All I really need is…

Sometimes I wonder how spoiled I can be when I pose the question to others and myself:

I say my laptop, my phone (or small portable device), clean clothes, three types of shoes (walking, sandals, and dressy), a clean shower, a clean toilet, fluffy pillow, and a warm/cool blanket (ideally down). Plus stable, reliable electricity and wifi Internet access.

This is how I ride home in the winter

From the caltrain station downtown, I hop on my bike. First checking my helmet. The front and tail lights. I get into the taxi stand area, aware that a taxi could very well make an U-turn right there. I watch carefully as more intrepid riders around me dash off crossing Townsend. The coast is clear and I ride across to the bike lane on the opposite side.

Then I start pedaling. Rhythmic. Sometimes I overtake the other riders who pass me. Usually these are the slow ones—the ones on mountain bikes or hybrid. Or perhaps it’s a guy with tons of panniers, the weight slowing him down, but not his fearlessness.

I am fearful as I ride my bike down. A little less fearful than a few years ago. But I always look when I cross intersections, not trusting any cars or any riders. I wait until cars complete crossing the intersection so that I have a clear view of any potential obstructions. Safe, I move forward. I past the startups along Townsend. The Zynga. The airbnb. The Adobe.

Then the traffic circle. I eye all the drivers at the intersection. Especially the ones that look confused and lost. Don’t crash into me. See me. Now.

When we finished, I was sad

We talked and the more we talked, I was disappointed. I normally assume that everyone thinks like me. At least in regards to problems.

That I can easily extrapolate higher thinking, higher meaning, higher theory.

I am surprised when not everyone can do that. That I can see meaning behind colors, words, and expressions. That I feel the impact immediately inside myself.

I didn’t know that most people didn’t feel like that.

I saw red dots merging in and out

Somehow I had a map with me. I could see red dots merging in and out. And them converging on black dots.

I knew this: “I needed to save myself.”

I needed not to be eaten. I needed to survive. I needed to save those who I loved.

In the building, I was patting myself on the back for purchasing the one-year supply of emergency food. Yet, it was keeping me back. Keeping me in the house with my supplies. A precious supplies. That night, I started digging a hole to place the remaining 10 months, hoping that I could return later. It was mine after all. My generosity can only be given those who I want to save. If I had that power.

If they didn’t see me, I could run with my heavy backpack filled with a few days of supplies—I hoped that I could subsist on it until I found him. If they didn’t see me, my non-athletic self would not struggle for breath after every blocks.

This is what I dreamed this morning and all I wanted to do upon waking is see a zombie rom-com.

I did a remote meeting

And I actually stayed engaged.

For 3 hours for a writing workshop.

On skype with video.

It takes these things to be successful:

  • Being truly connected to the group (they must want me there)
  • Group actually asks me direct questions (And would do the same in person)
  • One person helps with turning the computer toward others during important 1 to 1 conversations
  • Be prepared for any technical difficulties; expect them but don’t let it slow down
  • Realize that not everything can be heard clearly and that’s ok
  • Because all of the above still happens in person. Regardless.

    Longevity is in my family

    My great grandmother lived to be 103 and my grandfather is in his late nineties.

    If similar genes are passed down to me, could I really be okay with living a whole century–to watch everyone I knew pass away, disappear, times change?

    I think…yes, of course. If I had my mind. If it was nimble enough as it is now. If it didn’t slow down to a trickle where I would desire to have a mind as youthful as it is now, but am clouded by health, distracted by an imbalance of hormones…and feel like I was living in fog. That’s not a life that I would want.

    I want to be able to express myself clearly and succinctly. Be able to write in some form. That is my outlet now. That has been my outlet for the last decade. If I am not allowed to let it out, then what?

    I cannot and will not just let the world pass me by.

    Finally on my own

    Still stuck on the same song:

    Right now, I am sitting alone in a king sized bed in a prepaid hotel room with the room temperature dropping to mid-60s, my preferred temperature for sleeping. I am waiting for creativity to strike me like it suddenly does when I am glazed over by spoken words and deliberate gestures. The thoughts of the day, the week, the month, the year stream over my mind like wind passing…just passing through.

