"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

On The Run

I've been ramblin' now for two weeks, sleeping on couches, futons and borrowed beds. I've done a lot of this over the past three years. I remember when we first got set to roll out on Vagabender, little Wiley asked us, "can I go on the run with you?" I think he meant "on the road," but it was more endearing that way. It's a good phrase.

All this ramblin' has had its ups and downs. I find myself wishing fairly often that I had a more built-up life, the kind of think you get when you invest serious time and energy into some locale. On the other hand, it's also good to be confident living by your wits.

For instance, today I left the office at around 10pm, rolling back on a borrowed fixed-hear bike to my partner Zack's place, but nobody was home. Luckily I know a bar around the corner that serves good food and has a back patio with a separate door where I could stash the bike (didn't have a lock). So I headed over, did that, and enjoyed a Tecate and a damn-fine burrito, picking up some wifi and getting another todo knocked off while I waited for someone to return so I could get into their place.

It's not a great feat of survival or anything, but afterwards I was kind of pleased that all this came naturally to me, that I didn't stress out about being stuck with a bike and nowhere to go at 10pm in the Mission, just flowed with it. These instincts are useful, I think. Adaptive. Proactive. So much of life is about attitude. It's a blessing to enjoy challenges.

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Off to DC and Other Misc Itinerary Stuff

After a couple of wild days in the Bay, I'm about to head to the airport for to spend a week in Washington DC, after which I'll come back for a few more days in the office, then back to Westhaven in time for a little Christmas party shindig, then up to Oregon to see the fam and friends, and then flying to St. Louis for New Years with Laura and Frank (and their fetus). I'm hoping to spend a little time in Portland around that flight too, see if I can't make a few connections I missed on my last trip, etc.

Pretty tired from burning the candle at both ends -- trying to finish a project so in the office all weekend, partying for Mission Bikes, raging around the East Bay with the Girth and LGD, chopping up beers with a machete and other feats of immaturity -- and not really looking forward to the red-eye flight. But my mexican doctor got me some sleep drugs, so hopefully that will work out, and I'm trying to be positive about all things. Attitude is everything. Self-love.

I'm really looking forward to staying with my man Sololakidan (and visiting my competitive arch-nemesis) in DC. The on-site w/the clients will hopefully be just the boost in productivity we need, and I'll even be able to squeeze in some visiting time w/Pa and Patti. It should be a good week.

With a little luck and a few more long days, we'll have the year closed out at work, and I can take some more time off, regroup, and get ready for the next level.

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Escape Velocity

Made it away from work and to the Euge. Tomorrow me and LGD will head up to Portland for a weekend of Thanksgiving and other festivities. Should be fun.

I'm very much looking forward to four whole days with no work. It seems like too few!

The drive up had some nice vistas, and listening to music all the way on my newly-replaced car stereo got me thinking nostalgic and bohemian. It's been an interesting decade since I left home to make my way in the world. I've done a lot of things, a lot of good things, fun things, growing things, maybe even one or two important things, yet it's unclear what they add up to or where this is all headed.

I certainly feel lucky to have had the life I've had, but I also feel this pressure to make it count, to put together the pieces of the puzzle. I worry that I'm going to get more and more tired and bland and "meh" forever, that it's all downhill from here, that I'm burned out, all dead inside, or just too jaded and self-conscious to really swim in the river of life anymore. Swirling down in a whirl of ennui and anomie and other vowel-strewn monikers for running low on moxie.

It's a dark future, the neurotic. Hopefully that's not what's going to happen. The best way I know to get through this mess is to share it with people, to try and get caught up in the world, to get strong and rested and healthy, to have fun and make art and go to parties, to be open and let the universe really get at my inner workings. That takes some courage, but hopefully I'm up for it.

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Back to the Bay

Well, I'm headed back down to SF for the week. I was planning to take off yesterday, but Saturday night the Hombre and I made a snap decision to go out to this Burning-man-influenced local rager, which was a lot of fun but didn't exactly put me in a good mood to drive for six hours on Sunday.

