July 2002: For a Better Tomorrow
July 30th 2002 March On
Two quick links for the curious today.
One: stories from a video-store clerk who works in a store that rents out a fair amount of porn. I followed the link from bud.com because I thought it would be funny and maybe a tad innaresting. 90 minutes later I'm amazed by the level of social observation and existential pondering. Apparently I'm not the only one. There was an NPR peice done on this lady recently. Man I love the internet! Proof that self-publishing power works!.
Two: demolition-derby writeup from the old man in Iowa. For those who crave wide open spaces and the distinct scent of desil.
July 29th 2002 Dutch Attitude
Said today in the #logreport IRC channel:
<joshk> happy monday!
<Fruit> "almost weekend!" as we say in .nl.
Dutch hackers are the best.
July 28th 2002 Break on through to the other side
Just read a great quote on the topic of NYC's restrictive cabaret regulations. They're one of the not-so-nice relics of Guiliani's reign in the city. A few years ago thye made it illegal to dance anyplace without a cabaret licence (hard to get) to crack down on parties and clubs. Score one for the bad guys! Look, I loved the mayor's post 9-11 performance as much as anyone, but in most circumstances this city euns on lessez-faire and doesn't need a dictator. Anyway the quote:
"Let's not let them turn Greenwitch Village into Greenwitch Conneticut. I'm sorry, but fuck you. We were here first."
Let's hear it for freaking the mundanes!
Lit up something fierce. Tore up my shoes even more, if you can believe it. Now feeling good and hung-over: a three advil morning. Sometimes I think I drink for the purpose of mornings (ok, afternoons) like this. Contemplative unhurried time.
Last night was epic. I've been having a very hard time re-integrating into New York, struggling to find my place with my friends here. They're good people, but sometimes it's hard to be open. Last night I think I might have finally gotten a good connection with Frank via a simple conversation about the need to divide the labor of keeping house. I realized that we've never lived together without other roommates to even things out, and though the building is all friends and that's almost like having roommates it's still different.
But about last night. Well, the activities weren't really epic, but the ramifications and realizations -- the vibrations if you will -- were indeed; re-realizing (again!) the true value of honesty and all that jazz. Human will and the truth are an unbeatable combination, sucka. The world we live in is so awash with lies and bullshit, they cut through the static like pure light.
We went to a party we were invited to via old-roommate Melissa by way of her boyfriend Jim. He's a good guy. Responsible. Anyway, he's got friends in high places, or at least with tons and tons of money because this party was in a huge apartment downtown, an entire floor of what I surmise was once a warehouse, high ceilings and a big cargo door seperating the front half from the back. The affair can be best summarized through the following: there were three kegs there and they were all Budweiser by reason of taste rather than economic necessity. They had a ping-pong table, taking up an area nearly equivalent to my old bedroom (converted closet), set up for beer-pong. Lots of collared shirts, khakis, belts and sandals. To be honest, the place was packed with squares: retired frat boys and the overly made-up, hard-faced kind of girls they attract. The high moment was dancing a little with Cesl, fellow committed hipster and old friend of Julia's from LA. The low moment was walking in the room most far back and seeing that the occupant had a vintage Soviet flag hanging near his bed. The depth of the hypocrisy almost made me vomit, literally. Frank drove the nail home, reminding me that if I had the money I would do the same. Y'see, anything you really hate is something that also lives in you. That's some heavy wisdom, the shadow side.
I had to get out, so I went to wish this woman I know, Jill, a happy birthday. She was the stage/production manager for a little revue that my friend Frank Boudreaux put together last October. That's where I developed my bikeman piece. I always fall for stage managers: women in positions of authority are really attractive to me. It's a pattern I've come to recognize in my own life. So I met her back in October, we hung out a few times and had a flirtatious relationship. Right before I went home for Christmas we fooled around a bit. It was poorly timed as I had to literally kiss and run to make my flight home, which was leaving at 6am. I was gone for a month, and I didn't do a good job of keeping up the connection so she probably thought I was playing her. I suppose in a certain sense I was. However, she invited me to her birthday party -- a chance to atone. I didn't make it to the main part because I was at that squaresville affair getting loaded, but I showed at the "aftermath" just in time to catch her on her way home. Ambled with her friends and had some conversation. She's beautiful, tall and intelligent so of course now she has a boyfriend. It was nice to see her again though.
