Archives: [My Life]
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This is the archive page for the category [My Life]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries found here on the subject. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

Notes from a homemade meditation retreat. | September 30, 2016
Today, an extra-long and image-heavy look at my very first self-scheduled, home-based weekend meditation retreat, plus lots more details on what meditation is and why everyone should be practicing it.

How things stand at my one-year anniversary of graduating coding bootcamp. | August 23, 2016
It's my one-year anniversary of graduating DevBootcamp! Do I have a coding job yet? NO, NO I DO NOT. Today, some thoughts on why that is, and what new things have been happening in the last few months to make me more excited about this subject than ever.

Regarding arrogant assholes and existential crises. | August 19, 2016
[After vowing to get back into a weekly publishing schedule with this personal journal of mine this year, I have once again this summer lapsed into big periods of inactivity (although this time for the justifiable reason that my job...

The thirteenth overhaul of my website design is finally finished! | March 10, 2016
DevBootcamp finally pays off -- the thirteenth major overhaul of my website's design scheme is finally complete, now for the first time with fancy JavaScript animations and other details I learned while training to be a software developer. Click through for all the details!

Asshole Jason is dead! Long live Asshole Jason! | February 16, 2016
Today, a look back at my decade in the "emotional wilderness" otherwise known as my thirties, and an examination of the things that have recently happened in my life that have finally brought that age to an end.

"Well, my therapist says..."; plus a sad farewell to Gapers Block. | January 17, 2016
Today at my blog, I finally go into detail for the first time about my recent decision to start seeing a therapist; plus a sad farewell to the local arts-and-entertainment website Gapers Block, and a small ode to its founder Andrew Huff.

Next year should prove to be a very interesting one. | December 24, 2015
Big changes afoot around here -- I'm essentially putting CCLaP on deep freeze for the first half of 2016, so I can concentrate instead on my brand-new career as a computer programmer. Click through for more on why I'm doing so, and what projects will be coming up for me next year.

Regarding Imposter Syndrome, Learned Helplessness, and other new fun outcomes of a career change. | September 18, 2015
Today at my personal journal, an update on how my post-bootcamp tech job search is going, and thoughts on two conditions common to career changers like myself, Imposter Syndrome and Learned Helplessness.

Let me tell you about my grand outer-space adventures!!! | August 17, 2015
Well, okay, no, that's a lie; that's not why it's been two years since you last heard from me at my personal website. Click through for the much more mundane answer, a look at CCLaP's plans for 2016, and a check-in about my new career as a software developer.

Such a busy 2013, I never had a chance to post anything. | December 31, 2013
My first new entry in 14 months! Read an extra-long post about everything that happened to me in the event-filled 2013, and why it kept me too busy to write even a single update to this personal journal of mine. Dogs! Children! Random fast-food shootings! What more do you want?!

Short-term frustrations and the long-term view. Plus, sex and babies. | October 11, 2012
Today, a few thoughts on some short-term frustrations I've been having recently, and the importance of keeping the long-term view in mind during such times. Plus, at 43 I'm finally starting to have baby fever every so often; but first I need to find someone who can stand having sex with me. Sigh.

Regarding my freakout at the science-fiction convention. | September 2, 2012
I had a major emotional freakout and ensuing anxiety attack this weekend, after attending my first science-fiction convention in literally 25 years and having all these long-forgotten memories of high school come flooding back Vietnam-flashback style. Today, some thoughts on what happened. Plus: Hey, I'm broke! Take a gander at some of the things I'll be doing this fall to make more money.

The Jens Lekman Incident. | October 9, 2011
In which our humble narrator attends his first rock concert in a decade, buys his very first online ticket, and has a crying fit in the middle of a Jens Lekman show, over realizing that his decade-long "karmic time of penance" for being such an asshole when younger is finally at its end.

Greetings from Onlinistan. | May 29, 2011
It's been happening again -- after long online sessions, I've been feeling like I've left Chicago and am now in a fictional city called "Onlinistan" that doesn't really exist, bringing up the slippery question of what exactly consciousness is and how we should define in an online age what "occupying" a space actually means. Plus: I've been attending live lit events again! THEY'VE BEEN TEDIOUS! Click through for more!

Regarding the tricky process of artists making good decisions. | March 20, 2011
My arts center's newest original book is out, which as usual has me thinking about the subjects of aging, arts administration, and the trickier and trickier question as you get older of whether or not you're doing the right thing with your life. Today, some musings on these issues.

Regarding eucatastrophes and Kevin Smith. | January 25, 2011
Today: The apocalypse is here -- JASON PETTUS NOW OWNS A CREDIT CARD. Click through for all the details, and why it reminds me of JRR Tolkien's concept of the "eucatastrophe," a suddenly great thing that happens to us for no rational reason. Plus: Did you know that Kevin Smith is now producing a new podcast episode every night of the week? Read what I think about it if you want.

The plan for 2011. | December 21, 2010
It's the end of the year, time for looking both backwards and forwards; and so here is my detailed month-by-month plan for what I'd like to do in 2011 with my arts organization, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, hopefully adding up by the end to four new books, four issues of a new magazine, four live events, and with luck CCLaP's first-ever four-figure annual profit.

Regarding "Walden," Lincoln Park, and middle-aged hippie pussies. | November 21, 2010
As part of an essay project at my arts center, I recently read Thoreau's "Walden" for the first time since high school, which got me to thinking of Chicago's Lincoln Park and why I seem to enjoy rural surroundings so much more now at middle-age than in my youth. Today, those thoughts, plus plenty of photos of the park itself.

Converting pipe dreams into actual dreams. | November 12, 2010
I've started a process this month that is destined to have some profound long-term effects -- I've started paying off all my old debt and getting my credit back in order, all of it hopefully culminating in securing my first physical space for my arts center in just another five to ten years from now. Today, lots more details regarding the process itself, and some thoughts on just what the term "justice" actually means.

