Saturday, December 25, 2010

I actually like a youtube comment

"Well, Not Exactly, but next time he's Alone With You, he'll give you the Satisfaction of explaining everything."  Sounds kinda hot.

(It's not a bad song either, by the way.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

on being home for the holidays

Since moving to Philadelphia "for real" (I guess), I've been experiencing the transitional issue of wondering what the word "home" means.  Does that now by default refer to my room in the apartment I share in Philly?  Does it matter that I will only be living in that specific apartment for another five months?  It's automatic to fall back to the college student's mindset - referring to my parents' house as "home", and then, remembering that in all technicality it is no longer my primary place of residence, tacking on "in New Jersey".  And thus I'll say to people, "I'm going home to New Jersey".

Linguistic specificity aside, it feels pretty much like home right now.  Last night I went to our local Barnes & Noble with my mom to finish off the Christmas shopping list.  Once back home, my dad distributed glasses of eggnog with brandy (fantastically delicious - makes me want to get into brandy more) and we delved into unwrapping the ornaments.  My mom has a tradition of seeking out an ornament of a new material each year, one for each of my brothers and I, to add to the collections to eventually give to us.  Each year I hang the golden snowflake, the sheep decorated with buttons, the pumpkin-seed poinsettia, the cork reindeer, the flat felt snowman, and so on... along with a variety of ornaments handcrafted by yours truly from preschool, elementary school, and craft projects with my mom.

This morning, after extracting myself from the blankets atop the air-mattress bed that now lives in my bedroom with surprisingly less difficulty than one might expect, we had a nice breakfast with our whole family.  A mug of Earl Grey tea accompanied mine; I'm still hoping it will mostly take care of my daily caffeine quota (normally fulfilled by coffee).

I've been lounging on the living room couch ever since, still in pajamas and wrapped in a fleece blanket.  The couch is awash with (occasionally blinding) sunlight.  The warmth and comfort is precious right now - enough that I've kept on delaying getting dressed and wrapping gifts for the past few hours.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Breaking the narrow-mindedness

It's been awhile, from my perspective, since I was in a relationship - two years or so now.  Though I still think plenty about interpersonal relationships, and most likely worry too much about how my actions come across to others, I have for quite some time now written off trying to understand relationships.  Not being in the midst of the work of maintaining one myself, I've been feeling for some time that whatever knowledge I thought I had collected has been slowly draining out of me.  Whilst my few theories on the subject continue to be chipped away over time, I grow to feel more clueless about how to "meet someone", transition into a relationship, and maintain one.  Without possibilities presenting themselves on my horizon, I've been relegating myself to wondering at how friends around me make relationships work.  As for myself, I mostly continue to rather passively hope that things will eventually fall into place with someone by way of beautiful happenstance.

One theory of mine in particular, developed early on in my forays into thinking about relationships, grew mainly from an experience of my own which I still hold as very special.  I decided that the most logical and successful way a relationship could happen was to transition from best friends.  It made all the sense in the world to me: you are already perfectly comfortable communicating, you get along well, you enjoy each other's company and seek out spending time together.  I guess I figured that all you needed was a spark of attraction to push things past the platonic realm, and then you were all set because the rest of it was already in place.

I held pretty steadfastly to this theory for a number of years.  It received its major crack in the same way I first came up with it - through my own experience.  Though I no longer believe in it like a guarantee, I still think it's possible.  I simply learned that it also might totally not work at all.  And I am glad to have the experience and luckily came out of it for the better.

Another theory: I have long assumed that getting into a relationship only makes sense if you have taken a pretty good deal of time to familiarize with each other.  This one is based partially on precaution: my fear is not taking enough time to discover a person's major characteristics, and then stumbling onto something serious enough to potentially drive a new relationship apart.  It also has to do with my being terribly indecisive, and being afraid to start something because I'm still not sure if I like the person enough yet.  (At least, that's typically what I'd argue to myself which leads me to stall for more time to decide.)

In the past couple of days, I have begun to think about some of these ideas differently.  Perhaps things can develop between people outside of these scenarios I've had outlined in my head for so long, and still be real.  Maybe I don't have to know someone long enough to think I've figured them all out before deciding I like them.  Perhaps a great deal of the joy of a relationship is learning the pieces of someone's personality over many interactions and experiences.

So I think, now, I am closer to letting go of my indecisiveness and being more willing to try letting things happen with someone without knowing ahead of time that everything "should" work out.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quick list of thanks

My swing buddies (Sloan, Ellis, and Robert).  And of course, our lovely friend and Rum Bar bartender, Zack.  Those blues dances that are completely magic.  Coffee.  My new friend at work, Stephan.  The unbelievably wonderful west coast swing community.  Going to Baltimore Fall Blues Summit.  Being able to go home to my family pretty much whenever.  Working at a company full of truly wonderful people.  Having my weekly dances to always look forward to.  Adding to my fledgling circle of swing dancer friends.  Wawa.  Seeing people with dogs on the sidewalk.  My favorite cafés to hang out in.  Jimmy John's deliciousness.  Sleeping in on Saturday.  Discovering new beers I like.  Keeping in touch with David.  Discovering fusion dancing.  Meeting people from out of town who want to get to know me more.  Having a bit of "me time" in the morning bus ride.  Boots.  That I found a place to live in Philly with near-zero stress.  That I got a job to start right after I graduated.  A comfortable bed.  Visiting my brother at his college down in South Carolina.  Learning PHP and Drupal.  NK happy hours.  Music, in so many kinds and ways.

Being so happy, and often - sometimes I can't completely take it in.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

George Michael

Back in high school, I used to listen all the time to a smooth jazz radio station, CD101.9.  The station has since been reformatted to a rock station (figures) which was pretty sad to hear.  (See the section about halfway down the page.)  That station got me through so much of my high school homework and falling asleep at night and I knew nearly every song that was played on it.  Interestingly enough, Wikipedia just informed me that it's sort of revived in an "HD2" format, whatever that means.  And there is an online broadcast of it, on this random Boomer Radio site.

I don't know why, but the song Careless Whisper came to mind tonight.  I've heard it many times on that radio station, but looked up the music video for the first time just now.

I didn't even know that George Michael is his name, but this guy was totally not how I pictured him when hearing the song.  What a strikingly beautiful man.  Beautiful voice too...  And given the recent explosion of dance experience in my life, I like that he holds a dance with someone he loves as this special in the song.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Danced 6 nights in a row

I have to say that having a night of dancing to look forward to most nights of the week is an excellent life morale booster.  It's a fulfilling answer to the question of "what will I do tonight?" - so much better than always going home to likely nothing more than being lazy and poking around on the Internet for several hours.  And it is a guarantee of having people to interact with (literally, given that these are partner dances); while I do talk online often, I really think it is a critical necessity for mental/emotional health to see and interact with other people.  (I think of how miserable it was during some final exams periods -- after sleeping late, I'd wake up and panic about how much study time I had lost due to said sleeping-in and thus immediately dive into studying, and hours later I had to escape and actually speak with someone.)  Eventually, if you keep showing up at the same dances on a weekly basis, people will recognize you and you'll start chatting in between dancing.  And the dance communities, I'm finding, are full of wonderful people.

