Saturday, September 30, 2006

It's A Living.

Thursday: scantily clad young ladies in an old-timey burlesque show. The women of Effie's Club Follies are a real hoot.

Friday: Drag queens and frat boys clash as pop/rock meets fat guys in dresses. The chap in the backward (on multiple levels) "W" ball cap did NOT appreciate getting his junk grabbed by Pebbles, the drag queen so out of control that even the other drag queens steer clear. At night's end, Pebbles was strutting her stuff (there was more of it than I care to remember) on Broad Street, and the local cops and campus police seemed reluctant to do anything about it. Do I blame them? Hell no. In the end, she found love, but not before her ass found the sidewalk multiple times.

Tonight: Unknown Hinson. Man, I love this place.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How About Them Apples?

Went up to Ellijay with Jamie on monday. It was the usual- awe inspiring, lovely, and totally relaxing. Ate fried pies, stopped at multiple apple orchards, bought stuff.

Highlights included an incredibly idyllic little pasture that I immediately wanted to live on,

the aforementioned fried pies, the ugliest ice bucket I have ever seen (not pictured to protect Jamie's privacy-I made her hold it for the photo. It was owl shaped, and made of some kid of cheap metal and plastic), and

...flipping off a Hummer in a parking lot for the FUH2 Site.

My favorite new discovery? The pumpkin place.

Has anyone else ever seen a blue/green pumpkin before? Because I sure haven't.
And they had a whole lot of 'em. Neat.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Of Mice and Moths.

I have just finished completely cleaning and wiping out, for the second time in a year, my Very Large Bookcase Thing. I got the VLBT in Chicago at Salvage One in about 1998, and it is my favorite piece of furniture, despite being impossibly heavy, difficult to move, and a veritable playground for mice.
The VLBT was taken out of a building in Evanston prior to that buliding's demolition. It had been built in to the kitchen in an apartment, and most likely used for dishes and food and other kitchen cupboard-like items.
In my house the VLBT has always housed books, CDs, magazines, and various memorabilia* which doesn't have a proper place anywhere else. It holds a lot of stuff. So you can imagine my dismay whenever I discover that we have once again been adopted by a mouse, and I must once again go through each cabinet and drawer, sorting out which of these I can salvage (Ron Jeremy autographed photo, X-Men Playing cards, most of the CDs, all of the books, a disposable lighter bearing the WILCO gas station logo), and which have to go (various old music magazines, a polaroid camera which seems to have been doused in mouse urine, our only non-cordless phone**).
Today was one of those days. In a way, it helps me to be less attached to material things and less of a pack rat, which I suppose is good, but mostly it is just a pain in the ass--and it is pretty gross.
It doesn't help that we have also had a fairly major moth problem intermittently for the last couple of months. I have thrown out more tea, flour, rice, pasta, dried fruit, bread, cookies, and crackers than I care to think about. I have spread bay leaves and lavender about the cupboards to try and repel them naturally. I am not willing to "bomb" the house with any kind of chemicals because a) that shit is toxic, and b) I would have to wipe down and launder and steam clean every surface and item of clothing in the house, and I would still not feel that the dogs were safe. Dogs will eat anything, and with my luck they would find the one corner I didn't get to, or the sock under the couch in the corner that didn't get washed, and they will eat it and get sick and I will never forgive myself. Rational thoughts? No. Real thoughts? Yes.
Anyway, I did finally find moth traps at the (big box excuse for a) hardware store. Also very gross, but so far very effective. Next on the list is a no-kill mouse trap. Maybe I'll fill it with CDs and magazines instead of peanut butter.

*An autographed picture of Ron Jeremy, for example, and an activity book entitled "My First Presidentiary, by George W. Bush", as well as a paper doll book of Bill clinton and His Family.
**It's good to have one of these around in case of a power outage. Hard to call the power company when the phone doesn't work.


It has taken me three years, two houses, and countless packets of seeds and bags of soil, but I have, at long last, managed to grow my very own Moon Flowers. Only wish I knew how to post their lovely scent...

In other "finally" news, it is finally Sunday, which means my weekend can finally begin. I always forget how much football season annoys me until it actually starts. At this point it has been quite tame. Next month is when the real games (and the real hell,) start.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Somebody's Gotta Do It.

And I know that AJ probably won't brag himself, so I'll just tell you: He got signed by CAA.

Way to go, buddy. I didn't even know they represented porn stars.

It Wasn't All Bad.

