Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sutro Baths, 3

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Last night, I got back from my trip to California with a lot of thoughts in my head and feelings in my heart. And stomach. Five hour flights make you hungry, it ain't no joke. Five hour flights are also good for staring out the window dramatically and reflecting on the adventures you've just had. I've had a big jumbly, tangled ball of thought yarn kicking around in my head since last night, and the thought of untangling it in this post is kind of daunting. Lucky (unlucky) for you guys though, I'm going to make a valiant effort.

This trip to California was the first trip I took by myself. It was the first major thing I did by myself, really. I know people take trips by themselves all the time, that it's super commonplace, but it isn't for me. Even going through security at JFK, I was thinking to myself, "What the heck you doin', gurl?" In a surprise turn of events (that I'm sure someone other than myself could have foreseen) I found myself thinking on that flight home about how much I enjoyed traveling by myself, how I want to do it again. And then again, and again, and again. WHAT? I think that I sell myself short a lot, is part of my problem. I'm inclined to delete that sentence because to say that you "sell yourself short" must imply that you're some real hot potato, no? No. As much as I like potatoes, I'm no hot one. But I am a capable young lady, apparently, which I tend to forget because I'm not used to it. Ten months ago I was convinced I couldn't go to school without my then boyfriend holding my hand (literally and figuratively) and now I'm flying across the country. Excuse me if I'm disoriented by myself.

I feel like I needed to take this trip for a lot of reasons, one of them being to prove to myself that I'm not the wimpy, dependent, fragile girl I was ten months ago. My second mom tells me this fact all the time, that I've come so far, that I could not possibly ever ever EVER be that girl again because I have grown into a new and improved version of myself. Now, it's a little less difficult for me to believe her when she says that.

I also had a lot of important talks while I was with my sister and her girlfriend. While walking through the Yerba Buena gardens in San Francisco, I received a phone call from my mother, which made frustrated me. In effect, she made it seem like it was selfish of me to go to California because it was stressing her out, because she was "too worried about me." They noticed I was visibly upset, and when given the go ahead, I launched a very long rant about my own guilt about leaving my mother, but my undeniable desire to move to the west coast, to find my own path despite my mother's ceaseless desire to baby me and keep me in New York as long as possible. My sister, having broken free many years ago, had some advice to share, as did her girlfriend. "You don't owe her your future." Hmm. This trip also helped me see that a lot of people have this sort of struggle and that you just have to live your own life, just as your parents did, just as their parents did. Everyone makes their own decisions, for themselves. My parents made the decision to get married to who they chose, live where they wanted, and have their kids when they did. I am entitled to all of those decisions, whether they go against my mother's wishes for herself or not. It's difficult and scary to think about, but I'm glad I thought about it.

This little vacation to northern California showed me a lot about who I am and who I want to be. I definitely wasn't thinking these things during the trip while I was riding a trolley, eating pomegranite ice cream and mac and cheese, playing old arcade games, taking the BART, playing with cats, and walking the ruins of Sutro Baths though. Speaking of Sutro Baths, which you think I would have by now in a post titled "Sutro Baths, 3," it is one of my absolute favorite places ever, and I've been to it on every trip I've taken to California so far. They're these ruins right by the ocean that you can wander around and traverse, and they're beautiful. We took this treacherous, steep path back up from the water, that I was positive I wouldn't be able to climb (I definitely didn't think about the symbolism in that AT ALL. Really.) It was the perfect end to an excellent trip.

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Photos by Daphny

Until tomorrow,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pizza with Elanor

Greetings from Oakland folks. California has been excellent. So excellent that, before today, I had only taken one photo. Of a 1960's cookbook (it was full of amusingly terrible recipes, if that helps my case). Today, though, I met up with one of my best blog pals Elanor in Berkeley. And though we didn't take too many photos, it was only because we were chatting and giggling so much that we forgot to take out all of our cameras (she was carrying THREE, including a phone). We did a little bit of shopping. She got this adorable dress from Crossroads, and I finally picked up a cute mid-length skirt from Mars (the planet. Not the planet, I'm lying). After an awful lot of walking and searching and deliberating, we decided to get lunch at a little place called Jupiter, where all the food was named after ancient Greek heroes/villains/gods/goddesses. I really wanted to order the Odysseus pizza for obvious reasons, but it had mushrooms and feta cheese on it and I do not like mushrooms or feta cheese. Alas! I think I ended up getting the Titan pizza? It started with a T at least. It was yummy. Extra yum points for being thematic. We mostly took pictures of each other eating and drinking. Elanor took a few GEMS of me blinking and drinking simultaneously that I sure hope she posts. All in all, it was such a lovely afternoon catching up. It's so easy to talk to Elanor and I'm happy I got to see her while I'm out here. As corny as it sounds, I'm so thankful for blogging for introducing me to such good friends like Elanor. I hope she visits New York soon!


