I am listening to the 80s.

Last Thursday, Jen and I went to 80s night at the upstage. She loved it and knew every song. I sadly only knew 25% of the songs. As a result though, she dragged me to another 80s night at the Lava Lounge the following night. The next day, she gave me cds of her favorite 80s and as a dutiful housemate, I am listening to them in preparation for our next time.

Who would have known that the pop music from that decade would be called the 80s? When will we get the 90s? What kind of music would comprise the 90s?

It\’s always amusing to me how some people are afraid of being in front of the camera. I have learned over the years that sometimes if you\’re not present in a photo, it\’s almost like you\’re not there. People are such visual people and even strong memories are enforced by photos.


Just rude, inconsiderate people there. So we\’re moving out of our house at the end of May. So yes I did send my 90 day notice a bit early because I didn\’t want to waste a stamp (I was also sending a check for sewage/water). And THUS, they decide it\’s time to show the house this early!

And so last Friday, I get a message on my voicemail along the lines of \”We showed the house today at 3 and [insert an angry tone] we would like to speak to you about the house. Please call us on Monday.\”

I thought about it all weekend about what it could be and concluded it was cleanliness. So I called them on Monday and just as I thought it was. \”I have a 10 year old son and I don\’t understand how you could live like that. I don\’t. It looks like you haven\’t cleaned since you moved in. We\’ll come by this Friday to check whether it has been cleaned.\”

I told them simply that we were graduate students and that we were fine living like this (aka sure my room is slightly a mess, the bathtubs have mildew but all our toilets and sinks are clean because I am anal about that). Yes, there are empty boxes on the back porch and the kitchen/living room has random bags, boxes here and there. But so what!

Excuse me! It was rude and just plain inconsiderate. This is not in our lease that we have to clean up before moving out. Yes, we will try to return the place back in its original condition at the end of the lease. But this is IT.

The nerve. But this isn\’t the only time we have gotten bad service. Anytime I call or go to the Walnut office, the people there rarely greet us with appropriate friendliness. It always seems like we\’re interrupting something important and that we are not smart enough. I remember when I was there, the ladies were just randomly surfing a J. Crew website and asking outloud whether she should buy this shirt or that shirt. It just seems that people there are dissatisfied with their jobs.

At least the maintenance is always good.

What does it mean when I keep running into the same person over and over again? Is fate trying to tell me something? Or is this proof of how people are just that naturally connected?

In just over 2 months, I will be in Montreal, Canada for the CHI conference!

Yet I realized today that I will…be in another country. That I will be roaming internationally with my cellphone. 69 cents a minute in Canada for Verizon (not including taxes and other surcharges)! How will I survive with my random, spontaneous meetups? How will I find…toomim! Most of all, how will I live?!

It\’s interesting how quickly our lives have adapted to this mobility. I got my first cellphone only during my third year in undergrad, less than 4 years ago and yet I take it all for granted. When I am about to meet someone, I don\’t give times anymore. I just say, \”I\’ll call you when I am done.\” A nice flexibility. But yet this allows for too much sometimes. It means that people can be late because they can always call to let me know. It means that people can get lost because they can rely on calling someone. We don\’t have to be prepared anymore. Punctuality is not a big concern.

But I find myself getting very irritated when I need to reach someone and I just can\’t get through. The phone is off. The phone was left somewhere. They can\’t hear their phone ring. It\’s nice to be able to reach someone all the time, and yet what happened to the old-fashioned ways?

What does it mean to be funny?

It\’s always on ideal standards of the SO that he has to make me laugh. My high school gov\’t teacher told us that was very important, because how else would he and his wife survive when they were old and ugly?

Everyone has the talent to be funny online since text is so contrived. My ex once told me that I had the ability to be funny both online and offline. That was almost 6 years ago. And I am sure my seriousness and a splash of jadedness wiped parts of it away.

But what does it mean to be…funny? A lot of people I know make me laugh. I find little things in life amusing–the way someone gets prepared for the winter cold, the way someone talks on the phone, someone\’s fascination with what seems mundane.

For some, humor is to exaggerate something and see that it is not real. It\’s wit. It\’s the retelling of the story that recalls the most idiotic parts. It\’s self-deprecation. We find humor only in contexts where we expect it. Anyone can be funny. It\’s the context that matters.

\”Do you get sad on valentine\’s day?\” Sam-o asked a few days ago.

To which, I replied \”No.\” Then I added in wistfulness, \”But I may be slightly disappointed this year.\”

Then again, those of us who are single call this holiday a hallmark-created holiday, a foolish idea to sell red velvet hearts, chocolate kisses, and book two-seaters at romantic restaurants. I wish I knew more females in Pittsburgh so that I could do the dinner thing.

I did buy my housemate a Mrs. Fields heart of assorted chocolates. Only because a few weeks ago, she offered me a piece of her Russell Stovers chocolates she left in the living room and I found myself eating one every time I was downstairs, resulting a near-empty box before my housemate finally noticed. I had a sheepish smile on my face.

Warning: if you offer something sweet to this girl, don\’t expect it to be there the following day. I know my teammates remember what happened when one of our clients got us a box of salt water taffy. So good, by the way.

So in the end, perhaps I am happy because tomorrow there will be a huge sale on all things sweet and heart-attacking.

Almost 4 years ago, I walked into my apartment to be greeted by a vase of a dozen red roses on my desk. I did the usual girl thing of surprise, shouting and squealing with glee. My roommates gave me as a curious look as I read the card, but I said nothing and simply smiled.

I kept them on my desk for about a week before I emptied the water and hung them upside down to dry. The scent of the roses was throughout the apartment.

They\’re still somewhere in my parents\’ garage.

Everyday I meet so many different people and I find them all fascinating. They contribute so much to my life. I love that moment where I am introduced to someone..and somehow we find that common thread. A love of food, a love of writing, the arts, the same insecurites, the philosophy.

Only very occasionally do we find that connection that can last un-awkwardly for 10 minutes. When that goes away, we return with flushed cheeks, hoping for more.

I danced today, freeing the stress and the reluctance I have had the past week. The people I danced with, not those with hidden agendas. I felt free, moving back and forth the waves. Relieved. Free movement in the trance room where most people didn\’t venture. I wore my black sweater cardigan trying to hide my splint. A quick lesson of salsa, twirl and turn. It was quick and I wish we had more.

Why do I have to wait for you?