Sunday, September 30, 2007

i am absent

...from this page but things keep on keeping on. the weather in san francisco is gorgeous again this weekend, though days end earlier and there is a nip in the air that sneaks up on you. and a man just walked into the cafe i am sitting in wearing a full leather ensemble--black leather pants, black leather button up shirt. i wonder if he's on his way to the folsom street fair, which is today. yesterday was lovefest. san francisco is all about the street parties lately. i went to one the other night. the 15th anniversary of critical mass here. enough for me for a while. so i am absent, sitting in a cafe, thinking about street parties and attempting to write.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I invite you to consider the events at Sabra and Chatila. Ok, so maybe wikipedia isn't the best source for info, but it's at least a starting point, a brief and arrayed sketch of what happened in the Palestinian camps south of Beirut 25 years ago this week. If you are into Robert Fisk, you'd be into what he says about the event. Here's what he wrote on the 19th anniversary. And if you aren't into him or don't know him, you should consider it anyway. After all, he was one of the first foreign journalists admitted to the blood-drenched, corpse-strewn area after the attack finally stopped. Promise me you won't take the things Bernard Lewis says about the fateful day seriously.

Anyway, it was a quarter century ago...who cares, right? I know that you know that things are still pretty bad and these sorts of scenes don't seem so far-fetched or far off or unlikely, particularly in places outside North America and Western Europe, and maybe Japan and Australia. Even though, it's true. We have our own problems, our own devastations. But I think I better sign off for now, leave all this to the experts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Days of the Week

In my Arabic class, we have just learned the day s of the week, which is pretty cool since they basically correspond with the numbers. Can you imagine that? What if we had One-Day and Two-Day. Well, I guess we do have Tuesday. Um. So today is Tuesday but I wish it was Wednesday because Tuesday is super-busy at my work and Wednesday is my day off when I spend all day alone writing and reading (and often doing laundry) and then have class from 4pm to 10pm. I was expressing this wish to my friend and she told me not to worry, that it would be Wednesday soon enough, like tomorrow. And it touched me that she had that thought and expressed it to me in order to soften the pain of Tuesday. For real, I was touched, even though of course Wednesday comes after Tuesday, just as surely as four comes after three. And it'll happen again next week, until Apocalypse or Armageddon or something like that.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

modern ruins

In the past week, I have had the pleasure of going to two fascinating places just outside San Francisco--Angel Island:

and Jack London Park:

They are both sites of incredible natural beauty--respectively: an island in the Bay with gorgeous views of the city, and a redwood and eucalyptus forest nestled in some hills above the wineries of Sonoma County. But the thing about each place that most touched my imagination were the modern ruins, pictured above. On Angel Island, in various states of disrepair, the buildings of that island's most recent history as an immigration checkpoint and army base still stand, eerily. And, in Jack London Park, we marveled at and wandered through Jack London's dream home, which burned to the remaining stone foundation just a few weeks before he was to move in. For additional and assorted photos of both of my excursions, go here and here. Better yet, visit the ruins yourself.