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This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

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  April 30th 2002: Returned Safely  

I'm back in the sheltering arms of Brooklyn, having cast my fate unwisely into the hands of the NJ Transit system. It took me an honest two hours to catch a bus from Newark to the PATH train. The quality of public transportation is orders of magnitude better on this side of the Hudson. Promptly passed out for three hours catch-up sleep.

Am now listening to my Bob Log III CD Luke's roomate Tom burned for me and Working through about 150 backlogged emails. Hot shit. I took over 200 photos this weekend. Expect a full report (Inside the Reed College Ren Fayre: Drugs, Bugs, Neitzche) in the next few days.

April 26th 2002: It Begins

Here we go here we go here we go... Today the fun begins. Mark will be up in a few hours and I'm obligation free for the next three days. Oi!

April 25th 2002: PDX Style

Writing this from the computamatron labs at good old Reed College here in sunny green beautiful invigorating Portland. I will take many pictures in due course, though the next few days are forcasted to be rainy Oregon rain. Coherence is not my strong suit at the moment: stayed up all night and took public transport from Brooklyn to Newark, NJ to catch my 7:25am flight. 3 or 4 hours of sleep on the plane (thanks to the makers of Tylenol PM) and then coffee coffee coffee.

The strangest thing so far: the Salt Lake City airport. Like some kind of eirre Mormon paradise with clean halls and excitable blond teenagers. I felt resolutely out of place with my torn clothing and sunken eyes, partaking of the forbidden java in the houses of the holy. If I can keep my health and my energy, this should be a weekend of great fun.

April 22nd 2002: Look Out Honey 'Cause I'm Using Technology

Searching and destroying, trying to get done what can get done and make the best of it. The doubts are hitting it rather hard lately. Wondering if I'm in the right place and time, whether or not I'm doing anything worthwhile, whether or not I'm actually talened or intelligent, whether or not I'm on an upward or downward arc.

And then you get something like this from your friend Nate in the email:

You'll have to check out organ tube #1 of the propane powered pipe organ! Still beta, but making big flame! Mixing propane & pure oxygen was not fun <BLAM>, propane & air was better.

That sure as fucking hell means something. I'm not going to take the time and explain it here, leave that for some other squre (I just talked to Luke, he's going to be paid $17,000 a year to study on a 5-year Phd track at Berkeley) to figure out. But god-damnit that really fires me up. I know people in portlant who are making propaine powered pyromaniac pipe organs! Huzzah! It's good to be alive.

April 21st 2002: Take Stock, Boyo

Well, I'm sick. No two ways about it. My uvula is swolen and distended and hurts like a mutha when I try to clear my throat or swallow. I just got myself a jug of cranberry juice, made a cup of Lapsung Soochong tea and put on the good old Nick Drake. Downtime. I was supposed to go see my sister in Boston, but I've blown that off (guilt) and I think it's time to reflect, review and renew.

The good news is that I'm no longer broke, and by this time next week I'll be getting drunk with Mark and Luke and a whole cast of strange leathery greasers and introspective gents from Texas. The bad news is that I've been burning the candle at both ends a little too hard and for too little return. I am sorely stuck in the heart of the Crisis of Meaning. It's the time for it, I suppose.

It's time again to lay down a plan, to state without equivocation what I am all about. It's time to get back to writing that mannifesto, working on the play, getting a jump start on tomorrow. I think I'll use the site as a personal motivational tool. Here's what I'm going to do:

  1. Add a Politics section to this website. I've been dithering with this idea for quite some time. Politics is dirty, filthy business, but I love it. Additionally, I think that most of what I'm interested in (art, culture, technology, entreprenurialism, community) are all inherently political topics.
  2. Add a "currently doing" section. Almost for my own benefit, it would be a way to keep track of things I'm trying to get accomplished. This would be a shorter sidebar feature I'd most likely stick above the Travel-logue bar.
  3. Develop automated update tools. I currently hand-edit everything here in plain text, though I have some shorthand and PHP making it look pretty on the server side. I'd like to create a system to generate site updates with even less hassle for myself.

