Thursday May 31, 2001

I figgered out a quick and dirty little thing if you just want to backdate one day: Put this at the top of your post, say you're posting on Thursday, May 31:

<span class=date style="margin:0px;">Wednesday, May 30</span>

This will create a fake date header. When reading the posts, you can't really tell the difference. Make sure you use the same date format as is used in your site. I suppose you could use this any time, but the posts won't sort properly. You need the margin:0px because if the .date style in your stylesheet has margin:10px your "fakedate" will be indented. it does this because with .date now inside of the .posts block (with it's own 10px margin) you get a 20px margin.

Yeeeaaah dog!

At 5th and Bryant, blowin' the last few frames off a roll before going into The New Lab.

With the sun all shinin' an everything lookin' beautiful, I wanted to put my skate back in the limelight. MMMM, limes and light: two of the most important things in my life right now.

Wednesday May 30, 2001

This is almost purely a record. I don't think there is much of interest in it for anyone but myself. This is not an apology, just a warning. (Come to think of it, this post is almost completely an apology/explanation for missing my deadline. Nobody gives a shit except for me.)

I saw Karen today. I haven't done that for years. She's still the same but everything's changed around her. Loft in Dogpatch, BMW 300 series, possible summer home in Greece or Italy. I kept staring at her and she kept going, "What? What?" and I just shook my head and said I can't believe it. The way she piloted her beamer around, the way she stressed over her stocks and her exquisite command of BFR (big fucking router) terminology. To me, it was like seeing the ghost of Christmas Future that never came to be. In '97 I was on that same tack - marriage, house, car, etc. She still smoked like a sailor, with the coffin nail hanging out of the corner of her mouth. She still had miles of attitude. We drank wine and talked and her cat walked on me. We drove down Indiana street and admired the waterfront (including the smokestack, which you can see from her place, pictured below).

I wanted to take her on a walk around North Beach. It was hotter than hell. When you hang out with someone for the first time in 8 years you generally try to be pretty agreeable. I think Karen was being agreeable. First we stopped and that place called Enrico's. I've never been there before -- only looked at the idiots eating there. Not that they were idiots for eating there -- just that they were idiots. And we got a table on the outside where Karen could continue chain smoking. There were 2 tall "attractive" blonds eating at the table next to where we were and I gave Karen the view of them. She said, "Don't you want to sit here?" and I said, "No way." And, as if we needed a demonstration of Newton's Third Law of Motion, (that every force, no matter how lame, has an equal and opposite force) there were 3 drunk guys standing up drinking (like the place was a friggin disco or something) next to our table. So I got to watch for 20 minutes while a guy got up the courage approach the two women. Soon the drama moved into Karen's view and I had only to watch his buddy give hand signals while Karen said things that I'm sure had enough air behind them to zoom right past my ears and into the middle of the pickup scene, "That's disgusting."

The guy was playing the "We're just visitors (aussie accent) and we don't know where to go!" thing and to our astonishment, the women went for it. The women proceeded to design their complete "dream day in SF" itinerary as if they were the guy's administrative assistants and also say offensive, couldn't-be-more-untrue-or-unhelpful things like, "It's Wednesday and it's hot so nobody's going to be out on the streets."

The guy's loud, drunk and possibly homosexual friend came by and figured it was time to get in on the action. He succeeded in impressing the women enough that at one point when he was gone, one of them said to the first guy, "Look, there's a bar around the corner called Tosca, if you ditch that asshole we'll meet you there." And the guy said, "Yeah, we're trying to get rid of him too." Thus they set into motion the comedy which played itself out for the next half an hour.

It's all slapstick and I'm not a slapstick writer so I'll just say that it ended with a restaurant patron putting his cigar out on the chin of the "ditchee" and one of the women doing that "oh god - smack the heel of your palm against your forehead" thing after the guy she'd fallen for had fallen over and knocked all the stuff off the host stand. They realized they had been fools, hailed a cab for them (which screeched up simultaneously as she stepped off the curb and flicked her long, skinny white arm in the air) and strode of down the neon-lit street.

