A pleasant rainstorm going on outside the window. About to go out into it. Think I'll stamp in some puddles.
How can one resist a bubble-gum singer who not only writes her own tunes but tosses in a references to shit like Möbius strips too?
Okay, so I have terrible credit. So what?
I'll tell you what. It means that most banks in the New York metro area won't even give me a checking account. Forget loans. I can't get a bloody checking account, and it's tough to get by without a checking account.
I solved this problem six years ago by tacking my name onto a joint checking account that my then-girlfriend opened at the Bank of East New York. After she moved out a couple of years later, I tried unsuccessfully to open my own account elsewhereone of the big banks, like Citibank or Chase, that let you do online banking and had ATMs all over the city.
At last I realized that I could probably walk into M&T Bank (which had by then absorbed East New York), state that I had one account there already, and open an individual account without undergoing a credit check. This worked.
I had my first acupuncture treatment today. Interesting experience. I'll have to write about it; this is a placeholder note so I don't forget. Very cool while it was happening, but the headache relief I was seeking pretty much ended as I walked out of the acupuncturist's office. I also felt mildly stoned much of the evening.
Fortunately, Laura was there to walk me gently to a fine Ethiopian meal with Ellie and Honey Bunny. Of course, the waitress returned to our table after we ordered a bottle of pinot grigio to ask whether that was the white or the red, but this did not affect the quality of the food. (I guzzled water as well, my acupuncturist having pointed out in the medical-history portion of my visit that my responses to her questions indicated chronic thirst.) After that, we had drinks at a swanky bar on 10th Avenue called XTH AVE. The bathroom was very clean and splendid, with its opposed mirrors and giant floral arrangement creating the illusion of a vast jungle space. I had a whiskey sour, and everyone else drank cosmos. A fine time was had by all.
By the way, in the process of editing down my memoir for my agent to send it out again in May, I compressed four chapters dealing with my stint at the Clarion workshop down to one. The original four chapters are now posted on my site at:
The excerpt deals more with the experience of being a Mormon among gentiles for the first time than it does with the mechanics of the workshop itself.
[from Missionary Man, a memoir still in progress]
I had a very stupid argument once with my girlfriend Bertha, back when we were still living together. (Actually we had a lot of very stupid arguments, but I only plan to consider one here.) This was 1995, and we were at a small club in Seattle waiting for Barenaked Ladies to take the stage. We had both enjoyed the opening band, an act which managed the impressive feat of playing tunes in tricky time signatures without ever alienating the audience.
"How would you count that last song they did?" Bertha asked me. She had taken a class in music theory in college, coming away with just enough knowledge to make her a danger to herself and those around her. "It didn't sound like you could count it like a normal song."
This was her way of asking the number of beats per measure. "It was in five," I said.