Sunday, January 30, 2005

File under: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Someone has decided to overlay a trance beat on the score of 'American Beauty'. It's beyond bad.

Is there some kind of race to prove just how shallow the gene pool has become?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

But she seemed like such a 'nice' girl....

Yesterday, Abby, in her merciful observation that none of us spend nearly enough time caught between navel gazing and staring at the monitor, posted a link to yet another quiz. (And to give proper credit, I believe that she found this through Mike. Thanks Mike!)

I readily admit to loving quizzes. Most of the people I know do. Sometimes they're pretty hokey and those I tend to avoid. I could not care less what celebrity I'm best matched with, for example. However, some I find pretty intruiging and not a little amusing.

The first go resulted in being categorized as a People's Advocate. This seemed pretty spot on, but I'm always a bit skeptical, and I've been breaking out of some old 'should' habits and working on drilling down or carving out an essential framework that reflects and supports my personal values, desires and goals in a truer manner. This process has led me to make some surprising (even to myself) choices. Moving to SF, for instance. So, I was interested in seeing the result when I answered from that mindset.

With that in mind, I went back and retook the quiz. I won't say that I was stunned at the results, but it prompted a long, "oh shit, BUSTED!" fit of laughter. My inner Frisbee is, apparently, an Anarchist.

Wackiness: 60/100
Rationality: 48/100
Constructiveness: 78/100
Leadership: 72/100

You are a WECL--Wacky Emotional Constructive Leader. This makes you a People's Advocate.

You are passionate about your causes, with a good heart and good endeavors. Your personal fire is contagious, and others wish they could be as dedicated to their beliefs as you are.

Your dedication may cause you to miss the boat on life's more slight and trivial activities. You will feel no loss when skipping some inane mixer, but it can be frustrating to others to whom such things are important. While you find it difficult to see other points of view, it may be useful to act as if you do, and play along once in a while.

In any event, you have buckets of charisma and a natural skill for making people open up. Your greatest asset is an ability to make progress while keeping the peace.

Of the 83434 people who have taken this quiz since tracking began (8/17/2004), 6.1 % are this type.

Wackiness: 66/100
Rationality: 32/100
Constructiveness: 44/100
Leadership: 78/100

You are a WEDL--Wacky Emotional Destructive Leader. This makes you a Anarchist.

You don't give a damn. When push comes to shove, you just forget about it--it's just not worth the heartache. What this means for others is that dealing with you can be aggravating, because they find they can't get you motivated about things they care about. What this means for you is that you are happier, calmer, and saner then they are on their best days.

You are near-immune to criticism, and those who know you well acknowledge and respect that. You may come across as lazy, but the truth is that you find little to get worked up about. Regardless, you have slews of friends, because they are fascinated by your world view, jealous of your lifestyle, and drawn to the fact that you are hilarious to be around.

You are a pillar in a sea of hot-bloodedness. You have a sweet tooth.

Of the 83450 people who have taken this quiz since tracking began (8/17/2004), 2.9 % are this type.

Friday, January 28, 2005

More unintentional comedy from the classifieds

"While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl and taste or smell.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, and the ability to adjust focus."

I can't even begin to imagine what the interview must be like.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


hope may
spring eternal
disappointment is
a dark
the soul

Thursday, January 20, 2005

California Girls

On my desk, as of five minutes ago, is a certain piece of identification that came in the mail today from the California DMV, containing my vitals and a predictably poor picture of me.

I am now a legal Californian.

There are plans to go out drinking tonight and I'm unsure as to whether I should tape it to my forehead or pin it to my jacket.



Apparently, someone has been leaking very sensitive information to the press about the enigmatic and esoteric social dynamics of the restaurant industry.

For shaaame!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Hotdogs and headtrips

Hokay, so I was supposed join some of the Mission Folks at Beth's house for dinner one Sunday last summer before we went to see Jeremy's performance. Due to a very obnoxious coworker, it took me a 1½ hour longer to get home than it usually does. I missed dinner, had almost no time to unwind and made it to the show with mere minutes to spare, still tense.

