SPEW :: jared leto

january 2002
back & forth between myself and (then) Heather Hamilton (dooce)

TO: DOOCE.COM (Heather B Hamilton)
Krebbling up Haight street sooperbowl sunday in what can only be described as dashing punk runaway rags, complete with mis-cut locks of perhaps coloured hair. “jared leto,” anna sneaks out as she feigns another bite of our shawerma. by this time, the boy-ish faced urchin has reached a point where he, our wee table, and a well-dressed/dog-walking/non-plussed man on a mobile behind us, all culminate in a blocked artery of a sidewalk. i’m still staring at this gorgeous little punker, with these fucking eyes that could sober the rich. “oy, it sure does look like him,” i says. i cannot look away. he’s pivoting back around after putting a “30 seconds to mars” sticky on a trashcan. he’s grinning something fierce, complete with long blinks of the aforementioned eyes. he’s coming down from on high. he must have gone big last night and is now in that golden-pleasant warm-sun day-light of a psychedelic hangover. “no sean, thats him,” anna garbles under the napkin, her expression duly noted. and then, he has fixated on me, and is staring. no less then 7 feet between us. these are those moments in time, felt mostly whilst driving in severe conditions, where motion slows and thought-processes expand. he’s still staring. i cannot, and dare not look away. for it is really him now. seconds earlier a vaporish throwback – now clearly Jordan fucking Catalano. he speaks: “lookit’choo!” oh shit. “just lookitchoo, man!” aw no. “big man with your little dog! i like it!” i’m not alone in doing the cautioned turn of the head “who me?” expression. but sure enough, our man in Gap behind me has a wee dog. Mr Leto was not talking to me. by the time i turn back around, he’s gone sauntering back up the sidewalk. anna is smiling. i spend the rest of the day wondring where & why i’ve heard of “30 seconds to mars.”

From: Dooce.com – Heather B Hamilton
love your middle name, if that is your real middle name.

have to say that this is perhaps the best celebrity sighting ever submitted to dooce.com. best written, definitely. you captured him SO DEAD ON. god, this is good shit.

do you mind if i put it on the site?
TO: DOOCE.COM (Heather B Hamilton)
i am only now fully distilling the events of this whirlwind week, and to a certain extent, month. you dont know me. nor i you. but somehow thats wholly irrellevant in the here & now. my story is not unique, you’ve heard this kind of thing thru & thru. if there’s but one thing i would seek to impart to you mizz hamilton is that, after years of batting it around like a fleshy wart, i have finally embarked upon a new course. anna would say this is a long time coming, and all digests down to sean finally doing something about it. you see, its too nebulous to offer the copious details you’re prolly expecting. but suffice to say, that upon the research expectant upon such a new blazed life-path, i have come across gems. not unlike the Stone of Romance, these shiny objects of design are beacons. they are north stars pointing me towards some far off shore. a fertile, yet welcomingly distant land to sail to, where i will revel in the burning of the boats.


the more you try to explain it, the less sense it’ll make anyway. so, at the risk of waxing even MORE obtuse, lets just say that i have throuroughly enjoyed the last 96 hours of continuous dooce.com & accompanying linkerage. again, as i mentioned upon blurbomat, i have stumbled upon something. the sight of which is alltogether fascinating & shy-inducing. as if, i’ve not right peering so jaw-gaped.

it all comes down to this: there are a lot of fucking talented people in the world when you realise how low you’ve considered the bar to have been. read that back to me. thank you. for 2 years ago, having finally accepted the web as a possible voice, ANY voice, let alone a hobby. i had a dream i had a dream about people actually being interested in a site that’d host all the 1000’s of images seanna had taken over the years. the stubborn scorpio didnt put too much a flame under’is arse, and has only come so far as www.seanna.com please be gentle…

a. hamilton is, indeed, my preferred name. the tartan i wore at me wedding to the loverly anna… she is my best friend and no less then the mirror upon which my love is bounced right back.
b. please post all & sunder with all the blessings the above text could ever provide. please see below.
c. i feel compelled to re-attend regular sessions of inspection upon dooce.com. most assuredly resulting in the obligitory submissions & long-winded missives. i hope thats ok.
d. my wordiness is a neurosis & at times, the only comfort to the brackish nature of the modern media mind. please, do not be afraid. i wish every good thing.

(you’ve shown exceptional cruelty by limiting to twelve:one. the remainder 25:4 available upon request. and take note: this list’ll be massivly different had i chose merlot versus this tepid scotch. but thats another 29 paragraphs in & of itself)

sean hamilton alexander

flemenco sketches – miles davis
shawshank redemption – thomas newman/soundtrack
headphones – bjork
u-turn – solid doctor
got to get > tomorrow never – the beatles
the sherrif – fila brazillia
annanas – tosca
fallen arrow – ida
morningbell (any version) – radiohead
tracy i love you – luna
high fidelity – elvis costello

book – the proud highway – saga of a desperate southern gentleman 1955-1967 (by) Hunter s. Thompson

that is all…
love to Jon…


full measure

created: november 27, 2000

for anna goldwater alexander

i’ve found something. i have found something so pure, that only direct inspection and interaction will yeild its truths. these truths are neither finite nor objective, but their validity is unwavering. as unique as the print on a finger or the snoflake that melts upon it, i have found something as unique. for the lack of a better word, “find” *is* the term i use in the rightnow. for in the meatspace of my life, it is as if it were a miracle that i should be so lucky as to find something so intense and true. in dark rooms at late hours, when i have quieted enough to hear them, i am told to realize that it was *i* who was found by this truth. in even deeper bliss, i the atheist comes to the realization that this truth can only be explained by stating that i’ve been here “before.” this truth, while rising & ebbing with our lives, is a constant. so lucky i feel to have found this that i wish for my friends, all i know and love, to witness and interact with what i have found – for they too made me who i am. they too are my friends. they too are my ideas. they too are my audience. they too are my critics. they too are my window into who i am. it simply would not be a celebration of this truth if it were not attended by this family. you are my dear circus. all three rings we have – complete with cats and freaks and barkers and the coloured balloons. you all did me the honour of witnessing the ultimate celebration of what i have found. and as if is were not clearly evident beforehand, you all now know what it is that is so special about something so true and so right. my overwhelming emotions are all pointing towards a hope that all who are reading this right now will find and be found the same. for there is no luck. there is no angle. there is no other way to explain it then to say that if you be true to yourself and open it all up wide for all to see – as if a flag being put up a barren pole…only then will the other put up *their* flag for *you* to see. i beleive that this is my definition of hope. i cannot express any further then that. in a world full of near-misses and pitched attempts, there is nothing more important then hope.

that, in concert will a healthy frequency of analogy. i beleive certain things. i beleive (contrary to the above) that everything in this world, prior or next, can be explained by scientific theory or mathematical equation. i beleive that there is nothing so horrible in this world that it cannot be seen from some other better angle – even a hmourous one. i beleive that music and mathematics will be communication in a 100 years. i beleive in the word of extremely efficient offensive driving. but most specifically, i also beleive that lifes most hazardous and mind-boggling concepts can be helped along with the proper analogy.

take a song and its correlation to a life. my life, as all of yours, has been made scores richer by song – its elements, its standards, and most importantly, its path. a good song, in my minds ear, will start gradually and softly. not really knowing or being all too confident in where it is that its going to progress to. but before it *does* get too far, certain elements begin to repeat – patterns emerge, harmonies & scales, the accompaniment of multiple sources of sound, the direction of standards. the are measures. they are building blocks. by hearing all of these measures together, we get a very healthy sense of what the whole of the song is saying, or looks like, or sounds like – how well its all been put together. in here lies the hook. that melody or beat or combo of both that not only makes us who we are, but makes us visible and pleasing to others. a good song will have most of this repeat as a 2nd chorus, learning what worked from the first and repeating it with richer and fuller lyrics or arrangements. it shares the same framework of measures, but has grown and risen – almost as if the song is learning. some songs have more then 2. some lives have completely different sounding ones.

