Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

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…