I’ll wait in line for Bernie Sanders (San Diego Rally, March 2016)

bernie-car-2016-crate

We had less than 48 hours to gather for the Bernie Sanders rally at the San Diego Convention Center, the same venue that hosts SD Comic-Con.

I knew the event opened at 5pm, and Bernie spoke at 8. I suspected if I got to the center by 5pm, I might make it inside to see my presidential hopeful. Knowing the time commitment that already represented, I opted to take a leisurely early dinner with another Bernie supporter, munching on fried duck skins and seafood salad (at barleymash — delicious). Another friend of ours dropped a pin so we could meet him in line.

We followed the dotted line on my phone, past people lined up outside the front of the convention center, through the stairway in the middle, and out to the back lawn and wharf. Miles of supporters formed a snake that reached both ends of the embarcadero and doubled (tripled?) in its center. This exceeded my expectations, to put it lightly.

I have never been so happy to wait in a line, and it’s not just because I was buzzed off the two IPAs I had with lunch. Not only was the joy surrounding me contagious, but also people were courteous, never over-eager about their place in the queue, never territorial.  That Nintendo DS I mentioned to entertain myself? Didn’t open it once. Above all, I was just thrilled to be there, to be another body on the ground, showing my support. Being a part the 10,000 or 15,000 or 20,000 headcount (numbers seem to vary depending if news sources count who actually made it in, who stood in line, and who showed up in total).

I texted a picture of (just a portion of) the line to my dad, and he said, “That is a beautiful image.”

bernie sandiers line san diego 2016 convention center

The sun had set by the time we neared the front of the Convention Center building. Out from the dark road came blaring red lights, and cheers roared at the realization that this was Bernie’s motorcade.

By then the line was moving in a brisk march. To my happy surprise, I made it into the overflow room.

bernie-sanders-rally-SD-overflow-room-2016

Before the end of his speech, my hands were sore from clapping, my throat dry from hollering, and my feet tired from standing. My face hurt from smiling. Then, I was hit with this sudden, poignant feeling. I realized, if he doesn’t win, I will be genuinely sad. I have never agreed so much with a candidate, never felt so much hope, and never cared so much about the outcome of a race. This feeling nested in my heart for the rest of the night.

You’ve got to win this, Bernie. You have just got to win.

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Bernie Rally Today

No blog post today, as the Bernie Sanders Rally is my priority! Doors open at 5pm, and he goes on at 8pm (guess I’ll bring my Nintendo DS to entertain me while I’m in line).

I’ll write up my impression of the event either tomorrow night or Thursday.

Rally Event Details

See you downtown!

(Edit: if you missed your chance to RSVP, it’s ok, you can still attend. Just try to get in line early so you can make it before it hits capacity. First come, first serve.)

14 Reasons San Diego is for Lovers

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I will fall in love with you in San Diego.

1. My tongue will separate the vesicles of a lime, taken from its bed of ice, in the first drink I ever shared with you.

2. We will neglect the white and persistent sun, touching only interior glass, for another morning spent in your bedroom.

3. We will buy twin IPAs again in our favorite ramen house.

4. You will make me poor of money and rich of joy.

5. I will memorize the creases beside your smiling eyes.

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6. My feet haven’t touched sand since last summer, but they will know the softness of your carpet.

7. We will stack pallets and douse them in butane. We will give away our fire, and go home to make our own heat.

8. We will plan vacations in places where oak trees grow.

9. You will spin a blade of grass between your fingertips, and tell me your secrets.

10. I will compare my feelings to the ocean.

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11. My lungs didn’t hurt this much, the last time I held my breath under the water.

12. We never really do come up for air.

13. We are like a freeway and its frontage road.

14. You don’t hear the owl that flies across the beam of my headlights.

I will fall in love with you in San Diego.

 

Should I move to San Diego?

The people of the internet want to know: Why is San Diego So Boring?, and they want to know if it’s pointless to move here. 

