2 Years of SD Survival Guide

February 6th, 2015 was the actual anniversary, but it wasn’t in my Google Calendar so it didn’t exist.

Luckily today is poop and I don’t feel like writing, so the annual recap is perfectttt.

Links, pics, and excerpts for your enjoyment!!!!!!!!!!!!  The exclamation points are how you know I am enthusiastic and not just boring and sad :D

Snapchat-20140131100329Last year’s recap… Also uses the word poop. 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.

IMAG0487_1Giving myself excuses to be mean lol. Also viddygames & feminism. I’d like to give you some insight into the spiraling self-doubt that occurs for me whenever I say something remotely divisive on these social media channels.

Paranoia in the digital age, snapchat, and hangovers. Hangover is a philosophy, a way of being, in which fears and anxieties are either muffled, too heavy with the poison in your blood to run rampant over you, or they are amplified with the urgency of vomit.

girlfriend-in-party-hatOne of my fav posts: Crashing parties in PB. I met an incoherent philosopher. He made us give him really long hugs, but they were more drunken than amorous so I was fine with that. Maybe because he shared so many gooey-ooey thoughts about humanity I stole one of Katelyn’s cigarettes and traded it with a stranger who wandered up to the back wall for a high five.

Bad-feminist-fuck-itFEMINISM WITH RAD PICTURES. I saw an article, “5 Conversations Women Should Stop Having,” by HuffPo and got excited to get my feminist morning-read on, but….what was I thinking this is HuffPo.

tutu rave fishnets furry legwarmersRavetastic adventure. Event page said: “dress like Bruce Lee, get in free” which is a dumb and impossible, but Katelyn confidently put me in a cheongsam-inspired top and a tutu and said it would count.

I insult you on the internet because I love you or something like that. The truth is, for me, I’m just obsessed with all of you sometimes. I want to know if it’s okay to write about you. Picasso’s girlfriend probably didn’t tell him to hide away the portraits he made of her saying, ‘baby, what? I look so ugly, do you really think my nose is that big? My eyes are that..awkwardly placed in relationship to the rest of my face parts, seriously they aren’t even pointing in the same direction…??’

Party-planning-guest-listI’ve been obsessed with parties since childhood look read my diary. Candyland was the obvious choice for my “Sweet Sixteen” but I have to admit I was most excited about making giant lollipops out of balloons and cellophane.

If you take out a notebook and write down what a person says to you, they will fall in love with you.

Being Artsy Fartsy because Sports Bars…?? Draw a puzzle piece that’s open on all sides. Explain these connections happen to you all the time, that you’re easy. Explain you understand it was special for him, but it was common for you. When you hug him goodbye, he will recite his phone number into your ear.

I love birds. All of my snapchats are of birds.

I am the worst at nerd so I write an essay on why nerd is boring and I don’t need to try. Check out these birds tho. I understand, I really do, that having a common lexicon is a short cut to establishing shared experiences. But if you go on and on about Naruto, and I don’t know jack about Naruto, what am I supposed to do?

wpid-wp-1397760228272.jpegGood weather in SF means I am cursed. Trust me this makes sense. San Diego perfect weather is relentless. San Francisco sunshine is just a little bit delirious. I know I can’t live here because in my heart of hearts I know how inconsolable I get on a “blustery” day. I know this, but the Curse tricked me into thinking I can do these things.

Snapchat-20140417115114LOL fuck I fucked up my leg. Turns out if there’s a lump sticking out of my shin a terrifying extra 1-inch, my reaction is mostly jovial. This is a battle wound. Also, I had taken 3 Ibuprofen before the concert in anticipation of wearing my improbable shoes.

My friend Alexis found a live scorpion when she unpacked her luggage in America.

Went to mexico. Killed scorpion. Temporary veganism ensues. They are giving their bodies nutrients instead of Taco Bell and are rewarded with endurance and energy. I was trapped in a vicious whiskey / crunchwrap / gatorade cycle just trying to survive ’til next Friday.

EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE.

infantino-squeeze-pouch-for-babies-holds-2-shotsLifehack put liquor in these things and then in your pants. Infantino makes a squeeze pouch “feeding line” (are they children or are they livestock??) so that yuppie parents can package up custom applesauces, vegetable purrée, and other goo for their toddlers to quaff. … I will demonstrate in pictures how to alter this fine product to smuggle liquor in your underwear.

Sami is sad maybe party help? 

Dude my parents are super cool. As I’ve grown, I’ve discovered the joys of combining alcohol with activities I once hated, such as camping, sports, weddings, and now, socializing with my parents. If it is at all possible for you, I recommend getting to the point where you can get blasted with the people who made you.

Yes I am wearing a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

Confidence. Let’s break it down. I am (usually) good at empathizing.  This makes it easier to understand other people’s actions and motivations and avoid blaming myself for things that aren’t my fault.

Sexual Predators :(

…So obviously feminism.

…And more feminism.

Dafuq am I doing with this blog shit got serious all the sudden? I could form an elite group of partiers who would descend on events like glitter locusts and leave kickbacks sparkling with glaze of alcohol and shimmer of sex-sweat.

This is where my parents met. Well, that's what K'nB Wine Cellars believed for the longest time.

In case you didn’t know, there are real neato perks to drinking at the same place all of the time. Go on Mondays because you need a beer to recover from the trauma of restarting your work week. Go on Tuesdays because you wish you came with an appetite on Monday and really wanted to try those sliders but, tomorrow, I’ll be back tomorrow.

Hi, the weather is great today in San Diego and also I am not your girlfriend.

Back to feminism because I give the people what they want. In a world where, “I’m a lesbian,” works less than half as well as, “I have a boyfriend,” we need more people who are willing to make it obvious that it is simply valid for a girl to reject a man because she says so. No explanation needed.

Le Butcherettes are worth driving to Santa Ana to see, apparently. I saw her pulsate and shake in a way that defies sexually-charged gazes. I dare you to objectify me.

Remember the space koozie I was so proud of....?

Burning man.

More burning man.space koozie after

Also burning man.

dairy-drought-takes-a-lot-of-water-to-make-happy-cowCows are causing the drought, I decided. Also shrubbery. Forget just turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, the best thing to do is find alternatives to a lush green lawn. If your front yard looks like a sad, tawny shag of neglected responsibility, consider yourself the hero of this story.

Writing partyI’m writing a book!! I’ve started mentioning this wordy beast when people ask what I’m doing with my life. You know, because besides drinking, it’s all I’ve been doing with my life.

How do you speak up when it feels like it’s too late? I have been beating myself up recently for leaving things unsaid. Friends have said or done things that I was not okay with, and I pretended everything was okay and did not say anything.

Just when you think I’m done writing about festivals… I present this packing list. Things You Bring But Never Use: 4 extra friggin shirts; 2 extra friggin blue jeans; Book for “downtime” …

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 6.55.50 PMGoddamnit now this song is stuck in my head again. I “just don’t get” why the skinny shaming in Megan Trainor’s hit single is a big deal.

Unwanted sexual attention :c I often get some variation of, “If you weren’t gay, I would totally have tried to date you.”

Wanted sexual attention :) So, you think your lezfriend is smoldering hot. I’m guessing since you called her “lesbian friend” and not just “friend,” you’re either straight or bi/queer.

Resticles.Day.CloseUpHey look, burning man. And testicles.  Despite resembling hairy sacks of balls, they were very pretty.

matt-taylor-shirt-comet-landing-pensiveIn some ways it’s just a shirt, but really it’s so much more than that. This is what happens when an intelligent man is faced with his mistakes. He feels them more truly than those too defensive to see clearly. He sees the thousands of implications of his tiny, tiny, oh-not-so-tiny mistake.

Thanks drawingThanksgiving feels. I am imperfect. I am too afraid to join conversations when I imagine a response that will overwhelm me (Ferguson). I fantasized about posting a “cheat sheet” today for avoiding cultural appropriation, with cute drawings, timely for Thanksgiving, and posturing as if I have a clue.

Lost-panic-typewriter-drawing.jpgAt least some good writing comes out of my personal problems. I struggle with trigger-induced panic. Often, it is easiest to say I suffer from PTSD, though I haven’t been formally diagnosed and do not want to diminish the experiences of others who may have it worse than I do.

