Good Old Chad Harrison
Wednesday May 16th 2018, 5:47 pm
Filed under: holidays,nextish Tags:

I believe he was Shotwell?  It shall be interesting to return to a city I never really managed to make mine, though I deeply wanted to. I never managed to be anchored there, though I lived there for a decent while. I never created a friendspace there, rather than being firmly East Bay. So it goes. This shall be a good time. Shameful, even, with an old old friend in an old place that has very little connection with what it now is.



Stalker
Monday November 20th 2017, 11:44 am
Filed under: can't make that shit up,HelLA,holidays,nextish Tags:

Well, I missed a month again. I suppose, in my defense, I’m busier than I ever imagined busy being. But there have been a few times I’ve wondered about coming here. Just back from a final spin class – they’re closing. Moderate sadness over corporate failure – there was, in fact, a community, and even rarer for HelLA, an unprecious atmosphere of real people doing real exercise, the lumpy alongside the glossy, and, for the most part, a sense of collective encouragement.

Thæs ofereode, thisses swa mæg.

Speaking of which, the disturbed young woman who has been stalking me off and on since accusing me (falsely) of all kinds of shit re-appeared, first by email a few weeks ago, and then in my office on Thursday. Fun for the whole family. Oh wait. Even my cop-loathing self got the cops involved (who, true to form, managed to insult by asking, meaningfully, “does your wife know”?).

Time flying; deadlines blown; things passing around again; holidays and 90 degree heat projected for Thanksgiving. Just the season to leave the oven on all day. Sigh.



Stress, and grief

She said, to answer my question what points she was working on. Also, where your spine meets your ribs, so, a major parenting spot. Not really an empty center. And her “hot hands” (shared, apparently, by her 11 year old daughter but not her 11 year old son) healing. And also disturbing, working through old and newer ambitions and desires, aspirations and intentions. A Greek meander left to right, hyper rational and logical, and all I am, a Celtic knot, mystical and magical and all I’m not very good at being and have, frankly, neglected. And a not very empty center.



Once more with….
Saturday December 31st 2016, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Boozy,holidays,nextish Tags:

…something. Exit, 2016, pursued by a [Russian?] bear.

Fuck that shit. Thankfully, 2 year olds are super easy.



London bound
Tuesday December 06th 2016, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Boozy,can't make that shit up,holidays,nextish,politrix Tags:

In a bit. Not quite. One TA mired in depression, bits and bobs of work to juggle, a little boy who won’t stay asleep too many nights. An inability to read the news or make any sense of a world I thought I had, broadly, sussed.

Narrative. Good red wine. Better music. The occasional non-occasional poem. Himself. YCT. Sorted.



Less nostalgic than usual
Friday January 01st 2016, 12:16 am
Filed under: calendars,himself,holidays,nextish Tags:

Perhaps because of the radiator I bottomed out while pulling on to the Angeles crest highway, or the 4 plus hours I spent waiting for a tow truck (YCT and himself having been rescued at the 2 hour mark) on Tuesday, or the two grand I sank into keeping harmony amongst familial factions last week, or the very very bloody cut in his gums that he managed to inflict upon himself this afternoon, I’m pretty chill with this evening being a year passing. His birthday seemed more momentous, a year in his life, and only secondarily mine. The school year has always outweighed the calendar year, and I guess they’ve slipped to third and fourth.

So. Lo. Hwaet. Not much to see or to say. Endured? Enjoyed? Enlightened? No need for summary, or redacted reductiveness, so that’ll be that.

Farewell again to the dead, hello again to the newly living.



Wasted
Sunday December 13th 2015, 2:15 pm
Filed under: family,holidays Tags:

A wasted life? Or just a wasted end to his life? So afraid. So very afraid. He’s fucking terrified of dying, and is driving everyone away and destroying the last crumbs of what might be meaningful in his wreck of a life to hold on to not-dying. Helen, my dead friend, you were remarkable in many ways, but in this one, too – you looked at the end, and looked back over your life, and made it make enough sense that you could be something other than just afraid. Toni, too, made her choice, and lived more in that last year than I think this fucker has for years and years. A life on repeat, shambolic and a shaming, shambling, shuffle. Piss-stained and pathetic. Wasted.

Must be the holidays.



Just Like Moving
Saturday November 22nd 2014, 6:28 pm
Filed under: Berkeley,fall,hangover,HelLA,himself,holidays,memory Tags:

Except, not. But digging through desk drawers of files and rubbish, the final step in getting rid of the desk and reducing my profile to a shelf and a book case. Extracting boxes that lived in the closet, rather needlessly in one case, and a protective sentimentality in the other, both relegated for now to the garage, and then at least one probably moved back to the basement. Where my bicycle will soon no longer live, so that there’s a place to store the stroller easily. Cuz, you know, everyone needs one of those.

Fuckfuckfcukfcukfcukfuck. A shitty lesson this morning, Mozart at speed not at all my thing, and all the more dismaying as I thought I had it much more solidly than I do. Followed by the mild hell of big retail on a weekend during the holidays.

But the other box, with a few pictures (of me in Cardiff, on a visit that hovers around the edges of memory), and a piece about the lack of pictures of me. About Blondie, and the train wreck of a few parties at the delightful coach house I could never really enjoy because I could never really afford to be living in London. The trainwreck that was my life a decade ago, the last few months between submission and the viva make for grim reading. But the reading, which I’ve been doing in between typing these sentences, isn’t really what I wanted to go on about.

