Category Archives: On Topic

(ON TOPIC) How to Survive a Move

I was already halfway through Beyoncé’s latest album when my phone started flashing. A series of signals were triggered in my brain that in turn started some neurological process involving chemical neurotransmitters and synapses and yada yada yada. In short, my phone was trying to tell me something: I had eight new texts and six new podcasts to listen to. Add this to the two movies I’d downloaded on iTunes, the new Hello Mr. issue, three new books, and 47 new emails. It was enough to send me under the covers of my air mattress with a pillow locked tightly over my head, temporarily paralyzed by the media hurricane that wouldn’t let me sleep. (How does Queen Bey do it all?)

It was the night before I moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and I was trying to distract myself from figuring out how all my personal possessions, now sitting before me in an organized pile of boxes and bags, would ultimately fit in my newly acquired 2000 Toyota Camry. As I welcomed the angelic sounds of Beyoncé into my ears–driver roll up the partition, pleaseee–I wondered whether if what you own, the stuff of your life, signifies the stage of life you’re in. What does it mean that I don’t own pots and plates but have purchased, assembled, and disassembled IKEA furniture since freshman year of college? (Learning about sites like TRNK makes me want to be grown up and living in my dream flat in London, populated by “pieces” that each have a story. Can ya feel the pretension, y’all?!) But before I had an answer, I was in Los Angeles after a six-hour drive full of Beyoncé tracks and tears.

Here’s what moving feels like to me:

Hey! Hi! Hello, friends with which I’ve spent years cultivating a meaningful bond! Hello, city that is the most geographically interesting place I’ve been in years and whose streets make me feel like Dorothy in Kansas, ruby red slippers and all! Hello, apartment that has the most beautiful natural light I’ve ever seen and roommates who don’t annoy me and a perfect puppy who licks me and then falls asleep next to me and subsequently becomes the model for my future boyfriend! Hello, you all! Okay goodbye.”

BOOM.

Moving, in that respect, seems so unnatural. But my most recent move from San Francisco to Los Angeles felt a bit different. My post-move slump was a lot shorter than usual and, in truth, I’ve found myself in many moments of, well, joy. And I think I’ve figured out why.

1) Entertainment

In the opening of Pixar’s Up, an eight-year-old Carl Fredericksen sits in a movie theater, mouth agape and goggles on head as he stares at his idol on the silver screen in front of him. To me, that single image best encapsulates what moviegoing feels like. With very few exceptions, there’s nothing I’d rather do on any given day than sit in a movie theater and watch a movie. Since moving to LA seven weeks ago, I’ve seen nine movies: Very Good Girls, Begin Again, Free Fall, Test, Obvious Child, How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Fault in Our Stars, The Normal Heart, and Stranger by the Lake. I also went to the LA Film Festival and attended a program called I See Music, during which they screened Beyoncé’s entire visual album followed by a Q+A with some of the people who know her best. (I talked to her cousin afterward and somehow managed to keep my fanaticism at rest.) The list would be longer if I had more time, money, and the ability to accept the fact that I’d be compromising my physical and social well-being.

I often go to the movies by myself, which, for me, creates a significantly different moviegoing experience than if I bring a friend along. I like processing a movie on my own after I walk out of the theater, so sometimes it’s nice to exit without a friend asking, “So what’d ya think?!” Bringing a friend also excuses you from the remarks of snickering teenagers who think it’s funny you’re seeing a movie alone, as was the case when I saw The Fault in Our Stars by myself on a Saturday afternoon. In any case, there’s something that feels different about seeing a movie in LA. Maybe it’s the history of this town, where the movie studios born in the early 1900s have since given way to the industry of which I’m now a part. I go into the theater to watch a movie, and then I leave and could very well be walking in the neighborhood where the director or writer or actors live. I watch 500 Days of Summer and then take the Metro downtown to Bunker Hill where Tom convinced Summer that, in spite of popular cultural belief, LA is kinda sorta beautiful. Everything feels just a bit closer to home.

