Friday, December 23, 2011


Someday, I will figure out a way to make my home feel a little bit like Barnes & Noble.  There is something about its atmosphere, its vibe, that calms me every time I walk in.  And I meander through endless passages, through more storytelling and knowledge that I could ever absorb, and finally bury myself in a corner to spend a half hour with whatever printed word has caught my mind.

Someday, I will have a car, so I need only depend on myself to drive to places I want to go, and events I want to attend, and to visit who I want to spend time with.  And I'll give people rides, because I know how grateful I am every time someone makes me life easier by giving me a ride now.

Someday, if I'm still living in the city, I will have a cat, because of the way my friend's cat - and seeing how he loves this cat - has forever endeared me to the species.  The kittens in the window in the shop next to my building entrance might have something to do with it too.  Or maybe I'll have a dog, a small one that I might be able to get away with having in an apartment, because of the way I smile every time I see my coworker's tiny white dog.

Someday, I'll take a SEPTA bus adventure.  I'll try all those north/south routes I've never taken, and at least observe if not walk around all the areas of which I'm rather unaware.  I so like to call this city my own, and it is wider than what my experience encompasses.

Someday, I will write a novel.  Despite my vast ability to be unmotivated to make progress on any of the personal projects I have in my head, somehow it will come together.  I will get over the times I can't string together the words to make a single satisfying sentence, to reach the times when it flows like this is what I was meant to do with my life.  I'll hole up in local cafes; the employees will know all the drinks and pastries that I typically order; I'll wear baggy sweatpants and nerdy t-shirts all the time; sunlight will stream in as the hours are whiled in narration, sometimes with a musical background because I can't take silence for too long.  And then I'll hope against hope that someone else in the world thinks the result is good enough to share with people.

Someday, I will go on a cruise to a tropical island.  The ship will have salsa dances, and a bunch of really good dancers will randomly be on the ship, and somehow I will be lucky enough to dance with them.  At night on the island I will drink, and dance, and get lost in house music.  I'll sleep til the sunlight wakes me, go sightseeing, visit tiny local shops, eat food I never knew of in the first place, lie tanning on the beach... forget the normal world for a little window of time.

Someday - though I cannot imagine it really exists - I will find a job of DJing for cafes and fancy lounges and bars.  How better to put to use the endless hunger for, the hours of time spent exploring, the depths of a genre of music?  The good stuff may be hard to find, but man, when it's found, it's good.  Eventually I'll find some avenue to create this vibe for other people.

Someday, I'll have an apartment or a house with an empty wood-floored room, so that at last I can host friends, from one to many, for dancing.

Someday, I will be married.  I'll have someone to kiss goodbye as we head off to work.  We'll spend perfect rainy Sundays cuddled up in a blanket with movies and really good beer - complete contentment.  And I will never go to sleep alone again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

small life lessons

  1. Walk in drizzling rain sometimes.  It can be refreshing.
  2. Take something annoying and turn it into something positive by a change of perspective.  (This is a generic derivation of #1.)
  3. Stop to look at the kittens in the window.  A dose of real-life (i.e. non-Internet) cuteness can be nothing but healthy.
  4. Help a stranger.  Tonight I helped the guy sitting next to me on the bus with his new smartphone, and he returned the favor by helping me get my jacket on at the end of the ride.  I also helped a fellow pedestrian with directions as I was walking home.  These are small things but they felt good.
  5. Cry when you need to.
  6. Hold hands -- it's so simple, but so affirming.
  7. Dance.  Take the emotion that music gives you and let it out kinetically, physically.
  8. Communicate.  It builds relationships.
  9. There's nothing like a good hug.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

musings on being "in love"

  1. All the relationship-related joy, pain, and desires poured out in 97% of songs in existence -- are these really how people feel?  To take over our thoughts that widely and to encompass that much intensity, being in love must really be one of the strongest human emotions.  I guess I just haven't been there yet.
  2. Is being in love somehow different than loving someone?  I can without hesitation say "I love you" to close friends and family, yet the idea of saying it with the intended meaning of "I'm in love with you" seems incredibly more daunting, weighty, significant, serious.  Yet I imagine that there is a lot of overlap: joy in being in the other's presence, ease of conversation, mutual care, ...
  3. How do you know that you're in love?  One friend laughed when I posed this question and responded that if you have any question in your mind, then the answer is that you're not.  I am indecisive about many elements of life, from those that don't really matter to the major turning points.  Do I need to cut back on the analysis here and revert to a simpler level, tuning in to my natural feelings, to understand where I am?

