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.



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.”

How to Play Cards Against Humanity


Stolen from reddit user, foshofersher.

Remain sober, so you can defeat everyone with your mental acuity.

Identify known trump cards. “Pacman guzzling cum” is a trump card. So is “dick fingers.” For most, so is “Hellen Keller.”

Try to recall your friends’ personal trump cards. Emma G. will always choose “BATMAN!!!” Art Meier is weak for bacon.

Cheat. When you draw “Toni Morrison’s Vagina” and you know your friends aren’t going to get it, slyly put that back in the deck and draw a new one. Or not so slyly. Nobody is paying attention to you.

In general, just realize that nobody is paying attention to you because this game is designed for narcissists.

Confidently play “8oz. of sweet Mexican black tar heroin” only to be beaten by a deeply nostalgic moment over the card “Lunchables” that has nothing to do with the black card at all.

Try to bring up the fact that Cards Against Humanity charged an extra 5 dollars during Black Friday, but everyone already knew that. Become deeply insecure that you might be a “boring person.”

Start regretting that you offered to be the designated driver, because it’s like all the drunk people speak special drunk people language and they are playing by deranged drunk people rules.

Try another attempt at a trump card by whipping out “Firing a rifle into the air while balls deep in a squealing hog” — which you’ve been saving for 3 turns — only to lose miserably to “Glen Beck convulsively vomiting as a brood of crab spiders hatches in his brain and erupts from his tear ducts.”

Carefully time your bathroom break. Come back. You didn’t win.

Finally take your first turn as the Card Czar and announce the cards with decreasing dramatic zest…because a side conversation starts to dominate the table. Once you’ve got your white cards arranged into piles, wonder what everyone wants you to pick because you’re starting to think you’re categorically unfunny. Nobody laughs when you select your answer.

Cry a little inside when you draw the card “Active Listening.” What does that even mean?

Cry a little inside after you play your pick for “White people like _______,” and the replacement card you draw is “White privilege.”  IT’S TOO LATE. YOU ARE NOW CURSED. YOU WILL ALWAYS DRAW THE PERFECT CARD 1 TURN TOO LATE FOR THE REST OF THIS GAME.

Zone out for awhile contemplating the intricate levels of inside jokes you are not a part of.

Start chucking throwaways into the pile every turn because you’re determined to save “Trail of Tears” for that one card about white people ruining the lives of Native Americans.

Feel a little grateful that you’re at least not playing Apples to Apples.

Surreptitiously check Urban Dictionary for the definition of “swooping” on your smartphone and discover someone else out there had the same idea while playing this game. Feel less alone.

Draw “Life for the Native Americans was forever changed after the white man introduced them to __________” as your black card. Slam your fist on the table. Your friends look at you suspiciously. All hope has died.

Start writing a blog post in your mind about how Cards Against Humanity, while effective at bringing a room full of people together, is perhaps the loneliest game we play at parties.

From cah.tumblr.com

Let’s Ghost (Leaving without Saying Goodbye)

About a week ago, I saw an article in my newsfeed about ‘ghosting at parties,’ which is leaving without saying goodbye. The author, Seth Stevenson, gave an insightful background of the ethnophobic terms surrounding ghosting, such as “French Farewell.”

Read the article on slate.com here.

Read the article on Slate.com here.

He also made the argument that ghosting is more courteous than it seems. E.g. while “a hello has the bright promise of a beginning,” Stevenson points out that goodbyes are kind of a “bummer.” That’s true, but I wanted to snort; ghosting to be a good guest! While I’m all for being a party ally in the spirit of more fun for everyone, I felt that the article missed an opportunity — the opportunity to point out that ghosting is awesome for selfish reasons.

Ghosting goes well with the trope of Making an Appearance, which is a fashionable way of saying you’re a dirty, dirty party hopper like me. I’d like to pretend I ghost to protect the feelings of my party hosts when I leave their hipster potluck for a warehouse rager. I’d like to, but I don’t. I’m creating an illusion that everyone is important to me by not calling attention to how much I’m party double-dipping. That way, fewer people will hate me for being popular.

It’s true that no one cares that you are leaving. Well, except I do, at my birthday party. If you are leaving at my birthday party, please do interrupt whatever I’m doing to hug me goodbye because it makes me feel super loved, d’awww. Anyway, usually no one cares that you are leaving. And, if you don’t draw any attention to it, they won’t notice at all. This is the way I trick everyone into thinking that I’m there longer than I really am. By sliding out secretly, I slip into the party’s narrative as a permanent fixture. Perhaps I was there the whole night. Perhaps the party was so large it swallowed me up. Ghosting, my friends, is the secret to becoming a legend.

