december, 2006

Mon, 4 Dec 2006 21:04:53 -0800

How it got to be December, I'm still not quite sure. I can tick off what I've been doing -- prancing around in gold stilettos, an updo, my pink flouncy party dress, and nails to match, most recently -- but, like at work, my activities seem not to collectively account for the passage of time. I feel like I'm going to look up tomorrow and have to have sublet my apartment for three months, finished a quarter's worth of work, gone to all of my friends' birthday and holiday parties, and seen everyone I need to before absconding from the country until April. (That is, assuming this India venture is still on -- I've seen no contraindications, but neither do I have visa and ticket in hand.) When will I get around to it all? How am I going to reconcile doing enough yoga and eating enough dark green and leafies to keep my body happy while I partake of the ever-increasing holiday liquid cheer? (Saturday morning was not so yogic, being as is was the night after the gold-stiletto prancing and concomitant imbibing.) How are all my friends not going to hate me when I fail to say that one last goodbye, or send that last damned email?

I walk around San Francisco these days with a valedictory air, as if I'm never coming back. Though, as mentioned, I didn't make my usual trek up and down Market into the Castro for my Hatha Flow class, I worked that perambulation in on Sunday, procuring lightbulbs and orange lilies, doing the weekly errands before having Colin and Jaime over for dinner made from my CSA box. (Thank you, Terra Firma, for the dark green and leafies!) The afternoon sun, just beginning to recede behind Twin Peaks, shone off the MUNI tracks carved into the street, illuminated the palm trees on Market, and warmed the air just enough from the recent cold snap (which has left me going to sleep huddled in my Swarthmore sweatpants and Google sweatshirt -- my two colleges, I reflect, curled under my duvet) to make it feel, with the bouquet of flowers tucked under my arm, like spring. Spring in DC, especially with the current DC wonk boy and ex-DC wonkette coming to dinner. I look fondly at the leather daddies sipping Peet's, their dogs tied up next to hipsters' bicycles outside, and the idea somehow enters my head that I'm not coming back. Which is simply false: I'll be back in April, maybe even time enough for a jaunt up to Tahoe (of which I recalled the pleasures, taking the early bus up from work with snowsport-buddy Malcolm pre-party on Friday, as we fell into our old conversational habits, honed from hours of sitting in bad weather on the Donner Pass), and to recommit to my beloved city. Now that I'm finally so happy in a place, I find myself unexcited to leave -- my pre-Thailand angst stemmed entirely, I think, from just that: not an unwillingness to see new things, but rather my happiness in San Francisco.

(For all my anticipation of it, I had better end up in Hyderabad this January now!)

This reluctance, of course, just bespeaks my enjoyment of my current situation, work be damned. Email threads going across the country inevitably have some sort of "how's California?" in them; I can unequivocally answer that I'm having a good time. Perhaps too good of one, in some regards -- though it really is too chilly to shave it off here, now, this mane of mine keeps growing and getting me in all kinds of trouble. And I'm convinced it's just the hair -- long, brown, thick, even up it's classic; people comment on its length daily. I've taken to not really brushing it, throwing it up once I get to work, messily, or on the shuttle. But a buzz, or extremely short, cut would take care of that. I'd probably miss the attention, but hey, coworker Matt cut all of his off during his time in India -- why not follow suit?

Tonight, atonement. If not yoga, at least a movie, leftovers, and tea -- not quite Cooper's "reluctant waltz of cleaning products and laundry," but my own corporeal version. And then the week will swing into full gear, tomorrow.

Thu, 14 Dec 2006 18:42:40 -0800

I should just stop posting about things I think that will happen, because, invariably, things change, I get the rug yanked out from under me -- and, invariably, I adapt. What was that quip about life being what happens when you're making other plans?

It will come as no shock, then, to frequent readers that, after my recent enthusiasm about India, I'm not going. Nope -- not in Q4, as originally planned after I didn't transfer teams in July; not in Q1 of this coming year, when Plan B got pushed back. Typical. And just when I'd gotten used to that idea, last Wednesday, Andrea and Karina segued off my joke about the lesbian who brings a U-Haul to the second date, to tell me that there's truth in it -- they're moving in together, which means out of my lovely apartment. Ojan's buying a house (sometime, not next week, but soon). Can I find roommates who will put up with my kitchen neuroses on Craigslist? (For the record, these involve a willingness to wash one's dishes in a timely manner; and preferably (though not necessarily), a fondness for vegan feasts.)

Whatever. Speculation has proved to be entirely fruitless. For now, I'm just trying to keep my head above water at work until I depart for the frozen Midwest in six days(!), without getting sick[er]. Tuesday drinks last week turned into all night; Sunday, coming back from Joanne's party and work in the south bay, I wasn't even going to have dinner but ended up again staying late; technically retrieving an unused mixer the other night was nothing of the sort. I get insufficient sleep. Even more than usual, my eyes, brain and fingers function as a triple conduit for information, absorbing, processing, and communicating all day long. I collapse at the end of the day -- not unhappily spent, but with the knowledge that, even if I haven't come close to getting it all done, I've been [perhaps even abnormally] productive.

