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Dinosaur Johnson's Field Compendium for the Socio-political Demagogue [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Can't never go home again [Jan. 9th, 2007|11:21 am]
[Current Location |Classic City]
[mood |Stendhal]
[music |Johnny Cash- Hey Porter]

Well friends, I'm back in Athens once again.  It's a new year, familiar faces are all around; the shit-smears left on my life by Chi-town have been quickly wiped off, the putrid aftertaste spat out.  New friends and lovers appear, old friends resurface, and I can finally, finally, see the stars and the moon at night.  I've come home to Georgie and she's happy to have me back.  Dear Ol' Dixie sings me to sleep with the gentlest breezes, and blazes 65 degree winter days of bike rides with time-so-slowly-moving.  The clatter and chatter of ancient pines applauds my homecoming.  Everything is overwhelmingly good; everything is Stendhal.  I've cried rivers since I crossed that ol' Mason-Dixon, but why I cannot say.  It's beautiful here, life is good, and I cry and embrace and cry again.  I stopped in Snellville before coming to Athens; now I know I really can't ever go home again, and that's just fine by me.
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Autumnal wanderlust, or big city blues [Nov. 2nd, 2006|01:01 pm]
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Location |Athens, GA]

Does the urge to travel ever leave a traveler?  I've found through many months of trial, dull-and-dreary clouds and rain, and boorish Chicagoans that the answer to that question, at least for me, is no.  So, it's understandably harder for me to be in a place I love so much knowing I'll soon be on an ass-numbing 22-hour ride back to a city that constantly kicks me in the nuts.  Why go?  Why not stay in Georgia?  It's saddens me a bit that on the final stretch of the bus ride here, all I could think about was how much it would hurt to leave again.  We weren't even in Athens yet, and it already pained me to leave.

Being here is something else.  Many things have changed in the short six months I've been gone.  666 Pulaski House is no more (at least compared to its former glory), and our once-beloved co-op seems to have taken a turn for the worse.  People have moved and people have left, punk kids exchanged rooms with other punk kids in other punk houses.  Time marches on.  The weather is amazing- I'm in a tee-shirt and shorts, and I'm totally comfortable;  Chicago's already pissing down snow and sleet in-between those innumerable bouts of rain.  I suppose it's not all bad- the dumpsters are prolific, I ride my bike (the-richard-dean-anderson-experience) every day, and we met and took in the sweetest cat in the world a few nights ago.  But its negative qualities are too numerous and too overpowering to warrant staying in Chicago until April, happily and sanely.

That of course begs the question, "what to do?"  Leaving Atlanta on the bus bound for Athens last night, Stacey and I were talking about our options.  She wants to go back to Chicago to finish school.  It's paid for, it's all online, and it's easy as hell.  But, as far as I understand (I know she'll correct me if I'm wrong), she hates Chicago and wants to leave as much as I do.  I can't count on all my fingers the number of times we've said to each other, "Why the hell did we come here?"  So she wants to leave but can't, and I want to leave and have nothing binding me there but her.  We know, at least, that in April/May we're taking a cross-country road trip to Portland with our friend Justin.  All of us, no matter what.  It's figuring out what to do between now and then to stay happy and healthy and to maintain a strong, open relationship that's the problem.  Fucking Chicago...

So, we went over the possibilities: I could stay in Athens while she goes back to Chicago.  Sounds great, but I don't think it's quite fair or really safe for Stacey- she's already had her face spat in and had a guy pretend to rob her at work.  Scratch that option.  We could also both stay in Athens, which seems to be what we both want.  If we did that, though, Stacey couldn't finish school, as she has to register for classes in person, and she would be leaving the work-for-which-she-was-hired-that-she-can-finally-do undone at her job.  That means no christmas bonus.  So, that option is out too.

