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42 ArtLung posts from June, 2002

June 2nd, 2002

The Weekend Update

This has been a really full weekend. Where on earth to start?

First off, for those of you with no patience, it was a good weekend. No donnybrooks.

Saturday I started off by playing racquetball with Bob Sturm, who soundly kicked my butt this weekend. Enjoyable games, all, but I was not at 100%. Next week. Maybe he was on a kind of a rush from being featured in a Wired News piece? Anyway, that was good.

At noon I walked over to Twigg’s to meet with Jenny. It was a brief, cordial meeting. We hugged, and got on to the business part of what we were there for. We exchanged the keys to each other’s cars. She gave up her keys to the apartment, and we both signed a document I drafted that laid out the circumstances as they are. Jennifer has moved everything (or 95%, anyway) out of the apartment, and is in a place of her own. She will no longer have access to the apartment, but may have “reasonable, supervised access” to pick up stray items and visit our jointly-owned cat. We also did the DMV paperwork to remove me from the title to her car. I also gave her a batch of mail. She’s done many, but not all, of her changes of address. In general it went better than most of the conversations we’ve had recently, and I’m pleased with my behavior.

On a hopeful note, she seems open to several things. to counseling for one, which previously she was against rather strongly. She’s also not so eager to say that things are through / over / finished. She acknowledges that basically the proverbial Fat Lady has not yet sung, and that at this point we don’t know how any of this will turn out. Not that this is ANY kind of guarantee of anything. I still must act in a cautious, skeptical manner. There’s no use getting my hopes up to such an extent that I only feel burnt again.

It’s sort of as though peace talks are starting. We’ve agreed in principle that we need to have peace talks, but we’re not calling off our armies quite yet.

For all that happened, we only saw each other for about 30 minutes. After that, we hugged, and I left.

For the rest of the weekend it’s been busy. I made two trips to Goodwill, bought some groceries, did laundry, went to my cousin’s confirmation, went to Fry’s with my friend Ewon, had Pizza (and Calamari and Antipasto) at Fillippi’s in Kearny Mesa, threw out a bunch of trash, and didn’t do much in the way of online stuff. It was a semi-unplugged weekend.

The capper is that I spoke with my sister, and my Uncle Jody, on the telephone. Jody had a nice analogy for relationships, a spiral dance – you interlock and interlace hands with your partner — and you spin. The more commitment you have (dating, seeing one another exclusivity, intimacy, living together, marriage, kids) the faster you are spinning. He says that in this anaolgy, you can see that if one person lets go, the one who does not let go gets knocked on their ass. The faster the spin, the harder the fall. It also points out the fact that the one who lets go first has the upper hand, they can prepare for the blow of suddenly letting go, and keep from falling too hard. I like this, it rings true for the my current situation.

Anyway, that’s my weekend. I’m tired now. I think I’ll hit the hay.

June 2nd, 2002

from the archives

on ferry from liberty to ellis island 8/24/93 11:40 EDT NY NY

a sketch I did into my journal/scrapbook on August 24, 1993. It’s of the New York skyline from the ferry which goes from Liberty Island to Ellis Island. It includes the World Trade Center, in silhouette. It’s funny, I remember drawing it, kind of quick and rough. 1993 was a long time ago. I’m going through many old things, and I’ll probably be putting some of them on the site, as is my habit. Everything goes online.

June 4th, 2002

Comics Retailing Contender?

In response to my post about comic book stores, Sassy the Comic Book Geek writes:

You gotta visit Forbidden Planet in NYC: three floors of pure nerdly goodness!

To which I reply: Yes, yes I do.

June 4th, 2002

May pal Ewon sent me this link

May pal Ewon sent me this link, which is indeed pretty funny — LipstickLibrarian.com. Worth a gander.

June 4th, 2002

Matt “Mr. Community” Haughey

Matt “Mr. Community” Haughey is profiled in the latest pixelview.

June 4th, 2002

Early to bed, early to rise? /or/ Decisions

I’ve always been a night person. Some of the best work I’ve done has been late at night or on overnight code and design sessions. So what can it mean that I went to bed at about 10pm last night? Or that I woke up at around 5am this morning?

