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A Rendezvous In the Land BART Doesn’t Veture

Rendezvous on the day we met.

So, safely back in San Francisco I opened up my laptop and started to do the nitty gritty work that one must do in order to find a boat to purchase.

I set up an IFTTT “recipe” that would alert me every time a new listing was posted to craigslist that met my criterion. These criterion being the following: 27-35′, SAILboat, <$5,000. At this, I began to call every person who was selling a boat that remotely resembled what I wanted. If you want an idea of what I was looking for, it was a Pearson “Triton”  in decent enough condition to sail off the bat, no motor necessary.

In a two week period, while I stayed at a friends place in SOMA, I called over 500 different people. I dropped damn near everything to find a boat, I visited plenty, and a few I invited my more experienced boat friends to come check them out with me. By the end of the two weeks I was losing patience and getting worried, and then I saw a post on Craigslist that interested me. No picture, and even less information, “Cal 2-34, in good condition. Needs home. Westerbeke engine doesn’t work.” So, I called and went to look at it the next day.

Cal 34 - Specs

Well, needless to say it wasn’t a Cal 2-34, it was a 34-3 (there’s a difference, but we can talk about that later), and it was in great condition. I put up a bid that day for $4,500, and owned it the following Monday. Just in time to get out of my friends apartment so that his subletter could take the room I was in.

So, I bought this boat…

So Rendezvous is awesome, let me just say that. She’s the best, like we’re totes besties for life, for ever. She came with lots of gizmos and gadgets, an 1800w inverter, auto-helm, a switch board that looks like star wars, a second pair of sails, self tailing winches, and a paint job that appears to still be doing it’s job! With a roller furling jib, and some of the stupidest cleats you’ve ever seen (don’t put spin-lock cleats on your big sailboat, just don’t), being some of the larger things that I want to replace, I had me a good deal.

Without an inboard that functions, and wasn’t going to, I had it removed. I posted it to Craigslist and a guy from Monterey came and pulled it out, paying me 150$ for the privilege. Took him six hours, with the assistance of his son, a friend of his, and my dear friend Josh. I was super useful too, in that I took a bunch of pictures.

George, the worst roommate

Pulling Out

So what do you do without an inboard? Well, you can do a lot of things, you can sail without it, or you can find alternative options. I’ve opted for what I can find, and what I could find was a borrowed 6hp Tohatsu extra long shaft outboard stuck as low on the transom as it can get. It was enough to get me in and out of my slip, motor around in calm conditions, and to finish rounding a poorly planned tack. It is also still a sea cow, and with all sea cow’s you get headaches, back aches (those chokes can be damn hard to pull), and funny looks from all of your friends.

“You push your boat with that?” Folks on the docks ask me, and I beam proudly and say, “Yep! I also was forced to tack out of the Port of Chicago for six hours.”

At this point I am writing this, I am completely engineless, as the friend’s I borrowed the motor from (Thank you Chris and Alana!) needed their sea cow so they could get to their haul out. In all honesty, I’m not too upset about the lack of a motor at the very moment as there isn’t much wind here in the wintertime anyhow. I am planning on buying another outboard motor by the end of the winter. Iff’n you get word of an affordable and operable 10-15 horse Honda 4-stroke with an extra long shaft and an electric start, holla.

The previous owners were a middling couple who had owned the boat for about a decade and had grown tired of paying for a boat with a non-operating engine. I suspect they also had grown tired of the idea of sailing a boat around, when they had other interests building up. These things happen, and turned out well to my favor.

I inherited the slip along with the boat, at Marina Village Yacht Harbor in Alameda, California. A little island adjacent to Oakland built by landfill and was the home to a fairly large naval base for many years. I tend to describe it to folks as the place the BART doesn’t go.

“…The place the BART doesn’t go.”

Now, amongst liveaboards, and those who want to live on boats, there is a firm understanding that finding liveaboard-legal slips can be a tricky thing in the Bay Area. Berkeley Marina, though alive and bustling with a bountiful culture and a great location for sailing, is very stern about their liveaboard policies. The waiting list being a long one, and shrouded in mysterious preferences and requirements. Jack London Square Marina allows for it, but also has certain (and possibly strict) requirements. 5th Avenue has this, but also lacks shower facilities and other niceties. Emeryville Marina is about as sketch as they come, and of course then there is the option to anchor out in Richardson Bay. Though the last option is a fine one, not one I am quite ready for yet at this point.

