So I bought a domain and started a blog..
I will be posting photos and stories of my travels and cooking experiments. The livejournal community has been wonderful, and it is fun to write about personal stuff, but this blog is going to have a bit more heft to it. It should be a fun writing experiment.
My social life has been pretty busy these past couple weeks so here are a few highlights.
Yuri's Night Happy Hour: I caltrained into the city with my running buddy John and I attended a party in Pier 70, which is out in the Dogpatch. Shengyin came by around 6:30 pm, and we ended up hanging out for most of the night. I enjoyed hanging out in the abandoned warehouse, drinking tequila with pineapple, and dancing to some good funk music. It was smaller and less science oriented than the Yuri's night that I went to in 2008, but I still had a good time.
Archimedes Banya: My friend Athena had some passes to visit this Russian/Turkish style bathhouse in the Bayview district. The clothing optional parts were not as exciting as the more modest areas, but they did have an awesome roof deck where you could sunbathe (nudity optional), enjoy lovely panoramic views, and eat cold smoked fish. After the bathhouse we drove around the city and did some hiking at Land's End combined with various food/beer options. It was also the end of Passover, so I enjoyed my first sour beer in eight days with a brisket plate at Cathead's barbecue.
NIMBY-Flying Lotus Girls Steampunk party in Oakland: I have been testing Burning Man style events to see if it is something I want to do this summer. I went to this party with my friend Shengyin and her boyfriend Joe, after an exhausting Steampunk outfit search in the Hayes Valley and the Mission. My favorite part about this party was the randomness of the music and the art (flaming, computer generated goodness). It felt like a very elaborate co-op party without as much drinking or debauchery. Before we left, a guy was offering us some honey samples from all over the world. I enjoyed it very much and I plan to attend more of those things in the future.
Driving down One: I spent the night in SF after the NIMBY party, woke up and threw on my clothes and drove down the coast so that I could get brunch with Jamie and Melissa after Melissa's triathlon. The coast was cloudy but not covered in fog.I saw some flowers and I even stopped at Pigeon Point to look at the massive Fresnel lens that was once inside of the lighthouse.
LA and Joshua Tree: I drove down to LA this past weekend to visit my two sisters and eat amazing sushi at this small Japanese market called Go's in Canoga Park. The next day we loaded my older sister's SUV for a one day road trip down to Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree National park is one of the most incredible landscapes of California. There is really nothing quite like driving through the desert with all of the cactus, and the boulders. The town of Joshua Tree is pretty cute, and they have some nice cafes and restaurants. I nearly crashed a wedding during dinner at the Twentynine Palms hotel. I would definitely go back to camp and then hike in the hills for a few days around October. My sister and I kept looking for hot springs, but they were a letdown since most of the places there are man made. I think I will plan a trip to the Sierras pretty soon to check out Bridgeport.
Dating: I deleted OK Cupid a while ago because I was weirdly concerned about anonymity in my personal life. I began experimenting with Tinder in early April, but I got bored with it pretty quickly. I downloaded Hinge and it seemed a little more intriguing, but the number of guys on there are only a handful. I keep putting myself out there socially and meeting great and interesting people, but most everyone is coupled up or I am just not that forward in approaching people in real life situations. My apathy in this department doesn't worry me because I am still getting out and doing cool things, but it is still kind of fun to talk about.
I am stuck at this time in my life where I feel like I am too old for casual relationships and hookups, but that is all I am limited to in my capacity as a person who does not feel whole or complete. Dating would be a great distraction from the looming question of what I am going to do with my life. But then, yesterday morning I woke up and decided that I should try putting together some solid applications for graduate programs again. I am happy with myself if I have a Masters, but this nagging voice is taking over and causing me to think deeper about my career and make a plan for the next five years. That plan might involve moving somewhere and finishing my PhD.
Meanwhile, everyone is coupling up or coupled up. The summer is starting. And I am trying to live the best life without actually knowing what that is or what that means.
We are on a break for now.
I did not realize that it was screwing with my sleep, my energy level, and my weight loss. This weekend, I barely drank any because my anxiety was kind of in the red zone. On Monday, I drastically changed my four cups of coffee a day to a huge mug filled with green tea. Aside from not having to clean up coffee grounds, I feel a little more focused, relaxed, and alert. It is also nice to have one less substance control my life. Since I did end up purchasing some expensive bags of coffee before this great experiment, and I do not want them to go stale, I might try having a cup or two of coffee occasionally on the weekends. This might be a good compromise to my addiction.
A facebook post of a squirrel climbing up a tree that I witnessed on an afternoon run reminded me of my one year anniversary of leaving grad school (I mastered out at the end of March). I had been tutoring for half a year, but I started doing it full time. I had a clean slate with respect to careers, which slowed the job hunting process. I was applying for jobs, sometimes two or three a day, but I was also expecting a career transition into data science and programming. I was in a relationship, but I had no idea where it was heading and in many ways it seemed like the beginning of the end. I visited family in LA and Reno. I attended a wedding in Healdsburg. I saw the outside world without feeling like I had some lingering work I needed to finish, or papers to write, or adviser breathing down my neck and telling me I would fail. It was basically the start of my second adult life.
