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August 29, 2004

500,000 person march

so it's been very fun here in NY for the 3 days since i arrived, though the humidity and muggyness make me feel glad to know i'll return to s.f. the first evening we got here we came over to my cousin's apartment. mike is a few years younger then me, but surprisingly similar in some of his interests as well as, interestingly enough, his mannerism, according to my friends. i'm already excited for him to come out and visit in s.f. so we can cruise around on bikes. our first full day here we slept in a bit, due to the fact that drew and i stayed up quite late the night before flying out here. eventually we cruised down to the world trade center site for a bell ringing event to ring in peace. the event was scattered but kind of interesting in a tame way, and i feel the most i got out of it was actually seeing the site. i'm not going to write about my thoughts on the site though, just cause you can guess why.
that evening, which was last night, we met up with simon my roommate from s.f., and then with aaron marit and b.j. from station 40, and becky from the s.f. sea collective. mike my cousin was awesome and let 3 others crash here besides drew and i, and we all sat up late talking about politics and the future of our nation and other lite reading topics like those. good times.
today we awoke and headed down for the united for peace and justice rally. there were proportedly upwards of 500,000 people, though the networks news didn't report over 200,000, and hardly reported on it all all, which we all expected. there were thousands of people with t shirts and signs and the like all decrying the bush administration. the lead article on salon is about the march, you might have to watch a commercial to get a free one day membership, but it's a good article.
after that we went to central park and met up with my friend kelsey from phillie. we did acrobatic feats in the park and had a very good time. i'm on mikey's mac right now, when drew fires up his pc i'll link to the photos he took.
today i'm going to 2 different events, one is a march in support of housing, healthcare, income and secure jobs, and the other is a march of low income people that's been organized by a homeless woman. after that i might try and stake out some republican afterparty where, along with hundreds of others, i hope to make them feel our ire at their temerity and gall. hanging out with kelsey always inspires me to use grandious words. anyways, having fun.

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new york

so i've been in NY for 3 days now. drew and i are staying at my cousin mike's apartment in chelsea, i haven't hung out with him in more then 5 years, so it's really cool to connect with my east coast relations again. i have to leave right now to go to the united for peace and justice march that hopefully will end up in central park even though there is no permit, so check out these photos that andrew is posting to the web from his fancy camera phone.

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August 27, 2004

in a few hours

so in a few hours i will be on a plane to NY. i'm going to protest the republican national convention, not because i'm an ardent kerry supporter at all, but because i want my presence and voice heard by the nation and the world. lately i've been in the middle of an email debate with someone i met in israel who's a bush-ite, and i feel like after thinking of what i would say to reason with someone who believes in bush and his cabinet, that there is no hope of us shutting down the convention, but instead i want the protests to be so big that america and the rest of the world sees that our nation does not wholeheartedly support what is being done in our name, but on the contrary that we reject the tools of power and propaganda and lies for what they are, the weapons of state oppression. i watched the film the miami model tonight about the police state reaction to protesters in miami voicing their constitutional right to dissent, and it made me wonder what i'm in store for. i'm not afraid though, on the contrary i'm mostly excited and expectant that something big and positive will hopefully take place. i hope that doesn't turn out to be foolhearty. anyways, everyone who reads this please tune in to the new york indymedia center, for real reporting on what's really going down in NYC.

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August 23, 2004

PRB

so we had the one year anniversary of punk rock breakfast at our house yesterday. the night before we were up till 4 am, prepping vegetables and then doing some stenciling and rotten fruit launching in the street. PRB was very fun, i was the waiter, and felt that i did a good job until i became too inebriated and ended up hula hooping on the roof in my underwear. we had a band called shitstorm play, i think it was their 3rd show ever, and during their performance i passed out bowls of slimy gross cherries, and an excellent food fight ensued. later i somehow ended up in the upstairs shower with 8 other people, which was very cramped and pretty hilarious. so all in all, i think it was the best PRB ever.
my folks were in town at the beginning of last weekend. it was good to see them, and better to have them here so we could do big city things. on the first night they arrived we went out to the millenium, which was far and away the best vegetarian restaurant i've ever eaten in in my life, no wait let me rephrase that, it was by far the best restaurant i've ever dined in ever. we had something like 5 courses, and there were too many highlites to mention. i never want to eat vegan icecream again after the coconut flavor they had their. so good! one of the best parts was getting to hang out with my pops and jane, we discussed the possiblity of what kind of vegetarian restaurant would be viable in reno. seems like it would be very difficult to mount anything good in that city, it's no vegan hotbed shall we say. the day after that my pops and i rode our bikes all over the city, and then we had dinner with buzzard and his folks at the ethopian restaurant. good times.
owen's in town right now, we're gonna work on a video project he has going. i leave for new york friday morning, so there's tons to do before then. i feel super crammed for time, but i'm sure i'll get everything i need to in.

