Monday, March 24

(Grey) Whale watching,

So, yeah! It's a good thing i have my hair parted on the side these days, and a bit of bangs covering at least a bit of one side of my giant forehead, because the naked side was burned to a lovely crimson color while out on an Excursion today...

...Whale watching!

I've pretty much lived in California my whole life, and never taken advantage of this opportunity. The Grey Whale migrates from Alaska to Baja and back again. According to a lovely bit of literature i was handed by a marine biologist from the Scripps Institute, in its lifetime, the average Grey Whale will swim the watery version of the distance from here to the moon and back. Smashing! And today we got to see a mother and calf. Hard to spot them on the whole, but we saw actual breaching, people! Breaching! Tails hitting the water, blowholes spouting off, and everything. It really was remarkable. At one point i was lucky enough to stand at the very tip of the bow out on the open deck, and became completely mesmerized by the sparkling of the ocean water, that spread out as far as the eye could see. Definitely fell into a lull, and had to sit for a few minutes while reality sank back in. I think that this was probably where my current raspberry hue came from. It's funny how each minute that goes by sees me one shade closer to a lobster, or maybe a brick.

::shakes fist at the sun::

We even got to see samples of the barnacles and lice which spend their days stuck to the side of a massive, slow-moving cetacean. (which was funny, because during the course of our roughly 3-hour tour {sshhhhh!}, the marine biologist enlightening us over the intercom mentioned the whale lice so many times that i actually wanted to go pinch her lips shut.)

And because i am learning, always learning, i will end this post now. i'm starting to wonder if this is not a common mistake among many new bloggers? The endless f**king Forever Posts? i'm trying here, people. Bye for now...

next time: Movie madness.

Sunday, March 23

So you're brilliant, gorgeous and...

Well, it finally happened- a punctuation mark. This whole thing with me and The Letters actually had me ruminating on the frequency of the characters i am (and will be) seeing. Sort of like Scrabble, with its plentiful E's and N's; sure, you're gonna see more than a few O's and S's occur in everyday natural objects, and maybe T's, but when are you ever gonna see a freakin' Q or a capital R? ::shrug::
i told myself not to worry about it so damn much and just take it as it comes. For f**k's sake, does anyone else think such trivial ideas to pieces as much as i do (please say yes)? i mean, many of the letters i see actually are letters that are simply removed from whatever box or page or marquee they belong to in the world- as opposed to the amazing AMPERSAND i saw today in a fallen buckwheat soba noodle.

Yeah, you heard me. An ampersand... how very! i'd extracted a test noodle from the roiling water and watched as it fell off of my fork and onto the cutting board below, only to form a perfect printer's mark:

the "&".

...awesome ;) Certainly never saw that one coming.

Anyway, the noodle was overdone, but i was so glad that i'd waited to check them until that one particular moment. This happening was also much more palatable than the unmistakable "S" i saw in the bathroom sink today; an errant hair, a bit of whimsy.

Thursday, March 20

"I think that I shall never see

A poem as lovely as a tree."

Take out the references to "God" in this lovely little Joyce Kilmer poem, and it's quite a gem. Continuing on:

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

"Who intimately lives with rain." - i love that! I feel the same way, except about wind. Am i the only one here who's ever wished she were a tree? Or seen the suggestion of a human form residing -strikingly- among the branches of an oak, elm, maple, or eucalyptus? Hopefully not. Also, i thought this was nice:


Found that photo on a website mentioning a tree-sit in Berkeley; ah, some things never change ;). I have a similar(ish) photo to this, weirdly enough... took Nat and A____ to Golden Gate Park, and we found some of these same wonderfully twisted trees growing low and rambling, and as usual i forced them into a photo-op. The print came out really really light- you can hardly see their two faces at first, but when you finally do they are hiding at the extreme edges of the frame. It's awesome! They are not nude, however, which is probably a good thing (by that i mean that i am in the midst of a constant battle against prudishness, not that their bodies are in need of some desperate toning regimen or some such nonsense). i wish i could show you all this photo, but until i get a scanner, nothin' doin'.

So where were we? Ah yes, trees.
Like the two small ones near the apartment where i lived as a kid, the ones which bore plums so wonderful that i always looked up at them as delicious yellow jewels. There were dark purple ones, too, but never were they as amazing and sweet. i would cram as many into my pockets (usually overalls, or my favorite pair of grey corduroys) as i could, until they began to squish, and then just eat as many as i could before reluctantly climbing down through the dappled light, onto the rickety wooden fence, and then a leap back to the earth below.
Or the fig tree, in the courtyard of that same apartment building. It had giant, fuzzy, acrid-smelling leaves, and a low, climb-able frame. There were always bustling lines of ants everywhere on the trunk, but that never stopped us from climbing up to reach the fruit, which we weren't so much into eating as we were simply plucking from the stem, and watching the milky fluid seep out from the wound, fascinated. The fig tree kept us shaded during the summer months as we splashed around in the kiddie pool underneath it. It stood stoically, like a sentinel, for years. Sometimes i wonder if it is still there?
There were also the few pine trees in the neighborhood, and their treasure? Sap. Golden, sticky, and precious- glob after glob of it. I had quite the sap collection, and i suppose i was always searching for a piece with a mosquito or other small insect held in stasis within, even though that was amber but how was i supposed to know the difference? The best part about sap-collecting was the smell. I would come down from the trees some days smelling like i was an entire pine forest all by myself. The end came when a particularly fresh and gooey piece of sap was entangled in the hair near the top of my head, giving my mother a headache and me a stern admonishment on the downsides of climbing trees.
Then there was The Magic Tree. Birch, actually (Silver Birch)- and there were definitely more than one around the street where we lived, but i always though of them all in the singular fashion: The Magic Tree. We learned in school that the betula pendula was used by Native Americans to build canoes, which i remember telling myself i would most certainly have to do someday. This tree's catkins (a word which i know now, and only wish i had known then!) would mature and blow apart in a gentle breeze, sending little floating seeds trailing down every which way into the air. We would collect them at a somewhat earlier stage, and manually rub them between our fingers until they fell apart. This was one of the main ingredients in our Potion*. When, years later, i later showed nat where i used to live, and these trees in particular, he understood right away how special they were, which is one of the reasons why i love him so damn much.
"Cherry Blossoms". These were all over Berkeley, but were actually just plum trees ;) They would blossom amazing pink sprays of sweetly scented, delicate flowers in the springtime, and make even the grottiest city street seem like a faraway place. We dutifully re-created them in elementary school art projects: drop some black ink on the paper, then blow the ink around into little skinny "branches" using a straw (something i still do in art projects these days..), then affix small bits of torn-and-crumpled pink tissue paper "blossoms" using tiny dots of Elmer's Glue... how i adored these crafty trees!!
There are more: The low, leafy tree in my mom's backyard when i was in high school, that my friends and i would clamber into after school (and sometimes even during school hours) to get stoned incognito. Just thinking about the clouds of smoke that must have wafted out of that thing cracks me up to this day. Or the really really tall one at Thousand Oaks park that we would hoist each other into at night, and climb almost all the way to the top, then- you guessed it: light up a bowl. Once my friend A___y dropped The Lighter (yes, we only had the one; what idiots) and M____l made her climb all the way back down to get it. Ha, ha. :)
Bare trees in winter, bird's nests finally naked for the world to see; soaring eucalyptus with an intoxicating aroma and silvery "acorns"; mango and avocado trees in Hawaii whose fruit i ate directly off the branches; Luna the redwood; the stately tree that marked the halfway-point of my journey out after a hard day's work, seeming to point the way towards home.

