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?

Writing about your friends on the internet

I bite into this apple of creative energy and there’s a worm in it; another project eats away at the time and thought I normally put into my Thursday update. I’m working on a thing that my collaborator and I avoid putting the b-word on like that’s some sort of curse, but yeah, it wants to be a Book.

(We’re basically writing about our sexy times and our sad times, framed as a series of letters between lovers.)

I’ve been somewhat hush about this writing project because I know sharing too much too soon can crush my enthusiasm. Once someone’s read it, it’s lived its purpose and I lose interest. However... The thing is upwards of 50k words by now (raw, disorganized words at times but still words) so I feel a little braver. I can almost see the finish line, and this time instead of tripping over a false sense of confidence, I’m eagerly putting one foot in front of the other to draw the conclusion closer to me.

I’m not just sharing this information as an excuse of a blog post, and I’m really not sharing this to create hype out of my writing project & 50 friends bugging me to finish it already && when can they read it? — though that may be a fun side effect. Truthfully, I just want to say it occurs to me that I’m struggling with the same thing in my writing project as this blog project, and that is, writing about my friends.

I navigate thornier ground with the b-word thing, because I’m writing about friends I’ve seen naked. Wait, who am I kidding? At some of the parties I go to I see y’all naked too. Anyway, at what point am I crossing the line between enumerating the details of my personal experience to exposing too much about people I care about, even if the law of memoirs means truth is fair game?

I think we can all agree that killing a rattlesnake, cleaning, baking, and eating it at dawn* is an occasion worth commemorating. By contrast (though proudly displaying the burn marks to all) the guy who opted to get branded with a potato masher may not want me to publish any of his identifying details. Yeah, you didn’t go to that party, you don’t get to know.

Remember, though, the “list 10 friends” fad back in Myspace days? It probably started with guidelines like:

  1. Say something to the person you wish you could talk to but can’t
  2. Say something to your BFF
  3. Say something to your crush
  4. etc….

I think by the end of the meme’s lifespan, the rules disintegrated/purified to their true motivations: let’s write 10 anonymous things about each other so we can splash around in puddles of narcissism.

It was glorious to recognize myself. Perhaps I’m really fucking arrogant to believe this, but I think it’d be pretty fun to find yourself in this blog, too. Unless, of course, you said something sexist to me. And while sexists are assholes that deserve to be defamed, anyone reading this should realize my perception of reality has its limits.

FOR FUCKING EXAMPLE: I described a guy in a cookie monster onesie in a less-than-flattering context, only to realize later that I know this guy and he was chummy with me for good reasons. My bad. Guys with brown hair all look the same to me. We all have a lot of people to keep track of in this day and age — and for some reason I prioritize learning the faces of lady people…

Anyway, my dear readers, my baby birds I want to feed and feed, what’s going on here? Do you prefer reading about other people? Are you yearning for your own cameo? Are you just glad I manage to update every Thursday, like a goddamn consistent person? Like, you read me the same as you’d watch a dying TV show past its prime but you might as well since it’s still going every week, did you hear they’re making a season 6 why don’t you kill me already…

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…??’ But I’m not Picasso and these sentences are search-indexable. I owe you your privacy, perhaps.

P.S. If you’ve been waiting for your cameo, here it is: Yes I did write this because at your party you said, “Careful around her, you might end up on the internet.”


*This occurred the night I contracted strep, but I didn’t write about it because I missed most of the rattler feast when I conked out early on a bottle of Jameson. Didn’t feel like my story to tell, which is the rubric I’ve used thus far in choosing what to put to words.

1 year of SDSurvivalGuide

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

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

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

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

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Simulation

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

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

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

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

Here's a drawing of Katelyn murdering a unicorn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

my kaleidoscope of face parts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lookin' like a supermodel in my onesie jam jams.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Other Holiday Hangover — the dread of going back to work.

You know what my mom said the other day?

She had just opened a gift of those coffee-bomb things you put in fancy espresso makers. She said, “I can’t wait to go back to work tomorrow.” Ostensibly to use the things, but also because she is a freak that loves working.

