Saturday, December 25, 2004

Looking Back

What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
I moved to San Francisco.

Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I don't think that I had any resolutions outside of not being in the hospital again (which I successfully avoided.) I try to change things as they need to be addressed.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope, but the baby of close friends came home after being born 4 months premature and spending 5 months in NICU.

Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank you!

What countries did you visit?
California. I keed, I keed. None.

What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
A secure, fulltime job.

What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 16th - that's when I pulled up in front of my apartment in the Mission.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Successfully moving to San Francisco. (Sensing a theme here?)

What was your biggest failure?
Not staying in better touch with the folks in Portland.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

With the exception of my friend, James, cutting my forehead open by throwing a bar towel at me that had a strainer in it, no. To be fair, he didn't know there was anything in the towel when he chucked it. And, dear God, what I wouldn't do for pictures of his face when he saw that my head was bleeding. Pure comedy.

What was the best thing you bought?
Smoooochie's ticket. Hands down. Followed closely by my iPod and eyeglasses.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
Nearly everyone, actually. I know some of the kick-assest people on the planet.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The US government, for sure.

Where did most of your money go?

Travel/transportation/moving expenses and *cough* bars.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving to San Francisco.

What song will always remind you of 2004?
Just one?
'Slow Jam'/'My Angel Rocks Back And Forth' – Fourtet
'Silent Sigh' – Badly Drawn Boy
'Bubblegum Years' – Gomez (thanks again, Abby!)
'Whipping Piccadilly' – Gomez
'I'll Be Seeing You' – Rickie Lee Jones
'Fitted Shirt'/'All The Pretty Girls Go To The City' – Spoon
'Starfish & Coffee' - Prince
'All Is Full Of Love' – Death Cab For Cutie
'Float On' – Modest Mouse
'Everything Hits At Once' – Spoon
'Girl Boy Song' – Aphex Twin
'Do You Realize?' – The Flaming Lips

Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? exponentially happier
thinner or fatter? thinner
richer or poorer? poorer

What do you wish you'd done more of?

What do you wish you'd done less of?

Waiting for MUNI. But it did give me time to think and things to watch.

How will you be spending Christmas?

Chilling and hanging out with friends.

Did you fall in love in 2004?
Yes, with SF.

What was your favorite TV program?
I don't watch TV, but it would either be 'Farscape' or 'That 70’s Show'

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
'Hate' is a very strong word. No.

What was the best book you read?
I started reading 'The Years of Rice and Salt' by Kim Stanley Robinson, one of my favorite authors. That’s only book that I've had a chance to pick up and I haven't come remotely close to finishing it. BUT!! I did actually get to meet KSR at a reading a few weeks ago. Good stuff.

What was your greatest musical discovery of 2004?
See list above, with the exceptions of Prince and Rickie Lee Jones. Add The Shins, The Postal Service and Zero 7 to the list.

What did you want and get?
A new city, a new life and my iPod.

What did you want and not get?
A make out session with a cute guy on my birthday, but I only have myself to blame for that.

What was your favorite film of this year?
'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Sushi, Eddie Izzard and lazy conversation w/friends. I turned 35.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Nothing. Of course, it would be fabulous to have happily come into a large sum of money, but I won't complain.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

What kept you sane?
My friends, laughing, Tribe.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have a perpetual crush on Ira Glass. Nothing new.

What political issue stirred you the most?
The election.

Who did you miss?
Various friends and family members, because I'd love to have them in the mix with the friends I have here.

Who was the best new person you met?
I can't possibly limit that to one person, but finally meeting Abby and Aaron turned out to be one of the most fulfilling cases of delayed gratification that I've ever experienced.

I also have to say that the most phenomenal friendship that I've built in years has been with Smoooochie. There are not words to describe how much this woman rocks.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
As a friend of mine used to say, "No asky, no getty." Especially when asking for things from the universe. Ask respectfully and without selfishness, then be prepared to hit the ground running and work your ass off.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant

My heart was going boom boom boom
'Hey,' I said, 'You can keep my things, they've come to take me home.'"
-Peter Gabriel "Solsbury Hill"

A quote from a book that sums up the year and recent cycle of growth:
"Av for velocity, delta for change. In space this is the measure of the change in velocity required to get from one place to another - thus, a measure of the energy required to do it.

Everything is moving already. But to get something from the (moving) surface of the Earth into orbit around it requires a minimum Av of ten kilometers per second; to leave Earth's orbit and fly to Mars requires a minimum Av of 3.6 kilometers per second; and to orbit Mars and land on it requires a Av of about one kilometer per second. The hardest part is leaving Earth behind, for that is by far the deepest gravity well involved. Climbing up that steep curve of spacetime takes tremendous force, shifting the direction of an enormous inertia.

History too has an inertia. In the four dimensions of spacetime, particles (or events) have directionality; mathematicians, trying to show this, draw what they call "world lines" on graphs. In human affairs, individual world lines form a thick tangle, curling out of the darkness of prehistory and stretching through time: a cable the size of Earth itself, spiraling around the sun on a long curved course. That cable of tangled world lines is history. Seeing where it has been, it is clear where it is going - it is a matter of simple extrapolation. For what kind of Av would it take to escape history, to escape an inertia that powerful, and curve a new course?

The hardest part is leaving Earth behind."

- 'Red Mars', Kim Stanley Robinson

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Palindromic moments

Today at work, I glanced at the time clock and saw "12:21 12/21".

Well, huh.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Way cheesy birthday post

Do You Realize? - The Flaming Lips

Do you realize
That you have the most beautiful face?
Do you realize
We're floating in space?
Do you realize
That happiness makes you cry?
Do you realize
That everyone you know someday will die?

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes
Let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun don't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

Do you realize - Oh - Oh - Oh
Do you realize
That everyone you know
Someday will die?

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes
Let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun don't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

I invoke full birthday rights for slacking on this entry. I'll post more original thoughts later. But for now, as much as my birthday is about me, for me, it's also about realizing, yet again, how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such great people. Life is fleeting, especially the older we get. I can remember trying to fathom 364 days the day after Christmas and what an eternity it seemed. Now, as an adult, it's physically December but mentally March for me in terms of active plans.

This is neither good nor bad, just a fact. I try as often as possible to remind myself to stay current, in the here and now, instead of losing myself in the shifting slipstream of future plans and possibilities. It's hard, because it is a bad habit that is deeply ingrained. But the people that I love need me to be here and with them in the moment if we're really going to be an operating community. The immediate moments carry a weight and importance that all of the planning in the universe cannot replace.

And so, I both claim my friends and family of choice as the best birthday gift possible and renew my commitment to remaining in the here and now, for presence. Thank you, each one of you, for your presence in my life. I'm feeling like a lucky son (*cough* daughter) of a gun these days.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

For Mynx

Per a discussion with Mynx about writing and the possibility of a salon, here is one of my most recent recycled revisions. Smoooochie's seen it already, with the exception of one very minor change. No deep message, just a bunch of wordplay and rhythm work.

"As Yet Untitled"

this eternal circle
cycle of life

examined beneath the microscope of intellect
emotions will always
fall short
and defy the laws
of the mind

tear it apart and discuss it
discard it
for its apparent absurdity

treat it like a disease
and search for a cure to the human condition

try to excuse oneself from the
human part of 'humanity'

circle in
circle out
but never come to rest

refuse to ingest

only attempt
to interject
a certain 'perfect sense'
in the senseless and perfectly
imperfect circle of being

Friday, December 10, 2004


While combing through old writing, I came across a miscategorized file which is the copy from an old Nike ad. Now, I know that many people howl about the evils of advertising, but I have a longstanding fascination with ads, as my favorite ones are often examples of impressive writing skills, both concise and moving (hence, of course, their power of persuasion/manipulation.)

