On Feb 24th we left Mexico City for Laredo, TX via Transportes Del Norte. The bus trip was around 20 hours, four of which was standing still because a flatbed in front of us lost their cargo on the road. We spent a few days in Laredo at my dad's and step-mom's place, and then continued on via Greyhound to Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, and finally arrived in Fayetteville. This leg of the journey was around 36 hours, I think. But it was all a blur by then.
Upon arriving in Fayetteville, @gb and I decided to drop by the restaurant we worked at, The Carolina Alehouse, on the same day we arrived. It turned out that a lot of people that we know are still working there. The general manager decided to hire us back on as servers, so we'll be serving cold beers and finding time to code in our spare time.
Anyway, that is all for now. I'm grateful to be able to find decent jobs so soon upon returning to the USA.
Fayettenam update May 29th 2017
I haven't had an opportunity to update the network on my personal life in awhile, so I thought I'd write a little bit about where @gb and I have been and what we've been up to.
Two weeks ago our living situation changed abruptly when @gb's grandfather passed away and then her grandmother let us know the same day (by changing the locks without warning) that we no longer welcome at her house or to continue to use the car [@gb]'s grandfather loaned us to get to and from work. @gb wrote about what happened on here site here and here. I'm not related to these folks, so I think it's better if you get the full story from her.
Needless to say, ending up homeless and carless in Fayetteville unexpectedly was kind of a stressful thing. The good news is we both have restaurant jobs, so we were able to check into a weekly hotel with decent rates. It's a little more expensive than an apartment would be, but the trade off is flexibility and all utilities included except for Internet which is an extra $10 a week. We could leave at any time, but I think staying in Fayetteville and keeping our jobs is the wise thing to do right now.
Now we take the bus and/or walk to and from work, which is what I'm more comfortable with anyway. I hate cars. Not having a car in Fayetteville is kind of weird, but I've spent the majority of my life in big cities (NYC, Chicago, SF, Mexico City) so I'm much more comfortable using public transportation and walking.
Since the stress of two weeks ago is subsiding, I'm beginning to be able to refocus on working on projects that I care about -- such as maintaining my website, and working on %minbay. A few days ago I refactored %minbay into %minbase -- which should give people a stable base on which to build ssb lite clients.
Here's a photo of @gb and Mallory the Machete last night at Mac's:
Fayettenam update July 11th 2017
Jeff is a retired professor who used to be our upstairs neighbor in Haymount, Fayetteville. He smokes copious cigarettes, and wears a funny straw hat with one or two feathers in it. I first met Jeff when @gb and I roasted a rat that was living in our electric oven sometime during the winter of 2015. The smell of roasted rat was so awful, I went upstairs to apologize -- but the smell hadn't penetrated through the ceiling into his section of the four-way subdivided ancient house we all occupied. I ended up smoking a cigarette, looking at printed-off pictures of marilyn monroe and kermit the frog and got to know Jeff a little bit.
Now Jeff always refers to us as 'The Rat Roasters'. Anyway, in 2016 Jeff was carrying around some sort of personal development book he found at the used bookstore called 'What are you going to do with your life?' One day he barged into our apartment and gave us an impromptu lecture on how we should probably be doing something better with our lives than working at a restaurant in Fayettenam. He still thinks we should start a traveling circus.
After our recent unexpected move back to Haymount, g and I ran into Jeff on the street. While he was excited to see us, he also wanted to know 'have you guys figured out what you're going to do with your lives?'
The answer is obviously 'no', because we're back to living in Fayetteville for the third time since 2012. Only this time g doesn't really have any reason to be here anymore, see previous Fayettenam update.
Working at the restaurant and paying our monthly hotel bill seems to be working. But I have to agree that it doesn't seem to be what I or g want to be doing with our lives.
I used to live in New York, I spent most of 2009-2012 in and out of the West Coast (Oakland, SF, Portland, Seattle), and the last few years we've lived on and off in Mexico City.
The ville is a place, but it isn't much of one. But leaving means leaving our jobs, which would probably mean not having any income what so ever.
So I'll put it to the network. What should we do with our lives?
Move to Oakland. My house will be empty soon and I'll need new housemates.
My entrance in this circus in Toronto was as a musician. They needed a bass player for one of their monthly cabarets.
