TALES FROM THE DORK SIDE LIFE ON THE WEB
UPDATED SATURDAYS MIKE'S HOME

july 5 1997: you're living in S.I.N., the Self-Indulgence Network

You're welcome to use that name for your own highly polished commercial website, if you can beat me to it. Anyway, it's been so long since I've updated Tales that I thought I'd A) be a lazy bum, B) pay homage to my friend Kelly who did the same thing, and C) give you a look at a part of me that doesn't come out when I consciously write for an audience, by posting a selection from my recent emails-to-people. Enjoy!


Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 02:58:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike Sugarbaker <misuba@iberia.vassar.edu>
Subject: Re: Hi how are you doing

I graduate on the 25th and am headed back to Berkeley on a permanent basis thereafter. must finish thesis by... 20th? 18th? I should really find out. (I'm 1/3 done; the work consists of painting a lot.) ten page paper on tuesday which i have nominally started. two finals yadda yadda. i hate to drag our wonderfully elevated epistolary relationship down to that level but you know.

don't feel bad about charging that stuff to work. there was a thing in wired (i let my subscription die but i wanted the article about the Well in th new one) about how, instead of blocking onsite access to the Penthouse site and such, major corporations should simply request a portion of the ad revenues from all the traffic generated by their bored workers.


april 4 96
choose yr own messy demise

april 13 96
style sheets & role models

april 27 96
summer reading

may 11 96
let's hear it for radio buttons

june 1 96
returning to the movies

june 8 96
just one person

june 15 96
cop fear

june 29 96
those darn trading card games

july 6 96
sex & hypnosis

july 27 96
people I've met from online

august 3 96
fat & happy

october 5 96
a cappella hell

october 12 96
the rockefeller suite

january 25
how's the homework situation

february 22
the truth about comics online

yesterday was founder's day, the big annual celebration of the birthdate of matthew vassar. he was a brewer; there is free beer. traditionally many students take this as a sort of dare, and use the occasion as license to try shrooms, E, acid or whatever. it's a festival kind of occasion wih bands and some light carnival stuff. on this day however it rained on and off and was generally gross. the big field that people traditionally lay their blankets out on was instead glutted with those tents that get put up over things in case of rain. normally those tents are over something specific, like a booth or activity, this time there were just chairs on the muddy ground. the temporary architecture of boredom.

despite all this there was a pervading atmosphere of fuck-it-all good cheer. at one point i followed adam and friends into the mushroom tree (a bushy sort of evergreen thing, so named for its low-to-ground gumdrop shape and internal hollowness) where the stated intent was of course to "smoke a bowl." we all clambered up onto branches - really this tree is a seven-year-old's dream of a natural clubhouse, it's terrific. stoners love it. adam isn't much of a stoner but his friends (----, ------- -------- who's almost as tall as me) partake more often. i don't really partake at all. supposedly it was good stuff and a good pipe. this group of three other people come into the tree with similar intent, not people we know and one of them is actually a drama guy who's generally disliked, but ah the camaraderie of pot. everyone chats and passes pipes. well, it was interesting to me anyway. one guy had this credit card-looking thing and i was like, "god, it's the bowl of the future - it's judy jetson's bowl - it has a little chip in it with all your personal information." and i wasn't even high. to make a long story short too late, i who had not inhaled smoke of any variety had two hits and felt nothing. woo ha. par fr course.

5:00 rolled round (the night before i had been up till 6 am, sleeplessly depressed and roaming around campus until i watched the sunrise, such as it was, from the roof of the art studio) and i headed for the "Terrace Apartment" where some bands were playing. my band with adam, the HangUps UK, was invited to play, maybe. the terrace apts don't have basements so the drums and amps were set up just inside the front door, in the little alcove that you turn around in to head up the stairs to the rest of the apt. the crowd, such as it was, gathered outside the door. i drummed a couple songs with a band i don't play with. they do simple dumb rock just like we do so it worked out okay.

