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This Thursday began as the tiredness rolled over from Wednesday, when I missed both classes in which assignments were due. An essay inspired by The Dreams of India by Eliot Weinberger, and the Day in the Life oral presentation. It sucked to miss those and I felt stress weighing on my shoulders like I haven't had in a while, along with the lack of response from those articles I wrote for The Bottom Line made the future ones I was about to do seem like a waste of time. So I didn't go to class Thursday morning either, or afternoon, missed both classes and stayed at home instead. I showered and felt compelled to dress as in a costume, then wrote a poem about my father and mother.

It changed something inside me and afterwards I got dressed up wearing purple and makeup to go see W.S. Merwin at the CCS Art Gallery. I got to shake his hand and exchange a few words, which I had been too excited to enunciate, but it was fine. I also got to talk to the first time with Alyssa Ogi and Teagan, who are my two favorite poets in the class and it made me feel accepted, validated even. Merwin was friendly and signed my notebook, he somehow knew exactly where I wanted him to sign even though I presented him another spot... Afterwards, I rode quickly over to David's in joy and announced that I'd just met the Poet Laureate of the United States! Nikki was there but she wasn't excited for me. She had had a fight with David. After she left, I made conversation with Derrick and Kaushik and the four of us were able to coexist as I played on the Indo-board, which absorbed me. I'm able to balance on it for a minute and it helped to recite a bit of poetry to keep my mind calm.

Then David and I left to see an Art showing at the Coffee Collaborative by Caitlin and it was stuffed full of people. The food was incredible, especially the kale chips. I loved the piece of the banana with "100%" and the piece of the IV parks was incredible as well. I saw Andrew from EAB by the door and gave him a hug. It was good to see him, I'd been meaning to get more involved with EAB. Lo and behold, innermore towards the back was David Porreca looking sharp with no mustache, talking with such animation it was splendid to behold. I waved excited at him, and his eyebrows popped into his forehead and said, Ah! Darice! He introduced me and David to the two guys he'd been talking with and one of them recognized me for my poem about my visit to China. He said he enjoyed it! I also saw Ashley who introduced me to two other girls she'd brought along and for a while all four of us stood in a circle, eye to eye and I suddenly became abashed that I was included in this circle of beautiful women, but we stood eye to eye, enclosed in a circle. I also saw Brieanna though we didn't have much to say to one another, though I told her she looked beautiful. Then Brianna Flores appeared and we exchanged exclamations of delight from across the room.

David and I left shortly after to get some wine from his apartment, but we ended up staying there with Catharina, Kaushik, Derrick, and Jeremiah, playing drinking games with vodka mixed coke. It was rowdy, full of yelling and laughing. I told stories too, and got people to laugh. Victor and Yvonne also came, and I smoked my first cigarette in over a month, a Camel Menthol. We danced the Bernie, ate deep-fried tortilla chips that David made with chili, drank and danced. Eventually it was 2 in the morning and David was passed out on the couch. I awoke from my drunken stupor unable to fall asleep and feeling restless, needing more excitement. I wanted to see Ashley, I imagine her nightlife to be amazing, but I took a walk around CBC, passed by 26 where David and Jameson used to live. Then to amuse myself, I took photos of myself and of the apartment until Kaushik and his friend Ashley finally unlocked the bedroom door.

In the morning, Friday now, I was still excited and looking for adventure. After getting up at around 11, I helped David clean up his apartment a little and then we made a breakfast of champions. It was delicious and I melted into the couch around him, told him, truly the way to somebody's heart is through their stomach. We were watching a movie for his class when Jeremiah and Victor joined us bringing a lot of weed. I smoked some too but it just made me unsociable and bored of myself. It was the night of Vagina Monologues and I wanted to change, freshen up before going so Derrick gave me a ride home. Because Susan had already left with my car, I had to ask him to pick me up afterwards too. He was quietly generous, and I was grateful.

