I grew up reading massive volumes of books. We moved around frequently and I rarely got connected to the libraries outside of the elementary school ones, with their age-specific selection, but Ma was also an avid reader and often had books on hand that I would read after she'd finished, before giving them back to … Continue reading Life As a John Irving Character
After four days of getting to know Pop during a transnational road trip, our intensive "captive audience" journey was nearing its end. Ahead of us lay Calhoun County, Pop's home turf, in a very minimally populated part of the Florida Panhandle. There are offices in San Francisco that have more employees than the entire county's … Continue reading Pop’s Home Turf
After thirty years' absence, I was finally off to meet Pop for the first time since my parents' divorce when I was three years old. Flying to meet Pop was in itself an experience. He lives in the Florida Panhandle about halfway between Tallahassee and Pensacola. West, in fact, of a line that cuts off … Continue reading Meeting Pop: Reunion on a Transnational Road Trip
One day in late 2003, I came home to a phone message. The voice on the other end had that familiar slow, deliberate Southern drawl that I immediately recognized from a single phone call over twenty years prior. “Ahm loookin’ fowah Zayan Caaayannon Gaowf. Ah think this heyah is heyis nuumba. Ahm his daayad.” After … Continue reading Embracing Pop
I remember living in many different places in Denver as a young child, but not exactly which memory flash fits in where when it comes to sequence. I do recall the last two very clearly, though. Both were distinctive, thanks to events relating to felony, police, hidden basement nooks, a zucchini, and a ghost. But we'll … Continue reading Denver Ghost Story
Living in a city like San Francisco, there's a very clear and distinctive classism among certain sectors of society. I'm sure it's the same in cities all over the world, but I live here and this is where I'm most observant of it. Admittedly, I've caught myself on the "wrong side" of that divide, having … Continue reading Farting at Hermes
The other day as I was walking the dogs I passed the first house I lived in here in San Francisco, and I started pondering how long I've been here. Earlier this month I'd gone to my 25th high school reunion, up in my hometown of Willits, CA, and was thinking about the fact that, though I think … Continue reading Where Am I From, Anyway?
"That's not an ear," the doctor said, "it's a vagina." The doctor's words put an immediate halt to my interruptions. I had sensed as I was talking that something wasn't right, but that didn't shut me up. It took misidentifying an orifice to do that. It's amazing how clearly you remember certain things from your childhood. … Continue reading Wrong Orifice
I turned 18 near the beginning of my senior year in high school in Willits. I wasn't exactly itching to get out on my own, but I knew it was coming soon enough, and a sense of independence was building throughout the year. It was also the blossoming of a creative learning period in my life. … Continue reading I Bet It’s the Duck!
I've been a little lacking in posting of late. Lots of drafts in the works, but much time has been absorbed by school. Not that I haven't been writing! In my last post I published my midterm submission from my Humanities class - a self-portrait collage and related description. My final project assignment for the … Continue reading MyArtStory
Recently in my Humanities class, we had an interesting project. The class is specifically focused on the history of women in the arts, and our midterm project was to create a self-portrait collage called "MyArtStory:" that describes ourselves as an artist. That was the full description of the requirements, and to interpret that as we saw … Continue reading Self-Portrait Collage
I love going on hikes around the City, to explore my urban surroundings. Besides the new sights and sites, and the plants and plantings, the major drive is to get up high and see out over everything. On many streets, if not most, we are sandwiched in between buildings in narrow corridors. The proverbial concrete … Continue reading Look Closer
Throughout my childhood there was a recurring theme of unbalance, of the idea that I needed a father figure. Ma tried to keep men in her life for my sake on many occasions, often actively seeking ways for me to have a male influence for me. In my teen years I suppose I had a … Continue reading Pop Out (Dad, Part One: A Fatherless Childhood)
I love the silence of mornings. The darkness wraps around me. The perfect place is in the pitch dark, with a heater whose glowing elements and humming fan struggle to heat a too-large room. The hum nurtures me and the focus of heat makes me feel small and fetal. With the cold at my back … Continue reading Clearing the Fog
If all my life stories were of fond and amusing childhood memories I would have a much different view on life. I've had to deal with loss and grieving in many ways though, from pets to people. In May of 2004 it hit an extreme when I came home from work one day and discovered … Continue reading Good Grief