30 December 2009

rain laden luck

it's raining today. it's one of the five days each year i experience something other than 80-degree sunshine in beautiful southern california.

any of you who frequently indulge in the bullshittery that is my blog know that i've wavered a great deal this past year. first, there was no chance in hell i'd leave these beautiful and tranquil hills of easty los angeles. then, there was no way in hell i was staying.

would i be relocating to washington, dc, to go work for the potus, or would i go all in and run off to build a nation in some failed or failing state in dangerous and obscure parts of the world? or would something altogether crazy and unexpected grab me by the horns and pull me into a direction i never saw coming? if you're looking for an answer, i still haven't one to offer.

but today, whilst the rain falls outside, all of the above questions pour inside.

there is no doubt in my mind that the most unexpected thing of all has come along to throw a wrench in the unfolding plans i've been making. love. i've fallen hard and fast, and think that if given the choice, i'd probably rather have a life with love than with career. but this relationship is too new to start closing the career doors. and it's probably too new to even start a conversation about how mired i've been this past year in my next career move, and how that impacts my now and immediate future.

except that the career doors are opening too quickly. and i should've known they would. i mean, i've had my eye on an april with cherry blossoms for many moons now, so i shouldn't be so surprised that i'd start the new year with options flooding in. and honestly, i probably wouldn't be feeling this surprised, upset, or as pressured as i do, had this new wrench not come along.

afghanistan called today. turns out, i'm knee-deep in the running for a myriad of positions to help the new afghan government design and implement its national justice system (can we say 'build a nation?'). and the white house also called today with a possibility that might just be right up my alley.

and all i want to do is cry. because whilst these aren't yet choices, none of them, they each and separately represent a choice i'm soon going to have to make. and part of me fears i'm going to be making a [ginormous] decision without all of the assurances and information i might wish to have so's to better the odds i'll make the right one...

~k

27 December 2009

a sin city christmas

expectations.

ya never know where expectations might lead. chances are equal that things'll go from expectations good, bad, ugly, or beautiful. though i think we all usually lean toward the happy with our expectations, i think we always hold a bit back so's to protect ourselves from the disappointment if things don't really go as we'd hoped.

i met someone in paris. i thought he was interesting, beautiful, and fun. 'twas with him that i shared the most romantic night of my life. but when you're walking the streets of paris till the wee hours of the morning with someone seemingly perfect, there's something magical about the idea that might not translate to the reality that ofttimes destroys the 'perfection' in any given moment.

so when paris guy and i planned date number two, my expectations were high, but i held back enough to stave off disappointment just in case he wasn't as magical as he seemed in that perfectly parisian night.

we met in vegas for christmas this week. i'm pretty certain that it's safe to report that the magic survived paris, as we shared not just the best vegas weekend ever, but quite possibly the best christmas ever. and the best gift for me is that the reality of him surpassed my already high expectations.

and i'm left feeling things i don't know i've ever felt before. as for expectations, they're sorta soaring in the same clouds of bliss i now find my heart, head, and happiness.

to be continued...

~k

23 December 2009

being a friend

i have a friend with a very broken heart. and it's her first in a really long time, so it hurts more than she remembered. she needed me tonight, and though i'm so sorry she's the one going through this, i'm grateful to be able to be there for my friends the way they were for me when i was in that emotional wasteland.

tonight i helped with a some laughter, a little bit of love, and a lot of encouraging this scene of her ex-boyfriend's voodoo doll's cock being smashed into a cactus (a cactus gifted by said ex-b/f, no less):

.

and then, as she cried on my shoulder about how much missing him hurts, i suggested that she take 2010 to find the right cliff. and jump.

in response she cried out, "thank you. finally somebody understands how i feel."

turns out, we weren't talking about the same cliff. (kbd-l, maybe you were right about that metaphor.) oops.

but with all the laughing to go along with the tears, i'd say all's well that ended as well as it could. and life goes on. and gets better.

~k

p.s. she's invited to the 'burn the decade' weenie roast.

20 December 2009

the end of an era

it wasn't until last night that i realized this decade ends in a few days. this dreadful decade of daft decadence is but a week and a half shy of its long overdue demise.

and i'm going to celebrate by burning my melancholy-laden mementos. pictures, postcards, love letters, wedding albums, and everything else that stood between being who and what i am right this second and all the wasted time (see heartbreak, disappointment, disillusionment, and self-destruction) in-between.

though 'twas in the wee shadows of this birthday past that i finally let go of the bondages of my past, its things are still around me. but next week, i will damn the decade of decadence to the fire-pit in u.b.'s backyard, where i will sit with a rocky bourbon in hand, watching my past singe, crumble, and disappear into its ashy graveyard.

and whilst i celebrate the end of my fore_gone_ era, i will welcome a new year, a new decade, and a new chapter in my life.

~k

18 December 2009

the bill

a-ha, my political commentating hiatus has ended (at least for the moment). the bill of which i write is none other than the famously partisan healthcare act. as well as the compromising and horse trading going on over on the floor of the senate. the bending over backward to reach some kind of consensus on the _reform_ being pushed like a two-ton brick by the white house. the one that, as far from perfect as it might be, is still the first step in a very long journey toward a single payer system (which is the only one that will satiate the far left).

what i don't understand is the outrage over the concessions being made. hello people, we can't even all get along and agree on everything within our little latte-drinking circles of liberal elitism. how can we expect that contentious bunch of incompetent fucktards on the hill to reach even a version of perfection, without letting them begin by taking the baby steps their feeble minds can handle?

yes, the bill stands without a public option. so fucking what. let's make healthcare affordable, force everyone to buy in (with subsidies when necessary), monetarily fine them if they skirt the system (like we do with car insurance), and see (let's just see) if the market can work itself out.

in theory, with more people putting money into the insurance pool, and fewer people demanding emergency services for a cold-gone-pneumonia, costs should go down. we're doing away with discrimination against pre-existing conditions, and putting some regulatory controls in place (1,000-pages worth) to help keep the costs down.

and if it doesn't work, we get to point our 'i told you so' fingers in the faces of the free-market zealots who fought for the freedom of unregulated corporate greed to chase after coffers filled with american tax dollars (and a whole lotta yuan). and we get a good bounce of momentum closer to single payer.

on top of the good dose of what's already annoying about our political process, we got front row seats to the senate taking it up the ass by big pharma. maybe that's a better place to direct some of the populist anti-senate rage. maybe it's time we call bullshit on big lobby sellouts, by finding new senators and congresspersons. we've got some elections coming up next year. demand change with the power of your vote, like you did when you voted for the guy who can't do it all by himself.

but remember that ours is a system set up to find compromise, and is the politics in which we must operate. it has always been this slow, painful, and methodical, and likely always will be. democracy is hard, and a constant work in progress. we will many times make mistakes, get it wrong the first time, or just plain ole fuck up.

for some perspective: in november of 1772, sam adams convened a group of 21 american rebels in boston, during which they agreed to reach out to neighboring communities to see if there was enough consensus to demand England grant the colonies the right to self-rule. Our Declaration of Independence wasn't signed until 4 july 1776. and it was a long and hard road, fraught with endless and circular debate, stress, compromises, slow communication, and bombs bursting in air.

this bill might not be perfect, but as confuscious mighta one day muttered, 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.' so let us embrace our first step in healthcare reform, and start working on the second instead of wasting all this energy throwing in the towel because we didn't get our way with the first.

~k

a brief homage to love

since my return from the latest and greatest of my travels, i have encountered an outpouring of love heretofore unknown to me. phooey you say. and yes, i'd agree that mine is a charmed life, and i've hardly suffered any dearth of love, affection, friendship, and the inspiration born only in these joys. and i might be feeling a little more emotional than usual, as holiday cheer abounds and i sit atop these clouds of bliss i've found in the affections of one i met in paris.

but nevertheless, the love these days floweth over.

from the christmas cards, catch-up lunches, notes of inquiry about my grand adventure, to those of you who've trusted me enough to console your woes and solve your personal crises, i love you guys so much. like, words are far too inadequate to convey the depth of my affection. i am so blessed to have you and the beauty you guys bring into my life.

thank you. you are the reasons my life is so wonderful. and whilst some of you fret about the state of your lives when i leave this city of angels for colder pastures, please never forget that wherever in the world i may hang my hat you will always have a home.

i love you.

~k

17 December 2009

insanity gone sane

i haven't made my bed in a week, haven't washed a single dish, unpacked my suitcase, or cleaned _anything_ since i returned from my travels. and i don't even care that there are piles strewn about my flat (of things. like books, cards, europe memorabilia, newspapers, clothes and jewelry). just lying around. there's dust on my furniture and dust bunnies in my corners. and i don't feel driven at all by uncontrollable compulsion to correct any of it.

can vacation cure o.c.d.?

