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his word-hoard unlocked

(all that you know I know)

(no subject)
I pictured the boys there, bodies heaped, sweat and dirt and flecks of bright young blood on their clothes. I could hear Blackbird and Robin gasping, crying. Above them Wren and the others breathing hard, the great silence of the north reaches, the unpopulated houses and the broken City streets.

The whole pathetic arc of it stirred me, I laid a hand on Blackbird's arm. He smiled. Kiki finished the drink, the sun finished its fall. The evening wrapped us up. Which one of us stood first I'm still not sure. We were all together before long, looking away from the sunset, now toward the darker places. Past those pools of orange, down the hill and across the low roofs and lawns here to stare at the ruined Broad Way.

"All right. Let's get in there."

north wall
when the gems of midmorning would wound us and we'd swoon with the pure bitter bite of the drinks, the dazzle of the golden liquor.

What we were doing was toasting ourselves at the edge of the faultlines, toasting our sweet ironies and haute exclamations. But we didn't enter. We hovered at the periphery, again at the periphery, while the City smoldered slowly then burnt right through.

"I want to tell you—" Blackbird began.

Kiki interrupting bored, hostile: "This isn't going to be another Spider story, is it?"

Blackbird answering, all simmer and patience: "I want to tell you what I remember from the places I lived, the northern reaches of the City."


"Uphill of the Market, yes. Some nights I remember every rowhouse, every turn and every terrace. Because they were all the same, you see. Brown upon light brown. White. Red roofs. Or green? This is not one of those nights--"

--snorts of laughter from us.

"--this is more a night of remembering how we moved in the City, when the sun was up. And then how we moved in the moonlight. The further north, the more moon you could see. The houses were lighter and lighter, until nearest the wall of the City it was a great canyonmaze of bone heaps laid before the cobbles. Dotted with concrete scoria ejected into the earth from dead projects, forgotten pilings. Weren't these the newest constructions? I wondered. But it was the dirtiest, and worst kept.

"There we moved more boldly. Caution always marked the start of any of our walks, but we accelerated toward the wall, pulled to its shadows. It was me and the rest of the boys, and we liked to slink among the broken buildings, playing at secret struggles."

Kiki snickered. Thin smile. Sip. Deep breath.

Blackbird went on, "Robin was a climber and he reached the high tip of a pylon crested with rebar, thrust his chest, cried, 'We are kings!' I trembled always, watching him. And this time he fell. None of us breathed while he hung there for what felt like hours. In a moment we realized that he did hang there: his shirt had hooked one of the spikes of rebar, and he dangled by it, legs kicking!"

"Oh god."

"Right! We gathered around the base, a perverse kind of maypole dance, hollering up at him while he struggled. We realized too that he was starting to choke, strangled by the collar. My boy Wren (such pretty eyes he had) searched crazily among the trash for some kind of stick, something to lift him off there. We tried to leap up and grab Robin's legs, they hung just above our hands, kicking. Wren found a length of aluminum, and we held it above our heads, tried to jab into the shirt. To lift Robin I suppose? We didn't exactly know, but we scraped his back and he cried out. We jabbed it into the shirt and finally the strain began to tear the fabric. It gave way and Robin fell directly on me. We collapsed to the dirt, sobbing."

Soup recipe
so hungry

4 leeks, washed and trimmed, slice thin
1 large shallot sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tbsp stock

Sweat aliums in the stock for five to seven minutes (stock is used to reduce fat, would be very delicious to use oil, butter or ghee)

3 medium tomatoes - about 3/4#, peeled, quartered
1 tbsp cumin
1 clove
1 allspice berry
1/8 tsp cardamom
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 sprig each fresh rosemary, thyme, sage
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp oil

Add to aliums and stir. Pour enough stock to cover --approx 3 cups

Boil then simmer for 10mins. Remove herb sprigs and bay.
Add 1/2 can of great northern beans.
Blend until smooth (or cool and use food mill). Return to stove.

