Dear Diary...

April 30, 2001

What did Mr. T say when the chicken shat on his foot?

"I pity the cock-a-doodle fool!"

April 27, 2001


I'll upload this picture to 00page soon…

Holy shit, I wish I could draw that well...

April 26, 2001

Gosh, how nifty. I learned yesterday that I can play with my pages at work; just pull up the text and file manage the puppies. So I did lots of little revisions… I never did find a pair of GMS Legion images on my hard drive, so I scanned one of Dave's and sketched Panthera separating two fighters, and put in Neal's new cover to Treasury 2, and made a new banner advertisement…

Oh yeah! The official 2000 AD online site goes up next month, and mah own li'l pages are going to be part of the record. For tales of thrills past, my opinions will be recorded there for all 2000 AD visitors to see! And, as payment for my work, I get a GMS Legion banner on the official 2000 AD page! Huzzah!

(I still don't get why everyone on the planet doesn't read 2000 AD. It is, after all, the Galaxy's Greatest Comic.)

In other news, I need money to go buy the new Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics albums. And I need some extra time to actually listen to them.

Also, both Dave Prosser and Deb have sites back online after recent unpleasantness. Go visit them on the POPocalypse web ring. You'll also see that I've joined a couple of others and jumped off some of the older ones.

The other nifty thing… in a few days, a brand-new, never-before-seen 8 page GMS Legion story will be showing up online. I'll make an announcement on the Legion eGroup soon!

April 24, 2001

All right, well, I think that my web page is now mostly back on track. Still no idea what happened to the big green announcements button, but it's not like any big chore to make a new one, and it's not like the announcements page is at all successful anyway, so it's not a breathtaking concern. The webring graphics are finally back, and a new li'l logo in the window. Now we just need to get Prosser's page back online ( shut down, apparently) and we'll be in business again.

I worked on links today, checking to make sure they all worked, etc. I did over half and got bored. I also contacted other webmasters to remind them I've moved. Yawn… that is the most tedious darn thing in the world. Maria McKee's site is back up, however.

April 23, 2001

And yes, Julian did have a very happy birthday party, thanks very much! Thanks to everyone who came or sent regrets. We were hoping to augment it with a trip to Six Flags this coming weekend, but we've had to put that back a bit since Deb, whose employment was delayed, only starts her job tonight.

Meanwhile, work continues on GMS Legion Treasury Edition Volume 2. This reprints Books 4-6 of the series, with a spiffy new color cover by Neal, and with 25-30 redrawn pages and a couple of new ones. Picking pages to redraw for this one is kind of difficult, since when I originally drew them, I mostly had the characters looking right, but my panel composition was uniformly lousy, with way too much negative space. I also had an irritating tendency towards people standing at attention, "shot" from too far away. I've tried to since pay attention to Jack Kirby critiquing Neal Adams for that problem: characters in comic books should be moving. Then there was a page in "School Rules" where I originally tried an experiment with no backgrounds and it looked awful. The new page is a substantial improvement. While I still hardly think of myself as a decent artist, I am astonished at how much better I've become in the last three years.

Much of the last few days have been spent somewhat less active than I could be. I've been playing with my kids a fair amount and reading, and I suppose that's more important in the long run.

Grrrrr! In the scant few minutes since I wrote that, Deb was informed that she can't start until Wednesday afternoon since her boss was in a wreck and everything's been rescheduled. So now the kids are going to Athens… apparently we'll go get them Sunday or something and Deb will work extra hours and stuff. Dagnabbit.

In other news, I found some erroneous information about a Fripp & Sylvian boot that I had been considering at Low Yo-Yo and got all "ooo! That's neat!" over it. Then I read more detailed information at some Robert Fripp bootleg site which corrected it. The boot Low Yo-Yo has isn't as good as the boot I thought it was and the "unreleased" track on it was, typically, the result of the idiot bootlegger not knowing what the name of the song was.

"I wish this day would hurry up and begin so that maybe it can end." -- not depressed, just bored stupid.

April 20, 2001

Moment of silence, if you don't mind, for Devlin's mother Myra, who died late last night in Charleston.