One year later, I have a steady job. I have an apartment. My ex-boyfriend has moved to Seattle to start his new life. I have visited a foreign country outside the US (New Zealand!). I am happier overall that I went along this journey though the whole is definitely the sum of many parts.
I dyed my hair recently.
The last time this happened was before I turned 25, as my sister was about to get married. I grew the blonde hair out and chopped off all of my hair. My ex said I looked like a "fry guy".
I used a box dye and I did it on a Friday night when I was feeling pretty alone and spontaneous. My hair turned out blondish red, but it seems to suit my skin tone okay, and I am fine with just keeping it until my roots grow a little more.
Saturday, I went out on a date with myself to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. After that, I peeked in at the Arizona Cactus Garden they have behind the medical center. Then I checked out the new Blue Bottle bar, which opened up where the University Ave Borders used to be. They plan to add food and beer there in a few weeks. It is weird to think that I was browsing at books in there not too many years ago.
Sunday, I ran the Wildflower 10K in Morgan Hill. I wasn't planning to do yet another race, but my running group gave me a comped registration and my friend Melissa decided to join me. I had a weird cramp that caused me to slow down at the beginning, but I still finished under one hour. Melissa and I had brunch together at Sonny's Vietnamese Cafe (a place I used to go to when I worked at Stion). Later on, I drove to Santa Cruz, ate ice cream, and watched Mary and Max with my friend Sarah. It was claymation, but not in a hokey, silly way. I enjoyed it a lot but the ending and ensuing credits made me sad.
Monday, I signed up for yoga at this studio near my work office. I took a vinyasa class and it felt pretty good. It seemed like a good staple for my running cross training. Work is getting to me a little because my colleague has to work out issues with her visa status, so in the meantime she has to work from home. This means I will be trying to get some of her work done in addition to mine.
I am thinking about where in the world I want to go next. Thailand looks pretty likely, since I am planning for a November or December departure. My sister has also implored me to look at Italy. That would be more of a springtime event, but I think that looking that far ahead may not be such a bad idea.
So I finally told my neighbor about his snoring. He was embarrassed but the response turned out better than I expected. After that, we had a huge conversation in the laundry room. His life is pretty incredible and interesting, so it was kind of cool to connect the dots. I also had a really busy weekend, and I am trying to make up for lost time and to sort my photos, but I finally met nibot and a bunch of his friends at his awesome Equinox party. I soaked my legs in the hot tub while chatting with some cool folks and it made for a good run on Sunday, when I ran the Oakland Half-Marathon. I think I would have had a faster time if not for the fact that I had just run a marathon the weekend before, and running Rancho San Antonio one day prior to that. I am glad that my racing schedule did not kill me. Now I am going to slow my roll, focus on strength, agility, and decreasing my payload, which probably means not eating all of the things.
I recently ran a marathon for the first time. I ran the LA Marathon more than a week ago and completing it was one of the best experiences in my life. While I ran in what I felt was probably the hottest weather for a race, it felt like an amazing dream sequence because the crowds and the enthusiasm kept me motivated. At mile 20, it started to hit me that I might actually finish the race without falling into pieces. The next few miles after that tested that assumption. I hit the proverbial wall, and my legs began to fall apart, but my willpower kept me from starting to walk. The last mile was downhill and I sprinted towards the finish and towards my parents who were cheering me on.
Training for a marathon was solitary and kind of torturous. I recovered freakishly fast, so the training probably helped. I did not think that the race was going to go as smoothly as it did, but something in me felt like I could not only do it, but I could also do it better in the future.
And that is the problem.. I am satisfied, but I am not at the same time. I can do better. I can be a better human being. I can work harder at my job. I can run faster. I can live a healthier lifestyle.
But even with that idea inside of my head, I still claim the victories. I had been telling myself that I would do a marathon since I was 18 and then 13 years later, I did it. Mission accomplished.
day 9 - how you hope your future will be like.
day 10 - discuss your first love and first kiss.
day 11 - put your ipod on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up.
day 12 - bullet your whole day.
day 13 - somewhere you’d like to move or visit.
day 14 - your earliest memory.
day 15 - your favourite tumblrs.
day 16 - your views on mainstream music.
day 17 - your highs and lows of this past year.
day 18 - your beliefs.
day 19 - disrespecting your parents.
day 20 - how important you think education is.
day 21 - one of your favourite shows.
day 22 - how have you changed in the past 2 years?
day 23 - give pictures of 5 guys who are famous who you find attractive.
day 24 - your favourite movie and what it’s about.
day 25 - someone who fascinates you and why.
day 26 - what kind of person attracts you.
day 27 - a problem that you have had.
day 28 - something that you miss.
day 29 - goals for the next 30 days.
day 30 - your highs and lows of this month
Other than the fact that I am going to be in New Zealand in three days!
I get to visit the wonderful Brady in Wellington for a few days and then do a couple road trips. One drive will be through the South Island and the other one will be from Wellington to Auckland before catching my flight back. I have no specific details about what my itinerary is other than a few maps and a rough outline of the necessary dates.. I figure that I can pull an all-nighter and plan the rest tomorrow. It will be more conducive to sleeping on the plane.
I signed a lease for a slightly smaller but reasonable one bedroom.
They are good with cats.
Now I get to prepare myself for the inevitable freakout as I take them to another setting.
But first.. Austin, Texas.