On that note, here was my awesome week of dancing (not that every week isn't also awesome! haha):

Monday, as always: Powerhouse Blues.  All blues.  So much love.

Tuesday, as always: LaB.  Lindy and blues; the swing dance I've been going to longest.

Wednesday: Westie Wednesday.  West coast swing night at the Atrium.  I might just have to add this to my for-sure weekly schedule. :)

Thursday: Jetlag.  Night of DJ'd remixed world music at L'Etage.  I guess this is fusion dancing?  SO much fun.  I will be making every effort to attend this every month.

Friday: West coast swing dance held at Master Jay's studio in Center City.  Not much space there and a pole-dancing pole fell over mid-dance, but it was a fun little night.

Saturday: Baltimore Fall Blues Summit.  Thanks to Ben (my carpool driver), I got to go dance blues all night long with some truly fantastic leads.  What a wonderful wonderful night.  It was the night of the switch over to normal time so we had an extra hour, though maybe it didn't matter because by a certain time almost everyone was tired.  We got back at...7am new time?  (My photos are up on Facebook!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

What I wonder about really good social dancers

During my recent obsession with blues dancing, I've had the incredible good fortune of experiencing several truly breathtaking dances with a few different leads.  These dances stand out in my mind and stay in my memory because of the amazing connection with the lead and the music, and the emotional intensity thereof.  These are truly special to me and I want to hold onto them (while of course hoping for more).

But... I've been wondering.  Are these leads just that good, that every dance feels like that for them?  (If that's the case, and it was me, I'd be living on a cloud...)  I like to think that every single dance is different.  It's a different combination of two partners, a song, and a moment in time.  When all of those come together right, you have something beautiful.

So, much as I'm sure these particular leads are leaving follows breathless in droves, I just hope that they might feel some of what I feel and appreciate so deeply when I dance with them.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Life status - Oct. 14, 2010

At work, most projects we have end up having a weekly status meeting on the calendar, to update everyone involved on where things stand.  Well, I've been living here 4 months and change now, so I thought I might collect a few conclusions and realizations so far.
  • The Septa buses aren't always on schedule.  But sometimes they are, so don't be late, or I'm gonna miss it by 30 seconds.  I've done this more times than I can count.
  • Try to do laundry more often than once every several weeks.  Otherwise I end up with three loads' worth to do when I'm running out of clothes to wear.
  • No matter how tired I am on the night of a social dance, I should go to it anyway, because I don't think I have ever regretted it afterwards.
  • The plain coffee at independent cafés is usually really good.  This does not in any way negate that Starbucks and Wawa coffee is also really good.
  • Talk to people for a minute or two once in awhile at work - non-work subjects are preferable.  It might be the most welcome interruption of the day.
  • Meet new people.  Especially social dancers.
  • Buying coffee, breakfast, and the like on a daily basis adds up far faster than I like to think about.
  • Visit family once in awhile for a change of pace.
  • People don't often respond to really long emails at work.  (Not sure if they read them, at least.)
  • Happy hour is a good thing.
  • Walking feels better when I'm not rushing, so don't rush if I don't have to.
  • Not having to work outside of work is probably the best thing ever.
  • Sandwiches for dinner get boring fast.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One block

It's another beautiful night out -- a hammock night, though I don't have anyone with whom to share that, nor do I have easy access to a hammock (and so I let that thought go quickly after it arose).  No matter, however, as the undeniable comfort of the café is shortly ahead, unhealthy muffin satisfaction included.

The block from 41st to 40th is extra long.  This is a slightly frustrating reality as far as reaching the bus in the mornings goes, but it doesn't bother me so much now.  I walk amiably, passing the familiar elements along with the ones that never attract my attention much.

There's a place that I am pretty certain used to be a movie rental store, but now its focus appears to be comic books and the like.  It's tinged now with the time I looked for it with Mike.

The bowling alley, Strikes, appears to be just a shell now.  I was there once with Matt.  They played nothing but Daft Punk remixes the whole time we were there (and I couldn't have been happier about that).

Some little road, the name of which I've never bothered to find out, cuts the block halfway.  If I head down it, there's a parking lot with designated Philly Car Share spaces.  So I think of Steve, and the night he took me and David for a spontaneous random drive in and around the city.  It's just one of many reasons Steve is awesome.

Last, past a building I've never identified, is Saxbys.  It didn't hold much for me until this summer because Starbucks was my spot at Penn, but by now it's one of my regular cafés.  Occasionally I think of meeting Geoffroy or working on Flash with Ted here, as those were amongst my first times spent here.

Life is good.

Friday, September 24, 2010

characteristic #4

Cereal is one of my favorite things to eat.  I enjoy it at any time of the day or night.

Favorite cereals: Frosted Mini Wheats, granola, Cracklin' Oat Bran, Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Honey Bunches of Oats, ...

(image credit)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Map of Philly bars I have frequented

Because I think making infographics out of life data is cool, I have created a Google map to mark all the bars at which I've had a drink at least once.  I wish there was a bit more I could do with the map than just save a list of locations (attach dates to each place, categorize the reasons I was there, etc...) but it's an interesting start.

View Philly far! in a larger map

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Life threads

Sometimes I have a meta moment and try to think about the way people's lives intertwine.  I tend to visualize this like a line graph.  Each person's life is a horizontal thread running forward in time; when people meet, their threads touch; if they spend a portion of life together, their threads stay entwined; when they part, so do their threads. ...that was probably too many semi-colons in one sentence.

Tonight I've been reading a few friends' blogs, and I'm reminded of how interesting and talented these people are.  And then I think, I am lucky to be able to consider them friends.  This brings me again to marveling at the circumstances that bring me to meet people.  Many can be classified simply under "went to school together", etc., but sometimes an interesting sequence of connections had to occur, and if it hadn't, whatever part of my life I've experienced with that person would not have existed.

