wood cabinets and leather couches and a woodstove and a small library and candlelight and bourbon cocktails brought to you by waitresses who are really good at their jobs, just like old times. last night we sat in the back room of the delightful french restaurant, and i took the anthology of poetry off the shelf and read this to j&j.
Granted, we die for good.
Life, then, is largely a thing
Of happens to like, not should.
And that, too, granted, why
Do I happen to like red bush,
Grey grass and green-gray sky?
What else remains? But red,
Gray, green, why those of all?
That is not what I said:
Not those of all. But those.
One likes what one happens to like.
One likes the way red grows.
It cannot matter at all.
Happens to like is one
Of the ways things happen to fall.
then we went to barcade and drank beer and played marble madness and q-bert. and we talked of yelling goats and fake tans and hamburgers, and tried to determine which of my long-committed veg/vegan friends i can someday convince to go on a date with me and order the 24-oz steak. and eat it.
Filed in autobiographical, food, health & vegetarianism, not poems | Tagged with bourgeois, brooklyn, NYC | Comment (0)
i have been down lately. and when i say down i mean like, feeling the bottom. do you know what the bottom feels like? i thought everyone did, but recently a friend of mine told me he’d just experienced a “bad day” for the first time that he could remember – like, 15-20 years. and my mind was sort of blown. that’s possible for a sane person?
the other day as we drove through west oakland i thought about this, about what he said, and i thought that it seemed impossible to me, to have that kind of mentality, when 1. all of the atrocities in the world are visible on every street corner and 2. to me it appears that all of us are always standing on the edge of a cliff. every day, living on the edge, the potential for falling into the abyss present with every breath taken, and that the spectrum of awareness goes from paralyzed with fear at one end to completely oblivious and doing cartwheels at the other.
i am not paralyzed but i am always aware of the edge.
later that night, my head buried in my pillow, i bemoaned my disposition and jay said “you just have to let go.” and i said: “how can i let go when i feel like i’m balancing on the edge?” he agreed with me, which is why i love him, but i’m sure there is some platitude about “faith” or something.
to be clear i know that there is nothing either objectively or subjectively “wrong” with my life. in fact it is by most standards BLESSED and i am not ungrateful. i am also aware of this idea of “creating your own reality” and choosing to ignore atrocities. i can’t. i can’t live in this world full of torture and persecution and injustice and just “focus on myself” and my beautiful friends and my beautiful life. yeah, if i blocked all that out – starting from my doorstep in west oakland to the regimes of oppression worldwide – life would be fucking grand!
and if you try to tell me you live the best, most non-consumer non-imperialistic socially-conscious life possible and that is all you can do so why not focus on your own happiness the rest is out of your hands/isn’t being a happy human a greater asset to the world than an angry one? i will 1. point out that your reading this on a computer/gadget made in China negates that defense about you not willingly having anything to do with atrocity and 2. respectfully and sort of jealously disagree while acknowledging that this is an ancient philosophical/POV debate.
the weird thing is, despite all this psychological torment i put myself through, and despite these occasions where i feel weighed down, overall i think i’m actually a happy person. just maybe not an optimist.
the point is that some days i don’t know how to take a step back from the edge, that edge where i can feel the present and future stew of everything and everyone, nothing and no one and feel like i am/we are falling forward.
anyway, stress work existential angst anxiety fear of the unknown self-doubt global unrest blah blah blah i did not have a good weekend and let’s not get any deeper into that other than to say that while yes, it is possible i might benefit from some therapy and/or medication, at the same time i am also always fighting my way back to the top so don’t worry too much (mom). i’m just emotional and dramatic.
as is often the case when i am down, my chronic shoulder/back pain flared up again yesterday to a more than just annoying degree. the fact that it’s been almost a year since i’ve written about it says a lot about how under control i have this still-undefined thing, but it has not been gone, oh no, and i have to be hypervigilant with my PT, and when i am down there, in the bottom my friend doesn’t feel? i am not vigilant. i am the opposite of vigilant. i am destructive. and if you are me and you live in San Francisco in the year 2012 you have access to a lot of tools for self-destruction.