In which I come to realize that I'm kind of high-strung. | October 17, 2010
As mentioned last time, I'm finally free to start talking in detail about my bad bike accident last year; and one of the most fascinating if not terrifying experiences from it was finally getting to know what exactly an anxiety attack feels like. Today, some thoughts on the subject.

And now the story can finally be told. | October 10, 2010
The settlement check has officially cleared, which means I can finally start talking in public about my bad bicycle accident last year; today, some thoughts on why I still generally won't be doing so anyway, and an embarrassing hospital anecdote to mollify those disappointed by the news. Plus, a few reminiscences about GALLERIA, the student art gallery my friends and I started in college, celebrating its 20th anniversary this autumn.

My Summer of Museums. | July 18, 2010
My summer project this year is to revisit Chicago's twelve largest museums; as of this weekend I've now visited four of them, including the "Big Three" at Museum Campus (the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History). Today, a photo-heavy look at my trips, and the subjects they've had me thinking about this summer.

Random notes. | June 13, 2010
Today, short thoughts on a variety of subjects, including: My arts center's first literary event was a big success; I'm finally bicycling again for the first time in almost a year; why I thank God Facebook wasn't around when I was in college; how it is that Google killed the SEO industry; and why the growing American criticism about Israel is actually the best thing that could've ever happened to Judaism.

The month of returns. | May 16, 2010
This month sees the return of two activities that used to be fun regular parts of my life -- not just bicycling for the first time since my accident last summer, but my very first live literary event in almost a decade. Today, some more thoughts regarding both.

Patience, Cane Boy! | April 18, 2010
For those who don't know, I've actually been using a cane for the last nine months because of my bicycle accident last summer; today I get a bit into the frustrations that have come with this, and the Zen-like lessons I've learned. Plus: Trolls! Real Dolls! Nazis! Teabaggers! Asperger's! Or in other words, just another day on the internet.

Two entries in two weeks? That's redonkulous! | April 4, 2010
I'm keeping my promise -- after a hiatus of almost nine months, I've unbelievably gotten two entries up here in two weeks, a rate I hope to maintain throughout the year. Today I talk about what I can say here that I can't at Facebook, and the news that this journal's eleven-year archives are finally now completely moved over from Geocities.

He's alive! Barely. | March 28, 2010
My first update in nine months! Today, details on why that is, mostly because of a bad bicycle accident I was in last summer; and also some updates on what's been going on with me the last nine months, including my recent decision to try my hand for the first time at children's literature.

Regarding podcasts, 'Girls Gone Wild,' and the neo-monk lifestyle. | June 3, 2009
I just had an experience the other day that reminded me of this again, plus just finished a book by Neal Stephenson called Anathem that deals in general with the same subject; so since I haven't updated this main personal...

Self-portrait at forty. | March 6, 2009
It's my 40th birthday; and much like a lapsed Jew at Passover, I'm not planning on celebrating it. Today, the reasons why.

What is so far officially my favorite embarrassing old college photo yet posted by an ancient friend rediscovered at Facebook. | January 31, 2009
All right, motherfuckers; I JOINED FACEBOOK. Happy? Here, some thoughts on how strange it's been to get reacquainted with a whole series of old college friends there, in some cases for the first time in decades.

It's here. It's finally here. | October 31, 2008
Good Christ Almighty, my arts center's first-ever original book is finally out, after a year of constant plans and constant delays. Today, all about it, what I think of it, and by the way why I will never accept one of those dirty corporate major-press book-editor jobs.

Er, surprise; I've started writing poetry again. | September 14, 2008
So did I mention that I've started writing poetry again, for the first time since my "slam days" in the 1990s, but this time actual formal poetry instead of performance work? Um, yes, I have. Today, all about it.

And yet even more on this little mini-space I've been having pipe dreams about. | September 2, 2008
Today, part 3 of my recent thoughts about this weird little commercial mini-space that recently up for rent in my neighborhood here in Chicago, and all the various cool book-oriented things I could do with such a space.

More on my fantasy theoretical bookseller/CCLaP shared commercial mini-space. | August 29, 2008
I'm having a particularly crappy year this year, so one of my only highlights these days are of the recurrent pleasant fantasies I keep having each time I pass this empty tiny commercial space in my neighborhood. Today, part 1 of more on what I would build there, and how I would sell the things found within.

Regarding why it's so important to regularly have rosy dreams. | August 17, 2008
Tonight I walked yet again by this tiny little retail space for rent in my neighborhood, and thought yet again about how much fun it'd be to open a rare-book service in the space. Today, a lot more nerdy details on the subject, and why I find it so important to dream about this goal I'm so insanely far away from actually accomplishing.

Chicago at 14. | August 4, 2008
Well, whaddya know; today is my 14th anniversary of moving to Chicago, a date I celebrate every year as if it were a legitimate holiday. Today, more thoughts on how this year's celebrations are going, and how I feel this most recent year of my life went.

I've got sex on the knee. Er, brain. | July 10, 2008
An offhand remark during Kevin Smith's podcast last week has had me thinking of one of my first-ever erotic experiences, back in high school during a packed car ride with my fellow marching-band geeks. Today, read all about it, and a lot more.

I've been feeling like a horny teenager recently. And that's not necessarily bad. | May 30, 2008
The longer I go in this period of enhanced solitude I find myself in these days, the more my thoughts about sexuality seem to be changing. Today, more on the subject, and how I believe this ties into just how much of an asshole I am on any given day.

It's my birthday. I'm not exactly thrilled about it. | March 5, 2008
It's my 39th birthday today; and like most birthdays, it has me in a sober and contemplative mood, reflecting back on the last twelve months and the various things that have gone right and wrong. Click through to read about the conclusions I've made.

Jason, meet sexual tension. Sexual tension, Jason. | December 5, 2007
A recent experience with a friend reminds me of the subject of sexual tension, and of how different a thing it is based on where one is in one's life. Today, lots more thoughts on the subject, which to warn you get pretty explicit at points.

Notes from the social contract which is society. | September 29, 2007
Some extended time alone this year has had my brain thinking in new directions; including the realization of just how fragile "society" is in the first place. Today, lots more thoughts concerning the subject, and how to be both horribly depressed and surprisingly optimistic about such a situation.

