<= 2003.06

2003.08 =>

[JULY 2003.]

both a and not-a

Good morning sunshine, good morning summer, good morning coffee, good morning naked Iraqis and death by a thousand cuts of the Ninth Amendment, bizarre arrangement for bells of Khachaturian's Saber Dance on the radio, lawnmower outside, household fears, Gödel and Rigoberta Menchú and C.I.A. and string of anonymous Guatemalan dictators all cut from the same cloth—I have no idea how I'm meant to impose order on this.

Surreal numbers were [discovered/invented] by John Conway; it depends whether you believe that mathematical concepts are somehow objectively out there, or merely exist in our minds. You derive them from the empty set by creating recursive sets of sets ad infinitum, more or less in the same way that Cantor et al. derived the real numbers, but the rules are a little different; this allows for game-theoretic applications that I don't understand, as well as manageable infinities that you can add and subtract and square-root to your little heart's content. They also have "birthdays," indicating how many generations distant they are from the empty set, and there is of course a "Dalí function." A text exists by a Stanford CS professor, explaining surreal numbers via the story of a man and woman who go on a romantic vacation to the Indian Ocean and have an involved dialogue about food and sex and theorems. Dirty, dirty mathematicians.

 

tarea

Guess what onerous project is starting again? The new reading list:

Mesoamerican Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs of Mexico and Central America
Precolumbian America: Myths and Legends
The Mayan Languages—A Comparative Vocabulary
Time and the Highland Maya
Time Among the Maya
The Chixoy Dam and the Massacres at Río Negro, Agua Fría and Los Encuentros: A Report on Multilateral Financial Institution Accountability
Handbook of Applied Hydraulics
Optimal Long-Term Operation of Electric Power Systems
Transnational Capitalism and Hydropolitics in Argentina: the Yacyreta High Dam
El Sistema Electrico Nacional de Guatemala
Secrets of the Talking Jaguar: A Mayan Shaman's Journey to the Heart of the Indigenous Soul
Long Life, Honey in the Heart: A Story of Initiation and Eloquence from the Shores of a Mayan Lake
The Story of Big Creek
Unfinished Conquest: the Guatemalan Tragedy
Son of Tecún Umán: A Maya Indian Tells His Life Story
Campesino: the Diary of a Guatemalan Indian
Ignacio: the Diary of a Maya Indian of Guatemala
On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems
Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings
A Beautiful Mind (I know, I know. But I have to see what she did.)
Guatemalan Journey
Days in the Jungle: the Testimony of a Guatemalan Guerrillero

I don't even know how to articulate that dry, scraped-from-the-inside feeling you have after a day of research. Any fact you encounter could lead you in five different directions, probably all bad ones. It's hard to avoid the sense that you're running in circles. I bought little color-coded report covers to organize all the documents I've been downloading from the web—it's something, but not enough.

I need to begin writing again, even if it's all wrong, even if it all has to be redone once I've finished the reading, and redone again after I go to Guatemala. But I'm very afraid of this book. I've tried to write it three or four times, and each time it's derailed horribly. I hope I've gotten smarter since then. On the edge of a precipice. Blinding lantern. No idea what's down there.

 

eschaton

More trivia tonight. Rah rah ree, kick 'em in the knee, rah rah rose, kick 'em in the nose, rah rah rass, kick 'em in the other knee.

A new [as of 1998] hypothesis about recent human evolution suggests that a horrific "volcanic winter" 71,000 years ago, followed by the coldest 1,000 years of the last Ice Age, brought widespread famine and death to modern human populations around the world. The abrupt "bottleneck," or decrease, in our ancestors' populations, in turn, brought about the rapid "differentiation" - or genetic divergence - of the surviving populations.

[...]

Ambrose has linked geneticists' research to that of volcanologists Michael Rampino, Stephen Self, Greg Zielinski and colleagues, which shows the super-eruption of Toba caused a volcanic winter that lasted six years and significantly altered global climate for the next 1,000 years. Those six years of "relentless volcanic winter" led to substantial lowering of global temperatures, drought and famine, and to a global human population crash during which, if geneticists are correct, no more than 15,000 to 40,000 people survived.

It's probably for the best that, for instance, the catastrophic Black Sea flood never happened—that was freaking me out—but this volcano business is an entirely different matter. The Toba crater is still out there, and seismically active; let's keep a lid on that fucker, eh?

