Atta Ikede

June 24, 2010

Rendezvous with Russia

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 1:19 pm

No, not really. But I did see the Russian President’s motorcade yesterday on my way to work.

Cops on motorcycles had stopped traffic, so all pedestrians and cars had to wait to cross the street. I’d seen Obama’s motorcade before he was president, so I know the deal. It’s exactly like it is on 24 – a bunch of cops, flashing lights and multiple black SUVs, all with Maryland plates. Yes, they pack their own cars when they go on the road.

The Russian Presidential motorcade was crazy though – one of the SUVs was full of commandos packing machine guns. They had all the windows down too, so you could clearly see the commandos with their guns. Plus there were like 6 black Maryland SUVs and a couple European Benz’s, and a fire truck!

Apparently he was in the bay area to make a speech at Stanford and meet the cofounder of Google.

Later that day I saw the Mayor of San Francisco giving a speech with some protestors. That guy is slick. You can pick him out in a crowd.


June 4, 2010

Sweat, shorts, foghorns

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:13 pm

I guess it’s an annual thing.

My windows are open and the thermostat says 80F. That’s 27 Celsius. I checked in Google just now.

The irritating thing is I still need a jacket when I’m out. I have Mr. Wind to thank for that. Jerk. So I wear shorts in my apartment and have to pull on pants before I go out.

Fog season has also rolled in. I kind of missed it! It’s a bit misty when I leave for work, and I can hear foghorns non-stop after dark. I seriously heard like 8 horns in the time it took me to type this post.

In other news, the “secret garden” houseĀ  across the street for me is undergoing a lot of construction. The garage has been wrapped in Tyvek for weeks, and there’s always a truck there with hammering going on, but externally very little has changed. I guess they must be totally gutting the place inside and rebuilding. Those nouveau riche, eh? Always splashing their money around.


Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:06 pm

Earlier this week, i went for a beer with my coworker after work. We ended up talking about happiness. What is happiness? You can’t even define it, so how do you know when you have it?

Walking home afterwards, taking my usual route past the scientology headquarters (they’re in the old transamerica building, right across from the new transamerica building), I found myself thinking about Mormons.

Mormons have been on my mind for a while now, ever since a family vacation to Salt Lake City in early May. The thing that gets me isn’t specific to Mormons – I’ve known religious people and actually have friends who have a similar vibe. I think I’m stuck on the Mormons specifically because (1) their temples were fabulous (2) Salt Lake City was beautiful. We actually went to check out their temple (weren’t allowed to go in, but we could go into the area and take photos and things) and were greeted by several missionaries there. The place was totally crawling with missionaries – i mean, you expect that. It’s their temple. These missionaries were all fresh faced young women. They all wore neat, pressed, modest clothing – knee length skirt, pretty blouses. Very little makeup. They had earnest smiles and they made eye contact and held it. It wasn’t possible to wander around their square there and avoid these missionaries – they engaged. They had name tags pinned to the upper left corner of their blouse. Each name tag included her name and her country of origin. (Side note: Interestingly, while the various missionaries all wore their “uniform” of skirt and blouse, it was pretty easy to tell where women are from. The girl from Korea definitely had a cutesy look to her and seemed to have some kind of anime hair tie. The girl from a country in South America had a bold patterned skirt.)

These women all had a specifically earnest look on their faces. Talking to them, it was clear they really believe what they’re talking about. They don’t have questions. If they do, they just suppress them or ask their elders for guidance. A lot of my religious friends are the same.

This ability to believe — just … fervently, believe in something. It fascinates me. On one hand, it scares me. One minute you’re a fervent believer, next minute you’re drinking the koolaid! It’s dangerous! But on the other hand, I’m kind of jealous of those people.

I don’t have fervent belief in my life. I don’t have an answer. I don’t think I believe in the afterlife, but I am not sure there isn’t one. It’s not that I don’t believe, it’s that I don’t know what to believe, so I just can’t be fervent about any one particular belief.

Hmm. I’m trying to figure out where this post is going.

I’m staring out the window.

Now I’m recollecting the serene and confident way that this Mormon missionary was explaining things to me back in Salt Lake City.

Now I’m realizing I don’t think I’m even capable of holding that expression on my face! I just don’t think my face can convey that expression.

I’m now vaguely feeling jealous that these missionaries can feel an expression that I can’t even make!

Sigh. I don’t know where I’m going with this. I think the only conclusion here is … I’m not cut out to be a believer. And I don’t think people like me will ever understand the unilateral believers. There’s just too much of a gulf.

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