself. For a change, though, we brought the beer that was drunk: Red Wolf as purchased by me @5.5% alcohol. It's a very good beer for the price.
Later Jessika and I sat together at her house reading Details, a sort of fashion magazine for alternative young men. We mostly were reading the annals of a skinhead who has renounced his racist ways. My analysis: this nazi was about as psychologically ripped up as Yayson Huffman. Perhaps that is the hallmark of skinheadism. Meanwhile, Raphael was crawling around under the house trying to make passages for speaker wires to various and sundry rooms.