Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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dec 16

now twenty two - hours past even timezones affected so there is no doubt
and a throbbing still, slight in my jaw reminder of dental work done to save my smile

I was sung, sarenaded early by my brother and mother - I so sick I had to retreat to blow my nose and pour water on my paching throat

in fact my head feels full right now, more full than usual, so it is somewhat hard perhaps to chart a clear course through a year ahead recontemplation

suffice to say I see in this day just past a nice microcosm
as james waldrop, whom I ran into at the horseshoe cafe proposes that the universe expands and contracts like his hair

morning time with a masseuse, cristiana saw my sickness as a result of amy's departure
that I am so sad my wrists hurt and I succumb to viral infection so soon
my spirits obviously failed

there's something about the way she ties things together in my life that is both exciting and powerful and then unnerving - I feel an urge to resist somehow the too easy suggestions

but it makes sense. and so I wonder that I shouldn't pay closer attention to my illnesses and aches and the way they speak to my state of mind and state of spirit

similarly, I thought I might attend to dentistry without anesthestic

(without an esthetic?)
fool I - one nerve-touched jerk and I knock the drill astray disaster
so much for my austerity campaign
I took enough nitrous to cause a near or perhaps for sure hallucinatory experience -
huffing as I was deep rapid breathing to saturate my lungs with as much of the dreamy stuff as possible
dentistry
after some time and some novicaine
on my right the sound of the drill became absurd loud and insane
on my left the sound of the tooth chip vaccum complemented the maddening machine music
tree sized hairs loomed out of his arm toward my fear widened eyes
my left face-side paralyzed and drooling
I felt my throat sore and strange substance swilling in it
I felt overwhelmed but did not want to turn back from the drugs
I began to jerk my head involuntarily
he said, twice, "justin, is there too much nitrous? justin, is there too much nitrous?"
pulling out of my mouth, he noticed that a cotton damper had fallen down my throat and was choking me
he leaned in hastily with handy tweezings to extract it
I replied rather sanely,
no my throat is sore, I'd like to wet it
simultaineously unaware that my throat had been stopped up
and all at once dispelling the brain-rattling chaos that was until that moment threatening to rend the room and plunge the three of us in amazonial helter skelter

he gave me a picture of my shaved tooth,
he shaved it because I'd cracked it. when I pushed down on the cracked pieces during eating they would come back together and pinch the nerve (or rather drive fluid into the nerve or something)
so by shaving it, doctor malouf made room for a crown to be placed over the pieces to hold them happily together

we decided on a crown not of solid metal (as this temporary crown I wear today) but rather of some porcelain and topped with gold. gold has to be the striking surface where it meets the tooth above because gold is as hard as teeth. or just less so. porcelain is more hard than teeth, so while cosmetically perhaps more appealing (depends on yer aestetic I suppose - I'm going for the natural look) it would grind your tooth down from contact.

teeth are like 7 or 8 on the diamond-is-10-hardness scale

I arrived at electric minds a numb-lipped drooling muca- packed dimwitted focus of the production team - I stepped immediately into a meeting I knew I was to be late for, and they were just discussing my intent to retreat from typing
howard and others agreed that they were prepared (emotionally) to let me go, to find alternatives so to save my wrists from pain and aggrevation

I was astonished at their generosity
soon reality set in - no replacement until january something. tasks remaining. so I mentioned that I had contacted a woman in town, someone to do a little work for me to make her ends meet, and so might she work also for minds then

anyways, suffice to say I found them loving and willing to hear that the best use or protection my skillset might be leaving me to other devices (how I screw up my wrists in my own time being my business, and here I am - around 2000 words in just over an hour)

