Aesthetics of Everywhere

The urban scene, its people and processes. Based in southern California.

Reflections on 2015

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Here’s my year 2015, recapped in approximate order. I’ve been doing very little blogging despite much happening in my life, but the new year is a nice time to reflect on how things have been developing.

Walking to Knapp's Castle

Early in 2015 was my first-ever season of racing bikes. Race weekends were exhausting and exciting and it was nice getting to know some of my teammates better. I’m slow, but had a ton of fun testing the waters and plan to stick with it. Besides, there’s only one way to go from the bottom, right?

In terms of grad school progress, finished my Master’s in June and presented my first poster around then, too. Putting together plans for my PhD work now – still preliminary, but feeling rejuvenated about it all and inspired by the great people that surround me in all aspects of my academic life.

Midday picnic

Made some important friends in 2015 and started to feel like I had a real community in SB. It feels a little odd to blog about but I think I’ve only just begun to learn the value of having close friends you can truly open up to.

Slight improvements in rock climbing: Most 5.10a’s in my gym feel doable now and have snagged the occasional 5.10b. My climbing endurance isn’t great (as I’ve found climbing in my brother’s gym), as our top-rope walls here are pretty short, so that’ll be good to work on. Also lifted fairly consistently, though both weightlifting and climbing have taken a break over the holidays. Back at it now!

Taught my first summer course – and then another, larger course in fall quarter – as the instructor of record. Learned a lot in doing so, gave it my all, but of course plenty of room for improvement there too.

Fun trips: Went to Tijuana on a house-building project with Adam’s friends. First time in Mexico, though barely over the border. Also took a day trip to LA’s Koreatown with my advisor and a few friends. Organized a weekend camping trip with some of the other geography grad students. Traveled to Vancouver and Seattle with Adam, both for the first time (the Pacific Northwest is calling). Went Thanksgiving bike touring with a big group of old and new pals, as actually written up in this post.

Multimodal Adam

Oh, and of course Adam and I got married! And my brother got engaged! And I got to celebrate one of my cousins getting married, too. What a year of family-making.

We moved to downtown Santa Barbara from Goleta and experienced something like a 400% increase in our quality of life. Now I’m bike commuting 20 miles most weekdays, starting to deck out the place, cooking a lot more, and having friends over more often in our little apartment. Very much looking forward to getting our home office better organized.

Grew closer with my DC friends, despite the distance and seeing them only infrequently. You all mean a ton to me.

Ate a LOT of burritos. Thanks, California. Here’s to more bliss in 2016.

Taco truck fare

Written by Crystal Bae

January 6th, 2016 at 7:55 am

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