Monthly Archives: February 2004


Your separation from God has ripened.

Now fall

Like a golden fruit

Into my hand.


This depression I feel every night as I return home on BART. No more work to distract me. Just my old depressing self. Relax, Beth, into feeling like crap. And somehow the crap starts to be okay.


Vicki’s birthday party today was a challenge to my South Beach diet willpower, but I think I fairly succeeded. Then later, sitting in my office alone at the computer, the song, “Impossible,” by Joe Nichols, one of the singers on Jo Anne’s country music station, came through my ears…

…In thirteen years I’d never seen him cry,

But the day that grandpa died, I realized:

Unsinkable ships sink.

Unbreakable walls break.

Sometimes the things you think could never happen,

Happen just like that.

Unbendable steel bends.

If the fury of the wind is unstoppable,

I’ve learned to never underestimate,

The impossible.

OK, sappy, right? Just like most country/western songs. And I’m starting to PMS. But still… I suddenly had this vision, or feeling… sensation… of being so very very small… party of Dan Leone’s “humanonymity” maybe… who is just realizing how fragile, impermanent, everything is… but mostly how this realization has been made billions and billions of times by people since the beginning of people… a sea of tiny awakenings… and how it would go on and on as long as there are people… and how actually small and un-unique each of us is from the perspective of the universe…

In 21 Grams, Benicio del Toro loves to quote the Bible passage about how God knows when even 1 hair on your head moves. Incomprehensible, yeah? And yet it’s just the complexity of the universe. Too much for a human mind to comprehend. Filtering out things is crucial for sanity. Editing things down to manageable proportions. The problem is believing that the small chunk you carve out for yourself is all there is. Believing in your mind… that’s the path to a very rude awakening.

How in the world to close the door enough to live and yet leave it open enough for possibility? How indeed?


“There are some things sadder than a lifeless mass of humanonymity emerging from underground into a dead grainy midwinter twilight.” (dan leone, Cheap Eats, Feb 4-10 SF Bay Guardian)

And then I went to see 21 Grams at the Empire theater in West Portal. Aside from Benicio del Toro, another disppointment. A better movie: Levity, but who’s making comparisons? I just came from Monday night meditation, for heaven’s sake!

What are they thinking?

Well, the frantic drive to see all the Oscar-nominated movies before the awards show has begun. Ruby is having her annual Academy Awards party and Oscar pool on Sunday the 29th. (I’m shocked, SHOCKED that gambling is going on there!) Well, it’s not really gambling if you’re educated, right? That’s why I have to see as many of the nominees as I can beforehand. And since I’ve got free passes to AMC, Century, and the Elmwood, I could actually come out ahead if I win the pot!

So here’s the depressing news. I have no desire to see 3 of the 5 Best Picture nominees: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World; and Sea Biscuit. Ech! I just saw Mystic River last night, and while I thought it was a cut above, it’s certainly not Best Picture material in my book. And why was Marcia Gay Harden nominated over Laura Linney, whose performance I thought was really amazing. Lost in Translation, which Michael and I saw a few months ago, is beautiful. But again, Best Picture? And why oh why didn’t they nominate Finding Nemo?!?!?

Michael said he thought the awards should be democratic — based on sales rather than the votes of a few elite members of the Academy. I countered that then many of the movies I like would not get awards. And he asked, “Why should they?” I had to remind him that I am always right.

So anyway, these are the movies I’ve already seen: Lost in Translation, Mystic River, Pirates of the Caribbean, Whale Rider, Monster, Thirteen, Finding Nemo, American Splendor, Big Fish, and Capturing the Friedmans. Here are the ones I intend to see before 2/29:

House of Sand and Fog

Cold Mountain

In America

21 Grams

Pieces of April

City of God

The Barbarian Invasions

Triplets of Belleville

Anyone care to join me for any of these?

Besides TLOTR, Master and Commander, and Sea Biscuit, here are the movies I am simply not interested in:

Something’s Gotta Give

The Cooler

The Last Samurai

Girl with a Pearl Earring

A Mighty Wind

Brother Bear

Has anyone else seen these movies? Did you like it enough to recommend it? (I’ve already gotten 2 negative reports on Something’s Gotta Give.)

Also, I am interested in the other foreign language films and documentaries, but I just don’t think there will be time.

South Beach…

It’s too damned cold! Wish we were in someplace warm. Like Hawaii. Or even Florida. So I started the South Beach Diet on Sunday. (Okay, that was a stretch.)

Why oh why am I doing a diet? Because I got totally strung out on Hershey’s miniatures and kisses during the holidays, and I need to detox — Cold Turkey! (Isn’t that an alcoholic beverage? Oops. Can’t have those on the South Beach diet. Oh, it’s Wild Turkey? Never mind.)

There are 3 phases. The 1st phase lasts 2 weeks, during which you can’t have any starchy foods. Which really means no grains (bread, pasta, rice, etc.) or root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, turnips, etc.) You can have meat and dairy, but only lean and reduced fat versions. That makes finding recipes difficult, since most are either low carb or low fat but not both. Fortunately, the South Beach web site has all kinds of recipes, some of which are pretty good.

All week I’ve had mini spinach quiche cups for breakfast and no-pasta lasagne for lunch. The lasagne uses strips of eggplant instead of pasta and is quite tasty! So tasty, in fact, that I have added it to the Dining Room, which hasn’t had an update in months.