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Howdy. I'm Justin Hall, a freelance writer living in Oakland California. I spent much of the last two years living in Japan, researching the social impact of new technologies and electronic entertainment. Now I write articles, contribute to Chanpon, Game Girl Advance and TheFeature.

Thanks for stopping by this old web site.

My memories of


Thus spake:
> Bruce on John By Jove
> Taylor on spazcalm lotos replay milvio serena
> Joao Bambu on Thanksgiving Prayer
> Apahcer on useful combo
> M on is this on?
> Joao Paglione on BizConUpDate
> Silberman David on traveling weekend
> Matt Haughey on three pieces of a single story
> Joao Bambu on cassidy cuts
> Etta Kpui Nasser on Oprah visits the school
> robin on In The News
> brian on take a deep breath and delete
> alex on my regrets
> Bob Dobalina on living in mystery
> Andy K. on seeking retreat
> may on goals
> jlw on chicken bones
> nimrod on drafting co-conspirators
> alison on trick or treat: the late shift

waka waka! by Robin


Photo by: Robin Hunicke

I saw this girl at the Tokyo Game Show wearing these totally rad glasses. I asked if she was a game designer; she said she was just talent, a model, a booth babe sort of. But she looked like a young artist! Quirkily arrayed. I encouraged her to take her funky wardrobe and make some software. Then my disappointment was offset when she offered to let me wear her glasses after I heaped praise on them. And Robin snapped this photo!

October 2004

face front archives

I write for Game Girl Advance quite often - here's a list of my last few posts there:


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November 28, 2003

John By Jove

by joveThis is a picture of John Northage, a strong-handed healer and warm spirit who does fantastic body work on the north side of Chicago, at the Chicago College of Healing Arts he co-founded. His partner Althea took me on one of my first guided meditations when I was about twelve. For years, when I was growing up, they introduced me to alternative means of healing and spritual thinking. So when I come back to Chicago, I make a point of visiting them again. This time, I was thinking to myself, man, John sure has a wonderful expansive look to him, kind of like the mythical Zeus. He rolled up his shirt-sleeve to show me a Zeus tattoo and posed for this picture.

Posted by Justin at 01:38 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

spazcalm lotos replay milvio serena

The Eurythmics have a song - "This is the House" a bit of Spanish-language nonsense sung by Scottish people over spastic electrobabble. That's how I feel just now, though I haven't heard the song in years.

I'm in Chicago this week, enjoying time with my family. Thanksgiving is my Mom's favorite holiday - she loves family gathered around food. I brought my video camera, I'm filming her cooking and hosting. And this weekend I hope to interview my relatives about my Mom. Not sure where all this is headed but it's fun.

So this morning is an exciting time, sitting down at my computer before I join my family. The storm before the calm. In this time I'll post some photos from my recent trip to New York, last weekend.

from New York 2003
Pictured center, Ethan and Alexis, good friends from college, had an "engagement party" in New York - celebrating a wedding when the date could be far off? They hosted friends and family at the Lotos Club, a private club for writers on the upper east side. Steeped in tradition, demanding formal attire. Before I was allowed in to the party I had to make two trips to the men's room to change pieces of clothing.

from New York 2003
Wilson showed up, in a suit, shirt and tie of SAME design. And he talked the Lotos club into tennis shoes! After the main event, Wilson gradually amplified his social chaos level, tossing wicker footstools at the Gramercy hotel, lunging and reaching for love. I stayed calm, towing my luggage and sitting speaking in low tones with our host. Energy conservation! I may have been on the road, but I was nursing memories of the IV.

from New York 2003
The walls in the Lotos Club are decorated largely with paintings of members or by members. Here hangs Tom Wolfe off the lounge in the lobby.

Not pictured here, RePlay book launch party and art fab. More beautiful work by Zack Simpson. And the change to hold in my hands a book about video games I hypertexted two years back. With editor Amy Scholder and Eric Zimmerman of GameLab, I combed the printed proceedings from a game conference, looking for words and terms about video games to define and describe in footnotes and sidebars. It was great fun, and I was able to include my own aknowledgements. The book is available, barely, on Amazon.com. Michelle took photos.

from New York 2003
Another occasion to celebrate in New York - Silvio celebrates his birthday with Jon beside him, Souris beside him, and Michelle beside her. Besides them, the excellent Ben, Amy, Hilary, Nick, Eric, Justin unseen. Dinner at Markt, fun at Apt.

