(no subject)

This is basically a writing diary where I write all kinds of stuff that will be immensely boring to anyone who stumbles across it.

Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly. ---- Harry Lime

How Pathetic Is It To Be a Woman Long Past a Certain Age Who Doesn’t Have a Partner?

It’s been raining nonstop for the past couple of days, which means I haven’t been exercising.

Maybe that’s why I woke up at one this morning in a state of absolute panic.

Managed to sooth myself back to sleep, but it wasn’t easy, and this morning I’m still feeling dread congeal in the little hollow spaces just below my clavicles.

Where is this panic coming from?

There is one middlingly major Practical Issue I’ve put off dealing with for a couple of weeks, but you know. Two weeks is nothing.

I suppose I could drop dead at some point today. Maybe the panic is a premonition! But, again. I’m not and never have been what you could call deeply attached to being alive. One would hope that slipping out of the mortal coil would be as painless as wiggling out of a pair of stockings—careful not to snag them or make them run! But even if it isn’t, hey! I’ve done childbirth. Death couldn’t possibly hurt as much as that.

And Linda will take my cat.

The earth could fissure, and Nazis could issue forth from the underground on a slowly rising platform, dry ice hissing around them. You vill come mit us to the campZ!! they will intone. Honestly? I think that’s what I’m most frightened of.


Part of it, I suppose, is that when I’m in income-generation mode, I become very isolated. I mean, I do have interactions with the various people who live in my house and kindly shop clerks. I’m one of those people who’s very good at talking to strangers.

Ten years after migrating to New York, though, I don’t actually have a support system as such. Instead, I have marginal membership in a great many groups—“communities,” my politically progressive-minded pals would term them—and to a large extent, those groups don’t overlap.

There really is no one who shares my peculiar constellation of interests. There are people who share some of them, and so, when I’m with those people, those interests are what I’m all about. But after a while, I start to feel resentful: So many things have to stay suppressed because the people I’m with just aren’t that interested.


How pathetic is it to be a woman long past a certain age who doesn’t have a partner?

I go back and forth on that one.

On the one hand, the vast majority of the marriages and long-term relationships I observe seem completely dysfunctional to me in one or more important aspects. Shared experience over time creates a kind of matrix like the calcareous sediment that traps living corals. Excrescences include family, offspring, shared property ownership, social obligations etc. Those things are very gluey!

On the other hand, I have been privileged to witness a few partnerships that were just a joy to be around. Two people who synch so gloriously that the wonderful whole is bigger than the sum of its absolutely fabulous parts. My beloved pal MaryBeth’s marriage is like that. It’s a total gas to hang out with MaryBeth, to hang out with Kim, and to hang out with the two of them together.

I guess because I was brought up as part of a dysfunctional dyad—during those formative years, it was just me and my nutty mother!—dyads seem like the ideal social construct.

So, I’m forever searching for that other voice in my inner dialogue.

[personal profile] johnny9fingers advises me to project that need onto the Omega Point.

But it seems to me projecting anything onto the Omega Point is just one step away from accepting Jesus, Mohammad or any one of the Sky God’s other lineal descendants as My Personal Savior.

Which is not in the slightest appealing to me.


Oh, look at that! A window between rain storms. I better get out there and run.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.

With Justice for All Plus Confessions of an Oxford English History Cite

I figured out how to reconfigure the name server!

Go me, right?

I’d already found a WordPress template I liked.

So, now all I have to do is customize the template. An editorial challenge but easy/peasy from a tech point of view.

The template allows for comments, categories, social media promulgation and all the good stuff.

It will look better than the Huffington Post when it’s up and running! Although maybe not as good as The Daily Mail.

So, now I have to pow-wow with the Number One son and figure out exactly what he would like to do with With Justice for Some.

It is his site. Though he said I could write for it, too.

I wrote one piece in 2017 that’s appropriate for the site. And actually, since the appellate court recently upheld Michelle Carter’s conviction, it’s still topical.

