Kid, Days, Grow Shorter.

Early Autumn Wednesday

  this old van, door akimbo, sits out by a bunch of other junk at stearns irrigation, rusting away

It's a still life watercolor of the now late afternoon, as the sun shines through the curtain lace and shadows wash the room. And we sit and drink our coffee, couched in our indifference like shells upon a shore. You can hear the ocean roar. In the dangling conversation and the superficial sighs, the borders of our lives. And you read your Emily Dickinson, and I my Robert Frost, and we note our place with bookmarkers that measure what we've lost. Like a poem poorly written, we are verses out of rhythm, couplets out of rhyme, in syncopated time. Yes we speak of things that matter, with words that must be said: "Can analysis be worthwhile?" "Is the theatre really dead?", and how the room is softly faded. And I only kiss your shadow, I cannot feel your hand. You're a stranger now unto me.

-- Dangling Conversation
by Paul Simon, 1965

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Carl's multibabel translator is loads of fun. It translates whatever text you enter into French then English then German then English then Italian then English then Portugese then English then Spanish and then back to English again. The resulting pasage is frequently beautiful and humorous. I entered the song lyrics above and received the following luscious ludicrous prose poem:

relative immovable watercolor duration takes, that one that if to take to traverse in retardation, to visualize end here sun he throught to polish stretchings and color that space to be to wash and we we to restore and we to drink our coffee, that if to indicate in our indifference the sensible ocean licenses interpretatore interactive with instruction in one battery for urlarli to be broad. in the argument to calibrate and to the sighs of the surface -- this considers the structures of our lies and emily you read dickinson and my Robert and ice cream we he he our station of the work with bookmarkers, the one who measures, of which what we destroyed. Since then which it is erroneamente written of the poetry we, the continuous lives synkopierten for the outside of rate/rhythm, verse of Reim, at the time for the external part that we say this material in the things, with the words, of that one the analysis on said that the case to be obligation of the external part is valid? the theater really dies? and like the space and that sbiad of then decree I easy not to take the care from the relative color, to follow, in its ordered hand not to believe to him is extrangeiro of hour one lubricated to me.

Thanks to Heather for directing me to the translator. And speaking of my favorite Kooky Canook, I can't wait to order some Friends of Jezebel's Mirror gear. Be the first on your block to have a tiny image of me on your chest, or mug, or mousepad.

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Dunkies With a Vengeance.

Tuesday, September 26th, 2000

 friday, cuppin' coffee like a cat on meth

Today, out in the rain, I snuck up behind one of the guys I work with and scared the hell out of him. Then he called me a "douchebag". It's been about 14 years since someone called me a douchebag. So now I'm working on compiling a list of names to really hurt his feelings the next time he crosses me. So far, I have:

scumbucket
gaylord
hoser
stinky
butthead
tard
mr. poopy pants

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I want to be prepared in case he kicks the ball out of my hands or swipes my chocolate milk.

Oh, remember that turtle I encountered two weeks ago? It's alive and well. The boss let him go somewhere where he wouldn't be in our way or bite my fingers off.

The Flash redesign of the Morphine site is beautiful. Today they released a new live album, Bootleg Detroit, which I have heard is very good. I'm hoping to pick it up next time I'm at a non-fascist record store that doesn't charge 18.99. I really miss live Morphine shows. They were a big part of my late highschool and early college years. Sleep well, Mark.

A pregnant man? If this is a joke, it's damn well done.

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I would probably pay 200 dollars for a handheld Atari 2600. You've gotta see it to believe it. Stylish, retro, and completely homemade. [via kottke].

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It's All Happening.

Sunday, September 24th, 2000

 last night, at the elixir party, freaky-deaky like studio 54

Are you looking for Barbeque that really makes a statement? Visit Almost Famous.com. Do you want a montage of cascading pop-up windows and redirects advertising cell phones and horoscope sites to plague your desktop and suck on your RAM for three minutes? Try almostfamousmovie.com.

If you're looking for a good film, though, I highly recommend Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe's recent musical masterpiece. It looks back at early 70s rock and roll without growing campy, pulling off serious and hilarious moments with ease. Since watching the film on Friday night, I've developed a semi-obsessive excited interest in becoming a music journalist. Young William is my hero. If only I was as good at writing about music as I am at listening to it. But the movie left me feeling a bit sad, as movies often do, though not through its characters or plot. For me, the flipside of a good film comes with the realization that I'll probably never really be a part of the wonderful world that has held me captivated for two hours.