    And now, I finally stand on my own. Without outside influence. Without prompt. Without fear. So what will I do when I stand on a cliff or is it steps? Or is it the crossroads? Is it the path to a house with a candle in the window or the green lantern?

    I saw the car drive out toward the horizon, waters lapping along the shore, making the rocks become the sand we see centuries from now.

    I can only do this by myself.

    95% of me hates the spotlight

    From time to time, I imagine myself performing on stage. I imagine singing, pulling the audience in and in. Or I am a comedian…where suddenly I am on the roll, making people laugh, cry, scream.

    In my high school yearbook, partly facetious and partly serious, I wrote for the question “Where do you see yourself in 10 years”: “A drummer in LA”.

    I always wondered what most people thought.

    I love the spotlight. Or at least that’s the inner side of me speaking.

    It hasn’t changed, but suddenly when I get a few chances to be in the spotlight, I want to hide. I hate giving speeches in front of people. I hate giving presentations. I hate singing or dancing. Sports, don’t even ask.

    Yet I crave for it. The small part of me, thinks how exciting it will be. So I plan and plan and plan for such moments. As part of a greater goals. Because I think that I tell everyone my design plans better than my colleagues. Because I know more about ice cream than anyone else in the room. Because I want people to know about the project. Because I have a question that nobody has yet asked.

    The two things that I failed in school were this:

    1. Skills test. I could never hit a ball with a bat or racket. Or catch. Or anything that required physical coordination.

    2. Participation. I was a mute although if you talked to me through the computer screen or on paper, I had too much to say.

    And so for my kickstarter project, I knew that there would be endless publicity and am thrilled for this article. Yet I want to fade into the wallpaper. My name is out there. My reputation. My my…what will people think of me.

    But the greatest thing of this society (at least for things like this):

    Everyone forgets the name. who was that…person…who did that ice cream thing? what was it called? who is that crazy?

    (And shoutout for my project! More than three-fourths of the way there!)

    Registries and gifts

    I have always disliked the idea of gifts. I understand the intention, but people don’t understand me and get me things that I feel thankful for…but also abhor. I am not girly—so bath salts don’t do it for me. I am too local-centric that gift certificates would not do (and sometimes insult me). But whatever the case, I still really appreciate the thought.

    But at the very most, presence > present.

    I love it when someone shows up, talks to me, but especially talks to everyone else. The curiosity, the communication matters to me much more. or if they can’t make it, taking a rain check. That’s my kind of present.

    Of course in this world where registries are so predominant, last year, I started becoming frustrated with the idea that registries are for life events that we are so expected to have.

    So what about the single person registry as suggested on Sex and the City. Why do I dish out money for an engagement party, a bridal shower, a wedding, a baby shower, a kid’s birthday…etc etc. When those things may be far in the future for me or never happen.

    I have birthdays of couse, but I always emphasize the presence and really want to say no presents. Although a thoughtfully written card is very welcome.

    Then I did my kickstarter. I was surprised by all the amounts and all the friends that contributed. Could I really say—I can determine the strength of friendships based on the speed of contribution (depending on the friend’s financial flexibility, of course).

    I wondered…is that my version of a gift registry? I don’t like the idea to be surrounded by things from Crate & Barrel or Macys. My taste is so eclectic and almost craigslist-driven (the journey of getting a piece matters more than the piece itself) that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to judge, but then the thought crossed my mind.

    Do you want to celebrate with me…this ice cream travel guide…the same way you would celebrate a wedding, a birth, a house with me?

    Facebook Graph Search

    Now that I have social graph on Facebook, these are things that I really want to search for. To satisfy personal curiosity. To understand what happened. To find explanation.

    Such as:

  • Friends who unfriended me
  • Friends I added in 2004
  • Top referenced friends in 2010
  • Top referenced friends in 2011
  • Top Facebook types among friends
  • Friends who added other friends after adding me
  • Friends who have more than 10 mutual friends
  • Friends who have more than 50 mutual friends
  • Friends who have no mutual friends
  • Friends who are similar to me
  • People who are similar to me
  • People who made the same post as me
  • Doppleganger
  • Friends who I connected with, had lots of engaged activity, and dropped off
  • But that’s not what Social Graph is great at. It’s great for advertisers. But I don’t know what it will do for me personally.