Thursday, December 17, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

Hello friends!

Another long absence, my apologies. I truly regret the amount of time that passes between posts but it's because of my process. I can usually only write when I am spending a quiet evening in my room and a pensive mood strikes. Quite simply, though there is an abundance of the latter, there has been an enormous lack of the former. If I am not at work, I am in the library or the common room and my pensive moods are usually employed to working on one of my numerous research papers. Tonight marks the end of another semester and with no papers to write or finals to study for, I have a rare stretch of free time. And so, alas, here we are!

In such busy, troubling times as these, it's important that we take time to appreciate the little things that bring us comfort and joy. A blog I've recently discovered practices this, with posts entitled "Things I Love Thursdays". I'm not trying to steal her thunder or be a copy cat, but I'd like to do it too, to help myself in the daily struggle to choose happiness. So here we go.

(1) Blankets - There is nothing quite like the cozy softness of an afghan, quilt, throw, or comforter. The best are the handmade ones, the ones with history. It's one of my weirder interests but I adore blankets. There's the fleece blanket I bought for camping, the throw I got to decorate my first dorm room with, and the double-sided blanket my sister made for my birthday. They are so useful; handy for picnics, Sunday naps, extra bedding for a sleepover, constructing forts, and in a pinch, superhero capes. If there was an opening in the position of National Blanket Spokesperson, I would be first in line. If everyone conducted their daily business wrapped in a blanket, the world would be a lot more relaxed. And take more naps.

(2) Excessively long lunches with friends - This started last year with one of my very good friends whom I have no classes with and don't see very often. Every Thurday possible at 12:30 we meet at Oasis to eat lunch and catch up. She has a chicken caesar wrap and a banana. I have the Zanzibar sandwich and an apple. And then we talk and laugh for hours, or until one of us has to go class. Today was exceptional, she brought her husband and since none of us had class, we were there for three hours. It was absolutely my favorite part of this week.

(3) This blog - Whenever I find myself unduly stressed or cranky about my life, I find my way to this page and remind myself to be thankful for what I have and who I am. The experience of this girl and those close to her has been of Brobdingnagian proportions. It is a storm that none should have to weather but they are doing it with prayer and thanksgiving. The tenacity, strength, and faith that all have displayed has been both humbling and inspiring.

(4)Piano music - For all the artists and styles in the world, there is nothing quite like the beauty and simplicity of a song played well on a piano. It is so relaxing to close your eyes and drift along the stream of the melody. There are no need for lyrics or fancy production tricks. The best music is thought-provoking, rich, and full of heart. I enjoy the classics immensely (Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Schubert) but am recently favoring the stylings of modern composers. Songs to check out (can be found on Youtube or iTunes):
  • "Breathe" by Greg Maroney
  • "Before Dawn" by Isaac Shepherd
  • The entire "December" album by George Winston. I particularly enjoy his arrangement of "Carol of the Bells"
  • "Divenire" or "Fly" Ludovico Einaudi (his piano is often accompanied by strings but no less beautiful than the others)

(5) Blank note and thank you cards - Of all the silly things to collect, I love boxed sets of these. When I was younger, both of my grandmothers used to give me a set for what seemed like every birthday. I have entire storage bin in my closet at home, full of stationary, notecards and envelopes with my initial embossed on them, decorated with flowers, or Monet paintings. I have enough stationary to last a lifetime, yet I continue to pick up little gems like this at Marshall's, Target, or Papyrus:

Nothing quite says "thank you" as heartily as a gold embossed peacock on sturdy textured cardstock, tied with a saffron ribbon. A sentiment expressed like that deserves a card of similar quality that says "you're welcome" on the front. I have yet to find such a card, though it is not for lack of trying.