Do you have any trees? i would love to hear about them.

*This consisted of: My mom's giant silver metal mixing bowl, water, ripped-up leaves from each bush/tree/plant nearby, flower petals, dirt, tree bark slivers, Magic Tree catkins, and ground-up berries from a specific bush nearby, which were very watery (sort of like jicama) and had bright purple skins, and which we would grind to a paste on the wheels of our HotWheels, which, when flipped upside-down for this purpose, behaved very much like a child's power tool.

Tuesday, March 18

The gloaming.

This is my favorite time of day, i think- when the world outside is turning that particular shade of periwinkle blue, moving incrementally closer and closer to dusky uncertainty... It always feels to me like your last chance to get to safety, and yet there is something so exciting in that. The birds are softly cooing, and preening on their branches; the night-blooming flowers are releasing their fragrances to the air, and if you look up you can almost pretend that there is a new day beginning, instead of one just slipping away. If you wanted to say something important, now is the time.

Incidentally, "Periwinkle" was my favorite Crayola crayon color; something about the sweet blue and twinkly name always reminded me of fairies. Other contenders were Maize (purely because of the name; flat, browny-yellow was definitely not a fave color), Mulberry and Magenta (red-purples! yay!), Midnight Blue (so dark, so translucent!), Sea Green (soothingly serene), and of course, the lustrous and enigmatic metallics- Silver and Copper. The 64-pack of crayons was a hugely treasured item in our household.

As were the smelly markers. I know you kids remember those chubby, tempting, styrofoam-encased concentrated color-sticks: The seriously fruity Orange; the bright, bright-red Cherry; the garish, purple Grape; the weirdly sharp & sour Lemon; the fresh-as-hell Mint; the "Blue"berry; the lovely, delicate Cinnamon brown; and the addictive Black Licorice, which i swear i despised but could never seem to get enough of! Seriously, i think i probably smelled that one ten times more than the others. Ahhh, Mr. Sketch, how we adored thee.

Why the hell am i always waxing nostalgic about childhood art materials? What the hell is wrong with me?

next time: A lifetime of trees.

Oh, i forgot to mention:

the time when someone yanked on the front doors of the bakery, saw that they were locked, then walked around to the side of the building and CAME IN THROUGH THE WINDOW.
(we had a rather large, low-to-the-ground, sliding window, which was open because it was pushing 85 degrees outside, which translates to more like 90 when you work somewhere with ovens!)
I would have liked to beat that man senseless with a rye baguette. The worst part was that he just nonchalantly began looking at the pastry case, as if this was completely normal behavior. I was agog, i tell you- agog.

also, here is a superhero-related cartoon song adventure, just for fun:

The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny

...hope you enjoy! (Also: it's okay if you dance along to that like a dork; i always do.)


Okay, you got me.
Sometimes, when nat and i aren't feeling well enough to venture westward toward the beach, where all the smaller coffee shops are, we head downstairs to the f*%@$!#! Starbucks in the shopping area behind our building. Yes, i disgust myself. But who doesn't disgust themselves sometimes?
I try and remember to bring my own cup, and the kids who work there are all so dang nice to us and everything; it's not entirely bad! i refuse to feel guilty about it, basically. i can't be perfect, i just can't.

So last night, nat needed to get out of the apartment for a little while as he frantically worked through the last few pages of a paper which he is not very proud of (the class was not great and he ran out of time to write the damned thing). with my uterus feeling as though it was being wrung out like a washcloth (sorry, but it's true), i felt like i needed some hot chocolate, and wasn't willing to travel far to get it. We headed downstairs.
My favorite tiny, bitter older lady (we'll call her "Gail") was working the counter, partnered with the tall young gent who always hears nat's name as "Matt", no matter how hard we try and enunciate it. Gail is great, because once i overheard her co-workers talking a little smack about her, and it went something like this:

#1: "Gail is so weird; the other night some customers came in like 2 minutes before we closed, and she got all pissed off about it."
#2: "I know! It's like, 'Gail, that's what your job is- helping customers. If you don't like it, you shouldn't be working here!'"
#1: "Exactly. The sign says we close at 9:00, not 8:58."
#2 and #1: (laughter)

Now, i know this might come as a shock to some of you out there, particularly the ones who desire the Golden Goose, but i am on Gloria's side here. I guess what i mean is: there should be something like a 2 or 3-minute buffer zone at the end of the day, where people (excuse me, consumers) can just chill out a little, and not rush to whatever still-open establishment they see before them in order to get that actually-not-so-important cookie or Frappuccino or whatever, so that the people who have been working hard all day to serve them can relax at the end of the day instead of getting anxious. I loathe the last-minute shopping frenzy that i can only imagine goes on in droves around the world as shops everywhere begin to close their doors for the evening. And i only say this because, having been on both sides of the matter at hand, i can honestly say that i have raced to a store on more than a few occasions and had the door be just locked, or the sign flipping over to "Cerrado" right in my face, and honestly- it wasn't that bad! i lived through it, don't ya know.
But when i was behind a counter at the bakery, watching the clock in those few long minutes before closing time, wiping counters or floors furiously, dusting jars, organizing the pens at the register, and crossing my fingers in the hope hope HOPE that no one would come in so that i could just get home without incident, nothing was more heart-sickening than when you saw the expectant face of that person literally running for the front door.

