January 25, 2005

Trivial Miniscule Ridiculous Worries

The other day, I received an e-mail from my best friend who is doing a graduate program on human rights in Europe. Meaning she is living in Europe, working in an EU-sponsored program on human rights. Recently, this program took its 85 students (she's the only American, which in itself could be a story, believe me) on a trip to Kosovo.

I am not sure exactly what the purpose of the trip was, but I did understand one thing: we fortunate people do indeed "sweat the small stuff." And we do it all the time. It upsets me greatly, and I'm not impartial to doing it myself. After all, I really do need to buy $60 face cream. Come on people don't hate - it's got grape seed oil in it!!!

ANYWAY, the letter I received was not long or detailed. But it certainly brought home some issues I've long had with my society. Note here that I said "my society;" I did not say "America" or "America as a whole" or anything like that. I am aware that I am a white-collar white girl raised in a priveliged part of America, and that my experiences are not the same as anyone's. I am aware of and can appreciate struggle; I have experience dealing with my own struggles (many many, personal and professional) and know they cannot begin to compare with those of other people less or even more fortunate than myself. But receiving the letter from Kosovo, I realized that some of my "struggles" were decidedly non-plus.

Hearing those few details about the people of Kosovo, their warm hearts and shattered lives - trying to re-build, dealing with shortages of food, water, heat, and work - made me feel petty. The crap I consume myself with - looking this way, feeling that way, having this thing, does he like me - seem so absolutely ridiculous on the grand scale. The worst thing is, I know that there are equivelant tragedies here in the 'ole U.S. of A every day. I truly wish that the rest of "my society" would stop being so worried about appearance and see the big picture. It is really difficult to pursue the career I'm trying to pursue, in which I need to put on a seriuous "horse and pony show" for these people, and still maintain a sense of dignity and, most importantly, humanity. I mean, I am truly doing this work because I want to help people; I can't say it's the same for the rest. I guess the best thing to come of the letter I received is that I! CAN'T! WAIT! to get this plane called the New Career off the ground, make loads of money and put it to seriously good use! Hell yeah!

We all "get it" eventually, don't we? It's hard to believe that someone can be on the planet in this day and age for 70 or 80 years or more and completely miss the whole point of it all. But then again, I met up with an acquaintance yesterday who just turned 69, and she spoke to me for over an hour about nothing but pomp and circumstance. Note that I said "acquaintance," not "friend."

PS - Jerry on The Bachelorette is H-O-T!

January 13, 2005

Bad Gas

Most of my girlfriends are pregnant and about to squeeze out their first kids. Although there are many aspects of growing a baby that amaze me, one of the most intriguing is a woman's ability to change what she eats. All of the sudden, a woman will change her diet to give her body the best fuel for optimum performance. Like athletes, pregnant women instantaneously realize that their bodies are machines, and that the right fuel is what leads to making it to the finish line on top.

Now, I don't eat horribly, but I do tend to err on the empty calorie side. I give my machine bad gas! I would barely even call it fuel. I often chide myself for my poor eating, and vow to eat more fruits and veggies, but I never seem to get around to changing my habits.

Anyway, last night I was thinking about this pregnancy and diet thing, and wondered why accountability to someone else is so often what makes people really follow through with change. Why isn't accountability to oneself enough? It's certainly not for me. If I were asked to list my strengths, will power wouldn't be on it. What drives me to continue my dangerous indulgences when I know they are destroying the machine? It's not money; if money were an issue, I'd be saving myself a lot by reducing my alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and squashing my addiction to Swiss chocolate bars. Which I consume one or twice a week, by the way - more than any non-Swiss really needs.

It is truly odd to me that I require some other important person in my life in order to do something I should be doing anyway. When I received a kiss from a guy I had been drooling over for years, I floated home, and for weeks after I flossed every day. EVERY DAY! Just like the dentist says! Why? Because I wanted to have the most perfect mouth for him. How weird is that?

Then there's this: "If my boyfriend doesn't smoke and doesn't like me smoking, then I will quit." Hello! Why am I waiting for an "if-then" statistical scenario to stop damaging the machine?!

And you know what? I ask myself this question almost every night between lights out and nodding off. And it never makes a damn bit of difference. So I guess I'll either need to get a boyfriend, get pregnant, or get with the program for MYSELF, or this machine is going to run out of gas, and kick it early.

January 04, 2005

"Next Blog" Button

The "Next Blog" button. I could surf it all day and all night if I didn't have my own business or care about my social life. Or watch so much TV.

But honestly, NB-surfing has opened my eyes and raised questions.

The coolest thing about NB-surfing is how international it is. All sorts of languages out there. I can actually understand some of them, like the ones from England, Australia, Scotland, Ireland. (Je rigole. Ca suffit de dire que je peux assez bien lire les blogs francais aussi. Y los blogs d'america de sud tambien.) Oddly enough, I've only been to one Japanese blog, but I've been there over and over and over. Go figure.

The thing that really chaps my hide while NB-surfing is when I arrive at a site where there is no "Next Blog" button. How is that possible?! That's almost like holding me against my will! What - not enough people visit your site so you want to trap us like flies when we do? Of course, it could be that I just dont' know the trick to NB-surf away from there, and in that case, I'm sorry. But if I'm right! that you TRAP! US! THERE! then you deserve to be deleted.

Sometimes, the blogs are advertisements. Are you serious? Do you really get traffic from that? Puh-leaze. These blogs remind me of obnoxious humans. You just want to minimize your time with them. I get the same feeling when landing on and adblog as I used to when first meeting a Match.com date. "Next!"

