June 29, 2012

As for summer life and working girls

I realized something tonight. I think this is the first time I ever really put my finger on it. The events of sophomore year have stopped seeming pertinent; I have stopped lamenting that "they were one/two whole years ago!" I have stopped wishing and fuming and dreaming what ifs. That year was so formative, but everything that came out of it for me is starting to feel like part of the fabric, and less raw and jolting. It's old hand by now; it's old news.

I was driving home from work tonight, utterly exhausted, feeling drained from smiling so hard for that 8 hour shift, and I was blasting Springsteen (Born to Run, Dancing in the Dark) and I was feeling free and the night was clear and the air was dark. I sang with the windows open and empty streets and no matter how pointless and draining work can feel, I felt carefree. I really only wish I had someone to share that with.

But as for this Springsteen binge, god, his lyrics are just seducing and poetic and true. Who could even come up with lines like Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims/And strap your hands across my engines (Born to Run) and I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere...And I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car (Growin' Up). Yes. Songs like Girls in Their Summer Clothes and My Hometown are particularly relevant at the moment, and I anticipate It's Hard to be a Saint in the City to be pertinent in years to come. Mmm. His music has become 'classic' for a reason, guys.

June 27, 2012

As for these early summer days

A sundry of topics is about to hit you. Just warning.

One thing that I've been enjoying...

What has yoga taught me? I've flirted with yoga on and off, whenever it was easily available to me, mostly during summers, for about five years. At camp sometimes they would offer it, when I was interning in the city last summer I probably had the most experience with it than ever before (hot yoga!). But this summer I'm really learning what it means to practice yoga a little more (note to all the yogis out there: this is all coming from an amateur with relatively minimal amount of experience, mostly an appreciation). I'm learning that it's not about how far you go in a pose, but if you practice it well. Shoulders plugged back, chest softened, fingerpads whitening, heels stretching, pelvis tilting, neck reaching. I feel so much better about my practice now that I'm trying to do things well instead of trying to prove that I can do them the most.

And some quotes for my summer state of mind....

“From now on I hope always to stay alert, to educate myself as best I can. But, lacking this, in future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out.” - Ray Bradbury
“He thought books could cure everything.  We all think that at a certain time in our lives–don’t we?–when we discover books.  We think in an emergency all you’ve got to do is open the Bible or Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson, and we think, 'Wow! They know all the secrets.'" - Ray Bradbury
"The question you should be asking isn't, 'What do I want?' or 'What are my goals?' but 'What would excite me?'" - Tim Ferriss
"Their youngness is terrifying. How could I have put myself into the hands of such inexperience?" - Margaret Atwood

And some things I've made...
Irish Soda Bread, Coffee, Oates

Strawberry Blueberry Skillet Crumble
And one thing that sums up how I feel after a fun night....

Une Femme C'est Une Femme
And some things I've been listening to....
The Start of Something - Voxtrot
A Few Screws Loose - A Great Big Pile of Leaves
High Times - Landon Pigg
I'm Ready, I Am - The Format
For A Fool - The Shins
Ooh La La - The Faces
Rave On - M. Ward
Give A Little Love - Noah and the Whale
If Looks Could Kill - Camera Obscura
The Future Pt. 1 - Voxtrot
Postcards From Italy - Beirut
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea [Neutral Milk Hotel Cover] - Fanfarlo
Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)? - Peter Sarstedt
Teenage Love Song - Rilo Kiley
Raised By Wolves - Voxtrot
Brand New Start - Little Joy
you will. you? will. you? will. you? will. - Bright Eyes
Mesa, AZ - Bad Books
Excuses - The Morning Benders
My Creator - Wye Oak

June 21, 2012


{Retrospectively written}

First - foods. Presented my brochure. Sipped on a blueberry smoothie.

Second - women in lit. Munched on cookies and donuts and watched a documentary on Gloria Steinem.

Next up - psychology. Took the exam; long, hard, but scaled! My teacher really was great for this one, plus I just love the topic and the material we covered.

Lastly - international relations. We had a graded discussion about how the UN handled the civil war in Bosnia in the '90s.

After the ensuing craziness, running down the halls screaming, getting ice cream sundaes, signing yearbooks (my favorite theater prof. signed mine!), went out to get froyo with some friends, hung out. BOOM. Done. Felt good, kids. Felt good.

June 13, 2012

As for this year

The fall and winter, listening to sad female singers, Joni Mitchell, laying in the guest room, rainy, large sweaters, glasses, melancholy. Dangerous Reading. Applying for college - lots of writing, and ruminations. Briefs. KlezKamp. Too many college interviews.

The late winter and early spring. Trip to England, Women in Art, obnoxious high school classes, waiting for college results. The Real Thing. Wisdom teeth out.

End of high school. Getting into colleges - now, that was a good week. A lot of things 'not clicking.' Prom, graduation, lots of 'lasts.' Less caring but more doing - senioritis without the follow through of laziness.  Days outside on the front porch, listening to mom's opera music, ruminating over papers and healthy procrastination. In May, baking breads.

I think it was a nice year. The first 2/3 was so defined by the roller-coaster ride of the college application process. It still hasn't really clicked that I got into the places I did and that I'm going where I am - the idea that I actually succeeded in this process, which I had built up so much in my mind, is baffling and empowering. And now.... a summer of laziness (at least mentally). Some working, some reading, some Sims-ing, some yoga.

It's always hard for me to define years as the best or the worst, the hardest or the most formative.

There are years that ask questions, and years that answer. 
- Zora Neale Hurston

Freshman year seemed like a continuation of middle school, I think. Lots of stressing about boys, first kisses, wanting to be accepted. Sophomore year asked questions - figuring out the moral shades of grey, figuring out who I was, how I perceived myself, and how I wanted others to perceive me. Did my actions define me? My choices that year helped answer those questions. Junior year....seems like a blur. Lots of schoolwork, lots of stress (I think?). Two TV shows at once, lots of theater, lots of dance. Mostly continuing a trend, while settling into (cover your eyes) my attitudes towards sexual relationships. Senior year asked questions about the future - where I will be, what I will do, what I feel pressure to achieve. At least the first question got answered.  We'll see what next year turns out to be. 

June 10, 2012

As for 6 through 1

The last couple of days have been glorious. Let's go bit by bit, shall we?

Sunday was prom. I had my hair done at a local hair salon and went with a friend. It just felt like such a tradition. Pictures were fun, the limo was pretty good, the food definitively subpar, the dresses either classy or trashy, the breathalyzer unnecessarily scary, the music fun and awful, and overall 'fine.' Here's the thing - I'm just not particularly into prom. It's fine and I went and all but it was so....whatever. Sometimes, when I got up to dance, I would be really having fun if it were a particularly good song and I was dancing with a friend. Sometimes I just felt like I was imitating what I was supposed to be doing - smiling, and a little bit more than halfheartedly dancing, but kind of blank inside. And if not, I was sitting down at my table (always with a couple or a bunch of other people in a similar state as I was) exhausted and kind of just waiting for the whole thing to be over. There was a lot of tottering around in high heels and couples and people all gussied up - when we've almost all seen each other either roaming the halls in pajamas, or acting stupidly drunk at a party. It just seemed silly, that's all. I did a lot of smile forcing. It wasn't bad, it was just kind of a nuisance to go through. I'm also just not the type of person to get really excited/nervous about dressing up, and getting the hair and makeup done, and the nails, and the works. It just wasn't me. You know what it felt like? Middle school! Forcing everybody together as a grade, trying to bond, feel all show-offy. Unlike middle school, I didn't feel the need to be dancing with the 'popular kids' or hanging out with a specific group of people. But the whole ordeal of projecting a false representation of yourself and forcing an aura of enjoyment for some of the time was reminiscent of those years. I also just can't believe that people care so much about prom - that underclassmen dream of going to it and seniors stress about it all year. It's ridiculous. It was tacky and cheap. Some people did look classy and gorgeous, but it was just such a huge performance. It felt like a 'function' in every sense of the word. 

{Retrospectively written}
In other 'news' I spent an inordinate amount of time sitting on the front porch, and generally appreciating our gorgeous view. I was in the midst of writing my AP paper on D.H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover", entitled The Power of Pleasure. I would sit down for an hour or so, and write one huge paragraph for each one. Post-editing and such, it amounted to be a 13 page paper, which I really enjoyed writing. Note that this was my fourth AP project (out of two) and I was not even obligated to write a paper - I could have just done a 'creative project.' Here's the thing though: I love literary analysis, and I loved this book. Because I was entitled to more freedom this time around, seeing as AP projects after the second exceed any planned expectations the English department has, I was able to choose my book and what I did with it. It took about a week, and although it was a total time-suck, it was really fulfilling and gratifying. 

In the meantime, my mother did  a lot of gardening, as per usual...

I made honey-oat bread and fresh fruit bruschetta...

and I took this for the album cover of the literary playlist I made for the creative project my lit class was assigned for "The Color Purple." 

I pulled some very sleepless nights over the last week of school; due on the last Tuesday (Monday we did not have school) were two generalizations for my International Relations class on the roots of 9/11; I did one on John Clarke and the other on the United Nations. They were freakin' hard! I ended up really putting a lot of effort into them and spending significant chunks of time on them - part of this work was outside, so it was relatively peaceful, and the rest was between 11pm and 3am the night before, and was less so. For some unknown reason ( :p ) I really got it into my head that I wanted to do really well on these, instead of the typical minimal-effort A- fare that has been going on over senior spring (and a little bit of the whole senior year). Needless to say, the resulting anxiety from wanting to actually impress my teacher yielded two very good grades and her pulling me aside and telling me how well I did - yes, self-motivated ego boosts! I needed it! Plus, it didn't hurt that the class was fascinating and my teacher was amazing - I was lucky enough to have had her in 9th,10th, and 12th grade. I also finished up my brochure for Foods on Eastern Europe and my portfolio for lit (aka bullsh*t), as well as taking a Psych exam on the last day - it was yucky, but he scaled it so much I did really well! 

Overall, the idea/fact that high school was ending was seriously not clicking in my brain, and I was just mainly focused on the homework I needed to complete, doing well, and relaxing in the gorgeous hot weather outside. Good rhythms!