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Set the Setting: August 2023
Meme Drop, Set the Setting Playlist: Break Through, 🚨: No Longer a Vegetarian, Ryan's 40th Birthday Recap, Catch me IRL in San Francisco, Photo Drop
Last month, I shared that I was calling in a partner and I specifically mentioned 3 things: that I was ready for romance, that I would practice vocalizing my emotions (even if it’s a “no”), and that I’m ready to be hurt again. Well, it’s been a hell of a month; each of those things happened! Even though the “getting hurt again” part truly sucked, it was remarkable to me (and my therapist and life coach) how quickly I was able to process, integrate the experience, and apply it in a productive way.
This meme sums it all up. I value my space and independence; but my desire for closeness has a twinkle in my eye ✨
Set the Setting Playlist: Break Through
EDM is a core and essential part of my being. And what is core and essential to EDM, you ask? We all know what it is — THE DROPS. This playlist is another genre-bender, as iconic drops can transcend a lot of subgenres. I blended some dubstep, progressive house, and classic EDM bangers. It starts with Knife Party and ends with Deadmau5’s Strobe - the ultimate breakthrough. This is going to be a fun playlist to evolve over time. Tell me what you’d add to this playlist in the comments below!
If you look at the thumbnail icon of this playlist, you’ll see one of the drawings I had commissioned for my old website: It’s a cat, looking into a mirror and self-actualizing as a lion. That’s what this playlist is all about. It’s for breaking through self-limiting beliefs, doubts, anxieties, expectations and any other hurdles in our way. If you’re feeling stagnant in some aspect of your life, turn up the volume and break through like a motherfucker. Suggested drug pairing: 2C-B.
🚨: No Longer a Vegetarian
Picture this: a teenager in the pre-Facebook era, who had a strong conviction for doing the right thing. He grew up sheltered in the suburbs and discovered Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Suddenly, he had a purpose.
I gave up red meat for a few months before declaring myself a full/true vegetarian on my 16th birthday. I was 100% sure that the worst thing in the world was the way we treated animals in the factory farming process. I protested our school animal dissections and wrote my college entrance essay on why I was a proud vegetarian. I was even was awarded a scholarship by the non-profit organization In Defense of Animals.
Over the next 18 years, my commitment to animal rights faltered. I love wearing leather, skins and furs… that was a hard one to reconcile. The biggest chink in the armor was realizing that systemic racism existed; because as horrible as we treat some animals, we treat some fellow humans just as bad. It also dawned on me that preaching veganism is a privileged thing to tell any working class family that is struggling to put food on the table.
But no! I could never, ever renounce my vegetarianism. It was my identity for so many years. It made me who I am. There was a struggle between this part of myself that found identity in “doing the right thing” and the part of me that wanted to eat meat. I used to get drunk and find myself with a slice, or 3, of meat lovers pizza. Or that one time I woke up in a pile of McDonald’s dollar-menu cheeseburgers. The shame…
It’s been 18 months since my first ayahuasca retreat where aya asked me: “why are you being so hard on yourself? why do you feel like you need to suffer to help others?” And there came the break through - my identity is whatever the fuck I want it to be. I’m in control, I am me, and I am enough.
18 months later, I am happy, healthy, eating lots of meat, and giving my body what it wants. It turns out, I’m still a good person, I still care about animals and the environment, and I’m not hungry all the time!
Ryan’s 40th Bday Recap
Happy 40th Birthday, Ryan! That was a magical weekend; thank you (and Dallas) for creating such a joyful, inclusive, and (mostly) safe weekend. I’ll let the pictures and videos do the talking!
Clockwise from Top Left: The crew at Meow Wolf Dallas; Baking in 110 degree heat; My tush going up the water slide; the newest trend, Toe Jams — I mean GEMS!
Alfred, Angela, Ryan and Meghan. All Smiles!
Catch me IRL in San Francisco (Through September!)
Normally the “Catch me IRL” section is where I’m traveling or a conference I’m attending. But this month, I couldn’t be more excited to let y’all know that I’m not going anywhere (outside the Bay Area) through the month of September. No Burning Man for me - I’m staying put. Evan and Rebecca are getting married in Marin (woo!) and my only other commitments are dogsitting at Lester and Erika’s (in Bernal) and tickets to the Rezz show on September 15th at Stanford’s Frost Amphitheater.
If you’re around SF, particularly around Labor Day weekend, hit me up! Let’s take advantage of the time when the burners have been raptured and restaurant reservations are aplenty. I’ve been craving a trip to Archimedes Banya! Anyone?
August Photo Drop
Clockwise from Top Left: Bauer loves Dolores Park; Celebrating Jack and Renn’s Wedding in Honolulu; Lauren, Deb and I at Manoa Falls; The spot where my bathroom used to be - Bauer is confused.
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