An Open Letter to Young Women

An Open Letter to Young Women

(this news item posted on December.30.2006)

An Open Letter to Young Women,

Recently, the Allison Quets story has been all over the news. Briefly, Allison Quets is a woman who lost her children to adoption in spite of the fact that she emphatically changed her mind within 24 hours and has spent more than a year and $400,000 dollars trying to get them back. If, in the face of all that, she was unable to get her children back, what hope do people who don't have that much resolve and a life's savings of $400,000 have against the adoption industry?

I write this letter because I have seen people that I care about very deeply be irreparably harmed by the Adoption Industry. It would seem that there are no easy answers or perfect solutions when it comes to women's fertility issues and reproductive rights. It is a very volatile, contentious and emotional subject. It is not the intention of this letter to berate adoptive parents or stand in judgement of young women who have made an informed decision to place their child for adoption. Rather, it is my hope that this letter will provide useful information for young women who are or may become sexually active and/or pregnant.

A Marketdata Enterprises industry analysis of Adoption Services in 2001 placed a $1.4 billion value on adoption services in the US, with a projected annual growth rate of 11.5%.

It is safe to say that there are a lot of people who profit from adoption. In the United States, couples have demonstrated a willingness to pay anywhere from $1,000 to the more typical $10,000 on up to $50,000 to secure a child. Now that the United States awards a tax credit of $10,000 per adopted child, much of this is even done with the money of the average U.S. citizen.

In 1972, as a result of the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion there was a sharp decline in the availability of healthy Caucasian infants. The growing adoption industry attempted to compensate for this loss in several ways. One way was to expand their efforts in the area of international adoptions. Another was to redouble their efforts to separate mothers who were on the fence about adoption from their children.

Adoption Industry professionals have a number of coercive and insidious tactics at their disposal. They have a great deal of money that the government takes from everyone and gives to them, giving them very deep pockets. And they have very slick public relations and media campaigns that attempt to make adoption look like a beneficent perfect solution that harms no one.

Don't believe it.

One of the first things you should know is that if you are pregnant and confused and running out of options and you see anything like an advertisement that offers young pregnant women free room and board while they get their lives together, this is probably TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Young women taking advantage of such offers are finding themselves under extreme pressure to either surrender their baby for adoption or pay back the cost of their "free" room and board.

Another very important thing to be aware of is that the Adoption Industry needs you to sign relinquishment papers and there have been cases where industry professionals will do almost anything to get you to sign. Please be prepared and know what to do BEFORE you are in the vulnerable state of just having delivered a baby. You have the legal right to insist that anyone who is bothering you be forced to leave your hospital room. And if any person refuses to observe that right, you have a moral obligation to refuse to stop screaming at the top of your lungs until they leave you in peace (using whatever language you deem necessary for the situation).

Next you should know that if you have signed relinquishment papers, there may be state laws that allow you a grace period to change your mind.

You should also know that many adoption industry professionals may attempt to entice you with the lure of "open adoption" --they will tell you that you can still visit your child and be a part of their life. Please know that "open adoption" arrangements are almost never enforceable and in a great many of the cases the adoptive parents change their mind (sometimes leaving the mother unable to contact their child EVER).

Most importantly you should know that many natural mothers report prolonged physical, psychological and physiological effects long after losing a child to adoption. And regardless of what anyone may tell you, many children placed for adoption suffer prolonged physical, psychological and physiological effects after losing parent(s) to adoption.

In the New Year, as you're filling out mySpace bulletins and passing on chain letters and having other assorted fun on the internet... please also take time to pass this information on to anyone you feel it may be of use to. Please feel free to change it, put it in your own words or add links and so on.

Peace and Love,
-Alex Mead, a friend of a friend

Here are some links to more information:
Adoptese MSN Group


Being 36

Being 36

(this news item posted on December.16.2006)

A coworker of mine and I just had birthdays. He was turning 26 as I was turning 36. We were discussing getting older and he told me that he felt like having a rate reduction on his auto insurance by turning 26 was the last age related thing to look forward to in life and that it was probably going to be all downhill from here.

Well, at age 36 I've aged out of my anual pigramige to Opus in August. That's no fun. I don't have any auto insurance so, consequently, I have no idea what turning 36 does to it. It's true enough that most positive age related events seem to have stopped a long time ago. I guess I can run for President now. Regardless, I don't know that I've ever had a more positive outlook on my own personal future. I tried to explain that to him.

Whenever I want to convey a message, my tendency is to try to tell a story. That's what I do, I'm a story teller. I conjured a story where the 36 year old me could travel back and try to tell the me of 6 years ago about the future. I have no doubt that the 6 years ago me would have looked at me like I was speaking nonsense.

