215: Lord Of The Bracelets
1/6/02 4:26 PM
Hello, you two faced weasels. I am going to have a bowl of cerial, and then I will return and start writing this mailing list.

Ladies and gents
against the fence
lance romañce here
gettin ready to type the type
of mailing list
with polka dots
and pin striped tips
now my trip to providence
is surly over
i'm back in Austin
trying to recover
from the wild
week I had
sleeping in the house
of my mom and dad
but all thats over
so now i'm takin a rest
i start a new job monday
and i want to be at me best
so i'm kicken back
asi'm writin you
the newest mailing list
for the lance romañce crew.

So let me tell you how my week went down
with a week long visit to ol' prov'dence town.

I left austin on
the 23rd of december
took the train to chicago
it was a trip to remember
it was 18 degrees
in the windy city
so I stayed inside
which was kind of a pitty
cause chago is
a pretty nice town
and sure would have liked to have
wondered around
but i couldn't
cause it was too cold
plus it was christmas eve
so ever thing was closed
but another train arrived
and I got inside
went to sleep
and enjoyed the arrived

I woke up the next morning
it was christmas day
I looked out the window
then what did i say?
i said "Its snowing on christmas
and damn, theres 2 feet of snow"
the train condutor said
"all aboard in buffalo"
it was snowing in buffalo
on christmas day
and thats all i
have to say.

Here is excerpts from my journal describing the rest of my trip:

Tuesday, December 25th 2001
Merry Christmas! I woke up this morning to find lots of snow! No school today, here in buffalo. Either due to snow or christmas.
A pretty sort of girl just got on here. She is sitting in front of me and he grandmother is in the seat accross from her.
I do not know how much the snow effects my travels. Will it cause delays? I have no idea. We are going a pretty good speed now so it seems it might not. I still expect it to though. Its about 7:45 or so AM. I don't have the itinerary so I don't know how we are doing for time. I forgot about the time change though, so this trip should take an hour less than I thought. This train is nice, and out side is the northeast, so I'm not worried much about the time ahead. I'm very relaxed. There's even a guy on here with a Red Sox hat on. Ahh... almost home.
Last night I had a pretty good sleep. I went to sleep about 9 or 10 chicago time, warm and comfortable. I woke up a little after 7, eastern time.
I don't know why, but I think on the last train, my ears went a bit funny. They feel like they got cotton in them. I don't know if thats effected my hearing, cause I can hear fine i think, as good as I normally do these days. I'll just have to wait and hear.
I guess we have 10 or 11 hous left till boston, with new york as our half way point.

I guess we don't go to New York. I guess once we get to Albany, which will be our next stop, the train will spl it into two two. Then one ha will go to new york, and the other lf will go to boston, which is the one I'm on.
It is now 12 noon and I'm starting two get bored.
I've been doing a lot of trhinking today and having a lot of thoughts. I don't know if I feel like writing about now. But, what else am I gonna do.
Mrs. Margeret Fanning was my 4th grade teacher. She had a husband named Steve and a 13 year old daughter named Bree. There was one time when we say Bree talking to a boy and we told Mrs. Fanning. I bet that made Breebmad. That was an obnoxious thing for us to do. Mrs. Fanning went to disney world over march break that year, and so did my family. My familiy took Dan O'Niel with us. First we visited Nana & Papa who were spending winter in Sarasota. We went to an aligater farm, a bird doctor's zoo and busch gardens, then finely disney world. We stayed at the Grand Floridian. Dan had to leave soon, but Mrs. Fanning and her family were still around.
Mrs. Fanning was the best teacher I ever had, and I learned some very important lessons. Appart from having a lot of creative assignments, which were very good. But more important were her political lessons. We studdied Martin Luther King. We learned a lot about protests and marches and sit ins and boycotts. But the most important lesson to me came when we were studdying something or other. It came up that cirten companies that made tuna fish and pet foods killed dolphins. They weren't supposed to kill dolphinsm it was just that dolphins and tuna hung out together, and the dolphins would follow them into the tuna nets and get trapped. The companies were supposed to set the dolphins free but didn't cause they didn't want to spend the couple of extra bucks. There was more to it, but this was 12 or 13 years ago or so, so I don't remember everything. But our assignment for this lesson was to write a letter to an offending company. We learned how to write an effective letter and how to stand up for something. We learned that big companies do things like that and that if they do, we can boycott their product. Thats what my letter said. I wrote to Purina and told them that I was a 4th grader and had learned how they obnoxiously killed dolphins, and I would boycott their product until they stopped. They wrote back and deniged the charges.
The other thing was that she knew I was creative and loved to be. She really helpped and encouraged me. We put on several plays that year, including "Tales Of A 4th Grade Nothing," "The Lorax" and some play about Martin Luther King. In all 3 I had the starring roll. I don't think I was the Lorax, actually, I don't know. Now, it does seem unfair that I would get all the leads. But I think it was cause no one else enjoyed it so much, and so no one protested. I also often played a big part in the dirrecetion and production of plays as well. I was the only one who bothered.
At the end of the year we always did a big whole school play. This year it was called "Alex In Blunderland." Each grade did a different scene. My grade, the 4th grade, did the mad tea party. I played "The Rad Hatter," a name I came up with myself.
The script for this play was written by teachers. Except for me. I asked if I could write some of it, and I wrote maybe half that scene all by myself. Lots of jokes and little rhymes. Such as:

