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