December 30, 2013

Coming full circle.

A lot of thoughts are swirling around in my head right now and what I write might not come out coherent.  It's easier said than written, but I'll do my best.  I've been thinking what my greater purpose is here on Earth.  I'm tempted to just write 'IS THERE A GOD!?' except that's not really what I'm questioning.  While I believe there are forces greater than me, I do not believe I have to pray to them for something to happen.  I'm discovering my own spirituality and guiding it are mostly superstitions and intuitions.  But hey, it's whatever gets us through, right?

Any real existential crisis aside, in the past few months I've learned more and more about myself, about my passions.  This past semester was a good indication that I value talking to people more, face-to-face, than completing certain homework assignments in a timely manner.   It was far more fulfilling to know I'd connected with my classmates -- many of whom may be my lifelong friends -- instead of acing an Econ problem set or fully understanding my Spanish literature.  Take my friend David, for instance.  He's quite easily everyone's favorite -- simply because he is the nicest human being you'll ever meet -- yet I secretly know he's my favorite and our friendship will last beyond college.  He seriously told me once that he was having a bad day and then by just remembering I existed, he was cheered up.  I didn't know I could have that effect.  But it's amazing!  And now it has become the effect I strive to have on every person in my life, although I know this is probably unrealistic.

This past semester, I also carried around index cards and whenever I had some free time (or let's be honest, when I was avoiding homework), I wrote a note to a friend on a card and then mailed it to them.  I had the intention to reach out and hopefully make their days a little brighter.  I know just what it's like to get a piece of mail from one of you blogger folks.  I treasure it.  So when one friend of mine received a card, she went so far as to make her Facebook status,

Wow, little, sweet, unexpected acts of kindness can really make your day. Feeling wonderful right now. Thank you  

Subsequently, I felt wonderful knowing that I had successfully helped make someone else's day.  Thus, one of my goals for 2014 shall be to give more than I receive.  I am so incredibly fortunate and privileged to even have the time to sit and reflect on how privileged I am.  It's funny how that works, isn't it.

I vow to also stop holding grudges against people.  A week or so ago now, Puja and I ran into this girl who made my senior year miserable.  As we chatted and she began sharing what she's up to, I realized she was a bit more mature than we last talked at graduation.  I guess, a year and half later, the universe wanted to show me things were okay.  I could let go, and continue living my life after high school.  That's hometown life for ya, though.  You're going to run into people you know, and you're better off smiling.

If you don't follow me on Instagram, you probably missed photos from my trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  My friend Dan was kind enough to invite me to his house for the short break, and I was more than excited to spend time in Wisconsin, a state I had previously never visited.  To get there, our mutual friend Carolyn agreed to drive us.  She was already headed that way to visit her uncle so it was super convenient.  Days before the break, however, her car broke down -- and even worse, it wasn't going to be repaired in time.  Luckily her family in the Twin Cities let her borrow a car, no muss, no fuss.

For my first ever road trip with exclusively friends, I thought it was fun albeit not everything the movies make it out to be.  We mostly talked about family and relationships, listened to the mixes I prepared (ahem, singing along to "Cecilia"), and watched the corn fields pass by.

Minutes after arriving in Milwaukee, Dan insisted he and his parents take me to a restaurant called Kopp's.  I ate a great hamburger and I was practically demanded to try their delicious custard.  Having never tried the ice cream competitor before, I wasn't sure what to expect.  It did not disappoint and was indeed delicious.

Then I spent most of the next four days either sitting in front of the fireplace, eating, or riding in a car.  His parents were excellent hosts and I felt thoroughly relaxed.  They even included me in the annual white elephant gift exchange they do with family who come over for dinner.  Dinner, by the way, was AMAZING.  In an effort to make small talk, I accidentally asked Dan's younger cousin if she had any friends.  I'm not giving you context on that one.

On Friday, we picked up Julia who was also visiting a sub-set of her family in Milwaukee and staying in a hotel with her mom.  Dan driving in downtown was the funniest thing.  We probably drove the same four blocks at least three times.  When we finally picked her up, his grand tour of his hometown commenced.  There was something priceless about the entire day.  As we marveled at his high school, were regaled with stories of his childhood shenanigans, and overall generally saw his home and the surrounding area through his eyes, I was fascinated with how this is my life.  I'm old enough to know peers on the other side of the country who drive me around their hometowns and expose more and more of themselves with every landmark they point to and every side story they tell.

We ate a good lunch at one of his favorite places, CafĂ© Corazon.  Their decor can be summed up as "hispanic hipster".  Afterwards, we continued Dan's Tour of Milwaukee, complete with the park where he had his first kiss and the Milwaukee Art Museum.  The latter looks over Lake Michigan and that was such a gorgeous, almost entirely blue sight.

