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Thaw and serve

As the mountains of crunchy ice-slush entrapping all the garbage in the city begin to melt and release their contents, so I end my nearly two-month hibernation and return to blabbering on the internet. Everything herein is likely to be disposable, but isn’t it always?

There’s something about sitting in an unheated apartment, during the awesomest/shittiest winter of the past decade, watching your toes freeze that leads one to introspection. You see, I often regret the choices I make. Whether that’s through lack of determination or sheer paranoia, it’s still not very fun to mull over every decision and reach a crummy conclusion. So I’ve finally realized that the only way to stop regretting your choices is to start making better ones. Obvious, I know, but most a-ha moments tend to be. Regardless of how clear this may seem to others, finally admitting to it has me feeling chipper the last few days. Hopefully things look up from here on out.

It’s probable, though, that my recent bout of gaiety has more to do
with the fact this is shaping up to be an amazing year for music (that I like, that is) than with any epiphanies my brain could have conjured. Seriously:

– World/Inferno, The Kills, PJ Harvey and Laura Marling are all coming out (or have already) with new albums, which means that I’ll get to see at least a couple of fucking BOSS shows this year.


Cannot fucking wait. I already pre-ordered the shit out of what I could, rent be damned. There are also two performances I can hardly contain my excitement for – Rachel Brice’s solo show this weekend (squeeee!), and the Steve Ignorant-does-Crass show in March (thanks to Chloe’s spontaneously generous roommate, Smart Face). Awesome, indeed!

Here are some more musical discoveries that have also helped defrost the aforementioned frozen toes:
– I finally brought Fire of Love into my life…

– while listening to A.P.P.L.E. for inordinately lengthy periods.

– Mumford & Sons. I’ve known about them for a while (due to their association with Laura Marling) but for some reason neglected to look into their stuff. Remember those regretful choices I’ve mentioned? Exactly.

And the final, non-music related things that have tickled my life-ain’t-so-bad bone:
– Trips to Pearl River Market for the sole purpose of Milky retrieval.

– My new jackalope t-shirt. It’s the best fucking thing ever. I’m pretty sure the jackalope is my spirit animal.

– This picture of my graduation. Everyone kept bitching at me about not keeping my gown long enough to be photographed in it, but I think this is much, much better. Now if only I had a diploma to show for all that work and frustration…

Well, I suppose this is all for today. It’s finally warm enough to ride, so I’ll be laboring over the bridge in about a couple of hours. Happy last days of winters, folks.

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I’m covered in beads!

Beads? Bees? The possibilities are endless.

So! I’ve thoroughly neglected this place, as was to be expected. I have a legitimate excuse that involves poisonous, as well as radioactive, chemicals. I made my first set of polymer beads. They’re tiny, they glisten and they’re beautiful. According to the professor they’re excellent, and I have to say that getting complimented on my chemistry makes me feel as good as having an awesome-pawsome hair day. It’s reassuring that my first graduate school project came out so well. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about my Quantum course work. Anyway, here are the beads and the set-up used to create them:


Other things that have occupied my time:

– Making rainwater dinosaur art in subway platforms:

– Reading a lot of chemistry, particularly about coordination complexes. No photographic evidence, but if I could I’d offer up my fried brain as evidence.

– Taking advantage of the last mild days of the year to ride my bike.

– Taking pictures of sunsets, sunrises, and the slow degradation of chlorophyll:






That’s it for now, it seems. Back to the books and to praying that please-pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top that I don’t fail my upcoming exams.

Tornadoom

A crazy storm came through the city yesterday. A tornado wrapped in rain, they said. It was transient, but it was fucking efficient. It managed to uproot trees, rip off roofs, disrupt trains services for hours and strand thousands of people at Penn Station, and even kill a person – all in no more than 15 minutes.

I’m not gonna lie, I was quite amused by it initially. It’s been some time since my hurricane days in Florida, so it was nice, in a way, to see violent winds again. And then my windows began shaking and I realized that buildings in New York are not equipped to deal with weather like this. So I stood there hoping this was going to be brief, because otherwise my apartment would get blown out.

And then it got really fucking dark.

And this is the aftermath.

My kitchen window was open the whole time, so the wind tore out the screen allowing tons of dirt to just fly in. It took hours to clean it up. The trees in the backyard fell, the paneling on the side of the building got ripped out. It was messy. Also, notice the sheet metal wrapped around the lamppost. That was some wind, I tell ya.

Jake vs. the World

This weekend was a solid 8.5/10. Any weekend I get to wear my favorite t-shirt because it isn’t buried in the dirty laundry is automatically a good one:

– My boyfriend and I rode our bikes into and around the city. Had two near collisions because I am awfully inattentive and clumsy. With that said, New Yorkers should really try using their brakes more often. I promise it’s just as easy as using the horns.

– I had French toast with raspberry jam for breakfast on Saturday. Yum!

– I had Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast on Sunday. Double yum!

– Ate about five Nutella sandwiches this weekend. Quintuple yum! Their tagline should be “Everything’s better when covered in Nutella”. It’s ridiculous how much I love this stuff.

– I trimmed my bangs. It came out shorter than intended, but I quite like it.

– I got to watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It was amazing. I never read the comics – nor had I known of their existence – but the movie was pure joy. It was hilarious, none of the jokes were overused, witty and completely unpretentious. I know I missed most references made (save for the X-Men one, for which I was proud) but the movie still delivered. The comic book-ness of it all was visually stimulating and entertaining. I would watch it again, no bones about it.

– We took Izzy to the dog park. I am endlessly entertained by watching dogs roll around in dirt, chase and collide with each other, and owners scrambling around frantically trying to control it all.

– Went to friends’ house for dinner. While the stuffed peppers were great, the star of the night was their dog Jake. He’s insane and extremely high energy, but very intelligent and a total sweetheart. His antics put off my chubby, cranky, anti-social, old lady of a dog but he was relentless. It was a treat to watch him egg Izzy on.

Petals

Out of the nearly ten years I’ve lived in the U.S., six were spent in South Florida, which, as far as weather is concerned, has two settings – hot and wet. Year after year, the environment remains static and the grass always green. Fortunately, now I live in a place where all seasons are equally represented and I get to document the flowers as they spring up. Daffodils, tulips, lilies, then cherry trees.

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But of all the flowers, orchids are queens. They are nature’s great deceivers – delicate-looking, but astoundingly sturdy and resilient; dainty and feminine but named for the Greek for “testes” (orchis). Roses may be the most poetic, but orchids are femmes fatales.

Catalyst

I was hesitant to begin a blog. The internet is crowded with them and my insights aren’t really necessary.

The reason behind the sudden change? I spent last Saturday riding to and in Governor’s Island. I had a blast. I hadn’t had such a thoroughly fun day in a long time. My enthusiasm has spilled over into this week, enticing me to share pictures of that fantastic day – Civil War reenactors and all.