In order to keep clear all the 2 Chik'chan 5 Pops (for example) of historical time, The Maya used another calendar system called the Long Count. This is a chronological sequence of days dating from the beginning of the present great cycle in 13 August 3114 BCE (a date, called by the Maya 4 Ahaw 8 Kumk'u, whose historical or mythic significance is unknown). The current great cycle will end (calamitously) on December 23, 2012.

 

dear god

CONGRATULATIONS YOU ARE THE TEN THOUSANDTH VISITOR TO THIS SITE YOU HAVE BEEN SPECIALLY SELECTED TO RECEIVE SPECIAL INTERNET PRIZES LIKE THE AMAZING DIGITAL XCAM2 AND THE WORLD'S LARGEST CASINO AND VIAGRA TO YOUR HOME AND FIRST TIME PENETRATION

I walk for miles
Along the highway
Well that's just my way
Of saying I love you

Concerning the spices of Arabia let no more be said

 

weep away, caesar

Besides these, there are Indians of another tribe, who border on the city of Caspatyrus, and the country of Pactyïca; these people dwell northward of all the rest of the Indians, and follow nearly the same mode of life as the Bactrians. They are more warlike than any of the other tribes, and from them the men are sent forth who go to procure the gold. For it is in this part of India that the sandy desert lies. Here, in this desert, there live amid the sand great ants, in size somewhat less than dogs, but bigger than foxes. The Persian king has a number of them, which have been caught by the hunters in the land whereof we are speaking. Those ants make their dwellings under ground, and like the Greek ants, which they very much resemble in shape, throw up sandheaps as they burrow. Now the sand which they throw up is full of gold. The Indians, when they go into the desert to collect this sand, take three camels and harness them together, a female in the middle and a male on either side, in a leading-rein. The rider sits on the female, and they are particular to choose for the purpose one that has just dropped her young; for their female camels can run as fast as horses, while they bear burthens very much better. As the Greeks are well acquainted with the shape of the camel, I shall not trouble to describe it; but I shall mention what seems to have escaped their notice. The camel has in its hind legs four thigh-bones and four knee-joints.

[...]

When the Indians reach the place where the gold is, they fill their bags with the sand, and ride away at their best speed: the ants, however, scenting them, as the Persians say, rush forth in pursuit. Now these animals are, they declare, so swift, that there is nothing in the world like them: if it were not, therefore, that the Indians get a start while the ants are mustering, not a single gold-gatherer would escape. During the flight the male camels, which are not so fleet as the females, grow tired, and begin to drag, first one, and then the other; but the females recollect the young which they have left behind, and never give way or flag. Such, according to the Persians, is the manner in which the Indians get the greatest part of their gold; some is dug out of the earth, but of this the supply is more scanty.

—Herodotus, History, III, 102-105

 

empire of the gymnosperms

Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, indeed. At the top of the Horsetail Falls/Pony Falls/Triple Falls trail (which this dude photographed far better than I) lies a verdant glen of mossy rocks and ferns, which made me think of the days before flowering plants evolved, when Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth. I sat in the green light and imagined the dinosaurs. They were warlike but honorable. They practiced a version of Athenian-style direct democracy, and the carnivores provided for the common defense so that the herbivores had time to write tragedies and prove theorems in geometry. All this Herodotus is getting to me.

 

should there be a sudden drop in cabin pressure

Or to put yesterday's conclusion more succinctly: whenever the potential becomes actual, it is inevitably compromised. This might be the greatest sadness.

At a bit of a loss this morning. So I live in Portland. Now what?

 

order of the rainbow for girls

The Cremaster movies are dazzling, intricate, hypnotic, self-indulgent, disturbing, mesmerizing, excruciatingly slow, willfully cryptic, occasionally funny, almost always beautiful. I'm a fan.

The synopses at the official site (written, I think, by the curator at the Guggenheim) make a decent stab at explication, but they certainly don't unravel the entire mystery. I doubt Matthew Barney could, even if he wanted to. He isn't about that. The overarching metaphor of testicular descent works rather like the parallels to the Odyssey in Ulysses; it's a framework, a trellis to hang from, but if you weren't explicitly told about it you'd never figure it out on your own. Hugh Kenner sez about Ulysses: "Were the book untitled, had we only the assurance that it is organized round a system of allusions to a classic, we should most likely guess Hamlet and not guess wrong." Without the Cremaster title and the helpful people at the Guggenheim, we would probably interpret the movies as Freudian: Oedipal struggle, fear of castration, etc. Nor would we be amiss; one interpretation doesn't invalidate others. I won't even start the question of the merit of art that can't yield its secrets through close reading/viewing alone, though Davis on Zukofsky is certainly relevant.