from New York 2003
Old friend Amy showed up with her boyfriend, Nick a fellow writer celebrating the power of media to stroke and be stroked.

from New York 2003
Leigh, Megan and Jesse
A third social gathering in short time, grade school chum Jesse celebrated his birthday at Serena, a club beneath the Hotel Chelsea. One of those places where they stop you at the door telling you the place is full, and then look over your shoulder to invite in someone else. Fortunately, I was travelling with Michelle, and our combined charms won us entry before the sad fellow who had allowed himself to become irritated. Upset, he had asked the bouncer his name, and the bouncer replied "My name is go fuck yourself." Why bother with that much stress just to consort? Fabulous people below, and good old friends - I enjoyed sharing news of my nearly departed shingles and ringworm. Finally I could hear myself speaking of illness and leaning back and forth unable to socialize well, so I retreated to my quarters.

My quarters were with Souris and Silvio. They were kind to give me a bed, power and fried eggs. And a sense of their organized strength. People stopped Souris on the street to recognize her and establish future contact. She showed me her elaborate filing system for personal financial records. Admirable positive coherence for two young gamers! I dropped in on a birthday weekend with just a few trinkets, but I worked to introduce them to some new friends. Souris saw something strong in our exchange, as did I. Ever grateful to Wayne for introducing us.

Of the four events, I made toasts at three. At Ethan and Alexis's event, I reached for the microphone early on to celebrate their confidence and strength of character. I ended up being the only one of their contemporaries present to celebrate their union - the other remarks were largely older folks welcoming them to marriage. I held them aloft as an example for their peer group, like me, increasingly curious to imagine my own engagement party.

At the Replay event, Eric Z made some remarks and said he was the most extroverted person there so that should end the speeches. I had just one comment to add, pointing out to the assembled that the proceedings of a conference published four years after the event still had relevance. Though they covered technology and entertainment, two fields changing rapidly, the issues discussed were timeless. Most people took away from my abbreviated presentation that I was demonstrating that I was extroverted on par with Eric.

So Eric finally upped the ante by hammering on a glass with some silverware at Silvio's birthday, to announce that I would be making a speech. Unaware and unmiffed I opened my mouth and pumped my heart. These were generous people, I pointed out, Silvio and his partner Souris, people who are curious and eager to share life with new friends. Good behavior to model as we travel and work together!

Posted by Justin at 06:47 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 27, 2003

Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving is our best holiday
We are grateful,
We use this time to take stock of our blessings
before the winter months.

And our blessings are many -
Family, friends gathered around
blood coursing through our veins
food here to nourish us
a warm place to share communion
A chance to make memories
as good as those that have made us.

So let's give thanks,
take a moment to hold and squeeze hands
before we eat, and talk and part
Let our full bellies make us strong
so we might share this nourishing love with others
and live happily until we gather again.

Posted by Justin at 05:10 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 26, 2003

useful combo

My Uncle Jim made a remarkable observation.
I asked him how he had put it together.
"Well," he replied, "It was a combination of being alive and being awake."

Posted by Justin at 03:49 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

November 24, 2003

is this on?

posting from a small machine I use more often than I floss.

Posted by Justin at 11:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I'm a freelance writer with interns. And the interns are expanding my sense of possibility - helping me with projects that I've been too busy to undertake before. They're coming to seem more like collaborators - the challenge is to find what each of us is good at and then match skill with enthusiasm.

I've spent a lot of the last few days acclimating myself to a new device - a Treo 600. A constantly connected portable computer. Now I can make calls, check my email, surf the web and view constellations on the road. The setup has taken me a while. And it's not finished. Soon I hope to be able to update this web site from anywhere. Anywhere without a computer weighing down my shoulder. Picture poetry.

In the meantime I have a feeling like this gadget is wonderful. Too expensive, but that should change. I wonder if people might not buy plenty of these things. And I think I'd like to make some freeware software for them, programs to provoke and inspire. Bits of alternative culture in the little machine, maybe even programs that help connect people away from their desks.

An exerpt from the wiki we're using here for project discussion:

Having a small pocket computer that can be online anywhere makes me think that there is a bunch of software missing. How about applications to help you find friends? Or locate books? I can think of many translation projects - brining applications and ideas that exist for desktop internet users to these smaller screens. But moreover, this form is inspiring because people moving around are differently useful to each other. How are they useful to each other? How can we share knowledge, experience and love on the road? I'm not sure everyone should or will have a Treo 600. But now that I have one I want to do fun things with it.

