Fifth Grade Memories

My oldest daughter, yes, the one whose birth I announced and wrote about on this blog more than a decade ago, just started fifth grade. Where has the time gone? Yes, it’s hard to imagine life without her, pre-kids, but if I sit still, close my eyes, and think, I can remember fifth grade myself. I know who my friends were back then. I can see my fifth grade teacher, remember her name. I can remember my school and the long bus ride to get there because they were completing the new elementary school in my neighborhood. I can remember how I spent my recess, can remember the school play I participated in that year, and I even remember that time when the girl I had a crush on kind of liked me back. I remember NKOTB was the popular music group and the end of the twentieth century was more than a decade away.

So, yes, fifth grade for me feels like a long time ago, a lifetime ago perhaps, but not really. As I sit here, watching the sun go down, I am reminded of just how short life truly is among the cosmos and eternities of the universe.

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SF Thoughts

I was recently in San Francisco for the first time since I left California in June 2011. It was good to go back and brought back many memories. It is hard to believe I spent only two years working in the Financial District of San Francisco given that I have now doubled that time here in Salt Lake. The time has flown by. But with my visit, I had two main thoughts.

  • From a pure city standpoint, I like New York City more. It fits me better. If I were single, New York would be more attractive to me. However, since I am not single, were I to choose to move back to either New York City or San Francisco, I would be more likely to choose San Francisco, as I would much rather be in the suburbs of the Bay Area with my family over the suburbs of the tri-state area of New York City. However, I don’t plan to do either anytime soon.
  • The prevalence of ethnic and national diversity available in San Francisco when compared to my current location was extremely noticeable. The trend in Salt Lake is definitely moving in the right direction, but I am one who strongly believes there is unity in diversity. The trend cannot accelerate fast enough for me.

Class of ’97

I can’t believe it’s here. It honestly doesn’t feel like that long ago when I graduated from high school. I mean, it does feel like a lifetime ago, but I clearly remember the event twenty years ago this month. I remember being excited to be done with high school, to move ahead in life, to begin college, to move out of my parent’s house. Class of ’97, it was something to be proud of. But now it’s here, just like that: our 20-year High School Reunion, held in Washington later this summer. Wait . . . what, how has it been twenty years? Where has the time gone?

I know my classmates and I are all approaching 40 and appear old to this year’s crop of high school graduates, but it is true what they say: time flies when you’re having fun. I did not make my 10-year High School Reunion a decade ago partly because the logistics made it difficult to do so, and honestly, the people I most wanted to see did not end up attending. And, I am still unsure whether I will make this summer’s reunion, but I am still a bit rattled by the fact that twenty years have passed. Will I blink and wake up a decade from now in 2027 to discover that my 30-year Reunion is just around the corner. Is this how life works?

Perhaps I should attend, enjoy it for what it is. A chance to realize that I have done okay in life and humbly show my classmates that they were passed up by the unremembered, quiet, underachievers like me in life. FWHS Class of ’97. Like I said at the time of graduation: you can take a man out of Federal Way, but you can’t take the Federal Way out of the man. Some things don’t change, even with time . . . .

FB at 10

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing in April 2007. I had my first job out of law school in lower Manhattan and this blog was going strong. Social media was not a term I recall knowing a decade ago and I received an invitation to join a relatively new social network called Facebook. I had recently joined Bebo, a now irrelevant social media site, and had connected with some friends from college and perhaps even shared some photos on Bebo. But Facebook was up and coming in 2007 and I created an account.

Had you told me a decade ago that Facebook would be alive and well in 2017, it would have been hard to believe. If you told me that Facebook would have two billion members, would possibly have influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and would be one of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization, I would have thought you crazy. But here we are, ten years later, and crazy is now our reality. I don’t check the site and my newsfeed every day, and often don’t check it for several days in a row, but I still [*hiding eyes ashamed*] still check it often enough. And guess what: like most people, I scroll through a news feed posted on by the same revolving group of “friends” despite the many other silent “friends” I have on the site.

The question is whether Facebook will be a force to reckon with in 2027. It’s hard to see it going away anytime soon and will have probably reinvented itself at least once, if not twice, in the next decade. As a shareholder of FB stock, I now hope its trajectory continues up and to the right.

Some Months . . .

Fly by with not much to say. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. We keep getting older.

Fastnacht

As many parts of the world today celebrate the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, I am reminded of a trip I took several years ago to Switzerland, where I used to travel for business regularly. While there in Zug, a city just south of Zurich, in late February, I was informed that I should go explore Fastnacht that evening. “Fastnacht?” I asked, having no idea what my colleagues were referring to. But they encouraged me to brave the cold and experience the Swiss-German version of Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Carnival. So I went that night with Melissa, another American colleague I was traveling with, and was blown away with what I saw.

There were people dressed up as animals, people wearing large and grotesque masks, groups of marching bands, brass bands dueling with other brass bands, tents set up to serve beer, strong cheese, pretzels and sausages, and ordinary masses of people, like me, on the sidelines observing the festivities with a cell phone camera wondering how this mayhem got its start. Turns out, Fastnacht goes back centuries in Germanic-speaking Europe and varies by region, with Lucerne and Basel known for their wild Fastnacht parades and events. All in all, it was quite the experience and one I am unlikely to have for years to come.

 

Throwbacks No More

In November 2015, I posted on this site that Salt Lake City finally received a radio station that I could enjoy and look forward to listening to. That station was 94.9 The Vibe. And now, that station no longer exists. I was shocked to learn the other day that my go-to radio station (in the event that I did turn on the radio) had disappeared literally overnight and was replaced with some sound-the-same Top 40 hit station. I don’t know what the motivation for the change was, but find it hard to believe it was market demand because everyone I know appreciated the classic throwback station that was The Vibe. So, for now, I’ll continue to stick with my audiobooks and NPR, but when I want to listen to music in my old car it really is a shame that my favorite option has been eliminated.