27 September 2011


I’m between the front door and the black SUV that I don’t understand being parked on our curb when the mailman intercepts me. “Did you know Maya is Indian name?” he asks me. I flick down the kickstand to my bike. “Yes,” I say, “two kinds of Indian.” “Do you know what it means in Hindi?” he wants to know. “I’ve always heard it means illusion, enchantment, the illusion of reality…” I falter. “No.” “No?” “It means money.” I laugh big. “Never heard that one before!” “Now when I see you, I say, 'What’s up, money?', handing me my mail.

26 September 2011

the big picture

A job in the academy may be damn well impossible to get, but at least you can publish a book. Your name you can't lose.

 I love a drummer who sings. Younger Lovers.

No time for art! Space Time, that is.

This used to be Mexico.

A dollar well-spent.

Caught myself wishing I had my camera on me today when I saw a girl on 40th Street, big sunglasses on, sporting camel-colored leather boots, smoking a cigarette with her left hand, riding a skateboard like it was nothing.

14 September 2011

a loop around the weekday

It took about two weeks for riding the bus to get old. Not that I mind taking the bus. I love mass transit for hearing slang (“Mac” for "Macarthur Boulevard"), music (on the bus to my high school in Sweden, techno; here, almost always hip hop) talk among people who may or may not know each other (business advice, life advice), young moms in Baby Phat managing shopping bags, stuffing sandwiches in the babies’ mouths and schoolkids on their way to McDonald’s rambling, ragging on each other and sharing (or not sharing) candy—but after my a bus ride that made me fifteen minutes late for a meeting that I had timed myself to be early for, I was more than a little dubious about AC Transit.

No matter how tired or unmotivated I’m feeling, I always feel better after I jump on my bike. It helps to know that I’m going somewhere. Plus, my bike is finally outfitted for the city: I changed out my quick-release skewers on my wheels for bolt-ons and finally got a U-lock, which means I don’t have to stuff my six-foot-long cable and Master lock in my purse when I go out anymore. The U-lock is just about as heavy, but it fits in a pocket, or I can hang it on a handlebar.

Riding to school for the first time went smooth as could be. It was sunny and just breezy enough to dry the sweat accumulating under my helmet. To get out to Mills, I rode downtown (easy, I’m used to that), around the lake that barricades the center of town (I’ll have to remember that riding through the tunnel was a lot better at night when there were no cars out), and a long stretch out International Boulevard. My ears, eyes and nose tried to keep up with my fast-pedaling legs to take in all of the sensations. True to its name, International is home to numerous Southeast Asian markets—excelling especially in Korean baked goods and produce—plus pho joints, mobile taquerias and an enormous Goodwill.

The ride home—during which I took a fat detour through Eastlake and wound the long way around the lake—ended up taking the same amount of time as riding the delayed bus, and I’m getting to know my way around parts of Oakland that I haven’t really seen yet. More and more pieces of the city fall into place as I cycle loops around my days.

12 September 2011

whatever works! you know? it's the world

Summer was characterized by a fair amount of mellow Merlot and it was good. I started school, but HÃ¥kan and Gunilla were still on vacation. Cheers to the new year with stellar coworkers. And my sister. Sparkly sake made fun fuel for September's Art Murmur and a glass of chocolate is always good with an old pal. Mornings find me brewing laughable quantities of gen-mai cha, which tastes like earth and anchors me between clumps of words.

10 September 2011

you're allowed to slow down and be happy with what you've got



So says my friend Esther, and I believe her.

And when what I've got is oatmeal, eggs, ketchup and sri racha and a letter from a dear friend to answer, I am one happy, happy lady.

04 September 2011

houses in motion

for a long time i felt without style or grace
wearing shoes with no socks in cold weather
  i knew my heart was in the right place
  i knew i''d be able to do these things

and as we watch him digging his own grave
it was important to know that was where he's at
he can't afford to stop... that is what he believe
He'll keep on digging for a thousand years

i'm walking a line - i'm thinking about empty motion
i'm walking a line - just barely enough to be living
get outta the way - no time to begin
this isn't the time - so nothing was done
not talking about - not many at all
i'm turning around - no trouble at all
you notice there's nothing around you, around you
i'm walking a line - divide and dissolve

never get to say much, never get to talk
tell us a little bit, but not too much
right about then, is where she give up
she has closed her eyes, she has give up hope

i'm walking a line - i hate to be dreaming in motion

i'm walking a line - just barely enough to be living
get outta the way-No time to begin
this isn't the time - so nothing was done
not talking about - not many at all
i'm turning around - no trouble at all
i'm keeping my fingers behind me, 'hind me
i 'm walking a line - divide and dissolve
  i turn myself around, i'm moving backwards and forwards
i'm moving twice as much as i was before
i'll keep on digging to the center of the earth
i'll be down in there, moving in the room

i'm walking a line - i'm visiting houses in motion
i'm walking a line - just barely enough to be living
get outta the way - No time to begin
this isn't the time - so nothing was done

not talking about - not many at all
i'm turning around - no trouble at all
two different houses surround you, 'round you
i'm walking the line - divide and dissolve

moving again
downsizing from a cottage to a bedroom
no hard feelings
reducing four keys to one
still hardwood floors
and wall-to-wall windows

01 September 2011


this oakland indie rock band currently on a month-long tour of the states is well worth checking out if you've got the time and inclination and aren't too shy to dance at a show like the fine one the other night at the uptown

their very visceral album "the shape of things" is exactly half an hour long and perfect for a morning run while waiting for the sun to come out