1 yellow pepper, diced
2 medium summer squash, halved and sliced about a half inch thick
1 tbsp oil
Sauté until slightly soft. Add to blended soup along with the rest of the beans. Put in a new bay leaf.

Heat through. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with sliced small tomatoes and if you choose, shredded cheese and a sprinkle of cayenne. Serve with bread.

Serves four as a meal, six with accompaniments.

Very easy to make vegan. Quite low fat, very balanced, rich and satisfying.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

The complete saga
Well, I finally despaired of squeezing any more humor out of Marv Ellis from US Data Corporation, the artist formerly known as [redacted sales guy] and called his boss. Boss gave me his email address and I just sent off the conversations. Maybe they'll make it right. We'll keep you posted.

Per our phone call, attached below are the email exchanges I had with Marv in late April. I hope you can see where my concerns are. If opportunities present themselves and if we are a good fit with my clients' needs, I can probably still hear your pitch.


Jon Olsen

Here's the whole email chain (which most of you have already seen) beneath the cutCollapse )

spoilers through season 5 episode 15Collapse )

knock knock. who's there?
61 days until CONvergence 2009

Can I just say I really appreciate the fine work of all the volunteers who make this happen? I believe I just did. I do. Thank you. You now have 2 months to make it happen all over again. This should be a cause for celebration, not alarm. Stop being alarmed, you!

You should register before May 15.

And just 425 days until CVG 2010

I can has garden?
so very tired
We need a tiller. I'd prefer not to be forced to rent one. Help me LJ-wan, you're my only hope!

Anybody got a tiller or access to a tiller? We really need one.
Comment or email jonsolsen at gmail dot com


valedictions, no chaser
I intend to remember
and not try to turn it off
I have the lingering ghosts of the moment
in the palms of my hands
impressed quite firmly upon them,
directly under my nose
and there they'll live, stilled
though able to haunt

I'll not exorcise them
I don't have a good bible for that
nor any of the old rituals
that they used
to dust out the mansions
evict their many spirits
or fling open the windows
to set sun upon the empty dance floor
and loose cool spring breath
among the motes

instead I close my eyes
and for once
stand so still

Just finished Death Proof, which I need to watch with my full attention some time. Not sure if Leann would like that movie. Might. Will really hate some parts of the first half). Now I'm going to watch Vanishing Point. Any suggestions for my afternoon if I get thru VP?


netflix instant. hells yes.

Giving myself a raise
shtay behind my aura!
We've had some tough financial times lately. They reduced everyone's salaries at work (mine fell into the group "only" reduced by 5%) and stopped matching 401K contributions. I understand this, because I'd prefer the company stay in business and if we survive, they'll eventually restore these changes. They had to freeze raises quite a while ago, though, so I've been holding at the same salary for over 30 months (well, LESS than now with the reductions) after several years of steady increases at this and previous jobs. Well I can't really afford that. I just can't. So I had to make some changes to give myself a "raise." More like a little plundering of Peter, but Paul is being such a bitch right now (and by "Paul" I mean "very few frivolous expenses, seriously" I mean stuff like Health, Dental and Vision!). I reduced (didn't eliminate) my 401K contributions significantly, along with changing my exemptions. I realized I hadn't increased our tax exemptions since Henry was born. The net result is that my take home pay today is about $100 more than it was a month ago. It's not much, and I know the 401K thing could bite me later, but having two hundred extra bucks per month right now could mean the difference between making it to retirement and fucking falling into destitution.

These are the choices you make.

I'd rather have to retire many years later (or never) than have my beloved children get a chronic illness without health insurance, or be able to clothe them when they outgrow things, or be able to eat healthily (kind of important right now as I'm living the way I am). Or you know, pay for hotel at CONvergence (done). Or every once in a while get a babysitter. IT's been a while for that last one, however!

pogue mamiscellany
Do you remember this performance?
White City

Man, I sure do. This was just incendiary for me. I was what? Seventeen. I immediately, like the next day, joined BMG or Columbia House, and got three of their albums (on cassette!) I also got The Waterboys. This was a seminal moment for me I guess. Gods what a demented genius Shane McGowan is.

