Thursday, December 29, 2005

these boots are made for...oh, you know

First, Boston isn't as cold as I was bracing for.

The wind has filled my hair with mist and pinked my cheeks, but it hasn't gnawed down to bone and sent me screaming. I am pleased at this. We managed to get lost in the car and on foot, thoroughly breaking in my boots and muchly trying my patience somewhat (really - you live half an hour away from here, sweets), but I arrived to turndown service, my robe on the bed and a sweet note from the concierge. Replaced the smile immediately.

Dinner at Legal Seafoods was an orgasm built of broccoli and butternut squash and something called scrad. Or scrod. Or slod. Or something. But mmmmm.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

This is my awesome power:

To walk into a restaurant, order a drink, then almost immediately get a massage from the waiter and confer upon him the nickname "Captain Honeypants", a legacy which shall remain with him indefinitely.

Gwen and Chris inform me that, under the auspices of New England Reserve, the above means that I've essentially just had public sex with this man. Viva la west coast.

Also, I have defined sisterhood.

Sisterhood is standing together, hands braced on a sinkboard, and trying to turn on the motion-activated paper towel dispenser using nothing but your ass.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Big things.

Someday in the (hopefully) quite distant future, my dad will die. And it's nights like these that will hook me the hardest; where I've been most bowled over by the sheer vastness of his understanding of the world and his indefatigable interest in it.

I think the conversation started somewhere around the media or the Iraq war, or thereabouts. Something, at least, that I was used to discussing. I think the conversation started four hours ago. My mind's still bubbling over.

There are four inhabitable planets within sixty light years, and they're all as silent as death. My father's extraordinarily well-researched theory is that life had to have once existed there, but that the window between sentience and self-eradication is, cosmically, almost negligible. That any species, sufficiently developed to have reached intelligent sentience, by merit of the fact that it had to have been basally malicious enough to hack its way to the top of the heap would be obliterated by virtue of that very nastiness. That this has been proven and reproven on worlds apart from ours, and that the silence that has found our sweepings is testament to the small relative window we have to discover each other.

Interesting, no?

Also, a bit of information I was not previously privy to: there are four retroviruses that have left mark on the human genome. This means that a scourge much like AIDS has tackled our species (and nearly won) four times previous to this current epidemic. That we may have hope in this, as an attestation to our crabgrassiness as an organism.

That there has been one single instance of a trilaterally symmetric organism. It was found on an Australian dig. It's a single blip on the evolutionary scale that's thought to have been completely knocked out of the running by a freak event, ending the experiment almost before it could begin.

Too bad, really. You have such pretty eyes; too bad we can't have another to gaze into.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

So this is what happens when you've got no IM to run.

I'm craving connection, I've run through all my call-'ems, and now I'd just like to announce that it's cold and I'd like a massage. Does anybody know what crepitus is? It means my right shoulderblade sounds like a pan full of popcorn on a hot stove when I move it around, and I'd like some tender ministrations, please. Thanks in advance.
I want you to know this.

I've worked out the numbers a bit, and have come to this rather certain conclusion:

If you're reading this, I miss you right now. I'd love to have you next to me, and I hope it's not long before you are.

Happy Christmas, everybody.
I always forget about this part when I'm making my holiday plans.

The part where I haven't belonged here for years, and it's enormously awkward to pretend to. The part where "here" keeps changing - burrowing deeper and deeper into Nowhere, U.S.A., as though my parents are drifting down a river of better post-AF career moves into the heart of WalMart-infested darkness.

Guess what, guys? Mistah Kurtz, he dead, and you'd better make it to one of the coasts soon 'cause I'm starting to worry about you.

My family is completely mad. Most families have Christmas dinner. We work out together for three hours a day (that's one hour at 6:30am and another two in the evening, when most families have dinner - 'cause this family doesn't eat after lunch. It's unhealthy, you know.) There's no sugar here; no flour. The fridge is full of fat-free yoghurt and sugarless orange juice and zero-fat soy cheese. I'm going to leave here sunken-eyed and sinewy.

Okay, maybe not sunken-eyed and sinewy. The junk in my trunk is sealed in the sidewalls like crack cocaine, and I like it that way.

Good thing I've got a list of great restaurants in Boston. Honey child, I'm going to eat and drink and frolic myself silly. I have a dream, and that dream is lobster puffs and pumpkin ravioli and succulent misbehaviours.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Finally, a moment to take a breath.

Between the last-minute holiday scrambling, the schmoozing, the parties, the frantic Santaish gifty behaviours and the clock ticking louder and louder on the Annie Awards, I've been out of my goddamn mind this week and last. This morning finally afforded me a moment to catch up to myself, and I'm overjoyed. I mean, yesterday afternoon I could almost have fairly described myself as 'colicky'. If you'd blindfolded me and set me down in front of a bank of instruments at JPL, I would have been more productive.

First off, I hadn't hiked in a week. The 6.5 miles I put in this morning have set my legs all a-tingle, and put a smile on my face (hefty puppy contingent out there today). My yoga teacher says that this "vibratory quality" is prana, and that it means I've managed to nudge in closer to my true nature. Really, I can't disagree.

Saturday's party was such a surprise - I was expecting six (maybe eight) people to make their way over; was expecting green bean casserole and a couple six-packs of beer. What did I get? Roundabouts twenty-five folks, mounds of delicious food, evil little treats, way, way too much wonderful wine, and a shindig that lasted until 5 a.m. We had a screening of the Star Wars Christmas Special (oh yes, we did) and curled up to watch Serenity again. A friend of mine from ages ago - we were in the acting programme together at CalArts in the summer of '98 - found me on MySpace, and reconnecting with him was a real gift. The few folks that had already scattered for the holidays were sorely missed, but lemme tell ya...what a pleasant surprise.

