Category Archives: musings

Shopping

I have never been a fan of shopping.

But my mom seemed to really enjoy it. When we were small, my younger brother and I went with her frequently on shopping trips to Belk (department store) and Waccamaw (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waccamaw_Corp.). When she went back to work, she upgraded our visits to Nordstrom and Dillards. I was 12, and by this time, loved going with her because she always helped me figure out what to pick out. I was never very good at that. She was always very understanding and let me do my own thing, even if it meant wearing men’s Reebok sneakers (I had big feet lol) with a dress. I valued comfort over fashion, and she never made me feel weird about that.

As I got older, I didn’t pick up any new shopping habits or fashion sense. I tried shopping with friends, but I could never get into it. I always felt inadequate about my preferences and tastes. While my relationship with my mom was often strained as I transitioned into my 20s, we could still go shopping and have a good chat. She always listened even if she didn’t agree with all of my choices (clothing or otherwise).

I got to go shopping with her only a few weeks before she died. We were shopping for earrings at JCPenny (a random stop in the mall). Mom was giving me input and asking questions as I tried to narrow down my choices for earrings. She was always supportive, and offered her experiences and opinions. As I paid for a set of earrings I had picked out, I noticed a sale on some blouses that would be work appropriate.

Mom continued to offer feedback (“that’s pretty” or “that would go well with this”) and went so far as to offer to pay for the clothes. I’m well into my 30s now, and she’s still trying to take care of me! The blouses weren’t even that expensive. She insisted, but I pushed back this time. I ended up buying an entire suit and 2 blouses for less than $70. It was really sweet that she wanted to buy me clothes.

It will be hard shopping without her. I might go back to stitch fix or other online services. I’ve never been a fan of shopping.

California

Today, my visit to California ends. It’s been an emotional 9 days, not to mention the week leading up to it. This was my first time to Sacramento since my mom died. It’s also the first time back in the Bay Area since my friend Dan died. I have so many memories of them in these places. I’ve definitely cried more this week than I have in the last few.

I rented a convertible to drive around Sacramento on my quick weekend visit, and drove everywhere with the top down. I spent time with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and my Grandmother. We swam in my aunt’s pool, laughed over coffee, and shared a few tears as we shared memories of my Mom. This was her family…where she grew up. I ate Jim Boy Tacos in her honor. They were her favorite tacos, and whenever we visited, we ate there every other day.

Family

On Sunday, I drove to San Jose to attend Apple’s WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC). This was particularly emotional because Dan worked for Apple on the team that runs the live events. I last saw Dan in “meat space” when I was out for the Apple conference 2 years ago. He had just moved out to San Fran for the job, and was really excited about it. We discussed San Francisco life (and all his crazy encounters), and watched the Warriors in the playoffs (he was a huge basketball fan). I took him to some of my favorite spots in Haight-Ashbury, and he took me to some places his friends recommended. We had a great time.

WWDC Bash 2017

The day I “won the lottery” and got a WWDC ticket was the day Dan died. I knew I had to go. I didn’t realize I would cry every day of the conference. Or that I would randomly break down in sessions where I’d think Dan probably would’ve given me clues about the upcoming releases (he never broke the NDA though).

I also met some really cool people. WWDC does not disappoint in bringing the amazing developer community together. From Ireland to Ohio to Australia, once again I met people from around the world of all backgrounds and upbringings. Once again, I have been enlightened and educated, and hopefully made a little better by the people I’ve connected with.

Castle Rock

And today, I went hiking with Kim (Dan’s wife) to see Dan’s grove in Castle Rock (Los Gatos, CA). It was an amazing hike. The 7.5mi trek wound through groves of trees, across ridges of the mountains, and near trickling streams of water. It was beautiful.

I cried a lot today. But that’s okay. I’ll move forward.

I’ll be back.

Music Follows Mood

The most interesting thing about the Spotify Discovery Weekly playlist is how it follows my mood. I really should capture the lists over time because you could probably guess a little bit about what’s going on in my life during each week based on the musical styles represented.

For instance: last summer, I was writing code for the better part of 8 hours a day, and my “Coding Tunes” playlist was getting all the play, tweaking, and tuning. My Discovery Weekly was subsequently filled with ambient electronica of all kinds. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find the tracks are much darker, edgier, and hard…a reflection of the sadness and anger that I’m feeling as a result of the loss of Dan & my mom.

