20/20 Vision Naturally – Twist in Method


For the past 2+ years, I’ve been experimenting with improving my vision. The underlying hypothesis is that *something* created my imbalanced vision (20/300 in my right eye, 20/50 in my left). My leading idea is that strain created the right eye condition.

I obtained an eye patch a couple weeks ago, and wore it over my “good” eye, thinking the “bad” eye needed exercise. Yet again, I was undermining my own hypothesis. If strain created the original condition, surely more work/strain would not “fix” the condition.

After this aha moment today, I am attempting a half-day wearing the eye patch over the “bad” eye. It is interesting to note that my “good” eye is the “lazy” one: the eyelid is more limp and the eyebrow less arched. So perhaps it is not trying as hard to see as the right eye.

Then, I wonder if darkness helps the eye relax or work harder. I’m thinking it helps relax, because I can feel the right eye kind of giving up and closing already.

Update to follow later!

Knowing What I Want


Had a minor breakdown this evening, mulling over my last intense relationship of the past three years. I’ve been doing a lot of purging this week. People I do not get along with I’m shutting out of my life and breaking bonds. I’m tired of unnecessary drama and struggle. I’ve cultivated a lot of relationships over the past three years based on some glimmer of excitement, but many have had serious integrity or character flaws that I’ve accepted as a tradeoff. I’m not perfect, no one is, and I’ve tolerated a lot of bullshit in the name of adventure and learning opportunities.

I was looking for some way to “let go” of my last love, for once and for all. Otherwise, my brain continues to run in the background to try and “fix” the relationship, and I can’t afford the wasted energy. My love’s main problem with me was my “lack of stability”, but I feel this was in part caused by his actions. I sought stability very early on and he rejected it. I thought the sensible thing would be to demonstrate my commitment. When that failed, I demonstrated my independence. In the meantime, in his overzealousness for security, he held too tightly to too many loves, causing an eventual backfire. To be blamed for my instability is not to take the entire picture into account. Atonement in this case would require something he is not willing to give up, i.e. his illusions and tokens of security. It’s too bad-we could have had a lot of fun.

I suppose this is what Gibran said about love’s threshing floor. The deep, dark lessons about the nature of being human, which loving another reveals to us. Our needs for acceptance, security, freedom, and self-expression, among many others.

I can only hope I will be more brave and more open-hearted in the next round, and Hafiz’s promise is for me:

“Anger, all this fighting and tormenting want, sweetheart, God has seen your heart in prayer. Sweetheart, God has seen you and sent a close one. Surely there is something wrong with your ideas of God if you think our Beloved would not be so tender.”

Not settling

My heart is too powerful
My dreams too fanciful
To share with someone timid
If you insist on hiding behind your cock
Other women
Your work
Your mother
Your pounds of flesh
Your oh-so-interesting life
Don’t be surprised when I leave you to your affairs.

Overcoming traveler’s sickness: A personal experiment in Pakistan

I’m on my sixth day in Pakistan, and my third day of overwhelming illness. Nothing I eat stays in, it all passes through and then some. There is a bathroom scale in my hotel room and it looks like I’ve lost about ten pounds in three days. I was about 10 pounds overweight when I started my trip.

This same illness happened to me with nearly the same timing the last two visits to this country. I will begin to have diarrhea on day 3 or day 4, and it gets progressively worse until I leave with severe cramping.

So the Chemical Engineer in me comes out naturally and I’m doing some experiments to get to the bottom of it!

What is the Problem?

First, I researched Traveler’s Diarrhea, which I learned was mostly caused by the E. coli bacterium.

A typical prescription for someone like me who has had the condition for more than 24 hours is to begin a course of antibiotics for 3-4 days. But I am not a proponent of antibiotics, mostly because I feel (and the rest of the scientific/medical community is beginning to realize) that they are a nuclear bomb or drone, killing both the good and the evil, when all that is needed is a targeted sniper, and leave you more vulnerable to the antibiotic-resistant superbugs that they create.

The trouble with the targeted sniper approach (and why doctors are too lazy to pursue it) is that you need to precisely identify the enemy and its Achilles heel. This takes time and effort (as you will see  below).

