can't sleep, clowns will eat me.

I found out when I moved here that apparently a deathly fear of clowns is pretty common, acquired in childhood. I've never particularly cared for them one way or another, as far as I can remember. I certainly appreciate performing and making a fool out of yourself, but it's just people in costumes.

I went to look at another condo today. It's in the complex where I rented a unit for six weeks years ago when I first came out here on an internship--the Ugliest Apartment Ever. Lime green shag carpet with gold flecks; a dining nook with white metal outdoor patio furniture; a wall of shelves full of thirty years of the most hideous knickknacks. This other condo had been remodeled a few times and so wasn't really repellent; but I couldn't get past the memories of the other unit I rented, and they have the exact same layout. On top of that, I'm working all of four blocks from where my internship was. I find that sense of going backwards depressing: that summer was not an experience I need to return to.

I've been reading Douglas Coupland's Generation X, less because I really want to than because I've felt all this time like I've been missing a set of cultural references. It's not a gripping read, though entertaining in its way and he is clever with the language. Nothing really happens, which I think is part of the point; it's adding some dimension to my visit to Seattle this past January. I'm really not, by any reasonable measure, a member of Generation X; younger brother, maybe. You could easily argue that it's just a set of stereotypes that acquired a certain cultural strength, but whether it was real or not, I watched it in the media and heard its music while I went through high school and waited to see if I was equally burned out by age twenty-five. The book describes what I found in Seattle, which is what you can partly see in Reality Bites, and you can definitely hear in the music of Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains: intense, youthful energy, undirected and cranky. Coupland's book, like Reality Bites, is self-centered, characters angry about and weary of the world they came into, who reject the unchanging bourgeois consumerist life of their families in favor of an unchanging minimalist bohemian life of their own. They still don't seem to be going anywhere; but they're stagnating on their own terms.

The office has gotten a bit chaotic again. I'm happy enough to be heading up to the garden retreat in the mountains this weekend.

I think all the threads are still converging.