Here I am

August 11th, 2014

Well here I am. A bicycle planner engaged to be married. Maybe I stopped blogging because things started going okay and then things started going pretty well and a blog post titled Today I Wore My Engagement Ring to the Bicycle Factory is not very interesting and probably boring. Am I boring? Is this boring?

I miss HoBaB. It was a constant presence during my rocky quarter-life-crisis. And maybe it was oversharing and not always appropriate but it was my way of relating during the uncertain phases of my life like being an underemployed 25 year old writing 200 word paragraph spam for a part-time real estate agent. It was hard and ridiculous and I had to make it funny because otherwise it would have been sad. And sometimes it was sad. But I could make fun of the sad. Like a self-deprecating angsty adolescent diary. It really was a kind of second adolescence where I was awkward and experimented with new haircuts and androgynous outfits and tried to figure out what I wanted to be (a JSK!). And now here I am. I have clients, a dishwasher, a diamond, and a copper core saute pan. In one week I’ll have a husband.

And even though being alone was not always easy, I made an interesting life for myself in Chicago, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. And then I met Adam and my singlehood started to merge into a life shared with someone else and my career started to take off and I could afford nice dinners and soon enough I had a routine. And with that things became a little more stable, a little less ridiculous, a little less sad, and a little less blog-able. Is this what it means to be an adult?

The first time Adam was out of town I panicked and then I thought, Wait, I can be alone. I did this for years.

I learned how to eat alone when I lived in Brooklyn and then again in San Francisco in the summer of 2010 when I stood on the sidewalk and interviewed people about their sidewalk feelings. I learned how to sit at the bar. Put my phone away. Stare straight ahead or at the TV. Inevitably the person next to you will comment on something like your food or the TV and you laugh and say I was thinking the same thing, and then you’re friends.

So when Adam was out of town, I went to a pub called Perry’s. I finished two manhattans and my entire cheeseburger and salad and I after unfruitful conversation with a couple of regulars I decided to go home.

When I left the bar I stood at my bike and checked my phone when I heard someone say, How are you supposed to text me when you don’t have my number? Was someone hitting on me? I looked up and two older men got out of a large BMW and smiled at me. Were they a couple? They approached me and the first gentlemen held out his hand and said, I’m Ken and this is Marty how do you do?

Ken was a jeweler and Marty was a lawyer and they both grew up in the Midwest and were single after wrapping up their latest divorces. Marty did my divorce, Ken said, as if it was an interior decorating project. I did my own too, Marty said. I looked impressed.

They were impressed that I was also Jewish and from the Midwest and Marty kept insisting that he’d get in touch with the local Jewish Community Federation. I’m on the board, he kept saying. Then Ken grabbed my hand and gasped, You’re engaged! Yes, I smiled. Is he Jewish? No, I said, but he’s half Chinese. I don’t know why I said that, but they were pleased. Oh good for you honey they said, can we take you to Kokari for a drink? When we walked in Ken escorted me up to the bar where the bartender waved to him and said, Pinot? Yes Ken said and clapped once, then pointed to me and said, This is Alex she’ll have a manhattan, then he circled my face with his hand and told the bartender, Remember this face. I waved.

We grabbed a seat at the bar and Ken pointed to the front of the restaurant and said, If you ever come here sit in the front, don’t sit in the back, that’s for the tourists. Marty nodded in agreement and then clapped his hands as if just remembering something, Do you like rice pudding? Of course, I said. He winked and waved over the bartender. Then another gentleman and lady wearing large baubles sat down at the seat next to us, and the man said, Oh, Hello Ken. Hello George, Ken replied. Ken puffed up his chest, leaned in close to me and said, He’s my main jeweler competition but I made a resolution that I wouldn’t said anything bad about anybody and so I’m going to stand here quietly until he leaves.  The bartender brought us a bowl of rice pudding and three spoons. And there we sat, in a tense silence eating rice pudding while Marty flirted with George’s date. At one point he picked up her hand and kissed the back of it. Ken scoffed. We talked about dating and they kept scanning the restaurant looking for women or maybe other people to recognize. And soon enough Marty clapped again. I need to leave soon, he said. But it’s Friday night, Ken said. Because, Marty said, I have to meet my Marin hiking group in the morning. You have a hiking group? Ken said. Jews don’t hike we’ve hiked enough! Marty shrugged. Ok, Ken said. I’m seeing my grandchildren tomorrow, let’s hit the road.

They walked me back to my bike and I handed Marty my business card because he wanted to connect me with the local Jewish Community Federation. They both kissed my hand and thanked me for a wonderful evening and then stood back and waved as I stooped down to unlock my bike. When I looked up, they were gone.

