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when heads roll browse non-linear interaction types + fly 2 Spain on book day 2 get R 1st publication


[5 Dec 2021> back to archiving our journals... we're into 2001 now, picking up where post 947 left off... only another year or 2 until we bridge the gap w/ when we started journal/blogging on 5cense.]

April 9, 2001 – NY
The hatchet is falling at UMG [Universal Music Group]. Restructuring to "Duet" [name of digital music service/product we were working on], anyone that doesn’t fit in the new scheme of things is gonna get hacked. They announced it this afternoon and then said they'd speak to us one by one to see if Duet makes you an offer or you get the hatchet. So obviously everyone was pulling their hair out. I was thinking that me and Surya and Biswa would be the first to go. Scott assured me this wasn’t the case. They called us one by one, nothing much happened to anyone except they are official Duet employees—same salary, same benefits more or less. But us contractors don’t know yet, we find out tomorrow.
     We’re going to Barcelona weekend after next, can’t wait. Next weekend Peakskill for Easter. Last weekend we didn’t do much except go to the Whitney. They had an exhibit on hypertext new media stuff—bit streams and data dynamics. Particularly cool was Netomat, a nonlinear browser where you could punch in words or phrases and it had some sort of subconscious search algorithm that retrieved images and text and displayed them on the surrounding walls.
     Been reading William Saroyan. Wrote a story called “Honey-baked Ham”.
     U of A lost made it to the final against Duke but lost. Choked. Bad reffing didn’t help.
     Time to look for a job. Just in case.

April 13, 2001 – NY
My thermodynamics and particle physics knowledge is coming in handy. Each day in the street I am a particle let loose in a reservoir of millions of other particles. Particles collide, and each interaction can be classified into three types, much like an electron, proton and a neutron—after all, particles are not really particles but our perception of them, so is the particle inherently "negative" or "positive" or "neutral," or is that the interaction of detecting it? An electron is only negative in relation to the photon. Anywise, away from physics and back to the streets of NYC where millions of individuals are flinging about and interacting with three types: Justification, Validation, and Transaction. These are the 3 main interactions between strangers.

Transaction is easiest to define, when you go into a store and make a purchase, an interaction that is expected and carries a certain weight of professionalism and purpose. Of course, a transaction can easily turn into one of the other two types of justification and validation.

Justification is when you are walking down the sidewalk and you know you are giving room and obeying the implied rules of courtesy and some idiot comes along on a bike and knocks your ass. People wait for these types of interactions so they can tell the bicycle that they shouldn't be on the sidewalk. They feel justified in their right to be on the sidewalk without being clobbered by a bicycle or tripped by the leash of some dog-walker taking up the whole sidewalk or a taxi running a red light and running you down.

Validation is that interaction where two strangers meet and are just fishing for some sort of common bond. Did you see that? That guy just jumped out of the window. Wow, and I thought I was having a bad day. It's the "I hear you brother" portion of that interaction where you feel good knowing that you share a common emotion with the stranger and then you both continue on your merry way.

I'm at work and have nothing better to do than philosophize about applying the laws of physics to human interactions. It's a nice day out. I've been busy this past week with Duet documentation. Still don't know for sure what's going to happen... business as usual until I hear otherwise. I supposed if I was smart I'd be looking for a job as a backup, but whatever, that doesn't sound like fun. Reading William Saroyan and am inspired by his timelessness and honesty. Definitely the voice of a common person, able to transcend his time, with that childhood fascination, and at the same time scrutinizing questioning of everything. Also still reading Auster, but it's too much in the mystery genre to be literature, at least the NY trilogy. But definitely some interesting concepts. I like how he puts himself as a character in the story. I supposed I should get to work.

April 14, 2001
Beautiful day. Ran around Central park this morning. Then read Saroyan flat on my back on a park bench with the sun beating down on me. It’s quiet. [Bedder-½] is at work. Having trouble writing because my expectations are too high. Don’t want to desecrate clean paper with poor writing.