Friday, November 4, 2011


When I was younger I used to collect...

1) Keychains
I'm not sure if I ever thought they would have practical use, since I don't think I possessed any keys at the time. Nonetheless they were my go-to souvenir for family vacations big and small, as well as photos taken on roller coasters during Music in the Parks band trips.

2) Postage stamps
In this case, the collection was started for me by a great-aunt. And so for awhile I carefully cut out any interesting stamps from the corners of envelopes, watching the stamp price rise over a few years. (What are they up to now? I haven't mailed anything in quite awhile.) Anyhow, I carefully categorized the stamps and placed them into a large album...which must be around somewhere now...

3) Toothbrushes
I do not recall what inspired me to save each toothbrush when I was done with it instead of throwing it out. Perhaps I had gotten a bit attached after all those months - and some of them had cool designs (leopard print, anyone?). Either way, they accumulated in a drawer until, I believe, I was packing to move out of home after college. Yes, I did throw them out, but not without getting a good laugh and a photo of them first.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nice things today

Since I am utterly failing at writing anything here as often as I wish to, I came up with a new plan the other day: short posts centered on lists of 3 (items, thoughts, experiences, whatever).

This is the first one; referring to last night.
  1. Getting a nice, long, very comfortable parting hug at the end of PhB (with Chris). Felt appreciation and affection in it.
  2. As always, I stopped to see the current kittens in the window of the pet shop right next to my building's door. There was one beautiful gray and white striped one. It saw me and we had a long moment of eye contact. I seriously wanted to take it home and love it forever. (I don't even like referring to it as "it" but don't know if it's he or she.)
  3. Made a new Pandora station inspired by a friend's playlist from a couple years ago (Eric). It was nice to think of him. It's also incredibly refreshing to just listen to music - not to build a genre playlist or judge songs ten times over for danceability.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

characteristic #8

I have a need to save pretty much all the personal-data stuff that is naturally generated by my life. Notes with friends on scraps of paper from middle school? Yup. Random photos I took on my phone? Yeah, they are memories of sophomore year of college. Chat conversations? Well, these are auto saved by many chat services these days, but I'd keep copies manually in the days before AIM kept its own logs. I never want to delete a text message that made me smile, and it's hard to throw out even a logistical note my mom jotted down.

So what does this mean? For one I have tons of physical and digital archives of this stuff and it takes up space in those realms. Also means I can dig into some of those and have some serious floods of memories. What if maybe I should let some of this stuff go - keep what is special and unique, and tie the memories to those fewer things? I want to appreciate all the good experiences and people that are/were in my life, but I have to let go what is past to be best able to focus on what I have right now that is also so good.

Monday, August 1, 2011

music love.

The last... eight? months or so have grown to be a musical explosion in my life.  Blues: I've missed the weekly blues dance perhaps three times ever, since I really dove head-first into love with blues dancing last September.  And then there was JETLAG: hey, we can do this dancing thing to lounge/world/downtempo/chill music too.  DJX taught me we can consider all kinds of music to play with, in joy, silliness, intensity, a deep moment that creates a world between only you and a partner.

Out of this, for listening, the chill/lounge music stole my heart.  It can be relaxing - enveloping - comforting - emotional - dark - passionate; it makes you dream, and desire.  My journey in it originated with my (also new) love for chill house, building a playlist with artists I knew.  From that I split off this list, and thereafter it has grown immensely.  I've explored the work of a number of artists I first heard on Pandora, particularly from my station built after Jetlag.  Friends have given me leads, occasionally Grooveshark Radio contributes a song I like, and Turntable has opened a few new doors lately.

The world of music is amazing - and if you let it be, overwhelming.  There seems to be an endless number of artists I have never heard of, despite my ravenous desire to discover as much in the genres I love as I possibly can.  (Sometimes I save so many songs that shuffling through my playlist procures songs I never recall finding - good songs, and thus an extra bit of happiness that I did find them already.)

