Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a final like no other

for my last final of the year, i was given the opportunity to tap into my performance background and put together a piece to go along with my analysis paper of the semester's lessons. the students were all given the opportunity to construct a performance about anything they found interest in.

i definitely have had something on my mind that i wanted to discuss. healthcare.

as you may or may not know, i have been living with crohn's disease for a decade now and have been on quite a selection of medications. i've come a long way, baby.

for my performance, i tapped into my experimental theatre and performance art training to develop a multi-media personal narrative through autoethnographic research methods.

the piece was in five movements, each separated by taking four pentasa pills that i used to take throughout the day...only this time the pills were emptied of their contents now that i no longer take them.

the piece began with me entering my bedroom on the telephone, apologizing to a friend for leaving their party before they had arrived because of crohn's related issues (something i've done quite frequently). i then took my first dose of pills.

the second movement of the piece was a video that played behind me. the video was a recorded phone conversation i had with a telephone operator who worked for a health insurance company that provided my latest medication, humira. the conversation was about how i would soon be without health insurance, why the medication costs 1500-1800 dollars a month, and if anyone was able to stop taking the drug. she of course was doing her job and explained that no research had been done on long term patients that stopped taking the medication, that their plan could help provide cheaper costs for the injection therapies for a year and that i should talk to my doctor about what to do (a thought i never had before). all the while i stood in front of the video footage and removed my clothes, revealing a hospital gown underneath my layers and put a surgical mask over my mouth. i then took another dose of medication.

the third movement started with me removing my mask and speaking in a cheerful tone while reenacting a humira commercial, indicating the risk factors (hospitalization, infections, death) of using the product. i also warned that these risks were amplified when taking other medications like the one i have been taking with it for the past year and a half, mercaptopurine. i then take mercaptopurine and tell the audience to call their doctor right away if they have an infection or show any sign of an infection as humira greatly reduces their immune system and can put you in harms way. i then dump out my old humira pens from a bag and take another dose of pentasa, ending the third movement.

the fourth movement is an actual monologue i recorded from when i went to a doctor's office to elaborate on my troubles. with my legs swinging on the high table, i told them about the varied effects ive felt from the humira and medications and how i have felt cheated from starting a trial of humira to now needing it to survive over a year and a half later. i then picked up a painting i had done which when i get angry at my pills one day and used it to playfully describe the way my stomach felt to the audience.i then took another dose of pills and ended the fourth movement.

the fifth and final movement was by far the best way to end this piece. to the tune of gold panda's ironically titled "quitter's raga"
i stared directly into the audience and gave myself an injection of humira, a personal triumph as i had always been reluctant to let others watch. it was painful, it was violent and it was a moment i gather they would rather not have seen. they were able to understand the same angry and helpless thoughts that i get each time i reach for the latest injection. pure poetry. the lights then went off and i layed in bed, ending the fifth and final movement.

it was a sight to be seen and an incredible personal victory. it was nice to return to my performance roots, but it was even better to end the semester by airing out my personal frustrations to an audience.

love and loyalty.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

a protest on campus

via kron4

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- Students protesting fee hikes continue to occupy the Business Building on the campus of San Francisco State University but so far most of the confrontations with the demonstrators have involved other students.

KRON 4's Jackie Sissel witnessed students trying to enter the building to attend classes getting into pushing and shoving matches with some of the students occupying the building.

Early Wednesday students entered the building and piled chairs up blocking the doors leading in and out of the building. Protesters then locked arms and sang songs while blocking access to the facility.

A protester named Wes told Jackie the purpose of the action is, "to protest the budget cuts and fee increases and to stand in solidarity with the other actions that have taken place at universities across California and the United States in the past year. I hope that this action sends a clear message to Sacramento and to the bureaucrats in the CSU Board of Trustees that students are rising up to the challenges of trying to defend education."

University officials say they have no plans to confront the protesters.

San Francisco State hasn't "heard from them directly about what their issues and concerns are," but will open a dialogue with the students at some point today to address their concerns," University spokeswoman Ellen Griffin said.

Officials say they're working to open up other buildings to accommodate scheduled classes and other activities. With exams set for next week, Griffin says this is a "somewhat light week."

Stay tuned to KRON 4 and for the latest on this developing story.

(Copyright 2009, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

we all deal with finals a little differently. this protest has been in the works for a while now and i love that it's taking place during finals time.

love and loyalty

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a bit of proof that everything is terrible

via The Washington Independent:

Stay Home if You Have Swine Flu, Unless You Work at Wal-Mart

By Mary Kane 11/4/09 9:07 AM

During the summer, when swine flu was not yet a widespread reality in the United States, giant retailer Wal-Mart made the news for being in talks with the government about possibly distributing the swine flu vaccine through its extensive network of stores.

But now the swine flu has Wal-Mart under scrutiny for a very different reason: Accusations that the retailer is leaving employees infected with swine flu little choice but to come to work, due to its punitive sick leave policies.

Citing a report by the National Labor Committee, the Institute for Southern Studies’ argues on its blog Facing South that Wal-Mart is essentially contributing to the spread of swine flu by making it financially prohibitive for employees to miss work when they fall ill.

Employees of the Arkansas-based retail giant — even its food handlers — feel they have no choice but to work when they’re sick. That’s because the company gives workers demerits and deducts pay for staying home when they’re sick or caring for sick children.

It gets worse:

The situation is particularly difficult for Wal-Mart workers who are single parents. The NLC reports on an instance in which an employee got a call from her four-year-old’s preschool telling her to pick up the child, who had a fever of 103 degrees F. Despite the fact that the employee had already worked for four hours that day, she got a demerit point for leaving and lost her wages for the rest of the day.

The report says: “Parents have no choice but to load their children up with Motrin and Dimetap to mask their symptoms so they can go to school.”

Which, of course, leads to a vicious circle of other children at school becoming sick, and spreading it in their families. Not to mention the misery of a sick child facing a full day of school.

What’s particularly interesting is that Wal-Mart includes on its Website some information about swine flu, including frequently asked questions. Here’s the answer to “What should I do if I get sick?”

Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick. Staying at home means that you should not leave your home except to seek medical care. This means avoiding normal activities, including work, school, travel, shopping, social events and public gatherings.

