Friday, December 31, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
It's crazy to me how happening to be in a certain place at an exact time can determine which way your life goes, change it for good or bad. You happen to go to a certain bar and meet the love of your life. Take a different route home and run into an old friend. Transfer into a class and change your entire career path. Step into a car and lose your life. You just never know when and how all the factors will line up to slightly shift your perspective or completely alter your existence.
I know that life is full of coincidence and random tragedies, but as corny as it may sound, I also truly believe that the energy you put out into the universe is the energy returned to you, and that when you open yourself up, opportunities present themselves. But you have to keep an open eye and open heart. "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,” Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist, and maybe that really is true. Maybe even when you're not exactly sure what it is you want, the universe can step in with a little nudge and a wink to help you find your way.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
No, I would like to explain my absence by telling you all that I have in fact, for the past few years (although it appears to have been a mere few months for you all here on earth) been living a beautiful and thought-provoking existence on a faraway planet whose name I'm afraid I have never been able to pronounce, which I was brought to by some lovely new friends who were kind enough to have beamed me up to their ship, sometime... well, it looks like shortly after Earth Day 2010, what do you know!
To those of you who may interject here that you have seen me blatantly roaming the streets of San Francisco, may have in fact sworn you've spoken with me, I must explain that my earthly body was for this time replaced by a strikingly life-like hologram. And as we all know, holograms are terrible typers. Perhaps one day I will share some of my adventures, but for now I will simply leave you with this thought of the day:
A Short Essay on Bullshit & the Meaning of Life
This is how I see it: every day of our lives we are surrounded by bullshit. Big Bullshit. Little Bullshit. Funny Bullshit. Ugly Bullshit. And downright mean Bullshit. I mean, that's a whole lot of bullshit. It's finding a way to wade through all the bullshit to what's good and what's real--and the sense of humor we keep while doing so--that gets us through. Because if you get bogged down by it, you drown.
Oh, and luckily I haven't aged a bit! Life is good on planet what's-its-name.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I think that sometimes in our lives we need the divine mystery, the childlike sense of wonder. Sometimes we need to forget about the how and the why and the where, and merely celebrate the is. To throw away the map and revel in being lost, knowing that eventually we'll reach the destination, in our own way, with only our heart and the stars to guide.
I think Whitman understood this.
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much
applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
But never fear, my darlings! Now to continue on in the fine tradition of caffeinated conundrum emerges the "Trenta", a 31-ounce iced drink size currently being offered at Starbucks locations in Phoenix and Tampa. The very thought makes my bladder cower in fear. And yet I have this unshakable feeling that the monstrous beverage option will be embraced by a disturbingly large section of the American public.
And hey, whaddaya know... it looks like Ellen agrees with me! You tell 'em, sister.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
America likes its athletes squeaky=clean and wholesome, and its leaders dignified, god-fearing and infallible (AHEM, explain George Bush Jr. to me then please. Seriously, please, someone try, because I still don't get it...), so inevitably people freak out when those they put on a pedestal are involved with drugs or sex or *gasp* ...swearing? (Of course W's druggie/alcoholic past doesn't count, that was before he was important, and so can apparently be forgiven and overlooked). Well, perhaps I should clarify: people freak out when there is visual and/or auditory proof of such behavior. Because come on, who of us really thinks that a 20-something athlete high on fame and success isn't going to do a little partying and a little getting high on something else, or that Barack Obama isn't letting a few cuss words fly when off air in the Oval Office? Those in serious denial, or suffering from extreme naivete, that's who.
But this is the message the media constantly sends in our society: that no matter how common place certain actions and behaviors may be, and no matter how ultimately benign, they are not to be publicly shown. That we, the masses, are free to do what we will, but those the nation holds in esteem--celebrities, politicians--are to be held to a higher standard. This is the price to pay for fame and power: you must be perfect. Or, at least, project the appearance of perfection. It's a ridiculous standard to live up to, and one doomed to failure. And it's this hypocritical brand of censorship that perpetuates the ridiculous taboos our country stubbornly clings to. It's why the US is widely seen as the Prude of the Western World. And I have to think that it shows a serious misplacement of priorities.
Case in point: the editorial staff at the Hartford Courant called the incident "a blunder that sullied a historic moment." This is, in a word, ridiculous. If anything, the ones sullying this historic legislative victory are those who are placing greater importance on a curse word than on the health care bill itself and what it will mean to the lives of millions of Americans. But seriously. In a few years, ask a 12-year-old girl who was able to receive the health care she needed in order to fight her cancer and survive how she feels about Joe Biden "sullying" the passing of health care reform with a naughty word. I would love to hear the response.
