5cense Everything but the kitschy sink (May 1993): Biophysics, population dynamics, honey hunters + coyote Xings


[15 July 2020> Back to mid-1993, still from our brown bee journal]

May 1993
May 2, 1993 [—Tucson, AZ]
Last week i was supposed to be cramming for my Friday take-home final but i managed to keep saying "fuck it"... after all, it was a take-home final and i figured i could learn it then. Well i studied some but it was very superficial. Harlow was increasingly pissing me off... now it's not just about climbing but in general.  I had all the homework solutions written out on wednesday and was about to go home and he just happens to come by the office as i’m leaving, "oh, by the way, i have your homework solutions... you don't need them, do you?" I asked him if he could photocopy them. "I'd rather not" he said. I hope he changes them sufficiently so it isn't obvious he copied mine. Finally I had to go photocopy them for him. Then all week he's all "let's go to Milagrosa, fuck studying." He wanted to go to the climbing gym on friday when we had our test. And he asked how hard the routes were at Middle Earth, interrupting me mid-sentence after i tell him that we did two 5.10as and he's all "well, you know i'm leading 5.11s now... just kidding, but i’m leading 10bs and 10cs. I should have said "well i guess those routes aren't for you" but i'm not quick enough. And then Friday when we got the test (after standing on the balcony and hounding me for being late) I tell him i'm going to Pony (implying i needed some quiet) and i'm involved in a problem and he shows up with Eric and they start yacking and i just got up and walked away. My "studying" involved writing this short story on Macchu Picchu, well, typing it and proof reading. Thursday afternoon i went to do Pusch Peak with [C]. We parked where we were supposed to and started out on the trail we passed the place where the trail split off and i knew it and we even back-tracked to it but it didn’t look like it went through, so we continued on the horse trail which ended up going in a stupid loop under the cliffs, but we looped around again and caught the trail up Pusch. We couldn't go all the way up cuz the sun was going down. The "trail" (not much of) was steep and heinous. We crossed over to look at Pima Canyon. I like Pima Canyon. It’s kind of small and its own entity staked out on the Catalinas facing north-west-west, instead of south. I hope to return cuz it had a nice feel.
     I worked on the test for about 18 hours. I love take-home's cuz you learn so much. I nailed 2 problems completely but the 3rd i'm unsure of. Handed it in and then had a shitty time taking C's car to have the oil changed while she was meeting a prospective tenant to take over her lease. I was going on 3 hours of sleep and dumb blue collar workers weren't making up for the lack of coffee. It seemed like forever before we finally got out of town to go to the Stronghold. Yee-haw! Went to the east side. C wanted to study the rest of the afternoon so i went up to do the "inner passage"... hoofed it double time up that gully to that special area between Rockerfeller domes and What's My Line dome. That little valley up there is really special spot. Right when i got up there the wind was howling and it got really spooky. I kept thrashing my way up to Rockerfeller dome through the bramble and got up to those majestic domes and realized i forgot the book. Oh well. I guess i was meant to find Inner Passage on my own. I clambered around circumnavigating the domes looking at the routes. I came across Days of Future Passed and there was actually a party on it, despite the wind. I saw a chimney going in and between two of the domes and though that might be Inner Passage so i got on my shoes and went a ways but got to some gnarly parts where the rock was dirty so figured it wasn't it. Cruised back down to the camp and did some bouldering. Then C and i went up the trail (to the west side) a ways. I stopped to do this crack that was literally full of lizards. And hauled back a bunch of firewood for our fire to go with our burritos and red wine.
     We went to do Arribas Amoebas sunday morning... that was our intention anyways. We ended up (after a shitty bushwhack) at the base of Wasteland (5 pitches, 5.8). Paul and some other guy were on it, so we figured what the hell, it was better than another hour of bushwhacking to get to Arribas Amoebas. Besides, we'd know where the route was. I got to the "Cactus Basket" that was an obvious hint. There were slings there but it was only 30 feet up so i kept going and i don't know what i was thinking but C is all "10 more feet" and i'm on this cruddy crack with no decent placements so we simul-climbed  til she got to the cactus basket but i still wasn't to the ledge under the chimney. It was a stupid crack anyway, full of dirt and plants. We kept simul-climbing. When i got up and looked at the description we had simul-climbed 2 full pitches of 5.7 and 5.8. The next pitch started at a chimney which was kind of heinous and had no pro. I grabbed the ledge up top but was backwards so i had to do an over the shoulder spin around pull up, gained the top then stepped across where the cool climbing began. Up some cool chicken-heads to a belay. Then a long pitch of a wall of chickenheads under a roof then around and up to another belay on chickenheads. C had a terrible time in the chimney, with the pack and she's never done a chimney. So that put a damper on things. For a while i though we'd have to bail off. The 4th pitch (5th) I'm not even sure we did it right, Kerry said go 50 feet of R traverse and go down and up past an alcove. I kept traversing, there were chickenhead wraps but i didn't make them cuz it would have made things dangerous for C. I made one high up before i went down then went for 50 feet then up around more chickenheads but didn't find an alcove, well i don't know, i found a belay with a sling on 3 placements the whole pitch, 2 fight towards the top, so we weren't even sure this was on route or i had discovered a new route, but i guess that made it fun. Topped out and that was it but we still had to get off the fucking rock. Rappel off bolts clamber down this gully. Rappel off a tree, the find the right tree, resisting the other trees with sling on them that lead down to the wrong gully. 3 or 4 more rappels off trees until we finally got to the cactus basket and rappelled from the rock loop. Then the mosquitoes were out and we still had to bushwhack down. What a pain, maybe i'm a sport climber at heart? I mean, this was more of a mountaineering experience. C got a terrible headache when we got back to the car, thought she was getting a migraine. But it lessened up. So i guess C and I are going to move in together. I'm excited about it but i can't believe i'm so mellow about it. Now all i have left is my chaos paper and my oral biophysics test.