There sure are a lot of students blogging. Whole lotta students! And boy, do they like to add the graphics. Whole lotta graphics goin' on there, kids! Easy does it; I only have a 50.6K modem. I know, I know: compu-antiquity. It's very difficult for me to accept any form of antiquity (except of course, vintage Gucci) when I am only 32, for crying out loud.

And then I think of the ultimate grandness of blogworld. Man, it's huge. I mean it's REALLY HUGE! For example: how many NB-surfs do you think it will take for me to land upon my man's blog? RANDOMLY, mind you. JUST BY PRESSING "NEXT BLOG." That chance seems really slim to me, frankly. I can tell you the chances are probably greater that I will hit some goat milk lover's site or a Aiwa stereo dealer site than my "cyber-boyfriend's." But then again, I guess it's all about the Big World, Small World Syndrome. After all, I've run into a work associate in a paper store in Florence, and completely missed a meeting point with a high school friend arriving on a train in France. So there you go, I guess. Button's on autopilot; who knows where it will lead.

January 03, 2005

Hoo Ha! I am Finally Google-able!

Yes! If you type my full name into Google, I finally come up! And it's first on the list.

PS - I am now addicted to "Next Blog" surfing. Yum!

PPS - Did you know, if you have a laptop, the battery can act as a foot warmer? Double yum!!

January 02, 2005

Around the City to 80 Parties

My friends can attest that I have never really enjoyed New Year's Eve. As an eternally single gal, an annual event that forces you to find someone to kiss by midnight feels like God's little game of Dare.

Additionally, I found early on in my NYE career that, at least in San Francisco, it is near impossible to get where you want to go when you want to. This usually happens at the most crucial point of the night - the point at which you want to go home. You'd be amazed how competitive otherwise joyous revelers can be when trying to get a taxi at 3am.

So I was happy this year to open my house to the few people I knew that might not have plans already. Most people did have plans; I knew it would be a small crowd. And it was small indeed! In fact, by about 9:30 there were only 4 of us: me, W.R., John T and John I. Most of the group that was intending to come were comfortably stuck at the party before mine. It was walking distance away, so we joined them instead.

We were having a lovely time for twenty minutes before I was ushered to put my coat back on and go to a different party. So we walked (and walked and walked) the wet streets of San Francisco to another party further from my house. Luckily I was wearing my Kenneth Cole high heals, the ones with the tennis shoe soles. Otherwise I wouldn't have even bothered.

The next party was a "shoes off" party, which I always feel asks a lot of the guests. Required to display socks that were not intended to be seen! That was really the only part about it I didn't enjoy, and I wasn't wearing any socks anyway. There were some cool people there; the host Noreen and I discussed how she looked Jewish but wasn't, and I how I was but didn't look it. Close to midnight, someone did a false New Year countdown, which we all kind of went with, and I kissed all my male friends and hugged my girlfriend W.R.. I thought, "wow;" at least everyone here wasn't panting to kiss just one particular person. It felt grown-up. It felt good. Three minutes later someone tried to do the real New Year's countdown, but it didn't really get the same response as the false one.

Well, don't get settled now because we are walking to a bar. We get our stuff and start walking back toward my apartment. We stopped in this raging dance party, but didn't stay longer than it took the guys to realize it was a gay party. Back on the streets.

We ended up at Hobson's Choice, a favorite a bar of the guys. I was just happy it was around the corner from my apartment. We stayed there till it closed, and I was ready to invite everyone back to chill at my house. W.R. and I were waiting outside for the rest of the group, and there were a lot of people still on the street. I decided to make the best of it. Because really, all you have to do is say "Happy New Year" and lean in, and that guy walking by will stop and kiss you! It's amazing! This was going quite well, I had 3 kisses in, and then we got dragged to another party down the street.

So we went to the next party, which wasn't really a party because the host wasn't even there yet. He came around the corner shortly after we arrived and let us in. It took about a half hour for people to really start showing up, and I was getting to the point where it wasn't that fun to be sitting around drinking in some gross bachelor pad with people I wasn't the least bit interested in getting to know. W.R. and I discussed leaving, and the guys of course said "Wait! There's another party around the corner!"

OK, next party. I was loosing interest fast. I was really only going to look at the crowd and decide if it was worth my time, since it was 3am already. It ended up that a guy I worked withon a project a few years ago was there, P.W., and we had a good time catching up and gossiping. He was also instrumental in keeping an older Korean gentleman from asking me out. He started laughing when he realized that I was pretending he was my boyfriend, because he was there looking for a boyfriend of his own.

Wrapping things up at that party when our girl C.H. finally met up with us. She had a group of 5 with her, and about 12 or so of us stood outside deciding what to do next, for a long long time. Finally, I said, "W.R. and I are going back to my place. Anyone who wants to come along is welcome to." And so W.R. and I and 2 French guys from C.H.'s group ended up at my apartment. The people in the upstairs unit were still up and I invited them to come down the fire escape for some champagne. I was having a good time speaking French again, and W.R. was happy being the apple of a French man's eye. We all crashed around 5:30am.

So there you go. W.R. ended up having sex on my sofa bed with one of the Frenchies that night, while I was fighting the other Frenchy's hands away from me. And believe it or not, after all that walking and party hopping and alcohol and horny Frenchiness, I still had a good New Year's Eve.

Flash to the next day and you see me basically lying on the couch, watching the AMAZING Rose Bowl game of Texas v. Michigan, and you have a clear picture of how productive I was on the first day of 2005.