The Layleen Cubilette-Polanco case made me want to write something, too. No, not on transgender people dying in custody—though that would be the trendy hook—but on the appalling miscarriage of justice that occurs when people are locked up because they can’t afford $500 bail. I mean, even if you don’t follow the social justice argument here, there’s the economic argument: It costs $323 a day to house an inmate at Rikers, so the state is losing money.

I also thought a history of Rikers Island might be a fun project plus it also gives us a History category.

Assuming we launch with ten stories, that leaves seven stories for Max to write or farm out—because yes, we will be inviting guest writers. (Former Public Defenders in Marin County! You know who you are!)

Anyone stumbling across this, who has a passion for reforming the criminal justice system, likes to write, and who can extrapolate the underlying issues from a single legal case (or a handful of similar cases) is invited to contact me.

We’ll also have to figure out an editorial calendar. I think we’ll have to publish something new at least once a week to stay relevant.


In other news: Had my first meal from the garden last night: Swiss chard sautéed with lemon basil. Mighty tasty.

I am now the liaison between our community garden and the local food bank.

I watched The Professor and the Madman. I’m actually a cite in the Oxford English Dictionary. A piece I did for Entertainment Weekly way back in the Jurassic is one of the first on record to use the term "fan fiction". So, naturally I’m an Oxford English Dictionary fan girl!

Mel Gibson (who plays James Murray) and the film’s director went to court to get their names removed from the film, they hated it so much.

But the film is Not Bad.

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Reconfiguring Name Servers Plus the Greatest Line in 20th Century English-Language Literature

[personal profile] asakiyume sez this is a tulip poplar. Such a seraphic and unearthly blossom! I wasn’t expecting to see it at all when I glanced at [big, green, ordinary-looking] tree!


justice4some.com domain transfer is complete, but now I am agonizing over reconfiguring the name server. I think I finally figured out where the server is pointing now—I think!—and where the server should be pointing, but I’m a-scared to make any changes because what if I fuck it up irretrievably, and I can never access the domain again?

I can see I’m going to have to start recording everything I do in a file. Every single thing! So that when I make a mistake, I can easily see where the mistake was made and rectify it.

It’s exactly like taking the screws out of the back of a computer I’m trying to repair. (Yes, back in the day, I used to repair my own computers! At least when the repairs were simple.) I had to line the screws up with colored pieces of tape so that I’d know exactly in what order to put them back again.

I am not a linear thinker, so I can’t hold this kind of information in my head.

I don’t have any sysop computer-maven friends to hit up for hand-holding except for Booter, and she’s in Oakland.

This stuff is a lot more complicated than it used to be.



I’m in prime revenue-generating mode because I want to take some major trips:

August: Carol in Canada with BB; Jeanna in New Mexico

October: William Blake in London

Leave us not forget, either, that I am subsidizing the #1 Son’s trip to NYC last week in July. That there are numerous exciting shorter excursions planned, all of which eat $$$$. And that there will be a pop-up trip to California to watch the Supreme Court Justice swear Max into the California bar once his upright moral character has been satisfactorily established. I probably won’t have much advance notice for that one, so the airfare is likely to be high.


I’m reading Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists, which despite its great premise, is only meh. It reads kinda like Nicholas Sparks trying to imitate Donna Tartt. Four NYC children in the early 1970s track down an old witch who tells them each separately the precise date on which they will die. Then we get to see the prophecies play out.

Initially, it seemed like it might be an adult version of one of those great Edward Eager or E. Nesbit novels in which a group of siblings track MagiK through a long, hot, hazy summer. Sadly, the author isn’t into the finer points of foreshadowing or scrubbing the cliché stains off her metaphors.

I’m sticking with it, though, in the absence of anything better.


Also watching Brideshead Revisted for the 20th time. Love, loss and redemption never get old!

The 1981 mini-series is an excellent adaptation of a novel I deeply love.

Evelyn Waugh was a right old warthog, a truly obnoxious individual, but he could write!

