TTFN!

Little things I'm going to miss about Chapel Hill: I was walking down Franklin Street yesterday afternoon to get something to eat, when I see the owner of the Jersey Mike's Subs on Columbia up ahead. Now, I ate there about five times last year, including during The Ice Storm where it was one of the few places open. I wasn't exactly a regular. But he sees me and recognition flashes across his face. He comes over, eager to know how I'm doing these days. Admittedly, the accent probably helps to make me stand out a little, but it was a nice feeling nonetheless.

This flight's SkyMall intrigue is an advertisement for temporary tattoos. It has a child proudly showing off his tattooed arm, with a speech bubble saying "Look! I'm a walking billboard!" Someone get that kid a copy of No Logo, stat.

Annoyingly, I broke the display on my CD player yesterday. I was walking back to campus after a rather long and pointless trip around Airport Road (no, I don't know either, to be honest), when the cable wrapped around a fire hydrant. I didn't notice, so I had one of those moments where I end up looking dumb, trying to walk forward and then getting pulled back by the tension in the cable. After I'd picked myself up, I discovered that the LCD display was no longer working. Grr.

Ooh. Turbulence. Fun.

I don't think I took enough pictures. I walked around with my camera at all times, but kept on forgetting about it whenever I was with people. I have lots of scenery, but little else. Although, considering some of the situations, that may be a blessing in disguise.

Time to go to sleep, I think. Goodbye again, Chapel Hill. Hello, Britain. How have you been?

currently playing: The Clash — London Calling

Leaving Again

Time to say goodbye once more.

currently playing: New Order — In A Lonely Place

23 Hour Party People

I deleted the last entry because it sounded a bit too "You don't have the first album? Well, it is quite rare." Anyway, last night I discovered just how bad I am at making things with play-doh, and that I really can't draw with my eyes closed.

Today, I have new glasses, thanks to Leigh, who came along with me to make sure I didn't choose anything too hideous (she did pick out a few Elton John-esque pairs, includiing a weird red and white striped abomination…)

One more full day left…

currently playing: Mint Royale — Don't Falter

Meanwhile...

I have been keeping up with the Richard Clarke story, as it has provided me with no end of laughs over the past two weeks. No matter what the Administration throws at him, he just keeps on coming. And now, he's managed to get them in a position where Rice is testifying under oath, despite the howls of protest last week that doing so would split the Liberty Bell in two, set the Declaration of Independence aflame, and turn the Statue of Liberty a splendid shade of pink. ho ho ho.
currently playing: nothing, because I left my headphones back at Kavi's house

And don't mention the Catholics, either

This is Gary. Gary used to be a Hell's Angel. He was running dope across Arizona in the late 1970s, until one day, in 1979, he found God. He's now a born-again Christian preacher, who comes to the campus to assail the students in the Fall and Spring. Gary intrigues me, because he's never going to make headway on campus telling everybody that they're going to hell, that homosexuals will burn in eternal damnation, that woman's place is in the home, and that white people should stay separate from black people. He's not prepared to have a reasoned argument; he ignores people who are making well-thoughtout points, instead choosing to twist words and jump on slips of the tongue.

And yet he keeps coming back. The techno-listening girl who I teamed up with said that he gets paid for this, but still, after a while you'd think he'd get a little discouraged…

currently playing: Aimee Mann — Save Me

Empirical data on file-sharing's effect on album sales

UNC Chapel Hill says: we're not killing the music industry!

currently playing: Björk — Hyperballad

I Don't Care If Monday's Blue

Okay, so I was still wandering around Chapel Hill in the same clothes I had on last night (Thursday). I left Kavi a message on her voicemail, but she was at school all day, so she never got a chance to check. I went off back to the house with the Giant Key, to see if I could get any explanation. Sadly, nobody was home, so I took a sales brochure instead (and every photo was staged to avoid showing the key, which seems a shame), and headed back to campus.

Laura, Stacie and I went to see Migrations: Humanity In Transition at the Ackland Art Museum. It's a series of photographs showing the dispossessed, refugees, and migrants from all over the world. It was rather sobering, to say the least.

Someone stole Laura's back wheel. Admittedly, if she was in Manchester, they would have stolen the seat as well, but still…

In the early evening (note: still haven't changed yet), I went to Pittsboro with Stacie and Collin to sample "The Best Barbeque In The Country". We had a little setback when we first arrived, as we discovered that they only took cash, but the food was well worth the five mile trip to the nearest ATM. And then, a call from Kavi! She made sure I was still alive, and was quite impressed to hear that I was in Pittsboro (although I think she may have thought that I waled to begin with ;-)).

Then, the buying of alcohol. This entry now becomes a little hazier…

Stacie dropped me off at Kavi's so I could have a shower and get changed (yay!), before picking me up later on, and heading over to Laura's.

There was a little too much alcohol consumed. There was also a falling table, pokey sticks, various sing-a-longs, an Eliot quoting team-up between myself and John Steen (who was also called Warren, leading to the first time Empire Records has been useful in a life sense), more drinking, voicemail messages, and an email which apparently includes my handiwork, but I have no recollection of writing it.

I woke up on Saturday, back on Laura's couch again.

It's quite funny; the weekends themselves have been rather quiet; it's the weekdays that have seen and heard weird and wonderful things. And now I only have a few days left once again. Time to make sure they count…

currently playing: Camera Obscura — Lunar Sea

A 66¢ Toothbrush, and THE GIANT KEY!

