My god dang computer went down… AGAIN!

Well folks, we have been here before, i tell you.  My poor Macbook’s problem just re-surfaced after 3 long dormant months.  I replaced the part last time so this time, i just dont know why the problem is still persisting.  This means, that my postings may be coming less frequently until i can resolve this technical failing.  Thank you again for your patience and loyalty!!

You laugh when i say that my house has a ghost…

Zimmerman portraying a ghost.

Zimmerman portraying a ghost. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Go ahead and laugh.  And then explain just how my door tonight became locked from the inside when i left the room empty and dead bolted when i left…?

I know we have a ghost here.  It seems that i often seem to have a ghost that resides in my residences.  And my childhood home growing up we even wondered if we had a ghost.

This apt. is by far the most active hauntings than all of the others.  In this house, i finally got haunted by having something (my iphone mind you) fly across the room!  I luckily had a witness there with me so she can confirm that i am not delusional and vice versa.  That time we were the only 2 people in the house.

Usually the ghost likes to play what i like to think of as hide and seek with my stuff.  I have found that if i tell it to put it back right now… it gets found in often an absurdly unbelievable spot (like the middle of my bed or right on the middle of the floor or even in my own lap… AFTER i have stood up and sat back down!).

Tonight though, it managed to lock the other lock in my room that can only be locked from the inside.  Lucky for me i was able to take a bicycle spoke and wrench it back to where i could open the door.  This is the only time i have ever had this happen and it is somewhat disturbing… mostly because my little baby kitty Arthur is in there. but also because… THAT IS MY ROOM!!

I went down and talked to our downstairs neighbor Mary one time  and what she told me, scared the pants off of me.

Mary has lived in the building for over 40 years, raising 3 children here after arriving from Nicaragua.  Mary is the shit!  I really dig Mary.  She is a sweet lady.  However, i speak no spanish and she speaks some english but is much more comfortable in spanish.

Over a conversation lasting about 45 minutes, i got up the nerve to ask her if there was any paranormal incidents here when her boys were living up here.  She told me this…

She said after one of her sons had moved away for college, he had moved back to the house (so he was a grown up by then.).  She said he was upstairs taking a nap when he came bounding down the stairs screaming and crying.  She made a big issue of this because i get the feeling that she was not used to seeing her son in such a state.

She said “What happened?  What is it”??

He went on to tell her that while he was resting, he was levitated.  LEVITATED!!
WTF?!?!

Now, i have never experienced being levitated but i know that there is enough unexplained phenomenon here that enough people have seen it or had it happen to themselves that i am finally not looking quite so crazy when i come bounding out of my room mumbling …god damn ghost….

It is a curious thing though.  Dont you think?

Have you ever been “haunted” before?  Please share your story!  It is hard to know how wide spread these things are if no one ever talks about them!  Wouldnt that suck for me if i am the only one…  I had never thought of it like that….  uh oh!  ;)

Incase you have not heard… and you want something trippy to show around the water-cooler…

I saw this story on goldfish that had been dumped into Lake Tahoe.  These goldfish started out small in a bowl in someone’s household who thought it would be a good idea to dump them in the lake (NOTE*** this is NOT a good idea.  Native species are in danger of being eliminated from the invasive non-natives taking the natives food or outright eating the natives.  Right now the biggest threat is the big mouth carp in Lake Tahoe.).

People did not think goldfish could last through the winters in the lake due to the fact that it gets so cold with the snow coming right down to the banks of the lake.

Apparently they were wrong from the looks of it…

Giant goldfish in Lake Tahoe… ARE YOU SERIOUS???

goldfish in Lake Tahoe…Makes one wonder if they are tasty?!

Lake Tahoe goldfish

Lake Tahoe goldfish

Lake Tahoe goldfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An open letter to my neighborhood…

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Dear Neighbors,

I write you today to ask for your understanding. You see, I live in the house that you can’t stand.

You know the one.  The blithe on the block.

We dont look unusually bad in appearance (not particularly good either but it is on the corner and is 100 years old so, its design is generally not too offending plus, we are a dirty color of white so we dont really stand out except if you begin to look closely.  That cheap1960′s want-to-be wood grained paneling that is broken in places and entirely painted white… probably in the 60′s!, doesn’t exactly look regal i know).

No it is not our appearance that is so offending.  It is us. Continue reading

Why is witnessing vulnerability so interesting to us?

I have a few thoughts…

Maybe it makes us see we are not alone,

Its not projected in society (we keep that shit private!)

May not be accepted in this era of never fail and never fear.

Like Brein Brown says, is it confused with weakness?  And if so, why and when does it cross that line?

May be painful to see emotions that we can recognize and empathize with.

It may just look crazy and unusual psychosis seems fascinating to most.

It may depend on how much understanding ones self has on issues with vulnerability and the human mind/emotion machine

Or to compare the others ‘infraction’ to the severity of their own (unless a sociopath of course!) and weigh in on wether they themselves are within the acceptability levels of modern society.

Maybe it is to test ourselves to see if we are truly seeing vulnerability or it is someone manipulating vulnerability?

……………………..

Also regarding the manipulation of vulnerability… if it is being done, is it being done consciencely or unconsciencely?  If unbeknownst to the vulnerable one, is it really defering it to avoid revealing their true vulnerability?

……………………..

How much vulnerability is acceptable to show ourselves vs. the outside world.

I know i am much more real with myself than i would like the world to know about.  The way societal views come in and out of fashion so quickly, will one revealing their vulnerabilities end up being shamed down the road & having it come back to haunt them? Making  THEM the one that is then not accepted by society, when while behaving this way back then, it was perfectly normal.

Is it just perspective and point of view as well as personal beliefs and experiences that decide what way we take seeing anothers vulnerabilities?  Or maybe it has more to do with how we feel about ourselves at that very moment as to how we feel towards seeing in a state of vulnerability.

I am still not too sure.  Where is the line between having empathy for someone’s wrong doings vs. judging and writing them off for those acts?  It is a very interesting thing for me to ponder….

 

It has been like over a month but I AM BACK and with only maybe a couple hours before the end of the world!

 

 

 

 

The past month plus has been a very surreal experience for me.  Two months ago, i had 2 perfectly working computers.  Within 2 weeks I had zero.  The last month and a half i have gotten to learn the jump in with both feet kind of learning curve, just how much my life and my anchoring to my life is based through my computer.

I have just been sort of drifting this last month and a half.  I have been scattered, disconnected, out of touch and just kinda unhinged through this time.  I have also had to do a lot of traveling back and forth to see my dad which really throws off my whole life schedule… but with no computer, no blog, no writing, no photos uploaded, no local news & no easy typing (the reading on my iphone was not ideal at this age either!)… I had nothing to anchor me down and so i just kinda spun.

The first section home between the first and second trip i partied my ass off.  Staying up till dawn and just basically partying like i did in my early 20′s.  It was fun, but boy oh boy did my room get messed up.  I still have not fully recovered from it!  All of the packing and unpacking and present wrapping and computer parts and machines in various states of repair has not helped the mess get fixed either though.

The next time i came home, i knew i was not going to party like i had the weeks before.  That second period i was home, i tried to get up motivation so i restarted more seriously my exercise plan.  Hiking longer and more regularly.  It feels a lot better living life with exercise but it did not bring back my motivation.  However, i did pick back up… and thanks to my friend Kenny, broke through my block & started drawing again, the first time in many months.  It felt good.

The other thing i got back in with was cooking.  It is the holidays so i made cookies and fudge and soup and cupcakes.  It has been fun and, surprisingly, i have not had an unquenching urge to eat all that i have just cooked.  It has been more fun feeding those around me which sure helps my waist line!

I am absolutely rusty and in all honesty, am totally surprised that i did not fuck my macbook up completely.  I thought i had.  I will go into detail the perils we survived to get us back online in a future post, but,  It is late and it may be the end of the world tomorrow and if it is, i dont want to spend it in silly details of the luckiest girl with the toughest laptop in the world and instead tell you all just how much i have missed my place here with you.  I have missed the conversations and the points of view.  I have missed the friendship and the fantastic attitudes of you all.  I am SO glad to be back to writing for you all!  Like i said, i was not really thinking that i would have a working laptop tonight, so i have sorta had to wedge my brain back into the thinking and typing mode which has been on hiatus now for a while, but i am ready to start sweeping the cobwebs and getting back to the grind.

On one last note, i leave again Sunday evening for my dads for Christmas.  This is awesome and at the same time sad for me because on Christmas eve of this year, it is going to be my little baby kitty Arthur and my one year anniversary.  Unfortunately for us both, he will be home alone with my roommates on this day.  I think i will be way more saddened on this day than he.  But it does make me a little sad that we will not be spending our one year marker together, so for that reason, i am dedicating this posting to him.  Here is to another year and as much progress as we have made this for next!

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I love you Arthur!

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Sorry folks, My cursed month has continued into…

…and has finally reached my MacBook. My little toshiba was gutted and destroyed by someone calling themselves a friend a couple weeks ago. (Of course… My main one finally breaks 2 weeks after I lose my backup… Cursed I’m telling u!

So, I am hoping to get it fixed in the next day or 2 but, if my curse follows me into December, you may see a lul in my postings. I have not forgotten about all of you dear readers!! Infact I had not realized how much of a theraputic aid it has become to sit down at the machine & write. Just what I need… Another stress relief outlet closed…. (& it is supposed to rain all week so no hiking!:(. I’m gonna have a nervous breakdown if I’m not careful!!)

Anyway, I am doing all I can to be back to u with an opinion and up and running ASAP!!

Thanks for your understanding!

Holiday gift giving just isnt what it used to be. Mostly because they have our cash hijacked once we spend it… Even if it is a gift!

itunes gift card

itunes gift card (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

 

I was having a conversation tonight with a couple of friends about gifts and gift cards as well as exchanges and returns.  After about 5 minutes of discussing the gift card industry and things associated with it (Specifically a gift card i received for christmas early this year.  This was a gift card that came with a gift receipt.)   We started to realize that there was Zero, 0, Zilch. Non, Nada reason for one to be included with the card.

Then we started to realize that with the implementation of Gift Receipts, even if paid for with cash, one can ever only get store credit or an exchange.  With the gift receipt we can never prove that cash was spent on the item because they so graciously leave off form of payment so they can force you to contain the money within their company or store.

Once a gift card is purchased, the money has to go to the store.  You can not change your mind and get any kind of refund anymore.  People used to pay with checks and if you wanted to return something, and you paid by check, they would return to you cash.  Since checks are practically antiquated, the only way to get your money back is to have the original receipt and within that first 7 days, you can free your money in what ever form that you chose to pay with.

Then we started to think about how many BILLION$ and BILLION$ of dollar$ that are floating out there in our wallets, our pockets, the dumpster, the sidewalk, the cushions of the couch etc.  with a small remainder of credit on that very gift card that will NEVER be used.  Just think about the amount of money that is generated on that odd remainder!  That is technically our money still.  But it is already with the company so they really are making a double double double profit.  Profit from the initial gift card purchase and then the mark ups when spent on the items and then the unspent remainder.  All benefiting the company and the company alone.

