My Day One Was Not The Same As Dusty Crevice’s

I watched the City Council meeting on KTOP from the safety of MZ’s couch, which came equipped with a never-ending bottle of Two Buck Chuck. My appointment to the Cultural Affairs Commission was the Item 31 of 33 items, and not on consent. Would there be objections from For The Record I’m Sanjiv Handa, East Bay News Service? None personal, but he did, and he was right to, point out how sorry Oakland boards and commissions are these days.

I think the assumption is that the Cultural Affairs Commission is irrelevant. To everyone. In every way.

From Dan Fontes:

5 different Directors in the last five years. Nobody wants to acknowledge that the Mayor has lost close to 30 cultural affairs commissioners over that period of time. His pattern of using arts folks is serious when contrasted with his “promise to celebrate the arts”. This business of calling the Arts Department the “Arts and Marketing Department” is particularly galling given Oakland’s constant fumbling of arts marketing. The lack of quorums has been going on now for close to three years! In fact, about the only area they haven’t damaged is the Art & Soul festival.

Not so. I think budget cuts removed the leadership on Art & Soul as well. is currently looping webserver foo from hell. I think it’s a Saturday night thing.

In spite of all this, incidental remarks by Eddie Ytuarte at that same Council meeting made it easy to discount anxiety about the meaning of this civic appointment. I count Eddie among my One Hundred Or More Mentors who continue to inform Oaklandia with their principled action.

2004.03.08 ears

  • I Can See The Mormon Temple From Here
  • I Will Kill You Fucker

In a recent meeting with the executive and development directors, we contemplated a constellation of about thirty pastel color-coded post-it notes I had left on the wall. What were they? What did they mean? What were our next steps?

We turned our eyes to this… lil cave of altamira and immediately, three-o’clock high style, I saw that somehow, three of my non-pastel color coded post-it notes had made it into the mix. They referred to things that I really had to do right away, but since they were adhered to this wall, and not the wall in my office, I had really very seriously not attended to those things, or had I?

Yes, I had, certainly, because I had subconsciously felt comfortable leaving them here.

No, I hadn’t, panic setting in, because there was nothing to remind me that it all needed to be done.

Then that convenient calm descended, just like it descended around my unmailed bill payment, discovered between the seat and the emergency brake of my friend’s car. This is overdue by several months, yet I have yet to receive any consequences, I thought, holding the coffee-smelling document and looking at the water from our postion on the flyover. This calls into question all kinds of things. Things like Time. Consequences. Efficiency of Systems.

Because of all this (I do believe that), the executive director went to these notes immediately and asked for a full report.

Suggestions for epitaphs.

description and salesmanship are not parallel

You know those letters you get from the [INSERT APPARENTLY WELL-RESOURCED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION HERE] asking you for the [INSERT POWER OF TEN HERE] time to give at the level just above where you gave before?

I notice that they always have

  1. margins less than a half inch around because they are sore afraid you will not turn over the page
  2. a serif font, which is considered legible but you and I know it is not.
  3. an unwillingness to italicize for emphasis. Emphatic messages are always bold and underlined, which strikes me as typographically hyperbolic
  4. a message that attempts to make you aware of just how desparate things are [GET USED TO IT] while attempting to inspire you to believe that giving at the slightly higher level you did last year will effect the outcome one iota.
  5. neglected to include a checkbox that permits one to give money and never receive another set of slightly incorrect mailing labels, gift cards, newsletters, or affinity marketing opportunities ever again. You know. So that the paltry donation I’m about to make isn’t just a fraction of the production cost of the solicitation.
  6. made me wince.


I’m bringing all my talents to bear on the creation of one of these very pieces of forgettable AND TYPOGRAPHICALLY INFURIATING direct mail solicitations.

There I said it.


Blame me, because I’m aiding and abetting.

hello freud,

goodbye, avenue a.

I lied to everyone about taking friday off, then climbed on a nearly empty bus this morning with the intent of getting all the work done one can get done at work…

…when no one knows one is at work.

Little retail not included:
Working on the friday after thanksgiving gives one an excellent idea of what things would be like if the lone gunmen were permitted to continue their agenda. Roomy. Quiet. Efficient.

So yes, naturally, I forgot the keys to the workplace. I stood there about to be truly disappointed at my forgetfulness… and then I went down to the courtyard and ate my bagel, chatted with the butcher guy who never truly understood what I meant when he overheard me advising a friend never to ask a man with no arms to carry boxes, climbed back on another nearly empty bus and drifted back.

With a type of drunken imprecision I tried to decide whether looking at the keys on the counter, then failing to put the keys in the pocket, then traveling to the locked place that required the keys should be seen through

  • a freudian lens
  • a monkey-mind lens
  • a random lens
  • a compassionate lens

Now finally here I can list them all. On the bus ride I would get a third of the way through the list and start over. Repeatedly. I think there was a carbon monoxide leak.

lunch in a children’s art studio

Mo’s (what about yemen?) has a can of atavistic bad beefaroni calling to me, but I cannot heat it until I find a container.

This is an art studio, and every container has a bit of paint, or glue, or glitter, or clay, or modge podge in it. I settle on the empty that once held three pounds of cream cheese. The little reality train speeds away on who buys cream cheese by the three pound tub then brings the empty here. I’m more startled by this:

I smell the tub before using it.

What will that do?

On the microwave, I don’t know which speed dial to use. Is beefaroni is more like soup… or art?