1 year of SDSurvivalGuide

This Saturday will mark the 1 year anniversary of SD Survival Guide.

I’ve worn a few 2-dimensional identities in my life — the kind people use when they’re trying to describe you to a friend. They’ve varied from “Anthony’s girlfriend,” to “redheaded lesbian” and at least one unpublishable moniker in-between. Slowly, over the past year, “writer” has been taking over.

For that, I am calling this a success. The encouragement and feedback I receive make my fucking day, ya’ll, because I constantly think about how happy I would be if I had an audience for a book, and if I could write one that is worthy of them.

Many of you lament that you’ve gotten behind in my posts, so this week I hope you enjoy an excerpt from each one.  And pretty, pretty please write me a comment, text me, or send me a snapchat with any thoughts about my writing.

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Simulation

Cutesy post introducing SD relationship with the weather: Hypo-manic with fear, we discuss rain and sun and fog in a tone that is easy to confuse with eagerness.  Oh, we’re not pleasant or easily amused; we’re terrified.

Nausea-filled regret at first post + epic tale of misogyny: Trapped in a bar stool between smokers, a railing, and his body, I felt like a cornered animal.  Even as I chewed him out for what must have been at least 20 minutes, he stood alternatively with his face so close to mine I could feel his breath or with his crotch against my leg.

Attempt to draw in San Diego Googlers using keywords: There’s sort of an ennui in happiness and stability, and this is not the best town in which to forage for chaos. In this heaven, we’re a bit oblivious to evil and all the fun it brings.

Party story about violence against inanimate objects: The bear arm results from the potent combination of three things. Me, alcohol, and unrequited lust.

Here's a drawing of Katelyn murdering a unicorn.

Examining  appropriation of LGBT culture: I thought of the trendiness of swinging, straight couples hunting for that perfect bisexual woman who will love both of them in a harmonious triad, and 1-dick-per-relationship policies.  I thought of dudes who ask me to sleep with their girlfriends, but insist that they at least be allowed to watch.

Party Monster Kill Switch + I freaking love Sour Cream: “Fluffy bear got me through a lot of hard times, too.”

Katelyn's planning to use this purple vase with her 3 hose hookah next.

Thrift shopping primer for San Diegans: I still thrift primarily to impress people at parties. I try to be selective, but having a conversation starter is more valuable to me than closet space.

My embarrassing familiarity with hangovers: But then everything is too loud so I sit in a dark room. Everything is too dark so I move to a dimly lit room. My blood is uncomfortable.

The “Gay Gambit” + map I found: “Gossip Gril is Vagina Stronghold?” I said, unimpressed. “More like where I go to remember I hate lesbians and cigarettes.”

I wanted to remember how bad I am at math and make it about alcohol: Ok, I lied, sometimes we feel poor and we drink piss water. Can I find a drink that doesn’t cost more than my student loans?

sdsurvivalguide-banquet-chicken-fingersBlaming orange juice for my problems:  I’ve been living off gatorades and cheese-foods since Monday. Cheese comforts me. Katelyn, I said, I want something like chicken fingers or macaroni n’ cheese. Something little kids eat.

Carpe diem for stupid people: I just want to know, how is throwing on a trucker hatt, getting smammered, and drooling on a young woman while she gyrates against your crotch seizing the day?

Another picture by Mel Marcado. I wasn't too sure about my decision to wear braids until a girl ran up to me, touched them, and told me I looked "so cute, like an anime character."

Reviewing a little SD rave: It felt like being in a kindergarten where you’re allowed to eat the crayons.

What is our civil duty to interfere in bad situations?Pro-tip: pretending to be my “boyfriend” in order to “rescue” me from some asshat is going to annoy me almost as much as the dude telling me I’ve got pretty teeth 10 times in one night.

I fell in love with a stripper: “No,” I said in her ear, “I don’t care if he gets off. I want you and he has the money.”

Lame short post b/c I procrastinated getting ready for SCA War: Each fight could represent their last day on earth, so at night we party.

mac-n-cheese-pizza-ketchupKatelyn told me to blog about pocket cheese: . After getting off work at 7 and taking your pre-party nap and laboring over your costume, there is no time for food. You can’t chop a salad, you can’t toast a sandwich and juice a carrot. You have to eat on the go. So we have this thing called “Pocket Cheese.”

K1-to do listSaga of my christian-phase closeted love-triangle: I hadn’t had an orgasm since I found Jesus.

Some 35-year-old said something I didn’t like, so I blogged about it: Ah crap. I’m that stubborn young woman who doesn’t like to be told what to do with her life and doesn’t have respect for people’s personal beliefs.

