Monday, July 31, 2006

1. One book that changed your life
The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles. Until I read Jane Bowles. Everything by Jean Rhys. Djuna Barnes' Nightwood and everything else by Djuna Barnes.

2. One book that you've read more than once:
The Sheltering Sky. Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea Trilogy.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island:
A blank one. All of the cannonical Tibetan Buddhist texts. Unabridged Tale of Genji.

4. One book that made you laugh:
Um. All of the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy books.

5. One book that made you cry:
Good Morning, Midnight

6. One book that you wish had been written:
More books by Jane Bowles. She drank herself to death and didn't write nearly enough.

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Mmm. None.

8. One book you're currently reading:
Joanne Kyger's Strange Big Moon. Copeland's critical biography of Merce Cunningham. Lisa Tuttle's Lost Futures.

9. One book you've been meaning to read:
all of H.D., but with attention

10. Now tag five people: Later

Day-old eye makeup is the best look I have

An easy trainride up to LA. We missed the bus and then figured out we could park for free at the Oceanside station. Joseph and Rita picked us up at Union Station and we headed straight to lunch at a Mexican market. Ate superfabulous tacos and a jicama salad with lime, orange, cilantro and the right amount of chili. Agua fresca. I do wish there were more places like that in the San Diego area--I'm not knocking the taco stands, but but but....

The jicama reminded me of the really cheesy bar my dad and I used to go to in the Zona Rosa in Mexico City. The guitarist always sang "Guantanamera." I'd eat jicama with lime and make sculptures out of the jicama sticks and toothpicks.

No, my stomach wasn't upset because I'd been drinking. When I'm hungover, I can't even lay on my back, let alone sit up and type.

Yeah, well, I'll have to write an actual trip report later, it seems.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

headed up to LA

Experimental Theatre at the Smell this Sunday, July 30

Mark and I are performing a very short section of a larger dialogue I'm writing. The larger dialogue isn't finished.

Dios te guarde en escabeche, etc.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Woke up sick but recovered to go grocery shopping. I love how my stomach waits until the weekend to revolt. I've been reading Joanne Kyger's Strange Big Moon, recently arrived in the mail thanks to Tom. Totally out of it after a long nap. Woo hoo.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Today, the youngest of my students, a boy about 10, cut out heads of men and glued them to the bodies of women--we were making collages. Then, he put all these images on a piece of bright yellow construction paper and wrote: "why not try something new?" He showed me his collage, but wouldn't allow me to put it up on the wall. He carefully removed all of the pictures and put them in his backpack. "For home," he said. "For wall."

No, I don't think younger students are easier to teach--at least not for me. I don't think they have more curiosity than adults. School is school. They're not excited about English grammar any more than they will be when they're 29. Or if they are, they're nerds like me who will be teachers, and one day they'll speak energetically about the political implications of passive voice....

I'm always interested in the ways that personality always comes through in an ESOL class. In some ways, one might think that people's personalities would be hidden because they cannot fully articulate themselves English. But I often find it's the opposite. Or, at least, that whatever personality they have when they speak English is always very unmediated. Jokes and cynicism take a long time to learn.

Although I've been making endless jokes about nato (maybe with two ts?)--fermented beans. It's a food that my Japanese students either seem to really love or hate. Every time I say nato, my students think it's funny.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I am not used to teaching younger students or beginning-level students, let alone both at the same time. I can't even ask them "Do you understand?" Because we've not yet studied simple yes/know questions.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Two interviews today

It is overcast. I am drinking malty assam tea, though with evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk.

There are a lot of poets in the world. Overwhelmed.

I am going to brush my hair and put on mascara.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lance and Willow just dropped off Willow's mountain bike for me to use. That is, like, so cool!

There was a little girl who hung out at the yoga studio this evening while her grandfather was in class. She made me tea, and then blessed it by making ritualized circular motions around the top of the cup. She said once that she had made over 100 circular motions, and then poured the tea on her dog. "So he can have a long life," she said.

I have too many jobs this week

I am complaining, but not complaining.

I talked to a man on the bus today about how he'd like to study a foreign language. He said he'd studied a bit of Spanish, "because it is useful," but that he'd gotten bored after a while, and because "Spanish is too hard." He told me that he had signed up for a Chinese class at MiraCosta Community College, and figured that Chinese would be a lot easier than Spanish. He was so enthusiastic about it all that I didn't have the heart to tell him I disagreed.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Cathy Eisenhower is here and we all are having fun. We went to the beach.

