don't look back in anger

oasis.  tonight.  last night.  today.  forever.  really, i get it now.  after years of quibbling that they were just a beatles ripoff band, i really truly believe they deserve all the hype they've ever received. 

liam doesn't do anything except howl nasally, strut across the stage, slap a tambourine and occasionally play harmonica.  but damn, HOW he does all of those things.  the poised shoulders, that cocksure stance, the lean into the mic, the nehru collared shirt, that attitude of penetration towards the audience.  it's all there and it's pure sex.  they really are the closest rock/sex gods to embody all that IS sexy about britannia since the 60's.  the zeppelins and sabbaths and deep purples and judas priests just didn't cut it.  of course oasis' music is primarily 60's derivitive but they have taken it to another level, adding a sonic warmth & layered depth that could only have come out of a 90's band, turned on by the idea of fusing more skeletal jangle pop with a richer, fuzzy, larger sound which is where the nouveau psychedelia comes in.  damn liam and his charisma.  he, and the way he leads them, is purely hypnotic.

the visuals at the show were excellent, flashing collage-y cutouts of static images, as well as brief flashes of vintage film, girls in crowds screaming, historic footage, a bright red apple which slowly erodes to its core, twirling around in space.  at least they nod to the beatles openly.  some of the footage included london, or rather, british streets.  for all i know it could have been a shot of manchester, but it truly looked like london.  one of the markets where i used to buy my groceries in soho was the photograph for their one of their albums.  berwick street market, a chaotic strip of vendors heckling passers-by about their cheaper than cheap produce, sandwiched inbetween a row of record shops and sex stores.

i nearly started crying.  i was with one of my closest friends from childhood, with whom i grew up sharing a passionate beatles-fetish.  we threw beatles-themed parties.  we would sit in her room and listen to album after album sprawled out on the floor.  my final recital dance at my dance studio senior year of high school was a dance she and i choreographed together to 'in my life.'  i thought of ollie, the boy who is like my little brother, whom i met at amoeba now 5 years ago, and without whom i would have been quite homeless those last few months in london.  i thought of his passion for the band, and of that passion which sweeps their entire country:  it is like that of a national football team-deliriously absurd, out of proportion, and nonsensical-but beautiful all the same.

i miss london.  this is not news, but seeing the streets, hearing the music, it was far more than nostalgia.  i can feel the chill slickness of a kitkat purchased from a newsstand in winter.  i can see regent street in all its crisp, christmas-time glory, sparkling from 9 am into the night, adding a glow to the cheek of even the most frigid shopper or exhausted commuter.  i miss plunging into the underground full speed ahead, navigating my way like a slithering snake, oasis & coldplay's passports shoved in my bag, at times nearly ready to fall out, slipping through the turnstiles, dashing down 100's of escalator stairs, and being whisked across town 10 stories below ground, squished next to my fellow commuters.  i miss looking over their shoulders and reading thier papers.  i miss knowing what was the best selling paperback by observing everyone on the bus and the tube.  i miss being part of the throbbing mass which makes up that arterial town, which beats like no other city.  not like new york.  not like paris.  not like chicago.  i could sense the brick buildings, the feel of their domestic door handle, i could hear the click of their toilet doors-even their pre-fab interior architecture is distintinctively different from ours.  i could feel the overcast gloom of winter and watched the city turn into spring in my head, watching snapshots of the barren trees grow to have leaf after leaf.  i remembered my peaceful strolls across green park with passports in my pocket, swapping the japanese embassy for the uk passport office.  my visits to the courtauld gallery on the strand while waiting for the indian high commission to complete visas for belinda carlisle, or naomi cambell.  i miss running into friends at random.  i miss the sweat, smoke, and heat of the venues.  i miss the night bus rides home with hundreds of drunken revellers, exhausted but not yet ready to give in to our daytime realities just a few hours ahead of us.  i miss being in love with the city in which i lived. 

little thoughts

Each transition is different.  I am not so naïve that this is news to me.  However the element of transition which leaves the strongest impression is that confusing alchemy of pain, painful surprises, i.e. the grit and grime of the unknown, and, if you’re lucky, happy surprises.  Most of life is one transition after another, even if it’s just a transition from the bathtub to the bedroom, from non-fat to 1 %, from sleep to consciousness, but normally we are referring to something more irregular.  The ‘transitions’ of my life in the last few years have all been somewhat monumental, though I never thought of them that way at the time.  I have been told I don’t do things by halves, although I am unsure about the accuracy of this statement, I do know that at times I have not had a choice to do things half-assedly.  Sometimes the transition, or the decision which led to the transition, chose me. Dean Wareham notes this in his excellent and articulate memoir Black Postcards, when discussing quitting Galaxie 500: ‘The bottom line is I quit because I couldn’t stop thinking about quitting.  I thought about it when I went to sleep at night and then when I woke up in the morning.  That’s when you know you have to make a change in your life-when the matter consumes you.  The decision makes itself.’

As far as leaving London was concerned, the thought of future prospects at home became too great to ignore, and so, I left.  After about a year at home, the thought of perhaps finally enjoying some peace and quiet, uninterrupted creative time in my own space paid for by myself, became too great to ignore, so I had to leave ye olde Madera, and with a great big sniff & a tear, my good friends Silvia & Garrett, and also my parents.

For the last year I have felt locked in some kind of quagmire.  The weight I felt in London was not about to leave anytime soon.  Creative frustrations primarily concerning productivity and quality brought me much pain.  Although I got the wheels turning much faster than they could have ever done while continuing the London grind, my frustrations surrounding productivity brought me much pain.  It made me reconsider my choice, despite my lack of ability to do anything about it.  While it never reached a state of ‘regret’ I still had questions.  I still wondered.  Thinking about all I’d left behind in London, friends, co-workers, the life and times I had there, any potential opportunities I might have had if I’d stayed (such as UK residency-but only after SEVERAL more years), brought me pain, and often still does.  It’s not unlike the feeling you get when you realize your college days are done and finally over.  Part of you is exceedingly happy you don’t have to think about papers, exams, or overweight geriatric priest-professors in their speedos at the university pool ever again.  But part of you is sad that you’ll never live in such close quarters with your closest friends ever again, you will never do Chinese fire drills with them again, or get lost in Rome together.  You will run away, change locations, meet people, get married, have children, or float off into the unknown on some kind of erratic quest…..

The painful surprises always produced a cocktail of emotion, sometimes shaken, less often stirred.  More often than not, they surfaced as part and parcel of the continuing melancholy I had hoped to leave behind in London.  What exactly caused/causes this is a mystery of the worst kind, the kind where you are the only possible detective who could solve it, and also the kind where you are never assured that you are destined to solve it.  A scent, smell, or sound can bring back a myriad of memories, some of which only occurred a few months ago, while others should be ancient history.  

Memories are the ultimate tease.  They seem the most tangible of yesterdays, while remaining tantalizingly ungraspable to even the most talented dreamer.  It isn’t always the memories though.  I hadn’t expected to be brought to tears watching news exposes of America’s ‘health care’ non/anti-system.   I hadn’t expected to return to a country where the richest 1% of the population are richer than 90% of our population.  I hadn’t fully considered the stress and frustration of living in a country without reliable nationwide public transportation, or the detriment this would do to my bank account whether paying for gas or availing myself of the rare and unreliable services of our monopoly-run rail system.  I had forgotten how spoiled I had been to have received 4 weeks of paid vacation and free national health care.  I was not unconcerned about these things when my decision ‘consumed’ me last year, but at the time they seemed minimal compared to being allowed to work anywhere in the country, thus having more travel flexibility, and being closer to my family.  Concerns are always more minimal when we the services or conditions in question are still within reach.

The grit and grime of the unknown is primarily a problem of the present, meditating on the lack of substantial evidence for any kind of ‘reliable’ future.  Without any desire to acquire training for or commit to a ‘reliable’ profession or career, this makes any kind of future planning difficult.  The upside of this is that I have no concrete commitments, which are not attractive to me at this point in time.  The downside is that I have no concrete idea of how to potentially pay for or plan for any changes in any routine into which I may finally submit myself, in order to hopefully pay for a future change or transition of commitments.  I somehow have to pay for my preferably uncommitted and ‘unknown’ future as well as support myself in the present time, this essentially requires a submission to the grit and grime of working full-time which I have previously found detrimental to my creative output.  Since I found mother detrimental to my creative output, I have no choice but to once again support myself, and I am glad, very glad, of that.

The happy surprises are exactly what they say on the tin, happy surprises, and I’ve been lucky to have a few of them in the last couple of weeks.  I had not anticipated ever wanting to live with ‘strangers’ or ‘new people,’ again, nor wanting to work for a living ever, ever again-such was the extent of my ‘professional’ burnout.  I had not anticipated experiencing a renaissance of personal creativity and newfound thoughtful freedom upon returning home and spending a year in my hometown.  Thank you Silvia.  I had not predicted on so much local inspiration.  I had forgotten how nice it is to be so close to family.  I had not counted on working on a bookstore in Madera.  After so many painfully boring, frustrating, unbelievably cinematic job interviews in San Francisco, I was unbelievably grateful to finally receive employment at a favorite and respected bookstore in the city.  I certainly had not anticipated a positive response to a months-old advertisement on craigslist, and I definitely had not figured on clicking with co-workers anywhere as I had in London.  The rent I have paid for the sublet has proved worth its weight in gold, and I have not yet lived here for a full week.  I underestimated the power of having a room of one’s own.  I also had not counted on getting along with my flatmates, both male, both of whom are interesting if not fascinating, intelligent, fun, and amiable.  I am happy to be reminded of the fact that not all ‘strangers’ are awful, rent-dodging liars and cheats, and sometimes may even do nice things for you, like invite you out to a show and introduce you to new people.