Unless you work at Wal-Mart. Then, you’d better make it in for your shift if you don’t want your pay docked or possibly lose your job. From Facing South:

Wal-Mart has a demerit system that punishes workers who cannot come to work due to illness. Employees who miss a day due to sickness receive a one-point demerit and lose eight hours of wages.

Employees with more than three absences a six-month period face discipline, and a fifth absence — even for a sick day — will result in what the company calls “active coaching” by management.

A sixth absence leads to what Wal-Mart calls “Decision Day,” when a worker can be either terminated or put on a year-long trial period during which time he or she can be fired for any infraction and cannot be promoted.

The swine flu sometimes can cause people to miss an entire week or more of work. At Wal-Mart, that could get you fired.

Somehow, I don’t think that’s what the Center for Disease Control was hoping for this flu season, as it tries to contain a life-threatening virus. Wal-Mart’s labor policies have long been contentious, but this one could actually create a public safety issue. If these allegations are true, it may be time for public health officials to step in somehow, perhaps with fines for the retailer for keeping flu-stricken employees on the job. And let’s not just pick on Wal-Mart; it’s very possible that other low-wage retailers and business are doing the same thing. Maybe the best option in the absence of any government action is for customers to walk away. Is a bargain really worth it if employees are forced to work while sick with the flu — and potentially help to spread an unusually dangerous virus?

everything is terrible.

im going to lay down for a minute and think about snowflakes.

love and loyalty.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

a sorry excuse for a blogger

i have done quite a lot in the past month... and i haven't updated this thing. what can i use as an excuse?

-my thesis?
-my broken camera?
-chronic fatigue?

all lame. all very lame excuses.

where have i been?

well, everywhere around the edge of this peninsula, basically.

i hosted devin peacock for his birthday on his first voyage to california and i gave him the initial trip to san francisco.

i visited a lot of costume shops to find the perfect look for my ziggy stardust ensemble.

i also have been attending a lot of neighborhood organization meetings in pursuit of a larger demographic for my thesis

i went to the treasure island music festival where all of this happened between the bay bridge and the golden gate:

eric and i took a cab to treasure island (the shuttle line was five blocks joke)

and arrived in time for passion pit, which we didn't need to see up close because they aren't very good live. disappointing.

dan deacon rocked out with his band! apparently it was the first time this tour he'd gotten the ensemble together.

THIS was a show: Deacon makes you wonder why more performers don't break down the barrier between the stage and the audience. He had us form a circle for an interpretive dance contest, twice,
and then crafted the audience into two great tunnels, weaving from the stage to the ferris wheel.

this wasn't the human tunnel, but this was also happening.. monsters line dancing. you know, no big deal.

free art sessions

inflatable lounge areas.

ferris wheel ride!!!

i also saw the Brazilian girls, the streets, dj krush, mgmt (all weren't that impressive)

but then the night really ended with fireworks and a medley of "SHOUT" by girltalk. it was really exciting stuff (especially since i was seated on a man-made pirate ship watching it all happen)

the next day i finally saw beirut. their performance was incredible. zach is such a charmer. i actually saw people in tears., myself included. he played all of my favorites and then some. it was a great weekend.

grizzly bear, beirut and dan deacon were at the top of my list of treasure island performances. grizzly bear were immaculate, beirut was emotionally engaging and dan deacon was just super fun. it was a pleasure to have been a part of their audiences.

clearly i am a fan.

o and i also found out that My study was accepted for the 2010 Western States Communication Association Convention! I'm going to Anchorage, Alaska.


ill be sure to keep you all posted.

love and loyalty

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

a halloween preview

how ironic that i practice my halloween costume (major thanks to angelo) on my father's birthday when he was the one who got me into ziggy in the first place.

love and loyalty

Sunday, October 4, 2009

a checkup

so after my recover i really got into working on grad school. in case you were curious about what i have been up to, here's the latest -

what i did last semester was a quantitative analysis of media consumption patterns, interpersonal communication, and civic engagement (activism). my subject sources were all on the low side of civic engagement, so i was all, "well what about the people that actually do things and, you know, make decisions about healthcare and rights and so on?"

so now i am working with state senators, city hall, and a government sponsored neighborhood empowerment organization and sending my questionnaire to a load of people that ARE politically active, find out where they find unbiased, credible and reliable sources of information (both local and national) and compare the results with civic engagement and interpersonal communication.

the end result will (hopefully) be a guide for marginalized communities to give them the power and tools to become more active for their rights and needs for community improvement and empowerment in case of disaster (THE BIG EARTHQUAKE, DROUGHT, FAMINE, etc.).

something to use as a guide for why this is a necessity is the current condition of impoverished neighborhoods in what used to be new orleans. katrina ruined them and they're STILL piles of nothing. the neighborhoods that had a voice and an active community were able to help each other through the struggle and have been able to rebuild their homes to stasis. i dont want that to happen to residents of other cities that are in risk of natural disasters or epidemics. i want people to have their voices, get the rights and protection they deserve, and to understand how to be effective leaders and members of a community.

making sure they know what's going on in the world is a preliminary necessity in becoming active so, in comes my study.

thankfully, i can still claim to have downtime and living in san francisco helps because it always has something to take my mind away from academia.

love and loyalty

a proud moment

i made the right choice. yeesh.

Will California become America's first failed state? - paul harris, the observer

Los Angeles, 2009: California may be the eighth largest economy in the world, but its state staff are being paid in IOUs, unemployment is at its highest in 70 years, and teachers are on hunger strike. So what has gone so catastrophically wrong?

Will California become America's first failed state?

Los Angeles, 2009: California may be the eighth largest economy in the world, but its state staff are being paid in IOUs, unemployment is at its highest in 70 years, and teachers are on hunger strike. So what has gone so catastrophically wrong?

California has a special place in the American psyche. It is the Golden State: a playground of the rich and famous with perfect weather. It symbolises a lifestyle of sunshine, swimming pools and the Hollywood dream factory.