I went back to the loft party hoping to see my friends, but the guys had already left (off for a nip at Grassroots, which I heard was a total fiasco involving bike malfunction and angry thuggish Jamaicans) and so I went with Melissa and a whole crowd to "the Bulgarian bar." I thought it was a joke, but no: down on Broadway and Canal is a Bulgarian establishment full of pumping dance music, strange and wonderful people, and large eastern-european beers. I think the people from the square party were in and out: too crowded, too stinky, too fucking weird. I stayed and spent my $20 on more beer, tasted a lot better than Bud, I'll tell you that much. Have vague recollections of bike trouble on the way home at around 5am -- plus the wounds to prove that the problem was the chain. The sky was light as I was going to bed.
July 26th 2002 The Smackdown, Part II
When will I learn that the popcorn chicken from PFC makes me feel really bad in the morning? I attribute 75% of my AM discomfort today to the grease-soaked momentary pleasure. Fast food is like a one-night stand: you like it when you're having it, but soon after it will make you at least a little sick to your stomach.
In other news, one of my best site-comments yet came in today:
"Cube of Testosterone" writes:
Amsterdam gets under your skin and then you begin to really feel its vibe, I've smoked the hash, taken the shrooms, imbibed countless heinekens, seen the sex show and leered at the hookers, purveyed museums who's subjects rang from Van Gogh, to hemp, to sex, to torture, I've considered the wide gammet of sociological implications of a place that's a cross between LA and Vegas, with fewer hang ups. The basic thesis is as follows; given that culture is not quantifiable but is in fact the conglomeration of the most integral qualities of any indentifiable social group, and considering that the entirely socially libertarian attitude of the Netherlands exists without a virtual overload of massive social chaos, it would follow that either all humans are capable of such freedom without injiry, or that their is something unique built in to the Dutch consciousness. SInce we can rule out the former with numerous examples, as much as it pains me to say it I don't think that Americans possess the sense of control and moderation to handle that kind of liberation, it is then apparent that a cultural factor is indeed at least partially responsible. What it is, I intend to discover.
I can only assume this is testosterone buddy number one The Girth (he's touring europe) phoning in from Amsterdam, possibly while high. Shine on, you crazy diamond.
Burn Pomo Burn
An enterprising kook in the artificial intelligence field has created a postmodernism engine. It's been applied here to generate essays. More evidence that it's time to get post-post-modern.
July 25th 2002 The Smackdown
I'll admit it. Watching WWE tonight with Jeremy and Alex (downstairs bro needs a page!) was entertaining. Drinking the Colt 45 didn't hurt, I imagine. Still, I'm a sucker for such blatantly Brechtian athletic theatrics. Julia swung by for a bit, nice to see, and I gave her a bike ride to the station. Hit the PFC on my way back. Add a little lovin' to top it off and I'd say I was living the good life.
Been writing Monkey Love Letters to send back to Oregon, making wistful, blissful plans to get away from it all.
July 22nd 2002 Monkey Summer 2002
When I can focus I am capable of really great things. Yesterday, with a big dose of caffeine to combat the hangover I splurted the highlights of my trip. I really went on a tear: 3000+ words, with a little straying into other topics from my past and current life. It was actually quite a creative possession. I couldn't sleep last night until 5am. I waited to edit it today, and I'll keep working on it as an evolving feature (maybe my sis will email me some more photos. For the more visually inclined, I posted the best photos I've got. Fell in love with Oregon summer yet again. Read, look and understand why.
July 21st 2002 Hangover Productive
I'm getting a productive day in riding out the hangover from last night's party. I had conflict: was supposed to go out to Long Island for a pool party with old RA buddy Kristi, but ended up staying in brooklyn and drinking with Nick from Moonsaloon on his birthday. I felt a little guilt for bailing on Kristi. She's having a hard time these days I think. Jeremy (they were together for a couple years in college) is in mane with his new lady, and she more or less planned things so he could come. Hopefully I can 'scape her wrath.
July 20th 2002 Evening Out
Well, the worst of my post-high low has passed. Billbo Baggens reminded me I acted just the same way when I was 6 and I cam home from disneyland. Also gave voice to the unspoken/unspeakable desire I undoubtedly have to get the hell out of New York for longer than two weeks. Food for thought. Just for that, I'm going to link to HIS website, here. Actually, I'm astonished at the guy... he set it all up himself. Publishing empowerment! Rock on!