I’m surprised I haven’t written about moving to San Diego before. Okay, no, I’m not surprised. I didn’t move here and I don’t care. I was born here, I’m stuck here forever, and the comings and goings of transplants is as regular and invisible to me as the movement of the tides of the Pacific Ocean. (It never fucking stops.)

downtown with ocean

I had to get a picture of the Pacific Ocean (and Downtown SD) from my friend Sarah Snow because I don’t have any pictures like this on my phone because apathy killed my soul and the beauty of my own city fails to ever move me.

Still, all the comments I’ve been getting on the boring-ness of San Di-ago make me wonder if I would recommend moving here to an outsider.

I live in Chicago. Born and raised and I have always wanted to live someplace warmer. Los Angeles was always my dream but after my visit there in 2009 I changed my mind because I didn’t like some things about the town and it just wasn’t what I expected. So flash forward to 2016 and I still have the desire to move elsewhere. The housing market in Chicago sucks and I cannot see ever buying a place here unless I want to live in the ghetto or burbs which I do not lol. Its also very segregated here but I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is racist though there have been discriminatory incidents. But anyway, I just want to leave mostly because of the weather and I’m just bored in general and need something new. I was considering San Diego but as I read an article about reasons to move here something prompted me to search for ‘is San Diego boring” because it kind of seemed that way as you never hear anything about the city. And that is how I came across this post. Though this is a small number of the populace confirming the city’s boredom, there has to be something to it if the consensus is the same right? I am an introvertish person but since I’ve lived in the city all my life I think I might miss the hustle and bustle and I do enjoy interacting with others. Plus I’m not married and don’t have any kids so I’d need friends to have a life. Oh well, back to the drawing board :-(

–Natasha

Side note: I don’t live where you live, but that sounds like racism to me. No need to mince words. Racists fucking exist in America (e.g. Drumpf with his anti-immigration rhetoric) and I think trying to minimize how bad it is contributes to the problem. Though, of course, Natasha may be a Person of Color and may have her reasons for minimizing the segregation she sees in her city.

The only person I got close to who is from Ohio now lives in Chicago. They lamented San Diego’s lack of dance scene to me, saying that people need cold and miserable weather to beckon them to move around in warehouses and clubs. However, I’m not sure they moved back homeward because of boredom per se — perhaps just of wanting to enroll in grad school.

You might find this place too boring, Natasha. You seem to be a rational person who knows herself well. So I’ll be straightforward. Given the cost of living, it’s a gamble to give moving here a try. I should also try to dissuade you from transplanting, as I am a “San Diego native” — I have a moral obligation to be territorial, I suppose.

As a sympathetic human being, however, I would say don’t give up entirely. San Diego is a great stepping stone to California, and California is fucking magical. Come here, see if you can find the friendly weirdos / weird friends, and if you’re missing the hustle and bustle… It’s a big state. Or coast. Try Portland?

Only in California do you use palm fronds to shade your garden

I love my life here, but I’m in a special place. I found my best friends, and they like the things I do. I enjoy the juxtaposition of the Oasis of Oddness I usually dwell in vs. the Sterile San Diego I encounter when I venture outside my friend-bubble. I feel part of something underground, and am constantly re-realizing, with amazement, that I’m in some kind of nebulous, breathing, self-perpetuating Art Collective with my friends. If I grew up anywhere else, my feeling of being a majestic odd-bird could have been threatened into submission. Alternative universe Portlandian-sami would blend in with the rest of the freaks and feel very normal and boring. I probably would only post in my blog 5 times a year, because what’s the point?

I also think, in a place that Keeps Weird,  I’d never have learned the value of a close-knit community. De-facto loyalty doesn’t work for me; I need to be actively attached and sharing passions to continue to invest in a person. I can’t just be lifetime buddies with someone because we picked boogers in kindergarten together. I need to live in the moment. The transplants that come and go here get all of me (until they leave, and then they don’t). A place with more hustle and bustle might not have had enough scarcity of people-gems to force me to hold on to my friends.