Here's the song I have in my head this morning. Not a bad thing to have stuck up there. The great "Sunny Side of the Street"

"Seen the carnival at rome Had the women I had the booze
All I can remember now Is little kids without no shoes
So I saw that train And I got on it With a heartful of hate And a lust for vomit
Now Im walking on the sunnyside of the street"

"Stepped over bodies in bombay Tried to make it to the u.s.a.
Ended up in nepal Up on the roof with nothing at all
And I knew that day I was going to stay Right where I am, on the sunnyside of the street"

"Been in a palace, been in a jail I just dont want to be reborn a snail
Just want to spend eternity Right where I am, on the sunnyside of the street"

"As my mother wept it was then I swore To take my life as I would a whore
I know Im better than before I will not be reconstructed
Just wanna stay right here On the sunnyside of the street"

dang. no updates
Okay. So, regrettably, there's nothing new from my salesguy/'boyfriend'. what shall I do next? we all want a fix of his antics, this is for sure. But perhaps three times is the charm and it's time to change course. LJ, what do you think I should do about [redacted sales guy] ?

Next action

I still don't believe this is real
release his name, email his boss, and let the recession do the rest
email him again next week
email him again immediately
do nothing for another five days

On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 8:21 AM, [redacted sales guy] wrote:
We attract customers that are truly interested in purchasing quality [redacted product], not bargain basement shoppers like yourself. Save the suit, your probably much more comfortable working from moms basement in your pajamas.

Good day and I hope all works out for you.


[redacted sales guy]

my response

Dearest [redacted sales guy]

Oh, no no surely I have given you the wrong idea! Our office is on the ground floor, and when you are next in the Twin Cities, do come by for the tour. We shall have butternut squash and bacon canapes (my own recipe). And I make a lovely Aviation cocktail which I'm told inspires many to feats of the most grandiose entrepreneurship and unparalleled client service. I'll introduce you to the wife and kids and you can even examine our data center.

And my dear mother, bless her soul, is hundreds of miles away pining for her grandchildren. It was certainly a difficult time in our lives, living under her roof those many years ago. She loathed our noisy dog and stifled her anxieties for my pride's sake while we sought to get back on our feet. What a strong and vigorous woman. Do you know that she is already 71? Seventy-one! I will tell her you asked after her, she'll be so pleased.

The dog, of course, had to be put down.

Warm regards,


You're not going to believe this
He wrote back.

On Apr 22, 2009, at 4:13 PM, [redacted sales guy] wrote:

Well apparently it worked………..you finally responded. Oh and go ahead give them the other quotes, safe to assume your quoting [product] which we all know how well that works. As you know we are a [different flavor of product] and we choose who we work with not the other way around. Again if you are serious about discussing a partnership then let me know a good time to get on the the phone to discuss.

We may not be a match, hard to say. Thank you for the response.

my response

[redacted sales guy]!

It did work; you must say that to all the businesses! You are correct, I AM looking for [flavor of product he implied was bad] and I agree, we likely will not be a perfect match.

Your PPC guys must be going crazy. They have to hate it that leads who click their carefully made ads can't tell that it's [redacted company] who does the choosing, and not the other way around. Maybe they could reduce their spend, since the customer's shopping process is evidently immaterial. Once they learn the inside sales reps have eliminated the need for attracting customers, it should make budget negotiations much easier.

As requested, I'll keep your number. I can foresee a time when someone I work with insists I put on a nice suit, buy flowers, and beg you to take me back.


please God, make him write back...

This actually happened today
shtay behind my aura!

On Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 3:15 PM, [redacted sales guy] wrote:

Jon are you serious about moving forward with a [marketing service I inquired about]?  Are you wasting our time or did you have a serious need that we can help with.   