Anyhoo, things no longer seem so desparate or bleak. I'm writing letters by hand to the Monkeys trying to keep the mojo flowing. I'm still thinking about the 1,3,5,10-year life goals... I want to make a real nice looking report and prospectus and send it to everyone I know. That way I'll have a reason to follow through.
Oi! Just got done with a bastard of a job: www.swahili-imports.com. Dave did the design and I wrestled with ColdFusion to get the back-end cooking. The clients were nice, but we had to work with their existing system, which was created 3 years ago by someone who'd never heard of programming best practices. The database was a mess and the code completely undocumented. But we got it done, hack after hack. Now I require booze. I said as much to Dave and he emailed me back this priceless response:
"ah, to retreat into the warm fuzziness of alcohol. on just about everyone's recommendation, i bought some knob creek last night. the tattooed rocker clerk at the liquor store got really excited when i bought it, and then took me back to the bourbon rack pointing out all his favorite brands. maybe we should airlift small-batch bourbon into israel and all the hotspots of the world."
Now that's my kind of foreign policy!
July 18th 2002 Stone Lonely
Late in the night...
Drunk to hell with the fart house buys at the palace. Seems like things are moving along out here. It's hot and sweaty and miserable and lonesome, full of cheap and (internally) ugly women who don't know what they want. Fried chicken is a form of salvation here in Greenpoint.
Earlier in the day...
New York comes back hard and ugly and hot. It's raining that filthy east coast rain -- not really poison or foul but somehow... greasy -- and it's still 90+ degrees out. Hot town, summer in the city. I was sitting in Frank's room watching the simpsons, eating some frozen grapes (try it, you'll like it) and feeling lonesome just now. It's a long slow lonesome, not the kind that drives me out of the house or into the bottle, but the kind that makes me feel like I might start crying at any moment. I haven't wept since acting school, and that was for an exercise. Backed up, like a man. I feel fragile, raw, needy; like one of the people who can't hack it and end up moving back in with their parents.
In spite of this malase, things are looking up. I can pay the rent; I can find meaning in existence; I can get work done and get my theater booked in the world. Somewhere in the dirty and gritty there's a little seed of honest feeling. Needs protection and water, but maybe this softness, this ability to love can grow. Silly meloncholy guy I am, twirling away in this humid little room, feeling like an adolescent, wondering where the wildwoods woman to sooth my soul is right now. It's nice to feel, I just wish maybe the feelings were a little more pleasent.
I would go on, but it's already a little more self-centered than I like to be. Suppose it's time to go and turn the old attention energy-fountain at something else.
July 17th 2002 Back in Black
Returned to NYC, the humping, belching, steaming bitch-goddess of my bellicose revolutionary dreams. It stinks here in the apotheosis of America. Riding the bus from Newark to Grand Central I read a complimentary copy of the NY Post (the lock Rupert Murdoch rag), aghast at the wrongheadedness of people and the avarice of the "journalists" who feed their greedy, close-minded appetites.
Hope springs eternal, though, and I'm back in the business of getting shit done. Site updates forthcoming include the conclusion of my Ren Fayre write up, some formalization of my notes on Netherlands travel, tons of pictures from my recent trip back to oregon, and notes on the Fair, the Monkeys, myself and the world in general. The slew of revelation is still settling, but suffice to say I've got some new (or at least renovated) goals.
July 12th 2002 Country Fair
All responsibilities are on hold. My hands may be huge, but I feel like making love.
July 6th 2002 Working Hard
Working hard on life plans. Thought leadership, the future of the Monkey Tribe, my own long term goals and ideals. The truth the truth the truth... so close to grasping onto purpose.
Today a number of events. I saw the big ex-girlfriend from eugene while biking to my mothers office to do a little work in the late morning. Amanda, the first one. Someday I'll make a page explaining that relationship. I worked on frustrating, poorly documented, underpowered coldfusion in the afternoon, taking breaks for used clothes shopping and some greasy pizza. Later worked with Mark on our contribution to the fair, the monkey confessional. The shit eventually hit the fan between Luke and Robin. See, Luke's been seeing Robin's ex. Baggage. Strife. I hit up good old Max's tavern with Dan (also needs a page) and had a few beers. We took turns spotting cuties, but what with my brief plans I didn't see any payoff in approaching anyone. Walking home drunk I wonder about the gone little hipster girl I met back in January, whether she's still in town and all that jazz. At the end of the night a Eugene Celebrity all-star brass band played some hot tunes in the bar. Former members of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and other well known local leftists. We rocked out and felt special accordingly.