then, for me, something happens. at the point at which the song has risen and is proud and is accompanied by all that has made it strong, it takes a left. this is the bridge. the song has taken with it only the most special of its instruments. i takes on what seems to be an entirely new structure. the bridge is so damn nice. the bridge is the best part of the song…so far. it is at once a pleasant and calming reflection as well as a strong display of the expreience and structure that has brought is there. the bridge neednt be immediately coherent or predictable in its scales – for i beleive that the bridge is best realized once deep & well within it. there really are no standards for the length of the bridge, but every good song really needs one. for, by definition, it leads us to the other side.

that is where i must stop for lack of clarity. for i beleive that in my song of life, i have *just* begun the bridge. i hesitate to reflect as to the number of chorus i’ve just come thru. i hesitate to go on as to the specifics of the arrangement. you all know that better then i…really. what i do know is that my life has recently taken the most wonderfull of aural lefts. i am on the bridge and there is much to be digested and given back. i share this bridge with the most wonderfull of accompaniments that could ever have been played. i beleive it to be a brass. her instrument and mine have built my song to be one of tremendous beauty and depth, and i want all the world to hear. dammit.

my love – that truth of which i speak – is anna. i truly love thinking about and beleiving that anna and i have just begun our first full measure together. always intertwined yet seperate in our scales, we are now in a harmony that defies description. this is what i think about. this is my song. this is my life. i cannot tell you how much it means to me that you are with me anna. it will only be over the course of time that i may fully explain that – prolly by analogy. i wish for the whole of the circus to know that and to hear that and to feel that. they *are* me. i can think of no better way then these words – to thank all who have made me who i am, and who we are together…

shine on.

SPEW :: holidays

created: january 1998

Well, here it is. 1998. No matter how I slice it, I cannot begin to get into the spirit of counting off the days until the millenia. I guess I’ve grown too accustomed to seeing a 19 in front of my dates. And I’ve only been here for 27 of them! However, there is nothing I trully enjoy more than watching the years roll past. For with every year, there are new advances in one spectrum of human achievement or another. As well, with every year, I begin to more fully appreciate the fact that this one will be the best year of my life…just like last years was better than the one preceeding. And if 1998 is going to fill those big shoes, then we’re in for a doosey.

When 1997 rang in, Anna and myself had been in the Bay Area for less than 4 months, and had only moved into the “gem” 6 weeks earlier. We had heard, in triplicate, how difficult it would be to make the transition to the 3rd most expensive city in the US. Anna, coming from Arizona, would most likely have the hardest time adjusting to the increased cost of living. Los Angeles, on the other hand, “afforded” me an opportunity to get used to paying 2x as much rent as I had in Tucson. We really had no intentions of letting the doom-slingers into our heads and sack our motivation. We were determined and in love and knowledgeable and practical and a slew of other adjectives. And looking back on it all now, I dont know whether it was those attributes in US that let the pendulum swing so nicely our way, or whether it was just pure luck…OUR definition of FATE. For on almost all points, we were able to steer clear of repeating the situations of others’ who had sought to warn us that the road up to San Francisco would be treacherous. To be fair, it was those same pessimists that took us in…to MAKE us make the transition…to give us a place to stay for the transition…a quiet place to pour over the want ads and our resumes. However, Anna and I hit the ground running. I literally had one day off: the day I drove up from Venice Beach. One day I was working for the motion picture industry in Hollywood, 2 days later, I was working for the computer software industry in the Bay Area. 1997 began with me beginning to pick up speed with my new position here at Broderbund’s Quality Assurance Department. I had been hired in mid November 1996, and spent the last weeks of that year trying to get a longview of what was expected as a software tester. Surely, there was more to the position than just playing computer games and reporting inconsistancies… right? Anna also found work in the computer software industry and took that time to send out over 200 resumes. Soon afterwards, she was working in the photo design department for WIRED magazine. And in the process, that has filled her coffers of knowledge, and she has built an agressive blend of digital and traditional skill-sets that she’s about to market to her “greener pastures.” The “we” of us had never been let out to run at full speed. Grand hopes coupled with meek expectations, to be sure, enables one to be floored by their achievments… but we had no idea.

Looking for a place to live in San Francisco was described to us as some sort of Hitchcockian ordeal, (think: North by NorthWest…the airplane scene) complete with tragically long sessions of barren results, then punctuated with high-level excitement, only to be shot back down to silence by either the prices or conditions or commute. We were meant to believe that the time spent looking would be one of the most frustrating and fruitless searches to date. Once again, we set out clinching our teeth, and ended up asking ourselves to pinch one another. On our third day panning, we struck gold. We have so much for so little, that we often think that theres GOT to be a catch. Yet, nothing of mention has reared up. Ok, maybe an ant-trail or two, but thats it. We’ve got a second bedroom that I’ve got dragging around as an office/library as well as a deck upon which I’ve been testing out these green thumbs that me mum has obviously passed on to me. However, Winter in San Francisco, and more specifically: the North Bay…coupled with a North facing deck, affords little or no sun, and I’m afraid that frost has taught some lessons. This has been our second XMas/New Years at 10 Circle Drive, and I have a strange feeling that theres going to be more of them here.

Having said all this, you may be feeling like this was “supposed” to be one of those Holiday card/letters that people send out BEFORE the holidays to fill in all of your relatives and acquaintances on how things are. And perhaps it started out as that, but mutation, in my minds’ eye, is a healthy and encouraged activity. There rarely goes by a week where I dont contemplate the dearth of knowledge I have about those with whom I have not spoken with in some time. And that is usually immediately followed by the notion that, like life, this is a two-way street and that there are those “out there” that have NO idea what it is that WE are up to. It all just gets to a point where the passive becomes something that active. It IS important to just send out the smoke-signal and let others know whats up. And especially in our case, for the past 18 months have been so grand. We all assume that conditions on each others sides’ are favourable in the absense of bad news…”no news is good news.” But that only goes so far. People grow up, yes…but that is rarely a linear path…and massive change can take place. The feelings expressed here are inherent in all of us; this isn’t a kathartic message. It is, however, the expression of our desires to start a ball in motion: to keep Y’ALL present in our lives & minds by using that two way street…a situation wherein WE stay present in YOUR lives & minds…

Sean & Anna

SPEW :: to fortin

created: july 4, 1997

His day…
Light a candle for it is his day…
The man still lives. Hope that this doesn’t offend.
I’ve learned, only since to trust instinct.
I know that things ‘people’ do are sometimes awful low.
What he chose as his craft is simultaneously spooky and romantic to me.
I rarely think that I deserve oversight of what he was…what he’ll always be.
So brief a union we had. A rope woven thick as opposed to long.

I’ve looked to you. I look to friends you’ve had.
Humble as you are, you MUST know spirits.

What insight hath he passed from over there?
To you, he MUST have dropped knowledge.

The depth with which you knew this kid…this man.
His transition must have been, for the lack of a better word: Brilliant.
Brilliant as in magnitude.
Brilliant as in clarity.
Brilliant as in PALS.

I have few. I have had two or three.
They let me know. At some point, I’ve let them in.
And only recently, they’ve let me know.

I am one that has discovered that I was dangerously close.
So close to spending the rest of my life in solitude.

From one “slow-burn” spark amid a firestorm of flame…
I was seared with the definition. Her name was Anna.