I'm alive again. Thanks for the calls and letters. Two people here at work actually noticed I was gone.

Here are some more amusing things people came to my pages looking for in the last week: (yeah? and why didn't ya place an order, ya FUCK?!) (seven variations of this… I'd never heard of the band Trane until people started hitting my site looking for their lyrics.)>

Plus people wanting nekkid pics of Lauren Graham and Shannon Stewart and Jodi Ann Patterson and Michelle Lintel… what, people can't just download 'em off Playboy's site? Or buy a frigging scanner and a magazine? I don't get it.

Friends last night was extremely funny, thanks to a recurring Barry White theme whenever anyone first locked eyes upon guest Denise Richards' character. It probably has run a few years too long (haven't these six made any other friends yet?), but every once in a while, the writers pull a great moment out of their hats. On the other hand, Deb guessed the Silly Putty gag way ahead of the show.

Ah, well, Gilmore Girls is back next Thursday. Last week's repeat of the break-up-with-Max show was just an awful tearjerker. Mr. Medina…what an ass.

April 18, 2001

I'm sick as a dog. Yesterday I slept for 20 hours. That's why I haven't been around.

April 16, 2001

Sick babies! Dehydration sucks! And so does constant laundering of sheets!

Well, more about that momentarily. First off, it's worth discussing what a great weekend I had before coming back to cities that aren't Athens. I dropped Deb and the kids at her folks' at 7 Friday, picked up Dave P., met Scott downtown and had a yummy dinner at Barberito's before going to see Set on Edge at the Bean'ry.

Set on Edge gave an energetic and very fun performance, opening with a goofy, but tight rendition of "Carry On My Wayward Son." Some of that energy got sapped away after the halftime mark when the band's former co-leader rejoined them for some sappy and glacial love songs, but they recovered nicely for a rousing finale. And it's always nice to see Shannon and Beth.

As the three of us left, we debated which band originally did "Wayward Son." At first I said Blue Oyster Cult, but settled on Boston. Prosser bandied Journey or Foreigner. We decided to see if anybody else knew. The first passerby we asked was en route to Boneshakers and wearing a suede jacket with no shirt and a red cowboy hat. (He was, after all, going to Boneshakers.) He didn't know, but a couple a few paces later did, and the guy seemed please as punch to be reminded. "Kansas...yeah! Kansas!"

A carload of teenage boys flagged us down on Washington St. "Where's downtown?" one said. "You mean the hotel? The Downtowner?" I replied. "No, downtown Athens!" "Ummmm... this is downtown," said Dave. Somewhat disappointed, the passenger then asked "You know where the strip clubs are?" Dave told them there was one. I told them it had a marquee. They didn't seem to know what a marquee was.

Low Yo-Yo was open, so we found all sorts of things there. Ran into Frank at the Engine Room. Had a shot of Pernod at the City Bar. I love this town.

The next day, I got up before Dave and flipped channels. Four pretty young girls in lingerie were prancing about on MTV. Come on, I'm only human. It turned out to be a documentary about the new cover of "Lady Marmalade" by Christina Aquilera, Li'l Kim, Mya and Pink, wherein they're all performing in skimpies at a peep show, not unlike Madonna's "Open Your Heart" but with less clothing and a red background. Christina A. wore the most clothes, but still less than Madonna had worn. She also wore purple eye shadow applied by someone who has no clue how to apply eye shadow, and her hair looks like an exploded poodle. Li'l Kim... I'm sorry, but small aggressive women with unpleasant expressions stomping around with two left feet in a white bra and panty set throwing money at the camera does nothing whatsoever for me. The other two were far more attractive and actually danced well. Whoever they are (Deb claims to like Pink), if this whole pop star thing doesn't work out for them, they've shown proof in this video that they can get jobs in a strip club with a marquee.

Dave and I had an early lunch at Paul's in Lexington, then I bought comic books, played and had a late lunch with Marie at the Mean Bean. I did not want to come back, particularly since Deb and the kids already came back to the Big Peach to do American Adventures with her family and I still hadn't read my comics. It therefore took hours to learn that Button Man III in 2000 AD has the greatest ending in a comic book ever.

