Finishing the road

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I still can’t believe the weather here. My new ‘office’ is a folding table set up by one of the windows in our living room. So immediately to the right of my monitor is a western view of Washington Heights. With a good set of binocs or a climb up the fire escape to the roof, you can see over to Jersey. But the sunny sky and the stretch of buildings below my 6th story window beats the gloom of Seattle. And with all of my books in my new bookshelves, all of the CDs in alphabetical order, and my stereo right behind me, I’ve got everything I need to write (except a Coke machine with an infinite supply.)

I’ve been blowing through the travel story lately. It’s up to about 12,000 words, and on the fourth of 14 days. I hope to HTMLize it and add some links to pictures. I’ve also been slaving on Summer Rain. Still stuck on the annoying romance scenes, but I got one of the three worst ones passably finished.

I finished rereading On the Road, by the way. I started it before the trip, to get chaged up and ready. I only got 100 pages into it before I left, and I only had a couple of chances to stop and read during hte trip. But I finished the other day, and it’s as good as ever. I manage to reread it every year or so, usually when I’m on the road myself. It’s always cool to visit some place like LA or New York for the first time, and then turn past the pages you’ve read ten times and realize you’ve been in the same places as Kerouac. While his prose wasn’t what I’m aiming for, that book is a real inspiration for Summer Rain in many ways. Maybe someday I’ll sit down and write a paper about it.

Speaking of writing, I’ve got work to do…

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Pockets will be full of Geraldo Riviera literature

I’m still fed up about the Colorado shooting, especially these people who think that if you sue everyone who was even remotely uninvolved with the thing, that it will somehow make things better or stop future shootings. Everyone in this country is a fucking idiot, me included. I’ve decided that if I ever go on a rampage and mow down a dozen people, I will wear a CNN t-shirt, an MSNBC jacket, my pockets will be full of Geraldo Riviera literature, and I will do it on Ted Turner’s birthday. Then let’s see how many conculsions the media jumps to about the cause of the shootings.

I’ve been working on Summer Rain. I hesitate to say that I’m working on it full time, but I have no other productive items going (except for a pay gig, which is part-time.) I am making progress towards wrapping up the final third, but it’s going slow on a couple of chapters. I try to keep a regular schedule, wordcount-wise, but this one chapter is just killing me. I worked all day on it, and I must’ve written like 1500 words. Sometimes I would write less than 100 words an hour, and I wasn’t off playing Pac-man or whatever – I was seriously sitting at the computer for 60 full minutes, struggling with how to develop this motherfucking chapter. It’s because this deals with sex, and the character doesn’t get any for most of the book, and I am not a romance author or whatever, so it’s all uphill. I’ll get through it, hopefully. But the book is getting better, and I’m excited about it, and I hope I can show it to a few people sometime soon.

I’m also still working on the travel thing about the WA->NY trip. It’s getting done, but it’s also going slow. There are only so many ways you can describe driving through the desert. But I got the pictures back – 5 rolls – and they look great. Maybe I will scan a few and post them also.

Today’s weather was beautiful – 70′s, sunny. I went for a walk for about an hour, which got me in the mood for Summer Rain. I’m hoping for many more days like this.

I am going to get back to writing this travel stuff, before I need to crash. Feel free to email me and bug me about it – maybe it will help me finish faster.

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Postal

I’m sick of the news coverage on this shooting, especially since 100% of it is insulting and retarded. Am I the only person in the united states who realizes that the kind of coat you wear does not make you a homicidal maniac? I’m sick of hearing that if you don’t like sports or if you listen to different music or you know a lot about computers, you are a serial killer. People keep saying that teens are under so much pressure and this couldn’t have happened ten years ago. I remember when I was in high school ten years ago, and I remembered the idiotic caste system my midwestern, suburban school ran by. And now I see all of these crying teens who are traumatized by seeing their friends die (but not too traumatized to talk to newscrews) who say these kids did it because they were different. Here’s a fucking clue to all of you: they did it because you treated them like shit.

Speaking of going postal, I’ve been spending all afternoon waiting for a certified package that the PO lost on Monday. They said it would be here today, and I didn’t want to miss it. Now, I’m starving and want to get the hell out of here to eat. I’m 100% certain the mail carrier will show up with the package about a minute after I leave. Oh well.