Jury duty made me miss my fun date to the Birch Aquarium so I sent her snapchats of "fish" all day.

JURY DUTY WAS A PARTY AND A HALF. And the prosecuting attorney was kind of adorable. He was soft-spoken, kept messing up what he was saying, and one time didn’t have his notes for a particular witness. “Uh, I’d like to request a sidebar..” he said when he realized he didn’t have them, “It’s kind of embarrassing…”

wpid-wp-1419367560968.jpegBeing quirky and mysterious is another way to avoid writing a serious blog post, lifehack. Go to the liquor store. Buy a cheap pair of sunglasses and an iced coffee. Go home. Drink half of the coffee. Write her name backwards in the the lenses of the sunglasses with a dry erase marker, and wear them.

I AM FROZEN I DON’T MEAN THE MOVIE. Friends of mine from places like Oregon *caughAlexDialcough* try to say that 44 degrees is not that cold. Relatively, no, it is not. But experientially, for us San Diegans, it is THE MOST TERRIBLE COLD WHYYYYYY

Creationism Museum Lol :D Proceed through the days of creation. Find animals. Exclaim, “Oh my god there is animals here!” Wonder if the docents have heard you take the lord’s name in vain.

Why do people treat me like a prostitute is it because I am a woman? *fake smile* kthanksbye North Park: Some guy will yell “How much?” at you from his car when you’re walking with your girlfriend to your car. It kind of ruins your night.

IMAG0150Inclusivity and cats. Recently I’ve gotten myself into a situation where I have a space and the agency to throw my own parties, so that’s added immediacy to my Responsible Friendshipping goals. I get to say who comes to the party and what the theme is! I’m also interested, however, in the bigger picture. Am I helping my friends move in a healthy direction in their communities?

Inviting people to parties the best way possible is something I think about a lot. Another strategy I’m considering experimenting with is masterminding a small groups rotation pattern. I will make it clear to friends that, to limit the size of the party, I will invite smaller portions of my larger friend base. If they are not invited to the current party, rest assured they will be invited to the next.

actually-happyGiving myself life advice on the internet and people liking, nice :) What better way to show I respect someone than to support their ideas? At times it verges on enabling, the way I cater to people’s fantasies, but I’d rather do that than be a source of discouragement for the people I love.

Wow, today is less poops. It was really lovely to remember that I’ve put all this content out there and that, for the most part, I’m pretty happy with it all. In other words, I’m rad and I deserve to feel rad :P

More importantly, thank you so much for your support and encouragement. It means so much to me when people mention reading my stuff. You make me feel heard :)

If any of you blog, please let me know! I’d like to start following more people this year.

*hugs*

sami

What I do on My Blog v. What I do In Real Life

So it seems like every time I say to myself, “Whatever, I need a week off from blogging, no one will notice,” I invariably go to a party or parties and 2-4 people will tell me they’ve been enjoying my blog. OKAY SERIOUSLY I FEEL GUILTY NOW GOOD JOB. One friend even said that when I miss a week, I often make up for it with a great post the next. JEEBUZ PRESSURE ON AUGH.

Anyway, it seems like a good time to give you a little Superman vs. Clark Kent insight on Sami the Blogger vs. Sami the Human. Also I need to point out it’s uncharacteristic for me to make a geek pop culture reference (even as obvious as this) and I’m pretty jazzed for myself.

A blessing for continuity (and my own sanity): my two personas subscribe to many of the same mantras. Yet, due to their different superpowers (or lack thereof), they wield these edicts differently.

Sometimes it’s Less Important to be Accurate than to be Kind

sometimes-its-less-important-to-be-accurate-than-to-be-kind Sami the Blogger: Yeah, okay, you’re trying to impress people with your brain and word powers and everything, but don’t fail to acknowledge those who disagree with you with compassion from time to time. (At least from a practical standpoint, you’re going to lose readers.)

Sami the Human: What better way to show I respect someone than to support their ideas? At times it verges on enabling, the way I cater to people’s fantasies, but I’d rather do that than be a source of discouragement for the people I love.