I created a new phrase: "Global Singular Disorder." | August 25, 2007
For those who don't know, my new role this summer as the owner of an arts center has had me ingesting massive amounts of user-created content around the world; and doing such a thing, I'm convinced, has started profoundly affecting the way I perceive the world itself, as well as my role within it. Today, lots more details on this enigmatic statement.

It's true -- Chicago 2007 is a Victorian science-fiction dream. | August 18, 2007
Yeah, I know I've been talking about this a lot this summer, but a recent bike ride got me thinking yet again about Chicago 150 years ago versus Chicago now, and how it was the persistent vision of many Victorian-Age citizens that created what we have here now. Today, yet MORE on the subject, and why I still believe in the power of these things to transform.

Happy, sad. Happy, sad. HAPPY, SAD! | July 17, 2007
An American holiday makes me realize -- that I'm a lot more lonely than I've wanted to even admit to myself. Today, all the sad details.

In which the westside parks bring up the age-old question: Are idiots born or made? | June 14, 2007
As regular readers know, earlier this week I went on a bicycle tour of the old West Side Park system here in Chicago, in preparation for a customized bike map I'm making on the subject. And man, was that an awful experience. Today, I explain why.

On being one of those annoying "your body is a temple" fucks. | May 4, 2007
I got a letter the other day from a reader, politely asking that I not turn into one of those smug "your body is a temple" assholes, now that I'm making all these changes to my lifestyle. Oh, don't worry, there's not much chance of that happening! Today, I explain why, and why I'm so fascinated by the human body these days anyway. Plus random notes!

Oh yeah, that's right, it takes time to recover from surgery. | April 23, 2007
Well, the good news is that I'm ready any day to re-activate my arts organization, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. The bad news -- I keep getting stopped by all this damn oral surgery I'm going through right, and the pesky fact that my body actually needs time to recover. How dare my body need time to recover from surgery!

Greetings from beyond the Aether. | March 15, 2007
Well, hi ho there, ladies and germs, and as always I apologize for going so long without updating this journal. (For those who don't know, by the way, I continue to update lots of other online stuff regularly, even though...

Random notes. | January 8, 2007
Today, a collection of notes that have been piling up in my Moleskine, including: thoughts on owning my first-ever iPod; I'm finally republishing my entire back catalog of books; a reader wants to know what I think of Jason Fortuny, so I tell him; and could 2007 finally be the year that my projects turn a profit?

Celebrating nine years of horseshit. | December 28, 2006
Wow, this week is the ninth anniversary of my website. Who would've thought such horseshit would stick around for so long? Today, some thoughts on it all, and a Christmas letter of sorts for those who are only sporadic readers.

Random notes. | November 29, 2006
Hello! Sorry I haven't updated in so long! And I don't have too much to say today, either, but at least wanted to get a couple of random notes up. Enjoy.

My morning with Tatum Reed. | October 20, 2006
I hung out with a porn star this morning -- Tatum Reed of Popwhore, that is, who both films adult movies and writes a confessional blog about the process. Today, my thoughts about the encounter, and how it relates to my own past. Plus: Is MC Router the nerdiest fucking nerd who ever existed?

More frustrations. Another new plan. Sigh. | September 8, 2006
Well, some frustrating news to report today; that the live-event program for my arts center has gotten officially shelved until next spring. Here, a few thoughts on bitterness, optimism, electronic publishing, and why I'm looking for invites to vampire balls.

And here's what else is going on with me. | September 1, 2006
Hey, sorry this took so long! Today, a continuation of my last entry, explaining all the things I'll be trying to get accomplished this fall and winter.

Time to get back to work. | August 23, 2006
Well, okay; I gave myself a week-long vacation, to recover from The Recent Unpleasantness (aka my last day job); but that's over, and it's time finally for me to get back to work on the important stuff. And what exactly is the important stuff these days? Read today's entry for the first half of that answer.

The Saga of MetroProper; the Ballad of Wendell the Great. | July 19, 2006
Wow, how do I begin to describe the craziness of the last three weeks? A new job; 100-hour work weeks; a major party pulled off; and with me now apparently now a legitimate member of the tech industry for the first time in my life. Today, all the details.

And here's what else has been going on with me. | June 27, 2006
Okay, so it's mostly been the opening of my new website that's been keeping me busy this month, for the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography; but there have also been some random things going on with me here and there as well, none of them interesting enough for their own entry. Today, all the little thoughts scooped up and presented together.

Regarding the surprisingly up-and-down life of a moderate pragmatist. | June 8, 2006
(UPDATE: Now with some new thoughts, about the recent controversy between those who play Second Life and the staff of Well, yet more good news to pile onto the ever-growing list these days; looks like I'm just four or five days away from the website for my arts center finally being open. And this has me kind of excited, of course, although that's tempered with the memory of what things are like when everything's going wrong in my life; so for those who are curious, today I thought I'd deatil the emotional process I go through, whenever going through a period like this in my life where everything is seemingly going right. Caution: extra navel-gazing today!

The plan is finally coming into place. | May 29, 2006
Well, okay, I had a rather pleasant realization this week - that in six months, I should reasonably be able to expect to pay all the bills in my life, just from the various little companies I own and other freelance work I do. Today, part 1 of a detailed examination into this plan, showing step by step what will be happening from now until January 2007, when the final step is put into place. Plus: a few thoughts on Wall of Voodoo, Aztec Camera, The Wolfgang Press, and beret-wearing stoned '80s undergraduates.

Dispatches from the real world. | May 25, 2006
Yes, okay, I admit it; things actually are going on in my life these days, besides just endlessly playing Second Life! Today, a little catch-up, including: an extremely erotic amateur-burlesque event I recently attended, and why I feel so guilty for finding it extremely erotic; and my new Treo 650, a birthday present that has finally arrived, and why that now means regular video reports here at the site finally, on top of everything else. Enjoy, all you flesh-loving losers!