"Well, you see, the new president you have is going to be one of your absolute least favorite presidents of your entire lifetime. He's going to use a climate of fear --created by an event that'll happen in about a year-- to trample Civil Liberties, not just in the USA, but in any nation where it can be gotten away with. This stock market buble that's beginning to burst is REALLY going to burst, because it's about to be discovered that one of the big 5 accounting firms on Wall Street has been helping most of it's major clients to cheat on their homework. Yep next year is going to be a big one for corporate crime: Worldcom, Enron, Tyco, Adelphia, Global Crossing, Quest, and the list goes on. All those folks have been misleading their investors and sums of money that you can't even begin to fathom are about to be lost on Wall Street. Despite the economic upheaval this will cause, the Bush administration, at the behest of their corporate paymasters, will still push through staggering tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, ballon the Pentagon budget up to 450 Billion (with a B), in order to start two major wars for oil, and --believe it or not-- make the situation in the middle east even worse. At the same time they're going to start destroying the environment faster than ever, and replace the Public Education system you're used to with memorization, standardized tests, and big corporate charter schools. Mr. "I'm a uniter not a divider" will then steal another election in 2004, and push through some "Help America Vote Act" which will threaten to steal elections in into the future indefinitely. Most Americans will become very suspicious of corporations and millitarism, but the corporate media will make sure that at any given time these suspicious Americans won't be able to help but feel they're in the minority. Congress will push through sweeping bankruptsy and credit reforms which will push even more corporate power up to the already powerful international banks, and the middle class will be saddled with more debt than anything your lifetime up-till-now has prepared you for. You'll learn all about how the adoption industry is pretty much just baby-trafficing, and upper middle income families will be encouraged to buy babies from all the nations we'll be devastating with 'shock and awe'. So many people you know and love will be alone and isolated, deep in dept, denied access to continuing education, and some, stuck in cycles of medicated depression."

"BUT, don't worry about all that, you'll have two totally wonderful girlfriends, AND all of the chaos will give you plenty to write about as you'll be a self-published author many times over. Oh, AND you'll be a performer... at age 33 you'll suddenly decide to start rapping in public and people are really gonna dig it. AND you'll be building community with some really amazing activists that you have yet to meet. And, Oh by the way, you'll be a manual laborer making a lot of money crossing a strike-action picket line and throwing big heavy tires. You'll be totally buff, in the best shape of your life, and lots of really fantastic women will find you attractive and be great friends to you. And you'll even have long hair again. Remember how much you used to like the long hair? Now, you'll be making more money at this job than you've ever made before --and boy you're going to need it because you'll conveniently ignore everything your mother ever tried to teach you about paying the balance on your credit card on time and you'll be one of those Americans swimming in debt that I was talking about before-- BUT don't sweat it, long as you keep crossing the picket line to chuck tires you'll be fine. They're even gonna make you the boss. Don't look at me like that. Being the boss ain't so bad."

Yeah. The truth is easily just as strange as fiction. Through the eyes of six years ago, the world definitely does seem to have gone to hell in a handbasket, but it would be impossible not to enjoy all of these crazy twists in my life. After four plus years of an intimate relationship I still wake up to erotic dreams of my wise and wonderful and beautiful lifemate and get all worked up and excited about my budding romance. I like to think I must be doing something right.

I dunno.

Life is funny.



Have a full range of emotions.

You might as well.

Peace & Love,


The End

The End

(this news item posted on June.17.2006)

Welcome to the end. The end of chapter 3 that is. I'm writing a second autobiography. Really slowly. And today I find myself at the end of chapter 3.

How does chapter 3 end?

Well the guy gets the gal. And the other gal. But not without a climactic finale. I thought that my new girlfriend and my old girlfriend and me were just just going to smooth sail into bliss. But that was not to be. Last Tuesday I really messed things up. We all messed things up. We were all communicating super fast (because all three of us are great communicators), but I don't know if it was even possible to communicate as fast as we'd have had to communicate to smooth sail through the complexity involved in the three of our lives. There was a lot of really intense hurt and confusion and shock.

Funny thing is... all of the mess from trying to start this new relationship didn't really hurt the new relationship any... BUT it did end up making the old relationship that much better. Which I wouldn't have imagined was even possible. But somehow... was.

Another interesting plot twist. Heather has my old job at Dunlop. So that means: she gets a chance to see what the job I used to talk to her about is like first hand, I get to help her learn the job with all of the things I picked up, we get to ride to work together a few days a week since I still work in the same physical location, and Heather has an income so her stress about not having an income can begin to disipate. She looks really authoritarian in her uniform, it's an amazing transformation.

Heather's been helping to organize the house finances and prepare to invite people into our Art Co-op too so even my finances are starting to heal ever so slowly.

So the end of chapter three finds me feeling really loved and appreciated. Enthusiastic about future projects. Feeling like community and family are finally beginning to come into my life. life is a fun ride.

So... up next is chapter 4.

Chapter 4 will not only be chapter 4, but it will also be a fully self-contained story in its own right. What I'm trying to say is that my journaling is about to become radically different. It's about to turn into a story called "The Problem With Earthlings..."

It's been bouncing around my mind for some time and I highly recommend it to you. I think that you should add my journal to your favorites in your browser or subscribe to my blog on MySpace(which is a pretty cool feature by the way) or add me to your livejournal friends or do whatever is involved in helping you to follow along. It'll be fun. Or interesting. Or some other nice adjective.

See ya there.




(this news item posted on June.10.2006)

It came from out of nowhere.

I was getting used to --once again-- being a polyamorous guy with one girlfriend. An awesome and wonderful girlfriend, certainly, but folks generally become polyamorous to explore the possibility of more.

To be sure, exploring is pretty fun. I've met (and crushed on) all of these really wonderful women, all of whom have become friends and some of whome have become REALLY good friends. But none of whom really wanted to make that leap and look into a lasting romance. (clarification: no one local to me I mean.)

So all of a sudden I was at the housing co-op for dinner on Wednesday night like I generally am... and she just walked into my life. Oh I had met her before a bunch. We'd smiled at one another a lot and embraced like old friends a few times. But all of a sudden she was asking to share attention with me. She wanted to listen to my story and/or tell me her story.

Life is all about rushing and being busy for us young folks. We were only able to shcedule 15 minutes of giving one another our attention. It ended up being a half-hour and we acknowledged that we needed to do that again really soon.