Now, i am one of the more understanding, empathic, sympathetic, bleeding-hearted and even pushover-esque people there are in this world, but this type of behavior would actually enrage me. I could feel my jaw harden, my eyes squint viciously and my blood turn to poison in my veins. When i worked at an outdoor flower shop without doors i could simply say, "sorry, we're closed!" and they would have to deal with it (although more than a few would still hound me- sometimes going as far as grabbing the flowers rudely out of the buckets ANYWAY), but at the bakery we had to have those doors wiiiide open until closing time. And locking the door after that last customer rushes in can go one of two ways:

Scenario A: Person hurries in, looks about sheepishly, points to the loaf of bread they need for dinner while grabbing their wallet and mumbling, "sorry..!" from under their eyelashes. This i can deal with, because for some reason it shows that they are human, and understand. i often will say, "don't worry about it!" or something to that effect. i am glad these people exist; they offer a ray of hope for future generations of shopping masses.

Scenario B: Person saunters in, clasps hands behind their back, wanders over to the cake case, and actually starts fucking whistling. (ok, it doesn't always go down exactly like this, but this has actually happened to me before.) Despite the door being locked pointedly, and the main lights turned off, this looky-loo will inquire innocently, "oh, are you closed?" and when you say, "well, yes" they will just kind of grunt and proceed to ask you mind-numbing questions like, "what kind of flour do you use in this (pointing at the "100% Whole Wheat Bread")?" or "how much are these?" (wow, maybe they cost the 75 cents which the sign prominently declares?) or "how sweet are these cookies?" (oh my fucking god, do we share a tongue??) or "what's in the apricot tarte?" (um, wild guess- apricots!?!), etc. etc.

And again, i know my place in my job. I understand that the customer comes first, but that doesn't mean i have to be happy about it when they are not treating me with a basic level of respect. And it certainly doesn't mean that i should reward the behavior of people who ignorantly act like ass-clowns (sorry, current favorite derogatory term); as if their time is more important than mine (or yours). i have news for those people: it is not. In actuality, we have the power. You see, we have what you want. And if you don't act in the appropriate manner, you won't be receiving those items. That's kind of how it works. And yes, your money pays my paycheck, blah blah blah- but what you fail to understand is that there are many many more people out there in the world besides yourself, people a lot like you, actually, who also have two feet and a wallet, but with one important difference: a good attitude! And say that you decide to "take your business elsewhere"- wow, how long did it take you to come up with that genius solution? Because i could have suggested that to you months ago. So, glad we're on the same page here. Should make things run a whole lot more smoothly for everyone involved.

Whoa... ::shakes head groggily:: ...what happened? Where was i? Oh, yeah- Gail. She's great :) Hard worker and all that. Doesn't feel like she was put on the earth to take crap from people, i guess. Apparently people like us just aren't cut out for customer-service jobs, but i like to think that when we find ourselves in those types of positions, we use it to the world's best interest. I've called more than a few customers out on their behavior, subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly. Because sometimes i honestly feel that if we don't, then who will? Obviously they've got this far in life without ever being taught proper manners, and that is because everyone has coddled them and been too afraid to show them how it feels to be treated with the same (lack of) manners that they are so generously dishing out! The cycle must be stopped.

Whew. Sorry. You all didn't sign up for this, did you? Guess i just needed to rant, yet again! Nobody could have guessed that that's what this blog would turn into. Oh wait, yes i could have.... :/ ::gulp!::

Long story short (ha, ha too late): i asked if it was possible to get a "mint hot chocolate" and the guy said "sure- one venti hot chocolate, comin' up!" and grabbed the monstrously-sized cup. There was some confusion, or flustered-ness happening behind the counter, or something, so i piped up over the noise, "no- not a big one, just a small hot chocolate, with a shot of mint in it?" and then Gail rang me up, "oh sure, honey- one venti hot chocolate, with a shot of peppermint."


If we could just call the sizes what they are: small, medium, and large, this would never have to happen. Really, it wouldn't. And i wouldn't have to swallow my protests because i'm too fucking timid and scared to rock the boat, and afraid to waste anything, so i drank half of the Beast (i think it had at least ten pumps of chocolate) and took the rest home to cut with my morning coffee. Which actually turned out quite delicious, thank you very much!

The end, with apologies for lengthy ramblingness.

Saturday, March 15

"Reverse" Graffiti.

This is for anyone who ever doodled in class by using their pencil to draw a solid block of grey, and then proceeding to draw a picture within that shaded area by simply erasing. i remember doing that on slow rainy days at school in the 3rd grade, accompanied by making pile upon pile of eraser dust (yes, i was one of those kids who was always lost in her own world)...
Anywho, this here is a pretty neat video to watch. I like the idea very much, and his execution is flawless. Kudos to Alexandre for such a great idea, but what a bitch it must've been to use all those nasty chemicals. The man's got balls, figuratively speaking (and, hopefully, literally speaking as well). Anyway, enjoy:

Street Art, Solvent-Style!

Also for your viewing pleasure, here is a link to an interesting art installation using the artists' trash (collected over the course of 6 months) to create a shadow image of themselves maxin' and relaxin'. I happen to absolutely adore shadow puppetry, be it Balinese or Thai animated-style, or simply static shadows made with one's hands*. Something about it honestly stirs my soul. Anyway, i think these 2 artists did a smashing job with the detail. You can zoom in on the picture for a closer look once you click on the following link:

Pile o' Trash = ??

...So yeah! Enjoy, and what not. :) Or don't, see if i care!!

*One of the most wondrous things i've ever seen was actually at a Cirque du Soleil show, Ka, in Las Vegas with my mom and my boyfriend. There was a short scene where a small, strong light was projected onto a large wall against the back of the stage. Two of the actors sat on either side of the light, and told a story with just their hands. One of the best parts was when they collaborated on making an image of a cat, sitting on a fence, with its tail hanging down and swishing- it was amazingly life-like. i think my mouth may have been hanging open the whole time. It was the best part of the show, for me.

Tuesday, March 11

Less packaging, come on!

I mean, seriously. Who on earth needs a big plastic bag filled with several smaller plastic bags, each of those filled with almonds? Come on, Trader Joe's. This is why i would never shop in your store, even when it seemed like everyone i knew was ranting and raving about your goodies.
Four-packs of apples, in a plastic case? Are you shitting me? Sometimes i feel like looking around for hidden cameras, or staring in disbelief at the people around me, but they never notice my bulging eyes as they toss jars of fancy aioli and boxes of mini frozen quiches and plastic-encased pairs of pears into their baskets.
What are you thinking?

