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

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2 february 1999

back from sundance;
"how was sundance?"

sundance was incredible, immersive, and stressful. i had a cellphone/electronic leash that woke me up and summoned me to interviews across town in slush to where the reporter never showed up but if i hurry and catch the next shuttle i can make the 10am showing of that documentary i've never heard of but it's supposed to be great but the line's too long so i'll have to rush over to the Holiday Village cinema to catch a movie i wasn't planning on seeing that turns out to be good but a little weird and deliberately inaccessible. Afterwards I'll have a half an hour to grab a slice of pizza and run over to wait in line at the Egyptian theatre for a foreign film that wasn't that great but i stay to hear the director explain himself and then i leave and wait for another movie and see something else until dinner when i gather with strangers who don't know much about what i do with my life except from doug's movie and then there's parties if i stand outside on the curb and wait for someone to give me a pass or bullshit my way in where there's smoke and drinking and more shmoozing until late at night when i am too tired to enjoy the fireplace or outdoor hottub and i pass out for five hours until the cellphone wakes me up to call me to another interview..

i saw a disproportionate amount of rock solid thought provoking movies, compared to the usual antz/enemy of the state/rush hour fare.

it was seriously motivating - i need to put together a half hour "the justin show" pilot program with the interviews and reviews and standup that i could do and shop it around to entertainment people.

amy came to visit late in the week, after some woman kissed me a little. having her there was grand. she's my partner. she ran after shuttles with me, picked good movies, asked good questions, met new people. she knows more about film, so she was in her element. watching her talk about stars and roles and filmmaking with other young filmmakers was nice.

there were plenty of young filmmakers on hand, and it was exciting to meet them and find out a lot of them are either professionally moving swiftly in New York or LA, or staying in their home towns and honouring their community on film.

so it was great to see another culture, to be in that kind of intensity about media and creativity and business, like a web convention except for film geeks. but after ten days in the cold in the mountains in a portable Los Angeles, I was quite ready for my livin' lovin' oakland.

(as for awards - compared to underpriviledged boxers fighting the system, mental patients working out mental illness through art, widows performing vietnam war reconciliation, and the biggest gang bang in history, i didn't see that the wanderings and wonderings of web waxed wankers was quite the scum floating to the top of the shit soup.

sundance snapshot

doug and I - a sundance snapshot
*thanks to steve rhodes for that frame-bitch of a link above)


in the spirit of 11 february 1998

today i woke up a little when amy's alarm went off for early morning yoga. the heat is broken and so i stayed in bed and so did she until finally she rose but i'm not sure, all i know is that i woke up at 9.59am alone in a very cold house. i threw on last nights clothes (oshkosh jeans, blue tshirt, sandals) and padded down into the kitchen. i noticed amy had made herself a poached egg for breakfast. i made myself two on top of two slices of potato bread. when i went to butter them i noticed the butter was hard because the house is so cold. i tipped the pepper shaker over the egg after i'd mashed it up a bit with my fork and the big hole on top of the pepper shaker was open and i covered my poached egg breakfast in tiny bits of spicy asphalt.

i sat down at my computer on my way to the kitchen and during the phases of cooking. i checked my email. i updated budbitz. i made myself some green tea that was earthy and fabulous. i drank "100% natural" apple juice and spilled a little near amy's computer.

i found out i'd won two ebay auctions from yesterday: gettysburg (because tim burke is using it in a class of his) and baldur's gate because i love CRPGs and tim burke recommended it.) i think the trick is to check the "ending today" auctions and bid on underattended items. I mailed a check and postal address to each of my salespersons, both located in the american southeast.

i read macintouch and saw a new version of eudora 4.1 beta was out (v68) so i downloaded it and i started moving my old eudora/mac mailboxes to the cyborganic imap server where i read them with linux netscape 4.5. it goes fine, but my dsl is going up and down and that corrupts some of the transfers. so it looks like half the messages howard sent me have no date or no subject and oy. i call dsl networks and they say pacbell is "fixing" a line or something. I sort through the mail i do transfer - something i could do for the rest of my life.

digital satellite descrambling:

i've been trying to live by a code of honesty in my life - paying for services recieved. it's a karma thing i think - i get pissed when people don't pay me and i deserve to be paid.

but i do like hacking information - i'd hack or steal information from any adult web site in a split second, for example. but that feels easier because they're already prurient.

