Happy Halloween! Today I’ve got some photos from a past Halloween party I went to four years ago. It was a great group of people.
Ha! I followed a mention on Sulia about the search engine Gizoogle and discovered that it turns any website into a “gangsta slang” website. I had a fun few minutes checking out my own sites through Gizoogle:
Mostly this is just silly but I have to say that I’m kind of impressed that this tool could be built.
Yesterday I mentioned that when I went to World Naked Bike Ride it was a beautiful sunny San Francisco Saturday. I was at Justin Hermann Plaza, where there’s a terrific sculpture fountain, and since it was Saturday there were vendors set up. I tried on a million different masks sold by a man named Steve Pogni and ended up getting one. I’m not sure where I’ll wear it but there’s always some kind of costumed event happening in San Francisco so I’m sure I’ll find ample opportunity. In the meantime I just wore it while hanging out at the fountain, listening to the beautiful French music of a street performer who was there at the time. That’s the magic of daily life in San Francisco.
One of the things I secretly love and always keep an eye out for is graffiti / tagging that has a sweet side to it. Examples:
The first one is from a footbridge that crosses the Pacific Coast Highway to the ocean near Santa Monica. The second one was from a little rock cabin in a hiking spot in Arizona.
I am thinking right now about how pointless it is to be scared in life because the big things that really impact your life are never the things that you expect. I didn’t have a super big thing happened, but something did happen that made me think about this.
My brother and his girlfriend (plus their little Yorkie dog) are visiting this week. We were walking the other day to get ice cream in Hayes Valley. I was talking about one of the neighborhoods I’d been petsitting in and how it has really gotten frightening there with several recent shootings and other violence. I was just wrapping up what I was saying when we heard gunshots.
I’ve never heard gunshots in my life before. Somehow I knew that’s what they were, though, but then I immediately also thought that maybe it wasn’t. We were only blocks from my apartment, which is in a safe neighborhood. It was all so confusing and blurry in that moment.
We all ducked around the corner but the Yorkie got loose and ran off right into traffic. My brother instinctively ran to get her, right into where the gunshots were. I stayed put but his girlfriend took off to try to find him so we were all split up. Of course there was a whole crowd and we still didn’t know exactly what had happened. My brother and his girlfriend really don’t know the area and I wasn’t sure if they could find the house so I had to go find them.
It took awhile to found my brother. He had just finally caught the dog who was hit by a car and had shit all over herself so we didn’t know if she was okay. It was impossible to tell in that mess she was in whether she was bleeding or could possibly have internal bleeding. But we also needed to find my brother’s girlfriend first.
It took us quite a long time to find my brother’s girlfriend and all get home safe where we had to deal with the dog, who is fine. We’re all fine. But I was absolutely terrified for so many reasons. The positive in all this was that the cops were there in literally one minute and as I was looking for my brother a whole bunch of the neighborhood were paying attention, asking if we’d found each other, keeping an eye out and asking after the dog. In fact, when we were walking with the dog trying to find my brother’s girlfriend the mailman even stopped his vehicle to ask us if that was the dog everyone was looking for and if she was okay.
This all happened so quickly, so close to home, in a space that feels safe to me. It happened just as I was talking about another place where I was afraid to go because it didn’t seem to be safe. And this reminds me yet again that it’s not the problems we expect that are the problems in our lives.
I mentioned an observation like this recently on this blog in my post about diving fearlessly into the ocean at the start of the year. It’s not the same thing, exactly, but I’d been scared of the experience of going into the ocean before I did it and then while I was busy thinking about being scared I almost fell backwards off of a staircase, which would have done me far more damage than the cold of the ocean.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a responsible person who believes that it is smart to be cautious and not place yourself at undue risk of harm. But with that in mind, there really is no way to prepare for most things in life that end up scaring you.
When I read the book about a year or two ago I quickly fell in love with the idea of becoming a guerilla crocheter with my own local crew. I imagined different scenarios of places to yarnbomb. I tried to come up with a cool gangsta chic name for myself. (Sistah Stashbuster is about the best I came up with.)
I do think it’s kind of awesome that groups are doing this, particularly groups of girls who were originally putting a spin on the male graffiti art world with their knit and crochet style. Ultimately, though, I decided that being a yarnbomber wasn’t for me. I love the idea of a crew more than I think I’d actually enjoy sneaking out into the night to yarnbomb places. Besides, yarnbombing is getting more attention now than it was a few years ago and has changed since its earlier days. It is now often more of a public art display than a guerilla act.