I remember years back when we didnt like something that we got, we could go back with the tags in place within the seven days and we could get some money.  Nordstrom did this for MANY MANY years to many returners (and scammers) appreciation.

Now i think about how much money is going one way never to be able to come back if it is something we dont want these days.

Now I  can definitely see the benefit of these gift card trading (buy and sell) sites as well as places like ebay and amazon to be able to resell your brand new perfectly unused unwanted item to retrieve some cash said item.

All in all, they are fleecing us dry by the looks of it in a lot of ways, that are less obvious than higher interest rates and inflation.  There are the fees and the 1 way money flow… out of our pockets & into theirs.  It is pretty scandalous and we dont even see it or realize it happening or at least the bigger impact of what these policies truly mean for them stealing our money.

So on this year of gift giving… Do your loved ones a favor… Just give them CASH for godsake!  It is a different time than it used to be.  It is no longer seen as lazy or tacky to give cash.  It is only what we work our whole lives for!  Cash=freedom so you are actually giving them the feeling of freedom when cash is given!

People are not judged by how much they spend, but on what they spend. Give your loved one the right to chose where that hard earned money should be spent.  That way, A. the change stays with them and B. they will have a receipt showing that they paid cash incase they change their mind when they get home.  The bottom line is you are at least giving the windfall to the one you are giving to and not some financial corporation for them to take over the free world with!

Plus.. Cash is pretty!

Its Holiday Season again… Does it make you warm and mushy or give you the icky feelings of dread?

 

 

Xmas Tree

Xmas Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is also not a time in my life that i can falter at all.  This is what all that hard work and preparedness was getting me ready for.  The massive travel back and forth week at a time to get to my dads with bittersweet feelings…  thankful that i CAN be there,  that i have the time and that he is not all the way across or out of the country.  I remember when my dad was in this mode with his aunt (like a mom).  He had to drive up at least every other day from the south bay to San francisco to see her.  Even thought my parents were separated, we (or just my brother and i or just me)  would go up every or every other week.  It was exhausting.  It was stressful.  It was emotional.  It was wonderful to have been given that last bit of extra time!

 

When her time finally came, the feeling was different than i thought it would be for me.  I dont know about how my dad felt, but I had felt this really big empty spot.  A lot more empty and lonely than i would have thought in sort of a different way than i had thought.

 

We had this 2 bdrm apt. to completely go through, get appraisers out, call insurances etc as well as meeting with the lawyers and accountants.  I kept feeling like one did when they were at camp for a week and it is finally time to go home.  You are the last one to be picked up and the place feels SO empty to you.  You feel more alone in that several hours  than i think we feel most of our lives.  Leaving camp was ALWAYS a tough thing for me.  Kind of like leaving my little cat Arthur when i have to leave every time now.  Separation anxiety!  Panic.  Pure panic.

 

This year with the holidays here, its needless to say that they were very important to me.   That since my dad’s real failing health this last month i really just wanted to be with family.  It is probably going to be the last year that my whole family will be here on earth so (aside from the potential apocalypse) this year holdays are especially poignant to me and somewhat surreal.

 

I know (as i have done many many times) that this will be one of those times that i will remember when looking back form the future.  I can see history happening right before my own eyes can see it.  I can sense it.   I can feel the page starting to turn and the chapter is about to change.  I think it is one of those things that mark a major growth and changing of eras.

 

Usually music, which may have not been integrated into my life hardly at all over the last so many months, now comes on full time (not even any news or chanel 9!  No tv!  I would rather use the Roku box to play Pandora than watch tv.  And just a couple months ago, tv was my way of relaxing at the end of the day.  Now i just cant stay focused on just one thing for that much time. Music you can hear while typing or packing or eating or drying ones hair.

 

Not only that, but a whole new grouping of music is starting to mark this period of time like a big memory timestamp.  They (the songs) (wether i want them to or not!) are becoming the soundtrack for this new period of time.

 

The things i do and the way i feel and the things i see right now are going into a more permanent place in my brain banks because it is so filled with upcoming change and surrounded by such thick emotion.  I can feel myself change.  I know that pretty soon, i will never be the person i used to be.

 

For all of you “grown ups” out there, you are probably thinking to yourself… “that is called growing up”…. I know this, it still feels just a bit strange when you feel it starting to happen but you are still the same person.  It is like the forces of change are moving into your soul to make that change in accordance.

 

Some of these changes include the obvious ones like my dad and his delicate health scenario as well as all of the travel associated with it.  There is also some cracks within my family that have been revealed recently that could be game changers for the closeness we have (possibly falsely) believed we had.  It will be interesting thing to see what happens.  It may be one of those times a child must define themselves as a full grown adult to others around them even if they will always be younger or the child or whatever.  At 38, one is a full grown adult and i believe old enough for others to be able to have decided wether or not they are a quality and competent as a person or not.  The role of the parent or older sibling is the job with all of the power and control who usually desperately tries to hold onto that same level of power and control even with fully grown kids/sisters or brothers.  Who would want to give up something they have taken a lifetime building?

 

But everyone deserves to feel like a grown up when they are deeply into their grown ups!  If they do not, it is simply because either A. the family has enabled them or B. because the family undermines their self esteem making them question themselves throughout their whole lives.  If the people that raised you dont believe in you and you have a lot of respect for them, then it usually ends up not so well for the child.  That undermining self-esteem can sit in the back of your head haunting all of your wishes in life.  It is hard.  Even when you believe in you, when the ones you love do not, it is a heavy blow that never seems to be able to be shaken off the back.

 

Self esteem can make or break a perfectly great person.  And usually it is the soul crushing that comes from within the family or those that we look up to.  They have a lot of lasting damaging power over us that they often like to turn back around and blame back on us.

 

These are some of the things that happen to adjust the power structure when children become adults.  The adults sometimes forget that they only get so long to do their raising and then, it is time to stand back and see if they were a good teacher or not.  If they (the child) starts making poor choices, you as a parent do not get the option to jump back in and continue to raise them some more.  If the child fails at making good decisions, that could possibly mean that YOU failed as a parent in your raising.  That is your own work that you are seeing them using to survive.  Most of the time though, the family only sees a part of what the whole story is.  They have no idea how we are to really use our time and solve problems and set goals.  Jeez… they dont even usually bother to ask us if we even have any goals or plans to improve our futures.  Do they just assume that we just sit around whining and picking our noses?

 

I just know that the holidays are wonderful and yet so stressful and can be so depressing at the same time.  They are wonderful if you have a great loving family or family of friends to surround yourself with, but can be easily as equally depressing if you do not have anyone, just lost someone or are not getting along well with the people you care about at the time.

 

For you all, i truly hope that you have a low stress winter holiday season and are surrounded by the love that every human being deserves.  I hope you take the time to appreciate that this moment is here… because it WILL change.  That is guaranteed.  The thing is that we just dont expect to change soon.  What i have found is that change can happen in the blink of an eye.  So now is the time to live in the moment and appreciate that the hands of change have not moved any of the ones you love out of your lives yet.  Enjoy each other.  After all, we may not even make it to Christmas if the end of the world comes on Dec 21, 2012!

 

 

 

:)

 

 

I really hate it when depression hits me like a ton of bricks in the blink of an eye!

Why do i have so much sadness inside of me yet at the same time, i am filled with joy a lot of the time.  The sadness is always there though.  I suppose it is part of my depression that makes it linger so.  It is very easy for me to become despondent at the flip of a switch lately.  In the past while in a depressive state, it seemed to come on a bit slower and last for a while.  Now it comes like a freak flash flood.  I usually feel better after getting a good night sleep but not always.  Not today.  Is it past memories and loss?  Is it loneliness?  Is it fear?  I do not know.  I just know that i hate it when it happens.  I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately and usually it is an either or because the depression is quite sedating and the anxiety revs up my frustration and gets me a bit angst which is an activating emotion.  It is a strange feeling when they are both coming on at once.  I have medication that helps me to fight either one of these extreems, but even with that, sometimes the depression/anxiety have the floor.  

I have been through a lot.  I am still going through a lot.  I will always probably be going through a lot but does this mean that these sadness bouts and high anxiety periods will be with me forever?  

I am in general a quite happy person.  I love to laugh and smile and be kind and generally just enjoy life.  I like people and am not afraid to talk to strangers.  I find people fascinating and enjoy interacting with them, but it seems that i do it less a and less lately because i just kinda feel a divide between me and the real world.  I am sure i am not the only one who feels this but it doesnt make it any easier.  And finding others that have this happen is also tough because depressed people dont usually go out into the world and when/if they do, they dont usually interact with it.  

A lot of the time i just feel like a walking (or sitting) contradiction.  Happy and truly happy yet at the same time totally sad and despondent.  How can this be?  It seems like they should maybe cancel each other out and leave me sitting here just kind of ho hum but no.  I can feel one extreem at the flip of a switch and then back to happy.  And i mean really despondent like life taking despondent (dont worry… i would never kill myself but i can not deny that it is thought about a bit.) and then snap back out.  

When this despondence hits (with a vengeance), i go from being just fine to fighting back tears and the desire to find my bed and pull the covers all the way up over my head and lock myself safely away.  

My friends and even family dont usually get this.  They (and probably i would do the same) take it personally and think that i am just trying to get extra attention or having a drama episode.  This is not it at all.  I just go very very quickly to a very dark lonely place that is difficult to extract myself from in a snap.  

It is kinda embarrassing when this happens.  People dont know what to do with me then.  They even sometimes get mad at me because i guess they think i am mad at them?  But that is not it.  People just dont understand.  I just get very very depressed all of a sudden and then all of this pain that lives inside of me is revealed.  I look totally unhinged (which, well, kinda sounds like i am!) but the strangest thing that i find is that people usually dont have much compassion when i am thrown into one of these states.  

It does make living life a lonely place because no one really knows how deep the pain goes or really wants to have to take on the task of finding out.  It is ok.  I am used to this.  I am used to dealing with tough emotions alone.  In fact i am used to just plain ole spending time alone (well, with kitty of course when he is not hiding under the bed!).

I just wish it didnt happen at all.  I wish i could be one of the “normal” people of the world with balanced emotional states.  A non flip floppy existence in life.  There is probably a lot of shame and stigma that i attach to myself as well separating me from the masses which in turn leads to isolation which can not be helpful sometimes.  

Bottom line.  Through life, i feel like i am a truly walking oxymoron.  Maybe i just need to drop the oxy and lighten up… if it were only that simple! ImageDe

Guess What? Its our birthday and we are 1 years old! Happy anniversary blog*!*!*

HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!

I can not believe 365 whole days have passed since the day that i decided to start this blog.  I have to thank my dear Bernalwood.wordpress.com and Curbed.com for leading me into the brilliant and hilarious and informative creative genius that inspired me to begin this art experiment.

