Chasing Amy, recording CDs

I ended up seeing _Chasing Amy_ last night with my friend Virginia. It was a pretty good film – a new direction for Kevin Smith, but a lot of the old humor and ideas that made _Clerks_ and _Mallrats_ so funny. I’m glad I saw it while it was in the ‘limited cities’ stage of release though, because I think the moral majority is going to pipe-bomb the View Askew offices to keep this film out of the multiplexes. And it’s funny, because all of these lesbian or chik bisexual lipstick lesbian wannabe riot grrls were at the film, and it was not some sort of anthem for the lesbian nation or something. I was getting ready for half of the theatre to walk out during the middle of the film when they realized the picture realistically showed both sides of the story.

I should disclaim the last statement a bit by saying I have nothing against people who follow their hearts when they are finding their sexuality. I do have problems with people who define their sexuality by some flavor-of-the-week trend, or political agenda. It’s especially bad in Seattle – it seems there are so many people in this town that are ready to jump on the next bandwagon just to prove they are not part of the mainstream. Remember kids, it’s not nonconformity if everyone else you know is doing it.

I was just thinking – I wonder what it would’ve been like if the internet was in full swing when the space shuttle Challenger blew up. There would have been two years’ worth of conspiracy theories about missiles shooting the thing down, explosive payloads, aliens, and CIA payback theories. Now that the internet propagates the most unofficial theories as official documentation, I think everything has a conspiracy theory behind it. I wonder if this fuels or sinks the paperback conspiracy theory book trade.

The weather isn’t as nice today – pretty windy. I’m also still having sore neck problems, which makes me much lazier about the cleaning and packing chores. I might work on some video stuff today, and try to figure out what gear I’ll be taking to the park. That is, if I ever get a shower and some lunch…

I’ve been taping CDs all day, since I won’t see a CD player for the next week. It’s so annoying – remember back when everyone’s albums were like 38-40 minutes long? Now it’s more like 60-72 minutes. So I bought some of those CD-IT tapes from Sony, mostly because they were on sale. Well, the commercials say “these are so custom engineered to be the length of your CD, you couldn’t do it better if you were loading the cassette shells yourself!” Anyway, after closer inspection, these are 94 minute tapes. So you get a whopping 2 extra minutes per side. TWO FUCKING MINUTES! Maybe these were custom designed for people recording Peter, Paul, and Mary albums, but 2 extra minutes doesn’t help me much when I’m recording this 74 minute Henry Rollins album, does it?

Anyway, packing for this trip hasn’t been advancing too much. I did get my suitcase out of my storage closet, and my laundry is largely done, but otherwise I haven’t thought of things. It shouldn’t be too bad though – since I leave every other weekend, I should be able to just do the same thing I do on Fridays and throw a few changes of clothes in a bag, dump everything from my sinktop into a Safeway bag, and make sure the camcorder is ready to roll in its case. It’s a little more involved than that, but my typical philosopy when traveling is that if you forgot it, you can just buy another one. As long as I don’t forget something impossible to find like prescription medication or impossible to afford like eyeglasses, I will be okay.

I didn’t mean to knock the Henry Rollins album. If I was putting out a CD, I would use every single bit possible on the media. It’s sort of sad that the longest CD in the world is a Depeche Mode bootleg.

I need something to read for this trip, so I’m going to the bookstore. I haven’t been reading anything at all lately – I should get back into reading books on a regular basis. TV has doomed me, I’m thinking of disconnecting my cable just to get my mind back.



Disneyland on two broken legs

When I woke this morning, it felt like my neck had been snapped. I started thinking about Christopher Reeve and this conversation I had with my girlfriend the other day about a kid who wrecked his ATV, ran up $125,000 in medical bills, and was a quadrapalegic (sp?). But I could move, so it was just a sore neck from my fucked up bed. I’m getting worried that with $1000 in nonrefundable plane tickets, that every single biological system in my body will completely fail in the next 3 days. I’ll be in Disneyland with two broken legs, no control over my own bowels, bubonic plague, and a blood clot over the part of my brain that controls my ability to discern the difference between being at work and being on vacation.

Well, I did get some rest last night. I watched _Raising Arizona_ and Queensryche’s _Operation:Livecrime_ concert tape. I also did a lot of flipping through channels and a bit of writing. I was thinking about doing some video stuff, like editing together a bunch of crap to send to my friend Simms back in Indiana. I saw a show on cable access where two guys took some horrible Burt Reynolds film and replaced the sound to make it like a cross between MST3K and a 70s porno. It completely ruled, and I started thinking of how I could do the same thing with some of the movies I have here, like _The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari_. Eventually, I’ll have to do something like that.

