Sunday, August 17, 2014

Scrapbook Alert

Hello, erstwhile watchers! It's been a while hasn't it?

I've been watching a lot of Parks and Recreation and doing a lot of internal whining and external smiling lately but in the process re-edited a years-old novel back into shape.
In a moment of weakness, I had my dad cut ten years' worth of hair

Friday took a bad turn at work, where my take-away was mainly to try and be a better person, but later that night someone else pumped me up into getting back into writing storms.

I've been having a tough time at work, with a lot of it having to do with not really being able to write anymore, but there are several things like my friends and co-workers and happy laid-back lunches and talking to people all over the world and traveling to different places all over the world that somehow all makes it a 7.5.

But there be days I wish I could just chuck it all and consume plants and live in a cabin in a sparse forest with no crickets and good Internet connection. And a tub of cream cheese and raw salmon and raw tuna and some Fita crackers and a duffel bag filled with the heads of all the people who have stood in my way of getting in said cabin, Kill Bill-stylez. There will be a pleasant breeze, the silence of a thousand deaths, and the subdued buzz of a MacBook Air. These are a few of my favorite things.

I wish we didn't have to earn money. Life's a riot.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Green and Burnished Gold

I feel sometimes like I'm living two lives, that these two lives will forever live inside of me no matter what I do to consolidate them, assimilate them, or make them friends with each other.

One life is what you see, the job, the career, the stuff I allow the world to observe.

And then there's another one, the one you don't mean to hide, but it taunts you, forever, at the sidelines, and it becomes stronger when things are going bad.

Today, things are not going bad, in anything they are, for all intents and purposes, going as planned, or at least as is most favorable for everyone concerned.

But there is no denying that the drive to think about things never dies in me. Despite its uselessness, it has, for most of these decades defined who I am.

The fictions I come up with, they rule me sometimes. It is the drug that keeps on giving.

Friday, April 4, 2014


Partly because I just spent the last hour and fifteen minutes on Facebook and Reddit, accomplishing NOTHING, I mean to get some karma back on my side writing the night away.

This is me, you hot, steamy, world. There is nowhere I’d rather be. When watching a superhero movie makes you say things like how grateful you were that you were born in this century, when the stories in people’s minds become as close to reality in other people’s minds—this, to me, is magic at its finest.

Even the heat tells me I’m alive. There are days I hate it, when I’m wearing something remotely nice, the thought of sweating through it is added stress, but I’d really rather a burning heat than a numbing cold. This is where all the craziness happens, sons—the fires, both real and imagined, the chemical reactions, percolating, stirring, bleeding, limbo-rocking.

I’ve lived through all my alternative realities and have come to the realization of how futile the exercise is—that the thing that makes us divine is the thing that makes us as close to animals as we could ever be: our bodies, the ultimate transceiver, is meat and bones and synapses and stars. The remembrance is always different, because the present is always unique.

Meaning: I could be imagining my life as a youngish mom with five kids and a dog, or as a world-renown author with published books travelling the world, signing books, or as a specialist of some sort—someone important, with back-to-back conferences and interviews and life-changing engagements.

But then who would be insane enough to be doing the stuff I’m doing now? I create stories wherever I could, in the most exciting of places and weirdest of places, and I’ve traveled to places I never thought I’d love. I’ve climbed a mountain on a whim, did things to excess, and lost sleep over stringing together the perfect words.

We’re all living charmed lives if we think really hard about it. Never before has there been opportunities like this generation has. While we can choose to look at climate change and in the income gaps and the harsher truths of the world, the truth is we are, by many measures, lucky, to even have the kinds of choices we grapple with everyday.

And so this body, this not-too-old but not-too-young body, can be made immortal through the things we decide to do today. In the end life is full of meaning precisely because nothing has any absolute meaning. Because if someone told you today that you will be measured by something arbitrary like your salary, your years in school, the number of people you’re really, truly friends with (and it should be exact, like seventy-three), even something morally pleasing like the number of hours you spent helping people, I guarantee you that life will lose all fun.

