A day without A Day Without Weblogs

1 December 2007 | A Day Without Art, A Day Without Weblogs, AIDS, World AIDS Day | No Comments

Once, every December 1st, many of us weblogger types would shut down our weblogs in conjunction with A Day Without Art, not coincidentally on World Aids Day. It was called A Day Without Weblogs and if I recall correctly, credit for the idea can go to Mr. Brad Graham. (History check, check.)

Nowadays this kind of symbolic action has fallen into disuse. Maybe because “AIDS is bad” is squarely in a lot of people’s heads now. Maybe because weblogland grew too big and diffuse and we weren’t reaching anyone who didn’t already know. I don’t know. It could also be that everyone taking down their weblogs does nothing to help the cause, or at least it helps less than more direct action like donating money to the appropriate organizations, working in outreach programs, or just telling people who don’t read weblogs (which would be most people) that they shouldn’t go out and fuck without protection.

Still, I’m feeling awfully nostalgic lately, about a lot of different things, and I thought of all this tonight. In 2001, I wrote this short piece that makes me equally as sad now as it did then. Recently I got to explain to a younger friend of mine what a bugchaser was. The fact that there are people still living within the anger and prejudice and fear of twenty years ago makes me near speechless.

Please be careful out there. Don’t be afraid, but be safe and sane.

More: Bradlands on 12/01/2003200220012000.

links for 2007-11-20

20 November 2007 | del.icio.us | No Comments

Unsynchronized

10 October 2007 | asides, internet living, microblogging, this, twitter | No Comments

I’ve discovered that I like Twitter a hell of a lot better when reading what people wrote all at once, rather than receiving the constant barrage of updates. For a digitally-oriented yutz like me, this might be considered the first sign of aging. I’m fine with that. I do not want to be always-on.

I bring this up because over the last few days, I’ve started to miss Twitter. That’s weird, in the sense that when I quit it, I did so because it was exactly what I didn’t need, and I didn’t see the long-term benefits (or rather, I understood what people saw as long-term benefits, but didn’t see them as benefits). In short: it was too easily something for people to talk at me and not with me, which is not how I think we should be communicating in general.

What I miss, I think, is a place for short observations that for whatever reason I feel the need to get out of my system, despite my earlier feelings about that sort of thing. Twitter is specifically designed to accept that sort of input, which is why it feels right putting that sort of stuff there. But let’s face it, people following my twitterstream did not need to know in real time that I was once again having issues with one browser or another, or that I was telling someone that I was wearing boxers, or whatever inane/witty thing I thought was witty/inane at that moment.

The visually-excellent WordPress theme The Morning After brought the idea of asides to my attention, which I guess Matt has been doing forever but I never really researched, shame on me. That seems like the perfect thing for this here weblog, given that I’m thinking about a redesign, but putting them inline seems like asking for mediocrity, given how (un)often I update here. This place would become 90% asides or more in no time. Forget that. And a sidebar seems… I don’t know, too kitschy?… since everyone’s all widget-happy these days. I don’t know. Either a solution will present itself or I’ll get over it. Either way.

links for 2007-09-02

2 September 2007 | del.icio.us | No Comments

Corn, sodomy, and the ring

31 August 2007 | family, gay, gay marriage, lesbian, queer | No Comments

From Caryl’s post I learned that Iowa courts have moved in favor of same-sex marriage. Woo!

I’m starting to lose track of what states in the US allow what kind of partnerships. Obviously Wikipedia can be trusted 100% (…), so one can look there, and now’s a good time to point out all the federal rights and protections granted to married couples, in case you’re still wondering what the big deal is.

Heat wave

31 August 2007 | san francisco, weather | No Comments

When you ask someone to come up with a list of things they love about San Francisco, the weather usually comes up. With good reason: it’s usually mild while still enjoying plenty of light (if you’re on the east side of the city, granted), the winters are more wet than frigid, making the local flora green and lush, and summer here is like spring in other places. (There’s a relevant quote from Mark Twain, but you’ll have to search for it yourself.)

This week, the words “heat wave” have been thrown around. While that still means something in the rest of the Bay, I take this to mean that I’m still wearing pants instead of shorts, but not bringing a jacket with me when I won’t be getting home until after dark. I hate to sound provincial, but my memories of Chicago heat waves involve hesitatingly wearing my black shirts when they’re the only clean shirts left, because of the amount of sweat they’ll soak up, only to have it quickly evaporate, leaving behind white rings from the salt. Ick. But I get it, and I understand. If you live in one environment for enough time, you become use to those borders, limits and parameters, and anything exceeding them starts looking offensive or threatening [1].

Yesterday I came across Jason D-’s Metroblogging post about a weird smell that was being smelt in much of the city. And by “weird” I mean “nasty” because when I caught wind of it, I thought someone had taken a shit somewhere on the street (but I didn’t think much about it at the time, because this was in the Upper Haight, just sayin’). But no, it was more prevalent than that, and a commenter pointed out that it was due to a combination of the heat and some sewer boxes. And that makes me think: what, part of our sewage system can’t stand up to some warm weather? Reading that just reinforced my opinion that this city’s infrastructure is not set up to handle anything but the regular kiddie-ride weather we usually enjoy. A lot of the housing here is cheaply constructed, with no thought given to things like insulation (hello, thinner walls and hearing your neighbors) and weather-proofed windows (hello, sounds of public transit). Only some places come with air conditioning. A couple apartments back, getting a toilet leak fixed took longer than it should have because the builders took shortcuts in making the base fastenings. The plumber said that was actually pretty common out here, cutting costs and not building to code for quick turn-arounds. How reassuring.

Honestly, while it might be an earthquake that does this city in, it might very well be making us deal with real summers or any other climate shift that does it. No wonder Greenpeace is out in force locally; global warming could literally stink up the place, if it doesn’t submerse it underwater. Someday in the future, I’ll be able to tell my nephews, or maybe their kids, that I lived in San Francisco once. Back when it was nice.

[1] This could quickly become an analogy about social dynamics on the internet, but we don’t need to go there.

links for 2007-08-30

30 August 2007 | del.icio.us | No Comments

Replaced

20 August 2007 | mornings | No Comments

Despite some sort of malaise the night before involving dehydration and/or a fever and/or a caffeine withdrawl headache, and sleeping in this morning, I managed to go from bed to ready to leave this morning in 30 minutes. Normally this takes me an hour because I’m just that slow in the morning. I even flossed, man.

Normally this wouldn’t warrant a post, but obviously I’ve been replaced by some sort of invader, either from space or another dimension. Just trying to warn people in case I grow to be 2000 feet tall and destroy downtown in a poorly-edited video montage. Because let’s face it, that sort of thing always ends up on YouTube.

links for 2007-08-18

18 August 2007 | del.icio.us | No Comments

Stardust

11 August 2007 | movie reviews, Neil Gaiman, Stardust | 3 Comments

As can be expected from Neil Gaiman, this movie is, in many ways, a classic fairytale. Everything wraps up neatly in the end; most good people get happy endings, bad people get what’s coming to them. It’s funny and cute and the special effects are wonderful.

That’s perhaps why you should go see it if you’re you. If you’re me, you should go see it because holy shit sky pirates hell fucking yeah plus there’s a new fantasy boyfriend in it for you.