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.