September 1, 2023

Uncle Jim

Legend you are.
Yosemite spirit dweller,1
asshole to my grandmother.2

Never knew you, always wanted to.
…better I didn’t.

Wealthy attorney3 married to
a body of water fashioned
with a road made an impasse.4

Think you’re smarter than the USSR,5
well you probably are.

Eccentricized by relatives
with less interesting lives.6

Unearth more of your story,
I dare not try.

  1. My grandmother told me her brother, known to me as Uncle Jim”, told her he was destined to die behind a specific rock in Yosemite National Park on the date of the combined number of days alive of his two children who were 30 and 36 at the time. (Italicized quote from my grandmother’s rendition)↩︎

  2. He was always portrayed as mean-spirited in stories. Shortly before he died, his sister (my grandmother) traveled from PA to CA to visit and likely say her goodbyes. When she arrived, he cursed and dismissed her from the room. Dorothy is one of the kindest souls to ever grace the earth—not a person you’d ever be inclined to be rude to unless you were indiscriminately cold.↩︎

  3. From what I’ve been told, Jim got a full scholarship to Harvard and went on to become a prominent corporate lawyer for Honda.↩︎

  4. He married a Japanese immigrant named Kazue Ogawa—a name I mistook as a kid to be spelled causeway.↩︎

  5. Apparently Jim got in trouble as a tourist in Moscow taking photographs of the Kremlin. When instructed by authorities to dispose of the film, he hid it.↩︎

  6. Apologies, fam.↩︎

August 26, 2023

Takes two to Dento

Sitting at Dento on Folsom Street with Katya.


Just spent an hour swapping over from to It was a redirect, now it’s direct.

Notice the fingerprints on the iPad screen. A past me would have suffered without them buffed out immediately. Today’s me doesn’t mind as much. She actually kinda likes them there. Same with the occasional scratch or dent.

Katya got me a flawless notebook from Community Thrift yesterday. It’s called Moon Lists, Volume 2. I’ll share the first entry later when I have a chance to scan it.

We’re hoping to go to Yosemite for the first time this coming week. Logistics look like hell—who knew a walk in the park would be so complicated? It’s not so bad, but I’d rather just hop in a rental and watch the scenery unfold than think through which is the best place to stay, where to get food, when to wake up to beat the crowd, which are the best trails… it’s just a bit overwhelming. It can be difficult to accept a trip for what it turns out to be rather than trying to finesse every detail. There’s something about getting your time and money’s worth, but that starts to get overshadowed by the stress of planning. I’m trying too hard to relax. Or to optimize my impending relaxation. Fuck optimization.

Here’s my cat1 post-spelunk into a cup of yogurt.


I meant to write about something else but I completely forgot what that something was to be. I should take better notes.

As I say to my fuzzy son (pictured above), see you villian.

  1. His name is Pepper. He’s frequently misgendered, but that’s okay. Maybe he got into my estrogen supply. Or it somehow wafts around the house. What if you put Estradiol cypionate in an oil diffuser? Better yet, a Muji diffuser.↩︎

July 15, 2023

Every bit of air


Last weekend, at Whittaker’s Bunkhouse in Ashford, Washington, I was packing my Deuter Aircontact Lite when I learned I’d been packing all wrong. Francisco, who was to be one of three on my rope team for Rainier, yanked out my neatly squared-away gear, unfurled it, and began shoving it back into the nylon abyss. The result: newfound space from the same assortment of objects, sorted differently.

I unlocked a potent metaphor in that moment. Sometimes all the folding, rolling, kneading, sealing, stacking, zipping, clicking, and cynching is for naught. The most efficient way to pack a backpack is to shove shit in, taking up every available nook. I was dumbfounded.

Tonight I rediscovered my own website and blew off some thick digital dust. Haven’t set foot in here for months. I was on a streak for a while of uploading old school essays that would have otherwise sat on a drive somewhere until the day I died. Thought it’d be neat to backdate them and see my authorial voice evolve over time. Turn a cringe-fest into a teaching moment with a side of humility.1

Some of the old uploads I’d added footnotes to with Wikipedia linkouts for context. The essay I uploaded tonight,2 however, seemed ripe for some direct hyperlinkage, so I started linking inline instead of burying sources at the bottom. I then realized I may have initially gone with footnotes to not interrupt reading flow—you might otherwise get easily sidetracked, tripping down a tab-based rabbit hole with a cat’s curiosity and a happy clicker-finger.

I then realized that what’s most important is getting up the mountain while conserving as much energy as possible so you can get back down,3 or being maximally efficient and minimally organized—or being organized in an unituitive way. Shoving it in. And so, against my better judgement, I must favor filling all possible air space of this internet enclave lest I end up with something beautifully organized and woefully void of substance.

Yet another post about posting to avoid actually having to post. The mind of a writer is the mind of us all. It’s 1:30am when I set the dehumidifier to go off (same as turn on in English), assuming I’d be asleep by now and it wouldn’t hinder my getting to sleep. Just scared the daylights out of me. And now that the daylights have vacated, it is time to vacate the land of the lucid for some progesterone-fueled dreamscape. Away.

  1. You too can get paid for your words, even if at one point you sounded like me! I wouldn’t have believed it myself, but here we are now.↩︎

  2. It’s late. I’m tired. I only intended to upload something old so I could feel like I’d done something productive, but that thought bit me in the ass when I saw I’d last made an original post in September of last year. So here we are. Inspiration is in many ways like libido: It ebbs and flows. Being turned on isn’t always convenient. You can coax it, but the result won’t be as satisfying as taking care of it in the moment.↩︎

  3. Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” —Ed Viesturs, probably.↩︎