More about what's been going on with me. | April 25, 2006
A continuation of yesterday's entry, getting people caught up with what's been going on with me the last two weeks. In a nutshell: My Mac Mini finally arrived; I've started playing with Google Earth, and have become completely blown away by it; and an old high-school friend visited town, prompting some thoughts on the "teenage me" versus the current me. Read all about it today!

Okay, so the real reason I'm scaling back this journal. | April 24, 2006
Okay, so my readers (brilliant as always) have been guessing more and more at why I so suddenly decided to scale back this journal; I did indeed have an "incident" in real-life Chicago recently concerning a reader, that left me rather shaken and spooked. Today, the details, and some thoughts on how this is going to affect both my current and future online life. Plus: Finally, the details of my arts center's upcoming wiki, "The CCLaP Guide to Being a Self-Sustaining Artist."

I'm thinking of scaling back this journal. | April 10, 2006
Okay, so because of a growing amount of responsibilites in other areas of my life, I'm indeed thinking about cutting back on the amount of entries written here. Today, the entire story of why. Plus: lots of new details considering "Archimedes," the alternative-reality-game "hyperfiction" project I'm creating this summer. Warning: much nerdiness ahead!

I'm in Rogers Park again. | March 30, 2006
Yep, my friend Jude is out of town again, which means that I'm up in Rogers Park this week, dogsitting for her. Today, some random thoughts while in the neighborhood, especially on how much it reminds of the city where I went to college. Plus: a special download for obsessive fans of "Lost," and information on a game coming this summer that might make them very excited.

That's right, I said that artistic non-profits are dying. | March 22, 2006
No, you didn't hear me wrong yesterday; I'm predicting the permanent death of almost all artistic non-profits by 20 or 30 years from now. Today, some detailed thoughts on why, and what will replace this structure in the future. Plus: I don't think that newspaper who interviewed me is going to run the article, so I might as well talk about it now; plus good news on the reader fundraiser for a new Intel Mini - $405 now raised! Only $195 to go!

A mysterious hero from my past suddenly re-surfaces. | March 16, 2006
This website has always been the cause of a lot of great random emails, and why look at the one I just got yesterday; from novelist Kristin McCloy, author of a book I was really in love with in my early twenties, who just found out recently that I had been in love with the book back then. Today, some thoughts on her book, why it meant as much to me back then as it did, and how my arts center might possibly be able to help her out this coming winter. Plus: Big news with my reader fundraiser for the new Mini - $250 raised in the last two days!

Good Lord - more about Second Life! | March 15, 2006
Good Lord - my fifth day in a row of entries about the alternative-reality videogame "Second Life!" But hey, what can I say - I have yet more things to say about it! Including: an update on my reader fundraiser ($50 raised, $450 to go); more about land ownership, how to build objects, and how this all naturally affects zoning, without there having to be any laws about it; I've started talking with more Linden employees; and more on the serious, academic experiments that can be run within Second Life as well, especially by traditional academic organizations (at a steep price discount too, no less).

A "walk" through my proposed Second Life sex club | March 14, 2006
I am writing just too entirely much these days about the alternative-reality videogame "Second Life," way too much to post each day in my journal; so instead I'm posting a lot of it later, then post-dating the entries, so that they don't show up on the front page. Here: a recent chat transcript with a friend, a veteran of both sex clubs and chat cybersex, walking her through my proposed sex club via description. Posted for all you fellow SL building enthusiasts, as well as anyone interested in the next level of cyberchat.

Random notes. | March 9, 2006
Just some random notes today, including: I finally understand how Second Life works, and I really fucking want to join now - thank you, Google Video!; a hilarious public remark recently by Kevin Smith that you absolutely must watch; yes, I was one of the lucky few that downloaded that secret Google Powerpoint presentation, that they accidentally posted, and I'll tell you a little about what it says too; something on "South Park" the other night that made me pee my pants; some thoughts about lesbians in love on el platforms; another kudo to; and it's official - I'm making my ninth attempt at quitting smoking soon.

Ah, cybersex! | March 7, 2006
Last week I was jokily complaining here about how no one had yet invited me to participate in cybersex, and how comically disappointed I was by this. And what do you know? One of my readers actually offered, because of that entry! I love my readers! Today, lots and lots of thoughts about what the experience was like, what I liked and disliked about it, and what the future of cybersex and my life might be. Plus: the story of my rather debaucherous birthday, which just happened last weekend.

Random notes. | March 2, 2006
Just some random notes for today, including: Why I've been out-of-sorts for the last couple of days (hint - it has to do with a federal employee and a howling dog); my birthday is this Sunday, and I still don't have any plans; an update on my quest to build a social application at; a random thought about post-hurricane New Orleans; and dude! It's the 20th anniversary of "Blue Velvet!" DON'T FUCKING LOOK AT ME!

Once that ball starts rolling... | February 28, 2006
Well, even more official announcements for CCLaP, this new arts center of mine opening this September; I have our first official show to announce, and someone's donated us a free website as well. Today, some thoughts on why things seem to be coming together so quickly these days, after two years of hardly anything happening at all; and why, by the way, I think those first two years were still necessary. Plus: five simple ways you too can help the Chicago Center for Literature an Photography, sometimes for free, sometimes by donating crap in your basement.

Random notes. | February 22, 2006
Just some random notes from my life today, including: More on that "RedEye" article I briefly mentioned last week; a new photo from my brother proves just what a dork he actually is; some thoughts about I-GO, a new car-sharing service in Chicago; a Missouri institution closes; when did I become a rebel cult-hero high-school English teacher?; why I'm such an obsessive fan of Flickr; and it's official - Franz Ferdinand rocks my fucking ass.

I have lots of little announcements for you today. | February 20, 2006
Lots of little new announcements for everyone today, including: I've started up a new blog, specifically for getting reprinted in such mainstream publications as the Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle (with a fascinating story, too, of how it all came about); I've got new Flickr photos up, including an intriguing set of satellite images; the first 'jasonpettus' tags start showing up in my RSS feed, including one from an unlikely source; and some geeky news regarding code cleanup of my main journal.

