for many months, for over a year, i biked to work every single day.
a few months ago, i moved further out, so i resigned myself to taking muni. this wasn’t so bad. after all, i could read and read and read and read to my heart’s content, and i did.
then last thursday, the official 2013 bike to work day in SF, i took the opportunity to bust out my bike. it wasn’t actually that bad. slight downhill on the way over and more than a slight uphill on the way back, the total riding time came out to a little over an hour. it was a beautiful day.
after that, i decided that it wouldn’t be so bad to bike to work once a week. without picking any day in particular, i actually followed through this past monday morning. i’d heard from someone else that it’d be the warmest day of the week which, even though i don’t put much faith in the bay area’s meteorologists, gave me a place to start my new weekly tradition.
yesterday morning, due to the unprecedented release of a new Daft Punk studio album in my conscious, adult life, i reserved my muni commute for Random Access Memories. later, my coworker gave me a ride home. these two instances combined meant reading was put off for another day, but no matter. today, over the course of there and back again, i flew through all five acts of Oscar Wilde’s blank verse drama called The Duchess of Padua.
The days are over when God walked with men,
But Love, which is His image, holds His place.
When a man loves a woman, then he knows
God’s secret, and the secret of the world. (III)
it was astounding.
the hundreds of words of the day sank under my skin while i danced around my house to the Postal Service, did the dishes, and practiced some bass. eventually the bass made me feel hungry, so i decided to make the most decadent breakfast ever: fried way too much bacon for one person, threw sliced mushrooms in the leftover grease (then removed them), and toasted bread w white cheddar cheese while frying a couple eggs in the grease. finally, lay down some spinach on the open-face bread’s melted cheese, bacon on the spinach, mushrooms on the bacon, and eggs on the mushrooms. divine.
a little too divine perhaps. after all, i’m getting to be 25. should a man be eating so much bacon and cheese and grease that his cheeks are full while he’s sticking further strips and bits inside? maybe. but maybe i should be trying to counterbalance it a little bit too. why not a bike ride tomorrow?
indeed, it would solve one other problem… my reading too fast. sometimes when you read six plays in a row, they sort of run together instead of really seeping in. i tried to counterbalance this by trading off genres with other genres (drama >> philosophy >> fiction >> etc) but that honestly wasn’t that effective. they’re all just words and words are weary.
so, the idea: bike in between every finished work.
many-colored, like a rainbow.
an enormous arcipluvian flag stands tall and erect at the corner of Castro and Market.
having no trace of life or organic remains.
sometimes, after several consecutive weeks of attending desert raves, she begins to feel azoic.
having an ample bosom with a deep cleavage.
no man can feel sorrow while buried in the warmth of his bathycolpian honey.
an abnormal fear or dislike of slime.
blennophobia need not deter you from riding BART, for their metal slugs move by electricity.
make a buzzing sound.
deter your amplifier from unnecessarily bombilating when not in use by muting your guitar.
another name for heartburn.
in order to alleviate my brash symptoms, i have seriously cut back on coffee, alcohol, and spicy food for the entire month.
a useless or valueless object.
if you’re looking for a brimborion, look no further than your own quarters; we’re all guilty.
to the joy of all those around her, even the silliest joke will cause Dorothy to cachinnate.
a malevolent spirit or person.
some believe a proper airing of sage sufficiently sends cacodaemons on their way.
the use of a word in a way that is not correct, for example, the use of mitigate for militate.
in order to avoid catachresis, either avoid tedious people or don’t speak at all.
having an onion-like smell or taste.
the year i discovered the power of cooking with onion was the year all my dishes became cepaceous.
an obsession with bed rest.
when i am with my love, my clinomania returns in full force.
of, relating to, or characterized by a symbiotic relationship in which one species is benefited while the other is unaffected.
Man’s relationship with Nature is purely commensal, no matter the protests of environmentalists, for nothing we do could permanently damage the Earth.
the act of drinking together in a company.
with so many frequent compotations occurring in the city, there’s rarely a reason to suffer the bottle alone.
crime passionel (n.)
a crime, typically a murder, committed in a fit of sexual jealousy.
establish ground rules in advance, lest your ménage à trois transform into a crime passionel.
living in or on trees; arboreal.
many dendrophilous creatures regularly gather on Hippie Hill.
