July, 2002: 42 posts.
Things are moving quickly for me. July will see some trips, and some visits from family, and at least once concert. I’ll be seeing Norah Jones with a good friend at the end of the month. I’ve been rediscovering the power of friendship lately. I think for a long time I’ve kept my friends at a distance, not letting them into my world, my pains, my joys. Clearly, that was a mistake for which I’m paying now.
Sunday (two days ago now) I went to the beach — Pacific Beach north of Crystal Pier. The bodysurfing was really choice. There were powerful waves, which propelled even my significant girth well. One thing though, about Sunday. Things were easygoing. In the morning, through the afternoon, I relaxed, did housework, made phone calls, listened to music and a book on tape (Elmore Leonard’s “The Moonshine War”). After all that, I went to the beach. But when I got home I got hit by this wave of despair. The apartment seemed so empty — empty because of my failures, empty because of my idiocy — and I was overcome with it for a long while. Despite having had this really great day, the emptiness still creeps up on me. But the thing is, I knew it was not permanent. I knew that this was a strong wave that might knock me down for a while, but that I’d get up again. There’s a saying about getting back on the horse, and I suppose that’s apt. I’m trying to live my life, and sometimes it’s going to include despair. But sometimes it contains high adventure, and family warmth, and the comfort of friendship. This is life. I’m moving on.
Apple acquires eMagic — does this indicate that we’re going to see an iMusician product?
Many changes on San Diego Bloggers. I went through the links and updated urls which had changed, and added 2 new badges from nerdboymikey. I also added a link/graphic to the meetup for blogs, specifically the San Diego Blog Meetup — though I don’t think I can attend. Additionally, I added a bookmarklet for Internet Explorer/Windows to put the whole list into the left hand search pane, as well as a My Netscape 6/7/Mozilla Sidebar Pane. Lots of activity out there, and San Diego Bloggers should reflect that I think. So what are you waiting for? Get over there!
Something silly looking, but heartfelt. My sister got into town today. Things are nice. I am a lucky man.
On Friday, my parents came into town. I’ve been terrifically busy since then. Yesterday we did family racquetball, and then down to Pacific Beach, and then to a Baseball game of my 10 year old cousin Michael. After that we went to Mexican food at Marieta’s in Santee. A very busy day, and I got some sun.
Having my parents and sister here has been wonderful. We’ve gotten a chance to do some good and serious talking, and had fun too. I’ve been camped out on the couch of my Grandparents. An odd venue, but it feels like I’m on vacation — staying at the dorm of an old friend.
I woke up early today, and am now doing laundry. Laundry on a Sunday morning is pretty typical for me. But the location today is pretty odd.
My current connection to the internet is a 56k dial-up modem, connected through AOL. My Grandparents have MSIE4 for Windows 98. Checking mail is kind of an adventure. Blogging doubly so.
Things are nice. My sister (and most everyone) is (are) still asleep. My mom is up already, and on a walk. It should be a good day. We intend to go to the Hillcrest Sunday Morning Farmer’s Market and to the Apple Store. More adventures!
I renewed my membership with the NBRC a few weeks back. Not strictly necessary to maintain my CRTT and RRT credentials, but a symbolic gesture. That link to CRTT is a link to “CRT,” which means since I became “certified” they’ve changed the name of the entry level Respiratory Therapy credential. The thing that matters is the RRT which I can put behind my name. That’s the one I’m proud of. Well, that, and the Associate of Science degree I hold.
I also recently renewed my RCP License with the State of California’s RC Board. State licensure is an administrative formality, really. The NBRC is really who decides what a Respiratory Therapist is.
The main thing about all these renewals is that I’m listed as inactive. I could reactivate myself — take come continuing education, make a formal request in writing to the various entities requesting to become active, and BOOM! I could be working as an RT. This may happen. Heaven knows there’s a need for health care workers out there. The nursing shortage is particularly acute, we have all probably read. I have such a large range of options open to me. Some moonlighting in medicine may be good for me — emotionally and spiritually — but also in the pocketbook.
