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Tuesday August 29, 2000, 00:35

"How uncouth," I think to myself as I knock the little bit of cous cous that dropped onto my shirt into my spoon and eat it. This might be why I tend to scare people off. And why my clothes alway have food all over them.

It's been several days of meeting people. Yesterday it was Claudette on the bank of the river. I was lying there, the sun slowly setting over the non-skyline on the opposite bank, reading my issue of New York magazine that I picked up on the Delta Shuttle. Intending in fact to use my reading material as conversation matter, I intentionally brought along a copy of New York as opposed to say, Open Source magazine, for obvious reasons. There are many reasons that I want to get away from the computer industry, not least of which are the people.

I was lying in the grass, reading my magazine when it became aparent to me that there was a large swarm of small winged insects buzzing about my head. Attempts at swatting them away were futile so I tried a different approach. I tried to catch them. Snapping my fist shut as if I were under the guidance of Mr. Miyagi, I picked off bug after bug, pausing only to wipe the bug bits off of my hands and onto my pants. Which I suppose is related to the cous cous, but I don't really want to think about that right now.

She made some comment, though at the moment I can't recall what it was. Something about me, and the bugs. And we started talking. She did in fact ask what I was reading, I did tell her that it was New York, and we discussed the relative merits of the two cities, the one in which we were sitting and New York, a city which I find much more fun and which I'm sure most people around me have heard me mention more times than they'd like to count. I was fairly diplomatic about the whole thing, and while I found myself rambling at times, I did note that she would roll onto her stomach on occasion, resting her head on her bag and listening to me talk. I took this as a good sign that I was not a complete moron.

We left where we were sitting, I on my rollerblades1 and she on foot. Down the path, over the foot bridge, and across the street. We parted ways with a handshake and the realization that we would most likely never see each other again. No numbers were exchanged, and names were almost left entirely out of the experience. Though I'll admit to asking her name for context as well as for reference when writing about the experience later on (that is, now). It was nice to be able to prove myself wrong though, and find myself in a situation where two people could just come together, smell each others' butts, as it were, and move on.

Back in time was Cat (or was it Kat?) whom we met outside of a gallery post concert. The concert itself was mediocre. SMP performed first and then another band (whose name escapes me right now) played and while the electronics in the background were good, this was an industrial show, which consisted of, well, lots of banging. Actually, I don't know how to classify the second band. Industrial? Not? Who knows. Anyway, banging is all fine and good, and I can actually go along with a non-rhythmic sort of thing if it's a directed sort of non-rhythm. However, when the nerd on the floor is futzing around with pots and pants and pieces of metal and whatnot and shoving a microphone inside of a piece of pvc and banging on it like an ape, I just can't stand behind that. It's all about choices, very few of which seemed to be made at the beginning of the set. To be honest, the end of the show ended up much better and I actually enjoyed sitting there listening to the music letting my pupils dilate as I stared into the lights.

Post-show the "I carry around a box of cigarettes as a conversation starter and not because I actually smoke" ploy came in handy as we started talking to Kat, with her head half shaved ("I had too much hair") and her nose-to-earing chain link ("It's a broken necklace"). We sat on the sidewalk and talked. I perched atop an abandoned desk. She told me that just because I lit her cigarette I was NOT getting 20 minutes. I told her that I didn't actually want them. We talked. She told us how she got kicked out of school. About sleeping in clubs when she had nowhere else to stay. And I began to think about how much of her stories were just that. Just stories told as an explanation of how she got from her wealthy suburban upbringing to hanging out in the pit. We talked about nothing weighty, my sarcasm falling short of amusing, her foul language disuading me from furthering conversation until it was announced that it was time for us to go, we in the car, she on her rickety bike. A bike whose seat needed to be covered with a plastic bag, lest it leak water onto her skirt. A bike whose brakes rarely work. Those are the only facts that I could say with some amount of confidence, were true.

Before that was New York, and once again I am reminded of how much I love the city, how I feel alive when I go back. And I saw theatre. Tiny ninja's performing Macbeth. Crazy people from school. 'Nuff said.

The words. The words are not a-flowing.

I did however write something humorous for Ben's zine. Read it now and be amused.



Ah, there was a bit of the old divine intervention, as it were, that occurred this weekend. As I was returning from New York, by plane, my plans were thrown into a bit of a lurch by (presumably) construction on the tracks. Transfer from train to bus and back to train. Or rather, that's what I thought was going to happen. Instead, the transfer from train to bus went flawlessly, and back to train was about to happen as I was crossing in front of city hall and discovered something that sounded very much like a free outdoor concert. Ah! A concert. Ah, Dar Williams!

Context is in order here, starting with the fact that, contrary to what I once thought, Dar Williams does not suck. Furthermore, I had just come from New York, where I had missed her play a coouple of shows due to the fact that I didn't have the foresight to buy a ticket (which in actuality worked out for the best as I had only gotten three hours of sleep the night before and would not have been conscious for the show anyway), and, the following night, missed her playing a free concert at an HMV here. It was as if, dare I say, she was running away from me. And, had it not been for track trouble, I would have missed her again. So, for the first time, I am grateful for the crappy transportation issues.

I made a half-hearted attempt to say hello, planning on citing our common high school alma mater, but didn't get to her before she reached her cd signing table so I wrote her a letter instead and gave it to her management. We will see what comes of that.

Sometimes, just sometimes, things just work out.

1. I had two options that night. I could have gone over to a friend's and watched the Daria movie which, as compelling as that seemed, was a good 50 minutes away by public transit and would have meant the evening indoors which I had spent the entire day in front of my computer. Instead I opted to strap on my wheeled feet and tempt fate and my ankles and head down to the river, first to get some exercise and second to try to do some of that interacting action.

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