Alongside this website effort, I will produce a long-term plan for my self this weekend. The process of internal organization that I began about two weeks ago [the relavent entry] should now be taken to the next level. In addition, having this kind of life plan will make my visit back Oregon more productive. I can have a bit of a summit with the people I care for. We're all entering time of change and transition and opportunity. We need to get it together.

April 20th 2002: Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

More than I can handle at the moment. Drag racing against my own worst moments.

April 19th 2002: Rolling in at 5:15am

Feeling like a looser in spite of a productive day and a sucessful (by all accounts) axiom. Played some poker over at Boudraux's house after the fact, a good thing, but lost $10 (money I don't have) and the bright-eyed acne-suffering young ballerina chick to other bottom feeders. Don't know if I'm more bothered loosing that chase, or having to admit I was a part of it in the first place.

April 16th 2002: In the heat of the night

Uh oh, state specific learning is kicking in, and the hot night air is brining out a little bit of the devil in me. Coming in from a sweaty ride home I saw Mariella (the hot polish au pair-type who lives below us; she's family to our landlords Nick and Renata I think, takes care of their kids sometimes) making out with her boyfriend, who I must say, as polish guys go, was I suppose something of a catch. Young love... It's contageous. I'm switching to a lighter blanket tonight. Maybe margaritas at thursday's axiom. "Yeah, baby, I still got it."

Ever wonder what all those hacker terms mean? Here's how it works. I found it humorous. I think it's humorous how many hacker/geeks are so good at adopting an academic tone when discussing their subculture. But if you think about it, all subculture is kinda funny if you haul it out into the hard light of the sociolically studied day. Look at this adacemic breakdown of Trainspotting.

April 15th 2002: Monday Monday

Need to start sleeping more. It's getting a little nervy and pensive. Hot day today, 80 degrees. Yeah fuckin' yeah. I read things, peoples thoughts, essays, opinions. The mind dances around them, float like a butterfly sting like a bee, and I wonder why they don't tell the whole truth. I grow bored of the news. Time for a bike ride, the gym, and some rehearsal.

Miranda and her Moms made chilli last night. It was good. It was even better when I made chilli dawgs for lunch today. Her mom was in town for a Unitarian conference at the UN about sustainable growth. Good stuff. I'm not a member of the godman fanclub myself, but some of those folks are allright.

April 14th 2002: The Force Will Be With You

Just watched Star Wars for the first time in a while. Man I hate George Lucas: to create such a good mythic tale and then hump it dry for filthy lucre. I once had an argument with Yuliya about that. We went out to see Monster's Inc, and they had the trailer for Episode II. I made a similar remark to the one above, and her response was, "well duh: people make moovies to make money. That's just how it is." At the time, I didn't have a good way to counter other than to strike an idealistic pose and mutter something about the Arts being about more than simple profit.

Being cognisant of business and business issues, it bothered me that I couldn't make a business case for being more honestly creative. So I thought about it. I realized that actually trying to create something, trying to realize a vision, is a risky undertaking, prone to failure, either through misdirection or simpe inability to get there. However, success is of great value: witness the pure intent of the Star Wars (the first movie) scoring a direct hit and giving rise to Star Wars™ (the franchise). Small-minded and cowardly bean-counters turn out money makers, and they usually come in above margin. But it takes a bold explorer to strike gold.

This is why corporations can't control the future: they're not agile enough. Peter and I talk about this sometimes. Corporations invest in the statis-quo, in not challanging people, in turning them into docile consumers. It seems that anything threatening this balance of power, anything that could give agency and/or initiative to the consumer is automatically perceved as a threat by corporations. My mother told me about an essay contest sponsored by the Economist and Shell to write an essay arguing how much freedom should be given up in the name of security. It's a similar argument, I think, but from a governmental perspective rather than a corporate one. She said I should enter, and what with me and Jeremy talking last night over sheesha about creating a think tank, well I just might make a run at it. Not to win the prize (I'm not that hubristic), but so as to give myself a reason to do some really critical thinking and produce a coherent piece of writing.

In other news, I've booked my travel arrangements for Ren Fayre at Reed College at the end of the month. I'll be taking the camera and documenting all silliness, to be sure.