[beginning the long descent]

May 8, 1993
Classes are done! No more teachers, dirty looks, etc. All i gotta do is my oral exam and paper. Went to Pima on Thursday to talk to Tony Pituco. Cool dude. We had the files on all the students, kind of weird discussing each one objectively like they were test subjects or this was the F.B.I. or something. "Oh, this one, he's 14 years old, he's independent, but he needs this and you gotta watch out for this... " etc. I have 8 students... let's see if i can remember [lists names]. The structure is very loose, but we can wing it. I'll be working with Steve H who is like a 10th years grad student who's a bit of a spazz. Friday we had to talk to them, looks like we'll have to do some legwork even before the 24th. Friday went and did Pusch peak with C. She went through one of her internal struggles about being harsh on herself for not being able to run up Pusch peak. It caused me to slow down and look for bighorn sheep and i felt more like i was part of the environment going slow. It's a steep trail, but well worth it cuz the view from the top was beautiful. I had a story in my mind the whole time, about 3 people going across the ocean on a sailboat. Came down in the dark. We had the yard sale Saturday morning early. I was supposed to climb with Shaheen and Haycock but both flaked on me. So i ended up helping C w/ the yard sale. Sold my guitar, amp, and some other stuff, made about $140. Cool feeling to get rid of possessions weighing me down for money. Went to look at the house on 5th avenue and is it so excellent or what. I don't want to get too excited cuz we have yet to talk to the management but it's perfect. The location is excellent [5th and University ave... we don't have pics of the house since we didn't have a camraw in those days, but here it is on Zillow], large rooms, wood floors, porch, and the price $325 is right, even if it means doubling my current rent [the place before we spent $150 a month]. Went to Milagrosa with Shaheen around 2 pm. First i led Mocha (5.9) which was fairly easy. Top-roped the 5.9 crack next over and it was easy but junky, wouldn't consider leading it. TR'ed Cappuccino which Bill (who did the first ascent) calls 10b but no way. It was heinous and the TR wasn't really set up for it. Kept pulling me to the left. If i fell i would have penjy'ed majorly so i would clip the bolts and rest on them. I finished it after lots of using the quickdraws to rest. I reset the TR and Shaheen tried but couldn't do it. I tried it again and flowed thru the bottom but the crux got me, tho i finished. Shaheen tried again and finally pulled through. Traversed around cuz Shaheen didn't want to do more routes, then left early. Went to Caruso’s for dinner w/ C and Shaheen, nice dinner. C and i went to Major Lingo after at the rock but they sucked so we asked for our money back and went home to, well, ... Woke up early and went to Campbell Cliffs and TR'd like 5 routes til the bus C's "gotta study" conscience got her and we left and now we're at Z's to carboload for a study session for the rest of this Sunday, Mother's day, called mom, she's protesting the lumber company spraying herbicides everywhere. I'm ready for some change and it's coming.

