Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The coffee is good! / student-centered learning

Well, I spent most of the day typesetting and when I wasn't typesetting I was running and when I wasn't running I was writing my "statement of online teaching philosophy." I talked about "student-centered learning." Really, I'd prefer to talk about the classroom as a dynamic social community where the teacher has to play many different roles: expert, manager, moderator, etc, and where the students are empowered, yes, but also accountable for their actions.

Even therapy, if it's going to work, requires active engagement on the part of the analysand. You can't just vent steam and expect to have emotional breakthroughs.


Like, maybe that hostile, uptight, mediocre student really is hostile, uptight and mediocre, and maybe that other student really is upset and hostile because they asked you out and you said no.

"student-centered," "empowered," and "dynamic" are words that make me cringe. None of them are as bad as "synergy" though.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Ayyám-i-Há Day 2

Mom gave me some Sanctuary shade grown coffee! Shade grown coffee is better because there's no need to clear-cut forests. Native trees in shade-grown coffee plantations make the soil better and protect the birds who also help with pest control. Leaving native trees intact on coffee plantations also creates less soil erosion, and shade-grown coffee doesn't require nasty chemicals--which means less toxic runoff.

In regions most heavily used by migratory North American birds--Mesoamerica, the Caribbean islands, and Colombia--coffee plantation forests cover almost half of the permanent cropland. The declining songbird population in the western hemisphere is directly related to clear-cutting for sun-grown coffee. Traditional, shade-growing coffee plantations don't require clear-cutting. And shade-grown coffee tastes better too. Like the difference between an heirloom tomato and a big mealy one at Safeway.

There's more info about bird-friendly coffee at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

Also, please note that a Kiwi hatched at the National Zoo on February 13. And yes, there's a "Kiwicam."

Hooray for fair trade organic shade-grown coffee! Yay Mom! I'll have some first thing tomorrow morning!

It is raining / contemplating my evil nature

I have this book somewhere in the boxes. Thanks to Tom for sending this quote to me (yay Tom!)--he knows how I feel about guilt. Or rather, that I think about guilt. And art. And the Left.

"The reaction to the suffering of oppressed minorities at home is not very different from the brutal apathy towards the misery we have imposed elsewhere in the world....Anger, outrage, confessions of overwhelming guilt may be good therapy; they can also become a barrier to effective action, which can always be made to seem incommensurable with the enormity of the crime. Nothing is easier to adopt than a new form of self-indulgence, no less debilitating than the old apathy. The danger is substantial. It is hardly a novel insight that confession of guilt can be institutionalized as a technique for evading what must be done. It is even possible to achieve a feeling of satisfaction by contemplating one's evil nature." (Noam Chomsky's American Power and the New Mandarins, p. 17)


It has never rained during the day the whole time I've been here, which isn't that long, but still. My boss said "sometimes we can get up to three weeks of rain in February" and I said "really, three whole weeks."

But, in the time it took me to type this, the rain has ended.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Today's Holiday: Ayyám-i-Há

The Intercalary Days (Ayyám-i-Há) from 26 February through 1 March come at the end of the Bahá' í calendar, which is made up of 19 months of 19 days each. Ayyám-i-Há adjusts the Bahá' í year to the solar cycle. These days are set aside for hospitality, gift-giving, special acts of charity, and preparing for the Fast.

Mom sent me an Ayyám-i-Há package with gifts and cards for each day!--the card (above) is especially beautiful: embroidery on paper. I'm not a practicing Bahá' í but I appreciate the importance of celebration. Every religion has its party before fasting (or the fasting equivalent).

Three ravens taking a bath at the same time don't leave much water

Mark and I went walking this morning in Torrey Pines State Reserve. It was pretty! Lured by Tom Raworth's story of being able to see dolphins from the shore, we decided to blow off unpacking and go see them. Obviously dolphins, beach, and desert plant life are far more interesting than unpacking.

So we saw dolphins. And many ravens, of course. And weird sandstone erosion.

It is difficult to remember that it is February. All Fall Mark was saying: "and remember, in February we'll go for walks in the desert and by the ocean." And I smiled and didn't really believe him.

And then we ate at the Potato Shack in Encinitas, which is next door to the Synergy Yoga Center. I profess a great deal of skepticism about the Synergy Yoga Center. "Synergy" is a word that reminds me of 1990s management theory. But I'm sure it's a good place, and I should lighten up and become more sweet and Californian.