so yesterday i was whiny and in pain and i didn’t sleep well last night and needed to not be typing and all that so today i only went to work for a couple of hours but that was OK because it was sunny and 72 degrees in february and so i left work and biked across town and went and hung out outside at cafe in downtown oakland until time for yoga. I KNOW, RIGHT? see why i’m depressed? #affluenza
this DJ person i live with is playing electronic music of whatever microgenre that is he plays (i’ll keep out of that debate) – i do not listen to electronic music unless said DJ is playing it at home or/ i am out dancing. i was actually quite offended when an old phish friend said “oh right you only listen to electronic music now” when i didn’t know some new band. on evenings when he is doing this, i am often in the bathroom listening the Velvet Underground or somesuch while i do one of any number of beauty treatments on myself (it’s only been 10 days since i last bleached my hair and i am already unhappy with the color gradient. UGH. maybe maryann is right; i should shave my head. ANYWAY.)
so just now i was there in the shower listening to Built to Spill Perfect From Now On (1997) which is still, now, 9 years after i first heard it on KALX, also while in the shower one morning sometime in 2003 when we lived in that brownshingle on Benvenue avenue in berkeley- wow that was a long time ago and wow it’s been since 2006 that we saw them live? holy crap. – it is still one of my favorite end-to-end albums to listen to from the first track to the last (my friend Allie talks about doing elliptical workout jams to rock music and i could def bust a long elliptical jam to Perfect From Now On.)
all that is to say that you should listen to it if you never have.
and also if any of you out there are going to good indie/psych/punk/emo rock shows in SF will you clue me in? i’m looking at you 40goingon28.
my younger sister used to say i was mean. and i was always defensive – no i’m not! i love people. LOVE. but the older i get, i think she was/is right. i can be CRUEL/i don’t know why. i mean, a guy i know who has the word “evil” as part of his nickname told me at the club on friday night that he has always stayed away from me because i seemed like someone he didn’t want to fuck with. am i really that unapproachable? man. but i am so soft on the inside.
and to cap off this completely boring old-skool whatididtoday/iamsoEmo blog post, here is what i ate today: Continue reading »Filed in autobiographical, food, health & vegetarianism, me myself and i, music | Tagged with affluenza, anxiety, optimism/pessimism, pain management | Comments (4)
the worst thing you can do for your own karma is to judge someone or an action as right or wrong. while we may judge things as good or bad, karma doesn’t. It’s a simple case of like gets like, the ultimate balancing act, nothing more, nothing less.
the bow and arrow analogy: you need the right amount of tension in the bow for the arrow to hit the mark. not too light. not too hard. find that balance.
i generally don’t do hot yoga. tonight i went to yoga with my friend Faern and sweat more than i have since new york in july. at first i hated it, being all slippery. but after a while i started to enjoy it. maybe not the slippery, but the feeling of sweat. out of every pore. in the final savasana, thinking of these two ideas above, i decided to try to change thinking on a few things for myself, things i’ve maybe been holding onto or feeling attached to, tense over, and i left feeling lighter, and not just from all the lost water weight.Filed in food, health & vegetarianism, me myself and i | Tagged with yoga | Comment (0)
i was at the Target human ant farm (TM) the other day and walking by the laundry soap/fabric softener aisle the smell was overwhelming.
how many chemicals do we cover ourselves in every day?
those automatic plug-in air fresheners are completely horrendous to me. constantly spraying chemicals into your breathing air? are you insane?
this would be funny except the scary thing is that acid from strangers is probably more reliable and less toxic than millions of things you might buy boxed, shelved, or frozen and sold as food or found in the cosmetics/bath/cleaning product aisles that you cover yourself, your home and your family with every day (at least 515?!).
