Saturday, October 11, 2003 at 12:03:53 (EDT)

No Fun
M got robbed at gunpoint last night. He was coming home pretty late and for some stupid reason the A train started going express, so he got out at Nostrand Ave and started walking all the way home. Near Franklin Ave, some kid followed him and produced a gun, demanding money. M forked over his cash and apparently that was the end of it (I'm a little fuzzy as he told me this all at 4 in the morning). I'm glad he didn't get hurt, but it's a big-ass mindfuck either way. So now I've been beaten up and he's been robbed. Does this mean our chances for altercations are now nil? I wish, but we're probably just as likely to run into trouble again.

So what do you do to avoid these pitfalls of urban life? Some people have told me to carry mace, but I can't imagine that in a tense situation I'd have the presence of mind to use it properly. It'd probably only make the aggressor angrier, further escalating the situation. Then I think about what it would have been like had M been packing heat as well, but that quickly reveals itself as a pretty bad idea. I guess there's the whole school of thought that states, "Don't walk home alone in a bad neighborhood," but if we follow that advice we'd never leave the house, or venture into pretty much any part of town. No place is immune to this sort of thing.

In more pleasant news, today is the Time's Up! Folding Bike Ride and Festival (and thematically marks the one-year anniversary of this blog). For some reason I don't feel up for the ride around the city, even though it's a really easy course. But I may check out the festival, just to see a whole bunch of folders in one place. Plus when you get a group of bicycle enthusiasts together, it's always a sight to behold. Some of these people are very serious about their mode of transportation and express much vocal frustration with the internal combustion engine-driven vehicles that congest our streets.

Tonight, Stupid plays the Luna Lounge. As you may know, shows at the Luna lounge are free, so if you've never seen Stupid, this is a good opportunity to check them out. This is their last show before they head to LA for a series of dates, so they should be all pumped up on visions of palm trees, warm weather, and fake, fake people. And after the show, head over to Stanton Street and pick up some Korean BBQ or Kim Chi hot dogs at Sam's pushcart.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Thursday, October 09, 2003 at 17:00:05 (EDT)

Sit still or I'll cut ya
Thanks to the crack team of techs at my place of business, I will not have my regular computer until the middle of next week. Also, I have to go back in the office tomorrow to pick up a loaner. What that means to the financial world is that I am still unable to do any regular work. Instead, I spent the day at Century 21, buying winter-weight clothes to replace the stuff that got all mildewy and gross in the basement. Plus I got a pair of Skechers because they were super cheap.

Oh, and I got my hair cut (this level of content is exactly why people think blogs are self-indulgent tripe. Well, they're right.) Here's my formula for a good haircutting experience:

  1. You must find a place that says "Barber Shop" and has that pole that spins around
  2. Pick a barber who is balding; he'll be more sensitive to the follically-challenged patron
  3. Pick a barber who doesn't speak English very well; no inane chitchat means he can keep his mind on his damn job and not talk about how big the zucchini was in his garden this year

I met all of these criteria, plus I demanded the barber use the clippers on me, so now I'm shorn like a spring lamb.

And finally, Pinky is back. She shall never again bear offspring. Whew! She's pretty subdued right now, but we'll have to wait until the stitches are out to see if the spaying alters her behavior.

For the past day, the house was like it was before the Pinky tornado came tearing through our quiet household. Even in her weakened condition, the other cats have decamped for the relative dankness of the basement. She's still got it!

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Wednesday, October 08, 2003 at 14:05:43 (EDT)

I'm free to do what I want any old time
Yay! My computer's dead!

This lousy Thinkpad has given up the ghost again. First the hard drive went kablooey and now the CMOS battery is dead. I could probably replace it myself but why bother? They probably won't get back to me until tomorrow, so until then I am left to my own devices. In this case, laundry. Yippee, but I gotta wash all my winter clothes is preparation for the cold weather that is sure to return. Then I have to get my haircut. If I don't have it done professionally soon, I'll just try to do it myself. This is always a disaster. I'd rather have a poorly-conceived haircut from a real barber than have to live with a cut'n'style I messed up myself. I'm still thinking of shaving my head entirely and having a hairstyle I like tattooed on my scalp. Why isn't this idea more popular?

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Wednesday, October 08, 2003 at 09:31:21 (EDT)

Now comes the moment of Great! Great! Decision!
I'm sure everybody else will be bitching about the recall election, but why give it any more lipservice? It's become the Vice Magazine of politics. So let's focus on weightier issues:

'Siegfried & Roy' Co-Star Says Show Will Go On
BERLIN (Reuters) - The co-star of the Las Vegas duo "Siegfried & Roy" said in an interview Wednesday their show would go on despite his partner's severe mauling by a tiger.

