Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Since much of my recent research data has either been lost or never existed in the first place, I thought I would take this opportunity to elucidate some of my uneducated readers on the finer points of climatology (i.e. the study of climate and other stuff that resembles climate but isn’t quite, if you really think about it).

The science of climatology began very long ago, probably even before I was born. The goal of climatology, as stated by the founders of the discipline, was to explain things like wind speed, ozone depletion, global warming and TV glare. There were two main schools of thought among the pioneers of climatology. As could be expected, personal rifts occurred due to this fundamental disagreement, and many tires were slashed “under mysterious circumstances,” as both sides attempted to iron out their differences. While some believed changes in climate were caused by god (“The Almighty”), and that the changes were His way of telling humanity it had better get its act together — or else; others believed these changes were caused by a number of conditions coexisting in the physical world. Conditions ranging from earth’s orbit around the sun to the price of gold bullion on the German market. Even today, most climatologists still subscribe to one of these two schools of thought, though it is assumed that the study of the latter requires at least a GED.

I was first attracted to climatology in my youth. It was a very unhealthy, psychosexual attraction that resulted in many hurt feelings, as well as an unexplained compulsion to masturbate while viewing photos of ancient sundials. After years of therapy, I was thankfully able to overcome the hurt feelings. As for the sundials and masturbation, well ... these things take time, according to my analyst.

The point being that I was, in one way or another, introduced to the wonders of climatology at an early age. It is a science that is continuously growing in stature, as today’s climate problems continue to befuddle us. Here in Dallas, climatology has become increasingly important, in recent years, due to the emergence of “hot spots” and “ozone alerts.” Health officials are scrambling for answers, and we, the bright young minds who populate the esteemed hallways of Climatology U, are the ones who can provide those answers. And while this may mean the potential for monetary gain in this field of study is on the rise, I assure you that we climatologists are not driven by money. No, we are motivated by our sense of duty to the public. We care more than anything about the welfare of our fellow humans and non-humans. We seek not wealth of bank account but rather wealth of knowledge.

Although I guess a little more money couldn’t hurt.

Nothing cleans the palate like a refreshing glass of affirmation. Word is clearly spreading about ClimateWatch. While I was not contacted for comment on this article, the writer was obviously inspired by my work. My guess is that the prospect of interviewing someone with my vast knowledge of the science of climate-type things somewhat intimidated the chap. Nevertheless, I'm heartened to see that my efforts to unravel the climate conundrum are finally being recognized in the mainstream press.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

The past few days have been pivotal ones for ClimateWatch 2002. I spent the weekend engaging in many types of high-tech endeavors in the hopes of uncovering the source of Dallas' climate woes. During my tests, I used several different scientific tools, including test tubes, compasses and pie charts. I even wore a smock to keep my trousers clean and washed all of my test tubes with conventional dishwashing soap before using them. These measures, for those unfamiliar with scientific studies, are a sure way to prevent cross-contamination, which is a particularly bad type of contamination, according to many of the nation’s top biologists.

After much consternation and gnashing of teeth, I was allowed to be forced to sneak into the Dallas Arboretum under the cover of darkness disguised as a sapling. It was there among the trees, after hours, that my various experiments took place. First, I ate several small shrubs for nourishment. (Let me just say now that the Dallas Arboretum has some of the most delicious shrubs I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.) After the shrubs, I began dissecting some of the arboretum’s wildlife with my test tubes. This proved to be a messy proposition, and I thanked my lucky stars that I had the forethought to bring an authentic scientists smock. Like most biologists, I find it helpful to determine the cause of death of various animals. This strategy proved difficult, in this case, because none of the animals at the arboretum had actually died before I began dissecting them. Discouraged but not defeated, I recorded my findings for my associates to review.