Couple days later I was calling her. Hoping to schedule some attention time. Hoping for something soon. What she had in mind was even soon than what I had in mind. Namely, NOW. Let's get together and talk for an hour starting now.

We met up around nine. Talking was going really well. REALLY well. By the time midnight rolled around it was pretty clear that we were really interested in one another. Something really amazingly fun was happening. Energy was transforming and becoming really romantic energy.

By 3am I had a really intense case of the smittens. I tried to warn her about what she was getting into; to tell her every possible detractor and cosmic oddity. She didn't much care.

I had been waiting for something for a long time without really being sure what it was. I had been waiting for a woman to come along who I didn't have to talk into it. Someone actually enthusiastic about the idea of mingling lives with myself and Heather and excited about exploring a relationship with me. I had been thinking that maybe I was worth at least that.

The next day the three of us spent time getting to know each other.

Good times.



Sound Bites

Sound Bites

(this news item posted on May.06.2006)

On-again-off-again = Off. Over. Done.

Performing = Done for a while. Last night I totally killt it!! FUN!

What's New = I might be hosting a radio show for Hip Hop in Action on WHLD am 1270 here in Western New York.

Writing = Nothing right now, but I'm starting to get the itch.


Webwork = Finally making some progress.

WorkWork = Work is work.


Also not dead = AMProSoft

Also not dead = AMProSoft

(this news item posted on April.29.2006)

Picture Link

Wow. Hard to believe it had been about 7 years since the last time I drew a picture of Princess AMPra. It feels like there was a three year period there where I was drawing her every single day.

About a year ago I took a look at AMProSoft.com and was suddenly saddedned by the state of disrepair that I'd allowed it to fall into. AMProSoft.com was the very first domain name I ever registered. But, of course, it's much more than that. It represents more than 15 years of history, hopes and dreams as a video game maker, composer, comic book artist, publisher, etc.

So, a year ago I looked at the website which had not been updated in about 2 years. There wasn't much useful info there. First I just redesigned the whole thing so that it could at least look like the vision of a homepage that I had in my head. Then I slowly began adding in the pieces. My journal at first. That was a nice boost. Put my books up for sale. Recovered all of the old versions of the website and created some archives. Sort of a smithsonian exhibit of the website.

So I still have a ton more plans. Seems like it takes a minor miracle to ever come across the time to code some more stuff. But it's been happening. The Upcoming Events table on the main page that I coded this week is pretty nice. I've been digging through the old comics and considering putting out a few bound editions of the whole series. Maybe even finish the story arc I was on when it suddenly stopped. And I still work on that CD from time to time too.

I prefer to talk about projects once their finished rather than pronouncements about future plans, but sometimes putting it out there can inspire a body to find the time. Y'know.

Peace & Love,


This Woman

This Woman

(this news item posted on April.21.2006)

Right. Okay. So, there's this woman right? Right. I won't mention her by name in my journal because I haven't really run that by her yet, but a lot of local folx already know who she is.

Wait. Hang on. Speaking of local folks --before I forget-- I just wrote a new program for my homepage that will let people know when and where I'm reading out and performing. Just click on http://www.amprosoft.com and you'll see it. Show up to any of that stuff and you'll see me.

Right. So about this woman. *sigh* She has this beaming easy smile and she laughs with abandon. A couple entries ago I wrote a bit about her. We were on-again-off-again for a bit. But we've been enjoying the on again for a good while now. I think about her lots, tons & bunches.

Life is good.

Last year I wrote an entry about how Buffalo's really cool because I make a ton of new friends all the time. Well, that's still true. But this woman makes a ton of friends too, and so now it seems like I have this whole huge influx of friends because I have access to her ton of friends and my ton of friends. I'm on friend overload.

And I'm sharing lots of friends with her too. I had an entry about my friend Christina and how she came to UU church and just became one of us on the spot. Well, this new woman in my life, came to UU church and just up and joined the choir. Yeah, that same choir that has done all kinds of things to my emotions over the years will now have her voice in it.

Saw my old friend Anna (from my poetry book) yesterday. I had really been missing her. She's gonna read at Urban Epiphany (see my website for the time & date & place). I saw my old friend Kim today. Missed her too. I start to think of all the friends I owe some time to. Nah, those're dangerous waters. Nevermind all that.

So, people keep telling me that I look good lately. That takes some getting used to. Maybe I'm just smiling more lately. It seems like everywhere I look there are people that I love. Work is going pretty good. My new girlfriend gets along well with my old girlfriend. Having Heather living back here in Buffalo with me really has it's wonderful moments. I feel like I'm finally starting to get this life thing right.

I have a couple new songs that I'm looking to perform soon, including one written just for Urban Epiphany on Sunday the 30th. That event comes highly recommended by me. And MAP open mic should be just as spectacular as it always is.

Peace & Love,


Woah hey IIIIIII. Ooooooowoah. I'm still Alive!

(this news item posted on April.12.2006)

Been a while.

Life got kinda crazy for a minute. I'll try to give you the short version, though, even the short version is pretty long.


Since September my job has been to throw tires into trucks. It's a very nice, physical job where I make a good buck. Several good bucks actually. And then as soon as I get them, I turn all of my good bucks over to the evil credit card companies that own me in a sort of nouveaux slavery arrangement.

One day back in December my boss told me that he was going on a vacation in March and asked if I'd like to be the boss while he was gone and collect his salary in addition to my regular pay. That was a no-brainer. Wasn't anything I could afford to turn down even if I wanted to.