"500 Days of Summer" - Tom & Summer's Bench

But there’s more to Entertainment than just movies. For one, I just finished Season 2 of Orange is the New Black. Did you know that TV is getting good? Because it is. I read an article this month called “Queer as Friends” by Max Mosher and was reminded of how much we truly believe in TV. I’ve had particularly memorable experiences losing myself while watching Sex and the City and Six Feet Under. I came out to my parents the night after the fictional David Fisher came out to his mom and listened as she expressed her frustration over the fact that she was the last to know. Most recently, I finished watching Sex and the City in its entirety because I was too self-conscious as a “straight boy” to watch it when my mom did during its original run from 1998 through 2004. I couldn’t always connect with Carrie Bradshaw’s shopping habits or interior monologues, but there were moments when I truly believed that she lived in that beautiful brownstone–that I, as a NYU student living in Manhattan, could’ve spotted her gracefully exiting her apartment one evening to catch a black car with Mr. Big. “We believe because it makes life easier,” Mosher writes.

2) People

I promise I’ve done more than just consume movies and TV by myself since moving. (It was really hard to write that sentence.) There are people out in the world, too! (It was even harder to write that one.) One of the first social events I attended was a cocktail reception hosted by the NYU in LA Alumni group. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few familiar faces and was quickly reminded of how special it is to be a part of a bicoastal creative community.

I’ve also found myself on a handful of “friend dates.” I have friends from my previous homes in New York and San Francisco who have good friends living in LA, so I asked them to set me up with them. At least once a week since I moved here, I’ve been meeting these friends of friends for dinner and/or drinks.

A few weeks ago I found myself with four new friends, all women. (Not the first time this has happened.) Two were gay, and two were straight, and conversation consisted mostly of their LA horror stories. We spent two hours talking about dating. Whether the date was with a man or a woman, from Tinder or from OKCupid, they all echoed the same sentiment: dating in LA is depressing. In the age of dating apps, everyone is seemingly shopping around for the next best thing. One woman mentioned that she quickly grew tired of women who were on their Tinder app during their date. Others expressed frustration over their ostensible requirement to withhold emotion while dating–over receiving a, “Woah woah. We’re just hanging out,” if they, by some miracle, reached a third or fourth or even fifth date. I couldn’t help but wonder (said Carrie in voiceover)…are we growing increasingly resistant to commitment? Do we even know how to date anymore, or is a fundamental rift forming in this Digital Age of romance? All of these dating apps may not necessarily be working against us, but they’re certainly changing the conversation. The “Don’t ask how we met because you know we met on Grindr” face is my personal favorite manifestation of this evolution.

We noted how Sex and the City our conversation was, but quickly laughed and pointed out how terribly unrealistic that show was and how our lives were thankfully a bit more grounded in reality. As we paid our bill and exited the restaurant, one woman said she’d like to see a show called No Sex and the City, which would feature all the men and women–the heroes–behind the lives of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte who made their lives look oh so slick and shiny. Who cleaned their apartments, for example, and what were their lives like when they went home to a land that was assuredly void of Versace couture dresses and blue satin Manolos?

As I fell on my bed at the end of the night, I couldn’t help but think about how the Entertainment in my life had become inextricably tied to the People–that these two separate things had joined to become the tunnel through which I’d make a smooth transition into life in sunny LA. More important, though, I thought about what would happen if we paid just a little more attention to each other. If we sat down across from someone, silent, ears open, and ready to listen.

I haven’t written a blog post since 2013. As tough and periodically sad as moving can be, it’s got me writing. And for that, LA, I am grateful. May the creative juices continue to flow. For now, I gotta go make a spreadsheet before I fall asleep to figure out which piece of media I’m going to consume next. G’night.

zZz…I sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker…zZz….

 

(ON TOPIC) “The Listserve”

As of this afternoon, I have 100 separate email threads in my inbox from strangers all over the world, most recently an 18-year-old guy from Singapore who’s telling me how nervous he is to begin mandatory army service next year. One week ago, I wouldn’t have seen these virtual conversations coming.

Let’s journey back. About seven months ago, my brother told me about something called “The Listserve.” In short, those who sign up for The Listserve receive a daily email from someone around the world. The topics of these emails vary, as they reflect the journey of the individual who has been chosen by a lottery to share his or her story on that given day. As of today, there are 23,323 subscribers.

