15 MINUTES to APOCALYPSE
ONE BRIEF CONVERSATION ON IM
Just a few observations from the past couple weeks…1.
In 1999, the Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate was the nation’s lowest at 1.5%. As 2002 drew to a close, the unemployment rate in Silicon Valley was the nation’s highest at 7.5%.2.
Two weekends ago, 200,000 marchers converged on the streets of San Francisco to convey a message of peace to the entire world in a day-long peace rally. Last Sunday, thousands of Raiders fans converged on the streets of Oakland to throw rocks and bottles, break windows, torch automobiles, and loot businesses in an all-night riot.3.
Only fifteen minutes until the Apocalypse, and I hadn’t read the guide. It was like that nightmare where I forgot to study for the test. Only this was real. I was a key player, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Worse, I wasn’t even sure of my role.
The thing is, I had gone through this once before, and this was like Deja vu, only in real-time. Fifteen minutes until the Apocalypse, and not everyone was present and accounted for. There should be four archangels of darkness, and 2 angels of light. Last time, one of the angels of light was a no-show. And here we are again, 15-minutes-til, and only one
angel of light.
But this time I feel different. Aside from being completely unprepared, I don’t really feel
evil. This just adds to my disorientation. I walk up to the other archangels, they say “Hey,” and I say “Hey,” and then I decide to fess up.
“Hey guys,” I say, “I’m feeling really unprepared, and like I don’t quite know what I’m supposed to do.”
“Did you read the guide?” one of the archangels asks.
“No, and I think that might be my problem,” I say. “But the thing is, I’m not really feeling the evil vibe and I’m really having doubts as to whether I’m supposed to be one of the angels of darkness. What am I gonna do?”
“Don’t worry, dude, it’ll come to you,” another reassures me. “You’ve gotta be one of us! We can’t be the Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse, can we?”
My mind was reeling with uncertainty, but I knew how I felt… “I know, guys, I know, but I feel
more like an angel of light. And they’re one short too! What if that’s supposed to be me?”
“Don’t worry about it. You gotta go with what you feel. But I know someone who'll have the answer, if it’ll make you feel better.” And the archangel hands me a post-it note with a phone number scrawled on it. “But you better hurry, it’s just fifteen minutes until the Apocalypse!”
I look at the number. “Some of these numbers are runes!” I say, “How the fuck do I dial runes?”
“Use the phone on the wall over there, and dial the numbers. You’ll be transported instantly.”
Still not sure how I was going to dial runes, I picked up the phone and looked down at the post-it note, and it was then I realized that the runes on the note were buttons. So I dialed the numbers into the phone, and pressed the rune-buttons on the post-it note, hoping I was doing it in the correct order.
As promised, I was transported instantly, and there on a large orange bean bag in front of me sat Lily Tomlin or Sonny Bono. I cut to the chase, “Hi. Look. It’s fifteen minutes til the Apocalypse and I haven’t read the guide. I’m teamed up with the dark side, but I’m not feeling the darkness. I feel like an Angel of Light, and the thing is, they’re one short. But if I go over to fill the Light position, I’m totally screwing the Four Horsemen, who will then only be Three. I don’t know what the Hell I’m supposed to be doing, so can you tell me where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to do?”
“Sit down and have some tea,” Lily or Sonny said.
“No I’m short on time, here,” I said. “I need to know what I’m supposed to be doing, and someone said you knew the answer.”
“Well, in my experience, everything usually works out for the best,” she or he replied.
“I don’t need cryptic answers!” I shouted, my impatience bubbling to the surface. “I need solid direction!” And I guess I must have hung up on him or her, because the next thing I knew, I was standing back by the wall, with the phone in my hand, and a dial tone humming through the tiny speaker.
And still, it was fifteen minutes until the Apocalypse, and I had no
idea what the Hell
I was going to do! But maybe the answer was there. "Everything works out for the best," I said to myself. But what on Earth does that mean? Or, what does that mean on Earth? We're talking about the Apocalypse - how will the Apocalypse work out for the best?