My response:

Woah [redacted sales guy], hold on a second with the  "wasting our time" bit. I thought when I filled out the get-a-quote form that I identified some of the things I was looking for.  I appreciate the clarity of purpose and firm resolve you demonstrate on your follow through, but maybe this is a little stronger worded than you need it to be for a potential customer. 
That said, I operate a small B2B business for other small businesses. I am scoping on behalf of my own clients who are a [business type]. And I want to know the following four items: 
  • [four questions about their marketing services, delivery, cost and reporting methods]
That'll do it. Now is that serious enough or should I give my clients the quotes I have from your competitors plus my margin?
Jon Olsen


(no subject)
are  your arms long enough 
to undo the bindings behind me the ties 
and trappings and fringes of reminders, 
the clasps and buttons, the sewed on pieces 
can you reach these
traces of lacings and sayings
words through clenched teeth
the scent of sweets
on the dense air 
the red spring right here
alternating bursts of sun and sleet
all the dissolved ice
the misplaced slivers of light
yes, I said, they are
pains in the tops of my thighs departing
the breath caught in the corners of my lungs
unspooling on sharp angles of the dying winter
my head hung my apple cheeks 
my hair in all directions chest heaving
yes they will reach
she is a set of framed black and whites
a pair of field workers in this one
a donkey burdened with firewood
a great stack of bolts of cloth
body wrapped and all held together
each picture separated, the backgrounds the same
she is a white flash of musketfire
a stab of ecstatic pain 
at the midpoint of my shoulders
she is a streak of straw windrows
many tangles yet ordered upon the brown earth
and fresh with the dry scent of late summer
a mouth, shoulders, spine, hips
so sweetly out of season

Some like it hoth
Last week's LOST ... man, it was so gentle and friendly and character-driven. Great work by Ken Leung, just great. We're being set for some massive shoes to drop. I predict this was like a sorbet course. The rest of the episodes are going to be killer. If this was a sorbet or intermezzo, the rest of the season is going to be frigging gavage!

So I've done some work with some of the madness you've read in days of yore on this journal and reworked it into spoken word pieces. Here's a sample:  My Own Distortions (part 1)

There's several more tracks over at my home writing page

Tags: ,

fun with memery
Taken from magicmarmot. . .

Tired of all of those surveys made up by high school kids?! Have you ever kissed someone? Missed someone? Told someone you loved them? Drank alcohol? These questions for the people who are a little older.
read, then post your own if you likeCollapse )

super super
To celebrate 30 days of abstinence, I am watching Superbad. Yes, while I work, bitches. It is also exceedingly funny! So fun.

I told you. Didn't I tell you? Change. My. Life.

Watch instantly is going to change my life.

Know how I'm always bitching about missing movies because of the kids and cuz of other reasons? I watch so few movies these days. Compared to everyone else, I watch a LOT less movies. I watch so few movies compared to you. Just think of the lowest number of movies you've watched in a year at any point in the last five years. Subtract five from that number. That's still probably more than me.

Watch instantly is going to change my life.

recipe: before it slips my mind
1/2 c red miso
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 stalks celery
1 tomato
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 oz. apple sauce
Juice from half a lemon
1/4 c + 2 tbsp rice vinegar

Put in a reliable blender and make smooth (I of course use the VITA MIX 3600!!). The result? A very very good salad dressing in the style of that seemingly ubiquitous dressing you get at many Japanese restaurants. My current favorite rendition of this dressing is at O Bento Ya, and the recipe above doesn't even come close. But what I've made does taste awesome.

Ahem. Bacon!
Kevin Bacon was in 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, The (2008) (TV) with Stephen Colbert
who was in
Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird (2008) with Neil Gaiman
who was in Thaco

My Bacon Number is Three.

powerless today
Hi, I'm Jon O and I'm a compulsive overeater.Collapse )