I think I’m going to go with the explanation that I’m still on East Coast time, from my trip. But perhaps it’s time to discover my “inner farmer” – but there are no chickens to feed, no cows to milk.

I’m re-evaluating everything in my life, right? Might as well reconsider my sleep habits as well.

Meanwhile, I’m catching up on email, fed the cat, did bills. The mundanities that make up our lives, I suppose. Perhaps I’ll make up some of the Soyrizo I bought at Henry’s Marketplace this weekend. That might be good. So many choices. So many decisions. It’s coming a bit easier now.

Onward.

June 4th, 2002

More Archeology. A Baby Picture.

The expression fits just as well today.

picture of me from 1970 or so, as a baby

June 5th, 2002

A Typography Blog …

A Typography Blog — worth a look.

June 5th, 2002

Biometrics: Just as hackable as other authentication

June 5th, 2002

From The Dead Letter Department


I’m getting rid of lots of paper. Where I can, I put the nuggets of wisdom online. These minimal notes are from the two-day seminar given by Philip Greenspun at Caltech several years ago.

He used the WimpyPoint system to do the slides. Looks like his slideshow is protected, so I can’t provide the real url.

And Now, Assorted Notes:

One so-funny it’s sad thing was his mention of a tenured professor in Computer Science who in conversation asked him “what’s Oracle” and “what’s an RDBMS”

“No matter how good your user interface is, it’s better to have LESS of it”

“Q: Why is the war between Linux and BSD so intense?”
“Because there’s so little at stake.”

He dismissed graphic design almost entirely, at one point saying “Add a look and feel if necessary.”

On documentation manuals, and on why systems have to be made plainly learnable in and of themselves, he asks: “How much did you pay for your car? Have you read the owner’s manual?”

“The war (to build database-backed websites/communities) is won or lost on developing a data model, and specifying legal transactions.”

The standard SQL thing of ACID:
A – atomicity
C – consistency
I – isolation
D – durability

In building websites, the eternal tension is: “The wisdom of 50 years of software engineering” vs. “The Schedule”

The value of a toolkit (such as ACS) is that it requires less customization. It’s going to be better than a roll-your-own solution madly hacked in anticipation of an impossible rollout deadline.

At the time I thought this was interesting, but now I have a lot more respect for this statement… “SQL is actually very subtle.”

And lastly, on the myriad technologies available to the aspiring webhead: “Not everything you can learn is worth learning.”

June 6th, 2002

More Archaeology

The poetry of the 22-23 year old me. Pining for someone I could not have anymore. When I write my memoirs, that will be an interesting chapter. Until then, look on my works ye mighty and despair!

Well, actually, I’m going through old papers, and getting rid of lots of stuff. When something is interesting enough, I save it for a paper scrapbook. When it feels like it needs to go on the website, well, here it is.

Things are good. The cat actually just came into the office here and meowed at me — I think to come to bed. So off to bed.

I must have no shame. Old love poetry? Yeesh.

June 8th, 2002

Bagels & Lox

Today started with an early morning breakfast with my friend Steve E. at local deli D.Z. Akins. We talked of course about my current state of affairs, the separation, work, the web, search engines, the list. D.Z.A. is a great deli. Now, it’s not a Cantor’s or Carnegie Deli, but for San Diego, it rocks. I had something I’ve not had in a long time — a bagels and lox platter. What a sublime invention – this erector set of a breakfast. Assemble fat slices of fresh tomato, red onion, cream cheese, and of course the smoked salmon itself, all piled onto a bagel, and that is some great eating. Now, mind you, my appetite since this all started has been shot to hell. I’m continuing to lose weight too, less eating, more walking and exercise — feels good. But breakfast was inspiring.

Combine good food with good company — wonderful. Steve I met at a local user group some years ago at the Digital Design SIG — and it was he who sent me the Frank Zappa/Mothers ticket stub on my Zappa fan piece. We talked more about migrating the list off of yahoogroups. It’s going to be work, but I think it’s probably necessary. This summer, I keep seeing. When I can focus some attention on it, I need to figure out what features I’m using on yahoogroups and then begin to migrate.

