6.05.2004

Feeling shaky and sick. In much need of something to be enthusiastic about. Have to attend a wedding in a few hours and worry that I am too fat to fit into my suit. This is a source of great stress. I never hook up at weddings, but my self-esteem will be especially damaged if I show up in an ill-fitting suit.

But Blackburn D. Feldspar is a bigger man than this. When he falls into the dark purgatory of self-doubt and self-loathing, he fights his way out. He hides his sadness with humor. He's a crying on the inside clown. So here you go, bitches. Laugh at this.

TEN THINGS YOU WILL NEVER SEE IN
A COUNTRY-AND-WESTERN MUSIC VIDEO
10: Someone voting Democratic
09: Someone speaking French
08: A copy of Vanity Fair magazine
07: Any reference to Alan Ginsburg
06: Gay Marriage
05: Imported beer
04: Soccer
03: Morrissey
02: The state of Massachusetts
01: (Tie) A salad or Garrison Keillor

More. More.

THE BEST OF BLACKBURN D. FELDSPAR
Anyone who has ever read one of those alternative newspapers that are popular in large cities such as New York, Chicago and Des Moines has encountered those annual "Best of ..." lists that are used to pump up advertising sales. Blackburn D. Feldspar ain't too proud to beg. His vanity is more powerful than his pride.

BEST RESTAURANT: The Come Back Inn
BEST MAGAZINE: Chunklet
BEST BAR: Magnolia Bar & Grill
BEST BARTENDER: Maggie
BEST SANDWICH: Leftover turkey on rye with mayo
BEST PAVEMENT ALBUM: "Slanted & Enchanted"
BEST R.E.M. ALBUM: "Automatic for the People"
BEST CHICK ROCK ALBUM: "The Pink Album," Tusacadero
BEST WRITER: Raymond Carver
BEST DRINK: Maker's Mark and soda
BEST BOOK: "The Intuitionist," by Colson Whitehead
BEST BED: The futon bought in 1993 and still in use
BEST TV SHOW (drama): "The West Wing"
BEST TV SHOW: (comedy): "Mr. Show"
BEST TV SHOW: (British): "The Office"
BEST T-SHIRT: That Lemonhead shirt from Target
BEST LIVE BAND: Guided by Voices
BEST CARTOON: "Aqua Teen Hunger Force"
BEST FURNITURE: Danish modern chairs grandparents used to own
BEST MEMORY: The heady days when courting first serious girlfriend
BEST SONG WHEN DEPRESSED: "I'm Over You," the Silos
BEST DRESS SHIRT: The blue shirt bought at the Gap in 1996
BEST APARTMENT: The one on San Marco Blvd. in Jacksonville
BEST FEELING: Being clean-shaven
BEST ALBUM TITLE: "There is no-one what will take care of you," by Palace Brothers
BEST POWDER: Gold Bond Medicated
BEST VACATION: Thailand
BEST WILCO ALBUM: "Summerteeth"
BEST CHILDHOOD TOY: Lego Blocks
BEST MOVIE: "Rushmore"
BEST SHOES: Chuck Taylor All-Stars
BEST CONNELLS ALBUM: "Ring"
BEST ALL-AROUND DUDE: Johnny Cash
BEST NIGHTCLUB TO SEE BANDS: Uncle Pleasant's
BEST SEASON: Autumn
BEST EMOTION: Creative despair

5.30.2004

Went camping last night. Sort of. My friends S and J called me yesterday morning and said they were going out to Y's place waaaay out in the northeastern part of the county for a cookout and campout. I haven't been camping in ten years, but they said they had a tent and a sleeping bag for me, so okay then.

The cookout was great. I had a nice piece of salmon and everyone was really convivial. S and J have great friends and they are a hoot to hang out with. Y and his girlfriend L have a beautiful house on an old farm, and even though they are loaded they are extremely down-to-earth people.

We drank lots of beer and sangria and sat around a campfire that kept exploding because the wood was so wet. Every time it popped, it sprayed embers all over us. It was exciting.

Around 1 a.m., the last of the stragglers headed for their tents. I was quite tired, so I didn't mind the idea of sleeping on the ground. I quickly realized that I might have a problem when I tried to get into the sleeping bag, only to realize that it was way too small for someone of my, um, stature.

But like I said, I was tired, so I managed to get the bag pulled around me. I closed my eyes and tried to drift off. It was nice to hear the birds and bugs outside. A storm was rolling in, but I had a sturdy rain cover over my tent. When it started to rain, the sound of the drops hitting the tent was soothing.

The sleep just wasn't happening. I couldn't adjust the sleeping bag. I also realized that I was laying on a slight incline, which made sleeping on my side impossible. I didn't want to give up, though, so I toughed it out for a couple hours, grateful that I wasn't outside in the rain.

Then I just thought, "Fuck it." As soon as the rain eased a little, I threw on my jeans and ran to the house, where I found a sofabed in the basement and sacked out there. I am not an outdoorsy man.