Saturday, October 30, 2004

NY Journal # 16

Saturday, October 30, 2004
Ahhhh, Irvine. what to say, what to say? nothing really. about Irvine at least. My mom is perpetually a few words short of full sentences and gets frustrated by it. Over and over. My dad is doing ... far more than i thought him capable of, far more than i'd think anyone capable of in fact. It's pretty amazing. I dont think i ever would have thought of him as a caregiver. Very nice to see. Also nice to see is demonstrative love. Outward caring. Visible compassion. Me? I seem to be pretending that nothing is all that wrong. Or that it's temporary. or a minor illness. or... i dont know. more later.

Friday, October 29, 2004
I dont want to talk about it.... which is maybe why I should.

The only constant in the universe is that everyone, everything... dies. The great stage mananger of the universe seems to be in the process of directing my mom off stage. Exit... stage left. No, not now... wait for it... wait.... on my cue........ keep holding.....

Glioblastoma Multiform, grade IV brain cancer, the least survivable cancer, cells multiplying out of control. cells. this is all about cells. sure on some level it's all about atoms but here, with cancer, it's all about cells. you cant see cells. how often are life's problems determined by things so small you cant see? so small. death isn't small.

A year and a half ago, my parents visited New York. We walked and walked and walked all over the city on a typical out-of-towners whirlwind tour of NY. We saw everything, ate pizza, took pictures. took pictures in Central Park. the Ramble.
1 month later, sitting in the small room at home, computer chair creaking as I rocked slightly, the feel of my cell phone headset wire taut from ear to pinched fingers as I held it, I listened to the description of the "eye stroke" my mom had.
Eye stroke?
4 days later. more tests.
Not a stroke. no.
3 days later. more tests.
no. please no.
crying. in the shower.
again, so vivid a memory.
the first release.
first of many.
many firsts.
each bad news received is a first.
2 weeks later.
everyone present.
the hospital, the waiting room.
then hope.
medication. then hope.
wait. repeat.
then wait.
where did hope go?
still there, we all say loudly.
a stranger lurks in the corner.
then the call.
the recent call.
so small.
the phone.
the voice.
no longer
treatment ceased.
the stranger stepping forward.
no. but what if,
the strangers hand on my shoulder..
but.. all those survival stories..
c'mon, cant....
but you have.
given up.
but why.
this stranger,
this truth or acceptance or reality,
take your pick..
he doesn't need to say why.

(pardon the prose.... i haven't written a poem since... high school? not sure why i just did, but it let me both focus on and be distracted by what's going on)

AND SOOoooo.........I dont want to talk about it. Although I just did. I dont want condolences. though i've already received them... I dont want anything from anyone who 'wouldn't' if my situation were happy roses and rainbows. I have no time or energy for it. The falseness of un-fair-weather help just magnifies it's own falseness. These mental pathways that I hardly ever use: depression, anger, neediness, panic - are on fire.. So active are my synapses firings, i fear i'll get taken down in the battlefield crossfire. Every three minutes or so I have to consciously un-tense my back muscles. Every 10 to 15 minutes, I snap out of a cross eyed stare at my computer screen. Every 30 mins to an hour, waves of panic, some small, some massive, crash over me. Every few hours, I am fine, and able to cope completely. And then not. AND Every Damn Day for 17 months, my mom has been dying. And then not. And then, and then.....I fly out West this afternoon...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

FOR those of you that dont know about, it's an online (really?) bulletin board where people can: buy stuff, sell stuff, find apartments for sale/rent, list apts for sale/rent, meet guys, meet girls, meet others. you can trade stuff, offer stuff for free, you can rant and make wildly ridiculous claims to the gods of cyberspace.AND OhMyGoodGod - i seriously think the funniest people in the world have access to and use craigslist to purge themselves of pent up comedy, lest they explode:
----- and that The Best of Craigslist is better reading than... well... everything:
this one's awesome too:
oh and this one:
OH and the absolute best being:

