Archive for September, 2001

New javascript pop-ups installed

Saturday, September 29th, 2001

New javascript pop-ups installed (for the most part, lots of links still need tweaking).  I just can’t keep it simple. 

In addition to the quote

Thursday, September 27th, 2001

In addition to the quote posted on Blogger’s main page:

“All in all, I’ve revised my earlier views about the usefulness of blogging, moving full circle from my earlier position. Yes, there’s still a lot of chaff out there, and it’s the reader’s responsibility to sift and choose. But in the best spirit of grassroots participation, these new information gatekeepers are helping to rewrite the rules.” 

…from this By Charles Cooper” onmouseover=”return overlib(‘When blogging came of age By Charles Cooper.’,CAPTION,’cnet.com’);” onmouseout=”return nd();” >article, the writer goes on to say, “Not that they are about to displace the main organs of journalism. I don’t think any serious blogger would make that claim.”

Spoken like a true self-preservationist, suckling on the teat of journalism’s main organ

Journalism is a joke in most of its present propagandized incarnations.  It is so bad in fact that I don’t think any serious journalist would actually claim that as a title.  He’d probably have a weblog and call himself a blogger. 

Good journalism is out there to be sure, but too many so-called journalists are nothing but ad copy writers, which is in itself an honorable profession — writers must make a living too.  But when ad copy is passed off as journalism, and when the stuff being hawked is political manipulation — the basest of snake-oils — that my dears is called propaganda.  They can call themselves whatever they want if it helps them swallow their own saliva without retching.  But if you won’t tell me the real stories, which I find almost exclusively by reading weblogs, then you might as well be lying. 

I have to post weel

Thursday, September 27th, 2001

I have to post weel qwick like a bunny — my dsl is dropping like pellets this morning.

I thought it might be nice to have a dependable connection again, so I asked Speakeasy to help.  They responded fast but, alas, they probably won’t be able to help me.  Actually they responded so fast that I was forced to restate (and rethink) what it is I want from them.  In the interest of getting this posted in the tiny window of connectivity which I am now enjoying, I paste from my e-mail to Speakeasy:

[tedious beginning of e-mail omitted]

2.  I do not want a new DSL installed, I actually just want to preserve my current DSL connection, which has begun bouncing me with increasing frequency lately.  People at Rhythms (they installed it) say they can’t help me because I ordered my DSL through MSN and that I have to talk to MSN about it.  That would make sense, except MSN says they aren’t providing my DSL, that my MSN account is a dialup and has never changed.  That too is plausible, except for the fact that my DSL has been connected for over a year and is still connected right now at 864(down)/364(up) kbps.  Nobody has ever billed me for my DSL connection — not MSN, not Rhythms. 

In a nutshell, I want Speakeasy to take custody of my existing DSL connection.  It is not because I feel guilty about getting it for free, it is because I need to know who I can call if it goes down again, and doesn’t come back up.  Theoretically, this transition could be done at the CO, without any rewiring here, and without any outside line work by the phone company.  I realize this may not be possible. 

[tedious end of e-mail omitted]


WS_FTP Pro 6.05 2000.01.17, Copyright ? 1992-2000 Ipswitch, Inc.
local chdir to /
– –
connecting to 144.92.108.52:21
Connected to 144.92.108.52 port 21
220 ProFTPD 1.2.0 Server (Maple FTP Server) [maple.ssec.wisc.edu]
USER anonymous
331 Anonymous login ok, send your complete e-mail address as password.
PASS (hidden)
230 Anonymous access granted, restrictions apply.
CWD /pub/data/
250 CWD command successful.
PWD
257 “/pub/data” is current directory.
Host type (I): UNIX (standard)
PORT nevermind
200 PORT command successful.
LIST
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for file list.
Received 6425 bytes in 0.6 secs, (112.73 Kbps), transfer succeeded
226 Transfer complete.
CWD goes12
250 CWD command successful.
PWD
257 “/pub/data/goes12” is current directory.
PORT nevermind
200 PORT command successful.
LIST
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for file list.
Received 1233 bytes in 0.2 secs, (52.63 Kbps), transfer succeeded
226 Transfer complete.
receiving fg12_high.gif as fg12_high.gif (1 of 1)
Saving restart info for ssec – fg12_high.gif
TYPE I
200 Type set to I.
PORT nevermind
200 PORT command successful.
RETR fg12_high.gif
150 Opening BINARY mode data connection for fg12_high.gif (3474951 bytes).
Received 3474951 bytes in 14.8 secs, (2.25 Mbps), transfer succeeded
226 Transfer complete.

