Monday, November 29, 2010

We're putting the band back together, pt. 2

- Adrian started to amass mixers and drum machines and synthesizers in our latter high school days.  I spent all of my money on D&D handbooks and comics, but he spent his on his tools.  He would DJ parties, weddings and school dances.  I think it was our senior year when he and Jeff Lay went in on a minidisc recorder and made their first songs. 

- No!  Memory is faulty -- because first there was a cassette tape called "RockIt Pride," with a blue and yellow cover.  They did a handful of songs, but the one I remember was about Paul Mann, our school's band director. 

- (Alarm clock goes off, whatcugonnado?
Gonna get up, get dressed and get ready for school!
Rollin' down the street, bass kickin' Alpines
People starin' at me 'cause I'm one of a kind!)

- And then the next year, Adrian and Jeff made another set of songs.  One was called "Superman 98," and I liked it, because it was by my friends, and kind of about Superman.  About Jeff as Superman.  And how he started flying through the sky when puberty hit, and how you probably wish you could say that you, too, have fucked Lois Lane.  Jeff was a rapper.  There were a lot of rappers in and around our high school, all white kids who grew up just as close to corn fields as I did, but where their creative outlet was rapping about being badass in one form or another, mine was pretending to have a lightsaber, or be Spider-Man.  Which is to say, maybe, that their fantasy was about them being better versions of themselves -- mine was about being someone else entirely.  I still have the same problem.

- Jeff joined the Marines right out of high school, which left Adrian with a lot of rappers who either weren't very good, or weren't as fun to hang around, or both.  Luckily, I was fun to hang around (I still am!), and thought I wasn't a rapper for real, I was more than willing to pretend to be one.  In a Weird Al kind of way.  That's how the Nati Crew came to be.

- Our first track was Safety Dance 98 -- now lost to seas of time, and/or minidiscs -- and it sampled heartily from the original Safety Dance by Men Without Hats.  We invented characters -- I was Corn Puff Poppa, Adrian was 1-Ton -- and their backstory was that they were derivative, yet successful, rappers from Cincinnati.  I can't speak for Adrian, but for me it was fun to make up rhymes, say them into a microphone, and pretend to be bombastically proud of yourself.  We were 19, and it was play. 

- In this same time period I was enrolled in a lousy first year of college as an English Lit major at the University of Cincinnati, working in the frozen food department at Meijer, trying to have sex with girls, and still playing with GI Joe figures, pretending they were actually Marvel Superhero figures.  I probably put the most effort and thought into the fictions I created via the GI Joes -- I would concoct elaborate plots, act them out as live-action comic books, and keep notes on the adventures, categorized as issues.  It was something I'd been playing by myself since I was 8 or 9, and it was starting to lose its luster -- and had long been something I kept secret and was ashamed of -- but it was one of my favorite creative outlets.  I tried to keep it up as long as I could, but it just grew less and less rewarding.  I started writing actual comic book scripts instead, which was a different kind of fun, but was at least stretching the kind of muscles I wanted to stretch.  But in the meantime, playing at rapping was fun and was something I felt like could be shown off -- not hidden under blankets in my room. 

- Part of showing it off, of course, was pretending it was all a joke.  Which it was -- but only because I didn't think I was good enough to take it seriously.  And I certainly wasn't -- I couldn't delivery phat rhymes* quickly or confidently, but I had a lot of fun trying to do it.  We wrote the raps together, would perform and record them late at night at Adrian's place, and then would play them back and forth for each other and the girls we wanted to make out with.  I cannot possibly fathom why they listened to them and still liked us.  They were grown ups, the songs were dumb, but they liked us anyway.

- My favorite verse from Safety Dance 98 was 1-Ton's ...

