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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Writers Block

It seems that my burgeoning career as a blogger has seriously stalled...It's not that I don't want to write, it's just that lately I don't have the greatest material running through my head.

I have this list in my notepad on my iPhone, and when inspiration strikes me on the bus or at work or anywhere else that I can't immediately sit down and pound out whatever genius idea I have, I take it down (I just misspelled "genius" by the way, which really made it hit home for me that I am not one). The problem is, when I go back and look at the things I wrote on this list, I have no idea why I thought they would be good topics for this blog, let alone a conversation with any other human.

For example (and these are verbatim):
  • "believing everything you read"
  • "everyone seems interesting and cool at first bc you convince yourself"
  • "high school-my life as Liz-nerd mentality can be just as bad"
  • "eckhart tolle being present vs. longing...longing leads to creativity?"
  • "how unattractive it is when ppls insecurities show ESP if they are trying to cover it up and over comp"
So yeah...I assume when I took those topics down I had some amazing, thought-provoking things to say about them, but I have no idea what those are now. My memory sucks, and all I'm left with are random strings of thought that probably never should have been written down in the first place. Let's view these as fun little samples of all the BS that occupies my mind day in and day out.

I mean, "everyone seems interesting and cool at first bc you convince yourself"? I wish that were true! And "longing leads to creativity"...I'm such a tortured artist at heart. "Believing everything you read"...I do have a tendency to do that, actually.

The point is, I have nothing to write about right now because I'm a normal fucking person working a 9 to 5. I've chosen not to divulge any overly personal details in this blog, which is a big setback in terms of keeping it interesting and maintaining a steady stream of material. I mean, you want drama...you should see my diary. Please don't actually read my diary, if you know me and know where I keep it. But I'm just saying...there is some real scandalous material in there. It's just none of your business.

What can I tell you about myself lately...I've had R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" stuck in my head ever since that football player sang it so intensely on Glee two weeks ago. My car insurance premium is due, and I mailed it this morning, which sucks because I'm going to be broke until my next paycheck. I accidentally left my TV on all day today while I was at work.

See? I have NOTHING TO REPORT! And the sad thing is, I'm content with my mediocrity right now. The most exciting thing I have to look forward to tonight after I put down this laptop is dinner, and I'm pretty fucking excited about that. If I want material, I'm going to have to go undercover as a drug mule or something and write about that. And I REFUSE to do that.

Uneventfully yours,

Jessica

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Living in the Moment

So much to say right now...first of all, I've been extremely sick for the past week and especially for the past two days, and today I started feeling like a human again. And it feels amazing. There's nothing like having a bad cold to make you realize how awesome things like breathing and not sleeping propped up in a full sitting position are. By the way, can we please reallocate some of the resources being used for, say, the war on terror, to finding a cure for the common cold??? Thanks.

Maybe it's the fact that my mind is no longer clouded by three types of cold medicine as it has been for days on end, but I just had the most introspective bus ride EVER and I'm going to share all my philosophical findings with you right here right now. YES. Get ready. It's my 30th post and I'm going all out, getting deep on you. What, you didn't think there was a deep side to me? You thought that all I do is party and then complain about how I don't want to party anymore but then go party again the next night?

Well you're wrong. I also read (chapter books!) from time to time, and I just read A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart Tolle is this German New Age writer/philosopher/spiritual guide and he's definitely introduced me to a new way of thinking. I'm not going to write a book review because I recently realized how much I hate writing book reviews, especially for a certain website that has an asshat for an editor. That said, I recommend this book.

The main takeaway from A New Earth in my opinion is learning to be present in the moment you are living in now. Dwelling on the past or longing for the future ensures that you will never be satisfied with your life. Also, learning not to immediately judge a situation as "good" or "bad" and simply taking it in and dealing with whatever comes your way. It's a pretty basic concept really, but it has honestly changed how I live.

For example: on Friday I drove to work, which I usually don't do because I work near the Giant's stadium and there is a game basically every day, meaning the parking garages in the area charge exorbitant prices because they can, and everyone loses. Anyhow, the first garage I attempted to park in recently made the stellar business decision not to accept credit cards, so I couldn't park there and had to drive to another garage. As I was pulling out, I failed to notice the car driving down the alley I was turning into, and panicked. At the last minute I saw the other car and tried to break but instead accelerated, lurching into it.

Here is what the old Jessica would have done, and I know this because I've reacted this way in every other accident I've been involved in: burst into tears. Partially because I was upset, partially to gain sympathy from the other party (I'm subconsciously calculating and I can't help it). But this time was different. I think I said "FUCK!" and then I sat there for a second. I told myself, "yeah, that just happened, it was your fault, and now you need to deal with it". And I did.

Yeah, it sucked, but me being melodramatic would have actually only made it suck more. The same concept applied today when the shady insurance-recommended mechanic informed me that my bumper will cost $1300 to fix because some foam spring something behind the bumper and some type of light were damaged also (I DON'T SPEAK CAR). I'm actually fully aware that I'm probably getting screwed but guess what? I've accepted it. This is what is happening and I can judge the situation as "bad", or I can just see it as something that simply "is".

Focusing on the present moment also changes the way I view what is "real". I feel like I've tried so hard to ensure that people and situations in my life are "real": a "real" man, a "real" job, "real" friends...the exception being my hair color, which as my sister will smugly affirm, I have spent large amounts of time and money to get it as far from "real" as possible. What the fuck is "real" though? If we live by Eckhart Tolle's beliefs, every moment is real, because the present moment is all that matters.

I like to think about this is in regards to romance. How many times have you told yourself that something you thought you had with someone wasn't "real" because it didn't work out the way you wanted it to? Maybe it was real...if you felt it in that moment, it was real in that moment. Even if the other person didn't feel the same as you, if in that moment you believed that they did then maybe it was. In your pathetic, desperate mind only, yes, but still.

The more I write, the more I can see how this line of thinking could easily lead to delusion. All I know is that yes, I want to live in the moment. But I don't want to forget the past. But I don't want to dwell on it either. And I do care about the future. But I don't want to miss out on what is in front of me because I'm so focused on it. WHAT DO I WANT???

I want to be able to capture the moment of my choice and come back to it, just for a second, when I feel like I'm forgetting it. You know those moments that just make you feel an insane amount of happiness and freedom and excitement? How do you hold on to them? There is only one thing that has ever been able to transport me back to a certain moment, and that is music. The thing is, that only works if a specific song was playing in the moment I want to remember.

Sometimes I can't tell if my life is completely awesome or completely pathetic. The last couple days I've been alone on my couch surrounded by a mountain of kleenex, so the consensus was most definitely pathetic. But today I feel better, and I still have a new job that I love, and killer friends, and two more days until the weekend, and I'm leaning towards awesome. I guess it doesn't matter either way, since I'm no longer judging situations. Really though, if you've read to this point I have to both commend and thank you. I have no closing argument, so I'll end with a link to the song that I have been playing obsessively for the past week. It's AWESOME.

Paper Romance-Groove Armada



xoxo

Jess

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Burning Man

I can't believe it's been an entire week since I left Burning Man and came back to reality, or "the default world" as I heard it described there. I've been wanting to write this again and again but every time I tried I gave up because there is no way that I could ever put that experience into words, and it's frustrating. Here I am again though, sitting in front of this damn computer, and I'm going to try.

Most people have heard of Burning Man before, but it exists in their mind as an abstract concept; a strange festival in the desert where a bunch of dirty hippies run around naked and burn stuff on drugs. I'm not going to pretend that that doesn't go on, because it totally does, but Burning Man is so much more than that for most people. This was my second year, and my favorite year thus far.

Describing this chronologically would be difficult, because once you arrive at Burning Man time sort of melts into itself and ceases to be important. My friends and I left San Francisco around 9 am last Wednesday morning, endured an extremely long and arduous drive out into the desert, and still didn't manage to set up camp before dark. To make matters worse, the first place we tried to set up camp was "reserved", so we had to put everything back in the car and resume our search for an available campsite. I'm really selling you on this, aren't I...

