The Christmas Report from Down Under

From This is True:

DREAMING OF A LIQUID CHRISTMAS: A gang of men dressed up as Santa Claus went on a rampage in Auckland, New Zealand, police say. The 40-50 St. Nicks were celebrating "Santarchy" and roamed the streets, where they allegedly threw beer bottles at cars and people, vandalized Christmas trees, shoplifted from stores, and were generally naughty, not nice. Their point? Contrary to press reports it was not to protest the commercialization of Christmas, said Auckland's Santarchy organizer, Alex Dyer. "It's not against anyone," he insisted. "We're just dressing up as Santa and getting drunk. We just like booze." (New Zealand Herald, NZPA) ...It's nice to know their motives are pure.


Dirty Scrabble

My fav words from this weekend:

tornato (later corrected to be tornado)

Happy Fuckin' New Year, Old Dudes!

Many ancient Egyptians marked the first month of the New Year by singing, dancing and drinking red beer until they passed out, according to archaeologists who have unearthed new evidence of a ritual known as the Festival of Drunkenness.




Home at last. And by home I mean San Francisco. But I'm not about to spend all my time home updating just yet, so here's a little stocking stuffer to help you get through the drought. These cuties are loving their Christmas presents:



It's snowing here. I forgot how cold Missouri was in late December. I'm such a wuss now. Went out and bought hats, but have yet to find a nice pair of gloves. A peril of having long fingers.

Went to a bar last night called Missie B's with a drag show. Fun show, especially with all the WET PUSSIES I had. Rock on.

Sidekicks is a country-western gay bar that we'll venture to another time, but didn't have the pleasure of last night. Corey described the drag queens there as Shania, Reba, or Wynona, depending on weight. Can't wait for that one.

Off to curl up with my gay and watch a gay Christmas movie. Can't believe that's what I do when I leave San Francisco.

Enjoy your un-coldness, SFers.


While I'm Away

I thought I'd share some cuteness.

Kitty Salad

Guard Dog

Dog Food?

More to come :)


I'm going home for the holidays!

Mom, Corey, Gatsby, grits, chicken fried steak, lebkuchen, snow that I can leave behind, and my OWN car!

Rock on!

oh yeah...that means no blogs for a bit :)



I'm posting the following links here rather than sending cards for two reasons:

A) Apparently all the good e-cards are now through a paid service. (When did the funny as hell free ones go away?)

and 2) I can never decide on just one. :)

Happy, birthday, baby! :) Enjoy!

Ducky duck

Bird Poop

Donner and Blitzen

Why I'm Proud of Wash U, Reason #4

Four days after I was born, U2 played their first ever show in St. Louis.
Where, you ask? Mississippi Nights?
Blueberry Hill?

Graham Chapel, at Wash U! On the same stage where the Mosaic Whispers perform. The same stage where thousands of wustl alum have been married. The same stage where many a talented (and often not so talented) speaker has filled the heads of students and retired society attending Assembly lecture events.

And after the show they went to have a few pints of Guiness at, of course, Blue Hill.

If only I'd have been at Wash U back in those days. :)


My Sister is Cool

Because she sent me this quote:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, whiskey in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"



I gave a dollar to a homeless man because I wanted to pet his cat.

Grace No More

I resent Corey's latest post! :)

Just because we're still not sure of the sexual orientation of four or five (or more?) of my exes does NOT mean I'm attracted to gay men. :) Or does it? Shit!

I think the tomboy in me just needed a balancer for a while. Now I've found that fem side, thanks, and I don't need anymore help. Thank God Pete is hairy, at least as messy as me, so not into clothes, and into guy gadgets...no questions on his orientation. :) In fact, we may need the Fab Five to come help out on this one. I LOVE it!

I'm so thankful to have a boyfriend that (without a doubt) will never be into Corey!


Lord knows how I got this wrong, but apparently I've made a mistake on the date of my arrival into San Francisco. My loving ex-roommate informed me that I moved here on June 4th. I was sure he must be wrong (how could I forget such a momentous occasion?), but he's absolutely right. So my 6 month anniversary was December 4th. Can't believe I forgot that.

Thanks, Corey.



As of yesterday, I've been a San Francisco resident for 6 months!


The Anti-Diet

I did the carb diet back in high school. I did the calorie watching in college. They worked, but they don't stick. If you're on a diet, it won't last forever. At some point you go off the diet.

The changes have to be a lifestyle. Yeah, sure, there are people who can eliminate things that make my knees go weak (chocolate chip cookies, anyone?) from their diets permanently, but I'm not one of those. No matter how healthy my lifestyle, I will always need chocolate, I will always drink some alcohol, and I'll always be a bread and pasta freak. So diets always ultimately fail.

A few days ago I had several discussions with various people about our bodies' ability to tell us what we need. For example, even my friend who is a vegetarian craves red meat sometimes. He knows that when he has one of those urges, he needs to either eat a bunch of spinach or take an iron pill. A lot of women feel a major need for red meat during menstruation. That's because we lose iron when we lose blood, and we need to replenish. Most people can tell when they've had too much starch and crave veggies or meat instead. This is the idea behind intuitive eating:

Professor loses weight with no-diet diet

Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- When Steven Hawks is tempted by ice cream bars, M&Ms and toffee-covered almonds at the grocery store, he doesn't pass them by. He fills up his shopping cart.

It's the no-diet diet, an approach the Brigham Young University health science professor used to lose 50 pounds and to keep it off for more than five years.

Hawks calls his plan "intuitive eating" and thinks the rest of the country would be better off if people stopped counting calories, started paying attention to hunger pangs and ate whatever they wanted.

As part of intuitive eating, Hawks surrounds himself with unhealthy foods he especially craves. He says having an overabundance of what's taboo helps him lose his desire to gorge.

There is a catch to this no-diet diet, however: Intuitive eaters only eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full.

That means not eating a box of chocolates when you're feeling blue or digging into a big plate of nachos just because everyone else at the table is.

The trade-off is the opportunity to eat whatever your heart desires when you are actually hungry.

"One of the advantages of intuitive eating is you're always eating things that are most appealing to you, not out of emotional reasons, not because it's there and tastes good," he said. "Whenever you feel the physical urge to eat something, accept it and eat it. The cravings tend to subside. I don't have anywhere near the cravings I would as a 'restrained eater.'"

"You definitely lose weight on a diet, but resisting biological pressures is ultimately doomed," Hawks said.

...overweight at a new job at BYU, Hawks decided it was time for a lifestyle change.

He stopped feeling guilty about eating salt-and-vinegar potato chips. He also stopped eating when he wasn't hungry.

Slowly and steadily his weight began to drop. Exercise helped.

"I was pretty skeptical of the idea you could eat anything you wanted until you didn't feel like it. It struck me as odd," said Peck, who is an assistant professor at BYU.

But 11 months later, Peck sometimes eats mint chocolate chip ice cream for dinner, is 35 pounds lighter and a believer in intuitive eating.

"There are times when I overeat. I did at Thanksgiving," Peck said. "That's one thing about Steve's ideas, they're sort of forgiving. On other diets if you slip up, you feel you've blown it and it takes a couple weeks get back into it. ... This sort of has this built-in forgiveness factor."

"The one thing all diets have in common is that they restrict food," said Michael Goran, an obesity expert at the University of Southern California. "Ultimately, that's why they usually fail," he said.

"At some point you want what you can't have," Goran said. Still, he said intuitive eating makes sense as a concept "if you know what you're doing."

In a small study published in the American Journal of Health Education, Hawks and a team of researchers examined a group of BYU students and found those who were intuitive eaters typically weighed less and had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than other students.