When i lived near the Berkeley Bowl market, i was always so happy to see the huge line of people at the bulk counter, having their dry goods weighed. It reminded me of those old general mercantile stores in the Old West, what with their barrels of flour and oats and sugar and weekly accounts inked in ledgers with meticulous swirly fountain-pen script. (Okay, maybe i'm romanticizing that just a little, but where's the harm? As my boyfriend would no doubt point out, they also had to deal with outlaw thieves and smallpox outbreaks and horseshit in the road.)
Where was i? Ah, yes- the intrepid women who would march over to Aisle 2 with their shampoo and conditioner bottles from home, filling them up from the much larger bottles of bulk hair-care products that were available. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! It makes me so giddy. No, seriously.

And when we moved to Pacific Beach, and i found Henry's market, i was relieved. Relieved to see the aisle full of bulk food bins, and the barrels of cereal nearby. For some reason i had convinced myself that Von's was going to be the only option down here in SoCal. (although, it is right behind the building where we live, so i'm not above going there sometimes for convenience sake; mostly for stuff like OG free-range eggs, OG milk and soymilk, that kind of thing.)
And Henry's has lots of local produce, which i'm starting to finally realize is maybe more important than eating "Organic", what with the lessening of federal restrictions regarding that particular oft-touted label. Making sure that we are eating close to home is important. Sustainability, people. Using less oil and spewing less Co2 due to shipping is always good, plus that way the fruits and veggies are more likely to have been picked recently, which almost automatically = tastes better, and better for you.

Now i don't want to rant. I'm not going to tell you to go 100% organic, or become a vegan (or a raw foodist-yikes, for me) or ride your bike to work (although you should if you can). I'm just saying: be more minimal. It's so easy; you just have to train your brain to do it. In a way, it kind of starts with learning how to just relax about things. A whole lot of modern-day "conveniences" are just a wasteful mess in the long run, if we were all to partake. Here are some things i do, if you need ideas:

~Take short showers. This one is like, "duh". Please don't waste perfectly good water obsessing over your cleanliness- five to ten minutes is all you need. Five, really. Think of the gallons going down the drain, just honestly- visualize it.
~Instead of using paper towels to clean up a mess, use a rag (old clothes are great for these) or a sponge!
~Darn your socks instead of just throwing them away and buying new ones! (use a lightbulb to hold the shape while you're doing it- it's actually pretty easy.)
~Instead of buying plastic baggies, reuse the ones you get from the store when you are buying your....
~...Bulk foods! This is an important one. Not everything needs to come home with us in its own dang plastic pouch or cardboard box, which we just toss again and again and again. It took me years of buying box after box of rooibos tea (which i drink obsessively) and having huge mounds of cardboard recycling before realizing that i could buy it in 1-lb bags and use a teaball. Duh.
~Save your empty pasta sauce or juice or applesauce glass jars for dry goods (salt, sugar, beans, grains, etc.)! The same goes for take-out containers; if they are re-usable, wash them out and keep 'em for when you have your own leftovers. Also, you don't necessarily need to go hog-wild on tupperware products; if you buy large containers of yogurt or cottage cheese, those store leftover soup or curry really well. (If i had money right now, i would just invest in some permanent, glass food-storage containers, but i'm broke.)
~Eat out less! It saves you money, cooking is fun, and you will probably end up eating much healthier that way. Also, who knows where most of that food came from that you're eating when you go out?
~Stop using toxic chemicals to clean your house. Wow, this is huge for me. Why do people insist on using bleach and anti-bacterial everything, when all you really need is some salt, lemon, vinegar, baking soda, and whatever soap you happen to have lying around? Get that chemical crap out of your house- you will thank yourself for it later.
~BYOB. Bring a tote bag when you do your grocery shopping. Do it now! Mine is super-cheesy and says "Save the Whales"! Rock.
~Second-hand items. Clothes, furniture, books- so many things are just as good (if not better!) used. Consider it. Where did your new outfit come from? Tiny hands? People with no bathroom breaks? This also leads to my other big thing: Re-gifting/donation. There's no shame in it, people! If someone else can use what you honestly can or will not, then by all means, pass it on.
~Save shipping boxes, packaging materials (bubblewrap) and giftwrap. There's no need to constantly be buying everything new! I can't stress that enough.
~Take a look at the companies you are supporting when you spend your money. Honestly, what you find out may surprise you. And support your local small-time shops whenever possible.
~Be choosy about your food. There are some foods which you should really try and buy pesticide-free, and others for which the concern is not so great. Check this link for the top offenders in pesticide-retainment:

Well, i'm starting to annoy myself now (no big surprise, there), so this post is over. I swore i would keep it short and it's anything but at this point.

So, my apologies. Just some humble suggestions for someone trying not to live so high on the hog. Try and remind yourself that every small (or large) sacrifice you make for a healthier environment eventually becomes the norm. I always tend to think of the phrase "Make more of an effort", but really, there's usually not a whole lot of effort involved in simplifying one's life! Seems like basic thriftiness to me: waste not, want not.

(and if you don't care enough about yourself to buy organic, here is another reason: the workers. These are the people going to work every day, picking food for you and everyone you know. And the statistics are out there. Here is a link to one story; i couldn't find the original documentary that i watched):

Okay! All done! You've suffered enough...... i guess. ;)

Monday, March 10

An X in the sky, and Xs in the eyes.

Two jet plane trails, intersected low in the eastern sky. How far apart were they when they crossed?

So my lovely friend A____ sent me a loaf of my favorite bread from the bakery we both worked at together (she is still there). How does she always know exactly what i need? One slice of Apricot-Wheat Soda Bread, and i'm transported back to a former life; a happy life. Curious how that works. It is Toasted Perfection.

So somewhere on the web, there is a blog called "The List", or something, where people are getting together and leaving lists of 365 (or so) people they have met in their lives. And i think the catch is that you have to actually remember their names, and have something relatively telling to say about them. I think i'd like to get in on this, maybe, and start out today with two people in particular. Two of my friends "who've died!" as the Jim Carroll Band song goes.

