Things that are new, a.k.a., oh, hello there, December

  1. I’m living in San Francisco 
  2. I’m learning how to ride a vintage-y road/touring bike with drop-bar handles and tube shifters, and I imagine it would be a bit easier if the frame weren’t 1 cm too tall for my short self 
  3. It appears that I’m allergic to the new residence. For lack of viable options, I’m targeting dust mites. This is slightly ironic because our landlord (landlady?) is allergic to cats, though she’s graciously allowed me to bring up the Bean. 
  4. I’ve accepted that Brussels sprouts are not 100% vile and are, under the right circumstances, actually rather edible
  5. I am finally planning social events I have wanted to put together for over three years, yay! 

I’m sure there’s more, but it’s all trivial. Happy December!

Notice of Public Outing

I was going to wait until I had a more monumental/shock-value post to submit, but last night, I guess in an attempt to distract me from my slow and miserable descent into Feverish Ew, we decided to finally make our relationship public to the Internets.

And by "we" I mean "he", and by "he" I mean "Noah Kagan".

So, yeah. We've plastered our status everywhere and it's vaguely tempting to be more obnoxious about it. It's ironic; he's been telling everyone (in person) we've been dating pretty much since Day One, referencing this site and sending them over here– when logistically, *I* should have been the one name-dropping and bragging. Because, holy crap, it's Noah Kagan.

But understandably, not everyone is fanatical about All Things Online, so not everyone sees the immediate significance attributed to being with someone like him. Like my mom. My mom kept asking me about Noah, what he does and who he is, and the only thing I could think of in reply was, "He's kind of a big deal on the Internet." I could have sent her his resume, sure, but what good is that to someone who has never heard of Facebook or Mint?

Actually, he's kind of a big deal *off* the Internet, too, but probably 90% of everyone he knows, he's met through the Internet (uh, like me (due to this post)). But either way– some items of interest about Noah, just for your inquiring eyes:

  1. Andrew Chen referred to Noah as "the golden child of Silicon Valley".
  2. You could think of Noah as the Tila Tequila of Facebook. Except Noah's a dude, he's not bisexual, and he's not a slut or publicity whore.
  3. He was mentioned in Rolling Stone for having put together Entrepreneur27 (the article was about Internet-based "baby billionaires").
  4. His company made, then sold, the Facebook revival of "Oregon Trail".
  5. Everyone who knows Noah knows, at the very least, this: he is passionate about burritos.
  6. Actually, the only reason I have a Facebook account to begin with is because Noah made me one. I was two years out of college and Facebook had yet to open membership to non-college students (and I had no interest in Facebook anyway), so he created my account for me. I have never changed the password, which means if his memory doesn't fail him, he could, at any time, log in to my account.
  7. He bought me this alligator for my birthday, and– with the exception of in class– you'll be hard-pressed to find me without it these days.
  8. He is implacably outraged that Two Buck Chuck actually costs $3 here in Vegas. I never hear the end of it.
  9. He despises Twitter, and it's a sore point for him that Twitter is how we reconnected after something like two years.
  10. Noah once impulsively decided to drive from Austin to Vegas (in the middle of the night) just to see me. He made it as far as El Paso before realizing that flying would get him here faster.

And we're together. It still boggles my mind, but don't think I'm not grateful for it, for him, every single day. He's awesome, and he thinks *I'm* awesome (which is awesome), and I finally have someone to whom I could appropriately give this card.

Love: it's sappy and eye-rolling, true, but with the dismal state of so much else in the world, a good heaping dose of love added to the mix could hardly hurt. And that's all I've got.

If I had 1.68 cents for each year of my life, I’d have enough to buy a postage stamp

My witching hour began at 11:00 p.m., when I started to look back on my 24th year and review it, in order, from my birthday celebration last year (Aruba, a plethora of drinks, a birthday jam, and being driven home by Sean, bundled up in my 200-pound evening coat; then the next day, taking off for Tahoe where I snowboarded for the first time) to this final night (Hanukkah celebration wherein I made my latke-making debut). And like an accordion, a year of memories can either be an abbreviated blip that can flash through your mind in the space of four seconds, or it can stretch itself out for miles and hours as it constantly makes room for the smaller details that slip into all the empty spaces.

Twenty-Four was the year of the start of my civil degree and my introduction to geology. It was the year I really got into dancing and the year of my first competitions; in spring, I visited Kyoto and Osaka, and over the summer, I had a brief tryst with Maine and a tumultuous love affair with D.C., and in between all that I got to know more and more of the Bay area. At 24, I moved into my first house and planted basil and papayas and apple trees and flowers. I re-taught myself CSS, then promptly forgot it all (mostly) again. I started writing (fiction) again. I became a plain-tart frozen yogurt fanatic, aficionado, and snob. I finally found the name of a song that had been eluding me since I’d been 23. I met people and un-met people, and I got suckered into using Facebook on what is now an almost-daily basis (effectively trading places with my Myspace account, which gets checked maybe once a month).

