3 A.M. Muni Melodrama :: Shenpa Spiritual Training

Watch Me Lose It

Watch as this divine supreme teacher is sent to help me zero in on my “Shenpa”. Bull’s eye, this time. Normally, I’m a chill, content, charming, happy go lucky kind of guy. But every now and then, even I, sweet little ole me, am tested to the point of losing my cool.

What led up to this?

For ten minutes this skanky, cracked-out, possibly homeless, nothing left to lose kind of drag queen had been propositioning, panhandling, then mocking, and harassing just about every person waiting at the bus stop on the way home from the Castro Friday night.

She gets on without paying, and proceeds to annoy anyone near her. I go sit in the back as far away as I can get, behind a 30’s ish couple of European tourists who are OBLIVIOUSLY having a two way video chat via their smartphones with friends from the homeland. They did not speak fluent English.

When is somebody going to check this bitch?

The monstress with the snake hair assumes they’re taping HER and her annoying rants, so she threatens to snatch their phone and slap them upside they haed. They have no idea what she’s saying, but they’re starting to figure out something’s wrong. Wow, I’m thinking, when is somebody going to check this bitch? That’s when I whip out my cheap ass $50 Getto PCS smartphone and start taping this tawdry yet instructional reality TV mini-sode.


Right after, as soon as I get home, I google my favorite Buddhist guru, Pema Chodren, and find this enlightening video. It helped me calm down, digest, and understand what just happened.

Buddhists claim that “a spiritual friend is someone who’s job it is to insult you”. This helps you get to know just what sets you off, shuts you down, or gets you hooked. So I’m just oh so grateful to have met my new spiritual friend, who taught me that I really have issues with loud mouthed skanky bitches who just won’t shut up.

I’m looking forward to watching this video over and over and over (ha!), getting to know my Shenpa, and think about ways I could introduce more compassion in similar circumstances down the rocky OR the yellow brick road called life.

Look Like Nothings Going To Change

I left my home in Florida, because I knew I’d end up either dead or in jail. I was flamboyant, and dated black guys. Thirty five years later and Trayvon Martin shows that not much has changed.

Most of my new friends here were also exiles from intolerant homelands, like Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. This song resonated and became our favorite chill out song for a couple of months. Somewhere after Joni Mitchell’s Hissing of Summer Lawns, and before Nina Simone’s Wild Is The Wind album.

Pretty heavy and heady at the same time, huh?

trayvon martin


Trans March San Francisco 2013

I get to see it all. Any time anything happens, there’s a march, and it goes right by my front door here at the Luxury Viking Hotel in San Francisco, CA.

Since a small rag tag group started this march in 2004, it has taken place every year on the Friday before Gay Pride. This years was the biggest I’ve seen yet.

Here is a copy of the origional e mail that was sent out in 2004, and still represents this march’s purpose today:

“We are calling for this march to demonstrate that we are a significant and growing portion of the lgbtiq community; to increase our visibility and presence in the tgiqlb community and the overall community at large; to encourage more trans and gender-variant people to come out; to build connections among ftm, mtf, bayot, crossdressers, sadhin, hijra, transvestites, bantut, drag queens, drag kings, mahu, transsexuals, bakla, travesti, genderqueers, kathoey, two spirit, intersex and those with other labels for themselves and no labels for themselves, those who see gender as having more than two options, and those who live between the existing options; to support one another as a community, through all of our struggles; to speak out against violence, hate, transphobia, and the oppression of any and all of us under the existing social structure; and to be fabulous and powerful in the company of others that are fabulous and powerful.

Dress up, show up, bring signs, speak out, and be what happens!

Please enhance, translate and pass this on to any groups, lists, or individuals who might be interested.”


Going To The Chapel with the SF Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band

I did a quick search and found these two videos, taken at the jubilant celebration in the Castro the day of the Supreme Court ruling against DOMA and Prop 8.

Hire A Website Designer – You Need One | Shiny Toy Robots

Oh! I’m glad I’m not the only one who disagrees with Mitz Pantic:

Hire A Website Designer – You Need One

Random Thoughts | By Robin on January 9, 2012

Sometimes I come across a blog post that just annoys me because it’s inaccurate and misleading. Today I read “Don’t Hire A Website Designer – You Don’t Need One“, and it inspired me to write a response. Even a small business owner with a limited budget can get a lot of benefit from hiring a good website designer.

Yes, WordPress is great

The article argues that WordPress, as a free content management system with downloadable themes, makes it completely unnecessary for small businesses to hire a website designer.

WordPress is great. It makes hosting and administering a professional website easy and accessible. There’s lots of free support out there in the form of the WordPress codex, forums and blog posts. It’s the most popular content management system out there for very good reasons.

But a content management system is what makes a website work…it isn’t a website in itself.

Those ‘tricksy’ website designers

The biggest flaw in Mitz Pantic‘s argument is the suggestion that custom design has no benefit over a downloaded WordPress theme (commercial or free).

But you don’t need to customize your layout beyond adding your company logo (which you can do from the WordPress menu). Any professional-quality layout, like those included with WordPress, will put your customers and clients at ease. Spending extra money to create a custom layout won’t attract new customers or increase your sales—it’ll just waste your money on something you don’t need.

This is dead wrong.

There are great WordPress themes out there. Many of them are really high quality, and can be a great way to get started. They can give you a solid, professional looking website, with some customization options to brand the site, but it’s very difficult to make it truly “yours”.

The suggestion that there aren’t significant potential benefits in a custom design is really misleading. Spending extra money to create a custom layout can attract new customers and it can increase your sales and conversions. Sure, you don’t need to customize your layout beyond adding your company logo, but you’re hardly differentiating yourself from the crowd if that’s all you do.


The advantages of great web design

  • A genuinely unique look and feel to your site (not a cookie cutter approach)
  • Real “ownership” of your brand and design
  • Calls to action specific to your customers
  • Bespoke options and functionality that might not be available as part of a theme
  • Strong code structure that naturally gives solid SEO
  • A web designer who can answer your questions and give you honest feedback and advice

No theme, however exceptional, can provide all of these benefits. Gary Vaynerchuck in his awesome book ‘Crush It!‘ points out that getting custom web design is a possible exception to his general rule that anyone can start their own business without the need for financial investment.

Make an informed decision

I’m not criticizing WordPress themes. Many of them are genuinely great, and they can provide a really strong foundation for a new business, at a reasonable price.

Of course if you are a big wig with a big budget then you cannot go wrong with a customized designed website, but for the average person, see the cheap and stress free way to get a website.

What frustrated me about the article was the implication that custom web design is only for these “big wigs”, and that web designers were likely to unethically pass off an existing theme as their own design work. Neither of these accusations is universally, or even commonly, true.

One of the huge benefits of open source (and free) content management systems like WordPress is that they’ve made great web design accessible and affordable. You don’t need to pay for a bespoke content management system (and, indeed, you absolutely shouldn’t). A good web designer can help you differentiate yourself while still using a free platform. Often for a very reasonable price.

Custom web design will cost you more than using a free or commercial theme. Good custom web design will also provide a lot of additional benefits. If you choose to go with a theme, then that’s great. It might well be the best option for your business. Make it an informed choice, not a choice based on the false impression that a generic theme is indistinguishable from great custom design.

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via Hire A Website Designer – You Need One | Shiny Toy Robots.