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2007-02-18 - 1:44 p.m.

My friend Kevin and I had a talk the other night, at The Mex downtown, over big glasses of the dark kind of Dos Equis. He's into a going-places thing now--Spain, Japan--and he said, basically, that he treats the in-between-trips times the same as he does the trips themselves. He makes a conscious effort to pack in as much as possible into the time he's got. Specifically, he was talking about how he goes to pains to plan things. Specific things: outings, events, reasons.

Which brings me to memory, again, I suppose. When I think back on the past few weeks, I think of Kevin, because he's the leader and the organizer and because he has, indeed, packed events in. One of the reasons I like writing in this, actually, is that I like to record specific events whenever I think to do so because they're so easily lost or blurred. Specific records, if you let them rule, can rule, to the exclusion of imagination or nostalgia. But having a record can be a terrific spark, a guide, a catalyst.

So: Went ice skating for the first time in my life. It was a few weeks ago. First reaction: it really is fucking cold in here. Second reaction: ice skating is very hard. I've played all kinds of sports and am relatively aware of my body in space (I read an article once about NBA basketball players and that phrase has always stuck with me and reminded me of basketball players, which is a fantastic counterpart to someone like, say, Ben Wallace or Allen Iverson). But I'm not much for having shoes laced to my feet that do not connect solidly with the ground. I've dreamed, plenty of times, about ice skating. And it always feels good, like flying. I guess I'm not meant to fly.

Duckpin bowling last night, for four hours. A friend rented out the top floor for his thirtieth birthday party. They brought a keg in and I got at least 100 in two out of three games. And then to Kisling's, where I haven't been in a couple of years, for shots of cinnamon stuff and beers I didn't need to drink. Lots of guys hugging guys and back-slapping and ass-slapping and there were girls there, too, but it was a boys' night. We were all drunk. The birthday boy had to leave early because he couldn't, as they say, use his words any more. I managed to drive to the girl's house and fall into bed and managed to get all the clothes off I was supposed to get off.

Today: empty in the stomach but generally good in the head. I've got iTunes on the party shuffle function and am presently discovering songs from albums I own that I never knew I liked. Lots of Beck and Spoon, it seems. "Nicotine & Gravy."

John Vanderslice takes great photos. He has a bunch of nice slide shows on his site.

Otherwise, waiting to be inspired or else just waiting. Add up all the wait-time and I wonder what you get? A basket of your favorite fruits? Cherries and kiwis and fresh pineapple? Or a blank page? Or something in between? The smell of burnt toast? The smell of your first girlfriend's perfume?

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