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

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Jessamyn is in...

the archives


5nov... VT -> SEA


"It really is possible to love your country and value your freedoms and still believe the government is full of fools and prevaricators.... Really. "

allmylifeforsale guy



peaceniks [image heavy]
peace cranes
how to be
flags: my uncle's poem

NYC post office
we all have nightmares


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


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

28oct01 ...people always like images called screw.jpg

[ this is really bent like this, it is not a trick! ]

The results of the West Odd Screwdriver Census are in. Apparently there was some disgruntlement with the way entitlements have been portioned out and so a full head count needed to be taken to assure accurate representation.

total: 23
phillips 8
flat 15
striped 14
solid 6
other 3
striped, not of craftsman descent 12
striped, of craftsman descent 2

Actually, I'm just learning some Photoshop and decided to work on this image.

I noticed that in the last few days, there have been two older men who have died and left large sums to charities. In both cases, these men lived very frugally. In both cases, the reporters fell over themselves detailing how these millionaires were living like paupers, seemingly scratching their heads at the fact that these men had money yet chose not to spend it! The slack-jawed astonishment that these men were treated with ["He'd ... find things in the garbage." "He never had a new car. He never spent more than $1,000 for an automobile"] just indicates to me, again, that many people seem to think it's somehow unamerican or insane to not revel in consumer culture and prop up the flagging economy. Even the so-called simple living folks had nothing on these guys. They were happy. They were interesting. They knew their neighbors. They lived low on the food chain. And, they left a ton of money to worthwhile charities. Rest in peace gentlemen, you lived good lives.

27oct01 ...real anarchists don't write the boston globe

My little letter was published in the Boston Globe today.

Regarding the article about flag-burning in Amherst, the phrase "self-styled anarchists" is redundant. We do not call you self-styled Democrats. Please do not insult our choice of political views by implying they are not legitimate or indicating that we do not know what we are talking about. - Jessamyn West

I got more wood today, delivered in a raging, albeit temporary, snowstorm. The wood guy -- who had woken me up by showing up and pounding on my door at 8:30 -- said that he had gotten up at 3 to split all of it. "Hmm, that's about when I went to bed" I told him. Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour late tonight.

26oct01 ...ticking things off the list

[ wood, would, wood ] "Jenny. Lost her favorite penny. So I gave her a dollar, She kissed me and I hollered!"

I've decided that I am still not ready to fly so I am driving across country with another first-name-domain girl, Jenifer in order to get home to Seattle. The song is just in case I decide to be annoying. I mean, everyone talks about loving their country, but how many people drive back and forth across it incessantly? I mean, I may have a general distrust and even dislike for the government, but I love this country!

Oh, did I say the roof wasn't leaking? I meant to say it WAS leaking. Not two hours after I hung the blinds and called the roofer to tell him how happy I was, water started pouring in my window frames. I put out buckets and decided to wait it out. Today I got two cords of seasoned wood delivered, and I started tossing it in the barn. Then I made this little pile you see here. Nothing can get you out of a funk faster than doing some strenuous, useful work. Screw stairmasters, this was some real exercise.

I was getting nervous about my caretaker because I hadn't heard from him in a few days. Turns out he is in Maine on his way up Mount Katahdin. The guy he's travelling with is a mega-hiker who has already hiked some 7,500 miles this year, and is a bit well known for it, so they are being accompanied by a National Geographic reporter, someone from the AP and various other newspeople. He and I cracked some jokes about getting the reporters all the way up the mountain and then telling them they had some radical politcal agenda they wanted to foist on them. "We are going to blow up this mountain!" Well, I thought it was hilarious anyway, and a good indicator that this caretaker may not be insane, depressive, a trash hoarder, a pot grower, a VW mechanic, or a stoner who leaves the doors open in January. Crossing fingers.

24oct01 ... small steps towards health

[ god damned fucking blinds took three years off my life ]

Okay, the list of movies I saw last weekend is up now. Today I got up after feeling all ooky yesterday due to the strain of trying to get firewood delivered in late October and decided that I wanted to hang up the blinds I bought a few months back. I have had them in the box, taunting me, since June. Now that my roof isn't leaking I can indulge in the luxury of window coverings which, if you're me and feel particularly paranoid, means I can now not worry whether anyone is peeking in my windows at night. It was a big struggle, and I stabbed myself numerous times with the screwdriver, but there they are. This also means that the houseflies are a bit more out of sight. I swear there must be some big dead thing in the wall to warrant all this attention I get from them.

Oh and I almost forgot, my sister's roomate Jade is spearheading a collaborative art project. It's called The Six Thousand Project. She is endeavoring to get people to help her create a mural of 6,000 faces, as a way of helping to understand the losses suffered on 9/11. I sent in my contribution already, feel free to send in yours.