Once I had my foot in the door, I found that lots of people were happy to teach me some tricks climbing silks, juggling, fire spinning (I practiced but not with anything lit on fire), and of course a bit of clowning. If you can find a circus, you could probably work your way in on your service experience and storytelling. The weirder you are the more likely they are to warm up to you, in my experience.
The line between the community and the performers was very thin, so I got to meet a lot of other people that did it part time. A lot of those people worked in tech as well, and the first time I installed Ubuntu it was because one of those people helped me out.
It was a bit of a rough lifestyle, though, as work tends to blend right into partying. Those who kept it up were known to be pretty tough. Sketchy the clown (who ran for mayor of Toronto) was also known for walking himself to the hospital after being shot in the chest half a dozen times. He was visiting NYC for a tech conference back in the 90s (he showed me the scars).
The weirder you are the more likely they are to warm up to you, in my experience.
Finally. A description of community that excites me.
@ev @emile @dominic I started reading Faulker (As I Lay Dying) twice this year. I haven't read Vonnegut yet but I read Catcher in the Rye in June of this year. I am happy to talk books all afternoon/evening/morning if y'all want to talk books. I'm trying to win a prize at the local library for reading 5 books and dropping my name in the hat. I'm halfway there. I'm not sure what I'll do with the stuff if I win though, since I don't own many things. I'll probably give everything away. The point is to read anyway.
What are you reading right now?
The past two weeks, @gb and I have been cut back to only Sunday shifts at the restaurant. There are a lot of servers there. It's nothing personal. I've been picking up, and g has been pursuing other jobs.
But it seems kind of pointless to continue on this path. Fayetteville, wtf? Why are we here? The only reason we were here was because of g's family, and now that they are either dead or assholes that seems kind of pointless.
So where do we go? What do we do? I have no idea.
We've been talking with @scott about housing in Oakland. I love Oakland, it's rowdy.
I've also been thinking about NYC, because of the opportunities. And because NYC is so boring, because I lived there for 8 years, I figure it should be pretty easy to get jobs in restaurants there by just walking around and trying to get hired on the ground.
I should also mention that we don't have a car, in North Carolina, which is just about the weirdest thing you can do here. Everyone has a car. Walking is weird, and for poor people. We're poor people, and weird people. We should probably go somewhere where poor and weird people are ok. Right?
So I see @johnny post about his hot spring, and @gb says 'ok, I'm johnny level bad now.' and I understand. @gb has obviously crossed over to the other side now. Back in the day, when we lived with @johnny and @substack and @maxogden @luk (RIP), we weren't so desperately crazy for some alternative reality where we collected rain water and tried to figure out what is next towards overturning the oppressive technological faceist regime in The Valley.
But for now, we're making a few bucks here and there serving on Sundays and picking up shifts, and @gb got to host last night which is probably $15. It's stupid. What's the point? Should we throw all caution to the wind and fuck shit up?
You know, we haven't met, but I've been reading the saga, and I was just thinking, what are they doing in a little place working at a restaurant? Yeah, move to a city. I don't know, it sounds like you have many options, which is a good thing.
Last night was kind of wild. I got a little drunk. I talked with @marak on the phone, and watched Game of Thrones. And I kept saying 'there must be some kind of way out of here.'
I can't do anymore. I can't work in a restaurant to pay the 799 rent at a weekly hotel. I have to break the cycle, it's not worth it anymore. It used to be worth it. We made 9,000 dollars and moved to Mexico to work on this project two years ago. Now I'm working in the same restaurant, but all of the servers have become super soldiers. Everyone shows up for their shift. Everyone does everything right. It doesn't matter how much of a dick the customers are to us, we're invincible. What has happened? Why is the last economy in America a fucking restaurant, supported by a base, supported by the people who work for Obamacare?
And then it all clicked for me. I understand now why Jeff kept saying 'What are you going to do with your lives?' he is right. We don't belong here. I'm too much of a weirdo to live in this town. I need to go where people are weird, where the ground is weird. The weirdest place in the world.
I've been throwing around a lot of ideas, but I know the only one true path. I need to go to Yerba Buena park in San Francisco, and end the cycle. We need to go where @gb and I met and declare independence.
So we're giving notice, today. G's not getting a job at another restaurant.
What are we going to do in California? Finish #faceism for good.
Roasted rat. That was awful. I remember you saying I'd made the whole thing up. I was all, 'why would I say I saw a rat if I didn't see a rat? I wouldn't. I wish I hadn't seen a rat, but I guess my eyes are better than yours.'
