June 30, 2004


And there goes June. It’s been a splendid month, and though poorly documented, it hasn’t been the worst in history.

One nice thing about school was the cyclic nature of life, in that every couple months there was a built-in milestone that forced self-reflection. A new school year. Winter vacation. Second semester. Summer vacation. The calendar of the outside world has a tendancy to swirl together in an orgy of mingled chaos and order, and it comes as a shock when you look back and realize how you miss those benchmarks. I believe strongly in the infinite malleability of the human spirit, one’s ability to adapt to just about any situation, but it definitely takes time to recover from sixteen years of cyclic conditioning.

Anyways. June has been great. It was the end of May when I remunched my leg, so June has embodied my full recovery. About four weeks ago I started climbing regularly at the Gym, and yesterday Jody and I finally went up to Smith with the intent of shooting up Super Slab. We got rained and thundered out and ended up at the Gym anyway, but at least the intent was there and I spent fifty dollars on anchoring gear. June has played host to a number of great bike rides, including the Deschutes River area and Post Canyon. This past weekend I climbed up from the Skyliner trailhead and dropped in on lower Whoops Trail, which is a two mile downhill crank with tons of bump-and-jump riding. I only crashed once off a whoop, ending in a mess of dust, sweat and a smattering of blood.

The String Cheese festival at Horning’s Hideout also took place in June, and the bliss of that weekend continues to echo throughout my entire life. Mark set up a slack line in our camp, and after two minutes of trying that thing out I knew I was hooked; not just on the balancing and concentration facets of slack lining, but on the social scene of it as well. Just over a week later I found myself setting up my own slack line in Drake Park, and four hours later packing it up in the dark, after having helped more than fifty strangers try it out.

More than anything, my June absence represents a renewed worship and presence in life; from the mind, to the body, to the spirit. July will inevitably have its own personality as well, colored by a Bendian Fourth of July Celebration, a mid-month trip back to Minnesota, and an aching desire to go upstairs and killboard the River again. July will definitely offer more climbing, more biking, more killboarding, and more slack lining.

The greatest hope of all, however, is that July will host even more fleshy contact with lovely people. With that, I’ll be seeing a lot of ya’ll soon.

June 27, 2004

Chaos Theory

Cleaning your room is a lost cause when you go to pick up a piece of filth, and it comes to life and crawls away.


I’m still prancing about like a trippy hippie in my personal Anti-Telecommunications Revolution, so the most sincere apologies to anyone trying to contact me via electronic means. I give myself approximately fifteen minutes a day in front of my home computer, which isn’t nearly enough time to cut down on the stack of correspondence that a more motivated person would lovingly address. Why, I believe there are now upwards of five emails I need to reply to. FIVE. WOW.

Contacting me via phone is no better, really, because I’m still not answering it regularly, and if you’ve left a voicemail I probably haven’t checked it. Or if I have checked it, I’ve nodded and said something like, “ooh ($yourname)!” and left it at that. Again, I feel the love, and I send the love back, but currently I’m massaging my sunburn and tying a rope around my ears and grooving out to a Blackalicious disc I stole from the gym, and I’m sure you understand.

Honestly, I’ve been running so hard the last few weeks that I just don’t feel like carving out the time to play with the age’s latest tools of communication. Summer is definitely here, and my leg is more or less healed, and there’s a great grand world out there that needs to roll around in the grass and share some lovin’.

If ya really wanna get ahold of the ol’ Daner, you’ll have the best luck if you just stand in front of me and start talking. I climb every Tuesday and Thursday night at the Gym, or at Smith Rock if we’ve got a gang goin’ out, or at Meadowcamp if we’re strapped for time. I’ve also got everything I need for my slack line, so you can find me strapped between two trees in Drake Park every Monday and Wednesday (unless I’m out bowling for bloggers).

