How can I write this book?
Saturday October 13th 2018, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Boozy,Miscellaneous, Truly,nextish Tags:

“Don’t be afraid of cliches,” says Brian Eno via Oblique Strategies. I think that’s the second time I’ve seen that. And thus clearly the way and the light. Though I would have guessed “more sleep”….

“It tastes like poison”
Sunday September 16th 2018, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Boozy Tags:

Who am I to tell her anything to the contrary? A carrier of the gene, whose mother died at 40-something, having endured a hysterectomy a handful of months ago, a double mastectomy last month, and complications that won’t heal that require still more surgery. Standing on her stoop, with my toddler, sick and thus banished days before her surgery, while her 8 year old both manfully expressed opinions about Liverpool’s attack and Manchester United’s midfield, and also sounded words out in a mythical animal mix-n-match book that was astonishing for its use, essentially, of syntactical rules to make the phrases line up across half-pages of independently flipped images/text.

YCT coming home tomorrow (at least I don’t have to declare bankruptcy this time), had observed that none of her crew really drank any more. One recovering alcoholic, so fair enough, but the others just 40 somethings with kids. “Is it us,” she wondered, and I wondered it to Needs An Acronym/Catchy Reference, who has been a spiritual ally as far as the booze go, and she replied, “It tastes like poison.”

I can’t imagine her world, inhabiting her body, looking at her children. But as the music plays and the pages turn and I fucking caress the curves of a large crystal red wine glass, savoring the 9 dollar Trader Joe’s special it displays with a beauty I delight in in ways that cannot possibly be healthy, at least part of me wonders if it _should_ taste like poison to me. I know it’s at the edge of a problem, but is it a disaster?


[Update: almost every post seems to be off by an hour. I’ve updated it manually for this one, and updated for summer time, but trust me,  I don’t write this shit at 8 pm.]

Things You Ask Yourself While Taking the Dog for a Pee Directly In Front of The House At Night While Your Child Sleeps Inside
Saturday September 15th 2018, 9:58 pm
Filed under: HelLA,himself Tags:

Should I lock the door? Unspeakable people could somehow sneak by me as I stand 25 feet from the door, enter the house, and do unspeakable things to my sleeping child. Should I not lock the door? There might be a fire, and while unspecified things stop me from returning from those 25 feet away with the dog and going back up the 2 flights of steps, he might need to flee for his life out the door, and though he’s got doors sorted, he hasn’t figured out the bottom lock yet.

So, death by stranger or death by fire?


(I left the door unlocked. Fire would suck.)

Day 5
Wednesday September 12th 2018, 9:11 pm
Filed under: Boozy,himself Tags:

Send wine.


I’m reduced to watching a dance movie by the creator of The a Step Up series. Sober. And I’m rather enjoying its Bollywoodish  antics. I’d be concerned if I weren’t so tired.

Pretty Good Year/Salad
Saturday September 08th 2018, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Berkeley,friends,memory,narrative,summer Tags:

The pancetta made the salad, really. Can’t think of a whole lot of nights, home alone with time, that salad was the choice, but a box of delivered vegetables forces some decisions.

Day one, solo plus small. No sweat. Tired, but fine.

Just finished a friend’s novel. Apparently I’m doing that, now. I’ve read a bunch of books by a bunch of friends, but they’ve mostly been academic/critical propositions, rather than novels. Not entirely: cancer-NY-now-Boston is a novelist, and I’ve loved her novels, though her memoir-of-disease hasn’t quite been do-able yet. Though a night spent talking long in NY, of bodies redefined by illnesses unknown, and seeing hemophilia and cystic fibrosis through that lens was revelatory. Which is, of course, what friends are for.

But this was a grad school novel, so a bit on the hybrid side. (Next up the German mystery/thriller? Maybe. For shits and giggles and vague resentment at a life lived in Berlin, perhaps.) Plus it was erotica-esque, which knowing the novelist isn’t all that surprising. Her mind/body dichotomy literally staged in the book, her work on the staging of that divide (Beckett, by way of Molloy and Nine Inch Nails, really), and a move from CA to Michigan more than enough to make a person horny and rather thoughtful. But she’s one of the few I know who walked away – who figured out what she wanted to do, and does it, and means it, rather than the treadmill upon which both success and failure are measured. (Though, her point is difficult to swallow, even from the end of the treadmill where I stand, not too smugly, but not too miserably either, I don’t think. But I may be doing this wrong, though that was our academic generation’s imperative, to live through this ™.)