But! in the vastness is the beauty.  There is always more to find.  Much of the time I find some music I don't care for, a bunch that is alright, and some that I like.  But every now and then, my seeking is rewarded: I find a gem.  Less than 20 seconds in, I'm in love.  Excitement!  And so I save it, harbor it, share it with those who may love it as well... and know that I'll have lasting joy in it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

characteristic #7

As my beloved friend at work observed the other morning when I walked into the office, I like drinking my coffee out of a stirrer-turned-straw.  Wawa's stirrers are, in fact, perfect for this.  I tend to be impatient with coffee -- I want to begin the wakeup process with those first few sips, and waiting for it to cool off a bit takes too long.  However, impatience leads to burnt tongues.  So, the "straw" method somewhat abates that risk. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

for nostalgia, posterity, and those who weren't on Facebook in the old days

Recently I have had some friends bug me to quit some of my Facebook groups, because I am maxed out and they cannot invite me to another (new and actually useful) group.

I've finally taken a pass through and removed membership from several, but I held out because every time I looked at my list of groups, I felt it created a patchwork description of who I am: stuff I love, stuff I used to love, ways of life, habits, activities.  Back in "the day" - on Facebook's time scale - there wasn't much else to do besides join groups.  Half your news feed for the day would be informing you of the 15 new groups your friends joined.  You'd have to check them all out, join the ones that applied to you too, and then invite friends who might be interested.

For the most part, groups didn't do anything functional; the largest ones' discussion boards would fill up with stupid games like rating how hot the person who posted just before you was.  Instead they were mainly like badges of accomplishment, membership, and opinions.

That said, I have preserved a full list of my Facebook groups, copied here forevermore, dedicated to those friends who could never quite understand my attachment to them. :)  (Groups I created/admin'd are in italics.)

"...and you got into Penn?"
5 AP Calulus

2010 Penngineers

<3 Cat Macros <3

~*Harry Potter Has Me Under His Spell*~

Adam Sherr: the man, the myth, and the legend!

AIM Profile/Away Message checkers anonymous

A little piece of me died with Severus Snape

ALWAYS Sleep- Deprived
Ambiguous hair color/ambiguous eye color, another uncertainty in life

America's Roller Coast: Fans of Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Another Jamie waiting on her Landon...

Apparently, Michael Jackson and Billie Jean Were Not Lovers
Are you a Model? Oh, no wait, You're the Idiot who got dressed up for class

Atlanta Braves Fans For Life
A Walk to Remember

Badminton is the shit!!
Band Geeks for Life

Boys Are Sketchy...
British Accents Are Awsome



Catholic at Penn
Catholics (Global)

Cedar Drive Middle School Class of '02
Cedar Point=AMAZING!

Central Jersey
Central Jersey is Where It's At

Cereal: Not Just for Breakfast
channing tatum+dance=best movie EVER (aka step up)

Chapstick Addiction
Chips Challenge: The Legions of Melinda

Cinnamon Dolce Latte -Aholics!

Coalition of Students Against the Troubles of Laundry

Colts Neck Alumni in Philadelphia
Colts Neck Athlete Alumni

Colts Neck High School Band(s)
Colts Neck High School Class of '06

Computer Programmers

Computer Science
Crazy Loop (Mm-ma-ma)

CSE 110 Lab 204 (Fall '06)

Delaware Valley West Coast Swing

Destination: Mae
Digital Media Designers

Dirt Cheap Blues
DMD 2010

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From, Because I'm From a Tiny Town You've Never Heard of
DRL decreases my quality of life

Egyptian Ratscrew is addictive and contagious

Every morning I say to myself: "Tonight I'll go to bed Early!!"
Exceptional Residents of E-Section: Stouffer 2007-2008

FaceBook Chat Without A Browser!!!
Facebook Developers

Facebook is Better than MySpace
Figure Skating Fans Unite!

