Thursday, June 26, 2008


I was at work yesterday, chatting with one of my co workers, when he asked me, "So where are you from? You're not from America are you?"

At first I was kind of surprised and offended. 'Where in the hell do you think I am from?' Then again, a lot of people just can't place me ethnically because of my unique "look," so they figure I must be European or something (don't ask me why).

So I decide to give him the benefit of the doubt and cut a wry joke, "Why do you say that? Did my accent give it away?"

In my opinion, I have the most American accent around.

To which he said: "No, it's just the way you talk. The way you use words seems like someone who isn't from America."

Now I was really unsure how to take that. What the hell does that mean?! Is he referring to my penchant for verbosity? Am I uncomfortably stiff and formal in my use of English? Or does he think my use of verbs is somehow awkward and thus speaks of still familiarizing myself with the language? Do I sound like I just got off the boat?


We ended up having good conversation about other things, but it also struck ME as odd his choice of the word "America". I mean who calls the U.S. "America" so readily and frequently anyway? What's that about?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Weekend with Brandon

I had SUCH a wonderful weekend with Brandon!!! He is this guy I met through connexion. His profile appealed to me because he is also into the outdoors. Little did I know he also grew up Mormon and went to BYU and served a mission! It is great to have that common base, but he is also incredibly sweet and funny and cute. He is a good balance to my own energy because he is the kind of nerdy engineer with surprising edge whereas I am the artsy guy with surprising conventions.

We have been on a few dates at this point and it has been a really refreshing, new experience for me. In general, my relationships have been born in one of two ways: 1) we meet, have instant fireworks and fall head over heels at a head rushing pace or 2) we are friends for a while and then we realize our friendship has some serious romance going on. Conventional dating has never worked for me. But Brandon and I had a first date. That went well, we wanted get to know each other some more, we went on a second date and so on. Wow. A natural, slow, easy progression! How remarkably sane. And nice!! I really like it. If nothing else, this experience I think will help me to develop a new pattern of dating.

Anyway, so we had planned to go camping this past weekend in Big Sur with two of his friends. The morning we were supposed to leave, both of his friends had to cancel. Brandon was anxious to spend some time on Sunday with his dad anyway, so we decided to nix the camping and just spend a weekend in the city. Perfect idea.

We went on an 8 mile hike in the Marin Headlands. It was beautiful and totally transportive. I was also incredibly charmed by the little towns on the way. These great old-fashioned coastal towns. I will post some pics on facebook shortly.

We came back to SF exhausted and dirty. We picked up some supplies at Safeway on the way home and prepared a simple dinner at Brandon's. We were stuffed and pleasantly surprised by the Pinot Grigio we had with dinner. We then proceeded to the jacuzzi with what was left of the Pinot and had a great relaxing soak before collapsing from exhaustion.

The next morning we were greeted by one of those perfect San Francisco summer days where the weather is cold enough that you need a sweater, but the sun is out and washing everything in a perfect golden light.

We went to brunch at this really great modern restaurant in the SOMA. Very industrial chic decor. Yummy blueberry ricotta pancakes and Croque Monsieur. And then one of my favoritest parts: we went to the new Frida Khalo retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art!!!! I can't believe we got to go opening weekend.

It's a good thing I went with Brandon, because my Academy hook ups would have apparently left us waiting in line for about an hour to get in. Brandon flashed his corporate VIP creds and we got in toute suite. The exhibit was wonderful. I have long loved and admired Frida, having connected with her work as a child. Seeing her work in person, I feel an even stronger connection with her work. I think had we known each other person we totally would have gotten each other. LIke I understand why she was painting the way she was, what she yearned for, and I understand her brushstroke. It was a really great experience.

What was really great, though, was Brandon. I just so enjoy spending time with him. For some reason I find him so incredibly endearing and adorable. What was really great too was being able to hold hands with him. Just walking down the street. Hiking up the mountain. To brunch. To the museum. It felt so nice to hold his hand. To be with him.

