"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Passenger Time

I was in an airplane the other day, and got a little meditative about the experience of being a passenger. It might be physically uncomfortable for those of us two or more standard deviations away from the norm in height, for me it also provides access to a special state of mind.

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The Romance Report

As you may be aware, I have been spending more and more time with a certain special lady, including travels to London and Brazil. Things have been going really well, I think. Since one of the purposes of ye olde blog is informing people in my weakly-tied circle of cohorts of life-update kind of information, this warrants a long-overdue post. Read on for the romance report.

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Jets to Brazil

I'm off to Brazil! A new nation, a new language, sweet escape from the Northern Hemisphere. It's been a nice stay in NYC. Snowpocalypse meant more quality time with my mom and my sister vs. socializing with friends, but that's not really a bad thing. I'll be offline for the trip; books but no laptop; looking forward to the recharging mental space that brings. I'll be back at it in SF come Sunday the 9th, so watch out then!

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Update from Londontown

First week in the UK has been good. I've been finding a good groove of productivity in my timezone-offset haven, and enjoying the quasi-domestic ease of staying with Rina; cooking and cleaning up and stuff. Rina/Josh deathwatch day three: all quiet on the Western (London) front.

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The Big Coove

I really enjoy Vancouver. To me, it's like NYC and Portland had a really polite, clean baby. They have a thing now (leftover from the olympics) where they close one of the main downtown streets to cars and leave it for foot traffic. Also, poutine.

The conference has been great. Excellent job organizing from the group, and a lot of fun and good vibes all around. I got to have a pretty good rockstar moment — being "edgy" while talking about "the enterprise" — doing the Sunday morning keynote address.

Josh Koenig (@outlandishjosh)

I wish I could stay longer. Got to watch the 4th quarter of the Ducks game at the bar and that was fun, and people seemed to be surprised I was still out at 11:30 with a presentation to make in the morning — which I found amusing. I would have stayed out later if I could.

So, here's hoping I can make it back sometime soon with a more relaxed agenda. I seem to be saying that a lot lately, but c'est la vie I suppose.

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On The Road Again

Lighting out in the AM. Oregon-bound, then the old HC on my way back south. It's shaping up to be a pretty busy fall already. Lots of places to go and people to see. Should be fun. The game's afoot.

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Back in the US(SR)

I'm back in Estados Unidos once more, surviving 10 days in bustling, socialistic, publicly drunken Yrup. I have more extensive scribblings on the subject of "does humanity stand a chance" based on my experience, but those are for another time.

For now, notable notes:

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Drunk Girls Know That Love Is An Astronaut: It Comes Back But It's Never The Same

I've been a bad friend, son, brother, and even lover of late. Too much workahol leading to broken plans, missed connections, absurd periods of radio silence. To all the parties waiting or wanting or hoping to hear from me, I truly am sorry.

So here's what's been going on.

I escaped my dayjob-infused routine last weekend to attend an Indian Wedding in New Jersey with the girlfriend. Oh yes, that's right, I'm using The Title now. Reluctance to do so in the past is — hindsight-wise — kind of embarrassingly immature. Also, while it sounds quite nice rolling off the tongue, "paramour" isn't actually a very flattering alternative descriptor.

For my part, this feels different than previous relationships. It's more... intentional. I chose pursuit in spite of improbability and long odds. While she's certainly into me (so I got that going for me too), this isn't one of those things that just fell into my lap. I had/have to work for it.

This is foregrounded because it's been long-distance, which is a pain in the ass, and also not the norm for me. Shamus jokingly scolded me that this was the best I could do given my quote-unquote emotional availability. Very funny, but there's maybe something to be said for the way in which the distance gave the whole thing a chance to sneak around various subconscious defense mechanisms of mine. A trojan horse for the heart, you might say.

It's gotten harder now that she is in London, and not New York, and timezones are a real barrier, and we have to plan and coordinate even to talk. But people do this, and even successfully. Seems kind of silly not to try.

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Back on the Mainland

I spent the past four days on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, doing my part as a groomsman for the blessed union of Jesse Austin Dean and Gina Maria Long. Everything went off incredibly well. Weddings are sometimes occasions for people who don't see (or really want to see) one another very often — e.g. divorced parents — to clash. But there was zero drama, many kind words were said — my man The Girth burnishing his credentials as a first-rate orator — and a good time was had by all, not least the bride and groom.

Most of my experience was (rightly) about these other people, but it was pretty good for me too. Not a vacation, but a chance to decompress for 72 hours. Touristas aside, my cliche expectations are much exceeded by the reality of Hawaii. The North Shore felt like a place to spend some more time without a schedule or obligations, and I enjoyed being an out-of-place bum in Waikiki for a day.

Also got a lot of reading done. Finished the Žižek without uncovering significant further revelation, and then slurped up the much less dense Geography of Bliss, which was a good pick for a quick pseudovacation. Eric Weiner, a foreign correspondent from NPR and self-professed "grump" with an overdeveloped sense of irony, travels the globe to very happy (and unhappy) places, in search of what makes them so. Occasionally strenuously clever tone aside, the content is good food for thought. I was particularly struck by this passage at the end of his visit to the recently-ultrawealthy Quatar:

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Run run run run run run

It's been a hell of a run since tax day. I think I spent $300 on parking (including tickets, natch), got a glorious weekend in NYC, found an actual place to lay my head for the next few weeks I'm in SF, and am on my way back home to Humboldt tomorrow.

Lots and lots to say. I really want to get the writing habit back in gear, but the spare energy is hard to come by these days.

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