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saturday, june 9
a little awakening
Shouts out to Krissy at awakening, who runs a sweet and simple blog over at diaryland. Enjoy.10:37 AM // tinylink // tinymail, until BlogVoices is back up!
friday, june 8
Some people say daydreaming's for all the
Today has been all about class and coding, but for some reason it's been an A+ daydreaming day. In my daydreams I've painted my kitchen, set up my computer, gone to the Educare Press reading at elliott bay books, kissed passionately and been kissed, eaten lunch, and just generally had a very fulfilling day.
I came into the multimedia lab and there's this autistic guy who goes to school here. He had found a bunch of cartoon pictures of Sushi, and had cut out one piece of ikura (salmon roe sushi), and tiled it across the entire screen. He was delighted about it when I came in, "I wonder if it will make anyone hungry!" he giggled. I'm going to miss all my school friends. I hope to hook up with them this summer but still...somehow it's not the same as seeing them everyday in the lab.
thursday, june 7
Tonight is the launch party for the print magazine and web version of The Licton Springs Review, North Seattle Community College's literary and arts magazine. Another student and I developed a template for the site as a part of our CIS211 class, and then developed it more fully as an internship this quarter.
This is definately the most full scale web project I have ever done, and I learned an incredible amount during the process. It's 640x480 size, basically, and if I had to do it again, I would have made it either scalable, or designed for 800x600. It is, however a good clean concept and design and holds a lot of information and I'm pretty proud of it.
If for nothing else, go look for the art. I submitted some of my own photographs and they were accepted for the web version, and now appear there. Lots of the other art is fantastic as well, especially the paintings by Stain, the featured artist.
I have to go tonight to the launch party and present the Web version to everyone in attendance...I'm actually a little nervous. I don't know quite what to say for 15 minutes. Hmf. At least there will be free food.
wednesday, june 6
Exactly one Dollar5hort.
When I happened to click on DollarShort via Blogger's blog of note, I assumed that it was a well established, mature blog that I simply had never happened upon, or seen on any sidebars. The design was impeccable, the writing a honed voice, and...well, it just had that consistancy and supa'star quality that one finds in blogs like Harrumph.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that DollarShort was just over 2 weeks old when I stumbled upon it fresh from blogs of note. Even now, it's only a few months old, and already represents a body of work that the Author, Mena, should be more than proud of.
It is an unfortunate reality that sometimes the most vital blogs have mediocre design, and well-established blogs with great designs and confident in their readership slip a little...thier content becoming a bit Kottke-ized (the greatest repsect to this venerable blogger of course). Mena, however, is perhaps new enough not to fall into this trap.
She is a lady who wears her social dysfunction and colorful family history with pride. She is frank and unabashed with her readings, and it never comes with that "I know, I know, I'm fucked up" kind of apology. I find her style similar to the tinyblog in this way...usually one post a day, one treatment of a specific theme, very autobiographical She just tells her story and tells it well. .
I remember sitting there a little stunned as Mena calmly related how her Mom used to tell her to "pack up her barbies" before trucking her off to Las Vegas because gambling runs in the family, and her parents were too paranoid to allow her to be under the supervision of a stranger for even a moment.
In addition to the writing, there's bonuses. One of her early posts was a comic-book rendition of a hellish childhood camp experience. Her husband contibutes in his own uber-pro way as well. When Mena recalled the fun of MASH, he wrote her a special, super-snazzy version of the game. When Blogvoices went out, he wrote his own customized BlogVoices-style comment system just for her. Shit, I need a husband like that.
I had a hard time picking my favorites, (and I would read each and every one, if you haven't already) even out of only 3 months of archives. I know I'm gushing, but I look forward to reading DollarShort every day:
tuesday, june 5
Thank you so much to anyone who reads. You may not know it, but I really appreciate it. You people know me better than some people I talk to every day.
I've really put myself out there on these pages, and I have only experienced openness and support from the people who read and people who I read. I wish only for your happiness. You are all blessed.
monday, june 4
Sleuthing out clinkclank.
If it weren't for the "voluntary simplicity" layout and refined sensibility of the posts, I would think that the author of clinkclank was a freemason. There is something inscrutably mysterious about her site.
Usually when you go to a site is has a guestbook, links to an Email address, little side projects, a name, or at least an archive and some direct links to posts. The only thing I really know about the author of clinkclank is that she's a she, she lives in San Fran, she uses Blogger, and she likes Kottke.
She posts mellow, funny, well put-together posts...but once they're gone, they're gone. There's no archives, and nothing else anywhere on the site indicating who this person is. I tried fussing with the URL and using a search engine to find something interesting, but no dice...it's just the top level index page as far as I can tell.
About a week a week ago she mentioned putting up archives, but no dice...and soon that post will have moved off the page. Catch it while you can.
Who the hell is The Booge?
Go to The Booge. Scroll all the way down to the lower left hand corner and there he is, The Booge, the cat for which the weblog is named. Incidentally, I am told that it is pronounced, (boodje) as opposed to (booj) or (boo-gey').
