This is one of those things that no-one has done but only people like me would look for (hence why no-one has done it): a comparison review of different kinds of deck and card protectors, as well as display cases and binder sheets. I only say this is needed because I'm looking for one and not finding it.

How do I know whether top-loaders are better than snap-shut or screw-shut cases? Obviously, screw-shut cases are for those paranoid or lucky enough to own really-freaking-valuable cards.. but snap-shut and top-loader? Some top-loaders can scratch cards, so what kinds don't? What kinds can bend and which are rigid? Which are the best for display, which are the best for storage?

And the two I want to know: what kind of case best protects a card during heavy handling, and what kind of rigid case will both protect a card and fit in a binder sheet (and what kind of binder sheet won't break when 9 of these cases are in it)?

This tends to be impersonal because my inner monologue takes care of all the emotional baggage. But it really doesn't, but I've trained myself for years not to let anything show. All of that is contrary to the meaning, even a public one. I don't want to sound whiny. I don't want to sound angsty. I don't want to sound depressed when I'm happy or happy when I'm sad. I don't know how to convey everything accurately, so I keep it to myself, because at least I know what I mean.
I don't know how to write.

..but really, I'm just worried about Heather. I don't know how to express that or how to read any comments that would inevitably rise from that. Similarly, I don't know how to help her or how to simply be with her without trying to help her. I feel like a fair weather friend (it took me three years to understand what that phrase meant, how to use it, and why it was called that, and I don't think I've even heard the phrase in over 5 years, so obviously that was 3 years of time dedicated to this single moment) because I always fall silent when she needs me the most and always talk to much when she only needs silence.

The state of my senior exhibition, as of Saturday, 30 November, 2002. This is required of all graduating art majors at Hiram College, just as papers and presentations are required in other majors. My show opens on Sunday, December 8, 2002, so I have a week to get everything together.

Three of the eight paintings I did this semester are unfinished, though they are close to being done. All of the pedestals have to be painted (one each for the three books I will be showing, one for the catalog for the show). The two walls that the two assemblages will be against have to be painted, as they are surely heavily scratched and marked. And mounting hardware must be put on everything.

The gallery space is in the art building, a sort of atrium on the first and second floors, with the majority of the space being on the second floor. On the first floor, there are doors on the east and west sides of the building. A large staircase goes up the center of the atrium. The walls on the first floor are a textured cloth that has been painted white. The second floor walls are cork on drywall, barely sufficient for hanging art and damn ugly.

The basic design of the exhibition is as follows (All are listed left to right. Dimensions are in inches, with height followed by width followed by depth.):

First Floor

North Wall

Pond, Trail, Hiram College Field Station
2002, oil on canvas, 48 x 72

Tree (large assemblage)
2000, bicycles, circuit boards, wire, and screws on wood, 96 x 72

East Wall

Most likely nothing.
Blackboard, Downstairs Studio 2001, oil on canvas, 12 x 18

South Wall

One Corner of the Studio (top)
2001, oil on canvas, 22 x 30

Studio at Night, Winter (bottom)
2002, oil on canvas, 22 x 30

2001, oil and acrylic on canvas, tail light, staples, on plywood, 98 x 49

West Wall

Winter Scene, Night, Just Outside the Stuido
2000, acrylic with pigment on paper, 38.5 x 25.5
need to find some way to mount this!

Studio with Couch and Canvas, Winter
2001, oil on canvas, 30 x 22
need to unwarp canvas!

Second Floor

For the sake of sanity, due to the funny shape of the walls, these works will be listed clockwise, starting with the edge of the atrium.

Assemblage with Floral Border
2000, acrylic, wallpaper, wire, and found objects on canvas, 48 x 65

Late Night in the Studio
2001, oil on canvas, 24 x20

ccunning and Segnbora-t
2002, oil on canvas, 20 x 22

Studio Panorama
2000, watercolor and acrylic on paper, on paper, 13 x 36
would probably be a good idea to find a way to mount this one, too

Field, Diagonal Road, Mid-Afternoon, Fall
2002, oil on canvas, 48 x 72
need to finish painting

Summer Past
2000, wood, bicycle parts, paper, and Polaroid, 87 x 57

Perry Monument
2001, acrylic and found paper on paper, 25 x 19

Observation Building, Hiram College Field Station, Early Fall 2002, oil on canvas, 48 x 72

Church, Trees, Parking Lot, Cemetary, Mantua Center
2002, oil on canvas, 48 x 72
need to finish