To expedite the relaxation process, Iona gave me one of her brownies during intermission. Now, I'm not a smoker, nor have I ever been. I'm not opposed to it, and if it's offered, I may or may not take it, but I don't seek it out. Which is to say that my tolerance is most definitely on the low side.

Still agitated and hungry, instead of joining the group for cocktails after the performance, I wandered off to Cala where I roamed the aisles aimlessly, picking things up and putting them back down, unable to find anything appealing or appetizing. This fascinating state of ravenous ambivalence lasted the better part of 20 minutes before I reached the deli section.

There, I came around the far corner of the deli reach-in and found these packages of hot dogs – beef franks, to be exact - that were the longest motherfuckers I had EVER seen. They seemed to defy physics, logic and comprehension. They were astounding. The only thing I could do was walk past them, staring; look over my shoulder, staring; bump into the deli guy, because I was looking over my shoulder, staring.

Admittedly, this doesn't really make much sense, but somehow, I thought that if I went to the produce section and shopped for lettuce, I would be able to clear my head of the insanely long wieners. But they were like a fucking event horizon. The only thing I could do was return to the deli and stare in awe at the wieners and whisper, "My...gawd!". It was at this point that I saw the 'BIG BUY' pack and, God's honest truth, I think I cried out audibly. It was a pack of 12, count them (I did), 12, and they were EVEN LONGER than the first ones I saw.


Once again, I tried to leave the area, but something even stronger than trainwreck fascination – sheer and utter disbelief, perhaps – drew me back two more times before I finally purchased the 'BIG BUY' pack. I'd put money down that the guy at the cash register chuckled when he asked me if I needed anything else. Walking home, I was certain that I would wake up to find that they were, in actuality, little cocktail sausages and be forced to face the fact that I'd finally dipped more than just my toe into the pool of crazy.

*Fast forward to Monday morning*

I hear one of my roommates yell, 'Holy SHIT!!' I come into the kitchen and find her pointing and staring in a familiar state of disbelief at the open refrigerator, "Did you see the size of these fuckers?!?"


And who am I
but complicated and tentative, fragile faith
protected by easy and confident cynicism.
Cutting wit and sharp sarcasm
are the sphinxes guarding the secret of this trembling soul
against the ignorant bruisings
of the careless and unintentional tourist.

Here beneath this tundral surface,
would you dare to suppose
that belief runs,
burning through these veins and
exhaling deep breaths
across the verdant landscape of faith and love?
Would you dare to know that
this doubt that cries out loudly
is truly a voice from the deepest well of belief?
Would you dare to discount this harmless facade
to touch the truth shining just beneath the surface?

Yet and still I turn away
so as not to see your eyes seeing me.
Pale, thin fear that you will;
sharp, desperate anger that you won't.
And what then?
Who would have the courage
to step beyond this circle of carefully constructed certainty
and touch the truth that burns within?

I ask because I believe in love.
Every day to the altar I bring my offering
and place upon the fire
my sacrifice of anger
of hate
of pain.
Every day I bring these offerings
to the altar of love.
Burn them up.
Because I believe in love.
Take them away.
I believe in love.
Take this knowledge of pain
and turn it into strength.
I believe in love.
Take this knowledge of hate
and turn it into compassion.
I believe in love.

(Another old piece, slightly reworked and tightened up. Might play with it some more. Hee! I sure had a penchant for earnestness and declaration 10 years ago!)

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Prodigal Parent Returns...Again

Seven and a half years later.

An empty envelope. "ADDRESS SERVICE REQUEST" highlighted in pink. Pink?! She hates pink.

My last name, which is her last name, is misspelled.

An empty envelope.

Seven and a half years later.

And all that I can think of is this:

Your body may be gone, I'm gonna carry you in.
In my head, in my heart, in my soul.
And maybe we'll get lucky and we'll both live again.
Well I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Don't think so.

Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I'll tell you what you get.
You get away from me. You get away from me.
Collected my belongings and I left the jail.
Well thanks for the time, I needed to think a spell.
I had to think awhile. I had to think awhile.

The ocean breathes salty, won't you carry it in?
In your head, in your mouth, in your soul.
And maybe we'll get lucky and we'll both grow old.
Well I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I hope so.

Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I'll tell you what you get.
You get away from me. You get away from me.
Collected my belongings and I left the jail.
Well thanks for the time, I needed to think a spell.
I had to think awhile. I had to think awhile.

Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I'll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky.
You missed when time and life shook hands and said goodbye.
When the earth folded on itself.
And said "Good luck, for your sake I hope heaven and hell
are really there, but I wouldn't hold my breath."
You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste death?
You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste death?

The ocean breathes salty, won't you carry it in?
In your head, in your mouth, in your soul.
The more we move ahead the more we're stuck in rewind.
Well I don't mind. I don't mind. How the hell could I mind?

Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I'll tell you what you get.
You get away from me. You get away from me.

Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I'll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky.
You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste the afterlife?

"The Ocean Breathes Salty" - Modest Mouse

All I can think is that for over 3 decades she had the chance to do it right and for so many years she either couldn't or didn't. The constructed crises, the fake suicides, the terminal illnesses that were in reality pure conjecture, the very real mind fucks upon mind fucks for years upon years; should I feel anything but a deeply suspicious distrust at this? Now?

How long and hard have I fought for this life that I have always wanted, thought possible and love so very much? How many oceans of broken glass have I crawled across to reach this shore and this present that I have worked so goddamned hard to make real? If she for one moment thinks that an empty envelope can be tossed into the post and be used as a calling card to demand my presence/energy and the responsibility of the good daughter to come back to the fold, she has one motherfucking thing after another coming.

Am I mad? Yes. I am fucking LIVID. Past livid actually, I'm at the point of cold detachment. My love and those chains have been yanked far too many times for me to respond now with anything but abject and near incomprehensible disbelief. I mean really: what the fucking fuck?

We've had so many chances, I have come back so many times, I have tried so many times to make reparations, justifications, allowances, pleaded, explained away, hidden things from others on her behalf, only to have it turned around on me, only to be accused of ingratitude and selfishness. Time and fucking time time again. But this is my world and my life now. I refuse to give it up. Any of it.

Sunny came home with a list of names
She didn't believe in transcendence
It's time for a few small repairs she said
Sunny came home with a vengeance

"Sunny Came Home" - Shawn Colvin

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

" is Undergoing Maintenance"


I really know I should be past the point of having these spasms of separation anxiety when Tribe goes down and I'm not prepared, but apparently I'm not.

"Hey, I was watching that!"

Suburban life

Last week, while mowing the lawn, I noticed that we had some strange and, to this city girl's eyes, highly inexplicably random mounds of dirt scattered throughout the yard. I immediately emailed my fiancé, F, to make sure he hadn't returned to his old habit of digging holes in his sleep (it's a bizarre family affliction that affects only the second oldest child of eight, if they are male. Strange luck...) He assured me his nocturnal wanderings had been put to rest (snicker) and said he had no ideas given my description. When he came home for lunch, he carefully evaluated the physical evidence and gravely stated his conclusion, which is to say that he dug a hole beside one of the mounds and said, "Yup. Gophers."

"GOPHERS?!" cried my inside voice, "I thought gophers lived in Idaho. On potato farms. This ain't Idaho and this ain't no potato farm. Looks like somebody got into the potato vodka and took a wrong turn at Nevada."

In order to fully appreciate the context of this scenario, you need to know that Molly, the dog, is obsessed with rats. Not simply chasing rats, but digging them out of their nests. And apparently gophers will do nicely, thank you very much. (A dog does need some variety from time to time; she patiently explained that to me the other day.)