(of a rock formation, region, etc.) producing or yielding diamonds.
how depressing to think that the recently discovered diamantiferous planet will soon be soaked in blood.
inflammation of a testis.
though males rarely protest enlargement in their genital region, didymitis is never welcomed.
period of sexual inactivity between “heats.”
female cats enjoy their dioestrum by not screaming like maddened banshees.
an incision of the lens of the eye, as for removal of cataract
cross my heart, hope to die, discission.
a person who collects the opinions and conjectures of ancient Greek philosophers.
in the 21st century, somebody should carry a lamp around the city streets; when asked what for, they should reply, “i’m looking for an honest doxographer.”
a liturgical formula of praise to God.
remember to regularly read your doxology, and nothing will happen.
with a dragon-shaped head.
to know if your cat can transform into a dragon, simply determine if it is dracocephalic.
mental breakdown from too much boozing.
contrary to common belief, ebriection cannot be alleviated with daily drinking.
weird and sinister or ghostly.
keep halloween eldritch, not slutty.
a medicinal substance mixed with honey or another sweet substance.
take this electuary if you want to see tracers.
pain in the head; headache.
don’t say you’re suffering from encephalalgia, unless you want your head to hurt more.
involuntary defecation, esp. associated with emotional disturbance or psychiatric disorder.
rumor has it there exists a sonic frequency and amplitude capable of invoking encopresis in all those who hear it.
speech that is not audible or visible.
my computer and i get along fine communicating with endophasia alone.
attracting the opposite sex, as the colors of certain birds.
what is it about gay men that women so often find epigamic?
an excessive love or reverence for knowledge.
only a christian would accuse one of epistemophilia.
requiring a desert habitat.
eremophilous are those who return to burning man every single year.
doesn’t Meryl’s feather sequined skirt look just fantabulous?
the delusion that one has become a cat.
there’s nothing wrong with a little galeanthropy, so long as you keep it to the bedroom.
even from a young age, the Coker twins spoke proficient galimatias.
go around from one place to another in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment.
in Las Vegas, gallivanting has far surpassed all other modes of transportation.
to be content and happy due to a stomach full of beer.
the gambrinous man smiled a smile as peaceful as the Buddha.
the fear of getting married, being in a relationship, or commitment.
after several successful dates, he found her to be a perfect match in every way… except she did not share his gamophobia.
the globose man smiled a smile as peaceful as the Buddha.
an urge to look at sexually-explicit, obscene, scatological, lewd, vulgar, pornographic, or offensive pictures.
most people rarely experience grapholagnia until they gain access to the Internet.
a fear of nudity.
anyone born with gymnophobia must first and foremost be afraid of themselves.
irrational fear of or aversion to women.
gynephobia mixed with gymnophobia makes Jack a dull boy.
someone who is fond of nibbling on a woman’s ear.
lend me your ear, and i will sing you the song of the gynotikolobomassophile.
a slave or prostitute in the service of a temple (as in ancient Greece).
ever since the decrease in hierodules, worship just hasn’t been the same.
of or relating to the present day.
the hodiernal rising of the sun is one of the few things you can depend on in this world.
making horrible sound.
Trent Reznor thrives in horrisonant composition making.
1. confused; disorderly.
2. secret; clandestine.
in love, as in war, all is huggermugger.
diminished sensitivity to stimulation.
hypaesthesia is a natural part of growing up, and death is its ultimate conclusion.
an abnormal pleasure in anything.
given enough MDMA, one’s tendencies to hyperhedonia rapidly accelerate.
an idiosyncratic language invented and spoken by only one person or very few people.
each and every one of us hones an individual idioglossia, no matter what we want to believe.
ignis fatuus (n.)
a will-o’-the-wisp. something deceptive or deluding.
i am an ignis fatuus, not a firefly, declared the proud bug.
people claiming to possess special enlightenment or knowledge of something.
the true conspiracy: everybody purporting they know the truth behind all conspiracies are themselves members of the illuminati.
not subject to birth; self-existent.
the best music, innascible, we know before we hear.
suddenly emerging in the midst of something.
human consciousness is an endless chain of intersillent thoughts in an ocean of nothingness.
the state or condition of dying without having made a valid will or without having disposed by will of a segment of the property of the decedent.
so far, i am on track for intestacy, though my only dying wish is for my funeral to be a disco.
fringed with long pendent hairs like a mane.
she could not resist stroking his jubate head.
ideal physical and moral beauty.
adhere to strict kalokagathia to ensure certain disappointment in love.
the delusion of things being more beautiful than they are.
either Human After All is a wonderful work of sound and art, or i merely suffer from kalopsia.
