"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (again)

I'm struggling. [[axioms of living|The most important thing is to stop struggling]].

Weeks of sly and furtive procrastination has lead my working life to another crunch period with looming deadlines and no way out but to bear down doubly hard. Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it just the sick work/life style we learn in college? Is it simply human nature to wait for pressure to act? Is it some kind of self-sabotage? Who knows, but I want to move beyond this. It feels juvenile, unprofessional. It creates feelings of anger and dismay:

Baaaah! This is not happening! (Rex from Memphis, a lovable old Baptist stoner who's daughter picked me up on the streets and brought our whole crew into their home for a night), or maybe MY EMPIRE IS CRUMBLING (Kids in the Hall; Brain Candy).

It's not the end of the world, but it is a setback. Here we are again, at the end of the rope, pulling ourselves back into the game. This isn't what I want to do with my life.

And it doesn't help my mood that this girl I was hoping to see won't call me back. It's not entirely surprising seeing as how I already used (squandered, said Dauter at the time, which I didn't quite understand then but do now) my second-chance a couple years ago. My life experience suggests that second-chances tend to be last chances, but still.

And it doesn't help either that a work-related trip back to NYC got bumped back to July, which is after the other girl I was hoping to see will have blown out of Brooklyn. Kind of a one-two punch to the hopes. They may spring eternal, but the snap-back's a real bitch.

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San Fanciscan' It

I've made it down to my workaday summer outpost in the Dogpatch and my first home-away-from-home off in the Panhandle. Greeted by blue skies and sunshine. Initial city impressions:

  • Wow there are a lot of pretty girls. On the streets, in cars (presumably bars) and freight elevators even.
  • I've lost some of my nerve for fighting traffic on the bike. Those country roads and stationary machines have made me soft.
  • Or maybe it's that I haven't really been riding all that much, because these hills are harder than I remember too.
  • The living situation seems like it will work out great: nice unassuming roommate, wifi, extra-long twin bed (so my ankles don't even hang off).
  • The office hasn't been progressing too much in terms of getting fixed up. It's basically the same as it was last time I was here two months ago. That's gonna change.

After last weekend's outlaw mountain trip, I started re-re-reading Sometimes a Great Notion, which is probably one of my top 5 books, and have been slowly digesting the potential of having one foot in the city and one foot in the woods.

It intuitively feels connected to my existential crisis-of-meaning du jour, reconciling these seemingly contradictory aspects of my life. What I want is some kind of grand Hegelian synthesis: a future where my biodiesel hybrid 4x4 pickup carries me from Silicon Valley to the peaks of Trinity County in carbon-neutral style, and there's someplace in-between called "home" where the dog stays while I'm down in the city.

Is that kind of thing really even possible? It feels like maybe... it also seems logically like a bacheloresque way to roll, all that movement, or at best (see point #1 above) a "girl in every port" type of situation; but the dream includes a family of course, which begs a huge and unanswerable sea of questions, variables out of my control, etc etc etc. Hrmmm.

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Briefly Noted

First: more of Big Media Mark on the news. It explains a bit about his program, and has a nice clean-cut guy giving an even better soundbyte:

Other notes:

  • Had a great weekend visit from the Girth, JD and Shamus. We all (them, me and Mark) headed up into the mountains, Trinity County Outlaw style: guns, dogs, bushwacking trails, mad-dogging up mountains in Moammar the 2WD Scorpion. It was epic. JD has photos.
  • Things are all lined up for me to establish a base in the Bay this week. I have a little more work to do getting the pickup in order (adding a bed and a lock to the camper shell) but shelter has been secured and the wheel is in spin.
  • Work is going so well that we got to give our awesome Sr. Web Ninja a raise. Considering how integral he's been to everything over the last six months, it's very well-deserved, and for me personally it's a big warm fuzzy.
  • Got my Burning Man ticket in the mail, and Mark says he's all-in too, so it's on like Donkey Kong. Working camp theme is Rastafarian Navy. More plans soon, but if you want to get in on the action the first thing you do is procure one of those spendy pieces of paper they want to see at the gate. They only get spendier.

I've got a lot of wild loose ends to tie up but I feel great momentum, like I might just up and blossom one of these days.

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The Junk

After a pretty intense weekend, I feel a low drop. The physical exhaustion is expected (and I have some minor injuries to heal), but the emotional rebound is harder. It's like the day after Disneyland. I'm so bored!

One of the things I've been mulling over lately is just what it takes to get me excited these days. There are several threads to this introspection, so I'll try to tease them out with some kind of order.

I'm coming to realize that in certain important and meaningful ways, I've developed a range of inhibitions, in the form of insular routines, reflexive skepticism, and internal checks. This is kind of a contrast to my life age 18 to present, which was largely about the shedding of inhibition, tapping into self, going a Dragonball-Z with my chi and that kind of shit.