I've been having a pretty good run of things of late, feeling more and more like a native and less and less like a shut-in tourist/refugee. It doesn't hurt that I've been getting out of the house regularly. Gee, who would have thought.

This trip to the city should be interesting. After my summer experience of sublet-sampling, I came down from Black Rock City with an "Invest in Westhaven" todo item. That leaves the city an open question. I have to show my face around the office, and there's plenty to enjoy on the metropolitan tip, but making the mental decision to call the HC home for at least another year puts a different spin on things.

Well, that's really all I've got. "The future was wide open."

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Back In 'Merica!

Well I have returned to American soil, LAX to be specific. I've got a nice four-hour layover before I can catch a wing up to Portland, hop in my truck, drive down to the Euge to crash out at my mom's house, then get up at 7 and hit the road for the HC on Monday.

My handMy hand and arm are healing steadily. It's looking more gnarly than ever as you can see, thanks to the fact that we've reached the "crack n' peel" part of the process. I'm trying to keep the outer layer on as long as I can but all it takes is a bump or jostle to create a new grisly-looking sting spot. I'm covering these with ointment as they appear, which is helping, and the areas that came exposed yesterday are showing promise. It just needs some more time, but I feel increasingly like a freak walking around with my hamburger-hand here in the first world.

Speaking of the first world... some thoughts from Baja

My experience with medical care, where I was able to roll into a clinic at 8pm, get treated right away, get antibiotics and a prescription anti-inflammatory, and walk out paying $14.50 total stands in sharp contrast to your typical US ER experience. I wouldn't want Benito to perform surgery on me -- until he's finished his studies, that is -- but the truth is that the majority of urgent healthcare concerns aren't on that scale. In spite of what Michael Crichton's brilliant TV series would suggest, not everything you'd go to the ER for really requires a hospital. Throughout Baja I saw lots and lots of small "24 medical emergency" clinics; storefront type operations, really. This decentralization of urgent care seems like a good idea. Jamming everyone who needs quick attention into one place creates all sorts of problems. Maybe there's something to be learned here.

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Manos? Hands Of Fate?

Well, things have been going pretty well here in La Ventana. Life moves more slowly south of the border, but there's a lot to be said for being perched aside the sea of Cortez in a spacious concrete compound, carrying on our merry way with a homebrewed point-to-point wireless internet link. It's not the office, and it's not home, but it sure is something.

Zacker speared a fish, and so did Farsheed, and we cooked 'em and they were good. Matt has started his idiosyncratic observation of Ramadan. Kevin (aka "the new guy") brought his kick-ass mountain bike and has been exploring the local trails.

I, on the other hand (ho ho ho), have been learning about oven safety:

Now, let me say up front that I am fine. I have a taste for posting grisly pictures of my injuries, it's true, but this is far from the worst thing that's ever happened to me. Our boy Benito, who's the medical student assigned to La Ventana for a year of service before going to specialize in surgery in Mexico City, took excellent care of me, and 36 hours later I'm already back to typing with both hands. Full recovery is anticipated and expected.

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Pre-Mexico Monkey Mayhem

Well, I just lost my nice five-paragraph post, so here's the short and sweet:

  • I'm on the D concourse, looking to blow down to a glass house on the beach in baja for a week-long work retreat.
  • Mary and Ron's wedding was teh awesome. Monkey reunion makes me promise many future portland visits. Also, camping at a wedding is a cheap way to make responsibility fun. Good idea.
  • The highlight reel would include tearing my pants open on the dance floor, getting lost in the neighborhood, and cooking up some whiskey-fueled power-yenta game and convincing the beautiful young people to make out.
  • That last bit I do not recall, Senator, but I've heard it from multiple parties, including a lady who I carpooled up to Portland with who had my friend's hickey as proof. So there you have it.
  • I spent Sunday in recovery, visited my grandma and had a nice Thai dinner w/the moms, then a quick catnap, then the road.