After that, I went to racquetball. The problem is that the joint where I usually play was closed. So instead, my Aunt and I got our cars detailed. Banal, but my car looks great! For a 14 year old car that’s been cross-country twice and all over, it looks rejuvinated.

The next cancellation was the Barbecue I was supposed to go to today. The hostess got sick, so no party. So instead of making macaroni salad, I went to a thrift store and a comic book store.

Jenny called, left a message. She needs to come over and pick up some stray mail and clothes. Sometime in the next few days probably. We’ll see.

Tomorrow I should probably do laundry.

I think I’m through the crushing shock part of separation. Now I’m in the living part of it. I’m just trying to have a life, and be myself. It’s not impossible. I bet if you asked me that one month ago I’d have something entirely different to say. But life goes on.

Onward.

June 9th, 2002

Today’s Archaeology: Virtual World

More scrapbooking and archaeolgy. This is the membership card to Virtual World, which for a time in the early to mid 1990’s was a chain of networked game parlours. I remember that in the Pasadena branch they had a Mac there with an irc chat channel open, or was it an AOL chat window? Anyway, that was yet another very early taste of the internet.

Now, it looks like the first time I went into one of these was in 1994. I loved playing Red Planet. Everyone seemed to prefer the Mechwarrior games, but I liked Red Planet – it was a racing game – yes, you could blast your opponents, but you could also win by simply making the most laps. Wonderful game. I’m pretty sure all the machines were Macintoshes too.

As you can see, I used the handle “ArtLung” – which may be my actual earliest use of the term. That makes it roughly 7 1/2 years at least that I’ve been using the name.
Virtual World: Exploration . Adventure ... A New Age of Discover
JOSEPH CRAWFORD / member: The above is an associate member of the Virtual Geographic League / VGL / Call-Sign: ArtLung / Member since 1994.12.13

June 9th, 2002

w/S.

Walking. Chai. Bagel. Orange. Fuscia. Black. Grey. Commiseration. Release. Tales. Betrayals. Caring. Comfort. Sharing. Sesame seeds & cream cheese. Bursting strawberries. Talking. Smiles & tears. Ice/Sarah McLachlan. Friendship.

Only two people will understand this post. But that’s okay.

June 9th, 2002

Bleeding All Over The Place by Randy Newman

Bleeding All Over The Place by Randy Newman
Why don’t you love me like you used to do?
Tell me, what I did I do wrong?
Seems like you’re through with me
I wasn’t through with you
My love for you is still very strong.

June 9th, 2002

Sorting IP Addresses in SQL

Sorting IP Addresses in SQL
SQL God Rudy Limeback has a solution on his SQL Page for sorting IP Addresses. Heckuva good read — for geeks.

» Sorting substrings of different lengths numerically [Part 1]
» Sorting substrings of different lengths numerically [Part 2]

Mr. Limeback lives in Canada, and is interested in solving your database and web problems! Check him out at r937.com.

June 11th, 2002

Inbound


I made it to this bookmark list.

And check out this new inbound link — from Hugh — Hot Feet: the ramblings of a web geek. Worth a look.

June 11th, 2002

Phoenix

One of the things I picked up this weekend was a manga called Phoenix: A Story of the Future. I finished it yesterday. According to this review/history, it’s only a small part of a much, much larger saga by Osamu Tezuka — thousands of pages of a work encompassing decades. I enjoy getting into artists with long careers — whose work is not digestible all at once glance. It’s interesting to me that Osamu is the creator of Astro Boy, and is considered “the God of Manga” apparently, having worked since the 1950s. Indeed, the layouts and narrative choices made in Phoenix are bold. For a work that was made in 1967, there are graphical things, tricks, ideas — that amaze. The drawing style is mainly of the Astro Boy school. However, the subject matter is treated seriously. Visit your local comic book store and have a look. I think you’ll be glad you did.

