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Cars, Beppo

I haven’t felt like writing lately. Not much has been going on with life, and that makes the journal pages seem stupid (“I got up. I took a shower. I checked my voice mail. I dried my hair.” etc.) I don’t want my journal to become that predictable, especially since I’m stuck in a 9 to 5 life, and I’m not climbing the Himalayas or walking across Africa or something else profound. And I can’t spend time with giant fictional discourses, because I don’t have the time or energy to do that with my “real” writing, aka my book.

Some people wonder (hey, maybe they don’t) why I don’t do cool graphics and site design and intricate HTML in my pages. It’s because I’m not an HTML designer or a graphic artist, and I don’t want to be. Some people enjoy tweaking their HTML by hand to get every page just right, to add next and previous links and screw with jumps and colors and sidebars and counters. I have no desire to do that. This isn’t my main project in life. That’s why I don’t spend all night writing intricate, sharp, and witty articles. It shows. Why cares? I am not “creating content” right now. I’m writing. I’m keeping a journal. I don’t have to write my paper journal in perfect cursive, and I don’t need to lint all of my pages and worry about fonts and sizes.

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t care, and if I kept any attitude other than that, I’d quit this project again. I might, I don’t know. Maybe I’m in a slump, maybe this is a bad idea. I don’t know.

That said, let me dump two days of news on the table.

I took a day off Wednesday to figure stuff out with the two cars. The Rabbit is all good news – no more leaks, and I installed a new battery. It cranks over find, and all seems well. I need to run it around the block for a half hour this weekend and make sure it works when it’s up to temp and on the road. I’m also slightly scared that there’s some electrical problem (like my stereo wiring) that caused the battery death, even though the battery was out of warranty and it’s death was justifiable. But, I’m scared there’s a short and the new battery will be dead too. So maybe Saturday I’ll hit the road with it.

The Escort went to the Ford dealer for an estimate on my end-of-lease charges. They were fairly cool, but the body damage quote wasn’t entirely pleasant. I will have to pay $620 cash, and I don’t get the deposit back. That’s not horrible though, and I can swing it. I’m driving the Escort until 7/31, and then it goes back to Evergreen Ford in Issaquah for the last time. Sure will be weird without that thing. End of an era.

Tonight, Bill Perry called me at 5 and told me of a 20-person party at Julian’s, a restaurant/bar/pool hall/gameroom just a few blocks down from work. I hiked down there at 6 to meet up with him, Marc, and a bunch of their fellow workers at Aventail. Bill lives in Indiana now, and I hadn’t seen him in ages. He works in Seattle remotely from Vincennes, but managed to get back here now and again for a week of on-site work. Marc VanHeinengen, fellow ex-Spry, ex-IU computer geek was there with us. I shot a game of pool and sucked, and we all talked and hung out. I met some new people there, and everyone was cool. Then we got on the air hockey tables, and Bill kicked everyone’s ass. The computer games were pricy, and we were hungry, so we split.

Across the street is a semi-new place called Beppo, a family-style dining Italian place. There were 5 of us total, and since there was a wait, we hit the bar. My new drink is a Vodka-7, from Bukowski and Elmore Leonard, of course. It’s pretty good and I like it a lot better than Rum and Coke – maybe because I drink a half dozen 7up’s a day. We ate on the patio – a wild, thin-crust pizza with mashed potatoes instead of sauce, and ravioli with feta cheese inside. They brought out big-ass dishes of food, and we all shared. It was a fun time – lots of joking, talk, catching up, and the usual computer geek discussions.

After food, we split, and me, Bill, and Marc went to Aventail’s new location and played with remote control cars a bit. We also checked out Marc’s kick-ass Micron laptop, and their new setup.

Now I’m home. It always feels satisfying to spend a lot of time with a bunch of cool people, the kind of time where it’s 6 and then you look at your watch a second later and it’s 9:45. The people, the cool night on the patio, the drinks, the good food – it all made me wish I did this more often. Maybe I should.

No writing tonight. The weekend’s almost here though. I need to cover serious ground on Rumored to Exist this weekend…

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junk

Late start today, so this will be short. Not much is going on, except that I haven’t slept much lately. I remember looking at my watch during every hour from 2 to 9am, which made it seem like I was up all night, but then I remembered a snippet of a dream and I knew I must have fallen asleep somewhere in there. I’m now prepared for a day of aphasia, peripheral hallucinations, and extreme typing mistakes. Maybe I should drink a Coke or ten first.