It’s the fact that you, and nobody else, gets to call the shots.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I don't know what I'll write about today. I don't write that regularly anymore, at least not in public, but I have been trying to make time for Memento (the app, password-protected) every day. It's where I log my wins, my feelings and observations.

This reversion is revelatory (yes, psychopaths alliterate). It's like part of me doesn't want to share what's going on anymore. Not because I've suddenly become acutely aware of my need for privacy. It's not as if I have an online fan club watching my every move.

There's this concept in Opus Dei called unity of life. My persistent challenge is this: to wear hats but remain the same person. I've had some successes in my career, but I relish the relationships and problems solved more than any perceived mark of achievement. This makes me both valuable and malleable.

I'm not making any judgment on actions done to help other people--I'm all for service and meaning. But sometimes I lose sight of how this fits into my legend, the legend people will tell about me when I die, or the legend I will tell kids of future generations about how I dealt with the good old days.

And sometimes the disjoint is grating and clear: I need the kind of work that really, explicitly, directly helps people improve their way of life. And I can make the argument that all I'm doing is reading stuff and telling people to write stuff.

And then sometimes it's all about point of view. I can make the argument that the work I do is life-and-death for people who need the specific information we are delivering. And that every time we make a good call, the good guys win, every time we make a bad call, the bad guys get more money.

One of the better metaphors I've heard about the computing public was from a security conference (via Alastair MacGibbon) on how consumers think is the wildebeest theory of defense: "consumers reason that they travel in a large herd, so statistically, it will be unlikely--they hope--that they will be victimized."

And that so, in reality, the battle has changed, only this time the enemy is fast, invisible and unbelievably accurate. And that everybody can be a victim.

And so the work we do, the work I find myself in, is pretty much in line with my soldier mentality. I'm a very valuable foot soldier, because I will die for an idea. And this, the mythical idea that people can be in charge of their lives if only they know all the variables that impact their experiences, is sometimes enough to drive me. Whatever version of the story that turns out to be.

In short, it's a good time to be alive.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Down Time

Still the best part of December so far, but all the holiday festivities do come close. I pledged to become healthier after those three glorious days of exercise, fresh air and spiritual centering but alas Christmas IS a toxic time of the year. 

I welcome setbacks but only because they're proof that the universe may have been kind to me all these years but now it already considers me a soldier worth my stripes. 

In other words, bring it. These walls can't hold me. :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Courting Bullshit

By the time words fail me I'm this gnarly mass of twigs, leaves and organic horrors and smells and ironies and the death of the will.

I'm still so confused about life sometimes that I often prefer the comfort of the doing nothing haze of catatonia. But I understand life at least in this aspect, in that this will not work in the long haul.

So many incomplete plans as the year winds down. My mind is exploding.

I'm getting four days off, off the grid, into the wild--at least into the spiritual wild. I'm going to a Trappist Monastery to write and think about things.

I hope this makes me happier. I had a friend tell me that while I hate people because people stress me out and are so hard to understand, I need them because otherwise I will end up killing myself.

The thought is not alien to me, but then again, I suck at follow-through. I'm not even kidding.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Should Mark This

The contemplative life is attractive to me, but it's possible it's not for the right reasons. I get how people so comfortable with an interior life would be destined to live this kind of battle out in the streets.

What mean streets these are!

But this day, having spent several hours outside of work and totally immersed in my friends' lives and problems and issues, where I feared their issues would only magnify my sadness and provide such deep contrast to that unshakeable, unnameable regular guest-of-my-brain, that being with them would leave me tired and depressed and lonely, I've only ended up learning so many things from these girls I've called my friends for decades, from their problems and realizations and the way they deal with everything.

They worry and laugh and talk excitedly and passionately about weddings and families and siblings and children and careers and vocations and all sorts of busy, busy things that somehow in a weird, practical, domestic and strange realization I saw somehow the point of all life.

That, for some arbitrary reason, I've been put in charge of this creature (my body, my preferences, my proclivities, my tendencies, my fucking neuroses), and this is the only chance I get to participate in the world. And so the world is a game, and the cards are everything, and you will be rewarded every day for how you play those cards.

