Monthly Archives: July 1999

came down to visit friends back at college. anxiously awaiting returning and yet dreading it at the same time. visited the house i lived in last year. they didn’t have toilet paper. some things never change. visited my house for next year. (they have toilet paper.) it was super exciting to see my environment and be so psyched to be a part of a community again. coops are amazing that way – they have a community, an environment that is both frustrating and exhilerating. i anxiously await that environment.

on the other hand, i am no-doubt a bit dreadful of the work and the stress and all the icky elements that are a part of being in school. i mean, technically i was in school in the spring but i’ll be damned if you can actually count that!

my brain is awefully tired these days.. i am surprised that techy lands can burn you out so much more than reality. what a bizarre culture!

saw “american pie” today FOR THE SECOND TIME. i know.. i am a dork. but it was funny and my brain just wasn’t working. the two other women that i work with and i decided that we needed to do something other than be at work. it worked and we laughed and laughed and then went for mexican to talk all nite. what fun!

i found out today that i can work on the project that i am doing here through the fall! this is super super exciting. i am soooo glad to hear it! yippeee!

i feel as though my history gets rewritten every time i go home. i listen to my history told in stories and it sounds unlike anything i remember and is certainly in conflict to the stories i heard before. it is frustrating. i start questioning my own memory, my own thoughts. i adore my mother and my family but i am afraid that one of us has history wrong and i pray that it is not me who doesn’t remember the details that i experienced. i don’t understand why this happens.

in addition to rewritten history, i find that my family doesn’t seem to know who i am, nor do i think they actually want to know the “real” me. my mom actually told my grandparents that i am not liberal. me??? not liberal??? since when??? so i asked for a definition of liberal and she told me that their (the grandparents’) definition of liberal was different than mine. i asked for an explanation of what they defined as liberal. she said that their definition was “bra-burning, nudist, foul-mouthed, no class, gay” types. hmm… this seems to be a pretty good definition of how i view myself. but apparently they prefer to think differently. i don’t think i can win so i don’t bother fighting it.

to make matters worse, these conversations all occurred at a super-ritzy restaurant (prided on being 5 star) on long island. ok. the waiters were all “colored” and all of the diners were obviously wealthy. they followed every stereotypical rule of dress-up and class (except me, who was wearing a dress – forced by my mother – and sneakers – the only shoes i have – and makeup – also requested by my mother). combined with my short haircut, i was obviously not a part of the restaurant’s expectation (and people stared to make it obvious). supporting this environment made me so uncomfortable. but, again, i had no choice. 🙁

i wonder how long i can handle this type of bullshit? hmm…

i had one of those frustrating public transportation nites last nite… first, i arrived far too late via airport after way too much time traveling. upon arrival, i caught the last public subway back towards my apartment. i was struggling with 6 bags but only one person offered to help but didn’t speak enough english to understand that yes, i did want his help. regardless, all winded, i hopped on the last leg of my 5 exchage subway tracking. i sat besides a group of four – 2 very girlie 20something girls and their male companions (equally gender typical). across from me was a wide variety of other 20somethings who were probably students at mit, based purely on stereotypes. this was a mixture of men and women.

i chuckled with the students and they smiled back.. we sorta had a “hello” eye level of public transit. the four next to me didn’t even look at me or the others as they were caught in their own conversation. as the subway got rolling, all but the four sat quietly but slowly we couldn’t ignore the conversation that was happening. one girl was VERY loudly telling the story of a person she encountered where she could not tell if “it” was a man or a woman. drunkenly, she was loudly exclaiming how much this bothered her and how she was trying to determine if this “it” had a bra on. she was talking about going up to the “it” and reaching out to “it’s” shoulder to pat “it” to find if there was a bra there (she kept saying “it” with a harsh disgusted tone). the people across from me and i were obviously dumbfounded by this conversation but none of the four noticed us. they kept going!! finally, i tapped the girl on the shoulder and asked “why does it matter if the person is a boy or a girl?” all flustered she said that it didn’t but that she just wanted to tell a funny story. her female companion said that this was not the important part but they hadn’t gotten to it yet. the talker said “geez, sorry to start a controversy” and then continued the story!!!!! i was dumbfounded but my stop had arrived and i had to get off.

