Posted in Travel on April 8th, 2002 by Дмитрий

Back and still alive. I’m a little tired, my clothes are all a little more restrictive, but I’m happy nonetheless. Coming soon: random thoughts on the northwest, and Seattle in particular, as well as a radically revised Trips page. Right now I’m just trying to sort through the massive amounts of data, and get it all back to David so that h can do the same…


Posted in Family on April 9th, 2002 by Дмитрий

I feel like a real loser. For all the quirks and troubles we have, I really like my parents, and it really bothers me when I fail to appreciate them.

I promised my Mom and Dad that I would come by tonight for dinner to share some souvenirs and video with them from the road. By this morning, I realized there was no way I’d have a “clean” selection of video footage for them, and since this was to be one of my Mom’s big presents (she likes nature footage), I reneged today at work. I told my Dad I could come over Thursday, but they’ll be going out of town Thursday and not returning until Sunday. So I said Sunday would be good. He told me he would call Mom to call it off.

It’s not his fault Mom didn’t get the message; I should have called her from work. Anyway, she got home late because she’d been shopping for dinner supplies. She didn’t think to check the messages, and proceeded to make one of her collossal rare family meals - Cornish game hen, potatoes, veggies, cake, everything.

Seven o’clock rolls around, and she’s still home alone, so she finally checks messages. My Dad had left one saying I’d not be coming by and so he was going to stay late at work.

So here I am, hoping that writing about it will prevent me from feeling like total scum. But I am. I could do a lot more to mediate and navigate my relationship with my parents, but I tend to let it simmer most of the time, mainly because they aren’t the most predictable people, but I’m sure they’d say the same about me. I work for my Dad, so I tend to think that I spend too much time with my family, when in fact I still don’t even see him that much at work, and when I do, I’m really only seeing a rather shallow, one-sided version of him. I definately don’t see my Mom enough, and I am often riddled with guilt over that fact. They could also do more to improve our connectivity. On both sides, it’s a matter of no longer knowing one another all that well, and thus not being completely comfortable sharing things like families should (though I maintain that my family is still better at it than most).

I guess it’s up to me to start doing the footwork if I want to avoid feeling as shitty as I do at times like this. I need to be considerate of them, even if the results aren’t immediately noticeable. I have to be honest about how considerate I feel they’re being in return, even if it hurts their feelings or makes them mad. That kind of communication is what makes families work.

I think one big factor is that I’ve never experienced a long-term period away from my parents, and we’ve taken each other all for granted, and never understood the work involved in having a healthy family unit. Combine that with difficult and often conflicting professional lives, and you have even more requisite work involved.

Anyway, I still feel like shit. I’m sorry Mom.


Posted in A Life More Boring on April 10th, 2002 by Дмитрий

Maybe it’s just post-vacation depression or something, but the past couple days I’ve been getting deeper and deeper into a heavy-duty funk. Today was even worse, and I really haven’t felt like being at work. I have been unusually productive, though, since it helps the days go by faster. Paydays should make me happy, but this one has left me unimpressed completely.

Maybe coffee with Amy tonight will help.

What would really help would be to wile away a few hours in the arms of a certain someone with absolutely nothing pressing or planned afterwards…

Vacations are fun, but they sure are a lot of work…

Coffee and Fries

Posted in A Life More Boring on April 10th, 2002 by Дмитрий

My funk has indeed made me slightly more productive. I almost got my inbox cleared out, had coffee and fries with Buffaloe, and even composed a new essay.

Unfortunately, it has done nothing to improve my mood. Maybe the approaach of the weekend will help.

Maybe a good night sleep will. As if.


Posted in Family on April 13th, 2002 by Дмитрий

I have a feeling my funk is pretty much over, and that today is going to be good. For several reasons:

Lauren referred me to an excellent new dermatologist, and this is important, considering I’m a pale whitey with bad skin, and I’ve been perpetually disappointed in all my other derma’s so far.

