Wednesday, February 22, 2006


the following lines are excerpted from the pink spiral notebook i take with me to my wednesday night creative writing seminar. i pass more notes than i take, incidentally.

1) I have a headache
2) I'm slightly gassy
3) I'm prone to fits of coughing
4) I am fighting the urge to pick my nose

the less tedious and annoying self?

readers owe us nothing! what? no! my writing CHANGES LIVES!!!

what counts as having value???
doing what i've told you to do
you don't have to do anything
sense of conventional expectations [i have]
this is what someone is expecting of me: punctuation
but i am (almost) unwilling to comply; ironically defiant
do something different.
write. sleep.
do not dream.
donut. a cat.
you can say no to donuts.
can you say no to me? (yes)
willpower...will you always have power over me?
i'm in the donut hole.

this process does not work for me

get up. shower. write.

enhance the fragrance metaphor

decide that during sex?

at times i don't know what to make of him, i.e. is he thoroughly tedious, or totally fun?

sounds like acid reflux

hump while you're alive!

no sign of getting out, out, out-
clothes on their backs
a little piece of floor to lay down on
abandoned blanket
home-just floats on, on, on
no running water
a little piece of floor
floating, out, out, out-
t-shirts, torn, clothes on their--
no running water but the flood
rises up, up, up-
a little piece of America
lay down on their abandoned blanket

ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night if you'll find your way back into arms, into revelry and sparkling memory. days of easy strolling, city tributaries lined with gracious trees, hand in hand and like a postcard storybook sing-along hey-they're always playing your song. and when the sun sinks down you glide so easily near, pressed like humid heat, dusky, cinnamon sugar sweet, no clocks to chart the passing time, until the daybreak brings you back into, back into...

left handed

when you are writing on behalf of someone else's life you must take special care to maintain authenticity of their voice.

old habits.
her points are interesting, but glaringly tangential


Sunday, February 19, 2006

on my ass in arizona on the way to somewhere out of the way

america west managed to get me to phoenix early, for which i'd like to thank the baby jesus and/or whatever powers that be who arranged for this minor miracle. i'm back on my ass, not because there aren't enough seats, but because this spot seems to be the only place i can get on the wireless network, so i'm fine and dandy, thank you very much. someone walking by just now had a cellphone ringtone of the doors' "light my fire" and there is some pretty decent people watching to be done here. i've enjoyed some quesadillas. i have a slight headache. so far it appears my flight from here to los angeles will be on time. i may well make it home in one piece. i had nothing to declare at customs (not counting the four packs of gum i bought--flavors we can't get in the states) because this was one rare trip where i didn't acumulate any new possessions. my nana offered to take me to the mall yesterday, but i declined; "i don't need anything," i said. maybe it was malaise due to being uprooted for a long weekend. maybe it's because last weekend i cleaned out my closets and realized i could never dare say i haven't a thing to wear, even after hauling off several bags of rejects and expired items to the salvation army. maybe it's because i knew nothing, save the gum, would squeeze into my tiny suitcase. maybe it's because i really don't need anything.

i thought a lot this long weekend about things. relating. relatives. relativity. i thought a lot about the concept of home. when i go to vancouver i'm always asked why i don't live there. why i don't try to get a teaching job at the university. why i don't want to be closer to all the assorted branches of my family. it's hard to explain why not. it's easier to explain why i don't need to go to the mall.

so i think about it in terms of home. yes, i was born in vancouver, and yes, i do have a sort of innate connection to that beautiful city. but it's not home. sitting here, on my ass in arizona, on my way to somewhere out of the way from here, i realize home is where i'm going. after all, i'm an LAist--shouldn't los angeles be called my home? after the past four strange underwater unusual circumstance overeating travel-trauma days, i'm happy to be headed home. i miss people. i miss my bed. i miss the certainty of what i'm doing tomorrow, and the next day. i miss being the driver.

zero 7 has a song called "home" and i can't help but think of it now. "take me somewhere we can be alone..." i miss what that means to me; it's a definition that lives inside me, that i can't possibly share, and don't really need to. this time i came to vancouver with a full sense of self. and, sure, that self can live wherever i want. but my home is los angeles. so, no, there's nothing i need to buy at the mall. i'm going somewhere i can be myself. i need to go home.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

travel nightmare by the numbers

airports i've been to: 4 (LAX-PHX-LAS-YVR)
states i've been in: 3 (california, arizona, nevada)
countries i've been in: 2 (u.s., canada)
airlines i've been on: 2 (america west, alaska)
security checkpoints i've been through: 2, plus the bonus of having been "selected" to get extra screening when i was moved from america west to alaska airlines in las vegas.

here i am, once more on my ass against a wall, but this time in the
snazzy "d" wing of las vegas' mccarran airport. as the lady at the
alaska counter said, "so las vegas wasn't in your plan?" no, it most
certainly wasn't. normally i'd be enchanted by the ting-ring-ding of
the slot machines and the people wandering around with open containers
of alcoholic beverages, but there's no charm to be found here. i am the definition of exhausted. i've wrecked my digestive system by ingesting taco bell's ground meat, after months of not eating beef. my makeup has been cried off by tears of frustration. i thought the "select" on my newly issued alaska ticket meant i was in first class, but really it meant i got to stand in an ion scan machine and then have some dour faced man paw through all my bags with a little bomb/drug wiping cloth. did i mention i had to ride a tram to get to this gate? and i still have to go through customs when i land in vancouver. six hours late. on about two hours' sleep.