Intent isn’t Magic

intent-isnt-magic Sami the Human: I know that a person’s motivation for an action is somewhat unknowable and for the most fun I should give people, as much as possible, the benefit of the doubt. But if someone is bothering me, occasionally I have to let go of empathy and protect myself. E.g. stop worrying so much about why someone is doing something, and just think about if I want to be a part of it.

Sami the Blogger: People’s motivations are somewhat unknowable and I am more interested in examining the ramifications of their behaviors or mindsets which allow the behavior to continue. It doesn’t matter if someone was just trying to be nice, really likes me, or is socially awkward. If their actions have sexist or homophobic effects, then I will examine them.

 Perspective. Perspective. Perspective.

Perspective Blogger Sami: Taking the time to micro-analyze a behavior in a blog essay brings me great pleasure. I enjoy exploring the implications and subtleties of human behavior. Maybe I over-think things, but it helps me.

Human Sami: Time to zoom WAY out. I need to stay focused on the big picture. And the other picture. And the other, other picture. I will immerse myself in as many perspectives as possible so I won’t be phased by the strange or uncomfortable. Or so I try.

Holy Crap. I’m Actually Happy

actually-happy Human: As I sit on the glittery seat of my roommate’s red, diner-style bench, having just finished a meal of microwaved hot-dogs and fresh-picked arugula salad, my eyes unfocus and these words float to my consciousness, “I’m happy.” I am utterly incredulous that I am happy. After a history of depression, I still feel so strange and grateful that my default emotion is positive. Sometimes it makes it hard to be productive, because I don’t feel like I should be doing anything at all except basking in this hard-earned light. Yet it also means I am pretty damn free to do whatever my whims mandate.

Blogger: Doesn’t really matter what I write, if I do a good job, what people think, because at the end of the day I’m pretty stoked about how I feel and how well I’m doing mentally. Might as well keep trying to meet that weekly deadline and see what happens next. (Watching the views grow, well that doesn’t hurt either.)

Why share my thanks?

I grapple with making the expression of my gratefulness palatable. It is too dulcet to say trees are pretty, or I’m all full of glowy stuff, or whatever. I think what such effusions lack is empathy. People who gush without context freak me out a little and I want to ignore them.Thanks drawing

Still, to not be grateful is to dismiss the privileges of my life. I give myself permission to feel joy, solemn appreciation, and contentment, not despite of a cruel, hard world, but because in the face of a cruel, hard, world, not recognizing that I am lucky means I am blind. It is a strange vow of hedonism — a bargain that taking pleasure is compassionate.

And I am imperfect. I am too afraid to join conversations when I imagine a response that will overwhelm me (Ferguson). I fantasized about posting a “cheat sheet” today for avoiding cultural appropriation, with cute drawings, timely for Thanksgiving, and posturing as if I have a clue. I am not an expert, but I am a writer with some talent for understanding and some bravery for thinking my thoughts merit sharing (or really, that I am at all able to organize words in a helpful way for others). I have to believe that is enough. But, for this subject, I can’t just create something that I know will get me Google search hits.

Thanksgiving represents cognitive dissonance for me. I cringe at its public celebration, but find peace in my private participation. I think, it is similar to how I feel about the words:  “Merry Christmas.” I have no problem with people celebrating Christmas in their homes (except the occasional worry that they’re raising their children to be toy-obsessed, which is none of my business until they are 18 and obsessed consumers). It is when they say, “Merry Christmas,” in a way that they show their badge of assumption — that they project their rituals onto us all because they assume their holiday is everyone’s holiday — that I taste bile.

There is knowledge I do not yet have about the inappropriateness of Thanksgiving. I am not familiar with how different people of Native American decent feel about Thanksgiving. I am not aware enough of the historical nuances. I sense it is problematic, and I sense it is a colonizing holiday designed with colonizing intentions, to protect colonizing behavior (read: to overtake and destroy other cultures). I know I have research to do, history talks to have with those better educated, moments of listening to those with less privilege than me.