I got the slut strep: How do you tell your doctor that you may be responsible for spreading a nasty disease with a Jameson fueled make-out binge? (Forgive me, for there was a dimly lit bounce house on premises.)

An ex-boyfriend said something I didn’t like, so I blogged about it: An expired apology is one that is so old in respect to its crime that it’s completely missed its window and should stay in a deep basement to rot with the rest of your baggage.

I got the slut strep AGAIN: I can barely stay awake, and when I do manage, I’m confused and vaguely nauseous.

my kaleidoscope of face parts

Artsy thing I wrote about a warehouse party: She liked me. I shouldn’t have been surprised; wives always like me, come on to me, kiss me. Yet, she focused on me so quickly, when my irises were just starting to quicken again.

I missed Pride because I was sick and I examined my coping strategies for FOMO: Do you realize how many strains of new and exotic viruses are flying in from around the country, world even?  No thank you, spawn of swine flu.

Audio interview (I procrastinated so I never transcribed it): For my very first local celebrity profile interview, I’m featuring a very close friend and source of my inspiration, Xanadu Rocketship.

hungover-couch-girl-cartoon-underwearBuncha theme ideas for parties: I have been throwing theme parties since I was 7. I would plan for my next birthday just as soon as the last one passed, brainstorming ideas in my journal.

Almost missed a deadline for a post, but my brother called and I was inspired: Other people don’t sound like themselves on the phone, but I just hear my brother in the hot piece of plastic against my ear. He mentions how the Illuminati or maybe the overlord lizard-brains are monitoring our call, trying to intercept it, how he’s been really into conspiracy theories…

I attempt to forgive myself for not knowing enough about pop culture: Due to my delusional escapades as an alien princess, a Christian, a heterosexual… my connection to reality is a bit flimsy.

mr-scumbag-from-sprint-telephone-business-card-college-storeI learned that Sprint has tricksy awful sales-hobbits: Katelyn needs a new phone as well, because it never seems to work when I need her immediate attention and dammit why doesn’t she ever text me back?

I spent 3 hours making an OkCupid manifesto: You are meeting a stranger. Off the internet. You do not need to invest heavily in this date.

Benefit of being a writer, life lessons are now blog fodder: But when I checked my bank account Monday and discovered my wallet was stolen I wasn’t sure if I felt more like a victim of crime or a victim of my hangover.

6 monthiversary is an excuse to analyze keywords!: I know there’s plenty to do, I know there’s stunning and quirky and intelligent and sexy people in this city. I am making it my mission to connect these people together.

Taco Wow Cafe San DiegoDelirious with new technology: I’m relentless. I won’t stop. The smartphone eats my dreams. I don’t need to sleep. I have 7 years of technology to absorb.

Sometimes I kick people in the butt and I have to leave the party: Now I’m no stranger to butts in my face, but I don’t like stranger butts in my face, and this guy didn’t even know my name.

comic-lesbian-first-sleepover-sexBoobs: There are basically two ways to be a feminist at a party. One is to stand up for your beliefs and counter any bullshit the best you can, whether through reasoned quips or belligerent screaming, as is necessary. The other is to realize you are outnumbered, down another drink, and to instead store up your dismay and upset for an angry blog rant.

I struggle with coming up with something so you get to read my diary: If only, if only, I can become such a celebrity that people will want to read my diary.

Cutesy post about tourists: This weekend I met a woman from Chicago who awed at the mountains, and yes they were very effective at blocking my cell reception but I stopped cursing T-mobile and also spun in a slow circle. Ok, yes, I’m looking at them. Wow.

Lame last-minute blog post about Halloween costumes: I’m down to 15 minutes before I need to start assembling my own costume, and I realized if I really do want to provide a service through this blog, I can at least share some last-minute, cheap and lazy, DIY Halloween Costumes that I found / imagined.

Lookin' like a supermodel in my onesie jam jams.

I’m so full of myself I ask people to tell me something I don’t know when they say I’m beautiful: Make yourself memorable with a fraction more thought given to the compliments you choose…

I often leave parties without saying goodbye and why you should do it too: Immediately a man I didn’t know put his arm around me, people were dancing barefoot in the backyard to no music at all, and worst of all, I realized, everyone was dry as paper. Sober.

Based on Eysenck's personality theory (I didn't make this up) -- click for larger view.

An introvert said something I didn’t like so I wrote a blog post about it: Yes, the Eysenck test divides emotional instability by introversion/extroversion. But I won’t accept cherry-picking the emotional problems you identify with as a valid “diagnosis” of introversion. Perhaps, like I did, you have a secret extrovert inside of you who is trapped by feelings of moodiness and pessimism.

