Hey, remember ten minutes ago?

It’s one of those days. The temperature has changed enough to make me think that it’s fall. And with every change of season, I feel like I’m transported to some other year, or era. When the fall leaves are rustling and it gets chilly enough to need a jacket, I think about sitting in my mom’s driveway in Indiana, listening to Metallica – Master of Puppets and replacing a heater coil in a ’76 Camaro.

It doesn’t help that I watched about an hour of some MTV “Hey! Remember the 80’s?” show last night. It was the one about 80s metal bands. A lot of it was about the hair bands like Cinderella and Poison, and it was amusing to see all of them broke and destitute, hair cut and money gone. It was odd to see George Lynch. He was in Dokken, which although they were trying to do the whole fringe jacket and tight pants thing, were somewhat musically talented. Anyway, George Lynch is now an amateur bodybuilder in Arizona, and was probably the most well-spoken of the bunch. He looked totally different with short hair, a tan, and riding around on a mountain bike or lifting weights. It shows you how much you can change in 10 years.

I listened to a tape last night when I was running that I made 10 years ago. Me and this guy Jia used to make comedy tapes, sort of Cheech and Chong types of things, and I dug them out of the closet. I actually listened to a mix I made on the backside of one of our tapes of a lot of the bands I was into in high school. Some of it had classic stuff like Hendrix, Grand Funk, and Led Zeppelin, but it also had some Saxon, Anthrax, and Metallica on there.

I know I’ve changed a lot since high school, but one of the things I miss is that in high school and in a lot of college, I had a real thirst for music. I spent a lot of money on tapes – when I got my first non-food job in high school and started working in the mall, I would buy at least one tape a week, every week. Even then, there were so many other things in the tape racks that I wanted to buy but couldn’t because of money. Now, I can walk into a CD store with a roll of hundreds and not find anything I REALLY want to buy. Sure, I could buy that Black Sabbath back catalog, or the Iron Maiden CDs that I only have on vinyl. But there isn’t a kind of music I LIKE anymore. I don’t know what new stuff I would want to get into. Although there is some cool older stuff, I want something new – something recorded in the digital age, something with good production, a lot of energy, and a reverberance that makes me want to go out and buy all of the artist’s albums. I had this back when metal ruled the world, but now I don’t. There aren’t any metal bands, and I’m not sure I’d even want to listen to them if they were out now. I’m sure they would be some band like Winger with some samples and a drum machine to sound more like Chemical Brothers or something. Oh well – metal caught me unprepared when I first started listening to old Maiden and Motorhead – maybe the next cool thing will, too.

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Studying the liver in an obsolete text

I read far more about the liver than I’d ever need to know last night, and studied Gray’s Anatomy for about an hour, finding out what hooks up to what. The problem with Gray’s is that it was written about a million years ago, so it doesn’t talk about modern surgery – just old fashioned sawing and forking apart a cadaver. Things haven’t changed much there, but it would be nice for more detailed medical information. I have an encyclopedia from 1972, but that doesn’t exactly give me the latest in surgical techniques.

It doesn’t matter too much. I worked my worry into a frenzy last night, thinking my spleen would explode in my sleep, and when I got to the doctor today, he said I was fine. I’m glad I don’t have hepatitis or something, but I was hoping for some simple, treatable condition that would go away after a prescription or two, and allow me to go back to my previous diet of Cokes and Quarter Pounders. No such luck.

Why is everybody suddenly lactose intolerant? Why weren’t people on the Old West lactose intolerant? Did they start adding stuff to milk to make it worse? Have cows mutated over the last 5 years? Has there ever been a US Astronaut that was lactose intolerant? Did they drink something else in space, like maybe a soy milk? I wonder about that.

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Transcribing pains

I finished transcribing this Jello Biafra interview last night. It took me about 6 hours to transcribe 45 minutes of tape. Most death metal bands or whatever talk in a slow, stoned-out voice and it’s easy to keep up with the tape. But Jello talks faster than fuck, especially when he is on some political rant, and he doesn’t pause for anything. It’s interesting stuff to read and listen to, but I never thought I’d finish typing the damn thing.

With that done, the zine is a big step closer to completion. I need to edit and proof everything, and figure out what stays and what goes. I can’t wait to get the articles flawless and into FrameMaker, so I can see what they look like with some good fonts and weird art.