As luck would have it, I eventually got lost inside the arboretum and fell asleep in a thicket of creeping junipers. I awoke to find I had been handcuffed. I was unceremoniosly yanked to my feet and my precious data scattered to the four winds. No doubt this constable was sent by one of Dallas’ powerful corporate anti-environmentalists. The fact they would so blatantly destroy my research papers only served to strengthen my resolve. After being thrown out, I went for lunch. After numerous plates of spaghetti, I decided I’d better formulate a more deft plan for future infiltrations, possibly involving nerve gas or smoke bombs of some kind.

More on this as details develop. As always, thank you for supporting ClimateWatch 2002.

Friday, July 26, 2002

The true mark of any great research scientist is the ability and willingness to use scientific jargon in order to confuse people who are not scientists. Words like gravitational and subatomic. The confounding affect of these words can even be magnified when used in connection with other scientific terms, like Bunson Burner and Erlenmier Flask.

Here at ClimateWatch headquarters, we believe in the old adage that says projecting a veneer of scientific competence is more important than actually being scientific. Therefore, an intra-office memo is currently being circulated. The main objective of this memo is to ensure the timely implementation of extraneous verbiage in order to obfuscate the otherwise abecaderian concepts that populate ClimateWatch's plenitudinous written records.

I spent a better part of yesterday afternoon in the office composing this memo, which has our new letterhead and watermark. While I can't share the contents of the memo with individuals who are not directly involved with or who do not deliver pizzas to ClimateWatch, I can tell you that it looks very official.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Day Two of my climate research project proved both enlightening and discouraging. I spent most of the day yesterday thinking about how cool it would be to have an explosive info graphic proclaiming "ClimateWatch 2002: A City in Peril." I got this idea from Fox News, an outlet that is famous for creating graphics that completely and accurately disseminate information without appearing sensational or gaudy. I also wanted to have a scrolling news bar at the bottom of my page that would notify people interested in ClimateWatch of other breaking news, such as Dallas' first Krispy Kreme store opening near Central Market at Lovers Lane and Greenville. I realize the importance of ClimateWatch, but let's face it: There are other important news events afoot and comprehensive coverage is the responsibility of any reputable news outlet.

We (I) here at ClimateWatch are (am) becoming increasingly alarmed by the magnitude (scope) of the climate problems here in the Dallas Metroplex. Yesterday, while on a simple smoke break outside of my home office, I was seized by a sudden coughing fit while inhaling. I deduced that this fit could only be another in a growing mountain of ailments caused by what I have dubbed "Climate Syndrome" (I am currently working on a snappier name that more adequately captures the immediacy and drama of the condition). After putting out my cigarette and returning to the filtered hallways of my research base, the coughing fit ceased. I dictated this episode in detail to my secretary, but was thwarted once again when I realized she doesn't exist. I decided instead to sit down and write a couple hiakus about my favorite tropical fruits before going out for lunch.

Yesterday evening I met a group of my associates at an open-air research area and we talked about our progress regarding ClimateWatch. While most were receptive, even impressed, by my data and conclusions on the subject, some were still dubious of my methodology. Dr. Grant, a key associate and member of our board of directors, took issue with me referring to his mother as "a limp-wristed zealot." I could only assume at the time that his objections had something to do with his personal feelings, and lay in stark contrast to the flawless empirical data that clearly supported my conclusion. There was much heated argument and waving of hands before we all decided we'd worked hard enough and should unwind with a glass or two or fifteen of spirits.

I awoke this morning feeling quite ill. My mouth was dry and my eyes red. No doubt the filtration system at my residence is faulty, allowing large pieces of climate into my room, where they can readily assail me during my slumber. Today I shall wrap wet towels around my head before heading out into any area containing even the tracest amounts of climate. I will post further findings on the morrow.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

My climate experiment is now a little over 24 hours old. A source very close to the Weather Channel has informed me that while other major metropolitan areas in the United States are currently experiencing Level Green air quality, Dallas is in the Red. That means that when you inhale, your cilia are vaporized, causing a condition that allows bigass chunks of pollen and other airborne irritants clear passage to your brain's frontal lobe. This condition is called "dust head," and the symptoms range from high-powered cluster headaches to delusions of cyborg incest and impregnation ... even in males. I, for one, have been experiencing a dizzying array of symptoms, not the least of which is my chronic fatigue (which has caused me to fall asleep while smoking no less than five times in the past week). Other symptoms have included: Dry mouth, Migrating liver spots, Beard growth, Stink eye and Houndstooth.