First off: Heather B. What can i say about Heather? For one, she was my Namesake. Possibly the first "Other Heather" i ever met. We attended high school together, at the alternative high school where they send all the fuck-ups. She had a snarky smile, green eyes, freckles, big boobs, long brown (sometimes black) hair, and said she was Wiccan, which was something i'd never heard of. She always had on multiple silver rings and necklaces, usually pagan or celtic symbols. She was one of the boldest people i've ever met; witty and sarcastic and pretty much always the center of attention. She would often meow like a pissed-off kitten vixen; she also enjoyed reptiles and cackling with maniacal glee. i got stuck in a tiny elevator with her once. She was so angry, and hollered the whole time, which makes me smile remembering it.
But probably the one thing i remember her most for, was walking around on the street with her and my best friend J__, underneath the BART tracks behind her apartment building one night. Some shady-seeming guys ambled over towards us, and somehow or another words were exchanged (did i mention that Heather was snarky?); one of the guys actually pulled out a goddamn gun, and pointed it right at us. Sideways, of course, with one hand. i was so scared i couldn't move a muscle; i think that's the first time i truly understood the phrase "rooted to the spot"... J__ started slowly backing away, and we both told Heather to "shut up, please just shut the fuck up..." but she continued harrassing the guy, telling him that if he was going to pull a fucking gun on her, he'd better at least have the balls to use it. Somehow, after feeling like i was underwater for five minutes (but which in real time was probably more like one), the guys walked away, calling us "stupid" and "bitches", and also, i think, "stupid bitches". Heather turned around and continued on our walk as though nothing had happened. i don't think we ever even talked about that again.
She passed away a few months ago, due to an overdose of prescription drugs in her system. i don't yet know if her family has found out whether or not it was self-inflicted. She was on a lot of meds; some for back pain, some for mood disorder. Heather, you are sadly missed, which is weird because i haven't even seen you in years.

My second remembrance is Dory. Dory went to my middle school, and when i saw him it was love at first sight. He came walking along in his uncertain, bouncy way, guitar case in hand, shoulder-length wavy hair covering his face, ripped-up jeans and a flannel shirt over a band T-shirt; probably Nirvana. He was unlike anyone i had ever seen. However, i was one of the more unpopular girls (something that i'd been afflicted with my whole school career), and knew he'd never even notice me.
So i began to follow him home. Yep, exactly like a lost puppy. i'd try and hang back far enough so that he wouldn't see me, and i'm still not sure how well that worked. He lived in a part of town i was very unfamiliar with; this only served to add to the allure and mystery.
He played guitar and sang, and listened to a lot of the same music as me (Nirvana, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Guns N Roses), and i swear- he might have even had facial hair in the 7th grade (er- 8th grade? Can't remember too well.) I found his home phone number in the school directory somehow, and began to call him. Every day, after school. Just to hear him talk... to hear him say, "Hello? Who is this? I know this is you..." even though he never actually said my name, so i was never sure if he actually knew it was me or not. Probably did, though :) I was never very good at hiding my feelings for someone.
So we existed in the same circle of friends throughout high school; got drunk together on numerous occasions, and got high on even more. He formed a band, "Dory Tourette and the Skirtheads", and they shocked and delighted the audience at the Teen Center in the quiet town of Albany, CA with lyrics like "she's only 9, and she's all mine" and a song whose chorus was simply "Fat Ken-ny", alluding to a fairly heavy-set girl we all knew, who i actually ended up being friends with later. We never talked about that song, though, thankfully.
Dory had a really adorable way of playing hackey-sack; he would sort of tap it repeatedly with the tip of his shoe, sending it up in the air a meager 2 or 3 inches, over and over again. It was sort of like watching a soccer star play keepy-uppy with a soccer ball on his knee, but with marijuana and beer involved. The rest of us would wait patiently as he tapped it for as long as he could, with his hair always in his face, until inevitably it would hit the ground. Good times.
And once, at Thousand Oaks Park, drinking 40s in the middle of the night, he kissed me next to a chain-link fence. I was so happy at that moment, even though it was probably the worst kiss i've ever had in my life. Oh, well- alcohol can have that affect on romance, as more than a few of you probably know. But i'll never forget that feeling of elation, all the same.
The last few times i saw Dory, he was playing guitar for money on 4th street, which is sort of a chichi shopping area situated ironically down by the train tracks in Berkeley. I was usually with nat on those days, as he worked down in the area and we'd meet for coffee. i would exchange a smile and a nod with Dory, not much more... i don't know when that really happened, but it happens more than people realize. It's weird when you realize that you might not have something to say to someone that you used to hang out and even pass out with. I remember thinking, "i hope he's still playing music; having shows..." and i found out recently that he was, to a degree. He had gone through a bad period; his anti-social tendencies had begun to get the best of him, but in the months before his death he was looking up, or so it seemed.
Dory passed away recently, also due to an overdose of prescription drugs. Again, it is not clear whether this was self-motivated, or just a bad accident. Either way, it was definitely a tragedy. As my brother once remarked to me: It always seemed like Dory had to try a little harder than everyone else, just to get by. And that was true, i think. I truly miss him.
Oh, and one more while i'm gripped by Albany Nostalgia: Joey G. Joey was the type of guy who everyone knew; he was always in a million places at once it seemed. He would visit my mom's house all the time, and was difficult to take in large doses. He had a great guffawing laugh, and would often rollerblade down Solano Avenue with his shirt off and tied around his waist. He had big, wide-open eyes and curly hair and dimples, and was always air-drumming. He had specific sounds he'd give to each air-drum component in the set, and actually gave my younger brother some exceptional drum lessons in this manner.
I had moved out of my mom's house when he died, but my brother still lived there and told me that the last time he saw him, they'd had some completely idiotic fight which was based entirely on a misunderstanding/miscommunication of sorts. I think one of them pushed the other into a planter on the sidewalk; there was alcohol involved, of course. My bro didn't see him again until we heard the bad news. He aways wished that they could have reconciled.
Joey passed away after getting in a motorcycle accident on the freeway. He'd always been so into motorcycles. He was wearing a helmet, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, i think. Joey was one of those people who as a flame burned very brightly, just for a shorter time. Even though it was really easy to discuss his more annoying habits, everyone knew Joey, and for years after he passed away my mom always told me she still half-expected to see him sailing down Solano Ave. on his roller blades, or come breezing through our front door (we were that house in the neighborhood where people tended to congregate; the front door was rarely locked). His wake was standing-room only.

next time: something cheery, i promise?

I've finally figured it out...

...Why i'm so unhappy here.
It dawned on me at 2:30 in the morning while i was half-awake, trying to do the Sunday NYT crossword (i should have just gone to sleep, but i was wary of moving to turn off the light and waking up the Sleeping Grad-student Boyfriend, who so desperately needs and deserves what little rest he can get).

