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friday night

so monday morning I leave to go backpacking in the forest for four days. it's one of those publicly-funded camping trips: public transportation to and from the trailhead. one thing about CA is that you can go almost anywhere for a relatively small sum of money, if you look around hard enough. northern CA is better than soCal in that respect; because all the commies here are willing to pay enough taxes we poor peasants can get out of town occasionally. often I think what is missing most in this country is noblesse oblige--but then many of the richest here live in the delusion that they came by their fortunes by their own merits and that "anyone" could stand in their places and that we all deserve what we get, no matter how much or how little. ha.

ok I won't go much further into that territory. for now anyway.



of course I'm just paranoid enough not to say where I'm going until I get back. and my back--well on ibuprofen and bupe the pain stays away long enough for me to shoulder heavy loads, but hiking in to the campgrounds still could be a bit of an adventure. I get to stay two nights in each campground, so I won't be constantly on the move, which I appreciate. the one thing about Big Basin Redwoods was that you can't stay in one place more than one night. I understand the overall policy at reservation time, but when you arrive at the campground and no one else is there, it's not entirely obvious why the rules couldn't be relaxed on a day-to-day basis. I was exhausted the whole time I was there, although I confess that exhaustion can add its own special halo to the experience of being alone in the woods.

uh. I just finished reading the book I'm ghost rewriting and I'm having a hard time not writing in time-worn, seriously fatigued clichés. it's a good story, and if the characters had any dimensionality to them it would be even engaging as-is, but it's just, well, I'll be diplomatic and say "not ready" for publication yet. I'm having some troublesome thoughts also about the way the current manuscript reifies and idolizes heterocentrism and reproduction. I don't know exactly how to approach this problem without making it look like I have a political agenda, but for today's market it really is out of hand. I can't say too much without breaching confidentiality, but I'll just say that every character that has any romantic entanglements at all is heterosexual, which is ironic especially since a particular poet whose homoeroticism is recently being discovered features prominently as an inspiration for the protagonist.

I don't think I will bring that up tomorrow--or, later today--when I meet with the books' conceptual authors, but at some point we're going to have to discuss it, because I can't put my queer-ass name on a book this heteronormative, even if it is about a more conservative place and time than san francisco in 2008. which it is no doubt, but goddammit not everyone wants to get married and have children and it certainly isn't "the way things are supposed to be."

I suppose it could be worse: politically and philosophically I'm sympathetic to the majority of the book's viewpoint. my authors think it is absolutely unbiased, but of course it's not. whether or not I should disabuse them of this notion I'm unsure, but I do have some questions to ask about the least sympathetic character's portrayal and whether we need to make it less unsympathetic.

enough shop talk. I'm doing ok. the work I did last weekend has resulted in a decent-sized invoice that will help me to keep body and soul together while I keep looking for a way to look for work when I return. one nice side-effect of going off into the forest is that there it's pretty easy not to go shopping out there.

oh my god if the neighbors don't knock it off with the electric piano plinky music I'm going to fire shots in the air. I don't know if this is recorded or if they are actually making this music, but the same descending arpeggio has served as a riff for the last, oh, two hours I'd say. they must be on better drugs than I. I can put on music in here but they are playing so loudly that I can't turn it up enough to drown them out without waking sandy, who is happily sleeping on the quiet side of the apartment.

lately it is noisy here no matter the time of day or night. I think I'm going to have to talk to the landlord about it. I mean if people want to make noise on weekend nights the least they could do is not have shouting conversations on weekend afternoons. I'm like ok you are young enough to do whetever drugs you are doing 24/7 but some of us are old and need to sleep sometimes. shut the fuck up!

they've stopped. please oh please don't launch into another two-hour jam. please! the treacle, it burns!

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