Weird culinary experience of the day: Liz Goodman and I stopped in at some bubble-tea joint in the East Village, and I saw they had smoothies on the menu--15 or 20 flavors, including plum. I thought a plum smoothie with tapioca pearls sounded like a strange and good idea, so I ordered a large one. It arrived, and it wasn't a smoothie in the traditional sense--more like a Frostee or something, a big icy pile with tapioca pearls surrounding it. Took a sip, and realized over the space of a few seconds that it was in fact preserved plum, i.e. salty plum. I think my facial expression's transition from EWW! to Hmmm to actually-this-is-pretty good should've been recorded.

Liz, as a birthday present, had challenged me on my assertion a few weeks ago that there's no such thing as good clothing for men right now, so she took me on a 6-hour shopping spree across the Lower East Side and Soho. Result: two acceptable shirts (a weirdly designed Daryl K and an iridescent Ermenegildo Zegna--as Liz pointed out, I like slightly space-age design in my clothes) and two acceptable pairs of Levi's jeans (one of them sort of cargo-pant-like; Liz is convinced that cargo pants will make me look more "rugged." As many people know, I will do just about anything for remedial machismo points. Don't know if these will actually work, but maybe I'll try loading up their excess pockets with for instance a Leatherman tool and, um, vegetarian jerky and stuff). I think she now agrees that acceptable men's clothing is pretty hard to come by. She's going to do some research into other venues and we'll try again soon, I think.

Successfully resisted the gravitational pull of Other Music twice today, even though I'm frothingly eager to hear that new In The Beginning There Was Rhythmcompilation and the Malaria retrospective. They'll still be there next week, I'm sure.

Also stopped off at the Indian groceries at 1st Ave. & 6th St. and got mountains of mustard seeds and dal and fresh curry leaves. Tomorrow: time to pickle some carrots!

Currently polishing off book #4 of 2002: Donald Antrim's very odd novel The Verificationist.