I feel like the best of my life is behind me.

A pretty sobering thought, to be honest. When we lived up in Berkeley, everything was basically peachy. i loved our tiny, sunny apartment, i could ride my bike anywhere i needed to go, and even though nat and i both had some fairly crappy jobs, we had good times, too. Everywhere you looked, there was a good memory for us. i remember thinking that maybe i would start going to school, or take a few art classes, and that everything would be good. Life would continue going along at its pace, taking me with it, and that was just fine.
But then we moved down here, to San Diego. For a year and a half, i have done absolutely nothing, it seems like, for which i am willing to take almost all of the blame. This condo is like a dark cavern, the weather here is hot and humid, the people exist on a totally different wavelength (self-tanning, rampant exhibitionism, teeth-whitening, liposuction, SUVs galore, extreme alcohol intake, etc. etc.), there are very few restaurants with edible food, the most-played bands on the radio are Sublime and Bob Marley (no offense there, Bob), and really, the list goes on. And on. And on.
But what struck me last night was that i have absolutely no good hope for the future. i am not looking forward to anything, except for the day when we can move away from this cesspool and leave San Diego behind us, hopefully for good. Whereas up in Berkeley, life was something like, "what awesome place shall we go to for dinner?" or "which fun thing should we do this weekend, this or this?" down here it more along the lines of "is there even any reason to go out to eat anywhere?" and "what are we doing this weekend? oh, right- nothing."

So yeah. Man, am i ever negative! And honestly, most of this is due to the fact that nat just has waaay too much work to do since he started school, and i am petrified to leave the house because i'm just not the tank-top & flip-flop wearing type, and it's 80 degrees outside. i guess that's somewhat of a generalization though- really it's 75 all year long. Ugh. How exciting. And the light- when we visited the Bay Area most recently, i was struck by how beautiful the light was. Shimmering, opalescent, trembling through the leaves. It's.... sharper, somehow. And people actually have gardens. And there are trees. And bookstores. And good bands. And movie theaters. And more great restaurants than you can shake a stick at (who was shaking that stick, originally, and why?!). And animals, such as cats and dogs. And families; children. i miss all that stuff like you would not believe. Mostly the being able to ride my bike everywhere part. And the part about how vegetarian dining options need not merely be the meaty options sans meat; they can be their own innovative creation entirely. Yeah, those were the days.

But you know what? Yesterday i read an article about how food prices are escalating, all over the world, and i saw a photograph of a crowd of women in Pakistan pushing against each other to order food from a market; some had their faces literally pressing against the glass, contorted and scared. It was quite a sight. And a reminder for me, to shut the hell up and get on with your life. I've got nothing to complain about, actually, now that i think about it, and when life gives you a wake-up call, you just have to actually wake up.

So why do i still feel like everyone around me is washing up onshore, moving on wondrously and unflinchingly toward their respective destinies and destinations, while i'm just floating around numbly 300 yards out, wondering how to get caught up in The Flow?

Thursday, March 6

A capital "N"....

...can stand for so many things.
For one thing, it's the latest Letter. While reading an article about noisy neighbors with my boyfriend, my vision blurred for a tiny moment (come on- i was still drinking my morning coffee!), and an "N" was revealed to me within the blank spaces between the words, with the line breaks helping out along the way. I can't find the original article now, so i'll have to try and recreate what i saw within the lines of this post. Not sure how easy that's going to be, but i'll give it a whirl.*

Another thing "N" can stand for is Neighbor. As in, the extremely loud ones who live above us in this building. Now, i have a confession to make, one which i'm sure will incur the wrath (or at least an eye-roll or exasperated sigh) of almost anyone reading this: we currently do not pay rent. And by 'currently', i mean for almost the last year and a half. ::ducks to avoid icy glares:: And yes, i understand more than a lot of people how amazing this is, and how lucky i am, and believe me i am grateful. I've paid rent on apartments since i was 18, for about ten years, so when my aunt (who owns this condo) said we could stay here free until i got a job, i was pretty quick to accept. We'll talk more about why i'm not working yet later.

So does this good fortune mean i have to tolerate the constant stomping across the floor, slamming of doors and windows, dragging of furniture, toilet seat lids banging down, and amorous romps- complete with bed headboard banging repeatedly into the wall- at 2:30 in the morning? i honestly don't think so. However, this is me we're talkin' about, so of course it makes me feel guilty, and of course i feel like i should just have to deal with it. But honestly, i'm trying to get beyond this self-loathing doormat martyr business. It is a soul-sucking way to live.
Moving on. A few months ago, nat and i got into such a huge fight over the noise coming from upstairs- he likes to pound on the ceiling; i feel mortified by that, and feel that it's actually causing more problems- that i left our apartment in a huff, slammed the door (so the people upstairs would think i was coming up to break their knees), and went up there to talk to them.
Turns out the lady who lives up there is super nice, of course. Right off the bat i say, "hi, i'm your neighbor from downstairs. the one who just banged on the ceiling?" and proceed to explain my case. She seemed baffled, and could not believe that they were making any noise (i could see a guy sitting on the couch in the living room, his back to us; apparently he couldn't stomach being involved in this discussion), and told me that she moved to this part of the building because of noise problems herself. i explained that nat is a student, and studies at home a lot because cafes can be noisy; she attempted to assuage my fears by saying that she was a student too, and also had to study at home a lot.
So after a few minutes, most of which i barely remember because my blood was pumping so hard (this is not something Normal Heather ever does), i think we ended up parting on an amicable note, astonishingly, and she said that they would try to be more conscious of noise. And for a few months, it was actually pretty blissful! Not much more than an occasional footstep or drawer being slammed was heard from our apartment.
The past month or two, however, has been a completely different story. She'd click around in her high heels on saturday nights, parading before the mirror (every unit is the same; i know that's what she's doing, because we have the same damned mirrored closet by our front door) and making a general ruckus, before returning home in the wee hours of the morning with what we suspected was a different guy almost every week. They would stumble around for awhile, slamming things and dropping bowling balls hither and thither. Then La Pasion would commence, and the bed would begin thumping loudly against the wall, either waking us up or keeping us from getting to sleep- sometimes for hours. And hey! more power to her. But fuck. It would be nice to get some sleep, you know?
On and on this has gone, until a few days ago they had friends staying with them or something, which turned out to be the proverbial Straw. It was an almighty cacophony up there; an insufferable din. A barrage of the usual stomping, slamming, dragging, dropping, and many other new, irritating, undefinable sounds. i am really not being overly dramatic about this. It was painfully difficult to be in the apartment while this was going on; it was impossible to concentrate on anything else without our upstairs neighbors being on our brains. It's like i told nat: just for ONE DAY, i would love to live down here without feeling like my neighbors live right in the room with us. i am sure some people reading this know exactly what i mean.
So i broke down. i wrote them A Note. The Note mentioned all of the aforementioned issues, worded as tactfully as possible, and with all the scraping and bowing i could muster, because i absolutely did not want to exacerbate the situation. And because of the noisy sex issue, i couldn't go up there and talk to her about it face to face. No way. i mentioned how gracious she was about all of this in the past, but that it has escalated to a constant daily stress, and that i just wanted them to know, in case they could keep it in check a little better. Sometimes people don't even know that they're being loud, true? Like once, nat and i got a letter from our downstairs neighbor, saying that we were so loud that it was actually ruining her life. I remember being utterly shocked by this information, and swearing from that moment on to always walk lightly, not raise my voice too loudly, etc. etc.
She ended up moving out very soon after that; i think her mind was probably already made up when she wrote the note, whether she knows it or not. But that lesson has stayed with me to this day! We live above someone, too, and believe me when i say that i am aware of this fact every minute of every day. And no, it's not really a hassle. You just evolve your habits, you know? i close the cupboards carefully instead of letting them fall shut themselves, close doors quietly and open/shut the windows slowly so they don't make that awful screeching sound that you can probably hear all the way out on Mars.
(wow, i just realized how boring this post is- can you people ever forgive me? i suppose i just needed to vent my frustration for a moment... presumably my last post just wasn't enough. also, sorry for using parentheses so much. it's a really bad habit, much like my overzealous use of the Semicolon.)
Needless to say, i understand that there are people living above me, and below me, and next door to me, and that i will hear them from time to time. But this has moved into different territory. My concern right now is that The Note only made things worse. For the past few days, i feel like there has been more and more and more stomping and slamming... Either the guilt is slowly eroding away my sanity, or i never had any sanity to begin with.