My GPS coordinates get thrown all wonky on the weekends, depending on whether we’re whoopin’ it up in Portland, jammin’ at music festivals in the hills, losing control in Hood River, or chillin’ out in Bend. Now that I’m walking again I need to tune up my camping gear and start hittin’ the trails in this area, hook up with some rugged folk, and eventually climb some fucking mountains. I also picked up a great mountain biking trail map from Webcyclery, and there’s all sorts of tasty singletrack out there that I wanna go chew on.

So that’s that. Things have been super mega frickin’ ultra cool lately, and it’s shaping up to be a glorious colorful summer. This weekend I’m grounded in Bend cleaning up a few things (and setting up slack lines and reading books in the park and visiting the bike shop and getting sunburned), but next weekend I’ll probably run up to Hood River to get the ol’ killboard out and hit the River for the first time this season.

It’s been a long time in coming, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the whole big thing is finally beginning to coalesce in its own crazy way. There’s so much to do, so much to see, and so many people to meet. All of a sudden I feel like I’ve finally escaped the Earth’s gravitational pull, and from here on out my trajectory can do nothing but accelerate. There is no clear map for the journey ahead, but there are core passions and beliefs that will be indespensible in finding the path. So long as I’m tuned in to the right internal murmurs, we’ll all pull out of this thing just fine.

June 22, 2004

Peacocks are Kittens, Too

I am recovering from what has been the best weekend of my life. On Thursday I met up with my friend Mark in Hood River, and after sleeping in our cars at Post Canyon and cooking our breakfast at The Hook, we drove to Horning’s Hideout to hang out in the woods with String Cheese Incident. Nothing cleanses the soul like three solid days of music, love and mossy forests. The entire experience was absolutely surreal, but the cultural shock slowly evaporated over the course of the weekend, such that when we left at 11:30 on Sunday night after SCI’s last set, the outside world had become the surreal one.

Words can hardly describe the euphoria I felt over the course of this festival. Through my years I’ve done a number of music festivals, including a few micro Phish tours and Big Wu Family Reunions, but nothing would have prepared me for the atmosphere at Horning’s. The space alone is enough to make it a magical place, with streams gurgling through fern-covered valleys, campsites scattered through mossy forests, and peacocks meowing at all hours of the day. To this you add the kindest, happiest people you’ll ever meet in your life, who range from young to grey, and who are all hanging in the woods for a common purpose: to kick back and chill with their fellow man, spread some mind, and dig on excellent music.

It is one of those experiences that you can hardly relate to people unless they themselves have personally experienced it. When I hit up the climbing shop today after work to pick up some components for building a slack line, I struck up a conversation with a few people who were hanging around. As it turns out, Eva and Cody were up from California and had been at Horning’s Hideout as well. They were still wearing their sparkling red bracelets. Just like me it had been their first time at Horning’s with String Cheese, but we instantly connected on the absolute beauty of our weekends and babbled like drunken fools. Our words were clumsy and awkward, riddled with smiles, laughs and sighs, but the three of us understood each other completely. We all knew that we had been personal witnesses to something magical.

A music festival has a different vibe than a concert. When compared to a festival, even a wonderful concert comes off as hollow and vapid. It feels like an abstraction, a departure from your typical reality, a glaze you coat yourself in for a scant three hours of a particular day. In comparison, a festival gives you the necessary time to arrive, grab your bearings, and fully settle in to the groove. While the music on Friday night was excellent, and Michael Franti was a master of channeling the crowd’s energy, I didn’t really feel it. The music was great and I loved every second of it, but I was still on edge for various reasons, whether it was stress, shock, exhaustion or boredom. As hard as the bands try, too, you can tell that the first day is just a test-run for what is to come. They may hit the ground running and tear up a wonderful concert on Friday night, but for every person at the festival it is a necessary run-up for what is to come.

Friday night was good, but it was Saturday night when I finally arrived, and I got completely out of control. We broke out the 70’s suit, the kimono, the pink sunglasses. We broke out the rubber chicken and stuffed him full of glow sticks. I danced, we all danced, and we danced hard. We threw our arms into the starry sky and cried in elation. With time the sights, sounds and smells of the festival had soaked through my skin into my bones, and they were beginning to tinge my marrow. With the sudden hot embrace of life, all the little anecdotes of the weekend came flooding into my head.