In other exciting news, our rent deposit from 1401 N Street finally arrived! My recent issue of Lucky magazine. Yes, I subscribe to Lucky: the magazine about shopping and it is sooooooo great! But most importantly, a bunch of super cool Turkish pens and a pretty picture, both from superstar former student Alp! Thanks Alp!

Which sentence is correct? A, B, or Both?

A) Three ravens taking a bath at the same time don't leave much water.
B) Three ravens taking a bath at the same time doesn't leave much water.

More pictures from Torrey Pines below and on Flickr!

The pretty beach:

And here be the pretty pines:

Friday, February 24, 2006

And the Chicken... / Lorraine's Real Estate Report

Oh. Texture. I am noticing it and swooning. Or else feeling irritated.


The dental floss industry is corrupt! Most dental floss shreds between the teeth or shreds when trying to pull it out of its box. Target dental floss, in contrast, is so thick that it's very difficult to get it out of the box and almost impossible to floss with. The two brands of dental floss that are passable are Oral-B and Crest-but I don't want to pay $4 for a box of dental floss!

Lorraine's Real Estate Report: Maine

Jonesport is beautiful and still affordable--the whole penninsula reminds me of Blue Hill but it's more rugged and farther north. Mark and I went through on our way to Canada and I was smitten. All that sea lavender. The lupins!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Shahrnush Parsipur @ UCSD / Rant / Sunday night conversation

And another thing: Lester now imitates us imitating him. He says "peep peep peep."


Shahrnush Parsipur (شهرنوش پارسی پور) read at UCSD last night. Here's an official bio: "born in 1946, worked for Iranian National Television and Radio and as an editor and producer while studying sociology at Tehran University She began writing during this period, publishing her first novel, Sag va Zememstaneh Boland (The Dog and the Long Winter) in 1974. Arrested for her political stances and imprisoned twice between 1974 and 1984, she nonetheless continued to express her critical and provocative stance on women's issues in Iran, views that led to more arrests and a ban on her works. One of her few books translated into English, Women Without Men, was particularly troubling to authorities due to its open reference to the issue of virginity. Parsipur currently lives in the United States as a political refugee"

She read from Touba and the Meaning of Night. I took notes and then gushed to her about my mother living in and then leaving Shiraz in 1978 with my older brother (a toddler) and very pregnant with me. I didn't talk about the neighbor whose kitchen used to catch on fire--after all, I wasn't there. I shall now have to buy her books.


Sunday night conversation:



I am very anti-death penalty, but I'm upset (surprise!) with the recent coverage of Michael Angelo Morales.

On the one side, folks are saying, well, let's execute him--he's evil and Hispanic! and on the other we have people rejoicing that the state of California failed to murder him--no one qualified would administer the lethal injection. Good, I'm glad--way to take a stand medical community! But...

Is anyone paying attention to their language? He shouldn't be executed. No one should be executed, not even a murderer and rapist. But do we (we, the Left who are anti-death penalty and paying attention to this) really have to make him into a martyr?

No one should be murdered / executed, but Morales is not a hero either.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Template weirdness/low content post

Why does my sidebar not appear at the side? It was at the side yesterday, and I haven't changed it since then.

Hey, someone or someone's is looking in on my blog a lot from Iasi--is it you Florin? Well, either way--hi!

I love tacos and Big Star! I love the stinky mudflat smell of the lagoons!


Well, F--, I just checked my template and there's nothing different about it. Why, oh why, is there a second little side box today that wasn't there yesterday. O ye peoples who know more about this than me, please help me fix this problem. Thank you.

my thoughts on a romantic and optimistic day

A rare chime in on my part to a discussion on the Women's Poetics List:

I do think that the increased reliance of underpaid, overworked, benefit-less adjuncts at most universities around the country is related to an economic trend that people talked about more in the 90s: "the new economy." Now I feel like it's taken for granted at many businesses and organizations (not just at universities) that a large number of the people who work for them are contractors and not full-time.

I didn't get/haven't gotten an MFA, but from what many folks have said on this list, and from the experiences of my other colleagues, not all of them felt professionally prepared to enter academia or even the professional world outside of academia--this is something many of you have already discussed in detail already. I'm not sure that many BA programs prepare students for the realities of working in the world either. Most forms of employment are often pretty terrible--and no one in universities really talks about it.

I taught at the Corcoran College of Art + Design for two blissful years before I moved to San Diego, and the way the students approached this problem was often very pragmatic. They were all pretty aware of how hostile the professional world is to art, and so they started learning and developing strategies early on to deal with this problem--how do I work and stay healthy (well, sort of healthy) and still make art?

