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2006-01-28 - 10:49 a.m.

The lady and I saw Deerhoof at the Ottobar last night. One of the best shows I've seen in a while. The drummer is insane, with the tiny set up he's got. I got the feeling that, if left to his devices, the lead guitar player would play riffs all night. The girl's got a nice voice. We were about ten feet from her, off to the side because that was only place free after we came downstairs from the bar. At one point, she walked to the front of the stage, to the corner right in front of me, and leaned down and sort of nosed her guitar toward this little Indian girl who was being hugged by her boyfriend. They had a little moment. It was mostly guys at the show. The singer and the girl in the audience smiled at each other and when everyone else saw this happening, they all smiled, too.

My tags expire in two days. I've got to get the title signed over to me, prove that I don't owe the state more than two grand because of an insurance mix-up, and then get the tags renewed. Somebody stole the rear tag from my Jetta. It's been parked outside the warehouse, on the street, for months. My roommate says that it has "the stink of death on it" and that he can't blame the person who stole it. I disagree, but only slightly. I can sort of blame whoever stole it because it's my car.

The Steelers are in the Super Bowl. I've been watching the playoff games at a bar in Canton called Lager's that I'd never go to otherwise but which my brother likes because they've got about twelve TVs, most of them flat screens. I've been wearing my track jacket that looks like it's straight out of a 1970s high school athletic program, all brown and cream and yellow, and my brother insists I not wash it and that I wear it for the games. I like football when my team's winning. And I like, especially, this particular team. Jerome Bettis with his sideways big-boy dance and his belly and smiling Hines Ward who takes beatings but holds onto the ball and Troy Polamalu dervishly whirling and Fast Willie Parker who is indeed fast and who's got the coolest nickname because it's the simplest and oldest school.

I ordered a T-shirt for the girl. It's got a picture of a Winnebago and around it, the text reads, "My other ride is your mom." This fits her sense of humor pretty well.

Been having a rough time at work. On Wednesday morning, first thing, I got chewed out pretty good by this saleswoman for whom I'm writing this proposal for FedEx. I didn't deserve what she gave me, no matter what way you look at it, and as she's talking to me as if I'm an intern, I briefly thought about quitting. I'm not, because I need to finish paying down some debt and it pays too well for me to regain my workday soul just yet, but it was total bullshit. I talked with my boss about it and she made me feel much better because she told me that this particular woman does this to everyone in my department the first time they do something for her. She does the thing where she tears you down and then tries to build you back up in her image. And, sure enough, she couldn't have been nicer to me Thursday and Friday. Still, I used the licence plate theft as an excuse to come in at noon on Thursday and instead I reclaimed my soul a little bit by writing about the warehouse. It's an essay I've been working on for about a year and the heart of it is a three-page voice-driven riff modeled very much on the first chapter of "Cannery Row," with lots of sentences that start out, "The warehouse is a cough...The warehouse is weird guitar pedals and five different brands of butts in the ashtrays...The warehouse is the flick of a curse word and the flick of a lighter...," that sort of thing. I like it and am thinking of getting rid of the actual scenes in the story, scenes about poker playing and walking around Mount Vernon early in the morning, on mushrooms. Sometimes stories are allowed to be all heart, with no real action. They're too urgent, maybe, or too scattered in real life to write anything other than the overall impression, choosing very specific specifics to illuminate how you feel about a place or a person or a time in your life that's recently over.

Lazy Saturday. I might go music shopping later because I want to buy Deerhoof's newest one and because it feels like January outside.

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