1-Ton coming atcha l-l-l-like a train
DJA** gives me the beats and they be pounding in your brain
Now I'm-a break it down so come and feel my pain
Ain't no fairy like that Prince dancing in that Purple Rain
5-Double-Oh what I weigh the girlies scream
Corn Puff Poppa and 1-Ton do the double team
Raking in the bills a millionaire is what I am
I eat you punk jiggas for lunch, so just scram
Jiggas gonna fuck with me you gonna see
That I'm a bigga jigga than you'll ever be
Now all my peeps do the bump when they listen to me
Cause I'm the baddest motherfucker this side of 'Nati

- Do you see some of the many reasons it is embarrassing to speak of such things?  We do not call Prince a fairy, or anyone.  We do not call ourselves jiggas, or anyone.  But we thought Puff Daddy was silly, and we thought our fellow Ohio rappers were silly, but we also had to admit, doing what they do was a lot of fun.  It's not to say that rap is silly in and of itself -- but in the late 90s, and up to today, there were some silly personalities and tropes as a part of rap. 

- (Adrian would stuff his mouth with Cap'n Crunch to sound particularly hefty as 1-Ton, which means while we were mixing, there was already a box of Cap'n Crunch upstairs to snack on.  The cereal of rappers!)

- Every few months we'd do another Nati Crew song, and they got to be funnier and more clever as we went along.  We invented more and more characters, usually played by ourselves, but sometimes by whatever friend was around to join in.  Another track lost to the ages was about the Nati Crew going to Chicago to kidnap Humpty Hump and convincing him to join us, a thematic rip-off of the JAMs' "Whitney Joins the JAMs," and done primarily because Adrian could do a Humpty impression.  Digital Underground isn't even from Chicago, but for some reason, we decided that's where we would have to go to get him.  The only bit of lyrics that survive from that song are pieces of the chorus still floating around my head...

1, 2, 3, now here we go
Listen at the way the Nati Crew flow
If your crew wanna front now that's a no-no
Cause every momma knows we bad mo-fo's

Do-Re-Mi now here we go
"Where you get your clothes?"
We shop at Deveroe's
If your crew wanna front now that's a no-no
Cause every momma knows we bad mo-fos.

- We had discovered tracking and harmonizing so that, even though our songs were still silly and done in a night, they sounded more and more like ... well, they were still jokes.  But they were jokes that were unique to the two of us, and not something anyone with a drum machine might put together.

- I'll leave off again -- the next chapter in the Nati Crew saga involves a few songs that still exist, and as mp3s, even.  If I can sort out how to post them in a blog post, you'll have the opportunity to hear for yourself "Growing Up In 'Nati" and "American Xmas."***


* I call them "phat rhymes," even here, as a defense mechanism.

** Adrian's DJ name at the time

*** Lucky!!

We're putting the band back together.

- Though I have a long history of being in fake bands, I've never been in a band-band.  I mean, except the school band -- I was a saxophone! -- but that was more of a social group, at least for me.  It's how I found my first high school D&D group, how I discovered the hill on Market Street, and how I got to kiss girls in high school (holy smokes -- that's true!).

- However!  My pal Adrian was always musically inclined, and it was together that we discovered the KLF, aka the JAMs, aka the Justified Ancients of MuMu, aka the Timelords -- and later 2K, the K Foundation, Disco 2000, etc.  They were a band with a mythology, and that was something I could get behind.  They were samplers and dance musickers, and though that's not the music of my kid-bones, it was something I could get behind for the sake of fun and late night conversation.

- Legend has it Adrian found a cassette tape on the side of a Kentucky road.  It was the single for the KLF's "What Time Is Love?," a 90s dance anthem that demands to see you sweat, takes you on the path of what they call a MuMu, and perhaps most importantly, never stutters when asking you to pass the mic.  It also samples the MC-5's "Kick Out the Jams," and drops code names like King Boy D.  It's still a catchy song, and it came with its own symbol -- a pyramid blaster, being a pyramid with a boombox affixed to it.  It was mysterious, it was on MTV once or twice, and not many people in the US paid it much mind, which made it attractive to Adrian and me.