TheListserveWebsite_7.21.13

As an example, one of my favorite Listserve emails is from an English teacher in rural Vermont who chose to share wisdom she’s acquired from her students, ages ten to fourteen. Things like:

  • Always wear socks
  • Don’t eat yellow snow (and if you find something brown on the ground, it’s probably not chocolate)
  • Never try to ride a shopping cart down a hill
  • Don’t be mouthy to your parents
  • If you ever love two people, go with the second one because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen in love again

What’s interesting in reading these emails each day is most of them get me thinking about my own life and how I’d encapsulate it into 600 words for over 23,000 strangers to digest. My brother and I once talked about what would happen if we won the lottery. He said he knew exactly what he’d write. I said I had no idea what I’d write in spite of thinking about it every day.

Journey again with me into the recent past as I’m sitting on a beach in Tel Aviv at the end of an incredible 3-week Israel exploration. I vowed to put away my iPhone during my trip, so naturally I was checking my email on said beach when I received the email. The Email—capital “T,” capital “E.” My reaction was surely similar to those of other previous Listserve winners:

Oh crap. Oh crap…Oh crap!

While I didn’t have a computer to type up my response, I grabbed the journal my brother gave me before I left for my trip (Thank you, brother!) and started scribbling ideas, and by ideas I mean incoherent bullet points. My 48 hours was running out. Beyoncé’s “Halo” gracing my ear holes, I buckled down and typed the following on my iGadget:

Ten years ago I saw “Toy Story” and vowed to work at Pixar when I was older. Now two-and-a-half colleges and a dozen internships later, I work there.

Eleven years ago I stood as a bar mitzvah in front of my peers and family members, all smiley Cheshire cats, only to realize that I had no idea what religion really meant to me. Now over a decade later, I’m currently in Israel meeting four cousins I’ve never met because the only truly religious experiences I’ve had since my bar mitzvah have taken place at the four Beyoncé concerts I’ve attended.

Twelve years ago I realized I was gay, or at least different enough to feel defeated when a classmate called me a faggot while playing basketball in gym class. Now I’ve been out to everyone in my life for almost three years and am learning that writing helps me channel my earlier negative anxieties into something positive.

This is all to say that I’m learning about the power of knowing your history, of being able to continually connect your present experience with the past—the now with the then. This has manifested itself in my three-week trip to Israel, during which I cried at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, while walking on a recovered path from a concentration camp and sat with four Israeli soldiers who explained that conscription requires all Israeli citizens at the age of 18 (with a few exceptions) to enter the military. These soldiers—my youngest cousin included—are in their early twenties but feel to me to be a decade older. I listened quietly as they recounted stories of people like Eli Cohen, an Israeli spy who worked his way into Syria’s political hierarchy in the 1960s until he became the Chief Adviser to the Minister of Defense, which my new Israeli friends believe allowed Israel to find success during the Six Day War. The pride in their voices was palpable. I thought about how while young Israelis are protecting their tiny country, us young twentysomethings are often lost in conversations that are mere regurgitations of things hastily read on our iGadgets en route to a job or internship (read: to the pursuit of an ever-growing career). This makes me wish I would’ve done one less internship and instead explored my family tree to learn more about my great grandparents who moved to America from Warsaw, Poland a long, long time ago.

I feel lucky to have had this time to explore my family roots. Time, that is, to “fill the tanks.” Joss Whedon, the prolific director/writer/producer, uses this phrase, and I love it. He believes in time away from routine to take in a new book, movie, or play. Or, for me, conversations with family members who live 6,000 miles away. I’ve been re-reading Peter Pan on my trip and I love the idea of Mary Darling literally tidying her children’s minds, which are confused and circular and comprised of zig zag lines. I like being open to a certain cultural messiness and taking satisfaction in being confused or surprised or both.

I won’t close with any commands or calls to action, because I don’t know the context surrounding your respective journeys. I will, however, finish by saying that I still can’t figure out how to best close an email. Regards and Best feel slightly cold, Love is often too strong, and Cheers…well I’m just not cool enough to use Cheers.

