January 31st 2002: Back in Action
Much better today. 12 hours of sleep and some good music are excellent tunraround agents. Also: Happy Birdthday Billbo Baggens! As he said: 57 and COOKIN'!
January 30th 2002: The Name of the Pain
By all accounts it was a highly sucessful day, but I ended up exhausted, stressed, cold and lonely. That last one is the real kicker. I more or less admited it to myself as I was walking home, feeling the void. It was kind of emotional, to put a name on the nothing that's been nipping at my heels for the past three weeks.
January 29th 2002: The Troubles
The troubles are with me strong. An abortive day. I made it all the way to Grand Central, eventual destination White Plains, when I got the call that the whole show is postponed until tomorrow. Then waiting around for the bike shop to open (need a new derailer) and it never does. Sitting in a trendy Williamsburg cafe, wanting not to look the part that I'm looking. Like a fucking hipster. In retaliation, I composed a list of ways to fight back:
- Smile Lots (don't pout, whine, complain, bitch)
- Love to Sweat (work, exercise, exert yourself)
- Embody Raging Lumberjack Masculinity
- Take a Western (as in west-coast) Attitude
- Maintain Unbridled Optomism in the face of total narcissistic cynicism
Also, reading "Sometimes a Great Notion" by good old dead Ken Keasy. He's from my neck of the woods, and his writing makes me miss Oregon something powerful.
January 28th 2002: Burning the Candle From Both Ends
A real live shot of Kris Larsen on her birthday. Which birthday? Guess!
It's my friend Kris's birthday. Happy Birthday Kris! Kris lives back in Eugene where she works for a coffee company. Very swank. People often think we're brother and sister because we're both tall and have similar facial features. It's ironic, because she does look more like me than my real sister. Here's the outlandish challange: from this photo, I want you to guess how old she is today. Send your guesses to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll post some results later.
In other news: I've been a busy busy monkey. Moving my room around (photos soon) and preparing for The Quick Fix's triumphant debut in Oregon.
January 25th 2002: Silver Lining
A true Gem! Surfing the net for porn, I found this absolutely fascinating link. A intelectual german phyicist explains his confusion over his favorite internet starlet's decision to enlarge her breats...
Out with Slusarz to local hipster bar. At first it felt like a ski lodge: a friendly respite from the cold. Then it felt like a real hip "scene", which is good if you're into that sort of thing. Finally, as I noticed few people interacted and there was a lot more Top Shelf Liquor being poured than good old Miller High Life, we realized we could possibly be in a den of phonies, ourselves included. This gave us the Fear, so we went to PFC.
January 24th 2002: Political Day
As you probably know, I'm big on civil liberties, especially on-line. I think one of the great potential benefits of this there innernet thingy is that it can be a viable proxy for (and possible catalyst of the resuscitation of) now non-existent public spaces. The web it two-way, people. That's why it's cooler than TV. We need to keep it that way.
On that note, you should know about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (aka the DMCA). It's an evil little bit of corporate shilling that congress did back in 1998, and it needs to be stricken from the law. If you want to know why, go here.
Hey, this one is not a hoax. If you're a US citizen, you have until Monday the 28th to weigh in legally on the DOJ vs. Microsoft anti-trust case. The current solution is lacking many key provisions. Follow this link and make a difference!
Sheesh... all this politics. Makes me think I need a section for it.
January 23rd 2002: Hoaxes
I just got my first "next-generation" email hoax. It was for a missing child and included an attached photo. I've always hated those NPR warning messages and little boy dying of cancer forwards, not only because they waste time and clog my inbox, but because they drain the will for meaningful political/social action. It lets you feel like you're part of the solution with the click of a button. Sorry, folks, the only place where it even gets close to that is in the voting booth.
And as long as I'm being political, the latest news on our prisoners in Cuba is that information we've gleaned from them has stopped terrorist attacks. That's what the headline on cnn.com would lead you to believe, except that if you read the whole article it's nowhere near that clear. I think it's fairly obvious what's going on: the millitary needs more ammo to justify what they're doing, so they play the, "we're saving your ass, America" card.
If we are indeed a "Nation Founded on Chrisian Values" as I've heard the president say on more than one occasion, we're defenitely running afoul with Wrath here. That's a deadly sin, dubya.
January 22nd 2002: Hangover town
I ran my media/prisoner paranoia line by Jeremy at the bar, and he seemed to see what I was seeing. He even took it a step further, saying that it just might go all the way to televised executions. Seems like the majority of the populace is on the band wagon, according to this CNN poll.
