Posts tagged ‘san francisco’

friend twenty-nine.

friend twenty-nine, who i will refer to here as “amber dipietra“, and i went to college together but didn’t really know each other well. she was in the group of people who in my head were the “older, cooler, poetry people.” one of the themes of this whole project is how misplaced intimidation has gotten in my way, and this is one of those cases.

recently, i was at the sfmoma and i ran into two new college students, friend twenty-nine being one of them. we became facebook friends, and from that i’ve learned that her poetry has really taken off and she’s doing some really awesome things with it. now that we’re relative neighbors, as far as the new college diaspora goes, maybe we’ll see more of each other and have actual conversations.


October 15, 2011 at 4:19 am Leave a comment

friend twenty-eight.

for about a year, i was the reluctant coordinator of the young adult group for my quaker meeting. one of the perks was that i got to meet cool young adults and try to get them involved with our meeting. one of the downfalls was that i wasn’t great at organizing events or keeping people motivated. one of the people that always wanted to be involved, despite a busy lawyer schedule was friend twenty-eight, who i will refer to here as “amanda shepard.” she’s super smart, has an excellent sense of humor and a great laugh, and now that she’s moved away i’m seeing how politically fabulous she is, posting things about all of the wacky political shenanigans in her new home, arizona.

October 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

friend twenty-three.

“why don’t you sell white sage?” a customer at the independent used bookstore in the mission that i used to work at asked.

“um… well, i’m not sure,” i stumbled.

after they left, i realized the real answer to that question is friend twenty-three, “alvin orloff.” friend twenty-three, alvin, is the manager of that shop, and one of the prime reasons for why that store will never sell white sage. a low tolerance for all things woowoo matched with a deep love of all things literary and intellectual makes the idea of friend twenty-three integrating white sage into the shop’s inventory ludicrous.

one of my flaws as an employee is my tendency to chatter. this can be compounded by the way that friend twenty-three’s sassy & kitschy aesthetic represents something i’d like to achieve some day, and i had a mix between a desire to impress and a fear of appearing too “all about eve.” i was always doing ridiculous things to try to seem supersmart, hip, and fun, like writing messages in the staff book in code. and he tended to be pretty tolerant of it all.

his deep place within the sf literary scene is not something i’ve exactly coveted, but it’s definitely impressive. & one of the things that was great about working for him at the bookstore was how he makes people who work at the bookstore feel like part of the intelligentsia of san francisco. that was a really fun part of that job and i miss it. that, and talking with friend twenty-three about kitten wigs, herb alpert, and countercultural critiques.

October 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

friend seventeen.

friend seventeen, who i will refer to here as “alison c.,” and i have one of those typical bay area and/or grown-up friendships of the “let’s hang out!” “yes, let’s!” … “we should really hang out!” “yeah, i’d like that!” … etc. types.

we met one time at a big group outing organized by a mutual friend. the plan was to go to the grease sing-a-long in san francisco, and our friend who organized it brought together a bunch of people for dinner out beforehand. i ran late to the dinner and wound up sitting next to friend seventeen and her partner and being charmed by both of them. as the group of people at the far end of the table away from the host of the whole thing, we kind of formed our own little club because shouting across the room was hard. we talked about fascinating things like the way that the restaurant plated foods beautifully. on the walk to the movie theater, we talked about commitments and babies and things like that, a little bit deeper than my memory of the dinner conversation. it was nice. there should be more. she’s smart and funny and thoughtful, all things i find important in friendships.

it also turns out that we have a mutual friend in another city, so that’s fun, too. besides genuinely liking friend seventeen and the potential for our friendship anyway, her friendship with the mutual friends we have makes friendship with her seem like it would be quite valuable.

September 14, 2011 at 12:18 am Leave a comment

friend five.

this is my first post about a facebook “friend” who is not a person but an entity. i wasn’t sure if i wanted to include organizations, businesses, etc. in this project, but i’ve got such local business love that i decided it would be fun to write about all of my facebook friends, including the ones that are not just individuals. also, as i sit here waiting for friends one, two, and four to give permission to post about them, it’s nice to have these larger entities to write about because i can just hit “publish” instead of “save draft.”

friend five is “Afsc Sf,” the branch of the American Friends Service Committee that is located upstairs from the quaker meeting i belong to. when i first moved to the bay area and had tons of free time and lived close to the meetinghouse, i had grand plans to do all sorts of volunteering for the afsc. but i haven’t. once i went to a benefit dinner and sat at a table and listened to inspiring speeches about the work that the afsc did for japanese americans who were facing internment in the ’40’s. i’ve read emails and short blips about the work the afsc is doing. and once, recently, i walked into the afsc office to ask about the room numbers in the meetinghouse, which i should know by now.

i know real human beings who are vitally involved with the afsc, but i am not one of them. i support and admire these people, the afsc, and the work, but i don’t do the work. when people think of quakers as actually existing and doing good work today, they are thinking of the afsc. and if people think about the afsc when they think about quakers when i tell them i am a quaker, they probably associate me with the good work the afsc does. which means i should probably do more to live by that light…

one of the projects the afsc is working on that i’m interested in is their youth and militarism campaign. i feel too helpless in the face of all of the work the military does to recruit the bright shining youth around me, youth who do need strong supports, structure, and education. the afsc in san francisco also does work with homelessness, peacebuilding, the prison system, and the middle east. it’s an admirable organization that does a lot of the hard work that helps us quakers keep our good name. it’s also a little convoluted sometimes to figure out how to work with it, even if i am a quaker. funny how that is sometimes.

August 8, 2011 at 9:55 pm Leave a comment

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