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Ghost of a Good Thing
When you can't have the real deal, settle for the ghost of a good thing.

Well, it's been a while.  So long in fact that I'm thinking that no one will likely read this post, and that's ok.  It's for me anyway.  

I cannot believe that March is here already.  It's seems like I should still be enjoying the leaves changing when in fact, I swear I saw bulbs sprouting in Rittenhouse a few days ago.  March, for me, has become one of my favorite months in recent years.  March 10 marks the three year anniversary of "Ghost of a Good Thing".  So named b/c at this very moment in time three years ago, I was completely and utterly obsessed with Dashboard Confessional's "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar".  This blogs namesake being my favorite song on the album.   

The end of March also marks my one year anniversary here in Philadelphia.  What a year.  I moved here with such a new perspective on life and ready to tackle the next step in my career.  I met people in those first 30 days that have seen me through the next 300+ and who I can say without a doubt will be in my life forever.  I've also known hardship these last 12 months.  That next career step (i.e. Urban Outfitters) ended up almost being career ending and seriously pushed me to the limits as far as my psychological health was concerned.  I've seriously only been brought to tears once in my life b/c of work and that day was July 21, 2006.   I was dealt a one two punch on July 31,2006 when one of my dearest friends found out she had esophageal cancer, she's 27.  She's still fighting that disease nearly nine months later after several surgeries, the loss of her hair and ovaries, and the continuing endurance of her second round of chemo.  She currently weight 89 pounds but is still going strong.  

One a brighter note, with the end of Urban, I found Five Below.  I have accomplished so much here in the last 6 months that I can for once seriously say that I am proud of myself, proud of my contribution to something young and fresh, and MEANINGFUL.  I can continue to enjoy getting up for work in the morning.  That concept has amazed me everyday of these last six months.

This blog was originally started as a way to sift through some of the crazy shit that pours through my head.  Like the song after which it was named, the last three years of writing have been often filled with uncertainty and tons of emotion that the rest of the verbal world was never privy too.  Only me, and you, those two of you who maybe still periodically check it in.   I used to "just bend the pieces until they fit"  in my life.  No more.  The 'Ghost' is done being chased. 

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  Learn more about World AIDS day and the Red Program
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I got the job with 5Below!  Finally a sparkle in an otherwise stagnant month.  I'm going to Pittsburgh for a long weekend and I come back to an entire week to relax before starting the new job.  Sooo, looking fwd to having that week off to recharge.  I also got a really nice bump in salary which is just icing on the cake.  Here's too ANOTHER new beginning.  May this one be better than the last. 
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So I'm at that crossroads again.  That point where the decisions made will affect my life for the foreseeable future.  I'm already approaching my last day with Urban.  I made that choice knowing full well that I didn't have a job to take it's place.  I'm still holding out for 5Below, although yet again they tell me a date by which I should have an answer, and that day has come and gone.   It's frustrating, but I keep telling myself that it comes with the small company territory.  I've also been considering a return to Pittsburgh.  Yikes, I know.   I'm not ready to give up yet and I think at the very least, I have a restaurant job secured here in the event that 5below falls through.  It's a sense of limbo that is all too familiar to me.   I think that's why this time I'm not as freaked out by the whole thing.  Sometimes, I've had a little too much time to think about things while I'm actually still at work, and therein lies my flight response.  That feeling of wanting to return to Pittsburgh where the familiar, that "safety" net of family and friends reside.  Who knows what will happen.  I just am glad that the bump in the road known as Urban Outiftters is about to have it's orange cone removed and let traffic once again flow freely in my life.

