Sunday, December 31, 2000

More PR for Blogger. Massive membership helped Napster, but with Blogger it only clogs up the server and gives the readers too much to choose from. Last one leaving turn out the light.

I've been reading Howard Zinn's Declarations of Independence recently. I can't read it for long because he makes his case so effectively and I wind up getting mad and then depressed. The best thing about this country is that guys lke Howard and Noam Chomsky are widely published and read. But Howard makes it clear that the powers that be will only allow a certain amount of dissent before they step in. As this book was published in 1990 before Ruby Ridge, Waco and (more importantly) the Internet, it is amazingly prescient.

And now the New Economy is back on the rise, right? No recession, no depression. But no insane boom either. Right. The fucking Dow is still over 10000 and the Nasdaq is still up and running. Nobody goes in for art or poetry. Commerce is King and the world is getting warmer.

See? Even THINKING about this shit is giving me dark thoughts.

Saturday, December 30, 2000

Back at home after the holidays. I am sure much has been written about the forced nature of Yuletide jolliness, but all in all I am sorta in favor of the whole goddamned business. Every year I see new things about myself as I am reflected back in the eyes of my loved ones. This year I was in Colorado with Haley's family. It was a nice visit, but at times it was more than stressful. Her family is All--American (mom and dad high school sweethearts married now for 32 years, football games and so on) which stands in marked contrast to my bohemian/alcoholic upbringing. And as the fiancee I am always a bit edgy. Olivia was there too, and balancing that added even more challenge. I got nothing at all done while I was away, but I guess that's pretty standard too.

Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Man, i am sick. Working at home is hard enough when one is well... a million little distractions. And Napster, too. But when I am sick all I want to do is curl up and sleep. Today I had a dentist appointment which has been scheduled and rescheduled three times at least. So I went. And it sucked. My jaw hurts and the novacain has me all speeded out. I opted for nitrous also, which is always a nice buzz. My insurance long ago ran out so today I was soaked for about 500 bucks.

Oh well. I suppose I coulda spent the money on a computer or presents or something dumb and visible like that.

We leave for Christmas in just a few days. I'm hoping that the poster I got for Haley's brother arrives in time. I am fully Scrooge including the last part of the story: Scrooge Reformed. Watch as I embrace yuletide fully and completely!

Monday, December 18, 2000

Ah, true to form I have been neglecting the weblog. Why is it always the fun stuff which goes by the wayside first? Certainly in days of yore people had more leisure, but with the excess of labor-saving devices which abound in my life you'd think I could take a few minutes to update my fucking DIARY.
Let's see... what's new? I received my Bass in the Box in the mail. Now I can actually hear myself screw around on the old Danelectro I bought when I was pumped up on pain medication after the wisdom teeth were pulled. Not exactly Jaco, but I have fun. Problem is I accidentally ordered two. Maybe I can chain them together for a supra-distorto thing.

Haley woke up puking last night from a bad McMenamins burger. She simply has to stop with the beef. It's like Russian Roulette these days.

I'm hard at work modifying a site I've been working on for some time. It's all in flash so it's pretty fun.

I've been spending huge amounts of time on Napster beefing up my jazz collection. and trippy electronica, too.

Scored some weed. Not good weed, mind you, but weed. I'm not the stoner I once was, that's sure.

And I seem to be on every spam list in the fucking world.

That's about all.

Tuesday, December 12, 2000

There's a light dusting of snow on the ground. It's COLD, brother. I am sitting here surfing instead of working because my project at hand is both nebulous and no fun at all. Ah, the joy of the home office.

Not to bitch, but it seems that many of the weblogs I've been reading lately have been extremely vapid. Or is this my imagination? I wonder. I think hitting cool blogs is largely a matter of luck. It may be sometime before anyone contacts me. I certainly have read many logs and so far haven't mailed anyone. Perhaps it is true what they say about all of this interactivity isolating us all the more. Makes one miss the real and smoky togetherness of the boom boom room.

And so I am faced with this dilemma;
2.Go to the gym
3. go to the gym and then shower
4. none of the above

I seem to be leaning more and more toward 4. Second verse, same as the first. My exercise motivation has diminished mightily since getting engaged.

Maybe I'll just shop online for some bigger pants. Yes, that's number 5.

Monday, December 11, 2000

Damned cold today, almost bitter. We took the dogs to the field and the wind numbed my ears. They've been speaking of snow on the news now for several days, so perhaps today is the day.
I've been paying attention to the election to spite myself. There hasn't been so much scandal since the Tilden/Hayes contest of 1876.