who is more ridiculous? the hippie girl above, or the parents dosing their kids’ baths, food and clothing with unknown GMOs, chemicals, and petroleum byproducts?Filed in culture and random linkage, environment, food, health & vegetarianism | Comment (0)
(or, what i just came up with from ingredients i had in my house)
1.5 cups pearled barley
3 cups veg broth
1 cup fresh cranberries, diced (not frozen, not dried, not sweetened, not canned, not refrigerated: fresh, whole and TART)
1 diced honeycrisp apple
1 cup raw almonds, smashed, sauteed
1/2 lb broccoli spigarello, sauteed
1 cup veg broth
sesame seeds, white and black
1 spoonful chopped garlic
1/2 white onion
1 tbsp earth balance margarine
1 tbsp olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
mixed together. warm in oven.
vegan and all organic except for the cranberries, olive oil and seedsFiled in food, health & vegetarianism, things you can do | Tagged with vegan | Comment (0)
ooops….i missed blogging yesterday, and i know i should not make excuses, as the whole point of National Blog Posting Month is to post every day without excuses. but i was so busy yesterday! first a baby shower then a birthday party (i bowled a perfect 100) then dinner with an old friend visiting from out of town! so tired at the end i went right to sleep.
my November austerity program: i successfully went 19.5 days without drinking alcohol, but then last night at dinner i had some wine, so not quite to Thanksgiving. a good experiment in habits. as for the rest: i have kept an 85-90% vegan diet (compared to my usual 50-60%?), and my digestive system thanks me, as does my skin. i have done no extraneous shopping, which has been good for my bank account. in curbing my media habits, however, i have not been so successful. i have so many things i should be reading instead of the internet. maybe December will be better for that, when i am not at a computer all the time.
also, my friend visiting from New Orleans added an event to the 2012 wishlist: French Quarter Festival, April 12-15, 2012. woo!
and, i can’t say too much about this here yet, but i am in fact pursuing the last item on that wishlist, and i am so heartwarmed by everyone i’ve talked to about it who has encouraged me. <3Filed in autobiographical, food, health & vegetarianism | Tagged with NaBloPoMo | Comment (1)
i don’t kow why i am always amazed at mental revelations i have when practicting yoga. i mean, that’s what it promises, right? yoga for the body AND MIND. yet somehow i am always surprised when it actually happens.
last night there was a substitute for my vinyasa class (at the Y) who teaches mainly hatha yoga, which i don’t usually practice, as honestly, i get bored. i am not struggling to be flexible. my hip joints are hella open. but in doing the yin stretches (slow, deep stretches focused on releasing joints) the teacher commented that yin yoga is important (as opposed to yang, which focuses on strength/the muscles) because through repeated action, adhesions are formed that restrict movement. and i was like: yeah yeah, i know all about adhesions. that’s what happened to my neck/shoulder. that is why i am in this gym working out all the time.
and not that i haven’t considered it before and obviously this is what psychotherapy is all about, but i was suddenly struck by the how true this was for the mind. mental adhesions. patterns. apron strings. malformed connections that need to be undone.
there are a lot of signs pointing me in directions right now. i think this was one of them. i haven’t quite figured out where they are all directing me to, but it is somewhere else, forward. movement is needed. new pathways.
also, it always becomes very apparent when i get back in to regular practice that while i definitely get the physical benefits of yoga, the thing about my yoga practice that is best for me is just the act of going. the commitment to going even when i don’t want to. the feeling of achievement that even though i was tired and kind of sick and not in a good mood, i still went. i think this is big for me because i am otherwise kind of a slacker. if i don’t feel like doing something, i generally don’t. but through these many years (10?) of yoga practice, i have learned that for me, a commitment to going is the most important part.Filed in food, health & vegetarianism | Tagged with yoga | Comment (0)
my fitbit fell off while i was changing and hit a cement floor yesterday and smashed open. little robot guts everywhere – i gasped! and then figured out how to put it back together. it still works but i don’t think it’s recording steps properly – the gyroscope must be out of whack. i’ve had this thing since august and even through burning man i haven’t gone a day without wearing it. i’m attached to it as much as it is attached to me. i use it to see how active i’ve been (only 2000 steps today?? better take a walk….) but i also track my food to make sure i’m getting a good balance of carbs/fat/protein and not eating too much. i don’t track my food every single day, but i know that when i don’t use the online dashboard to track my food, i DEFINITELY eat more. it’s a super helpful tool. or maybe i’m just obsessed.