David is coming over in a few hours.

We’re having our first summer barbecue tonight, which is interesting, since it’s only a few weeks into spring so far.

Teamo Supremo is on.

I have absolutely nothing to do this weekend, so I can just spend it all doing nothing but relaxing and snogging. Yay.

Now if only I could figure out that one last problem in my life: finding a new job and moving house…

Too Few Years of Solidtude

Posted in About Me, Fresno, Get In My Head, Home on April 15th, 2002 by Дмитрий

I have looked at my home often as a sanctuary. Growing up in a very closely-knit family meant that privacy and time by myself were often an afterthought. My strong desire for solitude is in part a type of survival instinct. I often feel that without it, I’ll end up getting depressed or taking out my frustrations on those who I care about the most.

Read more »


Posted in A Life More Boring on April 15th, 2002 by Дмитрий

Some things on the agenda this week (however run-of-the-mill they may be):

  • Try to finish putting together my FileMaker music database 
  • Try to set up some more music trades 
  • Hang out with Amy 
  • Get my satellite system installed 
  • Get a new bio section and photo gallery up at The Hyaena 
  • Move the journals to their own directory 
  • Record a new show for Fastback69 
  • Get my Cities essay up at the Hyaena Road Trips page 
  • Take David to the library 
  • Work on my Fresno page at least a little 
  • Get some much-neglected reading done

I find lately that I have a lot of little, not-so-important things to do, and their lack of real importance makes me back-burner them bad. I can’t, unfortunately, figure out any reasonable means of changing that…

Marine Layer

Posted in Fresno on April 15th, 2002 by Дмитрий

There’s a new marine layer that blew in last night. It seems to have come in so fast that you can still smell the fishy saltiness in the air. What a change from this time yesterday, when it was at least 90, and the air still and stagnant. Now I feel like I’m in Monterrey… If only…

Cozy Little Goth Show

Posted in Music on April 17th, 2002 by Дмитрий

Aside from almost emptying my email inbox and getting some more data entered into my FileMaker music databse last night, I spent precious little time on the computer. Instead, I got a rare bit of reading in, polishing off the latest issue of The Economist and revisiting a book which has remained half-read for close to a year now.

I lounged at Revue for a while and then decided to make a rare appearance at one of the few local pubs I’m actually willing to visit these days. After a couple hours of watching the drunks make fools of themselves, I decided I’d had enough of that for the next few weeks again.

Last night I did discover that my lack of attendance at said pubs has made me fall behind on the local scene, and I found that my pending recording job for Fastback 69 has been dropped, but there’s still a chance for a cozy little goth show this Friday. Now to spend the next 72 hours deciding what to wear…

Randomly Sunday Again

Posted in Music on April 21st, 2002 by Дмитрий

A nice weekend with David, during which I managed to catch The Shroud live at The Starline and record it on both video and audio, got my satellite system installed (try getting me out of the house at all, now), and generally lounged around with David and overate.

New Hire

Posted in Work on April 23rd, 2002 by Дмитрий

We did a new hire today. It’s no secret that our sales “team” has been woefully deficient the past few years, and most of the cold calls and sales have been conducted by my dad, who already has enough to worry about with bidding jobs and trying to keep the company afloat. He multitasks well, but micromanages poorly (don’t we all?).

And so today we brought aboard a long-time associate with another local company. She’s got an aggressive but friendly disposition, and I think she’ll give our sales the boost they need to get us flourishing in our new (larger) location this fall. I’m glad papa finally took someone new in on this most important facet of the business. I think he was hoping I’d volunteer for the job, but I really don’t have a salesman’s personality. I’m much more comfortable helping run the show from behind a desk. And I think I do well at it…

Anyway, on the first of the month she starts. What impressed me as much as her credentials and personality was the fact that she was willing to work virtually for commission alone. Only someone with lots of people skills and confidence in their abilities would be willing to do that - especially when they have a big family at home to keep in stockings and fans. I think we’ll do well with her around.

