18 July 2002
In case you've wondered where all the tall men in the Bay Area are, I know now: they were in front of me at the They Might Be Giants concert.
It wasn't a problem. I could still see the stage. But it was kind of startling to have people Timprov's size or taller around. It was normal for home, not normal for here. Strange. Also the crowd was very male and very white, but not quite so geekly as I would have anticipated.
The show was at the Fillmore, which is supposedly a classic venue. My dominant impression of the Fillmore was: cool chandeliers, no seats. The seats were the handicapped section. So we stood for quite some time. Fine during the show, a little bit annoying during the 45 minute break between the opening act and TMBG. (Also we jumped up and down a bit for "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and the like. But mostly we stood for hours.) We learned that the secret ingredient in Red Bull is Tourette's, and that Keith Moon and Animal from the Muppets are the same person. Useful stuff to know.
We had a good time, but I really don't like Iggy The Light Man. The guy who ran the lights? Worst job ever. Constantly shining different lights into our eyes. Bleah. Flansburgh made a joke about how it was the seizure-inducing signal, but we just kind of looked at each other and nodded, yeah, seizures coming along here any minute. The opening act, as is the job of opening acts, sucked mightily. She only wished she had Jewel's poetry writing talents. (And if you're saying to yourself, "Jewel isn't a very talented poet" -- yes. I know. This chick touched on every "I'm 24 and I want to be deep" bad lyric theme. Every single one.) The Band of Dans was really cool, though, and I was impressed. (They Might Be Giants consists of John Linnell, John Flansburgh, and their backup band, all three of whom are named Dan. Really talented backup band.)
So. Generally a fun show, not as good as last year's BNL concert, but still worth going. Glad we did.
I did not, in fact, get the tickets in the mail yesterday. I called TicketMaster and gave the woman there my confirmation number. She started reading it off. "Okay, so They Might Be Giants at the Fillmore on July the Sevent -- that's today." "Yes," I said. "Do you have your tickets?" "That's precisely why I'm talking to you," I said. It was not at all a big deal to pick them up from the Will Call window -- no hassle at all. So. I did get a letter from Liz in the mail, and a slightly torn package of newspapers from my grandparents, and a package from Amazon. For my birthday, I assume. It's marked "delivery confirmation," but the mailbeing did not at all confirm that I was home to receive it. He just rang the crap out of the doorbell (like a little kid with a prank), set it down, and left. I was sitting on the couch near the door, so I opened the door before he was away down the stairs, and he grunted and gestured at the ground where he'd left my package.
At least it wasn't a ham sandwich. But I don't think I'm allowed to tell that story in public.
I finished reading the Bettelheim yesterday, and not a moment too soon. I wanted to keep some nonfiction in the rotation, to balance the vast fictional wanderings of The Ground Beneath Her Feet, so I picked up Magnus Nodtvedt's Rebirth of Norway's Peasantry. He seems to love the Norwegian language, and so do I. I sit here and read and shape some of the words with my lips. I savor the vowels. They bump around in the mouth in such a charming way. I'm also charmed by some of the naming conventions. The first monastery in Norway was named Munkeholmen. Monk home. The second was Munkeliv. Place where monks live. Forget about saint thises and thats. What have we got here? A home. For whom? For monks. All right then.
Made me feel perfectly justified in running the word "suburb" through a Finnish translator and picking my favorite of the options to be the name of my fictional Helsinki suburb.
Nodtvedt's philosophy seems to be, never use an English word when a Norwegian one (with the English in parentheses) will do. Which is fine with concepts like bønder, when he's trying to emphasize the different features of the people he's talking about from the more general terms peasant or farmer. But when he's using "jarl (earl)" repeatedly as a direct equivalence, it seems like he could just say earl. Or figure out that we'd gotten the concept of jarls down. Either way. I was glad that he provided the Norwegian for "ignorant fraud," though. That's good to know. And there's nothing like religious schisms for words like Zinzendorfianism, fun to say in any language.
Well...so. I feel a bit as if I was sent for and couldn't come, but it's not too bad. I managed to sleep in until 7:45 this morning, and I've been wandering around here in my pajamas. Frankly, I'm in no hurry to remedy that situation. I can work in my pajamas. There's really no reason not to, for now. I have to get showered and dressed sometime before I head up to Berkeley for the writers' group thing tonight, but that's a good bit later. For now, I'm going to find out more about the Zinzendorfians, and then work on the book. Take care. And go wish Liz a happy birthday!
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