na foine ting

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
The Rebecca I'm not married to wrote this today.

For me, she says.

It's nice to have her back around. And her front, too, actually.


Tuesday, March 30, 2004
The Hounds/Monkeys scrimmage last night was good.

Better than I'd ever expected, for reasons I didn't anticipate.

People dug down, dug in, worked their asses off.

I was proud to be there. Happy to play, even D.


Yeah, like that.

He's still in London, wondering if he should make a motorcycle trip to Cornwall in his spare time.

I'd make a motorcycle trip to Cornwall, if I were in England in spring with some time on my hands.


It's almost rote, now.

How you feel when you find out someone too close to you is positive.

The patter starts in your brain about all the advances and average life expectancy and a sick part of you rationalizes that you've expected this, and are used to it. It's happened a lot.

It's almost rote.

It doesn't make it any easier, really.

It doesn't.

Monday, March 29, 2004

People read my blog.

People read my blog I don't know are reading my blog.

People are reading my blog and drawing conclusions about me without talking to me directly.


No news there: welcome to free public press.


Let's see, where were we?

Today I showed up and comandeered rink time that belonged to someone else that didn't show up. An hour and a half of silence, a full sheet of ice, no one breathing down my neck or watching or making helpful comments about my shitty wrist shot.

That's bliss.


I have reservations about both teams I'm on.

I'm fairly certain they both have reservations about me too.


Suit up, play, win or lose. Life goes on, ultimately, and I can play hockey or stand around yapping. I'm happy to yap.

I'm happier playing, when it comes right down to it.


Gavin got his first breakaway on Saturday morning. His first breakaway, which involved him going so hard so fast so balls out that he went ass over teakettle but managed to keep the puck in front of him. His little buddy picked it up and scored, which I believes makes it also Gavin's first assist.

He also got a goal.

Only a month or so ago, his coaches were questioning if we were forcing him to be there.

"He seems like he's somewhere else," they'd say. Intimating he wasn't really present, wasn't really tuned in, was kind of fey.

They should try getting him into his sandals sometime. Now that's fey.

Bec and I both knew eventually he'd just click. Meanwhile he wanted to show up, got up of his own volition at oh dark thirty every Saturday, and sleepily nodded when we asked "are you sure you want to go?"

We knew him well enough to know he'd get there eventually.

Now he has the bug.

Wants the puck, wants the goal, wants the win.

You can tell.


Yeah, I quit subbing for Pirates because I didn't like putting in the hours, making a strong effort, going all out, being on time and there for practices and holding my weekend clear for the game and then not hearing either way if I was needed.

I've said without much secrecy that I want to be appreciated. You can call that "throwing a fit" if you like, although all I did was ask to be removed from the sub list. I didn't "walk off," nor did I send the angry emails I considered sending.

It would have taken one person saying "you're busting your chops and we all know it and appreciate it."

No one did.

In the end, it's the discourtesy and being taken for granted that I don't tolerate.

I don't apologize for that.

Not in public or in private.

So there you go.


Friday, March 26, 2004
Last weekend the balloon man at the Sunnyvale Farmer's Market made Gavin this insane balloon dragon.

Gavin, being Gavin, wouldn't so much as consider it without a sword to match.

I give you: Sir Gavin and the Dragon, accordingly.


Things I found out from Gavin just recently:

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Three deaths. Online communities are difficult; you think you maintain a margin of indifference, and you do until you realize the margin evaporated some time ago, and what you thought was remote has become dangerously proximate.

Someone asked for remembrances, and these were mine. I've been part of the community for seven years now, I think. Many of these people have become known to me, in person and just online.

Family, friends.



It was clever how she did it.
Separate without being aloof, private without being remote.

I learned about her in small pieces, those critical important details of her life which eventually would catch hold of me, seize me and make her matter to me in the way that only a handful of online friends ever do.

It wasn't just what she had gone through, not the incident that changed her life, nor the illness, nor that she was beautiful

--and for those of you lucky to have seen her, she was beautiful, you need to know how beautiful--

or that she sent us a bottle of vanilla liquor which we opened the night I found out she'd died and have meted out in frugal portions, savoring, ever since.

It wasn't just that I found out she was a cop and came to realize over time that she somehow had transcended all of what I struggled with in fire, somehow had retained her humor, her grace, her femininity while being totally up to the job.

