"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Wave o' Babies

It's on.

I suppose the natural follow up to a wave of weddings is a wave of babies. Trinity County Outlaws faceman Shamus just had his, The Mordecais report "Epidural and hard contractions now," and Frank Robbins VI will be upon the world soon.

Pretty neat! Congratz to all and sundry. I look forward to more opportunities to play non-blood-relation uncle (ala "Uncle Beefcakes" to the magic rollertots).

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Mexican Disco

It sort of boggles my mind that getting 36 free hours can have such a restorative effect on my psyche.

Of course it's not just that I got a little time off, it's also that I got to see my family (blood and otherwise) and see that Life Is Still Good outside my hexagram of stress. It's easy to lose oneself in the whirl of Important Things, projects and deadlines and commitments and responsibilities. It's easy to bite off more than you can chew; what happens then? Choking, usually.

The feeling of choking is a kind of panic, a freakout. Even if all that's happening is you've got a popcorn kernel down the wrong pipe, the lower reptilian brain will reach up and start strangling higher consciousness. Under pressure to survive, to breathe, everything else falls away. Welcome back to the base level of Maslow's Pyramid of Human Needs. This is why people who are drowning often drag would-be rescuers along with them. This is why waterboarding is an effective form of torture.

This same phenomena is operative at higher orders of consciousness as well. Intense and seemingly overwhelming pressure can come from peer-acceptance, from a loved one, or even from one's normally wholesome source of spiritual light and guidance. Luckily, the further you get away from bare physical survival purposes, the more likely this pressure can be dealt with via a quick bit of social or mental judo. Abusive relationships can be escaped or even mended, truly loved ones communicated with, etc.

Even better, if you're getting all fouled up at the highest levels -- which is to say confused or upset about purpose and meaning, as I have been -- resolution is just a matter of perception, perspective, organization, reclaiming the dignity of your own experience. Not that this is ever easy, mind, but it's more within my power than overcoming a physical lack of oxygen, or the like.

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Best Wedding EVAR!

Very good times here in Portland. Only way it would be better is if I was actually on some kind of vacation now and could stick around for a few days and see the people (e.g. I don't even get to visit w/my dang sister, let alone any of the ultrahot girls I not-so-secretly admire up this way). It is the way of these things for the time to be compressed, for a half-hour stomping around a gravel yard and bonfire screaming along with The Eastern -- a.k.a. our lovely friend Jess and her giant tattoodled marmite-savoring redbeard hombre Adam from New Zeland -- serving in place of lengthy dinner conversation.

This is human, to engage in such rituals. We are all here together. It's a celebration of life.

Sadly the sun also rises, and yesterday was spent mostly fighting off the blood-thirsty death-panther hangover and then putting in a mild six-hour workday trying to scramble back in front of some deadlines. I assume at some point my life will return to a more equalized state, but for now chugging away the afternoon in Beulahland ain't so bad.

And so I've gotta roll, waiting now for my ride to tearass through town from Tacoma. It's another insane week ahead. I'm planning to make it back here in August, work and time and transport permitting. That'll be good. For now there is but one thing to do: ride the fuckin' lightning, bitches.

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Carrying Capacity

There's this concept in my mental toolbox called Dunbar's number (wikipedia), which comes from the research of an anthropologist named Robin Dunbar. Basically his idea is that there's a limit to the number of social connections that can be meaningfully maintained. The rough estimate is about 150.

I generally feel like I'm pushing the envelope there, and I'm starting to drop packets. Lots of social grooming is going undone; emails not returned, events missed, plans left in limbo, etc. If you're one of the unfortunately many folks who I haven't been in touch with, I'm sorry.

The past couple months have been intense. I've logged 534 hours, which is 60 a week. Considering all the hours that get worked that aren't in the log, the lost sleep, etc, that's a pretty heavy load.

I was doing pretty good on the extra-effort front for most of may and the beginning of June, but the past couple weeks I've started wearing down. It's most difficult when I start losing sight of what it's all about. There have been times when it felt overwhelming, like I couldn't do it. Those moments are few and generally pass. It's the "what the hell is this all about" parts that are hard. Tonight I feel like I'm seeing the light again. There's still a hard row to hoe ahead, but I feel confident about it, and I know what it's for.

I've often played with the idea of charting these kinds of feelings, like some kind of spiritual stock-ticker. Maybe there's some correlation with a behavior I can tune. Gotta have data for that.

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Firefox 3.0

Lots of little links today.

If you get to this before noon on wednesday, give yourself a better web experience and help set a world record:

Please download Firefox 3 by 11:16 a.m. PDT (18:16 UTC) on June 18, 2008. That's 11:16 a.m. in Mountain View, 2:16 p.m. in Toronto, 3:16 p.m. in Rio de Janeiro, 8:16 p.m. in Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Rome and Warsaw, 10:16 p.m. in Moscow, and June 19, 2008 at 2:16 a.m. in Beijing and 3:16 a.m. in Tokyo.


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On a lighter note


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All work and no play

Things that steal my life.

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Up Your Levels, Obama!

This election is going to be kind of kick-ass.

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So the other day I'm down in the little cafe in the basement of the converted warehouse complex where our office is in SF, and I end up doing my cream and sugar right next to this tallish girl who works on the same floor as us. I've seen her around a few times. Once we were alone in the elevator for a floor and a half and her nipples got hard. We smile at one another in the hallway, but have never spoken. I don't know her name.

Getting cream and sugar nothing of consequence transpires, but it's an interesting moment. For me, at least. Charged.

I've come to trust, at this late date, that when I feel like something is going on in that way, it's quite likely that the other person in question feels the same. Just tonight having a little nerd-bike schmooze at Zeitgeist this was incontrovertibly proven -- she doesn't say hi kind of sheepishly on her way out the door unless she really was looking back while you were having that loud conversation. Drupal set message: trust your first impression.

Aaaaaway, the impetus to write is that the whole concept/phenomena of lust is one that's been under wraps for some time. Sublimated and maybe a bit suppressed. It's been a much-lamented state of affairs, as everyone knows. Feels like a change is gonna come, and this is good, but it's also a trip, re-realizing how sex can throw you for a loop, scramble yr brain.

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