June 11th, 2002

Update; Comics

Jennifer came over last night. Picked up some stray mail. Visited the cat. We spoke a little. No definitive word on counseling. It was emotionally draining to be around her. But luckily, I presently get support from some serendipitous places. Phone calls can be wondrous.

Later, I made this (and other things) but I’m only showing this:

The weekend before last I picked up yet another comic. This one is actually a how-to called Blue Line Pro’s Digital Colors for Comics — I bought the cheap version (no CD-ROM) — it’s very good. The spelling is terrible, but the tips themselves are very good. I’ve been taking some older drawings (I keep everything) and scanning them, and have been practicing. Nothing worth showing the whole world yet. But probably at some point I’ll put up some newly colored, old illustrations on artlung.com.

It’s good to learn new Photoshop tricks. They’re applicable not just to fun things, but to work things as well.

June 12th, 2002

Archeology: 1996: When I was a Respiratory Therapist

Me, California Hospital, 1996 At the moment, there’s more to be said, and talked about than I can say and talk about. In the interim, another picture. Myself, 1996. I took this with a timer, after the night shift (1900-0730) at California Hospital Medical Center — the parking garage. I believe the white building in the distance behind me is the L.A. Convention Center, but I’m not 100% sure. I like this picture. I look determined. You can see my Littman stethoscope, and the blue endotracheal tube wedge. Different tools for a different profession.

June 13th, 2002

Muse, warm and serene!

I’m rediscovering my poetic me. A few days ago I posted some decade old poems in words. I am doing other work in that realm now. Poetry and pictures flow from me now. Not public. Far too personal even for me, a shameless narcissist, to share here.

There is a muse in my life. Warm, serene, gentle. And I think I am a muse in another person’s life. The interaction, on equal terms, brings comfort and happiness to me.

I’ve been thinking of the worries and heartaches I carry with me as a heavy pack, on a long journey. The journey is so long I have no idea where it ends. The pack is so heavy that at times it is overwhelming. But sometimes, I can find the time to take a break, and enjoy life and the sensual world around me. The glow of city lights. The scents and feelings of blissful company bring sweet release. But the heavy pack remains. The journey must be continued. But with the camraderie of loved ones, the journey is less a burden.

Many hands make light work.

Last night, and this morning I cried. The first good cry in several days.

But today will be a good day.

Onward.

June 14th, 2002

Rediscovering how great Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend is…

Rediscovering how great Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend is…

You Don’t Love Me
what a beautiful moment
the truth comes out at last
once your heart would own me forever
then this passed
and what a beautiful moment
as my head comes apart
drunk
and in a manner of saying
wasted

cause you don’t love me
you don’t love me
you can’t see how
i matter in this world
even though i loved you
you can’t believe that
if you find something
you think might make you happy
then i guess it’s okay
i think it’s okay
if you go away

blown right out of my senses
i did not know what to do
lost and badly wanting someone
to see me through
that’s why i needed you

but you don’t love me
you don’t love me
you can’t see how
i matter in this world
even though i loved you
you can’t believe that
you think that leaving
is what will make you happy
then i guess it’s okay
i think it’s okay
if you go away

cause you don’t love me
you don’t love me
you can’t see how
i matter in this world
even though i loved you
you can’t believe that
you think that leaving
is what will make you happy
then i guess it’s okay, i think it’s okay
if you go
away
cause you don’t love me
you don’t love me
you don’t love me
you don’t love me

June 15th, 2002

Delights

It’s a delight when you can talk to your father like a friend — when you can share every damn thing in your life with him, and he is accepting and wise, and offers constructive advice. It’s a delight when you can shoot pool and drink beer with your uncle and feel like a peer. It’s a delight to talk to your sister across the country and feel like she’s right there with you. It’s a delight to get things done at work. It’s a delight to be part of a presentation for work that goes well. It’s a delight to talk to a counselor who offers real insight, but more, teaches you to fish rather that gives you a fish. It’s a delight to make a phone call to a sad person, and hear happiness in their voice. It’s a delight to be able to have happiness to share where there was only sadness before. It’s a delight to come home to a cat who enjoys a french fry. But just one. It’s a delight to have a wonderful evening, without having planned any of it. It’s not a delight to go to bed at 2am when you have racquetball at 9:30am. So wish me luck!

