Saturday, November 19, 2005
yes well, dinner at Denny's. friends came by last minute, threw dinner hour askew, with nothing quick to make, so once they left we headed out to eat. opting for the convenience of Denny's over more distant better fare. quiet place for a friday eve. everyone else was in the front, diner-like part of the restaurant, but our host and eventual waiter hustled us to the family dining area. garson, your finest weasel piss, please! okay, no wine list, no brewskis. hot tea for Beth, diet Coke (still fending off diabetes) for Erin, and water for the gentleman. our server's name was Louis, tho I had to read his tag to find out. Beth had her usual breakfast selection, Erin had I'm forgetting what, but plenty of. I went for double cheeseburger with onion rings. doneness options were medium or well done, and I chose medium. Erin complained about the wafting music: gimme the beats boys to save my soul / I wanna get lost in your rock and roll, which he correctly divined wasn't rock and roll at all!!!. but then: Erin earlier was lauding Guns N Roses' version of "Sympathy for the Devil" over the original. Houston, I think we have a generaion gap. anyway, further aural mush: that irritating McCartney song about Sister Susie and Father John. and "Wild Nights" by Van Morrison, a musician, I'm sorry, I just never got. but no matter, really. the cart used by the busboy (busman?) rolling over the tiles on the floor, produced an unnerving amount of noise. the menu had a picture on the front, depicting a carefree waitress bringing plates of food to a table already teeming with goodies. it looked like unlimited food, a glittering panoply of mostly fried stuff. ours arrived meetly. Beth spilled maple syrup on her eggs, which is anathema. Louis inquired with concern, and when informed, brought a plate upon which the egg could be separated from further syrup infractions. Beth found this unnecessary. points for trying, however. my burger was well done. I'm not fussy. it took me years to learn to get burgers right, so I've eaten the spectrum. a young girl and her mother made the journey to the bathroom, the girl skipping merrily. on the way back, the girl ran with plush enthusiasm. a boy walked up and down, dressed in a Batman costume, including prosthesis pecs and abs. Louis waited till my mouth was full to enquire if everything was all right. art on the wall consisted of dreamy landscapes and seascapes, presentable if unexciting. Louis decided to ignore us once we were done, so while we waited we got to watch a fellow behind the counter slap a knife against his hand then cut a pie, and he did similar stuff with the ice cream. well, you may not want to see that. when Louis decided we'd waited enough he came with the check. Beth pulled out a Benjamin, which shocked Louis: don't you have anything smaller?. I should think Denny's could scrape up $23 in change as easy as kiss my hand but it was a slow night. we left with the sensation that we'd never return.
boiled links down some. added Michael Magee, publisher of both Damon K Johnson and Pythias K Mohammad, nice balancing act. funny and thoughtful writer. I let one Jukka link do for all, his work is very worth the look. non-performers are right out, except David Hess, I keep waiting. in the mood to scrape all links. even a mite tired of blog right now, but I'm at $.07 (American) with AdSense, and don't want to lose that revenue stream. speaking of which, I always wonder (which isn't true, but I've done it a bit) how Jack Kimball keeps up with his links so well. he seems to get new links and changes to old ones toute de suite. at the prices he charges, I guess one should expect good service, but I still admire his efficiency.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Gary Sullivan ruminates on flarf. he did Google and Technorati searches to see who's saying what and how much about flarf. now, this gives a whack sense of the subject, because it is limited to online sources. one notes, for instance, that bloggers get more notice than non-bloggers, even among the Flarf listers (Rodney Koenerke has much greater involvement in flarf than do I, but he's listed 1/10th of the times that I am. Gary brings up several good points. one being that the flarf list consists of a lot of farking around. poets at play. which doesn't undermine the seriousness of anyone's efforts. I know I post lots of stuff for the sake of their being my latest experiement. Gary also notes the typical hardening of the art-eries regarding flarf: people theorizing and formalizing it. I'm late to flarf per se, tho I've done similar messin' around, but I can see the same attempt to define that went on with LANGUAGE poetry. the flarfers, however, aren't doing the same self-explanation as did the LANGUAGE writers. I wouldn't want to use the word flarf much in criticism, because it's a loaded term, loaded in the sense that it can be totally empty, or overly malleable, just as the L-word often is. really excellent writers are associated with flarf, really adventurous, too. anyway, in writing this, I add to my flarf count, which is my way to the empyrean.