At any rate, here is the copy from that ad. Reading it again more a decade later, it hasn't lost any of its power for me. I'm sure that some of it is because my birthday is just a few days away and that this year has been representative of the more poignant aspects of the ad's message and that even though I'm unemployed under the most bizarre circumstances, I'm still full of awe for this whole thing we call 'life' and the crazy, creative process known as 'living'.

Fear of failure
fear of success
fear of losing your health
fear of losing your mind
fear of being taken too seriously
fear of not being taken seriously enough
fear that you worry too much
fear that you don't worry enough
your mother's fear you'll never marry
you father's fear that you will

you were born a daughter
you looked up to your mother
you looked up to your father
you looked up at everyone
you wanted to be a princess
you thought you were a princess

you wanted to own a horse
you wanted to be a horse
you wanted your brother to be a horse
you wanted to wear pink
you never wanted to wear pink
you wanted to be a veterinarian
you wanted to be president
you wanted to be the president's veterinarian
you were picked last on the team
you were the best one on the team
you refused to be on the team

you wanted to be good in algebra
you hid during algebra
you wanted boys to notice you
you were afraid boys would notice you
you started to get acne
you started to get breasts
you started to get acne that was bigger than your breasts
you wouldn't wear a bra
you couldn't wait to wear a bra
you couldn't fit into a bra

you didn't like the way you looked
you didn't like the way your parents looked
you didn't want to grow up

you had your first best friend
you had your first date
you had your second best friend
you had your second first date
you got kissed
you got to kiss back
you went to the prom
you didn't go the prom
you went the prom with the wrong person
you spent hours on the telephone
you fell in love
you fell in love
you fell in love

you lost your best friend
you lost your other best friend
you really fell in love
you became a steady girlfriend
you became a significant other


Sooner or later, you start taking yourself seriously. You know when you need to take a break. You know when you need a rest. You know what to get worked up about, and what to get rid of. And you know when it's time to take care of yourself, for yourself. To do something that makes you stronger, faster, more complete.

Because you know that it's never too late to have a life.

And never too late to change one.

Soooo, yeah. If you're reading this, whether you know it or not, you've likely played a fairly significant role in my life over the course of the last year. Thanks so very much for that. I can't help but feel incredibly blessed.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Resolutions and forward movement

All of that is over and done with. A balance has been struck and equilibrium reached. I'm tired past tired. As soon as I get a new job, I'm going to sleep for three months.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Job hunting and other perversions of marketing

In my never ending quest to find yet another seasonal or 'oh-holy-crap-we're-bankrupt!' bartending position, I have been swimming the seas of craigslist like a little monkey on crack for the past several weeks. The wide variety of how people recruit is interesting. From 'You come to work, clean and on time, don't kill our customers too often and we pay you on a regular basis. Fax or email resume.' to pitches that very nearly chart your path through the corporate structure and implied pie charts and bar graphs.

This one, however, tops the charts in the category of truly bizarre and not a little creepy:

Sleigh bells ring
are you listening
in the lane
the sun is glistening
A beautiful sight
we're happy tonight
working in a restaurant wonderland
Gone away is the old job
here to stay is a fab job
I sing a new song
as I move along
working in a restaurant wonderland
In a new job we can be so happy
We can have a quality of life
You’ll say: Are you happy?
I'll say: yes man
And you will want my job
when you're around
Later on
we'll conspire
as we dream by the fire
To face unafraid
the plans that we've made
working in a restaurant wonderland
In the restaurant we can build a new life
Have 2 days off with great benefits
We'll have lots of fun with our new career
I’m glad I got a new job in town
When I’m hired
ain't it thrilling
Though your old boss gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play
In a hospitable way
working in a restaurant wonderland
working in a restaurant wonderland
working in a restaurant wonderland

I'm not certain whether to laugh or cry.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

"Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell"

I was waiting on a moment
But the moment never came
All the billion other moments
Were just slipping all away
I must have been tripping

Just ego tripping....

I was waiting on a moment
But that moment never came

Reality checks sometimes come from the strangest places. =)