Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

29 April, 2004

Gotta Pay the Piper Someday

I received a sad email from Miss Pamela today:

"hi! how are ya? i'm going to try to cut back on my SG time. i've had a slight scare. one of my friends who i get a little flirty with... well, his girlfriend found out and he's pretty devastated as is she. i feel kind of responsible. and now i'm thinking that i should cool it. i don't want to hurt bill or anything because i don't mean most of what i say on there. but things can really get misinterpreted."

How unfortunate. People sometimes overlook the fact that there's a person on the other end of a chat program or a diary or whatever online place you frequent. I know Pam. I know she meant no harm and has no desire to hurt her marriage whatever it's faults. I replied to the email but haven't heard from her since. I hope that she's OK and not getting too down on herself.

The pork chops turned out OK, I guess. The grill couldn't get any significant flamage going - I suspect we're running out of propane - so I wasn't able to sear the chops and keep all the juices inside. Still, the BBQ sauce was quite tasty and it's been ages since I've eaten applesauce.

I saw something really funny today. In a highly unsurprising move, I stopped in at Toad Hill for a road coffee on my way to the PC repair gig. I found The Caffeinatrix mowing the lawn. Nothing really unusual about this but it was what she was wearing which made me laugh. She had on the same clothes she wore while hawking her coffee earlier: a green dress circa 1968 with dark grey stockings. Plus a set of big headphones to protect her ears. She just looked so funny. As I was pulling out of the driveway, I looked at her and smiled. She flashed me a beautiful, big grin.

In the same way that Miss Voltaire's looks attracted me to her instantly, The Caffeinatrix's personality AND looks AND disposition and just everything about her drew me in to her instantly. I am incredibly grateful for her friendship and I hope that it lasts a long, long time. Maybe someday I'll be able to repay her.
|| Palmer, 9:22 AM || link || (0) comments |
The Plans They Are A-Changin'

Well, my afternoon proved to be potent. I spent 2.5 hours at the shrink's office getting her computer back to normal. It was infested with spyware and viruses. Plus XP Home was doing its usual rigamarole with the printer. I've seen it before but have no idea why it does what it does. It keeps finding the printer even if it's already installed. You have to turn off the PC, unplug the printer and boot up. Then power down again after plugging it back in. The customer turned out to be really nice but not the hot young psychoanalyst that I'd hoped. I went to her apartment to work on her home PC as she said the door would be open but it was locked so I'll have to go back tomorrow. This irritates me as I was going to go see The Ladykillers with a few of my friends but I've missed that. And it also means that I'll have to pass on my trip to Minneapolis.

Upon returning home, Stevie informed me that we were not able to get the slip we wanted so we've gotta come up with a plan B. On the other hand, I got this year's schedule for American Players Theater. It's a wonderful theater nestled in the woods west of Madison. I've gone on before on how cool the joint is and you've got a link so I won't repeat myself. This year they're doing Shakespeare's Othello, Twelfth Night, and Cymbeline; London Assurance by Dion Boucicault and J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World. I'll probably place a ticket order soon. I am really fired up about Othello as Iago is one of Bill's best characters ever. And I will see at least one of the non-Shakespearean ditties, if not both.

Since I'll be here tomorrow night, I may go to the Socrates Cafe where the topic of discussion will be "The Connections Between Human Beings & the Universe". If that guys who thinks that 2001 is essentially a documentary is there, it oughta be a lively discussion. And there's a non-credit bookbinding course at the university that sounds like it'd be right up my alley so I should register for it tomorrow.

Holy cow!! The High Noon is going to have a free night! No cover and FREE BEER!! And to top it off, Brick Shithouse is gonna be playing. I used to know the guitarist/singer for them. I sometimes wonder what Shad's been up to.

Hey! Lars von Trier's Dogville opens here tomorrow.

I had this weird occurence at Toad Hill this morning. There was a drink card sitting on the register and The Caffeinatrix picked it up to see why it was just sitting there. Then she shows it to me. On the back was scrawled my name and phone number in a messy hand. How blatantly odd. Unfortunately, the writing was that of a male.

Well, I'm gonna go check on my pork chops which slowly cook on the grill...
|| Palmer, 9:21 AM || link || (0) comments |
I'm Drowning In Music

Oooh! My R.L. Burnside show has finished downloading - awesome! It was recorded at a friggin' grocery store in Jackson, Mississippi. That would be so fucking cool! I can just picture myself boogieing down the chocolate aisle. And my Flaming Lips and Sleater-Kinney gigs have finished downloading as well. The Tool show is nearly finished. Since I'm not really familiar with any of these bands, I figured it would be a good way to introduce myself to them.

I've got a small pile of CDs I need to listen to so I can write up reviews for them and one of you was gracious enough to send me some music as well. It's getting ready to cross the Atlantic as I type.
|| Palmer, 9:20 AM || link || (0) comments |
Duty Beckons

Holy Biscuits!! Voltaire's new photoset up at SuicideGirls is smokin'! (OK - everyone ready for the nerdy pun?) In the best of all possible worlds, she'd be here in Madison begging to be taken out on the party barge. She is just so incredibly beautiful. I was smitten by Voltaire the first time I saw a picture of her. Luscious, creamy skin, long hair that alternates between being blue and red, those small breasts with perfectly sized areolae...mmm...And her tattoos! They're everywhere. Cool patterns on each arm, stars just below her shoulders, in her cleavage, on her foot, and this really neat pattern on her left side. It's a series of wing-like patterns that start on the left side of her left breasts and continue down her side, over her hip, down her thigh to her ankle. To top it all off, she has a gorgeously exotic face. Sure, in real life she's probably as exotic as a hot dog but so what? Surely I can't be the only one almost instantly attracted to another person. Those instances when you can't really explain it. Whether it be looks, or how someone carries him or herself, or their writing, etc. Something just immediately jumps out and grabs you. OK, in my case it's pretty superficial but how can I argue with a penis that loves being rammed into a mattress first thing in the morning?

I got a call from this woman for some computer help. She tells me that her office PC is on the fritz and so I arrange to head out there later this afternoon. She says that I should just walk into the office if she's not there to answer the door. Then she complains that her home PC is dead in the water too and asks if I can take a peek at it as well. I ask her when would be a good time/day for me to head over to her home to look at it and she says that today would be good. She leaves her door unlocked so I can just go over there anytime I want. Is she just highly trusting or do computers geeks just have a nice, safe reputation? Or perhaps it's my calm, soothing voice which just puts women at ease.
|| Palmer, 9:19 AM || link || (0) comments |
Operation Mattress Continues

Right now, it seems like a really weird morning but I have no good explanation for this. But I suppose it's always a bit on the eldritch side when you're listening to Tom Waits.

For anyone keeping score: Operation Mattress Humping was a success this morning. As was my reconnoitering of Toad Hill. While it took longer than usual, we got the crossword puzzle finished. Business became fairly brisk so my babbling with The Caffeintrix was a bit limited. But most of the customers were regulars so I could chat with them. One of them was this blonde woman who is really funny. I offered her the botox treatment on Tuesday and she asked if I noticed how much younger she looked. Truth be told, she's very beautiful. She looks to be in her mid-40s and she wore this pink blouse that you could kinda see through. I don't care how old she is, her ass is so sweet, it'd make your eyes water.

The dogs are outside now. Stevie's brother and sister-in-law are in Arizona so we're dogsitting. I have no idea what breed they are except to say that they're these little yapping lap dogs. I mean, they're both friendly and lick your feet but, still, they're not real dogs. Sorry, but I'm just not a fan of lap dogs. But I leave for Minneapolis tomorrow morning and they'll be gone by the time I get back.

I watched Gothika and Timeline yesterday night. Timeline was pretty bad but I like the medieval costumes and sets. Gothika was mediocre. It was just kinda blah. But Halle Berry is easy on the eyes. One thing it did do, was to get me thinking about mental illness. I talked with Jeffrey last week and he told me about the book he was reading which concerned mental illness and psychiatry. Namely, how much of it is a sham. Anyway, I wondered what it was like to be mentally ill. How do brains differ? What must it be like if you're delusional? Maybe I'll have to dust off my copy of The Divided Self and re-read it.

The plan is for me to get my ass in gear and go pickup Marv and drag him over here. I'm gonna try out this BBQ sauce I bought in Louisiana on some pork chops. It'll be the first time I've grilled out this year. I'm supposed to have a Thirsty Thursday with The Pollack tonight but don't feel like drinking so I may just see a flick with Old Man Standiford - The Ladykillers. And I still have Intolerable Cruelty on DVD here and haven't watched it. Perhaps Marv and I shall as we eat.

Alright, I've gotta go check voice mail and then make some calls...
|| Palmer, 9:19 AM || link || (0) comments |

28 April, 2004

Music, All I Hear Is Music

It's a really nice day outside. I went over to Dogger's earlier and hung out with him and Miss Regan. Since she had been up since around 6, Dogger was keen on getting her to sleep. Since I had brought over some bootlegs for him, Dogger put on a Yes show and Regan fell asleep during "Mood For a Day". So we wandered out onto the deck and took in some sun. A morning dove had built a nest under the eaves of their garage and I spied the female chillin' in the nest while a male flew around a bit and landed on a large branch high above us to survey the scene and keep an eye on the monkeys sitting on the deck drinking iced coffee and beer.

On my way home, I stopped to photocopy some stuff for my Call of Cthulu adventure and donated some shrimp creole to JimmyD who reminded me that he doesn't eat seafood. Ah well, The Caffeinatrix can have it for lunch tomorrow.

I got a call from my lawyer and the judge in Louisiana signed off on the succession hoo-ha so everything will hopefully be squared away next week sometime. And I got my allotment of CDs to review from my editor. I got me some Willard Grant Conspiracy, Magnolia Sisters, Zar, Annie Grace, Hotpoint String Band, and some Ukranians. The Ukranians album oughta be amusing. The cover has 6 guys clutching accordians and balalaikas sitting before a table littered with bottles of beer, vodka, and other potent potables. That will be good music!

I got an email today from Biff Blumfumgagnge of Madison's Reptile Palace Orchestra. Their next gig will be with a band called Felonious Bosch who is "a six piece neo-feudal jam band, gender-balanced and full of surprises. Following a year's gestation as an instrumental quartet of violin ('sixpack musicologist' Ric Lee), bouzouki (Greek strings by Nemo), drum kit (Bracchi of Machinery Hill and The Blue Up?) and bass (Boiled In Lead's Drew Miller, playing to Madison for the 1st time in many years), the band has expanded to a six piece rock orchestra with the addition of classically-trained fiddler Hannah Thiem and powerful lead vocalist Katy Thomasberg. The band is in an exciting stage of development, as Katy's fresh lyrics transform the ancient melodies into exciting new rock music." So methinks that would be one kick ass Saturday night! Anyone else up for an evening of good tunes and suds at the Harmony?
|| Palmer, 9:18 AM || link || (0) comments |

Things here took a turn for the less amusing this morning. I asked Pete if he was going to be around this weekend to game and he said that he wouldn't as he was moving out. Well, I guess on the plus side, things won't be tense around here for much longer. On the other hand, I hate to see this shit go down. But it has to. How can you blame Stevie for wanting to find someone who pays rent on-time and is a clean person? On the other hand, I really hope we can find someone as smart and fun as Pete. All else aside, if you needed someone to watch a Kurosawa flick with or to explain some economic theory, he was your man.

