What was there yesterday? Nothing much. I tried to catch up on some fan mail, which I've gotten very, very behind on. I apologize for that. If someone can take the time to write me, I can certainly take the time to reply. Anyway, there was that, and then, though I'd fully intended to spend the whole day hammering away at the outline for Daughter of Hounds, I ended up in Spooky's car, the two of us driving north up I-75, then west out 411, to Rome. I just wanted to get out of the city. Atlanta's not an easy city to get out of. It goes on forever, sprawling in all directions. I'd intended to go farther north, as far as the mountains in the very NW corner of the state, but we only made it as far as Rome. The oppressive sameness of everything was getting to me. That corporate monotony. We leave Atlanta's wasteland of strip malls — Target, Kroger, B&N, Home Depot, The Gap, Blockbuster, Best Buy — and drive into a lesser wasteland of the same — Wal-mart, Publix, B&N, Home Depot, T.J. Max, Blockbuster, Best Buy. And the little yellow "ribbon" bumperstickers, "Support Our Troops." I kept wishing I could pull people over and tell them that I have no troops. Nary a one. I am a nation without a standing army, navy, air force, marines, frelling national guard. Nothing. "Our" does not include me. And the trucks, the big semis with right-wing Xtian messages plastered on the back doors of their trailers — It's not a choice. — It's a child. Unless it's a child in Iraq, of course. On the way back into town, we got stuck in traffic near the Fox Theatre, where some blonde abomination called Kelly Clarkson (I'd never heard of her) had crowds of screaming little girls and teenage girls and bored housewives out in droves. I found a photo of Kelly Clarkson online; it made me think of Tammy Faye Bakker. Whatever. The only good thing about the odd little drive was that we did get off the damned Piedmont long enough for me to glimpse decent, unmetamorphosed Paleozoic rocks. Ordovician and Cambrian dolomites. Mississippian cherts. Pennsylvannian sandstones. Otherwise...well, it's like I've said. Don't leave the Perimeter.
I did spot a white cross nailed up high on a telephone pole across the street from the new strip mall that's been installed just south of Little Five Points. In bold black letters, the vertical axis read "R. I. P. Atlanta." And, in the same hand, the horizontal axis read "We Sold Out." I hope the assholes at the new Target have seen that. And, on the subject of graffiti, inappropriate and otherwise, this weekend Freedom Park suffered a festival of "n'art" (a contraction of my own devising — "n'art" = "not art"). One of the least amusing pieces was a series of bright orange mesh hammocks strung together on PVC pipes, committed by some local n'artist named Linda Stern. It was named "Hammocks for the Homeless." Isn't that precious? At the end of the festival, the hammocks were all turned on their sides for some reason, perhaps because local police feared the homeless might take Stern seriously and try to use them. Anyway, someone decided to use the huge orange eyesores as a billboard and spray-painted "Solace for the Souless" on them, one word per hammock, with a date on the first hammock. Nice comeback, I thought. Frelling priceless. Of course, I don't condone vandelizing stupid, ugly yuppie n'art. I just don't not condone it, either.
I'm all piss and vinegar this morning. Sorry. There's something stuck inside that I need to cough up.
There has to be work today, of one sort or another.
Also, we're nearing the end of the "COLOUR MONSTER DOODLES" auction. Act now. This offer will not be repeated anytime soon. Don't lose out. You snooze, you loose. One day, colour monster doodles will be all that stand between you and the zombie apocalypse (or male erectile dysfunction, I'm not sure which).