Archive for the ‘Boring’ Category

Here I am

Monday, 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.

Sports and Pasta Bowls

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Today is a game day. Do you know what that means? I’ll tell you. It means my co-worker picks me up at 8pm and we drive to a turf field in the Western Addition and we play a game of soccer kick-the-ball-towards-the-goal for one hour. It’s harder than it sounds. It’s harder because there have to be three (3) females on the field at all times and we have four (4) in total on the team fingers crossed they all show up.  This means I will be running around for one hour which is the most I have run around in 12 years. It took me approximately exactly seven days to recover from last week’s game day. And then I pulled a muscle trotting to the Trolley. I know. The good news is tonight we are getting our jerseys which is going to do fireworks for our/my morale. Dr. Adam is not coming to the game because instead he is going to stay home and do internet errands and by internet errands I mean buy the following things on the amazon dot com:

  • 1 pasta bowl
  • 1 pyrex measuring cup (rip original pyrex measuring cup that met the our granite counter tops #firstworldproblems)
  • 1 dozen bachelorette beads for Lydia’s bachelorette party

That’s all for now. Let me know if growing up means HoBaB gets boring because I just fell asleep.

Here’s a photo of my new sports cleats and two pairs of sports goggles.



Thursday, August 4th, 2011

This morning I signed up for a personal trainer. His name is Jan and he is maybe 22 and before he became a personal trainer he was a ballroom dancer. I KNOW! He told me this as I was doing lunges and I started yelling and clapping and then I fell over. This is very exciting. Get skinny and learn the foxtrot? Wut a dream. Then I came home and rearranged furniture with my roommates fiance who just moved here from Sweden to marry my roommate. Her name is my name which can get confusing but we became fast friends and now we do things like clean the fridge and rearrange furniture together. It makes me happy. Then at 1:30pm a man named Vince called and said, Hello this is Vince I am bringing all of your things that you own to your apartment in 30 minutes. I was so excited that I took the IKEA cart that someone stole and left in our yard and waited on the sidewalk. Vince found this confusing. Then I tried to tip them and they refused probably because I did half the work. I unpacked approximately 30% of the boxes and found all the important things like pictures frames, bedding, lamps, pillows. For the past month I have only had one pillow and right now I am leaning up against three pillows and it feels great. This post is boring. I was mostly excited to tell everyone about ballroom dancing personal trainer Jan. The end.

I’m in Park Slope

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

It’s confusing. I’m having dinner at my transportation professor’s house. I met her early to talk about my paper but we had a change of plans and instead I just hung out with her 9 month old baby on the floor while she fed the worms in her compost bin.

Here’s a photo from my studio presentation on Thursday. I photoshopped all the tears off of my face so instead I just look relieved and 2-glasses-of-champagne-later tired.

Team TOD take 2

I’m in Boston

Friday, April 8th, 2011

I’m in Boston. I took a busycle all the way up for the American Planning Association Annual Conference. It’s like the Transportation Research Board Annual Conference minus JSK.  I brought along Andy and Karen and Emily and we are staying with Aunt Daphne and Uncle Paul. Tonight we ate turkey meat loaf and then we drank wine and played banana grams and then Uncle Paul showed us video clips of his favorite singers on American Idol (mostly Jacob). Tomorrow we put on our fancy slacks and walk around and listen to Planners talk about cities and how to plan them and make them better and less worse. This goes on for four days. I will post photos of us in our fancy slacks and maybe photos of Boston or my food plates. I know, I’m excited too. The END.

Wednesday Boringsday

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I stopped drinking coffee. I know. This is very dramatic. But on Monday I decided to stop. And so I did. And now I drink black tea. It makes me feel better emotionally and probably not physically but great news I haven’t fallen asleep in class yet win.

In other news we have been interviewing urban design faculty candidates for a position at penn and I am on the search committee (this is a secret maybe don’t tell anyone) and so I have to go to a lot of meetings and talks and I get a “this seat is reserved for alex sweet” sign which makes me feel the most important. I think I am going to take it with me on the bus/subway. That might be dangerous.

In more news, California is flying me out for some job interviews. I know. This is big news. This is all I know. I don’t even know when. Mostly because I have to tell them when. So. That’s great.

And tomorrow it’s going to rain in Philadelphia.

I think that just about covers it, SarahSweeter anything on your end?


Saturday, January 29th, 2011

The sad news is that when I went to San Francisco this summer all of my apartment plants died probably from feelings of abandonment/dehydration so this morning I decided to adopt new plants and bring plant expert Kaitlin because finding new plants is like finding new wharton husbands: easy? We spent a lot of time talking about soil and pot dimensions and light and watering schedules and then I adopted three new plants and officially kicked nesting mode into high gear whoops.

In other news: My Chicago Parking paper was accepted into the PennDesign City Planning Journal for Spring 2011. I’magonnabefamous.

What day is it?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

It’s Friday. It is also Peter’s birthday. Turning 38 in grad school must be hard.

Here’s a photo:

And a song:

I’m in GIS Class

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

I am sitting in a room full of 30 people and we are watching our professor use ArcGIS on a projector screen while he narrates his actions in a perfectly monotone voice. This lasts for 3 hours. Every Tuesday.

Here’s a joke:

GIS: “Knock-knock”

Homeowner/Man inside a room: “Who’s there?”

GIS: “Tuesday’s GIS Class”

Homeowner/Man inside a room:  ….

GIS: “Hello? Anybody home?”

Homeowner/Man inside a room:  ….

GIS: “Helloooo?”

The homeowner fell asleep.

The most boring post of all time

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Hello. It’s Wednesday. It is sunny and 65 degrees. This makes me happy.

I have a work study job in the office of building operations at PennDesign. This means that I sit in a room and when the mail comes in I sort it for each department and then go up to the mailboxes and put the mail in the mailboxes. Sometimes catalogs come in and nobody claims them and I get to take them upstairs to my studio desk and hoard them like presents. Most recent arrivals include: Anthropologie, The Anatomical Chart Company.

Today I have a PennDesign Student Council Meeting and then I have Studio from 1-5pm and then I am writing my Neighborhood Paper for Planning Theory and comparing two Philadelphia neighborhoods: Germantown and Society Hill. Then maybe I will go home and do some midnight dishes.

Here is a photo gallery of parking meters.