My research recently lead me to the Greater Dallas Museum of Climatic Aberrations, which was cunningly disguised as a common strip club. After three beers and several table dances, I realized I was in the wrong place and immediately left after 17 more beers. Needless to say, this whole experience has been quite eye-opening. Level Red air apparently causes the growth of large, silicon-based contusions inside the breasts of aging women. It can also cause the tightening of facial skin around the eyes and lips, causing said features to resemble those of a naked ferret.

The air quality, or lack thereof, also seems to engender in many victims a complete inability to drive without crashing into stuff. I've seen several minor fender-benders in the past couple days that completely and scientifically support this conclusion. My data is currently being faxed to Dave & Busters, by accident. This is because only one digit distinguishes their fax number from that of the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. This minor oversight may delay a public health alert. But rest assured: I will remedy the problem as soon as I finish eating my lunch and burning a couple CDs.

I will have more on this developing situation as the details become available.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

I was looking through some old papers of mine yesterday and came across an idea I had that I think would really work somewhere other than here. The idea was to found a non-profit organization that would recruit gang members and other criminals in high-risk areas of wrongdoing to register as organ donors.

• Inmates who have joined the program would be able to list their participation as a factor in mitigation during their parole hearing, increasing their chances of making parole and thus providing a benefit to them.
• If the criminal dies an untimely death, his organs can be harvested for some poor sap who needs 'em. Benefit to the public.

I'd love to spearhead this movement, but I have a lot of stuff to do this week. So if you read this and have some time on your hands, start a frickin non-profit group. I am hereby donating this idea to anyone who wants it.

I have been ungodly sleepy the past couple days. I've been getting plenty of sleep. I've been eating right and drinking lots of water. I even cut down on cigarettes. Nothing's helped thusfar. So my hypothesis is that the crappy Dallas climate is making me lethargic. I have no way to test this in a way that would make it palatable to scientific scrutiny, so I'm just gonna' see how I feel when the weather changes. Then I'll write some really official-looking medical papers about it and submit it to JAMA.

I'm off to play Tuesday night trivia at the Tipperary Inn.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Last night at the Angelika, Miya and I were introduced to the greatness of "Pumpkin."

Another stupid idea, courtesy of the recording industry.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Last night at Trees, Miya and I were introduced to the greatness of Reid Speed.

Friday, July 19, 2002

I often wonder how people who get stuff done do the things they do in a manner that facilitates them finishing it. I am a compulsive project-starter/non-finisher. I'm getting better, but the seeds of this ailment are the nexus of my personality. It connects me. And while my awareness of this connection helps me combat it, I can't win every battle. I've finished more projects lately because I'm thinking smaller. Being more realistic. Paying attention to how I close things out.

Also aiding my evolution is a newfound sense of purpose. It's easier to work when you feel you have something to work toward. I had some tough times earlier this year. My meth-addict roommate, Kenneth, failed to pay rent for four straight months. He owed over $3,000 to our leasing office, Power Properties. The meth made him paranoid, and among his many delusions during this span was the belief that I was plotting against him. He also suffered from the belief that it was OK to steal my microwave and sell it for drugs (a charge he inexplicably denied, despite rock-solid evidence). In the end, he hid all of our eviction notices. And Amy, the floozy at the leasing office who was trying to help me figure a way out, was sick the day the final notice was served. So I went to work the day we were officially slated to be kicked out, having no clue what kind of nonsense was afoot. I got the call at work, headed down ASAP and arrived to find all of my belongings looted. Neighbors told me they saw Kenneth and one of his drug buddies absconding with my stuff. It's a long story which ends with me living in a hotel and having almost nothing left. So I was pretty hopeless for a little while.

