I wrote here in the tinyblog for about seven years starting back when having a personal blog was a pretty novel thing. I wrote some stuff that not even my mother would be interested, but I did write some pretty good stories at times, both fictional and non-fictional. So, I thought I'd put together a "best-of" so anyone who's interested can see some of my favorite stuff without needing to comb through hundreds of old entries.
Sadly I did not archive the first blogger version of the tinyblog design, but it featured a photo of Buddhist teacher Thrangu Rinpoche.
Then, for a long time I used this "cowboy looking at a rainbow" design.
This is what it looked like for most of its natural history, before I got all simple and XHTML on it. I took the photos of young Aidan with a real film camera, and he became the tinyblog logo for many years.
Some people wonder why I call it the tinyblog. Because it's tiny.
A couple of stories from when I lived with a young boy named Sam and a young girl named Rowan. One where Rowan explains how to be grown up, and another where Sam explains how I should determine his preferences.
A heartbreaking story about my one-time neighbor and his mentally ill wife.
A three part story about how I saw the movie What's New Pussycat with some porn actors, and then had a couple of strange experiences afterwards wandering around Seattle late at night. (Part II) (Part III)
A story about how a guy found redemption.
An amazing true story about how my Buddhist teacher exposed a CIA plot to infiltrate student groups in the mid 60's.
Another Buddhist story, a longer photo article that I gave its own page on tinyplace, about when my little sister went into a three year Buddhist retreat. I still love this story myself.
The first year I went to burning man I photodocumented my experience. Boring right? Well, some of the photos and stories are actually really spectacular!
Also photodocumented the process of making honey with my mom in 2005... go through the pictures one by one and they tell the story in captions.
And the last of the true stories and one of my all-time favorites about a time I drank with homeless kids in Freeway park and heard some words of wisdom.
I loved writing little microfiction, or sudden fiction on the tinyblog and wrote stories about:
And last, but not least, a modern fairytale about two beans.
This is a "found", aka. "ripped off" poem I wrote interviewing Aidan, the original tinyblog boy, at about the time the masthead photo was taken. I love it.
This is where most of the pieces I used to do at poetry slams live, including actual mp3's of me performing them.
Also, a tabular poem my sister wrote about abandoning all the girls' names she had now that she was going to become a nun.
Before evite and facebook, it was super cool to make a custom web page for your party. I did this several times and the invites are pretty cool. Ben's Invention Party, a kissing party that never happened, an early bonfire party where I introduced my overexplaining FAQ style,
I made a fan page for a girl who said she really wanted a fan page. Jessetastic, you are still awesome! I will always maintain your fan page!
A blog that a friend and I were going to do where people finish a story exquisite corpse style called The Launching Point.
Back in the early aughts, when people were sending all these email surveys like "What kind of ice cream do you like, etc. etc." so I made a survey with the questions that I really wanted to know about people (at the time) and posted a page with the questions and some of my favorite responses. Feel free to email me the survey if you'd like to do it! If you have some funny answers I'll even add them to the page.
I still get weird fan mail for old entries sometimes, but does anyone actually subscribe to / check here anymore?
Someone found the tinyblog googling for tortellini the other day, and found me on facebook to send me the first-in-a-goddamn-long-time fan mail.
She told me about her blog, with a hilarious post about her first goatherding experience.
So, I decided to maybe, possibly do a tinyblog post every once in a while.
It's hard because now I've got a girlfriend I have to be careful not to embarrass by writing "interesting" personal stories. It's amazing how difficult that makes it to write the tinyblog.
Some of you have told me that you really like the music reviews here on the tinyblog, and it's become a big part of what I've been doing. So big, in fact, that it kind of eclipsed the daily storytelling that the tinyblog was originally about.
So, I finally decided to do what I've wanted to do for a long time and take the plunge. I started a brand new blog to put all of my music and film reviews, and it's called The Sweet Snob:
Please head over and subscribe! It's the new way people read blogs now people.
To LJ users, sorry, but I'm not going to be able to create an LJ mirror of that one. I'm not sure if you're a non-paid user if you can put regular blogs on your friend's page, but consider using a feed reader like Google Reader, if you have a gmail account, you already have it. It's just like a friends page for your non-lj blogs.
Now, the tinyblog will go back to being about my photos, my life, my stories... you know, me me me.
a) Yes, I checked in those shell scripts we were talking about and forgot I did, now all the running executables that serve an [Product] function are checked into CVS for sure.
b) Yes, I checked in those shell scripts, but I think there's probably still some floating out there and investigation would take a real HelpDesk job handed to me by craig to be worth doing.
c) No, I haven't checked in the shell scripts but I do remember them and will soon.
d) No, I haven't checked in the shell scripts, and although I vaguely remember the conversation, I have no idea what shell scripts I was talking about anymore. Do we really have to deal with this?
e) [Product] is a totally fucked product and I rue the day I ever got involved with it. Can't you just fix some bugs like a nice developer and stop trying to wrangle the horrific mess of an IT situation around this product? It would make my life a lot easier.