It was 11:40 and I was afeared I'd not make the homestead in time to put in a Wednesday entry. Blogger doesn't let you backdate entries. Well, Karen drives fast but not that fast. We took the 280 back to Karen's place and I got in my stinky, dirty jalopy of a car (I used to be embarrassed that it was too nice) and went home.

Damn. I missed it today. This is supposed to be Wednesday's photo. That's the first time. I had a perfect record until I actually had something to do and somewhere to go. Oh well. Luckly I can postdate it.

This is a nice smokestack, eh? I think it's at the end of 19th off 3rd street.

Tuesday May 29, 2001

This is tire beach. Oh, there's a lot of names for it, but believe me, I think we should go with "tire beach".

It is a subtle clue about how I'm feeling today.

Black Dice is playing down at a salsa bar next to Doc's Clock. Wonder how they managed that? I went by the door and the promoter guy was sweating from his neck even before they'd let anybody in. I guess this is why I live in America.

I was standing on the corner and some skaters came up to a scruffy looking youth and started talking to him and looking around. I had just removed 300 dollars from the Wells Fargo and I said, "You lookin for the punk show?" and they said, "Yeah" and I said, "Uh huh. Me too." (That was when I only knew it was at 22nd and Mission.) The pasty faced singer/terrorist from Black Dice came out the door of the club and that's how I knew where it was. When you see this guy you want to look at every inch of his body. Every article of clothing, every exposed area of flesh. He's immensely interesting only because he destroys bars and intimidates people for a living. He's a waif-like 5'3" and greasy hair hangs out of his baseball cap. You know, in that greasy hipster boy way where the ears stick out and the hair parts to the front and back. He's a sweaterboy, as my friend Aviva would say. He even has that shy demeanor, that, "I suck so bad" slump. All of these appearances are called into question when he wraps the mike cord around his fist and jumps on a table and kicks an indierock girl in the shoulder. I honestly don't know who that guy is. Don't ask me. I'm just a gawker.

Monday May 28, 2001

London Tube with Gemma.

This is dedicated to Mr. Fred Rogers. I've got to find out if I can get collected Mr. Rogers Neighborhood episodes on DVD or something.....No, not possible. But I did order a tape of the Yo Yo Ma episode.

Mr. Rogers is my favorite show. It's just that it's only on at 6:30 in the morning. But gosh darn it if it isn't the most heartwarming thing you ever saw. He's so direct and fearless. He seems to have a direct line to my subconscious. It's as if he's beating back the whole of irony and pessimism and self-loathing with the wooden hanger he hangs his sweater up on. Especially in a vintage show where he's still got some snap in those fingers. He turns to the camera and says, "Yeah, 'cause I am your Television Friend. And your mine. You make each day a special day -- by just your being you. 'Cause there isn't another person in the whole world like you." If you stay up all night and watch it with the sunrise I guarantee you'll bawl your head off.

They should show this stuff in prime time instead of "When Animals Attack" or whatever they show nowadays. If you aren't getting the warm buzz from it then at least you can laugh your ass off at it. Like the amazing flying trolley that appeared in the land of make-believe today. What a wonderful thing. I bet it must be full of surprises too. Hi Lady Aberlin. (My god. What a hottie.) You know French don't you? We think the trolley speaks French. Do you think you could talk to the flying French trolley? We're having trouble understanding its "belling". Uh, oh, she doesn't bell in French very well.

Remember, you can bring your own ideas to whatever happens on the computer. And your ideas are special. And so are you. meow-meow-mow-special-meow-mow Conrflake S. Pecially.

Sunday May 27, 2001

I'm a bastard. I just realized it as I was washing the hair tonic off my hands. Christ almighty, is that my problem? I can only wonder. I don't know any other bastards. In that sense, I suppose I've risen above my station. There must be lots of bastards out there. I thought of it because I just watched a documentary on PBS about a Korean woman who was basically sold to an orphanage so that she could be adopted by an American couple. She's having a hard time reconciling of course. She feels alienated from her white parents. (Sooo white. And Sooo alien they are.) And yet, she can't hang with the Korean folks. Bummer. But at least she's going for it. It made me think about getting my shit on with my bio-parents. Primarily ol' Richard Britt down there in Florida. He's probably gonna die soon if he hasn't yet. Forget about Michelle Hafner up in Seattle. She's a friggin basket case and I've given her more than enough chances. Dick down in Florida accepted and then refused to reply to a certified letter asking for his help in providing genetic and hereditary information to his bastard son -- me. "Fuck that bastard", he probably said (in a southern accent).

