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Thirteen years ago today, I arrived in San Francisco. I walked into my new house at 11:45pm on Wednesday, June 30, 1993.

Thirteen years later, San Francisco is different, but that only makes it more the place I fell in love with when I first saw it with my own eyes. I am different, improved. Older, and wise enough to know that wisdom comes only with experience, not intellect.

Thirteen years ago, I was 29 when I arrived and Allen was 35. We had a dog, Randee. I worked for a little Mac software company two blocks away from where I work now, the center of the Mac universe.

Thirteen years ago I knew I would survive a partner. And a dog, for that matter. I knew I would survive no matter what. For the rest, I had no idea what was in store for me, and I liked it that way. I could list the bad things that have happened, and it would be a very very long list.

But the good things? Those are ineffable.

For me, ineffability always beats the torpor of a file of complaints.

Thirteen years later, that has not changed.

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The World’s First PowerBook

I loves me the Rijkswidget. It shows me a different painting from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam every day. Today’s image:

Painting

Evidence of the world’s first PowerBook! Hendrikus van de Sande Bakhuyzen painted this self-portrait in 1850. Click on the painting for more info.

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Rush Limbaugh’s Erection

The media is utterly letting him off the hook. The Today show led the story with “a dream come true for late-night comedians”, thus relegating the story to nothing but a simple embarrassment for Limbaugh.

The man violated the terms of his already wrist-slappy deal, and now he’s carrying around a prescription that isn’t his. Oh, they’ll argue that the script was written for him by his doctor, and that all that’s really required is a) the doctor’s intent to give a prescription medication to a patient and b) the doctor’s ability (read: license) to write scripts, but honestly, under the law—the laws that Rush Limbaugh has used in quite literal interpretations to inveigh against others to great effect—the only person who is permitted to take the medication in a bottle is the name of the person on the bottle.

Oh, I know there are good will arguments for bending the rules for this and that, thus and such (e.g., hey, I ran out of ibuprofen, can I take one of those 800mg tablets your doc prescribed for you?), but Rush Limbaugh burned through any good will that anyone might have made available to him, hasn’t he? In fact, the Republicans have subsisted on nothing but siphoning off the good will and have used it to power the machinery of their current ascendancy. And Rush Limbaugh has been nothing but a perfectly good assmonkey for them all along.

The doctor who wrote the script should be censured or otherwise punished in some way, even if only symbolic. Should he be barred from practicing medicine or writing scripts? No, of course not. But something must be done.

And Viagra? What particular brand of self-loathing must it take for a woman to actually let Rush Limbaugh put his dick in her? It’s upsetting to even consider that there are women like that around.

I know that that Catholics don’t go in for any kinds of artificial birth control. But so far, the word “control” has been synonymous with prevention. IVT is also not considered natural and that’s all about procreation. Has the Catholic Church weighed in on Viagra and Cialis?

Have all those other anti-abortion folks ever expanded their ROI to include all of natural procreation?

Rush Limbaugh deserves more punishment than whatever idiocy Jay Leno can poorly deliver. Imagine that Rush Limbaugh were not famous, not white. What would happen to him now? (that’s a trick question, chil’ren, because that Rush Limbaugh would never have gotten such a sweet deal on doctor-shopping in the first place).

UPDATE: Hottie Homer just pointed out to me that Rush was on his way to the Dominican Republic when they nabbed him, where flourishes a vibrant sex industry. Not only that, Rush isn’t married. So by the arguments of the anti-gay Right, he shouldn’t be having sex at all. With anyone. And if he was going to prostitutes, I take it back about the women being self-loathing: they’re being compensated for their difficult labors.

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The Tetherlands

Yesterday morning nothing went right. Even the freebie trainrides for “Spare the Air Days” here in California worked to my disadvantage. Still, onward and upward, right? This wouldn’t be the first time that el mundo malo was fucking with the god of biscuits, and by now I can recognize when I’m in it, and what to do about it: nothing. Don’t force it, don’t tempt it. Don’t attempt to beat it into submission or to run away from it. Live it, focus, be wary and don’t forget to breathe as you trudge up the acclivitous path back into el mundo bueno. It’s simple, but not easy.

