Buk, junk

Hangin’ out, eatin’ junk food, readin’ Bukowski. I better get back to it.

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South of no writing

I guess I forgot to write stuff for today – it’s like 11:37 at night and I’m getting ready to fuck around with some other writing before I go to bed. I’m also trying to put too-old cheese onto triscuit crackers with marginal success. It could, however, show more results than the writing.

I guess I feel somewhat better about my writing right now. I have been reading Bukowski again; I got through almost all of _South of No North_ last night and today. It’s good to think about him – how he wrote in college and then didn’t write for another 25 years. He spent all of that time chasing women, drinking, living in roominghouses, and pawning off his typewriters. If I don’t write now, I’ll write later.

Speaking of writing now, I better get to it.

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I almost forgot to write anything today. Hate when that happens.

Life’s been more of this really low-level thinking, planning, trying to figure out why I feel so weird and why I’m not accomplishing anything. I don’t feel like I could just sit down and write a novel or anything, and I get really restless that I’m not in front of the typer all night, or driving across the country or planning something big or whatever. I realize I talk about this every day, but it feels like such a rut. I haven’t been underway on a book-sized piece of writing in over a year now, and I don’t think that dinking around with minor (or even major) edits on my first two books would satisfy the urge.

Maybe I just need to read more. Usually when I read a bio about somebody who starved and wrote a masterpiece on the back of used index cards, I get enough energy to think of a new project and get things going. At least it gives me the energy to think again. I did see this special on D.B. Cooper last night and thought it would be cool to do some piece of fiction about him. It’s a cool story.

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More rockets, less writing

It’s pouring rain in Seattle again – a good reason to stay inside, do nothing. The weather’s supposed to stay gross for the next few days, so maybe I can crack out a book and get some reading done or something.

Memorial day weekend was pretty lax – we mostly stayed at home and watched movies, and I did get to launch rockets on Sunday. But it wasn’t very outdoorsy, mostly clouds. The sun broke through here and there, but it stayed pretty dreary.

I wish I had some money right now, to buy some more rockets, and maybe get some other modeling supplies. I am really getting into it now, I like to kill time while building. I want to get some more kits and maybe start some sort of custom job. We’ll see.

I’m getting more and more freaked out about my lack of writing. I am sounding like a broken record about all of this, but I have completely panned out any creative writing at this point, and don’t know how it will restart. It’s just a strange feeling, like I am an athlete who isn’t exercising anymore, just thinking about mowing the lawn and stuff. I’d like to get back into it, but I have no motivation. I guess as long as I am doing other things, it will work out. We’ll see.

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Spraypaint fumes, not a muse

I haven’t been writing at all lately – I think it is from spraypaint fumes, but I’m not sure. I just haven’t been overly ambitious with journals or writing or anything. One day this week, I wrote like 5 pages in my paper journal (I usually just write 1 a day), but then I also skipped days. It’s just been one of those spells.

I have been building model rockets though. I don’t remember if I said it, but I got a starter set and launched the Alpha III rocket 6 times and then lost it. I built 3 more rockets and bought one of those Estes blast-off kits with 24 engines. So maybe I will go launch some more this weekend.

Building rockets has been very hypnotic. I sit on the bed, with a large drafting board turned workbench, and build away while a CD or maybe CNN drones in the background. When I was building 3 kits at once, an entire night flew by before I realized it. It’s very tranquil. My only two regrets were lack of more models and lack of space. It would be nice to have an entire room to build rockets, but now I have to juggle stuff around in my studio apartment. Spraypainting is a bitch – the first rocket, I tried it on my patio. Instantly, about a pount of Seattle airborne soot and pollution stuck to the paint, giving it a really fucked up appearance. I painted the next two in my kitchen, inside of a microwave oven box, with newspapers everywhere. It worked OK once I got the hang of it, but after I cleaned up, I did find a few spots of paint on the tile. I was able to clean it with nail polish remover. But as I get more organized, I am finding more ways to make the building easier. And I will keep buying more new kits…

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Another day. Not much has been going on, hence the lack of journals. I’ve been really lax about writing in journals, reading, etc. I don’t know if it is writer’s block or apathy or just a wandering of the mind. I’m not worrying about it too much – either it will come back, or it won’t.