i've never had the balls or patience to really hack up some truly illict shit like defense department type servers or anything. i did want to hack blockbuster video when i found out they wouldn't carry the last temptation of christ; i thought i'd get a job there to get their modem string to dial into the main office and fuck with their inventory or records or something. but no follow through - sigh.

anyways, i pay $40 a month now for digital satellite cable (which i got to watch zdtv, which, oddly enough, since we "deaffiliated" i'm not that avidly following). for $10/month i could get 5 hbos, for 10$ more five showtimes, etc.

wouldn't it be nice to buy a CD-Rom for $40 and get EVERYTHING? wait - isn't that illegal? well, they're already broadcasting it. and i wouldn't afford it otherwise. and I'm a cultural correspondent - it's like a press pass to the broadcast world. yeah! that's it!

somehow i know it's illegal but i'm having a hard time convincing myself not to do it (should i ever find the web page again). maybe it will break my TV. maybe it will cause me bad sleeping. maybe all my friends are real happy they hacked their playstations and nintendo 64s because the appetite they have for games greatly outpaces industry pricing models. maybe it would be fun to connect my cable box to my pc and tighten her against the rack and make her reveal her secrets!

a few days ago i recieved a spam offering me to descramble my direct tv satellite service to get all the channels all the time for now money. i went to the web page for buying a direct tv hack CD-Rom and found it gone.

I checked in on brainstorms because i wanted to share some ideas and see if anyone was writing about classic videogames. i shared the bud.com article: AOL Instant Mayhem with the "kids online" conference, where i was surprised to see that doug had been hanging out quite avidly.

i called atlas heating and told them the furnace was broken and our butter was hard and the lady told me about furnace breakdowns in philadelphia when bringing home groceries meant the freezer was warmer than the room. so what i have now is fridge cold, not freezer cold she observed. i felt a little warmer. they'll send someone over tomorrow. since they were here in november for the same problem, the work or parts may be guaranteed.

amy came home for lunch. we laid in a recliner by our open-shaded front pane window and hugged and kissed and talked about our day in a little bit of sunshine and full view of our neighbor oliver, who was home for lunch from work.

i talked to colin my brother, it was after work hours so we were both at leisure. i told him about amy getting pissed at me last night for being more of a host than a partner; when wilner and ellen and juniper came over for amy's fantastic spicy thai shrimp/chicken/tofu soup i spent more time chopping and cleaning and ushering perhaps than time stroking or talking or relaxing or smiling. and the attention i paid to her was very different than that attention i pay her when we are alone. i offered her kitchen implements different from those she was using. the distance and critique made me seem mean to her. colin reports receiving the same critique a thousand times. that made me feel immensely better.

he asked me about my job front, and i said i had web consulting, speaking, video game testing for minumum wage, and game design on my hands - game design being like my thesis, self directed protracted study. write some ideas, study some literature, bounce ideas off of teachers, go back to the drawing board.

it's cold so my hands hurt more than usual.

amy calls it adulation i'm chatting with wayne in aol instant messenger. the dsl breakdowns disrupt our conversation. krusty comes on aol chat and mentions taking his ricochet radio modem and thinkpad to the park and i consider doing the same thing and then i realize i don't have a laptop anymore.

a system message pops up to remind me to stretch my arms and i go outside in the california sun, for which i am grateful, and a white trans-am convertible pulls up with a woman and a clipboard strides by. she's confirming housing and numbers for the 2000 census report. "any other entrances to this residence?" you can use the back door if you like.

i'm listening to my full MP3 playlist. i rip a few jazz mp3s to round out the electric eclectic. ripping mp3s, taking the songs from CDs and making files of them on my hard drive - it's easy to do in linux (with xcd-fnord, bladeenc and cdparanoia) but it slows things down and even crashes my trusty companion.

from AOL instant krusty:

IM Session with krusty started at 02/02/99 16:39 PM


jah:my computer crashed

krusty:what happened?

jah:ripping mp3s, listening to mp3s, reading about laptop screens, editing bud.com and links.net answering email, chatting with two people

i can't believe your mom reads this.

she just left for a week in new york visiting my brother.

write that

jackin for beat amy arrives home and we fondle just a little bit. it gets racy when she unzips my pants and jerks me a little. she's being detached; she asks if i like what she's doing. i say yeah (duh). she asks later if she gives good head, if i have any tips. i say, "do it longer." she dodesn't want to waste the hard on. what? after i ejaculate, she reports, i won't get hard for at least another day. i beg to differ, or at least want to bring up the chicken to my egg.

