Category Archives: Personal

if I could live on air and water

It’s not often I flay myself for folks to read, though I’m not exactly known for aiming kindness my own way.  Anyway.  My lovely husband and I are attending FogCon at the moment, which is a charming little literary sf/f convention.  Highly recommended, well organized.

So, the tale.  We decided tonight to get room service for dinner.  Now, we had lunch at …11:30ish?  It’s 7 now.  And I was hungry!  So we ordered a glomp of food, a true glomp.  Or what I saw as a glomp because I’m completely disordered about food and appropriateness.  So when the nice young waiter brought our food and it was on a special table due to so many plates, I immediately slipped into a sort of humiliation fugue state.  With every perfectly reasonable dish he uncovered, I grew more and more wretched.

Finally, at the end of the recitation, I heard myself telling this bullshit story about how we hadn’t eaten all day, and wow, and it was going to feel good to finally have food, and …I just lied.  I straight up lied to a young man I’ll never see again because I was so horrified with the amount of food we ordered.  (for the record, we each had chicken tenders and fries, and an appetizer, and split a dessert.  not that it matters)  He walked out after mumbling some reassurance that really meant “I-don’t-care-lady.”  My husband looked at me and said, “Oh honey,” and I burst into tears.

There are days I wish I could cut off my stomach with a knife.  There are days when I wish I really could live on air and water, rather than ever put any food into my mouth ever again.  There are days when I want so badly to not be in the body I’m in that I can barely stand it.

I mean…I’m doing good things for myself.  I think I’ve lost a little weight lately, I’ve been working out, I’ve been eating better.  But seriously, one imagined case of side-eye from a hotel waiter, and I was nearly hysterical.  I put myself in jails, and food is just one more set of bars.


  • The pizza guy from the Oscars ended up getting a $1,000 tip.  So that’s good.
  • People who are slamming Idina Menzel’s talent after her Oscar performance should hush up, because they were not the ones standing in front of a billion people a couple of months after her marriage broke up and alakjda;skdfasd.  No, that was so not her best performance at all.  I cringed for her, poor thing.  That said, she is amazing.  Amazing.  Haters to the left.
  • Vikings!  Now that the massive drama-punch of the end of Season 1 has become a drama-bomb of epic proportions, I want to go back and see how it all started.  Kudos to the show for sticking to a world and a moral system that isn’t ours.  That said, kudos too for showing that even actions a society allows can have personal consequences.  It’s pleasingly complex.
  • That said, I would watch a show made up of just Lagertha, Bjorn, Floki, and Athelstan in a hot minute.
  • This weekend is FogCon!  So excited.  I love literary cons; they’re like school without notes or tests, and between classes you get to sit in a pretty bar and chat with people who really want to be there.


I can hear my husband at the front of the apartment.  He’s assembling a complicated Lego building, which means little plastic pieces are rattling together in the Tupperware he’s scavenged from the kitchen for sorting.  He’s playing Kacey Musgraves; he’s been going through a country-girl sort of phase (with my full support).

All three cats are lounging in sunspots in the bedroom.  When all the shades are pulled high, a nearly solid wall of sunlight shoves into the room.  I can hear the tinny growl of a tiny airplane engine, and beyond that, construction, and beyond that, the waves of the Pacific and the trolley’s occasional bell.  Pretty good day.

A shy admission

My husband has already posted it in several other locations (king of social media that he is), but I should declare it in my own voice too.  I’ve sold my first poem, and it was just published.  I’m humbled and thrilled.  It’s a short work about an AI who just wants to make you happy.



I joined Nerd Fitness tonight (  The women’s side of things.  I’m apprehensive, of course — I really don’t want to have just spent $100 on the online equivalent of an exercise bicycle that becomes a coat rack.  God knows, I’ve made that dumb-ass purchase that more than once.

Then again, it’s never been the exercise bike’s fault.

Anyway.  I want to learn and do enough that a) I can evaluate if exercise really does help depression; b) I grow to see my body as a cool tool and part of me again, rather than icky baggage I reluctantly tote around.

So we’ll see.  Go me!

2013 in a nutshell

“Help! I’m in a nutshell! How did I get into this nutshell? Look at the size of this bloody great big nutshell! What sort of shell has a nut like this?”


Anyway.  We moved from smack down in the middle of Silicon Everything up into San Francisco, right off the ocean, right off the park.  We’re in the exact same neighborhood, the exact same corner of it that my husband remembered from 90s nostalgia, and isn’t that cool?  The ocean is amazing, the park is restful, the neighborhood full of surfers and aimless drifters and busy busy bees.

I sold a poem this year, which is one of the proudest things I’ve done.  I sent out another one and never heard back, so it’s time to send out more rather than stuff everything back under the proverbial bushel for another twenty years.

I left my retail job at Apple, which precipitated the worst attack of depression/inertia/crap that I’ve felt in the last few years.  It isn’t money, it’s occupation.  I don’t know, contributing, doing, getting out of the house.  When I’m home, everything preys on everything else until I’m like a turtle flipped over on its shell, unable to do anything but flail.

We went to London for our honeymoon, and even though I was so sick the whole time, it was fantastic.  We went to Disneyland a couple of times and basked in excellent customer service and that odd sense of Americana belonging that comes with Disney and having the privilege to afford it and travel to it and all the rest.  We went to Austin and San Antonio too, and LoneStarCon, and BigBadCon here in Oakland.  We didn’t game nearly enough.  I was in a great Lexicon game.  I create and role-play stories with amazing friends.