April 25, 2001 – (Barcelona)
[we posted pics from this trip 2 (b4 we used that URL 4 the lit mag + b4 registering]
Of course Friday was hectic, every other day I am bored, but the Friday that I have to leave early to catch a plane to Spain, everybody suddenly has documents they want me to finish. Kinneret wanted continuous updates to the feed document, Scott wanted the Change Management doc, Lev wanted help with the installation and maintenance doc. I pretty much had to sneak out at 2:30 and go back to the apartment. Bedder-½ came back there and we got a cab to JFK. Iberia airlines non-stop. Slept most of the time, or at least a half-ass doze upright with legs cramping. Most of the night swallowed by the eastward motion anyway.
     Early morning landed in Barcelona. Could see the mountains and villages flying over Spain, beautiful country. Caught a cab to the Aragon hotel. There was piles of hail from some freak storm the night before. Weird thing was only a few blocks had the hail, other blocks didn’t. Our room wasn’t ready so we went up to Sagrada Familia. Intense. Not sure what to think of Gaudi, definitely original and awe-inspiring. Perhaps a bit over the top. And there’s something sad about Sagrada Familia. He spent so much of his life on it, and didn’t even come close to finishing it. [+ coincidentally it was in the news last week b/c they finished the 2nd highest tower... still not finished tho, 20 years later...] And to say that it carries such religious significance—Gaudi said people shouldn’t even look at it unless they had religious intentions… if that’s the case, then it only symbolizes this existential emptiness of not finding what he set out to find, of setting your expectations way too high. It is the façade of a church, with no roof. Construction supplies and wild cats wandering around. The back part was finished by some other guy and looks like a different style making it a hodge podge, not just in style, but you can tell which parts have aged, and which are new. The best part was wandering up the narrow spiral staircases into the labyrinth of spires, over bridges, right up close with the ornate features high up in the towers. It was mind-boggling and dizzying.
Sagrada Familia.
     We wandered back to our hotel. The area of town we were first staying in was a regular neighborhood, and kind of cool in that regard. Got our room and set out to see the sights. Lots of walking. Wandered through the streets, ending up at their arc de trionfe, and the park there. There was some arts festival going on, lots of hippies and bohemians and gypsies selling odd foods and stuff. Walked through some gardens and through the fair, and ate at some place on the corner of the park. Greek Tapas. Then wandered into the Barrio Gotico. Streets and alleys so narrow that cars don’t fit. Jagged and jaded every which way, not straight lines. The old roman walls are still visible in some areas, and old churches built on top of this, with more modern buildings and modifications interspersed. Outdoor cafes and shops. Saw the main cathedral, and wandered over towards the Ramblas—a long pedestrian mall that is famous, but very crowded and kind of seedy. Lots of street performers, ninety percent of which are simply people with their bodies all painted one color standing there like statues. Not too exciting. Crossed to the other side where we saw the other Gaudi building, can’t remember the name, Pau Guell … the one with the ornate chimneys on the roof. We had to go on a tour in order to see it and she gave the spiel was in both english and spanish so it took forever. I was more loitering around poking my head into other rooms. My favorite room was hell, downstairs where the servants and horses slept. Then you transcend up through purgatory, ornate rooms with ornate ceilings and ornate columns, everything ornate. Did the word gawdy evolve from Gaudi? I wasn’t that impressed with the chimneys either. They almost look better in photographs. Or maybe it was because we were sick of standing around with the tourists.
     We wandered around a lot, lots of meandering and walking, not sure what we did on what day, but we also went to the other side of the Ramblas, the Call, or Jewish quarter, which is no longer as they have long since been expelled. Pockets of wild cats. People speaking different languages, Catalan, Castillian, French, German,… statues, skewed alleys, lampposts, pockets of bohemians hanging out, an open plaza full of painters displaying their works… ended up eating up some place called La Fonda. The Spanish have weird eating schedules because of their siesta'ing, and the hours for dinner and lunch are very narrow. You can’t get dinner until after 9 p.m. Even then we had to wait in line for an hour to get into a place, and then everybody eats at the same time so there is this sudden rush. We had paella and tapas. Good stuff, but heavy on the olive oil and not much variety.