I’m feeling better about having to leave later this year now. The secretary we hired in late January is working very well, and will most likely be the best choice to take over from me this fall. Combine that with the new sales I’m sure our new associate will bring in, and I see a rosy future for the company. This makes me happy, and not just because it means a big inheritance several decades down the line. Since I’ve been working here, the family business has really become personal to me. I am attached to it more than simple economics can explain.

Whilst I realize I cannot (and should not) stay here much longer, I realize the important role it plays in my life, and I’m glad to have been able to help it along. And I’m glad David was able to help out as well. Tomorrow’s pay day, then I’m off to see Siouxsie and the Banshees Thursday. I think it’s going to be a benevolent week ahead…

Retard Worship

Posted in Fucking Moron on April 24th, 2002 by Дмитрий

In order to solve what had become a minor wardrobe emergency, I was forced to go to the mall this evening to seek out something which would match my awkward body’s need for covering as well as my wallet’s usual slim credentials. I was putrified and dumbfounded to find that the mall is an even scarier place than I remember from the last time I spent any significant amount of time there (a year at least).

I noticed all the gangsta clones, faggot clones, hip-hop clones and stoner clones, all standing and posing in an orgy of debt-financed consumerism, huddling in their little cliques with no regard to how silly they all looked. I’ve always seen clothes shopping (in fact most shopping) as a relatively solitary endeavor. Whether I need to try on clothes in order to buy or spend hours searching the used bins at a record store, I’m usually more comfortable spending money without any poor soul in tow. Why is it that this is commonly seen as unusual or uncomfortable with most people?

And I also came to a realization of what all these gangstas and preppies personify: retard-worship. I have often wondered exactly what inspired this ubiquitous fashion of crooked baseball caps, low-rider trousers, stumbling and slow-paced walking, ebonics and otherwise incomprehensible gutter-slang, and other statements of anti-individualism so prevalent in our youth culture… Now that I think about it, it seems that the youth today are mimicking retarded people, or autistic people. They make sudden jerks of their limbs in a strange method of gang symbolism, and they wear their caps and clothes as if their mother dressed them with awkward aging hands and couldn’t quite get things on straight, but their physical and mental incapacitation prevents them from correcting it.

This “retard-mimmicry” is similar to the general trend in society today of underdog-worship. We make icons out of the cripple next door and deride the successful upper-class blonde (see the movie Legally Blonde for an example). We prefer the criminal that loves his mother to the self-made industrialist. I think the adoption by the youth of their particular current trends is indicative of the final phase of this cultural disintegration: admiration for the mentally retarded. It is a pure hatred of the mind and all it is capable of that makes us see the retarded as an ideal to aspire to. It’s sad, and it repulses me more than anything I’ve thought of in recent months.

Anyway, that’s what’s on my mind this evening. But I should be in better spirits tomorrow, with the mall far behind me and Sioux, Steve, Budgie and Knox close ahead. Getting my hands on David will be good, too.

Some Highlights From the Weekend Past:

Posted in A Life More Boring, San Francisco on April 28th, 2002 by Дмитрий

  • Siouxsie & the Banshees 
  • Covering lots of ground around San Francisco with David 
  • Meeting Sarah finally. 
  • Lots of snogging 
  • Hwy 1 to Santa Cruz and the scenic route up the Penninsula. 
  • Chinatown 
  • Ever more gluttony. I love it.

Now to deal with a rather dry May as far as trips are concerned. Next weekend is a show I want to see here in Fresno, the following weekend is Mother’s Day. But at least there’s Memorial day. I’ll now be counting down til then.