Monday, November 14, 2005
of course, you be wondering: how did Ikea Bed Assembly go? here's the 411. I located the necessary screwdrivers (philips and regular head) no problem. that is to say: things were where they should be, plus I chose the actually appropriate tool, rather than opting for the Swiss Army Knife, which itself is a far better choice than the dime or spoon that I used to use. so right off, things looked green. I should've opened the big box from the side because the pieces kinda clattered when I cut all the tape. no injuries but a word to the wise. the instructions are wordless, supposedly for the stupidest of customers, I guess. or else they couldn't find anyone to translate Swedish into any of those other languages that are out there (my guess). a couple of pictures indicated that if things are going shitbucket, you can call Ikea. well, I hope you get more than a recording. the recording I heard yesterday spent a lot of time redirecting me to Ikea's website, but I was in the car, see, so I think I was within my right to call for directions. anyway, another set of instructional pictures left me a little confused. the 1st showed a fellow with a broken Ikea item. the 2nd picture showed the same man working on a rug. his Ikea item was unbroken. I infer that I needed a rug. we have carpeting here but no rug. I know I took a risk, but I plunged on, working on the carpet. I perspicaciously opened the bag of bolts and screws and segregated and counted them. working in a close space, I got the frame together, no worries. this was the point when I thought I could manage to break the thing. that I didn't do so notches a positve mark on my permanent record. 3 pictures baffled me for a bit, but I finally gleaned that the metal rail parts should be attached according to the thickness of your mattress. I therefore found the tape measure exactly where it is supposed to be and measured the mattress. with that thickness measurement I could proceed properly. holes in the rails are oval shape, offering an odd amount of leeway, which I couldn't figure. there's also an extra hole on the frame, dunno why. the screws I was to use seemed to be too big but there was no other option. they kinda crap up the fine Swedish particle board when they go in. for that matter, the frame is held together with 2 wood dowels and a metal bolt at each corner. doesn't seem enough but I'll trust Ikea implicitly and completely. on top of that went the wooden slats. I thought they'd be a little hard to handle but they weren't. I should mention that I've recently put together 7 Office Max bookcases, so, you know, I'm something of a veteran carpenter and builder here. oh wait, before the slats were these 2 metal rods. actually 4 rods, which slide together to make 2 adjustable ones. one little screw holds the double rods together and 3 more attach them in a vee to the frame. the screws barely fit, and don't seem very strong. and I dunno from anything what these rods do. certainly they don't support. I'm thinking it's some kind of Swedish busy work, or a Swedish joke played upon the rest of the world. after the slats came the drawers. by this time Beth was helping, anxious to see the finished product. the drawers offered no particular challenge. the deal with them: the drawers have casters. we attached 4 to each drawer. the drawers are free of the frame. you could get these for your bed, you really could. so basically, I met the challenge head on, and succeeded. when you get your Ikea furniture, and meet with a problem, give me a call!