The point is that, yes, Cremaster is about gonads, but it's also about itself as a new and weird chapter in the history of film. Cremaster 4 is the film where the biological parallels are most explicit, and it's also the least interesting. Barney is at his best when he is at his most fanciful, unconstrained by adherence to any framework, even his own. Admittedly, the very word "fanciful" suggests Coleridge's idea of fancy as inferior to creative imagination:

FANCY, on the contrary, has no other counters to play with, but fixities and definites. The Fancy is indeed no other than a mode of Memory emancipated from the order of time and space; while it is blended with, and modified by that empirical phenomenon of the will, which we express by the word CHOICE. But equally with the ordinary memory the Fancy must receive all its materials ready made from the law of association.

Which sounds a little like the short, snide dismissal from Artnet:

The giant, the Loughton race on the Isle of Man, the vaseline, the horses sweating up in Saratoga, Richard Serra: all are products of a fevered brain, incapable of reason or analysis, that doesn't know if it's coming or going.

I wonder if anyone has told Richard Serra that he's a fever dream. But seriously, folks, the point is that a film can have an internal logic and harmony—what Aquinas called consonantia—without an immediately obvious narrative structure. The term "non-narrative film," at least for me, brings up something like Bruce Conner's A Movie, which I always thought was a compendium of cheap tricks—not to mention tasteless in its use of Third World starvation footage. Barney's techniques are much more sophisticated than splicing together some found footage for laughs; take the part in Cremaster 3 where the scene shifts from the Chrysler Building to the racetrack and then back again. There's a new sort of sideways logic operating here. Somehow the racetrack is inside the building, or at any rate exists in the same causal universe—after the goons kick his teeth out at the racetrack, his mouth is bloodied back at the bar. Or the way that the dominatrix under the table in Cremaster 1 occupies both blimps simultaneously—you have to blink and squint before the spatial distortion makes sense, but once you get acclimated it makes perfect sense on its own terms. The way that images and patterns permutate and resonate is beautiful on its own, even if you can't boil it down to an explanation. Take the creepy ritual pattern that the bison assume around Gary Gilmore in Cremaster 2, mirrored in Cremaster 3's demolition derby; or the contraption that nearly all the female characters have attached to the toes of their shoes; or the recurrence of bagpipes; or the ribbons that attach to motorcycles, doves, genitals, the Chrysler spire. Of course I can hazard guesses as to their meaning. But the images themselves, rather than any gloss I attach, are what I'm likely to dream about in coming weeks.

This isn't to say everything yields up on the first viewing (or, for all I know, the tenth). We still ask: why the cheetah woman? Why the two-step in the golden dome? The pit stop with the weird sisters? The death metal growled into the telephone? And who is the man in the mackintosh in Ulysses? Does it matter? What fun is a closed system? If Barney had wanted to propound a carefully reasoned argument on the psychological consequences of sexual differentiation, he would have written a treatise. But he wanted to make a new kind of movie. I had forgotten what an intrinsically beautiful medium 35-millimeter film can be; there's a real paucity of beauty when you go to the movies these days. There's plenty of spectacle—often nothing else—but very little to actually contemplate, to view at leisure, to provide an aesthetic experience characterized, as Joyce would put it, by stasis rather than kinesis. The slow pace of Cremaster can be occasionally grueling, but more often than not it's hypnotic. We are given, time after time, strange and beautiful things to look at.

Which still leaves the question Matt posed last night at the pizza bar: in the end, what's the agon here? What drove Matthew Barney to make these movies? What does he want? I personally think it's about sexual differentiation as a fall from grace, a longing for a sort of Edenic pre-sexual state, the isolation that invariably comes from having a gender. But admittedly, I probably seized on that because that's basically how I feel about sexuality. The emotion is there. I say build your own objective correlative out of whatever materials come to hand.

Lynch made a grimace at the raw gray sky and said:

—If I am to listen to your esthetic philosophy give me at least another cigarette.

The point is, there's rhythm and music. I ask for nothing more.