~k

t.g.i.f.

today's my friday, even though it's thursday, because for the better part of this year (and my life), i've been working part-time. i shudder at the thought of returning to full time in a couple of weeks, because the already-too-short fuse on my temper has adjusted nicely to only having to deal with office fucktards 30 hours per week.

i mean, here i sit with one hour and 23 minutes before i race for the elevator bank, and my ridiculously rosy glow (of the 'about to spend christmas with that beautiful man i met in paris' sort) is burning out because of someone in my office who cannot help but shit in my cheerios at each given opportunity.

i don't like this person for no reason. i mean, i'm sure this person is competent, hard-working, and pleasant to most. i just don't like the energy i feel in their presence, and don't like how persnickety i perceive them to be, and would rather have nothing to do with anything that has to do with them.

sour sally? yeah, me right now. and so glad i'm almost _out_. i prefer my day when i'm glowing to the annoyance of all around me...

~k

15 December 2009

the year to jump

i don't know that i know the exact moment it happened, or how even, but _it_ happened. that thing that's been holding me back from really moving on, whatever it was, whoever it was, finally let go of me.

i don't even know that it was a moment, exactly, but i think it must've happened whilst i was traveling alone in foreign lands, conquering the great unknowns while trying equally as hard as not trying. and while i know this is going to sound a little bit vague (because as open with the world as i am about things, there are those little pieces that belong only to me and my very nearest and dearest), i no longer feel connected to pieces of the past, to hopes i once held with a grip so tightly i couldn't see past wanting what wasn't to be.

it's gone. they're gone. the grips. the hopes. the wanting. the trying to force what cannot be. after spending all of 2009 trying unsuccessfully not to hope, want, force, i just woke up and didn't anymore. and i feel so zen. so free. so open to the possibilities, any possibility, anywhere.

so open that i'm no longer married to moving to washington, dc. so open that my next step may have nothing to do with my career. so open that you should all be warned that i might do something utterly crazy, unexpected, and so quickly you'll think it came completely out of the blue.

and it's because that cliff from which i've been readying myself to plunge is in sight. and when i get there, i'm not even going to close my eyes before i step to the ledge and just jump...

~k

13 December 2009

home sweet home 2

omg! i am so happy to be here. i may not get out of bed for the rest of the weekend!

~k

10 December 2009

exhaustion

i have been traveling now for almost a month, and i'm about to drop. i'm having a blast, i've been having a blast, and i will keep having a blast. two more days is all i have to get through.

i think i can. i think i can. i think i can...

~k

08 December 2009

our unlikely story

in honor of my geekiness, i'm well into my next presidential biography, John Adams. and i have to say, it is a work of historical art as masterfully written by David McCullough as my beloved Truman.

though i'm but a quarter into this magnificent read, i am shaken to my core in knowing this story's unlikely outcome.

the odds were stacked so highly against us. we were but a band of rebels in a merciless land, with no military experience, no weapons, no numbers to match that of the renowned and successful british armada. we were doomed to fail, but for a good bit of good fortune, a fate most certainly written in the stars, and those men and women who had the courage, passion, and unyielding conviction to put their lives on the line for their cause. for our cause. for the american cause.

if more americans today were as wedded to the american cause, ours might not be as stricken with ambivalence and apathy, and a fruitless fight for the sake of nothing more than the acts of the contrary.

but i am a believer, and i believe with all my heart that america is still that ideal our forefathers believed so deeply that they were willing to sacrifice their everything. and because i have hope, because i believe that, "in the unlikely story that is america, there is nothing false about hope," onward i march in furtherance of and toward that ideal. that american cause.

~k

05 December 2009

all roads lead to snow

it's snowing and wintery. after two weeks of a cold and rainy paris, i'm now in wintery washington, and i love it sooooooo much, it makes it easier to know that my next move is to someplace with seasons.

and hopefully bitchin' thunderstorms!

the end.

~k

02 December 2009

mandarin crash

i'm in dc.

since yesterday (the long version), i have traveled approximately 13,000 miles, have been in five airports in five cities, and on four planes. i don't know when yesterday started or ended, or if it even has. i haven't slept anywhere but a plane, and didn't sleep on either of today's flights because i've been too jazzed playing with the pictures from my trip.

about an hour ago, i checked into my shmancy conference hotel in dc. i took a ridiculously long, hot bath (made a complete wreck of the bathroom by getting water everywhere), ordered room service, and now i'm sitting in a robe with my hair wrapped in a towel, waiting for my dinner to be hand delivered by some dude in white gloves.

in a word, amazing.

i may actually sleep tonight.

~k

parisian stars

last night (i think it was last night, but because last night was also this morning, and yesterday morning, and tomorrow all wrapped up into one inconceivably long day, i can't be totally certain), i followed the advice of my dearest pitafo and decided to toast my au revoir to paris at the hemingway bar.

i thought i would have a drink or two, take the metro home, grab some wine, bread, and cheese, and have a mellow (see downer) last night in paris. but fortune had a much better plan for me.

in the hemingway bar, i met a fellow solo-traveling american, spending his last night in paris bar hopping. he started at the hemingway bar, and we ended the night when he hailed me a cab in front of an all-night cafe at 6:00 this morning.

we walked all over a dark, wet, and christmas lit paris. we hit several renowned watering holes, and one little 'invite only' place our favorite bartender (carlos) of the night sent us off to find. and when the bars closed, we found a little cafe still pouring wine into the wee hours of the morning. i mean, we weren't finished drinking, talking, and savoring our last night in paris.

this stranger, this drinks-loving kindred spirit and i spent eleven hours wandering paris at her most vulnerable. from place vendome to the luxor obelisk, down the champs elysee, and through the back streets of the latin quarter, we talked about everything, drank a bit of everything, took pictures every step of the journey, and found ourselves sharing the most perfect parisian finale.

and this sensitive artist from the mountains of colorado - who doesn't even know how much of an impression he left with me, gave me the best night of my trip, and the best night of my life. it was so unexpected, so romantic, so perfectly parisian that it must've been written in the stars.

and i got my (most wonderful) french kiss...

~k

opera bastille

on sunday afternoon, i went to see 'la boheme' at paris's opera bastille. because i waited till the last minute, and it was a sold out show, my ticket cost near a king's ransom.

and it was worth every penny and then some.

the first time i ever saw an opera was in paris, at the paris opera house. it was 'carmen', and i remember appreciating but not necessarily loving it.

this time was different. i was so overwhelmed, so moved, i sat there bawling my eyes out because of the emotion expressed on stage. i mean, 'la boheme' is in italian so i don't understand a lick of the words. but the words don't even matter when the performances are powerful enough to render them meaningless, and this particular performance was really that powerful.

i'm still moved. i can still feel the passion whirling about my heart. and i hope i always do.

~k

28 November 2009

french kiss

still i am in paris. almost a week now. and for a week, i've wandered her streets, mastered her metro, walked upon her history, beauty, magic, and romance. and it was only today that i began to notice that everyone here is kissing.

everyone but me.

for four years i've been single. though i have dated a time or two, nothing even resembling serious has my attention been taken. and though there was one who i'd've given everything to, for the most part it's because the single life is the one i've most desired.

and here i sit in paris, in this beautiful lit city of romance, seeing the embrace and public affection of lovers.

and i'm jealous.

as much as i love, appreciate, and admire myself for conquering a country(s) whose language i can't speak, i can't help but envy the lovers who populate its streets.

for about me, i don't know what this means. maybe i'm ready for something i'm not sure i can admit (i mean, where's a girl to find a man who wants a nomadic life of changing the world?), but i know i wish that in paris i should have someone to kiss.

a city of love without someone to kiss doesn't really do much for mon amour.

¬k

26 November 2009

the normandy enigma

i visited normandy yesterday, and spent a day as lovely as it was somber, with my mind grappling with the serenity of the scene and the horror that succombed those beaches in june of 1944.

on d-day, 6 june 1944, general eisenhower launched the world's greatest invasion. allied forces, more than 150,000 in number, stormed five beaches along the northern coast of france, taking the nazi army by complete surprise, and turning the tide of world war ii. within months, germany surrendered, and the end of the world's greatest and most destructive war came soon thereafter.

i can only imagine what normandy felt, sounded, and looked like during that fateful invasions. bombs rocking the ground, the blood of fallen soldiers coloring red the waves crashing onto the shore, bullets flying, planes soaring overhead, screams of injured troops and civilians filling the air with terror, and the general sense that the hope of the future lie only in the success of this battle. fear, terror, hope, and the stench of death abound.

yesterday, though, it was serene. the beaches extraordinarily beautiful, the weather perfect. off the coast, remains of the temporary harbors remain in tact, providing only an overview of what the coast might have resembled that morning. the day was beautiful, albeit chilly (it is november), and because it's off-season, it was quiet, lonely, and barren. had i not known these beaches are best known for a military battle, i'd never've guessed as much.

the american cemetery is also very beautiful, serene, and because it sits on the cliff overlooking the english channel it's got an incredible view. the pride i felt standing amongst those thousands of crosses and memorial, overlooking the harbor from whence those men and women sacrificed their lives in furtherance of freedom, cannot be expressed. there are some feelings the english language is far too paltry to impart...

though 'twas not an easy journey (it's long and far), the landing beaches, memorials, museums, and cemeteries of normandy are places all americans should experience.

