Kim

My digital interface project has been a disaster sofar, and I’ve had no luck with it. I spent a couple of hours screwing with it last night – it just involves hooking up three wires inside my PC case, and doing a little soldering, but no luck. I suck at soldering – it frustrates me to no end. By the time I gave up on the project, the apartment was a disaster, and I spent almost another hour putting things away. I’m wondering how many people will be killed during my “simple” water pump swap on the VW tomorrow. I’m thinking of doing some of the work on Saturday, then going home to calm down for a while and finish the job on Sunday. It’s 11 bolts, only 11 bolts, but I’ve got to drain the damn antifreeze first. I wish I had my own garage.

Virginia came over last night and we saw Men in Black. Did I write about this already? During the film, Kim Gibson called and I had to wave her off and promise to call her back today. I thought she had fallen off the face of the Earth – she was living with her boyfriend, and the last time I called, the number was disconnected. She’s in my address book like 28 times – home numbers, work numbers, pager numbers – I don’t know what the fuck’s what. I thought about calling her parents and asking, but I’ve already done that once in the past and I don’t want to repeat it. So she called, and she was at home – her and the boyfriend are living with her parents, and she’s still getting married this summer.

Fuck, I’ve just realized I’ve been telling this story and it’s of nosignificance except to maybe two people on this planet, and neither one reads this. I guess I could go back to the beginning of 1993 and tell the whole story, but I don’t want any permanent, public record that would later piss someone else off. So I’ll shut up, and just say that it was good to hear she hasn’t fallen off the face of the earth, and I’m looking forward to giving her a call later tonight and exchanging the last 6 or 8 months of what’s been going on in my life.

Shit, a lot’s happened in 8 months. That’s 10/19/97 to present. All of the medical bullshit from last fall, a trip home, my first Christmas away from home, Bill moving back to Vincennes, new computer crap, the split with Karena, lots of writing, another car – and those are just the quantitative changes. There have been so many emotional changes I can’t even explain over the phone. Oh well.

I’ve seen 29 of the top 100 American movies. Whether this is good or bad is left as an exercise to the reader.

06/19/98 23:05

I never realized online journals had to have a huge apologetic introduction that tells people who know the journaler not to read any further. When the hell did this start? Why bother doing a journal if its anonymous? The whole anonymous, geocities thing seems a little too odd to me. When is the last time you’ve picked up a paperback novel that said “don’t read this if you know me?”

It’s been an unproductive evening. I had the aforementioned phone conversation with Kim, and we talked for a few hours. There’s an odd rapport between us, but I guess it’s good. I resisted talking about the past, but it eventually came up. I feel stupid talking to anyone about 1992 like it was 1952 or something, but I guess it’s inevitable. Within time, every person’s conversations turn into nostalgia and medical malady.

I have pictures I took one of the last weekends I saw Kim, in 1993. They aren’t of her, or me – I snapped some photos of my room at 414 S. Mitchell, before and after I packed up the last of my shit and moved out. My lease on my boardinghouse room there lasted until August, but I moved back to Elkhart in search of better work, and left the room vacant, along with all of the non-essential gear I couldn’t fit in Ray Miller’s mom’s stationwagon when he moved me back in May. On the 4th of July, I drove my mom’s wagon to get everything else, and while I spent the weekend there, I hung out with Kim for a bit. This was when I was dating Tanya, and she was in Tampa for the summer. I was still very much in love with her, and probably didn’t have second thoughts about it, but there was a weird vibe between me and Kim then. One night we went driving around in her car – she even let me drive – and went to Colonial Crest to see my apartment for next year. It was an eerie combination of eras, seeing the place where I’d spend the next year, spending time with her, sleeping in the room where so much had happened and that I’d soon never see again. I’m suprised I didn’t have an anneurism.

Kim had the disgusting habit of only listening to Billy Joel, something that got my second girlfriend a pink slip (among many other reasons). It’s odd that I still like the album Glass Houses in a weird, closeted way. It was one of the first pop albums my parents owned, so when I was 9 or 10, I played the shit out of it. I still have the entire thing memorized note for note. Don’t tell anyone.

