{ metropolis devoured }
a tribute to my san francisco

3/4 oz scotch whiskey
3/4 oz local politics
1/4 oz public policy
1/4 oz disaster preparedness
1/2 oz alamo square

Shake over neighborhood dives & venues, strain into a chilled cocktail dress, garnish with a sprig of gov 2.0, and serve.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Chi-town with Kay, a reprise

I'm now a few hours away from making the trek to the airport with my carry-on only (mission accomplished!) for my very short stint out of town, and you'd think in a situation like that it wouldn't be difficult to pack as few things as possible, but my winter coat weighs 15 pounds. Naturally I'm already missing all my friends and spending NYE with them, but sometimes you just have to leave your self-designated nest and take a chance on something else. That said, I'm a big baby, and knowing that the neighborhood cafe-next-door won't be next door for the next 3 days makes me feel terribly displaced. I guess this place just grows on ya. Like a beautiful financial parasite.

3 pm. JW and I are sitting in an empty terminal, drinking beers and eating smuggled sandwiches from a neighborhood market - a last hurrah to what I'm leaving behind for now. Basically what we'd be doing on any afternoon off work. So far so good.

11 pm Chicago time. we landed 15 minutes early thanks to the weather, which gave me 15 additional minutes to undergo a complete transformation from casual-Monday-to-airport-friendly clothes to something more NYE appropriate. let me tell you, i now know how a truck stop hooker feels. not doing that again.

1 am. we ALMOST made the midnight call - missed it by 10 minutes and spent it watching fireworks over the lake in the cab instead - then i proceeded to promptly jump out of the cab and stomp around in the snow like a little kid. Mission accomplished!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto assassinated

This is an irreversible step backwards.

21 June 1953 - 27 December 2007

Bhutto was described to be very personable, and her campaign drew crowds of supporters because she gave them the face time they wanted from a public official. It's very unfortunate that the price she paid for momentarily abandoning the confines of her bomb-proof vehicle in order to interface with her supporters was so steep, especially given the multiple requests for increased security she sent to President Musharraf. Bhutto was well aware of the possibility of an attack - she had been attacked previously by bombers in Karachi - but did not tolerate Musharraf's policies of routinely ignoring her security requests, which amount to a basic intimidation technique.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas with Kay

After hanging out with a couple of fellow Jews, I spent Christmas Eve (well, technically, 2am-5am on Christmas day) watching A Mighty Heart, the story of the kidnapping and execution of Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl, also a Jew. Naturally the movie leaves out actual footage of the execution. That would be far too personal and disrespectful. The internet, it turns out, leaves out nothing.

Since the video footage appeared on the internet in 2002 (yes I know, old news), the FBI has been persistent in removing all instances of it. Again, I understand the reasons for this, given how Pearl's widow and her child could potentially be exposed to reliving the horrifying event over and over. But after about 40 minutes of searching under various keywords and browsing non-English sites, I found it. No sound, but the right video all the same, just as chilling as you'd expect it to be. The footage doesn't include the actual beheading, just the aftermath. I instantly tried to imagine being in the service and watching similar footage of, say, a colleague. Not sure if I could stomach that.

Following that, I spent the rest of my time awake browsing Afghani execution videos, both stonings and beheadings. I'm about as wholesome as Jewish girls come during Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Chi-town with Kay

This time next week, minus the time zone difference, I'll be in the air, an hour away from Chicago. Who flies on New Year's Eve, you ponder? Jonathan and I do. And if we happen to get stuck in the airplane, I hope they have a full stock of those tiny airplane-sized bottles of booze, because one way or another I am putting on my pretty dress and getting drunk in another state.

Operation Chicago with Kay is going to take some preparation. First of all, we're landing at 11pm, and I'm going to have to do everything in my power to fly with carry-on luggage only. Second: train or shuttle or cab or private car? It's NYE and I don't want to get stuck in traffic, and trains generally don't. But I had this image of jumping off the empty plane (a week before the flight, tickets are $94 one way) the second the doors open, wearing my gold bubble-hemmed party dress with fishnets and tall heels, getting into a black car, and arriving at my destination with a black duffle in tow like a true jetsetter (on a budget, that is). So maybe it'll be a gold party dress on the train. It's NYE, anything goes, right?