Guess what? Ben Stiller made cupcakes for my party.

Okay, maybe he didn't exactly know that they were for me - but thanks, Ben. They were yummy.

I spent Sunday recovering from a rip-roaring case of red head. I managed to drag myself off to the Long Beach Flea Market and, safely stowed away behind my big ol' sunglasses, it ended up being a pleasant stroll amongst the musty wares. The sun was at just the right spot to make a light show out of tables full of glass and crystal, and the sea breeze on my skin was just what the doctor ordered.

I leave tomorrow evening and sail, overnight, for points south. Happy holidays, I'm sure, will be mine.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Austie : i had a twilight zone moment after i talked to you on the phone
Austie : i was walking back from brunch with some friends
Austie : we were just talking about going to hit golf balls at the Beverly-Wilshire center
Austie : in koreatown
Austie : enter the phone call
self: aww, yeah. i used to live in k-town.
Austie : "...ok, talk to you later annette." *hangs up*
Austie : friend1: so we are going to hit balls into a net?
Austie : friend2: why would you want to hit balls into a net?
Austie : friend1: that sound lame
Austie : friend3: no, it is fun as hell!
Austie : austin: uh
Austie : austin: what the hell!
Austie : austin: oh! yeah, golf!
Austie : i was about to be like, "shut your jerk holes you asswipes!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

With my feet in the air and my head on the ground...

Strange feelings today - rippling interior sensations that defy the descriptors normally assigned by science.

Here's my best shot:

Have you ever been lying in bed, on the cusp of drifting off, and suddenly had the intense sensation of gravity? The feeling that tells you your limbs won't move, no matter how many neurons you send the shocks to, and that you'll soon sink through the pads and springs and floorboards and topsoil and stony crust. The feeling that you're melting without melting; of the insignificance of your effort to keep your cells pressed together.

Maybe I'm just the first little pig. Maybe he wasn't the fuckup we see him as - maybe he just loved the smell of straw. Maybe he didn't believe in wolves.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I read you again today.

You're like me. Kindof a lot like me.

Of course, that makes sense - but it still throws me. It's like playing a game of memory, and every single card you turn over happens to match.
I hate waking up angry.

It really colors your day. Had such a great weekend, too.

Question of the day: Am I doing it again?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Recipe for a perfect lunch

- a couple handfuls of spinach so fresh it still smells like outside
- a solid chunk of triple-cream goat cheese from the happy man at Picholine
- some big chunks of walnut
- a smattering of artisinal raisins
- a few too many melty-crispy french-bread croutons
- half a slivered apple
- honey vinaigrette, just enough to coat
- a Brandywine tomato, lovingly mandolined into stained-glass perfection

Toss a couple of times and perpetuate a day-long smile. Mmmmm.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I got a box from my mom today.

They just moved from my dad's last AF assignment to a VA post in Tennessee, and they're drawing down their accumulation of stuff. I got the world's most rockin' salad spinner, a nifty colander, and the obligatory windfall of newspaper clippings/cat photos/jokes. And a sweater, that I'm currently wearing. Grey and slim and striped and worn into buttery perfection.

It's my dad's sweater; he's had it since high school, when he was living on a military base in Novato with his sometimes-charming, sometimes-cruel weatherman father and anorexic mom. I spent a lot of time in that city, too, squeezed into a corset and cavorting with the Ren-Faire folk, but I never had an inkling of what the place must have been like when you're not being chased down a dirt road with a peacock feather. Always grey. It looks like my mental picture of Frodo's Barrow-Downs.

I know that he was a meloncholy kid; I know that he grew up to be the most shining example of a human being I could hope to meet. I'm terribly lucky he's my dad. When I used to go to officers' functions with him and my mother, folks used to pull me aside and ask me, point-blank, if he was as perfect as he seemed. That's a pretty loaded question to ask a kid.

What could I say? Yep. Yep, he is. What you see is what you get.

I'm still gathering stories about who Terrence was before he was my dad (a walking tour of CalTech, shared stories of the hikes he used to take up here that I'm currently exploring, some snappy anecdotes about life as a recon specialist on the secret terretories of Cold-War Nevada before he matriculated into med school). I hope the process continues indefinitely. The life he's lived so far has been enviably rich, and I pray that mine will be as much.

Folks who meet my dad and then meet me are taken aback by the similarities.

I got the meloncholy, no matter how I submerge it. I got the compulsion to be always moving, learning, doing - sounds like a great pitch line on a resume, but in my case (and his) it's actual, factual compulsion. I just can't stop. I got the inability to ever be satisfied with myself. And I got the wanderlust - oh, god, did I ever get the wanderlust.

And now, I got the sweater.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

stream of consciousness

too many honesties
milling around
these things can not all be true at once

it’s like looking for a lost baby in a crowd
the truth has gotta be here somewhere
can’t have gone far
it was just with me
sleeping blissfully

i turn my back for one minute
and it’s like it was never here

Monday, December 05, 2005

This kind of thing really boils me.

Spent all day Saturday up in the Verdugos, this time accompanied by Rhee. I'm unsettled a bit by the fact that 'my' coyote came down onto the path right in front of us - literally, ten feet ahead of us - paused in the middle of the path to look at me, and trotted off down the hill. Rheanna didn't see her. I guess she was looking away, but still. A bit shiver-worthy.

That, and the burned-out forest is now full of ravens - at least ten to each tree, with their thick, heavy bodies and deep-throated voices and obsidian wings glinting hard with the afternoon sun. Crossing under the black skeleton trees, our every step was attended by hundreds of beady eyes. I was glad to not have been alone.

