san francisco (ii)

man. i was @ berkeley today and i was up the tenth floor of Evans? looking west?

oh god

SF shrouded in fog.

looking at it, i was INSPIRED. i wanted to write bad poetry. i wanted to write prose and novels about SF. i kept thinking, 'yeah. looking at it, you understand why people say, this is it. this is the city you'll love for the rest of your life.'

course, no one says that, except me.

god, i love it. PASSIONATELY. divine love, baby. that kind people feel for their gods, that makes 'em want to cry and laugh all at once, the kind that grabs 'em by the heartstrings and tugs. that's what it is. looking at san francisco, white and utterly ablaze, luminous in the fog that catches the afternoon sun, i wanna curve in on myself to keep from splitting apart because it's - too - much. it's so beautiful it hurts.

i wish you could know what it feels like, to drive up from somewhere down south. that feeling you get when you get past the mountains north of LA, wind out from that last turn in the freeway and see the endless expanse of the central valley spread out before you, where you can set the cruise control on 80 and pop the CDs out for the long straight drive ahead - and you see it. you see it on the road signs.

North Interstate 5.


oh god, the feeling. the FREEDOM of it. you're flying. you want to shout it at the top of your lungs: INTERSTATE 5. NORTHBOUND. SAN FRANCISCO. you're driving and the road is flying by and your tunes are blasting and it's early afternoon and it's hot and bright and wonderful, and you know it, like in your bones and your blood. you know you're going back to san francisco, the great city by the bay, the city you love. you know you'll be there just in time to swing around those mountains and see it, shining in the evening.

i'm totally overcome. hahah. thinking of it, i mean? i'm just TOTALLY overcome. it's like you're going home to your girlfriend or something, only even more so. i can't believe how much i love it. heh. i sound stupid, but it's true.

i look at it and i know it: this is the city i'll love for the rest of my life. it's almost like an ending, a finality. there are bigger cities, richer cities, brighter cities, cities with more history. but nothing will top this city, ever. wherever i go, i'll remember the mrs. fields in the financial district, the palace of fine arts in the shadow of the bridge, the hills and the cable cars and the pigeons and the blue skies. and the way it looks in the afternoon, in the fog, ablaze with light.


2010 note:

course, we all know how the mac affairs always end. MAD INFATUATION! TECHNOLUST! ... a waning of the fire. a gradual and inexorable building of frustration with numerous flaws, bugs, issues, problems, all emerging after the initial burst of amazement and style > substance, form > function has been lost. and in the end:

our silences are long cold.
and we sleep with our backs turned.



holy moly: i'm in love with Macs.

yes yes yes, i know, macs suck, macs are slow, macs crash every other minute.


omfg. if you saw this mac i'm on. it's one of those new ultra-slick ones, all silvery grey inside and transparent plastic coating on the outside. it's got a flatscreen display, and lemme tell you, i've NEVER seen such a crisp image. my eyes are wide from staring and i bet if you looked at my pupils right now they'd be huge.

i surfed around all my favorite pages and i MARVELED. omfg. pictures have NEVER looked so VIBRANT in my life. i swear, the colors are literally breaker than life, the edges sharper, the images crisper. i look away from the screen and the WORLD looks duller and fuzzier.


and that's just the beginning. there are these little buttons on the monitor - two of them. both of them? holy fuck. they light up when you touch them. i mean, not when you press. when you TOUCH. this diffuse whitish glow behind them brightens up. it's SPACE AGE, man. it's like something out of a movie.


and both of them? bring up menus on the screen INSTANTLY. not like ugly monitor menus, but menus from the computer, super-slick.

and the mouse?


it's like. clear. totally clear. not cheap plastic either. thick hard curving perfectly clear plastic. but you don't see the ugly circuits - who the fuck wants to see those? no; they're concealed in a black thingy. the mouse isn't all stupidly curvy either. very plain, just an oval. but it feels GOOD. it's heavy, the way a good pen should be. and when you click?


it's not a button!!! the whole mouse! like is in two halves! the top and a tiny black bottom where the laser thingy is! and when you click, the whole top of it comes down with a really REALLY neat "heavy" clicky-feel.

