Tuesday, June 27, 2006

diagram of my 9 to 5

are you the now or never kind

.my best friend and kindred spirit.

it's probably been boringly obvious that lately i have been vascillating between embracing and shunning juneau. my best friend, who knows me better than anyone and shares my fundamental wavelength, wrote me a three page letter on stationery that charmingly looks like a target ad. he knew my dilemma wasn't about physical place so much as a metaphysical one. we both simultaneously seek the freedom and stability needed to make a difference in the world we so constantly need to explore. him and its stars, me and its people, and both of us with big big love and reckless abandon.

Friday, June 23, 2006

fighting immaturity

ever wonder how it would feel if the photo developing place totally fucked up your black and white pictures, and you still had to pay full price and wait another 5 days for them to rectify it? and then your family is in town just for that day and you never see them since you moved 3,000 miles away, and they don't even call to see you. and your recent ex and current roommate, who both profess to be your close friends--winking face here--, end up in a local movie production where they're in love and have a kissing scene, and neither of them even tell you about it. so say all these things happen in one afternoon. you got shitty photos, forgetful family, and guilty relationships. well imagine some tinned meat of dubious origin, not even spam, worse than spam, think of spam shoved through an industrial meat grinder, twice, so that it's really pasty and mushy and then shoved right back into a tin because no one wants to see that shit. that's an approximation of how you might feel, i'm just guessing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

all things go

I leapt across three or four beds into your arms
Where I had hidden myself somewhere in your charm
Our golden handshake has been smashed into this shape

It's taken magic to a primitive new place
~New Pornographers

today at 3:43pm: looking at plane tickets for Zihuatanejo

I never thought I would extol any virtues about Cincinnati other than our unique and fabulous chili. But lately, I have been praising it up and down for the many highways you can take to get the hell outta Dodge. I-71N was my plane-alternative ticket to Manhattan, I-74E led me to Wilmington, NC one impulsive evening after work, and good ole I75 took me pretty much anywhere--the most memorable to Chesapeake Bay, MD, in time for a late morning ocean swim one spontaneous summer weekend. Despite the numerous perks Juneau has to offer, such as extensive trails, camping opportunities galore, and various sea-related escapades, being able to actually leave here is not one of them. My spur-of-the-moment travel urges are thwarted by our airline monopoly's prices and the ferry's random timetable. Would I sacrifice this Walden-esque isolationism for a road passing through 60 avalanche chutes and the ruin of incredible habitat? Of course not. (Anyway, that road ends at Katzehin Ferry Terminal and is phenomenally and expensively pointless.)

But I am looking for a vacation out of this vacation spot. Unsatiated, my wanderlust wants to push the red button. Quit the new job, it says, and move to Vienna or Mexico. You could pick up German or Spanish and finally visit Prague or Tikal. My devil's advocate argues, but you like it here, your job is rewarding and meaningful, it's harder to study for the LSAT when you're living out of a suitcase, and hello, you can see whales 30 minutes out the road. Yes, but then her devil's advocate says there will be more than plenty of time to wrestle the practical when you're on a 9-year track for a PhD.

I guess that I just want to know there's an easy exit somewhere, just in case I need it, but having one doesn't necessarily mean I would use it; the knowledge alone is generally sufficient to calm me and keep my head on straight. But when I feel confined, I panic at the thought of losing recourse, and that's when the demons start bickering.

In lieu of travels, I am devouring books like it's my job (and oh, how I wish it really were...):
prague ~arthur phillips
candide ~voltaire
bradbury speaks: too soon from the caves, too far from the stars ~ray bradbury
indigenous peoples and the modern state ~multiple editors
bones, boats, and bison: archaeology and the first colonization of western north america ~e. james dixon

Also, I have the ever-faithful Buddy, the Green Monster to take care of this summer. I have big plans for Buddy. We are summeting Mt. Jumbo, damn it.

In a completely unrelated conversation:
Me: Remember that scene in Thumbsucker and the guy does a weird impression right before the girl goes down on him?
Friend: Yeah, I know! You and I looked at each other at exactly the same time!
Me: (blank expression) ...
Friend: Okay, it was just me looking at you.

Friday, June 16, 2006

everything is measured

Last night, I pretended I was 12 again and wrote a short poem that rhymed. These quotes were my muses:
1. "Men are the time you count between lightning and thunder."
2. "She thinks he likes her and so, she likes the way he thinks."
3. "You cannot trust a demon just because it speaks the truth."
4. "There is no handier excuse than a timely doubt."

everything is measured

Someone once wrote, “men are the time you count between lightning and thunder.”
In the passing of seasons, certainty fades, but strong arms and a halo of faith surround her
She's counted fall, winter, spring, and summer but wonders how do you measure loss?
And so she had written, “Love is what counts in this absence, and it spans two continents across.”