That's enough for this Thursday. What makes you happy?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sleep chanting and other nonsense

"Greeeeetings malefactors. I am here to destroy your ship." -Spencer quote of the month

As promised, I'm writing because finals are over and I've moved back home for the summer. Finals weren't too terrible. On Sunday night before exams, there was a three to four hour period of which I have no recollection.  I was in the middle of working on a paper Sunday afternoon when a crisis at work occurred. I lost a good three hours of paper-writing time dealing with that so it threw everything off.  I remember leaving the library at 2 a.m. when it closed, going back to my dorm and writing for about two hours in the living room and then finding myself sitting in my bed around 7 a.m.  I don't remember what happened in between, I'm not even sure how I got up to my room.  I could have roamed the streets, started a fire, picked a fight with the homeless man who sits on the ivy wall, anything.  Thankfully my subconscious has some sense and none of these happened. 

Which reminds me of  a story.  I was still living with Catherine this past year but she went to the UK for the spring semester so I got a random roommate for the rest of the time.  I was nervous about living with a stranger but she ended up being really cool.  Her name is Charisse and she was a freshman but we got on quite well.  Because we both had some unfortunate experiences with roommates in the past (hers more recently), we were straight with each other about how things were going to be. She's got a great sense of humor, always showing me a funny video on Youtube or telling a story about her crazy friends.  

Anyway, no matter how smooth things are, it is always awkward (in the beginning) living in such close quarters with someone you hardly know.  Since I have a history of occasionally saying really weird things while I sleep, I was really nervous that this habit would reappear and freak Charisse out.  After a year and a half, Catherine was used to the odd things that I sometimes spouted in the night, which included (I kid you not) a shouting match in mangled French and a recipe for soup.  

Well, I was able to keep this quirk under wraps for some time because I would usually go to bed before Charisse. As the semester wore on, however, she began to stay up later and later so eventually our bedtimes reversed.  One such night I was having this vivid dream about an older woman who I was convinced was my grandmother walking alongside a busy street.  Suddenly she darted out into traffic.  In a state of panic, I shouted "GRANDMA!" because I was too far away to pull her back.  I woke with a start, not sure if I had shouted that out loud or not.  I fell back asleep and forgot about it until the next afternoon.  Charisse and I were sitting at our desks when I suddenly remembered. I said "Charisse, I may or may not have screamed in my sleep last night because I was having this dream about a grandma and, well, I think I shouted out loud because I woke myself up." Charisse started laughing and said, "YEAH you did! I woke up when you shouted something like 'ANGHMA!'. I was really nervous for awhile."  Poor Charisse.  She probably though I was either possessed or shouting some weird tribal chant.

Luckily my sleep-chants have subsided for the time being. Although, it doesn't really matter since I'm home.  I'm going to miss living with Charisse though.  We had a good time.  And Catherine too, for that matter.  Catherine is moving off campus and Charisse is staying in our old room but I'm taking a single room for next year.  I have a burning desire to NOT live on the third floor again so I'm moving to another building to live on the first.  Plus I'll be writing my thesis so it is imperative that I limit my distractions.   

So if you weren't aware before, it is now quite obvious that I start these blog posts with no specific direction in mind. Sometimes it pays off but mostly it ends in lengthy drivel (see above).  And I usually write to further procrastinate on some pressing thing I need to take care of (such as unpacking my room so I can pack for another trip).
Mission Accomplished.

Good night, moon.

Monday, April 27, 2009

oh hey there

It has come to my attention that people read this blog.

Which means I should actually update it.

Well readers, I acknowledge your silent, anonymous presence and promise I will post something of substance soon. However, it is dead week here at Purdue University and that means whenever my fingers are not devoted to furiously cranking out research papers or turning the pages of whatever academic tome a professor has assigned, they are either hastily stuffing my face with the odd rice cake or tucked under my chin while I catch a few winks. After this comes Finals week, during which my fingers are doing a nervous ratta-tat-tat on the desk while I study or gripping my pen in fear as I write essay exams. Then they will be busy packing up my room to move back home.

Only then will I have a moment to devote my fingers to update this blog. But by then I may need extensive treatment for either carpal tunnel or arthritis, so I'm not making any promises.

But rest easy, readers. Even if it means tapping out a post with cast-covered wrists and hands, it will happen.

Until then, have a day. I won't presume to know if it's good or bad, but just have one.

design + development by kiki and co. creative