Month: September 2014

Falling in love with strangers & fun new gadgets

longform-original-30135-1411503908-13 This is just the most hilarious thing I’ve read in a while.

I remember being in college and taking the bus and totally having this exact experience.

My friend recently made the first move to communicate with The Bus Man, as we call him. She is the bravest person I know.

45 Thoughts You Have When You Fall In Love With A Stranger In Public

This comment on the article killed us:

YEP. Or like when you see the same hot person on the train everyday because you have similar commutes or something…and you think you should introduce yourself sometime because you both have the same commute…but that would be weird or creepy or something so you just continue to glare at them like they’re a red velvet cake next to a glass of milk…but you should totally be married and live together forever since you spend like a billion hours a day with each other on this refugee-camp-on-wheels anyway………the thirst is real.”


I was at work reading the blog posts for our high tech products, and this thing was mentioned:


Ya. That ring (which is pretty damn cute by the way) vibrates and lights up on the side when someone calls you or you have a meeting. It’s called Ringly. Pretty frickin cute.

I am not nearly busy or important enough to need this, but I want it.

It’s $195. If anyone wants to get me a totally ridiculous and expensive belated birthday gift, go for it.


Anthony discovered this app that has changed my life. It’s called Camojii and it gives you the power to make your own gifs.


Boom. The way I communicate with people has now changed forever.


Have you ever fallen in love with a stranger? How many weddings have you planned on the bus? Do you want that ring too or have I been working in the tech world for too long? Please leave a gif in the comments if you have Camoji too!




My birthday was on Saturday and it was so great. Anthony came home from Europe and we just didn’t leave the apartment all weekend. After 3 weeks of not seeing each other, that was all I wanted for my birthday. But he also wrote me the sweetest thing as a gift, and I had to share. I just love his writing and of course it made me cry. Hopefully this isn’t an over-share and you guys enjoy it like I did! :)


You know me. You know I have a hard time keeping my mind quiet and my body still. I thought you should know that you are my silence and my stillness. You’re my peace and quiet, my meditation.

My blue tranquility and the calming sound of rain on the window on a Sunday morning.

That crisp, pure, middle-of-nowhere, arctic air filling my lungs, reinvigorating and reminding me of life’s brilliance.

Transcendent music I can’t ignore, and that I listen to with my whole being, eyes closed, floating.

Of course, you are so much more, too. But lately I’m thinking a lot of the in between. It’s really in between all of the belly laughter, wild nights, and sunny afternoons when I actually understand how much you do for me. How you put me at ease. That you’re my home.

Like that beautiful, clear night after we left Mary and Scott’s house. We were driving home along the coast and the moon was massive, sitting on the glowing pavement ahead of us, always a few feet from the hood of the car, just out of reach. The water was billions of infinitely long gold ribbons rippling independently and then converging to brush against the papier-mâché cliffs. We were on stage in a magic realism play, the scene about the timelessness and elevating wonder of love.

And those nights, early on, when all we could do was lay in bed for hours and stare, learning every detail in each others’ face — every freckle, every silver streak in colorful eyes, those slight dimples, subtle curvature of lips. We’d take turns running our hands down the side of the face,


then falling onto the neck,

over the shoulder,

and down the arm

only to stop at the hand,

interlock fingers,


and squeeze.


It’s really cliché. It’s something teenage couples do after school when their parents aren’t home, not couples in their mid-twenties who met online. And we knew that, we laughed about it, but we just couldn’t not do it. We couldn’t help ourselves, so we didn’t.

And, of course, the day we stayed in bed until 6pm staring out of my big window at the long sky, flirting and joking but, in between, just laying in unmoving silence in each others’ arms. It was new for me — silent silence and still stillness — because those things had always meant laying awake in frustration or the loud, resonating guilt of avoiding deadlines. But there, with you, everything stopped and hushed and there was nothing else but that sky and the weight of your head on my chest. It was the meaningful quietness following the final pitches of a ballad, suspended. The moment after your breath is taken away by something beautiful. A quiet moonlit drive along the California coast.

Your love gives me something I’ve always struggled to give myself: rest. Real, rejuvenating rest. It gives me space to breathe and sit and not mind breathing and sitting. It adds time to deadlines. It makes pints a little bigger and 8 AM a little later. It makes days in bed last forever.


It was a great birthday present, to say the least.


More beautiful photos at Two Happy Lambs

While Anthony was away we had a misunderstanding and it was really hard to work through something and communicate effectively when he was across the world and in a really inconvenient time zone. I am just so glad that we work things out the way we do, and that we experienced that together, because it made us stronger.