I had some success while in Holland, of “curing” a brief bout of diarrhea (probably caused by eating too much gouda cheese), with a glass of wine before bed. My mother had told me that drinking wine was an old home remedy she had in a homeopathic health book she found for travel sickness. It made sense to me: Alcohol is a poison, it could kill bacteria.

First Hypothesis: Drink Wine to kill my E. coli

There were two problems with this hypothesis.

One: I am in a Muslim country for 7 days and alcohol is frowned upon/heavily regulated. It’s not even listed in my room service menu so I’d have to go out of my way to get it. (Later – I found this (alcohol deaths) and (targeted wine store attacks), so yeah, right intuition!)

Two: I researched “wine effect on e coli” and found this great study in the Journal of Food Science showing that wine in simulated stomach conditions killed Salmonella but not E. coli. And white wine was more effective than red wine. But the interesting thing was that they isolated not the alcohol but the acidity of the wine as having killed the bacteria.

So I figured….

Second Hypothesis: Drink a ton of Coca-Cola to kill E. coli

Even though the experiment showed E. coli was not killed, I thought, why not give it a try. I didn’t have any other good ideas at the time, and maybe if I drank enough…? Coca Cola is readily available, so I set out that morning to follow through on my experiment. I ordered two coca-colas room service, and researched “acidic foods” to see if I could acidize my way out of my illness. I learned Coke has a pH of around 2.5, which I figured would be plenty acidic enough to do the job in large quantities. It would truly be an assault, considering I never drink sodas back home.

I had four Coca Colas from 10 am to 1pm, and a few French Fries. I was feeling great! (see: Caffeine and 10g sugar/can) and the diarrhea and stomach churning ceased for three-four hours.

I was feeling so good I decided to have some rice biryani and some electrolyte replacement, and some Sprite (I had run out of Coca Cola). Then, BAM. Back in the bathroom the rest of the afternoon and evening.

At first I thought that I had just pushed my luck too soon, and if I had just stuck to my diet of Coca Cola and french fries as long as it took, I could have been in the clear…But that night, I had two Pepsis (and a bite of naan) for dinner, and didn’t feel any better, in fact I was feeling slightly worse.

I went to bed, and this morning, I thought about the day before that, when I had taken some Airborne (high in Vitamin C) and some tea, and immediately vomited it up. However, not being sure whether it was the E. Coli hijacking my stomach that made me throw up or my own body being sensible, I decided to try the Airborne approach again. I remembered that my last trip in Pakistan, I was doing pretty well until I ran out of Airborne tablets…

Third Hypothesis: Kill E. Coli with Vitamins/Airborne

I mixed up some Airborne this morning and began to take a few sips, wary of an impending vomit reflex. But this time, I Googled “vitamin c and e coli” while I drank. What I found in this article made me stop drinking immediately:

E. coli thrives on acid, and will metabolize Vitamin C/Ascorbic Acid to make itself STRONGER! So, my first three hypotheses were dead wrong, and probably making matters worse.

So, time for a course correction!

Fourth Hypothesis: Kill E. coli by alkalizing my body (effectively suffocating them in their own waste)


Luckily, I traveled with these amazing Alkalizing Greens Energy Bars, and I had three left out of a box of 12. I was wary about eating them, because the last trip I had brought some probiotics and “healthy” stuff like fish oil, multivitamins, and Airborne, and still got violently ill.

But I was losing options. I ate my green bar, and slowly started into the second one, taking small sips of water along the way.

I immediately put away the Vitamin C and read my water bottle label, noticing the pH was measured to be around 7.4 (slightly alkaline). I remembered I had purchased an amazing bottle of water in Amsterdam airport which was a pH of 10, so I may try to find some of this in the hotel shops as well.

Having done limeade fasts in the past, I also know that lemon juice, while acidic (citric acid), inside the body turns alkaline, so I may try to do some lemon tea with a little honey today as well, as I don’t think I’ll be able to procure any Canadian maple syrup easily for the regular formula.

I also read about alkalizing the body on the go, just to check some more options (clean veggies may not be available here, so it makes it a bit harder).

So far, so good! I had to use the restroom fairly quickly after eating the first green energy bar, but my stomach feels more settled already.

