Saturday, September 27, 2003

Definite Aquatic Tragedy
When I got home from work yesterday Otherfish was still floating upside down, but this time on the surface. Dead.
I got those fish at a big chain pet store. I'm going to find a mom-and-pop type place to get fish from.
Screw the big box retailer.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Possible Aquatic Tragedy
A week ago I got two koi for my aquarium. At the same time, I also purchased an aquarium hood.
When I got home, I discovered that the light in the aquarium hood did not come with bulbs included.
Both of the fish had seemed fine in the store. I'm an experienced fish-owner, and I have learned to take a moment and observe the fishs' behaviour before choosing which ones to buy. However, once I had released the fish into my tank, one of them started acting sickly. So I have spent a week being concerned about the borderline sickly fish, whom I have started to think of as Skinnyfish.
The day after buying the fish, the went back to the pet store and bought bulbs for the aquarium hood light. When I got home with the bulbs, the light wouldn't work. So I went back again to the pet store and exchanged the hood. This time it worked.
The fish are supposed to have a two-week guarantee. But the fish were on the same receipt as the first hood, and when I exchanged it, I didn't get the old receipt back.
This morning when I checked in on the fish, Skinnyfish was fine. Otherfish was floating upside down. I reached into the water and tapped him, and he flipped out. He suddenly became animated, and swam in several violent circles, before coming to rest again, floating upside down.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

I've had this feeling:
"He had no idea who she might be. Christini Rossetti? He thought not. He was not sure that Miss Rossetti would have approved of Ash's theology, or of his sexual psychology. He could not identify the Fairy Topic, either, and this gave him a not uncommon sensation of his own huge ignorance, a grey mist, in which floated or could be discerned odd glimpses of solid objects, odd bits of glitter of domes or shadows of roofs in the gloom."
A.S. Byatt, Possession

Old Records
I've recently acquired a number of 12-inch 78 rpm records, all on the Victor Victrola Red Seal label. They were all made between 1925, when Victor started using microphones to make recordings, and 1929, when the Victor Talking Machine Company was bought out by the Radio Corporation of America (better known as RCA).
I got:
"Coronation Scene" and "Polonaise" from Moussorgsky's Boris Godounov, performed by the Royal Opera Chorus
Beethovan's "Moonlight Sonata," performed by Jan Pederewski. Pederewski was a Polish composer who was much better known in the early 20th century than he is today. The flip side of this record is a minuet by him which was apparently pretty popular.
"Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life" and "Selections from 'Naughty Marietta'" performed by the Victor Light Opera Company
"Prayer," adpated from Handel's Te Deum performed by Yehudi Menuhin, violinist, who was between the ages of 9 and 13 when this recording was made
"Pomp & Circumstance," performed by the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, conducted by the composer, Edward Elgar
"Celeste Aida," from Verdi's Aida, and "Racconto di Rodolfo" from Puccini's La Boheme, performed by tenor Giovanni Martinelli, with an orchestra which isn't given credit
"Siegfried's Funeral March," from Wagner's Gotterdammerung, performed by the rather anonymously named Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I read A.S. Byatt's The Virgin in the Garden early this year, and it was awesome. Later, at some point, I rented the fairly recent film of Possession which had come out. I thought that was really good. Now I am finally getting around to starting to read the book (which I've had a copy of for a few years but never read before). I have only barely started, but I can tell already, that not only would this book (and the film) appeal to any errant English majors out there, but the librarians and archivists as well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Born Yesterday
Yesterday after work I went to get a haircut. I go to one of those walk-in chain places in a shopping center on the far side of the freshman campus from my building. During the school year, there are usually at least a couple college guys in there waiting for haircuts.
And I just realised, while I was thinking of writing this, I never see college girls in there. I guess they go someplace more la-de-la for their coifs.
Last night was no different. One guy had come in wearing a blue bandanna tied around his head. All the staff in the shop were black women, and this was a white kid, and they all joked with him, asking him if he was in a gang.
"I get that a lot. Are there many gangs around here?"
This was met with a general exclamation of amazement. One woman said, "Child, I could take to the 'hood - " and she lay one hand on her chest and fluttered her eyes coyly "- excuse me, neighborhood, and show you the gangs."
The college guy asked, "What do they do, get in a lot of fights or something?"
More amazement. One woman said, "No, hon, they don't get in fights. They just shoot you dead."
The college guy replied to this that wearing a blue bandanna was a thing his fraternity was doing, and it was a nation-wide thing.
All the woman and myself agreed that the fraternity needed to do a different thing.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Things People Buy
I know it's a free country. But I had a really weird moment yesterday. I was in line at the grocery store. I noticed that the guy in front of me was buying a six-pack of Budweiser tall-boys, a big jar of pickles, and a big jar of kraut.
Odd, I thought.
Then I looked to my left, and the guy at that register was buying a loaf of white bread and four chickens.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Pride Family
Pride was yesterday. That is, the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival was yesterday. Er, rather, I guess now it's the North Carolina Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgendered Pride Festival.
It was on the lawn of the freshman campus which is right across from my apartment building. I went over and checked it out. I hadn't been in two years. It was the same as it always is. There were a bunch of booths set up by various organisations, such as the Gay Men's Chorus, churches that either "welcome" or are basically only for the GLBT crowd, and businesses that cater to them (us?).
And there was the prerequisite parade on Main Street. It was just getting started when I was there, but I didn't stay to watch it. The best thing I saw was a drag queen dressed up like Tinky-Winky or whatever its name was, the Teletubby Pat Robertson got upset over.
I worked part-time for almost two years in a gay & lesbian bookstore in Charlotte. Well, they sold more than books, which was good, because they never would have made it very long if they depended on books sales. They also sold magazines (which they sold a lot of), and all sort of crap with the rainbow pride flag emblem plastered on, and crappy jewelry, and tee-shirts that read things like "All-Temperature Queer." Cute.
So I'm basically over all this.
I think the whole thing can be summed up by something I saw as I was leaving the festival. I saw a banner which read, "I.D. Personal Lubricants are proud to sponsor . . . . RESTROOMS."