I need a new bathing suit. A practical speedo or something like it. One that doesn't threaten to fall off when big waves come.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lorraine's International Real Estate Report

This makes me whimper.

Office park / Real Dates

The particular office park in question does not have a cafeteria, and the nearby Starbucks was closed. However, they do have a dog-friendly workplace. It was only my first interview, so I didn't ask if it might also be bird-friendly.


The man and woman across from me on the bus were talking about "real dates."

"Do you even know what a real date is?" She was in her 50s, with bleached hair, denim shorts, and a striped tank top.

He had on sunglasses, acid washed jeans, and an aloha shirt. "Yeah, it's when a fellow goes out and spends a lot of money and acts like an asshole. He he he"

"I never said anything about spending lots of money." She did not laugh.

"I was just trying to be funny."

"A real date," she explained, "is when we get pizza and rent a movie, and then you spend the night."

"Oh, well...I"

"We can have a real date on Saturday."

"I have to go to church on Sunday morning, so we can't have a real date on Saturday night."

The woman was silent.

"You'd better get used to me going to Church."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Today on the bus

A middle-aged woman in a blonde wig, mini skirt, and corset told me the story of her friend's ex-husband who used to beat her friend, and then how she (the woman in a blonde wig, mini skirt, and corset) then also married her best friend's abusive x-husband, and was also abused by that man.

"I'm interested in psychology," she said, "but I'm still figuring things out."

"Me too," I said. Though I didn't mean I was figuring out the same things or in the same way.

"Do you like my wig?" she asked.

"Yes," I said. Then I got off the bus.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's only a matter of time / today's ailments

until I work in an office park.

Today's ailments

See above.

Yesterday on the bus

Yesterday on the bus someone told me that the best way to fly a kite is with a fishing pole.

Monday, July 17, 2006

bayna tiin yanbut ("between" "figs" "it grows")

Wall to wall carpet. Why? It's nasty. I'd prefer linoleum, even, to wall to wall carpet.

I'm editing and trying to learn the arabic alphabet.
The firm that plans to produce allergen-free cats is here in the San Diego area.


I don't have a good enough zoom lense to get the baby finches on camera, alas.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I wrote a poem. Writing has been excruciating recently.

I'm sore today, and my yoga mat wasn't sticky, and the wine tastes strange, and the light is too bright, and the dog is howling too loudly, and the people who smoke on the beach are disgusting, and I have to be on a bus tomorrow at 7 am to give ESL placement tests to 59 students from China.

Actually, today was a fairly good day. A normal enough yoga class, a tasty brunch, a hot few hours at the beach with huge waves that knocked me off my feet and dragged me into the shore, causing me to scoop up buckets of sand into my bathing suite. I grilled turkey burgers for dinner and tofu for tomorrow's lunch.

Sorry, Ray, no new pictures of Lester, so here's an old one:

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Housefinches, used furniture, Comanche

The last of the housefinches fledged this morning. One of the baby finches would have come in our apartament yesterday evening if we hadn't shut the door. I am going to write the saga of the housefinches this week--it continues, of course, inspite of the fact that everyone has fledged. They can't fly very well. They flutter from one low bush to another, while the mom and dad birds peep loudly and keep watch. The dad bird has been keeping an eye on the black cat in the green grass, both taunting it and weary of it at the same time.

Mark and I went up to Oceanside this afternoon to look at the used furniture stores. I bought a pair of jeans at Goodwill, where we also picked up a wine rack and two wine glasses, since most of the ones I brought back from Queretero three or four or five years ago have broken.

I'm tan. DC folks were commenting on my tan even before I left for California. But I tan very easily, inspite of my blonde hair. It's the Comanche in me. I could register for tribal affiliation, but I've always resisted. Unlike my father, who actually spent time on reservations and had some connection to his grandmother, who had some connection to Comanche tradition, language, etc...I have nothing. Except the ability to tan easily.

I grilled swordfish this evening. It was good.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana / Ibadi Islam

I got into an assisted form of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose). I thought my partner was lying when she said my hand was almost on my foot, but then there was my hand, on my foot. Then my other hand, and then my head.


I learned that the muslims in Oman are neither Sunni nor Shi'ite, but Ibadi. Who knew? Thank you, o Peter J. Ochs II, for informing me of this!