First though, dinner that David had made: homemade hummus as appetizer, and pasta with chili and tomato sauce mixed together. We watched while eating too. It was picture perfect domesticity, and the food was so delicious. The heavy rain had stopped just in time as well. But once we were at the ticket office, we had a problem-- it was cash only. We also ran into Grant and Andrew which was great but they didn't have cash either. Luckily, Michelle had $15 and Nyx had $5 so after a bit of waiting and shuffling around we got our tickets. David, Michelle and I sat together to watch The Vagina Monologues, which was an absolutely terrific show. I was impressed and moved and felt womanness elevated to a whole new honor and art. Susan was terrific, her Not-So-Happy-Fact gave me shivers and vivid imagery, it left us stunned. The main monologue was done magnificently by Laurel, a tall, gorgeous red head with long, glimmering hair. Afterwards, David and I biked to Hootiez to grab a Neuro-sleep and two It's-Its then Susan came to pick us up from his apartment in my van, which was packed with people: Grant, Andrew, Sophie-Ann, Nyx and a bike in the back.

The car ride was loud, full of joking and bickering as I tried to finish my It's-it, which is far too decadent! Then back home, socializing in the living room, Ro and three of her friends came home too. At this point, I needed a distraction as I was getting bored so I made coffee, then drank Neuro-sleep since I felt like I was hyperactive and too talkative. Then I smoked with Susan and was conflicted over what to do as David wanted to watch Collapse like we said we would, but I wanted more stimulation so we watched Bad Lieutenant for a while, but I grew bored of that as well, then went to bed.

Luckily, when I awoke, David was already awake and tender, not pissed at me so I apologized for being such a brat the night before. And we talked a bit, I read to him the poem about Los Angeles. I dropped him off then came back to eat breakfast with Susan, Sophie-Ann and Nyx. We spent the afternoon chatting and reading. I got through a chunk of The Myth of Sisyphus, which illuminated me and my mood. When Susan and Nyx left to take Sophie-Ann to the train station, Grant and I watched a video of Terence McKenna talking about 2012, psychedelics and the I Ching, and this sparked a fascinating conversation about the emotional hook and integrity of art, chaos and fractals, the opposition of human reason and the unreasonableness of the universe, and so forth.

I made some curry with rice, carrots and sausages for dinner, then went to my room to watch Once, which I didn't care to get through. I was talking with Grant in the living room when a bunch of people all come in at once, Ro, Eric, Sean and two other friends of hers, Susan and Nyx. We split off into two card games but Susan, Nyx, Grant and I first went to Albertson's to get a fifth and a twelve pack of beer. Then commenced party! We played 10 9 8, took shots and drank beer. Nyx and I exchanged glances every so often before bursting out in laughter. "I think we have the same mind sometimes" she said, to which Susan replied, "Is that why I love her so?" and I blushed violet since I was already beet red. After throwing up due to the beer I'd chugged, I went to bed around 2 without changing.

Sunday morning (that's today), got up at 8, went outside and saw Grant passed out on the couch, glasses everywhere and it was so messy! I tidied up a bit, ate breakfast. Watched a bit of PS. I Love You, but it was rather trite and campy at times. It was a beautiful, sunny, crisp day and I wasn't about to sit much longer on the couch. Just as Ro's family entered the house, I left to go hiking. And the expanse of the highway, the mountains clear as day in the distance, the speed of my travel, the sunlight after so much heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail--! Freedom, once again.
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Me: Hey!! Let's listen to jazz at 3! Nolan Gasser chief musicologist at Pandora is playing from SF

David: Woah kool beans fuck yeah lets do it two salt shakers to hash out and with jazz music lash out

Me: Word up thats wazzup got jazz muzak on veeday like doves and gimme that sax as sexy as ecstasy and black white piano keys

David: Made of ivory don't you see this day is one made for you and me put aside the pamplet then eat around the clit and start sweating to the music burn away the calories

Me: Fuck, me-- hard, I just. Had a // P, B & Jay...

David: With bananas better believe were no longer in Kansas were allowed to do shit that uncle sam would have censored he doesn't agree with these sorta senses. he'd throw us in the dunk tank well tell him were drunk off life already much thanks.