I also made contact with old work-pal Nick Rusnov. Through his page I found this collaborative art project, which is a dynamite application of the internet to art.

April 13th 2002: Your Kung Foo Is Weak!

(Site updates: Two friends I work with often David Pearre and Peter Crawford. Also, I found a link to a transcription of a great article about one of the writers for The Simpsons. It's a fantastic look into the mind behind the current high water mark of American comedy.)

Last night more senseless debauchery, and my broke ass is borrowing money the whole way down. We did some rehearsal for moon saloon tonight (getting there) and then wandered over to Barmacy for Jessica Travis's 22nd Birthday party.

Jessica Travis

The one called Golden Gloves, from Texas, on her birthday.

It was a funny little affair. They were playing some pretty good old school R&B, from back when that meant music that had rhythm and blues in it together, '70s garage proto-punk, and some british invasion as well. Some crazy kids wanted to "start a dance party" and had us clear it all out, move the tables back, and then these two talk lanky kids started busting their moves. I'm all in support of dancing, and once the Birthday Girl (at right) got up to swing it, I coaxed J-Mo up out of her seat and eventually we all rallied to join for a few spins around the floor. Take that Cabaret law.

Interesting story: I know Jessica from Freshman year at NYU. The lived down the hall. We were a fairly close-knit group, the 12th floor of Rubin, and everyone had nicknames. Jessica was nicknamed "Golden Gloves" because she got into an real live no-holds-barred fist fight with my neighbors. It seems Jessica and some people were talking in the hall, and the girls next door to me wanted to sleep. Now, bear in mind that it's mid-afternoon, so the hall talkers naturally assume they have the right of way. One of the girls came out and dumped a trash can full of water on Jessica, who was wearing a freind's very expensive coat. She immediately got up and socked the girl with a one-two combination. The other girl who lived in the room (much bigger girl) then got involved, and it was by all accounts a wild fight. Hence golden gloves.

My nickname, in case you were wondering, was "Rhinestone" because, according to the other bastards in charge of this juvenile tomfoolery, "Josh looks real good and cool, but when you get up close, you realize he's just cut glass."

I like to think I've grown as a person since then.

April 12th 2002: Rising Tide

Even though the days are not all bright, I still feel the incoming tide rasisng my little boat in the water. I'm getting more and more specific about what needs to get done in order to accomplish some good exploring.

In other news, check out my friend Patty's art. The best is the little captions she gives to the paintings. My favorite (for a painting called "Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolves"):

Is Little Red Riding Hood completely unafraid of the danger lurking in the woods all around her? Or is she just "clueless?"
Patty's been friends with Mom and Pa since back in the day, and she does some really great work. I remember my senior year of college I was trying to date this artist chick who was, for all intents and purposes, a bit "out of my league." One of my aspirations was to utilize her art-scene connections to get Patty's paintings a day in New York. I still aught to do that. Maybe I should make some art scene connections of my own.

April 10th 2002: Bearing Fruit

The website continues to pay divedinds. Check the longlost people list for the latest, greatest email I've recieved.

I also made a website for fellow Quick Fix company member and ex-special-lady-friend (now just friend, minus the 'special' and 'lady' bits) Yael. It's a custom theater tribute company. If you're looking for a really unique and meaningful gift, check out www.verbatimtheatre.com

Good link: Carny Dictionary, for all your grifter-speak needs. Learn what it really means to "Square the mark."

April 9th 2002: Mark the Change as It Occurs

I've had a turnaround. My moods, such as they are, tend to run on a three to six week cycle in terms of generally good vs generally bad. Within that overall cycle clearly you expereince variances from day to day, but if those daily motions are waves on the ocean, this cycle I'm referring to is the tide. And the tide, my friends, is turning.