Abbreviated breakdown of how the Ibadi's came to be:

The group that came to be known as the Shi'ites believed that Muhammed's sucessor, the caliph (or imam--I'm confused about whether or not these two terms are interchangable), should be in direct lineage from Muhammed's family. In 654, 22 years after the death of Muhammed, Ali (Muhammed's 2nd cousin and son-in-law), became the 4th Shi'ite caliph. Immediately Ali became involved in a war with Muawiya, a distant cousin of the 3rd Shi'ite caliph, Uthman. They fought and fought and no one was winning. Muawiya offered an arbitration and Ali accepted.

A group of Muslims felt that Ali should not have accepted the offer, and so they split from Ali and went to Basra in sourthern Iraq. They became known as the Kharajites (meaning the "seceders"). The Kharajites were known for their super orthodox stance on doctrinal affairs, and for excommunicating or executing anyone who disagreed.

Another group that split from Ali at about the same time advocated a return to an orthodox but not dogmatic belief in the importance of good conduct and religious tolerance. This is the group known as the Ibadis. The initial leader of this group, Abdullah bin Ibadh Al Tamimi, was against the use of force and actively discouraged it, even in Oman where they were persecuted by Sunnis (who were dominant in Oman) and the Kharajites.

The Ibadhi tradition holds that the imam should be elected by a council of scholars. They also allow more than one imam to accomodate different geographical regions--so, for a long time, there was an Ibadhi iman in Oman and also one in north Africa.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Here I am the what

So, there's a dog howling across the courtyard. Lester is peeping, and the baby housefinches are being fed. The black cat (not Stinky) who sits in the green grass made friends with Mark and I recently. Prior to that we'd thought it was shy.

There are teenagers and women and young ladies in bikini's everywhere. I had my first more DC style street cat call the other day, and I'm certain the culprit was visiting from out of town. Anyway, Carlsbad is a California beach town, and we live in it. Mark and I discuss this very often and marvel at how strange it is--not the town, but the fact that we live here.

This is the conversation we had about it last night:

Mark: "Here I am, the endlessly hardworking east coast man."
Lorraine: "Here I am, the what."


Me gusta eso tambien. And it requries less savings than the finca.


A friend sent me this link. It's quite silly, in German with English subtitles.

Making salmon fish cakes

I'd better begin saving.


Contemplating various beauty products containing glycolic acid. Training my eye to move right to left. My little Arabic book says that there is no equivalent of "is."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

ESL teaching begins in earnest on Monday. I've been a bit spoiled--getting up early but not having to leave the house until 8 or 8:30. Teaching in the morning means I'll have to be at Miracosta by 7:30 am. Yikes.

Thanks for the bibimbap input. I'm hoping to grill this weekend, but we'll see if it happens.

In the non-poetry mail: The Maverick Guide to Oman, The Arabic Alphabet: How to Read and Write it, and Read and Speak Arabic for Beginners.

I had languages on the brain last night: I dreamed I was speaking with my aunt Jody. Supposedly we were in Muscat--though it looked more like a movie version of Cairo, but we were both speaking Chinese with a southern drawl and arguing for the protection of illegal immigrants.

Monday, July 10, 2006

baby finches, flooded bathroom, Bibimbap

The house finches nesting on our balcony hatched a few days ago! The babies are very loud. Lester seems puzzled by their peeping, but also interested. He cocks his head to listen, and he can just barely see their nest from his favorite perch in the corner of his cage.


Last week, or the week before (I don't know, one of the nights Tom was here), I left my bathroom sink on--just a bit of drip drip dripping. But my sink doesn't drain well. Fortunately, Mark woke up in the middle of the night and there was 3 inches of water on the bathroom floor. I bailed out the bathroom with a dustpan.

Most of what was in the bathroom survived, except a bag of cotton balls, and my scale, which now reads 0.00 lbs each time I use it.



Well duh. The font files are for a mac.

I'm on lunch break. Trying to figure out the best way to make sauce for Bibimbap. You all came through with excellent charcol suggestions (we have yet to bbq, so I suppose I have to wait to see how excellent they really are. Still, we did buy charcol).

So, bring on the ideas for Bibimbap sauce.

Hoisin? Spicy tofu paste? Soy sauce? Chili paste? I suspect a combination of all four.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I, for one, am feeling a little hazy

Now what wonders about electronic publishing and experimental fiction (and please refer to the entire post for the complete context):
E-books and audiobooks (especially iPod-friendly ones) will, at least
theoretically, make fiction, innovative and otherwise, more accessible—much like
the World Wide Web has allegedly done. But if anyone can, and anyone does,
"publish" via podcasts and the Web, if "publish" is indeed the word I’m looking
for here, where will the quality of publication go—whatever we may mean by
quality? Or, to put it another way, as I did in an earlier comment: does anyone
really want to know what everyone thinks about anything?

