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The GM EV1 electric car.
October 29th, 1999

It Was Kinda Fun
A good day at work. They asked me to throw together an internal web page with a simple file menu structure of "click to open" Word files and Excel spreadsheets. An admonition to keep it simple so I combined a logo in PhotoShop with some Illustrator heads and cranked out eight or ten pages. Simple, clean with some interesting login restrictions. Anyway it was fun and a good way to end the week.

It's appropriate, I guess, to write an entry on the first day of my second journal year. When I started in October 1998 I promised myself I would write for one solid month, the month of November, and then decide if I wanted to continue. I'd run across the BaddGrrl site when Lorraine Chew was putting together her Journal Ring and decided to join (And Lorraine, bless her heart, took any and all comers. I think you had to have an entry or two and good intentions.) During that first month I ran into another journaler named Rien Post who'd joined the Journal Ring at about the same time and we've maintained a friendly and somewhat fragmented correspondence since.

In November and December of last year I learned about the larger journaling world, discovered web rings. (Well, they're hard to miss once you've joined one as they have these little buttons you can click and they take you straight to the beach babes with the big boobs where, if you give them a credit card number, you can see the ocean.) I got hooked on DJR, sent her an email (gosh, blush!) and was mentioned with a link in one of her entries. This was hot stuff because although I bill myself as an old fart in his mid fifties (I'm 23 with a movie career and a swimming pool. My management won't allow me to reveal my real identity, you understand, as they fear a degradation of image and loss of income. Their income.), in this journal business I'm very much a wet behind the ears newbie wannabe. Wannabe what? Well, I don't know, but I wannabe.

Three things happened after DJR. First, Viv Landers and Lucy Huntzinger posted encouraging A coworker at lunch. messages in my guest book (I knew Viv of First Person Particular was a big time been around forever journaler because she had a DJR award. I wasn't sure about Lucy and Aries Moon. I myself have an Aries Moon, but what was her journal about? Star charts? Secrets of the Millennial Coming? Gardening?) Second, I applied to two additional journal rings and was turned down by both. Well, one of them didn't turn me down, but six months without a response was, um, indicative. And third, well, and third, sitting out here in the Oakland swamps after a jaw operation (People at the office would swallow hard and hesitate for just an instant when I would walk into an office. The swelling, you understand.), feeling weird and unwell, Lucy invited me to join Archipelago. I didn't mean it about the Millennial Coming, Lucy, honest. It's just, I can't keep my god damned mouth shut. I actually have a philosophy about this, which I will write about one of these days, more a rationalization really than a justification for putting my foot in my mouth on a regular basis. I tell myself that I know better, but it's after the fact and after the fact, is, well, after all, after the fact.

I couldn't really tell anybody about Archipelago, because no one I knew, even the one or two who would occasionally read my journal, could possibly understand what I was talking about. Three of the members sent me emails welcoming me aboard. That was a good month.

Now, with a year's experience, still wet behind the ears, what's happened and what's ahead? In journal years, which, I am assured, are even longer than dog years, I've become a smooth, experienced, urbane, smart assed teenage punk. Six thoughts:

  • One, I am a full bore procrastinator who will write long lists of wonderful things that I am about to do and forever remain about to do them. Redesign my site. Sure. Add another restaurant to my under $10 lunches in Oakland page. Right. Flesh out the balance of my 100 books list. I am not altogether sure this is a wonderful habit and I have been having second thoughts. Nothing too serious, you understand, but second thoughts.

  • Two, the writing has a long way to go. The writing is occasionally smooth and accurate and lets you zip right through with a grin or a smirk, but most of the time it's full of clunky sounds and dorky asides that are choppy and spacy and weird. I don't mind spacy so much and I kinda like weird, but dorky and choppy give me a stomach ache. I do not read my older journal entries and I don't think I'll add a "one year ago" link. Unless I change my mind. Which I might.

  • Three, same as two only about the photographs. I'm not going to worry about it. There's another step to take (and then the step after that) and I'll take it when I'm supposed to take it.

  • Four, no matter how I word the application, I cannot get listed in the Yahoo journals section. I am not filling out any more Yahoo submission forms. I've been submissive enough.

  • Fifth, this is a journal, a pale reflection, perhaps, but a reflection of my life as I may be living it. It doesn't cause change, but it reflects change and, in some way, is a part of that change as well. I feel pretty good about whoever it is that I am, better than I have felt in all my preceding years. That's good and I'm looking forward to whatever may come. There's a world out there and it's never too late to conquer it. And maybe write about it.

  • Sixth, I take chances and write what I hope are humorous tongue in cheek things involving people I've never met or even corresponded with and hope they appreciate the attention if not the sentiment. And often, they don't work. I think this sort of writing practice leads to bigger and better mistakes, but that's later and what appear to be insults are happening now. I don't mean it, but I don't think I can stop unless you're bigger than I am and have my address. Or send me a note.
So, why do I look at what I've just written and shrug? Not telling the truth or not looking hard enough to find a truth or what? Or is it just Friday, the weekend ahead? Time to do something else.

I've posted the October On Display collab. Had some fun with it, and although I didn't write it in one sitting at the very last minute, it could use more work. This is the first time that I've tried a story or a piece of a story rather than a personal comment and it was kinda fun.

The banner photograph was taken in front of the federal building in Oakland at some sort of energy conservation fair. The lady is a coworker at lunch yesterday at the Saigon Deli.