Green Grow, The Rushes Go.

Wednesday, May 31st, 2000

I already told ya: get off the lawn!

Inch by inch, row by row. Over the long weekend, dad had brother Jeremy and I toiling our skinny asses off in the front yard, churning and digging and weeding and seeding the lawn with such useless determination that you'd swear 18th century Russian feudalism was still in style. In an unexpected twist of Fortune on Saturday morning, my father, (himself quite the maturing vasal), tore through Erik's cable line with a giant roto-tiller he had rented downtown. This forced my neighbor, stripped of television AND his internet connection, to come outside and trim those hedges for once.

The point is that today, like yesterday, began with me staring blankly at the brown ground, spraying water into the breezy ten o'clock air. I'm just trying to give you a sense of my daily life here. Why should I wait until I turn 45 to get really, really excited about gardening? If you ask me, it's time our nation's young people spent more time cooking meals and fostering plant growth, and less time watching Music Television, clutching their beloved skateboards. Actually, I've been researching Zen gardens and rock gardens in general, because I'm hoping to design and build something beautiful in the back yard this summer. You heard in here first.

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[lawn-watering, frisbee, walking, cooking spaghetti, eating garlic bread, drinking coffee, taking photos, net surfing, playing music in the basement with Jeremy, laughing my ass off at the new Kevin Smith Clerks Cartoon on ABC, eating banan cream pie, other uninteresting stuff]

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So anyway, while sitting at the breakfast table this morning, munching on a big brimmin' bowl of Boo-Berry, pouring over the Boston Globe, an article about this new treatment for cancer caught my attention. This technique is proving to be extremely effective, and it seems to have no side effects:

The idea behind these drugs is elegantly simple. Instead of trying to pulverize cancer cells the way standard chemotherapy and radiation do, angiogenesis inhibitors aim to shut off the tumors' blood supplies. If tumors can't attract new blood vessels to fuel them, they can't grow or spread.

Sometimes I forget how much I love science. My mother is a Nurse Practitioner in the field of Oncology, and dad works as a crazy scientist in the Biophysics department at B.U. Medical Center. I was pretty much raised on 321 Contact and books about space. I'm not sure how I ended up majoring in English, but I'm positive that its about time to renew my subscription to Discover Magazine.

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Erik: Why don't you grow a full beard?
Jeremy: Because I'd look like an ugly Viking.

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Why the Long Face?

Tuesday, May 30th, 2000

wool sweater, hard counter, soft lips.

The Boston band Morphine played a huge role in my high school social circle. We used to flock carload by carload to their concerts in Beantown and Providence, neighborhood and private school friends alike. Saxophonist Dana Colley's mother teaches at Plymouth North high school, and she used to hook us up with guest passes and autographed merchandise. Cure For Pain will always remain my favorite Morphine album, I think, but The Night lands a close second. I havent yet seen Orchestra Morphine live, but these beautiful black and white concert photos are a great window into their performance. You can almost feel the spirit of the late Mr. Sandman drifting across the stage in each image.

Here's some funny junk that was floating around two weeks ago that I never got a chance to mention because I was too busy shagging my secretary, tossing hot shallots around in my wok and running guns into Mystic, Connecticut. These ought to cheer you up after that long day shmoozing and grunting around that crispy-crimped function room with what's-her-name and that awkward looking bearded man. All of you, liberals and conservatives alike, are sure to enjoy The Top 17 Things Overheard at the NRA's New Theme Restaurant. And since you probably spend too much time smoking down and drooling over e-possibilities to have any political views, now would be a good time to get that website going, because there are only five domain names left. I'm partial to GrannySmellBad.com, myself. Hoopy-doo!

Sixfoot6: blogging two weeks behind the competition, bumping his head on you girlfriend's doorway.

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McWeblog: Thank You, Click Thru.

Memorial Day, 2000

and your phone number, you sweet thing

I've been out of the loop for a little while, and strange things are happening out there. Travels, engagements, graduations and other wonderful stuff. Join me now and help yourself to a couple of Chickenpart McNugnugs as I indulge in a big handful of french fries. Mmmm.... Ugh. Cough... yuck. Jeez.

