E x p l o d i n g P l a s t i c E i s t e d d f o d d
May. 21st, 2015
02:28 pm - Dream 5-21-15
I had the feeling of being a young and aimless teen again. Mooching around my parents' home, drinking more root beer than was good for me, not doing my chores. I finally got routed out of my sloth by my dad, who insisted I mow the lawn.
As usual, he'd padded my work for me a bit by mowing the parts of the lawn around the house itself, leaving the big half-round expanse of the front to mow. And it was shaggy, in need of a trim. I started the mower and dug in.
Some of the area was covered with small round river rocks. I was worried that the mower would pick them up and shoot them like bullets, and with my dad standing nearby; but that didn't happen. I had to stop the mower and reach up under a shelf and un-wedge some clothes that had been packed up there tightly, I took a stick and levered them out, thinking for some reason about Noel Coward. "Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs. Worthington, don't put your daughter on the stage."
Then, next, I was scraping a mousepad -- it was actually more like an oven mitt -- I was scraping it with a plastic razor, and I was trying to eradicate printed lines of text, information about Ulysses S. Grant -- while "James K. Polk" by TMBG played in the background --
I came out of sleep fast. There was the start of a charley horse in my leg, and I breathed deeply and unflexed my calf until it went away. I was budged up against the wall. Noel was near, her face relaxed, breathing regularly and deeply. It was time for me to get ready for work, but I didn't move for some time.
What did we do. We went out to dinner! I know, we're trying to save funds but in this case, some tom ka soup was indicated, and you can't make that stuff at home. Well, maybe you can, but we can't, so bespoke soup was on the agenda. We bussed up to Broadway -- meeting, as we boarded, Aaron and his friend, and so spent the bus trip talking comics and art.
As it happens the Thai place Noel fancies is also one I used to go to all the time when I lived on the Hill, so when we arrived the wait staff was enthusiastic about seeing us again, though trying to work out context -- I'm sure there were questions asked among themselves as we left. The fried pineapple rice I got was a little dried but the tom ka was spot on, and we had a plate of crab appetizers that were fried to a fritter.
We moved to the Vivace and grabbed a Stranger and made our way through the ads, noting what shows are coming up. Psych Furs? Jonathan Richman? Decemberists and Calexico? Sign us up! We're planning to do more things in the coming months, as part of the resocialization scheme, the attempt to get more lives into our constricted existences. We've got friends and shows and signings and tabling events.
We walked past the Vajra, stopping in to get incense. Then went and bought groceries for upcoming meals at home. Then home .. the days are getting longer, it's still light at eight thirty, soon we'll be tempted to stay up all night.
I have started the 100 Days of Happiness project on my FB, taking a picture a day and writing about things that make me happy. A happier Mark is in the works, friends.
May. 18th, 2015
I thought I heard a dog in there last night. I was trying to get to sleep, having numbed myself with hours of Facebook and a collection of Lynda Barry comics and a bad dinner of Squirt and potato chips; and just as I was starting to slide into dreams, I heard a low woofing and somebody going "Shh!" from next door.
This morning, as I was blearily locking up my apartment door to go, a woman brushed past me (her elbow jutted me in the side) walking a giant hound, a MASTIFF for cry-yi. She and the pup went into the apartment next door.
I can't imagine living in as small a space as we live in with any kind of critter. It's too small for kittens, in my opinion, they need scope and range for their ventures. I can't even start to think what it would be like living in these little monastic cells with a full on horse-dog like that one. People are funny.
In other news, Noel should be coming home tonight, and I sorely miss her when I'm home without her.
May. 16th, 2015
Went to visit Chris today. I went to his apartment in the U District. I had almost forgotten that this weekend is U District Streetfair, which both my wives were into going to, which is nothing but painful memory to me now. I thought I might stay away. Once I got close enough to the crowd, however, I couldn't resist walking through, although I skirted the main throughway and walked behind the booths, mostly so i could get through fast -- I was a bit late getting to Chris's.
The Fair never changes. So I walked up to 15th and then found Chris's building, and walked up to his apartment. He was happy to see me, he'd scheduled a day to stay home and was getting bored and restive. We talked about -- what else? music fandom and the deeper meanings of pop music and culture.
Naturally, a conversation like this between two pop music eating creatures like ourselves wound up going for hours. His knowledge is deep and insightful, so my role in the conversation is to find the thing he hadn't considered and bring it up. I thought I was being damned insightful myself, but it may be that he was humoring me.
Anyway, we ordered pizza, it was like being in the dorms because we got one pepperoni and one canadian bacon and pineapple pizza, and ate the balance of each. And we both left feeling recharged.
08:54 am - Dream 5-16-15
I was admiring how they'd reconfigured our work stations -- station, a table, then a station and a table, basically a table next to each computer in case we needed to spread out papers. I was in the middle, a male co-worker on the right, a woman on the left. The gal who was there was younger and was listening to some crummy music loudly, it was repetitious and shallow. I thought I could work through it, but my male co-worker snapped at her and told her to turn it down. I suggested we all wear headphones and listen to our own music, if the boss supported the idea. The boss came by to mediate, and told us all to keep our music low if we were going to play it.
I was building a mouse taxidermy kit. You got the mouse, and the kit came with all the instructions on how to build it, how to decorate it. You had to cut the costume out of the packaging. I was working along on it when I found a bundle in the packaging I'd missed; I opened it and -- it was another dried mouse, as a backup in case the first one got ruined, and two live chicks. Chicken babies. "What the hell, we're farmers now," I said, realizing that the other two taxidermy kits likely had chicks in them as well. I was going to put them in the hutch with the hens -- we were raising hens -- but my wife* stopped me. "You don't put chicks in with grown hens," she said. I asked if the hens would eat the chicks, but by then she had fashioned a little enclosure out of wire and a marble bird bath for the chicks. My job, then was to distract the fox. He was coming up strong, whining a little, wanting nothing more than to dine on those chicks -- I opened and ate a bag of Brach's easter candies, feeling a little guilty about eating in front of a starving creature -- then grabbed and held the fox, who was begging me to let him go. "Let me eat something, chief, give me something to eat." I held up his paw, and then on impulse tucked my arm around his waist, and we were dancing -- fox trotting. There was music and it was "Bicarbonate of Chicken" by Ivor Cutler, which we danced to. When the music stopped, and the chicks were secure, I let him go.
*Among the Dream People, the Wife in my dreams these days is a composite of my first and second wives and Noel. They shift about in character as different attributes from the different personalities are needed.
May. 15th, 2015
11:26 am - Every evening is every last hour
Where do you go when every prospect depresses and it's too late for the teriyaki place with the good bbq pork and you just want to eat something and then go home? There's a McDonald's on your way.
I didn't eat in one until I was a teen, first because there wasn't one around, then because we never went anyway, then because I had some sort of teenage boycott against them because of their commercialism. Then, one afternoon coming back from a school road trip, the kids I was with stopped our bus at one and got out to eat, and I was hungry too, so .. I still feel like a sellout whenever I walk into a McDonalds and order food, but I've been going to them more lately.
The one on Madison is usually quiet and deserted, but today it was bustling. I was in line behind a couple of women who were asking a lot of questions about the Sirloin Burgers, what was on the Steakhouse Sirloin and that. The younger one seemed full of attitude, she gave her order loftily and then walked away, tossing her head back with hauteur that was both impressive and ridiculous -- you just ordered a Sirloin Burger, lady, it's not like you're at the Hunt Club or anything. No need to front. The other woman, for her part, was more down to earth, talking to the counter guy and getting the pickles left off her burger.
I didn't know what I wanted but decided to give the Sirloin Burger a try. I got my number and went to stand near the pickup desk. A brace of teen girls came in, all laughing and making loud jokes about each other's food choices. They seemed sad, in a way, like they were supposed to be having fun but it wasn't as much fun as it was supposed to be. Maybe it was just me.
The Sirloin Burger was all right. Filling, but I kept thinking about that pink slime slurry that most fast food burgers are supposed to be made with. They had artfully shaped it to resemble a real beef patty, but you could guess its origin in a vat if you thought about what you were eating. To distract myself I read a section of the New York Times I had found in my booth. Amtrak disaster, ISIS, Jeb Bush seeking the presidency. I ate and went home and wrote until I slept.
May. 11th, 2015
After weeks of sleeping right hell on the floor, with only sleeping bags and blankets to cushion the weight of our hips aganst the carpet (and the hard floors underneath), we got a bed. Noel ordered a twin cushion and base; a couple of guys wrangled them up to our apartment on Saturday morning, and we spent most of the weekend there, napping and reading comics and telling each other stories and snuggling and relaxing.
I was going to post a song here, but I had TMBG's "Bed Bed Bed" song inadequately described to me -- I thought it was a more wistful and relaxed thing, but it's kinda hyper -- and Amanda Palmer's "Bed Song" is way too sad, and there's a third song that comes up when I search for bed songs but I'm not posting it here.
May. 10th, 2015
10:51 am - Wham City
Dan Deacon's show at Neumo's was great fun, we jumped up and down while we could. Sadly, there was no coat check and no time to get back home before the show, so I wound up carrying a semiheavy bag and a heavy jacket around all evening, which reduced my ability to jump.
At one point I got sucked into a dance circle -- Deacon started by calling four people into the center of the floor to dance, and they added people; and Noel jumped up and got right in there right away, and as I went to follow the whole place went up in dancing. Boom goes my bag out of my hand, boom goes the jacket. I scrambled on the floor to find them, and people were trying to help me up; when I stood, people handed me my bag and jacket, and I went to move to the edge of the dance area. A hand tapped my shoulder: a guy asked if the thing he was holding was mine, and handed me -- a sizeable glass jar with two or three marijuana tops. Nice ones. I handed the jar back and said finders keepers.
May. 6th, 2015
I mentioned, about a month and a half ago, Pecha Kucha -- these are performances where a person shows twenty slides, talks for twenty seconds about each -- it makes for a fast paced evening of ideas. The one earlier in the year was all cartoonists, talking about their craft (or just talking about whatever, pants or vape pens).
There's one tonight. "Indigenous Futures" is the theme, and a number of artists and activists from the Native American community are appearing. And -- one of the presenters is Noel.
The invitation to perform turned up less than a week ago. Stress put the pressure on, and her presentation took a difficult time to sweat out. I am pleased to say that I helped where I could, listening to stories and concepts, making suggestions, giving encouragement where I could.
We were up until one this morning putting the slides together. She found all the images she wanted to use, and I formatted them in Powerpoint, which took ten minutes. We sent the PPT in and slept.
The performance is tonight. If you're in the area, swing by! It's at the downtown Art Museum. I think it starts at seven thirty.
Apr. 22nd, 2015
11:45 am - Ah, but
I forgot to mention that I dreamed I was giving a reading. I hadn't brought any of my books with me but the stage manager graciously loaned me a couple from her shelves, and I was ready to go. I stood behind the curtain and listened to the emcee introduce me, and heard the gratifying applause and cheers from the packed house. They liked me! So I walked on stage, and thought about what I wanted to read and what I could say about it; but then there was a music performance in the back of the auditorium, and some other speakers, and I patiently waited them out before starting. I chose a poem which I'd illustrated with a lot of off-model pictures of Porky Pig. I held the book up so that the people in the audience could see the pictures, and began to read.
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