I had to part ways with a beautiful boy today. Sometimes we take on short and sweet songs, even knowing that it would be a brief duet. That knowledge doesn’t diminish the beauty of the tune, nor takes away from the fun we have while we’re immersed in the magic of the moment by moment.
So goodbye to you my beautiful friend, i’ll miss our time in your magic treehouse, in my tiny urban pied-a-terre. our twinkly lights. our silly puns. your kisses, infused with kindness and easiness. your gorgeous head of grecian curls. your mellow voice. that incredible hipster-adonis bod…I already want to drunk dial you and beg you back to my bed….
I guess I’ll just have to secretly watch and rewatch the youtube video of the duet of you and that ridiculously talented dog, and wonder at the secret to why you’re so damn cool.
A rainy day, like today, when I used to keep the 9-5, would be an utter nightmare.
But right now I’m “in-between gigs” - the start-up marketing gig didn’t quite work out, and so, I’m back here at the drawing board, drawing, and doubting myself.
On a drizzly day like this, it seems obvious that one should look up from the scribbles, and simply appreciate the sight and sound of precipitation. So I do, and it feels amazing. The whole world slows to a crawl and the coffee shop feels dry and welcoming. The rain outside casts a fresh coat of clean onto everything.
I am sitting here at Arlequin, listening to Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens, enjoying my overpriced cup of mocha. There’s a controlled intensity to this tune, matching the unrelenting pace of the rain - contrasting perfectly with the slow frustration that is building as I nomadically discover the next project I’m to embark on.
Rain seems like an old-fashioned weather phenomenon, designed for a much slower pace of life. It is no wonder that I hated it before. But now that I don’t have much obligations, it feels wonderful. It’s like a spa day for the parched earth beneath our feet, and our spirits. The grind will have to wait. I’ll be back.
If you ask any good friend of mine, they will tell you that I’m a good cook - it’s something I truly take pride in. Give me a stove, some basic utensils, and $20, and I will give your tastebuds an unforgettable ride. But baking - forget it. I can’t deal with the entire baking process - the creeping mess, the sifted fly-aways, the scattered measuring spoons, the lukewarm yeasty blobs….ugh! Can’t. Deal.
But now that I’m home quite a bit, and being naturally drawn to the hearth arts, I find myself experimenting in the kitchen quite a bit. I found a book on baking by Nigella Lawson at a garage sale the other day. She makes everything sound and look so fabulous, for a second there I thought that I too could be a domestic goddess, powered by PG&E.
And so on Wednesday night, on the eve of another AirBnB-motivated eviction, I bravely broke out the handmixer, the sieve, the apron, dug up my adorable madeline mold, baking sheets, and set to work on a Nigella recipe.
I’ll give you one thing, Nigella does a good job turning otherwise trivial baking details into relatively easy prose. I love that she takes to recipes with a no-fuss approach. It’s just sifting people, not rocket science. Matthias helped me with the recipe, and I’m reminded of how much I hate having people in the kitchen when I create. Matthias was very result oriented, I was much more interested in the dawdling involved in the baking process. Somehow, being result oriented made the process feel rushed, and wrecked my enjoyment at the terse and drawn out mixing.
In any case as I’m blogging about this, I’m finding myself becoming disproportionately angry with M for ruining my enjoyment of the process. Possibly because I only had 48 hours to enjoy my lovely apartment before I have to rent it out again.
That’s the problem with baking - there’s so much downtime involved, usually in the form of “waiting” - but not purely waiting - it’s waiting, checking, pre-heating, mentally tallying up the ingredients you’re still missing. And during this waiting, questions bubble up: should I start another batch? should I clean now or scrub everything later, should I wait in the kitchen, or wait by the tv? how did I mess up setting the timer? how many minutes should I subtract from the instructed time to make up for the timer mishap? Why can’t recipes give out the ingredient by weight (grams) instead of by measuring devices (cups and table-/teaspoons), was that a big or mall pinch of salt? was I to use cold or melted butter? can I use vegetable oil instead of melted hydrogenated vegetable oil? Are my eggs large enough? should I bring them back to room temperature? are they whipped enough? or did I whip them too much?
No, baking isn’t a lot of work - nevertheless by the time I’m done making 12 madeleine cookies, I find that I couldn’t dig any deeper for a second batch, even though I did not quite hit the mark on this batch (not enough sugar). Also, Nigella’s recipe stated that it should make 48, my batter yielded 12.
But they were still delicious. It’s hard to dust something in confectioners sugar and dip them in chocolate and have them taste bad.
I just deleted over 100+ people with whom I’d accidentally connected with over a badly executed LinkedIn button push. I gotta say, going through my LinkedIn connection has been pretty weird. On the one hand, I’m obviously going through a career change now, and it’s really great to review the people who have touched me professionally in the past. On the other hand, I feel really bad for de-linking with people I don’t recognize - it’s entirely possible that this is not just someone whom I’ve connected with momentarily, and i had just for some reason forgotten who they are? I tried to error on the side maintaining too many connections instead of being way too draconian in my slashing and burning, to make up for that, I’ve disconnected from most ex’s or bad okcupid dates that had gone…you know, no fucking where. That was both depressing as well as satisfying. (there was this one moment where I found out that one weird guy i dated is now an engineer at Google - good for him - now he can be a drone in the company that feeds their drones well. )
What else - oh yeah - it’s lovely that all of the coworker who worked in advertising all look hot. American Advertising Industry, I hope the booze and botox never stops flowing. Here’s to you.
Damn you LinkedIn, can’t believe you’re making me going through this.
So after weeks of pondering, I’ve finally done it - I rented my place to a new SF arrival who is looking around for permanent housing. My friend Dan and Gwen are headed to Machu Picchu over Christmas, and their house sits atop Corona Heights, empty. I volunteered my service as a house sitter to the 3 story duplex. Before I know it, I’ve left my tenant a 38-point info-pamphlet on All-Things-Lynn’s-Apartment, and moved into this monastery of luxury up on a hill in San Francisco.
My sister Mary is also coming to visit me this winter, as are my parents, so we’re able to spend the holiday together. We are spending time as a family in a gorgeous house that’s not ours. Not too unusual I guess, a lot of people spend holidays in rented vacation houses, this one just happens to be free. (Of course, it being free makes it feel like charity - I never quite know how I feel about that one either.)
On the other hand, I grew up with relatives, so being in someone else’s home seem to be the only way that I feel at home to be honest. A long time ago, a fortune teller told my mom that she’s destined to be a traveler all her life. I wonder if such fortunes are hereditary. I certainly am the happiest when I’m on the go, and I feel most at home when I am not.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel conflicted about this whole ordeal. As I found myself settling into the gorgeous home of my friends, enjoying this borrowed lifestyle, in a borrowed house, and on temporary income, I feel as if I’m trespassing in someone else’s backyard, feasting on their fruit of labour. It’s not an inappropriate metaphor for my general life right now, I suppose. In a way, my life feels like it’s not mine right now. I feel a lot of guilt and some embarrassment about having to rent out my home to make a quick buck. But it’s more than that - living in this place, I’ve begin to develop a a feeling of inferiority - like, why don’t I have this lifestyle? I’m smart and capable, why can’t I have all of this? Envy - for sure.
This is perhaps a teachable moment: unearned luxury is more or less an albatross.
I’m noticing that when I’m staying in my 305sqft, I tend to think of the entire city as “MINE” - and now that I’m in this house-mansion, i tend to think of what’s inside the house as “mine” and what’s out there as something outside of myself. I no longer have ownership over this city.
Today I woke up, and decided that to reject the negativity. There are homeless people out there, spending the holidays alone, exposed to the elements, without a person in the world to look after them, with no employable skills. There are immigrants toiling at construction sites, taco shops, picking up shifts as janitorial staff and cleaning crew, etching out a living, huddled in shabby thin-walled rental units. Why should I feel bad about being able to stay in a gorgeous house, overlooking the entire city of San Francisco. I should embrace this lucky vacation I’m on. in a world removed from my own, perhaps I can gain insights at this perch above my usual station.
Hello there! It’s been a month into Funemployment, and I want to check in!
I’ve neglected to blog about my walks. After 10 walks, I’ve covered most of the hills in San Fran, and instead, I had too much to do. Who knew this time around, unemployment is so weirdly busy?
Let’s see, running through a quick summary of how my days go usually. I wake up around 8 to 9 am, then I read through all the news of the day, and I either take a nap, watch tv (I’ve been watching a LOT of TV, more on that later) or shower. Then I walk over to a café. By the way, I’ve discovered the perfect café - Arlequin Cafe and Food-to-go. So this is the type where one could, (if one is not addicted to Gossip Girl), tuck away and write the next great American novel - $2 bottomless coffee, awesome food, plenty of power cords, free wifi. The best part is that the place is gorgeous. Plenty of light, and a heated courtyard in the back. I can’t ask for a more inspired setting. Conveniently the cafe is located in Hayes Valley.
Some other accomplishments in the past 3 weeks: - I’m working with DailyAisle to help them with Marketing initiatives. I met the whole team as of last Friday - LOVE! I love what this company is doing. I love what the mission is. I love the founders. So hopefully this will be the beginning of a wonderful relationship. Right now I feel like one of those plate juggling ladies in a circus.
- I’ve rented out my beautiful apartment on AirBnB. - I cooked my friend Kelley and myself a scrumptious pothead inspired thanksgiving dinner, after a soul nourishing hike to Rodeo Beach. - I’ve hosted my parents for Thanksgiving in my tiny 305sqft apartment - good thing that the city of San Francisco is large enough for those two. We even had Kelley over for dinner.
- I made a new table from spare parts from IKEA - yes that’s my friend sawing through metal, in my kitchen.
- I’ve became a Vayable Ambassador, given my tour, and am now recruiting new tour guides for Vayable in London!
- Sighted Santa, constructed Rudolph, and put up my Xmas tree.
So yeah. all in all a pretty good month - I would have loved to be more productive but eh. c’est la vie.
This next month is the holidays. Mary, my sister is coming. There’s going to be more reinvention. I’m really excited!