"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

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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Batteries Low

I'm on my 12th day of travel and I'm beat. Currently I'm tanking up at the office and fixing to meet with some do-gooders downtown and then make the haul back to the HC.

A few things.

  • After getting my monthly dose of Cable News courtesy Jetblue airlines, I wrote a blog on FM about the disintegration of Don Imus, who will forever be "Anus in the Morning" to me thanks to a play I did back in the sweaty Lower East Side summer of 2002.
  • Driving over the Bay Bridge into SF today, I saw a gas station in downtown that had their fuel priced out at $3.99 / $4.19 / $4.29. Clearly they're an outlier, but the only other place I've seen that is Trinidad, the last branded gas before you head into the Redwood National Forest on 101. Get ready.
  • Also on the plane, I wrote a big high and heady companion blog to the "Missing the Old You" post below. It felt not quite so good the next day, but I'll throw in some afterthoughts and post it soon.
  • Need some outrage? Try this.

I'm ready to go home and take a weekend off.

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In the Hive

I'm in NYC for a spell, and have spent the last two days inside a big ol' corporate office once more. The project is actually pretty interesting, and the people I'm working directly with are great, but the whole experience still gave me a healthy dose of The Fear.

My old friend, mentor and colleague Peter Crawford once pointed out to me that Corporate America is a lot like High School. It's an astute observation. Subsequently, I've come to see this as a common thread in most institutional settings, but having been off and running around politics and other scenes, I'd forgotten just how much the corporation creeps me out.

In part its because the modus operandi cuts against my own passionate (and arguably excessive) intermingling of life and work. It just seems like such a limiting thing, being in this big building, in your little cubicle or office, wearing some outfit, eating lunch in a cafeteria, renting away your days to make some other people rich.

It also irks me how corporations (any bureaucracies, really) tend reward ladder-climbing, don't-rock-the-boat, playing-office-politics type behavior rather than real innovation, drive, results, etc. It's a really different set of values than the world I inhabit most of the time. There are lots of rules about who's allowed to access what; a closed-source approach; personal fiefdoms wrapped in red-tape.

Anyway, it's good -- if a bit dispiriting -- to be reminded that this is how most peoples' work-lives really are. Dispiriting because it makes me momentarily pessimistic about humanity's chances ("this is the best we can do?"), and sad for all the squandered human potential. Good though because it reminds me how lucky I am, and also makes me optimistic based on how much progress is possible.

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Made It Down

I'm in the Bay, circling the wagons with my work gang. The new office space is actually pretty sweet. It's a good lofty spot right on the new Muni line, pretty classy (nice elevators, good-looking neighbors, etc) and located near some good eats.

The space is still coming together. Tyson, the master tenant, is an architect and interior designer, is building a pretty kick-ass conference room, and has big plans. As with most big plans, it'll take some time, but the room is only a day or two's labor away from fully workable with acreage to grow into.

The aftermath of St. Paddy's day wasn't as bad as it might have been. We started off with some excellent Irish Breakfast, moved on to Guiness and Espresso, and then a delicious Corned Beef dinner with some friends in Town, and then the downtown strip. I enjoy a good turn as the Wild Rover, and got to see some sights -- girls in green and all that -- and carouse the scene.

There's something to be said for ramblin' around with half your forebrain tied behind your back. It gets you down to a level, removes some of that social armor. It made me feel a touch more native, especially going out late on my lonesome after Mark and Zya crashed out. Nice.

On the minus side, someone stole my iPod from my truck, but they didn't steal my bike (which they could have), so I guess I can't complain.

It makes me think. I'm just now starting to feel settled and strong in the HC, but looking at 1000 square feet, I can't help but get the feeling that I should spend more time occupying my share of them. I'm sure this will work itself out, but it's kind of funny. Always on the go, it seems.

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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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The 'Mas

I'm off on the road to Oregon. Gonna see my mom and grandma and maybe some more extensive family for the Xmas time. Strange how my perception of this season has evolved. I still dig the spirit, but the importance of that one day has pretty much evaporated, probably will stay that way until I have my own kids to bedazzle.

I'll be riding with Mark and Zya, who are going to Eugene, then Portland, then Texas for the holiday. Texas being an escape from all family and a chance to get a little lone-star adventure.

Me, I'm trying to make it back to NYC for New Years. We'll see how that goes.

Probably light posting for the next week or two, although maybe a redesign will happen.

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You Can Check Out Any Time You Want...

Back in the Golden State.

Well, it really does start to feel after my last visit that I might get sucked back into the NYC life. I don't know when or how, but it seems rather undeniable that the value of the peer community there is something I can't pass on in life.

For now, I'm happy to try and work out a bicoastal lifestyle. I don't want to move again; I just want to get back more often. I still want to continue putting down roots in the HC. It's got to be something beyond rambling this time.

That's a pretty lofty goal, but it's more real than owning land in the near to mid term. My ambitions are too impossibly large to be met in rural America. I can see a few ways this could all shake out, and I'm cautiously optimistic for now.

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Off To NYC

Got the boys up here safe and had a productive Sunday doing finances -- expect a year-end report -- and some brainstorming for our big upcoming project.

I'm all packed now. Tomorrow we work the day on this stuff, then I get on an overnight flight to Nueva York. Got a lot to look forward to there, and I can't wait to dip my toe back into the swift city water.

Although there is big business on deck -- I'm getting my flight via a potential client -- I'm not bringing the Suit, but I am bringing all my new Humbolt Hipster/Edgy Biz-Cas stuff. I think that will work better for me.

I'm really stoked at how good the Sixto fundraiser is going. Really awesome to see how people are willing to help out, and that this stuff can totally work. I'll write more about why this is so good, maybe even on my work blog.

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A-la-ma-la El Aye

Tomorrow 6am flight to Los Angeles, there to stay with my sis, do a little biz, hang out with some friends, and attend my niece's Bat Mitzvah.

It's been freezing cold (literally) up here in the State of Jefferson, so 70 degree weather sounds like fun to me.

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