Like diamonds

Day 3 of 2013:

  • Where: San Francisco
  • Weather: Crisp, clear. Highs – 60, lows – 43 degrees F.
  • Consumed: 2 cups coffee; 1 cup green tea; 1 lemon arugula chicken salad from Trader Joes; 1 package of dinosaur gummies; leftover thai tom kha soup and mango curry chicken; half of a double-baked potato with tapatio and lowfat yogurt; tiny ice cream cones from Trader Joes; wine.
  • Mood: Irritated, despondent. Impatient. Selfish.
  • Extenuating circumstances: Slept really late the night before. Woke up to a text at 3:45am that my good friend had her baby. Stress dreams.

The creation of babies is perhaps the most incredible thing in this universe. It’s like the heat and pressure which turns a piece of single piece of coal into a diamond. We go from meaningless lumps of inconsequential mass to beautiful, complex beings that illuminate light from within.

Be Resolute. It’s like flossing.

2013 New Year’s Resolutions are so difficult. I fucked it up within the first 24 hours.

“Write more, one blog post a week,”  I said to no one, ever.

It was something I wrote down before the stroke of a new dawn of a new year in order to train my brain to understand ‘discipline’ and ‘structure’ and other things I needed to make writing an extension of my routine, a necessary and often enjoyable (but initially tedious) task for self improvement and mindful zen and to “put myself out there,” if I really want to be a writer. Kind of like flossing in public.

one-does-not-simply-a - one does not simply Floss in public

Then January 1 came and went with a ten hour binge of DVR entertainment on a physical and emotional recovery. I didn’t do anything stupid the night before. I drank a whole lot on a frigid mountain top with a semi-large group of friends and watched as a waning gibbous ascended higher in the sky, and I contemplated far-off galaxies through the incredibly amazing Star Walk App.

I caught a cold the afternoon of Dec 30 and was determined to ignore its looming threat and the HELLFIRE I knew my lymph nodes would pay when I sent my core temperature to the bowls of a Northern California winter night with only a single layer of engineered nylon as a barrier between me and the chilly atmosphere. But I maintained my conviction. I layered, expertly. Camping was the only thing that could appease my irrational desire for a memorable New Year’s Eve activity, and one that required little pomp and zero circumstance. We would deliberately gather under the stars like wise elders of an era that only Tolkien or Peter Jackson could evoke in our collective consciousness.

And there would be whiskey.

I should also mention I have embarked on writing a personal account of happenings that had once occurred to me in my lifetime, events that have certainly changed and shaped me and it’s been long enough that I realize that now. I won’t use the word “genre” or “memoir” because they are unearned. Until someone else of thoughtful consideration describes the words I commit to paper as such, they will remain fluffy, French-glazed jargon with harmful consequence. They are only to be used for deliberate distinction, a notation of something worth indexing. It’s like when people overuse “fiancée” and begin to wave it around like a big penis devoid of humility and grace. It becomes  in poor taste and putrid ego, completely numb to the fact that that no one else is basking in it’s meaningless, self-realized status.

That’s just not me.

This personal account will not be posted online, but this blog will help maintain my discipline as I catalog my whereabouts and feelings and the atmospheric pressure throughout these days. S’here it goes.

Day 2 of 2013:

  • Where: San Francisco
  • Weather: Crisp, clear. Highs – 61, lows – 39 degrees F.
  • Consumed: 2 cups and one shot of sample coffee; 1 cup green tea; 1 cup gypsy cold care tea;  tomato soup and sourdough; twice-baked potato; baby romaine and spinach salad.
  • Mood: Pensive, calm, lethargic. Optimistic but uncertain. Detached and heavily romanticizing.
  • Extenuating circumstances: Sick, got a parking ticket.

And because I missed it, here’s my entry for Day 1 of 2012:

  • Where: Mount Tamalpais, Marin County and then San Francisco
  • Weather: Cold and bright. Crystal clear.
  • Consumed: 1 breakfast burrito with bacon; 2 cups of coffee; 2 cups of chai black tea; 2 pieces of See’s Candies; Thai take out of Tom Kha soup with tofu; cucumber salad; Mango Curry with chicken on white rice.
  • Mood: Exhausted and lazy. Devoid of introspection and reveling in intellectual stimulation of documentary-style storytelling and comedic timing. Flair for the dramatic.
  • Extenuating circumstances: Sick, Hungover, Day 1 of my grammatical pause. Went on a mountain hike before heading home.

Off to a pretty good start.

Flashback for the fall back

It’s daylight savings time.

Alice in Wonderland by Claire Stevenson

This means we must “fall back,” vis-à-vis turning our clocks one hour back, because long ago we cared about farms and the farmers who decided to perform farming-like activities so they wouldn’t have to farm in the shadows.  This is fair, because they reap the product of the sun and the elements from which we eat and feed and nourish our body, minds and souls with.

We should all just do our best to adjust our schedules accordingly for the place that, oh – I don’t know, is our raison d’être?

But what do I know, I just live here.

In honor of this day, below is a really old oldie – from the vault. I used to experiment poetry and prose a lot it seems.  Nothing mind blowing, but aptly themed:

The occurrence
A fleeting thought is often just that.

Raw and uncensored thoughts occur, it has occurred to me.

A projection  of truth unto nothingness,

Validated to the Creator as a reason to reasoning.

But it is to be feared, as lies are to be heeded.

It has occurred.

To distinguish truth from paranoia and never pretend.

Something is nothing and nothing is always something,

These truths that we bend.




I took the joint carefully from his fingertips, all too aware of how unaccustomed the motion felt.  I must have hesitated for an instant, but I coolly played it off to the slightly buzzed observer. It was just a mindful passing of the party torch, a model of responsible practice to not squeeze too hard or too far up.  It was not my first rodeo.