Any experience coding for the Palm platform? Any vision for mobile internet applications? Look at the NaviGety, if you can find information about it online - a friend finder for mobile phones in Japan. On beyond email and chat! Network specific fun code!

I will need help with graphics and programming. Anyone interested in making art or craft for next generation mobile devices? I'd like to brainstorm. Collaborate!

Posted by Justin at 11:00 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 23, 2003

traveling weekend

tonight robin gave me a tarot reading
yesterday eric squeezed me close so we might kiss
two nights souris and silvio slept me kindly on their floor
with ethan i dissected pecuniary concerns
while wilson worked into small social chaos
later michelle and i leaned together like lovers
faithful amy stood with her man
grinning megan taunted me with petulance and her strong bust

still i've never met kelly but she emails me
i'm searching the web for the blues
i mean, new experience and temperance!
rackety rackety racket
bang bang bum
I'm a mind full

Posted by Justin at 11:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 18, 2003

three pieces of a single story

I'm a writer, I write mostly for different web sites. Tonight, to celebrate and unify a few of the online locales I frequent, I posted three pieces of a single story, launched simultaineously on three different web sites. (All of this is the second half of my Seoul mobile culture coverage).

TheFeature: Skinning in Seoul
Chanpon.org: Lost In Translation: The Bill Phone
GameGirlAdvance: Finger Lickin' GameBoy

Here is the guy that brings it all together -
A Korean Wrapper whose name I forget.

For the record, I had a deep desire to have Walter Matthau's face wrapped on my US mobile device. But the dark plastic won't show images, I was told. And I was going to wrap this picture of Doug Church as Mashimaro, as edited together by Brian Sharp, but that didn't come to pass either - my camera's metal body wouldn't handle it. It's tough to be on the cutting edge.

Posted by Justin at 11:46 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 17, 2003

cassidy cuts

I needed a haircut; today I got one from my nine year old niece Cassidy.


Posted by Justin at 10:51 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

November 15, 2003

Oprah visits the school

My Mom helped found a single-sex charter school in Chicago for young women to learn math and science and technology. She's tickled now; there was a big day at her charter school yesterday:

"Oprah visits local charter school to get tips for her S. African academy" (from the Chicago Sun-Times).

Posted by Justin at 12:47 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

In The News

Travel looms:

21 November - 23 November: New York City
23 November - 1 December: Chicago

Helped post a Karuna Shinsho piece on Chanpon about Iku Mohamed, the animator.

Updated links on the meta web index.

Please consider this question: How Have Video Games Changed You As a Person?

Posted by Justin at 08:46 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 14, 2003

take a deep breath and delete

is it always better to hold back angry words? to temper anger? to wait, count time and breath and moderate your expression? to de-escalate?

i guess the question is, what do you hope to win? but that's rational. sometimes you just want to express so much screaming venting fury and frustration and give someone back all that anger and sadness they've laid in your lap and slapped up in your face and i can't imagine what i'm supposed to do with all this smash feeling i have now! oh shit i could list grievances like all the ghosts risen out of hell to write history in chains. you would see them burn on your screen and they would be my healing balm for the five seconds surrounding the moment i hit send. but then it's all sadness. all of it. mourning for that which brought humanity together, the red thread that binds us and now turns our limbs, our otherwise happy fingers purple. lack of circulation from this red thread!

is anger mourning? to pour all sadness and frustration into specific words? keep them to yourself i guess, hold them close to your heart, blackened by proximity to spitting heat. or share them so you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you've burned a wide trail through your painful past. all those bullshit do-gooders with their positive-speak-praise are just ignorant to the power of wrath - to excoriate wicked sinners as i see them and send them back into their sputtering spiral they inhabit alone, away from the destruction they've wreaked upon my peace of mind.

ahhhhhhhh. i'm going to take a deep breath and delete.

Posted by Justin at 02:54 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack

November 13, 2003

my regrets

Ethan/Amy/Jesse, sorry I was going to come to your party/house/event this coming week in New York. But I still have bumps on my head - the vestiges of Shingles that remind me of deep pain or searing potential. My still swollen lymph node has me lingering closer to home than I have in years. So while I have relished the chance to date to maintain our friendship across country and ocean, I can't keep up with the demands of bicoastal friendship this month. I hope you will excuse my absence, I'm sure your wonderful friends/roommates/partygoers will largely obliterate my absence. I will raise a solitary glass of whiskey/wine/beer in your honor, and look forward to the next time we might gather/talk/poke fun.