I realized that even though I have dated a few men, I have never held hands in public like a regular couple. It makes me happy, but also makes me wish the same for others. I wish that all of my brothers and sisters could hold hands with the person they care about in public without facing judgment, recrimination, or even violence. When one is filled with happiness, one wishes the same happiness for others. This is what I was taught was the meaning of being filled with the Sprit of God and the love of Christ, to wish they same peace and happiness for everyone around you. I am saddened that some of my brothers and sisters wield their professed religiosity as a weapon of assault.

So the weekend with Brandon ended with a simple kiss pressed close to him on a crowded subway. I walked away exuberant.

He will be out of town next weekend, but I hope we get to see each other before he goes. Either way, we have a film festival to attend and a Pride festival to party at.

Utah Is Only a Few Blocks Away

After my wonderful weekend with Brandon (more on that later), I had the privilege of hearing my roommate's band play at a local bar. Getting there was no privilege. I was running super late. The show started at 9pm and it was 9:20 pm when I finally got off the phone with family and friends.

After spending another 10 min in a fruitless hunt for my house keys, I finally caved and asked our neighbors if I could borrow the spare key they have for our place. And off I went! But the bus was taking forever to arrive. I decided to walk it. It's in the SOMA, I figure totally doable.

I got totally lost, ran into a few leather bars, and had a rat as a traveling companion for about half a block. Can I just say how repulsed I am by rats??? Ugh!! This is one thing I hate about living in a city. I am sorry, but rats are foul, disease-ridden vermin. I do not want to see them, and I definitely don't want them running underfoot while I am trying to get re-oriented in a shady part of town. Thankfully, this rat quickly dashed into a grate almost as soon as I became aware of his presence. His speed was gratifying and unnerving.

I finally arrived at my destination on 4th and Bryant, though: The Utah!! Yes, this is the name of the bar. It's like this really old, saloon style bar. Peter and I used to pass by it on the way home from church and muse on being able to go to Utah while being in California.

Oh the irony. Here I was on the Sabbath, about to go into a bar called The Utah (or sometimes the Hotel Utah). After paying a surprising cover I nestled into the small lounge area to listen to my awesome roommate play bass.

I had no idea what kind of music to expect, but was very pleased. Some great acoustic, folk kind of music with witty remarks in between songs by the lead singer, who has a really great-soungding voice. Imagine my surprise when the lead singer, John, announced that his next song would be about Mormons!

So I sipped my ice cold Budweiser and listened to a song about a guy who quit his job on Labor Day and ran into an LDS on LSD who compared Jesus to Superman and declared the Bible to be the first comic book. In Utah. On Sunday.

Sometimes I think God keeps himself entertained merely through the ironies of our lives. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wheat Thin Awakening

At the end of a long day, searching for more fodder for my healthy diet consumption, I am in Safeway, deliberating (as always) over Wheat Thins. The new 100% Whole Grain Baked ones are on sale. But a long time ago I decided I was a Multi-Grain Wheat Thin kinda guy.

So, in true nature, I compared. This is what kills me: they have exactly the same content of whole grains, protein, and fiber per serving. The allegedly healthier "baked" (aren't they all baked?) Thins are actually higher in fat! Why even make two lines of what is almost exactly the same product that would appeal to the exact same consumer demographic? This makes no sense and loses the company money in additional packaging and distribution, maybe even in marketing.

It always disappoints me when people with degrees in business that make millions for their business acumen make decisions that are transparently dense to me, who never got a degree in business or has any formal business training.

And people wonder how our national institutions waste money. How we end up in business crises like the credit crunch/crash/debacle. Bad oversight.

PS-I still like me some Multi-Grain Wheat Thins. Yum!

Katy Perry: Ur So Gay

Okay it looks like I have some serious catching up to do in my blogging. Many posts to come in the next few days. I am mysteriously awake after 4hours 30 min of sleep.

I came across this truly GREAT video for a Katy Perry song. LOVE the visual concept! Hilarious use of Barbie. Check out her other songs, "Hot'n Cold," "I Kissed a Girl." She has some seriously great beats. I can see her becoming a club favorite particularly for the hipster set.

Oh! I went to this fun little hipsterish club on Sat. Very fun. Maybe that will be its own post.

In the meantime, enjoy Katy playing with her dolls and pull on your tight, tapered jeans and canvas shoes for her other songs. :)

It's brill.