And I avoid so much awkwardness. If I start a round of farewells, by the time I get to the end of the line I run into the first person again and it’s been 20 minutes, so do I hug them once more? The dreaded goodbye Möbius strip: we could get stuck in an endless loop of departure, then someone forms their own exit circuit, then we’re all circling each other in a nervous chain of social rituals ’til someone introduces waving and we flock out the door, hands fluttering.

I’ve been caught trying to ghost before. There’s the catch.

We had driven all the way to Chula Vista and instead of a free-spirited soiree we found a weirdness ambush.

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. They were all sober. What little alcohol there was — I saw evidence of a single pint of vodka and a six-pack of Fire Rock Pale Ale — had long ago been emptied, and evaporated out of their blood, and they were gooey and friendly and touchy but sober. These old hippies had been baking their brains and drinking the new-age Kool-Aid so long that they act like floaty affection amoeba without needing to be on any substance at all.

“Everyone is sober. There is no alcohol. I don’t think there ever was.” Katelyn said to me.

“I know.”

“Let’s ghost.”

When she and I tried to duck out the front door, a guy who vaguely knows me asked, “leaving already?” Perhaps he saw the horror in our eyes. “Oh,” I said, “We’re just going to go get some beer. Be back soon!” A goodbye ritual would have only delayed my escape, and I didn’t want to be trapped there another second.

We got on the road for another 40 minutes and I found my friend “Arwen” and collapsed into her arms. “What took you so long to get here?” she said as she hugged me hello.

“I have been at the wrong party.” I said. “Now I know better. This is the right party…this is the right party…” I repeated in a shell-shocked whisper.

She laughed and offered her flask and I never went back to that other party.

Only nerds assume asking for consent is nerdy

I’m fucking sick of nerds.*

And by nerds, I mean unimaginative literalists.

I was at a party, searching for a topic to fill the lull in conversation. I remembered that I’d pledged for a cute consent panties kickstarter and I brought that up with the intention to offer a pair to my friend, if they were interested, since in my pledge bracket I’d be receiving 5 extra pairs of boxers and briefs emblazoned with phrases like, “Only yes means yes.”

My friend’s reaction floored me. I thought they’d be receptive. This is a friend who wears brightly colored wigs, just asked if I’d like to see their merkin, and regularly walks about parties with floggers and paddles. I figured they might be into consent. I’d barely said, “Speaking of Youtopia, I got these ‘Let’s Talk First’ panties from a kickstarter and…” I was interrupted.

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.

My friend has a much louder voice than me, and sometimes I am a coward, so I opted for plan B. I listened to this friend say, “Oh god, the consent thing is just annoying. I mean how nerdy is it to ask, ‘Can we have sex,’ or ‘Can I kiss you?’ I mean why can’t people just use body language like adults.”

Right, because no one in the history of ever has suffered from relying on just body language.

Now that I’m not frozen by shock, slouching on a bar stool with a headache trying to gracefully hint to this nearby guy with a cookie monster onesie that I’m pretty gay, yo, stop asking me “what do girls like about men” while ever slowly inching closer to me, please?  … I just want to emphatically say, asking for consent does not have to be nerdy.

Asking for consent can be highly erotic! I have lived this; my dearest moments contain that asking, and not because I churned out “can I kiss you?” like a robot trying to follow robot laws, but because I have internalized consent; I have made it part of who I am.

This is not about literally asking, this is about wanting to hear the answer. This is about not accepting anything less than eager, dripping-wet consent, or, if that isn’t there, at least having a talk about if we’re still all cool to try this. In real life, sex is often a bit awkward and sometimes we push through it because we still really want to get laid tonight, even if the moment isn’t perfect. What we shouldn’t do is push through a maybe because, if we take a second to ask, we know we won’t be getting laid tonight.

But fucking nerds just hear the frustrated bleating, “ask first?” and they think that literally means ask first. As if asking “can I have sex with you?” is magic phrase that shields you from qualifying as a rapist… No. There are moments when you will use your precious body language, and in these moments you have to admit to yourself when her back isn’t arching and her skin is dry and her eyes windows to another world outside of herself and her smile holds a little pain.

That’s the moment when you stop, when you use your words, when you check in sweetly, “babe, are you ok?” That is the moment you graciously tuck away your desires and spend the night holding her, knowing there will be a better time.

Or, that is the moment when her attention falls against you like a tidal wave, and that you asked breaks her walls, and she decides then, yes, she wants this, she wants you, the one who asked. That is the moment your care for her makes her brave against her fears.

These scripts are missing from our movies, our TV shows, the popular media engine. People cannot imagine consent language being sexy, because they have not seen it modeled over and over again the same way they have seen men wordlessly seize women in impassioned kisses over and over again. This mute tension, not knowing if your desires are symmetrical, fearing what speaking will do to the myth you have created… I concede this is worth living once. I’m not saying we need to strike that out of our vocabularies entirely.