Damn Slusarz and his, "I don't feel like leaving yet." We drank to closing time at the Palace last night. Danny gave us a few free ones towards the end, "It's just tap beer," he says. They sure do have a rocking juke-box, but all women seem to come escorted by at least two men. Now I have the aftermath. (I like that, after-math). Caffeine to the rescue.
Also at the bar, I met a guy, law-enforcement, named Bruce who wanted to know how to send fake emails. He's your typical AOL user, just wants it to be easy and fun, amusement rather than real anonymitity. Thought I had a great idea there to build a wee e-biz, but then you find out it's already been done. But this site is drab and leans toward real anonymitity. Maybe there's room for a frivolous competitor?
January 20th 2002: Troubled Boy
Seems I've gained weight over the holidays. Feel sluggish, out of shape. Damn that Justin Hall, always writing about taking another notch off his belt. Gotta get that bike fixed. In other news, Frank has some new toys.
A nasty bit of paranoia thinking about Hollywood's pledge to boost patriotism. Watching the boob tube with Frank, noticed an errie connections between this [cnn.com] and this [fox.com]. How long before we de-sensatize the populous enough to put live interrogations of our prisoners of war -- sorry "war criminals" -- by NYC detectives on prime time? Come on, we're a vengeful nation. It's a guarentied sell, a ratings shoe-in.
January 20th 2002: Snow Day
Snow last night. It's a wonderful, beautiful, incredible thing, the snow. Suddenly, wandering streets made new in reflected orange streetlight and dampened sound, you realize that all the old rules just might not apply. Buying beer for a party I was headed over to, I narrowly escaped the siren of metropolitan avenue, a hawkish, hungry, beautiful lady who came into the deli and began madly playing the lottery with unbelievable verve and frenzy.
The party was thrown by a friend of Jeremy's (Jay) and while it had a very funny invite, I felt like I was a little too outlandish for the scene.
I also realized that my social group from NY is a lot more square compared to my people from the west coast. I think it's because people here in NY who are not square are often too far the other way, too L-train, self-consciously cynically hip. If that's the score, I prefer to error on the side of real honest and humble squareness.
January 18th 2002: Lonely Vibrations
It seems like every relationship I know of in New York (including some that I'm involved in) took a turn for the worse in the New Year. Unpleasent defensive, predatory, skitting vibes pervade. "This is the time of our lives!" we all scream in an effort to protect ourselves.
Saw Bunz for the first time in a while at a party. Strange party in her building (the host a guy, also from oregon, who I don't trust for some reason) with strange feelings pervading. I wanted to tell her that she was better than this, really tell her how much I'd missed her. But I have too much "respect" and as always in these situations I cowed myself with the knowledge that it's not my place, I'm no one to say this, I can't support it. Sad to listen to half-empty drunk talk when you know there's so much more there and you want to revel in it.
Then on back to Brooklyn for the crash. Play with my new camera. Tomorrow is another day.
January 17th 2002: Back in Black
I should really learn to stop reading Kerouac when I'm trying to sleep. God damn that drunk fires me up. Life life life! I'm bemused by everything, immune to the forces of commerce, and hooked on the fire and glory. Here's a quote from The Dharma Bums, which I just completed:
"But let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious"
.... .... .... BAM!
Anyway, it's been a long strange re-entry trip to New York City. This most recent return home has given me a good deal of perspective on things, and I'm still working out the kinks of my old life. I can feel in my bones there are some changes a-brewing. Couples are splitting, The Quick Fix is kicking, work is starting to come in steady and sure, I just saw my sister off to college at Emmerson in Boston, and my thoughts are drifting dreamlike to what we're going to make of this world. More to come, my friends, much more and better than before!
January 12th 2002: Missed entry
I thought I had something to say in the 5 days past, but it's not here... Maybe it fell down a hole when I was stumbling around one night. Oh well.
Great and busy last days here in Oregon. Running around the U of O getting things in order for The Quick Fix (need to get that site cooking). Last night I saw my monkey-friend Brian in Amiri Baraka's Primitive World, which was a real treat. The kicker was that Baraka was on hand for the production and afterwords we heard some read good music by Peter Mulvey (a humble but formidable force of honesty, humour, truth and beauty with a guitar) and the Man Himself read some poetry. What a voice! What a mind! The true highlight was right after the end of the show: I had to run to the pisser. Who was right across the stall wall but the Man Himself, so now I can tell my grand-kids I urineated in tandem with Amiri Baraka. One for the ages.