Hopefully this R.L. Burnside show will finish downloading today so I can do some burning. Dogger wants 2 King Crimson gigs. I also sent my list to a friend of his whom I've met a few times that writes for a local music rag. And I also need to reboot as I'm having problems downloading pictures from my camera. I got most of them onto my 'puter but the last half a dozen or so didn't. Winders isn't recognizing the camera now. I've stopped and restarted the camera software to no avail. So I suspect the USB hoolie is the problem.

I woke up the same way as I did yesterday. My poor matress. Except I didn't have to urinate. Reading the journals of a couple of the women up at SG, I have gleaned that they work in the sex industry. One of my favorites is a professional dancer, for instance. I've also seen her at another pr0n website. And so I've begun wondering what it's like for them and what they are like outside of taking their clothes off in front of people and/or cameras. I haven't left any of them notes on their journals - it just seems too cheezy. A lot of people do, though. And most of them are just "Fuck you are hot!" kinda crap. Well, they know they're hot - that's why they're models on the site. I just wonder what they're all like in person.
|| Palmer, 9:17 AM || link || (0) comments |

27 April, 2004

Calling All Patriotic American Women

This is rich...
|| Palmer, 9:16 AM || link || (0) comments |
The Die Was Cast

Dress me in a mini-skirt & fishnet stockings and slap me around if my creole sauce ain't mo' bettah! I made me some shrimp creole this evening and I was rather impressed. Next time, though, I'm gonna season the shrimp a tad beforehand and I'll add more red peppa to give it some more zing as this batch was quite tame. Still, I ate 2 bowls laced with Tabasco and am worried about the fate of my lower gastro-intestinal system.

I finally got some new socks and boxers. One of the pairs of boxers has a map as the pattern while another has the plans for ancient ships. Plus a couple others that are plaid.

Well, Stevie finally told Pete that he's not invited to live here come August. Apparently he took it pretty well, i.e. - calmly. It's gonna pretty tense around here for a while but hopefully not the next 4 months. I'm just glad I wasn't there as I don't wanna get in the middle of it. In some ways, I'll miss having Pete around while I won't in other respects. My mind is not inclined to write on this subject at the moment.

The Pollack called me today because Outlook Express kept crashing on him. From the description I got over the phone, I knew that his inbox.dbx file was hosed. So I burned a CD with a recovery tool and zipped out to the airport. It took a while to get it all sorted out but I did. After it was done, he showed me around the airport to look at the expansion that was going on. Apparently 2 new carriers are coming into town. I thought this was odd but good considering the state of the airline industry. Then we found a spot by the door and checked out the asses of various frauleins walking past us. There was one woman in a mini-skirt and I just gawked. It was in the 50s today - not normal mini-skirt weather. But she could have been on a layover. I haven't been able to get that woman's yams off of my mind since. Sometimes it's extremely frustrating to be stuck ogling hotties. The Pollack is fucking 2 chicks now while I'm in a draught. The tables have been turned since that period when I went out on dates with 2 or 3 women before settling on one. It seems like I go out and have fun with all these beautiful women who have absolutely zero interest in me. In Milwaukee last weekend, bowling the weekend before that, at Toad Hill...For now, it's just me and my mattress.
|| Palmer, 9:15 AM || link || (0) comments |
Off To The Haberdasher?

A bit before 6 o'clock this morning I slowly emerged from sleep. About halfway there, it dawned on me that I had a raging erection and did what every guy does upon discovering that he's in such a predicament - I started thrusting my hips. After a short while, I realized that there was no vagina involved but rather my matress. Disappointed, I got up and went to the bathroom. Methinks I oughta rotate my mattress as I can see a phallic-shaped indentation developing at one spot.

Having micturated, I moseyed downstairs, had some coffee, and watched a bit of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Then it was off to Toad Hill. The Caffeinatrix was a bit feisty and in need of more sleep. But we did the Super Quiz and crossword puzzle just fine. She then brought up the topic of make-up and her dislike of wearing it. This led into a discussion about the maintenance of pubic hair which, in turn, led to talking about plastic surgery. Our discussion was abetted by the New York Times which had an article on nipping and tucking and botoxing. Ronaldo wandered in eventually as did other customers who are familiar to me but whose names I don't know. I offered discounted plastic surgery to them but each and every one of them refused for some reason. I thought it would be cool to have a little card you get punched so, after you pay for 12 botox injections, your 13th is free. The whole thing went over like a lead balloon.

Today I have to call a customer and do some clothes shopping. I need white socks and boxers. Plus I'm thinking about getting some new shoes - Chuck Taylors. I should also write some letters to everyone who sent me sympathy cards to thank them. And we need toilet paper. Plus I think I'll zip over to the bookstore and look for a tome on using Cool Edit Pro. I wanna transfer some tapes to CD-R but have no idea how to boost recording levels or reduce hiss. And there's always laundry to do. And I should pull something from the freezer for dinner. Maybe I'll make shrimp creole tonight.

I've been looking at some pictures of the people at SG that I met over the weekend. I find that just looking at this woman's ass wrapped in jeans is making me frisky. I suppose that's a good thing.
|| Palmer, 9:15 AM || link || (0) comments |
D&D Is 30!

What happened to Dungeons and Dragons?
By Darren Waters
BBC News Online

In the 1980s millions of teenagers world-wide would battle dragons armed with just dice, paper and pens. D&D became part of youth sub-culture but as the game celebrates its 30th birthday, is anyone still playing?

D&D lets you live out your heroic fantasies
In 1974 two men in the US Midwest, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, created Dungeons and Dragons, the first ever role-playing game.

Developed out of war gaming using table-top miniatures, the paperback rule books were an instant success, a genuine phenomenon which spawned an industry and influenced a generation of film-makers, writers and videogame developers.

An estimated 20 million people worldwide have played D&D since it was created, with more than $1bn spent on game equipment and books.

"I thought we would sell about 50,000 copies," says Gary Gygax.

Co-creator Dave Arneson recalls: "When we started playing we thought we were kind of crazy. It seemed to start quite well and sold better, and better and better."

The game spread by word of mouth and became a cult in schools and in universities across the globe.

It was even a cult at a Wisconsin naval base. "At one time every nuclear submarine had a D&D group," says Arneson.

There is something in D&D that strikes a chord in many people; the call of adventure.

D&D is a game in which a group of friends create and develop characters by rolling dice which determine skills and abilities.

The characters are taken on adventures which are plotted by a separate player - the Dungeon Master.

You can be a fighter, a thief, or a magic user, perhaps even a bard, a druid or a cleric. But there is no board or counters - just pen, paper and an active imagination.

"I get to be braver, stronger, wiser, smarter, faster, handsomer, and just generally more than I am in real life," says current player, Joshua Turton, 29, from the San Francisco Bay area.

"I can perform miracles, save damsels, slay dragons, cast spells, right wrongs, raid tombs, drink ale, and live dangerously."

Brad King, author of Dungeons and Dreamers, which charts the influence of D&D on early videogames, says D&D should not be confused with board games.

D&D rules grew out of war gaming in the early 1970s "It was the first really interactive game. If you play board games there is always an objective or goal.

"D&D is the opposite. It's about sitting down and telling stories with your friends."

At the height of its popularity in the 1980s the game became a target for cultural conservatives.

The game was wrongly implicated in a missing persons case, a teen suicide and a number of murders. Some schools banned the game, and many parents refused to let their children play.

The controversy inspired a 1982 TV film, Mazes and Monsters, starring Tom Hanks. A later cartoon series and a more recent film kept the brand name alive among non-players but were derided by D&D fans.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, lawsuits began to fly - Arneson and Gygax sued each other over the development of the game.

Neither man has any current official involvement in D&D - both selling their royalties to publisher Wizards of the Coast in the 1990s.

Arneson says: "We see each other at conventions. He does his thing and I do mine. There's no stabbing each other in the back."

It allows us the chance to play out a dream of being the classical hero - the slayer of dragons, the hero who saves the land from some terrible foe or danger.

D&D's popularity began to wane in the early 1990s as the videogame boom began.

"D&D never went away," says Liz Schuh, marketing director for Wizards of the Coast. "It was huge in the 1980s and then dropped off the radar screens but it never went away."

"D&D was so successful that it spawned an industry that ate it," says Mr King.

There are now hundreds of different, competing role-playing games which have all taken a bite out of the market dominance D&D once had.

Dave Arneson is still involved in the games industry. But the game remains - even thrives. Wizards estimates that three million people play in the US each month.

Angus MacDonald, a 45-year-old D&D player, who lives near San Francisco, has been playing on and off since 1975.

"The game is social, it is a form of storytelling, and it has allowed me to develop deep friendships with people over the years."

Delwin Shand, a 47-year-old who has been playing for 30 years, says: "The reason the game has survived is that it allows us the chance to play out a dream of being the classical hero - the slayer of dragons, the hero who saves the land from some terrible foe or danger."

Gygax and Arneson are still actively involved in the industry and are revered by D&D players for their creation.

Gygax says: "There is something in D&D that strikes a chord in many people; the call of adventure.

"I am certainly happy that it has made people happy and brought so many people together. There is a great fellowship among role players."

There are no million dollar special effects - so imagination must fill in the blanks.

Ed Stark, special projects manager at Wizards, says imagination is pivotal to the game. "People often say playing D&D is like writing your own movie at a table.

"But of course there are no million dollar special effects - so imagination must fill in the blanks."

In the age of the iPod, mp3s, DVDs and online videogames, it is perhaps remarkable that a game based purely on pen, paper and dice remains so popular.
|| Palmer, 9:13 AM || link || (0) comments |

26 April, 2004

As Far As I'll Ever Get

My mind is in a very odd state, at the moment. Have you ever felt completely unhorny yet have a part of your brain going around making the rest of it feel guilty about it? There's this bit of gray matter going, "Why in the name of Christ are you not frisky?!?" Ugh!

While trying to sort out whether or not I should have an active libido, I got a call from one of my dad's neighbors - Phyllis. Her husband called yesterday saying that he had gone over to the house only to find no one home and called to find that the # had been disconnected. She was very friendly and described my dad as "unique", which really made me laugh. I also found her descriptions of trying to get my dad to go to church humorous and suspect that she thinks I'm a Xtian of some flavor. Little does she know that I inherited my old man's atheism. From some of the things she said, I suspect that my dad told her and her husband a fair amount about me. She said something about me being a good son for having maintained a relationship with my dad whereupon she proceeded to go on about having to live with the choices we make in our lives. Just before the conversation ended, Phyllis said that she hopes I can make it down there for the closing on the house as she'd love to meet me. I can only imagine what the old man told her about me...

