friends in CA
loot this month
Your assignment is to read The Rise of Capitalism before you head out to do whatever you are going to do on May Day. Don't worry, unlike capitalism, this story is short and humorous.
I like my friend M. a lot, but stories like these make me pine for the no-cell-phone-service, drive-to-post-office, backwards ISP, hillbilly neighbor wilds of Vermont:
our company imploded last week and I'm out job hunting.
Very surreal experience . . . venture capitalists backed out on the day they
were supposed to wire the part of $2 million . . . within 1/2 hour our
neighbors wanted to know when they could move into our space, two hours
later, Martin Tobias, ceo rockstar of Loudeye drives up on his harely in his
full leathers to ostensibly talk about acquiring us, but really just wanted
to reminisce about his ipo party, an hour after that, with people terribly
drunk, some beady eyed 20something says "I work for a .com and we're
hiring--do you all have resumes on you??" bizarre, like being locked in a
anyhoo, I'm looking for some cool gig, viewing this all as a great
Very surreal experience . . . venture capitalists backed out on the day they were supposed to wire the part of $2 million . . . within 1/2 hour our neighbors wanted to know when they could move into our space, two hours later, Martin Tobias, ceo rockstar of Loudeye drives up on his harely in his full leathers to ostensibly talk about acquiring us, but really just wanted to reminisce about his ipo party, an hour after that, with people terribly drunk, some beady eyed 20something says "I work for a .com and we're hiring--do you all have resumes on you??" bizarre, like being locked in a Doonesbury cartoon.
anyhoo, I'm looking for some cool gig, viewing this all as a great opportunity....
In my .com [.net and .org actually] job, my boss just got fired and everyone's a little stunned. Current office joke when you make any teeny old mistake: "Ummm, Jessamyn ....? Can I see you in the hallway for a second? don't worry about the phones...." and every time someone can't log in they look up and say "Am I fired?" It's all facetious, of course, since they can't fire anyone else at this point [and I head east with my telecommuting job in 15 days] but nonetheless, no one likes to admit lack of job security any more than they like to admit their own mortality.
This morning's email consisted of thank yous from my mom and sister for the books I sent last week [which they had already begun reading] as well as outgoing email to my mom from me thanking her for the book she had sent me which I have already begun reading. An excerpt from my book:
Sometimes I think I'm the luckiest woman in the world and tonight is one of those times....Writing is so difficult that I often feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter.... People who keep journals have life twice. I know there is a feeling that journal keepers are deficient in some ways, poor sticks, bookkeepers of life rather than its spenders....But Mama hit the mail on the head when she asked me long ago when I was ill and she brought someone's journals home to me from the library, "What was wrong with him?" "What makes you think anything was wrong with him?" "I've noticed," she said, "that there is always something wrong with these people who keep notebooks and diaries." Katherine Mansfield, Gide, Gissing, Kafka, Dorothy Wordsworth, Virginia Woolf? Perhaps to want life twice, once experienced in action, once in words, is a sign itself that something is wrong? -- Jessamyn West [not me]
"What was wrong with him?"
"What makes you think anything was wrong with him?"
"I've noticed," she said, "that there is always something wrong with these people who keep notebooks and diaries."
Katherine Mansfield, Gide, Gissing, Kafka, Dorothy Wordsworth, Virginia Woolf? Perhaps to want life twice, once experienced in action, once in words, is a sign itself that something is wrong?
-- Jessamyn West [not me]
Do you ever stay at someone's house and feel immediately unconfortable because there's nothing to read anywhere about? In some weird snobby way I mistrust non-readers and search out their cereal boxes and product manuals to occupy my roving eyes while I'm in their homes. I'm very happy I am in a family of hyperreaders.
American Psycho is not as good as The Talented Mr. Ripley and anyhow I think I have seen enough good looking killer movies to last me a lifetime.
