Dare to Bare

An event takes place in San Francisco every once and a while, urging women to show up in sports bras and men to show up shirtless. They claim that women need to be “empowered” to show off whatever body they have, and that we should not be ashamed of our bodies or insecure of them.

Really? First of all, the fact that this even was sponsored by SoulCycle is ridiculous, accompanied by the fact that it took place in the Marina. How often do you see severely overweight people in the marina?

Exactly.

Soul Cycle’s audience is mostly young, in shape women and men. By saying that women should not be shamed out of wearing sports bras, you are shaming the women who do not feel comfortable taking their shirts off in a soul cycle class. You are not going to “solve” insecurity, and you especially aren’t going to solve it by taking your tops off and doing soul cycle on marina green. This is like Heidi Klum walking into my yoga class in a sports bra and bootie shorts and being like “Look at me! I am confident in my own skin! You should be confident too! Don’t be insecure about your body! Take your shirt off and be proud!”

Um…. no thank you.

This movement is a poor excuse to give women another idea of what we should be wearing and how we should feel about what we’re wearing. Dare to Bare, you now have a competing movement. It is called:

Dare to Wear Whatever the Fuck You Want Because It’s No One’s Business What You Decide is Comfortable for Your Own Body.

Too long?

I thought so. Damn.

 

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Love Letter to San Francisco

Hi,

I just wanted to tell you that I see you.

Through my google glasses.

Just kidding. I remember when we first met. You were windy and grey, my cheeks were pink. The air was strong, unrelenting. You smelled of promise and of hope and of wackadoodle culture, subculture, counter culture, above-ground undergroundedness.

The conversation tables at the Red Victorian, unchanged since the time when people didn’t need to be told to look into eyes instead of screens. Murals, protests, parade after parade of anyone who has something to say. You refuse to let people not talk.

You let me live. You let me bathe in the definition of living until I have soaked it up and rung it out like a towel, only to bathe in a new definition of life soon thereafter.

I see you bleed as you have bled before. I see you being shaken and rattled by clashing perspectives, the tsunami of tech assholes and tenants being pushed, pushed, pushed out and of history repeating itself with black people and white people and brown people and of new art, old art. Where is the art? Where did it go?

I hate you with all of my bones as I get on the dreaded 8 line and love you again as soon as I look out the window.

You have your issues. You need help. But I will not leave you. I will teach your children the best that I can and I will listen. Listen to what you are trying to teach me. I will watch and I will listen to your terrible, lovely, un-hiding story without judgement or inaction. I will act.

Please do not lose yourself in the new Sales Force tower or bureaucracy or violence. Stay raw and messy and keep showing off your sunsets.

I love you.

M.

What kind of San Franciscan are you?

In the past several months, I’ve heard the marina referred to as “the neighborhood for snobby scum” (not my favorite), “post-grad Greek Row”, “the place where everyone just moved here two weeks ago”, frat mason, and the toolbox. I’ve met some awesome people who live in the marina, and I’ve also met some jerks. There is no doubt people are flooding into this area in their twenties and thirties, commissioned by a start-up or tech company or something of the equivalent, but I suppose this neighborhood is no poorer a reflection on my generation than any other neighborhood.

Nevertheless, just like I am often torn between “treat yo self” and “I wanna look good naked” (as the Fat Jewish would say), I am also often torn in my identity as a San Franciscan. I’ve lived hear for over four years. In that time, I’ve identified as a student, an artist, a teacher, a sorority girl. In a city with such distinct neighborhood cultures, where do I fit in? Does looking for a place in the marina mean selling my soul and turning my back on my hippy artist friends? Will spending more time in the mission ultimately lead me to trade in my acaii bowls for burritos, my uber for a bike? (Just kidding, I take Lyft.)

This storm of thoughts brewed in my brain today as a result of learning about SF’s new luxury buses, Leap. Part of me thinks, “this is so cool! I want to join!” while the other part is saying “Really? A) more cars/buses on the road. B) I’m not a techie, nor can I actually afford this, so why does it matter, and C) What will happen to muni? Will SF Muni die out just like the cabs are?

