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Cantabrigian blog...   
02:15pm 07/10/2005
mood: academic
Hello all-
I know I never update this one, but Laurie and I have just started a new blog about our unfolding adventures at Cambridge, which will actually be updated. I promise.
The address is:
Feel free to drop by!
Trust Jesus   
01:03pm 29/06/2005
mood: nummy
WARNING: This is long (viz. its length). Read only if very curious.

Perhaps a few of you will be worried that after a prolonged absense from livejournal I have returned with such a title as "Truest Jesus", but read on, and your fears shall be squelched.

I have given myself to Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. No, wait, I have driven across the country and now I'm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But how did I get here, you may ask?

The short explanation is that I have followed Laurie (who is now my fiance) here and she is attending a linguistics conference at MIT. Now I shall regale you with snippets of tales from the road -- that is to say, I shall give you something of a longer explanation but in a piecemeal manner, a method which may or may not reflect the mechanism by which we understand or remember our world experiences generally, and in any case it may be a good idea to observe or comprehend things thus piecemeally as they are often long and drivelly as for example in the case of this sentence, which might be to the weary a microcosm of experience in general, or just silly, or not bothered with at all, or given up, as most people (rightly) prefer greater adventures than such sentences as this. Read on.

June 12th, 2005: spent the night in Yermo. Read on.

June 13th: Yermo, CA to Grand Canyon, AZ.
Wildlife spotted at Grand Canyon include elk (2, hanging out in the campsite next to ours) and condors (possibly). The canyon itself was spotted, from many vantage points and at many times of day.
Excellent coffee consumed.
Awkward-looking stuffed raven purchased as trip mascott.

June 16th: Grand Canyon to Dixon, NM.
Drove through heavily mesa-ed Navaho and Hopi reservations to a rural adobe house in which many cousins are to be found. Said cousins purchase a Jersey milk cow with long eyelashes and big puppydog eyes. Princess Fluffy the cat has had her name changed back to Jewelry. Lluvia (mommy cousin) is an excellent cook. Laurie and I stayed in a small one-room house in which ten children had been raised at once, reports daddy-cousin Scott. Life is very interesting out there, and also very beautiful.

June 19th: Dixon, NM to Weatherford, OK.
Here's what we saw in that northern square-ish bit of Texas: Carhenge (row of half-buried Cadillacs), the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere (metal, huge, giftshop), insane-o rest stop (various interactive Route 66 displays on plasma screens, giant Route 66 mural in each bathroom, huge Texan stars wherever possible). BBQ lunch in Shamrock. "Trust Jesus" graffiti spotted on Oklahoma highway overpass. Both of us broke 100 in the windmill-spotting game.

June 20th: Weatherford, OK to North Little Rock, AR.
Another "Trust Jesus" spotted before leaving Oklahoma. Arkansas is weird. People look at me funnier than usual. Little Rock and the rest of Arkansas seem to be depressed and wary of everyone. First forests of the trip spotted. Southern peaches purchased. Not particularly good.

June 21st: Little Rock to Nashville, TN to Goodlettsville, TN.
People in Tennessee are much nicer than those in Arkansas. Campground in Nashville is down the street from the Grand Ol Opry and highly amusing. Free Country music concerts in the barn, for instance.
Unfortunately our tent was infested with spiders while we were out having ribs and we evacuated to Goodlettsville (selected for its name).

June 22nd: Goodlettsville, TN to Charleston, WV.
Ol' Bates has moved his Museum of Beverage Containers from Millersville, say the locals -- possibly to Springfield. Biggest letdown of the trip so far. Compensation is an awesome lunch: sandwiches the size of our heads for $3.00 at an Amish store. (Kentucky is awesome.) Charleston is smelly.

June 23rd: Charleston to Winchester, VA.
Charleston may be the smelliest city I've ever experienced, but the rest of West Virginia was beautiful. Cut through the Appalachians on small highways and found an awesome book store in Buckhanon, drove through little hangy western bit of Maryland. Who names a town Knob Lick?
(Sorry if this is dragging on, we're almost there...)

June 24th: Winchester to Quakertown, PA.
Free waffles for breakfast. Trust Winchester.
Have you ever wanted to purchase a Civil War soldier's prosthetic leg? You can do so at Gettysburg! Also, awesome bookstore. Actually Gettysburg is very moving -- the fields around it have been preserved and the battle well-documented so that one can walk around the tour spots and read about the horrible casualties suffered by all companies involved.
Independence Hall at Philadephia was closed, unfortunately, but we walked around a bit anyway. Saw the cracked Liberty Bell through glass from the other side of a fence.
Motel at Quakertown smelled like urine and cigarette smoke. Dinner of chips and mealy apples.

June 25th: Boston!
Through bits of Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and into Massachusetts. Our Bed and Breakfast (!) in Huron Village is very comfortable and has an excellent hostess.

From this comfort I write my first livejournal entry in quite a while. Hello! I'm engaged. I'm in Massachusetts. Free jazz seems to be emanating from either above me or below me -- this will have to be investigated. MIT is beautiful. I'm getting lots of reading done. I'm going to England-Cambridge in late September. I'll update more frequently, perhaps. Everybody, I need your addresses for postcard purposes. (Lewyer@gmail.com) Rock on.
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02:33am 30/12/2004
  In spite of divers personal sadnesses, when a group of good friends gather together there is joy.

I went to San Francisco and saw a Lichtenstein exhibit. Also some Rauchenberg -- fantastic as always. Boy do I sound like a jerk. Let's move on to the part after that, which was food: we went to this Italian place and it was awesome. Caffe Sport. Awesome.

And then earlier there was Christmas. I celebrated the birth of our lord Jesus Christ by acquiring some new shirts and puzzles. Nummy.

Jumping now to the future, I will be visiting Cambridge over spring break to see what's up with the Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics and schmooz it up with some Cambridge linguists. Also visiting Katie in London? To be determined.

The other thing that's on my mind is the prospect of a semester of cold bed and laurielessness, but then maybe I'll be able to read a billion books. Or perfect my moping skills.

Okay but here's the really awesome thing which will be happening in the near future: a buncha Davisites coming down to kick it in LA. Yes. This is going to be awesome. My apartment will be full of friends, lover, and space heater, and you can't beat that (and neither can school compete (c'est la vie)

(...et la vie est bon.)


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sweetest one yet   
12:16pm 04/12/2004
warsteiner is love
brought to you by the isLove Generator
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12:47pm 02/12/2004
mood: prismatic
The name of the rose
Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose. You are a
mystery novel dealing with theology, especially
with catholic vs liberal issues. You search
wisdom and knowledge endlessly, feeling that
learning is essential in life.

Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

What's up Umberto.

So it's been a little while. Geologically speaking. What does that even mean? I'll start again.

So it be's a wiley Liddel. Spickly Joking.
Meaning does. I will again.

I think the problem ("problem", not actually problematic) is that I got a girlfriend. And that I destroyed my internet jack with a screwdriver. All of this is true. We met at a Space Ghost marathon. Knifin around. We reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer.

In other news, I was in Davis for Thanksgiving and it was sweet. Ben turned on a faucet over his bed, thereby soaking everything including an innocent laptop computer bystander. Later we went to Sofia's and turned on the beer faucet.

In-between-while, my family turned on several foody faucets of Thanksgiving goodness, including the best damn stuffing I've ever had. Damn that stuffing. Damn it best.

Also on the Davis list, we hooked up burgers and books at Bogey's and Murder Burger, irrespectively. Many books were to be found, including one which sparked a loud and excellent conversation about Bernard Comrie and how neither of us had actually read much of Languages of the World. You should read that book. It is awesome. Also, his name is pronounced BERh-nud, and there is no reason to say his last name under any circumstance. Oh Bernard...

On the School Front, I have idiotically waited until the end of the semester to do any kind of work whatsoever, including some work which is now impossible to do. This means that I must either take a dip in my grades, or... make some shit up and hope I get away with it. We'll see how much energy I end up having. For falsification. Of life.

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I am the depressed champion   
12:35pm 03/11/2004
  So basically everything voting-wise was bad, bad, bad. First off, the County of Los Angeles never sent me my voting information. They sent me something that said my information was coming, but then it never did. OK well no problem, I'll just look it up online...

I live one block south of the USC campus, which has three adjacent polling places and one polling place actually on campus. I am in a mail-in precinct.
This is in the middle of a large, densly-populated urban area, in the immediate vicinity of four polling places, and it is a mail-in precinct. This is fodder for much conspiracy theory about the counting-ness of the South Central votes.

In any case, I ventured to three polling places, one of them twice, and eventually obtained a provisional ballot and voted.

And then this happened:

1.) Bush, as has been many times stated in livejournal, won the election. Not only that, but he won the popular vote. With a majority.
I think Karl has aptly expressed the feeling of dismay that we share for this. O my people.
2.) Republicans gained ground in the legislature. Boo.
3.) ELEVEN STATES passed CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS to define marriage as heterosexual only. Way to have your christian right heads completely in your asses, [waves of anger and pity-tinged loathing].
4.) FUCKING Florida requires parents to authorize abortions for their children. Similar sentiments to Florida (see 3), mixed with anger from previous election.
5.) My own beloved California fails to reform it's three-strikes law. I still love you California, but seriously...

Anyway. I guess I'll add this to the livejournal torrent of political rants. Go forth, little blather!
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I am the champion.   
04:10pm 22/10/2004
  I am the champion, Part I: "Awesome"

Yesterday was very, very Los Angeles. After work, I went to the Museum Of Contemporary Art (MOCA). I waited outside for my friends, who were stuck in traffic for an hour and a half. The museum was full of 80s art, including a lot of text art and a room paneled with chocolate. Then Nick and I went to dinner at a sushi place and talked about social issues and identity crises. Beer number 1.

After going back and having a glass of whiskey at Nick's place, we headed to the Standard. "the Standard" should actually be written upside-down in white block letters on an orange rectangle. It is a strange place. When we got there, the roof was full so we had to wait in the superhip, 50's diner style, 21st century chic style bar. Beer number 2. Talked up the bartender about the expensiveness of the drinks (beer No. 2 = $8), and eventually got so friendly with her that she put "the good stuff" in our gin n tonics and gave us a free glass of wine. The good stuff was really good, as was the wine, and I was definitely drunk at this point. Nick and I talk about James Joyce, the state of Western society, and the awesomeness of our bartender. I leave her a 35% tip, and we head upstairs.

The Standard, as I mentioned earlier, is a very strange place. On the ground floor, in addition to the 50's diner style / 21st century chic style bar, there is a fire pit which consists of some comfortable cushiony chairlike objects surrounding a glass rectangle full of water with a gas flame shooting up out of the center. There is also a lot of modular furniture which would definitely be more appropriate for an orgy than a conversation. Laid-back, live electronica permeates the whole.

Then we get past the large bouncer and into the deep-red padded elevator which takes us to the roof. The roof, is, amazing. There is a dance floor with a live DJ and a crowded bar and some comfortable chairs on the first level. Up the stairs there are strange plastic chairs that are un-anticipatably comfortable, a well-heated pool, and several enclosed waterbed-objects. Around the roof is downtown Los Angeles in all it's glory -- beautiful, towering skyscrapers and searchlights playing on the orangish clouds. Vodka and Red Bull, numbers one and two. The good stuff.

I leave with a bang, intentionally dropping my glass which threw ice everywhere. The glass may also have shattered, I don't remember. Back down the elevator, back to the car. Drive at breakneck speeds to a diner in Studio City where Nick had to order for me (I don't remember exactly why this was, but I know it had something to do with my complete wastedness.). Call Gabe a few times, leave apparently awesome messages. I wonder if I called anyone else, specifically girls. The world may never know.

I drove back home again at breakneck speeds and shed my clothing on the way into my bed. I woke up at 7 with my alarm clock, and then again at 11:30, and finally at 12:30. After sitting around for some time, I went and got a Fatburger and now here I am in this little box. Amazingly, I emerged from last night without a scratch.

I am the champion, Part II: "Indubitably"

Briefly: I emailed my old professor who is now the head of a linguistics research center at Cambridge, and he emailed back. He said I'd fit in well there, outlined the course of study I would take (MPhil, PhD), and said he hoped I'd apply. Woo-hoo!! This was not necissarily something I was planning on doing, but it's also not the kind of thing that I'm about to turn down. More on this to come, I guess.


. . . the end.
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06:11pm 06/10/2004
  Hi all-

Two days ago I discovered the abstract depth that is John Cage's 4'33''. The idea is that there is ALWAYS silence. Even in the midst of a crowded restaurant or by an airport, you can always listen to the silence beneath all the other noise if you try. Then when you focus on that silence, which is a very heavy presence when you find it, all the other sounds achieve a certain clarity too. It's a whole way of listening to the world, and also sort of a center-ing meditative exercise. Thank you John Cage. (Thank you world.)

Also. Also... No I can't think of anything else at the moment. Can't really follow up something like silence anyway. I hope all is well with all withall, and I shall try to gather some interesting happenings for future posts.

02:51pm 25/09/2004
  Close to God last night. Interesting fellow. Waves crashing, lights flashing &c. Snowflakes -> snowball, rolling, gathering sand.
(For those of you who can't know the referent(s), savor the aroma. (Black Opal shiraz.))

I perceive this is shaping up to be one of my parentheses-heavy writings. I would attribute some of the feeling to my wine hangover. Why does nobody else enjoy wine hangovers? I think they're fantastic. Perhaps I'm a Frenchman at heart. Or Australian. Maybe that's why I keep forgetting to put on deodorant.

Don't think about impusiveness, don't eat animals when they're still alive, and do take the time to get closer to God. Talk to Him in a loud voice about theology and Andy Warhol. Waves crashing, lights flashing, etc.
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01:54pm 20/09/2004
  I'm pretty tired, and I'm gonna tell you why.
I don't know why.
But I couldn't sleep for some reason last night. At the time I blamed it on the Mozart finale I'd just listened to (Symphony 35, IV "presto" (and "presto"s a bit of an understatement)). Or maybe the collard greens I made with really cheap sausage or maybe the fact that my roommate is coming to kill me, oh no wait I dozed off. Justin's sleeping. I think. Hmm maybe I should turn on the light and read, or maybe I wouldn't even have to since it's so damn bright in here maybe I should get curtains. Or a soundproof pod. For two. Just in case. Hmm I wonder what she'd say probably we'll go to the beach why do I always want to go to the beach there must be somewhere else maybe somewhere less cold I wish I didn't live behind a curtain (pay no attention to the man behind that curtain (what goes on inside that pod is private man (Private Maaaaann...)(...))), but I do love the way my curtain breathes maybe I should close the window maybe just roll over yes that's nice where was I... the dream stuffing bread down my pants to eat later, THAT was weird enough and I even thought so in the dream trying to find a hiding place in that palace so I could relocate the bread. Napoleon Dynamite maybe. Probably. [Mozart endless ii-V's presto finale] Ah Mozart you are lovely, and I actually heard very clearly the sonata form for the first time. I's even able to pass judgement on the second transition section -- "reaching a bit there Wolfgang", ha! I'm over-excited. I should go take a walk. I should never sleep again. Maybe I don't need sleep anymore, like that one month in Sophomore year except more naps this time.
Oh man I was totally drifting off to sleep for a minute there I must be falling asleep, maybe I shouldn't call Frau Kelber tomorrow morning don't think I'll be able to handle the German. Frau Kelber? Hier is Lewis, aus Amerika! Ja! Wie geht's Ihnen? Ja mein gott so hab ich gehoert (oder "hann ich gehoert" -- echt Saarlaendisch) das tut mir wirklich Leid, 'sist kaum zu glauben, mein Gott! Should I ask her how it happened? Should I mention how young he was? How he was a great guy? Is she still teaching? Should I ask? There were such good breakfasts there and Oli always used to make them speak Hochdeutsch for me. What was he, 24? 25? Kaum zu glauben.

Anyway I got to sleep eventually. Not for long, but it did the trick. When I got up the drano had cleaned the drain, Oli was still dead and I had to bring my trombone to conducting again. Like a ghost appendage sortof, except I still play it sometimes. Actually I played on my own time for the first time in like 5 months yesterday. How bizarre. Like it always was except I missed more notes. So relaxed. Hmm maybe I should take a nap (who am I kidding my waking life is streamofconscious just as much as) yes more naps this time yes.
Re: that other person's $50   
09:26pm 16/09/2004
  Today I went to pointless music history (pointless because of teacher, not subject matter) and then work. I worked for a really long time, accomplishing little things. I am satisfied.

Before any of this had happened, my landlady called me. Woke me up. She said "yeah so Katerli owes me $50 and she hasn't payed me yet, so just put an extra $50 on your rent this month uh-huh." (This final "uh-huh" is my landlady's nervous expression. She uses it when she is nervous, that is to say: every single sentence she ever utters.) Yeah, so listen. No. Actually, I am not responsible for paying your past tennant's cleaning fee, nor even for writing said tennant an email about the matter. Yeah go ahead and take it to your "higher authorities." You are wrong. Yes, within two minutes of waking up I was acually laughing and yelling at my landlady. Best of all she called back an hour later to inform me that I could go ahead and "not worry about that $50 uh-huh." I wonder if she actually consulted a lawyer.
Anyway my landlady is ridiculous and I own her and it's funny.
And I'm an asshole.

I think also that living in Los Angeles puts one in fast forward automatically, so that when I go anywhere else I have to slow down and when I come back I have to speed up again. But really I'm not built for fast-forward and everything here is sort of strained. This is a hypothesis I formed this morning while speed-walking to class, shortly before my friend told me that I walk like a robot. Maybe I'll start crawling to class.
Or skipping.
I'll sleep on it.
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10:51pm 09/09/2004
  I have entered a new era in my life. No, I'm not refering to the part about playing text twist like a fiend, although I do not deny this. I am refering to the fact that I seem to be becoming studious. While I have always been interested in thinking and academics, never have I done all of my class reading and homework with such diligence (since highschool when I was forced to). I'm also being pretty good about making it to all my classes, and on time. But who cares.
are rea reas care
scare car cars scar
Text twist has some weird words, what can I say. Like what the hell is a tun?
Maybe I should stop playing silly word games with myself and go back to some serious work, like reading critical linguistic historiography. (hmm this guy teaches at Cape Town... that would be cool...
which brings me to my next point: what the hell am I doing after school?!?!
And why doesn't doing rhyme with boing?

* * *
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05:33pm 29/08/2004

1.) Finished Everything Is Illuminated. It is now my favorite book.
Now reading the Power of One again, which I love. Soon I will read Tandia, which is the out-of-print sequal to the Power of One.

2.) Finished Human Wishes. Incredible poetry. Robert Hass is an amazing poet. I want to drink his words all I can, but I don't think I'll get any other books by him. Human Wishes holds a very special place in my heart, and need not be expanded or otherwise forcefully altered in any way.

3.) Read a transcript of my sister's recording my every action on a car ride to Murder Burger. Must have been quite a while ago, but it rings a faint bell. I faintly spluttered laughter in the library while reading said transcript, as it was the funniest thing ever.

4.) Party last night with special guests Katie and Suzanne, as well as surprise guest Kristen (who I did not recognize by sight, or have anything to say to, unfortunately) and happily Laurie, from my pool of linguistics friends.
I did not get drunk at all. Saving that for "real" birthday party, which will happen sometime this coming week.
Listened to Katie's brilliant idea (not at all ironical) for a dissertation. Katie is brilliant (light metaphor).
Witnessed a person I'd just met attempting to hit on an extremely bored-looking Nicole. Later witnessed same person stumble vomitously from the party with the assistance of Laurie, who is awesome. Don't pound a cup full of vodka. (Don't hit on bored-looking Nicoles.)

5.) (future even) Study session with Nicole in 10-40 minutes. Should clean self / gather teas (from kitchen cabinet).

6.) (happy finish) Reorganized my room and slept like a baby.
12:15pm 23/08/2004
  Here is Los Angeles, around me. Classes have started. I got into the classes I hoped I would. They are cool.
Went to a most-of-the-Great-Eight reunion yesterday, with tasty barbequed things.

Jumping back a bit, this is what happened for the remainder of my Chicago trip (without of course doing it a bit of justice):

Explored Hyde Park more with Karl. Played Civilization III with said Karl, thus confirming that we are geeks. Except now that we're college geeks, we drank beer while playing Civilization. We also went up to the North Shore and found an awesome book store winding around in the basement of an old brick building. Highlights included the giant stack of Greek and Latin texts next to the door, the general disorganization of everything, and the fluffy cat.

Then back to Deerfield and hanging out with Molly. Much excellence to be had there. I was introduced to Lincoln Park and its zoo, which is both excellent and free. Lay on the grass also, and read books in the sun. Rode the El and Metra, saw Millenium Park, ate a crab apple. Back through the farm on the way out.

Lunch in Gothenburg, Nebraska: the Randazzle Cafe, tucked behind a run-down, closed truck stop. Enjoyed a Randazzle Sandwich, which consists of a hamburger patty, grilled onions, and sauerkraut with mayonaise on toasted bread, all completely smothered in gravy. Clientelle = 60+, silent.

Speeding ticket immediately afterwards. I owe the state of Nebraska $241.

Night in Laramie, Wyoming.

Lunch the next day in Lyman, Wyoming, at the Branding Iron Cafe. Motto: "stop here or we'll both starve." Clientelle: locals, one in camo.

Bonneville Salt Flats:
Stop trying to imagine the Pioneers. Just me, now, walking in infinity.

Eastern Nevada in the rain smells like incense. It is incredible.

Encounter with suspicious police officer outside of Battle Mountain, Nevada. He slowed down to 35 in front of me (speed limit = 75), and then pulled me over and asked why I was driving 35 on an interstate highway. "We don't have a minimum speed limit here, luckily..." Yeah thanks asshole. No I don't have any marijuana. Night in Battle Mountain.

Next day, filled up tank in Battle Mountain, loaded Bill Bryson's "Short History of Nearly Everything" into CD changer, and drove all the way to Davis without stopping.

Goode olde hanges in Davis, birthday dinner with family. Back to Los Angeles. Briefly chillax. Classes Begin. They are cool.
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09:15am 11/08/2004
  There is much, about which to write about. The enormity of the Grand Canyon, and its peace that somehow transcends the presence of jabbering swarms. For instance. And the multi-lingual-ness of the jabber...

Also there was the skunk that walked unfearingly to within 10 feet of where Karl and I were having a conversation. How does one scare away a potential stink bomb who is standing about two feet away from one's tent? (Very carefully.)

Then there was New Mexico, with tasty food and a small swarm of babbling cousins. I played an interesting game of house(-ish) with my six year old cousin and her baby sister who tottered around after us. Getting to see Lluvia again (mommy cousin) was also nice. She's shaved her head! And when Karl and I arrived, Lluvia and Scott were at a club where the residents of Dixon were being exposed to goth-y techno. Dixon is a very small town. About 10 miles away from Dixon, half of which is a dirt road that gets badly damaged in the rain, es le casa mi cousins. They built it themselves.

Then after two days more of driving (through tiny dead towns in Colorado, Kansas City [ribs] and St. Louis [arch, reflection]), Karl and I arrived in Chicago. An hour later I was at Molly's.

I read Molly's poetry. Part of it I read in the botanical gardens, and part in her bed, in which I also slept (sans Molly). Deerfield is very, very similar to Davis, and I felt quite at home.

Then with Molly to the Growing Home Farm. We harvested and shoveled shit and I helped her paint the sign. Tasty food and good people at the farm. It's a little organic farm tucked between all of the huge soy-producing corporate giant farms near Marsailles, Illinois. It's on Interstate 80.

Now I'm back in Hyde Park, which is an *awesome* university town. Good places to eat, several awesome bookstores, beautiful campus. Why does USC have no bookstores at all in the neighborhood? Why is Chanos the best place to eat there? Why did I dream about Chanos last night...

The point is, that all has been well with me on my trip. I'll be a bit low on cash when I get back, but so it goes. It was wonderful to see everybody. I really feel lucky to know such awesome people (including you). In five-or-so days I get back on I-80 and drive as fast as I can back to Davis, after hanging out more with Karl and Molly and going to Pete's birthday party. I predict continued awesome. Also awesome will be in Davis, hanging out with Davisites on the way back to LA. LA will also be awesome.

* * *
09:26pm 30/07/2004
  Hey. I'm in Davis. Davis rocks. Davis people rock. Davis people: you rock.
Later tonight going to Ben's house. Make some noise. Drink some. Hang around. Some. All. Yeah.

I spent much of the day with my little cousin Annie, five and a half, who just moved to Davis. We played with my old playmobile set and ended up with a complex narrative loosely based on Pocahontis. My cousin is a gifted storyteller. Tiny person, babbling brook of stories.

I guess that's all for now. I'm taking off for Chicago with Karl tomorrow! So next update is probably from Chicago. Possibly from Molly's computer!

Everything is Illuminated.
04:23pm 26/07/2004
mood: actually pretty good!
So I showed up to my scheduled car service appointment this morning and met Oscar, my service representative. I explained to him that there were minor problems with my car that I'd like to get checked out before driving it to Chicago. Great, said Oscar, that should take about one and a half hours, two if you want it cleaned. That was a pleasant surprise -- i was expecting it would take longer. Time is 8:45. Give Oscar my cellphone, and he says he'll call when he can tell me something more specific.

So I walk down the street to some book shops and find some very cheeply-priced books. Very happy about that. I return to the Lexus place. Time is now ~12.

I ask if my car's done yet, and it's not. I make use of their fancy mechanized cappuccino machine. I eat my sandwich. I drink my water. I watch some of the Democratic convention. I start to read Everything Is Illuminated, but stop after a few pages because it's making me laugh like an idiot uncontrollably in the lobby. I switch to an essay on semantics, but am still laughing like an idiot because of residual Everything Is Illuminated. ("I will describe my eyes and then begin the story. My eyes are blue and resplendent. Now I will begin the story.") The fact that I am laughing like an idiot while reading an essay on semantics is fodder for more laughter. Eventually I calm down and stare at the TV. The woman next to me asks me the time. 2:10.

At this point I go to the desk and ask if there's any way to check up on my car. Desk person calls Oscar, who will come right in and let me know what's going on. Half an hour later, Oscar enters. Yeah... he... doesn't really know what's wrong with the car. Maybe I should get this thing replaced. Fine. Can I wait until tomorrow? No, not really. Oh, well we have to order the part and can't get it until tomorrow. Fine. I'll come back on Wednesday. Should take two hours.

For the pleasure of waiting around in West LA for 6 hours (instead of the expected 2), I am asked to pay $95.50. I complain, but to no avail. You see, this kind of diagnostic would usually cost TWO hundred dollars (original estimate was $100). And besides, I'll get a service discount when I come in on Wednesday -- from $300 down to $200. (6 hours of service is usually $200 and two hours of service is usually $300?) Why didn't you call my cellphone when the service took 4 hours longer than you said it would? Oh, you're sorry. Wonderful! I'll see you on Wednesday.

I was very civil to Oscar, and in retrospect I wonder if that is the definition of passive-aggressiveness? But anyway my quiet annoyance got me nowhere, so no harm done.

I think I drank some bad milk this morning, and I am dreading the consequences.

"I mount the autobus for an hour to work all day doing things I hate. You want to know why? It is for you, Alexi-stop-spleening me! One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family."
agricolae epistulas nautarum timent   
03:53pm 21/07/2004
  All. There is goodness. Therein.

It is very hot here, which goes unwell with urban, but in spite of myself I am happy. Playing guitar, working in the lab, not working on my other project, learning Latin, reading books. I found Pope Pius II's autobiography. Very exciting. The only autobiography ever written by a pope in office. Before being the Pope, he was a famous orator and a secretary for two popes, an emperor and an anti-pope. He also went on a secret mission to Scotland. Interesting fellow.

Reading more Robert Hass also. Never a dull moment.

. . . sometimes a dull moment.

Saepe articulus pigrus.


Habete dies bonum.
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wph-mac 19   
03:56pm 12/07/2004
mood: exanimate
So I washed my clothes the other day, and they came out smelling worse than they did before. I attribute this to my having left them wet in the washer for a long time before drying them.

And I've been reading Robert Hass alot too, and playing the guitar. Latest discovery: F Major chord. Very exciting.

Robert Hass makes me homesick, sort of, but for Northern California generally. Something coastal, I'm thinking: Mendocino county cliffside, crashing waves? Grassy hill? Chardonnay. Ocean breeze.
Maybe I'll be a rich, idle poet when I grow up. Or an artisan. I could make hand-crafted whatever. out of driftwood.
I could even start practicing here, on some of the junk in the alleys. Sanitary-shmanitary. Chardonnay->Mickey's. Seabreeze-> wafts of smog.

Hmm. Maybe I'll just learn some more chords on the guitar. Bar chords are still unconquered.

In other news, I went to Trader Joes and bought lots of yummy food for much cheaper than Ghetto Mart food. Why is it that the places in South Central are so expensive? Fodder for conspiracy theories, probably justified. Totally justified. Let these people go!

Yarr yarr yarr. Tonight I see Control Room again. Let's all give a cheer for anti-american sentiment! For borderline social consciousness! For Trader Giotto's pesto tortellini!

Well that wore me out. Time for some government-approved fun and another dose of soma.
     Read 6 - Post
squishy Lewis   
12:14pm 07/07/2004
  Yesterday I felt squishy. Don't know why. Possibly something to do with the developing callouses on my left hand.

Today I don't feel particularly squishy. There's an information session about Fulbright scholarships at 2, which might possibly bring my future into focus a bit. Also today might be seeing the Control Room, which would bring my anti-American sentiments into sharper relief. releif. reilef. That kind of thing. Moving i.

I'm reading up on Situationists and Bruce Nauman. Both yummy in different ways. Also Robert Hass:

"Suppose, before they said 'silver' or 'moonlight' or 'wet grass,' each poet had to agree to be responsible for the innocence of all the suffering on earth,

because they learned in arithmetic, during the long school days, that if there was anything left over,

you had to carry it. [. . .]

You hear pain singing in the nerves of things; it is not a song."

, which is very beautiful I think. Reminds me must see Control Room. Look up times after update. In fact, I think this update might be over. I hope all is well with all. Happy Independance Day.