We do, however, desperately need to eroticize consent. “Rebecca, I’d like to kiss you,” doesn’t do it for ya? Well, fine, use your bloody imagination. Create your own stories. I’ll share two, and guess what guys, in both of these I felt like I was in a goddamned movie:

Erotic Consent Story #1

I sat in a tree with a friend and gave myself the same mental nudge I do before jumping off the high dive. “You have to know that I find you tortuously attractive,” I said. Deep eye contact.

Tortuously attractive, huh?”

We returned to our previous conversation a moment, about socialism and money as debt, and again I found a pause. “Stick of gum?” I offered, very intentionally referring to Wet Hot American Summer, which we had watched together the week before. I’d been intensely aware of our body positioning on the couch, wondering for a moment to kiss, but not finding it, and going home uncertain, still just friends.

I added, “I’d really like to kiss you, but I have this terrible cough and I’d hate to get you sick before you travel.”

“That’s a bullshit reason.” This was almost the yes I wanted. I felt my grin more than it showed on my face.

“Well, it’s up to you,” I sat back, “I’m serious about not wanting to get you sick.”

“Wait, am I reading into this too much??”

Emboldened by my friend’s flustered reaction, I responded with a warm low voice, leaning in, “What I mean is, if you say bullshit, I will kiss y–”


We almost fell out of that tree.

Erotic Consent Story #2

I finally had come to the house of someone you will recognize from the comic below ;) and we’d spent the night playing videogames and watching Howl’s Moving Castle. “Help!” I’d texted my friend, “We’re actually playing videogames.”

As we were both too shy to make the first move (or so I’d thought, turns out she just likes tormenting people!) I’d squirmed the whole night in borrowed jammies next to her on silk sheets. We actually slept together without sleeping together. As an ex-Christian I am especially familiar with the ‘thrill’ of delayed gratification. I’d once gone 7 months without orgasm. I relieved all 7 of them in that single night.

As soon as I heard her stirring in the morning, excitement pounded in my chest and in my arms as I kissed her. I remember her delicately small ear more than anything, colors washed from my memory in the dimness in her room, and how her earring twinkled. I whispered into her ear, between kisses, “Can we… have… sex now?” Her yes was full of laughter and everything I wanted to hear in the world.

comic-lesbian-first-sleepover-sexP.S. I am the big spoon. Duh.

*Actual nerds — like enthusiastically into science or books or something dear to them from pop culture, those kinds of nerds — are great, of course.

How to Spike Your Shoes + a Tale of Violence

If you came here from the google and just want the tutorial for how to make spiky shoes without using goddamn power tools, jump here.

I have mixed feelings about my interest in fashion… in that I know it’s incredibly shallow at times but I’m not a moralist so I know I don’t really need to make an arbitrary value judgement about being shallow.

If I am going to justify my interest in fashion, which is mostly an obsession with shoes, I will say…Jeffrey Campbells kick ass. At least when they are on my feet they do.

I went to my friend Mindy’s going-away party (sniff, we will miss you Mindy). It is probably the last time I’ll see her apartment, which I will also miss, sliced in above a Thai restaurant in Hilcrest. I took my gas mask photo there for her Apocalypse rager.

I wanted to impress Mindy because she is stylish and has an adorable laugh, so I wore these boots of kicking and stomping:


I was having a pretty good time until some misogynistic monster told the story of forcing an underage girl to walk home with jizz in her hair. Even in his account, she very clearly said not to do that, but he thinks no means yes and he even rubbed it in for her. This guy was basically who everyone thinks Tucker Max is, but actually an asshole. I mean, so is Tucker, but he knows he is. This monster I met last weekend pretends to be self-deprecating as an excuse to tell stories for attention in which he is always the hero and women are unfortunate victims. Because, you know, sorry, that’s just how men are lol haha what-a-riot no fuck you.

“I bet she’s traumatized for life,” I said.

I was possibly also cranky because I was sober. I’ve been trying to be nicer to my liver. Aside: I have been really hungry lately and I realized it is because I’m consuming less liquid calories.

By about 2am I’d ironed out most of my crankiness talking to a new friend on the couch about his job at Alesmith and how I really ought to give the new Skrillex album a chance. I mean normally I would be like oh no, sir, my DJ friends told me never to Skrillex but this guy could make even Skrillex sound appealing, is what I’m saying.

I was quite enjoying the conversation when a new guy walked into the party with his dudes, put on Bubble Butt by Major laser, and asked me to dance.

“I’d rather not,” I said, and my Alesmith friend waved his hands, no thank you. Bubble Butt said if we refused him, he’d shake his bubble butt in our faces.

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. I mean, please, people, don’t put your butts near my body parts without a proper introduction!  I raised my right foot high, a clear message, I thought, that if he proceeded with shaking his bum-bum near my nose, it would only meet boot.