Lest I leave anyone with the wrong impression, I must state for the record that the weekend was not all about the end of Lunch Paper. Tasty World celebrated it's Ninth Anniversary on Friday night, with the always awesome Grand Buffet headlining a spectacular show. Those guys are always a treat, and this time there were finally some people there to see them. Some of them even started throwing money at the end of the show so they'd play another song. One of those people might have been me, but I can't be sure because I was very busy losing my mind. If I ever find myself sitting on a large enough sum of money, I will buy a camera, take two weeks off, and get in the van with those two. Also, I saw Modern Skirts kicking much ass for the second time this week. I really hope there is a new record on the horizon because I am about to wear out the one I have. Well done everybody. And congrats to Murphy on staying alive for so long against nearly impossible odds.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish.

Or beer. And stuff.
Yep, the venerable Lunch Paper has closed its doors forever. The b.h. and I went down there today to help take down the sign and scrape the window stickers down and whatnot. It was kind of depressing, in a way, but it also means a new start for Monty, so that's good.

I met a lot of good people at that place, many of whom are gone and a few that I still see all the time. It was one of the first places I ever felt at home here in Athens.
R.I.P., L.P.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And Now I Really, Really Feel Fine)

So there was an R.E.M. tribute show last night at the 40 Watt. It was a benefit for some local charities, and there were sevral bands playing that the b.h. and I were excited about seeing. These included Five Eight and Modern Skirts among others, and since the Skirts are getting so popular these days and Patterson Hood is almost as good as Dave Schools at dragging out a million frat boys every time he plays, we thought we would go ahead and get our tickets in advance. That turned out to be a good decision, because the show sold out and R.E.M. actually played. I have seen Michael Stipe and Mike Mills around town several times since I moved here, and I have also seen a couple of impromptu performances, but never with the whole band. They got up and did a couple songs, and then took turns popping up onstage with the other bands. I am still a bit too giddy to properly convey the spirit of the evening, but suffice to say (for now) that everyone was fantastic.

One highlight that springs to mind is the version of "Driver 8" performed by Five-Eight that was about the West Coast tour they did with R.E.M. The last line was something like "Five Eight take a break we're taking Now It's Overhead to Europe." I know this is not translating well, but it was hilarious. And the last song they did (they headlined) was "It's The End Of The Wolrd..." Many of the band members that had played, including R.E.M., got up onstage with them and totally rocked it out. People went insane. (Present company very included.) I found myself screaming out the lyric, jumping around and losing my mind. When it ended, I discovered that I was actually propped up on an amplifier, one leg dangling several feet above the floor and the other wrapped around the bannister on the stairs that lead to the stage. My voice was horse, my head was spinning, and I couldn't remember having been that excited for a long time.
The thing is, right now it does sometimes feel like the end of the world, and as much as I wish I were able to just stick my head in the sand and say fuck it, that is simply not in my nature. Between war and crime and poverty and the environment and our fucking joke of a government, there are days when I wonder why people even bother to try and do the right thing ever. But then there are moments when everything else is gone and all I feel is unbridled joy and the pleasure of simply being alive. Many thanks to everybody who made that possible, and so sorry to those of you who missed it. I was with you all in spirit.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and Hitler's World HQ

So Lincoln was really cool. It reminded me of Champaign-Urbana in all the rtight ways. I met all of the b.h.'s friends, who made me feel welcome right away, and heard all the stories that old friends tell when they get together. It was great fun and I only hope that the b.h. likes my friends from home half as well as I like his (especially since we see my friends so often). In addition to the people, I got to see the Capitol Building (below), a very large phallic structure with a statue of a man on top who is -wait for it- sowing seed. He is in fact called "The Sower". I don't know if you can see him in this photo or not, but he's there.

Apparently, this building so impressed Hitler that he decided that it would be his world headquarters after he conquered the United States. We managed to get in about fifteen minutes before it closed on Thursday, and a woman who was perhaps the nicest State Employee I have ever encountered insisted (after she discovered that we were from out of town)that she get us up to the 14th floor observatory before we left. The building was really, really, beautiful, and after taking the tour I could see why Hitler was so enamoured of it. Again, I doubt the photos will do it justice but I am posting them anyway because they make my blog more interesting to look at.

After we left here, we drove around in search of the neighborhood with the black squirrels, which we never found, and then met the gang over at Yia Yia's for another round of pizza. The b.h. got his with white sauce, potatoes and capers. I got mine with broccoli, white sauce, jalapenos, garlic, and potatoes. It was fabulous. That place is great and I can't wait to go back.

We left around 7pm, rolled into Chicago around 4am, windows down and slapping myself in the face to stay awake for the last twenty miles. Got up around eight thirty, left my sister's house at 9, and took the el to the airport.

Got there in plenty of time, but still decided not to check bags after the last nightmare. Turns out that the security people in Chicago actually give a shit about their jobs, so despite the fact that I had thrown out the matches and the lighter, they wound up going through all of our bags. I was told to get rid of my nasal spray and my eye drops. I put them in the "discard" bin, and the other security woman picked them up and told me I could keep them
"This is prescription, right?" she asked, inspecting the nasal spray.
"Yes m'am."
"You can keep that. And these (eye drops) are less than four ounces. You can keep those, too."