He said the study indicates intuitive eating is a viable approach to long-term weight management and he plans to do a larger study across different cultures. Ultimately, he'd like intuitive eating to catch on as a way for people to normalize their relationship with food and fight eating disorders.

"Most of what the government is telling us is, we need to count calories, restrict fat grams, etc. I feel like that's a harmful message," he said. "I think encouraging dietary restraint creates more problems. I hope intuitive eating will be adopted at a national level."

I believe I'll try this out. I'll let you know how it works for me.



So the surprise Friday night was an amazing dinner at Acme Chophouse and the adventure of Cirque de Soleil: Corteo.

Dinner was great, even though our waitress ruined the surprise by asking if we were going to Cirque right away. Cirque was even better. Truly enchanting. We sat in the 6th or 7th row. If you haven't gone to a Cirque de Soleil show I STRONGLY encourage you to go--even if it's just once. It was a combination of an opera, a ballet, an a gymnast exhibition. Absolutely beautiful.

Wonderful night. Wonderful boyfriend.

Life is good.


Personality Tests...

...Are usually fairly vague so as to be correct with just about anyone. This one is pretty damn detailed. And surprisingly accurate on most fronts.

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Stability |||||||||||||| 56%
Orderliness |||||||||| 40%
Accommodation |||||||||||| 50%
Interdependence |||||||||||| 43%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Mystical |||||| 23%
Artistic |||| 16%
Religious |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Hedonism |||||||||||||| 56%
Materialism |||||||||||| 50%
Narcissism |||||||||||||||| 63%
Adventurousness |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Work ethic |||||||||||||| 56%
Self absorbed |||||||||||||| 56%
Conflict seeking |||||| 30%
Need to dominate |||||||||||||| 56%
Romantic |||||||||||||||| 63%
Avoidant |||||| 30%
Anti-authority |||||||||||| 50%
Wealth |||||| 23%
Dependency |||||||||||||||| 63%
Change averse || 10%
Cautiousness |||||||||||| 50%
Individuality |||||||||||| 43%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||| 63%
Peter pan complex |||||| 30%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Physical Fitness |||| 17%
Histrionic |||||| 23%
Paranoia |||||||||||| 43%
Vanity |||||||||||||||| 63%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Female cliche |||||||||||||||| 70%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

Stability results were moderately high which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.

Orderliness results were moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly flexible, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense of reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.

Extraversion results were very high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.

trait snapshot:
messy, outgoing, open, self revealing, ambivalent about chaos, unpredictable, not good at saving money, social, likes large parties, likes to stand out, risk taker, quick to make friends, does not like to be alone, rash, fame seeking, sarcastic, craves attention, social chameleon, low self control, food lover, not rule conscious, weird, assertive, not a perfectionist, anti-authority, thrill seeker, vain, likes to fit in, reckless, emotionally sensitive, leisurely, trusting

A New Age

As if singing new agey stuff wasn't weird already, Enya has taken it to a new level. Randy Cunningham reports in This is True:

Irish singer Enya, who has sung in Gaelic and Latin, has rejected those languages for her newest album as not quite eclectic enough. Forget English; that's "a little bit obtrusive", she says. Thus, three tracks on her latest album are sung in Loxian. Not familiar with that tongue? That's because she made it up: it's "a futuristic language from a distant planet," she says. "It seems to choose elements at random," says Terry Dolan, a professor of English at University College Dublin.' The resulting "language" has "no form of grammar or word order," Dolan says, which provides "very limited comprehensibility." (London Times)


Because You Stink

The World Health Organization enacted a new policy to stop hiring smokers yesterday. The job application now includes a question about tobacco use, and if the applicant answers that they do in fact use tobacco, WHO will not hire them.
Major move.

Can you imagine in a few years that the kids won't be scared of pot showing up in their urine test, but nicotine?

Why I Like My Boyfriend reason #78

Tonight I'm meeting my amazing man to go out to...

well, I don't know what it is we're doing, actually. He's concocted some little surprise scheme and won't tell me a thing.

Boy am I intrigued :)

Perhaps this blog should be titled "how to keep Monika interested"


More Pam Houston

Some quotes from Houston's novel Sight Hound:

She's felt so bad for so long she don't know good when it's bubbling right out of her. And even when she catches up to it, she's waiting for whatever bad thing is about to happen next.

She was happy again. She was, if the truth be told, happier than she had ever been. She bought throw pillows, for example, and buying throw pillows is in my experience the single best indicator that a female human being is feeling pretty good.

If I had a daughter, I would tell her what a funny thing love is, how it never looks the way you think it's going to, how no matter how old you get, it is love that keeps surprising you. How in the songs sometimes it involves beaches and champagne and chocolate-covered roses, but in real life it is just a prematurely balding man standing in a drought-dried field telling you that he loves you, and that you should do whatever on earth you want.

She wasted so much time trying to act perfectly, trying to guard against the loss, always fearful of making the mistake that would lead to it.

Sometimes, no matter what we do, the good thing happens anyway.

The only life worth living is a life full of love; that loss is always part of the equation; that love and loss conjoined are the best opportunity we ever get to live fully, to be our strongest, our most compassionate, our most graceful selves.


Pam Houston always says it best.


When I Think About Love

I think about babies

I think about that scene in Love Actually where the guy admits he's in love with his best friend's new bride and then lets it go

I think about Lindsey


I was fortunate enough to be one of the first people on the west coast to see the big screen version of RENT at 12:01 this morning, and I get to see it again today.

Go see it!


Reasons I Miss College #433

Wash U Women's Basketball:

Yep, that tall goofy one in the back is me!

Linz got nostalgic and posted her fav wustl print.

This is mine:

Alia was my hero...I wanted so badly to be able to throw girls out of the way like that. Check out that face.

Rock on.

Take a Chill Pill, Man!


A Better Search Engine?

Okay, so we all know Google is the best search engine. I get that.

But here's a novel idea...maybe, just once in awhile, we do something because it helps someone else.

That's the idea behind Good Search. Before you hit the search button, you choose a charity. Your searches direct money from advertisers to your chosen charity. It uses Yahoo, which means you probably don't want to use it when you're doing a detailed search for some obscure thing you can't find anywhere. But when you're looking up that cool new restaurant...why not use Good Search?

Weebl Rocks

If you don't know who Weebl is, you should find out. I've had them listed in my links from the beginning. What you probably do know, however, is the Kenya flash animation.

Remember now?

Well, now you can make your own t-shirts and buy Kenya plush creatures!

Rock on niche cultures.

I'm not a slacker!

It's been one of those weekends where Monday actually becomes your rest day because the weekend was so packed full of fun things. That's great, of course, but it also means I didn't blog.

I promise a post tonight!

Here's some foreshadowing:



lucky girl

Recently I stood at the top of Twin Peaks with friends and marvelled at how easily one can forget the amount of water surrounding our beautiful city. I pointed out that I can go weeks without seeing water and it still takes my breath away when I encounter the beach, the bay, or the marina. My friend thought it odd that anyone could live in this city and not see the water all the time. Granted, if you work in the financial district, if you hang out near the marina, or if you're lucky enough to live atop one of the grant hills that has an ocean view, you see the water every day. I, however, live in Laurel Heights, work in Presidio Heights, and hang out most frequently in Nob Hill, Pac Heights, and Polk Gulch. I only see the water when I make an effort to do so, or when I make plans to meet a lucky friend who works somewhere with a view.

Given that every time I see the water I feel instantly at peace and happy, I figured I needed to see it more often.

Today I took a different route to work in an effort to find the entrance to a playground listed on my map. I found that if I walk a couple of extra blocks and one extra hill, I get the same view as the lovely Presidio Heights mansions. Today I stopped and admired the bay full of sailboats (oh to be a sailor on a Friday afternoon) before I came into the office to tackle the paperwork on my desk.

