Early bird #NaNoWriMo2014

OMG, I’m such a liar. I’m totally doing NaNo this year, or a variant thereof.

Check this out – a dear new friend (who’s currently in the process of launching a collaborative storytelling platform of epic proportions) suggested I should just start my NaNo challenge a few weeks early this year so I could squeeze it in prior to beginning to my back-end web development mini bootcamp.

Haha, I said at the time. You’re on crack if you think I have time to do that, all of my web dev class’s pre-work, finish up two Coursera classes (one on learning techniques, the other a Python language course), train in skating (while breaking in my third damn pair of skates in the span of six months), and get the requisite 8 hours of sleep I need per night to function on a daily weekday basis.

Like any logical, mature human adult, I naturally thanked her for the suggestion but opted gracefully out.

Um, so…

LOL, ok, yeah no. I so totally did the exact opposite of that. Here’s why.

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Life updates (or Why I Won’t Be Participating in NaNoWriMo This Year)

So much has changed in the past month. Clearly, the iPhone 6 has improved my life in ways I couldn’t have anticipated since that fateful night in mid-September when I stayed up until 3am obsessively refreshing Apple’s product page in an attempt to pre-order one.

No, but seriously. It’s true that several aspects of my life have changed in the past few weeks. Once I stop to process this, it definitely helps me put the stress I’ve been feeling of late into perspective. It also reminds me that some things are not actually worth stressing about. Sometimes I need to blatantly state the obvious to be able to see it. That, my friends, is why this blog exists.

The amalgam of these changes means one thing for almost certain though – I’m not going to be taking part in National Novel Writing month for the first time in four years.

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When iPhone pre-orders go wrong

Don’t these people have anything better to do? Like flipping out at T-mobile on Twitter at 3am over their iPhone 6 pre-order utter fail, par exemple.

-Yours truly discussing the recent vandalism of the AIDs memorial in GG Park

I have so many regrets about the consumeristic frenzy I engaged in last night, but clearly not enough to avoid writing about it here.

So, gentle readers, feel free to judge me so hard about this. I totally deserve it.

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Summer: How It’s All Shaped Up

You start out with goals and try to make aspirations actual reality. Then life gets in the way, and you have to reevaluate, then forge ahead once more.

This summer’s been busy – understatement of the season. I moved, unpacked, overloaded myself, more than full-time worked, attended writing group, exercised, vacationed, cleaned, wrote, remembered to eat, made decisions, tried to code, met up with friends, met new friends, daydreamed, got up early, slept in. And unsurprisingly, inevitably, I did so much more.

So how well did I stay on track with the goals I made for myself at the beginning of the season? Hmm, well. Let’s find out.

(Psst, if you only read one, do number seven. Because I’m thrilled about it.)

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7 Things I’m going to do this June (now that I’m no longer trying to move)

Yes, you heard right. My move is complete. It involved bathing cats, and shoving mattresses into the back of a Buick Enclave at 1am on Fell in the Lower Haight, and way too much McDonald’s as the only form of sustenance quick enough to be feasible. It caused me to miss out on the gym for two months straight (that’s my excuse, anyway) and more back and knee aches than I’d care to recount. And that’s just the non-financial toll of the experience.

As some background, Boyfriend and I decided to move in together. We’d been talking about it in hypotheticals for the past few months, and weren’t really planning on getting serious until closer to summer’s end. San Francisco’s rental market being what it is though, once we found a place we liked, we decided to move on it rather than risk not finding something comparable a few months down the road. We got the keys on April 25, and both of us managed to make arrangements to be out of our separate living spaces by the end of May. In between, there were copious car and truck rentals, a trip to Austin, TX, lots of furniture setup, and a few nights spent sleeping on couch cushions. Austin trip aside, the past five weeks of my life have been almost solely devoted to paring down my belongings to next to nothing, deciding what I really could and couldn’t live without, and transporting things over to the new place little by little. I’ve spent so much damn time moving, I hardly know what freedom even is anymore (which is probably why, on Boyfriend’s return business trip to Texas this week, I decided to pack my week to the hilt; and then, naturally, MUNI decided to go on a god-damn not-strike).

So, without further ado, here are seven things I plan to do now that I no longer have to move (that I honest-to-god didn’t have time for last month).

P.S. Yes, this is a new layout that is intentionally minimalist. No, I may not be keeping it. I’m a fickle creature. And so it goes…

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So, I decided to learn how to code (alt: it’s all about the booleans)

OK, that’s not technically true. About the booleans, I mean.

Anyway.

In an effort to ensure I don’t ever get a full night of sleep again have the opportunity to expose myself to as many of my interests (and potential interests) as possible in this one life I have to live, I recently decided to learn some computer programming basics.

