Have you ever been dumped? Feeling jilted? Me too…very recently. I get it and it sucks. Let’s work through it together though with ways that I’ve found have helped me deal with a heart ripped in two.

  1. Use the social media horse blinders.page0_blog_entry613_1
    • It’s not shameful; in fact, it’s rather wise. Feel empowered to use the Facebook block and “unfollow” a former beau’s tweets. It’s next to impossible to smoothly transition from a romantic relationship to a friendship. A friendship might be possible later on, but it’s probably best to take time apart in order to heal quickly. Do you really want to see the Instagram photo of your ex’s lunch at that place you went to that one time? Do you want to see a status update saying, “My life is so great and I’m wonderful and everything is perfect now!” I think not. In this case, ignorance can most definitely be bliss.
  2. Take a break from your life and watch TV.carriedexter
    • Give yourself a day or two or a week and spend some time watching TV. Your life is a little sucky right now, and usually characters on TV aren’t having it that great either. It won’t hurt to get lost in the fictional lives of others for a bit. The standard is Sex and the City, with Carrie Bradshaw trotting around town in her Manolo Blahniks, but perhaps something more violent will do the trick. Try Dexter.
  3. Cry
    • Ever see the 70s TV special Free to Be You and Me with Marlo Thomas? There is a song called “It’s Alright to Cry” that can’t help but make you feel good while tears stream down your face.
  4. Force Yourself Into a Social Situation.
    • You’ve watched about all the TV you can stomach, but still feeling a little down. Luckily, you have friends that are still leading their lives, and you can join in. The gang is making dinner together tonight? Go take a shower, because frankly you’re smelly, and partake. They’ll be happy to see you.
  5. Do something you know you can accomplish.
    • Start small. Clean your bathroom. Take that huge pile of dry cleaning into the cleaners. Eventually, you’ll be doing things like learning how to say “I curse the day you were born” in Danish (Jeg forbander den dag du blev født. I’m not bitter.)  You might even get around to reorganizing your closet or applying for that dream job. It’s all baby steps.
  6. Go to a hip hop dance class.
    • It doesn’t matter if you have two left feet and are deaf, just go. You’ll eventually stop caring that you look like an idiot and become obsessed with twerking your brand new delicious booty after all the exercise. These skills will come in handy to find your next mate. (If you live in the Bay Area, come with me to Allan Frias’ Hip Hop Class at Dance Mission Theater. I will booty pop with you.)
  7. Make the good/bad list.
    • This might be rough at first. Take an afternoon and sit at your favorite coffee shop with your Moleskin and fountain pen, or for the more technically inclined, Evernote open on your MacBook Air. Write down all the things that went well with this past flame. You both liked Cher? You were both don’t care for onions and that made sharing meals much easier at restaurants? They brought you dinner when you were sick in bed? They knew how to do that thing to you to make you giggle uncontrollably? Then, write the bad list. They were constantly late? They weren’t adventurous? They were always grumpy? They didn’t know how to do that thing to you to make you giggle uncontrollably? You’ll find that as time goes on and years go by, you’re getting closer and closer to finding what works best for you in a mate.
  8. Go on a trip.Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset
    • This can be anything from camping for a weekend, or hopping the pond and visiting your friend in London. It’s something to look forward to and plan for, which will definitely help. Not only will this take you out of your everyday routine, but it will help give you new perspective. Bring a few friends and make it an event. Bonus: Take lots of photos and video and make it into a movie set to an uplifting song.
  9. Change your bed linens/comforter.
    • Hear me out; this is huge. You had this person over and they slept in your bed with you, and without stating the obvious, that can be pretty intimate. While buying a brand new bed might not be the most financially wise choice, grabbing a new set of mattress accoutrement won’t break the bank as much. It will feel like a brand new bed that is ready for new possibilities, and eventually, a new lover. Target has some great sheets and pillowcases made from Jersey cotton that are pretty cheap and very soft.
  10. When you get to the anger phase, watch The First Wives Club.
    • This will help facilitate the anger quite nicely. Put on an all white outfit and pop open that bottle of chardonnay.
  11. Go to a fancy dinner.
    • Save up some dollars and go to the new, fancy and trendy restaurant that everyone is talking about. Bring a friend and get dressed up. Everyone likes to feel pretty. Order a nice bottle of wine and get dessert; you’re worth it.
  12. Eat ice cream.Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset
    • Who doesn’t like ice cream? (Sorbet if you’re lactose intolerant.) Let the cold deliciousness wallow around in your mouth and enjoy your life. Again, you’re worth it. (If you live in San Francisco, the ONLY place worth going is Mitchell’s Ice Cream in The Mission. Prove me wrong.)
  13. Listen to these 4 Songs on repeat and go for a walk.
    • This will make you feel like a badass. It’s no surprise that these are all female artists; women do scorned so much better than men. Put on your headphones and sashay down the sidewalk to the beat. You’re a model, baby. Hell, you might even get so motivated you’ll start to run. If it makes you feel better, run to Mitchell’s Ice Cream.
  14. Give yourself the “by when” dates.
    • This part could suck, but be realistic with yourself. You don’t want to rush anything, but you want to have a goal for moving on. Write it down on a piece of paper and stick it on your mirror in your bathroom so you see it constantly. “I will stop being sad about this relationship by _____. I will be ready to date again by _____.” When you have a set date you’re creating a goal for yourself, and who doesn’t like to meet a goal? This will also help in  preventing bringing over the emotional baggage from a previous relationship into the next.