As the vacation date in mid March was approaching I kept trying to ask questions and make preparations and figure out if this was all still happening and whether or not we were properly prepared and how things were going to go and all. Everyone seemed pretty non-chalant about it so I figured everyone knew what they were doing.

Um,... no.

The DAY BEFORE the scheduled vacation everyone starts calling me on the phone in a huge panic trying to stress me out and get me to join their freaking-out party. Not only was my boss going to go on vacation, but the tire factory decided they were going to increase production just as he was heading out of town so we had the same number of employees, way more trucks to fill and my boss was going to go on a cruise and totally turn his phone off. The boss of the whole truck loading company that I work for was calling me and offering to come up and load trucks personally if we needed it. I still wished that people would have prepared more ahead of time, but I wasn't really looking to get all freaked out about it. I told everyone that I would do my best and that I suspected that my best would be plenty sufficient.

So, it wasn't easy. I put everything --almost everything-- in my life on hold and made ready to load trucks around the clock if I needed to. I started calling all of our loaders and letting them know our situation. I started getting familiar with the schedule and looking for ways to get more loading out of the crew we had.

The tire factory didn't increase production by near as much as they said they were going to. Through the first weekend we were keeping up with them just fine. The one thing in my life I didn't put on hold were the performances I mentioned in my last journal entry (way back when) because I really felt like I needed to get in front of an audience and let loose.


So I have this new poem/song called Color Inside the Lines that's really fun to do. I was scheduled to perform it 3 times in four days. The first performance was at my friend Liz's poetry event. I performed it well, but I really didn't feel good about it. Like maybe that was the wrong venue for it. I was glad to have gotten it out without messing up any words, but I was more excited about performing it the following night for my activist buddies at the Subversive Theatre play.

So, after performing I went into work and all hell had broken loose. We were way behind and people were freaking out so I called in everyone I could call in and I loaded as many trucks as I could load (had time to load). I ended up working a 17 hour shift (which included a 3 hour nap in my boss' office). I loaded 5 and a half trucks. Throwing tires for 14 hours with only three hours of sleep is very physically challenging, but honestly I could have done more. I probably would have done more to give us a little cushion but it came time to perform again.

I was dead tired, and dirty and stinky. But hell, I've given some great performances dead tired before. I was very eager and excited. All of my activist friends showed up. And then... there was no time available for me to perform.

I saw a really good play, but it was super frustrating not to get a chance to get on. I went home and went to bed with a lot of pent up performance enrgy waiting to burst out.

The next couple days at work were much the same. Frantic. Taxing. Unpredictable. But I was handling everything that was thrown my way. Refuse to lose. Find a way to get it done. Etc.

Wednesday rolled around and I was feeling like I had my second wind. I had a few good meals in me and had experienced some nice hot showers. I had made it more than half way through my boss' vacation. Things were looking up. And it was the day of the M.A.P. open mic. My favorite venue to perform at.

I got to MAP Open mic and there really weren't many people there. Hardly any. That was somewhat disappointing. But I've always said that I will throw everything I have into it whether it's 1 person or 1,000 in the audience. So I just tried to do that. And I really got after it with the performing and had lots of fun. There was a lot of opportunity to perform multiple times and as the night wore on more and more people showed up. Several great musicians were there to the the Mass Avenue Orchestra fired up and let people pass the mic around. The band hit a really good groove and I sang The Life by Mystic and just really, really felt the music. It was awesome. I even messed up most of the words and it was STILL way awesome. It really all fit together. By the end of the night I was having such a good time.

And then, seemingly out of nowhere, I was dancing with a most beautiful woman as we were all cleaning up at the end of the night. Not just dancing, something was happening. Like, feeling like I'm totally falling for some really beautiful woman is an almost daily experience in my life and neighborhood. But, woah, feeling like someone was falling for me back?? That's new.


So there's this woman. Natural, beautiful, happy, smart, fun, compassionate. The whole everything. I just wanted to spend some time considering the possibilities before we get to the part where I have to tell her aout Heather and she runs away. I didn't have much free time, because I had to finish being the boss at work. But a few days later that was all over. I had succeeded in keeping things from falling appart and they were going to pay me buttloads of money which would halp me keep my precariously balanced financial house of cards from collapsing. All was good on the work front. Oh, except that my boss broke his ankle while on vacation and wouldn't be able to fully return to work. But that wasn't really MY problem. I did my ten days of blood sweat and tears.

So, about this woman. Things just went super fast. Before I could even get my bearings it was already time to tell her about Heather (and watch her run away). Only, I told her about Heather and she didn't run away. She just said 'take it slow.' And what could be more perfect than that? Slow is like my favorite setting.

And so Heather was coming home for the weekend that weekend even. And by the time the weekend rolled around I was so into everything about this woman and so eager to have her meet Heather, and...

And that's what happened. Easily one of the highest highs of my last 365. A most fantastically incredible weekend of the three of us getting to know each other and asking questions and looking at things through new eyes, and... and there was snuggling. Memories of the variety that don't go away.

It seemed too good to last. It didn't last. And now I'm sort of sad. But also pretty Happy that Heather is almost here. And I felt like I got a glimpse of the future. Some woman(en) or man(en) will get us there again. That happy place is meant to be a big part of the rest of our lives. Just is.

Will be.

Felt nice to journal again. Thanks for caring.





(this news item posted on March.19.2006)


Buffalo has some of the best protests. People who are standing in the downtown wind tunnel when it's 20 degrees out have to be pissed off. It's really not an activity for the mildly unhappy. I finally got to reconnect with a ton of old friends yesterday. I had felt like I just travel in different circles from my activist buddies lately, but yesterday I was able to free up my schedule, attend the Mar.18.2006 demonstrations, collect about a half a hundred hugs, sell a couple of my books, and read a brief bio about a fallen solder to a crowd of pissed off Buffalonians.