~k

en paree

i'm in love. i could very easily add a "the end" here and be done, but such a lackluster finale is hardly my m.o.

paris is the best city ever!

it helps that i'm staying in a very cool part of the city, montmartre- the bohemian-esque neighborhood, but it's that the city possesses such a romantic aura, the hopeless romantic in me can't help but feel a kindred connection.

for the past few days, i've mostly wandered. with very few destinations in mind, i've just kind of soaked in everything about this wonderful place. obsessed as i am with military history, i've certainly seen things to feed my intellectual curiosity (les hotel invalides, normandy (my next blog), and napolean's tomb), but it's the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of paris that've mostly fed my fancy.

i've accidentally bumped into things like la sacre-coeur and the eiffel tower, and i've gotten caught up in the whirlwind of tourist traps, but it's the side streets, the cafe's, the simplicity of the metro, and the supermarket next door to my hostel, and the immediate surrounding areas that've been the sources of greatest fascination for me.

i really am in love with paris, and have no doubt that i will someday, for some length of time, call her home.

the end.

~k

20 November 2009

spanish nights

okay, tonight was the best vaca night EVER!

after walking 400 miles today, i was pretty sure there was no way i was getting out of siesta mode to go out. i mean, i was beat all to hell, but one of my roomies pointed out that i'm not in barcelona often enough to turn down an invite out. so i rallied.

and how glad i am that she convinced me i'd be a fool to stay in.

kbd-little´s friend picked me up at 22:00, and we walked maybe a half mile to meet up with his friends for dinner. and can i please tell you, dinner tonight was one of the most delightful of my life.

it was an interesting experience being the only foreign speaker at the table. though two of the three spoke perfect english, spanish is clearly their language, and whilst i can hold my own, i cannot speak the language here and they spent a lot of time speaking in their own tongue.

and what i learned tonight is that it´s not the words, but the body language, facial expressions, and the chemistry between compadres that speaks so much more effectively. it was beautiful. the whole night.

and now i´m off to bed to sleep for a few hours before walking another 400 miles tomorrow.

~k

without a donkey

first things first, i'm pretty sure i've walked 400 miles today. and if, in fact, i have not, i sure as shit feel like i have. while all of y'all are just getting your days started, on your side of the world, i've been on my feet and all over barcelona these past seven hours.

and life would've been a lot easier today had i a donkey.

i took the metro from my hood up to gaudi's parc guell. where i exited the metro, i was standing at the bottom of a mt. whitney-esque hill that looked super easy to climb, thanks to the escalators all the way to the top. or so i thought.

escalators for _most_ of the way, save the couple hundred yards of steep-as-a-mountain brick streets. awesome. under my breath i was motivating myself with the age old adage, "i think i can, i think i can". and when i made it to the top, i found that i had now to climb down the mountainous terrain of the parc.

a few hours later, i made it to the bottom and found an amazing art-deco entryway. seems as though i did the parc backwards. but thank god, cuz if i´d´ve had to climb up that mountain (fer reals, the terrain was a bitch!), i really don´t know that i would have made it.

from there, i got back on the metro and made my way to the next antonio gaudi stop of the day, la padrera. amazing.

the terrace was definitely the highlight of la padrera. and this is where i most wished i wasn´t traveling alone (another post). because you see, i am petrified of heights. when looking down from atop a place on high, i feel like i´m falling. my stomach flips over, i sweat, and i actually feel the sensation of falling. eventually, that can spin into a mini anxiety attack, and sometimes does.

today it didn´t because i fought through it pretty hard. but i was really scared, and there were a couple of places i didn´t think i could take another step. but i got myself through it, without anyone there to hold my hand (fuck you, friends, for not coming with me!)

and the best part about la padrera is that it´s only about six blocks from home, where i now sit drinking a glass of wine in anticipation of my imminent siesta.

~k

planes, tubes, trains, a car and a bus

i'm not sure what day this is, but i know it's my first day without a plane or trains. my first day in europe was spent traveling from heathrow airport (see inefficient use of entirely too much space) to woodbridge, in suffolk.

to get from heathrow to woodbridge required two tubes to get to the big train station at liverpool street, and then two trains out to the boonies. took about four hours, after a ten hour flight (of which i slept eight). though this may seem like a wee bit of a hassle, my girl kelkelbell was waiting at the end, and seeing her, and spending the night, and the next morning with her was well worth the effort.

the fact that the english were so kind and helpful (i never carried my bag up or down any stairs, or onto of off of any train), made it all the better.

and speaking of the kindness of brits, my dearest kbd-little set me up with one of her friends in barcelona, who took me to dinner last night. his love of this city radiates from him and every word he speaks of this beautiful place. he took me out for some paella, wouldn´t let me pay, and had the knowledge and smarts to engage in a serious conversation about middle east politics and american foreign policy.

needless to say, i´m having a fabby time.

and because i´ve been able to get myself from point a to points b, c, d, e, f, and g, all by myself, is the awesomest thing EVER! cuz i´m a bad ass like that...

~k

15 November 2009

if it's sunday...

and not my birthday, i would be right where i need to be to leave the country in two days. but because it is my birthday, i've done everything but (which surprisingly includes cooking a hot dog on a stick over an open fire).

to help get things into perspective, a hot assed good friend gave me his top ten travel tips:

"Really, all you need are the following items: (From "A Girl's Guide to Packing")

1. Tampons and Pads
2. Map to American Embassy in London, Barcelona and Paris.
3. Four angora sweaters in pastel colors
4. Two pairs of khaki pedal pushers
5. A cropped navy pea coat
6. One black dress. In case you need to attend a funeral.
7. White gloves. It's dirty there
8. Four bars of rosewater soap. Coco Chanel did what she could do with had to work with, but could not eradicate the awful stench of the French.
9. Black flats
10. Two bras"

and yeah, it pretty much is that simple.

~k

12 November 2009

birthdays (mine most especially)

so, my birthday is my favorite day of the year. it's my very own holiday that i don't have to share with anyone! and every year my birthday wish is to celebrate in grand fashion with my dearest friends.

this year is especially important for a variety of reasons:
(1) i'm turning 35 and that seems like a big deal to me.
(2) this is my last birthday in los angeles.
and (3) i feel like, after so many years flailing about, i'm actually me, i'm comfortable in my own skin, i accept and even revel in my narcissism (heh!), and i really, genuinely like who i am and where i am and how vibrant and beautiful and fulfilled my life is.

so you see, there's lots to celebrate this year. and my closest friends, bless them, are pulling out all the stops to make this one as special for me as it feels to me.

except for one fucking douchebag of epic proportion, who clearly doesn't give two shits about how big of a deal this is for me (even though this person purportedly knows (or at least should) how important my birthday is for me in a general sense (though might not know that this one has any particularly special meaning)), because after spilling tales of my birthday plans (with a yay! thrown in for good measure), said selfish fucktard douchebag proceeded to ask me to babysit so's they could run off to vegas. even offered to pay for my dinner (um, my $20 vietnamese noodle dinner i'm probably not too far off base to assume my friends will probably pay for) if i'd watch the kid.

and then said douchebag had the fucking audacity to tell me what a selfish asshole i am because i said no. because i said, "uh fuck no". because i said, "are you fucking high? as if i'm going to forego painting the town red with my friends (some of which are arriving by airplane) so's i can stay home and watch over your responsibility so you can go to vegas ON MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY!"

though i may've paraphrased a wee bit there, i'm sure y'all get the gist.

and my point follows my facebook post the other day about how all assholes need to exit my life immediately. i genuinely hope i never EVER! EVER! see or speak to this fucktard again. because really, life's too short to waste any time or energy on someone so wrapped up in themselves that they can't even recognize the extent of their own douchebaggery.

the end!
~k

10 November 2009

pet peeves

i'm having one of those days, so to make myself feel better i'm going to make a short list of things that piss me off.

1) assholes.
2) pussy drivers.
3) people who claim to be writers, but then write in text (e.g. "i think u r nt cing the w8 of things." i mean - what in the hell does that even say? and how can anyone write that shit and call themselves a writer? i call them an idiot).
4) selfish fucktards.
5) people who send emails with the caps locked. I FEEL LIKE YOU ARE YELLING AT ME SO STOP!
6) people who don't r.s.v.p. i mean, really? are you really going to get a better offer than an evening with me? as if. or are you just too cool to commit?
7) commitmentphobes.
8) people whose middle name is cantaloupes.
9) joe lieberman.
10) the use of fear as a tactic to mobilize morons.
11) nonresponsiveness.
12) flakes.
13) jewish standard time.
14) the TSA.
15) the wall street journal's op-ed page.
16) the cincinnati northern kentucky airport.
17) the kuss.
18) blue dog democrats.
19) the local "news".
20) fb (and no, this is not short for facebook (i love facebook)).

though this list is by no means exhaustive, my mission is accomplished. i feel better.

the end.
~k

09 November 2009

breaking stuff

when i walked away from my marriage a few years back, i left with only my clothes, books, a few things from the kitchen, and a coupla knick knacks.

tonight i broke one of my four plates. and all i could think about was how it's one less thing i'll have to pack...

~k

04 November 2009

nothing to say

it's been well over a week since i've written anything here. or really anywhere, save the day job. it feels very out of character for me to have so little to say. but i got nothing.

maybe later. i mean, shouldn't i have something to say on this most important anniversary in my new and improved life as an involved activist out to change the world?

you'd think...