i LOVE this computer. i want it to have my babies. cool transparent silvery-gray babies with buttons that light up.

i'm totally amazed. i mean, i thought those DELLS were cool. it's still a piece of shit OS-wise, but - man oh man. i think the graphics and the overall cool factor is seducing me.





so it's occurred to me that your relationship with your parents change as you grow older.

when you're 5 years old, your parents are the All. they're never wrong, they're never bad, they're never human. they're your gods. like the old cliche says, every child's word for god is 'mother'.

then you get older. around 13, 14, you start growing aware of yourself as a person. of the people around you. in school, you're learning more profound, critical ways of thinking. and suddenly you see reflected in your parents the faults that you've been taught to see elsewhere. they're not perfect; they're not infallible, and sometimes, they have a rotten-ass day and take it out on you.

thus begins the process of growing up. you start pulling away. at the same time you see all their faults, you remain somewhat blind to your own. you think you know better; with typical adolescent arrogance, you think you're smarter than anyone else.

i'm using 'you' here. i shouldn't. this is from personal experience. those pronouns should be i.

i thought i was smarter than anyone else. which isn't to say i walked around telling myself that - it's just that i had an implicit arrogance that, i suppose, has yet to entirely go away. but any which way, i was embarrassed by my parents. i thought they were impossibly old and dorky. i thought they couldn't understand me and the problems and the triumphs i faced. they did things that humiliated me at every turn; i couldn't stand to be around them. at the same time, i sneered at my friends who treated their parents like dirt, never realizing i was doing the same thing.

i think my parents musta been really puzzled then. i'm their firstborn, and when they were growing up, kids were more respectful toward their parents. especially my parents, one of whom lost her father as a teenager and thus carried a burden that precluded defiance; the other of whom was the eldest of four boys, son to busy parents that were, while not neglectful, certainly not around very much. my mother became her mother's support and my father became a father to his brothers. both of them were the eldest of their family, and both of them grew up fast, skipping past teenage angst. then along comes me: surly, disrespectful, slouching, shying away from them, scowling whenever they followed me around.

must've hurt them. they must've been confused and sad, feeling like they were losing me. and, ugh, if i could, i'd take it all back.

freshman year of college, i couldn't wait for my parents to leave. could. not. wait. of course when midterms came along and stress crashed down like an avalanche, i missed them - but even that was transient. went home for break, and it was the same old thing. i was embarrassed by them.

then somehow things changed. sometime between freshman year of college and senior year of college, my attitudes changed. i missed my parents. i grew to love my parents deeply, or maybe rediscovered that. when they came to visit, i wanted them to stay longer. i tried to make them comfortable, as though doing that might undone what i'd done for the past ten years. i showed them around, introduced them to my friends, didn't slouch, didn't scowl.

i don't know how that change came about, but it's still happening. with every passing year i'm getting to love my parents more and miss them more. it's true, you know - before you've left home permanently, and even after, you think you won't miss them. you think you'll be glad to be free. but the farther away you fly, the more you'll want to go back.

i'm having trouble articulating this. i feel so cliche when i say this. i feel like i'm doing a self-satisfied pat on the back. i had the words in my mind so clearly an hour ago. i think clearly when i walk at night, and when i stand in the shower. something about both acts clears my mind of extraneous thoughts. i think it's something about the darkness and repetition of one, the utter relaxation of the other. either way, i think better like that.

i keep telling myself i'll get a tape recorder, so i can record the thoughts i have in the shower and while i'm walking. but of course that's ridiculous, and i won't ever do it.

i'm kind of dissatisfied tonight. i don't know why. i think i'm just stressed, but the things that usually interest me don't. and i miss my parents a lot. that's dumb, i know - i'm 27 years old, and missing my parents.

but it happens. my mother always said it happens. she'd miss her mother, and i know my dad missed his parents too, though he'd never say it. i didn't really believe her when she told me that the older you get, the more you love your parents. i was a teenager then, and now i'm just looping all my thoughts into a circle.


sometimes i wonder what i'd do different if i could do it all again. i mean, the party line that i give to that is 'nothing. i regret nothing.' but times like these, it's not true.

i regret a lot. i regret that it seemed to be in my nature to cut myself loose from my parents and, in doing so, cut them to the bone. i think i wrote once on this diary about how after teenage, it was different with my parents, and that's true. before, they're your god. after, they're your friend. you still love them - you love them more than ever - but it's different. you see their flaws. you see them as human. most times this is a good thing, but i have to admit, sometimes i wish i could go back to the unadulterated, total belief in my parents.

i know why people worship gods. people always need something pure and holy to look up to. i know why eden was blessed blissful ignorance, too. times like these, i really know.