And then things started to click again. The bad mojo precipitated a run of some of the best, most prolific writing spells I've ever had. I made some good friends. Great friends, as a matter of fact, who helped me keep my chin up and get back in action. And that's not to mention the contributions of my old friends, who came through for me in stellar fashion and convinced me, depite my circumstances at the time, that I am one lucky bastard. I began to focus at work. Tried to do good stuff instead of just get things done. And just when things were getting good again, things got better. I met Miya. A girl who sets me on fire. Who has a rare mix of intelligence and ghetto knowledge. Who appreciates the cool shit that goes on when no one else is paying attention. Whose sense of aesthetics isn't informed by the fucking New Yorker or Cosmopolitan. Whose wild streak runs deeper than "let's get drunk." Whose beauty is unmistakable, even to a fellow of my defunct vision.

Yeah, things are A-OK. It's Friday and the sun is shining for the first time all week. I'm sitting at work slightly lit on caffeine. Tonight, it's drum n bass at Trees with Miya. She of the crazy dance moves and solid sense of fashion. Are you as excited as I am?

Thursday, July 18, 2002

I must have been about five years old. My dad got home from work and I was probably in the living room watching TV or something when he said "C'mon Mike, let's go watch the sunset." Now at that age I'm sure I'd heard of sunsets before, but I wasn't sure if I'd ever seen one. I remember getting in my dad's AMC Hornet Sport-a-bout Wagon and riding along, primed for some kick-ass sunset watchin'. So we got to Scoville Park. Now, I had expected a big crowd of people. I thought of the sunset as an event people would go watch with their families. And I guess subconsciously the fact my dad and I had driven halfway across town to watch one kind of reinforced that notion. But aside from a couple people playing Frisbee or walking their dogs, there was no one there. So my most distinct memory of that, my first sunset, was being incredibly confused about the entire thing. I remember my dad trying to get me to be enthusiastic about it, and him being a little bit upset when I didn't. We sat on a grassy hill in Oak Park, Ill., and I just didn't get it. I thought at that age that everything had to be about something.

This memory occurred to me last night when I was watching the sunset over Dallas. I'm 27 now and I think I stop to take a gander at the sunset at least five times a week. So last night I was watching and thinking about how beautiful it was and how I might start wearing dresses and working on a formula for cold fusion when it occurred to me; I remembered that day in my childhood. That day my dad drove me out to watch the sunset. And I think of how strange that was. Back then my mom was probably about two years gone. He was a single parent. He was making an effort. So now that little sunset day memory pops up and it means something. I'm not sure what, but I think it has something to do with appreciating your parents now for what you didn't see as a child. Some cats-in-the-cradle shit. But sunsets ... Yeah, you should check 'em out.

Don't tell anyone, but I watched American Idol last night. Watched it Tuesday as well, for that matter. I don't know why I find this particularly embarrassing, but I do.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Commercials are supposed to make you want stuff. There's a network teaser touting the upcoming show "Spy Girls" which uses the following hook: From the director of "Charlie's Angels." The movie, that is. Now has anyone seen this movie? I have, sort of by accident. And it was one of the worst things ever. Worse than Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. It was filthy bad. Not the kind of thing you'd want propective viewers to know about your big new show. Idiots.

Miya and I went to the Blind Lemon Friday night to watch a poetry slam. We didn't expect it to be much, and when we first got there, the place was pretty understated. There were only about 20 people there, some of whom frightened me. But what ensued was some of the best live poetry I've ever heard. This one girl, Amy Weaver, blew the house up. She kicked truckloads of ass and seemed to be the sparkplug of the whole operation. Miya bought her CD. Pretty amazing stuff. I gave the thing a big thumbs up. Next Friday there's a drum and bass show at Gypsy Tea Room, but the week after I think we're heading back to the Blind Lemon to watch the slam again.

I watched "I Shot Andy Warhol" again last night. I still think Lilly Taylor's work in that flick is one of the best performances I've ever seen. Miya dug it, but it made her want to smoke.

