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Gonzo Lives

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Fucking Hell

It's 9:53 on a Sunday night. Where'd the weekend go? I didn't do anything time-consuming, which seems to be the fastest way to waste away all that time. Balls.

I did manage to get new glasses this weekend. These lightweight, titanium, half-rimmed fuckers. I realize with this pair that no pair of glasses will ever feel like they fit right because one side of my nose has a bump where the other side has a dip. No matter how many times I look in the mirror and see that they're straight (except for the seeming tip to the them because the bridge is mounted to one rim higher than the other--expensive fuckers too), they feel crooked to me.

I was forced into an eye exam on Saturday because the prescription I had on file with LensCrafters was over 2 years old. Who knew? Isn't it *my* prerogative to get glasses with whatever-the-fuck prescription I want? The assistant who ran all the prelim tests was cute, though, and the optometrist was very informative and cool, and it turns out, my vision has actually improved, knocking .25 off each eye (the two of which also apparently also evened out in the last pair) AND I end up seeing 20/15 with my glasses.

So, that's all done.

Did some wandering around outside in the sun. It was a nice weekend. And I bought two new books yesterday. "The Dharma Bums" by Kerouac, and "How To Be Good" by Nick Hornby.

I've started reading "How To Be Good" first. I've concluded that the best plan is to never get married. Ever.

Oh, last week, incidentally, I finished "Curse of Lono" by HST. I don't know where to even link to. It's an out-of-print he published in the early 80s. A "Fear and Loathing" style conquering of Hawaii, except this time he dragged Ralph Steadman along. (Poor Ralph.) Ralph bailed and Hunter-as-Lono (an Hawaiian god of sorts) took refuge on sacred ground. I have two more books to go to complete the whole published collection.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Hell on Earth

When I emerged into New York State Saturday having spent the previous two hours cutting through Connecticut, I had come to the conclusion that Hell might be an eternity spent driving those roads, surrounded by assholes either too stupid to know better or who snapped off their turn signal levers in their own private fits of rage.

I was mistaken, though. Hell is actually an afternoon spent in Laundromat Madness, an afternoon such as day. Who would've thought that a rainy afternoon on a National Holiday would've brought all these fiends out in droves. It's fairly cool and wet outside today, but the heat of the dryers and wash machines only holds a magnifying glass to the humidity, and boils my blood to a level of hostility unmitigated by even a pretty face amongst the hordes. I was utterly surrounded by weirdoes, none so strange as the burnt-out remnant of the '70s working there, complete with Pink Floyd t-shirt, who's an infuriating busybody, insistent on constantly pacing and staring into people's dryers and placing himself in the way of anyone in a hurry. Fortunately on a busy day he's occupied with chatting with some of the regulars instead of trying to strike up conversation with me, but I'm still within earshot of tales of taking care of all the cats at his sister's house, where he resides. That Prick was there too, the jackass who comes in with loads and loads of shit, taking up too many machines and standing in front of anything in the vicinity of his. His load of rugs fouled up a washer and I watched him, unfazed, rush out the door when he was done to where his big Buick was sitting, pulled over in the bus lane. He was soon enough replaced by another jackass, a '60s leftover, complete with balding ponytail, who insisted on whistling incessantly, as any fiend would, within 5 feet from me, and then seating himself in the open seat between mine and the pretty face while I was off removing shirts from my dryer. It's far too hot in there to even consider invading my comfort zone, bub.

I thought for a moment of confiding in the pretty face that the heat and weird vibes in the joint were stoking my hostility and that I was longing to unleash a few quick rabbit-punches to the necks of the rude, annoying, and unsuspecting. I decided against it, though, realizing that confiding such things in her would only serve to wake her up to the undercurrents that were flowing about the place and probably send her fleeing out the front door in terror, issuing forth bloodcurdling screams.

Finally I left, sweaty and hostile, and got my sheets, towels, and week's worth of clothes home and inside. I peeked out the window to see a big ServiceMaster truck parked in the quiet, peaceful lot out back that's typically frequented by nice young families pushing strollers and older women tending flowers. This afternoon there were two patrol cars parked in the lot, engines running and wipers still going as if they had dashed inside one of the buildings. I missed their departure and what they might've hauled away. Is ServiceMaster wiping up the remnants of some ugly mess? Did this maddening weather drive some schmuck to an inconceivable act of violence? Perhaps a beheading? They're becoming more and more commonplace these days, blossoms of violence provoked by the seeds of Bush's warmongering.

