i don’t have to create any intricate similes or metaphors to explain this
the pain in my right arm, this constant, chronic pain from my ear down the right side of my body, into my fingertips and hip socket
is most literally
from a tension held so long, a finger cocked, waiting to pull the trigger.
Filed in me myself and i, not poems | Tagged with anxiety, ennui, pain management, wanderlust | Comment (0)
yes, i have been on vacation for 9 days and i have not blogged a thing about it. isn’t that what vacation is for? not doing what you don’t feel like?
first i was in new york for 4.5 days, and while i had intentions of sitting in coffee shops on snowy afternoons working on things that need to be worked on (sorry to be opaque but they aren’t quite public yet), instead the weather was quite nice and so there was a lot of wandering around with days progressing from a search for good coffee to a search for good cocktails to a search for good late night company/activities, lather rinse repeat with an increasingly foggier state of mind – something like this.
besides wandering, i did see our friend Martin Dockery’s new monologue The Holy Land Experience, and also visited the Lady Gaga installation at Barney’s on Madison Ave, which was highly underwhelming, but Bill Cunningham (famous NY fashion photographer, not the Fox News dude) was outside taking photos of people going in and out and i said hello to him as I had just watched the amazing Bill Cunningham New York documentary again just the night before. i said “hello Mr. Cunningham! I just watched your documentary again last night!” and he said “Why would you do that?” and then went on clicking. and then it’s possible that he took a photo of me that if so i’m sure will end up on the cutting room floor and not in the NYT but still made my day.
and then i came to Puerto Rico, where my friend Reagan’s surfer family has a house on the very west end in Rincón, near Aguadilla, to a surfing town that is so not-foreign it feels like i’m in Florida. i mean, it’s part of the U.S. but i didn’t realize that it would still feel like the U.S. once arrived, I also intended to do work, but i am in a house that shares wireless with the surfer hostel next door, and for the first two days it didn’t work. when we asked why it wasn’t working, dude seriously said “i dunno….wind?”. it was mentioned that turning it off and on again might work. and wouldn’t you know, we got home and hey! it worked.
our friends Justin (who always seems to be in the same part of the world i am, even when we dont plan it (see: Prague 2009, Chile 2010, and now PR 2011) and Amanda were on the island visiting family and we had quite a Christmas eve that involved surfing (catching my first wave evar!) and then some epic bar dancing where we made complete asses of ourselves and included justin catching me from hitting the floor in a badly calculated dance move involving multiple bar stools. you know: christmas.
since then Reagan and i have gone surfing, went to morning yoga on the beach, hiked a 5 mile loop, and ingested numerous rum-filled coconuts in between. i’m here for 2 more days, now the internet works, and maybe i’ll get some work done, although we tried surfing again today but the waves were too small and so obvi we have to go back tomorrow . then it’s back to NYC, where Jay is now wandering the streets on his own time and we will meet up, and then NYE weekend, which, if i can count on my friends, will be full bore until the sun comes up on new year’s day.
Filed in autobiographical, travel | Tagged with justin, NYC, puerto rico, reagan, wanderlust | Comment (1)
i heard today was a lucky day, 11/11/11. so in the spirit of making wishes on lucky days, let us itemize the list of crazy plans i have in mind in over the next 10 months (after November Austerity is over, of course!):
- visit family in Michigan sometime before it snows too much (=in the next 30 days?)
- New York City + Puerto Rico for Christmas +NYE 2011
Phish @ Madison Square Garden New Year’s Run (not NYE but one of the other nights?)tried, did not get tickets
- Utah – January? SLC or Zion?
- weeklong yoga retreat in Mexico – February
- Montana/Glacier NP – April?
- Cruise from Seattle to Alaska, May 2012, with both of our families (not only a crazy plan – actually booked)
- Iceland, June/July 2012 to chase the midnight sun
- August 2012: fly in/out of burning man 2012 for a 72-hour stay
- Fall 2012: NYC School of Visual Arts: Critical Theory and the Arts (MA) . for this, i need to get my shit together. a lot.
apparently the way my mind works is that while we are suffering a major Recession and i don’t have a full-time job, i should spend a lot of time and money traveling and apply to an expensive private art school in the one of the most expensive cities in the world.
anyone want to suggest anything else awesome and totally impractical i should consider adding?