Church, Road, Fall Leaves, Mantua Center
2002, oil on canvas, 48 x 72
need to finish

On the Balcony, Frohring Art, Twilight
2002, oil on canvas, 48 x 72

Painting Studio
2001, oil on canvas, 40.5 x 54.5

The Edge of the Woods
2002, oil on canvas, 48 x 72

Assemblage with Four Circles
2000, found objects, bicycle parts, screws, and acrylic on wood, 65 x 52

liha and Phyllis Stein in the forest
2002, oil on canvas, 20 x 16

I See
2000, acrylic and paper on paper, 10 x 6.5

Outside the Darkroom
2001, oil canvas, 16 x 26

The Border of the Field and the Woods
2002, oil on canvas, 48 x 72
need to unwarp canvas

Studio, First Floor, Frohring Art, Another Angle
2000, acrylic on canvas on particleboard, 39 x 48

Lake Erie Sunset
2000, acrylic on paper, 10 x 12.5
Memorial Day, 2000
2000, acrylic and paper on paper, 10 x 12.5

Self Portrait
2000, linocut and paper on paper, 10 x 13

Yielding and Paying (book)
2001, watercolor, gelatin silver photographs, watercolor, and found paper on paper, 20.5 x 15.25 x 1.75

The History of My Own Times (book)
2001, watercolor, photocopy, ink, and found paper on paper, 16 x 12 x .625

PowerBook Book (book)
2001, found paper, acrylic, and stamps on PowerBook 145b,11.25 x 9.5 x 2.75

So it's a big show. And I am probably going to put even more stuff in it. Crazy? Yes. But this should also explain why I have not been around so much the past week or two, and why I will not be around much for the next week. It is what has been keeping me busy for the past few years, and what will keep me alive for the rest of my life.

I am really pleased with this body of work, and I hope that you can make it to the show. See my daylog November 21, 2002 for details.

Today is World AIDS Day

Predictions state that by the end of 2002, 45 million people worldwide will be living with AIDS or HIV. In 2000, AIDS claimed the lives of 3 million people: 8000 people a day. 14000 cases of HIV infection occur each day. And yet, HIV and AIDS are not an issue for many people - "It wont happen to me". 95% of all AIDS cases occur in the poorest countries in the world. In Kenya, 40% of women are HIV positive, 40% of women WILL die needlessly, from something which could have been held off, or, at best, prevented.

As you read this, communities are being devastated by AIDS, lives destroyed, talent wasted, hope eliminated. Perhaps it doesn't matter to you because no one you know is HIV positive. Or is it because people with HIV are dirty/gay/poor/prostitutes? Maybe because you see AIDS in Africa, not in the UK, the US, Canada or Japan? 'Stigma and discrimination' is the theme for this World AIDS Day. People who live with AIDS and HIV have to contend not only with their medical problems, but the stereotypes that are placed upon them, regardless of whether they are from a developed country or not. Yes, there are support groups, charities and so on, but there are also MILLIONS who are ostracised, isolated, rejected, assaulted and so on as a consequence of their condition. Responsibility for the situation is absolved by blaming 'gays' 'prossies' and so on.

I don't want to preach, I just want to ask. Please, whatever your 'take' on AIDS, think about it. Don't judge too quickly. Give what you can. Pray, if you are so inclined. Keep on giving your support. Learn about AIDS. Tell others. The only way we, the global community, can combat OUR problem is by defeating ignorance.

I'm not trying to condemn everyone as ignorant in this wu, nor am I saying I know everything there is to know - I'm just trying to reach people who maybe don't know/think/care about the situation so please don't think I'm being patronising! :-)

Sources: "Episcope" - Bristol Uni chaplaincy newsletter

If you want to do something, the charity ActionAid does some good stuff and could use your help

On Drowning

I think maybe I've always hated the rain. When I was young I wanted to like it. All my friends liked it. Angsty music liked it. Why couldn't I?

Living in the Northwest solidified it. Sweet Olympia, WA. The rain made me crazy. I'll never go back.

And I remember bostoncold standing still in snowpants (maybe it won't notice me?) knowing getting wet meant being cold for a long time.

But I've always loved the suspense.

Right Before it rains when the clouds take over the sky like some great ceiling & everything sounds louder moves faster everything seems more important, dare I say cinematic?

Someone told me once there was a scientific reason, something about the charge in the air before lightning.

I don't know about that. I'm not a scientist. But I do know people seem to realize something about inertia in those white times.

