Friday, October 26, 2018

So much loss

I stopped by The Farm to pick up a few things last night. I cried on the way back to the new place. Where is home?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Once again, Daily OM

Honoring the experiences we have in our lives is an invaluable way to communicate with life, our greatest teacher. We do this when we take time at night to say what we are thankful for about our day and also when we write in a journal. Both of these acts involve consciously acknowledging the events of our lives so that they deepen our relationship to our experiences. This is important because it brings us into closer connection with life, and with the moment. Only when we acknowledge what's happening to us can we truly benefit from life's teachings. 

It is especially important when pain comes our way to honor the experience, because our natural tendency is to push it away and move past it as quickly as possible. We tend to want to brush it under the rug. Yet, if we don't, it reveals itself to be a great friend and teacher. As counterintuitive as it seems, we can honor pain by thanking it and by welcoming it into the space of our lives. We all know that often the more we resist something, the longer it persists. When we honor our pain, we do just the opposite of resisting it, and as a result, we create a world in which we can own the fullness of what life has to offer. 

We can honor a painful experience by marking it in some way, bringing ourselves into a more conscious relationship with it. We might mark it by creating a work of art, performing a ritual, or undertaking some other significant act. Sometimes all we need to do is light a candle in honor of what we've gone through and what we've learned. No matter how small the gesture, it will be big enough to mark the ways in which our pain has transformed us, and to remind us to recognize and value all that comes our way in this life. 

Friday, October 19, 2018


I was talking to Joseph about addressing what's inside yourself. I'm trying to do that, now and every day. It lightens the load I'm carrying, just as the fact that we took only maybe half (or perhaps a third) of what we own to the new place. Lightening the load. I like it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tackling the revise

In May, Miriam gave me edits on BEARDED LADY. They scared the hell out of me. I decided the book was a memoir, not a Young Adult novel, and basically ran screaming.

Last week I went back to her and asked to have another chance. She said yes.

Here we go.

An incredible read

"Sometimes, though, our struggle is not enough. ALS destroys my body, no matter how many medicines I take or exercises I do. Sometimes, oftentimes, white supremacy, violent misogyny, and rapacious capitalism rip apart our families and destroy lives, regardless of how well we organize. And sometimes, oftentimes, our stories are not powerful enough. Despite our best efforts, Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed, and will do lasting damage to America and its people.
"Yet it is in these moments of defeat that hopeful, collective struggle retains its greatest power. I can transcend my dying body by hitching my future to yours. We can transcend the darkness of this moment by joining the struggles of past and future freedom fighters. That is how, when we reach the end of our lives and look back on these heady moments, we will find peace in the knowledge that we did our best."


My friend posted this on FB today

Doing my annual university mandated sexual harassment and assault training and it always pains me that we not only need training, but annual training, that if someone is unconscious and therefore can't say no to sex, then you can't have sex with them. Same if you have terrorized them to the point of paralysis. Seriously, we need to be regularly reminded of that. And yet, we as a society still can't seem to remember.

The electric fire at our new place

I've changed so much in the past few months. I feel like a new person, deeper and more cognizant. If 2018 has been a time of loss in certain regards, it has also been a period of recovery and renewal.
Image may contain: fire, night and food

Sunday, October 14, 2018

This, on the last day in our old home

Be Happy Every Single Day

Discover something daily that makes you happy and become witness to your life transforming.
Our lives are rich with potential sources of happiness, but sometimes we become victims of negative thinking because we believe that focusing on all that has gone wrong will provide us with the motivation we need to face the challenges of survival. When we choose to focus on what makes us happy, however, a shift occurs in the fabric of our existence. Finding something to be happy about every single day can help this shift take place. The vantage points from which we view the world are brought into balance, and we can see that being alive truly is a gift to be savored. There is always something we can be happy about--it is simply up to us to identify it.

On one day, we may find happiness in a momentous, life-changing event such as a marriage or the birth of a child. On another day, the happiness we experience may be a product of our appreciation of a particularly well-brewed cup of a tea or the way the sun shines on a leaf. If we discover that we literally cannot call to mind a single joyful element of existence, we should examine the cause of the blockage standing between us and experiencing happiness. Keeping a happiness journal is a wonderful way to catalog the happiness unfolding all around us so that joy has myriad opportunities to manifest itself in our lives. Writing about the emotions we experience while contemplating joy may give us insight into the factors compelling us to resist it.