Overall, it was a strange evening. Now that I’m gone or have Karena here every weekend, spending an evening without her made it feel like a ‘school night’. I kept watching the clock, thinking I should hit the sack so I could get to work the next day. And thismorning – I forgot that without someone or something to get me out of bed, I don’t wake up until noon, and it takes me another 2 hours to take a shower. It’s 1:40 right now, and I still haven’t eaten. I think I’m going to go grab something, unload all of the CDs the Columbia House Club sent me that I don’t want anymore, and then maybe catch a matinee. Or just wander – who cares, as long as it doesn’t involve sudden neck movements.

ObFlashback: I was eating shelled peanuts last night, and remembered a moment when I was a kid, maybe 6 or 7. My parents, sister, and I were in St. Louis, staying with some of my Dad’ friends from the Air Force. (My parents met in St. Louis, when my dad was stationed there). Anyway we were with my ‘grandpa’ Mamola, at some bar where there were free shelled peanuts and you just threw the shells on the ground. It was the coolest concept in the world to me, aside from that show ‘Rescue 911’ and maybe Godzilla. Also, grandpa Mamola was the first person I ever saw who put salt in his beer.


Home for a weekend

It’s a beautiful day out and I wish I wasn’t at work. But, I just have today and Monday, and then I go on vacation. Also, we had pizza for lunch here at work, and ate out on the 10th floor terrace. The sky’s very blue, really clear, and it’s a little windy, so some boats were out on Lake Union. I hope it keeps up until 5.

I found out that Queensryche will be playing here June 21, and in Portland on June 20. I’ll have to find out if the fan club has any special deal or anything like that before I buy tickets. I’d like to go to both shows, but I might only be able to afford one.

It feels weird that I won’t be leaving tonight for Longview or waiting for Karena to come up from Longview. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing tonight, but I’ll probably just work on the video or maybe watch some videos, and get the place cleaned up. If I’m staying in this apartment for another year and a half, I need to think about how things are arranged and stored. I’m tearing apart my closets right now, throwing things out and rearranging things so I’ll have more space. If I rearrange all of the disorder, it will give me more room to live and make it feel like a new place. So, there’s a lot of cleaning projects going on before the vacation.

I’ve been reading two books lately – _Your Money or Your Life_ and _Living Cheaply With Style_. They are both good books and get me into the mindset of spending less money. If I read video magazines or catalogs, I start thinking about how I need to spend money and buy new equipment or get involved in some giant project that involves a major investment in new gear. But these two books are slowly teaching me some things about saving money. This might just be a fad and I might just give it up and start blowing money in a week or a month. But I’d like to eventually pay off the bills and live somewhat frugally. I used to exercise some of these principles when I lived in Bloomington, just to survive. I didn’t always have the money to eat fast food every day, and I did more cooking back then. But, I also mismanaged money even more back then. I need to combine the two, and start to get money in the bank.

I want to find that Boeing surplus store in Renton or Federal Way or whereever it is, and buy a bunch of weird shit and put it together to look very Geiger-like in my living room. I wish I knew how to weld, and owned a torch. I could build facing plates for my bed and appliances, and make them look like a crashed jet. Too bad I’ve got such a hangup about steel and the touch of metal – it makes every filling my my mouth try to jump out of my face or something. If I could eat with plastic silverware every day for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy man.

I’ve seriously been thinking some surplus military radio gear would be almost perfect in my apartment. I should explain, since this is a new journal. I live on the 5th floor of a 5 floor building in downtownish Seattle. It’s technically called “pill hill”, the area between Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill, and it’s home to about a dozen hospitals. My deck overlooks James Street, which is 7 floors below me (2 garages), and The Thing They Didn’t Tell Me when I moved in was that about 400 ambulances come screaming up the hill every night, in addition to the helipad that’s just across the way at Harborview hospital. So when summer rolls around and all of the drunken rednecks who don’t wear helmets wreck their motorcycles, waves of helicopters come rolling in to attempt to save part of the pathetic people’s spines, maybe so they can still wrap their hand around a Budweiser bottle without the help of a nurse. Anyway, if I had a good enough radio, I could listen to these emergency radio bands and maybe even broadcast on them.

On a vaguely related note, I was changing channels after watching ER last night, and at about midnight on the public access channel, they were showing all-out porno. Not that I’m against that or anything, but it was pretty surprising to see it on regular cable. It was some sort of artistic statement about having sex in public or something. It wasn’t just a couple people in swimsuits under a blanket or something, though. It was full-out, penetrative, no-holds-barred stuff. I guess they will let you play anything on public access cable.



First post

This is my first entry, and I’m still trying to iron out the kinks in this thing. I have an emacs function (thanks to Bill) that opens a text file with today’s date whenever I do a C-x C-j, so I can always pull up a file for today. They are text files though, and I have no idea if they will later be html-ized in any way. I’d like to, I guess, but I don’t want to be typing this stuff and adding tags and thinking about page formatting – it’s too much of a distraction. Just straight text will work for now, and I can always reformat it later.