It wasn't any of these things separately.

It was the total package, the unfurling revelation of who she was, offscreen as well as on, that got me.

So that despite the fact I'd never met her face to face, I took her death desperately hard.

Mourned harder than I have for lovers who have died.

That's how it is sometimes.

How you wind up with your life affected that deeply, by someone who cannot help but be somehow

that significant.


They say your voice "catches."
That hitch, where you are attempting to say something and for emotion, for tears, for sheer volume of what lies there to say, you are silent.

There is no correlation for that in writing.

But my hands hover over the keyboard and I start to think a line of words

or just one word


and find myself interrupted, arrested, unable to go on.

He was, as Susie said, expansive. A huge personality, a warmth and life which filled the room like his voice, talking with the intensity of a blowtorch on a variety of subjects all equally intense, relevant, important.

Even I -- *I* -- found myself half-cringing under the almost unbearable burn of his attention. Until I too caught fire, and we happily conflagrated, either in argument or agreement, it didn't matter which.

I stutter here, where you read.

I pause.

I say nothing of what I actually have to say.


When Jon killed himself, I couldn't get past selfish self-recrimination to simply mourn.
Those are the hard ones, I guess.

Where we knew we should have done more, where we knew we didn't do enough, and all the platitudes and cliches in the world don't matter for shit in the end.

I remember him out in the garden with a cigarette, looking down at G, who was crawling around on a blanket at his feet. Talking to him about something I couldn't catch, that slightly sardonic tone, as though G was not one and a half but also an old man on the lawn smoking a cigarette in the shade.

I didn't do enough. Not for Jon, not for Larry.

All I can do is be honest about the difficult ambiguity, I guess.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Maybe I didn't like to hear
But I still can't believe Speed Racer is dead
So then I thought I'd make some plans
But fire thought she'd really rather be water instead
And Peggy got a message for me
From Jesus
And I've heard every word that you have said
And I know I have been driven like the snow
This is cooling
Faster than I can
This is cooling
Faster than I can
But do I hate what she is
But do I want to be her
And don't we love something fresh
Anything new, virgin
Woman you got too many brambles
Hiding under these bushes
Woman you got too many brambles
But I always liked a good storm
I'm always good for a storm
So then love walked up to like
And said I know that you don't like me much
Let's go for a ride
This ocean is wrapped around that pineapple tree
And is your place in heaven
Worth giving up these kisses
These, these kisses
And Peggy got a message for me
From Jesus
And I've heard every word that you have said
And I know I have been driven like the snow, but
This is cooling
Faster than I can
Hey yes, faster than I can
Hey, this is cooling
This is cooling

Tori Amos, "Cooling"
Friday, March 19, 2004
Most days I don't feel gay.

I don't wake up in the morning and think: "wow, I'm gay."

Most days, in fact, I wake up and think "wow, it's early and why is there a Lego truck exploring the terrain of my feet and knees?"

I don't walk around with a sort of pink triangle consciousness. I live in a liberal area, so to a large extent, I feel like I'm just like everyone around me. Driving to work in my truck, thinking "wow, it's still early and God the blossoms are beautiful and *why* do I have to go to work today, exactly?" Just like everyone else.

Not: "Wow, I'm gay."

Every once and a while I get jarred out of my mainstream consciousness, though. Someone says "husband" and I correct "wife," or some credit card company or other argues with me about not being a spouse and so they won't talk to me about our credit card bill despite the fact that I'm the one who pays it.

These moments are few and far between, though. People treat me like they treat everyone else around them. As indifferently or badly or well, depending on the situation.

Some days, though, I feel gay.

Gay, isolated, different. The "them," the other. Some days I hear people around me talking about gay issues like I'm not in the room, discussing things like marriage and holding forth with their opinions like they have any actual stake. Or, conversely, like I don't.

Some days I'm the only gay voice in the room, trying to be reasonable and nonconfrontational, sometimes I'm extremely aware of representing a whole group of people who are being scrutinized, discussed and judged. I'm aware of what I say mattering hugely, of it having impact not just on me but on a huge group of people I don't even know.

I hold my tongue when someone starts on the "oh, I know a lesbian" or "my friend's cousin's mother is a lesbian and," understanding that it's meant to be reassuring and inclusive, though it feels exactly the opposite.

