Halloween Reveal: How I Wanted to Become HIMYM’s The Mother

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Through all the busy ins and outs of October in SF, I still somehow managed to find the One… that is, the one costume that I really cannot wait to dress up for this Halloween!

I do try as much as I can to get creative in terms of costumes that aren’t slutty or cliche or niche. I just go for what I like– what women I admire. It started out as Disney princesses in the early years of grade school, and then made my way from glamorously gaudy Queen Cleopatra to the heoric and Dark Ages Patriarchy-smashing Joan of Arc in second grade– yes, I actually wore chain mail and had my prop sword taken away from me for the entire class. Then literary figures took over my life, even pop culture nods as every October 31st P transformed into Daisy Buchanan, Elizabeth Bennet, Hermione Granger, and even Marie Antoinette. I still will get the rebellious urge from time to time, like when I was the fifth Musketeer freshman year of college.

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The Mother in the episode “Last Forever” of Season 9.

But now, you have it kids, my costume of this year to be The Mother from How I Met Your Mother.

I started watching HIMYM admittedly after the series finale. Everyone was in such uproar over the ending that it got me curious. So I started down that long journey following one man’s simple story told to his children about the events– nine years of them in fact– that led to him meeting their mother, his soul mate. The show in itself is a remarkable piece of television work with a brilliant narrative frame that opens the door for so much to happen within the show, from imaginative scenarios and jumping around from memories and even when the Dad, Ted, fills in the blanks of his clouded memory. This show is such a love letter to not just finding the love of your life– but the love of the journey that is life, with all its ups and downs and the people who partake on these adventures with you.

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Even in the opening credits, one of my favorite motifs is the use of candid, old photos to place the theme of the stories around the past.

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You don’t get to really meet the mother until the last season, but the way that everything, every little detail and clue (and of course, the symbol of her unforgettable yellow umbrella) and event, is tied up with her coming is just poetic. Everything in life points to her, or that feeling of true reward in never losing sight of faith. She is another character, unique woman that I admire, albeit being fictitious. Being the mother is the inner hopeless romantic of mine coming out in full force– and who knows, perhaps I won’t run into my own Ted Mosby anytime soon but keeping that faith makes this costume all the more magical.

"Last Forever Parts One and Two" —Ted finally finishes telling his kids the story of how he met their mother, on the special one-hour series finale of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, Monday, March 31 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Josh Radnor as Ted, Cristin Milioti as Tracy. Photo: Ron P. Jaffe/Fox © 2014 Fox Television. All rights reserved
Happy Halloween!
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Unbroken

October 12 – October 18

You don’t realize how broke you really are in San Francisco until Pay Day.

In your mind, the moment you see that bank statement you’re running through all the things you  need, you want, and want to do–any way to spend that money as fast as it was put into your account. You think all this upon feeling richer and right before this city punches you in the gut, back to reality, by its price tags.

With this surge of a new Golden Era (can be disputed) for San Francisco’s economy, having the big boys of tech in town means catering to them– and not without the opportunity to reap benefits. The only way to go is up nowadays– and there is a hidden mass of denizens inversely sinking under. Including myself at times. I’ve learned to stay afloat as smartly as I can– opting out from $140 splurges on purple fedoras from Goorin Bros. and Philz coffee every damn day.

The sure signs of financial disparity within the city can be seen on a grander scale as well. An older scale; the demise of what people call the “legacy” businesses that have been around before I was even born and are usually landmarks or driving forces of microhoods/ local communities surround them. From a span of businesses catering to different demographics, all that Lexington Club’s lesbians, the kitschy cocktailers at Empress of China, and even the diamond gals whose FiDi husbands frequented Shreve & Co. can unify on is the unfortunate and bitter end of each. Shreve & Co. still lives on down the street in a new location, but how much longer can a soul survive without its true vessel?

Back on a broke note, I  found myself with friends at the Elbo Room for the middle echelon of the Mission. Crowded, campy, and dark with voyeuristic vibes of being inside the confines of a circus organ, there was something so alive and gracious and graceful about it. Perhaps it’s because they too are doomed; set to leave this place gone and chained up for some new artisan/craft business that can afford the high lease– and these last remaining nights are a swan dive. It’s graceful, but not entirely generous. Feeling tired and nostalgic, no drink would do, but at least a soda water with a lime on the rm makes you look less of a prude. It was $2.50. For water. So maybe they’re just trying to take what cash they can from the joint. I can’t say this is the first time that’s happened with me and water either. San Francisco, God save you.

There’s some hope. Election is around the corner and thanks to the pamphlet from the League of Pissed Off Voters I got while waiting in line at the Make Out Room earlier in the night, there’s good signs of room for potential improvement and preservation. But life as we know it in this city somehow always falls short of locals’ ideals for how the city should be– how it used to be. Hippies of the 60s will always want the SF of the 60s as the 20-year transplants will always long for the first tech boom of the 90s; the Hey Day phenomenon only goes to show that no, it’s really not that bad now– this too shall pass, and something better– or worse might come along. If I could vote in SF I would. Still, what I read in line from that pamphlet gave me enough hope that legacy businesses will survive and people won’t get evicted from their homes– people are taking notice and not without change.