I was baffled, but relieved. Turns out, though, that I could not keep the Burt's Bees tinted facial moisturizer, or the Oil of Olay, or what was left of my very empty (thank gods) Aveda hair product. Bumble and Bumle conditioner that was also almost empty? Oh, that you can have. And toothpaste, despite the fact that the first woman (who nixed the nasal sparay) was screaming at all of us to get rid of it. Spray on sun screen had to go, as did the roll-on deodorant. And a (probably very expensive) small bottle of herbal dog shampoo that I had forgotten my sister gave to me. So the moral of the airport story, I guess, is that allthough we are obviously no safer, we are more wasteful than ever. Fantastic. I hope to never get in another plane again.

I fell asleep in the plane (antihistamines-woo hoo!) and slepty most of the way back to Atlanta. The downside of this is that I never realized that I dropped the book that I was attempting yet again to read, one that my good friend Jamie had loaned me, and that I had yet to get past the first ten pages of due to extreme exhaustion.
When we got off the plane, we took a MARTA train through ATL to our friend Dave's neighborhood. The train styopped at the station before his and a very, very sketchy looking guy came through the car, looking nervously around and eyeing everybody up and down. The train stayed still for much longer than it should have. It felt like it was having trouble powerin g up or something. There were a few announcements about how we would be moving on in "just a minute here." I was contemplating jumping off the train and calling Dave when the doors started to close. There was an announcement that "Any police in the train should report to (muffled words)." The sketchy guy stuck his head through the doors as they started to close, causing them to open again. I was on the verge of screaming and physically attacking him when the train finally started to move.

I don't think I have ever been so happy to see Dave. The b.h. got into the front seat after stowing our bags in the back, and I was sprawled across the back seat asleep before the car started moving.

Woke up about ten miles from our house. Got home, scratched dogs, changed clothes, and went downtown to meet b.h.'s parents for a belated birthday dinner. Note: twelve dollar pasta dishes are no more impressive than five dollar pasta dishes, but the beer waqs cold and fabulous and the coffee was pressed to order. I had two of each (beer and coffee, not overpriced pasta dishes) and headed to work. Got home in the 4am range and slept for about eleven hours. The end.

P.S. I got another copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell on Sunday, and am well over a hundred pages in. Harry Potter for adults-yay!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Time Flies (& Flight Times).

Closed the bar Monday night.
Woke up at 7am on Tuesday.
Left for thye airport at 7:30.
Got to the airport in PLENTY of time, so stood in line (incredibly long, as everyone now has to check bags) to check bags.
Got to the freont of the line to find that "You have to check your bags at least 45 minutes before your flight." Our flight was in thirty minutes. We gathered that the woman behind the counter didn't really give a rat's ass that we had in fact gotten to the aiport well over an hour before our flight. Though we had been there in what should have been plenty of time, the "Terror Alert Level" (TAL) is now orange, and no liquids are allowed in carry on luggage, including toothpaste, shampoo, and other things that every hygienic and not wealthy person on earth has to pack for a trip. So we flew standby, along with at least twelve other people who were obviously so silly as to expect that being there when you are told to be there would be good enough.
We sat separately in the plane, the b.h. and I, but were lucky just to have gotten on. I was happy that by checking bags I was able to bring the kudzu blossom jelly that I had made at Jamie's house on Monday. None of my Southern friends had heard of it, so I figured it would be a real treat for my Yankee family.
I had forgotten to get some antihistamines out of the bag that was now sitting with the b.h. several rows behind me (and also in a middle seat, so I wasn't keen on trying to retrieve anything from him). My teeth felt like they would rip out of my head for the last thirty minutes of the flight.
The b.h. made an interesting discovery mid-flight while rummaging around for the headphones in our carry-on, which had not been opened or even glanced at in security. I had, in my exhaustion while packing the night before, left in the bag a disposable lighter, spray on sunscreen, liquid roll-on deodorant, and multiple cosmetic type items that were less than solid, as well as a pack of matches. Coupled with the no less than six electronic items for which there are various wires and power supplies, one might have thought that security would have at least looked a little sideways at these items. Not in Atlanta, apparently. Incidentally, one might also wonder why the hell I didn't pack two separate carry on bags, as the one we had was clearly jam-packed and uncomfortably heavy. I can only say that I was really, really tired, and perhaps not making a lot of sense.
As we sat at the gate waiting to get on the next available flight, there were constant announcements over the loudspeakers that "The Department of Homeland Security would like to remind us that the terror threat level is now at orange, and that any and all people should be viewed with suspicion and possibly killed, or at least turned over to the authorities." Or something like that. We were also intermittantly treated to loud, repetitive,Brazil-like alarms going off at various doors leading to the tarmac, doors that no one was even close to, alarms which were mostly ignored by the airport staff. One might think, if one were a cynic, that these people were trying to frighten us.
More later- I need more coffee.

Wow. New discovery, from A Cook's Guide To Chicago: Cardamom coffee. Just crush two green cardamom pods up, mix in with ground coffee beans, and brew. Good stuff.

So where was I? Oh yeah, at the blessed airport. Waited about three days for baggage at Midway Airport, then called my mom who picked us up and brought us to lunch. Stopped at three different Dry Cleaners by my sister's house, where i learned that "Same Day Service" is only available if you drop your clothes off before 9am, no matter how much money you offer them. One guy looked at me like I was a total assshole, even after I explained that I had just gotten off a plane and that I was leaving for a funeral the next morning at six. Seriously- you'd have thought I was asking for his first born son.
See, the b.h. and I aren't really the type of people who like to play dress up, so not only are our options limited, but they are also worn very infrequently. Since our house has but two window air conditioning units (rather than central air, which is more, um, centralized), and since it is hotter (and much more humid) than hades here in the summer, our funeral-appropriate clothing, having spent at least ten consecutive months in the closet, was less than fresh. The good news is that *Dryel* sheets work perfectly well with a quick tumble on the warm cycle, and they cost about twenty dollars less than a dry cleaner. Also, my sister is quite skilled in ironing and managed to rescue the b.h.'s shirt from me before I left any permanant marks.
So we waited at my sister's house for my dad to get home from work, all the while enjoying Goose Island's lovely Summer Ale and coming down from the sleep deprived airport nightmare. When my dad arrived, we all adjourned to a local pub (where they make their own veggie burger patties, and where if you ask very nicely, they will add swiss cheese and vidalia onions to said patties-yum!) and continued to unwind.
Got to bed early, got up around five-thirty, and were on the road by six am.
I had forgotten just how gorgeous Iowa is. No, I am not kidding. Anyone who has had the pleasure of driving back and forth through central Illinois a million times has a real appreciation for landscape, and this was amazing. I'm not sure what kind of justice th photos will do it, but it's worth a shot I guess. Check it out:

Yep- sure is lovely, right? Well, it gets even better. We stopped in Iowa City around 10, and were lucky enough to stumble into a coffee shop that brewed gourmet coffee by the cup. Awesome. Twenty ounces and a quick breakfast later, we were back on the road. We had to skip the World's Largest Truckstop for lack of time, but we did stop for gas here:

I couldn't believe this place. Bummer was they didn't have any lighters, matches, baseball caps, t-shirts, or anything else with their logo on it.

So we hauled ass through to Lincoln, and went straight to Yia Yia's for a slice of pizza and a much needed beer. I had heard so much about this place from the b.h. that I almost expected to be let down, but I wasn't. The stoners in the kitchen screwed up our order the first time around, and the second time it was half right and all the way delicious. I have never been in a bar with more varieties of bottled beer. I could have stayed there forever, but I was too tired to have more than one.

Monday, September 04, 2006


I just finished watching Westway to the World- the documentary about The Clash- again. It is a really fantastic movie, but the end is really sad. It's clear that both Joe Strummer and Mick Jones had a huge mutual respect, and that they wished things had gone differently, etc. I had heard rumors for years about a possible reunion, but I learned not to get my hopes up. I was eleven when they played their last show together here in the States. What I wouldn't have given to see them live. I remember the day Joe Strummer died. It felt awful then, and watching the movie makes it even worse. The world (and especially my world) needs bands like The Clash now more than ever. Punk rock has become a cartoon. But then, so has politics. The unfunniest, Nancy-esque (allthough Family Circus may have been worse) comic strip of all time. I'm still pissed that they never made up.

We got a phone call the other day from one of the b.h.'s old friends. It seems an old friend has killed herself. They hadn't talked in awhile. That didn't make it easier. It may have made it harder.

Tomorrow we leave on a flight to Chicago, after which we will drive eight and a half hours to attend the funeral of a woman I have never met, who he hasn't seen in years, but who knew the b.h. for longer than I did. We will be there for about twenty four hours, then we will drive back to Chicago and fly back home. I have to work that night. Things will have to go on.

Also, RIP Steve Irwin. At least you died doing what you were supposed to do.

Customer of the Night, part 73

Friday night, a Paris Hilton lookalike (wannabe?) who had a purse that cost more than my rent ran up a hundred and thirteen dollar tab and tipped us ten bucks. Stupid cunt. She was obviously wealthy, and she was from Texas. The credit card was her dad's.(duh)