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Archive for April, 2003

 
|| April 11, 2003 || 10:15 pm || Comments (4) ||

How in the world does ‘live box set’ become ‘live sex bot’ from the screen to my brain? Damn tricky eyeballs.

 
|| April 10, 2003 || 12:36 am || Comments (2) ||

Poor Keif at GI Party got troubles, y’all. A copy of the email I sent him:

To: keith@giparty.org
Subject: my fitty cent worth

Keith honey,

As I’ve always told you, GO WITH YOUR HEART.

Fuck the naysayers. If you listen to all the naysayers in your life, then you’ll never get nothin’ done.

I think you had hold of a good, solid niche in the world of Cyberia. I think your idea was brilliant in its simplicity. I think you presented it well and in a diplomatic fashion.

Do not stand down if it is ultimately what you want to do, or unless you are *ordered* to stop. You’re the real deal, baby.

Your ole pal,

.beth.

Go on over there and give a brother some love. Go on, now!

 
|| April 9, 2003 || 11:38 pm || Comments (7) ||

I’ve been trying to finish a couple of fairly grim pieces for several days now and have had to frustratedly put them aside several times because they don’t seem to be flowing properly. Maybe it’s the fear in them that is affecting me so. They involve two very frightening times in my life and remind me what a tenuous grasp we have on being alive.
So, still itching to scribble and not yet having shaken free from what I was writing about, I pondered the idea of cooking up some more (God help us) maudlin, oppressed-woman poetry (been more of that this last couple of weeks than you could fathom). Then I saw the beer glistening happily (“Yo-ohhhh, Te-CA-te! How you beeeenn?”) from behind its restraining bar in the fridge door and I knew that was a sign to say something about The Really Good Thingtm that happened to me a couple of days ago.

Sam and I dropped Scout off at piano one afternoon and headed out to the grocery store. We took a side street that I’d not driven down in months (as small as this fucking place is, can you imagine?) and passed by an old favorite, the extreespeshull and highly revered Unclaimed Baggage. There are only two of these stores in the whole wide world, and this eedle town was blessed with one (albeit a smaller one with fewer pickins).

If you are not familiar with the glory that is Unclaimed Baggage, then I should give you a little background on it. The store at Scottsboro has been featured in magazines and news shows, because it really is a cool concept, despite the sort of pawn-shop-profit-from-the-misfortunes-of-others vibe. The store buys up baggage or shipments that are lost and unclaimed at airports and such, then empties them, catalogs the contents, pricing things and setting them out to sell. The bags, too. You can find the COOLEST stuff there, and many times at such the bargain price. Some people take their entire vacations to go shopping, you dig?? I got a heavy, leather-bound journal with creamy vellum pages and rice-paper inserts a few months back and it only cost me four dollars. FOUR DOLLARS!! For a forty-buck book that was inviting but intimidating to scribble in because of the richness of it. I have a special project in mind for it, but that’s neither here nor there. I got a Box of Chagall notecards for three dollars, woo! And music, oh Holy Peter In The Skies, the muuuuussiiiiiiiicc….

So I was going down this very succint side-street and there was this huge sign,

Everything 75% OFF

and I was, “OhmygoshSAM, Unclaimed Baggage is going out of BUSINESS.” Sadly and embarrassing enough, the carrion in me emerged and Sam was happy to be my Willing Accomplicetm. There is all kinds of eclectic whatsit housed within its four walls and scads of shelves and rolly-racks. Clothes shopping? Sam behaves as if he were being poked with hot sticks, though I should understand the futile embarrassment of an eleven-year-old boy being asked “How ’bout the crotch, you got plenty of room through the crotch??” by his mother in a public fitting room. Just lookin’ out for my future descendants, okay?

But eclectic mishmosh-sifting, that’s so very Sam’s speed. I announced to him that we had thirty minutes, forty tops, get busy buzzin’ through here kid and don’t bug your mommy. I was lost the minute I saw the tables that held the ceedees were still pretty loaded. I was sucked toward them, willing or no.

