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the wall drug cinematic universe

Thu Sep 8 18:23:31 UTC 2022

driving from chicago to berkeley we chose to go through south dakota because to my friend and me it was a mysterious, unvisited place. the wall drug signs begin soon after crossing the border on 80. i was unfamiliar, but my friend filled me in: a place that exists self-referentially. it doesn’t offer services beyond that of any typical rest stop, and the draw to go there is the chance to experience what amounts to a meme (in the classical sense). in other words, a tourist trap.

it got me thinking about self referential advertising: ads for a place that exists only to serve ads for itself. the place makes money by selling advertising (ie tchotchkes with Wall Drug on them).

then, Marvel movies popped into my head. my experience of Marvel movies is that they lack any real substance. they are an IP portfolio: a collection of brands that interact in surface and shallow ways in order to sell merchandising. a Marvel movie is a commercial; the commercial is for itself.

ultimately i decided i preferred Wall Drug since, unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least Wall Drug gives you free ice water.


Thu Sep 8 18:06:00 UTC 2022

i have moved to berkeley. of chief importance is finding the coffee. the following is the result of initial recon bike rides.

  1. artis. the first espresso i had here was capital P Perfect. the second two were Pretty Good. the cafe music switching over to top 40 at some point was disconcerting.
  2. réveille coffee. it was pretty good, though i wasn’t too into the breakfast burrito.
  3. highwire (san pablo). perfectly cromulent
  4. cafenated. the espresso was in no way bad, just the one i was least excited about. i did rather enjoy their breakfast burrito, though.

still to try: breadxcoffee, coro, royal ground, souvenir, hal’s, coffee conscious, the OTHER highwire, etc

dark steps

Fri Jun 10 21:04:50 UTC 2022

taking dark steps and eating half the breadcrumbs is how i live. i no longer try to find the exit, just remember the rooms. meal time with the minotaur. the maze has it all: a trade in lunacy, nickelodeons, international coinage, soliloquies, eulogies, biscuits. when the imagery gets vivid i don’t depart in death–it’s just imperative to keep moving. it’s imperative to keep moving and not get stuck in the windowless room that sometimes forgets its own door. there is an infinity of better rooms than that. there’s the screaming room where ears can’t be covered eyes can’t be closed and in every direction the worst thing you ever beheld. there is the room of soft walls always yielding but never suffocating full of dry warmth and lavender. the library smelling of book mold and dark woods. the study with green glass lamps and green felt desk beds and pens and pens. the dark room where there is nothing. most critically, the foyer with the umbrella bucket and the coat pegs and the wash stand with the white marble. there’s a chair in the foyer and i’ll sit here when i don’t know which door to open. the chair is made of wood and has a creak to it.

new blog

Sat May 21 13:25:37 UTC 2022

I made a blog. I haven’t had one in years. When I did it was mostly for dream logging and poetry. I was always pretty self conscious about what I put there. I published my town feels posts as a “blog” for a while, but that never felt right. My feels content was overly personal, diaristic, and vulnerable. I used to think you could either be authentic (vulnerable to a fault) or inauthentic (crafting a personal brand), but now think often of a phrase I heard an actor use in an interview about learning to be “private in public.” I interpreted that as being forthcoming with yourself in the public eye – which we’re all in, now, thanks to the internet – but being defensive about what you share.

Another reason I’m making one of these again is self-actualization. Historically I’ve thought very poorly of myself and agonized over anyone actually caring what I posted. Now, I’m just excited to share whatever I’m excited about or mentally chewing on, not out of self-aggrandizement, but because the stuff I find interesting is interesting because I find it interesting. It’s a very cozy tautology. I’m not interested in building a following or crafting a brand: just sharing what inspires me in an honest way while still keeping some of myself to myself.

Finally, I like to mark time with the discovery of artifacts. I’m always hunting for inspiring things–books, sites, objects, people–and feel an urge to catalogue them so I can be re-inspired in the future. I post on social media about these things sometimes, but social media is uniquely unsuited to reflection and later perusal. I liked Tumblr for this to an extent but never got comfy posting there; too many numbers and buttons and noise there for me to feel like I could collect my thoughts or feel like I was posting for myself instead of a hypothetical audience that might “like” something. I also don’t like being beholden to corporate platforms.

Some initial posting fodder:

Technically speaking, this is all powered by some markdown files with custom metadata embedded in it, a <100 line bash script, and a Go program for handling a little linking macro. I wanted to be able to author links in a consistent way but have sensible renderings in HTML, Gemini, and Gopher. All of this, including posts, can be found in this repository. I considered a static site generator…but I prefer scripting my own thing wrt blogging. It keeps me humble and I find that I don’t use most of the features of off the shelf things.