5-9-03, 7:25 PM -

Bad, bad, bad. Haven't written in a good long while, but I've been incredibly busy. As you shall see from these letters I've written but really meant to send, unlike that Nights In White Satin guy:

4-28-03, 7:30 PM -

You get to be 29 years old, well-traveled, and you start thinking you'll have to try a little harder to find things that surprise you.

And then one day you discover a giant inflatable rat looming in front of your office building.



I mean a BIG rat, too. Something a Pokemon would turn into right before it deployed its Go-Go-Gadget Butt Power or something.

Apparently this rat had a mission. He was working for the union guy beside him, and his job was to scare away the scabs who'd been removing asbestos from my building over the weekend. From right above my desk, actually. We'd packed away all of our office gear on Friday afternoon, so the undocumented workers could "encapsulate" the creeping carcinogenic evil lurking above our heads. Damned decent of 'em.

I took a flyer from the Rat Wrangler and went on up to face the peril. Didn't see or smell any, to my knowledge, but it's hard to sit calmly when you know there's a giant rat protesting on your behalf out in the street below.



Saw a big reef of awnings in Columbus Park as I was getting off work on Friday, all of which said "USA" across the top, flag & all. Figuring it was someone who needed mocking, I approached. It was all a buncha cheapo pseudo-African crafty trinket crap, stuff they'd sell you at an Art Festival for $300.00. I guess I was expecting some jingoistic "Yay America" items for my trouble, but alas, not a Lee Greenwood CD in sight.

Back in the laundromat now. Okay, log this in the Big Dumb Honky file if you must, but these old mamasitas do NOT fuck around in the laundry room. I mean, you'd better be there the SECOND your washer stops, or by Pete, they'll unload it for you.

It's funny, the laundromat. Over the winter I did some scoping & found that Tuesday nights were the prize peach. Scarcely did I ever have more than one fellow laundryite, and I could luxuriate freely on the strangely-yellowed wooden bench that constitutes seating here at J. J. Topsy.

But since the weather warmed up...I don't understand it.

Where was the Jamaican Bobsled Team doing their laundry before last Tuesday? And where, oh where, did the Waddling Housedress Brigade come from tonight? Maybe the rules work differently as the seasons change. Or maybe everyone just sweats more in the winter months. Eww.

On my way here, I saw yet another indicator that Winter has shoved off for the year: Gangsta Dominoes!! They're back, blocking the sidewalk with an O.G. passion. Colt 45, Doritos, Fifty Cent on the car radio, and Pablo just drew a double-six...you know it's a party.

Oh great, here's another kid who wants to see what I'm writing. I finally manage to secure a spot on the bench, and now I have a spectator. If his mother's screeches are to be believed, his name's Isaiah. Well, fuck off, Isaiah. I have hateful ranting to do.

Got congested yesterday, right up in the sinus cavity for no good reason. I'm hoping that the myriad allergies the rest of my family suffer from haven't finally come home to roost. Wifely kicked all of hers the minute she left Texas, which I find entertaining. Allergic to your home state, that's a pisser.

Of course, if I've found something creative to be allergic to up here, we get Instant Marital Strife:

"Not New York, I'm allergic!"

"Well, not Texas, I'M allergic!"

"Fine, we'll move to Tennessee."

"Too many bears."


Did I mention that Wifely has a fear of bears? Well, she does. She thinks they hide by the road, waiting for dumbass Texans to drive by so they can eat their fat thighs.

Not to be a complete asshole, but until moving up here, I didn't realize how fat Texans are, relatively speaking. It's not the kind of fat the Housedress Waddlers have, either. That's more of a low-center-of-gravity-and-big-bones fat. Texas fat is right out there, throwing itself around like it owns the place. Which I guess it does.

5-7-03, 7:30 PM -

O laundromat, I sing to thee,
Leave me your good washers three...

Seems that Wednesday's the good washing night now. Well, not good, but better. Just as well, since I was actually starting to plan my Wednesday night activities around That 70's Show and Law & Order. Can't let the prime time snare me or I'll never be free.