Friday, July 12, 2002

For years, Barry Landowne was the hired muscle behind a small-time suburban heroin ring. He retired at 37, inasmuch as one could retire from such an occupation. He'd still ride shotgun on delivery runs. Still brought personal-use coke home gratis. Still looked over his shoulder in open spaces.

And, yes, Barry did kill Scott Sanders back in '88. Took him to Thatcher Woods under the auspices of a tandem acid trip and shot him in the back of the head. And the authorities never found Scott, whose bones rest at the bottom of the Des Plaines River.

Outside of the Cicero Inn there was a lightning storm. Jagged shafts of white shot down close from the clouds and the clouds churned above like something in a cauldron. Miscellaneous nighttime light reflected in the Cicero's picture window. And inside — behind all that red, white and green — sat ole' Barry Landowne. The former drug muscle. The part-time cokehead. The murderer.

In 1988 he walked Scott Sanders deep into Thatcher Woods. And they sat together on an old railroad trellis over the Des Plaines River. They each dropped a hit of acid and laid back with their legs dangling over the edge. Fingers interlaced behind their heads. It was August, hot and humid. And the Chicago Cubs had just begun playing their first night game ever at Wrigley Field. Barry had a .45 tucked into his Jordache jeans and as he lay there the butt of the pistol dug into his lower back.

Scott Sanders tended to talk more than he should. He was an unreliable secret-keeper. And when drugs entered the equation, he was even worse.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

This movie sounds cool as fuck. I'm gonna' rent it this weekend and maybe eat potato chips, too.

It's 11 a.m. at The All Good Café. He sits outside reading "Rousseau: A Detailed History of Playful Misogyny." Sitting outside and kind of mellow as his head was still throbbing from last night. A bona fide drinking jamboree, like old times. Across the street a very well-constructed building. Sky blue (like really, with clouds and shit painted on), and the perpendicular wall is strong red brick. Slap-me-in-the-face wall. With spires rising arbitrarily from the tarred black roof. Trees shudder gently in the breeze. Cars roll by, marking time, like every few seconds. Vroom! And then a truck fucks it all up, laboring by: Growl! Everyone in the neighborhood owns a pit bull, it seems. And they work out three hours a day. There are no bugs in this place, despite the fact the mingling odors of international cuisine waft through the streets, between the low buildings. Egg sandwiches, pork chops, supertacos. A half-crazed woman twists the top off a parking meter, throws it in the bed of an old-time pickup truck and shoots off into the distance amid whoops and hollars. His napkin blows off the table, skitters across the sidewalk, past the newspaper racks and garbage can and into the street. Loops wildly up into the air, levels off, twists again, pinwheels, speeds and slows, falls, rises. It's just a day, after all.

The gospel according to Dave G:

"One time there was this bitch and her name was Sharon.



DALLAS (AP) — Wednesday night. The patio at Ozona was in full effect and my friends represented. Miya participated in her inaugural patio episode and showed up looking like several million dollars. Tony and Nicole were in the mix, as usual. They are to be counted on. Reliable. Nicole takes crazy trips all over the map and sometimes can't make it. She makes up for these times by drinking extra. Tony usually arrives first and has stories and news and such. He knows all sorts of shit. Alberto made an extended cameo and battled cell phone calls throughout most of the evening. Finally, he gave in and took off south for some sex or something after hanging tough like a super trooper. But not before pulling some cunning shenanigans w/the waitstaff that netted him $50 cash. Good work, ABVega. Dave G didn't wear an overshirt. I immediately thought he was up to something. He was foiled, however, when a few thousand mosquitos endeavored to suck all the blood out of his left leg. He was reduced to a pimp limp. Jessica, she of Boston Higher Education, who loves grassy quadrangles w/Frisbee players and such, came correct. She was speaking w/super fucking exclamation points and waving her arms animatedly and looking very excited about such things as bugs & haircare products. So like clockwork, she got filthy drunk, pulled off her breakaway pants and danced a pas de deux on our solid marble table. The patio was rockin', I tell you. Our waiter was one of these guys who works out perpetually and flexes when he sets drinks on the table. Me? I sat and had dollar drafts and soaked it all in and secretly poured hot Citrenella wax into Alberto's pocket. It was my little way of telling everyone that I'm glad I have these friends. I'm glad I have these friends. And thank you, Zeus, for draft beer and hot wings.

