Jan 31 2006

Source/Sink

I’m quite a manic person with regard to my pursuits. I throw myself completely into whatever I’m doing. I’ve been asked where, between all the martial arts, photography, japanese language classes, work, going out, relationships (when I’m in one), etc, I find the time to write these piddly little entries. Most of my ideas gestate during my 30 to 45 minute commute (each way), and by the time I sit down at the end of the evening, I generally have two or three posts mostly written in my head, and I just have to pour them out. I’ve actually invested in one of those little voice recorder gizmos so I can talk the post out during the trip.

That 1.5 hours a day in traffic would also explain why some of my posts are so damn angry when I first spill them out, and remain that way until (or unless) I get the chance to do some serious “did I really write that vituperous crap?” editing.

And why do I actually publish this crap to the world? As a certified member of PA (Perfectionists Anonymous), the prospect of other inspecting my inner monologue compels me to further elucidate my feelings, to minimize the implicit context I know isn’t present (and will forget about in years to come), and since I know this about myself, I know when I come to this silly site ten years from now (or my archive of it), I’ll actually be able to understand how truly naive and off-base I was.

So there, mystery revealed.


Jan 30 2006

Mantra

While we’re on the subject of mudra, let’s check out mantra in my life for a bit. (Will mandala be forthcoming? Those in the know, know….) I was browsing through some back posts of Charming, and a particular post regarding the power of song, as pertained to relationships, struck me. She noted how just about everyone she’d fallen for had a song, a few minutes of vibration, that was able to conjure all the happiness and pain and heartache in a moment and transport her back to that relationship. Perhaps some song that happened to be on the radio when she first realized she was getting emotionally attached, or something that represented the relationship all too well, or just generally captured some essence of herself. (My apologies if I don’t accurately portray your perception here, Charming, but it’s colored by my own glasses.)

She also disclosed that she didn’t generally tell the guy what their song was. I thought it an interesting parallel to cultures that would not utter the true names of their god(s), as the name, the vibration, contained power. To invoke the name of a god was to instantiate power – it changed their mental mindset. Perhaps more resolute of will or strength or virtue, but a change that manifests in action (or restraint) in the physical world. Furthermore, the true names were shielded from outsiders, lest those unworthy debase the name, invoke it without proper etiquette or preparation, or otherwise defile the god, as defiling the true name also defile the god. And to give such power to an outside was to give them power of you, over your lord. Hence the names were secret and only alluded to by all but the insiders.

She recalls why she doesn’t tell the guys of their songs, that to hear to song unexpectedly in some bar where she and the ex may be hanging out simultaneously would cause awkwardness and mar the evening, is analogous to this imparting of power. That sound would affect her evening, regardless of his reaction to it. She’d be compromising her own psychic state, just because she knew that he knew. As proof positive, in the one case where she did yield the name of one such song to a crush, he practically dismissed it out of hand – he defiled the song, the sound, the vibration, the mantra, and ultimately, her.

For myself, I’ve always compiled mantras, some to myself – sort of an acoustic journal – and many to various girlfriends along the way. In my case, I intentionally give the compilation to the girl. I sink myself in it, going so far as to create CD (or cassette, way back when) covers and liner notes. For me, it’s this act of sharing that bonds the relationship together, even if some of the cuts aren’t appreciated or even apropos until I describe why the track is present. We become a duo bound in threads of resonance. Of course, after the relationship sours, I’m subject to the same heart-wrenching discord or loving appreciate when I hear the songs again, just like Charming. Perhaps there’s a little masochism in there for me, or naive nostalgia, or an attempt at appreciating where I was and where I am now.

And sometimes it just ruins the song for me. Perhaps Charming is on to something.

For your ridiculing pleasure, I present selection of past playlists (don’t ask why on some of these, they have too much context to enumerate here). It’s intersting to see the evolution, as well as some songs accrue a multitude of memories that are expressed simultaneously when the track pops on my iPod.

For M:
The entirety of Faith No More’s The Real Thing

For K:
Sauuvignon & Sapphire

  1. Cowboy Junkies – Blue Moon Revisited (song for Elvis)
  2. Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
  3. Air – All I Need
  4. Van Morrison – Moondance
  5. Beloved – Scarlet Beautiful
  6. Portishead – It Could Be Sweet
  7. Medeski, Martin & Wood – Lifeblood
  8. Greensboro Lane – Daylight
  9. Miles Davis – Rouge
  10. Morcheeba – Part of the Process
  11. Patsy Cline – Back in Baby’s Arms
  12. Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World
  13. Rockers Hi-Fi – What a Life!
  14. Sould Coughing – True Dreams of Wichita
  15. Paul Simon – Graceland
  16. Morphine – Cure for Pain
  17. Billy Holiday – I Cover the Waterfront

For N:
Focuslip

  1. 10,000 Maniacs – These Are the Days
  2. Dido – Honestly OK
  3. Cowboy Junkies – Just Want to See
  4. Bjork – Hunter
  5. Simon & Garfunkel – Scarborough Fair/Canticle
  6. Tori Amos – Silent All These Years
  7. Fiona Apple – Never Is A Promise
  8. Cowboy Junkies – Angle Mine
  9. Portishead – Sour Times
  10. Bjork – I Miss You
  11. Massive Attack – Teardrop
  12. Haujobb – Vanessa Briggs
  13. Die Form – The Hidden Cage
  14. Klinik – Touch
  15. Die Form – Lonely Heart

For M:
Midpoint Addiction [CD 1]

  1. Olive – Miracle
  2. Red Delicious – Want Me
  3. Supreme Beings of Leisure – Under The Gun
  4. Leftfield – Original
  5. Beth Orton – Stolen Car
  6. Esthero – Anyways
  7. Silverman – How Cruel
  8. Artefact – Purefication
  9. Olive – Not Alone
  10. Silverman – Gun At My Head
  11. Sabotage – La Lune
  12. Supreme Beings of Leisure – Never The Same
  13. Red Delicious – Vertigo
  14. Autour de Lucie – Salon L’Humeur
  15. Tricky – Bom Bom Diggy
  16. Esthero – Breath From Another

Midpoint Addiction [CD 2]

  1. Autheur de Lucie – Immobile
  2. Esthero – Half A World Away
  3. Kikiwest – Creeper
  4. Beth Orton – Stars All Seem To Weep
  5. Olive – This Time
  6. Sabotage – Goddess
  7. Supreme Beings of Leisure – Truth From Fiction
  8. Nelly Furtado – Baby Girl
  9. Red Delicious – Casualties
  10. Fur Ones – French Bread
  11. Olive – Safer Hands
  12. Red Delicious – Eden
  13. Esthero – Heaven Sent
  14. Beth Orton – Central Reservation
  15. Supreme Beings of Leisure – Ain’t Got Nothin’
  16. Girl Next Door – Gorgeous
  17. Esthero – Indigo Boy
  18. Silverman – Love Me Too

For Y:
Moxione: Increshment [CD 1]

  1. Lamb – Gorecki
  2. Portishead – Only You
  3. Delerium – Innocente
  4. Mono – Life in Mono
  5. Hooverphonic – 2Wicky
  6. Bjork – Hunter
  7. Czech – I Do Believe
  8. Lida Husik – Just Like Candy
  9. Chicane – No Ordinary Morning
  10. The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds
  11. Haujobb – Less
  12. Die Form – The Hidden Cage
  13. Nicolette – Song for Europe
  14. Lamb – Bonfire

Moxione: Postifix [CD 2]

  1. Portishead – Roads
  2. Lamb – Softly
  3. Everything But the Girl – Before Today
  4. Chicane – Autumn Tactics
  5. Morcheeba – The Sea
  6. Delerium – Fallen Icons
  7. Bjork – Joga
  8. Massive Attack – Dissolved Girl
  9. Hooverphonic – Battersea
  10. Czech – Untitled
  11. Everything But the Girl – Five Fathoms
  12. Die Form – Lonely Heart
  13. Qntal – Ad Mortem Festinamus
  14. Stella Maris – Angel-ina

For A:
Shira Saya [CD 1]

