2003 blackout: laun¢hing Ↄalamari/5leepingfish in requital sham of Napster 2 not 5hift 2 L.A. w/ 2 high expectations


[1/24/2022> here's the rest of 2003, picking up from post # 986, still bi-coastal between NYC + LA]

July 5, 2003 – NY
Independence day is as quiet as x-mas in NYC. But still, the city is grating on me a little…. is it time to leave? I’m evaluating it more, thinking about it as I walk the streets, as I talk to people. One thing about New York is it definitely isn’t laid back. There is a certain level of nerve that you need to maintain just to make it through the streets. Not that you have to be a pushy prick, but you at least have to carry a look on your face like, “don’t even think of getting in my way.” Otherwise people just stand in your way in the middle of the sidewalk and you’ll never get anywhere. Just based on the people in the NY office versus the people in the LA office, LA would be the obvious choice. But really it all revolves back to cars and the baggage I carry, the associations I harbor about California. How could we live in LA without commuting and driving everywhere? And then you see stuff like “LA Story” and are reminded of all the LA stereotypes… but then again, NYC’s got its stereotypes and we don’t fit those really, so we could possibly go to LA and keep our way of life? I’m doubtful, but am trying to keep an open mind.
     We have an impromptu staff meeting on Monday. I’m sure it involves a re-org. I don’t think I am effected, but still I wonder. Going to LA is probably my only choice to keep my job, or at least keep my foot in the door with Glenn and his entourage. I met a few times with Glenn when he was in town last week. Of course my question is so what happens when the Napster kitty belly’s up? Or is nabbed by another corporate entity? As has been revealed piece by piece to me in the past, Glenn is a man with a backup plan.. he has this other company on the side, Kainoco, (with Brian and Daniel) that is already producing web sites for Andy Schuon and other music-related sources. His idea is to have it be a big think-tank type of place that would make art, web sites, games, etc. and even screenplays. Pipe dreams perhaps, but then you think of where he has gotten so far. Everything he touches definitely turns to gold to some extent, and he brings his people along for the ride. I would hate to regret not jumping the opportunity, and as the saying goes, its better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t. Speaking of which I finished “Let Them Eat Twinkies” an account of the bay area punk scene circa 1984 and the whole Dan White thing, etc. I sent it to Glenn and Rick as an example of the type of fiction we might want to consider putting in the Napster magazine. To finish the story, Glenn also talked to me about having me be the “voice of Napster” and be the editor for the magazine. A very interesting proposition indeed. I am going out next week to LA and then [Bedder-½] is meeting me for the weekend in LA so we will have a much better idea of what to expect, or at least be in a better place to make a decision. Bedder-½ is very close to publishing her paper in Science (fingers crossed). She is in the clear. She will probably know by September. It will be tight, but all the pieces are coming together. We have to leave this apartment by Oct. 1st (unless somebody buys it as an investment and rents it back out to us). The times are definitely changing no matter what.
     What else. Last weekend we saw Wilco & Sonic Youth in the park. We could barely hear Sonic Youth and everyone was there to see the headliners Wilco. It was a disgrace. Gwynn and her friend were there and they were talking the whole time too. We left before Wilco came on. Tonight we are seeing Steel Pulse, tomorrow night we are seeing The Fall and Monday night we are seeing Placebo. Finished reading David Foster Wallace’s Interviews with Hideous People or whatever its called. He is definitely a great writer, but his style is all over the place. But that’s probably what it would be like reading a collection of my short fiction. There’s something to be said in developing a consistent voice and style that you are recognized by. At least a consistent voice for “poetry” a consistent voice for “fiction” and a consistent voice for non-fiction, something I think I am honing in on but need to go back through all my old work and edit accordingly. I had stuff published in Diagram, xStream and Ampersand this past week. Some more stuff accepted by Atomic Petals, 12-Gauge, etc. Its getting to the point where I can’t keep it all straight. I am starting to get e-mails from other writers and even perhaps my first bit of fan mail? Its becoming a full-time job that doesn’t pay anything (not the writing, but the logistics surrounding getting them published). We’re off to the beach now.

[we used to sneak up on2 the train tracks nenar Hudson Yards b4 they turned it in2 the High Line]

July 10, 2003 – LA
Sitting in the parking lot of Napster. My electronic key thing doesn’t work and no one else is around. Normally Robert Brand is here, but even he is not here. It is 8:00 a.m. Of course I am still waking up on NY time which is 3 or 4 in the morning here. I finally got up at 6 and worked out. Staying at the Beverly Wilshire. La de La. Definitely getting a dose of LA. Whether I like it or not, it’s looking more and more like they want me to take up permanent residence here, or they'll replace me. Bedder-½ is coming out tomorrow.
     So went from being instantly bored to being overwhelmingly busy. Had our magazine kick-off meeting which was interesting. A lot of these people I had never met in person, but it is definitely a strange lot. We are going to take a lot more liberties with the magazine now that we are Napster. Not afraid to shock or be gritty. Then we had our meeting with Venables yesterday, our ad agency. They are helping us write the copy for the application, and they came up with some pretty interesting stuff. Very colloquial, almost campy. A huge departure from what we have been doing. Funny. They could have told me that’s what we wanted and I could’ve written that, but they would have shot it down. But when you hire the best ad agency in the country and pay them megabucks and they send some strange guy that writes in Beavis and Butthead vernacular, suddenly its funny. But I will take that voice and apply it more generally across everything. Its supposed to be cool, but educated... funny to see corporate people sitting around a boardroom analyzing its level of hipness. Its all very calculated. Its very interesting to observe, but a bit demoralizing to partake in and at times I want to throw up. In the next few days, I have to rewrite all the copy basically for the entire ap. And of course, I am crazy busy with all this other stuff too.
     Still nobody here. Its 8:20. Not so much writing as sitting here in my rental car, listening to the traffic of West Hollywood, the occasional crow. The crow is perched in top of the pine tree looking at me. What does it mean? Oh, here is Kevin Golchin…

July 12 – Thousand Oaks
1000 Oaks? Yes. We are asking ourselves the same question—what the fuck are we doing here in this suburban nightmare? Bedder-½ came out on Friday. I had been keeping an open mind until then, not trying to be too negative. She would call me at the Beverly Wilshire and ask me why I wasn’t more excited… how can I explain? How can I complain being amidst such luxury, in La La land? But it's living a lie. But I didn’t say anything, wanted her to make up her mind for herself. Sat in traffic for 1:15 to pick her up at the airport. It was already hitting Bedder-½ being stuck in traffic on the freeway. She came back to the office with me. Some band was recording a session and Glenn and everyone was preoccupied with “hanging” with them, so Bedder-½ was basically ignored. As Bedder-½ pointed out, no one is actively “wooing” me… its more like, yah, if you came out that would be cool. I don’t know what ever gave her the impression they would be trying to woo me, but she already had a bad vibe about this. Then we started driving around West Hollywood trying to imagine us living there. We drove through the nice manicured neighborhoods, there is a Mt. Sinai cancer research center close by where she might find work. But West Hollywood is so gay in not an intresting way. It's beyond Chelsea gay. We ended up at Melrose near the trendy area, Bedder-½ was hungry and at this point having a panic attack. We were eating Mexican food outside in the hot sun watching the people. We just couldn’t picture ourselves here. No way. Bedder-½ was freaking out at this point. We drove through Hollywood up through Griffith Park, then the Hollywood Hills and back along Sunset. Lots of traffic, vain people in cars. Back to the Beverly Wilshire. Walked around Beverly Hills like fish out of water. Speaking of which, there is a baby duck stuck in the pool outside our window. Bedder-½ is up now and we are going to rescue it.

July 12 – West Hollywood
I am back in West Hollywood. At the more low key Le Parc Suites now. We kind of rescued the duckling. I went down and tried to help it out of the pool, but it was very scared and its mother was going crazy squawking all over the place. One of the maintenance guys finally caught it in the skimming net, but even when he set it free it still got lost in the bushes and the mother was to freaked out to lead it away. It all started when I was looking at some crows and thinking whether they meant something. Crows have a certain air about them… I can understand why people think they are an omen, Native Americans think they are tricksters. They have special powers over other animals in the animal kingdom. That’s what I was thinking before we saw the duck. The crows were eating the scraps from the weird movie on the lawn the night before. I guess our suburban hotel is the center of action for Thousand Oaks. There was some outdoor movie, which was surreal. I would look out the window at the tables of people sitting like zombies watching Monsters, Inc. Seriously zombies. Families and fat people. In the conference room were a bunch of old people that were having a surprise party for some old doctor guy that was turning 80. It was a huge party. We would sneak a peak in to the room and they had hired entertainers to act out weird dancing skits. Really weird. And in the other conference room, there was a ten year class reunion that was spilling into the hotel bar. All the girls had huge fake boobs and dyed blonde hair and were decked to the hilt. Earlier in the day we had went to take a look at Amgen—a sprawling campus of biotech buildings. Very antiseptic, an ideal community. We stopped at this mall (lured by Cold Stone Creamery), this was the center of activity. There were all these suburban people just hanging out at this outdoor mall, that of course had a starbucks and barnes and noble, and Cold stone creamery. All the girls looked like Avril Lavagne and all the guys looked like Blink 182 or Sum 41… and then there were the parents with kids in tow. Geeky guys with socks and tivas and shorts with tucked-in polo shirts and cell-phones on belt holsters. Their wives were considerably better looking, looked they stayed home, spent all the money, worked out a lot, and were bored as hell. We were just taking this all in, seriously in awe and disgusted at what humanity has become. Some times it takes a trip to suburbia to open your eyes. There was this one family in particular, these two girls that couldn’t have been more than 10 and 12, and they were dressed up like they were going to a prom, wearing high heels with shaky ankles. They were with their mother, and we couldn’t figure them out. We saw them later in our hotel, and they were in the bar, watching some singer with an accompanying piano player, just a cheesy lounge act. They got all dressed up for this? We were in flip-flops and our bathing suits, drinking sambuca and playing pool (along with the 10 year reunion gross people). We ended going back to the room and getting Chicago pizza piped in to us, which was also nauseating.
     This morning we woke up and drove back in to L.A. Went to Manhattan Beach and watched the surfers. Not a bad community, and we saw some apartments near the ocean for $2000, reasonable I guess? But still, given this scenario, would it still be worth it? Wouldn’t it get old living near the ocean in L.A.? Did I finish my story of Friday and Saturday? We had pretty much decided on Friday that we would never move to L.A. unless hell froze over. Saturday we drove through Beverly hill and went to Westwood, checked out the medical center and UCLA and the neighborhood. Ok, not terrible. If Bedder-½ was to be offered a killer faculty position, and we lived near the campus, maybe hell would freeze over. But Westwood was pretty dead and we probably wouldn’t be happy. We went on to Santa Monica, even looked at some apartments to get the idea. Saw this crappy apartment for $1600, on 26th street. Saw some better ones that were really tiny for maybe $1200, but we’re really really small. Really if we were going to leave comfortably in a cool place it would probably set us back $2000. And then of course we would have car payments, and insurance, and gas for two cars, which would probably be an additional $1000 a month just for the cars. Not to mention the cost of your time sitting in your car. It really is insane when you think about it. That people endure this.
     We walked along the beachfront and the 3rd street promenade, then headed up to Malibu. What is Malibu anyway? A vague reference for the 20 or 30 miles of coast north of L.A.? Any place there was a beach, it was wall to wall cars looking for parking spots. The surf was infested with surfers, thousands of them fighting to catch each wave. There was nowhere to eat. So much competition for everything. We drove to the end of Malibu to some fish and chips place and it was packed with bikers and sunburnt surfers that looked they were all on methamphetamines. Actually, it seems most people in coastal L.A. are on methamphetamines or some other drugs that make them volatile and unpredictable. And they all have tattoos all over their sunburnt bodies and listen to Sublime and Everclear. Which sucks, because I like Sublime, but I will keep that as my fond memory of L.A. Maybe along with No Doubt. Ok, maybe Janes Addiction, and of course X, but really the NEW bands don’t compare to what’s coming out of NYC right now. The fish and chips place (Neptunes Nest or something like that) was so packed we couldn’t even eat there, and Bedder-½ was starting to get hypoglycemic. We finally found a Mexican place after backtracking all the way down past Zuma beach. Ok, granted, the Mexican food is far superior… even the random places we’ve come across are better then the best of NY. After that we headed over the hill to Thousand Oaks. And to think people said that Thousand Oaks is a reasonable commute? Are they out of their fucking mind? It took like an hour, and that was without traffic. There is no fucking way.
     Today we woke up from the nightmare of Thousand Oaks, and saved the duckling from pool, then drove into Manhattan Beach, then went back up to Santa Monica along the coast. Walked along the pier, now that’s a freak show. Beautville central! What woodworks do these people crawl all out of? I mean there are beauts in NY, but L.A. beauts are zombiefied. A city of lost lifeless souls. Pent up and listless, volatile, in denial, fat or artificial, and always vain. Am I stereotyping? Perhaps. But definitely we know we gave it a chance, we tried to imagine ourselves living there and it was like fitting a square peg through a circular hole. After Santa Monica, I managed to find La Cabana. I didn’t know the name or where it was, but somehow drove right to it even though every corner looks the same with the same strip malls. La Cabana was awesome. If anything, we got some damn good Mexican food. Now I am stuffed. I took Bedder-½ to the airport. I was supposed to go back with her, but they really wanted me to stay for another week, and somehow I caved in, back when I thought we might live here or something. So now I am stuck here for another five days! Its Sunday evening, I took a nap and watched Black Mask with Jet Li. I tried to go up by the pool, but it is way to crowded with all these families with kids and shit. Unbelievable. I went up there twice and there wasn’t a single lounge chair to be had. I think now I am going to take a walk up to Sunset Blvd or something. But yah, I had to drop off Bedder-½ and she is on her way back which really sucks and I am very sad. I am not complete without her. I am glad that she at least got to come out for the weekend and verified for herself everything that I have tried to tell her about California. Even the weather. Today was hot, but was all hazy, and not like we saw any blue sky, but the beaches were packed.
     Now I have to figure what to tell Daniel and Glenn…. Whether to lead on or just tell them that hell would have to freeze over before I lived in Los Angeles.

