Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal
Thursday, July 10, 2003:
A summary of my day yesterday:
5:30 AM: Wake up, shower, dress.
6:00 AM: Check e-mail. Once again fail to update Song of Day, which is becoming gigantic, soul-sucking albatross. Too early in morning. Hate music.
6:35 AM: Ask father to back his car out of driveway because is blocking my car in. We both leave house through garage.
6:40 AM: For third day in a row, see actual, live chicken merrily poking around in yard of house across from hospital. Hee!
7:00 AM: Arrive at work. Jon has been on vacation since last Monday, will continue to be till next Monday. Gigantic pile of unreceived boxes beginning to remind me of part in Brazil where Robert DeNiro is swallowed by evil papers. Only boxes instead of papers, in my case.
7:15 AM: Co-worker Mary refers to East River Pipe (playing on receiving room stereo) as "music of the dead," half-jokingly requests showtunes.
8:05 AM: Delivery of more boxes. Delivery guy confounded by Yo La Tengo. Sweats on receiving table. I spend several minutes fetching paper towels and wiping off table. Disgusting brown crap- though apparently invisible while on table- comes off table along with sweat. Feel repulsed.
10:00 AM: Discussion of Donald Rumsfeld with coworker Linda. We each express hope that he'll get what's coming to him soon- and not in same way one might say, "Ed Norton is such a great actor, he'll get what's coming to him at next Oscars." More like Yosemite Sam got what was coming to him at end of every Bugs Bunny cartoon.
11:00 AM: Going crazy; take quick trip to post office to drop off outgoing mail to prisoners, get out of dank receiving room. (Surprisingly high number of Barnes & Noble customers shipping reading material to prisons.) Wonder if Maxim cover girls feel creepy knowing that they are closest thing to a woman many criminals will see for months? Years? Then remember Maxim cover girls have no feelings.
11:30 AM: Return to store, stagger up to cafe. Lorenzo makes me White Chocolate Mocha with four shots of espresso. We wonder aloud how many shots it would take to fill "venti" Starbucks cup.
11:45 AM: Lorenzo wanders into receiving room with foul-smelling brew in hand. Reports answer is 20 shots. I am tired, consider drinking it.
12:30 PM: Take company-mandated lunch break. Do not eat lunch.
1:00 PM: Back from "lunch."
2:15 PM: Reduced to tears by existence of sad, sad book that instructs teens how to make clothes entirely from duct tape. Well-meaning book, intended as "fun," actually catalyst for being shunned by rest of school.
3:05 PM: Lorenzo feigns taking nap on receiving table. Think better of telling him what table is apparently coated in.
3:15 PM: Have had it. Toss arms in air and declare, "I've had it!" to Diane, who is in receiving room processing returns. Diane doesn't care that I am leaving 15 minutes early. Plan to return home, take well-earned nap.
3:30 PM: Return home. Cannot enter house. Screen door is locked, rendering house keys useless. Did not unlock screen door before leaving through garage this morning. Do not possess garage door opener. Lengthy pause.
3:32 PM-3:41 PM: Futile ringing of doorbell, equally futile yanking of screen door handle. Finally realize that parents have gone to Ann Arbor to fetch younger, carless brother, who will be accompanying them on journey to Kentucky, to attend cousin's wedding. (Bittersweet grin, remembering that obligation to job has enabled self to get out of attending cousin's wedding. Hee hee hee. Streak of weddings not attended still unbroken!)
3:42 PM: Re-enter car, drive to aunt's house, in hopes of shelter and commandeering aunt's television for Trading Spaces at 4:00.
3:59 PM: Arrive at aunt's house. No one home. Monkey wrench in plans!
4:03 PM: Drive back home. Perhaps family has returned!
4:20 PM: Nope. Luckily, nice day outside. Sit on porch, read Detroit News, swat away legions of gigantic ants. Learn absolutely nothing except retain amusing Mike Tyson quote: "Maybe in my next life, I'll have a better life. And that's why I'm just looking forward to go to the other world. 'Cause I really hate the way I live now. And I hate my life now." News attributes quote to "Mike Tyson, troubled boxer." Hee! Shouldn't laugh, but is Mike Tyson, fer Pete's sake. Comics pages embarrassing. Dilbert still smirk-worthy, Zippy still baffling, everything else sad.
5:00 PM: Done with paper, have already read all relevant mail. Decide to whittle crude lock-picking device using housekey and branch plucked from shrub in front of house.
5:10 PM: Folly of ways becomes apparent. Lock-picking device useless. Decide to use credit card to open screen door, as on television.
