A small preface just to say that this was quite the weekend: rehearsal, what I think was a memorable birthday party for “Kevin”, Don Q. Also watched the first Harry Potter film. I guess I never realized that it was released the same year as Fellowship of the Ring. That’s kind of crazy to think about. It’s probably going to take me a while to watch the rest of the HP series.

Due to a rather late Saturday night, I unfortunately missed the SFB company class viewing at the WMOH. But I did make it to the show on time despite quite a bit of traffic in the city. I think I only missed one show out of the season this year. I feel relieved that the SFB season is finally done, at least from my season ticket perspective. If the status quo is maintained, I’m most likely not going to renew season tickets next year; the commute to sf is just too long.

I don’t think I would have made this post except for holy crap Frances Chung completely blew me away. It wasn’t pristine perfect, but, wow, she’s really proving her mettle as a principal. To say that I was a little miffed when she got promoted instead of Elana Altman would have been an understatement. But FC has been growing on me. There’s something about her dancing that sends shivers up my spine. I can’t exactly place what it is, but there’s a very crisp or fresh quality to her movement that consumes the stage. Maybe she’s developed a lot over the past few years, or maybe I just never noticed it quite so much before. Anyway, her Kitri was fantastic.

Vitor Luiz, who played Basilio, has got some hops. I think after this show, it’s safe to say that he’s a jumper and not a turner. I remember being impressed by his jumps the first time I saw him onstage, and here’s more confirmatory evidence. The guy gets crazy hangtime in his jumps, but some of his pirouettes were noticeably off balance. Still, he got through the Act 3 pdd and variation, even if he did look like he might have been out of gas by the end of it.

Also wanted to give a deserved (and compulsory) shoutout to Elana Altman as Mercedes. I still have a hard time not paying attention to her whenever she’s on stage. She just exudes so much presence and flair.

A final dancer shoutout to Koto Ishihara, who had the leggiest version of the Cupid variation I’ve ever seen. Like, most ballet dancers have pretty(,) long legs and crazy lines, but I nearly laughed out loud during Koto’s Cupid variation. How the hell are her legs so long?

The new costumes were very vivid. I don’t have a great memory of the old costumes SFB used in the last production, but the new ones were nice. The bridesmaids tutus were freaking adorable.

As a final note, it was really weird to watch Don Q after WB did it last year. It just seems so much more familiar now, despite rather broad differences in the (mutable parts of the) choreography.

None Such Dreamers

I think the brunt of the storm inside my mind has passed. I must say that this past weekend was actually really, really nice, in addition to being quite hot.

  • Had a performance on Saturday which I thought went pretty well. There was a close call where one guy didn’t show up until like 2 minutes before we were supposed to get on stage, but everything worked out in the end. I really enjoy the BANDW show. It’s kind of a low-pressure environment and it’s fun to watch other groups perform as well. I even received some compliments, which is quite the rarity. Although to my chagrin, I think there is a picture with me in it on facebook.
  • Went for a short hike on the trails in Montalvo Arts Center, which was quite pretty. The trail was mostly shaded, which was nice because the day was mostly hot, mostly.
  • I spent a few hours house hunting on Sunday. Everything seems either kind of shitty or kind of pricey. I guess there’s no real way around that, though. Housing prices here are just so ridiculous.
  • I think I was also mildly productive at work today, which was a pleasant surprise. There’s still a neverending supply of tasks awaiting me, but it does feel good to knock a few things off my list.

I’ve been listening to Jewel’s “Goodbye Alice in Wonderland” on repeat. It’s such a simple song, but somehow so poignant, at least in my current mood.


I suppose the reason for this post is a call to action for myself. It’s been a hard lesson, but I think I’m beginning to come to terms with the fact that, in my stubborn state, I will never get what I want. Which is kind of sad because doing things my way has gotten me pretty damn far in life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get me across the finish line. I guess I will have to start changing in order to get the girl…

Maybe my friend is right and there aren’t people my age that are still dreamers, that still cling to those idealizations we held as children or even teenagers. At what point did we lose that sense of belief and wonder, that crazy headstrong sort of love? Everything now seems laced with cynicism or ulterior motives. I’m not convinced that people get more complicated as they get older, but perhaps it is just the same reason why it’s harder for adults than children to learn new things: we overthink things, we get into our own heads, we get too comfortable in our ways, we know fear and disappointment.

And so maybe there aren’t actually people who believe in the things that I do, and that all I see are things that aren’t really there. Maybe hoping to be accepted while refusing to play by the rules is too much to ask. In many spheres, I would gladly accept the challenge of playing at a handicap, but in this I have no competitive advantage and no success. I suppose it really was “just a reflection of my lonely mind wanting what’s been missing in my life.”

Things will change, probably very slowly, but things will change. I’m looking at my new year’s resolution to take things to the next level, and it’s time to redouble my efforts. I’m not going to give up on this year yet.

Work and the weather

Yes, this is going to be another depressing post, so you can skip if you want the sunshine and puppies version of seantime.

