Tuesday August 28, 2001

Nothing for a week. I'm going to burning man.

Monday August 27, 2001

Here's another picture I took at my mothers house.

Mom's backyard berries.

Sunday August 26, 2001

Out the window. Bagdogra. Fly here if you want to go to Sikkim. (Yes, you want to go to Sikkim.)

Saturday August 25, 2001

Eb on New Years: "No you can't have none a this. This here's too hot for you. Gonna have to look elsewheres."

Friday August 24, 2001

Ok, just one more obsessive thing about the Magnetic fields and then I'll walk away. I promise. Listen to "Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits" and you'll hear, at 25 seconds into the song, at then end of some delicious casio-like drumming and some expectant seventh note plunking, a little "eow" from a kitty. Or is it the sounds of rabbit sex? I'd never heard it before 2 minutes ago and then it came squeaking out of my left speaker as I was fixing some HTML and it shocked the hell out of me.

Is is stupid or what to post pieces of Magnetic Fields lyrics every day. God. It's not like I have nothing to write. But there he goes again singing about Ferdinand de Saussure and I'm nuts about it. It seems like the only thing that matters. And then another song comes on and it's the same absolutely brilliant decapitating crap all over again. "You can't open your mouth without telling a lie, but baby, you know how to say good-bye." The way his larynx dips down into Johnny Cash territory on "baby" kills me deader than if you dropped a safe on me. I think I'm in love with him and, yes, love is a beautiful thing, but it also sucks because I'm not gay. He's all I really want.

I laid awake all night last night and went round and round on a lyrical carousel. "...razy for you but not that cr..." The pressure was on because I *had* to get some sleep because I *had* to get up a specified time. Having to get up a a specified time, even if it is noon, constitutes a lot of pressure these days. Working bastards may scoff at this pansy-ass obsessiveness but it's all relative. The significant thing is that it's now the third time in recent memory I've had insomnia, and all three times, the time was spent twisting my brain up tighter and tighter around one tiny piece of Magnetic Fields lyrical rapture.

Grand pianos crash together
when my boy walks down the street.
There are whole new kinds of weather
when he walks with his new beat.

He's a whole new form of life
blue eyes blazing
and he's going to be my wife.

This is Darjeeling. I'm not sure if this picture makes any sense to people who haven't been there. I walked through a hotel to get to the back patio so I could take this picture. A kid saw me trying to shoot the same thing from the street and said, "Hey, walk through here. Better view." Then he tried to sell me a sack of weed. I said, "Why aren't you in school."

I never figured out why they knock all the branches off the trees and leave only the tops. What is that? People scrounging for wood but they don't want to completely strip the tree so they leave the very top?

Thursday August 23, 2001

I wish someone could tell me the notes that Stephin sings when he sings

          for             that
    crazy         but not
I'm                               zy

I know the chords are Eb and Ab and Bb but the notes drive me crazy. Yes, that cra zy.

It's something like Bb C D E C D Ab Bb. My pitch sucks. Ahh, hello 5 am.

"Caution Caution Caution: to prevent electric shock
do not, do not, do not, remove cover
No user-serviceable parts inside
Refer servicing to qualified
service personnel"

Let this be the epitaph for my heart.
Cupid put too much poison in the dart.

More of my Darjeeling darling.

Wednesday August 22, 2001

These are Tony's proud parents. Brahmins. Mom's a school teacher and dad is a school administrator. They were very patient while a took a light reading off of them. I liked these folks a lot. They were much easier to get along with than their son and his friends. Maybe it was because we didn't share a language. They made me eat by myself. They put the food down on the floor and I ate it while they watched. Then dad went and then Tony and then mom.

Lookit dad. He looks all gruff but he's not. You can tell by mom's expression. He was just tired. How's that for motherfuckin dignity. They didn't have anything as nice as my leatherman for show-and-tell but godamn it, they had dignity. The walls are blue in Jodhpur.

Tuesday August 21, 2001

I found the script to The Jerk on line tonight. I'm completely obsessed with it for some reason. You can read the whole thing in a half an hour.