Yeah, I shoved him with my shoe, pretty hard. Then I caught Katelyn’s eye and we high-tailed it outta there. My only regret is that I didn’t stay long enough to say, “Oh, I’m sorry, are you butt-hurt?”

I immediately scored two new pairs of Jeffery Campbells at the PB Buffalo Exchange. For my protection. Against butts.


DIY Easy Spiked/Studded Heels

These are pretty quick to make. I finished mine in the commercial breaks between watching Breaking Bad. Did you see the last episode? Holy fuck, what a phone call.

You’ll need…

  • Screw-on spikes. Spikes are expensive. Try Amazon, maybe. Mine are like these.
  • An awl. To avoid using power tools, we’ll make the holes by hand. So keep that in mind when picking the shoes – are you strong enough to stab ’em? I got one from Ace Hardware San Carlos Hardware for $4
  • A screwdriver with a plastic handle
  • Shoes. If you want to do pumps like me, you’ll need to choose a pair with a seam down the back, because I am not strong enough to stab through 12 layers of plastic/fabric/plether/suede/whatever-the-fuck so I’ll just go in-between the stitches
  • Maybe some super glue
  • Maybe like some felt dots or something


bushmills-whiskey-reed-ginger-beer-cocktail-mixed-drinkPour whiskey over ice and splash some sours or ginger beer or nothing on it. This is always step one why do I even have to remind you??


spikes-close-up-shoesTake a good look at the shoes and plan where you’re going to place the spikes. I opted to go in between the seams, with 4 spikes in each shoe. Space between them makes them look more menacing. I didn’t need to mark my holes, because I can count stitches relatively well, but if you need to do that probably some white out or a pencil, right?


stabbin-shoe-with-awl-lookit-my-glitter-nails-spikesPlace the tip of the awl in between the seams from the outside of the shoe. Place the plastic handle of the screwdriver inside the shoe, and use it to help you make a clean hole without denting the shoe and also so you don’t stab yourself. Go slow so you don’t break the stitches, and push inward with the awl while twisting. Like you are killing something through its eye-socket and you want it to suffer.

If you do break a stitch, you can be paranoid and put a drop of super glue on it though I’m pretty sure the screwed-on spike will hold everything together.


Screw that spike on. Do I really have to explain this? Tighten it with the screwdriver, too.


The way my particular shoes fit, I can’t even feel the screws, but if they rub on your feet in an uncomfortable way you could try a felt dot or a piece you cut from a gel insert to add space between your precious foot and the screw. Or you could just suffer for fashion like everyone else, duh.


Is San Diego Really Boring?

San Diego Survival Guide just hit its 6 monthiversary. Yup, that means I’ve made about 24 regular weekly posts (mostly on time, too). I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing with this blog, and my relationship with this city.

In college I sustained a group created by Robert Turner and Grace Nam, in which we made an effort to go out exploring almost every Thursday night (…hey that’s when this blog updates). We took turns leading adventures, burning mixed CDs, and sharing adventurous spots in San Diego. We made a night of surveying pedestrian suspension bridges (there were three). We looked at the topiaries off vine street. We climbed the Secret Stairs of La Mesa. We went to a steel bridge in Jamul because it looked cool on Google Earth.


A blurry nighttime photo of the Secret Stairs of La Mesa

In the past two years, I’ve made going out part of my regular schedule. Katelyn and I get cabin fever because our hobbit-hole apartment has low ceilings and our third roommate is her extensive hookah collection, which really doesn’t leave much room for us… Really, it is all of her research and voracious appetite to get out of the house that I have to thank for my knowledge of places, events, subcultures and what’s happening right now in the city.

So, I feel more focused than most on discovering the truly interesting parts of SD and analyzing its culture. Most people living here are transplants, lost in a sea of tourist traps. The locals that remain are either jaded and fantasize about leaving, or they are comfortable, heavy with their habits.

This town is uniquely apathetic in a glossy-eyed, vacationer-sucking-on-a-Mai-Tai kind of way. We just don’t care, and while this may make us seem culture-less and unambitious, we also are strangely accepting of weirdos. This is where the subcultures have room to flourish. Punks throw subterranean rock shows, burners dance naked in large suburban backyards, polyamorous lovers gather in gigantic cuddle puddles, kinky kids suspend their wives from rafters.

When I started the Guide, I envisioned a personal blog which would examine my life’s intersection with the SD underground. I’d gather email addresses and beacon out parties to the people. I’ve found, however, that I am protective of the secret places and secret societies. I want the world to know they exist, but only the worthy to find them.

The truth is, this Guide is still very necessary.  Yes, when I first did a Google Trends analysis on “San Diego nightlife,” my heart sank.

google-trends-san-diego-nightlife-clubsThe golden years seemed to be 2004 and before. Had I missed my chance? Was I wasting my efforts on non-“trending” topic?

