Monday, July 31, 2006


two roads diverged in a yellow wood

my childhood best friend, with whom i have been very close to since we were 5 years old, just told me that she's engaged.

i am currently reflecting on why i am not more freaked out about this news. (they've been dating for *maybe* a year...and i've spent almost no time with the guy, so this is not something i really saw coming or whatnot.) am i really mature enough to finally stop having kneejerk reactions against people my age--and in particular my close friends--getting married? i find that hard to believe. i'm afraid that it's decidedly more resignation than enthusiasm.

so many of the friends i have in san francisco are leading non-traditional lives...and we'll get into conversations about how we can't believe how many people from our high schools are married and parenting and settling down, with everyone decrying the mistakes of the poor misguided souls back in our suburban hometowns... it's interesting to ponder the factors that could lead people with very similar childhoods to make such different life decisions.

for the record, though, i am incredibly happy that cori has found someone she wants to be with for the rest of her life. she deserves a wonderful and supportive partnership, and i'm pretty sure this decision is exactly what she wants and needs.


part ii of how many people in the world would actually think this is music?!

benchun played a KICKASS hip-hop/glitch-hop set yesterday at the space cowboys pool party. SERIOUSLY. amazing set. with a bunch of dabrye mashed-up with old hip-hop. ooooooh BOY was it awesome.

and as ben was playing with rodman's rendition of 'california love', b2 came over and surmised that probably about half the crowd was currently assuming that ben and/or the sound guy were having technical difficulties. b2 was undoubtedly correct.

i treasure my moment of realization about the extent to which i listen to some crazy sounds. was in stephen's car with him and mary and devon, listening to edit turned up real loud, totally rocking out...and then got a good headful of thoughts about how few people in the world would recognize edit's music as beautiful, danceable, and otherwise incredible.

double-yay for glitch!


how many people in the world would actually think this is music?!

i had a new musical listening experience last week. i went to robotspeak in the haight to see slidecamp (boreta and ryan's live electronic collaboration). the gig was actually a triad of sets by different acts, with q&a sessions in between sets. the basement-level store was filled with a bunch of dozens of people sitting on the floor. everyone continued to sit on the floor--just listening--for the duration of the music and such. no dancing; no talking. just music appreciation. uber-geek. when i first walked in and saw the set up, i felt pretty awkward, because while i really love slidecamp's music, i do of course listen to the stuff primarily so that i can dance to it. but--i ended up totally enjoying the set and not really needing to do much in the way of movement. and i'm taking this as a sign that i've found a genre i really love, because i wouldn't have had the patience to sit still and listen--and remain entirely engaged--for much else in the way of sound.

yay for glitch!

Friday, July 28, 2006



fully egocentric post ahead, i warn you right now.

i have never been adept at hiding my feelings. if i love you; if i am angry; if i am depressed; if i am irritated; if i'm excited... anyone with half a brain can generally tell. in a word, i'm transparent. i have a hard time bringing myself to lie, and if i do you can usually tell pretty easily.

i have only rarely had cause to regret this character trait of mine. and 99% of the time, the regret comes when i can't properly cover my feelings about an acquaintence or casual friend who has done something irritating or infuriating. it is exceedingly rare that i regret this trait when it comes to my relationships with people i care about. i'm don't deny that it has caused *problems*--i'm a lot more inclined to confrontation than most people; and conversely i'm unusually quick to express affection--but i'm having a hard time thinking of an instance in which i really *regret* the fact that i couldn't or wouldn't hide my feelings.

obviously, something triggered this set of words.
and made me wonder if i should have made more of an effort to smile and nod through an episode that angered me.
but once again, i don't regret it. because i don't feel that i have done anything that warrants rebuke by expressing my emotions, and if a relationship can't stand up to open communication, then it's not a good relationship for me to invest in.

insightful truth, or self-serving deception?
(ah...if i'm lying to myself about honesty...)

