[ f e c k l e s s ]

Wednesday, March 22

What's the best argument for living in the beltway, and the best for staying away?

Washington, DC, is undergoing a total renaissance. Young professionals are moving back into the city in droves, buying up houses that have stood derelict since the King Riots of '68.

DC is one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation. It's a totally different city than it was 10 years ago, and it's only getting better. That's one of the reasons why I'm working so hard on buying a house in the District. I want my piece of the pie.

The only thing that really puts my panties in a bunch is the radio stations. The potholes, the crime, the drugs, the traffic or the pollution -- all these things I can deal with. But there's not one decent radio station in the city (unless you happen to enjoy Christina Aguilera and Hanson.)

Don Bruns of ratbastard.org and almost.org answers sevenquestions.

Now I'm homesick. Crappy radio stations . . . ah. Why, I listened to HFS before it sucked, and I gota tell you youngsters . . mutter mutter grr. Old now. Change bad. New 9:30 club my butt. Zig-Zag closed. Roxy closed. Tracks closed. Popstop closed. No more midnight getting hit upside the head by a volleyball to Ministry.

Hey! Now I'm not homesick anymore.

 (9:18 AM | #)

Tuesday, March 21

"Mrifk! I thought I had killed the last of those dogs;" muttered Grignr in a half apathetic state.
No matter how many times I read a copy of The Eye of Argon it still makes me giggle.
 (4:05 PM | #)

Friday, March 17

I put this up on sfstories, in the downtown section.

I did some more thinking about the whole thing--not that I've come to any conclusions. A problem with writing about the homeless (aside from the problem of consistently referring to a mass of widely differing individuals as 'the homeless') stems from the stories being much more about the writer than anything else. Like this one, which has much more to do with my (slowly) learning ways of reacting to difficult situations than it does with the man who was being verbally assaulted, or even the man who was doing the assaulting. This isn't a problem in itself--but it reminds me to ask: who is writing for them?

There's a lot of possible answers to that, some good, some bad. Street Sheets--well, I'm skeptical.

(Also, who the hell speaks for them *politically* around here? Where the hell is Mitch Snyder when you need him, dammit?)

But the question just seems to be part of bigger questions regarding the ethics and problems of writing for or about groups that you don't belong to. Which I'd been saving muttering about until I get to the review of On the Rez I've been meaning to write. So I better go write it, huh?

I still haven't figured out which store he actually meant, by the way. I'll keep you posted.

 (1:16 PM | #)

Thursday, March 16

"Get the fuck away from my store!"

So I'm standing on a corner between my office and the Bart station, thinking about nothing in particular, waiting for the light to change. So I can go home.

And all of a sudden--it's always all of a sudden with these urban confrontation things, they're not something anyone plans out--there's this guy next to me. He's on a bike. He looks like a bike messenger, maybe a little more preppy than the usual San Francisco messenger, but he's got the little tufty facial hair and the messenger bag and the radio, so I'm pretty sure he's a messenger. Medium-sized white guy, maybe a little shorter than me, but cut, and wearing a tight t-shirt. Wholesome, healthy, Californian looking guy.

And he's yelling so hard and with such palpable hatred I can see little flecks of spit coming from his mouth.

"Hey you piece of shit get the fuck away from my store you garbage"

He's not yelling at me. No, there's this guy next to me, holding a cup. Skinny, dirty, vacant-eyed, homeless-looking. Black, with short little dreadlocks. That's who he's yelling at.

The homeless guy isn't looking at him. Smart move. He just sort of looks around, and shuffles a little farther away.

The guy on the bike keeps yelling. The words sort of run together--from garbage to shit to leave to fuck to filthy and back to garbage again.

I look at him, now. No one else is--a whole crowd of people, the usual group waiting for the light to change so they can cross the street and get away from the downtown streets where the crazies are and into Bart where it's at least quiet.

Looking is something I can do. I'm over six feet tall, male, and I wear a scuffed up motorcycle jacket over my office-wear which makes me look slightly less skinny than I am. This gives me some impunity in the looking at people department. So I give him a definite look, an I'm watching you look.

The guy on the bike says to me: "Sorry, man."

He doesn't mean he's sorry for what he said, of course. He's apologizing for disturbing me, because I'm not garbage. I'm a person.

This ludicrous rush of adrenaline always hits me in confrontations, even stupid little ones. Makes it very difficult to be calm, cool, and collected. I'd prefer to be calm, cool, and collected.

I say: "Hey. You might want to watch your attitude."

He says: "He needs to get the fuck away from my store."

I say: "It's a public sidewalk. He can be here. He's human too."

Sounds a bit inane, doesn't it? I can do better, just not under stress. It's the adrenaline.

He says "No they're not. They're garbage."

He says some other things. I forget what, exactly. I don't want to know. I ask him: "Do you own this store?"

He says: "No, I run this store. It's my store."

I tell him, again, "You really should rethink your attitude."

It's all I can think to say. I look away, the light's red again. I step into the street a little, away from the man on the bike.

I think of one more thing to say.

"I won't be going to your store."

He says something else. I walk away, the light's green.

 (9:36 PM | #)

Wednesday, March 15

Faisal's log is now at www.faisal.com, not faisal.editthispage.com. Just as my log is now updated multiple times a day at www.obscure.org/~jreffell/ and once a day at www.feckless.com and never at feckless01.editthispage.com. Just so you know.
 (11:30 AM | #)

I was the 20000th visitor to prolific. All hail.
 (11:22 AM | #)

Conference calls are evil. Conference calls are evil. Conference calls are evil. Conference calls are evil.

Also: any respect I ever had for the Corporate Marketing Department (as opposed the the Field Marketing Department, of which I am one of the Eager Young Turks) is now gone. They clearly can't organize their way out of a paper bag.

Argh. And what's that goddamn MOOING sound in the background?

 (11:18 AM | #)

Thursday, March 2

For those those following along at home, that was a reference to a line from Hackers: "I'll put it in that place I put that thing that time." For whatever reason, this line cracks me up every time. Really.
 (12:14 PM | #)

JWZ on the new DNA Lounge:
What kind of music are you going to have?
Oh, we'll have both kinds: country and western.

"Technology?'' Is this going to be some nerd thing? You're scaring me.
No, of course not. It is, however, going to be very high tech and cool like that club you saw in that movie that one time.

YES! He understands: a good nightclub should be just like the one in Hackers. With the rollerblading techno people and everything.
 (12:09 PM | #)