Me: Joie de vivre a la carte blanche and symbiotic growth of souls! oui oui merci Sam, which Sam is and I am, not! Freedom to be not-sam is freedom indeed

David: For my feeble mind this idea is far too above flying with the dove mentioned prior my point is to punch out rhymes yours is to explore mine is just start creating you take the creations and make go further than before

Me: And you are wonderful too wonderful to adore you kiss me with ecstasies and symphonies of your trips flying around riding your bike with no handlebars

David: Come over after class I'll have lunch waiting.

Valentine's Day was one of those days that turn out to be amazing with no plans whatsoever. Sunday night beforehand, I went over to David's apartment though I was in an odd mood equivalent to insomnia but I was happy to see him. We read each other poems, ate chocolate and cuddled to sleep. In the morning, he made breakfast. It was some of his mother's cooking, with toast and delicious. He let me borrow his bike to school since my tire was flat. It's a great bike, sturdy, fixed gear with a comfortable seat. After Essays, in which Ellen brought cookies her mother made for us, I ran into Dale and she looked beautiful, smiling and calling me. Then Chinese class was just a presentation of Chinese cuisine and every slide gave me wonderful reminders of my trip to China. Valentine's Day coincided with Meatless Mondays, free PB&Js in front of the SRB. The bread was delicious and one of the guys tabling was cute as all hell, slightly Asian. Then in the restroom I ran into Michelle, which made me giddy. In Poetry, I had a poem for workshop, about my father, and it went well. Afterwards I biked over to his house for lunch and I heard Ashley call my name as we biked in opposite directions, and I called her back. At David's, he was preparing this falafel burrito with guacamole and vegetables. Nikki was also there, and she was excited to tell me that David Porreca was back for a while. When David brought a water bottle for me, that was simply icing on the cake. I got up to him, saying "You're the best!" and gave him a kiss. He simply glowed after that. We went to see Nolan Gasser's lecture on Jazz as a bike and skateboard duo, where he gripped onto the frame under the seat and I pedalled us there. It went smoothly like teamwork and on the way I saw Matt walking towards Pardall Tunnel and I called him too. We were slightly late to the talk but we didn't miss any of the music. It was breathtaking symphony. The complexity of the music, the drum and the metal feathers, the dexterity of the bassist and the small auditorium... well, it sent shivers all throughout my body in tremors and whispers of delight. We held hands and I couldn't help smiling. Afterwards we went back to his apartment, which was practically empty and we were interrupted many times. Jeremiah visited, with his childlike bulk and said he saw us on our way back. But when Derrick came back from trying to get his paycheck from Hootiez, we went into his bedroom instead. A few hours later, he went to Bean Night but I opted to go home. Andrew, Grant, Jen and Susan were all home and it was wonderful to walk into a busy house. Before bed, I wrote about how much I love Holidays.
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The throaty beats of Derrick’s drumming and the gleaming melody of Kaushik’s electric guitar greeted me as I stepped into apartment 6. Yvonne, standing by the door wearing a hat and a black off the shoulder shirt over a white lace camisole, slid her arm around my waist to give me a hug. I introduced myself to her best friend sitting on a chair, who wore a flowery tank top and a flared ponytail pulled to the side. I had on a red top under a black collared jacket cut at the waist, with teal and black khakis and ankle-high combat boots.

David’s in the back, Derrick told me over his drum and then called for David, who yelled back from the bedroom the three guys share. I step over the amp cord and walk into the room where I see David and Talia sitting on the floor with cups by their feet. Leaping up onto his feet, David grabs me into a hug and asks how I am. I reply, great! As he carries me up and slings me over his shoulder, laughing and kicking.

Back on the ground, I greet Talia, a cousin of David’s I’d met last night, or rather earlier that morning. Naomi, Talia’s younger sister who goes to UCSD, appears from the restroom and sits on the arm of a couch as the two girls, Yvonne and her best friend, also come in. The music from the living room suffuses the room dimly lit in warm colors, reflecting David’s red bedsheets. Christmas lights hung from the top frame of a bunk bed, a light-up Santa face smiled over one of the faces of a movie poster.

The music pauses for a moment and we clamor for more before Kaushik comes over to the door of his bedroom, comments that there’s too much estrogen and resumes jamming with Derrick in the living room. We girls talk about Los Angeles, where some of us are from and where two of us will be moving to, after college. West Hollywood, we agreed, is a wonderful place to have a great time, where the restaurants and clubs stay open past ten or two, where there is so much to do.