At one point I was standing with Mark at the top of the vendor hill, listening to Sound Tribe Sector 9, both of us eating sushi for the first time ever. I remember tasting little bits from a pile of uncomfortably pink flesh, and trying to figure out what spice it was flavored with. After realizing it was ginger, definitely ginger, we began pondering what the raw meat actually was, and why they found it necessary to flavor it so strongly with ginger. Playing fast and loose with my desire to live as vividly as possible, I took it upon myself to eat the entire wriggling pile of flesh, and after I did it may as well have been my greatest accomplishment ever.

I don’t know what that means, but at the time the scene felt so significant that it must have been influencing my life up and down the fabric of time. And even the hugeness and joy I felt on Saturday night cannot begin to compare to what I felt Sunday during String Cheese’s last show for the weekend. Mark and I raced down the hill to participate in the World’s Biggest Group Hug (about 3,000 people strong, with a giant puppet, too!) which gave way to the best String Cheese Incident show I’ve ever seen. I flailed hard with some of the most energetic dancing I’ve ever done, even though I needed to strongly favor my unmunched left leg on all those bluegrass grooves. By the end of the night my eyes were ready to pop out of my head, and my face ached from smiling for three days straight. On the walk out I couldn’t help but dart in and out of the crowd, smiling and yawping as my kimono fluttered behind my energies.

Perhaps the most important thing, though, were the people we met. We had incredibly kind neighbors, and when Mark set up his slack line we met all sorts of exciting people. Two Japanese fellows who had flown over here just to attend Horning’s Hideout. Ben, who works for a climbing gym up in Olympia and is a formidable entrepreneur. April. Jason. Rachel. Dave. Tim. Fox. People who were high. People who were drunk. People who came bearing watermelons. We loved them all the same, because they were all interested in testing the stabilizing powers of their inner ear under formidable conditions.

And with the help of Mike, our neighbor who in his other life directs a homeless shelter in North Carolina, we finally named the rubber chicken. In honor of the peacocks at Horning’s Hideout and the ubiquity of the sound they make, the chicken will henceforth be known as “Meow.”

June 7, 2004

Dear John Letter

This one goes out to my new favorite commenter, John:

Dear John,

If you don’t quit posting comments to my blog linking back to your goddamn trash-ass casino websites, I’m going to kill you.

I dare you to comment on this entry.

Warm regards,


June 6, 2004

Strange Meadow Lark

Today, it was a good day. I spent the majority of Friday and Saturday sleeping (as I had been keeping strange whopper-jawed schedules all week that had me at work until 2:30 in the morning and still showing up at 8:30 next… er… that morning), so today I felt refreshed and reckless. In channeling these key human traits I grabbed my bike and headed up to Meadow Camp to do a bit of mountain biking. I didn’t want to bite off too much, considering I had just regnarled my leg what, two weeks ago, but I needed to get out and do something because I felt myself getting terribly sulky again.

Here’s a thing about Danes, and by Danes I mean people who are Danish, as well as people who are Danes. We always need to be occupied with something, and by ‘occupied’ I mean completely engrossed by it. If there’s anything in the world worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Now, if a Dane is idle too long he (or she) will inevitably begin to busy him (or her) self with senseless hand-wringing. They worry about themselves, they worry about others, they worry about the state of the world, and they even fuss and fit over the typical epistemological and metaphysical quandries that haunt all of mankind. These are necessary thoughts for people to entertain, but most are decently able to keep them confined to a few minutes a day. Like sit-ups, pining away on these subjects will worry a person thin.

Unfortunately for Danes, we toss ourselves completely in the way of whatever cometh, and if we’re not busying our hands with something (whether it be work or hobby) we will inevitably take up hand-wringing full-time until something interrupts us, or we are able to interrupt ourselves. More and more I’ve been working on interrupting myself when these troublesome thoughts plague my head, and the best way to clean house has typically been through intellectual, creative or physical exertion. I get just about all the intellect I need from work, and stomping around in the outdoors always feeds all three. Being all gnarled up has really put a damper on my ability to run around outside, so it’s quite refreshing to finally get out and play again.

