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2007-07-16 - 12:53 p.m.

Four guys in what my roommate described as "a real late-model Mercedes" stole the catalytic converter from my truck on Saturday morning. I wasn't there, but she left me a voicemail that I got when I woke up. She was getting ready for a shower when she heard noise on out on the street. She checked it out, craned her neck to see what was going on three floors down, and saw a guy lying on the ground, working a hand-held saw underneath my car. Three more were sitting in the Mercedes. A neighbor told her later that they were "trolling" down Oliver Street, and when they saw my key-scratched, bad-rear-suspension, worth-$750 1994 Toyota Pickup (named before Toyota Corp. Inc. gave its pickup trucks actual names), they stopped and went to work. They were at it for about 45 seconds. Catalytic converters, I've learned, contain small bits of platinum, pollonium, and rhodium. So I guess they take it to a scrapyard and get thirty dollars for it. I suppose I should thank Mrs. Heroin and/or Crack for indirectly helping themselves to my auto part. This morning, when I started it up to take it the few blocks to the shop, people on their way to work turned their heads.

My TV-star friend (Food Network?) is turning 31 tonight and so we will go to a bar across the street from where the show is filmed in order to drink beer upstairs and shoot pool.

I bought shorts yesterday. I haven't worn shorts in two years.

We saw the Bacon Brothers last night, at the harbor. They were on a three-city Netflix-sponsored tour. Netflix gave away lots of those foldable lawn chairs that said "Netflix" all over them. Here was the thinking, maybe: 25th anniversary of Barry Levinson's movie Diner = let's show it free, out of doors, in Baltimore + Kevin Bacon was in the movie = let's invite Kevin Bacon's band to play before the movie + sounded like they were playing covers of other middle-aged rockers' songs, but covers that no one had heard of, kind of like if the Bacon Brothers had uncovered unreleased demos from the Eagles' 1994 album When Hell Freezes Over, got real drunk, covered them, and then played them live last night) / no beer for sale anywhere = there are actually six guys in the band = the Bacon Brothers.

Anyway, trying hard to write more. It's harder than ever now. I'm 100 pages in and I'm seeing how the longer stuff can really discourage you from going in for an hour, since it feels more and more like a tangled mess the longer the thing gets. I'm sure this is a necessary stage. What I need to do, I feel sure, is to isolate--in my head and physically, forgetting about the rest for a bit--specific chapters and work on that one chapter until I feel I can move on. Right? I hope so. There must be a way to get through it.

Sent a text message on Friday to my older brother, saying, "Dude, call somebody," meaning me or my mom or our other brother. But nothing yet, to me, at least. I'd be more worried if he didn't do this thing of severing all communication more often. He does this a lot. He goes quiet for a month and then I see him twice in two days. I understand not wanting to talk, but he's into record-setting territory now. I wonder if he's doing lots of drugs? I know he hasn't quit his job. I called it a week ago and the hostess said he'd be in in an hour. I felt like a Hardy Boy, making that call.

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