I should put in a plug for this zine if you are one of the three people actually reading this and you don’t know about it. It will be done at the end of this month and is $2 or a trade, but if you’re actually reading this, I’ll send it to you anyway. Just email me with your postal address and I’ll put you on the list.

I’ve given up on making a cable to connect my Commodore 64 to my PC. I have the schematics and everything, but I just can’t solder anymore. I can’t see the fine detail that close up, and I can’t hold the iron that still, either. It’s sort of fucked up. I’d like to buy a cable, but the people out there who are building them are screwing over people. I want to play some of those old games on my 64, but I never knew it would be this much of a hassle…

It’s lunchtime and I’m ready for bed…

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Ultrasound

This morning, I had an abdominal ultrasound. It was a strange experience, although I’m sure I’ve had worse. It’s odd to look at a computer monitor and see your insides displayed like some pacific ocean trench on a national geographic special about robot submarines. It wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be – the internal organs didn’t show up like the inside of some plastic visible human model or something. In fact, I couldn’t tell what the fuck they were looking at. I felt somewhat ripped off. Shows like Mad About You preach some folklore about ultrasounds, like they’re a video camera with a special lens. Really, it’s a step more advanced than tapping on the side of a gas can to see how full it is.

Also, I thought that magic wand just waved over your stomach like a UPC bar code reader, or maybe the thing they use to de-energize the hidden magnet strip inside a library book. The radiologist was pushing the damn thing so hard into my gut, I thought she was going to ask me for my wallet or something. I also had to do all of these gymnatics: get on your side, go on your other side, breathe in deeply, don’t breathe, breathe in a little, breathe out, etc etc. It was fucking unbearable. Plus they’ve got some kind of electrically conductive sex jelly all over the place, which they never show you on TV.

I guess it wasn’t bad – 50 years ago, they would’ve cut me open and rooted around inside of me with their bare hands. And I didn’t pay for the damn thing.

I haven’t mentioned why I’m doing all of this shit. Maybe I have, I don’t remember. Anyway, my doctor thinks there’s something wrong with my liver, but nothing serious. He’s taken about 4 gallons of blood, did this ultrasound shit, made me wait in lines forever, and when it’s all over, he will probably just say “don’t eat at McDonald’s anymore”. I have been avoiding fast food for the last month, since this whole thing started, and it’s not bad. I lost a couple of pounds, I spend way less on food each week, and I feel somewhat better. At least the fucking doctor didn’t have to shove anything up my ass to find out that I wasn’t eating right.

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An expensive piece of paper

My diploma showed up this weekend, in a mailer marked DO NOT BEND that was bent almost in half by my fuckhead mailman. After straigtening out the piece of paper, tacking it in a $12 frame from target, and hanging it in my bedroom, it’s a strange reminder that my days at IU are over.

I guess that’s a harsh way of looking at it. But the piece of paper is sort of the official word that on June 30, 1995, the part of my life called college ended. I didn’t see this piece of paper because I owned the bursar some cash, and I never did the cap and gown stuff because at a school as big as IU, it’s pretty worthless. They don’t have every one of the 10,000 people walk down the aisle when their name is called – they say “school of business – please stand – you are graduated – next – school of music – please stand – “.

Packing and moving out here changed things, and I’ve been here for long enough to forget what it’s like to be a student. But the piece of paper is a strange reminder. It’s so official – like something that would be in a doctor’s office, telling the world that this person spent a lot of money doing this and it ain’t no truck driving certificate. I sat looking at the piece of parchment for a while last night, mesmerized.

It reminded me of when I got my first driver’s license. I spent a whole evening staring at it, reading all of the text: the different restriction codes, the organ donor section, my height, my weight, my crappy picture. I drew a handlebar mustache and long hair over the photo with a pencil, which made my age go from 16 to 34. But most of all, I just thought about how strange it was to see an Indiana driver’s license with my name and picture on it. It was also abnormal to be able to get in my beat up Camaro that had been sitting for almost two years, and without a parent or guardian in the passenger seat, pull out of the driveway, turn up the radio, and slam on the gas.

—–

I was watching Larry King Live and he asked some guy in Paris if he had ever seen a car as fucked up as Lady Di’s limo after it got crushed in that tunnel. If Larry King asked me that, I’d have to answer “you’ve never seen some of the shit I’ve done to cars, Larry”. That Mercedes was in much more saleable condition than my Turismo that blew up in the parking lot of a Martins grocery store.

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