apparently when you're buying two extra-dark chocolates wrapped in beautiful black paper and your friend sam says, "those aren't my favorite," that means, "you might as well just dump cocoa powder in your mouth because they're dry and nasty."



okay, i think the give-me-attention post has been properly beaten to death. now for the real news: we're moving friday! i'm scared. must pack. we'll have a different phone number, so if you love us, you better call us before then to get it or stop by the fetus later this week (after today). i'm making dorky little cards with our new number and address for brian to distribute. martha would totally approve.



i protest you non-commenters! hi-ya! (that was a kung-fu move, not the perky greeting "hi-ya!".) observer, observe me! sam, pity me! everyone else, correct me!



it's the great cupcake war of 2004.

our receptionist left early today (right now, 4:30) for her daughter's birthday party. i'm filling in at the front desk. about 15 minutes ago i said, "it's almost time! are you excited?" she said, "no, everyone's fighting. it's the great cupcake war of 2004."

her daughter's birthday party is at one grandma's house. the other grandma wanted to make the cupcakes. the hosting grandma said there's no way in hell the other grandma is bring cupcakes to a party at her house. long story short, both grandmas made two dozen cupcakes - each - for two little girls to eat. tonie told them if they didn't stop fighting she'd put their cupcakes out on sticks for the birds to eat.

i think it's wonderful that two crabby old ladies would fight so desperately over something so meaningless to try to be the "better" grandma. i know some people would say it's horrible, all pride and ego, but some misguided love goes into that, too.



oh, okay, i can also tell this secret i'm excited about! it's okay because justin and amy are too busy being pre-parental to go on the internet.

i've decided to get justin a record player for his birthday (8/26) and the records i ordered for him came in today from k. i got him the concussive caress (which has different art than mine and i'm 3% jealous), the singing from mt eerie and the drums from mt eerie, and the make up "you are my intended" 7-inch.

um, i also order things for myself. i'm mostly excited about a little wings double 7-inch and the woelv record&book. i thought the book would be thin and stapled together. it's big (same size as the record sleeve) and thick and more beautiful than i could have imagined. i can't wait to go home after dinner tonight and listen and read and feel warm.

oh yeah, this is too funny. brian called to tell me someone asked us to play 8/28 and he told this guy that we couldn't play because we're busy writing and getting ready to record (and i later pointed out to brian that we're also moving that weekend). i was like, "who was it?" he goes, "marc . . . gartman?" that dork! they're in a band together! he had no idea who it was. don't tell him i told you that. i mean, either of them.

happy thoughts: justin and amy and unborn baby girl bacon are officially here. they close on their house wednesday and will probably move in friday. i called their phone in california today. it doesn't work anymore! their new house is in champlin. champlin is my new favorite weekend getaway destination.

they and the dogs (kaya and zeus) are meeting us at my dad's for dinner tonight. they're probably coming over the hill right now, unless they stopped to play at jay cooke like i recommended. i haven't met zeus yet. woof.

i found something out today that made me really sad, and i feel like a jerk because it's actually super cool and i should be happy about it. my favorite teacher, catherine, isn't teaching anymore. she's back at mpr. i was really looking forward to taking broadcast journalism from her this fall. when i found out, i had to run into the bathroom (at work) and cry. seriously, i was bawling. red blotchy face, puffy red eyes. how freaking psycho is that? i am such a selfish little monster.

drew called me, and he said for sure someone else will teach the class and he'll know who tomorrow. that made me feel a lot better. oh, and right as i locked the stall door and took those first big shaking breaths before it all came out, rain started pouring onto our flat factory roof. it was really loud in the bathroom, and it sounded like static. that made me feel better, too.

[for a little idea of how much catherine means to me, if you want to, you could read the 4/28 post beginning with "i have never . . . " she's just super amazing and inspiring. but it's not like she's dead or something. sometimes i so need a reality check.]



i woke up this morning with a dime stuck to my hip. i noticed it when i was waiting for hot water. it was all pressed in there, with an indentation of whoever's face in red on my skin. what was that dime doing in my bed? or did i pick it up from the couch when i was lying there last night wishing i had the energy to go freak out to the hold steady (really mad at myself for missing that show)? and then what did i do with it? i wonder if that pervy dime is on the bathroom floor, waiting for me to walk through so it can attach itself to my foot.



i got an alesis 8-track adat and i can't wait to start messing with it. i've used our tape 4-track (and don't know how to use the digital 4-track) and felt really limited. now i feel all excited and like "wow, i have a million tracks," but i bet i'll wish right away that i had more. the special tapes will get here next week. yay!



so, this was my weird luck sunday night. i got a late start on laundry, so i had to go to chester instead of dee independent, because it's open until 11. dee is only open until 8 or something on sundays. i love the neatness of dee and the hum of its dryers and the silence of its patrons - it's like a library and sanctuary and, um, laundromat, of course. chester is just depressing.

anyway, one of the machines didn't "spin" - you know, my clothes were rinsed but were basically little cloth puddles. it doesn't seem like a big deal, but my hands were really sore after wringing out each thing the best i could. they took way longer to dry, so i was there forever. it made me a little crabby, but it wasn't the worst thing ever. oh, wait. my batteries died, too, so no headphones. i think it was actually the "delilah" adult contemporary radio call-in torture that made me crabby. i really panicked later on though, when i realized i left my coin purse there. my coin purse with only two nickels, my id, and my check card.