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Why does it always take someone else saying something to get me to realize it's something I already believe myself..? How is it possible I can know and believe something but still actively try to produce results opposite to that end? Over and Over, I do this. what am I talking about? I'm not sure, but I think it involved pursuing the wrong girl. oh, and enjoying kissing and intimacy. A lot. and the conflict those two things will invariably create. for me at least. I guess I should start off with saying that I met a girl. She is quite awesome in so many ways: SuperIntelligent, SuperWitty, (which means) SuperFunny, she loves football, she reads ravenously, she loves bad tv, and I'm sure a dozen other things I could cite if I felt like it. There were, however, so many red flags that went from waving in front of my face to swatting furiously at me to trying to take my head off. And somehow, as always, i chose to Not see them... chose to believe they wouldn't matter. I thought that maybe ... given time or understanding, they wouldn't bother me or would go away. The old "Am I being too picky? Is anybody really perfect for anyone?" The flip side of that slippery slope is the futility of entering into, or staying in a relationship with the expectation that a person could change fundamental things about themselves... and that it would make everything ok. All of that aside.... here's a question: when did I become an intimacy whore? I mean, really. wait, Am I really one? I dont even.. objectively.. know! have I always been touchy-feely? is it just that it was something new that made me want to be so close to her? Seriously - Just this little recent taste of it made me realize I am more intimacy bound than I ever could have thought I was. touching hands, kissing, gentle touches... an arm around a back even... has been enough to pump adreneline and bring that heightened reality feeling we all..... that i thought we all craved. and yet, she doesn't. says she never has. i dont..... i just .... i dont understand. I knew, and know, that it wouldn't work... or that it shouldn't work. And yet, some part of me still wanted to pursue it. is it just the kissing and intimacy? seriously, i think it might be.... i miss dating and/or having-a-girlfriend and/or being-loved.... that part is not abnormal. maybe I'm just suprised by how Much i missed it. why am i typing this? because i'm pained by this situation. I admit it. frustrated. Stupid circumstance. I find what I think may be a perfect girl & then she turns out to not be perfect. And YES I want perfect (for me) so Dont Even Say It. And dont say "get back out there! date a bunch of girls!" Yeah, like I hadn't thought of doing that, Thanks...! I realized ... no, i admited to myself today, that the problem is that I am shy, and a chickenshit when it comes to starting conversations with girls. with strangers, I mean. i stayed out of the dating game too long. having a girlfriend all through college didn't help the ol' dating skills either. Could this recent nymph have just been any-ol'-girl to produce my current angsty state? Maybe, I dont know. Maybe any girl as smart, witty and attractive could have me in this much flux. I never realized how much I craved 'smart' and 'witty'. There is Absolutely Nothing sexier to me. It gives me goosebumps to be around single, smart girls with a quick wit. Attractive is nice and all but when the lights are out, attractive doesn't make you think or make you laugh.SOoooooooo... We're going the friends route. Which I'm really happy about now 'cause.. well... she's way cool. just not for dating. different peas in the same peapod field. (huh? ok, how'bout this instead) She's a bright burning candle and I'm an environmentally-friendly 65 watt soft-lite halogen bulb. And Yes, I'm girl crazy and Yes I think too much and Yes I need to get out there and Yes I really really think too much and Yes I need to play it cool and Yes a lot of things.I just miss ... so many things. ....about so many things.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Steve McCroskey : And I can sum it all up in just one word: courage, dedication, daring, pride, pluck, spirit, grit, mettle, and G-U-T-S, *guts*. Why, Ted Striker's got more guts in his little finger than most of us have in our large intestine, including the colon!

Steve McCroskey : Jacobs, I want to know absolutely everything that's happened up till now. Jacobs : Well, let's see. First the earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil. And then the Arabs came and they bought Mercedes Benzes. And Prince Charles started wearing all of Lady Di's clothes. I couldn't believe it.

Pilot: And that's when we lost Bill.
Prosecutor : Over Macho Grande?
Pilot: No. I don't think I'll ever get over Macho Grande.

Boy: Can I ask you a question?
Striker : What is it?
Boy: It's an interrogative form of sentence, used to test knowledge. But that's not important right now.

and .. if this isn't the best song in the universe, you're wrong, 'cause it is:
Belle and Sebastian - If She Wants Me

Monday, October 18, 2004

NY Journal # 13 & 14 & 15 - hair no more

Lucky 13 Journal ?
The Last Journal of Sampson
The Last Day and The First Day of the Rest of My Days

Yes... if you caught the biblical reference, you've guessed it: My long hair will be no more, as of tonight. All of it. Gone. 7 years in the making, now 4 days planning, and .. I'll guess it'll be 15 minutes in the offing. Why? I'll get to why. Needless to say, I've been operating under a somewhat heightened sense of reality these past 4 days as I count down to what is both a trivial change of a so very not-important physical appearance change and... at times, seems to be the beginning and end of everything I know...

