May, 2002: 46 posts.
Stray Lyrics, from Talking Heads:
i can answer your questions
if you won’t twist what i say
please respect my opinions
they will be respected some day
because we don’t need love
i believe that we don’t need love
there’ll come a day when we won’t need love
Went to see Tenacious D and the Strokes tonight with Jenny and Ewon. It was pretty good. Not too much to say about that. Turns out, I’ve seen a lot of concerts in my life. I’d better hit the hay; it’s very late.
Whoa, cool, MeFi and evolt.org profiled! Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself.
Two of the most significant independently created websites out there, MetaFilter and evolt.org, are profiled in this new book, which I will definitely be picking up. It couldn’t happen to a nicer couple of sites.
MeFi and the ‘volt are both examples of the fact that anyone with sufficient drive can create unique and engaging websites. One need not spend millions of venture capital money to build wonderful things. Kudos to both sites!
adflip.com – where I found this ad featuring Bill Cosby and my old computer, the TI-99 – which I’ve talked about before.
… previous entry where I get far too interested in a referrer, see: One of My Favorite Links to ArtLung.com, March 2002.
Today was a serious day. I suspect there will be more in the near term. Jennifer and I are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our marital bliss. We have no lack of for worse, for poorer, and in sickness, it’s the good stuff we’re having trouble with now. The plan as it stands is for us to separate next month. We must figure out how to live as individuals. This is a chance for renewal for the both of us I think. I spoke with my family today. Today was the day I broke the news about the Situation As It Stands. They were as understanding and as supportive as I could hope for, and much more than I expected. I laughed. I cried. I was particularly struck with my Father’s unceasing ability to find humor under the worst of circumstances, as he asked “Who will get custody of Che?” I have been amazingly lucky in drawing parents who I can be truthful with without having them explode on me.
I’m at a loss right now as to why I am sharing any of this here. I have not as of yet told my friends. Why make this most sensitive of topics available to anyone who cares to read it? The plain answer is that it feels honest to do so. I’ve been keeping this journal for over a year now, and this is something so earth-shattering that I can’t not put it in here.
Bleeding Into This Textarea
And so it is that I bleed my despairs and hopes into this textarea. How this has come to pass is something I will be pondering and working at in the months and years to come. My desire is always to understand myself and my world. And ideally, have a positive effect there. The problem is that in many ways I have failed myself and my wife in having a positive effect inside my marriage. I have been reading a great deal about marital problems and am trying to inventory those things that have gone so very wrong. It’s my strongest desire that no matter the outcome of my separation from Jennifer, that she have the best life possible. This is what I have always wanted for her, and for myself. I have an inclination that what will be best will be for us to be together, but there is no guarantee whatsoever that that is the preordained outcome.
Again I wonder about the advisability of posting this, but I think that this journal, this space to think, must be a part of my reevaluation of my life and how I live it.
Peace and Love to all of you out there across the world. Peace and Love.
Jennifer is away now. To retain a release valve, I have thrown myself into activity – work – personal projects – household chores – errands. I find that when I let myself think about where I am in my personal life I tend to want to scream or sob, which is not socially acceptable outside of the shower or in the car on my commute. And so it goes that time passes. I am in a new state of being not-exactly married, not-exactly single, not-exactly-divorced — a limbo called “separated”. As I pass through, not knowing how long I will be here, I try ta maintain.
The efficiency of this call sounds about right to my rusty medical ears. Methodical, cautious, and does what it needs to. It brings terrible news in the way that a person can handle it.
»Email Marketing from iMarketing News
»How to Advertise Responsibly Using E-Mail and Newsgroups or – how NOT to $$$$$ MAKE ENEMIES FAST! $$$$$
»Help for Marketers from Fight Spam on the Internet!
»This in particular is really on the mark:
Bulk email can be a powerful advertising medium. However it can also kill your reputation and get your web site shut down. If you advertise through bulk email, please be very careful about who you use. As an advertiser, you share in the responsibility for how email is sent. If you support a spammer with your advertising revenue, you share the blame for the spam. It is your responsibility to verify the management of the lists you support.
On the other hand, even the most well-run list may generate some false spam complaints. You should talk to your internet providers before you begin any bulk mail campaign. A list is judged not only by how many complaints they generate, but also on how they handle those complaints. – from Help for spam report recipients on Spamcop
good article on politics and the internet:
“But the Internet is fundamentally changing politics, but in unflashy ways that parallel what has happened in the business world. After the dot-com crash, two types of businesses have principally thrived by using the ‘net: Businesses that do old things in new ways that rely on the Internet’s unquestionable ability to increase the speed and quantity of information flows, such as eBay, and old economy firms, such as UPS, that use the Internet to do what they’re already doing better, faster, and more efficiently—for instance, linking suppliers and distributors in just-in-time inventory systems.