When i started this blog, it did not have a real direction or purpose. (I dont know if it has a purpose now other than it being my current creative outlet and a very satisfying activity to be able to exercise my right to my own free speech without being sensored in any way (for now!).

I have always been a talker.  I think it is genetic because my mom is a BIG talker and even was a politician so i think it naturally runs in the blood.  But i also like to talk and always seem to have an opinion.  I am not trying to push my beliefs onto you, but i really do like the idea of being able to open up a conversation with total strangers that are based all over the world.  You, my beloved blog followers are representing many different parts of the globe.  It just goes to show, that issues that are important to me over here on the west coast of California can be related with in a place on the opposite side of the world.  There is not so much difference or separation as our media and governments and churches would like us to think.

Just for you to get an idea of what you all have helped me to accomplish in this year of my blog…

  • as of 2:58am on Nov. 17 2012, i have received 59,107 individual views on 417 postings. (my goal was 50,000 but dang i wish i had made it to 60,000 so that way i can figure i get about 5000 each month.  Now it is 4??? a month and i suck at math so i just dont do it. :)  But 59 thousand is not too bad for a  little girl who just babbles online!  Thank you!

Now, i would like to share some of the things that have occurred over this past 52 weeks.  A lot has transpired.  Probably no more than any other average year, but this year, i have markers so i can actually really see what has gone down.

We will start with the farewells….  I lost both friend, family and pet this year.  My Grandma passed away along with my friends Big Ben, John Paizon & Lentle.  Our kitty of 16 years; Tiki and our little Beta fish Tyrone passed as well.  However  I have gained a new Beta named Finochio and saved King Arthur from the clutches of death by less than an hour.  He is now my new family and so lovely!

My little baby Arthur!

I had 2 reunions, a family reunion and a 20 year High School reunion that both were great!

I have begun a daily intense exercise program and cleaned up my diet a bit (less sugar and trying to avoid fried at all costs!  Why then i ask is the fried food the tastiest food?)

I rode the farthest on a bicycle in SF ever (around 30 miles) in one night for the 20 year anniversary of Critical Mass.   As well as attended the 20 year anniversary of my friends awesome party by Wicked Sound Systems (yes… i used to be into early 90′s San Francisco house music scene and it was INCREDIBLE!!).

I also used for the first time and then again 2 more times (totaling 3x) , rideshares.  I really had a good experience with all three in fact and would highly recommend anyone trying it as a cheap, and environmentally friendly way to travel without having to deal with airport security!  Plus, you get to talk to people you may never meet otherwise.  I have enjoyed the ride sharing experience a lot and it is nice that there is a mode of transportation that actually has positive connotations associated with it.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series and we found out that we are losing the SF 49ers to Santa Clara (Booo!).

I also cleared up some of my credit.

Not too bad in a single year!

But… Now for the most important message of my anniversary blog… My thanks to you, my readers.  You make writing for you so special to me.  I absolutely love that you feel comfortable leaving your comments as well as share some things about yourselves in those comments.  I love that we have an international conversation here even though one would never know it just by reading what you wrote.  I basically love you all, my blog followers and readers.  You make this oh so worth while.

While i would like to say that it doesnt matter if anyone is reading what i am posting, it makes it so much more, more… well… EVERYTHING to have you here along for this journey with me.

You all are my originals.  The first to be a part of my blog experience.  This i find very special and cool and i thank each and every one of you that took the time out of your life to share in what i have to share with you let alone leave feedback.  You all have made this first year of my blog an incredible experience and i am really looking forward to seeing what is going to be on topic for the next year.

So, in short… WE DID IT!! HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVERYBODY!!  And from the bottom of my heart… THANK YOU!!

Q: Is it ever anything but torturous watching a parent (and best friend) slowly dying? Answer: NO!!

I have been avoiding this post for some time now.  I guess i just did not feel it right to write about someone who i know is going to read a post about themselves and it is about dying, but this is just too big of a topic in my life right now to ignore any longer.  It is also something that is being discussed openly now between ourselves so i suppose it is time to talk about it here.

I always would ask, which would be worse, being like my grandma on my moms side who passed away earlier this year, having dementia and losing your memory but still healthy as a horse?  (She would take long walks but often not know where she walked once she got there!), OR be like my great aunt on my dads side (and my dad just the same), to be sharp as a tack up until the very end but have the body TOTALLY break down in the process.  So, is it better for your mind to go or your body to go??

I have gone back and forth with this over the years.  I used to say that severe pain would impact the choice of body breaking but there is something to be said for having your wits till the end.  It is a hard choice to make and thankfully, fate or the gods are the ones that decide that for each of us if we are lucky enough to grow old and die from it.

I know life is an ephemeral and fleeting and nothing lasts forever, so why are we so hard wired to not want those around us to ever leave us?  We all know logically that we are only guaranteed 2 things in life.  1.  We get a ticket to planet earth when we are born, and 2.  we get a ticket home when its time to go.  I like to see it as “vacation on planet earth”.  Your vacation can go one of two ways… really good or really bad.  It can be influenced by where you have to take your vacation but it does not make it a guarantee that you will have a fabulous or terrible vacation simply due to location.  However, if you get chosen to “soul up” a body in Darfur, your chances of having a super fun and easy vacation are probably going to be hard to come by.  But, that doesnt mean that you can not hopefully change the location and improve your trip.  On the other hand, you could be “souled in” to a body of a multi-millionaire’s baby and be brought up with all of the luxuries that one could imagine and be isolated or treated so poorly that it does not matter because your vacation on planet earth is just one nightmare walking amongst priceless artifacts and long cold hallways.  I think that is why happiness has much less to do with economics than it does with community.

Anyway, back to my original issue.  The thing that is so tough right now is… well, several things… But, one of them is that there are questions that can only be answered by them and this is your last chance to ask them.  What is it that i need to ask?  Once they are gone, the information they hold in their brains goes too.  You only have this chance to ask all of the questions that only this one person can answer.  AND you can not think of the questions that should be asked.  (i think this is one of Murphy’s laws (btw… who the heck is Murphy anyway?? Poor bastard must have had the most frustrating life!!).

The other thing that is so tough is letting the sick person see that you are effected by their sickness.  I do not want to cry to their face because i am so gutted that i am losing one of the most important and influential people in my life.  I want to appear strong so not to scare them.  I do not want them to see how hard it is for me because i can only imagine how hard it is for them.

I feel like time is going in slow motion, yet it is blazing past me and with each minute that ticks by, is one less minute i am on earth with them.

I think it would be so much easier on our psyches if we knew what happened to us after passing.  If you are religious, you probably automatically believe what you are told to believe.  However, since we have other things that we experience here on earth that we have no explanation for that could possibly tie into our souls local’s upon vacating the body (such as remembering past lives, old souls and ghosts) that it adds a variable of the unknown and hope i think that something is in place for us.  I do not think we are comforted by the thought that after dying our soul just evaporates and vanishes.  How could something so strong as a soul which assisted our will to live while in life, and is invisible anyway, just disappear.  I think (maybe just for convenience) we like to think that there is a place for our souls to go after this life.  The not knowing is the tough part, but also i suppose the part that keeps us as simple people and not as the mighty “God” which i think in life, we forget sometimes.

I know i am not really making any specific point here, but i just need this to start the conversation that i have on loop in my head.   My dad is dying.  He is my best friend and probably the one single person that influenced who i have become more than anyone else so far in my life.  We all know it and we are talking about it (which is very strange when it is with the person who is doing the dying!)  I thought it would be more uncomfortable talking the hard real truth’s with him but now that we are here, it is not hard, it is just so scary and sad.

I know that this is just the natural cycle of life and that if it did not happen, then we would have something really to worry about!  But it doesnt make it any easier at all.  This is a game changer for me.  It is usually for most of us even if we do not have a very good or any relationship with our parent.

In what way my life and personality will be affected is unknown to me at this point.  In fact the impression will be so huge, i dare not even speculate, but i do know that it will change my life.

I suppose when we experience loss, in a way, the gods are clearing out our lives and throwing us out into the unfamiliar world again to start anew but with newly found or understood skills to make the next path taken with a slightly different approach or a different set of desires.

Usually when i find myself in these types of places of rebuilding after major loss, i have found that when it is time to get up and go after those things i want out of life, the wants and the things and the needs have changed.  Always they have simplified and become much more basic of wants and needs.  It allows you to appreciate all that you were unable to realize while spoiled and familiar with the past experiences.

I am not (obviously) not looking forward to the soon future without the protection and love and friendship of my dad, but i embrace who i will become and what he has taught me once he is gone.  I am just so lucky and blessed to be able to have the time now to ask those last important things as well as getting some things sorted out and understood which will make our job after he goes a lot easier and a lot less stressful.  For that i am eternally grateful!

Regardless, it sucks how much we miss the ones we love once they are gone!  At least, hopefully for me, the pain will help to create new art.  And i can say that it is because of my dad that i made it on this occasion!

I love you dad!!

My dad this past year. Love you Pops! (sorry for doing a post about you:)

Fleet Week’s Blue Angels final day flying. Seen from atop Bernal Hill. Oh what a beautiful day!!

I dont think that once in the last 20 years, have i seen an entire week (yes i mean 7 whole days!  and it is still going now!!) with incredible weather during Fleet Week.  Usually we get a couple days, but (as in last year), the fog came in right around the time they started flying and only were able to do one trick and pass over the bay before having to call it.  Some years, they dont even fly.  If they cant see their plot points it is very dangerous as well as if it is too foggy, we cant see them.  This week though, none of that issue as you can see below.. It was maybe the most beautiful weathered Fleet Week in the last 2 decades!  It was really awesome. :)

Blue Angels doing their loop-de-loop over SF bay. Thank heavens they use the smoke or i’d have never been able to capture it on my iphone!

One of my favorite members of the Blue Angels team… FAT ALBERT!

From atop Bernal Hill at the top by the Microwave tower. the little speck in the sky fat albert leaving scene of the fly by!

Oh what a view!

That speck up there is not a plane, but a beautiful Red Tailed Hawk.

Neighbor and his boy were enjoying the sites at the top too. They were very nice.

Hey hey hey!

Oopsie… a little bit of trouble atop the tower. I dont know if the girl who was running on the roof of the tower got arrested or just warned. Note… should never trespass on city govt. property while hundreds of people are there watching.

whoops. another guy being talked to by the popo. i saw him later though so they let him go. yea.

pretty steep up here at 436 feet up.

while we are here, lets check out our 49ers! Candlestick is just to the left of the bluff.

I hope you enjoyed the photo recap.  I know we dont have the best view to see all the exciting flying, but i personally think that 1. the views of the city make it worthwhile!  And 2. not having to fight the traffic makes it all doable!

Can San Francisco survive its mass sell out that has put it under seige? …Dont bother asking the Mayor!

 

When i get despondent about my beautiful city by the bay, i have got to remember that San Francisco is just like it always has been since its inception… trying to be cashed in upon. It has ALWAYS had someone who is or has attempted to be sell it out completely.  And why not?  It is a BEAUTIFUL place with so much charm and character and a beautiful warm/cool, colorful clean landscape with still hints of the wild left intact.  It also was rebuilt after 1906 at a time when there happened to be a LOT of money in this city and in the hands of a few hardcore business men. 

