Category Archives: Life

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Twenty dot Twelve

I started 2012 by writing a mission statement. I’ve memorized my mission statement and will say that 20 days into the month of January, I’ve been doing a pretty good job living up to it.

Despite only being 20 days into the new year, the year has already taken a very interesting turn.

I am very excited to see what this new year will bring.

 

Goodbye 2011

I’ve spent the last hour preparing myself for this coming year, what I’ve been calling 20.12, by writing a personal mission statement to help guide my way on this next journey around the sun. So, as we say goodbye to 2011, I thought it’d be fitting to take a moment to reflect on the past year. Here are some of my highlights, in no particular order.

  • I completed my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification and teach a weekly yoga class at YouTube.
  • I sailed the high seas with 2,000 of my closes friends on Jam Cruise.
  • I held my newly-born nephew.
  • I let go of the last remnants of things I’d been holding onto from my marriage.
  • I spent a week in Black Rock City, NV for the 20th annual Burning Man Festival
  • I traveled to Brazil, Argentina, New Orleans, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Honduras, Mexico and New York.
  • I met Hillary.
  • I went to my second Jazz Fest in New Orleans. It was a touch classy.
  • I have identified myself as a Pantheist.
  • The High Rollers won the WAKA SF Kickball Championship.

Thank you for a wonderful year, 2011. I look forward to enjoying everything that 20.12 has to offer. Happy New Year, Ethernet!

Conversations with a guy in a bar in Atascadero

An excerpt from a conversation I just had with the drunk guy sitting next to me:

Him: What are you doing?!
Me: What?
Him: What are you doing..? You know, why are you here?
Me: Oh! I’m staying here at the hotel for a wedding.
H: Erica’s wedding?
M: No, who’s Erica?
H: She’s Erica (points to the bartender)
M: Oh, she’s getting married tomorrow, too?
H: What? No, I don’t know when her wedding is.
M: I hardly know her, fuck, I don’t know her at all. I just ordered a drink with her. I’m not invited to her wedding.
H: No? Stranger things have happened.
M: Are you going to her wedding?
H: Fuck no! And to you the truth, I couldn’t fucking care less. And that’s the gods honest truth.

From there he went on a rant about how everyone at the bar was a pretentious douchebag, except for himself. I actually kind of agreed with him.

Teacher Training: Meditation Part Two

This past week was a struggle. Coming back from Jazzfest in New Orleans, dealing with my birthday, trying to make my way back into Yoga. The highlight going into the weekend? The High Roller’s 3-2 victory in Kickball to go 6-0 on the season and potentially take back first place.

Friday night came along, and I was dreading going to class. Spending a full weekend in Yoga Teacher Training. Missing Bay to Breakers. I’ve had so much fun the past few weeks, it wasn’t top of my list of activities for the weekend. As soon as we started class, though, most of it dissipated. The topic for the two hours was meditation, the second of our two classes on the subject taught by Dina Amsterdam.

I was reminded of the concept of “ease,” helping my to find that ease in my daily life. We also did a great exercise involving a partner, where one person repeats four statements aloud about what’s going on in the mind and physical body at that moment. Doing this for several minutes helps you quickly see how much your mind flutters in a matter of moments. I did this exercise again today before class with my partner — and it really has helped me let go of things of all those troublesome thoughts throughout the day.

It was also my first exposure to doing physical assists to students, taught by the main instructor Darren Main. This was really interesting — I really enjoyed it. We learned how to assist a dozen or so poses, mostly standing/balancing poses. We also learned a fun assisting tricks, which were really neat.

Even though I didn’t hit Bay to Breakers, I had a great weekend. I’m feeling extraordinarily relaxed this evening, ready return to my regularly scheduled program. It’s Sunday night — Movie night.

Not this year, Passover

I’ve tried and I’ve given up. I don’t like it, but more than the challenge the frustration has gotten to me. Trying to find Matzo in San Francisco is ridiculous. I went to four different grocery stores — all of them are sold out of pretty much all of their passover goods except for matzo meal. I am continually offered matzo meal, as if this is some kind of consolation — it’s not.

With everything else going on with my diet right now, I’ve decided that it’s ok to not keep kosher this year — but I still feel pretty terrible about it. We’ll be hosting our second annual seder at Scott & Katie’s house this year — which should be fun as always.

Two Thousand Zen

I can clearly remember when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2010 — as I was very glad to see that 2009 had finally come to a screeching halt. Coming off one of the worst years that I can remember, I had high hopes and aspirations for 2010.

I soon learned that many other people felt the same way about 2009 and were very glad to see it go as well. When talking to my friend Pondi, she was telling me about her dreadful 2009 and was very excited for what her friend had dubbed “Two Thousand Zen.” From that moment on, I decided to make “Two Thousand Zen” my mantra for 2010 as well… and I feel as though it was a success.

Continue reading Two Thousand Zen

An apology

Dear San Francisco:

I am writing to you because I have come to realize that I owe you an apology.

While I have spent the last four years living in the bay area, the majority of that time I spent living down in the Silicon Valley. While living there, I think we both know that I said some pretty mean things about you, but before I start begging for forgiveness let me take a moment to explain.

