Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saturday in the Park with Shane

Still chilly, but getting more beautiful by the day (except for tomorrow, when it rains)!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Training to be a normal human being

I've done some thinking over the past week or so, and come up with a few answers. One of them, ironically, is that I need to take some time every once in a while and let myself just sit and think. Another of them is that I shouldn't think too much.

As I was here over the break, it finally hit me, the last weekend, that it is not totally necessary for me to be doing something 24/7. It might even be okay for me to take a day or two and simply do nothing at all. This novel concept is completely counterintuitive to me; I can't stand being in my dorm room for long periods of time, and I feel this pull to constantly be out exploring the city. After all, that is what I came here for. There are so many things on my to-do list that I feel like when I have a block of time without classes I should naturally be trying to experience the wonderful world in which I live.

But it came to me last week, as I was in a frenzy to check off as many things as possible before I had to start thinking about school again, that perhaps it would be okay to give myself a break. I can't stress myself out over everything. As much as I enjoy being the walking guidebook, I also like getting enough sleep and not being quite so tense all the time. Plus, if I stay around campus rather than venturing to the depths of the big city, my chances of getting hit on by a guy younger than forty might actually go up.

Last week, even though I was on "Spring Break," I think I felt like I had to prove to myself that there was a reason that I was still here in New York and not laying on the couch at home. Sitting around watching television is a great way to destress and mellow out the brain (everything in moderation, children!), but I felt like if that is what I was going to do, why wasn't I at home doing that? I was in the convoluted world of I want to go to place A, B, C, D, and E in the next few days, but also I really just want to go home and see my family, and oh, I should probably work out, and oh, crap, I still have a ton of work to do since Lit Hum halts for none of those silly academic holidays.

In the end, I ended up skipping a couple of the museums that I had planned, using a lot of my time to read Don Quixote on my bed, finally go get a mattress pad that allows me to happily lay in my bed to read, and enjoying multiple episodes of Arrested Development, which I so fortuitously borrowed from Kurt when he left for Paris. By Sunday I was almost relaxed- and almost done with the 550 pages of required reading that I had (I was really proud of that as I observed my peers on pages 76 and 116).

And then Monday came. And all of the sudden the pressure turned on again, the work piled up, and I woke up this morning at 7:30 to finish my econ homework feeling like I had been hit with a brick. But, that's school. Actually, some pretty cool stuff has happened this week. I wrote my first article for the Eye, which is more or less the same thing as an article for the Spec, only a little bit longer with a few more cool graphics.

I also joined the cycling team. This was more or less an accident. I finally went out for a ride with my friend Tony, who was one of the leaders of the preorientation bike trip that I went on. We went around Central Park twice, and somewhere along the way he convinced me that I needed to race in at least one race this season. Me, being a big believer in just diving in and trying new things that sound somewhat intriguing, decided, "Why not?" Then I was told that the only race that wouldn't be all weekend long was at Army (West Point), IN TWO WEEKS. So, a few comments about how I could certainly keep up with the pack later, I signed up for the race next weekend. Perhaps the fact that I went riding and for a run yesterday have something to do with the whole "feeling like I got hit with a brick" thing this morning. Whatever the reason, I'm committed now, 9 days away, and looking forward to getting my Columbia kit (which is pretty hot, I have to say) this weekend. As you can see below, the baby blue jersey is going to look awesome sitting atop Roxie. And yes, I have named my bike after my stripper self.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why am I so addicted to Law & Order?

Seriously, I think it may have become an obsession. I know that I am starting to feel stressed out by observing a couple of different things in my life: my nails have all been chewed off, my oral fixation becomes constant (constantly chewing gum or mints, or candy, or even glass after glass of water), and/or I find myself chain-watching episodes of Law & Order. It's like candy, though, I just can't get enough of it.

In other news, Mom left today, which made me sad, until I emerged from the subway for my job interview and my homesickness was replaced with butterflies. Luckily, I nailed the interview and got offered an internship for the summer at Pocket Change, a website/online newsletter that tracks luxuries in the city. It seems completely frivolous, and also completely awesome.

