outta town, outta site, outta my mind

We wanted to get out of the city for the weekend and N's dad is vacationing in Florida, so we decided to spend Saturday night at his place in the SW 'burbs. It's a good excuse to get a bunch of laundry done for free and to spend inordinate amounts of time pretending to shop at places like Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is a place where you can buy skimpy panties with words like "hottie" emblazoned across the front, but you can't find the new Jon Stewart or George Carlin books. Paraphernalia with Confederate flags and NASCAR gear sell well at Wal-Mart, I imagine.

We picked up a nice pork tenderloin and two bottles of $3 Chuck at the nearby Trader Joe's and I cooked a nice dinner and we watched the classic "So, I Married an Axe Murderer" and some BBC variety shows. A couple years back, I was spoiled a bit when I worked at a French wine bar, but I must say I *have* been developing quite a fondness for the Shaw Vineyards, especially their Sauvignon Blanc. I mean, Sonoma is no Loire Valley, but for $2.99 you can't get much better. The wine was good. While surfing channels, I happened upon the Pixies on "Austin City Limits." The night was good.

Once asleep, I dreamt I was the moon orbiting and chortling through space. When the dream began, I was waxing in virgo and once I got to taurus, I seemed to be stuck. I started waking up at this point in the dream to ask N how the hell I could get out of being stuck and into gemini, but there was no waking her. I hate those dreams that hang with you after you wake up. It was muggy under the blankets and difficult to get back to sleep.

This morning, there was a taped reading on C-Span from a Howard Zinn-edited companion book to his "A People's History of the United States," basically actors reading left-leaning speeches from various points in history. I'm into that kind of thing, and a big fan of Dr. Zinn, so like a wonk I sat there eating DIY creme brulee, watching "Books on C-Span." I especially appreciated the reading of an anti-war speech by Eugene Debs that landed him in prison for 10 years. Little has changed since he made the speech, in which he stated the ruling class profits from war while the working class fights and dies in it. The final reading was a Speech Zinn made before being jailed for his own civil disobedience.

I'm re-reading Hemingway's "A movable Feast." I think everyone ought to read it, at least anyone working at being any sort of artist. One of my favorite passages follows.

"... The one who is doing his work and getting satisfaction from it is not the one the poverty bothers. I thought of bathtubs and showers and toilets that flushed as things that inferior people to us had or that you enjoyed when you made trips, which we often made. There was always the public bathhouse down at the foot of the street by the river. My wife had never complained once about these things any more than she cried about Chevre d'Or when he fell. She had cried for the horse, I remembered, but not the money. I had been stupid when she needed a grey lamb jacket and had loved it once she had bought it. I had been stupid about other things, too. It was all part of the fight against poverty that you never win except by not spending. Especially if you buy pictures instead of clothes. But then we did not think of ourselves as poor. We did not accept it. We thought we were superior people and other people that we looked down on and rightly mistrusted were rich. It had never seemed strange to me to wear sweatshirts for underwear to keep warm. It only seemed odd to the rich. We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other."