hamburger at the grill

i had lunch with david hamburger at the tadich grill today, he’s in town from maryland for a couple days. i haven’t seen him in a year or two, and it was really cool catching up. i tried to convince him to start a blog, explaining why i think of them as such a great form of communication. he’s the kind of guy who, once he got started, would love it.

hunter s. thompson

as i was writing my last post, a comment notification came in from my mom, asking when i was going to write about hunter s. thompson. he was a pretty big influence on my writing. i had a weekly column in my high school newspaper, and many of them basically aped the style of dr. gonzo. many of my academic papers were steeped in gonzo experimentation, and i mostly got away with it. as a freshman at cal, away from my parents, i took to smoking dunhill reds out of a cigarette holder, a thompson affectation given me by a gorgeous and incomprehensibly hip woman named ann shy, who also gave me my first charles bukowski book. every time i was on the northside of campus, i looked at the department of journalism and said to myself, that’s where i should be, following in the footsteps of my fucking hero, not studying some mind/body dualism that descartes came up with while chronically masturbating in a dark room. i like the idea expressed in at least one of the obits i read, (and almost certainly on someone’s blog) that in some sense thompson’s influence is today felt most strongly in the medium of blogs. he was one of the first journalists to completely obliterate the notion of objective reporting as a pursuit, to forcibly inject himself into the story, which is what most good blogs do. somewhere in all that poetic license, the drugs and the boozy psychosis hitherto unknown in the field of journalism, you got a clearer, more visceral understanding of the things he reported than you would have from a laundry list of facts.
i suppose i haven’t written anything because he shot himself, and it’s always very sad and confusing when someone who is not terminally ill kills themself. having been in that mindframe a number of times over the years, i suppose i do understand it. the four people that i have known that have shot themselves were all heavy, heavy boozers, and i myself have only seriously entertained checking out while drunk and depressed. i’ll bet you anything that there was a bottle of wild turkey involved.
so, i guess i’ve just been thinking that it is a real fucking shame. my heart goes out to the man, and those he left behind .

the maoist game review

i ran across a link to a maoist game review page when reading maciej’s blog (i think i met him in #joiito irc channel). i actually enjoyed reading some of these reviews, and especially this bit on the index page:

This billboard for a videogame up at Fort Bragg in North Carolina proves MIM’s point that video games are not politically neutral. Brainwashed by militarism, bored people take up countless militarist games and real world killing just for excitement. Even pornography video games are not as popular. If people had more social control of their lives instead of just the illusion of “freedom,” they would not be playing so many games like this one. Under capitalism, game-makers produce what is profitable. Under the joint dictatorship of the proletariat of the oppressed nations over imperialism, games glorifying Uncle $am will be history and game-makers will flourish without having to cater to mindless sex and violence.

that sounds exciting! i can hardly wait! curiously, it looks to me like the maoist international movement is really just out to make a buck (i.e. amazon affiliate links) like all the other decadent bourgeoise capitalist whores out there. which reminds me, if you get a chance go check out the google ads over on the boate! they are extra-clickable! i put them on there a few months ago as an experiment and i think i have made about $3 so far. the new internet gold rush!!! blogs as a cash flow!
UPDATE: this is what happens when you don’t read your rss feeds for a few days. you lose track of the fact that other people, such as gga and mefi have already covered things better than you can. best to stick to things that only i know, like MY NEW REFRIGERATOR IS WHISPER QUIET, AND IT IS KEEPING EVERYTHING IN IT EXCEEDINGLY COLD!

i went on a spree

i went to see the polyphonic spree at bimbo’s tonight. i have been listening to “together we’re heavy” for a while now, i missed them the last time they were in town, at slim’s, and i am glad i did. bimbo’s is a PERFECT venue for the band, with all the 1930’s mermaid paintings and red booths, the tassled canopies above the bars…tonight’s performance was part of noise pop, and was the last show they’re playing for a while before they go on hiatus. the show was pretty incredibly good. talk about a variety of instruments! 20+ musicians. it reminded me of high school, when my music teacher, jerry margolis (scroll down on that page) used to make me play whatever instrument noone else could or would. i played drums in a couple musicals that were the same style as the spree. tympani. tubular bells. glockenspiel. i usually got the harp charts and played them on a fender rhodes. claves. castanets. synthesizers. and a lot of other stuff.
anyhow, the show ripped.

clouds: better at a distance

phil and i took a short sail today, left the marina at 2 and were right off san francisco by 4. the national weather service had a hazardous weather warning out for possible thunderstorms in the afternoon. yesterday i believed them, and they were right, but today turned out to be a perfect day. phil just got his pilot’s license recently, and is much better versed on clouds than i am. we kept a pretty close eye on some anvil-shaped formations (they can punch up from 1,000 up to 45,000 feet, creating severe updrafts in the process). these anvil clouds are the real hell-hammer type, the ones that can put a serious damper (or is that dampening) on an otherwise perfect spring day of sailing. also, i have not personally tested the theory that boats are entirely safe in a thunderstorm. there is part of me that looks at that 30′ aluminum mast as a lightning tickler.
another perfect sunset

up to my neck in it

remember how i was bemoaning the fact that i couldn’t become immersed in the latest myst game? i am not having that problem WHATSOEVER with world of warcraft. maybe i’ll write about it tomorrow, right now i just got out of the shower, clean pajamas are on, and i am ready to settle into another marathon session.


excellent statement from white house spokesman scott mclellan on a videotaped interview in which bush admits smoking weed:

“Look, I think that, one, the comments in the tapes speak for themselves. And two, I think that what I just said pretty much speaks for itself,” McClellan said when pressed about the details.