— this is really happening

The flip-flop has been upgraded. The pair I recently purchased at a department store boasts supreme and squishy arch support, tough tread for scaling walls, and wide cotton straps for next to no chafing. At first I thought the extra comfort would be a devastating loss. As a kid I really valued the flip-flop break-in period at the beginning of the summer. The sores between my toes from the rubber thong and the ache of my whole foot while I wore down the recycled-tire base, were like medals of kid accomplishment and independence that I could show my friends. It told everyone I was a true adventurer, that I belonged with "Gordie Lachance" and the "Goonies," and that I wasn’t afraid to get dirty.

But surprisingly no, this new aeon of shoe advancement is well timed. In the warm months I wear flip-flops notoriously too often. To the opera, to the ball, to bed. Their significance no longer synonymous with independence, these new flip-flops are just easy to take on and off, and they shield me from the crumbs and cat bits that infiltrate my hardwood floors. I will enjoy the open-air-on-feet fortuity while I can, I figure. Toes tanning, I’m revelling in this poem:

My Shoes

Shoes, secret face of my inner life:
Two gaping toothless mouths,
Two partly decomposed animal skins
Smelling of mice-nests.

My brother and sister who died at birth
Continuing their existence in you,
Guiding my life
Toward their incomprehensible innocence.

What use are books to me
When in you it is possible to read
The Gospel of my life on earth
And still beyond, of things to come?

I want to proclaim the religion
I have devised for your perfect humility
And the strange church I am building
With you as the altar.

Ascetic and maternal, you endure:
Kin to oxen, to Saints, to condemned men,
With your mute patience, forming
The only true likeness of myself.

Charles Simic

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My Saturday has so far been met with a vivid appreciation of my ordinary, ordinary life. God bless my house, the wooden-slatted ceiling that holds me and my cats in cooled and quiet hideout, six flights up from the world. Here we are in our own town, above Oakland, above California. The windows stay open all the time and the flies come and go as they please. We’re all relaxed up here. (Can you believe the neighbor next door is a bee-keeper and I’ve never seen one bee at my door?) Here, we live like young queens married into royalty, stunned at our luck, disbelieving how good life can be. And even the airplanes in the sky must be bowing to us, right? … as they offer their rich reminders of other afternoons when planes crossed over head. Can you think of a sound any more familiar, any more comforting than an airplane passing above you in the summer sky?

And my friends, how great they are to be stop-over-for-breakfast close. Bacon and waffles with fresh fruit compote and a drizzle of warm syrup! On days like this I realize that we should always live close to our friends. I won’t make that mistake again. It’s the seekrit.

Only midday now. I will keep going.

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gas.jpgKthxbye! WTF LOL Fail Hai Upgrde ur software, noob. I love all that stuff. Love it, all nite lng. So, when I spotted this gif, I laughed out loud. LOL. And I too, am praying for the gas mayhem to swing back in our direction already. But can someone please explain why a rash of vaguely political web sites spouting semi-nonsense phrases have sprung up using the bicycle as a theme? Is this in reaction to the high gas prices?

http://hillaryclintonisyournewhddvdplayer.com (this is especially interesting.)

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Hey folks, big bid for local politics. My friend Edie Irons is running for East Bay Central Committee. You’ll see her name on the ballot today (if you live in Alameda County, CA … don’t you?). She would, by far, be the youngest Committee member in history. Edie is one of the most dynamic, inspired community leaders I know. I met her at a bluegrass festival a few years ago and her good energy, cute smile, and multitude of stickers and pins lead me to just walk up to her and start chatting. She’s the real thing. Three cheers, hands high.


EDIE IRONS was president of the East Bay Young Demorats in 2006 and 2007. She was elected to the steering committee of the 14th AD in 2004 and has served as Vice President of Membership for the California Young Democrats, and as Karen Weinstein’s alternate on the County Committee. Edie has worked as a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee, a research intern for the Alameda Central Labor Council, and volunteered as a fundraiser and event planner for the League of Young Voters. For the past three years her day job has been at a nonprofit dedicated to improving college access and affordability.

“I’m running for the Central Committee because I want to help make the local and state Democratic party more effective, transparent and accountable. I’m also passionate about increasing engagement in Democratic electoral politics amoung young people.”


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I’m taking meat lessons. My teachers are many, and they are not necessarily human. In fact, if my life were a University and I was getting Monica U. credit right now, I think I’d call this era “Meat 114.” The topic is tackling me, not I, it. The  lessons are coming from all directions, every day new and fresh, and like a London Broil in the oven on high, what’s the point in stopping it?  It’s going to take awhile to cook all the way through, anyway.

There are the “100% beef” MacDonald’s billboards strewn around Oakland that make me think about why the fast food chain would need or want to declare a hamburger to be 100% beef in the first place. Then, I’m staring at the oblivious-to-politics gourmet cookbook I purchased at a fancy restaurant in the wine country and wondering how to better flavor my Pulled Pork. Next, I’ve got MikeC the cooking warrior and proprietor of Kitchen On Fire where I am taking a twelve-week cooking class, dancing nancies in my ear and teaching me how to grill and braise and sautee and make it all taste good. Farmer John‘s documentary dazzled me again last week and got me touring online library stacks about CSAs and raising animal care standards, gestation stalls, beek trimming, and space allowances. Oh, and of course I am always being positively influenced by the ever-fierce comrade of mine (the one with the child’s mind full of cupboards and drawers). She has been filling up my head with many ways to consider being a carnivore and a good person all at the same instant. Still, beneath it all, I can’t seem to shake the suspicious smells of the alleys in Chinatown and wonder where my meat comes from.

Yup, I’m in meat lesson land. Join me if you’d like, no application necessary, A’s are given every day. And here’s my sustainable, hormone-free pork shoulder attempt. The rich salt rub mixed with hickory smoked paprika didn’t mean a thing in this sad case; this piece was devoured by fire before I had a chance to save it. I didn’t throw it away, though. As I can’t compost meat in Oakland because it attracts critters and smells god awful, I’ve explored alternatives. Haven’t tried it yet, but on the horizon are some cat food solutions for meat waste, as well as a recipe to make seven pounds of soap with two pounds of unused meat fat. Huzzah!

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Wish I had time for more of an explanaiton here. For now, I’ll leave you with this:

“In every age, no matter how cruel the oppression carried on by those in power, there have been those who struggled for a different world. I believe this is the genius of humankind, the thing that makes us half divine: the fact that some human beings can envision a world that has never existed.”Anne Braden

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I tip my cap to Graffiti artist, Blu. He has created something I’ve never seen before: a stop-motion animated sequence composed of one continuous, outdoor painting. It’s marvelous. And we must speculate that it likely clocked roughly 1/1,000,000th the price tag of say, The Matrix.

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