From: "Grahn, Johan"
To: "Positive Atheism" []
Subject: Yes, yes I know. I'm a bastard!
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 8:25 AM


How are you? I hope everything is alright with you.
I have a tiny, little, insignificant correction to 
make with regards to your response to: "Four 
questions from a High-School Teacher." ......
Ok, I can go on now. What I was thinking was that I'd just give that old guy a call and yeah, my brothers and sisters would probably want to meet me and, what do I wear, and there's always an awkward moment when you meet but then it's all beautiful and yadda yadda and then I was like, "There's no way he's gonna want a BASTARD showing up on his doorstep." But before you go feelin sorry for me, just ask yourself, "Wouldn't it be kinda cool to be a bastard?" To show up and go, "Hey Pa! I'm yer bastard son!" You gotta admit it'd be funny for a second.

I don't think I can write about being a bastard any more because the woman who's sitting behind me at the laundromat has the ability to look over my shoulder as I type. And even though I'm posting this on the Internet where anyone can see it, I still don't want someone reading it when I type it. I need a little bit of privacy for the creative process to occur.

Haven't been outside my house in a while. What better to do than post a photo that would make anyone scared to go outside.

I downloaded almost all of the 3 CD Xen Cuts compilation from Ninja Tune. Forking Brilliant.

New Montgomery and Mission. Poor guy couldn't hold his tongue in his mouth. What's that called? I know, I'll search the WEB! Well, it seems this affliction is common artistic inspiration. Let see now, he could have Geographic tongue...but I doubt he has the dreaded Scrotal tongue or Kawasaki tongue. (Bless his heart, aint that Kawasaki kid cute?)

Saturday May 26, 2001

It's always tough to select a photo for the day. I want to put them all up at once but I'm going to pace myself. Come to think of it, I have a photo that seems to echo the sentiment of the second sentence in this post. So, boys and girls, the theme for today is "one at a time."

Toll taker. GG bridge. Friday evening sunset on his face.

Friday May 25, 2001

I took myself out on a date tonight. I painted and cleaned my apt all day today so I took myself out. Away from the fumes. I got dressed in the clothes I like myself best in. I liked myself. Ouch. I got estoned. Ay yai chi chi. I masturbated. Hey, I’m takin’ myself out – I’m gonna get lucky fist thing. Don’t have to wait till the end when you’re dating yourself. I cleaned up and went out onto the street. I’m hungry and I’m takin’ myself to dinner. I bet there’s a space at the bar at Puerto Allegre. Oh yeah. You cannot believe how fast that first margarita goes down. I order me up some dinner. Enchilada plate fits perfectly in my stomach. That is, mixed with another margarita. They showed war films on the TV while I ate. They (NBC) flipped back and forth between the Pacific and the European front. Gorgeous stuff. I paid up and hit the streets again. Takin’ myself for a walk. Around the bleedin’ Mission. I got cold after a while and came home to my stinky house and my ‘puter. And as is usually the case after going to Puerto Allegre, I'm giong to bed drunk.

Jellyfish sting like a motherfucker. Monterey Aquarium.

I'd love to do a systematic investigation of every reflective shot in Yi Yi. I can think of 10 stunning examples off the top of my head. In the director's comments track on the DVD you can hear Edward get noticeably excited when another reflective shot presents itself on screen. He points them all out, and it's true that the shots do seem to present themselves to the director. Although you must assume he had something to do with them, he confesses that it was magic that he discovered when he got to the location. Neither he nor I can explain what effect the superimposition of a night cityscape on a dark office space has on our understanding of the emotional world of the character sandwiched between the layers of light. It seems there is magic at work all around. But it is not magic at all, as we learn from Mr. Ota's card trick -- merely attention. Maybe it's the reflection's ability to split out attention out into many streams of thought and quickly focus it back down that gives his scenes their vertiginous exhilaration. How else to explain the rush one feels from looking at a completely static shot where you can barely make out the actors? He set out to make a film about family but I think he discovered he also wanted to make a film about life in Taipei. The reflections are the device that lets him make two movies at once. I think that's what is most special about each reflective shot. It is the instantaneous visual realization of an epic goal, and a reminder to the audience of both themes working in the movie. His assuredness and gentleness astounds me.

