Wednesday, August 25, 2004


We'll be in our garden on a summer evening,
Eating pasta, drinking white wine.

We won't talk all the time. I'll sit back,
Contemplating shadows on the red-brick path,

And marvel at the way it all turned out.
That yellow begonia. Our gabled house.

Later we'll stroll through Kingsgate Park.
My leg won't hurt, and we'll go home the long way.

Asked to imagine heaven, I see us there,
The way we have been, the way we sometimes are.

Wendy Cope

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I Got Beat Up A Lot in High School

He says. He smiles. He's sweet,
has become a lovely, gentle person.
I probably provoked them a lot,
he says. He's still small and sensitive.
There were lots of pregnancies, he says,
and suicides. They would drive off
a cliff in their cars, he says, just outside
of Blissing, Montana. And one girl,
he says, didn't know that her car
had airbags and she survived the impact
against the boulders on the bottom.
When she finally came back to school,
they said she could never do anything right,
Or they'd shoot themselves.
They all had gun racks on their pickups,
he says. Everyone drank quite a bit.
There was one gay bar, he says, where once
he saw his statistics teacher, soused,
and trolling for sex. But that's the past,
he says, sighing, sanguine and philosophic.
Now, I live in New York City, he says,
surrounded by friends and I can't conceive
of what I must have felt back then.
I'm sorry, I say, for all this pain in your past
and wrap my arms around his beautiful body.
It's not your fault, he says, and smiles,
looking out from inside himself.

Christopher Murray

From someone working on the ground at Chernobyl: "From where I stood I could see a huge beam of projected light flooding up into infinity from the reactor. It was like a laser light, caused by the ionisation of the air. It was light-bluish, and it was very beautiful. I watched it for several seconds. If I'd stood there for just a few minutes I would probably have died on the spot because of gamma rays and neutrons and everything else that was spewing out."

Monday, August 23, 2004

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

So, Real opened this bizarro propaganda site for their weird, DRM-laden iTunesesque store that may or may not play on the iPod in the future. Whether you applaud this or not (most think the site is a great way to piss away support) the weirdest element is that the spokesgroup for their "musical choice" campaign is Devo. Yes, Devo. No, they aren't kidding, and Devo is apparently not dead--they've been waiting patiently for this, the perfect opportunity for their resurgence to begin. Good choice, Rob Glaser.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Oh. My. God.

"This is the reason he wear fucking cloth. Yes, His job is fucking."
Fucking RNC: "With the prospect of large political protests, extra security and skittish residents planning to leave town, many businesses, far from banking on a boom, are simply hoping that the four-day convention, which starts Aug. 30, will not make what is always a tough week worse.

Boston, which played host to the Democratic National Convention last month, set a grim example - its streets were deserted and its delegates spent little. A research institute there said the convention provided a tenth of the economic boost city officials had promised."

Jan. 23 White House press briefing:

REPORTER: But for the sake of clarity, could you please get us a fuller explanation of why Sean O'Keefe plans to end the Hubble program?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: The President wants to make sure that we're focusing our resources on clear missions and on programs that produce meaningful results.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Check out Bruce Sterling's SIGGRAPH 2004 speech "When Blobjects Rule the Earth". Some great fun embedded in here.

I'm performing tonight at Fez at 8pm, in a tribute/celebration of Bukowski.

Milosz died at his home in Krakow surrounded by his family, the assistant, Agnieszka Kosinska, told The Associated Press by telephone. The exact cause of death was not immediately known.

"It's death, simply death. It was his time -- he was 93," Kosinska said.

Living and writing in NYC is a knife that cuts both ways. On one hand it's New York: constant stimulation, cultural collage, bodies on top of bodies, sound and vision all the time. Every night there is some memorable, if not historic, performance (or ten of them) happening within spitting distance of home. This can be very inspiring.

However, the very same factors can create a spoiled, numbing effect. There are too many options; there is too much noise. Overstimulation can lead to paralysis. It's hard to hear the sound of your own voice (both literally and figuratively) above the din.

Craig Wedren

Sunday, August 15, 2004

India's government began distributing free condoms in the 1960s to slow population growth. A recent report says that only 25% of the 1.5 billion condoms manufactured each year in India are "properly utilized". What's interesting are all the cool things the condoms are being used for:

According to two university reports, rural villagers have used them as disposable water containers to wash, after relieving themselves in the fields. India's military have covered gun and tank barrels with condoms as protection against dust.