This was on my boat, but it died.

I was worried when I got the boat if I would be able to acquire a legal liveaboard slip, or if I would have to “sneakaboard”, (This is the cutesy name given to those that illegally live on their boats within marina’s). Surprisingly enough, I had no trouble getting this legal status at the marina in Alameda. I simply asked the harbor master if I could live there, and began to pay the $200 monthly fee on top of my slip fees.  I may have a super power, or more likely, I am just supremely lucky.

Life went on in a battle for an engine, until June 20th, 2014. This being the date of Rendezvous’ and I’s first sail together. More on this in the next post.

More on the Mentally Disruptive

For the millionth fucking time, I’m depressed. I live in one of the best places in the world, and here I am crying into my wine. This time for a variety of reasons, (my boyfriend of one year refuses to talk to me right after I went to the mental institution twice in one week, or that my meds don’t seem to be working at all, and my job is falling apart…. to name a few), but mainly it is fueled by that underlying layer of self-doubt, Fear, and sarcasm.

What does one do in such a situation? Wait for that life saving mania to come along and make the world beautiful again, just to be dropped on my head after a few weeks of rash decisions and late nights? Sounds brilliant, I might even write something then.

I’ve reached a point where I am just about to give up on being healthy and am contemplating simply exploiting myself for internet points. I can still write about it, and yea, it’s cliché, everyone’s done it already,  but what if my mental illness is somehow unique from all of the Hunters, Poe’s, and Hemmingway’s out there? It’s not. There isn’t anything particularly unique about a young woman losing her shit far from her family in a room she hasn’t paid rent on yet, in a city she didn’t fall in love with. Paranoid, and filthy, giving up on showers because “My hair still smells good” and “Nobody gives a fuck.”

Even in this state, I’m apparently still somewhat, if at least, mildly attractive. Broke, hungry, I managed to arrange a date with a different man each night for nearly two weeks in order to secure my daily meal. I still got drunk, I still got home, and I managed to forget things for nanoseconds at a time. Albeit these men, for the most part, were of no real interest to me, save for a few who promised to be platonic. And then others I went home with because they seemed kind and forgiving, but these men I sought out first.

Problem with the depressed mind is that she’s obsessed. I can’t stop thinking about the first offense, and send out text messages accordingly. I come off as a mad woman in a cage, trying desperately to fix something that isn’t going to get fixed. Especially if I run off and break myself some more. I need a pile of concrete to trust my heart in, concrete will be able to handle the mood swings, blatant self-destruction, and disregard for manners.

I need to assure myself that this too shall pass, and that all of my inane ramblings mean something to someone out there. Don’t we all do this though? We assure ourselves that everything will be fine, especially when they probably never will be. It’s dramatic, but it’s true, shit’s gonna happen. Things are going to get hard, really fucking hard, and those moments sitting on the back porch with a pack of lucky’s and a bottle of wine might be the only good times. So relish them, and learn how to relish in the hard times too. Learn how to love suffering, that’s how you get through it, at least that’s what I’m told.

An Argentinian man name Garmon, I’ve been teaching him how to play the clarinet in return for food, told me that you have to suffer through it. That he couldn’t help me, but that he knew how I feel. I believe him, you can’t hit 60 without learning a thing or two about suffering, about pain. Particularly the self inflicted type.

So, in a weeks time, I begin to improve. My chemistry begins to rebuild itself, to readjust to the new state of loneliness I’ve found myself in. I relish it, I learn to love it. That’s where I am. Accepting that I am a being that will always have times of lows, and highs, and that there isn’t anything necessarily bad about this. Yes, I am disruptive, all of us mentally disruptive folks tend to be. It’s in the title, it’s on the cover, “I am a mad man, here are my masks, take them for what they are.”

At the beginning of this writing I was in the pits of despair, a heavy load on my heart. The load, it has left me, with a hole that has to be filled with production. Unfortunately, the only production I know is ethereal in nature. The load, it left with a final “Fuck you.” I’m beginning to understand the nature of my disease, I suppose the next step is learning how to use it to my advantage, and the to the advantage of other people.