Whoa. I didn't imply that there was any sort of connection between Bush's actions and the beheadings that have been taking place. But let's face it, such unholy, murderous acts are retaliation against a military invasion more unpopular in that region than here in his own country, where the numbers that supported the effort are indeed dwindling.

The phone rings incessantly. The ringtone is "Satisfaction," by the Stones. I'm beginning to cringe whenever I hear the intro, and the phone has been silenced since last night. What is it about me that leaves women either falling madly in love with me, helplessly twisted and conflicted, or completely and utterly indifferent to me.

When you try to live life full-on, I guess there are no casual affairs.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Uhm, Where to begin...

I could attempt to sum up my thoughts on Fahrenheit 9/11, which I saw last night, but I'll just tell you to go see it. You'd have had an earful if you'd've been privvy to the conversation The Other Mark and I just had over Moore's latest oeuvre, but basically my opinion goes without saying: It was well done, it filled me with seething rage, I'm appalled, astounded, and assailed by the absurdity of the administration's lingering power, and bias-shmias, any footage used was fact and happened. The connections were all there, as were the statements issued by various parties. If you think some of the imagery - the mother of the soldier, the collateral damaged-Iraqis, etc - was too much, think of it this way: the theme, plot and message of the movie is Bush: His Victims and His Allies. And if it stirred up a little emotion in people, translate that to passion and let's do something about this quagmire.

At least The Left has someone like Moore to stand up and make a solid point AND be willing to take the heat. Hopefully the Dems will take advantage of the opportunity to be constructive.

I'll spare you the rant about personal liberties and sacrifices and the foolishness of blind, faithful followers. Just see it and think about, Okay?

In the iTunes at home and work has been the new Beastie Boys: To the 5 Boroughs. I'm quite taken with it. The words, the beats, the raps. Mature topics mixed with the word "fuck." It's great. I'm thoroughly pleased with my investment.

Another investment that the jury's out on is this guy. I bought it right at the Sony Style store, but I think Best Buy's got the most comprehensive product info page out there. I've wanted a digicam for a long time, and I'm really way past due to own one, but I've been really good about spending lately and didn't want to cross that line... Until I saw 4.1 megapixels in a fairly compact-sized device (dimensions are good, but it's a little thick) for just $199. Sweet. Drawbacks: AA batteries (but can use long-life NiMH), having to buy the NiMH batteries SEPARATELY (came with alkalines), no optical zoom, proprietary memory stick. But hey, my feet are in the water and 4.1 MP is great.

Work is busy. I'm swamped and there's no relief in sight. Everything's an emergency and long-term projects are getting ignored. Same as usual. Side project tugs at my thought-strings, but for the past 3 days I've found myself in a situation similar to this, home for less than an hour, 9:30 at night, still no dinner, and still a ton to do.

So, to do I must away.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Fuck Friendster

Allow me a moment to vent.

Friendster is the most perplexing piece-of-shit on the Internet to date. So much potential and such a massive userbase and it remains 98% BROKEN! I log in to see that they've overhauled the UI, fucking around with some random amalgamation of font sizes, tables, and widths such that a person's *name* in the gallery is in a miniscule font smaller than anything else about them! And they're stretching images to monstrous sizes on the profiles. Where is the common sense?!?

The fucking best, the piece de resistance et coup d'etat, is that AFTER ALL THIS TINKERING I STILL CAN'T EVEN ACCESS MY MESSAGES. Anything past page 1 is dead. And I have a perpetual alert on the homepage that I have a message when it's already been read.

You fucking rubes, fix the goddamn infrastructure and make the site readily accessible before you fuck around with the interface anymore! I just want to get the contact info for a chick. That's all I want to do. I just need one piddly message out of my Inbox.

Please.

I'm not ironing tonight.

I already spent time doing the laundry itself on this dry, breezy, beautiful day. I have far more better things to do with my time than hunch over that hot fucking ball & chain. Like nap. And read my HST book. And ponder web apps. And write GMails. And eat more ice cream. And think about making some real food knowing that I won't really bother. And.. well, you get the point.

It's far better to leave it til the last minute in the first minutes of Monday morning. I'll be late to work anyway. What's 12 extra minutes.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Inspiration

I find this incredibly inspiring:
mezzoblue on Web Apps

I entered the Internet biz with an knack for coding and an enthusiasm for the Web, placed into a position as an Engineer, which my current job entitles Web Application Developer. It wasn't necessarily what I set out to do, but apparently my niche found me.

There were some characteristics of that company that got in the way of truly great things and some aspects of the team I was on that led to truly great things. You always miss things most once they're gone, and I now realize that I really want to be leveraging technology in the marketing and consumer user interaction field again.

