Category Archives: Misc.

Downballot downballot downballot

I voted early today! Got my sticker. Made the line shorter for someone else on Tuesday.

This election cycle has been exhausting. But I do believe voting and engaging with the political process is important. Local and state policies have an outsized effect on your life — and is an area where voting for your values can shape how your city grows. For example, engaging with SF propositions D, H, L, and M has been a learning and reflective experience for me in whether I believe in more accountability at the cost of bigger government on the local level. It also helps to inform my decisions about candidates for local and state positions to see what they’re endorsing and fighting for at the prop level.

Below is a gathering of the resources I found most helpful and least partisan while researching downballot elections this year (for San Francisco specifically, but there are similar resources and groups across the nation).

(photo by Harry Whittier Frees)


Ballot FYI lays out the California propositions in plain English. For instance, it was the clearest explanation of Prop 61 about drug pricing that I found. It also has a good “how does a proposition work anyway?” for those considering strategically abstaining from certain prop votes.

P.S. Video on Prop 60; even just reading the video description is helpful. Ostensibly, Prop 60 is about condoms, but if passed it would put performers’/producers’ real names and addresses in jeopardy which can lead to doxxing.

SF Public Press

San Francisco Public Press has an election guide that breaks down the local city propositions by themes, explains what it would mean if it passed, how much it would cost, and who proposes and opposes it. Good journalism. Really appreciated. They also provide summaries for local races (supervisors, school boards, BART board) and tally up endorsements.


Hoodline provides an “interactive guide to all the other guides.” There are a ton of organizations who put out endorsements and voter guides, and Hoodline puts them all into one chart for you to see which are the truly contentious propositions/races. It’s interesting to see which groups you end up aligning with or disagreeing with as a guide to where to look for more detailed election guides — sometimes it is helpful to look at a group’s very opinionated endorsement 0f a thing in order to decide whether you agree or not.

(During one voter research party, we joked that if both League of Pissed Off Voters and SPUR — who have many conflicting interests — agreed on a prop, that was an easy vote to check off our list. Insert cry-laugh emoji.)


[Edit: This is a partisan source, and I found out tonight that if you have cookies enabled in your browser, they will be able to get your phone number and will text you about voting and supporting the local candidates they endorse. That feels really gross to me, and part of me wants to unlink the source, but the questionnaires DID help me assess the candidates…so I will leave the link, but give you fair warning about the site.]

RFK Democratic Club sent questionnaires to all the candidates for the local boards (SFUSD Board of Education, CCSF Board of Trustees, BART Board of Directors), and these are the candidates’ answers. This is on a partisan site, but the questions were thoughtful and found reading the Q&A’s more useful than the shorter summaries of candidates.

Good luck in democracying your alphabet soup of propositions. <3


A manifesto for love

I like the idea that if you find yourself telling more than 3 people about a certain something, you should just blog about it.

I’ve been telling a bunch of people about this article “How to Pick a Life Partner”. The headline sounds like clickbait, but the contents really resonated with me. She articulated what I’ve been looking for without having the words for it. These are the qualities she names as crucial for a long-term partnership, and this trifecta makes so much sense to me:

  1. Deep friendship
  2. Feeling at home/safe with them
  3. Commitment to problem-solving the relationship together

I know it’s not fair to expect a partner to be everything to you; I value my independence, and I also want my partner to have a life and community independent of me. I’ve been seriously pondering whether or not my partner also needs to be my best friend; after all isn’t that what my best friends are for? But in some ways, I must be looking for that kind of friendship in a mate, because I am quite quick to label and write off certain prospective suitors as too boring. By “boring”, I mean that their lives don’t feel similarly multi-dimensional as mine.

“A Traffic Test-passing friendship entails…a decent number of common interests, activities, and people-preferences. Otherwise a lot of what makes you ‘you’ will inevitably become a much smaller part of your life, and you and your life partner will struggle to find enjoyable ways to spend a free Saturday together.”

I am a super-social introvert. I am a social justice activist. I am an artist who likes to explore and a geek who likes stories. I am a wanderer who takes too many pictures and a traveler who secretly craves the woods. I like to follow my fears and show up for things even if (especially if) I don’t know what I’m in for. I’m not a thrillseeker nor an adrenaline junkie, but I do like adventures of the heart, of connection, and of the mind. I want someone who’s as equally curious about life and who’s equally up for life as I am. I want someone multi-faceted and inspiring— interesting to be around and interested in the world…Otherwise, I’m just a manic pixie dream girl for another nice guy.

I don’t care what you look like;
Show me your heart of gold.
Show me what you make when you think no one’s watching.
Show me how you share your unique gift with the world.
Show me what makes you smile, and what makes you cry.
Show me what gives you pause, and what lights up your mind.

I started writing this, and then I realized that the poet Oriah already said it all and so much better in the poem “The Invitation”:

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ’Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

I liked that my friend Sheena tagged this poem on her Tumblr with #manifesto.

Of course, the fear is that this bar is too high and that in saying no to some, I’ll end up with none. Or that these qualities are red herrings when I should be paying attention to xyz instead. But I believe in manifesto’s of the heart. I deserve to dream. I can dream if I want to. And maybe we never reach those peaks, but we can keep striving for them in our day-to-day, and in that striving is the moment-to-moment living that ultimately defines our lives. And that is richness enough for me.


Dear Internets,

I’m on Sabbatical for the rest of the year. I need to grieve and heal.

And since I don’t know who reads this anymore, I’ll just leave it at that until I figure out how to say the things I need to say as a writer, a professional, a designer, and a person.

Ciao for now,


Toolkit for the Real World

Short of a life counselor for transitions time, a roadmap for the future that would actually make things harder, and the discipline to use Keri Smith’s Artist Survival Kit, don’t forget to stock up on the following before you graduate/move/start a job hunt/fly out of the frying pan into the fire:

  • Thick skin
  • Knee pads for when you fall
  • Straightjacket for your self-doubts and your self-deprecating talk
  • Sledgehammer for busting through walls
  • and/or Lock-picking kit (and/or agility to crawl through windows and air ducts)
  • Some Balls (sizes may vary)
  • An excess of grace, some humility, some generosity
  • Friends who “get you” on speed dial
  • Caffeine or chocolate (or for the very wise among us, actual sleep)
  • Police tape for setting boundaries in your life
  • Breadcrumbs for finding your way back
  • Fresh air (not canned)
  • Time
  • Grade A Gumption
  • Sense of Humor, extra-strength
  • Blue painter’s tape (the New Duct Tape)(just because)
Best of luck…although I hear you won’t need it.

These Days

Learn something new every day: it’s called BOKEH ART—when you cut out shapes in cardboard and then put them over your camera lens and get cool crazy light effects, like so:


Anyway, some times when I’m driving these days, I feel like I just want to keep going. I’m so ready for our road trip out west, I’m ready to leave Austin, and I’m ready to start the next phase in my life—whatever that may hold.

It’s been an amazing year, an unexpectedly hard year (personally, which affected the professionally), and a year of great growth…but I am ready to be done with school, e.g. the late nights, the weekend classes, the long-distance relationship.

One more week left to go. Our final presentations are Saturday, April 30, 7 pm.

May is going to be bittersweet and emotional. My years in Austin have been blessed by the people I have had the honor to call friend here. Heart full.

Oh my…I was going to start posting more photos of the people I love, but I have much too much work to do to delve into that rabbit hole today. Maybe in May! Here’s newish photos on Flickr in the meantime.

And Mike arrives in Austin Tuesday! Yay!