Posted in Travel on July 7th, 2005 by Дмитрий

Still very tired. Not sleeping incredibly well in the hotel.


A run-down of the past couple weeks: we continued to play house and get comfortable, finally sorting out the book collection. Celebrated my birthday with Salvadoran breakfast and German dinner. I decided I need to start exercising a little if I’m to continue with this non-stop culinary tour, but first I have to procure some biker briefs to hold my thighs apart since my own skin isn’t up for the job at the moment.


David drove me up to Raleigh at the butt-crack of dawn on Independence day for my cheap one-way flight to California. I flew for six hours then drove for four more to spend the evening in Cambria with Ma, Pa and crazy Aunt Kathy. Jet lag was cured by pure exhaustion, since I can’t seem to remember experiencing any at all.


Back to the Bay Area Tuesday to dump the rental car and take a ride on BART into the City the day before a potential transit strike (it didn’t happen after all). Quickly checked into the hotel and hurled myself back downtown to work for four hours. I somehow found the energy to take the street car for traditional Tuesday night pizza.


Yesterday was a very toilsome day at the old office, as was today. I rewarded myself with a medium-rare slab of cow flesh from Tad’s last night and some salted chicken, fish and bean cake clay pot in Chinatown tonight. Breakfast was at It’s Tops. Two or three more culinary outings before I head back to Fresno Saturday to finally pick up the car which I’ll be driving back to Charlotte…


Hopefully I’ll stop being so tired before the real road trip starts…

The Lives of the Actively Boring

Posted in A Life More Boring, About Me, Travel on July 9th, 2005 by Дмитрий

After nearly a week of insufficient sleep, I finally crashed for a straight 10 hours last night, after a very filling dinner out with Dan and Eugene. We also visited the new late-night coffeehouse near Dan’s house which replaced a quite useless yuppie bar.

One thing American cities need far more of are coffeehouses that stay open late.

It seems that there are two primary paths most adults’ lives take: some grow up physically but remain children behaviourally, and some grow into what I like to call the “actively boring”.

Individuals who never grow up are the majority of the ineptly-defined “creative class” - people who continue to live the rock-n-roll lifestyle into their 30s, 40s, 50s, and whose primary social activities revolve around bars and drugs. This is the class of people I horrifyingly find most marketing directed at these days, and I shrink from the thought of the state of our economy once all these people are 60 and need liver transplants.

The “actively boring” are those individuals who not only stop being socially active as they age, but also stop wanting other people to be interesting or do anything interesting. They neither want to be interesting or intellectual nor tolerate anyone who sshows signs of being such themselves. These are the majority of our suburban soccer mom population.

I have no problem with growing up and consequently growing boring. I’m on track for such a fate myself. I am beyond the point of needing crowds, booze, drugs and “events” to entertain me or get me through the night.

It’s a different kind of social animal that spends their time at a coffee house at 11pm when the rest of the world is either on one hand drunk or strung out, or on the other hand asleep or watching reruns of One Life to Live and resenting every second of it. Late night coffeehouses cater to a strange subset of the population: geeks who spend their most social moments in front of a computer screen in a room full of people they don’t say a word to. Guzzling nutrient-rich, brain-friendly drinks which appeal for their flavour rather than their effects. Spending their free time doing things which uncomfortably resemble work for most of the world. These are people who are anti-social and misanthropic to the deepest roots of their being, but who are nonetheless deeply appreviative of what men produce and thus must spend some part of their lives sitting and admiring society whilst avoiding any direct personal contact with it. These are my people.


Posted in About Me, Family, Media, Music on July 9th, 2005 by Дмитрий

One problem with enjoying something which I truly love is that it leaves me rather jaded about enjoying much else in the world in its absense…

Cases in point:

I love reading Poppy Z. Brite. Her prose transports me to a world where every facet of her characters are as vivid and colourful as if they were seated beside me relating the details of their lives, loves, and desires. Her books and short stories don’t really contain anything profound or important on a social or philosophical level, but I truly and deeply fall in love with her characters. They are as intimately familiar to me as the people I’ve met and spent my time with any other day of my life. With their addictions and dysfunctions and mistakes and also their virtues. When the story ends, it’s incredibly hard for me to move on to another book, magazine or other literary consumable: they all seem worthless and unimportant by comparison.