My buddy Chris Greazel is part of a newish venture called Antares Paint, and I’m so proud of the man. He’s seriously talented.
This article on Quake for the Blind pushes into my mind that intersection between accessibility and usability/HCI — Quake for the Blind. The creators talk about the challenges of “translating” Quake into something a blind person can use, and even play. I’ve been interested in accessibility for a long time (turned onto it by Kynn), and usability is something every web developer needs to know about.
Worth a read.
Things are good for me. Jenny and I have been to counseling twice and will again next week. The sessions have been productive in helping us understand what we’ve been doing for the past 6 years. The good and the bad too. We both need to learn from the past.
My folks are still in town, as is my sister. I love them so much, and they have been wise, and smart, and funny. My dad said that I have to remember to not denigrate the good things that came from and were in the marriage. I think he’s 100% right about that. I need to work more on that part of my reflections.
Yesterday went to the beach from 7pm until Sundown. The water was great, the sea violent. Got two tremendous rides bodysurfing. It felt wonderful. My sister and pop boogie-boarded and also had a great time. My dad was relentless. He was in the water until the sun was just under the horizon. After that we got some Der Wienerschnitzel. Actually, I guess now they just call themselves Wienerschnitzel. I suppose to make it easier to spell. Heh. Anyway, it’s kind of cool to go there after the beach with my Dad because 40 years or so ago he used to sell Chili Dogs there. Now the man has traveled the world, had kids, become a professional, and made himself into a success. But at one point he was just some college kid wrapping Chili Dogs. I guess the lesson there is that we’re always evolving and changing.
We are all, ever becoming.
From an email from sydmead.com:
For anyone interested in Syd Mead, Cars and/or Toys check out the latest model released by MATTEL Inc. HOTWHEELS Collector NO. 054 This 1/64th HOTWHEELS model “SYD MEAD’S SENTINEL 400 LIMO” is number 42 of the 42 new models release this year for the 2002 series. Available everywhere HOTWHEELS cars are sold.
rudy was talking about childrearing on a list I’m on. he mentioned his kids…
> did i ever mention my “three rules” that i taught them?
> 1. don’t give up
> 2. no whining
> 3. be nice to everybody
> every religious precept i’ve ever run across
> can be slotted into one of those…
> and the best part is, they’re so easy to remember
…proving once again that the man is a guru. Those are great words to live by.
If I don’t have an answer to a question, then I don’t have an answer to a question. It’s as simple as that. Lots of stuff being asked of me right now. I do not have any answers, but I’m willing to keep talking. But boundaries are there for a reason, and they must respected. There are no shortcuts.
Turnarounds in every aspect of my life are occurring. For the better. For the worst. For a change.
I feel very much like a cork on the surface of a turbulent sea. Hurled from place to place, bounced and flipped by the sea. But alive, and surviving.
I am now on a leave of absence from my employer, AVENCOM. What this means is that I will have some time to consider my career options. In all likelihood this means I will be going freelance. So If you have need of a guy who can do a bit of everything, or who can answer your obscure web questions for money, I’d be a good choice. I’ll be reactivating my professional portfolio in the coming days and weeks. My folks are helping me out with financial buffer. I will also update my Respiratory Therapy resume. Every one of my survival skills needs to be in play now.
On Monday, Jennifer. Jennifer and I will have joint counseling Monday night. Jennifer is currently expressing positive feelings about a reconciliation. Frequent readers of this blog may note that this is a change. It is impossible for me to judge or guess what will happen with regards to my marriage. I simply don’t know. I don’t know what’s in my head. I don’t know what’s in my heart. The whole affair is confusing and painful to me. I feel love for her, but I am not certain that what needs to happen is for us to be back together as a couple. Time will tell what happens. I do know that I want to be happy. And I do know that I want Jennifer to happy. Beyond that, I’ve no idea.
