22 January 2010

Shadow of Guilt

Tonight is the Hope for Haiti telethon. Although I have given money, I have to say I hesitated to follow the coverage of this event. There were many reasons. In some instances I just didn't like how this was being covered with politicos and crazy right wingers spinning this into some sort of boon or folly for the Obama administration. And there was also my fear that this would be another flash-in-the-pan tragedy: hot news for a few days and then dropped like a hot potato. But mostly it was the guilt.

The wonderful thing about the technology we have today is that we can see things happen in real time. Movements can be sparked in milliseconds and a call to arms is only a Tweet away. But you also run the risk of being inundated to the point of indifference. In the wake of something like this, you can feel the solidarity of people around the globe coming together but checking you Facebook status can also mean navigating a minefield of guilt. ... "I'm flying there tonight, keep Haiti in your prayers" ... "My heart is with Haiti" ... "Have you donated?"... i.e. "What have you done?" ... "It wasn't enough".

I hate to sound callous, but I didn't want to hear about it or see it or deal with it. And I know that's selfish, but some part of me was not ready to take on someone else's tragedy. Then I gave the first time. I started to pay some attention to the coverage but I still shy away from the ztark footage. The bodies being pulled from the wreckage. The personal stories.

I appreciated that some celebrities put their weight behind the relief effort even mentioning it at the Golden Globes. But tonight when I peeped in on the telethon, I found myself focusing on Christina Aguilera's fabulous new bob and simply chic outfit. And once again, I gave. Then I turned the channel.

I seriously urge everyone to do all they can and if all you can do is donate to Hope for Haiti, I applaud you. The truth is we can't all be on the ground and I know I would be of little help if I was. Maybe later in the year when the relief efforts have died down and the country starts to rebuild itself, I'll find myslf there teaching or building houses (I'm pretty handy with a drill). But right now I can't take on this tragedy. And I'm sure there are pretty of other good people who can't either.

20 January 2010


I hate to fall into beginning of the year tropes but I find myself doing it more and more. I wonder if it's the new year or just the natural rush that comes with having some down time. You feel a need to start anew. So what do I do?

I don't like that
Cathy-esque feeling I get, like I'm putting undue, stereotypically female insecurities on the table. Frankly, there are positive changes I could make in my life (financially, emotionally, in my relationships) but I don't think I'm going to end up a spinster, with no savings in a dead-end job if I don't. I'm only 26 for godsakes. So I'm taking it slow. Slow and steady and I'll throw in a few curveballs every once in a while.

But here are my mini-resolutions:
1. Save some dough so I can actually apply to grad school when I'm ready.
2. Try to say "yes" to more oppurtunities.
3. Travel more. Make it happen however I can.

If 2011 comes around and I've done that, I know I'll be happier. But I'm not goin gto beat myself up. Cause that's just a recipe for unhappiness.

06 January 2010

Tell 'Em Why You Mad, Son

One of my absolute favorite phrases. And in it you can hear the spirit of NY. That indignant anger. That need to spit. To let people know just how you're feeling. That inability to hold back.

I'm sitting in a restaurant at JFK downing Bellinis and already missing NY. Despite what some might consider a frantic pace, there's something about this city that rejuvenates me. When I'm here I feel bad if I stay at home. This time around I was up and out most nights til 4 am and probably broke my all-time record with one party that lasted til 7 am.

Most of all, I enjoyed myself. I saw my family and friends (although it's not the same as living here). And I just walked the streets and rode the train. Simple pleasures. As usual, I probably spent too much money and brought too much back but as I've said before, who can resist? It's New fucking York for godsakes. And most importantly when I'm here I never feel like I have to hold back.

I get a lot of shit in Cali for being too "harsh" or "blunt" or _____ (insert opposite of "passive-aggressive" adjective here) but in actuality, I'm just telling you why I'm mad.