Thursday, July 30, 2009

From Kerouac's "On the Road"

I think I identify with this prophesy about Dean too much:
He seems to be headed for his ideal fate, which is compulsive psychosis dashed with a jigger of psychopathic irresponsibility and violence.

Dramatis Personae

So there won't be broken links everywhere I've kept this post -- but not the list. You'll just have to deal with the in-text descriptions of characters as you get to them. so. Take that.

Gourmet Bachelor Grocery Shopping

Turns out this morning I couldn't have breakfast until I had milk from the store, so I did a full trip. These Honey Bunches are delicious.

I pulled into a parking spot in the lot (Wif of Wer&Wif fame graciously allowed me to use her car for grocery shoppingses while she's away) and was immediately creeped out by a man, cigarette butt in mouth, truck crawling at a snail's pace, staring at me.

Even more creeped out when I got to the doors, looked back, and saw that he had pulled into the parking spot behind the car.

Still more creeped when I look up while paying and he is still sitting in his truck behind the car.

By the time I left he was already gone but I was watching my rear view mirror the entire ride home for ghast demon truck from beyond to come bearing down on me, for highbeams to be shining in "check the back seat! check the back seat!" mad serial killer gleam...

I have an overactive imagination.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And as I was sailin', the wild wind was wailin'

I cannot identify the allure of the sea to me; although my dad took SCUBA diving lessons in college, my mother hates the beach, and I can count on one hand the number of times we went as kids. We would always go at twilight, when the beach was reserved for us and for the lovers walking. My favorite part was the ice cream.

Certainly it's not that I love swimming. I'm a mediocre swimmer at best, and I get more than my daily amounts of iodine, sodium chloride, and a flocking (or swimming) plethora of sea creatures from just wading in.

It's not the beach that I love. Usually I go into sensory overload mode from all of the people, memory scarred by the tattoos and the potbellies and the scars and stretch marks. Children shrieking, haphazard throwing of beach balls and frisbees and beware the maniac pushing his Bob the Builder construction vehicle around...

And yet. The lighthouses and the lonely sails just visible through the humid haze. The rock formations like Ancient Ones who've cast themselves up from Lovecraftian depths to sunbathe for an aeon. The architecture: some buildings inspiring, others revolting; some obviously not up to code, others believing "the code is more like a set of guidelines." There's even something to the vile old buildings of Hampton, which all could very well be transplanted from a town like Innsmouth or Dunwich.

O! Land-locked exile to Moscow, and then to Illinois.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Veritable Rollercoaster of Emotion

GAH! Too much excitement, too much the span of 3 hours.

I was running errands and Spaceman came on just as I was pulling on to Penhallow. Julie Kramer announced that The Killers were coming to the area, check out the site for details.

"Yes!" I thought. "I will rock out with my feather codpiece out, and then ship out..."

[Elide the scenes where I finish errands and go to the beach.]

I get home and check The concert's September 4th. I will be firmly entrenched on another shore by then. Alas. C'est vraiment tragique.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Days off = good. Tourists = bad.

This is indicative of almost every customer interaction yesterday.
T.: Medium skim latte to go.

Woman: Did you just say a small vanilla latte?

T.: No, that's a medium skim latte.

Woman, reaching for the cup: Oh, that's not what I ordered.

T.: It's probably someone else's, then.
[Woman blinks, wondering why she is not served before the line of other people waiting for their espresso beverages. Meanwhile the individual who ordered skim latte rescues it from Ursula's clutches.]
I think I've come up with a solution (a part 2 to my Theory of Economic Retribution):
-All customers using our bathrooms without purchasing anything will pay a nominal charge of $2.
-All customers ordering only tap water will pay a nominal charge of $.50.
-All customers wishing to cut the line and have their espresso drink made immediately will pay a variable rate of no less than $1 and no more than $5.

-At no time will said monetary exchanges go near the cash register, as they are all illegal.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You've been steampunked

Staunch though I am in my applause of Ryan at The Press Room for keeping the TV off when the Sox aren't playing (I call it postmodern to allow customers to create an atmosphere for themselves, not one dictated from a box) and though I retain hearty jars fll of vitriol and despair that things such as twitter exist, I have to say that I'm astounded at technology in our society.

The C&J busses have wifi! Which I am using now with great success. Ballin™.

