It has been awhile since I enjoyed a SF Gay Pride celebration as much as this. From last night to all through today, the mood was great. It seems that given the recent right to marry, everyone was feeling in a very festive way.
I was just walking around in The Castro and ran into an ex-roomate of mine from about 15 years ago. This guy, as I remember him, was a total substance abuser and irresponsible nightmare to live with. He rushed up to me to tell me that he had been in AA for the past year and a half, and that he wanted to make “amends”. He apologized without getting into any of the specifics, we talked for a few minutes, I wished him well in his sobriety, and we said goodbye.
Just got in on the bus from LA, and lordy it is cold up here. 55 degrees cold. Settled in at Troy’s house and watched a few episodes of “Swingtown” that he had saved on the TV. Between the way that Troy has decorated his apartment (stay tuned for the pics) and the TV show and the pepperoni pizza we had for dinner, I feel completely transported back to 1976, and vague feelings of child awkwardness. No matter that I am on the verge of 41.
This is getting a little weird. After planning a goodbye drink at a local bar, and several people telling me they would attend, I ended up with exactly ONE friend who showed. Thanks (at least to you) Maureen.
In every culture in the world there are questions, curiosities and concerns that preoccupy the mind. Although they are different in each locale, they all relate to placing ourselves in a cultural context. They allow for a classification and reassure the questioner that their world view is correct and that others fit within it. This maintains our illusions of order and keeps the chaos at bay. It is one of the ways we make sense of the world, and reinforce and comfort ourselves that our particular conception of the world makes sense and that we have our place within it.
In India, one of the first questions I was asked wherever I went was “Are you married?”
In Bali, it was invariably “Where are you going?”
In Mexico, almost always “Where are you from?” or “Where do you live?”
And here in the US, it is almost always “What do you do?” or “What are you going to do?”
Today is my last day in LA for awhile. Tomorrow I will board a bus (yes, a bus) for San Francisco, where I will be for about a week before entering a Zen farm in the Bay Area for a while to practice zazen. After that I will go back to visit my family for a couple of weeks and after that I think I will spend a couple of weeks in NYC.
All over the US, many crosswalks will have a button on them. The purpose of this button is to alert the system that you wish to cross. I have long wondered whether these do in fact link to any system, or are merely there to make the control-happy residents of this country feel as if they have some measure of power over something when in fact they have none. Perhaps it is just the equivalent of the “barber pole” progress bar prevalent in so much software. The bar doesn’t do anything other than alert you that a process is happening (and often times is totally faked), but it does give the illusion that progress is being made and thus calms the user. Similarly, perhaps the button is false comfort, but comfort nonetheless since it supplies the illusion of input or control. What do you think? Does the button actually do anything?