But, no, this is only further evidence that the few young and exciting people out there need help. We’re the last fun warriors. We are in survival mode.

So many people find my blog because they search “Why is San Diego so boring?” or some variation thereof. There’s bored people out there hungry for something real, something exciting, something fun… or just pizza.

why-is-san-diego-so-boringAlso one lonely person found my blog by typing “baptism vagina” in the Google. I don’t even…

Screen shot 2013-09-12 at 6.52.57 PMI 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.

Soon, I’ll get my first smart phone and I’ll take care of my more casual visitors by posting pictures and short reviews when I’m out at my favorite late-night establishments to this blog and/or my facebook page. I may be very drunk. There may be selfies.

Next, I’m gathering an army of survivalists and I need your help. If you have interest in being part of the movement, put your facebook profile link in the box below, and we’ll form a group (and I’ll add you as my friend). I’ll be working with local business owner and my good friend “Keshet” to set up parties with all sorts of crazy bad stuff and alcohol, and more alcohol, and unlike the other guys out there, there’s no way we’re charging cover.  Here’s a teaser picture:


Fill out the form if you want to help me throw parties…

I’m pretty excited. But also I made this today and it makes me happy:

animalshurtingsmallchildren.tumblr.com lol

AnimalsHurtingSmallChildren.tumblr.com … I have problems.

What to do when your wallet is stolen

If you’re here from the Google and just want step by steps for what to do when your wallet is stolen, skip to that part of the post here.

Remember how I said I wanted a trainwreck date? I think maybe I’m the trainwreck date. If I had any shame, I would have been asking myself what I could have done differently, what went wrong, how this could have happened….

New rule: avoid hardwood floors as a surface for sex.

Of course, I’m now only physically battered (hardwood floors) and the emotional bruising has healed. 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. It’s hard to distinguish despondency from the rotten feeling in my insides after one rum pineapple, two Long Beach Iced Teas, and one Audios Mother Fucker.

New rule: don’t drink anything blue.

I wish I could say all that drinking fogged my memory, but it did not. I remember very clearly turning into an annoying foam troll, scooping up bubbles and blowing them at angry people. Now I realize they didn’t want soap in their drinks, but at the time they just seemed to be enemies of fun. When a woman said to me, “Do you not SEE this?” indicating the phone and pack of cigs she held aloft the bubbles like Simba over the Serengeti, I replied, “Do you not SEE that you’re already elbow deep in bubbles?” My date thought I was fiery or something. I am just embarrassed.

New rule: stay out of the foam pit.

Anyway, when your wallet is stolen, you are going to be making TONS of phone calls.

  1. Call your bank and cancel your card(s).
  2. Call the police (look up the local non-emergency number online and be prepared to leave a message).
  3. Call the credit bureaus and set up a 90-day fraud alert.
  4. Call an identity theft protection agency.
  5. Call the DMV and set up an appointment for your replacement license.

Here’s how I handled it:

1. I called my bank.

My bank had already frozen my card, because apparently my purchasing habits algorithm conflicts with spending $25.19 at Taco Bell and then renting a hotel room.  OK, first of all… TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS AT TACO BELL? I love taco bell but I don’t even know how to spend that much money there. Even the most decked out supreme crunchy space saucer wrap thing is less than 5 dollars. Either my crook had friends, or she bought two party packs and an XL Mountain Dew and contemplated her life choices over 24 tacos.

My pickpocket spent $25 on Taco Bell and rented a crappy hotel room, among other things. CRIME SPREE LOL.

My pickpocket spent $25 on Taco Bell and rented a crappy hotel room, among other things. CRIME SPREE LOL.

My bank also transferred me to the identity theft protection service they offer, but I took down the number to call them back so I could think about my options.

2. And then I called the police.

It’s important to make an official report, because, hmm, I’m not sure why but it was pretty exciting to have the police calling me every couple of hours over 3 days trying to get through my wall of bad reception and general unavailability. Nothing makes my hair prickle quite like hearing “This is the San Diego Police Department calling for [my real name].”

3. I put up a fraud alert.

My bank instructed me to call the credit bureaus and put up a 90-day fraud alert.  Equifax will notify Experian and Trans Union for you, so you only have to call the first one. I’m starting to feel like the person who stole my wallet was an opportunistic miscreant and not a skilled criminal, because it looks like she tried to buy something from Boost Mobile and frantically reversed the charges. Or maybe it’s some sort of off-the-grid cell phone trick only the pros know about. Anyway, the fraud alert will protect me from people trying to open up lines of credit in my name.