Many people think this is the greatest line in 20th century English-language literature: So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

They’re wrong.

This is the greatest line in 20th century English-language literature: But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.

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Never Enuff Blathering About OLD PHOTOGRAPHS!

Dreamed about Steve R_______!

We were with a group of people with whom I was working in some administrative capacity, and I was very nervous that he was going to be cold and critical. But instead, he was quite warm. Encouraging! Even shy. Friendly.

His wife was pregnant, he told me. (How could that be? I wondered. She’s in her 60s.) He’d found religion. Not in an obnoxious preachy way, but in a pleasant, it-happened-because-it-was-meant-to-happen way.

No, we weren’t going to be besties. But it was a relief to find he didn’t hate me. In fact, insofar as he thought of me at all, he approved.


Ben, who is fond of constructing romantic taxonomies—I suppose because of their narrative utility—always maintained that Steve was the Great Love of My Life. I don’t know if that’s true or not true.

It all happened so very long ago.

I do know that the first time we kissed, something happened that had never happened to me before and has never happened to me again: I fell through the kiss into a kind of timelessness. The world stopped.

I behaved very badly in that relationship.

The intensity scared me. And, too, I was very damaged in those days, plus I was coming out of a two-year ménage a trois with My Texas Millionaire and the villainous Suzanne Fox. When I finally blew My Texas Milllionaire off, he decided he really loved me. Really, really! And I’d put all that time into him, and he had all that money, and I was—and remain!—a shallow person.

If only I’d married him, I would have received a large divorce settlement, which I could have invested in real estate so that today I would be enjoying a secure retirement and not have to labor in the Scut Factory!

But I wouldn’t marry him.

‘Cause I knew I really loved Steve.

Here’s a better shot of My Texas Millionaire:

As you can see, we were all very into the British Boy Band aesthetic! Which certainly looks dated now.

Steve and I went on a bicycle trip through the U.K. We rode our bikes from London to Bath and then took the train to selected sites throughout Ireland, Wales and Cornwall. 19th century English novels and medieval English history were My Thing back in those days, and I wanted to visit every site. I was flummoxed to discover the Bronte girls lived in a graveyard and that Bolingbroke Castle is a ditch. (I had a real "thing" for John of Gaunt.)

Another picture from the UK trip:

I haven’t been back to the UK since, though I was thinking I might like to go back this fall to catch that William Blake exhibition at the Tate.

That briefcase contained the collected volumes of My Diary, which I’ve been obsessively writing since the age of 12. In those days, I churned it out with Rapidograph pens and sketchpads. I never went anywhere without it!


Both Steve and My Texas Millionaire went on to become doctors.

Steve enrolled in a Genovese medical school. My Texas Millionaire’s father—the tugboat mogul—donated a building to Baylor.

In those days, all my X-boyfriends went on to medical school! Even if they had no absolutely interest in becoming doctors before they met me.

I’m not sure what that signifies.


More old photos…

Barbara Angell and I back in the day.

With my first dog. Singha! A Lapso Apso. Whom I still miss.

Barbara Angell was simply the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. I’m not sure any photograph has ever done her justice since a lot of her beauty was her coloring, great wings of tawny hair that she was constantly pushing back from her face—her characteristic gesture!—and eyes that were—are!—a striking aquamarine. Her facial features were very Ingrid Bergman-esque.

Her eldest daughter Aemilia, a midrange famous social media “influencer,” looks a lot like her mother used to look though not nearly as beautiful.


Mizz Barbara and I hamming it up.

Barbara was the scion of a very old (at least as “old” is measured in California) San Francisco family that had fallen upon Hard Times, so my mental image of her was all wrapped up with Tess of the D’Urbevilles and Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête.

I will never forget the first time I visited the ancestral manse in Santa Rosa. The driveway was lined with ancient, rusting Mercedes sedans; there was a swimming pool lain in cracked cerulean tile and choked with rotting leaves. And then there was the house itself, which was slowly rotting.