Keep your head up. Being a vulnerable human being is rough, but would you have it any other way?

*Shameless Plug*

I’ll take all the hugs you want to give me while my heart heals. Bring it on!

About these ads

43370002I traveled away from San Francisco recently. My dear friend was getting married and I headed down to Southern California to attend the wedding. As an add-on to the trip, I thought I might take a jaunt east and head to the desert of Arizona, a place I had always wanted to explore.

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I don’t know what I expected to find there, but I knew that it would be an adventure. After what seemed like days of driving, I made it into Chinle, Arizona. Chinle is a small town in the Navajo Indian Reservation outside of Canyon de Chelly, a 132 square mile canyon. This canyon is a national park and at the same time, the home to be about 40 different families. There is no running water or electricity in the canyon; these families who inhabit it live without many modern luxuries.

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I was lucky enough to be the guest of a man named Daniel Draper, a resident of the canyon. Daniel took me on an amazing 6 mile hike full of beautiful scenery and stories of the Navajo people. We viewed ancient drawings and preserved ruins of buildings. It was breathtaking.

Daniel is a man who spent his entire life on this reservation, and he was curious to how the other half lived. I talked about my life in San Francisco, and he told me about his life in the canyon. It was so amazing to me that while the lives we live are incredibly different, we were able to find common ground and connect on a human level. We stopped and sat in the shade of a tree for a while and I asked him what was in this small little leather pouch that he carried with him, which turned out to be his medicine bag. The bag consisted of corn meal and two arrowheads. Corn meal is very sacred to Navajo Indians and is used in healings, and the arrowheads were found by Daniel in the canyon during his many walks along the ancient land. He sang a song as he put the contents of the bag away, a tradition to keep the residents of his bag sacred. As we went on, Daniel continued to sing and would teach me here and there so I could sing along with him. Even weeks later, it still blows my mind reliving the memory of listening to him as I was traversing this incredibly spiritual land.

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As present as I was in the moment, it was hard to pull myself away from the reality of my own life. I made a specific choice before going on this trip, and that was to use it as a stepping off point towards a new phase in my life. I was coming off uncertainty in my career, fighting with a close friend, and a very bruised heart; a trip away from reality was the solution to get through this mental swamp I had been trying to navigate.

Daniel let me camp on his land in the canyon that night, and I got to meet his family. They were incredibly hospitable and kind-hearted. That night I cozied up in my sleeping bag and stared up at the stars. The Milky Way was so vivid; the universe was putting on a show and I had a front row seat. As cliché as it sounds, I couldn’t help but feel so small knowing there was so much beyond myself and decided that my mental uncertainties were insignificant, at least for the night.