I was poking around in search of the recently moved Malapropism when I stopped to reread The Goat Story. It's a true, tidy tale of desire, deception and defeat. So short, but so satisfying. Word up to Jenn, wherever she's gone.

I love Megan's sense of humor, even though I can't always tell if she's joking. She casually drops witty comments about her day-to-day life, but it almost seems like the humor doesn't interest her, like she doesn't care if we're laughing or not. That's what gets me. I cracked up when I read this portion of her May 24th entry, a letter to God:

I've had better days. you know, days when I'm not sniffly and slow in the head and pathetic and mopey. though I must say that a few of your wonderful gifts from above have cheered me up a bit. such as, the internet. thank you god. oh and the grapefruit that I just ate. I would like for you to know that I didn't even heap sugar on top of it. I ate it just the way you intended for it to be eaten, with a bamboo shoot.

You can't beat that. Plus, her daily webcam pic is addictive than Tetris and Shock Tarts combined.

I keep forgetting to add Entropy to my links page. I particulary enjoy his music related commentary and his more personal entries. And speaking of fresh college graduates, Raza has been consistently packing Highindustrial full of the most high quality, industrial-strength links and critiques and rants and asides and comments available in Cyberspace. I'm constently tempted to link to each of his individual posts, they're so freakin good. So, just go read them all yourself. Don't waste time here, my love.

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My Memorial Day was pretty quiet and domestic. Yardwork with dad in the brisk afternoon air, grilling chicken out back with extra barbecue sauce. Like Andrew, the Memorial Days of my youth were spent flag in hand, marching through the streets and cemetaries of historic Plymouth wearing a starchy Cub Scout uniform. I'd forgotten about those days. And when it comes to reflecting upon Those Who Have Given Their Lives, there isn't much I could write here that Zeldman didn't say already.

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A Dash of Pepper.

Friday, May 26th , 2000

place setting at the coonamessett in falmouth

Today I had lunch with my mom, my aunt and my grandmother, who just turned 78. Delicious chowder, yummy fish. The restaraunt we chose brought back memories involving my great-grandmother, who passed away when I was six. I have a very visual memory: I can picture her standing in a green and yellow hallway, surrounded by hordes of flowers, yellow walls, and green carpeting. I was in a foyer with many windows each composed of many panes of glass. There was a ramp and a great deal of light. She moved slowly toward me, inching down the hallway.

I rarely spend two hours with three women who are all over fifty years old. I sat, enjoyed my food and listened as an observer to their exchanges and stories.... The women in my family play a traditional but essential role, discussing domestics, people, and plans. They keep track of weddings and formalities and necessities and memories, discussing the activities and relations of the past, then sorting intentions for the future of our lives. Mothers take care of the little things that keep daily life in order, and I'm always reminding myself to appreciate that. But it's not easy to show gratitude for the larger role that they play: life is pretty worthless without family or community, and neither one can survive without someone around to keep track of the connections and stories that hold it all together.

Part of me wants to be the Big Male Provider, but I think I'd rather be the person who holds everyone together with ideas and gatherings and smiles and stories. It seems so much more interesting and important. I guess I already play that role, in many circles.

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Everyone is Made For Life.

Thursday, May 25th , 2000

a cranberry, Canterbury, icon of a home

It's warm now. The house looks the same as it did last May, last June, last September. It stands red and rectangular, like it did in Easter photographs and kindergarten drawings two decades gone. The spruce trees and rhododendrons grow scraggily, then get pruned, then grow again. There are many windows, many shingles. Sometimes a Frisbee or a baseball cracks against the wooden slats. Now snowflakes, now a sprinkler. How was your day, honey?