After everything was done I followed a knockout red-haired dancer to a bar. We seemed to agree on a lot of things, and she wants to move to New York, which I found exciting. I didn't hang out with my friends though, which I found worrysome. Strange events on my second to last night in Eugene.
January 6th 2002: Navy all the way
Coming back into port here after a weekend rambling around the state. I just finished reading Cruddy by Lynda Barry, strongly reccomend it to one and all.
Friday night Luke and his house of Rock & roll had a big party. Two kegs of Pabst, five bands, and a lawn full of beer cans the morning after. It was a little bit of a sausage-fest, but the music rocked (especially Roy... look for mp3's soon) and the company was good. I got to meet two of Mark's new friends from Arcata, Jack and Kevin. Good guys. They came with Luke, Mark, Shannon and I the next day to the coast and we all camped in a Yurt. I always worry that I'll come all the way back across country and not get my nature fix. Done and done.
I feel a little strung out though. Maybe too much driving. Luke had a bad time of it, loosing his glasses and having to take a bus back up to Portland. I worry about him... he's less cynical than he's been in the past, but he just seems so down about stuff. I was thinking about his situation and it occured to me that he doesn't have a lot of quote-unquote "Life Skills" to make it happen on a day to day. I don't think that'll be a problem in the long run with him on his way to Grad school, but in the mean time it seems to be a downer. I just hope he finds a way to re-ignite that fire that used to be in him. Fuck college for making people think they can't do anything to change the world. What a load of bullshit. Someone sound the alarm.
January 3rd 2002: Bermuda Vibrations
I made an important realization lately (actually, on new years) that I need to take a stronger stance about my life while I'm back in Oregon. It's been a good time, but I'm failing at both getting stuff done and at relaxing, so I need to start making some choices. I've decided it's all relaxation until next week, when it will be all production. Bifrucation at its height. Divide and conquor. Tonight I will dance and laugh and maybe read some more in Cruddy which my mom has been trying to get me to read for quite some time.
January 2nd 2002: ...a new era
Thinking about the importance and insignificance of the new-year ritual. Does it serve a purpose beyond baccinalian circus, some sort of psychic marker of progress through the mud of time? Mark has been telling me wonderful things he's learned in a physics and cosmology class at Humbolt State, things about space-time and the nature of our universe. Maybe these made-up events (holidays) serve to bend metaphysical space-time, by which I mean our subjective experience , the same way high-gravity objects distort real physical space-time. Every year another divit on the imaginary surface, and the trick to life is making your dents in reality bumpy enough to be exciting but not so much that you loose your way and fall down a black hole and never crawl out.
In other meditations...
New Years was ok as they go: not particularly memorable, but not as much of a fiasco as it could have been. I went up to Portland where I celebrated with Luke, Mark, my sister and a good portion of the Monkeys. We had a great dinner at the Montage, stopped by a strange portland-punk party with a basement bar and half-feral children burning things in the back yars, then retired to Luke's house to ring in the new year.
The real excitement for me was on new years day. First off, the Ducks won the Fiesta Bowl. Then, later on I was trying to take the 9pm Amtrak down from Portland so I could do some work back in Eugene. Through a series of mishaps the train ended up being a no-go, and Amtrak put us all on a bus... at midnight. Waiting for the train I fell in love (figuratively, not literally) with the red-haired, bright-eyed station-employee girl who punched my ticket (literally, not figuratively). However, once they finally said, "No train tonight, the bus will be here at 12" I gave up on her and made the stroll through Portland's Chinatown to Hung Far Low for some muscle relaxant (bourbon) for the long ride down. The bus was a real slice of life. I made friends with Holly, the optamistic 16-year-old drama queen who's suffocating in Salem, an anonymous 30-year-old addict (speed, heroin, etc) who'd been up for five days straight and was going down to Albany to straighten himself out yet again, and Colin, a 26-year old drug person from Lincoln City who scored me a ride most of the way home from his lady when we finally pulled in at 3am. It was a real frame-breaking experience, one in which the usual ways of doing things cease to be important. I made notes of actual on-the-bus language, which I'll transcribe and post soon.
Happy New Year, everyone. 2002: it's the year of the palendrome, which won't come around again until 2112, which means the odds are I'll be dead. Moral: make it count.
Back in Time to 2001