crown, zine, etc

In less than two hours, my dentist will be grinding down one of my molars to fit it with a crown. It sounds excruciating, but the tooth already got a root canal last year, so I shouldn’t be too bad.

I’m itching to work on another zine. I’m not sure it will be Air in the Paragraph Line, just because of the outlay of cash involved. If I had FrameMaker at home, and printing was free, I might put together another issue. But I still have reams of pages from the last issue that I haven’t folded or collated yet, which tells you the level of enthusiasm for the project.

It’s not that I don’t like AITPL – I like it very much, especially when it’s done. When I was creating that zine, I was aiming toward something similar to Frank Zappa’s work ethic – a lot of talent, no attitude, and none of the typical bullshit. You don’t need to review some punk band’s 7″ records to have a zine. I didn’t get the exposure I could have, but I got some very positive reviews and no complaints, and you can’t beat that.

Now I feel a need to work on a zine that’s so warped, that’s it’s hilarious. Something like Orgazmo meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Something that 90% of the population will be incredibly offended by, and the remaining 10% will worhip as a work of genius. I don’t know if this will be a paper zine or an ezine or an urban legend spread as chain mail or what.

The weird thing is this – I was talking to Michael about a zine he wrote for years ago, and one I read because I talked to one of the editors a lot. We both wished the zine was around like it used to be, and murmurred about ressurecting it from the dead for a project similar to the one I mentioned. But the editor I mentioned had dropped off the face of the earth about six months ago, so we figured the whole thing was a lost cause.

Then, last night, I had a weird dream that I was the editor for this zine. I was at a college campus, reading submissions and doing the layout for a small book-type binding. It was vivid, and I remembered the whole dream, even on the way to work. And once I got to work, the aforementioned editor that I hadn’t heard from in months wrote me some email, and we got caught up. Very strange.

I have a lot to do before the dentist, so that’s it for now. Bill Perry is in town, too, so we have some belated birthday celebrations to take care of…

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28

Today is my 28th birthday. It feels like any other day in some ways – I’m here at work, I don’t have any plans tonight, and I’m eating my usual sack lunch. It’s a weird year; Bill Perry has the same birthday as me, and we usually do something together. This year, he’s in Bloomington and I’m in Seattle, so that won’t happen. He will be here this weekend, though, so there will be some late celebration. Marie isn’t here either, and I wish I was in New York today, just to hang out and get out of the greyness and miserable weather here.

28 is a weird number. I didn’t like 27 because it’s an odd number, an in-between. I’m no numerologist, but it reminds me of when I was 17, which seems like the first non-landmark birthday. You get a license at 16, and you can do all kinds of stuff at 18, but when you’re 17, there’s nothing. I think you can get into R movies. 28 is also odd because it’s 10 years after 18, and so much stuff happened then. It really opens me up for more “ten years ago…” moments.

And ten years ago… my 18th was on a Friday. I went out with my friend Julia Zehr. We got into her Renault Alliance and drove to University Park Mall, which is vaguely near the Notre Dame campus in South Bend. We were going to eat someplace first and then go to the movies, but we got a late start, and ended up going to the Chick-Fil-A in the mall and eating while we waited in line. We didn’t have time to eat, and smuggled chicken dinners into the theatre. We watched Naked Gun – it was my second time and her first. The thing I remember the most were the long and strange conversations we had while driving in the darkness of the middle of nowhere. Julia is a great person to talk to and it was a great way to spend my 18th birthday.

I have a lot of birthday memories, and a lot of weird stuff has happened on January 20. I made a web page (long since deleted, sorry.that talks about other people who share my birthday and events that have happened today. The page needs some work, but it’s a good start.

I thought today would make me write scads of nostalgic and introspective stuff, but I don’t feel like doing anything. Oh well. Send you credit card numbers, I am thinking of buying a sit-down Star Wars arcade game for my birthday.

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Dream theories

(my non-writing update: I’m alive and my stomach is letting me eat what I want. I still feel a little weird from my total lack of nutrient, but I’m getting there. Oh, I should also plug The Andrew Dice Clay site where you can get his new and cool double album.)