Being the Boss:

I was able to free up my schedule because, the person making the schedule... is me. Yeah, I've been at this job for 6 months. My boss goes on a 10 day vacation and the person tapped to take over is yours truly. Means a nice 10 day pay raise and a little more schedule flexability and a lot more responsability. People getting paid depends on me. That's spooky. So far I'm doing really well.


So yeah. I wrote that new song. I've performed it about a million times to the audience of tires at work. Now it's time to take it for a spin and perform it for audiences of people.

With all of the crazy responsabilities of work, I am really going to burn myself out trying to squeeze all of these performances in at the same time. But, meh, you're only young until you get old. I am gonna perform my new piece about 3 times in the next 4 days probably.

Mar.19.20067:00PPoetry: Liz Mariani (open reader slots, I'll prolly read)@ Rust Belt Books
Mar.20.20067:00PSubversive Thearte (I might be performing with the Flaming Humvees)@ Hallwalls
Mar.22.20068:00PMass Ave Project Open Mic@ Mass Ave Project Community Center

After next week I'll probably be dead from exhaustion. Leave me comments while there's still time.




Hurry Up and Weight

Hurry Up and Weight

(this news item posted on March.11.2006)

Hurry Up:

My life is pretty out of control. I figure I'd go for a while without taking on any major projects and I could start to get caught up on the little things.

No such luck. The deluge of little things is unending and I can't even seem to get the least of them finished. Somehow I am good at getting a whole big intricate and complicated book written, but assign me the task of getting caught up on my email. Sigh. Even breaking it down into small chunks: Get caught up on last week's email. Hopeless.

I saw my friend Christina the other day and she asked me if I was still her friend anymore. Sincerely asked me. I think I owe her an email and a phone call and I haven't been to church to see her in a while.

So. Okay. It kinda sucks that we've come to live in a society where we'll move mountains and marshes to get to work on time, but we have to relegate our friends to "as time permits" status.

I'm really glad there are scheduled friend times in my life like the Housing co-op dinner and the dinner co-op at the Mass Ave community center or I'd probably have no friends that I ever see on a weekly basis.

Humanity can do better than this. What are we waiting for?


I stopped weighing myself many years ago. The two main reasons for this are: One, I really do believe in all of that stuff I say about weight being a rather unimportant determinant in terms of fitness. All of that stuff about muscle mass density vs. fat tissue density and things like water retention and bone structure make comparing your weight against others or even, sometimes, to what your own weight has been, rather meaningless. The second reason, well, my weight rarely ever changed. I had weighed around 250 pounds for nearly ten years. During that time I had gone through periods where I worked out a lot and got slimmer or became sedentary and put on winter layers or whatever and through it all I would weigh nearly the same.

So I haven't stepped on a scale in the last 5 years or so, and haven't wanted to.

I am suddenly curious.

Yesterday at work it occured to me that when I first started working at my job I used to stand on the deck plates at work and they would reluctantly sink down. Now I stand on the deck plates and they just sorta stay there. I have to stand on them and push against the wall or drive over them with the heavy machinery to get them to go down now.

I dunno. Seems like a clue that my weight may have changed significantly. It's still not like I care a whole ton one way or the other. My fitness level is really good these days. But... it just seems like a relevant piece of data to have. Y'know. Like in case a big bag of bunny rabits is sinking into a river of moltent lava and a group of people are hanging onto the other side of a rope thrown over a tree branch trying to counterweight and pull it back from the brink. You know, and the one fella on the end shouts out "We need at least 240 lbs more for this last little bit of rope we have!" I don't want to go volunteering for something I'm not qualified for, y'know, with a bag of bunnies on the line and all.


I <3 Buffalo!!!

(this news item posted on March.08.2006)

Yesterday was not an especially out of the ordinary day for me. By that I mean in a lot of ways it was my typical day. That's why I love Buffalo so much. So many of my days are so much more interesting/fun/spiffy-keen/entertaining than I generally expect days to be.

Started off, normally enough, waking up to the alarm clock blaring out WHLD, our new progressive radio station that I got to watch as it was born, grew, crawled, and took it's first steps. Spent hurried minutes wiching I wasn't always in such a rush in the morning, wishing I had a few minutes to call into the radio station and say something that would inspire people to think about things or remember something important.

Went to work and packed two and a half trucks full of tires while I rehearsed my new rap song to my captive tire audience. Came home lamenting how cash strapped I was at that particular moment (my wallet, completely empty, my coat pocket reduced to literally pennies).

I wasted a coupld hours with the crazy internet (which is getting to be worse than tv. I don't think we're using this thing right).

I went to the Dinner Co-op. I have already paid way in advance so I didn't have to worry about money. I could just sit down and have a great healthy meal that the awesome people in my community cooked. Lots of great familiar faces, plus, lately there've been old friends that I haven't seen in a long time and new people to meet. PLUS, then as we were standing around waiting for food, my friend Aaron paid me some money he had owed me on one of my books that he bought a few weeks ago. Yay! Don't have to wait for payday to eat or ride over to the money co-op.

So then there's this new Hip Hop assemblage that's forming. The attendance last night was not encouraging, but, whatevs. There are lots of really great people associated with that group and it's gonna do great things. So we were told to bring some Art to share or something and have a go around and present what it is that we do in Hip Hop. So, it was my turn and I asked the good professor Kush B if he wouldn't mind breakin me off one of those beats. And then I KILLT it.

