Commission Music

Commission Music
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Monday, 16 May 2005

Today's lesson is about making assumptions

If you make an ASSUMPTION, you make an ASS out of U and MPTION

Wednesday night, my last night in Middletown, Andrew told me that I was the only California he knew who actually left CA except to go to NYC. He said that Californians call the rest of the country "flyover states." He was offended by this. Alas, I have something of this prejudice in me. I said something about Chicago and Michigan being nifty. He told me that Minneapolis was way more progressive than any costal city in having more co-ops, etc. I nodded and spent the last few days thinking about this while driving out westward as quickly as possible.

I acknowledged as I drove that the big cities of the midwest are indeed impressive and worthwhile. If one can judge by radio (I think you can), then some of the midwestern cities are more culturally enlightened than San Francisco which has only one extremely crappy classical station.

I also thought a lot about why Californians are dismissive about the middle of the country. I'll post these ideas later. But, I read an article someplace recently, maybe in The Nation, maybe in Salon.com about how the plains are de-populating. And I was thinking about how very red state they were. And about Lynne Cheney's dreadful novel Sisters and Wyoming. And I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that eastern inland states were probably much more interesting and worthwhile than western inland states. And then my car broke down in the great plains. When I make uninformed assumptions, sometimes providence steps in to correct them.

Ok, so I had angst about whether Saturday's mechanic would have been nice to me if I had been obviously gay. My brain has been harmed by bad roadfood. To wit:

  • I look butch
  • I have facial piercings
  • there is a bumper sticker on my car which says "biodiesel dyke"

earth to celeste . . .

The town I have been staying in these last two days is a university town. It is bigger than Middletown, but without the nearness of other towns. The downtown is charming. There are good lattes available downtown. The town is hip, despite being small and isolated.

Tonight, I went and got dinner at a chain restaurant next to my hotel. They gave me two pizzas for reasons that are beyond my understanding. So I gave the extra one to the guy sitting next to me at the bar. I then got included in the conversation going on next to me for a few moments. It was two guys and a woman. She was checking out another woman in the bar area. The woman near me had a pony tail and eye shadow. I have no gaydar whatsoever. Neither does she. She told a story about pulling up next to a woman at a stoplight in Texas and hitting on her. The target got upset and peeled out when the light turned green. The guy next to me said, "Well, it's Texas. It's the bible belt down there." I almost burst out laughing. But I did not. I said, "You just hit on random chicks?" She said, "Well, she was hot!" I opened my mouth to get my mack on. "Well, you're pretty hot yourself!" I almost said. Then I remembered that I have a girlfriend and closed my mouth again. I was then excluded from the conversation, having merely looked incredulous for the last few moments. Maybe they thought I was a homophobe.

I sat next to a Nebraskan who made a comment about Texas being not as liberal. I hope that my car gets fixed tomorrow, because I think I have learned a valuable lesson about regionalism. I get it now, I hope. I thank providence for the opportunity to be disabused and I hope providence releases me to a westward fate.

also: I could have totally scored.

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1 comment:

rgable said...

I can't speak for the lesbian part, but I know from experience that in both Michigan and Indiana, classical music radio is superior to that in the "enlightened" Bay Area. I could name half-a-dozen public radio stations in those states that play a significant amount of real and interesting classical music.

Robert Gable
http://rgable.typepad.com/aworks