[abada abada]
an occasional feature



Doughnut boy tells all.


Today as I was going out to get a cup of coffee while working at Left Bank Books, I ran into a group of hippies who had just gotten into town. They asked, like hippies always do, "where do the kids hang out?" and I gave them some advice in my friendly-librarian way and told them places they could probably sleep without being disturbed. The guy hippie said thanks and handed me a cigarette. I said thanks and walked towards coffee and it wasn't until I was back to work that I realized the guy had handed me a joint. A joint that I had been walking around carrying in my hand. I am amazed that I can be simutaneously with it and clueless. There must be a word for that in some culture.

In honor of the hippies, here's my commentary after my first experience cooking with Textured Vegetable Protein:

Cooking With TVP Minute by Minute
  • 0:00 looks like bread crumbs
    [add water]
  • 0:15 looks like bread crusts in the drain
  • 0:30 looks like maggots
    [ick ick ick]
  • 1:45 looks like farina
    [add taco seasoning]
  • 3:00 looks like a big mess
  • 5:00 looks like ... can it be ... meat!

It was surprisingly tasty too....


[just a cog in 
 the machine, you know] I have a new job. Well, it's a job as much as any of my other jobs are. This one is part time working for the Gates Center for Technology Access doing research in their library on education issues. I get to work with my friend Ken and rub elbows with the high tech crowd who bring their babies to work and go running at lunch. The two year anniversary of the company was Wednesday [one of the two days I work] and there was a latte cart in the entryway making free coffee drinks all day. Now I kind of see why people move to California.

Then, to assure myself I'm still somewhat hip despite the straight job, I went to see a late night guerilla screening of Run Lola Run at a certain Capitol Hill movie theater. Apparently the guy who runs the place gets to pre-screen movies for his friends and I am a friend of a friend of someone who he buys coffee from.... It was BYOB and people were even lighting up during the movie -- bizarre! The movie itself was truly excellent and an interesting epilogue for Go which I saw the night before last [kind of a Trainspotting for the 17 year old raver scene].

Lastly, I learned to make kettle corn just like they do at the summer fairs [hint: just make popcorn and throw in a few spoonfuls of sugar] so I've been eating nothing other than that all evening.


Email from my Mom, this is what goes on in my hometown. The Morses are the last farming family in Boxboro.

When I went home for lunch, there was Donny Morse and his crew haying. As usual, there was some really young kid driving the truck around the field, there were several young kids hanging off the tractor, there were women with cold drinks and baskets of food, and there were assorted other people hoisting hay bales onto a truck, where they hung in a manner that defied gravity. Then the cavalcade slow-w-w-w-ly pulled out and drove down the street, honking and waving. This year, I wondered how many more years I would witness this rite of summer. Time will tell.


Saw this T-shirt on the AIDS Ride: "I am the man from Nantucket"...

On the bus today an old man squints at me and says "that hairstyle the thing with kids these days?" I reply "no, I get made fun of by people of all generations"


[some colors may have 
 been changed to protect the innocent] Ah Summer, when a young woman's fancy changes to thoughts of painting all of her kitchen cabinets. As part of my concerted effort to Get Jessamyn Out of Her Office [we'll work on the referring to herself in the third person later] I have decided to upgrade my surroundings. I have always an arch enemy of fake woodgrain and decided today to takes steps towards its eradication in my home. Since there's not too much I can do about the toaster oven, I decided to begin with the cabinets. I did not read the can until I was elbow-deep in paint: Do not use when raining, do not use late in the day. Two strikes already. Otherwise, the painting went pretty well, despite the fact that everything in my kitchen is now mildly sticky [the word tacky I think is the preferred term for sticky paint, but has so many other unfortunate connotations]

A plea to my readers: does anyone have a portable GPS device I can borrow? I am excited about the confluence project.


I went to the Fremont Fair and parade today and saw a lot of naked people on bicycles. There's always a few, but this year there was a big stink about them, some sort of community standards smokescreen. anyhow, this year instead of a few, there were dozens of naked cyclists! At first there were cyclists who were wearing bodysuits with enormous boobs, dicks and butts on them -- big improvement, don't you think -- later in the parade there were some officially naked folk [and some wearing only a belt ... or a tie] -- and then still later the bodysuited cyclists were on the scene again, this time being put under fake arrest by fully clothed [fake] cops. Very funny, and I think no one got arrested for real. Of course, my favorite rider was the donut man, a heavyset guy who had wrapped himself in plastic wrap with a bunch of donuts smushed against his skin. I seemed to be completely alone in my adoration of his comic genius.

Meanwhile, the AIDS ride works its way further and further back into my consciousness. Did I mention there were people in costume? My favorite had to be the guy with a huge pinata inchworm attached somehow to his helmet. He wore a big yellow jacket that said on the back "inch by inch, you are passing the worm." It's a great way to get noticed while you're riding with 2,500 other riders. I always looked for the fez guys, the little dutch girl and the guys with the angel wings.

Today's image is courtesy of a book I bought for a dollar called Curious Mechanical Movements with all these great old-time illustrations. There's a whole chapter on perpetual motion machines, so I think I have my weekend's work pretty well cut out for me.


Got my first photo of someone else's genitalia [male] in my inbox this morning, thanks to Eroscan putting a link to my naked librarians page on their home page. It was accompanied by some sort of pseudo-come-on along the lines of "how would you like me to do something to you with my nine inch somethingorother...?" I must admit that this guy was better looking than most of the guys who hit on me on the bus but I wrote back "no thanks" just the same.