Oh my, but when it is fast, it is FAST.  See that little delicious detail in this morning’s FTP session log?  2.25Mbps.  Oh yeah, I’m hard.  But I fear it won’t last long, and that is why I am typing like a fiend to get this posted, like the last wave of a swimmer in distress. 

This is certainly not a complaint about Speakeasy.  Indeed I have heard nothing but good things about them.  But the logistics (and other details of which I am not aware) of DSL procurement in the cutthroat DSL market is prohibitively complex.  I am expecting too much if I want them to reuse a perfectly good, tested, and working connection loop, and my router, and perhaps even the DSLAM at the CO.  That would require too much of a departure from the polished routine which they have perfected, of getting people hooked-up and online fast.  I guess I just want it my way. 

I have been amazingly lucky — DSL for free for over a year.  This is not unappreciated here, especially now.  DSL is my ONLY connection with the outside world; no phone, no cable, no TV.  But I am addicted now, and I will do just about anything they want to stay connected via DSL — even if it doesn’t occasionally reach 2.25 megabits per second.

God save me from Paint

Wednesday, September 26th, 2001

God save me from Paint Shop Pro.  If there ever was a method for me to hyperfocus on the insignificant, that program is it.  I make all those — well, most of — little icons on the top left.  And if it’s a copied graphic, then I just have to tweak it to death. 

Enough!  …enough, already.  That’s not my life — at least I hope it isn’t.

Time is running out.  I want to tell you how the air felt when I shut off the a/c today and opened the window for the first time in weeks.  I want to explain that my landlord reminds me of my father, just because he’s the man who owns the house.  I would like to capture in words this fleeting terror that comes and goes unbidden, without warning — even without words, I would like to capture it and send it on its way, like an unwanted bug in my bed.  I want to say so much. 

Today, the air was like the air two weeks ago, the sky precious blue and clear, the sun warm; a joy just to breathe. 

Went to bed at 7:30

Wednesday, September 26th, 2001

Went to bed at 7:30 AM.  Can you say depression?  Anyway, I wasted a big chunk of my life at Spaced Penguin, a fiendishly addictive game which I discovered at blogdex.  The idea behind blogdex is simple (though quite complicated to implement, I imagine); keep track of what URLs everybody is linking to.  Consider this detail from blogdex:  The link cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/damage.map.html scored 16.9 points.  I have no idea what that means except that out of more than four hundred and fifty thousand links, only two other links scored higher.  And one of them was that miserable penguin game. 

Now, if someone is keeping track of how many other websites have posted a given URL, well, I can’t help but wonder how my humble offering ranks.  It doesn’t.  In fact, this is all they know ’bout me.  So far. 

Whilst I make another cup o’ joe, I encourage you to add your site to their ‘bot ‘base.  You will be assimilated eventually anyway. 

Ok.  Enough of this.  My

Tuesday, September 25th, 2001

Ok.  Enough of this.  My astrologer tells me I take myself much too seriously.  (Yeah, an astrologer.  What else would I call her, an angel?).  I was going to get all tangled up in some new javascript that I found, and then maybe change all my icons from 32×32 size to 32×88 cuz I found a bunch I want to use that are the larger size, and then I might create more pages for this site within a sensible structure like other sites I see…

And then I remembered; there is something in me that needs to come out — that’s why I get into this kind of unfocussed frenzy.  So, what might it be?

