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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: January 25-January 31, 2004

Friday, January 30, 2004:

I got a job interview! The journal Mathematical Reviews is considering me for a position as copy editor! I am rule!

I don't want to get my hopes up too much, for obvious reasons (i.e., my hopes are always dashed), but I'd be working in Ann Arbor- at this building, in fact- which would assist me in my goal of moving to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area this year. And they would be paying me to correct the grammar and spelling of other people! I cannot overemphasize how perfect that would be. They may as well offer me a bonus if I'll tell people what albums to buy or if I'll agree to quote Mr. Show incessantly around the office.

I spoke with an incredibly friendly woman named Tracy who greeted me on the phone by playfully saying, "Hi, Chris Williams!" when I introduced myself. I always giggle when people use first and last names like that. (I also giggle when two people introduce themselves individually and then together: "I'm Gerry!" "I'm Margaret!" "We're Gerry and Margaret!" I'm a dork.) She told me to dress casually for the interview, and we agreed to meet on February 9, so I'll be sure to keep you two updated.

And what better way to illustrate my peerless editing skills than by starting three consecutive paragraphs with the word "I"?

CURRENT MUSIC: Tusk by Camper Van Beethoven.
DO YOU THINK I NEED TO ACTUALLY WRAP LORENZO'S BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR HIS PARTY TONIGHT? I think I'll just leave it in the smiley-faced Wal-Mart bag, if it's all the same to you.
4:07 PM.

Doot? | |

Thursday, January 29, 2004:

I had a dream last night that I did something to anger the Crips, so they targeted me for death. An embarrassingly cliched mini-movie narrative then emerged, where I had to say goodbye to my family and go on the run (my brother was more interested in telling me about how he won the championship in NCAA 2004, which is depressingly close to how I'd expect him to react in reality). I wound up in New York somehow, where there were little pockets of Crips gunning for me on every corner, and my life was saved by deus ex machina a few times. Finally, I made friends with a hooker- with a heart of gold, natch- who saved me at one point, and we teamed up and fell in love and agreed to run away to Canada together to start a better life. At the last second, though, before our journey got underway, I was shot dead by one of my best friends whom I wouldn't have expected to be in cahoots with the Crips. Oh, what a tragic twist ending. I tend to get shot dead a lot in my dreams, but this one was interesting because I usually don't dream in linear storylines like that. Shrug.

Speaking of my brother, he e-mailed me three hilarious articles from the Miami Herald about this high school football player who is unfortunately named Willie Williams. Apparently, ol' Will is going on recruiting trips to several colleges, and the Herald is having him report back about his experiences on these trips, which he does in the most asinine way possible. (Remember when Letterman used to have movie reviews by that idiot burnout hippie who described everything as "dank" or "schwiggity schwag"? It's kind of like that.) On his visit to Florida State, Will demanded a new tour guide because "That [first] boy was on crutches. I would have had to hop around campus everywhere." At Auburn, he was offended that they kept offering him spinach dip because "I ain't no animal, and I ain't going to eat no plant," and he expressed concern that "all Auburn had to offer was those farmer girls that talked funny." And he was impressed by the University of Miami's business school because "After going on these trips and living like King Tut, I think business is something I want to get into." Next week, he goes to the University of Florida, Ben. It's really, really funny.

Jon called and woke me up at nine A.M., the bastard, to tell me that I didn't need to come to work today because we weren't getting a shipment, the bastard. So I decided that this morning would be a perfect time to go to Somerset Mall and spend the gift certificate my grandpa got me for Christmas (that's what he gets me, my brother, and my cousins every Christmas despite the fact that I loathe Somerset), because it would be too early for the mall to be overrun with rich high school kids. I planned to go to American Eagle and get myself a messenger bag like Jon has, so I'd have something in which to carry my lyrics notebook and perhaps also put my glasses case, so I wouldn't have to walk around all day with a bizarre lump in my right pocket. You can make the easy joke for me here.

