169 tagged with #daily

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i glanced at the houses across the street and saw a herd of geese squatting on the roof; on a closer look, they are chimney vents, little black posts mimicking long necks protruding from dark circles melted through the snow. the shapes diffused through bare tree branches.

one of the weekend mornings i was alone in my room as a child, i saw a bat-like creature flutter across the sky out of the corner of my eye, towards a house at the other end of our long driveway. i searched for the bat against the side of the house, but only saw a flap-like smudge against the dark plastic siding above their side door. maybe that was the bat, clinging to the slats. when i looked for it the next day, it was still there. when i looked for it the next week, it was still there. the day we moved away from that house, years later, it was still there; i crept up their yard and stood directly underneath it. it was the bathroom vent. there was no bat.

03 February 2018 16:10


i crossed 100 pages proofread for project gutenberg, teasing mistakes out of text, learning to see the screen through glasses while training myself not to squint or lean forward. i can't stop thinking about how many hands and surfaces and machines these words have slid past. they're just words. some of them depict good things, some of them depict bad things.

will someone think the same of these?

02 February 2018 16:24

hourly comic day

this is a mad sprint; my entire waking period, delineated into sixty-minute chunks, feels simultaneously epic and also trivial. each moment i experience, i think about if i can express it in a few quick scribbles; every hour i finish, i feel pressed towards the next one.

this is a silly tradition. my fingers feel rusty every time i try to draw, and there is a peak mid-day when it seems like its going well, and a drop off in the evening when i'm running out of juice.

this is something i enjoy, i tell myself, and feel strangely about the additional self-imposed constraint of writing a post every day. draw every hour. zine every month. is this how i want to live?

yes, i tell myself. i'm making progress. i'm proving i exist.

i don't know if i want to prove that i exist.

01 February 2018 21:37


i cook by sound; my mother taught me that i'll know that the oil is hot enough because the tiny crescents of delicately sliced green onions would 'make noise'. they'd cry out from across the room that it was time to push them around, to release the chorus of pops. when the crackling subsided, i'd know that it was time to add in the egg. i'd judge whether or not i started too soon based on the bubbling the underside of the egg made; a wet gurgling indicated a good time, while a rapid sizzle ending in silence told me that the egg had instantly quenched the heat of the oil.

my mother trained me to listen for a quiet mumbling when the flatbread was ready to be flipped. the lid for the wok was opaque, so i couldn't judge it by sight. now, my lid is glass, and it's allowed me to be lazy and use my eyes instead of my ears. sometimes, it steams up so much that i can't see what i'm doing, and i have to remember what the wok sounded like when my mother told me it was time to open the lid, back when i was too small to see into it anyway.

if you open the lid too early, you let out the steam, you let out the pressure, and the dumplings deflate. the dumplings have to steam inside their skins, stretching outwards just enough to toughen up so that they give just right when your teeth cuts through them. they'll wrinkle a little as they cool. they'll still taste good, for sure, but they won't taste as good.

cooking is tactile. cooking is auditory. cooking is a lifetime of old memories and instincts and preferences that fade and change over the years. 'what?!' my mother would exclaim when seeing me add generous amounts of ginger power to the soup base. 'i never taught you to do that. who taught you to do that?' she'd protest, a little offended, but a little curious. i've lived places she hasn't. i've cooked with people she'd never met. i've been fed with palates that she avoided.

i was chastised through my childhood for being a picky eater, and returned to her kitchen as an adult who is rarely known to turn down strange food; i've discovered that she's the picky eater, and projected her disappointment in herself onto me.

this is okay; i can bring strange food to her little island and help her learn to eat it.

31 January 2018 21:11


'no one wants to be the kid with glasses,' my mother chided before they started vision tests at my school. 'look at some of your classmates. first grade! already needs glasses. such a shame.' she made words of pity towards those kids, which came from a position of superiority. glasses were for people who were flawed, who had a weakness, who watched too much television or read too much at night.

we knew my vision wasn't perfect, though; as long as i can remember we played games where i'd cover an eye and point to a stationary object, and see that my right eye drifted far to the left, and that letters turned to smudges if i covered my left eye. i cheated on vision test day, because i did not want to carry the shame of needing glasses at age six. i cheated on every vision test given to me for my driver's licenses, because i could not make out the required line of smudges with my right eye.

'there's no right or wrong answer,' the ophthalmologist assured me last week when i stuttered my way through the chart. 'just let me know when those letters start getting hard. have you ever failed a vision test at the dmv?'

'no, but i've always cheated on them.'

'never worn glasses. so, we won't give you something too strong. obviously, you can see just fine to get along.'

the world bows out towards me in the middle now; when reach up to grab something, my knuckles smash into it before i think it's reasonable to extend my fingers. if i turn my head too fast, everything becomes a blur, but i know that it looks like that when i'm not wearing glasses. commit to a week of this, i assure myself. text is easier to read. i spend a lot of my day reading text. small things have gotten harder to see. i have access to getting a device made just for me to attach to my face to combat the fatigue i've given to my eyes over the past three decades of living; i should give it an honest shot.

i'm not yet sure if this is helping or hindering. i have not admitted to my mother that i went to an eye doctor for an honest evaluation.

30 January 2018 20:36

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