The next place we stopped to set up camp seemed available, but just to be sure we asked two guys lounging there. They told us that someone named "Pond Scum" had saved the space for some friends, but he would probably be ok with us camping there. That was good enough for us at that point, and we pitched our tent in record time, threw on some weird clothes and headed out to the Playa. I never ended up meeting the infamous Pond Scum, but PS, if you're reading this, thanks for letting me camp on your turf.

Let me backtrack now, since after this point in my story time has no bearing anyway. Burning Man is held annually in Black Rock Desert, which is a huge, dried out lake bed from the fucking Pleistocene era. Now it's a desert of fine, white silt and it's referred to as Playa. This location is literally one of the most beautiful places I have ever been...especially at sunrise and sunset. It's freezing at night and blistering hot during the day, not to mention the dust/sand storms that randomly come without notice. And I love it. And I don't even camp in the real world.

Keep in mind that every year Burning Man, or "Black Rock City" is completely recreated from nothing...nothing is left behind from the year before because the rule is to "leave no trace". 50,000 people come to this desert in the middle of nowhere (and trust me, it is in the middle of nowhere), build a city with art and installations, party their ass off, burn shit, and then take it all with them when they leave. There is no trash disposal there, so you're responsible for anything you brought with you. These rules are actually followed year after year, which is why the party is allowed to keep happening.

My favorite part about Burning Man at night. I prefer to sleep during the day rather than brave the heat, and nighttime is also party time obviously, so most of my experiences there are nocturnal. Once the sun set each night, my friends and I would get dressed (and by dressed I mean piece together the brightest, furriest, sparkliest components of our wardrobes), fill up our Camelbaks (which constantly leak leaving you with a soaking wet back all night, by the way) and head towards the action.

The festival is set up like a clock, with all of the camping areas on the outer edge named for times (ours was 9:30), and with nightclubs and such in the center. As you get closer and closer to the middle you can hear the beat of music coming from all directions, see crazy lazers and LED lights beaming across the desert, and feel the excited energy of everyone around you. There are hundreds of things to do at any given time at Burning Man and it would be impossible to experience all of them in one trip (or even one lifetime), so I'll just name a few of the things I was lucky enough to do:

-Danced my ass off every single night at numerous "nightclubs", my favorite being the "Opulent Temple", where you party with hundreds (thousands?) of other people underneath the stars while fire spews above you in time with the music and lights. Ummmmm yeah, it was sick.
-Climbed lots of huge, amazing art installations. Everything at Burning Man is interactive, so it's essentially an enormous playground for adults.
-Stumbled into a roller disco rink in the middle of the desert and attempted to roller skate.
-Wandered around. Wandering is a big part of Burning Man actually...generally the consensus is walk until you find good music, cool art, or interesting people. You end up stopping a lot.
-Jumped on an enormous art car decorated like a boat with a dj and dance floor that drove us all out miles into the desert so we could barely see the lights of the festival any more but nobody cared and it was awesome.
-Watched in awe with thousands of people as the "man" and the temple burned. Indescribable beauty and power in those moments.
-Met some of the nicest, most generous, beautiful, interesting people existing on this planet. From all corners of the world. Partied with them like it was 1999.
-Grew even closer to my existing friends that were there. Love you guys!

If that seems like a lot, it's nothing. It doesn't even scratch the surface. Because it isn't what you do at Burning Man, it's how you feel when you're there and when you return to the real world. A lot of people actually consider Burning Man to be "home", which is why everyone is greeted upon arrival to the festival with "welcome home" and a hug. Yeah, yeah, it sounds cheesy and maybe it is but it's also real. I can't explain why, and I just tried for about ten minutes and then deleted everything I wrote, so just take my word for it. Or see for yourself.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's the freakin weekend baby I'm about to have me some fun

Why do Friday afternoon and Sunday morning have to feel like worlds apart? Why do I always go into the weekend feeling like a rock star and end it feeling like a pathetic loser? How long can this go on before I finally find that thing called "balance" that people speak of?

To add insult to injury, I'm 25 now. I've come to terms with the fact that that isn't very old in the larger scheme of things, but it's not exactly young either. What I mean is that the guilt I feel when I wake up hungover and miserable on a Sunday morning is only magnified by the fact that I've had a quarter century to get all this out of my system and it's still there. My favorite place in the world to be is still the dance floor, as cheesy as that sounds. I still live for the weekends.

The problem is, there is a very real dark side to partying...there comes a point in the night when everyone's eyes become soulless and glazed over and there is this unspoken feeling that everyone is trying to stay out as long as possible to avoid dealing with reality, and then it all starts to feel a little sad. I've started to wonder what I'm trying to escape from...I like my life.

It bothers me that this is even an issue, because it's A. easily avoidable with even an ounce of willpower and B. one of so many things that people in their 20s talk about as if they were the first person ever to experience when really it's old news. Also, I'm fully aware that if I were writing this on a Friday afternoon rather than a Sunday evening, the tone would most likely be a lot different. It's a vicious cycle, but not vicious enough to have any tangible consequences, which is why I keep repeating it.

I have this vision of my ideal weekend self: spending my days exercising and catching up with friends over tea followed by peaceful evenings of home improvement projects, then in bed by eleven. Maybe this will be me someday but for now the most I can hope for is to strike a balance. Go out one night per weekend instead of two. Come home before the club closes. Try my hardest not to dance on any tables.

I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I cant.

Today was a great day for equality (Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional!) but a horrible day for ME. Today was the day I cried not once, but twice in public, both times because of evil MUNI employees. I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but that's what went down.

I rarely cry in public. Just the other day I saw an article on Jezebel.com titled "How to deal with public weepers" and thought to myself "Why would anyone cry in public? God, people are so weird." In retrospect, this is all probably karma for thinking that. Awesome.

Let me start from the beginning. I woke up this morning and before I even opened my eyes, I could tell it was going to be a bad day. I couldn't even summon up the energy to do my morning affirmations (a new thing I've been trying), because telling myself "I am a powerful creator of good in my life" just felt lame and annoying. I tried on five outfits and still walked out the door looking like shit. I was doomed. I jumped on the bus, swiped my Clipper Card (bus pass) and instead of hearing the "BEEEPPPPPP" that it usually makes, I instead heard the "beep beep beep" of the card being declined for lack of funds.

That bus driver didn't seem to care, and I figured it was a fluke because I set that thing up to autofill itself every month, so I continued on to Embarcadero station, the second stop on my route. This time I had to scan my card to get through the gates, and when it declined for the second time, I had no choice but to go talk to the man sitting in the ticket office. I explained to him that my Clipper card was being declined, but autopay was set up so I didn't know why. He started barking at me that if I didn't have a receipt for the payment MUNI police was going to give me a ticket.

Flustered, I stormed over to a newsstand ten feet away and started rifling through my purse for coins to buy a ticket. After watching me do this for a good two minutes, the ticket man came up to me and handed me a transfer. Nice, right? Well when I walked back up to the gate and waited for him to buzz me through, he took the opportunity to start lecturing me about my "attitude" over his microphone. So that everyone walking by could hear. I was forced to apologize and hurry down to the Subway, fuming at this point.

The second I got on the bus, the fucking tears started coming. I tried holding them back, taking deep breaths, looking down and then up, but they wouldn't stop. I finally resigned to crouching in my seat, hiding my face with my hair and wiping my nose with my sleeve. When I reached my stop, I rushed off and tried as hard as I could to pull it together before walking into work.

Surprisingly, the work day went by pretty smoothly, and I was convinced that things were looking up for me. I had gone online and put more money on my Clipper card and printed out the receipt, just in case there was an issue on the way home. There was. Getting back onto the 38AX bus, the card again was declined. I turned to the bus driver and explained that I had refilled my card, but as it said on the receipt that I was showing him, it can take 72 hours for the payment to process.

