All Kinds of Things You Can't See From the Center

It's warm in New York today but not hot. It's hovering around 80 with no humidity. It's my favorite kind of weather. It's weather that makes me yearn for Sonoma County the way winter used to make me yearn for New York. I can see the hills still green from winter rains and smell the damp of the redwoods and feel the way the air changes as you get closer to the coast. I can feel my excitement that it's just about time for the Sonoma-Marin fair which will tide me over to County Fair time. Hot black tops and too expensive fried foods. Sheep shearing and sheep dog trials. Wondering why I was so much better at winning goldfish when I was a child. It's funny how life knows exactly how far to push you before turning around. How just saying something out loud or getting things out of your head and onto a piece of paper can loosen some thing's hold on you.

Dominique suggested I date the lumberjack and just give into the spiral about two months ago, and I thought about it. I thought about giving in because sometimes it's easier to just give in than risk fighting against it and failing. If you are a relentlessly controlled person, there is no better feeling than the high of being out of control. I thought about it. And I rejected it.

I had just gotten Charlotte and I think I had just gone on my second date with the guy I'm dating now and both those things felt like a return to normal for me. My baseline. And it felt good. It felt like somewhere I wanted to be even as a felt my life was spiraling out of control financially and careerwise.

A couple of Sundays ago, I found myself cooking dinner in a vintage dress, making enough for aforementioned guy to be able to pack for lunch and I laughed to myself thinking what a caricature of myself I had so easily become again. I thought about how much more normal my life suddenly seemed to me with a kitten and somebody for whom to cook and, thankfully, a return to a full-time schedule. I have spent most of my adult life with all of those things, the last two years an anomaly. I didn't need to learn how to live without a pet, but I did need to live without a significant other and I'm happy it happened and I'm happy to take a break from it.

I thought I would be terrified to incorporate somebody into my life again. I thought it would be hard to fit somebody into a schedule that has been built solely around my own priorities. I thought I might lose myself. I thought I'd still be bad at open and honest communication about my FEELINGS. Instead, I'm startled by how easily I've adapted, how stupid happy it makes me and how much I still feel centered in myself. I surprised myself Sunday when, with my voice quavering, I said "I'm just sad" instead of continuing to insist that I was fine.

It's strange how we can not change at all and also change immensely and that those things are not mutually exclusive.

It always end up making you blue as hell

I feel like a failure most of the time these days. Not the kind of failure where you joke and make self-deprecating comments about how you'll just be buying new underwear tomorrow because ooops you're drunk and the laundromat is closed, but the kind of failure where you don't tell anyone and how bad it is and find yourself on the verge of panic attacks at least weekly, if not daily. It's easy to look at my employment situation for the last couple of years and logically know that I keep choosing to work for small businesses that operate on a slim to none profit margin and the economy is still really shitty. To a certain extent I can justify being poor, because I love what I do because I do something that makes me happy that I'm good at. I know I'm a good chef, I don't feel like I'm a failure at chefing.

I feel like I'm a failure at being the person I want to be. I feel like I'm failing at some very basic goals I set for myself a long time ago. I know how little money you have to make to qualify for food stamps. I know I made just enough not to last month. I know I'm terrified. I'm terrified all the god damn time. I know this situation makes me feel like I've gone back to my early childhood and I have no control. No control. It is the worst thing. It is the thing I promised myself I would never ever ever feel again. I broke a promise to myself and that's the worst kind of promise to break.

It's the kind of thing I can't really explain to anyone because it is so completely illogical but so completely my truth right now.

I'm looking for a second job or another job. I have people who would help me if I asked for help (hahahahaha, like I'll ever learn to do that one). Despite strong temptation to just say fuck it and spiral down down down into bad decisions, I've been spending more time reading and writing and strolling in the park. I'm dating a guy I really like with whom things are easy so far instead of dialing up one that would immolate me. I show up for my kids every Tuesday and I smile and we cook things.

I also know I've been self isolating like a pro. I know I just can't explain getting semi laid off again but then also that I'm about to work 8 days straight. I can't handle anymore people offering to help me find my dead goldfish. I don't know how to talk to my really close friends or family about it because it's painful. And embarrassing. And I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed about the state of my life right now. And I don't know how to talk to anybody about anything else because it's the only thing I think about. So instead I just don't talk to most people. I mean, I have a kitten, so it's fine.

