"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."


It's been a big week at the office. Unless I miss my guess, we may be set through the end of the calendar year for work, which is an intersting and good situation to be in. It's bringing the "what's next" kind of pressure to a whole new level, putting our interpersonal management skills to the test and generally upping the stress level another notch.

It's looking like a roller-coaster ride of a summer too. Next week I'm off into the hills for some Independence Day celebration, then to a 7/7/07 wedding in the HC, then flying to NYC to close out a project, then back to Cali where I transition to my Berkeley sublet, then back to NYC for a family visit w/the mom and sis, then back to Cali, then out to Chicago for another wedding and maybe some convention crashing, then back to the Bay/HC for a couple weeks, then Burning Man, then down to Mexico for two weeks for a long-postponed work retreat, in the middle of which I'll fly to Oregon and back for yet another wedding.

That's me through mid September. It's exciting and suits my rambling nature, but it also sounds very exhausting and overwhelmingly work-related. All work and no play makes Josh a dull boy.

So, grappling with the problems of "success" is another weighty luxury. A big part of me still wants to find a little woman and hide out in the HC, the old Hank Stamper dream. Still nothing doing on that front either, naturally, so it's all dreams and fantasies for now, but dreams and fantasies are important.

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Politrix Might Get INTERESTING, Sidney...

Another short post with no image (I'm going to redesign this boogin' blog to support more like this... maybe some kind of sidebar again), but anyway I found this to be somewhat exciting:


At this point I think people are trying too hard to model themselves after the conventional notion of a debate moderator. But the notion being driven by CNN/YouTube, and the ability for Community Counts to mash it up seems like the inkling of something that could be really important and interesting and healthy for the country.

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Overheard Out My Window

Leaning out my window just now smoking a peta, I see a guy and a girl walking by holding hands, look like sorta-trendy sorta-"california" people, maybe the kind I don't pay much attention to, but just under my window the girl says to the guy, "you make me happy."

That's all; silence and footsteps on the bookends.

It reads as the kind of unguarded, unprompted statement you make when you're in a moment of liking someone.

Feels a bit intrusive, me spying this little interpersonal interaction, but it made me happy too.

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On the Run

First of all, a big shout out to my man LGD in Alemania: Crackademic, bitches. He doesn't smoke crack, but he does need money.

I've been on the run lately. Worked through the weekend with more office improvements and have been down in Palo Alto the past two days working on speccing out one of our next big (cross-fingers) clients. Too busy to really worry about much, and happy to note that my urban biking skills are returning with a vengeance.

It is getting to the point with everything being all work all the time that I miss the old homestead. Called back and talked to Mark to try and work out plans for next week, and it made me kind of want to bail on the city. I'm having serious dog-envy, at least.

Tying a few threads together from recent life, I'm feeling an acute lack of community. Coupled with a (arguably snobby) disinterest in making new friends or social connections, I've created a little catch-22 for myself. It's the Westhaven mental disease; on the phone the other night I literally said, "but, man, I don't want to go out and like meet people or do things." I can try and dress it up with paeans to my existing roster of friends and comrades and bemoan my over-booked schedule, but the truth is that's a strongly anti-social statement. Which is not really something I like.

These things are connected: community, identity, sociability, self-esteem and some bedrock notion of what the hell I'm doing here. I don't have any problems with professional networking, and indeed I'm pretty good at it when I'm in the mood, but outside of my worklife things are tattered and lone.

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Sicko (or, my adventures without insurance)

So, you know, you can get this off the internet the same way I get most of my video entertainment (savvy?), and I just watched it and it was really good. I don't go for Moore's coy, "gee mister, don't people in Cuba have to pay for healthcare" character, but his films can be quite thoughtful, and this is some of his best work. The assembled stores really speak for themselves.

One thing that stuck out for me was this bit from France, where they make sure that if you're poor and you need to take a cab home you can walk out with some cash. There's a line where the French doctor says, when asked about paying bills, something along the lines of, "the only qualification for walking out is that you're healthy enough and are going someplace safe."

That hit home for me, reminded me of the bike crash that got me wearing a helmet:

Actually, the stitches are not that much of a pain. There were a few woozy moments in the ER, but the real damage is muscular. I righteously pulled out my groin and jammed by elbow, both on the left side. Heading in I could walk and move pretty well. Walking out of the hospital took me a full five minutes gimping along, coming close to out and out crying on the ramp leading to the street. It’s a hell of a thing to be totally incapacitated.

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The Girth

In case you forgot.

The man and I went out last night to a birthday party for one of the principles at one of Chapter Three's first clients. Them being a high-end furniture operation and the place being a yuppie/hipster crossover bar we figured maybe we'd meet some girls. Turns out the old law-school posse was in attendance, which provided a nice diversion as neither of us really turned out to be in the mood to try and talk to strange women.