"YOU PAY FARE!!!" he screamed at me, as the other passengers filed past me, taking all the good seats. I tried explaining again, as I dug through my purse for coins that I knew weren't there, but to no avail. He just kept screaming. Overwhelmed, embarrassed and defeated, I simply turned and walked off the bus. A second later, the tears were back. I was crying in public again, and now I was on Market Street (the busiest street in the city).

Some days are just harder than others. The simplest things become monumentally difficult and frustrating, and usually the more upset you become, the worse things get. Today was definitely one of those days. Just existing was a challenge, let alone riding MUNI. Call it a mood swing, quarter-life crisis, whatever. It was just a bad day...part of me wishes I had followed my instinct and not even ventured out of bed.

There is a silver lining, though. Once I stopped crying for the second time and gathered up the change and will to hop on the next bus, I called Clipper card services. After AT&T dropped my call four times and I sat on hold for 20 minutes, I was connected to a wonderful gentleman by the name of Julian...or Joseph...or Juan. He listened to my issue, agreed with me that bus drivers are assholes, and credited my card $6 for my troubles. It doesn't sound like much, but after the day I'd had it restored my hope in humanity (and public transportation).

Another bonus is that I finally felt strongly enough about something to write again! MUNI, as much as I hate you, you are my muse.

xoxo

Jess

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Living Alone


So I was just returning from happy hour, thinking about how amazing it is coming home to my own little studio, everything just the way I left it and noone to answer to but myself...

And this is what I walk into: shattered glass all over the floor. A picture had inexplicably fallen off the wall, a picture that has hung happily for four months with no issues, now suddenly on the ground. I stood there staring at it for about two minutes, and came up with three possible explanations:

1. There was an earthquake. This is San Francisco, its totally possible.
2. My upstairs neighbor, who has a penchant for stomping around, usually between the hours of 6:00 am and 7:00 am, got a little overzealous doing...whatever it is he does up there. Zumba? Capoiera?
3. I have a ghost. I'm not really ok with this explanation, and I don't have any sage or psychics handy so lets consider this a highly unlikely explanation.

Now I have a fucking empty space on the wall, which is totally noticeable and annoying. Also, even though I did the best job I could sweeping the floor in 4 inch heels and with 3 drinks in my system, I'm not entirely confident that I got every single shard. So what if I get up in the middle of the night to pee and step on glass, fall down bleeding, and my cries for help are not heard for days? Will anyone even wonder where I was?

I've really loved living alone thus far...I can watch Hannah Montana and order pizza and play dress up and sing dramatic renditions of "Careless Whisper" as much as I want. Not that I do any of those things. I'm just saying, they are things that I could do if I wanted. My point is, I've never felt scared or lonely once since I moved in in March.

I'm not going to let this strange little incident change that. All I'll say is, to my friends, if you haven't heard from me in a few days...just call me, k? And if I don't answer, come check on me? K thanks!!!

xoxo

Jess

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Miss Independent

One of my friends, who is 24 years old like me, saw a financial adviser yesterday to go over all that boring crap like her 401 k and the status bank accounts. She emailed me this afterward

"My goal was to own a condo by the time I am 30. I was informed that it would be virtually impossible unless I experience a drastic increase in income.

She said that I could aggressively save 10-12 more years and hope its enough to put a down payment on a condo in that market. She said that she did not want to discourage my dreams, even though they are not feasible. She paused and then suggested, 'or you can get married in the next 5 years and you would definitely have enough!'"

(In case you were wondering...yes she really writes like that in casual emails to friends. Love it.)

If I were Carrie Bradshaw (just saw SATC2 by the way...meh), my commentary would go something like this:

"We're taught as little girls that we don't need a man, and we can achieve our goals all by ourselves. But what happens when we really do need a man to achieve those goals? Was woman's lib...just one big fib?"

Well Carrie Bradshaw I am not...so I say:

What a fucking bitch!!! If my financial adviser told me that I would spit on her. then I would tell her that I am a lesbian and this state doesn't ALLOW me to get married and make her feel really awful. I mean seriously, is suggesting that a 24 year old woman get married within 5 years in order to afford a condo really considered best practices in financial advising?

I would respect this woman more if she had told my friend to fly to Columbia, smuggle a package home, cut it with some baking powder and head to 16th and Valencia to sell that shit. Or whatever the fastest way to make 100K is these days.

So, to my girl, here's to you for not being a gold digger and I'm sure we can find you a better financial adviser on yelp or something.

xoxo

Jess

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

NEED

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you NEED it? You are going about your daily, mundane life, accepting all of the things that bother you but you know you can tolerate because you've been doing it for so long, and all of a sudden this THING presents itself to you, this THING that will change everything, that will make things possible that you haven't even dared to dream of because you are so jaded and beat down and resigned to the mediocre?

I understand why people stay in bad situations for so long. Even if the situation is bad, at least it's familiar. Nothing is scarier than putting it all on the line, admitting you aren't happy and you can do better for yourself. The second you try, you open yourself up for failure. The second you try, you openly admit that your everyday reality is not good enough. What are you supposed to do then, if this opportunity, whatever it may be, doesn't work out? Just go back to your subpar existence and pretend you don't know what else is out there?

When you want something to this degree, every single breath feels like it could be your last. Or your first. Your entire being is consumed by it. You CAN'T pretend that everything is normal, because it's not. Once you've seen what you are missing, what life could be like if only this one thing could just work out for you this one freaking time, the status quo just doesn't cut it.

Or maybe you are making too much of this. Maybe nothing can change your reality until you can change your way of thinking. Maybe all you really need is air and water. Maybe you are certifiably fucking insane and if this one thing doesn't work out for you you are going to be even crazier, and the world better watch out if it doesn't because there will be hell to pay.

This has got to be the most unbearable state of existence. At the same time though, it is the most alive I've felt in a while. I apologize profusely for this post. Also: I am slightly intoxicated. I'll follow up when I'm sober and sane again.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I ♥ SF

I think I've found the love of my life. It's a city...San Francisco, specifically. I realized this yesterday while lounging in the sun at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park. Hippie Hill is exactly what it sounds like...a hill full of hippies...but what makes it amazing is the drum circle. I've only been on sunny days, but each time I've been there is a communal drum circle at the bottom of the hill that anyone can join, and it never stops. Yesterday the drumming continued without pause for the entire 3 hours I was there. How amazing is that?

My romance with San Francisco began over ten years ago. I was growing up two hours north in the dreaded Ukiah, a small Northern California town where nothing ever happens...at least nothing good. My oldest sister lived in San Francisco, and since she was an adult already, I was allowed to visit her for entire weekends with no parental supervision. She lived in Bernal Heights, and I remember walking fascinated through the bustling Mission district, perusing the discount clothing stores and eating delicious Mexican food. I would beg her to play 94.9 on the radio, which at that time focused mainly on dance music (remember this?). When my dad picked me up and drove me back across the Golden Gate Bridge to hell, I would silently cry in the back seat (we've already established that I'm overly dramatic at times).

My senior year of high school, I got the idea that I needed to move to Southern California. It seemed so glamorous and idyllic, like a movie. I ended up at UC Santa Barbara. It was everything a party school promises to be, and I was satisfied. For a couple years. Then I started feeling claustrophobic, like I was surrounded by clones in Juicy Coutoure and Chanel sunglasses (which is strange, because that is an exact description of myself at that time...go figure).

I missed Northern California. Not Ukiah, but San Francisco. How is it possible that I missed a place I had never lived? I don't really know, but every time I drove home for a visit and passed through the city, something about the air here just comforted me. I decided to transfer to UC Berkeley. I didn't get in. I appealed the rejection, and prayed every night. I was finally accepted.