Thursday May 24, 2001

I can recommend Last's Paint on Mission near 18th. They're indie and they're local. Their paint is drying on my walls right now. It stinks. I like the blue but I'm not sure about the orange. I can recommend Yi Yi but I can't make you rent it. Let's see what I can do...I watched it about a couple of weeks ago and it has not worn off. I will not let go of this film. I rented the DVD again tonight to listen to the directors commentary. Edward Yang is the director and writer and he's kicking some serious ass. He's now up there (in my mind) with Yasujiro Ozu, Satayajit Ray and Jean Renior and Robert Altman. The directors I mentioned all seem to be able to make you believe you are watching the bare existence of the people in their films and then whammo, you realize they're playing on a huge romantic/mythical level. Yang's directing is absolutely fascinating. He makes Wong Kar-Wai and Paul Thomas Anderson (two guys trying so hard to do what he does so easily) look like film style shysters. He hangs back, letting scenes develop without moving the camera and then hanging out long after they're over. You get a chance to see what other movies cut out. And because the characters are all so wound up and stressed out, you have to sit and watch them for a while before they drop their guard and give you a peep at what's bothering them. It's amazingly seductive. And, it lulls you into an over attentive state that by the 3rd hour of the film is being lashed with spiked belts of beauty. I was leaning over, clutching my gut, wiping my eyes, shaking my head and wondering if the film was going to let me out alive. Exhausted by magic blinking-heart-streetlights in the reflections of office windows; redeemed by transcendent words falling out of an 8 year old boy. Eat well before seeing it.

Worked all friggin night on a slideshow feature for this blog. Of course it doesn't work with Netscape 4. Of course. I still get 15 percent of the people who hit my site identifying themselves as being NS4. That's an awfully big thorn in my side. I'm sure you're not using that old stuff.

Forget it. Here's another picture. In honor of my stove. Since I just used it to heat up soup.

In case you're curious about the popup window, the code is from CodeLifter.

Wednesday May 23, 2001

I rested my poor head tonight and missed the softball game with the architects, that was too bad. Ted said I could come as long as I didn't get as wasted at the afterparty as I did last time. He's still buggin that I killed him in ping-pong.

I fixed the website today. The agency details page had been broken for more than a month and nobody ever told me.

This is the BART station. I think it's New Montgomery. Isn't it nice?

How do I make a 5.1 surround sound theater system that is portable and can be used outdoors? This can be sorted out later, of course. But I just don't want to buy a non-portable system for my microcinema and then have to use a separate one when I do outdoor shows. I've been looking at DJ equipment but it's all 2 channel.

I thought I'd either buy the Sanyo XP18n or XP21n. And I'd do it quickly. Silent projections on a wall down near 16th and Valencia on the weekends. I have hours of footage of India -- street scenes and the like, that don't make compelling narrative but in the context of all those drunk people stumbling around in their black clothes I think it would be interesting. I'd like to sit out on warm nights with friends and drink beers and watch the people go by and just shoot pictures up onto something. I could combine all my favorite things in one activity.

On the subject of street art, here's one hand-dandy piece of information: free street power. In every Muni bus shelter there are regular power outlets. I found this out when I was watching some punk bands play in front of the Bart entrance at 16th and Mission. After shaking off the surprise of their presence, (Why have I never seen this? Why always preachers with bullhorns?) I looked for the generator but there was only an orange cord taped to the red bricks. I followed it incredulously to the bus stand. It snaked up the black pole next to the street map and up over the crossbar. On top of that metal bar running from front to back under the arch, there's a little metal plate that you can remove and expose the outlets. They played for hours and the cops never did anything.