Problem three. I don't know where my luggage is. Problem four, I KNOW I'm going to forget to charge my iPod, so I'll probably have to play sudoku and bother Jonathan the entire flight there and back (this one is less a problem and more a prediction, so, uh, don't forget to pack those nerves of steel, JW!) solved! I charged and updated my ipod - how proactive of me.

Five. I never know what to pack for weather different than my own.

Six. I often forget my toothbrush, hairbrush, or any styling products that aren't already on my head.

Seven. Phone charger. I never take it with me. I hope my phone can handle 3 days without a charge, but I'll probably be transit-mapping and yelping my way around town so that's doubtful.

Eight. In bouts of compulsion, I always end up buying something when I go away, even for a few days. So I have to somehow allow room in my luggage, which is going to be overhead only and so very tight for space to begin with. It'll probably be shoes. Hopefully boots. Mmmm boots.

These are just eight of the ways I present a challenge to myself on a daily basis. Will do some kind of an update in a week because it'll probably be some kind of a hilarious blunder.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Restless and ambitious, hungry for the world

I still spend my weekends trying to figure out what my next step in life is. Sometimes I wonder if I'm rushing things as usual, and if I shouldn't perhaps just sit back and let the next opportunity avail itself, but what can I say? Commitment issues. The only thing I really love at the moment is where I live, and that's only because I created every square inch from the bare walls up, and when I come home to nap on the couch after a long day of earning money and being everyone's go-to bitch, I know I'm home. This weekend I mostly read about the CIA, clicked through their website for career options for about an hour, drew sugar skulls and contemplated a possible new tattoo, and walked around the neighborhood collecting stories. But I'm not organized enough to be a tool of the state, I think my everyday-business boss is sufficiently fed up with my visible tattoos as is and wouldn't appreciate me sporting a colorful new skull, and all the stories are kind of personal and I'd prefer to keep them to myself... so I am back at square one.

After work I decided to commit to 5 serious sugar skull pieces, planned out a general theme, and hit the art store for micron pens, color markers, pearl paper and paint pens. Then to Green Apple Books for an adequately rustic home for my sugar skulls - either the pages of an old copy of a novel I really like, or an old medical science journal, or, if I'm really lucky, an old illustrated volume of natural history. I rummaged all three stores, feeling paper and flipping through pages, and left with two different sizes of illustrated local plant guides, but I never got around to using them because I also left with a copy of this:

And I haven't put it down since. Work - what work? As cliche as it feels to say this, this writer gets me, and in her memoir she addresses every single concern I could ever have - as well as every fascination I've ever had - with the Company. Now I doubly, triply don't know what steps to take further, because her memoir is both encouraging and discouraging in equal parts. I'm only half way through, but I already have a million questions I'd want to ask Lindsay, starting with whether or not, ultimately, it was worth it. I anticipate the answer would be a firm yes for the sheer experience, and that in the end, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something really extraordinary.

My biggest reservation is that I really don't enjoy making sacrifices in my personal life (of which there would be plenty), and I think I am much more of a "see the forest for the trees" kind of person than a "see the big picture" person. But the comfort of my stable, warm personal life is growing more and more outweighed by a total lack of real adventure.

Enough about me though. This woman, Lindsay, addresses all the romanticised ideals of the Company which, unfortunately, yours truly somehow managed to grow up on, but still insists on going through with it despite the harsh reality that a lot of Company work is unexciting, unfulfilling, and very woman-unfriendly. She describes it as an itch. It is an itch. And itches need to be scratched.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Liveblogging the Milk Club endorsement

Thanks to my new toy (no, not the fancy bike! Man I've been spoiling myself lately...) which gifts me anywhere-ready internet and finally a full qwerty keyboard, I can now bring all the excitement of the Milk Club state senate endorsement meeting to my two readers live and uncensored. I'm actually typing this portion on my bumpy ride home on the 21-Hayes in preparation and anticipation, although what I really anticipate is as short a meeting as possible since the good ol' employer is throwing a fancy party for our department at the Starlight Room at the Sir Francis Drake, a fine and elegant place which I love to enjoy as long as it's on someone else's dime. By the way, now that I've blogged on a mobile divice while riding Muni, I feel like I can call myself a true SF blogger.