Listening to Fear Factory right now, some heavy duty industrial-metal stuff. It brings back some strong memories from 92 and 93 – answering mail at Ray’s house that summer, listening to this, the Danzig EP, Gorefest, and the second Dismember album on his little CD player.

I’ve got a book to write. I’m sure I’ll be bitching about this water pump transplant tomorrow.

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I got the fear!

I’ve been obsessed with the image of someone eating a bunch of nutmeg, screaming “I got the fear!” and then jumping out of my window.

Dream last night – I was at my ex-step-grandparents’ house. (i.e. the parents of my mom’s second and now ex-husband) It was a tense situation, and they offered me a drink. Like Bukowski, I asked for a vodka-7. I’ve never had one in real life, so when I knocked it back, I was amazed at what it tasted like.

Still working on Naked Lunch. I think I’m at the halfway point now. It’s nice when I hit a little piece that’s on one of his CDs because I can hear his voice reading it to me. I guess there’s a NL book on tape – maybe I should find a copy.

I feel like I’m getting back into Rumored to Exist mode, even though the wordcount isn’t climbing at this time. I’ve been moving a few things around, and it’s starting to make more sense to me now. I still wish I was writing 2000 words a night – it seems like I’m averaging 200.

Speaking of which – supposed to meet vlore tonight and rent a movie, so I should be writing a bit now…

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Reading Naked Lunch

More vivid dreams last night, but nothing directly related to the book. When I fall asleep and see my characters, then I’ll know I’m fully immersed in this thing. I’m getting more done each day, but it’s still slow.

The reading of Naked Lunch has been smooth, my best attempt yet. Although I’m into all of this beat generation posturing, I’ve never read Naked Lunch all the way through. I love the movie, and I’ve read other WSB stuff. And I love On the Road – I manage to re-read it every year. But I always seem to get stuck partway through NL. It’s a hard book to read – you need to take it slow, and really pay attention. It’s not 100% linear, so you have to be prepared when it throws you by talking about a character that hasn’t been introduced yet. But it’s making more sense now, and giving me ideas.

Nothing else.

06/17/98 22:11

Sometimes, when I pull into my parking spot just as the song on tape is ending, I wonder if this is all choreographed. But, you can drive yourself nuts trying to figure that one out. You’ll end up putting your hand into a radial arm saw and shouting “I bet that wasn’t planned!”

The original soundtrack/score from the movie Naked Lunch is one of my most prized CDs. And I didn’t even buy it – Ray Miller gave it to me when he was in Seattle in 1995. Howard Shore in front of the London Phil, with a lot of horn work from Ornette Coleman. It’s simply incredible, laid-back, eerie stuff. It has this eerie jazz/bop feel, like you’re wandering the dark streets of New York circa 1948, but other tracks have the slightly Tangiers feel of Interzone. A lot of people slag the movie for its variance from the book (not me – I love it) but this music is unmistakably incredible. I was reading the book last night, and I put in the CD – it really hit the spot.

Every once in a while, Michael Stutz sends me something in the mail that makes me think we should find a third writer and start our own beat generation. He could be Al Ginsberg (he’s met him like a million times) and I could get a little more weirded out and be Bill Burroughs. Now all we need is a Kerouac, and maybe a Cassady for kicks. Anyway, Micheal wrote a highly indugent, first-person novel called Sunclipse, that reminds me a lot of Summer Rain. Even more than that, I think we both went through a similar process in writing – the need to get the feelings down, to capture the past, and the inability to turn anyone else on to such a plottless journey. Today he sent me a story he wrote after finishing Sunclipse, that talked about why he wrote it, and reminded me a lot of the writing I did on the third book, about why I wanted to work on Summer Rain. It makes me realize I’m not alone in the work I did on SR, even though I feel alone in that few people have read it or understood what was going on.

I ate at Jack in the Box for the first time tonight. I know, it’s a death sentence, “we cook the shit out of our burgers”, etc. It’s a weird little place because they offer so much on their menu – weird stuff like fish and chips, tacos, breakfast, pita bowls, and more – it’s not just burgers, burgers, and one fish sandwich. I was going to get an antenna ball for my office or something, but I didn’t for some reason. The food’s okay, but I really shouldn’t be eating hamburgers.

