Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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26 February

Justin Hall announces the reconnection of his home DSL service, promising more evolved content offerings than his audience has become used to over the last three weeks.

Joey Anuff, Plastic's editor-in-chief, was quoted as saying, "With this connectivity upgrade, Hall's productivity is likely to increase dramatically, with welcome and obvious impact on his p2p."

24 February

I'm at Swarthmore, using the Sun Lab courtesty of Martin Krafft, and staying in Ben Galynker's bed. Thanks homies.

Being on campus, after graduating - I thought, there's many ghosts - I heard someone shout to someone else, and I thought, oh, it's Tracy, she's calling me. So then I looked and it wasn't Tracy, and I thought, Tracy is a ghost. But in fact, other people were looking through me - I was the ghost. Still perhaps student looking at a glance, but people look to see if they recognize me and I'm a stranger so their eyes unfocus and they disengage from me. Being looked through - anyone who talks to you reminds you you're alive; still the illusion of strange cohort and extended evenings distracts the present-moment mind.

That and staying up until 3am hacking away in the computer science laboratory - like I was finishing up a C project, working on links.net - things I have done for years at Swarthmore.

I'm here to honor this teacher - Kaori Kitao. She's retiring this year after many years of extending eccentricity and art history to this school. She helped me move when I left here, and she encouraged me to design some clothes. Much respect.

I used to always say that I wish I had a lady to date and write back and forth about our time together. Melanie and I shared a night in Toronto. Thanks Melanie!

22 February

MrSeth: i read your web page
MrSeth: dude that is so gay!
MrSeth: http://justin.hall.isgay.com

21 February

I was always incensed when people at GX used the word "gay" as derogatory slang. It just sounded so juvenile, coming from editors or leaders. That's some Swarthmore sensitization I guess. Now that I'm freelance, I figured I'd try to get a chance to study that pheonomenon:

The Advocate -

The word "gay" and "faggot" are used actively by teenaged boys playing violent online multiplayer video games. Mostly they hurl those terms around to insult each other after a successful kill.

At the same time, artists have been going online and staging some homosexual theatre, appearing to have male-male sex within these games.

Somewhere between the deragatory slang of punk kids and this performance art, queer youth must come of age in the online world.

I want to explore homosexuality and online gaming in an article for your news magazine. I have written about digital culture for over seven years, including articles in Rolling Stone, Wired Magazine, and numerous gaming publications. Samples of my writing appear here:


Does this sound appropriate for your publication? What can you pay?


Maybe "what can you pay" is a little forward, but I feel a broke-ness approaching steadily. I'm going to keep my gaming brain active, generating paid, useful cultural commentary in a wide variety of publications, while slaving foolishly over my dreams of dancing on camera for the Justin Hall show.

Games.com seems to be shutting down or changing hands - it's amazing how many web sites representing so much human effort, they come to disappear. Where does all the data go?

I played some there to see what it's like. Not bad - good simple online multiplayer. I played Mille Bornes against "purechaos" from North Dakota. Our game broke towards the end, it didn't track when s/he'd won. We made the best of it, logging off after some banter.

20 February

Dreamt last night that I was in a giant whorehouse complex being run by pimps from Gamers.com and staffed with prostitute girls from Mills.

This after I had Wayne, Heidi and Kathleen. Wayne's a vegetarian, no fish, so I had to make up a new menu (no roasted chicken - my winter standby).

Opening cheese course - two soft, two hard cheeses. The soft, salty and creamy cheeses were most popular.
Then Miso Soup (which was unremarkable)
Salad with Carrot-Ginger dressing (finally I think I've found my ideal salad dressing, but the mixture needs tweaking - it was too thick, and too garlicy).
Then the main course was Red Beans and Rice (rice with coconut milk, I forgot the Jalepeno - at Ryan and Natalie's fondue party I met a formerly vegan chef who helped me tweak my menu) and Cuban Sweet Potatoes, which were the most popular dish as Mom predicted.
Kathleen brought a spicy pear-ginger cobbler dessert to top it off.

I've worked on making the living room comfortable, somewhere people will sit and talk. So it was great last night to see people sitting on couches, playing finger piano and Wayne on guitar, chatting by the fire side. Out back, there's a roaring creek - I like this home, and I'm glad to have people visiting me in it.

As I was cleaning up the dining room, I realized that I didn't have wine glasses. Then at Cost PLus, picking out blue goblets, I realized I didn't have a table cloth, and it was President's Day, so I got a blue table cloth and red cloth napkins and served dinner on white plates. I bought a frame and hung my Skies of Arcadia poster. I have really been enjoying the game, and I like celebrating the pigtailed pirates. Wayne said he liked the posted, but I should cut off the top - "This November, the Skies the Limit!"