I wonder sometimes why in this weblog I don’t write most of the things that are going on.  Other bloggers give a nicely proportioned serving of their day with some detail, sometimes with great detail.  Why don’t I do this?  (Rhetorical question — no e-mails, please.).  So.  This is what is going on:

  1. I am supposed to be looking for a new apartment; actually I’m supposed to be in a new apartment already, but since I am not, then I guess I am supposed to be still looking.  I find this difficult because
    1. I can’t get out of bed — not in the morning, not in the afternoon, nor at any other time of day even after I have been in bed long enough to have lost a pillow (the fact that I am able to recognize that a pillow is missing constitutes evidence of adequate rest — but I still cannot get out of bed.  It is just so much nicer than the alternatives.). 
    2. Once out of bed (it’s inevitable) I can make coffee, but I am unable to do anything else before supper-time — not even shower — much less locate and call prospective landlords, visit their properties, and ramp-up my enthusiasm to present myself as a generally desireable potential tenant.  And because,
    3. I don’t want to.
  2. I’m supposed to be living.  I am 43 years old and less than 200 miles from where I live, the lives of over 6,000 people — most of them younger than me — were snuffed out in less than 30 minutes.  You could say that I feel a little guilty about that, especially since I have done shit with my life, but let’s not dwell on the negative.  Whatever else may be the case, there is some living to be done here, by me, in whatever time I have left.  However, I find that this too is difficult.  See item number 1, sub-items a, b, and c. 
  3. I have blown-off (or am trying to blow-off) about $10,000 in credit card debt.  This item is related inversely to items number 1 and 2 in that ‘success’ here equates with failure in the other areas.  Of course defaulting on my debts was not my goal in spending so much money over the past four years.  But my logic was faulty.  I thought if I incurred so much debt that I needed to make more money, this would motivate me to advance professionally and increase my income.  Ha!  I don’t think I really really believed that, but it provided a functional rationalization while I was spending six grand on computer hardware, and the other four grand on vodka martinis and tips for cute waiters

So that is what’s going on — or not going on, as the case may be.  And I don’t feel even the slightest bit better for having not indulged my fetish for javascript merely for the sake of trying to be more like all the other bloggers in the world.  Harumph.  I’m going now to play with some javascript — or maybe getting into bed would be nice.  Hmm… 

Reply to cold cold

Tuesday, September 25th, 2001
Reply to cold cold morning
– Mary T. Helmes, 12/21/97

…and anything could happen

Ahh, Mary.  Is it you who make the tears?  Or is it me?  Or are they made in that horrible holy space between us all, where we fail — fail to meet; to love; to touch and give; to touch and receive; to let go; to hold on… 

(I want — just one more time in my life — for the center of my world to be my nana’s chocolate chip cookies.)

But here the tears gather, in the wet of my own eyes; blame me for them.  Guilt by association.  But I don’t want them.  But here they are, more and more. 

And more.  Thank you.

unfinished love

Tuesday, September 25th, 2001
unfinished love

I used to live at this site.  I watched his webcam day in and day out.  I was in love with him in the same way that I love the sexy boi’s I know I cannot have, the fresh beauties who do not have a pathologic attraction for older paunchy men.  Rex was the perfect sweet soul, kind to all, sensitive in a crystalline-honest way, and gentle.  He was one of those delicious boys who made me achingly aware of that place in my heart where I wanted someone to be.  But I tried to be the good observer from a distance, not contemptuous of him, for he deserved no contempt, and not hating him for his vital youth and love of life, for that is the basest kind of jealousy.  I tried to be just me, whatever that would be if I were like his other admirers — open and honest and not trying to keep contained a raging white-hot lonliness in a pressure vessle of calm appearance. 

