[abada abada]
an occasional feature


[highly illegal 
 scan of my driver's license. I will only show you a legal part...] Got my new driver's license today. Part of the Virgo Month of Leisure seems to be this kind of enforced leisure where you sit around in public places dodging spitwads and cracking jokes with strangers and wait for your number to come up. After ninety minutes, I got called up and said "yep, same info as three years ago ... take my organs, please." The slightly jerky guy behind the camera goaded me into this picture. Usually I opt for the deer-caught-in-headlights look, aka the Please Don't Arrest Me look. This guy was like "Smile, can't you smile, what's wrong? You wanna look like that for four years? Fine with me, don't smile..." I have always believed that if you smile in your driver's license picture, you are obligated to smile when you are pulled over or run the risk of looking surly. So, for the next four years I will have the ever so slightest I-am-going-to-kill-you-pesky-camera-guy look...

Then I got home and heated up the second half of the pot of coffee from this morning. Then I spilled it all over the floor. No more coffee in the house. I headed out to my favorite coffee shop & ordered some coffee and explained my sad predicament. They gave me a one-day supply to take home. Free. They understood my problem.


Just thought you'd like to know that I am in the Seattle Weekly's fall fashion supplement -- though hard to recognize -- and the photo of me is not in the online version, alas.

[me, mark
 and julia] I had two complete strangers staying with me this weekend from the UK. They are travelling around the world for a year and ran into a friend of mine who was riding his bike down to San Francisco. He, in turn, directed them to a friend of his/ours in town here. Said friend hosted them for a few days but then had to go to Burning Man. Sent out an email for places for these guys to crash and I got them. I had fun learning the differences between the languages: we went out to Hattie's and I ordered biscuits and gravy and they wanted to know what biscuits were [since in England they are usually cookies]. It can be hard to explain when you have to start from scratch. Julia told a funny story about going up to someone on the street and asking if he knew where she could find a chemist. She meant pharmacy but I explained it was like asking someone if they knew where they could find a scientist. She said that probably explained the look she got. They left today headed for Vancouver and the Rockies. If anyone can put them up in Hawaii, Sydney, the Cook Islands, Nepal, India, or New Zealand, please let me know and I'll email them.

My trip looks like this: Seattle, Boise, Cheyenne, Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Austin, Ft Mitchell KY, Athens OH & then I'm in familiar friends and family territory and have no idea what I'm doing.


[a phenakistscope, no joke!] Today's activities included, in rough chronological order:

  1. double short rice milk mocha delivered to my door
  2. drugging cats
  3. the airport before 11 am
  4. a day out with my ex-boss
  5. a turbo charged car with 10,000 miles on it
  6. corn maze, and cheating
  7. Concrete, WA
  8. eight phone messages
  9. cartoon girl finishing party invite
  10. visiting British cyclists
  11. shadow puppet theater
  12. flowers in the mail

 buddhists see a rabbit with a bag of cabbages in the moon] There is such a full moon tonight... The full moon makes me fidget. When I was younger, I never used to be able to sleep during a full moon and I always thought it was because my room was too bright. Now I live in a cave and still can't sleep. Tonight I called nearly everyone I knew and just asked them if they wanted to go out of the house & do something. I wound up taking a long walk with Ben and Kara and then heading out to this club downtown called Habana's where, as the acid jazz started to wind down, some people headed outside into the streets. Ben was twirling fire sticks. Other people were waving fire fingers and spinning fire chains [or whatever they're called]. There was even a fire breather. A bunch of us just stood and gawked as the traffic threaded slowly around them. And the feather girl danced. Just right outside at Second and Washington. I guess the full moon kinda puts the zap on everyone.


[not only is this not me
 but normal breasts DO NOT look like that] Went shopping for underwear today. Basically the deal is this: the support undergarments I have been wearing finally wore themselves out, so the only bras I have are black or purple, making me look like some 80's Cure fan when I try to wear white t-shirts, which is often.