Last night I went to a lesbian dance party called Lick! and saw like, the best lesbian rap group ever, called Team Gina. They sounded a lot more practiced live than they do in the MySpace recordings, and they blew me away.
Especially because they rapped about the "olecranon" (the anatomical word for your elbow) which I thought was badass because I wrote a poem with "occiput" in it. I went up and told them I thought it was cool and she said she was a massage therapist. So, big ups to massage therapist rappers. I'd love to do what they're doing!
Made a new friend recently, and we were feeling each other on the good-music-and-good-weed tip. I went over to his house for like a "first friend date" and we got crunk on the vaporizer and listened to LP's on his nice setup. Here's what we played:
Big Star - 3rd: Femme Fatale
Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Bowie - Changes: John, I'm Only Dancing
Spoon - Gimme Fiction: Turn My Camera On / My Mathematical Mind
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago: Flume
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Film Score
Panda Bear - Person Pitch: Take Pills / Side D
Al Green - Stay
Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Smith - If...: TBTF / Fucked Up Kids
Okkervil River - The Stage Names: You Can't Hold the Hand of a Rock and Roll Man
Dodo Bird - Beware of the Maniacs: Horny Hippies
Shearwater - Rook: Home Life
Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue: Good Friend
The Born Ruffians - Red, Yellow and Blue: Little Garcon
some little Earlimart single with a Wings cover on it
Spiritualized - A&E: Sitting on Fire / Death Take Your People
Then, just the other night, I went to a show for the band plays bass for: Red Jacket Mine, a nice Ryan Adamsish alt-country band with some good, solid chops.
Ryan and I walked outside to smoke a bowl after his set. He mentioned that we should go talk to Benny, a guy who lives on the street in Fremont and does art by stacking rocks. I'd heard of the dude from a few newspaper articles, notably this Stranger feature about Benny.
We did indeed find him and he did know Ryan for sure. He took a liking to me and I'm sure would have been happy to shoot the shit and smoke my weed all night. He read me from his book of contemporary Arabic poetry. He read first in Arabic, and then translated on the fly, which was quite a treat for me. Intense poems read grandiosely!
Then he busted out three different harmonicas and played us a tune before we went back to the High Dive.
When we got back , I was fairly successful with possibly the cheesiest pickup line ever (that was seriously meant to be a sincere compliment and not a pickup line, she seemed to be there with someone affectionately):
Me: How does it feel the be the cutest girl here?
She: I wouldn't know.
Me: Hm. I guess not.
She: *surprised look*
Me: Well look around. All I can do is marvel. You look good.
Then I walked away. No problem. But as I sat and danced, she ended up standing next to me and we talked for a few hours. We were vibing and she stuck to me like glue for most of the show. Then, during a long moment where I helped the band load equipment I took too long without letting her know I was still there and she went home. Hm. It was nice for one night that didn't have to turn into anything.
I went home last weekend to visit my mom and got to meet her beautiful new dog and catch up. We went to some cool shows ourselves, including a bluegrass festival out there, and a Dub show (!?!) played by my mom's across-the-street neighbors. They were pretty amazing, and I'm not even a huge dub fan. I'm allergic to too much JahJah talk, you know? But whatever, I hope my mom does indeed send me a The Reggies T-Shirt.
I'm not sure whether people can pick their parents, but I'm either glad I picked my mom, or damn lucky. Met a lot of people on the planet and not many as cool as my mom.
Some of you know this, but I post this blog in two locations. Since 2000 I've had the blog here at http://tinyplace.org/tinyblog. This is the main home of the tinyblog.
But, for the last several years, a bunch of my friends had livejournals, and kept an active community there. So, in order to let them easily read the tinyblog, I installed a Movable Type plugin that crossposts all my entries to an exact copy of the tinyblog called tinylj.
Over time, the only people besides my mom and occasional old friend who comments on the main tinyblog are 1 million spammers. Most people who comment, comment to the livejournal, even though the tinyplace.org location is the real permanent record of posts.
So, sorry to the occasional person who comments on the main blog, but I'm turning comments off there. No one reads them anyway, so you can just email me at email@example.com and I can save myself a lot of spam administration.
Thanks to both my tinyblog and tinylj readers... this blog has been an awesome place to tell my stories over the years and I'm sure it will for years to come.
One last note: a lot of people didn't quite get the end of the story of my last post. Grau and I just agreed not to talk about politics anymore, and our friendship has been great. Grau is an awesome guy and he just misunderstood me and I think my post helped him a lot to understand. It was funny, at the time, all of his blog readers commented on his original "our friendship is over" post with resounding "hell yeah!"'s. Only one person told him they thought it was shitty.
Ok, I'll put the 4th wall back in now.
Today, at lunch with a respected co-worker, I had a conversation about this blog about how it almost ended one of my childhood friendships. It reminded me:
Almost four years ago now, when the Bush-Kerry lead-up was raging, I took some mushrooms and had a strong feeling that I should go ahead and endorse Kerry on my blog.
My childhood friend Grau, and writer of the now defunct conservative blog FrizzenSparks, wrote a comment on my site and blog post on his site ending our friendship over my political views.