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Until tomorrow,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Holiday From Real

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Whenever I'm planning a trip to California, I can't help but think of the song Holiday From Real by Jack's Mannequin. Tomorrow, I leave for a short trip to the west coast, the bay area to be specific, to visit my sister and her girlfriend. I'm predominantly excited, slightly nervous, and very behind on packing. I'm mostly relieved to be getting a short but necessary change of pace. A little time away from work, a little time away from home, is just what I need at the moment. It's my first plane trip by myself, which is making me a little anxious, but I know I'll be alright. I mean, I can watch the Muppet movie on the plane, so that should keep me occupied, right? Right. I was thinking of asking for guest posters, but I'll probably put up a post while I'm away, because my computer and I are sort of inconveniently attached at the hip. As I've been assured by my boss, there's "a lot of fashion in the bay area." Of course. This outfit feels super summery and vacation-y to me with the bright colors and gingham. Pay no mind to the freakishly brown apocalypse sky in my photos. Editing skills at their best. I mean, just look at my bottom in that last photo. It's simultaneously glowing AND disappearing. MAGIC!

Jeans: Urban Outfitters, Blouse: Goodwill, Sandals: Madden Girl via Marshall's

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Until tomorrow,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gruyere Girl

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Things around here have been quite lazy lately. This weekend was spent doing a little bit of shopping, a little bit of hanging out, a little bit (a lot bit) of Doctor Who watching, and a little bit (a lot bit) of eating. I was planning on seeing a friend today, but when that fell through, I stood in bed for an extra hour listening to the rain rapping at my window. Let's all take a moment to reflect on how awesome rainy mornings are. Okay, good. Something about the stormy weather awakened the urge within me to cook. That and the fact that I've been reading Julia Child's My Life in France, which is all around delicious. So, I got dressed and headed to Fairway to do some grocery shopping. I have an irrational like of grocery shopping at that store by myself. It's nice to be able to stroll through rows of fresh fruit and vegetables, ogle cased pastries, and attempt to pronounce foods in the many international aisles without anyone around to rush you. Or judge you. I ended up baking a savory bread pudding, with bacon and gruyere and arugula. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself. So good that I ate too much of it. And smell like bacon and gruyere. The signs of a good meal?

Dress Forever 21, Sweater: Urban Outfitters, Boots: Vintage

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Until tomorrow,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Green Bean

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I've been staring at this computer screen for a long time. It was bright when I started choosing my photos for this post, but the sunlight faded from the walls a few minutes ago, and I had to get up and turn my ceiling light on. Long time. The problem has been that I didn't know what to write. Or, rather, the problem has been that my mind has been preoccupied with something I initially didn't want to write about. Maybe I should write about how I match the scenery? Maybe I should write about the fact that my legs aren't shaven in these photos (spoiler alert)? Maybe I should write about records or lakes or the weather? That's been my dilemma. But my head isn't wrapped around those things right now (though it's rapidly growing concerned about the not-shaving tidbit I just shared). Instead, it's in this satellitic orbit around a glowy ball of change and future and wondering. To be Captain Obvious for a moment, I'm not one to shy away from over-sharing, but for some reason, I felt kind of reluctant to dive down into the muck of it, but lucky (unlucky) for you, that brief moment of normalcy seems to have passed.

Last night, I caught about a three minute segment of Glee (ugh, I know, I KNOW). I don't know if it was a current episode or older, but what I gathered from the three minutes was that Coach Beiste had decided to leave her abusive husband. They got into this argument as she threw her wedding ring onto the table. He said something like, "No one's going to love you like me. Who's gonna love you now?" and she said, "Me." Familiar. I cried a little bit, which isn't saying much for a sappy sap like me who has wept over Ghost Adventures, and possibly, Sir Walter Scott's gothic novel Waverly. As much as Glee isn't my thing, something about that scene made me simultaneously really uncomfortable and really comforted.

I have talked about my past enough on this blog, and don't need to go there again tonight. A question I've been asking myself a lot lately, and have been getting asked, is "Are you ready to start dating?" I was talking with a friend yesterday about someone, and she asked me, "If he was single, if he asked you out right now, would you say yes?" Hmm. Humm. Well. "No." What a strange thing for me to say. I don't even know how that word got there, into my mouth, out into the open air. I was a girl who needed to be in a relationship, who, after breaking up with her first boyfriend, started dating another a few weeks later. For for years. Now, I don't seem to be a girl who needs to be in a relationship. Right now, that is. And it's weird. It's a weird feeling to like being alone sometimes. It's a weird feeling to be able to say that I'm afraid to date someone right now. Maybe the word isn't "afraid," maybe it's reluctant, tentative, hippopotamus (it's probably not hippopotamus). As I explained to her, I know what I want, but I don't know if I'm ready to have it, strong enough to stick to my convictions and longings, confident enough to have expectations, recognize that they haven't been met, and act accordingly. She assures me that I am. I laugh and look at my hands.