May 7?
My Biophysics oral is in 1 hour and 10 minutes and i figured i'd clarify my thoughts into a sort of philosophical overview... so what was this course about? Well, here we are, the shapes we are in, but how did this all come about? Well there are certain constraints and physical principles that shape the path of evolution. Kilkson's idea was to start from scratch and identify physical constraints and initial conditions and figure out what forms of biological structures would be possible. His first fundamental principal is that biological things will be constructed out of small identical sub-units in much the same way that was build houses out of bricks. It one brick is messed up the whole house doesn't get ruined, but we just throw the brick out and keep building. Other reasons for small identical subunits is that they are easier to genetically code for and are easier to build and require only one assembly line, more apt to lead to errorless construction. A consequence of this is that this will lead to symmetries in the overall structure. The possible symmetries are rotation, translation, and reflection, though the latter is mild cuz carbon is asymmetric and the left-handed beings evolved first and beat up their right-handed younger brothers before they got a chance to evolve. Another principle of constraint is the symmetry principle, which states that when 2 structures get together they must share a common symmetry. Cuz of these principles the possibilities in genetic space are more limited and these are selected for by specific requirements of the organelle or organism and environmental factors and energy considerations basically want low cost and high efficiency.  Our "initial condition" is the nucleic acid, thusly any resulting biological structures must share symmetries with this. [followed by this page:]

[May 17... and she gets happy...] almost like a little girl, but in a mature way. After 18 holes (i shot 103) and taking a load over with her dad only to find the place was closed, we dumped it at my place. My pace is in complete disarray. I'm beginning to detest my place. I've seen the light and won't have anything to do with this even i liked it for the 2 years i lived here. Time is up. Time for a change. So after they left it was C's last day before field camp so we saw a movie. We were tried after waking up at 4:30 to make 5:10 tee time. Golfers are insane. After that we went bouldering at Gate's pass. We didn't even fuss with my place after that but went to the Courtyard Inn down by the airport. Spent $69 on a nice room with a king-size bed. Just seemed like the right thing to do. Had dinner in the lobby restaurant then took a jacuzzi. Had to get up to be at U of A by 7 a.m. And now is now. I can never grasp it. It's like listening to a song and trying to grab one note. The notes just keep rolling on and make you forget the first note. I could use this week to do all these things i've been meaning to do, like have a happy childhood. Except i've really got to get that paper off my mind. [Followed by this next page from May 17 where we started to log our diet + exorcise:]