Barbara was the eldest of five sisters, each more beautiful than the last. They were all vain and indolent except for Barbara, who was always frantically scurrying around trying to do straighten out their alcoholic mother’s financial affairs and doing maintenance on the house.

The family had managed to hold onto one piece of property—the Petrified Forest in Calistoga, which they still own and which Barbara still manages under some kind of joint trust. It was almost on the verge of breaking even (finally!) when the great Santa Rosa fire of 2017 broke out and destroyed all the buildings.

The petrified logs are still there!

But it’s a bit difficult to interest paying visitors in pieces of rock without context.


This was my girl squad, my official Best Friend Eleanor and the Dickensian-named Linda Goodwill. Is that a Christmas tree I see behind us? Oh, look! Somebody gave us alcohol! In those days, I didn’t drink, so the gift was wasted on me.

Okay! Enough old photographs and warm-up blathering!

Time to do some real work.

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With Justice for Some and the Shape of Things to Come

Max and I are doing a website together: With Justice for Some.

Max wants to devote his life to reforming the criminal justice system, so this is kind of the outreach portion. We want to publish beautifully written stories about failures of justice. The U.S. leads the world in incarceration! Presently, there are something like two million people behind bars. A wrongful conviction rate of even 1% means that 20,000 innocent people are locked up every year. The actual percentage is probably higher. For a country that claims its legal system is based on the premise that it’s better for a guilty man to go free than for an innocent man to be convicted, that’s appalling.

What are some of the reasons why people are convicted of crimes they did not commit?

• Official misconduct: Police detectives who lie, etc.

• Flawed forensic evidence: Ballistics, bloodstain splatters, tire marks, fiber analysis etc have the aura of infallibility, but actually, they can be interpreted—and misinterpreted—in a number of different ways.

• Faulty eyewitness identification. Human memory is not reliable.

• False confessions: Confessions that are tortured out of people, people with intellectual disabilities who are interrogated without the presence of guardians etc. According to the Innocence Project, false confessions are the leading cause of wrongful convictions.

Bungled plea bargains: Many defendants are strong-armed: “You’re looking at 30 years of prison time if you don’t…” Hey! It clears the court dockets.

You also have some cases that hinge on strained interpretations of the law. From a strictly narrative point of view, these are the most interesting .

Anyway, I registered the domain name—justice4some.com—back in October, but the project had to be put on hold because California bar had to be retaken, first year of GSPP had to be gotten through etc etc.

This week, I started seriously messing around with it again.

Domain name has to be transferred over to SiteGround, the hosting service I chose. (I chose them specifically because they update security certificates automatically, which is kind of a dumb reason to choose a hosting service except I figured I’d forget to do it.)

That meant it had to be unlocked, EPP code obtained, pointing code inserted into migration path, etc, etc, etc.


At one point, back in the Jurassic Era, I was a fairly competent sysop. But I am no longer.

Still, since we can’t afford to pay someone for it, the tech duties fall upon me. Big girl panty time!


After I dickered around with the new WordPress site, it was time for some R & R. I tuned into Netflix (thank you, you-know-who-you-are!) and started to watch When They See Us. Lasted exactly 20 minutes before I started crying so hard, I thought I might dissolve.

I remember that case very, very well.

"The wilding", it was called at the time, 1989, a term that mercifully has fallen off the semiotic radar. The case was all mixed up in my mind with subway vigilante Bernard Goetz, even though Goetz actually shot those kids five years earlier.

A bright, shining moment for white rage!

Anyway, I could not watch When They See Us, and had to switch to The Real Housewives of New York instead.

‘Cause let’s face it: I’m shallow.


Something weird happened with that, too!

There’s a writer called Brian Moylan who writes these incredible recaps of The Real Housewives. We’re talking brilliant irony masquerading as fandom.

I went over to his FB page to lick his feet, and as I was reading through comments, this inserted itself into my feed:

What the fuck?