And so I am glad:

that my first-grade best friend's ex-girlfriend went to Penn too

that my mom happened to Google the right phrase when looking for a summer internship for me

that I went one night to a friend's dorm lounge to play DDR

that, for my minor, I signed up for a class otherwise completely full of music majors

that I left my seat for five minutes while at New Deck during Feb Club

that I asked a friend to wait for me to walk over to a party

that I got lost during one of the engineering school orientation tours

that I saw a particular poster for a performance in my dorm hallway, even though I never made it to the show

that I signed up to live on the music residential program floor for freshman year

that a friend of a friend took a bus to Philly

that I went to a lindy crash course

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

30th street station

Three years or so back, when the morning was still too early, a sleepy girl followed her boyfriend up to the train platform to wait.  The city and all it has was still new and scary, and she needed someone with her.  Of course, then she didn't really need to pay attention.

Much later, the station became a test.  It was one more step in figuring out independence: to find one's way home.  But it's not so bad, really.  Read the signs and watch the times.  It'll even tell you... "The scheduled - 7: - 42 - R7 - to Trenton - next to arrive - on track 3."

This turns to second nature, easily.  The emotion shifts to comfort.  When you know you're going home, everything is going to be okay.  There's no worry of being alone, no want of surrounding and immediate love, no need for the concerns of taking care of yourself.  So you step on board and leave to soak in that world for a couple of days.  When you come back, it's: here's my city, baby.  And the routine is ahead, like always.

There's a spot outside where I stood, holding, holding onto, one whom I had no idea of when I'd next see.  The seconds I had were not enough time to learn the process of parting.  So I decided quickly that maybe I didn't have to.

There's a bench, the first one you reach in the Amtrak waiting area, where we sat together.  Everything I had inside begged for this moment not to be the last.  So I stayed close while I could, said what was right, and waited.

There's an Auntie Anne's inside, along my walk to the corner doors.  That's where he said I shouldn't let him stop, and I didn't completely pay attention, because I was a little weak with the happiness.  It would be short, but it would be.

It was: everything.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

characteristic #3

I have a thing for goatees.  I think I'm the only girl I know who does.  But really, it's true.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Anberlin: Retrace

Oh, how I've tried
To get you out of my head
And I lie with broken words I said
Never thought I'd walk on this street again
Standing where it all began

Tried to forget
When I left this town
Well it takes me right back
When I come back around

Retrace the steps we took on that long summer night
I'm back there by your side
Retrace the steps we took when we met worlds away
Counting backwards while the stars are falling

Oh now I find,
Every subtle thing screams your name
It reminds me of places and times we've shared
Couldn't live locked in these memories
Now I'm chained to my thoughts again

And I tried to forget
When I left this town
But I'll take you right back
If you come back around

Retrace the steps we took on that long summer night
I'm back there by your side
Retrace the steps we took when we met worlds away
Counting backwards while the stars are falling

I need some shelter
I need some safety
Photographs they
Haunt me lately
Chasing shadows
As the evening takes me
I'm still searching but the picture's fading

Retrace the steps we took on that long summer night
I'm back there by your side
Retrace the steps we took when we met worlds away
Counting backwards
Still counting backwards

And nowhere else has ever felt like home
And I can’t fall asleep
When I’m lying here alone
I replay your voice
It's like you're here
You move the earth
But now the sky is falling

Retrace the steps we took on that long summer night
In my mind I'm back by your side
Retrace the steps we took when we met worlds away
Counting backwards while the stars are falling

(lyrics credit)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

characteristic #2

2. Sometimes typing feels good: when you're flying through the keystrokes rather than stumbling on them and backspacing.  I notice this more often on laptops but also on my desktop keyboard at work.

Monday, August 16, 2010

characteristic #1

I have this staunch belief that I can formulate in the minds of others an all-around ad-hoc idea of who I am if I simply give out little pieces of information.  I am also interested in listing these pieces as they come to mind, over some length of time, and then seeing if put together they feel like me.

So here's the first one.

1. When people type the smiley 'XD', I pronounce it every time in my head as the two letters, one after the other: "x - d".  I've been reading it this way forever and kind of can't help it now.  Nonetheless, I find it cute.

One thing I miss about being a student

is the freedom to wear whatever I feel like on every day of the week.  I was hanging up a sweatshirt just now and feeling a little bittersweet for the many days I'd just put on a sweatshirt and not care any further.  My environment at work is quite relaxed in terms of appropriate apparel, and furthermore I'm a developer (which -- recalling Dow Jones -- apparently gives you license to dress a notch or two more casually), but I don't think even that role would excuse my showing up on a random Thursday in my baggy guys' Penn sweatpants and bright orange Clemson sweatshirt over a t-shirt.


Possibly the most comfortable pair of pants I own.

(image credit)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eva Cassidy: Ain't No Sunshine

Ain't no sunshine when he's gone
It's not warm when he's away
Ain't no sunshine when he's gone
And he's always gone too long
Anytime he goes away

I wonder, this time where he's gone
Wonder, how long he's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when he's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime he goes away.

And I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know

I know when he's gone
Always gone too long
Anytime he goes away
Anytime he goes away
Anytime he goes mmm
(lyrics credit)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Now that I'm in Philly "for real",

I've kinda been making a mental list of things to do.  And since this stage of life I've now reached currently has no real defined end, I essentially have all the time in the world to get around to these.

explore local cafés - up to about 4 so far

bike around the city - done so a few times (to LaB once too!)

find more Latin and swing dancing nights

get on random buses to go check out parts of the city I haven't been around

go to Chris's sometimes

try out bars I haven't been to

bike the Schuylkill River trail

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend thanks

to Liore, for being excited about going to Brasil's, so that I dragged my lazy self across the city and ended up having a lot of fun dancing.

to the blond-haired and super nice guy who I know from salsa parties at Take the Lead and whose name I always forget, who is a wonderful lead, for coming to me for a salsa dance.

to the soft-spoken guy at Brasil's who seemed interested in me in a way shy enough that it did not come across creepy at all.

to Lauren, for cooking french toast for brunch and chatting.

to Ted, for letting me borrow his tie, and for suggesting eating outside, because it was completely beautiful out.

to Adam and Gan, for - well, they know.

to Senthil, for being one of the sweetest people I know and buying me a drink.

to the 21 bus, for running at 1:45 in the morning.

to Café Clave for playing amazing music.  I specifically noticed I was enjoying quite a number of songs.

to Mom, for being excited about my work on the database for her.

to Andrew and Simone, for listening to me being sad after reading some more of The Time Traveler's Wife.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The café addiction

...I have it.

On any number of nights I am tempted strongly enough by the allure of the café to overcome my tendencies to bum the night away in my room and walk 2.7 blocks over to Saxbys.  At Penn, I went to Starbucks often to sit and (theoretically) work, and enough times in the mornings before class that the employees knew me and asked how my summer was at the beginning of senior year.  Any time I end up in a Starbucks, actually -- wherever it may be -- I feel a bit of a sense of being home.  Now, in Philly, I've kind of made it a goal to seek out small independent street corner coffee shops and spend my Sunday afternoons in them.