I'm 50% doing all the things I should be doing and 50% deep in hiding.

But I guess 50% hiding is better than 100%. Right?

Trade Offs

I'm not really an "everything happens for a reason" or "the universe doesn't hand us anything we can't handle" person. When I got laid off at Stellina, I was miserable and it seemed like a relief. When I got laid off at Je & Jo it seemed like it was probably time I get out of my rut and start working on something that actually challenged me anyways. When I got hired at my current job it seemed like a perfect fit but now I am severely underemployed and obviously I want there to be a reason. I want something better to come out of it. I want to know it's because the universe knows I can handle it. I don't believe that's how the world actually works, but I still want it to be true. Probably the best thing that has come out of this is that I've been able to focus on writing.

Probably the worst thing that has come out of this is stress vomiting, panic attacks and missing out on big things I really want to do like my friend Elise's Vegas bachelorette party and then BiSC.

The worst part about missing BiSC is that only ended up working one day of all the days it happened so it seems like I should've gone anyways. And reading everyone's tweets late at night and almost crying while waiting for the G train.

The best part about missing BiSC is texts like the last one I got from Dominique that said "We've just poured a (figurative) stream of melted butter on the ground at bouchon for the chefs that couldn't join us (you)".

The other best part was that I had a weekend that reminded me I really like my life, which is a thing I've definitely needed some reminding of lately.

Wednesday was a 14 hour work day for supper club and then going out for "one drink" with my coworkers and obviously not doing that.

Thursday was a hangover and an afternoon date where I like to think I was being charmingly honest about the state of my head. Dinosaur bones and almost falling asleep in the Hall of Minerals. Gorgeous day in Central Park. Shake Shack fries for my hangover and a walk to Columbus Circle because my hangover also demanded a rainbow sprinkle cone from Mister Softee. People watching. Sunset watching. Beer. Making plans for a fourth date. You might not do dates well often New York, but when you do... Damn.

Friday was errands and then brunch at Egg with Morgen. Cafe Grumpy cold brew. Walking the Highline. Sample sales I had no business being at. Discovering that there's a Vanessa's in South Williamsburg. Realizing how ludicrously cheap Vanessa's is. Then a trip to our new favorite honky tonk for a giant whiskey sweet tea and live music. Bed.

Saturday was my commute somehow taking 1.5 hours instead of thirty minutes. Work. A text suggesting we meet up that evening instead of Sunday for date four. Drinks with my coworkers. Showing up tipsy (choosing to believe this is also charming) to my date. Many plates of fancy bar food. A visit to a bar with a TARDIS. Moving on to a bar with delicious beer. Definitely being the people in a bar other people might hate a little (or find adorable? Let's go with adorable). Late Saturday night snuggles (both a euphemism and not) leading to Sunday morning ones.

Sunday was laziness and brunching and tv and snuggles and naps. Hiding from the rain and being read to. Ridiculous dance party for two (these arms of mine...). Home made pot roast for dinner. Returning to a very excited kitten at 10pm after having been gone for 38 hours.

I wasn't able to go to BiSC and that kind of really sucked but I'm keeping my fingers crossed there was a reason.

Bits & Pieces (the fourth)

August isn't my favorite time of year. It's well documented. I haven't been writing about it, because there isn't anything to say that I haven't said before.

I had a nasty Summer cold earlier this month, the worst deathaversary sick I've had in a couple of years. I wasn't prepared for it to happen so early. After literally spending 48 hours in bed over the weekend, I was still sick enough on Monday that I would've called in sick if my assistant were actually a baker, not a grad student who knows how to work the ice cream machine. I never call in sick, it's just not done in the kitchen, but I would've called in sick.

I over schedule myself to the point where I even thought I was over scheduled. Over scheduling is my thing. I love it. But this month I looked at the calender and thought "Seriously, Alana Margaret? Are you trying to kill yourself?". Nope, just keeping busy.

Busy busy busy.

My brain is on overdrive. I think I've probably written ten blog posts in my head but never let myself sit down to write them. I got in a rut at work and then suddenly thought of all the new recipes I wanted to make at once. That's how it goes. The recipes leave and come back. It's overwhelming sometimes, I never know how to explain it. Once I'm in that mode, I'll literally stop a conversation to work out a flavor combination out loud. I haven't shut down for a while. Quieting my mind during yoga this week was an extra challenge.