Yet, my political dissatisfaction does not move me to boycott the occasion. Perhaps my lack of disillusionment is a failing after all, but I think I might be doing okay. The way my family does the whole turkey-feast-football thing is still special to me. My grandfather is the grandchild of Swedish immigrants. There’s a lot of stereotypically Swedish non-spiritual, non-showy, non-sacred handling of Thanksgiving. We make a feast, with traditional things like cranberry relish and whatever, but also with our own weird food staples (some sort of jello monstrosity made with cubes of cream cheese, chopped-celery, and a can of coke). We gather, we eat, we don’t all go around and say our thanks. I think, what makes this holiday so peaceful is that my family leaves my gratefulness up to me. We all know we are reflecting on the subject, and it comes out in our words, ever so slightly, but it is private and real.

I don’t want to say, “Shut up about giving thanks.” Perhaps, at least sometimes, “thanks” begets “thanks.” I know it comforts me to read about gratefulness in the face of great trauma. But in this culture of defensive and duplicitous over-sharing, I want to ask, what are you really doing when you publicly/semi-publicly give thanks? And what do you ignore?

That is what I think matters: you must own your own gratefulness. You cannot pressure others to “say thanks,” — you don’t know them and you don’t know what they are suffering. You cannot expect them to inspire you, to give you a hint about how to feel, to lead you. You cannot feel good about patting yourself on the back when you do “thanks” right and others do “thanks” wrong. You cannot judge those who are not thankful, because you don’t know how much hell they are taking while all the while being told to be “grateful” for it. Similarly, you cannot boast gratefulness and expect reward. You cannot thrive on those “likes” and you cannot feel brave for simply saying the trees are pretty, or you’re glowy and stuff or whatever. Gratefulness is an intimate expression, perhaps better offered to yourself, your family, and to those who deserve your trust and whose trust you have earned.

Why do you share your thankfulness? Do you?

Why you got SO ANGRY when people were offended by Dr. Matt Taylor’s shirt

You are tired of little things being blown out of proportion. So what, he wore a shirt. The man put a spacecraft on a COMET. Go ESA!

Still, these people have to assault his character and professional credibility. They string up their offense like a banner and expect everyone to just bow down. They use the tiniest little details as an excuse to write raging blog articles about feminism, because they know they’ll get a ton of views. It’s contrived, stupid, and it’s not real activism.

offended-throne-banner-drawing

I hear you. I have feels for Dr. Matt Taylor. When he cried, I wanted to cry.

But, perhaps, not for the same reasons as the rhetorical “you” described above.

I imagine a different story, a bigger story. This man is intelligent. He is creative and believes in expressing himself. I can see by his tattoos he probably never expected to be a ‘role-model.’ I imagine that he even chose to wear that shirt, a gift made by a friend, because he knows and believes that “alternative” looking people can be successful in science, and he wants kids out there to know this too. Fuck the man, I’m going to look the way I want to look, and be proud of myself.

matt-taylor-happy-comet-landing

Then, he heard about the first article. He read it. He looked for another article (this science-loving evidence sleuth). He read that. He read all of the articles on the internet he could find. He read the hate-spewing comments. And what happened?

matt-taylor-shirt-comet-landing-pensivematt-taylor-shirt-comet-landing-disgust

He got past defensiveness (if there was any). He got past indignation, or anger. He, instead, felt mortified. He felt defeated. He realized that he tried to be himself, to express himself, and in so doing, may have made women and little girls feel insecure about their place in science. His innocence was stained. He realized he was part of the problem. He was truly, authentically remorseful, and he expressed it with tears. It was a beautiful, heart-breaking thing to witness, and I wanted to cry with him.

matt-taylor-shirt-comet-landing-sad-crying

This is what happens when an intelligent man is faced with his mistakes. He feels them more truly than those too defensive to see clearly. He sees the thousands of implications of his tiny, tiny, oh-not-so-tiny mistake. He is not just crying for himself, but for the massive oppressions beyond himself that he cannot control, and that he inadvertently added to the weight with a seemingly harmless decision. That is the story I see.

I have explained all this so you know my sympathy for him, and so you are prepared for my explanation of why you were so angry.

I am angry because I am tired of the little things adding up to my breaking point. “So what, it’s not a big deal,” I often hear. This hurts me! I want to scream.