My dad always says, as an example of how the two of them are so different, that his favorite day is Friday, and her favorite day is Monday. I’m more like my dad. It doesn’t matter what my job is, at some level I will always hate it.

I currently actually really like my day job. I get to tell people what to do, show up in my pajamas, and feel like the hero on the daily because I’m the most technically proficient person on staff.

But, every morning, it’s still a fight between the tattered, flimsy bits I call my work ethic and this unknowable dread…

It’s worse after a weekend, and worse still after a holiday. The longer I spend time away from work, the longer this dread builds inside of me. It’s as if I forget that work is something I must do, and I start believing that vacation could be permanent.

I don’t know if “normal people” (or at least people like my mom) have a different perspective on work but I suspect they do. I don’t think everyone has a gremlin living in their cupboards, like an evil Doby the house elf, that just wants to be set free. I can only guess that my resistance to a normal work schedule began with public school, when my teenage internal clock fought the 7:55am start time. Getting up in the morning to a day that doesn’t belong to me feels like prison.

I could try to take ownership of my work, so that I might look forward to it more — but I feel my true work will always be my writing. I have to barricade space for that, or else I’ll be spending my mental free time structuring Trello boards and writing Gmail filters. Such things can be rather addictive unless I tell myself that I hate them.

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.

At my core, I don’t want to work a goddamn day. I only want to write. And maybe that’s it, only my life’s passion won’t fill me with this mysterious dread. As I point my head towards something that isn’t my dream, my body recoils at the very thought of spending time on anything else. When I’m still foggy in the morning, and my sense of responsibility hasn’t set in, I struggle to talk myself into the reality that my heart hasn’t chosen.

But maybe, if I chose writing as my job, it would become just that. Maybe, I would learn to hate that too.

My friend Katie says I need to take more selfies, so here's a particularly festive one. Enjoy (what's left of) your holiday!

My friend Katie says I need to take more selfies, so here’s a particularly festive one. Enjoy (what’s left of) your holiday!

I love tourists

I love tourists. (And transplants.) Granted, sometimes it’s a “kids say the darnedest things” kind of affection. I used to work at SeaWorld, and I won’t repeat his words here, but let’s just say a man from a small town in Oregon who was overwhelmed by the “diversity” taught me there are racist words that I didn’t know about.

He’s not the kind of tourist I love. Nor the ones who unknowingly starred in my daily comedy show: I watched seagulls dive-bomb trays of french fries as soon as the hungry guests emerged from Mama Stella’s. No, I value the people who remind me what’s good about this place. I mean, besides the weather. 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.

And every place has its own brand of localism, but ours is particularly bullheaded. Families sit behind property taxes like they earned the right to live here, passing down houses for generations. What they don’t know is that the transplants are saving this town. Because while we’re the last idiotic stand against all that is good and liberal in California, we have an ironic patience for tourists. Newcomers are weirdos. But we’re oblivious, too complacent and courteous to offer anything but smiles and averted gazes.

It is when I’m at a writing night, or in a art group, that people are surprised that I’m a local, like I’m some kind of rarity. Locals might create these spaces, but the transplants flock to them. They are still hungry for controversy, they still remember what it’s like to wear galoshes because you need them, not because they are covered in zebra stripes and match your fuzzy animal print coat…. Waterproof shoes are rad, why did no one tell me this? I stood in a creek! And my feet didn’t get wet!

The kind of tourist I love shakes his head at me, asks me how I can be okay with this, reminds me there is a larger world out there. The kind of tourist I love tells me I can retire here but I need to get out at some point. The kind of tourist I love, though, has to admit the chaparral here could inspire Dr. Seuss and this place is pretty great, underneath it all. And it’s getting greater.

  1. Beer. Obviously.
  2. The food trucks are multiplying.
  3. So Say We All
  4. A new haunted house
  5. …and more of course!

P.S. yes, I know I missed my post last week. I was preparing for a large camping festival, and yes it was lovely, and no I won’t write about it in my public-facing blog. I love you tourists, but that one isn’t for you.