Yielding to Delilah's requests, Sampson revealed his secret: "if my hair is cut off, then my strength will go away." - Judges 16:17
- Sampson took himself Way Too Seriously.

Hair as a symbol of identity: psychologists say that hair, before skin color and race even, is the first thing people notice. More than height or weight, facial features, all of it. Why? Well... it's right there, on top of your dome. Can you even avoid noticing someone's hair? Probably not.
Yeah, but why? Seriously, I don't know, stop asking. Whether or not we understand why it's so appearance-defining, there is both reason for attachment to your hallmark of identity - and also reason to be aware of this faux identity, rise above it, and not play the game.

And so I'll list that as # 1 on my list of Why's:
1. I'm sick of the 'game'. my hair does not define me. if it did for some people, fine, it's gone as of tonight. Now what?
2. No more morning 'hassle'. huge amounts of conditioner, leave-in conditioners, gel for broken, frizzy, split ended hairs. No more 15-20 minutes brushing, re-brushing, putting in a pony tail and often braiding. even after years of this, my arms get sore near the end of brushing and braiding. ridiculous.
3. No more ponytail. if I never wear my hair down, why have it? this has often been my # 1 reason for wanting to get rid of it. seriously, it does not look good down, it goes everywhere when down and gets bushy and ridiculous. Only when it's wet has it looked good down and seeing as how I don't live underwater, wet only lasts so long.
4. No more pulling hair out accidentally, breaking hair, getting hair caught in.... EveryThing possible, more split ends or uneven length due to breakage.
5. No more kitties walking on my hair at night.
6. No more not being able to wear hooded sweatshirts, comfortably at least.
7. No more relaxing the hair, straightening it, dying it and/or whatever else I've done to it over the years.
8. There is the practical, dating factor as well: Some girls really like guys with long hair... that's fine. It would have been nice to meet more of them while I had the hair. On the flip side: the -majority- of girls will not even consider dating guys with long hair. Would this ever be reason alone to cut my hair - hell no. Is it a fortunate bonus I'll enjoy - hell yes.
9. It stopped loo... no, -I- stopped considering it as 'looking good' -the majority of the time- a long time ago. Years maybe. the length of the pony tail and/or braid has always been a nice thing, but everything that comes in front of the ponytail is spotted w/ frizzy, broken pieces that -I've felt- has always made 'my hair' looked unkempt.

.... given more time, I'm sure I'd come up with a dozen or more reasons why it should go. It's taken an ever increasing level of bravery, of a detached awareness of the none-importance of hair (I should maybe blame this on that damn yoga and Zen theory) to take the leap and start again at Hair Square One.
AND SOoooooo... tonight, we are having a cut-all-my-hair-off party among our poker party friends, with, yes ... pictures to be taken at various stages of de-hair-ing. We are going to try to fit in as many different hair styles as possible in between full hair and no hair... I'll upload a slideshow once I get the pictures back.
I'll probably also post another journal in a few days, detailing the event and my adjustment to my new non-hair state.

Ok, I'm late to meet friends for football watching...

Long-Hair-Kory, signing off......

[I wrote the below on Monday since haircutting got delayed and in hindsight, i think i needed to keep proving to myself that it was the right idea. My home cable connection was down until today so I didn't have access to email addresses, or I would have sent this sooner]

Wellll... aint it just the way the hairball bounces. I open my mouth and out come lies, LIES i tell you! Hair cutting did not happen last night. It has been delayed a day or two due to.... well, I'm still not sure what happened. I was ready, my friends were not. It turned out to be a mild relief though - another day's reprieve for the condemned man standing at the gallows... uhh to speak. I was going to just do it myself, or have Matt do it but it was getting late & i figured 'screw it, it can wait a day or two'. A different friend will be on shearing duty tonight or tomorrow at the latest. I'm hoping it's tonight now 'cause I just want it over with at this point. [said 'friend' flaked... both days. what the F? ok, maybe it WAS just me who'd pay to be present for a friend's head shearing]

And as predicted, there are other reasons for cutting my hair that I remembered after sending the last journal: 1. No more hair ties, no more hair to be found all about the apartment, no more brushes full of hair, no more bathtub drain full of hair. no more immediate guilty-verdict when it's questionable 'who's hair that is' - a factor that will also help greatly in my future career as high society criminal. 2. no more being mistaken for random strangers friend with long hair. 3. no more having it be assumed that i know where to "score" illicit substances for people.4. Ah - no more dirty-fighting-liability; No, i most certainly am not planning on getting into any fights, but if it happens, I'll be happy to not have a nice ready, handle to be grabbed. 5. And my personal favorite reason: I -may- have a treasure map on my head. seriously, how will I know unless I cut my hair? Ridiculous you say? Fine. You shall not share in my pirate's booty! 6. Last but certainly not least, my hair is being donated to a group that makes wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. I figure with the amount of hair I have, I've got a whole hospital wing covered.