So it's a lot of fun to have folks over and make something nice out of it. I haven't worked solidly on any article ideas of TV show scripts in a few days. Today I'm driving down to Stanford to attend Henry Lowood's class History of Computer Game Design: Technology, Culture, and Business. I'll be submerging myself in the third worst traffic in the country, with not very many tapes, and spotty NPR reception.

16 February

krusty: yo
fusty: yo
fusty: technology is such a hassle
fusty: i've been up on my roof 3 times in 2 days fixing my satellite
fusty: and i've been on hold with speakeasy dsl 23 hours this week
krusty: well, it's not bolted down..
fusty: ZIPTIES
fusty: fool
fusty: ZIPTIES
fusty: rule
fusty: is your technology working?
krusty: see now, our dish is mounted and screwed down. i haven't had to ever fuck with it
fusty: yeah but i still like my milkcrate and rocks and zipties.
13 February

Life's lessons become clear to me daily, but I'm channeling my creative efforts towards TV. That and a temporary dialup connection makes for anemic web content. Here's some cultural analysis of Counter-Strike, in good company.

9 February

What is a recession? My brother says he expects 40,000 layoffs on Wall Street this month. Friends are still looking for jobs, in advance of the rumours their firms are closing.

I am happily working on my TV show and media consulting from home, when I discover that I am offline! It's something to see, I have some job offers and social invitations coming in - all over my email! So I can only visit my very active community from a foreign computer. Thing with technology, it's such a delicate balancing act. Between cable and local phone service and internet and mobile phones and all that crap - you're doing a constant juggling act. Add regular blackouts and about seven different monthly bills and all this efficient technology makes for some costly chaos.

Me, I'm watching Mr. Rogers learn to hula-hoop and imagining a similar format for my TV show pilot. In Canada, I ended up having a great tour guide for Polish town, and with her I ate two entrees - sausage/sauerkraut and potato pancakes. I'm still full.

7 February

Fatbabies ripping up Gamers.com with mostly accurate information, in the stories and musings sections. Sad to see what becomes of many dreams - Fleshy Children stamping all over the work of so many brave young men. But I witnessed many of the mistakes fristhand and I am not so surprised to see Gamers.com caught up in the same sudden consolidation that has shoved many talented people quickly to the curb. Hello concrete! To misquote Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now, everyone gets everything they deserve. Here I am unemployed, a pair of wings grafted to my shoulders; I can fly above my cubicle to see across humanity again.

I'm unemployed and single. Degrees of freedom I may never have again in my life! So though I have some great opportunities to explore, for speaking, for consulting, for writing, I'm going to drill down on my Justin's Links Talk Show pilot. I can always do other jobs, once I have that video tape to show for myself.

Sometimes the ideas get to flying so fast around my brain, it's hard to pay attention to where I am. I don't like that. I have a drunken monkey mind.

Sophie's Logo In Canada for the first time - and all I can think about is getting back to work. So I leave tomorrow, probably never having visited the great Polish restaurants, the wonderful museums, the February chilled neighborhoods with mostly empty sidewalks. Toronto seems to be a city similar to Oakland, or chicago - many ethnic groups converging to make a mosaic. San Francisco used to feel like that, except that most of the people I see in San Fransisco these days are white. Not that I have anything against white people - some of my best friends are white.

So I've been neglecting some of my reportorial duties, not travelling and doing layman's anthropology. Instead I've been building and rebuilding my daily life in my mind. Redesigning my studio, rehearsing phone calls, drafting emails. It's amazing being away from a laptop (returned to Gamers.com), a PDA (ditched years ago) or a working mobile phone (no service up here) My time on my trip has vacillated between some wild lonliness and understimulation, tempered by some great conversations with some solid media makin' folks and corresponding development of careerist activities. As enriching as life online is, I gotta get a computer for the road again. I'm a reporter dammit! The question now is - do I get a computer expecting to edit video on it from a Howard Johnson's? Why not.

Goddamn I get nervous before talks still and wondering if I've done alright preparing and while some of the notes afterward were reaching out for something beyond what I said, everything anyone said started with some praise. I felt the warmpth coming up from the folks who came. It was a good night and I feel so strong when I realize I'm half an hour into speaking and I'm still working magic with my words and people seem to be smiling and hoping I'll say more.

I'm gonna get a tape and watch and work to improve myself. If I'd done more run-throughs with my material I probably would have cut more extraneous game riffing and included more casual anthropology of Gamers.com and game culture.

This lecture was a perfect cap on my time at Gamers.com. Eighteen months of immersion in the world of games, and now I have a lot of strange and beautiful experiences and questions to share with interested folks. It's enough to make me think I should organize a lecture tour on the subject while it's still hot.

Relaunched an expanded Meta-Web Index.

6 February

Hey Toronto! I'll be giving a stand up lecture on Video Games tonight, come by and say howdy. It's the first time anyone will have paid money just to hear me speak; if it makes you feel any better, I'm not getting paid - just a plane ticket and two nights at the HoJo.

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