Listening to: “Everybody Say” – Takka Takka

So I’m driving to Central Square tonight, stopped at the stoplight at the Harvard Ave/Cambridge St intersection. All of sudden, in the purest sense of the word “sudden,” this dude comes running in the direction of my car at high speed. He’s got this crazed, determined look in his eyes. My first thought is that he maybe just stole something and he’s weaving through cars in the street. But he doesn’t dodge my car, he comes straight for it.

Next thing I know, this guy has jumped on my hood, vaulted over my windshield, and then I hear his feet pounding across my roof, the metal buckling. Then he hits the hood, leaps to the pavement, and is off down the street before I’ve hardly had a chance to lay on my horn.

WHAT THE FUCK? Does this happen to other people? In life?

Part of me thinks it’s kind of awesome, but a larger part of me is pissed off about the shiny new dents on my roof. This after my license plate got stolen two weeks ago. Does my car have a giant “Kick Me” sign on it?

……

Other recent weirdnesses:

I was in New York earlier this week for an interview (!) –fingers crossed. Anyway, yesterday I’m sitting at a Starbucks in Midtown, talking to my friend on the phone. There’s a valet guy sitting next to me, marking stuff on cards. I get off the phone, I’m reading some books I fished from the dumpster behind the Strand (By the way–WTF Strand? Throwing away books? Gross.) And the valet guy says, “Excuse me, miss, but do you believe in God?” And I say, simply, “No” and go back to my Collected Yeats. Luckily he didn’t proceed to try to convert me to whatever-the-fuck, but it was one of those weird beginning-of-a-one-act-play type moments.

Then there was the guy in the line for the bathroom, who tried to guess where I was from. “North Carolina. No… North Dakota! No… Kansas! Wait… Alabama! You look like an Alabaman. Am I right?” Apparently I was giving off some kind of Southern/Midwestern vibe?

And finally, tonight in Central Square, the dude standing outside Phoenix Landing blowing bubbles infused with cigarette smoke. When I first saw them, I thought maybe they were starting to freeze in the air because it’s so fucking cold out all of a sudden. Then some college-looking chick popped one, and I saw the smoke dissipate into the air.

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I went to the anti-Prop 8 rally in Government Center last weekend. I hadn’t been to a protest since the antiwar march back in 2003. I worry that protests/rallies/etc. don’t do that much good, but considering the national scope of this one, I feel like it made an impact. I’d say more about Prop 8 and all the shittiness associated with it, but I think the public outcry against it, in cities and towns across America, from all ages, creeds, and sexual preferences, speaks for itself. And besides, whenever I talk about it I just get really really angry to the point of incoherence (One of many reason’s I’ll never go into politics–or PR). For more on the Prop 8 madness, I’d point you to my friend R.’s blog post on the subject, which is much more even-handed and eloquent than I could ever conjure. Anyway, here’s a pic of the goodness at City Hall last weekend:

prop 8 rally

And hey Blogland–if you share my rage on this issue: SIGN THE PETITION

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Been working on “World’s End” again. The weather last week was appropriately apocalyptic to put me in the mood. If anyone has any insider info on working at a CCTV headquarters, it’d be much appreciated. I’m worried the story is getting too introspective. Maybe the first person format isn’t ideal. I say this having recently picked up Salinger’s Nine Stories, which may as well be plays for the way he manages to convey so much interior life without actually going inside any of his characters’ heads. Brilliant.

I’ve also been reading Lonesome Traveler, Kerouac’s quasi-autobiography of his West Coasterly days. He’s not a big fan of periods or commas–we’re talking 2-page long sentences–and I’m pretty sure the original draft (12-foot long typed scroll, that is) of On the Road was a whole lot of really long sentences before his editor got a hold of it. I wonder if a more traditionally punctuated version of Lonesome Traveler wouldn’t net it some more readers. It’s a tempting project, anyway.

T. and I saw Ira Glass do a thing in Northampton last weekend–gawd I love him. He talked a lot about the style and format of This American Life, and how he went about it. Of storytelling, he said: “It’s not about reason, it’s not about logic, it’s about motion.” And my little tattooed heart melted. He also said that Scheherazade from One Thousand and One Nights was “very Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3,” and called otters “puppies of the sea.”

I could just die.

