journal #6 12/30/16

12/30/16, 11:59pm, brother E’s apartment in l– —–

left k–‘s house this morning and biked into a light drizzle around 10am. it was a smooth ride down a very mundane avenue; my attention was unfocused until we hit the coast and its beautiful water. we stopped spontaneously to pose in front of some gorgeous murals and stayed for what turned out to be a mini conservation museum and a quiet lunch on a bench. we headed back in the exact same direction to hit up a toy shop that no longer had what JH had wanted to see, and we ended up mulling about that shopping center for a bit. headed out to make it the rest of the way, slowing and speeding at will; we biked past a set of beach swings (BEACH SWINGS), after which I turned us around to stop and smell those fucking roses. I think that was the highlight of my day — what more could I ask for? a beautiful view of the ocean, the sandy ground, the cool breeze, the pink sky, the quiet, the thrill and simple joy of a swing. I think that’s as close to heaven as I’ll ever get.

we continued on and made our way inland through the city, which was less calming, of course. after a few wrong turns, we finally landed into brother E’s apartment, which turned out to be quite shitty in every way except for that it is equipped with very, very nice speakers. it’s a bizarre set of priorities, of course.

somehow I’m too tired to reflect right now; there’s no interiority here. I talked a bit with JH last night about our friendship, and I realize that he opened up a bit more about his high school life before we were friends. I realize that he’d never really mentioned that before.

JH — he’s been pushing my buttons. lashing harshly, quickly, unforgivingly at me for little reason, or at least in situations that should otherwise have not even been comment worthy. assuming incompetence, implying incompetence with his tone. texting constantly when we’re together, such that there’s not even true interaction between us; the in-between times he fills with his phone and his girlfriend. it’s annoying and frustrating, and at times it’s hard to be the bigger person and refrain from taking shots back. I talked to him about it. he somehow doesn’t seem to be changing. I don’t know where it’s coming from — I theorize that it’s a newfound cockiness that comes from him having a girlfriend. it’s such that when he mentioned doing future biking trips, I was actively unenthusiastic at the thought of planning another long-ish trip with him. we’ll see how things go when WB joins.

other than that, today was definitely my favorite day, solely because of the peaceful biking that made up the first portion of the mileage, and then another 100% because of that beach swing. solid.


journal #5 12/29/16

12/29/16, 10:18pm, k—‘s guest house in l—–

headed out today from JH’s apartment at U—/ and made our way to l–//, where we knew we would be staying at k—‘s. we had a pleasantly slow start to the day, planning to leave at 9:30am but really heading out at 10:30 after a solid breakfast of dinner leftovers and bagels. google maps took us on a gorgeous bike trail through irvine around a large creek, then spit us out onto i—- avenue, which was heavenly: slightly downsloping and straight and bike-laned. from there we took the —- on up to l—–, which was 25 miles of boardwalk right up on the sandy beach, smooth paths, killer views of breaking waves, and the most heavenly flat ground the entire way up. it’s the type of paradise that puts me in a momentary, very presently content state that scares me a little upon reflection: how easily I could fall into that state, happily, satisfied, and live my life that way with a nagging feeling of discontent but just enough happening to stay in the clouds. it’s how I grew up.

after spotting some picnic tables overlooking some metal structures in the water (a bit like howl’s moving castle, perhaps?) we decided to stop for a lunch of bagels, rice, and other carby snacks. that lunch break turned into an hour long period of easy camaraderie. on the way to long beach after lunch, we caught sight of a sign for the s—- bike trail, and, having had plenty of time to throw around, decided to take it. it was more flat, beautifully smooth roads, but with a steampunk-esque theme of powerplants and electrical wires running along what used to be the river, now a concrete valley. the clouds feathered behind us, deepening into those beautiful sunset colors as it approached our favorite riding time. we stopped to journal for what turned into an hour for me; we took a detour through a regional park that was a shockingly vibrant shade of green for JH, then again into a smaller park where I got a sick time-lapse of birds in a pond against the sunset. 

we made our way to k—-‘s, where we were welcomed. after dinner, we sat and talked with k—- for 5 hours — I found him interesting not only as a crazy experienced biker and traveler, but also as an odd human being. he had an deadpan, gregarious, outwards quality that uncannily reminds me of SS. the family dynamic, as well, was interesting — I kept the conversation with their adult kids going (and that dynamic was odd as well, as I realized that this dinner was the girlfriend’s first time meeting the parents — this was apparent in the way they introduced themselves to her. and yet, the conversation was not focused around her, and ken in particular seemed indifferent to her presence in the most neutral way possible — again, very SS-like in their blasé treatment of incorporating external people into their daily lives; when was their time for self reflection? it seems they are never pretending, and thus never need to turn on or off.), and the family was strangely callous with each other, constantly pushing buttons and pushing back, but in a careless way. it’s the type of dynamic that happens when you have guests so often that guests are not cause for any change in behavior.