Of the 891 million condoms meant to be handed out free, a considerable proportion were acquired by road-building contractors who mixed them with concrete and tar and used the mixture to construct roads, rendering road surfaces smooth and resistant to cracks. Builders spread a bed of condoms beneath cement plastering on roofs, ingeniously preventing water seepage during the monsoon rains.

Weavers in Varanasi used around 200,000 condoms a day to lubricate their looms and to polish the gold and silver thread used to embroider the saris they produced. Sari maker Yusuf Bhai said they purchased the condoms from agents, who reportedly acquired them from agencies involved in family planning and AIDS prevention schemes.

Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman
she meets and then teams up with three complete strangers to kill

Marin County newspaper's TV listing for "The Wizard of Oz"

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Absolutely ridiculous. We are owned completely, if we're at the Olympics.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Sorry for the infrequent posting--many weddings, bridal showers and assorted summer foolishness of the first order. We're coming out of it now, so I'll catch everyone up soon.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

My thanks to everybody who showed up for the SketchFest benefit last night--there was fantastic attendance, and I think we made a lot of money for the Seattle SketchFest. A good time was had--what a great pleasure to see so many familiar faces, and not a few new ones.

From an talk between Norman Mailer and his son, John Buffalo Mailer.

JBM: I don’t know that we can make it through another four years of Bush.

NM: Oh, we’ll make it through, although I’m not saying what we’ll be like at the end. By then, Karl Rove may have his twenty years. Just think of the kind of brainwashing we’ve had for the last four. On TV, Bush rinses hundreds of thousands of American brains with every sentence. He speaks only in clichés. You know, I happened to run into Ralph Nader recently in Chicago, and I, like a great many others, was looking to dissuade him from his present course. He’s a very nice man, maybe the nicest man I’ve met in politics---there’s something very decent about Nader, truly convincing in terms of his own probity. So I didn’t feel, "Oh, he’s doing it for ugly motives." Didn’t have that feeling at all in the course of our conversation. Still, I was trying, as I say, to dissuade him, while recognizing that the odds were poor that I’d be successful. At one point, he said, "You know, they’re both for the corporation, Kerry and Bush." And it’s true; both candidates are for the corporation, and I do agree with Nader that ultimately the corporation is the major evil.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I'm performing this evening at the Comedy Underground in Seattle, in a benefit for SketchFest. The show is another of the ALL STORIES ARE FICTION series, entitled:

A Rough Guide To Libel, Slander and Horseshit.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


I'm looking to buy a new digital camera in the next few days--it's a long-coming upgrade, and I have a wedding and a buyer for the old camera, so if I can cut through the crap I want to pick up a decent camera.

My needs:

2.2 or more megapixels (preferably over 3)
3x zoom
Uses xD or some other memory card that isn't going extinct.
Uses regular AA or AAA batteries.
Has a USB cable to connect to computer--not a cradle.
Can take short films, preferably in the .mov format.
Intuitive (or at least, non-bizarro) controls
SMALL and LIGHTWEIGHT...our current camera is a tank.
Mac compatible--almost all are, but a few aren't.

Finally, I would (of course) like it to take great pictures. We've been using an Olympus D-510, and aside from the tanklikeness and age it's been a trouper. I'd love one that was 1/2 the weight and 1/2 the size but gave the same great performance--since this one is 4 years old, it seems plausible that I can do that.

Anyone with advice, please email...and if you have no advice, just know that having the excuse of making this list helped me work up what I might be looking for.

My brother on the administration:

"I would take a sock puppet worn by Courtney Love over another GWB term any day."

Monday, August 02, 2004

Testing experts predict that machines eventually will help grade the SAT and the ACT, which will add writing sections in their 2005 college admissions tests, because computers cost less money and work faster than humans. Before technology entered the picture, teams of people graded each GMAT essay. Now one person's judgment is compared with the machine's conclusion.

"It is sort of inevitable," said Jeff Rubenstein, vice president for technology at the test-preparation company Princeton Review, "but it is also sort of regrettable." He said he knows test takers "who are brilliant writers, but they write very subtly," and when a machine is grading them, "they score terribly."

Sunday, August 01, 2004

It's a hokey title, but a wonderful posting: How To Be Creative.