She has taught me volumes.
She has taught me depth.
She has taught me magnitude.
She has taught me clarity.
She, through me, has shed light on what a best friend is.

She has, in some sort of surrogate fashion, allowed me to appreciate the partner in crime I’m not able to commune with now.
That ‘someone’ that I, like most male youths’, shared as a child, yet lost on the way up the ramp to manhood.
Something so fucking tangible when I close my eyes as a male adult: the love for me PALS.
Something so foreign to me when I open them up: those same cats at me side.

She, through my stories, ARE those boys…who are now men.
By listening to me describe with fabulous detail the shenanigans…
She has become those who I have, only recently, to begin to seek in this world:
She is the Scott E. She is the Jason M. She is the Erin W.
She IS those men…for I cannot speak to those men…
They are gone. They have moved on. Regardless of the scars we left on each other.
Why? I cannot tell you.

You have memories you want to reach back and touch.
Boys you grew up with…you know them as men. You have that.

FUCK!! There was strength in numbers back then, remember that?
We unwittingly relied on the counterparts to ourselves. Our lives in their wits.

For myself, and I trust you as well, we were to meet our ultimate weakness.

You must’ve known when you first laid eyes on her…
…at some festive occasion, as I had with Anna.

Without knowing it, this was to be the spirit we willingly told Everything.
Spilt milk, my friend. Narration of our memories.

And man, I thought that I had some stories…

I may have never said it, but I envy the lawlessness that you must have enjoyed with your crew.
Details aside, you are able to share with members of that crew to this very day.
You are able to say that you are still tight.
Something you shared with them back in KC, I dont know.

Regardless of what we may have had in common when we first shook hands on that 3rd floor of that building late in the Summer of 89′, I was to envy.

At the risk of sounding cliché, Tucson was a new beginning for me. A snake shedding skin.
I wandered for 6 fucking years wondering if the “now” was real. If I had finally started.
And if there was 1 thing I could count on, it was the reminder that I had a lot of baggage.
Empty fucking baggage.

My stories were pale compared to those of my new friends. You and All The Rest.
I was SO must more content to listen to others spin webs.
And when I saw how fake my childhood friends became only 120 mines South, I cringed.

I never really felt ‘left out.’ I never wanted to ‘one up’ someone’s experience.
All I wanted was to gain strength from a host of new friends whom I admired deeply.
And that I did. I gained so much that filled canyons left by MY advancement FROM my friends.
You and all I met and loved from that town mean more to me that I can ever express.

Some so-called sages sing. Some construct prose. Me? I bounce.
We spin wonderful cathedrals of stories. I reminisce. I bounce the stories off of her.
And, my Gods, man…I cannot be the only one who realizes that every experience had “back then” had something approaching a spiritual meaning.

I havent the slightest clue where this either was intended to go or where it’s going now.

I just wanted YOU to know that I considered him a teacher.
Anybody can teach you something either by pointing or rehashing.
This man taught by example.
He threw the lesson out there either to be followed or to be tested.
I did not have a chance to pick his brain in the final hours, and for that I am truly sorry.
But I know know that the Man was special, and that I will always remember him as the champion of Duality…the man who’d give you either side of the story…”What kinda mood j’a in?”
Whether he knew it or not, he was wiser than us all for he was able to perform at that break-neck pace and still carve a smile…

“As if, reaching a peak; reaching a perch…looking back down at the Comfy Ones who’d been watching the Monkey climb…looking back down at them and saying, “Here?” And stabbing an arm to the Northern Sky, and shouting, literally to himself, “NO! There!” His climb was his business…something he did exceptionally well. For people like myself…I am unfortunate enough to know the Man when he was humble and level with the Circle, and to NOT know him, once he had made it to the Top.”

For that will always be a curse under which I may never let myself slide:
Having ALL the knowledge of what PALS meant, AND knowing his FUCKING NUMBER,
I allowed myself to live literally 1.5 miles from that Man, and NEVER make contact.

I’ve been to one funeral. AJ Switzer. He was a good friend. Kind of a role model now that I think about all that he taught…all the stories that he told…all the bucking of the system…
At that ceremony, his brother, who was “there”, said that just 12 hours earlier, he’d been saying some prophetic statements:

“Never go to bed angry, Man. Never go to bed with friends as strangers. Cause you’re never gonna know when (your) God is gonna pull your card… And you’re never gonna get to say what you wanted: “I’m Sorry,” “Thank you,” or “See you on the other side.””

Brian, I dont know…..
I’m sorry.
I’m thinking too much…and that’s always been good for me.
It’s always something that I’ve strived to document…like here.
I think about the kid every day.
I think about the shit I’d say.
I think about how much of a baby he was and how I could say anything to him I wanted…
I think about how quick he was to point out how Whet I was and where.

He, and the rest of the friends I gained in Tucson were collectively constructive….
It’s kinda like the beauty of the movie Swingers…

Here. we have an old premise: A dumped – hurt guy, who ‘must’ endure consolation from friends.
In every other rehashing of this storyline, the “friends” jab the guy. They point out how his weakness is that upon which he dwells. They jibe and make fun. They attempt to make him strong by pointing out that which he is better off thinking irrelevant.
In Swingers, however, the friends are the champions. The friends are the saviors.
They grab the destitute by the lapels, hoist him up and complement him.
They encourage him to get back on the wagon. They squelch his anxiety.
In return, he gives them Rebirth. He moves on. He becomes as strong as they say he is.
He finds his NewSelf.
If you havent seen the film, please…do me a favor and agree with me.

Nothing to wrap up, my friend. This, like all Jeep Trails, will forever lead to other Jeep Trails.

All I’ll say, is that the Man now has 2 days. Today is one.