My life, it seems so full of possibility right now. My lease is up at the end of November and I'm constantly thinking about what next. It's crazy that I'll have lived in the same apartment for a year and ten months when I leave, I tend to pack up and move, to run onto the next thing more often than that usually. Do I stay in Astoria? Can I somehow afford Manhattan? Do I give in and move to Brooklyn to be with my hipster people? Do I leave New York? (I'm not leaving New York, I'm too happy with my life right now, but the point is, I could. I'd come back, but I could leave for a while).

I love my job and I really believe in the product, but once again I'm not sure what the next step is careerwise. I think the next step is to do what I've been doing and create a life outside of work while I have a job that allows me to do that. Maybe the next step is just sticking around for a while.

Politics are making me rage-y right now. Just a rage bubbling up inside me that I haven't felt for a while. I told somebody the other day that I had such a hard time taking Mitt Romney seriously as a candidate that I keep forgetting it's an election year. WHEN I WAS IN INDIA I READ ENTIRE DEBATE TRANSCRIPTS ON THE INTERNET and this year I've been like "wait, we still actually need to vote on this bullshit?". At least that's how I was until Republicans started saying really REALLY stupid things about rape and then I mean, RAGE. Just, rage.

I guess I feel like I'm finding myself again with the yoga and the volunteering and the rage. I don't know when I lost myself. Or if that's the right phrase. I feel like I'm turning into the version of myself I want to be. I wasn't lost. I just knew I could do more. There still much more to do, there's always more. But I'm growing again. Growing and stable at the same time.

Happy and sad at the same time.

Lara called to tell me Moxie Crimefighter died today. It finally made me pause long enough to feel the sadness that's been lingering around the edges this month. Sadness for her dad's passing, sadness for my own's and now sadness for the loss of a tiny black cat named after pub trivia had a celebrity baby names round. While Lara's dad was sick, Moxie slept curled next to him every day. You were the best, Moxiecat. The best.

I'm currently simultaneously annoyed with myself for being irresponsible and going out and drinking for EIGHT HOURS last Wednesday and had such a good, crazy time, that I can't be. It was just one of those nights that I think can only happen in New York where one minute it's 5pm happy hour in the UWS and then it's 11 and somehow you've ended up in Brooklyn, developing a small surprise crush on somebody that wasn't even really eligible in your mind before. The crush has stuck with me sober. Have I mentioned how much I hate crushes? It's basically like when somebody tells me they have a surprise for me. Either just surprise me or tell me what it is. I don't do well with anticipation and not knowing. Seriously, I hate this feeling. Will it develope into more of a crush? How does he feel about me? Why am I even thinking about this that much? What's my next move? Do I make a next move? Why did I hide in the kitchen when he came into work the other day? What if he has no interest in moves? WHY CAN'T WE JUST HAVE ARRANGED MARRIAGES STILL?

I'm going to lie in a dark room and just listen to the Good Old Wars and The Avett Brothers endlessly now. Also, the Lumineers, still. And the Milk Carton Kids. I'm back on an alt country kick and a buying all the music kick. I'm still so happy to have gotten back this part of myself. I miss my records, though. I want those when I move.

I think maybe my brain will be quiet for a second now because how can anything be left after that outpouring of gibberish?

I am small but I am strong

Quick practical note: This December I'm participating in #reverb11. Last year I only managed about half the month before the questions all started to seem like they were asking the same things in different ways. This year there are so many lists of prompts that I'm hoping I'll stay inspired through the entire month. I'm doing it because making time to write daily is something I really wished I did on a more regular basis and obviously it's easier when you have a whole internet community supporting you. Basically #reverb11 is like my work out buddy for writing. Also, it's that New Year's-y, birthday coming up soonish time of year so I'm probably going to be spending a lot of time all up in my head over analyzing the last year and making decisions about the new one anyway, and some of that stuff needs to get out of my head so I don't go insane. The posts won't always be eloquent or long, but they will always be true.

So...

Reverb11 Prompt 2: Who are you? Describe yourself.

Alana Margaret. Baker. Pastry Sous Chef in the most competitive food city in the world. But in my head, just a baker, creator, recipe writer.

Quiet, shy, sensitive, bookish but if I have my way you'll never know it. I never outgrew those things, but I got better at pretending, which I guess, is a lot of what growing up is about. A sometimes broken, bitter, midnight crier and sometimes the one who has weathered much and come out more whole than anyone had any right to expect.