How hot? Try this. 90-something degrees. In San Francisco. In October.

That's not normal, folks. That's not even *remotely* normal. I don't think it was this hot all summer. Some sort of El Nino this year, but goddammit, the last time there was El Nino it rained.

I miss the rain. I would do a lot for one good, drenching rainstorm. I know by the end of winter I'll regret saying that, but right now I crave rain the way I craved it in the artificially green desert that was San Diego.

It was so hot today that everyone on the street was in shorts. Guys wore no shirt and girls, being trapped by society and all, wore the skimpiest shirts they could find.

This is usually a good thing. However, when you're baking to death in your car and the leather feels like a steam-iron on your back, you tend to care less about ogling curves and more about getting into air-conditioned buildings. Red lights last forever. Traffic jams are unbearable. If you stand too long in one place, you feel like your shoes have melted to the ground.

The air was hot. And it was humid. Not really humid - but decently so. 50, 60%, the way it usually is here. It was the kind of heat that surrounded you and poured into you, even if you were in the shade. And if you weren't, the sun blistered the skin off your back.

The heat broke around 4pm. Sort of. It went from 90-something to 80-something. There wasn't a breeze, but at least the air was liveable in. As long as you stayed out of the sun, you were okay.

I took three showers today. I took one every time I had to go outside for more than a few minutes, because if I didn't I felt gross. At least that still works. I remember in San Jose sometimes it'd get so hot showers didn't work. You sweated before them and right after them. Hell, you sweated right through them, and all day you dripped and melted and sweated and stuck and stunk and thought of one thing: night.

All day, I thought of one thing: night.

At dusk, it was 80 degrees. An hour later, it was 77. At 10pm, it was probably still 70 degrees. It was so warm that it felt earlier. It felt, tasted, smelled and sounded like summer. Not just summer this year, but summer a long time ago, when I was little. Strange how these perceptions stay with you. Air conditioners, food cooking (ever notice how in the summer you always smell food cooking because people leave their windows open, and also because warm air seems to hold smells better?), warm breeze, people congregating in outdoor cafes lounging around sipping ice tea. And frogs. It was so hot the frogs were fooled. They thought it was summer and they started croaking like crazy, advertising their presence, looking for mates. In the darkness, all you heard was frogs from every patch of greenery there was.

All that was missing was the smell of flowers.

3:32am this instant. I can still hear the air conditioners going. Frogs are still going too, though some have giving up now. I'm writing this from my balcony. I've been hanging out on this balcony since I got home today. Air con would cool my apartment, but A/C is expensive. So I just opened the door to the hall and the windows, and I'm still waiting for it to get below 80 inside.

This is one of those nights you don't sleep. If you try, it's too hot. You toss and turn and get hotter and toss and turn more and get even hotter and...

You just don't do it. Unless you spread out a towel and sprawl on the floor, but somehow that's a little too summery and I don't feel like doing that right now. So. Yeah. This will be a night I don't sleep. Or not until 4am. I'll just hang out on my balcony sipping a cold one, coke, not beer, fizzing it on my tongue letting the breeze slide in from the sea. One of my cats just came to jump up on the retaining wall. That used to scare me, since we're up on the 14th story, but neither of them have so much as lost their footing once, so I'm used to it now.

Cat silhouetted against city. Cool breeze stirring sluggish apartment-heat.

Like some sort of haiku.