Well mom, remember my dream of owning a big house on a hill and how I used to wish for a living room with a plaster lion in it from Mexico and how I always wanted a large twenty four seat dining table in a dining room with original oil paintings by Michelangelo and Rembrandt and remember how I always wanted a rotating bed with pink chiffon and zebra stripes and remember how I used to chit chat with dad about always wanting a bathtub shaped like a clam and an office with orange and white stripes and remember how much I wanted an all red billiard room with a giant stuffed camel and how I wanted a disco room with my own disco dancers and a party room with fancy friends and remember how much I wanted a big backyard with Grecian statues, s-shaped hedges and three swimming pools? Well, I got that too.

Odds Carraig, Calcutta.

Oh ... Sam. I've had the transport pool onto me ... You don't know anything about a personnel transporter gone missing do you?

A "personnel" transporter? They've got it wrong. I had a personal transporter. I'll do the paperwork tomorrow -

Monday August 20, 2001

Ami Patel. That girl knew how to wear a purple shawl -- even when it was gray

Sunday August 19, 2001

David was reading and holding his hand in the air. It was swiveling atop his forearm. His voice dipped and his lungs pushed out exuberant but precise strings of words. We had been swept up, Sherry and me, and we listened to this evening's 5th hour of someone reading what they had written. But this hour was different from the previous four because the three of us had escaped to David's house in the Sunset and he was reading from his Toshiba Satellite 2135CSE. I was stoned. Sherry had her shoes off. David had hardened spit clacking in the corners of his mouth.

David had taken a likin' to us after I read my emails at a writing group. He offered to give us a ride to the indierock show we were going to. It was the wrong night for that show so we drove around and talked feverishly. It was just feverish talk about a bunch of shit. We shut The Philosopher's Stone down and missed beer 'o'clock at Safeway and we had to be real quiet when we got to his apartment. There was a guy sleeping in the living room. I was so stupid. I had my video camera with me but I didn't film the insides of his room. It was just as interesting as the back seat of his car. But I can't describe that either. I should have shot it while he wailed on about his film-nut hero driving back from a film festival. David went to New York today. Man, that was great. I was so stupid.

Pritha Murdeshwar. Funny, I got the same shot of Brian.

Saturday August 18, 2001

Hoff Street, San Francisco. I wish there was a dentist's chair in the middle of this parking lot.

Friday August 17, 2001

This was culled from some old Super8 movies I found at my house.

Mom on the Beach

:20 seconds
or download 2.4 megs

Thursday August 16, 2001

Wednesday August 15, 2001

From: Sky King (skyking@alias.cyberpass.net)
Subject: Re: Should we rent???
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
View complete thread (4 articles)
Date: 1998/02/24

On Sat, 21 Feb 1998 18:26:02 -0500, email@domain.com (Your Name) wrote:

> Some friends and I were thinking of renting a 30 ft class A motorhome
>for 8 days during our college break. We live in Boston and wanted to
>explore florida. It will proablay cost close to $1800 dollars. Is it
>worth it??? Are we better of just flying and staying in a hotel. Is it
>comfortable and are we going to get trouble for parking where we want
>(meaning place other than campgrounds)?
> Reply with thoughts and info .....Thanx
> Joe..

You weren't going to "explore" Florida. You are going down
there to drink and puke and screw and take drugs. Thats
why I suggest that you rent that 30 footer and take out all the
furniture. That way you won't have to pay for the damages.
Better than that, why not just rent a flatbed truck with sleeping
bags and a tarp? Have fun!



Tuesday August 14, 2001

I call this, "A Personal Video Statement by Me on the Meaning of Life".

A Personal Video Statement
By Me
On the Meaning of Life

:58 seconds
or download 4.3 megs

Monday August 13, 2001

Alright. Here's the post for today. I'm working on lots of other shit besides this but the deal is that I have to have something "original" to put up every day. I've re-compressed all the videos on my website now that I've learned a thing or two and they're all bigger and better than ever. Check 'em out y'all.

PacBell Building Sky

:33 seconds
or download 245 KB

The PacBell building is probably my second favorite in SF. I wish I could drive up the side of it like they do in that SUV commercial.

Sunday August 12, 2001

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you now, three videos that I think, smash the living hell out of the Steve Ballmer video. The Hammers of Misfortune!

Click on the images to pop up the vids. If that don't work try downloading them. Note in the video called "Claw", the guy giving the "metal grip of death" sign. He's so into it that he has marshaled the very forces of evil with his fearsome claw.