It's an interesting turn. I'd sort of hoped that being in the City would coax me back into action on that front, but the whole concept feels tiring, like work. That tells me for whatever reason that I'm just not ready, but I'm finding that to be annoying. It's, ahh, been a little while since there was any sexy zing in my life and while I don't feel hard-up or sexually frustrated per se, I do miss it; and in those "I'm getting old" moments I sometimes worry that it's all down hill from here.

Will there ever be guilt-free casual unhurried adult physical fun again? This makes me think: Keep hope alive!. Heh.

For now I'm just tired. After we'd done the crossover bar thing to death, we repaired to the Zeitgeist -- where some other clients were hanging, also coincidentally: SF is a big small-town -- and stayed until closing, yelling about the nature of the state, and my round of Powers and Pabsts at the end was probably unnecessary.

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Rock Me Mama

Just click that and let it play.

The friends you keep up with over time are the ones that matter, and I always feel sorry for people who seem surprised when I tell them I live with a best friend who I've known since we were 14, and I get even older friends I've known since wee-boy childhood coming through touring with their bands and what have you. That whole scene.

We all reinvent ourselves; we all go through changes; for all the excessively individualistic ideology we grow up with about identity in America, I think it's our connections in many ways define us as people. I'm proud to have history, maybe more loosely tied to my flesh-and-blood family than some, but rich with a pretty wonderful array of souls all around this great blue-green earth. My own world-wide-web. Ho ho ho.

I dunno; it feels like everyone is waiting for something. Sometimes it's that undercurrent of doom -- when will the other shoe finally drop? -- and sometimes it's just that fleeting, unprovable, but totally undeniably unshakably true feeling that there's more to life than this. I most often feel like I'm waiting on revelations, for some kind of heavenly inspired moment of clarity or strike of lightning or burning bush to show me the way.

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...And No Boogin' Picture Either

(added later: ok, here's some video of the road)

Pushing though a milestone at work and up past my bedtime making the final, riveting conclusion of Sometimes A Great Notion, I'm too charged up to drop off just yet, even though I likely need the Z's. This kind of clarity doesn't lend itself to sleep.

It's been a packed week. My life is eventful again after a long, slow period. The whipsaw action is a little disturbing on the meta-level -- can this kind of binge-purge lifestyle really be sustainable? -- but it's the only way I've ever known. My breed thrives on pressure, force, velocity, or more precisely change in velocity, which is to say acceleration in one form or another. Delta-v over t, Hocken would say; my AP Physics teacher from good old South Eugene High.

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Rustic Recharge

I'm back in the HC and headed out into some of the more remote country in California, well beyond the reach of cellular phones or anything like that. Gonna do some river camping.

Last night was a good one in Arcata. Went out and caught the Crabbies beating up on some kids from Redding. It's baseball at it's best, with a volunteer brass band, free-flowing microbrew, and expert and devoted hecklers; a great summer night, really felt like God's country.

So far I've found mixing the city and the country to be good: I drove up Thursday night and made it in 5.5 hours door-to-door including a supply stop at the Trader Joe's in San Rafael. Good music in the truck and easy traffic even through the Santa Rosa hellpatch kept the momentum going, and as I passed through the wine country with the window down and the sun dipped behind the hills, the vines so bright green still they seemed almost luminescent, the air full and sweet with the smells of hay and growth, it was almost like the Earth was showing off for me and I let out little whoops and shouts at particularly sizzling sights along the way.

By my midnight I was pretty beat -- a long day by anyone's standards -- but I've felt charged-up and strong since I got here. I sense the potential for a positive interplay in my movements back and forth. One jump is hardly the basis for any kind of projection, but it feels like a winning activity so far.

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The Politirix Are BOOORING, Sydney

UPDATE: Kos/Atrios on the lack of leadership. I don't know how to diagnose the problem ("the consultant class" feels too vague and simple), but the inability of prominent Democrats to actually get infront of the Public is crippling.

Jerome read it in the stars that the race is Hillary's to lose. Maybe he's right. I still think a lot can change between now and Thanksgiving, and I hope to hell that it does.

The 2008 political cycle has thus far been a near universal bummer for me. Nobody seems to be responding to the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. People think this for all sorts of reasons, sure, but the universality of dissatisfaction suggests a real consensus on the part of the Public that, in the words of Dwane Allisandro Comacho, "shit's bad right now."

The Republicans are almost comically trying to one-up one-another with the severity of their proscriptions and solutions for the nation's ills. Nuke Iran! Double the size of Gitmo! Identify all illegal immigrants! It's mostly ridiculous fearmongering, but at least it's responsive. Democrats, in contrast, are running a laconic race so far, afraid to disagree with one another, largely unwilling to suggest that anything is really all that wrong, or that anyone could be at fault.

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