Saturday, November 15, 2003

Sheer idleness

Ive done
what I can fer now, nothing to push, nothing urgent at this moment.. so, meh.

Turning off brain, emotions detached, ambition down to a low simmer... slipping into neutral, idling.
Random ol' pix.

All from early in 2000.

Its like playing old songs when its quiet, letting memories wash over...


sistah cyn and m, and welcome to the world, jieh lahn Margaret Preston, from yer Unca Joey.


Damn, I was only off from my guess by 2 days.. ;-)

Friday, November 14, 2003


''You want to be noticed. You want to stand out and be different, especially if you are ambitious and you move to New York City.

In many ways, being an artist is more competitive and involves more ambition than being a stockbroker, or being in advertising. It's not a quest for money. It's a quest for fame, and fame is something I always wanted.

If you're an artist who spent your life flipping through art books, and going through museums, and looking at the immortals, you want the same thing for yourself.''

Jon Currin ,
'Mr Bodacious' NYTimes Magazine

That bit of honesty hits far too close to home for comfort....

Where Im at.

Bursts of creative ideas leading to the exciting possibilities of making money, combined with the frustration of bounded ambition (bounded by fear of failure and lack o' capital), along with the determination of realizing that the ball is rolling, and to get off would be disastrous.

Uh, yeah.

It looks good, but requires a lot of pepto-bismol.
Soft living

"Doesnt it feel good to be able to kick back in front of the TV, good food, warm bed?"

"Mmmm, actually - I kinda like not having watched any TV in the last year, Ive grown to crave fresh air, and I really need my freedom. The only thing Im gigging on is the warmth."

"Yeah, the fresh air."

After the haole's left, the filipino/Ilokani/Hawai'ian chica quietly said:

"The reason I help out and volunteer is because my father was in a homeless shelter for two years."

She admitted this after I repeated my statement that half the folk in Berkeley had been homeless, living in a car or sleeping on couches..

But, she waited until all her colleagues from St Mary's College had left, and stayed after to tell us this.

She didnt want her peers to know.

I told her how to spot the homeless Cal- Berkeley students, if only to make her feel a little better.

Such a stigmata, the word homeless.

"Welcome home, perfesser."

"I hope this isnt permanent."

"No, no, heck no."

Ive got too much to do.. no backsliding.

If Ive come to appreciate only one thing after this experience is that...

All of this is tenuous. Nothing is solid or guaranteed.

Yeah, complacency is a killer.

In fact, the best line Ive heard over the last few days was of a man summing up his experiences of being clean and sober for 10 years and then finding himself drowning in the depths again...

"Its when you feel youve got everything under control, is when it gets you."

If you dont know what that means, or cant even begin to relate, it means youve got a lotta living to go.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

News from home

My friend Lillie in Jax wrote:

> Hello, Joe, I hope life is treating you well. I
> remember you said that you had high blood pressure.
> I do hope you see a doctor to oversee you and
> prescribe you medication.
> Between 5:30 to 6:00 PM Nov.12, my father passed
> away.

Holy shit.

Lil and her fam treats me as one of the family, not merely a friend.

She adores her father.

> Papa had high blood pressure, but he did not like
> the bodily feeling when he took the medicine the
> doctor ordered him to take. Sometimes he either
> refused or ignored his medicine. Well, he ignored
> his medicine one time too many.

I respected this quiet, but warm man MUCH more when I found out he is a decorated WWII vet, and is the only chinese man that I know of who was in the US Bomber Command in an unsegregated unit doing a full tour of Europe.

It wasnt until she happened to show the picture of the smiling and cocky young man in the full wool and leather flight jacket, .50-caliber bullets wrapped around his torso bandolier-style standing beside his B-24 Liberator that I realised the enormity of what had happened to him.

Her memories was that he had brought back a bunch of souviniers that they played with as kids, losing most of them around the house and yard.

But he never talked about the war to his children.

Lil never took my suggestion to talk about what had happened in those years.

She didnt want to ask.

He was a quiet man.

> I had spoken to my papa one hour before he passed
> away .... like ordinary, no problems, no worries,
> good spirited and cheerful. In one way, he was
> lucky to go to the next life so peacefully .... no
> wheelchair, no suffering, no hospitals and doctors,
> no pain. He left this life like he was just going
> to the store ... only he is not coming back. He was
> a cheerful, happy go lucky man and warmly loved by
> all. We will miss him deeply.

My condolences Lil. I will miss him too.
And I will watch my blood pressure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Fear of success

Just today, people said:

"Oh man, this is GOLD. Congratulations and I envy you."

"Brother, that is so excellent. DO it."

"Oh my god, you are going to make soooo much money."

Ad infinitum today.

So why do I feel so scared?

Because failure would be bad?

And not doing it would be worse?

Remind myself:

"You want this so bad, you can taste it."


Homer's foot fetish

*ohhhhhhh hohohoho*

I sounded like Homer Simpson, a room full of donuts and a truck full of Duff beer.

"They should have 'will provide mutual foot washing and massage at predetermined times and as needed' in all prenuptual agreements..", I said to the coed washing my feet.

"Aww. It should be in all marriage vows." she answered.

"Heh, youre a romantic. No, prenups - that way it isnt a suggestion, its legally binding."

And then I went back to being Homer Simpson...

Monday, November 10, 2003

> I was going through my sent mail to delete, and I
> have to
> tell you that this is one powerful picture.
> Ask your loyal readers what they think ifn you don't
> believe
> me.
> Talk about yer foreshadowing.
> Love, Poo.

Mmm, yah - but I still dont wanna print and show it. Nor sell it.

For awhile, it was the most popular image (googled and otherwise) from the site.

As far as Im concerned it is just a picture of man doing sword dance exercises one early sunday morning along the Hoboken waterfront.

I know, I know, you said I was being snobby about showing pics like these.


It feels like pandering.

"..come heavy or not at all."
- Junior Soprano

Sometimes, one seeks the right question.

Years ago, someone asked me - "What do you want to do?" and I answered "I can do anything."

Right question, wrong answer.

What DID I want to do?

Yesterday, as we sat in the waning light in the Haight District, after not getting what I wanted AND finding out that my laptop screen was smashed... Mira asked what was it that I really wanted if I totally left the tech world behind.

"You said you wanted to leave the technology behind. To do what you wanted to do. To change your.. what did you call it, your myth, your legend."
"Yeah, but its such a part of what I do, whenever I look for work, I think in terms of tech."
"So, if it doesnt involve tech, what do you want to do?"

I didnt answer her directly, and I went inside the coffee shop to use the washroom.

In there, above the toilet, was an Aaron Chang print of a San Francisco neighborhood. A picture I could do with my eyes closed.

I knew.

I came back out, sat beside her and looked down the street at another shot that I needed to take.

I needed to take that shot badly. Nothing else was important.

I told her what I wanted, I wanted so badly that I can taste it. Nothing else matters.

I thought I was serious before.

Now, its time to come heavy.
The other day, my friend Nancy ended her latest letter with..

> I'm looking
> forward to you
> becoming rich and famous so I can say "I knew him
> when..."

She always says that. :-)

You know, I now realize - she's not just saying that.

I shouldnt either.