Sunday, December 10, 2000

The weekend us half over before I even know it. Man. How about that?
We went to see Unbreakable last night. What a disappointment. Most of Hollywood sucks, I know (Haley's sister is a budding screenwriter and is completely immersed in the fake and showy culture where everyone seems to be lying all the time; she comes back with endless stories larded with famous names and obscene dollar figures and has, month by month, seemingly lost the ability to talk about anything other than herself and her interests) so perhaps I should lower my expectations. The trouble is that movies are an astouding medium and to see yet another near miss just druves me nuts. I am a big fan of story, of music and of disturbing visuals. Film can use al of this to make valuable points which give food for thought long after the seeing (Polanski's Repulsion is a case in point) but are all too often sidetracked for financial reasons. Maybe I should stick to pre-1970. Or maybe just art house films.
That would pretty much rule out summer movies.

Before the movie we went to the Boom Boom Room around the corner. It's behind a Szechuan restaurant so we thought it's maybe be a cool retro lounge. Nope. Strip bar. Bigtime. I have a question: what is WITH all the fialse breasts? No man I know finds them attractive. They take a lovely body and turn it into a cartoon. Especially an athletic body... then they look simply ridiculous. Strip bars are interesting places. I like looking at the men and their reactions to these powerful overscented women dancing naked in front of them (and I do mean NAKED; Oregon has what is know as "the golden triangle: full nudity, hard liquor and no touching. This makes it a very profitable state in which to strip but a bit of a shock to those accustomed to G-strings). Usally they are just slack-jawed, but sometimes they try to play it cool and then it's a riot.

Friday, December 08, 2000

Well, not to disagree with the blogger site today, but I am still cynical as to what nefarious use all the information published in web logs will ultimately be put. I mean, if I publicly ponder purchasing photoshop 6 on my blog, what's to say that I won't be bombarded by advertisements from competitors?

But seriously, folks. I like this way of journaling. In this age of massive information exchange, the only way to hide is in plain sight. As Tom Clancy is so fond of saying in his phonebook-sized "books," the CIA's main problem is not acquiring information but collating it. Thus it follows that the thicker your file the less likely it is that you can be successfully identified. Right? Right?

The two things wrong with conspiracy theories is that

  • they assume that everyone is organized
  • they assume that there is a plan in the first place.

I mean, what more could the corporate oligarchy want than the mass-enslavement of most of the world's population, total control of its wishes, dreams and avenues of expression and the subsequent dearth of any leader of consequence?

Oh, I do go on.

Thursday, December 07, 2000

All new (this means you ) should know that this service is not usually quite so slow, but recent press (New Yorker and now Wired) has added users at a phenomenal pace. That sort of this was great for Napster where it was the more the merrier, but here in journal land it's just making us at risk for becoming a demographic. Maybe some asshole from Proctor & Gamble is looking at these blogs right now trying to see if there are any discernable product references. Coming soon to your mailbox are cereal and soap samples, inanae questions at dinnertime from phone solicitors, yadda yadda yadda..
Jesus, do I sound like a bitter old man today or what? I need a nap.
The more blogger gets promoted the slower it gets. I've been fucking around with Net since 1994 and it's the same old story: nobody knows and it's cool, more people know and it's less cool and slow and then... bang, it sucks.

Wednesday, December 06, 2000

Another sunny day. This endless stream of sunny, crisp fall days is weird to me. This is Oregon and by rights should be cloudy, rainy and so forth. I was in the library and thumbed through a Whitley Strieber book set in the future. Those future books are always funny, the ones where a character is looking back to "the horrible November of 2021, when it all started." It was drek, brother. For some reason I had Whitley Strieber confused with New Yorker jazz critic Whitney Baillett. Silly me.
I'm jumped up on java now and am needing to rebuild a particularly troublesome animation which grows and grows in size. I'm not thrilled, but what can you do?
I've got half a poem written. Maybe I'll get the rest of it up before too long. I'm getting rusty. Or maybe it's happiness... depression and lonliness spurred me to do most of my poems before now. I haven't really been moved to write since those ailments have been cured, and yet the need remains. Perhaps it is true what is said about bad feelings and creativity going hand in hand? Certainly the idea of tormented genius is so accepted as to be an old saw. Blah blah blah, whatever.

And now I'll check some other weblogs before I get to work.

Tuesday, December 05, 2000

This party was a dud. No disrespect to Jen and all, but a crowd of aging hipsters is not my idea of a good time. First off, there was one bar serving beer, Cutty Sark scotch and Skyy Vodka. Yum yum. Second, there was but one bartender. Third, although the retrocade is cool, many of the best machines were broken. Some games, like Paperboy, were never good and never popular; others (asteroids, pac man and frogger) were everywhere so we all got goood and sick of them. O wherefore art thou, Tail Gunner? Woe to thee, Tempest? Battlezone, I hardly knew ye. The hipsters were too cool for school and thus were surly and uncommunicative. I remember fondly the parties I used to throw. They were fun. Lots of work to clean up, though.

