It’s already happening

Oh Canada! They’re coming to you to get married. Maybe, as Prof. Delong points out, the US will stop this via the WTO as an illegal wedding industry subsidy. Just think: $83 bucks to the state for each license, plus meals, hotels, liquor stores… it’s a welcome respite from SARS worries for the tourism trade, I’ll bet.

Beverly Package

I’ve gotten to know Montserrat station and Beverley, MA pretty well over the past few days, going out to Motorcycle Riding School to take the state-approved safety class. I failed it, which means I have to schlep my ass out there again some time in the next 14 days, pay an extra fifty bucks, and pass it this time, dammit, or else. The station is near a liquor store called Beverley Package, which I think would make a good name for a transsexual porn star.

I’m buying a 1991 Kawasaki Zephyr, which is a standard bike they don’t make any more. Smaller and sportier than the Vulcans and not as absurd as the Ninjas. Still a little larger than I need, but I’ll grow into it or die trying.

Friday Nights

By seven on a Friday night, the commuters have left the gym, exercising while waiting for traffic to clear, finishing their three days a week at five fifteen workouts. Weekday nights it’s still crowded at this hour, but not Fridays. The weekday crowd, I’m guessing, doesn’t regard exercise as a suitable prelude to weekend entertainment. Me, I’m waiting for my friends to get out of the X-Men movie before we head over to TC’s for PBR and bad selections on the jukebox.

The music on the Sports Club Network Radio tonight is dance and disco instead of the usual top-forty and alt-rock, and the treadmills and stairmasters are populated by breastless anorexic women and heavyset fortysomething guys. They seem to be punishing themselves for not having anything better to do. The weights, though, seem to be draped with overmuscled, underclothed men who gawk and stare and flirt. For a lot of them, it seems that the gym is the entertainment.

Home Again

Spent the weekend back home in Charlottesville, VA. The trees and grass and flowers had budded but most were still tinged with the gold of immature shoots. The clouds seemed to filter out all the blue light, as well, and the entire world was preternaturally green. I’d forgotten how much concrete and asphalt surrounds me up here.

We went out to visit my uncle and his new litter of puppies. Got one, two good pix of Mom with them, and one in which I manage to avoid looking too goofy. Plus a rival for the throne of silly captioning currently occupied by Melvin the Beagle. And of course one plain old incredibly cute puppy on incredibly green grass.

I should also note that David, shown here manicuring the dogs, has had significant success as both breeder and judge of bull terriers, and in addition runs a successful small business. He drives a Mini Cooper S, and is a charming and erudite conversationalist. Also, despite his shocking resemblance to the Molson Man, he is single.

Ick. Ick. Ick.

Been reading a review of a new history of the gulag. The review quotes a prison memoir of torture by exposure to mosquitos:

The mosquitoes crawled up our sleeves, under our trousers. One’s face would blow up from the bites. At the work site, we were brought lunch, and it happened that as you were eating your soup, the mosquitoes would fill up the bowl like buckwheat porridge. They filled up your eyes, your nose and throat, and the taste of them was sweet, like blood.

I used to read the Hellblazer comic from DC/Vertigo, and there was this one part of it that I remember clearly: the hero is investigating some evil and finds a junkie cowering in a bathtub in some squalid dive, shivering and sick from withdrawl. He says he feels like insects are crawling all over him, it’s all he can do not to try and tear them away. Only, he’s actually covered in insects.

Some suggest that Our Leader is a genuine American psycho. Seems to be a common comparison, partly due to Bush’s total lack of empathy, and partly due to the fact that it’s quite easy to offer up one or another mental illness to describe any harmful behavior. It’s what makes the DSM-IV such a good parlor game.

I want to start a rock band and call it Token Sucker.