Today I was in Borders Books reading in an undersized, ripped, black pleather chair tucked in the back of the History section, when a woman walked in front of me searching high and low for something. This woman was not ordinary for she was carrying a basket. "A basket?" I asked myself, not knowing Borders carried such things.

I am used to this at a Target, because with books there are usually a few other things like chapstick and a pack of pens; however, this was so refreshing. To be able to see a person buying so many books that she would need a basket to carry them all was astonishing to me.

I ruled out the fact that it is December, and people are out carousing the stores to find unique and thoughtful gifts for Grandpa and the maid, and ruled in that this lady may be a book loving word fanatic.

It always makes me warm and fuzzy inside to see people reading because I think it is a past time long forgotten in the world of Facebook, iPods, and The Hills.

So I say, bring on the baskets because people should buy books in the masses. Stack those things at the door because books are awesome; until they are made into blockbusters that is--Harry Potter.

It is a little unnerving even to see the "book into movie" section there and notice everyone reading those books. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and hope they read it before the movie comes out.

Sadly enough, reading is a diminishing hobby like Giga Pets were popular for two years. I am almost thankful for sagas like Twilight and Harry Potter, because they get people in book stores and libraries even.

So even though I can't say that I can afford to fill a basket with books right now, I like to see people who can afford that many books fill that basket up. I will live vicariously through you.
Sitting in a Starbucks is unreal these days. I mean, can people even afford that anymore? Can people even afford to "go to coffee" just to do homework or hang out with a friend?

What's putting people at the brink of hell are: budget cuts, job losses, the stock market crashing, foreclosures, etc. Yeah, those are just a few things that are awesome about this generation X.

Now I see why people consume anti depressants, attend therapy sessions and why a net is being put up on the Golden Gate Bridge; I mean, can you blame them? Anti Depressants should be handed out at banks, atm's, and any check out you go to-ever (cue scary theatrical soundtrack).

Ideally, I would like to imagine the stereotype of American obesity vanishing in the next three years or so-no one has the extra money to overeat anyway; however, we may hold that title regardless because when you are drepressed, some people eat more-there is no winning.

So with all these stimulus plans, and whatever else the big, bad, White House has in mind, I would like to pitch my own stimulus plan:

Cutting that one unit of P.E. a student has to take at a junior college or university and replace it with a class that teaches you how to survive in this day and age. A class that teaches you 'coupon cutting' is okay; it is not going to make you look un-cool at the Safeway checkout.

Using public transit is normal in a big city, your car will be there in the morning. Besides, using a car in a city is just flashy, and yes, even you're black, tinted Escalade P.Diddy is getting to be a bit too eccentric for my liking.

Buying hummers is just ridiculous (I wonder what the sale rate is on those now).

Buy what you need at the moment, not excessive amounts of crap that will rot in the back of the fridge until your roommate finds it or the neighbors cat that crawled through the window to hunt it out.

Turn off lights when your not home, unless there is a ghost you hold a close relationship with that can't do crossword puzzles in the dark.

Do you really need cable? If you did not know already, you can watch every movie and TV show online these days anyway; legally and illegally.

Finish your classes wherever you are, because chances are, it may not be there next semester to retake.

Lastly, teaching us "kids" what we can do with our degrees that are becoming obsolete in the downward spiralling land of Oz we live in. Because whether you like it or not, that Starbucks barista--most likely a college student--is the future.
Choose the candidate with cooler Tee Shirts for sale.

Choose the candidate with better catch phrases (i.e. Maverick, change, progress, middle class...you get the point).

Choose the candidate with the hotter Vice Presidential candidate.

Choose the candidate with better drinking games.

Choose the candidate who has cooler buttons.

Choose the candidate who makes more Rollingstone covers.

Choose the candidate who writes better books.

Choose the candidate who has less family baggage.

Choose the candidate who has better youtube fan videos.

Choose the candidate who has more celebrity followers.

Choose the candidate who has more combat experience.

Choose the candidate has more experience.

Choose the candidate who makes more late night talk show appearances.



