[ j o u r n a l ]
The following online journal entries are from December 1999.
They are taken from my written journal and email updates to friends.
[ 1 2 . 0 3 . 9 9 ]
Friday. 10:08 AM.
Here is another email update I sent to everyone -- eleven
months in SF! Crazy. It certainly has been a trip. Soon it will be a year.
Wow. How time flies -- and the question is, "Am I having fun?"
"LOOKING OVER THE EDGE OF THE MILLENIUM--SAN FRANCISCO PART 12"
Greetings and season's cheer to all!
Can you believe it's been eleven months since I left the shores
of Maryland? Well, okay, Silver Spring isn't exactly waterfront ...
but there was a duck pond near my old apartment. And can you
believe that 1999 is coming to a close (graceful or not) and the
years that all those sci-fi writers have been envisioning will be
just around the bend? If a big black monolith lands on the moon...
Not much has changes on the SF home front. The weather is getting
colder. Of course, colder means 50s here. And we're starting the
rainy season. But, generally, it's not too bad. Though, my
apartment is not well-insulated and it tends to be a bit nippy at
night. Luckily, I just got another flannel covered comforter...
DAY OF MELEAGRIS GALLOPOVO (DOMESTICUS?)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the scientific names of
animals, the meleagris gallopovo is the North American turkey
(wild...the tamer ones must be domesticus). How was Turkey Day?
Mine was pretty good. I went to my sister and her boyfriend's
apartment in Sunnyvale (about 45 mins away by car; about an hour
and a half by CalTrain, which was my choice of transportation).
I spent the entire day there. We roasted up a big turkey. I
made stuffing from scratch. We made mashed potatoes from scratch.
And had a variety of other foods. It was quite a spread for
just three people and a hyperactive, slighty chunky cat named
Nemo (who looks like a miniature bobcat but with a long tail and
who likes to attack you, playfully of course, for no reason).
Dinner was yummy. And then we just hung out and watched Drew
Barrymore's _Never Been Kissed_...which was angst filled, but fun.
The City is a remarkable place to live and I'm turning into quite
the urbanite. But, it's interesting to see how my suburban
upbringing is clashing with my urban surrounds and situations.
I can definitely see how city life is a microcosm of compressed
living. I have witnessed first hand more violence, depression,
debauchery, greed, anger, sexism, racism, and almost any other
-ism I have ever in my life. I don't remember if I reported in
my last update that I watched a gang fight unfold out my front
window right on the street in broad daylight. Walking home late
at night is sometimes a bizarre experience -- a mix of a carnival
and an episode of COPS. I know any true blue New Yorker or big
city dweller will tell me to shrug it off and pay no nevermind.
I'm not sure I want those set of blinders. But, to cope, you
have to look straight ahead, mind your own business, and hope
for the best.
On the flip side, I still find walking down the street to the
corner store or to the coffee house an immensely liberating
experience. (Though, now months and months later, I do miss
driving all of a sudden.) The bus ride to and from work is no
longer that much of a novelty, though some of the characters
(and I mean CHARACTERS that I encounter are hysterical and
sometimes unsettling. On the whole, I haven't done much out
and about -- mostly trying to catch up as best as I can on my
financial situation and staying out of the bars and clubs and
stores keeps me more in the black.
[ 1 2 . 0 3 . 9 9 cont. ]
Apartment living...what can I say? (Someone should start a
publication about apartment living and shared living...I think
it's an untapped market...plenty of housing agencies, group
houses, and dormitories that could use help.)
Since I spend about seventy-five percent of my time by myself,
my apartment is my haven and my place to retreat from the toils
of city life. For the most part, home = good. And my neighbor
problems from months past are pretty much gone since the
noisiest one has moved away.
Roommate life has been so-so. Sarah and I are working through
some lifestyle differences. She's embroiled in various
activities, people, and dramas. I don't see much of her these
days and we've all but stopped thinking and acting like a
"household." That's a problem for me. If I had wanted just a
roommate situation, I would've lived someplace else. So, we're
dealing with it. For the moment, I'm just living and letting
live. But, it could be better and I hope it does change.
Mo-cat (aka Mojo aka Mojo Kitty aka the stinky cat) is doing
well. He's good company and is learning how to live with this
human. He's very attentive and loves to play with his little,
furry mice at odd hours of the morning right at my bedroom door.
His current annoying trick is to dash out the front door and
try to escape only to be confronted by a huge flight of stairs.
Soon, I hope, he'll discover that there really is no where to
go and will just give up the attempt. Another trick -- a
talented kitty -- is the ability to undo his collar and take it
off ... Houdini cat!
Other points of news -- my next door neighbor Paul is moving out.
Very sad. He was a really cool guy and was totally respectful of
me. I didn't get to know him very well, but he always had a
kind word for me. He used to live with his girlfriend until she
moved back to Wisconsin a few months ago. He decided to follow
suit. He had lived in SF for six years and said, "Sometimes it's
just time to go home" (a very telling statement for me that will
be addressed soon). He bought a bar in downtown Green Bay and is
going into business for himself. Of course, being SF, the
apartment next door will get cleaned up, the rent will be raised
to market value (jumping probably about $300), and scary people
will move in. I hope not!
Work is swimmingly fine. I am still at the Support Center for
Nonprofit Management. And I enjoy going to work. It's one of the
few places I get interaction with other people. I have been picking
up a few extra hours here and there to supplement my income. I
need to work a bit more, though.
Another position is opening up mid-December. The director of
publishing will be leaving for greener pastures. I have been
encouraged to apply for the position. I am thinking about it. It's
full-time. Major workload. Major responsibility. But, it's
actually in the field that I went to school for. It's a definite
[ i n d e x E D ]
© 2001 Edmond Y. Chang. All original material. All rights reserved.
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