~k

24 October 2009

a blind eye to drugs

before our invasion of afghanistan, opium production had been banned by the taliban government. at the time, the poppy fields were providing 75% of the world's opium, but taliban retaliation kept the risk high enough to result in decreasing production.

it was in the eight years that followed, under the direction of our NATO-led military coalition, that afghanistan's opium business grew faster, farther, and wider. no to mention its benefit to the very insurgency we were fighting. we ignored the opium trade because our mission was to "fight the taliban and al-qaeda, not drug dealers" (see 'dubya misses big picture. again.').

the neo conservatives were too busy selling the claim that americans' drug use was supporting terrorists,to notice the real problem. had they been paying attention to the growing drug cartel in afghanistan, they mighta noticed that its poppy fields had grown in abundance, supplying 90% of the world's opium. and then might've followed that thought to its inevitable conclusion that much of that profit was going directly to the taliban and al qaeda.

so, i guess what i'm trying to say is that this is an easy example of just how in over their heads dubya's cowboys were. amongst their many other failure (a.d.h.d. anyone?), they couldn't see how ignoring afghanistan's drug trade would exacerbate stability efforts on the ground. and impair our end game in the bigger picture.

assuming they'd even drawn a bigger picture...

~k

afternoon wishes

i wish i could wiggle my nose and make unexpired half 'n half appear in my fridge.

~k

23 October 2009

you don't know dick!

dick cheney needs to shut the fuck up! in following his daughter's lead on calling democrats weak on national security, he's now taken to claiming our president is "dithering" because president obama is taking the time to make an informed decision about afghanistan and strategize accordingly.

sigh.

wasn't it the complete and utter absence of strategy in the former vice president's administration that got us into this mess? after running into afghanistan without thinking, learning, or coordinating an effective ground game, the bush administration then turned its head to the west and decided iraq was ripe for a coup. without getting the job done, they dropped the ball.

and eight years later, here we are trying to figure out what the hell we're going to do. and dick cheney has the balls to criticize our president for listening to everyone at the table, taking a realisitic look at the instability in pakistan, the taliban, what would happen if the taliban control on pakistan's western front could strengthen enough to topple the government and get their hands on a nuclear weapon, thinking about how much success we'll have if the government in kabul doesn't have the legitimacy for an effective partnership, and what it is we're trying to achieve.

and whether the commitment of our troops and treasure, and our soul as a nation, is worth the end game (presumably a stable afghanistan that doesn't want to help the taliban train bad guys to be terrorists). that's a lot to consider, at least i think it seems like a lot to consider.

so dick cheney, sit down and shut the fuck up. let the smart guys use their brains to figure this out, because the dummy cowboys in your administration didn't exactly put afganistan in the win column for america.

~k

22 October 2009

the agony

i do not understand why i agonize as i do over afghanistan. sometimes it feels unhealthy, other times invigorating, but agonizing all the time. it's like, the more i learn, the less i understand. and if i can't understand, however can i possibly help others understand.

this is how afghanistan makes me feel:



~k

21 October 2009

announcements of the frightening sort

i want to build a nation. it's my real goal as i venture into the next phase of my life. and i assumed that i'd really need to work at the white house so's i could make the connections i'd need to be able to garner the support to get me into a nation building role in a fairly scary place on the other side of the world (cuz presumably, NGO's and the state department don't want to hire folks who've never worked in a hostile environment (though a career inside law firms might qualify as hostile in some circles)).

well, as it turns out, the british government might have a different philosophy. i found out yesterday that my application has survived the first 'sift' and that i'm being recommended for further consideration in a 'strategic communications' role in a post-conflict zone of a developing country.

so we are all clear here. i _want_ this job! it's the job i thought i'd first have to work in washington to get. and the adrenalin junkie in me can't think of anything more thrilling than staying calm and collected in a hostile environment, while the world changer in me can't think of anything more rewarding than helping a nation build itself out of the ashes of its waning conflict.

but the friend, daughter, and sister in me worries that those who love me won't be able to understand why i need to do this, or that the value to me in making a difference in the world outweighs any risks that i may lose my life in the process...

~k

20 October 2009

afghans again

for the past several weeks, i have tortured myself trying to come up with a solution for the shit show that is our afghanistan issue, and every time i think i've pinned down my opinion, i talk myself out of it. or i let others talk me out of it.

you see, i am torn first by limited resources. and then by other things. and other people.

putting aside things like money, loss of life, a commitment the american people aren't likely to buy into, and the fact that afghanistan is an historical graveyard of empires, if i had my druthers, we'd go all in. we would commit to building a democratic afghanistan. and we'd do it by empowering the local 'warlords' to become leaders and governors.

we'd help them build roads and farms, schools and hospitals, and give them the tools they need to form a more perfect union. one in which more than 28% of its population is educated, where women have access to equality, education, and opportunity, where farmers can farm something other than opium, and where we can stabilize pakistan's neighbor. we would, in a sense, organize afghan communities.

whether or not there's a strong central government a la the united states of america, or whether there's something a bit more loose a la the short-lived confederate states of america (which seems more likely when considering the present afghani administration), the key is in building the local governments, as an upshot of the current political structure. and then asking them to convene for a big constitutional convention to fine-tune their current government into something more akin to effective governance.

there are those who argue we go all in, regardless of the ability of the afghans to eventually govern themselves. 'let's just go in guns a blazin and kill some terrorists,' if you will. cuz, yeah, that's a great use of our armed services and resources. just because general mcchrystal says we need 40,000 more troops, we should just send them in, without asking questions or coming up with a strategic plan, doesn't quite cut it for me. especially when reality suggests that any sort of afghanistan initiative is going to commit us to a minimum of ten years (and that's only if things go perfectly between now and 2020), with a more plausible time line of about a hundred years.

and i'm not sure how much weight i can give the argument that our end goal is meant to be about eradicating al queda and eliminating the taliban control over any part of afghanistan (at this moment in time, the taliban is gaining control in the eastern part of afhanistan, near the pakistani border, just as they gain power in pakistan. this latter development is enough to worry the bejeesus out of much of the free world that the terroristy taliban is positioned to topple president zardari and seize control of a country in possession of nuclear weapons (fucking scary, eh!?)).

i think our strategy needs to have more to do with regional stability than simply some dumb 'war on terror'. and the only way we can ensure regional stability, enough to help afghanistan learn to effectively govern itself, is to build a nation. and asking americans to sign up for a multi-generational nation-building project is not something i've quite figured out how to do (though i'm working on it).

and at what expense? (this is where that little issue of limited resources comes into play).

i mean, america hasn't had a load of debt this high since the last time we set out to rebuild the world via the marshall plan after world war ii. with china holding all the cards to our continual descent into the dungeons of debt, while our economy seems to be averting a rebound (except for those asshats on wall street whose egregious risk to main streeters is still earning them egregious sums of money (at the same time consumer lenders are spiralling down into the shit tank along with the rest of us)), can we really afford to go all in?

i dunno.

and ultimately, if i have to pick between healthcare for all americans or healthcare for all afghans...

well then, the end.

~k

15 October 2009

my favorite recipe

for all of you who like to read blogs about recipes, here's one for you:

1 glass of ice
1 double pour of bourbon

the end.

~k

it's not a snuggie!

i'm sure you've seen the commercials, or at the very least bill maher's ongoing satirical poke, for snuggies. i just want to state for the record that i do not, will not, and cannot, own one. so, would all of you people stop walking in my door and assuming that's a snuggie you see on my couch?

cuz it's not.

the end.

~k

12 October 2009

schindler's list

i have so much i could be writing about right now (nobel peace prizes, finishing 'truman', afghanistan on my mind), but here i am doing a movie review (which is kinda hilarious since i almost never watch movies).

i hate steven spielberg for making a movie that's making me have to talk myself out of killing myself. which i might be able to do if i wasn't so emotionally exhausted. so much so that my tear ducts hurt.

fer reals, why does it hurt so much to know that people've done that, and still do that, to each other?

~k

06 October 2009

fall 'en potus

summer has finally ended, and in its place is perfection. and to make up for the absence of autumn leaves, i got to meet president clinton last night. because i am a bad ass.

the end.

~k

01 October 2009

fantastically ferrying

i am in san francisco, my other favorite city, and this week proves that mine is a very charmed life.

cuz, well, i am working here, and it's much like it is when i'm working in dc. i feel like i'm part of the city, the hustle and bustle, and the general ambiance that gives it the character and culture that makes it so beautiful.

this time is especially amazing in large part because, for the past two days, i've been commuting by ferry from sausalito. i've been waking up to a sun rising over san francisco and its bay bridge, then boarding a ferry that rides the waves of the bay to the ferry building, a few blocks from my office. the evening trip, btw, is unbelievable. on the ride back to sausalito, the sun sets behind and beneath the golden gate bridge, and it really is breathtaking.

the best part is that i know where i am, what i'm doing, and where i'm going in a city other than my own. all of which makes me feel like the awesomest person EVER!

the end.

~k

27 September 2009

frank rich

is my hero. and i really hate it when he's on vacation, because the sunday times just isn't the same without him.

obama at the precipice


~k

26 September 2009

craptastic saturday

so, that hangover the other day turned into the flu. not the pig-kissing kind, but the kind where food defies gravity. and i'm sick of it. mostly because i'm too blah to read and television is the biggest piece of shit ever!