After ravenously sampling the social scenes of SD in my party-est years of 2011-2013, I found my people. Natasha, if you are willing to do this, you could love it here, too.

If you maintain only shallow friendships, tend to hole up alone (or with your cats) for extended periods, and expect to be able to step into a lively and engaging city on a rare whim to be social.. I think you’ll be sorely disappointed.

From my heart,

Sami

If you’re a San Diegan with a question, or you have a question about San Diego, ask me.

Meta Post: This will be the year I teach you to survive

I’m back.

During my month off, I considered restricting or shutting this site down. Movement at my day job made me wonder how long I could maintain somewhat of a personality schism — would my online reputation threaten my professionalism? I opened this website using my real name with the intention of not letting anonymity make me a lazy writer. Ultimately, I stand by my instincts that if being myself publicly closes doors, then I want those doors closed. My privilege of a safety network and specific upbringing entreats me to be myself, and I refuse to only make safe choices.

I have also chosen to put my real name on my writing. I have to hope this choice will make sense when I reflect back on my life… — Feb. 20, 2014

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New interest on an old post, Why is San Diego so Boring, gives me a mission statement for 2016; this is the year I pass on my survival lessons. I vaguely understood my calling to entertain bored friends, locals, and visitors of San Diego. Now, I’d like to put my “thoughtful” hat on again and push this blog’s tone in that direction. That is to say, I’ve recovered from some rough life changes and have the emotional energy to do more than vaguely insult my friends on the internet for laughs!

In 2016, I resolve to:

  • Examine my core tenets and how they are related to “surviving” in “San Diego”
  • Communicate these strategies in entertaining, or at least interesting, blog posts
  • Entwine this year’s posts into a larger, cohesive narrative
  • Find and listen to my audience

Here are some of my plans I might use to do this:

  • Answer questions from the community a la an advice column — which has the added benefit of making SD Survival Guide sustainable long term
  • Involve myself more in local projects
  • Be more conscious in my explorations of the city and subculture so that I can share them here
  • Probe the meaning of “story”
  • Create event series until I find something that sticks
  • Develop a themed posting structure, such as Week 1: “How to survive _____” Week 2: “A question from San Diego” Week 3: “From my list of party ideas…” Week 4: “So, this happened to me (in SD)” — or at least create recurring categories!

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I’m excited to renew this project (and stop being a lazy panda). I don’t know if that means I’ll be posting every week again, or if it still makes sense to do every other. I may even choose a different day (stats suggest Saturday @ 7pm). Regardless, I welcome your input via my “ask” box, email, facebook, text, inconvenient phone call, handwritten note anonymously stuffed in my couch during one of my parties…etc…

Thank you, my dear reader, for your priceless attention.

–sami

How to Get Rid of People

1. How to get rid of people I want to hang out with

Depression!

2. How to get rid of people I don’t want to hang out withfrazzled post burning man

A friend I’ve been close to since the fourth grade (and want to hang out with 5ever) moved back to San Diego recently (because you can neverrrr leave this place! told you!) and, as we mused over our life events in the duration of her separation from our finest city, she observed that she’d, surprisingly, not yet been to Burning Man.

“Well, why don’t you go to the San Diego regional?” I said.

Tickets sold out the next day, hers among them. (I’m so excited she’s coming!) She’s now been asking prudent questions in preparation for her first “burn,” including this adorable inquiry:

“How do I get rid of people I don’t want to hang out with?”

Um, well, you…

  1. have to pee
    Or
  2. insist “wait here,” leave them, and never come back!

Well, we discussed the obvious “have to pee” trick first. Then, my friend pointed out that the kind of person who involves you in an unwanted conversation will often be the same kind of person who will follow you to the port-o. Wanting to avoid a potty entourage is precisely why I ghosted out of conversation circles in middle school. Good practice for my later life, I’ll say.

shark-costume-sami-burning-manIn a prolonged “camping vegas” experience that is a burn, often you may enthusiastically promise your new “friend” that you will return, and you absolutely positively must have them wait in place. Whereupon, they will be swiftly distracted by some magical adventure such as discovering a space-time fracture in a dilapidated tent, or meeting a giraffe. And if they, perchance, wonder whereabouts you wander, they will assume you also found camp art or introduced yourself to a furry.