she's looking around for "juniper's twat" labelled zip disk, to find her video project for digital media, to put on her new web site (yesterday she registered her own domain name). we have to clean the office to find the disk. the office is a jumble of papers and books and CDs and random saved crap that could really end up in an art piece or useful function someday but until then maybe we'll nail it to the wall.

ellen calls - she's finally finished her project for last semester, a director animation of a woman and her cat and her space alien lover. very strange. we will gather to celebrate.

smilin' jon yesterday wilner came over and installed NetBSD on a Mac LC III. Basially, he turned an old macintosh computer into a unix terminal. exciting and unusual.

during the home stretch of the software install, which started at about 9.30pm, ellen his girl was ready to go home but he was so close and persisted to tackle the configuration issues and the setup issues until after 11pm. there were complaints; i said that determination was the reason he was successful in his professional life.

wilner calls, he needs me to reboot the machine. "it won't take more than one minute." it sounds like last night, but this time he's right.

we go out to eat, Longlife sushi, to celebrate. the fish was fine, good, salmon/unagi/spider roll/albacore dynamite roll/spicy tuna roll/shumai/seaweed salad/tuna and yellowtail sashimi. $62 pre-tip. there were shitty splintering chopsticks. yellowtail is my pure butter food - it just cuts through me, taste and texture combine for pure pleasure. this place had a had-been-frozen-tasting yellowtail to it, but i could still feel the fantastic fish wriggling over my tastebuds.

we talked about Los Angeles - since she'd never been there amy asked to go for her birthday. we talked about the city; ellen travels a lot with wilner and they would go with us. after some logistical figurings, amy feels overwhelmed and opts out. then we had a good conversation about relationships, passion, marriage, money, parents, jobs and artisticality. is it okay to be freelance layabout? or should one seek to know the dilbert experience from the inside? is there fulfillment in the corporate world? how can one be an artist? and what about credit cards? when should you pay your parents back? can you let people buy stuff for you? is it okay to have your wedding in vegas, if it's at a nice hotel?

then we drove her home. amy had said she wanted to get back home to work but we parked and went upstairs. ellen and amy sat down on ellen's bed with a copy of the delia's catalog and ellen pointed out the "sushi skirt" koi pants, not sushi skirt and other desirables. I wandered into the front of the house, with two skittish black cats alternating running away and coming closer. julie was checking her yahoo mail and sarah was playing N2O - a videogame with the name of nitrous. she was flying through a psychedlic tunnel with lights flashing and giant bugs flying at her spaceship which she shot up to a techno soundtrack. a furby sat on her leg and squealed along in its irrelevant machinistic language.

julie has worked for a small game testing firm here in the east bay, she recommended i try some hourly game testing for them as a way to explore the industry. i talked to her at length about it - she was quite good at answering my questions and providing thorough info. i sat on the floor and played with a cat toy. she told me i could make up to $9 an hour. i might test databases and word processors as well as games. i would have to sign an nda. it would be nice to have somewhere to go work, and a steady (albiet small) paycheck and an intro to the industry.

i wander to the back of the house, the cats eventually follow and ellen leads them on with a laser pointer. cats really fall for that new technology stuff.

amy's painted her nails but she's not happy with the results. she starts to remove some of the polish. ellen hands me "have gun will travel" a book passed on from wilner about Death Row Records and the gangsta rap scene. it looks like a 5 hour read. i wanted to scan some pictures at ellen's house but between julie checking her shit and ellen finishing her project there was no computer space.

i like [that picture], i look sensible we return home. amy feels tired. tongsue calls and they talk about final art projects in the college gallery space. i work on my website and write about sundance.

when i'm not showing off my recently ripped mp3s amy is singing relevant songs "so i got a scholarship to college, i'm gonna be this kindergarden teacher" and "are you that somebody? not just anybody" "hey why don't you kick out the jams honey; i can break out the whole lyrics to chorus line if you want me to, but if you don't want me to, we'd better listen to some music."

i like geeking out next to amy. she's working on the front page for her web site i think - arranging and tinting images of her face she laid directly on the scanner two weeks ago when she dyed her hair blonde. i don't ask her exactly what she's working on because i want to give her space. yesterday she was fittin' to move her computer to the dining room because of wilner and i geeking full speed taking over the room but today things seem okay and when she works next to me at this big long door-desk she positively affects my creative process and i just like having her around. i answer html and photoshop questions for her and stuff and she seems to like that alright. we are up past our bedtime.

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