There've been a number of things that have been frusterating me, holding me back, bringing me down bit by bit. I've remarked to people over the past month or two that I felt as though I was being nickle and dimed to death. My life and times have been high in entropy and low in production, lacking in spark, chemically static in spite of my best efforts to coax up a flame. Looking back and retracing my steps (via my personal journal) I can see now that I've been slumping, in a funk, replete with the blues for nearly two months, steadily loosing altitude ever since I came down from the perilous high of performing the Quick Fix in Eugene. (for reference, here's the relevant outlandishjosh.com entry)

Sunday night I made something of a breakthrough in my prepetual introspective self-analysis. It was feeling like a bad night. I had a headache. I was feeling vaguely dissatisfied in an annoyingly hard to pinpoint way and not looking forward to the coming week. I was still a lonesome dove. So there I was, contemplating the prospect of a poor night's sleep in what seemed like a very uncomfortable bed when the realization struck me that I had to start taking more agency in my life. I was struck again by the deeply profound and encredibly trite epiphany that "Life is Holy and Every Moment Precious" and decided that the thing to do was to smoke a little dope, take a very hot shower, masturbate, get a pint of Ben and Jerry's, and enjoy my sunday night on Earth.

It was a remarkable success. I was suddenly having a pretty ok evening, leading me to further ponder the phenomina/thought that had led me to that point. I realized that my level of commitment to my own existence was at a pretty historic low point, that I'd been letting virtually everything important to me slide, and that the way out of the pit was direct action against this existential angst and anomie.

Whilst in the shower I began to construct a methodology for improving my quality of life. First, I re-articulated my current crisis of meaning in what proved to be an insightful way, as a crisis of identity. I realized I'd been lately caught in between two contrary yet equally unappealing identity-types. On the one hand I've been prone at times to act in an assholic, unliateral, selfish, impatient and chauvenistic fashion. For the pourposes of this self-analytic report, let's call this unappealing identity the Callous Businessman. On the opposite end of the spectrum, and equally unappealing, was my inability to identify let alone implement effective decisions, changes, or courses of action because "the impulse hadn't hit me." Let's call this unappealing identity the Wandering Starchild.

"Eurika," I realized, "here is the problem!" I was cought in the crossfire. The dichotomy of Callous Businessman and Wandering Starchild was making the actual me in the middle an unhappy camper. So, drawing myself up in the best possible estimation of Hagel I could imagine, I set forth to produce a synthasis of the dichotomy and forge a new meta-self-identity in the process.

What I arrived at was a kind of architypal myth of the Explorer. Here is someone who sets goals and has a strong ability to follow through (the positive qualities of the Callous Businessman) and at the same time must by definition be sensitive, alert, and eager for new experiences and surprises (the best parts of the Wandering Starchild). Here was my key for overcoming my seemingly insurmountable static inertia, for corrcting the timing on my muscle car (see the April 7th entry), for finally catching in my proverbial sails the fresh breezes of spring.

I began a discussion with Frank, a sort of week's end check-in, and he told me to story of Shakleton (subject of a recent A&E biopic starring Sir Kenneth Branaugh), the synchronicity of which only served to reinforced my belief that I'd found a means to resolve my internal conflict. Lying in bed with a little insomnia (the energy of my breakthrough was slow to dissipate) I resolved to make a new commitment to my life.

The next morning, yesterday, I was up at 7:30. I accomplished some long-overdue errands, had a productive work-day with Peter in White Plains, then an excellent workout at the Asser-Levy, some bodaceous chineese food, and finally a meeting with Keith, the absentee (getting paid to do Shakespeare in Washington DC) producing partner for Valhalla Theater. After flirting a bit with the bartender at the place we were meeting, I biked home and made it into bed at about 2:30am. A rocket Koenig patented 19-hour day, full of exploration, all on 4 hours of sleep.

(And now a short digression because I'm a romantic: Hell's Kitchen, where the bar I met Keith at was, is one of the few real neighborhoods left in Manhattan, a community full of real people, cheap diners, strange theaters, and little hole in the wall bard. The friendly bouncer, a large african american gentleman with a port authority leather vest was watching the discovery channel and there were a bunch of deadheads getting drunk and playing pool. The woman tending bar was seriously in all truth one of the most beautiful women I've ever met in my life. Helen, her name, was from Israel, had lived in New York for five years. She bought me a Guiness. She smiled. When the old man at the end of the bar who was reading a paper left, she picked it up. The headline about the crisis over there, she told me her mother lives in Netanya, and I can feel some kind of terrible exhausted sadness... she hasn't been back for 18 months, probably won't be able to go for another year, she says. How I wish I could have done something. I want to go back.)