Of course! It doesn't matter.
I'm not going to ruin
the Apocalypse. The Apocalypse will be no less
an Apocalypse with me not
on the Dark side. There will be no love lost between me and the other Archangels of Darkness if I do what feels right. And ultimately, that's all I can do. I can only do what feels
right for myself.
And besides, I've still got fifteen minutes...
My January 20, 2003 post, which could be referred to, I suppose, as The Pillow Fight
– because it was not only as harmless and fun as a pillow fight, but also because it was a fight about pillows
– has spurred more conversation.
In this continuing conversation, My Boy made it apparent to me that I needed to amend the story for what he believed to be a number of inaccuracies (and also because he felt, apparently, that these inaccuracies somewhat defamed him).
Because I am nothing if not fair (and, to a greater degree, because, the inaccuracies to which he refers are irrelevant – no, that’s not the right word. What I mean to say is, they aren’t pivotal
to the telling of the story) and in spite
of the fact that nothing keeps him from writing his own
web log, and
ultimately because whether or not I see much difference doesn't really matter, I, in deference for My Boy, have congenially agreed to make the suggested amendments.
Of course, to avoid any further confusion, and to ensure the impossibility of any further error on my part, I will present to you, my fellow anarchestrators, first a transcript of the continuing conversation between My Boy and Me in which he addressed these concerns and proposed the subsequent amendments, followed by a strategic course of action in which I detail exactly how
I address his concerns, and the method for which these amendments have been made.MyBoy
(5:25:21 PM): is "blog" short for "my own twisted view of reality?"SfMatMan
(5:25:36 PM): Ummm why?SfMatMan
(5:25:58 PM): I suppose so!MyBoy
(5:26:24 PM): i just read your six sentence description of the bedtime conversationMyBoy
(5:26:49 PM): what you failed to mention is, as it was dark, you were piling your pillow re-arrangement on top of me.MyBoy
(5:27:04 PM): sparking the conversation in the first placeSfMatMan
(5:27:19 PM): Was that a factor?SfMatMan
(5:28:11 PM): I thought I was just rearranging the pillows, and you were asking what I was doing... because I was wiggling a lot.SfMatMan
(5:28:25 PM): :-)MyBoy
(5:30:59 PM): i was commenting on the weight of pillows, not the wigglingMyBoy
(5:32:04 PM): and there is no way for me to defend myself, just to start my own blogSfMatMan
(5:33:03 PM): There is a need to defend yourself?MyBoy
(5:33:31 PM): against the scrunchy face and red words?MyBoy
(5:33:32 PM): maybeMyBoy
(5:33:49 PM): my face was scrunchy because it was mushed against a pillowSfMatMan
(5:33:54 PM): I could post an amendment, stating that it was not my wiggling whilst rearranging the pillows, but the piling of them on top of you whilst rearranging the pillows that spurred you to ask what I was doing.MyBoy
(5:34:01 PM): and my words were red because I was drunk on wineSfMatMan
(5:34:22 PM): Oh that's right, we were drunk.SfMatMan
(5:34:32 PM): I forgot to mention that part too.MyBoy
(5:35:43 PM): please change this line's beginning "So I was moving the pillows around, in order to pull the body pillow out from the bottom of the stack"MyBoy
(5:36:06 PM): to "So I was piling pillows on top of the boy , in order to pullMyBoy
(5:36:21 PM): it really changes the frame of referenceMyBoy
(5:36:31 PM): but makes it less funny I guessSfMatMan
(5:36:47 PM): I'm not sure it is any less funny.MyBoy
(5:37:51 PM): you're right, down in the explaination about the arrangement, it would actually be MORE funnyMyBoy
(5:38:00 PM): arrangement of pillowsMyBoy
(5:40:03 PM): although, "I wasn't complaining either!" isn't entirely accurate. I was protesting being buried in pillows, which technically isn't complainingMyBoy
(5:40:19 PM): but with some wine, sometimes comes out as complainingSfMatMan
(5:40:31 PM): So you WERE complaining - even though you said you weren't?Action Strategy:
The course of action need not be complex, and in fact, it isn’t. Quite simply, my strategy to amend this situation is:
1. Identify the points of contention
2. Make amends (accomplished by changing the text of the log entry, and doing so as suggested
when suggestions were offered)
We (you, beloved reader, and I, your humble servant) have the same data to work with – the transcript of the conversation above. So you may follow along with me, and judge for yourself if I have succeeded in my charge.