Adjuncting and/or working as an independent contractor as I and many of us now do is a perilous existence. I wish I didn't have to buy my own health insurance, and I wish I could make more money, wish that someone had told me not ever ever to go into dept as an undergrad, etc--but as someone who has worked in various more standard, stable, and better paid jobs, I'd rather have the unstable life of an adjunct and contractor than go back to regular employment. Would I rather have a tenure track job?--yes, but in the meantime, this is my best solution.

For many artists/writers, our goals and main interests are not necessarily tied to our employment (though sometimes they are), and so employment becomes about doing the thing that drives you the least crazy. And I don't mean a job that doesn't drive you crazy--I mean the job that drives you the _least_ crazy.

One of the things that helped me be brave enough to really commit to a life of writing was meeting many of the poets in DC. The majority of these poets don't have tenure track jobs--actually, none of the ones I'm thinking of do. Some are adjuncts, some manage book stores, some work in offices, etc, but they're all still writing and publishing books, and giving readings.

So these are my thoughts on a romantic and optimistic day, or at least until I find another way to do things.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Devistated Devastated Devestated Devistatad

I realized that the Dada show was coming to DC a while ago--I still get press releases from the National Gallery of Art--but I only realized today that I'm not going to see it. I was in denial, obviously.

Back to typsetting and obsessing about deserts and jungles.

And to make matters worse I have the hicups.

This photo is not mine but poroman's and it's copyrighted.


Today's Idiot of the Day:

A guy running on the beach while talking on his cell phone--and it wasn't a hands free cellphone either.


Still reading Iovis. Of course, I will be reading it for a long time. I'm so unfocused at the moment, so I can only take it in small chunks. It's both loose (open) and agressive. What do I mean by this? That it is direct? That not only are the pages big, but the prose is dense and the linebreaks fast?


Lester is a big/little puff ball. He is both tough and fluffy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

You totally need the complete 11 volume set of Will & Ariel Durant's History of Civilization

Help me stay out of the office world!


Working at home does have its downsides: I kept on getting calls on my cell phone from a number I didn't recognize and so, of course, I got all paranoid about it. Finally I just answered and it was our cable company asking for "Mr. or Mrs. Wallace" and wanting to thank us for being "valuable customers." If you want to thank me, please don't call me.


I'm getting pretty good at InDesign. Hooray!


Just gave my second (and last) listen to the final final proof for my chap CD--I will email Justin right after I post this. Hooray!


Heriberto Yépez gets a bit Zen (hey everyone, you better learn Spanish soon (and Chinese and Arabic and Hindi and Russian)):

"Todos son estados mentales. Yo quiero llegar algún día a la pérdida de mi reino, mi cuerpo, quiero que todo lo que ahora es mío sea devuelto al universo, mientras mi ruina está riendo, contenta, por haber devastado su imperio, por haberse desintegrado en el absoluto disfrute del desprendimiento."

Sunday, February 19, 2006


How was your weekend?

I stole this from Tom Raworth's blog--have fun on the rest of your trip, Tom!

Last night we heard Stephanie Young and Eileen Myles read in an art space near the airport...and since I don't know my way around here yet I can't remember what it was called, but it was a cool space, and there was a punching bag in it. I was happy to hear Stephanie Young's work--it was lyric and twisty and quietly funny. I've got the book in a box somewhere, so will wait to think/write about it further until it's in front of me.

I've now heard Eileen Myles read quite a bit and was thinking that as much as I like the poems, I sometimes like the fictional/memoir type stuff even more. There's something about her stage self that I'm always into.

Also got to meet David Larson and James Meetze and a host of interesting folks--I'm terrible with names, but please know that I remember you and our conversations, but I don't want to risk totally mangling your identity.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Si alguien quiere conocerme
que me lleve dos botellas de coñac
a la Casa de Empeño más cercana.

Tom Raworth/ Rants/Yay

And after that we ate Italian food.


It took me an hour to go 9 miles on public transport yesterday. This drive takes 10-15 minutes in the car, depending on traffic.

I'm going to make a hoodie that says "I Heart Public Transportation" or "I (picture of heart) Public Transportation" or "I LURVE Public Transportation." Would all of that plus some extra hearts and doves fit on a neighbourhoodie?


I still haven't recieved my tax forms from a certain former employer.