The Thing I’m Trying to Write

I walked into the room, cluttered, with old magazines all over the floor. Before me stood the twins, seemingly mangled and tortured in a manner I had never even thought possible. They wore two collars each, one with a sort of tracking device, or so it seemed to be, and another that held a tube that went into their carotid arteries. Their skin was pasty white, with matted blonde hair stuck to their oddly misshapen foreheads, nearly completely spherical in form with protruded brows.

I looked around myself, taking in this scene, with the smell so acrid and pungent, smelling of juniper and burnt plastic. At some point the bell tolled and the twins began to speak their minute of speech they were allotted every hour. They both stared at me and informed me that, “the cows are on the farthest side of the storm and you’d better watch the ants crawl up the sun.”  They said this in unison, which is a rare thing to have happen, and if I were a more superstitious person I would’ve taken credence of this sign. Fortunately, I am not such a person.

The looks on their faces after their minute of sound was of what I could only imagine to be peace, all encompassing contentment and maybe even pleasure. Otherwise their faces were the same distorted, wretch-like complexions that were so terrible to behold.

“Hello Ryliel. What brings you here today?” inquired a tall, blonde, man coming from what may have been once a kitchen, but now resembled more of a genetics lab with sequencers and little trays with tens of little dips in them for holding fluids, mostly blood.

Looking at the smooth distorted legs of the twin’s I managed to say that I was simply checking on the Zeit Jager well being. I had been sent to this place by the swiss government, as Artimus well knew, to check on the well being and ethicalness of this operation.

The twins, in the small village of Noethenhold, represented to the people here the essence of time itself. The twins were the product of years, 7 generations to be exact, of cloning and inbreeding. The people here, rather than focusing their technological advancement on curing disease, focused instead on continuing the line of twins, these god-heads called the Ziet Jåger, to their now-final incarnation. As, in some twist of fate, this last round produced two completely infertile males. Unfit for cloning, and their DNA, if cloned would have to be mixed with a regular human being, thus diluting the blood line.

At this point in the Zeit Jager evolution they were no longer considered human, having been genetically altered to the point of having very little in common with homosapiens, and more in common with the juniper berry fungi’s which they ingested from birth. This fungus caused in them two reactions; one very similar to that of the drug provigil, another like that of alprazolam. They were highly active in mind, ate little, and stayed awake constantly, rarely sleeping save for once a month for approximately 48 hours. Then, they also were relaxed in body, speaking but once an hour to say the time, or that is what the people of this village thought. They believed that in “saying the time”, when the twins were trained to speak, they spoke the truth of the very universe.

Now, I happened to know that this was not time worship as it ought to be. We then already had figured out the matter which time was, and in a fashion were beginning to experiment with the very beginnings of time manipulation. I won’t get into it now, as it isn’t important yet, but know, time is in itself an element that can be changed.

One interesting side effect of this now very altered fungus, was that when one spoke the brain would release dopamine in mass quantities, causing a very contented and pleasurable sensation. Most people could not withstand the after-effect of such a release, as their brains generally won’t produce enough dopamine in the first place, but the twins, with their centuries of engineering were built specifically to be able to handle this outpour of pleasure.

For ages, regular members of this faith have tried to partake in this drug, to only find themselves emptied and driven mad. Never again being able to reach such emotional or physical high’s, and not being able to handle the depressive state that follows such high’s.

“So, have you come to conclude anything about my children here? We’ve all been very curious about what it is you want with our Zeit Jager. The town has an air of anxiety about it with you here.” Artimus said to me while stroking the forehead of the rightmost twin.

“I’m still coming to my conclusion. I haven’t been able to really pinpoint what else it is your religion does. Even if you don’t call yourself by any name, you know you are in some way a cult of sorts. I don’t know what to do with you.” I replied earnestly. I really didn’t.

These people, these Zeit Jager, were so inhuman that there was no ethical code that I could apply to them, they didn’t appear to be in pain, and were so engineered to be able to more than withstand, but flourish in the conditions they were in. They were allowed free range if they pleased, and like cattle tended to by caring ranchers, were never want for anything. The most pain I had ever seen them in was in the case that a woman attempted to brush their hair. They wailed in a most unpleasant way, and she quickly stopped, apologizing profusely. It is in this way that they were spoiled even.