Or when someone starts in on me about Gavin and his development and male influence and how "all boys need a father."

I try to be understanding about my parents, about people close to me who were raised certain ways and sometimes struggle. I try to be understanding, to not take it personally, to not feel like their issues are somehow my fault.

I try to be an example to my son, who will have his own issues, and probably isn't even gay to begin with.

Some days I fail. Some days I know that my smile is tight rather than convincing. Sometimes someone quips about fags or makes a gay marriage joke in a regional conference call and I don't just sit there smiling. I get up and walk out of the room.

Because I'm human, in addition to being gay.

And not, in the end, able to be a shining political spokesmodel.

Some days I think:

"Wow. I'm gay."

And then

"I'm gay.

And really, really angry."


Thursday, March 18, 2004
Perspective is everything.

I think Brian, Naomi and I were all at a different hockey game, despite being on the same relatively small stretch of ice.

What's even stranger is I'm quite sure I was at the same game they were until the last half hour or so, so maybe I skated through some weird portal or something.

I was on D and miserable for the first part. We were playing four on four and as I usually am, mostly baffled by it, and as a result doing little more than puckchasing and tripping over the blue line.

Then I moved up to forward, and Brian (rink guy Brian, not Sparks) was with me, and suddenly it was forecheck forecheck forecheck, and all these sweet sweet opportunities, some of which actually translated to shots on goal and one extremely happy little actual goal on the Shooter Tutor (I so own that goalie).

Credit to Brian for working the most amazing offensive strategy game I've ever been in the middle of, drawing players to him and then sending me the puck at the perfect moment, so that I was in exactly the right place when I got it and then had loads of time to do whatever I wanted.

It was sweet... every time we got in, I was relaxed and confident because I knew he'd sort out something brilliant for us. All I had to do was not trip on my dick... or if I did, we'd sort it out, get the puck back and try something else. All games should be like that.

I learned a lot, too, about what owning the play looks like right in front of the net, and how it can all slow way down and you don't have to throw it around, blam blam blam.

Either that or everyone was sitting back on me because I was sucking, and all that time was compliments of the players who stayed off me and waited for me to score.

I'll pretend that wasn't the case, though. Cling to my dignity and illusions, to quote Burt Reynolds.


Speaking of, while watching Lynx whomp the Misfits 6-2 on March 7, I noticed one of the refs is a guy we play Vallco Friday pickup with.

Who is a bona fide hunk, and not only because of how closely he resembles MYSTERY, ALASKA's Michael Buie (Connor Banks, the grocer).

No, I'm serious. Dead ringer. Look:

As if I didn't have enough problems concentrating already...


Wednesday, March 17, 2004
This morning Bec and I discussed revising.

Along these lines:

"You should be revising 'Crawl' instead of [random disparaging comment about my large-scale procrastination scheme, High Thin Wire]."

I make a face. "I hate 'Crawl.' It sucks. I have no intention of revising it, it's beyond redemption and I never liked it to begin with and it has no actual story and the main character's uninteresting and I don't give a shit about her and it's ugly and its mother wears combat boots and--"

"And it's a good story and you should revise it." Like she knows what she's talking about. Well, actually, she does but that's beside the point.

"I don't revise." I try to muster some level of 'I am an artist' snootiness about it. She's silent, indifferently stirring her coffee, so I continue: "I'm like Mozart. I don't revise. I do it once, I don't go back and fix it."

She fixes me with a look. That look.

"Then be like Mozart and get it right the first time," she says.


Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Gavin wants to joust.

Not just for fun, but for a living.

You doubt me? Ask him sometime. "Gavin, what are you going to be when you grow up?"

"A knight."

"And what are you going to do?"


The answer hasn't changed for over a year.

Being the kind of parents we are, we've treated this with a degree of seriousness but tried to maintain perspective. Kids go through phases, they have their interests and hobbies and abandon them in favor of other things.

I used to collect Breyer horses and fully intended to become a jockey, for example.

Still, this phase has had some remarkable staying power, and the main theme of most of Gavin's play is jousting, chivalry and knights. Just Sunday there was an epic Lego battle on the dining room table involving Sir Gavin, Dame Bradamante, a dragon with one wing missing and a host of killer robots.

Crash, smash, boom, kapow.