I don't know what I am going to do with myself now that my mom is gone. I am a little pissed that it is supposed to rain the next three or four days. That really cuts into the workouts that I had planned. I'll have to replace some biking with some museuming, I guess.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Headache, thy name is frontiers

I have this class, it's called "Frontiers of Science," where we literally go to the frontier (cutting edge) of scientific discovery and learn about some of the most complicated research out there today and how it applies to our world. Unfortunately, it doesn't apply to my world very well. While the concepts that I get lectured on are ones that the professional scientists at a multi-billion dollar research institution aren't quite able to figure out, the way that the information is presented is on the level of about a 7th grader, which makes me lose interest, fast. I am trying to do the homework right now and I can't decide whether the questions are really as base as they seem, or if they are just so over my head that I don't even comprehend their meaning. Either way, I am not interested. Because of this, I spend most of the time I devote to the subject complaining about it rather than actually studying for it. I don't even know what to study for.

I understand the science requirement here; I frankly have no problem taking 3 science courses before I graduate. I am sure that they will be useful to me. But please let me take courses that are actually going to be useful to me. I would have been happy to take a course on sustainable development, but I couldn't because Frontiers of Science got in my way.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Feeling Better

I had a better day today. I got up, got some Hamlet read, went to MoMA (cool colored floor patterns in the bad, dark photo), finished my reading there, grabbed a delicious vegetable jardinere sandwich from Bouchon Bakery in Columbus Circle (see cool LOVE statue that I passed on the way), went ice skating with Pierre in Central Park, got a free tshirt from the men's basketball game, and went to Ethiopian for dinner with Sara, Diana, Devika, and Brooke. Now I am attempting to be productive by writing an essay, but the fruits of that effort are reflected in my writing here...

Tomorrow there is a Williams-Sonoma cooking class on Easter cupcakes. If the weather permits I'm hoping to run down to Columbus Circle for that. Sounds deliciously fun to me. I am back to working up to running all the way down to South Ferry. I was pretty close to trying last Wednesday, but I decided that getting back to class on time was a little bit more important. Next week, perhaps. Spring Break, perhaps.

Not sure what to call this one

I am in a funk and not really sure how to get out of it (or really how I got here in the first place). I am pretty sure that it has something to do with my room being dead silent all the time. I feel like my roommate hates me. I kind of feel like I need to talk to her about it, but at the same time, I kind of did last weekend, and everything appeared to be fine for about a day. Now, every time I think about it my mind flashes to something she has said a few times, about how she can be very fake and pretend to like someone and be nice to them but really just not care at all. She has said before that it is easy.

I don't know how exactly to fit in and still be me. Sometimes I feel like I miss my chance to really be me, either because I am too tired or just not as drunk as everyone else. I don't want to be pretentious, that's not why I don't drink, I just don't want to loose control. I think some of this is a negative feedback system where one thing goes wrong in my perfectly-constructed world, and I let that back up into getting depressed about the world.

And it is not really that I am depressed about the world, I am just feeling awkward moving around in my own world. I feel really alone. I do things alone; I go to museums and other places alone before I feel like I can't find anyone to go with me. I get up before other people. I go to bed before other people. And I have stopped trying to struggle against my own core personality to change that.

Then there is Spectator. I am stuck, to be cliche, between a rock and a hard place (and another really sharp object). I am the only one that is part of the arts staff and the news staff, and I feel like having the allegiance to both makes me a part of neither. Maybe because I struggle so hard to maintain a life outside of Spectator. I continually feel like I am on the outside looking in, and I don't even know where I should be focusing.

I don't even know where to start dealing with all of this. I don't really want to talk about it. But how can I make it better then? Today, I don't like growing up so much.

In other news, my back hurts. Kinda like I need a massage, kinda like I need someone to pop it back into place, definitely like I wish I didn't carry so many books all of the time.