I got into a huge fight with my sister and her friends - she said she lost respect for me, that I have a drinking problem, and that I need to get help. I guess its only fair.

The problem is, things don't just happen. They happen for a reason. I wish I knew the reason for this. Maybe its an intervention. I felt like I had a right to be angry, but I suppose I only have a right to make bad decisions and deal with the consequences. Its almost nice that I'm over here in San Francisco, away from my old life - the life she lives, the life I now lead.

Sometimes, I fantasize about disappearing. Just moving away someplace without letting anyone know - just a truck with some belongings, some money in the bank and my wallet, and just moving. I wouldn't take anyone with me, I wouldn't leave anything behind - just some notes letting people know that I was going to be okay, that I just needed to leave. No one would really understand. But thats something I deal with here, anyway.

I would start fresh. Maybe change my name. Get a new occupation somewhere, maybe learn something about horses or racing or trucking. Maybe become a cop. Maybe date a cop. Maybe stop being so negative and just admire the beauty of the world and not think so much about the past.

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Opposites Repel: San Francisco, CA VS. Washington, DC

Google searching “Washington, DC and San Francisco,” the best the search engine could come up with was “Open Top Sightseeing: Bus Tours in Washington DC and San Francisco,” but I doubt that’s as similar as the two cities get. I’ve recently been wondering to myself what the real likenesses and differences are as my one-year anniversary in the nation’s capital approaches. My friends ask me which city is better, which city I prefer; they ask me to please return to San Francisco, that the city misses me, all while my gut keeps me here. With that, all the questions then become more self-reflection than an external, subjective look at two cities – where am I happier, and what gives me more?

Comparing two cities should be done systematically, without bias, and a sense of humor about it all. Since I’m about as thorough as a dirty dishcloth, I’ll narrow down my evaluation to three categories – food, culture, and opportunity (cause hey – one can’t happen without the other, right?). These are the things that are most important to me, and things that I think everyone cares about at some level. I mean, with the exception of a fasters and vegans, who doesn’t eat, right?

I hope that doesn’t set too many vegans off – I have had some of the most amazing food I’ve ever put into my mouth in San Francisco, only possible by the fact that it was raw and vegan. At Café Gratitude in the Mission district, the possibilities are endless - healthy, filling and packaged nicely with a renewed faith in mankind. In DC, Sticky Fingers Bakery is the animal- and animal product-free alternative, tickling both vegan and sweet teeth alike. Of course, I’ve become a regular consumer of steak and eggs since moving to the east coast, but every once and a while a pecan cookie and a TLT (tempeh bacon) are all I need – so having the option is nice.

I understand that you can’t judge a city’s cuisine based on what vegan food it offers – but I think it’s a good start. Vegan food is hard to come by, it requires specialized chefs, and it takes lots of effort to make it taste like anything besides sandpaper. That being said, I would have to hand the win to San Francisco in the big bi-coastal vegan café smack-down – only because Café Gratitude’s vegan restaurant friends would join in and take down Sticky Fingers in a WWF sleeper hold that would make the Rock blush.

The question of culture gets a little muddier – gold-diggers versus the founding fathers, Garcia versus Ellington, the gay rights movement versus the civil rights movement. The two cities have lots of checks and balances, down to the two types of row-houses they offer – San Francisco’s colorful Victorians to DC’s spacious porches. Washington, DC gets a great score right up front because it’s packing sixty years on San Francisco, but does it necessarily have more culture?

One might argue so – countless important figures have walked the streets of downtown DC, and it will always be the place of such action. The Shaw area, including U street, is much to be respected and responsible for the jazz revolution that it inspired, as well as the intellectual activity that it birthed, beginning with Zora Neal Hurston and continuing through the Civil Rights movement and into this day. The museums are for the most part free. DC’s firepower as the engine of our nation, the home to innumerable great leaders, and the birthplace of the world’s best chili (see: Ben’s Chili Bowl) makes it tough competition – a definite force to be reckoned with.