Inside, ten smallish rooms don't move around much, and the walls are lined with sensible pictures and posters and furniture and other objects too familiar. The mahogany-hued wicker baskets on the stained pine mantle outlive memories, barely noticed. A cool evening draft cuts through open space. Somewhere water dripping, the smell of chicken grilling, Crayola products strewn across well-vacuumed carpet, the yelping of a poorly-tuned piano. Candles wait in cabinets for power outages. Thereís dried mud on the hardwood floor. Pint glasses left on the porch fill with pollen and rain water. What day is it? Huh. The TV said something. A sound strikes, resembling the slamming of a squeaky door to a closet that wont fit any more shirts, brooms or towels. Light switches screwed tightly to the wall, dancing up and down, keep the air flickering. Itís late, but the stoveís still set on bake. Through the slider, the deck spans flat and dirty while the rope swing does its thing. Thereís vodka behind the door above the fridge beside the counter under the hot track lighting. Sheets, windows and flatware needs washing. Drip, drip, drip.

Itís warm now, and hot cars pull onto the street, blasting rock and rap and Top 40, rolling out of the neighborhood past lawn mowers, dog walkers, and BMX bikes, with the occasional careless floating across yellow lines. The errands seem easy, the shopping list looks long, talk radio sounds funny, sunlight is comforting, cups of coffee are still pretty cheap. People are everywhere, in sneakers, sandals and soft shoes. Concrete well swept, comfortable benches, fingers pressed against store-front glass. Smooth-skinned hands hold each other tightly. Smells of salt air and sandwiches slide down the beach. Cars move left and right. Sit still, stand up, watch and walk and drink and listen. Green plants, fast motion, delirious laughter.

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Shame On Me.

Friday , May 19th, 2000

the view across glimmering Cape Cod waters

Allow me to offer my formal apologies--I know I haven't been posting to my full potential, and I'm sorry. Believe me, I want to make this work as much as you do... but sometimes you're difficult to deal with, you know? Like when we were at that fondue restaurant and you scolded me for insisting on wearing a yellow bib. Sometimes I think that, way down deep, we want different things from life. And that worries me. You want a little doll to play dress up with, to cart around and show off to your old sorority sisters, and me... I want candy. I promise to try harder, my little Corn Pone Belly Bottom.

I'm going to write up a storm today, just for you.

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I love having a website, because it's given me a chance to make all kinds of new friends. For example, here's an email I received today from a fan of the site. I get two or three messages like this every day:

Hi,

I was just checking out your Web site and wanted to write to you and compliment you on it. Plus, this gives me an opportunity to let you know about CDNOW's Cosmic Credit affiliate program and how you can earn cash through your Web site. See, as a member of Cosmic Credit you can earn up to 15% for sales made through links to CDNOW.

Cosmic Credit is a FREE program, dedicated to developing a grassroots music community on the Web -- one that gives every fan on the Internet the opportunity to learn all they can about the artists they love so much.

[blah, blah. blah! blah blah.]

Make your site work for you and give your visitors a reason to return time and time again. I hope I've sparked your interest -- a site like yours can only be an asset to our program.

Thanks,

Brian Sokel
Cosmic Credit
cosmicmail@cdnow.com

P.S. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Wow! Thanks, Brian. I'm glad you like the site. I was having a bad day, but now I'm starting to feel a bit better. Your compliments mean so much. How kind of you to take time out of your busy day to send me a little bit of sunshine. I owe you big time.

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I've been thinking quite a bit about Ms. Uhl's Theory About Small-Framed Guys. This piece is very well written, and I'm convinced that her theory is accurate to some degree. Larger-framed men seem less frequently to be consumed by creativity and curiousity.

It might be time for me to write up my Theory About Medium Framed Brunettes. That one's been in my head for years.

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Yesterday morning I woke up at 11:44 and immediately began cursing myself, because I realized I had missed most of the discussion of web logs on NPR's The Connection. Despite LaBaron, that pompous ass of a caller, Brad, Evan, and Rebecca did a fantastic job of presenting the medium to the "real world". They discussed specific sites and content, but kept the show focused on the possibilities of web logs. Mad Props to you guys..

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If Jackie Chan and Steven Segal and fought to the death, who would win? Let me know what you think, and why. Remember, Jackie has silly fresh moves, but Steven has a calm, spiritual strength. It's a tough one.

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Soul Sucking Jerk.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2000

boxes. sunlight.

