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{ personal log }

from the freezer to the oven

My father has this saying. "Families only get together for two things," he says, "Good Stuff and Bad Stuff."

Good Stuff means weddings, bar mitzvahs, births. Bad Stuff means illnesses, accidents, deaths.

"So when you have the opportunity to get together for the Good Stuff, take it. Next time, the occasion may not be so good."

It's good advice, even if it leads you to do stupid things. I, for example, am about to do stupid things.


In nine hours I am going to be on a plane, over Oakland, watching the Bay Bridge fade behind the clouds. When that plane lands, I will find myself in Anchorage, Alaska, for the first time since a photo internship I did with the Daily News seven years ago.

It's a family reunion of sorts. My friend Jordo, a college buddy, is getting married. This is the Good Stuff my dad talks about, so when I got the invitation, I knew I had to go. The reunion part is that, where one college buddy appears, more tend to follow. Mix in a friend getting married, a bachelor party, and the fact that Anchorage gets about 20 hours of light a day right now, and it looks like I won't be sleeping for a while.

I'll spend five days there, only a few of which I plan on being able to remember. Then, on Tuesday, more Good Stuff. I'm going back to the playa. Back to Burning Man.

I haven't been back since 1998, when I organized Fray Camp and it nearly killed me. Haven't been back since, well, since it was ruined for me. I never even wanted to. But this year I want to. Because my sweetheart wants to. And because I want to be there when she experiences it. And because I want to take it back. For me.

The Anchorage to Reno trip wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't followed immediately by Web2001 a few days after our return, where I'm on a panel and giving a talk, and Fray Day, which is that Saturday.

Time isn't just flying these days, it's speeding. Warping. Folding space into tiny bumps at ludicrous speed.

Like I said: Stupid.

But I completely trust the Fray Day organizers to do what they've gotta do to get their events going, the SF volunteers to spread the word while I'm gone, and the rest can just take care of itself for a while. I'm gone, baby. Unplugged for the first time in what seems like years. I need this so bad, even my hair feels burnt out.

And besides, families only get together for Good Stuff and Bad Stuff. And I've missed these two families so.

{ 1:44am }



» Have a good time, Derek.
Don't drink too much :-)

Tom Cosgrave  { 8.23.01 @ 6:22am }

» I'll have to take the good stuff comment to heart. Most of my family on the extended side is 3500 miles away, right in your back yard (Orinda, San Leandro, Lodi) and it is always better to get together for the good.

And if you want to remember what you don't remember, be sure to take that coolpix with you ;)

Safety first, but enjoy the party (ies)

john athayde (boboroshi)  { 8.23.01 @ 11:07am }

» Go Derek! It's the right choice even if it seems nuts.

And if there's anything I can do to make it smoother, just let me know. I'm serious. You've got my number. Don't make me come over there and force you you be selfish for a change!

Dinah  { 8.23.01 @ 11:16am }

» have a most wonderful time and when you come back, make sure to write up the stories so we can share the great experiences, too. be safe and have tons of fun :)

karen  { 8.23.01 @ 11:23am }

» Bon voyage -- I'd recommend reading a few good corny Robert Service poems on the flight up to get in the Alaska mood. :-)

I'll be very interested to hear how your Burning Man experience goes.

christopher  { 8.23.01 @ 2:44pm }

» Ooh, My family is currently together for some of the 'Bad Stuff'... Take advantage of these Good stuff times. They seem so much more precious when you're faced with the Bad stuff.

anathea  { 8.29.01 @ 10:51am }


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{ news }
» Goodbye old friend.

» Don't miss the photos and audio from Fray Cafe 2.

» Psst. Hey kid. Wanna buy some swag?

{ me.elsewhere }
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» DfC profile
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{ new in dfc }
  Gaming the system: How moderation tools can backfire
Sometimes all the widgets backfire, encouraging the very behavior they're designed to avert. The rules have a dangerous side-effect: they create a game.
{ new in fray }
  "I wanted to spend the 4th with someone who always knew the way back home."

Counting Flags by Kevin Smokler.
{ new in sfstories }
  the slow glimmering descent
I've been watching fireworks there for years, but last night was different. And not just because it was clear.
{ new in fray org }
  fray day 6
Fray Day 6 is coming to cities all over the world on September 14, 2002. Come tell your story.
{ see also }