Friday, April 29, 2005

welcome back

think of this as a housewarming party.

envision a hallway leading to a room flush with amber light and a table of the best noshes and nibbles. maybe grab a drink and then find a cozy chair to sink down into, relaxed and ready to engage in a great conversation.

before you take off, consider leaving your mark by signing my "guest book" (aka posting a comment)- oh and don't forget to take a tea bag home with you to enjoy later. :)

on being impartial

i remember in journalism school we learned all about objectivity in reporting, with me thinking that the truth shall set people free. what i didn't learn until after j-school is that impartiality or objectivity in journalism is somewhat of a mirage, an ideal sought after, but once arrived at, ever-vanishing.

this topic came up in the car with chet as we were driving to work the other day but more in terms of the problem of "open-mindedness" and "tolerance" and "incluvism". san francisco is a hotbed for all of those attributes, but only on the surface. underneath is a different story- more a "i'll be open-minded, tolerant and incluvistic of you if you ascribe to the beliefs and ideals that shape my life." thus making those words' true power moot. i could expound upon this more- please email or post a comment if you'd like to dig deeper with me on this.

today i went to jury duty selection at the criminal courthouse and sat among a mix of interesting characters , the likes of which i probably have very little in common save a zip code within san francisco county. the judge came in and began talking about jury duty and the selection for jurors. she talked about thomas jefferson saying "the right to a trial by jury is more important the right to vote," which sounds pretty big to me. but then she said something that piqued my interest in a pointed way.

"picking the right jury entails finding jurors who's past personal experiences and life beliefs be the right match for this trial. no one is impartial and not getting selected should not be taken personally. there just may be a trial for which you, as a potential juror are better suited."

hmm. interesting that it always comes back to the self.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

lush melodies and a poet's take

last night we went to see one of my favorite bands, over the rhine, perform at the swedish american music hall, right next to cafe du nord. they have a way of transfixing me- capturing my attention with karin's intoxicating vocals and linford's soulful piano-playing. my friend who ended up coming with me was a newbie to OTR, but i think in the end, their songs, their lyrics, their brash honesty of faith in collision with life is just what her soul needed to hear.

music has such a power to connect and communicate realities and truths that if done by the spoken word would seem too sharp, too pointed. in this, i don't mean poetry- poetry has power enough that during revolutions, the poets can become enemies of the state. we poets have a keen insight into the essence of things and our voices need to be heard, loud and clear- maybe that's an element of what i love about folk music- the telling of the tale in such a way where a truth or value is communicated in the layer beneath the story itself. there is power in people sharing their stories with us and us listening and telling the stories back to them. i would imagine this can provide needed catharsis for the mind that needs to hear that another person gets them or even puts the situation in a different perspective when reiterated back by someone not involved, save their relationship with the liver of the experience.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

grease is the word

so i auditioned for the musical "grease" a few weeks ago and hadn't heard anything, so assumed i didn't make it... but i just got a call from the director, shane who told me i had made it! i'm in the ensemble, which is fab. because that means i can sing and dance and don't have to memorize any lines... happy am i.

Monday, April 25, 2005

which country are you most like: a quiz!

You're Mexico!

While some people think you're poor and maybe a little corrupt, you
know where it's at, enjoying good food and nice beaches. You like to take things a
little slower than those around you, and you really wish the air were cleaner, but sometimes
compromises must be made. For some reason, Chevrolet keeps trying to sell you Novas
as well, even though they don't really go.

the Country Quiz at the href="">Blue Pyramid

ten goals (so far) for this year

1. finish ryan's gift
2. compile my writings on the living room and begin to send out inquiries to publishing houses
3. go to indonesia and do relief work & figure out what that relief work is going to look like
4. allow myself to be more radical in my relationship with God
5. go to my ten year high school reunion
6. not get dizzy when i twirl or am turned on the dancefloor
7. write at least one poem a week, no matter how shoddy the result
8. figure out who are the "orphans & widows" in my life right now & invest in them
9. put money every month in my savings account
10. become a more refined tea expert

Saturday, April 23, 2005

one world united would look like...

