Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Just one more fight
About a lot of things
And I will give up everything
To be on my own again
Free again

This time I'm 'a let it all come out
This time I'm 'a stand up and shout
I'm 'a do things my way
It's my way
My way, or the highway

Some day you'll see things my way
Cause you never know
Where, you never know
Where you're gonna go

- My Way, Limp Bizkit

Yes, those are my teeth. No, I'm not smiling. I wouldn't call this happiness but I do feel alive.

There's something to be said for feral living.
:::::posted by erratic :: 10-something PM EST linky

Monday, July 30, 2001

The waning light fills the sky with a dark and iridescent blue. I sit atop the stairs and take a long draw from my cigarette. The fireflies flirt with the hot coal as it flashes brighter and dimmer. The patch of electric dusk is framed by the trees and the dark silhouette in front of me.

It is not a dwelling, but a monument.

A tribute for future generations, a shared monolith to those who chose to pass the time within, silent and imposing, seeing all and saying nothing.

A place to begin, a place to grow. A place to end, a place to vacate and release from memory. Good and bad, some of the most significant events of my life happened here, and it stands silent witness to them all, a symbol of the fleeting nature of people, in stark contrast to what they create.

I don't know what has happened here before. I don't know what will happen here after. I find comfort in that: the impressions of what transpired in this place may be resonant within the walls, yet only the memories live within those who created them. You can write it, draw it, videotape it, it doesn't matter. The true nature of any time can never be fully captured outside of the mind, and not much closer within it.

I only have a few short weeks remaining, living off of the crumbs of an existence once fully defined. There is something frightening and invigorating about living on the edge of the apocryphal, on the remnants of what was, extricating from the tangle of the past while starting anew.

Even if I don't entirely know what that means yet.

I never expected it to be like this. I am more philosophical now, living on the fire rather than the fear, although there are generous helpings of both on which to dine, suitable as the mood strikes.

There are tough times ahead. I find that statement rather trite, there are always tough times ahead. And happy and sad, fast and slow. Days you want to relive through eternity; wide-eyed, never-ending nights spent staring into the abyss.

My life is littered with monuments. The monuments are littered with my life. The intertwining realities of structure and experience, of gravity and consciousness, brought to bear in a collision of time and space.

The darkness envelops me, and I feel embraced. Another shared moment of my mind and my monument, that no amount of eloquence can adequately capture. Complacency and tension, stress and relief, sad reflection, wistful anticipation.

Perhaps I should just go back inside. There is so much more to do.
:::::posted by
erratic :: 11-something PM EST linky

Saturday, July 28, 2001

"That's surprising around here. I can't believe something like that would happen in this neighborhood."

The camera pokes rudely into the driver's side window; a tired looking man claims the recent soda bottle bombs are a complete surprise to him.

Well, fucking DUH.

Even the loose definition of "news" that is spewed into the tube is only interesting if it doesn't happen very often. How many times does the morning broadcast start with "in world news, the sun rose today...just slightly later than yesterday, in fact."

You never hear about the crime that happens all the time.

Granted, "soda bottle bombs" sounds like the punch line to a bad joke, or perhaps an up-and-coming punk band, pr perhaps an up-and-coming punk band that is the punch line of a bad joke. I would hate to be the felons admitting their crime in prison if they catch them.

"What are you in for?"


"Armed Robbery"

"Soda bottles"

I think I know whose wish list’s top item is soap-on-a-rope.

Why do we need the shocked neighbor reactions? Do soda bottle attacks happen often anywhere?!? If they did, would you care about anyone who chose to live there knowing this?

"Oh yeah, third one this week. Can't go more than a day or two without another incendiary Pepsi two-litre going off somewhere. You get used to it though."


If you want to impress me, show me a soda bottle attack in Lebanon. That the mortar attacks and rocket launchers were set aside for an evening so plastic pressurization weapons could be tried out. Even if only to try something new.

Otherwise, tell me about the oddity of it, and perhaps make an offhand joke, and move on to the next pile of carrion to pick over. I don't care what the shocked neighbor thinks.

Or the jaded one.