I think the closest thing to solution that we found today is this: we will both go back to Chicago.  For now, at least.  In January, Stacey will register for classes in person, then use an address of a "friend" to receive school-related mail.  Then, because our buddy (and my big crush) Chris Ingham is moving out of our old house, we'll move back to Athens and take his soon-to-be-vacated room.  Using the money from tax-returns/christmas bonus we can pay for the ridiculously cheap room here for four months without having to work, and Stacey can finish all of her classes online using UGA computers.  We still have to figure out the logistics of moving her stuff, my bike, and the cats to GA, but we know a few people with cars, and with proper diplomatic begging and pleading, we might be able to borrow a car or employ a friend as cabbie for a few days.  This is the most satisfactory plan I can think of, and the idea of being in Chicago for only two months instead of six makes gives me tremulous tummy butterflies the size of elephants.

I conclude, then, with hope and well wishes to all of my beautiful friends.  Dinosaur Johnson's a little down, but he's not out for the count.  Talk to you soon, kids.
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Technological dependency [Sep. 18th, 2006|02:44 pm]
[Current Location |Chicago... library!]
[mood |Productive]
[music |Kraftwerk]

Being without a regular source of internet sucks.  I miss livejournal.
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Just a quickie [Jul. 21st, 2006|12:56 pm]
[Current Location |Chicago]

Well, now that S and I have moved into our fly new living area/secret hideout/headquarters for mischievous planning, we don't have a regular computer to use any more.  So, posts here will probably be a little less regular pro tempore.  Expect phone calls, lots of phone calls!
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Arrrgh, mateys! [Jul. 14th, 2006|12:18 am]
[Current Location |The high seas]
[mood |Booty-seeking]
[music |Concertina jams]

You scored as Mary Read. You are very unconventional, you defy the rules as often as you can and like to take as many risks as possible. You will probably end up living happily under a bridge somewhere laughing at all the unsavory deeds you once instigated.


Mary Read


Black Beard


Long John Silvers




Captain Jack Sparrow


Captain Barbosa


Will Turner


Morgan Adams


Captain James T. Hook


Dread Pirate Roberts


What kind of Pirate are you?
created with QuizFarm.
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Reminiscing over raspberries [Jul. 11th, 2006|12:08 am]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |Chicago]
[mood |Pensive]

I lived in Snellville, Ga- a suburb of Atlanta- for 20 years of my life.  I did well in high school, was captain of the scholar's bowl team, excelled academically, earned an honor thespianship my senior year, and hated just about everything I witnessed in social interaction among people my age and the public at large.  I went to college after graduating just like a good, obediant cog in the workings of McLife.  Then something happened, Alex died and Dinosaur Johnson began to creep through the bloody cracks within.  The tension that'd been boiling inside for years, the constant voice in my head whispering "Remember the fun you had when you were young," my own heart struggling not to burst every time I thought of life elsewhere- these all made me long for the great adventures I had with my brother when we were wee lads.  Days were spent at Georgia State contemplating what I would later find to be true: that I would learn more by edjucating myself and getting out and experiencing the world.  My nights were captured by phantasmagoric dreams of sweaty-palmed, dry-mouthed excitement, wet dreams of adventure on the open road.  I watched the movies "Foxfire" and "Mad Max" until the tape inside wouldn't play anymore,  and immersed myself in the literature about thrill seeking that didn't involve the wretched depression of Bukowski or the torpid intoxication of Kerouac.  I fell in love with the word ronin.

One day, I packed all of my clothes and a bike into my long-since-dead car, I quit my corporate job, I hugged and kissed my mother, and I began travelling the US.  My first stop was D.C.  How could I fight this ridiculous barbarity if I hadn't ever even seen its place of origin?  After Washington, I drove to Philadelphia, spending some of the most eye opening nights of my life hanging out with punks in abandoned oil refineries and sleeping in my car.  Then on to Allentown, home of the Pirates' Cove, where I cut my anarachist teeth on the teachings and positive, welcoming generosity of arguably  the nicest kids I've ever met.  Then Bethlehem for veganism, then New Jersey for a love affair, then home for the holidays, then Uniontown and hard labor camaraderie, Pittsburgh for indefatigable love, Nola for celebration, Buffalo the vegan stew that got away, Niagara Falls the tyrannical Canadian troopers, and a thousand other places that made me into the hardened Tolkien-esque rover I was for a year.