I pretty much only have this to say: who in god's name with size 36C tits really thinks they need a padded bra?! Seriously, the majority of underwear I looked at had extra stuff in them to give you that extra stuffed look. I got four bras for about nine dollars at the Shop n' Save as well as two sets of flannel pajamas. I am set for the next decade for underwear and pj's. Phew! Man, I hate to shop.


Two very different reference questions this morning:

1. Do you know why barns are usually painted red?

yes, answer here

2. I'm from KOMO-TV and am doing a piece on web addiction, can I interview you?

no, I'm having one in a series of bad hair days and besides, I can quit any time.

If you want to be interviewed and live in Seattle, please email this nice misguided lady, she's desperate. Or maybe you'd like to explain to her how this flavor-of-the-month so-called journalism has very little to do with real news and you'd really like to know more about the WTO visit to Seattle, or maybe what's going on in Iraq. I didn't have the heart, and besides, I had to write this.


[I hope the kids at
 school don't beat me up again today... darned ART!] I will always be a sucker for art, especially contemporary art. Last night I went to COCA's opening reception for their new exhibition BOY. The concept is this: ten year old boy named Gregory wears an unbelievably large camera on his head and records his every movement while nutty artists Fletcher + Rubin follow him around. The exhibit showed edited clips from the camera recordings [I assume they skipped all the shots where people are laughing and pointing at him: "look at that kid with the HUGE head-camera!"] on six big screens, as well as a ten-year-old sized soccer field [it really works!] and some used sports balls from Gregory's backyard. The event itself was mostly adult people drinking wine and watching the movies, as well as Gregory and his ten year old friends running around the place.

And guess what? A ten year old spends a lot of his time, by this accounting, playing soccer, looking at the ground, running in the woods, going to the park, walking around, eating pizza, and just playing. The movies had a real glowing quality to them, something along the lines of "Ah, youth!". My friend who helped program the COCA season just saw it as vaguely rose-colored. As for me, who had seen Happiness, it seemed vaguely sinister.


[ick!] A big thank you to whoever among my recent houseguests gave P/Zesto fleas. Or a flea, which is all I've found so far. You may laugh, but us people with dreadlocks are very skittish about fleas. When I was a kid and lived in an old farmhouse with three cats and a dog [this memory is true] we had fleas all the time. My sister was much more susceptible to fleas than me, however. Now I'm jumpy whenever I feel like something might be crawling on me, though fleas beats the crap out of ringworm.

Hmm, this isn't going where I want at all... I think I had started out talking [in my own head at least] about the upcoming Virgo Month of Leisure when all Virgos and any of their similarly-inclined friends are mandated to take as much of the Virgo month off as possible. Quit your job, go on a long vacation, have a work slowdown, eat a shitload of ice cream, walk out your front door and just keep on going. Just chill out Virgo, cuz it's going to be a long Winter and you're already looking a bit uptight...


[I don't know what happened to the state of
 Maine there...] It's not that I'm avoiding my real life, it's that I prefer to live in the future at this point. Here's my real life: yesterday I woke up to realize that I had been sleeping with my dictionary. OED Volume I A-B. I had been looking up what? I don't know. When I was in high school my mother would embarass me in front of my friends by telling them I used to read the dictionary when I was a kid. She thought she was bragging, I was pretty sure I was the uncoolest kid ever. I've since gotten over it.

But maybe that never happened. Since my last nostalgic family recollection was determined to be inaccurate, I doubt many of my memories on these subjects. I think I may start a whole new web page dedicated to determining the veracity of family stories I thought were true. Was Grandpa Morris really a descendent of Ghengis Khan? Was he even really from Mongolia? Did he have mob connections? Was I really taught to read by a hitchhiker? Did my dad have anything to do with the invention of the bar code? Did he really travel all over the world with an atomic clock? [I'm pretty sure this one was true because there's publicity photos of him next to stewardesses who are setting their watches -- this was back in the sixties I think]

Anyhow, skipping over the present to go directly to the future: this is my loose plan. See that long line between Boise and Minneapolis? It's 1500 miles long. While I will be going through the glorious states of Wyoming and South Dakota, I don't think I know any people there, yet.