Last week was the most miserable for me since freshman year in college. It was like a perfect storm of work, shitty weather, and bad dreams, topped with physical pain and general malaise. I thank the capricious gods that it was a nice day weather-wise today — I really needed that.

This mind-numbing headache has been subsiding, I think partially due to the sunshine. I talked with a friend about this a while ago, but I think that everyone who’s lived in San Diego for an extended period of time will have some degree of seasonal affective disorder if they move away. This past week of cloudy days and rain really put a damper on things for me, enough so that I decided to order this blue light thing from amazon (link), which is ridiculous because:

  1. I live in the fucking bay area, and the weather here is supposed to be nice,
  2. it’s mid-April and it probably will be nice for the next 8-10 months, and
  3. it’s a $70 led light.

On the other hand, if there’s even a 1% chance that it works, it’s probably worth it. My happiness is probably worth like $7,500 right now, so the expected value is neutral to positive; variance is high, like all too many things in life.

It’s a little funny what constitutes a nightmare to me these days. It used to be dreams dealing with death; those falling dreams; and those dreams where various body parts fall off or atrophy. (The teeth one still freaks me out every so often.) I had this dream last week where in it my girlfriend (you know it’s a dream because I have a girlfriend) was flirting with someone else, and it went on for like 30 minutes (unclear if perceived or actual time). It was like death by a thousand cuts, and the worst part was waking up alone. Sleep is usually my steadfast refuge; when it fails me, life tends to be quite unpleasant.

On the work front, it seems like I’ve slammed full-on into the two-year slump. The two-year slump is my hypothesized phenomenon when any job begins to become routine after roughly two years, and a high degree of wanderlust begins to settle in. I mean, I’ve been considering getting a new job, despite working at the best company in the world to work for, and with my dream job role.

I think the workload has just been wearing me down. After having finished a major project, I was hoping for a little bit of downtime to work on some of these research ideas I’ve been having, but new projects have been coming nonstop. On top of that, knowing that a friend is trying to recruit me to a certain social networking company, as well as the mental efforts to maintain certain workplace relationships, has really put a strain on paradise: the golden handcuffs don’t seem quite as strong as before.

A number of friends have also been working and living abroad, and I’m beginning to wonder if I need to take a break from the bay area and experience a different part of the world. This voice inside my head that says I’m getting too complacent has been getting louder and louder. Maybe I really should looking into transferring offices (probability slim to none given our org) or just up and moving to Taipei or Berlin or something. I’m hoping all these thoughts will pass because I really do love what I do (truly) and where I am (mostly), but maybe I do have to leave this comfortable lifestyle to find myself.

At least the first spring performance is done. I do wish that Linda comes back soon, because one of the substitutes gave a meanass frappe combination which I think is at least partially responsible for my right calf feeling kind of hurt. The 60 seconds of performing is probably also taking its miniature toll — it’s entirely possible that I’m not landing my jumps correctly. In some ways I’ll be a little sad when I don’t have rehearsals every Saturday, but I’ll also be a little bit glad. I’m still trying to power through this plateau. Maybe I should re-up some private lessons; I guess the other thing to do is to quit if I think I can’t improve any more.

On the plus side, I saw some friends this weekend and had a much-needed chat with them which brightened my mood. Given that most of my communication with friends is done online these days, it’s nice to see people face to face. I’m getting more and more excited about the vegas trip with these guys.

Also, I saw Ballet San Jose tonight and was pretty impressed with the program overall. I was a little apprehensive about Bruch Violin Concerto just because it’s one of the canonical pieces that’s near and dear to my heart, but it seemed to work. Clark Tippet’s choreography didn’t blow me away (not quite like what Forsythe did with Bach’s Partita No. 2’s “Chaconne”), but it was more than serviceable and danced quite well. I agree with others that Splendid Isolation is quite the beautiful piece. Having a long-ass dress really focuses the attention on the upper body, and Maria Jacobs-Yu’s epaulment and ports de bras were breathtaking. It’s good to see her back in action, and also always fun to see el maestro Ramon perform.

And tomorrow I get to see SF Ballet. It’s a very ballet-heavy weekend, even by my standards, but the good news is that I get to see Elana Altman and Nicole Ciapponi, both of whom I haven’t seen much of this season. I’m also interested in what I think about Divertimento No. 15 this time around; it’s one of those ballets that’s been growing on me, but I don’t think it’ll ever be up to Symphony in C in my books.

Plus! I might buy a TV tomorrow if Costco gets their shit together and doesn’t have the TV I want to purchase behind a bunch of other boxes and will have moved said other boxes by tomorrow morning. I’m still a little baffled by my interaction this afternoon, where the guy was basically refusing to take my money on a purchase, and furthermore would not put the TV on hold for me to pick up tomorrow. If I can’t buy the TV tomorrow, I might refuse to shop at Costco forever, just out of principle.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m really glad about this weekend and looking forward to next week.