Hammers of Misfortune

19 seconds
or download 1.4 meg

Hammers of Misfortune

8 seconds
or download 653kb

Hammers of Misfortune

9 seconds
or download 1 meg

Rose's party was supposed to make people dress up like they were at a golf country club. It made me dress up like a jerk. But that was good. Blue Old Skool Vans, orange Arnold Palmer golf pants hoisted aloft by a General Motors seatbelt belt. Into which was tucked my undershirt and my yellow short-sleeved dress shirt with "fuck" silk-screened in pink on the pocket. Resting on my belly and tied around my neck was a purple tie with golden cobs of corn.

I showed up at the party real early and there were only about eight people there. Mandy and Squash, who clapped when they saw me, were going to see the Impaled / Weedeater / Hammers of Misfortune / etc... at the CW and they idea of walking around that metal show dressed the way I was immediately attracted me. I wanted to see Impaled and Mandy and Squash said that Hammers of Misfortune were an amazing Wagnerian metal extravaganza. Had to go. I left the party and promised to come back real soon. I figured I'd get sick of the place pretty quick but it was enthralling. Mesmerizing. And gosh darn it, sweet.

I shot pool with Cecil and shot video of Hammers of Misfortune and rocked hard. My little vidcam drew ooo's and ahh's from all the heshers. I ended up staying to the end. I think Squash was trying to hook up or something and Mandy and I just lingered. We got back to the party and it was over. I sat on the porch wrapped in a blanket and talked to Rose. Walked home as the sun rose.

His Lardiness takes the stage. Video of Steve Balmer made the front page of the NYTimes. I bring it to you now. It's funny. It's sick. It's kinda cute. Click on any of the links on this page.

Saturday August 11, 2001

The book I've been trying to read for 5 years is finally getting finished and I plan to read more while trying to stay away from the trashy self-help propaganda. I'll just quote an amazon review because it's basically my take on the thing:

FSHus(at)aol(dot)com from Atlanta GA
The implications of Ledoux's book are enormous. Ledoux, a neuroscience researcher, shows that our emotions are generated by separate independent neuro systems which work unconsciously; believe it or not, we do NOT run because we are afraid, but rather we are afraid because we run. He also shows that the emotional systems have a much greater impact on our rational conscious than the rational conscious has on the emotional systems. Passion rules reason. This has tremendous implications for the current thinking in psycology/ psychiatry (although they will be slow to pick up on it). And it explains why man has so much angst, why we don't learn from history, why man is so brutal. The importance of this book cannot be overstated.

Friday August 10, 2001

A manipulative little merchant (or junior model) in Darjeeling.

Thursday August 9, 2001

New Montgomery

Wednesday August 8, 2001

These flash movies have a little play button in the upper right-hand corner that looks like a triangle with a p in it.

Tuesday August 7, 2001

Calcutta Kids

Monday August 6, 2001

Colaba, Bombay. Seems like I had to go there almost every day. I guess it's fitting that this festering shithole is the only thing most tourists see of Bombay.

Sunday August 5, 2001

I wrote this little essay for Heather but I figured I might as well post it.

This photo, called "Tourist Panni" is one of my favorites to "explain". It has so much loaded up in the accidental moment my camera went off. I like to use it to talk to people about India because it's not what it seems at first, and most people have wildly romantic visions of India.

For me, this photo is the best example of how the tourists --Indian and western -- interact. It's not what you would expect. During the annual camel fair, the villagers that stream into town get to see a lot of things that they don't normally see, (carnival rides, strange food, people from villages hundreds of miles away), but the foreign tourists must be the strangest. At the height of the festival there are hundreds of thousands of people swarming the streets as this photo shows:

As I was moving through this crowd I spotted the guy in "Tourist Panni" and felt compelled to get a shot of his bottle of water. The bottle of water identifies the guy with the backpack as the tourist literally but in fact, he's the "attraction". He's come from half way around the world to look at the exotic things around him but actually he's creating a spectacle even greater than the one he's watching.

If I was to guess who was having more culture shock at this moment, I would have to say the local. The villager woman looking at him, who is making the "pull my sari to cover my face" gesture, may have never seen a white man in person before but what she's really shocked by is the fact that he's not wearing any pants. I couldn't get that in the picture but she's gawking at is his BARE LEGS. Sure, men wear shorts in India but only poor laborers and boys. Men of status only wear pants. To her, a rich westerner is astronomically high in status and yet displaying himself as if he's a beggar.

