the compartments of a diabolical mind:
stupid things i have done
strung out: my life as an
brush with greatness
spawn of '64
silence & cigar smoke
'i've never known a person who spoke fewer words.'
my letter to jiang
In which the Author lays the ground for the release of the EP-3 hostages.
i am naze
sf part 1 - no rice-a-roni
my old intro: an introduction
july 28, 2001
If you ever played Dungeons & Dragons, you must read this Bill Gates piece at The Onion (via my old pal Dr. Errett).
july 24, 2001
Sixth & Taylor
On a lark I decided to go stand in line downtown for the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? auditions this afternoon. The serpentine line wrapped back and forth around the building ahead of me, but it was a gorgeous day and the people in line and the passersby made for a very entertaining 2 hours. The guy in front of me drove in from McMinneville which is about 90 minutes south of Portland. I'd say he was in his mid-twenties. He smoked one cigarette. He also politely declined offers to sit in my portable chair. A pleasant tall, sharp-faced woman in business clothes joined me and Long Drive just moments after I arrived. She served as our scout to get the read on our chances.
Our chances looked pretty bad. I decided to stay anyway. You all know how much I love the Rose City -- how many chances will I have to comfortably pull up a chair on the sidewalk and just watch people go by and have them watch me? After the 4th or 5th curious individual asked us what was going on, we toyed with the idea of alternating musical acts. "Yeah, we're in line for Def Leppard", then for the next one, "This is actually a short line for a Barry Manilow concert." Afterwards we considered repeating their question back to them and then offering them 4 possible answers.
I speculated out loud how much money would it take to get a person to step out of line. (Three people during our wait came back with what they claimed were tickets that they were selling for $100. I saw no takers.) In our section of the line an hour before they were set to close out the line, some would take $2, others would have held out for $10. I learned that those that got into the 6 pm audition (written test then if you pass, a videotape audition) had been standing in line since 1 pm. Needless to say, we didn't get in but I found the whole experience to be oddly satisfying.
july 22, 2001
I did a little tidying up today. Geof at the U of Alabama, Huntsville suggested a modification of the inactive link color to make it easier for him to read. I figured that there were others out there who probably felt the same way. I think his suggestion works pretty well. I also updated and cleaned up the archive.
july 19, 2001
Rob calls it the Kharmic Boomerang. Last week I got wacked on the head by it. This week it lands right in my hand.
Pablo in Baja California tells me about how he stumbled on days while searching for something else on Yahoo:
"...your page comes up and i see it and dont know what the hell it is but i start reading and say this guy is realy funny im laughing out loud at my job...i found a world of personal pages and I am completely addicted to these things...periodically i come and visit yours cuz it was the first [personal site] i ever saw."
Gracias, Pablo. You made my day.
july 17, 2001
By sheer chance I caught Maria Mckee singing on Letterman last night. It was amazing.
It's been 5 years since she released original material (the raw edged Life Is Sweet) and 16 years since she rocked my world fronting Lone Justice, an insanely talented band that was ignored because people didn't know how to react to country/cowpunk back then.
The bizarre thing is that within the last 2 weeks, I unsubbed from a Maria McKee e-mail group I had subscribed to for more than 4 years. Evidentally she's got material for a new album she's shopping around to the labels. Last night's performance was a traditional Appalachian tune that she contributed to some compilation album that I haven't been able to locate. Argh.
july 14, 2001
Three Is a Magic Number*
Bastille Day. It can mean only one thing. A new beginning for the French Republic? No, silly, the 3rd anniversary of days of naze.
When I started this 3 years ago, I did believe I would be doing it 3 years hence. It's the way I am. I happen across things that stoke the fire in my belly and I hang on to them.
Each anniversary I've written a piece to commemorate the occasion. On my first anniversary, I had a sense of exuberance and fulfillment. The second anniversary was a tad confessional and contemplative. Today I merely say, Happy Anniversary to me. This site feeds my spirit.
* Composed and sung by Dave Frishberg, Portland guy. Also wrote the immortal My Attorney, Bernie.
** Thanks to daddyray at caustic sense, my permalinks actually work now and my table borders should no longer poke Opera users in the eye. Merci beaucoup, daddyray. Those are the kind of gifts that keep on giving.
july 12, 2001
I just put the boys to bed after reading them Chapter 5 - Riddles in the Dark from The Hobbit. I've been looking forward to this since Jack was a baby, nearly 8 years ago. They saw the play just recently (their cousin starring as Mr. Baggins) and they've seen the movie, but I assured them that nothing could beat the book. They seem convinced so far. (I think my Gollum may have been a little too good. Jack slipped into David's bed, something I don't ever recall happening before.)
july 11, 2001
Most of you don't need the reminder, but for those of you who do: Norwegians rock.
july 7, 2001
Up until this afternoon, e-mail from readers fell into 2 distinct buckets: 1) I like your stuff or 2) I hate your stuff. Now I need a new bucket called WTF?!
Ann (aka torontogirl) sends me a dense 2 paragraph e-mail that praises my writing but then points to the site as a symptom of serious dysfunction.
I also sense that you are a deeply troubled and tormented soul whom longs for recognition and LOVE.
Uh. Do you think it was my depression over getting sunburned at the nude beach she's talking about? My painful and tortured existence as an amateur violist? My despair over David's pacifier addiction?
Unfortunately, Ann's praise is a pretense to soften me up for her solution to my "problems". She's got some brand of religion that's going to fix me. It really felt like the worst kind of spam.
july 5, 2001
reason #37 why i love my neighborhood
As the smoke was clearing from the fusillade of fireworks at the neighborhood block party and the twilight fading to night, a 17 year old with Albert Einstein Meets Andy Warhol hair unplugged the CD player from the PA system and plugged in his Gelb acoustic. Hunched over his guitar, he played. Oh, man, did he lay it down. I was entranced with his impromptu 40 minute set. People from the party came over and were surprised to learn that this was live and not another CD. He said that he was playing Doyle Dykes tunes. I'd never heard of the Grand Old Opry veteran before, but it would be hard to imagine the man himself performing the music any better. (And yes, Doyle is huge in Europe. Our 17 year old can't be far behind.)
David, who is 5 years old, still has a serious pacifier jones. We've been placing boundaries around the times that he can have it in an effort to ween him from the binky. About an hour short of 8 p.m. when he is allowed to retrieve his meditation mouthpiece from the mantel, he had a complete meltdown which culminated in the heartbreaking declaration, "I don't want to be a big boy!"
july 4, 2001
Another treat that's nutritious and delicious: public radio's This American Life. Oregon Public Broadcasting just finished a 6 hour marathon of This American Life. It was amazing. 24 hours at Chicago's Golden Apple cafe, tales from summer camp, one of the producers learning to drive at age 30. If your public radio station doesn't carry it, all you have to do is visit the T.A.L. site to stream any episode for free. Such a deal!
july 1, 2001
"And we fly first with our eyes, always...We see a hawk and our eyes take us up into the air, even before we build the planes. We look higher and we see the burning stars and our eyes take us there first, before we build the rockets. Hungry as hawks, our eyes eat distance. They devour time. First, with our eyes, before courage catches up, we fly."
Esquire magazine, especially in the last 2 years has become a consistently excellent read. The quote above is from a piece by Charles P. Pierce called "A Journey to the Beginning of Time" -- a story of the Hubble Telescope findings. The August issue also includes another fascinating article, "How a Woman Ages", that tells the story in 10 pages of biological facts, photos, charts and commentary.
May you never be more active than when you are
forget what you said, but they will never forget how you
made them feel.
-Carl W. Buehner