But the state that was once held up as the epitome of the boundless opportunities of America has collapsed. From its politics to its economy to its environment and way of life, California is like a patient on life support. At the start of summer the state government was so deeply in debt that it began to issue IOUs instead of wages. Its unemployment rate has soared to more than 12%, the highest figure in 70 years. Desperate to pay off a crippling budget deficit, California is slashing spending in education and healthcare, laying off vast numbers of workers and forcing others to take unpaid leave. In a state made up of sprawling suburbs the collapse of the housing bubble has impoverished millions and kicked tens of thousands of families out of their homes. Its political system is locked in paralysis and the two-term rule of former movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger is seen as a disaster – his approval ratings having sunk to levels that would make George W Bush blush. The crisis is so deep that Professor Kenneth Starr, who has written an acclaimed history of the state, recently declared: "California is on the verge of becoming the first failed state in America."

Outside the Forum in Inglewood, near downtown Los Angeles, California has already failed. The scene is reminiscent of the fallout from Hurricane Katrina, as crowds of impoverished citizens stand or lie aimlessly on the hot tarmac of the centre's car park. It is 10am, and most have already been here for hours. They have come for free healthcare: a travelling medical and dental clinic has set up shop in the Forum (which usually hosts rock concerts) and thousands of the poor, the uninsured and the down-on-their-luck have driven for miles to be here.

The queue began forming at 1am. By 4am, the 1,500 spaces were already full and people were being turned away. On the floor of the Forum, root-canal surgeries are taking place. People are ferried in on cushions, hauled out of decrepit cars. Sitting propped up against a lamp post, waiting for her number to be called, is Debbie Tuua, 33. It is her birthday, but she has taken a day off work to bring her elderly parents to the Forum, and they have driven through the night to get here. They wait in a car as the heat of the day begins to rise. "It is awful for them, but what choice do we have?" Tuua says. "I have no other way to get care to them."

Yet California is currently cutting healthcare, slashing the "Healthy Families" programme that helped an estimated one million of its poorest children. Los Angeles now has a poverty rate of 20%. Other cities across the state, such as Fresno and Modesto, have jobless rates that rival Detroit's. In order to pass its state budget, California's government has had to agree to a deal that cuts billions of dollars from education and sacks 60,000 state employees. Some teachers have launched a hunger strike in protest. California's education system has become so poor so quickly that it is now effectively failing its future workforce. The percentage of 19-year-olds at college in the state dropped from 43% to 30% between 1996 and 2004, one of the highest falls ever recorded for any developed world economy. California's schools are ranked 47th out of 50 in the nation. Its government-issued bonds have been ranked just above "junk".

Some of the state's leading intellectuals believe this collapse is a disaster that will harm Californians for years to come. "It will take a while for this self-destructive behaviour to do its worst damage," says Robert Hass, a professor at Berkeley and a former US poet laureate, whose work has often been suffused with the imagery of the Californian way of life.

Now, incredibly, California, which has been a natural target for immigration throughout its history, is losing people. Between 2004 and 2008, half a million residents upped sticks and headed elsewhere. By 2010, California could lose a congressman because its population will have fallen so much – an astonishing prospect for a state that is currently the biggest single political entity in America. Neighbouring Nevada has launched a mocking campaign to entice businesses away, portraying Californian politicians as monkeys, and with a tag-line jingle that runs: "Kiss your assets goodbye!" You know you have a problem when Nevada – famed for nothing more than Las Vegas, casinos and desert – is laughing at you.

This matters, too. Much has been made globally of the problems of Ireland and Iceland. Yet California dwarfs both. It is the eighth largest economy in the world, with a population of 37 million. If it was an independent country it would be in the G8. And if it were a company, it would likely be declared bankrupt. That prospect might surprise many, but it does not come as news to Tuua, as she glances nervously into the warming sky, hoping her parents will not have to wait in the car through the heat of the day just to see a doctor. "It is so depressing. They both worked hard all their lives in this state and this is where they have ended up. It should not have to be this way," she says.

It is impossible not to be impressed by the physical presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger when he walks into a room. He may appear slightly smaller than you imagine, but he's just as powerful. This is, after all, the man who, before he was California's governor, was the Terminator and Conan the Barbarian.

But even Schwarzenegger is humbled by the scale of the crisis. At a press conference in Sacramento to announce the final passing of a state budget, which would include billions of dollars of cuts, the governor speaks in uncharacteristically pensive terms. "It is clear that we do not know yet what the future holds. We are still in troubled waters," he says quietly. He looks subdued, despite his sharp grey suit and bright pink tie.

Later, during a grilling by reporters, Schwarzenegger is asked an unusual question. As a gaggle of journalists begins to shout, one man's voice quickly silences the others. "Do you ever feel like you're watching the end of the California dream?" asks the reporter. It is clearly a personal matter for Schwarzenegger. After all, his life story has embodied it. He arrived virtually penniless from Austria, barely speaking English. He ended up a movie star, rich beyond his dreams, and finally governor, hanging Conan's prop sword in his office. Schwarzenegger answers thoughtfully and at length. He hails his own experience and ends with a passionate rallying call in his still thickly accented voice.

"There is people that sometimes suggest that the American dream, or the Californian dream, is evaporating. I think it's absolutely wrong. I think the Californian dream is as strong as ever," he says, mangling the grammar but not the sentiment.

Looking back, it is easy to see where Schwarzenegger's optimism sprung from. California has always been a special place, with its own idea of what could be achieved in life. There is no such thing as a British dream. Even within America, there is no Kansas dream or New Jersey dream. But for California the concept is natural. It has always been a place apart. It is of the American West, the destination point in a nation whose history has been marked by restless pioneers. It is the home of Hollywood, the nation's very own fantasy land. Getting on a bus or a train or a plane and heading out for California has been a regular trope in hundreds of books, movies, plays, and in the popular imagination. It has been writ large in the national psyche as free from the racial divisions of the American South and the traditions and reserve of New England. It was America's own America.

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and now an adopted Californian, remembers arriving here from his native New England. "In New England you would have to know people for 10 years before they let you in their home," he says. "Here, when I took my son to his first play date, the mother invited me to a hot tub."

Michael Levine is a Hollywood mover and shaker, shaping PR for a stable of A-list clients that once included Michael Jackson. Levine arrived in California 32 years ago. "The concept of the Californian dream was a certain quality of life," he says. "It was experimentalism and creativity. California was a utopia."