Jules' entry about children really touched me. It also made me a bit sad as I suspect I'll never have any myself. I suppose that's why I've taken to Miss Regan so much. Being an honorary uncle is as far as I'll ever get.
|| Palmer, 9:06 AM || link || (0) comments |
Proof of Debauchery

I finally got my pics from my camera onto my computer. Here's some evidence of my drunken tale:

Firstly, we have Miss Pamela, Monet, and FallenIcarus.

Next up, here's the lovely Wren and her beau:

This has Miss Pamela in a provocative pose with Monet:

And lastly, here's me with Monet. She is gorgeous! I swear, I did not doctor this photo!

A good time was had by all!
|| Palmer, 9:05 AM || link || (0) comments |
Pastime With Good Company

The drive to Milwaukee was uneventful. I caught the end of the reggae show on WORT and part of the African music show before I lost the signal. So I tuned into the local NPR station. Miss Pamela had given me directions to her place and I also had some from Mapquest. Of course, I followed neither of those and ended up at the Palomino, Pam's favorite watering hole. I knew I was close. So I pulled over and checked out a map. I made it to her place in short time.

When I arrived, she was putting the finishing touches on her hair - she was dying her bangs purple and pink. Miss Pamela dyes some part of her coif every week or so. Once she rinsed, we hugged and chatted for a while. Then we headed out to say hi to her hubby, Bill, who was at work. He told me that it was my responsibility to keep her out of trouble...From there, we went to a grocery/deli/bar store called the Bean & Barley, I think, where we had burritos and a beer. For dessert, I raided their chocolate bar shelf and got me some mighty tasty dark chocolate. Then it was off to the Palomino to meet E27.

We took a couple seats at the bar and order pints of Lakefrom Wiess. I'm not a huge weiss bier fan but it was excellent. Miss Pamela and I supped beer and chatted. We reminisced about high school, talked about how I felt about my father's death, about music, et al. It was funny because Pam always thought I was cool in high school. I was the only kid with long hair, wore a trenchcoat and, in general, didn't fit in with any clique. And now, 17 years later, she's the alterna-chick and I'm Mr. Geek. And it's fun for this nerd to be seen in public with a trendy, beautiful woman.

At one point, there was a tap on my shoulder and I turned to find Paul. He is my friend Melissa's ex-boyfriend and a really cool guy. I hadn't seen him in several months, if not a year, so it was good to see him again. He was wearing a Supersuckers t-shirt who happen to be one of Pam's favorite bands. We chatted for a while and I gave him my email addy so we could keep in touch and meet up when I'm in Milwaukee again. A little while later, a couple friends of Miss Pamela's walked in - Lorraine and Paul...? I'd met them on a couple occasions previously and we remembered each other. So we moved from the bar to a table. I found out that they had moved from Milwaukee to Cambridge, which is about 20 miles east of Madison. It's where I bowl. Finally E27 showed up. It was the first time I'd ever met anyone in person that I'd gotten to know over the Internet. He was really funny and we got along famously.

As we were all sitting there drinking and talking, I felt exceedingly lucky. There I was with great company. A close friend whom I'd known for ages as well as a couple newer ones and even one that was brand-spanking new. Plus I fortuitously ran into Paul. I didn't have to deal with any bullshit, was with fun people, and felt very comfortable with everyone. Things just seemed right - life just seemed good.

At some point, Miss Pamela, E27, and I took off for the party where I'd meet several people I only knew from the Net and some of whom, presumably, would be frauleins that I'd seen nekkid. A bit of an odd prospect. When we got to the guy's place, Miss Pamela and I piled into E27's car where he pulled out a pinch hitter. I abstained as may need to take a drug test soon but those two indulged themselves. Going inside, we found that there were only a few people there. Now, my memories are a bit hazy but it was humorous. Most of the people there were in their early 20's while Pam, E27, and I are in our early 30's. We kinda stuck to ourselves but we did chat and socialize with the other folks there. I got my picture taken with one of the hottie models over at SuicideGirls - Monet. It was very odd because Pam had shown me some pictures of her in the buff earlier and there I was having a beer with her. A woman from Madison, Wren, and her boyfriend eventually showed up too. She had submitted a photoset and was accepted as a model but her pics had not yet been posted. Personally, I find her to be very beautiful although she could stand to gain a little weight. Her audition pics were at the site so I was familiar with her. These women were a lot smaller than I thought. They were both about 5'2" and scrawny. Looking at their pictures, my mind created impressions of what they were like in real life and I found that they didn't totally match. But they were both really nice people. Hell, everyone there was really cool.

I was drinking that tasy Lake Louie beer and then hit the Capital Blonde Doppelbock. Needless to say, I got pretty lubed. At some point, I fell down. I blame the floor for not having been level. Or something. So now my elbow is a bit sore. I don't remember leaving the place, the drive back to Pam's, nor going to bed. So it must have been a good night, right?
Pam had to go with Bill to Racine to help a friend of his move at 9:30 so she was up pretty early to shower and get ready. So I was up too. The 3 of us drank some Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and ate some of the spicy cheesebread I had brought. Miss Pamela was not in good shape and bowed out of the moving project. I took off around 9:30. The drive back to Madison was alright. I listened to NPR the whole way. I caught a show about the English language which was really neat. People would call in about the origins of various phrases and whatnot. Then they brought on the classics prof who, along with his wife, have been translating Dr. Seuss into Latin! (I have their translation of Cat in the Hat.) It was really cool to hear Latin being spoken! After that was a program on all things culinary. They talked about wine and mushrooms. The wine bit was interesting but I'm not a big fan of the fungus.

I swung into town and stopped at Toad Hill, unsurprisingly. I had me a free drink comin' so I got a cardiac special and sat down by the register and read the Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times while chatting with The Caffeinatrix and Miss Vicki. The Caffeinatrix's nephew, Jack, was running around behind the counter and she would lift him up to help make espresso. And I got to meet The Caffeinatrix's sister as well. I'd heard about her but had never met her previously. Then, as I was sitting there, Jolene stopped in and I talked with her for a brief time. When she said goodbye to me, it seemed like she was ready to start laughing. Then The Caffeinatrix came over and thanked me for letting her get to know me better. It was then pointed out to me that my pants had slipped down quite a ways and a bit of my butt was exposed. I quickly corrected this. The Caffeinatrix said that Ron had inquired as to my whereabouts so I should call him.

After I made it home, I tried to take a nap but failed as Pete was shampooing the carpet in the hallway. So I called Ron and got the lowdown on the get-together at his place that evening. Then I checked email and went up to SuicideGirls to leave some "it-was-nice-to-meet-you-last-night" notes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Wren's photoset had been posted. She is a cutie. Without meaning to sound sexist, I must admit that I think her breasts are very beautiful. And she's got these flame tattoos on her chest that go down to just above her areolae. To top things off, she even had some pubic hair which, as regular readers know, is something I find very attractive. (On women, that is.) So I got my shit together and headed over to Dogger & Mel's for Miss Regan's baptismal party.

Approaching the house, I spied Dogger's dad, Gary, out by the garage having a choke. I parked and went up to him to say hi. He extended his condolences on my father's passing and told me that the baptism had been called off as Miss Regan had to be taken to the doctor. She was fine now so the party went on. Going inside, I found people milling about everywhere. Dogger's brother, Opus, was there with his wife, Old Man Standiford was there, plus various relatives of Dogger & Mel that I hadn't seen in years. Mel's father, Ed, was feeding Miss Regan. He was a hoot at their wedding. All tanked up, he went around and bought everyone who stood up in the ceremony drinks while thanking us profusely. I took lots of pictures and caught up with the folks whom I knew. Carol, Dogger's stepmother was there too and she gave me a long hug and her condolences. It was funny because she and I didn't get along too well when I was in high school but now it's actually nice to see her.

We were out on the deck smoking when Gary came out to announce that Marv had arrived and that he was beat to hell. I stepped into the kitchen and found him standing there on crutches. Christopher was there as was Connie, their mom whom I also know. Apparently Marv was standing outside the Paradise waiting for a cab on Saturday night when a brawl spilled outside and he got caught up in it. Some bruises and a broken ankle. Ouch! Bryn, a cousin of Dogger's was there too. I first met her when she was about 12 years old and here she was all grown up and married.

Once more, that felicitous feeling came over me. I was with good friends and various members of their families whom I knew. In a very real sense, all of these people are my extended family. I've known several of them since high school and Gary and Carol knew my dad. It was something I really needed - to just be surrounded by familiar faces. I've been very reflective, very pensive since my father's death and being there made me feel comfortable and wanted.

Around 4:30 I took off for Ron's.

I did a really half-assed job of parallel parking in front of his house. OK - really bad, actually. So I left it as it was and went up to the door and knocked. The outside was exactly as I thought it would be: stuff everywhere. Ron answered the door, brought me inside, and led me to the dining room. He and Beth have a wonderful old house. Wood floors with wide trim. I love old houses! Seated at the table were a couple familiar faces. Beth, of course, and Dave, whom I had met a couple months previously. Dave's wife was there too. She was from Hungary and gorgeous. Beautiful big brown eyes that drew you to her and a sexy accent to boot. Also there was a friend of Ron's - Anna, I think, and her boyfriend who was from Africa. They were all putting together a calendar for the Peace Corps that was going to have recipes from various countries on it. And so they were going to try them out before unleashing them on the rest of the world. Oh mama, they were good! Bulgarian eggplant, an Ethiopian stew made with potatoes, cabbage, and carrots, a lentil salad, and a green leaf salad with crushed peanut. For dessert there was Armenian nutmeg cake. To drink, I had some Monkey's Tail which was a Chilean drink of milk & coffee laced with various spices like clove and nutmeg. It was awesome!

We chatted as we ate. Anna had been in Bolivia while in the Peace Corp and her boyfriend, being from Africa was exceedingly interesting to talk to. I feel like a complete maroon not being able to recall his name. But I have a hard time remembering English names so I hope no one holds this against me. The guy is a huge jazz fan and he talked about various South African jazz outfits. He's going to burn some CDs for Ron and copies shall, no doubt, make their way into my hands. After dinner, Anna and her boyfriends had to leave. The rest of us retired to the living room. Ron put on some music and we talked as well as poked around his vast library. He has books everywhere. Mostly on shelves but there are also piles of them randomly scattered around the house. Then Ron pulled out some homemade booze from Hungary that Dave and his wife had brought. (I can't remember her name either. D'oh!) It was like brandy but made from pears. And it was very, very good. Very potent too.

