Monday, February 22, 2010

Waking up, February 22

I woke up today and smelled like body. And my first thought was "well, I better go wash this off". And something about it felt like I had said more than I meant to say. It touched on my current thoughts about life like a bee sting feels on the skin, peculiarly painful; hot and cold at the same time: every two mornings, I go and try to rid myself of the way I (were I not taking showers) smell; the way I am. I wash it away, becoming a clean slate for the world around me to direct.

Life is strange right now. This is not uncommon for me to feel- you could almost call it a theme of my life. I don't know why I seem to have a propensity to not feel at ease in my life. But it seems if I am in one place very long the seeds of self awareness begin to grow and question the true nature of the way I am living. Is this the ideal self pointing the accusatory finger back at the real self? Is it fear?

A few years ago a friend of my did a series of photos for a school photo project. The series depicted Peter Pan being dressed up in a suit and relocated to a giant cardboard city. And herein lies the thing that I am afraid of. That I will become what I so was strongly determined not to become. To become what? Well, oddly, I'm not sure I can really place my finger on it. Maybe that is a sign of irrationality- a force of feelings with an unknown base.

Fear. I am afraid. I am afraid. Another theme in my life. So often strength plays out as prominent virtue for me, because I am so often running from fear. Fear of cubicles. Fear of mortgages. Fear of alone. Fear of failing. Fear of being normal, average, the middle.

And I do not want to be run by fear. I think I might even consider it a sin of humanity- to live in one's own fears. And it is difficult, because fear whispers to our very cores: that we are fleeting, that there is no love for us, that we are nothing. So how to overcome, when it seems that all might be lost in a confrontation. In the world of ideology, it would be better to lose it all, but how much harder it is to live that.

This is one angle on where my life is right now, and it feels in my soul like regrowing bones feels to the body. It is a slow process that provides enough discomfort that one way or another, you are always aware of it.

And so it goes. Life is always moving. I wish to move with it. To find the things that are true and to cling to them. To disarm the lies of fear in the world around me. This is me. This is where I am. This is what I thought about as I smelled my body when I woke up this morning.

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Life this Past Week", or "Almost Christmas!?!"

I mean, the title pretty much covers what I wanted to cover. I feel like list form my work best with my mind right now. So here's a list of things from tonight:

1) Snow! So fun.
2) Shepherds
3) Pecan Pie
4) Ore and brick
5) Banjo
6) Goodbye Jon and Adam
7) Warmer States
8) Muppets

The end of the list. I'll post more coherently soon, but in the interest of building habits, i have posted this tonight. Goodnight.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

And Washed The Spider Out

Do I complain about weather too much? Maybe. And I don't want to be that person that's complaining about weather all the time (I want weather to be the thing I'm comfortable bringing up when I find myself in unexpected conversations with the elderly). But the thing is, New York's weather has a general and I'm even willing to say, inconsiderate lack of subtlety. There's not many gentle, peaceful rains (perhaps the pacific northwest owns the market here) and it's never really a light breeze. It's gross rain (yes gross) that your broken, $7 umbrella can't protect against because it's blowing sideways at your legs. And then you have wet feet, and no one likes wet feet. Because that leads to cold feet. And then you're less prone to do fun things, plus you might catch a dual diagnosis of athlete's foot and pneumonia. It just seems like New York and nature are navigating a perpetually rocky relationship between two type A personalities.

Also, when it's raining outside, don't go to Trader Joe's and buy two bags worth of groceries that go into paper bags. Because you can't carry the umbrella you don't have and the bags will disintegrate inadvertantly leading to the loss of your 30 day metrocard. Just sayin' is all.

Ok, it's official. I was spoiled by the California weather. I admit it. Yes, sometimes the lack of weather change felt a bit dull, and maybe it's just a case of the grass is greener on the other coast (though, I'm pretty sure New York is in the literal sense much much greener), but longboarding down 6th St from Molino to Obispo on a bright sunny morning- there's not much to complain about there. Ok, I'm done complaining, at least cyber-complaining about weather. Because, who wants to read that guy's blog. I miss you CA, or at least, I think fondly of you sometimes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Songs For This Morning (new things that aren't new)

This post is largely related to some newly discovered music that I put on my little rectangle music player. And sometimes songs just feel right. This morning the shuffle fates have sent me these. Look em up. Read the lyrics. Enjoy.

