1323

Okay, enough ancient history.

Welcome developments on campus this week. The main building of Hamilton Library finally re-opened on Monday, days short of the five-month anniversary of the Flood. They have only a fraction of the computers they had before the Flood, but space and tables are available so I'd guess there will be more eventually.

Far less significant, but certainly welcome: they have finally refurbished wooden benches in several areas. Many of them were literally falling apart, some dangerously enough that if you sat too far toward one end, you'd find yourself sitting on the ground. All the benches in the Secluded Grove have been upgraded.

One which didn't need upgrading is the one where I met and usually see Pogo. It also has some discreet graffiti from the Sleeptalker on it. Alas, this week it has been either too wet or threatening-to-be-wet for that bench to be a viable midday option.

Sightings. I saw the Handsome Statue for the first time in months. He always calls out a cheery "hi, Albert!" Less welcome sightings include the wretched Mongoose who is again dashing through the mall checking the pay phones for coins and the dreadful False Prophet whose year-long exile from campus seems, alas, to have ended.

I received, indirectly, something of an olive branch from the Black Hole, an email address for one of the "counselors" whom I could contact to negotiate a future there ... or something. I gave it much thought but decided not to follow through. I'm much happier with my floor at the Dark Corner than I ever was at the Black Hole and if for some reason that becomes inaccessible, I suppose Dame Fortune will lead me to an alternative.

She usually does.

1324

What next at Hamilton Library? Now a notice says they have an "arsonist" and one has to sign in at the security desk when entering. I'm not quite sure how that will stop anyone from going off into a corner and setting books on fire, even less sure why anyone would want to do such a thing.

It has been a very wet and windy beginning to April, but there have been hours of sunshine now and then. The tedious begging bowl routine on Public Radio seemed even more tiresome than usual when listening for the latest news from Rome, and I skipped Rosenkavalier except for the beautiful final half hour because I didn't want to hear it with those begging intermissions.

The news from Rome. Well, as I said on hawaiithreads.com, although I certainly didn't agree with many of his policies, I do think John Paul II was one of the great men of the 20th century. I was saddened by news of his death, but grateful he was allowed to escape with relative speed and grace.

What a nightmare it must be for security people in Rome, the upcoming funeral.

I don't often read collections of short stories, and Jeffrey Archer is one of the few contemporary exceptions to that. His Twelve Red Herrings is excellent and I especially enjoyed the final story in the book where he provided four possible endings. Take your choice. Clever and amusing.

I don't suppose I can offer four different possible endings for the Tales. Well, I could, but doubt they'd be amusing.

1325

I was sitting on a sheltered bench in the sunset area since it was frequently drizzling. The Sleeptalker walked past, looked at me with a smile, a grin, or a smirk. It was so unexpected and happened so quickly, I'm not sure how to accurately define the look. And he kept on going, didn't return. How very peculiar.

A collector's item. An issue of Star magazine without Brad Pitt on the cover! However, he does get the main part of Us magazine and a small but absolutely wonderful photo on People's cover. He's cellophane. (Need to know your Cole Porter songs to understand that.)

The tedious fund-raising drive on Public Radio ended on Wednesday evening, thank the gods. Really quite impressive, raising half a million dollars in one week. So I can settle back and enjoy the programming for another six months, if I survive that long.

Considering how lethal this Aries is being, can't blame me for doubting. The Pope, Saul Bellow, Prince Rainier.

(An Albert as a European monarch again ... is this an omen. Okay, I know, not exactly what one would call a major monarch, but even so.)

-----

Postscript:
A tabloid cover tells me there is a "battle" between Albert and Caroline for the crown.

Of course, another tabloid cover tells me the CIA has a talking cat who is going to be a spy in Iran.

Go for it, Caroline! Go for it, pussycat!


1326

Dorothy arrived at Andy's factory dressed up, wearing black gloves, her Great Dane on a leash -- opened a case, pulled out a gun and fired a shot at Marilyn Monroes stacked deeply. Then left.

From Felix's comments after seeing a television documentary on Ray Johnson.

HA! Well done, Dorothy!

Her lower East Side apartment in Manhattan was second only to the Sistine Chapel as one of the most awesome environments I've ever experienced. There was not a surface in the place which wasn't covered with intricate, delicate collage.

