Zach and I were just dancing to Push It. I told Cake Woman over the phone and she almost crashed her car to get the image out of her mind.
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Yesterday was a long day which ended in the promise of a magic number for me. Unfortunately I missed the start of the other class that I was trying to get into today because I thought that it started at 4:30 instead of 4:00. Since the professor is in the hospital, his replacement didn’t hang around, so I didn’t get a promise of a magic number this time. So, some stress went away, some didn’t. I still don’t know how I’m going to pay for my books.
About five am I woke up this morning with a pain in my right eye as though something were in it. This happens from time to time, and I know that the only real solution is to blink a lot, try to clear anything that might be in it, and then go back to sleep so that my cornea can heal. It just has to do with my eyes drying out. However, this was plenty of excuse for me to go back to sleep after Cake Woman called to wake me up — I find sleeping through literally blinding pain to be easier than getting out of bed and making my own coffee.
I should mention that I fell asleep to Law and Order SVU, and woke up a while later to some sort of Island of Girls Gone Wild thing. Those two things blended in my brain to produce very unsightly dreams. I don’t recommend following that particular course of action, or inaction, as it were.
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I was never that great of an artist, but I know how to just draw shit and call the results “my own style” or whatever. I sent one comic (the Big Book of Starboy Action) to Factsheet Five and the entire review was “Very rough. Loves trades.” I don’t know where my copy of that FS5 issue went, but I do have the final issue of FS5, which came out in 1998.
Anyway, I was looking for a big art pad that I used to have to cram my doodles into. I might be getting rid of a lot of stuff, but there’s stuff that I want to keep, too. While I was looking for that pad I came across a spiral notebook with some photocopies jammed into it. Those photocopies were of a comic that I was writing a script for — two guys I barely knew were drawing it. One of them was named Chris, and I don’t remember the name of the other. They moved, or at least said that they were moving, and I stopped work on the script.
I have a whole album of what they finished:
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I can’t say that I snapped into consciousness like some sort of evil robot, but my eyes are open and I am not in bed. If it weren’t for having received a wake up call I could almost claim adulthood. Now let’s see how well I wake up in a month or two.
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“Okay, now go post the whole night for all of your internet friends,” Cake Woman said as we were driving home. Later, she amended her comment: “and don’t you say that I made you write all that stuff.”
For those of you keeping track, yesterday was the 14th, which was the first monthiversary of Cake Woman and I starting to date (not that she admitted that we were dating at first). Okay, the word is mensiversary, but I’m no stickler for accuracy. Cake Woman had promised to take me to dinner “just because,” and while she was at work I remembered the significance of the 14th, so I put together a plan to make or buy a card for her once I had finished at least part of my programming tasks for the day. Time spent itself quickly and I found myself sweating over the racks of blank cards at Patina. It struck me that Target actually had a better selection, but I found something that didn’t disappoint me too greatly.
“Whatever you do, don’t let on that I remembered the monthiversary or got her a card,” I instructed Lisa and Marsha. They disapproved of my choice of clothes for Muffuletta, but I wore my Walk Mink shirt anyway — you know — the one with the picture of a cock on the front. A rooster! Secretly I hoped that Cake Woman would mention the monthiversary. I planned everyone’s lines in case of such an event.
“You know, today is Jesse and my monthiversary,” Cake Woman would say to Lisa. “He better not have forgotten — after all I’m taking him out for an expensive dinner.”
“It is? Jesse didn’t say anything… That’s so cute, you two,” Lisa would answer.
“You’re such a cute couple,” Marsha would interject. I would throw my best sheepish look.
“I forgot,” I would say in my smallest voice. “I don’t suppose that we have time for me to stop and buy a card…”
“Oh, god, let’s just go,” she would say, rolling her eyes as I apologized, even though I would have had the card already in my pocket. At that point I might have run upstairs to make a red herring card with kindergarten lettering in mismatched crayon.
“Look how cute my terrible card is!” I would have exclaimed, as though being forgetful were somehow acceptable instead of annoying.
Unfortunately, she forgot, so I was stuck with a secret until she placed her order. She lingered over the menu hesitantly. It took me longer to pick my beer (and I just fell back on the Summit India Pale Ale anyway) than to pick the braised pork. I waited while she picked three appetizers. I waited while she picked a porter. I waited while she picked the wild rice hotdish. Finally she ordered and the waitress gave us some sort of lentil-based food on thin slices of bruschetta. I stopped her from putting food in her mouth so I could give her a card. I got smiles and an over-table-kiss, so my vast efforts to restrain myself from giving away the surprise early (like, in a text message, on the phone beforehand, in the kitchen before we left, in the car, when we sat down, etc.) were successful.