I don’t know what it means. Maybe they were my fairy Jewish single godparents reminding me what it used to feel like to be alone. Or maybe it was the opportunity to say goodbye to being alone. Like a bachelorette for my alonehood. Or maybe it was a reminder that I can always be alone. That becoming the legal half of a couple doesn’t mean that my single unit is gone forever. That I can still be with myself. Is this what it means to be an adult?

Ma Sweet gave me this look recently that was a combination of concern and sympathy and said, I think it may be time to shut down HoBaB. I gasped. Like, kill it?

I tried to come up with an excuse. I stopped blogging because I made it a rule not to blog at work and now I’m always at work and it’s been three years. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll turn HoBaB into a mommy blog. Or maybe it’ll just remain a capsule of my internet feelings. A place I can go back to and search keyword “diamonds” or “Switchey” and think about when things were hard and kind of weird and I had too many feelings that spilled onto the internet.

31derful

October 2nd, 2013

Yesterday was my birthday which means that I am 31 years old which is very anticlimactic and actually I didn’t even bring it up at work because awkward co-worker singing is awkward. Instead I had a birthday party at a trampoline park on Monday night where we did some trampoline jumping and also flips and also dodge ball which is dangerous for couples I do not advise. We weren’t allowed to bring our roast phones onto the trampolines so here is a photo after the trampolining where everyone is still friends.

photo

Then last night Dr. Adam and I went to a fancy restaurant courtesy of Pa Sweet where we ate 6 courses, four desserts, and a several dozen glasses of wine. At first we were trying to be prim and proper because everyone else in the restaurant was old and also riche and we were trying not to wear our “we’re paying with a gift certificate” faces but after 6 glasses of wine we started taking pictures of ourselves and also our meals and then laughing and then asking if we could take the rest of the cheese course back to our dorm in a doggy bag.

Here’s a picture of me holding a glass of wine look at all the drapes in the background, they were also on the ceiling and on the doors it was like a drape fort.

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Here is a picture of my birthday desserts (four) with a birthday card.

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And here is a picture of me eating my birthday card. I look like a Chuckie doll.

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Ma Sweet got me a beautiful bag which I now carry around with me and when I pass other women with beautiful bags I make eye contact and nod because we are in the beautiful bag club. It has so many pockets for snacks and keys and phones and feelings it’s really the perfect thing and also I look like a grown up which is always goal #1.

In other news, SarahSweeter’s gentleman friend, Andrew, passed the Illinois Bar which is code phrase for lawyer exam and guess what he passed! This was a really great birthday present because that means SarahSweeter will be happy and that makes me happy and then Dr. Adam will be happy and it’s really a trickle down effect of happiness.

And now I will conclude with a poem Ma Sweet wrote about my new lady bag, for which she drew inspiration from the renown Ren and Stimpy show. Is that correct grammar? I forgot how hard blogging is.

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BABS

September 20th, 2013

Once upon a time I used to bring my Big Red bicycle on the Caltraincycle when I commuted to and from San Jose. Then one day a conductor said, Halt! Your bicycle is no longer welcome here! I tried to fight the man with words and also my Caltrain cred but to no avail. For six months I walked my last mile trip to the office or waited for a free shuttle and this was not good. And then on the 120th day, the bicycle gods said, let the earth bring forth bay area bike share, with blue bikes that one can rent and ride for free for trips 30 minutes or less! And it was so. And the Metropolitan Transportation Commission brought forth bikes, and bike stations yielding bike trip after bike trip: and I saw that it was good.

Three days later a woman wrote about me on her bicycle internet blog and now I am .02% more famous. Baby steps. Read all about it here!

http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/bike-share-solving-the-last-mile-problem/

Low Pony Anniversary

September 17th, 2013

Here are some fun facts: July 1st was my 2 year anniversary in San Francisco, July 5th was my 2 year anniversary at work, and August 10th was my 2 year anniversary with Dr. Adam. This is big news I’ll tell you why. My head doctor told me it takes a minimum of 2 years until a place starts to feel like home. And at first I didn’t believe him because I had been in other places that felt like home much sooner than that. The difference was that everything in San Francisco was new: the city, my job, my friends, my gentleman friend. So he told me it would take 2 years and in the meantime I should have friends visit and show them my favorite places and also I should leave the city and then come back. Leave and come back, leave and come back, and every time I came back it would be like coming home. So I did. I went to like 15 east coast weddings. And it worked. Like pavlovian conditioning every time we land in San Francisco Dr. Adam says “We’re home!” and my mouth salivates.

The good news is I still live in San Francisco and I still have my job and also I still have Dr. Adam. Sometimes I get confused and when people ask where I’m from I’m like San Newphillicago! I also got a handful of promotions and am on my third set of business cards which is exciting and now senior staff are sending me to meetings with the big guys where I wear my lady business suits and put my hair in a low pony and give firm hand shakes/eye contact which is sign language for success.