I will post an update below at the end of the day, or when I have more information.

Update! Success!!

I was feeling awful and went down to the hotel pharmacy and found a couple citric acid supplements.


So for the entire day, I sipped two glasses of citric acid, drank as much water as my body was craving, and a few nibbles of my green energy bar. I stayed in bed all day, and fell asleep around 5:30/6pm, woke up after midnight, and became hungry by 7am.

I had a light breakfast of salted tomato slices, cucumbers, olives, canned mushrooms, baked beans, and one potato slice, and ordered lemon water for tea.

I was feeling better and better throughout the day. At lunchtime, I had a cup of lentil and chicken soup and two bottles of water. Then, we went out for lunch and had local dishes (nihari!), chicken korma, naan, sweet naan, and kulfi (ice cream). I also had two bottles of water with this lunch.

I think keeping the acid somewhat neutralized by drinking enough water was VERY effective.

At this time, pea-sized stools were starting to form again (TMI). I ate a whole dinner of paki-chinese and thai food, and ice cream, and had a whole pakistani chai, but didn’t want the sugary “chiller” fruit drink when we went out for “coffee” a little later. By that evening, my digestion/stools had returned to normal (pictures omitted)!!

I probably had at least 8 bottles of water all day.

So, I think I’m on the right track with balancing acid-base chemistry.

The nihari and local dishes, and ice creams were pushing my luck for sure.

Will be sure to have a good veggie breakfast again and maybe one more “local” dish before I go.


Karachi Day 5

Having dinner outside on a beautiful lawn in a club at night, next to the Arabian sea under a full Aquarian moon, my heart is full.

“You’re never getting married?” One of the aunties asked me. Well, who can know? I’ve always assumed I would, and I still long to be a mother (though technically I already am one, if a very distant one!).

I’m ready for a more mature relationship built on a more solid foundation I think. Some people approach relationships with more open-heartedness and honesty than others seem to be capable of, and I’m gravitating toward the real–the lovers who bring out my deepest laughs, make me feel comfortable, and share things they normally might keep hidden. I’m ready for a more open equal, and excited for my new path in career and relations upon my return to the bay area.

A Piscean I met on this trip said she was born at 3am, and loves that time because it’s neither day nor night. She also has excelled in delegation and purposefully unstructured communication during presentations at her job. These are lovely Piscean metaphors.


Sick Thoughts

My stomach has started acting up, right on cue beginning the fourth day in Karachi. And I’ve noticed it makes me more thoughtful.

When I don’t feel well, I notice I become quite sensitive to people that I don’t feel are taking care of me in my life. It’s as if I become illumined to my loved ones’ caretaking abilities when I am feeling naturally selfish, as being sick forces one to be. I tend to be very externally-focused generally I think, frequently looking to others for cues on how I should act. I figure this is a pattern ingrained from my youth, which involved many moves to new towns, where I would have to figure out the local culture quickly to figure out how to “fit in.”

So I become repulsed by the selfish people in my life when I am sick, and that might actually be useful information. Ask me when I’m well ;-)

Watching a political discussion on the television in the Urdu language, reminds me of the vastness of the human experience. So many cultures and differences, and yet all connected in one chain going back thousands of generations.

I feel comforted with the knowledge of how many people similar to us have lived on the planet, especially when I start to feel a little existential crisis coming on, which happens more frequently than I’d like to admit. Through some experimental experiences, I’ve come to understand just how interconnected we are as a single organism with many detached, mobile sensors! Even our speech with each other flows in a field of energy which affects both the speaker and the observer, so that it can be confusing who is thinking the thoughts when linked-in with each other. We have done so much work generationally teaching each other how to think and speak for maximum cooperation among different tribes/bloodlines, that sometimes among the complex interconnectedness I start to question and become apathetic about the relative value I am adding, 1/6 Billion-ish.

Earlier today, I was reading an article about the latest climate change science, and a comment was made about how Republicans are so afraid of a global government and global currency and work to maintain status quo (in this case, by funding “hoax” campaigns against the science). It brings me back to story of the tower of Babel, and how just when everyone was seeing eye-to-eye, God confused the languages of the people so that they could not, through their cooperation, build a tower to reach God. In retrospect, this was good, because we know now that humans trying to build a tower won’t actually get you any closer to God. We have left our atmosphere for the moon and beyond, and no material God-figure was anywhere to be found in the heavens.

