had to replace the marshmallows

Zero dollar day. Bought a desk-lamp yesterday. Since I insulated out my office windows (which were ridiculously drafty), it’s darker in here. Been grading and writing all day with my headlamp on.

Transcribing old journals today, and got to one that spans the end of my time in high school, and my first year at Berkeley. Some of it is profound, and some is fucking cringe (a word that is itself pretty cringe). Some of it is lost, cause the pen ink faded. Red pen ink seems to hold up poorly. I’m glad I’m doing this, though. There’s a lot I had forgotten. And an almost frightening amount of stuff that’s still with me. Problems and ideas that have (apparently) been following me around for 20+ years.

It was such an inconspicuous little pocket journal sitting there in that box of scraps. But it’s got my thoughts and dreams from 25 years ago. Feels like a relic I’m handling.

I’ve lost two leather-bound journals in my life, and both were from important, transformational times in my life. There is little I wouldn’t give to get those back. I was also super high in those years, so there’s bound to be a lot of good realizations that I’ve forgotten. I suppose they left their mark, in their passing.

Staying fucked up to milk epiphanies is like wandering around and finding uncut gems, marveling over them, then letting them fall back to the ground and wandering on. Intersperse such times with work, and you get to cut and set the gems, making them into something more permanent and more profitable.

I smoked a lot of dope over the xmas break, while house sitting for a colleague who lives on 40 acres out in the country. It was lovely. He’s got a bit of woods on his property, and his dog and I went walking every day (usually twice). Fed and cared for the chickens. Got into his wife’s backing supplies when I was high and had to replace the marshmallows and chocolate chips. It was a nice break. I wrote a fair amount (mostly about van build ideas), and played guitar. The pay basically covered the cost of the weed I smoked, so it was a self-contained little holiday. I guess it probably went on a bit too long. I could have worked for a few days out there. But oh well. It was a nice vacation.

I’ve got 4 weeks till classes start. I’m hoping to catch up on some stuff around the house, finish transcribing and backing up these old journals, then learn some 3d modelling and plan the van out in greater detail.

My new van idea is to have a much reduced “garage” in the rear 60% of the van, with a fixed bench along the driver’s-side wall, and a monitors/desk space along the passenger-side wall. Then a bed on a platform can be lowered with a switch. This way the bed stays made-up, but I get a full, fixed office space. Most folks use the rear “garage” for their climbing gear or mountain bikes or whatever. I want an office.

This build also lets me concentrate weight over the tires.

The galley and bathroom go in the front 40%. I want an indoor shower. I’m thinking bottom layer is catchment and sump-pump (inside the insulated box), then the toilet which you sit on to shower. So not a standing shower, but a way to get clean.

I’ve been trying to make the van into a work-site vehicle, with tools and support infrastructure, but that’s too ambitious. Just getting a descent apartment out of 60 ft^2 is ambitious enough. The next step (after buying land) is to get a trailer the van can pull. That trailer gets to be the work-site vehicle (and can even support a small table saw and miter saw). The van is just an apartment.