Thursday, November 13, 2014

September 2014 Journal Archive

Morning September 11, 2014

Still rough around the edges...

Happy 9/11!!  After more than two weeks and a full bottle of antibiotics, the abscessed tooth in my upper left jawbone has finally ceased its constant electric drumbeat.  Man, I feel like I've been in jail, and now I've got to start my whole life over.  A pox on tooth pain I say!  As I scramble for root canal cash I find myself wondering if I haven't just personally experienced some antibiotic resistance/ineffectiveness in action. The bottle is empty, the pain in my jaw is still present, just lowered in intensity, and my gums are still swollen and sore...hopefully it just needs more time.  I'm just crossing my fingers and trying to afford the root canal (I'll be pissed about how much it costs later), as I really want to keep the teeth I have now. I'm only looking at an upper partial denture, and I'd like to keep it that way.  I'm not a dentist, but from the discoloration, it appears to me that the tooth has 'died' from the inside out.  So, I'm not sure what will happen now.

Spent yesterday on campus running sundry errands.  I got a new identification card that says "Grad Student" on it, returned a book I have on loan from the University of Idaho and re-requested it through the library loan system, did some work in the lab on the lithics database, met with an Economics professor and borrowed some study material I need to test out of Econ 201 and into Econ 462, and worked on and submitted the abstract for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) conference next April in San Francisco.  Big thanks to the work put in by my co-authors.  I got ambitious before I left and loaded my backpack full of biological anthropology books (retiring professor giving away his stash) for the mile and a half walk home.

The new and improved Calico Ranch

Speaking of which, we are all 'moved in' to our new place, and we love it so far.   It's so nice and comfortable that I'm still pinching myself.  It's been awhile, and I find myself taking it with a grain of salt.  As I told my family, as nice as it is to move up now, it will not be nice in equal or greater proportion if/when we have to move down in the future.  It's not so easy for me to forget that thirteen years ago I owned a half-million dollar house and property, and twelve-eight years ago I was homeless off and on and living on the street.  A liminal state, which is often quite...uncomfortable.

You see, one of the most difficult things to deal with when you are a homeless person, and something I NEVER adjusted to completely, is the fact that there is no 'safe zone' or 'home base' or 'comfortable' place to be.  Everywhere you are, if it doesn't belong to you, automatically belongs to 'someone else' or 'the state.'  Since we don't act like we are 'at home' when we are in 'someone else's' place, homeless individuals find it extremely difficult to ever truly relax or let their guard down.  Often it becomes unbearably irritating, and many homeless people tend to be extremely mobile...constantly searching for a 'comfortable' place to be.  It was my own search for a comfortable place to be that first got me interested in the concept of the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ).

From the wiki:  "T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, is a book by anarchist writer and poet Hakim Bey (Peter Lamborn Wilson) published in 1991 by Autonomedia and in 2011 by Pacific Publishing Studio (ISBN 1-4609-0177-9). It is composed of three sections, "Chaos: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism," "Communiques of the Association for Ontological Anarchy," and "The Temporary Autonomous Zone."  Part three: "The Temporary Autonomous Zone" may be read in it's entirety here.

Now, I mention this for a couple reasons, and one of them is NOT to glorify a known pedophile like Hakim Bey.  

First of all, passages like the following stirred me deeply at the time, as you might or might not possibly imagine.

Pirate Utopias
THE SEA-ROVERS AND CORSAIRS of the 18th century created an "information network" that spanned the globe: primitive and devoted primarily to grim business, the net nevertheless functioned admirably. Scattered throughout the net were islands, remote hideouts where ships could be watered and provisioned, booty traded for luxuries and necessities. Some of these islands supported "intentional communities," whole mini-societies living consciously outside the law and determined to keep it up, even if only for a short but merry life.

