• My best friend Igor

    When I was six or seven, there was a boy in my class that already looked like a 30 year old young professional. He had fluffy blond hair that stuck up evenly so that it looked like he had styled it, silver glasses, and was always dressed in tiny adult outfits: When I think of him, I picture him in fall-colored corduroy pants, a light blue button-down shirt, and and a deep pine tree green sweater vest. Howie was the first young person I’d met that wore a sweater vest. Igor, roughly 11 years later, was the second.

    Igor’s birthday was this week and I thought it would be fun to do a feature article on him. You know, like I how I said hearing someone tell you about their best friend is a good way to get to know someone.

    10689587_10100759953090343_8214714362643754138_n

    How did you meet?

    For my freshman year I went to a small, public university in Missouri. I lived the biggest dorm. During the first months there were activities for freshman and college kids to meet other people. Just a few doors down the hall from me there were four boys, Jeff, Sean, Igor, and Nate. I met Sean & Jeff first in the cafeteria, and they introduced me to their friend from high school, Igor, and his roommate Nate.

    What was your first impression of them?

    Since my first contact into the group was Jeff and Sean, I tended to lump Igor and Nate together. They seemed much more calm. [Slash], they seemed to both sleep a lot. I didn’t know this at the time, but Igor is a night owl and so would end up sleeping in pretty late. From my impression, it just seemed like he was asleep for half of the day. But Igor would more frequently hang out than than Nate so I got to know him better. Igor is very tall, was always well-dressed, deliberate in action, and soft-spoken. His hair was longer than it is today. It was a dark brown shaggy hair cut that hung over his forehead and curled around his ears.

    What stood out to you about them?

    Igor is exceedingly kind and well-mannered. This demeanor continues to stands out when compared to all the people I’ve met, but it is radiantly clear when compared to other 18-year-old dudes. While other guys I met were kind of fidgety, teasing, concerned with being cool, and had a hard laugh they used to assert themselves and let everyone know they had no feelings—Igor was a calm water. He would ask about my day, we would have conversations, he would say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’…A bunch of small considerations that I hadn’t really experienced before from a peer. I can’t emphasize enough how rare it is (for me at the very least) for someone to actually be as polite and sincere as Igor is naturally. He’s not doing something extreme, but he’s just reliably a thoughtful person.

    I remember over one long weekend when one my roommates were away and I was sick. I was laying in bed, and someone knocked at my door. I didn’t really want to see anyone. I can’t remember how it played out exactly anymore, but Igor communicated with me through the door that he had brought tissues if I needed them. I didn’t. I think I had a cough or a head ache and didn’t actually need them.

    “Ok, let me know if you need anything.”

    I waited until heard him walking off and after a while, I quietly opened the door and peered down the hall. It was empty, he’d already gone back to his room.

    This was a completely foreign interaction to me. It was like something you see in movies that I had never experienced before. Someone is sick. Friend offers them help. I wasn’t even that close to Igor. I asked him about it last week and he didn’t remember it at all. Probably because he did it without thinking or wanting something in return. That’s the kind of person Igor is.

    How did you become good friends?

    By the end of they year, the five of us plus my roommate Laura were hanging out pretty regularly. We would play Super Smash Brothers on their Wii pretty regularly. I got text messaging on my cell phone halfway through the year so they would actually ask me to meals. Despite getting closer, I ended up transferring schools at the end of the year.

    We planned trips as a group to go to Chicago that summer (Igor refused to go/was in Israel). The next year I visited them over spring break. The year after I came in the summer. But it was always kind of as a group unit. With very occasional conversations in between. I kept in touch with Igor the most because we could talk about design programs every now and then. He would call me on my birthday.

    I graduated from the University of Wyoming and was living in Denver. During his birthday phone in the summer of 2012 we caught up and he told me he was going to New York to look at a school. I invited myself because I was kind of interested in moving there. We talked a lot leading up to the event, which was different. Ever since then we just stayed in touch. He’s become one of the most important people in my life. There was about a four month overlap when we both lived in New York pretty close to each other and we ended up hanging out really regularly to just wander around the city. He can make me laugh more than almost any other person. He’s always interesting to talk to and I never get annoyed. He’s a good person.

    243565_10100114975924753_1905128735_o

    Hope you have a good birthday year, Igz. 

     

  • 5 Things I don’t write about

    Sometimes there are big gaps in between posts because I’m busy, yes (or lazy), but sometimes there are gaps because there are things I don’t want to write about. Yes, I too am a participant of social media curation culture! But I have your interests in mind at heart, dear reader.

    Here, briefly, are the five topics I generally don’t write about.

    Friday5

    When something really good happens. It feels boastful and like it’s ruining the moment to me. Or that I’ll jinx it. I have this fear that anything good that happens to me is a mistake and if I broadcast it, people will find out sooner and take it away. I might quietly post a picture of something for me to remember later instead.

    gastown

    When something bad happens or I’m generally sad. Snoozefest. Awful. Melodramatic. Would be terrible.

    These two things combined mean that I generally only write about medium-positive things. Even if I did talk about them, I feel like they’re so personal that even if they really expressed my happiness, they don’t have a positive impact on other people. It’s like always talking about inside jokes.

