Lack of food and jazz

I haven’t eaten “real” food in a few days now, and although I feel a little tired, there’s a strange clear-headedness about it. I can’t remember things as well, but I thought it would be a lot worse. I’m feeling somewhat better, and maybe this round of stomach problems is over, but I don’t want to go from a diet of cup-a-soup right into a gyro sandwich from the mall or something.

I’ve probably said this before, but I wish writing were a more collaborative effort, like music. I’ve been listening to some jazz lately: Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, John Coltrane, and I’ve been reading up on these guys. It’s incredible how the jazz scene in New York and really all over the place was so strong back in the 50s, when bop was spreading like a plague everywhere. It links to the whole Kerouac-Burroughs-Ginsberg thing. I guess if I ever get any writing done and then die, everyone will think that me, Ray and Larry were an inseperable group in the same way.

Anyway – jazz – it’s music I like. It’s the kind of music that makes me wish I played an instrument or had an old secondhand sax in my apartment so I could teach myself. Before the day of the guitar hero, these guys were king. I’m listening to Coltrane now, and wishing I had a hundred more CDs in my collection. I’ve been looking to find some genre of music to replace the now-defunct death metal collection. It’s good laid-back music, but I’m not sure it can do everything. It does support a community though, in the sense that there’s so much history and folklore and audience. So maybe I’ll spend more time in the jazz section of the record store. I don’t think I’ll be spending any cash on a sax, though.


Dreams, gameworks, Apple CDs

Ever have one of those days where you have some free time, some cash in your pocket, more in the bank, and you just want to go out and do something by yourself like buy a whole stack of books or look at CDs for 6 hours or try on new leather coats or something like that? I’m still feeling sick, or else I would.

Dream from last night: I sold my Escort and bought a Ferarri convertible. I was nervous about calling my insurance company because I was sure they’d drop my policy. I went to a high school reunion and saw a girl I used to like named Christi. She was with some guy, and she asked me what I’d been doing. I told her I just bought a new Ferarri and she got all pissed, because she had a beat up Honda and it just broke down that week.

Food: mix two cup-a-soup packets in a mug: one cream of chicken, one chicken broth with noodles. Add a cup of hot water and mix. I’m still sick, still not eating solids. I tried to eat at Subway yesterday and it almost fucking killed me.

I went to Gameworks last night with Bill. Because of all the hype surrounding the opening, and because it is right by a Planet Hollywood, I thought it would be a trendy place full of assholes, overpriced, etc. It wasn’t too bad – sunday night has a special where you can play everything from 9-11pm for $10. They had the 360 degree jet game I played at Disney, and I got another run on that. Most of the games were newer, and there were only a handful of old 80s games, all of them Atari units like Missile Command and Centipede. I was hoping for Smash TV or Star Wars – oh well. There was a driving game that I liked a lot, and a networked tank game that kicked ass. One shoot-em-up game had a big Rambo-like machine gun that you had to hold with two hands that shook as you blasted the hell out of everything in your path. I loved not having to worry about money – they gave you a smart card with an infinite balance, which was nice for those $1.75 games.

I somehow got signed up to the Apple Developer List, and someone just dropped off a stack of CDs for me. I think I’m going to go install a bunch of junk on my Mac…


Memories fading

I need to start working on a book again. This morning in the shower, I decided I need to pick up the Rumored to Exist draft and start working on it full time, until the end of the year. Last night, I thought about Summer Rain more, but I decided I’m not in the right mood to work on that book anymore. Maybe in a while, but I think those memories are fading and the events are becoming more insignificant to my life (although they were the most significant events I’ve had – nothing has replaced them, but they’ve faded with time).

I still don’t know my direction with selling this book or printing it myself or whatever. I’m mostly concerned with writing the damn thing. I want to make my next cut of the manuscript much longer, maybe twice as long, and I want each piece to blend into the next one somehow. Plus I’m hoping the new stuff will be as strange as the last third of the current draft – all of the stuff I wrote in late 96 and this year. It’ll take some work, but I need a new project.