If you're like me, you like me. And if you like me, you'll love monkeys. And if you love monkeys, you'll like MonkeyLove.net. It's, like, where people who love monkeys like to hang around and exchange stories. I love the idea, but I haven't officially joined yet. But I will. Thanks to my friend Seth for emailing me that one. Also, Seth happens to be a bastard because he's going to a Modest Mouse show on Saturday, and I'm not.

The redesign looks rad, of course, but Jack, you're far too kind. If this were a perfect world, I'd hop on my Leer jet right now, fly to the west coast, and Tarzan down from the Golden Gate Bridge, stretching out in mid-swing to plant a kiss on that big-ol' Keanu Reeves-lookin' head of yours, just to say "Hey man... thanks. Thanks." Then I'd come work at Pyra, since that seems to be all the rage. In fact, Jack, that's a promise--I'm going to do both of those things. So help me God.

I have to sleep now. Tomorrow it's the same old grind. No pun intended.

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"Frame a picture or pickle some ham."
There exists no finer line of poetry in our modern era.
Indeed, my friend and neighbor Erik has lost his mind.

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If I had to choose a popular fad from the 1970's to make a comeback in the 21st Century, I would definitely pick streaking over phreaking. If you agree, then perhaps you should plan your schedule around the Calender of Nude Running Events.

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No Woman, No Ry.

Mother's Day, 2000

lunch with mom at bert's last week

My first clear memory of my mother dates from when I was about three years old. I'm sitting in a big chair staring at a television, in the smallest room of our house that years later became my bedroom. It's wintertime, early in the morning, and I'm excited to watch Captain Kangaroo. My mother stands in the doorway wearing a long, purple robe. She hasn't put in her contacts yet, so she's wearing a pair of glasses. She hands me a bowl of hot oatmeal, and I begin to eat it, staring at the T.V. She leans against the doorframe and watches me for a while, purple robe flowing, but I don't look up.

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My extended family has a tradition that has lasted twenty years: on Mother's Day, at twelve noon, we meet in the clubhouse on the Woods Hole golf course for a delicious buffet meal and the accompanying inter-family chit-chat. Then we step out back for a little mid-afternoon putting around the practice green, we sit in the sun, and we take a big group photo. My mom can line up twenty photographs of the whole family standing in the exact same place. They almost work like a flip book.

I don't have many of these kinds of traditions in my life, but I get a special satisfaction out of the few that exist. I'm addicted to change, to the designs and progressions visible when you glance sideways at the movement of time, to the discovery and consumption of new things. But I wouldn't survive for a minute without the friendships and places and middle class traditions that stay the same year after year, because I'm too much of a hometown-family kind of boy. Ritual has a wonderful power to make connections that slice through years of empty space. Rituals unite multiple occassions into a single, solid pillar of activity and memory. I love to feel like I'm participating in an event that's larger than my present experience, one that has happened before and will happen again.

And if I don't know what I'm talking about, slap me.

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Goodnight Moon.

Goodnight, Bowl of Mush.

sly moon in a brick sky

Sigh.

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Webloglog - "100% complaint filled bitching and 100% navel-gazing useless blog-related crap."

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My hero Andrew recently linked to David Lynch.com, a site that offers two erie sounds and two simple images--just enough to get my mouth watering for the full launch of the site. My brother and I have just decided to watch the entire Twin Peaks series again this summer. It's a shame that television has no idea what it's missing these days.

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Tall Boy's Life Still Silly Joke

Thursday, May 11th, 2000

dearest dan seated in his parent's kitchen

This image began as a photo I took during the cold, dark and rainy New England cycle that was yesterday. For the first time in months, I spent some time with my good friend Dan. You remember: Daniel, the nimble hot-rallying Omnician. We had plenty of travel stories to exchange and ideas to discuss, and hanging out with him brightened up the day. It's always an emotional experience, catching up with with close friends who I havent seen in a while.... I rediscover periods of memories and parts of myself that have been lying dormant, and grow excited about Connections and Big Questions. And then I'm reminded of alll the other people who captured a part of me, and I wish they were around too. One at a time, I think.

