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This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

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  May Baby  

May 30th 2002: Social Event

Day one of SANE down. It dragged at points, but overall was very interesting and fun. Saw some good presentations, talked to some superstars of the internet, yadda yadda yadda. I went to the "Social Event" afterwords, which was free booze and food and music at a big european-village theme reseraunt. Good fun, drinking champaigne, then heinekin, then the local weiss (white) beer, then port, then coffee. Even got a little dancing in. Watching the event goers boogie was so innocently beautiful, people who don't do a lot with their bodies the rest of the time cutting loose in their off-rhythm gangling way with the pure joyous abandon of children was really something to see. Francis took some photos, so I'll get those later. It was facinating from a sociological standpoint as a partial tourist of the whole UNIX conference experience. Despite the preponderance of males, I did see one woman there, actually surprised me,an architypal Dutch beauty, sexy as all hell in a hale and healthy kind of way and with the kind of face that reminds me that sometimes there is no higher accomplishment in life than making a pretty girl smile.

Made fine and boisterous sociological/political discussion with the collegues on the long train ride home in the night. Fine discourse, the likes of which I've not had for a while. A fine evening in every aspect.

May 29th 2002: In The Den

We eat bakery-made bread with honey and musli with yogurt and rasins, drink coffe black (maybe a little raw sugar) and munch on some all-pourpose mixed nuts. This is how breakfast goes down here in Eindhoven. It's a bit ridiculous how great this place seems, even this little city built around a lighting manufacturing combine. Last night after chineese food we saw some of the sights: giant non-senesical public art and a courtyard with a mysterious light show going on all the time for no apparent reason other than that someone might stumble upon it and wonder. Passing one of the many large buildings under construction, Joost says, "that's the building I climbed."
"Why would you do that?" asks Wessel.
"Because I like climbing things. I'm a monkey," he replies. Yes. I think he is. Aren't we all?

May 28th 2002: Landed

I've chased the dawn into utopia. This is a country that makes sense! There's futuristic architecture, cobblestone streets, a vast rail infrastructure and more bikes on the roads than cars and they don't lock you up for smoking grass, or so I hear. I understand that geography has something to do with the way things are set up, but this place makes America (with it's legions of obese SUV-driving citizen-drones) look fucking backward. I've not yet ventured into Amsterdam (I'm in Eindhoven working logreport) but I'm sure it will provide the urban edge that the countryside needs.

Not that the US doesn't have it's charms -- there's nothing here like the violent belching gorgeous bitch-goddess of New York City or the godlike vastness of the American West -- but on the whole I don't think what we're accomplishing over there is worth all the poverty, pollution, isolation and misery. It really is a striking bucolic dream, these Netherlands, a place were the media is unsophisticated and people converse with eachother freely. Unless there's some hidden dark side to it all, and I mean really dark, not just petty street crime, I'd have to say this place just seems more evolved than my country of origin. More civilized maybe. Definitly more progressive.

British Airways gets 4 out of 4 stars for service, but is disqualified for loosing my bag in Manchester.

May 27th 2002: Making Tracks

I'm off to the Netherlands. International travel, haw! It's getting to be summer out here, and I think it's going to be one to remember, an age of progress framed in prose and poetry. More people should write poetry or paint self-portraits... There's something in the self-focus and absorbtion of the new age movement that always comes up short. It's kind of keeping people focused on themselves so they keep buying self-help products. We need to create leaders, creators, people who inspire and empower. Mark and I talk about this alot: how it's not just enough to get people fired up. You have to take the next step and get people fired up about getting people fired up, virus like. A fever of liberal progress and love to sweep the globe we need. Hope springs.

Shutting down the machine now to box it away. I'll return to a new apartment. I should post a bit from NL as I will be geeking it up for the first four days. Happy trails...

May 26th 2002: In Your Heart You Know Marx is Right

That's the secret screed of us liberals. Read that in an article in an old Harpers my mother sent me criticisizing a couple books puffing up the Ronald Regan legacy. It's gotten me thinging again about what a piss poor job we're doing, my generation. Sure, we're getting by and having fun, but we're largely a spoiled, self-absorbed lot, more concerned about how and where to spend their money than anything else. For some (postmodernism) reason, there's not a lot to believe in these days, and it's killing us as a society. What the hell are we about, this country, this state, this county, this boro, this block, this house, this person? What about this earth? It just kills me that we let a great opportunity to come together like 9-11 roll on past us, the message from our leaders being "don't stop shopping." See there's a lot of money and power sitting on top of all this anomie, and it doesn't like being disturbed.

