Category Archives: Humorous

Some Things and Their Places: A Story

Things on Ships:

Pirates

Sails (extra ones below deck)

Parrots

Rats

Engine (depending on the type of boat)

Yar

Swashbuckling

Skipper

Yellow bellies

Things on a Christmas tree:

Hope

Christmas lights

Dream

Half a strand of dead Christmas lights

Tinsel (also all over the house)

Grandpa and Grandma (a picture of them)

A gingerbread man ornament that I always wish I could eat but can’t because it’s an ornament and not actually made out of gingerbread (even though it looks really tasty)

The Christmas ornament that creeps me out but that I keep using anyways

Things in my room:

An empty canister of Nescafe Tasters Choice instant coffee that’s been there for 9 months – could probably recycle this now

A poster on the wall with my goals for this year, and where I spelled “General” wrong so it says “Geneal goals for the year”

Calcium chews – I may have had two of these today since I couldn’t remember if I’d eaten one in the morning or not

A Monster energy drink that I purchased one night in September

Self-reflection

Desk, chair, and bookshelf that were all found on the street

Two cottage cheese containers full of money

A phone book – I thought this would be useful for some reason

Warm

Things in my head:

Memories in picture format

Scent memories – my house where I grew up, pine needles, cologne

Forgotten dreams

Remembered dreams

The indisputable fact that everyone is staring at me

Instant coffee granules

I think he likes me

Ideas like “I could sell my doodles,” or “what if I did man-on-the-street interviews at lunch”

Hope

Pirates

The song “The Christmas Waltz”

Laughter

Things in my heart: 

Ruv

Angst

Hope

Pirates

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What we talk about when we talk about adult acne

Photo credit: Genista

Photo credit: Genista

It gets better, they said. Just wait. Soon it will all make sense. Soon your hips will stop widening, your jaw and nose will grow in equal pace, you’ll understand bra sizes and stop being embarrassed when you buy tampons.

Soon you’ll understand how wonderful it is to be an adult, to choose your own breakfast and buy your own poptarts, if that’s what you want.

Chase your dreams, they said. Soon you’ll be achieving them. Follow your heart. Soon you’ll be making great decisions all the time and relationships will be easier and it will all make sense. Everything will make sense, even the fact that we live on one of 200 billion planets in our galaxy and that the universe is infinite, truly infinite.

And acne – soon the acne will stop. You won’t have to spend 121 hours every year scrutinizing your pores, determining which ones deserve to be squeezed and which ones must ripen.  You won’t be jealous of the girls in the Clean & Clear commercials or spend significant amounts of time imagining where you would send all the pus in your body if you could choose to just have one perpetual pimple.

And I won’t say I was lied to. I won’t say that I was deceived by those people 18+ in my life who knew exactly what was coming to me. I won’t say I was deliberately led to believe in a fantasy no more real than sea monkeys or the first moon landing.

I believed what I wanted to believe – I pieced together the various messages of my childhood and adolescence and came to believe that once I turned 22 or 23, I would have it all figured out. I – and everyone else – would be living our dreams, wearing clothes that fit and laughing together while eating pasta at a restaurant. And our skin would be clear. It would be completely clear, with not a zit, pimple, blackhead, whitehead, subterranean or squirter to have blemished it in many many years.

Photo credit: Garrette

Photo credit: Garrette

So when we talk about adult acne, we talk about the cruel reality of adulthood, the fact that we still don’t have the answers and know we may never have them. We talk about the fact that relationships are still confusing. We talk about how social media and technology has let us down in some unnamable way, and the despair, apathy, or vague outrage that we feel when we read about politics and the NSA and privacy and drones and the daily body count in Syria. We talk about wanting more in our lives, wanting clear skin, wanting a clear vision.

They told us to follow our dreams but never said that almost everything would be put in the way of that. They told us to make

a difference, but they didn’t say that society often villainizes or kills those who try. They promised clear skin, and still I have blemishes, and now I pay for my own face wash.