Buffalo has many great beatboxers. It's so awesome to be at a Mass Ave Project open mic and just call up one of my friends and collabo over a funky beat. But Kush is somewhat of a beatboxing institution. He's amazingly amazing in an amazing way. He kept it simple so I could just go all lyrical and what not, but I rank it up there with the time I got to act with Manny Fried or open for Ralph Nader.

Buffalo has all kinds of CRAZYness around every corner. It's a really hard place to live. But it's always worth it at harvest time. Sometime's I can't believe I get to live here. Of all the places I could have been born. Good job mom. Always thinkin.


Photojournal: The Journey to Work

Photojournal: The Journey to Work

(this news item posted on March.01.2006)

This is the scene outside my front door.

At the foot of the stairs is my trusty bike that has transported me more'n a thousand miles in the last couple years. It was a really good gift from a really good friend JimW.

A block away is the High School that I attended 18 to 22 years ago.

A couple miles toward work and I pass this play area for a day care center. The children don't get to play on grass, but at least they have colored the artificial surface green for them, to sort of almost remind them of grass. There is a busy highway that runs behind the playground so that their developing little lungs can get the monoxide that they need. Also there is a busy street that might as well be a highway that I ride my bike on to ensure that they get car exhaust from both directions. Plus there's a boat shop attached to the day care center for bonus random chemicals.

About a half mile later I get to ride along the mighty Niagara River. In previous years the river used to freeze over in the winter. But that hasn't happened for the last few years.

This sprawling industrial fascility is where I work. We cook rubber and mold it into tires and then I throw them into big trucks.

Before I started throwing tires I used to work as a security guard in a little tiny shack (pictured here). A very nice little 8 by 8 cell where I would do 8 hours of time at a time for 8 dollars an hour.

An okay job for a while, but I'm glad not to be doing that any more.


Relations: Audiobooks

Relations: Audiobooks

(this news item posted on February.18.2006)

I would like to start recording Relations so that people can listen to it, and I'm asking for your help.

In October of 1994 I began writing Relations: book 1 - McEmpire. I had just written a book called the Autobiography of Alex Mead: How to Care About Humans which I wanted people to read and be inspired to think about how we could treat each other better. It had that effect on some of the people who read it, but it was available as an ebook only and most people would tell me that they were fans of books on paper and needed to hold a book in their hands to really get into it.

So I put some serious thought into what I wanted to write and commit to paper. I had been researching corporate malfeasance and the tactics and lies of their Public Relations firms for quite a while --reading some very detailed and academic books on the subject-- and I wondered if I could write a story, some fiction that could make all of these problems easily understood and spell out how horrible it all is for human beings and the interconnected web of life.

People who said that they would read a book of mine if I put it on paper were mostly true to their word; I sold a lot more copies of Relations book 1 than I sold of my autobiography eBook. But now I am encountering a new problem. There are so many people that tell me that they are interested in what I've written but they don't have any time to read any book at all.

So I want to record an audiobook. I want people to be able to listen to Relations driving in their car, or online, or in their MP3 player. As the people who've read the two books well know, there are more than 100 characters in these books. So I was really hoping to get a lot of voices in on this thing. I'd really like to take a lot of care in matching voices to characters and make this realistic fiction that much more realistic.

You wanna help? Let me know.

If you have a particular favorite character, especially minor characters, and you believe you sound like them or embody them, please let me know.

If you have an interest in reading but are unfamiliar with that characters and I know what you sound like, let me know.

If you are unfamiliar with the characters, there are free chapters of the book available on the internet at my website

If I don't know what you sound like, feel free to record a voice message and email it to me.

And thank you to the people who have already volunteered to help out on this.

Peace & Love,


Beer, Radio & Mutual of Omaha

Beer, Radio & Mutual of Omaha

(this news item posted on February.15.2006)

So, I was all set to get lots of website work done that I've owed everybody for ages... when I was suddenly beseiged by...

Powerful Distractions

Two great new radio experiences have just sprung up. Seemingly out of nowhere, though they've both been around for quite some time.

fuuse.com had been without their live stream for quite a while. It's sort of a community and radio station for Unitarian Universalist young adults, so for months and months it's been a radio station without any radio station to it. But suddenly it's back, better than ever, and I've listened to much more of it than I've had time to.

Then, our local "community" type radio station has been taken over, sort of by us, and so now it is a 24 hour Progressive Talk format station with lots more awesome Pacifica programming and a lot of Air America talk show and such. I've listened to more of it than I've had time for.

No, I haven't taken up drinking. My 30 years on the wagon continue. My roommate, however, an individual who agreed not to drink in the computer room (but often agrees to things with no intention of honoring his agreements) got bombed and passed out in the computer room. My Rage Aginst the Machine CD sitting in a pool of beer. Beer poured into the computer keyboard so that it no longer works and so that I lost a whole day off completely unable to do any computer work. And then also the carpet still smells like beer and probably will for some time to come making it hard to concentrate.

Yeah. So, that didn't help much.

And, of course, I've still been working long hours every day trying to get caught up to my out-of-control financial debt nightmare.

Did you ever used to watch Mutual of Omaha. You know, that old nature show where Jim used to get out and wrestle the aligator. I got to be the aligator yesterday at work.

Every once in a great while, some management type guy in a button down blue shirt will lead a tour through the warehouse. Usually work is endless hours of solitude in the back of a dark trailer, so it's really odd when people suddenly appear.

It's also really odd when people start talking about you in the 3rd person when you're right next to them. You begin to feel like an exhibit of sorts.