my sophomore friends c----- and b--- (yes really) got to see my band finally. they both dropped acid but it turned out that the acid had broken down or something and was totally ineffective. this was probably a good thing given that c----- had gotten rejected from trinity exchange program in dublin the day before, and was subject to some depression about it. it started to rain really hard right in the middle of our bands last song. i came out afterwards and c----- had stepped out from under the overhang. i went and hugged her, i was all sweaty and stuff so what difference did it make that she was sopping wet in a heavy sweater vest and t shirt. we wandered down the line of terrace apts as far as we could without getting more wet (25 ft), i don't remember why really, and it seemed like something was the matter so i asked and she just held herself and wouldn't look at me, which is not like her at all. she always tells me what's happening with her, or at the very least, takes pride in confidently constructing some circumspect euphemisms for me. the only other time she just looked away with that scared look was when she didn't want to tell me she had asked my friend ----- out, since she was afraid i'd think less of her, which was silly. so i asked if it was about trinity, asked if she wanted me to go away, asked if there was anything she was afraid to tell me because she shouldn't be. nothing got much of an answer, just more friendly looking and leaning against the wall on some stranger's porch. finally b--- came back around, went up to c----- and asked what's wrong, just put her arms around her and c----- was sobbing against her shoulder. i stood around a minute longer, then headed back over to where the bands were. i had a good feeling that it wasn't really a secret thing she was depressed about, but even still i felt left out, just by virtue of not knowing how to do the right thing to comfort her. was the problem just that i never learned how to speak unspoken? is that just a girl thing?

after a few i loped off ito the rain to check email and get food, and c----- and b--- called me back from the porch they were still at. i walk back up to them and c----- says "of course this is about trinity, mike. it takes me longer than 24 hours to process these things, you know." big smile on her face, i admit i kinda wanted to smack her upside the head for not just answering me when i asked that. but i don't know. we walked back towards the dorms, sometimes b--- or me holding c-----, sometimes c----- stopped and stooped down to gather up a ball of mud in her hands.

later on at like midnight we all went to the acropolis diner and b--- had this weird episode where she couldn't stop laughing; like it started as a case of the giggles but then she started saying "oh shit i can't stop, i'm scared" and she and c----- went out the back door. turns out her (b---'s) heart had just started beating really fast in the midst of her laughing fit, an attack of the sort she gets maybe once a year. they came back in and all was fine. but it was messed up that i spent the whole day having to fight to get information out of them about what was going on around me. these people whose lives i am supposedly a part of. there are always limits to how far you'll be allowed in and they don't always stay steady.

so that's my big incoherent story. I'm catching myself worrying that you're going to read this and think I'm a big crazy galoot who's not worth spending any more time on. Such thoughts are poisonous. Anyway I trust you to understand that this is shitty-first-draft material. as is most of life.

good luck in whatever you have left. thanks for being out there. now to sleep.

______________________________________________________
Mike Sugarbaker
http://www.sirius.com/~misuba/index.html
existence is elsewhere

Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 05:22:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike Sugarbaker <misuba@iberia.vassar.edu>
Subject: Re: pitchers

fuck, i almost remember my dreams from last night. this morning i remember sitting there half awake going, okay, are my dreams rabbitting away from my mind like usual? no, they're still there. should i write them down? nah, i'll remember, and i recited their summaries just to make sure. anyway they weren't that interesting and i wanted to stay in bed. but now they're gone.

end of last semester i had a couple of really vivid encodedly sexual dreams, the kind i usually don't have. like, really extreme symbolism. it was a stressful time and i think that's why. they're in my "little black book" journal - sketchbook - notepad - datebook all purpose thing, i'm not transcribing them now cause it's 5 fucking 30 am

idle times these days cause i'm always in the studio. remind me to describe the work to you sometime when i'm more wakeful. after tuesday i will be spending more time in my room playing marathon so it'll be better. in a sense.

looking forward to seeing the real you, not through email, not through old pictures.

_____________________________________________________
Mike Sugarbaker
http://www.sirius.com/~misuba/index.html
existence is elsewhere

Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 00:02:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike Sugarbaker <misuba@iberia.vassar.edu>
Subject: Re: the road less travelled

yup. two more finals then all is over. no more school for me, thanks, at least not for now. not until i get a real clear sense of what i would want out of it and why. school and me don't git along. i've known this my whole life and have been denying it for most of the past 12 years.

i don't know if you follow my web page at all but i had a girlfriend again for about 3 weeks there. something like that.

email will remain constant. as long as yr sending to the iberia address.

so right now i'm looking at an exciting future in web.slavery. actually i am looking forward to it and i think the travails of 9 to 5 will actually do me some good, at least for a while. if theres no good work in SF i may go to portland or something.

do give us a shout when you get into town. aubies old phone number should still reach him. mine too, least til end of august.