And now I find myself fixed in Chicago.  I was stationary in Athens during the cultivating of my daughter, and I found the time there enjoyable mostly because I thought I'd just pick up and whisk myself away again when It was all over.  And I did, to some extent, taking a bike trip from Athens to Mississippi with a friend, then hitching the rest of the way to Chicago.  But that brief transition was with full knowledge that I would come to Chicago to be with the one I love most to spend a year in a single city saving money and preparing for the future.  I didn't know that, all difficulties and strife aside, I would discover many new things about myself.

See, when I was travelling people would ask me how long I wanted to continue.  I'd most often say, "Until I've seen it all."  I considered myself a traveller, a vagabond whose home was wherever he dared illegally lay his head.  I was a traveller and travelling was my life.  But I learned so much on the road, I became such a different person: a dumpster diver, a cyclist, a voice for the oppressed, a makeshift mechanic, a squatter when I must, a rebel fighting the empire, a lovingly smelly anarchist, a man who wants to devote his life to higher thought and direct action to imrpove what needs fixing.  Let Dinosaur Johnson tell you, brothers and sisters, it's hard to do all of these things when you're planning to be a traveller- and nothing but a traveller- for the rest of your days.

But after lounging in a gazebo with my Chorus and Confidant, I realize now my mistake in the way I used to think.  As I said, I was a traveller, travelling was my life.  If one decides travelling is the sum of one's life, what room is there for ideology, for ethics, for action?  There's none, and by limiting myself to always being on the road and thus never having a base for rest, recuperation, and devilish lucubration, I assured that I did very little positive work while tearin' up the countryside.

I've learned now that I can work a minimum of hours at a job that's not too loathesome, all the while informing my custies that they shouldn't buy our merch because it's made by little fingers in poor countries.  I can still do good work AT work, and with the money I earn, I can not only have a place to live/hide out, but I can also fund various projects, I can travel to other cities for actions legal and otherwise and to network, and I can better equip myself with materials to fight such overwhelming odds.  I don't intend to buy frivolous crap, and I know that living in one place for a year- ONE city for a whole year!- won't change the person I am.  I can still travel whenever I want or have reason to, I can still hitch and hop freight, but I don't have to confine myself to such strictly mobile forms of existence.

I can be a better activist by being stationary at times and having a home base, and I can be a better traveller if I know I can live happily if I sometimes stay put wherever I land..  I've been born anew, again, and this time the revelation has left me a more complete and more competent warrior; better able to fight, yes, but better able to wait and plan as well.  Thanks, oh Timeless One, for helping me discover.

See y'all on a dusty road, and we'll sing 'till the sun leaves the sky.
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Als of the world unite! [Jul. 10th, 2006|10:20 pm]
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |Chicago]
[mood |Busy]

S and I were sitting near Lake Bitch-n-grin yesterday as an old man ambled by us hunched over a gleaming walker.  I had seen this man before, and nodded to him and smiled each time, and this time was no different.  After we exchanged silent pleasantries, he turned and gestured toward the lake and exclaimed, jubilantly, "You know, this is Chicago, this is beauty; you can drink it up [at this point gesturing to his neck], you can taste it, you can breate it in!"  We agreed with him and laughed a little, and he walked another two feet or so, then turned to us again, and,  "You know what? Everybody's crazy, the whole world- don't take life too seriously.  Laugh at it, enjoy it!"  He asked me my name and I told him, and, as it turns out, his name was Al too.  He was perhaps the wisest person I've ever met.

Earlier yesterday, S and I spent an hour or so in a garden that belongs to and is maintained by Loyola University.  There was a flourishing raspberry plant on which we feasted while we talked.  Sitting in the shade of a gazebo, we talked all about our future plans together.  We've talked many times recently about what we'll do in the future, but the discussion yesterday left me feeling more secure about it all.  We want to have children together, again, but not for some time.  Stacey wants to finish school first, get her masters' in library sciences, and become a librarian, whereas I want to continue to learn bike repair and building, agriculture/farming, and I want to focus more on being a full-time activist.  We also want to backpack Europe and possibly Africa and Asia. 

