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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Put my Pomona courses to bed last week, and filed a piece on cover albums that I'm worried about (haven't gotten edits yet). This next 3 1/2 mos. will be the longest period in which I haven't either been teaching at least one course I haven't done before, wading hip-deep in a book-length piece of writing, or both, in about 2 years -- decided a while ago not to look for a summer course at UCLA, and am trying not to take on too much other than my 'own work' (where that includes phil., po., and maybe some music if I can manage it -- and, I hope, a good deal of reading that's been piling up). Should be able to post regularly, if often briefly, despite some other changes that are afoot.

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Yesterday, Bree and I drove down to an antiquey/boho section of Sherman Way, which we'd noticed about a year ago on the way to my great-aunt and uncles' golden wedding anniversary. Van Nuys, Reseda? Still not sure. I'm sparing you our bookstore haul, which I just wrote and deleted. Also poked our heads into an Aardvark's, 2 or 3 creepy antique shops, and an Out of The Closet, where I discovered, abject as a heap of soiled stuffed animals, 100 copies of Every Solution Has Its Problem (Columbia, 2004) by a band called Start Trouble. (Nice try on the chiasmus.) I know I should understand this by now, but I'm still not clear on how this many promos of a newish major label release end up in the thrift store for a buck a pop -- I'm guessing the push didn't go well? Wait: Street team? The band look to be very young skate-punks, titles include "Psychotic for You," "Move B***h," and "Let's Get F****d Up." That's how they're printed; there's a parental advisory label -- not even a sticker, but printed on the cover, near a silhouette of humping rhinoceri. I bought one, of course -- I always want to know the story on bands that this happens to.

Oh, here's the first clue, inside the package: "A&R: Matt Pinfield." And here's a distasteful piece of the puzzle.

Then, dinner at Valley Ranch BBQ farther north on Sherman -- I've never seen this place written about, and it's maybe not real enough for J. Gold or Chowhound types (after all, it's a sit-down, not a stand). Not to mention that, blocks from large Korean and Latino enclaves, it had the whitest clientele I've seen since this one chicken pot pie place in San Diego. Western decor, of course, w/ an owl whose eyes lit up at irregular intervals in one corner -- and, inexplicably, a single Picasso print in the "He" room. All this aside, credible meat -- not oversauced, extra points for serving BBQ'd lamb (and turkey, though we didn't try it), recalling the mutton (I) I once had in Lexington, KY. Plus strangely comforting meat-enhanced beans w/ a texture between frijoles refritos and Bolognese sauce. If you were a regular, you'd head for "The Tack Room" round the back after dinner....

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Can you tell I'm taking a breather from higher-level cognitive operations?

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