The final final proof for my Narrowhouse chapdisk came! Hooray!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

New Blogs I like, Feet, Malaysia

Many of you know about my devotion to and interest in experimental fiction or prose, and you know that I'm interested in how narrative can take a reader from A to Z in a way that seems logical and simple because of the simple sytnax and the lack of line breaks, but leave said reader reeling and freaked out: "How did I get here?" or "But I thought s/he was nice!" etc, when in fact all is disorienting and weird, even though the words are not.

So, dear 10s of readers, I shall now direct your attention to the recently launched blog of Anne Margaret Bogle.


Also, Chris Funkhouser is spending a semester in Cyberjava, Malaysia, teaching at the Multimedia University. Malaysia is one of my most favorite places in the world. I fell in the drainage ditch in Malaysia! I stayed above the KFC in Malaysia! I was detained at the Singapore border for 5 hours in the middle of the night in Malaysia! Imagine me reading the post about Melaka with a good degree of longing and sighing, or you could just read it yourself and long/ponder the world of digital art/poetry as you wish.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Locals Only

Married with children in house rant

Many of the folks around here seem to get married very young, and then they have children, and then they get divorced--so many twenty-some single mothers who've not yet finished college. Is this suburban or Southern Californian or neither or both?

Especially if you're a woman, marriage is directly connected to being at the mercy of an economic hierarchy, in this case, a Capitalist one. Or at least it's a function of the totalizing tendencies of Capitalism. Wuthering Heights. Jean Ryhs' later novels and short stories. Suburbs. If one doesn't fit into an acceptable economic framework--full-time job, husband, family--then one can't afford one's meds, food, a place to live etc.

The middle-aged women with whom I have encounters are often husbandless and without families, and they certainly don't have a decent income even if they're able to work. They're often suffering from substantial mental illnesses and living in shelters or homeless. I can't believe I failed to mention this in my posts a few days back. Mark and I lived across the street from a woman's shelter in DC, so many of my run-ins were from the women staying there.

If you're a woman who hates men but is still heterosexual, then the options for you aren't that great. And by hating men I don't mean being feminist. I'm certainly not suggesting that falling in love with or wanting to sleep with women makes a woman's life easier at all (!) but it does mean you have access to a series of social and emotional networks that heterosexual women who hate men don't quite have.

I'm collapsing several issues together, I know.

So it's shocking how forcibly dependent upon men we still are. Maybe this is what might make a 2nd wave feminist disdainful of us 3rd wavers. In the intro to Iovis, Anne Waldman says: "I exist in a community of my own choosing & making which is attentive to language & poetry before language." I don't feel like I exist in a community of my own choosing and it is tiresome, but Waldman might call my grumbling tiresome, I don't know.


And as for the married with children in large house thing.


I resent marriage because it is overly determined by economics. My rant is pretty familiar: women shouldn't have to marry to have financial security and benefits. No one should. Unmarried, we can 1) attach ourselves to people who have money or 2) make money on our own--many women do this, but I'm shocked at the lack of interesting jobs here in SoCal as opposed to, say, DC. Many of the full-time administrative jobs are hourly with no benefits.

It's not the love and respect and commitment part of marriage that are respected--if that were the case, then marriage itself would be less of an issue. People have trouble even acknowledging these qualities in relationships that exist outside of marriage. Mark and I used to correct people when they said "your wife" or "your husband" but now we just let it slide.


Children are wonderful. They are people. I'd never bring people who are totally dependent upon me into my life unless I had the finances to take care of them. I never bought pets as an adult and then dumped them off on my parents. I'm not interested in making children a goal in my life. I have wonderful little sisters, one day I'll have nephews and nieces. If I turn 40 and suddenly wish to have children and have the ability to take care of them without throwing art out the window, then I will have children. Or I will adopt children.


Yes, I want a big house. I want it. I want a building in an international urban area and I want to make the downstairs part of it an art space and then live upstairs and then invite people to stay and throw lots of parties. I'm romantic. So I'm saving for a house. If I can't afford one until I am middle-aged and crazy, that's fine. I will have made some good poems and written some good stories, and I'll have lots of friends and family to invite to stay.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Salton Sea Bird Festival

I am totally going next year.

Chocolate truffles on Sunday

Hooray--Cooks Illustrated has finally published a book of light recipes! I want it!

I'm debating whether or not to make chocolate truffles today--I probably won't. We usually have to delay our Valentine's Day celebrations until the weekend, so maybe I'll make some then.

