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2006-05-30 - 11:45 p.m.

It just got hot. The beginnings of a lifestyle (and I like lists):

Sweating through my shirts on the ride home in the afternoons, helped by the vinyl bench seat.
Drinking Miller High Life outside and not inside.
Smelling candles that are supposed to keep the bugs away, my girlfriend's sunblock, the salt of sweat, the musk of the warehouse, oil and pollen and garbage and hamburgers out on the street.
Wishing I hadn't run out of contact lenses because my face's not designed for the sun and I wish I could wear dark glasses.
Hot coffee in the mornings, ice water at night, cool showers at home, the muscle of thunderstorms.

Commerce: I've been trying--and failing--for weeks to buy a particular camera on eBay. I bought twelve rolls of 800-speed film the other day. I was the only bidder. I paid $9.95 for the shipping and $0.01 for the film. I don't understand that slice of economics, but the fact remains that I got the film in the mail and I'm excited because I've never shot with that stuff before. I did some research, though, and it'll come out grainy. I like the possibilites of shooting in low light. I don't know how to use a flash properly.

We're talking of going to Ireland in October. She's got friends who just moved to County Cork. I've been to Vancouver, but that's it.

Media notes: The New Yorker's been running some pretty great short stories the past month or two. My favorite in a long time is Steven Millhauser's story from five or six weeks ago. It's about a miniature-maker. A guy who builds tiny versions of things for the king. It's tight as a jewelry box and just whistles. The last sentence knocked me in my gut. I finally bought some Broken Social Scene albums after digging on "7/4 Shoreline" for a long time and, like a lot of straight-indie bands, it seems that I like one or two songs per album. I'm giving them an especially long try, however, because I like those one or two songs a lot. After stalling on "Never Let Me Go" a few months ago, I finished the last few chapters. Motherfucker. I'm still a little sad after that one. I told myself I was going to read it for the craft and not for the story, but the story won. It broke my heart a little. Such sustained melancholy. Reminded me, in theme, of "For Whom the Bell Tolls." Liked "Middlesex." Reminded me of "Kavalier and Clay."

Me notes: I got a rejection from The New Yorker much sooner than expected. This is absolutely no surprise. Ostensibly, I sent it to the Shouts and Murmurs section, but there's no telling who actually read the first paragraph. I've thumb-tacked their slip to my bedroom door so that everyone can see that I get elegantly rejected.

Had a phone interview for a lecturer position at the school where I got my grad degree. I did fine and it pays substantially more than I thought it would, but I'm pretty sure I don't want the job. I'm back home and I don't want to move back to a town I never liked all that much (and which carries some tough recent memories for me) for a job that will help me only fractionally more than my current path: working a straight crap job and teaching a section of English composition once a week. I do hope that they ask me down for an on-campus interview, though, so that I have a reason to get my books and basketball shoes and pots and pans out of my friend's storage space. I hope he hasn't thrown them away.

Went to the zoo on Monday. With glass in between, we got about three feet from a male chimpanzee. Chimpanzees are amazing. Their deltoids and biceps and forearms scare me in a primal way. Giraffes got close. Mountainous gray rhinos slept in the shade. Same for a lion. I can see why there are so many children's books about animals and why children are so drawn to these guys. Beautiful and scary and charismatic because of it.

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