vancouver via phoenix, or how my normal, boring, regularly scheduled weekend got completely re-routed

it took me about forty-six seconds to determine that terminal a of the phoenix airport does not have adequate seating. this, however, is made up for the fact that they have free wireless; so long as my back can lean against this here concrete column and my ibook can perch on my achy knees, i'm cool with phoenix. i haven't been in the phoenix airport in something like five or six years, when some old friends and i did a turn it and burn it style weekender to see a stevie nicks concert. i don't typically have cause to be in phoenix, and considering where i'm headed this morning, it remains just a little absurd that this is where my layover lays.

normally at this time on a thursday morning i'm ambling down to the local caffeinated watering hole to attempt to get some work logged in on my thesis, most likely encountering some of my favorite unusual suspects along the way. phoenix is not along the way of my routine, obviously. this weekend i was supposed to be presenting my multimedia creative/critical piece centered around a family outing to vancouver's van dusen gardens last spring; instead i've had to email a last minute cancellation to the conference coordinators, swapping a virtual version of vancouver for the real vancouver. i'm a vehement planner; plans, the wicked devils, exist to be broken.

i need a cushion, a phone call, and a nap.

i woke up in the middle of the night with a mission to transfer my packed items into a smaller suitcase--the one with the functioning wheels that i could haul around and carry-on. the ipod was charged and fueled with a new playlist entitled "LAX to YVR redux." there was no traffic at 4:30 this morning. the only shoes that go with my black shirt and skirt are the ones that pinch my toes.

this is just sort of what happens when you're saying goodbye and paying tribute to someone. this is just sort of what happens when you suddenly find yourself sitting on the floor of the phoenix airport, when the only way to get to vancouver from los angeles for less than $500 means doing just that, instead of sitting at your neighborhood corporate coffee joint on a thursday morning.

and no matter how long--months, years--you've been sensing this day was coming, and no matter what a relief the end can be when life has lost its shape and quality, you can only plan so much.

although, seriously, phoenix--you could have planned for more seating.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

happy valentine's day



Friday, February 10, 2006

once again the weekender

i do believe the sun is about to sink down on another week. princess me, of the permanent four-day weekend (occasionally of the pout, and frequently of the cupcake), is feeling pretty good, thanks to the perfumey scent of the tiny flower in a bigger bunch whose name i do not know and have forgotten to ask, the first two pages of my thesis project occupying a cozy spot on a document saved to my desktop, and having no cause to set the alarm clock for tomorrow morning. the past couple of days have been gorgeous and sweet, kicking off with coffee and companionship down at the local caffeine watering hole, followed by meetups and much laughter with a variety of high-quality people. i've been in such good spirits that i've hardly minded having to trek to campus on both my off days for meetings--and the fact that they were writerly sorts of meetings made it all the better, on top of my being able to finally drive around town in my very own car after months and months and (one more time for good measure) months of my little jetta being out of commission. yesterday was about pep talks and playtime and poetry; today i'm all about moonlighting and outlining and waving. hello. yes. it's me. it doesn't matter where i'm going, does it? just know i'm on my way...


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

happy feet meta mirror mall action

my feets!
Originally uploaded by sassylittlepunkin.
last week when i was out with some gal-pals i snapped this picture of my feet in a mirror at a shoe store. for some reason i take great satisfaction in the way my jeans look with my sketchers and also in the floor-level mirrors at shoe stores. it's the little things, sometimes.


Monday, February 06, 2006

big booty

just now as i was making the routine morning pot of coffee i was struck with powerfully profound nostalgia for a game i used to play called "big booty." it took me all the while i was scooping out the grounds and pouring the water into the braun to remember how to play the game, and the sing-song and actions that go with it, but i did. and then i wished i could play "big booty" except that it's really something for a whole big group of people to do, and there wasn't a whole big group of people in my kitchen this morning. frankly, there rarely is. so i guess i won't be playing "big booty" which is a shame, because it's damn fun. incidentally, "big booty" is not something from my childhood, but actually something i learned as an adult. there's something immensely satisfying about hollering out "big booty, big booty, big booty, aaawwwwwwh yeah!" while circled up with goofballs aged 19-55. good times. good times.


