America Exfoliates: Day 2

Finally!

America occasionally looks at herself in the mirror and realizes she needs to spend more some time on a skin regimen for her face.

Yesterday, she scrubbed off some old dead skin using a Liberal amount of exfoliant, recommended by 6 out of 9 beauty professionals.

The other three had other recommendations, but all of their suggestions used outmoded animal (“that’s what god put ‘em here for, for us to use!”) testing. So, no surprise there.

Looking all fresh and pretty and anew, self-esteem gained, she also finally ditched an old coot of a boyfriend, Strom Thurmond, who surely will not be missed, and who is likely already legislating in Satan’s Senate.

Though the heat may prove to be a distraction, surely Strom will remember to step close to the mic, and speak into the machine.

That Which Endures…

The Enduring and the Mad.

The two are about as mutually exclusive a pair as I think I’ve ever drawn. Their exclusivity does not occur at person-boundaries, necessarily, where the Insane can never produce or participate in the Enduring and the Enduring never go mad, for one individual can compass either side at any given time.

Pick a point in Time. Cast thoughts forward, then backward. And ask yourself: Do I still endure in the Now? Is all I have a perpetual Now?

I have mentioned here before the difficulties my family is suffering, entirely due to the fallout over the dissolution of my brother’s marriage.

Before I made the trip back to PA for this visit, Insanity would have been the word that I would have chosen, were I forced to choose only one, to describe the entire situation.

And now? Well, insanity continues to impel the situation further into the deep-dark, with throttling and carburation provided by lawyers who excel at alchemizing hurt into hatred, hatred into billable hours, and billable hours into an attack on the wallet.

However, it’s the sheer breadth and depth of the vituperation that shines a rather unflattering light on those of us in the family who are not my older brother and not my sister-“god won’t someone take that Damocles-sword away from that bitch already”-in-law. It’s our collective Denial that stands in a proscenium arch and under a hot spotlight for all of us to see.

Denial, in the sense that we all along knew that demonstrating the good in the world was not the same thing as addressing and repairing the bad. Denial, in the sense that the one-way flow of goods, services, cash, affection and love would not and could not ever produce anything but a Policy of Appeasement. Denial, in the sense that Keeping the Peace is not tantamount to Harmony.

That Which Endures is something my family excels at producing, at maintaining, at enriching, at extending. What we seem to be wanting for is recognizing when something doesn’t take. We all, individually (much to my personal consternation) and collectively are rank amateurs when it comes to recognizing Endings.

“Stick a fork in it, it’s done”? Oh, hell no. More like “don’t stick a fork in it, the meal may yet be salvageable”

So here we all are, scorched and feeling irretrievable.

Above, I mention my personal consternation: the pattern I can so easily see in my family’s current situation, I recognized in myself and my behavior in relationships in my past.

Always afraid to call it done. Always believing that by injecting more and more good will into the relationship without the boyfriend doing the same, it will suddenly, magically inflate to be a healthy, loving and most importantly, self-sustaining marriage where commitment to and investment in it by both parties is simply, categorically, a Given.

Wow.

Instead, the giver becomes the Giver. And the other, becomes the Taker, the emotional vampire who sucks every bit of free-energy good-will out of the system, hoarding it for himself as if it’s something you can store away for a rainy day.

And when such a relationship ends? Well, from the outside, it seems that the injured party completely flips things around, making statements that the rest of us look at and wonder why that person ever bothered to stay in the relationship, ever got involved in the first place. Ever, ever, ever. Speaking in Absolutes is the only language mode that makes sense to the speaker.

If the injured party is the Giver, bewilderment rules for a very long time. “But I did all these things!” “And he never…” “And you’d think after all that I did…”

If the injured party is the Taker, rage and fury and madness rule. “He abandoned me!” “He’s a dirt bag!” “He should suffer like I am suffering!”

My family is bewildered.