The ones who came to San Francisco knew where the real gold was, were the ones that stayed in town and provided the provisions that the huge new influx of inhabitants and travelers needed and cashed in.  Those in turn, many of them became the Grandfathers of what is the SF we know today.  Otherwise called The Argonauts.  Within this small grouping, a lot of the time they kept the money within the family, by lending it to nephews or marrying 2nd and 3rd cousins etc.  This is how my ancestors managed to maintain the wealth within this small group of tight knit Jewish Bavarian immigrants.  It also helped strengthen the faith and their durability and standing within the community.  This is true with a lot of different ethnic immigrant groups that settled in the city (think Italians in North Beach, Japanese in Japantown, Mexicans in the Mission etc.).  However, although settling with like faiths, this tiny 7×7 square mile town, it is so small, it is pretty much, where you can find a place that fits most of your needs that you can afford, you take it… and get to know other neighborhoods and cultures.

 It has been a battle since Sam Brannen made his claim while running through Portsmouth Square… …GOLD! … There is gold found in the American River!  A battle between those who make San Francisco why people love it so much, (they are the heart and soul that match the beauty and architecture), and those that see San Francisco as it also is… a great place that could easily be exploited to make themselves a lot of money.  The potential to make money here by selling out to big business and sweetheart deals to line one’s pockets will always be a vulunerability for a place like SF. 

The locals are stubborn steadfast fighters that are doing it out of survival and do not back down.  They are what puts the “active” into “activist”.  They know that they are only as strong as they are organized and committed.  They are fighting for all the right reasons and have had to pretty much non stop from one direction or another since the start.

The other is the big greed machine which is almost a force as well as a contageous disease that makes the ones it infects as addicted to it as a junkie to his fix.

There has to be a beautiful blend of the two… the residents that actually call this home, and the ones looking at it by means of how other ways they can bring in more people, and usually, richer, (and i hate to say it but i will… whiter) people who will be willing to pay more for this magical place. 

What the problem gets to be is that it is the mentality of the locals which is through their intelligence, humor, ease and creativity as well as acceptance of all things different and also their empathy for people in conditions different from their own.  They get forced out by the increased costs of living, (from mass transit, to rent or a coffee etc.)  Without the freedom filled free living locals with all of its nuts and unusual people as well as the bankers and lawyers and waitresses and cab drivers etc, it is closer to a Hollywood set than our little Bohemia by the sea!

When (hopefully if not when, but we are seriously running out of  room!) this beautiful world class city ( & loses all of those that put their heart and soul and time and love into making this that city), are gone, it will just be one GIANT gated community with fear humming from within Its sand colored walls.  It will lose its sparkle and innovation.  It will lose its soul.

This is what i am seeing and gets me so scared, but like always… like i said in the begining, SF has always been growing and becoming a modern beauty throughout its inception.  We just have to cross our fingers that so many locals have not left, that their army of activists has diminished to the point of not standing a chance, because i think that there is a point of no return where it will become an enclave of the rich and the rich alone. 

This city has always been known for being a super diverse place with a lot of sex and drugs and music and art.  It can not white wash it so that you get used to not having that element of acceptance, San Francisco will be done for. 

 

 

……

…that is until the next big earthquake.  It really unnerves those who have managed to maneuver their lives into such a controlled existence, that a percentage of them will and do run for the hills or at least back to wherever it is that they came from.  And then the locals will move back and start again…. Just like the cycle of life i hope!

 

 

By the way, this is a response that turned into an over-winded reply turned post to Mskatykins.  Thank you for being such a valued reader and always contributing to the conversation. Katykins… You are awesome!

I haven’t posted for almost a week… I haven’t forgotten you!

On rare occasion, my with drawl from my daily posts are not due to depression.  Instead, i go into this weird… i dont know, study period.  Usually a history research project or genealogy research that has been going on for the past 19 years.  Sometimes it is because i have become obsessed with a musician (Ellie Goulding for example right now) and have to see every posted live performance until i have tired and worn it out of my mind.  Sometimes it is due to socio-political issues going on in San Francisco… regardless to what it may be (today it was near-curent SF fires), i can not seem to get a focus on a specific point that i want to convey to the world.  These days, i feel it is better (although dont get me wrong!  I feel that guilt!  I should be posting every single day.) if i do not post drivel for a few days and instead see what this research dive leads to.  Sometimes it gives me immediate material for a relevant post.  Sometimes, it just sits in the back of my brain, waiting for the punctuation or punch line or whatever (i do not actually know… that is what the waiting is all about).

Lights (Ellie Goulding album)

Lights (Ellie Goulding album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used to post every day in the begining,  but not have huge investment in what i was posting.  If i came across it and i found it cool or pretty or neato that minute, i would post it.  This was about the first two months.  You would get a few writings from me but majority was neat stuff or kinda interesting things that had nothing to do with anything.

One thing i decided early on though was,   I did not want this blog to just be a product pushing site.  I decided shortly after starting it that i needed to figure out what this blog was all about.  What i wanted to tell the world.  Who i wanted telling the world what.  It was decided by me that i wanted the majority (2/3 -3/4) be fully original written content (written by me) about what ever i may happen to want to talk about.  The other portion would be neat things that i feel that is cool enough or unique or funny enough to be passed on and re-blogs.  This way, i am much more discriminating towards the things that i pass on and take more time to have a voice of my own.

So dear readers, First off, let me just say thank you.  I dont need an audience to voice my own thoughts (i do it all the time in my room or walking along, but people usually interpret it as crazy!) but it sure is more satisfying to know that what you are talking about others are listening to too and maybe even commenting on!  It makes it so cool to have strangers from all over the globe (Katiekins in Scotland, John the Aussie etc) getting in on a conversation that is happening strictly due to the fact that all of us have an interest on talking about this or that.

It sometimes boggles my mind to know that more people hear me that are scattered around the world and that i have never actually met, than probably my family and friends! (at least through the blog). (i keep telling them to read it, and they say ok, but i doubt they remember or know how AWESOME my blog is that they are missing!)  Or maybe they dont realize that this is “me to the world”.  100% me to the world.  No product placements (if i ever get popular enough to get adds at the side to actually pay me, i am taking it!) but i wont be pushing this or that.  I wont be saying what every designer of every new thing is.  I wont be posting (many!) of those stupid sayings that are cool but everywhere and dont need to be preaching to my readers about.  What it will be is curent and hopefully funny sometimes and hopefully real all the time.

I am approaching my 1 year anniversary blog in November and since i started this last year, i have developed a really awesome audience that i feel is more like a group than an audience with me as just one of the people in it.  You all give me so much feedback and time commenting on your thoughts.  I think that is just so fucking AWESOME!!  You all are my first followers and that is a really special thing to me.  You will always be the ones to say, “i have been following that blog before she had 100 followers!”.  And that is kinda cool.  It is kinda cool to have my first group… the originals!… as my fellow conversationalists.

I will do my anniversary blog on the anniversary, but i am just going to say now (and again probably in the anniversary blog!) that all of you have really made this year special for me.  This blog is the thing that i feel most proud of this year.  It has been so rewarding to me (thanks to you!) that i can see myself continuing on on this journey for a long time to come….

So… if you dont hear from me for a few days, i am not gone forever.  You have made that impossible for me to want to do!  Just know, the wait should be worth it.  At least i am not just adding bs filler to cover my ass!

:)

Emelie and Arthur! 2012

(ps.. dont mind the mess along side of the bed! :)

My day started with a break down and ended with a boom and collapse!

The evil bookcase that attacked me tonight!

I knew today was going to be a challenge when i posted on FB that this had been a rough day and it was only 1:05pm.  It was a tough morning because my depression has been on pretty strong for the past 2-3 days.  I have not been holding it down too gracefully…. I blame the disease!

Mid day actually went pretty well.  Got stuff done, sat in the sunshine, listened to music and read, vacumed my room, cleaned the kitty box and fish bowl, did some writing and talked with my roommates.  Pretty ok.

Just when i thought i was home free…

the shit starts falling from above… literally!

I had a shelf in my bookcase that had lost its little plug stop thing and it was teetering towards the back left corner.  I had removed about 2/3 rds of its contents and had somehow found places to put all those books (i had no idea what i was in for in t-30 seconds!

My entire bookcase collapsed in consecutive shelf fails (just like the twin towers without the squibs!) without warning.  Every book (that did not fall on me!) had to be pulled or dug out from behind and between and on the sides and carefully removed from teetering shelves (without 1 might i add falling into the… phew… clean litter box who’s home is on the first floor of said case.) .

I did not know i had so many fricking books at this one apartment.  I still have most of my books in storage from my last move and i got rid of my entire collection after working at a bookstore for over a year (it was either books or my records… records won!)  i believe i have to say now that i may be addicted to buying books.

(My poor thumb.)

To say the least, it was an unexpected HUGE project that occurred just about the time i was going to take a bath, eat dinner and go to bed.  I guess this is one way to be forced into some major spring cleaning! (i just dont know how both thumbs got smashed in almost the same place while my hands were in very different places! Hmmm…

Well, 2 hours later, a pained back, a trip to the corner store for boxes and some sorting, stacking and boxing and i can sit down on my bed again!  Phew!  I was wondering if i was going to be sleeping on a fresh bed of books tonight.  Tomorrow… part two of the clean up and hopefully the full repair of the bookcase!  It has got to be a better day tomorrow!  It is a half moon after all tonight!  Those nights are always my equivalent full moon… (i am a cancer and this is just something that has become so regular and obvious that i am aware that my half is your full.)

I will say though.  I have some pretty cool ass books!  And i know how to read!  Yippee!

 

Sitting here holding my breath, enjoying the last moments of the old world.

Sometimes when i dont write, it is because i am not sure how to describe how i feel or maybe where i feel i (we) are right now.  It feels like we are in the middle of two peaks.  The lul if you will.  An in between time.  A pause in the old world right before the world changes.  And i feel that the world is about to really change.

I sit here almost mourning it.  As if it has already come and gone.  It hasen’t, but it will be soon.  This i know.  So i just sit here.  Enjoying, absorbing, living every second.  It is bitter sweet in a somewhat melancholy way.  It shouldn’t be.  But it is none the less.

This is a really hard thing to try and put into words and i dont know if i have been able to in any sort of cohesive way that anybody might be able to understand, but i just tried.  

If i have made no sense to you, chalk it up to another crazy ramblings post.  If you know what i mean, then, sit back and enjoy the time, now, before the world is to change!

My days as a child sure are different than they would have been now, but i am thankful and they taught me a LOT!

 

 

Pete and me and my blanky and waldo. circa 1978

I was born in the early half of the 1970′s.  Things were SO different back then.  Not the obvious… I played as a kid, i went to school, i did the family obligations, i had friends, i went to sports practice and games and girl scouts… you get the picture….

