Some news! My sister (above) somehow scammed her way into this New York City diploma-mill popularly known as "Columbia University." Seriously though, this is exciting stuff. She's definitely moving out there along with her man Scott, and is still waiting to hear from some other schools, but Columbia's MFA Writing program is, as they say, prestigious. So things are looking good. I always knew she'd pass me on the achievement ladder one of these days, dammit.
Also, somewhat selfishly, this is a great reason to get back east more often. I can feel the sweet embrace of her couch already.
For my part, I spent Sunday - Wednesday down and back to the Bay area. It was all business, so not that much fun, but I got the work done and for the first time I tried my new plan of bringing the bike with me and using that to get around the city. Weather was lovely, and it worked out great until I got hit by a car in Oakland: some kid who was already fleeing a hit-and-run with a parked car. I'm fine and so's my machine, but it was close to being awful. Ironically, one of the bits of business I was dealing with was filing for our company health insurance. Cheap thrills.
On the five-hour drive back, I thought a lot about this whole urban/rural living thing I have going on. I've been missing NYC a lot lately, and I've also been pondering what it would take to make living here more sustainable. Girl(s), obviously, but there's also a level of peer-review that I miss, a community of people who I share some ambitions with.
It's proving harder to make those kinds of connections. I don't really do that well at meeting new people without a context, and it's a smaller pool. People seem private though. I don't know if it's just the way of country life, or if, as someone recently pointed out, there are proportionately more people here who are stoned out of their minds at any given point.