There are a select few musical acts whose sounds can make me gush with pleasure and emotional release… An incomplete list includes Siouxsie, Interpol, Tool, The Cure, Faith & the Muse, Information Society, and New Order… It sounds like a lot of bands, but in fact it’s a select grouping of special musical acts which affect me like no others. I’ll often flirt with other sounds here and there, but if I sit quietly through an entire selected album by one of the aforementioned artists, I’m ruined for music for a day or so… It all sounds like trashy noise, devoid of emotion or importance.

I have the most wonderful man in the world to call mine. Like an old song, the very thought of him makes me smile and think of how happy he makes me. It’s like every detail of my life is laid out and vulnerable to someone who proceeds to treat it gently and carefully; and nurture me when I need it and avoid me when I need that more… It’s hard to be around people in this world when I’ve spent a lot of time with David - he’s so much better and more easy to love than anyone else. His love fits me like a glove and it takes lots of reflection to understand that my inabilities to communicate well with other people, build friendships, or spend much time with anyone else, are related not to my shortcomings, but to the mercilessly high standards which my time alone with him has set for me.

I am done gushing. You are now free to puke.

Baby Talk

Posted in Family, Travel on July 11th, 2005 by Дмитрий

My sister has a baby on the way. It’s been a rather private matter, so I haven’t chatted about it much, but it hasn’t been the most problem-free pregnancy. Now my brother-in-law’s father is having health problems of his own and so the future dad has had to leave town to be with his family. Since I was around, I’ve taken the position of surrogate husband and may be sticking around Fresno for a few more days until more news comes from the in-laws’ family.

Tough times for the future father and mother. Hopefully things improve soon, coz I really miss my own hubby…

Uncle Murder

Posted in Family, Fresno on July 13th, 2005 by Дмитрий

I’ll be an uncle in a few short hours… It will be a few more days before I even think of heading home, and I’ve decided to scrap the August trip back out here… So if you’re a Fresno reader who wants to share some coffee, this week might be your last chance in a while.

Sis is in hospital. I’m spending way too much time at Starbucks now that I have this T-Mobile account. Luckily, the hospital, the Starbucks, and my folks’ house form an approximately 1-mile triangle over here in Clovis.

The Lowdown:

Posted in Family, Travel on July 17th, 2005 by Дмитрий

On Thursday 14 July, my niece Ella was born. A little premature, she had a few complications for the first couple days, but as of last night, mother and daughter were safely home. We’re quite optimistic now.

As of Thursday night, I was massive worry-weary and family-weary. Once Friday arrived and most complications were resolving themselves, I knew I was in desperate need to end this increasingly long stay. I body ached for a bed which was my own and a friendly cuddle from my man. My mind ached from nearly two months of impermanence and disarray. My need for stability and routine are calling out like never before.

I departed Fresno late Saturday and made my way to the high desert. Today I pass through Arizona and make my way to Gallup, New Mexico, taking the reverse course of the lyrics as I listen to David Gahan sing “Route 66″.

I should be landing in Charlotte on Thursday evening. Not many plans for the road. Perhaps a nice dinner in Little Rock and/or Nashville, where I’ve been eyeing a couple intriguing menus.

The trip in August has been called off. It’s time to buckle down, find a job, get back into a rut, and start bitching about everything again. I’m sure y’all missed me.

On the Road Again

Posted in Travel on July 20th, 2005 by Дмитрий

Most of my hotel rooms have conveniently had wireless access. Alas, I’ve had pretty tight time due to the long daily drives and an itching desire to actually see a thing or two whilst on the road. Rather than give a real ‘trip journal’ here, I’ll just relay some of the notes I’ve jotted down on my notepad over the past few days:

