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April 15, 1997, Tuesday

From the mouth of Ches Floyd: "One to eighty are the formative years."

I dreamed my childhood friend, Courteney Pearson, a lad I haven't seen since I was eight, had mysteriously come to visit me. He hadn't grown very much. And he still had his moppy blond hair and little kid's face. He didn't look 29 years old. After the initial elation of his presence, though, came a period of distressing discoveries. He'd been in my room for a time prior to my arrival and in that time had knocked a chunk out of one of my Sepultura CDs, which for some reason was made of glass. He'd also dropped my CD player and knocked a servo-coil out of it. The coil dangled like a flaccid slinky. When I asked him about these things, he denied all responsibility.

By the way, after all these years I can't even remember what sort of kid Courteney was. I seem to recall him being rather impressionable.

Suddenly I was in the middle of a big hilly field, standing beside my Dodge Dart. Some woman, hyped up on drugs I suppose, came careening towards me in a station wagon, pursued by a cop. After a few laps around the field, she'd managed to get her car upside down on top of mine, crushing the rear of the cab. I rejoiced at all the insurance money I would soon have, but then the cop dispelled my illusions somehow.

For me today was an Alanis Morrisette day; I managed to get one of the parking meters that is perpetually stuck with 2 hours to spare.
Wonderboy Neek and Matt Wood the Aries (a figure from the lives of the Malvern Girls in the Fall of 1995) appeared as I was preparing to start my day. The two boys had a basketball that was manifesting quantum behaviour between them. Since they had plans of going to the Downtown Mall I said they could ride along with me, since, following the plan announced on Sunday, I would be "gallery sitting" at the Downtown Artspace today. After almost having a couple of collisions (I kept being distracted), I picked up a key from Jenfariello at Two Moons and proceded to the Studio Art Store on 11th Street to get stretched canvases because I'm too lazy to stretch my own like my housemates do. Then it was off to the Downtown Mall. For me today was an Alanis Morrisette day; I managed to get one of the parking meters that is perpetually stuck with 2 hours to spare. Wonderboy was busy being amazed by the junk in the back of my car, including some salvaged psychological experimental equipment from Oberlin Ohio.

Me at work on the Artspace Rooster, January 1997. Photo by Jen Fariello.
I set up shop in the Artspace, got the Guided by Voices playing on the CD player because that's what I wanted to hear. Jenfariello was in and out, chatting with someone, a potential customer let me guess; she would have been a welcome sight at the Sausage Party if that means anything at all. No it doesn't.

I had a promising start, teasing dilute cheap acrylic paint together, complementary turquoise blue and reddish orange from opposite corners of the canvas. I'm not particularly fond of either colour, but that's what I had to work with. They turned to a disgusting mud where they mixed. But where they interlaced, I could see strange visual disturbances. It gradually became an underwater scene. I added in some stylized fronds of vegetation, interrupted here and there by... who knows. Then I started painting bones. At this point the painting reached a crisis from which it could not recover. I blamed hunger, and so went off to get a sandwich at Blimpie's. That didn't do the trick. The real need was for caffeine in great abundance, in a form I could only make for myself in a big pot. But I had no provisions for caffeine manufacture. So I ended up listening to All Things Considered and reading interesting articles from a design magazine.

One of the things in the news today is that Governor Allen has declared today "Confederate Tradition Appreciation Day" or something like that. This declaration comes in response to the news that "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" (with its fond recollections of how fine it was to have been a slave) has been demoted by the legislature from its traditional status as Virginia's state song. I wonder how African Americans are celebrating this joyous day.

As for my painting; the muse had done all she could for the day. I don't consider this a failure; I just know what I need to succeed: caffeine. It keeps me functioning at Comet after all.

In the distance a car alarm went off, a mantra-like chanting of monotonous honks.
I went to the Mudhouse and had the $1.15 cup of coffee, which is all I ever get when I go there. But that coffee usually pays for itself in terms of the vividness it lends to the ensuing hours. In the distance a car alarm went off, a mantra-like chanting of monotonous honks. No one leapt to his feet to intercede on the behalf of the complaining machine. No one intercedes on the behalf of a screaming maiden for Christ's sake.

I found a new book in the "local authors" cabinet (wherein my only "published" work is also on display). It was by none other than Steve Weiner. I forget the title, but from what I gathered it looked like an interesting read. The book is essentially about the end of the Victorian Age and the rise of feminism on Long Island. It's loaded with fetishistic examinations of women's undergarments.

I was forced to check my email at the public library because the Mudhouse computer was under occupation. There is no Telnet on the library computers but there is AtEase®, apparently to keep the system administrator from experiencing coronary collapse. God forbid that I might want to get any real work done. I sent email to the guy who manages the public workstations suggesting a FEW improvements. I enjoy the zeitgeist of the computer nomad, one who utterly relies on what machines he can scrounge, making the best of imperfect situations and retarded configurations.

At 7pm I had a little meeting with Lydia Conder, the woman who runs Gallery Neo. She has a little project for me to work on. I'm gradually coming to the view that, for my long term financial liquidity, it is essential that I network with the graphic designers in this town.

Back at the Dynashack, the housemates where sitting around on the porch chatting with some boy whom Elizabeth finds "dreamy." Meanwhile, Cecelia the Brazilian Girl reclined asleep on the couch, having been knocked out by the wine she'd been drinking. She'd been a model for a UVA art class.

Later Elizabeth took me to task for factual errors on my Dynashack page. She's particularly offended that I said she was a second year when she is a third year. Senority is VERY IMPORTANT at UVA, where "first years" are considered idiots or, at best, exploitable sex toys and semen receptacles. Personally, I was never interested in what "year" she was or in anything else in her or anyone elses academic life. To overhear the college kids talking about what they'd put for an answer on this or that question "on the exam" is perhaps the single most annoying part of my typical daylight experience in this town. And of course Elizabeth had gone on to inform everyone else what I'd written about them, for example that John is goofy. What she and the others failed to understand was that the information I put in there was mostly serving the role of "placeholder" until I can get the real facts and the proper wording. "Goofy" in our language has a negative connotation, but what I was referring to was a style of humour that I actually like. It's so easy to be misunderstood when words are quoted out of context. I think Elizabeth is behaving like a little brat.

During my prework nap, I had a crazy psychadelic series of dreams, some of them lucid. Hanging over my head in all the dreams was a fear that I'd get to work late. So in the dream I kept looking at the edge of a Windows 95 screen, wanting to see the clock. And the clock that I'd see would always say something late like 2:19 on it, and I'd freak out for a moment until I'd realized I hadn't seen the real time, just a dreamed-up image from a mischievious part of my mind. So then, in the dream, I'd go to look the clock radio for the real deal. And it would say 2:19 too! Then I'd realize that I'd have to wake up to be sure of what time it was. Not wanting to do that, I would remain in my dreams.

Interestingly, for most of these pre-work dreams, I found myself dwelling in the two dimensional space of a web page, none other than among the jagged, harshly coloured icons of the Meyhem Project! There is something about that page that reminds me of fever-induced delerium. Not that I think this was Buck's goal, but nothing else I've seen on the web looks quite like it.

FOLKS, THIS PAGE WAS "BUILT" ON A MACINTOSH. Man the desk is greasy around the server-room Macintosh! Is it just Bn being slob?

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