*My "N" project proved much more difficult to intentionally format than i thought; here is a mock-up, with a really asinine storyline:

......Once uponaday there
......was a woman thatlived
......ina fair castle withher
..prince and his21 catswho
.....had blue eyes andgrey
....fur which was reallyjust lovely, an articlewaswritten
....on themto a newspaper
whichwasreadbythewholekingdom. there ya go! If you squint your eyes, or look at that from a low angle, you should be able to see an "N". i've been noticing these patterns within books for a long time now, and always wanted to do something artistic with them, but i've not thought of a great way to do that just yet. Will keep y'all posted.
::hands out huckleberry daiquiris to all who made it this far::

next time: rememberances of people past.

This is why i don't drive.

So yeah. San Diego. it is always coming up with new ways to disappoint me!
In a rather circuitous way, by airing a TV commercial that made me want to harm the ad executive(s) who thought of it.
A mother, with 2 children in tow, pops up at the local automobile manufacturing plant (i know- clever already, i'nt it?). The clearly surprised Men With Clipboards look quizzically at her; she blathers, "i'm driving 8 hours", while looking appropriately anxious about her spawn, and the men feed her the bright idea that she should purchase an automobile with not one but two DVD players, so that each precious child may watch what he or she desires! Genius! Win-win-win! Her face is pleased; i am holding back vomitous black rage on the couch.
Correct me if i'm wrong, but doesn't this illustrate a root cause of one of the biggest blights afflicting the human population- selfishness? also known as Spoiled-brat-itis? Self-centered fucker-ism? Victimitis self-entitlementata? Whew. i could go on, but i think you're gettin' it.
When i was a kid (ha ha, i grew up in the '80s, which really doesn't feel all that long ago), crammed in a VW bus with a little brother and an older sister, a dog, and sometimes even a cat as well (not joking), we had no air conditioning, no roomy seating, and certainly not no *&%@$&*@%$!! television, okay? We had books, games, warm soda, dozing off, hitting your nearest sibling, mooning the car behind you, and counting roadkill. Not sure what else there really was, but i can assure you it had nothing to do zoning out in some lobotomized, antiseptic haze and cutting off all contact with your family because gee, that would have just been so hard. (did that last part come out appropriately whiny? i sure hope so..)
And you know what? i actually had fun! can you believe it?? And my parents? Yep, both still alive. (although if they had both been in the car at the same time, maybe that would not be the case today...)
As for me? well, i guess i grew up knowing that i couldn't always have everything my little heart desired, and that the world wasn't perfect, and that sometimes we can just all get along- it's called compromise; patience; toughing it out, etc. Are these important lessons?
Damn, do you even have to ask?

Anywho, San Diego also managed to irk the hell out of me in a much more direct manner by the relentless airing of a radio ad for some car lot or auto mall somewhere in this, "America's Finest City" (oh, my god, please do not get me started on that shit-shined diamond).
The little ditty of a tune features some frighteningly-cheery sounding A.I. guy singing (along with what sounds like 10 other versions of his particular model) the hook: "....San Diego suuuUUUUUnshiiiiIIIiiine...!" and i swear, you can just picture the fucking people in their sun hats, laughing at the amazing time they're having on the beach, with their damn cooler and their fuck-all fake tan, and their damned fish tacos and 'manis' and 'pedis' and teeth polished and whitened down to the damned nubby root, wearing the latest bikini fashions and when it's all over, they'll all pile into their damned giant SUV with surfboard rack and cupholder for their constant beer-on, and an unholy sunroof because you know why?
So they can "let the Saaan Dieeeego suuuuuUUUnshiiIIiiine" in!!!!