4. Should I sign up for identity theft protection?

Yes. Yes I should. The anxiety told me I have to do it, because people out there might try to personify me to uh….well…get into bars underage? Get speeding tickets under my name? Um. Not quite sure what they can do with my driver’s license but CNN tells me to be very afraid.

Anyway, it’s only $13 a month and I might as well try it for awhile.

5. This one’s IMPORTANT. Make an APPOINTMENT with the DMV

The Tuesday after Labor Day @ the DMV was a horde of sweating unhappy people. They spilled out of the overcrowded building onto the hot sidewalk. Oh no. Oh no, no, no, I thought, why did I think today would be a good day? Staff didn’t even try to harass me for bringing in my iced chai latte, which I’m pretty sure is verboten.

At 3pm I got through a 3 person line at window 22 to check in for my appointment. At 3:10pm I wandered back inside to look for a chair. At 3:20pm the woman who let me sit next to her gave me a murderous glance when my number was called. At 3:30pm I was back in my car with my temporary driver’s license, feeling like I had cheated at life.

So yeah, make an appointment in advance by calling the number on their website.

In conclusion…

All told, I’m not too shaken by this whole thing. All I really lost was the $30 cash and the cost for replacing my drivers license, as my bank should refund the charges. I amuse myself by thinking that someone out there got wasted in a hotel room full of gorditas.

Theme party ideas for adults

Of course, the first week I miss a scheduled post, 6 people at a party make a point to tell me they enjoy my writing/blog. Did you all work together to guilt trip me? Because it worked. You crazy kids made me a little weepy, d’aww.

Also, I got a slew of nonsensical comments from the interwebs, which the WordPress spam robot completely missed. Probably skipped ’em because they aren’t linking to Christian Loubouton shoes or Gucci handbags. Instead they just link to facebook profiles of attractive people. I’m keeping some of them, because look at this one:

Your website has to be the eltcreonic Swiss army knife for this topic. (from Pocket Cheese)

I don’t know if a bunch of drunks found one of my business cards or I’m just being punished by the blog gremlins.

So, I’ll set aside the part of my Saturday generally reserved to pretending if I lie still in bed I can fall back asleep and my hangover will go away and Katelyn might wake up and I can ask her to bring me a water…and instead I’ll write a make-up post. But don’t ask me to say sorry. Yes, I prioritized getting laid over writing in my blog, and no one can make me apologize for that.

This is what I look like right now.

This is what I look like right now.

Choosing a theme for your party

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. I found that two key ingredients made for a notable party — the type of party people talked about for days after — and that was a carefully chosen guest list and, of course, a well-executed theme.

Historical themes included (and feel free to steal them)…

Teeny Tiny Party – Miniature everything. Cupcakes turned upside down and decorated like cakes. Those toothpicks with tiny pinwheels on them. Half-sized gel pens. Mini skirts encouraged. Palm-sized pizzas. Custard cups of “spaghetti” made from angel hair pasta and the littlest hand-rolled meatballs. Even the invitations were itty bitty.

Under the Sea – If you make ocean-themed blue jello cups, don’t put gummy sharks in them. Don’t put gummy anything in them. The sugar gets all sucked out and the gummy engorges with water and you end up with floppy tasteless shark blobs. Actually, this was entertainingly gross. I also made sea-shell pasta and hot dog “octopuses” (slice the hot dog vertically just past the halfway point, and the dangly hot dog “legs” will curl when you boil them).

Image from Taste of Home, click for recipe.

Casino Royale – Invitations in black envelopes included cut-up card confetti and fake money. I made a roulette table out of a lazy Susan and card-stock. Keno board out of a white board and painters tape. Poker table. Poker chips scattered everywhere. A paper-mache golden egg, covered in a thick layer of glitter, contained prizes for the winner with the most counterfeit cash.

Sweet 16 – Candyland. I found a freaking candyland VHS tape + floor game and left it playing downstairs to add to the ambiance. Giant lollipops made out of balloons and cellophane. Smarties necklaces. Decorations and food were strictly pink, orange, and white. Those little sticky white pork buns.

Murder Mystery Dinner – I wanted to throw one regardless and was willing to write my own script, but I lucked out and found a boxed murder mystery at the thrift store. Aw yis, vintage. Each invitee received a wax-sealed manila envelope stuffed with a packet of instructions, including period costume ideas and character breakdowns so they knew in advance how to play their roles. My mom helped me put on a 5 course meal, and each ring of the dinner bell both signified when to bring out the next dish and to advance the game one round. The murderer ended up being a surprise porn star from the film, “Stiff Upper Lip.”

Image from Vintagegameworld.com

I’m a Big Kid Now – For my 18th birthday I encouraged guests to dress up as 5-year-olds. One boy came in a Spiderman costume. Everyone brought baby pictures and we had a guessing contest. Bubbles. Crayons. Finger-painting. At the end of the party, I had a bead-giving ceremony à la YMCA summer camp, where I gave out plastic beads on safety pins to each person in turn, explaining what the color of the bead signified and what each person meant to me. I cried. A lot.

