Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Steady as she goes...

Yesterday was not bad. That tea combination seems to have the intended effect, helps concentrate. Was flowing for over an hour, but started too late in the afternoon, so couldn't get too far before the requisite solitude ended. Still, felt much better last evening.

Also started up on my Spanish yesterday afternoon. I so want to get beyond "Yo quiero apprender la lengua de los guapos," which made me a darling of a drag queen doing a floor show at a Madrid restaurant, 3 years ago. It's an abomination for me not to know Spanish despite having lived in Texas and now, for 9 years, in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood. Going out in Jackson Heights, Queens (NYC), made that need all the more urgent...but more about that another time.

OK, once again, the chai is done, so here I go...

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Desperate Measure

It was (way past) time to bite the bullet, and invite intervention. Fortunately, it was available for the asking. So, I am supposed to wake up no later than 8:00 every AM, and not be online except for limited, planned durations; nor can I substitute channel surfing for web surfing.

Not my proudest time in life, for sure, but I didn't get online until about 2:00 this PM. Began brushing up on my Spanish this morning, after running errands that took me all over creation.

BTW, only caught catnaps last night, after going to bed at midnight. Kept waking up to check if it was time to wake up, and eventually I woke up just before my alarm was set to go off.

I know, scintillating stuff, well, what can I say? Anyways, I'm making masala chai, fortified with Yogi Ginkgo IQ tea. Yes, that's how desperate things are!

That's it, the tea is made, and I'm going offline...yes, seriously, with something vaguely resembling hope or prayer.

Friday, February 24, 2006


A thousand roads, each forking a thousand times, winding and intersecting each other, create a labyrinth of longings. Journeys along these are destinations, for sure, but none seem to lead to the desolate land of destiny.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

They're done making out.

Finally we move forward. The first scene sorta felt like porn, which is actually kinda appropriate. All 3 principal characters have entered the screen...BTW, it's a movie script that I've been trying to get to consume me.

So...a friend called while I was doing the writing at long last. He proceeded to explain the problem he had with JSF, and it made no sense to me, since I didn't know much about it. I read about it over a year and a half ago, when I went to JavaOne. Then, my host returned from work, so that's gonna be it for today.

Still, good to have budged.

Late Morning

The NYT is to the words what caffeine is to the waking brain. But the words are fickle, and impatient. They will not stand still. If not released through the fingers quickly, they scatter all over the mind's wilderness. The hunt for them begins.


Afraid of the madness, and bored with the sanity. That's the face of the morning. Completely out of touch with the inner feelings of the day, the first hour luxuriates in its rituals. Meds with chai, followed by a motile reading of the NYT; which awakens the words and queues them up, at the threshold of coherence...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Time flies when you're wasting it.

You're on a writing retreat of sorts -- staying with a friend, who's on an out-of-town assignment, where his hotel suite is paid for by his employer. It's near NYC, so a more exiting civilization than home ain't too far. Is it really a retreat, or a prolonged, idle vacation? You'd never know, because it feels like neither. You do little of fulfilling value with your luxury of time, and you atone for the consequent guilt by feeling miserable. How conveeeenient!

One weekend, your friend has to return home, but you decide to stay while he's gone. A better simulation of a writing retreat, you tell yourself. That Saturday, when you return with essential groceries -- cereal and tea -- you realize that you've locked yourself out of the room. The woman at the front desk will not let you get back into the room because your name is not on the reservation. That's the rule. So, you head back home, 250 miles away.

The next day, another friend's father passes away in a far off country, so it's serendipitous that you're there to be with him, and to drive him down to JFK, where he catches a flight to go the funeral.

Back at your retreat, after the hotel is told that they ignored the request to add your name to the room occupants, you hope that the events of the week will jolt you into action, which leads you to wonder why hope ain't working wonders for you like so many people swear that it does.

Perhaps you need to include other stuff in your day, like creating your résumé and resuming learning Spanish. First, however, you need to eat, shower, and make chai. Perfect, and it has only been over 6 hours since you woke up this morning.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Try again tomorrow.

It's all been said, it's all been written. The end of history it may not be, but it sure feels like the end of words. History will continue to be made, but there will be nothing new to say about it.

OK, that's probably crap, but I gotta write crap. Perhaps that's what I've been doing all along. Yes, I hear those violins too, they've been playing incessantly, night and day. They get into my dreams when I sleep, and push them around. Dreaming under duress is doubly maddening; your dreams start bombing your sleep, and your waking hours become war-torn ruins. All that works when awake is your body, and it assumes control in the power vacuum. You get hungry, and you drink chai. You get sleepy, and you crave an apple. You feel sticky, and you brush your teeth. You run yourself ragged, surfing the TV channels. By sheer chance you make it to the grocery store because you're hungry, way past lunchtime, and return with bags full of all you'll need to cook a feel-good dinner.

Comical? Sure. You have to laugh, but you don't wanna. You're of course programmed to find prefabricated food that compensates for its unhealthiness by causing your wallet to lose weight.

