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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: October 12-October 19, 2003

Wednesday, October 15, 2003:

Got the proofs for The Airbag's Lipstick Kiss in the mail today, and everything looks like shit. The design is great, the layout is fine, but the images are still at an unacceptably low resolution, even though I gave Kinko's forty dollars to scan everything again at the highest possible dpi. So I am now basically decapitating my bank account, as well as my time spent earning money, and putting it all into a CD that could've been fine on the first pass if I'd had a brain and gone to a professional to begin with.

Not that Laural didn't do a great job; she did. I scanned my own images; I took my own digital photos (with the help of my middle- and- elementary-school-aged younger cousins who, while I love them to bits, don't really know what they're doing as far as this goes), and therefore I am to blame for this holdup that's gouging apart the ulcer I developed in middle school and has been lying dormant, in wait, ever since. I've decided to name my ulcer "Airbag," because I HATE my fucking album. But I've already sunk so much money, and such a ridiculous percentage of my savings, into it that it's too fucking late to turn back now because I'm stupid.

CURRENT MUSIC: The Rockity Roll EP by Mike Doughty. New! Yay!
Angry at assorted Queer as Folk characters, which is infinitely sadder than being angry at people in reality... which I also am.
"But Mr. Skeletor, it's the Wacky Doctor Game! If you win our epic Operation match, you get a free giraffe!"
9:49 PM.

Doot? | |

Tuesday, October 14, 2003:

A snippet of an e-mail Jess sent me this morning: "Yes, it is 7:44 in the AM. Usually I like to go to the library when I don't have anything particular to do. Especially when I woke up an hour early just to find out that my paper isn't due on this Tuesday, but next Tuesday. Hanging out in places before the sun comes out is my way of telling the world, 'Hey, not only do I have no life, am unprepared and suck, but I actually brewed coffee too!!!'"

I had a dream last night that she and I were on The Amazing Race. I've never actually seen the show, but my subconscious thankfully knows enough about the reality show genre in general to construct a plausible substitute. Anyway, she and I failed at every challenge put to us except when we were asked to remember all the lyrics to "Ice Ice Baby." That we could do.

Still no word from the roofing company about whether they'll cover the damages to Pip ($2200).

When I put my pants on this morning, I discovered that I'd forgotten to remove my birth certificate from my back pocket after my trip to Windsor on the fourth, and the washing machine had reduced it to a fibrous wad of illegibility. So I had to contact the Tennessee Department of Public Health this afternoon to obtain a new one. (I love how the main news story on their website involves raccoon rabies. Ah, my home state.) I was surprised by how easy it is to get a new copy of your birth certificate. I was fearful that they'd say I was out of luck and I'd be forced to create a forgery. Luckily, of course, I was born in Tennessee, so a forgery would be relatively simple: my birth certificate consists of little more than a crude caricature of Hank Williams Jr. giving a "thumbs up" signal, with a tobacco spit stain at the top in place of a notary seal.

This evening, I went to visit my friend Jim, who I haven't seen in over a year, as he's been teaching in China, and will be returning to the country on Friday. He's been home in Michigan since May, but I'm lazy.
JIM: "You could've called me, you know."
ME: "I know."
JIM: "I want you to admit that you're a bad person."
ME: "I freely admit that, and will put it in writing if you like."

I was supposed to go to his going-away party last Saturday, but of course I was without transportation by the time the party rolled around, so Jim showed me pictures. Judging from them, I think the two jackasses who ran me off the road were actually angels of mercy, keeping me from said party. Lots of people I haven't seen since my high school days, and very much want to continue not seeing.

Jim then showed me a bunch of slides from his travels in China, Thailand (eerie similarities to Return to Paradise in those photos, even though IMDB just reminded me that was Malaysia...), Hong Kong, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, and elsewhere. As the slideshow kept running, Jim and I got into an argument about the relative merits of The Northern State, and I think I missed a few countries then. It must be nice to have seen that much of the world. And to have purchased as many bootleg Chinese DVDs as Jim has.

CURRENT MUSIC: Voyageur by Enigma. It's pretty good.
Almost semi-content!
I've seen every episode of Playmakers thus far. That show is the television equivalent of huffing Pam cooking spray. It's horribly bad for you and it's a really crappy high to begin with, but it's still addictive.
10:51 PM.

Doot? | |

Sunday, October 12, 2003:

Pip is now undrivable. I was driving to my aunt's house yesterday, to celebrate her birthday with the rest of my family, and as I attempted to turn left into her subdivision, I was run off the road by two Mexican guys from The Dumbfuck Roofing Company who were turning left out of the subdivision without yielding. (Not that their race matters, of course, but it becomes relevant later.) I landed in a ditch, and I saw the driver of the roofing van laughing at me in my rearview mirror. He then took off. Ha ha.

I drove the remaining block to my aunt's house, where I discovered that I'd left a festive trail of coolant from the accident site to her driveway. Seems Pip had bottomed out in the ditch, and my radiator and rear bumper were wrecked, and I'd lost a headlight. My dad arrived soon afterward, and told me that I shouldn't even attempt to start the engine, since all the coolant had leaked onto the driveway, leaving a delicious treat for neighborhood puppies and squirrels. (Don't worry- we washed it away.)

Luckily, a friendly, tattooed neighbor guy named Michael had seen the accident, confirmed that I was totally not at fault, and identified the roofing company those guys worked for, so my dad called the police to file an incident report. Soon afterward, a moustachioed doofus of a cop named Officer Kelly arrived and proceeded to give me a lecture on how I shouldn't be "zipping through these turns like that." (Imagine John C. Reilly's character in Magnolia, only with his naive humanity replaced by dunderheaded arrogance.) He'd already asked me how fast I was going when I turned, and I said, "I don't know- as fast as you'd normally turn. Five miles per hour, maybe?"

So for your future reference: 5 mph = "zipping." Please make a note of it.

Officer Douchebag then asked about my driving record, and gave me a lecture on how I need to be extra careful driving my car, because Pip's registration is actually in my dad's name, so my dad is liable for any mistakes I make.

At this point, my dad pointed out the fact that swerving to avoid an accident really isn't a "mistake" per se, and the Mexican guys were the ones who'd actually done something wrong, first by forcing me into a ditch and then by leaving the scene of an accident. Officer Douchebag nodded sagely and replied, "Have you ever been to Mexico? Those guys go zippin' all over the place when they drive."

After about 20 minutes of lecturing me, Douchebag promised to write up the incident report in a manner that "casts you in as good a light as possible, because you really were in the right, regardless of how fast you were going, and I appreciate your honesty through all this." Whatever. At that point, I was just happy that he hadn't managed to give me a ticket for something.

So Pip got towed to the Saturn dealership, and will probably be out of commission for at least a week, according to my dad. Tomorrow, we're going to call The Dumbfuck Roofing Company and demand that they pay for the damages- as well as for a rental car for me until Pip is fixed. So hopefully I won't be that inconvenienced by all this. However, I'm still angry about the ease with which someone can totally screw someone else over and get away with it.

CURRENT MOOD: Enraged, though admittedly not as much so as yesterday. The Packers game enabled me to work through a lot of my rage, really.
5:23 PM.

Doot? | |

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