A List Apart recently published an article entitled DigiGlut that discusses the explosion of information (accompanied by an explosion of advertising) that has transpired on the Web during the past five years. As author Bob Jacobson states, "there is just too much stuff out there". And I have to remind myself daily that I will never be able to metabolize it all. Sometimes my habit gets me into trouble, since I can't possibly keep up with the hundreds of great weblogs I've encountered. When I was in college, I used to bounce from room to room around my dorm floor, trying to maintain tight friendships with everyone at the same time. Of course, that was impossible. I did the same thing in the halls of my highschool, now that I think about it. I like attention and I love people. And these days it's a constant battle to grok as many people as possible--all at once--through visits to oodles of personal sites, and emailing, and messaging. Plus interaction with actual, non-virtual folks. So, Let's take a moment to recite our Daily Hypermation:

I, ___________, realize that there are far too many neat things and people and places on the Internet for me to follow even a fraction of them on a regular basis. I must remember to keep abreast of my own life before I attempt to keep abreast of the lives of 37 others, particularly when these 37 others are people whom I have never met. I realize that I am only one person, and there is a limit to the amount of information my brain will hold. I neither want nor need to consume input like that cracked out robot Johnny Five did in the movie Short Circut. I believe that that movie sucked. I realize that my body was not designed for straight 18 hour sessions of web-surfing. I promise to eat once in a while, and go to bed at a resonable hour so that I will not fail out of school and/or get fired from my job. Once each day, I will walk in the sunshine or visit a friend if I have one.

Today I began working in the back office of a local pet cemetary. My office is next to the crematory. No, I'm not joking. Yes, really. No, I am not responsible for the cemetary's poorly designed website. Yes, I'll have plenty to show and tell on the employment front in the coming days.

Look Who's Blogging, Too.

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Most Precious Diary:

Wednesday, May 10th, 1621

The grand Vessel that brought my kin and I to the Colony.

Long has't been since last I put Quill to Parchment to record the recent events of mine Life. Th' Sabbath is not three days gone, but, dear Diary, cannot ye feel the sands of Father Time falling swiftly through thy fingers? The Lord's day of rest will soon come 'round again. It is my profound Wish that I shall continue to capture the Trials and Tribulations exp'rienced by myself and my fellow Settl'rs using this Cock's Feather and the Lamb's Blood in my Inkwell. Forsooth, our Settl'ment has endured much Peril and Hardship during our first Winter here in our New World Colony, but the coming of Warm Weather has most greatly infuenc'd the Health of my fellow Pilgrims. Truly, the Heav'nly Father works in many ways mysterious, and I am made curious--to where is Jack Frost exiled during the warmer Seasons? Perchance the frigid Mountains of the West offer safe harbour for his Tempest'ous Designs, among Glaciers of Ice and Tribes of vicious fleash-eating Sinners.

My good Wyfe Charity roused me early Monday mourn, for there was much Planting to be done by the Gentl'men of the Colony. Ere my departure to the fields, I climbed into my Thrice-stitched Sheepshank Trousers and swiftly mast'cated a Breakfast of pounded meal and Sour Goat's Milk, as every mourn I do. I forbade Charity to take a Breakfast, for to my Displeasure she has in recent weeks grown most desperately Wide about the Buttocks.

As I approach'd the Planting Fields, I took notice of Myles Standish and some other of my fellow Settl'rs gather'd in Circumfrence around two large Redskins. By their forms, I knew them to be Squanto and Samoset, two exceedingly meddlesome Injuns who had a sometime profic'ency with our Fair Tongue. Under their black-eyed advisement, too many of my fellow Colonists have pour'd extended hours upon the Fish'ng Raft, only to see that Bounty of our great Blue Sea stuffed into the Filthy Earth and left to Decay with an Odor most Foul. The acts of these Injuns make shrewd my Head, for with The Almighty as my witness, I think it better that Fishes of the Sea find their way into our Hungry Tummies, not into the heart of our Lands where they are abandon'd to decay with the Excr'ment of Kine.

I gripped tight my Musket, as these Barbarians were to me a Great Offense and a most Blasphemous Impos'tion. The Good Lord's strength was strong with me that Monday Mourn, for I then swore upon the lives of my Children and my Children's Children to cleanse our Blessed Colony of these Uncivilized Redskins. Pressing my hardened palm to the O'ersized Brass Buckle upon my woolen hat, I vowed to track and lay fall to these Injun pests as had I done oft times with Big Game in our Pine Forest. Mine Eyes grew Fierce in anticipation as closer to the Circle of Men I drew...