"See the way he throws those two tires at the same time. Those tires weigh 40 pounds a piece!" (he was mistaken, they were much lighter than that, but it sounded good)

"This particular one used to work in the Guard Shack. Working back here is probably a real step up for him." (Yeah, doubling your income can generally be viewed as a "step up", but a simple way to find out might be to ask him. He actually speaks English in addition to his tire throwing abilities.)

Okay, so now that I've gotten myself a new keyboard and a new day off from work and I've turned the radio off and written a journal entry I think I'm gonna actually get some work done. Wish me luck.


Your Very Own General Update...

(this news item posted on February.04.2006)

Hello people that read about my life.

Here's some stuff from it

1,000 Cows:
I've been talking about my 12 years of vegetarianism for the last three months probably. But as of now, it has been officially 12 years. 1994 to now. Wow.

I gave up red meat about 6 months before that, so the fast food fascists haven't had Alex Mead to kick around for an age. Nyah.

Hair today, Here tomorrow:
So I had this plan for my hair (pictured). I was gonna grow it out until Opus this year and then let somebody cut it and donate it to locks of love and have people take a million billion pictures of me (like the last couple guys to chop their hair off at Opus), but, well, um, I'm really starting to get attached to it. It's growing on me... erm... so to speak.

So, uh, nevermind that plan. I dunno if I'd have 12 surplus inches by August anyway.

So, I saw my friend Eddie U, who I had not seen in a while, and he came over to the house and hung out and I played some of my old computer songs for him and I think I'm inspired to start composing stuff again. Just messing about so far, but I think I will at least make some old stuff available online, if not make a bunch of new stuff.

I came out with 3 casette tapes in the 90s. And I had a great idea for a 4th one. I think I might remaster and reissue some of the 1st three on CD and then actually bust out that 4th one after all. A lot of the music for it is still there... hibernating on my computer.

Hows the Writing?
I'm still managing not to be writing any books right now. I'm very proud of myself. I am in the research phase of my historical novel. "Research Phase" being a fancy term for spending hours at a time clicking around on the Wikipedia.

Putting Your Financial House in Order
Slowly but slowly I'm clawing my way out of debt and stuff. Having my lucrative tire throwing job is a big help.

The Love Life:
Has me loving life.




Let's Talk About the Orange Elephant...

(this news item posted on January.22.2006)

Have you ever gotten the feeling that people are talking about you. You convince yourself that you're just paranoid but then you see them pointing at you. Or they actually say something loud enough that you can overhear and then you know exactly what they're saying about you?

Right. So, rather than continuing to just walk past the big orange elephant in the corner, I guess I'll be the first to stop and ask "Um, hey. What's up with the orange elephant?"

Before I begin, I would remind us all that this is about to be a response to numerous sources and circumstances so no one person should get all bent out of shape about it, but life being what it is, probably everyone will. So it goes.

Today's Orange Elephant is polyamory. Specifically my polyamory. For those new to the term, polyamory is that crazy notion where you believe you can be in love with more than one person at the same time.

Commitment phobic:
I'll deal with the easiest first. I've actually had some arm-chair psychoanalist give me a dimestore diagnosis and conclude that I'm polyamorous because I'm too "weak willed" to be monogamous, adding that I was selfish and mentally unable to deal with temptation. This was a person who didn't know me, so I'm inclined not to take it so personally, but as most people that know me well can attest to, I spent about twenty teen and adult years being fiercly monogamous, never having cheated on a girlfriend, and... had the right monogamous woman happened along at the right time I could quite easily have been happily monogamous for the rest of my life. I still consider myself somewhat of an advocate for monogamy and really root for the monogamous relationships of my monogamous friends, but I feel like fewer and fewer of them are rooting for mine as they find out it's not monogamous.

You gonna get AIDS and DIE:
That's the most common reaction I get when I try to explain to someone that I'm polyamorous and what it means. A lot of it's societal. We have an American culture that's teaching us not to touch one another and to remain isolated in our homes where it's safe, and I sometimes feel like it'll only be another 10 years or so before America is entirely peopled with OCD type folks stuck in an agorophobic existance spending 10+ hours a day scrubbing themselves with antibacterial soap.

Okay, let's say hypothetically that there's a woman that I totally adore, that really would entertain the idea of a relationship with me, but for the fact that I'm polyamorous and therefore going to get AIDS and DIE. Now, in spite of the fact that I fully intend to love more than one person at a time let's consider the fact that I have been sexually involved with a grand total of one woman in this millenium. And let's estimate that during the time she's been keeping away from me for safety's sake she's had relations of some form or fashion with let's say six people. All things being equal, she'd have given herself six times the risk. But, let's say thing are not equal and let's realistically guess that the average person she's had relations with have had relations with one and a half times as many people as the person I've been with. Now we've assumed 9 times the risk. And factor in things like how much more fervant the average polyamorous person I talk to is about safer sex practices than the average youth out there trying to really impress some new person in a state of quasi-desperation. It's probably not a stretch to say that neither of us runs any particularly high chance of contracting AIDS and dying, but hers could still easily be ten times higher.

I bring this up, not to broadcast my personal business --because I'd much rather not have done that (even though technically my life is an open book, literally, available for purchase)-- and not to alienate someone that totally rocks, but rather, just to make the point that my intention to be in love with more than one person at a time doesn't give me some form of automatic suceptability to various maladies, nor does the intention to settle with one person innoculate you from such. Just because you limit yourself to one at a time and I don't doesn't pan out to the entirety of the equation. There are more factors than that.

