Author Archives: matthewsherling

24 hr live blog

(from last night)

we arrived at the campsite at richardsons grove in humboldt ~200 miles from San Francisco. we immediately set up tents when we got here, then our friends who had been here already for four hours informed us we were low on firewood. the firewood station is already closed bc it’s 11 o’clock here. I rummaged thru the woods using my iphone flashlight finding loose limbs. after I grabbed a warm mirror pond ale from a wooden box & decided to start typing this. it’s not midnight yet & there’s no service but I’m typing this into my ‘notes’ in my phone. hopefully I can find a way to submit this tmr. on the way down we talked about non dualism & viewing ‘technology’ & ‘nature’ not as separate things. I used to try to be as minimal as possible & I didn’t have a television or computer for three years. now I still don’t like television but I love my computer. when I moved to California I was by myself & my laptop became ~my best friend.

my friend joe just said ‘the stars look like that bc that’s how they live up there’.

‘that was a good hotdog but there was just way too much bun’ joe just said. I just cooked a hotdog over the fire. when the sun went down during our drive the sky looked very purple. by the time the sun went down I realized I had not taken any pictures via Instagram yet. ‘what is this I’m kicking – oh it’s wood’ joe said. ‘there’s a big white spider in the chain of the grill’ his girlfriend just said. I used to take pictures on my canon camera but now I usually just take them thru Instagram. I like documenting my life via social media. I started reading Taipei last night & read 150 pages of it. I am very captivated by it & am pleased with Tao’s intricate, highly specific metaphors that often involve mechanical imagery. there are little kids complaining loudly in a campsite next to us. ‘we are the center of the universe of this campground’ joes gf just said. there are bathrooms w showers next to us & that kind of bothers me. when I am camping I like to be remote. ‘what did I even do on my birthday?’ i just said outloud, ‘oh yeah I went to a concert w my friends.’ one of our tents is like a family sized tent & its door won’t zip closed. ‘if wishes were horses poor men would ride’ joe just said. ‘maybe if you just hope hard enough’ his gf said. sometimes I wonder what it is I am really trying to say but I don’t think that’s uncommon. probably nothing is uncommon and everything is happening all the time.

I try to eat vegetables but thats as far as it goes. I’m always trying tons of things – that’s usually where it ends. ‘my friend had a hatchet & his little brother tried to throw it at trees’ joes gf said. ‘I dont know if you guys know this, but joe here got kicked out of the 6th grader school dance for freaking too hard to kc & joe joe ‘all my life’. ‘I feel bad I missed out on the crocs fad’ joe just said, talking about the shoes, sarcastically.

joe is now wearing a hunting cap that is bulky & plaid & covers his ears. he said ‘the only bad thing abt this hat is I cant hear anything’.

I pretty much never sit in chairs I say. the only thing worse than hikers are horses that don’t respect hikers.

I just threw more wood in the fire & it got absurdly big too big & I felt like I threw too much on at one time, then I felt incompetent for not being watchful.

‘you imitate the noise of the mountain lions natural predator’ joe said when his gfs friend said how she never has heard a straight answer about how to read too a mountain lion. 40 percent of my diet is the same as the diet of a coyote.

things are as dangerous if not more dangerous indoors than out. there is obsession and there is memory and these things are not related but I am thinking about them both. my back Is freezing and my toes are on fire. my entire life operates along these lines. that’s okay but my shoes melted a little. i don’t have a hood & I feel like one of my eyeballs is slightly bigger than the other. but I can’t tell where one begins & the other ends. I can’t tell where I should put my arms sometimes.

joe & his gfs friend call each other ‘Jewish princess’ which amuses me but I always wanna know the backstory. but you know when someone has an inside joke that yr not a part of & you don’t feel justified to ask about its origins.

I just looked up to look at the sky, as I usually feel like i need to remind myself to look at the sky. but the redwood trees are obscuring the sky right now. that’s okay with me. ‘how old do you think year trees are?’ I just asked them. joes gfs friend just said that there’s a tree in muir woods that is older than recorded time.

his gf says ‘these trees have been telling us lies to try to get us to rub up on them’. joe said ‘I’m wearing this hat so I can’t tell how loud I’m talking’. there are people in the woods rustling around and I wonder what their motivations are.

firewood is just wood if it doesn’t catch fire. if I can’t find it on YouTube it probably doesn’t exist. ‘I can only see your silhouette and it feels like im talking to complete darkness’ I just said to his gfs friend.

(morning after)

I woke up at 930 this morning after drinking a number of beers last night. the sun felt pleasant & my tent didnt have a rain cover so the air & sun were entering openly. we ate bagels w cream cheese & bacon that joe had cooked when he woke up around 8. after eating we hiked ~3 miles up steep hills covered with redwood & oak trees. I climbed up multiple trees & joes gfs friend said ‘you’re just like a little boy at heart.’ my phone has been on ‘extended’ network which I keep turning off bc I heard it costs extra money. I brought Taipei down to the river currently & am sitting in a chair on the rocks. we watched a ~8 year old kid hesitate to jump off a rope swing from ~20 feet high. after he finally got the courage to jump, he climbed up the rocks repeatedly to jump again.

fanzine contacted me a few days ago, asking if I wanted to interview Tao Lin about Taipei. I said of course & sent Tao a FB msg, which he hasn’t responded to. I saw Tao speak in San Francisco the other night & he came to the same bar as us afterward. I was hoping to get 1 on 1 conversations w him but didn’t get to beside when he signed my book. I said ‘i didn’t expect you to write in cursive’. he said ‘I just recently started – it makes me to write faster’. when he & some of my friends were walking to a cab to go to Taos hotel room,
I yelled out ‘TAO’ & he turned around & gave me a very childlike wave & I said ‘PEACE’ & threw out a pointer-middle finger peace sign.

after the river today we came back & cooked tacos & ate them by the fire.

we ended up playing the game where people write a famous/semi famous person on a sticky note then place that sticky note on the head of the person next to us. the game involves each person asking one question per round to narrow down their guess of the person written on his or her head. we played it like 4 times & my personal highlight was guessing John wayne upon the second question I asked one round. I got lucky & asked about westerns. joe don’t do exceptionally till he guessed my sticky note which was Albert einstein. nobody assumed he would guess that so quickly.

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