When my stay with Dan was over, I rode back to campus with Carolyn and her sister, stopping in Madison to meet up with a friend of Carolyn's sister.  We took photos in front of the capital before heading over to Daisy's Cupcakery for brunch.  Not particularly hungry, I only had cider and then regretted not getting a cupcake to go.  Dan took the Megabus back later that afternoon and he had to bring back with him the coat I left in his parent's coat closet.  Yeah, whoops…

That trip made up for most the crap I had to deal with in the beginning of the semester.  (Did I mention my hysteric breakdown when I went home for fall break?  Oh I didn't?  Well, it happened.)  Right, so the sojourn to Wisconsin and put me in a pretty good frame of mind to tackle finals a few short weeks later, which were, as to be expected, emotionally and physically exhausting.

One small reprieve from everything awful was hanging out with David, Nicole, Emily, and Andy.  It was yet another reminder of how fortunate I am to have such awesome friends.

My mom came and visited me briefly after I finished exams on the 12th, but that night in the hotel I slept and slept.  And slept.  (Sorry Mom.)  The next day I packed frantically and said goodbye to friends.  After a three-hour plane ride and more sleeping, I came home to this:

Although I've had the pleasure of seeing Emilia, Brianna and the biffles, my holidays were the least festive they've ever been.  Thus, I've accepted that 2014 can only be better.  Here's to a better second semester, successful planning for Scotland, and awesome friends.

December 19, 2013

winter playlist 2013

1. Shot at the Night -- The Killers
2. Frayed -- The Naked and Famous
3. How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep -- Bombay Bicycle Club
4. Quesadilla -- WALK THE MOON
5. Young Presidents -- Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
6. Coquet Coquette -- Of Montreal
7. Bellio -- Dutch Uncles
8. Were Before -- Cults
9. Armourland -- Everything Everything
10. Compliment Your Soul -- Dan Croll
11. Little Bit -- Lykke Li
12. Steal His Heart -- Emily and The Woods
13. Silver & Gold -- Sufjan Stevens
14. Winter Prayers -- Iron & Wine
15. Voice Memo -- U.S. Royalty
16. At Home -- Crystal Fighters

December 06, 2013

The things I think I'll do (and never actually do).

  • Blog more.  Always, always, always.
  • Travel.  I have big dreams of somehow road tripping across Florida to visit friends at their various colleges this January and I know that's probably not going to happen.
  • Get a license.  But not paying insurance is nice/what car would I drive anyway. 
  • Take instax portraits.  My project has mostly been on hold all semester and that makes me sad.
  • Turn in an Econ problem set with confidence.  At this point, I just assume I'll lose a couple of points because I don't explain things properly.  Thankfully I'm almost done.  Just two more classes and a final!
  • Eat better.  I really try with this.  I think I will break up with breakfast muffins next semester.  Lemon Poppyseed, it's not you, it's me.
  • Hang out with friends I don't see often anymore.  The invitation lingers and I never follow through.  That needs to change.  Today at least I get to play indoor tennis with Sana.
Take care.  Ace your finals.

December 01, 2013

A fresh start.

These past few weeks have been incredibly nice.  Sure, the usual stresses of school and figuring out study abroad and everything else are straining on me.  But somehow through it all I've been very…relaxed.  And even now as finals settle in, I'm trying to stay positive.  Today has been a struggle, though.

As for my last post: I finally worked up the nerve to tell the guy I liked him.  And after obsessing over the silliest and most insignificant things, I learned he's not looking for a relationship.  We've remained good friends since and I couldn't be happier about my decision to say something.

I forgot my password to tumblr again so I will stay logged out until after finals.  I think I can survive two weeks without seeing Tom Hiddleston -- who, I should mention, I never knew before tumblr.  I get the impression he's a nice guy.

I've discovered some great music lately.  Here's one live version that I've found particularly awesome.

With only two weeks left of the semester, I hope I can go out with a bang.

October 08, 2013

Oh, hi.

I think I'm finally settled into the new school year.  Furthermore, fall is upon us, and I'm loving it.

With everyone being back now, I remember how full and alive campus can feel.  I also remember what it's like to spend all evening reading or working on homework and still not be done.  It's exhausting, really.  Of course, this exhaustion likes to show itself, often in peculiar ways.  Take this picture of Erin, for example, and maybe you'll be able to relate.
Yup, the sophomore shenanigans never end.