Hope that helps.
The other night, I was on the Muni riding home with fellow students and listening to music, because really there is no other way to ride the Muni without going insane.

I looked around me and noticed how everyone was sort of blank. Expressionless. Motionless. For you intellects: "Lost in Translation" if you will.

Now I would expect these kinds of faces in L.A. where people are losing money left and right on homes they can't afford or boob jobs they should not have gotten-but here? I mean, yes, it is a city, so it is forgiven that you are allowed a few cloudy days here and there, but at this age? Come on.

Now picture a lit up on the inside Muni winding through Golden Gate Park as if the tornado that destroyed Dorothy's house was on its ass. At least 30 people on it-maybe more- most are standing, some tripping every few minutes from the drivers compulsive need to "stop for squirrels." Everyone's reflection is deeply engraved in the scratched windows because darkness is beyond them and all I can see are people staring blankly into the ceiling or down at their feet as if Heidi Klum had just given them a pair of Jimmy Choo's.

Then I begin to think to myself, what on Earth could be so bad that would cause such a lifeless gaze on at least 30, 20 something-year-olds-faces?

Or is it just that they do not realize it? Could it be the Muni itself? Is it THAT bad? Do not want to go where they are headed, literally, not theoretically.

You know, I had that same look on my face until I caught a glimpse of myself in the window looking out at the bridge in the dark. It was frightening what I saw-I mean, the lady next to me was asleep with her mouth wide open-but I was just so sad looking. Like everyone else.

It is not worth it to look this way. Hasn't your mother ever told you frowning gives you wrinkles? There was a time when people were happier-yes, probably before It's A Wonderful Life came out on VHS, but really. Is it worth it to you to scare off the innocent? Not me.

Maybe if its your teeth that you do not want to show, get a box of crest white strips or go practice that Tyra Banks "smile with your eyes" thing I saw on Americas Next Top Model once; if you do not know what I am talking about-google it.

So be more assertive, do not let the Muni window catch you off guard, just smile more. Be friendly. Be young-embrace it.
You have had it happen before. You have that friend, or know those people who just lay it all out on the table. You know, the person who tells you everything about their date the night before...I mean, everything. The group of people who meet you and want to know why you are choosing the celibate lifestyle and wearing sweats instead of slacks and heels.

I mean, I get it...you have this fun, obscure, bazaar life that you just HAVE to share with everyone like a bad case of crabs and you, you being the victim, want to cringe every time you see that person.

So maybe it is me, or maybe I am on to something; the something being that society is just too personal. Too personal in being that no one needs to know about your weird, zany life and those weird zany dates or moments you partake in. Yes, you in the flowered cap and sparkly shoes, I am talking to you.

There is no reason to be this personal. June did not ask Ward his favorite position on their first date. So please, keep it under wraps. It is okay with your friends, but leave poor acquaintances alone. Leave innocent bystanders be. Maybe in the long run, get a journal or start a blog where you can put your weird banter down. But for now, keeping the play-by-play in your head on pause is quite all right.
Photobucket

Things not to do on an subway.

Do not: stand in the middle of a group of people shorter and thinner than you when there is no handle bar to grasp. Guaranteed you will crush their feet when you fly backward in a fit of G Force exuding every premises of the initial take off.

Do not: make eye contact with the creepy nerd leaning against the wall with his laptop in hand and headphones on. Suddenly he thinks you love him and is going over all the great steak houses to take you to in his head.

Do not: make eye contact with a man sitting directly across from you, who is also facing you. You will then spend the remainder of your ride wondering if he noticed and every time you look up he is glaring right at you and you both look away in a fit of embarrassment. This will continue until you get off.

Do not: tell anyone you do not know what time your ticket says when it is in military time. Because in that instance, you get lectured by an angry employee behind the bullet proof glass.

Do not: get in the way of anyone trying to squeeze through you to get off the train. Yes, I know there is no room to move, but do whatever you can to get out of the way. Use your spidey sense power to web yourself to the ceiling if you have to. They want off, not you in the way.
A continuous pattern of common morality is imminent these days in society. I can't walk out a door without seeing the same tee shirt on every other person that they got at a little store that begins in "American," and ends in "Apparel." No, I am not name dropping, and no I am not jumping off the band wagon because I love me some V necks. However, being a V necker and being ornate are too different things.