Except that Tom Raworth is reading at UCSD this Thursday, and then there's a "woo hoo Tom" party on Saturday, and another reading Saturday evening--Stephanie Young and Eileen Myles. I'm glad that there are some events down/over here, tho the hanging out in and around events is sadly a major geographical challenge--cars, driving, etc.


If you have some extra money and don't want to use it to by some international real estate or you rightly have other concerns, then you might consider either a) spending it on art or at your local independent book store or b) donating to RAINN.

Monday, February 13, 2006


I can see the ocean and the mountains

from my office. Instead of bringing the manual for InDesign, I brought my copy of the Heart Sutra. Ooops. I dreamed in Chinese last night, which I haven't done in ages, but I don't remember what about. My boss left a ThumbDrive and some Nepalese meditation chimes on my desk this morning. Where am I?

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Went out for my regular Sunday morning walk/doughnut run.
A middle aged woman followed me around town this morning. It's hard to say if she followed me--downtown Carlsbad is pretty small, but I saw her in four different places on my walk. At the stop light we had the following conversation:

woman: It's a beautiful day!
me: Yes, the weather is nice.
woman: It's so lovely and warm. Where did you get your sunglasses?
me (crossing the street): I don't know. Yes, uh, it is warm. Have a nice day.

Conversations about the weather seem especially stupid in San Diego, and yet we still have them. I went to the doughnut shop and saw her across the street. Then I saw her on the bottom floor of the little outdoor, um mall thing (I'm not sure how to describe the building) as I got my coffee, and then she sat on the bench next to me in the little park overlooking the beach. I was wearing a hat and sunglasses, and I was careful to never look up from my book. (Lester is one footed and fluffy asleep on my knee).

Marginal middle-aged women I don't know are frequently hostile to me in coffee shops, but not only coffee shops. They try to steal my seat, or they want to help me be born again, or they ask me a lot of questions about my writing, or they come into the dance studio while I am working and demand, really demand, to know whether or not they look like ballerinas, or they poke me--often while smiling and speaking to me as though I am a child and say things like: "Do I have to tell the manager that you won't give me your seat?

O hostile women, what am I to learn from you!?

Have any of you had experiences like this? I know that you all have had hostile encounters with men, but I want to know about your hostile encounters with women you don't know or barely know.


I just started reading Iovis by Anne Waldman. Last week I became nervous (again) that one of the series I'm working on is a cliched feminist Buddha universe poem and that because I've moved to California I'm going to write awful poems about dharma and liberal politics and womanhood. I don't mean I worry that I will write about these things, because I think they're interesting things to write about. I just mean I worry that I will write about them in boring ways. I find it helpful to pay attention to these kinds of paranoias while I'm writing because they remind me of what's at risk--or should be at risk--in the work. And so I'm reading Iovis. It's an epic in that Olson way (uh, speaking to a large social group in a kind of prophet/shaman like way) but it's also personal, it's concerned with gender and with bodies--what is masculinity?, what's my relationship to it? (complicated), etc.

And it mentions dharma.

Friday, February 10, 2006

We took a helicopter from Tabubil to Kiunga and then a plane to Port Moresby and then another plane to Sydney. Or maybe we just went through Port Moresby on a plane, but I remember looking out an open helicopter door as we rose off the ground, seeing cockatoos flying in the impossibly green forest canopy--but that was after the door had been closed. Dad would tie a rope around an inner tube and float us down either the Ok Tedi or Ok Menga where there were crocodiles. They didn't need to eat us because there were other things to eat. This is not the case in some parts of the Everglades. I don't think I'd swim in either river now, whichever one it was we swam in. There are less crocodiles in the rivers, and some in crocodile farms now--but these two situations are not directly related. There was going to be a dam for the mine tailings, but it was destroyed midway through its construction in 1984--a landslide, I think. I must have been there then--the Ok Tedi was already brown with tailings. I'd smear mud or sometimes charcoal all over my body because I thought it was good for my skin and would make me more aboriginal. I spoke Pidgin like a child because I was a child which means I spoke it well enough. There were lots of things I didn't know, obviously. I didn't know about Tree Kangaroos then, but I was already fond of marsupials. There's a picture of me at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane holding a Koala. I remember thinking that this was one of the most important moments of my life, and I wanted to look solemn and dignified. "Dignified" was a word I knew but not "solemn," and yet I was solemn. I wore a red parka. I forgot to mention that we left Tabubil in the helicopter or the plane because there was a riot, so Bechtel put us in a fancy hotel in Sydney, where I threw up all over the red lobby carpet, under the chandelier.