Six years later, here I am. Looking out the window on a foggy Sunday morning, pronouncing my love for this city. I think what I like most about San Francisco is that it is so open-minded and accepting. There is always someone weirder than you, and there is a place for everyone. It's a city that embraces music, food, art, progress, innovation. And it's freaking beautiful...I can walk to three different beaches from my house, all of which take my breath away every single time.

The one drawback about San Francisco is that it's small...avoiding someone, or even the memory of someone here is difficult. Walking down the street you will suddenly stumble across a place that reminds you of a time that reminds you of a person...but that is also a beautiful aspect of this city. I may never leave.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Island Living


Sooo...getting back into the daily grind is proving to be a little difficult. I was gchatting with a friend, and she calculated her hourly wage based on her salary, which turned out to be a pretty depressing figure. And I make less than her per year. This naturally caused us to question our career choices...why are we trying so hard (well...sorta hard) to climb the corporate ladder to afford our metropolitan lifestyles? Is living in the city THAT worth it? Obviously we needed to consider an alternative: community island living.

The scenario I have in my mind is a collective of about 50 really cool (preferably attractive) people ages 23-35 pooling together all of our savings or even just emptying our checking accounts and building a huge commune in, say, Bali. It would be helpful if some of these people had family money to help start us off, but it's not a prerequisite. Once we've established ourselves and done a Costco run (is there Costco in Bali?), then we will figure out how to become sustainable. Obviously we can fish and grow pineapples for sustinance, but we will need a means to pay the electricity bill and the cable bill (I still want to be able to watch Vampire Diaries, ok? It's my new favorite show).

So far my friend and I came up with cocaine and pies as a way to generate income. I think that part of the plan needs about ten more minutes of solid critical thinking. The point is, we will find a way to support ourselves without relying on corporate America. At this point, the real living can begin.

Our days will begin with group yoga, followed by a brisk run across the island and back (um how big is Bali again?). Then everyone will make breakfast (fish and pineapple) and head to the beach for a good 6 hours of sunbathing. We'll return to the commune for siesta, followed by book club. Then we'll prepare dinner (fish and pineapple) and get ready for the nightly party. Yes, there will be a party every night, and we'll play our own music and dance as we sip homemade rum. Finally, we'll drift off to sleep under the stars.

I get that I'm not the first person to have this vision, but really I'm wondering why more people don't go this route. We made a list of pros and cons and the only cons we could come up with for leaving society for good were:
  • no happy hour
  • no Sephora
  • no restaurants
I can't believe it either, but these are the only things that motivate me to be a member of society. Obviously I won't need happy hour on the commune because I won't need to unwind since I won't work. Restaurants I'll miss, especially on a diet consisting solely of fish, pineapple and rum, but it's not a dealbreaker. No Sephora...this is a problem, I'm not going to lie. However, if I'm really tan, which I undoubtedly will be after sunbathing for 6 hours a day, I won't need much makeup.

The writing is on the wall...I'm actually surprised it took me this long to come up with this plan. It's probably because I was scarred by small town living for 18 years. That's totally different than island living though. I'll just have to be really careful when selecting the 50 members of my commune and make sure that everyone is really interesting and fun so that I don't get sick of them. Does it sound like I'm starting a cult?

Never mind...who's with me???

Monday, May 17, 2010

Eat, Walk, Party






Focus for a moment on the images above. Notice how one of these things is not like the others? The first picture is of Opium, a breathtaking nightclub on the water filled with beautiful people in Barcelona. That is where I was Friday night. The second picture is of Bay to Breakers, San Francisco's annual massive race/street party aka the greatest event of the year hands down. That is where I was Sunday, in my warrior costume. The third picture is a cubicle. In a climate-controlled sterile office. That's where I was today.

Is it just me, or does life have a way of leaping from one extreme to the next? A week ago I was in Paris eating creme brulee and now I'm glued to the couch going through a box of kleenex (it was basically inevitable that I would get sick considering the amount of germs I've been exposed to in the last two weeks. That doesn't sound right but it stays). Anyway, you may have guessed that I've been traveling in Europe--Germany, France, Italy and Spain to be exact, which explains my absence. It's really annoying because if I don't write for a while I start blogging my experiences in my head...as I'm experiencing them. It's incredibly cheesy.

I don't want to go into full detail about Europe because, let's be honest, hearing about other people's trips is kind of boring. I could tell you how amazing this:



or this:





were, but really its not the same unless you experience it first-hand.

And no, I didn't hook up with any European men. That seems to be what most of my friends really want to know. Ok, I may or may not have made out with a Parisian in a nightclub. But making out isn't the same as "hooking up"(it's 2010). Besides, only God can judge me, and I visited a LOT of churches on this trip so I'm golden.

There is one thing I absolutely have to discuss that was discovered on this trip, however. It is the French hot dog. I'm not even sure where or how I procured one of these, but it was around 6 am on Sunday morning after a long night out and it was mind blowing. Imagine a fresh baguette shelled out with not one, but TWO hot dogs inside, smothered in melted cheese. This description doesn't even do it justice. I would show a picture, but the picture REALLY doesn't do it justice; it just looks gross. You'll just have to take my word on this one...it definitely would give the bacon dog cart a run for its money.

So did I have a great trip? Yes I did. But I'm not going to sugarcoat it...there were some challenging moments. Traveling isn't all hot foreign men and amazing food. There is also lugging a 40 pound suitcase up and down the stairs of the metro station, and searching for the Catacombs for 30 minutes only to discover that they are closed. Oh, and not to mention Spanish boys at Opium who act like they want to dance with you but really just want to pickpocket you.

I think because being in a foreign country brings you so far out of your element, you have no choice but to adapt and in turn grow stronger. Still, my favorite memories from this trip were the moments when I felt at home even though I was so far from it. Stumbling through the streets arm in arm with my new friend Nevena to McDonald's after a night of drinking and dancing in Munich, or sitting on my old friend Nikole's couch in Italy listening to her strum the guitar and sing Michael Franti...these were the moments that made all those hours in planes, trains and buses worth it.

And as always, every time I leave I'm reminded of how much I love San Francisco upon my return. There could have been no better welcome than the always-epic Bay to Breakers with my "tribe". So, as much as my nose is running right now, I guess I really can't complain. That is precisely what makes life beautiful...the lows make the highs that much better!

xoxo Jess

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Moderation


A friend recently showed me her "Weekly Debauchery Analysis" spreadsheet. It's an excel document that tracks things like alcohol and cigarette intake, along with money spent and how many workouts she did that week. At the end of the week after entering in all the totals, the spreadsheet has a "status" column that lets her know if she did a "GOOD JOB" or "FAIL" (did you know you can do that with a formula in excel? I didn't).

Obviously the fact that she tracks her vices in a spreadsheet is hilarious, but I completely understand the impetus for doing so. It seems like most of my friends are constantly involved in an ongoing personal struggle for moderation...another defining characteristic of being in your twenties I suppose. I too am constantly trying to find balance and a lot of the time failing miserably.

We want to be mature, responsible adults who eat well, exercise, and balance our checkbooks. And sometimes we are. The problem is...there is still this kid lurking inside of us who wants to eat pizza and spend frivolously and party like it's 2004. What makes it even worse is that this bratty kid lurking within knows that there is no one to reprimand him/her or cut him/her off. This fucking kid has access to our bank accounts. It knows our pin number.

Last week, I was convinced that I was turning into my dad. In one single day I ate oatmeal with raisins in it for breakfast (a meal that my dad used to force me to eat when I was little), went grocery shopping with my reusable, recycled grocery bags (my dad used those bags before it was "cool" to be green and it always kind of embarrassed me that everyone else got nice, new paper bags for their groceries and we had dingy canvas bags), and ended the night reading a book on climate change that, surprise surprise, my dad lent me (Now or Never by Tim Flannery and I would recommend it).

