"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Let's Put The Balls Back In Prose

In Which I Explain With A Single Quote My Certainty That All My Achievements Will Be Eclipsed By My Sister:

By 7[pm] I was sitting in the back of a really small, really red, bar (alone, I might add. A practice I'm not a fan of) listening to some Columbia graduates read from their first published works. Nothing like hearing words pulled off the page and spoken out loud, it evokes a good feeling, a little internal nudge that this is what I really love spending my time doing. But, for the love of God, what's with that fucking wispy, ethereal, panty waist voice grown men get when they read poetry? That's got to stop, people. Let's put the balls back in prose.

The blog you all really want to be reading.

I'm doomed! Doooooomed!

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Missing The Old You

One of the things I do of late when I come back to NYC is see women I used to be involved with. I'm a big believer in maintaining connections, especially the ones that have meant a lot, and it's been a point of pride for me that I'm friendly with virtually all my lovers and girlfriends.

Life in the Woods is more romantically lonely (lots more) than my urban days have been, so I really enjoy these dinner dates, remembering what it was like. I've no real agenda in mind, but it does wonders for my psyche to sit down with a beautiful girl and have a good conversation and realize that I'm still a likable guy. My day-to-day doesn't offer me much evidence of this -- again, speaking in a romantic context -- and my self-confidence is fragile enough that after spending enough time without positive feedback I begin to regress.

So last night I was having a great chat with this tall, enterprising, quick-witted beauty at the still-excellent Great Jones Cafe, and the topic of nostalgia comes up; my saw being that it feels depressingly premature to be looking back like that at the tender age of 27. She has a really great insight: the devilish thing isn't reminiscing for "the old times" as it's inevitable and arguably proper to cherish your own personal history, and anyway if you want to do the things you used to do, the odds are you can do them again. That's just a question of will. The real bugger is missing the person you used to be.

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Quick Begging Hit

Well, it looks like two of my favorite peer-level politics organizations are making a run at financial independence. This is a great thing, as one of the major lessons I've learned over the years is that the Revolution cannot progress on an allowance from daddy.

I'll write a real blog about this for Future Majority at some point soon, but for now here are some links if you want to get on the bandwaggon:

First there's Chris and Matt from MyDD, who provide some of the most diligent, honest, insightful and inspiring political blogging around, and who I sort of think of as comrades. I just sent them $50.

Then, a bit more ambitious, Living Liberally, an organization which has build real social capital all over the nation, is turning pro and running as an LLC. I like the enterprising angle, and will be giving them money as soon as I figure out how deep I'm in hock to the IRS and what I can affort.

If you feel moved, you can give as well. I'll also post a link to my piece on FM explaining why this matters whenever I get around to writing it.

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In the Hive

I'm in NYC for a spell, and have spent the last two days inside a big ol' corporate office once more. The project is actually pretty interesting, and the people I'm working directly with are great, but the whole experience still gave me a healthy dose of The Fear.

My old friend, mentor and colleague Peter Crawford once pointed out to me that Corporate America is a lot like High School. It's an astute observation. Subsequently, I've come to see this as a common thread in most institutional settings, but having been off and running around politics and other scenes, I'd forgotten just how much the corporation creeps me out.

In part its because the modus operandi cuts against my own passionate (and arguably excessive) intermingling of life and work. It just seems like such a limiting thing, being in this big building, in your little cubicle or office, wearing some outfit, eating lunch in a cafeteria, renting away your days to make some other people rich.

It also irks me how corporations (any bureaucracies, really) tend reward ladder-climbing, don't-rock-the-boat, playing-office-politics type behavior rather than real innovation, drive, results, etc. It's a really different set of values than the world I inhabit most of the time. There are lots of rules about who's allowed to access what; a closed-source approach; personal fiefdoms wrapped in red-tape.

Anyway, it's good -- if a bit dispiriting -- to be reminded that this is how most peoples' work-lives really are. Dispiriting because it makes me momentarily pessimistic about humanity's chances ("this is the best we can do?"), and sad for all the squandered human potential. Good though because it reminds me how lucky I am, and also makes me optimistic based on how much progress is possible.

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Spring Awakening

A little bit of the now trip: things are going good! Last week's bay-area activities were draining but ultimately quite productive, and then Julia was up here for a couple days and that was real nice. I can talk to her about (girls) things that are harder to talk to other people about around here for whatever reason. She has a way of breaking through the general feel-good supportive "you can do it" kind of friend-talk and getting right down to a level. That's really valuable to me.

Thursday I made my old bike ride to Murphy's in Trinidad and back. It was gorgeous. I roll along Scenic , which is a fantastic ride both in view and in terrain, good hills and many vistas. I was pleased to see that my half-assed winter gym habit kept me in good enough form to ride it with tenacity. There's a big difference between riding some stationary cycle, and taking a real ride, even a simple six mile jaunt. Good to get out and run and feel the fresh air. More of that soon.

Spring Awakening is on, nature bulging and shameless with it's newfound power. The sun comes through strong now on most days. The smells are everywhere, the colors, the bird calls. It's really something to be in the middle of this big biological ramp-up. I love it. It gives me a buzz, a sense of rightness, a deep and rhythmic excitement.

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