01 June 2006


It's been about 24 hours since I arrived here, but I was immediately caught up in local life, i.e., being taken along to a trivia competition at a place called Pete's Candy Store. I'm normally terrible at these sort of things, and I wasn't much better last night, but the handful of questions I did know (mostly having to do with the bass players of 1960s bands and similarly obscure and useless stuff) may have helped our time to what was apparently its highest finish ever. Okay, it was still only fourth place and out of the money, but I felt at least momentarily useful.

That was followed by a lengthy and wide-ranging discussion with my two teacher friends (in between trivia questions, they were giggling over teacher in-jokes) Patrick and Chris outside the subway station. With anybody less reasonable and open-minded than those two, it might have turned into a loud argument, but even if I'd had the energy and inclination to argue last night (I was VERY tired) I don't think I could have provoked one. Although super-mild-mannered Patrick did tell us that he managed to get into an argument on the subway with some woman who claimed that the train was going to Manhattan when in fact it was already in Manhattan. Or something like that. It's just so hard to picture Patrick arguing with anyone, let alone crazy ladies on the subway.

I also joined a local gym, found a hardware store, replaced the missing screws that were causing the lock to potentially fall out of the door or, alternatively, not open, and hung up the one or two items of clothing I brought that are worthy of being hung up. I've had a couple brief walks around the neighbourhood, oops, neighborhood now that I'm back in the USA, and I really like it a lot. It's kind of low-key ethnic with a small sprinkling of hipsters. There are a lot of trees on my street, which will be good for summer. They certainly made it nicer today, when the temperature was about 86 (30C), I guess. But the thing is, my apartment is in the basement, and it stays cool by itself, without even putting on the air conditioning. I didn't even know it was hot at all until I ventured out this afternoon.

I've just been to the gym, and I still have to go find some basic supplies and food-type things this afternoon; then it's off to Manhattan for the first of what promises to be about ten gigs in the next ten days. There was one last night too, right in the neighborhood, featuring the Unlovables, but I was just too tired. I'll be seeing them in Baltimore in a couple weeks, though, along with 35 or so other bands in what promises to be the event of the year, if not the decade. Well, musically, anyway. If they find the solution to world peace or a cure for cancer, it might rank slightly higher on the important-o-meter, but I'm not holding my breath.

Anyway, that's it for my first dispatch from this side of the Atlantic. I had a couple political diatribes up my electronic sleeves, both about Oakland, I think, but I'll spare you for now.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back home to the USA!!

Crumbly said...

If only I was so young to do so much. Tonight, I just showed off a glittery vest that I wore in NYC circa 1989. Any glittery vests in your past?

Larry Livermore said...

Pants more than vests.

Larry Livermore said...

See, I'm fitting right back into America. I said pants instead of trousers.

Wesley said...

Glad you clarified that.

jett said...

actually larry, both mike and i have come in first before. sorry to burst your bubble. 4th was the best we've done in years though.