So, we have the lawn, which I have just managed to coax back to life after having hacked it to bits mercilessly in May following several months of neglect; we have a drunken gopher who is not only going to have a mother of a hangover when all that vodka wears off (see, I *KNOW* he's drunk because he can't even burrow in a straight line), but who is going to be furious when he realizes that he's no longer in Idaho and these stringy things he's been gnawing on are not, in fact, potatoes; and last of all we have an indiscriminate, rat-chasing dog who climbs over me at 5:30 am in order to unceremoniously and firmly plant her rump on my head so as to comfortably observe the gopher at work while twitching, scratching and emitting strange gurgling sounds punctuated by Tourette-like strangled yelps.

This, again, brings us back to the lawn. It now resembles a small minefield, riddled as it is with gophers hills and Molly holes. I should have never cut the grass.

On the practical side of things, we're trying to figure out how to deal with these alien beings. It turns out that EVERYone has a different solution. Most of which involve some form of violent death. This seemed reasonable for about five minutes.

The concept was put to the test when, one morning, I looked out and saw little gopher guy (gal?) pushing dirt up out of the hole, ran into the garage, grabbed a shovel, crept out to the hole and delivered several hard whacks to the hill.

In the midst of whacking, I heard a sharp crack and was struck, no wait, the gopher was struck...I'm so confused (understand, this was a traumatic moment for me). Sooo yeah, I realized that crack could have been little gopher guy's head. I could have KILLED him. I felt awful. I mean, I know I thought, "I'm going to keel that steenking gopher. I'll show heem!!" But I didn't mean KILL him. I only wanted him to go bother someone else. Even if only across the road. Just go! But the end result was me standing there on the front lawn at 8:30 in the morning, in my bathrobe, shovel raised up over my shoulder, emphatically apologizing to a mound of dirt while the rat obsessed mini pinscher mutt barked rabidly in the bedroom window.

Did I mention that the neighbors love us?

So…no, nothing much to report from here. Love to do dinner, but I've gotta run for now, Molly's barking at the woodpile now. Lord only knows what will emerge from THAT.

[I don't suppose that I need to point out that suburbia and I were not a good match.]

"Tomorrow Never Comes"

[More old, somewhat reworked]

The light had been wrong all day: somehow too bright for comfort and too dim for use. At once too much and not enough. I took longer than I should have leaving. As I put my coat on, someone asked if I needed my time card but seeing John waiting outside for me, I said no, I don’t have time. I’ll do it tomorrow. Like the light, I had been out of sorts, wrong, all day. Too present to be numb but too distant to do something about it: irritated and distracted by pettiness and frustration. Our buddy, Fred, was there and the three of us spilled onto the street, giddy from stress and exhaustion; eager to be done with that place. When we reached the car, Fred & I sat inside rubbing our hands and exhaling clouds of warm breath into the chilled air, as he scraped the thin film of ice from the windows. We had both wondered at the strange backsteps that I always seemed to take in our intimacy. Difficult he said of me, unreasonable he told me, impossible he called me. Why do you hate me so? he asked mockingly. Why won’t you let me love you? he asked later, seriously. I marveled silently at his careful attention to each window, laughing to myself that I wouldn’t need to see anything but him. He climbed into the car and began to drift us out of the parking space. The three of us chatted randomly about the night. Unable to answer, I’d changed the subject, refusing him that path. Denying entrance. Later, as the day took away more than I had to give, I looked up and, seeing him, felt the pettiness and the frustration slip away, replaced by a sudden, fierce and determined love. As we pulled out of the lot and onto the street, I was calculating the length of time before we dropped Fred off and were alone. My defenses down and the distractions gone, I couldn’t deny how much I loved him and I felt the furious ache to let him know. I laughed again, as the weight of the day fell away, I knew it was time to make a change. Time to undo all of my fearful doings and defensive postures. Raze my protective constructs. feeling free, Rounding the tired-of-fighting-myself corner of my soul, filled with the happy knowledge that Fred’s car was less than a hundred yards away. I knew an irrepressible urgency to show him. As soon as we were alone, I’d make him understand, I promised myself. I’d leave no room for doubt. I laughed still as I glanced out the windshield and saw not the street, but huge wheels sail past the nose of the car. God, I loved him so much. The laugh checked itself in my throat: they seemed so close. Too close. John Time watch slowed out! impossibly....