- What blew our minds -- or at least mine -- was a few years later, in high school, when I followed my conspiracy muse to the Illuminatus! Trilogy, by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.  I was nerdy enough to be into the idea of global conspiracies, secret symbols, and imposter George Washingtons -- but the book also mentions the Justified Ancients of MuMu, and even claims that the MC-5's "Kick Out the Jams" was a literal in-your-face to a group of rebels that had been ejected from the Illuminati years ago.  Suddenly things like "This is what KLF is about" and "Don't Take 5, Take What You Want," and "Last Train to Trancentral" -- they weren't just funny phrases, they were codes we had a key to.

- (Not that we worried ourselves over whether it was real or not -- it was fun.  And fun always tops real.)

- We had a period of t-shirt making in high school, and Adrian crafted his own KLF tee.  It had the word JAMS on the back, and the pyramid blaster on the front.  He once told me the story of one of his early days at Thriftway, stocking something in the non-grocery aisle, and he was wearing his JAMs shirt under his white button-up work shirt.  But you could still see the logo through his button-up -- our own little way of fighting The Man -- and he was approached by a stranger.  The stranger told him he knew what he was doing, what he was about, and if he knew what was good for him, he would knock it off.  We didn't know WHAT the guy actually meant, but we assumed it was an agent of the Illuminati, taking Adrian to task for displaying his allegiance to agents of chaos.

- (Sure, the Illuminati rule the world -- but the Justified Ancients of MuMu count Tammy Wynette and Whitney Houston as members.  Which club would you rather be a part of?)

- The KLF's not active anymore, at least not that I can tell.  They published a book called The Manual about how to study the pop charts and score a #1 hit single, which they did, with "Doctorin' the Tardis," which sampled the Gary Glitter Rock n' Roll song, Doctor Who, and was a very successful #1 pop song in the UK.  They made a lot of money from it and, so the legend goes, went on to burn all that money as part of another art project called The K Foundation Burn A Million Quid... 

- (I saw an interview with Stephen Colbert once -- I think it was on The View, which is a show that I love -- in which he said that he plays a character on his show called Stephen Colbert, and sometimes the real Stephen agrees with the point of view of the character Stephen, and sometimes not, and he honestly doesn't care when his audience can tell the difference.)

- ... and Bill Drummond has put out a book on his own called 45 that's one of my very favorite examples of someone working out how they think by writing it down.  I wish Bill Drummond had a blog.  He probably does, except it's a secret one.  I hate secret blogs.  I want to know where they all are.

- (Looking up Bill Drummond's Facebook page, I found this:  "In the middle of a tour, Drummond announced he was popping out to get some glue - and never returned."  I assume he returned somewhere, eventually, but who knows?  Maybe he's wandering still, just a man and his glue.)

- I took a detour and found that I haven't even broached the subject of the 'Nati Crew, in which I prove myself a liar and reveal that I was, in fact, once in a band.  But I'll let this one be what it is, and return to the Crew in the near future. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

long-form alternate reality games

- I met Julie Powell once, briefly, in an alternate universe where I worked in public radio in California.  She said "I like your tie, oh, I like your belt, I like -- everything going on here," and she gestured to me from toe to head.  I took it to mean that I'd gotten lucky when I put my clothes together that morning, but secretly I thought it meant, "if only this person could know MORE, could know ANYTHING, she would love it ALL.  I have gotten my life together!"

- Well.  Julie Powell was very kind, accidentally and in passing that day, and I just, accidentally and passing, watched the movie based on her book Julie & Julia.  It's a neat movie, and it's all about writing!  It's about writing and changing your life by writing.  About a better future, through writing.  And most everyone in it is very charming and very attractive.  Just like life!

- It snowed this morning in Burlington, VT.  Possibly in other parts of Vermont as well, but I can't really speak to that.  It snowed quite heavily, it covered the ground and most things on the ground, and within an hour it had stopped, the sun came up, and the snow had mostly melted.  Now it's snowing again, but in a very polite fashion.  It's very pretty, but I just ... snow, I just don't trust you.  I know that you like me, but I also know that you don't think of me when you do what you do.  But it's not your responsibility to keep me in mind at all times.  So, that's okay.