Today I learned how to set letterpress type. More or less. Margaret is still sorting her type into the type drawers, and we didn't really have the little things you are supposed to place the type in so it all got kinda jumbled and most of our lines of type said something like blimnimininim [it's tough to tell what they say since they're upside down and backwards -- wiuiuiwiuwilq?].
We did learn how to set a line of type, block it in with extra pieces of wood, tighten up these pieces of metal to keep it all together and then place it in the press. Then we spun the big flywheel around just for fun, but we need to get some more stuff -- ink, kerosense, boar's hair brush, those nifty printer's aprons -- before we can do any real printing. My press is looking pretty spiffy after a few weeks on Margaret's porch got most of the dust and nur off of it, but it still needs a good scrubbing. I just kinda want to make some monkey carvings out of potatoes, smush some carrots on it to get a good orange color, and let fly. Fortunately, Margaret is the more level-headed of the two of us and she is making a list. We resume scheming on Thursday.
Cheap Shot: My Day At Work
end user: my dsl is out.
One of the neat deals about working at an ISP is that you can finally troubleshot your own DSL hassles and munge your own reverse dns entries. If anyone is getting webstalked by munkeygurl.dsl.speakeasy.net... you know it's me.
The bookfair was great. I was really afraid that after WTO and such the new Anarchist Media Darling Phenomena would have either made everyone unbearable, or filled the place up with media-types angling to get some sound bytes from today's disenfranchised youth. As it was, I got to meet a lot of people I'd only heard about, represent my local indie bookstore, and generally feel like I was in a space among friends or at least kindred spirits. There was vegan food being served all day long, and presentations in the next room by many notable counterculture types. I even met the sticker guy.
The drive up and back [one day each] was also a good time to reacquaint myself with my deep and abiding love of the road trip and all it involves -- finding places to eat in line with everyone's various eating disorders, choosing whose particular music fetish to indulge, not getting despondent when there's still five hours left and you're all too tired to drive, getting an ambient temperature that works for everyone. Left Bank also pulled in nearly $1700 which seemed to me to be a good haul.
In San Francisco, everyone's apartment is so small that you wind up spending a lot of time perched on people's beds. This can be the good news or the bad news, depending on your intentions.
I just got back last night after a pretty pleasant drive all day yesterday, two days of high-speed socializing and bookfairing, and the equivalent reverse drive on Friday. I head back to work today. My DSL got installed while I was gone. I have been listening to nothing but hindi pop music ever since.
Ben and Kara had their baby -- mazel tov! Complete report on my trip with words & pictures once I get this work thing out of my system.
I am leaving in a van for San Francisco with the Left Bank crew in about eight hours to go to the Anarchist Bookfair and I still need to find the charger for my digital camera. Ha ha ha. Oh, and I paid my taxes, or rather, the government paid me this year -- first time in six years. I earned little enough to qualify for the earned income credit, but made six dollars too much in investment income so no unearned income for me. Look for me at the Left Bank table on Saturday if you're in the area [I dropped my quick cam a few too many times and now it only take spooky pictures of me].
I fixed my computer. The house is nearly unpacked. I definitely have a job in Vermont once I get there and I made coffee for the first time in my new place. I feel moved in... with just enough time to savor it briefly before moving on again. I have a hard time explaining sometimes why I enjoy this feeling so much. Gotta go spend qt with P/Zesto before I head out. Please check in to see if Ben and Kara have had their baby yet.
I made this tape holder out of an old bamboo flute and some waxed string. It has eight different kinds of tape on it. Martha Stewart, watch your ass!
I am unpacking the last few boxes. Some stuff is getting tossed out as soon as I get it out of the box: extra toothbrushes to clean grout, leftover choline from my dream-journal days, the little thingie that held up the washcloth... I talked to my Mom today and she told me a folksy moving adage: three moves equals one fire. That's in terms of the amount of stuff you break, toss, or lose. The only thing I've lost so far is the key to the PO box, but Wizardman has a spare. I got a package there the other day.
