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It’s been one of those weeks. No. not THOSE weeks. Just this kind of week that leaves me with lots to think about and little to post.  It’s weeks like these I turn to the ‘gallery’ in my phone to see what I’ve been up to.

Here are the pictures on my phone from the past week:

And here are the post office chutes at the school I work at.  Seeing the pictures brings back the scent of the hallway to me.  It is very specific and undefinable.  But it is the smell of my building.  Specifically- the 3rd floor.   Image

We went to the supermarket on Saturday morning.  At 8:00 am.  It was just empty enough to park our little cart in an aisle but just full enough that we couldn’t take that cart through the produce section.  I must say, Italian supermarkets are much cozier and funner than the franchises.

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I wore boots one day and I was still cold.  But I was brave enough to stand over a grate to take this picture. (yes. I have a subconscious fear of falling into grates.  If we are walking together in the city I will probably walk into you on accident.  I really think it’s just my brain looking out for me b/c my feet steer me away before I even realize what’s happening.)

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From my morning Italian market adventures, I brought home gnocchi.  Then I looked up a recipe and made it.  With the roomie’s help to make the sauce.  One of my goals this year is to learn how to cook.  (You know.  Your 20somethings are when you figure out how to be a grownup.  And I’d like to be a grownup who can at least cook.  We’ll see how this goes.)  Regardless.  The meal was yum.  I think we shall have it again.

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And today (yes. today) I had to go to Southern Brooklyn to do a group project.  It took 35 minutes but the commute was 3 hours round trip.  My friend was surprised I could meet.  She thought maybe I kept the Sabbath.  I think she had a good point.  Although I did get my Sunday afternoon nap on the train.  (In addition to hearing my share of drama and fashion analysis. Oh New York.)

{Just another subway stop}

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And finally, a subway advertisement.  Apparently if I would win the lottery I would have time for silly conversations like this.  I’m not quite sure why I haven’t started playing- I do love lame jokes.

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K.  That’s all.

p.s. Thursday is Thanksgiving.  I’m so looking forward to it!  I already know I’m not doing homework 5 days this week.  Just another thing to be thankful for.

25 Things

There’s this thing going around facebook where people are posting a random number of pieces of information about themselves that their facebook friends probably don’t know.  Well.  Since my life is basically an open book, it’s kinda silly for me to be participating. And I think it’s kinda breaking the rules to give yourself a number instead of getting it from a friend?  But I just turned 25 so I’m giving myself the number 25. Are you ready?

1. This week I turned 25. Which you already knew.  What you didn’t know is that I celebrated it in the East Village by picking up a bagel at Russ & Daughters (a place I’ve been wanting to try),

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2. getting Italian at Lil Frankie’s with my school friends,

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3. and going to see STOMP (also with my friends).  If you don’t know who STOMP is- they are a percussion group that uses everyday objects (like trashcans and plastic bags and lighters and brooms and hands and feet and really whatever they want) to create music.  Which, in itself is pretty cool.  What was also nice was that they didn’t speak at all and instead relied on gestures to create physical comedy. I never knew that a percussion show could be so funny.  We laughed our heads off and we loved it.

4. Also on my birthday- I did therapy.  I went to my school and threw a party for myself with my kiddos.  They were so excited.  Except one child was indignant that we didn’t have cake.  He didn’t think it counted as a real birthday since we didn’t have cake.  He refused to sing to me.

5. Otherwise, I was incredibly popular.

6. I got a card made and signed by the class. And a some drawings. One was the alphabet in food (pictures included: apple, banana, corn, etc.)

7. For my birthday weekend (is that a thing?) I went to the International Center of Photography (it’s a museum) (and I got in free with my TC ID).

8. We ate dinner in Times Square at Olive Garden.

9. (yes. I like Italian.).

10. I found a piece of paper in my dinner after I was done eating.  I calmly told the manager and got an entire free meal to go.  Plus my first meal taken off the bill. That was nice I think.

