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Virtual Nervous Breakdown, 2001 - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

May. 29th, 2003

12:26 pm - Virtual Nervous Breakdown, 2001

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Heh. Here's an amusing bit of past history. Virtual Nervous Breakdown, 2001

I think the thing that is interesting about it is that it is a snapshot of the activist life around me 2 years ago. The Public i was just getting off the ground, we didn't have an official IMC performance space yet, Danielle hadn't gotten elected yet, I hadn't bought my house yet.

It seems like it was so recent and so much has changed since then.

Comments:

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From:spillshercoffee
Date:May 29th, 2003 11:01 am (UTC)
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Wow.
Ok.
And I thought I had it bad.
Congradulations.
If you could make it through all that, I can surely get through my own muck and mire.

Cheers.
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From:goytoy
Date:May 29th, 2003 11:42 am (UTC)
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I don't know you well enough to judge the difference, but it sounds like you had quite a full plate back then. Do you sleep 8 hours/night now?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 29th, 2003 12:12 pm (UTC)
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I try very hard to sleep 8 hours per night and when I do take on sleep debt I pay it back the next weekend. I'm actually physically incabable of dealing with more than 8 hours of missed sleep in a given week.

I've got a much more laid back job that lets me to a lot more activist stuff. My break from activism 2 years ago gave me a lot more perspective on how well things continue to run even if I'm not taking care of every single little thing and the reduced stress from that knowledge alone has actually allowed me to do probably more activist stuff than I used to.

I still have an insanely full plate but I think I manage it with less stress these days. I delegate. I say no. I don't take on leadership roles in every single thing I do.

Of course I made a todo list for the next week and a half today and it looked like this:

Skeleton Danse
open space and help set up
Parents
visit home Saturday and Sunday
Bitch and Animal show June 2nd
more and bigger publicity (sampler CD, pamphlet, mailing, WEFT stuff)
get parking meters bagged
acquire lights and additional equipment
acquire lots of random food items and other rider details
get space set up
NCSA
try not to lose job to budget cuts
Space Issues
find an electrician to look at the citation issues
coordinate electrician with city inspector
Capital Campaign
contact foundations
produce more fliers at kinkos
change software for faith's feature request
write script to generate house logo
Ripley Caine, et al show June 14th
more and bigger publicity
get verification from Doria that she got the message re venue change
Webhosting Issues
brainstorm funding issues for community webhosting with Sascha
fix stat generation scripts
House issues
get an electrician to rewire house
refinance mortgage

I'm in the midst of a manic upswing due to spring. I'm sure I'll hit the wall eventually. I don't mind. I take good enough care of myself that hitting the wall doesn't hurt so much as it used to. I do constantly have an eye towards ways to simplify my work life and allow for more volunteer stuff and more slack.

I'm toying with the idea of going to half-time if I can afford it in the fall (since the state budget cuts may force this anyway it'll be nice to do it because it is my plan rather than being surprised by it :).

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From:goytoy
Date:May 29th, 2003 01:03 pm (UTC)
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If I could work half-time and make half the money I make now I would do it in a second. Well, there is still a good bit of Neil debt to pay off, but I'd do it in a year or two, anyway. I am still hoping that job-sharing will take hold here at some point.

I also get loads of energy when the summer comes; isn't that funny? I can stay up until all hours, and I feel like I'm on vacation even when I'm working full-time.

Bitch and Animal should be fun, at least for the folks who don't have to do any of the work.

So, did your dad get his album?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 29th, 2003 02:00 pm (UTC)
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The album is still in progress. We've changed studios twice. The material we recorded at the first studio was all thrown out. My grandma (my dad's mom) passed away last September (2002) and that really put a damper on the creative juices for a while so the project took a hiatus for several months. Then I was broke for a while. Now things are moving forward again and the main hold up is getting all the players together at the same time for recording sessions. The project has been a lesson in patience for me as producer...I just want the creative parts to be done so I can move forward with the production and marketting and stuff which will be fun. :)

I'll throw some tracks of his on the CDs I'm eventually sending you. :)
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From:goytoy
Date:May 29th, 2003 02:14 pm (UTC)
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Well, we aren't done w/ ours yet, either. A friend just sent us a copy of a Hamell show in Syracuse. It sounds great; and since he grew up there, he tells some interesting stories and does some older stuff as well. So I thought I'd add that one to the list. But I lent our only copy to a pal w/ the understanding I'd have it last week, and he still hasn't shown. Maybe this weekend?

