Tag Archives: Bay Area

I Have Been Slayed

And not by Buffy, though I would consider that an honor, too.

Last night I attended the Formation World Tour in Santa Clara and saw the Queen: Beyoncé. And I now have a Beyoncé Hangover(TM), though that may be due to the high altitude of our nosebleed seats and the ALMOST NINETY MINUTES we spent in the miserably disorganized and congested Levi’s Stadium parking lot of DOOM after the show. Still, it was all worth it. I had two hot dogs, bought two overpriced Bey shirts, and cried when she sang “All Night.” It was a hell of a show, and if you love spectacle, glitter, Becky-with-the-good-hair conspiracies, pissing off old white guys who think she hates the police, and joy, I suggest you see it if you possibly can. But not at Levi’s Stadium, because that is the Ninth Layer of Hell.

Check out the album, which includes some video, and OKAY LADIES NOW LET’S GET IN FORMATION!


Anyone else at the concert last night? Drop me a line in the comments!

I Want To Be These Sunbathing Turtles

Friday morning, I took my usual walking route in Golden Gate Park around Stow Lake, and there was a great deal of #nature happening. I was particularly impressed by the minimum twenty-five (possibly more) sunbathing turtles I saw every ten feet or so around the edge of the lake:


It was an unusually sunny morning, and these turtles were OWNING life. They just sat on or next to each other, motionless, and soaked up the sun, completely oblivious to the crowds of tourists snapping pictures of them. They were basically a posse of Victoria’s Secret models on a beach vacation with Leo DiCaprio, but less narcissistic and more sober.  There were also flowers and a fountain in the park, and it was overall just a gorgeous day.

Then came Sunday, which was Bay to Breakers. B2B is San Francisco’s annual footrace/drunken walking orgy. It is like Halloween on crack, and when I went to the local market to buy cucumbers (I ran out, and I really like them, OKAY?), there were so many people on the streets in varying degrees of undress and intoxication and body-painted-ness that I started having a major panic attack and barely managed to stumble home, shaking, in time to take a xanax. I passed out, and when I woke up several hours later, I immediately thought back to last Friday and those turtles, and how calm and zen they made me feel. Those turtles have life DOWN, you know? I mean, the sun comes out, and they just swim over to the nearest available log or stone and chill out with their buddies. Why can’t I be like that?  Well, I guess I don’t live in a man-made lake in a protective shell, and, like, I am a sentient life form who requires income to survive, but you get what I mean. Why can’t I just take a page from their leathery, slow-moving book of turtle-y life and chill out once in a while?

Anxiety, alas, does not that work that way. We all need some degree of anxiety to survive–even the turtles must experience something akin to a fear response when a turtle predator, like…a lion (???) approaches–but for those of us whose anxiety is triggered more easily by a variety of factors, it can be a huge liability.

I’m lucky, though–my anxiety is mostly manageable with therapy, drugs, sleep, drugs, exercise, and the support of family and friends…and drugs. I know many of you fight the good fight with these and all the other tools you can muster, and I salute you. I wish for you and for myself that, in the midst of all the nuttiness that daily life throws at us, every once and a while we get to be these sunbathing turtles, posing for tourists on a log, our reptilian faces turned craned up towards the sky. Happy Monday, Turtles!


Please leave your thoughts in the comments, especially if you are a turtle, because your perspective would really be appreciated here and also it would be pretty cool if you guys learned how to use the internet. 🐢

Ikea: Jackie’s 11 Steps for Shopping (A-Z Challenge)

I am feeling tired and achy from some ill-advised yoga and a healing foot–much like any normal human feels after a trip to Ikea, and I is for Ikea, so…here we are.

Wow, this A-Z challenge gets harder each day because the ALPHABET IS SUPER LONG, APPARENTLY. I guess that’s why they call it a challenge, huh?

In any case, here are my elevent steps for shopping at that most holy and yet despised of all big box stores, Ikea.

Step 1: Get super fed up with whatever stained area rug/chipped coffee table/disintegrating bookshelf you have been contemplating replacing for six months and prepare to go to Ikea. This is, in some ways, the hardest part of the entire process, because you are voluntarily deciding to go to Ikea. It’s like saying, “Hey, why not visit Hell and/or an all-you-can-eat Vegas buffet today?” You have to book your zipcar, which is inevitably a forty-five minute walk away from your apartment because you waited until the last minute, beg a strong-ish friend to come with you to help wheel those giant shopping carts and load unwieldy boxes into the trunk, and pledge not to eat seventy swedish meatballs or a pound of Ikea fro-yo while you’re there. This step is greatly improved (at least before you GET to Ikea) if you have a strong family member (parent–probably dad, usually a male sibling or cousin) with a free car who can drive you there and do all the heavy lifting.

