Saturday, October 30, 2010


First day spending time with my brother's girlfriend, Blaklee, who is an absolute peach and pictured at right. Image courtesy of a few Vodka/Red Bulls and a snazzy photobooth. To merrily row along backwards through the day's chronology:

1) Drinks and dancing at The Abbey, where Brandon made a special friend who would have joined us for the cab ride home if allowed, Blaklee witnessed "more beautiful men than I've seen in my 2 years in LA," and I met Sergio Marone, a Brazilian soap star (photographic evidence).

2) Town car escort from Hermosa Beach to the Abbey.

3) Dinner and drinks with the effervescent Carmela Nicole Neuhauser and company in Manhattan Beach, where we regaled one another with our most embarrassing urination stories and finished the meal with a divine crème brûlée accompanied by mini snickerdoodle cookies and candied pears.

4) Naptime, which was peppered with decidedly medical dreams, as my mother was watching Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice while I slept.

5) Lunch with Blaklee and mom (food: delish; service: complete with indifference and ass-cheeks peeking out from under black shorts -- not two side dishes I particularly enjoy with my meals...) after a 20 mile boardwalk bike ride.

6) 6 is for six mile morning run along the beach, complete with dolphins.

7) Good morning.

Me. Blaklee.Mom. Me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


"So then Love walked up to Like
and said 'I know that you don't like me much
let's go for a ride...'"
--Tori Amos, "Cooling"

I've wanted to go under the needle for this tattoo going on 4 years now, and on Monday I went in for my final touchup, after a two week respite from my initial session. Want to thank Mike Boissoneault at Providence's Black Lotus for his gorgeous translation of this image of Tori/Scarlet and his unparalleled patience as I adjusted to the intolerable pain of having a needle jab against one's rib cage ad nauseam (or rather, ad dolorem). The artwork is from her 2002 album Scarlet's Walk and this tattoo really worked for me on a number of levels:

1) Tori has been a pretty significant contributor to my happiness over the past 13 years, ever since I first heard her in Katy Demos' Mercedes Benz, Prout School parking lot, 1997.

2) I like the challenge of paying homage through indirect means. I've seen some pretty scary Tori tattoos, and I didn't want her actual face on my body. I faced the same dilemmas with my other tributary tattoos, so this rendering of her, while not ostensibly her, was perfect.

3) Scarlet's Walk is Tori's most cogent album -- conceptually, aurally, and musically. I won't digress into an analysis of my relationship with this album and its themes at present, but this image of Tori/Scarlet reifies that relationship, both with the album and the artist. If you haven't given Scarlet's Walk a whirl, check out "a sorta fairytale," "Taxi Ride," and "Wednesday."

On a side note, Tori's personification of ideas/concepts, as evidenced by the above quote, is just one of myriad reasons I am so enamored of her. I mean, what would else would Love say to Like, given the chance?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Jessie, Allison, Eric, Genise and I spent one night last week preparing for winter -- in the form of making applesauce, pickles, and hummus. Granted, the hummus is already gone but I'm hoping the applesauce and stewed apple peels that I jarred last through the new year. According to calculations (and observations) my 1/2 bushel (which included some quince and pears for exoticality) yielded 7 jars of applesauce and 2 jars of apple peels. Two burning questions may be: 1) Why did you jar apple peels? and 2) Why only 4 jars of applesauce pictured? Well, 1) Ms. Jessie did not like her sauce with peels, so as to accomodate the needs of a dear friend, I relented. And, 2) One of the ball jars blew up on the counter. It was more of a subtle glass crack that slowly became an oozing mess before anyone realized. Reason? Red hot ball jar comes out of oven, applesauce has been now been cooling on the counter, applesauce dispensed into ball jar, physics. In that order. That leaves 6 jars. I gave the other two to the homestead on John Street, in thanks for the use of their kitchen and paper towels. Genise left early -- and so her jar remains on my counter until again we meet. A round of applause for one Christie Moulton for teaching me the proper jarring techniques, and one Almaz Dessie, who upon hearing of my bucolic foray, sonically accosted me with the threat of paralysis (from the applesauce, not her). Love you ladies.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Variation on the Word "Sleep"

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth
dark wave slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

--Margaret Atwood

Immediately, I loved the genderlessness of this poem. But before we get into that, I must thank Jessica Paden for bringing this work to my attention again. I’ve been under Atwood’s spell for about 5 years, but until recently only read her novels and dabbled in her poetry. I’m now delving full force into her verse, and this poem is the perfect gateway. It’s pure Atwood – fantastic, mythological, terrestrial, heartbreaking. The poem’s unadulterated and selfless longing (I would like to give you…the one word that will protect you from the grief at the center) is tempered, possibly, only by the voyeuristic I/eye who yearns to be needed. I guess that’s a pretty universal sentiment – wouldn’t we all want to be as necessary to someone as a breath? Unnoticed perhaps – but therein lies the selflessness. To me this poem embodies love, though paradoxically the majority of it transpires in dream. Does the speaker desire a conscious union, or merely a slumberous one? Will/can this love only exist in dream?

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,

It’s as if after confessing and subsequently realizing the futility of such a wish, the speaker arrives at an alternative: While I may not be able to watch you sleep, I could watch you while I sleep, and meet you in dream. The insertion of a comma at the end of the third line brings both subject and object to bed, though not necessarily together. Soon, the speaker serves as guide, a Virgil to a Dante, and leads the dreamer out of the grief pervading within, and back, where your body lies beside me, and you enter it as easily as breathing in. Here one must wonder: whose body is now being entered? In this nighttime reverie, does the speaker allow the dreamer to “enter,” or permit the dreamer to return to [gender neutral pronoun] body?

The last four lines resonate so fully within me that I’m tempted to transcribed them indelibly onto myself. This, of course, is still up in the air. Maybe I’ll sleep on it.

At any rate, this poem has galvanized me to write more, and so welcome to “That Unnoticed & That Necessary.”