Tonight, I'll find out what a gimlet tastes like.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Oh, wait - this is funny.

So we got this guidebook for Maui. Great guidebook - lots of 'secrets'.

Problem is, this guidebook likes to break the law a little bit. It's like going out with a friend who likes to get drunk and throw things...most of the time, you'll be okay, but when your luck is off - well.

We're up at Haleakala, and the guidebook has a bit to say about the view. Drive around back, it says, past the FAA 'do not enter' sign and the state park 'no trespassing' sign and the civic 'no motorized vehicles' sign. They don't really mean it, you see. C'mon. It's pretty. C'mon.

So we do.

Luckily, this story doesn't end the way the others do, with smashed windows and a concussion and stolen purses and lost glasses and busted knees. In fact, it was great. We even gathered photographic evidence of our swollen collective testicles. There's another photo in which Rheanna stands on the car on the forbidden road and breaks another law. But I'm not sharing that...not for free, at least.

I'm hoping the next guidebook I buy says something like, "Take your helicopter into the center of the no-fly zone, drop your hummer in the EPA-protected marsh, drive past the seven federal no trespassing signs, and shoot the endangered species you find there with your non-registered weapon. Pee on something. Throw your trash out the window and leave happy. Don't worry - nobody will care."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

annette_oneil: i want a russian bride
toeshock: <- russian
toeshock: <- looks good in white
annette_oneil: i'll interview you, then:
annette_oneil: 1.
annette_oneil: what is the proper response to, "get back in the kitchen and make me some pie"?
toeshock: 1. "yes ma'am"
annette_oneil: 2.
annette_oneil: can you pull off your own apron with your bare teeth?
toeshock: 2. "yes ma'am"
annette_oneil: and, finally, #3:
annette_oneil: is your knowledge of the english language inversely proportionate to your staggering sexual prowess?
annette_oneil: (i worry about that one a lot.)
toeshock: I no understand qvestion. but very good in bed.
I waited too long.

That's really the long and short of it. I'd first intended to keep a running abbreviated blog in my Treo while on the island; when events shattered any hope of consistency there, I started scratching down thoughts on ticket stubs, receipts, napkins. I can't currently find any of them. As such, there's no cohesion; no way to ascertain what happened when, but for the grey mass of memory I'm left to sift through. Add to that the unbelievable scramble of a day that was Wednesday, spent in the attempt to recover from a week of not-even-attempted work. As such, I'm a little topsy-turvy on the subject of Thanksgiving on the island.

Really, it was a mess of errors, boo-boos, completely devoid of adventure trips and almost free of swimming (none of us was ever fully submerged, as a matter of fact.) It was a whirlwind of ass-hauling along endless miles of Hawaiian roads, marked occasionally by rotating moments of bliss and misery, and in the end I'm glad I'm home.

I learned my lesson on this one: next time, it's gonna be Hong Kong. I remain just the teeniest touch resentful that I agreed to forego my yearly overseas trip to have this little jaunt.

Who's with me?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I did a headstand!

Admittedly, a shitty one, but it was my second class, guys. So stop yer scorning.

Monday, November 21, 2005

We like to party? Da, Comrades!

When Eric "Snow-Dawg" Snow called to say that he was bringing all six feet five inches of his lovely self down from SF to visit my city of angels, I knew I had to plan a shindig to celebrate his descent. I'm not sure how it ended up being communist in theme, but hey - I like pierogies, and there was a pair of red fishnets wrapped docilely in the drawer that were just burnin' to be worn.

It was a great party. Eric and I stayed up until 4 in the morning, long after the rest of the guests had found soft spots around the house to curl up into. He's making the big move from the small-pond industry in SF to the vast ocean that is the L.A. entertainment machine, and he's understandably apprehensive. I always hesitate to use the phrase "everything will be just fine" in these situations, because quite honestly it's not often true (in the way that folks intend it to be, anyway.) I'll try to take good care of him once he lands here, at least; he's a terrific A.D., and that's a skill that will serve him well as he's acclimating.

Plus, I showed him Trogdor. Nothing can make you feel better like a little bit o' the Burninator when you're feeling ill at ease. Check out his majesty!

The raspberry vodka infusion turned out fabulously, by the way. I kinda want to make a big batch and bathe in it.

Spent the Saturday daytime run-up to the party in downtown, practicing my Japanese on the innocent waitresses at Suehiro and buying armfuls of flowers and potted plants for the house. I have purchased my very first Bonsai, which is parked proudly in the prized spot above the kitchen sink, and a lovely little lucky bamboo arrangement to inject a little feng shui into my wabisabi little house.

I can feel my Taurus on the upswing. As my Aries retreats, I'm starting to lust over paint and fabric and warm things to festoon the nest with. I find myself touching everything...strolling the vast expanse of the Los Angeles Flower Mart, my hands seemed to snake into all the bins of their own accord, fondling rose petals and orchids (gorgeous, healthy orchid plants, wholesaling for $7, everybody!) and spiky junipers and the fuzz on the gerbera daisy stems. I stuck my entire arms into the huge bins of peacock feathers and dipped my hands into the buckets of soft, cool sea glass. I pressed my face into so many flowers that I ended up sporting a little orange dot of pollen at the end of my nose.

Sunday meant a big group breakfast at the Coral Cafe, followed closely by Space Mtn's instore at Sea Level Records. They played a good set (bonus - a first track off the album they're currently recording, which is quite a beautiful four minutes and made me think I want to sing it to somebody) and was a fun band to meet. Then we popped back some espresso and jetted off to see Harry Potter a the always-breathtaking Vista yesterday evening. Christoper Nolan was sitting behind us, and it pleased me greatly to hear his little yips of delight harmonizing with our squealings.