SPEW :: on testing riven

created: april 30, 1997

This is the biggest thing I’ve ever worked on. Everything is bigger and more important and more worthwhile. There are these feelings you get everyonce and a while where we, all of a sudden, realize that this…here and now…is the best you’ve ever done. It lends itself to a Quickening. A rush of positive energy where you know that now its all been really worth while. It has lasted all day and into the night. This wonderful lucidity. The images and worlds and ages…multitudes of terrains offering photorealistic off-world scenes. These have all been created within the human mind, but that is why I was taught to call it “suspention of Disbelief.” These scenes are ALL breathtaking. Gone are the static images of the best impression 2D can do of 3D. These worlds are alive! Grass blows in the wind. Tropical turquoise water laps up the shore of smooth, dark, igneous rock and forest islands. Stop and sit still and watch the computer generate far-off characters barely discerable as human hobble across narrow grass & rope bridges 500 above a narrow crag YOU’RE IN…you see distant cliff-side ledges and paths and tunnels, but havent the first clue which of the 4 equally inviting paths ahead of you DOWN HERE do you take. Clues are as seamless with the 3d environment as knife scratches on a tree are from a distant path. . You have to get right up on things and inspect them harder. Everything updates as you progress. Not like Doom, which has you on the dolly rolling around. This POV not only follows the terrain like a simulator, but allows you breathtaking levels if inspection. And breadth! These worlds had definitely progressed from tremendously complex 3 or 4 rooms with a couple hidden passages. this was stark and barren, almost deserted worlds where, yeah clues abound, but they’re imbedded into the terrain and fauna…BOTH of which may take on human and alien-made forms. Scenes where rainforest met white beach, there would be a lever sticking up from the sand operating…? Ornate modern-feeling temples contain even more complex “contraptions.” I could be in one world and be absoulutley enchanted with what I saw, then take a path that opens a moss covered-wood gate and get spooked by the smoothest, on-the-fly Quicktime movie I’ve ever seen. I’ve spent a total of 18 hours of hands-on the project, and I believe the numbers to be less than 5% I’ve covered. I’ve seen 3 islands and countless books going to countless others…and then others from there and back again, I’m sure. But the size of what is to become my new virtual world for the next 4 months is grander than that. I have watched this courtship of Entertainment and the 3D computer since the art was first conceived. Imposible notions of keeping abreast of it all spilt me out into the Motion Picture industry. I’ve always known what a hi- end project must feel like. Once you put aside how visible that it is that you’ve achecived this position, you begin to fathom just what it means to you. Short of Windows95/97, this project is the biggest software product to ever hit the computer market. And when I say “biggest,” I’m talking the most anticipated due the success of the first one. I cannot help myself but to draw equivilants to the size and magnatude and perstige of this project and a similar one back in Hollywood. Ironicly, the analogy would have to be drawn to a Speilberg or Lucas or Cameron picture where the bar gets raised for filming expertice, computer aided “wizardry,” and the scale or caliber of quality in increased. The same ground is being broken with this project. The most technologically encompassing for a software title…merging motion pictures absolutly seamlessly within photo-realistic 3D computer generated environments. The motion picture industry in Hollywoodhas been making more and more technologically advanced movies by inputting a little 3D CGI here and digitally tweeking the direction of this here…growing in complexity and coupled realistically. The computer industry has been keeping up roughly the same pace, but with out the wide-spread recognition. Well, with this project they may scare some people. Thy’re going to receive accolades and wows from all sides, but were going to lose some people here. It’s so deep and inviting and stimulating, that people will actually begin to create these world of their very own, populated with whatever and whomever they want…adhereing to laws of physics tweeked acordingly. We’ve all been warned about that from as far back as the 1981 Disney film Tron, and people like me began to get anncy playing the driving simulator games, wishing it would all get here quicker. And “virtual reality” is literally a catch-phrase for Congress. For anyone even near the Know, you’d know that virtual reality, as its being weilded by the entertainment industry, has got to wait many moons for the technology to catch up with the imaginations and make it START to seem realistic and fluid and nausiatingly quick. its got to start out in a calmer pool. Create 3D worlds that beg you to sit still and notice the detail and artificial inteligence. Get that dumb fucking glove out of my view and let me just stroll. Or in this case, neurologically and physically transport and teleport between dozens of islands in as many different temperate zones taking stabs in the dark of what Earthyear this would be. This project is going to offer those with a computer their first real taste of what is to come. Forget the 160 hours the product is suposed to take an “average” gamer to solve. That’s for someone who feels the NEED to search for hidden clues to extremley taxing puzzles in order to get to the grand series of puzzles and the solution. I’m sure that by just wantering around and interacting with the environment, one will stumble across more significant clues. There is so much depth to this project that one can even just leave ir running…like an open window to “some” outside.

SPEW :: to julieana

created: april 25, 1997

“what the fuck?”

Good question. Emotion as yet unfiled. I guess that there is something to be said about the fact that I handnt talked or heard or made an effort to contact Jubal more than 3-4 times while he was living in SantaFe. I seriously doubt that he would be thinking along those lines…that kinda scorecard when making out the list of who he wants “included.” However, I guess that the longer it goes, the LESS likely he may be to call ANY OF US. Analogy forthcoming: See, Maria, the girl that we lived with…the one that I dont really get along with and vice versa…her mom passed away a week or two ago. Anna is horrified that I havent “reached” out to tell her something. Personally, the views I have concerning that transition are
deeply rooted, and frankly, the last thing I would ever do was to tell her that I’m sorry. I TRULY am sorry for her loss, though. Its just that if I was her, and I knew full well that Sean doesnt care for me, I would be overly offended if he came up to me and said sorry…regardless of how sincere I KNEW he was about it. Theres a spike in her life right now. Everything is spry and random and out of control…she’s got a SHIT load to deal with right now. Once again, I would be wrought away from those obligations if someone that I didnt care for came up and said the same thing that EVERYONE’s been saying for weeks. Now, having said all that, I do have very definite plans to write her and to tell her, in phat detail everything I’ve said here. WHY i didnt “come” to her in her time of need. WHY i have the feelings for her that I do. WHY i view the transition her mother encountered the way I do. All of these things and more. I just want to wait until things, for the lack of a better phrase, “die down.” AND THAT ID WHAT BRINGS ME TO THIS ANALOGY::

There is a spike in Jubals life right now. He KNOWS that we’re in the dark about all of this. He KNOWS that he should call us. He KNOWS that this has been diametrically opposite to everything WE thought Jubal was (is?). And most importantly, he KNOWS that we know. And no matter how he re-iterates his little mantra about “the way I live my life…”, he knows that theres something that needs to be done: Something as little as simply telling us that its true, to something more deep like “This is everything and why.” All this he knows. And the spike that he’s dealing with now WILL die down and he will come around. I CANNOT say that I dont want or need to hear what he has to say. It’s killing me as I’m sure it is you too. To hear about something second or third hand like this… something so massive in a cats life… and this cat, BY DEFINITION, is the best friend you’ve ever felt…to be out of the loop is weird. I feel no hurt. I feel no negativity. I feel only like what a dog must feel/look like when it hears/sees something it just does NOT understand: That inquisitive cock of the head. We like to think that we’re “due” an explanation. Tell him THAT and you’re likely not to hear from him for a while. He runs his life by a different clock than most, J. And if you make requests or demands before either he’s formulated one or is ready to spew it, than he;ll take the defensive. That is what I think.

Jubal is nothing if he is not unintentionally throwing curves to the people who think they know him. Sometimes he pulls off doing this INtentionally… and making it look like as random as the wind. But as you say, “The Undercover Smart.Guy” has no regrets about his forward progress. I’m actually looking forward to hearing not only WHAT he has to say, but HOW he says it. You can tell alot about how someone feels about something by simply listening to inflection, or lack of it, in their voices and their stories. I have this vision of him calling and telling me about it, and his voice is just going to de deadline and deadpan. This seems TOTALLY arranged!!! Or sould I say DE-ranged? I never had any doubt abthe two of them spending the rest of their lives together. Perhaps I was even in denial about the fact that they would most likely be married in 1/2 a decade…regardless of the conversations that I had SEPERATELY with the both of them about how irrelevant marraige was in the Western World. But all of that just takes a back seat to the fact that there was not outpouring of “whatever” after they’d done it. FINE…go off and have a secret marraige with just yourselves and a select few. Couples have been doing it since antiquity. And while I could CARE LESS about not being warned or invited, I DO have some reservations about how I’m supposed to feel when I realize that if I never called and investigated, I MAY NEVER HAVE KNOWN.

So the controlled experiment is this: Since he knows that we know, how long will it take before the tension is relaesed by EITHER party making contact? What if its another 4 weeks? What do you say? What DONT you say? Why will it MATTER so fucking much when that happens?

NOW, in light of all that, rmember two things:

He’s living in PHOENIX… that’s a whole ‘nother 27 paragraphs in and of itself… He’s distanced himself even further from sources of soul and inspiration….

….and that SUCKS…for him and us.


SPEW :: to jubal

created: spring, 1997

It’s never that I thought of myself as a counselor. I never in a million years EVER considered myself one who was there to gove advise as to the “right Path.” I do, however, have a knack for affording the right situation with the (somehow) appropriate analogy or metaphor. And it is this that I unconsciously accell at. Unfortunately, there is a weird situation here. I feel like there is a load of shit that somehow got dumped on my friends good fortune now that I left. Now, I’m enough of a realist to accept that it has nothing to do with my departure. It’s just that there are some similarities between whats going on down there and whats going on up here. Yet, without going into the details of how our situations allign, let me just spew. Spew again, yet never quite the “end-all be-all.”