But Sunday... Julian spent the afternoon of his birthday being sick. Ivy swiftly followed. Every couple of hours, Deb and I would be scrubbing carpet or removing bedsheets. Now, Ivy's figured out the toilet's purpose here. Perhaps she plans to become a sorority girl. She says "sick" and runs to the bathroom. Juju, on the other hand, sits stock still, knowing he's about to puke, wishing to somehow prevent it. I can't say that works.

April 12, 2001

It's early hours yet, and we're still looking into retail spaces, locations and small business grants and loans, but it looks quite possible that Deb and I will be starting a proper business by year's end - if not before - and opening a used record & CD store soon. Fingers crossed.

My head's already swimming with prices and possibilities. Maybe I'll offer bounties for CDs I particularly want. Let local artists know we want to work with them on commission. Sell boots. Hire experienced retail sales help part time and not indie kids. Maybe get an account with Diamond and stock 2000 AD. Put a big Jennifer Nettles poster in the window. Wait for Amy Ray to come kick my ass for not moving enough Daemon Records. Should be bliss.

Deb also got a new job delivering for Domino's in the nice Crabapple community that bridges Alpharetta and Roswell on the west side. The area includes Milton High School and some fool house built to look like a gnome's castle. It pays less than $6 an hour, but even that is more than Deb was bringing home "after day care," plus the manager assures her that customers in the region tend to tip quite well.

April 11, 2001

Incidents from customer service hell:

Them: "You said you were going to call me back and you didn't!"
Me: "No, ma'am, I said that underwriting was going to call you back and they didn't."

Me: "Do you agree that all the employees that we just listed are on that statement, and that the premiums I just read to you are correct?"
Them: "Oh yeah, uh-huh."
Me: "Then your amount due is 365."
Them: "Now where do you get that?"
Me: "If you add all of the premiums that we just listed, and which you said were correct, then the total is 365."
Them: "Well, that's not right. It should be 297."
Me: "Do you have a calculator? I'd be happy to hold while you add each of those premiums together…"
Them: "I don't care about the math! It should be 297."

Them: "I do supposed to have life insurance… I do suppose to have my children covered."
Me: "Oh, you do?"

Them: "Yeah, this policy was cancelled a year ago, well, I thought it was, but I sent a payment last month and you cashed it…"

April 10, 2001

It took longer than usual to get home yesterday because the MARTA bus broke down in the center lane of 400 between Northridge and Holcomb Bridge. We sat and waited for about 15 minutes for another bus to come pick us up. In a terrifying development that shows just how impatient and stupid every driver in this goddamn city is, picture the following:

On this stretch of 400, there are actually five lanes. This was just a few dozen yards after the fifth lane, an exit-only for Holcomb Bridge, on the far right, begins. Our bus ground to a halt in the third lane from the right. The bus that came to pick us up stopped, straddling the first and second lanes, since we would have to walk around the front of the bus and enter on its far side. Obviously and intelligently (hats off to MARTA), the driver wanted to ensure that we would be safe doing this dangerous rush hour stunt, and by blocking not just the lane he needed, but also the far right line, no cars would whiz past us.

No such luck. The drivers in the right lane, every one of them blowing their horns madly, still used the right lane as best they could, with tires in the emergency lane or off the road, rushing past us poor unfortunates like some insane death game. Any one of us might have been killed.

Less than an hour later, Deb narrowly avoided a head-on collision. She was retained by police for a short while because, after Deb swerved, the other driver did collide with the car behind Deb. The other driver was barrelling down the wrong side of the split highway at Windward Parkway at close to 50 mph.

I'm working customer service at work for a few weeks. One of their reps is out for a few weeks, so I'm taking calls from the most terminally stupid. The call volume is very, very slow compared to some of DialAmerica's craziest days on BellSouth - a "free caller ID" promo advertized during afternoon TV shows would easily swamp all 100+ reps, forcing supervisors on the phone while the center managers would abandon meetings to gaze in awe at a 300-person queue. Here, we have three reps and I take perhaps five calls an hour. However, I can't bring my Discman. This guarantees a slow day. On the other hand, if "they" like my work, it pays astonishingly well and would mean a substantial raise if I am asked to continue. Customer service here pays more than ABMs got in Athens.