There's at least one exception to that flipside: tonight I watched The Straight Story, a G-rated film directed by David Lynch that tells the true story of a wise old man who rides a lawnmower for 300 miles to visit his brother. It's a simple tale, subtly understated, that paints a lovely portrait of the midwest, of family, of the slow process of aging. I finished the movie feeling uncharacteristically content to be living onward toward whatever probably unglamourous things are coming my way.

Today during Suday dinner my grandfather began telling war stories, which he rarely does. He described several items that he sent home from Belgium: he packed parts of a green and red German parachute and a belt of blank practice shells into a metal German drop cannister and mailed them home to Falmouth, MA. And as my grandfather understands it, his mother rowed out into the middle of the nearby pond and sank these items into the deep water. He isn't sure why. Before he left Europe, my grandfather sold a typewriter and an adding machine that had been "liberated" from German homes. He gave the 165 dollars to the sargeant to help organize a reunion for the troop sometime in the future. There was never any reunion.

Today I drove my grandfather, "Grumpy", around the golf course that I'm helping to build. He enjoyed the tour. I think he enjoys most everything.

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Rain, Rain, Wash Away.

Wednesday , September 20th, 2000

 rain, erosion, repairs, rain, and the process begins again

Perhaps you emailed me during the past month.
I promise to reply to your mesage soon.
Let's all be best friends.

I love the Flash interface over at U2.com.
Can you find me? I bet you can't.
New haikus in the lo-fi literate Bluemag.
Highindustrial, gears changed, hiding.

Days go by so slowly, in a hospital room.

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To Beantown and Back.

The first day of the rest of your life.

 mailbox, mailbox, hydrant, sidewalk, kenmore square, boston, sunday

And the sign says that long-haired freaky people need not apply. So I pushed my hair up under my hat, and I went in to ask him why.

He said, "You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do." So I took off my hat and said, "Imagine that. Huh. Me, working for you."

--some hippie band, covered by Tesla.

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Machines, Mean, Many, Men.

Today, September 14th, 2000

 as of five pm this afternoon, mike's nissan pickup is toast

So Ben and I were up by the thirteenth green fighting the anti-erosion fight, when I glance down the hill and see this big dark thing sliding--no, crawling across the fairway. We walked towards what turned out to be a rather large snapping turtle that had apparently crawled out of the deep woods. It looked prehistoric, like a dinosoaur. Not being prehistoric myself, I foolishly tried to pick up the twenty pound turtle by the shell. I nearly had my fingers shortened, completely underestimating the length and dexterity of a snapper's neck. We kept our reptilian friend in custody until Will the boss came over and said he would "let Evrett take care of it". I didn't feel so good about that, because Evrett, in addition to having a hot temper, operates the bulldozer.

Meanwhile, down on the fifteenth fairway, Mike attempted to dump all of the sand in his dump truck without opening the rear gate. The entire truck stood up on its hind wheels, much to its driver's dismay, and stayed there until three men and one giant D5 Catepillar managed to remedy the problem. I missed all of this because I was busy trying to bump-start the Mantis on the cartpath that flanks the thirteenth fairway. "The Mantis" is my name for a large and impractical powerhouse of a jalopy built from the insides of 30-year-old Ford F250, some plywood, four airplane tires, welded steel, and a piece of string. It has a "clutch lever" made from a length of pipe. I couldn't get it started because the battery posts were corroded. After my hand absorbed a few shocks, I needed a coffe break.

Our coffee break didn't come until 10:30 because Jack, after swamping Ted's pickup in ultra-soft sand, spent twenty minutes hunting for jumper cables to get Willy's Chevy started. Once he finally made it off the property, the truck ran out of gas halfway down the road to Ellis Haven campgrounds. The little restaraut there has excellent muffins. Jack should know, because after buying too many, he tried to eat about four of them. Luckily, everything gets put on the tab.

