Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Choo Choo Choose You

These little kids *almost* endeared me to the T-Line.

I also got FREE PANTS!

Sporty Rice

My hips are currently covered in bruises. My running shoes may never quite recover from being as drenched as they were last night. But downsides aside, I had a blast as a Rice Bowl in the Chinese New Year Parade yesterday. I even made off with a sweet sweatshirt with a big rat on it, courtesy of Southwest Airlines. Thanks to C L-W for coordinating and Happy New Year!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lenten Meditation

Figures that the Lenten Meditation I wrote for my church features my tendency to complain about MUNI. It is one of my favorite pastimes. The prompt for this reflection was: "Who do you say that I am?--the simple complexity of Christ:"

I'm not much of a pray-er. I tend to be more of a complainer. If you know me, you might know that I'm especially adept at complaining about MUNI. When the T-Line first started running last April, the folks who answer the phones at 3-1-1 knew me by name. In any event, it is perhaps part of my nature that I don't spend my mornings doing devotions and I pray at night only rarely. After all, I spend the rest of my day griping, which crowds out time to praise God, thank God for anything, much less pray for anything.

Last Friday, for the first time in a long while I found myself in a state of almost constant prayer. I was observing a hearing for a client I care very much about and unjust and aggravating things were happening right under my nose. I couldn't say anything to complain or object and I felt completely impotent.

What could I do? Finally, I realized I could pray. I just kept repeating phrases from hymns and trying to pray for strength for my client and compassion and wisdom from the commissioners in charge. Although things at this hearing did not turn out the way I think they should have, I left with a greater sense of peace than I would have thought possible.

Reflecting on this experience today, a co-worker shared the following verse with me:

If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. - Ecclesiastes 5:8

My fighting spirit causes me to see injustice in a lot of places and I get pretty worked up about it a lot of the time. Typically, my anger gets me nowhere. (Especially with MUNI.) Recognizing the simple truth in this verse, that everyone answers to someone higher than themselves - ultimately God - provided me with some much needed perspective. Even when advocacy fails and no one seems to be listening for the truth, greater things are at play.

So, "Who do you say I am?" An advocate who listens and understands.

I Endorse Obama

I contemplated using one of the catchy Obamania phrases like "Barack the Vote" or "Obama for Your Mama" as the title of this post, but frankly, I wanted to get to the point. I endorse Obama, and here's why.

First, because I'm rarely good at getting to the point, here's a bit of back story. On Super Tuesday, my friend Swerds was eating lunch outside his office and was approached by local newscasters for comments about who he voted for in the primary. Being the eloquent dude that he is, Swerds made an insightful comment about the war and why he chose Obama over Clinton. I realized after talking with Swerds that I had no such pithy remarks prepared and would have babbled incoherently if a microphone were thrust in my face. So without getting into policy points, here's why I voted for Obama this month, and hope to vote for Obama in November:

1. Obama is more than an effective orator. He has ignited a nation of politically apathetic people, especially young people. Yes, actions speak louder than words, but I am truly impressed by Obama's background. I want a President who was a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago; I want a President who taught constitutional law; I want a President who inspires me.
2. More importantly, I think that Obama has the potential to undo years of divisiveness and rancor in this country. In my opinion, Clinton's got an incredible uphill battle in that respect and I still have massive doubts about what shenanigans her husband pulled in terms of welfare "reform" when he was in the White House pandering to the Republicans. I realize that other people applaud former Pres. Clinton for PRWORA and might call him an effective coalition builder, but I choose to put my hope in Obama this time around.
3. I've only voted in two presidential elections. Both were embarrassing failures on so many levels. Both times, I voted against something (someone, some principles) instead of for something and someone I believed in. Either way things turn out, in November, I am going to be excited to vote for the Democratic nominee. Provided it's Obama though, I am going to be elated.

Monday, February 18, 2008


In an effort to put more content on this blog, I've decided to start cross posting. Hence, you'll be able to find this review on my Goodreads page too.