More from Mexico, most likely.

UPDATE: I have arrived at the house of glass and all is well in the cosmos. Tecate tall boys and a little Cortez Sea skinny dip put everything right. Now we've got to get down to biznass.

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Las Vegas airport has free wifi, which happens to reach the airplane while we wait for fuel (delayed by lightning). I'm in the midst of a travel run and it's wearing on me. New York was a much much better visit -- real good to see the Fam and have more time for enjoyment -- but I got sick again, probably from staying out all night on Saturday and maybe sleeping w/air conditioning.

It's not an evil flu, but rather a pernicious cough. I'd probably have it beat, but yesterday I flew real early back to Oakland, and today I'm my flying to Chicago started early as well. Nothing like sleep deprivation and air travel to boost the immune system. Still I feel I'm fighting through it. Feeling better today than yesterday, etc.

Life seems to be firing at me with both barrels though: I discovered last night when I got home that my car was stolen! Moamar, come home! Now, we always knew this was a possibility. It's easy to break into my car, and you can start an '88 Toyota pickup with virtually any car key, or the same screwdriver you used to break in even. Still, it's a bummer. The Lande man is flexing his Pig contacts to track it down, but I'm not holding out too much hope.

Possessions are fleeting, and we shall overcome. It's just a wrench in the works with a high cost of hassle.

UPDATE: Fortune smiles! My truck turned up impounded in Richmond, just as predicted. Moamar apparently got mixed up in a Grand Theft Auto, as a suspect was caught on video leaving my vehicle and breaking into another. I'll have to talk to him about getting involved with the Wrong Crowd, but I'm glad to know he's safe and sound.

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Travelin' Man

I have returned to the Bay Area, where I will take up in a new sublet o'er in Berkeley through mid-August. That is, except for the two weeks I'll be spending back in NYC and in Chicago.

I'm more or less of a ramblin' man -- something I've tried to fight before, yet am beginning to accept about myself -- but this summer's schedule is wearing me down. I think it's because most of the travel is predicated on fulfilling social, familial and career obligations: clients, weddings and family get-togethers have been behind most of my excursions (certainly almost every trip outside California) so far this year. It's not really "ramblin'" when you're doing it out of duty.

So I went from moving out to the hills to settle down, to being driven back out on the road by work and other obligations.

The past five days in Westhaven were good and recuperative, and I started to feel like I wanted to stick around and try to have a life there again. The past calendar year has been one of transition for sure, a little intentional experiment at "nesting" with some friends, a bigger experiment in starting a business. I haven't really "landed" yet, and I'm still not sure where how how I want to do that. Hopefully this fall it will happen, and the next leg on my cosmic journey through space and time can begin in earnest.

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Rustic Recharge

I'm back in the HC and headed out into some of the more remote country in California, well beyond the reach of cellular phones or anything like that. Gonna do some river camping.

Last night was a good one in Arcata. Went out and caught the Crabbies beating up on some kids from Redding. It's baseball at it's best, with a volunteer brass band, free-flowing microbrew, and expert and devoted hecklers; a great summer night, really felt like God's country.

So far I've found mixing the city and the country to be good: I drove up Thursday night and made it in 5.5 hours door-to-door including a supply stop at the Trader Joe's in San Rafael. Good music in the truck and easy traffic even through the Santa Rosa hellpatch kept the momentum going, and as I passed through the wine country with the window down and the sun dipped behind the hills, the vines so bright green still they seemed almost luminescent, the air full and sweet with the smells of hay and growth, it was almost like the Earth was showing off for me and I let out little whoops and shouts at particularly sizzling sights along the way.

By my midnight I was pretty beat -- a long day by anyone's standards -- but I've felt charged-up and strong since I got here. I sense the potential for a positive interplay in my movements back and forth. One jump is hardly the basis for any kind of projection, but it feels like a winning activity so far.

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