I returned to San Francisco eventually, and while the trip was a jumping off point into a new phase in my life, the past didn’t go away. It was still very much a part of my life and I had to exist with it.

It got me to thinking about my new friend, Daniel. This man lives with his past, constantly. He is literally surrounded by signs and artifacts not just of his life, but of lives before him. Rather than trying to shrug them off, he embraces them and uses them as a guide to help pilot his being. Did he have it figured out?

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“Maybe you need to let go of the person you were in order to become the person you will be.”

Is it really that simple to let go of your history? How do you use your history to help you in the present?

It matters of life and love, are we more than just the sum of our past parts?

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hair-throwback-bangs-ds-031313Donna Summer is often touted as the Queen of Disco. Although she was known for hits like “Last Dance,” “She Works Hard for the Money,” and “Hot Stuff” her true musical passions lied in the early stages of EDM (Electronic Dance Music). Unfortunately, she was pigeon-holed by her fans and record execs to stay on the less experimental side of disco against her will. With the resurgence of disco influenced beats back in mainstream music by the likes of Solange, Moullinex, and most notably Daft Punk, it’s important to see the roots of this movement. Check out this video to see the connection between Donna Summer and Daft Punk’s new album, Random Access Memories.

“I Feel Love” is THE Donna Summer song. It takes one viewing of her performance below to see just how engrossed she is in the music. That or the outrageous amount of drugs she might have consumed that day.

Pro Tip: This blogger has been playing “I Feel Love” in the mornings before heading out the door using Infinite Jukebox; for a never ending disco experience.

 

680503_439632176084391_1564953904_oSisters, Jennifer and Jessie Clavin, form the L.A. based duo, Bleached. Think of Bleached as the modern-day girl version of the Ramones with a little more lo-fi qualities. They previously released a couple quality EPs, but recently came out with the first full length album, Ride Your Heart.

Next Stop” is one of the catchiest tracks on the album. It’s a perfect soundtrack for getting your inner hipster on; just make sure to wear a furry animal hat to top it all off. Bleached will be here in sunny San Francisco this Sunday, May 5 at the Independent. This hipster will be there!

[@hellobleached][iTunes][Rdio]

 

David and Community

David —  April 9, 2013 — Leave a comment

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Last week David Allison died, suddenly. Although not my grandfather, I sort of placed him in that role of my father’s father. He’s actually a Great Uncle, biologically and I got my name from him. My father and I never knew my biological grandfather. (He died when my dad was 3.) Immediately after I received the phone call of his passing, I started looking at flights towards Oklahoma, and the next morning, I was on a plane and headed back to Elmore City, Oklahoma. You’ve never heard of it.

Elmore City currently boasts a population of 693 residents. (The Castro in San Francisco has 12,503 residents.) It’s safe to say that people know their neighbors.

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In my time previously in Oklahoma and with David on the farm I wasn’t a guest; I was a strong back and a weak mind. There are plenty of stories including the time David sprayed me in the face with milk straight from the cow’s utter when teaching me how to milk a cow, driving the caterpillar to help create a lake on the property when I wasn’t even close to having a license, showing me how to play and win a game of dominoes, or making me go out and ring one of the chicken’s necks for dinner that night. Let’s not forget, being the master chef for a whole bunch of cows and one stubborn bull in the morning. I carry those stories with me, but I also carry the beautiful landscapes, hayrides at night while watching the fireflies twinkle against the dark sky, not caring about being covered in mud, and most of all, the community.

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The funeral for David was held in a small chapel in neighboring Katie, Oklahoma and I was surprised to arrive and see it filled with people. So much so that they had to open up a side event room adjacent to the chapel; the preacher had to project like never before. His usual crowd is that of around 4 people, he told me later. This not only testifies to the outstanding influence that David had among his many friends and relatives, but also to the strong foundation of the community.