Today was a continuation, if less pronounced, of the good streak. I killed several more nagging errands and got some good work accomplished. I got great great email from Robin and a few others, and I've been having an interesting discussion trying to find videogame addicts for The Quick Fix. In other news, the downstairs neighbors are still antisocial, Miranda's mom is in town, I'm broke, and the weather it beautiful. Go easy, friends.

April 7th 2002: Bladerunner Blues

Perhaps the greatest website ever: howstuffworks.com. Booyeah!

It felt like driving a muscle car badly in need of a tune up last night: lots of power but terrible engine timing and an unreliable carburetor. Tried to see a play, but it was booked, then I wandered the streets for about an hour waiting for Slusarz and Jay to get over the river so we could get some dinner. I went down to the WTC site for the first time since Mark and my sister visited back in October. It's almost orderly now. Pity I didn't bring my camera. They still weren't in Manhattan and my feet were freezing, so I hit up the (in)famous Holiday Cocktail Lounge for a couple surly drinks and a little warmth. True to form, the bartender was drunk and the jukebox was rockin'. Caught the first half of "Romey and Michelle's High School Reunion" on the fuzzy TV and thawed out my feet wondering how long this limbo state would perpetuate itself.

Eventually they made it and we ate at Cozy Soup n' Burger, a greasy spoon that's just about doubled its prices since I got to town four and a half years ago. Then we headed over to Sahara East, where we got suitably jacked up on Sheesha (mint flavor) and Turkish Coffee. It was a great hour for the casbah, sitting out back in a tent getting razzed by the guys who work there, eating bhakalva and grooving to sitar tunes. Jeremy and I traded stories of our younger days, about sailing, working honest menial jobs, feeling free and easy, the days when our lives seemed brimming with purpose. It was a fun time.

Then off to Williamsburg for a party. It was some people we know, a lot of kids who are in NYU's ITP program. Interestingly enough, I strongly considered going there when I was staring down the barrel of graduation. I'd met a lot of cool people from there when I worked in the computer lab, and the stuff they do is kind of a natural blending of my technological and artistic interests, but then I realized that it would be a dodge, just a way to stay safe in the cuddly warmth of academia. So I made a deal with myself to do a two year tour in the real world before even seriously considering graduate level education. ITP will still be there in 2004.

Anyway, for some reason or another, the party didn't quite hit the mark. Plenty of friends were there, and they had a spate of dancable music, but our plans to Jenk it up never went completely into action. I couldn't get into a sustainable groove, despite my best efforts. The buoyant worldly freewheeling good-times vibe that we had cooking at the Sahara and on the train ride over gradually evaporated, and soon enough it was time to go.

I wasn't alone in my eventual disappointment: Miranda commiserated again, even though I managed to introduce her to the one boy she thought was kind of cute at the party. rambling home was an allright time: lots of street fighting and other 3am silliness. Settled in and noted my feelings at the end of the night (see below) then slept for a long time. I woke at about 9am, but then decided to put myself back to sleep and had a marvelously interconnected set of dreams in with the L-train was elevated, my mother lived in Brooklyn and I was being pursued by many beautiful women. I awake to blue skies and hot coffee.

The late nite stuff:

"I'm Rachel"
"It seems you think our work is not a benefit to the public"
"Replicants are like any other machine, they're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit it's not my problem"
"May I ask you a personal question?"
"Have you ever retired a human by mistake?"
"But in your position that is a risk"

Why am I in love with Rachel from Blade Runner? Why do I desire to possess the cool mechanical intensity embodied in that character? Why is it the constant fantasy to melt someone, and wrap yourself in their sinuous braniac enclosing warmth. Where is my bright-eyed co-conspirator in examining the cosmos? Why is the field so bare?

These are the things that keep my up nights. This seeming absence of real people, or at least lovers of real people, with whom I can connect in a meaningful way and get the old mojo working. This feeling that the world is full of angels and sailors, rich girls...