[Check this out: So i'm thinking these exact thoughts and how i could be creative with this paper like i did on the first page by talking about talking about population model and predator-prey... ] relationships by using Wile E. Coyote vs Roadrunner graphs and models. I bought this book today at Pima on "How to Write Fiction" (ha-ha) and i opened it up randomly and happened upon an excerpt about Wile E. Coyote and how he runs off cliffs a couple yards out before he realizes what's up. Synchronicity. Wile E. is the split personality poet/physicist. His poet side run on air but suddenly his rational critic sides take over and he realizes he can't do this. How i long to be a writer of fiction. I'm so sick of thinking things through, of having to be so rational and scientific. I went out to lunch today w/ Ronnie and Jesus and we were talking about things like ghosts and how if any physicist tries to come up with a theory to explain such supernatural phenomena they will be considered quacks or poseurs and will not be respected (by the scientific community anyway). Writers don't have to worry about that. It is insanely free. There's no point in verifying the existence of ghosts because whatever i write on this paper exists. I create it. I can make "me" be whatever i want. The words are the test of their own truth. Writing is the ability to lie well. This chaos paper is the block. I just saw Patrick and he did the same thing for Carruther's Chaos class, said he would e-mail it to me, as long as i don't copy it, haha.
     I try to remember but reality is too strong. My brain is a beehive, my sense fly in and out and reap the pollen. Then bring it back. Each bee is just a bee. What is the honey? The hive is the collective behavior. Enjoying art is drinking the honey. Nepalese honey hunters. This is the writing process. They must climb delicately only with hemp ropes, ignoring the throngs of bees, ignoring the senses. Their mind fixes on the honey. The senses pull, like Wile E. Coyote when he runs off a cliff. He doesn't realize until he looks down and only then he knows he will fall. Nepalese honey hunters walk on air. Their sense buzz, their skin teems with bees. They remain undaunted, still climbing. When they reach the hive they must not fear. If they don't fear they won't get stung. The bees buzz in vain. He reaches in and pulls out the combs. The ink like honey on the page. The honey combs are my brain. He captures something of me, this Nepalese honey hunter. He lowers on the hemp rope. He'll get a big jar and put my brain into it. The sun will melt the comb into honey and you will spoon it into your coffee. The honey is paint on canvas. Who is this Nepalese honey hunter that puts my brain in a glass jar for the world to see? Back at the hive the bees still buzz and gather more pollen. [followed by this page:]

May 19
Exercise: 18 holes of gold w/ Jesus (South Randolph, shot 96 for par 70 +26)
Back and forth to U of A twice
Breakfast: grapenuts and shredded wheat w/ soymilk
Lunch: Shrimp fried rice (1/2 order)
Dinner: Salad and Jamaican pastry (Bentley's) + 2 pieces of toast

May 20
Exercise: 103 pullups (in about 10 sets)
15 minutes of stairmaster level 14 and 12 (stomach was empty and full of acid)
Breakfast: shredded wheat, banana, toast
Lunch: Mushroom + potato tacos, rice + beans, 2 cookies
Dinner: leftover shrimp fried rice. Biscotti.
Weight: 150
Dream [not yet logged in dream journal]: I was supposed to be in this class but when i went to it it was all women. They were taking their clothes off and were given something. I saw these plastic coffee stirrers and thought those were them. I was trying to be real inconspicuous, all the women were fully or half naked and i felt i was intruding. We went over to another room and they handed their things in. A girl in the back saw me and passed my coffee stirrer to the front. The teacher looked at it and she's like "what is this?" All the women turned. The one next to me was trying to make me embarrassed "that's for baby food." But i just told the truth. I guess it was o.k. that i was there. They were gonna watch a movie, something like 2001. They had a little projector and screen but it suddenly turned into a big panoramic film. The opening scene was of a pool, it started on the ground then went into an aerial shot, flying around. The women we're gone and i realized i was at that pool, it was Grannini's house. I went out to look at the helicopter. I couldn't figure out how they were filming and i was watching it at the same time, i looked up to see if i could see the camera. The helicopter was circling around and going upside down and doing tricks. It was obviously interested in Grannini’s house. Then it came straight for me. I thought that they were just trying to scare me or get a reaction out of me so i stood my ground. But when it got closer i realized it would hit me so i ducked a little bit and it nicked the red anorak i was wearing. I went inside to tell someone. Kevin was in the back bedroom watching the movie on VCR, when i told him he jumped up (in his underwear) and ran outside to see. Jeff was in the living room watching it, but when i told him he didn't believe me, said it was a movie. Mom asked us if we wanted 2 grilled cheese sandwiches or 1.
     I think the reason i dream about grandpa Cal’s house was cuz i can hear the doves and other birds, i'm gonna try to make up a dream, lucid dreaming, here goes... it won't be mine, it will be some homely kid's from middle America—we were at the public pool, me and Jason. I went to buy some Cheetos and saw Lisa Talbert. I was embarrassed cuz i had my speedo on and it was tight in the crotch. I was like [handwriting fading like we was falling asleep] hitting a kidder, i was on me, and i still had my glasses on.