Speaking of the Dial and ABMs, the legendary Athens deli Loco's has found some success in franchising and growing and one of my old bosses, Matt Martin, now runs his very own just up the road in John's Creek. There are a few Loco's in the Ettalanna region these days, but this is the one you should frequent since I like know the guy and stuff. Go have a "Biggest Thing We've Got" and you won't be disappointed!

Following Saturday's climb up and down Kennesaw Mountain, I started thinking about my health. I've already eliminated beef after reading some downright terrifying statistics about BSE. (And don't let the veggie groups scare you with terror tactics; go read some scientific facts from objective sources about just how long prions can linger in beef or in your own body without detection and what they will do to a human. An occasional hamburger just ain't worth the risk. There is no cure.) Anyway and regardless, I'm still overweight, thanks in no small part to medication and even greater part to me not exercising

So I've started working out again. The stair-cycles in the apartment weight room measure calories burned, so I started a very mild regimen - I know my limits and I know the dangers of jumping - and Sunday I burned 300 calories, which took right around 20 minutes, with the intent of going up just 10 calories each session, three times a week. This was spurred on by catching sight of myself in the bathroom mirror while working, shirtless, at Deb's computer Sunday, and realizing that I looked like nothing so much as an overripe pear.

That didn't stop Jealousy Queen from thinking something was up. "Is everything all right," she asked last night, ever so sweetly. "It's just that the last time you started taking care of your appearance, you left me." Ah-heh. No.

Call me a realist or a rationalist or a slave to logic, but if a three-month affair with someone I considered my soulmate and one of my closest friends resulted in about a year of utter fegging misery, then I have to question who could possibly have entered my life that might tempt me again. Admittedly, should Alyssa Milano, adopting the exact personality of Lorelai Gilmore, wave not just millions of dollars but a signed agreement to every court of the land and to God that she'd never hurt me in my face, the temptation would probably prove insurmountably strong and I think everyone knows it. Lacking any such level of temptation, however, I feel quite resigned that I am where I am and I'm not going anywhere. I sort of like my family and stuff and it ain't worth the hurt to look elsewhere.

(While I am there, let me also bitch to the world that, had one single solitary human entity anywhere on God's green earth said something that remotely resembled an acknowledgement of "Grant, you are okay about Victoria getting married, right?" [to which the answer would have been yes] then that would have been nice. While I'm at it, I'd like a pony.)

April 7, 2001

Well, what the heck happened? Geez, what a weird week.

A million billion phone calls to Earthlink/Mindspring after they yanked us failed to rectify anything. First, it seemed we hadn't paid when we had. Then, we were on the wrong plan and they were saying we weren't paying enough. Then, on April 4, the day after they pulled the account, they cashed a $50 check I sent them on February 13. Go figure. Anyway, I'm about 80% back to speed and aware of every broken link. I'm working on them.

Just remember: GO TO POPOCALYPSE. -- it's all you need to know!

I saw a sneak of the surprisingly good Josie & the Pussycats, a nasty indictment of the commercial pop machine which spawned the Backshit Bots and their ilk. It needed one more rewrite to get the cliches outta the script, and the ending is so test-audience friendly that it comes across as hollow and phoney, but it doesn't pull punches in making teens look like idiots. And Tara Reid is Melody. She pulls it off perfectly.

We climbed Kennesaw Mountain earlier today. It was hotter than I expected and I was not dressed for it. I had to carry Julian's exhausted butt over my shoulder for about half a mile. That really should have killed a calorie or two!

Now playing: Bryan Ferry: The Sting of El Ferranti

April 2, 2001

The film Pearl Harbor opens Memorial Day weekend. I know this because I have seen the trailer in front of every movie I have seen in the last four months. Overlooking my preference for having my teeth pulled over watching a Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay film, I'm sick to the gills over this trailer. Looks like a pile of jingoistic, super-patriotic, phony slush to me.

Go on back to the pop page or hit the diary page.

Pages maintained by Grant Goggans, update May 2001.