I cannot yet continue, most Precious Diary, for my Quill has grown Blunt, and the Tempered Blood has grown Scarce in my Chalice. I shall continue once another Lamb has been Slaughter'd...

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The Lamb did put up a most Furious Fight, but now can I continue my Telling of Tale.

As the Length between us did lessen, it became to me Apparent that my fellow Sett'lers had joined the Injuns in the Performance of an Estranged Unciv'lized Ritual, wherin each took a turn at Lofting a small Sack O' Beans into the Ether using a Part of the Body. This Sight was to mine Eyes as a dev'lish Blow to the Head, for to observe Good Gentlemen of the Colony pract'cing such Hedonist Voo-Doo caused me great Angu'sh. O'ertaken by the Power of the Lord, how Swiftly did I spring forth and snatch from them the Sack O' Beans! Seeing this act, Squanto entered into a Great Rage, and exclaime'd aloud with a Furrow'd Brow.

"Yo man, what the fuck are you tryin' to pull?" As he spoke, Squanto made towards my Body a steady Approach. "You got about ten seconds to give that back before we mess your shit up. Are you crazy, or what?" I spoke no reply, for Greatly Limited was my Knowledge of this Tribal Toungue. Swiftly did I raise my Trusty Musket for to ward off his Accursed Voo-Doo. And Swiftly again did mine Heart fall heavy in Sadness, for 'twas a Settler, a Companion to me, who took from me this very Musket.

"Gimme that umbrella, you costumed fuck. You lost, my man? You lookin' to get your ass beat?" Already they had Pois'ned my dear friend's Mind, but I vowed it my Duty to turn his Face again Fully toward the bounty of the Lord.

"Chadwick, my dearest Chadwick--is't not Too Late to save your Beloved Soul from their Blasphemous Redskin Perils?" I cried out with a most Passionate Fervor, and fell upon mine knees in Prayer. In Defiance, they rais'd against me many Irreverent Voices:

"'Chadwick?' What the fuck?"

"This asshole wants to perform? Beat his skinny ass back to Broadway, B."

"Fuck that, yo. Beat his ass back to Bellview".

"Word. No one interrupts my hacking, you mental prick."

Then did the Barbarians invest a most Great Length of Time laying blows to my Skull with their Clenched Fists, and striking my Behind with my Musket 'til I was wanting of Death, left alone upon the Planting Fields to face my Bloody Judg'ment in the Lord's Kingdom. Long did the Sands of Time fall ere I found myself Able to rise and ride Homeward with my fellow Colonists upon the Subway.

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We Put The Okay in Croquet.

Monday, May 8th, 2000

a jolly good game on the grass by plymouth's town brook

A warm, exciting weekend, full of walking, croquet, and frisbee. And more smoothies. But now it's Monday, and there's absolutely nothing happening. No news of any interest. No memes to relate. It's dead out there. Actually, All about my Vagina is worth mentioning. Read an honest, comprehensive and educational look at every facet of one particular woman's vagina.

Here's something for you to play with: the introductory paragraph from an essay I wrote in 11th grade, at age fifteen. I'm taller now.

The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, is a story with a very simple plot: a man's struggle to catch a fish and prove to others, and maybe even to himself, that he is a good fisherman. Everyone has some kind of a fish, or struggle, in their lives that they must continually deal with. I personally, as well as most people I know, have not one fish, but a whole school of problems which must be faced. Very few, if any of my fish seem even closely to parallel Santiago's struggle with a giant marlin. The old man's struggle is not one between himself and some external object or thing; his fish is part of him and he loves it. In fact, the struggle in the book is hardly a struggle, it is more a competition between friends. If I have any "struggle" similar to Santiago's, it is my constant struggle to learn how to act- how to be myself- and how to feel comfortable with it. I am very self-analytical and critical; this causes me to often feel uncomfortable with my own behavior, and to be afraid of what other people think of it. It is important to me to move past this dilemma, if possible, and gain some self confidence.