On top of all that, this display is sexually explicit and that's why she's trying to cover her face. She's not trying to cover it so she won't look, she's trying to cover it so he won't see her. His gaze, especially when he is half naked, defiles her in their culture. Seeing a woman's beautiful face is one step removed from seeing all of her -- and since women and their beauty are possessions, one step from possessing her. Her urge to cover her face is the result of being trained in self-shame, yes, but it's also an attempt to discharge the sexuality of the gaze. Indians are so repressed; they're more sensitive to the power of gaze than westerners are.

When I walked through a new town as stranger looking for a human connection in the faces of the people, and had women cover their faces when they became aware of my presence, I got a palpable sense of what I was being denied. But I could infer what they were being denied: they'll never know a man other than their husband or his brothers.

Purdah, or the traditional practice of covering the face, is one of the things that bugged me most about the northern region of India. When you know why they do it, it becomes a symbol of repression that you see every where you go. After months in India, when so many of the things I saw had become symbols of corruption, repression or stupidity, I had to get out. I loved the moments of revelation and understanding but soon they turned to disappointment and frustration.

All these photos were taken in Pushkar, in the state of Rajastan, India.

Pushkar Village Goddess

I have a lot of opinions about the beautiful yellow piece of fabric that the woman has to wear over her head. I want her to read this web page. Yeah, right. Never gonna happen.

Saturday August 4, 2001


This may seem like a bit of puffery, braggadocio, or skullduggery but I wish to humbly assert that it is merely a way for me to understand myself. The un-rehashed life is not woth living.

When I went camping last week I was sitting in an old diner in the Sierra foothills with Garrick and talking about trash. His shirt said something about the garbage heap of the world that was America. I said, "What's your shirt mean?...you know...to you." He said something like the potential of America is so great and yet it just ends up all shitty. He said, "Look at this place. What a piece of shit."

I happened to like the bright orange vinyl booths and wood paneling. It reminded me of my mother -- of a gentler time. I told him the thing that's best about it to me is that people can rise up and change their lot in life. I looked at our waitress -- probably 50, overweight, dopey expression and nodding her head upwards when she addressed you in a low-class country sorta way. I didn't imagine much change in her station. But then I noticed that everyone else working in the cafe was asian and there was even an older guy that looked like the owner -- a prejudiced guess that they were first-generation restaurant owners. Then I thought of the "dollar per item" chinese food joint on Mission and 18th and how I'd walked past just 2 days before and heard the vietnamese woman screaming "call 911" as she had a tug-o-war with a black woman over the cash register drawer. These Sierra dudes got it pretty good, but I figure even those people down on Mission do too.

It's relative of course. I could look at my present situation -- right here as I type. The Beck's I'm drinking is Ice Cold (that's good) and it's 8:41am (that's bad, some would say). Is it pathetic that I'm drinking so early in the morning? To me, I'm happy that I'm even writing -- and I after a night of hard drinking something mysteriously woke me up at 8am so I could move my car and not get a parking ticket. So what's that? I've already downed a gallon of water so the Beck's does quite nicely.

So back to the whole "rise above your lot in life" stuff. When we were in the cafe I said to Garrick that he need look no further than two feet straight ahead to reassure himself -- I am a shining example of America's promise. From my humble beginnings I've managed quite a bit. The first book I ever read was the paperback treatment of the movie "The Jerk" (yes, they made it into a book). The Jerk is just such a story. I've not had the meteoric rise and fall that Navin R. Johnson had but I've managed to use my imagination to make myself into a modern day Eliza Doolittle.

I once met someone who had stuck wasabi in their brother's eye when they were 5 in a fight. I was like, "what the hell is a 5 year old doing with wasabi" at first and then I was like, "wait a minute, wasabi didn't even exist in the 70's." It didn't compute for me. I thought sushi sprang into existence around 1990 and was only available in sushi restaurants in San Francisco. The guy explained, "Yeah, well, my parents used to make sushi at home." I was like, "I don't know where the fuck-all you came from. We ate goddamned shit-on-a-shingle." But now I'm lighting some incense and boosting the Chi in my apartment. I just turned my friend Rose onto the Mountain Goats and....ok, you're saying, "Big deal. Big whoopy ding. So he found out about some culture. So what. Everybody does that." Well I have to disagree with you. No they don't. And it's not about just more culture. I have always made the distinction of "better".