WHat was it? Long walks of past selves. Wandering through Berkeley (and wincing at what I thought constituted long. HelLA’s child, indeed), through Oxford. Up and down NY on Christmas day, from starbucks to starbucks for caffeine and warmth. Of walks up various hills to various co-ops, across the Parks and across the Park, past the Mission and past the river. Most of them punctuated by the rhythms of the cigarette, the pause, the infinitely repeated action and like nothing else on earth sound of my zippo. Even as one dog frolicked and gamboled and did all those impossibly joyful dog things that make dogs dogs, and the other trotted along, eyes and nose and mouth open to greet the world avidly, a different long walk. Only two months since long waks in London – the genre isn’t lost, merely adapted to new realities.

And in 4 weeks (fuckfcukfcukfuckfuckfuckfuk) there will be a new reality to long walks with hardware.



showers
Saturday August 02nd 2014, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Boozy,HelLA,holidays,jazz,nostalgia,summer Tags:

You would think the fact I’d been on on a small green rock in the middle of the fricking Atlantic where the locals wear, I shit you not, foul weather gear to go shopping in JULY when the rain and the wind pick up a bit, that I wouldn’t be quite as pleased to listen to the rain outside as I am. An odd summer (not of the ‘good summer/weird year; weird summer/good year’ debate) of West Coast humidity, plus drought, making the rain welcome, and the variation all the more soul filling as Donald Byrd sings “get in the groove” manfully as the Blue Note 75 radio station shuffles through its absurdities. (Ooh. Ornette Coleman. Those earings! Water tanks on the skyline!)

A few weeks of rustling and bustling follow the crazy of the work. If I could do that 20 weeks out of 50 I’d be a star, I suspect. Maybe I’ll aim for 15. Himself only a few weeks further along, 18 on Monday. Apparently we can be heard, which makes me want to curse a lot. And make the dogs bark, to habituate and make things easier upon arrival. As if anything can be made easier on arrival. Not so dramatic nesting plans, sanding and priming and painting the iconic piece of new arrival furniture, boxing books and moving bookcases and priming and painting a room somewhere in a shade of the welcoming palette. A shelf for speakers, the keyboard tucked under, a japanese screen to divide, or really suggest the division of, the room. 6 more weeks of teaching begin on Monday, then 2 weeks with the books in their native habitat, then an entire year, give or take. Plus the minor changes coming. None of which have been as frustrating as my attempt to buy a bike that’s neither a midlife crisis nor a dadbike. But the bitterness has faded on yesterday’s dire dirge, despite the meh of my attempt to re-embrace a taste for the popular at the Bowl last night.

Check Out Time, Ornette proclaims. At the Bowl last night, the incense burning tenor player was at his usual spot at the tunnel. “I’m a friend of [mumble], and I know he’d want me to say hi,” I said. He stopped, got up, came over to shake my hand, and said “I’m also a friend of Herbie’s. He’s a great man, Herbie, but he’s got time for us all. Any friend of Herbie is a friend of mine” Blink. Wifeblink. “Kirby!” I shouted, “the guy whose wedding you played a bunch of years ago. Kirby.” Pause. “Oh. Not Herbie. Herbie Hancock? Oh. Kirby? Kirby. Aaaah. Kirby. Any friend of Kirby’s is a friend of mine,” he offered charitably, no less warmth in the renewed handshake. It didn’t seem right to put money in the case, then.



old, friend
Sunday November 24th 2013, 12:55 am
Filed under: Berkeley,fall,friends,holidays,memory,New York Tags:

I haven’t turned here for a while, a place to express the things I can’t express so readily in other ways, an unholy cross of a pulpit and a confessional. The long dark drive back on unfamiliar freeways itself a familiar parting. Always the return, the sense that it can’t be held on to forever, that there isn’t and can’t be here. But this time, a coming back to more powerful than the coming away from. These roads of more than 20 years of emotions and lane changes. Her daughter, barely awake, waiting for her bottle to be heated, snuggling in; “rub my back,” she said, those same 20 years ago, even as she now rubs the small body of a child safely encased in striped fuzzy footed pajamas.

The past doesn’t seem to be getting any paster – everything adds up on this end, not the other one. And for all of the waxing and waning of a relationship that was _always_ cyclical, the connection that was there is there and has survived all of the ons and offs, Tuesdays and Wednesdays of a quarter of a life. And it was all, easily, readily on the table, from work to passion to ailing parts to thriving parents to second and third order details. Always, at bottom, are you still you? Who are you now? How are you now? How will you be? Are there whys to make sense of all the paths that have led here and lead alarmingly on by?

Not much wisdom to add via reflection, really. My misanthropy runs deep enough my friends are few. My few friendships run deep enough that it doesn’t really matter. She lives a life that will never be mine, and all the years we imagined how are lives would be entangled, we never could have imagined this. And yet. It’s not so very far from something we might have thought, on a dark day or a good day, on the cycle in or back out again. But it is, in a pragmatic way, but not one that takes away from the magic of the now. It is, we are, old, friend. And there is much to wonder, and so much I can’t even begin to bring up here, can’t confront, can’t discuss, can’t imagine. Tests and more tests and decisions and varieties and versions. We’ll see.

Your children are beautiful.

(Update, a few minutes later. Some lingering through old posts, this gem arose, ” I never really thought of myself as ambitious, mostly just arrogant with reasonably good reason, so it was a touch startling to hear a friend ask, “Was winning enough? Or will you get lost in trying for the next victory, the ever diminishing returns on conventional successes?” And I just fucking might. And is this a bad thing?” Before I go on to wonder about the growing apart of me and my dinner companions this evening. I don’t know if I’m lost, nor how my conventions and returns are doing, but I do know there’s more whiskey.)