Joy Division and Spacemen 3 specialize in the art of musical kippage.
nobody gave a shit.
so, when three in the afternoon rolled around, and he started feeling physically anxious, he decided to message one of his coworkers. “so yeah i suppose we should do stuff?” “yeah, probably,” she said, “but first i have to go pee.” he watched her get up from her desk and awkwardly walk in the direction of the restrooms, after which he looked out the corner window once more, this time taking in the glorious city sun. goddamn. his coworker returned, pinging him, “so should we do that thing?” “i don’t know. i don’t really care.” “me neither.” “what if i just left?” “nobody would give a shit.”
he packed his backpack as if it were already 1700 and walked out. nay, he unlocked his bicycle and raced away in a fury. where to? who knows, chaos, anxiousness unleashed knows not direction.
if only there were somebody in the city who enjoyed weirdness, who didn’t have a typical 9-5 job, and… were a pretty girl. pulling the bike over to the side, he whipped his phone out and tease-texted Claire. she was studying at her place in NoPa, so he proposed meeting her in the Panhandle for sun and thursday strangeness. intermittent texting, biking, texting, biking, he honed in on the Wiggle, in case it’s a sure thing. he pulled over on Dolores and 16th, and checked his phone. she has ballet in an hour. not gonna happen. he looks up at the Mission. hm.
after biking across the street, he pokes his head into the gift shop, and learns that the self-guided tour is $5. perfect. he locks his bike up, ponies up the cash, and enters the chapel. Mission San Francisco de Asís. founded in mid-1776, it is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco. the large wooden door shut behind him, and he was alone, surrounded by an aura of sacred nostalgia. spiral staircase, triangles on the ceiling, rows and rows of wooden pews, and a lavish altar. he breathed and stepped lightly, stopping every few feet to snap photos (some of which he sent to his hardworking friends to make them feel some combination of envy and confusion). Chris replied, “say a little prayer for me,” but all he heard in his head was Madonna.
stepping out of the chapel, he found himself in a narrow, sunlit courtyard. directly in front of him lay a diorama depicting the Mission as it may have looked to a soaring seagull in the 18th or 19th century. Twin Peaks and Mt. Davidson looming in the background, a stream (!) running through to the foreground, and, directly in the center, a self-satisfied father looking down with easy pomp on the scattered natives working on various labors all about the scene. what a dream it must have been for the Ohlone people, from 4000 B.C.E through the millennia, exploring the San Francisco Bay Area up and down long, long before it was the San Francisco Bay Area. they were hunter-gatherers, subsisting on crushed acorns, nuts, grass seeds, and berries, or mussels and abalone if they were lucky. the men went naked, generally. the women got tattoos. there houses were either woven huts seated upon the ground or conical structures made from redwood. though there may have been war from time to time, there was balance. then came the Christians.
he breathed a deep breath and opened his eyes. he was sitting in a pew, completely alone, in the vast basilica, built in the 20th century just adjacent to the original Mission chapel. there was Jesus, bleeding and tormented on the cross, a martyr. and yet, nobody remembers an Ohlone martyr. indeed, no one among us knows the name of a single Ohlone. he looked with disgust at the sheer decadence of the church, from the pretentious dome to the gilded furniture to the vast organs. money, money, money, and humanity. perhaps the most difficult thought to swallow was how natural it all seemed; suns engulf worlds, bolides and volcanoes trigger mass extinctions, and Spanish Franciscan friars bind harmony in shackles. life feeds on life feeds on life feeds on life, as they say.
swallow the idea he did, though, and he breathed deeply once more. Music always helps, so he began to hum the tune to the only Memorial Acclamation he knew: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” he took a cursory look around the huge church, just to make sure, and sang the same tune… this time with his mouth open. “ahhhhhh-ah, ahhhhhh-ah-ahhh, ahhhh ahhh ahhh ahh ah.” and then a third time, without even scoping the church for strangers, full lyrics and all.
rising, he stepped to the mini indoor fountain, respectfully trickling water in obeisance to the vast silence surrounding. it was nice. he turned on his heel toward the organ, and reached under the cover to see if he could strike a key. nope. how about the pedals? nothing.
finished with the basilica, he returned through the door he came, emerging once more in the sunny courtyard. he quickly toured a small room packed with artifacts from both the Spanish friars and the Ohlone, including clothing, jewelry, and other miscellaneous possessions of the dead. from there, he meandered over to the cemetery.
larger than the chapel but smaller than the basilica, Mission Cemetery is the last standing human burial ground in the city. the earth there appeared to him at a glance to be largely composed of “white people,” for no names etched there sounded Ohlone. no matter, for the dead have no race. perfectly perpendicular turns awaited him every fork in the road so that the entire place began to feel like a labryinth, a playful trick of its morbid designer, no doubt. across the way, he spied the large stone statue of Junípero Serra, the friar who founded the Mission chain in California. he looked a depressing fellow, though formidable and steadfast, apparently doomed forever to direct his downcast gaze toward Earth. behind him, a replica of an Ohlone tent lay humbly, though, too, formidable and steadfast. he who had a moment ago eyed the religious statue w mild aversion, now sat inside the hut, cross-legged, looking out into the remainder of the cemetery. he closed his eyes and breathed deeply. he wished he could construct a hut in the Ohlone fashion. he wished he could sleep under the roof with his lover, he wished they could feast on berries in the morning, nuts in the afternoon, and abalone at night. he wished many things that could never be, or might have already been.
foreign voices awoke him from his momentary daydream, so he stepped out of the hut, assured the tourists standing there they did no harm, and left the Mission.
how funny, he thought to himself, would it be to journey from the lowest point of the city (where pompous assholes in the name of religion had eradicated harmony in the name of Silicon Valley) to the highest point in the city, Mount Davidson. so, after just a cursory glance at the map, he flew southwest. where he erred, he wouldn’t realize until sitting upon the rocky slope of Glen Canyon Park, was not understanding that, between the Mission and the Mount, there lay Glen Canyon Park. and what a canyon it was. he biked not without struggle across its narrow, precarious dirt roads, stopping just once to rest on a large rock formation. it reminded him of Greece. it was calming, but he was starting to feel hungry and it was almost time to go home.
out of the sun into the thicket he dragged his mountain bike, ducking underneath low-hanging branches and stepping over earth-breaching roots. when he finally reached a major road again, he knew he was near Twin Peaks but was at a complete loss as to the location of Mt. Davidson. another day, he resigned, as his stomach grumbled a warning.
Tower Burger, thankfully, arose just a few blocks down Portola. one Tower Burger, one small chocolate shake, and one order of onion rings, please. nearly $20 for the nearly 25-year-old’s meal, zero regrets.
it’s interesting stuff, even for an unmarried 21st century man like myself, but not necessarily what you want to be caught reading in an aisle seat surrounded by restless commuters in the middle of rush hour. oh well…
It is true that no joy in the world of mortals can compare with that derived from the knowledge of the Creator. Second, however, and subordinate only to this, are the satisfaction and pleasure arising from the possession of a beautiful woman. (xv)
do i buy it? i’m fascinated by religion and often even consider myself a pretty spiritual person, but i’m not sure i’m quite yet on the level of putting something like “knowledge” above “pleasure.” why can’t we have it all and just admit that “knowledge of the Creator” is the same thing as “possession of a beautiful woman”? in all seriousness, i’ve found myself suggesting this very notion especially when discussing music. for sex is a kind of rhythm, despite Chris arguing it not being a very good song, and therefore maybe it’s the rhythm of the Creator. oh dang. also, yes, we’re all uncomfortable with the word “possession” when applied to “woman,” no matter how “beautiful.” moving along.
