Wednesday, October 20, 2004


i am an epic story all rolled into one
curvy latin-american body,
where the crescendos and climaxes quickly
dissipate into the straight, if not so narrow
bends of knees and elbows.

i am the heroine and villain all in one-
a one woman bandy of parts to play
where at any given moment medea could emerge
or perhaps ram or even ravenna.

it’s not as if I would have written this story
crafted this person- me, in quite this lengthy stretch of drama
but it roils in my blood and circulates up and down
my body. It is me and craves being embraced and accepted as is.
even the bad spells when melancholy strikes
without warning, no sign or cause to point at
and sigh from relief that this too shall pass,
knowing everything has its time and wishing
this one had a pre-set limit, i try not languishing
in my bed of discontent too much,
but force myself out when i want to stay in,
smile when my insides feel hollow and grey,
quickly look away when i know you are looking at me
But not seeing me.

i pass mirrors and look at times at a ghost
of a figure, a caste in the eyes that makes them look
sullen, flat, lacking the spark and flicker
so often attributed to them.
with my window open, the dark blue sky sucking
out all of the light, if i’m still, quiet and still
i can hear the gentle roar of waves crashing
into the sand. crashing into the sand- and then

i feel a wave of something like peace
or resolute acceptance wash over me,
quietly i sit in the darkness and feel
all is right with the world,
found in a gentle roar, a crashing into the sand,
a Love that knows no boundaries and can never
be revoked.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

my personality type

true to form, i haven't changed as much as i thought... still on the j/p fence.

Outgoing (E) 59.46% Withdrawn (I) 40.54% Imaginative (N) 68.57% Realistic (S) 31.43%Emotional (F) 75% Intellectual (T) 25%Improvised (P) 54.76% Organized (J) 45.24%Your type is: ENFP
You are an Inspirer, possible professions include - conference planner, speech pathologist, HR development trainer, ombudsman, clergy, journalist, newscaster, career counselor, housing director, character actor, marketing consultant, musician/composer, artist, information-graphics designer, human resource manager, merchandise planner, advertising account manager, dietitian/nutritionist, speech pathologist, massage therapist, editor/art director.

Monday, October 18, 2004

let the onslaught begin

have i ever mentioned that sometimes when i am doing my morning meditation, if it's particularly cheery, it puts me on alert? call me cynical or call me a realist but it's as if God knows i'm about to experience the onslaught and is giving me a water bottle to chug on before i start climbing the mountain.

today i could have said the serenity prayer umpteen times. i could have gotten angry or frustrated or moody. instead i chose, actively chose to be resigned to these things i cannot change- not knowing why they all came down at once, but knowing i can choose the level of effectiveness they will play in my life. as a feeler on the myers-briggs test, this is not always super-easy. but hey i can't control any of it and the things that i can control, i have to patiently ween myself into the right behavior. as george from seinfeld would say, "serenity now."

as annelies from san francisco would say, "i'm going to samba now. and that will make a world of difference." bless the brazilians and africans.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

a monster cavity

i met a man named gunner* tonight who was hit by a car.

he said he had been on the corner of van ness and market, about to step on the edge of the sidewalk when he got clipped by a car. when gunner got up his head had a gash with blood flowing out pretty steadily. a woman he described as his guardian angel kept him from going home where he wanted to go sleep, and said he probably wouldn't have woken up. he has a plate in his head. hi- this happened sept. 21. all things considered, he's in pretty good shape and in pretty good spirits. he pointed to his ear that had been somewhat severed from his head and a blue-black scar ebbing from his ear lobe to the back on his ear. one of his eyes is kind of lazy and he has problems hearing. wow, he said his left leg is also not quite like it needed to be. his lawyer will be getting a good settlement for him, but at what cost?

then i talked to ronan* for a while. he'd gotten into a fight right before we let people in for dinner. once he was more even-keeled, we chatted for a while about his monster-cavity, the fact that he plays bagpipes and the bass. what a friendly guy.

a good night to be sure.

don't UPC me

i don't know if anyone has seen minority report. what i have always appreciated about the movie is it documents this great advancement of mankind called "pre-crime"- a veritable thinktank that knows when a crime will be committed and by whom before it happens. no more innocent until proven guilty. this movie finds the glitch with the system and our protagonist seeks to expose it, at the peril of his own life.

the link below reminded me of this fine movie (that was totally underappreciated in my opinion).
here's this great new "advancement" for medicine that of course is being hustled to various critical care units, many scanners being provided at no charge to said units, so as to implement the system more quickly. um, great advancement, but it's still a business hustling its wares. never forget businesses are all about making money just as much as they might believe in their products.

the article details a rice-sized chip that is stuck underneath the skin by a syringe and is much like a upc code, but will have your blood type, medical history, etc... can anyone say great precursor to a plot of a movie? now maybe i'm skeptical and undesirous of the government taking away my right to privacy (true) or maybe i am the child of a born conspiracy-theorist- politically-active mother (also true). i can just see it now, it starts out as a benevolent service helping the sector of medicine that the government can then later use for their own purposes. maybe they slip in that you are schizophrenic or prone to heart problems and then knock you off because you have unearthed their glitch with the system for which they have been a strong proponent. farfetched for real life perhaps, but not for hollywood. then again it's probably already been done. (read robin cook's "coma"- except instead of the gvmt. it's a biz.)

