Sunday, November 28, 2010

Living with the Risk of Earthquakes

Living in California, the fear of earthquakes are never too far. Specifically, the Next Big One.

Here's where I think about it:

The Transbay Tube
Every time you BART between San Francisco and the East Bay, you travel through 3.6 miles of underwater tunnel on the bottom of the bay. 

I find that three-point-six miles is enough time to halt any commute distractions I've got going for some worst case scenarios. In fact, I don't recommend Googling 'transbay tunnel' and 'earthquake' as I just did.

The Waldo Tunnel
Right after the the Golden Gate bridge, you travel through this tunnel in Marin County. It's beautiful scenery. The eucalyptus smells glorious. I sometimes hear angels, as I feel so grateful to live here. 
Either the happiest tunnel in the world or the gayest. Unclear. 
This cheerful tunnel amidst gorgeous countryside also triggers terrifying earthquake scenarios.

So as to not live in denial, I have water and canned goods set aside. 

I also have a dog. 
After I got him, it occurred to me he could be my early detection system, since animals have extrasensory perception about natural disasters.

Then I talked to someone who experienced the '89 earthquake, with his dog. 

After seeing a picture of earthquake damage in my 3rd grade social studies book, earthquakes joined UFOs as one of the main terrors I imagined before falling asleep at night.

As a little girl, I couldn't understand people so cavalier to live in California, where they were risking their lives (and their glorious swimming pools), living near a fault. 

As an adult, I've come to realize you weigh the benefits and the risks. 

There's so much about Northern California, the Bay Area, San Francisco and Oakland that reward me everyday. For me, it's not worth it to play it safe. 

(And just so I'm not tempting fate, a little shouty for St. Emydius, who I just learned protects against earthquakes). 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I took Project Runway a little hard this year

I think I got too invested in Project Runway this year.

When the winner was announced, I couldn't let it go.

I found myself reading about the final episode after I'd already watched it. Not just one article.  

(If you don't have a TV or didn't watch Project Runway, the finale came down to two contestants - Mondo and Gretchen, and Gretchen won. )

Mondo's clothes were always bright and full of patterns -- self-assured and happy. 

Gretchen's clothes were current, but they were also a little dreary and a lot brown. They looked like they were too cool to engage.

I had a synthetic brown dress with a similar print in high school. If she is trotting out what I bought at Nordstrom in the 80s, not impressed.
Okay, so the judges made a subjective decision. That's fine. It's a TV show. Moving on. 
Or not...

Realizing I was still upset about the fact that Mondo lost, I had to uncover why this had such a lasting effect.

* * *
Mondo proved his badassness in a few ways over the season...

He befriended the guy everyone else picked on.

He was so unabashed in his self-expression. Everyone else could sort of suck it.

This outfit was an homage to The Cotton Club. It freaked me out at first, then I respected the badassness to pull this off. 

He revealed the secret he'd kept for 10 years, that he was HIV +...

He designed this pattern to represent his history, and his HIV + status

* * *
It occurred to me that the qualities that Mondo exhibited are ways that I aspire to be more badass -- not falling prey to the crowd mentality, and expressing oneself authentically, even if it's risky.

Those qualities seem prizeworthy. But he didn't win.

I take solace in the fact that my extensive research found lots of other vehement Mondo fans. So maybe his prize is fierce fan loyalty and knowing that he's inspiring others.

But let's get back to the numbers (and a bit of cattiness):
Monda Guerra Facebook fans: 5,700
Gretchen Jones Facebook fans: 12