What was so different is HOW i played as a kid, and Why i went to school, and What my family obligations were etc.

It was a much slower time back then.  AND a time with SO MUCH LESS unwarranted fear.  So much more communication and planning.

You couldn’t just go by the ATM machine when you got low on cash, you had to make sure that you made it to the bank before 4:30 and if not, you wrote a lot of checks (and probably cashed one at the grocery store!).

You had to have LOTS of patience when trying to reach someone, because, the answering machine had not been invented, nor the cordless phone.  This meant that you let the dang thing ring for at least 30 rings just incase they were in the yard, bath etc. There was no caller ID so if you just missed the call, you would have to just sit there wondering who it was and if and when they might call back.

Back then, we could play unsupervised.  This meant OUTSIDE.  Now, we had markers that were supposed to corral us into not wandering too far (not farther than the field at the end of the Petersen’s lot type thing), but this freedom gave us not only the freedom to adventure and discover, but it gave us an independence that i think carries into the rest of our lives.

Things just moved slower because they had to!  Which ultimately meant we all lived with more patience.  You had to have patience because if you needed to reach someone, you just had to wait, hope and keep trying.

Meals were simple and nutritious.  You know, like a lunch with a pbj sandwich, carrot sticks, cheese and crackers and a milk or juice or something to that effect.

I remember as a kid, you had to get creative (in your own mind!) when it came to playing inside.  We had no video games, or vcr’s or dvd’s.  For god sake, we did not even have any cable tv.  We had 3 network tv channels and 1 public broadcasting station.  THATS IT!  so, tv was not really that much of a deal.

Instead, we had things, like board games, and Light Bright and even musical instruments to have a marching band through the house.  My brother had a chemistry set and an erector set that we would play with and i had Linkon Logs and a tutu!

I would go picking wild flowers and then leave them on the front porch and ring the doorbell and run and hide every May 1 (may day!). And i was sure that my mom couldn’t have known who had done it! lol.

We had a dog and a cat and a bunch of fish, a few hamsters, a gunny pig and a few turtles not to forget a couple of parakeets over the years.  My dog and cat were with me my entire childhood so they were also played with a lot.

I still played with dolls (which i would walk down to the creek in their little stroller:) but i also played with Star Wars action figures with my friends usually the boys.

I lived deep in the redwood forest near Santa Cruz, so i was more isolated than most of my friends that lived in town… So, it was somewhat lonely for me out there and what i am sure i would have said extreem bordom… but that ended up being beneficial to me to have lived through, now in modern time.  It allows me to escape into isolation and enjoy it.

We had respect and even a little fear of our parents.  Not because they ever beat or hurt us, but because we did not want to disappoint them!  We had chores.  A bunch of them that we had to do before we could make plans or go out and play.

If we were bored, my mom would say, “well, you could clean your room or read a book.”  …I managed to find something to do…. :)

The thing that i think my childhood did for me was, teach me that if you work hard, you deserve to reward yourself but not the other way around.   And that it is up to me to be responsible and reliable and honest.  And if i am, i should feel good about myself no matter what the successes and failures i may encounter.

I was taught to love, and trust (when it is earned) and to show respect.  Not only to myself but to others around me.

I was taught not to be ungrateful for what i dont have because SO many people on this plannet would do anything just to have those same situations… and that things could always be worse so look on the bright side.

Most importantly, i was taught not to take for granted so much that i am so blessed for.   We get so caught up in all the things that we cant have or didnt get or achieve…

That is not the way to see the world.  If you are healthy and have people who love you and do not have to live in constant fear and have the freedom to make your own decisions, then …LIFE IS GOOD!!

Take that with you today.. It is so easy for us to get bogged down and feel the weight of all of the bs of life on our shoulders, but for one day, dont.   Dont let it get you down, because you have got it REAL GOOD!!  Enjoy it for a day for a change!  All that bullshit will still be there waiting for you tomorrow… take a day off and enjoy this beautiful planet with all of its beautiful life and colors and forms.  Simplify.  Life really is good even if you have a bunch of bills that need to be paid!

:)

I think i have helped unlock to the key to my unease of the gentrification of San Francisco… Again!..

 

 


 

A conversation with one of my roommates led us to talking about the infamous after-hours nightclub / gay bar pioneer in SF, The Endup.  (It has quite the story ending with a fight for power after the third brother of the founder challenged the former club manager for the estate after his two first brothers passed away, one from AIDS and the next from a shooting accident.  I have not gotten that far in my research to tell you what happend there…. The Endup was turned over to brother 3 because of mismanagement of the moneys and some shady unpaid bills type history, which enraged the manager which kinda made him go kinda crazy to the point that he shot the brother in the back and then committed suicide after a 10 hour stand off with police two weeks later….anyway…) The Endup is a legend and thankfully to historical landmark distinction will be for years to come.  It is the one place they are gonna have a heck of a time getting rid of!  It is true SF fabric.

Of course in normal fashion, my roommate and i got into a good healthy discussion (argument) that i was not buying (one of my roommates has a vivid creative mind and memory!) and decided to try and fact check him (which is a regular activity for me and i hate to brag, but i am 98 out of 100 times right, or at least proving he is wrong actually usually.)

This in turn led me back down memory lane  which has become a bit foggy in areas which is always surprising (remember… WRITE IT DOWN NOW!! You will not remember it in 20 years most likely no matter how sure you could not forget!), and right into my old beloved home away from home…The Endup!

The Endup is a SF Landmark and now thankfully a little more protected for the future generations to use and experience and find themselves as the last almost 4 decades of generations have.  The Endup sits right under the Hwy 80 overpass and merging onto the Bay Bridge part of the freeway that runs right between Harrison and Bryant at 6th St.  Ironically it is also across the street (and on the opposite side of the 80 overpass from 850 Bryant, AKA the Hall of Justice (the popo station and jail.) ( Infact, now days, when you forget to move your car at 6am for commute flush down 6th, and your car get towed, you only have to go one block to not only retrieve your car, but pay your tickets that release your car.  In the old days, you had to go to 850 to pay and release and then (usually back) to 11th and mission to get your car from the infamous City Tow… unless you were REALLY having a bad day and they were full at City Tow and they took it to the city overflow lot at Pier 70 (way out down by Bayshore/ HP.).

When reading different articles about the crazy end of the era that i was there regularly (1992-1998ish) attending, i came across this AWESOME article that is truly the pre-curser to my writings regarding the fear and sadness in the changes i have seen in this city.  It brought it all back.  It is incredible that i forgot truly how horrible the dot com loft explosion fucked up our town.  It really took a huge blow.  One that was so immense that i did not know if it ever could truly recover.  I guess we will never know now because it hit before full recovery.  I was watching closely, but never imagined a just few years later it would happen all over again only instead of the all the industrial and lot spaces being made into these so called live/work-loft conversions all over town and especially SOMA and China Basin, but now, the only difference is that it is vertical.  They are putting up more high rises than i had ever realized until i watched a video on utube of the city from 1992.  It was so sparse then.  It is filling in and in and in and in!  And not picking the most beautiful of high rise structure always either unfortunately.  Hopefully the ugly ones will soon be covered  by yet another new layer of bldgs. OR, an earthquake takes em back down!

I am so upset by this, because i have lived this before!  How could I have forgotten so soon?  It is like tangible Deja Vous.  The kind that you can go back into for hours and bite onto.  I have watched the soul of this beautiful bohemia get sucked dry one time already and now i am horrifically watching it happen all over again.

To give you an idea of what it was like, you must read the article.  It was so close to home for me because i know a bunch of the people mentioned in the article (Kato, Charlotte the baroness, Martel & Pollywog).  These were my people.  This was my 20′s-30′s.  Now all over again for my 30′s-40′s only unfortunately now, without any real kind of kick ass underground or at least grounded parties:(.  Heart breaking i am telling you. H E A R T B R E K I N G !!!! ! ! !

Now re-live the boom that was the 90′s dot com invasion….

A huge THANK YOU and BRAVO to Michelle Goldberg circa 1998 in its full form….

 

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All We Want to Do Is Dance

[whitespace] IllustrationSan Francisco may not be facing the end of nightlife, but we are looking at the end of the mega-club, the end of the club-as-institutionBy Michelle Goldberg
Illustrations by Katherine Streeter

 

 

 

At 3pm on a Saturday, the EndUp is still going from the night before. On the dance floor, a girl–totally bald except for a tiny gelled spike of hair like a baby unicorn–gyrates in lime-green platform shoes and fluorescent orange hip-huggers. A stunning white-blonde from Austria sits on a banister and sways while her boyfriend, a compact man from Ethiopia with a long, black goatee and tiny rectangular glasses, moves with funky, serpentine grace on the dance floor. He’s been at it since midnight the night before, she tells me. The dancers spill out onto the Edenic back patio, where the sound of fountains mingles with the insistent thump of house music. Bright and lush with palm trees, the back yard of the EndUp is a kind of country club for the underground, where people who still look shockingly attractive after nearly 20 hours of partying stretch out in the San Francisco springtime sun. No wonder local scenester Miss Polly called her book I Found God at the EndUp.

But the EndUp, like nearly every other club South of Market, could be gone by 1999, forced out by a locust-like invasion of lofts and their attendant noise complaints. “It’s a basic struggle for life. It’s almost like the Native Americans that were overrun,” says Carl Hanken, the EndUp’s avuncular, white-haired owner, a former research chemist. “The EndUp could go. It’s a distinct possibility. It’s almost a week-to-week existence for the club industry. Each week I hear of some other problems.”

San Francisco may not be facing the end of nightlife, but we are looking at the end of the mega-club, the end of the club-as-institution. It’s one of many ironies in this unfortunate situation that San Francisco’s booming economy is threatening the very vitality that accommodated so much of our region’s famed technological development. The fate of SOMA could indicate something much larger–whether bohemia can coexist with our decade’s gonzo postindustrial hypercapitalism.

“Money has destroyed San Francisco’s bohemia and attitude,” says Hanken. “Young people were once more driven by idealism; these are more driven by the buck. They operate more with the head than with the heart. That’s why we have the confrontation.”

Hanken says that it would be impossible to open up a club like the EndUp today, and most club promoters agree that for the last few years the club scene has been moving to smaller bars and lounges. There’s currently a moratorium on after-hours permits in SOMA, and while some of San Francisco’s best parties are held in small bars–Kate O’Brians, Liquid, The Top–they can never approach the grandiose decadence of a 1015 or a Club Townsend.

Whether or not SOMA nightclubs are able to survive depends on whether the notoriously apolitical nightclub scene can pull together to fight a gentrification process that has become so ingrained in big cities that it’s seen as inevitable–first the “pioneers,” the nightclubs and artists, move into an industrial wasteland, making it both habitable and hip and popularizing its new name. The yuppies follow, rents skyrocket, and the nomadic creative types start the whole process again somewhere else. Many see it as a foregone conclusion that what happened in New York’s SoHo–where an artists’ neighborhood became a shiny maze of chichi boutiques–will also happen to San Francisco’s SOMA.

“What happened in SoHo is clearly happening here,” says San Francisco senior planner Paul Lord. “In New York, Alphabet City wasn’t far behind. Here, Alphabet City could be the back side of Potrero Hill or the South Bayshore, but where’s Manhattan’s Alphabet City now? That’s gone yuppie, too.” New York’s quality-of-life-obsessed Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been padlocking nightclubs and yanking licenses for years now, and San Francisco is following in his ignoble footsteps.

Of course the greatest irony in all this is that SOMA is becoming a victim of its own coolness. The professionals who are moving into SOMA lofts go there seeking hipness–the new live/work spaces are essentially condos built to look like converted warehouses, their faux-industrial chic as transparent as that of an Urban Outfitters or a Starbucks. And just as the notorious coffee monolith has strangled so many of the boho java joints that inspired it, so SOMA’s culture is being trampled by developers selling “authentic” hipster lifestyles for half a million bucks.

As a result of land-use laws passed in the ’80s in order to make SOMA more hospitable to artists, the area is zoned for both living and light industry. That means that nightclubs are being forced to comply with the same noise-abatement limits as residential neighborhoods. SOMA lofts were supposed to go to artists, people who really did live and work in their spaces. But here we have the situation’s second great irony–there are no guidelines in place to decide what constitutes an artist because the artists themselves resisted efforts to legally define them. They didn’t foresee that SOMA would become a hot address for technology professionals who can afford to plunk down the $250,000 to $500,000 asking price for the area’s new lofts or “live/work units.”

Loft development has risen exponentially–there are 1,000 units pending right now, according to land-use attorney Sue Hestor. And as new residents with early bedtimes move in, they’re calling the police and demanding enforcement of noise laws. As a result, the VSF is close to having its permits revoked, the Holy Cow has had its permits temporarily suspended, and other clubs are feeling an increased police presence. “We haven’t had a noise complaint in 10 years, until last weekend, when noise abatement was knocking on people’s doors and asking them if they had a problem with us,” says Robin Reichert, owner of the Paradise Lounge. “In large cities, noise ordinances are a way to select or select out what kind of businesses are going to be in an area. In the next three or four months, we could lose all the clubs.” The officer in charge of noise abatement, Edward Anzore, responded that Reichert is “a pain in the butt” and said that knocking on neighbors’ doors is standard during noise-abatement investigations, which are conducted “the same way we would do a criminal investigation. We knock on neighbors’ doors and say, ‘Do you hear the music?’ If the noise can be heard inside a person’s apartment, it’s a violation of the noise ordinance.”

SOMA loft-owners don’t see themselves as interlopers but as a fledgling community. “Longtime SOMA residents are bitching and moaning about yuppies like me moving in,” says one new-media professional who recently bought a $350,000 loft at Seventh and Brannan. “There’s a core group of people who won’t be satisfied until SOMA returns to what it was five years ago, an industrial no man’s land, but the bottom line is that people like me outnumber people like them 10 to 1.”

He continues, “The fact that they close SOMA’s nightclub district doesn’t mean that San Francisco is going to lose all its nightclubs. They’re just going to have to find a new place. If you go to China Basin, it’s like SOMA used to be. Very few people live there, and more and more nightclubs will be moving into that neighborhood.”

But the yuppification treadmill has speeded up tremendously in the past few years, and San Francisco is only about 50 square miles. Perhaps the clubs could move to China Basin, but the lofts will surely follow, and after that, there’s just ocean. “We are right now in the middle of a white-hot economy where the pace of change is very fast,” says Richard LeGates, director of the urban studies program at S.F. State. “Processes which may have taken 20 years in Greenwich Village are happening in the space of a few years in San Francisco.”

IllustrationBesides, club owners who have owned their buildings for decades can’t just pick up and move every few years–the EndUp has been on Sixth Street for 26 years. The argument that neighborhoods necessarily go from clubland to yuppieville is just “onanism of the mind,” says Hanken. “They like to massage themselves in comfortable places. It’s a sugar-coated excuse. These people are nine-to-fivers. They’re not involved in the club scene, and they see us as transient. That is their problem. They simply do not understand us. We cannot move. We have many encumbrances. There are handfuls of licenses to maintain. All they need is another buck, or five hundred thousand, and they’ll move. We’re stuck.”

Lord says that even if the clubs did move, they can’t be assured that the new neighborhoods will remain conflict-free. “Until we get some controls in place, the club owners don’t have a high degree of certainty about where they can locate and not be in proximity to a residential development,” says Lord. “Right now all of the industrial areas are fair game for live/work development.”

The building that houses the Holy Cow has been a fixture in San Francisco’s nightclub scene since 1966, when it opened as The Stud. Last year it was bought by Jeff Thompson, Matt Goodrich and Bill Herrmann, three 31-year-old guys who met as barbacks in the club in 1990 and traveled the world together in 1992. The three work in the club up to 20 hours a day, and under their ownership the Holy Cow had been an overwhelming success. Then, a month ago, they lost many of their permits–they can no longer allow dancing, DJs, pool or pinball. While they wait for provisional permits, their business is down 70 percent. It’s like some kind of twisted version ofFootloose–they’re forced to patrol their club and make sure patrons don’t start dancing.

“Moving for us means bankruptcy,” says Thompson. Adds Herrmann, “For the people who have told us to move to China Basin and Hunters Point, my answer to these people is that if you like that area so much, you move down there. That’s a long way for people to go just to go dancing, especially for tourists. There’s a need for residences, but you can’t blanket the whole city and turn San Francisco into a suburb.”

Then there’s a third irony. Tourism is San Francisco’s No. 1 industry, and the nightclubs are a huge part of our city’s draw. Mayor Brown is often criticized for being wildly pro-business, yet he’s sitting back as developers blithely destroy one of San Francisco’s most vital industries–entertainment. What’s even stranger is that Brown is known as the party mayor–he’s been spotted at the EndUp and at the New Year’s Eve Treasure Island rave, and his son, Michael Brown, is one of the city’s biggest club promoters.

“Maybe Willie Brown’s son should be sensitizing him to this problem,” says Lord. “If you have that natural sort of entry, maybe the nightclub owners really need to get to the mayor’s son and say, ‘Look, you’ve got to bring this to his attention or get us a meeting with him so we can bring it to his attention.’ “

Lord continues, “What seems strange to me is that this city will sit and watch while certain types of nighttime entertainment disappear for youth, while things like Crazy Horse and the Gold Club are going in their place. I don’t understand the city’s priorities when it comes to giving young people an alternative. Dancing is a healthy thing to do. A lot of people have seen that if young people do not have some place to go and let off all this incredible energy that they’ve got, it’s going to lead to trouble in one way or another. I don’t know what the state of the rave scene is anymore, but that was something where people said, We want to keep partying, and we’re going to do it after-hours, we’re going to get into buildings that maybe we shouldn’t even be in.”

The club owners will need an economic argument to counter the financial powers behind loft development, says Lord. “One of the major industries in San Francisco, one of the things that drives our office market, is insurance and real estate,” he says. “Mortgage brokers and financial institutions, they’re making the loans on these properties that are selling from anywhere from a quarter of a million to half a million dollars. There are literally billions of dollars involved in the live/work development process. If you look at the major downtown businesses that are involved as brokerage agencies, as mortgage companies, as title companies, as lawyers representing the condos, these are major, major players in the San Francisco political scene.

“The club owners themselves need to be organized to protect their rights,” Lord says. “They are a legitimate business concern in San Francisco that brings large numbers of tourists and visitors to the area. In fact, a case could be made that the proximity of the nightclubs to the Yerba Buena center has an influence on people deciding to have conventions in San Francisco of one sort or another. The club owners need to let their decision-makers, from the mayor to the Board of Supervisors to the Planning Commission, know what is at risk. If you look at the gross receipts, payroll taxes and other influences that the clubs have on attracting visitors and tourists to San Francisco, it’s an important aspect of the richness that is San Francisco and the diversity that is San Francisco. Visitors and tourism are the No. 1 industry in S.F. [Clubs] need to be able to demonstrate that they are a significant and important player in that sector of the economy and, in doing so, show the city what’s at risk if they aren’t here anymore.”

The organization that Lord spoke of has already started. On a recent Tuesday night, a hundred or so club owners, musicians, artists and old SOMA residents gathered at the Transmission Theater to form a coalition aimed at fighting development in SOMA and saving the area’s businesses. Hestor, who’s been in the thick of the loft controversy for years, explained the conflict’s history to the crowd of political novices. Said Brainwash owner Susan Schindler, “We need to know what we’re talking about besides knowing what pisses us off.” The crowd got increasingly passionate as Hestor elaborated on live/work abuses. One girl shouted, “They’re for people who want to live like pimps with their exposed brick walls!” Someone else added, “We created the fad, that’s the whole problem!” To which a third person replied, “We can’t help it if we’re cool!”

But despite Tuesday evening’s energy, some in the club scene feel that it’s not necessarily the city government’s job to safeguard hipness, and others are just giving up on San Francisco. Even Martel Toler, who with his partner Nabil Musleh is the owner of Sushi Groove and the club mogul behind parties like Release, Eye Spy and Leopard Lounge, says he was thinking about splitting. “San Francisco already is not a major party town or a town where there’s a ton of places to go out at night. I was even thinking about moving, especially in the last year, to Miami, New York or L.A.”

Some of the city’s biggest promoters and DJs believe the club scene thrives on adversity. “I don’t want it to happen, but I also believe in the natural evolution of things,” says Kato, the impresario behind Royal Jelly. “Until alternative art culture and club culture have no place to go, it’s a matter of not holding on to situations and realizing that maybe we do need to be uprooted sometimes. I actually have been getting tired of the same old spaces.”

DJ Charlotte the Baroness is reluctant to blame gentrification for destroying the nightclub scene. “You haven’t been able to open up a major nightclub in this city for years, but we have a Catch-22, because while the gentrification that’s going on in SOMA is definitely affecting the ability to have more nightclubs, at the same time gentrification has really helped the nightclub scene. Those people are the ones going to clubs and spending money on drinks. Those are the people who are paying our bills.”

She continues, “This challenges people. The rave scene has now moved back into the big club scene, and now if there’s going to be a problem there, it will motivate people to start doing underground parties again. It’s just another chapter in the dance-music scene. I would welcome people starting to get more innovative about parties again.”

DJ Pollywog says she’s so frustrated with the lack of venues to play at in San Francisco that she’s planning on moving to New York. “Clubland for the most part has been pretty weak,” she says. “It’s the same old clubs doing the same parties. I love San Francisco and I wish there were more opportunities out here. If there were a more thriving nightlife here, then there would be no reason for me to leave.”

Like Kato and the Baroness, Pollywog thinks that clubland could find new energy away from the SOMA corridor. “When you change to a different location, you change the vibe of your party. That’s why, in a lot of ways, San Francisco nightlife is tired. It’s ‘Oh, same club, same thing.’ It’s a little bit stale if it’s the same spaces over and over. Part of the underground is wanting to stay fresh, and it takes those creative, pioneering types to build up something. Established clubs make it easier because all you have to do is show up. Creative people in the underground are almost against that, because it’s important to have fresh energy.”

Still, Pollywog says that without the big clubs, San Francisco can’t attract big-name DJs. “If we lose these big clubs, we’re going to lose so much credit on the international scene. No small club has the capital to fly in Dimitri from Paris or Dimitri from New York. Some underground people are like ‘Oh, the big clubs suck,’ but I know that they definitely have a place and are vital in keeping the scene alive. It’s important to have yin and yang.”

Back at the EndUp, DJ Jason Hayes says that the lack of replacements for the big clubs is affecting his career, and his friend Peter Letourneav fears that San Francisco is being turned into a kind of faux-chic Disney World. Inside, though, manager Alison Page is smiling as she surveys the crowd, convinced that bulldozing developers are no match for the ecstatic energy that keeps people dancing through the dawn and into the next evening. “After the comet hits,” she says, “after the earthquakes and tidal waves, the EndUp will be left standing.”

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From the May 18-31, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

 


Foreclosures – Real Estate Investing San Jose.com Real Estate

 

 

berg who wrote the following piece written in i believe the mid late 1990′s.

Is it really just coincidence or are there really days when…?

I have always wondered this and i have also noticed it for most of my life.  It could be all the brain.  It could be randomness that it just happens to be a large number of them that day.  What you are probably asking yourself, on earth is she talking about?!?  I am talking about days being in theme so to say on some days.  …Let me explain….

Ever wake up and go outside and start going through your life in the world for that day and it seems like everywhere you go you happen to see almost all… say for instance… guys.  Even hot guys!.  Then another day you go out and all you see is elderly people. Another day you go out and all you see is young mothers and babies.  When i say “all you see”, i do not really mean every single person, but there are enough of them to clearly mark a theme and really a large enough number for it to be made aware of all afternoon.

I know this is such a silly thing to even be writing about, but it is something i have noticed for years.  You never know what you will get either.  They reveal themselves to you if it is their day!  I know that this could not be twitter fed flash mobbed because i have noticed it since before even the internet existed.

Since i live in San Francisco, i do not need a car and therefor do not have a car, but i have had a few and i had to commute for a year from the south bay to SF after an appt. fire left me on my dad’s doorstep and commuting to school 3 days a week….  When i drove, i noticed it too.  Sometimes in driver and car demographic, sometimes it was the mentality of the drivers, but just about every other day it seemed it was themed.

Tonight it was couples (without kids which is rare in my neighborhood.) and 1 man and his 1 dog-ers were sharing the night.  (unfortunately the dogs were so darn cute today, they out looked the men ;) and the couples were very unaware of anyone surrounding them.  Almost to a blind, rude, bumping into you because they were too congealed to actually adjust form to allow them to move through space without taking out some poor chick who just happens to be there shopping alone.  *”how very dare she not see we are so in love that the world outside our eyes does not exist to us at all?  Afterall, everyone wants to be like us because we are so lucky we are so in love!” they thought to themselves*

Anyway, I was just wondering, am i the only one that sees that life goes through themes?  Have you ever noticed this?  I wonder if so, if it is a different demographic in a different part of town?   I never thought about it… what if it was the theme was the same all over and we just dont know it?  How random!  How bizarre.

This kind of thing leads me to know that we still know so very little about the things and knowledge or understandings that we have that are not really visible.  There is so much more to how this whole life and universe and love and communication and laws of nature than we even have one whole % of a clue about!  It is like blind leading the blind but the blind think that because they can actually hear, they know everything there is to know.

These are ramblings from my brain.  This is the type of thing i sit around thinking about all the time.  No wonder i am a little on the wacky side!

…And, the best part is that i do not even care if i am alone.  I am not afraid of sounding like a nut.  There are nuts out there who are probably stoked to finally be communicated with!

:)

Have a happy Thursday!  (And look for the theme if it is a ‘theme day!’)

This was a gentrification invasion themed day.

It has been kind of a strange week of clarity and epiphanies (or at least new theories!)

I think my brain is shifting into trying to understand some things in a new way.  It has been an interesting week for you if you were my brain.

I remember, when i was 26, i was really at a bad place in my life at that time.  I was suffering from SEVERE depression and such severe anxiety, that i had a hard time keeping food and water down and i could not leave the house.  I would sit for days just crying or stressing out so bad that that would make me start crying and getting really despondent.  At this time i had not had any psychological help and i had no idea what was going on or how serious it was.  I knew i was in a seriously bad place, but i did not know how or if i could get out of it.

The reasons i were in it, seemed obvious at first and they were big and easy ones to blame.  And they WERE to blame! But they were not the only thing i had to blame for me to getting to where i was at that point.  (Just so you know what i kinda mean, in a series of a couple years when i was 19, i went through quite a few unfamiliar situations.  Heavy situations.  At 19, i had lived a fairly strict and protected life as a child and had no experience in dealing with things as big as my best friends suicide, a roommate going crazy, evictions, death of grandma which put my dad into a bad depression that became at that time projected onto me.  etc.. Since then, it hasn’t stopped.  I have been through a bevy of unpleasant or unexpected and often life altering situations since then. I feel like I have been through it all (Not all!  Thank god! But unusually strangely large amount of nightmares since my 20′s.  I won’t bore you with more of my sorry ass tales
, but it has been quite an interesting last 2 decades with as many stories to match.)  I think it is to even out my great childhood..  It better be at least!)

Anyway, there was this week when i was 26 years old.  Nothing was better or had happened to trigger it, but i had this one week that i call my week of epiphanies.  I had this amazing brain thing happening where all of a sudden, something that i didn’t even know i was wondering was understood and that actually had a huge impact of relevance  to what i WAS actually thinking i needed to figure out.

It was like, i was so focused on the problems that i was trying to solve, i never even thought about why i had these problems in the first place.  The obvious i had thought was the culprit but strangely, it went way WAY deeper than that.

It happened again in 2008.  All of these questions that i had been mulling through my brain for years were like poof!  solved.  I got it.  I would have never thought of that  being the answer.   And that time, it  turned out that the answer was actually the question!  It was so crazy that week!

The only other thing i can compare it too is those damn 3d posters that i thought were a hoax to try and see how many people they could get to gullibly stare at a boring poster for 45 minutes, until… you see it!  WOAH!  Was that there that whole time?  How can i not have seen it?  It was right there and I SEE IT!!  Amazing!

That is kinda like what i am experiencing this week.  Maybe it is my grandma’s passing, my family reunion, my 38th birthday and my 20 year high school reunion, not to mention ending a relationship.  Maybe my brain is getting some perspective on things and am doing some brain sorting.   Anyway, when i do figure out  what it is that i am now in understanding of, i will try and let you know.  In the mean time, please excuse me if you see a few brain blabbing posts this week.  I know what i now understand, trying to express it in words, well, we will see….!

Epiphanies, bring it on!  I am ready for you! Even if it is not on a 12 year cycle!

:)

My really Really bad day… part 2.

So, so far today, things have seemed to have reversed back to the hopefully smooth with good planning day with a little bit of smooth working luck.  A far cry from yesterday!

My day ended after a visit to my local dispensary (which i truly think is the one main thing apart from it being a beautiful and fairly warm non windy / foggy day that allowed me to get through it).  After sitting down for a few minutes and watching the Celtics vs. Miami game in the first quarter.  After chitchating about how tough it has got to be for all of the big basketball sized guys who were not born with gazelle like coordination with the guy that worked there, i left.  (I had a roommate like this who was 6’6″ and wore a size 16 shoe but had absolutely no coordination.  Poor guy!).

Anyway, i proceed to Big Lots where i quickly gobble up the items i needed (which happened to be things like laundry detergent and dish soap and condiments and bread mix etc.  Not light things.)  I decided that i would shop heavy and take the bus up to the top of the hill.  I threw my back out the day before and re-injured it that morning and was not taking any chances ascending 400 feet in less than 3 blocks with 4 heavy bags.

I was not in a hurry and knew that patience on a day this that was going to be the only thing that will allow me to get through it unscathed.  I walk out of Big Lots and check my Routsey app to see when the next MUNI was expected.  It said 22 minutes.

22 minutes eeh.  I have to walk a block and a half to the bus stop which would take about as long in minutes and then i got a good 19+ minutes to enjoy the sunset.

The bus stop is in front of the gas station on 30th and Mission, opposite the Walgreens. When the gas station changed hands about a year ago, a 7-11 went in.  This is a fantastic thing to come into this part of town.. Slurpees and good coffee and cheap(ish) cigarettes… a good combo!

I decided that this would be a perfect time to get myself a cup of coffee or hot chocolate for my nice late afternoon break/bus wait.  I set down my bags and proceed to make myself the most perfect afternoon cup of hot chocolate coffee!  It had it all!  1/2 & 1/2 a mocha creamer and a white chocolate creamer, a little sugar and 4 packets of non dairy creamer along with a good 2/3 colombian roast!  It looked to be the perfect dessert cup of afternoon coffee!  I paid and went to the bus stop.  There is a concrete shelf/wall/bench that holds the plantings in behind the bus stop that makes for a perfect little squat while waiting for the 24.  

Without ever taking a sip of the coffee, I go on knock it to the ground where it showered my foot and the right lower half of my body as well as the sidewalk.  I never got a taste.  I started to laugh.  I should have known.  It was visibly apparent that this was just another event in my highly jinxed day.  That was the prelude to the final injustice.  The 6 block MUNI experience (i can not bring myself to call it a ride.  It was so much more!  It only took about an hour and 10 minutes or so to get there.  Let me tell you.

note the flip flop

Ok.  sitting there with my spilled coffee and incredibly stick shoe and my bags of stuff.  I start talking with a couple of other locals about the egregious rental inflations and gentrification of the city which was good and bonding.  We needed this to maintain our victimized insanity that would soon unfold.

some of the cool locals in this MUNI mess with me.  and below, my bags remained unscathed!  Yea!

Ok.  Bus #1… The 22 minute bus.  I had been waiting for 22 minutes at about 5:45pm so needless to say, there were quite a few of us getting on.  It is also a big unboarding stop for the 24.  It is the last stop before it goes up and over Bernal to the Bayview so people who live east board, people who have come from Divisadero & Castro street usually most of them unboard here.  After awaiting the bus to unload, we start to board.  We get about 1/2 boarded and the driver tells us to unboard because he is taking that bus offline.  Another bus will be there soon.  He didnt know how long.

I descend the steps of the bus and in doing so, proceed to pull apart my flipflop at the toe.  Lucky for me though it was so sticky that it stuck to my goddamn foot and i made it back to the concrete bench.

I look on my Routsey app again and it says 5 min. and 6 min. are the next busses to be arriving.  I looked at that 6 min. bus but got once again caught up in conversation so when the 5 min. bus arrived, i got on it.

A wheel chair boarded and while this was happening, the 6 minute bus blazes around us.  I dont even know if he stopped at that stop.  I knew i should have tried to get on that bus!  So now the #3 bus was in position #2.  #1 was heading back to the barn.