The café atmosphere has some kind of mental effect on me.  It has a peace and calm about it; makes me feel like things can't really go wrong.  Stress is lessened somehow, cuz you've got a couple hours of a squishy armchair, warm lighting, relaxing music, and probably a hot drink that'll either prop you awake or take up too much of your daily allotment of calories.  Or a muffin -- gosh, I have gotten bad about eating too many muffins.  Those and scones.  I probably consume one or the other of them on more days of the week than not.

Calories designated unimportant, I sit down with my muffin or my mocha and my laptop, whiling away the time alongside others in front of their own screens or books.  We're in our own little worlds, but together in one world as well.  And thus the time goes by.

Sometimes I picture my life filled by lazy days, writing and drinking coffee, staring out windows at the world and people-watching as customers flow in and out or join my habitat of the day for a few hours.  And my butt will probably hurt often, and I'll still eat too many scones, and the guy at the counter will know my favorite drink.  Maybe I'll get brave enough to wear pajama pants occasionally and really cuddle up in a corner for awhile.  (Not sure how acceptable pajama pants are as attire worn in public after, like, high school.  Perhaps if I'm a known regular at the place...)

Well, it's a dream, anyhow.  Someday maybe.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kaskade: Be Still

It’s nice when the heart
The heart is beating faster
Feeling alive when there is wanting
Always the same
I jump too quickly
Be still my soul

It’s love so serious
The more we think
The less we know
It’s love mysterious
Holding tight
When we should let go

Now that this love
Has overcome me
Now that this fire
Is burning bright
All of these words
Seem just beyond my reasoning

Be still my soul

It’s love so serious
The more we think
The less we know
It’s love mysterious
Holding tight
When we should let go

Be still my soul
Just let it go

(lyrics credit)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Solution to my cooking inability

My mom - who is a wonderful, experienced, and health-conscious cook - really wants me to learn to cook.  She has given me a recipe book, has photocopied and hand-copied recipes for me, and is always willing to be my cooking consultant by phone.  She is as encouraging as possible.

I, naturally, am the problem.  I seem to be completely clueless about even the most basic things.  (Recently, I managed to screw up pasta.  The water kept bubbling way too much, threatening to spill over the edges of the pot.  I assume that between the amount of water, the amount of pasta, and the size of the pot, something was wrong.)  Other issues -- like my inability to find ingredients in the grocery store -- aside, my main mental block is how overwhelming it seems to even try to get started.  There are countless bits of know-how that the recipes don't spell out for you; I don't know where along the way you are supposed to pick these up.

So here I am, abilities ranging from pouring batter (from just-add-water pancake mix, obviously) into a waffle iron to boiling water in a teapot.  And probably, making tea doesn't really count anyhow.  While constructing my sandwich and cutting my apple for dinner tonight, I suddenly came upon the solution.  Actually I stole it from the book I'm reading at the moment, by realizing it could work out quite well for me.  All I have to do is marry a guy who (a) likes cooking, and (b) is good at it.  I could even get by with just (a), since then he'd probably become (b) automatically over time.

Of course, this is a solution only applicable to the future.  And the unforeseeable future, at that.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Things taken for granted

I've noticed of late how ridiculously fast one's mind can switch from utter annoyance, suffering, or whatever other negative state may apply due to something's absence, to barely realizing that thing is there.

Let's see.
  • I rarely get sick, but when my nose is 75% clogged, I can hardly focus on anything but trying to breathe clearly.
  • The other morning I went to work with -- well, seriously not enough sleep.  I had forgotten just how terrible it is when it's a constant physical fight to stay awake.
  • I had never lived without air conditioning until this summer.  Then I endured a few weeks of 100-degree-ish weather, complete with humidity.  I was sitting in my room sweating on every surface of skin that was in contact with something.  Now I have a window a/c unit and am entirely spoiled by a remote control for it.  I guess I do still occasionally stop to realize that it's a million times more livable now that I have it, but usually I don't have much of a second thought.
  • The Internet.  ... holy crap.  I've never been unable to access the Internet at my place of residence for this long of a period of time until this past week.  It is truly frustrating to realize you cannot manage your email, get the weather, find something on a map, look up random information, listen obsessively to songs on YouTube, sit around logged on to three chat services, blah blah blah.  Such things only begin to feel essential to daily life when you can't get to them on demand.  But, here I am, writing a blog post, because the minute I've got it back, I spend all night on the Internet just like every other day before it wasn't there.
  • People.  If something goes wrong in a relationship, one day it's beautiful and then it's cracked.  And you want to try everything you can think of to fix it, as the many good times flash by mentally and threaten to become bittersweet. ...That's one part of why I worry so much.
In all reality I'll probably never spend much time specifically appreciating the Internet.  But I like to think that I try to take care of my relationships.  I still need to do better, of course.  They're quite near the top of the list of most important life elements.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Personality evolution?

An interesting exchange occurred tonight with my friend.  He mentioned that he would guess I might not get along naturally with some of his other friends, because we have quite different personalities.  I really wanted to know why, and he explained that they are more reserved, not so outgoing and interested in partying as me.

This was pretty amazing to hear, because for basically forever, I was much more like he described his friends than the way he described me.  Apparently, ever since I met him, I've portrayed a personality much unlike my old(?) characteristics of many years of my life.

I should probably take into account, though, that I nearly always meet him in a dance setting.  Such is cue for my general happy behavior, since, well, social dancing is kind of the best thing ever.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Today, I:

managed to miss two buses within about two minutes.

spilled my coffee a bit at Starbucks (ironically as I was trying to put the lid back on).  The guy next to me at the side counter was concerned that I burned my hand and helped me clean it up.

determined that, if left to itself, my hair has a slight natural wave.

continued the last few days' trend of starting to feel like I'm contributing at work.

made waffles for dinner, didn't allow any of the batter to spill out of the iron, and convinced myself it wasn't so bad (as in unhealthy) because I sliced up a banana to eat with them.

looked up "my" beach on the map to show someone where it was, and immediately really missed it and am now quite excited to be going this weekend.

observed another zillion-legged bug infiltrating my room.  Tried to get it with my flip flop, but its location did not facilitate that, and it escaped, probably somewhere into the heating unit.

realized I can tell when the washing machine is running, because I believe my room is immediately above it.  (The basement still sketches me out.)

noted the beautiful night air -- perfect for spending time on a hammock...

(maybe with someone...even better)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Biked into Center City today

I was so excited to bring my bike with me to Philly, but this feeling was dampened the other day when I finally tried to look up where the bike lanes are.  I came across a site where users could contribute location markers to a map to mark, for the most part, bad spots related to biking -- accident occurrences, nasty run-ins with drivers, intersections where cars tend to ignore you, and so on.  I was certainly scared off for a bit, but after gathering a bit more info (Google maps has an option to turn on a layer marking bike lanes, paths, and bike-friendly streets), I decided there was no other way to get started except to try it.