good day, in general — perhaps even a great day. I would do this more, for sure.

journal #4, 12/29/16

journal #4 12/29/16

12/29/16, 3:02pm, on the rocks on the side of the s– —– bike trail in l– —–

a few passing thoughts as we biked by a power plant, which was spewing water out towards the river: after glorifying trash sex, and other forgotten/taboo themes, can we accept and glamorize next the decimation of nature? somehow, as contrarian as I am and as contrarian as art seems to desire to be, destroying something as beautiful still seems so repulsive. but didn’t trash seem repulsive? didn’t sex seem repulsive? has art evolved into glamorizing only the acceptable repulsive themes, and leaving others truly taboo?

where’s the line? perhaps at the line of decency. some things – sex, trash – are social constructs, which art naturally questions. but how far can we tear down our world and call things social constructs? going all the way devolves into nihilism, of course. perhaps that could be art in itself.

another thought now: do I care about these things? film theory, art, and all these interests I’ve developed over the past year seem so — distant, for me, like they are an intellectual exercise. they inspire a passion in me, but not the type in which I feel I am changing the world, but rather only contributing to a fascinating and interesting line of thought and creation. I’m not sure how content I am with that. I think or jazz music: I don’t feel that it touches the core of the musician, and thus it skips past the core of the listener. touching the core, I think of auteuristic music: kanye west, bon iver, frank ocean. jazz, as such a collaborative art form, in which player play jazz standards and improvise and vibe and words are scripted or nonexistent, feels like an amorphous form of intellectualism and satisfaction with no self-reflection. and none of this is negative, of course, but only different.

we passed a child going the other way on a bike, with his sister and mother. as per usual, we called out a quick hello. what struck me was his reply: “hello!”, he announced, so sure of himself and yet blatantly un-self-aware. I thought of myself, and the many different hellos I put out each day, and I thought of how few of those are as unself-aware, unguarded, and untinted that hello was. at w—‘s I was distinctly aware of becoming who she wanted me to be, molding myself out of politeness into a palatable guest. I do this every day, to many different people, all unconsciously; it’s second nature. it took seeing a kid not do that to realize. kids are funny in that way — they really are blank slates in a way. I think about all the futures possible in one kid.

I think about JH, and I think about how although we are still friends, I have changed past just us. when I bring up topics of art, of the odd reflective thought, where MH or AM or YM would jump on that thought, build on it, push me further and develop, JH slides past it. it’s a small icy patch on a road that he doesn’t quite understand why we’re talking about it, and he quickly flutters to different conversations — I miss my friends at —-. I need others to develop myself, and I truly don’t get that here. perhaps AD, if anything.

JH found i—- chill, peaceful, calming. I found it dead, sleepy, and it made me antsy, watching these people go about their daily beachy lives, forever content and satisfied. this biking trip has left me superficially content and satisfied — superficially because I know it can’t last; it’ll be over the second this trip is done. but staring at the sunset each day and feeling the warm breeze run up my arms, the smooth road and the pleasant greetings of fellow cyclers — it’s a blithe paradise of sorts. but give me enough time here and time would disappear, fade into the sea foam and sand, fade into the deep tans of my skin. I think I would implode. I think I would go crazy. I can’t live here; I have to leave. the only reason this is so beautiful and bearable in its beauty is because I know it will end.

but biking — biking, I think I could do forever. it’s the ultimate vacation. low impact, relatively quick, but slow and satisfying enough that you and your body are pushing you every inch of the way of the journey. it’s a vacation that is truly all about the process. it’s immensely satisfying, and provides plenty of time for thought — I’m not sure, at this point in my life, if there was a better way to spend this break, or a better activity at all to be doing in my next few years. I’m thankful, immensely thankful, for this trip.

journal #3, 12/28/16

journal #3 12/28/16

12/28/16, 11:13pm, JH’s apartment

biked 31 miles today of beautiful subtlety sloping hills. I’m beginning to trust my bike more, not the least because we happened upon a bike shop in the morning and had the brakes and rack tidied up. the man was quietly friendly, and gave us tips about hike and bike camping sites that will essentially save our asses for the rest of this trip. I wanted to take a picture with him, but felt that might be a bit out of step, so I settled for an enthusiastic and heartfelt thanks and goodbye.