As for how it smelled, there was one time that I burnt my hair on copal in D.F. The smell of burning hair is unpleasant but there was the sweetness of the copal to neutralize it. With the burning rat it was this sad, awful thing and there was nothing to neutralize it.
I gotta say good-bye to Jeff. I bet he can smell the smell even now. I can. Blech.
@dominic It was just supposed to be tea at Samovar at the top of Yerba Buena park in San Francisco on December 10th or 13th 2010.
I was a writer living in The Mission, she was a social media strategist living in Boulder, Colorado. We were both yogis.
It was just supposed to be tea 4pm. She tried to cancel on me, I insisted that meet up at 5pm. Tea (Iron Goddess of Mercy) turned into beers at Thirsty Bear. Then I remembered that I had a meeting with my Uncle Phil, who works at The Internet Society (he was in town for the IPV6 launch). We met up with him at the Clift and had a bottle wine with him, and he explained what IPV6 was and why we needed it.
Then @gb and I hopped on the BART and went to Latin American Club. We had a few beers there, and she started checking out on her iPhone. I grabbed it from her hand, and told her that she had to hang out with real people and talk with us.
Then I tried to make out with her in the doorway around the corner on Valencia, and that's when she told me that she was married to programmer and refused to make out with me.
I walked her back to to her hotel in SOMA, because by that point the BART was closed. Then I walked back to my apartment in The Mission. We've been running around ever since, star twins for life.
What can I add? You were biting your nails. I remember them being raw looking, almost bloody. I was curious as to why you had so much anxiety even though you had just finished yoga teacher training. You were all Koshas! Doshas! Mariposhas! I didn't even know what you were talking about. But you were all, let's go here. Let's talk to this person. Let's go over there. Here's how to get there. For hours. Indefatigable. I'm happy to be headed to Yerba Buena in August.
If you all do end up in Oakland, the Kinetic Arts Center in West Oakland would be a cool community of circus folks in the area to check out!
@gb Yup — and I am still trying to figure out why reading his books is so compelling.
I'm sure this is all #books "book club" material. Structure, language, etc…
I recently read God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and was challenged by the multitude of open threads as colour to the main narrative.
@emile haha great. I read it and then realized I was a already bokononist, I just didn't know what a bokononist was.
Recently I stopped by a Hare Krishna to sell me that book they have, and I was like "no thank you, I have a way better book than that" he was like "on no, do you mean the bible?" "no of course not, I mean cat's cradel by Kurt Vonnegut"
He said he'd find it and read it!
On the same vein, any Thomas Pynchon fans? I find the details to his books to be sublime, while the shape is almost of a greater dimension than one can hold in their head.
@emile I read the Vonnegut a few days after reading Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye for the first time. Two librarians at the local library mentioned the prize -- I got through five books before the August 15th cutoff date. I won a free embroidered library bookmark sew-on patch for participating. I'll be in San Francisco by the time they do the grand prize drawing. As mentioned, I'm cool with that. Reading is the thing!
I'm trying to figure out what to read next. I still have two weeks here before heading out so I can squeeze in a few more books in that time.
@gb If by chance you are looking for a good book of fantasy, may I suggest The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I came across an article about it two days ago where it had inspired another author to finish her book. On a whim I downloaded it and it has consumed me since. On that note, might as well get in one more chapter before bed. Or three...
I've been low-key seeking hot springs a long time, without much luck, so it's worth the enthusiasm; and it has been blissful AF, the meditations next level
especially cuz this is a very good one - I can miss a sulfurous spring or one that has been too "bottled up", or costs too much, is too popular, or private, so it's awesome finding one that is freely accessible (if you go before/after the federal fee troll arrives, which are the best times anyway (when it's still cool outside), or simply ignore their weak warnings - omg tickets! - and flimsy pretense of authority ;^); nudity is the norm at this one, too, FYI
there are a number of other hot springs in the area as well I have heard about from other seekers and roamers, which are even more raw, but on the map
imho, Oakland is a bust now, an expensive one; the surrounding cities are where it's at: richmond, hayward, el cerrito...
ya'll are welcome to come out and help hold down the encampment; it's only an hour from Eugene, which is super chill for getaways; I don't know about food service work out here (Eugene has a lively music scene), but an EBT card is worth USD $190 per person in food per month, and shouldn't yall be tying to make your way now as web developers? portland is probably a fine place to find contract work like that.