Friday, August 26, 2011

With autumn closing in

This is the hardest time of year for me. The move from summer to fall is a killer. The shorter days, the leaves blowing around in the Indian-summer wind ... it's hard for me to take.

Depression is something you have to monitor all the time. When you feel your mood start to slip, you've got to be aware of it and how to take care of yourself around it, as a therapist might say. And although I'm doing all right at the moment, I know things can change.

I'm thinking of the lines from Bob Seger's "Night Moves":

Ain't it funny how the night moves
When you just don't seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A second chance

There is a dog in Miami who has had my heart for the last day or so. Melody is an American bulldog whose big heart and sweet nature need a home. And it looks like she may be getting one! Never doubt that the internet -- and people -- can make a difference.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The simple life -- it's up to me

In a way, I live a relatively stripped-down life: I don't commute to go to work, I wear thrift-store clothes for the most part, I have a secondhand car and a one-bedroom cottage.

I also have a plethora of technology: a laptop, an iPhone, and ... okay. That will do for now.

When I say I'm looking for a simpler, more pure life, what does that mean?

I want to meditate more. This is solely up to me. I want to travel more. Okay, that's not totally up to me, and I'm not sure thousand-dollar airline tickets constitute more simplicity and purity. Maybe I just want to see India.

I'm thinking of becoming a vegetarian. This probably won't happen, though. It's important to get protein, particularly after Lap-Band surgery, and although I do like meat substitutes, somehow the real thing feels more protein-y.

So what the hell am I doing to make life more simple? Maybe I'm just taking one step at a time.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A year

Oliver passed away a year ago tomorrow. There is not much I haven't said before about this, but I just want to say I love you, Bear, and I always will.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Return of the students

Three cafe tables taken up by a single person, moaning and whining on the cell phone about how the underwater basket weaving class is sooooo hard. Yes, the students are back, and Berkeley will feel their presence until they take off for Sunnyvale or Agoura Hills in May.

I too have been a student, and I'm sure I was just as obnoxious as these brats. To the denizens of Santa Barbara from 1992-1996: I am sorry.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chuck that editor out of the room

I've been having trouble writing for the last few days -- okay, maybe a week or so, give or take -- and I'm realizing why. My expectations for myself are very, very high. I want to write something clean. And this is really driving down my productivity.

They say throw the editor out. I'm trying to push her away for now, but she keeps lingering in the door frame. Enough, bitch. Out.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Today's writing

Not everyone watches the Food Network while waiting to undergo weight-loss surgery. Then again, not everyone is as hooked on food as I am. 

“We should make that,” I tell my husband, pointing to the screen. A woman in a low-cut top stirs risotto and murmurs assessments that sound more than vaguely sexual.
Adam raises his eyebrows. “We should probably make stuff you're going to be able to eat,” he says.

Oh. Yeah.

I'm at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, which overlooks Oakland in all its gritty glory. It's a rooftops run riot, gray snakes of roads, wisps of greenery. I'm playing I-Spy: a Starbucks, a car-detailing shop, the Samuel Merritt nursing school. Above it all is a semicircle of dark hills, an overseer of sorts. Looking at them feels somehow like staring at the sun, risky, potential retina damage.

I'm slated for Lap-Band surgery. Picture a belt cinched around your stomach, creating a pouch. That limits your food intake. That means you lose weight. That's the theory, anyway.

The Lap-Band means changes. I'm not sure I'm ready for them, but they're coming nonetheless.

“Ah,” the woman on the screen says, sucking her finger. “So good.”

I roll my eyes. “Is she fucking or making food?”

“Sometimes,” Adam says, his gaze not shifting from the screen, “there is no difference.”

It's moments like these that tell me I'm doing the right thing: It's only eye candy, he likes to tell me, but eye candy still fills some sort of hunger. “You like her.”

His eyes lock onto mine. “Actually,” he says, “she's kind of ridiculous.”

Ridiculous, sure, but a size six while she's at it. She's making that risotto, but does she actually eat any of it? Does she survive on an apple and a slice of beef jerky per day? Does she celebrate her cheekbones, applaud her flat abs? Mmm, so good.

Luce, "Good Day"

I used to hate this song. I felt it was simplistic and stupid. Then I moved to the Czech Republic and realized how much I missed simple happiness. You judge for yourself:

Well I wake up to a sky so blue
With my girlfriend in the other room
Got the coffee on and the pancakes done
The cat's sleeping outside in the sun

The tv sings its morning blues
And it’s all the same with all the news
But she walks up, smiles, kisses me
And says your coffee’s done.

Then starts singing.
Yeah yeah yeah
She is singing.

Well It’s a pretty good day.
I’m lookin’ forward to tomorrow
To have a pretty good day.

Well it’s a pretty good day
I’m looking forward to tomorrow
To have a pretty good day
Yeah we’ll have a good day.

So I lace my boots up and step outside
Catch a cab cause my car died
And I go to work with my friend Dan
Paintin’ houses the best we can

On my way back home I try and mix it up
Walk halfway then take a bus
And as it pulls up and the doors open
I hear the bus driver say "step up" please "STEP UP"

And I’m singing, And I’m singing
Yeah yeah yeah
And I’m singing yeah yeah yeah yeah
Some guy looks over and says ‘how ya doin’?’ I say...

Well it’s a pretty good day
I’m looking forward to tomorrow
To have a pretty good day
Yeah yeah yeah

Well it’s a pretty good day
I’m looking forward to tomorrow
To have a pretty good day
Yeah we''ll have a good day

And through the window
There’s a whole world
And I’m watching all the people
All the faces and the places I have yet to go

And the sunshine now it’s fading
And my girlfriend she’s waiting
And I bet that she’s outside
Sleeping in the shade

Cause it’s a pretty good day
I’m looking forward to tomorrow
To have a pretty good day
Yeah, again...

Well it’s a pretty good day
I’m looking forward to tomorrow
To have a pretty good day
Yeah, we'll have a good day

It’s a good day
It’s a good day