"Twinkle Twinkle
little toad
i'm so tired
you got squished on the road"

I was the only kid who wrote any part of that play. Well, I dunno. There may have been some group writing, but I was the only one who did it independently. She would dismiss me from other projects so I could go to the computer room and work on the script.
She was a great teacher because no other teacher tought some of the lessons she tought, and I remember and use so much of it today. But also, she saw and recognised a gift I had, and was very good at nourishing and encoureging it. No other teacher even came close. She also tought me how to spell. I wonder where she is today.
I was wrong before. The last stop wasn't Albany, it was something else. NOW we are in albany. I'm hearing we are stuck here for an hour, even though we are an hour and a half behind all ready. So I dunno about my connection, I don't know when I'll get home.
Home I am, I'm a lot heavier than I thought. Nearly 180!!! My oh my! Well, Texas food... I wish I was thinner for my date with Julie.
I've called Geo, Brent & Jenny M. No one is around tonight, I don't know any other numbers. Tomarrow I am gonna go up to Thayer st and check shit out. I am watching the news right now. Its nice to be home. I am gonna watch Letterman than go to sleep.

Wednesday, December 26 2001
Well, I don't want to write now, I want to go to sleep. But I feel obligated.
I started walking up to Thayer st. around 9 am. I lit a cigar so when I got to oOcean Coffee, it would only have a little while left. It went almost as I planned it: I walk into Ocean smoking my cigar. Thats toally not allowed so Brian tells me to leave. I say, just how I planned, "I've been gone for 6 months and this is my welcome back?" Only thing that went wrong is they didn't find it funny. So i walked up the street, talked to Tom at college hill for a few minutes (outside cause I was still smoking my cigar). I walked up Thayer, then back fown thayer. I finished me cigar by now and went into Ocean where they made me a big french toast. Stayed till 10, went to College Hill. I talked to Tom till Erika M. came in. Left at 10:30 when it got busy. On the way out, I ran into Emily B, on her way to College Hill, and talked with her for a few minutes. I squirted her with Disapearing, Inc. Man, did she freak out!!!! Ha ha!! I went to the post office and hung out with Betty. Went to Stereo Discount Center. I saw Stu and the new girl, called Jenny M, met up with her. Hung out till 5. , went to Brent's, stayed till 11:30. I would have stayed later, but I had to take a BIG shit. Went home and took it, called Katherine, we will have lunch tomarrow. CAlled Geo, we will practice tomarrow. Also, I brought up living together in Boston next year. ... Anyhoo, good night.

Friday 12-28-01
Yesterday, I spent a long time at Ocean talkingto melissa Powers. I was supposed to meet Kat Craddock but she backed out. I visited Brown Bookstore for a while, visited some other friends, and hung up flyers for Stereo Discount Center. When they closed, me and Dave L. went down to Checkers, then back to his place where Geo came by and we practiced.
Today... I had lunch with Lindsey Crudelle, and went Record shoppoing with Dave. Then to nates, with whom I spent the rest of the night. Of all people, we met up with Javed and Kyle, who both go to school in Austin. We went to something at the Gallery. There were some pictures taken there. Then we left Kyle there and went to Tylers. Oh, and nate charged the battery on my computer.
I am going to lunch tomarrow with Emmanuel at Meeting Street cafe. He is gonna called Dave McConoghy and Lars. I ran into Kira Neel last night. I called her and left a message inviting her. But bigger tomarrow is my date with Julie. I have to stop by her place tomarrow around 5:30, and told her I'd take her to Alforno's. ... Anyhoo, good night!

Sunday, December 30th 2001
I got the ok from Ocean to host breakfast there tomarrow. I actually typed up and sent my mailing list while at Ocean. ...

