Tuesday, February 01, 2005

By Sho Nuff

Geez, it’s been almost a week since the last entry...I’ve been like Bin Ladin’s two unambitious brothers, Bin Drinkin and Bin Sleepin. (Not my own joke, don’t remember where I heard it.) Not exactly the most exemplary lifestyle, I guess...but I cleave pretty much to the Bohemian, inasmuch as there’s any virtue in that.

Some of my directly-deposited money came early this morning from the state or the federal govenment...am able to check my Bank of America balance through my cell phone and when, at half past two this morning, the recorded voice informed me of a hundred-and-twenty in my account, out I was into the Tenderloin darkness to secure that cash...for some reason, the ATM at the all-night Yemeni-run market a half block down from the hotel wouldn’t dispense the cash, so I walked the three blocks to official B of A ATMs and found monetary satisfaction. A good place and time to be robbed, but I wasn’t fearful.

I withdrew a hundred and spend 45 of it well enough...7 went to the Brown Jug for a bottle of Guinness (overpriced at 4 bucks), a dollar tip to the early morning barman (I was fine with him – can’t say the same for some of the Jug’s crew at night), and two bucks for 7 songs on the jukebox. I had my notebook with trippy psychedelic flashiness on the cover and compiled some lines of text...apart from this blog, which is basically a rather facile production done without much thought, I’m keeping some handwritten verbiage in that notebook, including lines of dialogue and of poetry in iambic pentameter, the form I’ve been working with for a good 15 years and more.

And gave a guy in the hotel ten bucks back that he loaned me, and interest to him was a big bag of guacamole-flavored Doritos and a can of Inca Cola. It’s an unusual flavor and color for a soda drink – I believe it was originally the top seller in South America before Coca-Cola bought it out and gave it wider distribution.

And set aside 3 bucks and 6 bucks to repay other loans...and bought two bottles of orange juice (Tropicana, since there’s no water added and it’s not from concentrate)...also, a 4 buck bottle of Southern Comfort (splurging a little – usually, it’s the two-buck-and-a-quarter Ancient Age)...and a half gallon of milk

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for neighbor Steve, to treat him – as well as a package of Ding Dongs for him as an impulse buy.

So...here I be...had been worrying about overdue library books, so I just checked my account: not much damage – owe a dollar even in late fees, and have that situation under control...

Well...one reason I haven’t blogged in nearly a week is that I’m not especially happy with the content of this journal...and of my life in general, pretty much...but I’ll just apply myself to my notes, which I’ve barely been keeping of late, and fill out this page at least...get some high outta the language flow, and meaning therein.

Have recently spent “quality time” with Hawk magazine...that needs some changing and is a source of dissatisfaction...perhaps my discontent can be remedied by a measure as simple as fasting – that is, not eating...to clear the body and the mind and determine what really needs doing. Well, at least recently I’ve had several instances of intense (for me) physical activity when riding my bicycle – got myself breathing very hard, that in itself being quite mind-altering. Maybe it’s just the baneful blessing of living in society, in a civil world...

Been reading that Dick Cavett book – another one I’ll read cover to cover...a very witty gent, and still around – he gave much commentary around the time of Johnny Carson’s death – both are from Nebraska and were TV personalities.

Last Thursday, fulfilled my duties as secretary at an Odd Fellows meeting...for the first time, I alone read through the minutes of the previous meeting – Brother Pete had been doing that, but he left it up to me this last time – girded my loins and got through it – for me, kind of an ordeal to have to speak for, like, 15 minutes. I was pretty uncomfortable, but not overwhelmingly so...maybe I shouldn’t have had a beer beforehand, the better to keep whatever cool I can manage...tho’, to be sure, I’m not cool, I’m hot.

And, prior to the meeting, remembered that I wanted to remind hotel friend Naz to come to the Odd Fellows meeting, have some dinner (Pete has mentioned him several times in this regard), and I took the trouble to ride my bike back to the hotel to tell Naz. But he surely didn’t care to do this...sounds like he doesn’t want to be a member of the lodge at all. We tried.

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After the meeting, was given my 50 buck “officer’s pay” check, and invited Sister b to get a bite to eat somewhere or a drink - cashed the check at the corner money exchanger (they took out their 3 buck fee)...and so we stood at the corner of 7th and Market deciding where to go...we chose Jack’s Happy Daze, a bar across 7th from the Odd Fellows Building – got a glass of red wine for each of us (three-50 per, plus a dollar tip to the barmaid)...and put some song money in their fine jukebox. (We were recently also at Harrington’s, and, truth to tell, that box is getting a bit tired for me...it was nice to select from the Happy Daze box, which features more recent songs.)