I think I may dedicate a whole web page to the AIDS ride once I get my pictures back [no digital camera, alas]. I am tanned but not necessarily rested. My last week went something like this:

Saturday 6/5: Go to Day Zero [explore this link for more photos of the whole experience in 1997] which is the big sign-up day at Fort Mason in San Fran. Register, get tent assignment, watch safety video, bond with crew members. My crew is the bus liaison crew. We shuttle other crews to camps then retrace the ride to pick up tired or injured riders at pit stops and take them back to camp. I will have a cell phone, a pager and a walkie talkie. I have really never used a cell phone to place a call before, I am getting performance anxiety.

Sunday 6/6: Day One, arrive back at Fort Mason at 5:45 am for the roll out. nearly 3,000 riders fetch their bikes and start riding the 570 miles towards Los Angeles. I meet my bus driver who is a burly suspenders-wearing guy with a foul mouth and a lot of seventies music. We get along fine. We load up the chiropractors and the sports medics and head to our first camp. I get five t-shirts which is my uniform for the week. I already realize I have overpacked. Considering how early it is, I am in a pretty good mood. The AIDS ride people do a good job at being inspirational without being schmaltzy or patronizing and the total pledges collected by the riders is about 11 million dollars which everyone feel pretty good about. Still trying to figure out what percentage of that goes directly to the funded organizations. I hear about 50% for CA and much worse in other places, this is an expensive show to run.

Camp: You would have to see this to believe it. Roughly 4,000 people -- the size of my hometown, converge upon a campsite or other area [one night we stayed on an airfield] and set up for the night. This includes a kitchen & dining room, a stage, shower trucks, tents for chiropractors, sports medics, doctors and Tanqueray [though there is no sanctioned drinking in camp, Tanqueray is the main sponsor so there is a Tanq Tent with inflatable furniture and as much of a lounge atmosphere as you can muster in the middle of the desert, no G&Ts to be found however.], gear trucks -- labeled A-R each carrying 100 peoples' gear -- room for provided pitch-your-own tents, port-a-potties galore, scads of bike parking and, if you're lucky, a few trees.

Monday 6/7: Day Two, all my days go somewhat like this:

5:45 wake up
6:00 get up
6:15 pack gear and tent and deliver to trucks
7:00 eat
7:30 crew meeting
8:30 on the road to camp
9:00-3:00 shuttling crew and riders, must maintain high-fun factor: riders who can't finish the route are often blue and dejected.
3:00-5:00 get tent & gear [mine and Len's, riders are pampered above all else], set-up & leave notes as to our exact location for Len. While you can camp on the grid they have laid out for you, this generally means being four inches away from eight other tents, I aim for the remote areas, rebel prima donna that I am.
6:00 grab a shower or nap
7:00 eat
7:30 entertainment/announcements. Announcements are of the "please don't slam the port-a-potty door" variety and details of injuries acquired by unsafe riders and a lot of unecessary hype about what a great thing we're doing. Hype is mainly extraneous because everyone is on a constant buzz anyhow.
9:00 sleep
repeat next day

Tomorrow I'll add more info about the riders and the funky day-to-day stuff that made this a worthwhile experience.


I have been living in a tent for a week and have now spent my first full day under a roof and with flush toilets in Los Angeles of all places [ah civilization !?]. Heading back to San Fran tomorrow and Seattle on Tuesday night. More soon, keep that email coming.


I'll have limited access to email/web while I'm volunteering as a bus liaison on the AIDS ride so I'm taking a week to ten days off this journal. If I meet someone with a Ricochet modem I'll try to report from the road.


[update! whirrrr!]I did see two movies before all the shit hit the fan: Living Museum and Rabbit in the Moon. Living Museum is a documentary about an art therapy type of program that operates within a mental hospital in upstate New York someplace. Through interviews with the guy who runs the place as well as the various people who work there, you get an idea of how making art helps these people cope withy their various mental illenesses. Some of the people seem just like anyone you would meet "on the outside" while some clearly have problems even talking into the camera. The guy who runs the place is so clearly elated with the work he's doing, and all the art made by the people wo participate is so lovely that this is a really pleasing film to watch.

Rabbit in the Moon is more straightforward talking heads documentary about Japanese who were placed in internment camps during World War II. While the story of the camps may be familiar to you, the stories all of these older Japanese tell about the miserable ways they were treated and how their rights were systematically denied to them is enough to make anyone want to move to Fiji.


 toes] The first line of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is "I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now I have gum in my hair" the book proceeds to tell about Alexander's worse than usual day including getting no toy in his cereal, having to buy the wrong color sneakers and other assorted litanies of horrors. When my day is like it was today, I only wish I could just have gum in my hair... My day had a particular Jessamyn quality to it:

And to top it all off, I spilled apple juice into my keyboard while I was typing this. It's true what they say, you just have to turn it upside down and it dries right up.


[update! whirrrr!]John Sayles is still my favorite, even after I saw Limbo. This 2 1/2 hour movie is the first Sayles movie I've seen since Baby It's You with characters I really didn't like, or argued with in my mind when they made obviously stupid decisions. The main problem for me seemed to be Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio [you may remember her as the annoying sister from Scarface] as an uptight bad parent who sings in nightclubs. This opens the door for not one but four full-length Emmylou Harris type songs throughout the picture which appear as voiceovers to glowing imagery of fishing and small town Alaska life. Beautiful but repetitive. David Strathairn, one of my personal favorite actors is great, but his character's bad decisions and bad luck eventually are the downfall of everyone. Or are they....? The whole title of the movie seems destined to give reviewers the tagline "By the time this movie ends, you too will be in Limbo" [i.e. cliffhanger ending]. Feh.

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