Obviously the algorithm had seized on the word drunk and was trying to generate some new “community standards” pertaining to its usage.

I am beyond appalled.

I don’t want to stop using Facebook. Facebook allows me to keep in touch with many, many people whom I like quite well and with whom I’d interact far less frequently were it not for the social media soup.

But this is a horrifying portent for the shape of things to come.

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Synanon and Mike Garrett


Oh, this is a sad story.

Michael Garrett, son of Dan Garrett, Chuck Dederich’s consigliere and Synanon’s chief counsel, went on to lead the Punk Squad, Dederich’s imperial marines, who practiced martial arts in the shifting fogs wafting from Tomales Bay each morning, secure in the knowledge that when the shit did hit the fan, they had a $300,000 arms cache right inside that picturesque old barn over there with which to take the fuckers out.

This was back in the 1970s, when $300,000 could really buy you firepower!

Mike was a sweet human being.

I mean—I knew he was completely brainwashed.

But I was buying into Synanon myself in those days. (In my defense, I was only 16! I’d come to California for college, and I’d started college early ‘cause I’d skipped all those grades.)

Fortunately, he broke up with me before I became a trained assassin myself.


Synanon is one of those experiences I hardly ever think about. Indeed, when I try to think about it, I can’t—it’s kind of a black redacted area in my personal Mueller Report. Occasionally, there will be a kind of sense memory floating up from nowhere: I’m practicing roundhouse kicks in the predawn twilight, and it’s fuckin’ cold; I’m in a truck, buried under 200 pounds of potatoes (that is how the kindly rancher down the road from Badger smuggled me out.)

But I don’t think those things actually happened to me. The timeline isn’t right.

So where are those sensory impressions coming from?

Every six months or so, I get curious and Google to see if there are any new Synanon stories. Usually, there aren’t. Dederich would have totally gotten behind making his minions drink the Kool-Aid but he didn’t have enough imagination to think that one up. With a much lower death count than Jonestown or even Heaven’s Gate, Synanon just isn’t that interesting to Millennials and the journos who pander to them.


Paul Morantz keeps a blog. He’s the guy who found a rattlesnake in his mailbox one morning, placed there by two members of the Punk Squad. The rattlesnake bit him, and he nearly died, and the resulting publicity marked the beginning of the end for Synanon.

From Paul Morantz’s blog, I put together what little I know of what eventually happened to Mike Garrett.

By 1974, he’d become the Head of Synanon Public Safety, a euphemism for Chief Head Smasher. He also served as a deputy Marin County sheriff.

In 1975, though, he witnessed a scene that he later described in a legal document as “something out of Clockwork Orange:” The Synanon Punk Squad had attacked a rancher and his family on a country road, smashed the windshield of his Impala, destroyed his face.

Later that year, two kids got lost driving through Point Reyes and made the mistake of stopping at Synanon to ask for directions. The kids were subsequently beaten and told they were under “arrest.” They were interrogated by Mike and Dederich, and their heads were forcibly shaved.

The DA recommended that kidnapping charges be filed, but the Marin County sheriff refused to take action.

Mike was still around in 1977 when a couple of kids involved in a minor traffic accident with a Synanon fence were dragged out of their car and beaten with blackjacks. In fact, Mike was in charge of beating them up. Synanon had confiscated the car, as Mike explained to the police detectives who subsequently turned up to investigate the incident, to pay for the damage to the fence.

These incidents are only a handful in what was essentially a two-year campaign of terrorism Synanon waged against local Marin County residents, but they’re the ones where Mike’s name was specifically mentioned. I have no doubt he participated in all of the terrorism.

In August, however, Mike was relieved of his post as Head of Synanon Security Forces. And on November 1, 1977, he fled. Finally copped to the inescapable knowledge that Dederich and Dan Garrett, his own father, had gone full Kurtz. (Note to self: Time to reread Heart of Darkness!)

He went underground. He knew full well that his father would kill him if he could without breaking a sweat.

Mike was only 26.