Monday, July 24, 2006


and it was.

an outsider reading my friends' online effusive gushiness about how fantabulous our playtime is would probably assume that we are all prone to exaggeration and gooey over-the-top emotional nonsense, and then very quickly start to discount our protestations that we are constantly visiting excellent parties and experiencing exquisite moments.

the outsider would actually be incorrect.
we really are having this much fun, and we really are this lucky.

this last weekend was one of my favorites so far. and i mean ever. aside from the excellent music; the beautiful location; the amazingly friendly and caring group of people; and of course the meaningful drug experiences, this weekend also presented me with a chance to work to produce an event again. i haven't done a *ton* of event planning and production, but i've planned and worked enough festivals and put together enough camps to know that i was working with an uncommonly intelligent, steady crew with strong intention, excellent communication, and a high level of respect for the event and for the people around them.

thank you stephen, mary, brendan, brendan, tamara, loren, alex, dina, anselm, brett, chloe, marc, amanda, jd, zachary, nevada, ben, amy, jay, stephanie, wanda, toast, aaron, kelly, bex, dre, piotr, sam, watson, jason... for working and playing and dancing and talking and wandering and caretaking and sleeping and splashing and crafting and djing and smiling... and for being present and determined to help your friends create the best event they could.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


cabaret casting

NATALIE PORTMAN as SALLY BOWLES?!? i think NOT. all sorts of wrong.

eddie izzard, although i know next to nothing about him--apparently he's funny and cross-dresses--is a much more interesting choice. kind of against the whole vulnerable insecure hyper-feminine thing that sally demonstrates, but not out of theme with the play's general gist. and i *heart* plays with cross-gender casting.

whatever, though, i suppose--it's a london stage version. i'll deal.

(i will say that if portman can actually pull that role off with critical acclaim, i will be forced to retract all sorts of apathetic and/or downright negative thoughts about the woman's acting, and will in all likelihood use the phrase 'grudging admiration' to describe portions of my feelings towards her abilities.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006



this weekend will be priceless.
i'm running around like a headless chicken, and loving it.
haven't done a lick of work at the office, i'll make that up next week.

if you're an sF person, you've heard of the event already, and are undoubtedly going.

if you're not, here's the website. check it out and know what i'm doing with my life--i am assisting in the execution of large, friendly, campout parties up in the mountains. yay me.

Friday, July 14, 2006



following a new york court decision upholding a ban on same-sex marriages, an op-ed in the times explains the rationale...

But the New York court also put forth another argument, sometimes called the “reckless procreation” rationale. “Heterosexual intercourse,” the plurality opinion stated, “has a natural tendency to lead to the birth of children; homosexual intercourse does not.” Gays become parents, the opinion said, in a variety of ways, including adoption and artificial insemination, “but they do not become parents as a result of accident or impulse.”

Consequently, “the Legislature could find that unstable relationships between people of the opposite sex present a greater danger that children will be born into or grow up in unstable homes than is the case with same-sex couples.”

To shore up those rickety heterosexual arrangements, “the Legislature could rationally offer the benefits of marriage to opposite-sex couples only.” Lest we miss the inversion of stereotypes about gay relationships here, the opinion lamented that straight relationships are “all too often casual or temporary.”

seriously? did they just say that gays don't need marriage because they're more responsible at parenting than straight people are???

full article, by kenji yoshino, here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


'increases wellbeing and satisfaction with life two months after being taken'

i want to go do some googling on this, but in the meantime...

Magic mushrooms hit the God spot
Judy Skatssoon, ABC Science Online, july 12, 2006

The active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms produces a spiritual experience that can have lasting positive effects, a trial has shown.

The ingredient, psilocybin, increases wellbeing and satisfaction with life two months after being taken, according to the research by scientists at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, which is published online today in the journal Psychopharmacology. Psilocybin is a plant alkaloid that affects the brain's serotonin system, in particular, the 5-HT2A receptor.

"Under very defined conditions, with careful preparation, you can safely and fairly reliably occasion what's called a primary mystical experience that may lead to positive changes in a person," study leader Professor Roland Griffiths says.

Australian professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Sydney, Ian McGregor, says he isn't surprised that the study confirms the ability of psilocybin to induce a spiritual state. "Psilocybin and related hallucinogens have been used since ancient times in religious rituals and this study is really formalising ... what many people already know," he says. But he says the apparent long-term benefit of the drug is "remarkable". "To see a positive effect two months later is quite striking," he says.

