So, reading tonight. Come see. Thanks.
Memorable night. I'm taking off work today (mostly because I have a ton of stuff to do, including go to the doctor, go to Fed Ex, and pick out a scene to read tonight, but also because of my toxic-of-late work environment, where I am stuck in an office alone with an ex-girlfriend for eight hours a day) so I was able to stay out very late last night. Ned and I went to a party at the Hotel QT, which is a great place to go because unlike a normal bar, this one is adjoined by a swimming pool and sauna, so you can go swimming, then walk through crowds of elegantly-dressed people while barefoot and wearing nothing but dripping swim trunks (or in Ned's case, boxer shorts) and no one bats an eye. We had wandered into a birthday party for some short gay guy wearing a beret who knew lots of really tall women. We met a couple of particularly interesting people. One or two we may meet again. Early on in the evening I took a break from the party to talk via cell phone to Willy Blackmore of Impetus for a while about final design details.
After we left, we were sitting on the train when this guy beside me started yanking some of the subway advertisements out of their metal and plastic cases. After the second one, I said, "What are you planning to do with those?" and Ned said, "Yeah, are they valuable?" And the guy says, "Soon to be!" Then with a blue ballpoint pen he starts sketching us on the back of one of the posters. The whole time, he's talking about Picasso and how this is what Picasso use to do--scribble a lot of lines, and then the lines would come together. He also mentioned his admiration for "that hispanic guy"--it turned out he was talking about Basquiat. Oh, and his name was Artemis. Artemis finished his sketch just in time, as we reached Chambers Street, and then I offered to buy it from him, an idea which unsurprisingly he didn't reject, and we continued talking for a bit.
He said, "You know how it's like, you go to the airport to get on a plane, and you go to the desk, and they like, 'That's your flight that you got to get on,' and you like [whispers with skeptical face] 'That ain't the flight I was planning to get on.' [Eyebrows raised, voice low.] That's the plane to hell."
I'm the one on the left that looks like George W. Bush. Ned is on the right, bearded like young Santa Claus. Don't we look gentle? Not a bad sketch, considering that he did it in roughly eight minutes, sketching with one hand while gripping the paper in the air with the other and holding a rapid conversation the whole time.
Considering that control of the Senate has now come down to Virginia, I'm particularly glad I spent some time in the past week calling Virginia voters in support of Webb, who is ahead by about 8,000 votes right now. His Republican opponent, George Allen, is "a bigot and a bully," as Hendrik Hertzberg wrote in The New Yorker last week. Hertzberg also perfectly described Allen's selective use of violent or sexual passages from Webb's novels to smear him as "a tactic that combines prurience with philistinism."* Now let's hope the cabal of Republican lawyers that have surely already descended on Virginia will not manage to drag 8,001 elephants out of their hats.
* Hendrik Hertzberg. Bigot bully. Prurience philistinism. Did I stutter?