(Subsequent court testimony proved that Mike wasn’t wrong about Dan Garrett’s filicidal impulses. In the lengthy court proceedings that finally brought Synanon down, it came out that Mike’s name was Number Two on the Synanon Kill List. Right under Paul Morantz.)


It was about this time that I got the only communication I ever received from Mike: It was a picture postcard of a 1932 Ford. There was no message. There was no return address. It was sent to my mother’s address.

But I instantly knew it was from him.

Mike had been my first lover. I had been Mike’s first lover. In the way of the world, there weren’t many places where we could tryst! But Mike owned this very cool—and fully driveable—1932 Ford with an extremely commodious trunk, and we often repaired to it to make love. No, I’m not claustrophobic. Why do you ask?


Mike vanished.

In 1978, he resurfaced briefly after Paul Ritter was nearly beaten to death by Synanon goons in the front yard of Ritter’s Berkeley home. Mike gave the California State Attorney General a 15-page deposition on Synanon violence.

And promptly vanished again.

He appears as a footnote in the disgusting, vile Dan Garrett’s obituary.

Some fuckin’ nerve, Dan Garrett. May you provide tasty barbecue for Hell’s legion of demons in perpetuo.


What happened to Mike after that?

Who fuckin’ knows?

I don’t actually remember how long ago it was, and I’m waaaay too lazy to look, so let us just say “some time back,” I wrote an LJ entry about Synanon and was immediately stalked by dozens of Synanon assholes wanting to argue with me about it. Demanding my credentials!

They're still crazy after all these years!

One of those assholes turned out to be Mike Garrett’s sister Glenda. Who wanted me to know that despite the, uh, misunderstandings at the end, Synanon had been a great place, a transformative place that squares—was I a square?—simply did not understand. And, oh yes, her brother Michael was a deeply disturbed man.

Deeply disturbed! I’ll bet!

Glenda was married to an annoying musician who still appears to be playing—and selling luxury real estate!—on the San Allende, Mexico circuit! Of course, they met in Synanon.

Glenda died, and yes, I gave into morbid curiosity, and viewed the memorial video online.

At the very end of the eulogies, a man took the mike and began crying about how wonderful it was to have connected again after all these years.

He was actually a pretty handsome man, but maybe he smelled bad. Because all the other mourners were obviously non-plussed and moved away from him.

Was that Mike?

I kinda think maybe it was.


Like I said, he was a genuinely sweet human being.

And I don’t think that kind of sweetness goes away.

So, I don’t know how he’s managed to live with himself.


In other news, Claude trapped the errant woodchuck! Who will shortly be relocating to Clinton Corners.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.

Social Media Will Be the Death of Irony Plus Woodchucks!

Dreamed that [profile] lifeinroseland was leaving her job. It was somewhere I worked, too. We were all very sad that she was leaving, but, of course, she was not sad—one never is when one is leaving for some place better.

She’d thrown a number of items in the trash. One of these was a bouquet of yellow roses. Only a little bit wilted! I picked the bouquet out of the garbage, pulled the dead petals off the flowers, and they looked quite good!

(I imagine this dream was my subconscious’s response to [profile] lifeinroseland’s absence from these parts. She’s happy! People tend mostly to write in diaries when they’re not happy.

I try to write every day, but as I’ve said before, I look on writing here as the equivalent of a ballerina plié-ing at the barre or a musician pounding out scales on the piano. It’s important to keep in writing practice in case I ever have anything important to say! For me, that means hammering out 1,000 words without thinking too much first thing every morning.)


An evil woodchuck got into the garden and ate my broccoli plants!

S’okay. I wasn’t all that attached. I’d planted the seedlings thinking they were collards. I don’t actually see much point to growing broccoli.

However. Next stop: beets! And if the woodchucks go after my beets, I’ll be rilly upset! You can’t get good beets around here!

The villain is this gardener here who’s let his garden get so overgrown with weeds that the woodchucks have a place to dig holes. Gr-r-r-r-r-r!