Dave and his wife left about an hour later but I decided to hang out longer. I got a chance to see Ron's stereo system which made me very jealous, I can tell you. Beth, who is the cook in the family, showed me her industrial-strength stove/oven which also made me jealous and we traded some cooking talk. When I eventually did leave, I had in my hands a book on jazz recordings as well as a tape deck and speakers on loan.

I had a really great time. Everyone was super nice, there was great food and conversation too. Some more new people in my life. It was a fabulous weekend. Friends new & old, good food, conversation - it's hard to describe just how much fun it was and how much I needed a weekend like this one. And to top it off, I got to see and hang with some hotties.

Today I wanna offload the pictures I took over the weekend, scan the classifieds, and have paperwork to sign and mail. I was at Toad Hill earlier. Big surprise, eh? The Caffeinatrix and I did the crossword puzzle and Ron moseyed in so we chatted for a while too. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have the people in my life that I do and I'm incredibly grateful for this. So many wonderful people that color my life, that, to a very large extent, make me what I am. Despite all of the negative things going on right now, this past weekend was a reminder of all the good things I have in my life. And this weekend should be fun too. I am going to go to Minneapolis on Friday to hang out with Jeffrey. Then on Saturday I'm off to Eau Claire to see my stepsister and stepbrothers.

Only 1 thing left in my life to shore up...
|| Palmer, 9:04 AM || link || (0) comments |

24 April, 2004

The Smell of Jalapeno in the Morning

Today has started off well enough. I got up at 5:30 and was out the door on my way to the Farmer's Market a bit after 6. It was a bit on the chilly side when I walked out the door and windy too. Must have been 40. Parking my car, I ambled up to the Square. First things first: coffee. That Johnson Roasters cart at Carroll & Mifflin has some pukka dark roasts. Got me a large cuppa Kenyan AA. Oh mama! It was pipin' hot and really gave my brain a jolt.

Being so early in the season, there wasn't a whole helluva lot of stuff but I grabbed some items for Miss Pamela and esquire27 from Suicidegirls. E27 wanted some jalapeno cheese bread. Check. For Miss Pamela, I got a loaf of it as well plus some nice Wisconsin honey as she drinks a lot of tea. I also bought a hoolie of ground hot pepper mix from Out of Our Gourd and a jar of peach-jalapeno jelly figuring it would go well on jalapeno cheesebread toast. There was one stand on Main Street that had tons of jalapeno jellies. My jaw nearly hit the ground as I looked at the selection. I bought some strawberry-jalapeno. Oh my Christ, is it tasty! And it's got some zing too - perfect way to start my morning. As for their plain jalapeno jelly, they had the normal stuff, 2x, 4x, and 6x hotness. Uff da!

I got home and Stevie almost immediately started pointing out things to me from a marine supplies catalog. "We should get this grill" and "I'll look for a TV/DVD/VCR combo unit". Ugh! While it would be nice to have a small TV to watch the Packers while out on the lake swimming and swilling beer, I don't think we really need a DVD player. But we are considering taking a long trek down the Mississippi River on the boat so it might be nice for a night or 2. But the whole point, for me, of being out on the river is to try and avoid television and whatnot.

I found another DC++ hub from which to snag shows. I'm downloading shows by Jimi Hendrix, Tori Amos, and REM from right here in Madison. I also got a Smashing Pumpkins gig from here as well that was broadcast over the radio before they hit the big time. A couple Tull shows finished downloading as did that Sly & the Family Stone gig. Hatfield & the North, Egg, Alvin Youngblood Hart, REM, Porcupine Tree, Gong - all mine! And I'm trying to get a hold of one of the guys to clarify his bootlist and find out if one of the Nirvana shows is from here in Madison - July 1989. I just dig having copies of concerts from my town. Lots of them are from New York City or a club in L.A. or some other big city. But it's kinda neat to hear people playing before a smaller audience in the Midwest. Plus I'm availing myself of the opportunity to introduce myself to music and artists I haven't listened to much by grabbing one of their local shows. For instance, I've never heard much Tori Amos so I decided to download her Madison show from '96.

Well, I'm gonna do a load of laundry and take a nap before I head to Milwaukee. While I am not in the most social of moods, I think that'll change when I get there. It's always nice to see Miss Pamela and I'll get to meet some new people. I suppose I had better buy some beer and snacks to bring to the party. Methinks I'll get some Lake Louie beer as it is not to be found in Milwaukee. Man, I'm getting fired up for the shindig already!
|| Palmer, 9:03 AM || link || (0) comments |

22 April, 2004

A New Odyssey of Rigorous Honesty(?)

I found out a couple days ago that we've been having a problem with our phones. Stevie put a phone with a built-in answering machine in the garage and it's set to answer after only a couple rings. And, although he turned off the answering machine on it, we found that it kept turning back on. My guess is that, whenever the power goes off and comes back on, the phone resets itself and the answering function is reactivated. Since the machine in the house is set to answer after 4 rings, it's been the one in the garage that's been taking most of the messages recently. Anyway, I checked it this morning and found that there were 50 some-odd of them. While most of them were Pete's creditors, there was one that was for me regarding a job interview. As I listened to the stream of voices, my dad's suddenly burst out of the small speaker. It was quite eerie and I immediately erased it. When had he left that message? Did I ever return it? I'm getting my life back together slowly and sometimes his death gets pushed to some corner of my brain but this served as a reminder that he's gone. This disembodied voice from beyond the grave.

Sometimes I find myself just staring off into the distance thinking about him. How am I like him? How am I different? Then, as I said previously, I don't consciously think about him at all. And whenever I find that I have one of those spells, I begin to wonder if I should be doing something in particular. I mean, perhaps I should go through pictures or just anything to stir up memories of him. It's not really clear to me why I feel this way. But, in a certain sense, I spent 3 weeks away from home thinking about him. Maybe my brainbox just wants to take a rest and contemplate other things for a while and return to my father at a later time.

One thing that got me thinking about him earlier was this week's Savage Love. In it, Dan makes reference to love and relationships - about how people make themselves vulnerable to those to whom they are attracted. After reading those words, I began to ponder how that relates to me. My conclusion was that I stopped letting myself be particularly vulnerable somewhere along the way. For the past couple years, I've not been particularly open with the women I've dated. While I don't feel any urge to be married or even to be in a serious relationship, I can't help but wonder if that's truly how I feel or if it's just one half of some extreme ambivalent equation that my mind is computing. Up until my father died, when I thought about how I wanted my life to be in, say, 10 years, it usually involved lots of traveling and writing. Now when I think about that same idea, it usually involves children. But no wife, no marriage. I worry that perhaps I didn't keep enough of my father's things, enough pictures of him or whatever for my own children to get a sense of him. But I tend not to think about anything else I want in my life or how else I might find happiness.

This came to mind because reading Savage's comment made me think about how my dad had female companionship for most of his adult life. In the army, he had his girlfriend, Elizabeth. Two years after returning to civilian life, he married my mom. And a couple years before their separation, Joni came into his life. For me, it's just the opposite. I've spent the vast majority of my adult life quite single. Perhaps my father was right about his despite all of his other faults and foibles. About every third conversation we'd have he'd ask if there were any women in my life or if there was some available hotties at work.

Regardless of how he was and whether I truly want to be alone the rest of my life or am just mired in ambivalence, my actions are still what they are.
|| Palmer, 9:02 AM || link || (0) comments |
Bloody Viruses!

I spent nearly 3 hours working on The Pollack's work laptop. It had 2 viruses which had infected over 160 files. I scanned the computer 3 times with 3 separate programs to remove viruses and spybots, for good measure. That things needs to have Windoze reinstalled but I'm scared to do it because I don't know about finding drivers for a 6 year-old laptop running Win98.

OK. I need to make an appointment with Paul the One-Eyed Conservative Barber for haircut tomorrow. And I need to do some grocery shopping. What should I buy? I mean, what do I wanna eat for the next several days? Anyone have any ideas? This is besides the staples like chocolate and coffee. Ooh! Must get laundry detergent. And deodorant. We've got plenty of coffee. JimmyD gave me a couple pounds of Market Blend beans a few days ago but I haven't even dipped into them as I had all that French Roast from Miss Rosie. You know what? I haven't made real macaroni & cheese in a while. This is probably because it requires me to hover over a double-boiler for an aeon making the cheese sauce. I brought back some fried chicken coating mix from Louisiana - maybe get some breasts (mmm...breasts...) and fry them up. How about some dirty rice on the side? Fuck! I haven't eaten all day and I'm salivating like a Pavlovian dog now. I'd better find a snack because otherwise I'll end up shopping on an empty stomach and buying $200 worth of food. I can't wait for the gardens to start yielding fruit. Fresh pico de gallo...and Stevie is gonna do melons again this year so I can break my fast on honeydew. I wish dark chocolate bars grew on trees.
|| Palmer, 9:00 AM || link || (0) comments |

21 April, 2004

Party Barge

In order to stop Stevie from hassling me, I've decided to go in on the boat. Here's the one we're looking to purchase:

I'll probably post more pics later but there she is. We shall, of course rehoolie the seats and get 'er shipshape. The limit is 13 people so we're thinking 10 comfortably. Some beer, a few of those foam noodles, sun, some good friends - what more do ya need?
|| Palmer, 9:00 AM || link || (0) comments |

20 April, 2004

Nothing Night

I awoke this morning around 6:30 wanting to cry. While I couldn't remember much of my dream, it was the very end, which I did remember, that brought tears to my eyes. I was driving a pickup truck and my father was with me, though I could not see him. We were going down a dirt road trying to either get out of a town or get to a particular spot of safety. At the end of the road there were cars lined up heading towards the same destination we were so I stopped and turned off the engine - resigned to sit and wait with my father.

After getting dressed, I made my quotidian trek over to Toad Hill where I found The Caffeinatrix looking much like she had yesterday, namely, very tired. Again, she only got a couple hours of sleep as her hound was still ill and had been puking in the wee hours of the night. While she tried to get her boyfriend to clean up the mess so she could get some rest, he just rolled over and fell back to sleep. So The Caffeinatrix was in a pretty foul mood tinged with more than a hint of misandry. I played it safe and did my best to make her laugh. And I succeeded. Much to her chagrin, I had to bust outta Dodge a bit after 8 to shower before going to visit my accountant.

It was a bit odd meeting him for the first time. He's been privy to my financial data for a few years now so you'd think I'd have met the guy at least once. But you'd be wrong. From our brief phone call, I figured him to be in his mid-30s but he ended up being about 50. Not that it matters. He's got chutzpah and a very vivacious personality - really cool guy. After going over the succession paperwork, he announced that my tax situation looks fine. The sale of the house will be a loss for me and most of the assets are not subject to any taxes.

With the good news in hand, I zipped over to Tyrone's to snag copies of our commercial and his appearances on the news. From there, I went and bought a RAID controller which has solved all of the remaining problems with my computer. And so now I have got a Leadbelly concert from 1949 and a Sly & the Family Stone gig from '69 downloading. I've already snagged the last public performance of the Carter Family and a Psychograss show.