Which actually is how I ended up becoming a yarnbomber, sort of, in the end. Yarnbombing Los Angeles is currently seeking donations of crochet granny squares in certain colors for a public art installation. They’re going to cover the front of a craft museum using donated squares. I recently sent in a donation of 30+ crocheted squares. I love that I get to be a small part of this cool project and that I get to live out a small part of my yarnbombing dreams in the process.
I recently received a terrific little pannier from The Bicycle Muse in exchange for a review here on the site. That’s my disclosure but of course there was no promise along with it that I’d give the bag a favorable review. The Bicycle Muse has nothing to worry about, though; their products are wonderful and this one is no exception.
Some of the things I adore about this bag:
There was an article in the New York Times recently about people who are apparently choosing to debark their dogs by taking them to the vet and having the vet cut out the animal’s vocal cords. These aren’t the kind of people you would think of as being cruel to animals; they’re likely educated folks who theoretically love their pets and who certainly have some excess cash if they can afford this type of thing. And I have to ask … wtf?!?
I love animals but I am by no means an animal rights activist. In fact, by the standards of how San Franciscans spoil their dogs, I was probably not even a good “mom” to dogs. (Not only would I never call myself my dog’s mom but I’d also never dress it in clothes, buy it gourmet food or have it stay in a hotel while I was away.) So I’m pretty average when it comes to my pets. But there was a definite part of me that stood up and screamed in horror when I read this article.
The people who are doing this have their justifications for it. They say it doesn’t hurt the dog. They say that the alternative would be to give up the dog because its barking is out of control and it would probably end up euthanized so it’s better to just debark it. They say, “hey, this surgery has been going on for decades so it’s clearly not that bad”.
I have to disagree. I’ve owned lots of dogs. I’ve seen why they bark. They bark because they’re defending themselves or their home, because their excited or because they want to get your attention. To take out your pet’s vocal cords so that instead of barking it just makes a wheezing sound is just not right. Just not right. Justify it however you want, I’m not buying it.
And frankly, it seems like the owners just shouldn’t be do owners if they feel the need to do this. They clearly aren’t doing it for the dog. They’re doing it because they’re annoyed by the barking or because their neighbors are complaining about the noise or because they want their attack dogs to be silent predators. It’ selfish. Get the dog trained. Move to a dog-friendly area. Get a cat.
So I have just learned about something called The Big Green Egg that has me totally fascinated. The product itself is a really unique type of barbecue grill that I do find interesting. However, what I’m truly finding intruiging is that there is a group of enthusiasts for this product that have really grown up around it to support it as a community.
First things first, what’s the product? Well, The Big Green Egg is a charcoal barbecue used for both smoking and grilling of food outdoors. What’s particularly cool about this product is that you can purchase some add-on accessories that also turn it into an outdoor oven. That means that you can grill steak and bake bread from the same device all while enjoying your backyard. Cool stuff.
In fact, this is so cool that the product has a huge following. People who adore the Big Green Egg actually call themselves (and others like them) “eggheads“. They communicate with one another to share stories about their use of the Big Green Egg along with providing tips, suggestions and recipes for one another. They frequently communicate through online groups and forums.
However, a lot of eggheads take their interest even further than this. They attend conventions and festivals about the Big Green Egg. The main feature event is called Eggtoberfest. It happens every year in Georgia where the headquarters of the The Big Green Egg company are located. Over 1500 people have been known to attend the event in one year. Many of these people also attend smaller festivals called EggFests; there are hundreds of these festivals around the globe.
Why do I find this interesting? It’s not because I’m a fan of the The Big Green egg, per se, although it does sound like a cool machine. Instead, I’m really just fascinated by the things that people get passionate about. I, personally, can’t imagine getting so excited about a product like this that I would travel to attend an event to talk about it. But then, I’ve been known to attend Blogger Meetups, MacWorld and burlesque festivals - interests which would all probably baffle the Eggheads.
How is it that we come by our passions? Maybe it doesn’t matter. What matters is that there is a like-minded community of people for almost every possible interest that you might have. I think it’s terrific if you can find that community no matter what it is that you get passionate about!