I Went On A Walk / I Walked Somewhere



Tuesday last I went out for a walk to reward myself for squeaking out another post on this website, I went downtown and voted at City Hall. The walk was really nice, the weather was compliant-- a little chilly but the chilliness with the current mask reality is kind of nice, and I finally worked out a relatively fogless method for the eyeglass/mask juncture. The main thing of the walk was that I ran into a bunch of friends in the street, that's the optimo for me, that's my favorite thing to do. It's my favorite thing to do and I'm good at it, that's called a Blessed Combination. For the past couple months I thought that running into people in the street might go the way of the dodo. But every now and then I guess you just slide into it, and it's on.

I walked up Broadway and first I saw Xander outside the Wedding Cake House, then Dave outside the record store, then caught Brian O outside of Verizon Brewery, he's the guy that put my CD out. For a while it was like an unspoken rule that everyone on the label worked at the restaurant-- Lazy Magnet, The Body, Mahi Mahi, they all did a couple shifts at least. I only worked one night in the dish pit but it was super busy and chaotic, and everyone had really low expectations of me because I had never washed dishes in a restaurant before, but I did fine. For some reason that really stuck in people's minds and sometimes when I walk by at the end of the night and the chefs are outside they yell "there goes the best dishwasher we ever had". That was like 15 years ago, still happens now and then. I thought about getting a job there in the intervening years but like, why compete with the dream? Washing dishes is kind of a nice job, meditative. But I'd rather just walk into the night. I guess there are spiritual rewards on both sides of the equation.

Voting was easy, I was in and out in 16 minutes (I timed it) and I was right behind the mayor at the ballot-eating machine. I think the only other time I saw the mayor was at that Dirt Palace event when everything became legal, he was giving a speech and he said something like "there are two very culturally important people here today" and I looked over at Fortress Crook_djaw and we shared a nice little smile and nod, a perfect moment. I believe he was talking about two other people, but in honor of the moment I must admit that I don't entirely recall who else was there.

On the way home I decided to get a coffee and sit with it somewhere so I went to the dog park near the chapel. I caught a bunch of insane gigs at that chapel over the years, the one that sticks in my mind was a single 45 minute monsterjam in the basement with Seijiro Murayama (ex-Fushitsusha), Scott, Blind Lukey, mem1, MacArthur winner Sebastian, Mori, and I think 2 other classical people, and the only audience was me and Agnes. It was at 2 in the afternoon and for 3 minutes in the middle of it we all just listened to a large fly buzzing around the room. It was one of those gigs where you drift away from the idea of the self as a separate entity, or in the parlance of the noise community, it was "totally fucked". In the years since then I've gone to a few funerals in that chapel, so the air is heavy on the block now, the same way the air gets heavy in the kitchen when you're cooking a stew for a very long time.

The dog park is right next to the chapel, there are trees and dappled light, dogs running off leash, and people strolling around. There are benches on the perimeter and for reasons I can't discern, there are quite a lot of dining room chairs scattered about, in singles, duets, and trios. Who brought all these chairs here? And why? No one's even sitting in them, it seems like they're only there for the dogs to whip through, like a moveable hedge. Kate and James showed up randomly and I opened the question up to them-- Kate's theory is that someone brought one chair one time, and then others followed. It seems like a wild premise but that's how it goes with graffitti-- there's often one stop sign with a ton of stickers on it and then the next stop sign is clean as daybreak. It's probably not a satisfying answer if you're into true crime podcasts but yeah, i think "there's chairs here because there's chairs here" seems about right. Kate and James were both looking good (naturally) but the big news is that James' hair is really long now, it's great.

Finished my coffee and masked back up, then went to the post office and got some nice mail-- the new Life Harvester from Colin and some back issues of Pedant from Dennis Typhus-- both free weird 21st century newsletters for my collection of same.