~k

23 September 2009

the woe of a silent muse

i feel like death warmed over (er, too much wine last night hung over), i have to write an article for an environmental blog i help author, and my muse is napping. crap!

~k

21 September 2009

civic responsibility

i got served. and today i embarked upon the longest, most boring day ever! all whilst getting booted from a jury.

i once sat on a jury (and we'll leave that story to another post), and figured (rightly so) that it'd be my last. no one wants an attorney on their jury panel. everyone just assumes we know what's going on and what's right, because we got schooled in the laws (fer reals, people think this).

but today was my first time approaching this process with one eye on my blog. sadly, such fore-thinking turned out to be bunk, because all i really noticed was how gangly my fingernails are, the ear hair in the dude sitting next to me, the horrendous breath emanating from the creature sitting in front of me, a plaintiff's lawyer about as interesting and likable as a toad, in a room full of people who couldn't wait to tell the judge why they hate cops.

i had spent the morning planning to spend my lunch break with harry truman, but the other lawyer on my voir dire panel sought me out. he said he wanted to learn about what it is i do while recovering from the practice of law. except that he never asked me a single thing, but talked nonstop about being a litigator, how much his law firm has changed in the past 37 years, and how apparently he isn't allowed to criticize the president's healthcare plan without being called a racist.

under my breath, while my quiet voice called him a racist, i hoped (going so far as praying even) that i never have to depend on a group of my "peers", pulled from such a pool, to make a decision about the fate of my life.

~k

20 September 2009

a day with radiohead

it's been one of those days, of the really amazingly serendipitous sort...

~k

my friends

that i have been chosen as a friend by the most interesting, thoughtful, funny, wonderful, and beautiful people in the entire world is the greatest miracle of my life.

the end.

~k

18 September 2009

a friday tragedy

17 years ago today, also a friday, on a dark rural road in southern illinois, my car was totaled. along with my back, my spinal cord, and my mobility. half my life. and though it doesn't hurt as much as it did those first few years, on anniversary days like this, when my memory returns to that night and the days and weeks that followed, i feel what's left of that loss.

and in a coupla words, it fucking sucks.

~k

15 September 2009

the healthcare debate

while racism is clearly an element in the current situation (as in every prior moment in the history of humankind (e.g. the south rose up in opposition when harry truman vowed to outlaw lynchings in 1948 (1948!!??)), the media has decided that 'race' is this week's hot topic.

and it's not a bad conversation to have. because frankly, i'm not sure who is more off their rockers. the folks who believe wholeheartedly that we are in a post racial america. or the ones still wearing costumes to the meetings. and we all need to get that out in the clear open, and talk about it.

and where better to start than with a guy who called the potus a liar during a presidential address? i mean, yay for us democrats that the media will talk about a serious social issue in rovian political style, even if we don't have the balls to do it ourselves.

'look at them racists over there in the republican party'.

genius.

~k

12 September 2009

weekend mystery

i've been drinking since i was a teen-ager, so i kinda feel like i should have it figured out by now. but for some reason, the last three times i've gone "out", i've lost an entire day to a hangover.

what am i doing wrong?

~k

11 September 2009

afghanistan

i've become a little more hawkish in the months of late, but the question of afghanistan is one that seems the most impossible to resolve.

on the one hand, i feel as though we bear some responsibility to the people of afghanistan to clean up some of the messes we've let fester. i mean, we invaded that country in receipt of applause for ousting the despicable taliban. but we've gone and spent the past seven years earning its scorn by moving our resources to its more profitable neighbor, while leaving afghanistan in a catastrophic freefall.

but it also seems that a democratic afghanistan is as far from reality as my setting up a camp site on mars. and how much more money and how many more american lives are meant to be sacrificed? and to what end?

are we meant to 'build a nation'? can we sell that to an american public already growing very tired of afghanistan? (i mean, as much as i love the idea of being a part of building a nation, i question whether we are capable of doing any good in afghanistan. and i do a tad more homework than the average american, who already thinks we're spending entirely too much money on worthless ventures).

but what would happen if we just up and left?

the country is being ravaged by the drug trade and the unsavory types of folks who operate the industry. comprising 60% of its GDP, afghanistan provides the world with 90% of its opium. which essentially means that the government of afghanistan is controlled by drug dealers and thugs. not quite a recipe for success. especially when the terrorist-protecting taliban is still there, and could very well make a come back if the situation ripens to their advantage.

something that seems all the more likely so long as president karzai in charge. a weak douchey politician, karzai inspires little faith, and plays whichever side of the issue buys him the greatest political capital. right now, those are anti-americanism and friend to the opium trade.

all of this on top of the impossible terrain, the absense of infrastructure, and the political instability, though not entirely of our making, have been perpetuated by our mismanaging our occupation and warring without a comprehensive strategy.

we let the opium farms replace the cereal and wheat farms (the types of things farmers would rather be growing, but don't have the infrastructure and security enough to earn a living), we allowed the drug trade to flourish when we didn't consort with the afghan justice department, and order our troops to arrest drug dealers and destroy opium. not that our own 'war on drugs' has been a great success, but it does seem that pinching off the drugs before they consumed the ecomony mighta been a good idea.

and while maybe it's not particularly prudent to keep sending troops and nation builders over to that side of the world, can we just leave? it's so unstable. and its instability further weakens an already very dangerous part of the world. can we afford not to be there? isn't it our responsibility to be there?

isn't it?

~k

10 September 2009

in response to your comment to my last post

dear "anonymous" -

generally, yeah, i tend to believe the president. we share the same political ideology. and i think he's a smart, educated guy with a good sense about things. i know he reads my newspaper every day and that he surrounds himself with some pretty genius people whose job it is to know this shit (who themselves read reports written by people who know it in even greater detail (more so than you or i could ever know)). and i think he's got good judgment (better than any president in a long, long, long while).

so, yeah, i doubt very seriously that the potus is going to give a speech to a joint congress, televised to the american people on every single channel, and bullshit his way through 60 minutes. i mean, the last president who did that didn't really do much for us in the end. nor did his political ideology, when it got itself pushed up against that little wall we liberals like to call 'reality'.

debate is over. america needs comprehensive healthcare reform, from bottom to top, and on every side of its ass (from prevention to tort law, and up to and through sickness (and catastrophe)). and we have to start now!

and you know what? maybe whatever this president eventually signs into law will fail. maybe he won't get it exactly right on the first try. but at least he's _doing_. and this president has a team of the best and brightest helping him figure out the best possible reform plan.

he tried to let us get ourselves there through democratic debate (learning from a grave clinton error in handing congress a pre-packaged healthcare bill). and look at what we've done. we've gone and made fools of ourselves and shown the world we really are dumb enough to've elected george w. bush twice. and now he's had to come out and smack down the entire country for the nonsense perpetuated at the expense of a real debate.

the things is, i'm too dumb to figure this out for myself, so i'm following the lead of my president. a guy who says things like, "we are not here to fear the future. we are here to shape it." and i'm kinda digging the way he wants to shape it. so my advice to you (and anyone who doesn't want to be part of a solution) is to shape up (and maybe offer a solution to toss around with your criticism) or ship the fuck out.

~k

09 September 2009

the remains of a party

in the summer of 1948, the chair of the republic national committee, congressman carroll reece of tennessee, claimed that "there remained nothing of the democratic party but three distasteful elements: southern racists, big-city bosses, and radicals bent on 'sovietizing' the country".

in listening to the president speak tonight about healthcare reform, complete with numbers, statistics, and an inspirational kick,"that we aren't here to fear the future, we are here to shape it", i felt a surge of my own american pride. especially when he handed an
opposition-sans-a-solution its ass on a silver platter.

which brings me to the three distasteful elements of what little remains of the republican party today: racists, rich white men, and radicals bent on jesusizing the country.

~k

01 September 2009

the great (re)discovery

no matter my geographic circumstance, i am a california girl. i live on the upside of beautiful, almost all the time. always on a journey, i'm ever seeking knowledge, friendship, inspiration, enlightenment, and love. and i'm lucky to find all of the above all around me. i am intrigued by surprise. i see miracles every day. i savor my solitude with the same fervency i love a really good party. i dare to fail greatly. most of all, i am a believer. and i believe i am here to change the world.

~k

28 August 2009

support

dear friends - that you stand by me, support me, and believe in me - even when my own doubts make me question how much i believe in me, is the reason (and with you the reasons) i live as beautifully as i do. and that i have such faith in goodness. thank you. my love is yours eternal.