Or the anchor for that matter.

Why the hell do I even leave this thing on?
:::::posted by
erratic :: 09-something PM EST linky

Thursday, July 26, 2001

It would only take an hour. Maybe two.

I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.

Move the server. Bring it up in the new site. Just some simple IP reconfiguration, and a little massaging of the DNS. What could be simpler?

OK, so there was some weird error. Nothing tragic. I need to redefine the site boundries and set up a new replication path. OK...that wasn't so bad.

DNS error. Weird one. Better strip out the secondary server (the one being moved) until the zone updates itself.

Access denied. Hrm. Seems to be a machine account problem. Better reset it.

Can't reset a DC. Shit. Should demote it first.

Can't demote a DC that has an account problem. Dammit.

Force it... brute force. Reset. Good.

Okay, now demote.



I hate this.

It's been 4 1/2 hours and it's only limping. Better call Microsoft.

Talk to them for SIX HOURS. No joke. One call. Continuous.

They're under the impression the server's fucked. Oh good. I think I knew that already.

At 10 PM I am arguing about packet filter rules with a faint European accent. I'm right. I know I'm right. If I were wrong you would have found the problem already.

Apparently I only find the cool shit that goes wrong.


Allegedly a research team embarks on this next.

Don't worry though...I'm not gonna let this go until it's working again. I heard those words escape my lips.

I volunteered to see it all through.

I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.

But not until I take a sleeping pill.

:::::posted by
erratic :: 10-something PM EST linky

Wednesday, July 25, 2001

I have a confession to make.

I couldn't give a flying fuck about this whole Chandra Levy "scandal".

That isn't to say that I don't feel sympathy for her, or her parents, or that I don't raise my eyebrows whenever a new tidbit of information trickles out about Rep. Condit and what sort of bullshit he's been up to.

The real crime is that a member of Congress gets away with screwing over the public (quite literally) yet it takes a missing woman for people to notice. Not to mention the silence. The dodge, the arrogance, the mystery. What ever happened to the good old days when our Congressmen got drunk, drove off a bridge, drowned their female companion in a river, swam themselves to safety and claimed ignorance about the whole thing the next day? At least we had a body.

The news media is now spouting off about their duty to follow such a huge story to its conclusion. That people need to be informed about whatever it is that interests them; whatever is important to their lives.

Dan Rather, someone for whom I will never feel less than moderate contempt, made a half-assed apology for initially skipping over the story. While the reasons he did not want to add to the frenzy are suspect, the result was one that made sense. At least I can hate him again for caving in. I'd hate to think I agreed with him on anything.

So what possible effect could this have on any of our lives? How can something that is completely beyond my ability to affect it in any way be so critical?

Condit is not my representative. Levy is not someone I know, nor are any of her friends or family. I have no information to offer in the search for her, and neither does anyone I know.

In short, the only captivation this story offers is to immerse the public into a case that provides distraction from our individual spheres of caring or influence.

There is a small and eclectic assemblage of people I care about, to varying degrees, and anyone outside that circle is, basically, trivia. So while the trivial pursuit of Chandra and what happened to her is something I will note with a "hmmm, interesting", I can't change what is happening. The emotional investment of the "riveted American public" can't pay off, and only serves to increase a sense of frustration and helplessness as the story continues to play itself out, and no one can do a damn thing to change the outcome.

Have we really become such vultures?

I have long since abandoned the notion that TV media serves to inform. Even those that claim guiding principles approximating as much. The need is to evoke emotional responses, which becomes increasingly more difficulty as the steady stream of misery becomes more intense, counteracting the apathy that the previous round instilled. In short, streaming bad things into our homes, while compelling, numbs us when we have no ability to act upon what we hear. Eventually the callousness reaches a level such that evoking the same response requires a much higher dose of the negativity.

I told you TV was a drug.

Oh wait, another update...nothing new to report...just wanted to let us all know they're still beating it to death.

So who's gonna rehab the public on this one?

Then again, who cares?
:::::posted by
erratic :: 06-something PM EST linky

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

No, I'm not dead. But I wish I were.