Posted by Justin at 05:20 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

living in mystery

commentson 13 November 2003 : 01:12, Andy K. sez:

As for retreat, Justin, no. Stay where you are and renounce. Otherwise you risk a lifetime of increasingly devastating attraction-avoidance cycles.

Absent of consuming goals I'm wandering in smaller concentric circles. Shrinking, revisiting. Practice. As I lose my hold on in-person confidence, I'm reduced to two certainties. Cleaning house and body. Trembling.

Struggle against physical ignorance to learn the patterns of a peaceful martial art. And listen to the words of my sensei (what's the difference between unlawful and illeagle? he asked).

Today he was in a talkative mood. Seven students were warming up for Aikido this morning, stretching out our wrists. He interrupted the simple gestures to explain what we might do with our legs while moving our hands - deepening our stance, pushing our feet against the ground. But because of the robes the advanced students wear, you can't see what they're doing with their legs. The base of your practice may be hidden, he pointed out, but you draw your strength from it.

I hope you dont' mind if I spend the rest of my life writing about what I think I'm trying to be doing on this web site I mean Jesus (always becoming)

It's not as if we hurry through these exercises just so we can get to practicing aikido, he said with a smile - we are practicing aikido now. Later he was narrating to me the vigorous mat-brooming by the more senior students - he was proud of the 15 year old brooms that they are still using. Did you know that if you store a broom with the bristles up, it may last longer?

I was intent, quiet, passing each statement through my struggle for purpose and trips to abandon. I have been a bundle of nerves since I don't know when but for days now I've had moments of just opening my mouth to scream alone when I couldn't talk or type and then with friends I've started sentences six different ways before I found anything to say.

Now I have some travel to plan. Holidays, home, friends and family. My brother called this morning from London. I was supposed to be there with him. I gladly cancelled my trip, I'm not well. I can't imagine the stress of not being home, being in an unfamiliar place. Colin mentioned that he's headed from London to Massachusetts for a wedding this weekend, and back two days after he lands. I can't imagine that kind of travel - it fills me with terror. To imagine so much motion and not resting. I feel overwhelmed to imagine myself doing it, and that must mean I'm cutting myself off from my memory my former sense of Justin because if I could see what I've done I would recall that I have defined myself as a young man of motion and exploration.

You have been going through some changes, sensei said to me. A hammer hit my sternum. I choked up I couldn't speak. I looked at him, my eyes shivering. You have been going through some changes, he said again. I nodded. He regarded me: I mean, that's not a question it's a statement. I mean, that's not a statement it's a question. I nodded. He said, you have been going through some changes in your life.

Maybe it was the way I nodded assent to all his lessons, smiling tight but true as everything seemed like honest wisdom, refracting against my sense of loss and purpose.

Jane was nice, she said, you don't have to decide now. She reminded me today. I have nothing to decide now. That's supposed to take all the pressure off. And it does, most of the time. Except when I have travel to plan, and when I try to imagine myself. Just be, she said! smiling and raising her hands over her head. I gave some of my work to her. Yesterday a man asked me to write something and I told him I might not. That's something I'm not used to saying. Refusing work. Making time. Time to be. And don't ask everyone what you should do with your life, she counseled. I'm wide open to symbols and readings now I know.

I've been reading a book, he said. A book about truth and illusion. The first thing the book says is "all truth is an illusion." That could be cause for tail-chasing struggle, but sensei offered a reprieve. Live in the mystery! Present in the questions you ask, not in the answers you seek. Live in the mystery! Feel it, sit with it, draw strength from it. Only trouble is? Real life, bills and feeding time, is mostly predicated on answers. Sitting with the mystery distances you from functioning. So strike a balance. But accept the mystery in which you live. (one is against the law, and one is a sick bird)

Posted by Justin at 02:59 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

November 10, 2003

seeking retreat

In January 2002, I left Tokyo for the rural north of Japan. Put most of my stuff in storage, taking only my laptop, camera and winter clothes up to Akita-ken. There I stayed in an inn that was a few hundreds of years old. No internet, but there were hot springs. Each day I cooked a little something, worked on my writing, took a bath, cooked a little something and worked on my writing. I later left for a nearby town of around 30,000; there I did more writing between meals with friends and strangers.