As much as I struggle to remain optimistic that muni is actually more efficient, I like that is sort of shoves all SF walks of life together in one big, stinky bus for our morning and evening commutes. I can’t help but think that hopping on board another one of these new transportation methods will cause an even greater divide between the people of San Francisco. As much as you want to deny it, lets face it. White, wealthy, young people have yet another excuse to stick to their own, while the poor, disabled, mostly people of color, and people over sixty will be left on muni, stuck in traffic behind a Google bus, a Chariot shuttle, a dozen Ubers, and now a luxury Leap bus.

The personal and business benefits are obvious. But is the cost a more segregated San Francisco, a city that prides itself on diversity?

The SF Transportation Trifecta- Which is better?

Ask any Uber(x), Lyft, or Sidecar driver which company is the best, and they will all give you a list of reasons why they are the best out of any of them. Within the past six months, I have accumulated all three of these transportation apps on my phone, after having done the “Try us and get a free ride!” promotion with each one. So, for those of you out there who are looking to download one of these, or maybe even apply for a job at one, I have broken down the aspects of what makes the best, the best.

Timing:

There are tons of Ubers, all the time, EVERYWHERE. You need not wait very long for an Uber or Uber X to come riding up to you in a black Toyota Prius/Town Car/ SUV. But, go outside, because they usually will not call you, and if they wait for you for a while, they will leave yo’ ass. Lyft, is similar, almost always ensuring you will be getting a car in a timely fashion, although, just as in Uber, during busy hours the rates will skyrocket. Sidecar is almost always around, but there are less of them. There have been a few instances in which I have had to wait ten minutes (GASP!) for a Sidecar. One plus with sidecar, however, is that they always call you when they arrive. So for laggers like me who need the extra second to slap on some shoes/jewelry/lipstick, this is a godsend because I can ask the driver to wait just one minute, and they always do.

Friendliness

Uber is all about the formality (They wear suits!) and Uber X is pretty similar. A lot of these guys are super friendly, but many of them are immigrants and I have often times struggled with the language barrier when trying to strike up conversation. Lyft drivers are for the most part very friendly, sometimes too friendly- I’ve had friends report to me getting hit on/weirded out by their Lyft drivers. Not Cool. Each Lyft driver also does a little “pound it!” on the fist every time I get in, which makes me feel A) like we’re drinking buddies and B) like they don’t want to touch my hand. Do they get trained on fist-bumping at Lyft headquarters? I wonder…

Sidecar has SUPER friendly drivers, so friendly that I have had a bunch of these guys miss turns, stops, etc because they were so engrossed in our conversation. I mean, I don’t really mind this, partly because it is kind of in my nature to run excruciatingly late to everything in my life (I’m not proud of this),  and also because Sidecar has a set price before you start the ride, instead of a tab, which brings me to my next point..

Dolla Dolla Bills, ya’ll

Only take Uber if you are willing to pay the big bucks, or if you have a bunch of hooligans who need to share an SUV. Uber X is less expensive, but it’s still “up there”. Apparently on these apps you can “Share a ride” with a friend and split the price, which is pretty gosh darn cool for those of us who aren’t yet on Venmo – too many apps, too little time.

Lyft is pretty good, especially if it’s happy hour. Which sometimes happens during actual Happy Hour, which needless to say makes me very happy. During Primetime, a huge tip is added, as is the same for Uber and Uber X, at which point I open up my Sidecar App…

Different drivers on sidecar charge different prices but it is for the most part pretty low. The price is set before you even get in the car (this is the only app that you give your destination to beforehand).

The Perks

Yeah, Uber gives you water. Sidecar drivers let you play your own music occasionally and sometimes have candy/mints. But Lyft, oh sweet Lyft….

Aaaawwwwwww Yeaauhhhhhhhhhh

Let me describe my first Lyft experience for you: I get in the car with four friends. I am in the front seat and the other three are in the back. Instantly, I am mesmorized. There are low-key strobe lights hitting an array of colors on my feet. The driver greats us with the usual fist bump, and then turns down Michael Jackson to let us know what’s up: “Hey ya’ll! How ya doin’ tonight?! Just so you all know, there’s Super Mario Bro’s on in the back seat…” I’m not shitting you. This happened. ” And…” she reaches over to pull down the glove compartment in front of me… “Snacks!” Candy bars (not fun-sized, the big ones), cheeze-its, cookies. All there. Needless to say, we had her take us the long way home.

