Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Carlin, Per-whatever, Smith

It’s another day of shitty weather. I didn’t really get a lot done last night, except for watching an almost-perfect lineup on Conan OBrien – George Carlin, Paula Per-whatserface, the supermodel, and Kevin Smith. Kevin didn’t have much time in there, but was hilarious. Also, I left almost all of my clothes in the washer, so I had nothing to wear. I came in with some dress slacks and a button-up shirt, two things I never wear unless someone has died recently (and seldom then, either).

I was at Barnes and Noble last night, which is one my favorite places to kill a few hours when I don’t want to write. There’s a test prep section that contains all of these books on how to learn calculus in 4 weeks or anatomy or physics. I think it’d be cool to buy a bunch of those books and memorize them, so I’d be able to cite medical knowledge or the postal worker’s exam in any of my fiction. But I know I’d buy them and never read them. I have about 16 learn-a-foreign-language courses in my apartment. I have used zero. I think once I learned enough German to confuse me when I commuted about 20 minutes to work – I’d listen to the tapes in my borrowed vehicle (my mom’s Celebrity stationwagon), but I’d almost always take out the tape and revert to some death metal band, since it was better to have Danzig stuck in your head instead of some dork reciting the German alphabet.

Around that time (summer if 1993), I started some detailed writing about my exploits. I planned to write a book about that summer, and write it while the summer was happening. Ray and I used to take frequent trips to Chicago to see bands, and every Monday or Tuesday, I’d have these long stories to type into my computer. I gave up on the idea at some point, and I lost everything I had on the computer when it crapped out after my stepdad powered it down and completely trashed the hard drive.

My high school went online. It’s pretty weird – most of the teachers I knew are either gone or have gone grey. After looking at the pages, I’ve decided to never go back and visit or go to the reunions. Things have changed too much in the last decade – it’s too weird. It’s like when I go back to the Monkey Ward store where I worked all through high school – a couple of people remember me, but the entire department where I worked is gone.

Why did Chick Corea start a second Elektric Band with all new people except for him and Eric Marienthal in 1993? I thought the first band was excellent, and the _Beneath The Mask_ album was the best damn thing they’d done. It was perfection. Did everyone decide to leave and make solo albums? They all sucked except Weckyl’s was tolerable. Oh well.