In politics, it’s very much the same. What matters is using basic new technology to do old things better, and focusing on substance, not on how sexy a web page can be. “A campaign Web site is a receptionist’s office. The really interesting stuff is occurring on the back end and through email,” says Michael Cornfield, a George Washington University professor currently writing a book about the Internet and elections.”
In other news, I picked up a new AC Adaptor from CryWolf Consulting yesterday for my Clamshell iBook SE. The old one was worn out, and when there’s no juice, computers don’t run. CryWolf seemed like a nice joint, and I may use them again.
The incomprehensibility of my own current emotional state continues to surprise me. Things are bad. Separation feels terrible. How did this happen? Have I not been supportive and accepting? Where did i go wrong? Is this because of our age difference? How on earth do people manage to grow together? There are no answers to these questions, are there?
What will happen?
I’m losing it. But I love her. Must be something can be done. Problems which develop over years cannot be solved in a day — but how to get my foot in the door to talk these things over when she’s moved out, and I’ve basically lost my emotional balance?
And I’m watching and I’m waitin hopin’ for the best
Even think I go to prayin’
Every time I hear em sayin’
That there’s no way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin’ everyday – Zappa
A few notes on the Current State of the (Marital) Union, and some on the State of my Psyche.
Today was hard. I was on edge and feared breaking into tears several times. I have reached out to many people who I feel may have insight for me into how things got the way they are for Jenny and me. Essentially, there are no easy answers, but the advice I get is to use common sense, don’t make rash statements and judgements, don’t push too hard on Jennifer, and give her space. Moreover, I am told that my ideas for crazy and stupid stunts are crazy and stupid. I am reading and re-reading correspondence and some books and trying to make sense of it all. I have spoken or telephoned or IM’d or emailed with many people — nobody can change the state of things as they are, but some can offer insight, and the caring I’ve received has been wonderful. I’m also trying to make real face time with friends and family. Human contact, in person, beats all the mediated communcation I can think of. After all, I truly fell in love with Jennifer only after flying to meet her. Something about that physical proximity – that human contact – is the whole point of the thing. In other news, I have booked a flight to go and see my sister in Washington D.C. later this month. A change of scenery will be good for me, and further enjoin me from doing the stupid things that cross my brain. Also, it’s been too long since I’ve seen my sister. This has a double effect of giving Jenny even more space, and getting her a chance to be here in the apartment and further move out. I realize that I’ve been in violent, serious denial about separation. But I don’t have the fear I once did of it. Jennifer and I are presented with a unique opportunity to reevaluate our lives and make a new start. New starts are a good thing, I think. And today I end this diary entry with hope, and not sorrow.
To all those who today have offered advice, I cannot but express my heartfelt Thanks.
Mike Roufa says: relationships are like playing jenga on the side of a hill
I think he’s a wise man.
She read some previous entries in my blog and had this to say: As for sobbing. I think it’s healthy under the circumstances. Screaming in the car is good too, very punk rock.
How cool is that?
I’m married to — well — separated from — a linguist – but this is so cool! — Gadget converts woofs into words: The Bowlingual: If Dr Dolittle can’t make animals talk, perhaps Japanese toy maker Takara can. Now we need one for a cat!
Despite being occupied with going to the post office, racquetball, to see the great new documentary Dog Town and Z-Boys, yesterday was an intensely difficult day.
I’m going to try to radically reform my life and figure out how I can be a better formed human being.
Part of that is doing some de-pack-ratting. So here are some things for Sale — check http://artlung.com/yardsale/ and spread the word. The audience for this blog is larger than just San Diego, but I think the shipping costs to anywhere but San Diego would make these deals not such good deals. I leave it to you. Thanks to those of you who have gone out of your way to offer sympathy and support. I only hope I can be worthy of such support.