The wistful feeling that packing brings: empty shelves, bare walls, simple sad music. Sam's birthday/going away celebration last night, shotgunning Pabsts, vague notions of how I piloted the bike home and a thundering hangover reminding me I'm not 17 anymore. Getting ready to go. Reading urban poetics online.

May 25th 2002: Pack it up, Pack it in

One more performance down, one more to go. I think we'll be going out on a good note. We're finally opening up, relaxing and having fun with the show (even if it is long and at times pedantic or superfluous), and we aught to have a good house with lots of friends for our Sunday closing.

Walking to the show I saw some little chineese kids with their dad, all taking turns pretending to talk into a cell phone. Peter's son does this as well. Wonder what the next generation will grow up like: full baptismal immersion in the sea of information and technology. The world it going to change.

Zowie! Spent Thursday night with the girl, Jenna. Good times in Astoria Queens, I must say. The morning, walking to the train in the beutiful early morning sunshine past the Hellenic gift shops, hunting for coffee, listening to some rock'n'roll music on the ol' headphones, feeling that strange peace that will come over you after an adventure in letting your guard down. I still think too much (always have, probably always will) but precious moments of letting the body drive in it's strong blind way are all the more blissful for it. The best part is good conversation to bookend and punctuate the whole deal. I told her honest that she makes me nervous, the whole concept of getting close to anyone makes me nervous and I'm just eager eager to please please please. Funny, how the way out of being nervous (trapped in the head) is to let the nerves (the body) steer the ship for a while. Good times in Astoria Queens, I must say. Won't see her again for two weeks -- she's a workaholic too -- but then again life at its best is a grand and holy waltz of contrast, so let the changes come and ride the wave. This will work out just fine.

Last night, sleep deprived and facing bigtime work and packing deadlines I barely mustered the strength to grab a pint of Ben and Jerry's (forget a pint of Guiness) and watch IFC for a half hour before falling into a deep sleep, dreaming strange dreams of Oregon and scientology. It's Saturday, a beautiful morning. I have a lot to do (including more chonicaling of Ren Fayre) and little time to dilly. It is time to prepare.

May 23rd 2002: From the Morning

Alive and kicking, despite going all emo last night. Never ceases to amaze me how I can fall asleep having eaten no real dinner with a belly full of beer, whisky and skittles, and then spring fully formed into life six hours later. Amazes me the will of instinct, the sense of pleasure (hightened contrasts, maybe) I get from a slight hangover. I got my Burt's Bees products today, so I'll be smelling good myself going forward, smelling good for the girl tonight. There's a reason to be happy now. Past is past. Last night I did some stuff by forced entertainment, which I encountered by way of a "divised theater" class back in the college days. Could have been a contributing factor to the mood. Meloncholy British stuff, like downtempo Radiohead, is best taken in small doses.

In other news, everyone in my town is freaked about the vague terrorist threats we keep hearing about against our fair city. I agree with yesterday's NYTimes Op/Ed: chill the fuck out. First of all, the administration is clearly playing politics in response to threats of a congressional probe into how intelligence was handled in the summer. Hindsight being 20/20 we all wish someone had connected the dots and prevented the national tragedy, but prior to 9-11 who would have tolerated a major disruption of worldwide air traffic because of some suspected plot? It just wasn't going to happen. Sure, we should look into intelligence failures of the kind that happened prior to Perl Harbor, but the whole "Bush knew and he should have done something" line is pure politics. I know this, and I'm no fan of the shrub. But please, don't barrage us with scares designed to shield your operation from criticism. Look, there's nothing I can do or could have done to prevent the previous terrorist attacks and there's nothing I can do to prevent another one short of seeing someone doing something and trying to stop them, ala the "let's roll" dude. This sort of thing isn't helping anyone. I'm not really affected (so he says) but I see my friends and acquaintences getting visibly nervous and agitated. Almost like they're being terrorized...