Originality is no longer key to being one with society. Or so you think. What exactly is originality these days? Wearing striped pants, a feathered cap, a red velvet vest and calling yourself King Henry the 45th? Or wearing skinny jeans and a V-neck? 

I am not ragging on this style, I for one think it is trendy. But it is simply that-trendy. Not original like some may think. Not diverse. Just, trendy...Teen Vogue fashion trendy. Oh, ouch, that hurt for all you non trend followers. Sorry.





Something happened last night in the hills of San Deigo. Something that can not even be compared to doves being released from their cage during a wedding ceremony. Something that involves the likes of Jesus and all his apostles. Something that to this day, will be burned in my heart and soul forever: John Mayer performed in front of thousands.

Now I would not call this a performance. I would call this a ceremony of light. When we arrived, I was taken back. Not just by the experience but by the fact that my seat was close enough to throw a lush garden of roses at him (yes, I would throw a rose at him, but one was not supplied, so he missed out).

Once the concert began, I mean, I thought him performing Crossroads was incomparable but I was wrong, so, so wrong. The moment he began a little song I hate called Mercy (performed by Duffy), I said "oh crap, here we go," but then something happened and I can not even describe it in words. The man, the myth, the legend did the guitar solo of all guitar solos. For about ten minutes, He continued to play the guitar while knelt on the ground. His guitar laying flat on the surface of the stage and his body hovering over it. Then, the unimaginable happened, he played with his head down and his fingers danced on the strings! Oh, it was pure sex. He had greats like Eric Clapton and Stevie Vaughn Ray on their knees last night.

This pictures sums it up...


Here is a video of last night that I found on youtube because I was in too much awe to record at this time....it is kind of blurry and far away but humor it. Let it bud into the flower it is because about a minute and a half in, he takes it down. When I find a better, I will repost, but this must be spread to the masses.

Enjoy...

A wedding. Something that used to be so ideal and so simple has been turned into fanatical pandemonium.

To me, a wedding is a marriage - a consummation between two people who love each other. Not a huge show like what the WE network puts on daily.

When I was little, I used to think I wanted a wedding that consisted of the pope himself, the Sistine Chapel, an 18 tier cake and of course, a Zach Morris-esq character at the end of the aisle. However, what is all that for? Or should I say, who is that all for?

Why do we feel the need to put on extravagant performances with planned dances, meals, speeches, etc. Everything is on a schedule. Everything is so planned out ahead of time...where is the surprise factor?

A wedding is a party, a marriage is a lifetime, blah blah blah and whatever else your Mom tells you, however, the marriage-your marriage (if you choose to wed) is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. How can it be when you are worried about the chrysanthemums being in place and the meat being too rare.

All this Martha Stewart (granted, I do love her craft-y-ness) wedding talk is just too much for me these days. If I had it my way, I would use all my money to buy the best dress on Earth, which to me does NOT involve eight pounds of tool, lace and pearls, and whatever else brides are wearing, and walk down an aisle that does not consist of strangers - people I only talk to on holidays or birthdays - and get hitched the good ol' fashioned way, eat cake, that maybe your Great Aunt Rose made, and be happy. I mean, really happy.


Who looks like THIS on a daily basis? I mean really...translating a Notebook esq character to real life is too much for women. Come on Ryan Gosling, you know better.
I do not know what it is about the American reality or paradigm might I say, that has people constantly second guessing themselves. Could it be inhibition, low self esteem or a manipulating controlling external force?

This so called reality has millions everywhere, including myself, asking: What do I want to do with my life? When the question really should be: What makes me happy?

But behold, that tiny little dream bubble you are playing back in your mind every day is cruelly interrupted by a one inch tall green plastic Toy Story esq army figurine holding you at gun point bursting that dream with a vivid image of what is considered reality. You know, the nuclear family who has baked bread (taco bell) on the table and sack lunches (hard cash or a credit card to buy lunch) prepared while Dad is out at the law firm and Mom is out gardening (spending Dad's cash at the local plastic surgeon and then at Nordstroms).