So while there was still enough light out this evening, I rode to Rittenhouse Square.  Taking Spruce and then Chestnut over the river provided bike lanes most of the way until about 22nd Street.  From there I moved onto the sidewalk.  Don't know if that's the appropriate thing to do (people on foot have the right of way, right?), but there seemed to be no space on the streets and I didn't want to be in the main car lane.

At the park I stopped to rest on a bench with no real plan of anything to do besides drink some water.  But soon a homeless(-looking) man shuffled over to my bench and sat on the far end.  He was muttering, and I couldn't really make out if he was saying anything sensible.  I kept thinking of that movie, with the homeless guy who's actually a fantastic musician...  So this guy had an old plastic drink container and I figured out he wanted some of my water.  I didn't know what else to do so I poured a bit in.  After that he headed off.

My unexpected encounters for the night were not over, though.  A guy came up to me -- I'd guess around my age -- and said hi, and then something like, "I have to tell you, you're really beautiful."  I was rather taken aback, and also wondered why he was so impressed when my hair was tied back and probably messy from biking, and certainly I wasn't dressed in anything special.  Either way, he introduced himself, and then we had at least a half hour conversation on the bench there.  He told me about Philly and how he loves skateboarding and biking and some mechanical stuff about cars that I didn't understand.  At least he was pretty nice, and friendly, and didn't do anything sketchy.  Eventually I said I was going to head home, and (again with some sidewalks though...) made it home before it was totally dark.

It was nice when I got back, because I felt like I accomplished something.  I figured out where some bike lanes were, made it to Center City and back.  And the sweat kind of felt good this time, since I accumulated it while actually doing some physical activity more than walking a couple of blocks.  So I decided I earned it.

...Seems like life in the city could be interesting.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


So um, I stumbled on an album of photos on Facebook tonight, and eventually figured out that they are wedding photos.  This particular Facebook friend is actually more than someone I met just once (got a number of those on there, though); we knew each other by way of a common activity, but it only lasted a couple months.

The part that gets me is, he's 19.  If he's followed the normal educational trajectory since I met him, he has just finished his freshman year of college.

Now, I haven't seen or communicated with him in years, and I am sure this was not a decision made lightly.  And I hope the best for them.

I guess what's more pertinent is that this has served as a reminder for me.  It's been awhile since I was in a relationship that was any sort of time-hardy, and about the same amount of time since I've tried to understand love and relationships.  Along the way I've had one or two theories of mine broken, and now I've fallen into something of a stagnant mind-fog about it all.  I look around at couples and wonder, what makes people mutually attracted to being in a relationship?  What makes them stick together over a long[er] period of time?  What the heck is love after all?  (Maybe I should do some research on my friends who might apparently have some knowledge on this.)

I am doing okay without them, but still, I'm starting to miss the things of a relationship; having the go-to person for sharing mundane bits of life, for comfort, for laughter, for cuddling, and so on.  Perhaps a bigger fear is my feeling rather powerless to find someone.  One of my theories that I think is still standing is that it works best if "love" (if I dare use the strong word) comes upon you without your effort (and without your realization for awhile).  I know you can't force things, because I've tried.  And I always have a mental hesitation about actively searching for someone because it feels kind of fake, like you're going to make the person like you and yourself to like them, which just falls back to the category of forcing things.  So this leaves me waiting for it to just happen to me.  And I still have time, but... it can make me nervous.  I don't want to entertain the possibility of living alone for the rest of my entire life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm in love with blues dancing

Given the way I jumped headfirst into dancing blues and still have nearly zero lesson experience, I probably do not possess the legitimacy to speak about it thus.  I probably still frustrate the good leads with whom I am lucky enough to dance.

Disclaimer done.

Blues dancing is just about the most wonderful experience in the world -- yeah, I'm in love right now.  The unfamiliar observer might deem it incomprehensibly inappropriate: picture two people whose relationship could fall anywhere from couple to complete strangers, dancing in a close embrace...  But that's it.  Five minutes of escape to a separate world, just you and that person, surroundings ceasing to matter.  You rock, sway, and swing in slow, fluid motions.  The pauses and the subtlest movements enmeshed with the music are moments of near-breathless, perfect tension.

At its best: it is rapture, a taste of heaven or maybe of being in love.  I practically cannot dance it without eyes closed.

...This description is either a pretty good one, or will sufficiently creep out whoever reads it to the point they'd never want to dance blues with me.  Heh.

Monday, May 24, 2010

- "Ghost"

Lately I've been thinking
Lately I've been dreaming with you

(Howie Day)

Writing and I,

our relationship is a twist of struggle and joy.  Sometimes I sit there like: I have got to get this thought out.  But then several of them crowd my mind, and I don't even know where to start.  Furthermore, I start worrying about how the post-to-be will portray my personality (to the few that read it... thanks, guys).  I want to write about some realization or thought about the way life works, but it can't be too deep because then it looks like I'm trying too hard.  I want to write these summarizing lists to try to briefly somehow capture a whole bunch of good or important points in my life, but would such a list be of importance or interest only to myself?  I feel like the answer is somewhere in the middle, but it's hard to pinpoint.  What I dream of most is to somehow express who I am with a clarity that would not come through in some other mode of communication -- in interacting with everyone on a daily (or occasional) basis.  I suppose the key to that is to wipe all these blocks clean off the mental table and to simply dive in, whatever the subject may be, and at whatever time it comes to mind.  This would be akin to a stream of consciousness, although filtered and at (hopefully the more interesting) intervals.  Of course, this digs at my tendency to worry... a characteristic I've harbored for a long, long time.  Well, now is always the time to try to let go of that.  I would probably be happier for it too.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


It's kinda funny; I used to wear sweatshirts all winter, t-shirts often in the summer.  Hair would be up, because I was always time-crunched enough as it was, fitting in the shower before class -- no time for blow-drying.  I reveled in this style, or lack thereof, perhaps.  It was easy, comfortable, and exuded laziness.  (I'm not sure why I liked the laziness portrayal, actually...)

Don't get me wrong.  I still love my sweatshirts.  But somewhere around halfway through college, I realized I liked putting a little more time into appearance.  You always feel better walking around during the day if you're in a good outfit and your hair came out nicely.  Add the makeup for the night out, and you walk out of that door feeling a little bit like magic.  Maybe you'll catch the eye of someone on whom yours has been...