The night had lent itself to some bizarre happenstances and a delightful synchronicity of events – so fueled by vodka and the arrogance in which unbridled entertainment affords one, especially when that one is entrenched in a semi-ungraceful exit out of their 20s.  Everything about the scenario screamed that I absolutely should not be doing this. Not tonight, just hours before daybreak. Not in the midst of absolute strangers and weirdoes and bizarre small group dynamics existing between the friends and frenemies there. I knew it all. I knew it for the better of myself. But, it was all part and parcel of “carping the diem,” as they say, and the occasion certainly called for it.

“This is good shit,” he said, with strangled effort. A voice on the short leash of a breath held in quarantine.

“Sweet,” I mustered.

Yes, there had been some markedly great times in the past, but the stuff had often taken me too deep into the recesses my mind, down some very dark corridors and into locked closets where I kept all my anxiety and fear stored next to lightly used winter sports gear and a well sized TV/VCR combo.  I even spent a good number of years immersed in empirical study; some heavy field research with several control groups and placebos in place, some even double-blind,  to ensure the systematic isolation of all potential factors at play and varied forms of ingestion. The results were as conclusive as a game of reverse Russian roulette, in which every slot, save one, held a bullet.  The odds were rarely in my favor.

I pushed that all down now and glanced about the room in a self-conscious scan, hurriedly seeking any opportunity to be interrupted. I met no one’s gaze; in fact, I couldn’t have been more insignificant at that moment in time. The group seemed to be melding, enjoying themselves enjoying the company. That was some solace at least, the charade of camaraderie holding up soundly even between the most staunch of frenemy camps.  They all melted behind the haze and into the soft-edge glow of an early 90’s soap opera.

In silent negotiation I brought the spliff steadily to my lips, hoping that this would be a time when I could let loose, give way to euphoria, keep Pandora out of my box and will a blank in the cylinder of this cocked fucker.  Just this one time, fortheloveofgod.

Slightly moist from its passage through careless or greedy takers, I took a decent drag off the tip, even thinking myself conservative.

The contents of my exhale proved otherwise.

A sizable billow of opaque, white smoke poured generously out of my open mouth, tilted 45 degrees up towards the ceiling. The dense fog hovered there, indignant, and far for too long.

 It was spiting me, I thought. It knows.

Play date with Pavlov.

It wasn’t the most desirable of positions, but it had its virtues.

For one, the entire length of my backside was privileged to a cloudless, unadulterated view of the sun as waking civilization clamored behind me.  Affixed at a muted yell, or a very loud whisper, the symphonic hum hovered just below the line of offensive – a typical soundtrack to an urban, bucolic landscape (if there ever was such a thing).  The pulsing woosh of passing traffic in the periphery carried the rhythm of jingling dog collars, chirping birds and cawing crows; banal conversation between owners and strollers, friends and lovers.  Bodies stretched leisurely in repose on blankets or wood-slated benches, or mingled through manicured pathways in tightly clustered caravans, clutching designer coffee and name-brand sunglasses to rival.  

The occasional OMG(!) or guttural laugh punctuated the hubbub.  Spontaneous and organic motions, all well suited to the script.

I lay loose and languid in a not-so-elegant adaptation of what could be only described as left-set spoon (minus another body nestled onto, or to be set within).  The warmth was unrelenting and unbroken, spilling into every exaggerated twist and concentrated at the folds.

The undesirable part, you might be wondering, was the mere fact that the sun in all its glory and firm direction left me little choice but to lay facing east in order to avoid the glare, thereby forcing the entire burden of my weight to rest on my left hip (bruised in both ego and in physicality) after a very hard and very public fall a few days before. The mere memory of this embarrassment, made worse by the averted eye contact by second hand embarrassment sufferers was disquieting, but not as quite as unnerving as the aggressive barks and snarls which would periodically approach my exposed ear paired with wet, ragged breaths.

I’d roll my eyes if I could afford such an expenditure. Instead, my gaze meditated down into the porthole view: arms outstretched, left thumb tucked into a page of an worn text, knuckles grazing the edge of where my blanket ended and the thick carpeting of vivid, green grass began. The shag undulated with the gentle slope of the terrain, its momentum sweeping up to a unidentifiable tree, leafless but expecting buds at any moment. The tree stood alongside a cheerful, white Victorian, the geometry of it  more crisply defined by shadows cast from its beveled trims and sidings.  Freshly painted, dark green windowsills sat like kohl penciled under blank but watchful eyes.

Did I mention the occasional waft of sour, pungent dog shit from an indeterminate direction?

It was only then I’d tense to hold my breath in listless and futile attempts to protect my orifices from the onslaught of these uncouth beasts.  By luck or divine intervention a consistent, gentle northeasterly wind inserted fresh air up into my nostrils, a fantastic and fruitful antidote to mitigate the badness. Oh Rejoice! My passion for the natural world in all its indefatigable morphines is reclaimed!  What is more, as if by some sonar detection of human contempt, the owners would come swiftly behind, scolding their precious Zoe or Theo or Clyde while producing  a treat with which to lure them away forever. What they really needed was a play-date with Pavlov.  I’d give it to them, if I could afford such an expenditure.

This is when I’d throw a sideways smirk to mark my amusement and thanks, usually feigning the former.

In jagged, unpredictable intervals, the rumbling began, slowly at first then fast and steady, gaining in speed and certainty as it swelled into a brilliant crescendo! casting all sounds and sensations asunder. Beaks hissed then halted, and in a one-two-badaboom, doors popped in and out of socket as passengers fluttered and twisted between, exchanging brief glances in an unceremonious exchange of positions, one seemingly more joyful than the last.