     The next morning we started out down in the Olympic village. I guess the sea front there used to be dirty and industrial until the Olympics when they cleaned things up. Now there were lots of waterfront restaurants and boardwalks. The beaches weren’t that bad either. There was a lot of garbage in the water, including white and blue water-logged rats with no hair, but this may have been from the storm the day before. We walked along the beach and the yacht harbor, saw naked people and rollerbladers. Then turned around and headed the other way and saw the shimmery bronze fish and wandered through Barceloneta, very narrow apartment tenements with clothes hanging out every window, and TV antennas spiraling up to the sky. Took the gondola across the harbor, hundreds of feet in the air, great views of the whole city, ending up on top of Mt. Juic, a park with Olympic stadium, gardens, the national palace, and the Miro museum (which was unfortunately closed). Lots of walking. Exploring. We were trying to get a hold of Antonio this whole time, and finally got a hold of him. So we caught the Metro back to our hotel to meet him.
     He picked us up with his wife Maria and they took us to a restaurant down in the new mall-like structure in the middle of the harbor, complete with movie theatre and I-max. The meal was good, more paella and calamari. Oh yah, earlier in the day I was brave and decided to try the “patatas bravas” – which was basically home fries gobbed with a big pile of mayonnaise. It was disgusting. Tapas also consist of a lot of cold cut stuff that we didn’t really try. The one thing I did like was the bread with tomato and olive oil, and the Spanish tortillas. Tony is a professor at University of Barcelona so was obviously a good source of knowledge about Barcelona. We talked about their customs, and language and foods, etc.
     The next day we switched hotels to this four star skyscraper called Melia Barcelona. We had a room on the nineteenth floor overlooking the city, a luxurious room that was unfortunately $250 but that was all I could get, presumably because of St. Jordi day—Barcelona’s patron saint. Their big holiday where the man gives a woman a rose, and the woman gives the man a book. Also known as book day because Cervantes and Shakespeare both died on this day. The streets were full of rose vendors and book vendors, an interesting combination which was what sparked my interest to come to Barcelona this particular weekend in the first place.
     After switching hotels, which was more in the downtown, bustling business area, we metroed up to Parc Guell. Walked up the hill and wandered through the park until we found it. Pretty cool mosaic work and skewed columns carved into the side a mountain. Castles. Lots of tourists. Took pictures and admired the architecture then wandered back through town, happening upon some cool little placas (plazas). Stopped in this hip café where Bedder-½ threw up (she wasn’t feeling well, presumably from the heavy food). Happened upon another plaza where this film crew was shooting a low budget flick and cops on mopeds were plotting to break it up. We sat and watched and were amused. Down to the Ramblas where I bought Bedder-½ a rose. The Ramblas was rambling, rose sellers and booksellers everywhere. Unfortunately most of the books were in Catalan, and many of the ones in Spanish were translations, so it was hard to find a book I was willing to put the time into. Was it this day or the day before where we saw a crowd of onlookers nudging some guy passed out on the ground before they called the police? They came and started doing CPR on him. A junky most likely. We sat on the cathedral steps until Tony showed up. He took us to some restaurant with a cool atmosphere and terrible food. Oh yah, the day before we also stopped of at Cuatro Gatos, the famous old haunt of Picasso and others. Had brie and beer and washed my hands in a sink where Picasso washed his hands. Then we walked around with Tony, and went to this sub-terranean café that was cool and dungeon-like. We bought more olives to replace the two jars that I dropped the day before on the steps of the Metro. Lots of deserts, Crema de Catalan (like crème brulee). Lots of Cappuccinos. Lots of walking around, hanging out, observing, people-watching, book-looking, navigating through the jaded alleys. Went back to our luxurious skyscraper pad and took a long bath, then walked down the main diagonal, and down to their Madison avenue equivalent whose name slips my mind... a few more Gaudi buildings, and lots of high-end stores, fashion plates, trying to find a restaurant that was open, ended up at this seafood place whose Sangria knocked me on my ass. After a few glasses I realized I was wasted and asked the waiter what they put in it and they equal each portion of wine with “licor” which was most likely grappa. Scampi. Olives. Olive oil. Couples at the next table staring at us the whole meal. Cabbed home. Made love. Kind of slept but still not adjusted. Sun comes up over the smog. Fanagle with the front desk so they don’t overcharge me. Cab to the airport, try to find a spot free of cigarette smoke to wait. If there’s one reason not to live in Europe, that would be it—cigarettes. Disgusting. You can’t escape it. In a daze, watched Brother Where are Thou and Family Man on the plane. Tried to sleep. Getting into JFK and it’s like 85 degrees. Eyes burning. Dehydrated. Cabbed up to 168th street to drop Bedder-½ off (the fanatic goes straight to work!). Got on the subway with all my bags, then the bus. Still wearing a black sweater. Glad to be back in NY. Tulips blooming. Bustling. Now back at work.

