Monday, March 29, 2004

If anyone knows the name of the song that played during the closing credits of last night's episode of HBO's "Deadwood," please post it in my comments.

Busy day today. Back to the swamp.

Friday, March 26, 2004

I just opened a fortune cookie and the strip of paper reads:

"You will be called upon to help a friend in trouble."

So, yeah, one of you is fucked.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Tonight, the vultures will descend upon Double Wide for some down-home wing flapping and live music.

I first saw Mandarin two years ago rocking the small stage at Gypsy Tea Room. The trio brought finely crafted sound and left us twitching. Minutes later, I would see The Polyphonic Spree for the first time. That evening will be with me till the day I shuffle off.

I see a drink or two in my future. Vega bursting in with his characteristic hug-and-kiss while Dave G explains the aerodynamic properties of a well-executed fist-pump. I yearn for Double Wide. I yearn for a few places and it is one of them. An element of distaste colors my affection for the bars I like. The denizens of Double Wide buy their T-shirts at the same secret shops. They are all unique, all looking the same. They are sitting on the high school hill at lunch time. Yes, I classify them. I am in touch with my predeterminations. I act accordingly. I know that I’m wrong as much as right.

And the distaste really marks the joint up nice. It puts some predictable things on the walls. It mixes a good drink. It’s got vintage written all over it. It is a comfortable place with the typical touches. It calls attention to its differences. It is not subtle. We will sit, stand and drink there. It is the thing to do.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I just underwent a personality assessment. I’ll soon find out if I need an attitude adjustment and a wheel alignment.

I watched Good Bye Lenin! last night and was half impressed. The other half of me ate reheated pizza. I was about 14 when the wall came down, and I don’t think I understood the significance of it back then.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

This past weekend I succeeded in living more hours than usual. I must give due credit to Starbucks: makers of coffee and coffee-related products. And my friends at Parkit Markit — they held up their end of the bargain, dispensing Parliament Lights three-packs at rock-bottom prices and stocking their refrigerator closets with trembling stacks of Red Bull energy drink. I traveled straight from Starbucks’ (thanks, NS) wi-fi bosom to Michael’s Arts & Fucking Crafts, where I canvassed for canvas and brushes and such, and purchased all the makings of my first attempt at painting. I spent a sun-drenched Saturday afternoon oil-painting on the balcony, listening to “Maps” on repeat, smoking a square or two and drinking Fresca energy drink. Verdict: I like to paint. This in spite of the fact that I can’t really draw. But the great thing about painting is that if you splash it around just right, you might succeed by accident. So I succeeded by accident. It was quite nice.

Saturday night, G and I went down to a mystery bar on Exposition. Another wi-fidelity hangout, only no one was hanging out there save the thoroughly-tattooed bartender and some quiet pince-nez fucker in the back. We drank $2 Becks and took over iTunes and pretty much ran the joint till close. I think it was called The Fallout Shelter or some such. I recommend you not go there. You’ll get so bored and drunk you might fallout of your chair. Drums. Cymbals. Please.

Sunday was not worth mentioning. I refuse to talk about it. Let’s just say that it lasted upwards of 24 hours and leave it at that.

Yes? Yes.

Monday, March 22, 2004

I am a wheel spinning in the mud. Behind me is a landscape of familiar places. The view in front of me is distorted by pebbled glass. I can let off the throttle and slide back and everything would be safe and comfortable. I could push it and hope I find purchase. Find purchase and lurch forward out of the muck. To tell the truth, both sides look good from here. But I’d rather change than be changed.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Last night I suffered three heart attacks, a hangnail and a muscle twitch. All because DePaul’s Andre Brown missed all 10 of his free throws while Drake Diener made all 10 of his. It was a study in contrasts. Only it wasn’t a study. It was an NCAA Tournament game. In the end, DePaul pulled off the win, 76-69. It took two overtimes and a well-charged set of heart paddles. The Blue Demons now advance to the second round, where they will face UConn. Outlook: grim.

Up until about seven seconds ago, I thought “heart paddles” sounded like a pretty legitimate name for those devices EMTs use to resuscitate cardiac arrest victims. But something about it bugged me. I searched for “heart paddles” and found, well, I found heart paddles, which are more likely to cause a heart attack than treat one. But they make great gifts.


Thursday, March 18, 2004

Last night, The Polyphonic Spree rocked Deep Ellum’s Curtain Club till hours wee. We six high-hopped and fist-pumped in the packed house. It was another great show. I know some of you have never had the pleasure. Drive 50, 60, 100 miles if need be. See them live. Then you’ll understand.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

My Wednesday wish list is two items long: 1. Earthquake; 2. Sunshine.