I’m a ceedee snob; I like to have cases to snuggle the discs like little audio resting-places and liner notes to gobble into my brain while I pull the music in through my pores. I like the utter completeness of that scenario, the simple joy of it. While there were many ceedees in unmarked cases sans inserts priced at three-fifty or less (EIGHYSEVENCENTSFOR A CEEDEE, WOO!), I immediately dismissed them from perusal in favor of those ‘complete’ (and hopefully in their original, unopened shrinkwrap) units.

Oh lovely readers, there was Elvis Costello (bonus disc, bonus disc!) and Badly Drawn Boy and Hooverphonic and The United States Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club and two (count’emtwooo) Frank Zappa double-disc sets and VAST and classic Heart and Glenn Gould (complete Goldberg varitions!) and Prince’s Black Album (lim. ed.) and a handful apiece for Sam, Scout and Maxim and a handful of never-before-heard-of-but-they-look-interestings. Every one of ‘em was priced between three and five dollars, so for a buck-twenty-five or less apiece, Your Favorite Poor Girl came out with a sackful of much-needed new music.

Be still, my beating heart and all that shit. Just typing the majesty of it here now gets me all exhilerated and a-flutter and such all over again.

There are two things that absolutely, without fail, make me feel like a brand fucking new woman. One is new underthings, most especially of the brasseire nature. The other is new music, most especially of the never-before-owned nature. Hell, the day I found The Beatles’ White Album on ceedee for three bucks, you’d have thought my mythical aunt, Sadie Blueheels, had left me a chunk of her Mediterranean (sp? too lazy to look it up) estate. With cabana boys. And dancing goats. Stuffed with pretty, pretty money of gigunda denominations.

Since the good vibes and the beer are rollin’, it’s time to break out the sausages.

My dears, courtesy a binding Contractual Arrangement Of Looking Lusty And Delicious (As Well As A Conspicuous Absence Of Sausages And/Or Dogs Playing Poker) with those of us here at Superior Industries, I present thee with the London boys, retun engagement:

Corn-fed midwestern just looks goood on you, fellas. No, really.

And I have piles of new music. NEW! MUSIC!

 
|| April 8, 2003 || 9:01 am || Comments (2) ||

An excerpt, because I promised it to someone a little over three weeks ago and have just remembered again:


The very first time I met her, I took offense at her name. She was fresh off the moving truck from Oklahoma, plaid dress pressed to perfection, hair smoothed and plaited and ribboned. That was the thing about her: No matter what the days ahead found us doing, Prentiss was always neat and crisp and beautiful. No dirt, no muss ever seemed to find her.

“Prentiss. Puckett. That’s a boy’s name,” I said with a small measure of disgust. Second-grade disgust is powerful stuff, and most effective when used sparingly. I learned the latter from my father, who almost always led by example.

She responded in her clang-clanging midwestern accent, “Well, Thunder, you jackass, it is a boy’s name. Momma says that since I was an April Fools baby, the doctor thought it’d be sport to tell them I was a boy and my daddy bought it hook to sinker.

“The birth certificate was made and mailed off to the state capital before anyone had their wits about them.

“Daddy near cried but Pap told him to pull up his lip ’cause I’d be the finest Prentiss Nolan Puckett yet.

“‘There’s magic in threes,’ said Pap.”

I can argue with Prentiss’ pap on that one. Threes just hum with magic.

The best threes come with two extremes and a balanced middle. I guess that’s why Prentiss, TangleEye and I made such a good trio; she made sure that TangleEye didn’t go flying off his orbit and that I didn’t get covered up by mine.

I’d known TangleEye as long as I’d known myself, really. My first conscious memory is of us swimming together, clad in soaked, drooping diapers full of river water. The Mississippi is dirty, but it will cleanse you like no other water can.

We were so little and the world stretched out before us full of humidity and mournful birds and no-see-ums dancing in the haze along the water’s edge. There were wildflowers and smiling mothers and gallons of purple kool-aid.

That was before TangleEye’s sweet face took a little hard plane to it, before his mother was pistol-whipped and left for dead by some Yankee drifter, before TangleEye was packed up and sent three blocks over to live with his Uncle Aubry and Aunt Marla. He was different then, and I remember.