Food arrived at our table in spurts of amazing. If I had been expecting to post about the food, I would have taken notes, but there were lamb things in triangles, calimari (for Cake Woman, because I don’t know if my seafood allergies extend to cephalopods), three kinds of cheese (for me, because, well, I fucking love cheese, motherfuckers, and Cake Woman merely tolerates it), bread, weird crackery things, single-source honey (it tasted like buckwheat, which was interesting, but… uh… maybe your single source could be something like flowers), olive oil with an island of garlicky hummus, my pork shoulder, Cake Woman’s hot dish, and beers. The braised pork shoulder was the best pork shoulder that I have ever eaten, and I cook it myself. It was tender. full of porky flavor, and better than any pork shoulder that I have ever cooked. I almost needed a spoon to eat it because it was so tender. Every strand of muscle tried to go its own way when I raised my fork to my mouth. Cake Woman got many needless reminders of my “O” face as I ate — it was that good. Cake Woman was not particularly enthused about the cheese in her hot dish, so most of it is in the fridge here at my house. I will eat it — it’s my job to eat leftovers.
When we got home Cake Woman monopolized the internet while “Best Week Ever” played. I have given her a lot of shit about consuming mass media in it’s nastiest steam-cooked form, but she likes White Castle, too, so I shouldn’t have been surprised. Honestly, I would watch hours of Best Week Ever, just like I could eat bags of M&Ms, and that’s why I don’t buy the two pound sacks of M&Ms. Cake Woman had some stuff to do, but stated that she would have rescheduled it if she would have remembered our monthiversary. Just like a man!
She left and I finished out my evening by telling Paul that I had a big present for him that came with balls. He said that I was gross until I let him know that we did not have room for a foosball table here.
I’m also probably going to get rid of a lot of books in the next few months, so if you’re looking for science fiction or complicated literature, please let Lisa know that you will be fighting her for them. I might hire a dumpster (not for the books), too.
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So, of course there was a debacle involving unexpected holds on my ability to register for classes in December which took a week or two to resolve. Then I thought that I had to wait to register for the 5xxx classes with my favorite professor (Carl Sturtivant) because I hadn’t finished 4041 yet, so I didn’t notice that I also needed a magic number because I am technically still a sophomore. Professor Sturtivant is in the hospital for something until after the first week of class, so I can’t get a hold of him to impress upon him how much taking his classes will fit my work schedule and general plan for graduating or at least making it through the semester without getting a machete and slaughtering a room full of classmates plus any random people on the street until the SWAT team shows up and takes me down with far too many bullets. If I were in those classes, plus the photography class that I am waitlisted for, I could conceivably take Diff EQ again this semester, thusly freeing up my summer for Spanish or perhaps (and I am terrified and shamed for even mentioning this) an internship someplace… like Google. I can’t even say that I would have a realistic chance of getting it, what with my academic record being so spotty — what with my life being so fucking spotty.
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Cake Woman’s days off coincided with my days to be at work and be productive, so I took part of Tuesday off to do things with her. Our vague plans for a fancy-type dinner were complicated by Lisa and Stan needing me to babysit (last minute and all) and then the inexplicable closure of Muffalettas during post-lunch and pre-dinner hours. Instead we went to the Abundant Bistro over in Frogtown, where the food was indeed abundant, and simultaneously everything I imagined soul food would be. I inhaled black eyed peas and my pork chop, then ate the cornbread and collard greens more slowly. Cake Woman had salmon, macaroni and cheese, and candied yams.
At some point on our way home Cake Woman and I had a spectacular fake fight in the car. I scared myself a little by how well I could produce sturm und drang on command.
Today after work I headed up to Anoka so that Cake Woman could drive me to Becker, Minnesota to look for couches in the Becker Furniture World And Outlet For Stuff To Put In Your House That Won’t Fill That Bottomless Hole In Your Heart. The only couches there that Cake Woman liked were in the multi-thousand dollar range, so we hopped back in the car to drive home. Becker is several hours up 10 from Anoka — somewhere before Saint Cloud but after Bumfuck. We also stopped at the Hom Furniture And Place Where The Sales Ladies Wear Pantyhose With Their Pants And Sandals. There we saw Cake Woman’s soon to be couch. I’m not very good at haggling, but Cake Woman is worse. If I would have known and been in the right mood I would have swooped in with more of that improvisational styling — basically working in imaginary deals on “not quite the right couch” at another store that could be surpassed by “the right price on this couch that we really want, if you could just bring it in under the cost of the line of credit that she has from her bank.” See how easy that rolls off the tongue? If the sales people have any leeway in their pricing they should go right for the sale.
“Oh, you know what, honey, I know you really love this couch, so I can make up the difference between what you have and what she’s offering, I think. Can you wait a week for me to get paid?”
Then, of course, you let slip that you will be looking again at the other place. I’m not saying that it would work, but with the right motivation (promises of sex) I’m sure that I could grift — I mean con… convince the salesperson that they need to make a sale at a lower price.
None of that stuff happened because I was tired and feeling kind of crappy. Then we got ice cream at Target and watched a couple of episodes of Ballykissangel. We crawled into bed and I read her “The Picture In The House” by H.P. Lovecraft.
“Don’t look like such a fucking sad sack,” Cake Woman said as I stood up. I was too far away to see her eyes flashing fire at me. Her raised eyebrow was mostly hidden in shadow. I could only imagine how her cupid’s bow lips were flexing as she spoke, loosing arrows straight at me.
The night outside was clear and unseasonably warm. Stars hung above me as crisp points. My mp3 player had me listen to the Pixies covering the Jesus and Mary Chain:
Makes you wanna feel
Makes you wanna try
Makes you wanna blow the stars from the sky
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