“Really, Artimus, I have no idea what to do here. My gut says that this is somehow wrong, inhumane even, but these two… they aren’t human. They aren’t even of this earth it seems.”

“That might be so. My ancestors worked hard on cultivating these two right here, and it is, I say wrong of you to attempt to stop the inevitable. The [timehunters] will die in a matter of decades, and there will likely be no more, unless our science can prove otherwise. We are here, at your mercy, but know we won’t stop what it is we worship and how we live because of you and the nation’s treatise on controlling the lives of those under their reign.”

I pondered his words, and quickly without thought, “Why don’t you help the world with your knowledge rather than selfishly continuing this trend of god-knows-what. It truly is an abomination to see with my eyes, this scene before me. And I don’t understand why it must go on so. Why can’t you let this tradition die, and stop trying? We could use more organs for transplant, better cures for disease and cancer. We could use you, for the best of the entire human species.”

“Can’t you see, this is  the best for the species. We keep here, in our bosom that which will continue to unite humanity. We have the future on our side, even if that is not the future you would wish to see. We have another species we are building which, even with it’s imperfection is far fitter than you or myself.” he sighed, “You can think what you want, but I haven’t anything else to say to you. It’s time to feed these two.”

Creative Writing Exercise #7

Space, limited to the inches between our bodies, and the miles of silence between our lips. A condition I am not used to. My body craves touch and attention. I feel gorgeous but there seems to not be anybody around to appreciate this sensation with me. 

In part, my body feels used, and simultaneously under-appreciated. It is a strange place to be. I didn’t think it possible until recently. I yearn to be touched and caressed in ways I never thought I would yearn for. I’m not used to having so little physical attention from someone who claims to love me. I’m not used to the lack of attention at all. 

I feel that my only recourse is to attempt to recreate self love in all of the ways that I can. Though I feel that this is inadequate. So I look at porn, but the attentions given there only strike in me a sensation of jealousy. A jealousy that later turns to sorrow and self-pity. These are not the feelings I want to feel. 

My body may be some sort of temple in the end, it is the only one I have and I ought to treat it that way. In her yearnings and desires I do not know what else to do with her but to let her go on feeling so needlessly. If only there was a way to fill the gap that would otherwise be a loving hand on my thigh, a kiss on my collarbone, a caress of my breast, a titillation of those parts that crave sensation more than any other. 

Above all else, I realize now what it is to be truly womanly. In my body’s needs, I realize how much of a woman I really am, and how beautiful and tragic that can be.

Post-ness

On my way back from Maker Faire the other day I had a vision of post-apocalyptic Bart-stations signs. There is one in the Caltrain San Bruno stop, engraved into the concrete wall, it says, “BART Station” very proudly. I imagine this standing there years and ages from now alone, one last bastion of civilization. The thing we leave behind for the future historians, “WE HAD PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, mostly.” All empires fall, it just depends on when. Now, isn’t that a trite little phrase. 

 This hasn’t left me, this feeling of post-ness. Now, I know we’re supposed to live in the future, and of course we do. Every moment is more the future than any moment preceding it. Or perhaps the truth is every moment that is the present is more present than those moments that are now past… or something along those lines. Time is tricky, and as a lady who still fancies herself a burgeoning historian (albeit I only learned how to pronounce “burgeoning” this year), I am apt to think of it in fairly loose ways. I travel through time all of the time, but only ever backwards. I like it there, it’s where I belong. 

 But post-ness, what exactly is that sensation of after-ness that I get sometimes? This sensation like we are somehow past our zenith, or that we are to reach one we were never meant to reach. I live in a modern Athens, in a modern Rome, this is true, during a silicon age of gold mining, and this I must say is effecting how I think about things. 

 My relationship to money has changed almost completely, not that I’m any better about saving it, but that my perception of a thousand dollars versus a few hundred is drastically different. My perception of the “entrepreneurial spirit” has changed. I used to think it didn’t exist, save for in small doses amongst the insane, now I see it as a daily occurrence. An occurrence that I’m not quite sure about, the desire for riches doesn’t strike me as a healthy one. Having things to make art with, or to do anything with, that might be something.

