Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dreamed that I was somehow involved in marketing an excessively vinegary brand of mustard named "Fancy Spread"; this dissolved into a third-person scene (advertisement?) of someone riding across the desert with Fancy Spread sandwiches as their only provisions. Woke up Bree when I woke up laughing out loud.


For those inclined -- the Monday posting at a free OTR site I sometimes visit is a rather famous 1937 episode of The Chase & Sanborn Hour featuring a Garden of Eden skit between Charlie McCarthy and Mae West that got the latter banned from radio for several years. Tame, and only funny if you have a taste for the style, but an interesting bit of cultural history.


continuing w/ notes from the drive

Sun, 9/4

stayed with Dave and Marika, and Dave's father, who's staying outside their house in the immense trailer that he's tooled around in since retirement, apparently; he's helping them work on the house, which today meant retiling the main bathroom. After breakfast, they had to pick up a sink, so Bree and I were dropped for a while at a large Sally Ann nearby: Bookshelf included a nearly complete run of '70s-'80s Tri-Quarterlys [edited from NU, as it happens]. I had spent a lot of time with some of these journals (along with, nerd alert, The Journal of Recreational Mathematics) back in, hmm, junior high, when my father would sometimes take me to San Bernardino Valley College during summer session -- I'd spend the whole day reading around in the periodical stacks. Found the issue (one of the "Ongoing American Fiction" series) in which, back then, I'd read "Cordials," a very bad, mean, but strangely vivid short story (by an author whose name I cannot seem to keep hold of) which has stuck with me since in excess of its merits: Basically, a woman who has been hiding her pregnancy goes into labor but is so intent on consummating an extra-marital affair that she manages to expel the fetus and cut the cord during violent foreplay, all without her new lover becoming aware of what's going on. It's as though one of the few Bukowski short stories I've read (e.g. "Six Inches" from Erections, Ejaculations, and Tales of Ordinary Madness -- which I remember reading, dismayed, in the Montclair Plaza Pickwick's next to Pedrini's Music Merchant, where I'd wait for my parents to pick me up after piano lessons from one Mrs. Nye, who would comment with untoward frequency on the length of my eyelashes) rewritten in a parody of the style of New Yorker short fiction of the same era. I still am not sure what this story though it was doing; anyway, I chose not buy that issue. Back at our host's house, read the Anthony & The Johnsons profile in NYT magazine, quite effective in putting me on the singer's side -- hadn't read up on him enough before to realize he'd been doing similar things in a more theatrical/drag-underground context for more than a decade. Went back out to an internet cafe to get a course description to NU; one bulletin-board announcement read "The Tuvans are Coming!" and another advertised a local bank's offer of a free bushel of green chiles for anyone opening a new checking account. Dave gave me a self-bound book of roughly 1,000 quotes on reading from the Greeks up to lang-po, something he's been compiling in one form or another since we were housemates after college; I gave him AF. Ruined some decent pants with white paint. In the evening, watched Harem Scarem, a dismally bad Elvis movie that Bree had brought along b/c she insists that one of the dancers resembles Marika; and the Steve McQueen Blob, w/ its goony Bacharach/David theme song and curiously slow-developing 1st hr. -- most interesting thing about the movie might be the way that you never get a clear sense of the layout of the town.

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