- Here's what I mean about Julie Powell -- I've never read Julie Powell, aside from flipping through her most recent book (I think), which is Cleaving, which is what she was promoting on the radio about a year ago.  It's about meat and marriage and love affairs, from what I can gather, and I don't think I was ready to read about such things at this time last year, however I might have been encouraged to by the author mentioning my belt buckle.  That's surely the quickest way to make me interested in another person and the work they do -- by giving me the sense that you think I'm interesting. 

- "Oh, I'm interesting?  Then you must be to!  Let's be friends." 

- Even after thinking this, and typing this, and then thinking about it more to see if it's true ... I'm not sure it's especially wrong to go through life like this.  So long as it's not entirely one-sided, yeah?  You reach out to people because you like them, or think you might like them, and you don't need especially good reasons for doing so.  Because you think you might like what they're about -- because you want to know more, because you think you might like them the more you get to know them -- that seems fair.  Maybe a little self-centered, but what's the center if not the self?  Just don't make the center your all.  /advice.

- If I had an iPad I would buy Julie & Julia right NOW.  This is a message to all of you e-reader manufacturers -- it is in your best interest to supply me with your products.  It will only help us both in the long run.  Like when I bought "Islands in the Stream" on iTunes last week.  Everybody wins!  Especially me and Dolly Parton.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Big Bea and the Thunderbirds

- My biggest take away from looking at a scale of the universe and me is that there are Giant Earthworms that are possibly longer than 7 meters.  This knowledge triggers something in my lizard-brain that shouts "kill it with fire."  This is not fair to the giant earthworm, which most likely possesses neither strange sonic sensors nor slobbering mandibles that seek to consume me, and I will try not to move through the rest of my life quietly hoping for its destruction.  It is hard to unlearn a distaste for what seems like the abominable.

- "You're definitely in a strange place.  But here's the sun!"

- Growing up I thought of the Atlantic Ocean as The Ocean and the Pacific Ocean as a large body of water in which certain oceanic things probably occurred, but which were almost certainly less-than when compared to the Atlantic majesty at play off our country's eastern seaboard.  It's swung around to the opposite now -- I've lived near enough to the Pacific for long enough to have been recruited into night swims, been driven off from nighttime bonfires by friendly policemen, and have ridden my bicycle close enough to be sprayed by ocean foam.  The Atlantic has retreated into my personal mythology.  I remember wading into it on childhood vacations, disliking how much sand it deposited into my shorts, and being told that anything deeper than my waist could theoretically hold sharks.  But the Pacific ... not that it was nice to me, or sweet, but I have a better sense of its moods and its shape.  It's an edge of the world, though not an end.  You can go to it, look over, and return to your life. 

- (Holy smokes, Body Talk, pt. 3!)

- I waver between thinking about craft and thinking "this is simply how I do what I do."  Sometimes I think I have a choice.  I've had this torn out page from Paul Pope's ADAM STRANGE serial that ran in Wednesday Comics sitting around my office for weeks now -- it had hung near our front door in LA -- and today while staying quiet on a conference call I realized it fit perfectly between a calendar and the corner of the room.  I stuck it to the wall with scotch tape and felt a sense of relief, as if I'd suddenly remembered where it belonged.  It's almost always the same way with work.  I'll think about form, move things around, find different ways to say the same thing -- but then sometimes everything just fits.  I feel relieved, and at the same time embarrassed that I hadn't just done it that way from the start.  I try to remember that it only fits that way now from all the time I spent looking at it any number of other ways.

- The page reads "Her RADIANT SMILE -- would she STILL want her BELOVED if she KNEW the TRUTH...? ...if she KNEW that on earth I am nothing but a TIRED OLD MAN...?"