"I'm such a grown-up", I thought to myself. Until Saturday rolled around and I had two birthday parties to go to. And Saturday turned into Sunday. And I hadn't slept yet. And I spent more money than Jay Z does on an average night popping bottles with Beyonce and the crew. So no...I guess I'm not that much like my dad after all (he was probably asleep by 10 PM that night, having enjoyed a healthy homemade dinner and taken his dogs for a walk).

The point is, this is a constant cycle for me. I eat immaculately for three days and then gorge myself on more Panda Express then I would ever publicly admit. I save my money all week bringing my lunch to work and making dinner at home and then blow hundreds of dollars on clothes and shoes in an impulsive shopping spree (why is everything at Urban Outfitters so freaking CUTE right now?). I try to reprimand the kid inside me but she just tells me to fuck off and that she is young and fabulous and you that you only live once.

My hairdresser told me today that moderation becomes easier naturally as you get older, and I'm hoping that he's right. I'm getting sick of babysitting myself. But at the same time...that kid does know how to have a good time. And she never gets herself in too much trouble. And she has great taste in clothes. Today she bought the cutest black dress with gold buttons...

I guess she can hang around for a little bit longer.


xoxo

Jess

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Regret



All the things that we accept will be the things that we regret

Remember that Ashanti song? Foolish? No, I'm not going to get into how much better R&B was when I was in high school again. I promise. I just like those lyrics...they so accurately describe what it's like to be in an unhealthy relationship or situation with someone.

As far as regret goes, well--you could say that I'm familiar with that emotion. I've done countless things that I later regretted, most of them between 1999 and 2007 (the beginning of high school to the end of college). More than one of them involved adopting a cat that turned out to be crazy and had to be given away. Yes, I've done some colossally stupid things, but miraculously I bounced back from all of them with minimal permanent damage. Still, out of all the ill-advised, immature decisions I've made in my 24 years, the only ones I would really take back if given the chance are those concerning boys.

We've all been there...the "bad boys". The settling. The second, third and fourth chances. Turning a blind eye to the other women involved. The mental instability. The DRAMA.

Are women still telling each other that we "had to go through all that" in order to be able to appreciate a good guy when we meet him? Because I'm not so sure I'm buying that. If I could just rewind to me at age 14, basically a blank slate, and date NO ONE until now, would I really be worse off? Maybe I wouldn't know how to identify specific brands of loser in under 5 minutes, but if I met a decent guy who wasn't out to ruin my life it wouldn't matter.

Obviously I'm not talking about every guy. Some of them were nice, and held doors open for me and didn't cheat on me and made me dinner and bought me jewelry. Obligatory disclaimer as I recently discovered that one of my exes reads this blog. I don't regret you (much)! Yay.

Now that that's out of the way, lets get back to the point...there are some men who I honestly can say that I wish I never met, and I actually say that not out of anger, but from a place of calm detachment (I've been meditating...I'll explain later). It's entirely possible that I'm bitter, but I don't think it detracts from my point. These men that I speak of served no purpose except to waste my time. So yeah...I regret them and I wish I never met them. I'm not going to pretend that they taught me some valuable lesson that I can treasure for the rest of my life. They were just assholes.

Maybe everything in life isn't a lesson that we have to learn the hard way. Maybe we should just be smarter, and look out for ourselves better than I did. Tell your daughters.

I heard something recently that I wish someone had told me back in the day, when I was 14. A recently single friend said she was told to consider herself a "winning lottery ticket". I think that is a great way to approach dating...yeah this guy is really cute and he smells good and he just said something SOOOO witty...but does he really deserve to win the lottery? NOT NECESSARILY. Plus, the more people that win the lottery, the lower the value of the prize (aka don't be a slore).

Honestly though, the older I get and the more I establish myself, the less I want to make concessions when it comes to relationships. Like Kelly from Real Housewives of New York City says, "I've created a fabulous life for myself, and I love living it". My friends and family are amazing and I don't want to bring someone around them who doesn't deserve to be there. I know, I know, I'm growing up. It's so special. So...lets just say that's why I'm still single (notbecauseonlyfreakswanttodateme).

Here's to no regrets!!!

xoxo

Jess






Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Missed Calling

I just saw The Runaways and now I'm feeling like, damn, why am I not a rock star? I know everyone thinks that sometimes, but I actually had the opportunity! I'm musical! If only I hadn't quit piano lessons at 8. I was like, UGH, piano lessons are so LAME, I'd way rather spend my time listening to my Raffi tape and making Fimo clay figurines and writing in my diary about how much I hate my sister.

And then, if only I hadn't quit playing saxophone in the school band when I was 12! I could have started the first all-girl saxophone band! It would have been sick, seriously. But NO, I was like, being in band is LAME, I'd way rather listen to the Backstreet Boys and watch TRL and shoplift makeup from Rite Aid (kidding...or am I?). Was my dad right, that I would regret quitting band? Please say my dad wasn't right.

It's so ironic that playing an instrument is social suicide in middle school, but as an adult playing in a band is basically the coolest thing ever. And even more ironic that the "cool" kids in junior high who think being in band is dorky are now either working at Hooters or coaching football at a junior college somewhere. And the really nerdy smart kids are running companies and peering down at us all from their penthouses. More on junior high later.

Anyway, throughout the movie, there were two women sitting a few seats away who obviously came of age in the 70's, and they were having a ball. Kristen Stewart's Joan Jett impression (which I honestly can't knock as much as I'd like to) was straight up taking them back. They were dancing and singing and clapping in their seats to "I Love Rock and Roll" while all the twenty-somethings gave them side eye. I can't even begin to imagine the crazy memories that movie was stirring up in those women and honestly, I was a little jealous.

I kept thinking, will this be me and my friends when they make the Lady Gaga movie in twenty years? Will we be jamming out in the movie theater when Lady Gaga (played by someone who is not even an embryo yet) steps onto stage to perform "Pokerface" for the first time? Probably. And all the damn kids will be shaking their heads at us with a combination of disgust and sympathy, and we won't give a shit because they have no idea. Their music will probably all be produced and performed by robots programmed to create exactly what the masses will eat up with a spoon. I mean that's where we're heading, right?

Whatever. I'm getting kind of sidetracked. My point is that I could have been a rock star by now, and instead I'm sitting here in sweat pants setting my alarm for 6:45 am. I drive a Civic (a sick motherfucking new Civic that I freaking love, but you get my point). I pay my taxes (I'm the whole package). I budget (poorly). I don't even leave dirty dishes in the sink anymore! If someone doesn't start a band with me ASAP it will be too late!!! I don't remember how to read music or play any instruments, but I'll dance around onstage in leather and pretend to sing! PLEASE!!! My coolness is decreasing by the minute!

*Sigh*

xoxo Jess

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Douche Chronicles, Part II.

First of all, I would like to start off by saying I had an amazing weekend, and I had criminal amounts of fun. While I was having all this fun, I realized something. I completely forgot about an entire category of San Francisco douchey guys! So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to...

4. The Industry Dude



You'll meet this gem at an after-hours rooftop loft party in SOMA (I did). He'll ask you for a light and then strike up a conversation, probably about how bummed he is that he "left his mic at Mighty". Yeah, he's an MC...are you impressed? According to him, you should be, because there are just so few good MC's in this city. (He may also be a bartender...the point is, he is hooked up and has the skinny on the happenin after hours).

After talking to him for about twenty minutes, you may actually think you are having an interesting, meaningful conversation, even though he seems really fucked up and he's asked you the same questions a few times. Then he'll stare into your eyes and say:

"You're really beautiful. You know, I just want someone who I can cuddle with, like, once a week. I rage way too much and I need someone to make me stay in. But just, like, once a week."

Yeah guys...that really happened to me this weekend. As flattered as I was that MC douche wanted to spend one night a week "cuddling" with me, I made my exit soon after. And by "made my exit" I mean grabbed my girl and ran away in the opposite direction of this freak show.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What is my problem?


