New homeowner paranoia. We have a small water leak related to one of the showers that I’m trying to get fixed. A few minutes ago, right after taking a shower and lying down in bed, I heard this sort of rumble, followed by the sound of rushing water.

Panic-stricken, I ran into the hall just in time to remember that I’d set the timer on the dishwasher to start right as I’d be going to bed. Which, of course, explained the noise I’d just heard.

It’ll get less scary soon, right?

The “Rat Community”

Outcry that 1,000 rats were euthanized:

Tina Bird of Campbell said rat fanciers were in the process of mobilizing when the rodents were killed.

“Maybe they would have been better advised to leave the animals in their horrible conditions until we, the rat community, had a few days to get moving,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Be sure that animal lovers across the United States will be scrutinizing Petaluma’s actions and culpability for this slaughter.”

I’m sure Petaluma is just shaking to its very foundations in fear. Maybe Tina should’ve gotten into her Volvo and driven the 1000 diseased and damaged rats down to her house in Campbell. The “rat community” indeed. Fucking morons.

Bye Bye, Dottie’s

Dottie’s Diner on Stratford Road will be closing this weekend.

Open since 1990, the place still bears a strong resemblance to its predecessor of 30-plus years: Your House, a central North Carolina chain that operated from the 1950s through the 1990s. At least one location is still open, on Greensboro’s Battleground Avenue in a replica of its original building. Your House was a 24-hour diner, something of a knockoff of the Toddle House and Hull-Dobbs chains that were found all over the country in those days, and a precursor to the Waffle House of today.

I grew up eating at the Your House on High Point Road with my dad. We’d very often go there on Saturday mornings for waffles. My dad would meet his friends there in the evenings to sit at the counter, chat, drink coffee, and harmlessly flirt with the waitresses. In my early twenties, I’d go there with my own friends for the double cheeseburger that seemed so necessary at 2:30 in the morning after a night of drinking cheap draft beer somewhere.

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this except to say that these little diners are the real 1950s diners, and not some gay-ass imitation with fake neon and old records nailed to the wall. A sizable portion of our male population once got a significant portion of its sustenance from them, and from places like these, and it’s sad to see these little dives go.

I’ll also miss it because it was one of the first places Mark and I ate breakfast in Winston on one of our first exploratory trips here last winter. And they have really good grits.

The Death of Commercial Radio

Some thoughts related to some recent semi-accidental lapses into the commercial radio universe while driving the 70-odd miles between Winston-Salem and Charlotte two or three times a week:

  • Kelly Clarkson sounds like Pink being gang-fucked by Alanis Morissette and Melissa Etheridge wearing strap-ons. Which is an entertaining image on some level, but the music still doesn’t do much for me.
  • 98.7 Simon: We play everything. As long as it’s “Wild Thing” by Tone Loc, over and over and over again.
  • “Land of Confusion” by Disturbed: way to take a song that wasn’t very good to begin with (though it had a good video) and make it even worse. I was surprised to see that the name of the band wasn’t spelled “Disturbd” à la Staind. They were both hatched out of the same focus group, weren’t they?
  • The above would have been less notworthy had it not been the only song played on the station we were listening to between 5 and 6 PM yeterday. The rest of the hour was filled with three boring people talking more or less about nothing.
  • I’ll be missing this now that we’ve moved to Winston-Salem. But I may enjoy being reunited with this and this.

I’ve been hearing stories about the death of commercial radio for two decades now. I finally believe them. And I’m starting to think that killing it off quickly would be the humane thing to do.