I have an immune system that does me proud. Most of the time. I am not someone who gets sick very often.

Of course, when I do, I can be a pretty big baby about it. Waaa waaa waaa.

I'm not even sure what this is. It's been lurking below the surface for a couple days, and bloomed this past Sunday evening. Cold medicine helps some of it, but the rest of the symptoms seem to be tired, more tired, a general sense that something isn't right, and a desire to do next to nothing. I'm cranky.

Maybe it's George W. syndrome.

On a somewhat related note, have you ever noticed that some people seem to do the worst possible thing right about the time they should be leaving well enough alone?

My head is full of ideas, too. As soon as I winnow them from the gunk, I'll try to arrange them here.
:::::posted by
erratic :: 10-something PM EST linky

Sunday, July 22, 2001

Sometimes, and other randomness.

Sometimes I accelerate to 88 miles per hour just to see if I will jump to another time. So far it hasn't worked.


River rafting yesterday, sore today. There is "good sore" and "bad sore", and given that they both physically feel roughly the same, I am left in awe at the power of what the mind will bear in pursuit of happiness. Pain is relative. Happily, this summer has been littered with good sore, and only one instance of bad.


Sometimes my cat freaks out, although it appears to be caused by her occasional suspicion that she may not, in fact, be in complete control of the universe.


One of the biggest problems with the so-called "Information Age" is that wisdom is abandoned for data. While a focus group may be more effective for wringing out the last buck from a consumer base, it devalues human experience. People become lab rats, and memories are placeholders of time instead of lessons to be learned. While looking at the world through new eyes is a healthy practice, abandoning lessons learned altogether is as foolish as upholding traditions past their usefulness.


The problem with living alone is that when you leave a coffee cup lying around somewhere, that thing will sit there FOREVER, unless you pick it up again yourself. Or it erodes to dust. Whichever comes first.


Sometimes I make a healthy attempt at leaving it up to erosion.


The most dangerous, most pervasive, most addictive, most brain-damaging, most widely used drug is: television. That's why the TV news is so hot to tell you all about all the other drug problems. It keeps the heat off.


Sometimes I wish my cat could talk. Sometimes I am infinitely thankful she can't.


I coated myself with spf 8000 at least 4 times yesterday. I dodged UV overexposure sundrome (sunburn) once again, except for my *scalp*. I do not have a shaved head. I don't even have particularly short hair. I cannot begin to tell you how distressed I am over this, although not now as bad as when I tried to brush my hair for the first time this morning. Ow.
:::::posted by
erratic :: 08-something PM EST linky

Friday, July 20, 2001

Bush Says He Is Not Isolationist - Now Leave Me The Fuck Alone!

President Bush, declaring he was not an isolationist on the eve of the G8 summit, said on Thursday he was going to the meeting to ensure poor nations were not hurt and that free trade ruled.

He then voiced his wish that everyone would just go away for a while.

:::::posted by erratic :: 01-something PM EST linky

Thursday, July 19, 2001

It started with the nagging sense that I was out of place. Luckily it didn't last too long.

Not that anyone would have come up and told me so, although in the beginning I was half expecting someone to. Here I am, amidst hippies and free spirits, walking through the fairgrounds.

I had just taken in the spoken art of Alix Olsen for the second time in as many days. Her angry words contrast against her enthusiastic performance and I find that I am applauding again. Only later do I realize that her words are still with me, and I am even more impressed.

The surreal environs create enough of a distraction to forget that I am a thirty-year-old now. In the middle of the jugglers, hula hoopers, and streamer-wavers with Amber, Holli, Brooke, Janelle, Alwin, Julia, Megan and little Janelle, numbers of any sort are rendered meaningless. This is the cap to an already spectacular weekend.

After all of the trepidation I had concerning some silly round number bearing down on me like a freight train, I barely noticed any change at all. In short, I can say that I was making it a much bigger deal than it was...or perhaps it was the company I chose to keep.

Either way, thank you everyone.

I was paid the highest compliment last weekend. Amber looked at Holli and urged her to be like me when she reached my age. No, not a bitter, cynical crank riddled with neuroses, but someone always willing to try new things, experience new surroundings. I am still blushing.

