Muppet subway conductors, and also California

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.