I’m not as sick today, but I’m still having problems. It feels like fall out today – clouds and cold, but breaks of real sun flirting through the occasional rain. It feels alone – reminds of me being in Bloomington about four years ago, walking alone on a sunday and feeling the wind tear through my leather jacket. I don’t know how I could miss walking in the rain every day, but sometimes I do…


Sick day

I was sick today, and spent the day at home. That’s why I’m writing this late at night, which feels a little weird to me. Anyway, my stomach was bothering me again, and I almost got ready for work and out the door before it really nailed me, so I got back in bed.

My apartment has been getting colder, which is a welcome change, but I don’t want to start running the heat until I have to, because I have one of those expensive and inefficient baseboard heaters. Also, since it’s been sitting for 6 months, it will most certainly release noxious fumes when all of the dust in the filaments burns off. Sleeping in a cold apartment is heaven, especially after all of the 90 degree weather of the last few months. I love getting under my blankets with a book and keeping warm while reading. It’s great at night, but even better during the day. I’d often sit in bed on Saturday mornings and read until well past lunch, which is one of the most relaxing things I can do.

So that’s how I started the day. I kept reading my Mars book, and listened to the traffic outside my window, and felt the cool radiance from the weather. When I woke up thismorning, it was dark, cloudy, rainy and cold. I kept the blinds closed and kept with the book. After a while, I got up and put in a christmas CD, one of those Windham Hill Solstice CDs. Being in a cold apartment reminded me of when I spent holidays freezing my ass off in the Mitchell apartment, or in other places in Bloomington. Cold reminded me of winter.

I fell in and out of sleep as I was reading, and then really started thinking about the xmas CD. The music reminded me too much of people and places from 3, 4, or 5 years ago. It’s not that I have traumatic memories of college, but sometimes my memories are too good. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion for me, and all of that hit me at once. I thought of this ex that I was dating around one holiday break, which is ironic because it was xmas music and she was jewish. But it felt heavy to me.

Before I started reading old e-mail or dragging out pictures, I opened up the blinds and was greeted by some warm sunlight. The bed and floor heated faster than my wimpy baseboard unit could accomplish, so I got out of bed to find something else to do. I spent the rest of the day weaving in and out of cleaning the apartment and reading more of the Mars book. It seems like I spend so little time here sometimes, or the time I spend here is in decompression or sleeping, not in living. Alone and with the day to myself, I was able to clean things I hadn’t touched in over a year, and think about simplification.

Since the whole liver thing started a few months ago, simplification has been a bigger issue in my life. At first, I wanted to find ways to simplify my diet, so I could make eating fast and healthy, not fast or healthy. This meant knowing what to eat, what to buy, and turned me into a cheaper shopper. Once I had a couple of extra bucks here and there (well, more than a couple after I stopped eating fast food every day), I started thinking more about money. Some things save me money or time, like stocking up on stuff at the store. It’s also a nice psychological thing, making me feel like I have more here. If you spend $20 on a surplus of canned food, cup-a-soup, and kool-aid, you won’t feel like the cupboards are bare and you won’t feel poor. All of this is slowly blossoming into other issues with me and simplification – I got more shelves for my books; I do my laundry more often and reorganized where it goes; I can see my desk now – lots of little things, making life easier to manage.

Anyway, I take back the low grocery bill thing, because I went to the store and spent like $60, without buying many appreciable food items. I finally bought a lot of cleaning stuff I’ve been out of forever, and just stocked my cache of nonperishables.

I didn’t eat almost anything all day except for toast and cup-a-soup, but Karena came over and I managed to eat a salad and a bananna. We watched all of the new shows, and she was amazed that I did the dishes finally. Well, the mold did most of the dishes, then I cleaned off the mold.

I have to finish this journal so I can finish the print one. I wish they were one in the same – maybe if Apple keeps the Newton going and in a few generations comes up with something way better. Who knows. Anyway, hope I’m not sick again tomorrow….



Rain. It’s one of those days.