I secretly want you to have them w/i a month (well, I want you to have them w/i a month regardless, but my secret reason in addition to the regular reasons is) so you will tell Adam what nice folks Neil and I are. Not that he shouldn't know - just me being a dork. I just get a kick out of the circularity and coincidental nature of all of this

Anyway, I'd love to hear your dad.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 29th, 2003 02:16 pm (UTC)
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Oh don't worry. I'll tell nice things to Adam either way because I already know you're nice folks. :)

Your secret is safe with me!
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 29th, 2003 02:37 pm (UTC)
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Oh and I've got a web page for my dad with a lot of old MP3s from jam's and partial studio tracks. The really ass kicking new stuff isn't up there yet though.

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From:goytoy
Date:May 29th, 2003 02:43 pm (UTC)
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Cool! Gotta' show Neil the "I hate coffee" thing - he won't even eat coffee ice cream. He doesn't even like mocha flavor. He is an anti-coffee purist.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 29th, 2003 09:49 pm (UTC)

electrician

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Hey Zach!

I have a tentative electrician recommendation. I'll have to remember to grab his contact info when I get home. His name is Bob and he's cheap. Of course, he's not done yet, so I can't vouch for his work, but he's a nice guy. I grabbed his name off a poster outside of CGFC.

Actually, Bob is just taking care of upgrading our service; Alice and I are rewiring everything (with the help of friend and family).

Matthew
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From:marezcharz
Date:May 31st, 2003 10:26 am (UTC)

Staying friends

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Remember the chat we had about getting along with ex's? Well here's a photo from my Easter party where I'm bowing to my most recent.

http://photos.imageevent.com/andreaandjason/easter2003/websize/MVC-225X.JPG

Here's the lot of them:
http://imageevent.com/andreaandjason/easter2003?n=0&z=2&c=4&x=1&m=24&w=0&p=0
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 31st, 2003 10:37 am (UTC)
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Looks like a nice place you've got there and a fun party!
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From:marezcharz
Date:May 31st, 2003 10:58 am (UTC)

The very bestest Easter EVER!

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It was freakin fantastic! I got those little plastic eggs, filled 'em with candy and added a strip of paper that had an instruction on it. You can see by some of the photos what ensued. Socks worn on hands, people being adorned with candy necklaces. Much fun was had by all. I think we'll do it again next year.

Wow! You are up already! I am still at work. Off the clock playing with a web site. (never did one before - pretty fun.)

try this: (remember it's still in progress - any constructive criticism will be welcome and forgotten, kidding. I was an art student; I can take anything!)

http://www.geocities.com/marezcharz2/MarezCharz.index.html

click on the rat to see his photos - he was my little baby. I miss him.
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From:marezcharz
Date:May 31st, 2003 11:00 am (UTC)

site under destruction

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PS. I am going to get rid of the annoying bat. I just wanted to see what it was like.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 31st, 2003 11:39 am (UTC)
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tips:

Host it somewhere other than geocities. Ads suck.

Don't make it fixed width like that. The width should change dynamically when the web page is resized. You can do this by using percentages in "width" attributes rather than specifying absolute pixel numbers. Of course maybe geocities forces this fixed width design on you. Do you design in straight HTML or do you use some kind of pointyclicky program?

The content is hilarious stuff.

Your thing about the chairs led to an interesting discussion between my roomate and I. It's interesting that chairs are kind of like the exemplar of examples. People always use "the concept of chairs" as their example of concepts in general.

In most of the cognitive science and linguistics class where we talked about the semantics and philosophy of "concepts" we VERY often used the concept {chair} as an example of how concepts worked. "There are artistic chairs that you can't sit in but we still consider them chairs. There are things you can sit in or on that we don't consider chairs. There are chairs without backs. There are chairs without legs."