I hope that this email will serve as the beginning of a larger conversation with some of you.

Beyoncé for life,
Jonathan Hurwitz
jonathanshurwitz@gmail.com
San Francisco, CA

P.S. If you’re lucky enough to have parents in your life, call them and say hello. Then call them one more time because they’ll surely want to talk to you more.

P.P.S. This is totally a command. Sorry I lied earlier.

I didn’t know exactly when it’d be sent out, but I quickly had an answer when my phone started buzzing the next night while watching “The Sound of Music” with my cousin. Rolfe was in the middle of telling Liesl that he’d take care of her, which means I was one happy Jew because pre-Nazi Rolfe is dreamy. In that moment, I learned of the most special part of The Listserve: the responses. While I don’t feel totally comfortable elaborating on them in great detail out of respect for the privacy of those who responded, I’ll say that I’ve heard from fellow gay Jews to a husband and wife who’ve been deciding whether to send their daughter to Hebrew school and who are now, because of my email, sending their daughter to Hebrew school.

The most profound things are inexpressible, so I’m afraid I’ve failed to relay what all these responses have meant to me. In any case, I look forward to continuing some of these conversations with some of my new virtual acquaintances. Will they last? I don’t think it matters. Like a portal, if only momentarily, I’ve been let into someone else’s existence. My virtual path has crossed their virtual paths, albeit briefly, and that’s pretty cool.

So…to Listserve, or not to Listserve? That’s the (21st century) question, really.

Thank you to the Listserve creators—Josh Begley, Yoonjo Choi, Greg Dorsainville, Zena Koo, and Alvin Chang—for making this experience possible. As Woody Allen might quip, you’re all beautiful people and a credit to the human race.

Beyoncé for life,
Jonathan

(ON TOPIC) Goodbye America, Hello…Somewhere Else

Part 2: My Cousin Who Travels the World (And Why She’s a Voice of a Generation)

When the subway rumbled from a world below, my knees buckled and I clutched my red-cushioned seat, the kind you’d expect to find in a movie theater. Behind me, two classmates discussed their favorite cafés in Paris. It was my first film class at NYU.

“That’s where Amelie lives!” I thought, keeping my mouth shut out of fear of revealing what I considered at the time to be an extreme naïveté.

You see, I used to think it was luck that allowed people to travel abroad; by those confines, then, I wasn’t very lucky. Now four years later, I believe it’s more a combination of choices and money.

This is Allyn. She's my cousin. Allyn likes to travel. A lot.

Meet Allyn. She’s my cousin! Allyn was born a gifted mathematician and is able to work short-term jobs that fund her travels all around the world. (“Swimming and math. Two things people pay crazy amounts to learn,” she says.)

Allyn got the travel bug after participating in Semester at Sea during college. She recently graduated and has been wandering the world ever since. Allyn has administered the treatment for schistosomiasis to 54 patients while volunteering at a free medical clinic in the Philippines, and she’s also been flown to a vacation island and put up in a five-star hotel by prominent Chinese businessmen.

In other words, Allyn’s life isn’t normal. She’s using her acknowledged advantages as a middle-class American to tackle the disadvantages of those in other countries. It’s ballsy. As someone who’s been eternally tied to the social clock and therefore crippled by the idea of leaving America with no plan, I respect her happy-go-lucky frame of mind. She left the country this year with a one-way ticket, while I hopped on a plane to California with a printed Google map of restaurants and bars in the neighborhood to which I was relocating from New York City. This makes sense given our respective life mottos:

Allyn

1. Don’t make plans.
2. Expectations reduce joy.
3. Travel is the only thing that makes you richer, so waste all your money on it.

Jonathan

1. Always make plans.
2. Always set expectations so you can work to exceed them.
3. Happiness is the only thing that makes you richer, so waste all your money on Beyoncé concert tickets.

It used to be hard for me to talk to my cousin while she was living abroad. I think it was my early NYU-self acting up. I didn’t like that I was jealous, but I couldn’t help it. I was in the middle of my ninth internship while she was frolicking on exotic islands with Chinese businessmen. But now I’m working at Pixar, and that’s pretty cool, too. My path makes sense for me, and her path makes sense for her.