On Tuesday, I’ll be on the radio, I believe. The Lounge, a show from local NPR affiliate KPBS. I’ll be talking about blogs. I hope I can be articulate about the subject. I do think I know the subject well, and have been blogging for some time myself. Co-guesting with me will be Lester of Yeah, Totally.
On Wednesday, I’ll be going to Hawaii. Yes!, what you really want to do when you are out of work is take a vacation. Well, the idea is to chill out and try and understand what the heck is going on. Maybe that will help. I know my trip to Washington D.C. to see my sister helped a lot.
Could I possibly have more going on?
My parents and sister left yesterday, returning to the East Coast. It was wonderful to have them in town. They have provided valuable counsel and the truth we were able to share was important and cathartic. I’m working to resolve many things in my life – physical | emotional | intellectual | spiritual. My Dad says “Jenny may have saved your life by leaving you” — and I tend to agree. I was out of balance in many ways, and this “wake up call” has forced me to take a critical look at my life. My Mom wants me to get more spiritual. I think she understands better that I struggle with faith very much. Despite being a formerly devout Catholic, faith no longer comes easy to me. My work in healthcare and my first hand observations of the pain in the world made me question the idea of a primary deity long ago. I definitely fall into the “agnostic” category. If I had a faith, I’d declare it, believe me. My sister is very worried about me. I love her so much. She herself is undergoing a career transition and I want to see her rock the world. She’s immensely talented and I foresee good things for her.
I also found out that my Mom has begun reading this blog. She liked my shoeshine piece. This gratifies me. I always knew that having family reading this journal was a possibility, and likewise always knew that It would not change the content. I attempt to exercise caution about how I phrase things, and attempt to be tactful and nonspecific enough that nobody has grounds to be offended, or be slandered, or libeled, etc. The idea here is to be honest and expressive of where I’m at.
I joked with my folks that my life has turned into a country song. Lost my wife. Lost my cat. Lost my job. Or perhaps blues is a more appropriate genre?
And that’s the way it is, July 14, 2002.
Ben Dyer secured the domain name radicalbender.com for his blog, Radical Bender. Nice coup!
Not sure whether to laugh or cry about this: Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street this Week.
They say you better listen to the voice of reason
But they don’t give you any choice ’cause they think that it’s treason
So you had better do as you are told
You better listen to the radio [+]
TONIGHT ONLY. I’ll be on the radio. San Diego NPR station KPBS on the show The Lounge. topic? Blogging. Also being featured is Lester of Yeah, Totally. Time? 6:30pm California Time [Pacific Daylight Time]. If you’re on the East Coast of the USA that’s 9:30pm. And according to this Timezone Converter 18:30:00 Jul 16 2002 in US/Pacific converts to 01:30:00 Jul 17 2002 in GMT
If you want to listen, you’ll need Windows Media Player (yes, available for Mac) Windows Media Streams from KPBS. If you’re in San Diego, just turn on your radio and tune to 89.5 FM.
Being referred to now. Scary.
Mitch is talking with erudition. Nice.
Lester now. He’s rad. Being asked about coming ‘out.’ Big questions.
It’s evolving. Doing some updates in emacs.
Dirk looking over my shoulder as I update. Cool.
bak from the break.
Lots of personal questions. (squirm). But it was cool. Dirk asks good questions.
Lester discussing Kaycee Nicole. Good topic for blogs. Reality vs. Fiction.
Paying attention to the conversation makes it hard to blog.
Yikes. They keep talking about me blogging.
Lester plugging Electroluxe. Cool. He read a good entry.
Taking calls now. A person talking about her livejournal.
Tara! calling! She’s got two sites that are dead from san diego bloggers.
Wrapping it up. Nice. Went well. Already have gotten several pieces of mail from friends. Very cool.
The radio thing went well. I’m sleepy now. Will blog the responses I got tomorrow.
I’m sitting in a rather lame internet kiosk which seems to only want to show me 50 of my email messages (typically I get 75 messages a day between lists and spam and mail I like). Given I’ve been gone 3 days, well, it adds up.