we entered san francisco late last nite.. yummy.. long road trip and we were tired so we crashed big time. when we woke up in the morning, we headed out to berkeley so that i could check out the environment (still doing the grad school panic). i was shockingly impressed by it. first, i found that canney, the prof out there is much younger than i thought and has some great ideas. he totally knew judith and visual who and we talked for over 1.5 hours about everything from educational philosophies to user interfaces. i found that i could do berkeley and it is back on the list of schools that i am definitely considering. thus, i just need to determine if i have a chance of getting in….

wow.. how i do love my girlie friend in san fran.. she made arrangements for us to go to a performance arts show when we arrived in san fran. to say it was fabulous is a bit of an understatement. nothing could be better. she brought a freshly rolled joint from berkeley and we smoked in in waiting of the performance. it was kinda like rent, kinda like blue man group, kinda, kinda, kinda. basically, it was a performance of music, rhythem, dance and flow. they played with fire, with strobe lights, with acrobats. their bodies manipulated in most astounding fashions. absolute beauty within one’s body… intense relationships between sound and dance.

utah scares me. plain and simple. i thought that maybe i was just anti-utah because of what i had read in the media or what i had imagined.. but no, i am just outright terrified of it. being ?bright? people, we decided to aim for brigum young (a mormon university in utah) because if any place would have something other than denny’s, it would be a college town. although this was wise, we forgot what type of people are in college towns like this one…

we could feel the stares creeping down our back as we walked through the main street. people stopped eating to stare out their windows. we settled on a rather cool looking mexican place, on to find that everyone in there was approximately our age. but it was just not that simple. everyone was WHITE. the boys looked like boys and the girls looked like girls, with ZERO cross-over. everyone was perfectly clean-cut, preppy. the waitress seemed nice enough so i decided to ask her various questions about the town and the university. boys and girls live in separate buildings, even off campus. there are curfews and people of the “opposite sex” are not permitted in your bedroom. there are dress codes (skirts must be below the knees) and hair requirements. beards/mustaches are forbidden. if you are found out to be gay, you are immediately kicked out. it is a dry state, meaning no alcohol.

holy shit this scared the hell outta me!!! i cannot imagine being in a place like this!!! we were in utter shock

Desired Items for Onroad Travel

Access to maps (preferably with GPS)
Access to motel information given particular city
Access to traffic info and construction info
Updated information about fastest route (given traffic info, weather, etc.)
Weather information
Knowledge of restaurants (including local jazzies) given a city
Listings of radio stations
programmable scanner- where you could input types of stations that you are willing to listen to
currently, when driving, you are in a bubble (say a car) with other people. there are plenty of people on either side of you, or plenty of bubbles.

current ways: talk stuff (cb radios)

are visual bad? distraction from driving? what about passengers?

currently, most people who drive, drive by themselves, sole bubbles.

also, trust is a problem. in virtual space, trust is far less important. you do n’t have to worry about who you talk to and who you don’t… in real space, saf ety is a concern. can a community exist in this type of space or is it too dangerous? to a certain degree, you see a community amongst truckers… why not oth er travelers? how do you connect the community of drivers to on another? how do you connect the flowing community with the static one of the area?

how can you talk to locals? maybe find locals who would put you up??

augemented reality… – select a car and ‘page’ them to communicate with a car on the system. other cars can accept/decline your discussion request..

as you pass through a space, get information about the neighbors and the locations and whatnot.. find locals who will talk with you at any given point… be able to virtually ask for directions.

last evening, i went to a rave in colorado, near denver. during the rave, i wrote a letter to myself/my lover for future reference. bare with me.

hey sweetheart… sorry if things don’t come out as “normally” as they should… i am in ?denver? with you… you are dancing out there, partying and enjoying yourslef as you always do at raves… i am chilling in the tent: my favorite spot at raves these days… a group of kids came up here, asked if i was alone.. i said i was with someone but that they were welcome to chill and smoke a joint. they asked “boy or girl”… i asked if it mattered.. they said they didn’t want to disrupt me and my boyfriend.. i asked if it mattered if it was a boy? they got all embarrassed…

ok, there are seeds on that previous page.. it was from the second group of kids who came in and asked if they could smoke inside. i said no problem… they came in… i asked where they were from… they’d asked where i was from first..