Price Gouging Through 2002’s Eyes

Posted in Economics on April 30th, 2002 by Дмитрий

I’m getting really sick of the media creating new scandals as soon as real news runs dry. What makes me even sicker is when the lemming-like masses follow the media’s every word as if it were the most intellectual of discourse. Today I’m thinking of the new gas-price scandals, but there are numerous other examples (Quiz Show scandals most readily come to mind) where there was no initial wrong-doing on the part of anyone being accused, but the media sort of created a panic which mobilizes the unthinking masses and the government eventually steps in and curtails political or personal or economic freedoms in order to appear to be acting on an issue, when in fact there was never a problem. 
Repeat after me: Oil is the property of its producers. We are not being forced to purchase their product. They can charge whatever they want. If we think it’s too much, we stop buying it. End of story.

Americans are so horribly spoiled. Our tarrif walls are rather low and taxes more reasonable on petrol than most of the industrial world. Combine this with the fact that we also produce a lot more domestic oil than most industrial nations (the North Sea states, Canada and Australia being the only real exceptions), and you’ll see that oil prices were increadibly reasonable here even during the crisis eras of the late 70s and early 90s.

Oil users in Germany, Japan, France, the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe all pay increadibly higher prices that we, and this is because their import charges are higher, their gas taxes are higher, and they are much smaller markets. Think of the way clothes in little boutique shops on Rodeo Drive are often double the cost of equivalent clothes from Macy’s or Emporium. This is because larger markets create an economy of scale which reduces overhead and administrative costs. Each of those little boutiques requires the same administrative infrastructure that the whole Macy’s corporation has.

As you see this “price-gouging” scandal unfold, keep in mind that at least you can afford to buy an SUV, let alone fuel it. Americans have such a high standard of living primarily because we live in an increadibly affordable country. We spend about half the money Frenchmen spend on housing, and about a third the amount Japanese spend on transit - this despite the fact that there’s more than 100 times the distance to cover for an equivalent population here in the states. Appreciate the fact that American oil companies have the freedom to mass their resources and provide us with high-quality, affordably-priced fuel, and that we not only have the freedom to choose between 87 and 91 octane (Columbians have only one choice: 66 octane), but that we can always choose to carpool, telecommute, or bicycle. If you’re honestly upset with the price of gas, stop buying the shit.

Would that all the Microsoft-protestors stopped complaining about an unfair monopoly and just started using something else. I’ve said it before and I say it again: consumers always have far more power than they think.


Posted in Economics on April 30th, 2002 by Дмитрий

Another thing about the media that’s pissing me off today: all these headlines saying “Musharraf Faces Referrendum”. How can a military dictator be “facing” a referrendum when he called it and can veto its result? In all likelihood, he’ll win the poll and get 5 more years of faux-legitimate rule in Pakistan, but that won’t change the fact that he is a military dictator.

Since his coup, Musharraf has twisted the Pakistani constitution to a state where it barely resembles its prior self, and just about all constitutional checks and balances, as well as most democratic credentials for the country, have been removed entirely. Like his counterparts in most of Latin America, Africa and Asia, General Musharraf is yet another dictator endeavoring to obtain legitimacy through phony polls and constitutional amnesia. Admittedly, Pakistan was increadibly disfunctional before he siezed power, but at least it had a democratically elected government in place. After he installed himself as president, he disbanded the parliament, replaced the constitutional courts and almost all judges, and replaced the entire executive office and cabinet with his own military cronies.

The most common thing dictators share is their inability to allow checks on themselves, or to share power among branches of government. This is why amost all dictatorships integrate their military into the government. Unlike most Western democracies, which have a civilian commander-in-chief and a government which makes decisions for the military (rather than vice-versa), autocracies use the infrastructure of the military to govern their people. If Musharraf believes he can maintain such a system and at the same time fool anyone into believing he heads a democratic country, he’s far more dense than even the American government thinks.

So go ahead with your phony poll, Mister General, Sir. You’ll win, because you’ve declared the opposition illegal and because your cronies are “guarding” the polling booths with guns. You’ll be winning the same kind of legitimacy Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin won when they staged their own polls. America will continue to use you for what you’re worth, and your people will continue to starve and kill each other. What a great country you’ll have, indeed.