17 December 2009

Just Do It

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-Oscar Wilde

All it takes to be yourself, original, is to let yourself think. Lately I've recognized a bit of a problem in myself--that I don't have the confidence to trust my own thoughts. I think I have a relatively healthy ego, at least at face value. I have no problem saying that I know I am pretty, I know I'm intelligent, I know I am creative (though I admit it's cringy to say/write as much to other people for fear of not sounding humble). But at a deeper level I think I have less confidence. I wait for direction from other people, rather than relying on myself. It's almost impossible for me to make a decision, even about something as simple as what to have for dinner. Most people procrastinate, but I've realized that what I put off is not work but making decisions.

I'm not writing this to put myself down; I'm writing it to bring myself up. Finding and admitting a problem is the hardest part, and now that I've done that I can work on fixing it. And my plan, which I think will be my New Year's resolution, is this: JUST DO IT. If I have an idea, I'll go with it. If I have a decision to make, I'll just make it. Every decision is not as big as it seems.

This is a lesson that everyone can and should learn. I highly recommend the book WHATEVER YOU THINK, THINK THE OPPOSITE by Paul Arden. Jonty gave it to me this summer, and I've only just gotten around to reading it. But I plan to read it over and over, as it's both funny and inspiring.


07 December 2009

My Weekend in Pictures

Bristol riverfront.

Homemade snickerdoodles (my favorite cookies!). They didn't last long!

Witney's new shopping centre.

Costa coffee latte--gone.

My early Christmas present.


06 December 2009

The Short of It

...is that I can't slim down a story.

When I'm chatting with friends and I try to tell a story, whether it be funny, anecdotal, or relatively important, I end up saying much more than necessary. The funny story is ruined, the anecdote is lost, and the important seems trivial, unless I have access to a delete key.

And it's not just me. My little sister is the same way. We always joke about it, but it's only funny because it's true. Sometimes our friends try to convince us otherwise. "No, no. You're a good storyteller." But the reality is that we just plain suck.

I'm finding this becoming even more of a problem lately. My MA program involves a lot of presenting papers in a short amount of time. I can explain pretty thoroughly the intricacies of the papers I'm presenting, but I just can't seem to give a short, general account of the argument.

But this makes me wonder why my mind works this way! Is it genetic? Is it the way I was brought up? Is it the influence of the computer generation? Is it because I'm right-handed? I find it all very interesting...


04 December 2009

Last Autumn Song

Autumn is quickly fading into winter. We only have a couple of weeks left. Now that I've given my supervisor a draft of one of my essays, I'm finally allowing myself to accept that winter and Christmas are in the air. As a final farewell to fall, here is a lovely song comparing the relationships in nature (which is now going into hiding) to love. It's from the Juno soundtrack, which I adore. I absolutely LOVE these lyrics :.)

If I was a flower growing wild and free
All I'd want is you to be my sweet honey bee.
And if I was a tree growing tall and green,
All I'd want is you to shade me and be my leaves. (x2)

All I want is you, will you be my bride?
Take me by the hand and stand by my side.
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were a river in the mountains tall,
The rumble of your water would be my call.
If you were the winter, I know I'd be the snow,
Just as long as you were with me, when the cold winds blow.

All I want is you, will you be my bride?
Take me by the hand and stand by my side.
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were a wink, I'd be a nod.
If you were a seed, well I'd be a pod.
If you were the floor, I'd wanna be the rug.
And if you were a kiss, I know I'd be a hug.

All I want is you, will you be my bride?
Take me by the hand and stand by my side.
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were the wood, I'd be the fire.
If you were the love, I'd be the desire.
If you were a castle, I'd be your moat,
And if you were an ocean, I'd learn to float.

All I want is you, will you be my bride?
Take me by the hand and stand by my side.
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.


03 December 2009


[image copyright Disney Enterprises]

In March, Disney will be releasing Time Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland. This film will put a new twist on the classic tale, just as it did with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wonderland will be much more surreal, more dangerous, yet more mystical. I think this is a great vision for the story. Alice in Wonderland is very much about a girl who is in a crazy, confusing, and threatening world. I have to admit, though, as a child I was quite frightened even of the Disney classic animated movie, so I do worry that Burton's film will be a bit too far on the scary end of the spectrum. But the images I've seen so far will drive me to the cinema anyway--they're very creative and beautiful, if not a bit too dark. I really can't wait to see what this will be like.

Click here to see more photos and here to see the trailer.


01 December 2009

What I've Been Doing, Part II (Grad School)

Today on What I've Been Doing I have a few photos of the Graduate School building. I spend quite a lot of time here, as it has a common room, complete with kitchen and coffee maker, as well as study rooms and a computer room with a printer (and I don't have a printer at home).

This is the building itself. The houses on this street used to be private residences but have since been renovated and connected to become the home to the Faculty of the Arts & Humanities departments.

The Grad School Common Room. I meet friends in here for breakfast some days (to get us out of the house at a decent time), and it's also good for socializing and for taking study breaks. See the television in there? I'm convinced that one night we'll take it over (since we have 24 hour access) and watch movies in here.

The kitchen. Thank goodness for this, since it's the only way I can eat proper food during the day (along with the microwave in the kitchen downstairs). It's pretty cozy.

When the sun is shining (a treat in Bristol), we get natural light through these windows.

I've been working really hard on academic matter lately. I've just submitted a rough draft of my essay on the philosophy of education to my supervisor, and I'll soon be starting my paper on naturalism. While I am hard at it, I am really enjoying it. Philosophy can be so exhilarating. It can also be extremely frustrating, I might add. But it will be weird to step away from this building and the comrades I've gotten to know when I leave for home in less than two weeks for a month-long break.