I started at Meadow Camp and followed the trail up the Deschutes River, and after five minutes I realized how out of shape I really have become. My last big outdoor shindig was when I traveled to the Coast, where my lungs were spoiled with sea level oxygen. In Bend I’m living at 3,600 feet, and if I’m playing anywhere up in the Deschutes Wilderness I’m probably at 4,000 feet or more, and since I’ve barely done anything more physically demanding than frisbee in the last three months, the terrain and hills really got to me. I stuck with the riding, though, and supplemented it with frequent snoozes in the sunshine, laying in the grass by the Deschutes or sitting on top of rocky cliffs in a burned-out forest. All in all I put in over three hours of biking/snoozing, which is a successful Sunday by any measure. I also took lots of photographs that really suck because my camera is a hunk of junk.

What’s more, I discovered that the Cascade Lakes Highway is finally open this season. The road has been snowed in ever since I moved to Bend, so for me the entire area was a blank space on the map shouded in mystery. Jumping at an opportunity to discover some uncharted territory in my back yard (literally, half an hour from Lava House), I hopped in the Subaru and gunned it up into the mountains. And let me tell ya, it is so beautiful up there my lower jaw is totally scraped up from dragging on the ground the entire drive. Around every twist in the road was a new discovery, from alpine meadows and swamps to lakes of turquoise and emerald, that completely blew up my preconceived notions of the size of my playground. It was like I had spent all my time perfecting my technique on the monkey bars and twisty slide, only to discover a tire swing, zip-line and giant plastic dragon just around the corner.

Wow. The rain was falling something fierce for the entire drive, and it was actually snowing up by Sparks Lake and Mount Bachelor, so I never got to get out and play… but it’s probably just as well. I really should pace myself as I’m healing up from the Great Regnarling, and I should be thankful that my morning bike ride went without incident. Well, no incidents beyond the fact that I couldn’t breathe ninety percent of the time, but even with that, there’s a bit of sadistic delight that comes with self-inflicted suffocation caused by physical exertion.

June 4, 2004


At work. And drunk. And listening to gut-wrenching metal. A wise man one told me that getting drunk at work was the worst thing to do ever, because, like, you were drunk, but you were at work. To him it was a waste of drunkedness, a prime example of the innately evil soul-stealing nature of any company. Like what, are you gonna get completely out of control when you’re drunk at work? Are you gonna throw up in a planter? Are you gonna get laid? Nah, probably not. Are you going to hop on your email and fire off emails to your clients or your boss or the FBI, and say things that you will regret as you nurse your headache come the morn’? Yeah, probably. But that’s the price you pay for infamy. And while it takes a truly talented person to achieve fame, any idiot can royally screw up and become infamous. Me? I know I’m barrelling down one track. Or the other.

I’ve made a few more tweaks to Brainside Out, if you will kindly refresh your cache and send me lots of money. I cobbled together some archive templates for Coolio, that piece of junk link-whore-fest over on the right there, so you can now peruse all sorts of crap sorted by category, date and… uhh… like, name or something. I also tweaked a few colors and added inner shadows to content areas, and everything looks surprisingly good. These days everyone’s gettin’ all hot on drop shadows and bevels and such, and while I’m all for following trends and shopping at Ragstock I felt like trying somethin’ else. Word.

In other news, we had thunderstorms today. These were my first thunderstorms since leaving Minnesota, and I completely freaked out I was so excited. My boss and I ran out the garage door and hooted and hollered and stomped in puddles, and whenever the thunder rolled we would bellow at the heavens. Then he stripped down and streaked our entire business district in the pouring rain, and in so doing he instantly became my personal hero. On his victory lap he pumped his arms in the air while singing the Rocky theme song.

Dude. Who honestly thought that web design could kick so much ass?

June 2, 2004

It’s Time for Carnival!