She’s not a friend any more, really, though she was one, and a lover for a while. I’m glad I read it, as it makes me feel closer to her, though we haven’t spoken in 20 odd years, and wonder about my choices, as the best narratives do. But I think I’ll leave it.

Some toys to tidy, some bread to bake. My life got weird.


mostly dead
Monday August 20th 2018, 9:18 pm
Filed under: exit pursued by a bear,family,summer Tags:

It is, I suppose, not an unreasonable description of all of us. So, again and again, headed to a hospital to see a skinny old man under too-thin sheets look old, feeble. Not the one but the other, this time. Still, they just celebrated their 22nd anniversary. I know shit happens fast, but that’s a long ass time. And within a year or two of how long the first round lasted.

But it gets one thinking. Shocking, right? Who knew near-death could get the middle-aged thinking? Hard to find time to reflect, really, in the non-stop-ness of keeping up with a creature for whom reflection makes no sense. Hard to find time to find value in time spent reflecting, even. The few days when YCT and he were gone were nice; the flipside, solo plus boy for 10 days, looms a bit. A few weeks, yet. Anyway(s). He’s not dead yet. Though I fear the domino effect, the other old man thrusting his fist to the heavens and saying “I did it!” only to keel over himself. So it all goes, so very quickly.

Tuesday August 07th 2018, 9:21 pm
Filed under: can't make that shit up,change,holidays Tags:

Big trees, dark night. Not much to say, tons to say, a general and specific sense that I should do this more often.

shower, knife
Sunday June 24th 2018, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Berkeley,Boozy Tags:

I took the knife out of the wall (there was jewelry hanging on it, maybe a dream catcher) and walked down the hall. “Put the knife down,” they shouted. I walked into the bathroom halfway down the hall (shared, mixed gender, of course) and walked into a shower. I turned on the water. It must’ve been cold, though I don’t remember. And then she and I went for a walk. I don’t quite remember how that part worked – did I walk to her? I have shadowy memories of concrete and gardens closer to mine than to hers. I know there was a walk. That’s what we did. So brave, that first walk, down telegraph to ?Ashby or beyond. For HelLA me, it was beyond scary. But that night, damp, without the knife, with the simple news that they were moving out to a house without me, I walked, I talked, I grieved, I wondered (aloud) what was wrong with me and what would happen to me, and _everything_ seemed to matter.


(I’m enjoying this movie, even if I keep pausing it.)

Blues Run the Coming of Age Game
Sunday June 24th 2018, 7:49 pm
Filed under: inner-polish-teenage-girl,Old,reminiscence,self-indulgent,summer Tags:

What is it about coming-of-age movies and me? It’s not like I’m fucking cookie dough any more. I fear this is fully fucking baked, even if the recipe needs tinkering with. Two nights, two movies of angsty young men in a tangle of desire and books and struggling how and who to be in the world. I’m only 19 minutes into this evening’s fare, and quite enjoying it, but wanted to pause and wonder. (Also, owwwwwww. I went to the fancy gym, and now I fancy hurt.)


Hours and hours today wasted on blood relatives; another bunch waiting for a call back, alas. Drinks with a sort-of-old-friend (we’re 50-50 over two visits over 5 years) who is leaving LA, finally off the market. (Amusingly, for a place I applied to in the dark years. I think, no, I’m dead fucking certain they’re the ones that sent me a rejection in AUGUST of the FOLLOWING YEAR, 10 months after I applied for a position, and weeks before I started submitting apps again. Who fucking does that? {Side note: I had to work with fucking lawyers, but it was updates-a-go-go with the search I helmed}).


Fuck it. Returning to my regularly scheduled visit of fantasies of different but all too recognizable versions of 20-something me, who was miserable, except when he wasn’t. I was something in those formative years, as she sang and I could never not feel they’d already passed me by.

Alfonsina y el mar
Saturday June 23rd 2018, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Boozy,inner-polish-teenage-girl,poetry Tags:

A song I didn’t know existed a month ago. And now could listen to forever. Avishai Cohen’s version for now. I hadn’t realized she was a real person – a modernist poet.   I’ve ordered a facing page edition of her last book, but for now, this, this evening’s version of a quick pickle and a balsamic port reduction.

“Sweet Torture”

My melancholy was gold dust in your hands;
On your long hands I scattered my life;
My sweetnesses remained clutched in your hands;
Now I am a vial of perfume, emptied

How much sweet torture quietly suffered,
When, my soul wrested with shadowy sadness,
She who knows the tricks, I passed the days
kissing the two hands that stifled my life

Alfonsina Storni