I was taking a stab at an idea I'd had for a novel. I had restricted my activities on purpose - no appointments to make, no readily available internet. What I did for fun was to keep track of the number of words I was writing, in a spread sheet. Each day before I started, I would count to see how much I had written the day before. And then I made a graph:


Looking back now, this chart shows me that I worked best when I was "off the grid" - my one month in Akita I wrote over 20,000 words. That's not much by NaNoWriMo standards, but it was a great feeling for me as someone aspiring to write longer things.

I'm feeling a similar longing again. Winter is coming, as the Stark family says. So, I'm thinking about a retreat. Flying to Japan and taking a train to Akita seems silly. Plus I remember getting seriously ill there - blood in my urine, sweat soaked alone hours away from medicine or doctors. Stupid worn out from pushing my body hard in baths and snow.

Ahem. Becoming aware of my own tendency to drive myself to illness, I want to find someplace closer to my home in Oakland, maybe within five hours drive, where I might take my computer and curl up in front of a great window and a fireplace, cook light meals, take walks, and work on some writing. Internet optional, not preferred. A cabin with electricity. Reasonably inexpensive - not luxury, but some warmth so I don't freeze. Any suggestions?

Posted by Justin at 04:57 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

November 09, 2003


People with firm goals get more done, we both agreed. It felt like natural knowledge - pick something you want to do and focus on it.

frenching up the stove Chris prepares pan-fried ribeye steak covered in a pomegranate reduction. There were scallions involved as well. I think he was winging it. Seeding a pomegranate takes a lot of work. Jen and I amused ourselves by unevenly recounting to Chris the ancient greek myth of Persephone, Hades and the pomegranate seeds.
What are your goals right now? he asked. We were both still largely regarding the couch where his wife had just been sleeping before she climbed off to bed. He had mostly stopped playing with the baby's play structure that resembled a sort of sail - he had been trying to balance it on his finger, and he was doing pretty well.

I felt tired, tired like I could stay awake, but weary like bed was at the end of a short night drive and I might as well honor my newfound commitment to my feelings and trundle off soon.

My goals? I ruminated over my recent agenda. I want to get my life in order, my house in order. Clean up, fix things, get healthy, arrange my life for more solidity.

Those are to-do list items, he replied - a kind dismissal. What are your goals?

Posted by Justin at 05:42 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 05, 2003

chicken bones

Left to my own mind I've contemplated all that life is and wondered how I might be seized to lead or join. I mean, I want to find something bigger than myself. I've spent many hours asking religious people how they found it. And I've talked to addicts to understand how they lost control.

I selected a series of contemporary vices and turned them into productive professional conduct. I mean I'm basically a paid weblogger or a paid writer which is just a lifetime student. But I think this is just a skill-building exercise on my way to saving the world. I mean, what higher calling is there than working to relieve suffering? There was a fantastic one-man show about Buckminster Fuller, a technologist who set his mind and skills towards providing modern advantages to citizens of the world. I saw that play twice. But I haven't found my particular handle on community service.

I'm self-directed! I hurl myself into study and projects. And I continue taking on new tasks until I get sick, and hit the reset button. In this case, I've spent about the last three years financing my own study of video games. Sometimes I could sell articles but I'm often so busy moving between one event and another that I don't have time to process.

Hurl hurl hurl - fast involved up to my shoulders deep in a new trade every few years. I have few professional associates now that I've had in years past. I remake alliances in between. I'm stimulated and always when I write about devices or programs I keep my sights on the fingers that will use them and the minds that will be bent around them, working to understand themselves with help from media and machines. Isn't that what's happened to me?

Truth be told, that's how I want to spend my near future years. Studying and understanding the ethical impact of video games and interactive media making. I've been working around that for months. I've been turning over book ideas and web proposals and video game designs and mailing lists and piles and piles of crap I've hurled myself into, for short visits.

Cutting short this mulling I want to understand how my entire conception of the way I should lead my life has been upended. Jen asked me last night, what do you believe in? Or what has been a theme in your life? A son searching for father came readily to my tongue - Dad offed himself when I was eight and I feel like I spent a lot of time searching for him, mythologizing him and working to piece him together. But perhaps through reading and watching Philip K Dick I came to recognize that memory is fungible - rememorizing or understanding my Dad is not nearly so relevant as establishing my own beliefs. So now my theme might be discipline - I'm trying to understand who I am and what I need to live.