Last time I gave blood I was HIV and Hepatitis free and I do truly believe that I am on my way to living a live where I won't be contracting AIDS, and dying from it.

Thanks for your concern though.

If you are with more than one person why not just call yourself single?

Why don't you call yourself a turnip?

I don't call myself single because I'm not single. My relationship with Heather has been ongoing for three really wonderful years and we really intend to grow old and happy together. We have the kind of commitment where any number of days can pass and we still wake up wanting to be together through the good circumstances and the bad. She and I have a level of communication that I never allowed myself to have in any of my previous relationships. I am in love in a way that I never have been before and our polyamory works for both of us. We are both totally into our relationship with one another, we enjoy talking with each other about who we're dating --even as disaterously as that often goes in my case (excessive honesty is I think what they call the problem I have)-- and I appreciate that most people aren't into that, but we are.

You can't be both, you're not being true to yourself:
I've had people on both sides of the issue tell me that I can't be both. I've got to stick to one side or the other. What this says to me is that in any group, it's easy to pick out the idiots. I've gotten to know a lot of polyamorous people over the last couple years, and I really like most of them, and there are some that are total whackalicious freaks. I have found the same to be true of married people or single people or black people or left-handed people or whatever.

When I was 27 I made a decision to completely stop dating until I truly believed I found the right person for myself. A polyamorous person was not anything that I had really ever concieved of or would have wanted to imagine myself involved with. But that's who I met and fell in love with, and it doesn't just work for me a little bit, it TOTALLY works for me. My life has been kicking on all cylinders ever since.

People meet someone they like and change religions for them. To me, converting to Judaism or Catholicism for a person is a MUCH bigger deal than converting to polyamory, and yet people accept that. They acknowledge that that can work out sometimes. Hell, I've met people that have even become Republicans because they were so in love with somebody --talk about sick! But somehow, a "good" monogamist becoming polyamorous for someone is beyond the pale and just... just... not right.

So then...
I feel like I've watched a lot of friends slowly drift off and distance themselves. And they don't talk about it, so I never get to know precisely what's going on. But I feel like a lot of my married and monogamously involved friends don't want me around... because I'm going to turn their significant other Poly, or I'll want to have sex with them. A lot of people seem to think I've become a poly crusader because I put it in my books and such. I put a lot of great examples of happy monogamy in there too, but as soon as you first mention polyamory in a positive light you're suddenly "on their side" and "against our side".

I doubt I have the power to change anyone into anything they don't want to be changeed into. But before I knew anything about polyamory, I knew several people who were polyamorous and didn't know what to call it. My writing about my polyamorous experience is no different than a gay author wanting to talk about the gay experience or a Polish poet wanting to write about the Polish experience etc. I do think there are people who would definitely be helped by knowing that polyamory exists, and further, I think it would even help all the monogamous people because those polyamorous people would stop feeling pressure to form relationships with you that are of a nature where they're doomed to failure.

Your Closing Remarks:
So I guess I got the idea to write something like this when my latest Relations book, Smash Your TV, got mentioned on Polyamory Weekly and I wanted to post about it in my journal and then, for a brief moment I thought to myself, no all of my friends will think I'm pushing my polyamory on them again. And then I realized how sad that is. I'm not ashamed to be polyamorous and it isn't about to become anything I hide. I miss a lot of my old friends that don't really contact me so much anymore, but so it goes. I can always make new friends. And loves.


It's called Gratitude

(this news item posted on January.14.2006)

This is my Gratitude journal entry.

Sue, mom, thanks!

My father who apparently gave me some crazy genetics that enable me to throw 45 tons of rubber in one day: 'Preciate it.

My 6th grade teacher Ms. T. Thanks for believing in me.

My High School English teacher Ms. Kittleson, Math teacher Mr. Drajem and Computer teacher Mr. Alderdice, thanks for the foundations.

My college Art professor Ms. Payne for teaching me how to look with intensity.

All my 716BBS peoples for their enthusiasm about AMProSoft stuff.

All of the friends who have added to my life. All of the loves of my life that have helped me discover myself.

My internet buddies from the BBMB and other such places.

All of my activist and Community Building friends that nourish and nurture me.

All of my UU friends that seek with me. Especially my Opus friends, and especially the ones with whom I've had ongoing contact beyond Opus.

My performance poetry and theatre folks.

All of my friends that helped with the new book with all of the enthusiasm and encouragement.

All of the people that have bought my new book and helped it get back to #1 on the CafePress Sci-Fi list.

HeatherK. Love you.

Sincerely, thank you. For reading my journal and taking and interest in my life.

I'm going to go take it to email now and thank some folks more privately. You should do the same. There's someone you could be sending a thank you email to right now.

be Love,


My Mother

My Mother

(this news item posted on January.08.2006)

Had she lived, my mom would have been 62 years old today. I'm still stunned when people mention their mothers and I realize that their mothers are still alive. I still feel envious when someone tells me a story about their parent(s) helping them out of a tough situation.

I really miss my mom. When I write a book, I feel very sad that I can't give it to her to read and hear what she thiks of it.

When I perform in front of a big audience and do something that a lot of people enjoy, it makes me really sad that my relationship with my mother was cut short back at the point where I was terrified of stages and microphones and cameras. I go on the radio and she's not at home listening.

I need help and I can't just run to her and have her fix it, or say something that wouldn't occur to me so that I can fix it myself.

My mother didn't get to go to Rosemary's 60th Birthday or even have a 60th birthday of her own.

My mother wanted to live long enough to see me have children.

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.

(not every journal entry is happy and optimistic)