Wednesday, January, 2nd 2002
First Journal entry of the new year. I'm at the train station with a 20 minute wait till my ride out of this town. I don't know how crowded to expect these trains to be, ...
So back to Saturday, the 29th. I had a giant cookie and a half over a 4 hour period with Emmanuel. Just talking bout who knows what. Brilliant guy, that Emmanuel. You know, I didn't think that a private lunch between me and Emmanuel would spark more than a couple of minutes conversation. But low and behold it did. ... Emmanuel left at 4, which was good timing. His dad picked him up, took our picture, and I met his dad's new wife. His dad gave me a big hug for some reason. ...
I went to Ocean and changed in their bathroom. ... I brought with me a nice jacket and a nice shirt to change into. I had some nice pants too but they didn't fit. I went and picked up some flowers for Julie, then went home to find a new pair of pants.
I showed up at Julie's a few minutes early. I'm not sure how early, but just as I was walking up to her house, she pulled in in her car. She was coming back from from the shoe store. To my sirprise she got new shoes for the ocasion. She said she needed them any ways, but I'm sure she was just saying that. She went upstairs and changed, while I stayed in the kitchen and talked to her mother. ... We took off a short time later and went to a resteraunt called "Spain" out in cranston, on resivoire ave.
Despite its name, Spain is not a spannish resteraunt. It was the fanciest resteraunt I've ever gone to. We had maybe 3 waiters, plus a hostess. And every waiter had a different job. One took our order, one brought us water, one cleared our plates and cleaned of cruymbs... I don't remember wether or not we had a 4th guy to bring our food or if it was one of the same 3. Very nice, very nice. The resteraunt had two floors. I say me and Julie got one of the best seats in the house. We were seated on the second floor, right in the very center of the balcony. From our table, we had a very gracious view of all the mafia sitting down stairs. Julie had herself a chicken dish called "Pollo Ajillo." I had a lamb dish called "Lamb Chops." It was the first time I ever had lamb, and it was was delicious a savory. Mmm mmm good, I do say.
The price was lower than expected. Only 35 friggin bucks! I threw in a 10 dollar tip, while Julie packed the last of her meal to go. \
Our next stop was the bust station. There is a photo booth there which took 4 pictures of us. We split them in half amd so we each go two. I really like my two, and have decided to make them the new "opening porterait" photo on the photos section of my website. [Don't rush to see them, I haven't put them up yet.] Ihad a wonderful evening with Julie, and hope to out on a fancy date with her again this summer.
Sadly but surly, Julie has a boyfriend at college. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disapointed, but I've known Julie too long to be bothered by it. In fact, I'm happy for her cause it shows she is doing well. I used to talk with an old friend of mine, sometimes called Dick M, sometimes called Rich T, we used to talk about how we didn't think girls should have boy friends, cause, I mean, what about us?
Julie was gonna meet up later with Louise Ellis. She was gonna go home and call her up and we were gonna go to the movies or something. Julie never got in touch with her, though. I pent the rest of the night, till about 11, at college hill bookstore, hanging out with Adam and a newer girl named Bronwen, who was nice. I ran into Lars, Suzanna Brown, and Heidi Phelps. I also took the bust station photos, zoomed them up, and put them on a poster for monday morning's breakfast, and Tuesday afternoon's concert. ...

Thats it for my trip journal for this week. More next week. But first...

The first letter this week is from Kristyn H. of My So Called, Life:

HEY! How is Rhode Island? I'm guessing that you're
pretty well on your way. I wanted to say goodbye to
you before you left and I was going to call you
yesterday to invite you over to make cookies with
Sarah, John, and me, but I realized that it was sunday
and you were already gone. Sorry. I wish that I was
going to one of your shows. Things are very boring
here in austin. No fun at all. I'm seriously
contemplating going to Houston to see my dad and evil
stepmom. Just to have something to do. You have to
come over as soon as you get back into town- I have to
give you your Christmas present. don't worry, its
nothing too great. Anyhow.. I hope you have a good
time with kyle, javed and all of your other homies.
Try to convince Javed to come back to austin!

Dear Kristyn,
I will let you know as soon as I get back.

The second letter this week is from Matt R. of Root Be, Er:

hey ben, where are you?? i stopped by ocean coffee
new years eve around 12.30pm and to my overwhelmingly
disappointing surprise, you weren't there. what the
anyway, are you still in providence? i'm back in
swansea until jan 12th, when i go to france, so lets
get lunch or egg smoothie king or something if you're
in town.


Dear Matt,
Well, I was going to stay till one, but I saw you through the window and slipped out the back door before you came in. Yeah, matt, I am still in Providence. Meet me at Ocean tomarrow at noon.

So I am back here in Austin. I really like Austin, I really feel very at home here. I no longer work at Toy Joy, but start on Monday at my new job at the UT Bookstore. I will be working in the girls department.

On the way home, I started reading a new book by Ralph Nader called "Crashing The Party." I would like to share with all of you a sentenced from this book, from page 172:

"Newspapers and magazines devote too little space for printing reader feedback even though surveys show that the letters section is one of the readers' favorites."

I bring this up because, being the newspaper or magazine that I am, I too have a letters section. And I bring this up to remind to write in some more letters this week. Hey, if Ralph Nader endorces it, how can it be wrong?

Any hoo, till next week, every body.

Toilet Cogger Etrordinaire,
Lance Romañce, off to clog one now

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