And....the last bit, in reverse:
Friday, February 28, 2003
Today I was talking to a good friend (who shall go unmentioned) and I was sounding dumb (no examples will be given) in my manner of speech, and she said, "You have unlimited sounding dumb get out of jail free cards with me."
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Hold on now.
This ain't over.
Tony is part of a team. That genius and goodness that we loved about him is reflected in us. That is why he loved us back and was with us. It persists. We'll see it in the work that we do. We'll notice it in the future, we'll meet people who share the same spark.
The man is dynamite, and he can't be replaced. But his impact will never be erased.
The game is still on. Everybody is sad right now, but we'll use that emotion the same way that he did. Like rocket fuel.
I reprint here a recent e-mail exchange between us:
On Wednesday, January 29, 2003, at 03:38 PM, Daniel Gould wrote:
> do you enjoy being unemployed?
> Daniel Gould
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 17:35:42 -0800
To: Daniel Gould
Subject: Re: no comment on Laing?
It is splendid. I have, of course, no money. But I am enjoying the living fuck out of myself. This is living! In all seriousness, I didn't realize the full extent of the USAopoly job's spirit-squashing effect on my... um... spirit. I feel ten times better. I am getting tons of things done -- important things that have really needed my attention. It's good.
Every day, I can get up whenever I want and go sit by the ocean. I can read and write as much as I want. I cook things. My soul is in motion. This, right here, is the substance of life. Not making cheesy board games.
So you should stay tuned, because I am on a mission to liberate the vast quantities of Tony genius that lives on. If you are reading this and you have anything that Tony sent you that you love, please send it to me so that I can add it to the collection.
Monday, February 10, 2003
(Please read the message from Pauls, below. Thanks.)
I had a chance to meet Tony when he came up to Seattle a couple months ago. His sincere kindness, his sweetness, was obvious from our first "hello, I've been wanting to meet you for...forever!" This Juicy Delicious thing started with Daniel, Pauls, and I wanting a place to put up rants and drawings and whatever, and then Dan introduced us to his friend Tony, and I thought, finally, there are other people out there who share the same mindset, who are on the same wavelength as it were. There are people who are funny, witty, cynical, naive, and honest. It was a relief to meet him. Tony's talent goes way beyond what I could write in this diary, and more often than not, I've told him that he's a genius. Dan and Pauls and Seth and I...we share a history that began in third grade, if not first grade. Few people, but Tony, could enter that exclusive circle and feel like family. I really do love Tony and care about him. For me, Juicy Delicious's future is up in the air, hanging there like a ghost. I don't really see the point.
I'm really really sad now. Confused. My body feels weighted, as though all of my blood wants to go back into the earth. My legs and hands are heavy. My head is empty and light, filled with scattered questions, roaming drunkenly, one into another. I flirt with the idea that this is some kind of ridiculous joke, like when Tony pretended he was fired from his job, when he really wasn't. For the sake of art, right? If this were a prank, it would be the most awful and obnoxious joke ever told...but also the most genius. Tony, I'm waiting for the punchline.
p.s., if you want to write to JD for any reason, please send a letter to email@example.com
Sunday, February 09, 2003
So, many of you have already heard, but Tony passed away quite suddenly this week. We are all terribly sad, and shocked, and there are few words that express what a loss this will be.
So many times over the past year I was down and Tony's blogs picked me up. He was brilliant, and funny, and consistently interesting in the printed word.
It is so strange, this world. What is remarkable is how we learn, again and again, the lessons that those who've come before us have already learned. We brilliantly emblazon our mark on the ether, and then... So strange.
Tony, you should read this. Which of course you won't. I will miss you. I can't imagine revisiting this space without you, so I may not. Good luck, my distant friend, in all your journeys.
Saturday, February 08, 2003
Please do not kill me. I am just an ordinary guy. I don't like the United States government's policies very much, and would be happy to see them debated in some sort of a global forum. I have a wife and a dog. I would like to simply live and be happy.
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
So, I left my voice recognition software on, and this is what it spat out, from the ambient noise of the house for two hours:
Unbeaten Utah of pizza and unpleasant hello taught this is all on
Thursday, January 30, 2003
I had a pretty good idea, so I sat down to blog it. Then I saw that Daniel had blogged something that I wrote to him a long, long time ago. This caused me to forget what I had originally sat down to blog.
My thoughts were knocked out of my head by my own thoughts. No more water in the pail, no more moon in the water. Emptiness in my hands.
Sometimes I think that a fancy dinner is the only
thing between me and complete insanity. You know,
they bring you the bread. They ask you if you want a
drink. You put off insanity because your drink is coming.
I aimed a kiss at my love, but it went off course, killing five.
I planted a kiss on my love, but it grew so big that the neighbors complained to the city.
I stole a kiss from my love and got five years.
