East of Uraguay?

I was in Chinatown today and we flipped through one of those coin books that supposedly has coins from every country (or many countries) of the world. Since I was with my friend Dan and his Honduran wife Lenny, we decided to see if Honduras was one of the coins. Not only was Honduras not included, there was a coin in the book from a country called "East of Uraguay." Maybe this was a bad translation of Paraguay, but the country "East of Uraguay" according to the map appears to be South Africa or Namibia depending on where you embark form, either of which is not generally known in the circles I travel in as "East of Uraguay." So not only was a legitimate country not included, made up countries were. Ha ha ha, screw central america. Good times.

I also noticed about 5 countries in the book had the flag of Argentina as their flag. Almost makes me think Chinatown quality isn't necessarily the best in the world? It just goes to prove the old proverb: 1,000,000,000 plus people can't be all right all the time.

17 little gold fish

I haven't written much about my life in San Francisco, and I'm not exactly sure why that is. Partly it's because I was out a lot wandering the city, trying to get to know it. Partly it's because I was busy at work. Mostly I think it's because I was a lost a bit when I first got here. Not just lost in a new city, but lost personally, emotionally. I am about to complete my first six months here, six months into a one year work commitment, and I'm as lost as I have ever been, possibly even more so. I'm more inclined to retreat internally and isolate myself with books and music and just stop even trying to interact. About one year ago I decided my life needed a change. I had to change my job, my location, or both. I was hoping to find a better job in Philadelphia, but as that didn't appear to be happening I decided to change cities but not jobs. Minimize the risk, San Fran is a great town, all that.

In my heart, I think I realized that wasn't a real solution to the problem. I'm the problem. I don't mean that in nearly as negative a way as it comes out on typed so plainly and bluntly there, but it is me. Wherever I am, whatever I decide to do, I am stuck within the framework that is myself, my mind, my fears and repressions and anxieties. Also the things that make me happy. As recent transplants to San Francisco are quick to point, you are not different once you arrive in San Francisco, you just walk up more hills. I made that up, nobody says that. It's still true though.

Anyway, I think I have become even more afraid of groups and new people and less socially confident than I used to be, which is not good. I'm even considering joining a study on anxiety disorders/male shyness. I'm not sure I'm that shy, but I might be. I have also become angrier, more annoyed at my own limitations and my inability to figure out how to address them. I had a conversation a few months ago about how i used to be very competitive and intense and worked hard to move away from that because I didn't like myself like that. Recently, I tried to change that, let that drive and intensity work itself back into my life, little by little. I was hoping to control it by training for a small triathlon which I hoped would balance out the intensity in other parts of my life. It doesn't, and I can't. I don't want to be that person, yelling at coworkers and pushing people to complete I realize in the greater scheme is pretty meaningless.

It's a little interesting because this is what i would need to do, what i would need to do and be to be successful in a large company, how i couldn't be at 26 to get things done in a previous job. I'm more confident at work now and with my own ideas, but I don't want that life. More confident in work, the same or maybe even less so outside it. Instead, it makes me feel like an ass at my little joke company because nobody acts like that, which is a strength and weakness of the company. Recently, I decided to do a little deep searching and decided I need to find a job I can be passionate about, that if I go over the top with intensity or passion it's ok because it's for some greater good. I also realized I'm tired of business, refuse to work with the government as a lobbyist or some other DC bullshit, and want something that is new everyday. After breaking these down as my core principles, my only conclusion was to become a teacher.

I don't know if this will make me happy, and I'm not a big fan of returning to school to be honest. But if this gets me somewhere I want to go, I have to give it a try, right? My other idea was to bike to Tierra Del Fuego (or just around the country a bit), or drive across the country and just drift for a while. And maybe I will, I can do both once I know the ed school and start date.

I titled this 17 little gold fish in honor of Colonel Aureliano Bunedia from 100 Years of Solitude, who after power and war and everything in his life finds happiness in the solitary isolated confines of a workshop creating little goldfish, 17 at a time I think if I have the number correct, then starting over again, lost all day in his own work and world without real communication or interaction with larger world. Some of us are destined for solitude, and it's not a bad thing. It's comforting. How does this relate to being a teacher? Maybe teaching is my 17 gold fish, maybe doing something meaningful will give me that. If i can't sit in a little attic room and write for a living, maybe this will give me the internal calm to be happy, confident.


Round head

I have been going to the same hair stylist for 3 consecutive haircuts, which is a bit of a record for me. Normally, I just wander around, catch a glimpse of myself in a window somewhere, notice I need a haircut, and get one. But this place is around the corner from me, open late, and full of nice little ladies giving people pedicures when I enter so I keep going back. There is only one lady who cuts hair, opposed to the three foot specialists up front, and she is about 5' 2", which is fine.

The women never seems to remember having seen me before. We don't speak much during the haircut, but in all three haircuts she has made the same comments to me.
  1. "You're very tall, I'm not used to working on people so tall." So I slump down a little lower and hope she actually cuts the hair at the top of my head.
  2. "Your head is very round, you have a nice round shaped head. Very nice." Seriously. She has mentioned that to me all three times. It's great. And I do have a nice round head. I used to have my head shaved and I could only get away with that because of the roundness of my noggin. Oh, and because I'm so beautiful.