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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
How was my morning 
Thursday, March 19th, 2009 | 01:11 pm [personal, writing]

I feel Ashley get out of bed and look at the clock. It’s a little before eight in the morning. I roll over, remembering today’s the day I’m driving her to work in her car, then taking it to get the oil changed. I’m annoyed. I wonder if there is any reason to put it off until the weekend. Life would be so much better if all the petty, mundane bullshit could just be perpetually put-off. What a shame there isn’t a Nobel Prize for procrastinating. But then I’d have to find a place for it. . . . I turn my face to the wall and drift back to sleep as the shower pulses on across the hallway.


It’s around 9:30 and we’re nearly to Smithsburg. Ashley skips “You’re My Thrill” and “Ride of the Valkyries” to get to the My Chemical Romance cover of “Desolation Row.” She gives me a look. “I know you don’t like it . . .” she says, guilty, seeking permission but not asking. Which strikes me funny; this is her car.  I tell her it’s okay, we can listen to it. Objectively, it’s not that horrible of a song, aside from the fact that it cuts out two-thirds of the lyrics and completely misses the point of the original.


We stop at Food Lion. Ashley is showing How to Make an American Quilt this afternoon and wants to buy popcorn. We’ve never bought microwave popcorn at this Food Lion, and finding it is like locating the final resting place of fucking Noah’s Ark. Fortunately, the grocery store being much smaller than the Middle East, and microwave popcorn not being completely mythical, we find it eventually. From there we go to the post office. I walk in with her in case she needs me to carry something, but she can handle it. I drop her off at the library. She gives me a kiss good-bye and I’m off to Wal-Mart.


A few minutes after ten and I’m talking to the woman in the fluorescent vest outside the Tire and Lube Center. They have some new treatment they can put on the battery to make it last longer, or start faster, or whatever. I’m not really sure what she’s saying, but it’s only ten extra bucks so I tell her to go for it. She gives me a slip of paper with a barcode and says they’ll page me when it’s done. I enter Wal-Mart through the back door, walk straight through without stopping, though I linger for a moment or two at the endcaps on the action figures aisle, and leave through the front door. I walk to Borders and buy two comic book trade paperbacks — volume one of Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s All-Star Superman, and Jeff Smith’s Shazam!: Monster Society of Evil. Tom rings me up. He’s a nice guy who sings the praises of Grant Morrison’s recent work on Batman. He’s read way more comics than I have recently.


My comic buying has slacked off dramatically the last five years or so. Reading something new, that I haven’t read before, is only an occasional event thanks to lack of funds and changing taste — there just aren’t that many comics (superhero comics, anyway) that I think are much good. Most of the stuff I’ve read on Batman recently has been dogshit. Maybe I’ll give Grant Morrison’s run a look when it comes out in softcover.


It’s 10:42 and I’m sitting in McDonalds eating a Big Mac and reading All-Star Superman. It’s good. I arrived a few minutes late for breakfast; this is the earliest I have ever eaten a Big Mac in my life. There is a screeching sound over my head, like a set of bad brakes. I look around to see what it is. Over my head there is a track suspended from the ceiling, running all around the dining room. I never noticed it before. It’s my first time in this McDonalds. Running on it is an electric model train. My irritation dissolves to wonder. Since I was a child, I’ve loved trains. My grandfather worked on the railroad for almost half his life, running trains first for the Western Maryland, then for CSX. As a teenager I became enamored of the films of Buster Keaton. The first feature of his I saw was Three Ages. When I found out Keaton was a train lover shortly thereafter, it sealed the deal. He was never anything less than my favorite actor from then on.


It’s almost one in the afternoon and the car is just now ready for me to pick it up. The ten dollar battery treatment took forever, but I am finally on my way back to the library. I arrive and find Ashley working in the office. I tell her about the car. I tell her about the train and she smiles at my childish enthusiasm. She’s getting off early today and has a long weekend starting tomorrow. I can’t wait.


It’s 1:10. The equipment for the movie checks out in the community room. Ashley has books to order. I walk out into the library, sit down at an empty computer, and begin to write. So far, so good. It has been a good day.

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 | 06:37 pm (UTC)
Did you ever join the Borders Reward Club? It's free and it allows you to use coupons when buying stuff there. There is always a 20% coupon. Just go to Google and type "Borders coupon". The rest, they send them to you in an email. They range anywhere from 25% to 40%. The 40% coupons normally have a $20 minimum. I use those for either the DC Absolute editions or something simular. I noticed they are republishing Y The Last Man in 10-issue, $30 hardbound editions. I quit reading that in half-way through it's floppy run thinking I'd just start picking up the trade, but I never got around to reading it. Go figure.

Most of the superhero stuff coming out of DC has been just awful. Same with Marvel.

Have you tried The Walking Dead? It's the best comic currently being published.
Thursday, March 19th, 2009 | 08:38 pm (UTC)
Since we're talking comics, I'd suggest the Starman Omnibuses that DC is publishing. The suggested price is $50 which is still worth it but you can find them for $35 on Amazon which is a bloody steal.

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 | 10:15 pm (UTC)
I'm reading the first volume right now. I got it on eBay used for $26 and some change. I've been trying to comb eBay for deals.
Saturday, March 21st, 2009 | 12:55 am (UTC)
I have read Walking Dead. I loved it, but for some reason I stopped getting the paperbacks after volume 6 . . . I have no idea why. I should get back into that one. I agree, it is brilliant.
Saturday, March 21st, 2009 | 01:01 am (UTC) - Trainless in Pinellas
I wish my husband would let me be the dj sometimes, he's a total music nazi. I'm jealous.

about trains:

I grew up in Ohio, I moved to Florida in my teens after my parents divorced. I hadn't been back to Ohio (except very briefly for my grandmother's funeral) in nearly 20 years. On my most recent visit, my own family and I stayed with my dad, who lives very close to the train tracks. Every night on our vacation, I snuck out, by myself, on to the porch to listen to the trains untill 2:00-3:00 in the morning. The sound brought me back to my childhood.

Florida is great and all, very clean, very sunny, but there's something oddly missing...I could never put my finger on it before...but now I know what it is. Florida doesn't have trains. At least, not the touristy areas.

There's something about the sound of trains (especially in the dead of night) that lets you know life pulsates around you. The sound of trains tells you people are busy at their work. For the listener who finds the white noise comforting, there's a sense you are a part of it all by the shear volume that penetrates your ears, and while you take pleasue in knowing you are close enough to hear, you are still distant and seperate.

Strangely, because my own life had been void of the droning white noise of industry for nearly 20 years, I assumed that the railroad had gone the way of the dinosaur.

I was glad to know it hadn't, and I was willing to stay up all night long to listen to it's persistence.

-Your great biggest fan (and only because you let Ashley have control of the radio),


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