THINGS I MIGHT MISS ABOUT LONG HAIR: 1. Annoying all of the various corporate overlords, directors, managers, fellow employees. Anyone who's ever thought "how did that guy get hired?". I love it. If you cant see past someone's hair, .. I'm not even going to finish that sentence.. it would have ended with the mention of a good, swift kick in the groin being needed. Oops. i guess I just finished that sentence. 2. Braiding. Believe it or not, I taught myself to braid my own hair only after Elizabeth moved back West. Elizabeth had always done it for me prior to her move. Sure. Braiding is easy, braiding your -own- hair... not so easy. at first. Over the course of a week of practice, I gained the physical memory with my fingers to know how it should feel as it's done so that it's almost easier to do it Without watching what you're doing. It was... well, kind of exciting to learn something like that. It felt like learning to juggle... if you can juggle, you know what I mean.3. Warmth. Yes. I am picking the wrong end of our celestial swing around the sun to be going warmth-insulation-less. 4. My official membership in the Long Hair's Club: yes, it's sad. They make you turn in your gun and badge the day you leave the club. What? wrong c.. ..Ok, I'm being told that's a different club.5. The rare occasion when a girl would gush over my hair being "sooo beautiful" or jealous of it's length. The grass always being greener on the other side, my response was almost always "I'll gladly trade you" (they laugh and agree we should but always run when i actually bring out the scissors.. what the hell?!?)

AND ON THAT NOTE.... no more hair talk. at least not until it's actually gone and I'm crying like a safety-blanket-less baby.

SO.. ya, hey! I'm working a temp job! exciting, isn't it? No. the answer is: No. it is Not exciting. It is quite possibly award winning in it's capacity to bore. As in "a hole through my skull". As in "I have read every page on the internet with all of the free time I have, now what?". As in "I fall asleep on weekends just thinking about my job". As in "How is this worth $60 more than unemployment?". The job is at a telecom company that my roommate Matt was temping at before he got a permanent gig at the company his girlfriend works at. I'm doing almost the same thing I was at MCI and yet I never really thought of MCI as boring. Go figure. That's the work itself, the rest of it is somehow kinda cool. It's far downtown, 3 blocks from Wall Street, right at the southwest tip of Manhattan (across from Battery Park and right in front of South Street Ferry station if that means anything to ya) It's nice to be in the thick of an actual working "work" environment. Every place else I've worked has been too sparesly populated to feel like an actual "high traffic work neighborhood". Our building being so close to the water, I can take my lunch back to the office and eat lunch with a 180 degree view from New Jersey to Brooklyn, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island, Grovernors Island, etc included. It's pretty impressive. Even more impressive is the selection of food choices down here. Restaraunts, sure, but I'm talking about food carts and food trucks. Everything from Middle Eastern food to Indian to West Indies to Pizza to dumplings to BBQ to Fried Chicken to fruit shakes to American-diner fare. Most people would never even consider getting food from a food truck serving ethnic food... I'd hazzard to say that most New Yorkers thrive on it. Cute little old Jewish ladies getting jerk chicken, Suit&Tie businessmen closing a deal on their cell phones while in line for lamb over rice, construction workers queueing up for Indian. And all at least 30%-40% cheaper than the local restaraunts. The neighborhood itself is pretty fun to walk around in as well... of course ENDLESS upon endless historical sites (that's a lot of endlessness, eh?) in the area, Wall St a few blocks away, WTC 2 blocks from that, South Street Seaport 5 blocks, Bowling Green park and the Indian Heritage Museum, Battery Park.. it's all right here. I guess that means this was a part of town I hadn't previously explored all that much. Should I be suprised that I'm still discovering new parts of town? HA! right. I'd guess I've seen 1/1000th of this city so far, if that. OK - enough for now... Kory-with-hair signing off For REAL this time.

[P.S. we cut my hair last night. details and pictures to follow, in the next journal.]