Today it is foggy and that is kind of interesting

Ok, so we can hear the highway from where we live. That hum is the highway.


Saw two snowy egrets coming home from work last night. Also, my employer mentioned that they can't let their dogs run around outside, because they are vulnerable to birds of prey--including red-tailed hawks!


Last night we went to here David Antin and Eileen Myles talk/read at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. This is the 2nd time I've heard David Antin speak--one's always waiting to see if/how he is going to fit all of the themes and stories he begins together, but he always does. Because I became familiar with his work as a "poet," I always forget that he's an art critic--duh. His talk loosely centered around "museums" in in particular a painting in the museum's collection attributed to Giorgione.

Eileen Myles wrote a poem in response to some of the pictures in a room of devotional art, mostly medieval--so we walked around the room with her as she read. Then she picked some work not composed specifically for the occasion and gave a bit of a poetic history of herself relative to the paintings. "Who doesn't love devotion?" she asked.

We saw Roberto Tejada at the event--someone I met for two seconds in Buffalo once, maybe, um, three or four years ago. Phylum Press printed a really lovely chapbook called Amulet. By a copy if there are any left. It's helpful to remember that all these folks are in and around San Diego. I'll have to go back to his chapbook when I find it and unpack it.


Oh yeah, you all should read about Myles' friend Rosie the dog.


I find Balboa Park pleasantly disorienting. Most of the buildings were built for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition (for the completion of the Panama Canal), so all the buildings are done in this ornate "Spanish Colonial Revival" style.

After the talk, we walked back to the parking along acorridorr between buildings (lined with outdoor colored lights). In thecorridorr we passed a woman in her late 50s or early 60s with curled hair and very red lipstick, singing a haunting,carnivalesque/burlesque song. Next to her was a basket that said "donations accepted," but in the light all I saw was "do---" and I thought it said "dozo," which would have been like the Japanese transliteration for part of "thank you." I didn't know where I was in time/space.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My great grandfather was a commonwealth citizen

but not born in ye olde England, which means I can't get another passport.


When you win the Prix de Flore, you recieve a daily glass of Pouilly fume wine and a special table at the Cafe Flore for a whole year. And yes, there's a monetary reward, too, but whatever.


In the mail yesterday: a picture and note from Jessica and skincare products I ordered.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bruce Benderson at UCSD

With the colored markers. I decided to only use four colors. An enjoyable reading. Bought the book. Will read it in tub and on beach.

He doesn't like people

And from Honiara we took the boat to Ghizo, where wild dogs made love under the house all night long. . Our friend arrived later in the evening, after the dogs had already begun to howl. According to legend, there was no peanut butter on the island and he took the boat back shortly after he arrived. The next morning we went to Saereghi beach.

Now I have two jobs--

--my online tutoring work and then some editorial/design/who knows what else. I must learn how to use Adobe InDesign--which will be useful.

The greater San Diego region isn't so feminist, not even in a pop-feminist "I'm going to sleep with whoever I want" kind of way. I keep meeting very young mothers and fathers, and 20-some divorcees. I'm not going to go into a rant now about how marriage and familly are overdetermined by economics, so you'll just have to imagine what I'd say.


Am fantasizing about going to Naropa for two weeks this summer. Weeks 3 and 4 of the summer writing program look especially interesting to me. Or teacher training--I'm not ready to teach yoga yet, but my mind, body and work would benefit from some in depth study. In the meantime, I'm just attempting to work through the asanas until I can afford a teacher.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I can't sleep & it is so boring


Another interview this morning to do some editorial & graphic design & typsetting work for a psychiatrist. Nothing is settled, but it could be promising. None of the spas call me back, and I've even now taken my MA and some work experience off select resumes. That MA is worth, like, nothing, or a whole extra dollar an hour, which means they'd rather hire someone else.


My next book is going to be called NO.

And I demand compensation for the time I must spend sleeping.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Borf has a Wikipeda entry

Hey, Borf has a Wikipeda entry. Way to go John. You wrote well when you turned stuff in.

California is cold and damp/found while unpacking

Found some poetic objects made by Tracy McTague while unpacking. Perhaps on lunch break I shall try to say something about them. Hooray!

Also found a copy, if it can be called that, of Tealight Ballet, by L.A. Phillips & William R. Howe. It's really a performance piece. I have not been brave enough to do it. One of the instructions is "Set hair on fire," although it just occured to me that it doesn't have to be my hair. The rest of the piece can also involve some joyous dancing around while waving a glittery pencil with a plastic dinosaur at the top. I have done this part.

