In case the checkout aisle of CVS or the “Promotions” tab of your inbox hasn’t made it abundantly clear, Valentine’s day is coming up. This week we’re doing something a little different with our newsletter: a compilation of tiny love stories (a la NYT) from the community. (Work-work is important, but so is life, and so is love — whether it turns out well or not!)
💡 electric love
I was working late on a circuit for a famously terrible class with a difficult professor, and had been tearing my hair out over wires for about 8 hours at that point. I texted a friend saying that I was losing my mind, and he showed up twenty minutes later with boba made just how I like it, having walked from home when he got my text. The fact that he remembered my boba order, and came to give it to me, made me feel so seen and loved. We started dating a month later. — Alexa
🎮 kpop x league of legends
My latest hyperfixation of queer virtual crip love is becoming obsessed with a k-pop band created with (the hottest) characters from the most infamous video game, league of legends. i'm still trying to figure out a way to explain K/DA but it is a glorious manifestation of eclectic pixel sapphic wonder — from luscious vocals of my favorite mandopop singer to mind-blowing holograms during live music performances to absolutely the gayest fan art. even though K/DA launched in 2018, to discover this group of badass femme energy is to fall in love with creations beyond my wildest belief (& maybe there's something to be said about pixels disappointing us less than men).
also, an undoubtedly free serotonin boost has been the live reactions of my queer friends watching the MORE music video for the first time. i've constantly been enthralled by fandoms but never actively been in one. now, i understand changing my desktop / phone / zoom background / scouring tumblr for fanfic as a communal queer praxis & an act of love (in honor of bell hooks always & forever). — theresa gao, k/da simp
🏓 … the text man for texts [iykyk]
I've had zero success on dating apps. The first date that I went on was a man who had professed his love over the dogs in my profile. The conversations were going well, the rally between messages like an even game of ping pong. Except there were long periods where he wouldn't message me for a week. I remember lamenting to my friends: Why isn't he texting me back? I know he's seen his phone, he's literally liked a post on Facebook. Maybe he's just busy?
Two weeks later, with one date where I made him a pitcher of sangria that we never drank and a date where we walked to the park and had an awkward time, he then ghosted me. I still see him on the campus. It sucks that we're in extremely adjacent majors and that he works in the makerspace that I frequently visit. But every time I go, I make sure I'm wearing a hot outfit and remind the world that I'm a catch. And I deserve a man to treat me like one. — corgo
🌌 tumblr ghosts
You and I were each other's first Tumblr follows. You went to a different school on the other side of town, but through your reblogs, angsty text posts, and letters we started writing each other, I came to see that you found beautiful the same things I did. A few years of this, then a DM asking you to prom, and we were two slow dancers, last ones out. To think that we could stay the same. "It would be a hundred times easier, if we were young again," Mitski sang. I logged back into my Tumblr account—it's been years, over half a decade since—trying to find your old blog.
"There's nothing here. Whatever you were looking for doesn't currently exist at this address." — kevin
💌 a poem
an abridged list of ill-advised things I have done for love:
learned to mint an NFT
didn't laugh (too hard) at his data leak
spent two hours researching Allbirds alternatives
tried not to have my feelings hurt when he still wanted Allbirds
pretended to care about the Solana blockchain
defined "surveillance capitalism"
conducted blameless postmortems
deprecated it anyway
🌇 success story
I swiped right for photos of your cat and “Wasteland” by Tierra Whack. We’d just begun our first pandemic summer; we’d trade TikToks and “what_blank_are_you” memes. You lived across town and ran in different circles, but I admired you; you were self-assured and earnest, proud of being a good sister. We scheduled a FaceTime which turned to three, talking for hours about Odd Future and public transit. I’d lay for hours on the phone with you, laying in the hammock we joked would need stronger straps so we could cuddle in it. It seemed unsafe to meet in a newly opened restaurant and too bizarre to propose a walk; neither of us jumped to initiate, and we’d never end up meeting up. In certain ways, it feels fitting that you never left my screen; we lightly passed through each others’ lives, leaving no marks of infatuation or strife. Talking to you felt careless and comfortable, a respite from weeks of chaos and confusion; I’m glad you swiped right on me too. — anon
“Characters like Baymax and Klara offer new possibilities for relation, a philosophical step beyond the confines of code, of problem and solution, of artificial and genuine.” Anabelle Johnston in Real Life Magazine on how science fiction can reshape how we think of (robotic) care
What is the DOJ gonna do with $3.6 billion in Bitcoin? (Maybe consider it a fine for these videos)
“The angst about the increasing use of food processors for tasks traditionally accomplished with a lesung isn’t just reactionary luddism. It’s also about the sense that we’ve imported a solution to modernity that certainly wasn’t designed for us, and might have been imposed on us.” A quick read on the mortar and pestle, history, and colonialism.
Not pictured: “Hiring McKinsey is a clear sign of failure”
something something naming is the hardest problem in computer science
💝 closing note
We’ve got a bunch of events lined up for you in the next few weeks — stay tuned! In the meantime, remember to love yourself and the folks around you :,)