Saturday, November 22, 2003

Weather talk.

A fall freeze
has settled onto the Bay Area.

The low last night was in the 20's, the highs today in the high fifties.

Kinda feels like a Chicago fall, cept the cold is slighter damper and stepping into the sunlight is definitely much warmer.

Talking to a lady yesterday, who said, although her parents are from Brooklyn, she has rarely travelled outside of California, and cant imagine moving to say - New York.

I asked her why, and she said she was afraid of the range of seasons.

At first, I thought she was referring to the cold and was trying to assure her that cold is relative.

She seriously didnt even know what the term *wind chill* actually means.

Then I realized she was talking about the HEAT and humidity that she had experienced when she visited there with her parents as a kid.

Even though she wanted to explore her jewish heritage New York style, the blistering heat was what she was afraid of.

Before the East Coasterners start shaking their heads, its become understandable to me now.

Native Bay Area folk HATE temperatures over 70 degrees. I shit you not.

Its almost pathological.

Remember, actual summer temperatures only last a few weeks at most here.

Once I realized that, I then launched into tales of the coldest temperatures Ive ever experienced (Temperature of minus 35 and wind chill of minus 82) and enjoyed her wide-eyed expressions and oohs and ahhs.

Much fun.

Talking about the weather.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Oh by the way...

Congratulations, Kate.

Youve worked long and hard to get here, buddy. :-)

I know, I know - I owe ya many, many congratulatory dinners.

And a trip to Alcatraz.

Much luv


Today's word: Profit

After applying a little quick math (and my matt skillz sux sistah, so 'quick' is relative), figuring out my breakeven point, overhead and then into the cool clean air of 'profitland' (which begins in the Land of "IF")...

Great googly moogly.

For just a few weeks of work and standing in the cold.


I'd be a fool NOT to.

Makes the looming and quite real problems of funding, time management and logisitics seem almost ... trivial.


Now, I have to subdue the greater issues of my pride and control freakism.

Gotta think, profit.

Today's horrorscope:
You can waste a lot of time and energy today trying to explain to others why you have done certain things - or you can save your breath and not worry what they might think about you.

The simple fact is you have more important things to do than explain yourself to people who, unlike you, are too scared to take risks.

Heh. Numbers are magic.

Cuz numbers make things stark and *real*.

I shared them to a few people.

Interesting to see which ones fled and which ones chewed them up like breakfast.

The cowards and the warriors.

One Joe Orsini said to me: "Joey, most people are too STUPID to make money."

Maybe. But maybe most folk are scared to make their own money.

Or, maybe theyre just too stupid.


Thursday, November 20, 2003

Wingnut Central

.. because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn burn burn...
Jack Kerouac, On The Road

I think people have an idea that Im clubbing baby seals here in Berkeley, talking about the craziness and general weirdness of the place as if Im better than everybody.

Those poor, defenseless Berkeley-ites.

Uhhh, lookie here now... This is Berkeley.

They LIKE being loopy.

No, really. As Michael Lewis, husband of MTV's Tabitha Soren and a Berkeley resident put it, people here expect you to be eccentric.

You fit in then.

Another longtime couple, who are originally from the East Coast said:
"This is a community of misfits from all over, who could never fit in anywhere else, so they come here."

And I didnt make up 'wingnut', thats what folk here are referred to.

Even though "Wingnut" has always been a term meaning "slightly crazy", it is used with derision AND affection here.

So much so that many folk walk around with a neckchains that have yer industrial spec wingnut hanging from it.

Berkeley folk know instantly what it means.

Theyre proud of who they are.

Im not bashing the wingnuts.

Im FOND of them.

Cuz they have heart.
(from the legal notices section of the current East Bay Express)

DONALD ARTHUR HOWELL has filed a petition with this court for a decree changing names as follows: present name DONALD ARTHUR HOWELL to proposed name GREYWOLF.

In New York, I would read this and say "Are fuckin' shittin' me??".

Im in California, so I will say "Ok. Right on."


"Hang on",
I said to Matt, cutting him off in mid-paragraph "I have to find out something".

I walked over to the elderly couple getting out of the BMW coupe, greeted them and asked them what their vanity license plate meant.


they smilingly answered in unison, the way longtime couples do, filling in for each others words.
"WE CLICK is a play on the fact that we're both photographers and our relationship."

"Oh, VERY nice. Are you retired?"

"Oh no, as a photographer, youre never really retired. We are retired photography teachers, and we still do our books."

Heh. I like that.