I’ll spend the afternoon watching drops fall on the pavement six stories below my office, watching the funky clouds drift over the condominiums across the street from the Puget Sound and over to Lake Union. I never turn on the lights in my office because I have two windows, so on days like today, I work in almost total darkness, just the glow of two monitors on my face.

The rain pretty much symbolizes my feelings right now. I’ve finished the zine and mailed all of the issues today, and now I can get my life back on track. I haven’t slept in a while, my back is shot from bending over a stapler all night, I feel like I have carpal tunnel syndrome from folding, and I have some kind of toner-blacklung thing going on. But now it’s done, and I get to sleep, rest, and get back to reading trashy scifi and scribbiling in my notebooks.

One summer in Bloomington, five years ago, it rained for what seemed like two weeks straight. Everything was flooded to hell, and the worms were on the pavement because their holes got all fucked up or something. I almost went insane, because I had to walk to classes, drive to work, etc, and it just stayed gray outside for so long. It was like the Twilight Zone where the Earth went too close to the sun and it stayed really hot outside, and everyone was going nuts trying to get out of the cities.

That’s sort of like what winter is like in Seattle. It’s 40, raining like hell, and stays that way for a long time. Maybe I should drop $500 to get one of those all-out sunlamps that you’re supposed to use to avoid depression from lack of sunlight. I’m afraid the DEA will do an infrared scan on my apartment and bust me for growing dope. I’ll come home and find exactly 101 plants in my closet, and I’ll get some mandatory sentence even though I’ve never used pot in my life.

I’m listening to Type O Negative, the perfect music for rainy weather….


Zine post-partum depression

My zine is done. I did my traditional thing for zine good luck, kiting a check, and printed everything last night. I thought it would only take a few minutes, and I went before eating supper. I wanted to wait there until they were done, and I spent over an hour in Office Depot, looking at the computer stuff over and over. They have some nice furniture that would never fit in my apartment there, and I found some crappy computer books, but otherwise it was a long wait.

By the time I got dinner, talked to some people, etc. it was about 10:30 and the folding and stapling operation only yielded about 50 zines before I couldn’t see straight. I’m hoping to finish tonight.

Today’s disaster was trying to find a post office – they are well-hid in Seattle, and the USPS web site lists addresses of buildings that were tore down in the 1900’s or postal jeep repair facilities. I spent all of my lunch hour trying to find one, no luck. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get there. It’s not as if I need a couple of dollars worth of 32 cent stamps – I need some pretty esoteric stuff – 23 cent coils, panes of 55 cent stamps, priority mail envelopes, etc.

After the dust settled last night, I sat in bed with the first issue I assembled, and read through it. I like the stuff, and it’s satisfying to see it in a booklet format. Maybe in a few months, after I’ve forgotten everything about it, the thing will look better. I’ve read through the whole thing 27 times in the last week, so it’s still pretty burned into my head.

Now I’m suffering from some strange post-partum-ish depression with this zine release. I like the zine, but I don’t know of that many people who will read it. I liked it back in the death metal days when I knew I could sell as many zines as I printed, and I had plenty of other people to trade ads, tapes, zines, and readers with. I’m not sure this zine will live another issue, partly because of this, and partly because of money. It would cost me almost $1000 a year to just give away a quarterly zine like this, and I could be doing cooler things with $1000. Hence, the feelings of unease.

I was reading some of the diary criticism stuff on the web – I can’t believe people take themselves that seriously. I write this online diary as a small side project, a way to tell my news to the people who follow it and a way to later go back and search for things or use the electronic records for nostalgia or whatever. There are people who must spend all of their time writing these great academic philisophical tracts about everything, and doing intricate html with imagemaps, high graphics, and everything else. Here’s some insight into what it takes for me to create this page: I hit Control-X Control-J, and then if it is a new page, I hit Control-C Control-T. Then I type the text, save it with a Control-X Control-S, and log out. It is indexed automatically. If I “had” to do anymore, I wouldn’t keep this journal – I’d stick to paper. Oh well, different strokes for different folks.