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August 13, 2004

quit bragging

So I asked someone the other day, about whether I should be worried since life is so good right now, that it will bounce back the other direction. They told me not to worry about stuff like that. Good advice.
Its 2 on Friday. My sweatshirt sits on the floor next me, still smelling like campfire, the best smell in the world. Vanessa said it also smelled like bologna, which I guess she has somewhat of a point about, but it smells more like burned wood to me.
This week has been pretty much ridiculous. I finally have to work tonight, but the last time I worked was 6 days ago. Aaron quit his job on Tuesday, and since then he and I have pretty much been hanging out all the time, riding our bikes and rampaging around our house and the city. After he turned in his uniform to the messenger service, we headed down to the docks, and hung out with the wharf rats, as the hobos down there call themselves. I almost lost my favorite hat, the denim California one, but luckily I saved it without even having to jump into the murky and gross bay water. Of course I was carrying the water balloon launcher, so we got a homeless guy to help us fire water balloons at those bay cruisers that take people out to Alcatraz. We had one direct hit on the roof of one of the boats, but Old English was fouling our aim.
After that we went and kidnapped megan from her job, taking her to get burritos for her birthday and I carried her on my back through a waterfall fountain in the middle of the food court in the financial district. On the way out I wanted to carry aaron on my back with megan on his back, but she wasnt into it so I just carried aaron through the falls. Our day continued by visiting blaine at her work and dragging her to a bar in that district, but aaron got us kicked out of the bar before we could even order drinks because he was table diving French fries, and when the busboy came to take the plate away aaron grabbed some more fries off the plate in the busboys hand, saying here, Ill take those. Then we went and ate vegan cheese steaks that was spendy but good, and eventually I made my way to a fundraiser to send people to Reno to register voters. I may go on one of those trips in September, seems like a better way to get to Reno, a free trip and all.
So this whole week weve been interviewing housemates to fill aaron and kristys room. The whole process brought the entire house together for several hours a night, and it got me to thinking. I feel so very fortunate to live in this sort of a situation, sharing a house and having community with so many other people. I feel like I would be disappointed to go back to a traditional roommate situation, after having communal meals and people to talk with and share chores with and all the fun that comes with such a wide variety of people living together. Last night after a long talk we selected a girl named erin for the room, she just got back from organic farming in florida and is a bike punk, so even when buzzard and kristy leave therell be someone to go food scavenging for our house with at night. Stoked. Im also really pleased to get to know Kara, our second newest roommate, who moved in 3 weeks ago. So helped put on the Ladyfest festival, which was occupying all of her time, but now shes around more, which is rad. In a way she reminds me of lilly from back in the day, same funny dry delivery and good weirdnesses that we all like.
Not that I have any plans to or could even imagine doing so, but if I ever ended up living in reno again, I feel like I would want to set up a co-operative housing situation there for sure. I guess its something I always dreamed about when I did live there, but Id never seen one and how they can function. Now I know, and I think that town would benefit from stuff like this.
Aaron and I saw Open Water the other day, the movie about scuba diving and sharks. It had mediocre actors and mediocre dialogue, but the premise was really good I thought. Some of the shots when real sharks were swimming right underneath them and then the shots during the night when the lightning would flash and all you could hear were the characters screaming had me leaning forward in my seat. I also liked that it was filmed on digital cameras, inspiring to think how cheap it must have been to make.
So our friend Kelsey was in town the last 2 days. Aaron and I met Kelsey in Cancun, Mexico during the protests against the WTO. Kelsey has an amazing life, she works part time as an airline stewardess which means she can fly anywhere she wants. casually she refers to being in Europe a few weeks ago and then a few weeks ago before that, and of how shell come visit more cause her only cost is taking the BART from the airport to our house. For the rest of us, theres the costs of airline tickets to get anywhere, but not her. She also says funny and smart and strange things all the time, so it was cool to see her again. I think shes coming back through on Sunday night, intending to turn the vegan potluck were hosting at our house into a party. Well see how that works out, Im not against it.
so Aaron, Kristy and Matt got tickets to Lima, Peru for 340 dollars each. Those are one way tickets of course, meaning that once I meet up with them down there well have to figure a way back up to the states before our money runs completely out. I plan to hang out in SF at least until November then fly down and meet them at whatever organic farm they end up volunteering on. At times thinking of those impending adventures makes it mildly difficult to concentrate on whats going on now, but not really because things are so damn good here right now.
I dont believe Ive mentioned it, but Andrew Morton is flying down at the end of the month, and were gonna fly out to New York to protest against the Republican National Convention. The more I read about it the more excited I become, and a little nervous as well I must admit, it could be a huge and memorable event for our nation, in good ways and in bad ones as well. Im also excited to see New York, theres been talk of relocating there after getting back from South America, but in truth thats really way too far ahead to talk about. I think about that idea, and all my other plans, which include maybe moving to some other city in the east coast, riding my bike across the country, moving to Paris to learn French, getting training and becoming a more official interpreter, floating rafts down the Ohio river with Aaron and crew and perhaps making a documentary about it, southeast Asia, and dozens of other things, and I see the excitement of my future spread out so huge before me that I get so excited I have to go ride my bike around to just ponder it all and smile about it.
We played soccer yesterday, which I really needed, though my knees have decided to start hurting me, something Ive never suffered before, and its annoying.
Looks like Daveo might more out here, I think that would be rad, more kids to ride bikes with. I was bummed we couldnt get a room for him here in my house, but theres tons of places with open rooms in the City. Good old Daveo.
So I got the rest of the mp3s for this band Readyville who I like very much. Theyre playing next Tuesday in Oakland, think were gonna assemble some folks together to see the show. I havent been seeing many shows lately, theres so much to do in this town I wonder how Ill tear myself away. Traveling is probably the only thing that could do it.