They didn’t tell us, but that’s okay. They probably didn’t know what they were doing. Now that we know more of the truth, we can move on, complain together about our acne, and get ish done.

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Context is everything – This message sent from right behind you.

picture taken in the Pope's living room.

picture taken in the Pope’s living room.

So you get an email from someone and at the bottom it says “Sent from iPhone. Please pardon typos” or something to that effect. That’s interesting.

Once upon a time, we didn’t automatically understand the context of the communications we received. Now we do – to a small extent and under limited circumstances.

But – I was wondering just how deep we can go with this, so I took that kernel of an idea and completely blew it out of proportion and came up with the following list of scenarios that provide the context behind messages you may have received or given in your lifetime.

Are there any contexts that could completely change the meaning of a message? This is not a test, I’m just asking. Think about it a little bit. Okay I’m done talking. My head hurts. Just read the list.

Message sent from the toilet.

Message sent from your bathroom.

Message sent from right behind you.

Message sent from my heart to your head.

Message sent while thinking about a past lover.

Smiley face sent to you while experiencing feelings of despairing rage.

Message sent while in love with you.

Sent while in love with your lover.

Message sent while wondering if you like me.

Message sent. I don’t like cats.

Sent from the bathroom at an Indian food restaurant.

Sent while figuring out how much this is going to cost me in the long run.

Sent from a real computer with a full keyboard. If there are any typo’s, it’s because I’m an idiot.

Sent while eating chef Boyardee from the can. Just to be clear, I’m not eating on the toilet, just sending a message while eating food straight from the can.

Sent while watching the first season of Project Runway alone on a Friday.

Sent instead of emailing my mom back.

Sent in place of meaningful communication with my family.

Message sent. I’m lonely.

Message sent. I’m more successful than you.

Sent from my iPhone. My devices make me feel important. I have more of them than I do friends.

Sent from my Android. You should read more.

Sent from the future. Enjoy the present while you can.

Sent from backstage at that show you’ve been meaning to go to.

Sent from the 38 Geary bus in San Francisco.

Sentence spoken to you while anxiously looking for someone else and not paying attention at all to what you were saying.

Sentence spoken to you while wondering what you think about me.

Sentence spoken to you while wondering how that man could be so good-looking.

Sentence spoken while trying to impress you.

Sentence spoken while being jealous of you.

Sentence spoken. Do you think I’m funny?

Sent from my laptop.  Do you think I’m smart?

Sent from my laptop. Do you think I think about myself too much?

Sent from heaven.

Sent from hell.

Sent from the outer reaches of the universe. Your problems are much smaller than you think they are.

Blog written at the intersection of 2nd and Folsom.

Blog written using a MacBook Pro at 4:18 PM PDT on 9/25/2013.

Blog written while wearing tennis shoes.

Blog written while wondering if this is too meta.

Message sent from Android. Don’t overthink it.

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Remember Deb? She’s No Longer Cute, But I’m Trying to Love Her.

Deb

Then

On August 14th, 2013, I wrote about Deb, my little succulent, and how much I love her and was glad to have something in my life that I could celebrate instead of myself. I purchased her a beautiful new pot, with colors on it and I’ve watered her once so far, just like I was told to by Karen the plant lady, her surrogate mother.

Since then, Deb has grown up a little bit. Her tender thick leaves have spread to the sides of the pot and show no sign of stopping. In fact, she’s in danger of outgrowing her $20 home. No longer  is she perfectly spaced and symmetrical – time spent growing in a room with uneven sunlight has left her looking lopsided and gangly and, dare I say, awkward.

Yes, Deb has reached adolescence, that unpleasant phase between 10 and 30 (in human years) when kids just aren’t cute anymore, when they don’t do everything you want them to, and when they grow too fast and occasionally break things.

I never appreciated how hard it must have been for my own mother to watch with horror as I transformed from a brilliant and adorable 2 year old with golden hair and an irresistible smile into a moody 14 year old that insisted on wearing clothes from Hollister and spent large amounts of time picking at her acne. All of the sudden, this precious child realized some things were cool and other things weren’t and that the uncool things were to be reviled and the cool things to be worshipped without reservation. All this is in addition to a strange propensity to wear the same sweatshirt/clothes for days on end and refuse to shower after working out before napping on the futon and soaking it with sweat. Yes, this was my adolescence and it wasn’t pretty.