July 16, 2003
Definitely ready to go home at this point. Besides having a reality check about LA in general, I am having a reality check about the office. It is just a big clusterfuckfest. No management or any organization. Just a bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off. Everything that comes up is top priority and never gets completed (correctly anyway) because another top priority project comes up. Resources are wasted, everyone working on it at once. We’ve been working toward a beta drop of next week, and suddenly last night Glenn decided we needed to have it ready last night because he was giving a demo to Chris Gorog (the new CEO). I was there til 9 and there was still people there, except Chris got fed up and left around 8. This morning some things were not working as planned in the beta and Glenn freaked out in front of me, Chris and Kalani, blaming us in his passive aggressive way, speaking rashly and incoherently, talking about how he couldn’t believe the parking lot was empty when he left at 6, and suddenly deciding that everything with the magazine was on hold. We had our magazine meeting the day before and that was ridiculous as well. Everyone was throwing around these stupid juvenile ideas on par with Jackass. The best idea (that Glenn enthusiastically endorsed without blinking an eye) was to hire a band to play, and then we would throw footballs at them and hit them in the head. At one point Glenn made the rash and absolute decision that there would be no print pieces. All video. Rick’s jaw dropped. There goes his job, and most of my job too. So what are we doing here? I talked some sense into him, said that people didn’t always want to watch video but might want something to read while they were listening to music. And at another point, someone asked if we could vote on something we disagreed about and Glenn said that he didn’t believe in democracies, that we were free to speak our opinions, but in the end it was his road or the highway. He said we were all free to leave if we didn’t like the way things were going. And that’s pretty much the direction I’m heading, quitting. Just not rashly. I’ve really got to start thinking about my next move. This is not even interesting enough that I have to see it out til launch. I pretty much know it will be a failure.
     I have eaten dinner by myself every night. The only person who will go to dinner with me is our PR person in NY (who is here). But she’s really annoying and I think she has a crush on me or something. Everyone from NY is out here, Laura, Elizabeth, Mike, Bill, etc... LA sucks. Sure the weather is nice. The food sucks, the service sucks. Everyone in West Hollywood is annoyingly gay, like the kind of vain gays that walk around with their shirts off after they finished working out. I am ready to go back to NY.

July 17, 2003 (dream)
I had a dream I was in an earthquake on the L.A. subway. I was trying to climb out of the subway station before a train came and spewed oil from a pressure build up. Then I was in a foreign city that I guess was L.A. I saw some guy on a bike get hit by a car right in front of me. He was completely whacked up, blood everywhere, open flesh showing. I was freaked out and sat down and the curb and started crying. This was the second car hitting a bike I had seen. Our neighbor (in our new city) saw me. She was taking me home, we skipped the elevator and ran up the steps (she was young). I felt like I was trudging under water. These Mexican guys were blocking the exit with their makeshift tables to sell their wears. I was trying to climb over and tripped and was knocking over their stuff. The more I tried to help them clean up the mess, the more it made it worse and they were really annoyed at me.
      (the old many who plowed through a bunch of pedestrians in Santa Monica, killing 8 and injuring something like 50 might have had a bearing on this. We were just there, I remember looking down Arizona Ave. where the accident was).

[Santa Monica]

July 19, 2003, Coney Island, [this "journal entry" we already posted to 5cense as FREAKFEST! The Siren Music Festival]

[Coney I-land]

August 10, 2003
Things have escalated to a new frenetic state of chaos. Too chaotic to stop or breathe, let alone write in my journal. Work has been all consuming and my role has been changing weekly, or I’m assuming new roles and responsibilities. Spent the last few days doing stuff like coordinating half a dozen backstage interviews with Matt Pinfield. I don't particularly enjoy it, maybe I will in retrospect for the experience of it. But the sleepless nights are killing me. If not from working, from thinking of work, and then looking at the big picture and asking what this is all for? To appease the mid-life crisis of a geeky software tycoon, Chris Gorog. Now we are true sherpas. Busting our balls to get this out, and then we will be completely disposable. First it was the whole magazine thing—late night, 3 hour conference calls to listen to a bunch of amateur egoists scream and yell but never get anything done—no structure whatsoever—just a scrum of people thrown together (mostly from nepotism) trying to figure out what we are doing. I covered the Siren Festival a few weeks ago and did a write-up (which I'll probably end up putting up on my Sleepingish site [the URL we had 1st, b4 5cense], along with the Soundtrack of Our Lives and Trail of Dead write-ups that were never published). That was a great time. They were trying to get this guy Jay to coordinate a video shoot of that with one day’s advance notice. Didn’t happen of course, but I brought Bedder-½’s camera and shot a bunch of pictures, mostly of the crowd and freaky people, the sideshow freaks, the Coney island boardwalk scene, etc. It was a good time. Sue Rae and her new boyfriend Kevin and some other guy were with us, along with So Young. Hot Hot Heat was the most memorable act, as well as !!! (chk chk chk).
     So, but of course I wrote that up and it was ignored because everyone is too busy, and it wasn’t something cool enough to pitch in five words. My idea to have fiction in the magazine was met with lukewarm response. Not cool enough. But none-the-less, I contacted Camden Joy’s publisher at TNI Books and he seemed pretty receptive and excited about the idea. And I even wrote a spec piece, “Let Them Eat Twinkies” .. which was also ignored by Glenn and Rick, but whatever, it’s a good story and I will send it around elsewhere. Not that I wanted it in Napster Magazine anyway, would of been weird and not a good fit.
     I have seen other shows in the past month, but at this point it is all a blur. Last weekend we were supposed to see Longwave in NJ, but Bedder-½ was working so late on a Saturday that we missed it. She is also busting her balls, trying to get this paper out. Alessandra goes on vacation at the end of this week so they have to get it to Science magazine before then. We did go see a Fela Kuti exhibit at the New Museum and that was pretty incredible. Another idea for the magazine (which looks like is going to be called “Fuzz” now, thanks to Rick, my suggestion was Litterbox).
     This past Friday night went to see Iggy Pop and Sonic Youth at Jones Beach. Actually this band “Thursday” was supposed to open, but it took us so long to get there we missed them and the beginning of Sonic Youth. We met Sue Rae and Kevin at her apartment, with her funny cats, Ziggy and Minnie. Kevin was busy trying to mix coke and JD into a Poland spring water bottle. We stopped at this fucked up taco bell/dunking donuts to scarf some disgusting food, and Kevin transferred his concoction to a taco bell cup so it would be less obvious. After all, Taco Bell, was created by Pepsi as merely a place to sell Pepsi, according to Kevin. Ate more KFC potato wedgies and got some beer while we waited for the train. Did the whole train thing and we’re waiting for the bus in the long line of hipsters, when we see this sketchy van guy and opted to ride with him, along with half a dozen other concert-goes, for $2 a pop. Heard Sonic Youth as we were going in. Saw most of their set. Bedder-½ and had seats in the 10th or 15th row back, but off to the side on the water. Kind of nice to have the breeze and the moon’s reflection off the water. Chilled and watched Sonic Youth, who were mellow but on. Much better than the show with Wilco earlier this summer. In between we wetn back to the concessions area and there was this band Sexy Magazines playing who were pretty good actually. The singer was going nuts. Back in for Iggy Pop. Sue Rae and Kevin snuck into our area and then we were kicked out so we snuck up even closer. Iggy was doing his thing. The Stooges were just that. Relics, zombies, going through the motions. Iggy was prancing around like a cheetah, with his shirt off of course, running his hands through his hair. His body is a phenomena. He looks like a worm. Even from a distance you can see the veins and not-so-subtle subtleties of human anatomy. He’s in incredible shape, especially for an old-timer and junkie. He is a roadie’s worst nightmare, throwing mic stands with extreme force into the audience, swinging the microphone around like a bull-roarer over the audience and then letting it swing around to strangle himself. Always prancing, always dancing, throwing himself into the audience, forging through the audience with security guys and roadies in chase. It was a spectacle for sure, but musically? And even as far as the way he “dances” it’s a bit on the Anthony Keidas side of whiteness. Definitely not always graceful. He’s better in stills. But Kevin and Sue Rae were blown away. The fact that he played “I just Wanna be your dog” twice was even the better for Kevin. He didn’t play anything off of Raw Power, or for that matter didn’t even play Lust for Life or the Passenger.