But I digress.

To return to the original questions: Is our culture worse off than it was decades ago? And is travel the only way to fix it? I hope not. People are always going to long for a previous era. (Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” offers a telling example of our eternal fickleness. As Gil yearns for the 1920s, Adriana says, “I’m from the ’20s, and I’m telling you the golden age is la Belle Epoque.”) And how can you say we’re culturally worse off when, in reality, we’re only able to experience a sliver of culture throughout the entirety of our short lives? My friends at NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour discussed this topic recently. “You’re going to miss almost everything,” says Linda Holmes. Sure, traveling may open your world, but your acquired culture doesn’t necessarily make you better. And it shouldn’t induce a feeling of superiority over those who haven’t had the opportunity to travel. Allyn, for one, has been to dozens of countries but always comes back, evermore humbled and appreciative of what her home has given her.

It’d be remiss to ignore the obvious caveat to this conversation as I sit on my couch, MacBook Pro on lap while perusing Comcast OnDemand and NPR podcasts (#thingswhitepeopledo). I’m lucky to be able to ask these questions. We’re lucky. In addition to the inevitable limit on our cultural intake, there’s yet another fundamental human limitation that prevents us from maintaining a global perspective in every given moment. We can’t always think beyond our screens to notice how lucky we are. Sometimes I feel guilty and selfish when blogging about things like this. It’s so about…me. Blech. Every time I say “we” or “us,” I have no idea if this is actually the case for a whole generation of people. Of individuals, you know?

It’s comforting in moments like to these to think of people like my cousin helping patients abroad, or the people in a small town in Connecticut coming together amidst a disgusting tragedy that hit a little closer to home. Our culture hasn’t gone wrong, you see. There’s good stuff and there’s bad stuff both here and abroad, just as there used to be, and just like there always will be.

Before Allyn and I ended our most recent conversation online, she wrote, “Ugh I’m bored, idk what to do with myself.”

No she’s not. She just has a flurry of choices before her and has yet to make a decision. She’ll make a choice though, and then many, many more after that. And you will, too.

Carry on.

To infinity and beyond,

Jonathan

(ON TOPIC) Goodbye America, Hello…Somewhere Else

Part 1: Dear Generation Me…

Do people live in circles today? No. They live in boxes. They wake up every morning in the box of their bedroom because a box next to them started making beeping noises to tell them it was time to get up. They eat their breakfast out of a box and then they throw that box away into another box. Then they leave the box where they live and get into a box with wheels and drive to work, which is just another big box broken up into lots of little cubicle boxes where a bunch of people spend their days sitting and staring at the computer boxes in front of them. When the day is over, everyone gets into the box with wheels again and goes home to their house boxes and spends the evening staring at the television boxes for entertainment. They get their music from a box, they get their food from a box, they keep their clothing in a box, they live their lives in a box! Does that sound like anyone you know?

-Eustace Conway

Dear Generation Me,

What’s the ethos of our age?

Christy Wampole says it’s irony, i.e., the hipster. I say it’s irony with a little bit of a technology-induced self-indulgence on the side—that I feel crippled by the ostensibly endless array of choices in front of me right now kinda feeling.

We, those anxious young twentysomethings, know that kinda feeling well.

You know us. In addition to Wampole’s article, The New York Times devoted a whole feature to us first globals who are increasingly seeking career opportunities abroad. Lena Dunham put them on primetime TV with HBO’s Girls. They’re also walking around in that thing called the real world—those recent college graduates, confused, innocently forlorn, and buried in student loans.

In my life, more and more people seem to be subsequently packing their bags for places like Spain and Thailand and China. Do I get a job, or travel the world, or both? is an increasingly normal question for us to ask ourselves and our bank accounts. I can understand the urge to travel, so my question isn’t, Why is everybody leaving? I think it’s more, What is everyone escaping from?