I cling to schedules, routines, normalcy the way those of us with hectic childhoods do, trying to keep control, always. Hating when I'm not in control, always. Life has a way of not letting you be in control. It's tricksy like that.

Blunt, harsh and honest. To a fault. But once you're in, once you make it under the layers, there is nothing I wouldn't do for you, nothing I wouldn't give. Happiest as a care taker, food maker, present giver.

Small but curvy. Dark haired and light eyed. Fair Irish skin. Thankful for Eastern European cheek bones adding definition to a round, dimpled face. Rosy cheeked and dark lashed. Arms and hands covered in burn scars and knife nicks.

Not so secret lover of all things living and adorable. Small children (not babies, they still mostly look like aliens), puppies and kittens especially, though if I thought a baby polar bear or tiny penguin wanted to cuddle me and I lived in the right climate, they'd be right up there on that list.

I find equal comfort in the quietness of museums and the way words string together. Sentences over stories. Phrases get stuck in my brain the way songs get stuck in other's. Flavor combinations too. Repeating until I find a space to let them out.

Alana Margaret, almost twenty-six. New York City born. California raised. New York City returned. Baker pretending to be a Pastry Sous Chef. Reader pretending to be a writer. Unabashed liberal. Rule follower and authority hater. Goody two shoes with a foul mouth. A pile of contradictions, just like you, and at the same time, not at all.

Not even a little bit.

Maybe it's just the sleep deprivation talking

I am broke as shit, don't have a boyfriend, have been working for ten days straight (a couple of them doubles) and have three more to go before a day off and have to be up at 2:45ish to get to work at 4am, and you know what? Life is pretty damn good. I don't know why, but I've actually been in a really good mood. I should be stressed as fuck and hating the world, but I'm actually really good. I thrive on this shit. I always have. Gotta control the chaos, gotta have so much going on that I don't have time to overanalyze. If I didn't know better, I would keep at it like this until I was run down to the ground exhausted and sick. Luckily I know what my body can handle better these days that I used to.

I have a couple of posts in my head, but this is just a quick interim, getting some stuff out before I go to bed (yes, really, I probably should've been in bed an hour ago) sort of post.

This is really it: I've been in a great mood. Like, I think I probably actually have a brain tumor sort of good mood (I watch a lot of House, ok? P.S. Did anyone else think last season was kind of bullshit? And that finale? Ugh.) or a "Oh my god, is this what normal feel like? Maybe I should be medicated," kind of good mood. Yeah, I'm fucking, fuckity fuck exhausted times ten but so far I'm liking my new job (minus the hours) and my new coworker, I'm hanging out with my old coworkers outside of work, which I'm pretty sure makes them friends (that's right I officially have friends in New York that are not the people I live with), had not at all awkward Mark is at my apartment time that involved watching Howard the Duck (which is swell since I live with his best friend and all) and, this week, with all the craziness I started to think, "hey it would be kind of nice to be able to snuggle with somebody at the end of the day when I'm really tired". I mean, I don't think it enough to do anything about it. Seriously, dating, ick. But I'm moving a little bit away from my firm "boys are stupid" stance which is probably good.

Y'know, I could be interested in some no strings attached snuggling and bad movie watching time if a cute boy fell into my lap and it required absolutely no effort at all on my part.

And no, "snuggling" is not meant to be a euphamism here.

Maybe I just need a pet.

(Don't worry, I know it's not allowed, Michelle, otherwise there would already be a kitten tormenting you with its adorableness. OMG KITTENS!)

Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and bees

Hey, remember how my life used to not be falling apart and I blogged about things like crafts and kittens and silly things? I now present: A Break from My Angst: Kitten in the Tomatoes or You Don't Need a Yard to Eat Homegrown Lettuce

P1010594 Convinced I was going to kill everything, I planted waaaay too many lettuce seeds, so then we had to thin them and eat fresh sprouts. How do we survive such torture?

P1010661 My lettuce now! Look how big! (Yeah, I realize that this is not very exciting to people who regularly manage to keep their plants alive or who have room for a real garden, but I'm pretty proud of my balcony mini garden)

P1010667 Pilot in the tomato jungle. Most days this satisfies his urge to go outside so we don't have to look ridiculous walking him. ("walking him" generally translates to "holding his leash while he sits and sniffs things)

P1010671Such a big handsome boy these days! Mastering the look of disdain just like a real kitty.

