A was standing at his little Skip Hop table, scribbling on a pad of paper with a purple crayon. I took over and drew a face with eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and a few scraggly hairs.
He pointed at the nose, then at my nose and said “noh”. He pointed at the eyes, then at my eyes and laughed.
And he pointed at my ears and then over to the ears of a stuffed elephant across the room.
As I was helping A up into the chair in his room so that we could read books before bed, I saw a grain of cooked rice on my pants, left over from dinner cleanup. There was no garbage nearby.
So I ate it.
Occam’s razor, indeed.
I hadn’t thought about Vieuphoria in at least 15 years. Last week we were browsing Smashing Pumpkins videos and Michelle told me about a clip of super young Billy she had seen and then all of a sudden Vieuphoria popped into my head and we started watching it for a few minutes.
There’s a good chance I watched the VHS a dozen times back in the day. It’s a documentary that I probably still have memorized and now I’m looking forward to watching it again.
And of course that sparked a nostalgia mode—I really hadn’t thought of my 1997-2003 era Pumpkins obsession in a while—and I ended up browsing old shows on SPLRA. Bootlegs were very common back in the early aughts, but it’s nuts how available everything is now. It was fun listening to bits of Zwan shows from our crazed-fan road trip through Missouri in 2002.
They’ve even transcribed the stage banter!
Okay, now we’re here. Smashing Pumpkins lines:
I waited 14 hours, 10pm to 12pm, outside the Canopy Club in Urbana, IL for tickets to the February 27, 2000 show. None of my friends went with, there was concrete, and it was at least sparsely rainy and chilly.
I waited something like 6 (???) hours outside the Canopy Club on the day of that show. It was worth it because we ended up front and center for the entire thing and James returned my metal horns.
It did mean we missed out Billy taking everyone to IHOP that was waiting outside the record store early in the morning.
I drove up to Chicago from Champaign in my friend’s car and waited something like 6 or 8 hours outside of the Metro for I forget what show, but probably this one, and was literally the next person in line when it sold out.
I waited 10 or 12 hours in the United Center parking lot for tickets to their last shows. I got tickets to the United Center show, but I was too late for the actual last show.
The reason? I changed my brakes earlier that day and somehow didn’t tighten the lug nuts all the way, so turned around when the car started making horrible noises 15 minutes into the drive from Batavia on I-88. I probably would have been a couple hours earlier if I hadn’t dealt with that nonsense.
The strangest part about all of this is that I don’t remember at all if there were restroom opportunities. And the three longest waits, I was in line by myself even though I was buying tickets for a friend as well. Frank, how could you!
I do remember these teaching me that I could sit through anything.
We didn’t have smartphones then, what did we do!?!?
Unrelated, related: I’m pretty sure I saw Spoon in 1998 in Champaign-Urbana, maybe at the U of I student union? But all I really have is a memory of a concert flier.
I’m not writing for a particular audience. The reader in mind is me. If someone else would write these books I could go play golf.Cormac McCarthy, in a rare response to questions—for two high school AP Language students, nonetheless, via Warren Ellis.
“The reader in mind is me”: I dig it.
Hemingway said to write for two people, yourself and for who you love. Vonnegut said to please just one.
I like Jeremy Keith’s treatment of Ian M. Banks’s 1984 piece, A Few Notes on the Culture, as an example of how licensing your work to allow adaptation can lead to interesting experimentation.
I have a couple long pieces saved as drafts that I’ve referenced over the years. One, which was not explicitly licensed as free and will remain as a draft, inspired the open lab structure we followed at WSU.
The other is George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language, which I very much enjoy, but also think would be fun to remix one day through style and annotation—checks calendar—in 19 years?
Hey, it’s Friday.
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