NY Journal # 15
Ya. hey. it's cut. my hair, that is.I am happier than you could imagine. Sure, the hair looks good, I will admit, but mostly I am happy that I somehow wasn't overcome by paralyzing apprehension prior to the event or nervous tension during or panic after - like what I experienced 7 years ago when I last cut it. Seriously, I remember asking myself why I did it for months after that cut. This cut was much more 'my choice' which of course, being planned by me, involves an intentional lack of planning - something that understandably frustrates those around me but which -I- always really enjoy. So... my roommate Matt, my friend Chris and I prepared -as best we could- for the event: champagne, beer, buzz clippers and a tiny make-up mirror left by Elizabeth. Oh Ya. We then readied ourselves (ok, myself) for the event by watching a documentary the Trio channel had recently aired - American Mullet. If you couldn't guess, it's about Mullets... aka Sh-Longs, aka Sho-Lo's (for short/long) aka (said the documentary) "Mexican Gangbanger Cut" .... ?? ya, i dont get that one either. So, I figured, if anything could get me to shed my remaining attachments to something some people took so seriously and yet just made them look ridiculous anyway... this show had to be it. It turned out to not be Thee answer, but it helped. As the cutting hour drew closer, I had occasional thoughts that this was my last moment doing this or that with long hair... totally ridiculous, totally sentimental, totally counterproductive to severing a tie you intend to... well... cut. The movie ended, we moved to the kitchen and.. god bless 'em, Matt and Chris both looked at me with a look that said "no, ask Him to do it". I actually wanted to do the first few swipes of the buzz cutter so I was fine with starting. The plan was for a mullet cut on one side, a Mr T cut on the other and eventually, a long mohawk from front to back before it all came off. And more or less, as the pictures hopefully will show, that's what happened. Sadly, by the time we got to the mohawk, "time" itself had become an issue. We'd spent what felt like an hour getting to that point and we were all sick of it, so... the mohawk was a laying-down-mohawk, but some other crazy photo opportunities got set up, although I fear that they may have produced Fright-House-levels of scary pictures. So.... ya, it's done. cut. I haven't actually measured but I'd guess all of the hair on my head (facial hair included) is 1/8th of an inch long. Minus my eyebrows of course - ... no, i did not feel compelled to shave my eyebrows to match.

1. I still reach behind me to pull my pony tail out of newly put-on shirts.
2. My scalp is fun-durfully squishy!
3. I can fit into hats and wear hooded sweatshirts.
4. No matter how they try, Flapjack and Hambone can not step on my hair.
5. My head doesn't get nearly as cold as I thought it would.
6. No treasure map.
7. There are 3 really small spots where no hair grows, two of them I can trace to getting hit in the head with rocks as a kid. the other may be the alien probe insertion point.
8. 34 years of not having a shaved head makes your head very pale.
9. 7 years of long hair always in a pony tail is not good for your scalp.
ya... ok. pending-pictures aside, THAT now, really is enough hair talk.

OK. pictures are up. good to go. like my hair. Was:

And so on to other things: Have I mentioned how much I hate daylight savings [sic] time? I do, it's true. I know I'm not alone in this so where are the petitions and letter writing campaigns and mass demonstrations and chaos and anarchy? A great history of and commentary on Daylight Saving Time:
The highlight for me was: A writer in 1947 wrote, "I don't really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves." (Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks, 1947, XIX, Sunday.)

- Not my kind of yoga, but I love that he's doing it AT Fisherman's Wharf:
SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters)
-- Nudists, grab your yoga mats and head for San Francisco.
City prosecutors Wednesday said it was not illegal to perform naked yoga in the city -- even at the crowded tourist destination of Fisherman's Wharf.
Prosecutors dropped charges against a limber nudist, known locally as the "Naked Yoga Guy," who made a habit of striking yoga poses in the buff in order to promote a book and his lifestyle.
The Naked Yoga Guy, whose name is George Monty Davis, had stripped to stretch nearby Fisherman's Wharf, prompting a public complaint. But prosecutors decided they had a weak public nuisance case against him because local laws do not bar public nudity.
"Simply being naked on the street is not a crime in San Francisco," said Debbie Mesloh, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
"To bring a case, a person would have to exhibit lewd behavior, block traffic or impede pedestrians on a sidewalk, something along those lines."
In another case involving a Los Angeles teenager who dropped his pants to expose his bottom, or "moon," passing motorists from a nearby sidewalk, a California appellate court ruled nudity itself is not a crime, Mesloh said.
Davis could not immediately be reached for comment.