Anna and I are not necessarily strugling, but there are some issues. I have embarked on an unprecedented journey. What I thought was a nice, comfortable situation back in LA, I have swapped for this stilted, unprepared attempt to enhance this chapter of my life. I have always though that as long as we keep altering our environments, we will never be at a loss for stimulii. So, regardless of what advances the SHAMAN had made in LA, he gave them up. He was not, I repeat: was NOT following a girlfriend. In all actuallity, I hated LA. There was narry a day that went by that I didnt curse the Basin. Yet, once I left…on my own terms, mind you…I found that I was riddled with self-doubt….self-doubt that directly belies that “own terms” shit. For example: If I keep saying that I want to be a 3D computer artist with / around / in / for / behind… etc the motion picture/TV industry, then why did I move from the proverbial hotbed of talent (prospective and proved alike) and into more of a corporate world then I ever cared to address whilst I lived in LA? Basically, I moved away from “hands-on” world of, for the lack of a better phrase, “playing with the goods” and into a world where if you dont know how to program this shit at the CODE level, then get to the back of the fucking bus. San Francisco is a place where the geek, the professional, the executive and the artist are expected to blend into one ambiguous form, ever vigilant for the opportunity when one persona’s skill will be needed over another. See, back in LA, there was evil looking over you at all times. But there was always such a bottom rung that there that you were always afforded a seat…regardless of how shitty it was. Here, I dont know…it’s different. I now know why in LA they recruited so heavily from up here. The cats that they were talking to from up here were originally put to work because they knew what they were doing…however they got that experience. I’m in the loop though. I’m having my ends meet better than they were back in LA, and that, after a recent relocation, is more than I could ever have hoped for. If nothing else, I’m learning, first hand, hoe it is that things work out here. Jubal, I had one day off…the day that I drove up here. The next day, I was put to work at a job that could very easily go “full time.” And in this building, are the very 3D workstations that I would like nothing more thsn to be making minimum wage on. Sure, George Lucas and ILM need my help more than I can put into words, but its always been the appreciation of the bottom rung that allows you fathom the view from the top. “It takes poverty to love a toy” -Widespread Panic SO…although I’m making a decent living, I’m finding, just about dusk every night, a feeling that I should be sitting down to this computer to write the latest, inflatest cover letter to a resume that I’m not so sure is all I thought it was. I put it this way: I am converting what it is that I want to do FOR A LIVING to something I’ll fund as a hobby. Because as you must know by now, what I can accomplish today for $5700 worth of equipmwnt can be done 2X faster and in 1/2 the storage for 1/2 the price a year from now. And who knows, there me be some marvelous turn of events in the near future where I’ll be asked upstairs to “feeelance” where the have all the Silicon Graphics and the 3D Studio and the Digital Audio Work Stations and all the AVID’s. But in the meantime, I’ll just put on that “sponge” routine and soak up as much skill as possible…in the off-chances that some other company up here will find it necessary. Which leads me to my next event: Do we really have enough time in this life to devote ourselves to pleasing those who pay us MONEY?
Arent theere more important things to involve our subconsciousness?

“I left at the top of my game.” “I left on my own terms.” “I left with the intent on using what LA taught me against LA.” Let’s face it: I left LA because I felt drawn. I’ve always known that there was an unavoidable attraction to the North. I’ve remarked upon this in any number of my Spew’s. And Redfield made it the lynchpin of his book The Celestine Prophesy. Basically, there is one thing we sould keep in mind during this life: The natural world is one we should embrace. There is something to be said about the draw and the energy that surrounds either a natural, “original-growth” forest and/or rock outcroppings that mimick organic formations. Jubal, I’ve seen these. I’ve felt what this author and the thousands he’s spawned are talking about. I’ve felt it drug-free and I’ve felt it as real as in my own hand. He mentions theorems that force us to believe that the further we move away from “nature” (natural, old-growth trees, and those FUCKING rock formations), the further we’ll get from the most productive thoughts we’re capable of. When one’s in the city, one has a very self-centric look about tghe world and how it pertains to him/her. They fall right in line with the cult of the dollar and they spice it up with the belife that they do it for they really love it, or they need to keep that apartment in the sky or over the water or they need to keeo that special someone happy or they need to maintain those payments on that Saab or that BMW so that their precious credit report which they’ve never physically seen wont get tarneshed so that they can keep extending themselves on fake money called credit so that they can keep repeating the evil steps A thru F. And all this day by day, paycheck by paycheck, quarter by quarter, and I KNOW they only dream about getting back to a time when they moved at their own pace. “I dont fantasize about industrial breakdown, I wait for it.” “I dont need to return to Hunter-Gatherer, I want to HAVE to return…either by methods apocolyptic or viral.” -shaman. Read the Unibomber manifesto and tell me what YOU think. Money is great, and you need not combat that. There was a wise Paleo-lithic who was so efficient at hunting, either cuz game was sparce or that new design, that there began to be a horde. These “man” was so efficient, that he began to accuulate susstinence throughout the winter. And along with his gatherer “woman,” even though probably 1/2 of all women were out there hunting as well, he began to accumulte a wealth of commodities. He had something others wanted (food, warmth, survival), others had something he wanted (service). Commerce was born. Labour furthered this. Soon, we began to employ our children to enhance our lives. Holy shit, what a tangent!

What I’m trying to say, is that there are some promising advantages to living in a complex of comerce as well as some disadvantages, which we neednt go into. As well there are some advantages to living in a place where events and the people who ive them….take…their…time. I, for one, miss this. Tucson was a place where life was hitting the snooze bar while still conscious of advances. And either way, how the hell could you get out of that bed on the wrong side? In a town that operated at that pace, there was plenty of time for reflection. You could not only see things coming, but you were able to deal with them in the pace that all things in this life deserved. There was a multitude of vehicles to explore the avenues life. The only thing that I would worry about now that I’ve seen the other side is that there is too much a delay between the advances and the tangibilities of those advances. Are there enough stimuli? Are there enough other things to do without gluing yourself to the world’s outside events?

SPEW :: to jubal

created: spring 1997 (i)

UTTER CONFUSION speckled with little or NO DOUBT…

There is so little that needs to be said. Yet, there is a mountain of memories to go over in order to make sense of it… not that it has to make sense, mind you. But, notwithstanding you leaving the message and the subsequent e.mail, I was alone at sea on this one. SHAMAN sailing solo, wind ripping at the sails, rain stinging as a shout from the quarter-deck: WHAT? I’m trying, to the best that my foggy recollection will take me, to remember the conversations that I had with you. The conversations that I had with Lindi. Sitting in a smoky room just watching the two of you. Or listening to you bicker about some damn cafe and then just laughing at each other for you both, at least right then, realized that feuding is, by definition, futile. A whole host of subjects. You and I would talk about the whole spectrum. Lindi and I would, among a great many things, talk about you. I would attempt to figger out just what was going on with the two of you. For all intents and purposes, y’all were straight up girlfriend and boyfriend. Even a cursory view of you two by a relative stranger could reveal that. But then there was the reaction that either one of you would give when accused of being the latter. You BOTH would spout about how the two of you were something different…if not more than that. Something about what y’all shared meant that you were above the petty pricking bullshit that usually ripens or rots a girlfriend/boyfriend-type relationship. Not that you two didn’t fling that bullshit at each other. But, as far as I can remember, the two of you told me of the same feelings for each other…separately from each other. Need I ask if either one of you remember having a conversation with me some damn Fryday at the Firehouse… talking about the other, bouncing your ideas off of me, threatening me with life and limb if I ever told the other what was being said? The two of you did this with me separately from the other…and y’all said the same damn thing. You both threw curves: Jubal would… well, be Jubal and Lindi would say that it doesn’t really matter for she alone knew the score. There is no nutshell. There is no summary. There is no rehashing NOW what I think the two of you were about THEN. That would be straight off the desk of the Department of Redundancy Department. But what I WILL allow myself to recollect with some degree of accuracy…which will help me explain SHAMANs initial “silence,” is the similar views on the institution of marriage.