So now I sit with a dirty little hangover, as yet unpaid for an entire month of work with rent due and the xmas wolf's hot breath about my ankles. My life has certainly been worse, but you wouldn't know it from my attitude.

Alcohol is by and large a big, fat drag. Not much fun while on it and certainly none at all afterward. I'll make exception for fine red wine and the occasional martini. Other than that it's like paint thinner.

Monday, December 04, 2000

anyone who has illusions of a permanent personality trait need only spend a few moments with someone who has taken a good shot to the head. hell, just get drunk, for that matter. this complex web of who we are and how we see the world is, as John D MacDonald so aptly put it, three pounds or so of grey jello encased in a skull and topped with a rubbery scalp. in iowa we visited haley's former next door neighbor who, fifteen years ago, was riding his bike home when he was felled by a speeeding car. he now is bedbound and so severely brain-damaged that he cannot even sit up. his family are very devout catholics, and every wall of their house is covered with "expect a miracle" placards. next to the young man's bed (not so young a man now, but also a child) is a thick book of crossword puzzles. unless ye come unto me a little child ye shall not pass into the kingdom of heaven. man. he apparently was both brilliant and charming. now he sits and roars and smiles his idiot's smile.
And on that note, i'm off to get drunk at the barfly party. I've been writing for the mag for over a year now and this is the second event that i've actually attended. i'll post some pics tomorrow, assuming i can see.
This morning I sort of slumbered for a while, trapped in that dreamy half-sleep in which minutes can become hours. This was a very unproductive weekend and I am glad it is over.
I saw "Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More" last night. It was shot in my old hometown of Tucson, AZ. I was ten when they shot it. Brought back some memories, not all nice. I think it is good thing to leave your home town and never move back. Visiting is okay, I suppose, but day-to-day has too much past for my taste.
I had been wondering: was there to exist a service which would erase all of your memories and set you adrift in the world without any past at all, would you avail yourself of it? At what point wopuld personal pain warrant such an act? The death of a child, the commitment of some unforgivable act? This I pondered as I took a shower last night.
A side note... my nails are fucking LONG. It is amazing how quickly they grow. Ever an annoyance back when I was a guitar player, it was one of my unspoken motivations for learning the drums. That and the fact that I could actually sit in with my friends.

Sunday, December 03, 2000

Sunday sunday. I am full of buckwheat pancakes. I am not hung over. I am about to start work.
And I feel the little nips of sadness at my heeels. It is not unusual with me, I suppose. Sharing custody of my daughter just seems to get harder and harder. Part-time parenting involves a lot of goodbyes, more than I care for.
Because this is a blog and not a sealed journal I am hesitant to reveal any of my innermost thoughts, but certain lessons derived from them may well be worth exploring. Many of these are old saws along the lines of "takes one to know one" or "it's always darkest before the dawn," but some are pretty profound in any case.
Here's one:
The idea most energetically defended is often the idea in which confidence is the weakest. That is a VERY awkward sentence, but the point is the old one of "methinks thou protestest too much." Or, the one who smelt it dealt it? Anyway, I've often offered my firecest arguments when I felt I was on shaky ground. Explosive reactions can be a sign of weakness.
blah blah blah

Friday, December 01, 2000

Ah crap... never work on spec. I've been busting my ass and every month at this time I sweat whether I get paid or not. Probably doesn't help that I am reading fucked company and dotcomfailures! This booming economy sure seems to be reeling itself back in. Ah, well... if being wealthy is so damned wonderful then why do the rich seem so freakin' miserable? BUT... I certainly hope I AM paid this week, else I will be bouncing some serious checks.
It is a nice cloudy day and I think I'll go and hustle up some breakfast. Maybe coffee will help, too. Nothing like java for changing a fella's outlook. Too early for bong hits, anyway.
I checked the stats and it looks like there are people reading this after all. I spend so much damned time in front of this computer that I have a hard time fathoming anyone engaging in computig for leisure activity.
And I heard that the founder of Napster "retired." Big money has that sort of effect on a person. So much for the change-the-world ethic we wrap so thinlky about ourselves as we work for a better (for us) tomorrow.
Yes, coffee. Need it. Need it now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2000

It's getting to look post-apocalyptic out there with all the 404 sites and "we're upgrading our server" messages. Not only Blogger, but one of my new favorites is having some slowdowns. The amihot page is great in many ways, but there are several posts which are obviously glamour shots from small publications.
It's raining here, but I am so far able to shake my normal early december depression. Of course it IS november still...