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Walkman synchronicity

Isn’t it weird when the song in your walkman and the stuff around you coincidentally match for a moment? I was listening to Dream Theater’s latest while walking to the drug store in the rain, and on the last song there is this repeated line: “It’s raining, raining, on the streers of New York City.” I guess you’d need to know the song, but the soaked cityscape of 181st and Broadway could’ve made a perfect video for the song.

Today I’ve found my new hobby: recording music. Marie has a Tascam 4-track and a Yamaha keyboard that were gathering dust. So I got out my bass and my cable collection and set up a little studio on the living room floor. I have almost no musical ability, and just spent the afternoon playing bass lines on top of the built-in drum rhythms. It’s a lot of fun, and a decent way to practice. Plus I’m now remembering a tiny bit of my ten year old piano lessons, so maybe I’ll learn more.

Still no writing, aside from some work on the travel thing. Maybe tomorrow. For now, the Daily Show…

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Diddy Kong

It looks like if I type late at night, I can almost see what I type. I don’t know what’s going on with this, and I don’t know if it’s really a fiber cut or very shitty service. But things work fine in getting back to my speakeasy account, so I many need to come up with some new scheme for writing these entries.

I’ve found from updating my paper journal that I’m sick of updating things with entries like “I went to the K-Mart. I went to the grocery” etc. Things are going good here, and I’ve had a ton of errands to do, but it’s too tedious to present a laundry list of these idiotic events. I’m doing okay in setting up shop though, and I’m sort of writing now – trying to write a huge account of everything that happened on the trip. It’s going very slow, and the story hasn’t even finished up the first of 14 days. But I’m waiting for the day when this will all pick up and I’ll blow through 4, 5, or 6 days at a clip.

I’m about underway on a freelance writing gig for an old friend from college. Go check out itList.com. It’s an online bookmark manager, a way to post, share, or centrally manage all of your bookmarks. The current interface is pretty basic, but there are cool things afoot, with new programs and a totally new interface. I’ll be writing some help for it, which will be a very fun experience. Plus it’ll bring in a couple of bucks to support my new fulltime-writer lifestyle.

Although my connection is fast, I’m not in the mood to write. The Nintendo 64 is back, so if nothing’s on the tube, I’ll get into some Diddy Kong Racing or something. More later.

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Random fiber cuts in Pittsburgh

It appears I’m still suffering from a slow connection to my server, possibly from a fiber cut yesterday. Maybe it has already been fixed and my connection will always be slow. I’m not sure, but for now it means it’s impossible to do any worthwhile updates.

I’ve spent the whole day running errands, and I didn’t even leave the house until fourish. There’s still a lot of unpacking, setting up, and other miscellaneous work. Plus I had to fill prescriptions, deal with banks, and dig through luggage to find things. I guess I didn’t do as much as I planned, but some stuff is happening.

And I started writing today. Actually, my first test run just showed me that I had a lot of work to do at my writing area. I started writing, got about 3 words in, and then realized that I had to readjust stuff, or find my scrap paper notebook, or look for a pen, or whatever. Eventually, I got enough done that I could write for maybe an hour, which is decent. I’m trying to write all of the trip stories down, but it’s going slow. Maybe next week will provide for some better working conditions.

Speaking of which, I have more to do, so I better split.

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In NY

I’m here – New York that is. It also appears I have the slowest connection in the world to this server, so it looks like I either need to yell at the new ISP or find a way to do this writing on my home machine and then FTP it in, like the rest of the people out there do.

This connection is completely useless, so I need to cut this short. I’ll be writing a comprehensive report on the trip soon, and hopefully I’ll get this connectivity problem fixed by then. Until then, drop me a line.

04/15/99 21:25

It looks like it isn’t the new ISP’s fault that I can’t type. There was some sort of fiber cut today that affected pair.com, the folks that host my site. Things appear somewhat better, although it’s not a zippy connection.

I now have a computer table – one of those folding tables from Staples. And I am getting more set up here. Soon I will type in an account of my entire trip, I promise. Until then, I have to answer lots of mail and keep unpacking. More later…

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In KC

A quick entry from Kansas City to let you know I’m alive. Asleep, but alive.

I will have to put more detail up here when I’m safe in NY. But to let you know, I’ve made pretty much all of my objectives and then some. Stayed at Salt Lake City wth Roger, went to to Vegas, went to the Trinity nuclear test site, got some trinitrite (sp?) went to the Gnome test site, stayed in Texas, saw the Hoover dam, and now I’m here. 11 states, 3000+ miles.

I must sleep now. Maybe more later…

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