I think 30 looks good on me after all.
:::::posted by
erratic :: 09-something PM EST linky

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

I sat on the hillside in the cool, clear, night air, staring into the brilliant canopy of stars above. An invisible clock, somewhere, silently commemorated the passing of midnight.

No balloons, no candles, no cacophony of celebration...only a faint "happy birthday" from the dark, enveloping, reassuring stillness.

It was a beautiful day.

:::::posted by
erratic :: 08-something AM EST linky

Friday, July 13, 2001

In just two days time, I will be passing another of life's little milestones.

I’ll be turning 30.

I have been telling myself that it is only a number, and any scariness associated with flipping the digit on the significant side of the odometer of life is nothing more than a product of having five fingers.

If people had six fingers on each hand, I'd only be turning 24 on Sunday. Then again, I would have voted at 16. Driven at 15. And the 1Bth year is not only tough to pronounce, but where would you find the 'B' candle?

I suppose base 12 would have a different set of symbols if we used it all the time.

But the average lifespan would be 60, and whether or not the passing of a particular age was attributable to round numbers or a percentage of the clock that has been used up would be more evident.

However, people don't go around "High-sixing" one another. No one holds out both hands and says "gimme twelve". So I am stuck in this damn base 10 reality for the moment, and unless that changes in the next 48 hours, the beginning of my fourth decade on Earth will happen sometime Sunday afternoon.

I have tried to avoid the cliché soul-searching and self evaluation that birthdays bring, but then again, who am I kidding...I do that whole self-evaluation routine on any random Wednesday night, so for a day that screams "know thyself, you pathetic bastard!" it is clear that some degree of self-worth gymnastics is going to occur.

So, instead, I plan on trying to hide. Heh.

Life is certainly interesting these days. I suppose it's always interesting in some fashion, and I should be grateful for, at the very least, not being bored all the time. I just wanted to have learned much more than I have by now, or, at least, have had learned everything I know now a couple of years ago.

Oh well.

I suppose that if life were nothing more than a checklist of things to do before you die, I am doing rather well. The great dilemma, however, is the balance of making sure enough items get ticked off to feel like I'm accomplishing something, while leaving enough on the list to aspire to in the future. No matter what age one is, having a list with "Die" as the only remaining item is pretty depressing. What to do, what to do.

So, yeah, I am going to fall victim to the "it's a round number" paranoia, because unlike the year 2000, this one is singling me out, and I am not so resilient against a numerically personal attack.

Or maybe it looks worse from this side of it. I can't say that I am entirely sorry to see my twenties go.

Maybe I'm just getting old. Ugh.

Don’t worry though, I have no plans to grow up anytime soon. The “older” part is the only one that doesn’t listen to reason.

See you on the other side.
:::::posted by
erratic :: 06-something AM EST linky

Thursday, July 12, 2001

It would appear that while we are less than halfway through the month, July is proving to be a tough month on arms.

Keep yours inside the windows while the bus is in motion, eh? At least for the next two weeks.
:::::posted by erratic :: 07-something PM EST linky

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Thank you for calling _. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold for the next available service representative.

* insert appropriate length of muzak here *

Please continue to hold. Your call is important to us.

* doo be doo be doo *

Please continue to hold. Your call is important to us.

* sigh *

We are experiencing an unusually high call volume at the moment. We apologize for the delay. Please continue to hold.

* taps fingers *
Ohhh, symphonic Stairway to Heaven, THAT'S original.

Thank you for continuing to hold. We are experiencing an unusually high call volume at the moment. All customer service representatives are assisting other customers. Please continue to hold.

* dum de dum de dum *

Please continue to hold. A customer service representative will be with you shortly.


All customer service representatives are assisting other customers. If you would like to continue holding, please press "1" now, otherwise, leave a message after the tone.

WTF? *beeep* (presses 1)

You have indicated you would like to continue holding. Please continue to hold, all customer service representatives are assisting other customers.

*"Spanish Flea" starts*

All customer service representatives are assisting other customers. If you would like to continue holding, please press "4 now, otherwise, leave a message after the tone.

Nice try... *boooop* (presses 4)

You have indicated that you wish to continue holding. Persistent little fucker aren't you? Oh well, since you have nothing better to do anyway, here's some more crappy music to listen to.

*bad instrumental version of "Wind Cries Mary"*

You're still here? Jesus, what the hell do you want? Look there's only two of us here and all we can do is answer phones and take your name and number anyway, so just leave a fucking message and let us be. We're not paid enough to put up with your crap anyway.

*"instrumental version of the theme to "The Bodyguard"*

(A series of clicks)

Thank you for calling _. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold for the next available service representative.

:::::posted by
erratic :: 03-something PM EST linky

Monday, July 9, 2001

Approximately thirty blogs times two weeks of not following them equals a fucking giant heap of reading to catch up on. Even taking into account the vacationers and light posts that seem to happen during the summer.

I just finished. Dayum.

Oh yeah. Email is next. If you've sent me anything that you expected an answer to in, oh, say the past nine years...it's coming. Patience, grasshopper....
:::::posted by
erratic :: 01-something PM EST linky

Sunday, July 8, 2001

Given that a single evening has taken 4 days to tell in three parts, and that this is part three, I am happy to announce that this story is as complete as it's ever going to be, and I will be moving on to some of the more general loony-ness that typifies the regular fodder here.

Part III

Tony wrapped up his set to a backdrop of riotous applause, the accolades of an appreciative crowd showering its approval of what it just witnessed. I am not a "whooping" fan by any measure, but I found myself yelling insofar as I am capable in public. It was a good show.

The remaining breakdown of the stage and setup for the following act (how could anyone follow what we just saw) passed without event, until Tony came over and sat down at the table where Amber and I were. I remember feeling like a V.I.P.: yes, in fact, he's now going to sit with *us*. We were encouraged to spend a few moments taking in the next act. We obliged, and it was well worth the cost. One of the many indelible (and hysterical) memories of the evening is Tony singing an upbeat version of some random suicide song. "Razorblaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade" I am engaging on a concerted campaign for a legitimate cover of this song to be recorded. I hope it works.

The cacophony of the act following Tony became too much for Amber to bear, so I agreed to guard the waiting pint of beer for its owner to return before retreating downstairs, away from the invasive sounds of the current performer. When he dropped his pants and began playing the keyboard with his ass, I decided the beer could wait for its own owner, and I retreated downstairs as well.

The room was filled with smoke, and a pool table. The entire room was such that the importance of the pool table was emphasized. This room was about playing pool, or watching others play pool. The benches along the walls were comfortable, though.

Here, more drinks were ordered and consumed, and a far more intimate conversational atmosphere allowed for deep discussions of life and philosophy, and blogs. Having sufficiently demonstrated that we were all in possession of lives outside of the box, an unspoken permission to discuss the web opened up another realm of rumination to the bloggers in the room, as well as the blogger-uninitiated. Here, too, the fourth blogger joined us, Kate. Kate defined herself as a "beginner", something I found mildly amusing as I realized that while I like to consider myself the same, having 15 months of near-daily entries under my belt, I was a more of a "veteran." I listened to myself hand out advice regarding what blogging meant to me, what to expect over time, and what the lifecycle of a weblog was, insofar as I have observed and experienced.

She called Amber and me web-celebrities. Haha! Flattery will get you everywhere.

Discussions continued about life, the universe, and everything, and every so often I would stop, mentally remove myself from the proceedings, and look in at an ecclectic group of comrades discussing anything worthwhile (or not worthwhile) and I was struck by the bohemian moment that takes place in the basement of a bar in the lower-east side of Manhattan. This was the stuff of novels or movies. A microcosm of the universe in a corner of an insignificant room, illuminated by the interplay of the souls within it. We were there for over 3 hours, and sometimes it felt like mere minutes. Sometimes it felt as if this was a new permanence of being, and that was just fine. We could suspend time and stretch a perfect moment out to infinity.

Sadly, that is never truly the case.