Then there was a tremendously satisfying grilled-veggie stack sandwich on pesto-drenched panini between the exposed brick walls of The Kitchen, and we were off to the Blackheart Procession show at Spaceland. I was offically three sheets to the wind on overstimulation and lack of sleep, and I'm fairly sure I made a rather silly picture there in the smoking bar, lips fixed firmly on my Red Stripe, nibbling the glass and looking totally handicapped. Jeff made buddies with the band, though, and I was able to chat up sweet Brian from the Silversun Pickups. So it was worth the wobble home at 2 A.M., I suppose.

Whew. I am so. Tired. Somebody give me my pacifier and tuck me in.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Notes from hirugohan

Fish jello?

With fish lumps in?

Who had *that* brilliant idea?
There's something mystical up there, and it wants to hang out with me

So I'm tromping up the hill this morning - and it's beautiful, and the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, and everything is buzzing with the pretty morning and the perfect weather and the warmth of the November sun.

And then it starts to get quiet, just like it did before. And a cloud pulls over the sun. And I round a corner.

There's a coyote sitting there, right in the middle of the fire road. Facing me dead-on. Big, inscrutable yellow eyes locked to mine. She is so calm.

Part of me - the primal part - freaks out a bit; wants me to run. But she keeps my eyes with hers, and she's not going to hurt me. We stay there for a moment in the stillness. She bows her head to me, gets up, and walks away. I get the sense that she wants me to follow her, but I don't.

The quiet dissolves into chirps and wind and the crunch of my feet. The moment's over.

I'm out for another hour after that, and though I don't see her again I can feel her watching me.

What's going on up there, and why does it keep finding me like this?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The promontory of the world

As I pulled out of the driveway to head for my hills this morning, a spatter of rain misted my windshield. A quick flick of the wiper blades pushed them aside, but I was thereby warned.

See, I've managed to find a canyon that escaped the recent firestorm; it's tucked deep into a cleft of the Verdugos, and its ascent is quite steep. As I pulled up at the end of the access road, the misting rain had settled a gauzy curtain - delicate at the edges, but thicker and whiter and quieter as I tromped onward up the slope.

The light, cold rain had driven every other living being from the hills, leaving me in a bubble of chest-high scrub and orange earth and the phantom tracings of bare trees shadowy against the solid bank of mist.

I reached the flat space at the top of the steep hill, and it nearly took my breath. The mist had come in so thickly that the cap of the hill was the only space I could see, and its edges - not five paces from me - were already nearly erased by the gauzy curtain that had fallen down around it. What sunlight pushed through the mists softened every curve and line in its path. The silence was deafening. I could feel my heartbeat ringing in my ears; could hear the subtleties of my breathing.

The silence deepened, and I felt a stirring in the air, and I had the unmistakable sense that the rest of the world around this promontory had dropped away. I felt as though I had been invited home to do reverance to my Celt ancestors; as though the blood of Niall in my veins had pulled me here to this place, to dip into the magic that is our shared birthright. I honored the moment as best I could, knowing the little I know of the old religion, but my words floated lightly on the surface of what was going on inside, like a light hand gently stirring a fire.

Then, as quickly as it had come, it passed.

I breathed for a moment, did a couple of (extremely) basic standing yoga poses to clear my head, and started off down the hill. The experience left me so stunned and foot-floaty that I hardly noticed when the rain started to pour down, soaking me to my bones.

(And oh, yes, there was petrichor. Musky and spiked with sage and eucalyptus and a hint of raw-sugar earth, filling my lungs and spilling out into my chest with memories of other rainy moments; other wet roads; other shrouded days.)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Here's where I burst into Lee Greenwood:

Whoa. Didn't expect *that*. So I stroll into my neighborhood polling place, ballot book in hand, ready to take on the awesome responsibility of plunking the little inky thing into the little hole and changing the course of history.

What do I get?

Weapons-grade cuteness, in the form of a green-eyed, jet-black-haired, well-tatted devildoll with the name book in front of her. She has two clovers on her forearms and a pretty little nosering. Brittany.

What do I do about it?

Introduce myself. Flirt gently.

Get totally and completely shy, and amble abashedly off without a phone number.

Spend the walk home listening to Jeff making horrendous fun of my acute attack of the bashfuls.

Today has been liberally sprinkled in negativism. I feel like I've been floating anchorless in a sea of bad blood. I'm extremely susceptible to the influence of others' moods, and today has laid waste to my natural giddiness.

My funk is in small part due to the fact that I won't be kickin' it at the Fonda tonight with Broken Social Scene - for a number of reasons, but one of them keeps popping up repeatedly. I'm getting a little miffed at this process: once a band I get to love achieves some moderate level of popularity, someone whisks them off and chains them to the foot of Ticketmaster's bed. When I'm not working, it's just hard to justify the cost. Yeah, I can write it off...but owie.

Hope tonight's plans are up to the task of fixing me...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Further consumption, conspicuously

Bought a pair of jeans that hug my ass like a mother hugs a son freshly returned from war. Between that and the boots, I'm going to go skeet shooting with human hearts this week.

I'm actually a very nice girl. Don't let me fool you.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Como fue mi fin de semana

What a blur.

I just stepped in the door from my Jarhead screening. I fully understand that most of the world stands in disagreement with me on this issue, but I quite liked it. And *not* just for Sweet Baby Jake in two Santa hats; though, come to think of it, this contributes more than peripherally to the overall appeal. I was going to write a rather hamhanded review here, but I'll instead just note that there were moments that absolutely took the breath from my body.

Oh - and that Mr. Gyllenhaal, Peter Starsgaard, and Lucas Black will all be making an appearence in some dark corner of my subconscious mind, and it'll probably be in tandem.