I’ve been messing with rockets more. On Thursday, I bought a starter set with an Alpha III rocket and the whole pad and launcher. On Saturday, we went out to a Soccer field in Longview, and I launched 6 times. Unfortunately, I lost on the 6th launch, which was a bummer. I have 3 other rockets though, so my fleet will soon be underway once I build them. I just hope I have enough space by then – there aren’t many big fields in Seattle.

Not much else is going on….

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Dual-tanker trucks are not a suitable or accurate alarm clock

I totally spaced writing yesterday, and forgot to write in my paper journal the day before that. It’s been a weird week, a lot of work, something going on every night, and I have not been sleeping at all. It is hot enough out that I have to open the patio all the way to cool the place down. This leads to a lot of noise, and I wake up 3 or 4 times in the night when there’s an ambulance or some weird traffic on the highway. Those dual-tank trucks with the long bar between the trailers get going really fast down James Street and then have to stop, and the rear trailers bounce and jerk around and when I’m asleep, it pretty much sounds like a car being thrown around by an out of control tanker truck or something. So I wake half-up and wonder if there will be an explosion, and there never is. The product of this is that I don’t get enough REM sleep, so I start having dreams all the time, weird dreams. Last night I woke up and looked at the sky and because it was like 4:30 it was all grey. Somehow, I instantly had a dream right before this where I was dying from some sort of nuclear holocoust death-gas attack or something, and thinking “well, this is it. I can’t run away because I’m too tired and I need to go to work in 5 hours so it looks like I’m going to die in bed, which is probably better than being in my car.” Then I realized I was just loopy and went back to bed for a few more hours. I guess I did think about going in to work at like 5am and leaving after lunch, but I’d be dead from exhaustion.

Last night, I had to bring Bill to the airport, so we hung out and he bought me dinner at Black Angus. The place was fairly cool, because I got ribs and he got steak, but we also got this sampler, plus we got soups and bread, and we ended up with a giant, long wooden table covered with food. Of course we had long, disjointed conversations about life and money and who is working where, all of that stuff.

I just made a ninja throwing star with a CD and a pair of scissors. I cut these points out of the CD, so it looks like a sawblade or something. It is truly unreal. I wish I had a shittier CD player because I would try to play it.

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Writing in HTML

This is weird… this is my first entry in html. I have further screwed with the code a bit to let me enter stuff in html. It takes me more work now, so I need to automate things a bit…

I spent a lot of today screwing with a sparc5 at work, trying to get it to talk to the network. It was fun playing with solaris, but a pain in the ass to get it to work. Made the day go by faster anyway.

I heard from my friend Zara today, someone who I lost touch with about 6 months ago. Someone also told me my old roommate cut his hair and moved to Boston or something. I wonder what’s up with that.

It is pretty distracting to write in html. It’s much nicer to just plow across a blank page. This makes it feel more like editing, not writing. Oh well – I fucked things up enough that I can’t roll back.

I am running an edit of this movie I am making, which has been a pain in the ass. I am sad because I put so much into creating like 2 hours of footage and it looks like it will edit down to about 15 minutes. Bummer….

I should get back to this thing though….

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Windows open

I had to sleep with all of the windows open last night – spring is here. With the fresh air, 6 hours of sleep felt more like 10. I just have this fear of the temp dropping 60 degrees while I am asleep, so I wake up with pneumonia or something.

It’s the time of year that reminds me so much of summers in Indiana – 90 degrees in the day, but a cooler nighttime. My drive back from Longview last night was a flashback to so many summer nights from years ago.

I should probably explain this strange system of memory that I have. It basically has two parts. First, I always consider my life in the present tense to be very boring. I think that in the life of Jon Konrath in May of 1997, nothing is going on. I never think “wow, I am at the place to be”, regardless of what is going on. The second part is that I reminisce heavily about some point in time, usually 2 or 3 years ago. For example, in 1995, when I was working on my first book, I wished it was 1992 again. I missed all of the people from that time, and thought about how great it was, and noticed how much things had changed. Now, in 1992, I had a lot of fun but I also was stone-poor, depressed, and unsure about what direction life was going.

Anyway, it basically comes down to having a lot of memories of a lot of eras of my short life. Sometimes, the weather or a cologne, or a lost notebook, or a song or just a sudden realization will make me think about the past. It’s just odd sometimes.