Today has been full. I cleaned up some in the apartment. I threw away some junk. I made a pile of cool stuff that’s not wanted. I made a web page detailing same, and put them up for sale. I went to Kinko’s to get a color copy. I got a short haircut. I bought a pair of shorts, a belt, toothpaste and laundry detergent at K-mart. I took a shower and shaved. I went out to see Spider-Man with a friend of mine and her boyfriend. I got to know them a little bit when we went to Borders. I bought a book about relationships and the CD of the girl with the current “1000 Miles” hit. I ate chips and guacamole and beef and chicken fajitas with them at Chevy’s. I came home and did some dishes. I watched some of Enterprise. I watched Six Feet Under. I went for a mile walk to Twiggs in University Heights. I passed tiny little antique store – Gala – and they had cute things. They had some fun kitsch there. I drank a hot chocolate and read for 40 minutes. I walked down to El Cajon Boulevard, and all the way up it. I saw a drunk couple stopped at a car dealership while the man peed against a telephone pole. I heard a Mexican corrido band playing for a party that was ending. I picked up a Gatorade and The Reader. I came home. There are no new messages on the phone or in email. I wrote this post. Inside I am hollow and destroyed now. But somehow I will recover my Self. I am burning away the layers of delusion and habit and reactivity. I am learning that what I thought was pretty good and pretty stable, was actually a tender thing. I am learning what it means to be abandoned. I am learning to feel how my wife has felt for the past year and a half. Alone, abandoned, powerless. I have said too much and now I must go to sleep. I will now go to bed. The cat is here in the easy chair with me, asleep. He is not human, but he does comfort me.
Tonight I went over to see my Grandmother to break the news about Jenny and me. I was terrified about how she would take it. And the whole ghoulish thing is just so horrible to tell. My Grandmother was wise, and wonderful, and hopeful that the best outcome would come from all this. She wishes well to Jennifer, and was as supportive as I could imagine. I am so, so lucky to have family who always seem to offer insight. I am incredibly lucky to have her. Gradually, word is seeping out into the family. And as my Grandmother said tonight “problems are shared” – which I suppose is a kind of variation on “many hands make light work.” Though I have a hard time thinking that what I am now experiencing could ever be described as “light.” This is by far harder than anything I have ever had to deal with in my life. Though perhaps given time that assessment will change.
Also today I got an email from Jenny’s Grandmother. It was in Spanish, and I did pretty well with about.com’s spanish/english dictionary and of course babelfish – but I had the friend of a friend also take a look to make sure I got all the nuances. This is the first contact with Jenny’s Abuela in some time, and certainly since this started. She is doleful, but hopeful. The recurring theme I keep hearing is that this is normal — problems in marriage are par for the course. The question is how one deals with them. So far, I’m alive, and trying to make sense of it all.
According to Beth Hansen on 5/15/2002, my site is a blog for the web addict. At least that comment sounds like a compliment.
I’m feeling better. I’m less on edge. My sense of humor is returning. I still miss Jennifer. I have an appointment with a counselor today. Jenny is not coming, but I have (emotional) work enough to do on my own I suppose. I still think it would be helpful to get us to talk about what happened to our love/relationship/marriage in front of a third party — and Jennifer is still skeptical. Family has been wonderful, as have been friends. Tonight there will be family dinner on the Crawford “ranch” – everyone basically knows what’s happening, but this will be a big gathering. It should be fine. Also tonight, I will go see Attack of the Clones with my friend Ewon. That should be a good time — a diversion. Normally I would have seen this new Star Wars movie on the first day it was open, but not this time. Too much else going on in this life.
Onward. Work to be done.
I want something I did last night to be understood.
Last night I made a phone call to the person Jenny said she was going to see romantically – Jeremy. I got the phone number from one of the phone bills, and I managed to figure out that that was the one. I left a message with a person I suppose was a roommate — “Tell him that Joe Crawford called, and I left my number” — with no malice or anger in my voice whatsoever — I don’t know what I expected, but I was curious to speak with this person who I feel has had a substantial impact on my life.
I bear this person no ill will, and intend to do nothing stupid. It was just a phone call, after all. Apparently this person was upset and let Jenny know that I called, rather than call me back.
Anyway, I want it known that I did not intend to violate any privacy. It was more out of curiosity over the separation and broken marriage vows that concerned me. I was curious to talk to this person, and I’m not ashamed of that.
If Jeremy has no desire to talk to me, so be it — I won’t pursue it. But I’m in a stage where any legal and reasonable avenue of inquiry and exploration is open to me. I’m reading books, I’m going to therapy, I’m sending flowers, I’m consulting with family, I’m consulting with friends, and yes, I make phone calls and emails to people I don’t know. I don’t feel ashamed for any of my actions thus far. I’ve been honest and forthright altogether. I have WOKEN UP to my faults and failings, and hope to be a better person for it. I also intend for Jennifer to know that I do have great affection for her, and love her. I don’t expect ANYTHING I do to be a “magic potion” which will win her back. I will be making mistakes. Probably lots of them. That phone call, this entry — these may be mistakes. But I’ll never do anything wrong or illegal, and I’ll never hurt anyone. I know very well that that won’t solve anything.
I am trying to build a my life up again. I very much feel as though I was killed, and am struggling to come back from the dead.
I need to go offline for a while. In need of serious reclamation project. The best advice I’ve gotten in the past few days is:
~ act as though jenny is irretrievably gone
~ the sooner you get into that mindset, the better
~ then if she comes back, that’s a plus, and if she doesn’t, well, you’re already in that mindset, right?