June 16th, 2002

Today was a wonderful day.


Today I got up early and did my laundry.

Today I spoke to my Mom and sister for a good long talk.

Today I went swimming for the first time in a long time.

Today I helped build a prefab garden shed.

Today I gave a copy of Understanding Comics away.

Today I had crunchy pb&j.

Today I passed a special note in class.

Today I was overwhelmed by eyebrows.

Today I wore sensible shoes.

Today I took two showers.

Today I was quizzed on Star Wars fighters, and passed.

Today I arrived late to a family event.

Today I saw the plaque for my grandfather at Mount Soledad.

Today I ate at Hometown Buffet with my family.

Today I was once again reminded that I am lucky, and loved.

Today I went to a comic book store but bought nothing.

Today I talked with old friends and it felt good.

Today I gave away some toy dinosaurs.

Today I got confused by mixed messages.

Today I talk like crazy.

Today I helped do maintenance on an aging iMac.

Today I felt very sad about the idea of losing a friend.

Today I got sunburnt on my face and arms and back.

Today I bought a book by Melodie Beattie.

Today I ate a Kahlua flavored candy.

Today I wrote this and realized it sounded heavy handed.

But I posted it to Blogger anyway.

June 17th, 2002

Letting Go Of The Cat

I think Jenny should take the cat. It’s time for me to let go. I have been so lucky these past weeks. So strengthened. I don’t need the cat. I think I was partially keeping him for selfish and antagonistic reasons. Only partially, but that’s stupid pettiness. I can’t use the cat as leverage. It’s wrong. Yes, of course I love and cherish the cat and he’s great to talk to (and barks at me sometimes!) and keeps me on my toes and is a wonderful companion. But I love him so much I know where he belongs.

June 17th, 2002

MSIE 5.2 for Macintosh

OS X only — Download IE 5.2 for Mac. Includes new rendering features. Worth a look.

June 17th, 2002

Lyric of the Day

June 18th, 2002

Burnt

My sunburn, and other things, really hurt today.

Must keep healing, working striving, learning.

Onward.

June 18th, 2002

Gato has left the building

Jenny and I have now been separated 6 1/2 weeks.

The cat has been a great comfort to me in that time. A companion through my tears and angst and sorrows — and a bringer of laughter, because he is, at the heart of it, a real ham. As this new life, this separated life takes shape, I am learning so much about myself. In some ways it’s a blessing to get a chance to take stock of every single thing in your life. Friends, family, joys, sorrows, failures, triumphs.

This morning, I did a sketch of him. I will probably frame it and put it on one of these walls. Perhaps I will scan it and put it here.

I will miss him, but I know he is going to a home that will love him.

I do not know what will happen with Jenny and me. Neither does Jennifer. We talked a bit and I know we have so much work to do.

In the meantime, I must live my life. I must experience this journey, no matter where it takes me.

Onward.

June 20th, 2002

The lyrics to CAT PEOPLE [PUTTING OUT FIRE] are perfectly apt for yesterday night:

June 20th, 2002

Java, Pascal Classes; Fall 1998; Becoming

In the Fall of 1998 I started to take classes in Pascal and Java at Santa Monica College – the Pascal class was interesting for a while, but I dropped it. My own reading at the time was doing what I needed. At the time the only programming I was doing was some Perl and some JavaScript. The Java class was pretty mind-blowing. I grokked object oriented code, but the class rapidly got ahead of my own experiences of OO code. I remember being right there with the instructor for about 3 weeks, then I was in way over my head. I’m glad I took those classes, but I am only a dilettante programmer. My skills are multivariate; this is my strength. I need to get comfortable with that.

I have been going through all my old papers and objects. This morning I came across my notebook from SMC. I write it here because I’m throwing out the notebook.

I’ve got a zen calm about letting go of these things I have packratted.

I am ever in the process of becoming. Refining. Rehabilitating. Remaking. Reclaiming.