otherwise, abbe was speaking on the front page contents and layout and design

and there was some dialog
and she was continuing, and I interrupted to disagree
premature, perhaps, as I am want to do
and she said, will you let me fucking finish? and she was real pissed
which seth sez is a sign of insecurity, a sign of lack of confidence in spoken phrase
but I noted to him my own tendency to affirm my right to speak when continually interrupted, though I believe more often through humour or sarcasm than outright valhalla
somewhere in my william randolph hearst book it says he often accomplished more through approachable poking fun at instead of vitrol
either way, abbe revealed herself to be possessive and threatened on the issue of designing the site, either that or she was having a day, or I had a grating effect
one of her mantras is "can't design by committee"
but I think increasingly that my design skills are under-utilized here
perhaps due to my lack of formal training or education?
I have made and designed more web pages than anyone on staff. vagabond jim might beat me, but not in hand coding.
abbe has tons of interface design experience, she's a recognized expert
but the web ain't no video kiosk. ain't no interactive tv.
I start to feel quite the whippersnapper:
she stressed, in her fuck-rebuttal, that she was having to balance two interests - those looking for high-bandwidth high-tech boundary pushing site-stuff, and those looking for quick easy text access.
I don't see those as challenging each other - you simply put the high-bandwidth stuff in easy to reach places. you shouldn't use some large fat imagemap static for a month on the front, that's not high-tech, that's just high-bandwidth.
it was like hotwired did when it launched
but text is where they headed, smalled segmented modular graphics and text interspersed
so electric minds needs to rev, needs to iterate, needs to develop
I offered myself my ideas my services
to her credit, abbe welcomed suggestions, caveat being that she would accept these and design it herself
that distance combined with a later high-level design meeting with "producers" and "professional interface designers" to which neither jim nor I seem invited and I start to feel like this is old heirarchy bullshit and I have just been hired to haul html and it's their loss and I'm glad to be leaving
and then I think, well, I can learn a lot by putting my brain to the test, whether my ideas are implemented or not I will draft a redesign or design critique, formal documenting features and navigation improvements
which if I'm right I will be proven so by their eventual implementation, and if I'm wrong I will learn something better
abbe is too well respected not to have something to teach me
so what am I, chopped livah?

the mood around the office today matched that paragraph above with more lethargy - people were sick. coughing. snotting. sneezing. aching.
vjim went home early. howard and I rain-checked my birthday dinner plans and he dismissed me to bed early both to keep from contagion and encourage healing

I took a nap and saught socializing on spacebar
after five late evening eminds croaked a loving offtune happy birthday and cut the carrot cake
scooter and solanna and seth and rocky and katie met me for thai food

bdinner

there was web talk, it was inevitable. two couples and me and seth - the dinner did not have quite the rotation spice that one might expect from a less settled, less sick grouping
then we stayed late, and shared drug stories, and people talked across the table and shared history and stories
that was nice
seth is strange - he knows a lot of weird facts, like
watch folks, especially older men, when they talk to you, take their breath in the middle of a sentence so that they can continue through to the next sentence without breathing between to create a natural point for interrupt.
that's observation.

home alone I quickly retire to the horseshoe cafe
where a japanesque leo lady my age I did not so well court by phone when she called my same cafe dispensed number some weeks ago
(breakout: cute chick, I gave her my number, she called, tried to make a plan or see what was up, I was busy geekin' and stayed that way that night)

she was there and that was weird
invited me to sit near her, I did, I read my book, we talked, we wrote in eachothers journals, I caught sight of james waldrop

leaning against a counter for over 45 minutes chatting with him first time in 18 months
he is the 25 third partner in construct

smart sysadmin and more
two year college dropout, of penn, a place where they started teaching C in 1991 (scorn)
construct is a company, it's clear, that retains the cutting edge,
small lean and mean they have a reputation for vision and dedication, even in their free time, to creation of ground-breaking media space
so he shared some of his revelations, and I shared some of mine
he is obviously quite a quick study and so I had to speak in a way different from normal with more deference for his attention span and assumptions and aforeknowledge
couldn't meander and philosophize so much perhaps, more nuts and bolts and skipping and skimming
at the same time we covered a lot of ground, and as I turned to see my punkish cafe haight street friend with her journal writing
I emerged from making and watching the history of the web in high stimulation to some small measure of guilt and amusement
that I am really a career driven motherfucker
I mean if this web shit might be considered my, or a, career, I am totally entralled. I enjoy observing the machinations of players, I enjoy bending the ear and listening quietly to the profiteers and the visionaries, the new and the old school, I relish making connections and filling in pieces of people and projects, I savour inside knowledge that is public tomorrow and I can never lay claim to any early ownership but nevertheless integrated it sooner
I love to look ahead and stay behind I love to acknowledge in rare moments that these people I call my friends they are certainly associates and they just might end up being the people who build the media and community spaces of the next century
which seems pretty foundational
like reading about willie hearst and all his cronies makes me read newspapers different
and someday, somebody will be reading about all this web shit and what it lead to
and here we might be, leading it somewhere

times like these it's good to leave california, where there are so many paper millionaires

and encourage other folks to seize some web destiny
it's heady heady times and good to keep perspective
we stand on each other's shoulders and expect people to care and pat ourselves on the back with the sneaking suspicion that what we build is tomorrow's history

I recieved many wonderful birthday e-mails, thank you very much.
some were wisdom, some were kind words, one was a warming link

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