My two film classes are equally interesting and demanding.  Given my new critical eye, however, I couldn't get through 10 Things I Hate About You this weekend without simultaneously questioning its ideologies and admiring the form/cinematography.  If you're ever curious as to what I've been watching, you can check out my nifty page, Movies in 2013, or browse my Goodfilms profile.  I try to keep both updated, even when I go almost a whole month without blogging.  Also, in case I haven't mentioned it before, I'm always open to recommendations!

The weeks pass so quickly here, here being college.  Brianna, now at college in California, sent me a letter today and expressed a similar sentiment.  How does this happen?  I'm afraid I'll never know.

I am definitely busier than last year.  I am on the board of Students for Education Reform, I attend weekly Sophomore and Leadership Development meetings, I volunteer at a community center, and I'm co-DJing a radio show with Nicole (Sundays at 11 AM CDT, you can listen in here).  Oh, and I have four yoga on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Needless to say, I've become an obsessive user of Google Calendar.

As much as blogging is fun and awesome, I should confess I've started journaling more instead.  (Besides, I need a reason to justify my purchases of washi tape and colorful pens.)   This allows me to be completely uncensored and open to more visually express my ideas.  I know it's possible to do the same digitally, but my moleskine will have to suffice.  It's nice to physically adhere mementos to the page, y'know?

And thank you again to Dillion for sending an awesome fall-inspired package!  I plan to bake the cupcakes tomorrow in prep for my birthday on Thursday.  I'm trying to have an epic dance party with nearly all my friends.  I'll let you know how that goes down.

I hope everyone is transitioning well into the new season!

September 15, 2013

Sophomore shenanigans.

So far I'm loving being a sophomore.  But first I should probably fill you in on the end of my summer.

Towards the end of August, I finally went home for a week.  A week is so short, though!  I was surprised how much I really needed it.  I gave my mom a huge hug and cried, at least a little bit, almost every day.  I think I was letting myself feel vulnerable after toughing out three months virtually alone.

I was also very glad able to spend time with Puja and Aniesa, Brianna, and my brother before they were all off to their respective colleges.  I'm slowly learning life is just a series of arrivals and departures.

When I came back early (as in before classes started) for job training, everyone else was just arriving from home.  The hustle and bustle picked up as my RA and Orientation Leader friends helped the new first-years move-in.  Slowly my other sophomore classmates trekked back.  Dan and I assisted Zoe and her mom as she got her room situated.  My days getting ready for my new position at the CDC were informative but tiring.  I was grateful for that weekend before classes started.

That weekend I was reunited with Nicole when she invited me along to the Minnesota-On-A-Stick concert at the State Fair.  The concert was comprised of Minnesota local bands so we got to groove to the likes of Mason Jennings and Trampled by Turtles.  Mason Jennings' "Be Here Now" definitely spoke to me as I was in fact trying to immerse myself back into college life.  Also, if you ever get the chance to see Trampled by Turtles live, GO, because their instrumentality is awe-inspiring.  The five hours of music was enhanced by getting to hang out with Nicole, her cousin, and her family.

After spending my whole summer in a single, I was half-excited, half-reluctant to be living in a double.  Mostly, I was sad I wouldn't be living with my first-year roommates in the quad again.  Emily and I have tried to mimic certain elements of our former room (her chair, the minimalistic table from Ikea, fridge, etc.), but it will never be the same.  And I have to accept that.
Amid getting our room fully situated, we had to do that thing where we actually show up, listen, take notes and analyze readings.  Y'know, rhymes with sass, but has five letters?  Yes, that.  Luckily, I didn't have my three-hour night Monday class the first week.  Of course, that just means I have a ton of work to do for it now, more specifically after I finish writing this...

The weekend before was spectacular, and I don't use that word lightly.
On Saturday into Sunday morning we had a Sophomore Leadership Retreat.  It was just in another part of Minnesota, but in order to get there, we had to drive through Wisconsin.  So now I guess I can say I've been there.  These classmates of mine are quite amazing.  We shared many snacks and many laughs.
Most of the retreat was spent reflecting and expressing goals for the new year.  Andy and I were paired up by closest birthdays to discuss what we journaled about.  We both want to broaden and deepen our connections here at college.  He and I also walked into this grassy clearing as we talked.

When the retreat was over, I rushed to get homework done before going to see Alt-J at First Ave in Minneapolis.
I discovered the band last fall and vividly remember playing "Breezeblocks" on repeat.  To see them live was, for lack of a better word, incredible.  "Taro," "Matilda," "Dissolve Me," "Fitzpleasure," and the entire set was amazing and infused with color.  This concert set the perfect tone for my sophomore year.

Other notable events include:
Emily spilling yogurt on our milk carton and proceeding to eat it.

