"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Why I Write

So I've been reflecting a bit on my reasons for engaging in this hellfired pursuit we call "blogging." The last post I made was written, like a lot of my posts over the years (and personal paper journal entries too), in a fit of confusion and uncertainty and unhappiness. Expunging angst through sheer exposure is one of the benefits I get from the whole thing, a kind of cleansing exhibitionism.

And indeed, after putting it out there and deciding to take care of myself and rest easy for an evening, my attitudinal gyroscope corrected; by Sunday I was feeling quite alright. Mission accomplished.

My original reasons for starting this up were to let people keep up with me, to help provide an easy way to keep those stretchy/elastic social ties over the years, and to nudge myself lead a more honest and open existence. My intended audience is my friends and family and comrades, who (I think) appreciate the perspective I articulate, or at least get a kick out of my stories, even though I'm sure at times they're shaking their heads thinking, "oh no, honey. Noooo..."

Over the years, the exhibitionism angle has come and gone; activism has waxed and wained; and I've come to really deeply appreciate the outlet and daily practice of simply writing. It's a muscle, and it gets better with exercise. That's a constant value, and one I didn't really think of when I started.

So I'm happy to cast my words into the ether, and sometimes the ether answers back. It's flattering really, that I can string sentences together good enough to provoke a response, and more often than not I find nuance and insight from the contributions of others.

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (again)

I'm struggling. [[axioms of living|The most important thing is to stop struggling]].

Weeks of sly and furtive procrastination has lead my working life to another crunch period with looming deadlines and no way out but to bear down doubly hard. Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it just the sick work/life style we learn in college? Is it simply human nature to wait for pressure to act? Is it some kind of self-sabotage? Who knows, but I want to move beyond this. It feels juvenile, unprofessional. It creates feelings of anger and dismay:

Baaaah! This is not happening! (Rex from Memphis, a lovable old Baptist stoner who's daughter picked me up on the streets and brought our whole crew into their home for a night), or maybe MY EMPIRE IS CRUMBLING (Kids in the Hall; Brain Candy).

It's not the end of the world, but it is a setback. Here we are again, at the end of the rope, pulling ourselves back into the game. This isn't what I want to do with my life.

And it doesn't help my mood that this girl I was hoping to see won't call me back. It's not entirely surprising seeing as how I already used (squandered, said Dauter at the time, which I didn't quite understand then but do now) my second-chance a couple years ago. My life experience suggests that second-chances tend to be last chances, but still.

And it doesn't help either that a work-related trip back to NYC got bumped back to July, which is after the other girl I was hoping to see will have blown out of Brooklyn. Kind of a one-two punch to the hopes. They may spring eternal, but the snap-back's a real bitch.

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Off the Wagon

UPDATE: A sleuthing commentator suggests it's a low/non-alcoholic beer. Add as many grains of salt to the following as you see fit.

G-dubs is on the sauce, in case that hasn't been obvious for a while. The headline is Illness Sidelines Bush at G-8 Summit. Bottle flu is a bitch, man.

I don't really think there's anything wrong with a president drinking, or being drunk even. However, if Bush has actually internalized the AA model of relating to alcohol -- which is debatable; it's totally possible that his whole Billy Graham come-to-Jesus thing was a sham from the start, or that the "dry drunk" theory is for real -- it's not a good thing for him to be drinking at all.

AA doesn't really work any better than other methods of treating alcohol. Relapse-rates remain in the 90th percentile. However, the fact is that the AA model is founded on a paradigm of total abstinence and release of control, the recognition that the addict is helpless and that they must appeal to a "higher power" to control their relationship with the chemicals. Relapses from this kind of treatment -- as opposed to those which try to create a more normalized relationship between addict and substance -- tend to be total, a fall from grace so to speak.

So, while I'm 100% sure that the bureaucracy of government is fully capable of handling a president on a bender -- Darth Cheney and all -- it's still more troubling to see Bush off the wagon than, say, Nixon getting boozed up and confronting protesters. Tricky Dick was in charge of the bottle. Dubs, if his narrative of alcoholic redemption is true, may be at its mercy.

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San Fanciscan' It

I've made it down to my workaday summer outpost in the Dogpatch and my first home-away-from-home off in the Panhandle. Greeted by blue skies and sunshine. Initial city impressions:

  • Wow there are a lot of pretty girls. On the streets, in cars (presumably bars) and freight elevators even.
  • I've lost some of my nerve for fighting traffic on the bike. Those country roads and stationary machines have made me soft.
  • Or maybe it's that I haven't really been riding all that much, because these hills are harder than I remember too.
  • The living situation seems like it will work out great: nice unassuming roommate, wifi, extra-long twin bed (so my ankles don't even hang off).
  • The office hasn't been progressing too much in terms of getting fixed up. It's basically the same as it was last time I was here two months ago. That's gonna change.

After last weekend's outlaw mountain trip, I started re-re-reading Sometimes a Great Notion, which is probably one of my top 5 books, and have been slowly digesting the potential of having one foot in the city and one foot in the woods.

It intuitively feels connected to my existential crisis-of-meaning du jour, reconciling these seemingly contradictory aspects of my life. What I want is some kind of grand Hegelian synthesis: a future where my biodiesel hybrid 4x4 pickup carries me from Silicon Valley to the peaks of Trinity County in carbon-neutral style, and there's someplace in-between called "home" where the dog stays while I'm down in the city.

Is that kind of thing really even possible? It feels like maybe... it also seems logically like a bacheloresque way to roll, all that movement, or at best (see point #1 above) a "girl in every port" type of situation; but the dream includes a family of course, which begs a huge and unanswerable sea of questions, variables out of my control, etc etc etc. Hrmmm.

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Briefly Noted

First: more of Big Media Mark on the news. It explains a bit about his program, and has a nice clean-cut guy giving an even better soundbyte:

Other notes:

  • Had a great weekend visit from the Girth, JD and Shamus. We all (them, me and Mark) headed up into the mountains, Trinity County Outlaw style: guns, dogs, bushwacking trails, mad-dogging up mountains in Moammar the 2WD Scorpion. It was epic. JD has photos.
  • Things are all lined up for me to establish a base in the Bay this week. I have a little more work to do getting the pickup in order (adding a bed and a lock to the camper shell) but shelter has been secured and the wheel is in spin.
  • Work is going so well that we got to give our awesome Sr. Web Ninja a raise. Considering how integral he's been to everything over the last six months, it's very well-deserved, and for me personally it's a big warm fuzzy.
  • Got my Burning Man ticket in the mail, and Mark says he's all-in too, so it's on like Donkey Kong. Working camp theme is Rastafarian Navy. More plans soon, but if you want to get in on the action the first thing you do is procure one of those spendy pieces of paper they want to see at the gate. They only get spendier.

I've got a lot of wild loose ends to tie up but I feel great momentum, like I might just up and blossom one of these days.

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