"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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Love To Love You

This is sort of a juicy post by recent standards. I'm not entirely comfortable with the exploitive possibilities that come from writing about my romantic life, but I've gone this far. Back in the day I had some pages about girlfriends, and at the time Christine said that this was charming. I hope that's still true.

It's a trip, you know? I'm in unexplored territory here, being a single man off in the woods. If I'm honest, this is part of why I moved here, to get away from women, to clarify what it is that I want. It forces the issue, being on your own.

It may sound cocky, but I mean it humbly: I've had a very lucky and blessed life in love. One full of mistakes like any other, some heartbreaking idiocy and some plain-old heartbreak, but also great moments, charmed times, high and heady runs into what's created between two. I can't say I've always been at my best, but I think overall I've been Good, and people have been Good to me.

I catch myself thinking about faces from my past a lot these days. Recent lovers and old flames and ones that got away. The other night I was watching Reds (the Warren Beatty film), which gave me a nice jolt of that old revolutionary spirit, but which really affected me most in that young Dianne Keaton looks an awful lot like The Peach, the beauty who came out to visit me last Summer. The film brought back strong flashes of that. We had a pretty lovely week, and I saw her in New York afterwards, but it wasn't the sort of thing that could really work with her there and me here. We're still friends, or at least honestly friendly.

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Beat, Heat, Meat

Last night I went out on a sorta-date to see the eviscerated chinamen exhibit (a.k.a. "Bodies," and I recommend it) and then to make party at the co-working spot where I've been hanging out all week. The shindig was a good medium between networking and debauchery. All this is catching up with me though. I am tired. I am weary. I could sleep for hundred years.

It's 72 degrees here in NYC and I spent the afternoon in shorts sunning myself on a rock in Central Park. We're all gonna die, but we might as well enjoy ourselves in the mean time, oui?

And now I'm here in the Slope. Just had sushi with Danya (a.k.a. the Belle du Mois) who was my squeeze this time last year. She's a catch, that one. Makes me wonder.

Neil Young is playing and I'm at the tea lounge on my old stool in the corner, feeling whistful. I liked this life I had here in many ways. It wasn't working, but it was good. Maybe I'll come back to it one day.

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How I Spent My Winter Vacation

I'm at the bar at Rose City at PDX, loving the free wifi (every airport should do that; they'd see a bump in food/drink sales as a result) and I was just enjoying the scenery across the bar. Portland is a hipster capital, and I have to admit I do love that style on the women.

My "vacation," which has been roughly the past week and will run through the 1st, has been nice. I had big dreams of hitting the Y a lot, getting my body prepped for a higher level in 2007, but I'm more like my mom than I admit -- genetics is a real thing -- and so we spent most days perched across from one another at her high-tables working on our laptops, eating pizza and drinking beer into the night. I wish I had a picture. It was nice, but also sort of the antithesis of getting to the gym and hitting the stationary cycle.

On the upside, I did some good work on Chapter Three's first non-client project -- alpha launch coming in early Jan -- and I also started my open-source community service effort for 2007, the Drupal Dojo:

Drupal Dojo

It's basically a place for up-and-coming developers to rub elbows with more experienced types in a less intimidating setting, to help be a middle-ground in the burgeoning Drupal economy. I launched it about 24 hours ago and already we have more than 100 members. Oh boy.

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Amendment To The Previous

After posting that last bit from Bryant Park, fortune smiled and I got a call and my date worked out; good improv comedy + wine bar x good conversation = just what the dr. ordered.

Also, second round of meetings also went well, almost too good to be true.

I lead a charmed life.

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Every Speed On Our Knees Is Crawling

It's coming on the turn of the year, a time to draw up to my full height and survey the scene. I've been going around and seeing people I've not seen in a while, which has revealed that I really don't have a good 30-second explanation for myself these days -- you know, the kind of quick encapsulated "elevator pitch" of what's new and exciting in your life. It's not a particularly great or important thing to have in the can or spring on lots of people, but it's usually something I've got down pat, and the absence of this trusty bit of performance is indicative, I think, of the larger ennui with which I grapple.

Intention is a tricky bitch. It's hard line to walk between trying to force yourself upon the world and taking a back-seat role in your own life. One wants to be an active participant, to listen and respond in conversation with the universe, but at some point you've got to pull the trigger; and it sucks being wrong, to gamble and lose. It burns rare and precious soulful fuel taking these shots, runs down some energy reserve that seems to take an aeon to recharge.

I haven't done too well with decisions over the past four years. Most of the big things I've set myself towards doing intentionally -- personally, professionally, creatively -- have ended up going bust. In spite of this, or probably because i've had the good fortune to have so many fine at-bats, I've landed amazingly well: poised on the brink of a the best jobby-job ever; living the neobohemian dream; penetrating the global power-elite seemingly without even trying.

