In the Blink of a Year

March 7, 2011

Remember when a year sounded like a lifetime?


I recall being a child lamenting the eternity I had to endure until summer vacation. The teacher laughed and said, “Just wait until you’re grown and a whole year passes in a flash.”

Since I’ve understood her sentiment for a while now, I thought I had a better handle on the disappearance of time.

And then I saw this:

Hi Dorothy!

Ah #HaimUp.

For those of you not versed in the language of Twitter, the # is a hashtag and the “Up” is a play on the word TweetUp.

The Haim is for the one and only Corey Haim, whose death brought together a ragtag group of friends for a very unusual evening.

Corey Haim died on March 10, 2010.

On March 11th, this happened:

Justine and I had decided that tribute needed to be paid.

In the span of less than a day, we wrangled a venue, delicious eats from the one and only Ramon De Leon, and the bevy of everyone’s favorite Chicago Twitter personalities.

What we didn’t plan was the traveling Roshambo tournament, which sauntered into the pub and hypnotized us all.

Who knew there existed traveling roshambo tournaments?

Who knew that Rock/Paper/Scissors was called roshambo? Of course you did. Congratulations. Know-it-all.

I shall never forget the sight of Laser Fists, Danimal, and the Blazin Asian competing with fury or the sound of the roaring crowd chanting “One-Two-Three-THROW!”

Sami took this and should've been in it.

Laser Fists!

I think it tipped the event from fun and silly to legendary. To me, anyway.

And that’s what I was doing a year ago.

I had no idea that in the blink of a year, I would move away from my beloved Andersonville, commit to launching Push m3dia full-time, buy a house in the suburbs, gain a bunch of weight (pffft), and be ten weeks away from the most meaningful accomplishment of my life. So far.

I’m eager to see what the next year will bring.

I’ve made a lot of plans, but the unexpected is the stuff of legends.

I’m ready for it.


Halloween-ish Birthdays

November 2, 2010

My birthday fell on a Monday this year.


Since Halloween is the day before, I rarely celebrate with costumes because, well…I focus on my birthday dammit.  And I’m not 11.

I realize now how ridiculous the aforementioned policy is because Twitter introduced me to a slew of new friends in the last year.  With these friends, I found myself celebrating Halloween with a splash of early birthday.

Our impromptu celebration started at Loft 610 and, for me, ended at Vertigo.  There are whispers of an after-party because there is always an after-party.

Paul S. is the most talented photographer in Chicago and his delicious pics provide a tiny glimpse into the secret world of impromptu tweetups.  If you’re fortunate enough to be included, you may find yourself immortalized one day.  If not, you will wish to be.

How many Chicago Twitterati can you name?  There may or may not be a prize in it for you.

I love my life.


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How To Get Over Yourself

November 1, 2010

"Grumpy Hulk Need Mindy Time!"

Phonatics Reunion

September 27, 2010

Has there ever been a better nickname than SriraChanthana?  No, I don’t believe there has.

Nor has there ever been a better group of dining buddies than the Phonatics.

As the weather here in Chicago turns cooler, we who are obsessed with the soothing soup of my homeland recognize the need to feed.  Chanthana organized us for last Thursday’s intimate outing at Pho 777 and Paul Saini captured our enthusiasm with his mad skills.  Take a look at these happy faces and tell me when you’d like to join us.  You don’t have to smile for the camera, but you do have to smile.  And come hungry.

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If you have a blog or a website, you’re probably utilizing tools to monitor and analyze the traffic to better understand and grow your audience.  My friend Leyla wrote a great post about Using Analytics to Get the Most From Your Blog Posts this time last year and revived it today for an anniversary run.

As Leyla aptly outlines, these tools can help you to understand where your traffic originates, which ads are effectively driving traffic, and what content keeps them coming back.  The keywords section resonates with me this morning.

Keywords tell you which words or phrases were searched that led an eager, motivated surfer to your little corner of the web.  These are illuminating because they can tell you objectively how your content is perceived.

Or they can tell you that you’re fat.

I woke up to this rather shocking slap in the wordpress this morning.  This juicy nugget of analytics tells me little about my blog’s reach but it did deliver.

Initially, I obsessed (as I am wont to do) over the reality that someone recently encountered me at a happy social function, possibly engaging me with a smile, a hug, and promises to catch up one-on-one over lunch only to be thinking behind glassy eyes, “Dang, Felicia has gained some weight.”

What boggles my mind is that this person was motivated to actually SEARCH for information behind this weight gain.  What did this person expect to find?  A reason perhaps, or a discussion thread devoted to the topic. God forbid.

And then something wonderful happened.  I started laughing.  You would think being faced with the words that women fear more than death would give me a moment’s pause to blush or cry or vomit or something melodramatic.  Truth is, I was contemplative and then I was laughing.  And this reaction delights me.

I was too chicken to participate in Rachel‘s brilliant No-Makeup Week campaign for all the usual excuses.  It stands to reason that being called fat would appeal to the same ingrained self-image issues and cripple my confidence for at least a few minutes.  But it didn’t and here’s why.

I come from immigrants.

I grew up on public assistance.

I know people who are hungry right this moment.

I will never, ever complain about having too much food to eat.

I love and I am loved in return.  And I always try to be kind.  These things make me who I am.

So thank you, anonymous searcher, for the morning laugh and lesson.  This concludes my attention to the matter.  I have gained some weight and I think I look fantastic.  I will obsess no more.

And besides…you’re ugly.

A Fine Day

July 6, 2010

I can’t say that I accomplished a great deal today. 

I didn’t discover any cures, or save any lives, or thwart crime.  I didn’t walk an old lady across a busy street or even scoot a harmless insect out to freedom.  It occurs to me that I really did nothing of significance.

But I go to sleep tonight satisfied because of some people I know.  Good people make us better people and tonight, good people were in one place, at one table, on all sides of me.  People like Chanthana, Genie, Paul S, Tom, Liz, Allie, Pone, other Paul who should join Twitter, Luke, Kristen, Sean, Mana, and Jen make everything and everyone better. 

A damned fine day.  

 (A better pic is coming, thanks to @PaulSaini’s magic camera)

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