At noon, while we were making sandwiches in the Will's kitchen, I slipped outside, grabbed both of Ted's boots and one of his socks off the porch, and put them on the roof of the house. Two day's ago, Ted "accidentally" dumped a shovelful of dirt in my shorts. Such carelessness does not go unchecked in these parts. For about ten minutes, Ted blamed Duke the dog for his lost boots, until he saw them on the roof and swatted them down with a broom.

While Ben, Jack and I were mowing the green surrounds on hole seven, we smelled smoke. In fact, we could see the smoke, but we didn't pay much attention. And not until an hour later, when we saw a long red fire engine trying to back down a steep cart path and pull out along the edge of a cranberry bog, did we run over to see what happened. Well it seems that Mike's late model Nissan pick-up, parked comfortably by the end of hole nine, decided to burst into flames without warning while Will was fertilizing the green using the walking spreader. The truck was totally crispy, with one melted tire. The extra gas tank we keep in the bed for fueling up carts mowers probably didn't do much to discourage the flames. Everything was charred black. I ran home for my camera.

As dusk approached, I busied myself plucking gigantic weeds from the eighth surrounds, the getting the blade on the new Toro push mower ensnarled in some burlap erosion matting. Later, as oil leaked out, my mower started coughing up blue smoke.

Tomorrow, I do it all again.
No stories, no movement.

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I Brush My Teeth in the Shower.

Tuesday, September 12th, 2000

My brother Jeremy has been out at Carleton College for ten days, and he's apparently having a great time. At the student variety shaow last Saturday, he and a newfound friend played a stripped-down acoustic version of Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer to a 450 person audience. I never did anything that cool during my entire college career. Tonight brother mentioned to me he spent the day walking in forests and prairies, lunching inside a log cabin, and learning about 19th century churches. Sounds more like a merit badge than a college course, but I like it. Our friend Jake mentioned on Sunday that he had enjoyed his first official night of collge partying the night before: he woke up nude in a shower in some other dorm. In an instant messge to me, he explained, "I don't know what happened yet, but I'll keep you posted. I think it had something to do with a party in one of the suites. Maybe. All I know is that I had way to much fun. I need advil. Bye". I admire his style.

It's only been 15 months, but I miss college. The learning curve, the beautiful people everywhere, the deadlines, the ideas, the all nighters, the social circles, the dorm room sexile, the direction. Since graduation, I've traveled, learned from new jobs and new experiences, and even floundered a bit. College life's pretty brisk, baby, and without a next step, all those beautiful ideas are slowly leaking out of my head again. Still, I shoveled dirt and fought erosion for twelve hours today, and I feel pretty good about it. Life's pretty simple, when you come down to it. I just hope that in thirty years, I'm still full of zest, like Gus.

It's a breezy, full-mooned 65 degree night out there.
Perfect for a barefoot walk with Kaluha and milk.

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Music for Hairshirts.

Moonday, 911, MM.

 me and erik cruising in the cart on saturday. he's driving like a maniac, i'm topless, and how funny it all seems to be

Are you ready to go mental? Me too. To be honest, I feel like getting a little freaky. So here's a post to make you go hmmm. I'm not sure why I'm addressing you as "you". I mean, there's no one around. But this aint no party. This aint no disco. This aint no foolin' around. There's been music stuck in my head for weeks. You want entertainment? I'm tossin' fresh cuts up here on the wheels and steels. Let me tell you something, mr. hip-lingo-guy: spider monkeys have no idea how good they have it. Agreed? Now excuse me while I go for mine...

Jonzing for instant amusment? Learn all about Squirrel Hazing. "From cheek stuffing to car racing...anything goes for these wantonly self-destructive creatures". Truly enlightening. And if you're in the mood for self-loathing, sit down with the Abuse-a-tron. For a long time. Just click on it again and again, and watch your browser insult you over and over with gems like, "You drink your own bath water, you over-starched, manure gnawing, gerbil discomfiting, unhinged accident of a diseased monkey". Mmmm, how quaint.

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My sister just brought me Jolly ranchers. Punk Rock.

Exactly one year ago today, I finished writing up Project Omni. If you haven't heard, it's a website that carefully documents the mostly ruthless destruction of a toasted maroon 1981 Dodge Omni hatchback, as conducted by myself and four friends here in suburban Plymouth, MA. Last September I finally finished Fourth Gear, which still ranks among my favorite pieces of writing. But it seems like about two years ago. Web time covers lots of ground very quickly.