My brother’s unfortunately-still-wife is a whirlwind of rage at her core, a funnel cloud that collects anything and everything, anyone and everyone in her path, hurling bodily whatever invective suits her into the world around her. It’s all horseshoes and hand-grenades: close is good enough to create sufficient damage. It’s a mindset that seems to believe there is No Happiness to be had, only the relative Unhappiness of others.

But in the end, I believe, it’s the Givers who have built the Enduring around them, that when the Denial and Disbelief turn to Disapprobation, we’re left with, for the most part, our intactitude. That which did not remain whole is cleared away, cleaned up, and the detritus becomes raw materials for a new artifact of masonry, one which will endure.

And the Takers? When the yawning internal chasm, no longer fed by the Givers, stares back at the Taker, drinking in all light, sound, energy and giving nothing back, the Madness sets in. Rage and anger and injurious behavior are products of the madness, as if the Taker must minimize the dependency that used to be, in order to feel Independent and Right.

But eventually, inevitably, the hunt for yet another Giver begins.

I Heart New York

Oh my god, I finally met Walt!!!

My daytrip adventure to New York via busride from Wilkes-Barre, PA, was for the sole purpose of meeting this man, finally.

I say “finally”, and yet it has been only a month since I even started chatting with him, then blogging (due in no small part to his encouragement and to inspiration from reading his own blog).

At one point during dinner, he gave form to thoughts that had been swimming around in my big-round-charlie-brown-head since very shortly after meeting him: “if you lived here, we’d hang out, i’m sure of it.”

Me too, Walt, me too.

While I stand by my words about the energy one must put out just to maintain one’s sense of self in New York, I should add that when you’re not by yourself, when you’re in the company of such a genuinely lovely (and damn fine looking) human being like him, an exquisite contrast appears between the With-Out and the Within. A small bubble of quietude is carved out and away from blinding light and deafening noise.

Rita’s cafe, where we went for coffee after dinner, is a terrific place to just be. To stop, or at least to slow down enough to breathe, to think, to feel and most importantly, to enjoy the presence of a friend. New friend or otherwise, doesn’t matter.

It’s always a chance you take when you meet someone in person for the first time, regardless of the circumstances that led to the meeting in the first place. But that’s what makes it an adventure, isn’t it? Risk?

Now, to read Walt’s writing, to absorb the soft and fluid line-betweens of his words, you just know it’s going to be at least an enriching and valuable experience to meet the man behind it all.

But today was more than that. He is charming, engaging, handome, effusive, catty, sweet, observant, wry, genuine. All those things and more.

What a GREAT day.

Did I mention that I met Walt today?

Ivan meets G.I. Joe

What’s a godless, earthy-nutty-crunchy pinko commie San Franciscan supposed to do in the city-to-end-all-cities, the City of New York?

Why, anything at all, really. That’s the point of New York, from a certain angle.

Bluster aside, I am at a bit of a loss: it has been a very very long time since I have been a stranger in any city.

I don’t count Amsterdam, back in August, 1999. That was a strangely familiar place, even though it was the first time I had ever been there [in this lifetime, anyway. —Eds] See what I mean? Northern California freak, here. At your service.

And I don’t count the half of day spent in London on that same trip. After spending a slow-paced, get-to-know-it-well bicycling trip with a completely unimaginative, culturally xenophobic boyfriend, riding about atop a tourist bus with a droning British voice playing through headphones hardly counts as a real visit there.

No, the last time I was a stranger in any city was when I first moved to Chicago(land) back in June, 1992.

Oh, I have been to NYC before, but not in forever (since before Chicago, anyhow), and then only to certain specific places (Central Park South, Times Sq, Macy’s, etc.).

I have had several hours to myself here, arriving from Wilkes-Barre by bus at 1pm (an under-three-hour trip), spent mostly walking about. From Port Authority (40th & 9th Ave), up to 42nd Street/Times Squre—when the fuck did 42nd Street turn into a scene from Bladerunner?—over to 5th Ave, then up to 59th & Central Park South. Not a bad hike.

