28apr02 . . . . .
tooth mashing beginning
I get my best work done when I am procrastinating. For some reason, the sheer fact that there is something I am avoiding, or avoiding thinking about, propels me forward into digging out old projects and attacking them with an unreal fervor. Today, to give you an example, I went into my hard drive, into the folders all called various versions of MISCPIX [miscpics, miscnewpix, newpix, newestpix, etc] and changed all the file names from things like MVC-0001.jpg, to actual descriptive file names, such as WTObleeding.jpg. I am avoiding two things, intellectually: the fact that I am going to be the new trivia master at my favorite trivia bar tomorrow night, and am frightened [what if no one comes, what if I suck, what if my answers are wrong] and I have a root canal tomorrow on a tooth that already had
a root canal, fuckitall. No need to go into how much I hate the dentist, you've heard it all before.
Today I also hurled myself out of the house and went canoeing out in Lake Washington for three hours. Canoe rental is cheap and -- unlike most places out there -- you can actually paddle your canoe a scant few feet under the 520 bridge. You duck your head and paddle through as traffic whizzes by overhead, it's eerie. Dawn and I saw turtles, herons, grebes, coots, ducks, geese, baby ducks, baby geese, hummingbird fights, redwinged blackbirds and a lot of miscellaneous chirping flying things. Incidentally, when Greg and I were in Chicago, we caught a glimpse of some feral parakeets in Washington Park. Apparently there's bands of escaped parakeets and parrots gone "native" all over this country. Keep an eye out for a flash of green near you.
If you listen to NPR, you may hear a familiar voice with an unfamiliar name on tomorrow's [Monday's] Morning Edition. That's all you need to know about that.
If you are in Seattle and free tomorrow, please consider coming out to the People's Pub and engaging in some trivia banter with me. 8 pm. I don't accept bribes but that way it will just feel that much better when you win, right? Anyone not in the area can join the fun by submitting useful trivia to me for use in the round. To be "useful" trivia the entry must a) have one answer, b) be verifiable c) allow me to riff off of it in an interesting way. Ideas? Let me know.
26apr02 . . . . .
tooth gnashing now over
So the one quote I left off of that last entry was "Hey, can you get this printing press out of my backyard?" which was actually told to me much earlier by my pal Margaret. You may remember that I bought a printing press
a while back, Margaret bought another one. Hers has been functional, mine has been stuck on her porch, unable to move inside and sort of tough to use outside. I have been feeling bad about this, but not as bad as other, more pressing things. You know how it is. So, when Margaret decided to move, I really had to get my ass in gear
So, on the last weekend of the last possible month for getting this all together, I assembled a crack team of expert lifters -- mostly selected for their afternoon availability , never-say-die spirit, and general good humor -- and Jane and I drove them all over to Margaret's place in the rain. The press is deceptively heavy, it takes four strong men to lift it. We [and when I say "we" I mean them, I am strong in spirit but weak in musculature, at least relatively speaking] got it off the porch and then had to roll it slowly down the steep, slick driveway and then lift it into my friend Sean's truck and secure it there. From there it was a quick drive cross-town and then a quick roll into Sean's garage/basement where it will live, indoors and happy, until I can play with it again.
I took everyone to lunch which seems to be a good way of assuring they will want to help with my next crazy scheme. Now I am completely exhausted from lack of the stress that has been plaguing me since I got home from Milwaukee worrying about this day. I hate having posessions that I cant lift. Superheroes of today were: Margaret, Jane, Jim, Myles [and Maya], Hahn and Sean. Partial superhero credit for Dave who only got to unload and not load.
24apr02 . . . . .
So I got back, and within the first three hours of my return, heard the following, all from different sources.
"Welcome back, I'm visting and staying on the couch for three days. You didn't need to be up late on the computer in here, did you?"
"Check out this digital picture I took of what the cat threw up when you were gone."
"So, now that you're back wanna go on a road trip to SFO with me?"
"Sure I'll bring you over a burrito and some horchada, I just need to tell you about my weekend... my boyfriend swiped my stash, now I'm getting my toothbrush back from his place."
