Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Poems for a Tuesday

For some reason I've had a lot of poems on my mind today. A few from Shel but a couple of others too.  About a year ago I listened to someone in a park recite a wickedly long poem and it made me wish people still thought about poetry the same way they used to. My dad recites poems at the weirdest times and my Gram did too.  In fact, when I mentioned the story of the guy last year, my dad asked what poem it was and began reciting it almost verbatim.  Bjet is also notorious for this.  I love that.

As a kid, I kept quotes and soliloquies taped to my bathroom mirror and I would practice them while I got ready for the day (and much to my parents' chagrin, watched movies ad nauseum to memorize all the lines). Here are the ones floating around in my head today.  Hope you like them! :)

Listen ~ by Shel Silverstein

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the wonts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

IF by Rudyard Kipling (Michael Caine does a reading of this that I adore)

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Now and Then

A new day, a new season, a new present.  Today is an absolutely gorgeous first day of Fall.  I started the day with a delivery from darlingest Lindsey which basically leveled up my week.  Thanks, love!!!  You are a super star!  Hopefully we can frolic in London sometime before February.  In your honor I listened to my mix tape/cd/mp3 and it was awesome.  Definitely a boost in my life!

This morning I woke up early to get ready for my family's arrival.  Now I remember the reality of "a messy bed a messy head."  With all the busy-ness (yeah, you try to spell that without it coming out as business) the last couple of weeks, I've slowly grown a sleeping parter made of books and bras.  Winston and Puppy have felt a little jealous and neglected.  Now they have all the space in the world though and boy does it feel lovely both physically and mentally.

While I was cleaning I realized it has been a year since my mom has been to London.  I started thinking of how things have changed in that time so I thought maybe I would share with you as well.  Here is a mini tour of my house and my plants then and now.  note: I'll add a photo once I put up the previously mentioned present :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011


And I thought this September might be different.

For almost every year I can remember, I've gotten really down and felt just a little bit out of control of my life in September for some reason.  I don't get it.  Some years unbelievably dramatic and scary things have happened; other years it has just slowly built over the month and worn me completely down.  I've gotta snap out of it!  I have stuff to do and I need to sort out what I am doing with my life.  A year and a half of not knowing where I'm going or what I am doing has finally gotten to me, I think.  And yet, somehow, the idea of wandering aimlessly with no purpose or destination seems like the best solution for my melancholy.  How fixing something with itself works I do not know.  Maybe it's just the thought of going with the flow rather than trying to purposefully direct my life myself that seems appealing.  Letting go has always led to good (if not wonderful) things before but it is really freaking me out this time.  It seems like there is more on the line for some reason.  But I think that feeling might be bollocks.  There is no more to be gained or lost now than there ever has been before.

I had to make a big decision today that resulted in tears.  Then I got news that resulted in tears.  Now, to avoid sitting at home and guaranteeing tears, I am going to go be around people and try to convince myself they aren't threatening to come.

September is an incredible month!  Why can't we figure out how to get along?  We could do so many fun things together.  We could enjoy the crisp autumn evenings and the beginning of hot chocolate season with some lovely, cuddly movie nights.  We could play in the leaves.  We could make stew and read books.  We like the same things!  Come on, September!  Let's sort this out!  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


8:15 am

Thoughts on today so far...

  • Where do people who don't wear bras keep their phone and keys on their morning run? 
  • Early morning park parkour is like being a kid again.  I like being a kid again. 
  • I remember now why I had callouses on my hands as a kid.  
  • Making breakfast with Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell is something I could deal with every day for the rest of my life. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


In the 27 years I was lucky enough to spend with her, Mary Lina Albano Poulson played a large part in shaping me into the person I am.  I truly believe the world would be a kinder place if everyone could have met her, even just for one evening.  Those of you who were lucky enough to know her will agree she was one-of-a-kind

Today would have been her 95th birthday.  I set out this evening with no idea how to celebrate the occasion.  Darling Kristen, however, gave me the perfect idea for a start.  Books.  I found myself wandering through Foyles, not sure what I would find that she would have liked.  In the end, I managed to find two:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Prose and Cons: A Two-Part Discourse

I get to do some amazing things in my life.  I know some incredible people.  I've had some fantastic opportunities.  But I'm also doing some things things that scare me quite a lot.  I live by the philosophy "life begins at the end of your comfort zone."  I even have it written above the light-switch in my room so I am reminded every single day that the scary things are usually the most important and rewarding.  The feeling of standing on the other side of something you were scared to do but did anyway is unbeatable.  There is no better way to see that you can do incredible things in life than to put your fears in front of you and growl at them until they back down.  warning: that feeling is also a little like crack.  Once you start, you end up on the street with nothing to your name except the desire to feel that way again.  Here are a few things that are kind of freaking me out at this moment.

