Super Mario music torture

I left my car at the dealership to get the oil changed, so I walked a few blocks thismorning on my way to work. It reminded me of when I was in Indiana and didn’t own a car at all, when I had to walk everywhere. It sucked, but there were times when it was so relaxing. And you notice all of the details around you, the buildings and people and cars. When I lived on 6th St in Bloomington, my car broke down and I had to walk to and from the car parts store a few times. I usually sped by the neighborhood street at 40 or 50, never looking anywhere but ahead. But on the walk, I saw all of the weird houses, the kids playing, someone taking piano lessons, another person refinishing a porch. A different view.

I hung out with Daniel last night. He found a Nintendo for free, and had been playing Mario 3 for days. The music burned into my head – I was at my cousin’s once and he played it for about 10 hours straight, programming that song into my brain. It would be fun to do a dance remix of it, or use it for a soundtrack of a movie.

I got a cellular phone today. It’s charging right now – I have not used it, but I called it to see if it would ring. It’s working, so that’s cool. It will be just an emergency thing, but I’ve said that so many times I am expecting some sort of binge where I run up a $300 bill.

Lunch is over, time to go…



Analog First Third

I’m taking lunch about an hour late because I got into a rhythm with some balloon help stuff and spaced out the time or something.

I’ve been thinking more about writing, and what I should do next. I’d like to try another scifi story, some sort of cyberpunk thing that has some weird morality plot or twist of fate, like an old Twilight Zone. I’m not too into SciFi for the sake of creating some giant, complicated world. I’d rather have peripheral details of the future and make it more like the present, and then work on an incredible plot. I’m more of a Star Wars than a Star Trek person, if that explains it.

I picked up a copy of Analog last night, just to size up the competition, so to speak. Some of it is very cool, but not as much near-future-future stuff – mostly the stuff in the far future, giant starships in faraway worlds, that sort of thing. I’m not 100% into that, but it’s still good. But there’s so much going on in the SciFi world, all of these conventions and new authors and zines and everything. I’m not sure I can just dive into it. We’ll see what happens.

I also started reading Neal Cassidy’s The First Third. I’m just through the prologue, which was this huge family history. I’m looking forward to actually starting the book.

I’m supposed to meet up with Daniel tonight for some food. I’ll have to see if I have some rough cut of the video stuff for him to watch.

Blah blah blah.


Teach Yourself ________

I did a mini-inventory and found I have “teach yourself ____” cassette and book sets for Spanish, German, Swedish, and Italian, yet I speak none of these languages. I have a problem with learning languages. I knew a woman that knew like 6 languages, and learned Japanese in like a weekend or something. It made me vomit.

I’m listening to Lawnmower Deth – one of their older albums, when they were still okay. I remember them playing a Lawnmower Deth video on MTV like 5 years ago. It seems so alien that they’d just play videos that weren’t somehow part of a game show or something.

I stayed up way too late last night making a videotape from all of the stuff I taped at Disney. I got through all of the footage, but didn’t have time to run off any VHS copies. It was good, but made me think of what I’d do differently the next time I brought the camcorder on vacation.

It’s hard to cohesively think about anything today. I don’t really feel manic, but not entirely stable. I’d like a nap, or a few hours with a good book. Maybe later.



Not much

Not much here – watching movies, sitting around. Austin Powers was a good flick. SNL is on now…


On writing an email-based porno server

I can’t remember the name of my contact lens. It is a special kind for astigmatism, but I can’t rememner the fucking word. I hate it what this happens.

Anyway, the sun is out and it actually feels like a May day. Oh – I guess yesterday was May Day. And the day when the dude in the U-2 was shot down (or crashed, or ditched, or tried to defect). It’s supposed to rain all weekend, though. Oh well.

