Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Someone complimented my cheekbones, and it threw me for a loop. My cheekbones have not, as far as I know, previously attracted notice - buried, as they were, under my Irish chipmunk-cheeks and freckles, and "elegant" is so uncommon a descriptor to be assigned to my personal appearence. Flabbergasting. But very flattering.

So, for the day, this compliment has lived with me. But in the oddest way - I started by touching the hard parts of my face, rediscovering what lives under there; the parts of me that would survive if the rest shuffled off the coil. And then, the impulse to see these things extended beyond the dull, familiar curiosity of my own face, and I've found myself looking at everyone I come across - searching for the skull beneath the doughy, plastic skin. I highly recommend it as a field project - the variety is staggering, and it's always good to remind oneself that the part where people can actually see your skull laid bare is coming up, and soon.

So go get some ice cream and make a friend.

Monday, February 27, 2006

zuma canyon

To creek-hop through the deep cleft of Zuma Canyon was to witness the awesome editorial power of geology. There has been a forging, dissolution, and reimagining of a hundred canyons in this place - watching the rocks under my feet and hands was to read, in braille, a story constantly in revisions. It was a pleasure to be allowed to review this draft, which includes a bee that prefers to walk, a couple of discarded knickers, frogs leaping into the water like synchronized swimmers, and the smell of wild peppermint.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Japanese 101

Rheanna: "This fondue pot has a label that says 'Remember that there is a live flame at your table. Children are attracted to flames."
Sarah: "That reminds me of the curling iron with the tag that says 'for external use only'..."
Rheanna: "We're not making Japanese candle porn here!"
Ben: "Konichi-WAAAUGH!"

tale as old as time, true as it can be

Gardening has been the very soul of ease, lately. Weeds have come up like puffs of smoke, tomatoes have scooted gracefully through the winter, and the wildflower seeds I scattered willy-nilly over the winter as a playful gesture and forgot about have burst out of the ground and are peeking vividly over the clover.

And, just when I think I'm having the most blessed gardening moment in the history of man, a random, fat little squirrel comes over and nuzzles my arm.

Since when did I turn into a Disney princess?

Really, I'm going to need to invest in some new clothes and start keeping company with woodland creatures.

Friday, February 24, 2006


I have limited myself to five. I'm giving myself six months.

1. Jump out of a plane.
2. Become one half of 'Los Banditos Muy Lindos'
3. San Jacinto. Mt. Whitney.
4. Learn how to be on angled snow with feet strapped to the same board.
5. Learn how to salsa. Better than Gwen. (This one is the 'dreaming' bit.)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

you used to call me 'eris'
and i'd laugh
and i'd roll you an apple

i love to roll apples

i also love to catch them

which puts something of a chink
in the armour of my evil

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Eric just got this bike. A pimpy, pimpy street motorcycle. And it's royal blue, and it's delicious to sit on, and it goes SO fast. Fast fast fast. And I'm holding onto his chest for dear life, and the world is numbed by the big helmet, and I'm screaming and laughing and my nose is getting cold. And I think I'm going to die - hell, we're doing, like, 90 on a residential road, and I feel the inherent breakability of every bone and the exquisite permeability of every inch of my skin - and guess what? I DON'T CARE. But in the nice way.

Anybody want to go skydiving with me?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"More and more I have to admire resilience. Not the simplest resistance of a pillow, whose foam returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous tenacity of tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side, it turns in another."
- Jane Hirschfield

Monday, February 20, 2006

home, where my love lies waiting silently for me

We got on the road at 5am, leaving a silent Inner Sunset like a sleeping lover. I was sad to go south, down 19th; I wanted to drive through the park, to pretend I was scooting back to Napa, Sonoma, Oakville. To revel in the simplicity of sunrise over water. To revel in simplicity of any kind, really.

What am I on the edge of?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

your city is a wonderland

I always forget how much I like this place.

Its proud trees, strong colours, people who smile and hold your hand for no reason. Its inexplicably better coffee. The way everyone's a lovely somebody between the ages of 21 and 35, and girls actually see me, here.

Singing Meatloaf on a street corner, top volume. Doing the sprinkler dance. Feeling rain soak through my hair over the course of an hour's walk.

I'm wearing my Boston boots. So cozy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

funeral for a friend

I was walking onto the patio to make a phone call when I saw the bird on the step. She made me think of a sad story that I read as a child and retold (badly) this weekend, as we walked through a riverbed. I always remember that story when I see a dead bird - as though each one is the brave and selfless protagonist I imagine her to be.

I took her to the backyard and buried her under a cactus, folded up in a napkin shroud. The guys were in the kitchen when I came back in, brushing the dirt from my dress pants and visibly saddened.

I bet that makes me pretty weird.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hey. Yeah - you! Fuck you! And all 100 leprechauns, be that as it may!

-The Management Extends Its Gooshiest Gratefulness To The Incomparable J-Blank And His Infinite Wisdom


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Cupid keeps coming after me with an RPG launcher
And if I have anything to say about it, he's gonna get you, too.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

this one time, at bandito camp...

Joshua Tree, this past weekend. Wow.

I'm kinda singed. I have thorn scratches all over my body. My ribs are sore from being smooshed into rocks. I am so, so, SO very delighted.

Between grapevining through a supermarket to the trilling strains of N Sync's "As Long As You Love Me" and garnering the whoops and dance moves of other patrons to sidling up to a fire with a case of Modelo and S'mores, this little weekend was exactly what I needed. Eric finally got a mexican-restaurant mariachi band to play some Frank Sinatra ('A Mi Manera', which made everybody feel like escaped mafiosi in paradise). We stopped at a ghetto little carnival by the side of the road and took him on his first Tilt-A-Whirl. We hiked long and hard, playing mountain goat for hours and hours.

There was a moment when all I wanted was a horse, Sharon Stone's costume in The Quick and The Dead, a time machine, and a six-shooter. I could be happy, out there at bandito camp.

Eric - every time I see you, you get cooler. And cooler. And cooler. Austie, Phat - you were missed.

...and everything to the soundtrack of nineties gangsta rap and Royksopp.

Can you think of a better way to roll?

I can't.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

there is something exciting about leaving everything behind

Jefe has set his new Treo to play Butterfly Boucher's 'Another White Dash' whenever I call him. It fits.

Baby, I can't wait to run away with you. Again.

Everything you think you'll ever need, sitting in the seat next to you.
Bill Willingham's 'Fables' is beautiful, beautiful reading. And the art is impossibly rich. Impossibly. Oh - and one day I'll have to thank him for the perfect Flickr avatar.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Happy Nirvana Day!

...though I'd like to respectfully request that major religions quit asking me to introspect. I'm in there enough already. Thanks.

Mulling of the day:

It's only taken me a couple of months to go from total upheaval to guess-I'm-more-resilient-than-I-thought to well-then-I-suppose-that's-that.

Is that what getting older means? Moving at light speed into ambivalence when you used to scramble along the canyon bottom, scraping knees and elbows?

Monday, February 06, 2006

It's another big fire in the land of shake-'n'-bake. These things always used to be throwaway line items on a morning-news playlist, but now they actually mark my life.

The sky looks bruised, like it spent last night getting slapped around. From my perch high above, I imagine that I can see the trees labouring to soothe it.

I also see the second silver lining of my life. The first - July, 1997. The words of it are so cliche - 'cause every cloud doesn't have one, sorry - but the visual impact of the thing is almost frightening in its impact.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

a little souvenir of a colourful year

Yesterday was a whirlwind - the culmination of nine months of fuss - and I'm done. So I'll let someone else natter on about it.

I did, however, chat with William Shatner. Heh. Like dreaming awake.

On the way up to the bouldering range today, Rhee and I saw a mom-and-pop fast food joint. 'Everest Burger', pronounced the sign.

"We are the Sherpas of cuisine!," pipes up Rhee, "We will drive you up Food Mountain, even if you don't want to go!"

Up at the range, the pop of a car door signalled the end of sound - like pulling the drainplug on the wall of nonsense that fills my never-say-die little life. I stood at the door for a second, marvelling at the absence of L.A.'s incessant caterwaul.

Breeze. Bugs. My feet, moving. Peace.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"Some people say that television is called a medium because it is neither rare nor well-done." - Craig T. Nelson

questioning my insoles, rubbing my back

My feet hurt. I just danced for two hours, forced beyond my exhaustion to rock out to Derby and The 88. If they're in your town, you really oughta check 'em out - it's a guaranteed great show, promise. Or you can take it out of my hide.

Friday, February 03, 2006

on technology

Today I glanced over at my AIM window.

"I am Available," it proclaimed (capitalization as I found it.)

And all I could think was - don't speak for me, you presumptuous little snit!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

conversation hearts: a poem

Love-Heart Poem
Originally uploaded by Kalshassan.
john cage would have loved you, too.

last night, as i slept

A dream of myself in a big, old house - all wooden floors and frosting-plaster walls and leather furniture. The venerable smell of a little dust. A spiral staircase, finials worn to the bare wood by thousands of passing hands. There's gentle creaking as people move around upstairs. Tiny bubbles in the old window glass catch the sun and make sharp little pools on the opposite wall.

I'm playing 'The Great Destroyer' on vinyl in another room. Monkey sounds really good on vinyl.

I'm in the front room, leaning against the doorjamb, rocking heel-to-toe on my bare feet. I'm resting a hand on the warm, taut curve of my very pregnant belly, the nubby linen of my shirt tickling against the skin as I move. I'm waiting for someone. They're not late; I'm just looking forward to seeing them.

I watch my feet as I walk back to the kitchen, padding through a series of sunspots. There's a long scar on the high part of my left foot that I don't have.

I catch a glimpse of myself in the hall mirror. My hair is so much blonder; it's long, and I'm wearing it up. My hair has been short since kindergarten, so it makes no sense to me that I'm so familiar with the beats of my swinging ponytail against the top of my back.

I walk through the laundry room and push open the garden door. The air smells like food. It's so warm outside; over the chest-high wall, I can see mountains. It's green here...so green. I don't recognize the language that the people on the street outside are speaking. Birds are carrying on a nonstop conversation in the trees above me and on the roof.

I hold the underside of my heavy belly in both hands and hop along the stepping stones, dipping to scoop up an errant mango or two as I go.

I get to the french doors and fight with the old, worn handle until it finally turns. I think about baking cookies.

I hear the gravel crunch in the drive. I smile.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

overpromise and underdeliver!

...or just feel like you have.