Oliver trying to run me over.

I hope everyone is well.  If you're back in school or back at college, good luck surviving the workload.  I know I'm still doing my best to adjust.

Days until my birthday: 25

August 24, 2013

Dear James McAvoy,

You wow me.  What can I say, my celebrity crush on you has largely defined who I am.

I will eventually come back and edit this with my thoughts on all the movies I've seen you in.  Or more likely I will forget.


August 23, 2013

Dear Brianna,

You are not unfamiliar to getting my thoughts in letter form.  In fact, you are one of the reasons I consistently write snail mail.

Mostly, there is a lot I should be thanking you for.  Like coming to my "directorial debut" a few years ago, or always driving me when we go out for photoshoots.

What I should thank you for most, though, is your unwavering friendship.  We have never had drama or anything to strain what we share.  You've supported me in my move to Minnesota.  As in, you were genuinely cheerful when I told you I got accepted to Macalester.  Sadly, not many of my friends were as supportive or happy.  Perhaps in part because they were still waiting back from their dream schools, but also because I don't think they comprehended my desire to create and experience outside my hometown.

You definitely comprehend that, Miss-Headed-to-California-to-Attend-Her-Top-Choice-School.  Gosh, it would be incredible to visit you!  In the meantime, I will stalk the millions of photos you're bound to take.  I'm dying to see your perspective of UCSD's tree library, both inside and out.

I wish you the best of luck moving forward, though I know you have the determination to make anything work in your favor.  I'm glad to spend the time we have now crafting and discussing our future plans.


August 22, 2013

Dear the beach,

Sometimes I take you for granted. 
You are actually amazing.
And I should acknowledge that.

Much love, 

August 21, 2013

Dear my hometown,

You are not how I left you a year ago, or six months ago, or four months ago.  You keep changing, growing, regressing, and most of all, challenging me to rethink what I've known.

While much is familiar, a great deal has been reshaped, remolded.  For instance, New York & Company is now Bonefish Grill, Rave is now Carmike and that gynecologist office next to US 1 has recently cropped up.  (And it is, might I add, an eyesore.)  Plus that house by the S curved chopped down their tall trees.  What are we coming to here?

When I visited last for my spring break, K-12 students were still in school and now they are back again, just a year older.  That's absurd.

Some things don't change, though.  You are still where my best friends and I can come together and laugh over the silliest conversations.  

Today, Puja, Aniesa and I got to spend time together before we part again.  I snapped the above picture only to find it's a) too dark and b) weirdly stained, making it a less-than-perfect representation of a perfect day.  (Not the mention the scanner was dirty...ugh.)   Basically we wandered Books-A-Million, ate nachos, saw The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and indulged in ice cream.  Good fun.

I suppose that's the magic of hometowns: you will always be reunited with people you know and love and be reminded where you came from.  


August 20, 2013

Dear incoming college freshmen,


There will be no lack of posts and articles like this one.  You've probably read most them; written by college survivors and veterans addressing you, the newest recruits, and relinquishing kernels (colonels?) of truth.  And while I can share some gathered wisdom, I will preface it with this:  You will probably have a different experience than me.

The most exciting thing about college is its possibilities. There is no magic formula I can give to guarantee academic or social success.  You will have to discover it for yourself!

Here are just some of the things I've learned:

  • Shower flip flops are not necessary.  I'm serious.  I survived a whole year without any feet fungus. 
  • Be nice to everybody and keep an open mind.  There have been several people that I initially said I would never talk to for whatever reason.  And guess what?  They ended up being some of my closest friends. 
  • Don't always contact to meet someone for a meal.  Okay, this might not work for those folks at huge universities, but at my small campus, I never liked feeling tied down.  Unless I'm making a point to spend time with someone I haven't seen otherwise, I try to sit with different people. 
  • Sleep.  Need I elaborate?  Health comes first--don't forget that.  
  • Seek out career services.  Chances are you can schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor to discuss major/job/life plans or to finally write a proper resume.  This will especially bode you well come summer.  I had an advantage because I also worked there, but it is open to all and you should use it.
  • Always consult the syllabus.  Save yourself the trouble of asking people about readings, topic of lectures, etc. Instead, be the person who can inform others.
  • Be mature.  This isn't high school.
  • Don't bring a computer to class.  Now, I never did.  But when I would see the occasional person on Facebook, I'd have to roll my eyes.  Why pay so much not to pay attention?
  • Get off campus.  Even if you live in a college town, explore the other local eateries, parks, etc.
  • Avoid studying in bed.  You won't learn much this way.
  • Avoid studying in your room.  I don't think you'll learn much this way either.
  • Save your money.  College is a good time to curb your coffee habit or generally spend less on potentially non-essential items.
For those who have lived through it, what else would you add?