I was listening to the track “Welcome to Annexia”, and someone outside honked their horn in almost perfect time with one part, so it sounded like it belonged on CD. As Bill would say, nothing is true; everything is permitted.

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Kroger golf

I woke up at 7:30, almost full rested, after some weird dreams about playing golf inside a Kroger store and taking a shower in a 2’x2′ stall in the back of a 7-11 while on vacation in New York. I ate a bunch of nachos and salsa right before bed, so blame them.

Nothing else is going on. I’m going to work on my book now.

06/16/98 21:55

The desire to buy a drum set for my office fades as I get into the book. I managed to get a few lines down during lunch, and I’m thinking about it more. I need to let this take over, like a virus, until I can’t talk about anything but time travel and multiple storylines and the whole deal. I hope this happens soon. To help it along, I’m rereading Naked Lunch, getting into Burroughs. His writing seems to get stuck in my head. The last time I read NL was on a plane on the way to Boston. When I got there, I hooked up with some people and went on a massive pubcrawl in Harvard Square. It was the Saturday before Halloween, and people in costumes were roaming the streets. After a few drinks, it all became Interzone to me.

Speaking of, some of Kerouac’s journals from 1948-1950 are in the newest issue of New Yorker. It was $4 and there are only a few pages’ worth, but I really dug it. This was on the tail end of The Town and the City, his first book, but it was the period that was chronicled in On the Road. It’s great, but it makes me wish I had a couple of writing friends here in Seattle, a tight-(or not so tight) knit group of writers and weirdos that end up in all of my stories. My friend Michael Stutz is looking for the same thing, but he’s out in Ohio. Maybe with a few more enlightened souls, we’ll create some kind of online beat generation possee that swaps manuscripts on the web, and takes the occassional roadtrip to meet the others. It’s a thought.

I’m listening to Burroughs’ Spare Ass Annie. More specifically, “The Junky’s Christmas.” I’m probably not going to be home this year, and I’m not going to be with Karena, either. So I guess Christmas will be a few phone calls, a junk food binge, some sleeping in, a few xmas albums, and this track. Sure beats spending 12 hours in an airport, I guess.

Time to get working…

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Drum set in the office

Monday. Raining. Dark. Cold. Pass the Robitussen.

I have an overwhelming urge to buy a drum set. If you’ve ever seen my apartment, you’d see the humor in this statement. I’d have better luck putting it in my office.

One of the editors at Mad magazine has a drum set in his office.

I’ve been listening to the same Jawbreaker CD all weekend.

I almost got in a car wreck last night. The guy in front of me stopped on the bridge on I-5, and I had to lock the brakes at 65, in the rain. I was 100% certain I was going to hit. I stopped so close, I don’t think you could’ve put a sheet of paper between the bumpers.

I think it stopped raining, but it still looks ugly.

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The journal police

I haven’t started writing yet tonight, if that tells you anything about how fucked up my schedule is this weekend.

I spent part of the day at Andrea Milor’s, getting a bunch of photos scanned. It was cool to hang out there – I’ve never spent any time in Redmond before, and it’s good to know I can almost find my way around the east side sometime.

I also paid the ailing VW a visit while picking up some videos at Karena’s. It’s definitely the water pump – I can move the pulley back and forth with my hand, it is wet around the spindle, and the radiator is low. I am going to attempt the repair myself next weekend. I did move the new amp and adjust the gain, and it sounds a lot better than before. I didn’t test it with a MiniDisc, but with a tape, it doesn’t distort as much. It’s hard to really know until you’re driving down the road with the music running.

I thought I was broke all weekend, but it turns out I got paid. So I went to the CD store and picked up some stuff – a CD of Captain Janks prank phone calls, a Jawbreaker album that I really dig, and a KMFDM CD. I don’t know much about them, but the whole German industrial artist thing is pretty cool. It makes me wish I was creating some art instead of sitting on my ass. It also makes me think about painting my whole apartment black, and then tig-welding a bunch of dead machinery, old car parts, and other hunks of metal all over the walls and ceiling until the place looks like the set to a Tool video.