And: as b and I drank our wine and listened to the music, I noticed Brothers Wayland and Bernard standing outside – I went to talk with them – they were waiting for Brother Lucky, who was gonna give ‘em a ride...invited ‘em in to sit, and only Bernard took me up on this...he’s the piano player at meetings and the brother, actually, biologically, of Brother Tony...so, the three of us sat and chatted a bit...Bernard’s a bit of the shy one, not given, it seems, to much talkativeness...I can be in the mood to gab at times...tho’ not, as I said, in the broadcasting mode that it appears I’ll have to be in to fulfill my role as lodge secretary...

Eventually, Lucky shows up...I gave him back the ten bucks he spent to get me into the Blue Cube nightclub that recent evening...not that he was expecting it, but I thought it’d be a good gesture...

And these were the four songs that Sister b and I picked – four for a dollar, which is one tune more than usual for a buck: Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”, a Norah Jones (one of b’s picks), “Overprotected” by Britney Spears (also chosen by b), and “Every Picture Tells a Story” (Rod Stewart, from the “Unplugged” MTV show)...

And about this time, got a call from Brother Pete, who was still taking care of business up in the lodge – I took my phone outside and stood in the slight night drizzle and talked with him...he wanted to know if I planned to go on an upcoming lodge trip up to Point Arena...vehicles were rented, accomodations prepared, food ready, and it was free to members. I guess I wouldn’t mind, but it’s over three hours to get up there to the Northern California location, and that just didn’t seem like much fun. I mean, going to the Mission or North Beach feels like a major excursion to me. So as of this, I don’t think I’m gonna go.

So, got myself another glass of the Happy Daze red, put more money in the

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box (and if my notes are correct, gave the barmaid a buck-and-a-half for that three-fifty glass – feeling generous, was I, quite the magnanimous one ...and played Gretchen Wilson’s “Here for the Party”, a fairly new song – plus 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” (ditto), the Counting Crows cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”, and “Crosstown Traffic” by Jimi Hendrix...and liked that Hendrix so much I played seven more – won’t bother to list ‘em, tho’ the Happy Daze box misspelled Jimi’s tribute to America’s anthem as “Star Spangeled Banner”...perhaps appropriate in the era of King George the Younger...

And I continued going to town on the jukebox after the Hendrix: three songs by War, and the final one, Aretha, saying a little prayer. I’d told Sister b we’d be making our departure when Aretha sang, and so we did...and we parted company shortly thereafter - I think she went into BART...guess it’s not a particularly relevant detail...for the life of me, can’t picture what happened...I do recall us standing at 7th & Market deciding where to go spend some money, tho’...

And then I rode my bicycle down Market...had Rasputin’s on my mind, this a bit after 10pm, maybe get a new music disc...but they close early...headed to the still-open Virgin Megastore and paused outside...wasn’t feeling the urge to go in, tho’...

And thereafter, my notes are a bit disjointed...I was in Steve’s room watching the (okay enough) Zoolander...and gave Naz five bucks to fix my front brake, which had snapped during the time after the wine and song at Happy Daze...got two bucks back to another hotel neighbor, John, for some beauty item I’d purchased from him...not a necessary expenditure, but I felt like spreading the wealth around a bit...and paused for a while in John’s room...he had a friend in there and we three chatted for a bit about I don’t quite remember what...John started singing some old soul song...I had a bottle of Southern Comfort that I shared with John’s friend (John doesn’t drink)...felt some fellowship with John’s friend...
So back to Steve’s room until early the next day, the 28th...cannot quite make heads or tails of the notes I took, which were of the very sparse variety...well, it was just another night in Steve’s room, watching videos, drinking whiskey...scribble I made about the Neil Diamond song, “He Ain’t Heavy...” – just Googled on this – Rufus Wainright covered it on the Zoolander soundtrack, tho’ I don’t recall this specifically...Steve and I also watched part of Trinity is Still My Name (he hates it – I like lines in it like “Them wuz good beans.”) & part or all of the second Kill Bill – finally got around to that...impressive & intense...later – so, take yer eyeballs back.


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