From there, back to 6th Ave, down to Rockefeller Plaza (6th Ave & 51st, approx). Back to 5th Ave, down about 6 blocks before I caught a taxi down to Union Sq (17th & Broadway), where I’m to meet up with someone.

Once down here, I walked down to about 9th St, across to 4th Ave, and back up here to 17th & Broadway.

Lots of walking, lots of things to observe wryly, enviously, perplexedly, nostalgically, judgingly, humbly, profoundly, superiorly.

We San Franciscans pride ourselves on our diversity, but overall, perhaps out of my own personal familiarity there, it seems to have a theme to it, or at least a harmony. Yes, better word, harmony.

Here, it’s a jumble. Strange and wonderful and silly juxtapositions of things.

The parks here (“squares” to follow the vernacular) seem to show prejudice towards the pigeons, the larger areas of lawn and vegetation fenced off from humans.

Walking around today, by myself, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Our fair and lovely and dreamy and magical hamlet could not sustain even the simple pace of pedestrians, taxis, other traffic that New York seems to thrive on. My biogeek side sees the streets as capillaries, the movement as red blood cells cram-jamming their way through ever-narrowing pathways.

There is so much here—and again, I’ll chalk it up to my lack of familiarity with this city—that I find myself taking a big picture view, a map view if you will, and then zooming down into specific neighborhoods to find what I’m looking for. Then back out to do it all over again.

After nearly 10 years in San Francisco, on the other hand, I am more familar with the paths from one section to another, one neighborhood to another, than I am with looking at a map of the City. I am, to this day, continually surprised that Glen Park is so close to Old Miraloma, for example. To me it’s still a longish drive around the base of Mt Davidson.

In a sense, heading out into the streets of New York reminds me of jumping out onto the rollerskating rink in 7th grade, when I was just getting my legs for it: you must take a leap, and, apprehension notwithstanding, it’s better to match the pace out there as quickly as possible.

New York is not for the timid just as San Francisco is not for the rigid.

I don’t mean to say that New York is scary. Just like any other place, it certainly can be, but that’s not my point here. Instead, I mean to say that it’s daunting. The sound, the color, the intensity, the lack of immediate congruity, the size, the depths. But mostly, it’s the aura. I’m in FUCKING NEW YORK CITY. THE New York City.

Accepting—and bearing—that you’re at the swirling vortex at the center of the overarching bulk of Western Civilization is not for the faint of heart. You can get pulled under and want to escape it if you’re not projecting your own gravity well, your own presence in the face of all that other presence.

It would be easy to lose one’s self here, become mere chips in the flood, bits of flotsam that end up on some alien shore with no remembrance of how to get back.

You can lose yourself in San Francisco, but that’s more of a blending action; instead of chips in the torrent, your own special colors bleed into the shiny sparkle deep green sea. For many there it’s just as difficult to get back to who you were, but honestly? I don’t know of many San Franciscans who long for that.

A sustained presence as a quotidian New Yorker is like forever-cardio: it’s work, but you know that you’ll be fitter, in better shape, for all the effort.

And from my own personal experience with New Yorkers, I wouldn’t fuck with that.

Touching, Inappropriately

You go through an hour, an afternoon, a day, a week—longer than that?—without a tenderness, without the touch of a hand on your face, a hand in yours, without a simple physical connection that ties you to other human beings.

You wonder why someone doesn’t reach out to you, but you can’t bring yourself to do the reaching.

You get used to a tacit score being kept, where in order to avoid being thought of as the sappy one, the pushover, the bottom, you remember to balance it with a correct distance, an occasional coldness, a required formality.

An overall chill takes over—when you have to remember boundaries, when you have to reign it in, when you find yourself acting contrary to what you’re feeling—when you have to be that conscious, that calculating.