Sexy Magazines



Going home found our guy, “Van Gogh”. We hopped in and waited for others. His breath was stinky and I looked down and sure enough he had a can of beer in his holder. He was just some loser from Long Island with a van and no friends, more into hanging out and partying with concert-goers than making money. He wasn’t actively soliciting. There was a huge line of people waiting for the bus. Ended up getting the same original people that we came with. Van Gogh offered complimentary beer to all out of his beer cooler, reaching back with one hand while driving maniacally at 80 miles and hour and the guy in the front was distracting him and encouraging him and toasting with him, and the Strokes were playing full volume and I thought for sure this was how my life would end. But we made it to the train station. We were waiting for the train, when some friend of Sue Rae shows up to give us a ride. I think his name was Doug and he as like an old-school thrasher type that had these taped segments of maximum rock n roll. It was funny, just the other day I saw a maximum rock n roll and couldn’t believe it was still around, and here was this guy my age, still listening to it and reading it. We listened to hardcore versions of TV theme songs like Gilligan’s Island the Mary Tyler Moore show, squished into an old Honda Accord. And then once he got to Manhattan he was driving like a maniac almost hitting pedestrians.
     The next morning (yesterday) I got up and decided I had better read up on these bands I was supposed to cover that I can’t stand, and learn more about Matt Pinfield since I don't watch MTV and have no idea who he is. My direction in this piece consisted of a dozen e-mail threads with phone numbers of various tour managers for Vendetta Red, The Ataris, Less Than Jake, Rancid, etc. None of the interviews were scheduled and for that matter the show times weren’t even announced until the morning of. I turned on my phone to start contacting tour managers and the video guy and Matt and already had 4 messages on my cell. Let the games begin. The car came (a van actually) and I went and picked up Allison (Matt’s assistant) who actually only lives a few blocks away. She is your typical New Yorkie PR/personal asst. type, very nice. Went and picked up Matt down on First ave. and 23rd. It was like the Tasmanian Devil got into the van. He is just this teeming ball of energy, introducing himself to the driver, introducing himself to me, asking all sorts of questions about music and what not, while at the same time punching numbers into his cell phone and having side bar conversations. His energy is unbelievable and unyielding. We got the Warped Tour grounds (on Randall Island) and it was bedlam. Thousands of teenage punksters in this line half a mile long that ran under the elevated train tracks. I needed to get a hold of Jay Dorfman (the video guy) who originally said he was meeting us 1 p.m. but it was 12 and Vendetta Red was going on 12:30. I tried to call Jay earlier and told him to go early, but could only cross my finger as he had our press passes. So here I am in line with Matt Pinfield and all the kids in line cannot believe they are standing in line with Matt Pinfield. And I finally get a hold of Jay but can’t even hear him and am trying to push my way through to the front to where Jay is. And meanwhile Matt is seeing all sorts of people he knows and stopping to talk. Finally the gates opened, and it was a stampede. Managed to coral everyone together and make the introductions then we had to wait for this other guy Russell who was coordinating the passes. Got the passes and Jay and his son Daniel, and this other camera guy Adam went in to get some footage. I went in with Matt and Allison to see this band Brand New that they had to see. It was an incredible scene. A carnival atmosphere with five stages, music blaring everywhere, booths selling food and peddling propaganda and pop-punk culture related products. Brand New was playing an acoustic set, but that didn’t stop the crowd surfing. Towards the front it was a teeming mass of writing limbs, dozens of bodies rolling along the surface of the crowd. And this was just one of the smaller stages. The interview with Rancid was set for 1:30. It was getting to be 1:20 and Matt had to stay til the end of Brand New so he could say Hi to them. And of course everyone was coming up to him and talking to him. I literally had to pull him away and herd him towards the media tent which I didn’t even know where it was. It was starting to rain, and I was trying to get a hold of Jay but it was too loud to hear anything. Couldn’t find the tent. I look back and Matt’s gone, stopping to talk to someone. Have to go back to find him. Calling the Rancid tour manager Mark and finally manage to meet him by using geographical references, “you see the baseball diamond with the Penske trucks,” meet you near third base. Finally met him and found the “press tent,” really just an empty lot near a loose association of tour busses, tents and trailers. Matt and Jay went in to their bus to do the interview (Rancid made it clear that they were not in the press area thing and were only doing this because to begin with because it was Matt Pinfield). They only let two people into the bus. Evidently Matt had the dirt on Rancid, and it was totally a Behind the Music type of interview. One down many more to go. Did an impromptu interview with Taking Back Sunday, even though I am not even sure we have them in the service. They were pretty interesting, and we found some old bleachers to do that interview. Then it all started to blur together, did the interview with Less than Jake and Vendetta Red. I almost had to do the Vendetta Red interview myself as Matt followed Rancid on stage with cameras in tow. He was good friends with them, so of course he would want to see their set. And I couldn’t call him because it was way too loud, but finally got a hold of Allison who corralled him back down to the press area to do the curly haired guy from Vendetta Red. Caught some of the bands in the meantime, and scarfed a slice of pizza. We were supposed to do the Ataris at 4:00 but they were nowhere around, but we saw Geoff from Thursday, so Matt interviewed him. He was a pretty decent guy, and that was a long in depth interview. Of course after every interview, I would have to make sure they did a Napster ID, “Hey, Napster’s back!” sort of thing, super cheesy. I was also trying to schedule our car back, but the car service wouldn’t come pick us up unless we had an address. But Allison and Matter knew this other guy that was going to give them a ride, but he needed to leave. And the Ataris still weren’t there. Finally they showed up, but according to the press coordinators, we were tenth on the list to interview them, we had to wait for the likes of ESPN and MTV. But then Matt saw the singer and they started talking and we just started shooting, much to the chagrin of the press coordinator and other press people. Slam dunk. Got every interview we set out to get and more. Unbelievable. As far as concert footage, not so sure. We went around at one point and had Matt talk to fans and whatnot, it was pretty cool. But after Matt left we did more of that. We saw these two guys with pink and purple hair covered in mud and asked them where they got so muddy. Me and the camera man Adam followed their general directions, until we came to this swarm of people around an ice-cream truck and sure enough there was a mud-wrestling pit going on, kids throwing each other around in the mud. Until the ice cream truck owner (which was splattered in mud) came along with security people and a peaceful tiff ensued. They got the truck out of there, and the kids went back to the mudfest. Awesome footage. I left after that with Adam. Jay stayed with his son, and (hopefully) got footage of Less than Jake and Taking Back Sunday as well as other bands. I know we didn’t get of Vendetta Red, but pretty sure we managed to get footage of Rancid and others.
         Adam drove me back in to the city, 57th street was bedlam because of the 7th avenue street fair, and I felt bad (since he was going to Jersey). Bedder-½ and I went to Rue 57 for dinner and had yellowtail jalapeno sashimi and steak frites. Today we are going to see Jimmy Cliff and Morgan Heritage for FREE in central park!