Wether it was I who offered my overtly pessimistic view on the institution of marriage, or the conversation just drifted that way is irrelevant. I do not think I need to remind either of you about the way I feel about the Western marriage. But what I recall fairly clearly is that when expressed, my views on the whole subject were resounded by agreeing comments from the two of you… once again separately. No detail need be given here…it wasn’t THAT meaningful a topic. SHAMAN spitting bile about that which he most likely fears…as you say: denial of inevitability directly precedes realization of imbecility… read that twice, okay? But, if there was a request for me to describe either one of you two with a series of phrases, there would be something said concerning what I thought were your views here. In my minds eye, with lack of direct input, I was comfortable in my prognostication of the way you two would “end up.” It differs little from the way I feel towards Anna. The two of you loved each other… intrinsically; as if counterparts to one grand encompassing theory…. two defining points to an engaging argument, for the lack of a better word. Regardless of eithers attempts to apply your lives’ wayward spirituality and sense of vagabond to the relationship, you fooled only an unnamed few… the message was clear. Despite the way the two of you fought… I realized that it only looked that way from the outside. Most of those looking in were duped into thinking that two “in love” just didn’t have to do that. I had little or no doubt that the two of you would spend the rest of your lives together. And, knowing how the two of you felt about the institution of marriage, I was resided in the fact that you may never get married… at least not in the terms described by Westernism and Catholicism. There may be an “exchanging of rings” and there may not be a crowd, but the two of you, AS I KNEW YOU, would breath your last breath into each other. My only variable was just how far distant the two of you would allow the two of yourselves to get before the circle worked and weaved itself together again. When Jubal moved to SantaFe, and Lindi didn’t, well… that was a mere formality. Honestly, I was more concerned about what leaving the Venice lease did to y’all’s credit… and, of course the condition of my PetSun. To me, there was just an unconscious request by one of you for a wee bit more water under the bridge. No speculation was given for how things would go. I do not do that. I have a passion for letting other peoples’ lives progress at their natural cadence…regardless of how close those people are to me.
“To the feelings I can’t even match”

So, when I heard the phrase last Monday… and requested it be repeated, then asked for another… there was a massive firing of synapse in the old brain. “WHY” was never considered, read above. “WHEN” was irrelevant. “WHO” was insulting. “WHERE”… well, I was curious… “how” kinda figgers into that. My questions were far too complex to grapple with. You’ll get blunt here: I was confused as to why there was no invitation. Not that spontaneity ISN’T the spice of life, but even the hint…a puzzle piece if you will…to such an event… I cannot say that I do not feel inquisitive as to why you did not at least inform prior to the even. Its not like the two of you were alone for the event. What WERE your criteria for making those last-minute phone calls? Later, this petty, jealous emotion was quelled by the realization that this was y’all’s day, and that nothing can ever touch that. If I wanted to have my wedding hanging upside-down from a tropical rainforest canopy, then crisson (sp?) it by humping in the offal of a decomposing rubber tree, well…thats me right, right? You two promised each other something LONG ago. How you consummate that legally is less than a formality. After that shit died down, I thirsted for information. In the same breath I wanted to congratulate the two of you, then to drill you for the questions that I cannot think of now to save me life. I wanted to hear not only WHAT you had to say, but HOW you said it. I was feeling like Nostrodamas: I was to listen to the inflection if both your voices, then deceiver what could never be said. At one point, I accused myself of wanting to hear how you sounded so that I could infer what was “really” going on, but that didn’t last. What was really going on was the sound of two keen friends growing up…making a giant leap forward. MAN, the clarity for the future the two of you must have right now. Make no mistake: I am inherently proud of you. If there was a way that I could admire the breadth of either of you more than now, then tell me for I am reeling. I’ve only been to one wedding in my entire life, and I was fully unprepared for how it would effect me. I learned more that day than in many since. My sister…my brother. I knew that to condemn marriage, as I had done so many times prior, was wrong. The conversations I had that night were profound. My spite was directly transferred from the institution OF marriage, to the institution that sought to “perfect” it. My hatred for the Cross would grow actual flames because of that day. But the day brought me an amazing calm…a lucidity. I knew then that there is simply a timing issue…an alignment in your life, if you will, that must occur FIRST before you can lock down the rest of your life with anothers…and that “act” is void of critique, is free from fear…and should be embraced…when the time is true. It scares me so much it fills me with astounding inspiration…how much I love Anna. As you said in not somany words: I would jump in front of a flying bullet for Anna. I would devoid my life in its entirety if it would spare hers. And, as I said somewhere above, I intend to spend the rest of my life with this woman…and my life is aligning beautifully without me even putting the Heat on it.

I’m tired. I’ve been writing since 9 and I want to go to bed. You can tell by the fact that the whole thing is coherent that I’m too fucking poor to afford my daily intake of IPA. But that’s a whole ‘nother 12 paragraphs. Lets just say that Anna got an internship at WIRED magazine and has had to take on a second job…and “may” still make rent. Everything else is up to me. I love that though. Isnt that the most mascultine thing you can think of? Supporting the woman you love while she learns a trand and skill and meets friends and makes contacts so that one day she’ll make more fucking money than any combination of Gods and then return the favor when we decide to tour the SouthWest? Well, thats just ONE of the things I fall asleep to at night. All is well. All is kind. You two must be the same frame of mind as THAT. And, incidentally, from here on out, you will be hitherto be called, The Thompsons. You will take everything that goes along with it. I know that the two of you saw that there isnt a damn thing that has changed, but there are some impending changes that you MUST consider: The fact that the two of you together are going to fare a whole shitload better with the IRS than each of you would seperately. How you can STILL rack up the wedding gifts. How, in accordance to the song: “Fist comes marraige, then comes the….”

….Yet to be addressed….
You going back to school…
Your musical plans and how they’ve mutated, migrated, or masticized…
My plans to camp in the SouthEastern corner of Arizona on 5.15 – 5.16…
The fact that I’ve rented a ’97 Ford Expedition with which to execute the above…
The retroactive bachelor party you slippery mutha fuckah…
My Pet Sun and how he may finally allow me to cultivate the beauty of Zafo’s Freshest….
You impending visit up to the Bay Area….