Just saw this Indian kid yelling, "Smoke a blunt, nigger!!", Apu voice and all. Life entertains at every opportunity, it seems.

About to have a showdown with this Czechoslovakian sea hag at work, though. Apparently the printer shared by our whole half of the building (which is stupid anyway, but...) is ONLY FOR HER. She can dig for half an hour among the print jobs to find hers, but if anyone dares to do the same in her presence, they are shooed off with a "Tsst!! Tsst!!" and the world's most offensive mosquito-swatting motion.

Well, I fell for that once, and then I just started ignoring her. That worked for a while, but now she just sticks her hands right in there amongst mine so that betwixt us we can completely fuck up every print job on the platter.

What the hell's the matter with people?

Finished my Six Day War book at long last. 'Twas a treat to get paid for writing about something interesting, but frankly, I'm glad to see the back of it. Too much crap to do. The Great Apartment Search will soon be afoot, as will The Great CD Release, so the fewer dayjobs the better.

Great, here's that guy who wanders through the laundromat selling used batteries for "A peso!! A peso!!" May your moustache smell like pigs' feet in urine.

I found out on WNYC today that the Wifely and I are part of a small-but-growing movement: Alpha Earner Female Coupling. Apparently men are starting to figure out that sugar mamas are a good thing, and...umm, nothing.

Hey, it's coming up on Mother's Day, so remember to thank your mom for avoiding cocaine & smack while you were gestating. Unless that's not really applicable, in which case raise a flipper.

Not much new to say, except that I'll be selecting a mastering lab soon from among those I've visited. A few more pre-orders have helped to push the cost over the hump, so we haven't had to get behind on anything else to bring the disc to you in a timely fashion.

Again I thank those who've anted up, you are patrons of the arts on the order of Emperor Josef. Or at least Prince Charles. Though nowhere near as ugly. I'd shake your flipper, but I fear it would come off.

There's that gangsta Indian kid again. I don't think I could take him seriously if he were to hold me up. "Hands up, honky man, or by Vishnu, I will send your corpse floating down the Ganges!" Sends Snoop running every time.

Everyone around here knows I have no money anyway. Robbing the guy who lives in the squat next to the freeway is not the express route to infinite wealth. Or even a new pack of dominoes.

Been listening to the radio a lot at work, and I find that I've changed my mind about teen pop. In my formative musical years, such treaclings were to be spat upon and cursed, for they were bringing about the end of Real Music.

But the passage of time makes one realize that Real Music never dies, it just keeps on chugging and ignoring the hell out of everyone else. I mean, Duran Duran didn't stop R.E.M. from putting out weirdo rock like crazy. The Bee Gees didn't stop Pink Floyd from creating their signature soundscapes (though if you play Another Brick In the Wall, Part II alongside Stayin' Alive, you notice a funny thing...). And the Backstreet Boys didn't do a thing to stop Ben Folds or Rufus Wainwright from banging on good old-fashioned pianos or writing lyrics with more than one syllable.

Actually, teen pop does Real Musicians and their fans a favor. It distracts those people who don't really give a fuck about music so that those of us who do can discuss it in peace. We can spot 'em a mile off and steer clear. Thanks, Britney.

And really, teen pop is better than it used to be. Laugh if you must, but I'll take Avril Lavigne's Complicated over New Kids On The Block's Hangin' Tough any day. I'll take Michelle Branch over Tiffany. And I'll definitely take Eminem over MC Hammer.

Though to be fair, Madonna was better than Christina Aguilera. "Was", I said.

So anyway, I've made my reconciliation with teen pop. Which is good, because it will never, ever die. There are only a certain number of 14-year-olds who will crank the Radiohead, I'm afraid. Me, I'm aiming for the nerds. That's what we who think we know things call an "untapped market". Or "less difficult to impress", perhaps. I really wouldn't know...

By the way, didja know that I've now been sending these damn missives for over a year? Check the Archives, it's a fact. What it means, damned if I know.

Gotta go now, there's work to be done. And eating. Lots of eating. Talk soon. Sing your mom a Moody Blues song for me.



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