So I have this dilemma that repeats itself just about every single day, and leads me to believe that I may be borderline obsessive compulsive. My daily (weekday) routine is as follows: wake up to the sound of guitar strumming on my iPhone alarm, shower, makeup, hair, clothes, pack a lunch, and go. Thrilling, I know. As I'm driving to work, though, my heart suddenly seizes and I am filled with panic. I left the iron/straightener/heater/curling iron on! (A lot of heat is involved in being me...pun intended). I have to turn back! My apartment is going to burn down!

I'm usually halfway to work at this point, so I try to calm myself down and remember the EXACT moment in which I unplugged whatever device I am worried about. Usually it works and I can forget about it until sometime midday at which point I reason that if my apartment had burned down I would have gotten a call by then. And (KNOCK ON WOOD...for reals) to this point I have never once left anything plugged in, let alone on. So why am I so worried? It's just weird.

xoxo

Jess

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oh, Pandora


I would just like to make it known that THE CRANBERRIES just played on my Pandora! Remember them? The band you listened to in your flannel shirt and combat boots while mourning Kurt Cobain's death? Remember Elton from Clueless? He loved the Cranberries. Remember how he was sitting in Mr. Hall's class and all of a sudden jumped up and was like "I can't find my Cranberries cd. I gotta go to the quad before anyone snags it." And then when he was trying to seduce Cher in the car he was playing "Away" by the Cranberries and singing to her "Turn away...turn awayyyyy...turn awayyyy."

Anyway, I thought it was noteworthy enough to post about because I literally haven't heard a Cranberries song in years, and all of a sudden, there it was! On MGMT Radio, nonetheless! (If you don't know about Pandora, please educate yourself immediately as it is life-altering and amaze-balls). I know health care reform was signed into law today(with a flourish), and there are really more crucial things I could be updating you about, but at least I can talk about the Cranberries without a bunch of conservatives whining about it. ZING.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blogging Under the Influence


So. Why is a single, cosmopolitan 24 year old woman with no commitments and an enviable collection of gold jewelry sitting at home watching How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and blogging on a Friday night? Well friends (all 14 of you! Seriously though, shout out to my readers! I won't forget you when I make it big, promise), this is why: I had SURGERY today!!!

Ok, minor surgery. I got my wisdom teeth out. But they hooked me up to an IV and everything, so it still counts. I don't have much experience with that kind of thing, and I was essentially terrified. When I went in for my consultation and they showed me an informational video about wisdom teeth extraction from 1984, I was so rattled that the oral surgeon suggested I see someone for anxiety issues. Rude. I was convinced that I was going to have a rare reaction to the anesthesia and possibly never wake up, or worse that the numbing shot would wear off and I would wake up mid-surgery like in some horror movie.

So what made me go through with it? Here's the thing...oral surgeons give you these awesome things called DRUGS that fix any problem! Let me preface this by saying that I am really not into taking prescription drugs for fun...no judgement, it's just not my thing. But when you are PRESCRIBED drugs, well...is it so wrong to take advantage of the mind-altering pleasures? Especially if you're someone who generally has a hard time relaxing? Whatever, I don't have to justify this!

So my little adventure began last night with two Valiums (obviously the doctor prescribed me those when I had my little panic attack in his office during the consultation). Voila, within 15 minutes I was feeling relaxed and at ease. Then, two more Valium this morning, an hour before my appointment (breakfast of champions). I showed up in a daze and making dumb jokes...I was like putty in their hands. Then I found out they were hooking me up to an IV, and that was enough to jolt me out of my drugged-out stupor for about half a second (scared of needles too. Yes, I'm a wuss.)

THEN, though, before they hooked me up to the IV, they gave me LAUGHING GAS! Talk about fun...I started cracking up because one of the dental assistants told the other assistant that he got stung by something in one of the examination rooms and his skin was swelling up. Hilarious. The next thing I know, I'm hooked up to an IV and drifting into a wonderful world of Idon'trememberafuckingthing. I was awakened by my uncontrollable hiccups, and the whole thing was already over. Before they sent me off, I believe I asked them for some laughing gas to take home with me. Good thing they said no...and did I really think that would work?

So here I am...sitting on my couch, watching chick flicks that I have seen at least 5 times before, holding ice packs to my face, and stuffing my cheeks with gauze to soak up the blood (disgusting). The party isn't over yet though...I just popped a Vicodin!!! Um, I'm in PAIN HERE PEOPLE...you watch that damn video from the '80s and see for yourself what abuse my mouth has been through today (that's what she said). it's not my fault that the remedy makes me feel like I'm floating on a cloud of zen and nothing in the world will ever bother me again. And causes me to make "that's what she said" jokes.

On a related note...I'm marketing this new diet called the Wisdom Teeth Extraction Diet and it consists solely of chicken broth and Jell-o (and Valium and Vicodin). Don't hate me in four days when I'm skinny AND unbelievably relaxed and happy...the Master Cleanse can suck it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm Only Gonna Break Break Break Break Break Your Heart



While driving to work this morning I heard on the radio that the #1 song in the nation is "Break Your Heart" by Taio Cruz. This gives me pause for a couple reasons. First off, the song sucks. Behold a sample of the lyrics (and if you have never heard it, imagine a techno-infused, high energy pop sound):

Now listen to me baby
Before I love and leave you
They call me heart breaker
I don't wanna deceive you

If you falll for meee
I'm not eaasyy to pleaaase
I might tear you apart

Told you from the start, baby from the start

I'm only gonna break, break, break, break, break your heart
I'm only gonna break, break, break, break, break your heart
I'm only gonna break, break, break, break, break your heart
I'm only gonna break, break, break, break, break your heart

Ok Taio, we get it. You are a bad, bad boy who is going to break our heart. Ladies of the world, look out. Here's the thing, though. I'm not sure if Taio remembers this, but his last single (which was in 2006) was "I Just Wanna Know" and it was basically the spineless little bitch anthem. Take a look:

Baby, talk to me
What's goin on
Lately, we aint been spendin time alone

Last night, when I touched your hand
You didn't wanna hold
Today no kiss goodbye
Just said you had to go

If you're leavin me baby

I just wanna know
I just wanna know


If you're done with me baby
I just wanna know

I just wanna know
I just wanna know

Yeah, yeah, yeah

So what exactly happened to you between now and then, Taio? How did you go from being a clingy, pathetic boyfriend to a "heartbreaker" (and WHO exactly calls you that)? I guess you were burned so badly by that girl in 2006 that you took four years to rebuild your shattered ego, and came back with a vengeance, determined to make every woman pay for the emotional suffering that chick put you through. Typical.

Anyway, Taio's personal life really isn't the topic of this post. My point was that most of the hip hop and r&b I hear these days misses the mark on so many levels, especially the crap that is on the radio and on iTunes "top songs". I mean who is decided what songs are #1? 13 year old girls? (Probably). It just seems to me that hip hop and r&b was at its best in the late 1990's and early 2000's. A few examples of great songs that provided the soundtrack to my young life:

Jon B. "Don't Say"-1997



This is a classic break-up song...Taio Cruz take note. Jon B is being played for sure, but he is fully aware of what is going on, and he's putting his foot down. He's done.

I know you mean well
Bvt lookin at you one can tell
You got changes to make

Cause the way you treat me girl just ain't right

Alway's frontin' on someone
But never think about the damage you've done
to meeeeeeee
And it's about damn time I talk about it


Every time I do for you
You turn around and make me feel like a fool
With your actions, so much for the words
Baby I love youuuu, yes

But now I've wised up girl

It's time for meeee to go
You better think about it
Cause I'm here to let you know...