And, of course, with any of those themes you need only add alcohol and they become adult parties. That’s really what I do; throw a kid-worthy party with over-the top decorations and at least one craft activity and/or game, and tack on a BYOB.

The Mashup Formula

I’ve also recently discovered a sort of formula, and that’s the mashup. Take a style (such as a genre or pop culture meme) and mash it with a type of event or holiday. And then throw it on your birthday because, yes, you can have Halloween in February (Sami says it’s OK).  I did “Ravemas,” which was actually kind of temporally relevant because my birthday is two days after Christmas.gingerbread-cookie-club-kids

  • Rave + Christmas = Ravemas:
  • Fishnets, glittery Santa Hats (Claire’s had the best ones), fuzzy leg warmers, antler ears, big black boots
  • Mistletoe & cuddle puddles
  • Egg nog and spiked hot chocolate
  • Twinkle string lights every-the-fuck-where, plus rave-y lights
  • My friend brought his DJ gear and played a house set
  • Cookie club kids decorating sesh

Using this formula, I can think up a mint of other themes for ya:

  • Tim Burton Easter
  • Death Metal Valentine’s
  • German-style Wake (for the passing of your 20s). Ziggy zaggy ziggy zaggy. Oi oi oi!
  • Walking Dead Prom
  • Office Party Halloween (put on some bunny ears and pretend you’re in the conference room trying to get a sexual harassment suit)
  • Sci-fi Speed-dating
  • Dexter Pool Party

Get creative, because no one wants to go to yet another Mad Hatter Tea Party this year.

P.S. If you’re asking why I don’t throw more parties, why don’t you offer to host a location for me?

Sick of Partying

I wish mac ‘n’ cheese had all the essential nutrients and vitamins, because it’s the only thing I’ve been able to eat since Monday. I’ve been coughing much, much longer than that, and had made a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday to see what rattled in my lungs. Monday my health rapidly plummeted from a disgusting yet livable cough to hellfire and a throat full of barbed wire. I measured my fever at 101.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This was after I’d taken a cold shower, convinced that my brain was boiling in my skull.

Fortuitously, my mom tele-worked on Tuesday, so she took a long lunch and drove me to the doctor’s. I’m pretty sure I would have killed myself and at least 2 other drivers if I’d tried to use a car that day.

The receptionist asked if I wanted to add my picture to the file; they had a camera right there and the doctors use the pictures to…. I made my face into a disgusted shape and she understood immediately that I don’t normally look like a 14 year old boy with hygiene problems and bad hair. “Not today.”

The doctor poked the flashlight-hammer thing into my facial orifices and asked me symptoms-questions, putting an emphasis on fatigue. I knew she wanted it to be mono. They always want us to have mono, because everyone who is young and promiscuous deserves mono. But she said my throat bumps or whatever medical term she used for them were so “red and beefy” that it could be strep. She darted two cotton swabs in my throat at the same time so she’d only have to gag me once. How kind.

“What if my girlfriend doesn’t get hers treated,” I planned to ask, “will she just pass it back to me when I’m done with my antibiotics?” This would be a white lie – my girlfriend seems to have skipped this round of contagion. I wouldn’t have been asking for her, not exactly. Although I can count on just one hand the number of women I made out with during last Saturday’s party, any number felt like too many to confess in that white interrogation room. 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.) But when the doctor popped back in and announced, “it’s strep,” she also told me she’d be giving me a shot and I forgot all my questions.

“I’m not going to lie to you, it’s going to be a bee sting. But you’ll feel better faster, and the swelling in your throat will hopefully have gone down enough by tomorrow to make it easier to swallow these horse pills I’m prescribing.” Welp. I numbly rubbed my shoulder. I felt my arm getting heavier, willing itself to die so it wouldn’t feel the pain. I practiced not clenching my muscles.

The nurse came back, told me the shot will actually be going in my butt. She didn’t say Gluteus Maximus, she said butt. A shot. In my butt.

“It would hurt too much if it went in your arm,” she explained, as if that would actually make me feel better. I think she noticed my eyes flaring and my head wobbling on my neck like a ship listing in the waves. “You can be lying down for this.” I started to think it wouldn’t be so terrible until she added, “I just need to get someone else to help me position the needle. The anatomy of the body changes when you’re lying down.” She told me to pull my pants down to my crack. I laid face-down on the table, waiting for them to return, sure that she sought a helper to pin me down so she could harpoon me with the syringe on the counter next to me. I felt like the albatross from the Rescuers Down Under, my shame exposed to the cheery nurse mice, who almost seemed to look forward to my suffering.

(Watch the first two minutes for a scene re-enactment.)