Thursday night then. Pizza and Friends with Leigh, Joe, and Laura. Plus lots of sweets and chocolate and crisps (including the Crisp of Champions, Pickled Onion Monster Munch. Unfortunately, Leigh and Laura were not impressed. Joe, on the other hand, wants me to set up an import business so he can have a steady supply). Then Stacie came by, and her, myself and Laura went off to Durham so meet up with Stacie's friends, Audrey and Tracey.

It was the first time I'd ever been on the Duke campus; I didn't really mean to have the UNC t-shirt on, it just happened that way. Laura informs me that it was lucky that I had my shirt buttoned up, or there could have been trouble.

Anyway, we met up with Stacie's friends, and headed off into downtown Durham to go to a bar. But wait! First, we had to go to the Center (just this once) for Documentary Studies, as Laura is applying for a position there over the summer. And the deadline was Friday morning, so it had to be delivered that night.

Unfortunately, we didn't know exactly where that was. Tracey did her best to give us directions, but we disappeared down many dark alleys and eventually had to resort to calling one of Tracey's friends and getting directions from them. Interesting conversations in the car, including finding out what a British accent is good for in America via a funny slip of the tongue.

After we had dropped off Laura's application, we went off to the bar, and stayed there for a couple of hours (a bit beyond Stacie's initial estimate of half-an-hour so she could get back and finish her paper). The tripping and pushing that occurred on the way in should have been a sign of things to come, but no-one pays attention to these warning signs until it's too late. We left around midnight.

Then Laura jumped on the bonnet.

Admittedly, the car wasn't moving at the time. That time at least.

So, we were going home. Until Laura remembered that I hadn't been to a Waffle House yet. And that the best time to go to a Waffle House was late at night. Stacie phoned Srav, who wanted to come. Srav also wanted to bring somebody else, and went off to find him. We drove around Chapel Hill until we heard back from her.

There's a Scottish castle in Chapel Hill. Not exactly sure why, but I've seen it. It's a castle, and it's made of imported Scottish stone. We may have been squinting our eyes to create interesting patterns on our retinas at this point as well. The sad thing is, none of us were drunk…

I remembered the House With The Giant Key. We went off in search, driving around dimly-lit country roads, looking like we were casing the area. As we went further and further, the lights became fewer and fewer, until we were driving around in darkness.

As we turned a corner, Stacie mentioned to Laura that this looked like a creepy street, and Laura agreed. And then, from the back of the car:

"THERE'S THE KEY!"

I didn't mean to shout quite so hard; I was just pleased to find it. I scared the life out of Stacie and Laura 8-)., and we spent five minutes outside the house just cracking up.

We picked up Srav, and after some more bonnet action (this time with movement), we took her to see the Giant Key. She was impressed. Well, okay, to be more truthful, she was scared for her life, as the three of us were still acting particularly nutty (traffic lights are really cool for that sort of thing. Especially LCD ones). And then! The Waffle House!

Waffles are like pancakes, but they have dents in them. They taste good with maple syrup, as you'd might expect. Waffle House jukeboxes have special Waffle-themed songs, several of which we played, to the consternation of the rest of the people in the restaurant. We laughed at the strange personal ads in the alternative newspaper, and were warned to drive home safely by our waitress, who was convinced that we had been using substances of some sort before coming in (lies!).

It was now about 3:28am. We know this because Laura called Collin, waking him up, to tell him about the Giant Key. And insisting she was sober. We went back to Chapel Hill, but Kavi was asleep (as you'd might expect, really), and at the time, I didn't have a key to the apartment. Oh dear. Laura let me sleep on her surprisingly comfortable couch (it was probably comfortable last night as well, but I don't remember, to be honest).

The next morning - new problems! Still nobody answering at Kavi's apartment. So I couldn't change my clothes. Or have a shower. Or brush my teeth. It was a bit of a disaster. Laura dropped me off in Carrboro on her way into college, and I bought a travel-sized portion of toothpaste along with a toothbrush, and brushed my teeth in the Carr Mill toilets. Oh yes. There is more to Friday. But really, I need to find out more details before I go on. My memory is sadly faulty in certain areas…

currently playing: Joe Henry — Stop

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly

I haven't gone anywhere. But I'll probably update the events of the past 48 hours tomorrow. I think it desrves a little extra effort. In the meantime, squint your eyes…

currently playing: Nick Cave — Love Letter

And I Don't Even Like Coffee…

I like to think that the reason that I've spent so much time in coffee shops the past few days is because I feel guilty about not using them while I was here. The guilty feeling will also help to explain why I bought another chapstick last night, because I didn't have any change for the homeless man outside.

So, erm, once again, not too much to talk about. Went to New Hope Commons, a disastrous lunch in Miami Subs (arrg! mushrooms!), and then I met up with Kavi at the Pit. Then Stacie came by, and we had a chat with her. She'd just come from eating dinner with Laura, who came by a little later on (she had a friend with her, but I can't remember her name. I suck). Then Sona turned up, and then Shatil. A mini-UNITAS reunion!

Tea…was weird. There's an awful lot of tension going on between some of my friends, so I was quite happy to spend most of the evening advising Shatil whereabouts he should visit when in Britain later this year (I suggested Manchester, which, now that I think about it, doesn't have too much going for it that you wouldn't find, say, in London, but oh well).

But hark! I shall leave you with another picture with nobody in it!

currently playing: Camera Obscura — Eighties Fan