I guess my last token of advice would be to have a positive attitude.


August 19, 2013

Dear Oliver,

You were driving me to the airport at the crack of dawn when you remarked, "It would've been about this same time last year that we were emailing each other."

And you're right.  August 2012 we found out we were soon to be co-workers.  I was shocked, yet flattered, that you emailed me to introduce yourself.  We then exchanged facts about ourselves over the course of several days until you left for MacWard Bound.  Little did I know you would meet my roommate, Zoe, on that trip and we'd thus see each other outside of work.

This summer, as you've noted, you've grown up.  During the year, you were wilder, more unpredictable, more inconsiderate.  But I think that's because it was before you got to know anyone.
And before we got to know you.

Thanks for being helpful this summer, first with my move, and then driving me to the airport.  You're great.


August 17, 2013

Dear stranger at the MIA,

I was about to leave the contemporary exhibit when I saw you.  Dark blue polo shirt, off-green pants, brown moccasins and the cutest curly brown hair.  You struck me as much as any artwork on display. (I wonder, are we all just performers?)

I couldn't say 'hi' because the relative silence of the museum atmosphere stifles that sort of interaction.  Unless it's a tour, in which case, by all means, the docent will drone on and then ask you for your baloney interpretation.  But we weren't on a tour.  No.  We were alone in one particular room for a long time.

Standing in the doorframe, I began sketching the wall featuring Roy Lichtenstein's Peace Through Chemistry I.   It was bright blue accent to the otherwise whiter-than-white walls.  Out of my periphery, I saw you make your way towards it.  Along the way, you checked your phone and I felt a brief moment of sadness.  

And then you sat down on the bench directly in front of the painting.  Directly in front of my line of vision.  Although we were at least 30 feet apart, and your back was turned, I thought we were sharing an intimate moment.  So, you entered my drawing-- and for the record I felt slightly creepy for doing it.  But you stayed there...a while.  I thought maybe you could hear my pencil scratching the paper because when I stopped, you got up.

I walked further into the exhibit, hoping to muster up the courage to say something.  Anything.  After a few more rooms, I realized it was futile.  So I left.

If for some bizarre reason you are reading this, please know I wanted to talk to you.  I really did.

Your secret admirer,

August 16, 2013

Dear unpacking,


That is all I have to say to you right now.


August 15, 2013

Dear Mo,

Can you believe our time as summer roommates has officially ended?

It's incredible how much and yet how little can be crammed into time frames.  (Time frames and their existence is a whole 'nother story.)  But really, it feels like I was just settled into living in my room in our triple before BAM, I had to get up and shlep my stuff elsewhere.  Right now the Kirk room is empty.  Hallow.  Blank.

So what does this mean for us?

As we start over, amongst the new spaces to decorate, old friends to greet, and boxes to unpack, I hope we don't erase the time we had together, the small fraction of the year when we got to interact beyond meals and short visits.

Well, when I tried to interact at least.  For the most part, we drifted away.  I realized about halfway in that we had separate interests to explore-- independently.

No joke, my two jobs consumed me and slowly yours did too.  Except yours also allowed you to bond with other folks, some familiar and some new, and all the tour guide jokes/anecdotes eventually excluded me.

I'm not sure any of this exclusion is a bad thing.  The times we've had to talk at length, we've mutually agreed it was more circumstantial and were fatigued most of the time, preventing quality time spent.  I know that didn't stop you from hanging out with Minah exclusively, and sometimes well into the night, and, well, that's fine.

Thanks for reminding me how it feels to be left out.  While it hurt, it forced me to understand that I won't always be considered as I consider others.  I admit I am pretty sensitive--and I believe you never did it maliciously--but the fact that it happened was enough to make me...disappointed.  I dunno, I thought I deserved better?  Maybe coming from a quad I had too high expectations?

That aside, let's not forget that WE SURVIVED.  We worked our bums off during the week and did our best to enjoy the Twin Cities on the weekends.  We played Wii in the loch prior to the camp invasion.  We lived through said camp invasion.  I got to meet your Mom and close friend, Drew.  We updated each other on our TV watching.  The list goes on...

In short, I'll miss you and I can't wait to come visit you in your new "incredible" room.

And I hope there's room for me there, so to speak.

I love you as a friend, Morgan.  You know that will never change.  Even if you weren't exactly the roommate I expected, that doesn't nullify our friendship.

Have a great year, m'dear.