I left Pip in the parking structure and wandered into the morass of mid-morning power-walkers who were circling the mall aimlessly like neglected Sims. After staring at the giant mall directory for a few minutes, it became clear that the Somerset Collection considers American Eagle far too plebeian a store to feature in their fancypants consumerland, since they don't have one. "No matter!" I optimistically thought. "This will be a good way to put to the test all the fashion and shopping knowledge that I've gleaned from Adrienne and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy over the past year! I'm sure there's a messenger bag that would meet my needs somewhere here! Eddie Bauer ahoy!"

Well, all the bags at Eddie Bauer were either made of leather (which I won't purchase) or else just looked dopey, so I wandered into J. Crew. The greeter girl immediately fixed me with a "my, aren't you a fish out of water" gaze that made me feel as though I was wearing a fisherman's boot on my head and my coat tucked into my underwear with suspenders atop it, as well as juggling Madballs and giggling like a loon. I did nothing to soften her attitude when I stood perfectly still for a couple moments, trying to quickly distinguish the men's section from the women's section by checking to see where the mannequins with breasts had been placed.

The store had no shortage of messenger bags, but even the canvas ones had leather straps, which was disappointing. I quickly high-tailed it out of there, and as I left, I was struck by an odd twinge of fear that the greeter girl would follow me and yell at me for not purchasing anything. I walked faster.

I passed a couple more stores that looked like they carried bags- including a place called Tumi, which appeared to be nothing but bags- but I couldn't work up the nerve to go in any of them, because I feared that one of the employees would ask if they could help me, and upon hearing that I wanted a messenger bag that didn't contain leather, they would simply thrust a crumpled plastic bag at me and say, "Here, I think this is probably more your speed. If I give it to you for free, will you please leave?" It was then that I made a vow never to visit Somerset again by myself. Or at all, ideally.

Feeling disappointed, I decided to drown my sorrows by blowing my gift certificate on CDs, and I went to FYE. (So named because their selection is Feeble Yet Expensive! Love, Dave Barry.) I bought ridiculously overpriced copies of Milo Goes to College by the Descendents, Ruckus by Galactic, and Some of My Best Friends are DJs by Kid Koala, none of which I've been especially dying to get, but they were the most acceptable albums I could find and I was determined to use up that gift certificate and get the hell out of the mall for a long, long time.

I'm just going to pull out the old Jansport backpack from high school and start toting that around, I think. Fashion is too hard.

CURRENT MUSIC: Some of My Best Friends are DJs by Kid Koala. (The song "Flu Season" contains a lot of samples of people coughing and sneezing, which is prompting Bucky the Quaker Parrot to say, "Bless you!" over and over.)
That Sephora store is really pretty to look at.
1:30 PM.

Doot? | |

Monday, January 26, 2004:

