Sunday, October 28, 2007

I have been doing some serious thinking lately. Being in college, I have the opportunity to do such quite a bit, but this is a little different. More like in-depth psycho analysis, the best that I can having never studied psychology before (damn me for dropping my 6th period class last year).

Nothing here is easy. This is my love/hate relationship with the place. Well, in truth, it is about 80% love/20% frustration. My subconscious and conscious minds are finally catching up with one another and comparing notes, and I think that is where all this extra emotion is coming from. It has just come to me in the past week or two, to the point where I can express it clearly, just how different everything is. It is not necessarily the obvious things, either. The city does not bother me, nor the weather. Those are two of the things that I am most enjoying. It is the smaller things that have been slowly creeping into my psyche and wreaking havoc with my emotions. That being said, I would not call myself unhappy, or even unstable. Obviously, after having gone back and read my last post, I would think I was depressed as hell. But the thing is that I write to purge my brain of my worst thoughts, and once I get them out I feel ten times better. I write them down so that I do not have to burden other people with them in normal social situations. Writing is my cure.

Once I get things out, they seem less important, less bothersome, and all the more manageable. I can be my own shrink if I can figure out what is actually bothering me, which is why I write them down. I have always found that by sitting and writing, I can find out so much more about myself than days of hard thinking.

Things that are beginning to bother me (consciously) that I am now just realizing that I took for granted while at home:

1. Lack of personal space. At home I had my room and my car to go to whenever I damn well pleased, listen to my music, and relax with my own thoughts. With a roommate, this becomes infinitely more difficult. Sharing a room with another person and a city with 8 million other people is definitely a change. Now that I think about it, I didn't even really spend that much alone time in my room at home. It was mostly the car. Ten minutes of alone time from one place to another really allowed me to gather my thoughts.

Before the comments come pouring in about me being the one that chose this, I am not arguing that I should be living elsewhere. I am acknowledging that a lack of personal space bothers me, but I am getting used to it. I could have had a single room, but there would be so much that I missed out on. As certain things about having a roommate are driving me crazy, I love Sara to death. I am happy that I am forcing myself into the box that I am in because I don't assume that I will be able to get out of it very soon. The sooner that I can learn to live with other people, the sooner I will actually be prepared for life. I would love to live in a lovely little apartment all by myself, but I really don't think that is safe, healthy, or economically practical in any of the places in the world that I plan on spending extended periods of time.

2. Lack of acceptance of my ideas. I chose to come to one of the most diverse, politically motivated, ambitious colleges in the world, which means I am not longer simply accepted for who I am, what I am, how smart I am. Everyone is smart here, everyone has good ideas here (however radically different), and the most popular question is "why?" Why, why why. I have never had to have so much evidence and background for my simple opinions in my life. The most basic observations like "Things are different here" bring on counter statements, "why? how? really?" Sometimes I just want to scream, "yes, really! Don't you understand me!?!? I have never lived in a city, without anyone I know, in a room with someone else, not in control of anything that goes on in my life!!" But instead, I just state "yes" and enumerate the things in my life that have changed since August (everything). It is frustrating to have everything I say challenged by friends, peers, teachers, and random people that I barely know. But at the same time, it makes me think carefully about what I say. I try to make sure that I know what I am talking about. I gain perspectives on life that I never knew existed.

