Wednesday, January 27, 2010


S called complaining that she is not Republican. Said she: "I prefer right-wing reactionary." Then she muttered something about the right of the citizenry to bear arms against the state, should it come to that. "I am just saying I see some sense in that ideology."

Monday, January 25, 2010

as is

I spent the weekend irritating my Republican girlfriend by nearly starting an olive oil fire whilst charring gyoza in her studio apartment and nearly ruining her very sensitive computer by setting her homepage to porn. Things dear S said to me this weekend included, "The great thing about your body is that it seems able to accommodate lots of fat," and "Hey, where did all those wrinkles come from?" It was okay because she runs like Mr. Burns. We spent time with our witty and amusing friends, e.g. R, who noted that "Tears of a Clown" was the only R&B song to his knowledge referencing Pagliacci, and M, who flicked us through twenty pictures on her phone of people photographed while shaking their heads violently, we drank nigori and ate lemon wafers to prevent S from becoming a raging green hunger monster, we held hands and looked at things, we argued whether the brain was a pie and whether "hipster"described a set of actual aesthetic preferences or mere vapidity, but mostly we just spent time with each other, in her apartment, sitting across the table from each other or lying in a heap. What a time, my S. At 4:30 this morning, I left in a livery cab. S's silhouette waved goodbye in the window. The cab driver told me that it was only "sicks, drunks, or men getting kicked out of their apartments by their girlfriends holding duffel bags wanting to be taken to mommy" calling cabs on the weeknight graveyard shift; I feigned interest. On the airplane, I covered the scrota under my nighttime eyes with complimentary eye shades, and slept until San Francisco. Work was not awful, but I am daunted by the thought that in the area defined by a radius of a quarter million documents laid end-to-end one can find 55 In-and-Out Burger franchises, if one is based in Los Angeles. I was supposed to study for the New York bar tonight but instead I have been playing with anagrams and Googling ways to make Boo's life better. The question is: a leather or nylon collar? Leather? Or nylon? My goal in writing this blog post was to reference testicles in four different ways. I WIN! This post is a testesment to my genius.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

point reyes

A weekend backpacking trip. R, C, O, Point Reyes. Drenched or damp for 60 hours. El NiƱo-like storm dropped 2" on us from Sunday night to Monday morning alone. Waves up to 20' in Pacifica. I vomitted twice on the winding road there, coffee and bagel.

(They took photos while I did this.)

Coast camp was 2.8 miles from trailhead parking lot, 200 yards from the beach. The land was rolling California scrub, grass and hardy-leaved low brush, but there was a solitary seventy-plus foot tall eucalyptus tree right where the trail forked to the beach. C called this "home tree."

We stood underneath it for an hour, showing each other moves. O the Roger Rabbit, me the pantomimes for walking, pulling a rope, being trapped in a box. C described workouts and we attempted to recreate them as rain dripped off the leaves onto us.

I wrote S's name in seaweed on the beach; I wished she were there. R and C took arm's-length photos of themselves and attempted handstands. O went to the cliffs and declared them "conglomerate rock," a lesson from her geology class. Later R read aloud from the map: "Standing near or under cliffs invites catastrophe."

Dinner was boiled and served. Night fell before 6 p.m. No one wanted to be out in the dark and the rain, so we passed the time supine, damp and defrosting in our sleeping bags, playing 20 Questions and Botticelli. O's crowning achievement was choosing "breadbox" as her object, to nullfiy the question "Is it bigger than a breadbox?"

A solitary female hiker had been missing for a week. Her car was still in the lot. Authorities said she must have been washed away by the tide. O told vague and terrifying stories while we were drifting off to sleep in our tent: "Now is a bad time to tell you this, but two people were shot in the head while they were sleeping in their tent, and the police never found who did it." We did not find the female hiker. We were not shot in the head while sleeping in our tent.

We walked for six hours on the second day. Twelve miles along the coast, up through the scrub, past occasional piles of gray stone, into the forested hills, then back down a rocky trail to home tree. It was at first overcast, then it was raining. At Arch Rock, I stood on a cliff a hundred feet over the waves and worried that a gust would blow us all into the foam. We ate tuna out of polyethylene bags as rainwater traveled down our necks into our raincoats and spray from the ocean muddied the trail. At the highest points, we walked past foggy meadows surrounded by dense stands of very tall, very straight Douglas fir trees with nothing but dead branches until the tufts of canopy at their very tops. There was light drumming all around. We walked all together, in pairs, and, toward the end of the day, alone, with distance between us.

We sang at times: bluegrass songs, Simon and Garfunkel, Everly Brothers. We played a familiar trail game, where participants take turns singing lyrics containing an agreed-upon key word. O won during the "rain" round. The game degenerated into grousing about Alanis Morrissette during a later round. We ate a container of Alouette cheese spread between lunch and dinner. Mice ate through a bag of nuts, pretzels, and gummy penguins.

I had strange dreams Sunday night. There were many, but I remember only two. In the first, a former best friend and I had reconciled at the local swimming pool. I kissed her, but she became a digital clock connected by flexible metal tubing to other robotic/electronic apparati and two ovoid rubber breasts. Her form did not faze me, but the perceived lack of intimacy did, and I said to the digital clock, "It's hard for me to know what you want me to do, because I can't see your eyes or hear your voice." The time on her face read 12:something. In the second, O drove the four of us down a long, narrow pier, at the end of which dozens of great white sharks thrashed and spasmed. The water level rose and O did not have the driving skill to reverse off the pier without driving us into the water. The water filled the car, and the sharks danced around us. When I told O about this dream, she said, "I love killer whales!" She had misheard me.

Monday we struck camp in a downpour and walked uphill two miles along a fire road-turned-stream to the car. Thousands of annelids swam in the channel. O remembered a mnemonic, Kings Play Chess On Fine Grain Sand, for kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species. We drove in a downpour to the city, where the sky was clearer, and brunch was served.

Monday, January 11, 2010

work life

At 1 p.m., I sent this email to IT: "Some of the vuttons on my keyvoard stopped working! Can I get a replacement keyvoard soon? I have an ergonomic keyvoard with the split down the middle. Thanks! Sorry for the typos!"

At 2 p.m., I sat on a brownie.

At 6 p.m., I was rolling around on a 36" foam tube on the carpet.

nunc pro tunc

A sudden memory from late 2007. We are in a meeting with Nancy. We are discussing a possible nunc pro tunc argument in the case S is working on. I write it down on my notepad; it is the only entry I make during that meeting. Afterward, S says, "You wrote 'nunc pro tunc' on that notepad, didn't you? I knew you would." We are both very pleased that she has said this.

I see it now, nunc pro tunc, as evidence that we were MTB.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


The patent bar requires applicants to swear an oath to "abstain from all offensive personality." WTH.

Fuck you! Plaids with stripes! Kittens for dinner!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

automated system

I called Fidelity to ask a question about my account today and was routed to an automated customer service system. When the mumble that came out of my mouth was unrecognizable as "Get a new PIN," the female voice on the recording said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't catch that." There was a little bit of hesitation and breath on "Oh," as if it were a real, live woman with wet legs apologizing, in earnest, while bending over the arm of a low couch. Lord, how a 401k was enrolled in then! I said there was no need to apologize, just to hear her apologize again.