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Alright, time to get back to writing and not drinking any hot beverages, because some landlord-and-National-Grid wank has led to our gas being turned off. Le stove, il ne reviendra jamais, jamais.

Listening to: “Girl in the War” – Josh Ritter

For reasons I can’t even quite understand, I had a certain amount of money to spend on plane tickets that I had to use ASAP. After briefly suckling, then abandoning, dreams of France or Guatemala, I settled on California–that great undiscovered West Coast I’ve never seen. Well, OK, technically I was in LA for a few days when I was seven; but all I remember is riding Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, getting locked in a closet by my mom’s friend’s hideous children, and a tall man yelling at me on a basketball court. Why I was on a basketball court, I’ll never know.

So really, never really seen the West Coast. I’ll spend a few days in San Diego to send off an old, great friend before she gets married (!!! I know, I flipped the fuck out). Then, LA for a day or so to appease aformentioned mother, who will be visiting aformentioned friend. I believe the aformentioned hideous children are in college now. Then, at last, San Francisco, that city I’ve meant to visit for ages. The place I’ve been having recurring dreams about lately (If there really is a craft brewery/sting operation on the highest point of the Golden Gate Bridge run by the KGB, I hope to find it). I also hope to fulfill several cheesy dreams, like driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, getting sloshed in Napa Valley, and visiting locations Jack Kerouac mentions in The Dharma Bums. Probably won’t get to climb the Matterhorn, but in case I do:

Then would come the wild lyrical drizzling rain, from the south, in the wind, and I’d say “The taste of rain, why kneel?” and I’d say “Time for hot coffee and a cigarette, boys,” addressing my imaginary bhikkus. The moon became full and huge and with came the Aurora Borealis over Mount Hozomeen (“Look at the void and it is even stiller,” Han Shan had said in in Japhy’s translation); and in fact I was so still all I had to do was shift my crossed legs in the alpine grass and I could hear the hoofs of deers running away somewhere. Standing on my head before bedtime on that rock roof of the moonlight I could indeed see that the earth was truly upsidedown and man a weird vain beetle full of strange ideas walking around upsidedown and boasting, and I could realize that man remembered why this dream of planets and plants and Plantagenets was built out of the primordial essence. Sometimes I’d get mad because things didn’t work out well, I’d spoil a flapjack, or slip in the snowfield while getting water, or one time my shovel went sailing down into the gorge, and I’d be so mad I’d want to bite the mountaintops and would come in the shack and kick the cupboard and hurt my toe. But let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.

But I, per usual, digress. I’ve been to three concerts three weeks in a row at the Somerville Theatre which, btdubs, is a kickass venue. Not the fact that you hafta sit down, which is lame, but the acoustics are the kickass part. Saw the Eels two weeks ago, Kimya Dawson last week (plus this AWESOME French band called L’Orchidee d’Hawai whose shit I can only describe as Spy Music), and Colin Meloy (o’ the Decemberists) on Tuesday. Jameson got us these sweet tickets, but some assholes took our seats and the manager smelled far too awful to be talked to for long. Still, it was a great show. Next week, seeing Harry and the Potters (!) cause I’m a huuuuuge dork. Huge. Unapologetic, but huge. Like, the size of an Elizabethan goiter.

What else, what else? Last night, I watched the movie version of Atonement after polishing off the book last week. Joe Wright’s a great fucking director. Those long tracking shots (the ballroom one in Pride and Prejudice and the Dunkirk one in Atonement) make me hot. At the end of his commentary track, when the movie ends and the credits roll, and the “Director: Joe Wright” tag flashes across the screen, Wright just goes, ” ‘es a cunt.” Hilarious.

Oh, and I started writing a song. You don’t know what it’s about. You don’t know. Ha.

Tonight after work, at South Station, I glanced up at the Red Line train as it was pulling onto the platform. As one of the driver’s compartments was flying past, I swear that the guy driving wasn’t a guy at all. It was a Muppet. Like, a humanoid Muppet, that was wearing a Metro Boston Transit Authority uniform, but a Muppet. Felt skin, big googly eyes, floppy mouth, off-putting earnestness, the whole shebang. A Muppet. Fucking driving a subway car. It happened, motherfuckers.

Don’t look at me like that.

No come on. Cut it out.

……

I’ll kick your ass.

I will.