I also found my magnetic Buddha statue and the green parrot finger puppet that I wore to the MLA reading.

Recent jobs I have applied to/for:

  • Travel Professional
  • Sales Associate
  • Program Coordinator
  • Editor
  • Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Copyeditor
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Salon Receptionist
  • Spa Receptionist (I want to work at the spa!!!!!!)
  • Teacher

Then, when I have a job and a paycheck, I'll be able to afford postage, and I will mail everyone the postcards and books they have requested and ordered.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Things found while unpacking/Lorraine's International Real Estate Report

It's very hard to tell from these pictures, but today is actually kind of overcast, and last night was foggy and cool. The building is the old Carlsbad train station.

Mark and I had a drink at the better of the two "Irish" bars around here last night, and a guy at the bar said, "this weather is kind of like it is in Ireland." Obviously, it wasn't, but it's a matter of degree.

Things found while unpacking: a big blank sketch book and my Pentel 36 color fine point marker set. Perhaps I'll do my reading notes for the upcoming Bruce Benderson reading at UCSD in color. His new book is an "erotic memoir" based in Romania. So I think it deserves color markers.

Also found while unpacking. An old address book and planner which contains old business cards and an undated cryptic note written in green highlighter that says, "If for some reason 'Lorraine Graham' is no longer available I'll have an idea where you are."

Most of the business cards are from Beijing, including one from "Akbar," a Uigur guy I knew who worked for an import-export firm. He had access to European cheese.

There's an old 1999 letter from Ned, who works as a Tree Breeder in Scotland, saying that he's told his children that "Kosovo may be the last war in Europe, ever. Let us hope so!" Last war in Europe. Sigh.

Lorraine's International Real Estate Report:

Would someone I know please buy this? Really, people, it's only $28,000 and the Yucatan is beautiful. If you're feeling like a bit of a big spender, there's this one for $55,000.

I'm also pleased to report that someone has finally caught on to a trend that I, like, sooo predicted last year: Ukraine. It's already out of my price range, but I do think I'd like Crimea. Here's a place in Yalta. Turkey is cheap still but everyone knows about it. Croatia is beautiful but again, out of my price range.

Ok, time to go grocery shopping and to brunch at Hershel's.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


I have too many shoes and books and CDs and odd ephemera. Even though I got rid of many things before I moved. Too much. I hope to G-d, yes G-d, that I got rid of that four-foot long ceramic crucifix. Yikes. And where and when will I wear my electric blue velvet pants? Really.

Meanwhile, Mark and Lester discuss the importance of interspecies understanding. Time to make some brunch. I don't ever want to unpack.

Friday, February 03, 2006

When I can't sleep

Recent stuff from journal, mostly written in the dark when I can't sleep:

"Who is no one if not me?"


"Air raid sirens/flying planes / choppers / trains last night beginning at 10 pm exactly how could I forget I'm near camp Pendleton?"


"Happy baby in the eucalyptus."


"I can't fucking sleep. Fuck!"


"Why am I dreaming about dragons so much these days?"


"I'm not really a family girl."


-"I don't know you, what are you doing here?"
-"Eating lunch, staying dry. I like curried chicken."
-"Where are you staying?"
Obviously, I shouldn't have answered, but one of the pleasures of being lonely is that moment when the desire for loneliness is over.

And this very very cruel little vignette:

"I dated a French boy three years younger than me in Canton. He loved basketball. I am terrible at basketball, but in Guangzhou I could really play. I made all my freethrows. I even managed a few layups. I was not good at algebra--I'd solve for X only to find that X=X. Memorizing formulas is dull, but I like pattern and theme and so am very good at Baroque music. My little boyfriend tried hard, but the years between 12-14 are a low point in every young man's life. We went to Macau with the local chapter of the Hash House Harriers and he, tired from the long run through the mountains, went to sleep early. I went down to the hotel lobby to lend an hear to all the drunken men in their 40s. Few things make me more nostalgic than unbearable humidity and drunken 40some men in aloha print shirts."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Reading Report/Things I like

I think I was tired, this reading doodle just isn't as good as the others. And I had smaller paper. But here's my reading report from the Susan Wheeler reading yesterday:

Things I like about San Diego:

1. The beach
2. The weather
3. The salty sea air and decreased level of dust and cockroaches
4. The flora and fauna (the birds, the bunnies, beach squirrels, wildflowers, eucalyptus and cypress tress...)
5. The doughnut shops run by southern Chinese families
6. The taco shops

And here's a picture of Lester. Because, really, we can never have too many pictures of Lester:

O Ye Turbaned Swamis

Mark and I went to hear Susan Wheeler read at UCSD last night. I drew a picture but haven't taken a picture of it yet and so will post it later. She read from both Ledger, the most recent book of poems, and Record palace, a novel out on Graywolf Press. Perhaps I try to say something substantive about it later. We couldn't stay for dinner because I have an interview today--nothing exciting, but it is close by.