My current position finds me doing just the same things I did then, but it's working on a web application that's more a software product whose goal is to give people access to services and data in one, single particular industry... one I don't find much appeal in. The application (and we) care very little about the user or who they are or what they do when they're interacting, it's all about making their time logged-in as efficient and productive as possible; not bad goals at all, and ones to take into consideration with ANY web application, but ignoring other goals of mine nonetheless.

Taking what I know now from this context, one of pure, hardcore web app development, and applying it to the marketing realm where every click is a valuable repository of information to be mined, I get really excited reading an article like that talking about the future of web apps. When deployed properly and to meet goals that they're inherently oriented to meet well, they're a tremendous prospect in the future of the Web and computing and a tremendous motivator for change in how companies do business.

In reality, this post is more about motivation than inspiration. That article's a further source of motivation. Inspiration, my killer app, is still out-of-reach on the horizon.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

revoluciĆ³n

Me (10:41:57 PM): boy, i blew it tonight. i had the chance to sow the seeds of revolution.
Other Mark (10:42:06 PM): with her?
Me (10:42:09 PM): MM HMM
Me (10:42:23 PM): i'd enjoy a shot at being a homewrecker
Other Mark (10:42:38 PM): you need to stir up the bolsheviks in her heart

I-G-N-O-R-A-N-C-E

Today, Kids, we'll have a lesson in Ignorance, something that's a very big part of many of your lives, but that you're too stupid to realize.

Ignorance is saying that the former President, a man who put himself through college, worked hard at his accomplishments his whole life, never owned his own home until leaving the White House, brought Israel and Palestine together to shake hands and brought forth the first U.S. Budget Surplus in years, that all he did was chase interns around the White House.

Ignorance is saying that a lazy bastard whose Daddy put him through Yale and who only ever managed to fail or accomplish mediocrity his whole life is a masterful Terrorist Hunter that we should be proud of when his Administration's State Department just came out and said that the whole 2003 report on Terrorism was wrong and that Terrorism in fact INCREASED following retaliation against Afghanistan and now the war in Iraq.

Ignorance is prosecuting a man who lied about a blowjob quicker than one who lied about going to War.

And no one ever said the former was Right. But few have denied that blowjobs have been happening under White House desks surely for years and years and years. At least he was in the White House after hours, instead of off fucking around on his big ol' Texas Playground, AKA Ranch.

It's all so fucking absurd, the blanket support for a half-wit, recovering alcoholic, lazy son of a bitch who's holding the head position of a cabal of thieves, criminals and crooked businessmen who are as far from You, the "Everyman," as one can possibly get.

Grow up poor in the South and be an Everyman.

Work your ass off and be an Everyman.

Succumb to sexual temptation and play around with some agreeable snatch and be an Everyman.

Don't tell me a rich fucking overgrown child who thinks he's on a Mission of God is an Everyman in this country.

And stop being so ignorant and face your own demons inside instead of just aligning yourself with the one who happens to be on the ballot.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Taking Out The Trash

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." - HST, citing Orwell, I believe.

It seems there is no shortage of White Trash in America. Personally, I watch "The Simple Life II," as I did its predecessor, to see Paris Hilton parade her skinny little bod around and always get her way (which, to my shock and sincere dismay, may actually be getting old... or is she just starting to pale in comparison to the beautiful faces I fall in love with on the T every morning?). The real theme, the Heart of the Thing, though, is about as deeper than skin deep on Paris as Fox can muster: Let's pit two Rich Girls against the White Trash of America, let's throw the Fat into the Fire and watch it sizzzzzzle.

I believe that society is the macro of the microcosm that we let happen, and what you're so privileged to watch at 9:00 EST, each and every Wednesday on Fox is just that: on the micro level, the polarization of America.

The problem is, all these White Trash rubes whose backs Paris and Nicole snicker behind, hell, they brazenly do it to their faces, all these poor sots voted for Bush and are likely to Do So Again. Despite the fact that he is knowingly, admittedly, and happily AT THE FAR EXTREME POLAR OPPOSITE OF THEM. To wit:

"This is a gathering of the haves and the have-mores. Some call you the elite, but I call you my base."

Apparently we get to witness that gem, spoken by none other than the reigning Jackass-in-Chief to a dinner party of wealthy supporters, when we go see "Fahrenheit 9/11." Which you Will See, right?

Hungering for truth, justice, and vision for all those miserable, blind sots. Open your damn eyes.