Friday, February 26, 2010

brb hypothermia

Today may be the most consciously alive I've felt in a while. Sure, I feel great every day, but sometimes I fall into the monotony. Wake up, eat breakfast, go to classes... you get the idea. I decided to switch it up a little today. I had to go buy film for photography class. The campus shuttle drops us off at Rockridge BART during weekdays, and Looking Glass Photo is only on Telegraph. It would be good to get out. I haven't taken my bike out on the streets in ages. Three miles in a nice, flat area would be relaxing and beautiful.

Seems the weather had different plans. It was overcast when I woke up, overcast when I had lunch, and overcast when I waited for the shuttle. Now or never. I pressed my luck. If it's been overcast this long, it's probably going to hold on a bit longer, right?

The moment I stepped off the shuttle a raindrop smacked against the tip of my nose. Undaunted I pedaled down College. The rain held back, for the most part. When I hit Alcatraz it started to drizzle. There was no turning back. There never was. My lack of helmet and proximity to cars didn't faze me at all, surprising considering the fact that I almost got car-doored on purpose in Richmond at 12 and I once threw myself over the handlebars when I was 13. I didn't have time to worry about that today. I flew down Telegraph headlong into the rain as the wind picked up. Those little spiky balls from sycamores bounced all over the street, mingling with leaves and branches. I chained up Crockett (so named for his Miami Vice color scheme of pepto bismol pink and mint chocolate chip green with gorgeous neon purple lettering) and purchased 4 rolls of film.

Upon exiting, it was raining sideways. No shit. There was no other way back than to ride back. The rain poured on as I unlocked the chain and locked the seat back in. I rode straight into the rain, and then I felt it. Complete exhilaration. The water felt like needles as it hit me. I bounced between declaring "Oh Jesus this HURTS!" and "WO HOO HOO HOO! I'm fuckin' ALIIIVE!"

Rain has never felt so good.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fear of Sleep

I'd felt pretty good since cutting him off. I know it's the right thing to do. All of the negativity was dragging me down, and that is something I won't put up with any more.
Sunday night I could tell something was up. I couldn't fall asleep. When I finally did, it didn't last. I woke up having some kind of panic attack or night terror. I mistook whatever it was for an asthma attack.
Whoops. Hello, heart palpitations!
Last night I got out of here and spent the night in wine country. And so I slept somewhat soundly, surrounded by vineyards. Perhaps tonight, back in Oakland, I will sleep just as soundly.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Creativity Surge

I seem to have replaced one thing with another. With caffeine cut off for me after 6 on weekdays, I now obsess about art. I stayed up until 1 getting ideas I wanted to pursue. This is a strange feeling for me. I don't recall being this creative for years. I have been antsy all day and waiting for a spare moment to actualize everything. I feel like I can do these things again. No more feeling like I burned out so early like a young star after Sam the Butcher. That was one success of many.
It's good to be creative again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Impermanence

Today is Ash Wednesday. Today I went to my first church service. Ash Wednesday features the imposition of ashes, reminding us that we are dust and someday, we will return to our former state. I pause to think of the impermanence of life. I have existed for 19 years, Mills College for 158 years, and so on. How long exactly will things last? I contemplate the silver in my ring. It fits together like a puzzle. What was it doing before it got mined? Who made this thing, anyway?

I can recall a line from Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" pondered by Rick Deckard.
"This rehearsal will end, the performance will end, the singers will die, eventually the last score of music will be destroyed in one way or another; finally the name “Mozart” will vanish, the dust will have won."

Over the next 40 days I will say goodbye to Mountain Dew and caffeine after 6 PM on weekdays. Already I'm craving it. Perhaps now that I'm somewhat less caffeine-addled than normal, I can focus on more important things on my life rather than my next fix.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Obsession

Photography is a labor of love. There is heartbreak, joy, and everything in between. There's pain when you pinch your fingers or the enlarger, or when you splash fix in your eyes. There's the lamentations until finally, the perfect print is achieved.