I barely missed the Baby Bullet train and so I hopped on the next one. That next one was a local train only so far down the peninsula, so I had to stop at Redwood City and wait for the next train. This is where the world started to seriously go pear-shaped.

I had tunnel vision—something I’d never had before, yet I knew what it was when it hit. Then the sunlight shot daggers through my eyeballs and into my head, like one of those Popeil’s In-the-Egg Scramblers. (Can I similize or what?) (Oh, and I can also fabricate words as I go—English isn’t perfect and I’m merely adding to its perfection).

The left side of my head hurt in particular, behind the left eyeball and towards my left ear. I couldn’t escape from any of it. Is this how a vampire feels? Oh, probably.

I pulled my cap down over my face and got almost instant relief when there was far less light. I got into work a bit later than usual, and left early because even with the monitors turned down to their lowest light level and with my office light off, the blinds mostly drawn and my door closed entirely, there was still too much light. Unbelievable. And I thought the rib pain was inescapable.

Anyway, I was standing there waiting for the next train in Redwood City. I walked up to the tracks and looked North for a train that was already five minutes late. No train, but there was that stab of forlornness, of longing I suppose, of fear and distance, the vacuum of suddenly too much scope.

This is not something germane to el mundo malo. From when I was a young child and the old railroad tracks—which by then were nothing more than a flat, partially cleared path through woodlands—would impart the same sense of too much distance. Follow the empty rails to the vanishing point. The Vanishing Point. That’s a term used in perspectives studies in drawing: the point at the horizon at which everything vanishes. It’s a disturbing term, and that same disturbance hit me when I looked up towards the City and found nothing but empty tracks.

Maybe it was something that I could have dismissed more easily had 90% of my world not been occupied with a giant “Ow!” Perhaps it could have been forgotten had I not seen an article in the Register UK about Harriet, the Tortoise, long believed to have been invited to join Charles Darwin’s voyage some 176 years ago.

Imagine a being that age. Imagine what has transpired in the world since.

The article gave me the same pangs of tide and time that the empty rails did—an accelerated and assisted path directly to a distant, vanishing point that I wasn’t ready for.

Now, after spending all of yesterday evening in the dark and falling asleep very early and then awaking in fits and starts all night long until 7:30 this morning, the headache is gone for the most part. My photophobia has faded down to “Bright light!” and a bit of wincing. Sounds are no longer painful and the spiky pain on the left side of my head is disappeared.

But Harriet, the Tortoise is dead and the train rails are not empty so long as I am in this traincar. And still, hints of dread rise up in me when I consider the distances.

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Much Ado About Somethings

Silence is the Perfectest herald of Joy. But I’m not perfect.

Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of
your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should
remain; but when you depart from me, sorrow abides
and happiness takes his leave.

Today I celebrated my first week back to work! And I’m here to tell you, that certainly makes a change, and for the better. Though there was considerably more pain because of being more active (and less, to a certain extent) and being “on” all day long, the attendant happiness of being back among the mates on my team and simply being back at the Mothership/Neverland (but without the plastic surgery and pedophilia, as a Hero of mine said)/the Center of the  Universe wins out easily.

It’s been a tiring week, though.

And in a different way, tomorrow will be tiring as well: Soonae and Jong leave for Korea in the morning. Though I will have my solitude back, I will be in solitude. Though I will have a door to lock behind me, I may end up locked behind it. Though I will be alone, I will be lonely.

O, my lord,
When [we] went onward on this ended action,
I look’d upon him with a soldier’s eye,
That liked, but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love:
But now I am return’d and that war-thoughts
Have left their places vacant, in their rooms
Come thronging soft and delicate desires…

The cat is called Walter. He is stuffed with more personality than any three other cats. Understand, I am a dog person: I am not a cat person unless there is a cat about. Walter has taken to both Soonae and Jong, abandoning me in the process. I digress.