I don't want to know what everyone thinks about everything. But one thing I like about blog land that makes it different, I think, from email discussion lists, is that I can tune in to what I want, or not. And moderate comments, etc.

Here are some things I am thinking about:

It is sunny here. Surprise.

I made scallion pancakes last night. They were good good good.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Greenday floating across the pool and courtyard and in through the windows helps me remember where I am.

I finished my chapbook for Dusie. I'll be sending it out next week. I've only made 50, but I printed 100 covers, so as soon as I get 50 insides made, I can send something in the mail to all of you who've been sending me your excellent work.

Reading Dodie Bellamy's Feminine Hijinx.

Friday, July 07, 2006

New Cards

My Friday is jinxed. Or at least my ability to install new fonts is. Why? It's not a complicated process.

I found an old deck of tarot cards.

I need to purchase some new fabric and more flash cards. I used to have an old set for the Arabic alphabet, but I don't know where they've gone. I did find the deck I got at Huang Shan in Anhui. They have pictures of the mountain and captions like "Huangshan magic world" and "Erect double peaks."

Mark and I inherited a little grill, thanks to Sarah and Joe. Sunday we'll go buy some charcol. Anyone have charcol advice?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I spoke with my sisters the other day. They think I'm crazy.

Feelings are Facts: a Life, Yvonne Rainer. I saw this book at MOCA and wanted it, along with the catalogues for the Rauchenberg and the Lorna Simpson exhibits, and every Sophie Calle book they had in stock.

It was fabulous to see Rauchenberg's combines, especially since I've been reading about him in the Copeland book on Cunningham. They did actually have one sculpture/stage piece that was used in a dance. I wasn't expecting the earlier combines to be so bright--some of them looked almost like medieval shrines, or devotional altars.


On Sunday, July 2, the San Diego Union Tribune wrote about the interstate highway system (it turned 50 at the end of June). Something about how we have the freedom to drive across the country or commute downdown. I can't find the article online and we've now thrown the paper out. The SD Union Tribune is maddening, especially the opinion section. But we can't just subscribe the the NYT, because we need all the local news, and because it helps us understand where we live.


Tom, Mark and I had yummie food and good conversation with Sara and Joe Safdie over the weekend. Sara was encouraging me to read H.D. I have, but not with any attention. I've resisted. It's not that I don't think she's great and that her work is worthy of attention, it's just that I resist reading her because she is my foremother. There's all this pressure! But given my recent obsession with women, mythology and feminism, and all the stuff I've been reading about women in modern dance, I think I'm perhaps ready for all that. We'll see.

Some conversation also about Flarf.

And I was thinking about how a lot of the stuff I read in LA was loosely procedural--most of the stuff I write is--or it moves in and out of collage work, found text, and my own brain.

Joseph Mosconi blogs about Stephanie Young's Bay Poetics and being a writer in LA. It seems fitting that I've moved from one strong but marginal poetry city to another. Well, technically, I live outside of a city (SD) that is outside of the marginal poetry city (LA). Obviously, neither DC nor LA are marginal cities--there's money, power, and art in both--but they're not NY and SF. People don't go to DC and LA to become writers, even though they may become very good writers in them. Yes, yes, there are exceptions. And I'm ignoring the screenwriting industry, I know.


I had my first experience, recently, with someone interacting with me as "the wife." In this case, being the wife means I am expected to take charge of making social arrangements, while at the same time I'm not really expected to be interested in any conversation that might occur about art, etc.


Saw a sign: "Motel Bear Fence Co."


Egg throwing seems to have temporarily abated.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

David Lynch and Dune. I think that's funny.

Well, those fireworks were very cute and small town ish. We even bumbed into our neighbours and landlord by the beach. And a man from Romania. His wife was from Iasi.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Someone threw an egg at us from their car

We are back from LA. Tom is staying with us through tomorrow. We bought books at Beyond Baroque--Tom stocked up on a bunch of new narrative stuff (I think he bought something for you, Kaplan). I bought two hanuman books, one by Dodie Bellamy and another by Candy Darling. I know nothing about Candy Darling, but I will know a little bit more soon. Pictures later.