This song reminds me of my sophomore year of high school, when I went through my first "real"break up. Now this guy had once told me that if we ever broke up he would be so depressed that he would join the air force (I guess that's why people join the air force), but now we were broken up and he WASN'T joining the air force. No, he was taking some other girl to prom instead of me (a girl who, coincidentally went on to become Miss California...congrats!) Shortly after this all went down, I was at my best friend's house listening to this song, and I suddenly became overwhelmed with emotion and ran out the house and down the block, where she discovered me crying on her neighbors lawn. Yeah. Jon B will do that to you.

Mac Mall "Wide Open"-2000



This gem was brought to my attention courtesy of my second high school boyfriend, who was from the Bay Area and thus knew about Bay Area rap. He said that this song explained how he felt about me (I'm not kidding).

You think I'm runnin drag, but I ain't even mad
I bet you all my cash I'll be the realest that ya had
I wanna treat you lav, but you can't see that half
I'm tryin to keep you smilin if you just give me a chance

At times you make me laugh, you got me wide open
You think it's all a front, swear you ain't even knowin
If I was runnin drama on ya
I woulda been in the wind baby hittin corners

Instead I'm standin right beside you like ya know I'm 'posed to
Keepin composure, while most fools be in your face just tryin to get over
I see you know my style, me and my mob is wild
I hear your friends say I'm not trustworthy


But if you wait a while, I'll shut that madness down
Prove to you once and for all that I'm deservin
Of your heart, your mind, your soul, your body your time
If its cool boo, just give me a sign...

Yeah. Well maybe Mac Mall WAS deservin, but Max sure as hell wasn't. My friends were right when they said he wasn't trustworthy. Still a great song though.


Celly Cel "It's Goin Down"-1996



More Bay Area gold. I discovered this one in college even though it had been out for quite a while by then. If this isn't the song you bump in your Honda Civic on your way to the 18 and over club, then I don't know what is. Listening to it right now makes me want ride out, and its a damn Tuesday.

It's goin down so majorly my pager battery stay on low cells
While I'm tryin ta get some more mail
Dodgin' hot ones, makin liquor store runs
Creepin through the city streets
Pervin in the Mo 1
Can't get wrapped up in that 'he said, she said'
What was said'll leave ya dead
Runnin your mouth will get you filled with lead
So I stay real
Soakin that game outta the hills
Ridin with that Mazda sound
Now you know its goin down



Well...I can't pretend I know exactly what Celly is talking about for the majority of this one (what Mazda sound?), but whatever it is, I'm sure I agree.

Those are just a few examples...there was also En Vogue, Ginuwine, Blackstreet, Mase (before he became corny), etc. Even the BAD music was good...3LW anyone? I mean...why does everyone SUCK now? Has everything just been done before?

And what about the children...won't someone think of the children? Are 16 year old girls today listening to JUSTIN BIEBER when they get dumped? KE$HA to get pumped up for a night out? Probably so. Wait a minute...am I getting old? I'm getting fucking old! I'm that person, who is like "Kids these days...they don't know what good music is!"

Wow...I guess I'm gonna go listen to some Ke$ha and try to stay relevant.

xoxo

Jess









Thursday, March 11, 2010

San Francisco

I'm happy to report that my emo depressed phase has passed. Whiny and negative is not a good look on anyone, but especially not me...I prefer bitchy and awesome and I'm sure you do too. It's pretty ironic, because I kept talking about how things weren't exactly "sunshine and rainbows", and then on my drive home I saw a DOUBLE rainbow over the Golden Gate Bridge, which is really a sight to behold if you have never seen it. It was nature's way of telling me to STFU and stop complaining.

That brings me to my topic of today: San Francisco. The city I've lived in for the past three years (prior to that I was across the bay in Oakland, which is a whole different story). Here's the thing about San Francisco. I love this city to death, but I'm not really sure why. It's freezing for most of the year, including Summer (which brings us back to my aforementioned scarf addiction). The freeway system is incredibly annoying and inconvenient as it forces you to drive THROUGH the entire city in order to get from one side to the other. Rent is an abomination. Parking is impossible.

And the people here? Well...there are some awesome people, it's true (me). But in order to find them, you have to sift through quite a few NON-awesome people. Take dating for example (warning: stereotypes ahead!). There are three general types of men in San Francisco, defined by the neighborhood in which they live/hang out. Every girl in SF is already familiar with these types. Hybrids can be found, but its so much more fun to mock the purebreds.

1. The Marina Douche



Don't let his preppy good looks fool you...he is a total douche. He resides in the squeaky-clean Marina district, and on a Saturday night he can be found at Circa or Bluelight having a brewski with his bros and freak-dancing with hotties to top 40 hits, in the requisite "Marina boy shirt" pictured above. His pick up line will most certainly be a "neg"...if you aren't familiar with The Game (as any single woman should be), the "neg" is when a man throws a subtle insult concealed as a compliment your way in order to get your attention. Example: "You're the creme de la creme of the bar tonight. Too bad I'm not interested." Yes, some douche really said that to me once.

2. The SOMA Suit


This specimen can be found in the trendy South Of Market district enjoying a jack and coke or a gin and tonic with his business partners/wingmen during happy hour, probably at Harlot or Ducca. He proudly dons his suit well into the night, not because he didn't have time to change but because it is a symbol of his great success and chicks totally dig it. Even if he weren't wearing the suit, you would know how important he is because every five minutes he whips out his blackberry...he is closing a deal so it's not rude. He will buy your drinks for you (always a plus), but in return you'll have to listen to him drone on about his boring job and pretend to be impressed. He'll leave you with his card but by then you'll be so over it that this next guy will seem like a catch.

3. The Mission Hipster




When San Francisco women are tired of dealing with Marina Douches and SOMA Suits, we head to the grimy but cool Mission district. When I say this place is cool, I mean too cool. Too cool for you. If you ARE lucky enough to strike up a conversation with the elusive hipster male at Zeitgeist or Elbo Room (dive bars we are supposed to like for some reason), make sure you're up on your indie bands and don't roll your eyes when he tells you how he quit his job selling motorcycles to work at Peet's coffee because it all just got to be too much (another gem borrowed from actual life experiences). At the very least, admire his tattoos...they probably signify a really deep anti-establishment message that you are too naive to understand. The sad truth about the Mission Hipster is that he is just another douche trying to seem "different", but he'll pull all the same douche moves that the Marina boys do.

Yeah. That's what we're working with. Oh, and don't try to stereotype ME...I live in the Outer Richmond. Ha. On a serious note though, as cold and filled with d-bags this city is, I can't imagine living anywhere else at this point in my life. Here's why:



Ocean Beach...now a ten minute walk away from mi casa.





Power to the Peaceful Concert every Sept. 11 with Michael Franti in Golden Gate Park!!!





The way the skyline makes me feel at night. Especially if I'm going out that night.



The bacon dog cart in the Mission. Enough said.


So there you have it. Every city has its pros and cons but SF (please don't call it "Frisco") has my heart. Even before I lived here, something about the air always made me feel at home. I would date 1,000 Marina Douches before I left this place.

xoxoxo

Jess

Monday, March 8, 2010

Emo


I like to think of myself as a generally positive person, but there are some days, like today, when I just want to throw in the damn towel. Things haven't been sunshine and rainbows lately (neither literally and figuratively) so I'm allowing myself another week or so of this before I prescribe myself some happy pills. I guess by then I'll be on Vicodin because I'm getting my wisdom teeth out, so it won't matter either way. Though in the words of Lady Antebellum (CAN'T believe I'm quoting them right now): "guess I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all."

That was dramatic. I know. It's just that it's Monday and I was planning on starting fresh this week with the positive attitude and spiritual well-being and I was even going to meditate but today has turned out to be a painfully slow work day, and its HAILING outside, and every time I try to drink out of my environmentally-friendly steel water bottle I dump water down my shirt. WTF???!!!!!