There was a crystal silence in that moment, distantly broken by the defrost fan. Slow motion sound engulfed by immense silence in that instant before large body connected with larger body and finally only the unnatural, sickening sound filling my bones as metal began to tear and assume unintended shape.

It was out my window I looked then, as my body was pressed against the door. Through the thin sheet of returning ice, I watched the black description of tire tread curl the glass into a white spiderweb and felt the metal wrap itself around me, leaving no room for doubt.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

"Consider the process of walking"

Consider the process of walking;
to throw ourselves off-balance by
falling forward and then to catch
ourselves with the other leg;
thus the journey begins;

fall and step;
everything in balance, but nothing at rest;
rise and fall of night-day
wax and wane of winter-spring
the life and death of a balance
which is always in motion
moving as the leaves move
through their own decay to become again
the life of earth
moving as the threads of warp and woof
move into the patterns of the cloth
and of those ancient textures
and of those threads of fabric
is man
neither separate nor above
but intricately and always interwoven
enmeshed is he
within the fabric of earth's thin cloak of air
within the mantle of the fragile soils
within the veils of mists and flowing water
always in motion
always becoming something else
not a thing, but a process
itself in procession out of the sun
around the sun
under the sun
without whose terrible radiance
there is no alternative
and man is the walker again
fall forward
and by pushing away once more
becomes the space walker
the upright creature with a superior view
looking down on earth
and from that height forgets his
breathing is older than his science
and is part of the process
forgets that the ripened fruits of earth
do not intend their shape or flavor
for him alone
forgets that this flesh and blood and bone
can never be free from soil and sun and rain
but are part of the process

and still there persists
the illusion of dominance
forgetting that humility means
a closeness with earth
a kinship with soil
and this is the reality from which
there is no escape

perhaps it must come to this
after the forests are destroyed
after the soils are washed away
or blown to dust
after the air and water are thick with
the poisons of man's growth
after this and so much more
will he plant his plastic flowers
in some desert to
celebrate his reverence for life

perhaps it is only through creating
the flowers that cannot die
that he will remember his own mortality
and earth's own limit

and this too is part of the process
to discover
to forget
and then to rediscover that what is enough
can only be measured against what is too much

and thus catch ourselves before
we fall, as in walking
consider then,
the process of living.

-Dirk Meyer

I've been reading this poem for years and it never ceases to amaze me.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


I don't really believe in resolutions for the new year. Recapping the old year so as to look forward is far more useful in my mind. This is my recap.

This year, I:

broke no bones
was not in the hospital
broke my heart
mended my life
was my own hero
threw hissy fits
threw up
sweat blood
lost sleep
dreamed just for me
dreamed bigger than I'd ever dreamed before
fought nightmares
heard the call
stepped up to the challenge
calculated the risks
made more contingency plans than the UN
played the odds
rolled the dice
took the chances
stepped into the slipstream
moved a world and a half away
skinned my knees and bruised my heart
did the right thing even when it hurt
did the not so right thing and learned a thing or two
got callouses
cried on a shoulder
gave a shoulder to cry on
made new friends
lost some old ones
fell in love with a city
surprised myself
ate hamburgers
held my ground
chose my battles
heard my voice and liked it
spun like a top
sat still
took a running leap
asked for abundance
hit the ground running
worked my ass off
grew even when it hurt (and it did hurt)
planted my landing
started writing again
walked my talk
let some people down
let myself down
loved myself in spite of everything else


I failed - some places
I succeeded - other places
I learned to extend grace - in all places
I realized what was important to me
I remembered how to fall in love with life

I fell in love with life.

I grew up.

I grew young.

I grew into me.