The other thing that really has kind of pushed me away from things here lately is my friend "R".  It's a long story, at least in my mind,  filled with "more than friend" feelings and the slight beginnings of feelings of abandonment as he travels down the inevitable path to a new relationship.  I should have seen this coming sooner.  I should have prepared a little bit more.  The only thing that I really know is that the less he is around, the less I want to stay here.  I've been here six months and I don't want to feel like I need to start finding a new family of friends already, even if that feeling is clouded by feelings that go deeper than friendship.  This, coupled with "E's" battle with cancer, and my circle is beginning to show signs of breaking.  I'm not good in situations like this.  I hate feeling like I don't have at least SOME control over the direction my life is taking. 
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Well it's been awhile since my last post an so much has been going lately that I can barely thing of where to begin.   Work continues to be a source of great frustration  for me as my boss and i continue to go round.  The hate masked by an insincere kindness is the only weapon I currently deploy as a means to deal with all her bullshit.  It's turned out to be quite an exhausting process for me to continually put up with her, and hate her all at the same time.  I'm STILL waiting to hear from another company about a job.  My weekly phone calls to follow up continually met with question marks and promises of an answer soon to come.  The only thing I do know with certainty right now is that I cannot continue along the same career path for much longer without going postal or being committed.  

My friend Erin's chemo and radiation for esophageal cancer continue to go better than I expected.  She's just finished her third week of treat me and while she's been having to sporadically use her feeding tube b/c she has started to feel the burn of weeks of radiation, her spirits seem higher than I thought they would be this far along in the process.   She was having a little nausea and trouble eating, but her doctors recently prescribed her marisol I believe it's called.  She basically described it to me as THC in tablet form.  Whatever it is, it's definitely helped with the nausea and her appetite.  Sounds like weed to me.

The only other thing really worth mentioning is that I have gone on several lackluster dates recently.  I had dinner last night with a guy I met on crackspace.  We had chatted for a few weeks before finally agreeing to meet, and I have to tell you, the lead up to the date left the end result feeling a little deflated.  I also met up with this guy for a drink last night.  i know.  I'm a date whore, but I assure you that the second meet-up was completely unplanned.  We had also been chatting for a couple weeks and finally decided to meet up for a beer at the end of the night b/c we were both in the vicinity last night.   We ended up chatting for awhile before going to the dinner for some late night food.  He was adorable, and extremely funny.  I'm hoping to see him again in a more offical "date" capacity, but he works full time and goes to school full time, so where exactly I fit into that equation, I'm not too sure.

Oh, I almost forgot!!  I was in New Orleans last weekend for Southern Decadence.  Definitely worth mentioning, but I'll save the details until I have the pictures to back up the stories.   The one thing that caught my eye though was that for all of the talk about how much of NO still is in shambles, all the parts of the city that I went through seemed relatively back to the pre-Katrina routine I had witnessed the several previous times I visited the city.  Of course, the Ninth Ward is pretty far east of downtown, the French Qtr, and the Garden Dist., but I still envisioned the remnants to be more visible even in the less heavily damaged areas of the city.  More on that trip to follow.

Lastly, today being the eve of 9/11, I find myself spending the weekend watching documentary after documentary.  I've become particularly fascinated by the science behind the actually collapse.  It's still a raw emotion, but it now seems a little easier to package those emotions in my head a little more so on this fifth anniversary that it has in years past.  

Oh, and watch Andy Roddick today in the U.S. Open final against Roger Federer.  It's going to be freakin' amazing and I believe in my heart of hearts that Andy is going to pull an upset today.  I just feel it. 
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I'm constantly amazed at how much life can throw at you at once.  I imagine it all like a fire searching for oxygen in a room that has none at all.  All it needs is that little crack, the slightest opening of a door or window,  before it blows up, room by room.  After several months of smoldering, the fire of my life seems to be blowing up room by room.  

First was work.  The job that I've been at barely three months, the job that was my savior from a city that I had outgrown, has suddenly become the thing in my life that I dread more than ever.  I've been reluctant to post about it in the hopes that things would get better.   I tried to convince myself that I was overreacting.  I now know that that was wishful thinking.  This has been several weeks in the making and it's taken me this long to post b/c I've needed every morsel of time to process exactly what this meant in the grand scheme of my life and of my career.  I have several options on the table, and I know that I will land on my feet.  The thing is, I love Philadelphia.  I have no desire to leave anytime soon.  The question I keep asking is, why is life either or?   We never get the choice of "content as is" or "e- all of the above".

