[this is the sound I start making when I begin talking really really quickly....]

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Jessamyn is in...



30mar... Kate's bday
31mar.... fools
01apr... more foolin'
11apr... Mark?
12apr... VT?
20apr... Quebec?


walt whitman
spy numbers
talking clock

of note

sidewalk typo

offwall love
NY resolution

neal speaks
carny sex
tv or jail?
clown hanging

my demands


Jan : Feb


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec

29mar01 .. . counting the days

[the place I have been sleeping recently] So I finally spoke to the DCLU today who spoke to my landlord. He told them that the reason he was so willing to shut the place down and not fix the heat is because he is working with developers to tear the place down and build an apartment complex. No surprise, really. The permits are not yet filed but I guess it's just a matter of time. I'll have to alert my upstairs neighbors. This makes me feel a bit less badly about being a prima donna and holding out for heat with my already scandalously cheap rent.

Next week I will be living in a house in Madison Park, or thereabouts, with housepets and a bed [I will miss the couch like crazy hell but there's no room for it there] and a kitchen with appliances that work and a working ceiling in every room. The Fightclub House seems to know that its days are numbered. The tub has stopped up beyond reasonable salvation and the ceiling in my office just started actually leaking water -- it used to get kind of damp in heavy rains -- during yesterday's rains. I fully expect my whole apartment to fall in on itself as I remove the last box as I'm moving this weekend.

I'm going to be happy to have something else to talk about. I will miss the Fightclub House.

25mar00 .. . the end of the line, jessamyn's two month tour of seattle

I've reached what should be the last in a series of temporary residences. I move to my semi-permanent Seattle home on Saturday. Here is a summary of the places I've been staying since my heat went out in early February. Much thanks to everyone who put me up or offered to, I hope I wasn't too much of a pain in the ass in my pseudohomeless stage.

pal/locale bitrate plusses minuses
Margaret/Ballard 14.4 dialup let me recover from a cold there, lots of tea a bit out of the way
Todd/Ballard 56K dialup my own room in the basement, my own key aquarium light turned on at 2 am, spooky
Robert/Eastlake 144 DSL warm and quiet, perfect couch not many blankets, lots of reggae
Daniel/Maple Leaf none all the DVDs I could watch early riser -- loud music at 7 am
Hahn/Madison Park 768 DSL my future new home, good food dog wakes up well before I do
David/U District 56K dialup coffee always on, good movies, nearby didn't get couch til my second week
Shannon/Northgate 1.5 DSL lovely house, great cat, relaxing, car sometimes cold, very remote, cat licks face at night
RCB & Jesse/San Fran 56K dialup my own pad, nice cats, got work done noisy neighbors, too busy working to enjoy much
Bryan/Cap Hill superfast cable good place to work, near everything Bryan's moving, place is disheveled

When I wake up in the morning -- after thinking "where the hell am I?" -- the first thing I think of is how incredibly lucky I am to have a large coterie of excellent friends and acquaintances who helped me out when things got chilly. You know I'll be passing the favors on as I can.

22mar00 .. . the treehouse dilemma

[ the glorious treebed ] This is my last full day at this house. I just noticed an almost hidden triangular treehouse next door. Treehouses always tend to invoke faraway stares in people. You think to yourself "I could live there." I'm beginning to believe -- with all my recent moving hysteria -- that part of the treehouse desire is that ability to live with only the amount of stuff that you could fit into a modest treehouse.

I started making a list of things I would absolutely need to have to live someplace, anyplace indoors, not camping, for an extended amount of time. Starting the list was easy because I could look in my bag: reading material, notebook, pens, socks, scarf, wallet, toothbrush, phone & address list, cassette tape or two, earplugs [I am a light sleeper], lip balm. Then I started working on other things I should probably have: asthma medicine, pajamas, sleeping bag, towel, camera, laptop [?], soap, change of clothes. Then from there I started thinking practically: vitamins, pillow, keys, cup, spoon, cooking implements [?], stuff that smells nice...

Pretty soon I was listing more than I could reasonably carry -- and all for a "bare bones" list. I have never claimed to be cut out for a leave-it-all-behind lifestyle, but it's an interesting exercise.