My day with Adobe; my evening with Yahoo. | February 16, 2006
Wow - I just got done attending a day-long workshop on Adobe's new Production Studio software, and I'm so impressed I'm about ready to wet myself. Here, a full report from the event, including an audio interview with one of the Adobe experts. Plus: my short, disappointing recounting of a Yahoo Personals event I attended here in Chicago on Valentine's Day.

You control your technology. I cannot emphasize this enough. | February 14, 2006
Well, only four days since I got this new home broadband connection, and I'm already starting to experience that weird feeling so many of you have complained to me about before: of being simply overwhelmed by all the information now at my disposal. Today, some thoughts on how to reclaim our control over our tech devices, and how to get them to better work for us, not the other way around. Plus: Anyone want to go to a Yahoo Personals event with me tonight?

Look at all the crap I got accomplished this weekend! | February 13, 2006
Wow, look at what an efficient motherfucker this new home broadband connection has turned me into! Today, lots of details of all the new things this home desktop connection has so far brought to my life, including: a recap of my account, detailed last Friday; how to now send an audio comment to me, straight from your computer's browser; new ways I'm interacting with Flickr now; a new service that tracks your comments around the blogosphere; I finally have an OPML feed (maybe); and of course lots of tweaks to the site itself, for geeky designers who care.

Guess who finally has a home internet connection? | February 10, 2006
That's right, it's me! I could tell you what new things this is going to mean both for my life and your reading habits, but I'd just go on and on for days on end and never actually get anything done. So instead, today just an examination of the very first new online thing I've taken on - becoming a member of

So much work. So little news. | February 3, 2006
The worst thing about long-term plans? Yeah, you never have anything fun to announce in the short term. Today, some thoughts on some of these projects I'm in the middle of, including: I'm finally getting a broadband internet connection at home; and I'm getting my newest travel book rapidly finished.

Random notes - the 'sick as a dog' edition. | February 1, 2006
Random notes I've recently collected up on my Treo, this time posted while incredibly sick, including: a big correction about the "Kama Sutra: The Musical" news from yesterday; a correction about how GPS works; how much I love the new "Lost" podcast; a reader is thinking about filming one of my books; and a question - how do I put an automatic mobile detector in place here at the site?

My surprisingly emotional weekend. | January 16, 2006
Today: a recounting of my recent trip to Hyde Park, to visit my old friends Carrie Golus and Patrick Welch, who I haven't seen for two years now, since they had their twin babies, and what a surprisingly emotional visit it turned out to be. Plus: helping my friend Kate pack up her stuff, in preparation for her move from Rogers Park to Edgewater, using our old friend "Getting Things Done." Go, GTD, go!

Field report: Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge, Chicago. | January 6, 2006
Today, my field report (in text and photos) of the new Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge in Chicago's Wicker Park, a new experiential marketing project by the RJ Reynolds corporation. It's a pretty cool place!

Odds and ends. | January 3, 2006
Random notes, including: thoughts on if 2005 really was the year blogs tipped into the mainstream, and what comes next; thoughts on Google's "ads as a whisper, not as a bullhorn" policy, and why it's been so damn successful; why in the Information Age there will be no more art movements; what's coming next to this website; and more thoughts about the bitchin' 1970s Mercury Marquis.

Happy 2006! | January 2, 2006
Happy new year! And guess what, I've actually made a New Year's resolution and everything: to finally implement a full and detailed version of the "Getting Things Done" time-management system in my life, which I've been using on a limited basis for about a year now. Today, thoughts on how this is done, and what it's going to mean, not only for my life but for yours. Plus: dreams of 'merry prankster' style computer viruses; and "learning about artists changes artists."

More random notes from St. Charles. | December 28, 2005
More random notes about how my holiday in St. Charles, Missouri is going, including: I attended two, count 'em, two family get-togethers this week; then hung out with my brother's smartass St. Louis friends (and recorded a smartass podcast episode); I discovered something cool at the CNET desktop version; my dad's students think he's 'hot;' I finally click on a Google contextual ad; and I can't stop singing along to the Smiths.

Random notes - the St. Charles, media-rich edition. | December 27, 2005
Just some short notes about how my holiday has been going this week, down here in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. This update in particular includes lots of photos and links to audio files, since I have access to my dad's laptop and WiFi connection, making it just so easy to load such media in the first place.

[randommedia]: Conversation with my brother, St. Louis, Christmas 2005 | December 27, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a conversation with my brother in St. Louis during the 2005 Christmas holidays. Topics discussed include the recent NYC transit strike, my brother's job at a bleeding-edge tech company in Manhattan, and why he is no longer learning a word a day in Russian.

Greetings from St. Charles...again. | December 22, 2005
Greetings from St. Charles, Missouri, where I am once again spending the week with my family for the holidays. Today, some awfully unfocused thoughts about what I'm hoping to get accomplished online this week while I'm here.

Random notes. | December 21, 2005
Some short notes about random topics today, including: Dude, the Christian Underground is so hardcore!; a possible new way of thinking about coffeehouses; some thoughts on the recent woes Six Apart has been going through; a call for John McCain to run for President again; I've been getting into Robert Scoble recently; and a few thoughts about changing careers in your thirties.

[randommedia]: Conversation with my friend Anna, karaoke night, Chicago | December 1, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a conversation with my friend Anna, while attending a karaoke night at Carol's Pub in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.

Random notes - the St. Charles edition. | November 25, 2005
Just some short random notes today from my week so far in St. Charles, including: I went shopping with my parents on 'Black Friday,' and was ready to kill some people by the end of it all; a couple of journal updates regarding Sean Stewart, the "Evan Chan" online viral game, and Objectivist dating websites; some thoughts on 'loaner' hearing aids; and it's official - I've become a hipster doofus.

More about addiction and my own life. | November 23, 2005
Part 2 of a series of entries I'm writing this week, examining my own history with addiction and co-dependency. Today, the tricky subject of sexual addiction, and what I've learned about myself as a result.