I listened to a great rant about art by Billy Childish where he throws poop on the critics and says "the lie of originality, the ignorance of its champions and the intrinsic honesty of plagiarism." I just want to say that I'm through with originality. Go Billy.

Tuesday May 22, 2001

I was sitting on the corner of 18th and Valencia under the Cherin's Appliances sign waiting for my Ricas Pupusas and feeling like the chain-link fence that my back was leaning against might be a little to springy for good chain-link fence leaning when a guy on a skateboard comes whipping down the street and barely steers his board up the wheelchair ramp onto the sidewalk where I was sitting. He made the daring maneuver because he spotted me sitting on my skate and wanted to come and sit with me.

He had blue pants on that were cut off below the knee. He had blue Nike basketball shoes. He had a blue poly long-sleeved dress shirt that was really tight and unbuttoned at the cuffs. It was Gary. We've talked that sorta witty, seat-of-your-pants banter off and on at parties and bars for the last 7 or 8 years. That's about all we've done with each other. Well, bumbed cigs and drank too I suppose. We saw each other at Amnesia last Sunday and managed to break through the odd "I probably know you, or I think I did 3 years ago" thing and had a nice little chat and I realized that he's got a thing about him that I like. I can fairly say that he possesses a mind which is freely-associative and quick witted without the nagging dementia that can set in once you cruise past your 20's. Boys like him are becoming rarer these days.

So we looked at the various foxy hipster girls walking by and I explained what a pupusa was and he decided to eat some.

While we were in Ricas Pupusas Gary looked toward me in a sincere kind of way and said, "I think we should be friends." I was kind of shocked but pleasantly surprised. I liked his delivery. It occurred to me that I was interested in just that sort of thing. Already accepting the idea that we were gonna try to be friends, I said, "What do you wanna do?" And he said, "Well, it doesn't really matter, I just thought...." And I immediately reassured him that the answer to my question was not a condition upon which I was going to base my response. I indeed wanted to be friends with him. No male has asked me to be friends in years.

There was long grass coming out of the chain-link fence and tickling my back so when our pupusas were ready I suggested that we go to the other side of the street and eat them. Gary liked the pupusas. He likes kim chee and the cabbage stuff on top is kind of similar. The chain-link fence in front of the used car lot was much more supportive.

When we were done eating I brought up the subject of being friends again and we shook on it. I put his digits in my cell phone but we didn't make any plans. I'm sure he likes surprises as much as I do. He skated off up Valencia and I skated down 18th.

Monday May 21, 2001

If there is ghetto style for the Internet, it must be ASCII art. If you don't think big block letters of your name made out of dashes, slashes and pipes is fuckin wicked, well, you must not be from the Intenet "hood". Anybody that don't have a badass sig (not that you gotta flash it every time) is definitely not OG. Just thought I'd throw mine up there since I'm starting this thing off. Wanna pad the results. Yaknow?
 _ __  _ __(_)_ __ ___   ___ ___   ___  _ __ __ _
| '_ \| '__| | '_ ` _ \ / __/ _ \ / _ \| '__/ _` |
| |_) | |  | | | | | | | (_| (_) | (_) | | | (_| |
| .__/|_|  |_|_| |_| |_|\___\___(_)___/|_|  \__, |
|_|                                         |___/
computer living offers you more   dave(at)

I'm going to include photos. I just decided. Not like I have any big traditions to go back on. This is my first online writing in a year. Ok -- six months. I did do this a while ago. At the time I had a long way to go to getting further away.

I have the urge to put in all kinds of wack crap that will get my page listed in fucked up web searches. When someone searches on the Internet and then clicks on the results they get from google, the keywords they searched with end up in your website logs. It is one of my favorite pastimes to find the paths that people can dream up to get to my web. 99.999 percent of them would naturally have NO interest in my site.

I've had people directed to after searching for "bowling alleys for sale" on google and you don't wanna know what else. OK if you do, go to the Disturbing Search Requests weblog and see if the whackos have come up with anything new since "translucent hindu shepherd flyboy porn"

Here's my photo for the day. It's a picture of a diorama in Mission Dolores. I took it while the glass was reflecting the figures of some people looming over the little pastoral indian figures. It's a nice reminder of what used to be my neighborhood.