However, I think the American nuclear family real housewives of Orange County dream is just a mascot of everything else this country-even some other countries-stand for; suppressing what makes a person happy.

That job you chose over the one you really wanted is going to get back to you. All that extra cash you have leftover from the law firm will be paying your therapy bills every week rather your elated St. Tropez vacation.


Happiness is so simple. Happiness is just listening to yourself. Yet, time and time again even I consider the nuclear family when what I really want to do in every aspect of my life is in the back of my mind. Nothing is worth it unless you are doing something full force. If it is failure that causes a person to stand at the peripheral edge of something they don't truly love to do, but see no other way out. A person is only setting thyself up for failure; whether it be material or emotional. Let this be a paragon of virtue for you all.

It is not new-but to me it is.

Anderson Cooper, everyone's favorite anchorman, has a blog. Really CNN? Did you seriously not advertise that enough? Anderson Cooper@CNN
I wonder what it would be like to just sit in a room full of sitcom writers.

I mean-it has to be good. It has to be some sort of tangential pandemonium with a splash of wit and character; at least that is what I think. I imagine everyone sitting there with their Apple computers (because who uses anything else anymore?) and conjuring up great plots while at the same time making the most awesome puns towards each other resulting in a constant one liner contest everyday (I am sure my dream bubble of awesomeness could be detonated by reality though).

I can't even imagine how awesome the personalities behind all those one liners are on big shows like Friends or The Office. I bet I could be a quintessential besty to almost everyone. Though, they may not want some 20 something following them around with a gleeful smile and a pad of paper writing everything I observe down-it might seem stalker-ish.

This is derived from the NY Times a few days ago...Focus, People! There's work to do!

This is the isle of Vanuatu. This is has been selected as the happiest place on Earth this year.

Why you ask? Even without running water, common luxuries of the every day American, and electricity, Vanuatuans are happy despite those things.

The phrase "it is the simple things in life," really take place here...and even when asked what the main secret of happiness was, their reply: "not having to worry about money."



Stephen Colbert, who if you don't know him, has a little show on Comedy Central that follows up John Stewart, spoke at the commencement ceremony this year at Princeton.

Personally, I love him because he is unstoppable and though boisterous at times-most of the time, he is hilarious...here is why:


“Gandhi said, ‘you must be the change you want to see in the world,’” Stephen Colbert told an audience of thousands at the Class Day ceremony this afternoon. “But may I also point out he drank his own urine, so let’s not go overboard on his advice.”

Read the rest here
I was looking through my younger brothers high school yearbook today. It is so interesting to look through an encyclopedia of mug shots of people you do not know, but you do know what will happen to them.

They will all end up just as stressed, frightened, lonely, and ruthless as any person can become at some point after high school. All those things happen at some point when you are trying to figure out who you are, except, no one warns you. Unless you are lucky and had one of those June Cleaver mom's, who made sure you had your brown sack lunch everyday and your weekly life lesson talk.

No one warns you. No one told me senior year that it was going to be different after graduation. No one told me that the simple life I led before where innocence was simply a trait, was going to disappear. No one tells these kids that.

Of course it is all tantalizing in the beginning. The whole opening act of life has to be, because if it wasn't, you would be screwed later on. I don't think life really starts until after high school. Until you have set your path of some sort of independence, whatever that may be, and you know what? I don't think this lifelong struggle of inner soul searching and outer strength finding ever ends. Because once one mess is cleaned up another bottle breaks. That is just the way it is and in that yearbook, no one knows that just yet.
A little article derived from Oprah dot com that was passed down to CNN...where it caught MY eye. I think everyone should read this; men and women.
Original link

(Oprah.com) -- When I lived in the country one summer an ad for a local dating service would come on the radio every time I drove around.


Rather than sitting and waiting, make yourself more attractive by having a full, generous life.