[@ Sagrada Familia]


[R bedder-½ in Park Güell]

April 30, 2001 – NY
Saturday morning woke up and worked on "Eating What You Hunt," but can’t seem to get a decent block of time to work on something longer, which is what is happening to this story. I walked with Bedder-½ to work, but I stopped off in the park to read Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra) sitting on a rock. Met back up with Bedder-½ and we took the subway to Prospect Park. Walked around and in some of the areas of Brooklyn. Just call us the urban hikers, seems to be our favorite past time, walking, exploring. Then we had a picnic of Popeye’s chicken in Prospect Park … my first Popeye experience, with the added bonus of ordering behind bullet-proof glass. We were waiting around for So Young and Chris Park to show up so we could go to the Botanical Gardens. We got tired of waiting and went in, but ends up they went in any ways. Hung out with them and explored the cherry trees and the Japanese festival exhibits, Bonsai exhibits with really cool bonsais. I was inspired. Did I mention that I finally got my two new Bonsai’s? The weather finally got good enough to send them, a Hawaiian Umbrella tree and a Fig. I bought a ficus at some plant sale in Brooklyn but then gave it to So Young. The park was crowded, but nevertheless, we walked around and checked out the plants and all that. Then we rode with So Young and Chris (yes, they drove) to Manhattan and went shopping for clothes and walked from Canal Street all the way to Grand Central via Lafayette, and then Irving and Lexington. Saw Jamon, Jamon with Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, Penelope is 17 and bares all! It was funny and sexy. Sunday we worked out and ate lunch outside in the sun. Beautiful day, I think Spring is here to stay. Posted a bunch of pictures on SleepingFish and posted Kevin’s stuff, today is his birthday, and tomorrow is Mom’s birthday and David (with Uncle Nick's $) got her a laptop, so this will give her something to look at.

May 9, 2001 – NY
Friday night we met Kelly at Gravity, at the spa, NJ rocker girl gone vain holistic spa babe—  just the week before her friend spotted Tommy Lee at the Hudson bar and called Kelly, Kelly got all "dolled" up and ran over to Hudson and gave Tommy Lee the look (which she would not demonstrate for us) and then next she knows, Tommy is buying her a drink. She hangs out with him and got his number and would've gone out to dinner, but he had a previous engagement with David Bowie. Kelly is definitely star-struck. We went to the Hudson (where else) for a drink. Quite the scene, pillows and plants on an outdoor patio, beers for $12. Then we left for Astor Place where we met up with Jeremy and his Moroccan wife (whose name slips my mind) and we went to some Moroccan restaurant that also slipped my mind except that it was on St. Mark's near 1st avenue. Saturday we walked down to mid-town and ate Sushi somewhere on 56th street and then went down to 48th and Broadway where all the music stores are. Got a little "Baby Taylor" for Bedder-½. A pint-sized guitar that is perfect for her. She's learning quick, could play chords and scales on her first day.
     Sunday I wrote this piece (1800 words) for Jaunt, the "Evolution of Extreme Existence" ... a piece about selfish gene theory and extreme risk-taking activities like rock climbing. The incentive being that Ron asked me to be their "Science Editor" of sorts for Jaunt. So have to come up with science-related articles that have to do with "adventure" or "travel", words which they don't want to use in the magazine but which is basically what it's all about. If anything, it's something I can put on my resume, and maybe Janut will amount to something even though they seem to be struggling and on the brink of dying, or making it big. Kind of at a crossroads. Figures on a Landscape got rejected by Graywolf, so I am now dismantling it, the first piece "Mining in the Black Hills" will have all the experimental stuff, that I will send to Broken Boulder Press to see if they will publish.
     What else. Not much going on at work, still in Duet limbo, Kinneret called me a puppy which had me going home and checking Hot jobs, but I will just stick it out. SRI keeps fucking up on my paychecks which is also quite irritating (they've forgotten three now)... and there's the loom of no health insurance hanging over me. The other day we had a meeting and this guy starts talking and I don't even know who he is, actually two guys that I'd never seen before, and ends up they were our CEO and COO.... I don't even know who I report to, I do most of my work for Kinneret who tells me I shouldn't talk to Donna, but as far as I know Donna is my boss (which prompted the whole "puppy" comment ... she called me "Donna's puppy" ..). Whatever, let is slide off. If you fight it you will end like Boris or Yuri, unemployed. Not ready for that yet. I'll ride it out. To think that last year at this time (Cinco de Mayo was the day we signed the lease over a tequila shot with Andrea) we were at least $10,000 in debt, and now we have almost $10,000 saved up, even after trips to the Bahamas and Barcelona, and eating out at nice restaurants most every night. We could bank some serious cash here if we set our minds to it. But I'm just happy that we live comfortably and stress-free, that Bedder-½ is happy with her job... of course I wish I could just be writing fiction, but whatever. I'll do my time. Can't complain.