I played a game of Cards Against Humanity and I was bored so I wrote a blog post about it:  In general, just realize that nobody is paying attention to you because this game is designed for narcissists.

Got lost. Doesn’t matter, had waffles: As you probably already heard, I scooped chicken and waffle alike with my hand shovels into my mouth bucket, and then wiped all with individually packaged moist towelettes, and felt sated and warm.

grinch-who-stole-facebookToo much upworthy pissed me off:  If I don’t know the person too well, such breaches have me reaching for the “hide” or even “unfriend” buttons. Facebook only lets me see you in one-dimension, and the one you’re giving me is ugly.

I whine about not wanting to go to work:  I know that when I have to go back to work, the night previous I will be a restless mess of reluctance. I will do something pathetic with my time, like watching cable television and playing solitaire on my iPad. I don’t know why, but I waste every moment that is my last, simultaneously berating myself for not doing something more valuable with what I still have.

electric-grape-leather-80s-comic-strawberry-blondeBar story about a guy being nice to me: The “wrong” bar and my general lowered expectations for birthdays should have set me at unease, but maybe I just feel like I can do anything in a pair of Jeffrey Cambell’s and 1000 square inches of electric-grape leather. Maybe I could even accept free drinks from strangers.

Mean Girls don’t actually exist:  I find it immensely rewarding to get people to come out of their shells, even if it is a shell made out of gender shenanigans.

Kitty-leggings-patterned-tightsCigarettes are like little puke torpedos: Luckily drunk-sami became a smartphone photographer so I’ve managed to reconstruct memories of Jenga and flogging.

Don’t read this when you’re drunk; trust me I’ve tried: I’m beginning to identify two major structures in which a party group can operate. I’ll call them the Creatives and the Nostalgics.

Another attempt at Google traffic, but it’s actually a decent read if you ask me: Those kinds of conversations, about how SD is so nice and the weather is fucking rad, are immensely boring to me.

Thank you again for reading (I fucking mean it) and please tell me in the comments below which posts are the SD Survival Guide “must reads.”

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“What did I do last night?” A Detective Story

by 

cancer-neck-pain-dying-trashed-slept-on-bathroom-floor

My little brother — cosmic-cowboy hole-in-the-brain child of the same kooks that made me — was in town last week. I’d been hesitant to take him out since the last time I’d had drinks with him in public our parents found me sleep-standing against a wall and him shouting fuck tha’ po-lice.

But Katelyn makes a good drunk wrangler (we call her The Handler) and I figured if things started going to shit I’d make use of the zipties I inexplicably had in my purse.

I took him on a test run to a beach shindig where I didn’t know anyone (seriously, no one — the host found me on Facebook and just invited me, like some sort of party talent recruiter). His standby favorite, Steele Reserve, was only available in a three pack so we were playing with fire, so-to-speak. Indeed, with a literal flaming blade he did burn his hair. Yet, he struck down the beach with such furious precision that I was sure he had the beast, his party-monster, tamed. (I can’t speak for mine, however…)

sword-fire-poi-beach

The next night I took him to Fashion Whore, where two of our mutual friends were modeling. My brother asked if he was dressed well enough, and yes the holes in his pants look less like trendy distressing and more like he’s been living in a Berkeley co-op for the past 3-4 years (he has), but his screen-printed and studded leather jacket is a masterpiece. It should be placed on the shoulders of a little girl, photographed back-stalwartly-turned to the camera, and used as his next album cover for Butch Nasty and the Blackout Kids.

Brother + friend dropping Magnums.

Brother + friend dropping Magnums.

I’m not sure if the designers are geniuses or just sewing seashells to women’s clothing they got at the thrift store, but the event felt larger than the artsy-craftsy charm of its pieces. May Star is not short of brilliant for organizing this one; the U-31 crowd was thicker than the usual Ruby Room Merrow group and I’m not the only one who enjoyed watching my friends strutting (and dipping, and gliding, and dancing, and vamping) on the runway. Good show.

I think because my brother spent most of our bar excursion outside to smoke — out of sight, out of mind — I felt comfortable enough to quit monitoring his alcohol intake. And mine. By the end of the fashion show I’d made it through the better part of the third iteration of my “whiskey coke” (Pro Tip: A plastic flask extends the life of an $8 drink). I left it unattended with at least a finger left of pure Evan Williams, so when the busboy swiped it I felt like the universe owed me a drink. A friend of mine was completely neglecting some sort of Red Bull poison, and by the time he left I was basically obligated to finish it. The universe decided to teach me to watch what I ask for, and also provided a full vodka soda. I mumbled something about being a garbage disposal and downed both.