 

arranged for four hands

O Lord more people I know are finally starting to trickle into Portland—we went to trivia night at the bar—I met a man who invited me to his housewarming party on Saturday. Will I go to the housewarming party? Probably. It is necessary to interact with the humans, to consume their foodstuffs and perhaps in time marry one of their daughters, so that they will accept you as one of their own.

Tuesday night is trivia night at Beulah Land Coffee and Ale House. Our team doesn't drink coffee or ale. We are sober and cheap. We crowd around the pinball machine and do our best to answer the questions shouted by the loud young muscular fellow who owns the bar: What island was Odysseus king of? (Easy!) What three reproductive groups comprise the mammals? (Hang on, I've got this.) Who played Hooper in TV's Hooper? (Er.) Then we win second place and get pixie sticks and some incense cryptically called "Luck," with some playing cards printed on the box, including the ace of spades, perhaps signifying that if you burn this incense you will capture Saddam Hussein. If I captured Saddam, I would make him teach me Arabic so that I could check out Omar Khayyam without Edward Fitzgerald's mediating influence. Then he would bake me a yellowcake cake of Nigerian uranium and we'd have a tea party.

Nigerian—that's not right. What is the adjective for Niger? Nigerese? Nigeric? Help me out, Merriam-Webster.

Ah. Nigerien (pronounced all Frenchy). "Nigerois," which M-W still uses, is out of date.

 

what we have wrought

Now the white-collar jobs are moving offshore. What are Americans even qualifed for these days? Oh right, focus groups.

How, in my survey of British books for the kiddies, could I have forgotten the great absurdist works of Norman Hunter, whose life spanned nearly the entire twentieth centiry? He wrote several story collections featuring the royal family of Incrediblania, all of which are sadly underdocumented on Amazon; about the only info I could find was this bizarre site from South Africa encouraging children to interpret the stories in an Islamic context.

1. Compile a list of the different types of Fortune Tellers, Witchdoctors etc. and the nature of their work.
2. Refer to the Holy QurÂ’aan and the Hadith and the Sirah for the Islamic viewpoint of Fortune Tellers, wizards etc.
3. Speak to your local Imam about this topic.

In any case, Hunter is best known for The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm (first published 1933) and its sequels. It's hard to pick just one representative passage, but as a sample one might try "The Professor Sends An Invitation," in which the professor, being absent-minded and all, accidentally posts blotting-paper instead of a letter to his friend the Colonel, and subsequently is unable to decipher it:

"Well, well, well," said the Professor, shaking his head from side to side, and scattering his five pairs of spectacles all over the place as he walked into his house with the Colonel. "This is a mysterious business is this, this is it is, isn't it? I can understand your getting a letter by post and not being able to read it, because of it being written in fearfully bad writing, but then you would be sure to be able to read just a word here and there, so this isn't that. Then I can understand your getting a letter by post written in some strange sort of language you couldn't understand, because it might have come to you by mistake instead of going to the strange sort of person it was meant for. But this isn't that either, because I can read at least some of all strange sorts of language and I can't read any of this one except the full stops, and they may be commas when they're translated."

"Yes," said the Colonel, who'd thought all that out by himself but didn't like to say so in case it sounded like swank. "But this letter didn't come by post. It was just there when I woke up, and goodness knows why. It can't be a warning from a secret society who're going to do something nasty to me, because they wouldn't send a warning I couldn't read."

"Perhaps they did though," said the Professor, brightening up. "Perhaps they wrote the warning in words that don't exist just to make it harder so that you couldn't read them and couldn't do what they're warning you to do so they'd be sure to be able to do something nasty to you. Secret sort of societies like doing nasty things to people, I believe."

"Oo-er," thought the Colonel, but he was far too military to say it. The inside of him began to feel rather funny, as if he'd eaten too much plum pudding, or not enough porridge, or the wrong sort of mushrooms.

Just then came a loud tap at the door. The Colonel grasped the Professor's hand with one hand and the poker with the other. If this was the secret sort of society come to do something nasty to him he would at least show them the sort of stuff the Catapult Cavaliers were made of. Not that he knew exactly what they were made of, though the Professor most certainly did. But what did that matter when secret societies were at the door?

Tap, tap, tap.

"C-c-c-c-c-come i-i-i-i-n-n-n," stammered the Professor, feeling all nervous, not because he thought it was the secret society, but because he thought the Colonel had gone a bit silly and was going to hit him with the poker.

