I can't believe it took me this long to find Bob Mould's blog.
That has been the question.
We weren't going to go. Then we were going to go. Now I'm going to go.
Dia and I have been mulling over our Black Rock City options for a few weeks now, knowing that the clock was tick tick ticking down. She absolutely wants to go to her 20th High School reunion, which happens the day the Man burns.
So for the last couple of weeks we've been entertaining a kooky plan which would have us (a) fly to LA to pickup the family motorhome, (b) drive to BRC arriving the Sunday before The Burn, (c) borrow a car and drive to Reno the morning of the Burn, (d) fly to LA and attend the reunion, suffering who knows what culture shock in the process, (e) fly back to Reno on Sunday and drive back to BRC, watch the temple burn, (f) strike camp on Monday and drive back to LA, (g) clean motorhome, and (h) fly back to Seattle.
Now the thing that really appealed to me about this plan is that it is generally insane. No doubt fabulous stories would be produced. But then again, having the motor home break down last year produced great stories but was also exhausting and a pain in the ass.
So we reevaluated things. I've been playing the good and loyal spouse with regard to reunion attendance, but the truth is Dia really doesn't care if I go and I really don't care to go. It's great to be in a relationship where we can say those things to each other and we each mean what we say with no ancilliary crap attached to what we say. There's no "positioning" in our relationship. Furthermore, Dia's looking at the calendar and (much like last year) has decided she has to be focused during the end of August if she's going to hit her business goals. She's be back at BRC, just not this year.
So I'm going to solo. This means I get to do something I've wanted to do for three years: drive to BRC from Seattle. Screw the RV and the attendant hassles, the biggest of which is getting people and gear to LA and then having this weird, post-Burning Man period where I'm not on the Playa and not at home.
Other benefits of this plan include needing four less days of vacation time, considerably less complicated packing logistics, a meditiative drive home, and the ability to make some stuff at home in the next 90 days and be able to bring it to the Playa. I still need a ticket and have to get a cargo van rental, but I am on my path to the Playa!
Newsweek breaks the news that mobile is gong to be big Big BIG.
It's always interesting to read mainstream journalistic coverage of something that you know a lot about. The series of articles aren't wrong so much as mushy and overgeneralized. Russell Beattie thinks that PalmOne was a weird choice to highlight but I dunno: every Treo600 owner I know loves their phone.
I thought the fact that no Nokians were on the list of "a few who got us here" was glaring. And no mention of the Microsoft v. Nokia showdown? And I think the statement that ". . . unlike the Internet, the phone world has no open and single set of protocols for programmers to build around" gives such an incomplete sense of what's happening in the industry. Compared to the PC world, the mobile world is soooo much more focused on standards.
But I'll quit my carping. This Newsweek spread probably marks the beginning of the popular American hype curve for mobile. I do believe the hype. Over the next ten years mobile technology will continue to set extraordinary, disruptive, confusing, and personally empowering forces in motion. It should be fun.
I am taking great pleasure in the mundane this extended weekend. As of right now I have done five loads of laundry, reconciled a month of receipts, paid a month's worth of bills, gone shopping at the co-op and stocked up on healthy foods, dropped our bikes off to be tuned so we can sell one of our cars and I can start biking to work, properly filed all sorts of miscreant papers, update Windows, defraged the hard disks, backed up, and deleted/installed appropriate applications on all three of our computers, and cleaned the kitchen.
If I've learned one thing from the technology industry it's the power of infrastructure. I can trace large amounts of wasted time, foiled plans and unnecessary anxiety to bad infrastructure. And I'm not talking about servers and disk arrays, I talking about things like not having phone number consolidated, having mail pile up, an empty fridge, a bicycle with flat tires, no monthly budget . . . it's this paucity of quality domestic infrastrcuture has vexed me. So as Summer kicks off we're focusing attention on laying the groundwork for a great rest-of-year. Yay!
Today I wrote an email which contained the sentence "I'm simply flabbergasted" which seemed both appropriate and natural but also made me realize that I could not define "flabbergasted" except to summon up what I thought were the synonoums "stunned," "speechless" and "shocked."