 My relationship to love is changing. I’m seeing it in day light, and night light, and I’m seeing more and more how I affect (and equally effect) those around me. I never thought I was as disruptive a force in those lives of those that I love until told that this is in fact the case. Humans are like any animal, they respond well to cooing, and not so well to the frantic antics of a young woman hyped up on an arsenal of chemistry and generalized anxiety. Maybe they do respond well to the latter, and that’s why I’m still here. Comfortable as ever living the life of a fucking princess philosopher. 

A Continuing Game of Porcupine with Dr.Weidinger

This is a game I like to play called Porcupine. It takes many different forms, in song, poetry, sentences, words, pictures even. The idea is that you create a thing, and then your friend creates another like-thing that matches with the thing you created. Generally in some sort of order. The rules are maleable, this is the story format. This story is undone as it is @DrWeidinger‘s turn to play. I hope you enjoy what we have collectively created so far. 

In the beginning, well, we think it was the beginning. Most stories start in the middle, or the end really, but this one it starts in the beginning. At least we think it’s the beginning; we’ll have to get back to you on that one, this requires more research.

Anyway… where was I? Yea! The beginning. In the beginning, that may or may not have been the beginning there was a man. His name was Ralph; he resented his name but had never quite figured out what to change it to. He was going to change it to Richard, but wasn’t sure if he preferred “Dick” to “Vomiting.”

Ralph, as we’ll continue to call him, was walking to get his morning coffee. He did this every day, and had for as long as he could remember. Which wasn’t much, Ralph wasn’t in the habit of remembering very much of anything. He felt that it took away from the experience.

Upon entering the coffee shop, Ralph immediately noticed the barista standing behind the counter with its long matted hair and a peculiar sheen on the surface of its skin.  This was like no ordinary person Ralph had seen before. “What is this!” exclaimed the barista, “Every day you come in here with that look on your face and you askin’ all these questions like you already know the answer!”  Ralph wondered to himself, why on earth is this person so upset? The only thing I have done is walk into a coffee shop. Is this a crime? There are no security cameras in here, so it must not be a crime. Crimes only happen in places where there are security cameras, and there are no security cameras in here so everything must be okay. Unless they have hidden cameras… No, it would be foolish to hide cameras in a warm and inviting coffee shop such as this one.

Ralph was still staring at the barista, who was still visibly upset. Suddenly a cheap polyester armchair demanded Ralph’s attention. The chair was checkered with a vibrant yellow and orange Penrose pattern. His mind raced around the broken circles, looking at the center in this madness of this pattern. After a few seconds his eye ran into the seam of a cushion and lost the thread. That would be a nice place to sit. The barista stared back at him hotly, then turned around and lifted a to-go cup from the bottom of the stack, filled it with decaf, put in three cubes of sugar and turned back to Ralph. “And I am not going to tell you any more stories about Vostok. I’ve told you all I know.”

At this Ralph stopped, “Who the fuck is Vostok?” he thought to himself while juggling the cup in his hands. “Damn this is hot, oh wait, the little cardboard thing isn’t on it.” But at this he was already half a block away and wasn’t inclined to go back to coffee shop that seemed welcoming but really was a suffocating pit of despair, especially with that confusing barista hanging around.

As he walked, Ralph considered what he was going to do with his day. Perhaps work on that project he said he would work on, his wife had been badgering him about it for a while now. What was she so concerned about anyway? It wasn’t like their lives depended on him completing the building of a new buffet. They didn’t really ever invite guests over, so nobody would be seeing it besides them. What was the point if only two people derived joy from such a thing. Even if they had guests, or friends at all, they probably wouldn’t really like it. It would be one of those items that you see in houses that you talk about when there isn’t anything else to talk about. Like the furniture-world’s equivalent of talking about the weather.

No, Ralph thought to himself. If he finished the buffet then she would just go on to nag him about the next thing. She never seemed to be satisfied with what she had, always wanting for a relentless stream of more. It seemed absurd that any household could possibly need a fourth buffet table. Especially since they hadn’t had a single guest over in two hundred fifty six days. His wife, what was her name? Ralph held up his left arm and rolled up his sleeve to reveal the copious notes scrawled above his wrist, dotted lines connecting obscure symbols. Bold red letters spelled out MARSHA-L. That must be it.