11. Also this week, I’ve been doing homework.  I’ve decided that school is pretty much like a full time job.  And I basically do it all the time.  It’s not overwhelming.  Just constant.  And yes I’m getting tired of it.

12. Only 185 days till I graduate!

13. Also right now. I’m unofficially starting to plan a trip next summer. To Southeast Asia.  If you have been- I would love to talk to you about it.  Or, more specifically, you should talk to me, since I have no way of knowing ‘who’ you are until you tell me. But basically.  The whole thing looks quite overwhelming to plan

14. (and I love planning- so I think that’s saying a lot).

15. It’s amazing how far I’ve gotten on this list without revealing anything juicy.

16. That said. I played the flute for 7 years in school. From 5th grade through 11th grade.  Yes.  I dropped out my senior year. Drama drama. But in high school I was part of the marching band.  Yup.  I was THAT level of cool.  and really, I loved it.

17. In 5th grade I flossed my teeth everyday.  Even though I had braces.  Today I flossed my teeth and now I can’t chew.

18.  That said, I’m pretty much all or nothing.

19. And I have this thing. Where I get a mild case of anxiety when I have too many tabs or windows open on my screen.  I am constantly closing things just to open them the next day.  But somehow it brings me peace.

20. I like to name things. My car is Delilah. My computer is Beasley.  My camera is Gatsby.  My ipad is Max.  My ipod is Beverly.  Really I just like names.

21. That said.  I think using people’s names is powerful.  It builds connection.  Like a sense of knowing someone.  I think the easiest way to befriend someone is to remember something important about them.  I think it’s good to start with their name.  and then use it.  Just so they know you remember.  It works for me.

22. Also.  I think that the fastest way to make a friend is to act like you already are friends.  And talk.  (I’m all about communication.) Hence.  I tend to overshare my life.  Mostly b/c I seem to think that if I tell you something about me then you will feel safe telling me something about you.  And then we will be friends.  In my experience, you can’t be very fragile to do this.  But you do have to be honest. (Just be yourself.  It works every time.)

23. I like words. Especially words that tell me something about you.  Sociolinguistics (the study of language use in culture).  I love it.  I think it says something to me of God’s creativity.

24. And I’m definitely a Christian.  I’ve thought about it.  And there really is no other way.

25. Also recently.  I’ve decided I like giraffes.  Maybe not in real life.  But they are incredibly photogenic.  Plus.  They have the same number of vertebrae in their neck as we do (7).

giraffe

wow. you made it. Like I said. I overshare my life. But doesn’t that make you like me just a little bit more?

(you don’t have to answer that).

I Have Arrived

When you grow up in a culture that largely defines adulthood by marriage it’s sometimes hard to tell if you are a grownup yet. This is complicated by a subculture that frowns on the word ‘adult.’  Basically- everything that is defined as ‘adult’ is largely complicated or undesirable.  Bills.  Reasonable bed times.  Retirement plans.  Careers (not just jobs).  It’s all stuff we don’t want.

I think.  What it comes down to- is that there are 2 things the keep us from wanting to grow up.  1. The picture in our head of how we think life is supposed to be.  2. Responsibility.

1. I don’t know about you- but when I was growing up- the adults were all the people with the answers.  They made the plans.  They did the work.  And we had the fun.  I don’t think I even knew what adults did for fun.  Perceptibly, they didn’t spend very much time playing so they probably weren’t having very much fun at all.

2. Plus. They had to do all the work. And they used this word, “stress,” that didn’t sound very fun.

And so I built this picture in my head. That when I “grew up” I would have to first have life all figured out and then be very tired and bored doing it.  And that’s how I would know I had arrived at adulthood.

But then I grew up a little.  And discovered that 30 isn’t that old.  And 30 year olds don’t really have life all figured out.  And being an adult has lots of benefits.  And the reason adults are tired is because they are busy balancing all the fun things they do with all the (maybe) not so fun things they have to do.

And then I looked at high schoolers.  And remembered when I was in high school.  And how little I had figured out then.  Even compared to how little I have figured out now.