As a good friend of mine astutely pointed out (and she would know), those who work in politics are only a close second to sailors in their use of profanity (also in use of alcohol, but that is another story). Having worked amongst political folk for a good year and a half now, I can personally attest to this (thank the lord, I fit in just fine from the get-go). So I don't know, am I just desensitized to profane language? Am I wrong in thinking one little swear word should not have caused such a shit storm when there are bigger fish to fry? Is it just me, or the word "fuck" far less offensive than one of George W's fabricated linguistic atrocities or mispronunciations? And what, I have to ask, ever happened to Freedom of Speech? You know, that oft-quoted part of the First Amendment of the Constitution that we Americans hold so dear?
Granted, this is certainly not Biden's first gaffe, not his first verbal faux pas. He has a storied reputation for putting his foot in his mouth over some issue or another, and has often been criticized making himself, Obama and even the Democratic Party as a whole look a fool. But I have to point out: at least you know he's real. And personally, I'd rather have a VP who swears and sometimes speaks without thinking but says what he means than a slick, smooth-talking politician who merely pays lip service.
Sure, Mr. Biden could have saved a lot of brouhaha by merely watching his language, or considering that the microphones just miiight be sensitive enough to pick up on something that was really meant for the President's ears only. But I for one actually find it endearing and heartening to think that the Vice President was maybe just too genuinely excited and happy about the passing of the health care bill to really think about censoring himself. After all, there are enough politicians who seem to care more about their public appearance, their own selfish ambitions and approval ratings, than about actually doing good things for those they represent. Priorities, people.
So thank you, Mr. Biden, for keepin' it real, for bringing a little HBO to CNN & MSNBC. To quote a tweet from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: "yes Mr. Vice President, you're right..." The new health care bill is a big fucking deal. One little swear word, however, is not.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
I had to grow up a little (and find a more diverse pool of peers) to recognize the importance of real friends . The ones who want to be around you because they see you, not because you're invisible; who want to be your friend because they value the person you are, not because of what they think they can get out of you and how they can take advantage of you; those who make the effort to know you because they see that there might just be more to you than what's apparent on the surface.
And yet, even though I know so much better now, I will admit that there is still the occasional situation, the moment of doubt or rejection that takes me by surprise and finds me reverting back to my 12-year-old mindset of "What? Why would anyone not like me? Why would someone not want to be my friend? Surely this must be a mistake, how do I fix this?"
And this is when the "adult" me has to take over and remember the reality: that for whatever reason, there are going to be people you meet along the way who are not going to like you, may even hate you. There are people who may think you're A-Ok but are unable or unwilling to see any deeper. There will be people who think they know you but have no idea, and there will be people who get to know you but decide they don't need you in their life.
And as hard as it can be to accept, those individuals--the ones who misjudge you, who don't want to make the effort to really know you, who don't think it's worth their while to spend time with you or sometimes even to properly acknowledge you...they simply don't belong in your life. Not when you have friends and family who sincerely care, and so many amazing people in the world yet to meet.
Part of me really wishes I could travel back in time and tell this to my younger self. Because the realization is so liberating, the moment so profoundly freeing and empowering when you accept that it's not worth caring about, and just let go. But I guess some things you just have to learn the hard way for them to really stick.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
The cruel irony of optimism is that that smug fucker hope always springs eternal. I realize that for the most part hope is a good thing, something that the world could generally use more of. But I tell you, it can be exhausting. And it iinevitably brings expectations, which can then be let down. I have to think that it might be comforting to be a pessimist; to never expect anything, or to always expect the worst. To wallow cozily in curmudgeonly gloom & doom. To not have constant hopes and dreams to be swept up in a stormy wave and dashed against the rocks. Because for the optimist, even when our hopes are crushed in the cruelest of ways and for all rights we should become jaded beyond repair, we always seem to bounce back, ready for more.
Marya Mannes once said, “The curse of the romantic is a greed for dreams, an intensity of expectation that, in the end, diminishes the reality”.
Maybe then, this is the curse of the optimist as well, to dream too vividly, hope too fervently, foster imaginations that run like wild stallions, beautiful but dangerous. But I have to wonder: is it not possible to appreciate the reality and yet still harbor great expectations? After all, can we not see the world as it is but believe we can make it better? Maybe the problem is not the hopes and expectations themselves but the lack of initiative to make them real?