The reception followed right after down the road and I was marveled at the spread that was being served. The counters in the community center in Katie were full of different plates of food; fried chicken, brisket and potatoes, salad, more fried chicken, red beans and rice, casseroles, cakes, pies, cookies, and more friend chicken. All of this food was made by the locals of Elmore City and Katie, Oklahoma. It wasn’t planned by anyone specifically, and there was no talk of “you bring this” and “I’ll bring that.” Nobody begrudgingly participated. It sort of just… happened. I had never seen anything like it before, sincerely.

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Although a funeral, it turned into a little bit of a party. David was pretty ornery with a side of a twinkle in his eye and that lead to many hysterical stories about the old man, a lot that I haven’t heard before. One man told a story about David that really showed the depth of his character beneath the layer of redneck.

David said to the man to come over and pick up some okra from their garden, knowing that this man had an affinity for okra. The man, gleefully, came over to pick some up, and he brought a small shopping bag to transport it. David let the man into the garden and he started to pick some okra; placing it in his bag along the way. David, seeing what he was using as his okra receptacle, quickly called the man a wimp and walked off. Confused, the man kept picking at the okra. David came back a few moments later saying “You’re not going to get enough okra in that thing, here’s a tub.” David tossed him a 5 gallon tub and made sure the man filled it to the very top. That’s the thing about David, along with the people in these communities; they always go that extra step to help someone else out, making them feel special.

It got me to thinking about communities I’m apart of and how we all support each other. I arrived back to California with a bit of a heavy heart and landed right into a close-knit community of friends at a party that evening. I felt loved, special and could see the similarities of rural Oklahoma and my life in San Francisco.

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David Allison carried with him the purest of hearts, and I was lucky to have spent so much time with him, especially in formative years. I’m proud to be part-redneck because of him and miss him greatly.

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A Quest for Love: Alignment

David —  March 22, 2013 — 1 Comment

Doug Coustance would always say, “Good posture is simple.” He served the better part of two years as the choral director at Mater Dei High School, my alma mater, much to everyone’s chagrin including his. (He was actually a really shitty choral director.) I remember thinking that at the time, “Yeah, good posture is simple.” It’s as easy as the old adage, “chest out; belly in.”

It’s not that easy…

Earlier in my history, I had to be somewhat conscious of position and movement.  I studied voice for years and have been known to struggle through an eight count or two in a musical or hip hop class. Posture/alignment/movement are all key in the performing arts. An old voice teacher used to tell me to think of a string attached to the top of my head and having it pull me into proper posture. That seemed odd, but I got it.

courtesy of yogahome.net

courtesy of yogahome.net

Eventually, I switched career goals and decided to focus on technology rather than the arts. I spend hours behind a computer now, typing away like a mad man doing my best not to be hunched over at my desk, but still catch myself being in poor stature. When it comes to my professional life, moving or being in stillness correctly isn’t at all a requirement.

A few months ago I started doing crossfit at San Francisco Crossfit (SFCF). I was coming off a few years as a devout yogi and thought that I was not only capable physically of doing crossfit, but would do exceedingly well. Wrong. I actually found out I had no endurance and very little strength, but most importantly, I realized that all the movements I thought I had been doing correctly and healthily were, frankly, not. Crossfit is all about functional movement and I was getting a crash course I didn’t know I needed.

One of the key concepts I’ve learned from the yoga practice, and now even more so in crossfit, is the importance of position and alignment not only when it comes to physical movement, but also in stillness. It turns out the body is a lot more complicated than “chest out; belly in.”  Thanks to Kelly and Debbie at SFCF, I’ve become eerily aware of my body’s movement patterns and always trying to fine tune my body like an instrument, but it seems to be a constant and never-ending battle.

There are some key concepts, such as creating a solid foundation with your feet and legs using torque; “screwing them into the ground” as Kelly would say.  This helps create tension to move from stillness to potentially leaping buildings like Superman.  The list goes on and on, and it got me to thinking about alignment and position in the non-physical sense.

