Showing posts from July, 2013

carmel is the new idyllwild

Our plan had been to camp for a couple of days in Idyllwild, where we’d once celebrated AK’s birthday in a luxury cabin and where, longer ago, I’d gotten a cheer-camp sock tan that made the remnants of my radiation burn look like nothing much. Then Idyllwild caught fire. It seemed tacky to complain about the dissolution of our vacation as people and animals’ homes were getting charred. Selfie with radiation tan. Meehan offered her dad’s house in Carmel as an alternative, so on Friday night we drove north instead of east. A couple of weeks before, Meehan’s wife Sally had told me, “Meehan and I were talking about how great you’ve handled these past months. So many people would have shut down, but you opened up and weren’t afraid to ask for help.” I’d almost cried right there in the middle of C.C.’s graduation luau. Lots of people had expressed admiration for my stamina during cancer treatment, but most had viewed my vulnerability as a sort of understandable evil. Well, of

black, white and orange

AK and I were going to see World War Z in the theater with the comfy couches, but instead we decided to see Fruitvale Station in the theater with the only-sort-of-comfy stadium seats, because we are socially conscious like that. Oscar and Tatiana. The movie depicts the police shooting of Oscar Grant, an unarmed African-American man who got into a scuffle with an acquaintance at a BART station early New Year’s Day, 2009. According to the film, the shooting happens as you might imagine: angry young black men, crowd roiling with energy and alcohol, outnumbered cops ready to put a bullet in their own anxiety. It’s hard to make a good movie about random violence because the nature of such events is that they’re quick, confused and, well, random. The film is fairly simple in structure, following Oscar’s day in flashback as he hangs out with his family and tries to get rent money without breaking the law or losing face. But this is no easy thing for a poor kid with a conviction r

i'm one too

1. blowing up I was driving to Stories to hear Michelle Tea and Wendy Ortiz read when I got stuck in a snarl on the part of the 2 that meets the 5. I’d heard that an oil truck blew up on the 5 earlier in the day, but I didn’t think traffic would still be backed up. I also didn’t understand why the traffic cones were pushing us from the 2 onto the 5. McSweeney's makes pretty books. Alberto, who’d been thinking about going with me, texted that he was going to hang out in Downtown L.A. that night, since he could get there by public transportation. Someone needs to come up with a name for that particularly Angeleno experience of basing your plans around traffic avoidance. CAReography? I sat on the freeway listening to NPR announce the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Earlier I’d heard a report where people were chanting, “Murder, not manslaughter,” so I was surprised to hear that the jury chose neither. I wasn’t on the jury, and I certainly wasn’t in Geor

urban fairy tales

1. come and knock on our door, take a stoop that is new AK and I really needed a break, so we decided to take a quick trip to San Diego this weekend. Then we decided we needed a break from labor-intensive breaks, so we canceled it at the last minute. Who says I’m not capable of spontaneity? That’s how we found ourselves, Sunday night, at Griffith Park watching the Independent Shakespeare Company perform a play not by Shakespeare (that’s how independent they are, I guess). It was called She Stoops to Conquer, an eighteenth-century farce by Oliver Goldsmith about a young woman trying to determine whether her betrothed is a tongue-tied goof or a lecherous Casanova. He has a rep for being the former with society ladies and the latter with barmaids. These cousins have to pretend they're in love. Of course! Most comedies of that era are basically Three’s Company episodes, which is why the heroine sets up elaborate ruses designed to reveal her man’s true character. The mo

celebration with an asterisk

1. the plasticity of the human spirit Things that are over: DOMA, Prop. 8, the Voting Rights Act, radiation. Things that aren’t over: racism, homophobia, my personal cancerphobia. I realize that this lead sort of equates my personal shit with important historical developments, but this is a blog about my personal shit as it relates to the larger culture, so there. My point is that last week was bittersweet, and that some endings come too soon and others come too late, and most are false in some way. Wednesday night I found AK’s long-lost iPad Mini under the passenger seat of my car while looking for my own newly lost phone. When I found my phone, I texted her the good news. She replied, “Can we celebrate at the York?” I told her that I was feeling fried—literally and figuratively—from radiation. I hadn’t played the cancer card much in my seven months of treatment, so I decided I’d use it to get some extra rest between then and Friday, my last day of radiation.