I left my phone in the office

It was not there.

Just like those moments of panic. In that moment, you don’t care who is around you, what is around you…because suddenly an important part of you is missing. Whatever was planned in the next few minutes, next hour…does not compare to the fact that a part of you is missing.

You recall the last time you used it. Your fingers sliding over the smooth glass, a gesture that tells the processor embedded there to do something. To show you the mysteries behind the glass. Perhaps you nod silently to some communication sent to your eyes. And you press something again on the object…now putting the object in your back pocket, your desk or your bag.

But was it your bag?

You were so distracted when a colleague came in to make a request. You try to meet the request, but you have to go. Did you put it in your bag? Your pocket? You are unsure.

And there, far away from where you once were 30 minutes you go, you check your pockets again, your bag, the empty spot where it was supposed to be.

And it’s as if your heart is stolen from you. This is where you start making sacrifices, compromises, amends. I’ll do anything to get you back! you think. You are apologizing profusely in your mind—angry that you made the mistake. I’ll never leave you again.

A plan is set in motion. Now you’re worried that the vulnerability of your accounts. Now you think about how to get to the store. Now you think about the cost. You always had an emergency fund for idiocy every year, right?

Hopefully now, your panic is appeased slightly.

But you need to know where it is. You call upon the generosity of those around you. They help you. And it’s located, the missing part of you.

And all your plans halt…because you finally know where your phone is.

Top 5 Concerts

My 10 concerts has always been one of the following:

  • I know every song played in the set
  • The band knew how to play to the audience
  • A great venue that didn’t have girls with hair in your face, alcohol spillage, and tall people
  • A band that wasn’t drowned with all the other bands in a festival
  • Good company
  • And so they were…
    Stars at Bimbos 365
    Arcade Fire at Greek Theater
    Muse at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
    Foster the People/Cults at The Fillmore
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah/Architecture in Helsinki at The Warfield

    I choose to stay here

    There was something special about Europe. Whether it was random chance that people I met really cared…or that it was culturally a slower pace of life. Even in the big cities.

    A lunch is long. Even on a workday. It’s not frantic—less than an hour lunch—whether in mid-conversation, we would be checking the time trying to cram a 30 minute discussion into 5 minutes.

    Dinner is also long. Sleep? Sure, at some point. But it’s the time spent with people. Want to know how long the wait might be at a restaurant? Servers won’t know because it’s expected that diners will linger long after the meal and after-dinner drinks are complete. Turning tables quickly is not natural.

    When I arrived in New York City, it was an immediate cultural shock. Explicit short conversations from point A to point B. No apologies when shoved aside. Lingering is for tourists. Meals with friends are tap tap I have to go see another friend in 30 minutes.

    But there was something unsettling in Europe. Despite never feeling racism growing up, I suddenly felt out of place. I grew up in a town that was mostly full of affluent Caucasians. But in Europe I never felt so…different. I am highly educated, a young professional in a creative field, speaking fluent English. But people who looked like me were found behind the counter at convenience stores.

    So I returned to California and thought: this is it.

    L’Amour Toujours

    I still believe in your eyes…I’ll fly with you

    For some reason, that song from my freshman year in college has returned in full force in my current playlist. I hadn’t heard it for more than 10 years. And then suddenly.

    On the way back from Tahoe, we didn’t have any music except a CD case from the college years. So I put one with carefully handwritten title “Top Pops”.

    And I heard the obviously autotuned female voice. The one that caught my attention while I was in the dorms. Maybe it was the song that I listened to while I was sulking about the breakup of my first boyfriend. The one that I listened to while I studied for linear algebra and intro to psychology. The song that I listened to overcome with social anxiety and unable to socialize with my floormates? Or was it when I was trying to figure out who were my real friends were?

    Whatever it was…in that moment in the car on the way back from Tahoe, I couldn’t help but sing. It was rare. I never let myself go like that.

    And it was bliss.

    Then when I got back, I found the song and added to it my favorite on Spotify.

    In fact, just now, I sensed that it was ending. So I went to double-click it—to play in a constant loop. I wonder what my friends on Facebook think when it appears multiple times in the feed.

    Cleaning my room

    Despite being organized about my life with rules and principles, despite my desire for structure in most things, despite being on the game in regards to planning…

    …I have always been unable to consistently keep my room neat.

    Neat? A four letter word when it comes to my physical life.

    To me, it’s an organized mess. I have gotten to an age where I am able to keep areas that are common to others rather organized and tidy. I become almost super anal when those areas are not organized. However, when it comes to my space—my room, my bed, my desk…all of those organized tactics go out the window.

    My books are stacks all on the floor. My clothes in various states of wear—freshly laundered or newly purchased—are in stacks throughout my room. My papers—from tax forms to receipts to pamphlets—are here and there.

    And yet somehow I am able to go through life in some organized fashion. At some point, I was embarrassed to show my room when people visited and I would deliberately close my door, only showing them my living room and kitchen. But now, I gesture to my room: this is me and you need to accept that is who I am.

    And then in Palo Alto, it was the same

    The train smelled and sounded familiar. Old faces. Old scenery. I saw University. I saw El Camino. The Stanford shuttle buses. Clipper cards.

    But this time, a little different right? Out on the southside on a real bike. A building with keycard access only. Fraiche had moved and expanded. The air was different, maybe hopeful and wiser.

    It had been 15 months since I had set foot in the city in the same way.

    When I see imagery and music…

    …it entrances me and suddenly the music is more meaningful.

    I watch trailers, movies, and TV. Suddenly, the music entrances me. Unlike when I hear it on its own. Once the action, the drama, the comedy is demonstrated through melodies, crooning voices…it’s all different suddenly for me.

    And I can’t help listening to over and over again.

    I am part of the MTV generation.