I've decided that I want to work for Deepak Chopra, who has his big heath center/spa here in Carlsbad. I know he's got that new age look, but they have, as you might imagine, really really good health benefits. And he's not a swami and doesn't wear a turban--believe me, there are a lot of "swamis" wearing turbans around here. There are even advertisements for Kabbalah on the radio.

A few of you have requested that I post a picture of Mark. Above is a picture of Mark, at San Elijo Lagoon last weekend. So Mark is well and Lester is well--sitting on my shoulder preening as I type.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More thoughts on human interaction, the social...

Thanks to Tom for this response to "guilt justice traffic." Am reading it and thinking.

But my initial thought is that we have to complain about what a jerk our boss is if our boss is a jerk, and if we're a boss we have to not be a jerk. Nothing particularly revolutionary about that, true, G-d I wish it were a standard. And I think you're right to tie this to complaining about the traffic on the commute home--really. They're both boring, but also both structural--the social position of having a job isn't, for most of us, a choice. Jobs are also very much on my mind...but that's probably obvious.


"i would not want to position the radical moment of human interaction as something that takes place to the exclusion of the barricades. that is, i would want that we have, make and keep contact and use that to draw strength for resistance. "

Yes indeed. Literal contact. Yes. Kissing is good.

Cucumber Sandwiches, 25 Poems and Three Poems

Richard Siken's pictures and stories posted on Aye, Wobot! bring me joy each week. The beautiful picture at left is "Cucumber sandwiches are stupid. " I quite enjoy cucumber sandwiches, myself. Nonetheless, I enjoy this picture, despite its anti-cucumber sandwich sentiments.

While unpacking I found: Tom Orange's 25 Poems (The Interrupting Cow, 2004) and Three Poems, Dan Bouchard's SupPo Self-Publish-or-Perish project from 2004.

Tom can correct me if my memory is off, but I think that 25 Poems began by using a poem generator that creates a continuous lineage of poems based on the theory of "natural" selection--visitors to the site click on the generated poems they like best and then the generator spits out the next poem. With conceptual poetry I'm always interested in how very difficult it is to eliminate a sense of the subject. But that could be me. Anyway I liked these when I heard them and I like them again upon unpacking. Lately I see lyric longing in everything:

sing through snow
between the unfathom-
able learned of
it and myself
though both growing
and dying are
long -- spare
now the hand and
fervent talk humming
and flowing on
here where we
imagine everything
to exist not frozen
but in blindfold

I often find that Dan Bouchard's work makes me think of urban pastoral (a la Williams?) Three Poems has birds, but they're fighting for crumbs on the cement, or singing in and around car wrecks or the sound of shattering glass. Or else the I is "Perched / up on the porch like a bachelor / or blackbird " watching the "headlights of minivans." And yes, the fact that there are lots of birds in the poems doesn't hurt either.

"Sound Swarms" is particularly lovely (I know I'm calling everything beautiful today and not being critical, but at least I'm writing about my contemporaries): "We live among men who won't mind / incinerating half the earth / for the idea they were right. Among / the gone half / Anyone who ever said it won't matter / when you're gone /will finally be right," all this while the narrator/I/voice of the poem is passed out or asleep in someone else's bedroom while there's a party in the living room.

After "Sound Swarms" we get a little story, "The Fancy Memory," in which I, Lincoln & Roosevelt are all at a wedding party. The conversation is pleasant and astonishing. The piece is funny: "I asked Lincoln how he felt about being called 'Captain.'" These poems also interest me because they're tonally different from Dan Bouchard's non-poetry work, which is often done in a satirical style that strikes me as being very New England-ish (why is that?). Tonal contrast is good. That satirical voice comes through in the notes to Three Poems:

"26 copies of this pamphlet, all lettered F, were printed on very expensive paper; signed in the blood of the poet; sealed in a gold-plated box; wrapped in an American flag; and buried behind Lufkin's Diner."