I remember most everything and some days that is a curse.

 
|| April 6, 2003 || 10:26 pm || Comments (2) ||

I’ve resolved to not brush my hair before it dries this evening. Let’s see what that gets us.

Things are goofy-funny today (and I’m not even drunk):

‘Reverse balding’…that was the subject line of an e-mail I got earlier. Only, instead of reading it ‘reverse balding, I read it ‘reverse balding’, which caused a little consternation in mine blockhead. “What is this reverse balding,” I thought, “is it when you lose hair on the sides and back and not from the top? Is it when you don’t go bald from the center outwards and just the opposite occurs?” Then the lightbulb came on and your Very Own Favorite Stroke Victim muddled her way through it.

Dude, I was number twelve today in the search results for ’sick all time sleep a lot chew skoal’. I don’t know if I should find humor in this or if I should be unreasonably concerned about the searcher. Should I try and track them down and holler, “Good God, go see a doctor! You got me worried as all hell!”

Also of interest (to me, anyway, I’m sure you’re all comatose with boredom already) is that I was number six in the search for ‘how to make an exact replica of a wal mart receipt’. Yes, you got me, I am a criminal mastermind.

I lost seventy-five, eighty bucks on Kottke sometime today; I knew the P/E was too high! I knew I shoulda sold! So I did what any good, self-deprecating investor would do; I bought a few more shares.

Saw a report on the local-ish news tonight (yes, dear readers, sometimes in the realm of my limited exposure to teeveeville I stumble across such heinous things as newscasts and get sucked right the fuck in) about a convenience store robbery. Only this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill convenience store robbery.

The guy robbing the joint held the clerk up by brandishing a can of juice and threatening to bash her brains in with it. They didn’t specify if it was frozen concentrate or just plain ole juice in a can. I’m betting, though, that if he had nads enough and/or little enough sense to rob someone at juicecanpoint, he wasn’t wildly concerned with the fact that one would make more sense over the other. The whole thing reminds me of the part at the beginning of Gone In 60 Seconds where Giovanni Ribisi’s character Kip is asked what he’s doing just prior to robbing an auto dealership. As he extracts a brick from his trunk, he blithely calls out, “Gettin’ my tooool.” and then lobs the brick through a huge plate-glass window.

Thinking outside the box, folks. A fucking can of JUICE. Makes me want to brandish steel wool pads on the Impending Giant Liquor Store Knocking-Over Spreetm.

And how can I not be embarrassed about this??



Sponge Bob Square Pants: you like them square and
spongy.

Which guy are you destined to have sex with?
brought to you by Quizilla

For fuck’s sake (fucksakes?)!

Because you’ve always wanted to be squared away here’s the straight poop: Unofficial Dictionary for Marines

Outfuckingstanding.

Goodnight General Puller, wherever you are…”

 
|| April 5, 2003 || 12:38 am || Comments (2) ||

The Cosmos giveth and the Cosmos taketh away. No, really.

I had a shit week last week, from a myriad of standpoints. I felt robbed, cheated, waylaid, but not in an ‘ohpoorpitiful meee’ way. Just kind of hangdog, and a little bit broken.

But resolute. Always resolute.

I’m still tired from it, a tad soul-sagged if you will, and I feel like I could sleep a hundred hours if only given the proper linens and a dreamless mindscape.

Last Thursday I got two calls from two people far away but planted firmly in my heart and subconscious. One call was just a recording, machine-crackled and somewhat transparent, but it buckled my knees a tad nonetheless.

“Hey Bit, you there? I thought you’d be around….I’m okay, lots to do, but I’m okay. How ’bout you, you alright? Tell Mom and Dad I called, wouldja? garblegarble

The other call I received and it buckled me too, even though I was sitting down. I had to pull the car over during (en)duration of it, because it withered my insides some. Let’s just say I’m smoothing the wrinkles and that’s that.

Then things started happening this week. Little things, but all stacked up in a neat little drifty pile at my feet, inviting like fall leaves, asking me to kick pleasurably through them. LeslieTheGreat started blogging again, and wrote some very nice things about me. Tuesday I opened the mailbox to find a neat little square of padded envelope awaiting me. Nestled inside were two ceedees and one of them was so gorgeous and so fully addressed my current situation that I listened to it obsessively for two days (and why, oh why have I never heard of Joseph Arthur before now??). There were leather sandals with teeny flowers handpainted on them, there was a the definitive biography of The Clash, there was a Snoopy mouth harp which I delighted in procuring sound from. There was The Boring Angel (a.k.a. Chief Cook And Inane Commenter) leaving the Cycle Sluts From Hell’s “I Wish You Were A Beer” in my inbox.

Then today there was an unexpected check. There was a voicemail from a friend,

“So, I’m holding in my hand the new Alabama quarter (chuckle).

“Anyway, it’s got Helen Keller on the back. I’m thinkin’, ‘Is that the best Alabama has to offer? Helen Keller??’”

The delivery was impeccable, so I went off into one of my mirth fits that leaves everyone guessing at the level of sanity contained in this here noggin.

Then there was the letter, which caught me fully off-guard. Allow me the indulgence of sharing it with you, lengthy as this little rambling thing already is:

Hey Beth….

Maybe you’re surprised to be getting a letter from me. I hope it’s a good surprise, at least. I just wanted to let you know what a dear friend you’ve been to me. You have opened my eyes to different experiences, different people and different attitudes. When we talk, I’m guaranteed an interesting and intelligent conversation.

As you well know, when I first found out that we were going to be working together at the music store I didn’t exactly have a friendship in mind. I thought you were rude and listened to strange music. Somehow I quickly became ‘your own personal Barbara Walters’, making you open up and cry about some very personal experiences in your life. Out of this timid beginning grew one of the most special friendships in my life.

I know I have sort of gone into this before, but you can really never know how wonderful you were when my dad died. You hardly knew the man, yet you and your husband took time out of your busy schedules to come to the funeral. You gave money that I’m sure you couldn’t quite spare to help bury him. Not only that, you stuck around after the funeral while everyone ate and basically trashed my kitchen without looking back. You were the only person who stayed until everyone was gone and you took it upon yourself to clean my kitchen while I used you as my sounding board.

I know that you think this was no big deal, but it was a huge thing for me. That, and you were the only person besides my husband brave enough to tell me when it was time to move on, that I was letting the mourning take over my life. Tough love works, right?

From you, I saw firsthand how hard it is to overcome fatigue to get your dreams to come true. This reminds me that you are one of the few people I know who really understands how important it is for me to get my degree.

I’ve seen you take some hard knocks, ones that would crater other people, in the six years I have known and loved you. But I also saw how you have never given up. Not to mention how you’re always thinking, planning alternatives in case you need a back-up plan.

I miss the days of the music store, when every day we could meet people who lived a handful of miles from us, but in completely different realities than we did. I have to think Marshall County was a more fun place when we were given free reign to cut up with and make fun of people to their faces, all while getting to listen to great music. And we actually got paid for that!

Seriously, Beth, you have been an unlikely and wonderful friend to me. I don’t think that I ever say that to you on the few occasions that we actually have time to talk. You know that I am not an overly emotionally expressive person, but this has been my chance to tell you how important you are to me and thank you for just being yourself.

Your friend,
Christie

And I’m all breath-sucked and just ‘wow‘. Everyone should get a letter like that at least once in their lifetime, and I think I’ll take one day soon and clear my schedule so that I can sit in the stillness, pen in hand, and in long, sweeping strokes gift some folks with the knowledge that they are a blessing to me.

So the Cosmos fucks around, removing great chunks at times, but then It turns around and pours something finer and purer, surrounded by pleasant filler, in the jagged spaces left behind. The love you’re looking for doesn’t always come in the forms that you’ve fitted your eyes to see.

I keep learning that, bigger and bigger each time.

 
|| April 3, 2003 || 10:53 pm || Comments (3) ||

Some ten months ago, Tim Lutero’s weblog was hacked and all the entries were erased.
The person allegedly responsible for the hack is a weblogger who won ‘Highly Commended’ status in Guardian Unlimited’s ‘Best British Blog’ competition six months ago.

If the allegations can be proven, should this award stand?