Anthony is a big reason why I am so happy to be where I am at 26. But I also have a great job that I enjoy and feel challenged by, which is the biggest victory of this year. Anthony and I also moved in together a few months ago, which has been so fun. I love that I finally have my own place that I can decorate and make a home. I also feel like I am settling into Santa Barbara more and establishing roots. I’m making more of an effort to make friends and that feels really good.

If I looked at my life right now at age 12, 18, 22… I think I would be really happy with what I saw. That’s a great feeling.


What do you think your young self would think of your life right now? What was the most special birthday gift you’ve ever received?



On Being Self-Deprecating

I had lunch with a coworker the other day. We had hung out outside of work a couple of times, and I felt like we were casual friends more than coworkers, since we don’t work in the same department.

They asked about what I did and the department I work for, and as I explained I threw in a bunch of jokes, downplaying both my knowledge of how things work (I just started in June) and my position. I was doing this for a reason, even though it was sort of unconsciously – they were unhappy with their position, so I was trying to commiserate with them and make them feel like my job isn’t the best thing ever (which it kind of is).

Anyway, their response was to sort of jump on board with the whole Steph-doesn’t-really-know-anything bit. They kind of just looked at me and said “Ooookkkaaaayyy…….” a lot, and for some reason that kind of threw me off. I left feeling like they thought I was ditsy or something. I felt socially awkward the rest of the day. One of those days where you’re like: “I walk so weird. Why did I say hello like that? Have I ever been normal for one second of my life? Why do my friends like me?”

You know.

This brought up something I have been dealing a lot with in my 20s… Being self-deprecating is this thing I can’t turn off sometimes, and it can bite me in the ass.

When I approached this lunch with my coworker, I felt like it was super casual and this person was my peer. Obviously I would put forward a much better impression to a superior or someone I wanted to build a professional relationship with. But there was no reason for me to be so self-deprecating about everything. It was counter-productive and just unnecessary. Even at a bar with friends, why play myself down?

I definitely get this self-deprecating humor from my mom, and my sister has the same habit, too. In my mind, it’s part of what makes us endearing. We can be funny, relatable, and empathetic when we do the self-deprecating thing. But it obviously has it’s drawbacks.

image (9)

Some people hear me put myself down in a joking way, then think that it’s okay to put me down in the same way from that point forward. Can you blame them? I gave them permission. How can I say something about myself so openly and then get mad at someone else for saying the exact same thing about me? For all they know it’s completely true, not an exaggeration or a joke. How could they know the difference?

Anthony, when we first started dating, totally called me out on it at dinner once. It was so terrifying. He saw straight through my bullshit and just kept being like, “Why did you say that? That’s not true. You don’t have to say that type of thing.” And I couldn’t stop. It was so crazy. And he was so calm about it – just like, “You just don’t have to do that around me.”

Me: “Umm, more wine please. And by the way you’re totally the one because omigod you read me like a book.” So weird when someone does that. Shudder.

We have to be our own best advocate. But it’s so hard to stop. I hear myself downplay my abilities or knowledge all the time and it’s always so unnecessary. Most of the information the world gets about me is from me. What I put out there about myself is going to affect what I get back. Why is this a thing?

I think some of it has to do with gender. Women have a tendency to downplay their intelligence or capabilities in order to “not intimidate” men. The gender norms I was socialized with growing up in this country definitely had their influence. I see it sometimes in my friends, too, but I think I caught a particularly bad case of it. It’s my random habit that I can’t seem to kick.

It’s so funny – because I have never had issues with self-esteem or feeling like I was incapable (except the universal junior high/high school experience). But I use the self-deprecating language to deflect from talking about how I really feel, or to avoid disagreeing with someone, or just as a kind of emotional shield I think. But I also use it just to connect with people quickly.

It’s one of those things where I know it’s not a good thing – but I kind of haven’t come to believe that enough yet to really try and stop. Do you feel that way about a flaw of yours? I feel like it makes me more approachable to people, and I love making fun of myself. I want to be humble and funny and someone who isn’t trying to show a perfect, pretty face to the world all the time. But it doesn’t come off like that. I talk and joke about my shortcomings so much that people sometimes don’t ever hear about some of my talents or successes. Everyone knows I can’t cook and I’m not an athletic person. Probably within the first time meeting me. But a lot of people who I am friends with miss the fact that I have a masters, can drive stick, play guitar, sketch, and can hold my own in a political discussion.

What kind of person do I want to show people I am in the beginning? I want to be myself, but I think I need to be more of an advocate for myself as well, even in the most casual setting. There’s nothing wrong with being a confident, assertive person. And in fact I think it would be better to have more women who carry themselves that way instead of laughing everything off and apologizing all the time.

Maybe I can try to be one of those women.


Are you a self-deprecator, too? Did you kick the habit? How? Is there a habit you have that you (sort of?) want to change?


%d bloggers like this: