Keep the Customer Satisfied
(26 June - 5 July 2001)

5 July 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-I'm starting to really feel good about the many jobs, volunteer at HS to coach debate plan after college.  I LIKE libraries, & I like working at them.  & besides, they're good institutions.  & the best way to effect change in HS kids is to coach debate, where at least I don't have a state-issued curriculum with a state-issued textbook.  Groovy.  Now I just have to get a novel published & we'll be set.  Shoot!  I have to FINISH it first!
-Stop the presses!!  Mesco has updated her site!  What's next, the return of Schneider's site?  Wow.  Though how she makes fun of others being low-tech is beyond me...

4 July 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-I've got your independence right here.
-I've been doing an awful lot of bowling lately.  Which is good, because I'm enjoying it & it's a good break from being so darn restless.  Last night, with DK & JP, I bowled a 187.  This was actually disappointing, because in the middle of the game, 6 frames (#2-7) looked like this:  XXXX9/X.  That should yield something better than a 187.  But it didn't.
-A conversation with Mesco reveals that, among other things, Bastille Day is a good pastry.  Yes, you read that right... don't try to make grammatical revisions.
-Hmmm... to delve into first person or not?  Ah well, must finish Part One first.  & that's at least 5 days away, right?
-Mike STANTON is an All-Star?  What a load of garbage.  The Yankees continue to be an utter blight on baseball, & now that they're bitter after getting 0 elected starters, Joe Torre has to come & bail them out with 7 selections, including brilliant picks like Stanton!  Arthur Rhodes is better in almost every statistic, or for gosh sakes, get another CLOSER instead of middle relief!  At least we'll be hosting the All-Star game, & winning it in the first half of the game when 4 M's start, though the 7 Yanks will probably blow the game late.  Boo.

3 July 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-Time for a little statistics... at yesterday's pace alone, this novel will finish by my deadline at 528 total pages.  Wow, that'd be crazy.  At the OVERALL pace (which is almost precisely at 3 pages/day, which includes all the days I haven't written anything, & yesterday's twelver), I'd end up at 213 pages, which isn't TOO shabby, but also isn't where I want to be.  So somewhere in between would be good.  I'm starting to get really excited again, which is vital since I was scared out of my mind 2 nights ago that I wasn't going to finish at all.  I have till early August.  35 days, I approximate, to get it all (first draft) done.
-Arg.  We need a new mouse!
-The machinations of APDA are exceedingly slow in some ways...
-I HATE Ticketmaster!  They've even taken over the Journal Pavilion!  & who knew Pavilion only has one l?  I didn't till I went there today.  At least I saved myself the "mailing fee" of something like $5.  Because, I guess, stamps were recently raised from 34 cents to 5 dollars.  Crikey...

2 July 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-In so many ways, yesterday was the longest day EVER.  Wow.  I think we got 48 for the price of 24 in there.
-The problem with writing ANYTHING is seemingly inevitable misinterpretation.  Even the explanations of interpretation can be misinterpreted.  Woo, I'm excited.
-12 pages is a good day.

1 July 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-Good golly.  I just realized that it was one year ago today that I first went to the Grand Canyon (well, first time since I was 4).  It all seems like almost ancient history in some ways... I feel like so much has wobbled in my emotions since.  Not to say that I've really fundamentally changed, but that I've gone through a lot nonetheless.  Including a year of poor physical health, among many many other things.  I finally realized that my recent breathing trouble & sore throat has been the result of the visit to the lake, or more precisely, IN the lake.  Other than that, though, things are just fine.  I have to average SIGNIFICANTLY more pages per day this month than ever before.  I'm closing in on 100 total, & that's just insufficient.  Behind pace.  Here is the month where it all better pick up...
-Is this an example of not being done with the past, or the past not being done with me?  After realizing that I was at CTY with Amy Phillips 6 years ago, I started to wonder about some of the old folks from there.  It's such a weird experience because it's so tight-knit & intense for 3 weeks at a time, & then one never sees these folks again, except at random intervals like playing frisbee at NYU one day, or who knows what.  Regardless of which, CTY has alumni e-mail websites running around & while looking at these for my time at CTY, I ran across Sam.  Talk about someone I haven't thought of in a long time.  The kicker is that this girl was one of my first public & most embarassing crushes... seemingly the whole camp knew I liked her & it ended up being a disaster.  She felt sorry for me at a dance & ended up asking me to dance, then realized that I liked her & set the record straight about that.  The things we can't forget in this life.  I tell you, I don't forget anything.  Makes me want to go read "Dead Letter" again & throw my hands in the air.  Anyway, the kid's gone & gotten herself a life, apparently, like we all eventually do.  Mind you, I never much knew her in the first place:  she was cute, smart, & had an interest in Russian history.  This was the summer of '94, to give you some context.  Christ.  Well, anyway, she just graduated from Brown as a cosci major, from what I can discern from her website.  & she seems to be somewhat happy, despite the difficulties of making choices.  But that's just what her last update, from April, indicates.
-Anyone notice that the more I work on my novel, the longer some of my Intro' entries become?
-Oh, & I meant to mention that I saw "A.I." on Friday.  With DK, the day it came out, in the afternoon at Rio.  I was partially wrong about the movie.  It's not as hardcore as I'd feared about robots having souls.  As DK said, "there's a lot going on in that movie".  For me, though, it was about one thing.  It's about what a hazardous curse it is to love.
-There are days on which the enormity of the human experiment becomes too much for me.  In my awareness of its vast diversity & amplitude, I'm feebled in the very presence of so much experience, both wise & unwise.  Today is one of those days.

30 June 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-Just like that, it's about to be July.  June was good in most ways, but a little subpar in the most important one.  July CANNOT afford subpar!  At all!  It's time for me to crackdown on myself again!

29 June 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-I dunno what it is, but something seems to be making John a lot happier.  Which is more than fine with me!
-& then there were three.
-Waffle House is always one of the more reassuring places I know of.  Even at 3:30 in the morning, there's decent conversation with strangers & a friendly atmosphere, a bulwark against the night.  That's generally a nice little lift.
-Driving back from WH, on 2nd Street, there was a whole string of blinking streetlights.  Reminded me of Katie's old "Undecided" poem (see "Where the Children Play" magazine, first semester last year, same issue in which "Fleeting" appeared).  Except that it was pitch black, being 4 o'clock.  So instead of flickering, it seemed to scream emergency into the predawn air.

28 June 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-Today seems like a miscellaneous day to catch up on things, though what exactly I'm not sure.  Maybe it's just that combination of Nikki leaving for Rwanda today, Fish leaving for DC tomorrow, & Lisha & Mesco contributing epic-length entries in their daily update pages of their own.  Or maybe it's just me trying to get something redeeming out of being an idiot lately, see yesterday's grand event.  Regardless, DK & I the other day had some enormous fun talking to the A.I. Chatbot the other day, & then Stina & I chatted about such last night.  Basically, I'm worried that this new film is going to be the indoctrination movie... the last step in undoing people's belief in a soul or in anything special about humanity or life.  That's putting it a wee bit far, but it's all in Huxley, so I don't know why I bother talking about it.
-Lisha also reminds me about genetic debates, although what SHE talks about is even more relevant to Huxley.  So I say to you, go read your Huxley!  But also think about why we have waterskiing dogs when many people cannot eat because of economic distribution.  Priorities!  This is why America is not the greatest country in the world... it has dogs waterski while humans starve in its streets.
-Also, from Mesco's discussion about music about boys, I'm reminded that Fish declared (a few days back) that "every song is about a girl".  Needless to say, this sparked massive accusations of the 2 of us at each other regarding the others' crackfiendishness.  Ay!
-Speaking of crack, also, or drugs of any ilk, I wonder what Vet's up to right now.  Anyone remember the 50 pounds of fine-cut heroin story?  Howie Epstein, noted bass player for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, was arrested on I-25 in 'Burque yesterday for speeding, then for stealing a car, then for having 3 grams of black tar heroin.  Please note discrepencies from a Vet-like tale:  1, black tar vs. fine-cut & 2, 3 grams vs. 50 pounds.  Now, keep in mind that said bassist (& companion) are in deep Sununu for their drug infraction, seemingly in deeper Sununu for that than the grand theft auto.  Again, how much would Vet's alleged friends' stash ACTUALLY have been worth?  Something to briefly ponder, in the world of waterskiing dogs.
-Finally, also inspired via Mesco, the 8's.  She speaks of blinking 8's, but I want to talk about the license plate I saw about 4 days ago... it was all 8's.  Seven of 'em.  It looked like this:  8888888.  Except they were all red, filling the yellow plate.  Incredible.  It looked utterly spooky & seemed a testimony to the intelligence of the guy in the car.  Unless, of course, THAT was a stolen vehicle trafficking heroin as well.
-Oh, & from Lisha again, she used the word "ginormous"!  I'd never heard that word till Madeline's friend Brooke (who lived in the room next door) used it so often.  Apparently it's spreading...