Happiness may not always come easily into your life. You have likely been conditioned to believe that the proper response to unmet expectations is one of sadness, anger, guilt, or fear. To make joy a fixture in your existence, you must first accept that it is within your power to choose happiness over unhappiness every single day. Then, each time you discover some new source of happiness, the notion that the world is a happy place will find its way more deeply into your heart. On this day, find one thing to be happy about and let it fill your heart. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

More from the essay

I want to fast forward because that’s the easy thing to do, but I have to tell you about something that happened in between that evening and the time when the pot kicked in, because it eventually did: I lost my virginity. This time it was my physical innocence, not my psychedelic sense of naivete. That happened later. Not that much later, but later.

It was with a guy named Eric. He was – maybe he still is, I don’t know – a Domino’s pizza deliveryman. I thought he was super old. He was maybe 23.

He was – maybe he still is, I don’t know – a friend of my roommate. Let me stop for a minute and describe Sandy, with whom I shared a home for the better part of my time at UCSB. If the stork and a pear had a baby, that would be my roommate. Sandy was into anime and all things that weren’t her: delicate, flowery, little. Origami, that was Sandy’s sensibility. Concrete in her shoes, that way of thumping through life, that was her reality.

Playing around with the beginning of an essay

The first time I got high was in college. Specifically, the University of California, Santa Barbara, 1995, and even more specifically, in Kim and William’s living room. Kim and William basically spearheaded the Daily Nexus newspaper on which I served as an editor – she as editor in chief and he as editor emeritus and general alcoholic layabout – so it made sense that they had joined forces in the bedroom as well.

Then there was the issue of the Nexus parties. While attendance was not required, it was highly encouraged, kind of like the printed readers we bought at Kinko’s and Isla Vista Bookstore. Miss a party and you were missing the essence of the work that was done at the Nexus: drinking. And, as it turns out, smoking as well.

“Landa,” Nick said, “you’re a virgin.”

How did he know?

The stereo was pumping out Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams”; whether this was irony we might never know.

“We can fix that,” he said, and handed me what I quickly recognized as a joint. I was proud of my own sophistication here. I was also 20 years old and a real dumbass.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The latest

Moving never really sucked for me. It was always a step up. But this one is hard. There's the emotional side -- 12 1/2 years of living somewhere, longer than I've lived anywhere in my life. Then there's the side where it's just a fuckload of work -- dusting every book, sifting through to see what to keep and what to sell and what's just too cracked out to do anything but donate.

Baz is doing better, which is important. I'm not sure I am, or that I'm even in touch with myself enough to really care.

Thursday, October 4, 2018


Someone seems to have taken a hatchet to the Kittredge’s orange tree and this is just a shame, though not unexpected as this is city life and that’s what happens. Things grow and are hacked down, either to be consumed or tossed into the street to get run over by cars. The latter seems the case here as corpses of peels can be seen up and down the block. It’s not even worth asking who does this. In Berkeley, stupid acts are their own salvation. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018


Baz is having a hard time with the move. He said to me today: "I can't ever go home again." Oh, little buddy. I love you so much.


Mom, it says, don’t fuck some other guy. Okay?

No, this is no joke. Billie knows something, or at least thinks she knows something, but if he knows anything, it’s his own daughter. If she thinks she knows something, it’s typically because she does.

His mind feels as though it’s looming on itself, tucking into its own corners. His thoughts are a bedsheet, at once flat and folded, easily smoothed and yet perennially rumpled. He has felt this way ever since he lost his job seven months ago. But never did he think he would lose his wife as well.

Leigh with someone else? It doesn’t compute. That’s because we’re wired not to believe that we could lose someone to another, even as we worry ourselves about the possibility. Deep inside we don’t believe that will ever happen because that other is ours, solely ours, the way anything beloved and familiar belongs totally to us. A house, for example. But when that house sells, and when we move out, those walls are no more ours than anything else in this world. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The art of tsundoku

"Unread books are comforting in a way that read books aren’t. With read books, you know what happens, but unread books suggest infinite possibilities. There’s the anticipation of what they might contain; the excited expectation of worlds and lives yet unexplored. No wonder we love browsing libraries and bookstores, spending time among stacks of books and carefully choosing our next read."

Check it out for yourself

Got our keys!

This is our new place, minus the master bedroom, which I also videoed, but it's not that exciting (it's big though!).