July 5th 2002 Ok, maybe not a big update, but...
It's bucolic and bohemian here in Eugene. Monkey Summer 2002 is in full effect. It's amazing to me how beautiful people's homes are out here. My mother continues to remodel the old casa on 16th ave, and a solid contingent of the Monkey Tribe is camped out at the estate up on Crest Drive, where there's pingpong and a back yard with trampoline and badmitten. The automatically inbred nature of living out here makes some people nervous (sure it can be annoying... how did I know that guy at the deli again?) but at the same time there's a lot to be said for community. I feel at home, starting to wonder if living well isn't more than just the best revenge. I fantasize about a carefree future where I travel from spot to spot with a sleek TiBook, soaking up the western ways. Feels a bit like when I was here with the Quick Fix, wondering why can't I stay here in the endless summer, easy living with family and good friends ready at hand.
I feal Beat out here, as in Beatific, like a real live dharma bum. You know, there's something to be said for committing to living an "alternative lifestyle." I use the quotations because the term has become so cliche in our age, trite even. The way I see it, it's a return to principles, to standing for something. Reading the news lately I read a lot about various transgressions of government and business leaders, silly programs and double-dealing, and it occurs to me how far this country has strayed from its founding ideals. We're supposed to be about freedom, about justice, about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our leaders pay these notions lip service, invoking sound bytes in what amounts to a fantastic dumb-show to pacify the masses while behind the curtains perverse greed and avarice rule the day.
I've had enough. We make the choices, we have the power. The people, that is. Problem being that these days these "The People" (the notion of a unified mass of populist sentiment) is mostly just that: a notion. Let's face it, we've been betrayed too many times, and too many pockets have been lined with betrayal for us to really think we'll ever get clean again. I mean, as long as the good times keep rolling why play a fair game? What's to be had from having principles you stick to? Just do what works. Right?
July 2nd 2002 See Ya!
Leaving town for the Euge and the monkeys, hanging with Luke and Mark and my Sis and Mom and camping out at the Country Fair. Just what the doctor ordered. Tonight saw some old friends and old flames. Confusing, the resurgence of desire. Drank and biked to relieve the stress. Ended up home alone packing, waiting for the car to come take me to Newark to PDX (home of the suicide girls and a lot of good people) and then down to Eugene via the ride from Dave. It will be a spectacular visit, full of prose and poetry. The next update will be a new design and hometown features a-plenty.
Spent a bit of time with Bunz (the aforementioned old flame) tonight. She's just doing so well lately. I want her to burst into the transcendent human I know she can become. She's still mired in a few earthy concerns, but I think she'll bust out eventually; getting more airborne all the time. And yes, I want her all the more now that she seems confidant and has her shit together. When I was with her, she was a bit of a girl, lots of high voice and indecision. Now she's just growing into the most amazing woman -- bully for her -- with a solid voice and lots of convictions. Very hot. I doubt if that's to be though... and yet hope springs eternal. You always wonder if you missed that train, dontcha?
July 1st 2002 Caffeine and The Quest for Meaning
I recently got an espresso maker. Not one of those fancy faux-barista thing, but one of the little two-chambered teapot-lookin' things that forces steam through tight packed coffee to produce a rich, dark, fragrant cup of joe. It boasts a six cup capacity, but I think that's european style: a full load only half fills my traditional morning coffee mug. But that half cup goes a long way, if you know what I mean. Yeah, baby. Caffeine.
Looks like someone is trying to start the next scientology, this time on the internet. I wonder if it will work. These guys have been sending out strange spam about how there's "something extremely wrong with every single person in this world," referencing the matrix and sounding like introverted isolated kids who got stoned or tripped and suddenly decided they figured out the answer to their questions. It's created a bit of a stir online, mainly because it seems to be something different. I wonder if it will work? Tapping into the universal dissatisfaction with elements of reality and offering a bright new world is a tried and true method of winning converts. But I don't dig these folks' trip too much. They talk communication (a good thing) but their rap sounds rather cold and mechanical, like they've never dipped their toes in sublimity. The loveless make the coldest and most avaristic of hedonists. I'll take someone who understands the world, groks humanity, and actually has experience talking to people.
June: the Tide is Turning