"Couldn't you have stayed away longer?"
"Can you come in for the root canal on Monday?"
20apr02 . . . . .
I helped with no packing, but it wasn't for lack of trying. There's just
too much other fun stuff to do here. There was the library marathon [see pictures
brat fry [it looks like the word for troublesome child but
it's really a shortened form of Bratwurst], movies galore [Event
Horizon is truly horrifying] and a lot of dancing in the kitchen and
messing about on long walks to nowhere. I also have discovered
possibly my favorite falling
, since Shorey's in Seattle has long since moved to
So for now and maybe for a long time I say goodbye to Milwaukee and its
creamy brick buildings and its torrential downpours and its
mind-bogglingly low rents and head to Chicago for some gelato and a tiring
library and my pal
Ari and some new adventures.
17apr02 . . . . .
Today is the day Greg and I attempt to visit all ten inner city branches of the Milwaukee public library
in one day.
We are abandoning our traditional mode of transportation
[busses and trolleys
] for the speedier and seemingly more efficient personal car. We are doing this despite the fact that we saw Jeremy Rifkin
speak at the technical college yesterday [Earth Day
coming up....] about global warming and evil petroleum product dependency. He basically laid it all out as to
how Globalization [in his view] is really the last chapter of the old Capitalist book and how distributed systems for sharing information and
production were going to be the first chapter of the new book. It's nice to hear
talk about the Globalization dickheads as if they are just misguided and old-fashioned, as opposed to strong, scary, and indomitable. It was also excellent to listen to this guy talk at a technical college where he was really giving advice to a bunch of lower and possibly middle class students and teachers who really have a chance of being the next eschelon of the engineers of the means of production.
Other than that, Milwaukee has been a whirlwind of walks, movies, eighty degree weather and a lot of leisurely laying around. Updates infrequent. I head to Chicago on Saturday.
11apr02 . . . . .
the integrity of word and action
I have two seemingly unrelated things to mention:
- Readymade Magazine did a piece on book arts and included a photo of my piece that I submitted for 20 Things last year. They credited Judith, and not me, despite Judith clearly telling them that they needed to include an artists credit. When I emailed them to inform them of this I got a maddening note back essentially saying "sorry about that, but we've been super busy, thanks for writing!" There were many paths they could have chosen to make this right with me and they chose none of them.
- Adult couples who remove themselves to more private quarters by saying "We're going to go take a nap" who are clearly not napping and had no intention of ever doing so.
These two things are somehow similarly grating to me because of an odd [I am told] personality trait of mine. I am painfully literal. If you say you'll call me, I expect you to, and consider the lack of a phone call to be a failing on your part [though I am sometimes guilty of this myself, I reprimand myself sternly for it]. If you say you want to get together, I will make it my personal mission to find time to be with you. If you say you are napping I'll walk on tiptoes. If you say something is mandatory I will try to toe the line or, failing that, expect the consequences. I also think that I have a constitution such that not only can I handle the truth, I can be trusted with it.
Lack of what I perceive to be integrity freaks and frightens me. Of course nowhere is this more glaring than at my ridiculous job [which ends Monday]. Screeching emails are sent out to 700 people [how do I know, I can read all their email addresses in the To: line] in all-caps that make vague threats that are intended to make you follow implied but not actual guidelines. Schedules are Express Mailed and then turn out to be inaccurate. Rules are created that are contradictory with other rules. This pains me. I explain my sorrow to others and I get offhanded shrugs... "What were you expecting? Work is like that."
It has often been said that adult children of alchoholics "guess at what normal is". While I don't buy into a lot of their other rhetoric, I have always thought that line described me pretty well, as both a blessing and a curse.