[Warped Tour writeup we wrote + produced... more IA/UI/UX eggsamples here ]

August 15, 2003
Things were building to a breaking point. After the Warped tour and then Jimmy Cliff, went in to work Monday and busted balls doing ten things at once. I went home around 7 for dinner just because I was sick of it all. We had our “HR integration” meeting on Monday… just like Office Space. They came in, 4 reps from Roxio and pretty much laid it out like it is. They were just total pricks about it. There is no benefit to the transition, to the contrary it’s a big pain in the ass, our bonus system is pretty much on hold (won’t pay out til next summer) and senior management has it even worse in that they get stock options only, and the stock is worth shit. There is going to be a week lag in our pay which is what pissed people off most, and in order to compensate, they were giving us a one-time $500 loan if we were in a dire situation. I asked for it just to fuck with them, and just because they owed me $3500 for expenses that had been overdue at least a month. They way I see it, the only advantage we got out of the new policies is that we get more vacation and sick time, so may as well use it to the fullest. Tuesday night Chris calls me during dinner, and ended up working from home all night until 1:30 a.m. Pretty much 12 to 16 hour days for weeks on end. When does it end? I found out by looking at Lisa Selden’s calendar that the launch date had been pushed out til Oct. 28… but of course they weren’t telling the sherpas this. When I confronted Bill about this, he got red in the face and denied it, until I commented that it was great management style (facetiously) and he tried to ask who leaked this information. All this shit was just pissing me off, and there was no end to the workload in sight, so I decided to just take Thursday off.
     Woke up late, and really spent most of the day pushing songs on to my site now that I have the room, put a ton of MP3s out there, probably at least 30 from various stages of my recordings. Was also catching up with my writer correspondence and what not, and reading White Noise by Don Delillo… he has an amazing knack for capturing the entropy and hysteria associated with American consumerism. And ironically it deals a lot with America’s mindset in the face of tragic events. It was probably one of the first real hot days of the summer and I had the air, chilling, and dozing, when I woke up and noticed the power was off. I figured that the it was just our circuit breaker and was too lazy to do anything about it for ten or fifteen minutes. Finally, I got up to flip it and it didn’t help. So I figured it was just the building. Didn’t do anything, but then I started hearing sirens a lot and why was trying to blackberry and phone Chris to no avail, so finally I ventured downstairs to figure out what was going on… and stepped into bedlam. Les had the doors wide open and his jacket off. People were loitering trying to call on their cell phones. Les said it was all of New York and the surrounding areas. Someone else said all the way up to Connecticut. I got a hold of Bedder-½ and she was going to chill a while to wait for the power to go back on. I went to the Korean market to get batteries and it was crazy… the line was wrapping all through the store. They had batteries when I asked and stood in line, but by the time I got to the front they were out. People were cutting in front and just throwing down money and leaving.
     I went to Radio Shack and stood in that line outside, and finally got probably the last of the D batteries they had, and also some AAs for our headlamps, just in case I was thinking. Inside the Korean market the rumor was that it was the whole eastern seaboard up to Candada, Detroit, the Midwest… no idea what caused it but obviously speculation led to terrorism, if not, then it was sheer incompetence. Bedder-½ ended up taking a cab down as far as 72nd street and then walked with Aida. We hung out listening to the radio, had a nice dinner of pasta with eggplant and tomato in a cream sauce (using up our perishables) and wine.
     Then we got our headlamps on and ventured to Times Square which was surreal to see without the lights. The crowd was bordering on hysteria, drinking a lot and using it as an excuse to get rowdy and party. It was a strange sight, you could see the stars, but couldn’t locate Mars which was the closest it had been to Earth in some 60,000 years.
     Didn’t sleep too well. It was hot, and every so often a fire engine would go by not only with its siren going, but blaring its horn. Every one would wake me up. I would look over to see if the power was back on. Nope. In the evening right after, Bloomberg was saying it was only a matter of hours. What a crock. Woke up and boiled water and poured it through our coffee machine (thank god for gas), but of course they were stupid enough to make the lighters electric, so had to use matches. All the tourists in midtown had to sleep on the streets... why? Because all the cardkeys now our electric! What fucking idiots. There are so many dependencies we have now on electricity.
     Went to work, just because there wasn’t much to do around our apartment. The radio (1010 Wins at 57th st. and 7th ave.) was saying they had power and so did midtown. By this time we didn’t have water. I really wanted to shower. Not sure why there wasn’t water. We went to my work. Actually Bedder-½ first tried to go to her work to check on her poor mice. I went to work and only Bill and Russell were there. We had power and cool air, but no access to the net, mail our network drives. Everything hosed. We were trying to get into the server room and get a hold of Linda or whoever. Just hanging. Then Bedder-½ came by and we went to get food. Any restaurant or deli that was open was complete bedlam. Lines out the door. Tellers too. People were panicking, taking money out and buying whatever they could. We had sandwiches from Pret and Bedder-½ walked around while I went back to work to at least try to do paperwork. We got a hold of Brian Kaino and got into the server room to reset the servers, but the issue was more widespread. Phone service was fucked in general. Finally just went home.
     When we to our apartment we had power. When I opened the door there was an inch of standing water in our living room. Another two inches in the kitchen and the sink was overflowing. Evidently we must not have turned the water off and when the electricity came on so did the faucett! I furiously set to work bailing the water, and then went it got lower, throwing all our towels down and ringing them out. Probably took at least a half an hour. Still don’t know if the people below had water damage. They must’ve, but no one complained. Then cleaned up all the towels and did major laundry. Today is supposed to be even hotter, 94. We are just chilling. Still no phone, TV, or DSL. Good day to write or get a movie.