May 22nd 2002: Choppy Waters

Working hard on some fluffy stuff, and a few things more interesting. Burning the candle at both ends for too long now: it's starting to get a bit dodgy around the edges.

Tonight was axiom's latest incarnation. It was a thin crowd by late standards, but the vibe happened again, the thing that keeps me coming back. Seeing people share bits and pieces of themselves with a friendly crowd in good faith. Keeps me sane. Biking home, though, was a tough little bit to do. I think it was Christine showing up. Still throws me, coming up strong with that feeling of something pissed away. Regret. We talk books for five minutes, a safe topic. I wish she would switch perfume. Smell being the most specific sense, it reminds me. Then some jerkoff telling us we had to be out by midnight, some follower of the path of gentrification in his leather jacket and designer pants. I almost said to him, "you're not from this neighborhood." But I don't want to start anything.

I wonder about truth in existence, about how the book of post-modernism teaches that we're all more or less fronting all our lives. If this is so, then what we perceive as "real people" are only those who are unconscious of their facade. Then there's the indisputable power of blunt brute honesty. Like Sia's poetry tonight: "we're too scared to fuck each other and too horny not to." I wonder what I can be honest about. I think about how a relationship is as much an act of will as it is of fate, that desire and affinity are only part of the equation. Like anything worthwhile, you've got to put in the hours, make the contribution of energy, a conscious effort stretching off or towards a divine pre-conscious bliss. Tonight Jeremy is saying goodbye to his honey of the past few months. He's sad, and wants to rock the pain away this weekend. I make a joke about introspection and perspective, but he's more into distraction and forgetting. I think it will work out anyway. Heart's in the right place with that kid.

Maybe I drink too much. I keep dropping things. But I feel lucid... maybe that's just an illusion. At home alone with skittles, bourbon and the velvet underground, enjoying the poetry of self-destruction.

May 21st 2002: It Works

Well, Sunday's show was everything I wanted it to be. We came together, and pulled off a smooth performance that actually got the people laughing and having a good time. Julia and I went out with our friend Sam afterwords (he just got his master's degree in screen writing... homeboy needs a page on outlandishjosh). Unfortunately, she's realizing how infatuated the director is with her. If he doesn't mellow out, he's headed for some bad news.

I also talked to the girl on the phone, and it was good. I'm not really much of a phone person, becoming distracted and rambling, but it was a good solid 30 minute conversation. Conversation! I think I might actually be liking this, makes me nervous. (Nervous! With feeling! What a treat!) As I've said, women are my best and strongest fortune-casters, better than the NASDAQ, better than the weather, better than my own health even. It's going to be strange, since the only possible day I can see her is Thursday (she's coming to the show) and then I'm gone to the Netherlands for a week. Time compression. Heat. This one's optimistic.

Last night Jeremy, Frank and I went for beers at the Palace, hung out with Danny (the Irish rocker bartender we privately liken to Otto from the Simpsons) telling funny drunk stories about people pissing themselves and/or falling off things. The old fun highschool times. He's good people.

Finally, if you remember the movie "Airplane" with Leslie Nielson, and you spend any time on the internet, you might laugh at this comic. I did.

May 18th 2002: Hot Stuff!

Well, all the signs were there. I'd started drinkin' and emailin' late last night after the entry below, wired as hell, all surly and sappy and lonesome on the line to ex girlfriends and old flames. Spent the day sleeping it off. Had dinner with my Blues-singing Aunt Sheena, who advised me in the ways of the world. I almost didn't make it out to the party after I came back to Brooklyn due to creeping inertia, but then I got the gumption to stroll over to W-burg with the roomies. Good decision on my part. I met a lady there who studied psychology and talked sensuous about New Orleans. We hit it off. At first she had displacement issues (different from projection, she explained) because she dated another actor not too long ago and he didn't treat her so nice. Eventually I managed to charm her with my atypical non-actor ways and my knowledge of psychology left over from AP classes in high school. Eventually, we even got comfortable the the fact that she's about seven years my senior.

Interestingly enough, I had to compete a little but with another dude for her attention -- the actor who did the McDonald's "chicken man" commercials, no joke, it was that kind of party -- but he was kind of an oddball (an actor's actor) as well as being good friends with her ex who she was displacing at me (oh the drama!) so it really wasn't much competition. What made it interesting is that I don't usually do well when vieing for female attention among a sea of suitors. I tend to shrink and acquiesce It's just not in me to try and beat out my fellow man: I want everyone to get along, and it's only sex for crying out loud, nothing to get too worked up over. But luckily this guy beat himself out, and I was left to hang with the girl the whole night through.