Levine arrived at the end of the state's golden age, at a time when the dream seemed to have been transformed into reality. The 1950s and 60s had been boom-time in the American economy; jobs had been plentiful and development rapid. Unburdened by environmental concerns, Californian developers built vast suburbs beneath perpetually blue skies. Entire cities sprang from the desert, and orchards were paved over into playgrounds and shopping malls.

"They came here, they educated their kids, they had a pool and a house. That was the opportunity for a pretty broad section of society," says Joel Kotkin, an urbanist at Chapman University, in Orange County. This was what attracted immigrants in their millions, flocking to industries – especially defence and aviation – that seemed to promise jobs for life. But the newcomers were mistaken. Levine, among millions of others, does not think California is a utopia now. "California is going to take decades to fix," he says.

So where did it all wrong?

Few places embody the collapse of California as graphically as the city of Riverside. Dubbed "The Inland Empire", it is an area in the southern part of the state where the desert has been conquered by mile upon mile of housing developments, strip malls and four-lane freeways. The tidal wave of foreclosures and repossessions that burst the state's vastly inflated property bubble first washed ashore here. "We've been hit hard by foreclosures. You can see it everywhere," says political scientist Shaun Bowler, who has lived in California for 20 years after moving here from his native England. The impact of the crisis ranges from boarded-up homes to abandoned swimming pools that have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Bowler's sister, visiting from England, was recently taken to hospital suffering from an infected insect bite from such a pool. "You could say she was a victim of the foreclosure crisis, too," he jokes.

But it is no laughing matter. One in four American mortgages that are "under water", meaning they are worth more than the home itself, are in California. In the Central Valley town of Merced, house prices have crashed by 70%. Two Democrat politicians have asked for their districts to be declared disaster zones, because of the poor economic conditions caused by foreclosures. In one city near Riverside, a squatter's camp of newly homeless labourers sleeping in their vehicles has grown up in a supermarket car park – the local government has provided toilets and a mobile shower. In the Los Angeles suburb of Pacoima, one in nine homeowners are now in default on their mortgage, and the local priest, the Rev John Lasseigne, has garnered national headlines – swapping saving souls to saving houses, by negotiating directly with banks on behalf of his parishioners.

For some campaigners and advocates against suburban sprawl and car culture, it has been a bitter triumph. "Let the gloating begin!" says James Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, a warning about the high cost of the suburban lifestyle. Others see the end of the housing boom as a man-made disaster akin to a mass hysteria, but with no redemption in sight. "If California was an experiment then it was an experiment of mass irresponsibility – and that has failed," says Michael Levine.

Nowhere is the economic cost of California's crisis writ larger than in the Central Valley town of Mendota, smack in the heart of a dusty landscape of flat, endless fields of fruit and vegetables. The town, which boldly terms itself "the cantaloup capital of the world", now has an unemployment rate of 38%. That is expected to rise above 50% as the harvest ends and labourers are laid off. City officials hold food giveaways every two weeks. More than 40% of the town's people live below the poverty level. Shops have shut, restaurants have closed, drugs and alcohol abuse have become a problem.

Standing behind the counter of his DVD and grocery store, former Mendota mayor Joseph Riofrio tells me it breaks his heart to watch the town sink into the mire. His father had built the store in the 1950s and constructed a solid middle-class life around it, to raise his family. Now Riofrio has stopped selling booze in a one-man bid to curb the social problems breaking out all around him.

"It is so bad, but it has now got to the point where we are getting used to it being like this," he says. Riofrio knows his father's achievements could not be replicated today. The state that once promised opportunities for working men and their families now promises only desperation. "He could not do what he did again. That chance does not exist now," Riofrio says.

Outside, in a shop that Riofrio's grandfather built, groups of unemployed men play pool for 25 cents a game. Near every one of the town's liquor stores others lie slumped on the pavements, drinking their sorrows away. Mendota is fighting for survival against heavy odds. The town of 7,000 souls has seen 2,000 people leave in the past two years. But amid the crisis there are a few sparks of hope for the future. California has long been an incubator of fresh ideas, many of which spread across the country. If America emerges from its crisis a greener, more economically and politically responsible nation, it is likely that renewal will have begun here. The clues to California's salvation – and perhaps even the country as a whole – are starting to emerge.

Take Anthony "Van" Jones, a man now in the vanguard of the movement to build a future green economy, creating millions of jobs, solving environmental problems and reducing climate change at a stroke. It is a beguiling vision and one that Jones conceived in the northern Californian city of Oakland. He began political life as an anti-poverty campaigner, but gradually combined that with environmentalism, believing that greening the economy could also revitalise it and lift up the poor. He founded Green for All as an advocacy group and published a best-selling book, The Green Collar Economy. Then Obama came to power and Jones got the call from the White House. In just a few years, his ideas had spread from the streets of Oakland to White House policy papers. Jones was later ousted from his role, but his ideas remain. Green jobs are at the forefront of Obama's ideas on both the economy and the environment.

Jones believes California will once more change itself, and then change the nation. "California remains a beacon of hope… This is a new time for a new direction to grow a new society and a new economy," Jones has said.

It is already happening. California may have sprawling development and awful smog, but it leads the way in environmental issues. Arnold Schwarzenegger was seen as a leading light, taking the state far ahead of the federal government on eco-issues. The number of solar panels in the state has risen from 500 a decade ago to more than 50,000 now. California generates twice as much energy from solar power as all the other US states combined. Its own government is starting to turn on the reckless sprawl that has marked the state's development.

California's attorney-general, Jerry Brown, recently sued one county government for not paying enough attention to global warming when it came to urban planning. Even those, like Kotkin, who are sceptical about the end of suburbia, think California will develop a new model for modern living: comfortable, yes, but more modest and eco-friendly. Kotkin, who is writing an eagerly anticipated book about what America will look like in 2050, thinks much of it will still resemble the bedrock of the Californian dream: sturdy, wholesome suburbs for all – just done more responsibly. "We will still live in suburbs. You work with the society you have got. The question is how we make them more sustainable," he says.