Our company got a call from a bigshot lawyer whose home computer is FUBAR. He's a local boy who spent some time down in Evanston, IL and returned to be the General Counsel to our ex-guv and current Secretary of Health & Human Services, Tommy Thompson. And we'll be glad to take his filthy lucre.

I watched School of Rock this evening and thought it was hilarious! I used to be a lot like that. All of the references to various rock bands was right up my alley. Kill Bill Vol. 1 and The Matrix Revolutions are awaiting me to view them.

I dunno. Tonight my mind has much to say but my fingers are a bit lethargic. Feel a bit lonely, a bit melancholy. Luckily, this Beatallica is making me laugh and feel better. Maybe I'll do some reading. First, I need to get me some more coffee...
|| Palmer, 8:59 AM || link || (0) comments |

19 April, 2004

Aestival Events

Things are afoot here in Madison! A few years ago, O'Cayz Corral burned down. It was a nice hole-in-the-wall and a great venue for seeing bands. But now the owner has found a new place and it is set open next month as the High Noon Saloon.

In September, the Overture Center opens with a week of free festivities. The Hannah Jon Artet, Mama Digdown, Tony Casteneda, and Prog will all be playing. Also, Mind's Eye Radio Collective shall be doing a performance. They do "radio program that mixe poetry, commentary, drama, interviews, vox pop, and feature stories which explore contemporary social issues." The Kanopy Dance Company will also be performing. I may have dated Briana for only a few months but she got me interested in dance.

And I should buy a ticket for the Madison Symphony Orchestra's opening show of the season as they'll be doing Beethoven's 9th!! Speaking of which, I oughta go check out the schedules for the Milwaukee and Chicago symphonies as well...

Oooh! The CSO is gonna do The Rite of Spring!! I must go! Plus they're doing more Schoenberg and more Stravinsky too! The MSO is doing Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and Dvorak's From the New World! Alright - who wants to catch some high culture with me?

Unfortunately, I missed the California Guitar Trio in Milwaukee and I don't think I'll be able to see Yes in Chicago next month. But the Reverend Horton Heat will be coming here in a month or so. Too bad they're playing at the Barrymore. I should try to see Wilco down in Chicago at the Vic in June. While there aren't many gigs announced yet for Summerfest, I see that Primus will be in Milwaukee in June!

What else have we got here...? Oh yeah! The Farmer's Market will be starting next Saturday! And tickets for The Great Taste of the Midwest go on sale soon.

If the weather holds this week, I may have to head out to Olbrich Gardens. If not, it's off to the Evlehjem to see their "Books as Art" exhibition. Or both. And I feel the need to go to the cinema. I'd like to see The Triplets of Belleville. KEWL! The IMAX theater at Navy Pier will be showing the next Harry Potter movie!

So much to do and see...
|| Palmer, 8:58 AM || link || (0) comments |
Your Humble Narrator Will Finish Last

I did my good deed for the day tonight. We received a letter in the mail today that was for none of us yet it had our address. So I tracked down the person to whom it was addressed on the Net and the woman came over and picked it up.

The wee hours of this morning were really weird. At some point during the night, I woke about half up in a daze. I must have had a dream of no small prurience because I started rubbing my naughty bits through my boxers. This didn't last and, before long, I was asleep again. Sometime later, I awoke again and, half-conscious, I pulled down my boxers and began to masturbate. Next thing I know, it's about 5:30, the sun is coming up, and my boxers are down at my knees. This isn't the first time something like this has happened and it certainly won't be the last. It's probably a good thing that there's no one sharing my bed as she'd be forced to defend herself from this semi-conscious sex-crazed monster that thinks he has 8 hands. I've gotten at least a couple mini-curtain lectures from girlfriends in years past.

Her: "Do you remember waking up last night about 2?"

Me: "No. Why?"

Her: "Well, you started touching me..."

I guess that my reproductive instinct doesn't keep the same sleep schedule as the rest of me.

I spent nearly 3 hours down at Toad Hill this morning. The Caffeinatrix didn't look too well. Her hound, Billie, is ill. So, between a trip to the vet and worrying, she got only a couple hours of sleep. Poor hound and owner! I read her horoscope to her and we did the crossword puzzle. Honestly, I didn't mean to hang around as long as I did but we had fun shooting the shit and playing a card game called Apples & Something-or-other which was made by a local company called Out of the Box Publishing. The owner is a regular customer at Toad Hill.

After I got home, I felt lost so I just took a nap which involved a couple intense dreams but I can't remember any of them - bummer. This evening, I had a business meeting with my partners. I'll be taking over most of the advertising duties and be responsible for the cell phone. The mail brought some good news. The water utility in Louisiana owes me $3.25 and, according to the lawyer, we'll not have to pay any Federal or state (LA) inheritance taxes. Stevie hounded me for a while about pitching in for that boat that he and Andy wanna buy. They're looking to get a 24' pontoon boat (a.k.a. a party barge) and rent a slip down the road a bit so we won't have to tow it around. That'd be so fucking cool! Just drive a few minutes from home, park the car, and jump into the boat. There are just some things about summer that you can't beat. I keep picturing myself getting up early on a weekday and heading down to the landing. Slowly tacking the windy seas of Lake Monona while sippin' on a pipin' hot cup of organic Fair Trade Voltaire's Passion as some King Crimson is blasting out of the stereo. Nerds and boats - a deadly mix.

Ron gave me the eponymous album by The White Stripes and I have to say that I really like it. I know my new colors aren't too fab but they're brighter. My monitor is dying so the brightness & contrast are for shite.

Before I forget, I want to say thanks to all of you who have given me their condolences and left me notes while I was in limbo down in Louisiana. It was really nice to get them. And a special thanks to the person who sent me a letter and that chocolate - your generosity will not be forgotten! I'd also like to say that I have been reading my regulars. Granted, I haven't been noting a whole helluva lot but I've been lurking. I'll try to catch up soon and be more responsive.

Tomorrow I need to buy a new RAID controller for my computer, mail some stuff, and write a few letters. I sent out 3 resumes today so hopefully I'll hear about an interview soon. Oh! And a lawyer called who needs some PC work done. Shoot! I almost forgot - I've got a meeting with my accountant tomorrow morning too...
|| Palmer, 8:57 AM || link || (0) comments |

18 April, 2004

Another Week Ending

I swear to y'all - I wrote most of an entry a couple days ago but the bloody power went out and I lost it to the aether. And the power just came back on after having been out for an hour a little while ago. Very windy right now.

What the heck was the last thing I wrote? One of the first things I noticed upon returning to Madison was how my skin dried out. My elbows turned to sandpaper and my lips just became parched. I've been applying Hershey's chocolate-flavored lip balm and some pecan-scented avon lotion for the past few days. The fungus on one foot is basically gone but is worse on the other. There's even blue to go along with the green now. And, just to add insult to injury, I've got jock itch too. I'm going to head over to Walgreens (that's a chemist, for all you Brits) to get some serious anti-fungal medications.

This evening I bowled. The law firm Mel works at had a little soiree and I get invited to most of them. Since I love bowling so much, how could I pass it up? I got to see Jennifer again and she was looking mighty fine. Upon seeing her, she gave me a big hug and her condolences. She's such a hoot. The second time we met, she bestowed a nickname upon me. Plus she's the flirtatious/touchy-feely type so it's always fun to hang around with her. At the end of the night, I took home the trophy for men's high game as well as a door prize which was a $25 gift certificate for dinner. A good time was had by all.

Yesterday I gamed over at Dogger's. Since it had been a month, it was good to step into the shoes of Severus, my cleric. Our party finally made it to civilization after wandering the outback of Faerun for ages. Severus worships Oghma, a deity of knowledge, so, after resting, he's gonna hit the books at the local temple. Dogger and I talked it over and hope our characters get to have some adventures in town as we're sick of killing orcs and running from ettins out in the wild. We want some kinda Sherlock Holmes thing where we can prove just how clumsy we are.

I was supposed to head over to Lush's on Friday but had a job. So I had a nice, quiet night at home. Thirty Thursday was over at Miss Rosie's place. Gina was there too so the 3 of us drank Ten High & sours and shot the shit until The Pollack arrived. Everyone was doing well. Gina is buying a condo, Rosie is looking to move to another department at work, and The Pollack was all happy because he's fucking 2 chickies now.

On Wednesday, Ron gave me some welcome home gifts - 10 CDs and a very handy little book: The Bourbon Companion. The Caffeinatrix also gave me a book. It's a collection of photographs by Gilberte Brassai - pretty neat stuff. The first page I opened up was of female nudes. It's not such a bad thing to see a nice callipygian figure first thing upon cracking the spine of a book, I can tell you.

Other than this, my week was filled with paperwork, paying bills, and mailing lots of stuff, including my dad's ashes. A very odd sense of finality came over me as I walked out of the post office after having mailed my father's ashes. Some tears even welled in my eyes. I often find myself just staring off into space thinking about him. But I never know what I should be thinking about. Do I think about all the distance that was between us? Or those precious few good times? Both, I suppose, but I mainly think about the former.

I've got about a million invitations to visit people. A Brewers game and a soiree for Suicidegirls.com memebers in Milwaukee next Saturday. Then Sunday is Regan's baptism. The weekend after that, I'm off to Eau Claire to visit my stepsister and stepbrothers. And I have to get to Chicago soon to have a few Dave's with my uncle. Plus my aunt in Florida wants me to visit. Oh - I almost forgot - I wanna get my ass to Minneapolis to visit Jeffrey.If that wasn't enough, Jean wants me to head to Chicago to hang out and go on some tour of the city which, as near as I can tell, exposes the haunted sites of ChiTown.

So much on my mind. So much I'm looking forward to. Canoeing & camping. The gardens. Bicycle riding. Visiting friends & family. Cooking out. Blah blah blah. I wish I could relate in words how happy I am to be home, to have gotten the hugs that I have received, and to have some warm weather - to see, to feel all the possibilities and the hope that spring ushers in.

On Tuesday Pete's dad had heart surgery. Pete was acting very weird but he got better after he and I went to visit his old man in the hospital on Wednesday. He looks to have a full recovery. Stevie informed me that he's planning on telling Pete that he's being kicked out when his lease expires in August. So Stevie and I are on the lookout for a new roommate. That is going to make for some tense times around here and I'm not looking forward to that.

On the bright side, my brother and I accepted an offer on the house in Louisiana. The estate's paperwork is all in order. I found out today that one of the hottie women down at Toad Hill had her first novel published this week. Hearing of this really made me want to do some writing so perhaps I'll pickup where I left off on that story a few weeks ago. And there's always that Tull essay begging to be completed.

