Posted in Economics on May 5th, 2005 by Дмитрий

Wow. I predeict that Kirk Kerkorian is planning to increase his stake in GM even further in future months, and that he’ll identify allies on the board and among other large shareholders in a bid to shop the automaker around and sell it.

GM is such a waste case. I will totally not regret its passing. I really admire Kerkorian, though, and I hope he makes out like a bandit on this one (again!). Here’s hoping he lives long enough to enjoy it.

Thanks, Sharon!

Posted in Charlotte on May 5th, 2005 by Дмитрий

Anyone in Charlotte who ever visits the Midwood branch of the USPS, please be extra nice to Sharon, the extremely helpful woman who took the time to help David and I set up our address change via phone over the past few weeks. She was nice enough to overlook some of the bureaucratic obstacles and the small matter of 3000 miles distance to get us set up with a PO Box and forwarding… Not an easy task when so many stupid forms and verifications and signatures are required.

Growed Up GoTh

Posted in GoTh on May 6th, 2005 by Дмитрий

Ganked from kitashla:

“Grown Up Goths don’t worry about whether they still fit the label anymore. They know they identify best with that subculture and that if they decide to prance around in pink from time to time, it’s not going to make them any less Goth.”

I’ve sometimes been told that since I don’t go to the clubs, go to very few shows, and don’t do much “social” or have many goth friends, that I can’t really be “goth”. But you know, if I choose to identify with a specific social group or subculture, I will. You are free to call me what you want, but you probably won’t be able to convince me that the music and memories have had any less impact on who I am than I think they have. Fear my spooky, homebody, old fuddyduddy self…

Somewhere Else

Posted in San Francisco, Urbanism on May 8th, 2005 by Дмитрий

An interesting exchange recently regarding the “love it or leave it” philosophy. Coincidentally, the Chronicle also published a rather candid reflection on San Francisco today as well… I knew David and I weren’t the only ones who have recognized the change in malls from one-size-fits-all shopping centres to specialized boutique villiages… Oh, I mean the change in cities from one-size-fits-all living and working centres to specialized boutique urban museums…

Whilst “love it or leave it” does, in fact, match our actions in regard to San Francisco, I think that the “love it or leave it” philosophy is intellectually lazy. Whether you’re talking about a dysfunctional bit of geography or a marriage or a movie, you have more than the choice of loving it and leaving it - there’s the possibility of tolerating it or endeavoring to improve it.

If I cared all that much anymore about the type of city I lived in or where it was, I would have the energy and inspiration to try to make San Francisco more livable for myself. If David and I are getting upset with each other, we engage in mutial psychoanalysis rather than break up. If a movie is boring, I get more popcorn and maybe start people watching or passing notes to the people I’m with in the theatre.

From Sister Betty: “Yet, sometimes we fool ourselves thinking the next place will be sparkly-shiney.  Pretty much nowhere is sparkly-shiney.  Every place is just somewhere else.”

That sums up my feelings of late. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my little obsessions, like Seattle and Pittsburgh and Canada, places that I just know can do no wrong - but that obsession would wear off as soon as I chose to live there. It’s no longer exactly about “where” for me as it is “how”. I’m choosing to go somewhere that will allow me a wider range of “hows”.

I doubt many people arrive at their dream city and spend years so happy they’re having a never-ending orgasm (unless you come to San Francisco and do nothing but go to sex clubs). People have their dream lifestyles and life is about building that dream. You never achieve it, because it’s a dream. It’s the process of building it that one has to look forward to.

And perhaps the opportunity to rant and rave about the people who are in your way and pissing you off about the smallest things as you go. Yeah, that’s what life’s all about…

Some Missives for a Chilly, Foggy Friday Morning…

Posted in Economics, Urbanism on May 13th, 2005 by Дмитрий
  • I sure will miss the weather here…
  • I sure won’t miss anything else here…
  • a quote from The Economist: “Tony Blair, for all his flaws, remains the best centre-right option there is” (italics mine).

I’m working on two new essays, which maybe I’ll complete on the train this weekend… One involves the blathering spew of an annoying fag who fancies himself an urban planner and sociologist. The other involves my feelings of satisfaction and vindication at the pending dissolution of not just one horrible corporate mediocrity, but two.

Moving Day is Nigh

Posted in Travel on May 20th, 2005 by Дмитрий

The following are tentative stops on our cross-country trek to our spiffy new home in Charlotte. I would like suggestions for places to see and people to meet, and most importantly, good food stops - from dives to fine dining.


  • Los Angeles
  • Phoenix
  • El Paso
  • Austin
  • New Orleans
  • Birmingham

The actual itinerary is changeable, but I’ll post it as it materializes, in case anyone in our path wants to join in on a meal.