anyway, i thought about getting a different pedometer/calorie burn counter (like the one they use on Biggest Loser- bodybugg®), but looking online i don’t really see one i like better (mostly i don’t want to wear an armband – the tiny fitbit clip is soooo much better – everyone thinks it’s a flashdrive ), so i’m definitely ordering another one. the good news is that you can now order fitbit through amazon, and there’s no longer a wait!
Filed in food, health & vegetarianism | Tagged with fitbit | Comment (0)
there was a commercial on the radio this morning for ground chuck or some other beef product from Safeway “for only $3.99/lb!”
and all i could think was:
how would you feel, as a sentient being, if you were valued at only $3.99/lb?
i’d be worth less than $500.
what are you worth, per pound?Filed in food, health & vegetarianism | Comment (1)
for reasons i won’t go into right now, on certain days i have an inordinate amount of time on my hands, and i often just start reading wikipedia entries on things that i’ve recently heard talk of or seen referenced that i realize i don’t actually know much about. like Lent.
reading about Lent led me to reading about fasting, which i was also thinking about because some friends of ours are restricting their diets of starches, not because they have any malady, but as yet another nutritional experiment (possibly related to the recent phenomenon of the 4-Hour Body.) it’s one of the quirky things that always amuses me about the bay area: all the fasting and dietary experimentation that goes on amongst the hippies and hipsters. it’s like a hobby around here, depriving oneself of things and proclaiming certain foods “bad”. since when are carrots bad for you? i always think of that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer becomes a minimalist and declares “You know what I discovered? I really like depriving myself of things. It’s fun.”
disclosure: for a couple of years i did attempt to fast on Thanksgiving day as a way to express my gratitude for food, but it turns out i am prone to hypoglycemia and so any attempt at fasting – even juice fasting – has always failed for me. also: this is not cynical. i find the practice of self-imposed restrictions interesting and a worthwhile endeavor in this land of excess and plenty; i am not begrudging it. i am amused.
anyway, the wikipedia article on fasting omits mentions of it being a pastime for the hippie-bourgeois-foodie contingent on the West Coast of the United States. it focuses on the intersection of religion and fasting, which i found quite enthralling, particularly when i got to the orthodox Christan section:
For Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Christians, fasting is an important spiritual discipline, found in both the Old Testament and the New, and is tied to the principle in Orthodox theology of the synergybody (Greek: between the soma) and the soul (pnevma). That is to say, Orthodox Christians do not see a dichotomy between the body and the soul but rather consider them as a united whole, and they believe that what happens to one affects the other (this is known as the psychosomatic union between the body and the soul).
well that definitely jibes with all the yogi-fasting-tribal-ritualistic-hippie talk i hear around here, but although i grew up in a very Christian town -protestants and catholics alike – no one i knew ever fasted a full day in their lives that i was aware of, and this reverence for body-mind connection was never discussed in my church that i recall (outside of some being teetotalers). yet it seems if you read the bible closely enough and take its instructions literally, as many followers do, you should be fasting (or preparing to fast) MOST OF THE TIME.
i guess the nugget that stuck with me is that for a supposedly “christian nation”, most have managed to ignore the biblical bits about mindful and grateful eating and the body as a temple for the soul, and instead we have a land of processed fast food and an obesity epidemic.
oh, and this: “Moses fasted for forty days and forty nights, twice back-to-back, without food or water; the first, immediately before he received the tablets on the mountain with God. And the second, after coming down, seeing the Israelites practicing idolatry, and breaking the tablets in anger.”
well, isn’t that some interesting context. i might see/talk to God after climbing to a mountaintop if i hadn’t eaten for 40 days too.Filed in food, health & vegetarianism, philosophical ramblings | Comment (1)