22aug00... Virgo MoL
No updates for a week or more. Heading in today. Heading out next Monday or Tuesday. Reaquainting with Chet soon thereafter. Back to work from Speakeasy East Satellite on the eleventh, luck and skill permitting.
Green Tortoise leg of the trip is over. I got on the bus at 8 am Thursday and got off at 9 this morning. In between, I made all sorts of new travellin' friends, got to sleep in a coveted "top bunk" [also known as converted luggage racks], and swam in a river someplace in Oregon, after dinner in a geodome and a hot sauna. There's nothing like getting to know your travelling companions by cavorting around naked with them, and I've always slept well in moving vehicles, so the Green Tortoise was the right trip for me, I guess it's not for everyone.
My favorite part of the trip was sleeping up above and waking up early [damned jet lag] and looking down to the big sleeping area below me. I got to watch seven people who did not know each other all wake up right next to one another, realize they had been all smushed together, and try to regain their normal interpersonal waking distances. In sleep, everyone is familiar.
Overheard before I left Seattle "I've stopped looking for truth, I am truth..."
I've unpacked all my crap on my host's floor, hennaed my hair to keep it hardy in the heat, and am looking at an ETD of less than 48 hours. I swear at this point, the desert is looking like it is going to be relaxing.
I knew this trip was going to be hectic. I did not know that it would also be so pleasant.
Met up with all the people I planned to see. saw Pete Krebs. Completed three full days of work, and came back to a swanky desk location where I get to sit with my back to the reader board telling everyone how many calls are in the queue, perfect!
My bags are packed and I'm getting on a bus at 8 am tomorrow heading to San Fran. I swapped my extra ticket for a honey of an orange cruiser bike that will be meeting me there. I got a gig working for the Black Rock Spatial Delivery Service, which seems somewhat fitting. Of course, I may get there and decide to do yoga for six days straight, it's hard to say. The Virgo Month of Leisure is off to a very good start.
Waking up at six am in Seattle is even worse than waking up at six in Vermont. I feel like it's late because my body thinks it's nine. My friends think it's six, and a Sunday, and they are still asleep and will be for hours.
The house looks like I never left, in a good way, except for the addition of an eight port ethernet hub.
Second leg of the trip is completed: get to airport, get to Seattle, get home. It's weird thinking that I just left home [Vermont] to go home [Mom's], so that I could head home [Seattle]. I managed to wrestle tarps, a sleeping bag, a tent, too much sunscreen, maple syrup, pink poster paint, an inflatable chair, the dress I found in the free box, flashlights, my GPS, digicam and extra disks, Clipboard of Life, aloe, floppy hat etc etc etc. all in one carryable mass. Once I add a bicycle or two, I may not be so lucky.
Burning Man is Dead, says the esteemed Dr. Cliff. I guess this takes the pressure off my Librarians at Burning Man project to not suck.
First leg: get car and cat to Mom's house. Park car, park cat, get ride to airport. So far so good, except I wake up around 6 in the morning and I have no idea where my Mom keeps her coffee. Grmmpf.
I met my new foster brother Barry who lives in the room that used to be mine. He's nice and funny and just passed his GED, heading to college in the fall, most likely. At the same time, I've been judging websites in the ThinkQuest competition, which are mostly designed by kids about Barry's age. And, as everyone knows, I'm pretty in touch with my inner seventeen year old myself.
My Mom and I made a deal yesterday that if my house collapses [or floats away], I can take the insurance money and use it to build a swanky studio apartment in the silo in her backyard. Small consolation, perhaps, but me and my sister have always wanted to live in that silo.
I finally paid the roofers the last $100 of the million or so dollars it's taken to get the barn spruced up and stable. The next day it poured bloody hell here and my roof started to leak. I'm leaving anyhow. If the fucking place floats away in my absence it will only be partially a disaster.
As I was sitting in my kitchen staring out the lovely [leaky] windows, a hawk swooped down, picked up a pigeon, and flew away into the woods with it, right before my eyes.
I have rarely felt the need for a Virgo Month of Leisure like I did today. Feel free to celebrate it with me, Virgos and non-Virgos alike.
I was in my car and heading out of the driveway yesterday when I noticed the pigeons clustered around outside the second story window of the barn. I could also hear a peeping sound that I had not previously associated with pigeons. So, I stopped the car and went to investigate.... turns out there's four or five baby pigeons stuck in the barn. Two were small and pinfeathered and the others were just small versions of adult pigeons. I went after the smaller pigeons with a sack and caught two of them & put them outside. [I'm not sure, if it's better for them to have a slow death by starvation or a quick death by predators but I know which way I'd like to go]. I can still hear the remaining pigeons.
