[[groovy musics: neutral milk hotel, wobbly palace, johnny cash, cowboy folk songs, gloria deluxe]]

11:20 a.m. // 18 September 2003

I have been trying to play my new Palace record that I got from the new record store at Prairie & Welch. I was really happy to find it but turns out it's a bit warped; it plays all wobbly. I don't want to return it though, because (1) the record store just opened up, for chrissakes!, and (2) I bet it's out of print. uhh... the last couple songs play all right. I'm going to try to press the record under my heavy book of Life magazines from the '40s.

On Tuesday I went to see "Comic Release" at the UNT Art Gallery, twice. If you have not seen it yet, why NOT?! It's leaving this week, then Part 2 shows up next week. I liked looking at the page from Jimmy Corrigan because you can see the original blue pencil sketches underneath the ink. There's also two Kochalka pieces and one by Takeshi Murakami, and there's a simple drawing by Joe Sacco that might or might not be in Palestinian territory. I like the Kochalka one where he explains why he draws his daily life. I can see why someone would get a tattoo of a frame from it.

I went with Hunter after lunch at Terra Pherma (wow! the marinated tofu was really good for some reason!) and then I made Dwayne go in the evening because it was the last night he could see it.

They have a table with zines for perusing. But you have to wear white gloves to touch them so you don't get your damaging skin oils all over the pages. Wearing gloves to read zines is the antithesis of zine culture. Zines are about making content -- no matter what it is, from complex, previously unvoiced political commentary to the mundanities of your daily life rendered in comic form -- accessible to anyone. Dirty hands or not.

That said, I could have spent a whole day at that table. There was only one piece there that I actually had and only a few that I'd heard about previously. I liked the obvious one-off -- torn bits of bar napkin, drawn on in Sharpie and held together with a coffee stirrer.

My friend b.p. wrote me this, which is nicer and sadder and truer than I can describe:

"While no one stays in one place forever, or even for an instant, you've got a good thing going, at least it would seem.  A good livable town that supports, likely subconsciously or accidentally, the means of allowing a lot of independent minded people to figure out for themselves how to live well while young.  And yeah that all depends on the people you meet and what you make of it, and you can find it elsewhere, but why run in circles?  When you can learn, you might as well grow, somewhere with roots, other shade trees, and helpful squirrels.

"Because then the smack.  Once you give it up it's gone, and it never comes back.  Atomization and isolation drills, forever.  It always amazed me how many people went back to their hometowns after college, but in a way I can understand it for more than the typical reasons everyone thinks about.  So anyhow, check things out and plant the flag.  Or pick it up and carry it elsewhere, but make sure you're the one deciding."


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