That it doesn't matter which cards they were, but what matters is if you have the guts to call life's bluff and wager on this creature, that it can thrive in this crazy, moving, dying/living biosphere, that it can create relevant goals and meet them against all odds, in spite of and because of previous histories of people with lesser or more, just battling it out with life and savoring every freaking moment that you can.

Every moment.

The pain, the joy, the sadness, the failures, the successes, the worries, the beauty--each of these are better than that void, that nameless void, that you for some reason keep wanting to go to when things get too hard.

Life can sometimes get so beautiful your heart breaks, and I'll take that heartbreak any time, over surrendering this body to the elements.


Friday, September 27, 2013


The twenty-six things flying around my head, things, for that moment they hovered in mid-flight:

Some clung to the walls of cerebral and more likely metaphysical hemorrhaging;

Sucking, waiting, bastradizing, writing their own twisted tunes to sing the moment

I notice

Where I left off.

But for the meantime, this,

Pause of the century,

Where none of the outside voices in my head, or the books, or the custom-built guilt, or the silence at the end of rote incantations,


A moment, out of nowhere, in the middle of what is possibly the busiest part of a stressful work week,


Where the worries slithered back to where they belong: in the future,

Where the regrets fizzled out into the now non-existent past: memories are reconstructions, and so the truth is we see what we want to see,

Where everybody's faces feel so kind and taste so soft and look like a newborn's first morning,

Random grace, corporate battlefield, the bloodbaths are never gone.

But they are, for this moment, just red.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Some Ulysses Contract

Is best kept online, away from real-world personalities and people who may actually give a fuck what I think.

I'm about to do something incredibly insane and incredibly selfish and something in me is sure that it's the right thing to do. And so I'll subsist on that certainty--I have begun trusting my gut at work and it's such a good feeling to be able to rely on something outside of facts.

We should all resolve to be a pretty girl, because it has been my experience that pretty girls finish first. Pretty girls are total bitches, and I mean that in the most non-condescending way possible. I don't even mean to be sexist when I say pretty girls, I'm referring to that unique breed of humanity that, while possessing mercenary-grade convictions and goals, can also summon guileless joy at the littlest things, like the shape of clouds.

And of course I don't even mean you have to look a certain way, i.e. pretty. I mean pretty girl in much the same way people say 'fat kid syndrome' when model-thin people still feel guilt over eating too much. Why not take that mechanism over its head and say that deep inside of us, there exists a pretty girl.

A pretty girl is vulnerable in the world's eyes, because she has boobs and wears skirts and high heels. But have we not learned where real power comes from? All creativity, Brene Brown said, and change, and innovation comes from a place of profound vulnerability.

My pretty girl's feeling the sun now, despite the rain. For several years this pretty girl had to play an array of roles she either did not care about or did care about but the thrusting of the role upon her cheapened the acceptance of these roles. Student, niece, worker, daughter, friend, random stranger in the shuttle, team mate, sub, college acquaintance, childhood buddy, I am all this and more, but I am also, at the same time, allergic to bullshit, intolerant of ego, and able to say no just because I feel like it.

I never knew I had these in me.There is no reason for the tension anymore. My pretty girl can go 120 any day of the goddamn week.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The truth is I'm screaming, I've been screaming for months and no one hears.

The jumble of emotions get so crazy sometimes I forget to breathe. 

I still feel alone, and not in that way, I want to convince my brain there's a point in all of this, that we assign meanings to things also means things have no innate meaning and sometimes, sometimes my brain recognizes this first, and too fast, that the feeling is too visceral to deny or out-analyze.

I get the beauty of life and all that bullshit and the value of pain, but I'm just saying it's easier to talk about it when you're not in the middle of some pretty bad shit.

And I'm in the middle of some pretty bad shit. And the reason I can't talk about it is because when I hear myself talk I feel like someone asking for help.

And I need to hear myself as a strong person, at least for the coming days. I got this, I'm the (wo)man, I'm the girl with all the answers. Because after I pour my heart out, what's next? I still need to live through it, I still need to do things anyway.

For the record I hate my brain.