I’ve been doing tiny amount of incremental organizing and rearranging around the apartment, and I’m trying to figure out how to build new bookshelves to replace some of the old ones, in an order to squeeze in a few more books. It’s a real horrorshow when a cleaning operation involves buying hundreds of dollars of Craftsman power tools and raw lumber. I will, of course, paint the new shelves black.

I guess I screwed up and didn’t really write anything on Saturday, since it’s technically Sunday. I’m sure the journal police will find me and beat the living shit out of me later.

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La Jetee

Todd Duffin taped two DVDs full of film shorts or me, because there was this Henry Rollins thing on there. I haven’t had time to watch everything yet, so last night I zipped through the tape a bit. To my surprise and delight the film La Jetee was on there. La Jetee is a French film that was the basis for Twelve Monkeys. It’s a a black and white montage film from the early sixties, and it has no moving images – just shots of photos, with narration (which was replaced with English narration here) and a haunting score. It’s about a post WWIII world where everyone is underground living like rats, and the government is experimenting with sending prisoners back in time to get food and energy. It turns out that at the end of the film, the guy realizes that when he was a little kid, he saw himself get killed. So the whole film is really this strange loop.

Weird films like this really get to me, in the good way. I was thinking about this for hours last night, about how their time travel rules and mechanisms worked. I love time travel – I don’t know if it’s because I look back at periods in the semi-near past with extreme nostalgia, or if it’s just the scifi geek in me. Most people would travel into the far future or the far past. Most people are only interested in gold arbitrage, or going back to “the good old days”. If I was seriously given the chance to go to any time, I’d probably only go back 5 or 10 years.

I shouldn’t talk about it because it is a work in progress, and it’s also seriously fucked up at this point, but my second book talks about time travel extensively, which means I’ve spent a lot of time lately “researching” it. (i.e. watching the Back to the Future movies) Any time travel book or movie needs to have a weird twist, like La Jetee’s weird book-ending. There are at least five different versions of me in this book, all talking in first person. It’s not as confusing as it sounds, but it’s confusing enough to make you think.

Why do I lose weight faster when I don’t exercise?

Someday, this war’s gonna end.

06/12/98 21:37

I miss VMS process names. I’m listening to Corrosion of Conformity right now – 5 years ago, I would’ve done a SET PROC/NAME=”VoteWithABullet” and waited for a reply.

The new Details magazine is here, with Ben Affleck on the cover. I didn’t know he was dating Gwenyth Paltrow. I guess the little gold man did him well. This month’s issue is better than usual; articles grabbing my attention were about demolition derbies and CMC records. I’d like to try the former sometime, and I was suprised to see how mildly positive they were about a record putting out mostly 80’s heavy metal bands, especially considering they are constantly pushing $5,000 watches in their style pages. I think my subscription runs out soon, and when it does, I probably won’t be renewing. They put so many ads in the damn thing, they should be paying me to subscribe.

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Coltrane, Camaro

I’m still listening to Coltrane and loving the hell out of it.

I’m once again obsessed with the idea of restoring an old Camaro. I could probably pull together the money for the car and some of the tools after tax time. I’d need to find a good two-car garage, cheap – maybe in Tacoma. I’ve memorized every single nut and bolt you need to remove to turn a ’71 Z-28 RS back into air, earth, fire and water. I’ve memorized many Chevy part numbers I’ll need to know once I’ve stripped down the 350 cid engine. This sequence is played and replayed in my head: remove trim; remove front sheet metal; strip interior; pull engine and transmission; seperate engine and transmission; strip engine down to the bare block; remove tires; raise body; remove subframe; strip front suspension; strip rear suspension; strip body; buy a bunch of parts and go backward from here. I would document everything – film each step with my camcorder, and write down everything. Then I’d pay $1200 a year to store it, and I’d drive it 100 miles a year. It sounds nuts, but it’s more practical than a room full of beanie babies.

I keep having these life-changing, revelational ephiphanies, and then forgetting all about them a few hours later. Ever since I chucked the TV, I’ve been doing this more often. I guess I used to feel like part of the big NBC family, and I never tried to quantify things beyond that. Now… don’t get freaked out when I dig out all of the Zen books and start babbling about koans or ideal society models or whatever.