Writing my thesis

No biggie.  Just the biggest part of my degree.  I need to spend hours and hours at the library researching, writing, and editing.  I should be there two days a week, most evenings, and weekends.  But I have been saying yes to too many other things and my time is once again not my own.  In a few weeks it will be even less my own so I have to knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it so I have some time for other things/people that are quite important to me.


You know the feeling of falling in love.  When you are stupidly excited but also kind of wondering how this can be real and scared it will go away but you don't care because that moment is just so wonderful?  I get that feeling a lot.  I fall in love with life so hard sometimes it hurts.  

It's 11:20 am on a Sunday.  The morning is sunny and happy and today just feels right.  Yafit and I had a good chat and laugh about the happenings at the party last night.  I left to study and ran into my downstairs flatmate on the way.  We chatted and laughed for a moment before I made my merry way.  Just around the corner I met a stranger and walked and chatted about what we are doing today.  Thirty seconds maybe?  But I just relish those moments when I am part of the scene, not just an observer.  I tend toward observation, which is equally as rewarding in its own way, but I love when I feel like I am part of something.  Like when you are driving and the music in your car magically matches exactly what is going on in the world outside.  It brings the outside in (or inside out?) and makes everything whole.  I love that.  When I kept walking, I saw someone I was pretty sure I knew and when I turned back to look, she was doing the same thing.  One of those weird, we both just had the exact same moment moments.  And then when I walked into the cafe to get settled in for the day, what was song was playing??? Yeah, that's right.  Ingrid Michaelson's The Way I Am.  Perfect.  Good things are going to happen today.  There's no need to worry about jinxing it by making such a declaration.  Goodness is just in the air.  And I love that!    

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Comfort Zone

I don't go for long without getting on an Ingrid Michaelson kick.  I love her and I go back to my favorite songs over and over and over.  I definitely don't get any of them free on Spotify anymore.  Not a huge loss though as often her videos are just as sweet and lovely as her songs.

Quite possibly my favorite:

And a new one, just to keep things fresh :) 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

If you have never seen the awesomeness that is parkour, check out the intro to District B-13.


I love kung fu.  I love martial arts in general.  I love anything that shows what the human body is capable of doing when well-tuned. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A is for Amy, who fell down the stairs*

For being a fairly chill weekend, A Bunch C-md to happen:

Cute baby photos from Maren :)
Double feature movie/spa day at my flat with Anya
Éclair hunt for Yafit
Free banana and fresh squeezed OJ
Grocery shopping
Hippie picnic blanket's first use
I saved more fish from more ponds with more moss.  Seriously.  Why?
Kilburn High Street
Membership card at the BL
National Portrait Gallery
Parkour practice
Q&A of the day: what advice would you give a second-grader? (7-8 year old, for you non US-ers)
Reggae Reggae sauce....mmmmmmm
Sweet story of Texas from a security guard at the BL
Thames time from a bench on a warm September evening
Uncharted territory
Visa discussions
Walk around Soho
X-essive (give me a bit of grace here..) shop at Boots.  Won't have to go back for months!
Yummy Persian food
Zainab - "it's killing children!"

*because he makes me giggle in a schadenfreudey kind of way

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back to Business

Due to too much of this leading to this, I was a bit of a waste of space this week.  Stupid nonsils.  Most nights, I was in bed early, trying to find the sleeping position most conducive to breathing.  I felt like shit and I was frustrated by my lack of energy and motivation.  While I did get some study time in, I also had my academic deadline slightly adjusted which added a bit more stress.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Under the Weather

I would like to do all of these things simultaneously.  Surely then I would feel better.
  • wear seventeen layers of clothes (none of them being socks, of course)
  • wrap myself in a blanket
  • drink hot chocolate
  • watch a movie 
  • read a book
  • take a nap
  • have a bath
  • be served cream 'o wheat for breakfast and soup for lunch
  • have a serious head massage, followed by a full body massage, followed by a head massage

Monday, September 5, 2011


I dream. Often.  And vividly.  Most nights I can trace origins of my dream back to events from the previous day.  People I meet, stories I hear, and sights I see all weave their way into my subconscious during the day and flow out in my dreams.  This is not unusual, I'm sure.  The unusual ones are where I am rescuing small things (usually fish) or having to swim my way through dark, murky, seaweed-filled water.  Well, I say unusual because they might be for some people but these are regularly recurring themes for me.