The truth is, I've been comparing myself to other people again, which is a terrible and pointless thing to do. Thoughts like, "Well, she broke up with her boyfriend four months ago and has started dating again!" had been chilling out, maxing, and relaxing all cool in my brain. "Why not me, too?" This is why not me. There are a million reasons, and all of them have to do with me being myself, me being in the exact situation that only I have been in, and me needing to access myself. I still think part of me is afraid to admit it, that I'm okay on my own. That it's possible for me to exist and thrive as an individual. How weird is that!

If you want a segue that leads into a discussion about my outfit, I guess I could say that green is the color of growth. Or maybe I could say that making my own decisions extends into every aspect of my life, even something as simple as what do I want to wear today. Or maybe I could just talk about how my legs are unshaven in these photos.

Skirt: Aunt's, Blouse: Macy's+scissors, Shoes: Korks by Kork Ease

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Until tomorrow,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Daydream Believer

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I've always been a big day dreamer. Sitting in a late afternoon lecture, sitting at my desk and blurring my gaze out the window, laying on the slatted wood of my back porch and staring up at the aluminum ceiling, driving a long stretch of monotonous highway (I should probably stop that last one). Sometimes it's nice to imagine, to let yourself get a little bit lost in what isn't real, but what could be. Lately my daydreams have been stuffed with summer day trips, chance encounters with cute boys at Barnes and Noble, lovey chit chats I'd like to partake in, flower picking and wide fields. Today I was at work by myself, and I'm not going to admit that a lot of day dreaming was happening, but I'm certainly not going to deny it. Though I wore this dress yesterday, it makes me think of dreaming and imagination and all of those delightful things. Oh, and I'm probably going to be wearing my hair like this every day now that the weather's warm and I've figured out how to braid this teensy hair of mine.

Dress: Asos, Shoes: Vintage

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Until tomorrow,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lion Heart

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Yesterday was the last day of my spring semester, the last day of my junior year. This semester had honestly been kind of run of the mill. I enjoyed my classes, sure, but I just felt like I was going through the motions most of the time. By Thursday night, when every paper was written, (mostly) every book was read, I didnt't feel relieved. I didn't feel accomplished. I didn't feel all that excited, either. I felt like I had throughout most of the semester - content, with a tinge of residual stress. Yesterday morning, though, I woke up with this good feeling that sort of enveloped me the whole day. I dropped off my books at the library, I slid a final paper under my professor's office door, and I sat outside for a little while before my english lecture started, enjoying the breezy sunlight. After class, I strolled through campus with a good friend I hadn't spoken with in a while, but was hoping I'd run into before we parted ways for the summer. I got to work and hopefully made my boss a little less bummed out. He gave me the high five I was secretly hoping someone would give me upon revealing that I had finished the semester, and turned on the old boombox we have in the office, playing the Star Wars theme song as performed by an all female accordion orchestra. I found out I had to work a lot more than I thought I would be, that night and next week, but I was happy. My mother came up to Tarrytown and we met for dinner at Horsefeathers, a cool little restaurant that has a wall of authors painted inside, including Misters Vonnegut and Poe. I ordered the "pig out burger," the second most embarrassing thing to order on the menu, and some strawberry shortcake served in a wine glass. The poetry I heard at the event that night was so good it made me want to go home and rip up everything I've written, or just try harder, write harder, better. I'm hopeful for summer. I'm excited to work and travel and sleep and eat and watch television and craft and lay in grass.

Top: Old Navy, Shorts: Levi's Outlet, Sandals: Korks by Kork-Ease

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Until tomorow,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blooming Up From The Grass

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Things have been pretty sluggish on the blog lately, it's true. Today begins my last of the semester, and I've been hard at work (and, at times, very much not so hard at work, like right now) finishing up sentences about Chaucer's Parson's Tale, Shakespeare's sonnets, Heinrich von Kleist's eccentricities. Right now I'm just taking a little break to write something other than an analytical paper. Speaking of breaks, on Saturday morning I took a little trip up to Lyndhurst for the annual craft fair. Of course, I didn't take pictures of any of the crafts, but there were so many wonderful things (my favorites were bracelets made of typewriter keys and giant Edgar Alan Poe inspired wood carvings which I'm currently kicking myself for not taking a photo of). I didn't buy anything, except two containers of fresh fudge (maple and almond joy), which was delicious (it's all gone now, by the way). Also, the craft fair took place on the grounds of a castle, which is cool. Though, frankly, a castle seems a little out of place in New York. But in an awesome way. We only drove past the castle, which looked beautiful. I definitely want to take a tour of it in the summer.

Dress: Callie's, Vest: Goodwill, Shoes: Korks by Kork-Ease, Scarf: giveaway from Sarah may 5 1
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Until tomorrow,