Firefox is far superior to Internet Explorer
Firefox Users

Fork You! We Like To Spoon!
Geek! It's Not Just for Guys -- Female Geeks at Penn

Golden Sun junkies united against alchemy

Groovy dancing in Philly at L'Etage and other venues
Group Work Sucks - My Teammates are Idiots

haha/lol anonymous
Hallmates Who Talk To Each Other Online While Sitting In the Same Room (UPenn Chapter)

Hamilton College House (or High Rise North)

Harry Potter Lovers

Hey, just because I sleep until the afternoon doesn't mean that I'm lazy!
HOKAY, so here's the Earth!

Hoodies Freakin' Rock
How did you get into swing? --my Documentary Collage

I ♥Jack Sparrow
I ♥ Taking Pictures

I'm a "13 Going on 30" fan and proud of it...who's your daddy?
I'm A Fermata...Hold Me

I'm from 732, bitch.
I'm from a Small Town and Proud of it!!

i'm going to have AMAZING sex...after i'm married (penn chapter)
I'm Not Anti-Social.... I'm Just Lazy

I'm Not Your Real Friend, But I Get a Request For You To Be My Facebook Friend?! Get Your Life Right
I'm Tired Of People Fucking Up My Name

I've Been Through The High Rise Wind Tunnel

I <3 Belmar
I <3 My soffe shorts!!!

I am Sexually Attracted to Talent
I beat Chex Quest

I Bet You Can't Pronounce My Last Name
I can't... I'm going dancing tonight.

I Compulsively Check my Facebook and Email just to Avoid my Homework
I didn't have ADHD until I came to college.

I Don't Really Laugh Out Loud When I IM You "LOL"
I dont have time to do Homework... Because I'm in College.

Id Rather Be Skiing!!!
I eat pop-tarts uncooked

I eat too much dessert
If cheerleading is a sport, then by golly so is marching band!

If Facebook reaches 8,146,718,692 stupid theme groups, you're all morons.
If it weren't for DDR, I'd get no exercise at all!

If this group reaches 4,294,967,296 it might cause an integer overflow.
I Fucking Hate Recursion

If you despise groups that say "if this group reaches 100,000 I'll..."
I Have no Life and I'm Proud of It

I know who Visser Three is, and I'm terrified of him.
I Like Someone but I'm Not Doing Anything About It... Except Looking at Their Facebook Profile

I like to wear my lazy/comfy clothes.... And I love it
I Live(d) In A Bubble Town

I Live In New Jersey And I Don't Have That Accent
I Love A Man In A Suit

I love Chick Flicks.
I Love Cold Stone Creamery

I love how we're friends on facebook, but we don't actually talk in person.
I love marching band!!!!!!

I Love Mark Ruffalo !
I love Nicholas Sparks' books

I Love To Tickle, Snuggle, And Cuddle With That One Special Person!
I Make A Wish at 11:11

i make wishes at 11:11
Im a Night Owl

Imogen Heap
Imogen Heap is fabulous. the end.

In central NJ it's called the beach, not "the shore"

I Need Rehab For My Snooze Button Addiction

I Play DDR/ITG/StepMania etc.
I Play Egyptian Ratscrew with Consecutives

I Refer To People By Nicknames They Will Never Know

I Refuse to Gain the Freshman 15
I remember the Animorphs and they were badass!

I spend more time on my cell texting than talking.
I Start My Homework at 2 In the Morning

It's 2 AM, you have class tomorrow, you don't know why the fuck you are awake
It's Not My Fault What You Said Can Be Misconstrued as A Sexual Innuendo

It's Rodin, not hamilton.
I take my CSE notes on paper!

I Trip On the Uneven Bricks
I Tripped On Locust Walk and Tried To Play it off

I Used to Go to Sleep, But Now I Go to College
I used to run home after school and watch Poke'mon!

I used to wear Footy Pajamas. Admit it. You all did.
I use my cell phone as a flashlight

I Use my Cell Phone to See in the Dark
I Use Python And So Should You

I Want to Go to Hogwarts...Which Way to Platform 9 3/4?
I Went To a Good Public School...bitch

I Went To A Public High School.....Bitch (Global Group)
I wish I had an English accent

I wish I were a figure skater ::sigh::
I Wish I Were Your Derivative So I Could Lie Tangent To Your Curves!