The other night I had a rush of memories from like 4 years ago, things I forgot all about. One time I consulted for somebody and wrote a mail server for a porno site in Illinois. You’d mail this account and say ‘send LesbianNurses3’ and it would email back the story. It was all cool, it used compression on the archive and supported a bunch of commands for listing, submitting stuff, and passwords. Anyway, the dickhead never paid me – I charged him like $300, and he promised a check in the mail about 10 times. Either he didn’t have the money, or he showed the thing to someone else because it was embarassingly easy to do – it was all a shell script, less than 50 lines.

I also remember when me and Andrew lived in colonial crest, and one time the whole gang of CS geeks came over to drink and watch some movie – one of the police academy movies or something. This guy Dave was with us, who just got dumped by his wife. He was drinking schnapps like water and had some low-grade porno book that he must’ve bought at the liquor store or something. He kept reading from it, and we were all laughing. I think Andrew went upstairs and passed out during the film, and missed all of the antics.

I have realized that if I move, I need to get a couch so a bunch of people can sit on it and watch TV. I wish I had my old couch. Lots of memories about that damn thing – I used to spend a lot of time on it, watching Beavis and Butthead, sleeping, talking on the phone, whatever. Need a couch.

I remembered I need to get new license plates in August, so I will have that plus moving costs if I do move. So maybe I will have to put off moving a little bit longer. Maybe I will just sign a 6 month lease and keep saving my pennies.

Blah blah blah blah.



Cell phones, drug wars

More rain, and I’m really tired. Not tired, but compressed and dehydrated from too much caffeine at a late hour. I’ve been drinking 7-UP in an effort to recover. I’m still pretty jumpy.

I signed up for a cellular phone, mostly as a precaution to my next inevitable automotive disaster. It’s through some freaky corporate plan, so it might be an invitation to something awful happening later. But there was no activation or monthly charge, so my only investment is $60 for a phone, plus .36 a minute if I use it. I’ll just throw it in the glove compartment and never use it until I need to.

The ACLU annual meeting was last night, and I worked at it, helping people with nametags and setting up food for the reception. The topic was the drug war, which is a pretty ambivalent topic for me. I don’t support civil rights violations, but I’m not a stoner, either, and I don’t really agree with people who waste their lives abusing substances. And I know that people claim to be casual drug users, but in my experience, the worst alcoholics I knew all claimed to be casual drinkers. So who knows. Someday I’ll sort out my political differences, but I don’t think it will be on a usenet newsgroup or with the help of a glossy book from a newsstand.

It suddenly got really dark outside, it looks like something out of a Danzig video. Maybe the AM and PM are reversed on my watch.



It rains in Seattle

Rain. Despair. Bleakness. Running through the twilight.

Sorry, just trying to sound all gothic. It really is raining though. It’s almost May and Seattle thinks it’s only February.

Things are somewhat confusing here, but not things I’d talk about in a journal. It’s hard for me to censor myself about things, since I’m so used to writing everything in my paper journals. But my paper journals are not readable by 50 million people, so I limit myself. Sorry.

I finished reading that Rupert Thomson book last night. It felt great to finish it with the windows open, the dark horizon of west seattle glowing through the rain. The book itself felt like it took place in the same atmosphere, the same bleakness. I wish the guy had more similar books, but I think he got into historical fiction or something…

Anyway, I should end the lunch and start the work. Cheers.


Pot pies for independence

I was going to write last night, but by the time I remembered, it was today. The trip back felt like a daydream, the darkness around me. I drove from Longview to Seattle in about an hour 45, pretty good for the slight drizzle that dewed the hills of asphalt under me.

It was a daydream because it was so hypnotizing. The music and the solitude removed the thoughts from my head, let me relax. I got into a rhythm with the spinning tires, the squeaking wipers, and the passing reflectors marking the road I ventured.

When I got to Seattle, the tranquility was broken as I checked my mail and removed a pile of bills. My financial situation is so fucked right now – I spent the rest of the night restless, thinking of the things I’d have to give up to keep afloat for the next few months. I figured a schedule that would involve some heavy payments in the next couple of paychecks, and would involve me eating soup and cooking at home pretty much all of the time. I guess it isn’t too horrible – I spent a lot of time last spring doing the same thing while paying off my Visa card. I think I can pay off my debts by the end of the year, and start figuring out what I really want to do with my money and my future.

Every night I eat 99 cent pot pies for dinner, I am dollars closer to financial independence. Maybe.

I’m listening to Rush – Counterparts. It reminds me of a strange time – my entrance into exile. Every song tells a story, but “Cold Fire” tells the strongest. It’s juvenile of me to spend an evening listening to songs that remind me of people from the past, but it’s either that or spend the evening thinking about money.

I should get back to reading…


From Longview

This is my first journal from Longview – I drove down last night. The trip isn’t too bad, but getting out of Seattle was a real bitch. I spent an hour going about 20 miles and then the next two hours going about 100. It’s nice that the trip is all in the daylight now. I really hate the drive south of Olympia when it’s raining and pitch black. It gets so dark out there in the middle of nowhere that you can’t even tell what direction is up – it’s like you’re in a tunnel or something. That’s the area where I had a blowout last month. It was PITCH black, pouring rain, and a narrow, two-lane section of I-5 where everybody is going 80. It took me a few hours to get that little baby spare onto the car, because I’d have to time it with the traffic. I’d wait for a break, run out, loosen one lug nut, and then dive behind the car as a herd of semis drove by, creating hurricane-like winds that would rock my poor little car, almost off the toy jack that comes in the back of Ford Escorts.

So that was all cool. I saw the show Sliders last night, and had the chance to see where they filmed it last week (okay, I just saw it from the outside). I always thought they filmed that whole show on location somewhere, but if you watch it, you can sort of tell that 90% of it is filmed in a sound stage. We also rented the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High since I saw the commercials for it and realized I haven’t seen the non-tv version in quite a while. I had a carbon copy of Mr. Hand for US History when I was in high school, although we had no Pat Benetar lookalikes. Many of the girls in my high school did look alike, or at least had the same hairstyle, but I don’t know what they were trying to copy.

I should get out of here. This keyboard won’t let me use the backspace key as a delete – it keeps opening up the emacs online help.


Steamshoveling into a basement

I can’t wait to get all of my journals into HTML, so I can change the font so they all look like Motorhead album covers.

Last night, I taped about an hour of my rambling about Summer Rain. I set up the camera and taped it on the VCR using a VHS tape running on the slow speed. I don’t care about the picture too much, I just needed the audio. So this way, I can put 6 hours of discussion on each tape. And after an hour, I realized it will take a lot of fucking discussion to get this thing rolling. I am hoping that by the end of May, I will have enough notes to start an outline and a completely new draft of the book.

I brought Bill home last night and hung out at his place a bit, caught up with Jen and saw Liam. He was running all over, and talking about steamshovels. I guess he read this book, which I sort of remember from my childhood, about this steamshovel that digs this basement for a building and gets stuck at the bottom, so he becomes a furnace. Oddly enough, I had a dream last night where Liam kept saying “Boba Fett” over and over.

I started re-reading this Rupert Thomas book, to get an idea of what I want to do with SR. There are a lot of fine details about his writing that make it memorable. I think it’s because he never directly builds up his characters – they are built through strong incidentals. Instead of saying his characters’ age or height or looks, he’ll talk about the cigarette they smoke or their mannerisms in such a way that you build up the character based on your expectations of a person that would drink that kind of drink or whatever. And the characters really build in your head, come back to haunt you long after you set down the book. I like that.

I’m hoping to re-read about 5-10 books that contain pieces of SR that I like, and take a lot of notes on them. I also hope to collect together a bunch of music that will help me to write. I want to make tapes containing songs that I listened to in those periods, or songs that remind me of then. That’ll help me write a bit more. It’s too easy to listen to music that distracts me, or puts me to sleep.