According to Penguin, in later years Norman Hunter became obsessed with putting on operas in a scale model of the Drury Lane Theatre.

 

gardens of yore

Lauren quotes A.S. Byatt on J.K. Rowling (07.07.03); in passing Byatt drops the name of Enid Blyton, which has been tormenting me for a week with its almost-familiarity. But that's what Google is for, kids.

Besides many other books I didn't know about, Blyton wrote The Adventure Series, eight books about four children and a parrot called Kiki; I devoured these when I was ten and living in England, though I only remember five—possibly those were the only ones in print at the time. The Ship of Adventure, The Circus of Adventure, and The River of Adventure are mysterious to me.

Other long-forgotten books from that year:
Half Magic, Edward Eager: children find a magical coin that grants precisely half of any wish. This means wishes must be thought through; otherwise you get results such as, in wishing that the cat could talk, causing the cat to wax loquacious and irritated for precisely thirty seconds, then sitting quietly for thirty seconds, and repeating the cycle until further magical intervention.

Archer's Goon, Diana Wynne Jones: Howard comes home to find an enormous man sitting in his kitchen who identifies himself only as goon. Further investigation reveals that Howard's town is actually run by seven megalomaniacal wizards—one runs power, one runs education, one runs water and drains, etc.—with whom Howard's father, a writer, has entered into a shady deal to avoid paying his taxes.

Witch Week, Diana Wynne Jones: The best of the lot, and probably still my favorite children's book. An alternate-universe England where witches exist and are still treated medievally: inquisitions, public burnings, etc.

Fattypuffs and Thinifers by Andre Maurois: I have no idea if this was really that good. It involved a couple of kids who are somehow transported to a world caught in civil war between fat people and thin people. One of the kids actually taught the fat people about trench warfare, but due to their girth they kept getting stuck in the trenches.

Flossie Teacake and Ossie Osgood books, Hunter Davies. There were an awful lot of these, and most seem to be forgotten. Flossie, a 10-year-old girl, and Ossie, a 10-year-old boy, magically turn into the 18-year-olds Floz and Oz when they don, respectively, Flossie's sister's fur coat and Ossie's grandfather's Iron Cross. Hijinks must have ensued, but when I try to recall the plot I just think of that Tom Hanks movie.

The Cremaster cycle is showing here at Cinema 21; last night I saw the first two. I'm withholding my punditry until I've seen them all, but I will say at least that behind the hype there is some very, very solid art going on.

in the admiralty

A bizarre case where telling yourself "if only I had known that/said that at the time" actually produces results: about two years ago Denis Johnson was in Iowa. He asked us what the difference was between a land mile and a nautical mile, and I was ashamed not to know—though I went and looked it up later. Last night Mr. Johnson appeared at Reed as part of this Tin House workshop and asked the same damn question, and this time I knew the answer, in all its arcana. It was oddly vindicating.

The "Tin House Martini," which they served there, has Pernod in it. I'll try anything once, but I don't think that needs to happen again.

Anna Karenina blows me out of the water, rocks my rhetoric, o'erwhelms me with its preternatural understanding of human nature. There's a gem on almost every page, but I'll quote a favorite:

Mikhailov, meanwhile, though he had been much taken up with the portrait of Anna, was even more glad than they were when the sittings ended and he did not have to listen to Golenischev's talk about art any more and could forget about Vronsky's painting. He knew it was impossible to forbid Vronsky to toy with painting; he knew that he and all the dilettantes had every right to paint whatever they liked, but he found it unpleasant. It was impossible to forbid a man to make a big wax doll and kiss it. But if the man with the doll came and sat in front of a man in love and began to caress his doll the way the man in love caressed his beloved, the man in love would find it unpleasant. Mikhailov experienced the same unpleasant feeling at the sight of Vronsky's painting; he felt it ridiculous, vexing, pathetic, and offensive.

Resuscitation of a Hanged Man: like many of Johnson's novels, it seems to overflow its bounds. The language, the voice, the strange theological currents are too strong to be completely harnessed to plot or character, and the book suffers for it. But even where it unravels, it's a hell of a ride.

Now it is Herodotus, whose History I've never read in its entirety, though I remember the bit where Gyges sees the queen of Lydia naked made quite an impression on me when I was eleven.

Pirate keyboard from Gaw hurrah!

prosiness, ποιηση, posies

Wünscht man Roubles,
so hat man auch Troubles.