Two hundred and fifty seven days ago Marsha had invited over a person who made the most delicious cakes. Ah yes, the man with the cakes had asked if Ralph could help with his satellite-launching rail gun. He was happy to help the man with some of the more complicated Lorentz force equations. These equations kept coming back to him, over the phone, from the man, always with cakes on the front stoop the next morning. They kept getting more complex. The equations, not the cakes, the cakes were always equally delicious. Ralph continued helping the cake man until one day he formulated a new theory of magnetism, which his pigeons utterly failed to comprehend. Maybe he would knock on his neighbor’s door and inquire as to how the rail gun was going. He hadn’t had a cake for quite some time. And this would certainly be more interesting than making another buffet table.

So Ralph, only a few doors from the cake man’s  house, turned around, and headed up the alley to the cake man’s place. Taking in the sweet smells of the city, the ten block radius in which he had lived out his entire life. Leaving only once for his honeymoon to Cancun, that was a terrible idea. So much sand, and birds, and sunshine, Ralph didn’t like any of these things. Especially birds. Well save for pigeons, but they seemed to have a hard time dealing with magnets for some reason.

“Heya Ralph! What are you doing you old bastard!” hollered a middle aged balding man wearing red suspenders and beaten khaki pants from a small, crowded landing.

“Not much, just thought I’d come by and see you. I was craving cake, you been baking much lately?” replied Ralph, not sure if he could continue the conversation much longer without saying the squat man’s name. “Sure, come on in. I’ll show you what I’ve got going.”  As Ralph went up to the door stoop, he paused at the mail box to take a peak at the name, G-A-R-N-E-R it read. “Good, I’ll call him Garner… I really should remember this stuff better.”

The man, now called Garner, let Ralph in. “How ya’ been lately buddy? Haven’t seen you in an age.” Garner said with special enthusiasm, “I have something exciting to show you!”

“What is this?” Ralph sat at Garner’s table eating what seemed to be a cake, but it had what could’ve been chunks of zucchini in it.

“Here, let me bring it to you.” At that Garner left the room and returned with a giant object, a square, and oblong, and round, and probably geometric object. “This is my new creation, I’ve found that if you put ingredients in it, any ingredients it will create a tasty cake. What you’re eating now is a made from batteries and spare television parts I found on the street, and maybe on mattress.”

“Well, it’s delicious! Are you sure this is edible?”

“Of course it’s edible, you’re eating it right?”

Ralph had to except this logic, he was indeed eating and even enjoying the television and batteries, and mattress? He wasn’t sure about the mattress, he suspected that he could still taste some of the street slime that had inevitably been soaked into the sponge as it likely laid on the sidewalk. Nasty street sponges, mattresses are.

 

 

The Electronic Cigarette

So recently I took the plunge, at the suggestion of Nic, to switch to the electronic cigarette, so that maybe I might not die as fast.

At the time my lungs were looking like they were going to come out looking like this:

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And nobody wants that, so I bought this:

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In the hopes that it would be enough. I did a lot of research trying to find out if it’s actually safer than smoking. All I could find was reference to one study done once in New Zealand where a doctor tested the liquid stuff you put inside the e-cig and he said, apparently, that it’s safe. Not much really, right?

But intuitively I know it’s better for me. I am not inhaling a bunch of tar and burnt up particles, no instead I am inhaling glycerol and nicotine, and whatever stuff they use to make the flavors. All-in-all that’s probably less-bad.

After eight years, yes,

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years of smoking I’ve noticed a discernable difference. My teeth are this strange shade of white, not off-white, not yellow-ish, but white. Unless I forget to brush them. I can mostly do physical things and run-amok like the other children. I am capable of climbing San Francisco hills without needing a break, not that I did before, but I was getting there. You get the picture, I’m doing better with this new device.

I also still receive all of the awesome benefits of nicotine, it being a stimulant and all. I still can have my ritual morning “smoke”, and my oral fixation doesn’t have to be sated with some nasty gum-chewing habit. (I have to say, gum-chewing is really sort of gross if you think about it.)

So now hopefully I’ll stick to this, I’ve had a few cigarettes so far and they don’t taste as good as they used to. More like dirt, less like sweet, sweet tobacco. Though I would appreciate it if there was a brand of the liquid nicotine stuff that tasted like Lucky Strikes, because I still love Lucky Strikes. It’s a personal failing of mine I suppose.

Here’s to happy lungs I guess!

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