Even the way America eats is being changed in California. Every freeway may be lined with fast-food outlets, but California is also the state of Alice Waters, the guru of the slow-food movement, who inspired Michelle Obama to plant a vegetable garden in the White House. She thinks the state is changing its values. "The crisis is bringing us back to our senses. We had adopted a fast and easy way of living, but we are moving away from that now," she says.

There is hope in politics, too. There is a growing movement to call for a constitutional convention that could redraw the way the state is governed. It could change how the state passes budgets and make the political system more open, recreating the lost middle ground. Recently, the powerful mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, signed on to the idea. Gerrymandering, too, is set to take a hit. Next year Schwarzenegger will take steps to redraw some districts to make them more competitive, breaking the stranglehold of party politics. He wants district boundaries to be drawn up by impartial judges, not politicians. In previous times that would have been the equivalent of a turkey voting for Christmas. But now the bold move is seen for what it is: a necessary step to change things. And there is no denying that innovation is something that California does well.

Even in the most deprived corners of the state there is a sense that things can still turn around. California has always been able to reinvent itself, and some of its most hardcore critics still like the idea of it having a "dream".

"I believe in California. It pains me at the moment to see it where it is, but I still believe in it," said Michael Levine.

Perhaps more surprisingly, a fellow believer is to be found in Mendota in the shape of Joseph Riofrio. His shop operates as a sort of informal meeting place for the town. People drop in to chat, to get advice, or to buy a cold soft drink to relieve the unrelenting heat outside. The people are poor, many of them out of work, often hiring a bunch of DVDs as a cheap way of passing the time. But Riofrio sees them as a community, one that he grew up in. He is proud of his town and determined to stick it out. "This is a good place to live," he says. "I want to be here when it turns around." He is talking of the stricken town outside. But he could be describing the whole state.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

a sure to be regretful post

love and loyalty... and percocet

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a solid point


Why We Young Folks Are So Supportive of Health Care Reform
by: Robert Cruickshank
Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:00:00 AM PDT

Crossposted at Daily Kos

There's an interesting generational phenomenon at work here. The age group that currently enjoys the benefits of a single-payer system, those over 65, are among the least likely to support health care reform. The age group most likely to support reform is the other end of the spectrum - people age 18-29, as the LA Times reported yesterday:

Adults 18 to 29 are the group most supportive of President Obama's plan to overhaul healthcare, according to a recent poll by SurveyUSA. They are also the age group that most supports creating a government-run health insurance option.

Young people account for 30% of the uninsured population, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy research foundation. They are least likely to be offered health insurance through employment benefits -- just 53% of working young adults are eligible for employer-based coverage. And since their incomes tend to be low, buying coverage on their own is usually too expensive.

As the article explains, much of the support for health care reform among younger people is as function of our drearier economic prospects. We tend to have high debt loads or low wages - or both. We don't have assets to fall back on, we couldn't buy a house during the affordable years and have that asset be subsidized by Prop 13.

And yet there are deeper factors at work here. The health care crisis affects every generation, especially those who thought they were living a comfortable middle-class lifestyle until medical debt their insurance didn't cover wiped them out. Many of those older homeowners are barely surviving the recession with their finances intact. We younger folks may be feeling the recession's bite harder than most others, but there is plenty of misery to go around.

So why is it that younger people are more supportive of reform? Part of it is that we are more progressive than virtually every other age group, by virtually every measure out there. Because we weren't raised in an era of McCarthyism, because those of us under 30 have only vague memories of Reagan, and because we have recoiled so strongly from the Republican who has dominated our conscious lives the most - George W. Bush - we are not trained to see government as the enemy. We are more willing to see government as the solution because we aren't carrying around the burdens of the 1950s or the 1980s, because we do not take the New Deal state for granted.

But there's another factor at work here as well. We can call it the boiling frog effect. Older generations of Americans were socialized into a society where the economy generally worked, at least for most people middle-class and above. If you had a job, you could expect to have health care. You could expect to own a home, and enjoy a basic level of economic security.

That is not true today, not for any American outside the wealthiest percentiles, no matter what your age. But for folks who were socialized to think of America as the awesomest economy in the world, where you could expect to have security and health care if you held down a job, the present crisis snuck up on people the way heat snuck up on the frog in what had been a cold pot of water. They didn't expect it, and they still haven't adjusted their expectations to the new reality. They still see the present crisis as a temporary but difficult spot.

Us younger folks, though, have been thrown right into the boiling pot. We're entering an economy that doesn't offer anything of use to anyone who isn't rich, and we can see that right off the bat. Unlike older generations who may have seen the system as offering realistic opportunities for security and advancement when they first entered, we are under no such illusions. We know things are fucked and that we are not likely to see any meaningful improvement in our fortunes anytime soon.

Moreover, we're thrown into this crisis at a crucial moment in our lives - when we want to build lives, families, communities. The number of people I know who have delayed having children because of dire economic straits is staggering. And when you take away someone's future like that, you create a cohort of people who quite clearly and instinctively understand the need for fundamental, root and branch reform.

We're the natural foot soldiers of reform. But we're not being spoken to by the reformers. More on that below.
Robert Cruickshank :: Why We Young Folks Are So Supportive of Health Care Reform
The LA Times article also examined how the current reform proposal might affect the young:

Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, says a requirement to buy insurance would hurt young people most, forcing them to subsidize the healthcare needs of older people without making health insurance more affordable for them.

"Young people are probably one of the groups that's going to come out the worst on this," Tanner said. "They're going to pay more in the short term because they're going to have to go out and buy health insurance. And they're going to pay more in the long term."

Genevieve Kenney, a health economist at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, disagrees.

"I think many more uninsured young adults stand to gain from healthcare reform than stand to lose," Kenney said, citing plans in Congress to provide insurance subsidies for low-income people, many of whom are young.

As much as it pains me to say this, the guy from Cato is right. Mandated insurance without a public option offers nothing of value whatsoever to younger people. That's because it's not designed to help us. It's designed to extract even more money from our already meager bank accounts and deliver us virtually nothing in return. It is a classic case of screwing over the young in order to preserve a zombie economy that is dead, but is still being clung to by those who refuse to admit it, who cannot envision a new economic policy, and who are deathly afraid of change.

