Before Sunrise  

Wednesday, October 22 : 11:25 PM : 0 comments :

Listening to: Madeleine Peyroux, Don't Wait Too Long.

I'm taking hyperwest down, yes, again. The last time I did this it lasted like minus a week as I kept blogging anyway. But I've discovered that maintaining two public blogs is almost pointless. I was trying to keep all my non-personal stuff on and my life stuff here but really, what's the difference? For the most part, I just kind of felt this push to have to blog on both every few days. So instead of an urge to blog on just one blog every forty eight hours, I'd think about doing a post for each. Then I'd freeze and not blog on either. Then again I've had 375 posts on both since Jan 2007 and that comes out to about 0.60 a day. Maybe I need to cut down on the blogging to do some real writing...

Anyway, I've been toying for a bit with the idea of being able to blog about anything I want again, and going semi-private seems safer. I don't really value my privacy that much per se, but I would value other people's. Plus, even though this forum is entirely mine, I feel like I've lost my voice somewhere in here and I'd like to experiment and find other voices. It can only help.

This domain will stay up of course because everything I have is up here but I'm pretty much just going to switch everything that woulda been on here to and anything that's not really for total public consumption, or will bore the hell out of everyone, will go elsewhere. And I'd love to come back to hyperwest once I can figure out how to password protect, easily change designs, and have fun widgets at my disposal.

For the new blog I almost ditched Blogger for Wordpress but decided against it in the end. I'm a Blogger loyalist and it would be too big for me to change over. I really hate some of Blogger's design issues -- or my ineptitude -- and the fact that you can't password protect select posts but whatever, I'll make do. I can totally make commitments, see?

There won't necessarily be that much exciting stuff on the other guy but if you'd like to tag along, just email me (with your preferred email of choice) and I'll send you an invite. Unless you are my archenemy then maybe I wouldn't want you to read about my plans to destroy you. Which isn't nice but it's either me or you and I'd probably prefer it to be you.

"There's no point to any of this. It's all just a... a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes.

So I take pleasure in the details. You know... a quarter-pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter becomes a cackle... and I sit back and I smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt."
-Reality Bites-

Me and You and Everyone We Know  

Friday, October 17 : 10:05 PM : 2 comments :

"You always feel like you are the only one in the world, like everyone else is crazy for each other, but it's not true. Generally, people don't like each other very much. And that goes for friends, too. Sometimes I lie in bed trying to decide which of my friends I truly care about, and I always come to the same conclusion: none of them. I thought these were just my starter friends and the real ones would come along later. But no. These are my real friends."
-Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You-

More Than Meets the Eye  

Monday, October 13 : 4:23 AM : 0 comments :

A few months ago, while we were all at a bar in DC, the topic came up of "Who is your nemesis?" In fact, it kind of became the question of the week as we tried to figure who each other's nemeses were and such. It was a pretty exciting question. The problem was, people were kind of confusing nemeses with archenemies. My definition for nemesis was basically that while you may not necessarily like them, they are certainly in your life in this way that's unavoidable, and thus you kind of tolerate each other. Also, it's very likely you share a similar social niche -- or have fought over a girl (guy). You don't hate them though, because then that would be crossing the line from nemesis to archenemy.

Well, leave it up to Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs author Chuck Klosterman to have already covered this exact topic four years ago. Shit. I can't even talk about this topic anymore because Chuck already broke it down so well. So read on and then think about who your nemesis might be. And should you find that you've also got an archenemy, it goes without saying that I will help you defeat him/her/it. After all, knowing is only half the battle. The other half is us teaming up and kicking ass.
"What you need is a) one quality nemesis, and b) one archenemy. These are the two most important characters in the life of any successful human. We measure ourselves against our nemeses, and we long to destroy our archenemies. Nemeses and archenemies are the catalysts for everything.