I [heart] Alexei Yagudin

Jazz Attack!
Jersey Pride

Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom make the HOTTEST pirates EVER!!!
Join this group if you've hugged someone in it

Join this if you've played music with someone in it...
Library Shelvers Unite!

LIFE- Let's see how many pro-life people are on facebook.
Life would be much simpler if I didnt think so much.

Locust Walk Pamphlet Dodgers
Love Generation - Worlds best tune!

Marching Band Is Pretty Kickass

Marching Band Was My Favorite Part Of High School
Musicians Make Better Lovers

Music is my Life
My heart belongs to the Jersey Shore.

My last name is not cool enough to have its own group.
My name is Victoria and no, I will not tell you my "secret."

National Catholic Youth Conference 2005 (NCYC)
Newman $1 Dinner

Newman Catholic Student Center
NJ/NY Upenn 2010'ers

No, I haven't read that great literary classic--But I've seen the Wishbone!
Not Drunk at Penn

NOT Penn dumb bitch
Obsessive Compulsive Facebook Group Joiners

Obsessive LOLers anonymous
Ode to Cracklin' Oat Bran

Of course I love reading....I love reading instant messages
One Body of Christ Experiment (all Christians on Facebook)

Ooh... You Touch My Tra La La
Oregon Trail Was as Much a Part of My Childhood as TGIF

Over Obsessive Stalkers of America
PARANOiA Lovers (and haters)!

Penn '10
Penn Band

Penn Band Camp 2008
Penn Band Clarinets

Penn Band Clarinets ('nets)
Penn Band Undergraduate Event Notices

Penn Career Services' DC/Baltimore Metro Area Network
Penn Career Services' New York Metro Area Network

Penn Career Services' Northern California/Pacific Northwest Network
Penn Career Services' Philadelphia Metro Area/Delaware Valley Network

Penn Career Services' Southern California/Southwest Network

Penn Engineering Alumni
Penn Latin and Ballroom Dance PLBD

Penn Wind Ensemble
People who DON'T clap between movements

People who don't sleep enough because they stay up late for no reason
People Who Hate Going Up c/o 1949 Bridge!!!!

People Who Know the Difference Between Your and You're (Upenn Chapter)
People Who Like Groups Noone Else Has Ever Heard Of

Philadelphia Salsa Connection
Philly Lindy Love

Pidgin - One IM to rule them all!!!
PLBD Summer 2010, Penn Latin Ballroom Dance

POTC 1, 2, and soon to be 3
procrastination is the key to life

Procrastinators Unite.Maybe Today.Probably Tomorow.Hopefully Soon Though
Programming with Python

Pump My Gas
Quotation Mark "Hunters"

Random White Kids in the Middle of a Sea of Asians
Reppin' Monmouth County

Rodin 12th Floor 2008-09
Rodin College House 2008-2009

Sam Hazo is my Hero
Save The Music!!

Scramble Bands of America

SEAS webmail is.....umm.....technologically superior
Shamelessly Sober

Six Flags Great Adventure
Sleep... it's the new sex

Spooning Club
St. Mary's Young Adults

Students Against Drunken Frat Debauchery
Students for the Relocation of DRL to outside my bedroom window

Students for the Resurrection of the Ancient Art of Dating

Swashbucklers! Raise Your Swords!!
Sweatpants are awesome!

Texting Addicts Anonymous (TAA)
The Anthony Campisi Fan Club

The band is the reason for Saturday.
The Clarinet Group

The Curse of the Black Pearl is better than Dead Man's Chest
The Father Charlie Fan Club

The Hedvats are Taking over Penn
The Jersey Shore: Where Magic is Made

The Largest Facebook Group Ever
The Lost art of Foosball

The New facebook is stalkerish (what's so bad about that)
The Official Animorphs Nostalgia Group

The Official Class of 2010
The Official Mr. Gatti I'll Bet You A Penny Fan Club

The Sexy Ho-Ditties of Hamilton 1... and Frennie
The Surrogate Profile Of Luke Auld-Thomas

The Vag, and Friends of the Vag Who Love the Vag
The William Ian Eastman Fan Club

The word "gay" is not a synonym for "stupid".
They Can Have My PC… After They Pry it Out of My Cold Dead Fingers

Thriller Dance, anyone?
Top 10 reasons to date a band member - my most successful group.  Worth a link.