09apr02 . . . . .
you might not think so
You might not think so, but my online
and offline persona are pretty much the same. We have the same name
, we care about the same things and we've got the same loud mouth. When I talk to friends who do not spend much time online, don't have a website, or don't check their email more than once or twice a day, I get this little vibe of pity when I tell them about people I met online, and then their eyes promptly glaze over. This weekend I did a lot of stuff with folks I know mainly either from "online" or from another alternative reality, Burning Man. Saturday night was a Rites of Spring Party
with everyone in wild dress-up clothes, some of whom I'd never seen in "normal" clothes. I don't dress up well as a faerie, bunny or flower, so I donned my orange coveralls
and eight wristwatches
and went as the Time Technician. Taught everyone the basic moves "Okay now, work with me here, spring ahead....." It went better than expected. Woe be to the man who covered himself in yellow latex, that stuff does not come off gracefully, especially if you're hairy.
Played a rousing game of Blank White Cards on Sunday [my cards are here] and talked about nothing in particular. Having friends and blank pieces of paper, pens, crayons and magic markers seem to inspire a different kind of creativity than the old keyboard/screen combo. Sunday night I drank beer and shot pool with the Men From MetaFilter [and a few of the ladies] and tried to keep people's real names straight from their online names. I like just being able to say "Hi, I'm Jessamyn" and have it over with.
Oh yeah, this week I appear in Wired Magazine [not yet online]. It's exciting but a bit embarassing, since Wired called me "hip". It's sort of like Reebok awarding you a Human Rights award [Reebok pays their workers in Indonesia $1.50 a day -- this is not a living wage in Indonesia, but it is a legal wage]. Or maybe it's more like McDonalds calling you healthy. Either way, it's damning with faint praise especially when the part that follows is "ex-librarian" as if I'll be going on and doing something else with my life now....
06apr02 . . . . .
i do not want to be that person with a job
I spent this week working. Not one, not two but three jobs. Sort of. Total hours worked 45. I am definitely an effete bourgeois wimp at some level but I have to say I hated it and would love to never do it again. I feel unhealthy, poorly nourished, and just plain old pressed for time in a way that is unusual for me. People call the house when I get off work and I find that I don't want to talk to them, I just want to go stare at a wall for half an hour. The keyboard repulses
me. I crave yogurt.
I also burned my first CD. Like my MP3 awakening two years ago, it's really hard for me to believe that it took this long. But my old 1 gig drive filled up and it was time to put the email from 1994 in deep storage. Also during work I have a bit of discretionary free time but can only spend it on projects that are less than five feet from my computer. Burning CDs, checking out websites, listening to music, playing with plastic animals.
I find that when I'm strapped for time, I like to combine activities. Eating and socializing are two of the things that are easy to merge. This means that most conversations with friends this week I have had with my mouth full, and with the exception of some fruit and yogurt at the Rose Club, my diet has been less than nutritious. Other good combinations of activities are Email and Work, Take out Trash and Get Some Sunshine and the ever popular Read and Bathe, and Pee and Talk on Phone. The next job I take better involve no typing, maybe something on an organic raspberry farm.
A week from today I fly to Chicago and go see Greg. Counting the days seem so trite, and yet so apt.
01apr02 . . . . .
april fool's day sucks eggs
In the immortal words of my friend and fellow social misfit Jesse James Garrett
"April Fool is when people abuse your trust and then laugh at you for trusting them". I have nothing more to say on the matter except that you missed the chance to have gullible old me fall for your prank. Why? Because I didn't leave the house. Ha. I have seen exactly one funny April Fool
You may not know it, but April is card and letter writing month. Or at least last April was. Brought to you by the good folks at the USPS, a few months before the next rate hike. I will be celebrating anyhow by trying to send out a card or a letter each day this month [and keeping track so I don't slack off]. Mostly I am feeling guilty for missing the Books2Eat fest/feast today. If you specially want a postcard, drop me a line.
I sent email [which doesn't count for the card/letter purpose] to New Balance today asking if any of their sneakers are made in the US. You may notice that their website says that they manufacture "a percentage" of their shoes in the US. I do not have to tell you discerning consumers that one percent qualifies as "a percentage." Who is placated by this marketing speech? These folks may be the answer. In the meantime, I bought a second-hand pair of sneakers that are suiting me just fine.