september/octoberaugust 07, 2000
august 31, 2000
there is a girl singing Lucky in the next car as i listen to it for the first time because i've forgotten my favorite CD and can't be bothered to find another one. i'm amazed and elated at how out of touch i've become.
i like to follow pop fashion as closely as my age will permit. my body is as fit as it's ever been and once in a while one of the teency made-in-china styles actually suits me. however pop culture is something that currently eludes me. i don't much understand the skateboard culture - excpet perhaps that there's not much to understand (if that's the case), i don't much appreciate the 'wazzup' mpegs, and i entirely don't understand those 'skins' decorating everything from IE to winamp that today's youth have been sold. honestly, i don't even like winamp and personally purchase my own CDs as opposed to stealing them from this internet.
everyone once in a while this incongruence stings me as i wonder if it hurts.
a co-worker, who highly admires another based on the latter's intellectual prowess, asked a rare question of me, for a fellow of his interests. 'who is my mentor' around here, he asked. who do i wish i were more like?' that was an easy one, i said - unflailingly and unconcerned in the risk of insulting him. 'Tom, i answered. he is free.'
august 25, 2000
there are many ways to describe the girl with the long henna hair and the dark eye underlines staring forlornly out the subway darkness. she's a bored girl on the way to school. she's a beaten young wife on her way to the factory. she's a sister on her way to work. she's an exhausted young mother. she's whatever i imagine her to be.
who am i?
about my phiolosohpy of living to the fullest
august 24, 2000
"What I love about cooking is that after a hard day, there is something comforting about the fact that if you melt butter and add flour and then hot stock, IT WILL GET THICK! It's a sure thing. It's a sure thinkg in a world where nothing is sure.
- Nora Ephron
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
Now isn't that the truth!
august 23, 2000
on poots birthday, life's rubber band winds up around her.
i'm trying to explain something to everyone but really i'm just talking circles around my own mind. it's not good enough anymore to have to choose. i want it all. all the possibillities, all the contemplations, all the combinations. as the treadmill fills my brain with life dust, i need more time to contemplate the various combinations. what do i FEEL like doing? hey, who says it's about what i FEEL like doing? oh, birthdays say that do they. well maybe i don't let birthdays rule my feelings. and then during lunch, oh oh, what if i'm the one who's missing things? what if i'm not as on top of everything as i think i am? what kind of cruel joke would that be.
in general, the dust is settling. until just now. until the phone rand. until i invited jerome. until i wonder if my mother wants me to invite her. until until until.
so what am i trying to say. things get too organized and then S N A P !
i tangle them all up again.
i think i am a complicated person.
august 18, 2000
Al speaks and i could not hear anything in particular about it. nothing peculiararly modern; nothing outlandishly 2000 ish. could have been anyone, anytime. a vacuum. but gee is he a nice guy.
a coldness has grabbed our ankles in this midst of august; my month; my glory days. briefly, it wakes us from the summer slumber. maybe this is the end.
it would seem that as America drifts more and more into the CokaCola days;
as the true value of money raises it's head, as the experiment nears completion,
the politicians must become not strong people, not leaders, not democrats or republicans, but a voice for our missing emotions. a sign of security for what we're not really feeling. at least a hint of our old value system, and packaged up in a wrapping that - and i really don't like to say this - but in a frame that is reminiscent of what their previous politicians are, antiques. the type that are valuable not because they are better in any intrinsic way, but because they remind us of the way things used to be.
but that was only my first impression.
now it is Free day and i'm avoiding the monstrous pile of dishes in the white room.
i'm sitting in the tider-than-thou red room, staring at the bottom of the javamug.
making conscious efforts to avoid the chewing, it's been a very bad week for it.
contemplating whether vitamins can really help, and i mean just about anyone,
it's closing in on vacancy. i would love to write about the dreamy notions scrambled about in my skull; about the visions past present and future and the whimsical patterns they form in my minds eye; just writing this reminds me again of 'Downtown' and what were America's romantic concepts of Paris in 'That Girl' when I was a child? or the pitcures strewn about in my childs eye? and how real they do become when you step off that plane, if you let them? now a shudder for all of those who travel this lonely planet seeing all nooks and crannies with the same monotone perspective. turns my stomach, can't explain why.
so here we are. i'm flying high watching Liz crumble. it only hurts because i know it hurts.