Other perks to this route include the following:

a lack of strollers and a significant decrease in other foot traffic
beautiful mansions to admire along the way
ego boosts from construction works and painters who are constantly refurbishing these lovely homes
fewer asshole drivers running through stop signs (and crosswalks)

and of course...
the reminder that I live in the most beautiful city in the world

Not such a bad way to start a day. :)



You wonder why there's no word for the opposite of lonely. You wonder if there's a difference between whatever might be truth and a performance that isn't a lie. In your life right now, you can't find one.

~Pam Houston


Breaking News

Squirrels can be cute!

I will follow you into the dark

I wasn't particularly excited about the Death Cab For Cutie show, and I didn't think it was all that amazing...until the encore. They started with an acoustic version of I Will Follow You Into The Dark. The performance was amazing. The moment was perfect--the voice, the audience singing slowly along, the incredible man holding my hand--truly amazing.

Empowering the Prey

Dateline did a special--To Catch a Predator--in which representatives from Perverted Justice, an organization dedicated eradicating sexual exploitation of children, pretended to be adolescents on the internet and invited grown men over for (presumably for sex after the men initiated explicit conversations). When the men arrived, the Dateline anchor greeted them with cameras and questions. The men caught on tape included a high school teacher, a rabbi, a special education teacher, a doctor, and many others one would expect to be trustworthy. The methods used and actual accomplishments of the piece, particularly in regard to the humiliation of the rabbi, garnered a great deal of media. People were upset that these men had their lives destroyed because of this television show.

Okay, people--wake the hell up! These men, including the rabbi (although that doesn't bother me nearly as much as the thought of the teachers) showed up at a house intending to have sex with a 12-14 yr old! Many of them (including the rabbi) even brought condoms! They don't deserve a bit of humiliation?

The point of the piece was not to humiliate these men. The point was to make you aware that they exist, and that they could be anyone.

Know your predators. Find out who lives near your home. Know those who interact with your children and loved ones. It's amazing to think that someone you pass everyday could be the guy who ruined little Sally's life last week. Go to Family Watchdog and know their faces.

It's not about humiliation of tragic men. It's about eradication of repulsive detrimental behavior.


That Lemon-Pine Scent

I was only gone for thirty hours, but thirty hours can be a long, long time.

I was reminded of my need to be a practicing Christian in a no-pressure environment.
I had a religious conversation with a Missouri-bred reformed fundamentalist evangelical Christian. I was reminded that the liberal-ness of SF has far more pros than cons. I had begun to miss church and the Christian community. I was starting to think I couldn't find it out here and that maybe we had the right idea back home. I was convincingly reminded how few people there are back home who can maintain a true Christian life with the pressures from the Church to be judgmental and exclusive. I'm thankful to have met someone who shared so many beliefs while reminding me how lucky I am to have escaped that mindset.

I jump-started my career.
I now have two people who have agreed to mentor me. I met an executive coach who gave me great tips on how to lead. The best? "Leaders don't wait for other to tell them what to do. Leaders create their own careers. You are a natural leader. Shape your position how you see fit." He told me I was dynamic and could convince people of what I wanted, then watched me prove it as I worked the room. I created a network of people who will help me get where I want to be. I found support for many of the ideas I want to bring into my current position. I was inspired to do accomplish so much more.

I came home.
After a foggy day in Santa Monica (what happened to sunny southern cali? I could have gotten that weather here) I arrived back in the city only to be surprised by the sweetest man I've ever known at the airport. Demonstrating just how well he knows me, he was waiting with a chocolate chip cookie and a musical ride home. Lying in the arms of this great man later in the night, listening to the traffic on Nob Hill, I once again (as I had so long ago in the surf at Sutro Baths) experienced that feeling of being utterly at home. at Home.

Now I'm sitting in my office-
after it's just been cleaned
on this beautiful foggy San Francisco day,
taking in the smells of fresh air and PineSol-
excited to live the next few moments,

Life is good.

Watch me go.


It's a Blog Thing

In response to Pistol Pete's latest post, I explored www.blogthings.com. I agree with Pete that the results of the birthdate test are dead on. Although we all know how these things work, it's always nice to read a silly online quiz that's right.

Your Birthdate: March 27

You are a spiritual soul - a person who tries to find meaning in everything.
(to the point that I annoy people)

You spend a good amount of time meditating, trying to figure out life.
(to the point that I annoy more people)

Helping others is also important to you. You enjoy social activities with that goal.
You are very generous and giving. Yet you expect very little in return.
(Relay For Life, anyone? Walk Far for N.A.A.R? A whole career dedicated to non-profits!)

Your strength: Getting along with anyone and everyone

Your weakness: Needing a good amount of downtime to recharge
(remember my self-imposed isolation?)

Your power color: Cobalt blue
Your power symbol: Dove
Your power month: September

Mandy Forward #53

Latest study

A UCLA Dept. of Psychiatry study has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features. However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with scissors lodged in his temple and a bat jammed up his ass while he is on fire. Further studies are expected.


Once again...

...Ani says it best

and you were not a dot dot dot
waiting for me to complete you
and it was like i just forgot
to measure everything that i do

we woke up with the notion
that enough is not enough without more
and then we pushed with one motion
like the ocean heaves a wave at the shore

and you were not a dot dot dot
leaning forward expectantly
and i was not in such a rush
to insure my autonomy


Catholocism is Looking Better Day by Day

From This is True:

SLIPPERY SLOPE: A new "teaching document" issued by the Roman Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland warns that Catholics should not take the Bible literally -- that it's not infallible. "We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision," they say in the booklet, "The Gift of Scripture". So what sorts of things aren't accurate? Creation, for one. Genesis, they note, has two different, and sometimes conflicting, creation stories and cannot be considered "historical." Rather, the bishops say, it simply contains "historical traces." (London Times)
...Don't even get them started on Leviticus 11:6.


Separation of Church and State

Forbidding prayer in public schools is understandable.

Forbidding Bible studies in a dorm room, though?

The University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire has banned RAs from leading Bible studies in their rooms. The fear, apparently, is that residents may find their RAs unapproachable if they know they are religious.

Penraker had this (and so much more) to say:

There is a name for this. It is called bigotry. It is called prejudice.

But of course, this is not about "approachability" Truth be told, they decided to try and shut down his personal, private exercise of religion. The bible study, all by itself - its mere existence - offended them. They are using the cover of "unapproachability" as a shield by which they can attack religious practice.

The letter from the college administration says RA's can do whatever they want off campus. So if an RA was a bible-thumping, hell-raising, gay-baiting preacher outside the dorm, if he was leading anti-gay marches, suddenly he would hvae become "approachable" as long as it was outside the dorm. Clearly, the place that the activity takes place does not matter. What matters is the individual, and how they treat others. What matters whether they are in fact approachable or not. Not whether they hold bible studies.

And if being approachable to all students is the standard, how about a young Republican who leads a meeting of other Young Republicans in his room? Presumably this would cause some at college to consider him an unapproachable cretin. What about someone who regularly has people over to watch NASCAR races? That's an indication of red-neckery, sure to put someone off. What about a jock? Some people don't like jocks. What about an RA who plays the accordion. Some people don't like that. Things get silly real quick.

From the other side of the pole: What about an RA who ignores some of her charges because she is putting on a performance of the Vagina Monologues?

From FIRE's letter to the University:

[In a letter to the university,] FIRE . . . pointed out a 2004 article in UWEC’s student newspaper in which the Office of Housing and Residence Life praised an RA who for three years in a row staged the controversial feminist play The Vagina Monologues as an official “residence hall activity.” This praise came despite the RA’s acknowledgement that “with the Vagina Monologues…she [did not have] as much time as she would have liked for her wing.” . . .

