[ j o u r n a l ]
The following online journal entries are from July 1999.
They are taken from older version of my website and emails I sent to friends.
[ 0 7 . 0 9 . 9 9 ]
Thursday. 4:54 PM.
Welcome to July. I have been in San Francisco for
six whole months now. Half a year. Technically, according to the deal
I made with myself, I can go back to Maryland if I wanted to. I told
myself at the start of this adventure that I could bail after six months.
But, I had to give it six full months. And now that deadline has been
reached. And there seems to have been a stay of execution or maybe a
Today, this week, has brought good news. And I hope the energy and the
positivity and the prosperity continue to unfold. I am including a
letter that I wrote to most of my friends and family about the new
changes in my life. The letter is as follows:
Greetings family, friends, and close admirers--
I haven't written an update email in a really, really long time.
So, I thought I'd send everyone a warm hello and a bit more news
from my corner of the world.
I haven't written much mainly because I haven't had a whole lot
of new news to tell. The past few months have really been dealing
with getting settled, making the transition, discovering the city,
and figuring out what I wanted and where I wanted to be. I know
that the move was a good one. And I know that I really like SF a
lot. I have just been looking for the peace and stability to enjoy
what I am doing here.
My apartment is great. It's pretty much fully furnished. We're
missing a few this-and-thats. And once the details are squared
away, I hope to have a little dinner party to christen the place.
Our downstairs neighbors are a bit rambunctious at times. But,
they don't party too-too often and they've been kind enough to
invite us to their weekend bashes. We've been neighborly, but
that's about it. I'm not sure how interested they are in getting
to know us. We might not be funky enough for them.
My roommate Sarah and I are getting along pretty well. We had a
couple of ups and downs, but have talked them through. Her
girlfriend Tara was in town for about a month-and-a-half. That
created some tension. But, we handled it. I was honest with how
I felt. They were honest about their feelings. And it ended up
all good. Tara returned to school in St. Louis this week. The
apartment does seem a bit emptier especially since she took her
kitten Sidney with her.
I definitely want to get a cat. My poor Ceti, for those you who
don't know, is AWOL in Maryland. He got away from my friend's
house and is living out Jack London's "call of the wild." I
tried to adopt a really great black kitty from the SF SPCA. But,
I need express permission from my building to get a cat. I
really don't want to go through the hassel. So, I'm looking to
adopt privately. We'll see what happens.
I have a very small circle of acquaintances right now.
One group is the Wednesday night "happy hour" crowd, which we met
through on of Sarah's co-workers. We go out to a different bar
almost every Wednesday for a few drinks, talk, and maybe a bite
to eat afterwards. We've also been invited to several BBQs and
dinner parties with the Wednesday group. It's all very unreal
sometimes -- like an episode of thirtysomething
with pale ales and grilled swordfish. But the company is fun and
I also have a rag-tag group of usual suspects that I see from
Espresso Bravo, the coffee house near my apartment. A lot of them
come and go and only fate and the lure of caffeine ensure that we
run into each other. I get to know mostly the people that work at
the coffee house. Many of the people have moved on to other things.
A few have remained in contact and I get to see them every now and then.
Finally, I have met a few people from online. Hey, it's the 90s. A
handful are folks that live in the bay area who use the same talker
(kind of like an antiquated predecessor to a chat room) called
Paradox (telnet talker.com 4040). And a handful are people who
answered my personal ad.
So far, no one has become a best friend. But, time will only tell.
I hope to meet some people with similar interests. I'm especially
eager to find some role-players so I can start gaming again. I
really miss that whole community thing.
Two people from back East have visited me thus far.
My friend Maggie (from the Northern Virginia crowd) was here for
a conference for work. She and I hung out, went to dinner, walked
around, and even ventured out one night to a gothic/darkwave night
at a bar called Big Heart City. The night was gruesomely called
"Danse Macabre." It was alright. It was interesting to see the
differences between East Coast goths and West Coast goths. There
definitely wasn't the mixing of subcultures that we got in DC.
Maggie and I had a fun time stirring things up.
And, recently, Scott (from my gaming group) visited a week ago.
He was originally on a hike from Mexico to somewhere up north.