i sincerely hope this little chip is an optional-will-ask-patient-for-permission-prior-to-insertion kind of deal.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

the $189 white electric tea kettle

well my car was broken into sometime late sunday evening/early monday morning.

it's kind of a surreal experience to walk up and see shattered glass all over the backseat, still somehow attached to the black frame, where it once was whole. i called my autobody shop (i told you we have a good relationship) and headed over there to spend money to have a new window put in.

we discovered that out of all the expensive tea paraphernalia i had in my backseat, the thieves had taken 2 white crappy electric plug-in kettles we purchased saturday from wal-greens for $9.99 each... i told my boss what bad thieves they must have been, how they didn't know the true value of the other items, much more precious in value. don't get me wrong, i was super-thankful that the other things weren't stolen, but it did get me thinking...

how often do we know the true value of the things or people around us? is the value we assign to said items only always subjective? is there a way of knowing a value that is beyond subjectivity? of course i happen to believe that the answers are no and yes. i think there is value bigger than what you or i think, that though it may not be believed, is not open to interpretation.

so now, 24 hours later, i am ruminating on the fact that you can never be 100% assured of things like car break-ins, you can plan ahead and not leave things in your backseat (which i wholeheartedly abide by, except when it comes to work paraphernalia, but i suspect that will be changing), but unless i go vigilante and post a 24 hour command outfit to watch my car, it's out of my hands. and so there i leave it.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

donnie darko

we watched donnie darko tonight. very interesting movie. much too late when i finished watching it to be able to adequately talk through it, so i thought i would make the appeal to you lovely people.

i want to understand what this movie is all about and what people are drawn to, that has made it such a cult film that it was recently re-released. post your thoughts. i'm interested in dialoguing...

i searched google for other viewpoints on this movie and came across this quiz that begs the question- which character are you? take it at: /

as for me, it said i am donnie darko. ooh. i promise i don't see psychopathic bunny rabbits.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

a hebrews moment

last night my friend stacey turned 30.

she has been this voice of wisdom and reason in my life- someone God has had accompany me through thick and thin. i value and appreciate her life, her boisterous laugh and her penchant to put colors and outfits together. i chose to skip soccer to be able to be fully at her party without being pulled away to something else.

i love parties- especially the kind where you can hob nob with old friends. fabulous really. they're a virtual reunion at times with old grad school friends whose lives have become as full and at times frenetic as my own. barb and jason, watson, karen and michael, among many others were there. all people who have spoken into my life and made it so much more beautiful and understandable. i love them all. and i especially love that we can enter into deep, meaningful dialogue pretty easily, avoiding chit-chat, much like skimming the foam off of a latte.

at one point stacey petitioned all the musicians who had brought their instruments to bring them in the big room. elijah stepped behind his keyboard; pablo strapped on his guitar; brian propped his djembe in the cradle between his two knees and music ensued. worship songs that are rich and smoky. as odd as this may sound, sometimes when i'm singing with my eyes closed, i see certain colors visualized in my mind's eye. this warm luscious burgundy color enveloped my mind, my voice, the room as i heard people singing from deep within themselves. i could pick out barb's sweet soprano from larissa's energetic mezzo voice. with eyes closed i could hear when watson was being silent and when he interjected his tremulous voice among the others. i could hear their voices and so badly wanted mine to dance around theirs- augmenting them and reaching the ecstatic place of harmony and melody in balance with one another, in tandem.

i envisioned these songs, these notes of warmth and high pitches raising before God in the curly wisps of smoke, a pleasing incense offered to our God, from grateful, ever so grateful hearts. at moments like these i am aware that this is what i am made for. what we all are made for. the din of everyday life is hushed and the only thing that matters is God and me trying to letting know i am His and i am grateful, so grateful... for something i never could have achieved on my own. that cost Him so much. so much so, that i will never be able to grasp it, even when i am old, grey and have the twinges of wisdom brought on by a long, full life.

we were singing "blessed be the name" and as i could hear these particular people's voices that i dearly loved, the thought struck me, "this is my cloud of witnesses." hebrews 12:1 says "therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down..." these are some of the people when i am suffering or prospering i want to remember and be remembered by, who will hold me accountable and love, challenge and encourage me.

the singing was so vibrant that several whoops ejaculated from different people's mouths around the room during one song. we all wanted to be in that moment and take advantage of it.
as quickly as it started, it ended. the music died down, we prayed prayers of blessing over stacey and afterwards milled about, while some left for home.

when it was time for me to leave, i breathed deeply and it smelled like red wine and chocolate, like love and sacrifice all intermingled into this fragrant aroma requiring each person- each ingredient all the ingredients to be present, each bringing its own unique flavor to the mix. each adored by God. each adoring God in the mundane and majestic moments of life. a good hebrews moment realized.

"Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near." ~Hebrews 10:23-26

Friday, October 08, 2004


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

the small things

wednesday nights i volunteer at church where we have a dinner and invite our homeless. tonight, i sat with johnson and fred. fred was in a good mood, meaning his cantankerous edge was softened. he asked if i would take them home tonight. we all knew the answer to that question. then he complained that he and johnson are still living outside. but that's not a new complaint, instead there's no new answer to the problem. anyways he left, while johnson and i continued talking with pam and her son jesse sitting farther down the table eating small bites of watermelon.

i asked johnson if he has had any interesting things happen to him lately. he said, "no."

i made a comment about his friends and he said he doesn't have any. i asked what he does for enjoyment. he said he doesn't enjoy anything. i know johnson; he wasn't being ornery. i think he really believed what he was saying. so i reminded him of the things he enjoys and learned something new about him in the process.

me: "johnson, that's not true you like chess, mate, coffee, stashing things into secret places at page street." (at this he laughed because he knew it to be true)
him: "except now mark is starting to pull them out into the open."

me: "you do have friends. look you have pam, eric, darren, fred, gennaro, me, and mary at least. that's almost two handfuls and that's more than a lot of people."
him: "i haven't written mary in a while. i need to do it."

these small things take off some of the grime life can dole out. i could sense a lightness in his step as he left, cigarette poking out of his mouth. and i was glad i could be a part of that.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

my big break

so my old grad school roommate misty and her husband kris were in town this weekend, staying with friends adam and michelle. we decided to have dinner at the stinking rose restaurant in north beach, san francisco's little italy. on the way up columbus ave. to caffe trieste for coffee. a woman walked up to misty and asked if she spoke spanish. she said she didn't but pointed to me. yikes! the woman was a reporter with univision, a spanish television station broadcast nationally. which means my dad could watch it and hear me butcher the beautiful spanish language (i forget words in other languages when i am under pressure and stress- call it performance anxiety). so the reporter tells me she is doing a story on bars and people who put drugs in other people's drinks. hmm. we were just leaving the stinking rose, a restaurant known more for its excessive garlic than excessive drinking, and she's asking me?! i told her i don't really go to bars. but it didn't matter. she had a spanish speaker and she was like a rabid dog whose mouth is clenched to a person's leg, not letting them go until the jaw is manually unclenched. the hidden camera came into view at this point, bright light shining at my quizzical visage. she asks the question; i respond. she then asks me to repeat my answer, since i had not been given enough direction that we were already recording.

reporter: "when you are in a bar, what do you do with your drink?"
az: "um (in spanish) i hold onto my drink; i don't even set it down because i don't want someone putting drugs into it. i don't accept drinks from strangers. um no way. "

she told me she wanted to tape us walking away. i was kind of thinking well, i don't know that my posterior is the best angle from which to shoot me. so we walked on to get a cafe mocha, leftovers in hand. my brush with latin-american fame.

sugar and spice

so tonight i met up with a friend from high school named cheryl.
we had agreed to rendez-vous at this bar called tongue and groove,
where my good friends, MOVE were performing. after a really energetic
show, we watched a band that had two teenage go-go dancers- sugar and spice
dance while a pitch-deaf lead singer mangled the songs being expelled from her mouth. we laughed and gave running commentary. like old times. i'm glad that some friendships pick up where they have left off. refreshing really.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

terror on the road

i got a flat tire friday morning. granted it was one block away from my office, but i somehow rolled over a spark plug that got lodged into the back right-hand tire. when we exited the vehicle, we heard a loud whoosh of air and ended up watching the tire quickly deflate. bob, my colleague drove me to sears where we proceeded to get all the other tires replaced as well, since it was determined early on they were all bald.

i picked up my car after work and got on 101 headed for my soccer game in south san francisco. at one point along the way i started hearing this staccato sound, akin to sounds reverberating from nintendo videogames. not surprisingly, i pulled over onto the shoulder with visions of a loose tire. a CHP tow truck pulled in soon after i had pulled over. we ascertained that nothing was wrong with the back left tire. back on the road, the staccato noise had returned. i turned my music up louder because i kept thinking to drown out my heart palpitations. i got to the soccer game almost 30 minutes late and saw the mud guard was loose, so i snapped it back into place, proud of my ingenuity and prowess with automobiles.

we won the game and my confidence was back in full swing. on the way home, ne'er was a sound heard except the smooth hum of rubber meeting road and then sccraaaape, sccraaape. i pulled over, snapped the mud guard in place again and noticed that the situation was much more dire. the front panel of the mud guard hung low in front of my front left wheel. in spanish the word for this is peligroso, but i was in the parking lot of a motel- couldn't stay there. so i slowly, begrudgingly got onto 101 north, hazards on and flashing. i had visions of me having to pull over into hunter's point, at twilight, which kept me more determined than ever that i would not be stranded in brisbane or hunter's point. i would make it to monterey street and drive slowly like a buzzard around my honda auto shop, in search of parking.

i ended up parking it at my friend katy's house, which was in closer proximity to the auto shop than my house, but whew- what a night!