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2007-08-01 - 4:45 p.m.

Had a nice weekend with the family. We all took the little nephew on a steam train ride. He's two and a half. His moods went like this: sleepy in the morning, ectatic watiting for the train, screamy and irritable as we're sitting on the train waiting for it to leave, sedated and absorbed on the train ride, screamy at lunch, sedated and absorbed on the ride back, screamy on the walk from the train to the car, and passed-out asleep on the car ride back. His moods, in general, go like this:

I want something. Oh, I can't have it? I'm PISSED. (Two minutes elapse, at the end of which he forgets he wanted the something at all.) I want something. Oh, I can't have it? And so on, until he falls asleep. My parents--his grandparents--took it in stride. At one point, he called my mom ("Grammie") "stupid." My mom is the most accommodating, nicest woman in the world. He had to go to the room that was his bedroom, which made him cry a lot.

My mom, my girlfiend and I drove up to see Kentuck Knob, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's houses. It's south of Pittsburgh, very close to Fallingwater. According to the tour guide, Frank Lloyd Wright disapproved of anything suggested by the homeowner (the wife of a dairy magnate) that would make the house more comfortable and generally friendly. Frank Lloyd Wright, it sounds like, was generally a dick. I really like his houses, though. They're strange and angular and all the chairs are straight up-and-down like the benches at all-you-can-eat seafood restaurants in beach towns.

One of the last things my ex-girlfriend from Norfolk said to me before she left my apartment for the last time was, "If you ever write anything about me, I'll sue you," but if I do write anything about her, the epigraph to it will almost certainly be "Blow out that cherry bomb / For me." It's from the news Spoon album and I take it he's had an explosive girlfriend, too. I just took a bike ride. I've got one of those strap things that allows you to strap your iPod securely to the appendage of your choice.

Appendages: My girlfriend (the current one, not the one that might sue me, and will, if she was speaking truthfully and if she happens to read an obscure publication that's due in my mailbox any day now) punched me in the chest this weekend. I'd said something about her personality that she didn't like. I didn't mean it in a bad way, but I think I see why she punched me. I punched her back, in the shoulder, like we were brothers.

I put in my leave of absence form last week. I'll leave here the last week of August (if I can find a place to live there) and start back up at my regular job in mid-December. In between, I hope to have a draft of a book that maybe somebody will want to read. I don't have a spectacular story, but a regular one, but one that I hope is told, I don't know, acutely?

Sometimes I wish I could paint, or play the guitar, or base jump, or box. Something with noises and jabbing and maybe some panting.

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