Filed in autobiographical, resolutions, travel | Tagged with affluenza, NaBloPoMo, wanderlust | Comment (0)
for years i wondered if my blogging was a result of actually having something to say, or just something to do while sitting at a desk job for 8 hours a day. well, these past few months i’ve not been sitting at my desk job all day every day (shifted to working part time as needed), and i think the lack of posts here answers that question. it turns out when i’m not stuck spending hours a day in front of a computer i do other things, like read the New Yorker and go for walks, and don’t just sit in front of my laptop. so that is the explanation for lack of posts. it’s not because i haven’t been doing anything or reading the news or have commentary. i’m just not as inclined to sit down and write about much if i’m not already at the computer.
moving on: last weekend was super fun. we went to see 2 live shows – Ezra Furman and the Harpoons (with Tristen opening) on thursday night and The Black Angels (with Sleepy Sun opening) on friday. Ezra was great, but he was sick and i think it showed. always a good show though with great energy from the whole band. i highly recommend their albums if you love singer/songwriters. while i dig indie rock, dark and twisted psychedelic rock is higher up there on the list of things that my brain soaks up and rolls around in and enjoys. local SF band Sleepy Sun was a great surprise for an opening, and The Black Angels did not disappoint with their wall of sound. it was a challenge to keep my mind from wandering into the purple haze, but the crowd push from the mosh pit jolted me back every few minutes (who moshes at a psychrock concert? i thought we all just stood around with our eyes closed? people who grew up at gilman street, i’m guessing). + i love falling in love with the people on stage for a minute and that is why i love live music.
a string of birthday parties on saturday, then sunday we went for a hike up our favorite trail in Berkeley and cooked dinner and watched the Babies documentary with friends. while it was fun to watch and beautifully shot, i was slightly underwhelmed by this film. the small controversy when the film came out about whether it was appropriate for children to watch (some mommies thought seeing other babies pooping/peeing/breastfeeding was TMI for their own little ones) was much more interesting to me than the film itself.
and now we are gearing up for spring/summer. with my new free time – the first summer i’ve had since 1998 that i’m not working full time all season – i have A LOT OF PLANS. we shall see how many of them come to pass.
things that are for sure:
–Spring Training, this sunday in Joaquin Miller park in Oakland (if the world doesn’t end on Saturday!), because if your summer is a marathon of camping (disco or regular), mountain climbing, all-night escapades, road trips, festivals, and full days of drinking in the park with work days in between, you need to warm up so you don’t hurt yourself. this is a free all day picnic-party. the illustrious obi-j closes the show, but we’ll be there all day.
–spending a long weekend floating on a houseboat flotilla in the Sacramento river in June – i have lived in this state for 12 summers and i almost never get to swim. the Pacific is cold and surly no matter when, and the rivers and lakes are all a drive away. growing up in Michigan with a freshwater pond and/or river every 100 yards, this really makes me crazy sometimes.
–PRICELESS. July 1-4 up in Belden Town. the best disco campout in the High Sierras for the 6th year in a row.
–Phish in Tahoe August 9 with a hiking/camping weekend beforehand. summer in lake tahoe + phish = guaranteed awesome.
the things that are definite maybe:
–New York City. sometime before July 31, because i NEED to get to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met.
–Burning Man. we have tickets. but if something a better use of time/money comes up (like a trip abroad this fall?), this could get bumped.
in the meantime, i plan to continue spending my days biking around town, going to yoga/keeping up the workout routines, and window shopping. and….that’s about it.
summer 2011: are we ready?Filed in autobiographical, music, phish, travel | Tagged with ezra furman, false profit, obi-j, sleepy sun, wanderlust | Comment (0)
watched 2 more great docus last night (time snuggling in bed watching movies is greatly exceeding time at the gym the last 5 days):
–Good Hair, a documentary about black hair starring Chris Rock as the investigator of cultural feelings on the subject. lots of interesting tidbits about what black women go through dealing with their hair, and how it affects everything in their lives from how they feel about themselves and eachother, to what activities they will/won’t do, to relationships to sex, including ethical questions about things like putting a dangerous chemical solvent on the heads of toddlers, spending $1000-3000 on a weave when you can’t pay the rent, and the basic question of why it’s not sexy or cool to just have the hair you’re born with. also investigates the industry behind where all that hair comes from and the market to get it. obvi you can extrapolate these ideas out to all kinds of beauty issues, but this one is very specific, and Chris Rock is hella funny.
plus: Ice-T is seriously one of the most awesome people on the planet. i swear, every time i hear him speak i think he’s a genius. he definitely has one of the most grounded, clear perspectives on life ever, and his interview on this subject are a highlight of the film.