Tutti i Gobat nel mondo
UPenn Class of 2010 - Living in Philadelphia After Graduation

Verizon free texting!!
wait, theres life outside of band?!

We're not Crazy, We're just Catholic
Westie Wednesday with Rob and Sheila

What is that Mysterious Ticking Noise?...
Whats Wrong With T-shirts?

When I was your age, there were only 150 pokemon.
Who Wears Short Shorts?...I WEAR SHORT SHORTS!

Why Does Every Group End In Bitch?.....bitch.
Why yes, I am music obsessive... Thanks for noticing :)

Yeah, I went to BAND CAMP. And I liked it.
yeah i work/worked at a library

Yeah that's right I don't drink COFFEE
Yes, I want to fix the High Rise Elevators

Yes For Life
You know you're a band dork when...

you know you're a kid from the 90s when...
You know you're from the Jersey Shore when...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

finally: climbing and dance intersect!

thanks Ben :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

hug chemistry

I've very slowly started to come across a select few people with whom my body seems to fit, like two long-lost puzzle pieces.  And I'm not talking about sex.

Somehow, pressing my chest and stomach to theirs and wrapping our arms around each other creates a most wonderful feeling of comfort.  There's a sense of being at home, like: this is the way the entire front of my body is totally meant to feel.  It's a moment of physical rightness.

I can think of one friend who falls into this category from prior, but the blues dancing scene is what has opened up this possibility to me.  What can I say?  We dance close with each other all the time, so the level of touch we (perhaps subconsciously) view as normal amongst the community is a bit higher than outside it.  And I doubt any of us could deny that a warm hug at the end of a great blues dance with someone is icing on the cake.  Yum.

Thus I have many chances to experience hugs in my life, out of which - in beautiful rarity - I am discovering more people whose hugs click with mine.  Only now am I starting to consciously appreciate them as something special, and fully indulging in this natural happiness of fulfillment through the sense of touch.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

find love

I think maybe I'm ready to find love.

Maybe I'm being a girl because I just watched a romantic comedy and now I'm having this thought.  Maybe I'm being unrealistic to be inspired by a movie, because maybe we make the stories in movies just a little better than they would happen in real life.

Half of me is extremely sure what love is, and the other half is pretty damn sure I haven't a clue how to begin.  See, in one sense, I experience love every single day.  My friend Stephan at work is so hilarious that I've got my hands over my mouth, trying not to laugh out loud.  I can exchange three lines via online chat with my dear friend David from Penn, and find myself saying "man, I love you, you know that?"  I receive texts from my mom, asking how setting up my new apartment is coming along.  I bond over really good beer, delicious blues dancing, and the way lindy hop is just that much better after a rum and coke.

But otherwise, I have given up for a long time now.  I relegated the couples I have been around as mysteries; I had spent so much mental effort some years back to define and understand love for myself, but to no real conclusions, and I do not have the energy to try anymore.  The discovery, the journey, the maintenance, the work through the downs for the sake of the ups -- these I see but from the outside, an observer trapped at the most surface level understanding.

It seems in my life that whenever "something" starts to happen with someone, it is unexpected: a string of occurrences that happened to weave together to bring that person into my life.  If that holds, then, I ask myself, what need do I have to learn to seek?  That means I have to wait, and hope.  But the few times in the recent past that I have hoped a bit, always something has held things back.  And so I haven't had the chance to see what might become.

My life is very filled right now.  Friends, family, and activities are all there for me and wonderful.  I'm living where I want to be, and I've got people who miss me in other cities.  And yet, it might be nice to have someone to think about at the end of the day, knowing he will be doing likewise.  It might be nice to hold hands and steal kisses.  To send pointless text messages.  To laugh so hard, and then have a deep conversation.  To share beer, and dinner, and ice cream.  To watch dumb TV and not care that it's dumb because it's extra cuddle time.  To while the hours of a Saturday, doing our own thing, taking simple peace and comfort in another's company. To miss, be missed; need, be needed.

To love, without wondering.

But you know, I'm just making this all up.  Because this is a little bit of how I like to imagine it would be.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

philly bucket list!

