I get knocked down, but I get up again.

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This is the perfect antidote to the day I’ve had.

They Might Be Giants covers Chumbawamba, via Matt, et al.

is still marching on

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I found my notebook. I didn’t want to make the losing of it real so I didn’t tell anyone until I asked Inkbot this morning if she had seen it, but she hadn’t. I went to my car and opened the trunk for the forty-fifth time in the past week and took everything out and put everything back in and then just on a whim opened up one of the big boxes of the MSG‘s books that I was supposed to sell at a used bookstore months ago but hadn’t yet and the journal was inside.

I packed away my desk toys at work, and I took down my comics and quotes and signs from my office door. Two more days. There are a lot of questions for me. I am trying to field them all, but I’m slowing down, like my batteries are running out but the light is still shining. Fainter now, fainter still.

People are coming into the library, saying, “You’re still here?” and that makes me chuckle sadly. Once the announcement has been made, and the party has been thrown, people just expect it to be over. I can’t blame them. This is sort of like the living together after the breakup part. More than sort of. The library and I are divvying up our things, and I’m trying to focus on how I built it up instead of how I broke it down while picking up every other thing and inspecting it for memory contamination.

A point is reached: that moment when you glance over at the wilting flowers and grasp the murky vase and dump it all out. A second before, you were perfectly happy with those flowers — gardenias, were they? or mums? — and you liked how the vase caught the light in the sun. And a second later, those flowers are dead and the water’s down the drain. Two seconds separate, that’s all, don’t you ever forget it. It’s a breath of time, a sneeze, a glance, a bad choice, a simple lie.

But it’s not all sad. The accordion group staying on campus this week makes me happy. It’s almost like They Might Be Giants are sending me off by proxy. I’ll walk across the street to the dining hall to get some generic pasta entree, and there’ll be 20 people in the conference room, playing accordions, playing them as they have always played them, aware or not of the beautiful absurdity of their instrument.

I wonder how much it would cost to have them parade me down the main drag on my last night there. You can’t tell me that wouldn’t be a bitchin’ way to go out. Twenty accordions and me, belting out “TIME! Is marching ON! And TIME!”

(minute-long pause, the only sound of 42 feet on asphalt)

“Is still marching ON!”

Yes.

Richard’s on Richards

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I realize I’m way overdue for a trip summary of Vancouver and Victoria, especially a review of the TMBG show we attended.

You know how songs just stick with you while you’re on vacation, and listening to them later can immediately transport you to the best memories of that trip?

Thanks to tmbg.com, you can peek inside my mental scrapbook: here’s Their soundcheck for the Vancouver show, “Richard’s on Richards”.

and we’ll race to the bottom of a glass

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I’d always thought it was cheesy when someone said to me, “They’re more than my favorite band; they define part of who I am.”

Not anymore.

I don’t want to change your mind
I don’t want to think about your mind
They say love is blind
I don’t think you’re blind
You don’t want to understand
And I don’t want to shake your father’s hand
And walk in the sand
And act like a man

I get on the bus
And ride past our stop
And though I’m late
I can’t get off
I just can’t bear to tell you some lies
And narrow your eyes
Narrow your eyes

We’ll take back everything we said
Split up all the things and move ahead
Forgot how you said
We’ll split the side off the bed

I get on my bike
Ride down our block
Ride through the world
Through the green lights
But when I think of all your advice
I narrow my eyes
narrow my eyes

I don’t want to change your mind
I don’t want to think about your mind
They say love is blind
I don’t think you’re blind

I get on the bus
Ride past our stop
And though I’m late
I can’t get off
I just can’t bear to tell you some lies
And narrow your eyes
Narrow your eyes

Now let’s toast the sad cold fact
Our love’s never coming back
And we’ll race to the bottom of a glass
So narrow your eyes
Narrow your eyes

Narrow your eyes

we rule

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I’m beginning to understand that it’s foolish to tell your friends anything you don’t want to be teased about later. The fellow I went to the museum with on Halloween now has two different nicknames, courtesy of my friends, and neither one of them is terribly flattering. Although they’re both pretty humorous, and I need an easy way to refer to him for the purposes of this entry.