I love the taste of all that.  But we can't do it all the time.  I mean, right now, my hair is up (sort of), with bangs pushed to both sides, carelessly enough that a few strands are criss-crossed in the middle.  And I'm wearing the same shirt as yesterday (but shh, I don't think it really counts, considering I didn't get dressed til after 5pm yesterday...).  I think of those 4am moments: after working hunched over at my computer for hours, I get up to get ready for bed (though I've barely enough energy to convince myself not to just collapse into it).  I look in the mirror and think, holy crap, I look so horribly tired.  The same thought usually applies when I have to wake up only several hours later, which is certainly not enough sleep...

If I dare make generalized statements, we're pretty appearance-conscious, yet I think we all have moments like that.  The people we let in on our not-so-groomed selves -- they're kind of seeing us in an off-guard moment.  It's a nice reaffirmation that looking good is good fun, but we've got our real selves underneath that, and we still like each other.

Maybe it's a girly dream, but I can't help picturing some future day when I've got this comfort level with a guy.  Certainly not to say I think guys are that superficial, but, we all try so hard to look good for each other that it would be refreshing and freeing, I think, to know that someone likes you all the same when you look like crap.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Something like parachuting in to work

Since I was standing in the shower this morning and suddenly remembered the odd dream I had last night, I thought I might post it.  (I have weird dreams very often but I usually forget them really quickly.)

As dreams usually do, this one had familiar elements taken from my actual life but befitted with characteristics that were definitely not right.  I guess I was working at DJ, and I had to get there on what seemed like my first day.  (I changed my outfit and shoes a couple times; guess I was worrying about looking good...)  For some reason Matt was driving me, which makes no sense in real life since we live in different directions from the location.  The route didn't look familiar anyhow.  But he was also driving several other interns or new hires, interestingly enough.

The best part is that when we were almost there, at this particular traffic light, it was apparently time to somehow take off into the air, straight from his car, by tying this string to our fingers -- the other end of which, I presume, was attached to a parachute or something similarly designed to get us airborne.  While the others that were riding with us seemed to be taking off with no problem, I for some reason was having difficulty.  Matt tried to help me, and I freaked out because he was driving, so I leaned back across him and grabbed the steering wheel and made sure we didn't get into an accident.  But then we passed through the critical intersection, and it was too late for me to take flight.  So Matt drove the rest of the way and we parked in this large scruffy parking lot.  Then we headed inside, and I remember feeling like I kind of let him down.  (Haha, I'm really glad DJ is not actually like this.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

After a good night...

I often find myself lingering, cuz I've got some kind of nice outfit on and makeup and maybe earrings I like, and my hair looks good (or at least it did when I headed out, haha)...  And I feel a bit sad to change into pajamas, go over to the sink and rub the makeup off.  An old Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt and a pair of Calvin Klein pajama pants (not even plaid!) for which I somewhere have a matching top, probably stuffed at the bottom of a dresser drawer -- they just can't really compare.  Though, I guess lazy and mismatched clothes imply a letting-go sense that is appropriate for heading to sleep.

I really love nights that kind of spontaneously turn out to be just really good.  Sometimes I can hardly believe how happy I am, how lucky I am to have these friends and to be meeting new awesome people and having such fun.  These moments make me believe life truly is good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

That 30-second epiphany that defines the clarinet player's life in the band

So earlier today (it's still Monday in my head), we're playing Pinball Wizard at Penn Band rehearsal.  Cool song, right?  Well, I guess.  At any rate the drum major decides to have only the clarinets and flutes play their part at the beginning of the song.  The part is a rhythmic pattern of 8ths/16ths that repeats in each measure and I believe is meant to imitate the guitar strumming.  (As a side note I'll say it took me til senior year to figure out the rhythm... or at least I think I've got it now.)  The action proceeds as follows:

Clarinets/flutes:  (begin playing the part, several measures go by)

Trumpet player:  Wait, that's the part?!? ...... Wow, that's gross!

Major sigh.  In the space of 30 seconds it was plainly illustrated how a) we sometimes get stuck with annoying, boring, or otherwise undesirable parts, but far worse, b) very often the rest of the band doesn't even have a clue what we're playing cuz they can't hear us at all.  This was one of those moments when I'm not sure how much I really contribute to the band.  Oh well.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cuddle buddies...

Last night I set my chat status to:

"i want a cuddle buddy "

Some friends responded like so...

friend: i want one too
friend: hehehe
my brother: i have a cuddle buddy [=
me: that puppy???
my brother: yuppp!
my brother: want to seeee?
me: adorableeee
friend: omg I want one tooo!!! lol

I maintain that simple touch is an often forgotten joy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

When I was little

I thought crutches were cool.  I sort of hoped I would break an ankle so I could walk around using them.  I even built a pair out of Pipeworks and tried them out in the front yard.

My brothers and I collected Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars.  Each one received a name--some as creative as "Box Truck" and "O. Race" (short for "Orange Race").  Some of them were grouped into "gangs", which were simply groups with a leader and a precise order in which they drove around together in a single-file line formation.  I drew by hand a large "mat" which included a whole neighborhood with homes, i.e. garages, for each vehicle, as well as destinations like stores with parking lots to which they could travel in groups.  Sometimes in the nicer weather we'd draw maps outside on the driveway with chalk and bring all the cars out there.

My parents had a friend from whom we bought (or maybe just received second-hand) an old foosball table.  Rather than a sturdy frame like today's tables, this one had aluminum(?) legs and the playing area board sagged towards one side.  The provided ball was too large to fit through into the goals, so we substituted bouncy balls.  My brother and I had crazy, crazy matches.  The table would be skidding all over the floor.  Most of the players were no longer fixed properly in place on the rods, and many would end up upside down or shoved into their neighbor amidst gameplay.  (We paused after each goal was scored to realign them.)  Oh, and we named the players...after the Matchbox cars.

A favorite warm-weather activity was to find a bucket and a paintbrush from the basement, fill the bucket with water, and "paint" the siding of the house.

My parents own a fairly small CD collection.  Perhaps the two albums to which I most loved to listen and dance (around the living room) were Michael Jackson's Thriller and Miami Sound Machine's Primitive Love.

I loved dogs.  I'd search the newspaper classified listings for dogs that were being given away for free.  In fifth grade I did a project that used surveys, statistics compiled from my own readings of dog breed books, and database queries (help from Dad there) to output which dog matched you best.  I had my favorite breeds: Labradors, golden retrievers, Dalmatians, beagles.  My parents never did take on the responsibility of a dog in our family, but I did walk my neighbors' dog for awhile and--though she was about as lazy a dog as I've ever come across--I loved her too.

I read books all the time.  I liked series... Sweet Valley Twins, Animorphs, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Amber Brown books.  And there were plenty of other books, in series and not, which I'm sure I forget at the moment.

There's a giant maple tree in my front yard.  It's beautiful.  I used to climb it and sit in it often.  I also found long sticks and collected them by storing them wedged between a split in the branches.