Valuable: day 6

My dog is awesome. When i was growing up, we had pets, but it was difficult to keep them indoors due to allergies throughout the family. Brain has taught me a lot about myself, something that i never expected from a dog. And having her with me anytime i am home feels amazing. Another living being so unlike a human yet completely able to communicate with me…even if it is primitive at times.

Valuable: day 4

Graduating from college was one of the proudest moments for me personally. Not because I think graduates are better than anyone else, but because it was a personal goal that was a real challenge for me to complete. Seeing something that long term through to the end was a huge accomplishment for me personally. Now my degree hangs beautifully framed on the wall, and anytime I feel crappy about things I’ve not accomplished yet, I can look up at it and remember I can do anything given enough time.

Valuable: day 3

I’m very proud that I have very little debt (only mortgages). It’s tough to stay disciplined and not go spending money I don’t have on things I think I want/need, but at times like these (when there are lots of bills to pay), it’s nice not to have that extra overhead at such high interest rates.

Valuable: day 2

I know, I know. I missed a few days.

I have to say, I highly value the down time I get, particularly after a busy weekend w/activities and company in town. I love vegging out on a Sunday afternoon, drinking a beer or two, and relaxing to some TV (just finished season 4 of Mad Men) or a movie. Being an introvert, I need time to recharge, and lazy Sunday afternoon is just the thing to regain my energy.

What’s valuable?

I have decided to do an exercise in perspective for myself. I often hold myself to a much higher standard than is possible, and think that despite my successes, i have done nothing and gained nothing for myself over the years. And to top it off, our society promotes the idea of what everyone else thinks you should be doing, eating, buying, etc. Over the next 30 days, I’m going to post something specific…detailed even…to describe something that is valuable to me with the idea that I will have something tangible to remind me everyday that I am valuable, and so are the things I choose to do. Duh!

On Worry…

This is a segment of the Asmi Yoga newsletter. Dolly Stavros is one of my favorite yoga teachers, and always has some nuggets. This segment resonates with me (worry wart!), and felt it should be documented if for no other benefit than my own personal record. It’s written in the context of worry and the autumnal equinox (sept).

“Witness the quality of your thoughts. Will the thought-seeds you plant grow weeds or beautiful blossoms? Ritualize this equinox (time of new beginnings), by channeling your energy into that which will manifest your dreams and desires, not your doubts and dreads. Be grateful. Watch with childlike wonder as the wind blows the leaves of your life into whirls of chaos, knowing that you can rake them up later! Refuse to be unfazed by life’s storms. Life fully. Breathe deeply. Celebrate joyously this gift of life, even if it’s not perfect. Because in its imperfection, it is perfect!”

relationship follow up

sometimes, i just have to get things out of my head. and sometimes, i have the distinct urge to put those thoughts out to the universe in a public forum (as opposed to a journal or even a piece of paper). there’s something very therapeutic knowing that my thoughts are out there for all to read…even if it’s strangers who don’t have context or even give a shit. the simple act of getting it out into the world is reassuring to me, and will calm me down.

things are just fine in my world. and my relationship with the female in the previous blog post is absolutely fine. i simply had too much swirling around in my head, my left brain spinning a giant wheel of unreal (as in fake) insecurity. it’s a bad habit, and one that’s difficult to break out of, but regular yoga and meditation usually keep me out of it. the lack of yoga is obvious lol.

sometimes, i feel i’m a failure at relationships. it’s generally with women. i seem to be completely inept at maintaining a relationship with a woman without fucking it up at some point…multiple times usually. i just don’t do well with expectations and shit like that. i’m not who you want me to be. i am who i am. and sometimes, that means i open up at the most unexpected time. i’m an introvert for god’s sake. the fact that i even open up at all should be worth something. but i often feel it’s worth nothing…or at least not good enough. there have been only a handful of people who know me well enough and have the patience and understanding enough to hang in there with me.

hopefully, this current one will hang around since she’s the only close female i have left. guh why couldn’t i have gotten the “express your emotions” gene like the rest of the female population?!

A Clockwork Orange – Review

A Clockwork Orange A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I had really high hopes for this book. When I first began the book, I was surprised at the language used by the narrator, and found it fascinating how you can learn a language simply by context interspersed with known language. That “side-journey” definitely added to the story. However, much like Slaughterhouse-V I was disappointed as a result of my expectations. The book definitely touches on some interesting aspects of society and how we handle violence and disrespect of authority. It also addressed some of the ethical challenges in reforming violent offenders. All interesting topics, but I really was looking for more twists and turns, more commentary on how society deals with the issues, and in general deeper exploration of things only touched on. I can’t wait to see the movie now, though.

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