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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: December 13-December 20, 2003

Friday, December 19, 2003:

After some confusion, the good people at Oasis have agreed to reprint the booklet to my album- with the band name spelled properly- at no cost to me. So woohoo! I'm not thrilled about the delay in getting my album ready, obviously, but I'm happy that they agreed to step up and correct their error with a minimum of fuss. Phew. Onto the next mind-imploding obstacle to my success!

CURRENT MUSIC: All Request Live by Ween.
"Gimme kisses! Kisses! [Kissing noise] Kisses- ow OW OW! No biting! Bucky, be nice! You be nice!"
5:18 PM.

Doot? |

Thursday, December 18, 2003:

I just realized that, in the post below, I neglected to mention the reason I'd brought up the whole Rite-Aid trip to begin with. Frankly, I think it reads as entertainingly pointless the way it is, but I thought this was kind of funny: as I waited to get my prescription filled, I was looking at picture frames, and saw a small frame meant to display certificates/diplomas/other self-aggrandizing documents. But this one boasted that it came with a "usable certificate"! The certificate read pretty much like this:

Certificate of Achievement

This is to certify that __________________________
has been selected for recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of
by the Committee of Awards on this _______ day of _______.

I like the idea of proudly displaying a certificate supposedly conferred by some nebulous "Committee of Awards." If they hadn't been ten dollars each, I would've bought a bunch of them for my friends and then distributed them all one day at work, while wearing a top hat and mayor's sash.

Hmm... Still pointless, not quite as entertaining as I'd hoped.

Yesterday, Jon and I were talking and he told me that he'd never heard of the following trick that kids in my elementary school used to play on each other all the time: you tell your unsuspecting victim, "You know, if your hand is bigger than your face it means you have cancer." And then, when the kid inevitably covers his face with his hand to give himself a cancer exam, you punch his hand so he slaps himself. Ta-daa! I'd figured that was universal, but I guess not. Did kids do that at your school?

CURRENT MOOD: Cold and frightened.
According to this site, the eyeholes in the Goofy costume are located inside the character's mouth, "but to make it appear that Goofy's eyes are looking at your kid or camera or whatever, the CM [cast member] inside Goofy must have their neck bent all the way down. Try this: stand straight up (remember, Goofy is tall), slouch just slightly, and then, moving only your neck, stare at a point about a 1.5 ft from the front of your shoe. Ouch, right? Now run around in circles like you've seen Goofy do. The end result is Goofy has to make large 'laugh' movements when walking [in order] to not smack into a kid or sidewalk or whatever. (You never get to look straight ahead.)" I assume that compensation for this comes in the form of the person in the Goofy suit getting to have sex with the person in the Minnie suit at the end of each shift, if the old joke about Mickey's divorce is accurate.
5:24 PM.

Doot? |

I probably shouldn't say anything publicly about what's happening with my CD, since there's a chance it might turn into a legal issue at this point... and really, that tells you about everything you'd need to know, doesn't it?

Spent most of last night driving around Troy, looking for a pharmacy that hasn't run out of Tamiflu. I wound up at Rite-Aid, where I considered purchasing a Betty Crocker brand Bowl Appetit three-cheese rotini dinner for $1.29 and a cheap toy keyboard for $10, but wound up just getting my meds and going to bed without dinner as soon as I got home. (That link, by the way, goes to an interesting look at how marketing research would be done for a Bowl Appetit-style product.) I did get myself an amusing collection of free pharmaceutical brochures from my various destinations, though. I plan to make Christmas cards out of them.

Two nights ago, I went down to Eastern Michigan University to see the art show put on by Jess's mixed media class. Lots of great, creative stuff in there. Jess's stuff was obviously my favorite- not just because I'm personally biased, but the stuff she writes and creates is simultaneously haunting, beautiful, sweet, horrifying, and sardonic in a way that reminds me of the effect I get listening to Radiohead. One of her assignments, for instance, was to come up with a creative way of displaying the alphabet, so she used nails to spell out all the consonants on a piece of plywood, and carved the vowels A, E, I, O, and U out of soap and then left them in glasses of water, so they dissolved as the show progressed. Might not sound like much to hear me describe it, but you could tell it was really lovingly put together, because Jess sees the inherent sadness in things like that, and I thought it was awesome.