However, the study also reports that about a third of the volunteers experienced fear and anxiety after taking the psilocybin and McGregor says it should be avoided by anyone with schizophrenia or other psychotic illnesses.

In what is described as the first scientifically rigorous study of its kind in 40 years, 36 volunteers were given either psilocybin or a comparator drug methylphenidate hydrochloride. Subjects were asked to describe their experiences immediately after the session in a set of detailed psychological questionnaires and at a two-month follow up. More than 60% of subjects (22) described the effects of psilocybin in ways that met criteria for a full mystical experience according to established psychological scales, compared to only 4 of the 36 after the comparator drug. After two months, two-thirds rated the experience as either the singly most spiritually significant in their lives or rated it among their top five.

Professor John Bradshaw, an Australian neuropsychologist from Monash University, says the brain's medial temporal lobe is rich in serotonin receptors and has previously been described as the 'God spot' because it is active in transcendental states. In a commentary accompanying the article, Professsor David Nichols of the Purdue University school of pharmacy says it's likely that psilocybin triggers the same neurological process that produces religious experiences during fasting, meditation, sleep deprivation or near-death experiences. He says the current research adds to the emerging field known as neurotheology, or the neurology of religious experience, and could shed light on the "molecular alterations in the brain that underlie religious and mystical experiences".


protecting america's most valuable assets

the extent to which this seems like it MUST be a joke does, of course, make it less amusing. but it's still good for a look of incredulous disbelief...

Come One, Come All, Join the Terrorist Target List
by Eric Lipton, nytimes, july 12, 2006

It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.”

But the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released Tuesday, found that the list was not child’s play: all these “unusual or out-of-place” sites “whose criticality is not readily apparent” are inexplicably included in the federal antiterrorism database.

The National Asset Database, as it is known, is so flawed, the inspector general found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation.

(link to full article may not work if you don't register.)

the report offers a good explanation for how new york's homeland security funding ended up getting cut. it also offers a good explanation for why so many people use the phrase 'homeland security department' in so many jokes these days.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


one year ago this weekend

was the first rodman sunrise at toxic beach.


weekend update

friday night kickin it with matt and gamma gamma kate and mark from across the street... went by miranda's then stopped in at hush hush to see melvin and d... walked to mighty and got there later than i'd hoped but at just a perfect time... had my typical always-unexpected and always-delightful great time at mighty, with help from stephanie, alison, b2, mauro... walked back home with brendan and had late-night qT in my home for the first time in a while, with him and matt and justin... saturday night yum-tastic party thrown in a field by a superfund site... worked the door most of the night... danced to boreta, smoove, mr projectile with solid family on the floor... music was turned off a little early, but the consolation prize of sunrise on the bay was practically perfect in every way... sunday dragged myself to dolores park by 11.30 and helped jens peter with the cup viewing... after duties were done i got some time actually watching the game with sam, stephanie, b2, and sam's brother jeff, who i finally got to meet... after some dancetime i headed to christabel's bridal shower with amy and had a very nice time with some interesting women... took myself to dinner and had a walk on the phone with my mom... now bed.

and the fact that i just sighed contentedly out loud shall be the official seal of approval. every weekend like this makes my future brighter; the memories i get to keep from these years are better than most people's dreams.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


ender's game, part iii

just started 'xenocide', the third book in the ender-focused half of the series. it's great--the series gets longer and longer the more i look around. i thought it only had five books total, but there are actually at least seven, PLUS some short stories.

i am terribly pleased.

also, apparently at least one other series of card's novels are also really good. (the alvin journeyman series, i think?) so i have a whole other series to look forward to when i'm done with this one.

i've been talking to anyone who'll listen about how much i'm in love with these books, and with 'ender's shadow' in particular. and in one conversation, someone who has read 'ender's game' and 'ender's shadow' told me that he had chosen not to read a few of the other books because people told him that they were too religious--they told him that card let too much of his religion get into his writing. so... a few issues with this.