May 21
Breakfast: 2 pieces of toast
Lunch: veggie burger w/ fries, cookie
Dinner: top ramen and broccoli
Exercise: did 3 walls at the culvert and 20 or 30 fingertip pullups [the culvert was an underpass with rocks glued to the walls where climbers would practise, like an outdoor climbing gym].
Saturday afternoon, i was up til 4 a.m. last night/morning and i'm basically through with my paper on Chaos in population dynamics [this is the paper we were talking about in the last post that set us off searching through and organizing all our papers, but we never did find it, tho we remember seeing a copy]. I'm almost free. Gotta prepare some lectures next week and start moving, but then my mind will be free to write cuz that's what i really want to do. I'm going to the Dragoons right now to meet C and we're gonna camp at the Stronghold, maybe after eating Mexican food in a caboose, if i can find it, damn it.
     [switches ink color]. I’m at the Roadrunner restaurant in Sunizona, Arizona. I definitely have been here before. I ordered a grill cheese sandwich and french fries and iced tea. This place reminds me of some place in Oregon. The floors are unfinished cement. It's nice though. I mean technically. But it's seriously in the middle of nowhere. It took me 2 hours to get to this point. Another short story going my mind. I'm not sure i'm ready to write it but i'll sketch it out -->

[this scenario sort of made it into the end of A Raft Manifest, tho not sure we mentioned Mt St Helens + how «how his absence affected us more than his presence ever did»]

Food situation:

May 22:
breakfast: cereal
Lunch: grilled cheese, fries
Dinner: 2 cheese enchiladas, bean tostada, rice and beans

May 23:
Breakfast: 2 peaches, 2 bananas, granola bar
Lunch: nuts, more fruit, fiber bars
Dinner: Fish sandwich, fries

May 24:
Breakfast: grapenuts and Mueslix
Lunch: vegetable tofu
Dinner: broccoli and brown rice, protein shake w/ peaches, bananas, pollen, wheat germ
First day of the science-bridge thing is over. Once this gets rolling, things will be cool. Steve lectured the morning session then Bowen + Patrick gave an excellent lab tour as did Huffman group. Now i got to start preparing a few electronics lectures... fun, fun, how to make that interesting?
     So this weekend was weird. Saturday i finished up my populations dynamics paper (and handed that in today). It was hard to get out of Tucson. The heat like a blanket. It took hours at AM/P.M. Everybody wanted to escape, get gas in their car and later! I wasn't in a hurry. But i felt rushed to get out. I was to meet C at 5:30, it was only noon or so. I thought I'd get on that long strip of asphalt and set C's car on cruise at 60 but there was a military convoy going 60 which took forever to pass. Finally i got to whatever that road is that goes to Dragoons. I already wrote about Sunizona, though i probably didn't say much, it really is an amazing place. I continued on but i was too early to go to "Sunglow ranch" so i pulled the car over. Listened to the silence only interrupted by the car cooling off, the metal ticking. I shat on the side of the road. No cars were coming so there was no need to hide behind a bush. I slept with the windows down. Every 10 minutes or so a car or truck would rush by, ripping through the silence with a doppler-shifted swoosh.
     Sunglow ranch is more like a retreat than a camp. All the other students were playing hacky-sack, C was in the shower. This pond drew me down like a magnet. Water in Arizona? I walked down and took my sandals off. My toes squirmed in the algae-mud. Frogs burped then jumped in the water. Little fish darted about hitting my legs. C came down. I expected her to be a little weird. Once she was "normal" she told me she was fretting the b.s. "I missed you, how are you going? hug hug stuff". We got out of there asap. I still had the image of the caboose diner in my head and convinced C into going out there. Damned if it better be there otherwise i would have felt stupid. There it was, "Sonora Express". Inside a caboose with red felt wallpaper just like the wild wild west. The food looked good but tasted like shit. But it was fun. C forgot to bring her sleeping bag so we got a motel room in Wilcox. 4:30 wake-up call and into the car. It was already hot when we got to the stronghold, twice i saw black ravens ominously perched on road signs. When a coyote crossed our path that was it. I was thinking "fuck it, that's what the coyote wants us do." That's where the danger lies, is in altering your path for superstitions. But C and her engrained Navajo superstition was freaking out. I had to convince her we shouldn't alter our path, just take it as a warning sign. We passed a golf course and laughed. We even wrote a note on green paper about our predicted death, but C didn't want to mention the coyote in case her parents found it. We put the note in her car in case something did happen to us. Nothing did but frustration. [Here's the actual note:]

