I Saw Manute Bol in West Hartford, Connecticut.

It was at one of those restaurants for the patrician Connecticutese where the food is almost good, and the atmosphere is almost sophisticated. In came this nearly eight-foot-tall black man in Ecko gear who looked kind of like the two or three half-remembered photographs of Manute Bol I’ve glanced at in my life. He had to dip his head really really low to get in the door.
Wikpedia says he’s 7′ 7″. Everything I know about Manute Bol I learned just now from Wikipedia, because I did not know how to spell “Manute Bol.” I do not know about the basketball. I like typing “Manute Bol.”


I’ve been trying to write more songs for a session in September; time is limited, obviously, and I don’t have the sheaf of culled phrases from months of journals that I usually use as a lyrical source. So I’ve been reading books with a pen in hand, underlining interesting and/or rhythmic words, and then writing them down the next day–over several columns on several sheets of paper, to put them in an order other than that in which they appeared in the books–and then when I go to the guitar and the drum machine I use those words to plug into the lyrics.
I did John Strausbaugh’s Black Like You (a history of blackface and minstrelsy), Murakami’s Underground (about the Tokyo subway gas attack in 1996, a creepy thing to be reading about this week) and I’m now doing Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera. It’s amazing how just a handful of words can suggest the worlds of these books; the Bowery stages of 1890, panicked commuters in regimented Asian society, dignified, elderly lovers in lush, surreal Carribbean locales.

Political Convenience.

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I’ve gone outside and rode my bike around Prospect Park the last two days of this heat wave.
Last night, Mayor Bloomberg went on TV and YELLED AT PEOPLE for having the hubris to work out in hundred-degree heat.
Truthfully, it wasn’t that bad doing cardio in the hotness. But what could be better as an excuse for being a layabout? Thank you, Mike Bloomberg.
(Photo by Megan Powell)

Al Gore Is Not Mad At Me Nor I Him.

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I got a cross email about saying “Al Gore is mad at me,” vis a vis my electrical usage, in the last entry. I want to clear it up. It’s a new expression that’s hip with the kids, “Al Gore is displeased” or “I fear the wrath of Al Gore.” As if Al Gore has become our collective environmental superego.
I am diggy down with the Al Gore. Hoping he runs in ’08.
(Dieses Pic by Emily Bracke)

I Saw Kelly Ripa at Jamba Juice.

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What am I going to do, blog about the weather? Yes.
(Above pic by Stephanie Marie Kubes; below by Ike Whiting)

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Is it really August? How did that happen?
Truth is, I dig the hot hotness. It allows many opportunities for relief; you bike around the park a bunch of times and get overheated, then you get your hot skin in the shower and chug lemonade and cool off.
The Channel 4 Live at Five news, showing thumbnails of the week’s highs and lows, captioned tomorrow “NO RELIEF.”
I am using electric devices to make and record my music. Al Gore is angry with me.
Still waking up and writing songs and wondering if I’m done and having no perspective on my own work.
Still very obsessed with the German. Trying to write a list song, of second-person present-tense German verbs, and some of the odder and more sonorous phrases in my phrasebook.
Still trying to cut back on the Kaffee.