In other news: Did you know that Ma Sweet bought a second Sweechigan house? Baller. It’s the one behind the original Sweechigan house so now we have a compound for parties and frisbee and Thanksgiving family hugs.

Bffbro

September 13th, 2013

My best friend at work is 23. He’s like a younger brother if I had a younger brother who was a blonde former football bro with conservative leanings and a love of sports sedans. I have girlfriends at work. In fact I have three. And sometimes we stand in the bathroom and talk about our lipsticks. This is true and happened just this week (because omg new Clinique black honey lip gloss). But most of the time my bro friend and I are online chatting between deadlines and have lolz about things we find on the internet. I’m not sure how this relationship evolved. We have few things in common. He’s 23 and may have voted for Romney whereas I spend my free-time online shopping for houses I can’t afford. But we were hired at the same time and do share a love of Icona Pop, memes, and breaking news headlines. He does most of the technical work in the office and I do not. So even though we are at the same employee ranking we are not competitive, which is good because he likes numbers and I also like numbers but only when they are rounded to the nearest ten and color coded and assembled neatly in excel. Sometimes I wonder if the other women judge me in the office. Because often I will sit and talk to the new working moms and we discuss the struggle of maintaining a work-life balance with a toddler at home and I take mental notes before I go play a rousing game of foosball with my bffbro while they go back to being adults. Maybe that is my work-life balance. Or my grown-up life balance. Maintaining a sense of professionally decorum while occasionally regressing into a time long before my quarter life crisis. I don’t know. The good news is Dr. Adam is supportive and whenever he and my bffbro see each other at company events, they talk sports or memes or decimal numbers and I go find my lipstick ladies in the bathroom and all is right with the world.

Oh look, here we are now:

Police Friendships

January 25th, 2013

Adam and I got pulled over by a cop last night. Well, not really. But we were walking home from a bar and walking is very slow but we only had one bike, Big Red, so I sat on the back seat while Adam stood up and pedaled and for three blocks it was very exciting until it was more tiring than exciting and we stopped and I jumped off the bike and trotted alongside in the bike lane while Adam continued to ride it in slow circles while we made our way down the deserted street back to our apartment. And that’s when the UCSF police pulled up, and took one look at Adam circling on Big Red and me trotting down the street with a bike helmet and flashing light on my head and he said, Everything ok here folks? Because he probably thought we were drunk or in a domestic altercation and I said Oh yes, Officer! I We’re going home but we only have one bike! Which explains everything. And then I saw him staring at my helmet and I said, Safety first! He smiled and drove away and then two blocks later circled back and I waved and he waved and now we are friends.

The Fine Print

January 21st, 2013

Did you hear the San Francisco sports team is going to the big bowl event? It is very exciting for people here. I was going to watch the game yesterday but then I got a text from Lydia asking if I wanted to go to the Fine Print Fair instead which is the obvious choice. I imagined it would be a warehouse of screen printed t-shirts and pillows and tea towels, but when we showed up it was not in a warehouse but in a small room and everyone in the small room was over 60 and wearing ties, which is not a bad thing, except that it suggested we were in the wrong financial bracket. This was confirmed when the first print we saw was listed for $57,000. omg. We are in the wrong place. Maybe they have a discount bin? Turns out they did, but everything in the discount bin pile was $375. I was scared someone would ask us questions and then they would know that we did not have $57k to spend on prints because Lydia just bought a new dining room table and I bought a website. So instead, Lydia and I picked out our favorites and decided we would buy them when we were also riche and over 60.  Then we ate ham and cheese sandwiches. This would have been a perfect place to bring the FreetZ because she knows all about art and prints and shmoozing with 60 yr old print buyers. Next time.

On Saturday, Dr. Adam and I hiked up to the top of Mt Tam which is a mountain. I took a photo with my internet phone and then I put it on the internet to show everyone that I am sporty. Here it is:

View from the Top of Mt Tam. It's like being in an airplane except without the flying/anxiety attacks.

Doesn’t it look like a Bob Ross painting? Thank you.

Jury Duty if my favorite duty

January 18th, 2013

Jury Duty is over. It ended on Wednesday. The attorneys gave their closing arguments on Monday morning and then the judge turned to the jury and told us the next step would be the deliberations. I have been waiting for deliberations since Day 1. Think about it. You sit in a courtroom for a week and hear all these alarming facts and stories and all you want to do is gossip with someone. But I was very good and I never talked to anyone on the jury, not even to say hi, which might have been rude but I am a strict rule follower in the courthouse. So you can imagine my disbelief when the judge turned to me and said, And you, Alternate Juror #2, are dismissed. We’ll call you if we need you. What! I don’t get to deliberate? No, the clerk said, only if one of the jurors is excused. In the meantime, please spend tomorrow within 20 minutes of the courthouse in case we call you in.