    Relationships. Relationships are inherently a lot of upper-ups and downer-downs, so that’s out. There’s also general discretion policies. And the vulnerability of telling a story you don’t know they ending to. Sometimes I neglect to tell real human friends I’m dating someone, so of course I wouldn’t to carve it into internet stone. I will admit that this would probably at least tickle into the readers’ gossip itch if I did write about it. But I probably won’t.

    Work. I don’t think it’s very professional to talk in detail about what I do at work. It’s putting your co-workers and clients/company on display without their consent. And I’m just one perspective.

    My family. This is actually just because I’m not very close to my family. I’d hardly have anything to say on a regular basis.

    phamomredwoodsMy mom, aunt, and uncle came to visit me this April. I took them around the city and use their car as an excuse to go to the redwood forest.

    phamomauntphones

    When my mom and my aunt were trying to take pictures on their phone

    — —

    So you see those are pretty huge categories in most people’s lives. I tell very little but I talk a lot.

    I think it’s nice to remember that people aren’t as clear cut as they seem. So take the time find the ones worth living in complexity with.

  • What I know now // 028

    I wanted to try a different format because I’ve transitioned mostly from articles to podcasts since starting work. Instead of a monthly list of some of my favorite articles, maybe a deep dive into some really great podcasts I’ve listened to recently?

    Recently I listened to Revisionist History, a podcast hosted by Malcolm Gladwell. In general, what has stood out to me about this podcast compared to others is the strong stance that Gladwell takes on topics. I’m used to the kind of “here’s all the information, you decide” reporting of other podcasts, but Gladwell is clear about his positions, I first noticed this in Food fight. 

    He did a 3-part series on education and you better believe that I really liked it (education is everything). It’s also really hard for me to summarize them, but I’ll try—I realized I was fighting the urge to just retell everything in the podcast. If you are in a time crunch, the first one, Carlos doesn’t remember, is my favorite of the series.

    Hope you enjoy!

    whatiknownowbanner-01 Read more

  • I’ve been here for a year

    A year, a month, and 10 days, actually.

    You know (you. know.) how much I love milestones, so I gotta say something. Also, my birthday was a couple months ago. Also also, for some reason my high school graduating class’ facebook kicked up again reminding me that it’s almost been 10 years since we graduated and did we want to have a reunion?

    Basically there are a lot of time reminders floating in the air and milestones (forced or otherwise) are always my favorite time to step back, reflect about what I’ve been doing to re-evaluate and where I want to go next. In an episode of Broad City, one of the characters talks about how her family has a birthday tradition of asking two questions and I might as well answer them like this is a 90’s MySpace page.

    What have you done this past year that you’re proud of?

    Read more

  • Week in the life, Day 7

    Yay! Last day. I’m definitely ready for this writing exercise to be over. As much as its been nice getting to write again (it has!) it’s also time consuming to remember and write about each day in a timely manner. Last post! I’m not sure how representative this week is because I think I had more planned that I usually do, but I also did kind of want to capture this super busy time at work.

    Summary: walked around Land’s End, Korean lunch, Botanical Gardens to listen to piano, Vietnamese dinner

    People I talked to: 5 people from work I’ve never met before, my two mentees, Joseph, Joel, Monica, Vinita, Igor, Katie, Sarah, and Chris

    day7-fog

    Foggy, chilly day at Land’s End

    day7-group

    The crew

    Day 7, Saturday

    Read more

  • Week in the life, Day 6

    “TGIF” as the kids and restaurant chains say.

    Summary: Work, clean, TV, sleep.

    People I talked to: Grant, Katie, Sarah, Vinita, Matt

    A photo posted by Jacklynn (@jackdrawstheline) on

    Day 6, Friday

    Read more

  • Week in the life, Day 5

    Holy cow. I made it to day 5. Whodathunk?

    Summary: Work, lunch, sleep

    People I talked to: Katie, Sarah, Grant, mentee #2, Chris, Vinita, Matt, Christy

    day5sleep

    Me, not able to sleep at night. My room is actually not that dark but mostly orange with the eery glow of the streetlamp.

    Day 5, Thursday

    Read more

  • Week in the life, Day 4

    Me not publishing until the afternoon is probably pretty telling of what my day was like yesterday.

    Summary: Work, dinner with a friend, life changed by podcasts, sleep

    People I talked to: Katie, Sarah, Vinita, Zach, Chris, Dan, and Christy

    day4dinner

    Christy and I splitting a bibimbap

    Day 4, Wednesday

    Read more

  • Week in the life, Day 3

    Summary: Work, watched Swiss Army Man, drinks, what the youths call “chilling”, and more work.

    People talked to: Katie, Sarah, Vinita, Grant, Joseph, Dina, Chris, Gil

    day3

    Sitting on my bench, texting Sarah on my way home.

    Day 3, Tuesday

    Read more

  • Week in the life: Day 2

    Not really convinced that this is a great idea, but thought I’d at least carry out a work day. I can’t imagine this being entertaining to anyone. The summary of yesterday was: I went to work and then I went to bed.

    And if you are on some sort of reconnaissance mission, I should note that this is not representative of what it’s like for everyone at work, or even for me everyday, so don’t get that impression. It’s just busy right now.

    day2

    Me at work yesterday

    Read more