3. Lack of support net. I miss my parents and my family. I have been getting a little homesick the past week or so, probably because Sara has been talking to her family so much because of the fires and such. Also, when I was here during midterms last year I remember a girl telling me that this was the time that everyone sort of realizes that they are really away from home for good. The novelty has worn off, and the real transition has begun. I have kept this in the back of my mind for an entire year, fighting it so hard. I was so determined to make it past this point without getting homesick that I think I psyched myself into it. Now that I realize that, however, I know that it is something that will pass. Thanksgiving is almost upon us. The stress of midterms shall pass soon. I don't see this as being a long-standing problem, just a fleeting feeling telling me that I cannot do a 180 degree transition in life without ever thinking to the past. I am not the kind of homesick that really wants to go home or is going to sit and cry about it at night. I am just coming to terms with my new life, wondering where I am going, thinking about where I came from (and also missing Peet's bad. This damn coffee here is terrible, and there are no vegan gingers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Now, after that, I feel so much better. I shall post it, and probably go back and read it later today or tomorrow and realize how utterly ridiculous I sound. How many times did I use the phrase, "I realize that..."?? Sure I have come to a lot of realizations, but surely I could find a better synonym? Alas, I cannot sit here and reminisce all day. I actualy have work to do. Although I believe I am learning just as much through the above as I am in class, I am at Columbia for a reason. The overachiever in me will not be silenced. That is one part of me that has not changed a lick.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I keep trying to be optimistic. I keep trying to hide that I am freaking out because I so much don't want it to be true. But then things happen like trying to get 12 blocks into Harlem and after 2 looking down to find everything in your bag swimming in soda. And that is when I just want to cry. Everyone is having problems, so I don't want to make a big deal about my issues, because they are more or less comparable to what everyone else is dealing with. Why can't I get it together? I need somewhere to rant.

I think a lot of my agitation comes from my weight obsession. I am completely obsessed with the fact that I am gaining weight, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I can't really tell if I have actually gained weight or not, but I do know that I am trying to fight the freshman 15, the birth control 10, and the I-can't-work-out-the-way-I-want-to 5. That is 30 lbs. that I am trying to stave off at one time, all the while living without a kitchen in the most culinarily divine city in America. I happen to be trying very hard to stick to three smallish meals a day with two to three light snacks. I haven't eaten any cupcakes since I have been here, and only a pastry or two in over two months. I try to stick to fruits and vegetables and egg whites and chicken in the dining hall, but sometimes I just break down and have bread or something ridiculous like 5 apples in a day.

And it totally freaks me out that I can't exercise the way that I want to. I have been getting in 5-6 days a week doing something, but I am dying on the vine without spinning and bodypump. my once-hardened muscles are softening, and I just do not have the time or the energy to keep it up on my own, and run, and keep up with all of my reading. And my boobs just keep getting bigger. It freaks me out. I know it is the hormones and I can't help it, but I hate it. I liked not having to worry about who I was hitting in the face. It bothers me more than I would like that my bras almost don't fit.

I can't seem to keep my room clean. There is crap all over my floor, which by the way looks like crap anyway because of our wrinkled rug. I could stay here and clean it, but I also have 200 pages to read this weekend, a midterm to study for on monday, and a paper to finish. Plus I need to get the heck out of here and have fun. And I need to run. I feel better after I work out. If I don't do it every day I get antsy.

The worst part about this is I don't know who to talk to. My roommate has her own issues. Other people are studying. I don't want people to think that I am such a pessimistic person, because really I am not. I have just been so overwhelmed lately with things that are out of my control. But really, things aren't so bad. I talked to the food editor of Spec yesterday about running for her job in the next month or so, and she was really supportive. I went to this cool haunted house in Chelsea last night. I am still working on my chocolate article, and have research left to do.

What would I do if this was last year? I would be in Mrs. Duston's office or Captain's room or Mr. Gray's living room, and everything would be okay, and they would make me think about funny things, or things that could be worse, or how I could use it to make ASB so much better...

But above it all, even though I love it here and would never think about being anywhere else, sometimes I would just love to go downstairs and lay in my parents' bed and hug them. I haven't talked to either of them for more than a couple of minutes at a time since my mom was here a month ago. I want to see my sister, and go to coffee with my mom and lunch with my dad. And I want to use an oven and make chicken and cupcakes. And I want to stop crying.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fun with Parent in a Vest and Tie

Currently sitting in room 402 in the International Affair Building, otherwise known as le grand-pu-pu politically lecture hall, listening to the grand-pu-pu himself, Joe Parent, professor of (barnard...) American Foreign Policy. As this is my favorite class, I thought I might put a few of the gems, and shout outs to Minnesotans, that get said in this class.

"some well-intentioned people do bad things because they suck."