me standing on the corner of 25th and mission street in a throng of people, watching bodies of multiple hues shimmy and shake to the full-bodied, robust beatings of drums- all different sizes, giving off different tones. africans are dancing the samba with mexicans and brazilians, then pulling white folk into the mix, eliciting laughter and giant toothy smiles that come from those samba rhythms. me- i'm holding chet's bag as he joins the rhythm, adds his own indian style to the dance. i'm having visions of a heaven of peace and people releasing all the negative for the good, the pure, the intoxicating thing that is hope and joy, that are the undercurrents flowing in a samba rhythm.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

dancing with God

last night when i came home, i joined my friend olga and accompanied her to a salsa dance class she takes in the mission district. such fun! i danced with all these guys, one of which had marvin gaye staring down at me from the front of his t-shirt, and another guy who was named adonai- like the name of God.

imagine what it would be like to dance with God- He would have good rhythm and be patient when i get off beat. i imagine He would be a great leader on the dancefloor, if i would just let Him lead... if i stayed focused on His face when i turned, i might not get so dizzy, so easily. all in all we would have fun and laugh at the absurdity of dancing salsa to "hey jude."

and the winner is... drumroll please

i just returned from the coffee tradeshow last night. on a lark, i decided to enter us into the competition for best booth. we spent so much time, blood, sweat and tears getting it right, that i thought hey, why not?

and we won! isn't life crazy? when i read we, a tea company had won the award for best booth under 200 feet at a coffee show, i laughed my head off. and then later smiled for the camera and accepted the award. it felt really great to have all our work recognized (and as i commented to a colleague, my anal-retentiveness to keep the booth tidy commended). i'm rather proud i have to say mainly because of the fluke of it all. so of course i wanted to share it with you all.

Friday, April 15, 2005

seattle, rainy seattle

did i mention i forgot to pack an umbrella or any sort of rain-proof paraphernalia on my way to seattle? today we set up the booth and then meandered down to pike's market for a steaming cup of seafood stew and a grilled salmon sandwich. my colleague charlie and i then diverged- with him going back to the convention hall and me going into the gap and scoring this uber-cute raincoat i've had my eye on for cheap.

as i walked to the gap, i noticed this guy i thought to be homeless panhandling from his wheelchair. i walked by him like everyone else, but noticed a softness, a gentle timbre to his voice which intrigued me. i exited the store, new raincoat on my person, ready for the hotel shuttle to pick me up. so there we were- me and the homeless guy underneath the sephora awning.

i wandered over to him and asked him if he lived outside and what he was doing panhandling. he introduced himself as rodney and i noticed his hands were shrunken so he couldn't hold anything. he explained that even with ssi if he makes over $80 a day he won't get disability and his caretaker alone costs $1800. he lives inside but panhandles to help augment his day to day living expenses because he can't make ends meet any other way. he does some web design on the side that brings in a little cash- but not enough. he laughed often; he laughed often- this guy who is sitting in a wheelchair out in the chilly air as it rains all day long, kept finding things to laugh about. we got along marvelously. he told me how God watches out for him and how grateful he is for things like a roof over his head- he remembers days when that wasn't the case.

i had no cash and i offered to go buy him lunch, but he had already eaten mcdonalds. he then mentioned he would love an iced mocha, which made me laugh and shiver, but off i went to the obligatory starbucks across the street. outside of the starbucks were all these twentysomethings and teenagers- christians loitering around in hope to talk to people about jesus- you can just pick them out of a crowd, though it helped that they were reading out loud from the Bible... i bought the mocha and a piece of almond poppy loaf for him for later and headed back out into the dripping atmosphere. the cute christians smiled at me and told me to have a great day, to which i responded, "which church are you from?" and the girl was surprised i knew and flattered... kind of funny scenario really.

so i walked across the street and placed the mocha on an armrest for him. a guy was talking to him and reading a Bible passage to him- the same dude told me i would be blessed because of the kindness i was demonstrating. and i'm thinking in my head, i'm just glad i mustered up the nerve to talk to rodney in the first place since i haven't been in the most extroverted mood lately and i enjoyed connecting with him. out of my mouth came the thought that since God blesses me, i want to bless other people. and really seeing rodney suck down slowly this small token of coffee chocolate goodness did make me feel warmer inside, even as the rain continued dripping down.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


This could be the very minute
I'm aware I'm alive
All these places feel like home