i know the tiredness that can't be beat; i know the frustration of dealing with machines and machine-people who can't explain why things continue to crash; i know the impending doomness that comes with not really understanding enough about a situation to take it into your own hands strongly, firmly. and most importantly, i really understand the strongheadedness that tells me that I CAN DO IT, that I WILL DO IT, that I WILL KNOW WHY, that I WILL NOT SEEK HELP because it makes me look weak. i know it, i live(d) it, i see it in her. and i also know that her tears will build walls for her, stronger walls and clearer walls. easier to see through but easier to stand on too. and his inability to comprehend her is the part where my fingers slow down on these keys. where my tears begin to form, where one letter at a time i must write on this page the true and cruelest irony of this entire situation, the true and saddist bracket in the equation. his inability to empathize. he may reach out a hand, but he cannot understand why she is upset. that layer is missing. i call it missing; you can call it whatever you like; but it's that missing layer that causes many parts of our society to crumble. and by crumble i'm talking about things like war.
august 14, 2000
countdown to deserv-ed vacancy: 32 days
if i worry about being a good person, does that make me one?
not by virtue of worrying, i mean, but as a cause an effect.
i think about the people down the hallway who were perhaps not raised in Catholic homes and perhaps worry less about being a good person (i'm not assuming that this is true, only using it as a figure of argument). i wonder if something else inside of them causes them to be a good person.
does one need a motivator?
i'm feeling less and less like a good person although i think more about it.
is this simply a case of observation bias or must i face what i consider most intollerable truths?
here's what Simon had to say:
Here's a slightly different flavour (sic.) to my missive of this morning. I had the opportunity to take a walk around the Paulista area over the weekend. It's, not surprisingly, one of the more affluent areas of Sao Paulo. In spite of that, from the outside on the street it's all electric fences and security gates and very hungry looking guard dogs. Unfortunately these aren't the only hungry looking things on the streets. Three hungry looking 14/15 year olds, grabbed my hat and scooted away down a rather threatening looking alleyway. Ah, well! It's only a hat! Every evening the hotels and businesses place their garbage in specially elevated mesh racks (to keep out the dogs I am told. As soon as the sun goes down and the police retire to the Brazilian equivalent of doughnut shops (whatever they may be), out come the street people. With ramshackle trolleys and cobbled together carriers on their backs, they descend on the garbage. They remove almost everything and, as long as they don't make a mess, are pretty much tolerated, apart from the occaisional pot-shot from bored policemen driving past, I am told. I saw a report about Sao Paulo on CNN over the weekend. Horrific stuff! 400 people a day die as result of street violence in this city. But apparently the Brazilians don't consider this extreme. In a city of 18 million, statistically insignificant perhaps, but the bodies would still cover the floor of the foyer of my hotel with a few left over. It wasn't raining this morning when I got the taxi to the office this morning, and the temperature was already 12 C, a good 4 C warmer than the early mornings of last week. The route takes me through a large underpass. On previous journeys I had subliminally noticed what I took for neatly laid out garbage piles against the walls of the tunnels. This morning the garbage piles were sitting up and sharing their first cigarettes of the morning. Over a hundred of them down there. The taxi driver then explained to me that in a flash flood last October, 220 street people drowned when this underpass flooded early one Sunday morning. I won't talk about food and wine today. Somehow it doesn't seem very important.
i am coming into a space inside of this place. how can surroundings change me this much? I'm a rock; I'm stability defined ha! i stare at the walls and they seem familiar, but the logic doesn't fit. the most important lesson i learned from being pulled away from the mother teat and living in a foreign country and home was that stable surroundings are important to me and no matter what the situation,
only time will make surroundings familiar and only time will make me feel like i'm at home.
well i've undone that lesson in a heartbeat and WOW i cannot tell you how happy i am. it obviously has very little to do with the fact that my surroundings changed when we moved to LA but the fact that changed b e y o n d R E C O G N I T I O N.
i grew up on the ground. i grew up listening to crickets. i grew up in relative peace and quiet. it's as simple as that. hearing the sounds of the trumpet down the street running his scales is a familiar sound to me. hearing mockingsbirds is not. not only is KNOWING WHO lives in my building important to me: but it's quite important that they are NICE DECENT people who I ENJOY bumping into.
so i like it here. after a very short time, i'm amazed that as i stare into the hallway space, i don't feel any remorse about leaving the other place with the bright windows at the long end of the living room. i don't miss staring at the toiletpaper bin made out of melamine or at the waste of space between the bed and the dressers. i don't miss walking over junkpiles to get to the computer room nor the other junkpiles to get to the patio. i don't miss the dining room open to the living room which maybe looks pleasing to the eye (fooled again!) but is illogical, NOR do i miss the constant honking of horns, shifting of trucks, squealing of breaks or the incessant sirens climbing up the hill.