April 6th 2002: Take a Pause

Site updates: added a page for Andrew and a bit of armchair philosophy.

Hmmm... maybe it's time to start scaling things back around here. Not in regards to the website (which is cookin' and will remain so) but to the life. I barely remember getting home last night, it being a multicolored slur of getting done with a rehearsal, going out for 40s and then drinks at Odessa (East Village bar) with Julia and Jeremy, getting a call from some Monkeys in California (Happy Birthday Mary!), then going back to Julia's and getting high with Elsas, then a bike ride in the cold, PFC and blackness.

Was supposed to call Christine today at noon, but I didn't wake up until 1:00, so that didn't go down. I feel rather like I'm running from/towards something and I don't quite know what it is. It's a strange sensation, one that's been dogging me quite a lot in the new year. I havn't felt quite like this since I was a Junior in college working on the Ad/Diction project. Back then I called it The Void: that sensation of being empty and alone and lost and relatively powerless that tends to make me want to get severely inebriated to provide a buffer between myself and my experience.

I don't quite get it though. I'm doing well, paying the rent, going to the gym, exercising my creative muscles, socializing as much as I can... and yet I feel this illogical sense of isolation and disconnection from my self. My first impulse is to lump this in with the rest of my pining away for love, but I'm not sure it's that simple. It certainly has something to do with that struggle of young-adulthood Eric Ericson called intimacy vs isolation, and I would venture to say that I'm starting to come out of balance on the introspection tip to the point of becoming a little bit self-involved. Need to get out more, but going out when you're in this kind of frame of mind is not very productive. How to break that cycle? As Miranda was lamenting the other night: it's so hard to meet anyone you can have a good conversation with anymore. Conversation!

April 4th 2002: Yes Yes, It's On

I'm working on a new piece for the next Axiom Performance Lab with John Nichols. See the formative text here.

Well, I made my submission with Robin to be wandering performers in this year's Oregon Country Fair. We're trying to fudge our way in as the Dionysean Dream Company. I also have my name on the general Monkey application (organized and submitted by Kim) to be some sort of wandering atmosphere fairy group. My goal is to bring Julia back with me. If it all falls though, I'll still be happy working the Holy Cow to be sure. Been thinking about the fair a bit lately, kind of chafing at the New York City all around me, closing my eyes and seeing trees and smiling (if slightly dazed) people, remembering good honest hard work that connects one to a real piece of the earth. When it gets real bad I read the OCF guestbook to know I'm one of many, or catch up on the latest board meeting minutes (so I can stay abreast of the politics/boulitics).

This website is bearing fruit! I got an email from old Four-Winds companion Amancay, who has her own website (for longer than I have, so how about that!).

My new roommate Miranda is cooking pesto in the background, and the smell reminds me of home, walking down 16th street in the sunshine, past Brails and the old Veterans club and the apartment tower me and my friends once broke into to climb to the top and get a great view of the city. Man, the feeling of being overworked and young and full of life and having honest dirt under your fingernails, headed down to the coffee shop to hang around in the cool evening air and converse about all the good and pointless things that young intellectuals belabor when they're wired on coffee, the honest and worthy subjects that occupy their time before they get let into bars and start slowing down, turning old and bitter and dried up. The time when life was a gift, and the looking back things were always jumping, optimistic, bright. It's not the child's world-view, but it's one that takes infinite possibility as a basic assumption. All this artsy fartsty and intellectual capitalism has a hollow ring to it at times: it's not enough! It's never enough!. Need to get out on the road.

April 2nd 2002: Pushing Through

Well, apropos the nice springtime sunshine, I'm feeling under the weather. Maybe too much rockin' over the weekend, or maybe a change in environmental temperature and humidity, but I woke up with a head full of cotton. Hopefully it will clear soon.

Here's your interesting internet link of the day (proving the web is more than an outlet for corporate news and e-business). This woman is an ex-stripper and mayor of a small town in colorado. Today (April 2nd) she's facing a recall for (egad!) admitting to smoking pot and baring her breasts in a bar. In all candor, that's bullshit. If a woman wants to take her top off and smoke a little grass, she can still be my mayor as far as I'm concerned.