He was so many things that I was not; young, attractive, productive, social.  Genuine.  While watching his webcam I listened to his nightly web-broadcast on gaybc.com almost religiously.  I watched him have coffee most mornings when he got up around 8 or 9 AM his time, which was around 11 or noon my time — we usually got up together.  It was as much interpersonal reality as I could handle at the time, the silent movie of reX updated every 40 seconds.  I wondered what he was saying when I saw him on the phone, and who he was saying it to.  I wondered what he was watching when the downloaded image showed him alone on his couch illuminated only by the light from his TV.  I wondered how I would behave if I were there, within earshot of his TV — within the sound of his voice.  How would I respond?  Who would I be? 

you read me very well – i wHas aftriad of you pulling that out – cause i t couldnt last very long with me hiding this from you-

maybe you know already – perhaps told by a dReam – or vision – or passing thought or maybe wHen you took your med’s one time you might think .. “hmmmmm… wHy am i tHinking of michael right now?”  .. what has he done now?  ..

— from reX’s ramBles, to his ex, cHris.

I tried to read the language of the bodies when he was not alone on that couch; he was modest, never an exhibitionist, though he was extremely hot.  And his partners (the few I saw) were never interested enough in him; either they persued their own sexual urges despite his reluctance, or they dumbly ignored what appeared to be his obvious affections, withholding their warmth and resisting intimacy with him.  Baffling to me. 

One of the things I respected most about reX was the loving way he handled people — callers to his show, people who wrote in, guests — who were HIV positive.  He treated us the same way he treated everybody, with whole hearted kindness and goodwill.  He even had a positive boyfriend for a significant period of time.  I loved reX. 

but i wHas ALWAYS afriad of certain “fates” for us – and sCares me still to know – yah this is our “tHirtys” – and teh realities of liFe tHat have effected us – I always wanted you.. more.. wanted to protect you.. wanted you “protected” .. or “sPecial” .. cause you were kinda of mine.. in a wHay.. and i wHas always yours..

sPecial you are now to me.. moRe and more .. as i miss and yearn my best fRiend.. my confidant.. it sCares me that my protection cant protect you fRom some of tHOse realities – makes me smehow feel like i failed – and tHen wHen i found out I wHas pos – it made me feel eVen more disapointed – or that i failed a mission

i haVe always used my “neg” status as magic and protection for those i loVed – being neg meant i could keep others safe as well..

— from reX’s ramBles, to his ex, cHris.

I speak of reX in the past tense not because he died or anything like that, but because he left.  He disappeared from gaybc without much explanation that I could find.  But I didn’t look too hard because he was still on-camera; I had figured out how to watch his webcam without going to his site — stealing bandwidth it’s called.  I am a sinner.  But even his pictures spoke of something different.  My reading of his images told a story of some disruption, a hard wind of change.  His images switched web-hosts, he started showing more skin — not immodestly, but like a modest boy pretending to be immodest.  I wondered where he was going. 

I stopped snatching his images off his server because it began to appear like reX was using them commercially, on badpuppy.com.  Private galleries of reX-images became available to subscribers.  And nowhere on the web could I find his voice, which, now that I think about it, had always been wHay more sexy than any cock- or butt-shot could ever be. 


Fast-forward to tonight, while I was wrestling with my lately spotty DSL connection and out of sheer annoyance at my disconnectivity I clicked on a streaming-audio link in an e-mail sent by Eric at planetconcrete.com.  There was reX, at radio.gaycams.com.  I listened to reX again.  I watched.  And I read

And I cried.  Because I’ve been at this place before.  And I never finished crying from when I was in that same place, eight years ago, discovering that I was HIV positive, too. 

Maybe you never finish, maybe you never complete the task of working through a tragedy.  Maybe instead of crying as much as you could — which would take forever and certainly be enough tears to wash away all the dust from ground-zero — instead, you simply mark the dust with a thousand tears, and then you walk away.  They say that even a work of art is never truly finished, just abandoned. 

I love you reX, and I don’t care what anybody thinks of that.  I don’t even care if you don’t love me back the same way — which of course you don’t.  (If you do, I’ll be there within 24 hours.  <grin> ).  No, I love you because my love is — it has to be — unrequited.  It cannot safely exist otherwise.  It blooms in the space of your absence; it would wilt from shyness under the sheer intensity of your attention. 

The truest work of our hearts is never finished, just abandoned…     

A nice diversion.