22oct01 ... movies and books, nothing but

I just got back from seeing about a bazillion movies. The VT International Film Festival is a bit different from the Seattle Film Festival. There's always parking, you almost never have to wait in line, and an all-festival pass costs $50. Granted, this only covers four days, but I think I got a lot of movie bang for my buck. I saw movies filmed in Lexington MA, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Tanzania, Louisiana prisons, East Berlin, the steppe in northern Asia, INS detention centers, Romanian subways, Peru and New Guinea. I stayed with family friends who have a welcoming house and a good bag of bagels at all times. Burlington is only about 90 minutes away, but I always like to treat it like a camping trip. I brought a bag of apples and some books and my sleeping bag and hung out.

I'll post the list of movies once I finish with it. For now, you can look at the pictures I took of leaves in Burlington. I was feeling cowed by Lauren's pictures, so I had to have some of my own. However, it was night time and raining, so the pictures are a bit surreal.

Oh yes, and I completely shut the water off to my house before I left. On accident. I turned the water filter [which filters all the water coming in to my house -- keeps the toads out] to OFF before I changed the paper filter in it. Once I replaced the paper, I couldn't get the water back ON again. So, I could get water if I didn't mind scooping it off the kitchen floor, but I did mind.... I have all manner of tools but a stripped plastic bolt was keeping me from victory. I'd fight with it for a bit and then think "... shit, am I getting thirsty!?" I decided that if I was going to have to call the plumber -- as was looking more and more likely -- then I might as well really give him something to repair. I vowed to try once more and either fix the filter, or break it completely. So, of course, one more jerk with the giant wrench and the water turned ON, shooting all over the side of my oven. I had to run out to the barn to turn the water to the house OFF in order to put everything back together again. Now I like to think that the water I am drinking tastes even fresher than it did before I changed the grotty filter, but really it's just about as clear of toads as it was before.

17oct01 ... brief flurries of activity

[ one could do worse than be a swinger of birches ] So, I got up yesterday to an email from the person who I had signed on to be my caretaker -- a recently out of work friend who I was thinking I was doing a favor for -- saying he'd reconsidered, a month after agreeing to stay at my place for the winter. He couldn't hide out from his life, he said, I'd be better off without him. I said okay, and that I forgave him, because what else can you say?

I started emailing people who had responded to my ad two months ago and they wrote back mostly saying "we already have plans, wish we'd heard from you earlier...." Then I got grouchy. I went out and tossed firewood around for a while -- never carry wood when you can throw it -- and then settled down. I went out to get the mail and there was a letter waiting for me from a nice local guy named Sean, still looking for a caretaking gig. I called him, he called me, he stopped by with his dog Abby and we hit it off. I have never been a particularly good judge of character as far as caretakers go, but I say with complete naivete "he seems nice" and he's going to live here this Winter. Case closed. Less than 24 hours of panic.

A good friend of mine from DC came up with her boyfriend this weekend and I sent them out to take some pictures with my camera. The leaves have mostly blown off the trees in the past two days, so if you were looking for foliage, this is pretty much what's left

I took the truck for a test drive, since it's been sitting for the past few months. Seems to run fine, hoping it gets all the way to Burlington tomorrow. It's sort of funny, driving my own truck after driving other peoples' cars recently. In some weird way I think "I can wreck this and no one will mind but me!" I'm not sure why this is a liberating thought, but it is.

14oct01 ... i will show you fear in a handful of dust

I wrote twenty thank you cards to people I stayed with or whose cars I borrowed lo these past many months. I made them by hand while watching old episodes of the Twilight Zone. That Rod Serling sure had a handle on things.

"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices - to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children...the children yet unborn. (a pause) And the pity of it is...that these things cannot be confined to...The Twilight Zone."

My house is so quiet that I can't sleep, but the roof isn't leaking and the buzzing wall of hell has subsided somewhat thanks to liberal applications of chemicals and sticky tape. My big plan for next weekend is to get to the VT International Film Festival in Burlington and watch as many movies as I possibly can.

12oct01 ... fun and unfun

[ king oil board game and derrick ] So Kate and I schlepped around and played her new board game -- King Oil -- on the deck today. The game was purchased at a local church rummage sale that also netted us a juicer/meat grinder [$2, complete with reamer!] and ten small mason jars for fifty cents. I got my ass kicked, I am no oil tycoon. Kate is now the Oil King of the family.

The reason we were playing outside, besides it being lovely, is because my house is overrun by house flies again. They are everywhere, driving me mad with their insistent buzzing. Yesterday we hung some of those sticky yellow tape things everywhere. We both got stuck in them at least once today. Last night a fly got caught in my hair as I was going to sleep. For everyone who has ever asked me about my [nascent] dreadlocks, and if I get bugs in them, I can now answer "yes, once." Today we went out to get toxic sprays and stick-ums.