Let’s Talk Geek-to-Geek Here

Posted in Media on May 20th, 2005 by Дмитрий

What’s the deal with “Star Wars”? I just don’t get it. These are the following reasons I could see it being enjoyable:

  • You took part in the making/marketing/financing of it
  • You are a graphic artist or computer animator
  • You are a costume designer
  • You slept with someone or married someone who is one of the above

If one of these don’t apply, I just don’t understand. I would even be willing to bow to the gods of fandom. But could so many MILLIONS of people REALLY be such huge fans of this? I tried sitting through a Star Wars movie (Ep I, I believe), but it seemed to be all style and no substance, and even the style seemed contrived and cliche. Shallow plot, shallow characters, predictable from a to z. I just don’t get it.

And I’m really, really sorry, since I know there are LOTS of geeky things I do that others don’t understand and can’t comprehend. But the Star Wars bug is so pernicious on my friends and links list right now, and it’s really scaring me…

On the Senate Floor in 2005:

Posted in Americana, Travel on May 25th, 2005 by Дмитрий

Democrats: Tax! Spend!
Republicans: Spend!
Me: Get me the fuck out of here!

In other news, I shall now unveil the fairly solid itinerary for the road trip:


  • Fri03: San Francisco-Fresno
  • Sat04: Fresno-LA
  • Sun05: LA
  • Mon06: LA-Phoenix
  • Tue07: Phoenix
  • Wed08: Phoenix-El Paso
  • Thu09: El Paso-Austin
  • Fri10: Austin
  • Sat11: Austin-New Orleans
  • Sun12: New Orleans
  • Mon13: New Orleans
  • Tue14: New Orleans-Birmingham
  • Wed15: Birmingham-Charlotte

I already feel my driving foot aching…

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Posted in San Francisco on May 31st, 2005 by Дмитрий

San Francisco is sort of like a really cute guy you’re trying to pick up at a bar, only to find out he’s a total tease. After a while you just realize maybe he’s so conceited he just wants to see how hard you’ll work to get him in bed. Ultimately, he may be cute, but he just ain’t worth the effort.

San Francisco: sure is pretty, but just not worth the effort. Not only is it tough to live here day-by-day, but getting out has proved one of the most difficult challenges of my life.

Some random items to demonstrate my point:

Everyone else is leaving, and thus getting a moving van is either impossible or too damn expensive (based on the prices I’ve seen, we could ship all our possessions by FedEx Ground and pay slightly less than the cost of a cross-country UHaul).

Vacating our apartment is a total chore. Since moving with our crappy furniture would be more expensive than replacing it on the other side, we’re trying to give it away or throw it away. No one else has any more room than us, so it’s hard to offer it to friends and neighbors (considering the average apartment size is 12 sqft). Unfortunately, the trash cans provided for an entire 4-unit buidiing here offer less capacity than the containers my parents have at their house in Clovis. We’ve filled them to capacity, risking the “wrath” of the asshole downstairs in the process, for several weeks in a row, and still have rubbish out the wazoo. We’ve tried leaving them out for rubbish collectors to pick up, but sometimes the homeless people get to them first and soil them with excrement, rendering them undesireable for donation.

Our neighborhood, being in the ghetto setting in which 75% of all San Franciscans reside, does not give us that sense of safety which would prompt us to leave all our Earthly possessions on the street for 12 hours, and thus we were up all night keeping watch on our moving pod. We watched as a drunk pissed on it, various gangbangers loitered on the street around it playing loud music all night and bouncing their stupid cars, and wondering what the hell we’d actually do if anyone tried to break into the thing or vandalize it.

Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and miscellaneous other thrift dealers are incredinbly picky about what they will accept. The poor are so coddled here that only the best rubbish will do. No used tupperware, no matter the shape it’s in; no booksheelves or end tables with flaws, sticker residue, or any sign of age whatsoever present. No used pillows, furniture or matresses, lest the donor have drooled or had sex on the delicate fabric’s surface at some point in the past. We must be picky about what we take for free.

Finally, no cathode ray tubes whatsoever. Since the State of California started taxing the sale of CRTs supposedly to pay for their safe disposal, they’ve become the most difficult things on Earth to dispose of. This is primarily because anyone accepting one is deathly afraid it’s dead and will need to be thrown out, and those safe and easy disposal sites/methods for which this new tax was supposed to pay don’t seem to be any more available now than they were before…

A transcontinental move is a tough thing to do on a budget. David had done it before, albeit in the opposite direction. It in no way prepared him for how horrible an experience it would be to reverse. San Francisco hasn’t gone to any lengths to make this a place in which I wanted to stay, and strangely it’s not a bit easier to leave this shithole behind.

… I wish that guy would make up his mind: does he want me to fuck him or does he want to go home alone. At this point, I don’t care one way or another.