  1. The Cure – A Forrest
  2. The Pixies – Subbacultcha
  3. Klinik – Touch
  4. Boom Boom Satellites – Push Eject
  5. Mouse on Mars – Actionist Respoke
  6. Mu-ziq – Burst Your Arm
  7. Autechre – Clipper
  8. Radiohead – Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors
  9. Aphex Twin – Vord Hosbn
  10. Datach’i – Cold Shift
  11. Coil – Teenage Lightning
  12. Squarepusher – E8 Boogie
  13. Infinite Posse – Funky Disco
  14. Muslimgauze – Rattan Kiss

Shira Saya [CD 2]

  1. Plastikman – Psyk
  2. Boom Boom Satellites – Batter The Jam No 3
  3. Radiohead – Idioteque
  4. Aphex Twin – Mt. Saint Michel & Saint Michaels Mount
  5. Oval – Deft
  6. Datach’i – Merrily We Roll Along
  7. Xingu Hill – Headhunter
  8. Autechre – Leterel
  9. Muslimgauze – Vanilla Jellaba
  10. Mu-ziq – Tango n’ Vectif
  11. Muslimgauze – Sikh Out
  12. Klinik – Blanket of Fog
  13. The Cure – Secrets

For (a different) A:
500 Miles [CD 1]

  1. Soul Coughing – True Dreams of Wichita
  2. Postal Service – Such Great Heights
  3. Trick – Love Cats
  4. The Pixies – Subbacultcha
  5. Cake – Short Skirt/Long Jacket
  6. Michael Penn – No Myth
  7. Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)
  8. Olive – You’re Not Alone
  9. Massive Attack – Safe From Harm
  10. Lauryn Hill – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
  11. Maggie’s Dream – Love & Tears
  12. Jonny Lang – Breakin’ Me
  13. Nina Simone – I Put a Spell On You
  14. Cowboy Junkies – Sweet Jane
  15. Portishead – Roads
  16. Mazzy Star – Look on Down from the Bridge
  17. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

Fairyland [CD 2]

  1. Faithless – Postcards
  2. Tricky – Dear God
  3. Rockers Hi-Fi – Going Under
  4. Tosca – Honey
  5. Portishead – Tribute to Monk and Canatella
  6. Autour de Lucie – Chanson San Issue – Ne Vois-tu Pas
  7. Audioslave – I Am the Highway
  8. Frou Frou – Breathe In
  9. Czech – Untitled
  10. Chicane – Autumn Tactics
  11. Massive Attack – Unfinished Symphony
  12. Pentatonik – Green
  13. VNV Nation – Standing
  14. Lamb – Gabriel
  15. 10,000 Maniacs – Verdi Cries

Chronology [CD 3]

  1. 10,000 Maniacs – How You’ve Grown
  2. Dave Brubeck – My Favorite Things
  3. Counting Crows – Accidentally in Love
  4. Autour de Lucie – Immobile
  5. Squeeze – Cool for Cats
  6. Cake – Jolene
  7. Elton John – Tiny Dancer
  8. Cowboy Junkies – Angel Mine
  9. Soul Coughing – City of Motors
  10. Traveling Wilburys – Dirty World
  11. Dave Mathews Band – Lover Lay Down
  12. Psychedelic Furs – Until She Comes
  13. Nina Simone – Love Me or Leave Me
  14. Beth Orton – Central Reservation
  15. John Coltrane – Giant Steps
  16. U2 – With or Without You
  17. Suzanne Vega – Blood Sings

Shinsei Blossom [CD 4]

  1. Tricky – Bad Dream
  2. Perl Jam – State of Love and Trust
  3. Jewel – Love Me Just Leave Me Alone
  4. 10,000 Maniacs – These Are the Days
  5. Czech – I Do Believe
  6. Soul Coughing – St. Louis is Listening
  7. Big Audio Dynamite II – Innocent Child
  8. Frou Frou – Holding Out for a Hero
  9. U2 – One
  10. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes
  11. Faithless – Miss U Less, See U More
  12. Ben Harper – Forever
  13. Lamb – Gorecki
  14. Chicane – Low Sun
  15. Tenacious D – Fuck Her Gently

Wow, that was longer than I expected. (And, keep in mind, each has original cover art.) Some of these are from a long time ago, but they still affect me today. I think Charming summed it up best: “Heartbreak comes in bits and pieces in different moments all throughout your life. But sometimes, for about three minutes, it comes all at once.”