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A good habit for Blogger users: once a day, when you're fully logged into your account and you finish posting or editing, visit a site on the Recently Updated list that you've never visited before. It's a habit that promotes community, and sometimes it's a pleasant treat.

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Return of the Small Blue Boy.

Sunday, May 7th, 2000

plymouth beach, sandy, grainy

Morning milk makes many the grassroot pod, but cryptic posts leave low our lantern light. Here ye, hear ye, my small blue buttons.

Ingredients for a good weekend, in no particular order:

parents out of town.
homemade fruit smoothies.
waking up early.
two hours of frisbee.
lunch with mom in the late afternoon.
late night tree climbing.
coffe walks.
a downloaded Modest Mouse concert.
Annie's Shells 'n Alfredo.
swinging on a rope swing.
nostalgic conversations.
walking downtown with friends.
four hour marathon of UCB.
laughing with sister.
biscuits on a Sunday morning.
bumping into old friends.
"Let Me Lick Your Wang!"

If you have a high speed connection, I highly recommend that you head over to Ad Critic and check out President Clinton - Final Days. It's a six minute film that the president made himself, and it's hilarious. He just wanders around the White House, trying to find something to do. There are cameos from Kevin Spacey and Stewart, the Ameritrade kid. Dope.

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Suck My Oil. Or Have a Corona.

Cinco De Mayo, 2000

oil on erik's driveway

It really felt like spring this morning, with sunny, 65 degree weather, so I decided to do a bit of spring cleaning. I ran a reorg on all of my dresser drawers, becaue things have been gettin' a little ecclectic in there. And do you know what I found? Fifteen unmatched socks. Fifteen loney, unmatched socks. Fifteen socks that match none of the other socks in my room, and none of the socks that my brother and father posess. Jesus. There are forces in our world that we will never understand, like static electricity.

Thanks to everyone who emailed me supporting comments following my discovery of this dubious honor. I actually find it pretty amusing. Mostly. There's no press like bad press, I guess. Yes, I'm actually more offended by the photo at the bottom of the Don't Blow index page. Uhgg.

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Zannah is famous.
Zenith is foolish.

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Caught In a Web of Love.

Thursday, May 4th, 2000

oklahoma grasslands, march 2000

I remember the first time I ever saw the irresistable ILOVEYOU virus. I was at a Stuckey's general store on Route 40, about 28 miles outside of Yukon, Oklahoma. I'd been doing volunteer charity work on a late night chicken farm. It was tiring action, and my mouth had grown parched. The commute back to Elk City was long, so I'd need to wet my whistle along the way. With dawn sneaking up behind my Monte Carlo, I hopped the median strip, swerved across the eastbound lane of the freeway, and slid to a halt just inches from pump number two at Stuckey's. I needed leaded gasoline, and lots of it. But first things first.

As soon as I walked in, I knew something rough was gonna go down. This Stuckey's seemed smaller than most, and the usual smell of fried-egg-sandwiches and cigarettes was missing. Instead, I smelled trouble. There was only room for two tables in the eating area, and the Little Debbie's snack shelf was squished into a corner. I couldn't find cheap plastic sunglasses or roll-on deodorant anywhere. Strange indeed. I moved softly towards the soda fountain and helped myself to a 64-bit tank of Mr. Pibb. I took a sip. It hit the spot.

Then I saw her.

She was wearing patent-leather pumps, a form fitting denim mini-skirt and a tank-top with "Betcha Can't Catch the Love Bug" written on the back using a Bedazzler. No socks, tights, or stockings. Her body was sleek, but her lips were sleeker. I grabbed a bag of CornNuts and pretend to look busy. She looked my overalls up and down, gently swinging her shoulders back and forth, back and forth, to the sound of Boz Scaggs coming from the clock radio. She knew that part of me wanted her. As I awkwardly fumbled with my droopy mustache, I knew she was bad news.

"I love you," she said with a bees-knees honeycomb voice, moving toward me with what looked like a standard sized Manila folder in her left hand. "And I have something for you, Frederick."

