have you got any magic tricks?

Friday, January 17, 2003
@ the dorm room | 11:45 PM

If I could just breathe out
I could always breathe back in

     I have a habit of trying to see the full picture. In my mind, I’ll pull back — as if my point-of-view were that of a motion picture camera — and view things from slightly above and slightly to the side. I do this to Austin and to St. Edward’s University and everywhere. I try to imagine all the ant-sized people crawling along the sidewalks and nerd-trails and streets and blocks. Buildings sit motionless like battleships seen from the shore.

I don’t look for patterns, answers or explanations.

I was starting to see all the worst in life
I’ve got to move sides

     The first week of the Spring semester has ended. My schedule currently looks something like this:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (50 minute classes):

English Comp. & Rhet. II Honors
Math for Liberal Arts Majors (Stupid People)

Tuesday and Thursday (1:15 classes):

Issues of Social Justice (Honors Program class)
Intro. to Computing and Problem Solving
Turn-of-the-Nineteenth Century/Early Modern Novel
Underst. and Apprec. the Arts: Fine Art

I took the CLEP test for English Comp. II the day before classes started. Hopefully I’ve passed it and will be able to drop the class as soon as I get the scores back.

So far I enjoy the classes. No complaints, anyway.

I was starting to think that I couldn’t fight
I’ve got to fight, I’ve got to fight . . .
Just not in the way I once thought right.

     I’m really enjoying the Issues of Social Justice class. I did expect more from the “honors” students, but I’ve found that my standards are regularly too high (no matter the person or the situation: classmate, beloved, friend; academic, romantic, friendship, et cetera). The first day of class a kid said he agreed with racial profiling because it works sometimes. I replied, “That’s easy for a young white boy to say” and “There will always be a Timothy McVeigh.” He didn’t like me much after that. The second day of class, a couple of kids (a boy and a girl) both agreed that illegal immigrants are stealing American jobs. I had to point out that you can’t steal a job that no one else is willing to take.

It’s a been an unintentionally musical week. I suppose every week is musical for me I just don’t usually notice it. Just the regular course of events.

At lunchtime on Monday, I walked into the campus coffeeshop and found a guy and girl playing. They were both playing guitar with the girl singing. The guy’s playing reminded me a bit of New Orleans John’s jazzy/R&B pickin’. I can’t say I’m very good at classifying music and I won’t attempt here. But I enjoyed it. Certainly the best I’ve heard on campus yet. Honestly. It was such an odd time to hear them there, too, I thought.

The coffeeshop was full but no one seemed to be listening. I sat down at a table in front of them and listened intently while waiting for my food for the five or ten minutes they played before the singer’s next class. They were quite good. I thought,They should really play Ruta Maya. Open mic., at least, because I’d like to hear them again. If Trey (the Ruta Maya booking guy) has a musical cell in his brain (debatable) he’d stick them in a weekly showcase with Michelle Solberg, definitely.Soon, they finished up, I (seemingly alone) clapped and they introduced themselves (Aimee and Clay) and announced they’d be playing at B.D. Riley’s on Sixth Street on Friday. I made note of it.

The next day, after class and before heading to Target to buy school supplies, I looked up the B.D. Riley’s site to make sure they were playing on Friday. (I’d been a bit struck by them the short time I heard them, what can I say? I was interested in hearing a real set.) Sure enough, the site confirmed that one Aimee Bobruk was playing. I headed out to Target.

I was supposed to meet Brian at Ruta Maya after class but made it there a bit late (not regretting missing the poetry open mic.) due to my stop at Target. I walked in and who’s at the bar but Aimee Bobruk! I introduced myself, informed her that I’d heard her show at the campus coffeeshop the day before and enjoyed it and that I was planning to try to make her show at B.D. Riley’s on Friday. She thanked me and introduced me to a couple of friends. Later, while ordering, I told Clay the same (he didn’t seem quite as receptive to my meaningless, non-practicing musician praise. Oh well) and he informed me that they’d already played. Damn.

On one of my trips to my car to take a hit (Brian kept “forgetting” to give me integral parts to the one-hitter, like, say the pipe), Aimee pulled me aside and asked my name again and this time my major (“Oh, a writer.” “Don’t call me that, you might jinx me.” Okay, so I couldn’t think of anything else to say.), introducing me to a couple more people (whom I’d see perform later in the night and, for the most part, think were rather good, too).

Brian, on the other hand, had seen them play. That was something. I was happy for that. He said they’d introduced themselves on the non-existent Ruta Maya stage as Aimee and the Dot Dot Dots, which we both thought was quite a good name. The more high I got, the better the name sounded, too. At one point in the evening I was convinced it would make a great title for some romantic comedy-style film about a girl going through tons and tons of guys looking for Mr. Right. I didn’t say it was an original idea, I said it was a high idea.

The majority of the rest of the Ruta Maya open mic. that night was fairly decent, too. We’re used to seeing really shitty bands play at Ruta. Quite the surprise. One guy, Brother Machine, even had free CDs out a copy of which Brian and I each picked up. You have to love a guy who sings a song entitled “Fuck You.”

On Wednesday night I went to Cafe Mundi to listen to Matt the Electrician, whom Annie has been seeing weekly for Satan knows how long. He and the other guys who play regularly on Wednesday nights there are all good. I enjoyed it. I really liked that he played two Decemberists songs for Annie. Mmm.

Thursday night was a wash when it came to music, really. Good for other things, though. But I did let Brian know that I planned to hit B.D. Riley’s to see Aimee play the next day.

Tonight, Brian and I met up at B.D. Riley’s for Aimee and Clay’s gig. They were quite good. Remembered us. Aimee made a comment from stage about a writer of the great American novel or some such being in the crowd. She’s going to jinx me yet if I don’t do it myself. (Kidding.) I enjoyed their show and I was happy to, of course, be supporting them. I felt bad that more of the band’s friends didn’t show up (though a few more did later in the evening). Just can’t rely on friends any more. I’m also happy that I made the autonomous decision to see them play because I enjoyed their music and not because of some obligation of friendship. Though I’d certainly see them play for that reason alone, too.

We also saw Revy, or, I’m sorry, Tucker Livingston at B.D. Riley’s briefly. He’d come to make an appearance at Aimee’s show (they played at Cactus Cafe together). Hadn’t really had much of a conversation with him since British George was in town drinking every tap dry and charming the girls with offenses spoken in an accent. Aimee later informed us that Revy was her sort-of performance guru or god or something. No matter what, it’s a rather scary idea, to me. But what do I know? I don’t perform. I write (sometimes).

Hm. Lets see. I also pulled out an old Rainer Maria CD today and started listening to it. I’ve been enjoyed it. Strangely enough.

As for Aimee’s music, I’m not going to write anything specific about it. I’m being very general at this point, at least until I hear more of it. She’s supposed to have an EP out soon. Then we can talk more specifically. Or, in my case, more about what I feel when I listen to it. I mean, what did you expect? A critical analysis of the composition of each song? Ha!

[It’s late. I’m unhappy with this entry, but I’ve been working on it for over an hour so I’m going to post it anyway. I probably won’t come back and fix anything so I won’t even say I might. We can only hope the next entry is better.]

*All italicized and centered lyrics by Rainer Maria.

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