- There's something to all this Doctor Who stuff.  He looks different every few years, but he's always the same kind.  Just popping up a little differently in certain places.

- Lately all I want to listen to are country spirituals, but all iTunes can find are 90s Michael Jackson songs.  Country spirituals, and Body Talk parts one through three.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Writing in Public.

Things of note, as autumn swiftly disappears...

- I will need to rediscover my gloves if I'm to keep biking like this.

- Bells!  And dimly-lit homes as I bike past.

- Patience.  Allow the cushion to settle beneath you.
  • I have always had trouble with this.

- "He wears a purple sash and a black mustache, in a honky tonk down in Mexico."

- I had the thought today that keeping a journal is like an offline blog, and I felt equal parts like I had wrapped my head around something AND that I am stoopid.

- Transformative times.

- "Transformative Times"

- "The Transformative Times"

- Boots, and pants tucked into them.  Candles melting down to the stub.

- Negotiating the perception of you, and how you cannot.
  • I assure you, water circles counterclockwise.
  • Better:  I assure you, cliffs are formed by erosion.

- (I kind of feel like I'm in a boat.  Everything is wood and brass and tilted.  There are trapdoors where you do not expect them, yet railings fold out from them that are sturdy and attractive.  The sort that make you want to step down their stairs.

- "I heard your learned to ride a bicycle story.  You're a really good storyteller."

- A backwards dollar sign.  But then I realize, it looks right if you see it through the front of the jar.  Again -- head wrapped around something.  Again -- stoopid.

- A cruise.  You get on a boat just to ride it around on it.  To take a RIDE on a BIG BOAT.  And sometimes the power goes out on the boat, and people get mad when it's not like a moving high rise building anymore. 
  • But I get that.  I was watching TV on an airplane (!!) and I felt cranky when the picture would be interrupted from time to time.

- On that flight I had my first fun conversation with a strange airplane seat partner.  She was a playwright from the town I'd just moved to, and she kept quizzing me on people and places -- if I knew certain buildings, streets, personalities yet.  There were a few I'd heard of, but mostly I hadn't.  She was very helpful, but also seemed a little mad when I didn't know a thing.
  • I could tell she didn't know what I meant by "New North End," but I couldn't find a way politely communicate that.  I think she thought I was continually misspeaking "Old North End."  When I was explaining the specific geography of my neighborhood ("keep going on North past the school," "the river curls around, and there's kind of a thumb, and I'm on it,"), she just though I was explaining a different neighborhood exceptionally poorly.
  • I had a book with me, some Teen Fiction Sci-Fi, which isn't something I normally read.  I forget my excuse, but I made a point to say that I was reading it because I wanted to explore different titles from a publisher's particular imprint.  She said, "I just assumed you were regressing," and it made me laugh, and I said, "That might be true as well."  The man to my left laughed at that, but I wasn't sure why.  He had almost missed the flight and had started aggressively reading a magazine as soon as he sat down, and didn't stop for the hour-long flight.  He said he'd been late because his boarding pass had the wrong gate printed on it.  Mine did too, but I'd figured it out on my own.  FLIP the page.  FLIP the page.
- I've been writing as the candle burns, and it's nearly done.  It makes me want to stay here all night.  The only way I know to celebrate that feeling is to leave, and therefore keep it intact.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Call to Adventure; Refusal of the Call; Crossing the Threshold.

I miss that MySpace blog function that let you post "What I'm listening to now" after every blog entry.  I'm sure there's a way to do it on blogger (or at the very least, on tumblr), but I'm too out of practice to understand widgets and such.

(What I'm listening to right now:  "Another One Rides the Bus" by "Weird Al" Yankovic.)

