Friday, September 28, 2012

Stepsister's Lament

Serves me right for flaunting the page views on my free blog...I've been getting attacked by ads all day! It's one of those things I didn't read when I "agreed" to the Terms and Conditions. Really though, girls in bikinis??

I've thought about changing websites. Why don't I do something easier to remember like, or even change the Filisteen to the more recognized spelling, Falasteen? I Googled both of them, Falasteen is three times more common. When I started this thing three years ago I think I just didn't like the sound of "fala," like it was vulgar or something. That was before I ever had to say the word "falasteen." Who cares about the spelling of a translation, anyway? To me, "falasteenola" sounds like a mouthful, a kind of vulgar one at that. At this point, though, I just want to stick it out. I like my URL, it's like...mah bebe. 

Anyways, there's still a lot of organizing to do, between the Palestine and New Orleans parts of this blog. A few articles to write, a film to make. Now I'm just capturing essence...will these entries turn into some bigger? Maybe, maybe...

I'm sitting at Peet's Coffee in downtown Menlo Park, this is like Bay Area Tully's, and it has a good vibe. I'm sitting by the door to keep an eye on my bike, which is leaning against a tree on the sidewalk. There are always folks chatting on the bench facing the coffeeshop, which is really nice to see. The other night, an old man said, "dohhh, I was gonna take that bike home with me!" and we struck up a conversation. He said he'd give me a bike light next time he saw me. I can't remember what he looks like. Maybe he's out there now.

Still uploading footage to YouTube in every setting imaginable. Watching high school volleyball players walk home with their parents, software engineers walk around town after work. I feel so invisible here. Like I can't make up my mind about trying to be a part of this community. How does one meet people in Menlo Park, anyway? Biking home one night past all the nice restaurants, I briefly considered doing But for such a short stint, that just sound cruel and not the point of it. I might as well do "casual encounters" on Craigslist. Then I made myself snort with laughter and might have startled this one woman walking down the sidewalk.

This kid next-table just asked his mama, "is this gonna be our DINNER?!"

And...just now, a man just went up to be and asked me what the back of my shirt said. "Palestine Writing Workshop," like the front of it. It's the 5K Run/Walk t-shirt, like I wore back at Tully's. The man was like, oh, ok. He seemed like a very pleasant fellow.

"I just got back from there, I'm actually working on some videos right now to show people what it was like."

"Do you have any buzz words so I can look for them on Youtube?"

I got his e-mail address so I could send him the link when I was done.

"Seems like we need a little more...peace over there. I still hear about the bombardments coming over from the Palestinian side."

I told him I was in the West Bank for about a year, and most of my Israeli and Palestinian friends were on the liberal side, and were doing a lot of work together against what the Israeli military is doing. Like if he and I went over to Afghanistan to work with Afghanis in the middle of own military occupation.

"Well....that would be pretty dangerous."

"I know some Christian Peacemakers who did it..."

He said something about Rachel Maddow not talking about "the conflict" very much, and I said she's still very cautious. He asked if I recommend any other news sites, and I said Rachel Maddow is probably the farthest left we go, since we don't have Al Jazeera, but Mondoweiss was a good site for I/P news.

He asked me if I had a lot of these conversations when I wear this shirt, and I said just one time, with a barista. But I wasn't so much part of this community yet. He recommended Kepler's books across the street, they have readings and discussions a lot, and the seminars at Stanford are great.

I really appreciated that, and told him my name was Morgan, and said I'd e-mail him soon, and he left the coffeeshop.


I was thinking about this song as I biked into town today. It was in the Musical songbook on the piano at Carin's house, and I remembered the song from when I spotlighted the Rogers & Hammerstein's review at Whitman. The two wicked stepsisters are singing about the prince falling for the mystery woman, Cinderella. I started questioning their wickedness...

If I write a musical someday, my characters will be hella complex.

Oh, why would a fella wanna girl like her, a girl who's merely lovely,
Why can't a fella ever once prefer a girl who's merely me?