SPEW :: to jubal

created: november 26, 1996

You know that feeling where everything you come in contact with, if it were to appear on a readout like an EEG, would just be a series of some minor spikes and valleys? I’m in that now. I’ve got no reason to be. I’m doing really well…really. I’ve got a graet fun job that pays really well and has no signs of relaxing. Anna, as well, is employed and we have a great appartment in Tiburon that was a fucking steal. What am I talking about? I have an Idea…see, there was a two month period there where my whole existance was like a kite flying on a spider-web. I had already tied up all those loose ends in LA, and had minimized my life to what would fit in one Jetta or one closet. My only obligation was to send my cousin like $150 every quarter for the storage of my shit and my cats. Other than that…I was “this close” to being able to bolt out into the great wide open. No commitments. As much as Anna would be crushed if she were to read this, I would hve NO reservations about just filling up and leaving. See, I wasnt paying rent…AND i was working. For a while there, I hade close to 2000 in the acount…which would be more than enough to extend myself for god knows how long in what direction. Who knows? Sell the Jetta, buy the BMW, and tour the SW until the winter blends into spring. By that time…you KNOW what I’d have seen? Who I would have discovered? I guess I miss that opportunity. The point is, I was as close to my nomadic state as I fear I’ll be in a while to come. I now have a lease…a legal binding that will follow me if I were to break it. I will continue on that all-too-American of paths and just make the most of my situation. I want to be able to make my situation the most. The latter is a pro-active stance. Making my situation the most would be something like waking up somewhere on the Mogillon Rim in central Arizona and wondering whether I should head south and hang with the cats in Tucson, Vegas to see my good friends father, KC to see an old girl-friend, or to just continue to head out on a path of unknown origin. THAT is my dream, Jubal. THAT is what I desire. In comparison, who the fuck needs a job with George Lucas? Yeah I want to make a name for myself and I want to create breath-taking digital artistry and I want to achieve some sort of recognition that seems to only come from powerful commercial/corporate elevations, but I’m not willing to sit on this FUCKING uncomfortable wooden horse while I strain out there to grab some silly brass ring when, by the time I…ME…gets around to it, I’ll just want something different. If there’s one thing that the SHAMAN has learned in these 26 years, is that there need NEVER be shame in bouncing from interest to interest. You ever heard my “life is a hiway” analogy? I’m on a highway driving along. Its pretty well fogged in. (luckily) I cant see too far in advance. I’m driving at my own pace despite all the other activity and distractions on the highway and yonder. I keep taking a series of off-ramps…never the same one twice. The off-ramps, if nothing else, afford me the chance to look around…at how far I’ve come and just gain some supplies before I get back on…head back down that road towards….? See, the highway is my life: travelled at my own pace…. REGARDLESS. The offramps, are the punctuation marks of employment and experience in my life.

The supplies I gain while at an offramp are occupational experience. You see, Jubal, by moving up here, I took an expansive offramp…on where I camped out for a while. And it was during this pause that I began to realize that I dont HAVE to get back on that Hiway. There are some pretty intersting trail to check out…over there…and over there. But I’ll be honest with you. Know what keeps me getting back on that hiway and keeping up a steady, if somewhat swervy pace? The faith…the knowledge…the hope that someday I;ll be able to fund one of those jeep-trail motorcycle tours into the interior of this great country…in style. Sure I could do that now, and the spreading myself thin would teach me more than I could have ever imagined. But I’ve grown accustomed to a certain way of life. I’ve made, in my lifestlye and lifetime, a habit out of busting my ass JUST so that I can feel good about the rewards and so that NOBODY can say that I dont have my shit together. Is that neurotic? I really am in doubt. I dont see any alternative for that it is simply who I am and how I make my way. Its great for the employer and even better for me for if I was to ever just set my sights on one finite goal or purpose, I’d do some trully amazing and wonderful things. THAT is the faith of which i speak. THAT is the rhythm to which I chant. I neednt woory about the devil and my hands ever being idle for I make my way as a busy man. REGARDLESS of what it is that I craft from these hands or from this mind…I know it will be honest…even if my employers are not. Even though it may take a slap in the face before I realize that its well and time to get back on that hiways and find another mine-shaft, I’ll know that its time to go for it will be a decision that is mine and mine alone. So here I am at an odd position. It is me and me alone ho has place the SHAMAN in the North BAY. I have my very best friend in the world right by my side, and I by hers as we conjur up wild and expansive and wholly realistic views of how great our lives will be…on a scale of cathedral, jubal. And not Catholicism… echoic…sounding our signal through the fog. Keasey wrote of the fog in the Cuckoos Nest. His fog was different than mine though. His, as seen thru the mind and eyes of the Chief, was one malicious, produced my the “Machine” which was probably more rooted in fears of actuall real-life white-male entities than a “crazy indian” would be given credit for. But while his fog was purely of halucinagenic nature it was similar in that it obscured clear vision…forcing the individual to fucus on immediate surroundings and to place judgement in terms of criteria very close at hand. Our fog is similar in that sense. DISsimilar in that HIS induced, for that decade, irrational behavior that warranted his intern. Mine simply keeps me from traveling down that hiway at to break-neck a pace. Woe is the young professional who can see far enough ahead that s/he races past the thorns to reach the rose.

An hour later and my spew hath no end in sight. I must tell you, though. While we migrate further and further apart spacially in distance and temporally of handshake, I never fear that one day our thought patterns, coupled and flavored and spiced by those we both know and love, will some day create something of lasting beauty and spiritual permanance. Whether this is of physical nature left here on this Earth or a center for appreciation of things beautifly and naturally non-linear. It is not finished.


SPEW :: to mugsy moss

created: november 25, 1996

Tis me, girl! It’s been long time, no? Christ, where do I begin? I dont even know the last time I saw you!! Must have been around spring of 91 when you were living with M. Klein…after the Campus House scene. A lot of time, Mugsy…many a moon. I’ll just start with a stream of consciousness, and hope that it ends with something that may or may not be susinct and to the point about how well I’m doing…here in Northern California. Here goes….

CHAPTER ONE: social life
From Spring 91 on, I was, what some people would call, a frat boy. Not in appearance or festive engagements, but I did buy into the whole thing. Literally. And it’s not to say that I was a loose cannon, but I was in dire need of some discipline. Pledgeship was pretty close to the hellish rumors that you’d hear, but that was alright. I was having a really good time and the cats that I was in it with were and still are some of my very best friends. Ever hear Michelle K. talk about her friend from NoCal named Zafo? Do you know him? He was in the house as well. Well, she introduced me to him, and we just hit it off. Did the whole fraternity thing FULL FORCE for probably close to a year. Lived in the house for a year. Dated me a woman who eventually became my best friend for years. I really was enjoying it. I still had my “other” circle of friends whom I saw very often, while I still had this “straight” circle with the house. And I was still VERY active with the vehicles for the expansion of my mind…a ritual that I (we) had begun back 3 semesters previous.

Things with the fraternity way of life started to wane when Zafo and I moved in together, and we started to date these two women who also became very good friends. Margo, I was in love for the first time, and I fell deep. Really hard. Her name was Andrea, and I met her over the summer while we both live at University Heights. That pool during those summers can really spawn some elaborate &/or decadent yarns. It was the first time that I poured myself into a woman and found, in addition to the whole return-ing of those feelings and all that goes with that… but I found maturity. A woman who knew what she wanted. Also, it was the first time that either of us went “exploring” …if you know what I mean. We were inseperable in every sense of the term… at least as far as our intellectual levels were capable of. How much of a long-view did we think we were capable of? Anyway, things went hinkey after about a year. We broke up violently in May, but continued to play with each other in an extra cirricular fashion all that summer… again while living at University Heights. She was graduating that winter. Things from the end of summer until she graduated slowly petered out. But the most expansive plus sign from all of this dragging out of our relationship was that we became very close… close enough to be giving advice to each other about issues that would’ve caused fights 6-8 months earlier.