If I can talk about the Beatles again (if I could ever stop talking about the Beatles...), I was out in public the other night (!) and the Beatles came up.  We were talking about favorites, which ones we were, which ones were the cool ones, and someone mentioned Ringo.  And I blurted out, "Ringo was a drunk" and wanted to take it back right away.  I don't even know what possessed me.  I hate being that buzzkill -- "it was all done with mirrors" -- and the only rationalization I've been able to come up with in the days since is that I have to remind myself from time to time that the Beatles, in addition to being Beatles, were also dudes.  Not just cartoon characters.  If you play the Beatles Rock Band video game, there's something of a narrative to it, and it ends (I think) with the band playing their rooftop concert.  As if it all just stopped for no particular reason, all smiles and fur coats and friendly bobbies telling the boys turn down their amps.  As if none of them ever did anything of consequence ever again.  And it's just not true.  They led complicated lives (just like real people!) and they wrote other songs and played in other bands.  They made records, got divorced, some of them died.  That's worth remembering too.  Perhaps more elegantly, in the future, than yelling "Ringo was a drunk."  He was also a caveman.  He was also Mr. Conductor.

(Being a Beatle, and then not being a Beatle, has got to be a hard kind of come down.)

(Paul by himself, getting drunk and getting high [getting crunk!], because he doesn't have any friends left.  Once he was writing letters to Prince ("Dear Princely Person.  Hi there!").

Russell Brand is one of the things people like that I resist for no particular reason (except to be contrary, I suppose), but maybe he's one of the things that I eventually give in to too.  He was on Conan last night was utterly charming talking about royalty.  Other things in this category:  Mad Men, Dancing with the Stars, Lady GaGa (though that seems like so long ago...).

I had a vision for a Christmas Party.  Many years ago, when I was in school, the wonderful Michelle Richmond had a White Elephant party for one of her workshops.  I remember not being in her workshop that semester, but I also remember being at the party, and instead of the standard white elephanting, it went down like this:

- You bring a gift.  It goes on a table.  Maybe you draw numbers?  Or maybe you just volunteer, and one at a time, you claim a gift.  I prefer them not to be wrapped, but maybe that makes it more of a "game" and less a "Christmas Party."

- If no one else wants your present, you get to keep it.  Boring!

- If someone else wants your present, they have the chance to steal it from you.  But when they steal it, they have to tell a story.  Then you tell a story.  And then everyone votes on who has the best story, and whoever has the best story gets to keep the present.

- Fun is had, stuff is had, stories are told.  Christmas!

(What I am listening to now:  "We Fight/Love" by Q-Tip.)

Today K picked up all the leaves and bagged them.  Later the neighbor came over and told her that her kids had been planning to collect them today so they could have a bonfire.  I'm not a fire professional, but that seems like a wonderfully bad idea.  She told K "I guess I'll have to tell them we can't do it this year..." 

There is also neighborhood stray cat dramarama between our neighbors on one side and our neighbors on the other.  Bloodfeuds have broken out for less than a stolen cat. 

I'm glad we haven't done anything to earn the ire of our neighbors, but then I also get the feeling that we wouldn't necessarily hear about if if we did.  But now both neighbors have told us not to trust the ones on the other side.  So far I have nodded sympathetically to both sides, but with any luck things will escalate and this will turn out like A Fistful of Dollars.

(What I am listening to now:  "Woody Woodpecker" by Dan Deacon.  From an album called Spiderman of the Rings, which is currently my favorite name of a thing.)

My back is appropriately stretched.  It is time for hunting and gathering.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Write Like A Millerhouse, Think Like A West

New shoes make me envision the way my arches bend.  Especially over a bridge.  I pass an older couple taking a picture of the lake and I imagine they will talk about the way my foot bends after I run past.

"You can tell he's running for the right reasons," one will say.  The other nods knowingly, then points at a particularly impressive mountain.

Regular, formalized gatherings of friends.  A standing understanding. 

I try not to sound disapproving when I disagree.  Or maybe more importantly, dismissive.  I am approving.  I am missive.  I'm happy you're here in the first place, and balancing the feel of that with how it covers like a hot quilt to say so.