welcome back, i think i''m home again. you'll see more and more of me, is my guess.
august 4, 2000
"sunlight trickles through my window
falling from the sky
time slips like a silent stranger
slowly passing by
life goes on in busy circles leaving me behind
memories like portraits; fill the atticks of my mind
teach me to die, hold on to my hand
i have so many questions, things i don't understand
teach me to die; give all you can give
if you'll teach of dying,
i will teach to you to live"
-old choir song
the sunlight really does trickle through my window now, the early morning august breeze notwithstanding.
the morning java gurgles it's way through my duodenum. sleep was cut early and i'm left to fend for myself.
vacations are being planned; tables being rearranged; memories of simon calling me beautiful ring through my mind. if a wall was photographable, the squares of light dancing about over the stereo would be a work of art.
what can i say now. slightly aching bones and a pressing skull are sharp contrast to vitality earlier in the week as i wound my way, running down the lush slopes of upper Westmount and jogging up the path that winds through King George Park stopping only to marvel and sing my own praise at the luxury of a morning view. the steps that join upper from lower Roslyn feed the mountain like intravenous lifelines; you can get here from there. reminiscent of a time when the priority was the footperson, and as i stepped up each cement stone, i revel in that past, the past that allowed us leisure; the one where human dignity prevailed, cell phones were not taken on vacation, the neighbours stopped in for a cup of tea; and picnics were for real. don't misread this-because all of this lives on in me and in some translated way in you, too. don't misread my negativity, because i see the splendor flashing through my eyes, i see the family waiting to cross the street, i see the boys with the backpacks - i see the beauty in that dancing bag. i couldn't imagine seeing things any other way, not by any other name.
oh don't you worry, in between my aching skull and lack of sleep, i see ghosts that don't even exist.
later. august 1, 2000
what i set out to say the other day: imagine living inside a brain that is now prone to fretting over the FACT that some decisions are made for us - that some inevitable life circumstances are inevitable life circumstances. it didn't used to matter that i cannot choose where i will live precisely and exactly - as long as i was in the general vicinity of where i wanted to be, i was always hopeful that i would meet new people with fresh ideas and perspectives. now, i sit around wondering who i would have met if we would have lived somewhere else and isn't it fair that i might miss meeting someone who could change my life dramatically - someone who could transform our reality and how we in fact lead our lives. it's possible, really it is. when the rest of life seemed like a very very long time, these types of FACTS didn't matter, really. there was lots of time for lifechanging experiences, plenty of people to meet and plenty of paths to take. now, those options are narrowing. it's like staring death in the face. i wish i could say it were not so and i wish that i didn't know that feeling this way isn't going to make everything harder.
but i'm quite certain that it is already changing the way i do things. argh. i was ok today but now i'm still unwinding. the warmth of the keyboard still scares me but i'm getting used to it.
madonna still sounds young. i wonder what she thinks of tomorrow?
drink drink drink. madonna is making my neck tight.
7:00 pm on the nose and i'm still typing. i'm halfway between the freedom of being a spaz and being semi-normal.
i would have just started cutting vegetables but now i'm aching. doors were slamming and to be really honest ...
i was going to cut vegetables but now im not sure i can even stand up. let me lean my back on the sofa and keep drinking. soon you'll feel better. here drink some water, we fight and fall down and fall down and m e n d...
whatever was gained was loooooooooossssssssstttttttttt
whatever we had forgottttttteeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnn
why don't we lay down, talk in the morning? - jann arden, MEND.
august 1, 2000
august is my month. now let me finish what i began in july. i feel so lucky to be me sometimes; mosttimes, my goodfortune outweighing most on this planet. thinking thoughts like 'i could have been born anywhere, anytime, with any amount of CRAP on my plate, but i was not. i've got more than i could have asked for. but turning it around, it's not really ME who was born into anything. i'm me now, but the part of me who feels lucky isn't the me that was born. i learned to feel lucky, to embrace what i've got. it wasn't about ME being born anywhere. if i was born unloved and unclothed, i still may have learned to be greatful, and i still could have been me. being me i suppose isn't only a matter of whether or not i can stand up and say I'M ME!, because we're all me and none of us gets to choose which me they get to be.
that's why i don't understand why they refuse to be kind to each other.
i guess i wish they were all a bit more like the me i got to be.
countdown to vacancy: 37 days. (this me really needs a vacation)