Meme Bucket

I never sit down with the intent of writing an essay for Monkeybagel; almost every finished piece begins as a casual note to myself, or an email to a friend, or a technical document for a job, and only becomes an essay when I realize I'm halfway into page six. Since this process is about as controllable as an angry meerkat on a rocket sled, I often end up with a chunk of something that could become a fullfledged essay if I gave it a little more time. This pile of text is some of that stuff, and you're free to dig through it. Just please don't think of this as an online journal; public diaries always seem like such painfully melodramatic things to me, like open mic coffeehouse poetry readings of the turtlenecks-and-clove-cigarette ilk. Anyway, nuff said.
From an email I sent while travelling in Europe.
Man, European people are interesting-looking. Especially the women. Dutch girls have such a cool fucked-up bizarre fashion sense. You'll see a girl wearing a pink crepe de chine blouse and a lime-green silk floral-print skirt with black leather culottes and a fedora and NATO surplus jumpboots and she still manages to project a plausible intentionality of coherent overall effect... an aura of reassurance that she is not spectacularly psychotic, merely very stylish. And Czech women seem like they're a separate species from the men... what stately grace they exude. It's too bad that when they talk it sounds like someone trying to sing the chorale from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony while gargling mud. I just wear my headphones and pretend that they all sound like the girl who sings on the Massive Attack track "Dissolved Girl".
I like to maintain a cordial tone when I send mail out to all my coworkers. This is an email I wrote after doing a long-overdue machine room inventory at a previous job.

Esteemed colleagues,

A big posse of us just went down to the data center and figured out where every single UNIX host is, and figured out if it needs to be relabeled, and recorded oodles of information, and soon we'll be updating our records with that info, and a big huge relabeling effort will soon be undertaken to make it possible, nay, LIKELY that when your favorite critical host breaks, someone will be able to find it to unbreak it.

the implications are myriad and complex.
but this is the key:
If in the performance of your duties you find it necessary to modify certain aspects of a host's manifestation on the physical plane, such as:

which rack it's in
any of its various names
its state of residence
its marital status

please, oh please, submit a change control ticket. In this ticket please explain what you wanna do and what you're gonna do it to. I'm working with various groups to make this easy and straightforward to do. Soon we'll have really good ways to submit and check this information.

But for now I ask that you, the Implementor, the Wielder of Root, take care to ensure that the information we so desperately need is maintained and updated.

If you don't I'm gonna kneecap you with a pipe wrench, I swear to God.

I'll be at the bar next door if you need me or want to see the wrench.


5/10/2000, excerpt from email to A.K.

I've just completed the third consecutive night of my latest performance piece, entitled "Benjy's Getting 8 Hours of Sleep". In this piece, I lie in bed and fall into a deep trance until my clock radio clicks on and begins blasting the local smooth jazz station, at which point I regain consciousness and blindly pound my poor Panasonic with a fist until Kenny G finally goes away.

The physical effects of this nightly performance are astounding; I feel as though I'm on some kind of wonderful stimulant with no side effects. I should write a book. Hmm. "Sleep Your Way to Success"?


It almost terrifies me to lie down anytime before the point where I'm about to collapse. Last night it took me at least an hour and a half to fall asleep, and every five minutes I'd be seized with an urge to get up, shower, get dressed, maybe spend the night driving around San Francisco looking for a diner where I could get a cup of coffee and sit at the counter and read (deLillo's Underworld) and just go to work sleepless all so that I wouldn't have to lie still and think.

And somehow I found myself scribbling notes in my daily planner; I don't remember pulling it out of my bag, I just sort of became dully aware that I was writing instead of writhing around trying to count breaths or visualize my Happy Place.

Looking back on these notes now I see I've sketched a portrait of a stressed-out geek squatting awkwardly in corporate housing in the bucolic splendor of the goddamn suburbs.

------ check berkeley apt $/commute time?

need to write a distfile/set up CVS for config mgmt w/ revision control

call Rachel [this crossed out repeatedly]


rpm install via http over vpn?

But I slept eventually, and I feel good today...

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Copyright 1999 Benjy Feen /

Unauthorized publication prohibited.