Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Anti-Love Love Poem

This is another post where I brag about how awesome and talented my friends are.

Joanna and I went to grad school together. And we went Ghana together. And then Guatemala. And then we got bumped off a flight and ended up in Panama together. On the flight down to Panama, Joanna and I (well, almost entirely Joanna) wrote a rap about the midwives we met in Guatemala. Joanna also kept me in supply of Dramamine for long chicken bus rides, covered me when I lost my ATM card midway through our trip, hiked to the top of an active volcano, didn't object when I slept 12 hours a night on average, and performed any of her poems that I wanted to hear on demand.

In addition to being an amazing travel partner, Joanna is also an uber-talented, award-winning slam poet. While I'm still struggling to wrap my mind around an experience, Joanna has already put it into words and turned it into a piece of art.

As an antidote to my internet boyfriend's poems, I thought I'd share one of my favorite poems written by Joanna. You can find more of her work here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Undercover Internet Lover

It was only a matter of time before I resorted to online dating. I think I'm finally at an age where it might be semi-socially acceptable.
I haven't had any luck yet, or really any dates that end in anything more than a handshake. (Seriously guys, a handshake?) That aside, I've started a collection of poems I've received from creepy old guys on the internet. This is the first installment in that collection.

There is No Way We'd Get Along (his title, not mine)

After all, your young, I'm old (like late 40s), your a navigator, I'm a driver, you can find chocolate butterflies, I can only find flies, you've lived in big cities, I live in small towns, you bake pies, I eat pies, you like the Band, I am a huge Basement Tapes freak, David Byrne makes you happy, David Byrne flips me over backwards, your socks are organized (huh?), mine are crawling all over my drawer. I guess there is nothing else to do but write you this poem and let it fly.


blue is the color
of the sky today
clear, cold,
the sun on the way

winter appears
snow on the ground
spinning through flakes
hanging around

our eyes lock
on each others soul
our fingers press
together and won't let go

our lips shine
they touch and then
the spark emerges
our feelings spin

out of control
out of the way
pressing ourselves
we know what to say

talkings no good
whispers in the ears
sweetness abounds
only we can hear

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Some things that happened this weekend

-I made some of the most delicious blueberry muffins I've ever tasted. Usually I'm modest about baking, but there's no reason to be modest about these. Half of the blueberries made into a syrup and half put in whole. The perfect combination of berry flavor throughout and tangy berry bites. Also, lemon sugar on top = deliciousness. I might have to start sprinkling all my food with lemon sugar. These were for a friend's surprise birthday brunch, which is a brilliant party concept. There was also peanut butter cheddar omelets, roasted asparagus, some deadly Parmesan artichoke dip and 2/3 of a birthday cake.

-My only family member who knows about this blog is now on the search for it. (I thought it would be more fun to make her find it on her own.) In case she finds it, "Hi Kristina!"

-Last night my older brother came over and we ordered Indian Pizza. I'm not sure if this a San Francisco-specific food concept, but it's delicious. Not as good as the combined goodness of Indian food and pizza, but almost as good. For those not familiar Indian pizza is a nan crust with eggplant, chives, cauliflower, curry and all kinds of other stuff topped with cheese.

Indian pizza < Indian food + pizza
Indian pizza > (most) Indian food
Indian pizza > (most) pizza

-I'm watching a horrible show called Platinum Weddings. It's all about over-the-top weddings. It's awful, but I can't look away. Maybe like my version of Real Housewives or similar? I don't think this is the kind of wedding show you watch for planning tips. Anyway, there was just a commercial for a vibrator?!

Also, signature cocktails is a weird concept. But only because wedding shows call them "signature cocktails". Instead of saying "I only have vodka" next time I have people over, I'm going to switch it up to "The signature cocktail of the evening is a vodka tonic."

-I signed up for Google Blog Reader today. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my time now that I don't have to spend it looking for new posts on my favorite blogs.

-The commercial is now for the Pussycat Dolls Workout video.

-Today my friend J. and I went on a house tour fundraiser. There were four houseboats on the home tour. Today's lesson is: quirky people live in houseboats. The quirky houseboat people were no match for the cult(!) we went in later in the tour. Mary tried to convince us that it wasn't a cult, just a normal residential philosophical society. Then they offered us Kool-Aid.

J. in the cult with pictures of peoples spirit animals or something similar

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things I Love This Week

::This sweater/sweatshirt/hoodie thing::

You know when you buy something and you immediately know that you are going to wear it more than is socially acceptable? Like for instance, this thing. I've already tried to justify it as being business casual. Perfect for my grandfather's memorial! A job interview! A trip to the gym! It's the softest cotton on the inside and the outside is this wool that is as thin as gauze. And it's made my Saucony, the tennis shoe company! I bought it at the Sports Basement, one of my other new favorite things.

::The Sports Basement::
I'm not a very athletic person. I love hiking up mountains and try to go to yoga a few times a week. I have periods where I'm more consistent about going to the gym, but usually loath it. I recently received a bike, but am still too intimidated by the biking scene in SF to ride it most places. That being said, I love this sports store! (As mentioned before, I'll do anything as long as I have the right accessories.) It's like Marshalls or Filene's Basement but full of sporting equipment. It inspires me to buy athletic equipment which inspire me to workout. The whole place is full of funky old furniture and most nights they have some sort of event in front living room area where people hangout and drink beer. Ashley and I recently went and they were giving out free apple cider. They've exchanged clothing and equipment for me for totally subjective/finicky reasons without any hassle, such as when I thought my sticky mat was too slippery.