my mouth dropped… they started talking details into the air, all completely fucked up on a wide variety of drugs… “5th period, staring at her ass”… holy fuck. i asked what it was like and these stoned eyes answered me “my friends died”… holy shit holy shit. they wandered out but i saw the glimpse of pain and was not sure how to handle it. imagine being in a room and suddenly two kids opened fire… imagine

jon came rushing in to tell me that he asked the girls he was dancing with where they were from and they had answered “littleton”. a group of pre-seniors from columbine… we were both a little startled, feeling like we walked into our television. many of the kids at that party were from columbine… we had fallen into a columbine party.. all these cute little 14/15/16/17 year olds, trahsed on a wide variety of drugs!!!! this isn’t even college yet!!!!! i couldn’t believe it.. so many predyked columbine kids… jon said that he would think his girlfriend dyked all the columbine girls.. i said i was too freaked out by the age of the kids which is why i hadn’t left the tent…. eek

still me.. i am back.. i am goign to do my darndest to share what i am thinking… most people here seem to want to escape. i want to talk, to think, to wander, but that is not how it works here.. i listen, i hear rave garble.. same ole feel-good-can’t-talk-about-anything-because-i-am-candy-flipping bullshit. i hear it over and over.. people looking for drugs, people selling drugs.. or souls. you see, being out here terrifies me.. absolutely terrifies me.. i can look into their eyes.. i can see the “i don’t fit in but i am desperatley trying to”… only it is not like i remember it.. it is so much harsher, so much more drugs… i think i gave up before i got to this type of party.. you see these souls.. girls looking to find a guy and be good to him.. guys looking for sex… just sex. it’s become a coolness act.. who has what drugs, sees where, does what… competitive dancning… oh god, popularity schemes…

girls are girlies.. they are perfectly gender timed… so aware of their roles in this scheme.. and now i feel myself looking on.. looking into them at tehir substitute world that makes the popularity tree go on.. it never ends does it? i realized that i have escaped the popularity dilemma that haunted my middle school years.. i don’t feel the need to impress anyone based on their rules.. i don’t rest my soul to be valued based on someone elses values… i can feel the strengths of me as a woman for the first time… i now see my real uniquenss and it saddens and terrifies me… how i want to reach out to these young girls who are just playing th egame… how i want to say it will be ok.. cause it won’t be for most of them. they’re lost if they’re here, aren’t they? they are the lost children.. this is what happens when you follow the beam crowd like you almost did long ago… my mom never would have let me. this is the lostness… i see from mother’s eyes to these young beings only 5 years younger than me… in 10 years, the survivors will be my peer group. the survivors…. these aren’t the k/m/s college ravers… these are teens, doing teen things… back to kids, a generation i thought was behind me and my vision… but i see it in these faces.

it is hard though because when you are looking for popularity, you don’t notice all of the others like you and rebel against the system… no, you aim for popular which is why i can’t reach out to these kids…

i just go to the outside, quite happily… like abroad – let people do the “who’s in”, “who’s not” thing and make it matter… gosh… to see peer pressure screaming out our own lives… who we act “cool” to.. who we try to be liked by… college life, college bullshit… i miss serious friends… this rave/people in cs… same mentally…

i don’t want to ask these kids how old they are.. i want to ask them where they are at.. what stage in their own heads…

and then i just met a mother – tweaked out raving (still raving), travelling to sell glassware to other ravers… priding themselves in that glass and their friends in the rave scene.. damn. full life, with kids, rave culture.. teenage parents bringing their toddlers to a rave.. oh goodness… making your life doing this.. creating glass to make ends meet with your BABY.. god, i cannot imagine.. and the cycle… they are the babies that continue the cycle..

honestly, it makes me wonder if i am the only one who can AFFORD (truly afford… soul, life, money..) to be here… and even i am on the edge

GODDAMNIT. boys- i am not your fucking object

the thing is.. i feel like i am the male in this enviornment.. because the women aren’t yet hardened.. we aren’t playing in fair levles.. that is the big diff between here and the raves at home… at home, we are all on even ground.. here, the girls are still playing their role and i watch as they get screwed over

the next day, i wrote a friend about attending a rave and meeting kids from columbine.. his response startled me.. i realized that i am not the only one who feels out of place at raves these days…