When you get a package at the PO box they leave a key to another box in your box. It has a little tag on it saying "if this key is found, deposit in the nearest mailbox blah blah blah" I had no idea why it was in my box so I had to ask. Apparently there is a whole other set of boxes for the packages received by boxholders. It is at the end of a long hallway. I went to my designated locker & got my package. The key stays in the locker so you can't leave it there if the danged thing is too big and you are on your way to work. I ripped open my package [one of the things I like about going in to get my mail is that I can leave all the extra junk mail and envelopes right there in the recycling] and it was one of those packages which uses lint as packing material. The lint promptly sprayed out all over me. So, I am at the end of a hallway, covered in lint, after getting my thing out of the box that I got the key to from my other box, utilizing a whole bizarre system that I just barely understand at all.... The whole thing seemed vaguely ridiculous and I started to laugh my head off, causing stares from people at the other end of this hallway. People are often very serious in the post office, I cannot imagine why.
Bolivia is under a state of emergency right now. Not such a big deal to many except I have some friends who are living in Cochabamba, where there appears to be some trouble. Apparently a state of emergency -- not as bad as martial law, they are quick to tell you in the press -- has been imposed seven times since 1982 so perhaps the Bolivianos are used to it by now. Still, when they shut off the power to your neighborhood and seize your radio stations to prevent you from telling people about it [the underlying issue here: water prices which have been skyrocketing, underlying issue there is that the public water system was sold off to foreign investors...] I'm sure it feels rather creepy.
Of course this is also quite timely coming as it does a week before the Rally and Non-Violent Protest in DC this upcoming weekend. I will be missing the DC shenanigans because I'll be at the Anarchist Bookfair in San Francisco which I'm sure will have its share of interesting happenings to participate in.
I'm assuming you can grasp the connection between the two above paragraphs.
Error reading drive C:
You know, I kinda thought this move may have been going too smoothly... I'm about 70% unpacked, the cat is happy, Super-Magnetic Wizardman and I get along well when we see each other, which is rarely -- he works 8-4, I work 2-10. The upstairs neighbor is nice and the pool at the high rise next door shines an interesting wavy light into the next room when I am sleeping which is oddly calming despite looking somewhat like flames licking at the window outside. Then I set up my computer.
I have the laptop in the kitchen set for email but it's got an icky keyboard and my address book from six months ago. Never set-up your desktop computer after moving until you are mostly moved in because it will consume all your available time. I started plugging mine in around an hour before I had to go to work, which was a big mistake. As the hard drive refused to boot and I scrambled for my emergency boot disk and cursed myself for my cavalier attitude towards making backups and watched the scandisk error log lengthen, the last thing I wanted to do was run out the door to grab a bus. I even entertained fantasies of calling in late to work -- we're an ISP, we take computer problems seriously -- but decided against it. By the time I got home again I could afford to spend 55 minutes reinstalling my godforsaken operating system which was more or less all it took, I think. I haven't checked it out since. I've learned my lesson. I have a day off coming up and I think I'll turn it on again then.
And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack....
My new place has been dubbed The Fight Club House by the twelve-or-so people who helped me move into it. The First Rule of Jessamyn's House is there is no Jessamyn's House....
The house has such features as a free parking space in the U District, a fridge door that opens from both sides and an overgrown backyard with a hammock. It also has a big scary hole in the living room ceiling, no grounded outlets and two non-functioning washing machines. I like it just fine. Moving took us about one trip with six cars and a bunch of people. I am unpacking boxes slowly. My upstairs neighbor is a deep sea diver who woke me up at 7 to ask if I could move my truck because I had parked in his motorcyle.
Though I will miss the Odd Fellows Hall, the transition went smoothly. The last call I got on the Odd Fellows phone was from a guy who had recently left the order in Oregon because the head guy and gal there had [he said] tried to kill him. Fare thee well, Odd Fellows.