I would be willing to bet that scads of Christian students found THAT RA "unapproachable".

It now becomes clear - they aren't trying to be even handed and take care of their students. They were jumping at every conceivable chance to punish the practice of traditional Christian religion -something the Constitution has guaranteed the free exercise of.

If the kid had been leading Yoga classes, or chanting Hari krishna, nothing would have been done. If he had been making pornos with students on his floor, nothing would have been done (well, at least at the UC San Diego) . But he has engaged in the most unforgivable crime of the twentieth century: He has attempted to practice his religion on a college campus.

When arguments regarding the separation of church and state get play in the media, they always focus (in the US, anyway) on removing religion's hold over state domains (i.e. no prayer in a public school b/c a child should be free to attend without having God thrown in his face). What about when state is asserting its hold over religion, though? If the state really is separate, a public school should not be able to control the religious activities of a student as long as those activities are not forced upon unwilling participants in a public place. A voluntary gathering of believers in a personal space should be out of the control of the state.

And c'mon, Wisconsin. We expect this from our liberal states...but you've got the midwest thing going. If San Francisco hasn't banned it, how can you be the first?

On second thought, it's highly possible that no RA in San Francisco has ever held a Bible study in his room.


Blogging for a Living

When the blog craze hit hard, many politically-minded people actually started earning an income by posting their analyses of various current events. It is not often, however, that a woman writing about her life as a stay-at-home mom is able to do the same. Heather Armstrong, creator of Dooce.com, is doing just that. Heather recently redesigned her blog to allow ad space so that she would be able to make her living through blog. The kicker here is that she's actually able to do it. Some of her readers are a bit unhappy about the "sell-out." Personally, I think the Liz Phairesque controversy is ridiculous. If the ads bug you that much, stop reading the blog. Go read another blog without ads that isn't entertaining enough to obtain sponsorship. Seriously, kids, if you can't focus on the writing, perhaps it's time to go get some ritalin. If you really love Heather's blog, show your support by making sure you continue to visit it frequently. The more we visit, the more the sponsors will pay, the more time Heather will be able to devote to writing, the more we get to read...it's a nice little cycle.

So go, go now!

Religion and Science

Maybe I should be Catholic. Now they're promoting science.


Just to Set the Record Straight


(verb, oftenly used with "out") - To decide not to go at the last second; To "ditch" or "bail out."

n. An unreliable person; someone who agrees to do something, but never follows through

As a noun, it is a person who is completely fake. They constantly need attention and must be liked by everyone, even if it means stabbing someone else in the back to do it (as long as the other person doesn't find out, and if they do, everything can be solved by a *hug*).

n. - someone who is unreliable.


adj 1: liable to be erroneous or misleading; "an undependable generalization" [syn: undependable] 2: not to be trusted [syn: undependable] 3: not worthy of reliance or trust; "in the early 1950s computers were large and expensive and unreliable"; "an undependable assistant" [syn: undependable] [ant: reliable] 4: dangerously unstable and unpredictable; "treacherous winding roads"; "an unreliable trestle" [syn: treacherous] 5: lacking a sense of responsibility

Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty. ~Sicilian Proverb


The Long Week

I don't think this guy can pass as a "she", but all the other ladies at AsiaSF were beautiful.

I had the best mojito I've ever had there. I may have to add a page to keep track of these discoveries. Not fresh, but the perfect mix of sweet and sour and minty.

I decided maybe things don't always have to be so complicated, and not everything has to fit into it's safe little compartmentalized definition. Or at least I don't have to put things into those compartments. Especially when it comes to people. Maybe I should give them a chance to define their own place. Pistol Pete put this quite well:

Life is all about spectrums. Sexuality. Politics. Relationships. If you don't establish where you are in those spectrums, people will pin you somewhere in each. Categorizing if you will. Straight. Bleeding-heart. Lover. Tree-hugger. Acquaintance. Gay. Right-Winger. Friend. In life, if we are going to live in this world of strict definitions, you can let others define you, or you can establish it yourself. I think I tend to be too nice and end up letting others define me. I didn't always do this in the past.

In other events of the crazy antics variety, my visiting SF virgin danced the night away with me in the Castro. In the cab ride home she decided the hispanic cabbie must not speak English and she'd have to translate. Even after he informed us that he didn't speak much Spanish, she continued to repeat everything I said in her drunken version of the language. After I got her up the stairs and to the couch, she apparently walked to the bathroom where she fell into the tub and gave herself quite the head injury. Apparently while she was there she ditched her jeans, because she was found sprawled half-naked on the couch in the middle of the night. Absolutely fabulous.

Friday night I got to take the coolest 15-year-old I know to see Weezer! And others, of course. And with my favorite concert buddy by my side.

And all with a great weekend ahead of me. Life is good.

Outside of my own little world: Colombians are acting irrationally out of fear, South Africa is condoning the irresponsibility of men, and Ashlee Simpson is mastering the art of bad publicity as a good thing.

And next week we have Bush's anti-flu plan to look forward to. Yeehaw.


Marty Bahamonde is My Hero

After all that has come to light regarding FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina, I've got to admit that I've found a bit of a bright lining. In every non-profit and government organization, there are people who are good little underlings just trying to do their jobs and contribute something nice to the world. They are often obscured by frustrating superiors, but they're out there.

Marty Bahamonde recently released his blackberry transcripts of an email exchange concerning Mike Brown's response to the crisis in the Superdome. After sending an email to Brown describing the desperate situation in the storm's aftermath, Bahamonde received an email explaining Brown's need for more time to deal with busy restaurants.

Bahamonde's reply?

"OH MY GOD!!!!! Just tell [Brown's assistant] that I just ate an MRE and crapped in the hallway of the Superdome along with 30,000 other close friends, so I understand her concern about busy restaurants."

Spanish has just been officially ousted as a contender for America's second language. Sarcasm is far more established.

I think I love this man.


BJ the Bear

Any of you St. Louis folk remember my pics of the perverted bear at the zoo? SOMEONE sent in a video of him!

This is OUR bear, kids.

The Cards may lose the playoffs, but we've always got BJ the Bear.


Minty Fresh Cocktails

At the wedding I attended this weekend, I was hesitant to ask for anything complicated at the open bar. After a few drinks, though, I decided to try my luck with a mojito.

The bartender assured me he knew how to make them and that he had the mint, and then he left the building. He came back a few moments later with a fresh sprig of mint from the courtyard where the ceremony took place. The drink was strong, but the mint was so fresh and tasty I couldn't tell. It was an incredibly good drink. My only complaint was that I couldn't taste the alcohol. :)


Networking Sites

Friendster is better than MySpace.

'Nuff said.


Baseball's Contribution to the Demise of Liz Phair

Okay, so any of you who saw the 7th inning stretch tonight know that Liz Phair does not do well performing simple anthem-like songs that require her to stay in a normal key for longer than a second or two. Here's the deal, though. If Liz Phair sang like Celine Dion, we wouldn't love her. Liz is not about the long drawn out notes, and those who think so have only listened to her self-titled album that definitely used production to enhance the pop sound in her songs. Liz is about great lyrics and quirky melodies. When she released the album that sent her into pop-stardom, she caught a lot of flack for stepping so far out of her realm. Now people are criticizing the performance tonight and she's getting even more negative media. If this was your first exposure to her, I beg you to look at some of her old stuff. You can start by checking out the difference between songs like "Polyester Bride" and "Supernova" and songs like "Everything to Me" and "Why Can't I". I'm a big promoter of her right to try something new (or as others might say "sell out") in order to put food on the table. I enjoy her new music just as much as I enjoy her old stuff. However, when she tries to take this new pop persona into things like her performance tonight, I have to admit that her voice actually belongs better with her old stuff. With that said, before you hate her, check out her old stuff and get a glimpse of how amazing she really is.