"Everyone loves the Nazis for ethical problems"

"shark attacks no longer with us, Britney Spears- still with us"

"here's the thing right, she kind of reminds me of do you do so well for so long in the public sphere?"

Ted keeps piping up. he's ridiculously neo-con and annoying.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rupert Murdoch with some Pumpkin Flavor

My weekly Sunday walk took me to the northwest corner of SoHo this morning, to Once Upon a Tart on Sullivan near Houston for an excellent pumpkin praline muffin, a mediocre cafe au lait, and some relaxing time with Euripedes' "Medea." I was a little earlier than I have been the past couple of weeks, so I let my feet take me a few avenues over to the Chelsea markets, which I have been meaning to check out since orientation week. Had I not already indulged in a muffin at Tart, I would have been hard-pressed to choose what kind of delicious creation I wanted from one of the six or so bakeries and specialty food stores that I drifted into. On the plus side, most places had tiny samples that I didn't feel too bad about partaking in.

On another note (more or less exciting I know not), I have been researching intellectual property, Web 2.0, and the You Generation for my University Writing paper and have come up with some REALLY interesting stuff. It is crazy how much control Rupert Murdoch has over the world. He could slander my MySpace page if he really came upon the desire. It is ridiculous how much wealth is concentrated in the supposedly free creative outlets of the internet these days. Google is sickeningly rich, and not looking to slow down anytime soon (actually, because I love calculus, their accelertaion is slowing a little, but that is simply because of the sheer amount of wealth that they have accumulated, it is hard to keep a percentage revenue up for too long...the velocity that they are making money will continue to skyrocket into the unforseeable future).

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thank you Nike Air Plus!

I went to the gym this morning and invariably had to "sign up" for a cardio machine (because that is how accomodating and awesome our gym is). I ended up with an elliptical, which of course, pooped out on me after 20 minutes, deciding to only go up in resistence no matter which button I pushed. After trying to reset it twice, I gave up and headed for the exciting little indoor track (10 laps to a mile!) and gave myself a little mile test. 6:53!!!! Best mile ever, blowing my last best mile ever out of the water by over a minute! Granted, the last time I timed myself was when I raced cross country in 10th grade, but still, I was so excited.

I then proceeded to spend the rest of my day banging my head against the wall/studying American Foreign Policy. I did go with my roommate, study-partner Brandon, and his roommate to Columbia Cottage for steamed chinese vegetables and complimentary wine. Yummy. Now, on an exciting Saturday night in New York City, I'm blogging in Pierre's room thinking about opening a book. Not that I don't love, Pierre. That is why I am here and not in my room.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I love YouTube sometimes.

tonight I have watched Spice World, the TES movie, and this.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I love when my life comes together and the pieces all fit into place like those 500 piece puzzles that I hated as a child. Ahmadinejad was on the front page of the Times again this morning, along with Vladamir Putin, who I just talked about last night with my foreign Policy prof. at his office hours as he explained to me how the world works (or, rather, told me what has happened in the world and then asked me if I knew how the world works). So, the big picture of the two leaders' profiles splattered across the front page prompted me to flip to A6, where the real story was (Putin went to Iran, not much more happened). The subsequent picture, as pictured on the right made my day oh so happy as I read the caption, "Presidents Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran followed in the footsteps of Persian soldiers Tuesday." Persian soldiers. Like from the Persian wars. From Herodotus. Which we just read for Lit Hum. Now, if only I had read this in Le Monde this morning, it would have incorporated my attempt to learn French and my life would be complete. Instead, I just caught up on the goss. from the inner workings of Sarkozy's marriage (which incidentally I first found out about in the Times yesterday...there were some really good headlines in the Times yesterday). Here in French, and here from yesterday's Times. If you are really interested, they actually covered him doing real things this morning, despite his lack of booty, life goes on in the EU.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lerner--4th Floor

I have had some irrational musings lately, many of which I wish not to elaborate on, both because of time constraints and personal constraints. Full disclosure is not something that I as a blogger am bound by thankfully. Some points that I would like to touch on, however, as a break from Oedipus, tragedy, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