We get the wheel chair guy boarded and proceed to wait.  And wait.  We probably were loaded onto the bus waiting for at least 8 stop light rotations.  A LONG time.  Finally the bus doors close and we wait about another minute and FINALLY finally turn the corner from 30th onto Mission.

We only go one block and turn left onto Cortland st… or so it was expected to.  We turn the corner and get maybe 2 bldgs. past the gas station and there is BUS #1 STOPPED ON THE SIDE!!  We couldnt believe it.  We pull up behind the first bus instead of getting into the left lane to turn left.

After a few seconds of talk between the drivers, we are informed that we must unboard and go across the street and wait at the stop at the corner of Cortland for the next bus.

If you want to see or hear a group of unhappy riders, i got a front row seat.  Me being one of them too, but, knowing how cursed i was doomed to be before the day even started, I felt almost responsible for all of these people being within the destructive radius of my jinxed luck of the day.  It must have been my doing!  It just doesnt take an hour and 4 busses to make it 8 blocks these days with MUNI. (in the 1990′s especially the early part, this would not have been too unusual).

Finally about 8 minutes and the 4th bus arrived and safely carried up the big ass hill to my final assend to my home.

I made it home finally and just started cracking up.  It was so bad of a day that it was humorous.  But just the little stupid things.  The big stressful things that went wrong got sorted out well.  It took a long time but things went better than expected when it comes to the shit that could have unraveled my life in the span of an afternoon.  It was this that was being worked on and could have gone either way.  I got really Really lucky!

Probably because of this, i took all the hilarious fails with a breath and patience and made it home FINALLY in one whole piece!  What a day!

I think today was doomed before it started. Let me just tell you…. Part 1.

I didn’t stand a chance today.  What a pain in the ass!  It started with my crazy little cat chasing flies or just going crazy and knocking over an open bottle and another glass onto my bed getting the covers soaking wet.

Then i proceded to go to the bathroom to find the toilet clogged.

I then proceeded to attempt to get online to no avail.  An hour and a half of unplugging and replugging and restarting.  Finally i called them and it turns out i need to pay them!  Go figure!

Which leads me to money.  I receive a direct deposit on the 1st every month and guess what… Today… not in account.

Which then proceeded to totally reconfigure my entire day.  Spent it on the phone for a couple of hours (at least 1/3 on hold) and in the office for over 3 hours.  About an hour and a half on bus riding not counting the MUNI comical nightmare that awaited me shortly.

I am so tired from this day, i am going to finish the other half of “how my bad day was so bad that it was starting to get funny to me”, tomorrow morning.  It will be cleaner and more witty if i finish after a little sleep.  So… stay tuned.  Part 2 will NOT disappoint i promise!  AND it will contain some of the photos of my misadventure.

I am hoping that when i wake up and finish up sharing with you my cosmic curse, i really hope it was like a 24 hour bug and it is not another Groundhog Day!

To be continued….

My anxiety is moving from orange into red alert levels with upcoming travel!

I am starting to feel the pit of my stomach start to get all bunched up in knots.  I know like a subconscience meter as the days get nearer to the day i must travel.  Having to leave town has always stirred up an ocd tendency in me to PANIC!

The first and biggest panic is my separation anxiety of having to leave my little pet.  I always have an excuse no matter when and what pet i have at the time.  It is really more about me not wanting to be without them rather than them thinking that i left for good and they will hate me forever.  With my new kitty Arthur, I am going to challenge that separation anxiety more than ever because he has such fear issues.

Arthur the day I adopted him. Picture taken of him at the shelter. Please adopt an animal and do not buy one! Save a life why dont you? ;)

I adopted Arthur about an hour before he was about to be euthanized.  Not, might i say, because he is a problem kitty.  Actually anything but.  But he is terrified.  He has abandonment and trust and massive fear issues.   Since i have gotten him on Christmas Eve last year, i have gotten him to not only come out from under the bed, but he actually hangs out on the bed and sleeps with me.  He has some bad days where he wont come out, but he always can be bribed with cheap cat food with lots of gravy.  (i have tried everything!  He has yet to taste one single human food, not even bacon, butter or chicken! I am afraid to try the last resort… tuna.  If he doesn’t like it, i could be screwed if at any time i run out of food.  I did live through the 89 earthquake so i think about things like this.)  So far it is me and only me that he trusts.  But, i will have to change that, because i have to go to Portland to attend my grandma’s memorial.  I can not justify that one… Can you imagine?  “Sorry, Emelie couldn’t make it to grandma’s funeral because she is afraid of causing her cat more psychological damage, so she blew off the flight and is not here to say goodbye.”  To me even, that doesn’t fly.  However, it does not mean that i am not dying inside missing my little kitty and worried that he thinks he has been abandoned again.


This leads me to anxiety #2… the flight itself.  Ever since 9/11, i HATE having to fly.  It is so gosh darn stressful!  It was bad enough for a girl like me back in the day to pack alone, but now, to have to downsize, evaluating the fluid ounces of all products and potions and getting them into that stupid ziplock bag. (you know that any real girl who likes her products is going to have a hard time with this one!).  Making sure that  i have all chargers, medications, makeup, hair, shoes, book, journal etc. and making it fit in a cary on sized bag… BIG CHALLENGE!  And the fear assists me throughout worrying that i forgot SOMETHING.  And it is probably something really important.  It always is.

The only way i can get through the packing trauma is to start about a week early with lists.  Those lists get longer and multiply as the days near.

The separation anxiety and the having to pack when it is not a regular activity and one has a system that they are familiar with, it becomes nothing but one huge nightmare.

Things get better once i arrive and settle in, but then to go through it all again to get back home…. UUGH.  Not to mention having to be dealing in confined quarters with parental units at the age of 37 is always an interesting dynamic.  We all do just fine when we just visit, but being together full time under stressful situations, it has been a bit of a fiasco in the past.  I do believe that we are all at a better more mature and cohesive place when we travel together, but that is still mom and i am still her baby.  I want to be extra patient though this trip because it is her mom that passed.  So far she has not expressed any sadness over the phone, but i know this is a big loss for her.  Losing a mom is a blow to everybody and an especially big blow if there is a great relationship with them even if they are 90 when they do go!  I am pretty sure she accepts it and is very at peace with it, but it has to be really sad too.  No matter what.  Gosh… it is sad for me too.

Anyway, i doubt that me complaining out loud on a public forum is going to help me really at all, but i am here to be real with all of you, as well as myself and this is what i am dealing with right now.  It will be interesting to see if the extreem anxiety increases my writing or blocks me up and makes it unable for me to write really.  I am bringing my computer (of course) so we all can just wait and see what happens in about a week.

Travel is not my #1 anxiety activity.  It is #2.  #1 is moving… the king daddy of travel!  Moving destroys me with anxiety (as i am sure it does lots of others!.  I am curious (and help me keep my mind on other things! Please!!), what is it that hits your biggest anxiety triggers?  Please share with me!  I am sure a lot of people have no problem traveling, but there has to be something that they avoid like the plague because it kicks the anxiety into high gear.  Come on, share with us all.  After all, they say confronting your fears is healthy!  :)


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Typical walk to go to the store…. Welcome to my neighborhood of Bernal Heights.

I decided that i would take some photo’s of what i see when i walk to the store.  It is about 8-10 blocks away and down a huge hill to get to.  So i take my time when at all possible.

One of the first things i come across upon my descent is one of my more favorite houses… the “red house” as i call it.  It sits on a strange triangular piece of property which makes this house a little unusual.  And totally adorable!

You can see the red house and its strange property shape here by looking straight ahead beyond the bushes and shurbs.  There is a walkway on both sides of the house and i am about to show you the left walkway next.

…shortcut stairs to Virginia Street.

This is the view from the middle of the path on the way down.  Notice our beautiful Mount Sutro lounging in a little fog….


 

 

After going down, one has to come back up.

And this is now where i introduce you to my little park… the Eugenia Steps….  These steps are great because, first, they are wonderfully cared for by a caring neighbor who takes pride in his work (birdie told me that there was nothing but weeds until he had gotten ahold of it.  Now it is really clean and well tended!  Thank you sir!)  We start at the bottom looking up in this first photo

Now we are looking down the steps from closer to the top.  This is probably about 300 ft. rise from the store at the bottom.

…and because we are so far up there now, it affords us some beautiful views and a place to sit and enjoy them! Yea!

…looking west….

looking north towards the mission.

and on to the last little leg of the steps….


and one last departing shot while the branches of the trees swing apart in the wind long enough to get a photo….

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of my route to the store at the bottom of the hill.  It being so beautiful sure helps the pain of walking up almost 400 feet straight up.  Keeps one from needing a thigh master though!

Untitled writing from 2007

Oh no

All alone.

No one to soften my hardend soul.

Knock knock

No one’s there.

No surprise.

No one cares.

Empathy is an extinct notion

I wish someone would put into motion.

Take me from me.

Wound my soul.

Break my heart.

Make me unable to be whole.

Take away my self esteem.

What is left?

…Nothing.

Now i am wondering.

Wondering how.

Wondering why.

This mad mess all a lie.

You cant take me.

I wont let you.

My feelings are valued, so,

FUCK YOU!!

I was clearly bitter and had been deceived.  That never feels good.  Makes you question everything.  Mostly makes you question your awareness of your own ignorance.  That can be a scary thing.  Nobody wants to be taken.  So all of you… Just remember… Learn from my errors… You can only truly trust one’s actions.  If their words do not match, it is a lot easier to try and believe the words, but they are the first to deceive.  In this day and age, people are usually too lazy to back their lies up with actions, so watch the actions.  They will tell you if the words are real.  If they are, they line up.  If not, as much this may mean the fairy tale is over, they are most likely NOT telling the truth.  Unfortunately.

Note.  I am somewhat jaded now, in my older age of 37, but i am am not as bitter as this writing feels… Thank goodness! :)

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I will let you down…

 

 

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I will let you down.

I wont be around.

I will watch your empire fall.

See you knocked out back against the wall.

 

Dont invest in me.

I am nothing cant you see?

I am a pile on the ground.

Damaged goods just sitting around.

 

Take yourself away.  

Far far away.

As far as you can stay.

Just now go.  Go away.

 

I am nothing for you in your world.

Just trust me…

I am not the girl.

 

 

Written before a major breakup.  Found in journal. 

I walk away….

Things are big, messy and out of control.

Begging me to come in to be a part.  More to the chaos.

A part of the problem.

A part of my downfall.

A part of the anger I do not want to feed.

 

I walk away.

 

I chose to walk away with pride and strengh.

This is not a shameful stance that i chose to take.

It takes courage. 

It takes control 

And it takes strength.

Mental strength is tougher to achieve than physical strength, 

Which is why i am so proud to feel strong,

When i just walk away.

 

I wont let another control my future and my freedoms.

My control is my strength 

And my mind is my weapon.

 

Written By,

Emelie Koshland

4/29/2010

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