That's one answer. The other answer is, it's rabid Frank Zappa fan Pat Goegan, occaisionally his lovely wife Lorrie, and at least once, his infant son Ben (who clearly can't code worth shit). Ben was still a long way away from being born when Pat first began The Booge, and is now a wide eyed troublemaker some year and a half later. Much of The Booge has been the story of a young father who thinks way too much.
The Booge has gone through several redesigns, and his latest is pretty darn sharp, although as I read through his archives I realised that the right-aligned text has got to go!
In addition, Pat is serious about his weblog. I once asked for his address so I could send him something, and he refused. I thought he was joking, so I gave him a hard time about it. Finally, he consented because he didn't want me to stop reading The Booge.
As if. Because more than anything else, The Booge is about community, and The Booge is the glue that holds other weblogs together. Pat knows how to nurture a weblog and make it a part of his extended family. In addition, he's personally responsible for the life of at least one blog. Much of The Booge is communication and gentle ribbing with other weblogs. It's not unheard of for Pat to post a comment to a post to a comment he made on someone else's weblog.
In a year and a half, Pat has posted an incredible volume, here's a few of my favorites:
coming soon to a crib near you
And, as an extra added bonus...my very own beat poem to The Booge. Enjoy.
saturday, june 2
Sorting through The Airman's Mess
By the tone of The Airman's Mess, one would guess that the author, hereby known as SaigonSam, was a hard drinking grizzled old 70 year old airman with finely honed storyteller's voice.
But then one reads further and discovers that he's a 22 year old Canadian Census worker (and pilot) who still thinks that Chicken Broccoli Liguini is the ultimate cuisine to serve a prospective serious date. He describes his recent high school reunion as "Sort of like in the excellent film Grosse Pointe Blank, except I'm not John Cusack. But I do have "99 Luftballons", as does the excellent soundtrack."
The Airman's Mess is not about design. There is nothing slick about it. It's about a good, unvarnished look at the life of a young man who also happens to be a damn good storyteller. Even something as simple as poetry written on the sidewalk on his way to the grocery store becomes prosaic from Sam's keyboard.
No one is ever referred to by thier real name...everyone is referred to by thier imaginary radio handle: Goodbar, eGirl, Cueball, Funboy. He introduces and revisits his characters with supreme skill, low-key and never maudlin. The real emotion is always implied, rarely explicitly stated. Somehow it comes through all the more powerful as a result.
He talks about his loneliness in a way that doesn't scream out to be pitied...it's just ordinary lonliness rendered with self-compassion. One doesn't know what happened between he and eGirl, but his quiet wistfulness speaks volumes.
The Airman's Mess gets my vote as the most deeply underrated blog in the air. Don't take my word for it though, read some posts about Sam losing his wank drive, half a beer...rounded down, a blue vinyl couch and taking care of your local census worker.
thursday, may 31
6:46 AM // tinylink // tinymail, until BlogVoices is back up!
Something wasn't working right today. Aside from a bit of warmed-over heartbreak, nothing is acutely wrong. My brain was sending messaged to me otherwise, and I felt like doing nothing. In spite of this I trudged joylessly through my day, getting some programming and laundry done, but I wanted something: Face kisses, a badass massage, a hot bath, a bong hit, closing my eyes while listening to soothing chants, a stupid buddy-flick while lying in bed, some wonton soup from Hing Loon Seafood Restaurant, or peppermint gum. I settled for peppermint gum and it did make things a little better.
Besides, my beautiful friend Cara was coming over to bring my some patio furniture and an antique mirror from the house she was moving out of. I waited the crankiness out, and I chilled and read and did some laundry.
She came over with a friend, and brought the wicker chairs. We swept off my slab of concrete and I discovered I have about twice the patio I thought I have. There's room for a grill, I'll reckon! I brightened up a bit more.
Oh, but the mechanics of lonliness are the sweetest tenderest evil. There she was in her thick canvas overalls and thermal shirt, paying attention to me and hugging me and being all nice. I couldn't help it, I just wanted to wrap an arm around her and put my tongue in her mouth and fuck her like amazing grace. I could feel it happening from a place right where each bone meets the other bones it touches. I knew what the movements would feel like to initiate, that heady swing and rush and flush.
It's just the lonliness talking, I assured myself. She did kiss my face (right cheekbone, right jaw, left eyesocket) and she was so sweet. I left for work feeling tired, but not as desperately hormonal as I had been all day. I still feel a little like the only person on the planet. I want everything. Love, attention, satisfaction, everything. I know, I know. The hunger settles down...I just have to try not to harm anyone when it kicks up in full force.
1:26 AM // tinylink // tinymail, until BlogVoices is back up!
wednesday, may 30
A Tour of Accidental
Ahhh Julie. She is first alphabetically on my sidebar, and so she gets a review even before she has a chance to protest!
Julie has written an astounding number of posts since she began Accidental in June 2000. She goes for sheer volume. Personal anecdotes, quotes (she has a terrible habit of quoting and not revealing the source), and TV and Movie commentary and news I would say comprise the bulk of it.