a new Ikea became manifest locally, an event that Beth totally wanted to experience. we've been to the one in New Haven, on our way to Beth's mother's place. Beth loves furniture stores, but this time, we had a need. we sought a cheap and space efficient bed, and Ikea had it. after some solid putting-things-away we toddled off yesterday afternoon. directions on the flyer were oddly local, as if only people in the next town would be interested in the whereabouts of the store. a phone call merely got a taped repeat of the flyer's driections. I knew how to reach the town of Stoughton, near Foxboro, thank gosh the Patriots were in Miami. near Stoughton we stopped at a conveninece store for advice. the guy there said head straght down the road, keep to the left and you'll see it. he said it in a no worries way. okay. down the road a piece and feeling a little fuzzy, but then, ta-dah!, a state highway sign: IKEA. and then we saw a long, long line of cars waiting to turn left. and a cop assisting the traffic light. and oh boy. the last 1/2 mile took about 20 minutes. almost a stone's throw from Ikea: a Jordan's furniture. that being a big time local furniture chain. we went to Jordan's newest store a while ago, a huge emporium that includes an IMAX theatre, a jelly bean store, fun for the kiddies, and an actual trapeze school (?!!!). also some furniture, I guess. this Jordan's had signs welcoming Ikea and saying before or after you shop at Ikea come on in and get some real value. seemed like a couple of boxers in prefight hoot. in sooth, the stores don't completely compete, the styles and prices at both places define themselves well. but Ikea is pretty damn big, if absolutely gigantor is your idea of big. many Uhauls and rental vans were evident, and buses, for crying out loud. the place felt like a major airport around Thanksgiving. a steady flow of people following the trail of the store's floorplan. Beth and I held hands, at least partly with the idea of anchoring each other. elsewise it would be that scene in "Last of the Mohicans" with Daniel Day-Lewis telling Madeleine Stowe: I will find you!!! the item we wanted, a bed with storage drawers underneath, was displayed where it should be. I wrote down where to find one to take home, and we slogged on, past every single item that Ikea offers. and can we accept that wandering in stores talking on your cellphone, especially those headsets, is the new schizophrenia? into the warehouse. so here's the deal, which I hadn't realized before (this is our 1st Ikea purchase): the store is Home Depot with a whole display area as well. so we got a thing to carry our bed, I don't have a word for the thing. it was to carry our potential bed, that is, boxed. the thing was awkward and listed to the left as it went. thus so did we. we found the appropriate aisle and bins. Ikea's reliance on Swedish is kind of a joke on us, n'est-ce pas? it's a big smoke screen, like my French. we had to poke around a bit to figure out that we had the right thing. and not quite: a guy looking for the same thing said to us, do you realize that there are two boxes for this item? no we didn't, so good save by him. we listed our way to checkout, which was very like a busy airport. too many people to see thru, lines were hard to make out. but we got into line and waited. there was periodic yelling and cheering, which Beth found out later was a giveaway feature. a wheel was spun, to identify the winning aisle. if you were being checked out of that aisle at the time, your order was free. for some, that would be a major deal. Beth gratuitously grabbed some paper napkins and votive candles to add to our order then went to bring the Phaeton around while I continued the wait. there's a fair sense of efficiency at Ikea but the number of people was nearly overwhelming. the store, I didn't mench, has only been open a week. the cashier solicitously said to me, you must be very tired. well, I was, but only because the cat had started his rampage at 3am not 5. I said I couldn't be more tired than her. I was in sensory overload after an hour, tho. nearby was a jazz trio rattling off some mellow stylings. I saved 1% on my order because I used a debit card, score Allen! then I made my way thru the crowd. with the thing listing to the left and people dodging about, it was a challenge to my navigational abilities, but no drastic injuries did I incur upon anyone. so far as I know. into an elevator with 2 other sets of shoppers, where we all made eye contact, sighed and smiled. it was quiet in the elevator. 5 or 10 minutes till Beth arrived. she said she met a woman who had sent her husband to fetch the car, had waited 25 minutes in line to checkout, and her husband still had not arrived. sometime today I'll see how easy it is to put the bed together. in a Globe interview, the President of Ikea said that yes indeed he has put together the Ikea furniture that brings charm and crisp Scandinavian style to his very own house. good on him. the Globe today had a front page about the traffic problems due to Ikea, and I was part of that problem!!! Nick Piombino writes of his visits to art galleries, but AHB: he gives you Ikea. not that you have to choose: you can have both!