We made out quite a bit, and it was finally some good quality smoochin' after a long prickly dry spell. The connection was on, one of those things where you start to feel out of control in a really good way, where you get knocked out of your head for a while, where you remember the primordial caveman power of the animal inside, where you pick someone up and hold them against the wall for quite a while because that's what feels good. Hellacious blueballs walking home, but I'm excited. Digits.

Frank and Miranda got stuck in the freight elevator and had their share of adventure too, so it was a good time all around. Now it's a beautiful Sunday morning, strong coffee with lots of cream and sugar in my new geek mug. I'm going to read a little, work on some Flash, write up another installment on the Ren Fayre documentation, and then go try and get the energy together for tonight's show. It's time for a motivational speech.

May 16th 2002: Opening Night

Well, the play went up tonight. A beautiful train wreck. As someone said, "one of those opening nights where [the folly] is contagious." It was a slaughter, no one on the ball in the slightest. But we bravehearted it through, and we'll live to see another day. It's all about baseball, so I see us at the '62 Mets (lovable loosers), working our way to being the '69 club.

I get angry though, because I want more for this script, for this show. I want a director who is discerning and driven, not soused and happy with anything. Irresponsibility, my pet peeve.

No action tonight, just a lot of drinkin' and bike ridin' in the rain. Still waiting for the right someone to materialize. Looking for my street corner girl. Tomorrow night I'm going out to a big ol' party. Hopefully it will be the right kind of fun. Oi!

Before...

Well, opening night for Moon Saloon is tonight. I'm excited. The dress went pretty well all things considered, and I think it's going to be art, so we're all set. After Sam and I finished painting the set (about 1:45am) we got a little hammered. I remember now why I don't drink heavily all that often: the hangovers are getting harder to tolerate. I remember good old hippy carpenter Michael from the Country Fair telling me about how that happened to him at about 24. Maybe it's just something you grow out of, being a lush.

"At work" on the #logreport channel today, a classic moment. Only in IRC:
<Fruit> (little tech question:)
<Fruit> the TODO says:
<Fruit> We should get rid of "subservices" like apache's common.
<Fruit> is that still true?
<joostvb> yes
<flacoste> no
<Fruit> heh
<joostvb> *lol*
<joshk> *lol*

Sometimes it's just great to be a geek.

May 15th 2002: Very Free and Easy

FYI: They dropped the first trailer for the Matrix sequel. Some of that good old stylish violence ballet. Pure beauty, that. The first movie was a real coup: combine equal parts brilliant design, adequate acting, never-before seen special effects and sophomore-level philosophy and you have a real blockbuster. This time they've only got two of four, but with the same directors in the command chair it should be worth a look.

I'm starting to believe that I'm talented. People tell me they enjoy my site, and more folks are reading it every month as you can see from my stats. People tell me they enjoy axiom, and that I'm a good performer, that I can turn a good phrase, that I'm on the ball. People have even told me that I'm good in the sack.

Now, I know I can communicate, and I know I have a few ideas. I spend a lot of time straddling strange gaps, trying to deploy my mind in two areas at once. Sometimes I'm successful. It took me about two weeks to rack up 50 karma points on /. just speaking my mind, mostly about the politics of business and the business of creativity and the creativity of politics. I know I'm a smart kid, but I intensely fear ending up one of those arrogant hipster dudes who's so into the coolness of the things that he does that there's not much he's actually doing. I'm too reserved as it is: people see me as cold when I would say I'm shy. I don't want to retreat into a shallow lonlely shell of ego: I want to truly become and remain humble. I want to retain the ability to regularly be overcome by all the truth and beauty in the world, as I have many times this week. I want stike a deal with the universe that grandfathers in that that delightful sense of childlike surprise I get at strange weather or the syncopated rhythm of my music and the pedals of my bike.