Felix wrote that he wished I had been there to watch the documentary with him. I wish I had seen it, too, and would certainly love to see Felix again. But I am not sure about "there". Any place which is still getting snow this long after Easter is not really where I'd care to be.

The Aries New Moon seemed to have a lot of Full Moon about it. In the sunset bench area, a young man arrived, sat not far away and was just incredibly animated as he changed clothes and fussed around with this and that. Of course, I watched him, especially when he was shirtless, as I was listening to a splendid Prairie Home Companion, live from New York City. When he finally got himself together, he walked over and gave me a bag of "Hershey Kisses". [!!!]

1327

I wish you a birthday full of beautiful boys (or, even better, with *the* beautiful one).

Splendid birthday wish. Alas, *the* one did not appear. Although I, as usual, saw several on campus, there was only contact with one who approached and asked to buy a cigarette for fifty cents. He explained that he is trying to quit smoking so doesn't dare buy a pack because "I'd smoke it all in two hours". I would have just given him the cigarette (even if he appeared to be underage and I would be subject to a fine), but he insisted on giving me the money.

Nice contrast from the anti-tobacco fascists who are getting worse and worse on campus. I've been scolded twice this week for smoking, have had to change my usual early morning hangout to Grove Two. (It isn't secluded, is used by lots of people, mostly smokers.) Alas, it's only viable in dry weather. Sheltered benches where one can smoke are really too rare on the Manoa campus.

I had another wannabe room-mate at the Dark Corner. Sheez, even older than I. If I'm going to have a room-mate there, I at least want a cute young man. As with Camilla, I made it clear to this one that his presence wasn't especially welcome and he hasn't returned.

That neighborhood is very quiet at night except for the occasional midnight surfboard freak who clatters around. Fortunately, the terrain is not very interesting or challenging, so they usually only linger for fifteen minutes or so. Had one of those the night before the birthday, was grateful when he finally rolled off to more interesting places.

A fellow Jeffrey Archer fan, evidently, at the State Library because I found another collection of short stories, I think called A Long Story Cut Short, which was a delight. He does relish quirky endings. And at the dollar-book shelves I found a Jonathan Kellerman I hadn't read before, The Murder Book, and Blood Test which I may have read but if so, sufficiently in the past for me to have forgotten it. And then Braun's The Cat Who Smelled a Rat. I do love that series, notice there is a new one in hardcover.

Resist, resist, wait for the paperback. Enough money problems without being silly. The wretched supermarket at the mall has raised the price of my favorite beer by ONE DOLLAR! Greedy buggers. So it's either switch brands (since the other options haven't been increased) or take a bus to a different store. I switched brands, at least for the first brew of the day.

Now I hear the tobacco tax is going up considerably this summer.

Leave my vices alone!

1328

"What are you doing with all those newspapers?" "I lay on them," the Gypsy Boy said. Not correcting his grammar, I asked, "you don't read them?" "I read them, and then I lay on them."

A rare visit to the mall by the Gypsy Boy. He isn't a shopping cart person but might as well be, given the number of plastic bags and strapped stuff on his bicycle. He's incredibly unchanged from those days, years ago, when I first encountered him at the Cloisters, looks exactly the same.

At least I remembered his Tales name (never knew his real one). Not only have the Tales gone on so long that characters are dying, but ones from earlier Tales who disappeared and then return ... well, I can't remember either their real names or their Tales name. And there have been two recently, both members of the old sunset Beach Park gatherings. One said he's been on Maui, the other one mentioned someone else from that crowd who is in prison again. When I see the Sleeptalker, I can describe that one and am sure the Sleeptalker will know who I'm talking about.

I tried scanning some Tales from those days and was so horrified by the angst over the Sleeptalker in them that I abandoned the project.

The end of Aries 2005. It certainly was an historic one, a papal funeral, a royal wedding (of sorts), a royal funeral, a Vatican conclave. Personally, it was really unexceptional. I am not complaining, especially when remembering some past Aries.

A quiet weekend, highlighted by a splendid performance of Magic Flute from the Met on Saturday, and that luxury of a little extra sleep at the Dark Corner. Yes, being able to sleep without concerning myself about what time it is, more of a luxury than the actual added moments in dreamland.

So, Bull of the Rooster, what are you going to show me?

-----

the tales