Edited to add: One of my projects for the summer is to reorganize and consolidate my mp3s, inspired by my discovery of a couple albums of duplicates on the hard drive. I also decided as part of the reorganization that I should listen to the albums I have and get rid of those I don't like.

Which has finally forced me to listen to Iron & Wine, a band I've heard described "indie folk," whose songs I always skipped previously. This was obviously a mistake of youth. I feel so chill listening to them, like I'm listening to a more mature, rounder, fuller-sounded Jack Johnson.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Leavin' these shores

A bientot, mes amis.

I'm off to DC through late Friday night. I know, it's not as long as the radio silence I've held here before - but I have always known that I've been in P-mouth before now. I might get a chance to update from the hotel; je ne sais pas.
Although I'm leaving, the Force will be with you. Always.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In this kingdom by the sea

Can someone much older and wiser than me please explain why it would only be $650 to book a roundtrip flight to Moscow from Boston, while it would cost over $2000 to book just the outbound section of said flight? This is the height of illogic. I'm using half the service, yet they are requesting that I pay almost three times the fee.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Soon I'll have to try them Hot

I have a couple of Gourmet Bachelor Chow posts to put up but that requires uploading all of the software for my new camera so it will not happen immediately. Expect a couple of backposts at some point.

I've been playing Hemingway in The Press Room on weeknights, sitting with a PBR summer or three, shooting the shit with the bartenders, getting some writing done. If I am to succeed - if I am to overcome the importance trouble with being Ernest - I must learn from the actions of my archetypal father and stymie the encroachments of those who would prey conversationally upon me. Tough work, when they are drunk and I am an extrovert. Wednesday some guy decided I was his new best friend and told me that Hemingway, Steinbeck, and any other man who wasted ink describing trees and nature was a sissy.

I decided it was best not to disagree, finished my beer, and settled the tab.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Black Fire will not avail you!

Wait. Wrong old bearded wizard.

The Were&Wif and I went to see Harry Potter on Wednesday. It was awesome. For once, a creative team that developed a fitting tribute to the novel, but still recognized that they were creating a movie.

Dumbledore being a badass.
I'll get off that high horse before I finish saddling it. Because I come against people who question my taste at most times, in various countries worldwide, I no longer know if I can recognize melodrama. Is the scene where Dumbledore casts PK Shitstorm melodramatic or simply BALLIN™?

In which I am pure nerd.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I just finished reading an advanced reading copy of the new Margaret Atwood novel, The Year of the Flood, which is a sequel-of-sorts of her 2003 novel, Oryx and Crake.

Reading it caused me to remember how much I had loved the previous; I read it every chance I got, second semester of freshman year (I was a nerd lounging on the couches on Congreve's 3rd floor lounge. As I recall, it was around that time that the Congreve Friends stopped mocking my reading... ;D). Dystopia! Theoretical science! Obscure references to things that are dead and buried! God-building and -destroying! Exclamation points! Yay!

Anyway. Reading it also reminded me of a bunch of things: the setting where I read it; Marie, who let me borrow it; Snow Patrol's "Run," for whatever reason. That last I discovered when I heard it today and realized that I had listened to it while I read O&C.

This all seemed more exciting when it was going on than I care to try to explain right now.

And in the clouds, a death mask

The haze and rain clouds that plagued Portsmouth all through June has more or less evaporated, although today seems to flaunt the veracity of that statement.

I think what's happened is something akin to osmosis. First the rain clouds but I was feeling fine. Then the sun, the past week, throughout all of which I've had the strangest impression of lost time, of moving through a fog, of a soul possessed. Now the sun is under some humid-borne haze clouds and I feel cognizant, so we're at an equilibrium.

I can recount with some certainty what I've done for the past week; I've been kicking ass and taking names all over town; nevertheless I can't believe the date has already changed to the 16th. I was living and not alive...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Now for Wrath, for Ruin, and the Red Dawn

I warned you that this post was forthcoming.

