May 7-13, 2015

Last Thursday? No idea. Friday night we went to Chapel Hill *and* Carrboro. Had a lovely dinner at Sandwhich. Durham has Toast, but it needs about 12 other places where you can get a healthy dinner for $10 or less. 

Then we went to Carrboro to see Bronwyn’s portraits of roosters rescued from a cockfighting ring. She may still have some that haven’t sold yet. If you see one you like, let her know. Most of the money from sales of the paintings will go to the sanctuary where the roosters are now living.

Saturday we saw Welcome to Me. That was some uneasy enjoyment, right there. It was funny, but it was funny because the main character has Borderline Personality Disorder & is off her meds for most of the movie. Kristen Wiig. Is funny. And very affecting, actually, which is why I wound up feeling OK about the whole thing – her character is entirely sympathetic throughout. But it was uneasy.

Sunday was Mother’s Day *and* Duke graduation, so everything in town was utter chaos. Dashi opened for lunch, though, and either nobody knew about it, or nobody wanted to take Mom to a ramen place for brunch, so I had a bowl of ramen without any hassles. 

Honestly, though, I can’t eat at Dashi that often. Those bowls look small, but they’re filling, and they’re loaded with delicious calories. I always feel overstuffed when I’m rolling home from the ramen shop, because it’s too delicious to stop eating before the bowl is empty.

Tuesday I was driving home from work and I heard a horrible human being (Arthur Brooks, of the American Enterprise Institute) on NPR say the following: “The poor are not having their money taken away and given to the rich. To the extent that we can get away from the notion that the rich are stealing from the poor, then we can look at this in a way that I think is instructive.”

He was sort of followed by a sort-of rebutting quote from Elizabeth Warren, but NPR didn’t go far enough to elucidate the lies in his statement. Because THE RICH ARE STEALING FROM THE POOR. Every day. Subprime lending. Check cashing + payday loans. The enormous increase in productivity (value of work product / cost of labor) compared to the complete stagnation of wages. Where do you think that difference has gone? The rich have stolen the labor of the working class forever, but they’ve gotten markedly more effective at it over the past 30+ years.

Tuesday night I drove to Carrboro to see Ryley Walker. There were a couple of openers added in the week prior to the show, and I wasn’t thrilled about a 3-band bill on a Tuesday night. But one of those openers was Elephant Micah, who are now a North Carolina band. And they were great. I love that variety of surprise.

Ryley Walker started out his set playing a 12-string acoustic & just strumming the shit out of it, and it was TOO MUCH JANGLE for my head. And he was over-singing and it was all just too much. Frustrating. Once he switched to 6-string, everything was immediately a whole lot better. It was just Ryley and another guy on electric guitar, though, and it never reached the level of brilliance of his full-band NYC show that NYC Taper caught in March.

Wednesday was just work & then after-work meetings of all varieties. I ate a slice of pizza for the first time in over a year, and it was magical. Took 7 Lactaid tablets with it. I realized later that part of my problem with pizza is the same as everyone else’s: It’s delicious, so you eat like 17 pieces at a sitting. That’s probably more of my problem than the lactose intolerance. So pizza by the slice (and willpower) is the way to go for me. So far so good.

May 7-13, 2015

February 2-4, 2015

Starting to feel cautiously optimistic about this summer – after a LONG time spent either playing the email/wait/email/wait game, or helping my new coworkers in Austin (whom I love, mind you, but training has been time-consuming), I finally have some students actually matched to projects and interviewing with mentors this week. I would’ve liked my first offers to go out in December (or, hell, November), but February it is.

I’m still wanting to be completely done by April 1st, or at least before the first day of Full Frame. It’s not a vacation if you’re running home between screenings to jump on interview calls or fill out offer paperwork.

I swung by Dashi at around 7pm on Tuesday, their first official night in business. I didn’t even go into the downstairs ramen shop, although it didn’t look like there were more than 4 or 5 people waiting to be seated. I thought there might be a chance of slipping upstairs and trying the izakaya menu – but no, every table, stool & other horizontal surface was occupied upstairs as well. It’s amazing & awesome to see Billy & Kelli (along with the Cookery folks) be so wildly successful on their second venture … but I hope I’ll get to dine there again someday.

So I walked to Virgile & found the place slightly less crowded than it has been lately. Had the knockout fried oysters and the salad with duck (the same thing I’ve had the previous couple of times I have gone there for dinner). I hate to even mention this because they’re already doing good business, but: it’s a great spot for a casual supper, y’all.

I haven’t talked politics/public policy here for a while. I have mixed feelings about that. I kind of feel like we’re in a lull before the next great awful thing happens. Assuming we don’t count a rampant measles epidemic as the next great awful thing. I don’t even know where to begin with this science denialism thing. The death of Truth has been the most unexpected and consistently surprising/disappointing phenomenon of my adulthood. Stupid postmodernism/poststructuralism. Post-everythingism. I have to bear my portion of the blame – I did time in grad school in the early 90s and I wrote papers on postmodernism. We all did. I swear we didn’t think it would turn out this way.

February 2-4, 2015