May 14, 2001 – NY
The air is a soup of pollen and pollutants that my body is rejecting. It is a war, I am allergic to the air we need to breathe. I have been kind of out of it, and I don’t know if it is the Allegra or Claritin, or just the allergies. At night I sleep for no more than a few hours at a stretch, before I wake up in the middle of the night and sneeze or have to blow my nose. One night I woke up in such delirium and my sinuses playing such tricks with me, that I was smelling letters. No shit. My nose was invoking W’s and N’s and putting letters together, but not quite forming words. Maybe it’s because I’m obsessing over “Mining in the Black Hills” my first installment of the dismantling of Figures on a Landscape, some of the more experimental poems that I am reconfiguring, with the hopes that maybe Broken Boulder Press will want to publish it. Worked on a piece, which I just thought of the title for “Mass Times Light” which is text superimposed over a picture I took of Sagrada Familia. That kind of thing. But for not sleeping and not going anywhere in particular, I’ve been managing to do a whole lot of nothing lately. The nights Bedder-½ doesn’t work, and the nights she does, I just putter away the time, too tired to write or read, so I end up watching basketball or something.
     Saturday didn’t do much, got some new plants, worked out, worked on reconfiguring Mining in the Black Hills. We went out to Rosa Mexicano on Friday night with Kelly. First we went to 212. Friday is always warm and I’ve been wearing shorts even though I am the only who does here. So then Friday evenings we go out and I still have my shorts and everyone calls me Safari boy, especially with my hair, which people say looks like Ponch from Chips. I couldn’t think of a worse haircut. Actually, I cut it yesterday, it was getting long and feathered back. But Friday we went to 212 and it was quite the Martini bar scene. Beers for $8 in some cramped place full of cellphones and vanity. Actually Kelly is the vanity queen, but she manages to pull it off. My nickname for her is “Holly go Hauschka” because of her promotion of Haushka holistic facial products, and then we were walking down Madison ave, she is reading Vanity Fair and window shopping at the same time (obviously we weren’t getting very far). She is so vain and starstruck, but she will be the first to admit it, and she has contradictions that make it interesting, like she can be the rocker girl from Jersey, or she can eat hot peppers that will knock your socks off, or that she has this spiritual holistic vegetarian side to her. She kind of reminds me of the gun-toting vanity queen, Rebecca. Anyways, we stood around 212 while Kelly mingled and distributed herself. Then we walked around trying to find a restaurant, ending up at Rosa Mex. Supposedly the best Mexican food in NY, I thought it was overpriced noveau that wasn’t even Mexican. Oh well. The tableside Guacamole rocked (at a whopping $24). Saturday night we met Andrea down in Soho at Kelly and Pings Trading Company or whatever it’s called, Malaysian noveau. We ate their first, and then Andrea met us for drinks. Afterwards we went to Gonzalez y Gonalez, but it was loud and smokey, adding to my already completely shot immune system. So we went to Ozone thinking with such a name it might be smokeless … not a chance, but an interest bar none-the less in our hood. 
     Sunday we met Kelly at Strawberry fields, then staked out a spot on that little rocky peninsula jutting into the lake. She has two dogs Tika and Max which she has no control over and that were annoying everybody around us. It was hard to relax because of it. We had a picnic and just hung out playing with the dogs. Max is a stocky mutty kind of lab-Rhodesian mix, and Tika is a big fluffy chow with one eye sewn shut, and the other one not much better. She kept squatting every two seconds like she needed to pee but didn’t, and of course it would always be near other people who were not dog lovers. Made us think twice about having a dog. We moved a couple of times, trying to find a spot where the dogs weren’t too annoying. The air was thick with particulates. It was not such a pleasant time. And Bedder-½ was being all moody, and testy, so when we got home I just went out to give her some time to herself, cut my hair and went to Barnes and Noble and got her The Bell Jar. I finished the NY trilogy and also the William Saroyan book of short stories. Read a few journals. Oh yah, Friday night I found a camera and it still had film in it. Will be interesting to develop it. Now I am just slacking at work, Monday morning. Quiet day. Everything still in limbo.

[hanging in the park w/ Kelly + her dogs]

May 23, 2001 – NY
The sun is out after four or five straight days of rain. And more to come supposedly for Memorial day weekend. Not that we care, not going anywhere. Will be nice just to have a three day weekend with nothing to do. Last weekend we went shopping on Saturday. I went nuts, mostly shirts. We walked down 3rd avenue and then to Madison avenue and down 5th avenue. Ended up downtown and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and then wandered in the no man’s land under the bridge. Weird Brooklyn trolls, artsy people with flower-heads (literally), one wrong turn and you are on some sketchy street with abandoned cars and no people. We found our way to Gramaldi's (sp?) right on the waterfront looking at Manhattan. Long wait outside, but it was worth it. Now this is Brooklyn Pizza, so thin there is no way you could eat it by hand. Fired in coal ovens, sauce and cheese so sparse it is splotchy. The night before we had a great Italian meal at Piccolo Angola, once again not sure about the spelling, but it was on Hudson down in the village west. Amazing sauce. Still working on “Mining in the Black Hills” and also on updating my Website, put all Kevin’s stuff out there and told everybody. I’d like to start something new, but I have too many loose ends. Same with work, I’m wrapping up all sorts of bluematter docs for the handoff, hard to get excited about it as it is already in the past. At the same time I’m working on all the new developments, things are changing a lot, Universal bought the other day, and absorbed FarmClub into our development group (effectively weeding out Plumb Design). David quit Echo, not sure what he was thinking, sounded like a cool place. Most likely Echo will soon be bought by someone like Universal and he’ll regret it. I’m sticking it out to see how things play out.What else, finally getting relief from allergies, feeling fit as ever, getting stronger, waking up even earlier lately and doing longer workouts, spin class, etc.