–180 degrees south. i’ll spare you all my wanderlust thoughts while watching this amazing film and just tell you that if you 1. love to travel, 2. love surfing and/or rockclimbing/mountaineering, and/or 3. support nature conservancy and protection of indigenous cultures against hazardous development, you should watch this movie. really one of the most well-done and engaging – without being preachy – films on the naturalist tip i’ve seen. great cinematography, great music, great blending of adventure footage combined with philanthropic discussion.
“The film follows adventurer Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Along the way he gets shipwrecked off Easter Island, surfs the longest wave of his life and prepares himself for a rare ascent of Cerro Corcovado.”
Yvon Chouinard, in addition to being part of the team of the first climbers to climb the biggest rock faces in Yosemite with no fixed ropes, founded the company Patagonia, and Tompkins founded North Face. both are approaching 70 years old in this film, and have an excellent long view of what it means to be a nature lover. super highly recommended.Filed in tv, books and movies | Tagged with wanderlust | Comment (0)
this morning i passed an older Hindu couple walking along the railroad tracks in west berkeley, and i wondered if they had come here from the East, and how the world here looks through their eyes. i often wonder this – how does America look through foreign eyes, to tourists, to recent immigrants?
when i am abroad i think a lot about how the residents who live in the places i visit feel about their locales – do the people who live in Budapest love the things the tourists love? or are their lives focused on totally different things? obviously here where i live i don’t spend a lot of time hanging out in Fisherman’s Wharf, and so the SF i live in is totally different than the one most tourists visit. to me, the Bay Area i live in is WAY MORE AWESOME than what most tourists probably see. is also that true for Budapest, for Prague, for everywhere? the challenge, then, is how to be a better visitor. on our last couple of trips jay and i tried to just sort of “move in” to the places we went, instead of being tourists, to try to get a feel what it was like to live there, day to day.
on the flip side, sometimes we play “tourist” in SF, usually when friends/family are visiting from out of town, but sometimes just on random sunday afternoons. we roam the streets of union square and north beach, visit shops and galleries and cafes we’ve never been to, and sometimes we discover things we never knew were there.
i like trying to find this balance when i wander – of exploring places like a visitor, but also seeking out the everyday, the local charm, the hidden treasures. i think i might be in the mood to do some more of that around SF this weekend. suggestions?Filed in travel | Tagged with NaBloPoMo, wanderlust | Comment (0)
today is my 34th birthday.
a year ago today, we were in Prague, and that seems so, so long ago. for some weeks now, i have been noting how long this year+ has felt to me, in many ways.
since last august, i have been to 8 countries (not including Canada). traveling has been something i’ve always dreamed of, always wanted to do when i was young and poor, and only in the last few years have i had both the time and money to be able to really do it. this has made my life so much richer, feel so much bigger and opened up to the world to me. other people, other music, other cultures, other foods, other forests, other mountains, other cities – i find everything so interesting, the micro complexities and the macro homogeny. i am completely enamoured with this planet and i want to see everything. traveling took up most of my extra time, money and energy this past year but it’s what has made the last year my life really start become the life i’ve been working toward.
for those following along you also know that since last fall, i’ve been dealing with chronic pain. it was particularly bad in november-february, and i spent so much time and money seeing all kinds of doctors and healers that it also made that time period feel long and drawn out. i still wake up some mornings with a fair amount of pain in my neck and right shoulder, but it is no longer debilitating and i am off taking pain meds most of the time. i will admit, though, it is the one thing that is really making me start to “feel my age”, and at times it sort of freaks me out for moment. on the flip side, because of all the bodywork and exercise i’ve done to try to alleviate the pain problem, it’s possible that right now i’m in the best physical shape i have been since high school!
finally, there is also some undefinable shift/change going on inside me. i don’t quite know how to put it into words, really, but i think going to burning man without jay this year was a big part of it. as i noted at the end there, i felt some definitive growth. i spent a lot of my youth feeling a victim. of my past, of my economy, of my insecurities, of my sex, of my culture. but i think i’m slowly breaking out of that. it isn’t consistent but i now feel a soft confidence that was definitely not there before.
big <3 to all my friends and family who have encouraged and supported me through both my pain and my wandering endeavors. 33 was an amazing year. i'm thinking 34 might be even better.
Filed in QOTD, travel | Tagged with wanderlust | Comment (0)
“Traveling through the world produces a marvelous clarity in the judgment of men. We are all of us confined and enclosed within ourselves, and see no farther than the end of our nose. This great world is a mirror where we must see ourselves in order to know ourselves. There are so many different tempers, so many different points of view, judgments, opinions, laws and customs to teach us to judge wisely on our own, and to teach our judgment to recognize its imperfection and natural weakness.”
– Michel de Montaigne