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August 09, 2004

ridiculousness

so I did a bunch of interpreting last week, i can't say how pleased i am when i get to do this job and help folks out and feel the words going through me right. it's really nice, makes me think i could step up and do similar work for a long time, when i stop moving so much.
so saturday morning i was sitting having breakfast with aaron, colin and megan, and my other roommate simon had been singing really badly and loud when i awoke, so i was on edge, and i realized how good it would be to get out of the city. aaron agreed completely, and within 20 minutes we were in colin's car, heading towards point reyes in marin. the drive took more than an hour, during which we listened to music and aaron held the squid monkey which colin had sewed out the window, so that it looked like it was flying. the squid monkey reminds me of the stuffed animal i had as a child, a monkey named frank, which was also the name of our rabbi in grand junction, colorado. i always tied his long arms in knots. it seems like a squid monkey would be a good stuffed animal for a small child. perhaps confusing though.
anyways, we made it up to point reyes, and jumped from the car. walking down the trail talking to aaron about past and future travels made me really content. he and kristy are leaving the city in three weeks, a fact that bums me out, but i've made many friends and will still be very busy with activities and good times. they were the first people i knew when i got here, along with matt and jacob, who are already gone. guess that's the way this city works.
the hike took us about an hour to reach bass lake. aaron had told me how great it was up there, and had specifically mentioned a rope swing to hold onto and fly out over the water and drop in. it was one of the best rope swings i'd ever used, you started halfway up a steep hill and jumped off, and after shooting past the trunk of the tree you were out over nothing, then releasing the rope and your naked self came hurtling down out of the shade into the sunny water. i had that sensation again when i'm doing something so very fun, that as soon as i did it i was swimming back to shore to go again. i think it's the best thing to be 25 and still get excited about physical activities like jumping into water and riding my bike, i feel very fortunate.
we swung a bunch of times each, then walked back down to the car, along the coast. it's megan's birthday today, and she seemed glad to get to do something cool on the weekend of her birthday.
so of course it took longer then expected to get home, and i was an hour late to work, but no matter. i got out early and rode straight home, then over the rest of the hill to coast down through the darkness and fog of the park, listening to red stars theory in my headphones. at ocean beach there were dozens of bonfires, and i had to borrow a cellphone from some random stranger before i could find my circle of friends. we sat around the flames in the sand and aaron and i would walk down to the ocean to pee in the surf, then come back up to feed the fire. someone started passing around bourbon, which tasted very nice in the ocean air and later maybe helped inspire me a 6 others to shed our clothes and run into the freezing water. It could be thanks to the whisky, but it wasn't so cold, and i was very pleased with myself. i realized on the ride home through the park that that day was the first time i'd swam all summer, which is a bit of a shame. in the summer, you're supposed to swim as much as possible. aaron said before he leaves that a select few of us should go out to ocean beach at night and silently walk into the waves. it's a good plan.