Proper Alignment in Love

I have this friend who moved to San Francisco just under a year ago; pining for a romantic love since her arrival. She moved here without a job and crashing on friends couches; things were a little bleak and she wasn’t sure just how long she could live that way. After pounding the pavement for a few months, she finally got a dream job in her industry, and within the week had a place to move into in the competitive SF rental market. Things were looking up and the stars were aligning. Prior to her luck changing, she had gone on awful date after awful date after awful date, not really hitting the mark on love. After the basics of income and a roof over her head were taken care of, she met a really awesome guy in a cafe and now they’re in a beautiful and loving relationship. To be repetitive, it seems like once the foundation in her life had been taken care of, she was able to take on the load of love.

courtesy of bandhayoga.com

I immediately think of Warrior II in yoga.  The body is creating a solid foundation with your lower body; strong legs, front knee at 90 degrees and sinking deep into the hips. Once the legs are all set up it makes the movement in the torso that much easier; a sinking low on the bottom while rising high up top.

Like our bodies, does the ability to love come from all of our ducks being in a row? 

Do we need to have right job, apartment, friend circle, family, hobbies and interests to set up ourselves to be ready for leaping at love in a moment’s notice? 

How true is the old adage of “stars aligning?” That is, insinuating that things just come together and luck is involved.

Are we internally or externally rotated when it comes to love whether it be friendly, familial, or romantic?

I guess what I’m really asking is…

How do you correct the posture of your heart?

MillionYoung_AndyJScott-154Millionyoung aka Mike Diaz hails from Florida and recently released his sophomore LP, Variable.  The title track “Variable” is a chillwave synth pop wet dream.  The beats are fresh and have a have a whiff of disco.  It’s a perfect track for cleaning your stove while you dance around in your underwear, or soaking up sun in Dolores Park watching hipsters walk by as they smoke weed out of apples.  Czech it out!

[@millionyoung][iTunes][Rdio]

 

Happy Anniversary!

David —  February 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

Dear APOB,

Happy Anniversary! 

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Remember post numero uno?

Love you, babe!

-dm

 

A Quest for Love: Burritos

David —  February 13, 2013 — 3 Comments

Manuel Rojas died on February 12, 2013.family1

As a child I spent my weekdays at my grandparent’s house while both my parents worked; East LA was a second home.  While I spent days wandering the neighborhood with my retired grandfather or watching my grandmother pick fruits and vegetables out of their garden, I always remember feeling like I was in this really awesome neighborhood where everyone knew each other and treated neighbors like they were part of the family.  It’s magical.

I’ve been going to El Tepeyac in East Los Angeles for as long as I can remember.  It’s not very far from my grandparent’s home and it bar none the best Mexican food there ever could be in this lifetime.  While unassuming on the outside, inside there is tons of life; waitresses in traditional Mexican blouses, mariachi music playing, and guacamole being consumed by the mouthful.

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At the center of it all was Manuel.

57361_126904017364692_7229722_oManuel was nothing short of the definition of swagger.  This man could work a room like nobody else.  He started El Tepeyac in Boyle heights in 1952 along with his mother after his father had deceased.  You might have heard of El Tepeyac before.  In 2009 it was featured on Man vs. Food and it always seems to be popping up on top burritos lists for it’s “Manuel Special.”

For me, El Tepeyac is more than a good burrito.  Growing up, my family and I would go to El Tepeyac consistently for breakfast and we would be greeted by the walking smile that is “Uncle Manuel.”  It was common to see different generations of the Navarro family at El Tepeyac sitting together and enjoying some chips and salsa while talking to Manuel and hearing about his latest conquests at the horse track.  (He loved his horse races.)  I always called him Uncle Manuel and he would call me Little David, just like my grandfather.  It wasn’t until I was a pre-teen when I realized that Uncle Manuel wasn’t really my blood uncle.  He knew me, though.  My favorite candy was and still is to this day a Tootsie Roll, and while normal customers at El Tepeyac would get a small party-size piece of candy upon leaving the restaurant, Manuel always had a extra-large Tootsie Roll on deck for whenever Little David came in, even when Little David wasn’t so little anymore.