We did the heinous bush whack all the way to Arribas Amoebas (5.10, 2 pitches). I was nervous as hell because they redid the rand and it pulled it in more [?]. The start was funky. C was telling me to sing "by the rivers of Babylon". I did, but my voice quivered. I did the first pitch. The belay stance sucked. My feet were killing me. I went a ways up on the 2nd pitch. My feet were so painful i had to take my shoes off on a ledge. I struggled with this one move but eventually figured it out and pulled through. My psyche was fucked up. I climbed up to the first bolt of the 3rd pitch. But i knew before i wouldn't do it. Maybe i though i would do it if i just started. I just stood there below the sketchy looking 5.10 crux and couldn't picture myself doing it. Downclimbed and rapped off. Mica, C's T.A. showed up w/ 2 freaks then we went to "Nightstalker" on Owl Rock. It was hard to get on the rock. I made 2 placements in a crack above the bolt. I was wearing my new Kamets cuz my Tao's hurt so much. I don't know what i did but it felt clumsy and stupid and the next thing i knew i'm slipping down the rock and falling. I look up and my TCU held. I felt very undignified. I re-did the move and don't know what i did wrong, as it was easy. Clipped the 2nd bolt and there was this high step i just didn't feel i could do. I cursed myself. I hated myself for not being able to do it, for letting that damn coyote get into my head. A big rain cloud was coming in. I felt impotent. Funny, Nightstalker goes up this phallic looking rock, though C didn't think so and got pissed at me for saying so. Serves me right. It rained in big splashes, but not hard. It smelled amazing with the dust and mesquite.
     Drove back via Sunsites, where we stopped at some cafe where they were really rude to us. Then we drove off some side road and slept for almost 2 hours while the rain teased outside. It was definitely storming at Sunglow ranch as we approached. I was almost glad to leave C as i felt like a loser, unworthy of her company. I was feeling really down on myself and just wanted to be alone. I stopped at "The Thing"  but didn't get anything cuz i didn't know what i wanted. I listened to bad country music or AM radio then to some twisted evangelical bullshit to torture myself. Called Mark when i got back, he went to the Philippines today so we went for a beer at O'Malleys but that whole scene is B.S. Brian was there bellying up to the bar with his other long-haired co-workers. He was toting Hesse in his back-pocket with the title showing for everyone to see. The owner Scott was plastered and buying all his employees Jägermeister shots, so of course Brian is saying to us on the side, "sorry guys, i've got to go drink these." He's showing his book to everyone. The owner is staggering, sets a shot on our table and mumbles something like "watch this for me". Mark had him pegged. He went to U of A, has rich parents, could never outgrow the partying fratboy life. His parents were concerned about his well-being, about his career, so ask him, well, what are your interests? And when he says drinking they buy him a bar... it will be a good investment, a win-win situation." As if their buddies, he's got his left hand on the shoulder of his nicely dressed black employee (who probably despises him, but he needs the job) and his right hand gropes 1 of the 3 sleazy looking groupies that could have been no older than 15. Seriously.  Ripped jeans, black lace, gross make-up, leather jackets. Letting his hands glide all over them. One of them keeps looking at me then says to Brian (i can read her lips), "aren't you going to introduce me to your friends." So Brian comes over and introduces them and i don't even look up to acknowledge them. I don't have anything to say to Mark or Rich so i bailed, went home to be by myself. As i was leaving, i went out to unlock my bike. There was this guy out there who said "nice boots" before i even got out the door. I saw him earlier walking out front with a bag of laundry slung over his shoulder. He was "black," but his skin was brown and his hair was sloppy, kinda dready. He wore all black. He was sitting by my bike with his empty laundry bag.
     "Nice boots" he repeated. "What kind are they?"
     I told him Merrill’s then complained about the soles and showed him there was none left. Then i told him they didn't make this kind anymore.
     "Isn't that the way it always goes? Once you start liking something they pull it off the market and keep making the dumb shoes nobody likes." I agreed and unlocked my bike.
     "You go to school?" he asked.
      "I guess so," i said, though i was going home.
     "Education's a good thing," he said, nodding his head up and down.