I tire of the necessity for one-lined anecdotes, for the desire to condense an entire night’s thoughts and events into something that one can twitter, can post on texts from last night, can lead into a single – usually impure and incomplete - sentence at the end of the blogpost. It is time for the Zeitgeist pendulum of style to swing once more.*

The Minimalism of my contemporaries was borne of those like Hemingway and Carver, but it has bastardized all; that which protected from inane inconsequentiality was the give-and-take of starkly indicative sentences and the longer descriptions that surrounded them. Hemingway had the T-Unit count of a third-grader, but not the soul of one. I fear the same cannot be said of all of my contemporaries.
Begone, then, you days of adverb-less statements!

Begone, tales of ambiguity and brevity!

Begone, sentences without hearts, without souls, without breath!

Let the demands of the Whites and Turabians fade into the past as have the programmes of Dickens and Tolstoy and all the rest!

Let our Style, all ye Post-Modernists, equivocate to the purgative wishes of our philosophies.!

Let awaken the World Ear to sentences of length longer than an iamb, to wishes darker than an economist’s soul, to sounds more frightful than Ginsberg’s howl!
No longer can we wait in the shadows of Dali, of Warhol, of Einstein and Eisenhower, of Hitler and Stalin, of Foucault and Sartre, of those who forged the 20th century to what it was – no longer can we honor our forebears at the expense of our desires. May our swinging pendulum strike against the bounds of their aesthetics and shatter their portraits into nothingness.

* I freely admit that this is a crotchety old man’s response to the hipness of Twitter, to the paunchy one-liners of bloggers and Internet users the world over. It makes my demand no less imperative.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I Call it - Economics!

New Hampshire lawmakers - that is to say, local newspapers - have been astonishingly quiet on the food tax (now including campgrounds) hike from 8% to 9%. The only reference I could find to it that wasn't totally oblique was from USA Today, of all sources.

In honor of this rise, which has made our prices unfortunately increase between 1 to 3 cents per total, I submitted the following proposal to my boss, adapted from the US system of social security.
1. Let a customer buy what s/he will. The employee will ring her/him up for the total.
2. The customer will pay as much as they want of the total.
3. The next person in line's total will be both their predecessor's, and their own.
4. But they will pay as much as they want of the total.
5. Lather, rinse, repeat.
It's foolproof!

Now let's all go get some credit cards. I have a yacht I've been oggling for a while, now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Detox and Toxic Aleutian Waters

Alright, I've just spent the past hour writing emails and trying to figure out logistical details for Future!Andrew, so I am writing this now in an attempt to decompress and detoxify myself from the pressures inherent.

A most major news article that I should share is that Dos Amigos has a great mango salsa for the summer and it is T3H Delicious™. It's becoming something of a Monday ritual to go take advantage of $5 burritos. Om nom nom.

Apparently, also, Palin writes on twitter!? Even more reason supporting my vindictive, vitriolic hatred of that website.* My favorite twitter from soon-to-be-ex-Governor Palin is:
"Happy for hard working Alaskans who get a sunny break tomorrow to celebrate the Fourth of July - be safe, enjoy friends, thank the troops!"
Oh, but all you lazy, ungrateful Alaskans & so-called "citizens" of the other 49 states - you best not be having a good Fourth of July.

I love intentionally misinterpreting politicians.

*It, along with its ilk texts from last night and even my beloved fmylife, have caused me to begin drafting an artistic manifesto, which I may or may not post in the next couple of days.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

You Say Independence Day, I Say Amuhrica Day

I guess blogger doesn't always approve of my posts; sometimes I click to this page and the first one to load up is 3 or 4 or 5 ago. Weird. I don't know what's up with that.

Anyway. I'm not a fan of the holiday that may or may not be upon us so I'm going to focus on one I accidentally neglected. A good friend, K., turned 21 on June 17th, and I didn't do anything major for her. To make up for it, I now present to you an ode I wrote for her. It currently enjoys the wide circulation of about 30 readers of the UNH undergraduate literary journal.