the road was beautiful — smooth, running parallel to the water in long stretches and through towns in others. I never realized the many different ways to be a beach town: there’s the common beachy vibe, of course, but there are slight or not-so-slight nuances that make each town quite distinct from the ones before and after it. —- is somehow an un-self-aware sort of affluence. —–  is relaxed and placid. biking has allowed me to really experience every city I travel through, more so than riding in a car, in which metal and glass separate the traveler from the surroundings. we stopped often to look at the view, to explore random centers, and to rest. 

we arrived in —– around sunset and cooked dinner. after, we took a walk around the campus, detouring to the locked soccer field, which we hopped into. under the stars and by the city skyline, we talked. after a lull, JH asked what I was thinking about. I responded truthfully. I responded truthfully. I felt you are vaguely annoyed at me, or I am not sure if you are vaguely annoyed at me. you seemed down. you talk about your girlfriend too much and don’t listen to me. it’d bothered me all day. I’d questioned the friendship. I’d wondered about the rest of this trip. he brushed it off, for the most part, and for the most part,I accept his excuse.

qotd:I saw a lot of sunrises.

 journal #2 12/27/16

12/27/16, 10:55pm, warmshowers guest room

day one done! starting off felt oddly mundane, especially since we’d done the exact same path the day before to WB’s. it didn’t quite hit that we were leaving on a longish bike trip and traveling hundreds of miles from home, working every inch of those miles. I think it still hasn’t hit.

had a small fiasco with google maps, as it directed us again and again to ride on the shoulder of the freeway — slightly logistically problematic, as we were staring directly at multiple neon orange signs screaming in block letters information to the contrary. plan b through —- worked fine, but ended up adding a solid 1.5 hours of biking comprised of 18% extra mileage, 27% killer hills, and 55% my refusal to go faster than 10 miles an hour, because the you win the tour de france by being a turtle, or something like that. @JH – —-. nopenopenope

 we hit the pacific coast, and from there on it was smooth roads, no cars, and a fucking postcard of a beautifully polluted sunset on our left. the sunset in particular was mesmerizing to watch — the colors deepening and developing from a light ombre blue sky to an intense, cloudless painter’s smear of pink, yellow, orange, all reflecting on a deep blue. as I told JH: while there are breathtakingly immersive nature scenes over on the east coast — the peak of a hike, with green on all sides and mountains extending into the distance, or a snowy dusting on a branch — there’s not an expansive, open, awe-inspiringly homogeneous phenomenon quite like the pacific ocean. it just stretches out, strikingly flat, all the way to nothing. we were running a bit late, but of course took the 15 minutes to stop and watch the sun slip below the horizon, imperceptibly slowly and too fast all at once; we snacked on a bagel and asian snacks and pistachios. it’s a solid moment of the day, and a solid moment of camaraderie.

a final defining tidbit of the day: rode to the —- to say goodbye to my mom; a happy farewell evolved into tears dropping from her eyes, small tears in the trip. “was I too harsh on her?” I ask JH. I want a third view. his answer is unsatisfactory, roundabout. I think about my mother and my intolerance for her intolerance as we ride through the flats of camp pendleton, past the eerily homogeneous houses with identical shiny windows, past the odd country club looking building in the midst of nothing, like an oasis; there are no people; it is as if there never were people and the town is nothing but an enormous dollhouse.

I think about why I chose JH to do this with me and I realize it is because we can be miserable together and still have fun. I worry about when WB joins us. Will I be too slow? I am embarrassed. what does this say about our friendship?

my butt is so squished I can’t even fart

we’re going to tan only on the left side

post acid

quick sober reflection of my trip

hit fast — 20 minutes in or so. realized that the unbearable sense of anticipation in my stomach was, in fact, drug induced, and not really just excitement. it’s the only slightly unpleasant part of acid, and it stimulated me to do something.

lsd also made me extremely solitary; I practically ran from my friends; I wanted to be completely, utterly alone. I took a walk with MH’s crazy refraction glasses. I sat on the floor of the campus center staring at lights. I walked to AM’s dorm with him but kept getting sidetracked by trees — their webs were like nervous systems I could stare myself into. the expansive garage that MC suggested held no interest to me — there was nothing to look at; I wanted convoluted things. I walked to the late-night eatery, where there were people, but I was satisfactorily alone. I sat in a chair alone in a daze of sorts for a bit, then hopped over to AM’s room for a belated and dazed goodbye, then headed out into the night on my own. I ended up in a room on the 5th floor of another building, where I lay on the table and listened to music in a daze for an hour or so. I felt a need for action and creation, so I snagged a whiteboard marker and drew my consciousness into the the lines that I drew, creating a world to stare myself into. MH’s glasses were magical. I walked to the bathroom and took some pretty experimental selfies, walked out and to the campus center again for more dazed selfies, then walked to the basement of our dorm and lay there listening to music in a daze for another hour or so. The smart part of me dragged myself back to my dorm, where I ended up listening to the entirety of this and reading this until 6am, when I finally willed myself to sleep for 3 hours or so.