::Partners in Health::
Obvious but timely one. Paul Farmer, the founder, is one of my favorite social justice superheros. I'm also a big fan of Jim Kim, his slightly more unsung-hero cofounder who was later at the WHO and now the President of Dartmouth. How's that for a career path? When I was a student at NYU there was this program that brought social entrepreneurs to campus to talk about their work. Paul Farmer would come every year and argue that there wasn't anything particularly entrepreneurial about his model, he just believes that everyone including poor people deserves the best health care possible. Point heard and taken. Another favorite thing about Paul Farmer is that he personally is in charge of the gardening committee at his clinics. He calls this part of the "dignification" process associated with improving the health care system in Haiti and Rwanda. Don't we all want to go to a clinic that looks like a respectable health care institution?

::The New York Mormon Regional Singles Halloween Dance:::

Or rather, the book by this title, written by Elna Baker. A few years ago I heard a hilarious story on This American Life, and called my friend Sarah to tell her about it. She mentioned that her boyfriend had heard the same story and looked up the author. It turned out she lived in NYC and was speaking at a storytelling event a few weeks later. Sarah was busy that night so I went with her bf. Most of the stories were semi-forgettable, but Elna Baker was hilarious and charming. In her intro it was mentioned that she was writing a book. On MLK Day, I went out an bought it. Two days later, I'm almost done. It's rare for me to not be able to put a book down. The book is every bit as hilarious and charming as her spoken stories.

Monday, January 18, 2010


On my 30-before-30 list, that is. Over the holidays I managed to knock out a few quick things on my list of goals. Of course, neither was as I initially envisioned, but I'm learning to get over it. Learning to be flexible, even with my own goals. Hmm... life lessons, anyone?

First accomplishment: Ear Candling!

While Ashley was in SF for her winter break she developed an extreme cold. I took advantage of her sick and vulnerable state and convinced her that ear candling might have some mysterious sinus-clearing benefits and was worth a shot. So together we journeyed across town to the Sunset. It turns out that ear candling doesn't involve candles at all. And as far as I could tell it doesn't involve wax- ear wax, candle wax or otherwise.

I volunteered/was volunteered to go first. The ear candling lady, a middle-aged Chinese lady, instructed me to take off my shoes and lay down on the massage table in her tiny room at the back of a salon. After laying down I realized I still had my glasses and earrings on. I bolted off the table to put these things in my purse. She gaged on her disgust at my bare feet on the floor. Oops.

Back on the table, she stuck a tube of rolled up paper in my ear, lit the end on fire, and stroked my face as the paper burned closer to my head. The whole thing was pretty unremarkable. On the second side I felt some slight popping, like a loosening of pressure, but it could've easily been a placebo effect of sorts. When I stepped off the table, I again made the mistake of bare feet of the floor. This time the ear candling practitioner was too busy trying to make sure I didn't pass out to chide me for my filthy ways. I'm not sure if ear candling and passing out are actually associated, but neither Ashley or I could report any notable change or light headedness. All things considered, I view this as a success. I wasn't looking for any major health benefits, more interested in crossing something off my list.

Try ear candling- check!

Second mission: Take a ferry to Sausalito and go to Heath Ceramics and buy a coffee cup

After New Years two friends from Boston, Sarah and Carly, came to visit me. Sarah and Carly are great visitors because they're into the same stuff I'm into. Or at least they pretend to be. When I lived in New York they were the only visitors that would come to town and not insist on going to Manhattan. They were content to brunch in my neighborhood, read the paper in the park all day and booze in local watering holes at night. So, when they came to SF, we did a lot of things that I'd been wanting to do. More on that later.

On Sarah and Carly's second day in town we went to Heath Ceramics. I'd done some prior research and found out that the ferry didn't really go to Heath. It came within a few miles, and we certainly could've rented bikes. But, hindsight is 20:20. We did accomplish the trip to Heath though. And I took a Ferry to Larkspur in July, so I'm counting that for the ferry ride portion of this goal. (Interestingly enough, I noted last week that they're actually opening a Heath store in the Ferry Building next month.)

Heath was as awesome as expected. Carly realized when we were there that the dishes her family had used as a child were Health Ceramics. Awesome. All three of us purchased commemorative t-shirts. We also bought mugs, vases, dishtowels, and more stuff than we probably could've comfortably afforded (especially the underemployed in the group.) However, it's great stuff and I'm sure we'll keep it for a long, long time.

I bought the coffee cup of my dreams and it's inspired me to make more coffee. It's probably already paid for itself in the number of Blue Bottle lattes I've avoided buying. I'll do anything (even make my own coffee) with the right accessories.

Go to Health Ceramics- been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010: The Next Frontier

So much has happened this year already. So little seems noteworthy. But note it I will.

The job front:
I did not secure the dream job. I'm honored to have gotten as far as I did in the interview/application process, but still a little disappointed they decided to go with someone qualified for the position. But life goes on, and I'm still hoping to land a gig with that organization someday. But, as they say- if you don't get one dream job it's time to find another dream job. Or maybe that's just what everyone I whine to says. Duly noted. And so, the next dream job has come along in quick succession. Or as these things go, I went and found it. Nothing's signed or official yet, but I'll get back to you so that we can celebrate when it is. In the meantime, I've been busy with a handful of adoption cases and am reminded daily how very glad I am that I found a field I love so much.

In summary: I am not the next Associate Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

The social life:
December and January (so far) have been especially great in terms of my general feelings about living in SF and the associated social life here. I'm trying not to pay too much attention to the fact that 90% of the time was spent either: 1. visiting NYC or 2. with friends from NYC or Boston visiting me here. It's been fun touristing around for the past month. So, I'm feeling more like I want all of my friends to move here rather than me moving back there. That might just be the weather talking.

In summary: everyone from NYC should move to SF. The weather is great! (Only in comparison to December-March.)

More soon, including love poems from my internet lovers.