So last night, I picked up the MSG (that’s a “metrosexual” reference, not a monosodium glutamate one) from work and we ran a quick errand, then headed to A Clean, Well-Lighted Place for Books for the in-house performance and book-signing by They Might Be Giants. They are on tour, promoting their children’s book, called Bed Bed Bed. While on the way, Jason called to make sure that (a) I knew about the show and (b) I was on my damned way. It took me about a year to park, of course, but David called and chatted with the MSG while I circled many city blocks. We were only a little late, but the place was packed. I saw David as soon as we entered and gave him a great big hug; I’m so glad he’s back from Germany because I missed him immensely.

With David and the MSG formally introduced, we settled in to watch Them play. I am fairly awful with remembering setlists or remembering to write them down, even, so I know I’ve forgotten something and it’s not in perfect order and good god people don’t hold me to some impossible standard while I’m vibrating with happiness:

  • Violin [missed this one, parking]
  • Impossible
  • Bed, Bed, Bed
  • Cyclops Rock [creepy Peter Noone version]
  • Doctor Worm
  • Robot Parade
  • Drink!
  • Stalk of Wheat
  • Wicked Little Critta
  • Why Does the Sun Shine?
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
  • Particle Man

I was, of course, bouncing all around and yet trying not to bump David or the MSG into any of the other audience members, which was a trick. I also felt weird about singing along, which I usually do, but since it was pretty quiet toward the back I thought my vocal stylings might impede the enjoyment of other fans of Them. So I stayed quiet except for random bits of squealing. While David has extensive experience with my spastic nature at TMBG concerts, the MSG does not, but he was quite amused by my excitement.

The MSG and I had planned on grabbing dinner afterwards, so we invited David to join us and he said sure. But before we were excused to tend to our whining stomachs, there were books to be signed! They had sold out of Their book already, so as the three of us stood in the absurdly long line, we looked for something else for me to buy to have signed. (I was perfectly happy having Them to sign my boobs, but that would have to be in truly indelible ink, and plus, there were a lot of kids there.) It was a miracle I found Jason in all that hoopla, but I did, and he came to stand with us in line and chat. I ended up finding a really strange book that I wanted Them to sign called This Book Will Change Your Life. It was very quirky and had funny illustrations and nice fonts, plus it had a page 223 that cracked me up. There are grid boxes on it and it says “Today Feel the Passage of Time: Tick every precious minute as it goes by and appreciate the true measure of time.” It reminded me of the song “Older” and so that was that.

The line … it was so long. But we were all patient bunnies and o, how we were rewarded for that! While we were in line, I got to meet Jason’s friend Casey and the MSG’s co-worker Chris. I saw FunkyPlaid’s friend Bryan there, but since the last time I saw him out somewhere and ran up and said hi, he had No Idea Who I Was, so I thought it might not be prudent to yell out his name across a crowded bookstore. I did not, regrettably, see anna or any of the LiveJournal TMBG fans, or maybe I did and I’m just horrible at recognizing people. I did see a gorgeous red accordion make its way to the Johns to be signed, and I hoped so hard it was anna’s.

When it was finally, FINALLY our turn, after we were all so terribly hungry and dehydrated and yet cheerful, I got my single, wonderful moment of Giantness:

we rule

we rule

Flans asked me TWICE if I was going to buy the book he was signing — on page 224, I might add, which was “Today Cut In Line”, oddly apropos — and I could only say, “Yes, of course!” Linnell flipped through the book, quite entertained, before signing on page 223. I couldn’t do much more than just grin like a maniac and stand there, but I think They are used to that by now.

After I bought my book, the three of us left and drove to Chai Yo for Thai food with Jason and Casey. I was in Hyper ‘Sted mode, of course, and was goofy and bouncy and chatty and generally insane. Everything we ordered was really nummy and the conversation was light and fun. I especially enjoyed getting to meet Casey, who is bright and funny and really charming. Brina called David in the middle of dinner, and I hogged the phone for a while before passing her off to the MSG. I wish she could have been there with us; I missed my Bee! But she was busy making us all ceramic vulvas for Christmas, so I suppose it’s for the best. Er. I think.

All in all, it was a spectacular night. I keep hitting the F11 key so that Exposé slides all my windows back and shows me my desktop, adorned with the staggering proof that we do, indeed, rule.