Monday, September 24th, 2001

A nice diversion.

bye.

Sunday, September 23rd, 2001
He is widely remembered for his fearless performance at a 1991 concert in Jerusalem during the Gulf War.

When sirens began to sound, the audience feared the worst, and began donning gas masks.

Mr Stern, however, ignored the intrusion and focused all his attentions on a Bach solo.

bye.

Everything ends.  Violinist Isaac Stern dies

Goodbye, Isaac.

Photographers Covering Attacks Are Jailed

Sunday, September 23rd, 2001

Photographers Covering Attacks Are Jailed

This is the beginning of underground journalism.  If the objective story is going to get out, somebody is going to have to go in and get it.  But beware, this is post-911 America; leave your press pass behind. 

Please visit the Nostradamus Index

Saturday, September 22nd, 2001

Please visit the Nostradamus Index at faqs.org.  I know, I know…  I read most of this site days ago and refrained from mentioning it because of its kookiness quotient.  But this site is somewhat scholarly and objective in its treatment of the topic.  The introduction gives a good sense of where this stuff is coming from. 

Even if such prophecies are viewed as nothing but the curious obsession of a few, they still allow us to look at various interpretations of the present and the future.  They gave me pause to reflect, and as a result I gained a perspective on life which I did not have before.  And interestingly, for all of Nostradamus’ bleak and desperate predictions, I came away with a very sturdy conviction that goodness and enlightenment will prevail among humankind — eventually. 

We are exactly where we are supposed to be right now. 

How vain.  But I just

Saturday, September 22nd, 2001

How vain.  But I just cannot waste a good e-mail — especially if the recipient liked it. 

To: Joan x x x x x x <jxxxx@juno.com>

Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 04:10:05 -0500

Subject: RE:hello

From: burgwinkle@msn.com

Hi Joan,

Hell has come to America.  It really was only a matter of time — it has been brewing for decades.  It may be disingenuous to frame the World Trade Center tragedy as anything but what it is; a shaking, screaming, ripping agony of epic human suffering.  Nonetheless, it represents the beginning of a painful process during which monumental social, religious and philosophical stresses will resolve themselves with often explosive and deadly force.  When it is over, I hope the seething anger and the livid hatred will be thoroughly spent. 

I hope you are well, and not too depressed by it all.  Everyone I know has been crying and distraught, myself especially.  But I feel more aware now of the world, as though awakened and released from an unrealistic innocence.  So much so that I bought stock for the first time in my life today. 

Yup.  I can’t pay my phone bill, I can’t pay any of my credit card bills (except one), but I’m buying stock.  You see, I’m not going to be marching in any desert sand in this lifetime, nor working for the military in any other capacity; I will not ever be a fire fighter again, nor an EMT; and admitting people to a detox…  well, it just doesn’t give the same sense of power and potency that I might have if I were helping to lift a slab of cement off of a survivor.  And the image of an economic collapse springs to mind far too easily since watching those towers fall.  The economic collapse of the United States is probably no more likely than the end of the world — but to be honest, even that seems possible lately. 

So I bought fifty bucks worth of PriceLine.com.  It was one of the biggest losers on Wall Street today, with one of the highest volumes of shares traded.  It costs 50% less today than it did before the attack, and with airline ticket prices certain to increase dramatically, ‘bargain brokers’ like PriceLine will see tons of business — if they stay in business. 

And all of this has made me realize that paying off my credit is as much if not more of a contribution to this economy than is the purchase of stock on a day when everybody seems to be selling. 

These terrorists seem to have awakened the survivor in me.  I used to pay the minimum due on high interest rate credit cards with balances maxxed — and often over-maxxed — even though I knew I was treating myself like dirt, throwing value away, and wasting money I needed to buy food for myself.  (I fled from everything that could be considered competent self-caring..  I used to ignore the poor innocent plant that was given to me by my friends at the hospital with their condolences when my mother died in 1998.  (At times I hated my mother almost as much as I hated myself..  And I was getting increasingly hopeless about life, accepting social and emotional isolation as an acceptable method for coping with that hopelessness.  (I told myself I did not deserve for my life to be any different.)

…until I turned 43, on September 11, 2001.  I have never grown up so much, in so few days, under the weight of so many tragedies.  It is no longer acceptable for me to isolate when New Yorkers weep openly in the streets, sharing their many griefs with other New Yorkers they have never before met.  It is no longer acceptable to devalue myself by misusing one of the symbols of my value, money.  And it is no longer acceptable — been practicing plant care for a couple weeks now — to shun the responsibility of caring for the dead-mother plant, which is utterly dependant on me for everything. 

Maybe none of this makes sense, but one of the things I learned this week is that the World Trade Center towers, (and other places occupying the rarefied air space above lower Manhattan) — places where I thought only the vaunted powerful and rich dwelled and worked — were in reality filled with people just like you and me.  They were men and women, some terribly young, who got up early to fight traffic or subway crowds.  They took the time each day to dress sharply and to present themselves enthusiastically to the often mundane and tedious tasks of administering the financial capital of the world.  And they each did these things day-in and day-out in a 110 storey building with the precious hope of improving the little Jersey Shore futures of their little two-storey lives.  They were optimistic.  They wanted to make some progress in this world, which must have seemed to them, before they died, to be a world brimming with hope and endless opportunity; for them the world was not so little as it is for us today — today we measure distance in minutes by missile. 

And that is the other reason I bought stock today.  The world is — indeed, because of the missiles it must be — a world still brimming with hope and endless opportunity; that’s the way the world was before the attack, the only difference now is that we can’t see quite as far as those who were above the 89th floor.  We built our way of life upon the courage of millions of people who were willing to come to this country and start from scratch.  How dare I lose hope for the condition of the world today when, only a few miles from the tragedy of the twin towers is the place where hundreds of thousands arrived in this country and began new lives in which they overcame far greater obstacles than I face today — and they did it with far less fanfare, and far more cheer. 

I will never forget the image of a man leaping to his death, who appeared tiny, almost negligible, against the massive backdrop of the burning North Tower. 

And so, I will keep their optimism and their hopeful, far-ranging view.  I will keep alive some fragment of their humanity by cultivating my own humanness and breaking down my own walls of isolation as best I can.  I will keep their tenacity and enthusiasm; they have become mythic.  And I will pay my annoying, overdue bills, even as I keep on investing (in my tiny way) in the stock market. 

Most of all, I will try to remember; it is not the one causing the most damage who wins, the winner is the one who causes the most healing. 

luv

joe

From Today is the

Friday, September 21st, 2001
From Today is the 14th…:
“…and I have a feeling both of us benefitted emotionally from our chat.”

Out of context right there, that quote sounds facetious — but it is not.  After just a few minutes at Sovaj‘s site you know. 

Maybe my isolative behavior makes me more acutely aware of human warmth and sincerity.  Maybe I’m just seeing what I hope is there — but I don’t think so.  I don’t think so because there comes with these recognitions of young men who are generous and sensitive a kind of jealousy on my part — no, it’s more like a soft lament for the boy in me who always wanted to be generous and sensitive, but never let it out.  That unpretensious sentiment makes me believe that my perception is accurate; that impossibly beautiful young gay men do exist.  And I don’t mean beautiful that way — I’ve never seen his picture. 

It’s nice, even if it’s not me. 

It finally dawned on me

Friday, September 21st, 2001

It finally dawned on me what hurts so much about that picture; it’s a warning light, intended to help aircraft avoid collision with these tall structures. 

I hope we do not let this horrific tragedy make us cynical in all our human activities.  I hope we can maintain the optimism which makes America one of the most desirable places on earth to live.  We cannot predict every monstrous plan, nor forsee every potential for evil.  We cannot create lives of utter invulnerability in America without losing a great deal of what makes those lives so very much worth living. 

The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.

President George W. Bush addressing a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001.
(I never thought I would ever quote him.  Strange times indeed.)