Because the Obama Administration seems to have repeated the flaw of most Democratic political leaders that preceded it and chosen to ignore younger voters, even though we were by far the group of voters that backed him the most strongly in 2008, we are feeling left out of a debate that is primarily focused on appeasing seniors and right-leaning boomers. The more transformative approach, to build a coalition of change that unites seniors, the young, and those in the middle under stress in support of an expanded Medicare for all, has been ignored.

Obama will suffer the consequences for that. Us younger folks will stagger on, even more determined to build political movements and to assert political power. Eventually we will be the ones to lead the implementation of a universal single-payer system in America.

I only hope it comes sooner and rather than later. I don't intend to become a part of a new Lost Generation.



Single-payer health care insurance is a public service financing the delivery of near-universal or universal health care to a given population as defined by age, citizenship, residency, or any other demographic.

Single-payer health insurance operates by arranging the payment of services to doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers from a single source established and managed by government. This source replaces private insurance companies with a single, public entity which would provide health care financing, which in wealthy nations is typically extended to all citizens or legal residents. A single-payer national insurance plan, H.R. 676, the "National Health Care Act," is expected to be voted on and debated by the U.S. House of Representatives as a replacement to H.R. 3200, the "Affordable Health Choices Act," in September.

The fund can be managed by the government directly or as a publicly owned and regulated agency. Australia's Medicare, Canada's Medicare, and healthcare in Taiwan are examples of single-payer universal health care systems.

The term 'single payer' refers to funding and does not imply a socialized medicine system. A socialized medical system is one "in which all health personnel and health facilities, including doctors and hospitals, work for the government and draw salaries from the government," an example being the U.S. Veterans Administration, while U.S. Medicare is a single payer system which is not socialized medicine.

In Canadian Medicare, which is a single-payer insurance available to all citizens, doctors may work in private practices or for public or private hospitals, each of which is in turn paid by government health insurance. Under the United Kingdom's National Health Service, which also uses a universal single-payer fund, the public owns the health systems and facilities. The term single-payer thus only describes the funding mechanism—referring to health care being paid for by a single public body—and does not specify the type of delivery, or who doctors work for.

As regards health care reform in the United States, it is the only high-income industrialized country in the world that does not have some version of national universal public health insurance; although every state has a public health care system of some kind, they do not provide guaranteed universal coverage. The majority of physicians in the United States are in favor of national health insurance system. A recent study published in 2008 in Annals of Internal Medicine, a leading medical journal, showed 59% of physicians “support government legislation to establish national health insurance,” while 32% oppose it and 9% are neutral. This represented an increase of 10 percentage points as compared with a similar survey in 2002 in which support for such legislation stood at 49% of physicians. Among the general U.S. public, recent polling ratings for single-payer are apparently dependent on wording, ranging from 49% to 65% in favor.

no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.

love and loyalty

Sunday, August 30, 2009

a bit of sad news

my camera broke.

i wont be able to put up any photos for a minute or two.

i'm going to start saving for a real deal camera... you know, one that takes film?

where did summer go?

im going for a run.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

a not so warm welcoming

"Your education will be reduced by 10% this year because of the furlough proposed. You a have 10% less opportunity to use the resources. There are too many students and not enough classes. Students have be asked to leave because they are just showing up in hopes that the teacher will miraculously admit them into the course. If you are really desperate, write down your reason why you need this class.”

-Ashok Das, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Urban Studies and Planning

school started this week.

my first class was with professor das for public policy and urban planning. the above quote was his introduction to the new semester. before he even handed out the syllabus, we were given a briefing on how the cutbacks on education have effected this institution in case we didn't already know.

i could feel the tension in the air before i even walked into the classroom. in the quad people shouted, "california has failed you!" "it's time for socialism!" "government has failed you!" "we must act up!" "lyndon larouche will fix this country!". they all had their own booths, pamphlets and talking points in an effort to recruit the disenchanted.

they came to the right place. the buildings were even more populated, yet the students had nowhere to go. when i sat myself down for my first lecture, i noticed that more and more students were piling into the classroom, so much so that some opted to sit on the floor while other took notes from outside.

it was packed. students are literally showing up to classes in hopes that enough people will drop so that they could get on the wait list to be considered for enrollment.

i also had the pleasure of stepping in garbage on the way to my evening seminar. i had picked it up and tried to throw it away, only to realize that the garbage bin was filled to the brim. it was only the first day and already the place looked like a mess. the bathrooms are disgusting and the hallways and stairwells are littered with filth. the janitorial and waste committees on campus were also cut.

all of these cuts, and yet my favorite dollar coffee from last year was bumped up to $1.25.

why are the students footing the bill for something they clearly cannot even afford in the first place, hence the large second strain of loan applications once the tuition was increased only weeks before school started. the csu board of trustees voted on may 13 to raise student fees 10 percent in an effort to reduce the growing budget gap. the students are footing the bill for a reduced education. the professors are taking a 10% pay cut and are being told to take days off and not work (which for an educator doesn't make sense). the campus will be shut down more days than ever before.

and what is the biggest concern for university executives? it just so happens that university of california and california state university administrators have killed a bill that would have limited executive pay raises during bad budget years.

Despite the fact that the Senate Appropriations Committee found no costs to the bill and the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s analysis estimated a significant cost-savings, the Assembly Appropriations Committee today held the bill on their suspense file without allowing a vote. Normally, the suspense file is used to kill bills that have a significant cost to the state.

SB 217, authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), overwhelmingly passed the Senate in May on a 35-3 bipartisan vote.

“These administrations lack a moral compass,” said Yee. “It is unconscionable that CSU and UC lobbyists would argue that a freeze on executive pay costs the universities a dime. It is disheartening that university executives are more concerned with lining their own pockets, than protecting the needs of students, faculty, and taxpayers.”

UC and CSU administrators argued that the bill would cost millions of dollars. However, they used the complete opposite argument to push furloughs for lower wage workers as a cost-savings measure.