I have only eaten a single chocolate muffin today. This is bad. I went to photography and lost track of time. Also bad. My back is screaming at me, my heels are crying, but I am content. Physical pain is nothing. The satisfaction of proving that I am a photographer and have always been one keeps me going.

Now I'm off to go get some real food.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Working it Out

After a couple days of recent drama with a friend, I've cut him off. For now. He told me that I'm the only person he consistently shoves advice at. He expects me to take it and interprets me not using it as not listening. All I hear from him is "You're making a big mistake!" and "I can't wait to see how THAT ends!"
Sarcastic, of course. Over the internet. Right.
I don't need that negativity in my life now. Last night was the first night I got decent sleep. This morning, in self-defense class, I punched a block out of my instructor's hands. It's a good way to wake up. A good place to scream as loud as I want.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Working Woman

Once upon a time, I had an office job. This job was cushy and I got away with a lot of stupid things. But I always did my work. I did stupid things like beat up keyboards, filing cabinets, shoot zip disks out of zip disk drives (they FLY), and concoct terrible things on my lunch break. My work uniform was pretty much whatever I wanted - read: same black Pumas I'd had since I was 13, black shirt of some kind, and either a red linen buttondown or a cornflower blue blouse. It was my way of feeling like a little professional at age 13.
That blouse. Crisp, hanging in my closet for me every morning. Darts sewn flat. It gave me a sense of order. Paired with my favorite dark jeans, it made me feel serious, but not too serious. I could take on the world at my desk, flaunting my cornflower blue shirt, wielding my letter opener, and rocking out to music on the iPod I purchased all by myself. Yes, that shirt gave me confidence.
The next summer, something happened. Shortly after graduation I spiraled into terror. The world was out to get me. I could die any day, for any reason. I didn't know what to do with this strange new feeling. Irrational bouts of terror that I believed would ultimately culminate in death weren't something I could bring into casual conversation.
I dealt with it. Or tried.
Yeah, not so brilliant solution there. Cue four months of trying to look like you're not panicking, trying to keep it all from tumbling down. And I couldn't let it - how good I looked in my little cornflower blue buttondown, cuffs turned up ever-so-slightly with the little-bit-big black jeans (negative sizes don't exist) and the everpresent black shoes. Not a hair out of place. Brand-new black eyeglasses. Hoop earrings all lined up, three per ear.

I have a job interview Friday. The cornflower blue shirt won't be coming with me. I will march into the office, vintage designer wardrobe courtesy of Thrift Town. My skirt is printed with Ferragamo bags, gloves, loafers, scarves, and Herm├Ęs Kelly bags. My vintage cashmere cardigan is decorated with hand-sewn pearls. The cornflower blue shirt is back at home in my closet. Since I lost my office job I don't wear my cornflower blue shirt that much, but sometimes I take it out and look at it and feel sad, but triumphant.
Some days I still wonder if death is waiting for me behind a light pole, but for now, I've kept on walking.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day of Memories

Today, a day of memories. It started with the smell of fresh-cut grass. All of a sudden I was back in Sea Ranch, tearing around on an ATV while belting out "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing." I stopped walking for a moment to acknowledge the sense of yearning I had for the past. I used to do that a lot to the point where I'd become completely distracted and totally enraptured by my memories. As I walked in the city today I felt as if I was in New York City again. The smell of cars, the air the right temperature.

Smell has to be my favorite sense. It brings back the strongest memories for me. The smell of soaps, perfumes, candy, places, food, and the people I associate them with. Liquorice. Chanel number 5. Cigarette smoke. A forgotten shirt.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Living Life

What can I say? The last few weeks have been great. I dropped that philosophy class like a hot potato and spent the next day running up and down Mills Hall trying to get signatures on my add/drop form before I realized that I could do it electronically. Oh well. All that matters is that I'm taking photography. I had some amazing Thai food in the city my first weekend back. Wednesday night I saw "Avatar," Saturday morning I picked up photography supplies. It's good to be doing things again.

Today has been productive. By 12:45 I had my laundry done, I'd dropped off a bunch of mugs at the chapel, eaten lunch, dropped off an employment application, and I had the laundry folded and away.