It was through the Project Omni adventure, the subsequent storytelling process, and the construction of the html pages that I discovered the wonderful world of personal web publishing. And now, once every couple of weeks, I get a form submission email similar to today's message from one Gene Gagne:

You little poser rich boys had nothing better to do then wreck a perfectly fine auto. Really, I guess if I was young and reckless I woulda done the same thing. But now that I am older I feel you guys need a lesson in life... oh well, not my lesson to give. Hope your kids do shit just as dumb as you.

Thank you for your constructive criticism, Gene. You also mention that your favorite band is Guns 'N Roses. So, you're probably about 35. Interesting. When I was a little poser rich boy growing up in an exceedingly affluent upscale suburban neighborhood, our elitist stay-at-home soccer moms had an age-old proverb to help us out when times got tough. It seems strangely appropriate now: Sit on this and rotate.

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No, I'm not done yet.
Here's another couple of treats.
Classy Radiohead interview from Q magazine.
No singles from Kid A, only short video blips:

It's a sixfoot6 sneak-peek exclusive!
Yeah, and then I woke up!

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Meta-Meta, Feta-Feta.

Sunday, Septmber 10th, 2000

 sepia sky, yesterday (fly like an eagle, fly like an eagle)

rebecca blood writes with the clarity and confidence of a classics professor, and her recent essay, Weblogs: A History and Perspective provides a perfect snapshot of the weblog medium in its present state. rebecca describes the evolution of weblogs over the course of the last two years, and goes on to suggest the role blogs may play in the continuing growth of the web. I particularly enjoy the paragraphs the describe the effect that keeping a blog can have on the author.

As he enunciates his opinions daily, this new awareness of his inner life may develop into a trust in his own perspective. His own reactions--to a poem, to other people, and, yes, to the media--will carry more weight with him. Accustomed to expressing his thoughts on his website, he will be able to more fully articulate his opinions to himself and others. He will become impatient with waiting to see what others think before he decides, and will begin to act in accordance with his inner voice instead. Ideally, he will become less reflexive and more reflective, and find his own opinions and ideas worthy of serious consideration.

My own experience has been similar. I never fully realized it before, but I think I enjoy maintaining sixfoot6 mostly because the process of telling helps me to grow. When grounded in words, casual ideas and jokes line up to build a broad image, a mosaic of my perspective. I'm addicted to, and envigorated by, the process of adding to that mosaic. And the blogs that appeal to me most are those create an ever-expanding picture of an author.

And while Rebecca's article explores posibilities, Greg's recent article at Suck.com reminds us that the legal questions surrounding issues like privacy, intellectual property, and copyright laws aren't going to take care of themselves. Lawyers still make all the rules, but when it comes to the web, judges don't know what lawyers are talking about. The people who do understand the issues (geeks) just aren't getting involved.

Classic geek arrogance plays an important role in this denial. With all the sweaty assurance of a faculty-lounge communist, nerd culture is suffused with a rock-solid belief in the inevitability of history. It's built into geek jargon and the geek mindset into geek DNA, even, the result of success after success after success. "We can't lose," the thinking goes. "Because ... well, just because."

So until web geeks start growing up to become lawyers, things won't improve. But I'm not going to law school anytime soon. Hell, I can't even read.

Anyway, I think those two articles together capture the present possibilites and problems facing The Net in a most swell manner. I hope I can get my parents to read them. But I bet they won't unless I print both articles out. My mom still has trouble with scroll bars.

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Drinky, Drinky.

Saturday, Septembre 9th, 2000

the ever-enchanting robyn really knows how to throw them down.

Dude, I just don't understand why a can of beer isn't good enough ID when I wanna pick up a couple a sixers for me and my best buds down at the packie. I mean, dude, I'm like, holding a High Life right in my hand! How the fuck did I get the beer if I'm not already twenty-one? But no, the guy's gotta be all, "State law requires that you show a driver's liscense," or whatever, but I don't even have my wallet because I'm not wearing any pants. Fuckin'... obviously I'm old enough if I'm holding a cold one, chucklehead! And so then, after you complain or maybe speak a little to loud, the heat shows up and has you arrested for disturbing the peace or whatever. Wicked uncool.