Next week I'm staying in Capitol Hill at my friend Bryan's place. After that I move to my new Seattle home. I'm working on a scheme to bring my surplus stuff -- encyclopedias, tables, metalwork -- to Vermont where it can be stored more long term. If anyone has a good scheme for moving very heavy stuff cross-country, I'd love to hear it.

18mar00 .. . more updates from my planet

With work it's always a trade off. Now I no longer have to lie to people in the name of future paychecks but textbook writing can be even more nefarious in its own way because you may be inadvertently lying to a whole generation.

I don't choose the texts, I just create exercises loosely based on them. The final theme I am working on is titled American Adventure. In these readings we learn, among other things, that Sacajewea was a "famous American", as well as Queen Liliuokalani [former Queen of Hawaii]. Vocab words recently have included: pawnshop, graffiti and moss. I am trying to remember if I didn't know the word moss when I was eleven. Gee, I wonder why they crossed out the line "This German shepherd is being trained by two policemen to attack on command"?

I went out to a Ceili Dance at the Tractor Tavern for St. Patrick's. I brought my friend Margaret who has curly red hair, figuring she could be my foil against the inevitable drunken rowdies. The crowd was actually pretty reasonable. If you're going to do any serious dancing, you have to be able to stand up at least a little bit. Folk dancing is fun. Especially dancing with a whole mess of people, none of whom really know what they're doing. I usually don't dance much because a lot of my friends don't dance and I'm not any good at those mating-ritual-type dances. I seem to like to attract attention in different ways. In the Ceili dance set-up, it's all about getting in the groove with the other hundred or so people you're dancing with, very non-egocentric. Everyone grins like fools and gets all tangled up in each other.

Oh yes, and I was designated driver that evening. Which means I got to drive a car again for the first time in six months. It was nifty. There are many more opportunities to be gracious to others while driving than there are while walking.

16mar01 .. . where am I?

I flew back to Seattle on a plane with former Senator Slade Gorton, travelling coach. He looked scarier in person than he does in the newspaper. I figured that if the plane went down, his demise would get all the airplay. One more day at the chilly house, and the couch of a friend, and now I am up in Northgate in a cute little house with a back porch, DSL, a fuzzy cat and tall tall trees out the back window. Because all I really want to do right now is sleep, I'll fill some space with an anecdote from my friend Sarah who, as you may recall, lives at the South Pole:

Jen Shaw, an RPSC employee like me, decided to put on a play. The play she chose is a series of monologues collected by a playwright who interviewed a whole bunch of women about their relationships with their genitalia. It's called [WATCH OUT, POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE WORD AHEAD] "The Vagina Monologues." Jen sent out email to all the women on station looking for cast, techies, set crew, etc. Next thing you know, Jen is called in to HR and informed that somebody on station complained to RPSC headquarters in Denver - about the title, nobody on station has read the script yet. Tom Yelvington, the head of our Raytheon division, had the opportunity to shrug and say "Well don't go then," but instead declared that THIS PLAY IS OFFENSIVE and will not be produced in a McMurdo facility. Whereupon Scott Base, the NZ station 2km up the road, invited Jen and the production over there.

End result? The play will happen anyway, with a guaranteed audience, and whoever complained about the word in the first place must be miserable right now beca use I have never heard the word "vagina" used so much in my entire life. It's been an almost universal topic of conversation in the galley - you can hear it spreading from table to table - there are inflammatory signs on the walls, people are wearing hastily-stenciled shirts with catchy vagina-related sayings, and even the DJ at Saturday's disco dance interrupted the music to say "VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA."

13mar01 .. . I can only plan two moves in advance....

So I just found out a few hours ago that I may be able to spend the Winter working in the British Virgin Islands. For someone who has been as chilly as me for the past few months, this is a godsend. It also opens up about a zillion more loose ends to tie up quickly.

I'm going to be housesitting in Northgate next week, then crashing at a friends ex-apartment in Capitol Hill the following week. Then I move the next weekend [special place in jessamynheaven for people who offer to help] to the Madison Park area, then I was planning to head to Vermont a few weeks after that.

