West Virginia and signs of the times.
Visit Scenic West Virginia Before I step back into Appalachia, I gotta give a shout out to Arts Diva and CN&R Calendar Editor Stacey Kennelly for admirably holding down the Arts DEVO fort last week with her High Sierra adventures (wait, is that patchouli I smell on my keyboard?). Thanks for keeping things young!
OK, so my first extended stay in the South was awesome! Giant meals (and some beer) and games every night with Mrs. DEVO’s half of the fam; intense summer thunderstorms (and getting drenched while hiking in one); spotting a mama black bear and her cub while hiking alone on a mountain trail; exceedingly friendly West Virginians, Virginians and Tennesseans; spotting Sierra Nevada Beer Camp beers at a tiny store in Lost River, W.V.; last-chance fireworks-buying spree with Mrs. DEVO at Tennessee/Virginia border (and a somewhat dangerous but beautiful Fourth of July as a result); a really long day canoeing on the Potomac River; a visit to Monticello and Thomas Jefferson’s grave; art and weird crap in Charlottesville, Va.; plucking old-time tunes on the porch; and a chance to fire a semi-automatic firearm with my loved ones. What’s not to like?
Sign of the times The list of things I hate is fairly short. I hate Snapple, hippies and when Rocky Road ice cream is made with walnuts instead of almonds (and I hate the way Chicoans say “amm-onds”). I hate QR codes. I really hate soap operas. I really, really hate people who change lanes without using a blinker. But what I hate more than anything right now is that there is a Facebook page devoted to Verizon Dude. I know we have a profile on the local sign twirler (“15 Minutes,” page 43), but I can’t keep my mouth shut. I have nothing against the buff Mr. Mahoney (although I do loathe the convention of spinning a sign in my face to lure me to a business, and I will never visit one that employs the practice—sorry, Little Caesars), and I do appreciate his efforts to make something out of the monotonous job of “human directional.” But, forgetting for a moment that wasting ink in this space to discuss any of this is, in and of itself, nearly criminal, ponder these points: One: A man spinning a sign has become a local celebrity. Two: The fans and this sign-spinning celebrity are having a dialogue about his spinning of the sign.
“We went to see you today but you weren’t there.”
“lol—i was! probably just on mah’ break yo”
“Saw you yesterday with the Nutrishop sign guy. Did you give him some good tips?”
“tried to—but he’s more of a … statue’ish type.”
“Verizon Dude … you make me happy!”
Wow. To be clear, I’m not saying I hate these people, or Facebook for that matter. I mean, I have my own petty distractions on which I piss away plenty of time. I guess what I really hate is that the things we’re creating to fill the empty spaces are becoming more trivial and less and less nourishing and I fear we may one day starve ourselves to death.
The usual gossip Geez. I leave town for one week and fall completely out of the loop. Just found out that snarky funny-lady Janeane Garofalo has been in the Chico area (mostly in Gridley, according to the Gridley Herald) filming a movie called General Education with Larry Miller (one of the hilarious recurring characters in Christopher Guest’s films) and Elaine Hendrix (The Parent Trap remake). From Hendrix’s Facebook wall: “I’m in Chico, CA shooting a new movie with Larry Miller and my pals Janeane Garofalo and Federico Dordei. It’s charmingly beautiful up here. Who knew?!”
Garofalo was spotted last week with local book clerk Emily Adams (pictured) at the downtown Bookstore.
• Marco! … Polo! Type: “California’s biggest game of Marco Polo” into Facebook and get in on the fun at One-Mile Recreation Area in Bidwell Park this Saturday.