I was reading Justin's Links just now, and today's entry really brought around the emptyness of what I've been working on this week. I think I've found something I can do for a while in consulting, but it's a world so frightfully awash in bullshit I don't know if I can handle it for the long haul. Every day the urge to let fly and speak real language with real meanings, even at the risk of offending someone's ego, grows stronger. What I need to do is amass a little nut and then stake out an enterprise of my own. Actually, this has been mine and Peter's plan all along. It's just that the nut-getting part is so insipid and banal. I hope I have the chutzpa to see it through.

May 14th 2002: Proof of Content

I realized the other day that the Presidents of the USA song, "Cleveland Rocks" could easily be altered to be "Greenpoint Rocks". Come on, sing along with me: All the little chicks with the crimson lips go Greenpoint rocks! Greenpoint rocks!. I think we need to find/start a band to cover that tune and become local barroom heroes. That would be living the dream.

Speaking of chicks with crimson lips, where's mine? Of all the random things that stick in my mind, I'm remembering this totally gone little hipster girl I met back in Oregon in the winter after peeing in the next stall over from Amiri Baraka, and saw again when I was back with the Quick Fix. She said she'd be moving to Brooklyn in June, but then again she maybe seemed like the beautiful kind of person who dreams big. I left her my email address, but she never phoned in. Yes, I'm most definitely rhapsodizing the memory in abstentia of any local love prospects, but it's a lovely way to live late on a tuesday night with a simple glass of A+ bourbon on the rocks.

By the way, God fucking bless Jimmy Carter. Here's the speech he gave tonight, live and uncensored, from Cuba. There's a reason that guy can get on Cuban TV without Castro on the 3-second delay editing switch. Principles. Something we as a nation don't seem to produce too often. Rock on, you peanut-farming, peace-making nuclear engineer housebuilder.

You know, it's really screwed up that people still believe the US trade embargo on Cuba is sensible policy. The only people it benefits are Fidel himself (since it becomes an easy scapegoat for anything that goes wrong) and the Florida sugar industry, which actually has more local political clout than Disney. It also gives the bourgeois who fled a sense of satisfaction, and reduces the chance that the assets that were once theirs (or more likely their parents') will be liquidated and sold to more wealthy American interests. The embargo isn't about human rights or political freedom, it's about money. And it's time to take that symbolic and economic step and let it go. If we can trade with fucking China (most favored nation, I might add) then we can trade with Cuba, dig?

On the labor front, I've been getting down and dirty with the trial version of Flash MX from Macromedia. It's a good little tool, and I'm rapidly making my way up the learning curve. The thing is, the project has to be flawless by Thursday night (big Everett Smart Media pitch o'er at Pepsi on Friday). If you want to see what I've done, check here. It's been been nice to have a single project that can consume my whole workday again. It's easy to forget how much I love deadlines. I'm going to be doing some coldfusion in the next month as well, so that'll be another good couple of days learning the ropes. Coding is fun because you get lots of little victories. Doing consulting is much more frusterating because essentially you're the smart guy sent in to help out a bunch of dupes, and the wins are few and far between.

It all makes me want to do some more recreational geeking around. Hmmm... how can I enhance the website technically...

May 13th 2002: Playing Catch Up

Well, it's the week that my play (Moon Saloon: a play in nine innings) opens. Jeremy and I were out yesterday getting cosumes, and I think we scored a few good ones. We'll see if this puppy comes together this week. I think we've got good chances.

In other news, I got a bunch of happy birthday notices in the old email Inbox, which I will get around to responding to individually in due course. Love to everyone, even if you didn't drop me a line. I also got my passport back (yay!) and booked my flight to the Netherlands for the end of the month. That's some exciting stuff. Also confirmed that I will be moving into Jeremy's building over on Meeker (4 blocks away, literally). Now if I can iron out a few bugs with work and such I'll be well on my way towards successful living.

I also got some anonymous complementary fan mail. I mention this because the anonymous fan wanted to know if I would. I'm egotistical enough to be curious; someone who's been to Axiom and saw my ETW Independent Project. Hmmm... Oh, how we all love to play head games!

May 11th 2002: Now It Begins

I've added installment two to the Ren Fayre coverage, in case anyone is interested.

Just saw Spiderman. Really good. A few minor quibbles, but nothing that really detracted from the experience. I've realized that I want a career like Willem Defoe's if at all possible. The movie is everything a popular mythic saga should be, a near-perfect mix if inspiration and entertainment. I strongly recommend.