Friday night's descent upon Mr. T's Bowl (the finest not-a-bowling-establishment in southern California, if such a thing should happen to exist elsewhere) brought Newcastles aplenty, as well as several charcoal drawings done as a collaboration between our little crew and a couple of completely boozled anarchists and some music, as Mr. T's tends to. First came a set by a band called The Modulators, which made me clap and rock out in exactly the same way as if I'd been cheering on a couple of guys from my high school in their own garage (really, it had a lot of charm). Then came the coup de grace - a bunch of guys dressed in short-sleeved dress shirts, ties, pressed pants, and bike helmets. Oh, yes - The Mormons. Keep in mind that all of this takes place in a womb of tinsel, Christmas lights, musty velvet and, on that evening at least, the soft glow of black light on fake plastic cobwebs. Behind the stage, a faded, six-foot-tall poster of a ghetto blaster peels amicably from the wall. The crowd is as mixed as a Benetton ad on a bender, and the front hall always smells faintly of recently-smoked pot. Truly pleasant.

Saturday started out cruising around downtown with Sarah, shopping madly for Christmas presents and nest-featherings. I'll photograph my lovely take and Flickr it presently. From that point, it was a flurry of cooking for the Jamaican dinner, which was a spiral into sweet madness. The spread was epic - chocho, curry rundown, rice & peas, rum bread pudding, boiled green banana, bammy, and a hefty dose of the platanos I used to be willing to swim to Taboga for. It was lovely enough, and soaked in sorrel-rum punch and Red Stripe and affection it became nearly transcendent. Cosku took out a guitar at about midnight, and we gifted the neighborhood with high-decibel versions of such I'm-drunk-and-feeling-ebullient classics as More Than Words and Wonderful Tonight.

I woke up this morning in a warm sunspot, cuddled between beloved companions, smelling faintly of Turkish cigarettes and just having emerged from an exquisite dream. We were sitting back to back on a beach, and you were playing the Iron & Wine cover of 'Such Great Heights'. I remember feeling your ribcage expand and contract with the little breaths you took between the stanzas. The imprint of the dream was so strong that I was sure when I got up, I'd have to brush the sand from the bottoms of my feet.

Of course, I spent most of today paying for it. Good lord, I haven't been that hung over in years. Slept until two, then went out with Rheanna and was convinced to buy a pair of (admittedly, white-hot) boots that cost as much as a weekend trip to the east coast. That's MISS Impulsive to you, smartass.

An auspicious start to the week, for sure and for certain...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Love is like falling, and falling is like this.

Something about the yoga yesterday opened me - cracked back my ribs and laid me bare. Everything wants out.

Thanks for the jeans. They feel nice...I know they're made to fit a boy's body and mine is nowhere close, but they're soft and beaten-in and long enough to fit my faraway ankles. This theme of sharing is the strongest sign we clutch between us - our differences being so many, and our long acquaintance spent almost entirely in helping each other boulder through The Tough Stuff. Wearing these, the complications seem surmountable - as here's a similarity; we both fit these. So thanks for letting it be complicated. Thanks for trying so hard.

Feels like reckless driving when we're talking
It's fun while it lasts, and it's faster than walking
But no one's going to sympathize when we crash
They'll say "you hit what you head for, you get what you ask"
And we'll say we didn't know, we didn't even try
One minute there was road beneath us, the next just sky
"Intimacy junkie," she called me, laughing, and let her fingers dig slightly into the fleshy part of my thigh where it emerged from my skirt.

Oh, god - maybe.
Out this morning, I walked by a hill that looked like it was piled in green velvet. The sun was striping through the trees and laying across it a thick gauze of morning-soft gold, throwing up sparks in the dew liberally sprinkled over the surface. When the light breeze came through, the patterns of light would shift slightly, beckoning.

"If I had that song with me," I thought, "I would lie here. And listen to it."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Oh. So that's it.

I shouldn't have fretted. I feel long - and warm - and beautiful. Like somebody emptied pebbles out of my gut and gave me a kiss.

I like this exotic stretchy thing.
Some days I wonder if I'm doing it all wrong. I guess this is just one of those days.

I caught a bug from Rhee last week - or, at least, I'm demonstrating the exact same sequence of bizarre symptoms - and she told me that, if indeed we are nursing the same illness, I should expect to feel restless and ill-at-ease with the world for most of this week. I guess I'm either:

1. Happy it didn't take hold on Monday.
2. Actually, factually doing it all wrong and blaming the illness unfairly.

Yoga, lift my funk from me! You're my only hope.

I was going to see Exene Cervenka perform at her art show tonight in Santa Monica, but the drive wrung that desire out of me - that and the odd companionship I certainly would have found there. I wonder what's going on tomorrow night, or if I'll end up wandering out to see Jarhead instead of taking advantage of any of the billions of diversions I can only partake of in Los Angeles. Ooh! I could go see it at the Vista and follow up by taking everyone for tapas to Cobras & Matadors (the lowest corkage in the city - so maybe I'll start to chip away at the prodigious collection of Hatcher I'm hoarding...)

Stream of consciousness, I know. I'm yanking the leash to get to my weekend, yanking the leash to get to Hawai'i, yanking the leash to get to Christmas, and New Years', and... Sigh. The stuff in between seems like a sorry excuse for filler, and my cravings are only getting stronger.

Poetry can not express this.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

OK, so I'm doing it...

...I made arrangements to start down the path of pretzelhood. I take my first yoga class tomorrow at 6.30pm.

The studio doesn't even have a website. I'm having flashes of Heart of Darkness here.