Manuel fostered such community around him, and he did it with humor, a good heart, and the most charming, devilish smile one could possibly imagine.  He treated everyone who entered his restaurant, whether a long-time patron or first-time visitor, as a dear friend and always invited them back.  When it was insanely busy at the restaurant and there was a line out the door for a table, he would come outside and work the line, offering people coffee or tequila. (He never had a liquor license and police officers looked the other way.)  “Tequila is better in the morning,” he’d say.  His happiness came from seeing the happiness in those he fed.  His role was caretaker before anything else.  He loved his community.

I have a lot of great memories of Manuel, but one sticks out quite clear.  I had stopped into El Tepeyac for lunch one day and I sat at the counter, since I was alone.  Manuel and I went through the routine of greeting each other and checking in to see how the other was doing.  I ordered and waited patiently for my food to come.  While I was waiting, Manuel took a stool next to me at the counter and asked me if I was dating any “beautiful young ladies.”  I had been out of the closet for years at this point, but Manuel and I never had discussed my sexuality.  It just never came up, I guess, yet I knew we had never talked about it.  I felt nervous, oddly, and didn’t want to lie, but wasn’t sure how this devout Catholic man would take to having a homosexual amongst him.  I said something like, “no beautiful ladies, but I’m seeing a handsome man,” very nervously.  He flashed me a grin, and asked to see a picture.  “Let me see how handsome he is.”  I showed him a photo on my phone and he said, “Yup, he’s handsome.”  I instantly felt his love for me.

I don’t know why I would have ever doubted him.  That moment meant the world to me.  I never got to tell my grandfather I was gay; he had died earlier on in my life.  Manuel was a man that not only saw me grow up, but he was a friend of my grandfather’s, and he was just fine with me and whatever sexuel orientation I just so happened to be.  In a way, I could sense my grandfather (my best friend) hanging around El Tepeyac with me at that moment.  Maybe that is a part of love.

photoManuel died yesterday of cancer.  He was diagnosed recently and it was too late for anything to be done.  My sister told me of the news last night, and at first I was a bit dumbfounded.  When my grandparents were growing older, I knew that my time with them was limited and there would be a day when they would physically be gone from this world, but with Manuel, another constant adult in my life, I never had those feelings.  I guess I associated him so heavily with this physical place and this communal experience, and those don’t necessarily have a shelf-life.

To me, El Tepeyac is more than a place to get a great burrito that I saw on TV, or a shot of tequila in the morning.  It’s my Uncle Manuel’s place; his home.  Luckily enough, he gave me the privilege to come back and spend time with him over and over again.

I fell asleep last night thinking about Manuel and the loving community he created.  It got me to thinking about fostering community in my life, and what I can take away from Manuel.

Communities pop up everywhere based on varying interests and lifestyles, but sometimes communities can go beyond their initial creation and start a loving movement.

In matters of the heart, how can we create a community of love?

R.I.P. Uncle Manuel

UntitledRemember that summer in 1995 when all you did was listen to Jewel?  No? Just me?  It was right around the same time that Jagged Little Pill from Alanis Morissette came out.  Jewel was “Alanis-lite.”  The world was enamored with the only really good thing to come out of Alaska.  She had a heartwarming story about living in a car with her dad and a charming snaggletooth.  It was a simpler time.  Gas was on average $1.09 a gallon, the Friends were singing “Smelly Cat” at Central Perk, and Marlon Brando was kissing Larry King live on television.

Well, you can relive those days, sort of.  Jewel is trying to be relevant again so she released her Greatest Hits album.  Take a walk down memory lane and listen to “Foolish Games” by Jewel featuring Kelly Clarkson.  Try to forget when she attempted the “sexy” thing.  Kelly really helps round out the sound in the new rendition of the song and she brings her scorn-woman-filled-with-anger attitude.

[iTunes][Rdio][@jeweljk][@kelly_clarkson]