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Tick Tick Ticking Away

mood: tired | drinking: water


Daylight Savings

The countdowns start
every day
with no prior warning.

You leave three minutes early
and take the carpool lane
but the sun will still set tonight
at exactly 5:19.

Your good old days
are over before you know
they’ve begun.

You eat lunch at your desk
as a time-saving device
but your homemade ham sandwich
doesn’t alter one tick.

Your lover begins to be bored
of you before you’ve
even met.

You stay up late on weekends
to make the day last longer
and then sleep in on Sundays
while time keeps marching on.

You begin to die
the day you’re born,
so no matter how much
time you save

you will always
run out.

-Lo, listening to the tick.

What Lies Beneath

mood: tired | drinking: agua


It’s hard to focus on anything other than Haiti this week — a country which, until now, hasn’t claimed much of my attention at all.

But the news of the earthquake followed swiftly by scenes of such devastation and horror have shattered my ignorance.

The pancaked buildings. The dazed survivors stumbling along the ruined streets, covered in white cement dust that makes them look like zombies. And the bodies, so many lifeless bodies, piled along the roadsides or reaching futilely from the wreckage.

I’ve been reading story after story, listening to news report after news report, and am left feeling so helpless in the face of such an overwhelming catastrophe. My friend Michael sponsors a child in Haiti, a 12-year-old boy named Daniel. He doesn’t know whether Daniel survived or not, and I keep thinking, “How will he ever find out?”

There will be so many who just disappear, lost in the rubble or buried, nameless, in a mass grave. It would seem that to not know what became of your loved ones, to not see their end with your own eyes, would be so much worse than finding them dead.

It’s all very difficult to imagine, but I can’t stop myself from spinning out scenarios. My home and Haiti have one major thing in common, after all: fault lines.

The strongest earthquake I’ve felt personally was a 4.5 — a slightly unpleasant shaking sensation. But just last Sunday, two days before the 7.0 flattened Port au Prince, an earthquake of 6.5 magnitude rocked Eureka California, a town 270 miles north of San Francisco.

In 1989, when the Loma Prieta earthquake tumbled freeways in the Bay Area, I was oblivious, attending high school classes in the flatlands of Illinois. I heard about the 6.9 quake, of course, but it had no context. It didn’t really mean anything to me.

But now, now I live in earthquake land, as do so many people that I love. And not just people–I love the places of San Francisco. The towers and the rowhouses and the bridges and the monuments. I love all these fragile things.

And I can’t help but think about what a 7.0 would mean to me if it hit here, if it hit home.

After all, this Tsunami Evacuation Route sign stands two blocks from my house, waiting for just such an occasion.

No, we aren’t Haiti. Our homes aren’t constructed of shoddy cinder blocks. We learned from 1906, from 1989. We have built better buildings. We have reinforced them with steel. We have packed earthquake kits and stashed them in safe places. We have evacuation routes and contingency plans and bottled water.

But we are not prepared. Not really. How could you ever truly be ready?

So as my heart reaches out to the suffering people so unknown to me, I whisper, “Thank God it wasn’t here. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t mine.”

And all the while I know it could be us, so easily, next time.

-Lo, not really earthquake-proofed.

The American Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
Partners in Health
Yele Haiti

Wonked Out

mood: totally wonky | drinking: just water


It’s already 12 days into a brand new year and I’m still not with the program.

Truth be told, I’m feeling super wonk-tified. A leetle off-kilter. Not quite right in the head.

I’m assuming these things will sort themselves out and set themselves right eventually. Meanwhile I’m wobbling my way into 2010 like I’m fresh from a double-decade Van Winkle nap, hair sticking out, rubbing the dreams from my eyes and going, “Huh?” whenever anyone speaks to me.

Speaking of hair sticking out, I’m having my bi-annual bang dilemma a bit early this year. To bang or not to bang? The old bangs have only grown out about 3 inches beyond my eyebrows, so it wouldn’t be a big thing to whack them back into submission. But is this something I should do? I dunno. You tell me. My wonky judgment can’t be trusted.

I plan to write more coherent posts in the near future about all sorts of lovely things, like the new cinepoem shoot we’re working on with our biggest cast ever.

But that will have to wait until the wonk wears off. Perhaps I should take another nap…

-Lo, *snore*