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August 04, 2004

so much

punk rock breakfast- the house is filling up with people. we're a little delirious, the cooking team. Staying up all night riding bikes to supermarkets and then prepping veggies in the tiny kitchen will do that. our backyard is green and looks tidy, though the lawn is dying where everyone walks over it. i bound up the stairs and yell "two more up" to the cooks and food runners. though we have no super organized system like in a real restaurant, it's not a problem. instead we rely on just knowing that everyone will make sure everything that has to happen does. i've designated myself the main waiter, and it wasn't till after everyone left that i remembered that all of this was for fun, and i could have joked with the tables more. still, i acted goofily professional, that is to say as professional as a punk rock breakfast waiter can be. i greeted each table and brought them apple juice or peach juice or watermelon juice, and assured them that their food would arrive shortly, and that there was plenty enough for anyone to have a second plate of food. aaron and kristy and blaine and megan and marit and the rest of our crew had decided beforehand to raise the bar for punk rock breakfast, throwing together easily the most impressive spread ever seen. along with the fresh made juices, we served blueberry waffles w/ a fruit compote, an amazing tofu scramble by marit that included nutritional yeast, sweet potato home fries, aaron's supergood black beans, and dumpster organic veggie medley. it goes without saying that we stocked plenty of colt 45 malt liquor for mixing with orange juice, the venerable brass monkey, which someone referred to as a mullet mimosa, a term i found astounding and hilarious. somewhere during the day I paused to chat with matt, who was walking around offering French press coffee, and he had some sort of energy pouring out of his pores, like he was plugged into a light socket. I asked if he was ok, and he said everything is normal. If that kind of a coffee high is normal, thats scary. His hair should have been standing on end.
Food is served and people are smiling, and everyone grins like they ate too much. I share malt liquor and orange juice in preparation for work, and shortly before I have to leave aaron lobs the first volley of what quickly becomes a punk rock breakfast food fight. Excellent.

Critical mass was amazing, the house party we had was good fun, though Im swearing off sparks malt liquor energy drink because it gives me amnesia, and I made a good push for daveo to move up here, though Ill be pleasantly surprised if he does. Kristy and aaron are gone at the end of the month, and I keep pushing back my planned date to move out and meet them in south America, Im tentatively departing in late November or even December or January. Im kind of tired of how my life is always about leaving, but Im not ready to change that yet I dont think.

I was reflecting the other day on how when I first moved here, I went to the climbing gym 4 times a week cause I didnt know anyone. Now I hardly go because there is so much to do, Thursday seems to be the boiling point, this coming Thursday I have an art opening to go to to support fuzzy dave, punk rock soccer, bike mechanic lessons at the bike kitchen, helping pass out food for the food bank with my rad new friend Vanessa, fixing colins bike, plus some other stuff I have written down but probably wont even get to do. my climbing has suffered, but for very good reasons.

Ive been reading tons, read this amazing book of short stories called bring me your saddest Arizona, totally impressive. Right now I just started the ice at the bottom of the world by mark Richard. Im concentrating on reading short stories in the hopes of being inspired to write some. Who knows though.

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