To be honest I don't really know, but either way, I have to think that a "greed for dreams" and "intensity of expectation" are essential to the human spirit. Some are greedier than others, some are better at pursuing their dreams, and some may become so discouraged and cynical that they feel like giving up dreaming altogether. But in order to truly be human, in order not to lose our spark, I think we have to harbor great hopes and dreams. And when we manage to make our dreams become reality, that is something amazing to behold; a priceless victory and triumph of the spirit. But even if we fail, at least the dream was there, at least we held its fire in our hands and hope in our heart. There's no shame in that.
And I for one wouldn't want to live any other way. In the immortal words of the Rolling Stones: you can't always get what you want. Dreams will inevitably be crushed, setbacks will occur. People will disappoint you. These are facts that simply must be accepted in order for each little blow not to cave in our entire world and send us reeling into the abyss. But that doesn't mean you stop trying, or stop trusting. It doesn't mean you stop believing in magic or serendipity or the power of the heart and the human spirit. After all, that would be to give up on life itself.
So no matter the hurt and disappointment I'm potentially setting myself up for, I have to believe in "next time", I have to believe that the people I put faith in won't let me down, that I will learn from my mistakes, that honest efforts will be rewarded and patience will not be in vain, that with hard work and conviction dreams can come to fruition, and that each month and each year will be better than the last. That life is good but can always be better; that I can always be better.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
As it is, however, I am just left feeling rather left out that as a non-Mission living, professionally employed, panty-owning woman sadly devoid of vintage frames (glasses and bike), I apparently don't belong in a modern San Francisco. And the fact that in his upcoming show (Is the "Frisco" in the title supposed to be ironic? And if so will the Italians get it? So many questions...) this overworked cliché is apparently going to be presented to a foreign nation as a representation of the archetypal San Francisco woman... well, I don't even know what to say about that.Ok, well I will say, first of all: I'm not sure where the artist is getting his data but personally I kinda think he missed the mark. I believe I know a fairly diverse selection of females here and generally speaking, the “Modern San Franciscan Woman” I know can be described as intelligent, independent, open-minded, politically and socially active (because she cares about her city), environmentally conscious (but not obnoxiously self-righteous about it), quite likely more sexually enlightened than the rest of the country (but not slutty), perhaps often a leetle heavy-handed with the booze (but she can hold her liquor), and lives any-which-the-fuck-where she pleases in the city because she's not pretentious enough to think that you’re only cool if you live in a certain neighborhood (*cough*the Mission*cough*).
But what I found more interesting than the drawing itself was the discussion it incited in the comments section of the Mission Mission blog post. So right now I'm going to sidestep the whole feminist issue, for the sake of brevity, and focus on the larger picture I feel is in question here: what it means to be a citizen of San Francisco, male or female.
Now just to be clear, I do not have a problem with the Mission. I live very close to the Mission. I have friends who live there. I love Mission Dolores park, going out in the Mission, thrifting in the mission, having brunch in the Mission, eating burritos in the Mission... you get the point.
What I do take issue with is people making arbitrary, personally-biased decisions about what makes one a San Franciscan; such as anyone trying to say that you're not a "true" SF-er if you don't ride a bike, if you don't have tattoos, don't smoke (hella) weed, if you own a car or watch tv or live in the sunset or weren't born here. Just like it rubs me the wrong way when people automatically and derogatorily slap the hipster label on someone because they have a bike, tats and skinny jeans, or the prep/bro/marina ho tag if, God Forbid, they happen to rent an apartment in Pac Heights or Cow Hollow. It's the age old "book & cover" debaucle.
What I think is stupid is the fact that we seem to feel the need to argue over who of us are more authentically San Franciscan, based on where we're from, what neighborhood we live in, what we wear/drive/ride/eat/drink, etc. What's this? Cliques? Pointless catfights? When did this SF become one giant high school campus, anyway? Why can't we all just find common ground in our collective love and pride of our city and learn to accept (if not celebrate) the differences that make it so diverse and colorful?
And so I say that, if anything, what should define a true San Franciscan are these same qualities; an unwavering sense of tolerance and compassion, a refusal to stereotype, label or to look with hatred, fear and disgust upon those who are different. After all, isn't that the very spirit of San Francisco itself?
*plagiarized and bastardized from the sonnet "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, inscribed on the Statue of Liberty