It's kind of funny to me, really. I'm not really one to take things in tv shows as personal anthems, or to recite things from movies. I occasionally quote from books, but even then, I always feel like I'm appropriating.

But in the case of one particular passage from Lost, I think back to it on a regular basis. It's the scene where Juliet is trying to compose herself before her book club meeting, just before the plane crashes. She puts on a CD, the song "Downtown", and slowly through the first few lines pulls her head up, wipes her tears, and gets ready to face life, and her group. She fakes it, pretends it's working, until it actually doesw.

I don't know why I think of this so often. There's something really universal about it, a song that makes things mostly okay, that allows you to get back to enough of a semblance of normal to go on with life. That's my life, on some days anyway. On a near constant basis other times.

When you're alone, and life is making you lonely

You can always go




I read books like some people watch movies - which is to say, quickly and repetitively. And sometimes not with a lot of retention, but that's not here and it's not there either. An old teacher of mine said I read books like a cartoon cat eating a fish, sucking off the meat and leaving only the bones - but that's a bit graphic. Any way, fish and cat or mobie and film, I read when I can't do anything else, when my brain is too bent to multitask.

I recently re-read Philip K Dick's A Scanner Darkly, which I enjoyed, again. I mainly meant to read it before seeing the movie, but I haven't gotten around to the latter.

Then, I re-read The Penultimate Truth, which has always appealed to me in the way that tricking large numbers of people into anything always appeals to me. Then I read Jonathan Lethem's Girl in Landscape, which I liked, but which didn't thrill me the way I remembered it doing. Maybe I was closer to adolescence then - that would make sense.

It doesn't bother me to know how it ends. Travelling the path is enough. I chew through books and I go back for seconds. I hit rewind and watch a dozen more times before the thing falls apart.


somnolence and anorexia may result

In my more coherent moments I'm working on a new project. I'm kind of excited when I'm not completely somnolent from the medication or irritated from the lack of it. The warning label also said "anorexia" as a side effect, but no one could look at me and honestly say I'm not getting enough calories so I'm not going to worry about the appetite loss much.

The project actually requires more focus than I have right now but I did get a domain name for it and started filtering and sorting, so I suppose that's on the right track. A very wide track, hopefully narrowing to a useful and sustainable conclusion.

In other news, Disgaea 2 is the best game ever. Prinny, dood!

<3 <3 <3


these comforting sounds you make

I went to see Mew last night at the Fillmore with Snow. I hadn't been to a live show since I saw Dead Can Dance in Seattle... and that was well over a year ago. I used to see live music on a monthly, if not weekly basis - am I an old person now? I forgot how happy it makes me.

The opener was a band from Austin called Oh My, Oh No (or was it Oh No, Oh My?). I liked them, but didn't think I'd like them outside of a live venue. I wondered if Nate knew them, just because you know, Texas. Not that Texas isn't a giant huge wasteland with a few loosely interconnected bands or anything.

Mew were fantastic. Truly wonderful. Their visuals were eerie and appealing at the same time, and unlike most things I've seen projected behind bands, actually really added to the experience. The crowd was good, and by the end I actually saw more than a few people moving their bodies - we are NOT New York, SF people. You can dance if you want to. (If your friends don't dance, they're no friends of mine).

They didn't talk much, but a line which cracked me up - "Is Lars Ulrich here? No? Because he's kind of a hero, the guy who went to America and made it big..."

Seeing live music does something really good to my brain, something akin to exercise or sex. Endorphins and emotional satisfaction, which I guess makes it closer to the latter than the former. I feel really good, I feel like I'm coming out of this period of utter and total mental breakage. I slept when I got home, and I woke at a good hour. It's cold and rainy out and I'm optomistic that I can return to the real world this week.


Radio silence sounds like scary

So just to round out my trio of computer related disasters - the first two being my hard drive and my desktop machine - I spilled a full glass of water right on my laptop yesterday. And it stopped working.

So, I let it dry out overnight, but it wouldn't boot. MBR was corrupted. fsck couldn't fix it. I lost my copy of Essential System Administration years ago.