Time to send Uncle Vito to “talk” to that gardener! In the meantime, I helped Claude put out a couple of woodchuck traps:

“You know, I’d be very happy to sit out here all night with a rifle and blast the little fuckers,” I said.

Claude laughed.

But this was just bravado on my part. I don’t actually know how to shoot a rifle.


Speaking of politically incorrect humor…

Friend of mine got dinged on Facebook.

For a comment he made about white-winger pols admitting to using dope, and how remarkable it was that none of them had ever been hassled by the cops while black people etc etc etc

“That’s because white skin has a special hormone that makes white dopers nice folks,” my friend wrote. “The lack of this hormone is what makes non-white dopers depraved and justifies long prison sentences.”

Ding, ding, ding, ding!

Facebook took the comment down.

Social media will be the death of irony.

I laughed. I’m a Bad Person.

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Panic and Old Photos

Dreamed I was part of this crew of low-level sorcerers living in an Oakland warehouse. For some reason, I was feuding with various members of this crew and in my usual petty, ridiculous way, determined to fuck them up. Except I couldn’t fuck them up because either they responded to my malign magickings as though they were petty annoyances, slapping them down like gnats or because I simply wasn’t a strong enough magician.

This went on for most of the dream.

At the end of the dream, though, I was sitting in a chaise lounge next to Barack Obama, and he was sitting awfully close to me, thigh brushing thigh, and I was thinking, Whoa! Does Barack Obama like me? Like like like?

And then I woke up.


Car fixed, and it wasn’t even that expensive a fix.

Cannot believe I spent two days in a complete panic over this. I knew it was some minor thing. So why was I spinning out of control?

“You were upset? I didn’t know you were upset,” said L.

Of course, you didn't know I was upset. I kept the panic concealed in my interactions with others—which included a breakfast party and a long political discussion with Neighbor Ed—because I don’t believe in taking negative emotions out on innocent bystanders if I can possibly avoid it.

The panic did imbue me with this deep need to paw through old photographs.

One above was taken in 1973 at Max’s Kansas City, my old NYC watering hole. The Wolfman is a mid-tier rock ‘n’ roller whose identity I will conceal because he’s old now and probably has prostate problems. It’s not a modeling picture per se but was taken during the time my modeling career was at its peak.

This one is an outtake from a perfume ad. The art director was enamored with the French New Wave and would have preferred using Antoine Doinel.

Not a model photo, but shot that same year. Can't remember where.

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While I was cleaning this morning, I ran across the pix I digitized for my mother’s memorial service.

This one would have had to have been taken when she was 18 or so, which would make it circa 1952, the year I was born:

Not sure of this one’s date. Some time during the 1950s:

Some time after I left home, my mother began playing music again. She’d been trained as a classical violinist by my insane grandmother, herself a classical pianist. She was supposed to go to Julliard. But she had me instead!

She played bluegrass and pop with a couple of bands in San Francisco. The only one I remember now was Hearts on Fire. By all reports, she was an extremely good musician but such a pain in the ass that every band she joined eventually threw her out.

The musician pix would have been taken during the 1970s.

My favorite picture of her is this one:

I’ve carried the original of this photo, now very battered, to all of Max’s various graduation ceremonies, and I’ll be carrying it once again when he’s sworn into the California bar. One of his mentors who’s on the California State Supreme Court will be swearing him in, so it’s gonna be a Very Big Deal, and I’ll be flying out to California to be present at it.

My mother was a terrible mother but a good grandmother. I respected that. I’d cut off all communication with her before Max was born on the grounds that okay, maybe she wasn’t altogether to blame, but our relationship was toxic, and I didn’t want any part of it. I got back in touch with her when I found out I was pregnant, though. I didn’t think it was fair to Max to make decisions about who was or who was not part of his family.

My mother would be over the moon over Max’s success. So, I’m carrying the photo. To give her restless spirit that.

My least favorite photo of her is this one. Of course, it was her favorite:

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