Anytime I'm not eating I think about nutrients and science and dietary plans.  But when I'm ready to eat, I only want food with a shape that will be pleasing to destroy.  Small crusty pies that deflate when I poke them with a fork.  Chickpea cutlets I imagine frying in the shape of things.  Like rabbits, or presidential silhouettes.  Chickpea Lyndon B. Johnson.  Yum!

Jennifer Grey on the dancing show, when she says "this feels like 7th grade," then whoops and corrects herself, "Maybe 8th grade."  It feels like an important distinction.  What does it mean that I still think so?

Indulgent playlists.  Whenever I make new friends, I pretend we are the Beatles.  I used to always be John, except for in the shower or the car by myself when I'm Paul, but more and more I just want to be Ringo. 

When Ringo signed up to be a tiny conductor on the kid's train show, did he do it for fun?  Was he just ready to get out of the house?  I guess he doesn't have a lot of fatty songwriting checks coming in quarterly.  In one of the Beatles Anthology outttake interviews he talks about working on that project as an excuse to hang out with Paul and George again.  I feel like if Ringo was on Facebook he'd be happy to be friends with me, with anyone, but everyone would be too nervous to ask.  But then again, he sent out that press release a few years ago to say he wasn't going to sign autographs anymore.  No judgment there.  It was nice of him to sign things for this long at all.

I think about Ringo all the time.

I've been writing in my office (in "my 'office'"), but until the new windows are put in, I wrap myself up in a blanket as I sit in the Ikea chair I bought a year ago.  This chair has the highest back of any chair I have ever owned.  For a few days Lola only wanted to go into the office in the morning, so yesterday I opened the door for her while I was on a conference call ("we are the sort of people who have to be on conference calls now, and who forward our itineraries to one another" {I just googled "iteneraries" to figure out how to spell "itineraries"}), and she hopped up on the seat of my chair and wiped her butt on it.  I pressed the mute button on the call and made her get down off of the chair.  She flattened her ears, meow-yelled at me, and ran out of the office.  She hasn't come back.

Instead of saying "look it up in the dictionary" when children ask me how to spell things, I will tell them to sound it out and google it.  Not to be ironic or funny.

Wordpress will show you how many words you have typed as you type them.  When I couldn't find a similar tally on blogger my first thought was how helpful that tally is; my second was how glad I was that the tally wasn't here.  "Oh, that's right.  *That's* what I want."

The shoes we're not wearing are in the kitchen next to the refrigerator, and I can see them from my desk.  Pink flats almost touching at the heel, with toes pointed away from each other.  Blue plaid rain boots perfectly aligned.  The heels of my white shoes that have been on grass in Virginia.  It's so easy to move anywhere you want to go.

I will write things and then stare at the words and try to decide if they are things I really believe. 

(It's so easy to move anywhere you want to go.)

Last night as I was falling asleep I tried to think of different ways to say chemistry problem.

"We're going to have to talk about the periodic table." 

(That's all I came up with.)

I decided to buy a lamp for my desk, but every one I looked at seemed too fancy, or too boring.  But there was one on the shelf called "banker's lamp" and it had a hard, green shade, and it looked like the kind my dad had or has on his desk.  I was quietly pleased and surprised that that was the one that I wanted.  All the time I have thoughts that would have horrified me when I was a kid, but every time it happens it makes me feel good. 

(I deleted the line "Do you think that's how Darth Vader felt?" because I thought it sounded like I was being mean to my dad.)

I like the older Elvis songs where it sounds like he's in his living room, singing old gospel songs, and trying to figure out how he got there.  Not because they're good songs, but because that's my favorite kind of Elvis.  It seems like a dick move that we voted for the Young Elvis stamp.  Like we're still saying, "Thanks Elvis, but you didn't really need to keep happening."  I like Vegas Elvis the best, because he's still working so hard, with no clear call or cause. 

(I don't know how you guys ever end things like this, because it seems like I could writing it forever.  But it's lunchtime, so I'll talk to you later.)