I blew a kiss to my love and she said, "Stop blowing on me."
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Everybody come over to my house right now. I'm making chicken stew.
Monday, January 27, 2003
Okay. So I'm a little better this week. I am reading Joseph Conrad's novel, "Lord Jim."
Blue light flickers.
I've been too busy to write recently...you know, redesigning my animatronic "flap flap donkey slappy flap"®. (Oh, the other morning this stinky hobo-style guy came up to me as I was sipping on coffee before work. He stopped in front of me and asked, "excuse me mister, do you have a telephone?" I rolled my eyes, thinking "oh, you poor silly hobo, what a delightful notion that, instead of change, I might carry a telephone in my pocket! What a cad!" Oh, I laughed and laughed until suddenly I realized that... everybody, except me, does
carry around a phone every day.)
Meanwhile, in Japan...
Drunken Smoker Forces U.S.-Bound Jet Back to Tokyo
Updated 10:40 AM ET November 21, 2000
TOKYO (Reuters) - A drunken passenger on a Seattle-bound American Airlines jet locked himself in the toilet and refused to quit smoking, forcing the plane to return to Tokyo soon after takeoff, Japanese media reported Monday. After lighting up in one of the plane's toilets shortly after takeoff Sunday evening, the 45-year old man ignored pleas by cabin crew to come out, forcing the jet back to Tokyo's Narita airport about an hour after it took off, Kyodo news agency said. The man was handed over to authorities at Narita. After receiving a reprimand by airport police, he submitted a written apology saying he would "never do it again," Kyodo reported. It said American Airlines officials were reportedly seeking compensation from the man for losses caused by his behavior. The plane departed again for Seattle later Sunday, the news agency said.
Sunday, January 26, 2003
I just spent some time looking at the dishes. It kind of made me want to experiment with tobacco.
Saturday, January 25, 2003
--the late, great american anti-tourist, Vol. -4--
- Uruguayan men, as a rule, can always be seen on the streets and in the parks walking big, ugly dogs. Yes, big and ugly.
- Please don't fuck with BankBoston in Montevideo. Instead of the normal single security guard with a pistol, they have a row of three giants wearing bullet-proof vests and sporting pump-action shotguns. They stand directly in front of the door and you must edge your way between them to enter and conduct your business.
- There is a building somewhere in Uruguay with a chair suspended by four steel cables tied to posts on the four corners of the roof. On this chair sits a figure that appears to be the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. The building has no sign and nobody goes in or out.
- Daniel vs. The Volcano. Daniel - 1, Volcano - 0. Yes, in Pucon, Chile you can climb to the top of an active volcano inside of four hours, the whole way digging in to the steep glacier face with rented crampons and tiny ice ax that feels like a prop from Cliffhanger or Vertical Limit, and once at the summit, you will survey the landscape in triumph for a good sixty seconds before the noxious fumes choke you and you are forced to descend. The descent is, in truth, traditionally made on the ass, using special rented anti-friction pants.
- Earlier in the trip I made a vague reference to coffee shops in Santiago bearing subtle mood similarities with US strip clubs. Well, now I can confirm that there is a specific chain of coffee houses here where the ladies, although not topless, are wearing the smallest of bikinis, and will, when not serving your espresso, dance for tips. They make, of course, as much money as the average businessman because the places are PACKED with the average businessmen. And they are spreading - Ecuador, Argentina. It's only a matter of time before Starbucks opens a boutique chain.
- Walking down the street in Pucon, I ran into a girl named Megan who I have not seen since high school. She was with her husband, having just finished two years in the Peace Corps in Paraguay. This just goes to show, once again, that I am living very near the center of the universe.
- Engelbert Humperdink is singing After The Lovin in this Internet cafe, RIGHT NOW. This is madness. Thank god my plane leaves tonight.
Friday, January 24, 2003
My Magic 8-Ball cracked when I threw it at Daniel, so I've been mainlining the blue juice inside. It doesn't really get you high, but it makes you feel like you're gently buoyant, and all your decisions are arbitrary.
Normally, I enjoy eating crackers.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
I feel like eating so many cookies that I can't eat any more cookies. So I'm going to do it, because I am a true American.
The next sound you hear will be that of an American thinking about what is a "really good kind of cookies." Then a cash register. Then farting.
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
I'm playing chess with K, a woman I had to work with at the Ex Company. It's a custom chess game that she designed. It's played on an extra-large board, and the playing pieces are all different kinds of garbage and odd items: half-empty Starbucks coffee cups, salt shakers with no tops, wadded-up napkins, etc. It makes perfect sense to her, but I can't tell what any of the pieces are, so I can't formulate a strategy or even move the pieces correctly.
T: [moving salt shaker forward]
K: You can't move that there. That's a Bishop.