some things I learned for next time:

create! create! creating is terrific and gets all that anxious energy out that comes with lsd and puts it to productive use. honestly, I think that anxious energy is just creating energy. want to get an actual paintbrush for next time.

play music — like, I should play music myself. that’s on the to-do list.

go out during the day. I can’t believe I’ve never done that.

be alone. be totally alone. you don’t want to talk to people, and people an inhibiting anyway. acid is a selfish endeavor.

acid trip journal

[on computer]

tennyson’s too long

I can hear every detail, like the door squeaks are visceral, and putting in headphones is kind of like there’s music and there is nothing else and there’s never been anything else

And it’s difficult to explain but there’s just a sort of depth to the music that perhaps is always there, but it just feels so much more visceral and immersive while on acid.

Like the layers you see on the walls? It’s like that’s the music, and you can reach past some layers and touch other ones, etc. They’re tangible, not imaginary.

Maybe lsd takes you into the place where the imaginary feels tangible and real and capable of taking up physical space

Which means really that I’m diving into the mind

but the mind takes up physical space

a slight excitement, almost unbearable, originating from the stomach, almost physical, perhaps it is in fact physical

an unbearable desire to move, an unbearable desire to stay comatose, an unbearable desire to leave the body completely

newspapers clipping like pearls

cars or eyes

painting leaves with acrylic paint

self-conscious, self-reflexive mirror selfies, swirling the angle of the camera so that the pictures move; self-reflexive in that the pose changes change the framing of the photo itself; then many of them together in the photos app is like a step away from that circular feeding of information


[on phone]

everything slightly blurry

less sense of cold

almost ignorable sense of cold

zero care for other’s perceptions of me

odd sense of depth perception

trees are like webs, or living floating veins that I can choose to get lost in if I stare long enough

I thought I was just not looking at things clearly but then I realize when I focus everything moves

it’s actually cooler if I’m completely still so I can see the total effect by itself

my only complaint is that I lose track of time and then I realize I must have been edging myself into a spot world for several long minutes

one spot worlds

acid is like finding entire worlds in each little thing you focus on

or constructing entire worlds in each little thing you focus on

like I can construct a world from the trees and then choose to get lost in it

or I can construct one from the phone screen

or from the square doors in jos

although I think at this point anything ordered frustrates me; I don’t want any part of that; I want to float away from it and get lost in something that pleases me

12:24 of 1983 takes me to another fucking place

trying to think of how acid trips are so very solitary — it’s like buying a vacation to inside your head, or just letting your head play with itself

like I really don’t need or want people right now

thinking of what sex would be like

thinking of texting jackson and suggesting it

thinking of what acid would be like with another person who wasn’t taking care of me – so that it would be a journey together, like I’m a glowing sphere of crazy activity hurtling through black space, and just imagine bring another one in

almost like his head and his mind would be a thing I could stare at long enough for and get lost in and explore

really I just want someone to swirl through the music with and explore the physical space of the music with

I like tennyson because they literally create physical space in their music

literally the “um” girl voice around the 2 minute mark in “like what” made me physically get off the table and respond to a girl who was kicking me out of the room that wasn’t there

coolest shit to do list again – put on melody’s glasses and grabbed a blank white board and created lines

more and more lines became 3d maze puzzles I could get lost in

I would create them and then get lost in them — drawing meant literally creating my own worlds worlds simply now just being things I can look at and get lost in

can create my own worlds

doesn’t matter that the end process is shit, but the journey and the immersive maze experience is dazzling and honestly enough I don’t anything else I’m ok with this just lasting forever

and then my hand travels through as I am creating

it is simultaneous this exploring this experiencing and this forming

half the magic is in moving my head and everything shifts so that in real time as I’m wandering through the maze with my hand the paths suddenly change and then there are three hands doing what my one is

found the way to fix the feeling of needing to leave the physical body! drawing my way out keeps the body moving and forms a physical space to free that same energy in

it’s expressive energy, not just experiencing energy, which must have been what I was previously limiting myself to

art is a lot of doing things abstractly and with no real reason really, and that trail you blaze is the one people try to follow when they analyze it retroactively

but the creating of the trail itself is not necessarily thought out without cracks – it is just thought out

for sober me — try physically going into space of the music. lying back and staring at ceiling helps. pay attention to where exactly the sounds are coming from in the headphone and really get lost by feeling your way there. hear each layer of a harmony and each individual breath

art idea: video of self, multiple videos layered, different textures, same lines, angle shifting

music idea: music that creates a physical space