Still, these tiny things assault me even when I think I am shielding myself against them, even when I do not want them to. The way women are drawn in cartoons I try to enjoy. The way writers depict my gender. Thinking I’ve made a new friend, then he says some offhand thing about women being crazy, as if I’m supposed to empathize, as if I’m somehow exempt because I’m awesome and not because I’m in the majority. God, I shouldn’t have this reaction, but I’m annoyed/crying/angry because I had to witness all of these little things and I know I will continue to witness all of these little things and know their implications. Misogynists claim “reason” as their banner and call me insane, over-reacting, say I’m bitching and whining, and expect me to shut up when I try to tell them all the weight of all the ants in the world is as monumental as our own: that these tiny things are not oh-so-tiny.

So I use a popular public topic as an excuse to write a blog article about feminism because I know I’ll get a ton of views. Sometimes it feels useless, pointless, like it’s not real activism. But it’s something I can do against the endless assault, and often people say, “Thank you.”

You and I, we are so angry when the tiny things explode. Neither of us want to have to pay them any attention. For the same reason you are irritated at yet another interruption in your enjoyment of a popular event, I am irritated at yet another interruption in my enjoyment of a popular event. It’s a never-ending onslaught.

We are in frustration-inspiring times. Some of the more obvious issues have been addressed, or at least they seem obvious in hindsight. Bras have been (mythically) burned, women vote, everyone knows women are supposed to be equal to men. Why does everything have to be so “offensive” all the time? Can’t we give it a rest?

No, unfortunately no. Awareness still matters, and awareness is annoying in its methods. We are tasked with the arduous work of “nit-picking” and “micro-analyzing” and “bringing to attention.” The invisible trespasses against the oppressed will not be revealed in a grand curtain fall. They will be drawn out in little bursts. Yes, we have to capitalize on the obsessions of public attention to make a point, and it feels (and reads) like a Trojan Horse. It is wearying to have to read about so much offense. It is exhausting to feel expected to react to each one.

You are tired. I am tired. Yet, I will keep trying until you know me well enough to see how even an image on a t-shirt can hurt me and I know you well enough to see I am invited and safe in your world.

VIP Access (to My Writing)

I’d like to express my weekend in mathematical equations:

San Diego heat advisory + parents going out of town + permission to turn on their AC (for the animals) = Write-in Lockdown

4 cups of coffee + 6 Bloody Marys + 1.5 Adderall + 18 hours = 7362 words

P.S. Thank you Kelly and Ed for joining me, and for knowing what that one word is like 7 times.

Writing party

Five months ago I vowed to make something out of six hours of recorded interviews with my dad and half a botched collab-book-effort that I’d started in October, and to be talking to an agent before I turn 25. This weekend I passed the 60,000 word goal I made for myself when I started to track my progress in a spreadsheet.

There’s still more book to write (I need at least another 10k for my Christian phase), but I’m, obviously, fucking pleased with myself.

Anyway, I’ve started mentioning this wordy beast when people ask what I’m doing with my life. You know, because besides drinking, it’s all I’ve been doing with my life. A few champions among fools have even offered to help edit, so I’ve been writing names in a note in my phone. HAHAHA I will hold you to it!

If, “The author writes letters to her father about the childhood she kept secret from him,” aliens, ghosts, and/or my overwrought emotions interest you enough that your response is, “I would totally read that and offer my very-solicited advice,” then let me know. I’ll add you to the VIP list.

For everyone else, here is the public-access free sample. It is about being a VIP, of course.

July 22, 2014

Dad,

I was writing a letter to you when a friend of mine called. She had two VIP wristbands to a Stephen Marley / Slightly Stoopid concert and her other friend cancelled, and wouldn’t I go with her? “And hang out with a bunch of stoners? I hate stoners! I used to be one.” She laughed, and picked me up in just 20 minutes.

Of course, the weather was stunning, cloudy but warm and comfortable. Our hookup included access to a free pre-show barbecue; macaroni salad, beans, chicken wings, ribs, which I ate in that order, and with plenty of homemade sauce for the meat. We sat in a shaded area with no more than 60 people, listening to the attractive DJ who had gotten my friend the free access — who you could say is “courting” her. We stood our ground shyly for awhile; a band member came and shook our hands and we smiled, oblivious until we saw him signing autographs. We played at the starstruck game and followed two friendly women to take photos with the lead singer. Then the show began and we went backstage.

