“The adult artist is the kid who survived.”

“The adult artist is the kid who survived.” -quoted in Film Crit Hulk Smash

This week is going to be okay. Dear friend Keke is renting a room from us for a couple months while she sorts out her housing situation here in the bay, and I’ll be spending a good amount of the week clearing the room for her. It’ll be a good opportunity to clear out documents and other items I no longer need, but there’s a good part of me that moans at the thought of doing any cleaning whatsoever, especially in light of what I’ll be doing the week after, which is going to be much harder. I don’t know what to expect. The first week of October is going to be really rough, emotionally and travel-wise. I’m going to try to deal with it by keeping myself busy: lots of journaling, reading, drawing, and of course work-work. I’ll get through it one way or another.

Memory write
San Francisco
Sunday night
September 23, 2012

I was finally feeling gray sleep beginning to gnaw at the edges of my consciousness, at the raw hour of midnight. And though I welcomed sleep, the thought that I would have to deal with That next week suddenly routed her advances, jolting me into a waking blackness. Or maybe sleep was already half upon me, and I was remembering the half real, half vertiginous dream of my anxieties. 

Floating now quite unmoored, I could sense the collapsing eddies of my fears, and wondered where I might find something to cling to.


“there are few situations in life that cannot be honorably settled…”

“‘It has been said,’ he began at length, withdrawing his eyes reluctantly from an unusually large insect upon the ceiling and addressing himself to the maiden, ‘that there are few situations in life that cannot be honourably settled, and without any loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice on a dark night.” – Hilaire Belloc quoting Ernest Bramah’s Kai Lung’s Golden Hours

The above photo is a collage from my design class. It drove me crazy. I do not like collage. It brings out the worst in me, given that I don’t deal with total chaos in a very productive way. I had no idea what I was doing. Still, it taught me one thing about modern art, which is that if you have no idea what you’re doing, people will still find meaning in the finished product. I think the entire class sat in puzzlement for a few minutes when it came time to critique my piece, and then they pulled some bizarre interpretations out of the air. So as they say: “leave ’em laughing or wondering what the hell you meant.”

Memory Write
San Francisco
Saturday & Sunday
September 16, 2012

Carter was sick and yet he was still, at his own insistence, baking. His low-grade cold and my night classes meant that this week, the house was a bonafide disaster: pieces of mail were scattered hither and thither, clumps of molding food languished in the fridge, and dishes sat squat and grim in our sink.

Still, we had been talking about carrot cake for the last two weeks. I’d even purchased the requisite cream cheese, but our desserts remained yet simple, blocks of dark chocolate or spoonfuls of ice cream dug out straight from the carton. Our cooking was even more abysmal: for three out of the five weeknights, we’d ordered takeout: dumplings, sushi, Thai.

Carter had hit the worst of his cold on Friday, and things were unambiguously gray on Saturday. He requested that I make my classic minestrone soup and I did; we were both so glad for the homecooked food, dense with vegetables, that we ate it two meals in a row–dinner Saturday night and then again for breakfast the next morning. I remember the evening meal better. Carter was dipping a heavy spoon into the broth, flecked with shards of parmesan, while I sipped at my small bowl, pecking meanwhile at the leftover, half dried-out pad thai.

The matter of the cake hung over our heads like a question mark. I don’t remember who decided to bake–was it him or was it me? Was it him being afraid that I would bake, and therefore volunteering himself for the effort? In any case I was peeling carrots and he was creaming eggs into oil. One small snafu: in the course of shredding the peeled carrots in the food processor, he shredded the carrot tops too. Oops. Extra fiber?

Once the wet ingredients were combined with the dry, and the cake pan pushed gingerly into the hot oven, the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg filled the house like a cloud. I checked it regularly–perhaps a bit impatiently, to tell the truth. And it fluffed up obligingly, almost to the very edge of the pan.

When we finally pulled the brown and orange confection out of the oven, I felt as if it weighed twice as much as when we put it in. Impossible, of course.

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.”

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” -Ayn Rand

Carter’s parents bought a new car this weekend, so we spent yesterday waiting at the dealership, and then made a trip to Gregoire’s in Berkeley for a brief meal afterwards. Carter was bushed from the whole ordeal, especially after taking Beast for shots in the morning, so he spent the rest of the day loafed out on the couch.

I, on the other hand, was fairly itching from all of my internal energy. I know from past experience that these rushes don’t last; so I’d best take advantage of this upswell. I am not certain where it comes from, but here it is regardless.

First order of business is to reassess my organizational process. It’s suffered. I am re-instituting David Allen’s Getting Things Done regime and using Astrid to try and control my scattered to-do lists on my computer, purse notebook, and the rest. Later today I’m going to a review dump and create all the to-do lists in Astrid (it looks like an amazing tool).

I’m also jumping back into a better exercise routine. I dropped the ballet class I was taking because it was too easy: I wasn’t even sweating by the end of class! Not even a light Victorian glow. Back in the day I’d wait for a fortuitous date (such as the first day of a month) to start new exercise routines and diets, but now, I see no point in waiting. Throw all caution to the wind.

No. More. Sloth. (Until the holidays.)