Sunday, February 28, 2016

into nyc for the evening

so on friday (I'm writing this on saturday, but I was planning on posting the good stuff today, so hello and welcome to sunday my friends...when this post is going up, haha) I ran straight from class to the train station and headed into the city.  a friend was making a grad school visit to nyu, and pro tip: never turn down a free trip to a university in a cool locale.

I don't know why, but I have the hardest time getting into the city... since I've lived here, I've been to manhattan with my parents, brooklyn to hang with a friend (hi dom! dom has a blog too!), and through the city a few times to drive to other places. mostly, it's that grad school really takes it out of you. you get to the weekend and you're like "but...I'm sad...and I have homework..." and then you stay in and mope around and take a quick walk down to the water to console yourself.

well, and taking the train does cost some money, and grad school also takes that out of you, haha.

(that water bottle belonged to a youngish guy in a suit who got on the train with me but got off a few stops later, and he had really big eyes, and I'm really good at eavesdropping because at the next stop, a guy who works in construction sat down right there where the water bottle was, and they talked about reading and psychological thrillers and I was just so...pleased? as I was sitting over there reading myself, and the young guy apparently had just graduated from some grad program [not mine, haha, he was too sharply dressed and socially articulate to be out of math or physics - jokes!] and anyways, I thought dang, that sounds like a great conversation, but I'm so...far...away, so I didn't say anything, and then they got off the train and as you can see, I'm still thinking about it, haha.)

anyways, I made myself go, and it was super worth it.  I know some people who aren't keen on nyc, and different strokes, of course, but...not me.  I don't even have to be doing anything; I just want to powerwalk around peoplewatching and staring up at the buildings like an idiot.

I just can't get over the fact that nyc is so huge, and so old, and so talked-about. I hear songs on the radio or read books and people are just always mentioning it! and then I realize I live here.  well, close enough to here.

I get a feeling about new york that I think is the old way that people felt coming over to the states for the first time. living here, living in the midwest or the bible belt, you get a definite sense of a certain kind of america. and it's nice, I won't lie.  I can appreciate kansas and kentucky, for sure.  but new york just has this sense of promise for me, this kind of vibe that says "this. is. america." like you can do anything.

and of course I know I won't (do anything), haha, but it's invigorating just to realize that I'm so close to so much history and so many creative scenes and so many things that people around the world just...mention so often.  I think it'll take years of living in the area, if then, to lose that magical feeling.

so anyways, throughout this post are some pictures and I'll just tell you where I went.  I made my transfer and I got into penn station, and I was about an hour early to meet up with my friend, and I thought maybe we'd meet up at le cafe coffee so I started heading in that direction and realized that the flatiron building was on the way ish. so I made a detour and got to see that (it's so skinny it's hilarious oh my gosh). the sun was going down and just the top halves of the buildings were lit up. oh, and I also went to the lego store (they had star wars legos and a friendly employee [oh hey he's actually right there on the left in that picture] and magical childhood nostalgia).  from there, I went to the coffeeshop but decided it wasn't quite the right vibe, and also it was still light out so I was willing to walk closer to nyu. by way of union square park, I went to washington square park in hopes of making friends with a dog, but all of the dogs were busy and then the sun went down.

now, I have learned that walking 30 minutes to campus in the cold is like, boring and ugh, but walking an hour in the cold through the magical nyc streets is like, whatever! but when the sun went down it turned real cold real quick. at that point I met up with my friend and we ended up going down fifth avenue to a bar called the reservoir which did very nicely, in my opinion. though there was lacrosse on tv for a bit there and look, if that's not the funniest sport, I don't know what is.

at any rate, it was a very nice evening. I'm going to be in the city a lot in the next month, as there's something I want to see next weekend, I think, and then to see a friend the next week, I think, and then my brother will visit and I want to take him to all of the places seriously, and then there's also a plan to visit the met and hamilton's house with another friend.

moral of the story: brace yourselves, there will probably be a lot of pictures of nyc in this portion of the internet.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

good stuff #5

1. sunshine and warmer weather, off and on.

2. this tough backpack, which doesn't quite hold my computer happily, but suffers through it on long campus days anyway.

3. clean sheets, which make all the difference and you know it.

4. this month's playlist, mmhmmm:

 - I want to get all of these printed immediately. I don't have a lot of wall in my room but galdernit would I paper it.
 - I really want to go to scotland...right after iceland, I think.
 - just get flux. it can't hurt and it is easy on the eyes.
 - this is an excellent way to keep an eye on the world when I can't get a paper.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

throwback photos #3

these pictures were taken at the scarritt bennett center in nashville, TN. I was really enjoying the diptych-change-of-focus type thing at the time, and I still like them. it was spring and the tulip trees were blooming.

(more throwback photos)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

goldenrod knitting

for some reason, the kind of goldenrod color of this yarn refuses to show up in pictures...

anyways, success! it's very soft and squishy and warm.  those are 9s and the yarn was a bulky merino blend.  all I did was swatch to figure out how many stitches per inch, as you do.  then I cast on the approximate number to go around the circumference of my head.  (I counted stitches kind of...trickily because of stretching?)  it's just a knit-one-purl-one rib, till I ran out of skein, and then I bound off and seamed it into a tube using crochet slip stitch.  (this is because if I changed my mind about anything, slip stitches come right out whereas undoing needle stitches would be a nightmare...) and then I basted around the top edge and cinched it up tight. 

now, of course, I'm desperate for more yarn, but I don't have the budget for the fancy stuff so often. need to acquire something a little less splurgy soon. 


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

it was nice out so I went for a walk down the beach

we've had a welcome spell of moderate weather here on long island this week.  anymore it feels like the only thing that is real is being outdoors. 

(well, being outdoors and reading flannery o'connor and possibly baking.) 

I love pebble beaches and I don't care what anybody says.

have I mentioned that I'm enjoying the hamilton soundtrack? it's not PG but dang is it quite excellent.

I was shocked to see a couple crocuses across the street. they must have popped up literally overnight, because it was frozen and then suddenly it was in the 50s.

the pebble take. perfect for the bathroom windowsill.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

record feature: land of the living

Matthew Perryman Jones has been my singular favorite musical artist since I first started listening to him...geeze, way back in high school. we're talking seven, eight years now? and if you know me, you know my music taste ranges far and wide like a wayward - nah, that analogy might just get weird.

 so this album is on my turntable very often.  you might say it's in my main...rotation.

thank you, thank you. here all week.

no applause, just throw money.

(I don't even know where that's from? it's just been said in my family for as long as I can remember. dad, if you're reading, comment below, heh.)

the album is one of those that fits all together so well, where you don't want to skip any songs and you sing the harmonies 100% of the time.  if you want to give it a digital listen, I've embedded a playlist below, but please check out all of his other stuff too.  if only because you will learn a lot about me by knowing how much his work means to me.

this is getting weird, yeah. I might as well have run with that analogy at the beginning?  well, maybe not.


Friday, February 19, 2016

these flowers are my roommate's valentine's roses, aren't they great? I ruthlessly pirated them for freelensing. classy, I know.

I made a friend!

not sure how I feel about posting about making friends so much? maybe it's just because I've lived here for...six months now (wow, I hadn't counted yet...that's half a year. dude.) and it's still pretty lonely up here. 

eh, what the heck! made another friend. this time a guy who works at the yarn shop. his name is joe. 

(seriously, is everyone on long island named joe?)

anyways yeah, he wants to move and buy some land and get some sheep. sounds like the life, man. I'm campaigning for icelandic sheep. I said, "how do you get a job in a place like this?" and he said, "I applied...I said I could knit." I said, "well then, I need to apply!" and he said, "I'd work with you; you seem cool."*

(hint: I'm counting that as making a friend. cf. he said I remind him of one of his super close friends from growing up so heyyyyyy?)

*I know it's a whole new level of toolbag that I'm using semi-colons, but I find my allergy to comma splices is worsening day by day.

what else is new?  not a lot. highlight of my week: I was in the break room and one of the administration ladies in my department was commenting on how I've been in there a lot and now I know what characters they all are, and my blessed precious favorite beloved angel professor came in and said, "don't delude yourself! she is just as much a character as we are!"  I was like, "oh ho, thanks!" but like's nice!

yeah, so today I bought some needles and a skein of real chunky yarn and I'm loving it because the swatch I did is so skoonchy. if I make something, I'll share it with you guys. I'm also thinking it's time to force myself to knit continental.  I've been meaning to make the switch for years now, because: 

ME: [knitting]

STUDENTS: [commenting on me knitting jocularly]

PROFESSOR: Oh, I knit.

STUDENTS: [general surprise]

ME: [gratified]



PROFESSOR: [scornfully] You're a thrower

ME: [passionately] I'll change! I'll do better! 

yup, time to get my act together. motivation: ribbing. all that knit one - purl one business is much more efficient as a picker. it's the small improvements that make you feel like you're bettering yourself as you leave your homework undone and open netflix yet again.

pick your battles, right? 


Thursday, February 18, 2016

throwback photos #2

in early 2012, I was still in full-swing processing through photography. keeping with the trend of the softer moments... next week will be pictures from the scarritt-bennett in nashville, where I went to a conference with my honors college.

(see more throwback photos)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

yeah this is an old playlist

well, if you ever wondered what I was listening to last july... now you know. I still revisit playlists from past months, myself. disclaimer: not all of these songs are rated PG, full disclosure. hope you enjoy!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

paper butterflies; dance lessons

here is a thought I have had multiple times this week: if my eeyore footie pajamas had pockets, my life would be complete.

I'm just coming out of a pretty bad low spell and without getting into the controversial topic of mental illness let me tell you some things that are universally good for you.

care packages, that's what. lady is the best care package packer I've ever heard of. she sent me all of these origami butterflies which are now swarming on my wall, excellently.

if you don't have a care package packer, I also recommend paint by numbers (thanks ma!). that's some good stuff right there. very soothing.

dance lessons. the university has some kind of ballroom dance club or something and long story short the teacher also gives group lessons at the neighborhood house on wednesday nights. I've been going for the past three weeks learning the waltz. to be honest, the last thing I want to do after 10 hours on campus is go back out, but it's always the best decision. $6 a pop to learn a new skill and charm little old men from russia and ireland? good value.

starbucks. life is too short to turn up your nose at a starbucks with great staff, great vibes, great regulars, a fireplace maybe? pretty much my favorite place to be productive. heaven knows if I stay home and try to work at the kitchen table, 9/10 days I just wind up wandering the house aimlessly.

speaking of the house, it's haunted as heck, I'll tell ya. noises and footsteps, doors mysteriously opening and closing, banging sounds, all sorts of stuff. as soon as I stopped thinking about it as a burglar and started thinking about it as ghosts, my life got a lot better. side note: probably mostly the colossal raccoon seen skulking about.

but it's not all fun and games, boys and girls. here is a thing I despise: partial differential equations. guess what all my classes are in this semester?

yep. PDEs. you got it.

also: the guy who manages all of the computers in my department is super involved in the ballroom dance lessons and now I run into him in my building like four times a day. two wednesdays ago, I was chewing gum at class.

him: did you bring enough gum for the class?
me: no.
him: well did you bring enough gum for me?
me: no.

so last wednesday, I brought him a whole pack. it made his life, you would have thought from the hug I got, haha... but then we both got in trouble the entire night! "Victor!" the teacher snapped. "STOP CHEWING! it ruins your rhythm!"

him: she gave it to me!
me: he asked me for it!

the moral of the story is give people gum anyway, because the next day they'll find you in the lobby and give you a keychain and voila: friends.