Got home in time to meet up with Dan Wars, he said he had something to drop off for me and you know what it was? A pumpkin! He wound up with an extra so he brought it to me because I carved mine early and it rotted well before Halloween. What a sweetheart! He also gave me a mix tape of Halloween music. I listened to the tape and carved the pumpkin, I really took my time and it came out great.

old ones on the left, new one on the right:

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I admit that I succumbed to a perhaps deranged pre-election preparedness bug, but I decided to roll with it rather than stress about "should I have rolled with it". So this morning (Monday) I woke up and I was like "I need food, I need cash on hand, and I need a bit of fresh air while I can grab it". So I made my breakfast sandwich and then got out in the wind.

I was going to ride my bike but it was so windy and they're doing work on the roads and I haven't even been on my bike in a while-- well I didn't want to stress out, so I just hoofed it. "On shank's mare" as Ian says. I ran into so many people last week that I felt like it would be a disservice to the spirit to expect such a thing to happen again, and I even steered against it by wearing headphones on the walk, which I almost never do. I hope no one was yelling at me from across the street. I listened to Bowie, which was nice, and I thought about how he had a deal with Ben Load to get every single Load Records release. I love to think about the Starman himself dropping the needle on Kites "Mechanical Gardener..." or the Noise Nomads 7", asking himself "these people... I wonder what they're doing right now?".

After the post office I went to the bank to get bug out money-- it felt insane to be in there with my mask on making a withdrawal, so in an effort to seem more friendly I asked the teller if they could give me some of the cash in 2 dollar bills. They were out of 2's so it just felt weird anew, but a different weird. When our transaction was complete I asked if I could have some candy from the bag of Halloween candy on the desk behind the counter. They said no problemo and gave me 2 Kit Kats, and I felt cute again.

Went to the co-op to get food but I didn't run into anyone I know, except maybe someone who was at a talk I gave at the library last year-- we never met but at the time she was wearing a cool vibrant pattern and we accidentally made eye contact while I was saying "stupid shirt" about something else and I felt so bad. I didn't say anything at the co-op except "pardon me" because I was in the way, but if I was right about who it was then "pardon me" is like the major thing I wanted to convey. It was a cool shirt and my comments were unrelated, it was poor timing. Could've been someone else at the co-op though, who knows. I was worried I was going to accidentally buy more than I could carry but I didn't, I got just about enough to not struggle with on the half hour walk home. I got potatoes, cabbage, kale, black beans, half and half, coffee, yogurt, oatmeal. I'm going to start sauerkraut tomorrow and make roasted potatoes tonight.

Bowie is so good, and it's been a while since I listened to music on headphones-- I forgot how much is in there. I listened to "Heroes" and Station To Station, and there were so many weird grunts, handclaps, tons of little sounds... lots of fun in the studio. It seems like almost every song has an acoustic guitar playing the chords in the background, because his background is like, a psychedelic folk guy, that's probably how all the songs start, as long-hair strummers. Also almost every song has a honkin' sax solo, because that's his background too, a honkin' sax guy. Every era, every record, almost every song has a honkin' sax solo in it as the coup de grace, it's so dumb and it rules so hard. Starman in the studio saying "you know what would be good right here?" and everyone rolls their eyes and laughs. Starman laughs, and does it anyway- "You know I'm right" reaching for the saxophone case. There's a new movie out about Starman, it looks bad. Lucky for us the records will always be good. I mean even the bad records are good, that's something I've come to realize.


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Oh yeah,

For the past couple weeks I've been making pdfs of each post for Joanne and sending them out with the emails, because she likes to print them out and then read them. But now I made a thing that you click and it reloads the page with a more print-friendly layout, so it can just be printed from the browser, without needing me there to make a pdf. Does this make sense? Or more to the point, does this work? This is going to be on all posts moving forward so if this is a useful function for you, go at it, and if there's any adjustments I can make for readability, like changing the font or the font size or something, please let me know! The button's going to be here at the end, so just scroll down and click from now on:

other posts you may enjoy (chosen at random) :
Fourth World Under $3
Wind / Jazz / Outer Space
Nancy and Me