Apart from her stuff, though, my favorite piece was probably the least "artistic" one there, by this girl Erin, who evidently used to work at Meijer. For those who don't live in the Midwest, Meijer is a Michigan-based chain of department/grocery stores. It's kind of like a less trashy Wal-Mart. Not a bad place to shop at all, in my opinion. Anyway, for Christmas one year, all the Meijer employees got copies of the book Just Call Me Fred by Fred Meijer, who was then the CEO of the company. (Not to be confused with Fred Schneider's Just Fred.) The book is a Life's Little Instruction Book-style collection of observations and homilies from the mind of Fred.

Well, Erin obviously didn't have the happiest time of her life working for Meijer, because for her project, she'd taken a red pen and re-titled the book Just Call Me a Rich Asshole. She then went through the entire book, amending or commenting on Fred's writing in a way that reminded me of Strong Bad's children's book, only more bitter. Her comments ranged from the juvenile (replacing Fred's words with words like pee) to the pointed (a picture of Fred shaking hands with an African-American man was captioned, "Fred celebrates Meijer's first annual See, We Hire Minorities Day") to the flat-out outraged (one page was furiously scribbled out, with "DO NOT READ. WASTE OF TIME" written at the top), and it made me laugh for a good ten minutes, which probably made me appear really stupid or possibly deranged. And I know how sad it is that out of all the really thoughtful, beautiful pieces at the show, the one that stuck with me most was the one that appealed to the fact that I have a nine-year-old's sense of humor. But still, it was very clever.

After the show, Jess and I went to the Red Hawk Grill in Ann Arbor and got dinner, which we were both less interested in than the big pitcher of beer we split during the meal. Afterward, she gave me part of my Christmas present early: a copy of the album Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State by Sufjan Stevens. I'd never heard of him before, and it's a really great disc, with beautiful, gentle melodies surrounded by similarly gentle-yet-unusual arrangements. He reminds me of Salako. So that was a fun night.

CURRENT MUSIC: quebec by Ween. Is it bad that I find "Tried & True" so affecting?
So long, hopes and dreams!
So that no one person has a monopoly on selling you the Paris Hilton sex tape, if my inbox is any indication.
10:31 AM.

Doot? | |

Monday, December 15, 2003:

Well, as promised, UPS delivered 2,500 copies of The Airbag's Lipstick Kiss to my doorstep today. That's the good news. The obligatory bad news is that the cover of every copy lists the name of my band as "Disclaim." Regular visitors to disclaimERband.com may sense something amiss there. It said "Disclaimer" when I approved the proofs three or four weeks ago. The rest of the package looks great, but of all the possible errors that could've occurred, this may be the worst one, shy of accidentally pressing my CD with Hilary Duff's "music" on it. So I'm mad at the cosmos in general, for doing it to me again. I'll keep you posted. You may not care, but this is my life, and it's slowly crumbling before my eyes.

From The Guardian: "[Bush] added that he had personal views on whether Saddam should face the death penalty but chose not to express them." I may be willing to place a wager on what his personal views are. Any takers?

CURRENT MOOD: Resigned, defeated laughter. Of course. Also, much crying. Someone please hold me. I feel like I'm in a sequel to American Movie, by this point.
4:28 PM.

Doot? | |

Saturday, December 13, 2003:

Okay, so I got nothing done that I'd hoped to accomplish between last night and this evening. The PO box will have to wait till Monday, because I decided that going to the post office two Saturdays before Christmas would be perhaps not the most effective use of my time. And while I did go to Target and purchase some mailers, I did not stuff anything into them or, indeed, even remove them from the festive Target bag that's currently sitting next to my computer. Went out for coffee with Lorenzo last night. Read some of that Crimewave USA zine that Jess bought for me. Wrote some reviews. Played with Bucky. Thinking about either getting a pizza or taking a nap before Trading Spaces.

CURRENT MUSIC: Music Has the Right to Children by Boards of Canada. ("Pete Standing Alone" is wonderful beyond words.)
In the mood to waste your time and about 20 bytes of my allotted web space by telling you that, basically, nothing's happening.
AMOUNT OF TIME I'VE HAD MY FRIEND JANET'S COPY OF OWNING MAHOWNY: Eight days. Let's keep track of how long it takes me to watch it!
6:15 PM.

Doot? | |

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