September 8, 2003
I don’t know why this never occurred to me before, well, actually it did, but I finally decided to just do it, sick of sending manuscripts to publishers only to be rejected... it occurred to me that I can just publish my stuff myself and probably do a better job at it than most of these publishers that are rejecting me. I have the production and editing skills. I already have a website. I’ve got extra cash. And what's more, I can publish it the way I want it published and have a lot of fun doing it so I think I will start by publishing 23 Text Tiles and Mining in the Black Hills as staple-bound chapbooks. Then I could publish Poste Restante and Bodhi Circuits as actual books, send them out to the printers. It might be an investment of a few thousand dollars, but if my stuff ever did start selling, I would be reaping 100% profit. So, that is my revelation.
     So what’s been going on? September hit, and so did the cool rainy weather. Definitely wasn’t much of a summer. Saw Bjork and Sigur Ros later in August. Amazing show at Coney Island. Full on pyrotechnics. The day after we saw Tori Amos at Jones Beach. Went to the beach, which is always an eye-opening glimpse at humanity. Mostly been working our asses off. Working 10 to 12 hours a day, and just recovering on the weekends. Going down to Café Habana in Nolita or having a picnic in the park. And doing my 6-mile circuit of the park once a week. Working out. Editing the Warped video with Jay at Creative Bubble. Delivering T-shirts to Fader magazine for the VMAs. Running around town more. Working with Korea on writing the Samsung/Napster device user guide, which requires me to work til 8 p.m. (their morning). That is the biggest headache of all. So sick of it I don’t even want to go into it. Sometimes I have to remind myself that its about the music. I’ll give myself a break and work on artist bios when I should be doing other stuff. That stuff is interesting. Or the track reviews. But mostly its shit work. Bedder-½ has been working hard on her paper on what not. Planning on our next move. She is starting to think about her next job. They fixed the electrical wiring of our apartment so we can actually watch TV and have the air on at the same time. Not that we actually need the air, and it was a pain in the ass coordinating all this work. Now they are getting the freezer, which will be nice if they fix that. Not that we aren’t already used to life without ice. Been doing it this long. Still don’t know for sure whether we will have the apartment October 1st. Assuming it’s a go, even though we will have to pay more. But we’ve just been left hanging. Still don’t even know who our landlord is.
     Right now its 4:40 a.m… this is pretty typical waking up at this hour and not being able to get back to sleep. Part of it is allergies. Fall allergies, which are of a different variety than spring allergies. I just need to wake up at least once in the middle of the night to clear my head. And then I start thinking. Usually its about work unfortunately. At least this time it was about SleepingFish Press [seems we called the press Sleepingfish @ 1st (we had that URL since 2001)]

[Hot Hot Review we wrote/produced 4 Napster (+ reposted on 5cense)]

October 10, 2003 – LA > NY
We launched the Napster beta on Wednesday night and now I’m on my way back. I’ve been in LA all week. Hopefully this will be my last trip. I really am starting to dread these trips and becoming more and more disillusioned at what Napster has become. Last week things were already reaching a boiling point. Everyone was simmering. I was becoming more and more disenchanted of lack of direction and kept asking myself what's the point? I have very little contact with Daniel and when I do he is so passive aggressive. He made a casual reference to follow up with Stan, the new artist that I guess I am now more or less responsible for even though this was never clearly communicated to me. I kept trying and left messages and emails but didn’t get a hold of him. The next day I get this disciplinary email from Daniel, saying how he warned me three times and expects this will never happen again ya di ya di ya, and first I just said yes sir, but then thought about and stewed so wrote him a nasty email back. That got escalated to Glenn and Debbie as I expected because Daniel is too weak to handle it. So had a long closed door talk with Glenn, who now has a full-on Mohawk and looks ridiculous. I told him that I would not put up taking blame for mismanagement at a higher level, or the fact that Stan wasn’t calling me back. Of course this is hard to say because Stan is a good friend of Daniel and Glenn. There is so much nepotism going on its ridiculous. I’m over it and am starting to look for another job, its just that the problem is there is nothing else out there. So I just have to put up with this shit. The good news is that I have my press up and running! I got the domain name www.calamaripress.com and have Mining in the Black Hills and 23 Text Tiles available for sale using PayPal. And I also have a submission call posted on www.sleepingfish.net to start a magazine. I’ve submitted some copies of both chapbooks for review, and well, here we go. We’ll see what happens. Printing the chapbooks myself is not easy chore with an inkjet printer. Probably not the most cost-effective either. But we’ll see if I get enough demand to get a laser printer. Getting the paper was no easy chore either. I layed both out on legal paper, folded in half, so the books are 8.5 x 7. Of course getting regular paper is easy, but decent legal paper above 28 lb. Stock is not easy to come by, and cover stock …. Nowhere in town. Ended up ordering from www.paper.com. I started to order this book on self-publishing, but it never come, and I figured fuck it, will just figure it all out on my own. Got the ISBNs and everything. On the back cover of Mining in the Black Hills I am using a picture from Touch the Sky: Climbing in the Black Hills, so I sent Paul Piana an email to ask permission, he in turn referred me to this woman whose name I can’t remember, who is the surviving spouse of the guy who took the picture and she said yes. Speaking of the Black Hills… so Bedder-½ and I are at The Realistics concert last week, and we were at the front waiting for them to go on, when this woman comes up to me, who looked familiar to me but I couldn’t remember from where. We had just been at Glenn’s opening and met a bunch of people so I thought maybe it was someone from there. I thought she said her name was “Mary,” and I was probably giving her this look like what the fuck. Ends up it was Marit, the girl I dated briefly before leaving the Black Hills. She immediately introduced herself to Bedder-½ and there was some awkward silence, then the “what are you doing here?” Q & A, and she excused herself even though we offered for her to come hang out up front with us. It was weird. She looked like a soccer mom or something, like a grown up lady. Very strange.