So, I wasn't surprised this morning when I had dreams of going to a movie preview for Pixar (though it should have been Disney, my subconscience apparently edits for preference.  I do love an old school Disney though so what gives?!) where I met both Bradley Cooper and Margaret Cho.  She was the bad guy who dressed as a ninja and silently led the good guys, siren-style, silent-ninja-siren-style, to a steep cliff where we had to find our escape or die.  As we ran down the less-steep, grass-covered hillside conveniently located around corner, we heard a crunching noise.  It wasn't until we were a safe distance, however, that we could really stop to listen.

I Would Have a Room Lined in Trampolines

Being a grown up sucks sometimes.  But three cheers for the things we can do simply because we are "adults" with no one to stop us!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's Official...

  • ...I go to Pedro's too often.  The girl there knows my order.  
  • ...this dad with his little boy is the cutest thing I've seen all week (and my week included some wicked dimples). 
  • ...I am a crazy person.  This morning when I left my flat, I crawled under the spiderweb spanning the gap of the open gate.  I couldn't bring myself to ruin what took him all night to build.  That's not the crazy part though.  The crazy is that I talked to him as I did it.  I'd like to think we gained an understanding and respect for one another.  (Any neighbor who saw me leave my front yard on my hands and knees, looking over my shoulder, talking to the air may have lost some respect for me, however.  And thus, the universe finds itself in balance once again.)
  • ...I love Radiolab.  Still.  More.  Always
  • If you are unfamiliar with this incredible podcast, start with this recent short!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ah, Memories

Happy one year anniversary of my one month anniversary!

As I never actually posted on the one year mark, this seemed necessary to celebrate.  I will say I am slightly nervous as September and I have a tenuous friendship and as this is my 13th month perhaps that is a bad combo?  Or perhaps it means people will throw in an extra bagel after every twelve purchases I make this month!  Oh god please let it be cinnamon raisin slathered in strawberry shmear.  

Also, this reminds me of the Festival of Britain.  This year is the 60th anniversary of the Festival.  Celebrations have been taking place on the Southbank since April and are ending tomorrow (damn!  I didn't realize that!  And I planned to study tomorrow.  Hmmmm).  The original Festival (May - October 1951) was aimed at promoting British recovery from the war, but also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Great Exhibition which took place 1 May to 15 October 1851.  If the British can celebrate an anniversary of an anniversary, then I can celebrate the same for Britain.  If you haven't been able to follow any of this, don't worry.  Just go to sleep and Leo DiCaprio will explain it all.    

I promise not to post about the one year anniversary of my three month anniversary though. That's just going a bit too far. 

      Dear 3:00am,

      I am sure you have many good qualities but I hate to say I am really not all that interested in getting to know you.  I'm not sure why you keep tricking me into spending time with you.  Can we just admit we travel in different social circles and agree not to see each other again?

      Much love,


      Ruby Blue < Strawberry Moon

      The chances of meeting someone at a club worth talking to or even dancing with are low.  The chances of it happening twice are none.  These odds definitely played out at the club tonight.  I wanted, as last time, to go out with my friends, swing my hips a bit, and let the music speak to me.  At Strawberry Moon I could do all three.  Not one time did I have someone decide it was their right to appear behind me, grab my ass, my hand, my face, kiss me, grind with me, or force me to indicate my need to be rescued with the clever use of a safety gesture.  Ruby Blue was all about it though.  Thrice we had to rescue one of our own from a guy.  The same dude!  And when he still didn't get the hint, he had to be actually pushed away by several of us pulling stern faces and fist to cuffs.  It was as if Port 'o Call and Green Street had a baby.  A baby who came out with a popped collar, smelling of Axe.    

      Thursday, September 1, 2011