Jan 29 2006

Eco Mudra

On the drive home on Friday, I was something was nagging me regarding the post about kinesthetic cues and cognizance of action. I’d missed something, some illustrative example of consciously utilizing mudra to trigger mental set changes.

The example was an activity of Umberto Eco. (Which, if you haven’t read either Foucault’s Pendulum or Name of the Rose, do yourself a favor and buy them. Trust me, you’ll either want, or more likely, need to read them more than once.) Positively a brilliant mind of our times, and germane to the current reflection on symbols as he’s a professor of semiotics. Eco has three separate rooms, on three different floors if I recall correctly, in which he writes. One contains only pen and paper, one his typewriter of choice, and one a computer with a words processor. In an interview he reveals he uses each one for specific purposes, that each medium lends itself to different styles, modes, or discourses. Furthermore, he actively chooses his environment to suit the narrative he intends to pen.

Eco is using mudra, a physical action, to alter his mental chemistry. What more is this than a personal adaptation of esoteric or hermetic alchemy?

Yup, that makes that last post feel a bit more concrete.


Jan 28 2006

North Atlantic Butt Trade Agreement

Tucker Carlson has certainly (snipped in case it gets pulled):

Former ‘Playboy’ playmate deported
Argentinean model wants special immigration status and re-entry to U.S. TRANSCRIPT
MSNBC
Updated: 4:09 p.m. ET Jan. 26, 2006

Tucker Carlson
Anchor, ‘The Situation’

Here’s a believe it or not story. Talented foreigners around the world are flashing their skills to get into this country, of course. But very few have the assets of Argentine bombshell Dorismar. The former “Playboy” playmate was rounded up by immigration authorities and deported with her husband on January 5 after living illegally in Miami for five years.

Now her attorney is trying to get the calendar pinup back into this country by classifying her as, quote, “an alien of extraordinary ability.”

Tucker Carlson was joined by Dorismar’s attorney, Michael Feldenkrais, to discuss this quest for special immigration status.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST ‘THE SITUATION’: What exactly is Dorismar’s extraordinary ability?

MICHAEL FELDENKRAIS, DORISMAR’S ATTORNEY: Well, the INS has already considered her as an extraordinary ability, and that’s probably her looks, her singing abilities, and her looks, I guess.

CARLSON: You can’t see the screen, but we unfortunately have – we’ve blotted out her extraordinary ability that you’re talking about. And that’s her rear end, of course. She was named by “Mirror” magazine as a woman who possessed one of the top 25 rear ends in all of entertainment. You’re saying that because this girl has a cute butt, she should be a U.S. citizen?

FELDENKRAIS: Well, not necessarily U.S. citizen. But she should be allowed to be able to work in this country. She should be allowed to come in and do her performances, do whatever it is that she needs to do to proceed with her continued dream of becoming a, quote unquote, supermodel and so on and so forth. Absolutely. She should have the right to work, come in, maybe even leave, go in and out of the country. Absolutely.


Jan 27 2006

Inversion

At the risk of offending a couple someones who may or may not read this (if I can’t be honest here, then where?), I’m going to dish some opinions on the New Age-y ting-ting shit that seems to be gaining prevalence down here in SD. (I’m not saying that those couple someones think like those depicted below, but they are the impetus for the thoughts behind the post, and I have known those that do act with such blindness.)

I’m all for spiritual enlightenment and personal development. These are wonderful and difficult things that require a great amount of energy, persistence, and a solid constitution. It’s one of the reasons I train so hard in my martial arts; there is a spiritual and meditative aspect to it apart from all the smacking each other around. The fundamental realization is that this my personal journey, my personal development, _my_ spirituality; it’s a path I believe works for me. It is no one else’s. I can encourage others to try to walk it if I believe it’d be beneficial for them, but I can’t talk them into it if they don’t want to and don’t even try to. Those who see me regularly know that if you ask me about my art, I can go on for ages, but generally don’t even bring up the subject unless I’m talking with those I train with or it’s along the lines of “Do you want to grab dinner tonight?” “No, I’m training, next time.”

If my path isn’t your path, I don’t beat you over the head with it, I don’t inject it into the conversation at every possible point. I keep my epiphanies to myself, because they rarely mean anything to anyone but myself. Perhaps most importantly, I reserve the right to completely abandon my training and viewpoints if I deem it necessary or correct. My training informs my life, it does not supersede it.

I’ve known several people down here that are quite in into astrology. Now, I think it’s an interesting and entertaining subject, or hobby I suppose, but I don’t give it much credence aside from amusement. My sign does not govern my behavior. I am not working on balancing myself because I am a Libra, and if I do achieve some semblance of balance, it is not because I’m a Libra but because I have worked at it. I will not excuse procrastination, citing that I am a Fire Dragon, nor will I tarnish my accomplishments by attributing them to the time and date that I was born. I do find it interesting when the astrological theories intersect with reality, but statistically it’s bunk. Don’t even get me started on the “physics can’t measure metaphysics” argument, astrology is trying to claim science and fact. Akin to using a telecsope as ruler, if you’ll allow the stretch.

That said, I do actively study some of the esoteric aspects of my art, things that include such hokey words as “aura,” “energy,” and the like. However, I have my own theories as to what’s going on behind the scenes – I see the power of these as psychological triggers, not as entities separate from us and beyond our control. These are frameworks for understanding the world and the self, couched in the terminology of the times in which they were developed. The meditations and mudras I perform are establishing kinesthetic triggers, setting the psychological stage to the configuration I want, resulting in the physical (or mental or emotional) manifestation of the outcome I desire. I’ve associated movements and mindsets, practicing over and over, just as you would a baseball swing, so that when the time comes, I can instantly adjust from a fastball to a breaker. Eventually, the kinesthetic cue becomes unnecessary, and the change that occurs merely in the mind (or heart), but manifests as I’ve trained. Perhaps a simpler example of kinesthetic triggers would be more illustrative: tying a string around your finger to remind you of something.

Astrology can be used the same way: ok lotta work to be done, time to get my nose to the grindstone, time to find the earth element in me. Great! Use the tool. Remember the tool is a means, not an end. I get frustrated when I hear someone say something like, “He did what? Well, that’s ‘cause he’s a Scorpio.” Bullshit. If he cites that as his excuse, he’s delusional or a coward. He is responsible for his actions, not his stars. And you don’t have to put up with it, you don’t have to buy into the excuse. New Age-y crap like this is just another cop-out. Take some fucking responsibility. And, of all things, don’t celebrate the the act of tying a string around your finger as more important than that of which it is supposed to remind you. Putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

On a related note, this absence of criticality when evaluating systems is incredibly prominent at the grocery store: just because something is “100% organic macrobiotic pesticide-free hormone-free locally-farmed” doesn’t mean it’s better for you than anything else. Yes, some modern additives and preservatives are extremely unhealthy for people, especially if ingested over a long period of time. But if you’re going walk this path, do some research. Is macrobiotic better for you for this particular food? What about for your significant other? If this is pesticide-free, what are the dangers of the pests that would normally be attracted to this crop? Is it worse? Does the processing of this food make it safer from communicative diseases, or does it inject more non-food related contents? Given that’s we’re undeniably a global economy, will a locally-farmed version of this crop help local farmers more than it will hurt foreign farmers? Which ones are subsidized, where are your allegiances, what works our best for everyone you’re concerned about?

It may seem an aside, some sort of right-wing knee-jerk reaction association of astrology and organic food, a derision of the stereotypical Berkeley-liberal slice of life, but the two are related. Both involve just reading the labels and not digging any deeper. No analysis. No criticality. No personal involvement, no reigning in of the proselytizing.

And, in case you’re wondering, I’m a Democrat that’s registered Republican so I can vote against the GOP candidate I dislike the most in the primaries. (Fiscally conservative, socially permissive – and no, red “red” in “redgeek” has nothing to do with politics.)

I never said I look at the world the way everyone else does. And I reserve the right to be wrong.


Jan 27 2006

Bad “Blogger”

Ok, first of all, I hate the term “blog” and related derivations. It makes me cringe, and when I went to the San Diego Bloggers meeting, I had difficultly summoning up the courage to ask the group at the table at Rock Bottom if it was the “blogging” group. Although only partially true, it smacks of amateur LiveJournal-esque emo bitchery. I have nothing against LiveJournal and MySpace personally – I have friends who post regularly on both – but there’s this popular perception of blogs as the domain of immature, ill-informed, melodramatic diaries espousing the plight of white middle-class high-schoolers. Uh, yeah, not the perception I’m looking for. Aside from the shotgun approach of personal communication to large groups of friends (like the last post), I usually try to have a point aside from detailing the contents of my grocery cart. If anything, I just call this my “website” or “personal site.” (Aside, Ally, who I met at the SDBloggers thing, I lost your number. [Doh!] Email me if you read this.)

(Even some of the better-written blogs I follow have fallen into some sort of online mutation of adolescent IRC: Rob, a bouncer/writer, [who’s met [Melissa][3] before, another talented NYC blogger] ended up going out with Mimi , a stripper/writer, and in one of the breakup posts she states that he’s fat, among other deficiencies, and Trix in Chicago, who’s met Rob before, claims the opposite, and Mimi responds with a convoluted it’s-half-me-half-you litany including both “You need to play games with women, push them away, see how much they can take, smack ‘em around (metaphorically), get them to run back to you,” followed by “I don’t play games,” … but who am I to judge, I don’t know any of them and their all have the right to post whatever subject matter they wish. Anyway, I dig the writing of all the above, but hell, it’s turning into grade school or a soap opera, I can’t tell which.)

Regardless, I suppose this is a “blog,” and I’ve been a bad blogger. Seriously lacking in updates with which to waste your valuable work hours. Photography and black belt testing (and requisite training) has been consuming me almost completely. Testing will continue for the next two months at a minimum, so posts may still be aperiodic, but efforts will be made.


Jan 17 2006

Aubergine

Wow, what a night! Saturday was fantastic, thank you everyone who showed up to Aubergine to support local artists. I don’t have the numbers yet, but the turnout was phenomenal. Doors opened at 6, and by 6:30, it was nearly full, and remained so for the duration of the evening. I met new artists all the way from SF (attending CCAC no less) down to local professionals and amatuers in LA and SD. I’ll see if I can post some snapshots of the event soon.

Quicky sysnopsis: although sales were slow – it seemed to be more of a browsing audience than a purchasing one – the exposure and critiques were fantastic. I believe I may have been interviewed by a local college newspaper (it was rather off the cuff) and an asian-centric art magazine (which is funny, being a gaijin and all.) I also received an unsolicitied email in my inbox the next day issuing a call-for-entries for a juried photography competition; I can only assume the curator(s) were present and thought I had some potential, as I the email came directly from the show’s contact address. About half the business cards I displayed were consumed, so that’s a good thing, and the traffic’s been reflected in my webserver logs.

Oh, I may also have a date with one the local artists I always see around, as well as another girl that I met at the show who emailed me the next day asking if I was single. Damn, that’s cool. Never thought it’d work out that way.

Schweet.

Again, thanks everyone.

(Will return to regularly scheduled styling shortly ….)


Jan 10 2006

Off Kilter

I arrive at Chris’s around eight or nine, after a day of shooting and image manipulation. Sarah, Frenchie, Chris, and Lutz have already started on Foster’s oil cans and a Cabernet, chatting around background music and surf videos.

Frenchie’s getting calls from a friend of Sarah’s, so I buck for my hookup:

“Sarah, where’s all your single friends? We should call them up tonight.”

“The cute ones are taken.”

Chris chimes in, faux-serious, “You need work on that, baby.”

Her eyes flash “Wait – there is one, she just broke up with her boy.”

“Great!” I offer, “I’m a fantastic rebound.”

No one believes me, but Chris votes we print shirts up with the phrase.


Chris sneaks Girls Gone Wild on the tube underneath the Gang Starr that’s blanketing our conversation. Lutz pulls himself out of a reverie: “Fuck yeah, I just ordered this last night! We were drunk and up till like six, and the commercial came on like seventeen times, so I ordered it. Man, we were hammered last night. I can’t wait ‘til this comes in.”

We start a contest, trying to be the first to accurately call out “fake” or “real” or “into it” or “bored”.

Ahh, college. A memory strikes me.

“I know what you mean, I almost did the same thing. I came home drunk and that commercial for art school, you know, ‘if you can draw this duck, you may be an artist,’ came on, so I called in for the application. They hounded me for years.”

Lutz stops dead and just stares. “I got drunk and ordered a porn video, and you got drunk and applied to art school?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Barclay, you say the strangest shit.”


Chris hoists a handle of Cuervo Gold.

“Alright, whose starting? Sarah?”

“Without a shot glass?”

“Yeah, straight from the bottle. Same difference.”

She declines.

I look at Chris. “You know, whever I go out with you guys, you’re full of the worst ideas.”

“But you keep coming back.”

I take a small swig. It burns that unique acrid rot of shitty tequila.

“Yeah. And people think I’m smart.”


We’re out at the pub, funk pumping from the stage speakers, and Frenchie’s telling me a story. The musicians cut to break, and I cut off Frenchie’s story.

“Frenchie, this girl to your right has looked at you like three times now, and her friend’s looked at me a couple times, so here’s what’s gonna happen. You’re going to walk up and talk to her friend, and I’m going to talk to her and her friends.”

“But –”

“Nope, just go.”

I lead, but he doesn’t follow, at least for a good fifteen minutes or so. The conversation with L— is interesting, but not phenomenal. Eventually, I bow out while Lutz and Frenchie take over. I pull back to make a round of the bar, say hi to some other friends that happen to be there, and watch Lutz and Frenchie work.


The band’s off break, the funk is in full swing, and Chris, Sarah, Lutz, and Frenchie are all dancing with L— and her friends. Sarah comes to help me out.

“You know, that girl you were talking to is out there on the dance floor.”

“Yup, I know.”

I’ll fill her in later.


We’re packed into a cab back to Chris and Frenchie’s when Sarah asks. “So why didn’t you dance with that girl?”

“See, that’s not really the way I work.”

“You don’t dance?”

“Actually, I do occasionally, but the real deal is that I talked with her for a half an hour or so, but I usually don’t go for the one-night kill. Yeah, if I’m really into the girl, sure, but for just casual meetings, I just hang out for a bit, have some fun, and hopefully run into them later. This way, if I made an impression, they get a little chance to miss me, and if not, they don’t resent me. Also, I know I won’t do something I’ll regret because I was drunk that one night, and I just have fun because I’m not trying to ‘spit game’ all night long. San Diego’s a surprisingly small town. I rarely go home with anyone I met tonight; I go home with someone I met last month.”

Chris adds an aphorism from school, “Planting seeds.”

“Damn straight, planting seeds.”


Jan 1 2006

Present

We lay, intercession, relaxed without exhaustion. An intimate moment, one of a series, manufactured through the exchange of estrogen and testosterone.

She’s pawing my chest delicately.

“You know what caught me?”

“Pray tell.”

“You’re so … present.”

A meek “thank you” escapes my lips as I’m jerked into introspection, inward, reflection upon reflection. Do I really walk this line? The duality of being, ensconced in the moment, of just enjoying the today and the now and this, and still able to maintain cognizance of cause and effect, of Hume, of the undefined potential? I smile, genuinely, wondering if this line can only be walked when internalized, that perhaps I have done this tonight, this once, and the rest of the time the effort makes it pride, necessary practice.

I’m drowsy now, starting to drift off, looking down at the Amazon from one of those low-flying helicopters skimming the treetops, the rain-forest a lush journey and not a challenge, but that which is and was a part of me that retains it’s significance because it is, not was or will be, not danger and poison and wet, oh the wet, and the green, the midori – in Japanese green is the only color that’s a noun – fuck, the green and the life – and I’m gone, sojourning in the rain-forest, a brief recollection pulling my coattails, begging sage advice from the pauper: that which you are is a result of that which you were, but that which you can be is not bounded by the past.

My lips find hers again while I transfer, kinesthetically, my moment: Such a compliment cannot be requested, only received, and I thank you.

I couldn’t ask for anything more penetrating.