J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Author: J.D. Moyer (Page 1 of 60)

A Terrifying Bout of Insomnia

I saw two dead bodies in the same week, and I stopped sleeping.

The first body was my father-in-law, at his viewing. He looked natural, as if peacefully asleep. But his total stillness betrayed this illusion.

My uncle died a week later, at an assisted living facility in Concord. He’d been estranged from our family for more than twenty years, but he’d reached out recently, and we were all getting to know each other again. He’d been ill for a long time, with COPD, but that week he had a stroke, and died a few days later. The morning he died, my mom and I drove to Concord, and waited in his room for the mortician. My uncle was emaciated, and pale, and obviously dead, but still warm. I helped move his body from his bed to the gurney. He weighed almost nothing.

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No Car Experiment: Results and Conclusions

Almost exactly two years ago, our car lease expired, and my family decided to embark on a “one month” experiment of living without owning or leasing a car. At the time our daughter was attending an elementary school just a few blocks away (easily walkable), and Kia was willing to do the bulk of the grocery shopping on her Xtracycle cargo bike. In terms of commuting, Kia and I both work from home. Otherwise we planned to use car sharing services and Lyft/Uber as needed. Our #1 rule for the experiment was that we would never turn down social invitations for lack of transportation. Also, we would not depend too much on family and friends for rides.

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A Good Life Is Made of Small Things

My father-in-law is dying. He most likely has only weeks to live. As dying goes, he’s doing it really well, surrounded by loved ones, with good professional home-hospice care. He’s a renowned poet and translator, well respected, loved by hundreds if not thousands of students, ex-students, colleagues, friends, and family. He’s lived a full, uncompromising life, and was lucky enough to fall deeply in love, once again, in the last few months. The house where he’s staying, in the Berkeley hills, has a stupendous view of the bay. He’s cogent, self-aware, and taking on this final challenge with grace, courage, and an open heart.

The situation has made me think about what’s important in life. That’s something I think about a lot, but now more so than ever.

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My 2018 Motto

My 2018 motto is “no rushing, no slacking.”

I’m going full tortoise.

Many of the problems I’ve created for myself in the past couple years have come from rushing around. I broke my foot trying to get somewhere in a hurry (on a skateboard, in the dark). I accumulated a huge number of rejection slips because I hastily submitted short stories that weren’t completely polished (some were later accepted after a few more rounds of editing). I injured my stomach by eating too quickly, drinking too much coffee, and letting myself get stressed out.

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2017 Personal Recap and Thoughts for 2018

Qoöl NYE 2008 at 111 Minna

Hello readers! Hope you had an excellent New Year’s Eve. I had a quiet celebration with my family this year–we made cheesecake, played Clue, and watched a Jane Austen movie on Netflix. While I fondly remember my nights hosting New Year’s Eve parties, deejaying afterparties until 5am, drinking too much whiskey, and trying to keep track of the night’s door revenues, I’m glad my current lifestyle no longer requires such excess. Those were good times, and I’m glad I survived them (and profited), but the stress level was consistently high. I remember the night one guest accidentally set her hair on fire (thanks Hsiao-Wen for dousing the flames). I remember the night when a huge wad of cash fell out of my pocket in the back room of the DNA Lounge (honest employees–it was all there when I went back to find it). I remember the stress of trying to serve five hundred guests free champagne between midnight and 12:10am (thanks Jackie, Beth, Dawn, Kia, and everyone else who made that happen year after year). I remember when a patron, exhausted and drunk, fell off his barstool and cracked his head on the floor. Ultimately the poor fool was fine, but my friend Aly fainted at the sight of blood. Her boyfriend Dave caught her in his arms and swept her away.

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Apple Cider Vinegar for Acitinic Keratosis

For about a year I had noticed a very small (about 2mm by 4mm) patch of rough, scaly skin under my right eye. Sometimes it would heal up, but mostly it was slightly rough and red. I was pretty sure it was a small patch of acitinic keratosis, a skin condition that can develop into skin cancer if untreated (pretty common in the over-40 blond/blue-eyed set). I’d had them several times before in the same general area, and each time I’d gone to the doctor I’d been treated with cryotherapy (a tiny spritz of liquid nitrogen). After the treatment, the area would scab up, and when the scab fell off the skin would be pink and smooth underneath.

But … I didn’t feel like going to the doctor’s office. With my broken foot and gastritis, I’d spent far too much of 2017 in hospitals and doctor’s offices. So I did an internet search to look for alternatives.

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