I’ve always been borderline between being an introvert and being an extrovert, which means that while I enjoy being social, I have absolutely no stamina for it. I get bored, I reach out, and inevitably I start craving the comfort of my own company. It’s a weird space to inhabit and it causes me to do nonsensical things like keep an open personal blog without sharing it with anyone I know.

I’m trying to start taking more risks with people.

Years ago when I was new to Facebook and new to adulthood, I spent hours trying to curate a perfect online image. I didn’t care about popularity as much as staying true to a polished version of myself. Since then, I’ve learned, or I am learning, and no one really cares that much. It’s useless trying to make the world fall in love with you through a screen because the people who love you already do, and unless it’s an online dating site, there really aren’t that many people out there trolling for a lovable profile. People have better things to do. Better, then, to keep on spending time doing things that you enjoy and let that filter through online to connect you to people with similar interests. I mean, isn’t that what this is all about? But somewhere along the way I and millions of others have gotten lost and decided that socializing was an means to itself. We make friends to make more friends and when it blows over, this house of cards, you stand alone in the ruin of a hollow empire.

That was my first basic realization and it caused me to pull away from social media altogether. I couldn’t trust my new friends, most of whom should have been earmarked as acquaintances but who, though a simple online request, now became privy to all of my conversations, and me, theirs. And then a funny thing happened. Rather than immediately shutting it all down, I decided to detach. I would participate in your social media games, I decided, but I would ignore the bonds that it creates, so acquaintances on the fast track to becoming friends stopped short and stayed as acquaintances. I stopped trusting online friendships, and so I stopped making them, and eventually I just stopped trying to make new friends. The world became this transient place where individual lives would bump into each other temporarily, straighten themselves out, and then be on their way.

If I sound like a loner and a complete misanthrope, know that it really wasn’t that way. I still had friends and kept making friends the old fashioned way, through people who I met and worked with and by introductions to friends of friends. I stayed my same, borderline social self, offline.

And then this totally weird thing happened.

A few weeks ago I ran into this almost acquaintance, someone from my past who I had noticed but was either to chicken or too apathetic to meet properly, and, if we’re being honest here, it was probably both. We introduced ourselves, and casually talked about maybe potentially meeting at some event in the future. We didn’t make plans, we didn’t have a love connection and we didn’t even speak for that long. I assumed that was that and resumed life. I found him on Facebook and friended him because that’s what I’m wont to do, as a casual collector of acquaintances. And then a few days later, he reached out to me, just a tendril of extended friendship.

I was astounded. We don’t have strong things in common, or if we do, we don’t know them yet. He’s married, so neither of us are seeking a romantic attachment. We don’t have shared goals. We have no reason to be friends other than for friendship itself.

So, I’m trying something new and something so old that I’ve forgotten it.

I’m going to try to make new friends.


Spontaneous Ditties

When I was young, I used to fill notebooks with words.

When my mother found my secret stack (under the cupboard, inside a pile of garbage bags) she held them to the sunlight one by one and read each page with wide, disbelieving eyes. I stood there with clenched fists, watching her go through thousands upon thousands of words.

She cut my lunch allowance, which I was laundering to go towards my notebook addiction.

Not to worry: I learned how to use the computer instead. This is how I started typing over 80 words per minute.

Every day I felt this rising urge to achieve complete and utter bliss. I can only describe it as an overwhelming desire to write, and that full confidence that I could. I started out typing short stories copied from books. Lion King was the very first to be transcribed into MS-DOS. Eventually, I started…

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If you spent today doing anything other than shotgunning through eight straight hours of the new Arrested Development, then congratulations, you are a better person than me. If not, then welcome, friend! This is a safe place, albeit one with spoilers galore.

Overall, it was a terrific fourth season on multiple fronts. There was a mostly coherent plotline (one which will probably be helped upon rewatch), reexamining of old jokes with a few new ones thrown in, and, most importantly, everyone’s back! I was seriously impressed by the casting. Not only were they able to get back all of the big side characters (the Sitwells, the lawyers, the Andy Richters), but all of the new additions were perfect in their parts. I mean, Kristen Wiig as young Lucille was just a stroke of genius. One of the fun aspects of the old Arrested Development was always the game of Spot that Star, and in that this new season did not disappoint.

All in all, this is probably the best sequel that anybody could have hoped for. Sure, there were those awkward moments when it cut back to a scene from a previous season or discontinued something from a previous season (see: Tobias’ sexuality). But no one, I think, really expected it to have the exact same feel as the previous Arrested Development. And why should it? The characters are all older, and they’ve been through three seasons of setbacks, while we, the audience, has been through years of halting promises and delays. The darker tone of this season reflects that cynicism. But where this show has lost out in subtlety, it has gained back in character development. I may be in the minority, but I loved the new character-based episode structure. The plots are still interwoven, nonlinear, and surprising, and this new structure finally allows us to explore the motives behind some characters’ actions beyond simply being a joke or a reaction. This is most noticeable in Tobias, who was basically a one-man running gag throughout the first three seasons but now finally has his own plotline! Tobias: the man who can’t properly process portmanteaus and who just can’t shake his dream of being famous, no matter the cost. All of the other character plotlines were great as well, especially Gob’s, although I will admit that I dozed off a bit during Buster’s story (too many mother figures).