~k

27 August 2009

the indestructible part

caution: this post is not for the weak at heart.

my next door neighbor, we'll call him "schneider" (cuz he's my mr. fix it, and lucky for me (and him) that the only its he can fix are the sort i have) has been gone for_ever_, so sometimes i visit his facebook page to poke around and see what he's up to. a while back, i found this quote on his page, 'only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us'. (btw, i know that the period technically belongs inside the quote (which should probably look like this, "), but it's illogical, and i therefore refuse to follow that dumb rule).

and i've been on pause ever since.

i've been flaking on plans because i can barely fight my need for intensely quiet solitude. i go to work, and i _work_. then i go home to absorb thousands of pages of books, newspapers, wikipedia. and i think. sometimes to music, sometimes on my reformer, and sometimes just sitting in a silence interrupted only by the faint sounds of the city at the bottom of the hill, passerbys on the music box steps, and the creatures of nature stirring about these hills (including this one fucking woodpecker outside my window, 'peck', 'peck', 'peck'ing away at the ass crack of dawn every single day that makes me wish i had a bb gun).

where i've been, where i am, where i'm going, what i'm doing, what i'm meant to be doing. how it all goes together. and how i've been through hell, not just in the crash and living with that scar, but in love and in living with that scar. and i wonder, what if i haven't quite found what's indestructible in me? what if there's worse yet to come? i mean, tough me plays it off as though i got this. but real me. real me is a big pussy, just like all the other democrats, and real me wonders if it's worth it to take the chance (oh, and real me is pretty awesome at avoiding ever getting to that bridge).

there is absolutely not one single part of me that believes the rest of my life will be anything less than extraordinary. i am here to make the world a better place, and i am and will have an amazing time figuring out how and doing just that. but it doesn't mean i don't have doubts about things, feel frustrated with the pace of change, or sometimes feel lonely, or wish that there was a little less uncertainty in my next year.

it's not all peaches and cream to be so open and ready to surrender to whatever life has next in store for me. cuz it ain't happening so fast. and i am doing my best to be patient, keep my faith, be more accepting of real me, and enjoy this journey, but it's hard. i'm anxious, i'm ready, and i feel like i'm spinning my wheels in limbo, when there is such greatness stirring about me and within me. it's just hard sometimes.

but i know that '[s]he that can have patience, can have what [s]he will', and it does help me keep the faith.

~k

24 August 2009

groundhog day

as this healthcare debate goes on (and on and on and on and around and around), there's one side (this week's line of bullshit drawn by a senator from utah who looks my age times three, and seems about as in touch with reality as i am in kindergarten curricula) that makes no sense. and then there's my side, acting like pussies.

'zat sound about right?

~k

20 August 2009

oh los angeles

i hope you know that i will love you till the day i die, and while i almost always savor your weather surprises, and stick up for your cold summer days while everyone cries for heat, this is getting a little out of hand. we are here primarily for the perpetual sunshine you've promised. so stop trying to be san francisco, and give us the summer we expect.

thanks.

~k

stinky theatre

tonight i saw a movie that made me laugh and cry, and ride the wave of the story all the way to its inevitably tragic ending. sounds amazing, right? yeah. until they ruined it by changing the best ending ever!

i will never forget how hard i cried when i read that last page of the 'time traveler's wife'. it was that moment of perfection in time, in life, when everything rhymes. and i spent the entire movie looking forward to that beautiful moment between clare and henry that's lived in my imagination ever since.

and now i'm pissed off. pissed that i gave two hours of my life (plus traffic time) to feel so emotionally manipulated, and so let down by being robbed of that 'it' moment on the big screen. if you made that movie, i hate you.

~k

18 August 2009

oh, and that...

there's this little healthcare debate (tho the word debate doesn't seem to accurately reflect the insanity pies being smashed in my face every time i turn on the television, try to have a conversation, or see the 'conversations' others are having on this issue) going on in america right now.

but i'm staying out of this fray. to my fellow organizers, i'm real sorry. i commend you all for continuing to march. and i'm sorry that the far right and far left are equally as nuts and angry, with you stuck in the middle, trying to find a way to talk down the death counseling, and talk up why a public option isn't a pre-requisite for reform. i mean, hello, look it up in the dictionary. 'reform, the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc.' i'm going to break that down into one word for ya. improvement.

and honestly, until we have a single payer system, these are all just baby steps in the right direction. but man, people are freaking out. like, psychotically. i'm sorry big-government-haters, i get why you believe as you do (inefficient bureaucracy (a word i never spell right on the first try) and all that), but we gave the free market its chance. and the free market bent america in half and ripped out its gut. and then the insurance company declined to cover pharmaceutical phil's $60 billion remedy. free market failed because it's a big, greedy, white asshole. and now big government's gotta come clean up its shit.

despite the alluring repartee of the healthcare debate, this little politico is staying home, sharpening her knives for the next round of the climate change debate.

~k

flaking

as a general rule, i pride myself on not being a flake. i mean, i try really hard (and admittedly fail sometimes) to keep my word. but this week, and since about thursday of last week, i can't even seem to keep the plans i initiate.

wtf!?

~k

14 August 2009

the great purge

if i don't get a handle on my ocd, there will soon come a day that i come home to a house with nothing in it but my clothes and my bed.

~k

13 August 2009

"where are you going?"

she asked.

a week ago, i was sure the answer was "the white house". it's evolved to: washington, dc, or some post-conflict country in need of government restructuring.

for the people who love me, i'm sorry for this evolution. fer reals. but for the hopeless adventurer in me (the one whose bucket list includes 'spending a year with no address'), i pray i end up in khartoum or nairobi, where maybe i can help a newly forming democracy get underway.

but the white house is still number one. it's just no longer the only egg in my basket.

~k

11 August 2009

home sweet home

i wish what i wanted was in los angeles. this place is amazing, i love it here, and i haven't met the thing that beats walking out of lax. cuz no matter where i've been, it's not as beautiful as it is here.

~k

09 August 2009

a melancholy memory lane

i had a fantabulous outing today with several old friends from high school. we spent the afternoon laughing, reminiscing, and having a grand walk down memory lane.

but now that i'm several hours this side of nostalgia-ville, i realized how much high school sucked, and how terrible i felt about myself, how uncomfortable i was in my own skin, and how tortured i felt by myself and everyone else.

yeah, i had some grand fun, but those were the worst four years of my life.

the end.

~k

vampire bugs

my blood must taste delicious, because the so il mosquitos are eating me alive!

~k

08 August 2009

crashing

i was in a crash once. i've actually been in a shit-ton of crashes, but only one that matters. only one whose repercussions still haunt my every breath.

i was a wee teen. it was-good god-just shy of 20 years ago. i don't remember it happening, don't remember the hours following, don't remember much of the years that followed. but i remember enough.

i remember the agony. the pain. the suffering. the anger. the sadness. the loss. the blame. the anger. the fight. the three months in the hospital. the wheelchair. the knowing i would never be the same again. the anger.

for that moment, that one small moment in time, that one bad call, that one sliver of poor judgment, i will always suffer. always. it still hurts. when i think deeply about how much i still suffer (a pain i nearly never share because why even bother with a mass that can never understand), tears sting my eyes. i still hurt, nearly 20 years later.

i'm at home, one of my dearest friends from high school was in a crash two months ago. he lost an arm. i haven't seen him, but i spent this evening with his sister, who speaks of his good spirits, of his will, of his blase disengagement. things i liken to denial. he too will suffer as i have and do. he just doesn't know how. not yet anyway.

i am crying for him right now. and for me. there are some things lost that can never be recovered. some things lost that can never be made right. some things lost that no one else will ever understand. and some things lost no one will even try to understand because they don't see my cane or him without an arm.

but just because you don't see my cane doesn't mean i feel no pain.

~k

06 August 2009

family

i am in the midwest, there is no summer to speak of, and i'm with my family. i cannot escape. someone is _always_ around, there is entirely too much screaming, yelling, crying, noise, and attention grabbing.

i am pretty sure i'm going to need anti-anxiety medication to survive the week. and i'm contemplating life as a hermit when i return to the music box steps.

~k

03 August 2009

narcissism

i started writing a post about narcissism because i've noticed lately that there seem to be more than a fair number of people in my life who don't give a shit about me enough to ask after my state of affairs, but talk endlessly about themselves, their lives, their kids, their relationships, and the last shit they took.

i even went so far as to look up narcissism in the dictionary, just to make sure i had my arms around the right definition. and when i found this under the first heading, "excessive love or admiration of oneself", i realized that i am a narcissist. and so is every one else i know.

~k

01 August 2009

another fortunate sign

a few days back, i wrote a post about a fortune because i was so stoked with the message "you will step on the soil of many countries".

i got the same fortune in a cookie yesterday (at a chinese place downtown). i'm pretty sure i've never had the same fortune twice in all my life, much less twice in the same week.

wanna try to tell me that the universe and i aren't conspiring for and with one another?

~k

a recharge

i slept till noon today, even though i retired not long after a drawn out (and awesome!) dinner last night. i had a night full of calming and restful dreams, i'm still sitting in my nightgown, and i'm not hungover like my pals who leapt into the night after feasting. today rules!

~k

29 July 2009

sleeping on the campaign

i fell asleep thinking about california politics. and woke up thinking about california politics. and about mayor newsom in particular.

look, eric jaye perhaps wasn't the right guy to lead team newsom. he put all of his energy and focus into tweeting his way to the governor's mansion, and let's be real, as cool as social networking is, and as many bridges as it can build, it doesn't win campaigns.

and for jaye to lay claim to the belief that obama won because he was able to exploit facebook is absurd. and it's even more absurd if he thought that would win a california race without getting his hands dirty building a ground swell at the grassroots level.

i get that newsom is fumbling for a winning strategy in a new age of campaigns. and i don't fault him for looking in a new direction when his coffers are far short of his yet undeclared but incredibly popular and well-known opponent.

but if newsom's long term vision in hiring garry south is to win by resorting to dirty politics, name calling, and character defiling, he will lose. lest we forget, our good mayor isn't exactly the pinnacle of moral authority. and beating up the old guy who has been good for california, time and again, is not going to score gavin newsom too many points amongst the baby boomers who are most likely to get out to vote come primary season next june.

and maybe i'm not giving garry south enough credit. maybe he too sees the advantage of a ground-up campaign and will work with the field team to build a win. but then again, where's he been since gray davis moved into the governor's mansion? sharpening his knives in the great unknown? learning new tricks of the trade? resting up while waiting for the for the perfect candidate to call him to duty?

i don't know. but i'm not exactly optimistic about the campaign's latest strategic acquisition. that's fer sure.