I can only imagine how dumb and unwieldy I'm going to be. Have you seen Bambi? The scene where he's ice-skating with Thumper? And his feet won't stay squarely underneath him, so he ends up all sloppy and careening and stuck in snowdrifts? Yeah. Me, tomorrow, without the snow.

I will not be taking video.

Hey, maybe after I shake off the chains of suckiness I can use it as a shameless excuse to get out of town. Ooh, to bend myself into silly shapes on foreign shores. Pleasant.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A helpful chart for reference when buying me candy:

Cheap red lollipops
Most jellybeans
Double-Bubble. I've actually never managed to convince this stuff to be single-bubble. Bazooka, too, despite its macho, warlike facade.
Wax lips. Why are these distributed as candy? Not only are they non-caloric, but wildly unflattering besides.
Big, swirly, colorful lollipops sold for $15.00/ea at Disneyland and other theme parks of significance.

Most candies involving peanuts or the butter derived from same
Candies that include cherries somewhere in the synthesis (dark-chocolate coating a plus). Mani's has one of the best ones; I'll take you there if you come and see me.
Junior Mints
That sour-apple lollipop with the caramel dip
Coffee candy
Most saltwater taffy. Makes me think of sticky-fingered beachwalks, big hats, and sand between my toes.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick? Treat.

Friday night got started on what was technically Saturday morning, due to the logistical challenges inherent in dressing entirely in duct tape and sail grommets. The party ended up being well worth it, however...between the MST3K-style Poltergeist screening and the totally-snookered poker, I ended up staying until the morning sun started to come over the hills. I'll Flickr the photographic evidence later this week.

...and then I headed straight to work. Ugh.

But after ten hours of drudge, I got myself to Little Tokyo to be pounded senseless by a middle-aged Japanese woman. You see, I've never actually *had* a massage before (at least, not a massage for which I was arranging and paying), so the concept was something of a novelty. Considering all I'd heard about Shiatsu...I mean, you pay to have people step on you?!...I was understandably skeptical. But's as though my ribcage were a locked box, and she figured out how to open it with her toes. By body is functioning differently today, after spending most of yesterday aching and recovering from her ministrations.

It wasn't what I'd expected...first of all, it *hurt*. Lying on the mat in that little room, I'd feel her foot come down in a warm little caress - a caress that turned cruel and pulsing, pinpointing exactly where my body cried out for pressure to *not* be applied, then digging deep into the space between my bones. And then, just when I was certain I was going to yelp and buck, it was gone. And then it would begin again. Today, however, my neck feels a mile long, my legs supple, and my spinal column as though someone took a can of WD-40 to every moving part. It's lovely.

And then, afterward, I wandered through the neighborhood to have udon with friends...a warm ending to a chilly night. We'd planned to hit the art colony party, twisting and flirting with the scruffle-headed, overserious trust-fund babies, but it was so sweet and insular to stay with each other, nestled in the flourescent womb of the noodle house, giggling and slurping broth and emerald-green spinach and the perfected toothiness of a well-prepared ribbon of udon.

I woke up Sunday to a bogglingly full griddle full of potatoes and peppers and onions and hand-picked cilantro, scrambled tofu and toasted Jamaican eggbread. I wish I could affix some sort of scratch-and-sniff module to this post...the smell of this breakfast would bring a smile to a dead man's face. So. Freaking. Good.

The epic breakfast fueled a twelve-mile hike up to the crest of Mount Pacifico. It was one of the most stunning little constitutionals I've ever done - classic California, with its scrubby, sweeping vistas, miles of grasses waving like golden feathers, and bone-white outcroppings catching the warm late-afternoon sun in a million sparkling bits of quartz. The hike climaxed in half an hour of holy terror, brought to you by daylight savings' time, as we trail-ran the last segment to beat the sun - it was dropping like a fishing weight behind the range.

We cruised by India Sweets & Spices to pick up dinner for everybody, and discovered that India's celebrating a holiday - Diwali - that involves eating sweets and lighting candles. So we turned last night into a Diwali celebration, complete with a tray full of sweets everyone loved but noone could identify and enough fire to scare the cat. And watching the Lost Coast HL2 module, which is pretty and features commentary by a programmer with an Austrailan accent. I am confirmedly a nerd, but...HOT.

Tonight, WeHo...where, every year, I have at least one gay man bury his face in my cleavage. Ah, tradition.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Today's fret: the fiscal viability of music video.

There are a lot of changes going on, what with the video iPod and the UMG announcement and the total restructuring of the music industry and the brave new world of digital production...but at the end of the day, I'm asking: can I do what I love and make money, too?

Bet that's on many minds lately. Wish I could just force a yes.

Would that I have this voracious love affair with chartered accountancy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

As an Aries/Taurus cusp, it's my lot in life to be always stretched taut between fire and earth. Lately, though, all I was to do is burn. Burn everything. The pleasant, fertile benignness of earth just makes me think of dead things, and I want to be singed to remind me I'm breathing.

Remember the room filled with string? Mine's knotted with a looooong piece of fuse.

I heard a train go by today - as I do nearly every day - but it slapped me with a memory so strong I had to blink it back. Mile 29.1, in a California cow town, the smell of new grass in the April air, the cold metal of your car on the skin of my back. The sky in transition - bright blue, stars intact. The train went by so close, and stirred a breeze that ruffled your blonde head. It's strange that the memory should be so strong - the only similarity between me then and me now is that I still bite my nails. But it's a gift to have it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I am such a damned goofball on set. It's a function of that fact that I feel so terribly alive when I'm there...that sense inside that's almost an ache, it's so intense, of doing something you really enjoy in which you are a vital operating element. And hanging out with the boys all day just makes me feel pleasantly enfolded by happy familiarity, spiked with the holy terror of unavoidable production mishaps...just for flavour. ;)

In fact, I went to the Tutankamun exhibit on Sunday and spent the four hours I burned on the exhibit thinking about being alive. Through either a lack of faith, the inadhesive nature of my Catholic upbringing, or the simple facts communicated clearly by the world around me, the existence of an afterlife seems - well - unlikely. In all the pomp, glitter, and circumstance of the lovely, lovely pieces in the exhibit, I was struck by sadness. It seems like a massive and complicated tease, a life spent in preparation for life's end. Pettiness on a grand scale.

I could possibly subscribe to physics-derived philosophy - that evergy can neither be created nor destroyed, just shuffled around. Since the soul must be energy, its eventual release and resubsuming into the world could be technically called reincarnation...but I'd rather just live, thanks, and leave these brooding musings to weepier folk.

After all, my mood is bright today - my step jaunty, and the corners of my mouth canted determinedly upward. For there will be ice cream and mojitos tonight, and my lady Los Angeles is tilting up her chin for a kiss.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

This Meandering Missive Brought to You by Red Stripe

I don't think I got the capitalizations above in the proper MLA style. I don't worry about MLA style when I haven't been imbibing. I never say 'imbibing' when I haven't been imbibing. Welcome to my Saturday.

I got home from the show at some time past 1am...and, being quite keen to get my hands dirty, made some bread. I'm not hungry; I just wanted to dig around in dough. It's baking right now, and that orgasmic smell is wafting around my office, warming everything it touches.

Met a new band tonight. Goldrush. We'd grabbed a table along the back wall at Spaceland, and their merch guys were right alongside. It's been a long time since I met such sweet people at a show; we really felt like members of the fold by the time the set was over. Best of all, they're on the same label as one of my favourite bands (The Jealous Sound), and I badly wanna shoot some pretty pictures for those guys. One of the merch girls looked like a beautiful little elf, and it turns out she's filipina - we got to talkin' about jeepneys and water buffalo and the friendship highway.

God, talking about that schtuff always makes me think about the fact that my world has shrunk so far, so fast...the stories keep getting older; I need fresh fodder for my insistence that I'm a global citizen. What if I swum out of this more-complicated-by-the-minute life and went into the foreign service? My gypsy soul bangs that tambourine louder by the month.

Leaving for Maui in exactly one month. It's not the ''s not's not Santorini...but it's not L.A., either, and that's sayin' something. I will hug a dolphin on this trip, mark my words. And we've all decided that the thanksgiving feast will be at this scrumdiddlyumptious Vietnamese joint on the city side of the island. Fuck turkey. I will ride a horse through the jungle and taste warm rain again.

A friend of mine was sad today, and as I was driving home from the production office and quietly fretting about him, it struck me that we've never shared anything but words - not a hug, not a car, not a joint, not even a city (in tandem, at least). Just syllables, strung up like popcorn garlands between the branches of a sweetly creepy confluence of shared circumstances, contexts, minutiae...but the part of me that decides what to feel doesn't take that into account, and I found myself missing snippets of conversation thinking about him.

For all I know, he's a 1,500-pound grizzly bear.

But then, this is the new world.

OK, I'm pretty indie...trying to find black-market Arctic Monkeys tickets and loving Laura Viers and all that street-cred-enhancing donkey offal...but that Death Cab 'Soul Meets Body' track is so pretty it scratches at my insides.

I was driving through the dreary, dreary shafts of greyed sunlight that came down on Los Angeles today, and I was singing to myself in the car. A guy pulled up in the car next to me, and he was singing the same song. Would have been cute if it were just the radio. It wasn't...I was pulling off my Treo, and I bet it was his iPod. I guess rainy days in Los Angeles drive everybody to the Postal Service for comfort.

My bread smells done. And thusly, I collapse.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I've spent most of the day looking for a chunky, grizzled, tatted biker dude to take off his shirt on camera. What a life I've got. ;)

I want to make something really fabulous for dinner tonight...something that involves happy foods, like carrots and mangoes and roasted red potatoes and too many fresh herbs. My garden's going crazy in the rain, and it's got a lot to share. The Van Doren Moon & Stars watermelon that's been inexorably advancing over my yard has even bothered to form one nascent fruit. Go watermelon. At this rate, we'll be having a well-appointed bar-b-que by Christmas.

The office I'm in for this production is perched on a hill in Echo Park, overlooking one of my favourite parts of town. I can see the Griffith Park hilltop garden from here. The cloud of tobacco smoke rising from the oodles of hipsters in the canyon below makes the afternoon sun into a gossamer blanket over the city. It's cool and pleasant, and there's a contented puppy softly snoring in my lap as I type.

And as content as I am right now, I'd love to be huffing and puffing up some street in San Francisco right now. Or maybe Prague.

Monday, October 17, 2005

All hail. Ouch.

I'd almost forgotten what hail *is*. That's LA for you.

Today, a silver-dollar-size piece of it wanders down from wherever in the sky hail hides, and whacks me on the head as I dash to my car. Motherfucker.

But anyway.

Got lost in the woods on Saturday. That was fun. Rheanna and I took a badly-damarcated trail into a canyon and ended up staring at a rock wall. We then wandered around in the canyon for an hour and a half, trying to pinpoint exactly where we'd entered it...and came up totally empty. The worst of it was walking into a nest of spiders with half-inch-wide carapaces the color of dead, yellowed skin, legs as long as my pinkie and runic-looking black markings on the belly...totally horrifying, especially for someone with my love of spiders.

Some nice fellow wandered in and pointed us out - it looked like a flat wall when viewed from the canyon base, but after a little scrambling we recognized where we'd come from. Now, I can't wait to get back down there and tackle that rock wall we thought we weren't supposed to go beyond...turns out the rest of our route lay at the top of it, and our ever-helpful trail book had failed to mention it. Sigh.

This week is gonna be a bitch. Hopefully, a nice bitch. We'll see.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I'm cruising for a musing.

Measuring the space between and calculating the jump...and even if the jump's too far, it's almost enough for me to send the paper airplanes over.
No pain, no...pain.

Wondrous moments of flippancy and debauchery last night. Flickr'd the tipsy snaps, per request.

Did the canyon this morning in an attempt to make it up to my body for the toxic windfall of my favourite Irish pub. Owww. I forgot is up there. It was as though my glycogen pulled the covers up and grunted meanly, and all my body had to burn was beer.

I feel remarkably better now, of course. Have to speak to that glycogen later.

Modest Mouse is healing me. The ocean breathes salty, and I want to breathe with it right now...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

It's all gone...

I went up to Wildwood Canyon to hike today. It had been closed since the recent fires, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'd watched the flames tickle the sky for days preceding the trip to the wine country - knew it was going to be bad - but wasn't quite prepped for the scene, I tell ya.

I don't run trails to take it slow. But there was a cottontail who'd always pop out from behind one of the sages at the same spot, tease me to follow her, and run me up a particularly onerous part of the hill before dashing behind the shrubbery again.

There was no cottontail. There was no sage. There was no shrubbery.

There was an acrid film of ash, run through with the dun brown of a well-worn path. The inexorable climb, which was previously relatively well-masked by laurels and sages and yucca, was laid bare. The fire had stripped the hill nearly naked, exposing the beer bottles, cans, and other human detritus in its wake.

There was a cranny in the canyon that I used to love to cut down into, as it always smelled of the moss and ferns that tucked themselves around the little creek that had formed it - always ten degrees cooler, always beckoning me down from the ridge. It's now just an ugly gash in the rock, and the trickle of water that staggers through it must push through the remains of the mudslide the fire marshal left in his wake.

I hope my little cottontail made it out. And I mourn the beauty that used to pull me out of bed uncustomarily early in the morning to peruse it...can't wait 'till my canyon recovers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

So much music...

One of the pleasurable priviledges of my life of the last couple of years has been the wholesale steeping of my life in music.

Though - as it's all done for work, whether or not I enjoy it - I sometimes feel like a psychic walking through a stadium full of mental patients. Hundreds of disparate voices...shrill, overwrought, despairing, hopeless, keening, proseletyzing, eager. Some so joyful I fear for their safety. All day they deliver this endless stream of communication, from a low throb to a hiss to a scream. And still, every day I dig to find the new ones.

I got a pair of tickets to see the Sons and Daughters' upcoming LA show. I'm flashing forward to nudging my way into a space below Spaceland's wacky disco ball and listening to those magical first beats take shape. Sharing a smile with the guy at the bar who's my unofficial, we've-never-spoken-but-he's-always-at-the-same-shows buddy.

And Imogen Heap is tomorrow. Have you ever had a band that sounds like your insides would sound if your heart played music? I have a couple, and she's definitely one. If you've ever listened to 'Headlock', you've had a stethoscope pressed to my chest.

Today has been making me think about What I Want. I'm very close to embarking on a professional partnership that could force my horizons more open than I'm ready for...the transition might fracture something. I'm not sure what - but I'm approaching this with no small trepidation. And no small excitement, either. Whatever breaks, I'll be better for it.

I feel very blessed. After processing this weekend's emotional overload, I realize the beauty of the people I've managed to convince to come close to me...that I'm lucky that they feel as strongly about me as they do, and that shouldering their travails for a while is small payment for the richness they've brought me.

I want adventure. I crave the new. Not novelty, mind you. Connection.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I don't even know where to begin - so, in the grand tradition of me not knowing exactly what course to take, I'll jump headlong in.

I read once that members of the British parliament are turning to Blogging as a way to connect to their young constituents. I figured that anything the British parliament is up for, I'm up for. Insofar as I don't have to call beer 'lager' or eat gooey cream with everything. My erstwhile buddy introduced me to her Blog about a year ago, and it seemed to me at the time to be grossly confessional.

I think I need a little confessin' now, though, so here I am.

As the inaugural post of what may end up chronicling a good chunk of my comings and goings, I wish I felt better today. As luck would have it, it kinda feels like someone has gone at my gut with an ice cream scoop. And I really wonder what set the mood in motion. Oh – and where to go for succor. I’ve been looking for comfort today, and rather cocking up the search. I feel so raw.

I took a shockingly late lunch (Linner? Dunch?), and spent it watching an Andalusian show at the Equestrian Center. So this is my latest fantasy -- to buy a pitch-black Andie with white socks and call it Foot Candles. Tee hee.

Sweet Rheanna is ditching the rote familial obligations to go to Thailand for Christmas. I’m not jealous – OK, well not too intensely – but I’ll have a gauntlet to run this holiday season and I’d rather just go with her. We’d wrap up in silks and play in the markets and eat too many noodle dishes and try to speak Thai. And learn things…about life, about how far we must go before something cracks to let experience in, about how little we really need to be really, truly human.

The simplicity of it is this: it’s been too long since I was in another context.

I’ve been listening to Ani today – as she's a veritable aural detox program for the soul, and I need such a thing at the moment. This verse of hers reminds me of life in L.A.:

"We live to hear the slack-jawed gasping/We live under a halo of hell-breath/And when the children raise up a shield of laughter/It's like they're fending off death/We can make something bigger than any one of us alone..."-- 'Freak Show'

…and ‘Both Hands’ wrung my heart out, like it always does. "Your bones have been my bedframe and your flesh has been my pillow"…sigh.

We’ll try again tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll perk up when my evening visitors arrive.