As a photographer, you're never retired.

From back in early 2000.

Now I look at these and wish I'd known a little then of what I know now about exposure. Ah well..

Still, not so bad.

My morning rush up the stairs to 50th street to work at Deloitte and Touche.

Brooklyn Bridge walkway

Union Square Farmers Market

Men's room, PATH station WTC

Yeah, things have changed. Almost like a different pair of eyes took those pics...

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Control freak I am.

You will find it easy to get other people involved in what you are working on today and that's good because no matter how capable you might be, you cannot possibly do it all on your own.
Planetary activity in the area of your chart that governs things you do with other people promises success for those who share.

I will often (usually) summarily torch a pet project if people get far too interested in it and start putting in their two centavos and then calling the whole shebang their own.

(Then I get all huffy if people dont rain hosannahs upon my Pet Projects. Go figure.)

So anyhoo, not having capital and a very, very tight timetable for my current project, Im having to consider telling it to possible folk to float me the honeymoney to get this going.

This is where my twitchy, prickly, proud, fuck y'all behavior kicks in.

I need the money.

I dont wanna give up control.

I wanna build this venture.

I dont wanna give up control.

Which means if I dont calm the fuck down and give a little, the venture will die and then I will have all the control in the world.

I want my little cake eaten just so, dont I.

Lemme go have lunch and talk to Mira. She's good at making me do the right thing.

Control freaks understand each other. :)
Today's horrorscope continued:
How serious are you about your long-term aims? You may think that you are very serious indeed, but if you think about it, you will realize that you have been a bit halfhearted lately and need to step up a gear or two.

You don't have to be pushy, but you do have to realize that time is limited - and the clock is ticking.

Get going on the task of making more money.

Profit-making is fun and could involve romantic perks, friendly surprises and ego boosts. Personal life is more complicated, for sure. Communication issues arise. It seems the very person who needs to be in tune with you is acting like a stubborn jerk. Consider that it might be you (even though it's clearly not.)

This allows you to at least handle what you DO have control over: your reaction to the problem.

Right on.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Conversation with Ed

is the man who helped me to overcome my (lifelong) fear of being in a shelter or on the streets.

Smart, articulate, kind and skilled, he's also fiercely independent and fiercely honest about his faults.

Thats why I like him. A nice guy to boot.
Ed was born and raised in Los Angeles.

"Here's a piece from Kerouac's On the Road..
' LA is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities; New York gets god-awful cold in the winter but there's a feeling of wacky comradeship somewhere in the some streets.

LA.. is a jungle.'

That true, Ed?"

"Ha! Well, yeah. It wasnt always that way though."

"Uh, Ed.. the book was written in 1952."

"Ha! Well, I guess its always been that way."
"... so youve met The One, eh. It sounds good. I wish you the best, sir."

"That's not the end of the story."

"Oh. Ok. Go on."

"So, the next day, I was bracing myself to see her again. 'Ed' I told myself 'dont get your hopes up. We are in wingnut central. She seems great, but maybe she hasnt shown her demons yet.."

"Hehe. Of course. And?"

"And sure enough... < snip of wild statements and weird behavior > "


"I think the main reason for her behavior, was that she was tweaked and coming down off using Speed."

"Heh. She still The One?"

"I havent decided yet."
"Hey Marcus.." someone shouted out.

"I didnt know your name was Marcus."

"Sure. Marcus Edward S."

I kinda doubted the truth of this. For many, many people dont go by their real names here in Wingnut Central, err, the Bay Area.

"But" he continued, proving my point "people here in Berkeley dont really know each others names, as the wingnuts here in Berkeley dont always go by their real names..."

Let it go, man

Why am I doing this?

I keep checking for work, when its a tech job listing service.

Didnt I decide THREE years ago that I was gonna do tech work no' mo'? Make the break?

It could be a class thing...

Tech = non blue-collar pay levels and (sorta) prestige.

Non-tech = I might as well be busing tables.

Hm, I think I need to have a stern talking-to with my ego.

Its getting in the way.

How to be a racist: Make a list.

In the past week..

- The amount of black folk acting ignant, that Ive had to flex and bark at so that they would act civilly: 4.

- The amount of white folk expressing imploded anger, by being physically rude and acting like they own the place (bumping into my chair without a by your leave): 5

- The number of young asian drivers who've almost run me over making a left turn with the light but with pedestrians in the crosswalk: 5 (four female).

People acting stereotypically, and me noticing: ....

I notice a lot of things I used to shrug off before.

Not good.