Friday, July 27, 2007

That "I just got towed" feeling

You know, that feeling that you have to pay a whole lot of money to simply maintain the status quo...this has occurred twice in the past 24 hours:

First, in "upgrading" my cell phone account. Translation: after being hit with a frightening $166 bill, I have the option and privilege of paying even $15 MORE per month to avoid paying MORE in the future (or something like that). Even though it made fiscal sense, I gotta say it doesn't feel good to call up a company that just"hit" you with an exorbitant bill and say, "hey, I'd like to pay you even MORE - on an ongoing basis - because I just paid you so much this month!" Is that counterintuitive or is it just me?

Second, in paying $80 for a locksmith to spend 3 minutes doing some primitive jimmying to get me back inside to progress with my morning routine as usual. No, I don't know how the back door "locked itself" after my run, but I'm sure the really great guys who came to the rescue this morning don't care. Once they were gone, all was back to order....the only difference being a larger VISA expenditure for this month....for life as status quo!

But God Bless America for cell phones and locksmiths!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What's real?

I came across an absolutely hysterical - or is it tragic? - parody of Linden Lab's Second Life. It's one of those things I keep looking at over & over because I can't stop laughing (albeit the irreverence).

I remember when SPINNING first came out - I thought, "How absurd! Why would anyone prefer a dark, stuffy, confined room over the real thing?" And here I am, (x) years later, subjecting myself to that very instrument of torture I was so quick to condemn earlier.

[Is it just me, or is it actual lipids I wipe off of the floor at the end of class??].


In my previous post about Cafe Gratitude, I wrote, "I often thought it was too good to be true that body pierced hippy types could run a business"...alas: my monthly credit card posting from my vegan indulgence revealed that they failed to include my tip in the total....I hope this does not forebode an end similar to fate of my beloved Urban Forage-!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


should I call? They are really interested - maybe I'm not so interested. They DIDN'T call - now I'm really interested!

sound familiar? Welcome to the world of....interviewing?? favorite dating service!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Investment or expense?

I prefer to think of indulgences in organic fare as investments - in my long-term health. Seeing as the only sure way to go IS preventative health these days, I'm starting to be ok with what I once thought was 80% rationalization! Check out Michael Moore's latest movie (the excuse that he's "biased" doesn't go far with me - I mean, who isn't??)....

'What can I do?' - SiCKO


On an ongoing basis, for the love and grace of God. But most recently and more temporally, for Cafe Gratitude! Let me explain--

A few years ago, a phenomenal culinary delight for organic, raw vegan folks thrived on Valencia Street - it was called Urban Forage and it was a haven for that .005% of the population that seeks out raw, organic, vegan food. I often thought it was too good to be true that body pierced hippy types could run a business...and alas, I was right: it flamed out in less than a year. I mourned for quite a while. Then my friend Kelley gave me a gift certificate to a place in the inner mission called Cafe Gratitude...I could never bring myself to using it because I never thought anything else would match up to the heights that Urban Forage took me.

Luckily, my friend Antonio - another health foodie - assured me we should meet there. And now my pocketbook will never be the same. Ok, there is a "forced feel-good" vibe that sort of permates the place (for example, there is a "question of the day" that goes along the lines of, "what do your friends love most about you?"; and all menu items begin with "I AM..." - I assume it is not heretic....) - but - the fare is to die for! I went twice this weekend. Somebody stop me!!

Friday, July 06, 2007

alienation of labor?

On a stroll in Berkeley I passed by what was formerly one of my favorite shops, Tupper & Reed. It was a music store. But no more: it's quaint awning has been usurped by the digital age...

Now I'm not a luddite, but does this bode the end of instruments (at least, those without a keyboard)? Do we lose something by not making music more "mechanically"? Is typing different than writing? Do we lose something of the creative process as we evolve into the age of bits and bytes? Just as Marx bemoaned the alienation of labor that came with mass production, I fear we will lose something of our cognitive and creative abilities as we increasingly automate.

For example, when was the last time you did - without the aid of any tool - math?....

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

is it worship or a song?

At aforesaid bbq, we sang worship songs and The Star Spangled Banner and America The Beautiful. Normally I bristle at such syncretism, but some verses in the latter song really struck me:
Confirm they soul in self control, Thy liberty in law
I admit, I was able to pray while singing that line...not only for our country but myself. Perhaps patriotic hymns & worship hymns were much more aligned back in the day? Always a dangerous line to walk, but I do know that I sure agree with that line.

speaking of july 4

I spent it in 2 interesting ways today. First, hanging out with Yossi & Misha near ClubOne after my workout. They hail from the Ukraine and I could not lose the opportunity to capture them today of all days.

Second, at a barbecue in Pacifica, where fireworks are, remarkably, legal to all. As I walked from my car to the party, I winced at all of the explosives going off and remarked at just how far away from "Kansas" (SF) I felt. Am I that parochial now? For an affirmative, see my post immediately preceding this one.

triple citizenship

The other day I was walking downtown and was swept away with a sense of utter audacity when I saw a man sporting an American flag tie (remember, I live in San Francisco, the last city to tolerate the display of an American flag, let alone on an article of clothing which is meant, primarily, to be black). Interestingly, my brain flashed with the following statement: "Sheeeshh what country does THAT guy live in?"

Of course the irony of that statement (as in, the answer would be, er, the United States) was not lost on me...but the whole episode marked an interesting fact: I am now officially a citizen of the Republic of San Francisco, holding many of the attitudes and dispositions that seems to bring. Assuming that I do not, however, have to renounce my US citizenship ( out on that one), that means I have triple citizenship: SF, the US, and of course the only real one, the Kingdom of God.