I was totally addicted to computer games.  Various titles enjoyed overlapping phases of different lengths in the limelight of interest.  Some of my favorites (most played) were: Chex Quest, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Hot Wheels Stunt Track Driver, and KidPix.  Others included Tonka Construction, Midnight Rescue, Crayola Art Studio, and a variety of Sim games from City to Copter to Farm.  These were of the Windows 95/98 era.  On Windows 3.1 I played lots of Tetris and a text-only game, all based on wordplay, known as Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It.  Before the Internet began to swallow all of my computer time, these games were what I would do with it.

In eighth grade I watched Pokémon on TV after school.  I've never watched TV much, but this is one show I was pretty faithful about following.  I also played the Pokémon board game with my brothers; we'd stretch a single game out across days of playing time so we could build up our arsenals of Pokémon.

I never ever drank coffee.  Somehow I thought even the decaf my parents drink would get you addicted, and always warned my brothers of this.

In the park down the road from my house, my town puts on a fireworks display every July 4th.  For many of those years I believed they shot off fireworks by pounding a packet of powder with a huge hammer.  Hence the "boom" sound was created--logical enough, right?

I built awesome things with Legos and K'Nex.  Some of them didn't come from the instruction books!

My family belonged to a couple of pool clubs over some years.  The one where we spent most summers was the Holmdel Swim and Tennis Center.  There was the "big pool" and the "medium pool", a baby pool, and a diving tank.  I was always very slow getting into the cold water, a problem I've carried into my beach days now, of course.  But I loved swimming, playing with my brothers, and making those perfect pencil dives to touch the bottom of the 13-foot-deep diving tank.

I sold Girl Scout cookies to my neighbors.  Since I showed up every year they all knew the deal already.  My mom always accompanied me on the walks.  For delivery we'd pile the boxes into the red wagon and pull it around with us.

An odd combination of toy sets my brothers and I used to make was "farm and construction".  We had a barn house with various appropriate animals and a farmer and family, and a set of construction vehicles and guys in hard hats.  I would make up a storyline as we went and these two sets would interact.

Another strange amusement we came up with was that which we code-named "Suman Huitcase".  This was simply a swapping of first letters to refer to "Human Suitcase".  It involved putting one of us in the largest family suitcase, zipping it up, and moving the encased person to someplace else in the basement, whereupon they were to guess their new location.  Yes, this was a slightly nervewracking experience, but I guess we trusted each other enough.

We used to eat these couple of cereals I really loved--Cracklin' Oat Bran and Just Right--until Mom stopped buying them because she deemed them not healthy enough.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

But I cannot forget, refuse to regret

I walk home slowly.  It's nice, since 99 percent of the time I'm speed walking to my next commitment and will probably be late anyway.  Since I remembered finally to charge my iPod, I select the songs for the walk: Human Nature, by Michael Jackson, and She Says, by Howie Day.  I need something soothing for my thoughts.

Or maybe they're just ridiculous.  I take the elevator up and I know I'm dead tired, but I don't want to change into pajamas (which are way more comfortable) nor smear off the makeup yet.  I'd rather entertain in my imagination that the night's continuing.  I'm laughing, then lifting my eyes to meet those of that person I want to be hanging out with.

But... I'm not even sure all the time who that person is.

Much as I do like to ignore it, I think I'm sensing the reality of the pointless situation moreso now.  Maybe that means I'm dealing with it a little bit.

I think I'm looking for distractions too, though.  I try to spend my time with various friends, and enjoying that time keeps me from dealing with my thoughts when I'm alone.  And as I run around to all sorts of fun things, I look for whom upon to place my "that person" attention.  So give me the superficial, the new random crushes, the boy of the night with whom I know nothing will happen anyhow.  Am I just giddy, high on this shallow feeling and the taste of the game played by two?

At the end of the night, no matter how late I've stayed out, I'm coming home to cuddle with my pillow as I lie there and run the day's situations through my head.  Fun is great, really.  I am appreciating it.  But what I'm missing, I think, is something more real and more fundamental.  It's got the meaning to make it last through time.  Or so I suppose, or assume, or whatever.  I don't really know if I even understand.  But I'm feeling the lack of something like this, and so I'm hoping for the twists of life paths that will bring it into mine.  Sometime soon, perhaps.

(title: "The Sun" - Maroon 5)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

from Facebook chat

In regards to doppelganger week on Facebook:

me: hiii

friend: hey hows it going piper parabo

me: hahahah
me: yeah what do you think bout that..accurate?

friend: haha brian saw your picture and was sooo confused ... hes like did tory's personality change in the last few months? I'm like why. Hes like have you seen her facebook picture? And i started laughing because I had already seen it


friend: it took me a second to realize it wasnt u when i first saw it

me: oooomg
me: well i guess it's not too bad of a match.

A piece of clarity

friend: hrm
friend: i mean if you can't step forward
friend: you can stay where you are or move back
friend: no matter what in 3 months it's gone

me: that's a nice simple analysis... i like it

text message 3

from: me
sent: Feb 4, 9:41am

Great little story I forgot to tell you. Yesterday I was sitting next to my rhythm partner before the lesson and I took off my sweatpants and he looks over and goes, "woah. was not expecting that." hahahaha it was great.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I like snow

Everyone gets at least a little excited, I think, when a good amount of snow is in the forecast.  (Well, perhaps not if you're traveling, but let's put that aside for a moment.)  It kind of brings people together because we're all talking about it, like we do the Olympics and other somewhat universal events.

Snow teaches us to handle the unexpected.  People are scrambling a bit, stocking groceries, checking and rearranging and canceling various plans.  We make it work in the end, though.

It teaches us to go on anyway.  As not everything grinds to a halt, we venture out bravely with our ski jackets, boots, and waterproof gloves.  After tromping on through the accumulation and braving the wind and ice, we arrive at our destinations with a little extra satisfaction just from having made it.

Snow reminds us to play.  I always enjoy seeing the way we become like kids in the snow.  We can't resist that silly joy of throwing snowballs at our friends and tackling each other down.  And I've seen a snowman or two and a crazy snow fort pop up on campus.  (Hey, my brothers and I used to build igloos from the piles of snow shoveled off our driveway when we were kids.)

Snow gives us a whole new spectrum of opportunity for crazy edge-of-danger activities.  I don't get out there enough to know this, but my brother has said that real snow makes for the best skiing/boarding slopes.  So we throw caution to the wind just enough to thrill us and go flying down mountains.  Maybe we come home with an extra bruise or two - but that's part of the fun.