Step 2: Drive to Emeryville, the Land of Opportunity. This is probably the best part of the process because Emeryville is like the Emerald City of the Bay Area.  Not only does it have an Ikea, Target, Best Buy, and every large big box store you can imagine, it also has a Panera (broccoli cheddar soup FTW), PF Changs, and some other Cheesecake-factory knockoffs where you can eat your feelings after the inevitable breakdown that you will experience at Ikea. The hardest part of this step, however, is the drive itself: you have to cross the Bay Bridge, and if it’s not 10:45 am on a Thursday this will be a complete fucking disaster. Bonus points if you somehow manage to take that weird exit onto Treasure Island on the way there and end up driving in circles around the most pointless island of all time trying to get back on the bridge.

Step 3: Enter Ikea and feel a sense of momentary awe followed by dread and cold sweats. The first moment of entering Ikea is great. The vastness of the building seems like a wonderland, a place where anything can happen. Will you find a Bjorkendfjord armchair for fifty dollars? A green plastic Odinthor spatula for fifty cents? WILL YOU BUY SOME GENERIC YET APPEALING CANVAS PRINTS OF MAJOR US CITIES FOR YOUR LIVING ROOM WALLS? Then, as you enter the labyrinth of pristine faux kitchens and lofted bed-and-desk combos, the dread sets in: will you ever find the one thing that you need? What if it’s out of stock? What if you spill your meatballs all over your yoga pants in the cafeteria? What if you find Satan in a frozen wasteland chewing Judas, Brutus, and Cassius for eternity behind the dining room sets? WHAT IF YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE?

Step 4: Cry. 

Step 5: Choose your items, mark their Swedish names and numbers on the miniature golf score card thing they give you, and go to…THE MARKETPLACE/WAREHOUSE. The Marketplace/Warehouse is the tenth layer of hell Dante never wrote about. Suddenly your four chosen items from above turn into thirty. Who knew that you suddenly needed five new dish towels in various geometric prints? And of COURSE your bedroom needs string filament lights, and a breakfast in bed tray looks nice, and OMG WHAT I HAVE DONE?

Step 6: Have the inevitable tearful argument (or full-on screaming blow-out) with the friend, relative, or romantic partner you brought with you. Please note that the timing on this step is flexible; some people begin their quarreling in the car when they’re lost on Treasure Island, others while choosing their items, and even a few during the loading procedure. No matter when you have the fight, however, be aware that it WILL HAPPEN. IT IS YOUR DESTINY, AND YOU CANNOT ESCAPE DESTINY. If you are alone, substitute a solo mental breakdown during which you are silently derided by the underpaid employees in the bathroom section who augment their meager earnings by feeding off the deep desperation behind your tears.

Step 7: Roll your giant-ass cart to checkout and wait for thirty minutes while screaming four-year-olds run circles around you. Make it forty-five minutes if it’s a weekend.

Step 8: Loading. At this point, you’re thinking, “My God, my God, what have I done? Have I lost my mind? Why didn’t I park closer to the exit? And why has this douchebag with the Uhaul been taking up half the loading zone for forty minutes? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH HIM! ARE YOU EVEN HUMAN? WHY, JESUS, WHY?”

Step 9: Return trip of mute exhaustion. Knowing that your lives will never be the same, you and your Ikea shopping partner sit in silence on the ride home, each perhaps clutching a paper bowl of Ikea fro-yo as if your lives depended on it, contemplating the final steps in your journey with a horror that is impossible to express. You remember that not only did you purchase three items that require assembly, but realize that you will probably kill yourself dragging those fucking flat boxes up four flights of stairs to your apartment, so you’ll probably never have a chance to put them together anyways. You accept your coming demise and consider calling your loved ones to say goodbye, but you’re too tired, and how will you explain to them that you were killed by a shopping trip to Ikea?

Step 10: Somehow make it home, drag your purchases upstairs, and assemble them. At the end of this process you will stand, triumphant and sweaty, amidst a sea of cardboard fragments and styrofoam confetti and survey your handiwork. You may never speak with your Ikea shopping partner again, but you did successfully assemble your bookshelf. The green spatula accents your faux-granite countertops nicely, and that really is a nicely photoshopped picture of NYC hanging above your fireplace. You did it. YOU DID IT. And now you never have to go to Ikea again. YOU HAVE WON, AND IKEA HAS LOST. YOU ARE A CHAMPION.

Step 11: Two years later, your Tjekfjordbjorgen nightstand collapses while you attempt to place a glass of water on it. You yell, “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!” into the void, and, after a few minutes of internal conflict, call the same friend or family member who helped you purchase the nightstand years earlier and ask, “Hey, so you interested in coming with me to Ikea?”


Please tell your own Ikea horror stories in the comments below. It really helps to talk about it, I promise. We can get through this together, guys.