Onward.

June 20th, 2002

The Word for Yesterday:

The Word for Yesterday: Yummy.

June 20th, 2002

Archaeology

So I’m continuing to go through all the posessions here. Getting rid of books and posters and decades of accumulated stuff. Some of it I’m so glad I kept. I was going through old sketches and drawings and found some gems. I listened to some old tapes tonight which had been locked in boxes. I used to love mix tapes – making them – sending them to friends. Some of the ones I’ve found are pretty good. Music is such a powerful emotional trigger, and a memory trigger as well. I’ve been making mix-tapes since 1983 (I was 13 years old), and I still have all of them. What a nutty packrat I am. No, maybe I’m an archivist.

At any rate, I don’t lack for things to conduct archaeology on. Heh.

June 21st, 2002

Quote of the Day

“Vision without execution is Hallucination”
-Steve Case

June 21st, 2002

Mixtape Moment

So I’m listening to one of my mix tapes from 1990, and LL Cool J’s “Around the Way Girl” comes on. One of the lyrics is “Want to eat you like a cookie when I see you walk” — only I had taped it from MTV, and the word “eat” is not there, it’s audio-photoshopped so you can’t tell what the verb is. Twelve years later, 2002, and every 15 minutes something more suggestive than “want to eat you like a cookie” is played on MTV. Is that irony? Progress?

Or maybe it’s just that times change.

(And props to LL Cool J for the line: “she’s sweet as brown sugar with the candied yams” — that’s pretty sweet).

June 22nd, 2002

Obfuscatiorama

The term for the day last Wednesday was dry run.

June 22nd, 2002

A Beautiful Day

Today was entirely productive, and entirely pleasant. I woke up early, as usual. I dropped off the rent check (post-dated for July 1), and mailed some bills. Then I took the latest load of stray-stuff-I-have-decided-someone-else-can-use at Goodwill. Then I went to the local Whole Foods and bought some celery, green onions, tiger’s milk bars, and some other stray items for around the house.

Then, off to racquetball. The problem was, where we play was closed, so after twenty minutes of hemming and hawing, no racquetball. Instead I came home and chilled out for a while. Some more cleaning (always cleaning), and put up some older pictures. I also put up my Respiratory Care diplomas and awards. They’ve been sitting in a box for a long time, and I think I want them up. They serve as a nice reminder that I can be successful in things even when it seems like I might not succeed.

And then, the ocean.

I went down to La Jolla Cove. I was able to park quickly, despite the heavy tourist presence. I walked down to the cove, checked the lifeguard station for the water temperature (65 degrees Fahrenheit), and ambled down. Then I plopped my things down, stripped down to my swimsuit, got my snorkel and mask on, and dove in. I swam out to the perimeter of the swimming area. I think there used to be a quarter mile marker, but there is not one now. But I swam out what I think was about a quarter mile, rested, and returned. Visibility was okay, maybe 10-15 feet. I saw many Garibaldi fish; their orange bodies glowing against the somewhat murky waters.

After the cove, I drove to a movie theater and saw The Bourne Identity, which was quite good. No plot to speak of, but the chase of it was marvelous. And I thought Matt Damon did well considering he was playing an amnesiac.

And lastly, I went to Tower Records and picked up some music. The latest Bryan Ferry, a record by Norah Jones, and Ben Folds. I really like the Norah Jones record. She’s got a great voice. It matches my melancholy/joy these days nicely.

Melancholy/Joy. That’d be a good name for a blog.

And now, I will boil macaroni.

To those few of you who read this blog, I wish you a lovely weekend.

June 24th, 2002

Brief

Yesterday was cool, but I didn’t blog about it. Well, I’m blogging about it now. Hrm. I’ll sum it up by saying that secret plans; making macaroni salad; seeing friends; grilled salmon; krab; and the will edwards band are all cool.

Today, I’m thinking about a cowgirl.

And I got contacted by two reporters today, one was about my Lindows piece, and another about something else. That was kind of neat. Yeah, I can be a good resource sometimes.