It seems to me that the snow makes us a bit less self-conscious and a bit more accepting.  We wear our puffy jackets; we put up our hoods.  When we all finally tramp inside and sit down with some hot drinks to warm up, we strip off a few of the layers and the winter warmth accessories and just chat merrily, not minding anyone's messy hair or sweatshirts dampened by rogue mostly-melted snowballs.  And our day becomes little bit brighter.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Text message 2

sent: January 22, 3:23pm
from: me
to: David

"Damn why do there have to be so many cute jewish boys in this school?"

received: January 22, 3:30pm
from: David
to: me

"Transfer to notre dame"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"In Defense and Explanation of Twitter"

I wrote the following for a new-grad program application, and thought I would post these thoughts...

Oh, Twitter. It is definitely one of the tech buzzwords of today. Visit a few blogs and company sites and you are bound to run across various designs of “follow me on Twitter!” buttons. Though I have zero formal training in marketing, it would make sense that many view Twitter as one of the latest-and-greatest web application bandwagons through which to expand one's audience. On the other hand, well-known personalities, especially celebrities, are likely to collect thousands upon thousands of followers—and could easily utilize the service to communicate with them directly and personally. (Such, I might add, is very exciting from the fan's end. I know this from personal experience!) Many also tout Twitter as a source for disseminating and reading breaking news before it can be posted or shared via other avenues.

To me, the experience of Twitter is a bit different. I began with what I would suppose is a typical non-Twitter-user's view: the question, “what is the point of it?”, followed by dismissively waving it off. I specifically remember once observing on a friend's laptop screen that he and several others were writing messages on Twitter back and forth to each other. My thought at the time was that I could not believe they were involved in such a silly waste of time. Somehow, though, my Digital-Media-Design-major's curiosity got the best of me. I found myself walking around with thoughts of approximately one hundred forty characters in length popping into my mind. After a couple of days this started driving me a little crazy, so I logged on and (with some disappointment) settled on the username I really wanted but preceded by an underscore. Oh well.

In the beginning of my Twitter days, of course, I did not really know what I was doing. I eagerly searched for and followed people I knew in “real life” and hoped that they followed me back. I fell prey to tweeting (with some repetitiveness) about what I was doing at the moment, if I was particularly loving it. As I think we tend to do—particularly these days via social networking applications—I put my thoughts out there in the hopes that others would find my online persona of at least mild interest or amusement and be thus inspired to follow me.

Along the timeline of my first few months getting really into Twitter, I began to change my approach. I sought out users who posted links to content I found relevant to my potential career path. I began to actually take up others on their Follow Friday recommendations instead of skipping over tweets filled with usernames. I followed people who were just plain fun, quirky, or made me smile. Perhaps most importantly, though, I realized that Twitter is most enjoyable after you transition from passively taking in others' information and thoughts as they stream in front of your eyes (and occasionally outputting your own) to interacting with others. It is probably easy to forget that behind the tweets is a real person typing them from their laptop or mobile phone. I discovered that if I started replying to what others were saying, many were often inclined to reply back and converse. For a long time I had been skeptical about talking with strangers in an online venue, but at least in the context of Twitter, my opinion has changed. Thanks to Twitter, I am able to connect with friendly people from anywhere in the world whom I doubt I would ever meet otherwise.

Let me end with probably my most personally exciting Twitter story. Thanks to a particular Twitter user whose posts and conversation I greatly enjoy, I connected with another Twitter user. She and I exchanged several messages and discovered common interests. I learned that she helps teach a course at Penn, occasionally flying to Philadelphia to be on campus. One of the times she was here, we happened to have a mutual free moment and met up. I found her thoroughly enjoyable and positive. If not for Twitter, we most likely would never have met. In the future, hopefully, we will be able to go rock climbing together!

A final note: yes, I agree, there is a lot of noise on Twitter. I see this whenever I search the trending topics. Therefore, the key is to find and follow the people who post valuable content, who are friendly and interesting and willing to interact. Is this not what we wish to do in “real life”, as well?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

about me [15-26] ~ Useless Facts version

  1. I love earrings, especially long dangling ones, studs, and interesting ones.  I have two piercings in each ear.
  2. I have lots of sweatshirts and I love sweatpants.
  3. I have lived in my little town in New Jersey for my whole life.
  4. I have never once chewed gum, and have no plans to do so in the future.
  5. I have a now-and-then obsession with categorizing things, like my Firefox bookmarks.
  6. Bathing suit shopping is one of my favorite activities.
  7. I always misuse the word "plug" by referring to outlets (in the wall) as plugs.  However, everyone always seems to know what I'm talking about. :)
  8. I highly enjoy spontaneous dance parties by myself in my room.  Hey, some songs just need to be danced to! (several examples...)
  9. I often eat Starbucks pastries as substitutes for breakfast or when I'm hungry but my meal schedule is all screwed up.
  10. I consider doing laundry to be "fake productivity" - you're getting something done, but you're really just avoiding many other things (which are probably more mentally tasking) that you need to do.  At least, that's my situation, haha.
  11. I rarely bother with makeup, but I like it nonetheless.
  12. I like to live in somewhat messy conditions (e.g. papers, receipts, and the like on my desk, and clothes piled on my chair - some clean, some worn) because it feels more relaxed than a highly organized space.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

That road

My butt's glued to the hard wooden chair; I'm plugged into my music; my mind's in another world entirely from my body.  I'm lost in a history I've mostly forgotten.  I mean, isn't this the way it works better?  When everything happens by accident, because you aren't paying attention to it like that?  For some time now I've been rollercoastering (no that's not a word) through waves of confusion, lulls, new and old interactions.  Yeah, in a way, it's nice and all.

But it's like you're swimming, and then one day you come up to breathe.  The air is a taste of something possibly unknown and beautiful.  Inhale, exhale... if there's even the time to do that.  The water is all around, though.  Allowing no mercy, it takes you back.  Then all you can do is keep on going.

Is it worth all the hours of a mind lost in pondering and thoughts of old?  There's always the practical path.  If I go that way, though, I think I lose the depth on both ends, the good and the bad.  And I just might want that depth, its pain along with it.

music of the mood: Brazilian Girls – Don't Stop and iiO - Rapture (Soulside Chillout Mix)

My outlook on my skills and future, from a year ago


(2:37:53 AM) me: i'm jealous
(2:38:02 AM) friend: you want to work at facebook?
(2:38:33 AM) me: sure
(2:39:14 AM) friend: want to write web code and do photoshop all day?
(2:39:42 AM) me: should i not?
(2:39:51 AM) friend: oh, i didn't know that's something you were interested in
(2:40:19 AM) me: lol
(2:40:23 AM) me: i have to try to be interested in something.
(2:40:30 AM) me: since i kinda suck at everythign artistic
(2:42:50 AM) friend: i doubt that
(2:42:56 AM) me: haha