I just got back from seeing Fifth Element again with Bill and Marc. It isn’t as incredible the second time – the annoying radio DJ gets more annoying. but the minor details were even better. Some of the edit cuts were also more obvious, good stuff.

I’m going to try to make a video now. More later.

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Chicago, old cow pastures

I’ve noticed this weird pattern between my online and paper journals. I write about stuff that happened the night before in my online stuff, and stuff that happened that day in my paper one.

Not much is going on here. I didn’t know it, but Indianapolis is bigger than Seattle. So is Columbus, OH and San Jose, CA. Seattle seems so much bigger than Columbus – I’ve only been there once, but it was like every other midwest city. It had a completely revitalized downtown area with brick streets, artwork, and brand new buildings, and then if you walked 5 blocks it would be all of these abandoned warehouses and bombed out neigborhoods. And then if you drove for another mile, you would be in a cornfield. When you drive on I-405 in LA or Seattle, there are buildings on both sides of you as you circle the city. When you’re on I-465, looping around Indianapolis, there is nothing but fields around you. Now there are a few yuppie suburbs and strip malls, but the transition from city to nothing is very abrupt. Compare that to Chicago – if you got on 72 – Higgins Road, somewhere around O-Hare, you could probably drive 50 miles and see nothing but wall to wall strip malls and subdivisions. The city of Chicago is huge, but the tentacles of the suburbs run forever.

I haven’t spent much time in Chicago, but I can almost navigate the highways to get around it and through it. Last summer, I flew into O’Hare late at night, rented a car, and drove to Elkhart. Driving through downtown on the express lanes at 100 in a brand new Corolla reminded me of every trip I’d ever taken there. I’d been there a billion times with my folks, visiting my grandparents and family, but that’s nothing like getting in your own car, cranking some music and taking the trip yourself. I wonder how many times I have taken the trip? Can I catalog it?

89 – w/ Larry to see Metallica
89 – w/ Steph
90 – w/ Becky – car broke down
90 – to drop off Becky at airport
90 – to pick up Becky, with Tom
90 – with Tom
91 – with Jo
92 – with Ray, merch incident
93 – with Ray, at least 3 or 4 times
94 – with Simms and A, from Bloomington
95 – return from Chicago, Angie’s graduation
96 – from O’Hare, mom’s wedding

So, I averaged about a trip a year, except for 1990, when I had nothing better to do. If you count layovers where I was stuck in O’Hare, there are at least 4 or 5 in the last 2 years.

Monkey see, monkey do, monkey will destroy you. Sorry, listening to Rollins again. I’ve been thinking about writing a bunch of fake letters to people and mailing them (in the real mail) not to be malicious, but to make people wonder what is going on. A sort of art, I guess.

I’ve been thinking about how much money I’d need to buy some land in the middle of nowhere and build a house. It’s a common recurring daydream for me, ever since I had to watch dozens of hours of Bob Vila videos during architecture class in high school. I’m convinced I could do most of the work on a house except for the foundation and the plumbing. I’m not sure I could do it by myself though, or right the first time, or while working a full time job. But every time I go to home depot, I start having fantasies in the plumbing section, looking at those giant fiberglass tubs and wishing I could start stocking up on 2x4s now while I save up for the land.

I guess land is a big weird thing here. I could probably buy up a piece of an old cow pasture in the middle of nowhere for under a grand an acre, but there would be no water, power, etc. It goes from $6000 lots on up to $2,000,000 parcels up on the plateau or whatever. But ideally, I think it would be possible to get a good 10 acre, ready to build lot for under $50K. But I don’t know. I’m full of shit when I say I know anything about buying land.

And when I bought it, I would be out of money and have to save more. It would be cool to buy a fucked up trailer, wheel it onto the lot, and then dump all of my money into the building. I don’t know. My mom is building a giant extension onto their house now. She found a builder who was going bankrupt and payed him up front, and then got the materials herself. And since she works in a giant interior decorating company, she got a lot of shit at cost or below cost. Stuff like cabinets, windows, she got for probably 40% their price from a builder. So maybe it wouldn’t cost $100,000 to build a house, especially if I wired, painted, decorated, and landscaped the damn thing myself.

Gotta go – must see teevee is on soon.

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