David comes back in with a cup of red wine for me. He is drunk and joyous, stretching out his long legs on my lap. I give his foot a squeeze. Easy conversation passes amicably, then another outburst of motion: David leaves to get more wine, and Derrick enters, sits on the leather desk chair. We look up at him as he talks from the floor and his eyes are smiling when he lowers himself onto the floor muttering, I don’t feel equal. We sit Indian style.

A tall and gaunt guy wearing athletic clothes then appears who I’ve never met, but he sits down too and he’s got a turquoise blue pipe and plenty of ganj. Kaushik and David come back in to a full floor, David wedging his cream corduroy legs between me and Derrick. Kaushik sits on the chair, towering over us but nobody minds.

David’s drunk and the word we’re using to describe him is belligerent. Charming belligerence is a muscular guy not accustomed to his own strength with a tendency towards clumsiness. We’re passing the pipe around and I finish my glass of wine.

Kumar, a short and dark neighbor with long, oily black hair sweeping into his face, joins us a little later and the conversation turns towards music, the clique-iness of Biko, the pyrotechnics of Rammstein.

I talk with the tall and gaunt guy and find out we have some things in common, went to high school around the same area. People from Los Angeles tend to find each other.
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Finally got into LA at 2 yesterday. First thing when I come back is Steven from his prone position on the couch asking me if I were hungry, "I have money now! I can buy food for you!" I wonder if it was a test from the universe that I failed because I said sure, I'm hungry. We went to Xiao Mei, a newly opened one on Las Tunas and bought some food to go. I wavered in my choices and decided to go back up with soy bean curds and veggies, the first of which was extremely spicy and the second too watery. Next time, I'm going for the curry chicken. I ate while watching my brother play Starcraft II and Grand Theft Auto, which I had a try at on a boat mission and drug distribution mission. Growing increasingly restless, I texted Nikki to see if she wanted to watch Black Swan. I haven't seen friends in four days, not since hiking with Peter on Wednesday, which was a great day overall-- got plenty done, goal-wise. During dinner I chatted with Matt on facebook after helping my mom scan a few documents, called my dad to let him know I was back in the area, then I was off to Echo Park to see So Many Wizards who played with Fantastica Bastidas, Voice on Tape and Michael Nhat.

Since I got there half an hour before everyone else, I made myself comfortable by walking around, smiling at people, checking out the art and lining up for the restroom. I spotted Omer, who I recognized from Rainbow House and eventually introduced myself to him after So Many Wizards finished their set, and he introduced me to Heather. Shortly after, David Szucz arrived and I gave him a big hug. We walked back to where Omer and Heather were standing under a cover to avoid the sprinkling rain and he filled me in on Nikki and David's current fight. I saw them standing together under a multi-colored umbrella immersed in conversation. David and I went inside as Fantastica Bastidas started. They were hard, fast and the vocals were raw, coarse, lots of energy but the whole room was full. Girls wearing big framed glasses with long curly hair, guys dressed in well-fitting jeans, some sporting leather jackets. One of the guys David Szucz started talking to had orange pumpkins sewed onto his vest and a slight purple tinge remaining in his bushy hair who was from Maine. Many girls were wearing vivid red lipstick, but only those pale enough to pull it off. Apparently David Porrecca, who came in for a while but spent most of the time outside, commented that everybody should exchange clothes.

David and I listened to the music, trying to dance a little. Ryan finally arrived and we stood outside in front of a shop door that was hooded from the rain and talked softly with one another. It was mesmerizing and I felt received, so I remained gentle in my speech. David going swimming in the Polliwag, sugar and lollipops, the topic didn't matter as much as the glances and smiles exchanged. Back inside, Ryan said to me with wide eyes that he felt this connection to me and proceeded to act dreamily, drifting about. Nikki and David came inside though they missed So Many Wizards and he looked very chipper in his enthusiasm and sharp with his freshly shaved mustache. Nikki however looked like she'd been crying and wasn't having a good day, or week. Before leaving we talked with Lou, the man behind Voice on Tape, and Erik, the drummer for So Many Wizards. Then after a short bit driving about lost, found the 101 North heading to Ryan's house. David Szucz came in my car and with his hand on my thigh we talked about seed banks, the change in consciousness, possibly mass starvation and revolution, our history of initiating wars and communications with family. We parked on Chase and Ryan's roommate let us in just seconds before Ryan himself arrived. I lighted the pilot for the heater; it was sexy to see him fix something.