P1010678Showing off his new collar in his favorite box. So far he's too much of a fraidy cat but someday he might jump off the  balcony so better safe than sorry.

P1010664 Back to the garden! This is the whole thing (and yeah, I know you should really grow tomatoes in larger pots, but my balcony is not that big) lettuce, 3 tomato plants, oregano, thyme, basil, chives and an Anaheim chili plant.

Also, as the boy pointed out "Don't you just feel stupid when you have to buy dirt?". I mean seriously, it's dirt. That shit should be free.

P1010602 Look! My early girl has flowers!

And, on a somewhat unrelated note, this is one of the kittens we're kittensitting this weekend! It's ADORABLE!

P1010632

P1010622

P1010613

I just don't know what to do with myself

I'm officially bored with watching "What not to Wear". I never thought it would be possible. It might just be because I'm sick, and focusing on anything while I'm sick is impossible. I always think that I'll be able to spend the day reading when I'm sick. Yeah, that might be true if I read more "beach reading" types of books, but somehow my tonsil swollen, fevery self can't quite make it through a page of Anna Karenina right now. Surprising, I know. Then I think, "yes, sick days, this is why television was invented!" but you  know what... daytime TV fucking sucks. Yep, a lot. I have On Demand and I'm still done with it- though I did watch "Seven Year Itch" this morning purely because I've never seen it and it seemed like something to do... and it was in the free movie section. So far the only things I've actually enjoyed today are eating the popsicles Lara so kindly provided me with this morning and listening to music just a wee too loud. (That's right... f you upstairs neighbors and your late night battle hymn of the republic blasting ways... I'm sick and you are going to have to listen to the Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist soundtrack... yeah I know you're probably not home...) Oh, and this whole writing thing seems to working okay as a thing to do at the moment. I am, however, aware that a blog post talking about how being sick sucks is... well... kind of obnoxious. I'm pretty sure we're all aware that being sick sucks.

For me, it's another reminder that I no longer have a significant other. So far I've been doing pretty ok working out this whole single thing. It hasn't been that hard to learn to function as a solitary human being. But when you're sick and in a relationship you get used to having someone listen to you bitch, calling to check in, renting mindless movies for you, fetching your popsicles for you so you don't have to leave the couch, snuggling you when you just can't get warm, kissing you all better, just sitting next to you being a comforting presence... so here is my second obvious truth of this entry,  being sick and single sucks (this might be my third if you count the statement that daytime TV sucks).

Now, I'd just like to clarify here, that I'm not the type of girl that often lets her self be taken care of or constantly relies on other people. I've always prided myself on my self sufficiency, possibly to the point of fault, and I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that right now, I would really really like to have somebody to take care of me.

Yup, it's taken me a whole month to come to the realization that I'm probably not ever going to be one of those "single and happy" people. I thought maybe I could be but I just don't think it's going to work out that great for me.

At least I have Pilot and a roommate that buys me popsicles before going to work.
IMG_0301

Also, a job where I get to pause before finishing the pear pie to take this:
IMG_0306

Blame it on Gravity

I give myself completely over to the series of movements - fluidly reaching up to the sky, down to the ground, jumping back into plank, lowering myself and then pushing into cobra and back to downward dog. Centering myself completely in my body the room fades away, the strains of "More Adventurous" melt away and midway through jumping back into plank I notice a kitten sitting behind me on the yoga mat. "Thwack", my left knee and big toe smack against the ground as I try to pull my legs back to me to avoid landing on him. "It's a good thing you're so god damn cute" I tell him as he skitters away. I roll over onto my back and let myself be enveloped by the music until suddenly I feel small kitten paws pressing painfully into my chest and a cold nose and tickly whispers exploring my face, but before I can say anything he walks down to my stomach curls into a ball and purrs quietly to himself, almost apologetically. How can I resist this? He wins again.
P1000552

Last night I uploaded all the pictures from my old PowerBook onto flickr to begin the process of clearing it out so that my mother can use it. (You may be wondering why I don't just do that whole snazzy "Mac to Mac" transfer thing from my PowerBook to my MacBook and the answer is because the new software that comes with the current MacBooks is not compatible with 10.3. That's right, nobody in their right mind would want to transfer data from their computer that's a whole FOUR YEARS OLD. God forbid you buy a laptop right after finishing high school and then wait until after when you would've graduated college, had you not gone to culinary school, to buy another one. That's obviously pure insanity!) Looking at the old pictures from traveling to India and the pictures of cakes and show work from culinary school really made me start thinking about the person I was then as opposed to the person I am now. What things I'm glad have changed and what parts of me I've realized I've lost touch with.