Wake up, Massachusetts. This isn't a democracy, it's Puritan fascism.

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Tall Kid Goes to Sleep.

Breaking news as story develops.

 early-august, as jonas and I take the granada to the cemetary at the top of plymouth, off of long pond road, and sit and smoke and talk, just as we did three summers before

In case you missed it the first time, Crack Afficianado really is a great way to spend, like, 23 minutes of your time. They offer the kind of in-it-to-win-it, colorfully upscale, informative consumer services that the modern-day go-getter of a discriminating crack-smoker demands.

After reading an interview with him in the recent Rolling Stone, I've decided that I'm definitely voting for Ralph Nader. He's not fooling around. I'll back that up with an explanation sometime soon. His position on the issues are clear, and he told me exactly why he's running.

A horrible bit of news, told in a rather funny way.

I managed to put up some new textual and visual content. Enjoy. I'll be dreaming of breakfast.

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Long, Cold Evenings.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2000

 a toilet, at the beach club, several weeks ago, a summer long gone

While clicking through some of my old writing assignments tonigh I came across the following paragraph. It was part of an essay I wrote six or seven years ago, during 11th grade. I believe we had been reading Walden at the time.

I've rarely gone one on one with nature for the sole purpose of understanding it, but through all of my experiences I have subconsciously learned how to best use nature to my benefit. My backyard paradise has become a sanctuary of freedom that I can run to for help, be it to cool down after an argument with my parents, or just to find myself. When I feel there is something wrong with my life, be it a long term problem or something specific and minor, I walk out into the fields, clear my head of thoughts and emotions best I can, and let nature instill into my mind and soul the thoughts and feelings that I am meant to have. For it is this that I have learned to be the purest and most practical advice; it comes not from a psychologist or other external source, but from within. And I can turn around the next day and apply this advice to the rest of my life.

It's an intriguing paragraph to re-read, years later. The writing has a clunky formality to it. The subject matter asks for a more casual honesty, but the voice doesn't quite feel natural. The real challenge is to sort out my ideas and experiences as described within the paragraph. How much of this was true? Did I take pride in my connection to nature? Did I force or stretch ideas for the sake of the essay? It's hard for me to tell. I'm not sure what's up with that "practical advice". Lately, spending a wicked lot of time outdoors hasn't helped me discover much inner advice. I'm just working. Living and Working. That might be what I meant.

Walden, in case you haven't heard, is about some priveleged white man who goes slumming in the woods.

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Big Brother.

September, I Remember, 2000

 keep whipping ass, good my brother

This morning at 7:15 am my family hopped into a minivan masquerading as a taxi to drive to Logan airport, where they caught a plane to Minnesota. My "kid" brother Jeremy begins his freshman year at Carelton College this week. I formally wish him all the academic and social success that he deserves. It'll be strange now that he aint living in my house anymore. Luckily, I get to keep an eye on his record player and his extensive vinyl collection, so at least I'm getting something out of this.

The photo above is a portion of a graphic design piece that Jeremy made for his senior self-portrait before graduating Falmouth Academy in June. He framed the full image using actual wooden guitar necks, and recorded five short compositions to accompany the artwork. Each song corresponds to one of the locations pictured within the image. Perhaps I'll post them someday for your listening pleasure, if he approves.

According to a news program my brother was recently watching while sitting in a Dunkin' Donuts in downtown Plymouth, the notorious Goat Sucker has returned, and is once again terrorizing, killing, and de-blooding the livestock of Mexico. Curious, isn't it? The Sasquatch and Loch Ness Monster have a mysterious appeal, but only the aggresive herding cultures of Central America and Puerto Rico could come up with a character as absurd as El Chupacabra.

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From the Microserfs file:

Eric Harshbarger turned his favorite childhood toy into a great sorce of income. His Lego sculptures are selling for big bucks, and are hella popular among tech employees and startup companies. I'm fond of his earth, the custom-designed desk, and the giant Linux penguin. They're stylish, and fully modular

Guess what?
I drink Pepsi because Einstein drinks Pepsi.

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all content copyright 2000 ryan d gantz.
how can he stay so skinny, and live so fat?