I am pages from finishing The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy. One thing I know for sure about Mr. Percy is that his name is stolen from a whisky bottle. And he writes like a whisky drinker. Or maybe a whiskey drinker. I can’t say for sure. But the book is quality. I'm hoping it ends with a hot group sex scene.

I got my tickets yesterday for the Polyphonic Spree show tonight at the Curtain Club. If you see me there, tell me I am handsome. I will reward you with spine-snapping dance maneuvers.

Monday, March 15, 2004

The Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade inched along wet concrete while loyalists flanked the street in parkas, under temporary tents, standing on coolers, shivering in short sleeves, hair a damp mess. Beers, wines, liquors kept everyone at an even keel. But then no, of course a few keeled over when the spirits got the best of them. Watch those floats drive by, weighed down and bouncing whilst babes with cosmetic cans danced, threw beads. Tall, skinny Elvis and his brothers in blue suede. Limos of impossible length. (The rain — it comes and goes. At times, the droplets strike our neck backs like cold quarters. There are umbrella mishaps. We lift our cans and continue.)

Puppies everywhere, dressed and humiliated. Bigger dogs lope wet, clueless, happy. A truckload of aproned misfits throws green tortillas. The green tortillas are soon flying everywhere. The Eckard parking lot, by noon, is awash in slippery soup as the green tortillas decompose and dissolve. Again, we lift our cans. We reach high for beads and candy. We don’t care what we catch; we care only about catching. There is no time to enjoy the moment. There are more beads coming. (Sunlight peeks out miles away. We can see it, but it skirts around us. The rain stops.)

I am slipping on the curb, wearing necklaces and feeling like a bad day in New Orleans. The last float goes by and some people stay and some people leave. There is still plenty of time. Cop cars criss-cross Greenville and roam the sidestreets. Everyone is on their best behavior. And the rain will come again in the evening.

Friday, March 12, 2004

There is so much going on that my ears just fell off and then fell back on. I had free passes to a special, Wednesday-night screening of Spartan, but I missed it for reasons twofold. First, the theater lies due north of the 635-Central confluence, a route which is fraught with thin lanes, tight corners and a general atmosphere of vehicular peril. Second, I did not realize the feature was a David Mamet film. Mamet. Dammit. The modern master of stage dialogue.

I have been pleased with “The Apprentice.” It is a quality program. Anyone who says otherwise is itching for a fight. Although I suppose they could be itching for other reasons. But to speculate would be unprofessional. Itching is a personal matter.

It will rain this weekend. It will rain on my parade. Really. But that will not stop me because I am a trooper. Or a trouper. I have not yet decided which.

I wish the people at Starbucks would stop miscorrecting my order and saying "carmel macchiado." Carmel is a city. Caramel is a tasty treat. (And those crappy coffee joints at the mall actually spell it "carmel" on the menu. Ugh.) I've added a new link to the Thorax. A Capital Idea addresses matters of grammar and posts several times throughout the day.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Has anyone else accidentally watched a few episodes of “Forever Eden”? I have. And I think the producers would benefit from some schooling in the twin arts of subtlety and suspense. Changing the rules in the middle of the game does not make for good suspense. It makes for confusion. Especially when there is no real point to the game, anyway. (Ostensibly, the object is to stay in Eden forever and collect $1,000 coins. However, no one is ever really told how they can win coins. They just win them. And they can leave Eden whenever they choose. But then they have to give away their coins. But then if they get voted off, they can keep their coins. And possibly get the opportunity to vote someone else off. Or they can just stay, I guess. And maybe win some more coins. But they might be fake coins. Because nothing in Eden is as it seems. But if nothing is as it seems, and the contestants know that nothing is as it seems, then maybe everything is actually the way it seems. Like when we had Opposite Day in grade school. This is the kind of circular logic that melts circuit boards. Ugh, no wonder the contestants seem to be Forever Inebriated.)

I could have made the show better. Since the participants are playing for an indefinite period of time and the game will continue into eternity (or until it gets canceled by the Fox brass for pulling in anemic ratings), why not make this a genuine, Eden-esque challenge? The first two participants to conceive a child will win a large cash reward. The second couple wins a smaller reward, and so on. Make this fucker Biblical. The first sibling to slay his brother gets a 2005 Ford Mustang with vanity plates. The female contestants square off in a milk-and-honey wrestling challenge. The winner gets to stone one of the losers ... to death!


Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I know which side of the bread my butter- ... I know which butter I spread on the sides- ... I know which side my bread is buttered on. I take it that is a proclamation of mental competence in its most elementary incarnation. So I’m pretty sure I can say it with a straight face.