Addiction - the story can finally be told. | November 22, 2005
My recent entries on Bob Crane and sexual addiction inspired a challenge from one of my readers - to basically come clean about my own history of addictive behavior. Today, the first part of that examination.

Let the holiday season commence! | November 21, 2005
Happy holidays! Today starts a week of entries from the sleepy suburb of St. Charles, Missouri, where I am celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. Today, some thoughts on being back here in the middle of the Bush Years, and why the fascist-type things I see here anymore alarm me just so much.

Ahh...Ellen. | November 14, 2005
I recently heard from a woman I used to have a pretty major crush on, half a decade ago; it turns out that she's living in Chicago herself now, which has prompted us to start spending some time together. Today, some thoughts on how my views of her have changed in those five years, as my life has changed quite radically as well.

[randommedia]: Conversation with my friend Anna during a Halloween party, Uptown, Chicago | October 30, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a conversation with my friend Anna during a Halloween party, Uptown neighborhood, Chicago, concerning the scene we are currently watching of The Shining, Kubrick version.

Doo-ooh wee-OOH, wee-OOH, wee-OOH! | October 21, 2005
There's a commercial on American television right now, that features a song by the early-'80s group The Cars. Today, why that song reminds me so much of Albquerque, New Mexico, and a woman I met there years and years ago.

Random notes. | October 14, 2005
Just some small thoughts today on a variety of subjects, including: No, seriously, my new travel book is going to be ready any day now; "Lost" continues to fuck with my head; why "Threshold" is good, but also kinda bad; more about the difference between Mac OS9 and OSX; and a little update on everyone's favorite burlesque dancer, the indomitable Michelle "Toots" L'Amour.

Hey, how 'bout that, I'm back in Chicago. | October 3, 2005
Greetings, fellow stargazers! Well, it seems almost like a surreal dream now, but after nearly a month of my own life being on hold (first because of a visit from my German friend Alamar, then because of a trip myself...

Notes from a roadtrip. | September 26, 2005
September 23, 5:45 pm. Greetings from I-55, somewhere in the middle of Illinois, where I am currently making a roadtrip with my childhood friend Tom to the sleepy suburb of St. Charles, Missouri, where we both grew up. I'm writing...

[randommedia]: Conversation with my friend Alamar, Chicago Metra train ride to Fermilab | September 17, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a conversation with my visiting German friend Alamar, during our suburban train ride to the campus of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

[randommedia]: Report from an impromptu party at my apartment, 3:30 a.m., Uptown, Chicago | September 10, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a very drunken conversation with my friend Tom, on how it is that I suddenly find myself hosting a rowdy party in my studio apartment at 3:30 in the morning, in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.

[randommedia]: Sidewalk conversation between bars, Belmont and Clark, Chicago | September 10, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a drunk conversation with friends drifting in and out, as we walk down the sidewalk at Belmont and Clark from a horrible karaoke night to a cool indie-rock dive bar.

[randommedia]: Conversation with my friend Alamar, Chicago el ride | September 10, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a conversation with my German friend Alamar during his first-ever visit to Chicago, recorded on the red-line el train.

[randommedia]: Interview with Meg Bell of the Chicago Mudqueens | August 25, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one an interview with Meg Bell, founder of the Chicago Mudqueens, a group of hot Suicide-Girl-type punk-rock women who actually do wrestle each other in the mud, then donate the proceeds to a local shelter for battered women. Recorded in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, as Meg and her friends construct a new stage for the group in Meg's backyard.

[randommedia]: "City of Destiny" report, part 5: Talk with Katherine Hodges | August 20, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 5 of 5 of my report from the "City of Destiny" literary event at Quimby's Bookstore, Wicker Park, Chicago, organized and hosted by Katherine Hodges. Here: a talk with the woman herself, back in her apartment after the event was over, on how she thought the event itself went, and where they came up with the idea of serving mint juleps at it (with freshly-plucked mint and everything).

[randommedia]: "City of Destiny" report, part 4: Talk with my friends Kate and Joshua | August 20, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 4 of 5 of my report from the "City of Destiny" literary event at Quimby's Bookstore, Wicker Park, Chicago, organized and hosted by Katherine Hodges. Here: a conversation with my friends Kate (a local poet) and Joshua (a local comedian), on the back couch of Quimby's after the event was over, just about nothing in particular.

[randommedia]: "City of Destiny" report, part 3: Interview with Jonathan Messinger | August 20, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 3 of 5 of my report from the "City of Destiny" literary event at Quimby's Bookstore, Wicker Park, Chicago, organized and hosted by Katherine Hodges. Here: an interview with Jonathan Messinger, a man of many talents - a creative writer himself, and the Books editor of Time Out: Chicago, plus the host of an insanely popular literary show at the Hideout, plus the editor of a popular website as well called This Is Grand (true stories from the Chicago transit system). Whew!

[randommedia]: "City of Destiny" report, part 2: Smoke-break monologue, Quimby's Bookstore, Wicker Park, Chicago | August 20, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 2 of 5 of my report from the "City of Destiny" literary event at Quimby's Bookstore, Wicker Park, Chicago, organized and hosted by Katherine Hodges. Here: a monologue recorded during a smoke break at the event, about the podcasts I've been recently getting into, why I've been getting into them, and what I hope to achieve with this new podcast of my own.

[randommedia]: "City of Destiny" report, part 1: Talk with my friend Jenna, Wicker Park, Chicago | August 20, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 1 of 5 of my report from the "City of Destiny" literary event at Quimby's Bookstore, Wicker Park, Chicago, organized and hosted by Katherine Hodges. Here: a talk with my friend Jenna, co-creator of the funny and bitter blog You Knit WHAT?!, as we traverse the streets of Wicker Park during rush hour.

[randommedia]: Field report from the Chicago Small Business Expo, UIC Pavilion | August 12, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a field report from the Chicago Small Business Expo, being held in the UIC Pavilion.

Random notes for August 8th. | August 8, 2005
Lots of random notes today, including: Yes, please invite me to local events if you want, in return for reviews; I can finally listen to podcasts now, and why this is underwhelming information; and jeez, man, am I ever sore these days.