If I pick up Walter and place him down near a toy of his, he is disoriented, but that is transient and he may discover the toy, forgetting whatever cat-thoughts had priorly caused both of his neurons to vibrate. Would that we all could abide changes so easily!

But I try and try not.

Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny.

In all of this it has been the heart I have found companionable and not the head. But now that the head situates itself in the world and occupies itself with work and fun (often the same thing), what’s left to be impatient about? Why, everything else, of course! I am not neurotic—that is to say, greedy for the next tragic drama—but rather, I believe that grace requires grist: the only beneficent consequence of change is transformation.

…Graces will appear, and there’s an end.

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Navier-Stokes Me, Stokes Me

The glass surface of a placid lake is a wonder to behold. Perfection lay thereupon.

Perfection is boring, static, immutable. Dead.

Destructive interference isn’t the only kind. Moiré patterns also contain additive, constructive interference. So does life. Change brings more opportunity for change. Life is about having evolved the ability to evolve and adapt.

Adaptation changes both the individual and the environment.

I am a creature of strong habit. It’s not structure I need so much as dependable places on which to light whenever needed. That’s structure to some, but the selfsame notice the erraticism of the orbit instead of the strange attractor at its core.

Chaos governs itself and we are, each and all, generators of chaos.

Do the non-linear math.

All syllogisms fail to capture any complete truth<br/> This is a syllogism<br/> Therefore, this is not a truth-statement.

Taken on the merits of its structure alone, that would’ve baked your noodle. Taken as a seed crystal for a mode of thought, it locates your thoughts dependably. It’s there because it’s not exactly there. Horseshoes, grenades and this: close enough is good enough.

He asks, in discomfiting eloquence, if we think we’re in control. I’m not so sure there’s any control to be had: the soul has no third-person singular, a thing that we never remember until we reach out to another and curse the loneliness of an arm’s length.

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June-uary, 2006

I’m on Caltrain 314, a Baby Bullet train that expresses—rather not like milk from a breast—from San Francisco to San Jose with stops at Millbrae, Hillsdale, Palo Alto, Mountain View and finally San Jose. I’ll be de-training (how retro-pubescent!) at Mountain View. A train borne on rails not unlke the ones which put my life on hold.

This is the first time on the train since before the Winter Break, 2005. Just now, iCal tells me that date was December 22, 2005. Strangely, just yesterday Noelbear had told me that his birthday is December 22. Spooky.

I am riding the train “backwards”: that is to say I am facing San Francisco and so the morning ride is always facing backwards. Some cannot ride this way; others will only ride this way because it’s a safer position to be in in the event of a train wreck. I always sit facing San Francisco. In the evenings, that’s forward (for those of you not doing math at this hour of the morning).

Now, I’ve known many train wrecks in my life, and have lived through them all, so this kind of safety preparedness perhaps is lost on me. And I don’t get motion-sick riding backwards. For me, the priority is to avoid the kind of bends one gets when one too quickly descends from San Francisco to Mere Earth or, in kind, surfaces too quickly from the depths of that mundanity known as not-San-Francisco.

I kid, and yet I don’t.

My mind is everywhere this morning, with “first day” jitters and with being up so early and with having slept so little and with what the day will bring. Soonae dropped me off at the train station and will pick me up at the end of the day. “Don’t say ‘thank you’,” she said. “Family doesn’t have to thank each other.”

The notion of Change always causes me apprehension until I’m caught up in the flux of it. Then it’s a surfboard ride that can be fun. Or scary. Or both. Or neither. But always exciting and always Temporary. Never Always and never Never.

So…“Let’s see what’s out there” and “What’s next, Mrs. Landingham?” and “Open new window, open a new door. Travel a new highway that’s never been tried before” and “You drink revival when you’re thirsty for survival” and “These endless days are finally ending in a blaze”.

My life is suddenly gravid with the Future, did you know?

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