And thus all you who read this book shall know how delicious an instrument is woman, when artfully played upon; how capable she is of producing the most exquisite harmony; of executing the most complicated variations and of giving the divinest pleasures. (xvi)
delicious indeed. no matter how true this selection might be, one can’t help but imagine it coming from the twisted mouth of a sleazy old monster hiding in some horrible saloon caught halfway between Middle Earth and the Tenderloin.
by the way, i thought it’d be helpful to see the illustrations i saw while reading this text. also, picture the guy sitting next to me on the metro thinking to myself, “oh jesus i’m sitting next to a fucking creep.”
Before proceeding to the various acts of congress, the symptoms of the orgasm in women must be laid down. As soon as she commences to enjoy pleasure, the eyes are half closed and watery; the body waxes cold; the breath after being hard and jerky, is expired in sobs or sighs; the lower limbs are limply stretched out after a period of rigidity; a rising and outflow of love and affection appear, with kisses and sportive gestures; and, finally, she seems as if about to swoon. At such time, a distaste for further embraces and blandishments becomes manifest: then the wise know that, the paroxysm having taken place, the woman has enjoyed plenary satisfaction; consequently, they refrain from further congress. (19)
the first thing that comes to mind for me while reading this is… how scientific! it all sounds about right, but i can’t in good faith verify any of it. if i compare this to what i see in porn, i’d be a laughing stock for believing porn to any degree. and if i go off of personal experience, well, let’s just say i’m not exactly in a studious mood while engaging with a women undergoing “paroxysm.”
The following are the signs by which the wise know that woman is amorous:–She rubs and repeatedly smoothes her hair (so that it may look well). She scratches her head (that notice may be drawn to it). She strokes her own cheeks (so as to entice her husband). She draws her dress over her bosom, apparently to readjust it, but leaves her breasts partly exposed. She bites her lower lip, chewing it, as it were. At times she looks ashamed without a cause (the result of her own warm fancies), and she sits quietly in the corner (engrossed by concupiscence). She embraces her female friends, laughing loudly and speaking sweet words, with jokes and jests, to which she desires a return in kind. She kisses and hugs young children, especially boys. She smiles with one cheek, loiters in her gait, and unnecessarily stretches herself under some pretence or other. At times she looks at her shoulders and under her arms. She stammers, and does not speak clearly and distinctly. She sighs and sobs without reason, and she yawns whenever she wants tobacco, food, or sleep. She even throws herself in her husband’s way and will not readily get out of his path. (29)
if you think that sounded straightforward, then prepare yourself:
The following are the eight signs of indifference to be noted in womankind:–When worldly passion begins to subside, the wife does not look straight between her husband’s eyes. If anything be asked of her, she shows unwillingness to reply. If the man draw near her, and looks happy, she feels pained. If he departs from her she shows symptoms of satisfaction. When seated upon the bedstead, she avoids amatory blandishments and lies down quietly to sleep. When kissed or toyed with she jerks away her face or her form. She cherishes malicious feelings towards her husband’s friends; and finally, she has no respect nor reverence for his family. When these signs are seen, let it be known that the wife is already weaned from conjugal desires. (29)
“i swear to god she was making no clear signs whatsoever. all she ever did was JERK HER FACE AWAY anytime i tried to toy with her… how the hell was i supposed to know she didn’t want sex?” part of me wants to give the author a break because this was written in the 15th century, but then other times he proves that he’s actually somewhat ahead of his time:
And, moreover, let it be noted that the desires of the woman being colder, and slower to rouse than those of the man, she is not easily satisfied by a single act of congress; her lower powers of excitement demand prolonged embraces, and if these be denied her, she feels aggrieved. At the second act, however, her passions being thoroughly aroused, she finds the orgasm more violent, and then she is thoroughly contented. This state of things is clean reversed in the case of the man, who approaches the first act burning with love-heat, which cools during the second, and which leaves him languid and disinclined for a third. But the wise do not argue therefrom, that the desires of the woman, as long as she is young and strong, are not the full as real and urgent as those of the man. The custom of society and the shame of the sex may compel her to conceal them and even to boast that they do not exist; yet the man who has studied the Art of Love is never deceived by this cunning. (32)
basically, only an idiot believes a woman who plays along with society, pretending to be less interested in sex than men. even the first part feels pretty spot on. guys just want to put it in, jackhammer, come across the world, and sleep. women need time to get worked up. and how do you take your time? well there are SEVEN different places you can kiss her!