And people seemed to know, earlier this week, when the sun was bright not a cloud in the sky, that things fall apart.

Everyone was preparing, soaking up every ray they could. And predictions bore fruit 3 days ago when the clouds strolled in under night.

Blood seemed to pump faster a precursor to the future & everyone began the beautiful shout.

I could hear the blood in my ears last night when the fog commenced. Fog so thick I thought of making allusions to London, to soup. I didn't.

Instead I wandered my broken streets, creaking under the pressure of the inevitable. I thought about beauty. I thought about Carl Sandburg; I saw the fog a cat with prowl&alleys. I thought about that moment before the sunset when the light shines through the clouds & you can see it strike the ground like the finger of god. And I saw the fog make streetlamp into tangible string, make a cobweb of the night for a dark, wet spider.

At this point in my life it has become clear to me I may not actually be able to change the weather. Or maybe only a little. And certainly not now, when things are so far gone I wonder if it is in fact raining when I look away.

And at this point in my life I think hatred's tiring. Maybe I find being cold & wet uncomfortable, but I have learned to appreciate the rain. The fluorescent forest beauty of the northwest. The symphony sound of rain against a hard tin roof in dark guatemala, a thing I thought must be caused by a god. My friend, the fog, meowing out of the window of a chinese ghetto. All these would be gone without rain. And without the murder you could not have the mystery. Truly, I appreciate the beauty of rain in the suspense.

Antarctic diary: December 1, 2002

Three glaciers

We took the Polaris ATV across the lake ice to the Bonney Rigel, a peninsula of hills that nearly cuts Lake Bonney into two pieces, one larger, one smaller.

It took about thirty minutes to get to the end of the lake. There we reached the Taylor and Rhone glaciers.

The Taylor glacier is a moving slab of ice the size of Erie, Pennsylvannia. It's deeply crevassed, and about fifty feet tall from base to summit. There are dark tree ring like striations in the ice when viewed from the side. Glaciologists tell me these denote periods of deep snows interspersed with dry windy times where dust was deposited.

The face of Taylor glacier is red with iron oxide. That's rust to you and me. No one knows why rust is leaking from the face of the glacier. But the reddish feature is large enough to warrant its own name. Blood Falls.

One climbs a small dirt mound to reach Blood Falls. There, you can touch the glacier face, or stick your head in an opening that leads to a vast lake within the glacier that's liquid in the summer.

After examining Blood Falls, we proceeded around the glacier. We stopped and munched some gorp at a large rock beside the ice even though we'd hardly been hiking enough to warrant an energy recharge. Liquid water was running off the sides and formed a babbling stream that passed below the surface ice.

I had been to this spot last year. It is such a remote, improbably distant location it had never occurred to me I might visit it again.

It's weird being familar with a place like that. It's one thing remembering where your favorite store is in the shopping mall, quite another to know there's a large rock around on the other side of the moraine.

After a surreal, leisurly stay at the Taylor, we walked across the valley to the Rhone glacier. While the Taylor glacier is a tall structure of magnificent blue ice, in comparison, the Rhone looks like a creature derived from a Dean Koontz novel. Its grayish green and full of dirt It's face is a toothed cathedral of stalagtite-like icicles.

Later that day we visited the Hughes glacier, just above camp. Lots of big blue ice here too.

In camp we harvest the blue ice for water. Drinking. Washing. Cooking. All water comes from the ice. I put Tang or Raro in it. We make tea with it. Coffee.

As the human body is 98% water, living in the field in Antarctica is a process of becoming the ice. Scientists and mountaineers joke about becoming "one" with the ice, but the truth is, after a couple of weeks, 98% of you is what you see in those glaciers.

Right now--the weather is beginning to get worse. Helo ops has just informed us all flights have been suspended. That means the guest we were expecting won't come today, and Bob, the writer who's with us, can't leave.

We ran down all our battery power getting all the computers on the net at once. Now we're running a 5KW generator to recharge everything before conditions deteriorate to the point we can't leave the jamesway.

Are we having an adventure? Or what?

Life in the field, Antarctica

Life in the field is different from life in town in a couple of ways.

First of all there's more work. In town, people are up at 6AM, to work by 7AM, and home by 5PM. They take scheduled breaks and stop working when it's dinner time.

In town, people go to sleep in dorm rooms. They sleep in mil-issue beds in rooms warmed by generator output. There are showers. There's plumbing. There are toilets.

In town, you can't go very far without meeting someone and saying, "Hi."

