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~Saturday~  I was up bright and early for a weekend day, but hey, I did get almost 12 hours of sleep. After a quick breakfast, I devised Thursday's and Friday's blog entries, and then emptied my stuffed-to-the-brim dishwasher.

I was pointed to an interesting article about pants sizes, which is one reason why I do not order clothing online, and why I'm am always very, very, uncomfortable when someone buys me an article of clothing:




This annoying ad keeps popping up on my Facebook home page. Really? Come on, Facebook. Am I really only meant to think about bananas when I see that ad?


The item on the right is my editorial comment on the ad.



The weather was too nice to get my exercise indoors, so I headed out for a walk around Lake Johnson, where you might remember I learned on my last walk that the dam part of the lake was closed, re-opening on September 1st. I took that to heart, and parked at the Lake Dam Road entrance, which indeed had been re-opened, although it looked a little different.

Entering there, and getting to the fork where you can go left in the direction of the dam, or to the right in the direction of the boathouse, the path toward the dam was still fenced off, and I thought, "WTF? I guess this entrance has opened back up, but you still can't make a complete loop around the lake." And with that, I set off in the direction of the boathouse.

Past the boathouse and over the bridge, I came to another fork in the road, and dare I say it??? "I took the road less traveled." Well, less traveled by me, at least. Which is to say, in the years I've been walking around this lake, I've never taken that path. Can you say, "I'm drawn to routine!"?

It turned out to dead end in a cute little sort of cul-de-sac overlooking the lake with a couple of picnic tables there and a grill. I looped back around out of there and back the way I'd come, over the bridge, past the boathouse, and back to the Lake Dam Road entrance. When I got there, I noticed that a sign said, "Alternate Path Around the Dam" (or something to that effect) that I didn't see coming in. I thought that path just went out to the road and what used to be the parking center, but it, evidently, keeps going beyond that and back into the park on the other side of the dam so that you can make a loop. Another mental note made.

I came to one point in my walk that really startled me, when I saw this:


The lake used to come up all the way to the front of this picture, and I first thought, "Has it been that dry lately?" and then I figured out that it must be due to having to drain the lake some to do work on the dam. At least I hope that's the case.



I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from the lake.

At home, in the drizzle, I whacked the hell out of a combination of bushes and weeds that annoyingly grow outside my kitchen window. It's a small area between my house and my deck, and along side my air-conditioner, that if I were into gardening would be a nice little place to plant.

But I'm not. So it ain't.

And I hate it.




Joe arrived at my place at 6:45 as planned and we headed to Carrboro for tonight's season opener of The Monti. We got to yammering on the way, and before I knew it I'd come to the 40/85 split and I thought, "Oh f*ck! I have way passed the Chapel Hill exit."

What ensued was me being a total spaz, including but not limited to:

  1. Being short with Joe who already wasn't feeling well

  2. Creating a perfect storm between my impatience, my can't-stand-to-be-late complex, and my having the tickets for our whole group

  3. Not getting to Suzanne and Robert with the tickets for our group in time for the opening of the doors for general seating
However, it all worked out. We finally all entered together, and easily found four seats together, which was my big concern.

Tonight's season opener of The Monti included five storytellers: Janet Babin, Belle Boggs, George Singleton, David Gessner, and the headliner, Greg Taylor.

(Click image to read Greg Taylor news clip.)


Without surprise, Greg Taylor's story was incredibly compelling and "real." For those of you who don't know him, he's a local guy who a few months back became the first person ever to be exonerated by an "Innocence Commission" for a crime for which he was found guilty, but wasn't. He talked about what it's like to lose almost 20 years of your life, and to be re-introduced into a society with hundreds of buttons and thousands of choices constantly barraging you—especially after being in a place where you had little to no choices to make day in and day out, year in and year out.

My favorite storytellers, in order of most to least were: Belle Boggs (overcoming her fear and paralysis after witnessing a gang-related shooting in the parking lot of her LA apartment), David Gessner (while working in a bookstore, pretty much assaulting one of his customers), George Singleton (how a distinct series of events in his life led him to being the writer he is today, staring off with his dad grabbing his 8-year-old hand in church, removing him and his mother, and saying, "Don't you ever go to church again in your life"), and Janet Babin (her experience in not getting her what she considered her dream job at the time).

Right before intermission, the emcee, Jeff Polish, made an arcane announcement about one of the past storytellers at The Monti, Sean Rowe, who recently passed away under shrouded circumstances. This article, "Sean Rowe: New Times Writer/Author/Poet Is Dead" is interesting, and has some interesting comments posted to it, one of which declares his death a suicide. I thought perhaps that Robert and I might have seen one of his stories at a past Monti, but I didn't recognize either of the two posted to the website: "Breasts!" and "Jail Food."

I hate to note that The Monti is starting to lose its luster for me. It's becoming too big and too commercial, not to mention that when we first went the tickets were $10, and for tonight's show they were $20. And other ways of making money are creeping in, such as the selling of t-shirts, baked goods in the lobby during intermission for an organization raising money, and a donation on your way out for some scholarships awarded by The ArtsCenter of Carrboro.

I also wasn't crazy about someone going around during the intermission with a microphone asking us what we thought of the show so far or if a story reminded us of one of our own experiences, even though they did say we could just brush off the person if we didn't want to speak. That's just awkward. I do like the idea of that however, but if they're going to do it, I'd prefer they set the person up somewhere and say, "If you're interested in sharing, go over and see so-and-so in the corner."

The Monti used to be a nice, quaint, little niche sort of event in downtown Durham. Oh well.



Back in Raleigh, Joe and I met Glenn out at Flex, where it was "Trance Dance" night. As expected nobody was dancing, so it was basically just the trance part. Joe still wasn't feeling well and he left early.

I was talking with Glenn and Randy K., when another Randy I know (but don't know his last name) came in, and he and I caught up on his recent trip up the east coast. Also, he had a lady friend tell him earlier tonight that she was going to "The Monti," but he thought she meant she was going to the play, "The Full Monty," which was kind of funny.

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