Backstage itself, I quickly realized, is a bit silly. I couldn’t hear anything but noise, and while viewing the audience from this angle did make me feel a little important, I would only ever go to such things if a friend connected me with the opportunity for free. Which is, I suppose, how these things work.

After we availed ourselves to free drinks (tipping, of course), DJ sweetheart took us to the stands with his pass. It was hilariously difficult to convince them to let us into the general admission area, so my friend’s new sweetheart joked, “Oh, you can eat lunch with the president and use his bathroom, but you can’t, like, you can’t…”

“Go in his front yard!” I laughed. Though they wouldn’t let us in the pit, we made it to seats, up a few rows. Sleep Train Amphitheatre has sweeping stands and grass, which I would like to sit in someday, at the very top. Cheerful brass rang out from below and Stephen Marley’s son waved his flag, at times looking more like a proud, miniature man and not the little kid I had just seen running frantically through catering before the show. We danced in our chairs, wiggling our hips and our knees and playing invisible drums with our hands. Sunlight broke through clouds far to my right, and I stared at it streaming down.

I was so grateful just to be feeling happy again that I could have cried. Tears did spark my eyes, a little. How lovely is my life that a friend can take me for an unexpected adventure, with good company and good food and music? And I am so grateful the clouds parted so I could enjoy this day. I am much stronger than last time, and as always I have so much support. If this is really depression I am fighting, it won’t be as bad as before. I am already feeling so much better.

Meta Post – What is SDSurvivalGuide?

First, announcement!: I will be moving posting day to Tuesday as an experiment for awhile. This should negatively affect almost no one because you can still check my blog on Thursdays; it won’t even be a problem.

I was checking my stats and there’s actually a consistent buildup of traffic on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are, in fact, exceedingly boring, even with all the taco deals in town. So I will attempt to make Tuesdays less boring and bring content to those shouting at their phones/laptops, “Internet, amuse me!” (Everyone does this, right?)

Secondly, ohmywhatthefuck I had some internet success WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? And, what, more importantly, is this blog about?

This website started with a dream. I could take all my knowledge about partying in SD (which is vast, primarily because of my main woman, Katelyn) and share it through the power of the internet. I could form an elite group of partiers who would descend on events like glitter locusts and leave kickbacks sparkling with glaze of alcohol and shimmer of sex-sweat. Meanwhile I would provide consistent weekly content to attract readers and build my reputation as an aspiring writer.

Over time I realized it was just NOT feasible to invite internet randos and even my facebook randos to all the parties. People just want to party with cool, non-creepy people, okay? Reddit does have public kickbacks, so go be with them if that’s what you want.

(I am still toying with a snapchat auditions idea — blast out a call for cool people to join me at parties, and those with impressive snap responses will be sent the time/location. Stay tuned.)

So, all that’s left is the writing part. How on theme do I have to be? I don’t know. Contrary to popular belief, no one pays me for this. My payment is the feedback I get when I run into people I know around SD. The unexpected followers. “Hey Sami! I’ve been reading your blog, it’s really good!” Aww shucks, buddy.

But! Glorious discovery this year! It turns out that what the people really want is feminism! (This post broke my all-time views record.) And I could write about that endlessly. Here’s my life: 1. Work 2. Go to bar/club/party 3. Encounter a situation that needs feminism 4. Want to write about feminism. So, the theme now includes feminism. Because I said so.

Anyway, the real truth is I’m writing this blog (and in-part started this blog) because I’m also writing a book. I knew that being able to show to agents/publishers that I can cultivate an audience and output consistently would only help me. I knew that I wanted to practice writing under deadline, and to develop my voice. And I knew I wanted to wrap my head around San Diego.

So, please do feel free to give me feedback (the comments section allows you to post without signing in to anything). Expect updates about the progress of my book after I get an agent (planned sometime later this year). And get ready for Tuesdays to be less boring.

<3 sami

P.S. consistent feedback suggests the internet needs more cute/wacky pictures of me:

Yes I am wearing a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

Yes I am wearing a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

 

How to be confident

Why am I so confident?