Or…

“I’ll come with you!” they might shout. Oh no, oh no it’s time for serious survival tactics.

  • Use your superior local knowledge of Poison Oak to dart quickly through the bordering chaparral until they are so dissuaded by the many leaves of three that they just let it be
  • Sit down on the ground and lock your face in your arms until they quit prodding you and go for help
  • Stop saying anything except for, “Charmander”

Or, and this is merely a hypothesis, you might say, “I’m so sorry, I’m not enjoying myself right now. I need to go. Take care!”

Of course, I can’t confirm the efficacy of this theory because no one on the history of the planet has ever done this; it’s too terrifying.

Wait!

I’ll be back, I promise.

;)

 

Why Bernie is my political “first”

It’s not that I hate politics. I don’t care enough about them to hate them. Am I really lazy and self-centered? Finances: handled. Family: close. Friends: cherished. Art (and writing): nourished. Health: decent. Love life: abundant. Party life: probably too abundant. I’ve got a lot going on, and while I certainly could shift my priorities to make time for becoming worldly and political, I always have just hoped things like global news and government would become naturally more appealing as I aged.

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Photo: Noa Azoulay http://www.featherlove.com

Enter Bernie. My friends seem nuts about him. I watch some videos. This guy is consistent. I read some articles. Really consistent. I get invited to a rally. I say yes and then hundreds of people say yes.

Everything about this candidate and the movement surrounding him makes me feel like now is the time to enter this conversation I’d been so long avoiding — been plugging my ears saying lalala (or really, just turning down the volume). Admittedly, I don’t know a lot. I know he uses the phrase, “enough is enough,” he speaks candidly about 1% of the population owning 90% of the wealth, he’s been pro marriage equality for decades, and he’s pretty serious about global climate change.

I’m not worried about not knowing so much, this time. In previous years, I procrastinated filing out my write-in ballot because the task of deciphering so much duplicitous political information daunted me into missing my deadline. I’d have to fill it out on voting day and drive to the ballot box to drop it off anyway. This campaign, I am finding it easy to start early. I’m finding it easy to learn a little bit about Bernie between nights of revelry and nights of Burning Man preparations.

Photo: Noa Azoulay http://www.featherlove.com

Photo: Noa Azoulay http://www.featherlove.com

I’m finding it easy to say yes to political events. The rally was enormous. I have been to the North Park Observatory before and never seen it so full. Luckily, my date beat me there and saved me a seat. My friends were everywhere. Aaron Truax started what he thought would be a bustling shindig for his friends, registered it on the official campaign website, and watched it overtake the original venue. His roommate stood behind a table, selling T-shirts. Our friend Maia Tagami introduced the livecast.

Photo: Noa Azoulay http://www.featherlove.com

Photo: Noa Azoulay http://www.featherlove.com

I am so used to overly-coached, well trained (& well paid) politicians that I wasn’t sure if Sanders speaks simply on purpose. His speech reminded me of an assignment I might have been tasked to write in my advanced Poli-Sci class in high school, senior year — an organized, straightforward, no-frills essay. It’s clear he has savvy, that he knows which talking points need to be made. He’s a smart man. But he’s a smart man who cares most about his ideals, cares more about them, I think, than winning.

I care about this too. I care about how his presence in the election will start change. I care about about other politicians adjusting their platforms due to his positive influence. I care about the possibility of his winning, which I really do think is real. Above all, I care about how participating in his campaign will make me a better person.

So yes, I played along with being a part of history by voting for Obama two seasons ago. Yes, I have always half-ass encouraged my friends to register and vote. This time, however, will be the first time I really get involved. Maybe it could be your first time too.

I’ll be at West Coast Tavern to watch the GOP debate with friends, join us!

http://www.redbubble.com/people/berniesanders16