August 14, 2013

Dear packing,

YOU ARE THE WORST.  You made me miss a day of BEDA!

Thanks to you, my feet are aching, my brain is fried, and I'm desperately shoving my crap into boxes.  I keep asking myself: "Why can't I live minimalistic?  Why haven't I downsized?  What is my problem?"

The only way I'm posting this on the 14th is because I'm cheating the system.  See, you are corrupting me.


August 13, 2013

Dear Kevin,

(Great, I'm already tearing up.)

You have always been a smart, funny, and caring older brother.  Whenever I would fight with Andy, you were there to intervene.  I've looked up to you my entire life.  The way you were able to do well academically but also have a pretty active social life-- I envied that.

I love watching you play video games.  (Okay, loved.  It's just because I don't understand League of Legends, okay?   Kirby has been and will to continue to be more my speed.)

Remember when we shared the front room?  When I was maybe five, six and you were not much older?  We used to tune the blue boombox to 107.1 AIA and fall asleep to the music.  I remember hearing Train's "Drops of Jupiter" and I've forever associated that song with this memory.

Even if I was up to writing paragraphs upon paragraphs right now, I could never come close to expressing the gratitude I feel for knowing you.

I hope we do share our inspirational quotes/song lyrics/whatever daily, or at least as often as we can.

Stay awesome.

I love you,

August 12, 2013

Dear Zack,

First of all, Happy Birthday!  Yet how you've bent the space-time continuum to turn 20 already I will never know.  You've always been more science-y.

I know we've been friends a long time since you were featured in my inaugural post.  That shiz was a long time ago!  I mean, we're talking 2008, when we were still entrenched in high school.  Can you even remember half the stuff that went down then?  Well, besides you chemically straightening your hair, which, to be fair, I bet many have forgotten.  (I clearly haven't.)

In 2008, you were also my best guy friend.  Sadly, that's not true anymore.  I don't have any best guy friend nowadays.  I have good friends all around.

I know we don't talk much or at all, but I can't discredit your friendship those years we did talk.  We talked quite a bit, actually.  How did we never run out of things to talk about?

Thanks for everything, Zack.  You are pretty darn sweetawesome.

Much, much, mucho love,

August 11, 2013

Dear Breaking Bad,

(I promise no spoilers...I'm barely going to write.  I haven't been able to see the premiere myself.  It needs to download ASAP on iTunes as per my season pass!)

Although you entered my life a year ago, I can already declare you one of my favorite TV shows of all time.

I can quote and reference you like crazy, bitch.

(Okay, wish I could elaborate, but I'm mighty tired.)


August 10, 2013

Dear Puja,

Today I went to St. Paul's Indiafest with several friends and I thought of you.

I thought of all the Indian food you've had me try over the years.  Of course, I don't know the name of virtually anything because you'd laugh and say you didn't know the English word for it.  Still, I enjoyed everything, even if it was, as you cautioned, spicy. 

Stingy and not particularly hungry, I opted out of food and got Falooda instead--very sweet!

I thought of you when I saw Sana's and Zoe's henna tattoos.  These similar, intricate designs have graced your hands in the past and I always admired them.  I almost got my own but the line was an unbearable wait.

Bottom line, I wish you could've been here.  Sometimes I forget how effortless it is to talk to you and feel at ease.  I felt like I was pulling teeth just to relate on basic levels today.  Maybe I'm just done pretending I want to be here.  This summer has been more work and hardship than relaxation and fun.

I can't wait to see you and give you the biggest hug.

All my love,

August 08, 2013

Dear today,

Here is why you were good.  In list form.  Because I'm dog tired and I haven't even showered yet.
  • I rode the bus to the library, effectively getting off campus despite a long day of work.
  • Alexandra and I ate DE-LIC-IOUS frozen yogurt.  Yum, salted caramel pretzel.
  • More than three emails showed up in my inbox.  Why does this make me happy?
  • I still had all three meals provided for me and soon I won't have any.
  • I made conversation with a cute guy wearing a Los Pollos Hermanos t-shirt in the salad line.
  • I made conversation with a prospective student, sharing my college decision and woes.
  • I didn't die.

August 07, 2013

Dear memory,

You make me weep uncontrollably sometimes.  In fact, I am on the verge of tears right now.  (Okay, I can't blame you--it's probably the sleep deprivation.)

Still, you have me thinking through inexplicable sequences.  "Dog fence" somehow made me think of third grade, and typing just now made me think of getting my first laptop, which is tied to immediately signing onto AIM with it and messaging Zack.  Zack, who is in San Francisco for an internship and who's birthday is very soon.  Maybe I will write my letter to him on his birthday.  That would be cool.