I made yesterday's birthday a 24-hour affair: a 7:15am wake up (so about four hours of sleep), working with Peter all day, came back down, layed in the fresh grass of Bryant Park, met up with Jeremy for pizza and a drink, then rehearsal, then out to celebrate in wild and strange ways, finally coming home across the bridge at 6:45am, beautiful sunrise, pedaling through Williamsburg where there were plenty of kids like me still finding their way home, then through Greenpoint where hard old Polish men were getting ready to work, finally grinding to a halt in my bed with the morning sun streaming in the window.

Now I'm awake and alive and enjoying my favorite stimulant. Writing more about Ren Fayre.

May 10th 2002: Happy Birthday to Me!

Some people take this number really seriously, but I just use it to mark the time. 22 was a good year. Last birthday was the same day as NYU commencement. I'd been out of school since December, having graduated early, but I partied down with people I knew and sort of knew, and it was generally a good time. I took steps over this year, some faltering, but gaining in strength all the time.

23 Skidoo!

Frank got me some very tasty bourbon for a present, and since he's heading up to see his younger brother Jono's senior fine art show today, last night after midnight, in celebration of my birthday, we opened it up and had a nip. We watched a great cowboy movie, "The Hi-Lo Country" and before laying down to sleep at 3am I wrote this in my journal:

I am 23 tonight, and not a failure. I am an artist, a believer in love and truth, and a believer in standing up for what you believe in. I aspire to nobility but fear hubris, for often in my life pride hath cometh before the fall. I am a worker, a fighter, a fucker and a night-life lover. I am interesting (or so I like to believe), intelligent (or so I have been told), and empathic and good-natured (or so I hope to become). I like raising hell, watching the sun rise, and cooking salty comfort foods that steam up the kitchen in the dead of winter. I like women. I love women, and I want very much to be in love with one of them. I have plans for the world. I don't know quite what they are yet, but I have plans. I'm a half-cowboy, half-hippie, Irish-German explorer and future colonist, and I'm ready for some action.

I corrected all the spelling errors on this page. I think it's going to be a good year.

May 9th 2002: Getting up there

Tomorrow I will be 23. When I think of birthdays I always remember waking up in Iowa on the farm and thinking with great excitement and joy, "today is my birthday!" It was a time when you could be justifiably self-absorbed, the constant center of attention, the subject of a grand party and the recipient of many gifts.

Needless to say, over the years the birthday has lost a little of it's lustre. Part of this has to do with the way in which I've matured. I tend to dislike self-absorption these days, both on moral, practical and aesthetic grounds. Also, I made a shift sometime in adolescence from liking to have a party throw to liking to throw parties. I still relish attention, but these days I like it on my own terms, usually on the stage. It's a strange thing waking up and realizing you're not innocent anymore. I wonder if it's permanent?

I've been thinking about money a lot too as of late. I'm close to broke, mainly because I don't like having money. Its a terrible weight on my back. One of my roommates was short this month for rent and it tool almost no persuasion for me to pay their way in return for the down-the-road repayment of their portion of our security deposit. Sure I could use $450 lying around, I would have an easier time of things, but it makes me nervous, and he/she seemed to need it.

David and I are working together on another freelance job. He's doing the design and most of the client-relations, and I'm learning ColdFusion and MS Access. I like working with him, because he's a remarkably talented guy, and growing less and less neurotic as he realizes this. It's really fun to watch him wheel and deal.

But I've been sitting here, drinking some really cheap beer that's offensive to Native Americans after eating a one of my many great $1.50 meals (quesadillas w/sour cream), reading about the merger of HP and Compaq and wondering if there's not something wrong with how I'm playing the glass bead game. I think, like in many aspects of life, I'm not committed enough to my for-profit labor. I'm rather feckless and lonesome. I crave something to believe in and something to be a part of. As disheartening as my brushes with corporate America have been, I can't help but want to work as part of a larger team, rather than solo or in duos or trios.

Someone from HP was saying on a message board how that company had stood for "the belief that intelligent, inventive, principled people can do great things together." Man, do I hear that. I just think we're not a very principled people anymore. Look at me, a prince of procrastination, lord of laziness, brigadeer of backsliding. I'm a little overly hard on myself, yes, but that's just my way. I try to make up for it with little pep talks to myself that keep me fired up about my life, but in most respects it just feels like grasping at straws.