When Venus conjuncted my Sun/Moon midpoint at midnight, we curled up on the couch and he told me that last weekend we saw Neema he had wanted to cuddle with me soo bad, as did I, but we'd both gotten paranoid/awkward after smoking. We cuddled now and I felt so comfortable on his shoulder I practically drifted into a dream. Nikki and David came in after a short stint in Hollywood trying to find Omer. Nikki looked even more frustrated and David more dissatisfied and restless. He was going to return to Santa Barbara by himself by train tomorrow morning. It was toxic. David and I joked around a bit, and I asked him to climb Mt. Rainier with me and he agreed, but it was slightly off-putting to me to be intimate next to a couple that were clearly going through problems, but he's an exhibitionist of types. We eventually took a cigarette break at my car. Somehow, it was 5:30 when we got to sleep. He used to be a chubby kid, I was surprised. I told him briefly about starving, and of my family.

I had awful dreams. [Probably due to Moon squaring Sun at 4:44 AM that night.] My body was in pain when I woke up because the short couch was wide but had no leg room and my uterus was cramped from my cervix being agitated. I dreamed of demeaning sex, half-awake fears mainly, and my last full dream when I actually fell asleep after I spread out over the length of the couch was that David was hinting I should leave the apartment. I woke up so relieved, not in a while had a dream been so realistic, and his head was gone from the side of mine. I joined them and Ryan's friend, a tall, pale friendly Asian (probably Korean) who smokes weed, in his room. Amazing I thought, an Asian. Then again both Ryan and David are also bilingual and have communication barriers with their moms. Amazing how similar we as people could be. I had a talk with Ryan about relationships with mothers, missing fathers, raising children. The other roommate joined us too to smoke, a rather large fellow wearing a red sweatshirt. We left to get tacos at a Mexican Donut spot, then around 4:30PM, left for LA. My phone ran out of battery and it took me forever to find the entrance to 101 South, and then over an hour on the crowded, jammed freeway. My shoulders were sore, but I took a bath and drank a lot of water. Now I'm off to buy some snickerdoodle cookies then sleep!
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Trying to catch the Movers and Shakers group at the Montecito church to hike McNenemy Trail, I drove around Hot Springs Rd and Mountain Rd but was late by a minute-- I think I saw their car. Since I had already driven to Montecito and was all prepared for a hike, I figured why not give Cold Spring Canyon yet another go and this time find Tangerine Falls. There were many cars there already when I got there at 1 but I only encountered two people on the trail. I walked confidently through the first half mile or so, already breaking a sweat because it was such a warm day in December. I had my backpack but only to carry my keys, phone, water and tobacco. Going up the east side of the trail, I crossed into West Fork and continued right when I came upon the fork-- the one on which the last time I had taken a left which led to a rockslide climb. This one curved up the sides of the mountains, breaking out from the shade of the wooded areas into the sun. The trail was narrow, averaging a foot wide. Some parts were slippery with loose, red rocks. The valley with the creek was on the right, and the mountain side was sparse with ferns, bushes, isolated trees. I paused a couple of times to take in the view and catch my breath and in about 40 minutes arrived at a blockage of boulders that formed a wall across the canyon. It was a breathtaking view of the ocean and Montecito below, though the very west end of the coast wasn't visible. From there the trail turned sharply to the left down into the wooded areas again. Here I entered complete shade, the sun filtered through dense forest. The trail was covered with yellow leaves, at times disappearing under them completely so that it had to be followed by the indentation of the land, and it crossed several times over the creek, which now had pools large enough to bathe in. This part of the trail was desolate, a wall of rock apart from the entrance of the canyon, and thus mushrooms grew undisturbed, parts of the river bed had eroded to expose roots of tree precariously half-balanced on land and half in air. The wind came into a roar as the hollow of the area magnified its approach. However, I did see several trees with their limbs cut, so this trail must have been maintained at some point. Following it wasn't hard, but it had the perturbing look of a trail that leads nowhere but further from civilization. It emerged into the sun again in a clearing where flat rocks had been arranged into three walls surrounding maybe a foot and a half squared feet (turns out to be an old root cellar from a homestead from the late 1800s!). I guess it was constructed to block the wind from a fire. A toppled tree trunk served as a bench and I sat here to smoke tobacco. I noticed two yellow rope ties holding back tree branches and felt a stirring relief that I wasn't alone. The one other path headed down towards the creek into a large, shaded clearing, beyond that, the trees grew thicker and the trail disappeared, unwalked or perhaps just yet unfinished. Feeling a slight modicum of worry from the memory of darting over boulders as the sun set and the woods became dark and submerged like the sea, I decided to head back. Back at the rocks on a high boulder that jutted forwards, I saw a man with white hair standing perched, gazing south. I yelled out, "Hi! Do you know if this is Tangerine Falls?" It wasn't, there had been another fork somewhere earlier, and Tangerine Falls was the right side. I climbed onto the rocks where he had been but didn't stay long to admire the view. The hike down the side of the mountain was rather difficult, the rocks would slip and I'd fall back, catching myself on my hands and feet a few times. As the trail was only about a foot wide at places and the steep mountain ran along down, I fought the urge to haphazardly but quickly slide while sitting down. After only a few slips here and there, I was back on sturdy, packed dirt and headed back towards my car, wondering where I had just come from.

