Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Count Your Blessings

that's the cliche of the day i wrote on the dry-erase board i recently hung over my desk. i saw 'motorcycle diaries' over the weekend -- the based-on-a-true-story story of che guevara and his trek through south america. he and his buddy just journey around the continent for shits and giggles. they see crazy injustice all over: homeless indigenous peoples and persecuted communists and muddied children with leprosy. and at the end of it all, che decides to become the revolutionary he became.

i did feel bad for what i saw, knowing that 50 years later not much has changed in south america, but those moments passed, the way moments do, and my sympathy amounted to nothing. i'll still go on my merry way, having to make those tough decisions about what type of new car to buy next year, while others elsewhere in places i don't have to see starve. i often forget this, probably intentionally, as i wade through the minor melodramas of my life. i wish i could be impacted enough to turn into a militant revolutionary fighting for others' causes instead of my own, just like che, but i'm not built that way, and that's the reality i must face. i'm just not that selfless.

but i don't feel guilty for what i have. in fact, watching this made me very, very thankful. it made my troubles seem teeny tiny, which is likely their actual size. and it made the good fortunes that have befallen me seem that much better. i try not to take what i have for granted, and i don't think i do. it's part of the way i was raised. i'm an immigrant, and that has made a huge impression on my mindscape.

so with this and the holiday season in mind, i began thinking of all the things i'm thankful for this thanksgiving. i began to count my blessings and saw that they weren't so different from the ones i enumerated in last year's December 1 entry. in short, i'm a lucky fucking duckie, and this knowledge will carry me through the many more trips i'll surely make to craplandia: that place -- whether real or imagined -- where everything just sucks. i've visited there many times this year, and a few key people/a dog have managed to pull me out every single time:

-- my amazing parents: they're the type of parents you'd ask santa to bring you for christmas when you were unhappy with your own. without their support, i might just live in craplandia. i can't say enough good things about them here, because there simply aren't enough letters in the alphabet and room on the Internet to do them justice.

-- my GIRLfriends: i don't understand women without women friends. i'm completely incapable of surviving without what i've affectionately termed 'my bitches.' they have been my life support system this year in a way i never imagined they could be. they have listened to my rants, wiped away my tears, smacked sense into me and have never once made me feel ridiculous for saying, thinking or doing any of the things i've said, thought or done. big BIG thank yous especially go to (in alphabetical order) demetria, kiana, raidis, sharon, zahra, zee.

-- juice: i've said it a million times before, and i'll say it once more: i love my dog.

those are the biggies of the year who really taught me the value and meaning of unconditional love. i don't mean to be redundant by again mentioning the things off last year's list, but most of those items i still count as blessings today: extended family, other friends (guys included), yoga, books, music, etc., and of course, my new boyfriend justin who showed me, among other things, the correct way to do a downward-facing dog pose and that there's good stuff to be had in the world of romantic relationships, a world i considered abandoning.

the other thing i'm truly thankful for might seem a little less obvious, but it's perhaps the most important thing of all: my self-esteem. after all, it's the one thing that's allowed me to feel worthy of embracing all these blessings, which could vanish tomorrow. and if they did, i would only have my self-esteem as a guide to know that i could and should keep going. it's my incombustible rock.

happy thanksgiving, everyone everywhere.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

San Francisco Weekend Treat

finally managed to take that SF jaunt i've been talking about taking forever, but never managed to organize. well, it happened the weekend before last; it was marvelous, as expected, spawning all these elaborate fantasies about moving back there and resuming the life i once led before it was interrupted by -- as zee would say -- the architecture of the heart. i am glad i moved back to LA when i did, however. i don't think i would have gotten my master's otherwise, nor my dog, so it had its benefits. and i would move back to SF, but not like i did in 1998 as a reckless 22-year-old with nothing to lose. i have a standard of living now and i have a furry kid, which would force me to look before i leaped. i'd need a job first, an apartment by a park, maybe even a garage for my car. who knows, i might just up and move one day or maybe never again, i've grown to be happy in LA. in the meantime, i'll settle for my annual visits to the bay, where many good friends still live. (sadly, i missed out on seeing the NegEx this time around. catch you this thanksgiving, kid.) here are other highlights:

Chinatown rocks: or maybe it's a bit more easy listening these days, as evidenced by the violin -- is that a violin? -- player.

fancy fat feline: this cat had a moustache, no joke.

ms. heady: Dee reading the NYT during breakfast in the Marina.

who you callin' granola? Dee's breakfast looked amazing.

gay mecca: if you're a straight man having a bad day, you should go to the Castro for an ego boost.

one dollah to make you hollah: Justin tries his hand at hustling on Castro Street.

sold to the highest bidder: i can afford one dollah.

purty: flowers.

ken and barbie: i mean, Randy and Melanie kindly met me for drinks in the Mission.

my bitches: Loulou with Sharon (in white), my spiritual soul sister.

group hug: Me, Justin, Sharon, Loulou and Dee with beautiful Noe Valley reflected in the background.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

And the Winner Is...

ConfidentCopy.com. I bought the domain name the other day, and things are moving right along. i'm meeting with the web designer this week and the first order of business will be a logo. this is important, as business is all about branding nowadays, and this logo will be replicated on my business cards and may be plastered elsewhere as part of an advertisement. so what should it look like? i'm trying to stay away from anything gimmicky or cartoonish. i'd prefer something more sophisticated, streamlined, minimalist. i wish i could design it myself, but my artistic abilities don't extend beyond stick figure drawings.

so...yeah, please e-mail me or leave suggestions in comments box.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Halloween 2004

what a blast this year. i attended the best costume party in the city, put on by my former employers, the dorks at CFQ, and their partners, the makeup effects house Almost Human. unfortunately, i didn't take many photos of the costumes i saw, but trust that they were spectacular. find some here. below are photos provided by zee and nick. thanks, guys.

beauty and the beast: i got mad props from many girls for my outfit. yes, you see it right -- it's a dismembered arm touching my breast. that's what happens when suckas get fresh with me. justin is dressed as...well, we never really figured it out. just some non-descript animal with one big ear.

sheer genius: Nick dressed as Tucker Carlson from CNN's Crossfire.

apparently, two men groped Zee: Zee, dressed as the character from Audition and bathed in spooky lighting, with her own set of dismembered arms.

did i mention the open bar? Raidis, as a sexy french maid, and i took advantage of the free libations, often double-fisting our drinks to avoid waiting in the crazy long line.

the hand that got around: that explains the disappearance of Justin's wallet!

the venerable head dork: my hero Dave dressed as Shaun of the Dead.