As the night turned to early morning, the sounds upstairs went from purposely performed art to a rowdy (but in good fun) group of increasingly inebriated musicians and patrons playing and singing anything and everything that came to mind. I have always believed that it is far easier to determine the true extent of someone's talent when they are goofing around. True, an official performance is the mark of (in theory) the best foot forward of a musician, however I find it more telling to see the abilities that are not taken seriously by the owner. Not what they spend on the world in pursuit of their career, but what they "throw away" in the name of fun. Based on that scale, these guys are really good. Heh.

No, I can't say that enough.

Time marched on mercilessly, and as the sting of the hour met the sting of the alcohol and they shook hands, we began to collect our things and stagger upstairs and outside. Farewells (but not goodbyes) were issued all around, and the motley crew issued forth from the bar into the still, sticky air.

:::::posted by erratic :: 02-something PM EST linky

Friday, July 6, 2001

In case you missed the change, yesterday's two part-er became a three part-er. Here's part two:


Navigating to the back room of the bar was far easier than finding an place to sit. A medium-sized room lined with benches and filled with small round tables was all but full, while patrons of art and ethanol buzzed amongst themselves in a hundred versions of what transpired over dinner. Conversations...some heated, some calm, some desperate, some optimistic. The exchange of words, testing the senses of the participants while imbibing in chemicals that dulled them.

We find a vacant corner and proceed to occupy it. I look around the room...I know a thousand like it...trendy little spots with $7 drinks and far more attitude than reputation.

The beer was a little flat so I switched to margaritas. Tequila is always a good thing, and the Swiss tourists at the next table seemed to be enjoying theirs. I quietly patted myself on the back for recognizing the Swiss accent...most people would have pegged them for Germans.

Sometimes New York can be such a cool place.

The first act is difficult to describe. A talented singer with talented musicians singing awkward lyrics to the wrong kind of music. Kind of like Sade singing nursery rhymes to a Honky-Tonk band. That doesn't describe the sound, just the blatant ill-fitting collection of talents into something that showcases little of them.

From my perspective it only need be suffered through...I am really here for the next act.

When Tony took the stage it was like I saw him again for the first time. The latent energy I noticed at dinner was now bursting forth at the seams, straining to get out. The quiet, thoughtful man in black had suddenly become a high-energy rock-star.

It occurred to me that I had never heard his music before. I hope he's good.

I would love to describe the next 60 minute set...note by note...lyric by lyric. I feel that I owe it to to world, somehow. But I can't. I was instantly absorbed into the air, the high energy sound combined with the vibe of the room, and I stopped listening with a critical ear, sat back, and had a *blast*. I didn't have to worry about Tony being good, I have to worry about properly conveying my honest opinion without giving off the impression that I am trying to blow sunshine up his ass.

He's that good.

I haven't been able to classify his sound, which is a plus in my book. If I had to pin it to anything the closest I could come is “They Might be Giants”. Even that seems a bit flat. You really have to hear it for yourself. Original, fun, high energy, and very funny (at times). I ordered another drink, dreamed of a time when I've been "Dead Awhile", and sat back to take it all in.

Tony exuded pure energy as he fixed his gaze upon one member of the audience after another, telepathically communicating just how much he loves what he is doing. It shows in his performance, and fills his sound with life.

He sang about Dina. He sang about songs on the radio. He sang about life…in a way that makes you want to live every word you hear, regardless of whether it’s happy or sad.

He sang about heartbreak. Loss and anger and sadness and what to do with it all. I took a long drag of my cigarette, sat back, and nearly fell off my chair, laughing. It was funny, but more than that. It made me feel alive….

"...and if nobody loves you then so-the-hell what..."

:::::posted by
erratic :: 08-something PM EST linky

Thursday, July 5, 2001

OK...I have spent too many days trying to write this down already, so in the classic writer's style I decided to make it two three parts.

That would make this Part I.


For the first time all evening I am silently asking myself just what the hell do I think I'm doing. The reality is not so much that I am asking myself this question for a genuine answer, but that the sheer oddness of it finally hit.

I ordered another Coke. Alcohol wasn't required to enhance this scene; in truth, caffeine wasn't either, but Coke is the standby when I don't know what else to drink.