Waiting for the Revolution
If History IS "Time," as it claims to be, then the uprising is a moment that springs up and out of Time, violates the "law" of History. If the State IS History, as it claims to be, then the insurrection is the forbidden moment, an unforgivable denial of the dialectic--shimmying up the pole and out of the smokehole, a shaman's maneuver carried out at an "impossible angle" to the universe. History says the Revolution attains "permanence," or at least duration, while the uprising is "temporary." In this sense an uprising is like a "peak experience" as opposed to the standard of "ordinary" consciousness and experience. Like festivals, uprisings cannot happen every day--otherwise they would not be "nonordinary." But such moments of intensity give shape and meaning to the entirety of a life. The shaman returns--you can't stay up on the roof forever-- but things have changed, shifts and integrations have occurred--a difference is made.
The TAZ is like an uprising which does not engage directly with the State, a guerilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen, before the State can crush it. Because the State is concerned primarily with Simulation rather than substance, the TAZ can "occupy" these areas clandestinely and carry on its festal purposes for quite a while in relative peace. Perhaps certain small TAZs have lasted whole lifetimes because they went unnoticed, like hillbilly enclaves--because they never intersected with the Spectacle, never appeared outside that real life which is invisible to the agents of Simulation.

It's apparent to me now that I was beginning a real search to understand the experience that I was having and to rediscover my own essence; who I truly was.  Secondly, it was these writings which led me to other writings.  Soon, I also rediscovered the local library. Within a year or so, I was off the street permanently.  In thirteen days, I start a Master's program at Central Washington University.  

Happy 9/11 indeed.  Ironically, it was this date and infamous event in 2001, which acted as the catalyst to bring down the house of cards that I formerly called my life.  I know you all remember what you were doing that morning.  For me it truly was "the best of times and the worst of times."  But, what I experienced isn't what matters.  I figured that out years ago.  It's what I learned, and continue to learn, from "the road less traveled" which has "made all the difference."  It's also what I'm going to keep talking about on this blog.  

For all of us 'survivors' of 9/'s difficult to believe that it has already been thirteen years since the worm turned.  But, I doubt that I would be living the life I truly wanted right now, had the events of 9/11 not drastically altered my previous course.  The true pity is that I didn't recognize the moment for the opportunity that it was.  Well, now I'm veering into my next post on the main page, so I guess it's time to wrap this up.  

Dave ~ Until they stop you, ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth.

Early Evening, September 27, 2014

I have a new hat!

The last couple weeks have been pretty crazy.  It has been mostly roses...mostly.  We've become fairly acclimated to our new place, Erin and I both survived our first week of graduate school, the important bills are paid, and the cats are happy.

There have been a couple snafus.  Four days ago, I experienced a somewhat serious Crohn's flair.  Besides ruining a perfectly good pair of Levi's, I scared the whole family.  When someone with Crohn's gets's not pretty.  My blood pressure quickly got uncontrollably high and stayed that way for far too long.  There was a lot of digested blood in my vomit.  Apparently, I'm bleeding inside somewhere again.  I apologize for the 'too much information' nature of those last few sentences.  My tendency to ignore medical issues must not rule this situation.  I need to keep it real for the sake of a lot of people that I love, including myself.  So, it's soon to be back to the dreaded doctor and the delightful drawing board.  I'm turning 50 in four days.  I keep hearing Billy Crystal from that old movie City Slickers, "At 50 you'll have a minor surgery.  You'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery."

"Value this time in your life kids..."

Screw that.  Also, without excessive detail (because it breaks my heart and for confidentiality reasons), I accidentally broke an important artifact.  My respect for the non-renewable resources of the archaeological record is well known to all, and I'm frankly still a little crushed.  It gets worse...the artifact is on loan, etc, etc, other people taking heat....big ouch.  Not exactly a blazing start; my first week's stumble out of the blocks.  But hey, I actually got some of my deposit money back from my old place!  When is the last time that happened?!

My property manager

I mowed the lawn last week (found a mower in the shed, and got it to work with a new spark plug), and it needs another pass already...which reminds me that I haven't seen my son Brian yet today.

How I imagine it:  "Mow the yard young man!  The gas can is in the shed."

How it really is: "Yes sir."

It's cool...I'll just mow it.

I've got a lot to say about our current actions in Syria, as you might imagine.  I've said it either here or in other forums, "The US will provide support and airstrikes to the region, just as soon as they can do it in Syria."  You know, the place they wanted to bomb recently and we all said, "Hell no!"  Looks like plenty of folks have recently changed their,  I wonder how that happened?  Oh well, that's for the main page.

Misplaced priorities

Dave ~ Until they stop you, ride, shoot straight and speak the truth.