Oh.  Right.  Stay on track.  It's hard with you, memory.  You're always dragging me away to the darker recesses of mind, grudging up unpleasant thoughts, like how my 8th grade English teacher yelled directly at me when she was addressing the whole class.  The class that was misbehaving.  It had something to do with crackers during the FCAT.  The FCAT that I passed but Kai got a 6 (perfect score) and she gloated about it.  That same awards night I didn't get the President Award and it went to my nemesis instead.  While all my friends were in shock, I kind of expected it.  I'm great, just not in the way that garners public adoration.  That doesn't mean I'm not popular either.  What is the difference between popular and well-liked anyway?

Enough of this.  I'm going to bed.  I read that sleep is good for you memory.


August 06, 2013

Dear body,

You've been through a lot.

Thanks for sticking around.


August 05, 2013

Dear David,

Your email could not have come at a better time.  As much as I've enjoyed this summer -- the semi-independence, meeting new people, venturing out, and, of course, earning money -- these past few weeks have been hard.  I miss my family.  I miss my own bed.  I miss the ocean.  I miss my Florida friends and other Mac friends.  I miss having other goals to work towards.

So thank you for your enthusiastic and comforting words.  These next two weeks will be better.

Can you believe I have nearly doubled my music collection this summer alone?  I'm working towards refining it.  My ipod is running out of space.

I'm very glad you liked my previous suggestions!  Here are some songs that have been "the soundtrack of my life" lately.  Enjoy!

"Electric Feel" -- MGMT

"Resolution" -- Matt Corby

"From Nowhere" -- Dan Croll

"Boris" -- BOY

"Set Fire to the Third Bar" -- Snow Patrol

I miss you.  Come back to Minnesota already.


August 04, 2013

Dear Nicole,

We skyped for two hours today and here I am, talking to you again in another medium.

Sorry this won't be very long, though.  I just watched Starter for 10 with Sana and she loved it, which makes me happy of course.  Except now I'm in a post-McAvoy-movie haze.  This may not end well.

In other news, Oliver thinks Haroon's name is Harpoon, with a P, and I made an idiot out of myself at dinner.  But hey, what's new.

Sana and I also started watched Orange is the New Black after several people I follow on tumblr kept reblogging photosets.  It's...well...different.  I think I should watch more than the first episode before making any hard judgments.

Well., I think that's everything new that's transpired since we talked this afternoon.

I miss you.  I will keep practicing my Alt-J symbol for September in the meantime.  And working on your mix!


August 03, 2013

Dear Don Lee,

Your book, The Collective, is perfect.  I fear I will never be able to adequately describe my feelings towards it.  But I shall try.

The way you've captured what it's like to be a first-year at my college is astounding.  I am shocked by how, even twenty years later, certain ideas and practices still permeate the campus culture.   Sure, a few things are antiquated, like the chalkboards on everyone's door, but otherwise it is on the nose.  Dupre is still prison-like and the bell tradition runs strong.  I definitely chuckled when you had to explain what a progressive was ("a series of parties that moved from one off-campus house to another") and what the ringing-the-bell tradition means ("it's when you lose your on-campus virginity").  Too good.

Yes, I may have gone a little crazy sticky-tabbing relatable passages or poignant moments.  I am seriously considering buying a copy.  This is the kind of book I would own so I can re-read it (often unheard of for me, Stargirl being the ultimate exception)!

I highly recommend it to my friends, particularly fellow Mac students.

"How well do we really know anyone?  We only know what people are willing to reveal.  It's not that people change.  People don't change.  They merely hide things from you, and lie."

Thanks for bringing this story to life.


August 02, 2013

Dear Alexandra,

I am rushing to write this before the day is over.  I would've started sooner but we've been busy having fun traipsing around for most of the day!

While I could've done without our gross encounters on the way to the library, I couldn't have done without this new book you assisted me in picking up.  Seriously, I will go ahead and claim it is one of the best books I've read in a long time.  (More on that at a later date.  I think I'll be finished soon.)

Sorry for the detour we took to finally use up my Wet Paint gift card.  Of course, had I not bought that pen, we would've missed the cashier's confused look when I asked for pennies.  "Wait, do you actually LIKE pennies?"  His concern was amusing.

Infiltrating the nearby university's campus center was a great decision, if not to just pose like the statues.  Maybe one day, though, they'll have more bike racks.  And I hope that couple that we saw by the fountain got to smooch after those dog-walkers left.  Gosh, I can't wait for when we go back during the school year.  All the people-watching and story-concocting possibilities!

