February 15th, 2005

flavored with age

Free show, free show!

With ninafarina safely ensconced back in St. P., I have a whole week ahead of me featuring -- gasp! -- the potential for free time! Making it even better, the house is sorta clean, so I don't have to spend any of it scrubbing the bathroom floor or dusting my collection of Mexican art-deco soda bottles.

All of which is not to say I have nothing to do; I've got plenty of writing to keep me occupied. But for once, and for a very brief period, it's not freelance writing, and so I don't have a crushing deadline ahead of me. So, barring the stuff I have to do this week (work for a couple of hours on Saturday, a reading Saturday night*, and taping another radio show Sunday morning), I may actually be able to get some other stuff done this week. Stuff like:

- actually possibly seeing some of my friends
- playing Cities & Knights of Catan with rum_holiday (Friday? Sunday?)
- finally getting some work done on my crappy novel
- starting work on a collaborative humor book with someone
- getting some work done on another book collaboration with a different someone
- selecting some Ludic Log pieces to put into a collection I wanna pitch
- reviewing some restaurants
- working on yet another collaboration -- this one a comic book script
- making a doctor's appointment
- finally updating the Ludic Log after a thousand years
- shopping around a couple of short stories
- sleeping

Actually, that makes it seem like I'm busier than ever. Well, fuck.

ANYWAY to me, this seems like I have huge endless vistas of bountiful time stretching out ahead of me. Given the time-strains I've looked at for the last couple of weeks or months or whatever these things are that just ended, it seems like a vacation. Sometime next week I'll have to get on the stick as far as freelancing goes and start pitching some more stuff, and someday after there is peace on earth, all men live as brothers, and candy grows from dandelion trees, there will be a new issue of the High Hat for me to edit. But for now, I'm free like Roger Daltrey, only not so short.

*: Saturday night the 19th of February, 8:00PM, Quimby's Queer Store (1854 W. North Avenue, Chicago), Sanitary and Ship release party sponsored by Diatribe Media, featuring me and others. Be there!
flavored with age

Stillmo tit-bits

1. As my last post indicated, I will be doing a reading (Saturday night the 19th of February, 8:00PM, Quimby's Queer Store [1854 W. North Avenue, Chicago], Sanitary and Ship release party sponsored by Diatribe Media, featuring me and others. Be there!) Saturday night. This means, unfortunately, that I will be unable to do the SUPER SECRET SURPRISE YOWIE TOTALLY BLOW EVERYONE'S MIND thing I was going to do on Saturday, which was to drive twelve fucking hours all the way to Philadelphia for the sole purpose of saying goodbye to Paris-bound manningkrull and tamisevens, then getting back in the car and driving twelve fucking hours back. You have to admit, the idea has an insane appeal, to drive for two days for the sake of two hours at a party for people I only met once, but alas, time, money, and scheduling conflicts are gonna make it a no-go. Which is too bad, because I would have liked to see the look of shock (and aaaaaw) on Manning's face when I showed up. And also the look of non-shock on the faces of the hundred other people at the party who have no goddamn idea who I am, and don't care.

2. This one is for my gal ninafarina. I didn't know so I looked it up: a "pidgin" is a simplified speech used for communication between people with different languages. A "creole" is a a language that has evolved from a pidgin, but since then has come to function as the actual native language of a speech community. So now you know. And rest easier for it, I'm sure, because I imagine you stayed up all night wondering last night. (Note to people who are not ninafarina: I'm not saying that my gal and I prefer our pillow talk to be peppered with linguistic theory. But I'm not saying we don't, either.)

3. My beloved Phoenix Suns are in first place, not in their division, but in the entire NBA. Can this be a sign of a pending apocalypse? Might a team I like actually win something someday? Is it possible that my heart could take a repeat of the soul-crushing 1992-1993 seasons, where the greatest-ever Barkley Suns suffered defeat at the hands of the hated Jordan Bulls? Do I sound like a really bad promo spot for SportsCentury?
flavored with age

About the three people on the cover of the Oriental Trading Company's Spring 2003 catalog

The one on the left -- no, on your left, as you look at the picture -- is Karen. Karen is 43, but she can pass for being in her mid-30s with a lot of makeup and without the neck shawl. (She thinks the neck shawl covers her wattles, but really, it makes her look like a woman in her mid-40s who wears neck shawls.) She has good taste in haircuts and bad taste in men; she still hangs out at bars near college campuses and tries to pick up seniors. She's been divorced two times and her teenaged daughter can't talk to her for more than three minutes without rolling her eyes. She has an easy laugh and she's by far the most competent professional in the office, but she'll never make it past vice-president for the never-spoken reason that she's a woman. She likes Phil Collins and things that are peach-flavored or -scented. She used to be a big reader until she realized that it turned people off. Karen didn't really want to pose for this picture, but she doesn't want to jeopardize her reputation as a team player. She has an explicable fear of being buried alive. Her parents are British, and call her "our Karen", which annoys her.

Rich is the one in the middle. He used to be called 'Dick' when he was a teenager, but he changed it in college -- not because of the phallic teasing, but because he was then and is now an advocate of the power of positive thinking; he believes that using the name 'Rich' will cause wealth to flow to him. He is a salesman (or, rather, a 'sales executive'), and a pretty good one, though some of his clients silently notice that his collars do not fit well or that he has a tendency to sweat a lot. Rich is 38 and married with 2 boys, in whom he will be disappointed if they are not athletes. Rich himself is fit, but not athletic -- he is quite short, and only seems tall in the photograph compared to the two women. He describes bacon as his "weakness", and will be shocked to discover he is right after his first heart attack. Rich doesn't really listen to music; like most things not involving personal gain, it falls outside his sphere of attention. He is sure he doesn't like rap music, though he's only ever heard it in commercials, and a college roommate of his played Zappa for him once and he still talks about how crazy it sounded.

The last person in the photograph is Maggie. 'Margaret' is what most people call her but she has introduced herself to people as 'Maggie' since she turned 50. She is a receptionist/administrative assistant for the company and appearing on the cover of the OTC catalog is probably the best thing that has ever happened to her. Her husband left her eight years ago, but she still wears her ring, for reasons she finds difficult to articulate. Her husky voice is the subject of fun around the office, although she is not aware of this. Maggie -- let us call her Margaret, we have known her long enough -- is a hypochondriac and has dozens of self-diagnosed food allergies; her latest is gluten, and during a slow patch today she will surf the internet to determine what exactly gluten is so she can begin avoiding it, or at least talking about it. Maggie's son runs an auto towing service and is a part-time professional wrestler; they are devoted to one another and she is forever amusing her co-workers with stories of his exploits in the squared circle. She likes classical music and looks down at lowbrows like that snooty Karen who like pop.
flavored with age

Special for Yahoo! front page readers

I'M ALL OVER FREE CHICKEN! reads the ad on Yahoo!'s front page, advertising one free chicken strip on Thursday. That's lame, but it's not as lame as it could be. In terms of out-dated, limp-sounding faux-urban slang, they could have done even worse.

This free chicken is off the heezy for sheezy!
I'm all about free chicken!
I got free chicken all up in there!
I'm down with F-R-E(-E-C-H-I-C-K-E-N)!
I got free chicken'd!
I like the chicken, the chicken that goes "free"!
Free Mumia! And chicken!
My free chicken brings all the boys to the yard!
Free chicken in the house!
Jam on it! It being the free chicken!

Now you. Be trite. Prize for the best one is FREE CHICKEN!

(EDIT: Holy fucking shit, look at this insane fucking site I found while trying to find a static jpg of the "I'm all over free chicken" ad: it's "I-AM-ASIAN.COM", a page about how all sorts of ethnically rambunctious Asians just loves them some Mickey Donald's! Yes, gooks, wogs, chinks, ragheads, charlies, nips, and slopes can all agree, crappy American mass-produced fast food is part of the richness of the Asian experience! This has to be the most insulting thing since the 'everyone in this commercial is black' trend of the late '80s:

We're Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and our diverse cultures and our everyday American lifestyle are becoming one. We're hanging on to our great traditions while we move to the beat of the times. We honor our heritage and we love being Americans. From high fashion to high tech, from Asian Pacific American hip hop to haute cuisine, we're weaving the threads of our culture into the fabric of everyday American life. Whether we're celebrating one of our cultural holidays or enjoying a Big Mac sandwich, we're helping make the magic mix called America become even richer. And McDonald's is right there with us, everyday! We are proud of our cultural heritage.

Yes, whether we're working with computers or co-opting our culture for rich New York fashion plates, we can always take a break from turntablism and working at a takeout joint to enjoy a Big Mac sandwich, even if it's Chinese New Year! But not Ramadan! No beef for the Indians, please, but still, yum yum! It's a tasty and not at all patronizing experience!

MAN, MCDONALDS, SERIOUSLY!)