I feel like there are so many bright spots in my life right now yet it's all for shit. There are so many things going on in my brain right now yet it feels empty. I find that I constantly want to be around people yet, at the same time, want to be left alone with my thoughts. My brain box is this mess of contradictory thoughts and feelings. And my libido has left town with no forwarding address. All of the beautiful women I've spoken to lately - they all seem so intangible to me. And I suppose they are. On the other hand, growing old very alone seems so real. That, at least, is very much within my grasp.
|| Palmer, 8:56 AM || link || (0) comments |

09 April, 2004

Egress Anon

The driver of the moving truck called today for directions - he's driving out of Florida. He'll be here between 8-9. I hope to fuck I can be outta here by noon. After the movers leave, I've got 1 room to vacuum and the kitchen floor to mop. Then I have to call and have the utilities turned off with the electricity put in my name as it will remain on. The neighbor and his wife will be stopping by sometime in the morning to look at the place. It would be swell if they'd buy the joint. Their son will mow the lawn for only $25! What a bargain for me!

One more night on the floor...one more night on the floor...
|| Palmer, 8:55 AM || link || (0) comments |

08 April, 2004

More Kätze

|| Palmer, 8:46 AM || link || (0) comments |
Fierce Creatures

|| Palmer, 8:44 AM || link || (0) comments |
Neighborhood Animals

Here's some pictures of the creatures in my backyard:

|| Palmer, 8:42 AM || link || (0) comments |
Trials, Troubles, & Tribulations With Teamsters

It's a pleasant night here in Natchitoches. I spent part of this evening playing with the neighborhood kätze (that's cats, for you non-German speakers) and taking their pictures. Oh, and I got eaten alive by skeeters that have these funky black & white striped legs. I think I should go get some tonic water in case these buggers carry malaria.

Alright. I've got the ashes. Got the death certs. The next time I hear from the realtor will be when I get a bid on the house. The succession hoo-ha awaits only a signed affidavit from my uncle & stepaunt and then it gets shipped off to the court. I think I've done everything I can possibly do here. I know I have a mound of paperwork the size of Texas awaiting me at home.

My trials, troubles, and tribulations with the movers seem to be over. On Tuesday I received a call saying that they would not be able to make it on Wednesday. Instead they would be here Friday (tomorrow). Not having heard from them about a pickup time, I called around 1 this afternoon. And I got the dispatcher's voice mail. So I leave a message. Three or four hours later still no word. So I call again and get a friendly woman who said that we were still on schedule for a Friday pickup but she'd have to call and find out the time. Would it be alright if she called me back? Suuuuuure. How can I fight the Teamsters?

So I waited around. Miss Rosie called to make sure I hadn't gotten a job and settled down here. Then I called an aunt and chatted for a while. As we were talking, a kätze jumped up to the window and started meowing loudly. I ain't superstitious but it was a black cat. At the end of the call, I was given explicit instructions by my aunt to "keep in touch and call". I also received an email from my cousin who's in the Navy. He's been sending me pictures of his carrier battle group out in the Pacific. He retires later this year and will move back to the Twin Cities. He's even promised a visit to Madison once he's a civilian again. It makes me sad, in a way, to start reacquainting myself with members of my family only after my dad's death but better late than never, I guess. It's always nice to chill with others who are cursed with the same genes as I get to do it so infrequently.

Anyway, after coming in from the skeeters and the kätze, I found a couple messages awaiting me. One informed me that the movers will be here Saturday morning between 8-8:30. I was even given the driver's cell phone # so I can harrass him if need be. Granted, if I were to do so, I'd have some Teamsters show up and kick my ass but - hey - at least that would mean that they're not ignoring me.

So the plan is to leave Saturday morning after the movers leave. Just 2 more nights of sleeping on the floor! And there's chocolate waiting for me in Madison. At least there had better still be.

Well, I'm gonna air drum with a couple pens to this Gentle Giant song before tuning back into The Majority Report hosted by my new love, Janeane Garofalo, comes back from commercial. And this air drumming is harder than you think - damn contrapuntal music!
|| Palmer, 8:41 AM || link || (0) comments |
I Need Dumb Donald

Things are on course for a departure on Saturday. Just two more nights of sleeping on the floor.

I signed some more paperwork for the lawyer today as well as the realtor. The latter stopped by and took some photos so she can advertise the place. New homeowners insurance is forthcoming. As it has been from the beginning, the only variable is the moving company. I called around one and asked about the pickup date/time. Unsurprisingly, I ended up in a voice mailbox and no one called for 3 hours. So I called again. Got a seeminly helpful woman who said that we were still on target for tomorrow but didn't know what time. So she said she'd call me back when she found out. It's been half an hour and still nothing.

Dumb Donald is a Teamster. Unfortunately, he's just a paean and has no strings to pull.

"Somebody walk on my back! Ow! Ow! One at a time! No Teamsters!" -Krusty

I swear to fuck, my egress from this town is so close I can taste it...
|| Palmer, 8:36 AM || link || (0) comments |
Money, It's A Hit

Since I had to go drop of something at the lawyer's, I decided to go cash in my dad's change jar. It's a #10 coffee can about half full. (Or is that half empty?) I present it to the teller and she asks if I have an account. So I explain that my father did and that all I wanna do is cash in the change for some paper money. It was then explained to me that I would have to leave the money there and that they might have it ready later in the afternoon. I couldn't fucking believe it and had to keep from laughing. I'm not withdrawing from or depositing into my father's account. I just want to change the corporeal form of some money. The teller then explains that they have to count it and then rolls the coins into those paper rolls first.

What the fuck is wrong with these people? Pour the change into the counting machine, get a total, and give me some bills. I was soooo tempted to ask her if they counted it by hand but refrained. Since tomorrow is some goofy holiday, the bank won't be open and I plan on leaving as soon as I can on Saturday so I just grabbed the can and left. Walking out the door, I started laughing to myself out loud. Exchanging coins for bills takes a matter of hours, if not overnight.
|| Palmer, 8:34 AM || link || (0) comments |
Rice, Rice Baby

The 9/11 Commission starring Condoleezza Rice is on now. I just love how she thanked the commission for letting her appear. Christ, they almost had to drag her kicking and screaming out of her executively privileged safehouse.

My name is Palmer and I approve this journal entry.
|| Palmer, 8:13 AM || link || (0) comments |

07 April, 2004

Childhood's End?

The past several days, I've bitched and bitched about the tortoise-like speed with which the funeral home has been going at in getting me the death certificates and my father's ashes. I almost feel like they could have taken longer.

I went down there a little while ago and, after seeing the office empty, found a guy on his lunch break. After searching for a short time, he found everything and handed me a short stack of papers and a box. The box was heavier than I expected - probably around 15 lbs. Walking down the hall to the exit, I felt a great sense of relief. No more calls from them asking for my dad's highest level of education and no more we'll-call-you-tomorrows. Walking out the door, it suddenly dawned on me in a meaningful way that I held what was left of my father's body in my arms. I was walking over to his truck to drive back to his house. Tears welled in my eyes as I sauntered back to the parking lot. Hopping into the cab, I placed the box on the seat next to me very carefully, very gently. I started the engine and took off down the street.

Holding back the tears, I made my way to the coffeehouse so I could get some decent java instead of the Folgers I've been torturing myself with the past few days. Walking in, a pretty blonde greeted me. And she actually had hips. I wished that I could have stayed as there was no one else there so I could have tried to weave my magic on her but my mind and heart were elsewhere. So I got back into the truck an executed a really half-assed Y manoeuvre to get out of the small parking lot. Turning back out onto the street, my brain made the fatal mistake of deciding to play Steve Earle's "Goodbye" to itself. But this was Emmylou Harris' version - my father loved Emmylou. I kept hearing the refrain of "I can't remember if we said goodbye" interspersed with bits of that last phone conversation I had with him. I could hear his voice so clearly - it was so humble, so meek.

"I can't remember if we said goodbye"

As I drove, my vision became blurry from all the tears in my eyes and finally a tear ran down a cheek. The short drive was turning into miles and miles and it was becoming ever more difficult to keep from just sobbing. But I finally made it home. I empty my arms onto the table and sat down.

Should I or should I not look at the ashes? Would it be too morbid?

I opened the box to find a black rectangular box made of plastic. I shook it gently and heard the ashes moving inside. Prying open the top, I found a plastic bag full of light gray dust...what was left of my father.

I immediately began to choke up and then I couldn't hold it in any longer.

I bawled.

Like a baby.

It came from someplace deep down inside me that I never knew existed. This tight ball of sadness, of regret, and loneliness. My whole body shuddered in grief and I covered my face with my hands.

"I can't remember if we said goodbye"

Looking up at the ashes again, I poked the bag with my finger as if I could touch my father again. As tears streamed down my eyes, I whimpered like a child. Before this, my father's death was marked by his absence. Now, I had his ashes - something tangible - to drive home the fact that, no matter how well or unwell we got along, no matter how he drove me crazy, he is truly, permanently gone. No longer a distant, humble voice on the phone asking me to visit him, his body sits on the table next to me in a small black box while everything else about him resides in my head and my heart.

Just when I thought I'd cried enough for a while, I opened up a picture of him on the computer. His wide, toothless grin filled the entire screen and I broke down again. For the first time since his death, I missed him. For the first time since I was a boy, I missed my father.

Tears run down my cheeks as I type and I wonder if it's a man grieving or not. Because I feel like a lost little boy right now. It feels like, if I were to look over my shoulder, I'd see that little boy with the bright blonde hair who always wondered why his father hardly ever spent any time with him. Why his father never came outside to throw the football around like all his friends' dads did. That kid who had to wait 20 more years to get to know his own father. But like, him, that child is long gone.

Or is he?

Right now, I'd give anything for a hug. But that's 1000 miles and 4 days away.

When I saw the movie Big Fish, I can't tell you how much I identified with Will Bloom. There were tears in my eyes as the credits rolled. I was thinking earlier of going to get a box and mailing the ashes to my uncle as he's going to bury them. Part of me just wanted them out of sight but I realize that they can't be put out of mind. And I guess I don't want them to anyway. I'll let the box sit on the counter until I pack it in my car when I leave. I'm sure I'll cry some more and maybe I can use it as a focal point for my thoughts.

At the moment, all I can think about is this picture I have at home of my father holding me when I was only a few months old as I sucked on a bottle. That and how much I just want to be home.
|| Palmer, 2:50 PM || link || (0) comments |

06 April, 2004

Unwanted Update

Not having heard from the movers, I call the rep with whom I spoke. But I get his voice mail so I leave a message. A couple hours later, I get a call with the wonderful news that my stuff cannot be picked up tomorrow. They've found another carrier who can be here Friday and, in the meantime, they'll continue to look for someone who can get here sooner. Well, they're obviously not going to find anyone else so I've resigned myself to being stuck here until Saturday. If I'm lucky, I'll get home on Sunday. I've spent nearly 2 weeks getting jerked around by moving companies, not to mention the funeral home for even longer.