I drank the last of my high-octane, paint-stripping tea last night. Actually I didn’t drink the last half-glass because it looked like it housed an entire ecosystem of various debris and rubble. I’m hoping my body will now return to normal, or maybe it’ll take a few days of DTs and heavy withdrawl first.

If I keep listening to this Coltrane box set, I’m going to want to buy a tenor sax, and I’ll try to learn how to play for three weeks, tops. I wish I had a job where I had to sleep in my clothes and run down the tarmac at the sound of an alarm to get the bombers in the air within the 10 minutes it takes the Russian ICBMs to reach the base. I wish everyone had to take standardized achievement tests every 3 years, so people would brag about what they know about now, instead of what they knew about a long time ago. I wish the UN passed a standardized toilet treaty, so I could go anywhere in the world and find a good toilet. I wonder if a hang-glider would work from a 7-story apartment building. I wish I liked the taste of wine as much as I liked the cool looking bottles. I think about Jack Kerouac buying a jug of port and dragging it to Allen Ginsberg’s reading of Howl, or Bukowski drinking back some red in his shithole apartment while banging out the poems on his typer. Plastic two-liter bottles of Sprite don’t have the same aesthetic appeal.

Do chambermaids listen to chamber music?

06/11/98 22:32

I fell asleep after work – the thick, compressed sleep where it feels like you went through a weeks’ worth of REM sleep in an hour, and it takes a while to regain consciousness. Virginia Lore called, and we got into a long and 100% right-on discussion about relationships and, more specifically, my situation and my past. I’ve come to value the fact that my conversations with Virginia always fire on all 8 cylinders at high speed, and I can tell her a lot of weird stuff without freaking her out. I wish I could give you an example, but by definition, I can’t. Anyway, interesting talk, and now it’s going on 11 and I’m eating Burger King.

Was Burger Chef a Midwest-only thing, or did they have them nationwide? I remember really liking their hamburgers as a kid, and they had some kick-ass happy meals. If I remember correctly, they must’ve went under around 1980.

I’ve decided to put a bunch of useless facts about myself on my web page. I think I’m going to work on those more.

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As creative as a Reagan-era tax document

I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I feel as creative as a Reagan-era tax document. I managed to get some writing done last night, and it’s a really weird experience. Right now, I’m re-editing an old draft of my first book, and making edit marks with the intention of having others read them later. It’s truly weird, but the word count of this book is growing incredibly fast, because I’m slinging around parts of another book and importing them. This book was 100,000 words long before I even started.

I drank a bunch of this lethal iced tea I made on Sunday. I think I used way too much tea, like on the level that Indians used to mix with peyote during their tribal rituals. Side effects of this tea include nausea, vomiting, confusion, rapid breathing, body temperature fluctuation (+/- 12C), sleeplessness for the next week, and peripheral hallucinations. It also has strong diuretic properties, and tastes kindof like if they made a tobacco-flavored Kool Aid, and you mixed up two quarts of it with 17 cups of sugar. I made this stuff because I was too lazy to go to the store and get another 2-liter of something else. I learned my lesson – yet I’m still trying to finish off the pitcher.

Although I haven’t done anything about it, I’ve been thinking a lot lately on how I could redo my apartment to fit a bunch more junk in it, yet make it ultra-streamlined. I’m thinking along the lines of the apartment in The Fifth Element, where every square inch of the place would hide something. For example, I’m convinced I could cram twice as much stuff in my kitchen if I had some kind of all-out storage system. I don’t have a real, full-sized kitchen in the first place. It’s more like a kitchenette, like something you’d find in a dorm or a good hotel room. It has appliances that are mostly full-sized and everything, but it has like 9 square feet of counter space. I want all kinds of fold out storage racks inside and underneath everything. Shelves everywhere. Giant black anodized metal racks custom made to hold all of my CDs, tapes, VHS tapes, Hi8 tapes, floppies, QIC-80 backup cardriges, vinyl, MiniDiscs, and any other format I might stumble on in the near future. But it would all be hidden, or designed to look sleek. My apartment would like like a normal, toned down hotel room, but at the snap of my fingers, I could make a kick-ass stereo, a big TV, a minibar, and a thousand-book library appear out of nowhere.