Party talk (read: half-drunken drivel) tells me it’s our culture. Someone I met recently at a holiday gathering launched into a speech about how he wished he was a part of Generation X, that post-WWII diverse generation united in a combat for change. “Music. Not that digitally manipulated CRAP coming from our iPhones,” he said. Grunge, hip hop, and rock with a political influence. While I appreciated his wild hand gestures, he lost me a bit because I’m not entirely sure you can be nostalgic for times of which you were never a part. (And what about the assassination of JFK and the Chernobyl disaster and Watergate, dude?! Gen X-ers may have had some great music, but I don’t think it totally defined the times.) Are times so bad that we’re being forced to long for a time we never knew, e.g. the hipster who raids the nearest thrift store to find a vintage tee from a bygone era?

But enough about them—let’s talk about us. (We love talking about us!) We’re a part of Generation Y. Or, more aptly name, Generation Me. We’re a more narcissistic generation, totally self-involved and lost in screens—TV, computer, iPhone. We text, and we blog, too, because we have lots of feelings and want to share them with the world! We’re irreligious and ironic. We also have more and more opportunities abroad at our disposal. I’ve seen friends and family leave the country as a walking outline, anxious to be colored in by some other culture somewhere else, and then return with feelings of confidence and reassurance. And sometimes superiority. This is the part of our story that I’m interested in.

Is culture failing us, and, if so, is travel the new Holy Grail to self-improvement?

Stay tuned. I’ll write back soon.

I swear I wear my Justin Bieber tee unironically (I think),

J-Hurtz

COMING UP–

Part 2: My Cousin Who Travels the World (And Why She’s a Voice of a Generation)

This is Allyn. She's my cousin. Allyn likes to travel. A lot.

This is Allyn. She’s my cousin, and she probably travels more than you do.

(ON TOPIC) Meet My Roommate, Johnson!

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Robin Williams and Christopher Reeves.

Monica Geller and Rachel Green.

Mork and Mindy.

Lindsay Lohan and Raven-Symone!!!

Roommates. Those cohabiters you can’t get mad at for leaving the toilet roll empty because, in truth, they make your monthly rent affordable.

Or, in my case, a guy called Johnson. He talks during the day and at night!

I’m still finishing the final touches on it, but I wanted to give everyone a little sample of what’s to come in my new book The Book of Johnson: The Diary of a Sleep Talker: Part 1: Breaking Dawn.

Enjoy!

Chapter 1: Sleep Talk

Somniloquy, or sleep-talking, is a sleep disorder that refers to talking aloud while asleep. It occurs in approximately four percent of adults and involves a variety of sounds, ranging from extended speeches to short outbursts.

A few examples from Johnson lie below, all recorded between the hours of two and five A.M.:

  • No! I don’t want to go!
  • Shut up! I’m going to kill you!
  • Grrrsxxvcvns$%#!!!
  • Do Transformers…get life insurance…or auto insurance?

Chapter 2: Day Talk

These need no introduction. Let’s do this:

  • Mailman. Ha. That’s redundant.
  • Kewlbeanz!
  • This guy who cut my hair used to work at Pixar. He’s, like, “Buzzcut” Lightyear. Ha. Ha.
  • Perfect-a-roo-ni!
  • You’ve got to be kitten me.
  • I thought about that in my head before I said it.

(ON TOPIC) Dear Gossip Girl…

 

Dear Serena, Blair, Nate, Dan, Chuck, and all those other pretty people you share that TV/computer screen thing with,

Something happened to me two weeks ago. A transformation of sorts. You see, friends, co-workers, and strangers on the subway introduced me to you all in 2009. “They’re just SO gorgeous,” I remember one preteen saying as she straightened the gaudy headband intruding on her golden locks. (In retrospect, this accessory was totally a Blair Waldorf homage.)

“I, like, feel like they’re my virtual friends,” my friend in the real world (that’s where I live!!!) once said.

In 2009, you also filled hogged the sidewalks around NYU, transforming my classmates into paparazzi while en route to class. (See picture below. And while I have you in this parenthetical aside, is it cool if I refer to “you all” as “you”  from now on? I don’t mean to compromise or deny each of you as individuals. It’ll just be fewer words for me to type!) In any case, your presence at my school made me mad because 1) you’re distractingly pretty and 2) I really wanted to get to English class to talk about our readings from Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia but instead found myself thinking about how you’re, well, so distractingly pretty. GAH.