Now, I know that you're probably asking yourself, How do I know the difference between my nemesis and my archenemy? Here is the short answer: You kind of like your nemesis, despite the fact that you despise him. If your nemesis invited you out for cocktails, you would accept the offer. If he died, you would attend his funeral and -- privately -- you might shed a tear over his passing.

But you would never have drinks with your archenemy, unless you were attempting to spike his gin with hemlock. If you were to perish, your archenemy would dance on your grave, and then he'd burn down your house and molest your children. You hate your archenemy so much that you try to keep your hatred secret, because you don't want your archenemy to have the satisfaction of being hated."
-The Importance of Being Hated-


Monday, October 6 : 3:51 PM : 0 comments :

Listening to: Brett Dennen. Dude sounds like a lady. And looks like this. Kind of good music.

It's over. All 2008 wedding festivities are attended and done with. In the aftermath, I stand strong like a sycamore despite my worries a few months ago that this might be a difficult time. Again I state that my speed dial came under heavy assault this year from Cupid and his machinations. But I've learned that it's not so bad. Really.

This weekend, I went to Susan's wedding and it really came into focus that this was it, she was married. I mean, she was technically married a few months ago but this was their celebration/declaration to the public. Her reception in Hollywood was quite different than most weddings. For one, there was no banquet hall or whatever. Susan and Tony simply rented an art gallery for the evening, had photos and exhibits of their life together on the walls, and invited their friends and family for cocktails and h'our dourves. It was casual, unique, and quite a nice change of pace. All the traditional things were cut out and this was exactly what Susan wanted because it allowed the couple to spend time with their guests in an unhurried manner.

In terms of number of years, I actually haven't known Susan that long, relatively speaking -- only since the very tail end of 2001. I mean, we didn't attend college together, certainly never shared an office, and never lived in the same city. Much of our friendship was maintained over emails, AIMs, and phone calls. There was a time when Victor and I would consistently be in LA to hang out with Susan and her friends on the weekends, usually for clubbing reasons (or they might come down for sun and relaxation), but that tailed off eventually.

So it's like kind of a big success for our friendship to have come so far. I mean, it's been a long distance friendship more or less, and the way I am, that's usually difficult for me to maintain day to day closeness. In the beginning, the thing that drew us together was our shared experience of having lost a parent -- mine very recently, hers a few years in the past. It kind of jump started our friendship on this serious and trusting plane that just kept accelerating. Soon, she became my Go To Girl (a useful acronym even if it looks stupid in print) for all sorts of trivial and serious matters.

One of the things I really like about Susan is her willingness to say what's on her mind. There's millions of times she's called me out on my shit and since I'm usually full of it, that's a very useful thing to have in a friend -- especially one that I feel like "gets" me so I don't just reactively dismiss everything she says. She's supportive but in a devil's advocate way, which is extremely valuable

Susan and I have talked about relationships and potential mates for so long that it's funny in a poetic way that she's ended up with Tony, whom we had all met on one of our first clubbing expeditions in LA. All these years of searching and there he was. It's pretty romantic right?

We used to "celebrate" Valentine's Day together during the times we were single and I'm delighted that she's now got a Valentine's date for life. So yeah, my February 14ths are free.

Point and Shoot  

Saturday, October 4 : 12:06 AM : 2 comments :

I recently purchased a new camera to replace my beloved Sony DSC-U20. I think I suckered George into getting it for me in 2001. Seven years later, it's clearly outdated. It doesn't have zoom, the viewing screen on the back is maybe a half inch square, the most advanced technology went into making it blue, it's a mere two megapixels, the list goes on. All these faults aside, it does have one great asset: its tiny size. The camera is about half the length of a candy bar and perfect for on-the-go. Of course, whenever I would take it out to capture an essential moment, people would invariable say, "Wow, it's so small!" There's not much to say after that except, "Okay, let's take that picture..."

After seeing seniors, women, and the occasional child outclass me in the camera technology department, I decided I should really get a new camera. My geek cred was at stake. Meet my new best friend, the Canon SD1100IS. Near infinite zoom, video capturing abilities, eight megapixels of madness, facial recognition, and a (relatively) more manly size. I'd go on about how pretty it is but I don't want to gush. But seriously, it's so pretty and silky smooth. It reminds me of drinking a chocolate Silk soymilk. Ummm.