The quarter -- damn, year -- marches towards its usual nutty close. I'll finish what I'm going to, and mention that which will come after once it's already happening. No more flustered anticipatory ramblings from me [she said, definitively]!

Mon, 18 Dec 2006 11:00:34 -0800

I'm theoretically going to bed now, to avoid getting sick. Maybe the flu shots they administered at work are helping; maybe I've been getting just enough sleep to slide in just under the wire, still in the black, health-wise. But what's a cup of tea and sitting by the fire in my apartment which, while I know I will keep it, will see roommate turnover soon?

I hate transience. I hate that people move; situations change. This living room, eclectically populated with the teal, Craigslist, curvy sofa, Julie's beige corduroy papasan chair, Ojan's old office chair, a 20-inch monitor from work into which we plug our Powerbooks to watch movies, and a wireless access point, has yet to have more done to it stylistically than the Mucha-esque vermouth poster hanging above the fire, and the Cairene rug Mom brought back from Egypt for me beneath my glass IKEA coffee table; I had been hoping to put more on the walls, at least before my two roommates moved out. I want to nest, dammit! Scrubbing the Saturday-night chocolate off my kitchen counters -- my granite counters, which had their own cameo in a recent Alumni magazine! -- I know I need to not move out. Besides, getting my own place is out of the question, at least in the neighborhoods I would be looking at (no point in spending a full half my salary on rent!). Which means new roommates. New people, answering to a plain Web-1.0 ad, who will have no idea of the small lessons Ojan and Andrea have learned from almost two years of living and working with me. Ojan told Andrew, over for a stupidly carb-heavy dinner before Jaime's birthday party, that the best and only way to deal with me was to be direct and blunt. He's right. But can I put that shit on Craigslist? Bah. Looking at my calendar for January, I'm happy to be in the country for all of the stuff I have planned, but there is no relaxing completely, with a looming housemate search. (Funny how this process eventually rolled off me in the Goat House. (Funny how I eventually wanted to kill all of my then-roommates.))

I forget who is leaving and who's just going elsewhere for the holidays, who's moving offices at work and who's quitting to pursue her own web development business (but still living in the neighborhood). Despite his accent, Andrew the Aussie is, incongruously, going nowhere; Bjarni is going to Dublin via Reykjavik, only to return sporadically. I'm used to people moving away entirely, and am having trouble internalizing the idea that Andrea and Karina, unlike Gina and Birger, while similarly taking the living-together plunge, are not moving out of state. Sigh. My brain will get used to this.

And we will see how it changes my social dynamic. I've had a sing-song line of Ella's in my head all weekend -- Too many irons in the fire / Is better than not having any... -- and extra irons are getting larded on in this, the most socially proactive month (so it seems) of the post-college set. Jaime's birthday [admittedly very pleasantly] monopolized the entire weekend, from a Millennium mushroom tasting menu and wine flight (as orgasmically good as I remembered it), the self-consciously swank Redwood Room with two dapper, attentive boys, to the costumed, wine-glass-smashing evening that raged well into the morning (Emily and I, having been walked home, returned to my apartment to find the Sunday paper already shoved through the mail slot!): a boot-swapping, limits-nudging, glove-stealing, drinks-mixing, hip-hop-at-4-AM-blaring, fantastically scandalous affair. I even ended up with both my orange earrings and the orange dress (returned from Shon at some unknown hour). In short: a success. The only thing that kept me going this weekend, with yoga having been sacrificed for hypoglycemic-shock-ministering-to on Saturday morning and the indulgences of both evenings, was the best coffee in town: Bluebottle on sunny, chilly Saturday in Hayes Valley (where Ryan, forgetting he was momentarily "Zach", parried "what, and you don't have a Starbucks name?" back at the laughing me and Andrew); Ritual (plus the word puzzles in the Sunday magazine, and vegan chocolate cake) with a shopped-out Bjarni before he caught his Caltrain back to his temporary home, the south bay (the first decent coffee [espresso] he's had in this country, he said; damn skippy, said I).

My exhaustion at work today was not just weekend-begat, but rather, a fighting immune system's distress call. Vitamins, water, and sleep is my recipe for the next (ulp) day and half before I leave, absurdly early, back to Madison, for which I have no proper coat. And see? Even that last ingredient is hard. This last hour has been sacrificed on the altar of Morpheus, under the guise that, by articulating that I don't want anybody to move away, I'll sleep the better for it. Travel well, those of you who are leaving me.

all this Šnori heikkinen, December 2006

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