~k

28 July 2009

a campaign shake up

it seems that the obama-esque 'staying above the fray' campaign is being cast aside by newsom and co. and on minor reflection, maybe gavin ain't the kinda guy to play that game anyway.

his campaign manager, and long-time strategist and friend, eric jaye, resigned today because of a "fundamental difference in how to run the campaign". he has since been replaced by the attack shark garry south, who seems to be the kinda guy who'll stoop to any low to get his man elected. as if a clash of titan egos with knives is what california needs right now. though i will hold final judgment until i get a good look at the rhetoric and grassroots and media outreach of the new management, i have a bad feeling that i'm about to have no one to support in the gubernatorial race of my dysfunctional state.

and if it comes down to one candidate being less of a douchebag than the other, i'm done with california.

~k

to woo a cat

i want-ish a cat. what i mean by that is that i want a neighborhood stray to meow at my door a few times a day, eat, do a cuddle bit, and then carry on with his day. i've gone so far as to go to rescue shelters to see if i clicked with any felines, but in the end, i want a stray to be my friend.

a coupla weeks ago, i went to target and bought a shit-ton of cat food (my summer kid has had a field day making fun of me for buying so much cat food when i don't have a cat), because the master plan is to woo a cat with food.

it's working.

the same little guy is on my stoop when i wake up and go to bed. he cuddles for a few minutes, though he is super skiddish, he'll eat, venture into my apartment, snoop around a bit, and then he's off. till the next time he stops by.

he's interesting, my little nameless friend. he has other cat friends that he lets eat out of his bowl. and the last coupla days, i've seen him trying to decide between coming inside to hang out with me, or to run off to play with his little kitty friends. sometimes, when my door is wide open, i see the other cats peering in, as if they are doing a catground check to make sure i'm good enough for their furry friend.

i suspect that if it comes down to a choice, my guy is going to pick me over his feline friends, because i'm pretty reliable, have an endless supply of food, and come on, let's be real, who wouldn't love to hear first thing in the morning from me, 'hey there my little sunshine'. i mean, the dude starts purring as soon as the words come outta my mouth.

i honestly don't know which of us likes the other more. at least not yet.

~k

26 July 2009

a sweet fortune

there's this little vietnamese place down the music box steps and across the street that i just love. 'tis one of my most fave places in all of los angeles. tonight, with the special luck brought my outta town guests, i got the best fortune ever (and yes, it's beyond wrong that a vietnamese cafe is passing out fortune cookies):

'your feet will touch the soil of many countries'.

it's nice to know that he who hath the steerage of my course has directed my sail in the same direction i wish it be set.

~k

25 July 2009

a hilltop outing

the griffith observatory is the coolest place in los angeles.

everyone should go.

seriously.

~k

24 July 2009

visitors

i'm entertaining a coupla young hoosier cousins this weekend. my apartment is like a dorm room, we've got skip-bo tournaments in high gear, and are seeing a great bunch of the best highlights LA has to offer.

it's awesome. and i can tell by the way i'm feeling about it all that this is my last summer here.

~k

19 July 2009

ocd

i can't stop cleaning and eliminating clutter. worse than usual. today, i scrubbed my kitchen floor on all fours, the bleach so potent my eyes burned with tears. and now i'm standing atop the cleanest kitchen floor ever, drinking a glass of wine, and feeling a hundred pounds lighter.

~k

18 July 2009

overthinking

i know i said i wasn't going to make plans this year, but instead, i was going 'revel in the flight'. but sometimes i just get stuck thinking about what i'm going to do with my life after i pack it all up and move to a transient city that pretty much comes with a 24-36 month shelf life...

~k

14 July 2009

oh glorious morn

i went to the dmv this morning, because my rockstar parking card expired two weeks ago, and oops.

the dmv is kinda like disneyland, in that it's packed full of people waiting in a line that i don't have to bother with.

and it's kinda like a perfect case in point exemplifying why california is nearly bankrupt.

i have three things issued by the dmv: (i) my driver's license, (ii) my vehicle registration, and (iii) my rockstar parking card. in order to change my address or my name, i have to fill out three different forms, sent to three different addresses, and entered into a series of archaic databases by three different (dare i say) morons.

my name is current on only my driver's license, and apparently my address is current on my driver's license and my vehicle registration. even though my name and address is correct on my driver's license (a change that can only occur by first visiting the social security office and then by showing up, in person, at the dmv with a birth certificate, social security card, and the paperwork showing a change in circumstance leading to a name change), the dmv cannot update my name on those other two items without me making another appointment, showing up with all of the above documentation, and filling out the proper paperwork with the proper moron.

the word inefficient does spring to mind. i mean, imagine how many fewer people would have to be employed by the dmv if i could show up one time, fill out one form, check boxes on that single form for all items i need to have my name or address changed, and entered into a single database that makes the update with one little click of the mouse.

is this the way the rest of california government operates? no wonder we're on the brink of economic collapse.

~k

07 July 2009

snark v. wit

not a terribly shitty problem i've got on my hands, but a problem nonetheless.

the white house has asked me for some writing samples. i'm sending them an op-ed piece the LA Times rejected (fuckers), and 2-3 blog posts (cleaned up, grammatically proper, and toned-down snark) out of the 206 i've written before this one.

my goal in assembling this packet of samples is to strike a good balance between my spirit as a writer (some snark without going over the top) and my intellectual acumen (which essentially precludes any posts in which i'm falling down stairs or eating retard sandwiches).

if any of the 17 of you have any favorites, i'd love your opinion in the comment box below.

pretty please?

~k

p.s. kinda cool that, after spending months writing about wanting to be paid to write, the white house is looking at me for such a job. your help would be much appreciated.

mj's last day

dear day job, i promise to make up to you that i've spent today with the michael jackson memorial.

dear michael jackson, i'm sorry you suffered as you did, and i'm grateful for the magic you brought the world and the good times i've had in your honor.

goodbye michael.

~k

06 July 2009

composing

never one to steer away from lofty goals, i set out to finish my second novel this year. it's so much different writing a second, than a first. there's part of me that still feels i haven't a damn clue what i'm doing when i'm pounding words into my keyboard. but this time, the words flow with much greater ease, and with a sense of purpose of their own. the words know that this is a dry run, and that 20 revisions will clean up its messes and fill its holes. the words lead me through character bios, pages and pages of character bio wound into a story unfolding. and this time the story is writing itself instead of following a timeline i spent years researching, drafting, and building plot to support.

this time i started with the name of princess i found in an era rich in intriguing and mysterious details, i've written her a particularly complicated personality, and i happen to have found enough relevant political history that i can weave in a good tale of bygone times.

or so says whatever muse has lingered about this weekend...

~k

05 July 2009

regret

as a general rule, regret is a feeling i try very hard to avoid. for one thing, it's dumb. for another, and not entirely separate, i can't change my past, and frankly i don't want to. and as often as i exalt that any regrets to which i may succumb on my death bed will be for things i've done, as opposed to things i haven't done, i sure do wish i'd paid more attention when i was in school...

~k

a fabulous fourth

i went to a party today in the hills in echo park, like way up in the hills, with one of the coolest views anywhere in town. i had a few drinks, entirely too much food, spent half the night with half the party on the roof, and the other half engaged in a social experiment.

kind of.

there was a ladder leaning against the side of the house, the ladder we would later use to climb up to and down from the roof (from where we could see fireworks going off all over the basin). to get from the front courtyard into the house, each person had to decide between going under the ladder, which was remarkably easier, or going around the ladder.

it was interesting to watch the followers, those who wouldn't dare take the first step under the ladder, but wouldn't hesitate to follow someone else under it. or around it. there were those who would have climbed up and back down the ladder to avoid going underneath it, those who waited for someone else to make the decision for them, and others who never even would've stopped to think twice about some silly superstition.

i honestly don't know which of this holiday was more fascinating. the fireworks, the frightening number of people atop the roof, or watching the way people respond to a ladder in the way...

~k

03 July 2009

a fancy flight

i'm sitting on my deck. it's hot, but there's just enough of a nip in the breeze to call it perfection. it's pretty peaceful, save the wind blowing through the trees and the occasional helicopter buzzing about (which does annoy), and y'all who've been here know that i love my hilly view more than any other i know. on a day such as this, it's the perfect writer's nook. and my muse is on fire today.

i took a little break because a hummingbird popped in. she checked in to sip from a flower, just a wee meter to my right. she took her drink, then floated directly in front of me. she was a tiny thing, but i swear to you, i thought she was staring me in the eye. she's gone now, but it was kinda awesome.