Today was awesome. Went snorkling off Lanai on a charter pontoon boat. Very wonderful time. I’m getting a lot of sun, but am staying practical enough that the sunblock is being used. No burn so far, thankfully.
The thing that stands out is the blueness of the water. The water is clear to an extreme. Many wonderful fish to see, and luminous coral to look at. My favorite fish (how touristy is that?) is clearly the Parrot Fish. Well, the male Parrot fish. They have amazing coloration. My words can’t do them justice.
My three bucks are winding up. Better go ahead and post. May post more. Sorry for being incommunicado.
Well, this is a bit better. Since I last typed, I jumped off a 40 foot lava rock a few times, swam with 3 honest-to-goodness sea turtles, had some bagels and lox, flew from Maui to Hawai’i (the locals write it out that way. Hawaiian is not a written language, it’s about the sound, and the apostrophe better approximates the pronunciation). I’ve sent a bunch of postcards (apologies to anyone I’ve missed); did some watercolors; lots of snorkeling; lots of swimming; walking, and yes, more.
I’m reading the out-of-print A Woman On Paper, a biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. She’s a fascinating woman, as illuminated through letters and images and especially her relationship with the author, Anita Pollitzer. One thing in particular I thought fascinating was that when she was a young girl, and doing portraits of people, often she would destroy what she made soon after making them because she said she did not want them floating around to haunt her. I like that notion – of making a piece of art, then destroying. I think of some native arts where at the completion of the art, you destroy it. Sand painting I think of first. And I also think of the part in the film (also a book, but I know the movie) A River Runs Through It — the father has the boys write a theme, he reads it, and then tells them to throw it away. That dedication to craft, coupled with the destruction of it, I find really interesting. In web design much of what I do is designed to be permanent. Jakob Nielsen says that web pages must live forever. But I think of William Gibson’s Agrippa, which was created in 1992, and was far too expensive for one such as I to buy. It was designed to be read once. Then it would be destroyed. Of course, now, the text is widely available.
The internet remembers. It has a long memory. Whether that is the usenet archives or the internet archive. The net remembers forever. If it appears as bits, someone can remember it. Memory, of course, is very much the topic of much Cyberpunk fiction. Blade Runner. Johnny Mnemonic. We Can Remember It for You Wholesale / Total Recall. Robocop.
And memory is, in the end all we have.
Now I will go make more memories in the water.
I’m tired, but feel wonderful. Back in the box.
There’s something really great about listening to Steely Dan when you’re tired and have stuff to do.
More as the day progresses and I get my bearings.
A new Negro Problem disc, called Welcome Black will be out in September. Yeehah!
I’ve been an Amazon associate for several years — and this here: Amazon.com Web Services — makes me want to play with it more. Ideas percolating, but must stay focused on what can pay the rent first. Playtime-Tech must come second.
Ready to listen? Okay, here is the KPBS show The Lounge from July 16, 2002.
Comments or questions? Gimme a holler.
MP3 File of the show available: KPBS The Lounge, July 16, 2002
Just feeling a little bit funky now. Not exactly sad. Not exactly happy. Not exactly lonely. But a little funkburger. I think the time change from Hawaii has caught up with me. Also, there is lots of stuff happening with family (new skin issues for my Grandfather, nothing major, my Aunt just got in a fender bender, and another Aunt is sick), and I’m just feeling kind of, well, funkburger about the whole enchilada.
On the Jenny front, things are favorable. I feel much friendlier towards her. We’ve had another session of couples counseling – and it went well. I think we will be trying to be more casually social with one another. I had been leery of even speaking with her outside of counseling — for fear of saying the wrong thing — for a long while. But I’m much more open to being friends with my wife.
Not that, exactly, we’re going to end up Ward & June Cleaver — but that we’re always going to be in each others’ lives. Whether that’s as friends, or as spouses, or both — who can say? But it feels like progress.
Hm. I think I’m emotionally drained just now as well. Yeah.
Maybe I just need to sleep?
