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hiyaa by Dana Oshiro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.  

August 31, 2008


You know how in teen movies, the girl everyone calls a nerd is just a regular girl in glasses and a ponytail? Well today I went to the Richmond District bespectacled and ponytailed and after trying on a few outfits at a Chinese boutique, a great looking Russian lady (sans glasses) co-opted my clerk and left me cast aside like the $10 bin. I am convinced if I had shown up geek-to-chic as opposed to chic-to-geek, this would have never happened. I spent money to appear more attractive. It only made me seem desperate.

TechCrunch just covered a one page Net Neutrality debate article by Opposing Views . I like that they covered it. I don't like that they did it on Labor Day Weekend when only nerds like me are online. It's like they are preaching to the ugly choir.

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August 24, 2008

Getting Published: Being an Influencer

I just got home from Gnomedex and checked my personal email. I've been asked to contribute to an anthology of stories targeted at 11-14-year-olds. I don't even know if 11-14-year-olds want to read a story written by some wizened old crone rambling into obsolescence. I'm sure every rebellious thing I ever did would be tame for today's teen. Still, here are some myths I've refuted in an effort to cobble together some practical survival advice:

1. POPULARITY DOESN'T MATTER OUTSIDE OF HIGH SCHOOL: The easiest way to get a job is to be likable and to know someone already in the company. I work 10-12 hour days. I would rather hire someone pleasant and moderately intelligent, than someone who is brilliant and psychotic.
2. SEX IS FOR PROCREATION: You don't have to be embarrassed to want to get with someone. Just always wear a condom, try not to have too many partners, and more than anything - only get with partners who are discreet and respectful. You are a human being and your sex life shouldn't be your identity. If it becomes your identity, you're more likely to experience creepy situations.

3. IF YOU MAKE A PLAN AND STICK WITH IT, YOU'LL GET WHAT YOU WANT: Do you really think that 94% of the world living in poverty is composed of a bunch of loafers and poor planners? Find a purpose that makes you happy and surround yourself with solid people. It doesn't matter what you do, just feel strongly about something and prepare for some nice surprises.
4. DRUGS ARE DRUGS: Marijuana won't kill you. It will make you slow, giggly, sometimes paranoid, and worst of all, fat (as you are more prone to eating an entire bag of Frito Lays in one sitting). Meanwhile, cocaine, meth amphetamines, heroin, crack, GHB mixed with alcohol, MDMA cut with speed, and high concentrations of LSD might hurt you. There is no such thing as a trustworthy drug supply. Your friend's brother's LSD was made in a bathtub and there is no guarantee that the same batch will produce the same effect on different people. If you're going to experiment, read about chemicals on the internet from a credible source.
5. THEY'RE JUST JEALOUS: If you're like me, you have a sneaky suspicion that the hot people only invite you to do stuff in order to laugh at you. Congratulations on having this level of self awareness. Your other geek friends won't figure this out for years. Still, when the cool kids pick on you, they aren't doing it because they're jealous. They're doing it because they think you're a snotty asshole. If you think someone is an idiot, don't let them know it. Be nice, ask questions and try to learn something.

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August 17, 2008

Allen Ginsberg, Geist & Talent

Yesterday I realized that for a good part of my life I've been chasing ghosts. I found out that my friend lived in the same apartment as Allen Ginsberg. Then I realized that despite the fact that my friend is a regular fixture in our home, I know more about Allen Ginsberg. I'm tired of assuming that the remarkable people in the world are either dead or far away. I'm ashamed that I haven't talked more about the talented people that I know firsthand.

My friends Koshi and Jess finally made it to their 40th day at Zeitgeist. Koshi blogs the dive bar experience here.

Koshi is a visual designer and photographer, while Jess is the technology editor at the Institute for the Future and an extremely savvy and honest writer. While they don't know it, once these two decide on an independent full-time project, whether together or separately, they are going to be unstoppable. Once they read this, Jess will say something mean in order to mask her embarrassment. I don't care. Someone needs to fund their graphic novel / asshole bumper sticker series / rock 'n roll podcast biking tour of SF / whatever. The ironic silkscreen poster series shtick has been co-opted by hacks. These two are legit and we're all fans.

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August 14, 2008

Travels: From Humble Beginnings...

Wow. Today is a day of travel planning. This morning I booked my ticket for Gnomedex in Seattle and then my honey bunny booked our Christmas vacation - in Kauai! Things are looking up.

Yesterday at a networking event, I actually spoke to a bunch of strangers without having to make awkward small talk. I am having a breakthrough.Everything is coming up Dana.

You can see how it might have been initially intimidating to be in a room full of well-known creatives and feel like you're wearing a big "kick me, I'm podunk Canadian" sign on my back. Nevertheless, the more I get to know people, the more I realize how podunk we all are (in a good way). The nicest man I know is literally from a rock in the middle of the ocean. Podunk is good. It seems to breed some pretty solid human beings.

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August 07, 2008

Guns Guns Guns!

Whoa. Two strange things happened today.
1. I went to the gym and exercised - ouch
2. I saw a news story about how a Maryland mayor's home was mistakenly raided by the S.W.A.T. team in a marijuana drug bust and that the mayor's two dogs were killed as a result. Mayor Cheye Calvo held a press conference calling for an investigation into the raid and emphasized how his dogs were members of the family. Then I realized that during the raid, the mayor thought he was being attacked by armed robbers. The police believed that the mayor's two black labs were a threat. Imagine if one of his family members had reached for a gun? We watched the beginning of the gun control episode from 30 Days. I wish people could settle their disputes in obstacle course relay races. I think Canada might still be pretty non-threatening.

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August 06, 2008

Together At Last...

This weekend was a whirlwind. Mr. Wonderful went to a bachelor party in Aptos and I went dancing with the girls. Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder. On Monday we ate a West African berry and drank all sorts of foul things that tasted sweet and then turned sour in my stomach. I woke up in a cold sweat. It was not good.

Things I discovered this weekend on my own:
1. Fanboys of the Universe: First off, I had no idea that there was a GLBT community dedicated to comic book fandom including a gallery of same sex superhero duos smooching. The Batman and Robin is my favorite.

2. Doodle Defender Game: This game is addictive.

3. The Man is a Woman: Female cops are extra vigilant about cellphone use in the car, even when you're in park with the hazard lights on. Swearing when you've forgotten your wallet and are caught driving without a license is also frowned upon.

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A flying roundhouse axekick to absolutes