Glass Plus. Sex tips that will blow his mind. Go negative early. Freon. Blood-soaked loofah. Government-issued aerating sandals for the Indian Reservation. Infant mortality rates. You're special to me. Who here likes linkin park press 69. Rand McNally. Not to be construed as medical advice. The homeless furnace. A spork stuck in a rooster. A paper clip in my ear. Jackal extinction. Nine-tenths of a cent. Bob Beef. He broke his favorite crayon. Unraveling. When your table is available we will remove you from suspended animation. #4: Have fun! Amniotic contamination. 65,000 bytes in lost clusters. Claustrophobic tunnel collapse. Gazing balls on suburban lawns contain the severed heads of teddy bears (50 points for each one you kick down). Bisected Easter eggs. Metacrawler. Painting over the Wacky Wallwalker stains and treasure maps. Oil-drop experiment. Sky fits heaven, so ride it. The confidential voicemail is leaking0. This will fill me with memories of John Frankenheimer. Luminol. Barbicide. Hairy clog in the Habitrail. Yesterday's top story is today's fire sale- you've got to listen to me. I tore your card in half when I was opening the envelope. Beer-glazed lips. Simultaneous orgasms. Pascal's Wager: I'll raise ya 300. Quarantined salvage yard. Special Olympics Scrabble tournament. Trouble breathing? Catholic Church introduces Holy Pepsi: the x-treme cola that absolves you of your sins. Hogwash. Screen door cross-hatching on the baby's cheek. Flaming geysers pumped through the stables. Cabinet/mic/gate. One shoe. Alt+0153. Hobo stew. Mangled wheelchair in an alley. The NME said so.,. Body outline hopscotch. Tagi is groggy. You can't get pregnant your fir$t time. Root integer spores coalesce into malignant growths. CPE 1704 TKS. oh my god what the hell just happened why is the (unintelligible) should've triggered the emergency power supply when the (unintelligible, screaming) all doomed i'm sorry i'm sorry. Lovewantneedgod. zz Margin of error in the incubation period. Leave your IUD in during labor. She unwound her notebook's spiral binding into a crude lock-pick. Jason, I'm confused. Hazardous, liquid, fragile, perishable, or prevented by postal regulations. "Fun"-sized Krackel. Lots of silky nightgowns. Rusting helium tank. I cried for six hours when they called you names and you never knew. All claims and returned goods must be accompanied by this bill. Novelty yarmulke. A cat reduced to carpet beneath 1000 wheels.b My gorgeous agoraph%%obic, don't make yourself available. Dutch rub. The virus is airborne. Sullen Oxford pygmy... Mean Mr. Sun. Puppy carrier recall part #655RW: the ergonomic cushion can shatter your companion animal's bones. She's got a butter face, but I'd hit it. Stripped the threads. Angular and avuncular. If you like Giorgio, you'll love Primo. Belch the alphabet in lieu of campaign promises. Zen Center hull breach. We'll annex Ursa Major within the nexxxt fiscal year. Recalibration failed. Anti-drug urinal cakes. Yogurt phylum 117. Harsh sounds for gentle souls. SneakyHand did it. AFAT DENOUNCES UN RESOLUTION SOURCE TELLS CNN THAT NUCLEAR STANDOFF IS IMMINENT TERROR ALERT LEVEL NOW PULSATING AND EMITTING AN INHUMAN SQUE Rewards harming non-threatening creatures. Sludge gremlin infestation. Smashy Smashy. The lemony goodness of a 9-volt. The Scat Queen rides a pale horse. Free &4444 radiation badge inside. Preliminary patch test. Noxema addict ipecac-ready. Flash #point. Chemical wiggle-pen babysitter. (Apply the Bible Code here.) Awareness and relativity. Efficacy and homeostasis... Welcome to Cooterville.

TIME: 4:14 PM.

Doot? | |

Sunday, January 25, 2004:

My computer is not letting me send e-mail. I ran to Meijer and got a new AOL 9.0 disc so I could reinstall the program in the hopes that a fresh new version of AOL would include e-mail capability, but it will not let me reinstall the program. So Bev, Anne B. and Oleg, I have e-mails ready to send you, but it looks like they're not going out tonight or anytime soon. Sorry. Hope you see this.

I also discovered today that the pickup for my acoustic guitar is broken. The mike for the D string isn't picking up any sound. While I suppose I could theoretically embark upon a Georges Perec-esque endeavor to start writing songs that do not require the use of the D string, my music is probably mannered enough as it is without more gimmicks being forced upon me. This pickup problem is in addition to my effects pedal that broke on New Year's Day. I have to ship it to Utah tomorrow so Digitech can repair it (since, as it happens, the closest authorized service center is in Ohio, and I don't feel like driving down there).

Oh, and also? The directional knob for Pip's heating system is stuck, so I can't turn on the defogger for the windshield (or, indeed, any air setting apart from "aimed directly in my face"). This is a problem in the winter. Aimee drove me home in Pip on Thursday night, and by the time we reached my neighborhood, the windshield was so opaque that we both had to hang our heads out the side windows, Ace Ventura-style, so she could see where she was going and I could direct her to my house.

There's this line in Lisa Schwarzbaum's review of Fargo where she describes William H. Macy's character as "a miserable man in frozen hell." I've always liked that phrase.

CURRENT MOOD: Frustrated.
YUP? Nope.
9:10 PM.

Doot? | |

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