CHAPTER THREE: career spark
I have no idea how my head got screwed on so tightly. I was not at all that geared towards any one thing, and my work ethic, as it pertained to the classroom and the collegiate environment, was C average. The SALT program said I had ADD. I told them to fuck off and attempted to prove them wrong. Still dont know the outcome of that one. Anyway, I was drawn towards all things audio/visual, so I declaired Media Arts and went at it like a rabid dog. I took intenships, I took student jobs as cameraman, sound tech for my friends band “Glass Candles” and “Common House” and I was to find out from my professors and the grades they gave me, that I had a knack for editing. One particularly hard-edged professor (Beverly Seckinger) was reported to be one who only gave out one A+ per semester on the grand editing project. I got an A+. It’s called “BULLET” I’ve heard that I should send it in to MTV or something like that, but I’m too humble… and its far too violent. Ask Fortin, he’s seens it. So with expereince starting to gather under my belt, I began to fill my head with History, which was my minor. History of England for 4 semester, Japanese cinema, German cinema, German documentary, etc. I finally graduated after the summer of 94. It was during that summer that a western was being shot out at Old Tucson, and I got on the set, and that very day, I had an intership with the Art Department building sets and helping out with the props department. That soon lead to a paying position as the Props Assistant for the overall shooting schedule. Most fun I ever had. They LOVED the way I worked. I would get their shit done before they ever asked and I would do it with a smile and a joke. Looking back on it now, that was the first time I remember me at work. I worked so fucking well and I never ONCE thought: “OH CHRIST!! this is hard.” or “this sucks” or “I wish I was elsewhere.” Even when I was doing the shit-work, I was doing it in a flash with a smile. I would almost look at it as a neurotic thing if i still didnt have this work ethic…having brought it to LA. See, it was born there…this idea that: if I dont bust my fucking ass at something, not only was it not done right, but it surely wasnt worth it. Besides, I was at a point in my life where I was avidly seeking communal with the desert… more so than ever in all my years of being raised in AZ. I would, drug-free sometimes, wander out into the desert at sunset with just the shirt on my back… foolishly without essentials for susstainibility out there after dark… for HOURS. The production company, which was based in LA, wrapped the western on the very same day that my summer school class… MY LAST CLASS had its final. So, it’s May 12, 1994… I’m at the wrap-party out at old tucson, and they’re all buying me shots… even the director… who hated everybody. And it was he that gave me the job. See, as the Props Assistant, I was under the Art Director, Dave Blass, who was always “right there” with the director, for his vision had to be authentic, and it was the Art Dept who had to make everything look “period.” Like all directors and art directors, they were perfectionists. They liked my eye for continuity. I mean, here I was a pee-on college film-school graduate working HARD for peanuts, and it would be ME who yelled “WAIT!!! He had the cigar in the other hand on the last pickup!!” I guess they appreciated how ballsy I was. They asked me my immediate plans… I said to move out to LA and find a calling in the motion picture industry… they said that I was to start mid-september.

CHAPTER FOUR: intentional community of angels ironically called a “city”
So I worked on their film for almost 8 weeks. I worked 15-18 hour days for two months on a non-union film… that means that I’m payed a flat-rate for my services no matter what kind of hours i put in. After 12 hours, california law would kick in demanding the production provide a second or even a third meal. The law also stated that no matter what hour the set wrapped for the day, we were to be given a 12 hour turn-around. So, picture this: Getting to the set at 6am, working until 11, Midnight, or later…and then having to come back to work at like noon the next day, working until 5 or 6am, and then repeating those same steps over again. Ever hear of “circadian rhythms?” Know what happens to the soul when they’re fucked with? But, the money was good, and the Art Director opened up his wing for me to get under… and I followed him (Dave Blass) to about 4 other productions. I cut my teeth so to speak. Little did I know, I was shedding those layers of the onion that I no longer needed, and getting to the core activities. I have an analogy for just about everything, and this was no exception: I’m on a highway driving along. Its pretty well fogged in. I’m driving at my own pace despite all the other activity and distractions on the highway and yonder. I keep taking a series of off-ramps… never the same one twice. The off-ramps, if nothing else, afford me the chance to look around… at how far I’ve come and just gain some supplies before I get back on…head back down that road towards….? See, the highway is my life: travelled at my own pace…. REGARDLESS. The offramps, are the punctuation marks of employment and experience in my life. These individual on-set motion picture jobs were individual off-ramps while I followed one little caravan. And once I realized, that after 6 months and 4 production schedules, that I wanted to be on the “post-production” end of the motion picture industry, I merged once again back on that hiway. What, according to the analogy, would be miles, I call resumes and interviews. This very computer allowed me to FAX 120 resumes to the multitude of post houses in the LA area. I had some amazing interviews… ones that raised my spirits and my esteem more than I can ever put into words. I mean, thats what “good” interviews are supposed to do, right? Even you dont get the job… the images that you put yourself into as you fantacize about your potential IN that job do wonders for the next interview. All this so long as you dont fawn over one particular position. NEVER let yourself be crushed.

CHAPTER FIVE: born to edit?
Of all those resumes and interviews, the one that hire me on the spot was the one that I really wanted. In hindsight, I really should have been more persistent at the ones where I KNEW they were doing more cutting edge stuff. If only I knew then what I know now, JUST about market presence, I’d have generated custom cover letters and told them I’d work for free. But as it was, this job, called E.P. Graphic Productions was where I was at that time. I wanted an environment where someone would let me off the proverbial leash and let me have at it. Those other hi-end houses would have me answering phones for 3 month before they EVER let me out of the cellar. So, my new boss, Eddie Pong (EP), a 6 1/2 foot millionaire Chinaman wise in the spritual ways of his heritage owned and operated an outfit of 5 people (including me) to produce commercials for the Asian market… both over there and right in LA… from pre to post production… everything. There was no stigma to the Asian-market nor was there any shame in the benchwarming I’d have to to inbetween covering multiple bases. I did so much for these guys that they just kept giving me more to do. It was a true symbiotic relationship. I would get paid to go spend the entire day scouting locations – from waterfalls in Topanga Canyon to house interiors in Orange County to Pub fascades in San Pedro. To price stock footage and to book telecine sessions. To hold casting sessions for Cantonese, Mandrin, Japanese, Korean, or Thai voice-overs. Oh yea, I also made the coffe and picked the Hong Kong Honchos up from the airport. Although the outfit was small, they were heavily funded. The accounts that we had just while I was there included Sprint, Northwest Airlines, Sumitomo Bank and Guiness Beer. There was even a time when Ogilvy & Mather / China (the Guiness chaps) were going to fly the 5 of use to Malasia to oversee second unit production. And going anywhere NEAR this guy’s homeland would have been a hands-on lesson in the ways of truly progressive travel. I took many a semester in Asian history, and he nudged my admiration for all aspects Oriental. Like I said, they loved the way I worked. I just love the what I was working. In my cover letter, I stated that I wanted to gain as much knowledge as posible in both 3D computer generated images/animation as well as non-linear editing, which is the process of “digitizing” film or video onto computer hard-disk and manipulating frames/scenes/sound in much the same way as a word-processor moves around blocks of text. He had both. And both were fairly state of the art. Best thing about it was that he was so damn wealthy, that he could buy everything outright and turnkey and have everything in-house…instead of having to buy time at these massively expensive editing and/or post houses. So, he basically opened up both doors, put his arm around me and said that I could pick. The animation was of massive appeall. Ever see Toy Story? Jurassic Park? The room and the equipment in it that I was looking at was the first step. Yet, for absolutly no reason other than an easier learning curve, I chose the digital off-line editing system… called it my own, poured thru it, took classes, asked questions, and before long, I was the in-house off-line editor for EP Graphic Productions… when they needed it. Thats always the catch isnt it? A title dont mean shit if you only get to flash it when you work. See, EP was so wealthy that he did all of this as a hobby. And, as a result, only needed to do 4 huge 2-month accounts for the year to write his life off in taxes for that year. While he would never let someone like me go hungry or broke, I was preparing myself for the enevitable. I had gained my first tangible skill on this Earth, and he was very kind in helping me off into that world without an ounce of regret. A truly spiritual stepping stone.


Glad to see I left a lasting and positive impression. I wish you the best with your future work.


Posted by: Dave Blass at March 15, 2005 10:01 PM