She has put so much effort into her weblog, practically her whole life it seems, that it makes there a lot to like on a daily basis. Oft commented on are the mosaic-like photo mastheads she designs (you can see all the past ones on her sidebar), which are spectactular. She includes a song of the day including the song...I only wish she had an index of them somewhere. Plus, her webcam photos are often...how you say...Ghetto Fabulous. At one point, in response to many search engine requests involving the word "nude", she offered to release real nude photos of herself upon request. I think she's pulling our collective leg, though, I don't know why.
There's probably a little too much about TV reality shows and ultra-lite news commentary for my taste...and I don't know if anyone finds one's ICQ chat transcripts as amusing as they themselves do, but to each her own.
If nothing else, Julie is an honest blogger. She's forthright about everything, from her strained relations with her Dad, to her polical views, her long distance love affair, she is nothing if not candid. Here's a favorite early post, a harbinger of things to come.
All in all forgivable...she has a lot of soul for a young lass who's never been kissed and never got drunk. I salute her. If you read nothing else today, read some of my favorite Accidental Julie's...
Oh, and like me, she likes Triscuits.
It's not so much that I want to jump to the defense of my friends, but perhaps only critique the reviewing style. As I read these reviews, of blogs I have been reading regularly for months, I was struck by the offhandedness of them. It seemed that they had read a few posts on the main page, and then perhaps one or two posts in the archives. I understand that they don't have time to read a blog's entire history, but it seemed like only a few posts were commented on, and a sincere effort was not made to really sense the flavor of the weblog.
"That's no way to review a blog," I snorted. For one does not properly know a blog to but go look at it once and never return. To review a blog should be to tell someone whether it is worth putting it on one's sidebar, and visiting day after day...through bored angsty posts, stupid updates about the fam, and transcendant moments of brilliance. It should be a review of the voice!
And so, with that, I intend to put my money where my mouth is. I am going to do some critical reviews of blogs in the days to come. I think I shall start alphabetically with my sidebar...so if you don't want to be included, please let me know. Otherwise I shall sharpen my pen....hehehe. Keep in mind, however, that these are all weblogs that I truly love and read nearly every day. As such, they are likely to be partially "sunshine blown up the arse" rather than the "critical duty" of Blog You!. I will not, however, shy from the truth, and some criticism WILL be provided in every case.
If you would like your blog reviewed, you may Email me and I will consider it, but we'll see if I run out of steam by the time I exhaust my sidebar.
tuesday, may 29
My Washington State Massage License is going to be renewed late, costing me an extra $80 plus the continuing education I'm going to have to get. However, it made me realize how glad I am to have it, and how glad I am to have the opportunity to do bodywork.
I love the feeling of unfolding the table and shaking out a clean set of flannel linens. I fly them over the table with a billow and pull them down, smoothing out every corner. I stand up next to the person and say, "So...tell me about your bod."
Then they tell me all the ways they hurt and the ways they hurt themselves. All of thier private worry about their poor mortal coils trickles out and they look at me, pleading with me somehow to fix them. But I can't fix anyone. Here's what I can do:
I have them lay down with thier head up and I slide my palm underneath their head and just lift at the base of the skull ever so slightly. I see their fists release a little as I pull, and run my fingers through their hair. Slowly I rock them back and forth, pull at them, stretch them, dance with them in little pirouettes in my own mind as I see a little 3-D web of what needs to be released.
Tension is like a thick knot of yarn. You can't just go into the center of it and start yanking. You have to start at the edges and loosen things up. Sometimes you have to just take one thread and meticulously backthread it through a hundred loops. Sometimes you DO just tug a little.
Some people need to be touched super gentle, and other people need thier bodies bossed around a little. Every person relates to touch differently. When I have their gentle skull resting in my hands, though, it always feels like they are my own child and I want to take care of them.
In the end, they get up a little less restricted, a little further out of the body's "fight or flight" response, where it can come into homeostasis and heal itself. No one has ever scome to me for any length of time and not noticed some real change. It takes two to create really good bodywork, and people forget that. They are thanking me when I should really be thanking them. It can be just as healing for me, and I'm the one who leaves with a cheque.
I worked all day on my paid web gig, and, for better or for worse, it's done. Perhaps a bit of tweaking here and there, but not too bad for 15 hours or so of work. I even incorporated a blog for the "news" section of the site. I hope the client is happy, cause it was really zero hour notice. It's amazing how many details one has to attend to to put up even the simplest site. Making sure every alt tag, link, and page title doesn't say something embarassing like "v2.0 top page template". The code is very solid for my limited skills, I hope you will agree...well commented and planned, I thought. Oh what a beautiful day it will be when CSS2 is fully implemented.
Plus, they are going off to Chicago to pitch their new book, and when they get back, there will be a reading at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, and I get to come schmooze and be introduced to everyone. I may end up as a web designer yet.
Now I face the next deadline for the Licton Springs Review site. If I got paid the hourly rate I made for the Educare Press site, I would have paid my rent a few times over by now. Instead I get two lousy credits and the "experience". Really though, I learned a lot, and when that site launches on June 7th, I'll post the URL. I have put massive time into that one and I think it looks pretty damn nice. I learn massive amounts every project. One of these days I'll even have a chance to do a redesign here. It sure could use it.