In town there are washing machines. There are three bars. You can get trashed and stagger back to your room. You can buy things.

You can get hit by a truck.

It's different in the field.

In the field, you sleep in a tent. In the field you can go for days without seeing another human as long as you check in with MacOps and let them know you're still alive and happy.

In the field, there are only helicopters, airplanes, and snowmobiles. None of them will hit you.

In the field, you don't take showers. You don't bathe except to dribble cold glacier water over yourself once a week. You don't wash your clothes.

In the field there is nothing to buy. Nobody to pay.

In the field, there are no bars. If you get trashed and stagger out of the jamesway, you can fall into a crevasse and die. You can fall off the glacier. You can slip on the frozen lake and crack your head open.

In the field, if you get cold, it's your job to get yourself warm. There's nobody to ask to turn up the heat.

Every single day. In the field you have to be smart. Everyone is hoping you'll be smart enough to keep from doing something so stupid it gets people in trouble, or killed. They're counting on it.

In the field you carry a radio whenever you go somewhere you can't be seen by someone else.

In the field, when you meet people you like, you like them a lot. A real lot.

Because in the field everyone knows you're just one storm away from dead. You're one step away from crippled. You're depending on each other for food. The person you smile at will bring you the water that saves your life. And when you depend on people that way, you like them.

I don't know why. Maybe it's genetic.

Today I was sitting at this computer, writing a node, thinking of how lonely I was.

The phone rang. Yes. There is a phone in this tiny frozen tent. And it rang.

And it was a crank phone call. A crank Antarctic phone call. My first. But I didn't know it at the time.

In Antarctica, field people will play naked horseshoes for laughs. Field people will jump into frozen lakes. People will drink until they forget their names and then remember to puke into a registered USAP receptacle so the environment remains unpolluted.

The call had me going for a couple of minutes, until I recognized the voice over the scratchy radio line.

We laughed for a while. Then my friend said:

"We're thinking of you out there. Everything okay?"

I said it was.

Now, anyway.

And so now I have playing naked horseshoes on my agenda.

Today is World AIDS Day. I was asked by someone on what people should do on this day. The topic of activism came up and the following is what I said. I usually do not add such things to this database, but I am doing so to place a stake in this point in history. Perhaps some time in the future people can look at this and laugh, or if things become worse, cry.

Activism is one of the main problems in curing AIDS. Okay, that sounds a little weird, and it's not 100% truthful, so I should explain. Of the 40 million infected, nearly 30 million are in sub-Saharan Africa, 6 million in southeast Asia; 95 percent of the infected live in the world's poorest countries. There is little incentive to find a cure, because these people simply cannot pay the costs of a drug for the pharmaceutical corporation to break even or pull a better profit than "safe" drugs. "Safe" in the sense that R&D costs will be definitely compensated for, such as Viagra and Claritin.

The stigma of AIDS being a queer disease is still around, but it has been surpassed by the notion that AIDS is a poor disease. This leads to the extrapolation that poor = ignorant = stupid = deserving. This is a major hindrance to activists since their pleas of "help the innocent" transform in the minds of many people into "help the poor uncivilized people of Africa."

When activists clamor for the large, evil multinational corporations to make AIDS medicine affordable or gratis to these poor people, they are only hurting the cause. Why would a corporation with a bottom line pump millions of dollars into developing a drug with no profit? Well, the answer is clear: research and development of AIDS medicines has dropped anywhere from 5 to 30% in the past decade.

This is quite unfortunate, considering AIDS is passing the Black Plague in terms of death toll and historic signifigance. The problem is it's affecting the people most people do not care enough about. Almost everyone in the First World knows someone who had some form of cancer, but how many can claim to know someone who has AIDS? Right now, cancer is more lucrative simply because the people that are affected are the ones that can afford the drugs.

That is AIDS activism's biggest problem. The fact that AIDS is making gains in the First World should be capitalized on. Pharmaceutical companies need to be encouraged to continue and increase spending on research and development. I think AIDS is a problem that will eventually bite us in the ass, and this point in time is an important juncture in doing something about it.

in response to a conversation on green anarchy, naturalism and their "morals"

one thing i have noticed that seems to upset a certain group of people:

the whole veganism thing should not be called natural. human beings are omnivores, our bodies have evolved to process meat in addition to plants. if you want to be natural, then go out and hunt all of yr food. live in the wilderness. i doubt you'd get by on twigs and berries. the unnatural part of meat is HOW we get it. yep, it is inhumane to stuff a bunch of cows into little cubicles so their meat is more tender. THAT isn't natural. this is a much more valid reason to be vegan coming from a naturalist's point of view.

oddly enough, now that i think of it, the choice to be vegan is, in a way, putting oneself ABOVE the rest of the natural world. because then you are acknowledging the fact that you are a human being able to make "unnatural" decisions to refrain from consuming animal byproducts. hmmm. just being speculative.

another oddity-after all of this seemingly anti-vegan talk, i'm vegetarian, for the most part. i eat free range. bah.