You dislike yourself for it, and you kick yourself in the ass for not being more of a stand-up guy in your behavior, and that just serves the distance instead of shortening it: abnegation as a first-order approximation.

Moments of daylight sneak through, though, from people who either don’t notice or don’t care that you’re working to stand apart. Family, friends, friends who are so close for so long they are family.

A hug is upon you before you know it; a kiss on the cheek, a welcome, a smile.

That little scrap of emotional daylight melts the protective ice cap just a bit. The Now transcends the Past, the Past where that controlfreakanalretentiveadultchildofanalcoholicpassiveaggressive- commitmentphobicnamethatdysfunction boyfriendgirlfriendtouchfriend neverandforeverwhatever forced you to into your own private ice age as a means of self-preservation.

None of it is quite enough to thaw yourself completely, but when the cold-dark lights up in flashes, you can glimpse the exits.

All that’s left is deciding to decide to walk through the dark, feeling your way, being bumped and bruised, each time cursing the putzes that sent you into the black-dark.

Oh, and hoping for more glimpses on your way towards the sunshine.

Gods Below! I’m in a Star Trek Episode!

I am now sitting at a “coffee house” in the center of the Wyoming Valley Mall, Wilkes-Barre, PA, the Cafe Europa, it’s called.

To be “up the mall” (as it is spoken here) on a Friday, late morning, is to see how little has changed from what I remember, from how it was 20+ years ago when I would frequent the only place around that we kids could expect to just run into other friends. Spontaneity as a good, fun, safe buzz.

Oh, the stores are somewhat different, but the pillar stores remain in place. That Orange Julius at the corner near the Sears, the pizza joint advertising prices per “pie”, and how many “cuts” in a “pie”. Yes, pizzas have always been pies here, and slices are cuts.

And here, every question is asked with a certain timorous quality, shored up at the end with an “er no?”just to cover one’s bases, take less of a risk in offering one’s opinion. “Looks like it’s going to rain today? Er no?” “Goin’ up the mall today? Er no?”

The feet carry me on what seems to be a predesignated course. The store that used to be Pomeroy’s had become The Bon Ton long ago, but after I left, so I had no right to simply turn a corner and expect the men’s department to be in the same place. But it was!

LIttle stoppers like that often make me forget, for moment, when I am. And then A Long December by the Counting Crows plays in the background and I am shaken out of the temporal vertigo.

Ahh, but I do have my backpack with me, a gift for attending the 2001 Apple World-Wide Developer Conference (2002’s WWDC pack was not to my tastes). My trusty iBook is in it, along with my entire anti-boredom arsenal. I go almost nowhere without it. Back when Golds Gym in San Francisco had wireless internet, I even took my iBook there. It is my soul/dream/thought-catcher, and the ether has already claimed too many “brilliant’ fleeting thoughts as it is.

The backpack is the thing that grounds me in the present time. There was no such thing as a PowerBook back then. Not even a Macintosh at all! (perish the thought!) There was no iPod. No books about Cocoa. No Francesca Lia Block writing miracles of fiction, no FireWire cables. No cell phones.

While walking through a Kauffman’s department store, looking in vain for a swimsuit that’s any smaller than tent, that shows even the slightest hint of thigh, it occurred to me that I had my iBook against my back. And that strapped into my WWDC black backpack, I had on a sort of encounter-suit, replete with magnetic boots, breathable atmosphere and able to withstand alien pressures.

I laughed out loud then, garnering stares from retail folks—all straight!—and other customers for the spurious noise.

There are no friends of Dorothy here, by the way, but there are friends of A & F. That seems to have replaced a secret handshake. Oooooh, just wait until all the straight boys who “accidentally” tripped into A & F clothing discover what it all means.

And why am I even here, “up the mall”? Well, my folks are playing in a golf tournament today and I have their car. I’ve been driving around at random, seeing what seeing will bring in terms of memories. It was interesting.