It's an old story. "...And I stumbled to safety" was designated the title of my autobiography years ago.

So I don't lament my lot in life. I am lucky and blessed beyond knowing, and everyone seems convinced that I'm bound for some sort of glory or another, an opinion I don't necessarily dispute even if it can get to be a bit of a weight to carry at times.

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Thankful Night

Goddamnit I want to go deep. I'm feeling all charged up, filled with turkey, yes, but hardly down for the count. I am full.

I want to talk about it and work on it. I want to find a stronger peer group for my pursuits; currently worry about boring my friends with my latest revelation, realizing the distance the exists with "normal people" when I stray into my specific interests.

Also worry that being kind of pent-up leads me to have weaker human ties... my heart's not not always in it to try and overcome that social distance. I'm impatient. The pent-up ball of energy and thought becomes an impediment to normal being. It burns away much of my ease, consumes my capacity to listen. Needs expression.

In my head it's all connected to girls. The romantic barometer weighs heavy on my overall mood, and my luck and fortune with the ladies figures deep into my own personal Tarot, my sense of momentum. Clearly I'm back into looking. It's a more purposeful kind, but it's still looking.

Oh how I long for some pillow-talk. Is that too much to ask? Hot oral sex and pillow-talk? Seems like a decent place to start.

I remain a romantic at heart. I believe in that internal gyroscope, that sensor of momentum. I want it to go crazy, wild so's I can feel it; one of the reasons I've always been so in love with velocity. Speed itself conjures forces, but that's not enough anymore. I'm looking for the long run here. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

But it's getting better all the time. It helps to write about life, and in addition to getting back into autobio-blogging, I'm working on reviving my correspondence -- the better to fan old flames from afar, you letch... what, like there's anything wrong with that? -- and trying to dig into my professional tangle of ideas through other outlets. Writing works.

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Looking Inward

The crisis of meaning is upon us again, and it's back with a vengeance. A lonesome vengeance, to be specific, the kind that hasn't been around in a long while.

Taking a look back at the old Love page, we can see where my life left off three years ago, misspellings and all. Sigh.

The present moment feels most like 2002:

I'm after the other thing: the harder thing: the thing where you find someone you like and you make something between the two of you over time. And I don't know how to get that happening other than wait and see.

The trouble is "wait and see" is a very boring and unsatisfying strategy. It leaves one feeling rather powerless and at the mercy of the cosmos.

I'm not the same person I was at the age of 23, and I'm not in the same environment either -- not by a long shot -- but I remember what that felt like and it's close to what I feel now.

One response has been that I'm going back through my history, wondering about the ones that got away, or more often that I got away from and later regretted. This is a debatable thing to get into, rummaging through the old files. It can feel weak and crutch-like, but you might look up long-lost connections on myspace and find something that strikes a spark. I think it all comes down to the spirit of the thing. Also, there's that bit about learning from history -- and purely as a matter of science one can't rule out a blast from the past being the ticket to ride.

The point, though, is that there's a kind of emotional turbulence that's not been around in some time. Strange feelings are brewing inside the Konezone. Gut feelings; questions without answers that lead to whistful stares into the rain. Vulnerability and instability too. I don't know where (or when) The One will come from, but I'm pretty sure that as long as I'm pushing for it or stressing it, it's not gonna happen.

Fucking annoying, that.

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Classic Content is Back!

Oh man. It's baaaaaaack.

Thanks to me remembering how to use sed and bash (handy dandies from the hardcore geek toolbelt) and updating a few PHP scripts from their clunky 2001-style coding, I've resurrected my "classic" content!!!

This is really good stuff, the first two years of outlandishjosh.com. That was a special time and place to be: North Brooklyn in 2001-2003, right in the sweet spot for the second-wave, before the war, and before the eurotrash and Single Guys In Finance started showing up.

Some of this is of course fantastically out of date, and my intention at this point is to bring it all into the new system... it's a TODO I may or may not ever get around do, but I'm happy to make the juicy stuff available again. Heck, if only for myself. It's as good as an old journal. Personal archeology.

Some highlights:

  • Ren Fayre: Bugs, Drugs, Neitzche -- a gonzo account of my trip to Luke's graduation-year extravaganza at Reed College.
  • For that matter, the whole Life section is pretty good. That's where the juicy stuff is.
  • Bridgetrips -- I used to do a ritual of writing the thoughts that came from reflections on riding my old first city bike over the W-burg bridge.
  • Performance Texts -- stuff that I wrote to perform in front of people in a theatrical setting.
  • One Year Later -- a rant written on the first anneversary of 9/11

There's a lot of gold in the day to day archive of that old frontpage. Shames me every time I read it. I used to be so good!

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