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Startup Launches, Cuban Getaways, and Plastic Surgery, Oh My!

Startup Launches, Cuban Getaways, and Plastic Surgery, Oh My!

Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

Update: I changed my name from “Mimi” to “Marty” and started using he/him pronouns in July 2019. This article keeps the original “Mimi” and “she/her” self-references in order to maintain a sense of timeline.

I’m very much an introverted extrovert.

It seems that I have two gears — I’m either being an absolute hermit while getting deep into a project, or I’m out chasing adventure, visiting beautiful places, and taking too many pictures of myself. Ideally, I like having a mix of both; absolute chaos and ridiculousness followed by peace, quiet, and absolute solitude, where I can process the events that happened (and also write about them).

Right now I’m shifted into that second gear. There’s a huge green couch in my kitchen that is as big as a twin-sized bed. It’s got a view of the vintage San Francisco buildings I’ve come to love, where I’m lounging and slowly sipping on a frosty glass of almond milk. The weather is a comfortable sixty-one degrees, which is cold for dresses but just right for the fluffy pink onesie I’m wearing. I’m off work until Monday.

It’s time for some quality rest and relaxation.

That’s exactly what I need right now, because I’ve been up to some shit in the last few weeks! [1] I want to write a separate post for each of these because I’ve got so much to say about each of them. For now, here’s an abridged version of what my life has been like since you last heard from me.

My company launched a super-important feature

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working a lot lately, and this is why — on October 23, 2018, the company I work at launched itself into the security space and officially became a smart ring startup! Motiv is a wearable tech company that makes biometric rings. Previously, these rings were only fitness trackers that gave you insights on your health, but now you can use them for two-factor authentication, or 2FA. Instead of having to wait for a text with your code after typing in your password, you can simply connect your ring via Bluetooth to your laptop, do a gesture, and the code will be filled in for you. This is so fucking cool, and being part of the process (I’m a software engineer there!) definitely ticked a few boxes off of my bucket list. You can read more about Motiv 2FA here, here, and here.

I moved house

The weekend after launch, I moved into a new place. While I loved my old house and old roommates, I was paying $1800 a month for a rectangular 10×10 room, where the curtains had to be drawn at all times because the bedroom windows directly faced the bathroom windows. #smartDesign #fengShui

My new place is another Victorian house that is only a few blocks away from my old one. I can still see my old roommates, but now I’m paying several hundred less in rent and I have a bigger room with bay windows that faces the light and the street outside. I’m setting it up to be a home office-slash-dream bedroom right now, which involves a big bed that can double as a couch and a sitting/standing desk right in front of the windows.

My BFF Billy and I went to Havana, na na na

Two days after I moved to my new place, I flew to Cuba with one of my best friends to spend the week in Old Havana. We both speak very little Spanish and I’d never been outside of the United States on my own for fun before. It was a real experience to step into a culture that is so different from the one I’m used to. I learned so much on this trip — how others see Americans, how really good drinks are supposed to taste like, what life is like in a socialist state — and had Billy take over two thousand photos of me in various places, much to his annoyance. [2] It felt more like a shift into an alternate reality than a vacation, and I had a great time! I’ll elaborate more on further posts.

I’m getting eyelid surgery

This hasn’t happened yet, but on November 21, I’m getting East Asian blepharoplasty, also known as “double eyelid surgery.” I already have double eyelids, but my eyes are a little uneven, and evening them out/changing the fold has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I know that plastic surgery, especially this one, is pretty controversial, so I wanted to very openly discuss the procedure and my reasons behind going through it. I’ll be diving into all this in another post, but if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions (should I take Valium for the procedure? Should I not?), feel free to send them my way.

Yeah, it’s a lot

I know, I know, you’re probably reading this going “what the fuck, Mimi?” … which is exactly what all of the people I’ve caught up with in person have said. I really don’t know how I get swept up in so much excitement; the closest explanation I have is that I operate from the central belief that I don’t need permission from anyone to go after what I want and what seems fun. I get to define life on my terms, and if there are certain responsibilities that get in the way, I negotiate with others to see if an alternative can be reached. Life is meant to be an adventure, not a humdrum purgatory!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to be alone all day. ♚

Notes

[1] I’ve come to realize that I really need to be better at this “blogging consistency” thing; it’s not that I don’t want to write or that I don’t have anything to write about, but because I work full-time, I usually only have a period of 5 AM to about 9 AM to write, and sometimes other stuff will come up, and then I’ll have no time for the rest of the day. Time management is a skill that I’m still learning to master, and I appreciate your patience with everything. I’ve done a significant amount of growing up publicly, in front of an audience of randos and strangers. Thanks for staying with me even though I don’t always meet my blogging deadlines.

[2] Excessive pretty-obnoxious-tbh photo-taking is one thing I will never, ever give up. I finally became comfortable with others taking my picture when I moved to California, so since then … if we’re hanging out in an aesthetic location and I haven’t asked you to take a picture of me, are we really friends? ?

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© 2019 by Marty Noel Chenyao. All rights reserved.

marty@fakeandbasic.com | @fake.and.basic

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