Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Ten random photos

I take a lot of pictures that don’t end up in galleries in flickr.  Here’s a few of them.

A lunch at Fresh Choice, probably after a Weight Watchers meeting in San Bruno.  I liked to celebrate weigh-in by eating a ton of starch and calories.  This was after I made my weight goal and was just maintaining, so I went back and forth on actually counting points, and went through a brief phase where I thought I’d just take pictures of everything I ate and figure it out later.  This morphed into this brief idea that I’d write a program to do image recognition on the pictures and calculate points, and that went to not doing anything.

I struggled for a long time with the organization of my second book, experimenting with a lot of outlining software and different schemes to keep track of a nonlinear story.  At some point in 2000 or 2001, I had this idea to reorganize all of Rumored to Exist by printing the text onto index cards, then rearranging them all over the place until it made sense, like I was writing a screenplay or some shit.  It didn’t work, and I had bunches of these cards lying around every room of the house for months.

After that book got published, I bought forty acres of land in Colorado.  I then had this stupid idea in that I would start gardening in my apartment in Astoria, despite the fact that I only had windows on one side of the place and there was too much shade to get any sunlight to grow anything except for those stupid cactuses that could live underground for twenty years. I think the grand scheme was that I’d learn enough about gardening that I’d eventually be able to live off my land in Colorado.  The whole thing lasted about a month until the bugs took over.

Go-kart racing in Fremont with Samsung. They took us there right before everyone had to take some survey on employee satisfaction, to make sure everyone thought it was a great place to work. The firesuit hood thing makes me look like I’m about to go to some renaissance fair to drink a bunch of mead and go jousting.  The worst part of this was getting knocked around for 200 laps and then having to drive 40 miles home that night, the whole time wanting to trade paint with other cars on 880.

All the fixins needed to make BBQ.  I’m surprised I was able to find Crystal sauce here on the west coast, but they sell it in the Oakland Safeway.  This is the really sour sort of BBQ, with the vinegar taste to it, which is pretty decent, although I realize there is this Pepsi/Coke religious argument about what school of thought you follow on BBQ.  Here’s the sacrilege: I used this to make a fake pork pulled pork, using some kind of engineered shredded soy fake meat product.  But the pork (or lack thereof) is just the vehicle for the sauce transmission, so it didn’t matter too much.  It is a mandatory requirement to make corn on the cob with this meal, though.

This was on my whiteboard when I came back from a trip to Vegas in maybe 2001.  I think it’s the work of my old coworker John Andonov, who had a habit of leaving his works of art on various cube walls when people were in meetings, which was pretty much constantly at Juno.  It’s amazing how many pictures of whiteboards I have in my photo library.  Most of them are insane system diagrams, where at the end of the meeting, someone says “make sure to take a picture of this” and then you never use it again.

I awoke one morning in my Astoria apartment to the sound of a waterfall, and saw the place above me leaking a river of water through my ceiling.  The piece of shit landlord never fixed it, and it looked like this for the next four or five years.  This was the same landlord that threw a fit when everyone organized a rent strike because he didn’t see the problem with not having a boiler for hot water or heat during what was one of the coldest Novembers in the last hundred years.  Nice tile color, too.

My car somewhere in Utah I think, during the first Denver to LA trip.  I drove this one solo, and don’t advise taking a tiny car with a 67-HP engine through the mountain passes of the Rockies during the winter, especially if the car is packed with a few hundred pounds of housewares and laundry.  A good chunk of the trip was spent fighting the transmission on the baby engine, which constantly insisted on downshifting as I struggled through the hills.  That pretty much cleared up when I got to central Utah, but I was certain I was going to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, since there’s a hundreds-mile stretch with absolutely no gas stations or civilization in general.  It’s also amazing how filthy the car got by the time I got to California.

The perils of ownership of a long-haired cat: every time I brush Loca, I come up with about this much hair.  Seriously, I brushed her for 20 minutes yesterday, and if I brushed her right now, I would produce at least this much hair.  And if I didn’t brush her constantly, the entire apartment would pretty much look like this on every single surface, except for the surfaces covered with cat puke where she ingested this much hair and then vomited it back up.  I should buy a loom and start quilting blankets and sweaters from it.  The big problem is that if I knitted a sweater out of her hair, the other cat would climb on it and lick it all the time.

The golden gate.  I took this one on Thanksgiving 2008 when me, Sarah, and A went to Sarah’s friend’s place in Sonoma for dinner.  Not bad for being shot through a dirty windshield.