T: A Bishop! I thought this was a Bishop.
K: No, this is a Bishop. [indicates wadded-up napkin]
T: Oh, I thought that was a Pawn.
K: This is a better move anyway. [points to paper cup]
T: Um... what is that again?
K: [very condescending] This is a Knight.
Monday, January 20, 2003
Teacher's pet. I wanna be teacher's pet.
Sunday, January 19, 2003
The old man and I escape from the train to the concentration camp and flee into the forest. It is a forest of wooded corridors, like hallways made of trees. We come upon two train-car-sized gorilla-like creatures and beg them for help. We are... travelers, escapees, please don't hurt us, we need help. The giant creatures tell us to follow them and demand that we carry giant armloads of lumber. We stagger under the weight, and the old man falls behind. We make it to a house on a hill and I flee into the house, running from room to room but never knowing where I am and never entering the same room twice. I end up on the lawn. Inside the house, behind a picture window, the woman I had been in camp with and who had turned into the old man is sitting on a couch with a man, and they are watching a movie. Instantly I know the plot, and it makes me cry. I wave and get her attention, but she cannot come outside, and I cannot come inside. We both press against the window glass, trying to touch each other. There is thunder in the distance and flashes of lightning over the house. She gets a hopeful, determined look in her eye. She concentrates and begins to dissolve. As she does, a potted plant on the yard, vinelike, begins to grow at great speed, forming arms and legs and a face out of leaves. I hug the plant in mid-transformation, knowing it is her, and she wraps her tendrils and leaves around me, growing herself to encompass me, rustling and shifting, tightening. Then she is whole. I know then that the gorillas are God.
I'm so nuts. I just wish I could be a healthy, normal person and not worry compulsively about everything.
Ha ha ha.
As my grandpa always used to say:
"Ain't nobody can outrun their own pecker."
[Grandpa, I'm sorry. I know you didn't say that. I mainly write fiction. Cut me some slack, ok?]
Notes on Friday's Michael Crichton lecture at Caltech:
First, I must take a minute to thank my hosts, Matt and Kavitha. If anyone has any questions about the care and feeding of Tony, please consult these two. I could not ask for better friends or more gracious hosts. Before I left on Saturday, they cooked me the best Indian meal I have ever had. The whole experience was miraculous.
As he lifted his Powerbook onto the podium, the video cable fell out and the projection screen went blank. He looked at it with a vacant expression, and everybody in the auditorium chuckled. As he fiddled with the connector, he mumbled, "Oh, I need to, um, screw this in here..."
His lecture, while provocative and intelligent, is not compressible for this forum, so look it up on the web if you're interested. The QA session afterwards had a couple of gems in it. First question: "What do you think about the giant mirrors they're assembling in space to focus sunlight on the earth? They're going to focus it on the tectonic plates and melt 'em!"
This person was obviously insane. Crichton's levelheaded response: "I think the tectonic plates will be fine."
Last question (more of a comment, really): "Over the last 9000 years, the polar ice caps have been melting steadily. They can be rebuilt! I know how to do it, and I'm writing an essay on it!" I wonder if Crichton has to deal with people like this on a regular basis.
I was able, afterwards, to get my (30% OFF) copy of Prey signed by Mr. Crichton. I told him that I was aspiring to be a writer, and I asked if he could give me a piece of writing advice. He looked his humble, myopic acolyte in the eyes and said, with grave emphasis,
"Keep writing. I wrote for nine years before anybody paid any attention to what I was doing."
For the record, I am taking his advice. Thank you, Mr. Crichton.
Friday, January 17, 2003
Since I lost my job, I've let my alarm clock run down. It's the windup kind, and I don't wind it anymore. It just sits there, telling me eleven-thirty all the time. Sometimes I forget that I stopped winding it, and I look at it to learn the time. For an unmeasurable moment, it's like I'm dead instead of it.
Thursday, January 16, 2003
In an absurd but dewey-eyed hopeful nod in the direction of my future literary notableness, I have just purchased, via secure e-commerce server, a glorious pint -- a pint! -- of printer ink, which I intend to syringe into my dilapidated $50 Canon printer just as lovingly and attentively as a junkie shooting his last fifty bucks' worth of Asian White.
Tonight, under the full moon, I sat by the ocean. I tried to imagine that I was the waves, sweeping all things before me, flowing in harmony with beach, moon and planet.
Instead, I imagined that each wave was a black wall of confusion, swamping me afresh, filling my lungs with a choking horizon of salt.
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
A bad bartender joke...in HumorScript(tm)!!!
Okay, so this piece of poo walks into a bar...nobody talks to him, they look away. The guy at the end of the bar turns to the bartender and asks why nobody likes the poo....
...the bartender replies, "Oh, that guy's all nuts and shit."
...bartender says, "Oh, that guy's really corny."