When the other nurse came in, there was no time to reason with them. They wiped me down with an icy square of disinfectant – higher up than I expected – and I think the shock of yet another surprise location and the idea of the needle potentially hitting my hip bone made me start to panic. “That’s not my butt?” I said into the pillow, and quickly they shot me, and I whimpered and freaked out. “Don’t touch it!” I gasped, because my nurse was grinding it in with her fingers. I started to cry a little. She pulled my pants up and rubbed through those, and started talking science to me, which calmed me down a bit. 1 minute of this, and she’s done, and she didn’t even stay to cuddle.

I think they gave me this purple dinosaur band-aid for being a big baby. Also note how it is very much not on my butt.

I think they gave me this purple dinosaur band-aid for being a big baby. Also note how it is very much not on my butt.

I stayed on the table for a little longer. (I had to wait in the room for 20 minutes to make sure I didn’t have an allergic reaction.) Once I overcame my feelings of degradation and self-pity, I moved to the chair and actually felt a little better after that adrenaline rush. My ass is still numb though.

How to Use a Safe Word

If your Designated Driver is also sometimes referred to as The Handler, you need a situational safe word.  You may also be interested if:

  • You or another person in your party of party-goers does not respond to “Stop it. Seriously stop. Stop. Stop. STOP.”
  • Your wingman or wingwoman is too friendly to people you can tell will be trouble.
  • You have an ongoing relationship with someone who likes to tease you so much that you can’t be sure if Wednesday got removed from the calendar or maybe you just ate too many brownies.

I’m not talking 50 Shades of Gray, safe words here (surprisingly, the amateur soft-porn pretending-to-be kinky writer E. L James does sprinkle in the use of standard s-words ‘yellow’ and ‘red’). No, a situational safe word is a previously agreed-upon term that, once uttered, establishes I’m done here and I’m serious. No more party for you.

There's no real safe word generator as far as I can tell, but using this tool on the "somewhat Uncommon" setting is fairly effective and sometimes hilarious.

There’s no real safe word generator as far as I can tell, but using this tool on the “Somewhat Uncommon” setting is fairly comical.  Get started with your own situational safe word today! Or just use White House.

Ours is “White House.” Used in a sentence: “You were a monster last night. First you got bear arm, then I had to White House you.”

We obtained the term from two very good friends with very colorful hair. At least one of these women gets punchy when she’s had too many martinis and I witnessed the two words calm her like a tranquilizer dart. Yep, I was definitely going to steal that strategy.

For example, two boys offer to buy us bottle service. Katelyn is thinking, “ooh, free alcohol!” I’m thinking that these kinds of things are never free. We hold a retainer, discuss the pros and cons, but finally, I have to do it. White House. We walk away and I don’t have to spend the night fending off make-out attempts while guiltily sipping from a vodka cranberry.

That is merely a concise illustration and is 100% unrealistic because I would never turn down free alcohol and I’m a champ at turning down make-out attempts.

Sour cream for days.

This is what happens when you tell your friends that all you want is sour cream.

Last week I woke up, said “sour cream” and giggled. Hazy memories teased me and I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out if I had only dreamt of clutching a soft stuffed-animal to my chest before passing out drunk.

Katelyn and I reviewed the night. Did we get mexican food? Of course we did, that is when Drunk-Sami started shouting SOUR CREAM. “But I don’t remember posting it on my facebook wall.” No, Katelyn did that as I slept. Right, so I palmed carne asada fries (with SOUR CREAM) into my face, then we went home and I dozed off?

Not quite.

Apparently I felt it hilarious and necessary to flail wildly after my friends strapped me into the passenger seat. “You threw that old big gulp against the window and got water everywhere. I had to White House you for the second time.” The…second…time?

That's kind of a cool word -- Cacao

Yep, I got the Cacao safe word from Portlandia. Click & scroll to watch episode clip.

The first time went largely ignored when she White Housed me for trying to smoke a cigarette. She had to ninja chop it out of my hands. Why did I neglect the sacred words? We figure it’s because she forgot to first use the “joke” safe word: Cacao. The joke safe word is intended to provide its target with the opportunity to cease offenses peaceably without escalating to code White House. It’s also great for tickle fights. We also realized, after analyzing the SOUR CREAM night, that Cacao is essential to the efficacy of White House. Just as yellow always precedes red, you kind of need to give Drunkee McGee a chance to slow down.

We got home without further incident. I don’t even think I shouted “woooh, party!” out the windows at pedestrians like I usually do. I took off all my clothes at the foot of the bed (which is unusual as I usually sleep in at least a t-shirt). I went to the bathroom, then lied in bed. Then I got out of bed and curled up on the floor. I started to whimper.

“Here, take this,” Katelyn said. “Fluffy bear got me through a lot of hard times, too.”