The sound of sea spray and the smoke of sin, colors your eyes with what’s not there
Gold-rimmed eyes look up from gilded edges, burdened by this savoir-faire
A homecoming of burning bridges, unthinkingly planned and carelessly made
You sent your ash to cure the invisible matter; I heard a five-string serenade.

When a sailor jumps ship and the boat is receding, the wake lingers long after it’s gone
He waits for the passing of shadows and numbers the stars till the coming of dawn
What else does he count on in times of distress if not in something higher to trust?
Tomas and Tereza turning into lovers turning into strangers turning into dust.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

John Doe & the Hooligans

This picture was from last week when I cooked lumpia shanghai for a work event. I am just so proud of it that I am posting it belatedly and without any accompanying story. You have to bear in mind that all through adolescence and my teen years, I equated cooking with domestic slavery, and up until a year ago, the biggest culinary trick up my sleeve was adding tuna to mac n' cheese.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

locked in a box and hidden away

I'm a little wary. The last time I had a weekend this fantastic, I came home and got dumped. I guess now the worst thing is coming home and getting unexpectedly asked out.

On Friday, we had a bonfire on Sandy Beach. Ours was struggling, barely a bonfire really, with some scavenged brush and a waterlogged log propped up by our grill cooking grid. Meanwhile, the one next to us was taunting ours with its perfect triangle shape, abundance of dry wood, and marshmallow roasting-worthy flames.

Eve: I'm going to the other bonfire to mingle.
Me: I'm gonna stay here. I'm a one-bonfire woman.
Eve: But our fire sucks.
Me: Yeah well good bonfires take effort. Anyway, that other one is just a fantasy bonfire. When you get over there, I bet it's not as great as it looks from here.

On Saturday, we helped Jack work on his boat (i.e. scraped around the deck listlessly for a short while then ended up getting distracted by big dogs, tall ships, beer, and burgers). Here is Vinu cooking us lunch with her scraper! The girls left to go swimming at the glacier and decided to forego the bathwater warm spot where everyone was so we could closer to the iceberg. Needless to say, it was f-ing freezing but a lot of fun and the ice calves were floating behind us five crazy, bikini-clad females.

Today I went kayaking on Twin Lakes and ran into my ecstatic Little Sister, who'd been so morose when the school year ended because it meant we wouldn't be intentionally meeting again until the next school year begins. And I also made leads on a new place to live which would be awesome to secure this month so I could take the last two weeks of July actually vacationing instead of sticking around to pack and move.

Belated Sailing Pictures

My first time sailing and Eve's 120234th

On the first day's race, we were neck and neck with this boat. TimTom shouted, "Down with Commitment!" and I'd replied, "Yeah, I'm not a big fan." Commitment won out.

And this is Captain Jim's 34ft boat, Lyric.
On the 3rd and last day of racing, and we're smoking the other guys!

The view of downtown and cruise ships on the way back to Harris Harbor. This was also before I almost killed TimTom by accidentally knocking the boom right into his skull.

Friday, June 09, 2006

My Goldilocks and the 3 Bears Incident

This week, I have had the house all to myself because Cristina is in North Carolina visiting family, Lauren was in DC for training, and Jack, the perpetual hanger-onner, was in Hoonah getting his fishing boat.

So yesterday, I get home from work still believing everyone was out of town. That is to say, I was caught completely unawares when, as I was in the bathroom, I noticed a burgundy towel that was not mine hanging up. “Somebody’s been using my shower!” I thought. Still, as we never lock the door and friends come and go as they please, even when we’re not around, I didn’t think too much of it.

Then I went to our laundry room to put some things I’d washed in the dryer, when I discovered that what I pulled out were not my things at all but gross bedding and men’s clothes. “What the hell, someone’s been using my washing machine!” Now I was getting suspicious.

Later on when I wanted to drink some of my cold Alaskan Amber, I looked in my fridge and found one was missing. “This is the last f’ing straw; someone’s been drinking my beer!!” Now I was definitely peeved with the mysterious freeloader.

At the Alaskan bar that evening, in strolled Jack Attack and I knew I had my culprit.

Me: You showered in our bathroom, used our washing machine, and drank my beer you SOB!
Jack: Oh yeah, that beer was horrible too. I just poured most of it down the drain while I was showering.
Me: You sick, twisted bastard! I got that beer from my boss for my new job!
Jack: Yeah sorry about that. Doh de doh de doh.

My “three bears“ to Jack’s “Goldilocks” wanted to maul him but then he bought me another beer and all was forgiven. But next time, leave a note or I’ll have to get the one-armed man to teach you a lesson.

Life Goals

Someone once asked me what were the things I wanted to accomplish in my life before I got hitched? I didn’t understand the question at all, not being able to fathom how aspirations could be put on a timeline falling under Single or Married status, that they would have to be necessarily crossed off when I tied the knot. My construct of goals doesn’t lend itself to answer the inquiry the way you’re expecting, I had responded, and she got really mad and wouldn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Maybe I had overthought her question, instead of simply replying, “Get wild on Spring Break and hook up with a tattooed sailor.”