Actually, as of right now, the barn seems to be repopulated with pigeons. I guess pigeons may be nasty birds in some ways, but they love their babies. I have no idea how they got in.
In a week, I'll be on a plane back to Seattle. I'll be there four full days before I get on a bus down to San Fran where I'll be for two days and then get in a motorhome into the desert for six days, then get in a newly-purchased car [not mine] heading towards Minneapolis for three days, then get in Chet [mine] back to Vermont in a day or two. Packing light has never been my strong suit. This will force the issue. If I can't carry it on my back, it's not going.
While I'm in Seattle I need to:
You may notice that at least one thing on this list seems to be at cross-purposes with the others.....
Pigeon watch: it's now day three of the pigeon-free barn and there's 12-15 pigeons that still perch on the peak of the barn waiting for me to leave a window open.
Peak Perseid meteor showers are this weekend. Go someplace dark and stare at the sky. Bring a lawnchair, a thermos of cocoa, and a friend.
A long time ago, abada used to mean rhinoceros.
The last stage of the barn siding project was to replace the windows in the upstairs part of the barn. This has some ramifications, because generations of pigeons have been living up there for decades and did not want to go quietly. The roofers went up there yelling and screaming and caterwauling in an attempt to get them to go. Almost all left. A few stayed, pretty much consigned to certain death. I feel like a monster. I went up there in the evening and tried to direct them to the open door as they flapped helplessly three stories up. When I went outside to clear my head and try to clear my conscience, I saw the displaced pigeons, soaring in wide circles around the barn, waiting to be let back in.
My picture was on the front page of the Sunday paper this week, this generated ten emails. Ten.
You may remember that I was bandying the word anarchist around before it became -- in the words of the NY Times -- chic. Being an anarchist doesn't necessarily mean that you will be a badass black bloc protestor and be attacked by police in jail. It doesn't necessarily mean that you are a big fan of street puppets and culture jamming. It could mean that you live in Vermont and write a lot of books. Or sometimes live in Maine and teach impressionable young minds about politics in California. Or are a peasant in Korea.
It's not worth spending too much time eye-rolling at the weird media portrayal of alterna-politics but I do have one favor to ask. Stop calling us self-proclaimed anarchists. It's redundant. And annoying. Thanks.
There are days when I feel I achieve more clarity than most, usually after a lengthy stressful somethingorother [work, in this case]. Moving through the day with that stressor removed feels like when you press the backs of your hands against the door frame really hard and then walk through it to find your arms weightless and floating up by your sides. The absence of pressure causes bouyancy, or something.
I called Topsham Telephone Company to report that my line was so noisy I was getting 12k internet connections. The technician was here in two hours. He fixed it, saying "I had a couple other houses to go to, but I knew you worked from home, so I figured I should come out here first"
The mail brought mix tapes, a free book, my court date, my car & truck insurance, my paycheck, a postcard, and the phone bill. I open all my mail at the post office -- so I can ditch and recycle all the extra envelopes and junk -- and the woman there said "Me and the other gal who works here make bets on what you get in all those packages" I told her it was all books, magazines and tapes. The look she gave me clearly said "oh, nothing interesting then"
We switched mailservers at work the same day I found out that I was eligible for no benefits because I was a part-time employee. Then things at work started to go kablooey and I got to choose whether or not to put in double-overtime for a company that doesn't deem me worthy of benefits and pays me less than Rent-a-Center would. Did I? Sure. For now. For some crazy reason, I really like my job. And I like my co-workers, a lot. But, if Bell Atlantic goes on strike, I'll still be laughing my ass off, and not crossing any picket lines.
Meanwhile, to further explore the private-life/public-web-site dichotomy, this nice gentleman interviewed me for the Sunday paper about the takebackvermont.com site. Somehow, without me even trying much, the page has been getting a lot of favorable attention. Thanks to Matt and Fred and Steve and Rebecca and Web Queeries and everyone else who helped get the word out.
I was a bit worried about talking to reporters for fear I'd say something stupid, get it in print, and come home to find the barn burnt down or painted an ugly color. I just kept drawing confederate flag analogies... sure they can indicate southern pride, but they can also indicate creepy southern racism and the extent to which you are aware that the flag can have both messages is the extent to which you are responsible for projecting that image when you insist on flying it. Anyone with a TAKE BACK VERMONT sign in their yard who says "I like gay people just fine..." is shirking responsibility for the message they are putting forth.