There's a lot of work to be done between now and child number two, but it's really the time in between that occupied most of our conversation yesterday.  S expressed that she wants to hitchhike again at some point, this time incorporating the lessons learned from the Things That Sucked the first go 'round- lighter pack, sleeping bags a must, smaller, more compact technology/cameras, and so on.  I, too, want to hitchhike and/or hop trains once more, also taking to heart the lessons I learned the first time and applying them to adventures not yet undertaken.  We both have an undying urge to see the southwest, the west coast, and the pacific northwest, and we'll most certainly make time to venture out that way by thumb, by hopped train, or by some meager monetary means.

I'm also hoping to get to Greenwood, SC this summer or early fall to help my friend K-- with some projects he's beginning.  Not least among these is building a shotgun shack before winter comes, building up and riding a slew of bikes, and raining general insurrection on Smalltown, The South, fixin' some shit up along the way!

In talking of travelling- the nostalgia of which was not at all quelled by the flawless summer weather- we both mused on the ways in which we've grown and changed, and how having affirmed ourselves as lifelong activists, fierce anarchists, passionate lovers and partners in life, and harbingers of positivity and progress, we're sure that trekking the country a second time will be a much more fulfilling experience.  We'll also be sure to save a little money beforehand this time, and possibly take odd jobs along the way, so on nights when the dumpsters are devoid of food, when rain and storm make sleeping outside questionable, when walking another 20 miles is just too much, we'll have the means to buy other options if we want to.

Living in Chicago and talking of these ideas has helped me come to some other ideological conclusions too, but I'll save them for another entry.  Thanks for reading, and take care of yourselves.
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Dinosaur News Network presents: [Jul. 6th, 2006|11:24 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |Chicago]
[mood |Satisfied]

Last Friday I rode my bike with about 5000 other kids through the streets of Chicago.  we stopped a lot of traffic, had the opportunity to talk to many people about why we were stopping traffic, and we disrupted some Fascist Stormtrooper (i.e.- the police) shenanigans.  It was an amazingly positive ride, and, although there were some angry people (like the guy who tried to kill me and this other dude, whose car we stopped for 15 minutes), the message we broadcast and received was one of enlightenment at other transportation opportunities and a better, more sound world.

It goes without saying, then, that I'm going to enjoy the suburban Critical Mass tomorrow!  Takin' the streets in Evanston!

Fast forward to today: Stacey and I went to a play this evening at the invitation of Amul.  The director of this masterpiece waiting to be discovered is named Natsu, and she's a good friend of Amul's.  "Performance of Sleep in One Act Without Intermission" is one of the finest and most moving pieces of black box performance I've ever seen, and, knowing that the audience was roused and goaded to think about some important issues, my only regret about the show is that I couldn't in some way participate in its production.  It's a show well worth the money, and students get in free this weekend.  Seriously, folks, go see this genius work or art.

That's about all for now.  In next week's exciting episode of Dinosaur Johnson, Automotive Repairman, Esq., our pedantic protagonist writes about...

-The idea of Freedom in our (cyberpunk) world, especially in relation to corporate globalization
-Making the transition from vagrancy back to the world of stationary activism
-Starting a Food Not Bombs in northern Chicago

Join us again soon, same Dino-time, same Dino-channel, for another thrilling episode of Dinosaur Johnson!
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Critical Mass [Jun. 28th, 2006|11:39 am]
[Current Location |Chicago]
[mood |Anticipatory]

To everyone in Chi-town:  Critical Mass this Friday at 5:30 in Daley Plaza.  Come out and ride a bike, kids!

Take the streets and stop some traffic!

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(no subject) [Jun. 28th, 2006|11:33 am]
[Current Location |Chicago]
[mood |Travellin']

create your own personalized map of the USA

Suck that eastern united states and midwest!
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