Happy Holidays!

December 2012

Ocean Beach

It’s been a year. Ups and downs, highs and lows, best and worst of times... I persist in optimism and appreciation for the good stuff, which includes my wonderful friends and family. Holiday greetings to you all!

So... San Francisco is still awesome (glancing out my window as I type, I see the sun shining on the Pacific off Ocean Beach), and I’m so lucky to live here. In 2012 I attended several local events for the first time, including Maker Faire (creativity gone amok!), the Treasure Island Flea Market (worth it just for the city view, not to mention the food trucks), the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and Outside Lands concerts in Golden Gate Park, LitQuake (a Jane Austen panel), the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary fireworks (which I watched from the cliffside golf course up the street), and Flugtag in McCovey Cove (describing this one: well, you just had to be there).

Giants A-listers have great butts!

I also went to a slew of SF Giants games, including the “must win” (yeah, we had a lot of those!) Game 6 of the National League championship playoffs, which was INSANE. Our City still basks in an orange glow which I expect to remain until next opening day, and beyond that to another fantastic season. Plus, as you can see, our A-listers have great butts.

Outside Lands music festival

Musical interludes (in addition to the the GG Park fests which attracted huge crowds) included a trip to Las Vegas in January for a Chinese New Year concert featuring Alec Su (who once again charmed both the audience and our group of stalwart fans who were able to meet with him post-show), and ukelele phenomenon Jake Shimabukuro, performing, with his mom and brother, after the premiere of his Life in Four Strings documentary at the spring SF International Asian American Film Festival.

Mythcon was in Berkeley this year, which meant that I was on the committee, not traveling away to the conference. As ever, the guests and program were both stimulating and fun. My friend Lynn and I gave a paper on Western vs. Eastern dragons to an SRO crowd, and the Not-Ready-for-Mythcon Players were, once again, not ready but performed anyway.

This year I designed three new books and fine-tuned a few web sites for clients, worked up a few logos for the Mythopoeic Society and served as Publications Coordinator for the 2012 conference, and expanded my online expertise by creating some Pinterest projects. I’m now the official MythSoc Social Media Butterfly, a much sexier title than my past board positions.

A Colt Is My Passport

Film faves this year included Wild Horse, Wild Ride, a terrific documentary about the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge, which was screened on the lawn at Napa winery & restaurant; and both versions of Danny Boyle’s Royal National Theatre Frankenstein play in which actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller exchanged roles each night. Even viewing this on film, the performances were riveting. The Bay Area festical circuit also did not disappoint, with such diverse offerings as the Ruan Lingyu 1933 silent Little Toys and the astonishing ’60s Japanese noir A Colt is My Passport. Next up: Deadball at Another Hole in the Head film fest.

I lost three friends this year, three amazing women who left us way too soon. Deborah and Vanessa fought their battles with cancer demonstrating great courage, grace, and humor. And Colleen’s presence was so vibrant, her life so full of energy and enthusiasm, I can’t quite believe that a sudden stroke could possibly have stopped her, and I suspect her spirit will continue to watch over San Francisco’s downtown Tenderloin for some time to come.

Sorrow happens,
hardship happens,
the hell with it,
who never knew the price of happiness
will not be happy.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Cuba map

Yevtushenko has always been one of my favorite poets; I went to a reading he gave at UC Boulder back in 1986, which I’d more or less totally forgotten about until I ran across this poem again. I’m happy in my memories of the friendships shared with those I’ve lost, the price of which is sorrow for their passing.

I wish everyone within my world a holiday season full of warmth and good company, and a new year low on hardship and sorrow, high on happiness and new adventures. Me, I’ve got a craving for mojitos so I’m going to Cuba the day after Christmas. ¡Salud!