5:12 PM: Decide to abandon credit-card maneuver out of desire to retain credit card in working condition. Also, neighbors suspicious. Get back in car, drive back to Barnes & Noble. Amuse self by yelling at other motorists.
5:50 PM: Arrive at B&N. Explain situation to Erica, who is working closing shift in cafe. Erica laughs mercilessly. Also suggests we order pizza, as her lunch break kicks in at 6:00.
5:52 PM: Order cheese pizza from Cottage Inn, after leaving annoyed message on home answering machine, instructing family to call B&N upon return.
5:54 PM: Drive to retrieve Cottage Inn pizza. In deep thought while driving, yet suddenly snap out of reverie, only to find self singing Fraggle Rock theme song for some reason.
6:10 PM: Eat pizza with Erica, discuss stuff. She is excited for Hanson concert in August. Seriously. Erica is one of those girls who grew up idolizing Hanson, and is endearingly still devoted. Especially in retrospect: Hanson plays own instruments, writes own songs (I think). Come back, Hanson! And then give speech to remaining rabid, now-20-year-old fans about how great Sparklehorse is. Mark Linkous deserves huge following. Erica also re-programs her cell phone to play amusingly stupid, improvised melody when I call from home. [Just called her while writing this. Thought it would be funny to make phone play stupid noise. Was.]
7:10 PM: Erica returns to work. Still no word from family. Sit in chair and re-read Love is Hell. Funny every time.
8:00 PM: Hate Barnes & Noble customers. Young child runs by as am trying to read, shrieking at top of lungs. (Child, not me. Am doing that on the inside.) Mother of child shouts for child to be quiet. Father of child contradicts mother of child, saying, "C'mon- it's not a library!" Shrieking continues.
8:30 PM: Use phone at information desk to call home again. Still no answer. Cute, athletic woman sees me at info desk, asks for help finding books on triathalons. Would not ordinarily help customers when not working, but make an exception because woman cute. Am a horrible human being. Embarrass self by failing to find triathalon books.
9:30 PM: Young couple walks by (am now reading Onion book). Girl is reading aloud from Eminem biography. Says, "Eminem is poised to become the heir to such [something]...". Pronounces heir with hard, audible H, and also as if it rhymes with beer. Resist urge to coldcock young couple with American Heritage Dictionary.
9:45 PM: Still no answer at home. Annie (manager on duty, also sweetest person ever born), very sympathetic, calls husband on cell phone. Husband tells me which tools to "borrow" from work and how best to use them in pursuit of removing screen door from house. I thank him, resolve to wait for family's call until closing time of bookstore, however, because want to avoid vandalizing own house unless absolutely necessary. Or very bored.
10:00 PM-10:15 PM: Sit in break room, playing with magnetic screwdrivers "borrowed" from store toolbox. Can pick up one screwdriver with other one. Magnets!
10:17 PM: Give up, drive home. Rehearse speech to give meddling cops in case neighbors summon them while breaking in.
10:30 PM: Arrive home. Dad and brother apparently returned home only minutes before. They have good laugh at my expense. Brother prattles on about something or other. Do not retain single word. Sleepy.
11:00 PM: Go to bed. Have dream in which I am member of New Pornographers. Carl Newman and I work awesome two-guitar solo into "Blown Speakers."
5:30 AM this morning: Wake up. Short burst of profanity. Remember I am adequate musician at best, will never in million years write song as catchy as "Blown Speakers." Shower, dress, cut self repeatedly while shaving. So often, in fact, could only be seen as intentional by objective outside observer. Cry for help, if you will.
6:00 AM: Listen to Cat Stevens MP3 that has somehow found way onto hard drive. Decide perhaps am not such bad musician.
CURRENT MOOD: In no mood for this.
CURRENT ROCK-STAR FANTASY: Wouldn't it be cool if, in a couple years, I was looking through the Media Play CD bins and found some cheapo "Tribute to Disclaimer" CD, featuring a bunch of no-name bands covering my songs?
TIME: 8:31 PM.
Wednesday, July 2, 2003:
I finally saw Finding Nemo the other day, and it made me happy for awhile. Then, on the way home, I passed two suburban teenagers sporting so much bling that they made Master P look Amish. They were driving a Cadillac Escalade, and someone had cleverly keyed the word FUCK into the passenger door. And I remembered why I want out of society.
"Stories I Tell" by Toad the Wet Sprocket = "Another Day Full of Dread" by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
CURRENT MOOD: Moody.
MY BROTHER'S CURRENT INSTANT MESSENGER AWAY MESSAGE: "Fedorov can go right to hell. Liberated and free my ass."
TIME: 9:10 PM.
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