There's a very good argument to be made for burning all of my possessions in a huge pile in my former kitchen on April 1, but my upstairs neighbors will still be living there [they have electric heat and care not about my furnace troubles] and I still can't force myself get rid of all my books.....

10mar01 .. . where jessamyn travels across the water and describes what she finds there

[riders converge on the Berkeley Bart station] I often say that any event that you come home from with a sore ass and your bra in your pocket can't be all bad.

Last night I went to visit friends in Berkeley. They were on their way to the Critical Mass ride so I went along. I haven't really been on a bicycle for more than about ten minutes since Burning Man and even then there weren't really any cars to worry about. This was a few hundred people blocking traffic with a sound system playing howling ska and a lot of people in costumes. The Berkeley ride is more or less flat and the Berkeley motorists and police aren't too terribly aggro so the ride was a lot of fun.

The ride ended at the Longhaul Infoshop where there was a birthday party for Slingshot who is 14 years old. The Longhaul is a really nifty old place that provides space for Slingshot, the Cannabis Club and a bunch of stuff that I can't remember. The Food Not Bombs people were on the scene and made a vegan dinner for everyone. There was cake. I spent a lot of time serving salad to people which was a good way to meet folks. I met that cool chick who does Kerbloom as well as Aaron Cometbus who was like "you work at Left Bank? They owe me some money...."

As the party was winding down -- after the Missing Cousins played and the punks danced under the disco ball -- we retired back to my friends' house where I took a quick dip in the hot tub before grabbing the second to last BART back into the city.

This morning it all seems like a dream as I wait for the Fedex guy and get back to writing about poetry for eleven year olds.

09mar01 .. . happy birthday mom!

Wow, SFO is nice. I am staying on 18th in the Mission, right off of Valencia. Closest burrito joint, two doors down. Once I said bye to my friends as they left for SXSW, I started to make myself at home. Then I started to relax. Took a long shower and a long nap, neither of which I have been able to do in months. Spent quality time with the two cats. Did some work, and resolved that pesky deadline issue. It's really amazing, knowing you have a warm place to sleep for several nights in a row.

My Mom's birthday is today. I have been supremely blessed with a wonderful Mom who thinks I am a pretty cool item myself, no matter what crazy antics I am up to. Happy Birthday Mom, I am glad I know you.

08mar01 .. . bike sticker: do what you hate and the money will follow

Okay, I am in San Francisco and I feel like I've escaped earthquake land. I am ridiculous.

In the airport I was coming out of the bathroom with my backpack on. A woman was wrestling with the storage lockers and asked if I had a quarter for two dimes and a nickel. I said sure. She smiled and said thanks and said "leave it to a hippie to do a human's job." I laughed because it sounded funny, and she was laughing and I walked on a few paces and turned around and said "hey, did you just call me a hippie?" and we laughed some more. I have no idea really what that woman was talking about.

Okay so more detail on the housing thing... I have a place to move into at the end of the month so I am in no kind of real trouble. I called the DCLU thinking they could help me get some heat and instead they [and the landlord] forced my move-out. Color me all kinds of dismayed at the system. The landlord does have to pay bank for converting my house [through inaction] from livable to unlivable, however. Minimum $600 and up to two grand, depending on MY income. I knew there was a good reason I stayed underemployed last year. The DCLU somehow thought they were doing me a favor getting me out so quickly. When I finally got ahold of them yesterday morning [three hours before my plane left] the conversation went like this:

DCLU: so, when are you getting back?

Me [lying]: the 20th

DCLU: okay so we'll set your move out date to be the 23rd then

Me: it's 60 degrees out, you are kicking me out because I have no heat, can't I stay here til the end of the month?

DCLU: well, once we set the wheels in motion....

Me: and aren't you supposed to notify me if I'm supposed to move out?

DCLU: well we sent a letter to your house, but we didn't have your last name and we don't know if we spelled your first name right. Usually we do, but because of the quake....