Good times had by all. According to my calendar, today is CD burn day.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

I wrote a bunch of stuff last night. Most of it was nonsense. Here's a sample:

"The baby. He said he'd come by on Saturday to see the baby and he never showed. God, Roger, what kind of friends are these? He calls and he never comes by, doesn't, doesn't call to say 'Oh, hey, I told you I'd come by and see the baby but I chipped a bicuspid and can't make it.' No, he just leaves us here to sit inside on an absolutely beautiful Saturday afternoon, waiting. Waiting here like fools while he's off doing god-knows-what. I mean, no Roger, let me finish. Is he too important to call? Too important to just stop by for 10 fucking minutes on the weekend and look? I mean, all he had to do was fuckin' look at her, for chrissake. I, we sat here doing nothing for hours. I cooked butter rolls, those, it was those nice soft ones you said he likes with the garlic butter. And I left them in the oven till six and they got hard and- Roger, I had to throw away a whole tray of perfectly good butter rolls because he's too preoccupied with himself and his big important life to peek into a fucking crib, eat a roll and maybe have a cigar with his best friend. Roger, why don't you call him? Or no, I'll call him. Yes, I want him to tell me what's so crazy about common fucking courtesy. Gimme' his number, Roger, what is it? And here's what I'll do: I'm going to ask him over for dinner next Friday and see what kind of shit he pulls. He'll probably, I know, he'll probably have to drive his wife to the hospital. Or he'll have to pilot a relief drop over Sudan, that fucking prick."

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Saw the puffed-up director's cut of "Cinema Paradiso" w/Miya last night. For those unfamiliar w/the original, the most compelling difference this time around is that the flick is a full hour longer. This is due in part to the fact the director, whose name escapes me at the moment, saw fit to interpolate a bunch of footage to illuminate the relationship between Salvatore and Elena. Most of these additional scenes, Miya pointed out, only served to redraw conclusions one should have been able to draw upon viewing the original. It's as if The Director didn't have faith in his audience. He had to really tell us what was going on in case we were too busy picking gummy bears out of our teeth to pay attention. Still a great movie; just longer. And needlessly so.

Let me just say what a spectacular theater The Inwood is. Sure, leg room is minimal and the screen is small and the sound system is suspect, but it's got what so many multiplexes lack: Personality. Instead of a bank of video games and pinball machines there's a dark lounge offset from the lobby area by opaque glass cubes and a strip of pink neon light. Very classy. Cult movies every week at midnight (this week it was David Lynche's "Blue Velvet," another one of my Top Ten). And apparently there's some cat who plays his guitar in the box office every Tuesday night. Not many theaters make you feel comfortable shelling out $7.50. The Inwood is one of a select few.

It's been a great weekend. I've written a lot. I hope to have something worthy of posting here soon. I'm finding that a relationship w/the right person can be very inspirational. It's almost as if it can engender creativity simply by being. I think I'm the first person ever to figure this out, so I gather I am responsible for naming this phenomenon. Muse or Inspirator or Speckled Bojangle. Email me your vote, but I'm currently leaning toward Muse.

By the way, if anyone reads this crap and wants to email me and tell me what they think, I'm, like, totally reachable at pantagrapher@hotmail. And I almost always email back before I flake out and lose touch.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

There is a rule that says those who insist they do not need cell phones are liars.

I just now made this rule up.

I used to be one of those people. I didn't get my first cell till about three years ago, when the revolution was already in full-swing and every pre-pubescent mallrat in the greater Dallas area already had one. And at first I'd leave it at home, forget about it altogether and stick stubbornly to my belief that the gadget wasn't the big deal everyone thought it was.

I have since realized I was once a special kind of idiot. I need my cell phone the way I need hot food, socks, water, sleep. It's become my second-most-valued appendage. My lifeline.