After returning home, I make some chicken with curry and rice, and watch Mi Vida Loca until Nikki and David arrive. We have a pleasant time with wine, cheese and fruit watching Indiana Jones. David starts jonesing to go to Biko, he's fidgeting and rather quiet as Nikki and I enjoy a comfortable conversation. With David itching to leave but Blow being on the TV, Nikki asks if I was going to go with them to IV. She's going to hang out with David Szucz, she says and I get rather excited. Instead, I suggest we pick up David and go to the hot springs in Ojai.

It was perhaps 9 when we left my house, all three of us completely excited. We pick up David as his apt where his roommates are preparing to go get drunk, pile into Nikki's car and head off on the 101 South. Szucz's head is on my lap, and I'm still gaily talking with David and Nikki, sharing information and stories. We finally park along the road an hour later, walk a short distance to the hotsprings, where to our delight, we see nobody. We set the flashlight up and I get in first. Not before long, we're drinking the wine and smoking the joint, another group of people have joined us and were singing in one of the smaller but warmer pools. And then, two men with the Navy, a couple, and several others joined us in the large pool. Candles replaced the garish flashlight, we talked about hot springs, Burning Man, the stars lit up the water. Szucz and I were enshrouded in each other's warmth as our toes touched and legs curled around each other. Shooting stars were abound, and we watched Orion move across the sky as we searched for the Seven Sisters and the Big Dipper. We took a quick dip in the creek just adjacent to the springs, and I screamed in delight and shock of the cold, and jumped back into the warmth. David had his arms out to me. The candles blew out as the wind increased but the others faded away as my attention became entirely focused on him. Eventually as people came and went, I was lying down on a rock by the side and with David dipping his head on my chest and his arms holding the back of my head, talked about writing and family.

Eventually at 3:20 AM, we got up and left, piled back into Nikki's car for a jerky ride down into Carpinteria listening to Muse's Absolution on the way. Sleepy and perhaps upset, Nikki passed out on the couch shortly after arriving at my house, David Szucz burrowed into my bed to get warm, so David Porrecca and I made some pasta and tea. I joined Szucz and we opted out of the shower. The next morning, I wake him with urgent kisses. We remain in bed for another 2 hours. Nikki knocks and comes in, she's upset over her boyfriend and we listen to blues. While Porrecca reads a poem aloud by Bukowski, Szucz teases me underneath the sheets. They go back into the living room to get ready to leave, we make love yet again. He says goodbye but as he kisses me, I hear: I'll be back.


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