"But I'm as pretty and interesting and nice as my friends. Why am I single?" a petulant voice would say. Then an announcer would cut in and tell her to go to speed-shuffle date night; her friends would soon be choking with envy, he'd imply, and each time I'd think, 'Yeah, right.'

Okay, she existed in drive-time and was doomed to lament her situation every 15 minutes, but that wasn't what made me doubt that she was heading toward paired happiness. It was the question. She was asking the wrong one.

If you've been without a partner for a while and aren't happy about it, it's natural to wonder why. But put that question to yourself, and the result is you find yourself confronted with obstacles -- some considerable. You're single because you moved to New York, where the odds are tipped in favor of men, and not to Alaska, where they aren't.

Or because you take jobs that keep you at the office till the dead hours, or because you keep falling for married men, or because your husband died, or because you're over a certain age, which, beginning at about 25, is generally 10 years less than what you are right this minute.

Then what do you do? You consider cashing in your career and moving to Anchorage or signing up to be a mail-order bride to China --and then you weep.

Don't Fixate on the Question

I'm not saying that any of these obstacles are permanent or insurmountable. We all know stories of people who found flaming happiness exactly when everyone was convinced they wouldn't. I recently heard -- true story, I swear -- of a woman in her 60s who was widowed unexpectedly and two years later married a Canadian Mountie.

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But what's the point of finding happiness after years when you can find it right now? "Yeah, right," you say. How? Easy. And hard: You change that question.

Consider, for starters, what happens when you ask yourself, "Why am I still single?" You immediately lump yourself in with a designated sorry category that, I'm going to argue right here, doesn't truly exist.

Let me explain. In all those social science studies of singles versus marrieds, everyone knows that the singles group is considered the unfortunates. That's why it's always news when they find -- who would believe it? -- that the single women have managed to eke out some happiness in their otherwise bleak lives.

And yet, in actual terms, there's no such thing as single as a bloc. It's not a solid category like Armenian. It's not a fixed characteristic like shoe size. If anything, it's a false social construct. Nowadays, we're all single at some points in our lives, involved at others, which is why it gets you a whole lot farther to ask yourself, "How can I make the most of whatever stage I'm in?" And then set about to figure out the answer.

Embrace your current stage, banish "out there" from vocabulary

Now here comes the hard part. To find answers, you have to truly embrace this stage you're in now. Do that and, paradoxically, you're more likely to end up with a boyfriend -- for reasons I'll explain -- but you can't be doing it to get a boyfriend.

You have to relish where you are right now, without a view to side returns -- something of a Zen conundrum .How are you going to "be here now" when you're bombarded with all the single-woman messages? "You'd better hurry up and find someone." "Time's running out." "There are no men out there." "Watch out, he's about to cheat on you." (Oh, wait, that's the one the married women get.)

To begin with, you're going to banish the words "out there" from your vocabulary and mind. For all the discussion we give to it, it's easy to forget that it's not a real place. Out there has a lot in common with Narnia, in fact: It's fraught with peril, and it's invisible. I've been at tables of women where we've spooked ourselves all night with discussions of out there ("Once you reach a certain age, you begin to try to make it work with anyone, because you realize there are no men out there"), then we've turned to the single among us and advised, "You know, you just have to get yourself out there." (All conversation guaranteed verbatim.)

Start to pay attention to your thoughts when you're freaking, and you'll begin to see how often you're getting flummoxed by unnecessary fear. The question "Why am I single?" sends you in one direction and one direction alone: toward a zone of fear. The implication is you're failing. You're in the void. That kind of thought is a trap.

"Has anything good and strong ever come out of fear?" my friend Sarah asks. "It's a bad motivator. It always drives you into things that are wrong." For instance, and above all, the next bad relationship. Leap into another just to shore yourself up from the last, and a nasty cycle sets up. Because you're in the new relationship for shaky reasons -- to salve the pain from the first -- the second's pretty much guaranteed to fall apart. At which point, if you don't step back, you'll end up scrambling for a third that's destined to self-destruct.

Meditation Activities Are a Good Start

If, at that same panic point, you say to yourself, "All right, this is just where I am. How do I get the most out of this part?" you're putting yourself in a very different place, a zone of possibilities and expansiveness.