I found myself “up the mall” to look for said swimsuit (Strike 1), and for a Pink Martini CD (two completely separate references within days of one another, to a band I had heretofore never heard of, compels me to buy it) Strike 2—I’ll have to wait until I get to NYC on Tuesday (a daytrip!) to pick it up, I guess.

I’m still not sure if there is a Strike 3 today, yet, though I’m seriously considering nominating the lack of soy milk at Cafe Europa.

The Inviolability of the Dead

He is reclined on the couch with his shirt open, waiting for me. He looks at me, with brown eyes so light, green eyes so pale, they look golden, specular, timeless, depthless, breathless, motionless, endless.

My hand touches his bare chest before I am even on the sofa with him, beside him, only sitting, only smiling, only looking into those eyes, as he looked into my lighter, brighter, clearer, bluer, colder eyes. Mine are steel and azure and gray and white and cerulean, cold and inadequate to the warm caramel umber sienna glow looking back at me. So many volumes of images, words, sounds, deeds, memories, hopes could be communicated back and forth silently, in only a few heartbeats!

“It’s time,” I say with a knowing smile.

“I know,” he replies with a timely sigh.

I pull the side table close, piled with sterile swabs and squares, betadine and alcohol, access needles, tubing, a TPN bag warmed to room temperature, ready. A battery-powered peristaltic pump still quiescent.

I paint concentric circles on his chest with a betadine swab over the access port, a hard ungiving bump of stiff rubber that months prior had been surgically inserted just under his skin beneath the clavicle of over his left pectoral muscle (such as it was, by then). Before the betadine dries, I paint over the same area, with the same concentric circles, this time with denatured ethanol.

It washes the opaque unfocused brown of the betadine away. Mostly.

I wait a few moments for it to dry, not daring to make eye contact with him again. No, that’s not true: unable to make eye contact with him. His head is back, his eyes closed and doubly removed from me by his hand thrown over them. He is concentrating on not concentrating, breathing deeply and regularly, as I taught him to do when preparing to be stuck with a needle, as my own mother taught me as a boy of four years old when the nurse at the hospital was about to inject me.

Good boy, I think, every time he does this. In other words, daily.

The right-angled needle I remove from its sterile packaging. He can hear the plastic-coated paper rustling, tearing, but he does not interrupt his breathing, his stillness, his strong rhythm.

I am swift, and by now he knows I will be swift. The thumb and index finger of my left hand stabilize the access port and with my right hand, I push the needle through his skin, once again. Through the thick hard rubber of the port, once again. The right-angle bend of the needle is flush against his skin. Again.

I tape it down with surgical tape.

I know that his eyes have reopened, as they always did, when he would first feel the first tape against his skin. He is watching me and I dare not look at him. There is work to be done. I tape a gauze 4x4 over the needle. I release the clamps on the tubing. I press the button on the pump to begin the flow of the only nutrition that will still do any good.

I look back to the small pile of swabs and packaging. I grab handfuls of it and I begin to stand, to dispose of the medical detritus.

A hand, his hand, lands on my shoulder before I am able to stand.

I finally look into his eyes and he’s smiling. The flare, the electricity, the spark, the jump, the thing that connects us, hits me as it always hits me: New. I am shocked at the surprise, shocked that I am surprised, and surprised that the shock still occurs.

“I love you,” he says, the eyes still transmitting their heart-soul-fire.

I smile. I squeeze my eyes tightly closed. I stand and reopen them. I hate the redundancy of his words.

———

Those daily sessions occurred in this time of the year, in 1995. His name was Allen. He died on July 13, 1995. He died at home. He loved me entirely–he was returning the favor. He loved my family, so he told me. My family loved him, so they told me.

So I thought.

Oh, make no mistake. My Mother. My Father. My Brothers. My Younger Brother’s Wife. They speak of him as I speak of him: as family. Cherished and loved and missed.

