wait. what?

As Sony gets caught red-handed, I am still stunned that payola still surprises people. I first heard about it when I was a little kid watching WKRP In Cincinnati (probably in re-runs, looking at the air dates); I listened to the radio, and I could tell from the constant repetition across stations that that must be how the business worked. Even before ClearChannel ruined the radio business, it's inconceivable to think that all those DJs and radio stations independently decided that Mariah Carey and Amy Grant were brilliant and deserved to be heard. I mean, where in life, especially corporate life, do you ever see that kind of natural agreement? And payola goes back to the dawn of radio: I think the idea of independent radio

And remember, kids: marijuana is worse than alcohol! Or something.

I met my real estate agent in person yesterday. He's a good guy, and a good friend and her family have done several deals with him, so I think he'll be useful. I think he's got a sane approach to things: "Look, if you're going to spend a half a million dollars on a place, you should walk in and *like* it." (Also, looking at the black pussy-willow wallpaper in the bathroom in Menlo Park that I'd missed the first time: "That'll come off real easy, and I know just the Koreans for the job." He's been at this a while and his father was a developer or GC in the area, so it seems that for any given job, he knows at least two crews who can do it for a reasonable price.) I'd been thinking about why I didn't want to live in Palo Alto or farther south--something more concrete than my general dislike for the area, its geography and its culture. I realized that while my job is long-term, the only thing keeping me really anchored to the Peninsula is the dojo, in Redwood City, so I don't like the idea of being too far away from that, much less in an area I don't like. So we can focus on staying north, near where I am now. In fact there's a place for sale about a mile and a half from here that looks really nice--carpeting in the bedrooms, Pergo flooring and a fireplace in the living room. Mmmm.

I stopped up in the city tonight to see the art gallery show associated with the Simnuke Project. Actually I went to give my friend and (lacking a better word) ex a hug for her birthday, but the project involved a guy from work and a bunch of people connected to all the music collectives and former ravers I know.

Talking to one of the exes I'm friends with, and being told to sod off by the ex who clings to a reality that gives her reasons to hate me, leaves me pondering how I am these days, which feels to me, on the inside, "spiky". I'm not really relaxed about being close to people at the moment. It's fine if it's time for that now, as long as I let it change when it's time to be something else. I'll know. It's en route, I can tell. It brings to mind something I realized a while back: with a vanishingly small number of exceptions, telling your friends and loved ones about yourself isn't burdening them with anything. It's something they need and want, to get to know you. Oftentimes it seems like we are friends first, almost immediately and without question, and then we spend the next months, years and decades in detail and depth. I know this person in spirit, and I know that right off; what takes time is to understand the life that spirit has created.