~k

02 July 2009

traffic

i just don't understand.

the end.

~k

30 June 2009

my summer teen

she's been here a week. i can't believe she's been here a week, and this is the first time i'm writing about her. or this whole experience. and i'm probably only writing about it now because one of my friends mentioned it.

she's kind of great, actually. she's super happy to be here, is a gracious guest (keeps things tidy, washes dishes, eats whatever whenever), and keeps a lot to herself. i asked her the other day if i was paying enough attention to her, because i don't know what the hell i'm doing. i mean, i want to be here for her, be a friend and confidante, but i don't want to smother her, while at the same time giving her just enough rope to make it up the hill or hang herself.

tonight she went on a date (and he's sooooo adorable (my new rule is that i have to meet her LA friends before she can go (and i have his phone number too))). before she left, i asked her if she had a curfew at home.

"not really", she said.

"well you're going to have one here." cuz heeellllooo... i told her she needed to be home before i went to bed, and asked her what time she thought was a reasonable curfew.

"10-ish", she answered.

i beamed with pride.

~k

29 June 2009

yay my cliff

i was reminded tonight (for the second time of late) that i've been itching to jump off a cliff all year. and it would seem that i've finally found the cliff i want to fall from...

and look out world, because i am on fire, and i am going to kick some ass!

~k

28 June 2009

the taxi driver



my friends and i shared a major asshole moment today.

when we left the beach, there was a taxi in the intersection, kind of in our way, and its driver was looking around all clueless and out of sorts. he was trying to make a left turn in the most impossible place imaginable. and all he wanted was a break.

a break he wasn't going to get from us. we were five girls in a bmw. he tried to move his car in front of us, but dudes, seriously, if we got behind that guy trying to make a left, we'd still be sitting there, honking for him to get out of our way. so we went around his left and then cut a right in front of him.

he was so confused, and while one of us was trying to be helpful and offer him some friendly driving advice (like duh, make a right and flip a bitch a block up the road), the rest of us laughed hysterically at his ineptitude. that guy was so pissed off (see picture), i bet he still hasn't cooled off.

and instead of feeling bad, i still can't stop laughing.

~k

summer days

i spent today at the beach with a half dozen of my nearest and dearest (and i do love you guys!). it was amazing. in spite of the low hanging marine layer, it was just hot enough (though i am really looking forward to the sizzling hot days at the beach this summer has yet to deliver), with just enough of a nip in the breeze. and all these hours later, i can still smell the beach on my skin and the ocean air in my hair.

it really is beautiful here.

~k

27 June 2009

the marx of a loon

i read the communist manifesto yesterday, as well as the 1883 preface in which friedrich engels gives karl marx all the credit for the 'thought' (er, blames?) behind the pamphlet. (and yeah, i'm an exciting gal, spending my extra day off catching up on last summer's reading list (thank you, akb, for pointing out one of my many failures ;)).

the bottom line here is that karl marx was a loon*.

the end.

~k

*reasons in the comments

26 June 2009

guess who

"a prince who is not wise himself cannot be wisely counseled... an unwise prince, having to consider the advice of several counselors, would never receive concordant opinions, and he would not be able to reconcile them on his own. his counselors would pursue their own interests and he would know neither how to rule them nor how to understand them."

does this remind you of anyone? comments are encouraged.

~k

holding

i have so much in my head, i don't know where to start. so maybe i won't. well, almost.

michael jackson is dead. it was cardiac arrest this afternoon. no matter what, it'll always be true that either legally or illegally, he touched us all.

~k

23 June 2009

my list

a coupla years ago, i made a list of 20 things i really wanted to do in this life. some of the things on the list are pretty random (e.g. (#18) sit on the inside of an igloo and (#16) hold a really cute monkey). some things are probably on other peoples' lists (e.g. (#19) climb the inca trail and (#14) sail the indian ocean). and some things are uniquely me (e.g. (#5) spend a year with no address and (#4) make love in the rain).

but number 11 is the one that matters most to me. 'make a difference in someone's life'. since making the list (i have one copy on my fridge and another on the bulletin board in my kbd office), i have been told by more than one person that i can scratch number 11 off the list. but when i put number 11 on paper, i meant more than _just_ making a difference. like, it's not enough that a great friendship, an intense series of conversations about life, love, politics and bullshit, or helping someone get a job or a lover, makes a difference in their life. i'm talking about having a major impact in the way someone chooses to live their life.

tomorrow that opportunity arrives. by design. my 16-year old niece is coming to spend the rest of the summer with me. she's having a tough time in her life, is not making productive choices, and needs an intervention of sorts. i'm it.

when i signed up to take her on, my nearest and dearest (all of whom have since signed up to partake in teen-friendly summer activities with my summer kid and myself) touted me a saint for sacrificing my lively single-girl summer plans to play mentor and hostess to a troubled teen. but i'm no saint.

i'm motivated by self-interest as much as anything else. i may be dedicating the next eight weeks to helping my summer kid recognize how wonderful life can be by making the right choices and believing in herself. i want to empower her to be the best she can be, while showing her that she must forgive herself when she makes her many mistakes. but i'm doing this as much for me as i am her. because if i can accomplish my goal, i can scratch number 11 from my list, satisfied that i achieved the best possible number 11 outcome.

see, i'm no saint. i am a selfish asshole like everyone else. there's just a slightly different method to my madness.

~k

22 June 2009

fml

if you haven't been to this site, http://www.fmylife.com/, you really should visit.

mine today.

my brain thinks i'm on the east coast, so it woke me up at 6am. my body went to bed four hours earlier (it took me a while to wind down after a fantabulous two-week tour de america). all i wanted to jump start my first day back at the fun factory was a grande iced coffee in a venti cup. and the coffee machine at starbucks was broken.

fml.

~k

back on those stairs

there is nothing in the world like getting off a plane and walking out of the los angeles international airport. the air here is so crisp to touch and carries such a nice salty scent in its frequent gusts of a breeze. in spite of her many flaws, it simply feels good to be in the city of angels.

and then getting back to silver lake to find an open spot at the top of the music box steps (even though 'twas 11:11 pm when i pulled in), opened my door, and fell into the awesomeness that is my apartment.

it's damn good to be home.

and moving will be oh so bittersweet :(

~k

19 June 2009

the el et al

when i arrived thursday eve (feeling all kinds out of sorts), i took the blue line from the airport. i believe it was my first time on chicago's trains, and my first impression was a good one. even when my inner space cadet took charge and i realized i was missing my stop just as the train doors were closing. 'twas easy enough to correct, but when i stepped off the train and onto the platform, ick.

i'm sorry, chicago. i do love and appreciate your many charms. i love your art institute, and pretty much all of your big museums. and with it, the crisp bite in your fall days, the smells, sights and sounds on michigan avenue, the viewing deck from the john hancock building, and the architecture tour on your river.

and i will never forget your stormy show of fury last night and all day today, save those few minutes the zip and i chose to be outside. i am savoring the smell of rain, and the way my body aches when its damp. and the thunder and lightening, and the sound of the rain on the roof, it all makes me go gooey in my knees.

so you see, chicago, i do have my loves for you. but dude. your el is a shithole. the train stops resemble a construction site (and i hope i'm never alone in one at night), and the train rides atop some montrosity of rusted steel hanging across your skyline. it's all just icky (not entirely unlike the weight of your air on summer days).

great town, lotsa fun, home to one of the great loves of my life (and she's getting married next summer!), and i can't remember anything shy of good times in this town, but chicago is nowhere i'd want to live.

~k

16 June 2009

a new life unfolding

i am leaving dc in two days. and i don't want to. it really does feel like i belong here, like it's really time to move along...

~k

12 June 2009

the dc metro

i took the dc metro today, all by myself. and even though i was a little bit retarded, and had to ask a few people to help me out, when i walked out of the right station, and made my way to sonya's, i felt like the awesomest person on earth.

and i still do.

the end.

~k

notes from the u street corridor

i got here late wedensday night, thanks to some gnarly storms in dallas (and frankly, everywhere in the middle of the country). the gnarly storms also laid claim to my luggage, which is thankfully en route to me now. i mean, i've been wearing the same thing for three days and i'm a little sick of it.

today was one of the coolest days of my life, in spite of the fact i'm still wearing the same thing i wore when i arrived in dc. i spent the day at the marine corps base in quantico, "the crossroads of the marine corps" with my fellow truman national security fellows.

presentations a plenty spoke of military culture, marine culture in particular. we spoke candidly with a lifer marine in a small group, and took a tour of their leadership training facility. we learned about the life of a marine, we checked out (dude, got to go inside) a couple of their combat helicopters, i got to hold some of their scary guns, and gained an entirely new perspective on what it takes to dedicate one's life to defending america.

it's not just that these men and women have dedicated their lives, or parts of their lives, to defending our liberty, but they do it with smarts, savvy, and strategic combat and classroom learning, i am in awe of them.

oh, and i got to ride in this super fun riverine assault craft (er, boat) in the potomac, that tipped, braked, and soaked me from head to toe. it was awesome!

i am so proud of my country and so proud of the marines whose "honor, courage, and commitment" help keep me free, safe, and secure.

marines rock!

the end.

~k