However just yesterday, I was told something previously hidden from me: my sister-soon-to-be-no-longer-in-law, while Allen and I were here, in Pennsylvania, visiting for Easter—in the same general timeframe as above—poked fun of Allen’s physical appearance. Advanced HIV pathology as the material for a little joke.

My favorite Aunt in the world (truly an “Auntie Mame” of my very own!) was battling pancreatic CA at the time. She passed away about 6 weeks after Allen did. Her bodily diminution was not off limits, either, subject to the same petty, twisted, disturbing giggles and put-downs from my older brother’s soon-to-be-ex-wife.

When I found out about all of this, just 24 hours ago, almost eight years after the two deaths, for the first time I was relieved that each was dead. I am not sure I could bear to know what I now know if both were still around, still able to be injured.

But they’re dead now, and what rage I would have felt, should have felt, I could not feel today. A few sad, lovely tears for myself, having my sensitivities trampled, my memories violated, but that is all.

But I have to ask, is it ever right to call a c___ a c___?

Brave Old World

My mother, after picking me up at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (I kid you not), announced that she and I would have dinner at an old family favorite of a restaurant, Konefal’s. Which was fine with me because I had asked if we could go to some place that I had not been in a while.

Picture a place with fake wood paneling, vinyl-upholstered straight-back chairs, stained, plywood booths. A hand-laminated paper sign behind the cash register reads: “Potato Pancake Batter, $3.00 per quart.” The smoking section is a nebulous section in the rear center of the restaurant.

Konefal’s Bar occupies the front part of the building, a separate area entirely. A full bar, I thought.

The waitress, a bone-thin middle-aged woman with dark brown hair helmet arrives. “Can I get you something to drink?”

“Dirty Martini, please,” I answer, before I realized my mouth was moving.

“Uhhh, what is that, exactly?”

I explain to her what makes it dirty. “How about that,” she says.

So, besides having no dirty martinis here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, there are other things I’ve observed:

  • there aren’t many shaved heads
  • but the number of bad haircuts—especially on men—makes up for it
  • everyone over 25 is married and wedding-banded
  • everyone is blue eyed and transparent-skinned (like me)
  • turns out, I really am the only gay person in the world!

San Francisco: Love it…

Once upon a time, I lived in Pittsburgh, PA. I went to school there (Carnegie Mellon University) and lived there for several years after that, running the General Surgery Research Lab at Allegheny-Singer Research Institute on the Nor’side.

I would loyally, unfailingly defend Pittsburgh against critics. Unlike person-to-person criticism which can often be constructive, attacks of opinion on a place tend to be denigrating and abjectly, irretrievably bitter-dour-hateful. Rushing to her aid, I could be counted on without fail to point out the wonderful things aht ‘n’ abaht in Pixburgh, the soft, roundness of the lazy accent, the almost bucolic feel of city life, the comfort of triangulating its place in the world even on the meanest map by finding the nexus of its three rivers.

I moved to San Francisco almost ten years ago—it will be exactly ten years on June 30, less than two weeks away!—and not once have I felt called-upon to defend the City.

It is what it is, I thought. And if some couldn’t see the magic of it, well, one had to feel bad that their eyesight did not capture as full a rainbow of light as those of us who did see the magic lurking in the near infrared and almost-ultraviolet wavelengths.

As I endure this airline flight back to the Pennsylvania (not Pittsburgh, the other side of the state) to visit my family (which is currently enduring its own travails) I take with me a certain residual tingle of the ambiance and atmosphere of my City. Of our City. San Franciscans’.

My very-liberal bent allows me to self-identify as a San Franciscan even though I was born a Pennsylvanian; self-identification is the right of the individual, I have learned over the last decade; it’s remarkable what a slight shift in grounding can do to one’s finer sensitivities.

The Bridges in San Francisco not only connect the City to the rest of the Continent, but also bridge, in a certain way, the distance between the real and the ideal.