I sometimes feel as though I'm beating a dead horse when I try and motivate myself, yet I refuse to fail. Overburdened with responsibility, but still optimistic. God damnit, we'll whup 'er. We can do it. The question is, who are the other people that make up the "we" with me?

Oh well, off to rehearsal.

May 8th 2002: Hoooooo

Not much of an update tonight. I was planning on getting the next few chapters of my Ren Fayre saga in and filling in some of the results of my wayfaring introspection, but it was an old fashioned 8am - 12am day and I just don't have the juice to do it now. All I'm good for is my pint of Ben & Jerry's and some Family Guy episodes I downloaded while I was at Moon/Saloon rehearsal. Another early day tomorrow.

May 7th 2002: Hew to the ethos, man!

But Bobby had this thing for girls, like they were his private tarot or something, the way he'd get himself moving.
-- William Gibson, Burning Chrome

Much as I hate to admit it, that's me. I signify far too much in my life based on the way the women are looking. I try and be rational about it, but they're the ultimate bellweather of my mood. I think it has something to do with the fact that they're one area in my life where I feel that success is somewhat less than assured. They're something that's really out of my control, and I assume that since I cannot predict or manipulate the spinning of these windmills, I might as well follow them where they lead. It can be tricky business, but c'est la vie.

Mark remarked to me this past weekend at Ren Fayre that I seem to fill my life with one thing or another to excess (or maybe this just sounds like a Mark remark and I made it all up in my head... he's sort of my voice of conscience) and that whether it's work, chasing girls, or booze my tenancy is to go a little overboard. He's got a point on that, but I remember last year when I was spending all my time chasing girls I was a pretty happy little camper. I was a occasionally somewhat stressed with it all, even a little guilty from time to time, but I remember being pretty supremely content with my existence. Must have been all the sex. Clouds the mind, you know.

Lately I've been smoking more reefer, a substitute mind-clouder, but that just makes the end of the road (empty bed) all the more hollow. The truth always feels better, and the bitch of it all is that Capital-T-Truth is not found in my middling experiments with excess. If you want to find something true, you've got to either keep it on an even keel or go 180-degrees totally completely no-holds-barred overboard with the hedonism. The center and the edge are rich grounds for discovery, but this middle territory is bland, barren, picked over. I must seek the fronter. I'm supposed to be an explorer for chrissakes. Hew to the ethos, man!

It was a most frigid winter. I'll be honest, I've not had any real action since mid December (two days before that entry I had a rendezvous with a tall smarty-pants woman... I was less bold then and didn't write about it at the time) but the sun is starting to shine through the clouds. The sleeping dragon is waking. At Ren Fayre I kissed one woman and flirted with a few others (you'll have to wait for my full report for any details... you can see what I have so far here) and since then the feelings have been rising. This weekend I allowed some 27-year-old lead me back from a party to her loft on Bedford. Strange and tense and really nothing super pleasant, but good for my ego to break the streak, kind of like last summer when I scored after the first axiom event (that path led me to getting involved with Christine). This time was a little more of a crazy experience than that. I'm embarrassed to admit that I cannot remember her name and if memory serves never actually knew it through the whole night. It was intimidating at first - she could see right through me and my schtick (benefits of four more years experience I suppose) and wasn't shy about calling me out on things, cutting me down to size. But when I realized finally that under all her razor sharp observations she really just wanted me to kiss her I put an end to that. We snuggled for a while and I pursued my favorite sex act (twice even, just to get back into practice) and that was about it.

It would seem then that my exile from the fairer sex is at an end. And since I generally take things regarding the ladays as my prime indicator (see above) I am a little more charged up than I was before. The general swirl of femininas is rising around me. All the signs are there. I can smell it. Girls I know in the city are calling me back after weeks of silence, or suggesting flirtation in their emails, Justin Hall (my blog idol) is in love, Frank and I have found our new home, at the end of the month I'm traveling to the Netherlands where I'll get to see the great crush of my college career... it all just generally puts me in an optimistic mood.

