finally saw mulholland drive last night. an old salon article argues that it's the most straightfoward of lynch's weirder works, but i'm unconvinced - blue velvet and wild at heart made a lot of sense to me. i'll need to watch it again if i'm to address that point seriously; i have a bad habit of letting my eyes go out of focus and wallowing in pure color when i see one of his films for the first time. then i get urges to paint my apartment and wear blood-red lipstick.

local news has been full of the ten-year critical mass anniversary this weekend. their monthly bike ride (friday) was especially well-attended, and a bit of montgomery street was closed downtown in honor of car-free day. their arguments are sound - pollution is getting nasty around here, and san francisco streets were designed so poorly that they cry out for some sort of alternative transportation (i'm rooting for the bay area's olympic bid in the hope that it triggers a commute reform) - but, like most community action groups, they lose me by being completely obnoxious. i've had a few close scrapes with cars running red lights while i was in the middle of a crosswalk; i couldn't begin to count how many times i've nearly been hit by a cyclist (and they swear at me. huh?). i'm not so inclined to support added bike lanes when riders ignore extant traffic markers. i know that i'm letting a few jerks ruin the movement for me, but i'm bitter about getting lumped in with shitty and frivolous drivers. can't we all just get along?


the first week of silence was mostly the versace demon's fault. when he was dating my sister, she gave him our modem; when they parted ways this summer, he and our dial-up access disappeared in a cloud of sulfurous smoke. poor computer - i had been slapping it around for failing to meet my needs, and it was telling the truth about its lack of hardware the whole time. i'm a bully.

week #2 was visits to san francisco and a sudden obsession with the GRE. i'm still more than a year from grad school, but i decided to do the standardized testing dance while y=mx+b still means something. i've probably spent 30 hours studying so far; it's kind of sick.

the haters have been trying to silence my mother for decades. when her high school class donned matching white dresses and sang at graduation in the hollywood bowl, they asked her to mouth the songs. my sister used to stretch her wee arms toward mom's face when she sat down for lullabies ("no sing, mommy, no sing"). happy to say the tide has turned; as we painted the bathroom last week and listened to 69 love songs, mom took the stephin parts and i sang with claudia / shirley. this whole parent-as-roommate thing is working out rather nicely.

to do:

i) when afternoon temperatures return to double digits, cornopoly. i've been critical of the town-as-farm vibe up here, but i will concede that their halloween / harvest events appear to kick ass.

ii) collage / application for the delta of venus, local bohemian cafe. when i asked about dropping off employment info, i was advised that the owner likes bright and shiny things. my plan of attack, then, involves foil / tea light constellations, the famous lauren snowflakes, and doctored photos of emily dickinson. in the event that i fail, i've also contacted some gourmet mushroom growers. someone will hire me.

iii) writing you back. sorry about that.

Do you remember the day we wanted to describe everything?
There is a beautiful cage in the empty sound
where the name would have been. One strand of hair
was music. I summoned the courage to grin: I climbed the hill
with my bucket and slept and cannot be cheered. This is not
enjoyment of darkness because we are made to see
edges of the light, facing out again, to the black.
Was it sadness or fear? But no night is old, they are all beyond
being old. Nothing has brought me back unwilling.
The sea is the sea when we turn our back on the city.
This would be a good day to go sailing
perhaps, elegantly into the vast and vacant sky.

(genevieve kaplan)

(1) was abroad when the pentagon was attacked. her workplace in washington will have no ceremony tomorrow, though the building houses the u.s. constitution. she wants to find a quiet place.

(2) was unlike himself when he spoke of the way his new york apartment smelled last september. maybe he expected us to want local details of the disaster; maybe it was helpful to give them away. it was the only serious conversation we've ever had.

(3) - (50) found a decrepit cafe on market street, the only storefront downtown with any signs of life. the greyhound station pulled barricades across its counters when frustrated air travelers began to look dangerous; we looked for breakfast because we had nothing else to do. the cafe owner stood on a table in front of his television: "IT'S ALRIGHT! WE HAVE EGGS!"

before the bus terminal, when the television was just beginning to shock us and i was groggy with sleep, i was on the phone. nothing dire - i was lucky enough to know that my loved ones were nowhere near the sites - just greetings and affection. that's the plan tomorrow. were i there, i would hug you.


i have yet to live more than five minutes from the set of an mtv reality show. in san francisco it was the real world house on lombard; now i'm a hop-skip-and-jump from sorority life. when the university is back in session, i'll make every effort to flatten the sisters with my roller skates. your fifteen minutes of fame are over!

a chain link fence separates the yard from the local junior high. i assumed this morning's child-din was middle school related, but those shrieks came from the elementary school across the street. this is the undiscovered country: children, insects, people who wear shorts and don't deliver packages.
I am the color of wine, of tinta. The inside of my powerful right claw is saffron-yellow. See, I see it now; I wave it like a flag. I am dapper and elegant; I move with great precision, cleverly managing all my smaller yellow claws. I believe in the oblique, the indirect approach, and I keep my feelings to myself.
But on this strange, smooth surface I am making too much noise. I wasn't meant for this. If I maneuver a bit and keep a sharp lookout, I shall find my pool again. Watch out for my right claw, all passerby! This place is too hard. The rain has stopped, and it is damp, but still not wet enough to please me.

(elizabeth bishop, from strayed crab)

knowing that one is doing something For The Last Time is silly. insignificant activities take on all sorts of ridiculous importance. i could have spent the last few days dramatizing my interactions with joe - rightfully important things, as it's possible that i'll move farther away after davis and our san francisco phase is about to end - but i've fixated on little things. this is the last time i'll wake up in this room, the last shower in the clogged tub, the last cup of dodgy instant coffee on the porch. when i came back to the apartment after he left for washington last year, he'd traced his hand in one of my notebooks (i'd done the same when we nearly broke up in oxford). i don't have the stomach to be sentimental in that way this morning; it's much easier to rhapsodize about last pieces of toast.

kidchamp: cow country coming soon.


site updates are going to be difficult when i move in for good. it was my job to resuscitate the computer in davis, and mom's system doesn't believe it has a built-in modem. i coaxed it, serenaded it, plied it with tough-looking accessories - no progress. consoled myself with the assurance that i'd have lots of mail and work when i got back online in san francisco today, but the inbox was bare. pity party for me!

davis is a digest-sized version of my parents' old house. i had no idea that arranging furniture could be so emotional - i know that we're working with a smaller space, that the new rooms don't really care that the sofa and the fat man chairs need to be placed just so in relation to the coffee table - but i get angry when a certain bookcase can't live next to its friends. the building should be more sensitive to my nostalgia.