[The Realistics bass player]

Glenn’s opening was strange as well. The centerpiece was this huge installation spanning two rooms, in one room there was a magnifying glass and a tiny origami swan against a postcard backdrop. A string was tied to the swan’s wings that was gently moving in tiny movements. The string wrapped around a small pulley and went through a hole in the wall. When you went around the corner, the string was connected to more pullies and chains and levers, which escalated into this complex contraption involving a spinning Astroturf carousel with a stuffed jackalope, and attached to that was a huge waterwheel of putty gray dentures fed by a giant showerhead and feeding into a kitty pool. Much as I am starting to despise Glenn and his ways, it was pretty brilliant. Glenn’s Mohawk was spiked up and he was wearing a CBGBs shirt … tres punk. He was all flushed and red because he was drinking alcohol. Saw Andy Schuon there and other Napsterites were there, Sue Rae and her new beau, March Ache and Robin, Avery and girlfriend I never knew about it. It was the same gallery that did his last show, but they had moved down to 57th St. There was quite a big turnout, probably a few hundred, DJ, bar, etc. Afterwards went out with March, Robin, Avery and his girlfriend to some Indian restaurant on 6th street just because we had used up other options. Then after that Bedder-½ and I went to the Realistics where we saw marit. Monday morning I left to go to LA. Been working seriously 18-20 hours a day. Til 2 or 3 in the morning, and then back at work at 8 or 9 a.m., and even when I am sleeping, sleeping with the light on and cell phone and blackberry under pillow. Insane. The night of beta launch we were getting ridiculous requests like we were asked to post these pictures of Chris Gorog and a bio and everything. There was like 8 pictures and he as all airbrushed, and wearing dark sunglasses, posing under the Napster sign, or in the studio with his sleeves rolled up. It was sickening. I was reluctant to do it and showed the pictures to Stan. I have not really made an opinion about Stan yet. Definitely a flakey kid, and definitely pretensious. But he called up Noel and said we wouldn’t do it. She told Seth and we were off the hook. So now I have a lot more respect for Stan, that was pretty punk rock. But we still had to post all these press releases last second, and build the consumer site which was basically nothing a week before. We were still building unfinished stuff and fixing bugs, when we find out that unbeknownst to us they are pushing the code live! We were live. It was very anti-climatic, and frustrating because shit was half-finished. We were scrambling til odd hours of the night trying to patch up what we could as the big press release was the next morning n NY. And of course the sherpas were not a part of it, but we saw the streamcast of it and it was sickening. Seriously sickening and unclean. It started with Chris Gorog walking on stage and saying “Yah, baby!” I couldn’t fucking believe it. He exuded arrogance and geekiness. He had sent out this email to Napster all before this, thanking all the senior management people, but failing to mention key people who actually did the important work. He kept calling it “My Baby”. Its like we are the sports car he bought for his mid-life crisis, to make up for his receding hairline. He doesn’t realize that while you can buy a sports car, you cant just buy Napster, it's a service with actual people behind it. He has done nothing to earn our respect. You cannot buy respect and you definitely cannot buy hipness. Napster will fail because of this reason alone. He spoke for a while and then Mike Bebel came out and demoed it with Laura behind the wheel. Mike was nervous, but hell, I would rather have nervous and sincere then fucking Chris Gorog. And then they introduced the geeky Samsung guys. And finally Ludacris, who really put things in perspective. Of course all he cared about was promoting his new album, but he gave some speech that Seth had written for him, and it sounded pretty natural and genuine, but in the context of the whole event, it was just so fake and white and trying so hard to be hip. I was truly embarrassed to be a Napster employee after seeing that and it only reaffirmed my pursuit of a new job. Didn’t feel like doing much of anything after that, but still kept finding bugs and working on shit. I went to get drinks with Donna that evening, and no one else even went with us. It was like there was no closure. No celebration. All that just for utter disillusionment and demoralization. Time to move on.

October 31, 2003 -- NY
So I'm sure its been forever since I last wrote... writing at work. Actually kind of dead so I have time to write. Amazing. Its like the calm after the storm. Post-traumatic stress. We finally launched. Very anti-climatic. Everything was such a clusterfuck that I don't think anyone cares anymore, and the product reflects. The numbers are not even close to what they expected, and I think it is apparent we’ve already that its time to be looking for another job, or wait around a few weeks or months and wait to get laid off to at least collect a severance. Not that I already haven't been looking, but its not promising. A few people have responded to resumes, one guy from NY Arts magazine responded and asked me to write a review on contemporary artists, so I did a comparison of Matthew Barney and Tom Friedman, but I sent it to him and he hasn't responded. [they eventually published it but didn't pay us + we reposted it on 5cense]
     During this time I was also running up to Harlem and help Glenn with his art show on the side. Typical shit. Things have been chaotic, just spinning my wheels, spending a lot of time at work but not really "working" besides just nagging others to do work. I guess that's what it means to be a good producer. I feel like there's this giant juggernaut of corruption spiraling out of control and I am clinging to the outside, trying to hold on, but also with one foot and hand reaching out for something else to grab on to, but it is spinning in a void. There are no other opportunities.
     Getting a fairly good response to SleepingFish.net.. mostly crap but some good, as you'd expect I guess. Still have yet to actually sell a chapbook. As expected I guess.
     Saw The Strokes again last night. They were awesome. Julian was out of tune and acting drunk and stupid, but to be expected right? I guess that seems to be the prevailing theme. To lower my expectations. I saw Longwave the week before and they were great. Bedder-½ didn't come because she was sick. She still kind of is. She got hit hard with strep throat. I managed to steer clear.
     What else? Tonight So Young is having a Halloween party. The weather is beautiful. Just sat in the park in the sun. This weekend is supposed to be in the 70s. Soak it up. Beyond expectations.


Nov. 2, 2003 –
So while I didn't get to go to the Napster launch party, I got to experience the after affects. Was at the British Sea Power show on Saturday night at Mercury Lounge... interesting show. They adorn the stage with foliage and plastic birds and pull their socks up over their loose fitting linen trousers. The guys from Interpol were there, and one of them (the drummer) was standing right next to me acting like an ass, so i asked him how the Napster launch party went [they played at it]. He pulled out a Samsung player and started showing it to me, all excited that we had gave it to him. But he didn't know what to do with it, I think he thought it was for making music, not listening. I tried to explain how to use it but he said he had a Mac and couldn't put music on it. Nevertheless he was carrying it around all night and showing it to people. When BSP was doing one of their final songs and all hell was breaking loose, he joined them on stage and was playing this drum and thrashing around in the beer bottles and foliage and I noticed he still had his headphones on. And then I looked in his hand that was holding the drum, and he was holding on to the device! The wires were getting tangled and he was hitting the device with the drumstick and smashing it up. It was hiliarious, wish I would have captured it on film to show senior management. And the show was great.
     We seem to be having a string of star sightings, also saw Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick in central park on saturday. I didn't notice until he was right next to me, and he was preoccupied with some other guy who was hitting his kid. Also saw Michael Douglas and what's her name, they walked right by and I was looking at their baby telling Bedder-½ how weird it looked and she said that was Michael Douglas and what's-her-name.
     It was a beautiful weekend. Sunday we went to Central park but it was crazy with the marathon. Ate outside with Jack in the upper west side. Bedder-½ painted the bathroom green. I'm still looking for other jobs, and responding to submissions to SleepingFish.net. Going to publish this other guy Sandy Baldwin's longer piece, back to back with Trapezoidal Juggernaut... literally, they will be flipsides of eachother. Bedder-½ is still not 100 percent and I'm worried about her.