Once you decide to leave, staying is really hard.

I am getting into my friends' nearly new VW Passat and heading East on or around September 12th. This is after my Dad and his wife come to visit, after my friends Sharyn and Sara visit, after Bumbershoot, after the girl cartoonist moves in for a bit, after my job ends, and after my birthday. So why am I in such a hurry?

I think I'm just restless. I haven't taken a long trip in a while and I'll get to see some folks I haven't seen in forever, many who I've never visited before. I've never driven cross country alone before and I'm curious to know what it'll be like. I want to get to Vermont and see if the hippies have wrecked the place. I want to entertain guests with hard core leisure time. I want to get started relaxing and finish up fretting about packing, moving furniture, making lists and getting out of here. With my freelance jobs mostly behind me, Vermont is looking like it will be nearly four months of R&R. I can't remember a time when I've had less than two jobs for more than a week. I wonder what that will be like.



"Dad kill a pig? Sorry...it was already dead. However, he and Brian did saw one in half using the band saw. Brian said it was the most disgusting job he ever did (and he dug up the line to the septic tank!). Love, Mom"


Do you ever have a time somewhere back in the hazy memory of your life when everything seemed exactly perfect? Of course, it's all tempered by nostalgia and lots of more recent less-than-perfect occurences, but can you still remember?

[buzzzz] For me, that memory was back when I was nine or ten and my parents would have pig roasts. All the friends from far and near would show up. We'd get a pig which my father would kill and string up over a pit or something in the backyard. The weather was sunny and the yard and house would be filled with people all having a good time. People would play instruments, there were enough kids to get a good kickball game going, the air smelled like good food. The pinpoint of perfection for me was being able to stick my hand in a large trash can filled with cold water, ice and every conceivable kind of soda [I didn't get to drink much soda as a kid otherwise] to grab a drink and know that I could do it again and again if I wanted.

Last night, I went to a beach party at Golden Gardens that was kinda like that. It was hosted by my friend Jessica, and I went not knowing anyone there at all. She had invited her friends and their instruments and brought a lot of wood and marshmallows and tofu dogs. I read a few Barthelme stories to open the night up and then people just sat around drinking beer and playing music until I finally decided to walk home around midnight. When I started having parties at the Odd Fellows Hall, it was always in the hope that I could set a good example of how easy and fun throwing a big open party can be and encourage others in my peer group to do the same. Last night was probably the first reciprocal party -- inspired by Odd Stock a bit -- I've been to, and boy was it wonderful.


This was Monday:

[hell now? hell

I have a new job this week helping work on some complicated website for folks in New York. They call early. It's good that I have a new job, because Amazon.com [there is not one Amazon.com link on this entire website, even my booklist], in response to my dispute with my new contract which allows them to use my likeness, name, or research in any manner, basically told me to take it or leave it. I told them I'd be leaving it, despite their assurances that they would never enforce the questionable language in the legal document they were nonetheless requiring me to sign. News on the street is that they're cutting contractor positions, sell your stock now.

Anyhow, I was agitated after doing too much find and replace, kind of teeth-gnashingly agitated, so I took the next day off. Hung out with a friend, drank coffee, told stories, ate pancakes, stared at the wall, never put on any pants, played Scrabble, went into my back room office only twice. By the next day, I felt completely better. People are more important than computers, and they're way more important than jobs. I never forget this in theory but it's nice to see it be so patently obvious in actual practice.


I've heard that once you've lived in the country for a while, you stop making lists all the time and just settle down and exist. I grew up in the country and moved to the city when I was still too young to really be making lists with any sort of intensity, so I am curious about the veracity of this statement.