Um, so has anybody asked ROY what he thinks about the show going on? Maybe Sieggy ought to hold off the brash declarations until the doctors know for sure whether his partner is ever gona walk out of the hospital. Frankly, I hope this signals the beginning of the end of all these "make big ferocious beasts do something stupid" acts.

In other news, today is Pinky's date with the knife! I'm taking her to the vet's in a little while to get her fixed.A prerequisitie for this visit was not feeding her after midnight last night (hey! just like Gremlins!). This also meant not feeding any of the cats, all of whom were uncharacteristically attentive to me this morning. I managed to feed them a little but Pinky is still running on empty. So she's even more frantic than ever. I'd take her to the vet's right now but I don't want them to have to listen to her yowl all afternoon.

Pinky spent about 2 minutes wondering what happened to her kittens before forgetting all about them and becoming a full-time pest. So much for the maternal instinct. I'd like to think getting her fixed will calm her down some but even if it takes her edge off, she's still got a lotta edge left. Whatever happens, this procedure means a good 24 hours without Pinky in the house!

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Monday, October 06, 2003 at 10:35:08 (EDT)

Back to Ohio
I don't think I've driven a car since January 2002, so it felt a little weird to be driving again, as I did over the past two days during our trip to Cleveland. I didn't have the guts to drive from the rental car garage in the city, so M drove us out of Manhattan. Then he just kept going and took us all the way there, through nasty rain and annoying roadwork. It's been a long time since I've seen the vast, tree-filled abyss that is Pennsylvania on Route 80, but it didn't take me long to remember why I don't live in the country. Don't get me wrong, I like forests and hills and flora and fauna. Just not so much of it.

Our time on the north coast was limited so every interaction felt pressed for time. We had to meet with M's family and friends, and mine (turns out my sister lives a short distance from M's sister, but I didn't have time to drop in). So my first driving experience of 2003 began when I had to get from the east side to the west side of the city. I'd been thinking, "Hey, it's just Cleveland. And we'll have a car. We should have no problem doing everything we wanna do." What I did not recall was how sprawling the Greater Cleveland Area is. Even though there's a downtowny center to it, most of the landscape of the area is a completely separate entity from the layout of New York. There are highways, but all the stuff we wanted was in the middle, far from 271, 480 and 90. The surface streets aren't any help either, with their 25-mph speed limits and stoplights. But I actually kind of liked it overall. If I could be convinced that having a car wouldn't mean my fiery death within a few months of purchase, I might be convinced to live in a place like this. But as long as I can take a subway or taxi whenever I want, I'll probably stay here.

I got to meet up with my old bandmates, who were in town from Athens. With their kids packed in with Gramma, we motored to the Beachland Ballroom fro the Mogwai show, where we met M and Barbus. My friends still needed tickets, but the show was at that point sold out. Some weird Cleveland dude came up and tried to sell us a ticket. We balked because we needed two. He licked his hand-stamp and tried to apply it to my hand. The ink did not transfer and I was left rubbing this guy's slobber on my pantleg. I gotta hand it to the guy, he was tenacious. He dragged J with him to the ticket counter and begged for them to let her in. They refused. Then a minute later they relented. A show always can use some more good-lookin' chicks hanging around inside. With that, we had the win-win situation: my friend bought his ticket from the slobber guy, the slobber guy made his money back, and we all got to see the show.

I had no idea so many people were into Mogwai. I dunno if they played NYC on their tour, but I'm glad I didn't go to that, cuz the Cleveland show was packed. I can only imagine the zoo that a New York show would be. The Ballroom itself is pretty cool, a big space but not too big. It's the kind of place I'd like to see Shellac play. Mogwai was cool, although I still think they would benefit if they had an actual lead singer (I did, however, approve of placing the vocalist all the way in the back as they did for the performance). Somebody is gonna have to explain to me their amp setup: each of the 3 (!) guitarists played through a Marshall head that appeared to be attached to a Fender combo amp, all on top of some kind of cabinet speaker. So it was like each guitar had two amps, for a grand total a 6 loud-ass amps. And loud they were. Their never-ending finale involved getting really really loud, leaning the guitars against the amps and vacating the premises. Surprisingly enough, it didn't send the audience running for the exits as you might think piercing feedback at top volume would.

Our Sunday in Ohio involved much rushed hanging out with various people. Between M and I, we covered most of the of the city, trying to meet up with people, spending adequate visiting time with none of them. Around 3, we finally got it together to head home. After driving around Cleveland, I felt prepared to handle the drive back to Brooklyn. The weather this time was decent and the traffic was minimal. And absolutely everybody was driving really fast. So we made it back in just about 7 hours. Driving all that way was not as intolerable as I thought it would be. But I'm not anxious to do it again any time soon.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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