Random thoughts:

– Michael really is the worst. I mean, we always knew that he was the worst, but this is the second time that he’s stolen a girl from his son and lied about it. It feels good to see him hit rock bottom.

– The Funkes are my favorite because despite their differences, they work so well off of each other when they don’t realize that Maeby is pulling the strings. Lindsay’s life is 50% fueled by her desire to be in a normal relationship and 50% controlled by her daughter’s ambitions. It’s awesome.

– Gob and Tony Wonder’s gay fakeout was my second favorite gag, closely following Gob’s cycle of roofies, which is just the best thing ever.

– Buster is still boring.

– I was fooled for awhile into thinking that George Michael may have Youth in Revolted it and become suddenly awesome, but no, he is gladly still the sad loser that we all love to root for. That vote, with the letters “Da” crossed out, was probably the saddest moment in AD history.

– Maeby’s character suffered the most from this return, probably because she had the most to lose and not a whole lot to fall back on. Michael’s, rightfully, is in second place.

– What a conniving bitch you are, Sally Sitwell. That did not come across in the original series.

– As amazing as Kitty was as George Sr.’s assistant, Heartfire is just as good if not better. Her thought bubbles are hilarious. I just wish that there had been more John Slattery.

– I will say it again: it is stunning how little everyone’s aged in these few year. This is truly a case of arrested development. *rimshot*

– Did the series really just end like that?

I’ve been on this self-improvement kick lately. It’s spring, so my seasonal depression is melting away, leaving, unfortunately, a somewhat plumper self, replete with winter weight. Step one, then, is to add more activity to my current repertoire of almost no physical activity. Easy.

I was a semi-active runner three years back, back before I sprained my ankle and pretty much gave up running altogether. I didn’t run because I enjoyed it — initially, I would run out of self-loathing and to gain a foothold of control of my life, and then after awhile, I ran simply because it was the easiest thing to do. I would run daily, a mile at first, and then two or three miles a day, and finally, a breezy 10K (breezy in memory, undoubtably painful during). And then I sprained my ankle, I found a desk job, and I stopped. And I started gaining weight, and it became harder and harder to run. The thing about running is that you need to build momentum. Casual running, I’ve learned, is the laziest physical activity because once you start, it’s easier to keep on running than to stop. Getting started, though? That’s rough. It took me a good three, four months of complete focus before I could run with any confidence. I aim to get it back and run a 5K this fall.

Running is crazy boring when you’re alone, though, and it would be nice to build in some social activities into my solitary lifestyle. I’ve been exploring (read: internet browsing) options to learn boxing under the tutelage of a personal trainer, of yoga, of biking, of volleyball, and of rollerskating. Realistically, boxing is not something that I would immediately begin because it’s indoors and the weather outside is just so nice. Plus, I’m a pansy, so I’d like to at least be somewhat physically fit before I step inside a gym and get beat up.

I’ve taken a step forward in all of my other ambitions. I’ve signed up for a pickup volleyball mailing list — which is amazing, right? The internet constantly astonishes me with its capabilities whenever I venture off my beaten path. Volleyball is probably the activity that comes most naturally to me after years of varsity training, but of my list its easily the scariest because I’m out of practice, out of shape, and it involves showing up and interacting with complete strangers. I wonder for people with social phobias what it is that they are actually afraid of, because I’m not afraid of meeting strangers in a common, comfortable environment in which I have a degree of control. What I am afraid of is getting to know someone and slowly realizing that the more I know them, the less they like me. This may be the opposite of a social phobia, or maybe it’s its own category of phobia. Just now, I’ve realized: I’m just like a balloon, fun and happy and shiny and carefree on the outside, full of hot air.

How did this turn so sad, so fast? My personal musings often take a bit of a dark turn but I’ll do my best to keep a lid on that. Back to self-improvement. I’ve purchased a yoga kit and have looked into lessons at the yoga studio down the street. It’s convenient, I’ve done light yoga/pilates before, and really, I just want to be the type of person that does yoga. It fits my healthy hippy lifestyle. As does biking, and so after an agonizing experience at the bike store I’ve purchased a bicycle and it’s on its way. I chose it after reading this review, and while I know that you should never, ever buy without testing, I couldn’t stand bicycle shopping anymore. The stores are overwhelming, and the people, customers and salespeople alike, are extremely judgmental. I’m not looking to bike professionally or anything, so for the time being, as long as its a serviceable bike that I won’t fall off of, that will do.


Finally, the thing that inspired this ginormonstrosity of a post — roller skating! I own my own skates and pads from two years back when I had big plans to join the local roller derby team, and after I ordered them, upon their arrival, I quickly realized that I couldn’t skate. In fact, I can barely stand with them on. I tried skating with them once at a park during off hours and the stares from that experience alone was enough to make me stop. But no more! First off, it’s just a damn waste to have my beautiful skates sitting there, gathering dust, and I’ve also found this marvelous website (which did not exist two years ago) which will hopefully guide me in my skating endeavors. I’m prepared to fall — that’s what this blog is all about. But I’m also prepared to get back up again.

This isn’t going to be the sexiest blog. It certainly isn’t going to be the most creative — it isn’t even going to try. This is just the latest in a long string of blogs floating around the internet, documenting my life for the world to see. Hello, internet. I’m back.