Who wins? Comment below with your input.

Oh. PS- What, you might ask, happened to the good ol’ fashioned Taxi companies? How could I forget the aggressive drivers, ridiculous prices, cash-only, anxiety-inducing experiences they provide? Well. Just like that. If you are someone who continues to ride taxis in San Francisco, you are either a masochist, or you are not San Franciscan. Please, people, invest in a smart phone.

See you on the road.

 

Dating My Phone: The Tinder Monster in All its Glory

A few weeks after breaking up with my ex boyfriend, I really believed I could continue on a path of female independence/I don’t need male attention to be satisfied/THIS IS THE TIME TO FOCUS ON ME!!!!  kind of path. Well. A few short days, and a few drinks later, the tinder monster found me. It was like a drug. A sin. Should I do it? Is it too soon? Do I really need the attention that badly?? These questions swirled around my head like a toilet flushing, whirring loudly enough to drown out the voice in the back of my brain screaming “NO! Don’t! Save yourself……”

So. Here I am. Safe and sound, I have stepped in and out of the vacuous Tinder World with a few gut-busting laughs, a few “maybe dates,” and a Public Service Announcement to the many men I saw on this dating app that have abso-freaking-lutely no clue what they are doing. To these men/boys/animals (?), I would like to point out a few things:

1. You, there, with the photos of you and your wild animal friends, namely kangaroos- What it going on? Is there a kangaroo farm in San Francisco that I don’t know about? Ok, this one is beside the point. It’s actually kind of cool.

2. If you have a picture with your braces, your prom date, and/or your high school graduation. GO AWAY. Shouldn’t you be in Alegra II Trig? On that note, if you have a picture with your teenage daughter, you are giving me a queesy, throw-up-in-my-mouth feeling that I could, someday, maybe (not really) see my dad on this thing. Please, E-harmony. Go. Fly Fly.

3. I understand that our generation suffers from #selfieoverload, but to those of you who want to show off your hot bods or #ootd, save it for you instafollowers. Which brings me to my next point…

4. NO. I will not follow you on Insta gram or Snapchat. PC for PC? What is this, MySpace? Are you twelve? If so, please refer to #2.

5. To those of you showing pictures of only your six pack/biceps/back muscles (really?) – WOW, COOL! Let’s have sex. Just put a ski mask on and we’re good, cause obviously I have no inclination to see your face…

6. To those of you who post pictures with hot chicks in an effort to prove to us tinder ladies that you can, in fact, score hot chicks- thanks, but no thanks. We can be the judge of that.

7. No, that is not your sister.

8. Only group pictures? Awesome. Only group pictures of you chugging/drinking out of large containers/ doing shots? Even better. I love playing guessing games when it comes to figuring out who I’m potentially conversing/dating/ having sexual relations with. You definitely don’t do that because you might not be as good looking as some of your friends, right? Right. Of course not.

9. Posting your height is actually very considerate, if you’re truthful. When I meet you in person Mr. “I’m 6 foot 2! ” (meaning you are really 5 foot 9),  the jig is up.

10. Inanimate objects/animals/nature pics instead of having any pictures with actual humans in them (bonus points if you are in the pics!). I like dogs just as much as the next person, but I must admit, getting hit with that close-up image of a snarling canine jaw out of the blue almost sent me off my rocker (I’m talking to you, “Dustin”!) Not cool.

In my experience with Tinder, I can’t say I am entirely unsatisfied. I have met some guys who seem genuinely nice, possibly well-intentioned, and I have had some really cool conversations. And through the TInder grapevine, I’ve heard it to be true that many of the women on tinder are just as painfully amusing. So please, boys. Hit me with your best shot.

Quote

“San Francisco …

“San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality.”~Paul Kantner

One week ago, I sat in a room with thousands of students, LGBT community members, and social-justice seekers to hear the incredible, uplifting words of Orange is the New Black actress and transgender activist Laverne Cox. Cox reminded us how, though we may feel this is the reality, San Francisco surpasses the rest of the world when it comes to our ideals of justice. We tolerate, we accept, we love. In many cases that makes us an unreal, untouchable community in these 49 square miles.