May 30—Hollywood
I'm sitting outside Kevin's place, in his driveway. His cats, well, i should say Edward's cats, are looking at me through the glass door. I can't believe i think this smoggy air is fresh but it feels like it compared to inside their place. It's a fairly nice place but they don't take care of it. Kevin's room is neat, as usual, but beyond his door it's disgusting. It reeks of kitty litter, a bitter stench, there's little shits and barf on the carpet. The cats greet you friendly enough but you can't help but to laugh... Edward keeps them shaved because of their fleas and it makes them look scrawny and pathetic w/ huge heads. Fleas still jump around everywhere and they still shed all over. They have no furniture except for a pukeish-salmon colored sofa they got for $5. Their bathroom sink is clogged and full of a blackish sludge. Their kitchens' gross though it's bare, they don't use it. Their refrigerator only has beer and a jar of peaches. A quick look in the garbage can reveals an archaeological dig of layer upon layer of cat food boxes showing neither of them use the kitchen for anything except to feed the cats. For that matter, the living room seems to be solely a cat lair. And the amount of cat food boxes doesn't mean their well-fed, just that they never empty the garbage. The cat's do nothing but meow and their bowls are empty. Edward's never around, always "editing" which Kevin says means he's on a heroin binge. So i'm down in lower Hollywood below the sign. The 3 cats look at me yearning for freedom. Edward never lets them out of their lair. Now Kevin has emerged, bitching about Edward. He's about to hose down his yard which beyond the low wall i'm leaning against. [Kevin didn't keep a journal in 1993, but had we transcribed this entry earlier we might have inklooted it in Textiloma as it's telling... at the time Kevin said he didn't do drugs.]  
     I'm back in Tucson now but i still haven't been home. The shuttle dropped me of at U of A and i dropped the big box with the Mexican mask i bought years ago... in 86 or 87 and it has never been on a wall of mine, just never had room for it, living in a camper and then travelling. So i lent it to Kevin but felt guilty taking it back since it was on display at the children's museum in Pasadena [where Kevin worked]. So last week, the first week teaching at Pima, went well. Hopefully that will be the hardest one. Nothing was organized so that made it somewhat hectic. Steve did the lecture on Monday and Tuesday mornings (statistics, yech!) and we toured the various labs to introduce the students to what they do. Wednesday and Thursday i felt better after getting to know the students and feeling comfortable with them, and everything was seeming to fall into place. Friday i spent a long time w/ Dr. Hill, arranging to have Martha, Cindy and maybe Diahn work for him. So now they're all more or less placed. Friday afternoon i left for L.A. I was supposed to take the 5 pm shuttle, i even called back to reconfirm, that it would meet me at U of A mall, cuz i suspected there might be a mishap. And of course there was. Luckily my plane didn't leave until 8:30 so i got the 6:00 and got there just in the nick of time. Kevin picked me up. We ate fast-food Thai in this dive in Hollywood full of Thai people. Friday night i slept on his couch. The cats, Taco, Helen and Tiger slept all over me. At 5:00 a.m. Taco was pacing in a circle that included jumping over me and walking along the couch rim, over and over and over, as if to keep fleas from hopping on him, or at least to keep his mind off them. I'd look down and there would be fleas on fleas. There were fleas all over my arms. I was still tired but couldn't sleep. Eventually Kevin got up and we went running. First up the steep Hollywood sign hill and to the Hollywood reservoir and around it, then by Madonna's house on the hill. Movie stars lounging with sunglasses. I was actually surprised, it's a cool little reservoir, so close to the grossness of L.A. We ate lunch in Hollywood and bough Drano and then Kevin dumped the whole can into his drain (though it said 1 tablespoon). The water bubbled and i felt the pile and it was almost too hot to touch. Then we went to the "breeding grounds" as i know call it, 551 E. California Blvd. in Pasadena. New faces, but still the same art student vibe. Spoiled loud white trash that sit around, have beepers, talk about movies and generally don't do much of anything. They all seemed like they were on speed. Hard to describe, everybody amped up on a different level than me. It's an attitude that's obtained by all those who enter the gates of 551 E. California, the trashed quadruplex amidst the nice Pasadena suburbia. Tim smoked a cigar and mouthed off, there was a video going on about some bondage and discipline mistress paddling guys asses, everyone shooting the crap. Kevin picks up a letter from the clutter off the ground... evidently the neighbor is working on having them all evicted. It was hilarious, even they thought so. Then Kevin and I went by the "gallery," this guy Ken's house in total suburbia of Pasadena. He's got 5 pieces, Annapurna and the 2 of Shiva, one extending out of a log [which we now have!] and another embedded in a rock. Another room was a sort of room within a room installation piece. It was a large room (3 x 5 x 9 or so) of unfinished sheetrock. One wall had drawers that you could see the slats and there was nothing in the drawers, at least not what you'd expect, one drawer had a kitchen sink in it [see below]. There was a toilet paper holder too far away to reach if you were sitting on the "toilet sink". There were sockets with loose wires sticking out, sliding doors with handles only on the outside. You could see through the slat of drawers. Kind of you worst nightmare bathroom. The other room had his bobsled on a huge Styrofoam ramp [also below]. Once again, it had to be installed.