Fortunately, Snow had a copy of Techtools, which fixed the thing, and now I am back in contact with reality. Or not-reality. As the case might be.

And, I'm going to go see Mew at the Fillmore tonight, which should be lovely. So no more computer badness. I'm burning incense and sacraficing kiwifruit. (Chickens are too messy).


The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV

This essay really struck me. History has selective memory. Martin Luther King stood for many things, but the official remembrances of him will only remember a few - the sanitized, disinfected, vetted accepted and pre-digested. But there's always more. A whole lot of relevant more.


[insert string of offensive profanity here]

Just when I thought I might be on the mend from a mixed manic episode that kept me more or less completely useless for more than a week (aside, that is, from doing totally useless things like manically building bookcases), I was dealt a really irritating modern life blow.

The LaCie external drive I'd bought about 6 months ago kicked it. I'd just finished moving all of my encoded music (about 80GB worth) and six years worth of digital photos to it, to clear space from my working drives.

It started yesterday, making an odd atonal humming noise, not unlike a woman in line with me at the store the other day, who hummed every note of a song in one of two notes. Then, I noticed it was inaccessable. I tried to unmount it - no go. I disconnected it, powered it down, let it rest, re-did... no go.

I took it over to Morgan's house, after a good cry. He took it out of the enclosure and put it in a spare he has. Same bad hum. His computers at least partially recognized it, but couldn't see any of the data.

So, I might be fucked. The idea of this much data loss is really painful. Yes, some of it is backed up, but it's the goddamned insult to my attempts at an organized or rational world that gets me. I am sick and tired of supposedly consumer products which require expert level interaction, and fail like a sixth grader with a glue habit.

Next comes bargaining, I imagine. The disk doctors, the dropping from 2 inches, the freezing. But I think my music and pictures are gone, and it has rocked my mental stability more than is entirely reasonable.

Perhaps I should be more accepting, try to live a more informationally zen-like existence. Is information a posession? Does the desire to retain information inherently corrupt us, keeping us from a truer state of being?

Or do I just have to dig out my cds every time I want to listen to a piece of music again?


It's amazing how even when I can't function in any other regard, I can figure stuff out. Got the doors on the damned bookcase.

"Click", indeed.


my triumphs, my mistakes : ikea edition

So I got the bug to get some Ikea furniture. Mostly inspired by the fact that I badly needed a new floor lamp and a tall bookcase, things which Ikea is great for.

I somehow coerced Snow into going. He actually hates Ikea more than most people I know, but he needed a tall bookcase, too. So off we went in our Flexicar van

After wandering through the showroom jotting down the aisle numbers of the bits we needed, and dragging through the housewares where I found a couple of very cute lamps and a lampshade for one of my side table lamps, we loaded up our 200 lbs of bookcases, waited in a very long line, and somehow used the combined strength of our flabby limbs to get them up to our second and third floor apartments. (To be fair, I have an elevator, he doesn't - so his was 3 floors of stairs. Ow.)

I got the big tall medium brown Billy bookcase. I put it together this evening, and it looks pretty great. It was actually fairly easy - I am an Ikea veteran, if there is such a thing.

But that's just where the fun starts. In addition to my lovely (and tall - did I mention tall?) bookcase, I got doors. Really pretty etched glass doors. Really pretty etched glass doors with the most incomprefuckinghensable instructions I have ever seen.

You'd think it'd be a bit of Tab A into Slot A, which I'm pretty good at. But no, instead they have illustrations of a man holding the door next to the bookcase while the woman does something INEXPLICABLE which makes the noise, "CLICK".


I couldn't get it to go click. Well, I could get one hinge to go click, at best. But never all three at once.

I messed with it for an hour. Or more. I tried my best, but couldn't get it to work. So tomorrow I'm going to get Snow to help me with it. And you know what? It'll work the first time. I just know it.

It's gonna look cool though. Cool as any bookcase drenched in the blood of the frustrated can, anyway.