Watch videos here!


What is a Mandy?

Yeah, like I'm gonna give you the whole story.

So a friend went to Urban Dictionary for the answer.
UD has 23 definitions.

This is my favorite:
Kick ass amazing cool as fuck girl

And this is the closest to the truth (get your mind out of the gutter):
She came and she gave without taking.
But he sent her away.


I am disgusted

They look so innocent, don't they?

Too bad for shitty parenting.

Pick-Up Line #92

For the boys:

Start out by saying something offensive. This works especially well if you know the girl and know what she cares about. A good example would be to say something about women belonging in the kitchen or some other misogynistic idea.

When she gets offended, sincerely apologize and tell her you were just trying to get a rise out of her. Apologize again and offer a nice smile.

When she relaxes, say one of the following:

"Wanna see if you can get a rise out of me?"
"I thought it was fair paybacks for the rise you just got out of me."
or something similar of your own creation.

What's so bad about toe-sucking?

From S.I.C.K.
(All said in overly-dramatic tones)

That's when he said he wanted to suck my toes!

He wanted to suck your toes?

He wanted to suck my toes.

Men are pigs.

You MUST see this movie.


Email Scam Warnings

Those damn irritating things. I usually delete them right away because they are never true. I checked this one out personally, though. Read on:

Important Warning Regarding a Scam

Please send this warning to everyone on your email list.

If someone comes to your door saying they're conducting a survey on deer ticks and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up, DON'T DO IT. IT'S A SCAM. They only want to see you naked.

I wish I had gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid

Bono For President

Bono met with Bush to talk about his causes. Do you think Bono says nice things about Bush when he's not in the same room with him?


Why I'm a Cardinals Fan

In high school my basketball team was known as a second-half team. We might have let the other teams get ahead of us, but after half-time we'd come out and play our asses off that third quarter. We were unstoppable when we were down by a few points. In fact, the times we did lose tended to be the times we were up at half-time and got a little too sure of ourselves.

In college, I played for a national-championship team that frequently beat its competitors by 30-60 points. We always got a good lead in the beginning and never relented. Very seldom did we find ourselves trailing, and when we did, we weren't always ready for it.

I loved winning. I loved the leads. But you know, I kinda missed the exhilaration of being a comeback team.

The Cardinals are a comeback team. Granted, nothing is going to seem all that significant in light of last year's Boston Red Sox comeback win over the Yankees, but being down a couple of points after the seventh-inning stretch has never meant all that much to St. Louis.

I came into the game tonight rather late after work, and saw the score in the market on my way to my tv. With Houston leading the series 3-1, my boys were in the bottom of the 8th losing 2-4. My heart sank a bit (boys, forgive me my lack of faith--I've been away from St. Louis too long) because I was so hoping for another shot at the World Series.

This series has not been a great display of Cardinals hitting. Larry Walker was a bit banged-up going into the series. Scott Rolen was already on the injured list. Jim Edmonds was still playing, but with back pain that kept him from hitting as well as usual. Reggie Sanders, the only player who was hitting consistently, took a fall in game two that had him out of the line-up. And in game three Abraham Nunez took a knee to his thigh that kept him off the active roster.

This is not the first time injuries have plagued the Cardinals during playoffs. In fact, it's a bit of a (dare I say it?) curse for St. Louis.

This season's acquisition of David Eckstein might just have saved the day, though. Eckstein is known for being a workhorse and a strong team leader. He pulled the team together kept them going in spite of themselves. Not to say that the Cards wouldn't have pulled through anyway--that spirit is part of being a Cardinal--but it can't be easy to keep going when the people that were supposed to be your shot at the World Series can't even play.

And it was Eckstein who put it all into motion tonight. Throughout the rest of the Astros/Cardinals series, it somehow happened that the big hitters were ending the inning, and Pujols--who should always be hitting when there are a couple of people on base already--was first at bat. This time, though, the 9th inning began with Eckstein hitting. I hoped hard but didn't expect much (again, forgive me), until Eckstein got a base hit. Edmonds came up with 29 comeback runs behind him. As Edmonds was nearly hit by the pitch, Eckstein stole second. Jimmy-boy was then walked to first. Pujols, the too-good-to-be-true boy-next-door-type hero that he is, came up and swung wildly at the first pitch. You could sense faces falling as he tried to hit a ball that he should have let pass by him. As the strike went up on the board and he readied for another pitch, it seemed that everyone watching this game must surely be holding their breath. When his bat made contact, the ball went so high up I was certain it was a fly and that was the end for St. Louis. Pujols stood casually at the plate and watched as the announcers said that ball was OVER THE FENCE!!! Pujols' homerun gave the Cards three runs and the lead over the Astros! Yes, they still have to win two more games, but they can do it. My boys are gonna go to the World Series!

This team in itself might just be enough to keep me happy if I ever find myself having to move away from San Francisco, as long as I can live in St. Louis.


Spilled Milk

photo by Craig Cowling

Wonder if she laughed so hard the milk squirted out her nose.


Camp Barnabas

There's this great camp back home called Camp Barnabas. It's this great place that caters to kids with special needs in southwest Missouri.

Camp Barnabas exists to offer childhood experiences to kids who have been robbed of them by disease or disability. These kids need to shift their focus away from sterile medical environments and the language of their illness to focus anew on activities that build their courage and expand their belief in themselves. Many of the children with special needs endure unthinkable pain and isolating treatment for illnesses such as cancer, hemophilia, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, cerebal palsy and AIDS. Their need for acceptance is overwhelming!

Each summer, Camp Barnabas provides encouragement for literally hundreds of campers, empowering them to live more fully through faith. This spiritual gift of encouragement, the hallmark of Barnabas, one of the least known of Christ’s latter disciples, helps campers face and challenge their disability or illness with courage.

Basically, it's summer camp, but each term is a week filled with activities directed at a specific population. For example, if you are a cancer patient, when you go to camp, all the other kids will also be cancer patients. They also separate them by ages so the attendees are among peers. I know about it because MG, my former autistic client, went to autism week. Each attendee has their own staff person that keeps in touch with them afterward to help with the transition back into a world where not everyone is afflicted with the same condition. All the activities take into account any special needs without making the children feel like they need something "extra". For example, instead of a kid being "special" because they are in a wheelchair, everyone around them is in wheelchairs or has artificial limbs or something similar. Instead of being in a situation where a child can't do something because they have cystic fibrosis, they are offered only activities of which they are capable. It's an incredibly cool place.

So here's the extra cool thing: Tonight there is a 2-hour special on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The show is giving the founders a new house AND redoing the camp. How friggin cool!!! Everyone should be watching!

His Truck Had a Nutsack

An excerpt from Laurie Notaro's I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies), after a decision to be nicer in order to achieve good karma:

I Love Everybody.

Two miles from Costco, all is going well until a Chevy two-ton crosses two empty lanes of traffic to squeal in front of me and then reduces its speed to that of a Fred Flintstone car. It was at a barely crawling 25 miles per hour in a 45 zone that I was able to fully, and comprehensively, take in and understand the character of the motorist before me. On his bumper, for everyone to see, including his mother, his boss, his neighbors, and any womenfolk he might have swindled into dating, was a bumper sticker that read: TODAY'S WORD IS LEGS...LET'S SPREAD THE WORD!!