You feel relief over getting through half of the damn afternoon before the thinking connections begin to get restored. As soon as they're fully restored, you realize that you've squandered half the day. The adrenaline is still depleted, so you try rolling the rock up the mountain again, hoping that all the unhealthy stuff you just consumed will at least give you some energy to make it budge. You can never tell how far you'll get on any given day, so you tell yourself that it's good to be surprised.

At some point you stop, for no apparent reason, and begin cooking dinner. The rock rolls back down, but you don't care, because you're making dinner, which is without doubt a good thing. Then you eat the dinner, and you make believe that it was all worth it. This takes a good deal of imagination, the claim of which of you need to validate at every opportunity. You come through, but put off going to bed as much as you can, in order to postpone the dream bombardment that you know awaits you behind your shut eyes.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Another New Day

When the sun hits the window, I look out at the streets below. Perched atop eleven stories, I have my own tale to tell to the deceptively toy-like town, and the neghboring one, and the next one, and on and on, until it reaches the cities where it'll one day hit the pavement. Or not.

The sun hits all the windows, which are abundantly clear. Stray distractions pace in this bright, sterile space, and are scrutinized to their core. They have no shame. In all their nakedness, they mock the time that feeds them. They do not let up, because they know they cannot be tamed. Still, one hopes that there are at least moments when they rest, when they loosen their grip on time. And, one hopes that such moments can be accessed from this rarified outer shell of life. One also hopes that these sustaining hopes can be entered, like a worm hole whisking one away into a universe where possibilities aid, not taunt.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

And so it goes...

Laptop in lap, window into the world, regurgitated gripes, all made to fit into earmarked time. How does it work? The TV waits patiently, while I agonize over the ideas weighing heavy on my keyboard. The TV blathers on at my brain. It bickers and screams and chatters and gushes with inanities, flooding the parched crevices of my mind.

Can I be unearthed? Am I really down there? If I'm not, then where am I? They say it's not all about me, but I am the only one I am. Still, let's say it's not about me, what would I do with myself then? Can't really get rid of me, can I? And if it's not about me, then about whom?

Headphones to the rescue. The TV will stay out, but the music will drape the pregnant silence. World music. As opposed to Mars music? Hmmmm... That may very well be the ticket. Head into space. The space between me and the world.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just write, dammit!

Writing 101. Peter Elbow. No stopping to google for the link. Just gotta keep at it. Yes, this is how. Thoughts are all tied up, gotta keep from trying to untie them. Whatever strands I can get at are enough. Where do I start?

Start here, now. It can come together later. Or not. Is this how them writers do it? Wow...weird! Can this be done without caffeine? Nothing can be done without caffeine, can it? No, really...is this that brave and new a world?

So, now what? More of the same? Can't help stopping to think, look at all angles, nothing is simple...yeah, well, that's why it doesn't get written. This better help getting it written. Is it 10 minutes yet? Should I be tired now? Maybe I am and it just hasn't registered. Where do I go from here?

That's right, start a new paragraph. Now, go reheat that chai...

Took a piss while nuking the chai, left it there too long, half of it boiled over, oh well... Could write about the pissing and other bodily functions, a la Andy Sullivan...fight the urge to google that. Not going back to correct spelling errors is hard, as is going back to replace a word with a better one. Suddenly I'm hungry.

Maybe the chai will pet down the hunger. It's piping hot, so gotta wait before sipping...it's fine now. Switched my caffeine agent a couple of days ago. No more coffee, it was making my stomach upset, so I became a masala chai expert overnight. Been considerably happier (peppier?) since the switch. I like that in a disposition...well, more accurately, my disposition. And here I am just doing it, just like the swoosh wants everyone to.

Still haven't returned to the gym, though. Guess I'll be a "bear" for now. Uh-oh, is it OK to go on a tangent? I think it is, but this tangent is not a fun one. Could end up wondering about a good tangent to take, but that would be a tangent to this free flowing trajectory, and that's one tangent that's forbidden here. Thank god there's that rule, otherwise this could become an extension of my limbo, which I'd languish in, if I weren't here. Being a non-Catholic, it's not something I can rid myself of...no, don't need to google that either.

So, where can this end? How can I know when to stop? Right here is fine, I think. Not bad for a first attempt. Can I now indulge my compulsion to google and fill in the links? Yay!

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Writer, writer, write me a word...

or two, or three, or as many as it takes to write my present down, as if it were a red carpet for my past to shine on. It helps not, alas, that the red of the carpet is not my color, a secret I suspect my future has discovered. Is there hope, then, that my past will adorn my present, or will it stomp my present till it is worn and tattered, and unable to ever know its color. My future is older and wiser, and gets more so each day. Will it someday become weary of the burden if it carries the colorless hopes in perpetuity?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

They're stuck making out.

After puttering around in the virtual and physical worlds, finally spent a couple of hours trying to get two of the characters to make out. That's where I left them, frozen in time. Gotta get back there and unfreeze them...but what do I do with them then?

Too bad I can't freeze myself that way between the short-lived productive spurts.