Then it seems like chairs come up in art a lot too.

People spend so much time interacting with chairs. Sitting in them and looking at them in empty rooms. If you say "think of a thing, an interesting but common thing, any thing" people must think of chairs.

It's one of those things that is simultaneously "Very Interesting" and "really mundane, duh".
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From:marezcharz
Date:June 4th, 2003 10:45 am (UTC)

Thanx fer da tips

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haven't played with the html, yet. just checking what's possible with the stuff geo provides. Need to do a lot of learning.

As fer ads, I plan to ditch 'em, when I've got the hang of it, to create a pseudo -serious site for art (sales-ish) and another phun one pher phreaks (not the total phreaks only, like you, er... ah... but also silly freaks with no skills - like myself)

I will look into the varying vs. fixed-size-thing the next time I play with it. Such a simple thing but improves site exponentially. I'm surprised you didn't mention 'kiss', knowing your ideals.

Were you politely hinting that chairs are passe'? If so, you can sock it to me. I was an art student for freakin ever. This computer stuff is new to me. I can do the design, I just have to play a little more to find out how to make 'real'. Chairs or no chairs.

I really appreciate your input. Hopefully, I'll have time soon to apply....

whew, I've been up for 28 hours, better get some sleep. zzzzzzz zzz zzzzz zz
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[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:June 4th, 2003 11:17 am (UTC)

Re: Thanx fer da tips

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heck no, I was not implying anything about chairs being passe. I was just making a cognitive/cultural hypothesis/observation which was at least 95% bullshit anyway. I wouldn't know passe if it hit me in the face.

KISS should be implicit in any design. :)
http://www.anybrowser.org/campaign/abdesign.html

I look forward to the future of your sites. Let me know if you need more geeky server space to play with, I can provide.

Go to sleep!
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[User Picture]
From:marezcharz
Date:June 4th, 2003 11:22 am (UTC)

Re: Thanx fer da tips

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Dude, you like... rock... and all that! zzzzz zzzzz zz
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From:mr_ducktape
Date:May 29th, 2003 11:20 pm (UTC)
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Was this the time where you did the math and found out that the total number of obligation hours you were committed to exceeded the total number of hours in a week?

I loved that one.

BEST.
BREAKDOWN.
EVER.
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[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:May 29th, 2003 11:52 pm (UTC)
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Yep that was the one. Let's review:

2001 - Zach goes on strike against the left after realizing he can't possibly fullfill all the obligations he's taken on. Grandma buys him the "Stop me before I volunteer again shirt."

1998 - Zach realizes that juggling two women like a stupid circus clown is an entirely untenable, unfair, and disastrous position to be in and that ultimatly both of them will be lost and enters into a 4 month process of breaking many hearts including his own. In the end realizes just how badly girl #1 had treated him for five year and was surprised months later that girl #2 would have him back.

1995 - Zach is rejected from MIT and CalTech, schools he's dreamed of going to since he was in 6th grade and found out that they were the best schools a person could study Physics at. This is the first time Zach has to believe that he is not in fact able to rise to the absolute top of the academic world without too much super hard work. Intense feelings of inadequacy. Girl #1's help through this difficult time one of the strongest moments in that relationship.

1992 - Zach arrives at IMSA to find that he isn't good enough for the scholastic bowl team, for the drama club, for the cross country team, or for the math team. Finds that IMSAns have no interest in environmental activism. Floundering for identity he struggles to survive in a strange new world. Eventually finds computers, geek culture, and a whole new set of "outsiders" to form amazing and lasting friendships with. Also having the smartest and hottest girl in the school as first ever girlfriend probably didn't hurt the old crushed and lost ego.

We'll see what 2004 has to offer! I expect around that time I'll be working on some presidential campaign or other and simultaneously about at the point where I'm starting to date or am already in a relationship again. I'll probably also be well into my "new career" whatever that turns out to be after August. There should be a world of breakdown possibilities there.
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