With a name I'd never chosen
I can make my first steps
As a child of 25

This is the straw, final straw in the
Roof of my mouth as I lie to you
Just because I'm sorry doesn't mean
I didn't enjoy it at the time

You're the only thing that I love
It scares me more every day
On my knees I think clearer

Goodness knows I saw it coming
Or at least I'll claim I did
But in truth I'm lost for words

What have I done it's too late for that
What have I become truth is nothing yet
A simple mistake starts the hardest time
I promise I'll do anything you ask...this time

~performed by snow patrol

snafu and just plain silly moment

i'm not typically that daffy of a person but this morning i showed up at the airport with my three bags (two work related of course) a day early.

hmm. i really wanted to get on an airplane at that point. what a deflating experience it could have been- what with me having scored a free ride to sfo only for it to have been a wasted one. there were multiple airplanes taxiing on the runways and i was bound and determined to get on one. (it also helped that my colleague i am meeting to work the coffee show happened to be ticked off at the notion of me ever thinking of getting here tomorrow). so $50 later, i found myself in a cozy window seat.

and now i sit in a hotel room in seattle, trying to not look at the whole day as being wasted, having worked remotely from my office, not getting to kick up my heels and dig them into this great city- all sun today/no rain.

which makes me wonder if it's kind of like life, specifically awakening or entering into something you're supposed to undertake before it's actually supposed to happen. hmm. have you ever experienced something similar? would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

a fluttering in the spirit

i am consumed with thoughts of indonesia. so much so that yesterday i got on travelocity and started pricing airline tickets. this all started after the tsunami hit, even though i have a passion for india, i knew that i wanted to go help out/ do some form of relief work in indonesia a few months after things/relief stuff had settled in a bit. we found after 911 that there was plenty to do in nyc months after the tragedy had occurred- like feeding workers cleaning up ground zero. so indonesia's been in my head already- but i got distracted by everything going on here and chalked it up to me going next year.

i think saturday was when it started getting more tangible. it's in my thoughts constantly- and how can it not be? they just had a 8.7 earthquake two weeks ago and then another one sunday that registered 6.3. yesterday i read that a volcano on sumatra has been activated and is not flowing yet, but is on the watch. i looked at lonely planet monday night and this is what they had to say:

"The emotional toll is just unbelievable on these people," said Jude Barrand, communications director of the non-profit group Surf Aid International, who was speaking to Lonely Planet author Frank Zeller, now on assignment in Indonesia. "We're not just talking sleepless nights and panic attacks. The people from the Hinako islands are choosing to leave their lives behind completely. They prefer the unknown to what they have been through."

all signs point against going- terrorist threats against westerners (thank God literally for my dark coloring, which allows me to blend in better) earthquakes, volcano- but deep within me is this stronger push like an arrow pointing to this multiple island nation... and it's got a strong grip on me.

so i would crave your prayers if you are a praying person or God-seeking person, specifically in the when and what parts of me going.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

a good quote

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being."

~ Johann W. von Goethe

Monday, April 11, 2005

it was a beautiful day- and evening too

i experienced my first U2 concert last night. over all a good show- no i didn't cry. we had a frat party happening right in front of our seats, but through their body parts i could make out bono's sunglasses, the edge's skullcap. bono sounds as good as ever which makes me wonder how he does it... here are some highlights:
-- a racetrack of neon lights visually creating vertigo in a bright pulsating aqua hue
-- bono telling a story of giving the late pope john paul ii sunglasses
-- bono pulling out the rosary the pope gave him
-- "pride" being sung more loudly by the audience than the band
-- the excitement and enthusiasm of the u2 fans
-- this evidenced in many people actually putting on the tour t-shirts after purchasing them
-- the flags of africa digitally streaming down long strands of balls hanging from the ceiling
-- iris, pulled onstage to dance with bono during "mysterious ways" could shake her bon-bon
-- if i had to be anyone in u2, i would still want to be the edge- he's the man.
-- a message flashed at the end of one of their songs to get people to sign up to end world poverty through text messaging
-- bono had all of us raise our cell phones in the dark- the twinkling blue cell lights impressed
-- he described cell phones as a weapon of communication and commended us to get involved

Friday, April 08, 2005

two of my favorite things

catching sight of the sunlight and clouds reflecting out of a rain puddle... a complete rainbow arch stretching from tiburon over onto the house boats of sausalito

the remoulade incident

last night my friend julie lockwood exchanged her last name for pechacek as she got married to my friend chris. the wedding itself was like them, direct and to the point, but done in a very beautiful manner. i liked it when the pastor described their marital union as two individuals who will not lose themselves, but become more of who they are in the augmenting of the other. her dress, one of the main focal points of the evening had this great train with several sharp planes extending from it, looking almost like graceful origami or the lines of an egret. all the groomsmen wore tuxes with white cumberbuns and the bridesmaids wore black satin halter dresses and elbow length black satin gloves. it's fun getting all dolled up from time to time.

i have this thing with weddings. in most of life, i would say i carry myself with grace, but that all goes out the window when i'm a bridesmaid... i got through the entire ceremony unscathed; i thought, "i am home free!"

we arrived at the reception fashionably late, all pimped out in a stretch limo- a way i have never before experienced san francisco. of course we or i was hungry, having eaten the last little morsel at noon and it's now 9:45 p.m. this waiter walks by with a tray of mushroom caps, of which i snag one and a few minutes later we are announced and walk into the main room. the lovely best man and equally lovely maid of honor gave these lengthy speeches while the waiter carried around some form of sushi- ick.

when the waiter came by with a tray of crabcakes, i thought i'd died and gone to new orleans heaven. my black gloved hand picked one up, not caring it might stain my glove and as i'm dipping the crabcake into remoulade sauce, i hear my name several times being yelled out. instinctively i think something's wrong with the crabcake- maybe they have x-ray vision and can see it's actually salmon. nonetheless i turn and look at the bride who is frantic, rushing over to me declaring she needs help fixing her train.

i look down at my gloved black finger, its tip covered with remoulade sauce. i'm standing with sara, another bridesmaid who opens her hands for me to transfer the messy crabcake, with me feeling really remiss in not getting to finish it off, the photographer jumps at this "candid" moment and snaps all these photos. grumpy annelies comes out and i lick the remoulade off my satin wrapped finger and then wipe it on a napkin. after which i help adjust the train and all is solved. though my crabcake is no more.

Monday, April 04, 2005

afro funk frenzy

saturday night my roommate natalie and my friend kenny and i went to see this afro-funk band play at the "boom boom room." what a great venue! i can't believe i've never gone there before.

we walked into this dimly lit room where a haze settled above the tops of people's heads in the red light. from the back of the room, i could make out some great blues rhythms and caught sight of a dance floor! we moseyed to the back and when the band finished playing, dj jeremiah spun some west african tunes that totally reminded me of a latin american vibe. we danced and got sweaty and had so much fun.

the actual band we had gone to see were a little kooky- not my vibe at all. the lead "singer" chanted words in another language and came out wearing a purple mask lined with glitter, around her/his eyes. her/his hands reached toward the audience and the only word i could actually understand amid all the chanting and grunting was "san francisco." i turned to natalie who also had a mystified look on her face, and said, "i think we've all just been cursed."

we laughed.

Friday, April 01, 2005

drawing darth vader

i spent around three hours last night learning how to draw darth vader.

it's for a "project/gift" that has been in the works for a little over two months. if you want to hear details about the project email me and i will tell you. i started drawing anakin skywalker's older version of himself with pencil. once i semi-mastered the erasable grey etches, i moved on to ink, used on a big piece of scrap paper. shortly after that version was finished, i proceeded to handle the final page for which the design was originally intended. on this page, it started with a circle and lines drawn through it- all done in pencil. but then, later, once the foundation had been built on the page, i could start going over the lines that would stay, with the ink and erase the penciled in lines that helped me get to the final creation, but are now superfluous.

one thing this whole process showed me was to not get impatient because i might flub up part of his helmet. it takes time to draw darth vader and as long as i stayed intent on getting it done right, i didn't allow myself to feel hurried and i now think the sketch really evokes that sense of time and focus. so i'm pretty stinking excited about it- partly because of all the work that went into it and then also that i- someone who can draw but is lousy working with design perspective, was actually able to achieve it.

sometimes we surprise ourselves. and that's pretty cool. thanks for all the input on the room color- if you haven't contributed your thoughts yet, please do (see choices in "on transitioning" post). also if you care to share, post a comment on how you have surprised yourself recently.