-- inspired by The Bucket List.  I've been meaning to do this for awhile, but it's also totally meant to be a work in progress.
  • Sundae party
  • The Franklin - with Ben (seriously, how did I not know about this place??)
  • check out Northern Liberties
  • Silk City (been mentioned to me enough times)
  • Cuba Libre - have to try out salsa there
  • Vango - I've been there once, but should try out the salsa night there too
  • browse Passyunk Ave
  • go to 69th Street Terminal.  because I never have.
  • really learn South Philly
  • watch an entire Phillies game on tv at a bar
  • discover and try out local cafés (in progress...)
  • Argentine tango(!!!!)
  • Fiume (45th & Locust) - mentioned to me the other day... again, how haven't I heard of this place?  Good things!

"so you"

Last night, a friend and wonderful person reminded me of a thought I had while coming home on the bus the other day.

If I consider my good friends, one overarching reason why I like them is just the way their personalities come through in casual communicating - be it in a brief chat or a long talk.  Knowing and enjoying someone's unique mannerisms in interaction is something I really value.

So I was thinking about text communications between friends.  I talk online and send text messages with friends all the time.  To what degree each person is "genuine" (speaks online as they would face to face) might be difficult to measure, but I realized one thing: one of my favorite moments in talking online or via text message is when a friend says something that just totally sounds like them.  I can hear it in their voice and see how their facial expression would look.  It's the closest feeling to being with them in person when communicating by text, I think.  Truly makes me smile inside.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I used to get these strong moments of nostalgia when I was ending a major period of my life -- I remember having visited my high school's band camp the summer before I was headed to college, and afterward, lying across my bed at home, in a near-physical pain about leaving marching band.  It was one of the experiences I most intensely loved throughout four years of high school and I expected nothing would be like it again.  And my college band experience really wasn't much like it, after all.  But that had all its own variables of course.  So I still look back past college band to high school band with a special fondness.

In the evening of my graduation day from Penn, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown.  I was trying to pack to move out of my dorm apartment room and kept thinking of how some of my closest friends would be disappearing across the country.  I began checking in with friends to see if anyone wanted to go out and do something, because I had to get out of that room and the physical actions of preparing to leave the campus (and a life built over four years).  Eventually I was told to meet up at City Tap House -- my first night there actually; I went thankfully.

Life post-college has developed wonderfully, and accordingly, my amount of time to rest is typically on a slow but steady decrease.  Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am to have found these activities -- mainly dancing -- and the truly beautiful community thereof.  I hardly have time to process and appreciate it all enough.  The excellent side benefit is one I often don't notice: I usually don't have the mental time to fall into nostalgia.  It almost makes sense... why should I be sad and miss the past if the present is full of happiness?

But sometimes, I open up a memory.  And I hold it for a long moment.  I can be sad if I think of it as a loss, that someone or something is no longer an element of my life, or if an experience was much briefer than I would wish it to be.  But there is a deep joy and appreciation that shines through this.  It was a part of my life -- a part meaningful enough to leave a lasting and treasured impression.  That's why the word 'bittersweet' is so perfect, and why I don't push away those moments of nostalgia when I find myself in them.  I find value in appreciating them once again, just within myself.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

social dynamic reciprocation?


In the blues/swing dance community I am surrounded by many incredibly nice and friendly people.  (I hate how generic those terms are, but they are basically the terms that apply.)  There are many people I still am just getting to know on more of a friend level (i.e. a step beyond "hey it's fun to dance with you" level), and pretty much everyone is open to chatting away easily and comfortably.  I feel like I've found gold in this group of people.  And this circles back and inspires me to act in kind.  What I ended up wondering just now was whether others get the same vibe back from me...  (I hope!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Ever have an experience that is so wonderful that it takes you in completely; nothing else from your life is a consideration or even in your thoughts at all?  It's not something earth-shattering nor life-direction-changing, nor potentially even "crazy" in whatever sense.  It's just a fun, a joy so purely and naturally felt that that long moment is everything when you're in it.  And you probably didn't even look for the situation; but the beautiful path of life threw in a couple of unexpected tweaks in direction and the rest just happened.