I'm a snob. No bout-a-doubt-it. How did my parents, who would've had Tom Brokaw kissing their hallowed worker hands, raise a snob? Maybe that's beside the point. I think I thought I was better than everyone from the moment I scored a 99 on the California Achievement Test in 3rd grade. My mom would say, "David, no one's better than anyone else, that's why we live in a democracy. The Japs and Germans thought they were better than other people and look what we did to them."

You'd have to know quite a bit about how shitty my family was to get a real sense of the things I've had to "overcome" but that's boring whiny stuff and I mostly want to talk about the sly tricks I used to remake myself. Wait, forget about "sly" -- they're ridiculously overt. And I want to wonder aloud if the makeover is really is just surface stuff. The most fitting metaphor I can come up with is the self-fulfilling prophesy.

Robert Merton wrote a book about it in 1957 called 'Social Theory and Social Structure', and I'm living proof. In it he says that the Pygmalion phenomenon occurs when "a false definition of the situation evokes a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true." Logically, as a kid, I should have believed I was going to die a loser like everybody else I saw. But I didn't. I don't know if my definition was false or not. The one trump card I had up my sleeve, as it turned out, was that I was adopted. I didn't have to believe that I was going to turn out like the people around me. Somehow, after looking at my relatives (yikes!) I believed my genes were going to save me.

The self-fulfilling prophesy, or fake-it-till-you-make-it is what most people do unconsciously. I was so overt and conscious of it that it appears to be extreme hubris. By the way, it's heartening to note that these expectations can even be passed between a coed and a rat. (Oh, and I discourage further reading of the linked material as it may make you feel even more unhappy, insignificant and manipulated in your current work environment.)

First thing is attitude. Around the same time as the CAT tests, I was riding home from church in the car with my dad and he stopped at the corner of 12th and Union. I looked over at the Winchell's Donuts shop and and then at my dad. Then suddenly I hear a pathetic whimper come from between his lips and his shoulders kind of shook and he bowed his head forward and started crying. His was a most shabby form of crying. A high whiny voice bounced off the windshield and he held his hands in his lap, palms up. He tried to talk and regain his composure. His lower lip flapped in and out under this front teeth. He said, "David, what ever you do, don't work with your hands. I want you to get an education so you don't end up like me. I didn't get an education and now I'm just an old, beaten up, worthless man. If you work with your hands, nobody wants you when you get old." I think he was around 55 at that time. I said, "I know. There's no way I'm going to work with my hands." He didn't need to tell me of course. I had a sense that I was going to be different already. But it did succeed in lowering my opinion of him even more. I use this example only to point out that I had already started envisioning myself before anybody around me tried to "help me out". As a side note, the moment was important for me because this was the fucker that routinely smacked me around and seeing him crying and feeling like a failure empowered me. This is where the attitude comes from.

When I was pulling down 100 grand a year I'd ask myself, how I got from a Subculturally Strained "Lower-Class Boy with a Middle-Class Measuring Rod" to a Provider of Effective IT Solutions. By the end of high school I had visions of grandeur (of not sucking) but I was starting to replicate my home life in the world. I was a social retard. Social scientist Albert Cohen loves to study delinquent boys and he claims that losers in the competition for status experience strong feelings of frustration or deprivation. Most of them adopt a "corner boy" attitude which is what Bill Whyte described as the thing which drives young men to hang out on the corner. It seems I developed corner boy attitude as well but it just drove me into a corner. I hid. I shut up. I ran scared.

Lunch was the worst time, of course, for anyone who's been a geek will tell you that lunch is hard on geeks. I didn't want to sit in the library and read with the "uber-geeks". Those people represented booksmarts and I hated booksmarts. I imagined myself streetsmart and having lots of friends all over the school. Our school was a two-story square donut shape and after eating my vending machine food out by the football field (didn't want anyone to see me eating alone), I'd come in and walk the halls. I walked the whole lunch period and didn't stop. The halls were a square loop and I could switch floors at any corner so if you happened to be lingering in the hallway, you wouldn't notice that I'd just circled and come around again.