Ever since circa 1993, the Rave scene has become rather distressing. Originally, the epicenter for east-coast raving was Baltimore with its “peace, love, unity, and rave” leitmotif. The raves were in abandoned warehouses and were run on a nominal fee used to cover costs. Then, the police wackjobs started the anti-rave squads which garnered it some press. Soon thereafter, it became popular, the scene declined, and promoters started charging $10+ (now even in the $20s from what I see!)

The modern rave crowd is a bunch of fucked-up 14-year-olds who have moved it from fun to social status and parades of misdirected sexuality. I can’t have fun at them now, instead I am overcome with an urge to act as a parent…..

it is situations like this that make me more and more terrified to be a parent. i don’t know if i can handle this! i don’t know how to help. hell, i don’t think anyone could have helped me realize… i just needed to do it for myself. and yet, i think back to the number of my peers who didn’t make it and i wonder if anyone could have helped them.

a friend asked me an important question today – “why are you doing this cs shit? it seems ahrdly what you really want to be doing..” and for the first time ever, i have an answer to that question.

but let me backtrack for a second as you may not even know that i have questioned this question before… for the first two and one-half years at my university, majoring in computer science, i wanted to kill all computing people and give up the direction that i was headed. at times, i thought that i wanted to be a buddhist monk, wandering in tibet; i wanted to major in women’s studies… i changed my mind weekly but all i knew was that i needed out of computer science NOW. yet, i stuck with it and every semester, i returned and told myself that this time i would leave. yet, it never happened. finally, i went completely bizerk and ran off to a foreign country… this is where i was last semester. but now, i am back in the states, and for the first time ever, have a motivation to do computer science.

my motivation is not computer education, it is not 3D computer graphics.. it is not even making money in some big company.. like it ever could have been. no, my motivation is simple: people.

i still hate coding.. in fact, i don’t think i will ever like the computer science part of computing… but i am finally accepting that. what draws me in to computing is what drew me in over 7 years ago – people. and not those computer geek types.. they don’t interest me. the ability to communicate, the ability to have a community, a newfound way of expressing oneself, finding oneself, exploring reality.. that is what interests me.. connecting people to one another in a new way. see, it finally dawned on me that all of my interests could be entwined into this computing thing… there is no doubt that the one person who really pulled me into the online community was the kind transsexual who explained this to me when i was in the seventh grade through an irc connection. for the first time, i started to understand things about myself that those nearby me could not explain. finally, i realized that i was different and this was ok. no, i am not different in a way that a label can clearly explain but this is ok too. anyhow, it was that connection, so long ago, that gave me the motivation to see beauty in technology.

so, recognizing beauty and wanting to help others do what helped me.. where do i go with this? well, i am also anti-industry and anti-dealing with “the man”. thus, one simple solution – academia. i want to do research.. to be a permanent and approved thinker. i want to find ways to improve connections of people, space and time. and i want to be good enough at it that no one makes me code when i come up with an idea. but in the meantime, i will deal with the bullshit of the computer industry.

you see, humans want to explore. they want to explore time, they want to explore space.. they want to explore. we have used up way too much of our physical space… very little is left and physically possible to explore in our current physical world. there is no unknown territory on our planet.. even areas that are not really explored are vaguely explored. outter space is not really realistic.. not in today’s state. we are always working on exploring the mind but that is less of a physical place for people to wander in and out of… well, we want places to explore.. we want ways of making time/space less dramatic.. technology has the potential to offer a lot of exploration.. exploration of a new kind of space, a virtual kind. well, i want to explore this.. figure out where we are going and make certain that our direction is not problematic for us as a culture. i don’t give a rats ass about what video games exist or what the best database is or how fast the currently computer is… i am concerned about the people and how we are connecting people and what we are giving them… i want to play with such concepts.. and it is the computer that will take me there.

finally, i have a purpose.. a reason to be doing what i am doing. and now, i want to end the bullshit and figure out how to avoid my last coding class as that is the least of my interests.