Saturday, September 13, 2003

Yesterday there was a blue jay at the bird feeder. That was thrilling. We seem to be right in the middle of a migratory route. We get strange birds for one or two days and then never see them again. We get finches every day. It's like the whales around here. "Why not travel through Orange County? The whales and birds do."
My father and I have been sitting shiva for Johnny Cash this weekend. We've pooled our albums and have been playing them since Friday as our vigil. And, by the way, the American Recordings IV album is one of the best albums I've heard since, well, since the American Recordings III album.
Tonight I had squid ink pasta. It's made with real squid ink, which dyes your plate while you eat. The strange thing is that it tastes like darkness. I don't know how else to explain it. It's not something that I would ever crave, but I'm glad I've tried it. If you ever get the chance, it's really a panic to eat.

Tonight I went to walk around Huntington Center, which I do sometimes. I'll go to the major corporate bookstore and find it crowded or less interesting than it seemed when I got in my car to drive there, so I'll walk around the old abandonded mall.
There are a few spots like this in OC. There's the Westminster Cemetary in the middle of the week around noon. There used to be South Coast Plaza if you'd go in right before closing and just stay in and walk around when everything is closed and deserted (security has beefened since those days.) There's also the abandoned Montgomery Ward side of Huntington Center at night. It's strange because even though there's nothing in the store it's still lit inside. But you walk around the back and there's no cars, no lights, no people. It's one of those four o'clock in the morning feelings. For some strange reason, I love those spaces in urban areas.
I walked around the other side of the mall, back towards where people are, past the neon department store sign that's so old that it looks like it's out of focus. And around the corner I saw the waxing moon the color that the leaves will be in a few weeks.
And I thought two things:
1) I wish I had somebody to share moments like that with. Not even somebody to turn to and say, "Wow, would you get a load of that." But just somebody beside me that I know would have registered that moment as well. I missed Nissa tonight. I miss her often. Who'm I supposed to go to the zoo with now and hold around the waist as we ride the elephants?
2) Actually, I'm doing better than most of the people I graduated from high school with that I hear about. I mean, Mindy's doing as well if not better than I am living in Orange and doing her poetry (I say she's doing as well as I.) And I heard that the first girl I ever had sexual contact with is now married and pregnant somewhere in Nor Cal (which doesn't presuppose doing better than I am or even as well as. I'm just saying.) And some others are making more money than I (likewise with the last parenthesis.)
But most are floundering and I've got it together. I clawed my way out of depression and addiction. I run a business that's actually gaining momentum in an economy where no business has a right to be gaining momentum. And I've refound joy. It's not alway there. I've got a nephew that's dying this week.
I suppose I had one of those moments like Mindy and I used to manufacture. We used to play a game called "The Blessing Game" or something like that. The object of the game is to come up with ways that you are blessed or, for the terminally secular of you out there, fortunate. One would say their blessing, then the other would and back and forth like that until the wine is all gone. It takes two players and actually seems to work better if you keep it at two. It's a good way to pass and evening.



Thursday, September 11, 2003

I've been neglectful of my blog this week. So, here's a run down on some of the more exciting bits.
I went to the beach with Chas and Phish and roasted an apple, which was tasty.
Nissa called and made my morning bright on Tuesday.
I got a footlocker for $5.
I talked to an older couple in the library about the cultural history of salt.
I quit trying to read Moby-Dick. I'm willing to assert the belief that more people in history have abandoned the book to come back later than have actually finished it. I've read Faust and Beowulf. But comes a point when one says, "Do I really want to go through this material right now?" Given present circumstances, the answer was no. So I'm unna go through the Hitch hiker's guide series methinks.
My car's radiator finally gave up the ghost.
Our cat with the tender tummy, Bugsy, puked on my arm when I was trying to rush her outside before she hurled.
And I finally got the new Nick Cave album after much saving and belt tightening.

That's about it for the highlights. Tonight is Charles' birthday party.

Monday, September 08, 2003

You know, I've kicked a lot of addictions in my day. I used to say that all of the illegal drugs and booze that I kicked, the hardest addiction I ever tackled was cigarettes. Which was true. I still hanker for cigarettes. In fact, tonight I wanted a cigarette.
The Benedryl was a rough habit to kick too. The alcohol really wasn't nearly as hard as it's built up to be. The withdrawls sucked royally, but once they were over it was really just a matter of never drinking again.

I think that the longest lasting addiction to kick is my current project. Negativity. It's the hardest battle yet, even though I don't have withdrawls to deal with, which is nice (see, there's the optimism!) And I'm winning. The possums are on the wall.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

By the way, here's a good way to occupy your mind for a few idle minutes. Try and think of some cheery classics. I mean, I look around the shelves of my personal library and see such dark edged works. Even the classics of children's literature are pretty nightmarish.
I can think of Whitman, Shakespeare's comedies, Wilde, Austen, and then the well starts to run dry. See if you can think of any. And email me if you can because I could use a happy ending right now.
Reading: Moby Dick. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. But I'm one of those freaks that actually likes novels from the 1800's. I like the prose style. Go fig.
Watching: A bootleg DVD of episodes of Invader Zim.
Listening To: The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Strange day for ol' Ninth Gate.
First I broke sabbath when I went to Charles and Phish's yard sale and bought a bunch of books. But I figure, hey, do I really want to define my religious practices by what I'm NOT supposed to do?
Then I think I might have the distinction of the most uncomfortable experience ever had in the Babies R Us store. Mom and I were there because a girl that I grew up with had a baby (yeah, I'm at that age!) So after we printed the registry (which we promptly discarded) we went looking around. The first thing that popped into my head is, "Wow, they really do have an industry for every aspect of life, don't they?"
We found an outfit for the baby. Then, Mom said that she wanted to find an outfit for my brother's baby just in case they didn't have anything to bury the baby in. When she found the overalls outfit, that was when my mother cried in the Babies R Us. I cried when we found the praying lamb doll to put on the grave. A place that caters to new life, we were shopping for a baby that will only have moments of it, which I'm told will be mainly one long seizure and then death.

Tonight was Suzanne's RAINN benefit. There was a band that was a girl with an amazing voice and a guitar and a guy who looked like Wavy Gravvy with a steel guitar. Like a plainclothes Wavvy Gravvy though.
I don't think I won the auction that I bid on because I am poor and I bid as much as I could. Others are wealthy and think nothing of paying twice what I bid. Of course, what I bid was like half of my money. It's like that parable where the old lady puts a coin in the offering and it's all she's got. Except that I was bidding on a gift certificate and she was giving money to a church.

Two more things. My grandmother said that when she woke up this morning, the Angel of Death was at the foot of her bed. He told her to prepare.
I immediately asked what the Angel of Death looked like. She said that he looked like the Angel of Dead from the "Touched by an Angel" show. I figured that this was the image that she identified with. Which made me think that death will probably come to me in the form of Death from Sandman, which will rule and suck at the same time.
I'm sorry if I'm seeming a little flip here, but it was a really freaky thing to say. And a freaky thing to see. I mean, how would you respond to something like that? That makes me think the best case scenerio would be that she's had a psychotic episode. Or that she's making it up. I guess that'd be the best case scenerio. She's making up a really screwed up story for some reason and presenting it as truth. The worst case scenerio, in my opinion, is that the Angel of Death is coming for my grandmother too.
My mother told her that the Angel of Death was probably telling her to prepare for the death of my brother's son.
The other thing was that I talked to my brother today for the first time in a long time. He said he didn't mind if I couldn't make it up there. So, I've got a decision to make.