I also bought some cheap sunglasses at a surplus store, hair goop from the body shop; and lunch at Pat & Oscars.

If you think this is a lame post, you’re right. Sorry.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (all half dozen of you), you may find it a relief to have banal stuff as opposed to the drama that’s been showcased here for the past 7 weeks.

June 25th, 2002

Untitledscape

June 27th, 2002

Shoe Photoshop

Yesterday I got up very early. I went to a continental breakfast thing about learning to deal with the media. It was mostly for Public Relations people, but I deal with the press rather often these days, and knowing how to approach and not approach them is a valuable skill. So anyway, that was productive.

Work, thankfully, was good. I had a pleasant day.

After one o’clock I decided I’d get a shoeshine. I had worn my black shoes – my Doc Martens, which I’ve had for about 8 years now. They looked really shabby. Along the front ridge of the shoes was wear and tear, and what was once black, had faded to gray. I’d never thought — no, that’s not true — I’d wanted to do something about it, but just didn’t care that much. A kind of “shoe apathy” set in. I have been ignoring my outward appearance for so long, that I just don’t give a damn about such things. But for some reason, that early morning networking event made me want to improve my shoes.

So I thought Horton Plaza or the train station (recommened by Sassy would have a shoeshine stand. I remember from my childhood there being one of those stands with the 2 chairs on a riser, and a fellow or two shining a businessman’s shoes – but I walked to Horton Plaza, then to Santa Fe Depot – and no go. I did find one out in front of the Wyndham Emerald Plaza. The proprieter was very nice. I asked him how much, ($5) and got on up on the stand.

The guy – maybe in his 50s – grey hair, quiet, I think he was an immigrant but he didn’t speak enough for me to place the accent. Watching him work, and the people walking by, was a delight. Having your point of view at about 10 feet above the city street as people walk by is really great. People look up at you a little, but you can peoplewatch with impunity! I remember one women, perhaps late 30s, blond. She was wearing a flimsy skirt, which was blowing in the wind down Broadway. She was compensating for it by holding her left hand behind her back and checking that the skirt stayed down. I’m sure I’ve noticed women doing this before, but I found this fascinating. Not so much because she was attractive, but maybe because it was like I was seeing this issue (women need to be cognizant of skirts not doing the Marilyn thing when they don’t want them to) and I was fascinated. As much as I’m becoming more aware of how I look, I’m glad I don’t have all the expectations that American culture puts on women. That’s like an order of magnitude mode baggage!

I digress. The shoeshine man was really an artist. With his brushes and polish and lots of elaborate motions he worked through the roughed leather and put down new coats of black stuff (varnish?) . He spent about 35 minutes applying 2 coats of the stuff, with the rough brushes, and soft brushes in between. At the end he took what looked like a denim rag and buffed both shoes, at times there was an audible “snap!” across the shoes. This was an impressive audio-visual spectacle for me. I mean, what do I know from shoeshines. I had never gotten one! But I began to think of his work as not so different from my working in Photoshop. Applying layer after layer, carefully massaging each layer, until an image emerges that is the one that the Photoshopper wants.

And yes, I’m aware that I can slip into grandiosity.

Yesterday was a good day. And I think there are more good days to come. I’m feeling good more of the time. I’m learning a lot about myself (it’s not all just shoeshines and La Jolla Cove) – and I hope to continue this process of learning just who this Joe Crawford character is.

June 27th, 2002

the best blog on earth

yes, artlung: the best blog on earth, here’s the proof!

(click that link while you can, because I probably won’t be able to keep that top google spot for long).

google result: the best blog on earth

June 28th, 2002

Summertime, and the living’s…

…well, not easy, but good. Had a good day yesterday. Work good. Progress being made vis-a-vis “understanding the separation.” Great racquetball. Danged if the shoeshine I mentioned doesn’t still look good. My clothes are fitting better, as I continue to lose weight at a rapid pace (the secret? not eating very much, and walking). In other physical news, I shaved my goatee. Actually, I shaved it in early May. A new Joe. Or perhaps the return of an older one?

I’ll settle for a WISER Joe.