I can identify no less than 3 (three) points of contention in the above transcript. They are as follows:
1. I failed to mention that I was piling the pillows on top of him.
2. His words were red because he was drunk on wine
3. “I wasn’t complaining either!” isn’t entirely accurate
So the procedure before me is simple. I must amend the log entry to:
1. Make it explicitly clear that I was not merely moving the pillows around, but had piled them on top of him
2. Make it resoundingly obvious that we (or, at the very least, he) had been drinking wine, and was drunk
OK there is
little speed-bump here. Point number 3. You see, “I wasn’t complaining either!” is a quote. They are exact words. He said them. For him to claim that “I wasn’t complaining either!” is not accurate is, well, not possible. If he is claiming that he has been misquoted, I would only point out that he has already admitted to being drunk, and that his memory of this statement can not possibly be reliable. He may, of course, be saying that his statement
was not accurate – that he actually was
complaining, but claimed vocally that he wasn’t. But that doesn’t change the fact that what he said was, word-for-word, “I wasn’t complaining either!” So, whether or not that was true, does not change the fact that it was said. And though I could
add a point here that, in fact, he was
complaining, and that this statement is, in fact, a lie
, that would seem to potentially defeat the purpose of these amendments, which is, when you get right down to it, to appease him
So, because no suggestions were offered, and because, in all honesty, the quote is entirely accurate
, I have no choice but to leave this section of the log entry alone.Methodology
Amendments, covering the two valid points above, have been made to the original log entry. These amendments appear in BLUE
text. In cases where original material has been deleted and replaced with new material, the original text is
and in GRAY
and the replacement text in BLUE
. (Note: the “STRIKE” HTML code is new, and as I understand it, therefore not universal. So, it is possible that the text will not appear to be struck-through
to you, which is why I have also changed the text color of this deleted text to GRAY
So, that said, I have made the changes to the original web log entry. And I sincerely hope that helps clear things up. Upon re-reading it, I can say that, yes indeed, it did make all the difference.
ONE BRIEF CONVERSATION BEFORE BED
The first album is a collection of pictures I took last Saturday at the HUGE march for peace in San Francisco. Police estimated the crowd at 40,000 - a hilarious underestimate. Consider that Memorial Stadium in Lincoln holds only 76,000 people. Consider that the Pride Parade in San Francisco consists of 1 Million people each year. The march started at 11am at the Ferry Building and continued down Market Street to the Civic Center. I woke up at 12:30 that morning. Jay and I then went to coffee, then went to have breakfast (OK brunch!)... and then walked over to 7th and Market streets at around 2pm, where the march was STILL continuing down Market Street, with no end in sight.
A conservative estimate of the size of the crowd would be 200,000 - I would say it easily rivaled the Pride Parade, and was easily 500,000 people strong. This is important to note, I think, because the rediculous estimate of 40,000 people only serves to downplay the amount of anti-war sentiment that was present (to those who were not there)...
Apparently, this has caused a bit of controversy:Protest Numbers Don't Add Up
Anyway, the photos turned out really good!
I’ve posted my photos on Ofoto.com, and you can see them by clicking the following link:Faces of Action
I also created an album of photos Jay took while on his business trip to Las Vegas! You can view these lovely, colorful pictures by clicking the link below:Jayboy Does VegasNOTE: Ofoto requires you to register for free. If you don't have an Ofoto account, all you have to do is enter a fake email address and create a password to get in... then click on "My Friends Albums"...
For an explanation of the BLUE
text and the GRAY
text that appears in this log entry, please refer to the log entry dated Thursday, January 23, 2003, titled One Brief Conversation On IM.