But, he had to cut his trip short due to bad knees. He stopped in
Los Angeles. He called me and drove up from LA to visit me. He and
his friend Stu and I did a few toursity SF things like Pier 39,
Ghiradelli Square (great ice cream and chocolate...awful, hateful,
evil lines), the Presidio, Fort Point, Golden Gate Park, and
Twin Peaks. It was really good to see him.
[ 0 7 . 0 9 . 9 9 cont. ]
I hope to see more folks soon. Since money is tight these days,
visiting back East might not be possible. It will definitely have
to wait till I have worked a bit.
I have done a few cool things so far in SF. Other than seeing the
different neighborhoods, riding MUNI (our buses and cable cars),
riding BART and CalTrain (our rail system), and visiting all sorts
of different restaurants and bars, I have tried to take part in
the community here.
I went to SF Pride Festival and Parade. It was a crazy couple of
days. I can only imagine NYC's Pride to be bigger. The block party
on Saturday night of Pride in the Castro was an undulating crowd
and definitely very expressive. I also went to a couple of films
for the SF Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I saw a german film
called Oi! Warning (about a young, gay skinhead). I also saw a
short film called Where Lies the Homo? and a documentary Off
the Straight and Narrow, about LGB images on television.
A new friend Adam (someone who answered my personal ad) invited
me to a free show at Amoeba Records in the Haight. We saw the ever
wonderful women of Sleater-Kinney perform. It was a great show. An
experience I defintely want to repeat.
Finally, for the fourth of July, I went to the free Jamiroquai
concert in Union Square downtown. It was crazy packed with people.
I really didn't even see the stage. But, the music was hopping and
the crowd was really fun.
Oh, I've seen two MTV celebrities so far from the current season.
I saw Ruthie from the Real World Hawaii
at the Pride Festival. She's a lot shorter than she seems on TV. And I
saw Yes from Road Rules: Semester at Sea.
He's just as cute as he is on the screen. It's weird to see people
in real life from television.
Those of you who have been keeping up with me via email or my webpage
or Instant Messanger or by phone know that finding work has been
crazy difficult. The last four months have been full of mailing
resumes, faxing resumes, calling people, emailing people, and trying
to find as many leads and contacts as possible. It was grueling and
disheartening. I have never been with out work for so long. And it
was hard to know that SF can be just as mainstream, conservative,
and image conscious as DC.
I made my first fifteen dollars in SF tutoring a new friend named
Julie (of the coffee house crowd). I haven't spent the money yet. I
promised myself that I wasn't going to spend it till I got a job --
it has been talisman for good fortune.
I also got paid for writing questions for Berkeley Systems, Inc. (a
computer game company) for their online game called What's the Big
Idea? It was freelance and I sold only 7 questions before they stopped
accepting any more. I got $5 per question. So, my writing talents
have made $35. My second project that actually earned money for writing.
Money has been really tight. I have never been this broke before in
my life. I watch where everything goes. I walk instead of spending a
dollar for the bus (unless it's just too far). I try not to eat out.
I have cereal or oatmeal for lunch. It's really sad. Luckily, my
father has been very helpful and generous. He has kept me afloat and
kept me from total financial ruin. I am very grateful.
But, luckily, I have great news on this front. The drought is over!
I HAVE FOUND A JOB! I am very happy to send you such tidings. I will
be an Admissions Assistant for the Academy of Art College here in SF.
It's basically a glorified phone reservationist position, but I get
to help prospective students think about the college, answer their
questions, and then direct them to an advisor. The pay is enough to
live on. I'm not making the big bucks, but that's okay. It is a
business-minded school, but I've negotiated my image and they're
okay (so far) with the fact that I have multi-colored hair. Luckily,
my boss-to-be is a great person, friendly, honest, open, nurturing,
and focused. She basically said she really wanted me for the job.
Her input and support and enthusiam convinced me to say yes. I will
be making salary plus full benefits (medical, dental, and vision)
plus vacation time, sick days, and the best PERK of call--free
classes at the college.
I start next Tuesday. The commute is really simple. One bus -- the
#14 Mission bus -- stops at my door and ends at the office. What
could be better than that?
It seems my luck is finally changing. The pendulum is swinging
back in my favor. July is a lucky month I guess (being the 7th
month and all). I hope things continue to get better.
I'll keep everyone informed as to new developments.
Keep in touch. Please write. And please call (I like hearing
voices). And if possible please visit.
[ i n d e x E D ]
© 2001 Edmond Y. Chang. All original material. All rights reserved.
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