Now.

Now.

Nevertheless, I believe my mother continued to love me though she cringed, and that is what I’m determined to do with Deb. I’ve already whispered this to Deb in the language of echevaria elegans, but I’ve translated it for the benefit of my human readers.

Deb, my succulent one, though I only adopted you one month ago, I feel now closer to you than I’ve felt to any other plant. When I first saw you, I knew you were to be mine and mine alone, with the perfect way your leaves extended and reached for the San Francisco sun. You were compact and adorable, and so I paid the 5 dollars and took you home where you now sit next to the globe.

Deb, I know you can’t see yourself, but you’ve changed. Your leaves have elongated and grown less even – part of you appears to be growing faster than others, and you’re lopsided and less attractive to look at. I could call you cute still, but it would only be a lie. Now you just look like a normal plant. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, Deb.

I know this is just a phase and that you’ll grow to be more beautiful than you ever were, and until you do, I will care for you just like I cared for you one month ago, just as if you were still the petite echevaria elegans you used to be.

And you will always be mine.

Love,

Emily

Dear Bay Area, Give LA a Chance

Venice Beach LA

I went to LA over labor day weekend and expected to hate it, having absorbed the LA-negative attitude of the Bay Area. To many people that call the Bay Area home, the idea of actually enjoying LA is as offensive as the existence of styrofoam.

“Oh LA” they’ll say “Yuck. LA can suck a lemon. The traffic sucks, the people are plastic, they don’t have any culture, they don’t even have city wide composting. Who could ever love LA? ho could ever love a city that wasn’t in the Bay Area. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH I don’t live in the real world – I live in a bubble full of microhoods and local farm merchants that wear plaid shirts.”

So that’s the shtick you get from many Bay Area lovers, and if you believed them, you’d come away thinking that not only is LA a very lame city, but that it’s a moral and spiritual blight on the West Coast that poses a constant hazard to innocent citizens everywhere.

So I thought I would hate it and prepared myself accordingly. Then something strange happened, oh yeah, it turns out LA IS INCREDIBLE.

No one told me about the mountains you can see through the smog on a smoggy day and just see normally on a good day. No one told me about the mysterious magical summer nights where you can actually go outside without wanting to eat your own socks to raise your internal body temperature. No one told me that you could purchase an Argentinian plate of pasta from a movie actress that was from Vanuatu and the 2nd cousin of Leonardo DiCaprio. Or that you could walk into what appeared to be a lame restaurant and get an incredible philipino meal for super cheap while listening to live piano music and using a bathroom that has a shower in it.

And the strange tatooed people that wear hats and different kinds of shoes, where the men don’t just wear blue shirts and slacks and the women have weird piercings in their face.

I don’t know – it was kind of lovely. It was especially nice how unappealing most things looked – I mean, strip malls as far as the eye could see, hole in the wall mexican restuarants with no marketing budget, streets as wide as highways wherever you go. It would be hard to pinpoint something picturesque in LA – was it the bearded lady I saw? Or what about the stick-woman wearing needle-thin stilletos and a napkin? Or the veiny elderly man that hobbled in his walker to sit down while waiting to eat at Norm’s, a diner with some of the most average food I’ve ever tasted.

No – this was something more than picturesque – it was real, and maybe this is the poor-quality tap water talking but I liked how raw the city felt and how it seemed like there were endless opportunities and how it wouldn’t be hard to imagine why someone who just arrived might say to themselves “By gum, I’m gonna make it big here!”

People are willing to live there just because they’re following their dreams. That’s something nice, right? And that’s not everyone even – I don’t know how to say it. There’s more to LA than the smack talk, even though that’s there too. There’s just more there.

That can be LA’s slogan: There’s more here.

So give it a chance, Bay Area. Maybe you’ll like it.

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