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Friday, Sept. 19, 2003 - 8:07 p.m.

Word of the Day:
I sat at a picnic table outside my office building this morning, grading papers in the sun, and someone had left a milk bottle on the table. The back of the label read ďDistributed by MilkcoĒ. Milkco! MILKCO!

When I got home, I revived the azaleas and the jalapenos out front and took a broom to the spiderwebs around the front door. The broom itself had spiders on it, and little eggs and baby spiders as well; it had been in the spidery garage. Ew, ew, ew. I rinsed off the broom with the hose, stopping every thirty seconds to shudder, then brushed all the spiders away from the front of the apartment building. They will all have to go find new homes, those spiders.

Anyway, this is important as the setting for the Image of the Day. Russell and I talked for a long time about my bicycle and why itís so hard to ride lately:
R: [after long explanations of the various hubs and pads that could be misaligned or in need of oil] Or maybe itís just your chain. It could be all rusty.
Me: Maybe itís full of spiders.
R: The spiders are slowing you down! Theyíve been dragging their feet along the ground as you ride.

And now I cannot shake the image of frowning spiders petulantly sticking twigs in my spokes and dragging their little feet to slow me down.

Okay, perhaps that needed too much explanation to be particularly funny.

The Writing Center was super-satisfying last night. I worked with a woman from Seattle. I forget sometimes that these Southerners are not, at heart, my people. And then I find an honest-to-goodness feminist, someone whoís seen the Grand Canyon more than once, someone with that ethereal but real girl glow, and I remember what the rest of the country (or at least the parts I know best) is like. And I feel right. I donít like this, really: Iíd like to be comfortable with anyone, but it seems that I feel most comfortable around people like me, even those I donít know. I have this particular conversation with myself regularly: do I want to live somewhere where everyone agrees with me? Wouldnít that be stifling? But I donít want to keep living in SC, a place where I almost canít go a day without hearing some racist bullshit and nobody turns the tap off while brushing their teeth, do I? There must be some kind of a balance.

Chris suggests I shouldnít think so much about what to do next. This is a super-valid idea, so I sat down and thought about it quite a bit last night before I went out. Yes, I was drinking a martini at the time, but I believe my thoughts were rational enough. And I realized that I am always thinking about what I will do next, where Iíll move, and what needs to change. Itís what keeps me going. I donít think I have a particular problem living in the oh-I feel-like-Iím-in-high-school moment. Since Iíve been dating L, especially, I kind of have to be where I am, because he takes so long to make up his mind about anything that I have to just sit back, pipe down, and wait for him to act. Pressure does not work. He is not spontaneous, nor is he able to manage more than two activities in one day (ďOh, but we have to go to lunch with M&L; thatíll take care of Saturday. Maybe I can unpack those three boxes Sunday. So no, I canít go for a hike this weekend; maybe next weekend, as long as I donít have to change my guitar strings.Ē I have absorbed a little of this outlook, and find myself unable to go to the bank on the days I have to teach: too much!).

The point is, I am motivated by What Comes Next. So I need to plan, or Iíll be even more of a mess. There is more to be said about this, but I have many more trivial things to discuss right now.

I buy cat toys, but still Ronnieís favorite plaything is a pack of BreathSavers. This will entertain her for hours. I bring them home from the supermarket and seldom see them again. On those rare occasions that I wash the sofa slipcover, I find packs of breath mints tucked in the cracks and abandoned underneath.

[Allow me to note here that much of what follows was written at 1:30 AM after a lot of beer and noise; minor editing could not resolve its structural incoherence.]

I went to a funny show: The Thirsties, my favorite band in town, played at the Art Bar. I never go to the Art Bar (Actually, local hipster parlance dictates leaving off the article: ďI never go to Art BarĒ), but tonight was wonderful. After Iíd been there a few minutes, I realized it was perhaps the nerdiest crowd Iíd ever been amongstÖand that is saying a lot. Weíre talking real solid nerds; these were not the bespectacled hipsterati of most indie rock shows. These were grownup nerds, all serious rock fans out for their Thursday night seriousness. This does not happen to me often, nor do I think about it much, but I was the skinniest person in the room. I noticed this when I was having a hard time seeing the band in a crowd of thirty people.

I fit in with these folk. Southerners though they may be, Old Lady Eva finds herself right at home. I donít think I ever felt like I REALLY belonged at shows until I moved here. I started wearing flip-flops to shows about a year and a half ago. Iíd always worn them whenever I could, being my fatherís daughter, but shows dictated more sturdy footwear: one was liable to get stepped on or pushed about. But I realized last summer that I donít go to push-about shows anymore, and I stopped wearing protective footwear. It is hot here. Matt of The Thirsties and I actually had a conversation back then about climate-specific rockwear. We wanted to start the revolution of equatorial-clime punk rock clothing. And, in a way, I guess I have. I flip-flopped my way around (the) Art Bar last night quite happily.

I also suffered a drunken bass player whom I happen to know for about twenty minutes. He was complaining loudly about the band, standing too close, staggering, talking constantly, and advising me (in the friendliest way possible) of my deficiencies as a musician. I felt quite trapped, though entertained enough (and I am always so polite) that I made no real effort to get away. But when L came near, I stood on his foot until he joined the conversation, allowing me to escape to the bathroom.

It was a good night.

It will be a good weekend, too.

Holy cow, was this long.

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