!! ::head explodes::

Tuesday, March 4

The Owlsfane Horror

So the other night we wandered down to the "common room" in this building, where there are many well-read paperbacks that are just chillin' quietly on shelves, having been donated in times past by well-meaning people who really shouldn't be allowed to purchase books; in doing so they create the demand for the supply which really should not exist...
But my view on all of that was changed when i realized, while gazing at the cracked spines, that i couldn't drag myself out of the house to the library, and there was nothing new to read up in the apartment. nothing much caught my eye until- yes! a romance novel! now, i have never actually read one of these, so it seemed like the time was right. for once i was more curious than sneering about it.
Upon pulling the book free, however, i noticed the title: "Texas Ecstasy". Now i'll admit, the words themselves sounded good together, but the grimace on my face threatened to put a stop to the whole experiment, until i read the teeny-tiny super-title above, written in a flowing script: "Louisiana Love was nothing compared to..." ha ha ha ha ha :) oh, dear. it was almost too good to be true. could it be that there actually existed a whole series of these books, one for each state? marvelous.
It would have been nothing but ripped bodices, strong calloused hands and long, dark tresses from then on, had not the Boyfriend noticed an enticing tome: The Owlsfane Horror. the name itself certainly trumped the Lonestar Liaison, but the cover- oh, the cover. it had a wonderful false front of a stone man's screaming face, and within the oval of his gaping mouth one could view the page beneath- a woman's screaming face! not to mention that the protagonist's name appeared to be "Sandy Horne", and that the whole kit and kaboodle came straight from the discerning fingers of author "Duffy Stein" (yeah, right). oh, the joy!
Well, i was sold. it's possible i actually dropped Texas Ecstasy to the floor while clasping my new treasure against my chest. Nat said, "you're actually going to read that??" but i couldn't hear him.

My dedication has paid off with such witty lines as, "David's palms leaked water." and memorable paragraphs like "She let go of David's hand, reached into her Vuitton handbag, and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. (She had a lot to learn. Who brings Vuitton handbags on a ski trip?) She offered the package to David. "No thanks," he said. "It cuts down on my wind."

wow, people. just- wow. imagine if i had never picked this up? tragic.


...yes, please!
pretty please?

Sunday, March 2


ever notice how sometimes, after you put cream in your cup of coffee and it has been sitting around for a little while, a shape will emerge on the surface? the cream rising to the top, as it were. today mine looks exactly like the Grinch. i swear! it even has that weird onion-top hairdo business. in fact, it looks like an enhanced-evil model of the Grinch, with madly pointier eyes. oh, well-
one sip, and he's gone. i truly have the power.

so, kindergarten.
kindergarten art class! although, i suppose the bulk of kindergarten was an art class... bright, primary-colored Fingerpaint; thick Construction Paper and blunted Scissors; tasty salty Play-doh; the crisp, mysterious smell of Paste in a tub.

The project i remember the most (as in often, and vividly) was a rainy day when we had to spend all our time indoors. Mrs. Frost had us line up at the sink, and one by one we pulled a brown, folded paper towel down out of the dispenser, got it thoroughly wet, and carried it back, dripping, to our tiny desks. i remember sitting there, waiting while the rest of my classmates got their "canvases". the rain outside tumbled jaggedly down the windowpanes, and our desks dripped fat drops of water onto the green floor. the paper towel smelled like how i now believe a paper mill probably smells- all pulpy and sharp. it was hard to lay it down completely flat on the desk, resulting in air bubbles that were poked and prodded all around the room.
Finally, Mrs. Frost came smiling around the room, passing out chalk. packs of multi-colored, skinny chalkboard chalk.
And we drew.

Now, if you have never experienced this particular tactile sensation (does anybody even remember those paper towels i'm talking about? those cheap, brown, grainy ones that seemed to exact a perfect one-two-punch on your tiny hands, along with the crappy granulated soap that would fall out of the soap dispensers, refusing to suds up and tickling the hell out of your palms?), perhaps this will be hard to explain. but i'm telling you- something about the feel of the chalk running smoothly across the wet brown paper was absolutely miraculous... i'm pretty sure i could have sat there for hours, perfectly content to draw bright blue curlicues and hard green jaggedy lines and blazing yellow suns.

The funny thing was, when the paper dried, the magic was completely gone. Mrs. Frost dutifully hung up our creations with laundry pins, but when they came back to you the chalk would simply drift lazily away into dust from off of the paper, and it was sort of horrifying. But then you would remember the absolute joy of the way the chalk felt when it was disintegrating onto the paper towel with a swift stroke of your hand to create those huge, pinker-than pink flowers, and it was all okay. especially because now it was time to play House, which meant one thing and one thing only- Play Food!

I have no idea whose bright idea it was to let us children draw on wet paper towels that day, but whoever it was- thank you. and seriously, sometimes i actually want to do it these days, when i am traveling around, say, and i find myself in a certain gas-station bathroom in a small town and after i wash my hands i look above the sink, and there they are.

next time: neighbors, and apartments.

Saturday, March 1

(hidden) messages.

Word of the day: Festoon!

So, a few year ago i was walking down the sidewalk in Berkeley, on my way to the bike shop to have my bike tuned up, and suddenly i noticed a scaffolding coming up. the building on my right way being redone; there was plywood everywhere and a few intrepid people had stapled some playbills to the temporary wall. it had stormed early that morning, so the sidewalk was a soggy mess of leaves, fast-food wrappers, and a few of the unluckier playbills. upon further inspection, though, my eyes happened upon a bright red "A", right there in a bare patch among the detritus.
For some reason this stopped me dead in my tracks. i looked all around for the source of this "A", but couldn't see anything telling. it looked like a letter-transfer "A", perhaps one that had floated down from someone's graphic design office window. who knows. i left it there and was on my merry way-perhaps a little more thoughtful now, like when i left the theatre after seeing Andy Goldsworthy's Rivers and Tides, and everything was imbued with meaning and possibility.
I always tend to see things hiding within other things, and even though this "A" was literal and not simply an accidental meeting of, say, two tree branches, i couldn't forget it for a long time.

Following the "A" (what a lovely letter to begin with, wouldn't you say?), i began to notice other letters as they presented themselves to me. next were a "D" and an "O", red onion slices in my spinach salad one afternoon while having lunch in a restaurant. then i began to remember some, forget the others, so the list became this: A D O t h E a d. for many months, i swore to myself i would begin writing them down, but i never did. so after the "d", there were a few others, but they have been lost; forgotten.
More recently, there was a perfect "T" from a broken tree branch on the ground, with an extremely long tail, that i used to plumb the depths of a moss-covered pool of water in a statue garden. after that, there was a "y" and a few days ago another "A".

So what are all these letters trying to say? i'm certain that i don't know, and uncertain if i ever will know. but for now, i will keep my eyes open and keep track.

i almost wish (::cringe::) that i had a small digital camera, or a camera phone, so i could have it on me at all times, in order to better record these characters. for now i'll have to rely on the ol' memory, which, as it happens, is usually unusually excellent. (a little too excellent, in fact- living in the past has become a normal routine for me.)

next time- art classes from kindergarten; they were the best.
happy March, everyone.