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small gray square More rain today, and the snails are out in force. Back East it would be worms; here they have snails. Some people think they're gross; but I'm not bothered. In LA they tend to dry out real quick; up here the climate's more viable so the population's greater & more obvious.

small cyan square At the Sushi House tonight, my first hearing of "Titanic" music as Muzak - well, not really, to be precise <1>; but as "smooth jazz" - the 90s equivalent, with those saxophone noodlings a la Kenny G (which is what some people think jazz is - these are the same types who thought the same thing about Chuck Mangione fifteen years ago. I remember hearing some real jazz cats talking on the radio in the early 80's and the latter's name came up and one exploded "Chuck Mangione! I wouldn't let him carry my trumpet case, man!" Recently I heard of a pathetic scene on an airplane - Chuck was spotted, and was so eager for limelight he whipped out his trumpet and played his tired old hit once again, in the back of the plane by the toilets. You know the tune - "Feels So Good" - I'm glad I wasn't on that flight. Anyway, what timing - this the day after "Titanic" swept the Oscars (No, I didn't watch - I hate that whole deal - especially when the loathsome Billy Crystal is MC).

small violet square Then I was at the Los Altos library, in the men's room at a urinal, and a guy came up and while using the other one made a comment about the weather! I hate that - some men are just obliviously ignorant of the unwritten rules - if there's more than two urinals, you always spread as far apart as possible, and no talking! I think the talkers are either jocks or they have a military background - these are the same ones I see in the gym who always wrap a towel around themselves post-shower, making a skirt <2>, and then spending a lot of time at the sinks brushing their teeth and shaving (and talking loudly about sports, business or pussy). A subset of these sink people are "tappers" - every few moments you hear them making a "tap-tap-tap" noise; either they're rapping their toothbrush or razor against the sink edge, I don't care enough to observe which. The men's room has become a scene of some tension for me since about age 24, when I began gradually developing the condition known as "bashful bladder" - everything's fine if I can just do (or at least start) my business at the urinal without any company (even somebody in a stall can be problematic). But if someone comes in just as I've unzipped, and takes up a neighboring position, my urethra clenches up and it's hopeless. After the requisite interval I flush, wash & go; then return shortly & take a stall (like I should've done to begin with) to insure relief.

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<1>Muzak being a specific product, which is recordings produced specifically "to be heard but not listened to". It's generally not available in stores but only through the service which "pipes it in". But "Easy Listening" is almost identical (Mantovani, Ray Conniff, etc) - what people call "elevator music". Back

<2>Instead of just going naked Back