Yeah, early to bed. That’ll do it.
Something for the RT in Me
When Seconds Count: Preparing Respiratory Therapists for Mass Casualty Incident Response prepared by Frank Rando for the AARC.
… in a Longer, Interesting Speech from Bruce Sterling. Worth a read. Really worth your valuable time.
If you’ve been in airports recently, I believe you are seeing a pretty apt, early version of Terrorspace. At any random moment, you can have your possessions rifled through by strangers. Your shoes are scanned, and various small but vital objects in your pockets can be confiscated by semi-educated security geeks. They’re either pathetically under-trained for the job (in which case you certainly feel no safer), or else they are intelligent and capable people (in which case you pity them and wish they had some other job, for the sake of general human happiness and the GNP). Rather than making us any safer, Terrorspace airports serve as political indoctrination centers that humiliate our voting population on a broad scale. They are meant to inure us to ever-escalating levels of governmental clumsiness and general harm.
One of my favorite places, La Jolla Cove, was covered in squid this weekend. Check out these squid photos!
I made some cursory notes for myself prior to the radio show. Here are the broad strokes of what I had on my mind. Of course, Only pieces of these were mentioned by me. Ah well, next time.
– age of web?
– age of internet?
– diary of a nobody
– rss, amphetadesk
– marc andreeson (1st blog?)
– rebecca blood’s history
– san diego bloggers
– best blogs
– best sd blogs
– kaycee nicole
– personal journal
– tipping and wishlists
– right wing?
Today, or rather Sunday, was kinda rough. The emptiness of the apartment I think was working on me. Sundays can be so long. Having some loneliness is no help. But anyway, I’ve been setting up online banking, and I’ve been capturing old cassettes to aiff, then to mp3 – so I can play and make CDs of them at will. Favorite rips: The Colorblind James Experience: Considering a Move To Memphis; and some Larry King stories I had taped from his old Mutual radio show back in 1986 — The famed “Carvelle Story” and “Moppo Story” — very funny stuff.
And yet, listening to the song “Caterpillar” by the Cure today, in the car, I started sobbing — it’s such a happy, propulsive song, I had never really listened to the words — it’s about lamenting that someone will change and fly away. I was thinking of how much Jenny changed from when she was just 18, till now, 6 years later. And how she has changed so much. She’s very impressive to me.
Now, mind you, part of this public journal-keeping is that Jenny reads this, or at least she can. This is no secret message. I was just having all these thoughts about how things have changed. And Jennifer certainly has changed. I’m still not sure what it is I want. I know that I need time to continue discovering my self. I suppose a few years ago I would have made light of a person seeking to “find themselves.” Well, here I am.
Enough bittersweet stuff. I also bought an ironing board (which I’ve needed for a while). I thought to myself, as I went into K-Mart — gotta put on the game face, no sobbing in K-Mart. And I did. Later, I got Tiger’s Milk bars (love ’em!). I also dropped off the rent check, mailed off some bills. And I went and saw the movie Enigma, which had promise, but was disappointing. The plot was extremely complex, twisting, and incoherent. I was hoping for more Alan Turing. Turing’s the fascinating person in Bletchley Park. At least I think so.
Also, my pal Ewon let me know that I neglected to mention that I went and saw They Might Be Giants on Thursday night. Bad Joe! That’s a bit of an interesting thing, because 13 years ago, when I first met Ewon while we were both working at the San Diego Public Library, we went and saw TMBG as a quasi-date thing. Ultimately, she became a great friend. Over a decade of friendship and counting!
I sure am rambling.
Oh! The concert! TMBG were wonderful. Highlights? Singing and dancing along to the song James K. Polk right next to someone who was as into that song as I was (I think most people don’t know that song very well, I felt like we were the only two doing the obsessive fan singalong thing). Also, the band managed to do all of “Fingertips” From Apollo 18. And that, is freaking amazing, because off the page, Fingertips would seem to be impossible to play. So, that was great.
G’night y’all. Despite the somber stuff, today was a good day.