Also, an update on the living alone situation. I still love my apartment, but it has been SO FRUSTRATING trying to move, put together furniture, hang pictures, all that crap by myself. I already scratched the wall trying to balance on a stool while hanging a 50 pound painting on two tiny, unevenly hung picture hooks (it worked at my old place, ok???). I also managed to knock over a huge, ceramic plant pot and dent the beautiful hardwood floor. Oh, and there is a loud popping noise in the vent above my stove every time there is a storm, which is pretty often these days. Cool.

You know what? I was about to wrap this up with a cutesy little note about how even though things have been challenging, it's ok because my friends are amazing (which they ARE, don't get me wrong) and everything always works out for the best, and I am probably just PMSing (correct), BUT...I'm not even going to. It was pointed out to me recently how people have a tendency to conclude their writing in an annoyingly positive, starry-eyed, cherry-on-top, all's well that ends well sort of way and I am not in the mood for that shit.

This doesn't mean I accept defeat though, bitches...I'll be back.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

La Vida Loca


Well! Where to start...

Basically I've just been living my life, topping the charts, stacking up millions, wearing sick couture outfits on the red carpet, and vacationing with hot athletes in Mexico. Oh sorry, that's Rihanna's life not mine! Sometimes I get confused because our lifestyles are so similar.



KIDDING! My life is a little different then hers. For one, I haven't been warm in months and I wear a scarf every single day now because my neck gets cold without them. I try to make it a fashion statement but I think people are catching on. I'm basically the palest I've ever been because I've made the mature, adult decision to stop spending my hard-earned money on tanning beds when every inch of my skin is covered up anyway. My clothes, while cute, are not exactly straight off the runway. But I did go on vacation!!!

Yes, in case you missed me last weekend I was partying in Vegas with five of my favorite "bitches" and honestly, Rihanna would be proud. I can't share all the sinful details, but lets just say that our trip included a complimentary gourmet meal of filet mignon and truffle mashed potatoes (ordered for us by our VIP host of course), a criminal number of shots (key lime pie shots are THE BUSINESS), and a fun-filled evening with some Afghani oil heirs at Tryst. I indulged (almost) all of my vices and it was freaking amazing. That brings us back to reality.

Back in this dreary little city that I just can't get enough of, big changes are on the horizon! After almost two great years of cohabitation, my lovely roommate and I are amicably parting ways. I will obviously miss our late night corner store "sweet treat" runs, epic Halloween parties and Tuesday nights watching Bad Girls Club together, but I am excited to get my own place! All by myself! Part of me wonders if I will turn into a complete recluse living alone...it's possible. I'll let you know how it goes. Actually if I do turn into a recluse, I'll probably stop blogging so maybe I won't let you know how it goes.

On a serious note: last week, when I wasn't preparing for Vegas or searching for a new apartment, I was working on a tribute to Howard Zinn, the amazing historian, writer, activist, and playwright who recently passed away, for www.spectrumculture.com (a badass website that I write for). As stressed as I was, it was very interesting and inspiring and I'm so glad that I got to write about him.

I highly recommend reading Zinn's work--he re-wrote American history from an entirely new perspective, and told the shameful truths that many of our high school history teachers (not to mention to US government) didn't want to divulge. A documentary is coming out based on his work later this month and you can see the trailer here, to get a little taste of what I'm talking about. If you need me to name-drop to keep you interested, it features performances by John Legend, Sandra Oh, Rosario Dawson, and many more, so check it out. I know I flipped the script there and got really serious, but it was for your own good! Open your mind!

xoxoxo

Jess

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Layout, Quick Update

I am so excited! I just figured out how to add a custom background...thanks Lisa! I have been extremely busy with ten million other things but I will be posting very soon...

Writing a Howard Zinn tribute so lots to say about that, and I'm also MOVING to a new apartment AND going to Vegas in two days for a weekend of debauchery...so I will have much to say.

xoxo

Jess

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Compassion

I’ve realized that most writers are narcissists, and I am no exception. Who but a narcissist would broadcast their opinions and feelings for the world to see (or even just for facebook to see) and assume that people will care? Yes, as much as I try to keep it in check, I’m pretty self-involved. So are you, probably. That being said, there is nothing like a 7.0 Earthquake to put things in perspective.

As cliché as it may sound, it’s difficult to worry about things like losing an iPod or getting a traffic ticket (both of which happened to me this weekend) when there are millions of people with no food, water, or shelter in Haiti at this very moment. The images that I’ve been watching on the news are so unreal, but at the same time so incredibly real that they immediately bring tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be surrounded by bodies, especially if some of those were the bodies of family members and friends. I can’t imagine watching my home be destroyed and to have to wait for days for help to arrive.

The interesting thing about a disaster like this is that it has the capacity to bring out both the best and the worst in people. The worst: people who started fundraising scams in an attempt to steal from those wanting to donate to the relief effort, or painfully vapid actress Taylor Momsen’s comment about being too busy with her record and her TV show to think about Haiti. The best: the flood of donations and support from all over the world, nations and people putting aside their differences to help those in need, and the tremendous acts of bravery and strength that are taking place in Haiti as we speak.

Still, there are the cynics. When something like this happens and there is an outpouring of generosity and concern, some feel compelled to point out that “Haitians needed help before the Earthquake but nobody cared then”. This is for the most part true, but so what? I don’t understand how that mentality helps in any way at all. Yes, it would be nice if it didn’t take an earthquake or a hurricane or a tsunami to bring out the best in people, but it does. And it’s better late than never.

My personal opinion is that if you are able to help in any way at all, it is your responsibility as a compassionate human being to do so. And there are plenty of legit ways to help, so I will list a few in case someone is actually reading this:

Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/en/ or text 'HAITI' to 90999
Oxfam (water distribution): http://www.oxfam.org/
World Food Program-donate to my personal WFP fund raising page and help me reach my goal of $1000: www.mycampaign.kintera.org/jbhaiti

REMEMBER…what goes around comes around!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Filtering"

It’s 2010! Astoundingly, this New Years Eve was actually fun—maybe it was the 24 hour champagne diet, or maybe it was a sign that this is going to be a great year. Either way, I’m optimistic…I know, easy for me to say five days in. Still, I feel much more prepared and informed coming into this decade than I was at the start of the last one. As much as I still don’t know, I’ve learned a few key life lessons thus far…which brings me to today’s topic. In honor of fresh starts and clean slates, I present to you something my friends and I refer to as “filtering”.

Listen…I’m all for loyalty, and there are people that I can speak to once every six months and still feel close to. The concept of “ride or die” is not lost on me. However, I’ve also come to realize that every single friendship I’ve accumulated over the years does not have to be dutifully preserved—especially if it is clearly past its expiration date. Those relationships are the ones that need to be “filtered”. Yes, “filtered”…like bacteria-ridden drinking water. Get it?

Admit it…we all have people in our lives that bring nothing to the table. I mean the people who only call when they need a favor, or the hot guy who constantly flakes on you, or the friend who can talk about herself for hours and never once ask you how your life is going. It seems that many of us feel we have to keep these people in our lives even when the sight of their name on our caller I.D. induces feelings of disgust. I say, for what?

The way it was explained to me once was that every bit of energy and effort put into people like this leaves less for us to put into ourselves and other, more deserving people. In other words, in order for us to meet great people and have amazing things happen to us, we have to make space in our lives for them first. It’s basic logic, really.

A quick disclaimer: I am not a proponent of filtering immediate family members, no matter how crazy they can be (really, really crazy sometimes, I know). There are other people that can’t be easily filtered as well, like baby daddies. I think it’s important for us to learn how to coexist with and even appreciate these people, since we’re stuck with them for a reason. But in my mind, that’s all the more reason to trim the fat where you can.

Just try it…filter me if you want. If this blog makes you want to puke and you are thinking to yourself how annoying and holier-than-thou I am, just FILTER me! Un-friend me on Facebook! Un-follow me on Twitter! Don’t answer my phone calls! Or do…either way, take my advice. Life is too short—or too long—to be surrounded by people who don’t bring out the best in us.