I started poking at crafts – I’ve been obsessively folding paper and considering all sorts of adjacent paper-related things.  Orgami has proven to be really absorbing – it’s a match between geometry and handiwork, and somehow that’s really satisfying.

I didn’t read enough.  I loved a few movies, like Pacific Rim.   I read a ton of comics.  I am so happy I bought a Spotify subscription.  I whined about not upgrading my phone.  I became completely obsessed with nail polish.  I ate poorly, but walked more than the year before.  I have some sort of dental problem that needs attention.  I bought eyeglasses a few days ago, after not doing so since before my first husband died.  I bought them just before he passed, right?  And even though they’re scratched and nasty, I don’t know.  It’s a thing.  But new glasses are coming, and maybe I’ll see more clearly.

2014 thoughts:  write more, walk more, be kinder to myself.  love more.  be less afraid.


~Sarah McLachlan

The lake is frozen over
The trees are white with snow
And all around
Reminders of you
Are everywhere I go

It’s late and morning’s in no hurry
But sleep won’t set me free
I lie awake and try to recall
How your body felt beside me
When silence gets too hard to handle
And the night too long

And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
I keep this moment by and by

Oh I miss you now, my love
Merry Christmas, merry Christmas,
Merry Christmas, my love

Sense of joy fills the air
And I daydream and I stare
Up at the tree and I see
Your star up there

And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
I keep this moment by and by

The Day after Thanksgiving

We went shopping, but for used books and comics and dishwashing soap.  I don’t like having to park and stop on steep hills; I’m always afraid the car is going to slam back into the car behind me before I can accelerate.

Right now I have Ghost Adventures on the TV for ambient noise.  My husband is watching S.H.I.E.L.D. on the bedroom TV.  A brass band is practicing in one direction down the street, and music is blaring in the other direction, and in the distance, ships blare their huge, bellowing horns.

Mini-review:  Jordan Mechner’s Templar is awesome.  14th century heist caper graphic novel for the win.  The characters stood out for me, the action scenes were beautifully drawn, and …hey, it’s Templars.  I have a huge weakness for religious conspiracy theories, and the Templars are of course the granddaddies of such things.

To document Thanksgiving itself:  on the 1-10 meter between ‘YAY HOLIDAY’ and ‘everything is bad and wrong,’ I hovered at about a 4, which is better than I’ve been in years.  Two weeping fits and two pieces of pumpkin pie.  Pork loin carnitas, potatoes roasted with adobo and garlic, and kale with yellow peppers and onions.

I’m still documenting my beginning efforts at origami here.  I’m in a fantastic Lexicon game here.  My brilliant husband is working on Hillfolk playsets on his blog, the first of which is here.

Tonight he’ll probably go see a few movies in the Another Hole in the Head film festival lineup, while I play Lord of the Rings Online and role-play over Skype and eat leftovers.  It’s been a good holiday so far.


I can see the Pacific Ocean from where I’m sitting.  I can’t see much of it, just a glittering sliver along the top of an apartment building on the street between me and the sea.  I can’t see the waves from here, or the surfers, or the beach.  All of it’s there, though, and I smell salt every time I breathe.

The neighborhood is called Sunset (with its Inner and Outer varieties; we’re Outer).  Nearly fifty well-gridded, numbered avenues march in a straight line toward the sea.  Most are filled with houses like pastel cubes, one apartment upstairs, a garage and mother-in-law apartment below.  Or, like our place, they’re two apartments up, and a combination of garages and baby apartment below.  However it works out, there’s never enough room for all the cars.

Nothing in Sunset seems taller than four stories.  I don’t know why.  I wondered: earthquakes?  Geological instability?  Bryant says, who’d let their block be ripped down to put up the first high-rise?  I wrinkled my nose, and he said, exactly.

Between our street and the one closest to the beach is a warren of long, fenced backyards that no one uses.  The dog owned by the renters two floors below us runs around in a constant circle over a grey stone path in the shape of the infinity symbol.  Once in a while I’ll hear people shouting – five minutes ago, a guy bellowed, “Motherfucking blood type!” from the yard a few doors down – but I never see anyone just hanging out on their little patch of dirt.

What amazes me most in the middle of the day is how deserted the whole thing is.  Sunset is the largest neighborhood in the city.  The avenues are wide.  I could walk down to the corner right now and stand in the intersection and see no one, all the way up to 40th or so.  Buses pass now and again.  Surfers.  I can hear ship’s horns and the Muni’s bell where it turns at the end of Judah.  I can always hear the waves.

The apartment building right behind ours is a pastel yellow block with scaffolding covering its whole rear facade.  I can see straight through the apartment opposite our bedroom.  The woman who lives there has fluttery white curtains and a centerpiece in the middle of her dining room table.  When she eats I can see the back of her head.  It’s always perfectly centered in the window-frame.

I can tell when the afternoon heads into evening because all the cars come home.  There’s something so public about living with all the windows open.  The iron gate across our front door slams every time someone comes home.  The dog two floors down is panting.  The ‘motherfucking blood type’ guy just told a bro he’d be by later.

Birds walk and hop on our sunlights.  The cats sit below and watch in unison.  They love it here.  Sunspots, birds, open windows.  It hasn’t rained yet, but the ocean keeps everything damp.  Laundry takes forever to dry.  Bread molds quickly.  When the fog comes, I can move from one end of our very long apartment to see all the grey roll over.  The rest of the time, it’s a California dream.  The sunsets are particularly fine.