Friday, February 03, 2006

me(me): reflecting two by two

i'm not usually one to jump on the meme bandwagon, or get tagged with them, but i saw this over on dahl's page and decided to snap it up, since it's pretty much how i sort things out in terms of where-i-am and where-i've-been.

what were you doing ten years ago this month (1996)?
well, according to a journal entry dated february 3, 1996, i was thinking about how i'd been back in los angeles for exactly a year after living in new york with laurie. i also was getting "regrettably stoned" in the bathroom of a hollywood cafe with a crew of misfits, and then going home alone to negotiate really overwhelming feelings of lust and love for a boy with whom i was entangled. i overanalyzed everything he said and did, and it drove me crazy. this took up a lot of my time, naturally, which meant that i was barely showing up for school (trying for a BA in theatre) and dreading going to work (part time at a bookstore). by the end of the month i was jumping in my rickety honda accord for a solo trip to sedona, arizona to try to use the power of red rocks and new agey vibrations to soothe my self-inflicted wounded heart. jesus christ, life was intense back then. and also obscenely easy.

what were you doing eight years ago this month (1998)?
my psychotic friend suzanne took me to the rainbow room for a belated 21st birthday outing. please note, this was her idea of fun. we were plied with liquor by a mafioso type who wanted to take us places in his limo, and he also bought up all of the roses one of those wandering vendor ladies was selling to give to us. suzanne left him with her number, and a few days later she got a call from a woman wondering who suzanne was, since her number was found in the limo but the man--the caller's brother, a mr. gambino--was missing. other than that i was obsessed with absolutely fabulous' jennifer saunders, moving up the ranks at the bookstore--eventually i was given my own store to helm, just about done living in hollywood, and, with the exception of an extended flirtation with my older, married boss, thoroughly chaste. not a stellar time in my life.

what were you doing six years ago this month (2000)?
apparently not keeping a journal. best guess is i was working at the neighborhood starbucks, having just moved to the apartment i'm still in now, but with two people who haven't lived here in what seems like forever. also not a stellar time in my life.

what were you doing four years ago this month (2002)?
i finally gave in and decided to meet the mysterious game-show obsessed guy who i'd been emailing off and on for months. turns out he lived on my street. he came to see me do improv. i decided i really liked him. he tried to tell me he wasn't interested. i pushed. i worried a lot about people liking and accepting me. i worked at color me mine. my motto for the year was "i'm working on it." i was back in school, now working on a ba in english. i thought a lot about issues of control and focus and happiness. i was intent on learning how to live in the moment.

what were you doing two years ago this month (2004)?
i was working pretty close to full time at a franchised location of color me mine thanks to an old contact who became a savior and a friend after the fired for blogging mess of july 2003. i was in my last quarter of classes for my bachelor's degree, mulling the notion of the master's, free of any hindering romantic ensnarments (read: no sex life, except for one curious encounter with an ex from 2001). i was fresh from my first trip back to new york since i'd left there in 1995, and planning my next one for a few weeks ahead. i was almost one year into blogging. i was starting to see who i really was, and really liking her.

what are you doing now?
i'm finishing up my master's in creative writing and teaching freshman composition at cal state los angeles. although some days i get a major case of the "i don't wannas" i actually love my work, and have found myself doing a job that i don't dread or hate or loathe or any combination thereof. i'm doing a fair amount of writing (well, not nearly enough) but i have focused projects going that are getting positive feedback from my peers and adviser, and are headed in the right direction. i don't kiss and tell about my sex life anymore on here, but that doesn't mean i don't have one, and save for the wrinkles in the deal (and some uncanny parallels) it is what i've wanted for, well, ten years. it is what it is, and i'm cool with that.

what have you learned from this?
i'm happy. happy that i don't deal with problems and people the way i did ten years ago. happy that i don't often have wide expanses of life that are devoted to depression, following a crowd or person, or hopeless celibacy, like i did eight years ago. happy i don't have a shitty food service job and a roommate with a crack in her skull who made my and my other roomie's life a living, breathing, firespitting hell like i did six years ago. happy that i no longer have to ponder focus and control, that it turns out mr. game show was soooooo not "the one" for me, and that i took seriously the idea of living in the moment, like i did four years ago. happy that the master's is no longer a notion, and that i don't work in retail like i did two years ago. and though i didn't learn it from doing this exercise, i do know that while where i've been has shaped me, it's where i am--and where i'm going--that's the most exciting. of course, many aspects of my "old" life are still very much a part of my life today--people, interests, passions, characteristics--and for those that have endured, grown, or reappeared, i'm truly thankful.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

disturbingly hilarious

so like most folks, over the christmas break i was introduced to the world of "lazy sunday" which had a fabulously resonant ring, since i'd withstood the line at the magnolia bakery in the past, among the other new yorky things that the spoof refers to. but this morning i finally got over to the west coast's answer to the rap, which happens to feature as its core component my old work. and while nothing says funny like "step off kid, that's my mother-effin' brush!" and comedians who can rhyme things with "ceramic" and "kiln" i can't help but find it disturbing. i know i'm so last week with this tidbit, but seeing that video made this all more like "so two years ago" but part of my life for me. it's funny how lately things that were once a part of my life are cropping up again. it happened the other day when i got an email from someone i knew somewhat peripherally over a dozen years ago who'd read a piece i wrote on LAist that paid tribute in a sense to our ancient commonality. it's like when you find out your roommate and your best school friend have a mutual old pal in common, or that same school friend knows an old boyfriend of yours. small world kind of stuff. more "old is new" stuff. 2006 seems to be about retreading or revisiting old territory but with far more know-how. innocence to experience blakeian stuff (thanks, tim). it's all disturbingly hilarious. a little funny ha-ha, and a lot funny strange.


Site Meter