And then in October, in a desperate need to get away from Vegas for a weekend, I went to Austin, which was the catalyst for a surprise visit (to me, in Vegas) two weeks later, which was the catalyst for a week-and-a-half after that, when it was officially love. Love, Big Love, love that came, actually, entirely out-of-the-blue, considering only a month before then I’d been fervently swearing off any and all matters of the heart, most dramatically marked by my scornful disdain of "P.S. I Love You".

It’s funny, but when I go through my last year in my head, everything prior to October 17 is cast in a different light than everything succeeding. On the one hand, it could simply be because of seasons, because (duh) winter and spring and summer light is different from that of autumn. On the other hand, as disgustingly cliche and trite and banal (pronounced the superior way, just so you know, here in my posts: BAY-nul) as it is: my life changed at that point. Or not changed so much as– came to an epoch? Towards where

…I
have always been coming to. Since my time began. And when I go away
from here, this will be the mid-point, to which everything ran, before,
and from which everything will run. (A.S. Byatt, "Possession")

So yes, the Year of Twenty-Four was good and plentiful, spilling over with trips and travels and books and movies and music and drinks and food and friends and family, as I have been lucky enough to have be true of most of my years. I was 24, and I was all of the things that came with my being 24, and now that year has passed, but now, still, I am myself. Now, I am simply all of the things that twenty-four years of existence has enabled me to become: now, I am twenty-five.

Yes we can.

These last five days have been a dream. Tonight closed with my heart full and overflowing with joy and relief [1] and– hope. Oh, the hope. Gone is the anxiety that’s been slowly building– drastically intensified over the last month or so– and in its place is an overwhelming calm. Finally, there’s someone who will be a harbinger of change. Finally, there’s someone who will make things better, who has already begun to make things better. I can’t even think of how long I’ve been waiting for this.

Earlier this month, I wrote how I wanted someone who could make me believe that "it’s possible to successfully navigate out of darkness without a compass or a light". Tonight, now, I have no doubt whatsoever that it’s possible. There is hope, now. There is so much to look forward to. The future is beautiful, and today is the lighthouse shining its beacon and guiding in that ship of all good things to come.

[1] Though tempered, just a bit. California, of course I love you, and I’m trying so hard not to be so upset about Prop 8 passing, and if that was the cosmic price of your handing over your 55 electoral votes to Obama then so be it, but– aw man. I– I really wish you’d voted otherwise.

Two weeks and I still don’t know where my mailbox is

Hey! Hey there. What’s up? How’ve you been? Yeah? Yeah, I hear you. It’s been a while, I know. I KNOW. But hey! I finally have internet access! And free time! Simultaneously! It’s like magic. It’s glorious.

So, I moved. The house was finished on the 25th of March or something, and I got the keys and started moving in on the 31st, and that’s basically all I’ve been doing since. Moving and work and school. And let me tell you something about moving: if I had known moving, moving on *this* level, moving on a level that doesn’t include the underlying awareness that in six months I’ll just be moving all over again– oh no! I’ll be here for the next five years AT LEAST? Yeah. I would have just gone with a damned vacation rental. Vacation rentals *come* with dining tables and dressers. Man.

But the little annoyances aside, like having to network the house and figure out which shelf gets the baking ingredients and which shelf gets the saucepans, I’m absolutely, head-over-heels in love with this house. I love the kitchen and I love my two fruit trees in the back and my hanging box gardens for the balcony and my Great Plans! for the living room, and I really, really love having a closet again.

Anyway. That’s… it, really. Just checking in. Keep your chin up and you nose clean, et cetera, et cetera.

Four years of goodbye

I don’t care if the whole city burns down today. And if I had your money, I would burn that, too. I would set a match to it all and I wouldn’t think twice before doing it. And it isn’t that I don’t have the capacity to care right now– I just wouldn’t mind actively destroying something. The guilt of a thousand silences makes it so hard to keep it pulled together, and it would be a relief to see something fall apart that *isn’t* me. Or my mother.

Don’t be a fool, girl

This is the last one, I promise; no more Ingrid Michaelson song-lines-as-post-titles. That idea only formed because during the end of November, "Girls and Boys" was all I was listening to, really, and at that time, I was relating to every single song on the album, so my head was just constantly filled with her lyrics and thoughts that were related to them. I’m still listening to her– a lot– but it’s mostly out of my system. I guess.

