Hottubbing with Astrophysicists
Joel and I took a weekend away in February to go to Sea Ranch. Before living together, we liked to go there to share a house, cook delicious meals in a kitchen that could fit us both, walk along the water’s edge and hang out in the hot tub at night. I may or may not have also spent some of those nights away drinking two glasses of wine with dinner and falling asleep on the couch at 9:30 despite my relative youth.
One particular night, Joel and I sat out in the hot tub gazing up at the crystal clear constellations in the dark night sky. Sea Ranch is a beautiful place where nothing is around to be heard and the sky is clear enough to make out the stars. That night, not to brag about how romantic we are, but in perfect Courtney and Joel synchronicity, we both reached out and held each others hands as one of us said what the other was thinking: “man, I wish Neil deGrasse Tyson was here.”
Every year, my friend Ambyr and I take a weekend away together. This year she called me from Portland, OR and told me she had a wedding to go to on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and did I want to join her as her date. A month later I was crashing a stranger’s wedding photos amidst the palm trees and the sunshine.
Ambyr is amazing. She’s super smart and fun and a great mom and there’s no drama with her or around her because she’s too “life is short” and to the point. It’s inspiring. She even smiles in photos with me when my stupid hair is in her face. Ambyr in general and Ambyr specifically on our weekends away remind me that even if they live far away – whether out of state or out of country – I have some truly remarkable people in my life. It’s a good reminder to work on myself to be the kind of person that deserves these folks as friends.
Channeling My Inner Ron Swanson
For our four year anniversary in April, Joel and I wended our way down to San Louis Obispo to spend a few nights at the Madonna Inn. We ate steak and drank whiskey at the pepto-bismol colored Gold Rush Steakhouse, climbed the rock walls of our room, played basketball on a turquoise and fuchsia basketball court and watched Game of Thrones from two pink cow-hide medieval armchairs. It was the greatest weird place I’d ever been to and a fun way to ring in a new year with my better (at least at basketball) half.
Being Told By A Guy With a Neck Tattoo of a Straight Edge Razor Dripping Blood That My Boyfriend and I Would Make Great Parents
So technically the wasted girl he was with said this to us; but she then asked this guy if he agreed and he said he did. It just seemed more genuine and powerful coming from him and naturally, I think he’s right.
Every Time I FaceTimed With My Nephew
FaceTime has enabled me to see my nephew grow and change, despite living three states away. With the help of technology, I have seen him walk, say his first words, build blankey forts and play games with his silly dad, my brother. He has accidentally put Jay Z on my brother’s iPhone and danced for me, he has shared his dinners with me, and my favorite, we have played together during bath time. In one particularly special exchange, we were discussing his bathtime toys when his face got serious and focused and my brother immediately recognized and announced in a panic that Liam was pooping in the bathtub. My poor brother and his wife don’t find it as hilarious as I do because they are the ones that have to scoop poop out of the bathtub; but to me, it’s just my nephew exercising creative ways to end conversations.
This little tiny adorable human baby is dopamine personified. He brings me happiness, joy and a calm I can’t get elsewhere. Even when he shits in the tub like a god damned animal.
Discovering My First Grey Hair
After having to skip out on a hair-coloring appointment, which meant waiting 4 months before my roots were touched up, I discovered that when left to their own devices, some of my hairs like to grow in grey.
A week after discovering my first one, I got on a busy train with my mary poppins could-fit-a-lamp handbag and my gym bag when a young woman sitting by the door generously offered me her seat. I was totally chuffed by her thoughtful gesture and, to my surprise, took her up on it. Later, when I recounted the story to Joel, he replied “she must have seen your grey hair.”
Meeting Lady Edith Thumplecock
Lady Edith Thumplecock is by far the best new friend I’ve made this year (possibly ever). My friend Eric introduced me to her, and I will always be indebted to him as a result. Not only is she well connected given her history of rich ex-lovers, but she has the most amazing stories to tell and is always bedecked in fabulous accoutrements (she’s basically a simian Iris Apfel). I never quite know what she’s going to say next, and there’s always some new adventure she has yet to tell me about.
It’s getting harder and harder to live in San Francisco. The rents have become so astronomical that I can’t watch House Hunters without having to decide whether to cry or kill myself because someone says their budget for a 4 bedroom house is absolutely no more than $175,000.
I’ve been living in San Francisco for 16 years and feel simultaneously at home and ready to leave. Almost all of my friends have left because they can’t afford to stay, and Joel and I – though successful and well-employed – feel like buying a house is an impossible dream in our beloved city. At a time when I had almost succumbed to my own bitterness, the story of Batkid gave me a glimmer of hope that the soul of San Francisco is still somewhat intact.
The Make A Wish Foundation, which provides wishes to children with a life threatening medical condition, put together a day for five-year-old Miles Scott to live out his dream of being Batman. Complete with saving a damsel in distress and stopping the Riddler from robbing a bank, the itinerary for his day ended up getting picked up by someone on Facebook and went viral on all the major social media outlets. When it came down to the day, over 12,000 volunteers had made their way to the streets of San Francisco to cheer him on. He was then presented with a key to the city as thousands of people, myself included, looked on. It was a truly powerful and wonderful experience – a reminder of the good in people and how precious life can be.
Extrovert Appreciation Society
2012 was the year of discovering and accepting that I was an introvert. I spent a lot of time in particular processing this and accepting myself amongst my introverted friends who understand me and give me the space I need to recharge on my own. 2013 was the year of remembering that I do have extroverted friends that also provide that understanding and space. I had wonderful exchanges and spent some great moments, in particular, with my friend Rose. She has always been the best at bringing me out of my shell since we met in high school: she was the person that got me to sing outloud in front of other people, she kidnapped me on my birthday one year and made me stand on benches at bus stops in the middle of the night to shout out improvised haikus. She was constantly getting me out of my comfort zone without ever putting any kind of pressure on me to do so or making me feel bad if I didn’t want to.
This past year, Rose and I have talked a lot about me accepting my introversion in a new way: without alienating myself from my extroverted friends in order to avoid upsetting anyone or out of fear of losing another extroverted friend. For cutting myself some slack for being an introvert, but also cutting some slack for my extrovert friends that might not get it or understand right away. She made me realize that balance is key, that I should never exhaust myself but should never comfort myself with too much time alone either (introverts can get lonely too!), especially when there are so many great people and things to experience in life.
Moving In With Joel
It took us a while, but a while was the right amount of time before we moved in. Things have been great.