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Semiformalishmaybe

Reviewing 2012: Personal

My personal stuff, as of this year (in april) is now on a separate blog, but I'll review my personal year here anyhow. Skip if you like.

2012 was another lonely year, perhaps moreso because of the transitions in cities. At the start of the year I was in Greater Philadelphia, having semi-recently had what felt like a good shot at romance fail, and because that was a big part of why I was there (not the only part), I was starting to figure out what was next, doing some interviews in NYC while exploring PHL a bit more.

I interviewed at TED but never heard back from them (apparently their HR is an utter mess). I interviewed at Yeshiva University but on that trip I fell in love with Brooklyn and learned that the campus I would've been working at was in a particularly hard-to-reach part of Bronx, so I turned down that otherwise really awesome job.

Eventually I got a part-time job, enough to more-or-less pay the bills for awhile but not a very interesting or fun one, and after enough short trips and craigslists to the city, I managed to find an inexpensive room on the first floor of a house in Brooklyn, which became my home for a few months. In that time I navigated the Google interview process to an onsite, where I messed up a part of it and failed to get the job.

The part-time job fell apart (as I knew it would; I had no budget to work with and they wouldn't give me a work area in the offices, and the boss was not particularly clued on systems things (nice guy though); I had hoped it would last longer but things started to look shaky w/ the company) and I got my current apartment at the same time; a bigger, proper apartment not too far from the old and a bit closer to the park. Unfortunately that's left me coasting downhill finance-wise, with more monthly expenses to boot.

I still take a long time to build friendships, and don't have anything up to the level where I have people I can call to hang out with. There are meetups I enjoy and people I enjoy seeing in those, but nothing closer. I had a single OkC date near the very end of the year, otherwise nothing on the romance front. It's a pretty lonely existence.

I have plenty of projects though, and on days when I'm not too depressed I usually go to a coffeeshop for about half the day to work on philosophy, coding projects, sketching, and the like. Once I find my knitting book I'll be getting back into that (I have a box of books that may have disappeared in the last move). NYC is good for adventures and decent for food, although not clearly better than Pittsburgh on that front, surprisingly. Running... is occasional. The parks are nice, but I miss the hills of Pittsburgh. The shopping here is amazing though; the food markets are fresher, and the close proximity of all sorts of cultures means that I can get all sorts of specialty kitchen things that I made special trips for in other cities right in those little markets. It's all cheap too. Large pineapples for a dollar, limes for twenty cents.

Entertainment has been ok. I saw Molly Lewis and Jonathan Coulton in one show, Dar Williams in another. Not too far from me in Brooklyn, in fact. There are plenty of good teahouses that kind of approximate a community by some standards.

I've been putting together materials to teach programming classes, which may become a career for awhile, or perhaps something on the side, depending on what comes next jobwise.

I don't really fit into the entepreneurial culture in NYC, or at least I don't think I do, but that doesn't really bother me that much. I've never felt I really fit into any place I've lived; I might be able to dream up a workd where I would feel at home, perhaps a world dominated by huge universities, or in a world closer to ours, a small university town right between a gigantic wilds and a gigantic city, all in a better nation.. but we don't live in that world.

I have some hope that 2013 will be a better year, but I'd still be surprised that it is; a combination of defects in my personality and distance between my interests and mass culture have led me to a life that's been very, very lonely. I doubt either will change that much. I hope that doesn't mean the rest of my life will be lonely, but perhaps it does. I sometimes think back on past lovers and past friends and wonder how I got them, how I kept them, and reflect on how I lost them.

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