raybear: (Default)
I arrived to work early for a meeting, only to discover that its tomorrow. This is not the end of the world, its only half an hour, but its an extra 30 minutes with my officemate who I'm still trying to negotiate a method for engaging with her that is the perfect intersection on the cost-benefit graph of least effort and least stress. The upside is that I'm finally prodded into to writing an entry. I don't usually go this long between substantial entries, until I'm on vacation, and maybe I sort of have been on vacation lately. Its summer here, I'm out of the house and in motion -- going to the gym 4x a week, doing lots of bike rides and walks inbetween. When I'm not, I'm absorbed in a movie or a book or writing in a paper journal or having long conversations with imaginary people and other weirdo stuff that other writers may or may not do, but let's talk about pop culture instead! I've seen a lot of movies in the past few weeks, including, but possibly not limited to:

Sex and the City, Nosferatu, Wild Strawberries, Everything is Illuminated, Zoo, Smiley Face, Death Becomes Her, Fido, Touching the Void, The Fall, Baby Mama, The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie**, Go, The Bucket List, Midnight Cowboy, The Day After**

[**: both of these movies were about revisiting specific images from childhood that I've been thinking about. It was very surreal watching Looney Tunes cartoons again.]

And right now I'm nearing the end of Bright Shiny Morning and while I don't love it quite as much as this woman, but I certainly don't hate it as much as this guy (who, incidentally, taught at my MFA program, though I never worked with him, only attended lectures). The latter review is interesting to me though, because I wanted to know what an Angelino writer would think of the novel, and Ulin certainly told me what he thought.

I'm also near the end of The Age of Innocence (a book about forbidden, furtive love and desire that goes completely unmentioned aloud until 2/3 in? Yes, please!! I am still so caught off guard by my taking to Edith Wharton) and I'm also reading Eckert Tolle's A New Earth, because, well, I'm intrigued by spiritual/self-help books in general, and ones that end up being read by millions of the general populace especially interest me. That dude sure uses the word "ego" a lot. I mean, that's the whole point of the book, I know, but still, sometimes when I'm reading, it feels more like an overused catchphrase by a member of Landmark or Scientologists or someone in a marketing department.

Coxy gave me a couple issues of the magazine Stop Smiling, and I've been reading the jazz issue, which made me pull out all my Ornette Coleman and want to go shopping for Eric Dophy records (which I can't do until Friday because I spent all my money this week on a spending spree at Bike Nashbar.com). I downloaded the new Martha Wainwright album and also the Dennis Wilson album which just got re-released, after reading an article in the airline magazine, actually. Both of them I started listening to on the bike ride (halfway) into work. I just now learned that Dennis Wilson and Christine McVie used to be together. The circle is complete!

This also reminds me that on Sunday, DYA and I walked to Wicker Park to get tequila cheeseburgers at Salud for dinner, and at one point she asked what I would do "when the apocalypse comes" as far as what vices would you allow yourself to indulge in without care or concern for well-being, and I really think I'd become a 24/7 stoner beach dude in southern california, but instead of surfing, I would just walk/bike along the beach, nap and drink tequila. I suppose this is a possible career choice now, but I'm not sure I could allow myself such luxury for a long period of time, only if I knew it was short-term. So maybe this is more my strategy for if I was diagnosed with a terminal illness, since I am the person who has books on "Peak Oil Survival" so that I'll know how to grow and store food when we're all living off the grid because the capitalist structure has collapsed and all fossil fuels have run out. I also acknowledge that to a certain extent, this is alarmist thinking. To me, its also almost wishful thinking. At least until I run out of electricity to play records or charge my ipod.

Oh, and I planted a few tomatoes again, in pots along the side of the building. This year, I only put one plant per pot, unlike previous crowding attempts last summer. I also need to learn the best way to prune, and perhaps between these two modifications, I'll end up with more than one fruit per plant per season. A slight exaggeration of last year's crop, but not by much.
raybear: (Default)
I made a phone from yesterday afternoon, but I hung up at the end so it posted privately. And now it seems to be gone. Ah well.

I'm in Echo Park, sitting on [livejournal.com profile] wearemany's couch, contemplating a nap. I had 3 hours with [livejournal.com profile] thebrownhornet yesterday which was great alone, but even better because it also involved Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles and then a manhattan at a dive bar that was well made. It is not sunny enough here, but its still morning, it might burn off. I am broke because a deposit hasn't gone through but two checks did, and I'm trying to not freak out about it, because really, I'm here to see people and the rest will sort itself out. Last night was a spontaneous small group gathering and mix of friends in the living room over wine and whiskey, which helped remind me of that. Also, that in a room of eight people, there will be at least two ways in which you are somehow one degree of separation connected to everyone.

Happy early Thanksgiving!!
raybear: (flaming gorge)
On Friday morning I was scared I couldn't make it out of Chicago. I missed my flight by mere minutes because of long lines, residual of weather cancellations, but I made it standby onto the next flight without much issue. I arrived with enough time to still eat brunch with another Antioch writer friend before meeting up with the CrAcc folks to drive up to Ojai. Even with traffic, it only took about two hours and it was sunny and almost warm, so much so that immediately after checking into the hotel we all changed into swimsuits and went to the pool. I was the only one who jumped in, not caring that it was cold or that it was a little dirty. It was clean dirt. Bits of leaves, nothing smelly or slimy. Mostly it felt good to have sunshine touching so much of my skin. I am not quite completely comfortable and confident walking around in merely shorts and no shirt, but I'm getting better.

After a trip to the store for supplies (food for dinner and snacks), we hit the ground running with the retreat. In 36 hours, we did five seminars, a workshop, two 'open mics' and two writing sessions. There were handouts and gifts and seven bottles of wine. There was Lollipop Theatre and a nap and a pitcher of margaritas. And there were creative revelations. Lots of them. The order of everything is mixed up, but it doesn't really matter.

Driving around L.A. this weekend, I kept getting the strangest feeling. At first I thought I was sad that I didn't live there. But later I realized it was almost more nostalgic sadness. Part of it might be that I was just in need of some travelling and change of scenery and I only got small dose of it. Luckily, June is only two months away. I need to look into plane tickets.

Tomorrow begins the Three Week Challenge, a plan created for us all individually in overcoming our writerly obstacles. Oh-HI!!

group picture!! )

May 2010

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