I am certainly making lists in preparation for my cross country trip and VT visit. Lists of people to visit [are you en route from Seattle to Boston via St Louis and Chicago -- especially on the early part before the midwest? Can I sleep on your couch? Email me. Please, no stalkers.], things to bring, stuff for VT, numbers and addresses not to forget, last minute birthday ideas [so far: underwear, GPS, tent] and instructions for the Odd Fellows' stand-in caretaker [aka Jack]. Mostly at this point they're in my head and on little scraps of paper lying around my house. Once I track down my road atlas, I think I'll put them in there. I may forget a lot of things on this trip, but the map will not be one of them.


This was going to be a simple apology to the person who was searching altavista for www.jessamyn.com AND sex. I am sorry there was not much to be found. However, upon more inspection of my log files, I have noticed a trend, or several trends. Here are the things people were searching for that landed them at the glorious oasis of jessamyn.com, presented for your enjoyment. This is just today, mind you.

  • where can I play Scrabble [altavista]
  • famous women naked [yahoo]
  • naked librarian [yahoo]
  • famous naked women [yahoo]
  • teeth [alltheweb]
  • Helen and Hennepin
  • handbook of homemade power [northernlight]
  • realdoll [lycos]
  • naked pictures [infoseek]
  • pan and magazine and boys and not bread and not music [altavista]
  • pictures of Burlington VT [yahoo]
  • barn pictures [yahoo]
  • female exhibitionists [lycos]
  • autoerotic asphyxiation [altavista]
  • famous people naked [yahoo]
  • round barns [altavista]
  • lesbians.con [yahoo, not a typo on my part]
[the elusive giant

What have we learned from all this? If you want to search for some of this stuff yourself locally, try the search page.


I forgot that the best part of the wedding weekend was watching one of the brides drink beer through her nose.

In other stupid human tricks, my Dad's keyboard has been broken. He claimed he attempted to send email using only the mouse to cut and paste words from other messages and web pages, but gave up after three days. I would really like to see some of the messages he sent in those three days.


[ooooh, thunder!] I've been real aware of the weather lately. Maybe not just the weather, nature in general. Or, what's it called when you include the weather, nature and all the stuff you can see in the sky? Ecology? Environment? Gaia? The fact that I don't know in and of itself concerns me.

There's been stuff going on. Right now there is a crazyinsane thunderstorm going on outside. This may not mean much to many of you, but we never get thunderstorms out here, almost never. This one has been going on for a long time. It knocked the radio station off the air. I think it's great. I think the air gets filled with something good during a thunderstorm that makes even the act of breathing that much more excellent. My father grew up in the midwest and used to call them gullywashers.

[zap!] This weekend I was out in the woods. I hung around at the campfire until I got really sleepy and thought about my mother's statement that she used to say whenever we would do any kind of big exertional activity "You're gonna sleep tonight!" to which my reply was always "Mom, I sleep every night. Almost every night anyhow." I headed back to my cabin anticipating a grand snooze and was somewhat alarmed to realize that it was brighter in my cabin than outside in the field -- there were walkway lights all over the place. I felt like I was on some sort of Internet CabinCam.

It's also been a big month for astronomical activity. I saw the lunar eclipse last week. The Perseid meteor showers are coming up and I'll probably have some sort of skywatching event. There's even a total solar eclipse coming up in the UK. It's paying attention to all this weather that is my strongest pull towards going to Vermont.


I have just returned from a wedding. Weddings, regardless of how lovely, sucky, ostentatious, or high-falutin' always make me feel a bit strange. It's a bit of a cultural costume party. You pretend things don't cost money, that people -- and these people in particular -- can stay in love forever, and you pretend that you will see the people you have been drinking and dancing with again. I had a great time, don't get me wrong. It is also entirely possible that Jill and Taylor will stay in love forever. There were wild deer running through the grounds all weekend [on invisible leashes, I suspect] and the food could not be beat, it was beatific. I just spent a lot of time thinking that it's weird to me that the only time you can really get all your friends together is for weddings and funerals. I may fake my own death just to finally have the party that everyone comes to. [fig one]

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