By the way, your polaroid portrait might be one of my favorites to date.  We picked a good spot, even if those kids and other parents were milling about.  I think they would've been envious if they saw the end result!  I mean it.

I'm very glad I met you this summer, Alexandra.  You are down-to-earth and such a patient listener.  Sometimes that's hard to find these days, so thank you.  Playing tennis and amazing adventures like today await in our future!


August 01, 2013

Dear CDC coworkers,

I haven't even known you for a full year, but you've already made my life immeasurably better.

Thank you for your upmost generosity.  Today was a prime example of how you continue to go above and beyond.  Dressing up in business attire and taking photos, those posed and those shall-we-say more candid, wasn't necessary.  But it help us improve our LinkedIn profiles.  (And in the end, we couldn't miss the opportunity to laugh at fake desks and our silly expressions.)

So even though it's a desk job first, we're not drones.  We're human.  We have lives, we exist outside the office, and we make mistakes.  Seriously, thank you for answering my questions and teaching me the ropes.  And while you may ask for a lot, you always give equally in return.

The "how are you"s are highly appreciated.  On the days when I'm not feeling great, your words of encouragement and sympathy help keep me going.  Also that incredibly messy, incredibly emotional day back in the fall when you listened to me hyperventilate as I missed home?  Yes, thank you for that.  Your support was step one to recovery and enabling me to continue having an amazing first year.

Not to mention, you've taught me practically everything I know about jobs, resumes, alumni reports, you name it.  Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to battling life after college.

And in case I haven't said it enough: thank you.  I look forward to these next three years of self discovery and working hard so when college is over, I will land on my feet.


P.S. I am not getting paid to say this.

July 29, 2013

Already the end of July.

I shall sum up what I've done this July, which isn't much.
I already feel like August will treat me better.  I vow to make better progress on my summer 2013 bucket list, AND, I also vow to fully enjoy my remaining month before classes start.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have Gilmore Girls to watch.

July 22, 2013

I'm not there.

It is late July and I've barely blogged.  I've learned noteworthy things don't happen often when you work an eight-to-five job.  I shouldn't complain, though.  Less of a financial burden is less of a financial burden.

This is the first year I'm not home for Puja's and Regina's birthdays.  I was supposed to Skype with Puja for hers.  Sadly, our busy schedules got the best of us.  At least I was able to send her this card.

I visited Emily at her mall job a couple of Thursdays ago.  After a long day of work, I hopped on the bus.  I felt so...independent.  She works at Ragstock and she was able to get me a discount.  On the same trip, I also stepped foot in a Forever 21 for the first time in my life.  I've only ever ordered from the online store before.  I bought a cute sweater with the Union Jack because I felt like it.

In my downtime, I've been cataloging every movie I've ever seen.  My current count is 332.  This may be about half, but I've watched 73 in the year 2013 alone...

Speaking of which, I just finished watching The Future.  Such a strange film that I almost gave up on for a few reasons.  Perhaps I'll write more about it in a later post?  Let me know if you'd be interested in a monthly movie recap, similar to what Amy does.

I think blogging is becoming more foreign to me.

Hell, I'm becoming more foreign to me.

June 23, 2013

Now you see me.

Since I last posted, life has treated me well.  Or at least I've refused to let it beat me down.  

The heat here is stifling.  Add that to storms we had last week and I might think I was home.  Except my room was virtually an ice box and I guess I never appreciated that until now.  My fans are on full blast and I still can't sleep comfortably.

On Friday, Emily and I walked to a local ice cream parlor.  I indulged in salted caramel with an m&m izzy (an izzy is the miniature scoop on top. Oh, and I was a "tester" for their new waffle bowl.  I approve).  We got to catch up and as we were departing, made loose plans to attend Pride together next weekend.  That should be fun.  Reminds me I should finally post a video/proper write up about The Electric Run I volunteered at in May.

On another note, my eyes are pretty sore after watching several movies this weekend.  But trust me, it was worth it.  I finally saw the classic Trainspotting, which makes me both excited and terrified to see Trance.  Falling under the Other Movies I Saw That Made Me Cry category are: Sicko, Freedom Writers, and One Day.

In theaters today I saw Now You See Me.  I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but it is certainly no Prestige.  Also, I was surprised how ~old~ Morgan Freeman looked.  I suppose even he is not immune to aging.

After the movie, I went to Target for some essentials and then some skin care/beauty items.  I am trying to do a better job of moisturizing, cleansing, and everything else you're told to do.  Well, for the most part I've ignored that.  Check out this pretty blue nail polish I found.  How appropriate.

In late breaking news, I started playing Tiny Tower again. I'm just going to leave it at that.

I hope everyone has a stellar week.