Coming from the south bay, where the sun is always shining and the temperatures can be nearly 30 degrees warmer, it was always frustrating to leave that climate to come up to visit when I would always need to pack warm clothes, especially in the summer months when the rest of the country is experiencing those warm summer nights. Throughout the past year, however, I realized that these weather patterns are very relative. When you live in this climate all year, it’s actually quite comforting and the number of sunny days are much more frequent than what a visitor might experience.

I also remember coming up and being frequently harassed by your overly aggressive homeless population. I think this can be attributed in large part to the places that I visited when I would come to visit — especially those work conferences at The Hilton near the Tenderloin.

Parking and navigating the city was also a challenge and was quite frustrating at times. Even though the city is “laid out in a grid,” the diagonal cut by Market street was always very confusing and I specifically remember a number of times where taking a left was damn near impossible. Fortunately a lot of that has changed and I have become more familiar with the routes and parking spots around the city. It took a bit of time, but I have come to appreciate your crooked streets and go-with-the-flow traffic style, similar to Boston.

Lastly, I always felt public transportation was a bitch. It still is.

All that aside, however, there are some amazing things that you don’t get to really experience unless you live here. The lifestyle and culture of the various neighborhoods, the wacky events and festivities held each year, the welcoming sight of a hillside full of candlelit windows as you come home from work, the incredibly friendly people, and the laid-back style that is San Francisco.

I must say that I do feel pretty terrible about some of the things I said about you, but I’ve realized just how great of a city you really are — and i could actually see myself spending many years (if not the rest of my life) living here.

So Thank You, San Francisco, for giving me a second chance to get to know the real you and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

Forever and Always,

brandon

The dangers of Alcohol

On the eve of before Californians are set to go to the polls to vote on the history ballot initiative  that will decide whether or not adults over the age of 21 should legally be allowed to  consume and grow marijuana within the states borders, I came across this interesting article on webMD discussing the dangers of alcohol. The exact title of the article is “Experts: Alcohol more harmful than crack or heroin.”

As someone who recently become a teetotaler for health reasons, I found this study particularly interesting. It’s found that abusing alcohol is almost 3 times as harmful as cocaine or tobacco. It makes me wonder why we allow a drug as dangerous as alcohol to be consumed without judgement, yet other much less dangerous substances are demonized.

I was actually thinking about alcohol a lot this past weekend, as I ventured out to various halloween-related events and parties. Take Friday night, for example. I was at the Independent to see Lotus in San Francisco and during the set break a group of girls standing next to me were completely hammered. So much so, in fact, that one of the girls fell over and passed out on the floor. It took 3 of her friends to carry her out of the club and,  I assume, left with her to take her home. That girl was done for the night.. and not only that, she was probably so hung over the next day that she didn’t get to do much on Saturday either.

I’m not saying that I condone the use of Marijuana, however, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of a similar experience from someone smoking weed. I just don’t quite understand why there is such a double-standard when it comes to the health of Americans. If the government was really concerned about the health of its citizens, it’d not only take a look at the alcohol consumption in this country, but also at the food that it allows its citizens to consume.

That said, I’ll be curious to see what happens tomorrow and will be excited to see how people vote on this groundbreaking piece of legislation.

The (un) Standard Hotel

This past week I’ve been staying in Manhattan for work and I’ve had the great pleasure of staying at The Standard Hotel in the meatpacking district of Manhattan. After spending the past few days here, I’ve realized that this has to be the swankiest, sexiest hotel that I’ve ever stayed at.

The elevators, painted completely black with the exception of a mirror on the back wall, have two oval windows cut out of the side, which have a large LCD panel behind them. Playing on the screen, is this video dubbed “Civilization”  by Marco Brambilia, which is a photshopped montage of various movie scenes all mashed together. You can watch the video below, but it doesn’t do it justice when you’re riding in a black elevator with creepy music and this video playing.




Continue reading The (un) Standard Hotel

Being in The Bean

First off, let me say mazel tov to my sister Bailey and her husband Max on their wedding this past weekend. It was great to share this event with them, but also get to see friends and family that I’ve not seen in years.

Since last Monday, I’ve been in Boston for the festivities and work, but as much as it’s fun to be here I’m very glad to have gotten to New York this afternoon. For me, the city of Boston is an amusement park except most of the people that are there with you aren’t very pleasant. I love the city: Running along the esplanade, Copley Square, the MBTA, Somerville/Cambridge, and even the taxi drivers (and the town taxi rule). I am not, however, such a fan of the people.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends that live there. It’s a good portion of the remaining people in the city that I don’t really like. Take for example yesterday afternoon while I was running down the stairs at Park Street station from upstairs at the Green Line downstairs to the Red Line. People were disembarking the train downstairs and I knew that it was likely my train. I politely (and clearly) said excuse me to two girls walking side-by-side down the steps and hurried by. The girls, who looked to be in their early twenties, replied “You are excused!”

Is it wrong to rush by someone to grab a train, if you say ‘Excuse me?’ _I_ don’t think so, but maybe I’m the one in the wrong. Perhaps this can only be explained by the other strange phenomenon that Cool Jesus had witnessed at the Park Street stop. Personally, I feel it’s the city as a whole and I will attest that even some of my other Bostonian friends have been starting to experience it as well.

So here I am in NYC with 4 days left to see a Thunderstorm, the weather is looking very promising. Especially with highs in the upper 90’s tomorrow. Yikes! Welcome to New York City in August.