And understand at once that there are seven places highly proper for osculation, in fact, where all the world kisses. These are–First, the lower lip. Second, both the eyes. Third, both the cheeks. Fourth, the head. Fifth, the mouth. Sixth, both breasts; and seventh, the shoulders. (100)
and those are only the “highly proper” places ;)
really, i could be copying so many more massive chunks of the text to this blog, so i’d better stop there. but before i go, let me leave you with the footnote on the term “Purushayitabandha,” which “is the reverse of what men usually practice. In this case, the man lies upon his back, draws his wife upon him and enjoys her.” (125) the footnote reads:
This position is held in great horror by Muslims who commonly say, “Cursed be he who makes himself earth and woman heaven!”
so she can be on her back, on her side, standing up, sitting on you (if you’re sitting), and on her belly (or all fours), but Allah forbid! she catch you on your back? please, you should try being earth every once in awhile. it’s quite humbling.
inch wide deep fried tacos full of chicken and love
too deep, still good
a lazy j
green tea for me, chamomile for her
i had spent the night before, on the date of the vernal equinox, with a little lover of mine. as we often do, we drank wine and enjoyed each other’s company in one of the most ancient activities: cooking and eating. she did most of the cooking, i did most of the eating. it was a beautiful, beautiful night, like so many others we spend together.
a month later, and the universe seems so different and so much the same. so different because the reality of a new Daft Punk album (itself exactly one month away) became so much more real with the official release of “Get Lucky.” so much the same because i’m still fueling my dance parties w Daft Punk. so different because “the perfect situation” has come to a head. so much the same because i don’t think it’s gone to my head.
my roommates and i (with special guests Micah and Allison) threw a party on friday. a crazy fucking party.
as far as i’m aware, this is the only photo of Micah and me that exists from the night. sums it up well.
leading up to the party, i thought about the party a lot. one, i doubted city people’s abilities to mobilize and get their asses out to a house situated in a residential neighborhood so far south i sometimes think i’m back home in daly city. two, i doubted digital people’s abilities to remember a party, unannounced on facebook, would actually be taking place.
fuck a doubt.
by happy hour, Micah and Allison were smoking and playing cards in the open garage. Cameron and i were upstairs causing a electric guitar drum racket. Chris and Brendan came over next, adding to the noise. fuck the noise, i said, so i started playing King Crimson. then James Brown. then Madonna. then some disco gold… but it may have been premature. 10 going on 15 people were sitting in a circle in the living room playing king’s cup, and i, the only one abstaining, was also the only one dancing. so i switched to the Clash. that’s when my entire family walked in… mom, dad, and the brothers. they mixed right into the party, actually successfully disbanding the stupid drinking game and turning it into a real hangout. my dad gifted me a bunch of bottles of liquor from the house, most of them near empty. (beggars can’t be choosers.) my mom throws a frozen lasagna into the oven. (i never see it again.) more and more people keep filing in. i find myself on the couch talking to Nick, and the subject of “Get Lucky” arises. we are thenceforth fucked, we decide to play it immediately. (in my mind, “immediately” starts at the end of the currently playing record.) Grayson walks up the stairs and i’m all smiles, telling him he’s arrived at just the right moment… if that Clash record will just finish. it finishes, and the first play of “Get Lucky” goes around. by the end of the night, taking into account the back-to-back plays around 0400, we probably listened to it six times. nobody ever complained… no, everybody just danced w glee. who complains when a classic song gets played again? i weave through Daft Punk’s older, deeper tracks, Michael Jackson, disco, disco, disco… and start feeling famished, mentally. Arianna subtly suggests taking over the djing and i happily oblige. always trust a girl who goes topless at parties. at one point, high and happy in the hallway, surrounded by strangers, i start melting into the walls ecstatic about the Motown (Diana Ross!) dance party happening in my living room, happening completely without my ever having touched the play button for that particular track. there ain’t nothing like curation. i can’t take it all in. too many beautiful faces. too many brilliant minds. so much long hair, so much style, so many glimmering, so many wild. squeeze me to sleep, so pleased.