This is my traditionally long-winded way of saying that things are going ok, and I hope they will continue to do that, and perhaps be more than ok.  If I can keep a tight tight wrap on my budget, perhaps I can afford to pay for those things I love so much after all.  Perhaps I will finally produce something I deem worthy of a publisher’s eyes, and perhaps, just perhaps, I’ll make a few friends, whether at work, on the street, at a show, or with the jazz musicians on the corner.  
  • Current Music
    galaxie 500: jerome

(no subject)

i am an idiot.  i should have bought 'black postcards' when i could have had the discount.  i'm going to try and see dean & britta tonight at a book/music event in SF which is sponsored by men's vogue.  i have rsvp'd but not heard a confirmation-but they don't always reply with confirmations.  i am pissing myself.  this is the equivalent of ladygrey meeting matt costa or kendrad having dinner with kings of convenience.  yes i have met dave matthews, coldplay, dj ztrip, morrissey, franz ferdinand, um, and lots more but i'd never read any of their memoirs, or perhaps had their music be such an influence on my future musical taste.  so now i will probably charge the purchase of the damn book, in case i can get it signed, which means he probably won't sign books anyway, and also means i may be jinxing my chances of getting in.  fug it. 
  • Current Music
    velvet underground: venus in furs


the streetlamp outside is creating a sherbet-colored glow on my window. it makes it look like it is sunset all the time. the electric MUNI buses rattle my wooden-framed, victorian bay windows. people cackle downstairs at all hours of the day and night.  i live above a few smoke shops (i.e. purveyors of psychedelic glass pipes), across the street from a 'rent by the hour' hotel & a porn shop.  middle eastern shopowners operate side-by-side with various hispanic 'tiendas' selling everything from 50 cent religious candles and jewelry to mexican saffron and bimbo bread. my mr. t/a-team duvet is happily residing atop my friend's bed, and his card-table has been reappropriated as my new writing desk, using his candles of st. joseph and st. martin as bookends for my small, economy-sized 'library' i brought up: the ginsberg's 'family business' (letters between alan & his father), evelyn waugh's 'brideshead,' thomas wolfe's 'look homeward angel,' james thurber's 'lanterns and lances,' st. exupery's 'flight to arms,' kerouac's 'dharma bums,' and the hardback published version of the original scroll of 'on the road.' the journals of the last few months and a few from last year are also happily stationed there, along with a hand-painted cigar box my friend silvia made/painted for me, stashing various stationery supplies, computer cords, and ipod. next to that is a yellow enamel japanese cup i picked up for 25 cents in madera.

last night my current flatmate invited me to a free gig at the cozy and atmospheric 'cafe du nord,' where i got to see a band i've been wanting to investigate for some time, 'tartufi,' who have become popular little darlings in the not-so-underground experimental/indie scene up here. the flatmate, who fronts a band of his own and owns a recording studio about 35 minute walk from here, introduced me to about 100 people, most of whom seemed happy, smiling and interesting.  i met an architect who knows someone i studied fashion with, an amateur photographer, and a 4-foot tall guy who asked me if i wrote screenplays. tartufi were good, though i don't know quite what to say about them except that they should definitely tour with the band 'islands.'  i find out on my walk home that my roommate is playing a gig with my fresno band friends rademacher next month.  my world world shrinks ever more.

i had to run out my door on mission to 18th to catch a ride on the 33 this morning. i made it to the bus stop with about 30 seconds to spare. there were sticky remnants of a coffee/starbucks spill on the bus, just past the driver, in the middle of the pathway for passengers. i dodged it, and parked myself next to a 70-something or 80-something old woman wearing a quaint navy 50's hat, and a mismatched suit. she looked me up and down about 5 times, unapologetically. an old woman got onto the bus on 18th, just as an old man was stepping off the bus. the woman goes to take her seat behind the driver, and notices the old man left something behind. she grabs it and hobbles to the front door of the bus, and waves it out the door. it is a ziploc bag full of grapes.

'hey, ya forgotchya baaag,' she says in a nasal, jewish-new-york-sounding voice.
'hey lady you're gonna delay the bus,' yelled the driver.
'but he forgot his bag, who would forget their bag?'
'he prolly doesn't want 'em,' groaned the driver. 'take a seat so we can get moving.'
the old woman crawls back to her seat, right behind the driver. she waves the ziploc bag of grapes to the right of the driver's face.
'YOU WAN 'EM?' she shouts.
'nah, i don' wan 'em,' he shouts back over the rattlings of the bus, now chugging up a steep hill.
'i cain't understan' why someone would leave 'em behind,' she repeated.
'he prolly doesnt' want 'em,' repeated the driver yet again.

the 33 made its mighty turn at the top of 18th, and an old couple crawled onto the bus at the top of ashbury heights, and settled into the two front seats across from the driver.