Maybe it's a weird thing to say as the proprietor of a website that's blocked by many major parental-control (or workplace-control) filters, but there it is. This has been a theme in my writing for the past several months, but I didn't hit on the specific word "inhibited" until someone used it -- or rather, the inverse, "uninhibited" -- the other day to describe an ideal way to be.

That's something I agree with, deeply, being uninhibited. It's in some of my favorite hip-hop lyrics and it stands at the center of what I construe to be personal liberation. Emancipate yrself from mental slavery and all that jazz. The point is, it's a bummer and a wake-up call to realize that's part of what's been going on.

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Get Kinetic!

UPDATE: Oh man; I have pain. Ursa Vehicularis did great, moving like a tank through water, sand, and land. The kids are allright, and their infectious spirit -- plus maybe the big bear balls hanging from the rear of the sculpture -- earned them the coveted rider's choice awards. I'm totally beat, but totally happy to have been able to take part.

I've been participating in the Kinetic Grand Championship, helping out my man Mark's Pacific Coast high school team. It's basically a three-day, 42-mile, human-powered machine/sculpture race covering roads, sand, and a section in Humboldt Bay. The motto: For The Glory.

I'm having a lot of fun with it.

There's a lot of media on a blog KHUM set up. It's a pretty well-attended event, and the number of people (me included) with little digicams assures there will be plenty of citizen coverage.

The story for us is rivalry with the Six Rivers Charter School team, featured here. Our Bear got out to an early lead -- they had some mechanical issues -- but they caught up with some well-timed bending of the rules. Cheating and sabotage are part of the tradition, so you can't really begrudge them, though they were a little brazen about it. "Am I the only one who gives a shit about the rules!"

We overtook them on the final downhill home-stretch, though, so all is well. For today.

Tomorrow starts off with the water section, where the wheels will get paddles attached and pontoons will be inflated. Every team has their own strategy for floatability, but it's well-known that this is the leg that most unsparingly separates the wheat from the chaff. I'll probably have to miss that part and catch up later in the afternoon, but I'll bring word of the final outcome for sure.

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Livin' for the City

Well, I've pulled the trigger. I'm starting to look for summer sublets in the Bay Area.

Ideally, I can find something furnished (and wi-fi'ed) and not too pricey to make my city outpost while I spend time in the office and among the teeming masses of humanity. I won't be moving out of my place here. Although discussions are still pending w/my landlady, I think as long as I keep paying rent it won't be a problem if I'm only home for a weeks or two at a time.

So the plan is to get a camping bed set up in the back of Moammar -- plus new tires and a working stereo, natch -- and ride the 101 at will, alternating from workaday wonders to Red Dawn escape as the spirit moves. It's sort of a localized version of the old bi-coastal dream. We'll see how the experiment feels.

For now I'm excited to have made the choice, and looking forward to being back in an urban setting. I could use the change of pace.

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Oh Right

One thing of note: I wrote a chapter for a book. That's a step-up on a longtime ambition of mine.

Book site here.

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Days In The Life

Had a strong Bachelor Weekend here in Resthaven. Kellimundo is in Colorado for her sister's graduation, and Mark and Zya went camping before she took off for a three week work stint in the Shasta wilderness. I've been walking around in my underwear, drinking beer and taking the dogs on walks, changing a flat tire, and generally just letting it all hang out.

I'm feeling a shift in gears. My birthday is probably part of that: while the arbitrary marker in time is indeed arbitrary -- one more trip around the sun doesn't really impact yr day-to-day, per se -- it holds up as a psychological milestone.

The good news is things are really coming together with work. I'm starting to have real confidence both in our craft, and in our fiscal solvency. It's a good feeling, and it starts me going ambitious in the career sense. For instance, we just got a gig with the National Aeronautics and Space Agency, for which I took some flight-suit photos, and that's pretty exciting. NASA, Bitches!

The career question is ticklish. Mean motherfucking monopoly player I may be, I don't have a real abiding passion for the world of business. You always read about how really successful people see it as a game, and I can grok that. I'm eternally turned-on by success, but just racking up points isn't challenging or complex enough to really hold my interest.

I can see being committed to the virtue of providing, building a business that gives people jobs and health care and helps them build their lives. It's appealing to me to be a Big Man in that way, tapping into some of the Fatherhood energy, but I wonder where it's heading. Do I want to do this for the rest of my life? I don't really think that's an option (evolving marketplace), but if it were I have to admit wouldn't be too excited about it.

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'Nother Quick Update

Oh man. Big weekend, I'll tell ya. Real old-style Baccinal, my kind of scene.

I feel it in me to write some stories, but for the moment I'm beat, don't have the juice to do it gonzo, which to a certain extent requires temporal proximity, as the doctor tells us.

But anyway, I'll collect some bits soon and push 'em all out.

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Squarecut! and other Photos

Got a haircut the other day, not quite Semper Fi, but close. I like to think of it as the astronaut look.

Less self-centeredly, here are some photos of the skate ramp that's coming together in the backyard:

Ramp Parts

Outdoor Work Bench


Kelly the Cord-Dancer


Putting it all together

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