Upon the seas the Dread Dutch Queen
Set sail in a cursed brigantine
Accompan’d by four-score-and-six
Young, nubile males, (as sailor-men).
They roved the wide Sargasso seas
For nary on five hundred years
When other ships were dead, were gone
The Dread Dutch Queen kept sailing on.
And who could tell just what she sought
What treasure of these seas had brought
A pretty girl to sell her soul
Becoming the Dread Pirate Queen?
Her visage terrorized the ships
That carried all the Nouveau Rich
(Who suddenly were quite distraught
To find their credit cards were hot).
They couldn’t find their treasured tomes
Of Shakespeare, Milton, Sherlock Holmes
Of Steinbeck, Heller, Ginny Woolf
Of Carver, Hesse, (and a few
More thousand authors, more than you
Or I could ever know or read).
The Dread Dutch Pirate Queen, she took,
Devoured every single book.
It came to pass that on a ship
A boy, (whose name I must ellipse),
Came to the Dread Dutch Pirate Queen,
Face streaked with tears, hands rat-tatling,
And asked her, voice soprano high
And clear: “Madame, Dread Pirate Queen,
My Mam told me of your dark tricks.
But why, Madame? What need you fixed?”
The Dread Dutch Pirate Queen looked down
And saw the boy’s impassioned frown.
It was, (they say), the only time
That she took pity on mankind.
“Long, long ago, and far away
My name was Kirsten Platona.
I longed to see beyond the stars
Beyond the moon, further than Mars
Aurora Borealis’ glow
The secret of a flake of snow
And so a priestess sold my soul
Until I can it all behold.”
The boy stood still a time and thought
And then he asked: “Madame, but what
Has kept your voyage all these years?
Why do you read these books? In fear?”
“I’ve feared nothing, and never do;
I’ve seen the things I wanted to.
Another reason keeps me here
Tied to this earth – a task to do
I must write all I’ve seen and smelt
I’ve tasted, touched, and heard about
The love of four-score-six seamen
The scorn of all my victims past
I cannot rest until I’ve writ
Life into one perfect sonnet.
But once I have, and soon it’ll be
I’ll be Death’s wife eternally.”

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wherein I break things.

I left the Sox game after the 8th inning because my ride back to NH fell through and I wanted to get to South Station at a reasonable hour. Broken thing #1: Red Sox Morale. I hold myself personally responsible for their failure to persevere after tying it up.

Broken Thing #2: My soul. I got to the T-stop for South Station at 9:52 but by the time I had walked/escalated up to the right desk it was 10:02, so I had to buy a ticket for the 11 o'clock.

An hour. A bus station in which I knew no one. No newsstands or book stores open. No bars. It was hell.

I'm pretty sure, actually, it was hell...somehow I managed to climb out of it like Constantine with a vial's never really explained in the movie so I can't round out that quote... (broken thing number 3?)

I'm still up and wired because, again with the whole ride thing (alas that my brother has a legitimate job and needs the car I enjoyed so frivolously until my Bohemian existence began a short while ago) I ran home from the bus station. I had pregamed, worn shorts and running shoes to the Sox, and planned out the route, which only came to a 5k...but still. Running at midnight thirty is not conducive to ever getting to sleep. Ever.

On the bright side, I've just finished tooling around with google maps so as to maximize the efficiency of my walk to the grocery store, and planned out my route for tomorrow (readers, beware, lest you catch sight of the smelly runner who may or may not stop by Prescott Park during the music! Mwahaha)

Friday, July 3, 2009

I think I Knew Once What this Was

The Crescent Moon, The Church on Spilled Blood

In St. Petersburg, where the maritime climate made the sun ridiculously rare and the moon even less visible, any time I actually did see one of the celestial objects I wanted to photograph it. With just a point-and-shoot, none of the pictures came out as well as one might have hoped. Nevertheless...

Sunrise over the Volga River

Sitting at BNG today, I noticed that the sunlight on the streets was pure, unfiltered through hazy clouds as it had been this morning. I stood up from my computer, walked outside, looked up and pointed at the sun, and went back to my table. Likely everyone in the vicinity thought I was crazy. Likely they are correct.

Still. Sun! And tonight - Red Sox!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gourmet Bachelor Chow!

I've been in a culinary slump for a while, enjoying a combination of takeout from Dos and Ceres or consigning myself to sandwiches and carrot sticks.

NO MORE! Arise from thy slumber, tastebuds, for I present to you

Vodka-dipped Apples

Apples sautéed in a "deconstructed candy" sauce: vodka, vanilla, sugar, and honey. I would have loved to throw some cinnamon & nutmeg on there too, to add to the gourmet adjective...but the bachelor adjective won out - I don't have either spice in the house.

I only have a picture of them in pan because I ate them with vanilla yogurt and the pictures of that came out looking like the end of a porno...