Where else on earth does the sky live so close to the fundament? The moon hangs, I swear, just a few hundred feet above the tallest of our hills, and no further. The Earth is still flat, and the heavens still move for the benefit of those of us perched on the City’s hills or tucked into her valleys. In San Francisco, you can touch the sky, and the infamous San Francisco fog is only the heavens descending on a tourist’s visit to our City. Infinite Angels dance (often shirtless and sweaty) on the head of a peninsula.

I remember one evening, climbing to the top of Bernal Hill, with the purpose, I had thought, of admiring the photographic quality of the cityscape, a special contrast against the watercolor skies of a seaside dusk. But no: it was the sky that captured all of my attention. The eventide sky that hung over the city was an alarmingly intimate shade of indigo. The quietude of the night on the hill, the appealing generosity of stars festooning a clear night and the solemnity of the gold limned hills to the west all stood counterpoint to the discomfiture of that sky invading our individual personal spaces, a directness and candor so intense that even the moon sent its apologies and stayed at home.

The City’s buildings, most of which were thrust up to stab our skies during a lamentable “Manhattanization” in the 1970s, nonetheless are now part of its terrain. Nature and Artifice agree on a non-compete clause, because Artifice knows it cannot best Nature, but Nature knows we can be distracted away from Her by Artifice.

The Cityscape never wins, and our Natural beauty cannot lose.

We are all here because we choose to be. It is not an easy place to remain within because of expense and density. It is not contentedness that appears on most of our faces, but rather it seems that the faces we wear contain whatever it is that remains when glee—a typically transient emotion—remains overlong, becomes chronic.

Anyhow, I was sitting just beneath the fenced-in compound of the old microwave repeater atop Bernal Hill. This was long before it was bespotted with cellphone antennae San Francisco is an odd place for machinery of the military-industrial complex, maybe it was even a sacrilege of sorts. I remember thinking, at least there is the fence to keep it contained,” suddenly struck with the notion that maybe—just maybe!—that fence was built to keep people out, not keep the machinery in and away from the rest of the world.

I smiled at the twist of things there at the Top of the Hill, here at the End of the Rainbow.

Tentacular blogworks

So while I’m the last thing from new as far as Macintosh applications and UI development (going on 16 years now), I’m new to publishing of any kind. Make no mistake, HTML is not about programming so much as publishing. Content-tracking, pulling things in from various places, and making sure that it works on a regular and properly-structured basis is an exercise in organization, not engineering.

I am not the Organizer Bunny.

The commenting system I just shunted in is from HaloScan. I followed directions, as a novice cook might follow a recipe, with no appreciation for the particular chemistry of what is going on. This is un-nuanced business for me, folks. As President Jed Bartlett (from The West Wing) said: “Unnuanced days rarely occur without a body count.”

To which I say, “My blogging day is not yet over, people!”

So commenting comes thanks to HaloScan, SFBayBloggers comes through blogrolling, and page counts & tracking come from SiteScan.

Who knew a humble webpage could have so many tentacles, so rapidly?

And soon, with the help of a gloriously-bedecked HTML editor (I don’t want to see the HTML code) for Mac OS X (I haven’t started looking for one yet…anyone know of a good one?) I shall have an About Box/page: context is crucial and personal comments never arise from nothing.

Eventually, I will bring all this into a MoveableType installation on my G4 Cube (which serves you these pages already), but as the old adage goes, too many degrees-of-freedom spoils the blog. Or is it, “too many aphorisms makes your car bumper look tacky”?

I’m taking this bird-by-bird.

Of course, once I do get MT (or some other standards-supporting backend) running on Mac OS X Server, I hope to speedily develop a blogging client application. Mac OS X only, thankyouverymuch—I have no wish to bust my ass working on a slick application only to have it wearing the tacky, tasteless dress of a typical Windows application.

Did I mention I am a Mac guy?

So…bring on the comments, if you would! I love constructive criticism (let’s face it, loving unconstructive criticism usually comes with a penchant for roleplay and a love of leather-hammocks).