I choked on my own saliva. I don't even know what you say after seeing something like that. I really don't. Nothing except that I would be entirely remiss by not mentioning that as an additional adornment to his fine, gray-primered-on-one-side vehicle and swining to and fro from his trailer hitch was a flesh-colored sock, into which he had apparently stuffed two racquetballs, sitting side by side, and had fashioned himself something of a scrotum. That's right, his truck had a nutsack.

His truck had a nutsack.

As I passed the Testicle Truck, I made a five-dollar bet with myself and won when I saw that its master had opted not to don a shirt that morning.

I smiled and I nodded.

"Aren't you delightful?" I said, to which he stuck his big, filthy tongue into his cheek and vigorously moved it around as he reaised his eyebrows repeatedly.

I laughed and said through my smiling, clenched teeth, "Your trailer hitch has a better shot at that than you do. At least his boys have dropped."


I love Quite Close to Everybody.



In light of my obsession with books of all kinds, I've updated my website to add a page about (what else?) books. It's a small start right now, but I'll be adding more to it as I go along. I hope to consistently reflect my most recently enjoyed reads while including a rotating array of favorites. Please feel free to offer book recommendations and reviews.


I've been meeting more and more people recently who are afraid of clowns. It's nice to know I'm not the only one. One of my favorite comedic writers does a great job spreading the fear:

I'm afraid of clowns, I'm not ashamed of it.

Mrs. Lee, my third-grade teacher, once invited one particularly angry clown, Frosty, to perform at a classroom holiday party. This was the same teacher who had developed her own brand of discipline by placing a dog kennel, previously used by her then deceased Great Dane, next to her desk and locking children in it when they misbehaved.

Upon Frosty's arrival, he bore a distinctive scent, one that as an adult I can now identify as gin, and when Sherry Pierce, the perfect third-grade girl who had hair she could sit on, mentioned this, he just looked at her and chuckled. The clown began his Clown Fun, which entailed knocking the kids on the head with a plastic squeaky hammer, pulling a mottled piece of red foam out from behind their ears, and creating balloon animals in obscene shapes. The clown got even testier when Michael Moorehouse, the obligatory chunky child, told the clown he wasn't funny. Frosty immediately lunged into action, swiping Michael's snack plate and saying, "I'll show you funny, fatty," and took a bite out of the green-frosted cupcake and reindeer cookie.

The clown trauma didn't end there.

Read the rest of Laurie Notaro's article.

Coulrophobia is so normal, in fact, that a movie has been made about it (other than Stephen King's It, that is), a support group, and a "rate the pic" type site called scary or not.


Great New Band

Or, the "Essence" of one, anyway.

Meet GER-ger

Their first single is "Jizmack the K-rated Troll"

Just Another Anti-Hero

Remember that chick who nabbed the courthouse killer by talking to him about Jesus? Yeah, so here's the real story rom This is True:

THE DRUG-DRIVEN LIFE: After Brian Nichols grabbed a deputy's gun and shot his way out of the courthouse in Fulton County, Ga., killing four people, Ashley Smith was hailed as a hero. Smith, who Nichols took hostage in her own apartment after his rampage, told police how she convinced him to surrender by talking about God and reading aloud from the book, "The Purpose-Driven Life". Now, Smith is putting out her own book which details how she really got Nichols to cooperate: she gave him her supply of crystal methamphetamine. Smith admits she was a meth addict and had used the drug hours before she was taken hostage. "Do you smoke it? How do you do it?" Nichols asked her when she handed her stash over. She prepared the drug for him so he could snort it. "You gave him drugs, Ashley," she said to herself at the time, but, she says now, "God led me to do that." Smith received $70,000 in rewards for capturing Nichols, and says she no longer takes drugs. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) ...Someday, maybe we'll revere people who succeeded without ever getting addicted to drugs, rather than people who overcame them after being showered with money and fame.


Here, Kitty Kitty

What would you do if you ran over a cat? I'm a cat-lover, people, so answer carefully.

Read the full situation from TF6S' blog.


Internet Connections

Back home in the world of lesser technology, we had this thing called internet that was actually a reliable service. Somehow, coming to SF changed that for me. My internet connections, both at home and at the office (different providers) are consistently slower than my internet back home. On top of that, I never know when I might not be able to connect at all. I'm not quite sure how it happens that I move 2000 miles closer to Silcon Valley and get more limited access to the world wide web. Well, maybe Google can help.

Citywide WIFI?

Thanks TF6S.
"Pressure can be your friend....If you handle the adversity better than
anybody else, you pick up an edge."
Tony LaRussa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals


I've been trying desperately to counter the night owl in me by going to bed earlier. Last night I actually made it to bed at 10:30...only to wake up for good around 2 because I couldn't breathe. Damn cold has me totally out of commission. Hopefully this is the last day. Anyone wanna bring me soup?



I want to stand on a roof in San Francisco and look over the city. Anyone got a roof?


SF, maybe San Fran, but NEVER Frisco

"Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abominable word 'Frisco,' which has no linguistic or other warrant, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor."
~Emperor Norton


Things You Can Do With A Thousand Bucks

You can...

buy blankets for 66 homeless people.
provide meals to a needy person for 6 months.
give 12 dogs new homes.
bring the family out to see San Francisco.
buy 100 books for children.
distribute more than 50 copies of Evidence of Harm to people who need to know.
provide a computer to an underpriveledged child.
buy an electronic keyboard and months of lessons to help a child experience music.
pay off an old credit card.
help a needy single mom get a job with a work wardrobe and a babysitter for a week.
provide shoes to 50 needy school children.
attend courses that teach you how to be someone else so you can manipulate women into liking you.
send 530 red roses that will die in 3 days to someone who'd rather never hear your name again.


A Faith Hill Song For Every Occasion

(said with a twang)

I don't need your bed of roses
Roses wither away(ayay)
All I really need
is Honesty
Someone with a good heart,
a gentle hand

story to follow.



Yesterday I turned off my phone for two hours and turned it back on to find 15 messages on it. The day before it happened with 8 messages. Not to mention all the calls I actually answer and text messages.

My email inbox had 42 new emails this morning. ALL of them were from people wanting something from me. This does not include spam, ads, or subscriptions.

I spent one night this week listening to a friend's story of how he's dealing with his psycho girlfriend, even though in telling me that he admitted that he had cheated on her by making out with me early in my SF adventures.

I spent another night convincing my best friend that he is lovable and he shouldn't go and fuck up a good thing now that he's found a great guy just because he's insecure.

I spent one of those nights convincing my mom that I do love her and enjoy hearing all about the adventures that kittens have during the day, but that I had errands to run and work to do and really just wanted to hear about how she was doing.

I've received too many emails, texts, and voicemails from people who are too impatient to wait until I can get to them. Some of these people are wonderful and actually take the time to ask what's going on. Others forget that my life doesn't revolve around them. Please note that both the former and latter are plural, and this post is not directed at any person(s) in particular.

Look, I love you guys, or I wouldn't be friends with you. But give me a break. I miss ME. Can I have just a bit of time, that's just me? Please?

A wise friend sent me this information:

It's useful to do three things when dealing with the human
horde (actually, three variants on one theme):

1. set boundaries.  and *police* them.  only deal with
people on *your* terms.

2. be honest and open only to the degree that honesty
and openness work in your favor.  then be distant (but
never actually dishonest, if you can possibly help
it), unapproachable, and remote.  only give people
access if you know ahead of time that they will
respect you *for* you--and will not make unreasonable
demands on your time, your energy, or your sanity.

3. never let anyone take you for granted.  when they
do, "punish" them by restricting access.

So here's the deal kids:
I will not answer my phone tonight. I will not be obligated to check my emails. I will not meet with anyone.
Friday, should I feel like it, I will go to the wine party and that will end the self-imposed isolation. I reserve the right to change my mind.