There is bustle all around me. Sitting at this table in one of a dozen Indian restaurants on 6th street on the lower east side of Manhattan. I haven't ever quite been to this part of the city before, but felt comfortable with the surroundings. I was just taking in the activity.

Waiters were tripping over each other and shouting strange orders at one another in some semblance of a recognizable language. Well, I have always assumed so. They could have been speaking in tongues for all I know...actually, for all I know, they were. However, whenever anyone from our table ordered something it seemed to show up, and any further analysis would be superfluous. Oh well.

Beyond the glass doors to my rear is the city. No, it's *The City*. There is no need to describe the bustle of The City. It is constant...omnipresent. You can feel it in the air, and smell it on the breeze. Electric and enveloping, it runs up your spine and down your fingers. I love the vibe in the village...so much more honest than greed of the financial district or the shallowness of midtown.

Somehow I don't think that I'd have been allowed to change into my "night clothes" in the bathroom of Moran's or Windows on the World.

I'm very hungry.

The initial fits and starts of the conversation were expected. Three people trying to fill the silence with whatever comes to mind, while some theme can be agreed upon. Given the participants present, the local geography seems to be a good place to start.

My first thought on this tête-à-tête-à-tête was that it would be a meeting of webloggers. Loony, Following Eden and Evil Twin were breaking bread in some form of a digital summit, communing over the state of our lives as they existed in the digital realm. But this wasn't happening, at least, not yet. This was Amber, John, and Tony, a web designer from California, a computer nerd from Jersey, and a transplanted Toronto musician sitting around a table...otherwise normal people shooting the breeze waiting for the appetizers.

It was weird because it wasn't. Not really.

That's not to say that the circumstance that brought the three of us around this table isn't surreal. The likelihood of any other medium drawing together these three otherwise unconnected people seemed incredibly small, however moot as well, since here we were. As time passed the conversation became easier, the company more trusting. The main courses were delivered and no one had really mentioned the web yet. How cool.

The Muttar Panir was awesome. I am an authority on this since it's the only Indian dish I will eat. I do that frequently with certain types of food. I find one thing I truly enjoy, and run with it. Every time I order Indian I get the same thing. At least I can compare all restaurants fairly.

Tony wasn't what I expected. I hadn't seen many pictures of him, but none of them did justice to the man. I was prepared for that possibility since I experienced something similar when I met Amber, but no matter how ready you are for it, the reality is a trifle disconcerting. No matter how accurately your personality translates onto the words of the web, the digital images and sounds that try to fill in the third, flesh-and-blood dimension of a living soul don't do a very good job.

That's probably a good thing. At least the surprises are all positive.

Stories turned back and forth, to and fro, in a great social round robin of the American dinner. Even if I could recount every word here, ninety minutes of inane and not-so-inane chatter is too much to replay in print. Suffice it to say, it was a good time.

Tony, who's upcoming musical performance was instrumental (pardon the pun) in drawing the three of us here, excused himself to go and prepare for the evening. I bid him farewell for the moment, paid the bill, and Amber and I took a short stroll towards Avenue A.
:::::posted by erratic :: 12-something AM EST linky

Monday, July 2, 2001

I don't know if I have ever so completely unplugged for such a long period before. It was a good thing.

No, I'm not dead.

Yes, I'm back...more or less. I have roughly a billion emails and voicemails to go through.

No, I'm not "OK" (but thank you for asking). Things are still good and bad (aren't they always), differently than before, but I have the energy to deal with some of it now. As for the others, well...

If I go dark again for a couple of days, don't be shocked. I found it more refreshing than I originally suspected.

To everyone who sent their good wishes and thoughts and hugs, thank you. You rock.

I find it odd that I have so much in me to write, and so little compulsion to put it all down at the moment. Some of it will get out of my head via phalangical transfer sooner or later. I am gearing up the machine.

We apologize for the delay, and thank you for your patience. Your call is important to us.

Please stand by.
:::::posted by
erratic :: 10-something PM EST linky

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© John McCabe, 2000
so be nice, 'k?