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Vintage Outlandish!

This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

[outlandish] | [my story] | [love] | [sin] | [places] | [philosophy]


"We need that. We need to tell stories and to listen to stories. It's basic, ancestral, biological even."

-- Rev. Billy

Tall tales and true myths

Well, here's where I start to lay down the backstory, the history, the herstory, de-mystify the mestory. I have a whole epistemological proof for the power of storytelling, but it's a bit lengthy to put here, and belongs in the philosophy section. I'll write it later. In the mean-time, let me just say I believe the quote up there, that humans have a need to tell stories and to listen to stories. And go to his website by the way: it's more important than mine. You can come back here later.

Ok, now that you're back, some stories. I think how I'm going to outline this is to write out a kind of general outline of my life with basic summary material, and then populate each section with individual tales. So here's the outline, cocheese.



0 - 3: The Halcyon Youth

Stories: TBA

I was born in Eugene Oregon on May 10th 1979. My biological parents were never really all that compatable (no fault of theirs) and split up well before I have conscious memories. I lived with my mother in Eugene when I was very young. She ran a bakery and I ate chocolate chips off the floor. Sometime after that, we moved up to The Four Winds Commune hear Hood River Oregon. I would sometimes go back to Eugene to spend time with my dad at the ranch he lived on near Pleasent Hill. Sometime after my third birthday Bill came and took the both of us back to Iowa.

4 - 7: The Gypsy Years

Stories: TBA

During this period of my life, my little sister was born (August 10th, 1984) and we moved around a lot. We lived in Iowa for about a year; I did some time in a couple of head-start and pre-school programs. Sometime in the summer of '85 we drove back to Four Winds (I did kindergarden there), then returned to Iowa for a summer, then down to Ganesville Florida where my mom decided I should attend Waldorf School. I went to 1st grade there and made my first "best friend", but the climate was too hot and muggy for the adults, so we went back to Eugene, where we eventually settled.

8-11: Pre-Adolesence

Stories: TBA

We settled into Eugene in a smallish house near to the local Waldorf School and a bike path. Except for an occasional trip to Iowa for the summer or up to Hood River for a visit, we pretty much stayed put. When I was 10 or 11, we moved into the house my mom still lives in on 16th street. I made friends (notably: Robin) and spent every other weekend with my Dad, generally growing up care-free; crashing my bike, teasing my sister, and playing videogames.

12-15: Adolesence


Then came the onslaught of change wrought by hormones. Adolesence is such a trip with you think back on it. Everything in your life goes into a state of flux. Your physical container, your body, stages a rebellion and begins to dictate the terms of your living. Suddenly you become aware of sex as a force rather than as something to giggle about. Your friends change and the childhood playground power-struggles take on a more evolved and devious social aspect.

All this and more happened to me. I finished up at Waldorf School and decided that I aught to move on/up to South Eugene High (ascending from a class of 24 to 450). I began to consciously toy with my identity. I experienced my first crush. I felt my first betrayal. I also met some of the people who have since become pillars of my existance.

16-18: Young Adulthood

Stories: TBA

This is where things started to really click, where looking back I can start to see the Josh that is me emerge. I had real long hair for a while and was terrified of women, but I was smart and tall and full of chi. These were the years of the fire and the blackness, where I began to live in the real world and first realized my creative predisposition. These are also the years in which I grew very close with Luke and Mark.

This is the era in which I shed the trappings of childhood piece by piece. I discovered philosophy, politics, art, commerce, drugs, and sex, pretty much in that order. A time of great personal growth, of stepping up to the plate in one area of life after another. This is also when I burned myself out in Eugene and left to go to college in New York City. A lot like leaving Waldorf for public high school, actually.

18-21: College Daze

Stories: TBA

College... what can I say? I had tasted candy drops of freedom and challenge before, but this is the mother load. Here was the challenge of a lifetime: to take an airplane across the country and start a new life. The institution was a huge help in doing this, providing me a place to live in close proximity to other life-minded youths and a structured set of activities to help me expand my knowledge and capabilities. I attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. I graduated in 3 and a half years, spending all 7 semesters studying at the Experimental Theater Wing.

Moving off to college tripped the switch from young adulthood to adulthood, from amateur creative-type to degree-holding artist, from dabbler to professional. I came home in the summers, which also was important for my development. Notably, I started going to the Oregon Country Fair and I got involved with some dodgy .com dudes.

21-23: Leaving the Fold


Directly post-college, I spent the majority of my energy building myself a life that stands without any institutional support and sustains itself without a 3-month change of scenery every summer. After graduating in December 2000, I came back to Oregon for about 6 weeks to de-compress and reflect. I moved back to the City in early February, couch surfed and ended up living in a sublet on 10th St with Frank, Christina, Melissa, and Jill (and, effectively, her boyfriend Matt). It was a good run. They were all going a little mad finishing school and I was paying way too much to share a bedroom with Frank, but it was one of those things that just felt right. Since moving in with these people, I met many new friends and started to flex my life muscles in many new ways. I started to realize how exciting it is to be young.

When our lease was up, Christina, Frank, Melissa and I decided to stick together (Jill moved in with Matt) and we found a place in Greenpoint Brooklyn, where we lived for a year. It was a happy house, even if it is messy and smelled like cat poo sometimes. Things started to get a little shaky for Christina and she moved out, letting subletter Miranda join the fun.

Present: Testing the Wings

Stories: TBA

This summer marked a period of transition of some kind for me. Frank and I left the old place in Greenpoint and moved a few blocks down. Revelations keep pouring in about where and what life is supposed to be. My friend Luke got a kickass scholarship/stipend at Berkeley, essentially getting paid $17,000/yr to earn a PhD, and that's kicking my ass. It looks more and more like we're going to war, and that's kicking my ass. My soulmate-longing is seeping into my bones, making me act more like a gentleman, passing on the easy scores, and that's kicking my ass. Basically I'm starting to feel the need to accomplish things, to be significant, to fall in love with people and things and to change the world doing it. Lofty goals, but I don't think it's hubris. At least, I hope it isn't.

Well, that's the life story. Hope it was somewhat entertaining. Check back later and I'll fill out some of those TBA slots with interesting happenings and amazing stories.

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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...


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