June 5, 2001 – NY
Went to an event at the Guggenheim last night, "Brave New Word", about New Media and the future of literature. Anybody who is (supposedly) anybody in the hypertext world, Stephanie Strickland, Michael Joyce, Eric Zimmerman, etc... Hosted by the editor of American Letters and Commentary, Anna Rabanowitz, so I figured it would be decent, but it was a joke. Pretentiousness was amuck. It's kind of like children who have discovered computers and are using for games (two of the pieces demonstrated admittedly were games, which is fine, as long as they are considered as such), but to think of them as literary art...  it was a joke. I tried to keep a straight face, but at times it was difficult, this woman, can't remember her name, I think her last name was Ley, was out of control. She was all dramatic, "normally these are meant to be viewed privately, but being demonstrated in public like this is considered a performance, and as such, I would like to dedicate this performance to the memory of my father" then this screen pops up with cheese pulsating cartoon hearts, and this silly music like the kind you get with the bluemountain greeting cards ... and terrible poetry pasted over it. It was disgusting. It was sick to think that this is considered good, that this is what people want. In a sense it was gratifying to know this is what I was up against, but at the same time frustrating, not only because if this is what people's expectations are, I can't please this audience, and also because this is what I will be associated with. If this is the future of literature, then literature is dying, but I have more hope...
     We also went to the DeLaVega opening up on Lex and 104th ... 15 blocks north and it's a completely different world, or on the fringes.  I respect DelaVega in that he is truly a street artist .. anyone that would promote himself by writing with chalk on the sidewalk, and I like his interesting cross-breeding of text and visual stuff... but, some of his stuff can be so campy. It's almost like he cranks stuff out so quickly that he doesn't bother to filter, or rework, or rethink, he just spews out picture after picture .. some of his more carefully executed paintings were good. It was an interesting scene though. Definitely well-supported, lots of people turned out, his shop was crammed, unbearably hot, people on the sidewalks, ice cream vendors, the lot across the street had more of his stuff, kids playing basketball, it was a regular family affair, the neighborhood scene with people just hanging on their stoops that we don't really get in our hood. We continued up to 110th and it started to get sketchier, we turned up to Madison and walked back down Madison, past Albert Einstein and then it started to pour. We stood under an awning trying to figure out what to do. The lighting was brilliant. The rain was purifying. We got back and then met Chris Park and So Young for dinner. Maybe the last time we will see Chris before he goes to Stanford and breaks So Young's heart. What else. Spent Sunday afternoon with Kelly and her two dogs. Hanging in Hell's Kitchen, ate at Julians, with the dogs which were misbehaving as usual and Kelly won't tie them up... walked back through the park. Read State and Main, the screenplay by David Mamet. Finished Mining in the Black Hills [this chapbook wd end up being the 1st thing we'd publish @ Calamari] and sent it off to Broken Boulder Press. Finished another piece called "Hive of Selves". Still reading Nietzche while walking on my way to work, before I go to bed. 76ers beat Milwaukee and are up against LA. Been spinning a lot, in a class. Been busy at work finishing up bluematter stuff and also trying to keep up with Duet. Who knows what's going on though.