when i left the laundromat, the only other people there were a woman and her son. i went back maybe 1/2 hour later, and they were sitting outside (it was hot in there), still the only people. i said "hi," walked in, and looked where i thought i had left it. i moved around some newspapers, looked in the chair where i had been reading, bit my lip. the woman came back in then and said, "i picked it up, but i'm not sure where i put it." i hadn't asked about it. she started rummaging through her several trash bags of clean laundry. i thanked her while she looked for it. you know, like, as if she had picked it up with the intention of turning it in to the police or something. she was smiling and laughing and chatting nervously. i guess at that point she realized she couldn't use my card because i would cancel it, knowing i had lost it. i felt like i had to make her feel more comfortable about it, so i said i had thought maybe i dropped it while carrying my laundry out to the car or something, and i appreciated "it" - what "it" did i mean? that she was being honest, when keeping it wouldn't do her any good anyway? but i really did appreciated that she allowed herself to be embarrassed so i could avoid the hassle of cancelling my card and waiting for a new one. it was just strange though, the whole situation of both of us pretending this was normal.


i was really being a baby friday because brian and i both had two things we wanted to do this weekend, and we ended up doing both of his and neither of mine. well, i'm over it.

we went to the cities saturday because brian had to shop for things he can't get here. to make me feel better about this, he suggested we go to a museum. i picked the weisman. i had only been there once before, ten years ago, in ninth grade. it was excellent! they had giant kites in the shapes of men and all painted up to look just like them, and other ones i loved. oh, i can't even explain it. it was the bestest. we also went in the apartment building installation, which was there when i went in ninth grade with andrea and the rest of our art class (her dad rudy was the teacher - rudy constantly took andrea and me to museums on saturday afternoons during highschool, but we never went back to the weisman). i loved it again (the apartments), but brian found it disturbing.

after we did the things we had to do, we went to see alan at the 400 bar. i thought this was the dumbest idea ever. i mean, we can see him any time. brian had just seen him thursday (so "the day before yesterday" at that time) across the alley from our apartment while i slept off this cold that won't end, by the way. plus when we got there we found out it was $10 to get in.

it was worth it.

right before we got to the show, we called ted & andrea since they live only about a mile away. andrea was at a sweat, but ted came down. before he got there, a guy named joe cunningham came over and introduced himself. he remembered brian from a disastrous show at the renegade when he had a massive equipment failure. he talked to us forever, until the bands started playing. he was taking pictures. he lives in itasca, but he's documenting the duluth scene and hoping someone will want to write a book and use his photos. i think it started with him getting hooked on if thousands but i'm not exactly sure. anyway, he's very nice. if you know of a bunch of shows going on all at once, email him and invite him up. more efficient that way.

the posters & handbills advertised the show as "alan sparhawk of low." i noticed mimi when we got there - the lady with crying baby is pretty hard to miss - but i figured she just came along for fun. i didn't see zak until a bit later, and that's when i started breathing heavy. yes, i really am that dorky and socially awkward. when it was basically confirmed that low was playing (instead of alan all alone) i begged brian to ask mim to sing "the plan." he has no problem talking to these people. i have problems talking to these people even in their own home, let alone in public. brian thought that was really lame and said i could ask her myself if i wanted to, even though he had to talk to al about other crap. he would not make my request for me.

paul metzger played, but i was distracted by all the interesting conversation going on at my table. i feel guilty about that now, because i should have been paying attention to his bizarre whining banjo attack. well, i missed out.

so, okay, low. they played a few new songs, including the two brian recorded (of alan all alone) for the comp, and a whole bunch of songs i just really, really love. i kept thinking "i'm really glad i didn't ask for the one i wanted to hear because then they might not have done this one." they played forever, but it didn't drag because all the songs were really different from each other, and they were acting really silly. they were saying things about how they were awful parents for bringing their baby to a bar full of smelly people, and saying "don't do anything to our baby" like give him opinions about food and the government, because he's pissed off enough already. that part of it seemed really different from seeing them in town.

sometimes i had a great view, and sometimes i could only watch this beautiful shadow. it was zak, against a red wall, and mim's arms when she really went wild. after they had played for more than an hour, alan asked if anyone wanted to say anything or ask any questions, and in a rare moment of bravery (or in the comfort of knowing they couldn't see me way in back) i requested the plan. alan said he wasn't taking requests, just asking if anyone wanted to talk about anything, like if you were having a really bad day and thought it would make you feel better to tell 40 or 50 strangers about it. he was being super flippant. that went on for a bit, then they played a few more songs and said they were too lazy to leave stage and come back, so now it was time for the encore. they played a couple of songs, left stage, came back, played another one . . . and then after all that, they played the song i had asked for. it was amazing. it killed me. i pretended to adjust my glasses and mess with my hair to hide my wimpy, sissy, overwhelmed-with-awe tears.

we got out of there as fast as we could and stopped by to see andrea before heading home. her skin was a million degrees from the sweat, even though she had already taken a shower. i was really glad to see her, if only for a few minutes. she drank cedar tea at the sweat, which can cause sterility. she doesn't care. she wants to kidnap her baby.

in all: twelve very-well-spent hours.


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