I like how the New York Times rewrote a sonnet of Wordsworth's
accidentally, by misplacing
the </i> tag:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in nature that is ours.
At the time the book received poor reviews and sold poorly.

[Alas, some meddler has gone back and fixed it.]

This morning I am not sure what I am doing
trying to be a rock star, when my other career
cannot yet be called a career:
Peyton says, "I think the only way to promote a book
is to take it into your own hands:
print up big silkscreens,
drive to random bookstores in random cities,
sleep in your car,
arrange your own readings,"
(this of course being how she promoted her band)
"because no one cares about your book like you
except maybe your mom,
and she'll do a bad job."

In Poets & Writers, a magazine
which I dislike reading because of the inevitable sameness
of writers writing about writing,
some lady or gentleman describes how,
out of frustration with his or her publicist,
s/he solicited a newspaper review independently
(it was a rave)
and subsequently received an angry communication from his/her editor
for having gone around their publicity department.

Five-time Jeopardy! champion
and author of Prague, Arthur Phillips,
says 3 of 25 published books
get reviewed anywhere worth noticing.

When Elyse Cheney declines to look at my manuscript
she does not even sign her name.
She, or someone else, writes "EC."
For all I know
I was rejected by Elvis Costello
or Edward the Confessor.

Anyway, for what it's worth
(this morning I don't know)
"Byzantine Records" is on its way to becoming
a legitimate business entity:

And the record is on its way. This is the pre-release single—The Day the Music Died (mp3, 3562 kB)—and this is the cover art:

sdfds

In the mere six million years since chimps and humans shared a common ancestor, this highly complex faculty has suddenly emerged in the hominid line alone, along with all the brain circuits necessary to map an extremely rapid stream of sound into meaning, meaning into words and syntax, and intended sentence into expressed utterance.

It is easy to see in a general way that each genetic innovation, whether in understanding or in expressing language, might create such an advantage for its owners as to spread rapidly through a small population.

"No one will take any notice of the guy who says `Gu-gu-gu'; the one with the quick tongue will get the mates," Dr. Bickerton said.

I don't know why I find that so hilarious and sad. But now I want to write a book from the POV of the guy who says "Gu-gu-gu."

sunday morning, 07 13 03

Always, always more to be done. But the most egregious bills are paid, and the finances look better than they did a few days ago. So I think the record should be out in a month or so, meaning that I need to register with BMI and get the fledgling label cleared with the (IRS/City of Portland/Oregon Secretary of State) and do some actual design on this site and the new sister site, which is not very impressive right now. This interim design was meant to suggest the bare walls of my apartment after all the furniture was packed away; such is no longer my situation.

But I have been tiring myself with all the activity & change (I slept 11 hours last night), so for the moment it is imperative that I go read Anna Karenina in the park. I'm still at the beginning; Vronsky and Anna just danced the mazurka, and is Kitty ever pissed.

he addresses his objects

Rug: you are southwestern, you match the couches.
I have run the network cable beneath you.
Too much cable is still exposed, yet the feng shui seems better disposed.

Desk: you rest in state beneath my rear window.
My father helped attach your L-shaped return, for I do not know a nail from a hole in the ground.
In the night I will crouch behind you and watch my neighbors undress.

Paper lantern: I have appropriated your cultural connotations, orientalistically, for my bedroom.
I had to unscrew the light fixture in a precarious way to get you attached.
I hope you do not catch fire.

Kitchen canisters: you are glossy and blue, you hold rice and coffee and sugar.
I justified your purchase to myself as an "unavoidable moving-in expense."
This was bald sophistry.

those southeast portland babies

Purchased a rug today ("it really ties the room together"), and the local gnomes came to turn on my broadband. I think this marks the end of the Moving In Phase. Now begins the Living Here Phase. I am still hazy on exactly how this is going to work. The move wiped out most of my savings, as moves are wont to do, so after the fellowship runs out next month my economic moorings will be cut. I can do some work for my stepfather and some miscellaneous computer drudgery for other people, but these are temporary measures only.

I am only just getting my bearing on the local coffee shops, groceries, restaurants, bookstores, music stores (instruments and recordings both), parks, back roads with long lines of trees. It is so nice to be living in a neighborhood again. So nice not to be dependent on the automobile.

I am still planning to put out the CD whenever I have enough capital to do so. We'll see what happens. The book is still in New York, on different desks than it was before; now we wait.

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