And decided I have a lot more in common with lost 30 year olds than lost 20 year olds.

And then I decided.  I’m an adult.

And adulthood really isn’t so bad.  I get to make all my own choices (mostly) (albeit at times to my detriment).  I get to pay my own bills because I get to make my own money and accrue my own debt.  I get to take trips and move to big cities and learn to cook because I’m NOT a kid anymore- I’m an adult. And I decided that I kinda like it.  And I kinda like knowing that there is no point in my life when I have to have it all figured out.  There is no point that we ‘arrive.’  Because adulthood is not synonymous with having life figured out.  Rather.  I would argue.  It instead rhymes with ‘being willing to figure it out.’  And that my friends.  Is what I am willing to do.

On another note.  I’m turning a year older this week.  Yes.  These topics are related.  Because I am, in fact, so analytical that I even analyze how I feel about turning 25. Which makes me wonder how I feel about turning older.  Which makes me wonder if I’m old yet.  Which makes me write blogs about how growing up isn’t so bad after all.  Plus. 25 is half way to 50.  Which means that I have to relive extent of my entire life before I’m even 50 years old.  And a lot has changed for me in the past 25 years.  Which makes me think that a lot will probably change in the next 25 years.  Plus.  I think I’m in what is known as the ‘prime of my life.’ (plus. your brain isn’t fully developed until you are 25 and it doesn’t start deteriorating until you are 30.  Now, this is what I call prime.)

All that to say.  I think it’s important to like your life.  Where you are.  In time.  In space.  In adulthood.  In life.

In other, less related news.  I have taken to some crafty fall adventures as of late.  Partially because it’s fall.  And partially because I’m in the stage of life where I have the freedom to do it.  See what I mean?:

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on that note:

that'll cheer me right up.

A Capital Adventure

Apparently my philosophy.

A good adventure is always well documented.  And since (apparently) my form of travel documentation takes a public forum- I think it’s time to begin.

Setting: Washington, D.C.

Characters: Emily and Camille. Cousins. Separated by one calendar year, and 4 hours of bus miles.

Plot: Camille travels (alone) to Washington, D.C. on Friday to visit her long lost cousin while she is there volunteering for Americorps.  The traffic is bad and the commute takes an extra hour.  At this rate she could have flown to Indiana in the same amount of time. And the bus is full.  The man next to her steals the arm rest and sleeps with his mouth open.  But she arrives safely, although hungry.  She doesn’t have the patience to figure out the metro card system and just puts $10 on a card.  She should have taken the time.

{fancy train stations}

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Climax: Camille arrives on Friday night to Fairfax, VA to discover Emily’s extended stay hotel neighbor is under the care of paramedics in what appears to be injuries resulting from either extreme hoarding or perhaps a meth lab.  Needless to say, the area contains a foul odor.

And much of the evening’s conversation centers around Camille’s analysis of DC.  She thinks that it’s more like a town and less like a city.  The buildings are too short.  And there is plenty of grass and trees and alleys.  She can see the stars.  It’s nice.  But not really a city.  And the subways are carpeted and have padded seats.  What kind of fancy people are riding these trains?!? Seems rather unsanitary.  And the people are all White Middle Class Cultured Adults.  Regardless of race or age.  But that’s her unprofessional opinion.

{carpet?!?}

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{empty Sunday morning train car}

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{what a tiny map}

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Additional Climax: Camille and Emily head to D.C. by train on Saturday morning.  Camille forgets her camera AND her phone at the hotel.  Happy Emily has hers and is willing to share.  Yet she still wishes for her own.  It takes her approximately 7 minutes to get over this.  They then take a picture. The first of many. On Emily’s phone. NOT Camille’s.  Because she forgot her’s at the hotel.

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The Plot Thickens: The main characters visit the Holocaust Museum.  They then walk by Emily’s work and get lunch at a random cafe.  The Wall St. Cafe.  Camille has the Brooklyn. It’s a sandwich.  She liked it.  Then they walk to the National Mall. On the way they stop for ice cream at a truck who’s theme centers around ‘slang.’  Camille observes its patrons smile as the silly words tickle their lips.  She concludes that White people like this truck because it give them an excuse to say “I’ll have nilla’ ice with pimpin’ passion.”