But here was the imagination: every time I walked by a person that required eye contact, like someone I'd been schooled with for the past 10 years, I would speed up my walk to a "late-for-class" pace and whiz by them with a wave and a "gotta go" and zip around the corner. Once safe, if this hall was deserted enough, I could slow down to a good time-chewing pace. It always looked like I was going somewhere, I didn't have to explain it. I though it effective. This is an example of how you settle in and start to accept alienation and wait for something to break.

The big break came when I could move away from home to start college. I immediately renamed myself from David to Dave in order to take on a more friendly, happy-go-lucky air. I sensed a change when people started respecting me for how big of a bong toke I could take. But by the end of freshman year, things were starting to slide back into a pattern of alienation when I got the lesson of my life.

My friend Doug, who I admired greatly for ability to disdain those around him only to have it returned as adoration, once gave me a sound lesson in social dynamics. (Remember, my master is a pot smoking, Maiden-listening, mechanical engineer.) We're walking down the street between dorms and this guy that was at the same party we were at last night, but whom neither of us has ever talked to, walks by. He gives the "Hey, how's it goin" and Doug returns, "Wassup" and then he's past. I launch into a rant that I'm confident Doug will support: "God I hate that, why do people have to say such inane things. It's not like you're going to spill your guts to him right on the street. He's asking how are you and he doesn't even care. I just hate smalltalk. Just think, you could go for years and never say anything more than 'Wassup' to that guy. If you aint friends with someone, why not just blow right by them?" And Doug replies, in the most touching gesture I'd ever seen him make, "Dave, if you don't say 'Hi' to people on the street they're gonna think you're an asshole."

With that one phrase my entire pathetic life up to that point had been unscrambled. To this, I immediately added the technique, as shallow and inauthentic as it may seem, (especially for some one as pissed-off and intense as I was) of trying to smile more often. I hated the idea of it but I wanted friends more than anything. I was now ready for the big leagues.

But it wasn't until 2 years later in the middle of college that I began to fully kid myself into a higher social class: a cool person.

It happened when I met Eben Carlson at my job at the College Inn Cafe. He immediately started in on the task of getting me up to snuff to hang out with him. He handed me "It takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" and by inference let me know that if I said something, it had to be funny in some way. Our friendship cemented by night-long philosophical talks over 12-packs in the park, I was introduced to his friends.

I cannot stress this enough: Here is where I first learned what I wanted from my life. I wanted to be like Eben and his friends. Up until this point, I had only been presented with examples which I immediately rejected and I could not imagine anything else. I cannot do justice to the magic that swirled in the air when his apartment on Howell street was filled with them. Nils and Patty and Larry and Charles and Kathy and Tammy and Dale and Robin and a bunch more who filtered through. Eben would laugh at this now and he would've then but it felt like the bigtime to me. I'd never met people so funny, creative and nice. It was a revelation to me because it seemed like all the dumbfucks had been filtered out. A secret society -- but by what magic? It was like when you're a kid and you go over to your new friends house to stay the night and they do things completely differently than you do at your house: Take you shoes off before you come inside? What? No milk with dinner? Huh? Only Dad touches the remote? Why? Grab a spray can and paint graffiti on the wall? OK! Now we're talkin'!

It wasn't my life but I imagined having my own one day. Like Navin R. Johnson, I was forming ridiculous images in my head of the high life. "The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here! Page 73, Johnson, Navin, R.! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book every day! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity, you're name in print, that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now."

Everyone's probably been in a situation they admired but felt they couldn't contribute to. I was struck dumb. Rockstars party around me. I just sat there and smiled. I knew that copying them wasn't good enough. I had learned a wonderful post-adolecent lesson: be unique. I mean, these people had done it, (Hadn't they? Maybe I just didn't know who they were copying.) and I guessed I could be unique too (is that copying?). I just sat there and smiled. (And isn't that really the key?) After months of this someone recognized my presence, I think it was Tammy, and said, "Dave. How cool is Dave? He just sits there and doesn't say anything. That's sooo cool."

But I still didn't have any friends. I point that out because the true social acceptance I was looking for was a long way off. Nobody called me. I was included (parties, shows, BBQ's) only when I was in the vicinity or if I called while it was going on. My efforts consisted of hovering about and trying to be within shouting distance when a leader rallied the pack. These were only my acquaintances (and by proxy at that) but I could see the lifestyle I wanted.