Coding is one of those things that I’ve wanted to get into for awhile, think I might have even enjoyed doing full-time but just never got the encouragement or guidance to pursue in undergrad (along with front-end web dev and creative writing — kind of obnoxious, actually, because I was pretty much told that those weren’t viable paths to long-term careers and I still wonder if it was a gender-based assessment because, duh, programmers are big salary earners nowadays, especially in the Bay Area).

As a teenager, I was utterly obsessed with website creation, mostly so I could create an emo little whine-fest of blog to complain about how very seriously difficult it was to be me. I’d pull all-nighters trying to figure out how to properly structure my HTML to create the perfect iFrames (remember those?). Then I’d muck with JavaScript to turn my IE browser’s scrollbar into some funky transparent color I thought was aesthetically pleasing. Later, CSS opened up a way for me to be the ultimate design dictator in my own little digital world. I blogged first in individual .htm files (yeah, I actually would redesign every single page on my site whenever I changed layouts — saying it took hours is a considerable understatement). Then I targeted a page within one iFrame to a blogger account. Later, I installed blog platforms like Movable Type and Greymatter. And now I’m on WordPress (hello, world!).

I considered taking a class at a local community college, even looked into doing a boot camp (in an ideal world where I could take 12 weeks off work and devote myself entirely to programming, I’d apply so hard to App Academy, like, yesterday).

Since I like being able to pay rent (and enjoy everything about my job except the commute), I decided on the next best way to learn – teaching myself some basic programming principles via online tutorials at Codecademy, Khan Academy, Treehouse, et al, plus taking workshops (like one I signed up for that provides an intro to Go), and finding conferences or other meetup-esque events to attend.

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The Epic Apartment Hunt of 2014 – Part 2

Here we go again.

At this point in time, Boyfriend and I are getting more certain about what apartment we’re likely going to pursue and the approximate date that we’re going to pursue it (it being the move-in itself). Since the San Francisco market is about as unpredictable as they come though — and, I’ll admit, because I also find some of our experiences so ridiculously outrageous — I shall continue documenting our apartment hunting experiences until there are no more to talk about.

Just be glad it’s not you. Enjoy (and you’re welcome).

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Def: Invidious – Tending to cause discontent, animosity, or envy

It’s been an eventful weekend.

I really don’t know how to relax. There was a time in my life when I was holed up at home almost every waking hour I wasn’t at work. I was in a relationship that was toxic, smothering, and the moment it ended, I floundered around, without direction or any external support system for awhile. To turn my life around, I went from holing up at home to accepting any and every invitation to social events thrown my way. It worked out really well for about two years, but there are times when I wonder if I should learn to say no once in awhile.

Since Boyfriend and I made it official last year, I’ve been learning to pick and choose my social engagements. That’s been pretty good for me (and the more I think about it, the likelier it is that I think we’ll end up opting for the apartment in Inner Sunset since it’s not really that far from where I live now and just far enough to feel like it’s a private abode when we need some quiet).

So, this Friday night, I decided to follow my new resolve and…well, not follow it at all, actually, by attending a personal invite to an exclusive contemporary dance experience, performed throughout a friend’s home in the heart of the Mission.

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What a Bitch – Breaking in New Boots

The last time I bought new figure skates was back in Fall 2008. That was almost six years ago.

There are a couple reasons I don’t replace my boots as often as others (the average tends to be between nine months and two years, depending on frequency of training and foot growth). First, I’m an adult, so my feet weren’t growing at a rate that required a replacement. Second, why replace what’s not broken (down, anyway)?

There’s also the bit where buying skates costs something of a small fortune. My type of boot retails for about $750. If I need to replace my blades as well, that easily adds another $600 to the bill.

After nearly six years though, I discovered my feet had changed enough to make wearing my old skates with custom orthotics not only uncomfortable but also untenable. To put it another way, between hormone replacement therapy and just good old passing of time, my feet and body had changed enough that my legs were cramping up a storm every time I shoved my feet into each skate and my technique was totally shot to hell the moment I removed the orthotics and tried to jump around with that much extra empty space in each leathery cavern.

I finally bit the bullet and ordered new skates (with semi-custom orthotic inserts) back in March. I picked them up last week and have been working diligently to break them in ever since.

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The epic apartment hunt of 2014

So many neighborhoods, so little space.

So many neighborhoods, so little space.

What can I say (translation: complain about) when it comes to apartment hunting in San Francisco that hasn’t already been mentioned on various other websites and blogs in far wittier a tone than I’m capable of absent a vat of double shot hazelnut espresso ready to induce a mania of creative prose?

Nothing, really.

Boyfriend and I have been casually looking at places to set up shop and take the next step in our life together for the past few weeks. We don’t technically need to move anywhere until August. Please feel free to click on any of the links above to see why we’re starting early.

Neither of us is too picky. Our only real must-haves are a bathroom you can move around comfortably in (one guess as to what my current bathroom looks like), a pet-friendly, rent-controlled building, and laundry on-site. Size is also a major must-have since Boyfriend works remotely quite often. I don’t think any of those things are too much to ask for at $2000+ per month.

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