Secondly, and this has been the more of the moment stress, is my friend "E".  I posted last week about her diagnosis of esophageal cancer.  She met with her oncologist today who told her several things that made my stomach turn.  Her cancer is Stage III.  Her treatment will consist of 6 weeks of chemo and 3 weeks of radiation, followed by surgery to remove whatever is left of the lump that sits at the end of the tube to her stomach.  She will have a feeding tube inserted between two ribs so that the effect of the treatment doesn't atrophy her sub-100lb figure any lower.  The three medications she is already on to control the acid levels in her stomach and throat and to control the pain she experienced when eating, will be ratcheted up to six to help with nausea and the dizziness she will feel while on chemo.  It's all a lot to absorb to someone who is newly 27 years young.  I try to be her support the best that I can, but truth be told, I'm fucking scared to death for her.  It's hard to be a rock for someone when you feel more like wet sand at the very best.  The next 2 months are going to be trying for all of us closely involved.  I'm scared.

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  The August issue of Vogue features Kate Moss in adds on 26 pages spanning 6 brands.  I'd say she's recovered nicely from the "scandal".
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I spent all afternoon at the doctors and all day after that taking care of my bf and co-worker here in Philly.  She just got diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  She's 27 years old. 

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So I 've been devoid of posting lately, but a lot has been going on. Work issues. I'll forego that torture for the moment. What I want to talk about is an interesting dating experience that I recently had.

We met through Friendster (ugh, I know) and chatted for many weeks before finally agreeing to meet face to face. He is this short Asian guy with beautiful eyes and a killer smile. The more we interacted, the more interested I became b/c he was so fucking witty and smart. I was excited not only because he was attractive, but the conversation wasn't limited to the typical clothes, boys, and booze. He's a producer for the 8th most popular public radio broadcast in the country. (I have to be honest, that made me laugh a little when he told me). Being an avid listener of public radio, I again was intrigued because I felt that we would have so much to discuss.

I had commented on the fact that one of the things that I loved so much about Philadelphia was that every weekend, I could find myself in a new pub or bar with any kind of crowd one could imagine. Over the next few days, he proceeded to give me suggestions of places in the city that I had yet to check out. I told him rather than give me a laundry list of places that I would probably never check out on my own, why not meet me for an early happy hour on Saturday and show me all the places himself. One drink in each bar. He agreed and we made plans to meet that Saturday afternoon for our tour of the city bar crawl.

We meet at 4PM on the dot one Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago. I walked into a bar called McGlinchey's and it was packed with World Cup fanatics. USA v. Italia. I kind of lingered by the door for a sec, watching his mannerisms. He glanced nervously around the bar trying to discern whether or not I could possibly be one of the crazy soccer fans already amidst the chaos. When I sat down he put me at ease with that amazing smile and the conversation flowed just as easily in person as it had digitally.

Take a step back for a second. The date lasted 36 hours. We were out all day, all night, all the next morning, and through the afternoon. At the 2AM hour when we finally decided that we had enough liquor in our systems, we agreed to retire to his house for a night of "non-sexual" cuddling. I know what you're thinking. No really, I do....and you're only partially right. Dirty minds.

The weirdness happened several days later when we met for coffee. He kept asking me about the last guy I dated. Specifically, he kept bringing up whether or not I had ever dated anyone that was Asian before. Now I haven't, but I have never had an issue dating outside of my race. It's always been a non-factor for me. Still, he kept finding ways to interject questions about race and work into our conversations that seemed completely out of place. The conversation seemed to have turned to a laundry list of reasons why I shouldn't be attracted to him. I was so confused and a little pissed off at the way this conversation was progressing and I said point blank, " are you concerned that I couldn't like you b/c you're Asian?!?" He paused, and then with a dead seriousness on his face looked at me and said, "No, it's not about you being able to date an Asian guy, I'm more concerned about me not being able to date someone who isn't in public radio."

That, trannys and gentlemen, is why I'll be single for the rest of my life.
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My car was broken into last night.  

Things that could have been stolen:
several pairs of designer jeans
pair of D&G sunglasses 

Things that were stolen:
$9 umbrella--color: bright yellow

Cost to repair shattered window:
$125 + tax

So help me god if I see someone walking down the street with a bright yellow umbrella, I will run them over with that same little silver car that they decided to fuck with.

Happy Monday. 
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