7:15 still can't find parking?! what else is new..

7:28 signed in, filled out my endorsement ballot, dropped it and made the rounds of obligatory hello's. wondering why the hell people are still there? see Fog City Journal's staff hanging around, looking to find traces of drama where there is none. none that needs to be talked about now, anyhow.

Completely anti-climatic.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Joining the ranks

The few. The proud. The dangerously handsome, the rampantly wreckless, the I-choose-to-not-drive-my-12-mile-a-gallon-vehicle... environmentally responsible. Or something like that (I really just want to go to the Bicycle Coalition beer-themed parties). Welp. I've done it. A year and a half after joining forces with the city's biking progressives, I have finally committed to a fancy beautiful bike. You guys can all collectively stop making fun of me now, yes, I'm a 23-year-old who doesn't know how to ride a bike... big ol' deal. Better late than never! And better nownownownow than later. I decided to spoil myself for the holidays with this handsome fella:

Please stay tuned for my new feature, which will chronicle my scrapes and bruises as I figure out what to do with a bicycle.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Nice one, Canada

Canadians always think they're so much better than us. You hear it all the time... "In Canada, blah blah is better." Blah blah social welfare. Blah blah healthcare. Blah blah. You know what, Canada? If a serial killer/pig farmer was found guilty of murdering 26 sex workers in the good old US of A, he would sure as hell not be anticipating parole in 10 years. Pig farmer Willy Pickton (I first heard this report on BBC radio and I could have sworn they kept saying Pigton) would be in the clink for 26 consecutive life sentences, of which he would probably serve all of 2 before his rare breed of hateful humanity and general creepiness would drive a fellow inmate to repeatedly sodomize and give him the "pig" treatment himself. Really, I am all for compassion for people who deserve it... people have turned a 180 in prison and have found ways to become productive members of society again. But this piece of shit neither deserves that opportunity, or would do anything about it.

But in the fair land of Canada, Mr. Pickton the pig farmer will roam again. Having been convicted of the murder of 6 woman, although the remains of 26 (conflicting reports say 27) were found, I'm surprised they didn't build him a new pig farm for his inconvenience and cut him a check for finally putting Canada on the serial crime map.

Although I have to say, coked up and strung out or not, women in general should practice a wee bit more caution when inserting themselves into dubious cicumstances such as, let's say, remotely located wild sex parties held on a pig farm called Piggy Palace. Seriously? Who really thought that an orgy in the middle of nowhere, hosted by a reclusive and balding man described by his neighbors as "slow but not retarded" at best, was going to be a good idea?


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Remember, remember, the 5th of december. Repeal day!

Yesterday marked the 74th anniversary of Repeal Day, a real holiday for yours truly. Just imagine what kind of a person I would have turned out to be under temperance: sober, nice, and completely flavorless (I would think). I celebrated in the appropriate style, sipping my all-time favorite simple beverage: a Dewar's and soda at a bar (my home away from home, which applies to any bar, anywhere). I hope you all celebrated as well, and gave thanks to the event that's brought most of us together in the first place. Cheers, friends.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Open season on Politics

My dear friend John Avalos, who is running for District 11 Supervisor in the coming year, and his beautiful family celebrated his housewarming last night. It was warm. And very housey. As I drove up in my jeep (a rare occasion, this driving) and found parking near the address (an even rarer occasion, this parking), I spotted the correct house before even looking at the number - or the neighbors and friends congregating outside - because of how fitting of the family it was. A little funky, a little unexpected, and mostly exactly what you'd imagine it to be. In other words, perfect.

photo credit yours truly. i rock!

Congratulations John & Karen, you guys deserve everything that's best and warmest for you and your kids. If this full house is any indication of your future success and the commitment of all the people that love you dearly, then we're looking pretty good for next year.

photo credit adam aufdencamp