_____________________________________________________
Mike Sugarbaker
http://www.sirius.com/~misuba/index.html
misuba@iberia.vassar.edu
existence is elsewhere

Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 00:12:31 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike Sugarbaker <misuba@iberia.vassar.edu>
Subject: Re: Snippets

some guy just sent me a submission to practice - worst poem i've ever had sent to me. should i forward it to you?

spent the day in the city. saw whitney biennial. fun show, didn't feel real consequential. of course, my way of approaching that kind of art is "if i understand it, it probably isn't very good" which is probably an inadequate way of approaching it. lots of stuff about race, lots of stuff about obsessiveness, lots of stuff about bringing the audience in and having fun with it. a couple guys making these great N-scale model things.

bought too may CDs and not enough comics. the most expensive CD is not that great. the sleater-kinney and yo la tengo albums are, but i've heard them before so they don't really satisfy in that fetishistic way that CD purchases need to satisfy. i played the sleater kinney album constantly while in crunch mode on project, so it's kind of tainted as well.

then finally got to art library to study for tomorrow's final and they announced they were closing.

senior week will be odd - no one has work, everybody is missing but the seniors - supposedly it's the all-party week. but how do you party when the campus is empty. partying the night before the end of the world is understandable, but the night after? i guess it's worked in the past or they wouldn't keep doing it. we'll see. it'll be more like the all-UPS week for me anyway.

rock,
______________________________________________________
Mike Sugarbaker
http://www.sirius.com/~misuba/index.html
misuba@iberia.vassar.edu
existence is elsewhere

Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 03:34:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike Sugarbaker <misuba@iberia.vassar.edu>
Subject: Re: Put off

had an interview today at c|net. big yellow building tucked around a corner off the embarcadero. i used to walk the embarcadero up to fisherman's wharf on the wkends when i was in high school and hang out at the juggling store. i once went right by where c|net is, looking for a short cut. c|net of course did not exist yet at the time. so anyway my nervousness was mitigated by nostalgia for the neighborhood. it went okay, but my server was down all day so they couldn't look at any of my code.

i got an exciting new 56K modem today so i am broadcasting to you from the comfort and freedom of my own room. i am re-downloading my backup copy of illustrator so i can finish my latest font, so i can finally update my goddam font page. after that comes the marathon levels page, for which i am trying to convince my other level-building friends to team up with me. i think they think it's another of my pseudo-let's-act- like-we're-famous deals. it may be, but it'll be a much better page with their contributions. and all of this stuff will be an excuse to build more show-offy pages and impress employers.

i should shorten the liz story if i'm ever going to finish it. anyway the punchline is that i did kiss her, but not really. i don't think that gives away much. it's actually kind of a letdown. but let me know if you're still interested.

for the thousandth time i don't mind your flirting with me, to put it mildly. am i still going to get to see you this summer or have you cooled down on that?

_________________________________________________________
Mike Sugarbaker
http://www.sirius.com/~misuba/index.html
misuba@iberia.vassar.edu
existence is elsewhere

Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 04:23:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike Sugarbaker <misuba@iberia.vassar.edu>
Subject: I graduated

and I am in berkeley now. i read your friday the 13th. I am looking for a web job in san francisco. in my sophmore year i heard that people were making $100 an hour doing basic HTML in san francisco and, like an idiot, I decided to stay in school. now nobody wants to hire me.

saw the cure, erasure, and echo and the bunnymen in a concert today.

email me

lazy bastard who luvs you,
______________________________________________________
Mike Sugarbaker
http://www.sirius.com/~misuba/index.html
misuba@iberia.vassar.edu
existence is elsewhere


Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 02:26:52 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike Sugarbaker <misuba@iberia.vassar.edu>
Subject: Re: Query

yeah, i knew ------, he was always forwarding me these allegedly humorous emails. how do you know him?

my friend ---- is in DC now. id like to go to DC some time, bet it'd be fun. tonight aubie and i went to jupiter (bar) and i had 2 tall pear ciders. i drink pear cider cause its yummy and because the kind of buzz i generally get isn't worth the trouble so i've stopped bothering. i finished off my old sketchbook and inauguated a new one by drawing the cute woman at the next table. aubie berated me about all the ways i could be better at getting women.