I also don’t know how I will index these into a master html page. I guess I could write some kind of script to run through the directory and then somehow order the stuff, make links, and slap in the html. That’s a future project, I guess. For now, I’m just going to keep journaling on a daily basis so when I do create a web page, it won’t be for like 3 journal entries.

This whole project is sort of conflicting with my regular project, which is journaling on paper. I’ve kept pretty much daily journals since November of 93, and I have odd bits and pieces of journals that date back to high school. I’ll still keep a seperate paper journal, because it’s somewhat of a different project. This online journal won’t contain any of the private information that I keep in my paper journals. I’ll talk about personal stuff in here, but there’s a certain boundary I’m going to create, since this is on the internet, and anyone with a search engine, or from work, or whatever, can look at this and read it. Also, I don’t intend for this to be as in-depth as my paper journal. But I guess the boundaries and differences will define themselves further as this whole thing progresses.

I’ve been thinking of putting my paper journals online, or at least typing them in to have a backup-able format. Also, I don’t think I’ll be able to read my own handwriting in 10 or 20 years (I can barely read it now). But I don’t think I can put my journals on-line, because of the privacy issue, and it would take forever to do. I think i figured that I have about 1200 sheets of spiral notebook paper I’d have to type in. So that project will probably wait. But last night, I did type in all of my information from a smaller 1992 diary and a 1989 daily planner, just because those two things will probably get lost or destroyed at some point.

I should probably start talking about something other than the mechanics of the whole endeavor. This is a bad time for me to start an online journal, because I’m leaving for vacation on the 15th. Karena and I are flying to LA that day. Actually, we’ll be going to Orange county and staying in a hotel near Disneyland. The trip package included a car, and passes to Universal Studios and Disney. We’ll be going to Universal on the 16th, and spend the 17th-19th and maybe the morning of the 20th at Disney. We fly out on the 20th. We’ll also try to hit any other LA touristy things each night, since the park is only open till 7 on weekdays.

I’m pretty excited about leaving for a while – this is my first ‘real’ vacation. I’ve been on school trips and parental vacations, but they don’t entirely count. This is the first time I’ve booked a flight for something that didn’t involve family or work. I have taken many roadtrips, and I have been to more than half of the states in the country, but this will be a real change of pace. Also, it has been pretty shitty in Seattle – it is always raining and dark. In the last week or two, it is almost clearing up, but it will be nice to be in California.

I am also nervous about the whole trip. I always get nervous before I travel – that I’ll forget something, forget the tickets, miss a flight, or whatever. I’m also not sure how we’re getting to the airport, since both the shuttle services and the airport parking are a complete ripoff. So I need to figure all of this stuff out. At least we are leaving in the afternoon – I really hate getting ready to fly out on an 8:00 am flight, which usually means you have to get up at like 3 in the morning to shower, pack, check everything, wait for the shuttle, take the shuttle (which is always late), check in, etc.

Today is the 5 month anniversary of me and Karena being together. I think that means this is my 3rd longest relationship. I was with Tanya for 6 or 7 months (although there was a summer break apart in the middle of it), and I was with Becky for just over 11 months. It still feels weird to be in a relationship, but I guess I am pretty settled into it now. Still no complaints or anything. This weekend will be weird because we aren’t visiting each other. Since we will be on this trip all week, we decided it would be best not to visit, save some money, get all of our pre-vacation stuff done like laundry or whatever, and just wait until Monday when she is coming up here. It will be odd to have a weekend by myself again. My first thought is that I’ll be sleeping all day, eating junk food, getting a bunch of writing done, and enjoying myself like when I was single. In reality, I will probably miss her a lot and just mope around the house and do some laundry.

I just spilled chili on this yellow shirt. I should watch my eating while I’m writing…

I’ve been worried like hell about money lately – I owe the school, the dentist, and two credit cards about $500 each. Last night, I calmed down about it and sort of figured out a schedule to get it paid off. Then thismorning, the dentist calls to say he wants me to come in to get some more fillings done. Every time I think I am done there, he thinks of some other thing I should get done that will cost me another $300. Plus he wants me to get braces, will be another 10 grand and 2 or 3 years of agony. My teeth don’t hurt, they look OK, and I can eat okay. So I am just going to tell him to go fuck himself, and change dentists before my next cleaning. He is worse than the Ford dealership on this stuff (and more expensive!).

I’m so proud of myself. My litte C program to convert directory listings to html is mostly working. It’s been almost 4 years since I worked with C on a daily basis, so it was very muddled when I started. I couldn’t remember any specifics about file i/o, and string operations were not too clear either. But it can read a file and convert it, so it is technically functional. I’ll add more to it later, but it looks like I’ll be able to work with this.

I got my Queensryche fan club stuff today – a signed photo, some stickers, and the price list for other merchandise. It was pretty quick – about 8 days turnaround time.

Life is otherwise boring, and I’m going to give in to my TV vice and watch ER.