I wrote a painfully detailed response, in defense of my political ideas and our friendship, which rings awfully strangely four years later. If you can stomach it, please read it, and let me know what you think.
Moving to my new house has me in a damn strange state of mind. Most of the bars by my house have a weird, generic yuppie clientele. I walk by, look in, and nothing entices me to go in and see if I can strike up a conversation. My North Seattle friends (the few of them) are faraway. It was a long, strange weekend where I missed a lot of people, and ran into a lot of people I didn't expect to see.
By Sunday, wandering the Fremont Sunday Market and seeing all the same stuff that's always there, I was in quite a weird mood. I hopped a bus downtown to check out the Batman: Dark Knight movie at the Cinerama, thinking that perhaps it would cheer me up.
It did, a little. You know, honestly those seats at Cinerama are of the most uncomfortable kind. Kind of lame for a deluxe movie theater. By the time I left, my back was in knots from having no way to comfortably sit for the whole movie.
I walked out, hungry and in a daze with a small bowl in my pocket to smoke. I wanted a little company for it. So, I went to what's known as 'the stage'... a tiered platform at Westlake Center where the homeless kids hang out. I kind of plopped myself down on one of the steps and people-watched and let everyone sitting there check me out.
Before long, a well-groomed guy with a goatee and nice jeans showed up and started chatting everyone up. He was the only black guy among them, so of course he went by the moniker "whitey". He obviously had a job and a place, but had been among this crowd before and still hung out with them.
Everyone seemed to know him. I watched him greet everyone and trade barbs, and then he said he was bored and wanted to go drink. He called out one of the girls in the group (Heather) and asked if she wanted to come drink with him. She coolly decided to.
Something about Whitey seemed right, so I stepped up to him and said if they wouldn't mind my company for a moment, I'd buy the first round. He nodded, and started to make his goodbyes and arrangements with the denizens of the stage.
We talked for a moment while people were getting their shit together. There had been some promotion in Westlake center for a new shampoo, with some big clear-walled trailer parked on the wide brick surface of the beach, and it was about wrapping up. There was a cute gay guy in a tight striped shirt trying to get rid of the last of the samples so they could leave, begging the homeless kids to take them off their hands so he could leave and go out on some date he had planned.
Whitey said something to me about it being a little strange that I was willing to go to such great lengths just to hang out (ie. buying a round) but I looked at him and said, "It's not a great length really. It's only about this far." and I held up my thumb and forefinger a couple of inches apart. "Sometimes," I said, "I really need to drink with strangers."
"Hm." he said, and that seemed to satisfy his curiosity.
Other people ended up coming with us, and there was a beer-buying strategy discussion that ended with Whitey and I getting beer. I bought a couple of PBR King-Can six packs and we all headed off to Freeway Park. Evidently this is the safe place for homeless kids to drink, and indeed it was quite a little party on Sunday evening.
Our group settled into a choice spot, my bowl was smoked, and many King-Cans were cracked. We were settled by a big cement fountain, at the bottom of two stairways, and it was a fairly secluded and peaceful location with a view of some nice tall buildings.
There were a few different groups in the park, and people came and left our group from time to time. One of the guys went by "Frantic" and it turned out that he didn't even know the meaning of the word. I gave a rough definition and then looked up the exact definition on my iPhone, which duly impressed them. Nobody gave me a hard time for it, or made me feel out of place, even though I was dressed pretty nice.
Whitey himself was quite a character. I guessed correctly that he had been a former homeless person and meth head himself, and that he had rose to his current situation by getting up mornings under a bridge and hauling his ass to the day-labor place every morning.
He seemed to consider himself a bit of a street preacher to this kids, and clearly imagined them to be his flock in some way. We was well-spoken, prideful, actually kinda wise, and proud of his income and situation. He only had a room, but talked about how important a goal it was to him to get a place of his own at some point so he could cook breakfast naked in his kitchen if he wished. Having wanted that once myself and finally attained it I totally understood him. Even though I rarely do any actual naked cooking... it's just too chilly most of the time.
I looked up at him, and I had a realization, even as I spoke it aloud, "Know why I wanted to hang out, Whitey? Because there's this guy I know, that I really love, but I'm having some serious struggles with. I guess I kind of thought that this would help me work it out."
He really did look like the guy, and have the same air of lordly wisdom and arrogance, and addict history behind him. He looked me in the eye.
"Hey, I'm not the guy you're in love with," he said, simply.
I laughed my ass off. "I know, and I'm not trying to make you him. But it helps me somehow."
That seemed to satisfy him some, and he did talk about it again later. He said, "If this guy is anything like me, you just need to get together with him and drink, and what's going on between the two of you will naturally come out."
A small group of us went to subway, and I tried not to insult anyone, but I discretely said to a couple of them, "Hey, do you need to be fed?"
I spent probably $30 the whole night on beer and sandwiches, and I would say it was a pretty awesome use of my entertainment dollar. The core group of four of us or so felt happy and well fed as we went back and drank the last of our beers in the park as it got dark.
At one point, Whitey and someone went on a beer run. I gave him a few bucks in cash, and when he left, I just faded off and took a bus home.