While I was angry at first, now I've settled into sheer frustration. I feel like walking into their respective offices, pulling down my pants, and bending over so they can fuck me over personally. And as the santorum drips out, I can politely ask them whom do I have to pay to get something done. Fuck, that probably won't help. The funeral home already has nearly $3000 from me and haven't done shit.

Ah well. Nuthin' I can do about any of it.
|| Palmer, 2:35 PM || link || (0) comments |
I Wish I Was...

Constance Rice, 2nd cousin of Condoleezza, our National Security Advisor, is on the radio now. She's wonderful! Witty, intelligent, charming, and a good sense of humor. I keep thinking "Why have I never heard her before?" It's refreshing to have a black woman featured in the media for something other than called to task on a terrorism or for bearing a breast on television.

Listening to all this lefty radio has given me the desire to listen to various songs of a similar nature. Songs that, in their own ways, encapsulate many of my own feelings on various issues and somehow represent my view of the world at-large. Maybe I'll spin a mix CD when I get home because I've got tons of tunes in mind.

Pilgrim's Address
What Colour is God?
The Perception of Johnny Punter
Big Wedge
State of Mind
Don't Believe the Hype
Sound of Muzak
Bride/Living With the Big Lie
Hymn 43
Roots to Branches
Piece of Crap
Sweetheart on the Barricade
Feel Free
Maggie's Farm
Bulls On Parade
American Life

I'd also like to put some KRS-One on there and there's gotta be some blues too that escapes me at the moment. Maybe I could intersperse some interviews and spoken word bits in between the songs. Well, I'll figure that out when I get home.

Hopefully the funeral home will call with good news soon. I have this sinking feeling that the movers aren't going to call so I'll have to call them this afternoon. I also envision being told that they will not be able to make it by tomorrow as per our contract. It feels like I will never get home.
|| Palmer, 10:02 AM || link || (0) comments |

05 April, 2004

Oh Movers, Where Art Thou?

While my last entry was accurate at the time, it didn't take a long time for the phone to start ringing. First the funeral home called and asked me for my dad's highest level of education 10 days after they asked me the first time. And I got another "probably be available tomorrow" to add to my collection. The realtor called and had the assessed value of the house for me and even wanted to show it this afternoon. They'll be here in about an hour.

While this is all good news, none of it has made me feel much better. I will believe that the death certificates are done when they're in my hands. And the movers haven't called. Yeah, yeah, yeah - I know they told me that I might be called as late as Tuesday but I'm anxious.

One of the problems is that I'm a horrible multi-tasker. I can't grieve if I'm a stranger in a strange land trying to tie up loose ends. It makes me feel like Odysseus. But instead of Scylla, Charybdis, Sirens, Circe, and a Cyclops, I encounter a funeral home, a coroner, and 4 moving companies. Instead of trying to return to Penelope, I pine for MadTown.

Scheisse! I missed my opportunity to vote in tomorrow's local elections. I went to the Wisconsin State Election Board web page only to find that I'm 3 days late to get an absentee ballot. Fuck!

Well, I decided to list the house at the assessed value - $82.5K. Homes/land are so cheap down here - it's ridiculous. Especially considering that I'm on a lake. Technically, I'm gonna need my brother's signature but, after talking to the lawyer, I decided to make the call and just be the lone signatory. According to him, it'll all come out in the wash.

I just received an email from another moving company asking for an inventory so they can give me a quote. I filled it out and returned it right away as I have absolutely no confidence in movers.
|| Palmer, 1:30 PM || link || (0) comments |
No Calls Yet

Monday. I am hoping to hear from the movers and get a date/time for pick up. I'm also hoping that the death certifcates are available. Perhaps I'll hit the bathroom to do some cleaning. It's not horribly dirty or anything but the shower could use a good scouring.

I've been trading emails with my friend Gene from Chicago since last night. We have known one another for over 26 years and his father died last November. In our emails, we've compared the ways we deal with grief as well as just the usual banter between old friends.

Errol Morris, director of the recent The Fog of War, is on now. He was asked, since he marched in protest of the Vietnam War, if he had marched in protest of our venture in Iraq. He said that he did but that it was at the behest of his wife. hehe Women exert such great influence over the men in their lives and I wonder if they know the true extent.

The interview so far has been pretty good but I'd be happier if they went into more film-geek stuff. It's wonderfully ironic to hear the ambivlence in his comments as his films are usually steeped in it. The truth is slippery - elusive - for him and this is readily apparent in his documentaries.
|| Palmer, 9:52 AM || link || (0) comments |
Spirit of Radio

One of the writers from The Onion was on Air America this morning. A nice way to start my morning. Amongst other things, he talked about how various pieces were taken as legitimate news. I remember the Beijing newspaper incident but didn't know that the London Times had mistaken an Onion article as the truth. Some guy called in and said that his favorite piece was about Yes lyrics being put into the Bible. Being a hugs Yes fan, I found that one to be hilarious but had forgotten about it.

YES Lyrics to be Added to New Testament

VATICAN CITY -- In the first-ever union of the Word of God and the Synthesizer, the Catholic Church's College of Cardinals voted unanimously Monday to incorporate the lyrics of YES into the New Testament.

The resulting new Bible, the Revised Standard YesScriptures, will replace the Jerusalem Bible of 1966 as the standard accepted record and vehicle of divine revelation.

"Let us rejoice in this momentous occasion," said Pope John Paul II in a special service at St. Peter's. "And let no man be unmoved, remembering the words of Jesus: 'In and around the lake, mountains come out of the sky, and they stand there.' Amen."

In addition to a number of new sections, including the four-part Book of Bruford (a. Cord of Life; b. Eclipse; c. The Preacher; d. The Apocalypse), the revised YesScriptures will feature a dazzling, airbrushed gatefold by artist Roger Dean.

Perhaps the most significant change is a more complete history of the life of Christ. In the revised account of Christ's temptation by Satan, the Lord and Savior is brought to a mountaintop overlooking a pastel landscape filled with exotic, half-melted rock formations and wispy, cloudlike trees. Christ, though tempted, "can see all good people turn their heads each day, and, so satisfied, He continues on His way."

Christ's rejection of the Lord Of Lies is then followed by a 16-minute keyboard solo by synthesizer maestro Rick Wakeman.

"God's word is not always clear, and neither is the path Jesus wants us to take in life," New York's Cardinal O'Connor said of the new scriptures. "But when Jesus tells His disciples at the Last Supper to eat of His body and drink of His blood, for 'He can feel no sense of measure, no illusions as He taketh refuge in young man's pleasure,' I as a Christian take comfort in these words."

Despite being called for by pro-YES movements within the Church for decades, the decision marks the first official Catholic acknowledgement of YES-inclusive language and YES-positive Biblical interpretations as actually being the Divine Word.

"The Holy See's decision is a victory for progressives everywhere," said Jethro Tull frontman and longtime Christian Ian Anderson. "The updated Bible passages reflect the tremendously significant role that the concept album plays in our modern lives."

The Catholic Church is not the first religious sect to embrace progressive-rock reform. Since 1974, Reform Jews have, as part of Rosh Hashanah services, sung verses from The Book Of Genesis Featuring Peter Gabriel. For years, Unitarian educators have taught the works of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, including Brain Salad Surgery.

Though the majority of Bible scholars are welcoming the new YesScriptures, a small minority stands strongly opposed.

"The messages in the YesScriptures are rarely clear and almost always of questionable morality," said Michael Fox, chair of Yale University's Divinity School. "While Christ's message may seem obvious when, in Howe 3:16, He sayeth unto James the Lesser: 'Owner of a lonely heart, yea, much better than thee, O owner of a broken heart,' it is possible that this passage contains intended irony on the part of the Savior, and that the verse actually signifies a message of profound sympathy for the broken-hearted heart-owners of Mankind."

"The Word of God is the rock upon which we have built the Catholic Church," Fox concluded. "It is not Fragile."

I still kinda miss the old Onion when it was only in Madison. They had the Campus Crime Round-Up and poked fun at locals like our former governor, Tommy Thompson.

Oooh!! Errol Morris is gonna be on in a little bit!!!
|| Palmer, 9:26 AM || link || (0) comments |

04 April, 2004

Thinking Ahead

Looking out at my backyard, I've noticed lots of cardinals. Beautiful deep reds. There are also plenty of other birds that I don't recognize. I've also noticed that squirrels are conspicuous by their absence. (*Boris voice* Moose and sqvirrel) I suppose that this is a good thing for those with bird feeders but not seeing any of them scurrying about is just plain odd.

A few cookies have been put into my gullet and I've had nearly enough coffee to get me up and lawn mowing. Other than that, no real plans for today. No companies or agencies are open so they won't be calling me and I can't get a hold of anyone there. And, being a godless heathen, no church for me. I'm downloading an episode of Doctor Who right now so perhaps after I finish mowing and shower, I can relax to "The Invasion of Time". Yesterday I started writing a letter to my child. I realize that I don't have one but I tried to capture my thoughts and feelings about a grandfather he or she will never know. Maybe I'll work on that later too.
|| Palmer, 10:22 AM || link || (0) comments |
WI vs. LA

Here are some things I've noticed that are different down here in Louisiana...

parish - they don't have counties here, they have parishes. In Wisconsin, all places are denoted by what county they're in. So, if someone mentions a town and you don't know where it is and ask, your answer will start with something like, "It's up in Ashland County near..." I know that Louisiana and Vermont aren't like this. Must be a Wisconsin thing.

jet system - a.k.a. - a septic system. The realtor sprang this one on me. I thought she was talking about a water softener at first.

bodies of water - my new house sits on a peninsula that juts into Sibley Lake, not Lake Sibley. Plus, a body of water flows through the center of town that's called Cane River Lake. Explain that one to me.

washateria - better known as a laundromat. This one stumped me for a while as I heard it from a hot blonde coed when I was asking for directions to the coffee shop so I wasn't paying strict attention - to her words.

"It's just up the street from the washateria."

"A washateria?"

"You know what a laundromat is? Same thing..."

telecopier - now I found this one to be really funny as it made me think of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. My lawyer has this on his business card instead of "fax". I wonder if he has an autogyro...

rues - yeah, I know this one is obvious but I had to throw it in. There's even a Rue St. Denis just like in Paris.

I've told several people that I'm from Wisconsin and, judging from their responses, it seems that folks here consider Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to be the same thing. It goes something like this:

Me: "I live in Madison, Wisconsin."

Them: "Oh, I've been to Wisconsin before. I visited Minneapolis."

Me: *rolls eyes*

Whether or not the pecan trees are in bloom is the "true" indicator of the arrival of spring.

People here are hyper-friendly and courteous. I haven't been called "sir" so much in ages.

