Saturday, October 16, 2004
Well, a thing or three of note lately.

First of these was my being stricken with a flu. So far the cold-like symptoms have been negligible, limited to nasal congestion and some sneezing. The real killer angle has been the achiness, dizziness and fatigue-- in short, just feeling like death.

I had to work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with the increasing weight of this viral infection making them a misery. Worst was getting home, exhausted creaky and wishing for the relief of death (or at the very least its closest neighbor) and finding myself unable to sleep.

So Thursday, my first day off, I slept until 6 PM, sleeping through my alarm, sleeping through my stereo's timed serenade (it wasn't until about 8 that I realized why my dreams were to a Dizzee Rascal soundtrack), sleeping through the initial installation of our new heater in the next room over. I finally got up, relieved some pressures, got some toast and tea, checked my email, and went back to bed for another few hours.

My plan then was to sleep straight on to dawn, but I eventually returned to my original plan for the evening-- two of my top five guitar heroes were sharing a bill and I wasn't about to let any flu keep me from that. Sadly, my own poor timing (opening acts on weeknights do NOT start playing at ten! How many times must I be reminded of this?) meant that I only caught the last three songs from Channels' set. But they were tight. Good enough that I wasn't as disappointed as I probably should have been over missing most of their set. The fact that they closed with "Chivaree" didn't hurt. And did I mention tight? Like a completely different band from the one that opened for Retisonic a few months back.

Then the Burma. Ohhhh the Burma. The crowd was light enough that I was able to get right up to the front of the stage. They of course played the requisite "Academy Fight Song" and "That's When I Reach for my Revolver," they even played all-but-requisites "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate," "Einstein's Day," "Peking Spring" and "Red," (possibly my favorite Burma song, and I'm one unidentifiable chord away from having it figured out), but the real surprise was how seamlessly the songs from their new album fit in. "OnOffOn" is a very good album, and I enjoy it immensely until I realize that it's from the same band that put out "Versus" and then I'm reminded to find it ever-so-slightly disappointing. But certain songs you need to hear in a live context to really get.

There were also two new songs, proclaimed as world premieres. The first was okay but lacked an ending ("That was a world premiere without an ending" was its epilogue), but the second (called "Spider's Web" from the glance I got at the setlist) was another that fit seamlessly with the classics.

Wow, my second time seeing Mission of Burma. I remember not too many years ago being saddened by the thought I missed them, that I'd never get to see them live. Just seeing them once was a privilege, but they're such a personable band, so friendly with their fans, without the slightest hint of rockstar posturing on stage, that just seeing them a second time felt comfortable-- like seeing a friend's band play a basement show.

And as I left I saw J. Robbins chatting with Bob Weston at the soundboard. I think J. was asking about what software he was using for the tape loop effects...

Today I woke up early. Was awoken early, as per instructions. Due to my sickly hibernation, I only had one day in which to do two day's worth of tasks. First was cleaning out the rest of my stuff from my car. Then the drive to CarMax. On the way up I sat dreading being ripped off. Would they try to offer me $5,000 for a car I knew was worth probably $7,000?

The guy looked around my car and noted where the trunk was misaligned from the bumper -- "Looks like the frame's bent." Then we went around the front and I saw my car's final gesture of complete contempt: The headlight washer cover that I had JUST replaced had fallen off during the drive from NE DC to Laurel.

But it turns out I had no need to worry about $5,000. Because the repair job from being rearended by the huge van had required frame work, CarMax's offer was actually $3,700.

I spent the rest of the day lost in downtown DC pre-post-and-during-rush-hour traffic because nobody had bothered to tell me that the Schwab office had relocated. This was a nice reminder of why I want to sell my car, as driving in DC in heavy (or even moderate) traffic is pretty fucking close to the firey torments of Hell itself.

I spent the rest of the evening contemplating insurance fraud, viz., could I trust the neighborhood kids to keep quiet if I gave them the keys to my car and told them to destroy it? Would they be able to total it effectively, could they even drive stick? Would a lit match into the gastank be a more effective method?

Or possibly just eBay...

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