To which I reply – Thank you, rudy. This is excellent advice. No amount of shenanigans will win her back. Either she wants me back, or not. I have to learn to be in my own skin again.
Tomorrow I’m headed a few thousand miles to see my sister and recalibrate myself for this new world.
I have more to say than will fit in this space. In lieu of words, here is a picture of my trip tomorrow from Washington, D.C. to San Diego.:
I’m back in San Diego, but I’m still on east coast time. Upshot? If I were in EDT, I’d be up late. But it’s PDT, so I’m up early.
As for the map in the previous entry, my flight actually went through Chicago, but you didn’t think the map in the previous entry was spot-on anyway, did you?
Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine looks like it’s gonna be a heckuva a movie. I remember the impact Roger & Me had on me back in 1989. The empowerment of the little guy, and the crazy guts it takes to make a movie for nearly no money and lots of guts was compelling to my 19-year old self. Heck, my 32 year-old stuff too!
Last week, Friday, I drafted an email to Jenny. I ended up not sending it. But I sent it to myself just in case I wanted to re-send it another time.
As I reread it I was so happy that it went to my dead letter office. Sometimes you want to talk, and it’s a really dumb idea. The watchword for relationship-strife communications: Caution.
In other news, it looks like Jennifer has updated her online journal.
From my good friend Ewon, kind of a bookend to the post about a Dog Translation device, Meanings of Meow: Cornell Researcher Seeks to Prove How Cats Manipulate People.
Not much new to report. Jennifer called late last night and left a message on my machine. We have administrative things to address, papers to sign, keys to turn over. She also asked how my trip was and wished me well. I’m having a hard time understanding how it is she still has any interest in that. I’m very much hoping she’ll take me up on joint counseling. Her last email seemed open to that. But who knows? A colleague of mine mentioned that marriage is a dynamic environment. I like that makes marriage sound like one of those spinning plate acts – where the performer has say, 6-10 plates spinning at the tops of thin spokes. They seem to totter, but somehow it works out. But then I think of when my marriage was at its’ best – early on, when everything seemed to work quite fluidly, organically even. Things clicked. I guess we just never made the proper transition from dealing with “good times” to “bad times.”
Best not to dwell on the past. But I’m definitely trying to constructively learn from the past.
While I was visiting Washington D.C. last week, my sister and I wandered around Georgetown a bit. In so doing one of the places we went was a place my sister had never been — Big Planet Comics. Now, I’ve lived all over. And I’ve been to a lot of comic book stores. My compliment that it is the third best is not a small one.
Big Planet is very clearly laid out. They actually store comic collections and graphic novels by author in many cases, very handy if you’re looking for say, works by Frank Miller or Alan Moore. They also have an extensive independent comics section of comics and collections that’s logically laid out. Most surprisingly, they have a great deal of foreign comics – French, German, Spanish. They also had a nice selection of new comics.
But they had more than “fancy” comics. They also had an extensive section of superhero graphic novels. I picked up two things (I can’t resist supporting a good store!) — The collected Earth X and Conversations with Charles Schulz. Both were worth the purchase. Earth X is beautifully done – but a bit heavy-handed and self-important. But it’s a fun read. The Schulz book is a collection of interviews with the Peanuts creator. The conversations span decades, and it’s a good read so far.
Now, about #1 and #2 in my “list” of Best Comic Book Stores. The best comic book store I’ve ever been to is Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles/Hollywood. They’re on Melrose Avenue, and have a tremendous selection of comics and magazines and toys and oddities. It’s also well laid out, and has lots of events with artists. A great store.
The second best store on my list would be Comic Kingdom, which was on University Avenue here in San Diego. I used to go to that one when I was younger (say, 17 to 25 years old?). The problem is, several years ago they went out of business. But they were great. Massive numbers of back issues, all the most current comics, books, collectibles. It was a great messy goulash of a store. Then one year, in my periodic trips to San Diego from Virginia while I was in RT school and working as an RT, I drove to the store and poof! No more store. That was a heartbreaker.
via the EFF… TINSEL TOWN CLUB!
Senator Ernest Hollings and a powerful group of Hollywood entertainment interests are pushing Congress to pass an anti-consumer bill called the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA) that may make it impossible to:
» Play your CDs on your desktop computer
» Create legal copies or mp3s of the music that you own to play in your car, or listen to while you exercise
» Create mix-CDs of music you’ve paid for
This is not the way copyright law is supposed to work. Tell your member of Congress that you value your fair use rights and don’t want Hollywood to control technological innovation.
After you contact Congress, check out the Tinsel Town Club video!