June 10, 2001 – NY
Friday night went to Ialahs (sp?) down in Chelsea. Kind of a project building, but they’ve made the apartment nice and have a terrace with a good view. We stopped by to get Kelly on the way. Walked her dogs and of course it took her forever to get ready. So by the time we got there it was like 9. Her husband Danny didn’t show up til 10 or 11. Some sort of emergency redoing floors, he has a flooring business. Kind of a blue-collar guy that reminded me of my brother Jeff. Iala made a nice dinner, all sorts of appetizers, humus, babaganouj guacomole, cumin carrots, etc. Actually, what prompted this whole thing is that I cooked dinner during the week for Kelly and Iala, they came over on short notice, because there was an article in the paper about this nutrition/skin care seminar that none of them were prepared for. So they had to get together to prepare. Lots of drama going on with Bedder-½ and Gravity [a gym/spa in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien hotel where our Bedder-½ worked, while doing her post-doc]. She actually quit. This whole fiasco filed suit in which Jeremy (her boss) was eavesdropping and heard her telling a client that she would take them on privately… Jeremy had told her to recommend this new “nutritionist” that they got, that had no degree except an Ace-certification which you can get through mail. So of course Bedder-½ is not going to recommend people, defeats the whole meaning of the word “recommend”. They accused her of stealing clients and thought that someone of her intelligence would know better… after all the extra hours that she put in doing these seminars, and they were underpaying her, not to mention they weren’t paying her for her prep time. So that’s all done, I’m sure she won’t go in next week. So anyway, the dinner, we were at Iala’s until 1 a.m. or so, Danny was getting loose, starting putting on Nirvana, turning up the volume until he couldn’t hear the neighbors screaming (but I could). It was comical. Iala has a younger son (from another marriage) that was sitting at his computer. Cool and independent NY kid, can’t imagine growing up in NYC let alone have parents like this. When he goes to school with his mom (Iala is a knock out) it causes a ruckus… all his friends comment on how hot she is. It was kind of interesting to get this glimpse into another lifestyle. Iala is Israeli and looks it, Danny is an American Jew raised in NY. Trying to have a “family” in a subsidized apartment building.
     Saturday we woke up and cleaned the house. Bedder-½ was cleaning naked, so I draped her over the barstool and made love to her. All this and it was still before 8 and we’d been out until late. We’re crazy. We got the laundry and bagels and lox then went to Battery park. Waited forever with the hordes of tourists to get to Ellis Island. We observed the wildlife (not just the loons which we scientifically timed their submersions to catch fish (average 36 seconds) but the tourists. Doing touristy things in NY is like traveling everywhere in the US at the same time. All walks of life, and definitely different breeds than NY folk. Our ferry was taking forever because someone died or had a heart attack or something and they had to remove them on a stretcher. We stopped over at the statue of liberty. We didn’t get off for that. Kept going to Ellis Island. Great views of the NY skyline and the clouds and the water and the other islands. Good to get a perspective.
     Ellis island was a great experience. To think that 12 million passed through there, all the hopes and dreams, going to a new land, freedom, all that stuff. We wandered around looking at the displays, the coolest thing was to look at the graffiti they left intact. In all the pictures all the immigrants looked so dirty and desperate, their eyes wild. God, how fantastic that moment must have been for them. It would be like being reborn. They had no idea what to expect. They carried everything they owned. They were leaving persecution, poverty and whatever else. But at the same time scary. They were interrogated, checked medically, even had to pass IQ tests to earn the right to stay. But back then they let almost everybody except 2% in. Then we waited in line for the ferry out. I guess the waiting and the crowds added to the effect.
     We had lunch outside under trees at Southwest NY in Battery Park city. Rollerbladers everywhere. Water. Big buildings. Trees with pigeons shitting on people. Today we went running in Central Park with Greg— this guy that Bedder-½ works with that has run all but one NY marathon in the past ten years. Interesting guy, kind of a geek, but talkative and nice. We had to fight through the crowds waiting for the Puerto Rican day parade. Obviously we weren’t going to put up with that after what happened last year. The beauts were out in numbers, the Puerto Ricans definitely win the prize for most pride of any ethnic group.
     Now I am contemplating what to write. I started to work on “Pozole Alimony” some but it was overwhelming. I think I’ll have to wait until I have a few weeks or months off without a job. Speaking of which I forgot to mention the drama going at “Duet” or whatever the company I work for is called. They were entertaining executives in the house, and a rumor started circulating that MP3 had 100’s of developers so what could they possibly need us for. Everybody was freaking. I didn’t quite get to the point where I was looking for a job. But I should expect it. Supposedly everything is okay, and it’s business as usual at least for another few months while we finish the Content Catalog .. but who knows. The communication between the upper management and us peons has been completely severed. They are either gone, or behind closed doors. All our staff meetings are cancelled because I’m sure they are afraid to field questions. Even Gwynn has told me that Universal (Duet) has been to Ruth Criss steakhouse entertaining people and spending lots of money. It’s definitely and educational glimpse into the cutthroat and inhuman corporate world of the music/.com industries.   