We made it back to a friend’s house, and I don’t remember much there. Luckily drunk-sami became a smartphone photographer so I’ve managed to reconstruct memories of Jenga and flogging.

jenga smile gif

flogger-smile

What no one remembers is if I knocked over all of the Jenga pieces on accident or on purpose.

The rest of the evening I pieced together by various clues. “Babe, why was there a towel by my head on the floor where I slept?” I was apparently making spit noises and giggling, like a giant frothy baby. Solution: towel. I also found a pillow in the bathroom and glimpsed a memory of a puke-filled toilet bowl through the camera-shutter flashback that is my recollection of traumatic happenings. I’m not much of a ‘vommer,’ be the urge from alcohol-intake or flu, always choosing to bunker down with my suffering over the violence of becoming a projectile-mechanism for my own stomach soup. I’ll do anything not to succumb to the porcelain gods’ demands for sacrifice.

Cigarettes, however, are a poison that my body won’t accept. My accusatory finger began pointing like a dowsing rod. Clearly I had an accomplice, since I know full well what cigarettes do to me. I wouldn’t stick another of those emetic sticks in my mouth after half a clove produced an embarrassing wet arc on the Brass Rail smoking patio. I wouldn’t…

cigarette-makes-me-puke-textOh, right. I totally would.

A conversation with my brother

It’s 11:59pm. I miss a phone call.

“Oh it’s Zach, it’s only Zach,” I say loudly and facetiously to my lovers.

I call my brother immediately.

“Zach, you there?”

“Hey, hi, I just wanted to like talk or something,” the drawl in his voice is permanent so I can’t know if he’s drunk, just affectionate, or both.

“For sure, what’s up?”

“You like at a party or something? You busy?”

I explain that I’m not. Loosely. Through a few dropped calls, we establish that he’s lonely and that I’m available to talk.

“It’s just that back home,” he means San Diego, “I’m a God. You know what I’m saying?”

“And you’re a– in Berkeley you’re a puppet.” He’s told me this before, how he’s a character, how he performs. But he adds something new:

“I’m a clown. And everyone laughs at the clown. But the clown cries you know. This is just an allegory. I mean. I’m — a metaphor — I’m using poetry, here.”

“Right, you’ve got a tear painted on your face…” He keeps talking like he doesn’t hear me.

He mentions feeling better than everyone, how maybe he’s a sociopath. “But I have empathy. I love every fucking living thing on this planet.” He’s just surrounded by morons. People who can’t even distinguish a rectangle from a square, or solve a crossword puzzle. He reads The New York Times every day.

“Hey, Sam, can I ask you something? How many people died in the Syrian Wars?”

“Uh,” I guess blindly, “30,000?”

“That’s cute. One hundred ten thousand,” he says.

“See, I don’t know anything. I’ve been asleep.”

“Right, everyone is clueless.”

“I’ve realized lately that I’ve been out of touch with reality for most of my life. Now, I finally fucking care. I want to know everything. All of art history and science. I want to understand things like I’ve never understood them before,” I say. I mean it, too.

When we talk I giggle loudly. It’s good, his voice is good. Other people don’t sound like themselves on the phone, but I just hear my brother in the hot piece of plastic against my ear. He mentions how the Illuminati or maybe the overlord lizard-brains are monitoring our call, trying to intercept it, how he’s been really into conspiracy theories, “But I’m just high, it’s fun to talk about these things. I’m just augmenting my brain chemicals or some shit. Hey Sami, I’m going to drop a bomb on you, k?”

“Okay Zach.”

“You know when you were little, I was like 3–” he’s wrong, he had to have been at least 6, but he remembers things from age 3 so I don’t blame him for thinking it could have been then, “–I overheard you talking about your alien thing, Anastasia.”

“Venastasia.” I correct, and wonder now (and not a moment earlier) what the other people in the room think of my side of the conversation.

“Right. I just think there’s something about us.”

He asks me to lucid dream with him. When we were young our grandmother told us stories of sharing dreams with family far away in Michigan. She told us how our uncle, at 7 years, would touch people in the grocery store, and they would start crying. “Either she’s fucking crazy, and it’s in my genes so whatever,” I imagine his squinty self-deprecating laugh, “or there’s some extra-dimension bullshit going on.”

I have asked myself in the past if I were crazy, and I know the ache and frenetic sadness that comes with that. Even though I hear my brother saying these words, asking me if he’s crazy, I’m not worried. Somehow I’m confident he’ll be fine.

We finish our conversation with these thoughts, “You’re the only person I can really talk to about this, Sam. You know you share more DNA with me than anything else in the world.”

“I think about it every day, Zach.”

“Meet me in your lucid dream, in the café on Mars.”