Last night, as I stalked down side-street sidewalks, slashing my neighbors’ tires for sport, I started thinking about the moon. I thought about the moon, and how there’s essentially been this bigass fucking ball of matter following us around for some 10 billion years. Just following us around, man. Messing with our tides and our crime statistics and generally being a universal nuisance. Isn’t anyone else suspicious of this behavior? I mean, I know we sent a reconnaissance team out there recently, but still. The moon is up to something, and we need to get to the bottom of it, pronto.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Why do we fool ourselves when it comes to changing apartments? We look at the cozy nooks of a barren stead and think ‘My, but that would be a nice place to put my armoir.’ We look out at the back yard, at thick tufts of grass and interlaced valleys of sunshine and shade and we think ‘What a nice place this would be to lay out with some friends and enjoy a bottle of wine.’ Then, in the bedroom, we see yet another vision: ‘Eureka! In that corner, I shall put a comfortable chair where I can sit and read my nights away.’ The kitchen: ‘At long last, an adequate arena in which to exercise my gourmet culinary expertise!’

And yes, these things may happen. We may buy those apartments and throw glorious backyard society parties where everyone is required to dress up as a character from some Edith Wharton novel. We may paint the walls to match those of our childhood treehouse. We might even use the sitting area for philosophical pondering or meditation at eight minutes past the hour. But probably not.

When I look at a new apartment, I walk into the bedroom, place my hands on my hips and think ‘Aha! What a wonderful area that would be to start amassing a large pile of dirty clothes.’ or ‘There, that is a great spot for passing out at 4 a.m. after too many gin & tonics.’ I look for structural anomalies that will abet my hobbies: ‘When the cops bust down the front door, there is no way they’ll ever find me cowering under these loose floorboards. Dash cunning, old bean!’ I see the living spaces and think ‘My couch must be at a 30-degree angle to the wall with the cable outlet to ensure that I could spend an entire day watching a Trading Spaces marathon without having to adjust my posture for the glare that could potentially creep in from the front window.’ In the kitchen: ‘Heavens to Betsy! I could fit my entire array of dishes and utensils in that sink and only wash them on an as-needed basis!’

How long will it take the leasing office to realize the check I wrote for the security deposit was a phony? (And a bad one, at that.)

I like to think about these things realistically. After all, I am a fucking scientist. A scientist of love.

Monday, March 08, 2004

American Splendor disappointed. Starsky & Hutch lived up to middle-of-the-road expectations. Saturday, Frisbee crisscrossed the Village quadrangle as we watched a solitary contrail dissolve in an otherwise unsullied sky. Warm and clear. That night we rocked Cosmo’s till hours wee, filling our bellies with spirits while the vultures flapped their wings at every table. My hair is freshly cut. My story is finished. Ahead lies a week of personal works and non-worry.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I need a new ballcap. As luck would have it, I can get one free if I can convince 10 people to subscribe to People Newspapers for one year. Our publication sells itself. Even if you don’t live in the Park Cities or North Dallas area, you will be wowed by my insightful movie reviews and Wick Allison’s cogent editorials. And don’t even get me started on the layout. I’ll get myself started, thank you very much. Our paper (yes, ours) is one of the best-looking weeklies on the face of the earth. It is also the sleekest paper in the pants of the earth. We dominate all of the earth’s body parts with our cutting-edge design sensibility and boldness of wordery. The earth is our naked playground. Our bed buddy. We caress its topography with the latest in desktop publishing software. But don’t take my word for it. Subscribe for a pittance. Bear witness to the second coming of something that came before and was really awesome but never came back again ... until now. Call 214-739-2244 and ask for Hillary. Be sure to mention my name. If you'd like to, you can also mention your name. For a mere $25, you will be privvy to all of the wonder and spark that characterizes one of the wealthiest communities in the nation. More importantly, you will help me win that fucking ballcap. And that is important because spring is near. And I promise you this: Wheneas I pull that hat over my sweltering dome, I will picture each and every one of you frolicking in a group bubble bath. That’s how much I love you.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Lorie's sister was in a major car accident today. She survived, but not everyone did. Your words can help. Go here and use them.

I left the conditioner in this morning. By the time I realized it, I was already dressed. The conditioner is still in my hair.

Over the weekend, we moved like moving addicts, no thanks to U-Haul, which we found out applies the most liberal definition imaginable to the word “reservation.” You want to move on a particular day. You reserve a truck for that day and organize a posse of strapping lads to lift stuff. That is the way moving works. On the day of the move, you walk into U-Haul and they give you the keys to your truck ... at 6 p.m. ... after you’ve been standing around your apartment all day ... because you have no fucking truck.

Apparently, you are no better off having a U-Haul reservation than you would be if you just showed up and waited for a truck. Because that’s what we had to do. But not after we waited on hold with the U-Haul central office for a half hour, then argued with several employees about the definition of “reservation,” and kindly informed them that no, we would not be paying the reservation fee since, on the day of the move, we had no fucking truck.

So we moved in the dark. We got it done.