But it occurs to me I'm just guessing, and so in real time--people! this is cutting edge blogging--I consult Dictionary.com which produced the following result:
adj : as if struck dumb with astonishment and surprise; "a circle of policement stood dumbfounded by her denial of having seem the accident"; "the flabbergasted aldermen were speechless"; "was thunderstruck by the news of his promotion" [syn: dumbfounded, dumfounded, stupefied, thunderstruck]
So I am happy to report that I really was flabbergasted today. And no, I'm not tellin'
But the fact that "dumfounded" showed up in the definition does compel me to once again suggest that for all your freaky clothing needs you consult Paula, the mastermind behind Dumb Clothing.
I've been following developments with RSS for a while but for some strange reason--OK, I know what it was: no time--I never personally got on the RSS bandwagon as a consumer. My my, I've been missing a lot! It's taken me less than 24 hours to become completely grateful for Bloglines. It's saved me time, given me more useful information than I'd otherwise have, and generally made life a little better, which is about all we can ask software to do, isn't it?
There are a bunch of RSS readers to choose from, including Kinja, which was spearheaded by the notable Meg Hourihan. But she left Kinja shortly after launch, and I just have this kind of icky feeling about contributing to the nascent Nick Denton empire. But it does have a clean UI so maybe I'll give it a try with all that extra time BlogLines has helped me reclaim.
Lucreia, who does a superb job of serving pints of beer at the Elysian on Sunday evenings, but who's passion is making stuff--she makes her own amazing clothes and creates music with Cell Division--just slayed me when said the following:
"I think it's beautiful when people see other people's joy as opposed to just looking for your own little piece of joy."
That's perfect. Shortly after she made this comment she directed my gaze to a baby in a pram playing with a stuffed worm who's length was greater than his/her (?) body . . . sucking on a binky the baby was massaging the stuffed worm with his/her feet, looking intensely happy. Enough said.
Friday was Hedwig and it was like going to church. Mark, Mikelle, Dia, George, Elaine and Lara! (relatively fresh off the boat from New Zealand) were all in attendance and it was a wonderful time. I believe that Elaine and George, who were complete Hedwig virgins, were amused by the fervor of the Hedwig fans at the show . . . gazing about it was easy to spot people who (like me) were mouthing or singing every line.
So what is it about Hedwig? What's Hedwig about? It's difficult for me to articulate. I've just written and deleted four summary sentences, each of which is probably true, but none of which actually captures the essence of its beauty. Beauty is often like that. I think real beauty always has this quality; an attempt to describe or summarize something truly beautiful renders it hollow. Truly beautiful things have to be experienced.
One thing, I think, that Hedwig is not about is gender. This may sound ludicrous given that the protagonist is a transexual, but Hedwig obliterates gender. Gender is put center stage and then removed from consideration by twisting you in knots as you are forced to consider the universal qualities of desire and love. And the journey is both touching and hilarious.
Having seen the Hedwig film many many times, I was curious about what sort of reaction I'd have to the stage show that spawned the film. My biggest response was: what an amazing movie. The adaptation of the film was both true to the stage show and amplified--in amazing ways--the story, the characters, and the themes. I walked away with a huge appreciation of what one can do on stage and what is possible on film.
If you're in Seattle, you have to see this show.
The morning paper has an article about the soaring popularity of energy drinks; they're growing faster than bottle water sales. I can attest to the energy producing effects of these caffeine bombs, though I confine my usage to select moments where impending sleepiness threatens planned sleeplessness.
The article makes no mention of the political ties held by one brand of these legal liquid uppers: RockStar. RockStar has been "scientifically formulated to speed the recovery time of those who lead active and exhausting lifestyles — from athletes to rock stars." The ad copy fails to mention a key demographic that must certainly "lead active and exhausting lifestyles": fascists.
RockStar is owned by Michael Savage and his son. Savage's crazy, xenophobic rantings put him to the right of, well, unfortunately not everybody. The corporate website (which is has a classy "69" in it's URL) doesn't make this connection, instead it refers to Dr. Michael Weiner, Ph.D, which is Savage's given name. I guess they figured that connecting the dots might errode product loyalty among youth out for late night fun.
The next time I see an urban hipster quaffing a RockStar, I'm going to have to out their amped up beverage.