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

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august 25

tinkering is a priority

oaklanders fer change
two people with RSI exchanging uncorrected email in lowercase letters:

Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 16:33:58 -0700
To: justin
From: steve rhodes
Subject: progressive, mitford, mayor

there is a tribute tonight to muckraker jessica mitford at cody's at 7:30 i'm goingt to try and make

jerry brown was on kqed fm 88.5 this morning (may be repeated at 10 pm tonight) and mentioned his web page (i can't get it to work though) and personal email

you should email him the links to some of your oakland related entries and mention that you are a new oakland home owner. he gave out a number (prob on the web page) for anyone who want him to come to a house meeting. would be a good way to meet your neighbors.

and you could offer your web teaching services for the good of oakland.

Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 19:04:45 -0800
To: steve rhodes
From: justin
Subject: Re: progressive, mitford, mayor

thanks for the jerry brown info. i feel a little chagrined over that - i wrote him an open letter and emailed him and got no response. then i had questions about whether i could live where i am/was, and now i know i'm not. i've already retreated. i think i was looking for some confidence from him, some inspriation. but having already abandoned this cross-ethnic/economic class dwelling experiment as a failure, i feel sad and embarassed that i'm leaving west oakland.

there's a little kid here named LL, and his brother is in jail and he likes to come over and ask me about my life and bug me to let him watch my chopsocky and anime movies. this kid needs a mentor and now that we're starting to develop a little conversation i'm leaving. it's a dense metaphor.

i would write about it, but what's on my positive mind instead is that i have a nice place i'm moving to. in a more boring neighborhood. more suburban. i'm not proud but i'm excited. i want to like move in somewhere for longer than a quarter.

whew a lot on my mind.
thanks for the stuff steve.

oaktrees fer change

now that i've actually moved, and delayed including that correspondence by 5 days, i'm excited to be living where i am now. there's all sorts of folks, black white hispanic asian, and they're mostly middle class. there's nice homes and less nice homes. people go to work or people take care of their gardens. there's young people with weird haircuts, and affordable places to eat. it feels "undiscovered" perhaps because it's just far enough from SF that you notice the drive. it's more than two songs drive from the bay bridge. but it's not a condo/development like some los angeles depression. there's old homes and condos both. mostly old homes. single story.

city of quartz is a fantastic book about the history of los angeles. witty and snide and well informed and very relevant for modern america.

and now egg and i can go looking for stuff like tables and salt grinders and things to fill a house that we'd stopped looking for because we were gonna move. it feels domestic or steadying strange but i like to work from home and have friends over and jeez yesterday we passed by the "san pablo flea market" many hundreds of square feet of old washers and lamps and nails and antique bottles and rap records and 1940s national geographics and beds and desks and air force file cabinets ("please return to building 51") and discarded snapshots and old pitbulls chained up.

a picture that's in my camera still
a great picture of the moving group
we invited our friends to help us move (and pack as it turned out). many wonderful beautiful people lended hours and arms to pack and move all of our trivia. elly, wayne from the city, kathy, kara, tongsue, ned from swarthmore, juniper, and olivia the day before. we offered them love and food. so after everything was boxed up and uhauled and unpacked or at least strewn about, we ordered some party sushi and uncorked 750 millilitres of sake on the deck. our plastic chairs. jon wilner arriving from the city with chardonnnayy (sp). ryan arrives in his used red 80s mercedes. kathy's tim hung a stained glass butterfly by the kitchen window. the afternoon faded into evening and marie, our 93 year old living alone woman neighbor looked to see what had replaced the 83 year old living alone woman gertrude who had lived there before was now a bunch of arty chicks and internet professionals arguing over routers and photos, gender oppression and state liquor laws.

it was beautiful, and easy enough to envision it happening "on the reg" until 10 something when i had already noticed we were louder than the neighborhood on a sunday night, and agro saw some lady looking at us and maybe even a cop was called to another building and we got paranoid and moved it indoors. amy was cold anyways, so it was okay. it's important to start those things early, because when you have to move them inside is when the momentum changes. the outside is beautiful. trees and water. open voices up to the sky. no couches, plastic chairs and wood benches. candle light and beerspills no matter. breeze, no screens.

we have no phones - no email. it's like a little shangri la before pacbell comes to charge $95 for what jonathan keeps urging me to learn for myself. i think i will ask the phone guy where to install a punch-down block - DIY phones seems worth learning for all the telecommunications stuff i do.

wilsonian wilson
a picture of wilson
everything else in boxes except the vcr and popcorn and brewer's yeast. as i told wilson,
yeah we just moved this weekend so all is heck and boxes
where is the dr bronners? in the bathroom box. in the dining room.

anthro technology furniture
a corporate logo
now that i am building myself an office, for at least 6 hours a day of use, i'm trying to figure out how best to do it. i got books on RSI, and the right positioning for all the computer stuff. do i get a door and put it on some file cabinets and then attach a kick butt keyboard tray ($300 from back designs) or do i look for some old wood desk with drawers and attach a keyboard tray to that, or do i get some high $tyle anthro type shit and then what could i do about a chair? maybe establishing a budget would be a good starting place. or, establishing a priority - and i think tinkering is a priority.

that's one thing i love about knowing i'm gonna be in this place for some time. i can build stuff. bang in nails, hang stuff up. take out a crappy shelf and cut out a new one and put it in. rip up all the carpet and reveal nice wood floors underneath. hang new lights from the ceiling. install directTV so i can watch zdtv.

so maybe i'll get a piece of wood and build shelves on top and cantileaver things off of it and cut holes in it and make the perfect justin a hall workstation. or, i went to office maxdepot yesterday and they had the "net surfer station" desk for $250. a desk with a sloping keyboard surface, and a monitor hutch with cd holders built in. pshaw. gimme a hammer and a saw.

today's muzzik:

only the sounds of west oakland. landlord cristie driving off after opening the gate. occasional dogs, car traffic. bart now and then.

it's an overcast day, and the usual kid chorus is muted. school starts soon. maybe.

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