a) i don't actually see much religion in the books they complained about. spirituality, yes. yes yes yes. but not religion, per se. and especially not anything that would lead me to believe that the author is a devote *mormon*, which apparently he is. the themes of the books in question ('speaker for the dead' and 'xenocide') concern relationships between alien cultures, the innate drive of living things to reproduce themselves, communication without prejudice, and so forth. very much about race relations and universal respect and whatnot. i mean, i can tell the author is way more okay with population explosions than i am, but he's playing with these themes in an ideal future where land is not an issue (i.e. the environment isn't being destroyed), so i'm okay with it. but the various races in the books all have very different spiritual practices, and none of them are protestant.

b) since when is an author not *allowed* to let his religious beliefs influence his writing?!? it was my impression that one generally writes fiction *specifically* in order to explain and explore one's beliefs, theories, or experiences. sheesh.

c-ish) science fiction in particular is a medium that is embraced in large part because it allows for thinly veiled explorations of ideals and possibilities. eco-sF... feminist sF... sub-genres have been delineated that demonstrate the philosophical nature of this form of fiction.

d) back to my recurring rant about 'progressives'' prejudice against christianity... why do they (we) avoid anything that endorses, even just implicitly, christianity? in this case i felt myself reacting too, when i heard the word MORMON. cuz mormon's are crazy, right? riiiiight. so i'm getting a good dose of proof that i'm as retardedly judgmental as anyone. this author is phenomenal; i agree with most of his sentiments and admire his mental meanderings; but i'm now reading him with a full helping of salt because i found out the name of his denomination and i don't want to be...what?...indoctrinated? am i afraid that he'll say something to convince me to become mormon? cuz THAT's likely.

i think i lost the thread of whatever argument i had planned. but if there's a point, it's that people are lame. except for maybe orson scott card.

pS. in no way do i blame the person who was told not to read the books in question for not reading them. he was told they were way too religious to be enjoyable, which is a fully valid reason to not read something. i just happen to think his friends were wrong, and if they can't handle spiritual explorations they probably shouldn't be reading science fiction. grr.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


all that matters about the emmy nominations:

arrested development: 4 nominations
-Outstanding Comedy Series
-Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
-Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series
-Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series (will arnett)

colbert report: 4 nominations
-Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
-Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program
-Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program
-Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program (stephen colbert)

daily show: 3 nominations
-Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
-Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program
-Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program

project runway: 3 nominations
-Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
-Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming - Multi-Camera Productions
-Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming (Large team entries - Primarily Multi-Camera Productions)

(complete listings here.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


adherence to spirit of national holiday

driving home from my parents' house in santa rosa last night, i was given a nice drive with warm breezes, no traffic, and showers of exploding sparkles all over the sky as i drove down hills and over bridges... the best moments were as i came down into petaluma, with a full display of fireworks in front of me and david byrne's 'miss america' serendipitously swelling through the speakers in my car...


lots of moments reminiscing during the drive... i haven't had much in the way of tradition for this holiday in quite a while. remembering watching the santa rosa fairgrounds fireworks at my friend dan's with high school friends... standing in the pouring east coast summer rain by the washington monument with lisamac... wandering through davis with angelina and leif celebrating the last night when davisites could drink in public... and fantastic warm nights as a kid at my grandpa's house, with my cousins and my sister and i choosing the next firework for my uncles and dad to light under the oak tree in the backyard, and my little brother and the kids next door sitting in the kitchen window looking very nervous...

and this year, what with the previously mentioned crescendo of david byrne and the sporadic bursts of color, is up there at the top, for sure. the nice moments with amy, jay, jason, b2, and others when i got back to the bay brought just enough smiles and hugs into the night to make the hour of holiday solitude completely perfect.


all about ME

removing this from my tribe page, so i'm leaving it here instead...


i used to live in a dome.

i am a third-generation irish-catholic santa rosan.

i know a surprising amount about waste management.

i read jane austen for at least five minutes every night before i go to sleep.

i have had a headache since the spring of 1999.

i sang back-up for paul anka once.

for 8 years a large number of people knew me only as 'acorn'.

i probably own more orange wigs than you do.

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