I want to analyze this, make a formula, spread the wealth.  Confidence is amazing and also useful at parties; I want you to have it.

I'm confident enough to wear a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

I’m confident enough to wear a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

Maybe it’s because…

  • I was a perfectionist from age 8 to age… 15.  This may have helped me develop the skills to perform under pressure and avoid messy mistakes like it’s second nature.  Somehow, though, I spent very little time criticizing myself as perfectionists are wont to do, and more time trying to get better and better. Crazy shit like making lists of attributes I’d like to have (“eloquence, uniqueness, compassion”) and breaking down the steps to attain them…
  • …But then I gave myself permission at some point to not be a perfectionist.  Some mistakes still send me into an anxious fit.  I hate making driving mistakes (like hitting a curb, cutting off someone).  I think that’s fair – driving is probably the most dangerous activity I participate in day to day.
  • I grew up an arrogant little bastard.  A few years spent thinking I’m better than everyone else may have wired my neurons firmly to the confidence centers in my brain. I’ve changed my ways, though, and really don’t care if anyone is better than me or I better than them. This happened when I went to England and was surrounded by fantastic people. I realized it was much more enjoyable to be in awe of them than to compete…
  • …And I’m not really competitive at all. I am self-competitive, trying to get better at things for my own satisfaction.  But I will surrender quickly if I realize it’s not worth my trouble to battle with someone. I’ve learned how to enjoy other people’s wins.
  • I am bloody good at some things.  It’s easy to feel great when people are complimenting me on skills I’ve acquired over the years.
  • I’m kind of a braggart. This creates a cycle in which I show off, receive praise, and want to show off more. Somehow I have avoided the whole “I neeeeeeed people’s approval” bit and just taken away a shamelessness when it comes to displaying myself. It’s easy to feel confident when I’m waving around my peacock tail and hearing sweet oohs and ahhs…
  • …And I don’t just show off my good side.  Everything is out there.  I’m an over-sharer, ridiculously honest.  It’s easy to feel confident when I’ve got nothing to hide.
  • I dealt with mind-numbing depression for a good many years.  (Still boggled and exhilarated every time I realize I’m better now.)  It’s hard for the small hurdles in life to seem significant when my biggest drain was my own personal hell. Yes, I had phases of hating myself, but for the most part that wasn’t the route my depression took.  In my backbreaking effort to get better, I worked out little checkpoints with myself. Instead of focusing on how horrible I was for not getting better, I focused on how horrible I felt.  It’s as if my self-preserving instincts saved me.  I also made it a point to keep functioning in society, so I learned how to fake it despite the depression.  It’s easy to feel confident when I’ve gone through the wringer and come out a better person.
  • I am (usually) good at empathizing.  This makes it easier to understand other people’s actions and motivations and avoid blaming myself for things that aren’t my fault.
  • I was in an emotionally manipulative relationship for 4 years.  I came out of that with the determination to not let someone make me feel like that ever again.  And I’ve managed to reconcile with my ex, be friendly with him, and have closure.
  • I have anxiety, but I fend it off pretty well.  I redirected it early on (subconsciously) to things that didn’t matter.  Instead of worrying about tangible things – school, friendships, my appearance – I would worry about strange things like the way colors seemed to jump at me or by imagining my depth perception was failing. I use my imagination to help me not take my anxiety seriously, make it somewhat of a game.
  • I decided it would be advantageous/attractive/fun to be fearless during my “self-improvement” phase.  So I made sure to practice not being afraid and taking risks to impress people.  I still do that a bit like the unblushing boaster that I am.
  • I surrounded myself with people who are good for me, and made it a point to always be grateful for them.  I have supportive close buddies, an amazing girlfriend, and friends who inspire me.  I try to figure out how to make people feel good, and in return they give me kind and appreciative friendships.  I also make sure to let people know what I want, and they happily oblige me since I made things easy for them.   (i.e. I tend to tell people what a sucker I am for verbal affirmations, and which kinds.)

So, I’m sure I could think of other things, but now I want to hear what the community has to say.  What makes you feel confident?  How confident are you?  How confident do you perceive others to be?