But San Francisco, despite its age, has culture to this day because it is a mecca for every kind of culture – ethnic culture, art culture, activism, fashion – its trendy yet classic, and attracts people from all over the world because of its liberalism and its earnest desire to give citizens a fair and respectable life. The promise it offers is not unlike the promise that the federal city offers to the country – the promise to change the world. Because of this – because San Francisco is a haven to people of innumerable origins with multifarious dreams, and because Washington is the city that makes it possible for those dreams to come true, the winner of the culture round is unclear. It’s almost like the chicken and the egg – which really comes first?
Washington takes its win when it comes to opportunity – San Francisco may be the place you want to raise children and discuss David Lynch films over vegan pastries, but DC is the place you want to get a job. The market is wide open, and the opportunities are endless – sure, it’s a status town, where everyone wants to know what you do and what type of toilet paper you use (Target brand, thank you), but it did not become a status town for no good reason – the people in DC take their jobs seriously.

San Francisco offers a good amount of jobs in varied fields, and one can get a job, become very successful, and make an impact on a personal or global level, should they want to. But Washington is the gateway to the land of opportunity, the gateway to the north and to the south, and the people who live and work within its three boundaries and the Potomac adore it. The flower children grew up and got real jobs, all while the federal government made sure that the country could support them. This remains to be seen for many of the baby boomers, but still – the idea, and the market to support it, are all there.

I suppose you can say I was a weasel for creating a tie between the two cities. I did that in part because it’s impossible not to be biased towards one’s hometown, especially when your hometown is as wonderful as San Francisco. But in the year that I’ve lived here, I’ve realized that Washington has its own strengths, its own beauty, and it comes from the fact that it isn’t like San Francisco at all. Comparing the two is like trying to match plaid to stripes - there is no conversion chart for it. Again, maybe another cop-out, but I suppose you can say I am becoming a little more DC - after all, I danced around a final answer like Bush does when confronted about … well, about anything at all, really. Read more!


Even Stevens sure got cute.

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Good find, online

Found this little gem at  Its her impressions of hipsters.  Read it and weep.

"Besides the clear fashion aesthetic, they were all white.  I feel that they tend towards the liberal, socially and politically.  I would also surmise that they were raised in white suburbia, and in an effort to escape the homogeneity they grew up with, and in search of a more "diverse" existence, have come to the city, settled in what is a black neighborhood, but with just enough adventurous, urban white hipsters like themselves to feel comfortable.  Not only can you wipe away the white guilt by living in a black neighborhood where previously no white would step foot, but you can also establish recycling coops and food coops and farmer's markets and feel like you are making an impact environmentally by participating in this new, conscious, urbanism that emphasizes clean city living."

Right on, girl.

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I'm sick/tired of being me

I had a blog back in 2002. I dumped it because I was sick of the person I was becoming. I started another one that I wrote in concurrently with the first blog, then dumped that one, and then picked it up again after I dumped the FIRST blog. Now I'm here. I'm sick of the person I'm becoming.

I recently wrote a letter to one of my best friends, who will for the time be called Alice, since I don't have her permission to use her name. The letter goes something like:

Note to self (to Alice):

I need tighter jeans, chunkier Nikes, bigger-framed glasses, uglier sweaters, neon-colored t-shirts, gold and glittering accessories. I need quality lingo, quicker quips, a more rambunctious attitude, a more destructive way of life. I need more body hair, facial hair, chest hair, none of it smothered in deodorant or sprayed with cologne. I need a faster life, an easier life, a night-life, something to get me out of bed at two in the morning to look for trouble.

This will go on, I assure you, in another installment to you.

Love- Julain

PS: I am changing my name.

I'm pretty sure I still feel this way. I'm pretty sure nothing has changed about me except a URL and my energy level (the last thing I ate was a slice of homemade coconut cake, fatty fatty fatty.)

I'm pretty sure nothing has changed about me, and I'm tired, I'm sick of me. And I thought angst was supposed to eventually evaporate, like radio signals in space. Read more!