The cheese selection at the grocery store is horrendous. On the other hand, every possible part of a pig is readily available. The amount of shelf space given over to cuts of pork is sinfully large. Gas stations have pickled pig's feet on the counters in these huge jars that look like they've been there since the 1960s. And I swear that every restaurant allows you to add bacon to anything on the menu. This town is definitely not kosher.

Despite the small townyness, it does have most of the modern amenities of larger cities. For instance, everyone has a cell phone and talks on it while driving. There are also plenty of people whose car trunks are completely taken up by a sub woofer and they go around cranking really bad hip-hop up for everyone in a 5 miles radius to hear.

While I don't know what % of the town is of what color, I do know that most black folks live on the west side of town. I don't recall having seen one interracial couple. While I haven't seen nor heard any blatant racism, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that my lawyer was a plantation owner in a former life.

Property taxes. My dad got a homestead exemption and paid no property taxes. My lawyer said that a $150,000 home would incur about $500 in property taxes. Compare this to the a**-raping in Wisconsin.

That's all I can think of at this point. Hopefully more will come to me before I leave.
|| Palmer, 9:39 AM || link || (0) comments |

03 April, 2004

Vernal Brews

I don't know if you could call a jam with bass, drums, and two recorders "funky", but Gentle Giant rocks.

It's April and that means the beers of spring are upon us. From New Glarus, we have:

"Warm reflective copper, it is the perfected hue of our dunkle weiss and our brewhouse. Rich malt flavors are accentuated through our complicated decoction mash and finally balanced with select Hallertau hops."

Oh mama, one of those would hit the spot right now.

And, next month, the Capital Brewery brings us:

I'm a beer drinking man for every season.
|| Palmer, 10:16 PM || link || (0) comments |
Just Like Palmer E.'s Blues

When you're lost in the rain in Natchitoches
And it's Eastertime too
And your gravity fails
And negativity don't pull you through

Yeah, it's a Bobby Z. kinda night.

Aside from faxing and job hunting, I shook off my sloth and asked the next door neighbor if I could use his lawnmower. Of course, I did this with about 20 minutes of daylight left so I didn't get much done and what I did was littered with rocks and all manner of blade-dulling things. It proved to be a rather fortuitous encounter as, not only was the guy nicer than all get out, he showed interest in buying the house. And, to top it all off, he's got a 16 year-old son who is interested in doing the mowing until the house is sold. While this turn of events is quite pleasing, the mowing I did has made me a sweaty pig.

I had a some mighty tasty catfish for dinner. I've loved catfish since I was about 13. Mmmm...catfish...And, since my chocolate supplies had diminished, I bought some fudge cookies. It's bad enough being down here alone. But without chocolate - it's unthinkable.
|| Palmer, 6:07 PM || link || (0) comments |
Just the Fax, Ma'am

It looks to be another beautiful day. My to-do list isn't extremely long anymore, but most of the remaining items are dependent upon other coming through on their end. So, I've applied for a few jobs back in Madison and called Unca D to make him aware that the affidavits are in the mail. The only thing I really need to do is to go get the contract, which was faxed, forge signatures, and send it back.

It just occured to me that I haven't watched TV in about a week and a half. And I don't miss it. I never find myself thinking - "Ooh! I'm missing such-and-such!" But I suppose I could use a dose of The Simpsons. I see that there's going to be a discussion about the Constitutional Convention later on BookTV. I think I'll shower, go to down and deal with the fax, and then watch that show. Maybe I'll head down to the coffeehouse afterwards and do some reading. I've looked at the listing for the sole cinema in town and they have 4 films from which to choose: Home On the Range, The Passion of the Christ, Walking Tall, and Scooby Doo 2. Mayhaps I'll catch the Scooby Doo flick as the Linda Cardellini, who plays Velma, is a hottie.

Honestly, I have so much on my mind now that it's hard to concentrate on much of anything. I've come upon a topic for an article that I'd like to write but am unable to get very far with it. There's a book in my suitcase that I'd like to get back into but the right moment hasn't seemed to have sprung.

Well, I'm off to shower then to deal with faxes...
|| Palmer, 9:13 AM || link || (0) comments |
"Sorry, Lady!"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California man has pleaded guilty to residential burglary after he set up a meeting with a woman on a rape fantasy Internet chat page, but instead broke into a different woman's apartment.

Michael Todd Howard, 35, pleaded guilty in a court in San Diego on Tuesday in return for an expected sentence of one year in jail and probation, prosecutors said.

According to court documents, last September, Howard broke into the home of a woman with whom he thought he had set up an encounter on what was described as a "rape fantasy" chat site. After he entered the wrong apartment, he hit and struggled with the 25-year-old woman inside, who told law enforcement officials she thought she was going to be killed.

The victim stopped the attack by yelling and attacking Howard's testicles. Howard then asked for the name the victim used in the chat room and she responded by saying she had never visited a chat room and did not have a personal computer.

As a part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges of intent to commit rape, false imprisonment and possession of illegal drugs. Howard will be sentenced next month.
|| Palmer, 8:25 AM || link || (0) comments |
Caveat Self-Abusers!

Teen Who Posted Own Photo Charged with Child Porn

Monday, March 29, 2004
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

State police have charged a 15-year-old Latrobe girl with child pornography for taking photos of herself and posting them on the Internet.

Police said the girl, whose identity they withheld, photographed herself in various states of undress and performing a variety of sexual acts. She then sent the photos to people she met in chat rooms.

A police report did not say how police learned about the girl. They found dozens of pictures of her on her computer.

She has been charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography.

Police said they are trying to identify all the people who receive photos from the girl.

|| Palmer, 8:11 AM || link || (0) comments |

02 April, 2004

Gotta Stand and Face It...

Do you think I could get Janeane Garofalo to marry me? I've been listening to the show on Air America that she hosts and she went off on right-wing radio talk shows and their hosts. I felt like applauding when she described them as being anti-intellectual and defending the idea that some things in this world aren't either black or white, some things are complicated and require more than ad hominem attacks to explain.

Intelligence is so sexy - I think I'm falling in love.

Life is so complicated
|| Palmer, 7:32 PM || link || (0) comments |
The Signpost Up Ahead

The part of the backyard that is without grass is now raked. It took roughly 10 garbage bags to hold it all but it's done. As I was bagging the leaves, I noticed a newt scurrying across the sidewalk. Going back to the leaf pile, I remembered that, at the bottom, was a layer that had been sitting there for some time. Then I started thinking that maybe, just maybe, there's snake chillin' in there. Now, in Wisconsin it's no big deal as we've only got garter snakes. They're small and not poisonous. But down here, they're venomous. So I continued doing what I had been and didn't change a thing. But the thought was there in the back of my head...

I saw the lawyer this morning and he went over some stuff and is basically just waiting for the assessment on the house and the death certificate. Hell, he didn't even sound like he need the death cert. Speaking of which, I called the coroner and asked him what the holdup was. He told me that he signed them on March 23rd and was genuinely surprised that I didn't have them. In reply, I told him the excuse the funeral home gave me, namely, that he had them. He then replied that he would check on things and call me back. That was at least 5 hours ago and I've heard nothing from him. I just called the funeral home and was told that they've been sent to the Health Department and will be ready on Monday or Tuesday. It's like deja vu all over again.

Well, this doesn't really matter a whole helluva lot because of the movers. I called the moving sub-contractor earlier this afternoon as I did not receive the promised call first thing in the AM. The rep there said that the originating moving company had cancelled the order. So I thank the woman and call the other company. I get Tina the Misanthropic Dispatcher who tells me that she was just about to call me. I find this odd as the other woman said that the order was cancelled last night. Anyway, they couldn't get the sub-contractor to ship for whatever terms the originating company asked and so the order was cancelled and my brother's credit card will be refunded in roughly a week. A flurry of apologies followed. This from the same woman I nearly started screaming at 2 days ago because of their fucking horrible customer service. I was never informed of any delays and they couldn't be fucking bothered to let me know that they would not be able to complete their end of the deal - late or otherwise. And so it was back to the drawing board.

After receiving this information, I was livid. It felt like I was trapped in an episode of The Twilight Zone or something. I have been here 12 days yet I do not have my father's remains, I do not have any death certificates, and no mover lined up. Ergo, I have only the foggiest idea of when I will get home.

I solicited some estimates via the web and a company called back rather quickly. The actual cost of the move was cheap - a little under $1100 but, unlike the other companies with whom I spoke, they did not offer any free storage. One night of storage costs nearly $800 which is absolutely fucking outrageous. I told the guy I would call back this evening. I'm going to try other carriers to see if I can get some free storage. Otherwise I'm going to be here until Wednesday, get home Thursday, and drive to Chicago on Friday. Then back to Madison only to probably return on Sunday to be with family as it is one of their holidays.

While I am no longer lit up with anger, I am still angry but much less so than earlier. But to say that I am frustrated is a bit like saying that some people got hurt on 9/11. I've been patient, willing to wait for people to call me back who never do, I've sat on hold for eternities, I have not yelled at anyone and, in general, been a pretty easy-going and understanding kinda guy. But I cannot guarantee how much longer I will be able to hold up.

Alright, I just enlisted another mover. The guy was nice and said I'd get probably get a call tomorrow with a pickup date & time. Now, I know I won't get a call tomorrow so I am counting on Monday. They are supposed to pickup between the 3rd and 7th so, in theory, I might not be leaving until Thursday. But I've guaranteed a weekend delivery and a price less than $1800. A weekend delivery means less scrambling for me and no potential of a major headache. I was quoted $1600 but that was based on a 2100lbs load and all the other carriers figured around 1600lbs so I think the bill will, in fact, be a bit less. Tomorrow morning I go get the fax of the contract, forge my brother's signature again and fax it back. That will cost me around $20. On the upside, the ashes are finally waiting for pickup.

I have $50 in my pocket right now and I'd be more than happy to pay for a blowjob right now and any woman will do. Doesn't even have to be a hottie. While waiting on hold, I snagged a nice picture of a topless brunette for my wallpaper. Nothing nasty - just a couple luscious boobs. I think that I chose this picture because she's sitting in front of bookshelves. I was also able to find a Monty Python skin for WinAmp.

Air America is pretty good so far. This Randi Rhodes woman is blatantly annoying. She was raking on NPR earlier. She portrays herself as a pissed-off populist and has no time for actual discourse - it's all bitching. I have no time for a Rush Limbaugh with tits. While I am a liberal, I am also an intellectual. (At least I like to think of myself as approaching one.) I'll take slow, deliberate discussion over histrionics any day. Still, it's nice to have more lefty's on the air, whatever their schtick is.

I really need to take a shower as I stink. There's no soap in the house but there is some in my car. But I'm feeling to lazy to get it. I just feel so beaten down. Just wanna chill for a while. I've got some tunes cranked and a hottie staring back at me. Need to gain some mental strength for another few nights of sleeping on the floor and of being alone.
|| Palmer, 2:23 PM || link || (0) comments |