We got beer and came back. Kevin wanted to get 8 cases but Ken would only let him get 3. We waited. I fell asleep on the couch. People showed up around 7 or so. Roger and Gretchen, who i haven't seen for a while, the Louderback boys, the whole gang. Just when it started to get happening, Ken started flicking the lights off and on. So everyone started blurting out directions to some party or another.
     Eventually we ended up at "Megaboom". Some gallery that's in an indoor swimming pool. I guess i was entertained. I mean, there was plenty of eye candy, free food and beer and weird people. But i would never be able to deal with this scene. I was bored off my ass in an hour or two. I tried to socialize but everyone is so superficial. I guess the "in" thing is platform shoes and bell bottoms. The girls wear a lot of make-up and try to show their tits but you can see right through the make-up to the lonely Midwest girls that they really are, unhealthy with L.A. aging, even uglier without the make-up now that they depend on it. And no one gives a shit about the art on the walls. Isn't that what they're there for? I mean, the place had a lot of potential for expressing ideas. But they have nothing to express, they just want to be seen. What will become of the '90s? They were filming these various different musicians for some video to send to Tokyo. All the musicians sucked. The highlight was the last one. I had noticed this quiet shy Japanese guy sitting by himself with his guitar. Towards the end they got him and told him to set up. He was sincere and a little nervous, and nicely dressed. But when he played it was this sweet kick-ass Flamenco music. Pure talent. Kevin and the gang wanted to continue the party somewhere else, but i'd had enough. Today we ate Indian food and saw Leolo's intense film. I'm sick of writing. I've been writing this story about airports the whole way on the plane.

[... to June 1993]

767 <(current)> 769> ∀ll about our wonderful mother: processing a lazy-fair lifted wait + lack of sighence
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