I’m also reminded of the time in middle school when I had to compose an essay about my life objectives. My mom read the draft and mocked me because I had written that I wanted to win both the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism. I could say I was twelve and she was thirty eight and so she knew more about the ways of the world than I did. Or I could say I was twelve and she was thirty eight so I still had not suffered heavy disappointments which can burden your desires.

I am twenty four now and have experienced defeats and disillusionment. My mother does know more about the ways of the world, and she is still exponentially more practical. Yet here are some of my dreams anyway:

The short list:
- start a publishing company for underrepresented voices in literature
- run my own hostel/bookstore/cafe on a semi-secluded tropical beach
- be an international human rights lawyer (particularly Latin America/American Indian indigenous rights)
- be a leading expert on the ancient Maya
- write a novel
- host a show on National Geographic
- fluency in four or more languages

Notice I do not include falling in love, getting married, and having children on there. This is because, while fine enough goals for some, they are not something I feel I need to pursue. I know some women who have their wedding theme, colors, and flower arrangements picked out despite not even dating anyone or who have a schedule in their minds for what age they intend to be when these things occur. Personally I feel that these things will transpire, if it at all, in the way life happens to you regardless of your plans for it. As far as material possessions are concerned, such as fancy cars, giant mansions, or private jet planes, they don't even make the long list, and I pray they never will. Oh and I have a life goal of not ever tying sweatshirts or sweaters around my shoulders. Unless you're a Vanderbilt or Rockefeller and was dressed that way since birth, the sight generally makes my stomach turn.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

gourmet alaska?

tomorrow we have a major donor and partner organization recognition event. the board decided us lowly employees would provide the fare, and they made it an international theme to boot so no cincinnati skyline chili from a can. (speaking of which, any ohioans out there want to mail me some?? i will pay good money.) i decided i'd cook lumpia shanghai, or filipino egg rolls. now, it's not very fancy, and i don't want it look lackluster around the raspberry tarts and sushi and bruschetta. so i think i will make it more colorful and put shredded carrots and maybe zucchini inside with the meat and serve it with two sauces: soy sauce + lemon juice and a fiery sweet + sour sauce (simple syrup, garlic, habanero juice, red pepper flakes, and orange zest or peels). i could probably dress up the presentation with some orange slices or leaves or artsy sprigs and voila, instant gourmet filipino, which we are NOT known for. this is what it typically looks like:

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Monday, June 05, 2006

my hands were intertwined

in the beginning of things, he had looked at me and said, i don't look for the good in you. i just look at you, and i like who's there.

the start of a love song come undone.

the tricky thing about love and a relationship ending is that people often say, for consolation to friends or themselves, "he/she doesn't deserve you." but i thought love, in its ideal form, wasn't supposed to be something akin to a reward. you get this for being who i want you to be. you show me receipts of good deeds and perhaps i will deem you worthy. love is not an obligation or a matter of reciprocity.

society and religion, the two biggest factors molding a person's principles and morals, offer (even within themselves) conflicting ideas.
Giant Love Idea #1: Unconditional Love
your parents and god love you no matter what. they love you despite of and because of who you are.
Giant Love Idea #2: Justified Love
you want your parents to be proud of who you become, which in essence, is grounded on their expectations of you. unless they read khalil gibran, and if so good for them! in christianity, you live your life accordingly so that on Judgment Day at the pearly gates, you are allowed entrance into god's kingdom.

but you think, weren't you supposed to love me unconditionally? to understand and support my struggle in the brief human existence?' but all along behind the pretense of a love with no strings attached, tallies have been taken, and you have been measured on an invisible scale. maybe you had been good -- but not good enough. you love someone and it ends and people tell you, he didn't deserve it.

i know it's supposed to make someone feel better. but then it implies, you loved uselessly. this was a person who was not close to worthy of your love, and yet you, sappy romantic you, loved anyway. no. this time, i will tell people, and i will tell myself, trust in the difficult and come what may.

these words cradled me and rocked me back to sleep that was stolen:

"perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage... so you musn't be frightened if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do. you must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall... since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change." ~rainer marie rilke in his 8th letter to a young poet

Friday, June 02, 2006

take the sleep out of my night

She left pieces of her life behind her everywhere she went. It's easier to feel the sunlight without them, she said.

And here in Juneau, you need to feel all the sunlight you can get.

Lately, I am looking for something to stick, be it faith or someone's apology or our loyalty for each other. But lately, all these things have been dishearteningly fickle; the wet around here lasts longer than good intentions. I want stone bridges. The ones made of wood burn so easily.

As far as May being a month of big decisions, it did not disappoint in that regard. I'll write about my fantastic sailing weekend whenever I get the pictures downloaded.

Reading: The Gold Coast and Children of God simultaneously
Music on repeat: "Fever to Tell" -Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs