Archive - 2006 - Blog entry

Clamor Closing Right After Exposing American Apparel

Well, damn. I never really read Clamor Magazine until the latest issue, which has multiple muckraking articles about American Apparel and how the feel-good t-shirt company of choice for so many socially concious t-shirt wearers is actually not that great at all.

I've been meaning to blog about that every since I read that issue a month ago. Now I see that Clamor actually is folding due to financial problems. Sad. It seems like a really great publication.

(via Josh Breitbart's blog)

Marian Franz Dies

Director of the national Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund died a couple weeks ago.

In 1982, Franz became the first full-time director of the National
Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund.

Franz believed that war taxes have enormous consequences.

"They kill twice," Franz said. "First, they directly enable war . . .
particularly paying for weapons. Second, taxes allocated for war
represent a distortion of priorities. Money is taken away from the
important work of healing and spent to destroy and kill."

Novel Done!!

Well, I hacked out the final, gory, climactic chapter of my novel this morning, so now it is done, not only conforming to the word count goal but it is a complete story. I'm pretty happy with it.

I printed it out and am now in the process of actually reading it for the first time. it's 177 pages, at least as it is currently formatted. 53,900 words. Obviously it's very rough and I will now be revising it fixing stuff that i find wrong with it, and responding to comments on it.

I just hope that the person that a lot of it is based on will read it soon so that i can let the rest of the world read it soon after.

Thanxgiving on the Beach

thxgvng in san carlos - 52
Wow, I had such a great 4-day Thanxgiving weekend! It was so much fun. I went with friends to San Carlos, which is a little town on the coast of Sonora, Mexico, on the Sea of Cortez. It's about 20 km, I think, from Guaymas, if you're trying to find it on a map. It's only about 5 hours drive pretty much straight south of Tucson. San Carlos is a little bit resort-like, mainly geared toward retired gringo condo owners. However, it's not terribly built up and cheesy, like Rocky Point, and there's not a lot of development for tourists. It's just a little get away spot for rich elderly, although the beaches there are public and easily accessible, so anyone can be there. There ended up being about 12 of us, who mostly camped on the beach but we had access to a condo owned by the lawyer of one of the friends that went.

It was so beautiful, and warm, and just really fun hanging out with cool people and getting away from Tucson. Swimming, boating (one friend brought his small catamaran sailboat!), hiking down the beach, drinking a lot, eating a lot, singing songs around the campfire, and just being with cool friends. I haven't had a weekend or a thanxgiving (for sure) this good in a long long time. I took a lot of good photos.

Not only that, but I actually "finished" my novel while I was there! 4 days early! I somehow managed to write over 10,000 words while in San Carlos, while also drinking a lot, relaxing a lot, swimming and lying on the beach and also reading a lot of a great book about screenwriting and Hollywood that I've been reading.

I put finished in quotes because although I've passed the 50,000 word goal, The story isn't quite done. I have the climactic final chapter to write. Which I still plan to do in the next 3 days. Then it will really be done. In fact, I'm going to sit here and write that last chapter right now as I sit in Shot in the Dark Cafe, having just finished an energizing breakfast burrito.

Yesterday morning when I finished it I broke out 2 bottles of champagne (well, Chilean sparkling wine) that I bought in Guaymas on Friday, and we all celebrated. It was really fun working on the book while I was at this outing with friends, because they all supported me, asking me every day, or even more often, how I was doing, what my word count was, and being really interested and encouraging. While drinking the champagne they even patiently listened to me reading an excerpt, and many said they liked it and looked forward to reading the whole thing.

Friends are so important.


As the dawn began to break - I had to surrender
The universe will have its way - too powerful to master
Oh-oh-oh-what is love and what is hate?
And why does it matter? - is to love just a waste??
And how can it matter?

--The Flaming Lips, In The Morning Of The Magicians

I Care What You Think

It was time for a change. I shaved off most of my beard yesterday. This has been 7 months or so of experimenting with facial hair. Mostly because of a woman.

So, ladies, what do you think?

old look

old look
new look

new look

Direct Action Against Free Trade Authors in Tucson

I don't know who did this (and if i did I wouldnt say here), but it's pretty freaking great.

In the early hours of Monday, 11/20, in response to the Zapatista's call for solidarity actions for the struggle in Oaxaca, direct action was taken against the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade in Tucson, AZ. Windows were smashed, locks were glued, and messages were painted on the building reading "Viva Oaxaca" and "Free Trade = Death".

I just heard last week that the place is here in Tucson. They helped write NAFTA and other free trade agreements.


Someone told me Mercury has been in retrograde for a long time. someone else 2 weeks ago said Scorpio was in retrograde, and that was even worse than Mercury. I don't usually believe in astrology but the Merucry in Retrograde thing always seems to be be pretty right on. everything has been going wrong. people, friends of friends, dying, getting really sick, and other personal stuff, communication stuff, just getting completely fucked up. i wish it would stop. of course there's pain and suffering everywhere all the time, maybe the curse of our information overloaded age is that we now can know really soon when something bad happens, anywhere to anyone.

The good news is I had a really nice afternoon yesterday having a long bike ride with a new friend and then getting ice cream. We rode along the Rio Rillito bike trail, which i haven't done in awhile, and we we had some really great conversations, talking the entire time about really interesting stuff. life stuff, relationship stuff. it was really good, just what i needed.

Then I went to an early party and that was fun but by 830 i was falling asleep, because i've been only getting 2 to 4 hours of sleep for the last few nights. I was literally nodding off in a chair while people were trying to talk to me about Joe Strummer and reggae. So I went home and went to bed at about 10. ended up getting about 4 1/2 hours last night. I just can't stop thinking about... about this bullshit i'm going through that I can't write about here. I need some sedatives. I need a therapist. Argh...

Mercury, please start going forward again. please.

Jello Strikes Out

I went to see Jello Biafra live last night. I've been wanting to see him for like 15 years, and it ended up being an almost total disappointment.

He was so boring! I couldn't believe it. And he just sounded like any other activist wingnut ranter. If it wasn't for his history as god of punk rawk, he'd be a homeless guy in Oakland yelling at pigeons at the BART station. There was just nothing unique or compelling, much less remotely entertaining. I was falling asleep after about 30 minutes, left after another 10. oh man.

The Struggle Between Evil and Good. Inside.

Why is it that when someone causes you emotional suffering, even if unintentional, the reflex is to respond, perhaps after initial grief, with anger?

Well, it's actually pretty easy to answer that, I think. It's just a simple defense mechanism, like with physical pain. You look around to see what caused it, like for instance, a car running over your foot, and your adrenalin rushes, fight or flight, and you respond, with rage. whether it's accidental or not, it's a matter of survival.

And anger turns to hate and hate turns to rash actions, evil things that people shouldn't do to each other.

I have been fighting that. The urge to respond, to intense feelings of sadness and loss and loneliness, with spite and vindictiveness and vengance is so strong in me this past 3 days. I have never ever felt so.... like on the verge of becoming an evil man. Like I am on a knife edge of ethical judgement, and I could fall that way and become a bad person, or the other way and remain good, like I have always considered myself to be. The past faith in goodness and compassion and giving people the benefit of the doubt is the only thing that pulls me back from the abyss.

But I realized today that it feels better to be nice to someone, to care for someone, to do them a favor, than to be vindicative and hateful and damaging.

I'm trying to use my novel for catharsis, having the characters act out the alternate worlds where I go out and do the wrong thing. It seems to be helping.

Sigh. Wish me luck.