June 25, 2001 – NY
Went to California last weekend. The obligatory bi-annual trip. Flying sucks these days. We got on the plane and started to taxi and then sat on the runway for two hours. Then we waited in Houston for two more hours. And the only thing to eat was microwaved hamburgers in plastic wrappers, so we didn't eat anything. The whole trip took as long as to fly to China. We rented a car and drove to Menlo Park. Haven't been back to the old house since Granini died. The place has been gutted and is dusty and unkept. We got the back bedroom. David was there but it was 2 in the morning (5 a.m. NY time) when we got there. Woke up a few hours later and drove out to Cupertino. The whole fam damily was there, including Bedder-½'s. We loaded into two cars and drove out to Santa Cruz. Over 17 where I used to drive the bug once a week with the flashlight out the window. Started to take them to Natural Bridges, but it was chilly and foggy so we went to the boardwalk. Just kind of milled around, put my feet in the water, rode the Giant Dipper and the Log Ride, that kind of thing. Went to the Front Street Brewery, the only place I had met Mile's friend that died in the Roasting Company, before the earthquake. Milled around downtown. Back over 17. Ate at some place in Cupertino, Boca di Bepo, interesting place where you walk through the kitchen to get into the place. Bedder-½ stayed with Buckos and I went back to Menlo Park where Mom and David were watching Castaway. Once again, little sleep. Woke up and hung out with David, Annika, Leslie, and Mom. Made pancakes, hung out by the pool, nothing exciting. Actually, I spent most of my time cleaning the house which was in quite a state. Disgusting just to be there. Then bedder-½'s parents met Mom and David for the first time. It was a bit awkward, just sitting around in the hot sun by the pool. Then we went to the Stanford mall, David tagged along for a while then split to take Annika up to Leslie's family BBQ or something like that. Ate at some Italian place at the mall. Sunday night actually got to bed at a reasonable hour after hanging out and drinking a bottle of wine with Uncle Don. Sunday woke up and went to Bucks in Woodside, then hung out by the pool and came back, had to fly into Newark, long and expensive cab ride. Good to be home. Overall, not too much drama, so it wasn't that bad.
     ... Ended up all the drama went down last Thursday at work. I was minding my own business with my headphones on when people started getting called one by one into the conference room. I look back and only me, Kinneret, Amar, Lev, Stacey, Biswa, and Surya were left (from the tech group). The others (Laurence, David, Lia, Kevin, most of the production people, etc... more than half the group) came out and told us they were all laid off. One month severance, pack your shit and get out this afternoon. They were swift about it, did LA production group and NY tech group simultaneously. All in one fell swoop. Everybody was going around with cardboard boxes collecting their shit. It can happen just like that. One day you have a job and the next you don't. They rounded the rest of us up (like wide-eyed cattle) and tried to assure us that there would be no more layoffs. That we were there because we were valued and all that crap, but what else are they supposed to say? It's like being on the Survivor show. Huddled around not sure whether to be sad for the others, or glad that it wasn’t us. I don't know what's worse. I guess I'd rather see things out as long as I can, especially as the job market is not supposed to be too good right now. But things will definitely be different around here. As feared a few weeks ago, MP3 will take over the development, not sure what our (the few remaining tech people) role will be. Everyday it changes. Yesterday the word was MP3 was doing everything, today the word is that we will be doing more development than we originally planned, and now we have half as many people... we'll just have to see, but things are definitely in flux, and it definitely is interesting. But morale is low. We will be moving, most likely closer to mid-town, which will be cool.
     Saw the Daily Show (live) with Jon Stewart on Tuesday night, right down the street from where we work. It was interesting to see the whole procedure. Lots of waiting. First outside in line. Then in a holding room. We had VIP passes (that Scott arranged before, he still came even though he was fired) so we got front row. They brought out this one guy whose job it was to prime the audience. He picked on people, improv. More waiting, loud music to get you pumped. Then finally Jon Stewart came out, did his thing. There was slight pressure to laugh and hoot and clap and all that. Michael Rappaport was the guest. It was pretty funny. Then I had to rush up to meet Bedder-½ and So Young who were waiting in Central Park. Free Opera on the great lawn. Lounged around listening to opera. It's been hot but now it's getting muggy.
     Read Rick Moody's Garden State which was great at capturing the decaying urban wasteland of New Jersey. Starting on Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation. Into this world as representation vein, carry over from physics … speaking of which “Include Yourself in the Experiment” was accepted to Diagram [+ it's still up, our 1st legit publication!]. Things are happening slowly but surely. Maybe I’ll get laid off or something so I can actually get some writing done.

[... July—Sept 2001 continues in post #967]

964 <(current)> 966 > Tributary #2: «Niger»—who would of knnown that an Eclipse wd lead all 2 this?
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