I feel like Clark Kent post transformation. It's amazing. Needless to say, I operate the camera with the wrist strap tightened at all times for safety. My only regret is that I didn't upgrade before I went off on weeks of traveling. I guess it was just one last ride into the sunset for the Sony.

The photo with this entry is the first picture I took with the tiny camera. Note that George is already regretting buying me anything -- or just being really grabby. A coerced gift is still a gift, George. Here is the rest of the pictures I first took with this camera, from a trip to Taiwan that made me and Victor swear off visiting our homeland for the foreseeable future.

And while we're here, the pictorial history of George's hair, with some updates!

All my bags are packed...  

Thursday, October 2 : 4:54 AM : 1 comments :

Here's kind of an underrated but telling indication of how close you are to someone. How far are you willing to go for airport duty? Or how far (or often) are they willing to do it for you? On the surface, airport duty is more about convenience than friendship. Some friends are just available for that kind of stuff. But then you get the experience one of my friends had awhile back and you really have to evaluate your getaway plans -- to/from the airport and to/from your friendship.

This one particular friend asked his roommate -- who's really more of an acquaintance -- to take him to the airport and she basically charged him a tank of gas. A taxi or shuttle might have been cheaper. I'm fine with the charging if it replaces money you would have spent anyway but seriously, what's the deal with charging gas money?

For me, the ultimate sign of how much I'm willing to go out of my way for someone is when they say "I'm flying into LAX, can you pick me up?" Some people don't realize that LAX is a good two hours away from San Diego. I understand that though, I mean, I totally have no sense of geography and suck at knowing what's convenient or not. But there's a very small list of people I'd go pick up in LA, and then immediately turn around to bring them back down south no questions asked. A very small few. Like maybe two. Unless you're dying or just that desperate to see me, I'll just catch you post-airport.

I'm not cold hearted or anything. I just think there are probably better options than someone who lives a hundred miles away. I've got this other friend, a friend whom I consider decently close, who likes to call for an airport pickup when he's like just landed. That's a tough one to pull off. I'll do it when I can but seriously, some forewarning, some foreshadowing, some fore-anything would be nice.

I'm positive people innately understand that "Hey, can you pick me up?" is a seriously loaded question. The mental math that goes into a pickup can occupy a good ten or fifteen minutes, minimum. It's nice to be considerate too. For example, when your friends live in San Francisco, it's much better if you fly into SFO versus Oakland. Flying to New York? Even a good friend should hesitate to drive out to Newark to scoop you up. Traffic, time spent before/during/after, and the cost of pickup just starts to get astronomically high. God forbid a long delay...

Then again, I'm totally not above bitching and complaining when I don't get a proper pick up. I'll let a few of those stories pass since I know I was probably being unreasonable, plus I have some negative karma to pay back. Once we left a few friends chilling at the airport while we sat down to Cheesecake Factory. Two hours later we're like, "We're coming!" I still feel kinda shitty about that one.

My life might have hit a travel low when James and I returned from some trip or other and had to cab it back up to Del Mar. I mean, we're from San Diego, our friends and family are here, we don't have anyone capable of giving us a ride? It's depressing taking a cab back home in your hometown. I had to reevaluate a few things right then and there. First on that list was, "Why are we the only two people who don't have anything to do on a Monday afternoon? Are our lives going the wrong direction?" Followed quickly by, "We should probably never travel together again to ensure we always have an airport buddy. Either you go or I go. We can't both go. We just can't."

As an add-on to all this, do people even park and arrive early for airport duty anymore? Short of maybe a significant other or a parent, is that even something normal people do? I'm all for getting in and out without parking but I remember many times feeling so special that people had actually gotten out of the car and waited. The roses were a bit over the top but I think I liked blushing.

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