In addition to his weekly hockey class, Gavin has asked for "knight lessons."

Short of the somewhat scary proposition of joining up with our local SCA chapter, I haven't exactly been sure how to oblige his request.

Still, being the sort of parents we are, we do our best.

A week or so ago, I ran into this organization:

American Jousting Alliance

Tickled that someone, somewhere appears to actually be making a living jousting, I dropped them a note asking if they had any idea how to get a kid started in the jousting craft.

To my surprise they wrote back and said they offered training for minors, though what sort of jousting training a four year old needs apart from How to Hang the Hell On I'm not exactly sure.

Still, I've been apprenticed and trained for stranger things. I worked in a luthier's shop making period instruments like sackbutts and lutes, and mucked stalls and exercised horses for a Samoan racehorse stable.

I've written them back, asking where we go from here.

Meanwhile, you all take your kids to things like soccer and tap class, and burn your copies of THE BLACK CAULDRON and THE HOBBIT while you still can.


Monday, March 15, 2004
A while ago, someone I admire hugely asked me for a collection of my stuff, all together, where he could read it and enjoy it at once rather than in fits and starts.

It took me a while, but eventually I got it to him. A big hand-bound volume, filled with all the fire and ice essays, a few other essays, random fiction and erotica.

I got a note from him today, thanking me and letting me know he'd gotten it. He's off to London to talk to someone about a new role, busy and globetrotting as usual.

He said he'd read the volume while he was away, though, and that it was packed in his suitcase.

I like the idea of it there, tucked between scripts and papers and his carefully folded shirts.


Ice Hounds practice went great. I'm loving the team, loving the players and just, as they say, damn happy to be there. The only bummer was Bec's being injured and not on the ice. I miss having her in goal.

Though clearly she can razz Brian just as effectively from the sidelines.

Brian, who has no business playing either, but it's still so fucking great to have him around.


I queried the Agent who helped me out with Del Rey about the fire and ice essays. This after a year long state of paralysis about the whole thing, mostly having to do with the general worry that they're one long obnoxious whinefest.

Once I'd figured out that was the case and could let go, it was surprisingly easy to start trying to sell them.

Funny how easier it is to peddle something once you're convinced it has only marginal worth.


Friday, March 12, 2004
The company of sexy women with astronomical IQs: Good.

Sangrias: Good.

Tapas: Good.

Convival conversation: Good.

More Sangrias: Good.

Emma showing us her horseshoe print underwear: Very Good.

More Sangrias: Good.

Emma showing us her sexy black bra: Very good.

Change of venue to a new bar: Good.

Switching to Jack Daniels:



Not that this is a surprise to anyone, but:

You are BRUCE!
What Finding Nemo Character are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, March 11, 2004
It's fairly ironic (and probably appropriate in a cosmic kind of karmic way) that Steve was one of the reasons the blog came down, and is now also the primary reason it's gone back up again.

Make up your fucking mind, Perry. You want the soft white underbelly (thanks Beej for the great terminology), or not?

All right, then.

Let's see.

I have a massive head cold and still can't get enough hockey.

I'm heartsick over Marco's injury, and extremely dubious about the Sharks' playoff chances now. It's more about team balance and cohesion, and the fact that I would almost bet money that with Marco gone, Marleau's performance is going to slip.

But, who knows. They're a strong team right now, and maybe they'll rally.


The Ice Hounds are coming right along, developing nicely into a team that will be fun to play with next season. Now if Brian V will only learn to dump me hard for riding him like a rented mule around the boards, we'll be in good shape.


High Thin Wire is officially up and launched, and already we've gotten some great feedback from folks who are following it, including a couple of SF luminaries like Jack Skillingstead (thanks, Jack!).

Mats has been fantastic to work with, and it's great to have a project that's totally under our control, with only the pressure we're putting on ourselves. Good stuff. Check it out.


Mary Anne just performed a spoken word piece called "Under the Skin." at the South Asian Progressive Action Collective's, "Voices of Resistance" event in Chicago.

There's a text version of the piece here: Under the Skin.

Besides the fact that she gave me totally undeserved credit for my "you fix it, you're the writer" critique, it's a great piece and you should listen to or read it. I think it's especially powerful heard aloud.


I'm working up to writing about Spalding Gray, but I'm not there yet.


How are you?

Powered by Blogger