December 29th, 2004

flavored with age


Man, oh, man! Where the hell have I been? I haven't updated this thing, or any other thing, in forever. Well, the answers to the where-the-hell-have-I-been question are "in Minnesota with my gal ninafarina" and "pretty damn busy". But I finally got some time to plug something into the big content hole. I'll be updating later today about where I've been and what I've been doing, but for now, enjoy this stuff.

First, in case you haven't already, dig my contribution to the Pindeldyboz holiday issue, which is located here.

Second, there's a whole slew -- yeah, I said it, a slew of updates at the ol' Ludic Log, holiday-themed and otherwise. Check it out, y'all, check it check it out.

Last Monday: the now-infamous Edward Gorey rip-off annual Christmas poem.
Last Tuesday: Santa Claus visits his friendly neighborhood loan officer.
Last Wednesday: some of my co-workers attempt to remember Christmas carols.
Thursday: a real winner of a Christmas letter from prison.
Friday: Jesus, Mary and Joseph: the custody battle.
Saturday: my yearly Christmas message.
Sunday: a link to someone's rather laborious but entertaining Spy archives.
Monday: since I missed lists and sausage on Saturday, here they are Monday -- with a New Year's theme.
Tuesday: soul-searching at your local department store.

Share and enjoy.
flavored with age

This goes on almost as long as the time period it summarizes

Okay, so. Where I have been and what I have been doing.

LAST WEDNESDAY: Poked around writing much of the morning. Did some laundry with a room full of unpleasant criminal reprobates, due to inexplicable power failure and flooding of our own building’s laundry room. Took a cab to Midway Airport with the world’s most depressed cab driver, who complained about how hacking was a “young man’s game” and that the other drivers failed to appreciate his need to drive fast in order to earn a living. He would occasionally pick at a bottle of frozen water and complain it hadn’t melted yet, on a day where it was about nine degrees outside. Caught a plane to the Twin Cities; flight was amazingly fast. Attempted to figure out airspeed of the plane by calculating normal drive time and flight time; by the time I had arrived at the answer, the plane had already landed, which is probably less a testament to the speed of the plane than to the poor quality of my math skills. Met my gal ninafarina at baggage claim and exchanged many public displays of affection. Had light dinner at pub called the Muddy Pig; mistook apartment near rear of the building for bathroom with comical results. Went back to gal’s apartment and rocked the funky beat with both hands.

THURSDAY: Caught up on some writing while my gal was at work. Dicked around on the computer, bought last-minute gifts online. Read part of excellent William Gaddis novel. Decided to go for a walk in downtown St. Paul; discovered I had somehow forgotten to bring a hat. Received severe frostbite on right ear; noted that Minnesota weather was so sever that my iPod headphones actually froze into solid, tree-branch-like formation. Came home and ate jar of pickles that won a ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair. Wonderful girlfriend returned home and funky beat was rocked with both hands despite my stank pickle-breath. Went to girlfriend’s parents’ house to retrieve her daughter. Came home and hung around with gal and kid until kid’s bedtime. Called up another St. Paul pal, hipsterdetritus, who came over and hung out (bringing me an excellent CD full of funk and R&B gems from 1970).. He and I discussed obscure music while sleepy girlfriend nodded politely.

FRIDAY: Girlfriend had day off; we slept in much later than anticipated. Baby was cranky and didn’t want to nap or eat or anything, so much psychological game-playing was engaged in. Non-public displays of affection called for when baby finally took nap. Went to unbelievably crowded but swank grocery store to lay in supplies for Christmas Eve dinner. Meant to go to girlfriend’s parents’ house again but time did not permit given crazy condition of roads. Slightly less numbingly cold outside. Girlfriend dropped me off at apartment, picked up kid, and went to get kid’s father at airport; I read novel and tried unsuccessfully not to dwell on how nervous I was. Kid, kid’s father, and girlfriend arrived and I cooked way too much dinner of New Orleans dirty rice, which went over well despite improvisational nature of recipe. Drank entire bottle of Irish Cream liqueur due to high degree of immature, stupid nervousness. Kid went to bed, kid’s father went back to hotel, kid’s mother came home to find her boyfriend in alcoholic stupor.