It was particularly chilly last night as we were getting ready to hunker down and switch off the TV, and even though we had been drinking wine, the chill was setting in, making the cozy comfort of our bed and bodies more and more inviting.
Techno-kitty had much earlier claimed his spot under the covers, and my Boy was drunkenly
getting the blankets wrapped around them both.
We have six pillows on our bed. Four are rather normal sized, and my Boy and I each sleep with two of them whether or not we are drunk from wine, which, this night, we were.
The other two are “body pillows,” about five-feet long, which Techno-kitty usually claims for himself. These two body pillows reside on either side of my Boy and me all night, and Techno-kitty takes his pick of which one to nestle into.
So last night, we were hunkering down as I said, the warm after-glow of wine beginning to wane,
and my three pillows were piled up against the wall, the body pillow on the bottom of the pile.
So I was moving the pillows around, So I was piling pillows on top of My Boy,
in order to pull the body pillow out from the bottom of the stack, and lay it alongside me where it needs to be to appease Techno-kitty, when a question shoots out of the darkness.
“What are you doing?”
(An innocent sounding question, I thought, spoken quite eloquently for someone so drunk on wine,
warranting a simple answer, which is what I offered.)
“I’m pulling the pillows out so I can get to the body pillow and lay it out next to me,” I answered.“Well you’re the one who arranged them that way!”
came his reply, spoken, no doubt, with a very scrunched-up, drunken
face (though this was impossible to see in the darkness, and because my Boy’s back was to me).
(I’ve bolded the above sentence because I will be referring back to this precise moment a little later. Three years of living with my Boy have taught me a lot of things, one of them being that I am better off not responding to that statement (and many others). It doesn’t matter, however, that I have learned this particular lesson, because I never
accomplish a “no-response” response soon enough. As in this case, where I responded…)
Quite calmly and quietly, “I wasn’t complaining, I was just telling you what I was doing,” I said.
(Now, I thought this was reasonable, because the conversation began
with the question, “What are you doing?” and was followed by my answer, which detailed precisely what I was doing, but, upon examination of the statement (in bold, above), appeared to have been interpreted as a declaration of dissatisfaction regarding the arrangement of the pillows on the bed, which, naturally, warranted the blaming statement (in bold, above) that was directed at me, the purpose of which was to inform me that it was my own fault
that the pillows were arranged in such a fashion. So you see, because I felt that no blame was necessary (although, I would not deny that it was
my fault that the pillows were so situated) because
I was not complaining about the pillows, I felt it appropriate to clear up the fact that I was not filing any form of complaint, therefore negating any need for blame.)“I wasn’t complaining either!”
he told me, passionately.
(Honestly, in all the words between quotation marks above, which constitute the entirety
of the conversation thus far (a total of four
sentences, just to recap) I can not, anywhere, find any
indication, not even a hint or subtle nuance, that might have given the impression, or even cast the faintest doubt, that I thought he was complaining. It could very well be, I suppose, that he was simply stating it for the record, or perhaps he even said it to seal his solidarity with me. But, I’ve highlighted the above text in red anyway, because regardless of the motivation, I am sure that’s what color the words were as they exited his mouth, perhaps due to the color of wine he had been drinking.
Red means danger. Red means stop. Red is the color of many a fine wine.
And here was my chance. They say everybody deserves a second chance, and this was mine. Another opportunity to say nothing
. Another opportunity hopelessly
“No, you just said, “But YOU’RE the one who arranged them that way!”
spoken, naturally, with an honest attempt to mimic perfectly the scrunched-up musculature that undoubtedly
contorted his face when he originally spoke those words, and in, of course, for accuracy’s sake
, the same shrill, nasal, wine-soaked tone
that I recalled hearing.
“ENOUGH, JILL!” he interrupted.
And that did, truly, end the discussion. Not because “third times the charm” and I had finally mastered my “no-response” response, but rather, because I could not for the life
of me fathom why he had just called me JILL