"I bet you do," I replied with a grizzled snarl, "but I'm not Frederick, and this isn't exactly Prussia, if you know what I mean." I reached for some Johnson's Beef Jerky. If we were going to chew the fat for a while, I wanted something with a nice smokey flavor.

"Prussia?" Her voice was insipid, but I had no idea what that meant. She pulled a love letter from her folder, and offered it to me.

"No thanks, crazy woman," I said confidently.

She hadn't expected that, and for a moment her left tentacle shuddered in confusion. Then her eyes lit up, and she fixated them on my bow tie. "So you're a traveler, eh? Have you been to the East Indies?" She was asking too many questions, and I was starting to get nervous. She had a secret, a dark secret, and I wasn't sure that secret would keep. I was walking in my sleep, backwards toward the candy aisle. She spoke again. "Would you mind giving me the names and addresses of some of your friends?"

"Nothing doing," I yelled as I turned and ran behind a rack of poorly manufactured tee shirts. I knew she was one of those heart-shaped alien viruses that I had heard about from Art Bell, and damn if I wasn't going to do my damnedest to stop her dead in her damn tracks. Damn! Something had to be done. I pulled a "What Would Jesus Do?" tee shirt from the rack, and began winding it up into a makeshift locker-room whip.

To show her that I meant business, I threw down one of my buckskin gloves.

She didn't expect my challenge, that temptress. Aghast, she backed away, dropping the letter into a pool of spilt cheese sauce. I should have stabbed her with my eyebrow pencil then and there, but I couldn't move fast enough. The viscious Love Bug faked left, grabbed a box of Snowballs from a nearby shelf, faked right, smacked me square in the middle of the face with the very same package of economical pastries, and dove over the makeshift cash counter in a single fluid motion. I chased after her, flailing my Christ-whip, but it was too late. There was a flash of light, so I ducked and covered.

Behind the counter, next to a stack of cigarette cartons and seven Whatchamacallit bars, was a single rotary telephone. The headset was off the hook. Beside the phone I saw wisps of smoke and a pile of Bedazzle beads.

"Damn that worm," I said, fists clenched. "She got out!"

7:03 PM | plink



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April Showers bring...

Tuesday, Something Something

captured myself standing above plymouth rock

I was going to write about something amusing, but then I found this. Now I'm laughing on the outside.

3:04 PM | plink



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2 PM: Laser Bizaginal Rejuvination.

Monday, May First, 2000

antiques in the early morning sun.

I woke up at 6:45 this morning, after a full night's rest. I climbed out of bed, expecting to stumble around in the darkness, but as it turns out, the sun (that bright thing at the center of our solar system) started going up into the sky before I stopped sleeping! So I could see everything pretty well. Then, being productive, I put up those photos of Saturday's Built To Spill show. Also, I ate breakfast by myself while reading Teen People.

"Ficuses are running for office around the country. A potted plant may already be campaigning in your state." Michael Moore thinks that a Congress full of Ficus plants would be an improvement. The idea is that it would be nice to have less hot air and more oxygen from our governing officials. True. True. While you're at it, check out Moore's words on the Elian Raid: Next Time, I Want to See his Finger on the Trigger.

Found at my local supermarket: yo baby. Huh?

Beck week began last Tuesday. So, uh, it's ending today, on a Monday. And here we go with two more super-duper tracks, you silly dilly.

Runners Dial Zero (3.7 MB)
Arabian Nights (7.7 MB)

Runners Dial Zero was recorded during the two week recording session that produced Beck's 1998 album, Mutations. Its the most slow and brooding song he's ever recorded, I think.

Arabian Nights appears on the Japanese import of Midnite Vultures. I love this song. It begins with the sound of farm animals being sprayed with machine gun fire, and it only gets better from there. The lyrics paint a darkly comical portrait of the war zone that is Los Angeles. The beats, rap, and turntables eventually give way to descending acoustic guitars and vocals, and the song ends quietly. It's a somber tune. This is the Midnite Vultures "missing link", in my opinion. That minute long noisy hidden track is in there, too. Enjoy.

3:34 PM | plink



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all content copyright 2000 ryan d gantz.
how can he stay so skinny, and live so fat?