{The ghetto ice cream truck}

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{an actual ghetto ice cream truck}

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Also on this walk- Camille falls down. While Camille is prone to tripping due to her standard shuffle-walk, she is surprised that this has actually resulted in the Earth’s apparent size to grow over a period of time that ended with dirty denim and muddy hands.  She literally shakes it off and keeps going.

{the capitol building}

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{Emily at her work}

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{Smithsonian}

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{fall leaves} {similar to the ones that tripped Camille}Image

{‘city’ views}

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The Anticlimax: Camille and Emily explore the Museum of American History and the Museum of Natural History in a wordless hurry.  Not that they didn’t speak words, but after the Holocaust Museum, they decided they were read out for the day.  Fortunately for them, these museums are particularly interactive and require minimal decoding skills.  Highlights: Julia Child’s kitchen, Dorothy’s shoes, and really (but not too) old things.

{Museum of American History}

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{The Museum of Natural History}

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{Camille hearts giraffes}

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The Climax Resumes: The museums are closed and Camille still wants to  go to The White House, The Lincoln Memorial, and Georgetown Cupcakes.  It’s only raining a little.  And no one wore coats because – they thought it would be warmer.  Brilliant. Also.  Emily’s phone doesn’t have google maps so public transportation options are difficult to determine.  The characters walk to the White House.  They see a shadow move in the upstairs window.  It was obviously Michelle.  Camille then hauls her first taxi for a ride to the memorial.  Emily slides down the slope by the steps on purpose.  Emily and Camille are tied for stupid choices for the day.  And they walk to the train.  Oops.  Actually, we can take the bus from here.  Actually… we don’t have much cash… and it’s not tooooo far.  So we can walk…

{Camille at the White House}

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{Emily at the Lincoln Memorial- before the slide}

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The Biggest Climax: Camille and Emily arrive (after 1.7 miles of walking) at Georgetown Cupcakes to this:

{cute part of town: Georgetown}

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{famous cupcake place}

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{super long line}

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They (Camille) decides she’s come too far for nothing.  They wait 30 minutes.  They definitely order more than 1 cupcake.  Which they eat next door after dinner at… Qdoba.  Camille observes that her adventure day must be getting very long if she is settling to end it with Qdoba.  But she likes her chicken tacos- so she can’t really complain.

{Emily is excited about the menu.  She makes her selection calmly and swiftly.}

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{Camille is too excited about the menu options.  She takes forever to decide and is very dramatic about it.}

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{see. so many great options!}

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{Qdoba}

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{yup. the frosting makes the wait worth it- relatively speaking}

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The Resolution: Emily and Camille exit Qdoba in search of a bus- only to see their bus roll by.  No problem.  They run down the street after it and catch it at the next stop.  But they insert their coins and bills in the wrong order and end up 20 cents short.  The driver extends grace and allows them to board.

More Resolution:  Camille returns to New York City on Sunday.  But first she has to take a walk to a train to a bus to a train.  But the trains in DC aren’t trains at all.  Well.  Really.  They are exactly like trains and not at all like subways.  They even charge you by the distance you travel rather than a flat rate.  Which results in Camille being stranded behind the tensile at Union Station, with insufficient fare on her card to exit and insufficient cash in her wallet to solve the problem.  This is when Camille regrets not figuring out the MetroCard situation.  She is forced to make eye contact with strangers and say, with her saddest of eyes, “I’m stuck.  I need a $1 to get out and I don’t have it.”  As it turns out, people in DC are very sympathetic to sad looking girls with too many bags and they come to her aid directly.  This causes her to reconsider her opinions about giving money to solicitors and she continues home, with just enough time to do homework all afternoon.  She decides that she enjoys adventuring other people’s cities just as much as her own.

{Baltimore from the highway}

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And they all lived happily ever after.

The End