Yeah, but where are the singing waiters? | August 4, 2005
Today's my 11th anniversary of moving to Chicago. In today's journal, some thoughts about that last decade and a year, and what's coming ahead in my life.

I hung out with my friend Mars last night. | August 3, 2005
An evening hanging out with my friend Mars the other night gets me thinking today about friendships - my own, my history with them, and why it seems I have so little of them these days.

Random notes for August 3rd. | August 3, 2005
Random notes for today, including: some initial thoughts on the book "The Case for Democracy;" a pointer to a new English-language interview with Banana Yoshimoto; and I make an announcement about a new format that will be available soon for my electronic books (namely, for the Sony Librie).

Odds and ends. | August 1, 2005
Lots of random notes for today, including: "Desperate Housewives" is a much more entertaining show than what I was expecting; some more thoughts about the Marshall Plan; some more thoughts about; more on Brandy Agerbeck; reader thoughts on bicycling, the Bush Cabal and; and The Greatest Fan Letter I Have Ever Received, reprinted.

Getting Things Done - a progress report. | July 29, 2005
Well, it's been about two weeks since adding the "Getting Things Done" time-management system to my life, and things are going FANTASTICALLY. Today, I tell you all about it.

Okay, which one of you assholes told Jessa Crispin about me? | July 27, 2005
Hey, I met Jessa Crispin last night! Too bad she already knew of my semi-lecherous crush feelings for her, before I met her; thank God she reacted as well as she did to it. Today, the entire funny, sordid details.

I met a whole bunch of bloggers last night. | July 26, 2005
It was at this great event sponsored by, in fact, where they asked five popular bloggers who have had books come out in the last year to talk about the process. Today, my detailed report on how the event was.

Random notes for July 26. | July 26, 2005
Random notes for July 26th, including: I'm meeting Jessa Crispin for the first time tomorrow, and am a little nervous; my friend Dirk Huelstrunk has some new photos online, and I'm happy; and there's a new Microsoft joke floating around, which tickles me.

Bicycling in Chicago - a progress report. | July 25, 2005
Well, it's been about a month now since I became Chicago's newest daily bicyclist. Today, some thoughts on what I've learned, and why I love being a Chicago citizen so damn much.

In praise of stupid dogs. | July 22, 2005
An airing of an old "Simpsons" episode inspires today's entry - a few thoughts in praise of stupid dogs, and in particular the stupid dog who used to be in my life.

I hung out with the Mud Queens last night. | July 22, 2005
Wow, a first - for the first time in seven years, a journal entry completely written and posted while drunk and high! Damn this new automation software of mine! Anyway, the reason I'm in such a state is because of all my little punk-rock mud-wrestling friends here in Chicago; today's entry is all about the madness.

God help me, I'm Getting Things Done. | July 19, 2005
Oh Lord, it's true - I've become one of those GTD nutjobs. Today, an overview of the time-management system with the freakishly cultlike following, for those who have never heard of it.

I've got an idea for a new group literary project. | July 14, 2005
Today, an idea for a new group literary project I'm thinking about putting together - where I create a dystopian city of the future, and all of you write stories set in that city, all connected to a powerful categorization system so you can keep track of who's writing about what character. Interested in getting involved?

The Transition Year - a progress report. | July 12, 2005
Now that version 11.0 of my website is finally complete, I thought today I'd take a moment and simply reflect on the last year and a half of my life - the good, the bad, and the ugly. As you'll see, there's been a lot of changes in that time...and even more to come soon. Plus: A few thoughts on why "Rock Star: INXS" is the most addictive reality television show of all time.

Random notes for July 11. | July 11, 2005
Random notes for July 11, including: An old joke reprinted, courtesy my old college buddy Kurt Kaiser; no, seriously, my newest travel book is almost finished (and I need your help promoting it); I found out why my recent entry about biking garnered such attention; and damnit, yes, I'm watching "Desperate Housewives" this summer! Are you fucking happy, people?

Good Lord, in two parts. | July 7, 2005
Good Lord, part 1 - 83 new photos at my Flickr account! Today, a small entry about what's there, where it can be found, and how you'll soon be able to find my photos at a second location as well, starting next month.

Good Lord, part 2. | July 7, 2005
Good Lord, part 2 - look at all the emails I got this week regarding my bike adventure to the Loop! Today, an overview of what was said, where I agree and where I disagree, and yet more on why one should become a "bike snob."

[randommedia]: Conversation with my friends Tom and Lisa, on Tom's moving day | July 2, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a conversation with my friends Tom Henkey and Lisa Hemminger (former co-hosts of the weekly "Yammer" poetry event at the Southport bar Joyblue), after just spending the previous eleven hours moving all of Tom's stuff to his new apartment.

Bike adventure: Uptown to the Loop. | July 1, 2005
Today, a text-and-photo report of my very first Chicago bicycling adventure - attempting to ride from my apartment in Uptown to the downtown business district (the "Loop") during rush hour, just to see how easy or difficult it is to do.

Only one day until my first Chicago bike adventure! | June 30, 2005
Only one day until my first big Chicago bike adventure! Today, more on the online resources available for Chicago bicyclers, and details of the admittedly radical plan the Chicago city government has concerning bikes.

Bicycling in Chicago: A few beginning resources. | June 29, 2005
Today, an announcement of what my first Chicago bike adventure is going to be, as well as lots of links to online resources for fellow beginning cyclists in Chicago.

Heat wave! | June 27, 2005
Oh, good LORD is it hot here in Chicago this week. Today, a few thoughts on being out in the weather, getting to update my journal while out for the first time, and other random thoughts.

God, no wonder I've been such a prick lately. | June 24, 2005
Man, I've been in a shitty mood this week, and I think it's probably been showing a little - see my bitter, self-righteous rant against Wired magazine and my sad ode to a girlfriend who doesn't actually exist for the...

Random notes for June 24. | June 24, 2005
Random notes from my life these days, including: my parents are visiting this weekend; my brother gets me addicted to yet another reality show; and Paul Harvey finally loses his mind.

Yet more updates from my life. | June 23, 2005
More general updates about my life these days, including: one of my readers bumps up my Flickr account; one of my German friends has decided to come visit; and my future girlfriend is out there...I just don't know where.

Nextfest: A final thought. | June 23, 2005
A final thought concerning the crap I went through this week as a volunteer for Wired magazine's Nextfest. Caution: bitterness and self-righteous behavior ahead!

Live from Nextfest: I've been fired! | June 22, 2005
What a surprise - somebody from Nextfest actually read my journal yesterday, and I've been asked not to show up again. Today's entry is a short one; you've pretty much learned everything already just by reading this excerpt.

Live from Nextfest: Day 1 | June 21, 2005
I had what could charitably be described as a surreal first day as a volunteer at Wired magazine's Nextfest; read all the pathetically comic details today.

I'm going to Nextfest tomorrow, and I'm trying an experiment. | June 20, 2005
Simply put, I'll be posting small entries in real time throughout the event, straight from my cellphone, instead of once every 24 photos and audio in real time as well. Today, an explanation of how you can do the same at your own blog, and how you can follow along at mine via RSS reader, email or instant message.

There's been other things going on in my life too, you know. | June 17, 2005
I know, right now it sometimes seems there's nothing else going on in my life except for MovableType programming. And that's mostly true, although I still have a few more fun stories to report as well. Today, a few of them explained.

[randommedia]: Conversation with Katherine Hodges, Quimby's Bookstore, Chicago | May 5, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a conversation with my friend Katherine Hodges, a well-known figure in the world of indie literature. Recorded in front of Quimby's Bookstore, Wicker Park, Chicago, during a literary event called "The Secret Lives of Librarians," sponsored by the American Library Association during their annual convention weekend.

[randommedia]: Interview with's Andrew Huff | April 29, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one an interview with Andrew Huff, founder and editor-in-chief of, a popular guide to Chicago hipster life. Recorded at one of the monthly Gapers Block social events, this one at Wrigleyville indie haunt Gingerman, on Clark next-door to Metro.

[randommedia]: Shappy poem, "The Soldiers Took My Babies!," Live in Chicago | April 25, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one a performance by my friend Shappy of his hilarious poem "The Soldiers Took My Babies!" Recorded during his recent featured performance at the Mental Graffiti poetry slam, at the Funky Buddha, Grand and Milwaukee, Chicago.

[randommedia]: Report by my friend Shappy of Star Wars Celebration III (part 2 of 2) | April 25, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 2 of 2 of a conversation with my friend Shappy about his recent attendance of Star Wars Celebration III in Indiana. Recorded at Funky Buddha, Grand and Milwaukee, Chicago.

[randommedia]: Report by my friend Shappy of Star Wars Celebration III (part 1 of 2) | April 25, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 1 of 2 of a conversation with my friend Shappy about his recent attendance of Star Wars Celebration III in Indiana. Recorded at Funky Buddha, Grand and Milwaukee, Chicago.

[randommedia]: Meg's party, part 4 of 4: Porn star Daniele | March 18, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 4 of 4 of a report from my friend Meg's party in Bucktown, Chicago. Here, a conversation with partygoer Daniele, who turns out to be an amateur porn star and honest-to-God college student.

[randommedia]: Meg's party, part 3 of 4: Novelist Adam | March 18, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 3 of 4 of a report from my friend Meg's party in Bucktown, Chicago. Here, a conversation with partygoer Adam, a struggling local novelist.

[randommedia]: Meg's party, part 2 of 4: Retired Israeli soldier Josh | March 18, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 2 of 4 of a report from my friend Meg's party in Bucktown, Chicago. Here, a conversation with partygoer and Meg's roommate Josh, a retired Israeli soldier, on what he's doing in Chicago and why he chose to move here in the first place.

[randommedia]: Meg's party, part 1 of 4: Bike messenger Raphael | March 18, 2005
An episode of my podcast [randommedia], this one part 1 of 4 of a report from my friend Meg's party in Bucktown, Chicago. Here, a conversation with partygoer Raphael, a bike messenger.

[story] Sonnet for a heavenly body | August 4, 2002
An online version of my 2002 story "Sonnet for a heavenly body," also found in the book "Chicago Stories 2001-2004."

[story] A poem to myself on my 32nd birthday | August 4, 2001
An online version of my 2001 story "A poem to myself on my 32nd birthday," also found in the book "Chicago Stories 2001-2004."

[story] Tempe | August 4, 2000
An online version of my 2000 story "Tempe," also found in the book "Chicago Stories 2000."

[story] A poem for Ellen, who in a moment of weakness asked for one | August 4, 2000
An online version of my 2000 story "A poem for Ellen, who in a moment of weakness asked for one," also found in the book "Chicago Stories 2000."

[story] I didn't go to Prom | August 4, 2000
An online version of my 2000 story "I didn't go to Prom," also found in the book "Chicago Stories 2000."

[story] A day without caffeine | August 4, 2000
An online version of my 2000 story "A day without caffeine," also found in the book "Chicago Stories 2000."

SimpleText is my new best friend. | October 22, 1999
Today, my very first journal entry; an ode to the bares-bones text editor SimpleText, which was of great use when updating my site to version 3.1.

[story] strangeplastikrobot | August 4, 1999
An online version of my 1999 story "strangeplastikrobot," also found in the book "Chicago Stories 1999."

[story] An obscene poem for my new lover | August 4, 1999
An online version of my 1999 story "An obscene poem for my new lover," also found in the book "Chicago Stories 1999."

[story] Jane the Geek | August 4, 1999
An online version of my 1999 story "Jane the Geek," also found in the book "Chicago Stories 1999."

[story] Eight haikus concerning the last night of 'Pow' | August 4, 1999
An online version of my 1999 story "Eight haikus concerning the last night of 'Pow,'" also found in the book "Chicago Stories 1999."

[book] Chicago Stories 1996 | August 4, 1996
The online table of contents for my book "Chicago Stories 1996," including direct links to HTML versions of all pieces found therein.