'hey, is there any way to get this cleaned up?' asks the wife to the driver. 'there's a mess heah, someone could get hurt.'
the driver sighs and pretends to look at what she's talking about as if he hasn't seen it already. there is a pause.
'uh, nah.'
'but, someone could get hurt.'
'you just have to be careful,' responded the driver.
'well WE'RE careful, but there are a lot of people who aren't as careful as we are,' answered the old lady. the old man nodded beside her, affirming her astute observation. the driver held his silence.

a few stops before the bus reached Haight, a homeless man huffed and puffed on the bus, and dodged the starbucks mess.

'there's a mess here, someone should clean this up,' he shouts back to the driver.

after the momentous ride i walked to a cafe not far from my morning interview at booksmith. i primarily end up spending my non-existent cash these days on places where i can use a decent toilet. i rarely want an actual coffee or hot chocolate, but i want to go to the bathroom prior to my appointments, or if i am stuck downtown, with 3-4 hours to kill between interviews, it is really my only option, either that or sit in a park for several hours, not really a problem except that i get bored and uncomfortable, and my outfit wrinkles exceedingly.

my bookstore interview went well i think.  i am not sure how they will compare me to other applicants.  they are exceedingly friendly and knowledgeable and have great plans for the shop, and i am happy for that.  i have applied for more positions today, not many though, as my eyes have started to glaze over both times.

i walked from haight back to the mission in about 45 minutes, when i hit castro i saw full-frontal nudity. i think i saw one of the grooms from a newly married couple.  i also hit up a thrift store and purchased some new/old books, including what i expect will become a new favorite text by heinrich boll.

i returned to my flat to find my flatmate being domestic and making himself some soup.  he's been sick lately.  i checked emails.  the australian has resurfaced (via text also the other day) and notified me today via email of an appearance of one of my all-time favorite musicians at an exclusive men's vogue event on wednesday night.  i rsvp'd but am not sure i will get official approval.  you all know i'm going anyway.  i told the roommate about this event, and where it was located, and we both noted we'd never been to any venue on that street except 111 minna.  within seconds we both found out we were good friends with several of the people who run and frequented the wednesday club night there, qool, my regular visitation of every wednesday of my senior year of college.  my world continues to get even smaller.

i cannot quite fathom how i lasted this long at home.  i have only been here for a little over 24-hours and i am rejuvenated beyond belief.  on my way to purchase some peanut butter & jelly from rainbow co-op (conveniently within walking distance) i spotted my friend and former couch-surfing host dishing up posh food and making recommendations in a nearby restaurant.  another friend of mine semi-regularly works at the art cinema across the way.  a couple of other good friends live about 5 blocks away, near my favorite cafe/bar/restaurant.  the photographer from last night invited me to a show tonight but i declined to get work done.  it is nicer to be back than i thought it would be.  however i also know that i would not be quite so appreciative of this experience had i not stayed at home as long as i did.  i would not have the same appreciation for personal space, nor would i have realized that it is in fact possible to live happily with roommates again-a thought that seemed impossible after leaving my much loved london flatmates behind.  i also know for the next two months i'm damned lucky, with a rent-controlled apartment and cool flatmates.  i am fully aware i may not be so lucky in price or people the next time around.

of course i have about $40 now that i have paid rent, and i still don't have a job.  i have a phone interview with a design firm on friday, which is when i will be in washington preparing to be a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding.  i am to call him, and this is the 3rd rescheduling of this phone interview.  the recruitment firm who set me up with this had 3-4 other jobs lined up, i think they gave up on my difficult madera/sf schedule and limited my opportunities to this one, as the others seemed to have dropped by the wayside. 

i have just figured out how to set up my friend's 70's stereo speakers to my computer, so i have proper stereo sound now with my music instead of my tinny speakers.  if i didn't enjoy spending time with him so much i'd encourage him to stay in LA with the rest of his band and take over his place.

oh, i have neglected to inform you of the decorations.  there are pink-pained gas masks, 2-3 mannequins, 2-3 deer heads (some with missing eyeballs), a pink & white striped painted bathroom-which is decorated by pink-painted 80's cheer/sport trophies, and there are chiquita banana/fruit stickers on each 2 x 2-inch tile behind the kitchen sink & stove in the kitchen area, and various other 'found' objects displayed throughout the house.  it makes for nice impromptu decoration.   the 3rd roommate is an artist who talks with a methodically slow, deep voice, and wears buddy holly glasses.  he collects everything from furniture to 8mm handheld cameras.  the door to his room has a dozen mouse traps hanging over it.  he has about 100 bright green hulk dolls strapped to the wall above the fireplace in the living room, which he picked up at one of the many 99cent/discount shops in the area.  he plans to paint them and use them as an installation.  they also have a band room, essentially what could be a 4th bedroom, with thousands of cables, pedals, mics, a soundboard/production computer setup, multiple guitars, basses, and pieces of drum kits.  i want antoine to be here and to plug him in, but i left him at home, figuring i wouldn't have time or equipment.   