I just finished tearing through "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen," by Julie Powell. It was a raucous read and very enjoyable for someone who loves experimenting in the kitchen and just recently started to rebound from her own prolonged self-pity party.

I realized, after reading it, that I've been on a bit of a "schtick" kick with my non-fiction reads lately. It started with "A Year of Living Biblically" and continued onto "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." (I suppose "Eat, Pray, Love" was in somewhat the same vein as well.) Julie/Julia is also a gimmick, the deal is this woman who was on the eve of her 30th birthday, working in a depressing job, decided to take on a project to cook her way through the entire oeuvre of Volume I of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" or as she calls it "MtAoFC." In so doing, she transformed her life and got this book deal after her blog about the project got super popular. (Not to worry any dear readers, I have no such aspirations!)

What I did get from this book though was a good report on kitchen adventures, a candid look at self-absorption and hilarity, and the story of how great friendships withstand low times and grow only stronger. It was great... it also caused me to make crepes at around 10:30 PM last night. Then I had crepes for dessert while watching "35 Up" last night, crepes for breakfast this morning (sort of blintz style with IKEA lingonberry jam and yogurt), and because my craving was (apparently) insatiable, two crepes for dinner tonight at Ti Couz - savory and sweet. I better cut back on the crepe intake tomorrow or you'll be able to roll me down the street just like I plan to roll up another crepe for breakfast manana.

In other news... I repotted some plants today. I ruined my favorite black cardigan by vigorously cleaning my bathroom. The super-heavy duty scary shower cleaner necessitated opening the window and turning on the fan so as to avoid killing too many brain cells or passing out due to the fumes. It was freezing cold in the bathroom as a result so I kept the cardi on and bleached the right sleeve completely. The elbow is now an unattractive neon coral color. It looks sort of like hypercolor gone terribly wrong.

This morning I threw a minor fit at Radio Shack when the aggravating sales associate refused to process the headset I bought to use while Skyping for a return, because he couldn't find the bar code. I bought it two days ago, had the receipt, and was so annoyed! Turns out the lesson to be learned from this is that my tantrums are best avoided since I realized I can send the headphones to Mr. Dirteens since they'll work with his laptop. Woohoo! No money lost here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I live in a neighborhood that's still off the beaten path in SF. I'll admit I often get a smug sense of cool satisfaction when people are surprised to learn that there is, in fact, a neighborhood called the Dogpatch and I live in it. Here, there are three-flats with units like the one J and I share, barely detached single family homes some of which are lovely and others that are decaying, industrial and artistic businesses, warehouses, housing projects up the hill, and an increasing number of pricey lofts. We've got restaurants too (some of which are better than others, see my yelp reviews), an excellent pilates studio, and a boxing gym. The Dogpatch is gentrifying rapidly.

Still, the 'hood looks rather gritty in places. Walking to church, however, this morning, past a dingy motorcycle repair shop, a strange printing press, and an abandoned fire station, the street was lined with trees filled with pale pink blossoms. A hummingbird, a real live hummingbird was flitting about some of the branches.

This was an unexpected gift to me: a delicate, shimmering, whimsical creature going about its business pollinating or whatever it does on Tennessee Street. Finding such an anomale gave me great joy and a sense of wonder. I'm so grateful for having seen it.

I only hope that these new lofts won't displace the Dogpatch's resident hummingbird.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I'm Back

By way of update, a lot has happened since April. Chiefly, I'm a Mrs. My last name changed. I cut off my hair. I'm learning how to drive and knit. I took my first deposition. I'm paying off my debt. I am back to attending church regularly and even serving as a quasi-elder, which is somewhat entertaining.

One of the most recent changes is that my marital property is off in Italia doing his dissertation research and as a bachelorette again for the next six weeks I thought I'd try to revive this blog. Since the Mr. is also back to travel blogging, this should also provide a good way for us to stay in better, and public, virtual contact.

As a note to self and, I suppose, to anyone who still reads this - I've also got plans to update my sidebar links at some future date so you all can see what I've been reading, listening to, and so that I can link to some of my pals' blogs.