I continue to think: am I in the right place? A few days ago, I was at a cast part for a show done by some people I know from NYU. I was talking to the director's girlfriend, doing the "so, havn't seen you in about six months, what's been going on?" discussion. She says, "well, I moved in with Jeff [my boyfriend] and we've got this great little apartment with a garden out back." She looked pretty happy, and I was impressed, so my immediate response was, "You're living the dream, Alissa." Her reply (through the heart, through the soul) was "Well, I wouldn't be living in New York if I weren't." Food for thought.

Well, outlandish has been online for 4 months, and the experiment is becoming a little more successful all the time. Paradoxically, I'm getting bolder and bolder the more people I see reading it. For stats, you can look at the webalizer. if I had my druthers I would distill my site statistics with Lire, the software made by logreport.org, who I work for, but for now this thing has to be run on the cheap and I'll take what my hosting provider gives me.

Also paradoxically, I haven't had any significant relations with women since I started this thing up. This doubtless points to one of my big balls of pathos, how to relate to the fairer sex. On the one hand, I'm still slightly paralyzed by the adolescent question of how to display interest without becoming an annoyance or sleaze. I rant back and for with Robin about this a lot. Of course, I realize intellectually that being honest with a lady is never wrong (in fact, being otherwise almost always is), it's just the a matter of being sensitive at the same time that troubles me. We must be trancievers: being both a transmitter and a receiver at once. Easier said than done, true, but at least I know where I'm going on this one.

The much more substantive issue, however, is the post-adolescent quandary described so well by the post-freudian psychologist Eric Ericson, the struggle of Intimacy (love & friendship) vs. Isolation (loneliness & self-absorption). The problem lies not in a fear of approaching others to be friends/lovers, it's more about a perceived dearth of worthy candidates. While I do have very high standards most of the time, I know the seeming lack of eligible bachelorettes has a great deal to do with my own perceptions. Surely there can be no shortage of soulmate candidates out there on the good green earth. Even if New York City does through up a lot of static (what with all the affluence, pretention, and vapid materialism), the numbers just don't support the notion that there's no one here for me. So I can't help but wonder if I'm not edging away from letting myself go there for some other reason.

When I was younger, I was powerfully embarrassed by my crushes, and would refrain from gossiping to anyone but my closest friends (and even them only occasionally) about "who I liked." That fear has not left entirely as I have matured, and maybe, just maybe, I'm still stuck by that block vis-a-vis the public nature of this rather inconsequential autobio. If I fell for someone, I'd have to write it here (anything less would be a complete cop-out from my point of view), and then (gasp!) everyone would know. I've been pretty good at talking honestly about past lovers, but the prospect of documenting the more or less real-time progress of my desire remains a little bit of a fright.

Well... plan the work and work the plan. I do want to start fleshing out the content, mining my old daily writings and organizing the important thoughts by topic. Add pages, interlink, wash, rinse and repeat. Eventually, one aught to be able to wander through outlandishjosh.com in a non-linear fashion. I'll have to do some organizational and feature-based thinking. It is my job after all.

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Trips in Space and Time 8/02/03

Big Wheels in Berkeley
I scored a set of west-coast wheels today at the Ashby BART station flea market. It's a very tall schwinn road bike, black, deceptively heavy but smooth-riding. Thirty-five dollars to boot. I oiled and cleaned the works, dialed in the bakes and took it out for a shake-down cruise immediately. Nice riding on a beautiful saturday, realizing how out of shape I am as I wheezed my way though the hilly area behind the Berkeley campus.

After about an hour I started to get the swing of it. Made some minor mechanical adjustments (including a free wheel truing at the bike collective on Shattuck), drank a few liters of water and started finding my groove, cruising up and around and ending up with a beautiful view of the whole bay. The roads here are not kind to the speed inclined -- too many stop signs and crosswalks and lights -- but it was good to get out and proj for a while. This changes my summer dramatically.

...older trips...


Smother Me With
Filthy Lucre