So I sat at home on Tuesday next to my phone waiting for them to call me. I at least wanted some kind of trial wrap party with the jurors so we could finally introduce ourselves and mingle and drink wine out of solo cups and celebrate our civic duty achievement. Instead, the clerk called me at 4:30pm and said, The trial is over. The defendant was found guilty. And that was it.

I feel like I got kicked out of a movie before it ended and someone at the concession stand calls me over and says: It was the sled.

Still, jury duty was the best thing to happen to me.  Here are my top three reasons why I love jury duty:

  • Number 1. Court was in session everyday from 9:30am-4:30pm with a morning recess, a 90 minute lunch break, and an afternoon recess.  I would go home for lunch and Adam and I would eat tuna fish sandwiches. I felt like I was in kindergarten.
  • Number 2. My commute was 15 minutes long, which means I could get home in time to go to the early session BodyCombat! gym class.
  • Number 3. I got to sit and watch people argue and talk about interesting topics and then I was told to judge them.

Can I be a full-time juror? I think jurors only get paid like $17/day which would be tough in San Francisco, so maybe I’ll just try to make it an annual part-time gig.

Here is a photo I found on the internet that really sums up my experience:

AlexSweet.com

January 16th, 2013

Do you want to know the bad news of the day decade? I lost AlexSweet.com.  I know. Gone. I thought I had renewed the domain name last year but when I went to check recently it said it was available for sale by HUGEDOMAINS.com for a cool $495.99.

WHAT!?

This happened on a Friday night on my train ride home when I was already a beer and a half deep into my commute and surfing the internet and which is around the time I start to look at pictures of funny cats on the internet. $495.99?! I called my domain host in a panic and was confused when the customer service agent was not also in a panic and instead sounded annoyed that I was calling drunk next to a train horn on a Friday night. I imagined him in a basement surrounded by internet cables counting hundred dollar bills next to an envelope with a return address from HUGEDOMAINS.com. He said, You failed to renew the domain, ma’am and now there is nothing you can do except buy it back. I let out a half gasp/half cry and got off the phone and emailed customer service instead in hopes the customer service email team would have more sympathy for this tragedy, but instead I got an immediate response back that said simply, It’s still me, ma’am. I already told you there’s nothing I can do.

I spent the next two weeks flipping between grief and panic. What if another alexsweet bought alexsweet.com? And then it would be gone forever? Also, is it morally wrong slash financially irresponsible to spend $495.99 on invisible real estate that does nothing except sit there waiting for the day HoBaB hits the big time and goes public? But what if I become famous? What if I don’t become famous but just want to put my feelings on the internet under my real name? Should I abandon AlexSweet.com and just buy AliceWheat.com? Then in December for the Challahdaze, Pa Sweet sent me a little Christmas gift pocket change that made alexsweet.com just a little bit closer to reality. And just think! If I saved enough over the next month I could buy it back and my anxious nights and nightly cries would finally come to an end. Alexsweet.com could be mine, again, to hold quietly and softly to myself.

It was around this time that I asked SarahSweeter to visit me in San Francisco to rub my back and cook me delicious meals and make me feel better. She said she’d love to but as a grad student couldn’t swing it. I tried searching for cheap flights that fit her budget, like a Tuesday mid-day flight to a Thursday morning flight. But there was nothing. And so it was then, after a glass of wine and with Christmas gift pocket change deposited, that I went on the internet, took a deep, drunk breath, and used my new dollars to buy SarahSweeter an airplane ticket to San Francisco. Right? Because having SarahSweeter visit is more important than invisible real estate. And family is what is most important. Dr. Adam was proud of me and said I did the right thing and I smiled with tears in my eyes mostly because being selfless is hard. Then, he went out with his friends to a party and I sat at home and three glasses of wine later I transferred $495.99 dollars from my savings to my checking and bought AlexSweet.com and I didn’t tell anybody until just now.*

The end.

*Except for /jec. I told him on Sunday.

Resolutions

January 5th, 2013

I have two new years resolutions do you want to know what they are?

  1. Bring HoBaB back into your my life in a big way
  2. Brush my hair every night before I go to bed
The first one is easy because I blog in my head everyday but don’t put it on the internet, which is a step I think I can easily achieve (as evidenced by this post).  The second one will be harder and I think I’ll need to set an alarm. Or maybe put a brush on my pillow or hanging from my door frame or tape this photo to my bathroom mirror. I don’t know. These are just some strategies to tackle this new challenge in my life.
What are your new years resolutions? I think Dr. Adam has something like:
  1. Call parents more often
  2. Patent new invention as lead author
We all have different goals. I think this is going to be the year.