SATURDAY: Christmas day. Up early to pick up kid’s dad, then over to girlfriend’s parents for ridiculously perfect holiday. Girlfriend’s parents live in Minneapolis suburb called “Little Canada”, which she told me was founded by Nucker midgets and I actually believed her for about five seconds. House next door to theirs features very interesting architecture. Their house borders a lake (not surprising, since Minnesota is the land of a googolplex lakes) which was frozen over; fat fine flakes of snow drifted down over the lake, providing perfect Currier & Ives ambience. Met girlfriend’s grandmothers, sister; drank girlfriend’s father’s tasty homebrew. Gave secret thanks that girlfriend’s family likes to drink. Played entertaining (due to humor value) but frustrating (due to my getting my ass totally kicked) party game called “Apples and Apples”; game was won by kid’s father due to bizarre unwillingness of girlfriend to help me put a fix in. Had delicious dinner; drank staggeringly potent Tom & Jerry. Kid opened more presents than there are in the known universe. Mostly she played with wrapping paper and tried to get her new toys to make noises they were never intended to make. Received nifty gear for home brewing (from gal’s parents) and book [Give Our Regards to the Atom-Smashers!: Writers on Comics], iTrip radio adapter for iPod, and subscription to literary magazine (from gal). Attempted vainly to load all of kid’s presents in car; dropped off kid’s dad at hotel and returned home to watch Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes using girlfriend’s new DVD player (a gift from me). Too tired to get through sporadically amusing film; went to bed early.

SUNDAY: Had to say regretful goodbyes to my amazing girlfriend. Had slightly longer flight due to worrisome presence of ice on wings of plane, but got home safe and did not have depressing cab driver. Came home and unpacked, went with my roommate thaitea to the grocery store to pick up goods for after-Christmas Christmas party with pals Lara and Jeff. Hung out with them for several hours, exchanged gifts (from Cori: Colson Whitehead’s The Intuitionist; from Lara & Jeff: Aqua Teen Hunger Force Vol. 3), ate, and watched old episodes of SCTV. Finally collapsed in exhausted heap. Did not clean house.

SINCE THEN: Have developed moderately nasty cold and terse, pronounless writing style. Have huge amount of writing to do (three articles for the paper, one for another paper, a pitch for a magazine, a couple of short stories to send out, two big interviews lined up with musician types, and a couple of job applications out for full-time writing/editing gigs), and did much catching up last night. Preparing for exciting New Year’s Eve party and Armenian feast at Lara & Jeff’s place. Did boring, filthy inventory yesterday at work, and arms were covered in machine oil from counting huge, potentially fatal rolls of coiled industrial steel. Received a couple of fun packages in the mail, including tasty cookies from janehex and this absolutely incredible drawing from calamityjon. Donated money to relief organizations in Asia rather than argue with bonehead running doomed internet forum. Now awaiting sweet, sweet sleep of death, or at least sweet, sweet sleep of sleep.

IN SUMMARY: I have swell friends, I have the best girlfriend imaginable, and Christmas is awesome. Please give money to aid typhoon victims, or at least, give money to me.
flavored with age

I love capitalism

US Airways Asks Workers to Work for Free

Workers Ask US Airways to Suck Their Dicks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bankrupt US Airways on Wednesday said it is asking nonunion employees who are not scheduled to work over the New Year's weekend to volunteer to work for free at its Philadelphia operations.

I think it's just delightful that an airline so financially incompetent that it managed to emerge from one bankruptcy just in order to immediately go bankrupt again has the stones to ask, in bad times, its lowest-paid employees to work for nothing over the holidays. What do you think the reaction would be if, were US Airways a profitable airline, the employees asked management to pay them double to not work? Probably pretty good, I bet.