I think I’ve decided I’m going to buy a new car in like a year, after I move to a new apartment and go through another tax season. Although I haven’t ditched the Escort yet, I think I’m already sick of problems with this Rabbit. I wish it would stabilize a bit, like my other one did. My old Rabbit had problems, but I drove it for months and months with almost no further investment. I’m whining, so I’ll stop.

I’m re-reading Leyner’s The Tetherballs of Bougainville and enjoying it. The only thing I hate about his writing is that it gives me so many good ideas, and I can’t just rip them off.

Okay, lunch is over…

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junk

Why must I live my whole life feeling like I just stayed up all night? I decided to knock my sleep schedule back into the daytime mode with some sleeping pills last night. Instead, I got a truly surreal experience of alternating periods of undead catatonia and extreme awake, paranoid rushes where my senses were supertuned to the rumbling of traffic 7 stories below me. I spent all day in an odd mood, like I’d accidentally breathed a short whiff of nerve gas and was waiting to see if it would cause my insides to boil. I just tried to take a nap as the tail-end of rush hour traffic zipped by on I-5, and I can honestly say I’d feel better if I would’ve forced myself to stay awake.

I have some food burining in the oven…

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Rabbit plumbing

Very tired. The Rabbit’s plumbing might be fixed, but the battery had no juice and I couldn’t turn it over to tell. I finally made a discovery that would’ve helped my car repair experiences long ago – latex surgical gloves. I slipped some on before monkeying in the deep antifreeze and grease of the engine, and it felt great to just snap them off when done.

Both of my parents called today (separately – not a joint thing. Sort of a flashback of my last ten years of being parented.) I only hear from them every month or two, and I usually have enough experiences queued up to get me through a phone conversation, but today I didn’t. I know that when they talk to me and all I have to say is “I haven’t done anything lately. I’ve been working a lot.” that they interpret it as “I’m getting ready to go off the deep end.” And it seems kindof stupid that if they called and I said “oh, I just went shopping for new cars” or “I’m going to Boston next week” or something idiotic like that, they’d be content.

I need to get off of here and do some work on the book…

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Col. Kurtz works at Ford Motor Credit

I fell asleep after work until after 11pm, so I didn’t really feel like writing in here, or writing at all, really. I did work on my biography a bit, and that kept me up far too late. So today I am the walking dead again, but there’s relief in that I have tomorrow off.

It’s been weird writing about 1993 for this bio project. It feels like that stuff just happened, but it’s already been five years. Five years since I first ran Linux! I’m in the middle of writing about that summer, when Tanya was still a new item, yet she was in Tampa for the break, and I was working at Voyager on the punch press, and going to shows with Ray almost every weekend in Chicago. Ray lived at home then, and was at the height of his anti-female stage, which made it difficult for me. But we had a lot of good times together – we rented every concievable zombie film on the face of the earth that summer.

I talked to Micheal Stutz for the first time on the phone last night. It’s always weird at first to talk to someone from the computer, but we had a lot to talk about. We’re both stuck in the same place writing-wise, and wish there was some sort of “movement” going on, sort of like the Kerouac-Ginsberg-Burroughs alliance. I need to write about this more when I am awake and have some amount of energy. And I need to keep writing on my own, because even if I had a group of people to trade manuscripts with, it doesn’t work if I don’t have manuscripts.

Blah, I’m going to screw around for the rest of lunch, start looking around on the web. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write more tonight.

07/02/98 22:03

I just woke up, put some french fries in the oven, made some Kool-aid, and nuked some kind of demented aloha chicken meal. If it says 99% fat-free and works in the micro, I’ll try it at least once.

So it’s not a “school night”, and I’m excited about staying up all night, doing some cleaning, writing a bunch, and doing my grocery shopping at 3 in the morning, when there’s no chance at all of Screaming Kid Syndrome. Tomorrow, my pal Jennefer Wagner will be here from Eugene, OR. She’s only in town for a night, and she’s crashing with another friend of hers, but I’ll hopefully get to hang out with her for a bit during the day.

Ford Credit keeps sending me more and more bizarre letters. I think Col. Kurtz works there. The car thing is starting to worry me more and more, especially since the VW doesn’t run. I’m hoping to get that taken care of this weekend.

I found a good web site to waste a lot of time.

Out of it. Nothing to report. More later.

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junk

I’m listening to Rush – Power Windows, which is sort of embarassing to admit. This was the tape in my walkman when I mowed lawns to buy model airplane kits. Was it in Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle where there was a kid who only built model airplanes and jerked off? Anyway, for a moment that seems generations old to me, this album still sounds pretty fresh to me.

I need to take a rest for a bit. I’ll write more later.