[th a4mentioned Napster D-vice (complete w/ FM antenna!) we helped D-zine + wrote the User Guide 4]

December 7, 2003 — NY
The calm Sunday after the first big snow of the year. But let me back track, looks like I have not written since Halloween. Speaking of calm after storms. We launched at the end of October. And of course, as expected, it was met with very little fanfare. The number were really no different than what we were doing with pressplay, definitely not even close to what Apple was doing. So much for the power of brand recognition. Especially when the brand is smeared with hypocrisy and greed. So pretty much the second we launched, I lost communications with LA. It's like the second I told them I wouldn't move to L.A. I became a traitor, and likely they'll repace me. I talked to Kalani and Noel and the artists a lot, but Daniel or Chris never contacted me and my calls to them went unanswered. At first it was a relief, just to do basically nothing and actually go home before 6:30. But it was unsettling to not know what was going on. Lisa Selden and I had been talking to the “For Dummies” people about writing a book, and they tagged me as the one to write it, but when I would ask Daniel about it, he just sent cryptic and cold emails that said “participate in discussions but don’t commit”. It would’ve been a cool opportunity, and who knows, maybe it still might happen. I complained to Debbie about my situation and talked to Laura. She said she might be able to “adopt” me in some form or another. But nothing definite has been said and things have been going slowly. I have been told to sit tight and basically do nothing. There is a lot of people at Napster doing a lot of nothing, but I find it hard. I’ve been burning CDs, and still finding some work to do. At night been looking for jobs. And working on Calamari Press stuff (though having little time to actually write).
     Thanksgiving we took almost the whole week and went to New Mexico. It was nice to get away from work and NY. The first day [R and M] had to work, so we borrowed the car and did a mini northern New Mexico excursion. Up some smaller road west of Los Alamos, through various reservations and by pueblos and red rocked canyons. Up through Jemez springs, which had these cool hotsprings. Terraced drippings that were hard to distinguish with the ice. Sulfuric bubblings and black slime molds and all sorts of cool stuff. Continued on this road that I think would have linked up to Las Conchas where Shaheen and I went climbing that one time, but instead we headed towards Cuba. We got higher and higher and soon it was snowing. The road got more and more desolate, and then it turned to gravel and then to dirt. We were in M’s small two-wheel drive Toyota, and had no water or food. We figured we would try it out, and once we kept going in further and further it was too late to go back. Saw lots of cool stuff, frozen lakes and beautiful alpine forest, and either a very large coyote or a wolf. We went higher and higher and the snow was building up more and more until we were slipping and sliding and Bedder-½ was all stressed out so that stressed me out. And then we got over the summit and eventually to Cuba where he had killer Mexican food. Cuba is this rinky town stuck back in time. Headed back another way, saw a dead cow in a state of decay, collapsed bridges, thrust faults, and a big big sky.

The next day M joined us and we headed down to Socorro where we went to this wildlife refuge. Saw tons and tons of birds, snow geese, cranes, and many other ducks, geese, turtles, falcons, eagles, and even a bald eagle. Had new Mexican food in some dive in Socorro. Green chili and pozole. Oh yah, the first day we got in to town, Bedder-½ and I went to the infamous Frontier, and had amazing pozole and green chili. And then scored big time at Buffalo Exchange, and took pictures of the signs on route 66.
     The next day was thanksgiving. We just sat around and watched football and drank. Pretty much what we did every night. Lots of home-cooked food and drinking wine and sambuca and watching TV or playing trivial pursuit. Thanksgiving was awesome, was even treated to the turkey dance. This year the turkey was sponge bob square pants. We all sang along and made the turkey do compromising things. Then he went into the oven. Then we ate it. Along with all sorts of other goodies.
     We were supposed to go up to Colorado to visit [D and D], but with R being sick, and D being as fragile as she is, we opted to not go. But it was a drawn out drama of should we stay or should we go. Friday we went up to Santa Fe and did the usual walking around looking into shops and of course eating New Mexican food. Santa Fe has become increasing touristy and crowded.
     The next day we went up to Madrid and looked in all those crazy shops, and went to the mineshaft tavern, which was ripe with characters. Serious rednecks and just weird biker/hillbilly/ hippy types. There was some bluegrass band playing and everyone was smoking and drinking, definitely the main attraction. Drove up the top of the Sandias on the way back. Great view.
     Bedder-½ and I went off on our own the next day toward Gallup. We turned off before we even got there, but the name of the park slips my mind. Lots of lava flows and cool sandstone, including a big arch that looked like it belonged in Utah. Bedder-½ took a lot of pictures. Ate at some casino that was depressing as hell. Everyone in the Bingo parlor was Indian. Wasting all their money to the corrupt elite. Eating crappy food and getting fat.
     So that was that, came back to NY, of course having to wait in airports and planes for 16 hours because shit was delayed.
     Still didn’t do much last week at work, and didn’t really find out anything new, except confirmation that yes indeed that Daniel is looking to replace me, they have a producer position advertised on our site. I even asked Debbie about whether I could just be laid off, since they laid off Bryan and Linda on Friday but didn’t lay me off. I took Friday off as a “personal” day and went to an interview with some company called Wireless Generation that makes these handheld literacy diagnostic devices. Not rocket science, and it’s a documentation writing job, but at least at the end of the day it would be for a good cause, and it seems pretty laid back. We’ll see, they said they would probably ask me back for a second interview.
     It started snowing on Friday big time. Probably 6 inches even though they only said 2. It stopped briefly and started back up on Saturday with a vengeance. Shaheen came in to town from Boston where he was at a conference. Nothing would stop him, first by plane but he was turned back, so he rented a car and drove down. We went to rice and beans and then stood in line at TKTS to get him tickets to De La Guarda, but we didn’t want to go. Met him and his friend Cathy afterwards at the CoffeeShop and then went to some club where Lila Downs was performing. She was the singer that was in Frida. Very Mexican, very proud, amazing voice, but totally new agey. The backup band was tight. Two of Sean’s Greek friends were there, all scientists. It was an interesting night.
     Read All the Rave which is about Sean Fanning and the whole rise and fall of Napster. It only made me more depressed about the greed and corruption associated with the history of Napster. Now I am reading The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago, which is interesting. I’ve had more work accepted and published in Sidereality, Milk magazine, Exquisite Corpse, Xul-mobil home, and have been corresponding a lot with authors, networking. And of course looking for jobs. I feel like I am in limbo right now.

[onnword to 2004 in next po5t]

987 <(current)> 989 > where «I'm» writing from 2 publi5h ⊕ peri5h + ac¢umul8 bytes 2 ketch up 2 hear + now
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