Mostly a day of airplane travel. We were up early and packing, to be out the door around 9:30. What with one thing and another, it was actually around 10:15. Jen, Jack and family were going fishing after dropping us off, so we had quite a lot of stuff plus 7 people in a car more designed for 5. I'd ridden in the back back several times this week, but this was the first time that there almost wasn't room for me.

The JAX to CVG leg of the journey was fairly uneventful. Since my CVG to SFO leg was unrelated, it took a little finagling to get my bags checked all the way through. Normally I don't check bags to SFO, but Ruth Anne and Amelia will be joining me out here in a few days, so I wanted to leave her with as little to carry as possible. Amelia slept most of the flight, the little darling.

It was somewhat surreal at CVG to get the bags, get the car, drive around and pick up Ruth Anne and Amelia; but then to wave goodbye to them as they drove off for home. Back into the airport for a short wait, and a quick lunch at The Great Steak and Potato Company.

I finally got around to reading an article in the August 5, 2002 Issue of The New Yorker. It's entitled The Naked Face and deals with the things that 0.1% of people can see in peoples faces: thoughts and emotions and such. More importantly, it talks about the fact that such skills can be learned. Related nodes that I hope to get to someday include The Diogenes Projects and FACS the Facial Action Coding System and the taxonomy of facial expression devised by Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen. A couple of the people able to read faces naturally are Silvan Tomkins and John Yarbrough.

Joan met me at the airport in San Francisco, as she often does when she's not teaching at Stanford on Sunday night. Since I was renting a car, we had a leisurely dinner at the airport, instead of dealing directly with the two cars issue. They were short on compact cars, so they wanted to give me a convertible at the same price. It would have been cool, but I really need the back seat for Amelia.

Brewster and Mary were up when I got in, so we had a nice long chat in the living room. Brewster has a cool idea for making a publicly accessible digital archive of music that is still under copyright, but that no one actually cares about.

This was the day I went to my first twelve-step meeting.

My close friend and roommate, Austin, had been in Alcoholics Anonymous for about 11 months. I was soooo jealous. I WAS. He was working the steps like his life depended on it, and I had spent 11 months watching his anger issues dissipate, his shyness slowly begin to erode, his emotional maturity grow by leaps and bounds. I went to a meeting with him, expecting it to be a room full of gloomy people sobbing about how they couldn't drink anymore, and instead found a room full of happy people saying incredibly wise things about life.

I wanted what he had. I wanted it BAD.

My relationships were killing me. My shame was killing me, not that I knew what to call it at that point. I guess I would have said... social anxiety, maybe? I think I just didn't even know that my fear of people, of what they would think of me and what they would do about it, was a thing with a name. Many names, really; codependency is a good a name for it as any.

I knew that my (entirely, devoutly platonic) relationship with the utterly insane and abusive woman whose kid I was for no reason co-parenting (in an attempt to save him from her) was out of control and ruining my life. I knew that I was getting all up in other people's business in some of my other relationships, trying to fix and control things that weren't mine to fix or control.

That's literally where it ended. I didn't know any of the other things I would come to understand over the years: that my spending and debting was out of control, that my relationship with work was equally unhealthy, that my relationship with food and my body was anorexic even if I didn't act on it, that my relationship with my partner at the time was BATSHIT INSANE. I didn't know that I had been sexually and ritually abused, probably not even that I had been physically abused; I repressed a lot of that and just didn't recognize that that's what some of what I had experienced was called.

All I knew was that I had found other 12-step programs where I might be able to get what my friend had, for myself, and picked one.

I remember, the meeting I went to, the script said something like "We suggest that you try six meetings before you decide whether CoDA is for you." I was like, "Fuck you, I already know that this is what I need!!" I have made my home in many individual 12-step fellowships over the years as my focus and needs changed. But that night, hearing the steps being read for me and people like me for the first time, I knew that I was home.

fast-forward ten years....

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