  • Last weekend, while walking down 8th Ave. between 14th and 15th streets I discovered a new phenomenon (less so as just a really odd anomaly): the Mexican Diner. Not Mexican restaurant, not family diner, but MEXICAN DINER. Full booths, coffee bar, tacos, and menu written in Spanish. Only in New York.
  • I frequently go to the fourth floor of Lerner to sit on the comfy chairs and read (and also consume Tasti), and for some reason, every time I am there I overhear some sort of relationship conflict. They are fairly juicy, sometimes on the phone, sometimes (like tonight) in person. "Now, this is the point in which I feel the need to get involved…" and as not to cause a jelly incident, I usually extricate myself from the situation, snickering to myself as I do. If only I was a screenwriter, I would have an abundance of material in which to pull from. Alas, I only have the time to briefly touch on it here in the world of blog.
  • I went skating in Central Park today. Nothing too notable happened, save for being informed that there is a DJ around the 72 St. transverse every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and a lot of people go there to skate. The best part of the day was definitely when I was attempting to skate TO Central Park, down hills and over uneven pavement on my Carreras with Mustang wheels on them…not exactly my most graceful of moments, but amusing all the same.
  • In other news, I finally found out what happened at the end of the Cold War (in other words, history did not cease to happen when I was born! The revelation!)
  • Kurt stole my American Foreign Policy notebook, which pisses me off.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bored (aka distracted) in Butler

The girl next to me is chewing her gum so loud that I can hear it with my music on full volume through my headphones. I am a total hypocrite; I chew gum when I am stressed out (so, every time I sit down to do homework), but it is one of my biggest pet peeves. I absolutely cannot stand the sound of smacking gum, it drives me insane. When my roommate gets out the gum I either have to put in earplugs or leave the room. Since I know that I am a culprit of this very same deed (though I know how to keep my mouth shut, unlike miss flytrap over on the right here), I feel like I cannot complain. Instead, I go on random blog rants. Let's see if I can't find something more productive to rant about...

So this is Manny Ramirez on Saturday night...and if you see the lady to his left in the red scarf, I am sitting about 10 rows up from her. After the Homecoming game on Saturday, I flew with my roommate Sara and her family to Boston specifically for the purpose of spend 5 hours at Fenway Park, having a little clam chowda, and talking to the drunk condom manufacturer next to us. It was a roaring good time (until the 11th inning, that is).

Note that I somehow got a picture in before I turned completely into Rudolph. 40 degree weather was a small price to pay for the Sox, though.

Check out the craziness of Fenway. It outdoes Dodger Stadium in a few ways, one of my favorite being in the 9th inning when I watched the lady in cheetah gloves give the bird to the guy behind her, be asked to leave by the security guard, and then proceed to pour her beer on him before stomping off the premises. Another notable find of the night: the slightly awkward Carackerjack kid, Nathaniel, who happens to be the kid that told me for two straight weeks in the summer of 2004 (at Brown) that "this is the Red Sox' year...we're finally going to win it" causing me to root for them all through the World Series and be amazed when they did, in fact, win it all. Imagine seeing him randomly three years later, in Fenway Park (and he remembered me!).

In other news, I have two papers due today. One is finished, the other is awaiting a conclusion (after I am done brain-lapsing here). my latest foray into the world of Spectator is researching for a food article I am doing on the best chocolate in New York City. So far I am less than half done, and more than half in heaven. if ever in SoHo, be sure to head to Broome Street for some amazing Aztec hot chocolate or cute little painted ganache (in 27 different and exotic flavors).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tons of tomatos

Life has been buzzing with Greek tragedy, the Cold War, and French compositions, and thoughts about intellectual property. This is only my work in addition to Spec stuff. And running for the Political Science Students' Association freshman rep (which I lost to my roommate to no surprise). The week is beginning to come together, however, as can be seen here. The weather has been ungodly hot, but it finally rained last night and promises to cool of for the rest of the week. Perhaps I can go running without fear of coming back looking like this: