Friday, August 29, 2003 at 12:26:22 (EDT)

Who shot the shot to break the blood clot
I keep getting into trouble with people when they give me music and I don't listen to it right away. I can understand, I sit around the house all day working, so why don't I have time to listen to a couple of songs here and there? Sometimes I can, but more often than not, to put me in the right frame of mind to accomplish my job, I have to listen a certain kind of music. Namely, loud. Very loud, very abrasive. Besides the obvious bands like Shellac or the Jesus Lizard, I find myself gravitating to straightedge hardcore. Now those guys are angry! They have no vices through which to sublimate their aggression, so it all goes into the music. Bands like Snapcase really bring out my inner sullen teenager.

So all my irritating feelings of self-righteous disgust over the tasks I'm assigned to perform are drawn off by the music. Thus, I am able to focus and do my job without killing anybody (this is another good reason I don't work in an office). But because of my need for a specific genre of music, I can't listen to everything I'd like to in a day. Especially this week, when I've been tasked with redesigning an internal website which requires a lot of tedious and time-consuming coding. Somehow hearing people who appear to be even more pissed off than I am helps immensely.

Once this project is over I expect I'll get back to listening to normal people music. I know the kittens will appreciate that.

My Day-Job Top 10:

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 15:45:57 (EDT)

The right to arm bears
Before she went back to Berlin, S told me of the scourge of her hometown: wild pigs. Like Kangaroos in suburban Australia, or Jehovah's Witnesses here, wild pigs, their food sources scarce and their environment shrinking, have been invading Berlin neighborhoods to tear up sod and eat acorns. According to the article in the Times today, disgruntled homeowners can call out the Boar Task Force, who sends a guy out to shoot any wild pigs on your property. From the sounds of things last night, there must be a burgeoning wild pig problem in my own neighborhood.

It always kinda bugs me when they just shoot animals who make the mistake of wandering into the suburbs. I know, I know. It's all about overpopulation and those hunters are doing god's work by killing some of His creations, bla bla bla. But to me, it reveals further hypocrisy of those areas. People moved into suburban housing developments because the cities were too harsh and industrial. But when Nature starts to encroach on their artificial paradise, they get out the guns and razor wire. I think it would be cool to have big weird animals just roaming around (perhaps turkeys will get a foothold here in the city). But noooo, the wild pigs tear up their pretty lawns and that simply won't do because you can't teach a pig the concept of private property ownership. Well, I say: Fuck 'em.You wanted nature, you got it.

I'm going to start arming the wild pigs.

Posted By Jimmy Legs
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Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 13:40:15 (EDT)

You took the words right out of my mouth
"Do you really believe everything you're saying?"

"I don't believe anything I'm saying. I only spit out what others have said and written, but in slightly different syntax so that it all sounds mildly original and we can pass the time pleasantly on this overcrowded train. You should know by now that I don't believe anything I say. How can I believe anything when I don't know anything? I only know one thing—I feel nervous most of the time. I am nervous, therefore I am."

—Jonathan Ames, "In a Dark Wood"

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 12:26:02 (EDT)

Cleveland Rock(ed)
American Splendor was great, a nice melding of different filmic disciplines. At one point I thought Paul Giamatti was gonna break out in song, thus adding musical to the list of other techniques employed (partially fictionalized bio, documentary, animation, archival footage). But it was fine the way it was. I haven't seen many movies this summer, not in the theaters anyway. Not counting Flash Gordon, the last movie I saw was Spellbound. Perhaps only nonfiction films will get me to sit in the same place for two hours without getting paid. Most of the summer, despite the heat, I haven't had the attention span to sit around, trapped, at the movies. I know they can be fun, diverting, provocative, but usually they cause me to sit there and think about other stuff I should be doing. Case in point, the execrable Matrix Rebooted or whatever, which I saw in May. Once the film assured me it wasn't going to be as engrossing as the first one, I just sat and obsessed about all the things I could be doing that would be more rewarding. Not that I'd really do any of them, but it's like having a garden apartment: before I lived in Brooklyn I never spent much time in back yards. But now that I live where outdoor space is at such a premium, I can't live without it.

So when I watch most movies in the theater, I picture myself joyfully frolicking through Prospect Park, flying a kite, raising a barn. Even more mundane tasks seem resonant when I know I won't be free for at least 90 minutes: cleaning the basement, picking mulberries off the back patio, laundry. Everything seems wondrous and life-affirming. Everything except sitting there watching Carrie Ann Moss try to pretend she finds Keanu Reeves attractive. Strange that a movie like American Splendor, with its crusty characters and impressively drab locations could have gone on all night without a whimper of complaint from me.

On a side note, I realized halfway through the film that I have seen Toby Radloff in real life on a number of occasions. Harvey Pekar apparently lives near the Coventry section of Cleveland Heights, which in my high-school days was a popular hangout for 'alternative' people (read: losers). There were several worthwhile record stores, a Big Fun novelty shop, and a bunch of coffee houses (I wonder what happened to that place when Starbucks first clenched its deathgrip over the retail coffee industry). Also the Cedar Lee theater was nearby, where us kids saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show far too many times. Anyhow, Toby Radloff was famous in my day as the Killer Nerd, the awful Z-grade movie in which he plays the titular character. Nobody was ever sure if he was really like that, or if it was part of an elaborate persona (remember we were still reeling from the revelations about Pee Wee Herman's off-camera antics). But Radloff would come into the coffee house (I think it was called Red Star) and speak with that bizarre over-pronunciation thing he does. Nobody who was faking it could keep that up all the time.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 15:38:14 (EDT)

Macho Man
I'm dispensing with my last iota of manliness by posting this photo, but what the hell. I think it's cute. And doesn't it take a real man to admit his true feelings? Yes it does. A real girly man.

Tonight I'm seeing American Splendor, in hopes of picking up some tips on turning pathos into a rewarding lifestyle. If that doesn't work, I'll have to turn to other films for inspiration.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Monday, August 25, 2003 at 10:29:47 (EDT)

Party in the woods tonight
UPDATE: Highly unflattering photographic work by the reknowned MRK.

So I still haven't seen Enon. The police shut the Mighty Robot show down minutes before they were supposed to go on. I guess there were too many loud hipsters on the roof. According to's coverage, Enon finally returned to the stage sometime late in the night to play a few songs.

Saturday's loft sale proved fruitful only in ways we had not expected. We went for a turntable that was probably sold before the sale even began. But we picked up some good records (and some that are of dubious value), and some lighters of various functionality. More interesting than the stuff for sale was the building itself, which is one of the few true lofts I have seen in Manhattan. I spent at least as much time looking at knickknacks for sale as I did surreptitiously checking out the accouterments of the building and the lovely views of Alphabet City.

Saturday night was our cat giveaway party. Although the fête never hit raging proportions, I did manage to drink myself into incoherence (the magic of Cutty Sark), and then back again (the magic of water). Our old friend from high school, Barbus trekked out from Cleveland to visit. Apparently he does this all the time. Also it was good to finally meet Ashley in real life (thanks for the scotch!). When the party seemed to be about over, a couple of Brits showed up to liven things up (C owns a Brompton, the Rolls-Royce of folding bikes). Later today I'll post some of the many thousands of pictures that M took, mostly of himself. (Photos are here).

However muddled, the theme of the party was realized: I'm happy to announce that Abby has agreed to take the kittens off our hands! They will move into a duplex garden apartment in the neighborhood at the end of September. Here's hoping that apartment doesn't suffer the same feline onslaught that has descended on my home.

We still need a home for their mother, Pinky. Several people have expressed interest, so with any luck by the time the kittens head out to their new house, Pinky will have somewhere other than my bedroom to flop. I'll be heavily promoting the virtues of this 8-month old single mother in the intervening weeks. So if you'd like to spare yourself and other readers of this site even more gratuitous cat chat, contact me and tell me you'll take her off my hands.

Yesterday, after a lovely brunch with incredibly slow service at À Table, we bought many a record, including a Riflesport single and a Brick Layer Cake album (I'm Todd Trainer's biggest fan it seems), hoping to play them on the turntable we found on a stoop in the Village. Sadly, even though its motor and needle appears to work, it's making this annoying humming sound. I think a trip to Radio Shack may be in order.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Week of Aug 24-30, 2003

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