Given that I have addressed all pressing issues and have no commitments to anyone (especially since I work until very late tonight), you have absolutely no reason to be upset by this. I just need a little bit of time. I'm drained. I need a break. If you actually care about me, please grant me that.

See you all soon.


Thanks, Linz, for this: http://lmurl.blogspot.com/2005/09/cry-little.html
Sometimes life really does work out just like in the movies.

That's when I start wondering what's gonna happen to mess it up and make it real again. :)

Things that don't happen in Missouri

Saturday we did the movie crawl thing. I think we saw three great movies. The guys didn't seem to like Constant Gardener, but I thought it was a great action/political thriller over the backdrop of a beautiful love story. Grizzly Man was a cross between tragedy and comedy, and beautifully put together. If it wasn't surrounding a death it would have been like a true Life Aquatic. Junebug was absolutely beautiful. Even the men were touched. Not plot-driven at all, but the characters were so well developed. Great film.

The highlight, however, was walking between theaters and encountering a movie set. P had mentioned it before because he noticed that all the cars were from another era and the streets were blocked off. Turned out to be the set of The Pursuit of Happyness. We watched them take half an hour to do a five second cut of cars driving down a street, then make the cars all back up to do it all again. The most interesting part, however, was watching Will Smith (looking like a young Jesse Jackson) walking off the main drag to sit in a director's chair. Yeah...when was the last time you saw that in the Ozarks?

Sunday we went to the chocolate festival fundraiser for Project Open Hand. Back home, fundraisers are based on the charity they support. Out here, they are based on the event sponsor. For example, we went to Ghirardelli's chocolate festival, but back home it would have been something like the Make-A-Wish cake walk. Perhaps if we had a famous chocolate factory :) or anything really famous for that matter. Other than the Assemblies of God world headquarters, of course. It would have been such an amazing event to help plan, but my guess is that they hired event planners rather than having staff do it. Who knows, though. I'm jealous of the staff if this was their baby. None of my events had that large of a scope.

The sun and the beautiful day and the beautiful city got to us and we spent the afternoon getting all sappy and appreciating friendship and fun and San Francisco. It was wonderful. Honestly, I've been so lucky since I moved here to meet such great people. Granted, I had to meet a lot of duds first, but when I struck gold I really hit it. Such a lucky girl.

We walked to the Hyde Street Pier searching for the Tales of the City marker that may not even exist (i meant it when I called it an obsession) and met Cole. Cole should definitely be classified as one of this cities treasures. He's a very good-looking man somewhere between 30 and 45 (he had sunglasses and a hat on) who patrols the pier in his wheelchairr informing tourists of the history of the area. What really got my attention was his description of Levi Plaza. One of the things he finds fascinating about the place is that if you look at the bricks you can tell the story of that area. He spoke of how some bricks were laid by people who really loved their work and put effort into it, and others were done rather shoddily. He talked of how some were of the finest materials, and others were just whatever crap could fill the space. He told us how you could see the water lines on some of the walls. Really very fascinating. I'm a dork, I acknowledge that, but I'm a dork in love with every aspect of this beautiful city. Cole inspired so much more of that in me. A truly remarkable random meeting.

He also introduced us to Stretch, the pier cat. :)

On the way to In and Out, we passed a sunglasses stand selling designer knock offs. I finally found the solution to my need for different stylish sunglasses for every outfit even though I lose each pair I buy. For 20 bucks I got three great pairs of sunglasses that won't make me sad if I lose them. And they all look like they should have cost much more. I'm a happy girl. What's really fun, though, is hearing the tourists comment on how these must be stolen to be so cheap when the shop actually calls itself "Designer Knock Offs". I'm so thankful to be a local.

On to Pier 39. I never go down to this area, so I just wanted to stop and see the sea lions. P and I were standing by the railing eating our burgers when all of a sudden I felt this horribly heavy thing drop on my head. I screamed, of course, and when I stood back up realized that a seagull had dive bombed me and taken part of my hamburger bun. The stupid thing damn near gave me a concussion. After the shock wore off a bit, I started cracking up, along with every tourist in the vicinity. Not 30 seconds later, because I hadn't quite recovered enough to hide my burger, another one did the exact same thing. This one got P a bit more than me, though. Damn seagulls. I know where I'll be doing target practice should I decide to take up the hobby again out here. Fuckers.

Back home, blue jays have been known to kills cats that get too close, and once in awhile they'll attack a human. But our rodents of the sky, crows, aren't nearly as bad as these seagulls. No bird as a big as a seagull should be allowed to fly into a human head. Perhaps next time I should bring arsenic burgers.

Okay, that was mean. Of course I'd never do it. Although I'm not so sure that someone else shouldn't. :)


One of my first San Francisco discoveries

Frank Chu

A mini celebration of my recent obsession with Tales of the City

A home in San Francisco:
upon being invited to move to NYC with the man of her dreams, Mary Ann asks what's wrong with her. The reply:
"Nothing, Babycakes. you're just tired of running away from home."

On the modern fairy tale:
How long had she waited for this smile, these eyes, this strong, simple spirit that had come to her in a world marred by greed and anxiety and computer dating? And how long, dear God, would it last?

"I think he likes me. Help me figure out what's wrong with him."

A dating tip for men:
"The next time you meet a girl--someone that you really like--pretend that you're a war hero and that all your basic plumbing got shot off in the war."
"I'm perfectly serious, dear. Don't tell a soul--especially her, for heaven's sake--but pretend to yourself that this dreadful thing has happeend and the only way you can communicate your feelings is through your eyes, your heart."
"And what if she wants to go home with me?"
"You can't, dear. You've lost your ww-ww, remember? All you can do is smile bravely and invite her to dinner the next night--or maybe a nice walk in the park. She'll accept, too. I promise she will."
Brian took a long drag on the joint. "So how long...?" He exhaled in midsentence, making sure he maintained an expression of amused tolerance. "How long am I supposed to keep pretending?"
"As long as possible. Until she asks you."
"Asks me what?"
"If you were wounded in the war, of course!"
"And what do I tell her?"
:The truth, dear. That everything's intact. It'll be a lovely surprise for her."
He folded his arms across his chest and smiled at her.
"And," she said, raising her forefinger, "you'll have a nice surprise too."
"You'll know the poor dear, Brian. And you might even like her by then."

All from More Tales of the City


Movie Crawl

Okay, kiddos...for those of you in San Francisco, you really need to come out for this one. I've actually gotten around to planning an event. For REAL.

Monika's Movie Crawl



I've avoided writing about Katrina because I can't handle the guilt I feel over not being able to be closer to help more. I've been told by people back home that some of the local churches are going down in groups to bring people back to family, friends, or previously unknown host families to live and be cared for until things settle down. I never would have imagined it would reach quite that far.

I have, however, encountered others' writings that are worth your time.

First of all...my chosen method of support: Katrina Kids Relief

a letter from New Orleans

a message from the region

a concise representation of so many of our thoughts

Fantasy Killers

"The thing that bugs me," said Brian, "is that you never really know what women are like...not for a long time, anyway. They only show you what they want you to see."

Michael nodded. "So you fantasize over all the wrong things."


"Christ! That happens to me all the time," said michael. "I meet some person...male-type...at a bar or the baths, and he seems really...what I want. A nice mustache, Levi's, a starched khaki army shirt...strong...Somebody you could take back [home] and they'd never know the difference.

"Then you go home with him to his house on Upper Market, and you try like hell not to go to the bathroom, because the bathroom is the giveaway, the fantasy-killer...."

Brian looked confused.

"It's the bathroom cabinet," Michael explained. "Face creams and shampoos for days. And on the top of the toilet tank they've all always got one of those goddamn little gold pedestals full of colored soap balls!"

