stuff I wrote
pictures I took

it's my weblog, you should read it.

friends 4 ever!
a sketch of some of the characters in building the potato palace that probably won't be included in the book.

the perils of pinocchio (synopsis)
pinocchio achieves his dream of becoming a real boy but soon grows into a cranky, hormone-addled adolescent -- it turns out that it's not just his nose that grows when he lies. he becomes a compulsive liar and a porn star.

the discontent of my winter
the standard high school essay takes on the midwestern winter, in outline form.

roadtrip: arkansas/kansas
alternative realities accessed by travelling alternate routes, a truck stop on planet obese, fear and loathing in missouri, chez pam, poodles, DWI (driving while insane) and way too many twizzlers.

are you bisocial?
do you find yourself switching between social interaction paradigms, hanging with the cool crowd for a while, then taking refuge in online role-playing games when no one is around? do you feel like you need to conceal parts of yourself, being careful to not let on that you have a social life when you're at work, never mentioning your latest hack at the bar? are you constantly pulled in different directions, never quite sure where you fit in?

you (or someone you love) might be bisocial.

peter maher & I wrote this account of a night we spent at maxworks coop on maxwell st. in chicago. it was fascinating to read it again after all this time --- I had completely forgotten about the trip to the restaurant and the political discussions, though I remembered the pack of dogs. my two clearest memories of maxworks don't even appear in the story: we had a bag of food with some cheese in it and after we had climbed into our sleeping bags this seemingly homeless guy came by with his dog and asked us what was in it --- it was like he had a smelling nose dog to help him find food. and it was really really cold that night. the story won first place in the annual creative writing competition sponsored by farrago, the student newspaper of the university of melbourne, where it appeared in 1992.

berlin, 1991
I wrote this after a trip to berlin to visit friends, during the time that bill & I lived in gdansk, poland as part of an academic exchange. it was published in the daily cardinal, one of the student newspapers at the university of wisconsin, madison. again, there were many details in the essay that I had forgotten, the iraqi postcard vendor and the east berlin tourist office. reading it made me wish I had spent more time in poland recording and writing about what I saw every day, like the little collection of shops called "manhattan center" where we used to buy food and the way poles made coffee then, by putting the grounds right in the glass and letting them sink to the bottom. instead I spent my time writing fiction, just making stuff up, and dredging up memories of junior high with free writing exercises. hey, maybe I could do some free writing exercises now to dredge up some more of the things that I did in poland.

truth on a bus
we got our first laptop to take with us to poland. it was a tandy (yup, made by radio shack) with its operating system, word processing and calendar programs and a version of BASIC in ROM, no hard drive everything else was on floppies. it didn't need to 'boot up' --- you hit the power switch, and it was, well, on. we also had a great little dot matrix printer made by kodak. it had this expressive chattering start-up routine and the output looked just a like typewriter if I used cheap newsprint grade paper --- the punctuation marks came out larger and darker as if the smaller area had to absorb all of the force of the keystroke.

while we were in poland bill used the tandy to write the first version of a BASIC program called "autopoem" that uses claude shannon's theory of information to generate "english-like" words and phrases from a source text. he would run the program over night and in the morning have an output file of 300 lines that sounded a lot like "twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gymbal in the wabe." (he used 'tandy' all night and I used it all day.) "truth on a bus" was one of the more evocative phrases that autopoem produced and I used it a basis for one my daily freewriting exercises. I just started writing and the story flowed out --- it only took a few minor edits to produce the final version. it also appeared in the daily cardinal. recently I came across a quote from winston churchill that encapsulates the idea behind "truth on a bus" in a single sentence:

Men occasionally stumble over the truth,
but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

generator of chaos
my proto-blog, consisting of a month's worth of epithets from the notebooks that I scribble in at coffeeshops.

research papers
boh-rrrring. but I wrote 'em and you can read 'em if you want.

surf's up on lake mendota
madison wi
03 april 2004

barataria preserve
jean lafitte national historical park

marrero louisiana
20 mar 2004

kites on ice
madison wi
7 feb 2004

christmas 2002

the erector shrine
gone but not forgotten

andrea vs. the cauli-monster
photoshop vs. the cauli-monster
5 october 2003

elkhorn slough national
estuarine research reserve
with ammon
16 august 2003

big basin redwoods
with doug
6 august 2003

the forest of nisene marks
with richard
2 august 2003

the shadowless forest
with bill
29 july 2003

random pictures
of me & my mother
june-august 2003

roaring camp railroad &
henry cowell redwoods

with my mother
25 july 2003

laurel park
5 july 2003

robin & veronique
june 2003

the house on the rock
4 april 2003

trees & sky
26 november 2002

devil's lake state park
19 november 2002

national dairy shrine
16 november 2002

picnic point
with bill
4 november 2002

1 november 2002

the white mountains,
now & then

devil's lake state park
with bill & doug
19 october 2002

the battle of wisconsin
heights & sauk city

with bill
13 october 2002

henry cowell state park
with robin
27 july 2002

my life as a jackal
18-21 april 2002

robin is weird
all the time