Last night I left my lifeline in Miya's car. I trust her to take good care of my little one, but nonetheless my heart has been arrhythmic ever since. I have been in a constant state of slight panic. What of all the important calls I'm missing? What nonsensical messages have my friends been leaving me for the past eight hours? How do I order a fucking pizza?

I've had the same low-end Erickson phone for three years. It doesn't even tell time. It's scratched and battered and the battery pops off at the slightest touch. The numbers are barely legible. I confess, the antenna has been chewed. But that phone never fails to get a signal. While most of my friends have complained about cell meltdowns from time to time, I can get spotless reception from the bottom of a fucking swimming pool. That phone, as technically abecadarian as it may be, has always been reliable.

So you can imagine now the guilt I feel at having left this loyal circuit in a car, left to its own devices among other devices and cell phones and CD players and such. It's like dropping your child off at the wrong school.

So I hereby vow, cell phone, never to lose you again. No more car sleepovers. I promise. Remember that lonely night in a Deep Ellum loft? Never again. You've been good to me. The best. And I owe you at least that much.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Roger Ebert reviews one of my Top 10 favorite films of all time:
The Hustler

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

I'm trying to cut down.

I've been smoking about a pack/day for close to a year now and while I'll insist in mixed company that I've suffered no ill effects, I know my lungs are struggling. I tried jogging a few weeks ago. I made it about five blocks feeling fine. And then suddenly it felt like Butterbean was dancing on my chest. I stopped running immediately and went for ice cream. I decided at that point that this smoking of mine cannot continue. A few squares every now and then is OK, but things are getting out of hand. In the airport I plugged a Marlboro into my cheek and sucked out the tobacco juice. Well, not really, but I considered it.

I keep thinking about the money I'd save. You hear stories about old people giving up smoking and putting their cigarette money in a jar for like two years, then buying a small island in the Bahamas w/their savings. I want to do that. Only I want to buy a big island. Or a new car. Or maybe like 5,000 packs of bubble gum.

I'll ponder this more later; I need a smoke break.

Monday, July 01, 2002

I forgot to mention that at the festival Friday, I almost witnessed 5,000 ppl. getting struck by the same bolt of lightning. It was fucking crazy. Storms began rolling in from the southwest at like 3 p.m. Nobody paid it much mind until this solid white bolt nailed a radio tower that abutts the concert area. Two thousand girls simultaneously started screaming and running while 3,000 guys began scratching their heads quizzically. I was one of the 2,000 girls that started screaming and running. I am afraid of lightning. Deathly afraid. I want nothing to do with that kind of voltage. I fear life in an ashtray.

I know I've said some unkind words about public transportation in Dallas. But Saturday I had to tackle DART to get to Miya's place out near Irving. And I was pleasantly surprised. The trains and buses were clean. The employees were helpful. And the phone service impeccable. I called up to get instructions and the woman on the other end told me everything I needed to know. DART may have hope yet. And by the way, if anyone's in the market for a $10 Rolex, there's an enthusiastic young entrepreneur at the Park Lane Station who might be able to help you out.

Miya and I saw Minority Report yesterday and I was pleasantly unpleased. I tend to like disliking movies more than I like liking them. Minority Report was vastly overlong and the special effects were hit-and-miss throughout. The story was decent. A bit convoluted (which is to be expected in Spielbergian sci-fi), but it held together as long as you didn't try to pay too much attention. In a stroke of sheer brilliance, Miya took naps periodically throughout the movie, thus conserving her energy w/o missing any key plot points (as there weren't any). Overall, though, I would rather scrub my mouth with a toilet brush than watch it again. It was nice, however, to see the woman sitting next to us bitch some broad out for talking on her cell phone during the movie. I mean, I've always heard of shit like that happening but never really believed someone could be so inconsiderate. So there you have it, these things actually happen.

I missed Six Feet Under last night, so don't anyone go telling me what happened. I caught on for the second season and am now building my foundation by watching the first season. Kick-ass TV, is what I call it.