“We are deeply disappointed that during a period when students are being denied access, classes are being cut, and employees are being furloughed, the top priority of university administrators is protecting their own salary hikes,” said Lillian Taiz, President of the California Faculty Association, which represents CSU faculty.

disappointing start to my second year of graduate school.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

a brain jolt pt. deux

after an evening of watching a lot of shooting stars with good company and good wine

i continued my massive brain-food intake.

nothing could stop me from feeding my brain as much delightful information as possible. not even a terribly severe all-over sunburn. (i fell asleep at the beach for a few hours... it was my fault for voluntarily reading on microeconomics alone at a beach)

i'm fine now, i just look like a leopard in some places. it's not pretty.

it was also my one year anniversary of being a san franciscan, so i decided to treat myself with a trip to the sf moma.

the line to enter was particularly long (tourists), so in times of complete restlessness in lines i like to play a little game. i put my headphones in my ears but i don't play any music. that way, i can hear what the other people are talking about and, in this case, i was actually able to write some of the standout phrases on my notepad!

call it investigative journalism, call it eavesdropping, call it rude. i call it entertainment.

some choice phrases:

"not many people shoot 4x5 anymore. i wonder if kodak makes a 4x5 film. i'm gonna write a letter."

"san francisco is a city of hypocrisy!"

"do we create to prove we existed or do we exist only through our creation?"

"it's hilarious when tourists take pictures of pieces in museums. can't they just buy a print? like, (scoffs), i mean, come on! you're doing a disservice to the artist's work." sidenote: someone then shut this asshole up by telling him that it's perfectly logical to take a picture if a.) they were doing it for someone back home who couldn't be there or b.) they can't afford to purchase reprints of famous works of art in museums because they're too expensive. "not all of us are millionaires"

clearly, i was alone.

well, sort of.

i walked around through every exhibit, including the georgia o'keeffe/ ansel adams comparison and richard avedon's career retrospective, while listening to amália rodrigues records from the early 1950s to the late 1960s. i've been a fan of fado (a portuguese genre of music that tells tales of the ocean and misfortune) for a few years and her dramatic delivery accompanied by portuguese guitar make for a very stimulating experience for the senses.

for example

chilling, right?!?

told ya.

anyway, i saw some of the regulars over at the sf moma

- duchamp

- magritte

- dali

but some artists lesser known to me really got my brain working

the photographic distortions of andré kertész

andrew kudless' "p wall"

the self portraits of nicola tyson

this clyfford still piece gave me chills for a few minutes

and of course, in the sculpture garden, i was struck by the beauty of louise bourgeois' "the nest". im always drawn to her work for some reason. weird. i don't even like spiders in real life.

o yeah i also saw found this guy hiding at a nearby building

i guess that's where he's been hiding... odd.

spending so much time in the garden, i felt the sculptures actually forced me to take a seat and have a total stream of consciousness on paper.

it read like this,

"in the sculpture garden,
faces and shapes move
as the peaceful beasts lay dormant

are we invading their territory?
if so, how can they fight back?

mentally, i suppose.
they can't speak our language
or convey anything non verbally,

but they leave an

whether or not we realize it
our lives have been
questioned, our existence slightly altered

our structures reformed."

at night,

i treated myself to yet another free movie on a big, inflatable screen in delores park. two weeks ago i saw "pretty in pink" for my first time before the director passed away.

this time around, i was in my element.


wine. friendship. blankets. laughter. woody allen. diane keaton.

quite possibly the most pleasant evening i have had in years.

i went home and watched two more woody allen films and i haven't been able to stop since.

i'm an addict. i'm ok with it.

my brain is a week away from another round of grad school. i will survive.

i'm off to pick up a dear friend, cara bramson, from the airport. i've known her for 12 years now and it has been a very, very good friendship.

we're gonna have stories for you. guaranteed.

love and loyalty (and a lot of aloe vera)

Monday, August 17, 2009

a brain jolt pt. 1

in preparation for my return to the graduate program, i have decided to spend a majority of my time waking my brain up in hopes of continuing my education effectively. first thing's first - humor. my mother's birthday gift was an introduction to the sedaris family tree, starting with amy, the pretty one.

i gave my mother amy's cookbook/hosting guide titled, "i like you, hospitality under the influence"

she's been around the entertainment world for several years with her television program "stranger's with candy" and her many film roles, however her many appearances on late night television (via the internet) have really kept me smiling.

ive watched these on cold, lonely nights -

her latest

there are countless other interviews, but here's a nice selection of clips that encompasses her elegance

Saturday, August 8, 2009

a healthy dose of good television

i make a conscious effort to find every episode of 'real time with bill maher' on the internet and have successfully been able to watch each installment since i distanced myself from t.v. a few years ago. no offense to television, i appreciate all it has given me in the past, but i simply cannot get any real information from it any longer.

tv shows have become scripted shows repackaged as "reality" sitcoms featuring lower paid and lower talented actors.

information channels have become overwrought with shows titled 'most extreme ___,' 'hottest spring break ____,' 'most ____ celebrity ____," and 'deadliest spring break ____'.

documentary stations have become places for exploitation of people that don't meet every american social standard of normalcy.

and of course, news reporting has become soap boxes for polarized commentary.

which leads me to why i appreciate bill maher so much. he leads very free form discussions without goating his guests and doesn't speak as if he knows everything.

i watch him because he criticizes those who believe that they do know everything or who take sides on issues without asking questions.

he asks those questions! without a doubt, it is best place on television to find edgy, unapologetic and laugh-til-it-hurts political and social commentary, rooted in deep conviction. he's told obama to grow a pair as well as tell sarah palin to stick to what she knows... nothing.

lately, he's come under fire for his latest commentary on america's state of stupidity.


and then try and tell me that i shouldn't have been following him for years.

New Rule: Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country. A few weeks ago I was asked by Wolf Blitzer if I thought Sarah Palin could get elected president, and I said I hope not, but I wouldn't put anything past this stupid country. It was amazing - in the minute or so between my calling America stupid and the end of the Cialis commercial, CNN was flooded with furious emails and the twits hit the fan. And you could tell that these people were really mad because they wrote entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS!!! It's how they get the blood circulating when the Cialis wears off. Worst of all, Bill O'Reilly refuted my contention that this is a stupid country by calling me a pinhead, which A) proves my point, and B) is really funny coming from a doody-face like him.