And this isn't something as shallow sounding as lifestyle shopping -- even though I did use that word. I was barely clinging to my sanity. Intense loneliness drove me to do the most humiliating things. Ugh, I can't go into it.

I became a rock journalist so I could be involved in the scene (which was damn good around 1989) and continued to fake my way into the world of the beautiful people. As an aside, I should add that when I mean beautiful people, they weren't exactly pretty people -- and many of them couldn't live without lots of drugs. It just felt beautiful because of the creativity and community. But enough of that mush. I had been declared "cool". Three more years of serious make-believe and I was a full blown hipster and ugly as hell on the inside. By the way, during that time I started to feel like I needed to do something to deserve being called "cool". I couldn't imagine what, so I left Seattle.

Well, this is getting to be a pretty long story. I think I'm tired of it. The short way out of it is that in SF over the next 5 years I had a total breakdown and rebuilt myself from the inside, (with no role models in sight) concentrating on being a nice person and loving people. This is the point when it became clear I was not faking it, i.e.: "a false definition of the situation that evokes a new behavior" because I was starting from scratch. Then I quit my job and started to call myself an artist to anyone who asked and just this week, 2 years later, I sold my first piece of art to someone who wasn't my friend.

I don't know if today I could handle hanging around that bunch of 23 year-olds on Howell street. I honestly can't remember what they were like. They pointed me in a generally upward direction. They reminded me of my promise to my father when I was a kid. I wasn't going to be ordinary. I still like beautiful people but I don't try to be like them any more.


Friday August 3, 2001

I don't think it was like this all the time. She'd abandoned the house for her condo. And to her credit, looks like she'd done most of the dishes.

Thursday August 2, 2001

The oven which contained within it, many horizontal surfaces; and thus, was fodder for compulsion.

Tonight I went down to 111 Minna. I didn't know. But Andy Hope told my I should go about a year ago. I saw Jason Lewis on Saturday and he said he was going to go so I skated down there about six. The place was goin OFF. I was more crowded than any Friday or Saturday night I've seen. People X'n and thumpin and rockin their various hot bods. I was like, "Am I one of these beautiful people? Can I hang?" I stood there like a dork and looked at people hugging and laughing and doing that "cool person" handshake. Still no Jason. I skated over to the liquor store and bought a half-pint of Captain Morgan and a white peach. I ain't payin' those "beautiful people" prices. I went into the bathroom and poured the booze into my Coke. And so I soon relaxed enough to dance and get sweaty with all those people on better drugs than me. The place is pretty weird. The idea that a club could go from 6 to 10 on a Wednesday, while it's still light out, was pretty strange to me. But I had a very good time. I fantasized about having a girlfriend that was so pretty that she created a wake when she moved through the room. Look at those dot-com geeks clink their Heinekens together when they see her. Oh, wait, I've had girlfriends like that. OK, never mind. But what can I say? I'm still in awe. I like pretty people.

Thanks Jason. See you soon.

Wednesday August 1, 2001

What a great couple of days. Community wise, I'm pretty stoked.

I was skating around trying to remember where I parked my car and Deborah walked past and mentioned that Lynn Rapoport had written about some fun I had on the corner with my friend Dave last winter. I was out of town when she wrote it and I missed it but I got to go back and see how I had an effect on my neighbors. I was very flattered and it was a great bonus, especially after we made 18 bucks in 2 hours. (Oh, and it was a twelve-pack we was drinkin', not a six-pack.)

I talked to Deborah on the sidewalk and missed my opportunity to get to UPS before 7 and pickup my Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood t-shirt. But today, I reparked Amy's car 'cause she's hurt and used it to get my t-shirt.

If a new t-shirt from my favorite show wasn't enough, it got better. I'm writing this while listening to an archived RealAudio interview with Scott Beale of Laughing Squid on the RadioSegue show. It's a fitting background because Heather Nicole, the interviewer, bought a photograph that I had on display at our local coffee shop. If you're interested in local art I think you should sign up for the SquidList. I think you should also check out the RadioSegue Audio Archives. I gotta give props to Heather for buying my art and for introducing me to RadioSegue. I didn't know about it before, but it's a cool show.

Whoops. That stream broke. Guess I'll listen to Mates of State. Go San Francisco!

The back patio.