My birthday weekend was fantastic; my birthday itself was quite possibly the best one I’ve had. For the record, being drunk has nothing to do with whether or not I start head-butting you on the shoulder or the side of your neck. I do the Cat Thing as a general practice [1]– people are just generally more accepting of it when they know (or assume) I’m pretty tanked. Apparently, people will let you do just about *anything* when you’re that drunk.

Well. Almost anything.

I was sort of sad to see 23 leave because 23 was without a doubt the best year of my life– it had its share of down moments, but in the end, it was the most accomplished (on many different levels). And I decided that 23 ending didn’t have to be a bad thing; 23 could just be the kick-ass inspiration for 24. Though, now, whenever I have to think about how old I am, I skip straight to 25, so 24 is not off to a very notable start, apparently.

That’s a lie; 24 ushered itself in with a gorgeous little introduction to Reno (which I adored) and two days of learning to snowboard in Tahoe (which I LOVED). And already there are get-togethers and brunches and happy hours and what-nots planned, I have my eye on some auditions again, and my civil program begins in two weeks and oh man, oh man, you have no idea how balls-to-the-walls excited I am about that. So 24 is already showing some great promise. I think the thinking-I’m-25 thing is just a side effect of really looking forward to being a square number again.

And somewhere, I just secured my Asian heritage with that statement.

[1] And if you’re uncomfortable with the top of my head nuzzling against your chin? You better hope nobody happens to mention "The Lion King." It’s all downhill from there.

I will neither confirm nor deny not nothin’

Life has been happy, Internet: happy and busy and full, and– obviously– exhausting. I’ve been doing the go-out-every-night thing for the last… two? three? weeks for the first time, and it’s made me a little anxious because of the whole have-to-wake-up-early-for-work-tomorrow thing, but it’s been well worth it. I at least have two positive traits working for me: I’m resilient to hangovers and I don’t require a whole lot of sleep to function properly.

Oh! So, right. I dropped all my classes for this semester after I was offered a job at a local engineering firm. Because the week before that, I switched out of Computer Engineering and into Civil. I like computers, I love programming, my classes and professors were fun enough– but I *LOVE* physics. Not enough to be a physics major, but enough that I’d want to use it in an everyday career. I love building things and working with my hands and planning and designing and having a tangible project to work on so that at the end of it all, I can point to it to other people and say, "See that? I made that!"

I talked about it to a lot of people, a surprising number of people– more for justification and support than for advice, since I’d pretty much made up my mind as soon as the idea popped into my head. Started hunting around for internships and, to make a long story short, was offered a full-time position for the rest of this semester instead (come next semester, I’ll drop to part-time so that I can begin my CE program).

The job is– it’s– it’s *fun.* I told them during the interview that I really have no background whatsoever in this field (I’m in the materials– mostly concrete– division of the firm) and they were fine with that and assured me that they would train me up the wazoo, so I’ve taken that as permission granted to ask everyone questions about anything and everything. IT’S GREAT. I feel like a little kid on Take Your Kid to Work Day or something, just running around and pointing to things and asking all the whats and whys and hows.

I *do* things, too, and that’s majorly fun as well because it’s such un-girly stuff and while I’m not a *girly* girl, I’m definitely and decidedly feminine about a lot of things. So I’ll be digging up aggregate samples or coring holes in the pavement or pounding stakes into dirt with a 97% compaction or hauling heavy shit in and out of a truck (I get to drive a TRUCK!) and glancing at my elbows and grimacing because they’re ashy, or thinking about how I need to make an appointment later for an eyebrow waxing and maybe a pedicure.

Continue reading

Or Tiesto. Or Paul Oakenfold.

For Your Ten Years of Service, The Community Thanks You

Remember the night I made that joke about the pizza ovens?
I laughed and laughed
Laid out on the couch, the ceiling
A blur through the tears that streamed from my eyes
I laughed until I couldn’t breathe
While you sat upright beside me
Watching, smiling,
Breathing

And remember the night of the tater tots?
It was one in the morning (or was it already two?) when
I started clamoring for them
You didn’t even blink; we went to the store
(You drove– the nearest one then was miles away)
And I wandered up and down the aisles
While you followed me
The way a bemused owner follows a hapless dog
Trying to track down a scent
Then listened to me argue with myself
For half-an-hour over whether I really wanted food anyway
Back at the house, I cooked them all on a baking sheet
Hounded you for ketchup
And ate four

You never tried to "fix" me
But trusted that I would get there on my own
You saw the other side of my smile
And heard the other side of my laugh
It didn’t change a thing
Your eyes recited cummings to me:
"one’s not half two. It’s two are halves of one"–
I was a collective whole but more than the sum of my parts
And when you added it all up anyhow
I was something kind of amazing

If you die before I do
And you don’t stick around for a few days and do cool ghost shit for me
I will go to your grave
(Even if it’s on the other side of the country)
And play Postal Service on repeat for two weeks straight