Life at TJ's Place
Friday, May 14, 2004
I just got a Dell notebook computer and it arrived yesterday and that’s why I haven’t written anything. I’ve just been sitting here with a boner staring at my new laptop. I’m a Dell guy, if anyone gives a shit. One day when I’m famous and making twenty dollars a word writing novels, I will take this very laptop to beaches and mountain resorts, and I’ll write and drink coffee on big decks that overlook pretty things. For inspiration, I’ll look over the top of the screen and see an elk in a valley near a stream, eating something that elk generally are content with eating, or I’ll listen to the Pacific Ocean crash against rocks (which will be my rocks, on my beach). Then I’ll go back to writing bad sentences like The pounding surf hammered the rocks, like a wounded bull elk and know I just made about $200.

I get great ideas for writing (blog stuff, other stuff, the great American novel) at odd times, mostly while driving my car, sitting on the toilet, standing in line, floating in water. When I’m not staring at words on a page, the words in my head sometimes just lay themselves out and they’re perfect. Then I get home, get on Word, and I’ve got nothing. My friend told me I should carry a tape recorder; I told her that was lame because it wasn’t a laptop computer, which isn’t (lame). She said why don’t you buy a laptop then. She is brilliant. So here we are.

I will carry this laptop in my car, on my seat like I’m important (until some fuckhead steals it, of course, which will happen…in my mind, I’m already telling this computer goodbye and saying hello to my $500 insurance deductible). When I get an idea I’ll type on it one-handed, screaming down the highway with the windows down and Incubus blasting from my stereo, just like Hemingway used to.

Who saw the Lakers-Spurs game last night? Wow. I had no interest in who won, so I knew I was going to be happy either way. What a game.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Three of the youngest dancers now call themselves “Kev Heads,” like the fans of a Chicago disc jockey named Kevin Matthews. They do this for my sake, trying to gain favor with me. It’s kind of cute, but it gets annoying. They ask to go home early, Kev says no. They pout. “But I’m a Kev Head.” The other night, Brad, who was bartending, told Misty, one of the Kev Heads, “You can either be a Kev Head or give Kev head.” Misty was pissed and said something terrible to both of us, then left. She will be canceling her Kev Head membership soon, I’m afraid. I can see how it will turn out, the Kev Heads will no longer be Kev Heads but Kev haters because the little Kev Head thing ran its course and hasn’t gained them much in terms of favors from Kev. They will give me the silent treatment and avoid the DJ booth when I’m there. For a couple weeks, they will never ask to go home early and they will make their schedule with Mike instead of me, even though they know it is much easier to do it with me than him. And then, a few weeks later, one of them will mope into the office at 10:30 on a Friday night and ask if she can go home early. She will have a party to go to, but she will lie and say it is something else. I will let her go, of course, and she’ll kiss me on the cheek and we’ll be friends again. All of this frustration, several weeks worth, just because they decided to do the stupid Kev Head thing. And they won’t learn a thing. In a few months it will be something else, and the cycle will start all over again.

I saw a high school baseball game last night and a fight broke out. I’ve never seen that before in my life. A fight at a high school sporting event. And it wasn’t just pushing and shoving, either. Kicking and spiking and big wild roundhouses, coaches and parents out on the field. It was fucking incredible. I was there with a buddy, watching his little brother, who’s a good baseball player and will play in college. Everybody in the stands was going crazy. I sat back and kept looking for the bouncers.

Monday, May 10, 2004
Every morning during the week, I wake up to this: “Patches! Patches! Patches? Patches!” My female neighbor has a dog named Patches. She is too lazy to put the dog on a leash, so she just lets him run wild outside. In ten minutes, she comes to her back porch (which faces my house) and begins:

“Patches! …Patches! …Patches! …Patches? …Patches!” She may say the dog’s name 100 times. She is talking on a cordless phone while she does this. She always talks on her cordless. I’ve actually never seen her without it, even the time her son got “kidnapped” (a whole other story there, the dad stopped by and gave the kid a motorcycle ride without telling crazy Mom—also, here’s good advice, don’t be the manager of a strip joint when a kid in your neighborhood goes missing. It will make for a tense few minutes). Patches, meanwhile, is humping a cat somewhere or eating garbage and has no intention of coming home just yet.


I find myself aiming a lot of anger at Patches, this ugly little dog whose name I wake to every morning. He is creepy and sickly and small (or, as my dad used to say, “I’ve laid turds bigger than that dog.”). He runs up to you and barks, but zips off if you try to pet him. He is a master of the piss and run, whereby the dog races up to some property of yours that you would rather not be peed on, lifts its leg and pees for one second, then races away.

My dog, Satch, a Norwich Terrier, is the opposite of Patches. Satch is cool and loving. Sometimes I wake up and Satch is laying on my chest, looking at me. Satch lets off steam exactly once a day, when I let him out in the morning and he tears ass around the yard in circles for about one minute like he’s running from the devil, then lays down in the grass. I am trying to teach Satch how to kill Patches and make it look like an accident. I have a little stuffed toy rat that looks just like Patches and I have taught Satch to attack it whenever he sees it. I hold the rat behind my back and say, “Satch, where’s your buddy?” and Satch just sits there, watching me, and his tongue just kind of leaks out of his mouth and his tail starts to wag, very slowly. Satch will bide his time. He will be patient. He’ll wait until Patches is doing something gross that skinny little dumb dogs do, like eating his own poop, and it will be all over for Patches.

Saw Kill Bill Vol. 2 this weekend with this chick I met in a bar. I am, she says, “some dude I met in a bar.” Movie verdict: Vol. 1 was funnier, Vol. 2 was more QT, and a better movie. I liked them both, though.

This post just won the award for being the longest while saying the least.

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