Saturday, February 26, 2005

Previous post now updated!

WooT! Thanks for being patient.

My leettle laptop is choking. Overheating actually, and it's all my fault. (Who else's would it be?)

The previous post is an unfinished draft, but it looks as though I'm going to have to do a reboot and recover to get to the intented, finished product and post it. Apologies! Please bear with me.

Thanks ever so much!


Friday, February 25, 2005

A Plymouth winter and an emergent spring

[The final version. Recovered and reposted. Whew!]

I moved the last of my belongings and turned in my keys to Chez Potrero yesterday. In all honesty, as I've been sleeping here at Chez Shotwell for the last few days, the hand off was more symbolic than significant. At the same time, it comes in a period of personal milestones and reflection.

Several weeks from now will mark the first anniversary of my arrival to San Francisco. One year ago next Tuesday, I started 'Operation San Francisco' on as place to gather resources and ideas for my move from Portland, OR to the Mission. It took me over a week to gather the courage to create the tribe and solicit help as I had an instinct that once the ball started rolling, events would take place faster than I had anticipated. That instinct could not have been more correct: my goal was to arrive the week before Halloween. I pulled up in front of Chez Potrero shortly before 8 pm on April 16th.

In ways that I am certain I still cannot fully fathom, this last year has been the culmination and manifestation of a stubborn refusal to relinquish the idea that the life I could envision was possible, if only I was willing to work for it, find and claim it. This process began in earnest ten years ago, when, for reasons I'm unable to explain, I began to experience an intense sense of urgency. I had recurring dreams of being on a platform and hearing my train in the near distance while my bags were yet unpacked. Bags that needed to contain vital items, well chosen and useful items. Items and tools that would make the difference between success and failure in reaching my destination. This sense of urgency was largely pervasive over the course of 2 cities, 3 relationships, 4 jobs and 9 years as I traversed a terrain of brilliant blunders, interesting mistakes, failed experiments and remedial lessons finally learned.

Which brings us back to a year ago. I finally found what I wanted: the indescribable something that I had always insisted existed and knew without a doubt that I was ready to claim. I also knew that it would come at no small cost and would likely be one of the most passionate and lucid challenges I had ever taken on.

And so it's been.

I love the person I was a year ago. So full of strength and determination, even in the face of the knowledge that she was nothing more than the ch
rysalis, that only through her destruction would the next round of growth be able to take place. Thus the process of birth, passage and rebirth with intent. A true personal evolution. Such are the rewards of asking life and the universe for action and being ready to act on the opportunities presented. Yet and still, at a cost.

Understand that, in no way, do I feel I possess an unusual amount of anything (except perhaps attitude and body heat), and as successful as this life and this year have been, mistakes have been made and I have been as fallible and graceless as the worst, at times. But also understand that, at some point, it became evident to me that this little girl
Posted by Hello deserved an opportunity to experience her heart's desire and pursue joy with the same wild happiness that shone from her eyes 33 years ago.

Walking out the front door of my mother's house some two decades ago was the first step that I took in creating a safe place where that little girl could come to the surface and live without daily fear of emotional or physical harm and literal death.

Driving into San Francisco to make my home amongst wonderful and amazing friends, some 10 1/2 months ago was the latest in a series of steps that the little girl who grew up to, indeed, pursue joy with wild happiness, took in living a life that fulfilled her heart's desire.

I look back on these words and think that, to a certain extent, it reads like a fairy tale and perhaps in some ways, it is. In the original fairy tales, the reader was not spared the brutal nature of the struggle. The hero/heroine was often bruised, bloodied and nearly broken before achieving success. That is the simple fact of real living. It's only as pretty as we choose to make it and even then it's never easy.

For all of the rewards of this adventure, both recent and longterm, that has come to be my biggest lesson. I've long held on to the idea that the older and more adept I became at living life, the easier it would become and that ease would become the hallmark of my success. This last year has proven that concept to be an utter fallacy.

Perhaps it's the challenges that I choose to accept, but what I've come to find is that instead of becoming easier, it is that the goals have become more desirable. The result is that the lengths that I will go to in order achieve these goals far exceeds the quality and intensity that I poured into survival and maintenance modes previously; the struggle is always there and in some ways the challenges are more difficult, but the rewards are exponentially greater. Even when it means getting bruised, battered and perhaps a little bloodied in the process, the price of my efforts pales in comparison to reward of attaining each piece of that vision.

At some point, in these early morning hours, the little girl in that picture who grew up to be a Frisbee Girl in the Mission will climb into her bed in Chez Shotwell. Wearing a few Band-aids and not a few bruises, she will fall into a wholly exhausted and contented slumber with the knowledge that she is home at last.

And that true living has only just begun.

Monday, February 21, 2005

"All energy flows according to the whims of The Great Magnet"

There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

RIP Hunter.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Greetings from Chez Shotwell!

Wifi-ing from my new room, while Zoe & Assaf take a smoke break in the living room. WooT!!

Life is grand.

Shortly after I posted that, Mynx showed up and they tackled the most amazingly hospital scrubsy mintish green walls on the North American Continent. The handiwork is deeply appreciated, but what struck me as I was walking down the stairs to return to Chez Potrero and begin packing, was just how incredibly wonderful it was to have my new room christened by the sounds of joy and laughter from three amazing friends.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Hypothetically speaking

An unemployed roommate who appears to still be mad at me over a package of ramen, yet hasn't paid rent in 8 months and practices retail therapy on a weekly basis, may have brought home a bird. A screeching bird that, of course, does not live in her room. Nope.

This might be the same roommate who thinks that if she covers the hairballs with towels, but leaves the whole mess on the floor, they've been cleaned up.

The roommate who does pay rent may have made the decision to move back to the South.

Hypothetically speaking.

I may have recently stumbled across a possibility that both thrills and scares me on a personal level as few things have in years.

I could be the most stubbornly patient impatient person you'll meet.

It's possible that I'm undergoing one of the most bizarre and significant transformations of my life, to date.

But that's just hypothetically speaking.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy "V" Day!

Most who read that title will think that I'm referring to Valentine's Day, however, with great glee, I am happy to report that this day is all about celebrating this incomparable woman.

Words fail in every sense when it comes to describing the awesomeness that is Smoooochie. Strength, compassion, intelligence, warmth, talent and beauty are the adjectives that merely scratch the surface of a long list of what she has going on. She stayed with me this last December when she came to SF and my room still seems a little too big in her absence. She's that kind of person and that kind of friend.

I'm not sure how I got so lucky to be blessed with her friendship, but it's most definitely one of the best things to have ever happened to me. Life is so much richer for her presence.

That said...

- a toast to Smoooochie for being in this crazy Frisbee's life
- a toast to her parents for making sure she got here for the rest of us to love and appreciate
- happiest birfday wishes, chica. You are a true rockstar


Sunday, February 13, 2005





Sometimes you simply need to give the Good Lord a thumbs up for the amazingness of stuff and things.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Comments from the kitchen sink

Abby in a continued streak of quiz brilliance and inspired display of avoidance behavior, got both Liz and Mynx on the bandwagon. As I spent the better part of the weekend at 12 Galaxies - in one capacity or another - and didn't make it to bed until 6:30 in the morning, the better part of the day was spent in horizontal recovery.

With the laptop.

You guessed it: doing quizzes.

Abby, sunshine, I swear this is it. I'm putting my foot down. You and I are parting quiz paths now. I just can't take much more.

That said, the quizzes were cute, not especially insightful, but could not have been more consistent. Especially after being outed as an Anarchistic People's Advocate last week.

As I know you all are in breathless anticipation, these are the results:

You Have A Type B+ Personality

You're a pro at going with the flow
You love to kick back and take in everything life has to offer
A total joy to be around, people crave your stability.
While you're totally laid back, you can have bouts of hyperactivity.
Get into a project you love, and you won't stop until it's done
You're passionate - just selective about your passions

Dig this. I sound pretty ok. I mean, you know, I'd hang with me, given that description.

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.
You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Soooo, I like to talk and I'm not so dumb. Nothing new there.


is for

is for

is for

is for

is for

is for

is for

is for

is for

is for

is for

A little random
, but sweet. (I did get 'excellent' twice, though. Not that my mad HTML skilz indicate that. )

You Are a Golden Retriever Puppy

Tolerant, fun-loving, and patient.
You are eager to please - and attached to your frisbee.

'...attached to your frisbee.' Heh!

Float On by Modest Mouse

"Bad news comes don't you worry even when it lands
Good news will work its way to all them plans"

Laid back and real, people appreciated you for who you are in 2004.