There are things you can do to help yourself enter that zone. A meditation practice is one of them.

"One thing meditation's shown me," says Sharon Salzberg, author of "Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience" and co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, "is that experience is one thing and our interpretation of it is another. The interpretation seems so solid and comes so quickly, we don't realize that there's space in there and that we have a choice of responses: compassion versus impatience, positive versus negative."

To illustrate the difference between experience and interpretation, she laughingly gives the following example: "The other night, I was walking in the rain toward the class I teach, when I saw this guy coming toward me on a bicycle. My first thought was, 'Oh, this poor guy, out in the rain on a bike.' Then he splashed me. My next thought was, 'Oh, how ridiculous to be out in the rain on a bike.'"

When you can separate incident from interpretation, she continues, you see more clearly, with more heart. "You learn to dare to say, 'What happens if I try viewing this event from this angle instead?'" she says. "It becomes like an adventure. You say, 'Wow, I spent all those years catering to the needs of this other person.' Look at this: I'm going to be myself. Or I'm going to write my book. Or I'm going to reach out to these other people." If you think happiness can lie in only one thing, she concludes, you miss all the available happiness.

You'll be more attractive with a full life

When you're in that zone of expansiveness, you become more generous with others and yourself. You give yourself time to figure out what you want.

"The longer you're not with someone just to be with someone, the more you get a better sense of what's negotiable for you and what's not," says my friend Sarah, who, through allowing herself a breather, came to understand, "I can't hook up again with someone who doesn't love dogs. Or who wouldn't think of doing some sort of charity work, since that bespeaks a kind of stinginess at a spiritual level. Someone who has a lot of money -- I don't care about that. On my own, I've learned these things about myself."

Generosity is a higher form of power, one that no one can give you but that you can freely take. Another friend did just that when she decided to stop telling herself, "I want to find someone to love me," and tried saying, "I want to find someone to love." Not long after, she did.

When you expand yourself, you expand your world. And that's why you do it, why you shift into a generous realm, not to get a boyfriend, though there's a good chance that will be one result. (You're a lot more attractive with a wide, full life than when you're judging each man by what he can give you.)

You do it for the broader vision, for the expansion itself, which will build on itself till your life will have levels and depths you never thought possible. You do it in order to be fully present at each moment of your life. When you are, anything can happen. When you're shut down by fear, not much will. And you do it because when you're in that larger place, you get to see, once and for all, there's really nothing out there.


Li Wein is a Chinese artist...


See more: http://www.hemmy.net/2008/04/19/the-impossible-art-of-li-wei/



The real question is: Would you?
VIRGO: August 23rd - September 22nd
You need to make sure that you're not throwing down money everywhere, especially on impulse. Even if you can afford it -- or think you can -- that kind of sloppy shopping will only bring trouble.

Dear horoscope,

stop reading my online bank statement.

Thanks,
Jessica
Sometimes I think the whole makeup sex thing in relationships has been forgotten, theoretically speaking of course.

Friends who fight, of course do not have makeup sex, well, most. I am talking about those stupid feuds you get in over steamed broccoli tasting like crap. When is it okay to talk again?

That is where the makeup text comes in. Why call people? Why talk to someone? Why not just ignore the issue when you can text someone?

It seems like society has gotten so technical these days that everyone is in such an introverted world. A world that does not have to make sense of anything anymore. A world that does not need to worry about tearing down bridges and rebuilding them (except instead of sticks and stones, cement and steal...for the future of course).

So these pety text messages, you know, the ones that come a few days after a fight that surpass everything you stood for mid fight? The ones that say things like "I miss you," or "saw this, thought of you," yeah, those text messages...do you let them slide or do you stand your ground?

Personally, I would not do such a thing, but if I did receive one, I would probably send anthrax through my phone if I could.

We are adults, we have the power of the spoken word. Let us use it! Let us act of age! Let us not give in to temptation of the makeup text!
I am not going to lie when I say: this new song is amazing...I always new I loved this band...

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