So perhaps what the people were building toward was cooperation, and in that global cooperation is where God is found. Each of us pictures God according to our understanding, whether a father-figure, goddess, lover, friend, baby, or nature, for example. This is not poly-theistic, in fact, it is the opposite. One God, like the elephant in the room that we see only a portion of from our perspective, is at once omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, Hermes and Aphrodite, living in the polarities and all the spaces inbetween.

So operating as a human amidst an energy that we call God…

I was just distracted by my own thoughts, which happens often. I was thinking that I’ve noticed that the human capacity for self-reflection gets out of control with me sometimes. I think I became hyper-vigilant as a child, as children do when they feel unsafe in their environments. Psychology teaches us that children realize the only thing they have control over is themselves, so they turn their powers inward to calculate and control in order to affect a safer interaction with their environments. If they can become very good at self-reflection before taking actions, they can take some degree of control over how they are treated by others.

My life right now, at age 33, is about unwinding the excess of self-reflection that I needed to protect myself as a child. This makes me think I ought to stop journaling! But I do find my journal/blog entries really insightful in terms of helping recognize when history is trying to repeat itself. Sometimes I will forget the lessons I’ve learned along the way until I go back and re-read my poems or blog posts. My excess of self-reflection makes me a good investigator and has enabled me to see multiple perspectives and act in a pointed way, so there are benefits, but there are also downfalls, namely, spending too much time in being critical of oneself and not taking action, or not being fully present in the moment and attuned to flowing among life’s wonders rather than safeguarding against life’s threats and what-ifs.

And I become quite verbose when ill. Time for a nap.

Pakistani Pirate Poet


One more day before I head across the oceans once more for a Pakistani wedding journey. I spent all day today compiling my better poetry into a semi-organized collection. It still needs a lot of editing I’m afraid, so not sure if I love it or hate it yet. Also not sure why I took up that task at this time, but it has been useful going through my blog posts back to 2006, when I took up journaling again, to see what I was thinking when I made my last major life transition.

I also happened upon a conversation with PM from 2010, talking about how he stopped doing certain creative/experimental projects when he went to work in corporate, and wasn’t sure why. That is a concern of mine. I have two interviews this week, one which would support continuing a freelance/piecemeal lifestyle, and one which would be a full-time gig. Not having worked full-time for any one employer for 7 years now, that would be a transition for sure! We’ll see what the future holds…

It’s like a whole new round of courtship beginning. I’ll make the first move, flower to the bee, and see what kind of drones drop by :-)

I also wore an eye patch for more than half the day today over my good eye. Noticed some strain in right eye adjustment. Will try again after Pakistan.

This place is full of magic

Drawn in so deep by more magical sf experiences…a movie theater with couches and loveseats where the food comes to you and it’s a surprise…just kinky enough kink films…a meeting of the minds…intoxication and connection…worlds opening up…hearts opening up….posh surroundings…rubbing shoulders with hard edges…smart and barefoot and happy and centered, and a little manic but at least mindful of it…supportive and questioning and raising the roof on awesome and what ifs and what can we do…pioneers on the leading edge of what is and what is not…and loving each other’s company…diving deep into pleasure and what vibes our own souls no matter what we were told…leaving behind cults and sniffing the groupthink…lots of time apart and just enough together…barely remembering to be women and mothers and friends in a playland of gogogo…dododo…bebebe

Bless the Beloved

At the end of the day
What I really really want
Is for you to be
Deliriously happy
Walking a path that challenges you
And gives you beauty and respite
A soft breeze,
And a stream of water for your weary feet
I’m sending out love vibes
Through the darkness
And the channels which connected us
Aeons ago
When we swung through trees
And sat in our shells in the mud
I’m summoning all the forces for good
In our Universe
And lifting you up to the sun for a recharge
So that although we can’t find our way to each other
Your soul will rest in the clouds while
Light fingers glide across your skin
Nails swirl through your scalp
Hands soft against your body
And you find a place of permanent bliss
Merged into our other
Sheltered from our storms