Tuesday, November 28, 2000

I got back from Iowa on Sunday. Yesterday was pretty much a layabout as I got used to being back home. And today, true to the New Economy, I am hard at work. My motivation is slagging, though. Maybe I need coffee, maybe I need a quick trip to the gym. Who can say?
I haven't checked the log for this lately so I have no idea about the attendance. Considering the banality of my post i should be surprised if anyone bothered to read them at all. I don't.
This restless feeling is bad, bad. Bad.

Saturday, November 18, 2000

Guilt. What is guilt? Is nit a happy memory which suddenly takes a turn for the worse? Or peraps it's a form of self-torture, a portable and invisible rack which can be used any time you have a minute to spare? John D. McDonald said that "it darkened all skies." I should have more than I do, but I have become adept at the mighty twin skills of rationalization and selective memory.
It has always seemed to me that guilt was both self-indugent and useless. Afetr all, why go over something you can't change? And if you can rectify whatever wrong you have committed , what's the real motivation? Who does it serve?

I haven't had my coffee yet, obviously.

Friday, November 17, 2000

I was cut off in traffic today. I was furious. Every time this happens I realize what a thin veneer of civility holds together our society; were the laws lifeted for a day I wonder what bloodshed would result? The precedents of Bosnia and Somalia showed uneasy neighbors turning on each other with great cruelty as soon as they were given the nod.
I just received a long out-of-print John McLaughlin CD from

Thursday, November 16, 2000

Went this evening to Chuck E. Cheese for the very first time in my life. I was sort of impressed with the genial robbery of it. Tokens everywhere and almost every game spewing forth feet and feet of tickets. Livi enjoyed it immensely, going up to the carpet-covered slacker dressed as Chuck and pulling maniacally on his fur.
bad things: Bad pizza, iceburg salad and no beer plus a total lack of the usual blood'n'guts video games
good things: air hockey, free refills and total distraction for the six-year-old in all of us.

We won all these tickets from skeeball and smack-the-gator. Piles of them. It took me twenty minutes to count them all. Got up to the counter and anything worth having was 2000 tickets or more. I shudder to think how long you'd have to spend there to amass such a fortune.

Blogger seem really slow. I wish that damned New yorker article hadn't been published. Of course I wouldn't be here if it hadn't. Typical NIMBY attitude.
this is so public, says Haley, who wishes her name was Ursula.
Here I find myself tweaking my blog template instead of doing actual work. Oh yes. The more things change the more they stay the same. Maybe I'll start posting poetry or something.
Good morning. Hard frost on the car today, the first of the year. I had a long talk with Olivia in the car about class. Without sounding patrician (which was difficult) I told her that class was a combination of manners, taste and style. I had to, of course, define each of the definitions as we went. She's pretty perceptive, but six is six after all.

Then I called dad. Dad and I probably enjoy cell phones more than anyone else we know; we call each other all the time just to chat. The cell has given the great gifts of ubiquity and economy: I can call him from any place in the country I happen to be and it's like we're in the same town.

Wireless IM next, I suppose. It will effect the way people write when their words are translated into text. Probably there will be features like "Um Delete" and foul-language filtration.

And so, and so...
Oh shit. I broke the last entry. Anyway, the pictures of our new dog are HERE
And I'll say good night now before I break anything else.
Okay... this template will have to do. I'm in a hurry, slammed with work as so many of us are these days. There is so much to do even now that the shine is off the apple. I kind of long for the whole thing to come crashing down, anyway... San Francisco has been nigh on ruined because of Johnny Dot Com and his 90K per year. Mark Twain would hardly recognize it.
There are some pictures of our new dog
">I just checked my web stats and found that I'd had three visits from Blog. Exits on the Blog part of my site, actually. I should modify the template so that it better reflects myself as a web dood rather than merely a reader of the New Yorker.
This is very nice software. My good friend Brian maintains a web log that he himself wrote, a piece of software similar to this one.
At any rate, I do hope to keep this up. Something rather enticing about a public forum even if nobody reads it.

Monday, November 13, 2000

And off and running with blog. Blog is a pretty funny word, all in all, although this seems a bit like yelling into a vacuum. I suppose it takes time.
AH, it's off to breakfast. Three pounds of grease and then shopping. Today is Haley's birthday. Perhaps I'll post pictures later.
God but this is exciting.
this is the first entry in my blog. very exciting. I have a number of posts, though, in the uberhaus diary site.