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December 28, 1996, Saturday

At the Rising Sun Bakery I painted the reverse side of the sign, waited for that layer to dry, and then painted another layer. And then another...three layers was...looking good...Jen Fariello was working the counter, but by the time I was done painting it was the end of her shift, so she and I went back to her place because she has a Microtek scanner for her Macintosh and she needs someone to get it going. She wants some graphic input, see.

So I struggled with her Macintosh, which is a very capable AV machine with video inputs. It's the sort of box you could base a nice little publishing company around. Unfortunately, her Netscape was acting up and so getting the free scanner drivers from Microtek wasn't easy. And Microtek's FTP server was flaky. And then the drivers I did get didn't even work. Must be a SCSI (scuzzy) problem, thought I. So I gave up. But I did install Netscape 3.0X on her machine and we had a go at starting a free web page at Tripod. During all of this we also shared a sixteen ounce can of Guiness which features a special patented plastic head-giving device at the bottom. She went on to show me a Christmas present she'd received from her father's girlfriend, a coffee table book of black and white erotic photographs.

It was almost five pm before I finally left, so I was very tired. At almost 1am I was amazed to realize I'd slept until it was time to return to work.

Quieted are my fears that an emerging sense of community spirit is an early manifestation of the onset of a post-youth sell out.
This morning, the 29th, as I headed for a rare and fully-paid break from work to the Rising Sun Bakery for day-old cranberry muffins, I had a feeling that had been utterly alien to me before I became gainfully employed. I felt a sense of civic pride! Yeah. If I had seen a bum, I would have given him money. If I saw a house buring down I would have checked to see if any women and children were burning up inside. If the traffic light at the intersection of 14th and University had been out, hell, I might have even taken a minute or two to direct traffic. Okay, maybe not. But do you know this feeling? It is a feeling of comradeship with my fellow man, a feeling of duty to our society. Such a feeling in other people always nauseated me. But when you have a pleasant job and money to spend, you start feeling like the world and its human-imposed structures is a worthwhile place. This is an emotion more than a logically deduced belief system. In my mind I'm still fully aware that we're all selfish beasts in pursuit of the goal of leaving with our genes as large a fraction of the next generation as humanly possible.

Interestingly, this civic feeling, which I first noticed this summer, has not caused me to become more restrained intellectually. If anything, I feel more free to say what I want. I don't even worry about freaking out my close friends anymore. In knowing that I now feel more free. Quieted are my fears that an emerging sense of community spirit is an early manifestation of the onset of a post-youth sell out.

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