I have an overwhelming urge to date a woman who works at Medieval Times. Confession of the day. I’m outa hare.

06/10/98 19:34

I’m eating breakfast for dinner. I was trying to figure out what to make, when it dawned on me that I had the perfect stuff for a kick-ass breakfast: scrambled egg beaters, toast, frozen french fries, and fresh-juiced grapefruit ala the juiceman. Good stuff.

More good stuff – I got Coltrane’s complete 1961 village vanguard recordings on a 4-CD set in the mail today. I’m still on disc one, but it’s some heavy duty shit. Original tapes, between-track talking and audience sound, 20-bit mastering, and some pretty slick packaging make this worth every penny. Now I need to get some blank MD to record this thing.

I can’t wait until they come out with some sort of recording device that hooks into your spine and lets you take a color capture of the image in your mind. I think a weird but cool think would be taking a picture of your mental image of someone from the computer before you met them, and then when you meet them, you could go “whoa – here’s what I thought you looked like” and show them the photo, and you could have a good laugh about it.

I thought about this because fellow writer Michael Stutz told me he had a weird dream about me the other night, moving to California because my house in Seattle was infested with cockroaches (or something – sorry if i paraphrazed too much there, Michael.) Anyway, this scenario comes up frequently for me with the whole computer deal – I’ve known so many people I’ve never met, and you pick up a mental image of people like that from the weirdest cues. I’m bad about picking up an image based on name – if a person has a name similar to a movie star or someone else I know, I’ll always associate the two. If I met a woman on the computer named Demi, I would think she looked like Demi Moore, even if she told me a thousand times that she was 5′-0, 240 lbs, with long, blonde hair and no breasts. I’d still think of G.I. Jane. Anyway, I’ve been pretty close in my predictions sometimes, and sometimes I’ve been WAY off, both in the good and the bad way. Either way, it’s fun.

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Col. Kurtz, old journals

I stayed up late (a subjective term these days) last night and watched Apocalypse Now. It’s been a while, and I felt a need to go up the river with Col. Kurtz myself. You know it’s a weird night when you’re thinking more about the mission and the river than the helicopters and explosions. The movie really hit the spot.

I read a bunch of old journals from the end of 1995, trying to find out when I named my second book, Rumored to Exist. It’s always odd to read old stuff, but it’s even stranger to find thick, deep, intellectual writing in a time when I thought I was just dicking around and spending too much money. 1995 now feels like a different era to me, and all of my old struggles and exclamations made it an interesting read.

I swore against it, but I feel another trip to Indiana coming on. I think it might be the same deal as last year, but it depends on money. I feel a need to shoot a lot more video of Bloomington this time. It’ll be nice to travel with a MiniDisc, too. A MiniDisc, a GameBoy, a camcorder, a cellphone – I think RoboCop hauled around less gear.

I’m going to go eat pizza in a second, and then go to the movies with my team at work, so I better split.

06/09/98 19:47

We went to see The Truman Show today. It was okay. It’s hard to say it’s a great movie, because then it puts you right in the demographic of the pathetic people they satirize. I don’t know if that’s a hidden joke, or a way of business. It wasn’t the kind of movie I’d pay to see, but it wasn’t as unbearable as being forces to paying to see a Julia Roberts movie with one of your friend’s recent ex-girlfriends, or watching Threesome with your mom. (both happened – don’t ask).

Actually, the whole premise of the movie was too similar to the excellent and overlooked Dark City, which did the whole city-you-can’t-escape thing, except with this whole scifi/noir thing which was the best cinematography I’ve seen in a while. It flaked out toward the end, though.

Someone should make a self-balancing washer. The basket would have water chambers around the perimeter and in the hub, and it would fill the ones opposite the imbalance. Maybe there’s an easier way – IU didn’t have an engineering program. I wish they did – I would’ve tried to get in some classes, maybe learn how to blow up bridges or do cool things with liquid hydrogen.

It’s time to work on the book.

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