Me: okay then, if I promise to not live in the house, can you give me til the end of the month? otherwise I'll just be homeless and annoyed

DCLU: let me ask my supervisor... okay as long as you promise you won't be living there, we can set your move out date to April 1. Do you have a contact number?

Me: no, I'm going on vacation, then I'll be staying with friends

DCLU: I thought you said you had a place to move into?

Me: Well, it will be open on the first. Have you guys ever moved in anywhere before?

Etc. Etc. The woman I spoke to was very nice, she was just completely clueless at what a bizarre situation she was thrusting me into. In real life, I return on the 14th and pack until the 31st when I will be moving.

Meanwhile my writing deadline got moved up an astonishing ten days from March 26th to the 16th. This is my first job with this company and already it seems as if it will be my last. I sent them an email with the phrase "unreasonable expectations" in it.

07mar01 .. . yes, I promise

Weird. Spoke with the DCLU. The upshot was that my things can stay at my house til the end of the month as long as I don't stay at my house. If I stay at my house then I have to move out within three days. All because I tried to get the landlord to fix my heat in February. I'd explain more but I have a plane to catch. I hear it's warm in San Francisco.

06mar01 .. . I keep wondering if I did anything to deserve this....

"Hi this is Sherry from the DCLU. We got word after speaking to your landlord Kaye Qu that you have been given emergency notice to vacate by March 12th. Give me a call and we can discuss...." etc etc etc. I received no such notice. My vacation theoretically starts tomorrow. The DCLU is doing their work out of cardboard boxes since the earthquake and cannot be reasonably called back. My landlord says "Well since I will not fix the heat they say there is a health situation. They are the ones making you move." [translation: if you don't complain about no heat, what do I care if you stay]. The Fremont Public Association says it must be a mistake, since I have not been yellow tagged or red tagged. In fact, I have not even been inspected.

I am confused. I have a serious bone to pick [again] with the nine to five workday, especially when dealing with serious issues like the earthquake. People don't stop needing places to live at 5, why don't people in service jobs work during the times people need those services? The world confuses me sometimes.

So, tune in tomorrow to see if our heroine really does have to move by Monday, or if she gets on a plane to sunny California and blows the whole thing off, or if something surprising happens [as it so often does]. In the meantime, if you want to help me pack and/or move, contact me. If I'm not home, I'm just at Kinko's getting more boxes.

05mar01 .. . I keep getting visited by the dead in my daydreams

The East Coast is under a foot [and counting] of snow which means my editor is away from her email for the forseeable future which means I am seriously considering filling the fifth graders' homework assignments with things like "stay home from school and read a big book this week" and "ask three adults you know the difference between legal and illegal drugs. ask them to be specific." for lack of better guidance. My deadline is Wedesday morning, I think. I get on a plane for SFO two hours later. I have managed to put this whole assignment together using my laptop and the heated rooms of several good friends and several libraries. Typing in my house for too long gives me hypothermia. I will call the DCLU again when I get back.

Speaking of illegal drugs, starting this week I am medically allowed to drive again. I haven't driven in Seattle even once since I've been here, it's easy. I have had no additional seizures since my accident [of course] and my six month date is the eighth. Not like I even have a car to drive, but if I did, I'd be zooming around like there's no tomorrow. Then I'd get tired of trying to find parking and get right back on the bus.

02mar01 .. . twisting young minds since 1991

[ capitalism necessitates an oppressed underclass? I had no idea! ] So I started my new job officially yesterday. Woke up at 10 am for a conference call, went to the local library to find the one table with a plug for my laptop. Made a template for the next six projects I'm going to be working on. Many people don't know this, but textbook writers -- for some crazy reason -- seem to do the writing and the layout of the stuff they write. I'm not supposed to submit things that are camera-ready, thank jehu, but it's not far from that. If they want to pay me top dollar to align paragraphs and fight with MS Word to make a table fit on one page, fine with me.

I guess the other thing people don't know about textbooks is that they let people like me write them. Actually, I'm not writing the textbooks, I'm writing the teacher's editions. This means I make up homework assignments, give information on working with special needs children, and try to find some way to put a new spin on spelling. Please save your gasps of horror for later, thank you.