Friend of Mine- The National
I was initially shown this song by my friend Matt Wingo up in Alaska. Music was such a strong link to memories and people. It was instantly poignant, but besides that I have never given the pre-"Boxer" album, "Alligator" much of a listen. I'm listening now. They definitely hit their stride with "Boxer" but it's worthwhile to see what led up to that. The sound is not as refined, not as subtle, not as subdued, but the low, rich vocals and acute, urban angst are unmistakable. It's the one that came before The One for them, and there are most definitely a few gems.

California Stars- Billy Bragg and Wilco
Originally written by Woody Guthrie, this song was redone by Billy Bragg and Wilco for the Mermaid Avenue album. It's perfect for thinking about home (Long Beach), and the album as a whole acts as an excellent buffer for New York. It's fanciful and meandering, and it brings California into the best of light (No, you never could see many stars from LA, but in my nostalgia, I'm willing to overlook this fact). It hit harder than usual on this particular morning. Head on over to my friend Laurel's blog at It will make sense why.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It's a bit late. So I haven't much for a creative blog post. But the cold has come. Surrounded by clearly frozen drains, I watched my spit freeze on the ground as I spoke with a friend on the phone outside the subway tonight. We're at a balmy 26 degrees here folks. Wind chill included, I'd say that puts us at, well, damn cold. I know, I know, I grew up in Minnesota. I grew up in Colorado. Well, 26 degrees is cold there too. And yes, there is a certain degree of relativity that goes along with temperatures (my California friends putting their two cents in about their arctic dip into the 50s). I get that. I'm not saying I am the most objectively, validly cold person to ever live. I'm just saying that I am, in all my subjectivity, cold toed, cold fingered, cold eared, and in general right now, cold.

So you might see me wearing puffin (my gloriously named puffy down coat from Alaskan summers past) soon, and you might hear me swearing on the street as the wind whips through the wind-tunneling avenues, and yes, I might be more inclined to have another glass of wine inside rather than to go out in to the frigid night air. I promise, I'll adjust. I just might not go quietly.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ain't It Just Like the Night

In "Visions of Johanna", when Bob Dylan says "and the heat pipes just cough", he was talking about number 6 here on 127th St. And it's no "tut, tut I've caught a bit of a cold". It is a deep and thick pneumonia which plagues our heat pipes, and they clang and struggle for every breath.
The sound is weirdly impressive. I'm told it's just water in the pipes, but I still kinda don't believe it. It sounds more like someone in the apartment below us is trying to send avante-garde, Morse code messages to the people two apartments above us, using a wrench and an aluminum baseball bat. After about one clang, the sound just becomes alarmingly annoying.

The first time I heard the sound, I was pleasantly (or at least that's how I imagine my unconscious self) asleep on my mattress on the floor of my bedroom. Surfacing from deep and stuporous sleep, I quickly formulated several theories:

1) some trees between the buildings were banging on the fire escape.
2) someone is doing an incredibly non-stealthly job stealing the not very much we have in our apartment.
3) a person with metal, un-jointed limbs was climbing up the fire escape to break into our apartment.

I can't say I was in full commitment to theory #3, but it was certainly the most interesting to think about, and seemed to most match the sound. The key then, I've found is to fall asleep between coughing fits. Which is where I'm off to right now. Sandman, here I come.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Back in Business

So, I clearly fit into the category of not writing here very often. I aspire be better though. And so, here is what I'm deciding is my back in business post. Enjoy.

The Post:

I made soup. It was so-we-have-some-stuff-left-over-from-our-awesome-thanksgiving-dinner soup. So it had potatoes, leaks, asparagus, carrots, and celery in it. It was tasted well enough, and maybe more importantly was filling. And the potatoes had nice texture.

Also, I think I have just discovered that I do not like writing the word "tasty". Learn something everday, right?