i am now hungry and have my choice of peanut butter & jelly or wheat spaghetti with sauce (remember those days nadine??? THEY'RE BAAAACK!).

if i had more food/money right now i would have offered to feed the oh-so-cute boys who were setting up their moped shop today on 16th.  hot damn.  san francisco got hot while i was away.
  • Current Music
    people's revolutionary choir: painkiller blues

what does that MEAN? the fucking thing sucks

i'm assuming that by now most of you have watched bill o'reilly's outtake from inside edition which has flourished among the youtube and comedy central crowds.  if you have not yet seen it, i highly recommend taking 2 minutes out of your day and watching it, and prepare to stitch up your side. it's a splitter.  here you go: i also highly recommend watching the comedy central version from the colbert report. i'd give a direct link to it but the best i can do is the comedy central webpage:, because they don't have direct links to their videos. type in 'bill o'reilly' and it will be the first thing that comes up.

i keep thinking about this glorious outtake as i continue on my hunt for a job which will help me pay off some minor credit card debt, and start seriously saving again so that i have some freedom for my next adventure, whatever that may be (no i have not committed to one yet. surprise surprise).

par example, i came close to a screaming, throwing, breaking-things fit when i read this job description as passed onto me from some recruiters with whom i'm considered a 'candidate' for which i had to fill out a 'profile.'  i will be interviewing for this position next monday. i have 2 other interviews schedule already, and possibly a fourth.  at any rate, here are some of the fit-inducing bulletpoints from one of the aforementioned jobs forwarded to me by 'recruitment agents':

-compile & input data to maintain seasonal product information databases.
-work closely with creative team to assist in creation and maintenance of creative product databases.
-work closely with Website merchandising team to ensure correct site layout of information.
-interface with inventory management and merchandising teams to ensure site data integrity and correct product set-up.
-create and maintain change forms to ensure database consistency working closely with Creative team.
-interface with site managers, project management, and e-technology team for timely database uploads, site deployments, and reporting of issues.
-manage database uploads to merchant preview, dev, and QA testing environments.
-review creative content for product data integrity.
-coordinate and participate in weekly site taesting in order to ensure correct data integrity.
-coordinate the archiving of Website seasonal features, functionality, and products.
-other projects as assigned.

now, for my scream-o edits.

#1 why CAPITALIZE 'Creative' but not TEAM, 'Website' but not MERCHANDISING TEAM, and thusly why are 'site managers, project management, and [the] e-technology team' not given the same RESPECT OF CAPITALIZATION?


-'correct site layout of information.'  HOW ABOUT 'accurate merchandise layout'-THAT SAYS IT ALL-INCLUDES PRICES, PRODUCT INFORMATION, ETC. 'SITE LAYOUT OF INFORMATION' is redundant. if you make sure the 'SITE LAYOUT' is correct, then thusly, the INFORMATION [which deals with merchandise] ON IT MUST BE CORRECT TOO

-'INTERFACE WITH...' INTERFACE as a verb has only been used since 1962 according to Merriam-Webster.  this alone is shocking news to me. at any rate, i have a hard time imagining myself as someone who can 'interface,' due to the fact that i'm made of flesh, bones, blood, and a lot of water, and the term 'interface' is something i use with reference to either sewing or technology.  is there something so wrong with 'LIAISE' or 'COORDINATE?' or are we supposed to de-humanize ourselves into computers such that we adjust our verb usage to make us sound more 'tech-oriented?'

-'REPORTING OF ISSUES. how about we take 3 words and turn them into one: TROUBLESHOOTING

-'CORRECT PRODUCT SETUP' what PRODUCT? do you mean THE FUCKING WEBSITE or the products advertised/sold ON the fucking website? if it is the website, say 'WEBSITE' not product. since i know this website deals with multiple productS, then please, do us a favor and MAKE IT PLURAL

-'PRODUCT DATA INTEGRITY' how about 'ACCURATE DATA.' all the data here is in reference to 'THE PRODUCT' (whatever that is) and i REALLY don't think the term 'INTEGRITY' is necessary here. although technically it is a correct use of the term, i think it's DOUCHE-Y (yes i made up a word while complaining about a job description).

-'ENSURE CORRECT DATA INTEGRITY.'  well suckers, if you've been doing such a good job with the BULLET POINT ABOVE THIS ONE then this one wouldn't be necessary. even so, as it is apparently a necessary part of this entire evil, how about you REMOVE THE REDUNDANT WORD 'CORRECT' BECAUSE IF IT HAS 'INTEGRITY' THEN IT IS INCORRUPTIBLE AND THEREFORE 'CORRECT.'

-'OTHER PROJECTS AS ASSIGNED' like rewording this fucking piece of shit for the next potential employee because

  • Current Music
    guided by voices: my valuable hunting knife

no reason really

mother still thinks i'm too tired too much of the time. 
"so your blood results came back negative for mono?"
"i don't understand, even your father had more energy than you at your age.  i did too.  do you think you're just bored?"
"i don't think that's it.  this happened in england too, the last two years or so.  you could hardly say i was bored during that time."
"sigh, i just don't understand. you shouldn't be this tired."

i subbed today, which means they saw me at my worst. although i did actually sleep a bit the night before, it wasn't much. i woke up at 4:30 and then 5 and did not get a break all day, although i was supposed to have one for 1st period (the teacher's prep) i had to sub for a family life/sex-ed class (more on that later). 

dad picked me up after school and i was somewhat talkative, and to mother when she finally got home.  i did some emailing/research when i came home and then couldn't sit up  any longer. i couldn't stay awake.  it was about 5:30 at this point and i passed out on my bed, without ear plugs, and with my door 1/2 open. i'm not ever capable of that unless i'm totally dead.  when i woke up i was shaking and nearly dropped my water glass.  this often happens to me when i reach this level of exhaustion.  i felt like i had been drugged, and/or had had 4 pints of blood extracted from my body.  i felt tingly & shaky all over, and gingerly walked to the tv room couch.  i was honestly afraid i'd drop my glass or my plate for dinner so just sat there, shivering under the covers until dinnertime.  i also have this same level of exhaustion after the bookstore about 1/2 the time, sometimes more than that, and those are only 4-6 hour shifts, max, and are extreeeeeemely mellow, compared to say, teaching, or the work i did in london.  i even had an excellent day at school today, so it wasn't bad students, etc. i just, seem to get unreasonably tired from a day of a certain amount of publicly exerted effort (not WHILE exerting the effort-note), i suppose that's what you could call it.  but even when i try to tidy up my room though, or deal with more private matters, i can't seem to do it for as long as i used to, i get really tired after about 30-40 minutes. i'm rarely able to go for longer. now, as you all know, i'm not a tidy person, and it's not my favorite thing, but again lately, i have actually enjoyed clearing things out and getting rid of things, but it makes me very tired. 

i don't WANT to be this tired, i don't desire it and it is not, essentially, very ME.  mom and dad know this and i think it's why they're so frustrated to see it.  obviously they didn't see the 2 plus years i had this going on in london after i left work most days. even when 's' was living with us, and that was in the very beginning, i remember him closing the door on me in my bedroom after i'd collapsed on the bed after work, and he'd start making dinner. sure, i went out a lot, but esp. the last 2 years, i had very little energy compared to the first two.  when i walk out of the bookstore or leave campus i feel kind of shell-like, physically, like my body might collapse in on itself because there's nothing inside it to stuff it out, hold it up.  sapped.

i honestly don't think there is much physically wrong with me.  i still think it's because my mind is often hyper/overactive, and i feel impeded in my ability to accomplish certain things. if i'm at the bookstore and get an idea for a story, or something else in the artistic or 'life' vein (i.e. something i'd like to research etc.). i may get a few minutes to scribble something down, but i can't involve myself in it. i have a backlog of ideas for photography series & art installations or even performance art, but where/how to execute these things? where to start?  inspiration must find a way to work its way into your daily life, and that is often incredibly inconvenient for someone as scatter-brained as myself, who will forget things as soon as the moment has passed.  obviously i keep a notebook and scribble things down, but i do believe when you SEE things differently  (his happens to a lot of people more than the world-at-large realizes) and you don't run just on auto-pilot, life, itself, is exhausting.  when you see EVERYTHING as 'material' and you consciously and subconsciously document it all in your mind, and then try to on paper, or on the computer, even if it's just some random quotes from the dittering old substitute teachers who come into the bookstore every week, it's tiring.  i also know that both of the jobs i'm doing now, are not permanent.  they have no career-like focus, which to a certain extent may be draining me also, in that it doesn't feel 'forward' enough.  but i don't desire to be locked into a traditional career (most of which are disappearing these days anyway, the structure itself, etc.) at this point in time, and am happy reserving the right to non-committal freedom as far as that goes. i also happen to know that while i love a certain amount of busy-ness and chaos, and indeed, thrive on it, i know in order to accomplish certain things, well, i need A LOT of head space.  the lack of 'head space' in the 'real world' is, i find, almost devastating.  the quantity of head space necessary even to get very simple simple wheels turning, whether it be personal thoughts/emotions/adjustments, or more concrete applications of the mind to the world-at-large, i find, almost, devastating also. 

if i was a hypochondriac i'd say i have epsteen (epstein?) barr but...honestly...i really just think it's just a frustrated mind.   once my productivity is more balanced and picks up and i have something produced i feel genuinely proud of i expect my mood will improve, personally, but, i will still have to deal with work-exhaustion no matter what, unless i find that absolutely perfect, non-location-locked, travel-allowed, music-involved, socially-active, artistically-functioning job/career. cough, cough, cough.....

on another note, TB is spreading around madera (the high schools specifically), and i potentially have been exposed to it, and no, my usual cough has not gone away, so i'll have to get tested for that sometime next week. fun times indeed.
  • Current Music
    jesus & mary chain: head on


i have done this about 3 or 4 times now.  i cannot find any regular documentation of my life after easter 2006-the end of 2006 and early in 2007. i have a vague memory of thinking to myself 'i need a new journal but cannot afford one. in fact i did have a journal, which i used for the beginning of the year. it is only 1/3 used.  it's a narrow, yellow & orange journal from tibet, given to me by a former colleague at my old company in san francisco.  i just, stopped writing, for myself, except what i wrote on here, or in letters to friends.  lucas gave me a new journal in the beginning of 07, and i used that journal up for the most part, and it lasted until i came home, and have started using moleskine's or composition notebooks.  i am still scattered with journal-usage, in that i do not put everything down there.  because i am home so much, i can obviously put a lot straight onto the computer, even personal reflection type things, not necessarily 'studied' or 'serious' prose.  just, anything.  still, i am disturbed i had no desire to document anything, not even observations of passers-by, the feeling of a biting wind while sitting outside at a pub, etc. etc.  those are often my favorite things to find in my old journals, those details you may not be able to create so realistically out of thin air.  not my personal reflections, those bore me, but the things i observed about other people, other things, and places.  i feel so sad to not have any of those wonderful things for such a long stretch of time.  such an interesting stretch of time too....
  • Current Music
    caribou: sundialing

sunny, cloudless, 95F

Sunny, cloudless, 95 degrees Fahrenheit.  Average number of yard sales, 1 every 5 houses, featuring assorted plastic object d'art, metal, and cloth items.  Madera High School Color Guard girls occupy all four corners of Gateway & Yosemite Avenues, shouting at passing cars and waving cardboard signs that say 'CAR WASH' in the 95F heat.  Beads of sweat collect on their youthful, spotless, brows. A driver in a red sports car in the far left lane shouts across the passenger seat, out the passenger window, 'Hey wudaryouguyzselling?' 'CAR WASHES' screams a chubby girl in her fully buttoned, bright purple, long-sleeved, polyester suit, with matching hat.  The light turns green.  He peels out at 40 miles an hour.  A 40-something man about 6 inches shorter than the phone box speaks Spanish into the pay phone outside the post office.  There is always a 40-something man about 6 inches shorter than the phone box speaking Spanish into the pay phone outside the post office, and every day it is a different man.  An older woman with voluminous grey hair leaves the post office and holds the glass door open for the next person.  A pink post-it note sleepily gathers black footprints on the tiled lobby floor. It reads 'If you like this book I'll send it to you. Grandma Susie.'  The wholesale grain and feed store/warehouse has put up its 'Wranglers Jeans For Sale' sign.  The Madera County Library Main Branch interior is brown, teal, wall-to-wall carpeted, and hushed.  A shriveled, knotted, muscular man, slightly larger than a dwarf, with eyes popping out of their sockets, paces back and forth across the same four feet, between the copy machine and the paperback discards. Today's discard highlights: Penguin Modern Classics edition of 'Brave New World,' the typed note on a blank, yellowed index card which reads 'reading to someone at work, asking Peter to say hello and get a book ---' found inside a 1960's Vintage paperback edition of Forster's 'The Longest Journey,' a paperback edition of 'The Annotated Alice,' Katherine Hepburn's memoirs, the 'Do It Yourself Weather Book,' and a copy of Childcraft's illustrated Folk & Fairy Tales.  A Harley Davidson revs up outside La Tienda Market on 4th & D Streets.  A few thousand people spill out into the sunshine outside of St. Joachim's Roman Catholic Church on 4th street. A woman in a poofy white dress, a man in a slick suit, and Father Toschi talk in a cluster at the back of a 5-times extended SUV limo.  There are photographers, jibber jabberers, men in Wranglers, women in Wranglers, cowboy boots and cowboys, grandparents, grandchildren, and jolly townspeople.  Girls in fluffy white dresses and little boys in bow ties and suits circle the SUV limo playing tag.  The 5 surrounding parking lots are full.  It is sunny, cloudless, and still 95 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Current Music
    clap your hands say yeah: details of the war

champagne & taxes


while mulling over my tax forms with glazed eyes and blank faces, she turned to me, and sighed at the sight of me in my grandmother's summer robe and winnie-the-pooh pajama pants. 

'i wish you felt better honey.'
'so do i.'
'are you depressed?'

the light dawns.

'when people are depressed they want to sleep all the time. maybe you're depressed.'
'i just want to be able to get a job i can stand and make some money again.'
'well maybe you're not supposed to be working right now. maybe you're supposed to write the next anna karenina.'
'i've been trying mom, it's been hard.'
'i know honey, it's not easy. i'm clueless at anything creative.'
we scribbled some more stuff on the tax forms, and then she paused again.
'daddy and i just want you to be happy.'
'i know, that's part of what makes it so hard.'
'well, the summer after chicago and before san francisco, was the worst of my life. i went home.  my parents were so mean.  i was penniless in san francisco, but i wasn't ever going back home.  at least, i'm just glad you're here, and you can stand us. this is perhaps the last time we'll get time like this before i drop dead.  let's make the most of it.'
we worked on some more forms.  i would have said something in reply but i would have started crying.
'there's got to be something.  you're so good with people. i still think a career counselor might know something.'
'the only thing i can do is travel, and meet people. that's what i'm best at.  at SX i was in my element, i ran into all my friends from everywhere,  well, nearly everyone, and made friends too.  talia and others were baffled i kept running into people from everywhere. i guess most people aren't like that.  but all the 'people' oriented jobs for companies that make money-they spend most of their time at desks, politely responding to emails. they're not out and about doing the things that i've done or want to do.'
'well maybe we should call up dad's old career counselor.  they know things we don't know.  maybe you could be an international courier, get paid to fly to london to deliver important documents or something, i always thought that'd be a cool job.'
'i want to write mom, i am a writer.  it's just been hard.  everything has been hard lately.  the only thing i do well is meet people, stay friends with them, and travel as if i live there.  you can't seem to get paid for that.'
we stared at some forms we didn't understand. mom looked at my long face and said 'CHAMPAGNE! let's open up some champagne!'
'we have some?'
'sure, but let's do the cheap stuff, the local junk.'
we started laughing, i got up to get the glasses and thought of dad, who was already working 2 hours longer than his normal schedule.
'dad will come home, fired from work, and we'll be laughing with champagne flutes in our hands, giggling over the tax forms.'
mom cracked up and got the bottle.
'it's not cold.'
'put it on the freezer, we'll set the timer. i'll put on some duke ellington.'

so mom and i, with a few minor interruptions (my best friend peter called) managed to do what we could with my ridiculous tax stuff. not living in the country for 6 months of the year, being unemployed for over 1/3 of it, and only employed by a foreign employer for half of it, makes it very confusing indeed.  we are hopeful.....we did it correctly. 

dad came home and i saw him in the hallway on my way to help mom again with taxes.
'hi honey,' he said in his sagging, weary, overworked voice.
'hey dad.'
we hugged and kissed.
'they're killing me down there.'
'i know daddy.'

i joined mom to do taxes and then dad reappeared, hovering over the packaging for his new Mac which was delivered the other day (our current mac desktop has major overheating issues and is on its 3rd motherboard).  'you want some champagne daddy?'

he got his dopey smile he gets when something mildly good is coming.
'you want to open it?'
'sure, i'll open it.'

so while mom stirred 3 different steaming pots on the stove and i downloaded more tax forms and reloaded my previously taped Arsenal v. Liverpool match, dad popped the 'cheap' local champagne (still $11 a bottle, more than i'm used to paying for it!) and we all had some.

dad drank his without toasting. mom clinked my glass and said 'to new horizons.'

i have the best parents ever.  i've always known it, and appreciated it, and in some strange way it's made it harder to be home. i OWE them more, not just financially but just as a daughter.  i feel i owe them success, happiness, etc.  and so far, i haven't accomplished much in either area.  i have been happy for periods, successful for periods of my life, but right now, everything is, frustratingly, on hiatus.  everyone says i'll 'figure it out,' but i'm not so sure. 

in other news: no word from green shirt but i'm going to SF this weekend-to meet up with Noisepop people (no jobs currently avail but still nice to meet them) and to interview with a hostel in lower Nob Hill about their front desk position.  somewhat tempted to ring and say i'm in town and see if he picks up the ball (he doesn't text-otherwise i'd do that).  the aussie has been texting/emailing/etc. with consistent, frequent regularity.  it's starting to get very painful, hence the current google search of 'international courier,' to which i 'discovered' flights from L.A. to hong kong for $250....mother might be on to something......
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