On the way back from the store, I got pulled over driving my sister's car. The cop mentioned that I was going too fast [40 in a 25?] and asked where we were going. I handed him my Washington license as I told him we were going to my house a few miles up. Then we handed him the registration with Kate's name on it. When he came back to the car, he asked if I had a current driver's license. I told him that the one he was holding was current, I thought [indeed, it was]. He asked how I spelled my name and then said that he couldn't find my license in the cop database but I was free to go. Yay Vermont!

11oct01 ... cranky old me

I wrote Greyhound a letter in which I tried to convey how displeased I was with their bait and switch tactics. "Did we say we were getting safer? What we meant to say was that we now pick up hitchhikers."

I also have been modifying some of my archived images to prevent against theft from Google Image Search users and the like. The deal goes like this, someone finds an image of mine using Google [search for "fuck", "porn" or "autumn" and you'll find me within the first three pages], likes it and posts it using an IMG tag to some threaded forum or LiveJounal entry. This means that any time their page gets loaded, or in the case of the LiveJournallers, their friends' pages as well, my image gets loaded from my servers. I don't pay for bandwidth, but many people do. It's rude, though I realize it may just be clueless. Sometimes, I just write to the person involved and ask them nicely to cease and desist. Other times, I'll just change the image and let it speak for itself.

Correction, two dead mice. Anyone have any solid information about how worried I need to be about the hanta virus? I can't bring myself to look it up.

10oct01 ... guess who's HOME?

And by home, I mean home in Vermont. I have a few pointed words to share with Greyhound and their so-called "heightened security" but I to Boston in pretty okay shape. After a quickie birthday cake and some much needed sleep, I drove up to Vermont today. Had a lot of mail waiting for me, and a lot of bills, and one mouse who must have thought he had died and gone to heaven with all the open cracker boxes around here. That is, until he fell into the trash can and well and truly died.

My sister is up visiting and we are holing up with old Twilight Zone movies [thanks jp!] and more apples than we can safely eat [thanks Mark] and doing nerdy house things. Anyone who wants to visit should plan to do so before November 7th.

06oct01 ... just like being at home

[ the doc let me keep the xrays! ] So, a downside to travelling a lot is that when things go wrong, as they sometimes do, you're far from your resources and stuff and whatnot. If that makes sense. I had been ignoring the toothache in the tooth that supposedly had been root canalled a few years back until it was keeping me awake at night. I got up the next morning, determined to take care of it before trying to sleep again, while at the same time figuring this was probably a futile endeavor. I have no dental insurance. I have a very nice dentist in Seattle at the clinic. I called around to some of the local sliding scale places only to hear "No, we don't have any emergency appointments until next week..." I finally played the girlfriend card and got into see Greg's dentist within three hours. He took an x-ray, said that I probably had a second root on the trouble tooth that would need an eventual root canal, prescribed antibiotics and sent me on my way. Total cost, a non-staggering $40. I am lucky.

Today, just to keep things interesting, we went to see a Brewers game. Greg's dad had gotten swanky seats in one of those special rooms that the swells always get -- complete with food, drink, and a bunch of other folks we didn't talk to. The Brewer's stadium is significantly cooler than the Seattle one -- opening the roof doesn't cause an entire city block to be sent into shadow. They also have a mascot that goes down a slide when the team -- if the team -- hits a home run. He used to dress up in lederhosen and slide into a mug of beer. But alas baseball is tending towards homogeneity -- does your team have a new stadium this decade? -- and now Bernie the Brewer is just a guy in a suit with a big head doing the "raise the roof" dance.

Tomorrow I get on a bus and head to Boston.

02oct01 ...winding down

[I don't know, I just liked the look of it] So I'm still in Milwaukee, I guess it's been almost two weeks now. This weekend Greg and I went to see friends in Chicago. My friend Ari had been in New York over September 11th and I just sort of wanted to touch him to really verify that he was okay. He had some spooky black and white pictures that we looked at somberly. We saw some music at the Old Town School of Folk Music, took the El to the Chicago Public Library, took in a Borges exhibit, bought a bus ticket to Boston for next weekend and ate a lot of food from other cultures. Who knew the Argentineans had such good ice cream?

I updated the what's up with me page, even though I don't quite feel that I'm in a position to tell just yet. I've been using the downtime to test my Linux chops and I've been getting some real world experience doing installs, configuring programs, and breaking things. I find it cathartic to break stuff in an all-digital fakey environment, it sort of keeps my mind off of how broken things still are in real life.

If anyone wants to come hide out in Vermont for part of October, I'll be there starting the 9th or so.