This one was kind of creepy because, not only was Modest Mouse not even mentioned in the quiz, but I probably listened to that specific song at least once a day for a good month and a half.

See, I used to think that I was like a beautiful and unique snowflake, but apparently the folks at 'Blogthings' have my number dialed right into the machine.

I realize that this should not be that funny

but I've just watched it 3 times and nearly cried each time.

Lyrics possibly NSFW

Friday, February 04, 2005

Some songs will just do that to ya

In this case the 'that' is put a big, silly, loopy faced grin on my face.

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.

Ba da, Ba da, Ba da, Ba da...Feelin' Groovy.

Hello lamp-post,
What cha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'.
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo,
Feelin' groovy.

I've got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy.

"The 59th Street Bridge Song"
-Simon and Garfunkel

Expanding the horizons - or - Walter sure has a good head on those shoulders

"Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog."

After a conversation with Walter this evening at the Tribe Winterfest (and may I digress for a moment? 'Winter' tonight was nearly 60 degrees and dry. LOVE it!), I decided to take the Haloscan plunge. Looks like we've lost the previous comments, but if this opens the door for more people to comment and get involved, it's completely worth it. And really, as tempting as it may be to post anonymously, I love knowing who's saying what, so please fill out the deets before you hit 'publish'. Thanks!

The one tech question I have is this: can I configure it so that it notifies me when a new comment is posted and, if so, how?

Thanks again to everyone who reads, comments and gives feedback. You guys seriously rock the poo.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

"A Trip Through Your Wires"

The way that one's mind works is extremely interesting to me. I'm sure that there are people out there whose minds work in a linear, one thing at a time manner. As a matter of fact, I know there are because I've dated a few of them. A dubious venture, because my mind works more like a small gang of over-caffeinated squirrels chasing superballs.

Before you mistakenly think that I hold myself in unusually high regard, it's important to note that 95% of said thoughts are of little significance and even less intelligence. Mine is a reference-heavy model, constantly linking trains of thought, ideas, memories, songs, plans, images, observations, you name it. My mind is constantly free associating with itself. As often as possible, I let it go nuts, so to speak, as the entertainment value is quite high, indeed.

However, I do understand and (attempt to) practice the art of cohesive, coherent thought, especially when dealing with others. And as free form as my thought patterns can be, there are certainly some synaptic pathways that have been highly reinforced by constant use. Some of these are values; some, decision making tools; others, internal checkpoints or places for assessment. These all come together to make a kind of net of reference points that constitute a great deal of my personality.

Every now and again, these reference points will change. Being a tad on the mentally overstimulated side, I don't always read the memo that's in the inbox before carrying on my merry way. Last week after a routine check and hustle, the squirrels and I came to a lurching halt at the realization that something had changed.

For 10 years, one of those reference points has my mother and step parents. The points were more gauges and perspectives than actual guides, but those were the people who inhabited those roles. As the squirrels and I reviewed the logs and (finally!!) read the memos, it became clear to me that the previous coterie of parental figures had been replaced by my favorite teachers, professors and mentors.



It was meticulous grooming. It was three quarter
length sleeves. It was boots,
even in the summer.
It was a carefully constructed checklist and
cycle of constant correction. It was second hand.
It was automatic.

It was less shame than what seemed a respectful consciousness of self
against the gracious framework of the whole,
of wanting to spare the observer from the unpleasant and unkind.
The painful.
As well as the less than altruistic desire to
circumvent the accidentally extended glance
followed by the averted gaze.
It was avoidance.

It was in the warm hush of intimacy
both conversational and carnal
that your fingers traced the constellations of
moles and freckles that cover my face.
They rested momentarily at the crescent shaped depression
dissecting the arc of my brow
without thought, I shifted my head slightly.
As if to protect them both.
Preserve the moment.
It was an automatic avoidance.

It was with effort that I
let your fingers slide to my shoulder and brush
the length of my arm, to stop almost
3/4 of the way down to quietly contemplate
a sudden, slick span of skin.
I did not pull away.
And as you gently tucked your foot against
a leg full of foreign materials that do the job
crushed and now absent bone once did,
you said,
“Your scars fascinate me.
You are like a story waiting to be told. I love that.”

It was not automatic.
It was not avoidance.
It was worth the effort.