"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Hymns From the City

Music Please.

Looking out over the man-made mountains of Manhattan, full moon reflected off concrete, the lingering bite of snow in the air, wrapped up in shadows out on the fringe of exhaustion, pushing finally to the borderline of innocence past all the complications and angles; there's where you find the essence of your reality, where control and construction fall away, where you are overtaken by events, have no choice but to Be There, suffering your nerves, grinding your jaw, feeling your guts churn, your heart about to leap or sink or smolder or burn.

And even though this can be at times quite unpleasant, the greater way is to ride these waves, breathe deeper into the butterflied tummy, the tensed-up shoulders; to channel all this energy, to let it all flow, to have the essence of original cool, neither loosing or asserting control. Because this is your life, and it's not really something that should be rationalized. It's something you aught to live, deeply if at all possible.

A pretty smart and pretty passionate (and it should be said, pretty pretty) woman I know explained to me once how getting out on a long road trip was a good way for her of "hitting the reset button," getting re-acquainted with what's important, real, true, etc. I know the feeling, but unfortunately don't have a personally reliable formula for getting there myself. So it's blessed when I'm transported thus, smack dab back to the moment.

It's not really like turning your mind off so to speak — just drink five shots of whiskey if that's what you're after; gets boring, don't it? — but more like getting your brain to take its foot off the brake. Scary, yes, but scary good, or to be more specific scary in the only way that anything will ever matter.

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Zipping Along

Man, I wish I could write and drive at the same time. Last weekend headed up to my old homeland on some unfamiliar highways, Rolling through the town of White City, Oregon — gun shop, churches, VA recovery center, two kids wearing weird mascot-type costumes dancing on the side of the road to entice drivers-by into struggling strip-mall businesses — and on up the Rogue River valley, eventually into the high national forest above Crater Lake. Got a bit dicy in the pass: snowfall, sunset, fuel level and elevation all hitting at about the same time combined with me not being 100% sure I was on the right road; made for an exciting hour or so while I wondered if I'd end up hitching my way back in conditions that reminded me of nothing more than the Donner Party.

But of course I made it with some skillful no-chains driving — light touch and steady speed is the key — and crossed into the relative civilization of the Central Oregon valley. Had a great time doing not a whole lot with some old friends there. Parlor games, kid wrangling, gumbo, scotch, lots of laughter, etc, all in a big warm house in a pretty (if slightly Stepford) "Golf Community."

I didn't even feel out of place hanging out with a bunch of common-law/married/engaged couples. Just grown ass people enjoying their time. It did hit me a little when I left though, after cruising over to the Euge and enjoying a lovely Valentines dinner with my Mom, that itchy urge to email all my old ladyfriends or fall down a bottle, or possibly both. Couldn't get to sleep in any case.

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When The Lord Made Me He Made A Ramblin' Man

Last night I tromped around in the woods with my roommate, us and her wolf-dog on a jump-roap leash, ranging on up and around Westhaven hill, cutting back through the creek bed by the Arts Center, and finally returning home to simmer up some steak bits with Larrupin' red sauce. An ideal evening in the Redwoods.

So it was with more than a little preemptive nostalgia that I had to break the news to Kells that I'd be probably moving out this summer. This decision came to me over the holidays, and I'd been digesting for a while, waiting for the right time to vocalize it. Much as I've loved my time here, and it's done some really good things for me, my future is pulling me back out into the world, and into the world I must go.

But no rush; I don't have a destination set yet, and I won't be clearing out until June or July. That'll make it four years in this place, the longest I've stayed anywhere since I was a teenage kid leaving the little Eugene house I grew up in for the big city. That was quite a while ago, but the idea of getting back out there has the same whiff of adventure.

I'll always have a little piece of my soul here in the HC, and hopefully will be back through to visit on a regular basis what with my company having an office and so many wonderful people around. Expect to be on the scene for 2010s Christmas party for sure.

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The Feeling Begins

First of all, some mood music.

Lord I just want my life to be true
And I just want my heart to be true
And I just want my words to be true
I want my soul to feel brand new

I want to hold hands yeah
Yeah and I want make love
I want to keep running all day and and all night
Even when my mind tells my body that's enough

And I want to stand up yeah and I want to stand tall
If I ever have a son, if I ever have a daughter
I don't want to tell them that I didn't give my all

I just finished reading Jonathan Franzen's first novel, Twenty Seventh City. It's a really wonderful story of political intrigue and personal neurosis, and there's a killer line towards the end from the perspective of a young woman upset with her somewhat pedantic boyfriend: "Suddenly she was living in a new world made for people like him, for people who can despise it and succeed in it anyway."

(man, google books is cool)

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Borrowed Nostalgia For The Unremembered '80s

So, in the semi-working part of my vacation (mucking around with servers while the team is offline) I've also been trying to do some thinking, some writing, and have ended up re-reading a lot of my old shit. I have mixed emotions about this.

On the one hand, I've strung together some decent words. That's always nice to remember, and it makes me feel better about my currently fumbly half-blocked state as a writer.

On the other hand, even though I also keep a personal paper journal, reading your own blog is a little like reading your own diary. It's a little embarrassing, but that's to be expected. The worse part is that really slaps me in the face with how consistent my complaining has been. For years now, the same old song.

An easy answer to this is that I've been focusing on "my career," which is factually true, but it's an inductive dodge in terms of addressing the state of my personal life. There are more than enough hours in the day, even when you work as much as I do. I've worked harder and lived better in my day.

Living the dream requires... a dream.

Everybody keeps on talking about it
nobody's getting it done
Everybody keeps on pushing and shoving
nobody's got the guts

It's a damn hard thing to write/think through, the Gordian knot of your psyche. No end to the chicken/egging.

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With a good four full days off work now and no other project to fill up my mind, I begin to really honestly decompress, and this is where the scary part begins. This is the part where I have to face head on the fact that life outside of professional nerdly pursuits has grown pretty barren. Much great promise withered on the vine.

Some of this is a feature of my genetically-destined workaholic lifestyle — devote yourself 110% to anything and you'll find the rest in neglect — but it occurs to me now as I start in on this sad-sack self-pity topic that a greater portion of this barren sensation is really due to a failure of imagination, confidence and will more than anything else.

I mean, as a for instance, I know people who work professionally in the entertainment industry, and contra what you might think about the glamour of stage and screen, when you're working you're fracking working, and there's not much room for anything else if you're more than halfway serious, which, if you got there, you'd better be.

Maybe it's just the grass being greener, or deeper personal shit I'm not privy to, but none of these successful working actors and musicians I know feel like their lives are empty or barren when a gig runs its course. Doubtless there's some let-down and a rough reentry to a more normal civilian life, but by in large these folks seem to bear up over the longer haul because they have a whole inner world that fits with this, they're living the dream, and nourishing creative embers that burn even through the longest roughest stretch of worky working, ready to flare up the moment oxygen's back in surplus.

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One and One is One

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Burnout Rally

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Portland, Oregon

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Notes From The Underground

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