Monday, February 21, 2011

characteristic #6

I love plaid pajama pants. Flannel in the winter; lighter weight in the fall and spring.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Feel Good Life

(Sounds like a book title.  If I was cooler, I'd be writing that book.)

stepping into a hot shower, immersing in the water

flannel pajama pants

when someone holds the door for you

laughing. making someone else laugh.

first time re-listening to an old favorite song

figuring something out that you've been stuck on (aside of all the time it took!)

letting go when you dance

finding the perfect music for your mood

hugs that make you feel their meaningfulness

comfortable conversation

delicious food and drink

the breeze on a hot day, and at the beach in the summer

the oddly warm day in a later winter month

when someone expresses concern for you

when you've just completed washing, drying, and putting away laundry

the bedgasm

first delicious sip of coffee

clicking with someone you've just met

a back massage

when someone keeps in touch with you

sleeping in

holding hands. cuddling. kissing.

cozying up in a blanket

songs that just make you want to dance

passing by cute dogs on the sidewalk

feeling another person's breathing or heartbeat

sharing a love of something with someone

new friends


The Bible has a Facebook page

("f. yeah" - really?)  It's a wonderful message though.  And by the way, Jesus is an organization.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Little kid hates bus and loves trolley

I had an interesting little encounter on the 21 bus this evening.  Two moms with their young sons, who were about the same age, got on the bus at 34th street or so.  The little Asian boy seemed happy - chatting with his mother (and not in English!), he clambered onto a seat.  The other boy, however, launched into nearly a tantrum.  "I don't wanna take the bus!" was the main phrase, interspersed was "I wanna take the trolley", and the occasional "I want to get off the bus!" peppered his stream of upset pleading for good measure.  The Asian boy, whom I assumed to be his friend, at first patted the seat space next to him, but the upset boy paid no heed to this offer.  The Asian boy's mother tried to assist too, making another paper airplane to give him, but this boy's mother simply decided he was a lost cause.  It was all rather funny to me since I much prefer being on a bus to being on a trolley in most cases and ways.  I wonder what could cause a kid that young to have such a strong preference for one type of Septa vehicle and against another?

I got off at 39th Street. :)

characteristic #5

I need a level of messiness in my living space.  It doesn't feel comfortably lived in if I don't have piles of assorted papers covering at least most of my desk, clothes thrown over the back of the round green chair, and bed unfixed.  And 2-4 pairs of shoes on the floor.  There is a balance between this and total slobbery, though: I want to still be able to see most of the floor, and I do put away some shoes and hang up some clothes.  It's an organized mess, you know?

close-up of my lovely face to accompany the current piling of clothes on the green chair

Thursday, February 3, 2011

love at first...listen

It's a wonderful moment when I'm first listening to a song I haven't heard before (and even better when the artist is new to me too) and I find myself loving it within the first 30 seconds.  Or maybe even the first 15.  It lifts my mood, gives me joy, makes me excited.  There are no questions involved - I know I've found something I'm going to enjoy over and over into the future.  Sometimes it strikes me so perfectly that I listen several times in a row, day after day, and each time makes me equally happy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

not a blob

lol i was a total blob today.
almost hated myself for it but
had a headache, and super tired
oh well

u and blob are two words i cant associate


good to know I don't give off a blob vibe.  :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

we just relate as people

you know what is funny in the dance world?
age seems to melt away (mostly).
and most of us are in a similar range but.
i just don't even think about it
like suddenly i passed this line
left college
and people aren't confined to ages by their year in college
people are just people
like, i have adult friends now and we just relate as people.

(--chat conversation with David)

Sometimes I express things best when I'm not trying to write about them.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh code.

Today at work I was digging through another issue thread (this one maybe?) for a Drupal module and realized: code is great cuz it does all kinds of things for us, way faster than we can manually, and usually hides all the details so that things just work magically on the surface.  But the funny part is, people write code.  We are still smarter than programs, so we have to conceptualize the logic, and then hand over the execution of the process.  We screw up sometimes, or don't think of things, and then one error could end up creating all sorts of odds-and-ends issues that have no apparent relation to it, at first...

But I still love figuring out how to make code do what I want.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New best song ever

7-ish clicks through suggested videos, starting from a Zero 7 song a friend posted on Twitter, I found this.

The video makes me happy too.