Hot new navigation. Kindly refresh your browser if what you see is not making you wet yourself. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

It’s been a weird couple of days. I spent the weekend all hot and bothered with intense Warcraft III marathons, which gives you some indication how up I am on computer game culture. I mean, Warcraft III. That was, like, so summer 2002. I used to be way into video games, but I gave them up my freshman year in college because I had forty-seven classes a semester and the first few weeks of school I had nothing to do so I just played multiplayer Half-Life against my roommate but that didn’t last long because we were both music majors and soon found our collective asses chewed inside out by the unrewarding academic rigors of the arts.

I’ve had a few fits and starts of game obsessions since then, I suppose, but nothing as sustained as my love for Final Fantasy VII my senior year in high school. I mean, damn. My entire group of nerd friends, we hardly ever crawled out of our troll caves that summer cuz we were so busy hammering away. Metal Gear Solid kicked major ass and bore many inside jokes (“Huh? What was that noise? Huh… just a box.”), and long-time readers will remember my stint with Final Fantasy IX, which was most appealing because the main character’s name was Dane and he was all tryin’ to get with the princess and stuff, and she was so totally hot.

The game Max Payne had one of the greatest storylines ever, second only to the captivating plot of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3. I had my obligatory summer fling with Grand Theft Auto 3, and I picked up Grand Theft Auto Vice City when it came out, but I was whoopin’ ass trying to graduate and my roommate Doug took the helm, beating the game, finding the Apache helicopter and everything. I still play off his save games, cuz he’s got all the guns and the Miami Vice cars and everything.

So yeah, when I say I haven’t really been into video games since I left for college, I mean I haven’t really been into video games since I left for college. Playing Warcraft reminds me that I have no desire to become a raving video game fan, talking about scripting languages at work reminds me that I have no desire to become a full-on geek, and browsing the latest hot websites reminds me that short of going back to college to study 2D digital design I have little chance of ever becoming a notable graphic designer. Honestly, I have no idea what I wanna do. Except kick someone’s ass. And I’m okay with that.

So, thanks to Warcraft III and alcohol, this weekend I tried my hand at becoming nocturnal. I would stay up until 3:30 in the morning doin’ stuff, like gnarling my wrists gaming or shredding my fingers practicing bass, wake up at 11:00 in the morning, rinse, repeat. My friend Shane recently picked up The Sims House Party, so we spent the better part of Sunday night building houses and inviting people over to party. The hot tub would flood the living room. A police officer issued us a noise violation. Drey Carey dropped by. No one ever hung out in the den, even though it had modern art and a Tiki god.

Monday night I hung out with a friend and we grilled some meat and drank some beer and worked on transcribing songs. I figured out the bass lines to some Beatles, Elliot Smith, Beck and Weezer, and eventually the night degenerated into drinking PBR and watching Saving Silverman. I woke up in Sunriver at 7:00 and drove to work. That night I watched Finding Nemo and So I Married an Axe Murderer with my roommate, drank Red Stripe, and I rode my bike back to work at 9:30 p.m. to drink beer and help (hamper) the installation of a new T-1 line. Morgoth rocked the Euro Trash music stream and I rocked the Pabst and did a lot pf needed maintenance on this site (comment previews, comment listings, header hyperlinks, photolog index, hot navigation buttons, etc).

AT&T didn’t have its act together so the line didn’t get installed, but we were at the shop working, talking, coding and partying until 2:30 in the morning. I got on my bike and swerved home under a full moon, only to wake up five hours later for a morning meeting with a client. Tonight I watched the documentary American Pimp, revisted Warcraft III, and ever since I killed a spider in the shower this morning I have been convinced that I’m constantly being bitten by black widows.

With all the excitement it’s time to crash for the night, which is more exciting than it sounds because I’ve been having wacky dreams, lately. Last night I jumped out of a plane flying over the Cascades, riding a mountain bike. The night before I was flying the Space Shuttle, watching people kiteboard off the coast of Baja California.

And tonight, it’s time for Carnival.