27 June 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-I tend to have less figured out about this novel than I think.  Not substantially less, but less.  The novel's writing me as much as I'm writing it.
-Today I hung out with Megan & Fish.  That was all good, all great in fact, before we went & got ice cream.  There was bowling & lunch & I always forget how much fun it is to hang with Megan, but I'm always reminded again.  Great.  So, anyway, we go & get ice cream, which was good (even though I paid because Megan & Fish COMBINED beat me in the 3rd game - but only by 10 pins), but backing out of the Baskin-Robbins parking lot was not so hot.  I rammed the Kia's back tire straight into the Baskin-Robbins sign pole.  Yippee.  I thought it might be okay, despite the jarring shock of hitting the sign, but notsomuch... basically, I dented the back door of the car, bent the tire-bar out of position (now it doesn't close) & made myself feel like a total fool.  I also swore a whole lot in front of Megan, Fish, & this idiot woman in a red pickup who wanted us to "get out of her way" as we were surveying the damage.  Anyway, no one to blame but myself & boy do I feel stupid.  Much like I felt when I careened into the road in San Diego or when I got ripped off by that con-man at Waffle House last summer.  These events create such massive mind-games with oneself.  What could I have done differently?  How could I have changed the outcome?  We briefly debated going to Dairy Queen instead of BR, for example... that would have been sufficient.  Clearly, me paying more attention would have helped all-around (that's the real mental killer).  Also, we have the geography of the BR parking lot, which places the sign actually IN the parking lot.  My Dad was lecturing me on the ills of telephone poles (assuming it was that kind of pole) when I told him that if it WERE a telephone pole, I wouldn't have hit it.  So now I have even less money than I thought I did & feel so damn stupid.

26 June 2001
[from Albuquerque]
-Happy Birthday Mom!
-I'm so tired right now, but I have to write... not just obligatorily, but I really FEEL compelled to write; it's that deep-down compulsion stemming from inspiration, but it's frustrating when I can barely keep my eyes open.
-I felt the early warning of a sore throat yesterday... if I get sick for what, a 5th time this year, I'll just give up.  What a lousy year for my immune system!
-"The space between what's wrong & right is where you'll find me hiding waiting for you.".  Or perhaps more importantly, "It's not going to stop, till you wise up.".
-Life is nothing more than the swirling of hello & goodbye.  I could add even more quotes, like "It's hard to say hello in a goodbye world."  Or even the entirity of the Beatles' seventh song on "Magical Mystery Tour".  There's nothing here to say that hasn't become cliche long ago, & yet it's still profound.


Introspection, My Worst Friend* (Current)
Ye Olde Archive (Past)

Tell me this is not the end...*

*-lyrics from an as-yet unreleased song, "The Same Old Frontiers", by SWClayton.