______________________________________________________
Mike Sugarbaker
http://www.sirius.com/~misuba/index.html
misuba@iberia.vassar.edu
existence is elsewhere

Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 03:45:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike Sugarbaker <misuba@iberia.vassar.edu>
Subject: Re: telnet from dc

we didn't end up drawing, we ended up at comic relief, then burritos, then a movie that i liked more than she did, and then awkward moments where i tried getting huggy with her on a strictly platonic level and she got all weird.

got a potential freelancing lead. i don't know how good at selling myself i am, nor do i know how much i'd enjoy the life of a freelancer. but i'm doing the research.

my new font site is almost ready; once that's up i'll be more prepared to impress people with my site.

i'm writing a comic that i'm going to ask larissa to draw. i'm not sure how excited about it she'll be; it's kinda on the conventional side. what i aim to do is cover an actual, functioning, not-too-hormonally-weird male/female friendship - something that i don't think is present in comics.

_____________________________________________________
Mike Sugarbaker
http://www.sirius.com/~misuba/index.html
misuba@iberia.vassar.edu
existence is elsewhere

Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 03:42:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike Sugarbaker <misuba@iberia.vassar.edu>
Subject: hey

i feel like i'm trying to merge onto the freeway but everyone else is driving three times as fast as i can drive without feeling wobbly and panicked. and i'm not even sure if i want to go where i'm going.

someone gave me a freelancing lead, and of course this is bringing all the old prom-date fears out again. "hi would you like me to build you a website?" "no you have no professional experience and anyway you're ugly and i already have a date with my cousin." i guess tomorrow i'll call em up, research them a bit first, then call the guy whose number i have here and chat him up. yes i will. really.

i hope you're starting to find some ropes to cling to. things out here are going to be weird once dad moves out. we talked about this before. what's dawning on me is that i'm going to generally be alot lonelier when that happens.

>talk ---@--------------
[Your party is refusing messages]
????

many projects, beset by technical problems on all sides. senseless netscape crashes. actually they make perfect sense: it's the new shipping version. duhh!!

writing a comic book for a friend of mine to draw. it's about a guy and a girl who are friends. most comic book readers are hormonally weird enough that I don't think they'll be familiar with this concept.

sleep well, i am weird right now,
_____________________________________________________
Mike Sugarbaker
http://www.sirius.com/~misuba/index.html
misuba@iberia.vassar.edu
existence is elsewhere

 

in other news...

I need to ask all of you a question: my next new page is meant mostly as a showpiece, to do all sorts of nifty bandwidth-wasting graphical and design things, just to prove to potential employers that I can in fact do them. So, my question is, should I bother actually giving this new page any content? Or should I just go ahead and make a page that says, "This page has no content, it's all about design because this nonsense is what you have to do to impress people"? The risks here are that there are a lot of people in the SF web field who have the bodies of 25-year-old hipsters but the brains of comparatively humorless 40-year-old human-resources execs, so maybe the less up-front I am, the better. I'd appreciate some opinions on this.

It rained on the two important days, Founder's Day (big outdoor fest, see above) and graduation. They decided to have graduation in the outdoor amphitheater anyway. Views sucked for all of our relatives, because of all the umbrellas in the way. Mom told me stories of the old women in wheelchairs in the back, shivering and wondering if anyone had graduated yet cause they couldn't hear anything being announced. Obviously none of us grads down front cared very much. Our mortar boards got a bit warped, though. They looked droopy, says Dad. And they all felt spongy afterward.

The date of graduation was also the actual 20-year anniversary of the first release of Star Wars. One guy chose to honor the occasion by brandishing one of the new toy light sabers, the green model, as he walked the stage. However the winner for style points was Rosemary, who eschewed the traditional cap in favor of a pink pair of Mickey Mouse ears. The ears were actually standard black plastic but her cap was pink. It even had a tassel. God, she rules.

Please don't forget to see the new stuff in my portfolio if you haven't yet. Thanks.


back to Practice
back to the home page
read more about it!

Kelly Jo (I'll just let you sort of bop around aimlessly here)

Whitney Biennial (one opinion, anyway)

Sleater-Kinney

Tales From The Dork Side are copyright Mike Sugarbaker, email for permission to redistribute.
Updated July 7 1997
misuba@iberia.vassar.edu