Before I went to culinary school my major was "arts & social change" (yeah, really) but then I decided I didn't want to spend the rest of my life broke and disheartened. That, and a group mate telling me "I always look happy in the kitchen", made me realize that maybe baking for a living was the way to go.  I went to culinary school not only to further my knowledge of something I love but because I wanted to have a practical way of supporting myself while being able to follow my other passions such as theater, social action, travel and service work. Currently the only things my baking supports are my addictions to H&M, the Banana Republic clearance rack, almond tequila and way too much World of Warcraft. I love my job, but it doesn't offer much in the way of the creative aspects of baking. I don't decorate cakes. I don't do recipe development. I mix doughs. I mix fillings. I shape dough. I've been completely taken over by working the 9-5. I come home and collapse into a puddle on the couch and don't move except for to crawl into bed. What happened to the part of me the felt passionately about injustice, being part of a community, spirituality, humility and service?

I've given myself completely over to sloth, selfishness and impulsiveness. Which was fine for a while. But I need to find my way back to the middle path. I think that's why I've been son gung ho about the prospect of going back to church (now I just need to remember to wake up on time next Sunday). Unitarian Universalism played a huge roll in my life through high school and a couple years after. I've completely lost touch with the entire aspect of myself nurtured by it's encouragement towards spiritual growth and community involvement. I know rekindling that passion, re-finding the parts of me that I respect and miss, finding ways to bring creativity back into my life and still balancing it with occasional impulsiveness and over indulgence isn't going to happen over night but there's nothing but myself standing in the way now.

I think I'll go out and embarrass myself by getting drunk and falling down in the street

Yeah, it's Rilo Kiley lyric blog title week. I've listened to "The Execution of All Things" about (at least) 50 times in the past three weeks I think. You know how sometimes you just listen to an album and suddenly it's the only album you need to listen to for a while but you try to convince yourself to listen to other albums because it's kind of weird to listen to the same one on repeat for multiple weeks? (Or is that just something I do?) Well that's what I've been doing. It just works for me right now.

Since writing my last actually personal entry (which I know was mopier and more self indulgent than a 14 year old who has gotten their hands on their first Bright Eyes album, but what are blogs for anyways?) I've actually been in a pretty damn good mood. I don't know if it was because of inauguration day or my birthday (those were both on the same day) or what. There just seems to be an infectious good mood here in the People's Republic of Berkeley. Seriously, people are snatching up cupcakes with American flags stuck in them faster than you can say "Karl Marx". Since when do people in Berkeley go within 10 feet of anything on which there's an American flag? It's crazy!

I was going to write about how scattered my brain is this week despite my good mood, that now that I've decided to pick myself up and dust myself off and work on getting out of this holding pattern that is currently my life, I need to find some grounding, focusing energy, but what I've written so far seems to say that for its self.

This morning I made saffron buns and forgot to put in the saffron. For reals.

For now, I think I just have to get everything out of my brain and onto digital paper but I do have a more longterm plan. I'm thinking actually sleeping enough will help. Also waking up early enough to start off the day with some sun salutations and at least eating some toast and actually finishing my latte before running out the door to work. I've spent the last few weeks in a haze of self pity, fried food and sleep deprivation and I'm feeling pretty damn over it. I'm finally feeling motivated and inspired to cook real meals at home again (dinner tonight was so good that I immediately posted it on my other blog after eating it) , get my room cleaned up and organized so that I can get the rest of my shit from storage, to think about craft projects instead of playing world of warcraft and to generally go out into the world more. Also to figure out where I want to live next because I'm just not Berkeley enough to live in Berkeley at this stage in my life. I don't think I'm going to move anytime soon- I like my job quite a bit and also I don't have the money to move right now, but I'd like to start thinking about getting my act together to have the money to do that and where that place might be. I have a feeling it's just going to be back across the bay to San Francisco but Manhattan is also calling to me.

 I always miss New York in the winter.

And in closing, my kitten is really cute.P1000500