  • Flagstaff was interesting. It’s geography was reminiscent of Shaver Lake and the communities of the Sierra Nevada. It seems rather alone, however, as on three sides it is surrounded by lower-lying areas which lack the elevation (and thus precipitation) to support such an environment.
  • Meteor Crater might have been interesting had they not been asking 12 bucks just to see the thing. Not for a tour, not for a scenic ride around it. No, just to look at it. I can live without that…
  • Albuquerque warrants further exploration. From a distance, it looked similar to how Las Cruces struck me, except without the proximity of Texas and Mexico. A quick drive down its own piece of Route 66 convinced me, however, that it needs some help with its transit and traffic planning.
  • I hadn’t had a post-apocalyptic dream in a long time, but I had one Monday night… I dreamt that I bought the Harry Potter book. It scared me (the dream, that is. I didn’t actually read the book in the dream).
  • Amarillo had a genuiune “Top 100″ station, a la 1980s. It played current hits from rock, rap, R&B, cheezy pop, neo-dance, new country, and even some metal (as defined by current foul-mouthed crotch-rock stations). Essentially genre-free, I even managed to listen to it for about 4-5 hours over my time in Amarillo and never heard the same song twice - something totally unthinkable on any of Clear Channel’s genre stations. The DJs also seemed more interested in introducing and elucidating on the music, rather than trying to be “personalities”. I felt like I was back in 1988, except that all the music was different. These are the type of stations that went missing around the same time that the record companies started complaining about crumbling profits and piracy.
  • I think the problem was that at some point in the 90s the record company execs or station execs convinced themselves that all music lovers only loved one genre, and thus they genreized their stations, culture and marketing. Since then: a) I have no idea who the top artists are and no one else seems to either, b) I can’t listen to a station for more than two hours without hearing the same song twice or hearing the DJ insult me, and c) I haven’t really been encouraged to buy music by hearing it on the radio. The only time in the past few years I’ve bought a song or record because I liked something on the radio was on one of these rare remaining ungenre’d stations or listening to a station by accident which I normally would not, such as in a public place playing the Muzak or R&B station. Hint, entertainment execs: bring back the 80s (and no, not literally, like VH1 Classic is trying to do…)!
  • Amarillo was like a slightly smaller version of Fresno, with green grass (instead of “golden”) and no mountains in sight. And cheaper real estate. If I happen to be back in the area someday, I’d like to spend a full day exploring the place.
  • The landscape started being green at the Oklahoma state line, and a few miles before Arkansas the trees doubled in size and the humidity shot through the roof. I was home.
  • Doesn’t calling your newscast “fair and balanced” as a slogan sound so preemptive and defensive that it’s automatically disqualified from being taken seriously? It’s like you have so little confidence in your objectivity that you have to open each segment screaming “We’re NOT liberal! But we’re NOT conservative either!! We’re NOT! We’re NOT! We’re NOT!!!”
  • 27 miles before Little Rock, there is a sign directing motorists to “Toad Suck Park”.
  • I ate at Gypsy’s last night. My optimism at having a supposedly Satanic server (he was very excited to show me that he, too, was wearing an inverted pentagram) was demolished as I started to feed. For those prices, I expect fresh-baked dinner rolls, rather than something cold and hard which I could get from the dumpster behind the Kroger next door. I couldn’t taste any lobster flavour in the Lobster Bisque. The meat I ate was possibly the lamb I ordered, but I couldn’t tell because it was covered with a liter of salty curry-chutney type sauce. I like my sauces, but on high-quaality meat, I prefer to choose how much I want to use. Aside from not really tasting the meat, it was tender and had a good texture, so I think they at least got the medium rare part right, unless it was just some sort of tofu and I couldn’t tell from the sauce…

One more night and I’ll be home tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll have something more to bitch about by then…

It’s Like Learning a New Language

Posted in Charlotte on July 24th, 2005 by Дмитрий

It’s been a really long month. Next month will probably be longer.


I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, and I just turned 28. I’m not sure what kind of job to start looking for. All I know is that I’m ready to start working and I have promised myself that I will have received my first paycheck by 31 August. And that I’ll have bought a house before my 30th birthday.


I have wheels and I’m home. Time to take advantage of that and actually try to make some friends in Charlotte. Anyone have any suggestions? I don’t drink and I hate people, so you’ll have to work around that. Late-night coffeehouses with wireless access are good… Or goth clubs with no cover charge…