Yesterday, I was talking about dreams and writing, which is a great topic right now. I think I have some kind of sleep disorder, because I sleep 10 hours and it feels like 6, and I always have dreams which are taunting me, saying “just try to write this shit down when you wake up.” My dreams right now are incredibly nonlinear, overlapping, redundant, confusing, and realistic. Because they aren’t a simple story, I can’t just write them down. (It’s also a pain in the ass because when I wake up at 4 in the morning, I don’t want to spend 20 minutes transcribing dreams, and then end up wide awake.) I find that by thinking about how I want to write the dreams down, they happen more vividly, and I remember more when I wake. I wish there was some kind of machine or hypnosis tape I could use to get closer to this goal, but most of the stuff you find on the internet is either new-age hippie crap, or a get-rich-quick scheme.

I think people have similar, cliche dreams. I mentioned this yesterday: falling, naked in front of people, forgot they were registered for a class, and so on. I find that my dreams sometimes fall into templates, but they are much stranger. Let me see if I can assemble a top five list (not in any order):

  1. This really isn’t a dream, there is a nuclear holocaust, and I’m experiencing the last five seconds of my life.
  2. A lucid dream where I’m able to take control.
  3. I’m back in Elkhart, Indiana, and going through the same problems I did ten years ago
  4. “The amalgam dream” – I’m walking in San Francisco, I turn a corner and it’s Bloomington, 1992, crossed with the cabash scenes from Naked Lunch. I run into a person I used to work with, who is drinking coffee with Jesse Ventura. Etc.
  5. The lucid dream that takes place in my apartment and I’m not sure that I’m asleep or awake. Happens when I’m about to fall asleep, or on those bad nights of insomnia where I wake up and look at the clock every hour and later deduce that I’ve been up all night.

I take ideas from my dreams. For the last three years, I’ve been on and off successful with writing down things. I read about how Phillip K. Dick dreamed all of his stories, and then woke up and simply transcribed them to paper. I thought that was so cool, I started doing it with Rumored to Exist. A lot of key ideas in that book were lifted straight from dreams. I’ve never been able to fully capture the whole dream-state onto paper, but I never would’ve been able to figure out some of the stuff I use in Rumored.

Or maybe I would. I have a lot of theories about dreams, that they are simply extensions of what you feel and think consciously, mixed with a little biochemical work from what you ate before bed or how stressed you are. I wish there was a way to control that mirror from one side to the other, and maybe there will be within my lifetime….

I got a late start today, so I better split. More about this later.

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Biological anomaly

I want to talk more about writing, but today’s been weird. Not today, or the events of today, but some biological anomaly. Maybe I’m depressed, or maybe it’s poor diet. It’s one of those weird in-between states where I’m talking to someone about something and it reminds me of a movie, and it takes me 7 years and 3 Leaonard Maltin books to remember that I was thinking of The Godfather. Or whatever. Not the time to start discussing weird literary theory.

I finally found the expansion pak for the Nintendo 64, and also picked up a Rumble Pack. I’m still trying hard to finish level 4 of Star Wars: Rogue Squardon. Last night, I managed to get a tow cable around an AT-AT three times, and the fucking thing stumbled to its well-deserved death. Then I found out that you have to kill two of them and do some other jerking around before you clear the level. I read some FAQs and found that I’m not alone here – it’s one of the hardest levels of the game.

I don’t know who reads this, but I’ll say this in case some people deeply embedded in the journal scene do read this: I am really looking for journals similar to mine, or similar to what I want this journal to be. I have been falling into this rut of “I went to the mall. I bought some new socks. I ate a grape. I looked at the inside of my fridge” sort of journal entries. I wish I knew others who were writing about writing, instead of writing about their lives as writing. If you know of any, let me know.

Writing Rumored has been hard lately. I wrote two pieces last night, both marginal in quality, and finished working in some edits Marie did on the first half back when I was in NY. And it’s hard to procrastinate. I feel so guilty watching TV, and I’m so sick of the shit they have on there. I spent 40 minutes out of the hour watching commercials, and think about Asimov writing a book every 14 minutes during his career. I know that eventually I will get motivated and a long string of writing will suddenly hit the page. Until then, I’m poking away. I am at part #133 of the book, and it would be nice to be at #150 by the end of the month. I really hope to get this fucking thing done by the end of March. That doesn’t mean a final draft, but just something that has parts 0-255 and doesn’t require me to go back and junk 40 or 50 of them because I wrote them all in a night.

I have a dinner getting cold here, and I should probably try to get in the right frame of mind to work. More later.

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