And it seems like hurling myself headfirst into new projects and new areas of inquiry has been steadily scraping my skin off. So I sit here with diminishining shingles and I think, you idiot, slow down. Pretend you're sick and recouperate. And maybe even change the way you work and live. Stop chasing silly new experiences and settle down with the piles of notes you have and piece together your truth.

Today Jan Johansson's Jazz på Svensk plays (thanks Demonbox). Chicken bones are melting into stock on the stove. A fire crackles in the living room behind me. I'm wearing my red longjohns with a winter coat over them. If this is what it feels like to be sick I could have a great many days of illness ahead and I still feel like I'm living well.

That said, I'm leaving for London in four days. I'll be back in this lovely home in a month.

copied from Japan Career Comments:

Recently I read a verse from the Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching (rendered neatly by Ursula K. Le Guin, a gift from Howard), number 47, Looking far:

You don't have to go out the door to know what goes on in the world. You don't have to look out the window to see the way of heaven. The farther you go, the less you know.

So the wise soul
doesn't go, but knows;
doesn't look, but sees;
doesn't do, but gets it done.

Her footnote illuminates: "We tend to expect great things from
'seeing the world' and 'getting experience.' A Roman poet remarked
that travelers change their sky but not their soul. Other poets,
untraveled and inexperienced, Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson, prove
Lao Tzu's point: it's the inner eye that really sees the world.'"

Posted by Justin at 11:51 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

November 02, 2003

drafting co-conspirators

Sunday night, reckoning. Coming back to the computer for the first time in a few days. Distance is telling. I'm worn down by the self-made maelstrom of productivity and excitement I've spun about in for the last few months (years?). So I need some help.

I got ten exciting replies to the Justin Hall/Links.net internship idea, different sorts of people with different skills, all eager to work, to be stimulated, to practice their craft, research or learn freelancing. Rather than pick one, I've drafted them all into a sort of strike-force on call. I emailed them a list of upcoming projects, asking for volunteers. It felt good to put down my freelance projects and my undeveloped ideas into a list - now we'll see who wants to join in on this media making. As I said to those folks, I'm going to share credit and sometimes cash. If you are interested in this kind of work and you didn't get the email, let me know.

One recent quick collaboration - I live on a stream. If you walk about fifteen minutes up the stream, through a storm drain, you'll come out in a small nature preserve. Some Oakland-pride art activists Oaklandish sponsored a concert in that part of the creek last weekend. Entertainment, within walking distance! Mark Growden on banjo and accordian - I took pictures, PeterMe wrote it up for BeastBlog.

I hope to extend my productivity to include other folks. And that might leave me some mental space to work on some longer texts. Mental space to work - I'm still popping acyclovir pills five times a day to try to beat this case of adult chicken-pox. I'm going to continue to spend more time on my couch than I spend in front of the computer for the next few days. This machine winds me up tight, curls me up like a wraith. I want my work to be about people. So I'm drafting co-conspirators.

Posted by Justin at 09:59 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 01, 2003

trick or treat: the late shift

Only one pack of kids came by, late. Knock knock!

I wheeled my IV machine over to the door, slowly, menacing. Opening it, crouched over, tubes running from my arm, from the machine. Looking across the doorway to them - a ragtag batch of scavengers in the darkness.

I knew the ritual and I was prepared. I harbored a full bowl of candy close to my chest. What is your costume, I asked each, leaning close to their face. A tiny knight, a skeleton, vampires all came in close and explained themselves, offering a plastic bag for love.

Their chaperone, a chubby man with maybe a few years on me, his face was streaked above his sweatshirt. What's your costume? He patted his hand over his mouth, "woo! woo! woo! woo!" I didn't reply, I just gave him a mini-Twix.

Finally a young woman stepped up. What's your costume? I'm a ghetto princess. What's the difference between a ghetto princess and a regular princess? A ghetto princess runs the ghetto. For pointing out the truth and warranting any questioning, I gave her a second piece of candy. Give me more she demanded! We went back and forth over the issu. It was past 10.30 - I could see her compadres running across the street from house to house, gesturing each other about - a late night treat strike force. I gave her another piece of candy, and took a picture in return.

halloween late shift The ghetto princess is on the right, in the tiara.
Posted by Justin at 04:35 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack
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