The Spirit of Halloween…or Lack Thereof.

Halloween 2009: the last time I got dressed up.

Halloween, oh Halloween.┬áTruth be told, I’ve never enjoyed this holiday.

Growing up, my siblings and I didn’t partake in the holiday; we lived in an area where most everybody were college students, so there was no way for us to enjoy trick-or-treating. Our parents still had to work at the restaurant, so there was no adult guardian to get us across town to the family-friendly neighborhoods.

My memory of costumes in childhood is foggy; I only remember doing some Halloween festivities through Girl Scouts or Awana. One year, I got my face painted for Halloween; the following few days, I had an allergic reaction on my face, so I never touched face paint again.

Going into my adult years, I haven’t gone to many costume parties. I honestly find the costumes that stores sell very sexist for women. Always a sexy-little-something. Not my thing. And I haven’t cared to put in hard-earned cash for creating my own costume. What’s the use? It’s a silly holiday to me.

As you can see from the picture in this post, 2009 was the last time I got dressed up. I remember that night was terrible; my friend and I were invited to go to the Bubble Lounge in San Francisco. We figured that public transportation would be the best idea for the night. HA…no. We were miserable trying to get to the Bubble Lounge…and when we arrived there, our friends were so late that we ended up just leaving and hoping to get back to my apartment at a reasonable time. It took forever to get back out to the Outer Richmond. The bus moved very slowly because everybody wanted to pile on. Everybody was either going home from a Halloween party or going to another party. Most patrons were already wasted in costume.

When my friend and I had arrived back at my apartment, we both vowed to each other that we’d never to a Halloween night like that again.

In 2010, I spent my Halloween grocery shopping with my cousin; that was also the same night the San Francisco Giants won the World Series. Cars stopped in the streets, honking; people ran out into the streets saying “GO GIANTS!”….The Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin'” blared from somebody’s car.

Last year and this year, I will spend Halloween at the NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party. That’s pretty much how my Halloween is going to be from now until I have my own children.

So yes, I don’t celebrate Halloween. I enjoy seeing others’ costumes (if creative and not tasteless); I just don’t care to get into a costume myself and go to wild parties to show off this costume. I’d much rather stay at home and watch Ghost Adventures.

NaNoWriMo: Day 24 (and all the previous days)

Yikes–I realize I dropped off with my posts in the past week. And yes, no real excuses except the usual ones: time flew, had a lot of stuff to do IRL, etc. Yes, you have heard it all.

Today I participated in a 10K writing day thanks to the Fear of Writing blog. I only got to 7,380 words but that is still a huge accomplishment! I like that these 10K writing challenges occur every month and not just for November for NaNoWriMo; good to know so I can keep myself motivated throughout the year!

Lots of time spent at the gym lately and also just going out a lot. Went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra this past Sunday. Loved listening to classical pieces played rock-style. Fun crowd, too!

My NaNoWriMo novel has gone the wayside…I’m up to 34,449 words as of tonight, but really, so much of it is nonsensical. Yes, I realize the Inner Editor is speaking. But I also just know that I need to plow through these last final days of November and get to the finish line so I can at least tell myself “Hey, I made it, no matter how crappy the draft is!”

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to get that certificate and winner’s t-shirt. Oh, and a 50% discount on Scrivener software. Yes, I am motivated by giveaways/bribes.

Well, guess it’s off to bed for Thanksgiving tomorrow!

A Holiday Weekend of Reflection

(picture from July 2008)

Independence Day has become more toned down for me these days. Two years ago, when I still lived in my first apartment here, I was lucky to have a crowd-free view of the fireworks over Pier 39. That was when I worked at the hot dog stand, and I remember having to work with the crowds over that holiday weekend. We had a lot of out-of-towners, some polite and some not-so-polite. That was the last time I saw fireworks though.

These past two years, I’ve just spent the day as “just another day” for myself and my loved ones. Home-cooked meals, staying at home…just relaxing. I’ve grown tired of the huge celebrations here in San Francisco, mainly because the huge crowds just make me feel like a lone number, nobody special.

It’s good to be in a big city to have more opportunities for career, school, diversity, etc. I’ll admit that much. But becoming lost in a large crowd, becoming a number, is depressing to me.

On Independence Day, I found myself contemplating about my life throughout the years. The people I grew up with, the places I’ve traveled to and lived in, the people I’ve met along the way…and I continue to see how much change is coming upon the horizon. Settling down is not an option for me right now; there’s more out there for me than just what I have right now.

Last week, I read a blog post about how there’s no better time to focus on than right now. And it’s all been said before, but sometimes just reading someone else’s words reaffirms that thought. Why worry about the future? It’ll always be uncertain. Why fret about the past? It’s the past, it’s long gone, it’s static. Unchangeable. Focus on what’s going on right now. Seize the day.

I’m reminding myself about this every moment I get.

Nearing the End of a Tumultuous Month

Well, November was certainly more than I expected yet also more than I did not expect. I’ve been away on travels for the past ten days, visiting various bookstores in Montana with my sisters and enjoying a classic Thanksgiving in all-American style.

For more of November, though, I’ve been working on various projects for work and little time to focus on NaNoWriMo, sadly. I only began participating in NaNoWriMo in 2007, but somehow this year, November has been a little crazier than in the previous two years.

In the past, I know I would have felt a little more upset over the idea of not winning NaNoWriMo on time. But I understand that, well, life happens. This year’s novel idea has been a little half-baked anyway, and although I do like where the plot is going, I just have not felt inspired enough to work on it every day. Well, it’s okay; nobody’s perfect, and I’ll keep this in mind for next time.

I have been thinking more and more how I need to get back to my first novel and begin rewriting it; out of all the novel drafts I have produced over the past two years, that first one has the best storyline so far. Of course, I’ll go back and fix up the second and third novels after the first one has been rewritten. Now I understand why it takes so long to get novels into presentable form: life just keeps coming around!

Quiet Holiday.

I’ve spent Independence Day doing nothing overly festive. I had an early celebration meal with my brother in the morning: grilled some steak and had broccoli and yams. Other than that, nothing out of the ordinary; just another regular day to me. It’s not that I’m not patriotic; mainly, I continue to think about the crowds out, and how difficult it’d be to get home after seeing fireworks at the Wharf.

Last year, I was lucky enough to be able to watch the fireworks from my apartment window since I lived right by Pier 39. That was fun, considering I could have spent that time out with the crowds instead.

The year before, I watched the fireworks from the Lone Mountain Campus at USF. In 2006, I was in Japan, and I remember one of my classmates said to me, “Happy America Day!” That year, I “celebrated” by going to a pizza parlor in Harajuku with one of my friends. We decided we should celebrate by eating something typically American.

Well, hope everyone has had a good holiday in the US today.