~Tales of the City


Not my own, but that of a character. Perhaps it's true in the latest of my relationships, though.

"Nobody's happy. What's happy? Happiness is over when the lights come on."
~Tales of the City

My School in the News

Why I'm glad I studied neuroscience at Wash U even though I'm not using it now:

David Van Essen, Ph.D., the Edison Professor of Neurobiology and head of
the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, has been elected president of
the Society for Neuroscience, the world's largest organization for
scientists who study the brain.

Faith Among the Faithless

"Take delight in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart."
~Psalm 37:4

This verse has served as my support for the past few years. It got me through the devastation of falling flat on my face out here, it got me through the worst heartbreak I have ever known, and it got me through the catastrophe of Happy Camper. It also got me here.

Back home in Missouri you constantly interact with people who pepper their sentences with phrases like "God willing", "It's in God's hands", and "But for the grace of God". Back home, I felt like some kind of delinquent because I wasn't nearly religious enough or faithful enough or good enough to be among these people who were constantly in the presence of God. I would get frustrated by those who would remind me that something was in God's hands because I felt that He granted us free will and thus something became my responsibility. I got frustrated because I felt like they didn't approve or I wasn't good enough because I didn't go to church and wasn't part of their community of fundamentalists. I talked to God on my own, I had a strong faith, and that was all I needed. I so looked forward to the aspect of living in San Francisco that allowed me to be who I am without persistent meddling of evangelicals into my religious habits or spiritual thoughts.

I have now been in this incredible city for three months. Things are going well...I'm having fun, I enjoy life, I'm content. Something is missing, though. I think I just realized what it is. I'm not really happy. Happy enough, but not REALLY happy.

I've been telling myself it's my weight, it's my habits, it's the dating thing...any thing I can come up with that's actually under my power to change.

Walking home from the bus it occurred to me that I've yet to thank God for this beautiful city. I've yet to talk to God truly since I've been here. I've yet to bring Him along with me into this new life I've started.

Back home I constantly kept faith in Him that He would lead me in the right direction if I kept my heart focused on Him. I've spent my life trying to show Love and be a good person, and I felt like I just wanted a little break. So now I'm here, having achieved everything I want. Now I've got it all, right?

I'm constantly in conversations with people who tell me how cool it is that I made it here, how lucky I've gotten, how all of these great little coincidences have worked together to put me in this amazing situation. People are always telling me how lucky I am. Others who know me better and know how much I struggled with my previous failure out here tell me they're proud of me and how I made it back. They say I should be proud of myself...I've done so much to get here.

While I don't discount my part in getting here, nor do I believe that it's impossible that the stars aligned to get me this amazing situation, I do realize that I'm contradicting myself in a majorly uncool way. I prayed and prayed for God to help. I was so faithful when I was struggling, when I believed I needed Him. Now that I'm here I've yet to give credence to the idea that He may very well have just answered my prayers. How shitty of me.

In a city where everyone seems so faithless, or so faithful in transient fads, it's difficult to hold strong to one's own traditional faith. Here, I have freedom from reminders that I'm lacking in my spirituality. I have the freedom to practice how I choose without being looked down upon. In fact, I think I just may be the most religious person out of anyone I know here. Maybe, just maybe, I need that kick in the heart every once in a while.

So here's to faith. Here's to me realizing what a jerk I've been. And here's to me knowing what I have to change to find that true happiness I want in my new life in San Francisco.

I am infinitely grateful.


How to Fill a Niche

On O'Farrell Street downtown there is a business that makes one wonder how many people have to have this common combination of interests to keep the business alive. The small store-front boasts of the treasures you'll find inside: a laundromat, ice-cream, and sausage.

Because chocolate ice cream tastes so much better after a big ol' sausage and with the smell of detergent lingering in the background.


on drinking

In whatever country or culture we find ourselves, having a drink together is a sign of friendship, intimacy, and peace. Being thirsty is often not the main reason to drink. We drink to "break the ice," to enter into a conversation, to show good intention, to express friendship and goodwill, to set the stage for a romantic moment, to be open, vulnerable, accessible. It is no surprise that people who are angry at us, or who come to accuse us or harass us, won't accept a drink from us. They would rather say: 'I will come straight to the point of my being here.' Refusing a drink is avoiding intimacy.

At worst, drinking together is saying, 'We trust each other enough that we don't want to poison each other.' At best, it is saying 'I want to get close to you and celebrate life with you.' It breaks through the boundries that seperate us and invites us to recognize our shared humanity. Thus, drinking together can be a true spiritual event, affirming our unity as children of God.

--Henri J.M. Nouwen


Y'all should check out my new bio page. Especially the links section. :)


It's not about the butthole pleasures, not at all

You all should go see The 40 Year Old Virgin. Just do it.

Off on a mini trip to San Luis Obispo! Exploring more of my new home state.


Relay in Bullet Points

> The second we stepped onto the field in the morning we were soaked through up to our shins. It was cold and wet under the Golden Gate Bridge.

> A survivor sang a gospel song at which everyone on the committee cringed due to the fact that this is a non-religious event in SAN FRANCISCO!

> As we cheered the survivors during their lap, Christie teared up, missing her mother who died of breast cancer. I called my mom immediately.

> During the survivor lap, a woman on a bike actually stopped riding on the trail just to clap for the passing survivors. I wanted to hug this stranger.

> Amazing volunteers helped me accomplish everything I needed. So much so that I had volunteers to spare to the rest of the relay committee.

>As I introduced some of the current legislation to relayers, I met a crazy old gay cowboy and talked to his friend about how people back home are scared of San Francisco because they know everyone out here is right and they're scared of the truth. (Oh how the people back home would laugh.)

> A friend and I were ambushed by a strange man asking where he could hook up with a dying cancer patient who had medical marijuana to spare so he wouldn't have to go back onto opiates. He then proceeded to tell us over the next half hour how plastic bottles are causing cancer.

> I met the woman who rejected an initial resume of mine so long ago because I lived too far away. She told me she was kicking herself now.

> A friend came and we hunted cute boys all evening.

> I learned that, unlike my past Relays, we would be sleeping at this event. I made a makeshift tent in the advocacy booth and prayed it wouldn't get too cold.

> We added glow sticks to the luminarias while entertaining the crazy gay cowboy.

> The cops came before luminaria to ask us when we would be turning down the music.

> One of the speakers bailed, so in a panic we decided I was singing at the ceremony instead.

> After everyone came up to get their glowsticks (the crazy gay cowboy took some sort of morbid pride in how many he took as he counted out the deaths of friends and family), I sang wobbily but proudly.

> The cops came back and issued a citation, stating that they had previously warned us about the noise (even though they had only asked us when it would stop). Rather than issuing it to the event or organization, they chose a person in whose name to put it. Crazy cops.

> We tried to have a conga circle with Joti, the guy who was supposed to be performing then. Nobody knew any of the songs. I knew one, so he pulled me up to dance with him. I sang badly and without knowing the words, but we had fun. Somehow at church camps we always knew a million songs to sing. People out here don't know the same songs we all do back home, though.

> I tried to curl up with my friend to stay warm, but it just didn't work. After dozing slightly and waking cold and wet, I woke up and found a fire. I drank amazing hot chocolate, met a girl from Doniphan (that's back home to you west coast folks), and listened to countless stories of drunken Vegas adventures from the guys with the fire.

> I went back to bed and fell asleep to my friend reading Seneca.

> Upon waking under the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, I warmed up while listening to the Seneca essay I previously had missed, then learned we had raised over $28,000!!!!! in our tiny little Relay For Life.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped! Please let me know if you'd be interested in helping to make this event bigger and better next year!