Now, the hate mail all seemed to have a running theme: that I may live in a stupid country, but they lived in the greatest country on earth, and that perhaps I should move to another country, like Somalia. Well, the joke's on them because I happen to have a summer home in Somalia... and no I can't show you an original copy of my birth certificate because Woody Harrelson spilled bong water on it.

And before I go about demonstrating how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness dragging down our country, let me just say that ignorance has life and death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, 69% of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Four years later, 34% still did. Or take the health care debate we're presently having: members of Congress have recessed now so they can go home and "listen to their constituents." An urge they should resist because their constituents don't know anything. At a recent town-hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways.

I'm the bad guy for saying it's a stupid country, yet polls show that a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. 24% could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket.

Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only 30% got their wife's name right on the first try.

Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll says 18% of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth. No, they're not stupid. They're interplanetary mavericks. A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen, and a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, which is an absurd sentence because it contains the words "Bush" and "knowledge."

People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes 24% of our federal budget. It's actually less than 1%. And don't even ask about cabinet members: seven in ten think Napolitano is a kind of three-flavored ice cream. And last election, a full one-third of voters forgot why they were in the booth, handed out their pants, and asked, "Do you have these in a relaxed-fit?"

And I haven't even brought up America's religious beliefs. But here's one fun fact you can take away: did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which one came first.

And these are the idiots we want to weigh in on the minutia of health care policy? Please, this country is like a college chick after two Long Island Iced Teas: we can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget town halls, and replace them with study halls. There's a lot of populist anger directed towards Washington, but you know who concerned citizens should be most angry at? Their fellow citizens. "Inside the beltway" thinking may be wrong, but at least it's thinking, which is more than you can say for what's going on outside the beltway.

And if you want to call me an elitist for this, I say thank you. Yes, I want decisions made by an elite group of people who know what they're talking about. That means Obama budget director Peter Orszag, not Sarah Palin.

Which is the way our founding fathers wanted it. James Madison wrote that "pure democracy" doesn't work because "there is nothing to check... an obnoxious individual." Then, in the margins, he doodled a picture of Joe the Plumber.

Until we admit there are things we don't know, we can't even start asking the questions to find out. Until we admit that America can make a mistake, we can't stop the next one. A smart guy named Chesterton once said: "My country, right or wrong is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying... It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober.'" To which most Americans would respond: "Are you calling my mother a drunk?"

love and loyalty

Thursday, August 6, 2009

a catch up

whoa where have i been? i think this very well may have been my longest absence. it appears that i have become quite obsessed with enjoying the last few days of freedom as the second year of grad school creeps up on me. so i took it upon myself to take care of a few things.

for example...

1. see the grand ol garden state and visit some friends and family. o wait and then this happened.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Hey, C'Mon That's Not... Why Would You... Whoa!
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

2. take in a bit of alternative culture with my friend angelo. o wait it turned out to be a freakshow with a retired wwf wrestler and other cultural gems.

gems like... unattractive burlesque!

then the host swallowed four razors... and then he swallowed a string and then took the string out with the razors laced up.

then he stuck a spoon in his nose. cultured indeed!

the gracious host then introduced his adoring wife of 17 putting a scorpion in her mouth

bon appetit!

true love was expressed when he dropped a cannon ball on his wife's chest.

i hope that someday i can find someone that i can drop a cannon ball on top of.

next on deck - audience interaction! we were invited up on stage to throw darts at the human dartboard. i opted not to...

little miss doesn't shower wore her sassiest of boots specifically for her big theatrical debut.. walking over the host as he lay face first in broken bottles.

then this drag queen... im sorry... professional wrestler offended the crowd for a bit and said that we were too bizarre and "san franciscan"

he proved his normalcy by biting a metal rod and bending it in half. normal.

finally, non wwf hall of famer jake-the-snake came out (drunk), talked about the time andre the giant farted on him and then staged a drunken brawl with the drag qu... i mean pro wrestler.

as far as i was concerned, i thought his speech was a scene out of "the wrestler" with mickey rourke.

you know, entertaining to hear a guy talk about the "good ol days," but really really depressing at the same time.

i believe we had savory crepes that night. they were delicious. the whole night made me feel like i was back in the louvre watching performance art. ...


3. i've been considering law school more and more these days and i've had the pleasure to talk to/ drink beer with/ fly kites with/ smack pinatas with/ drink beer with/ play dominoes with/ drink beer with/ play four square with/ take photos with/ drink beer with a bunch of people from law schools and learn what it's like.

i have learned that i will become an alcoholic. i apologize in advance for my future late night phone calls about fiscal policies... is that a real phrase? am i drunk now? am i already in law school?

what number was i up to?

7. i've also been keen on trying to explore my culinary skills by dragging my friends out of their normal lives and luring them with promises of old fashioned jersey cuisine.

like jonny, for instance. jonny bought the idea of letting me prepare an italian dish for him so we met up for grocery purchases and then i would cook while he relaxed from a week of stress.

he did the lasagna innards. calling food parts "innards" is a thing, right?

he also prepped the pasta. i threw oil in the pot because "it's a secret that italians do to save the pasta flavor."

in actuality i think i saw my friend do it once but i wasn't sure. i'm still not. i've been eating the leftovers all week so apparently i didn't ruin it.

we also made...

he also made cake.. it's been four days and it's still in my possession. i have a little bit more to go and yes i am proud of it.

aren't the settings nice? i didn't do those, either. that would be stephen.

i wound up taking a long shower and these two cooked everything.

everything. even stephen prepared the garlic bread...and he came an hour after jonny started cooking.

i made spinach salad, which was essentially just spinach leaves and raspberry salad dressing. it was delicious.

isn't this just the spitting image of every italian stereotype on a jar of sauce? a blue eyed, korean boy with highlights wearing a "tokyo" t shirt holding vegetarian lasagna? sigh, tradition. warms my heart.

8. o and also, i've been mentoring all of the new graduate students and handling the budget crisis. you know, no big deal.

what was i doing away from this blog for so long? i feel like i'm missing something.... let me think about it.

no, no it sounds about right.

meh. i'm tired.

how did i usually end this?

love &.... lethargy?

sounds about right

10. o! i discovered i like tapatio sauce.