So I shall always love you, city by the bay of mine. For whatever iteration of yourself you become in the decades to pass, everyone will have nights like at the Elbo Room in photo booths , walking around the North Beach twilight, and sometimes coffee shops on seedy corners, face to face with acquaintances that offer much needed company. Not everyone will like you as you exist in the now, especially at your most expensive– but always, they will love certain things that surprisingly, cost nothing.

An Eden for Peter Pan

October 5 – October 11
wpid-wp-1445360091408.jpgAnd TGIF– thank God it (was) Fleet Week!

I actually didn’t even realize that it was Fleet Week until Thursday, when #BlueAngels failed to reach my social media feeds in time for the panic attacks my coworkers and I would suffer every 20 minutes or so. Working 40 floors up and in the midst of downtown San Francisco has its perks, but also its share of risks. No, there have been days where I scope around the clouds and down to the sprawl below for any signs of an earthquake or a plane that– knock on wood– just might crash into my office.

But oh, rooftops are a joy. Always they’ve just captured my heart and have never disappointed. Just feeling so isolated from the norm, being alone– it’s like gathering your imagination in a corner to really piece it apart; and up in the clouds there’s room for it to breathe. You couldn’t quite imagine the joy I felt in discovering that in getting away from the restraints of one rooftop at work, I found solace in another not even a block away.

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Overlooking The Palace Hotel on Market, from the Crocker Galleria

Not far below but still high up, the rooftop terrace at the Crocker Galleria overlooks the intersections of Market and Montgomery Street. The benches are whimsically chopped into single seats and plastered against wild hedges flourishing in unison with lavender and other flowers I fail to name– pink ones. All is pretty and calming, and many fail to know of all its existence. San Francisco is stingy like that, about their rooftop gems. To enjoy them you have to know where they are first, but even recalling how you ever knew to begin with gets lost in your mind over time and with each revisit. These lonely roofs seem different from New York in that they don’t make a spectacle of their surroundings– they are the spectacles themselves. Imagination can run wild up here, even fly.

Even way back in college I wrote about their magnificence. It was one of my most praised pieces of poetry from that class in that I not only wrote so well of the benches and sparkling lights casting a glow on the gardens surrounded by the skyline, but finding that if there was something better out there for Peter Pan, these rooftop gardens would be the place. As I remember in my last lines, from the rough draft (for some reason these early lines strike a chord in me always),

And if they were to fall over that edge,

their deaths would not be in vain.

You can just envision these places as part of the flight to Neverland… after all, San Francisco is often observed today as the land of Lost Boys.

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Flying attempts with my sister (right) and uncle (left)

And so be it. With days like jets soaring by and breaking all sound barriers and nights spent atop rooftops or even just by attempting to climb back into apartment windows– and it didn’t seem like climbing; the witch’s hat and rum were all that assured us we were in fact flying– well we’ve all come to the right place.

And the Edens among the roofs wait for our takeoffs, there and patient to confirm this truth.

A Breakaway from Red October

September 23 – October 3

HOW TO CELEBRATE THE COMING OF FALL AS ORCHESTRATED BY ME:

  • roll in the fog
  • buy new mocasin-like flats
  • find an excuse to grab a PSL. Like. Every. Minute.
  • Throw on a scarf
  • Buy a new scarf
  • Light candles, even if they’re summer-scented
  • Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie.
  • A weekend getaway via train to Oregon

The fall never disappoints. But as I’ve noted before, it’s a season not without shortcomings. From summer to fall, there is an instant change in the air– and fairly put, change can be bad. It means moving on, and saying goodbye– if you’re ready for it.

I’ve realized that I truly get weird about goodbyes. I’m pretty awkward as is, so let alone farewells are in themselves painful. Even if I see someone the next day or they leave the apartment earlier than me; sure I’ll see them later tonight depending on what day of the week it is. But as fate would have it, it’s been an even more trying two weeks of that gut feeling. Not that far from the Mean Reds. Holly Golightly nailed it when she said that it was a fear, afraid but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. That Portland weekend did it, especially for seeing a very dear friend outside of a world that we’ve ever known together and an aunt just weeks before a much-needed surgery– you can’t help then that since they’re so far away, you constantly keep in your head that perhaps that might have been the last time you’ll see them… and so you keep a tally in your head of what better ways your farewells could have been.

Just feeling that sudden loss in a matter of a second seemed more prominent to me since then. In a string of events that involved a bunch of goodbyes. The going away dinner for a coworker at The Local Edition. A fulfilling day at the San Francisco Zoo with my cousins and aunt and uncle. All resulted the same, in swift adieus.

But were they memorable enough?

Those moments in this week might seem to anyone else fulfilling and sentimental. But for me, I oddly dread looking back, reflecting back on those tender last minutes. I can’t really decide on whether or not my weird goodbyes stem from a bad or good time– or just not enough of it.

I said before that the fall never disappoints. It does. But maybe because the inevitable change that happens with falls hasn’t really happened in your life. You see it everywhere, but can you really feel it? People move forward, and you sometimes just retreat back to your apartment, your stagnant life and job and singledom that’s been what your last seven months have been. But I fear not; there is always time to change things around. It’s only the first week of October, and the world has just transitioned into a magical time of the year (if December isn’t for you).

Who knows what magical things are coming my way with this weird sense of loss. As my childhood heroine said it best,

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

The past is there to set things straight for the future. And no better place to feel better and assured than childhood books and reminders that yes, you’ll see everyone again.