You still with me? Good.

So when my roommate started Season One on Netflix two weeks ago, I claimed a seat next to her on the couch with a dramatic scoff. We already had a history, you and I. “There’s no way this can be good,” my brain place told me as the familiar helicopter shots of a buzzing Manhattan flooded the screen. Then the Kristen Bell voiceover began, and I, along with a gaggle of privileged prep school teens onscreen, learned that Serena van der Woodsen was back in town. And damn did she look better than ever.

My infatuation had been born.

Over the past couple weeks, you filled snatched my treasured free time each weeknight after I got home from work. You filled stole several Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, and Sunday nights with your texts, underage drinking (YOU’RE ONLY 17 EVEN THOUGH YOU LOOK 27!!!), and childish fights that were always the same but had me gripping my roommate and shouting things at the screen like “BUT SHE DOESN’T LOVE YOU, NATE!” (And while we’re on the subject: Nate, you’re so above Jenny. Glad that’s over can I get an AMEN, what what?!!!) I think these screenshots from my phone sum our recent relationship up well.

Case Study #1, a text to my roommate on September 29, 2012.

I didn’t go out later. And finally, Case Study #2, a tweet sent just minutes after the aforementioned text on September 29, 2012.

I really don’t want to drag this on, but I just…well I just felt compelled to write to you to tell you that I finished Season 2 this weekend and…deep breaths. Deep breaths. I’m over you. All of you. I’M SORRY. I’m sorry. I just can’t do this anymore.

I’VE GOTTA be released from your sugar-coated grasp. You understand, don’t you? It’s important (read: necessary) that I reclaim some semblance of normalcy and stability in my free time. It’s a need, not a want, you know? Do you know the difference between those two things? Like, you need to pay your credit card bill each month, but you don’t need to buy that $120,000 Hermes Crocodile Birkin Bag. That’s called a want. Ugh. I fear I’ve lost you. Basically I’m saying it’s me who has the issue here, not you.

I know you’re probably pouting at this point in the letter, Blair, but please don’t. Dorota is baking your favorite pie tonight!!! All will be well soon.

Now that that’s outta the way, I feel like there’s only way to close this post.

Spotted on a couch in San Francisco. An emotional young twentysomething brings a Netflix addiction to an end. Did you think this would go down without a fight? JSH gave it a chance, but he’s moving on.

Xoxo, GossipGirl

(ON TOPIC) The OKCupid Profile of Every Gay Guy in San Francisco Ever

My self-summary                                                                                                  How can I sum myself up in just a few sentences? In short, I guess I just really love traveling and soaking up new cultures. Je suis un nuage, dans le ciel immense.

*Translation: I’m dope at French, bet you’re not LOL.

What I’m doing with my life                                                                               I’m a recent West Coast transplant working in the tech industry while freelancing as a graphic designer for an organic food startup.

I’m really good at                                                                                             Reading people. Call it a sixth sense, if you so dare. 😉

The first things people usually notice about me                                       This question is silly. Look at my pictures, and YOU tell ME!

Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food                                     

  • Books: Food, Inc., Brothers Karamazov, Harry Potter
  • Movies: I have a boner for Wes Anderson.
  • Shows: Do we really have to put National Geographic/Travel Channel here, or is that already a given?
  • Music: Impossible to narrow it down. Tchaikovsky?
  • Food: Anything gluten-free, sulfite-free, cholesterol-free, yeast-free, sugar-free, pesticide-free (organic), and/or vegan! Nummy nummy.

The six things I could never do without                                                      Friends, family, traveling, love, oxygen, creation/expression.

I spend a lot of time thinking about                                                                 The impossibility of capturing my nonconformist mind in this text box. And YOU. Yes, you. 😉

On a typical Friday night I am                                                                          Trying to embrace the moment, and letting it embrace me back.

The most private thing I’m willing to admit                                               Google commercials make me cry.

You should message me if                                                                               You’re real, fresh, dynamic, and a wholehearted supporter of kale as the (one and only) way to reach Foodie Nirvana.

The product of one of my favorite OkCupid dates.