It was a damn good day.

adolescent ranting.

so i decided to put this up again cuz truth of it is, i was afraid to put it up in fears that everyone will now hate me. then i hear that apparently these flaws aren't nearly as well-hidden as i thought, and that i'm just finally saying what everyone already knows.

since that's the case, fuck, i'll leave it up. heh. remind myself.




my god, do i have this in buckets. this very post is an act of arrogance. i'm writing it because rachel wrote one and i was like, ooo, i wanna do that. i wanna shake out my dirty laundry because i assume the world cares and wants to see!

i am an insufferably arrogant bastard. i can't help it - whup there i go again, the arrogance of pinning my blame on some undefined Other, which i can neither touch nor change, thus freeing me to be as arrogant as i like.

i am arrogant. i think i am the end-all-be-all of things. i think i am wiser because i am older; i think i am better because i'm going to make more money. i think my point of the view is the correct one, no matter how contradictory or self-contradictory, even, it might be.

i think my schooling and the letters after my name mean i am smarter than anyone else who doesn't have these things. hell, i think i'm smarter than everyone because i'm damned good at BSing crap (more arrogance - reducing the hard work of teachers everywhere in giving assignments and appreciating what i've given in return to mere chaff, bullshit, nothing of importance - EVEN IF I DID WORK HARD ON IT), because i'm damned good at taking standardized tests (1510 SAT, 36ACT, 41 MCAT, 2250 combined GRE, IQ in the 99.9th percentile - WORSHIP MY FUCKIN EGO), because i can't help but flaunt this and - UGH

okay i am now honestly drowning in my own arrogance. i can't stop it! look, there it is again! shifting of blame, unstoppable floods of arrogance; i am the niagara of egotism.

i am so arrogant that i think arrogance is a GOOD thing.



is that even a fucking word? no matter. i am also hypocritical. while i am allowed to be arrogant, no one else is. i can't STAND fucking arrogance in other people; i tear it to shreds, i shred it apart. i can't stand it, and yet i'm so arrogant i don't think i'd be able to stand living with me.



i am. unbelievably, unthinkingly cruel. unintentionally, maybe, but perhaps that's just me pinning the blame elsewhere again. i excel at ripping things to shreds. all this goes back to arrogance, really. i think my POV is the only correct one, and i never hesitate to rip into another POV to show why it's wrong.

i love to debate; i love to fight; i debate deeply personal things with a careless, analytical glee, and i shred deeply personal beliefs like they were words on paper.

i do not care that this may hurt people while i'm doing it. i'm just happy that i can do it. i'm just happy that i can shout down anyone else and impose my will upon them.



this is an extension of all of the above. i am INCREDIBLY selfish. in my book, it seems to be me myself and i. i think i'm capable of caring for people, loving, all that, but even if i say i'll take a bullet for someone/something, i think if it should come down to the wire, i wouldn't sacrifice myself for ANYTHING.



another made up word. this is me in a nutshell. i think for the most part people consider me mellow, but god help you if i'm in a bad mood and you accidentally say the wrong thing and don't realize it in the 0.2 seconds it takes me to fly into a scathing sort of cruel rage, hot or even worse analytically cold, and begin my process of arrogance, selfishness and unthinking cruelty.

more than that, though, more hurtful than my hairtrigger piss-off time, is how fast i bounce back. i am arrogant about my bounce-back time; it is an act of selfishness that allows me to bounce back so damn quick, and it's also an act of unthinking cruelty to do so. i can get angry, i can roar and rail and bang things around, and then i'll be all right ten minutes later. i'll be happy. i'll be grinning. all the while the other party will still be losing white blood cells over my latest bout.

i have to admit, i say all this with a certain glee. i'm gleeful because i am, yes, selfish, arrogant, and unthinkingly cruel.



i had to think twice about writing this one. actually i wrote it, erased it, rewrote it. writing deceit down kinda blows the cover, doesn't it?

i am DECEITFUL. i have to be. otherwise people would know i'm arrogant, hypocritical, unthinkingly cruel, selfish, and tempestuous. or rather, they'd know all this, and not forgive me for it. the only reason i can think that i still have friends is that somehow i've managed to mask my roaring shrieking screaming flaws as some sort of CHARM, some sort of CHARISMA, for god's sakes, and somehow people around me still like/love me.

which i love.

because i'm selfish, arrogant, hypocritical, unthinkingly cruel, tempestuous, and deceitful.

i'm sure there's more, but i'm sick of this adolescent whining.