Optimism, by the way, makes me that much more an attractive man. I've been told that it's my shining light. I'm ready to hop on the continuous improvement cycle (ala my equation for experience). However, I need to figure out what it's time for me to do: dive into the wide wild sea or build a home. To find a place to be, I must either rein in my debauchery or else release the hounds. Good things to know. Good things to know.

In Other News
Here's an odd website link: Libertarian feminists. They talk up Ayn Rand and gun ownership. Innaresting.

The other day I got an email from my older half-sister Liz who stumbled on the site and loves it. She brought up the conspicuous absence of my father from these pages. My mom had done the same long ago. This is an issue, people. I love my Dad, but also have some unresolved feelings about him. I crave his approval in a visceral way, and consistently imagine that it is lacking, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Specifically I fear a moral condemnation. My dad's just a bit more conservative than I am, and I don't know if he would dig all the sex, drugs and rock & roll. Still it's not like he's not online and just as likely as Liz to type my name into google and see what comes up (I love that the first outlandish link is a piece I wrote!). For all I know he already has done this. A psychologist would call it a cry for help except that this is the first time I've mentioned him in these pages.

Now, while I'm pretty sure my Dad would disapprove of some of this site, I know he's no saint. He's had his own experiences, and he's honest about them. He just doesn't want me to make any "mistakes". The thing is, when he tells me that I just can't help but wonder what he would consider to be his own mistakes, and if I might not number among them (again with the paranoia of disapproval). It's my personal version of Original Sin, my unplanned origin. I say this not because I want to throw any guilt around -- I know you're reading Mom, and I know you've told me you're convinced that I came from heaven to save the earth, and you know I love you -- but because it's something that needs exorcising. Again, the truth always feels better.

So the bottom line is that I need to invite my Dad to visit outlandishjosh.com (if he hasn't already) and be prepared for his potentially critical response. It's a step that needs to be taken. I think it will be a cleansing moment for me, a step out of the primitive catholic mindset I have of our father/son relationship, a step away from the road of guilt. Yes. This will be positive and growth-stimulating for the both of us.

The thing is, it's not like he won't get it and not dig what I'm trying to do (lead a truthful life, tell some good stories, get more people into the mode of creating content rather than just consuming), he just won't like that I put myself at so much risk while doing so. He's very protective, which I suppose just goes to show how much he cares. I think the thing will be to make a page for him and then invite him to that page first.

May 3rd 2002: Strong Tailwinds

Almost too strong. I realized last night at rehearsal for Moon/Saloon (play I'm in, opens in 2 weeks) that I have a thirst to direct again and soon. I want to get behind a show and design some experience, pronto.

I've been getting some interesting email off the site. Some old time greenpoint residents and some cats in a rock band who live around the corner. I just ran into the rocker around the corner at the Lyric (bar across the street) where I was acting like a megastar on the pool table, albeit in a highly inconsistent fashion. Streaky playing.

Later on, rolling in... the ren fayre article is coming along. Tomorrow surely. Revelations from the Frank man tonight about his life and times, and also the word that we might get lodging in Jeremy's building.

May 2nd 2002: Ramping Up

Slowly working my way back to firing on all pistons here in NYC. I'm staying healthy and going to lie low this weekend. I'm getting my papers in order for international flight and trying to hunt down the place where I will live when I get back into town. I'll get to that big Reed College bit this weekend. Now that I've explained things to friends a few times, I'm starting to get a handle on the language to report on the whole thing. It's going to be gonzo, that much is for sure.

Back in time to April

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Trips

Trips in Space and Time 8/02/03

Big Wheels in Berkeley
I scored a set of west-coast wheels today at the Ashby BART station flea market. It's a very tall schwinn road bike, black, deceptively heavy but smooth-riding. Thirty-five dollars to boot. I oiled and cleaned the works, dialed in the bakes and took it out for a shake-down cruise immediately. Nice riding on a beautiful saturday, realizing how out of shape I am as I wheezed my way though the hilly area behind the Berkeley campus.

After about an hour I started to get the swing of it. Made some minor mechanical adjustments (including a free wheel truing at the bike collective on Shattuck), drank a few liters of water and started finding my groove, cruising up and around and ending up with a beautiful view of the whole bay. The roads here are not kind to the speed inclined -- too many stop signs and crosswalks and lights -- but it was good to get out and proj for a while. This changes my summer dramatically.

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