30 November 2009

The View From Above (or, What I've Been Doing, Part I)

I'm long overdue to post some photos of what I've been up to the past couple of months. Sorry to keep you all waiting! First, we'll start with home. My new flat is simple (especially since I could only fit so much in my suitcase and I'm attempting to live on a budget), but it's comfortable and I'm finding it pretty easy to feel at home here. (But don't get me wrong, there's really no place like home.)

Here is my bedroom, from the doorway.

My bed is pretty darn comfy. Thanks to this guest post on English Muse for decoration inspiration. I still need something pretty over the head of my bed, but I haven't found anything yet.

The pink guitar is borrowed, as I had too much baggage to bring mine across the pond. It's cute though, isn't it?

This is where I spend lots of my time, mostly studying, sometimes blogging and/or procrastinating. The sun comes through my window in the morning; it's fantastic.

These flowers are actually ninjas. Jonty bought them for me almost three weeks ago and they're only barely starting to wilt.

Unfortunately, this photo does the view of Bristol from my window no justice.

This is our kitchen/living room.

Lots of great meals are made and gobbled up right here. My housemates are pretty talented cooks/bakers, and I'm slowly learning myself!

Have a seat!

So, this is my place. I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour! Stay tuned for more of What I've Been Doing later this week.


16 November 2009

The Itch for the Next Step

From the moment I stepped onto campus as a college freshman, I have been a self-proclaimed academic. In my mind, the real world is tedious, meaningless, boring--it's in school that I belong. And I've begun living that dream. I'm living in the United Kingdom studying philosophy as a postgraduate--watching & engaging in real philosophical discussion with the people who are at the forefront of the debates. I'm not sure if it's what I expected (as I wasn't sure what to expect), but I'm definitely finding it interesting.

But I have something to confess... This self-proclaimed academic, enemy of all that is normal, is, without warning, hankering after a normal life. I'm not sure when it happened--maybe last week, maybe before--but I suddenly have the urge to get an apartment of my own and find a solid job, perhaps go on walks in the evening with Jonty after dinner, and enjoy a nice meal out and a good glass of wine on a Saturday night.

Maybe it's that I'm realizing that I'm too old to still be sharing an apartment. It could be that the philosophy talk is growing tiring as it sometimes does halfway through a semester. But I don't think it's either of those. I think the problem is twofold: (1) the back-and-forth life that I'm still living and (2) dependency.

Ever since I was four years old, I've been living a back-and-forth life. My parents got divorced, and I was stuck sharing my sense of home, and of family, between two places. When I finally started to live on my own, I had very little time with a stationary life (except for a few months in the dorms), sharing time between my place, my boyfriend's place, and my mom's home. Even studying abroad took me away from my flat a couple of weekends per month. And now, away from the multi-directional pull from my two families, my friends, my own place, here I am again, sharing my sense of home between my flat and Jonty's house. I'm not really complaining--I love Jonty and I'm happy to be able to spend time with him, no matter where I am--but the life of the nomad can be so tiring, so unsettling. I'm ready to be in control of my life, to keep it in one place for a while.

Also, studying full-time as an involved postgraduate, there isn't really time to work. It's funny: I was able to juggle school, work, and sorority as an undergrad, but now it seems like just keeping up with my studies is incredibly hard work. I planned on getting a job, but unless it's just a few hours per week, it's just not in the cards. Which makes me reliant on my dwindling savings account and, more importantly, my parents. My mom and dad are happy to help out, and I appreciate their support, but it does become problematic because I worry not only how my actions will affect my budget, but also how they will affect my parents. For example, Jonty and I have been talking for a while about going to Prague or Greece over spring break. But if I continue to rely on parental support, I would feel too guilty spending money enhanced by them to do so. It would be nice to have freedom from that--not that that would mean I could do anything I want, but at least if something is within my means I can do it without restraint.

So I guess the overriding factor here is freedom and stability. I want the freedom to do what I choose (within reason) and the stability to make that possible.

The upside is this: A small decision is made. I was having trouble deciding whether or not to apply to PhD programs, and this inclination I'm feeling is telling me to wait. I can spend a year gaining stability, and then I can consider whether or not further study, and what kind of study, is right for me. [And for someone who has problems making decisions, this is big!] For now, though, I will try to live in the moment, and to enjoy being involved in seminars, conferences, and lectures, as well as formulating my own ideas and arguments and drafting them.

I apologize for the gigantic post today; I guess I mostly needed to cash things out for myself, to figure out what was going on.

It's much too late for me to be still on Blogger. Night night, all! (Good afternoon, California. I miss you!)


10 November 2009

More Lovely Music

More from my Starbucks Playlist. It makes me feel like I'm living in a classier era, yet I still find myself dance around like a child when it comes on. Isn't it lovely?

Melody Gardot - Who Will Comfort Me


09 November 2009

Song of the Day

I've been listening to my "Starbucks Playlist" a lot recently, which consists of the free songs I've downloaded thanks to Starbucks. (Remember the cards they used to give out?) This song especially has practically been on repeat. It makes me feel warm & fuzzy.

Madeleine Peyroux - "Instead"


06 November 2009

Happy Birthday, Boyfriend!

Dear Jonty,

Surprise! I set this post to show up on the morning of your big day! I'm so happy to be celebrating with you today. I'm incredibly lucky to have you, & I (partially) have this day, twenty-two years ago, to thank for that. Anyway, I'm thankful you were brought into this big world, & I'm thankful that the world is still small enough that, of all the millions of people I could have met in my life, I met you. You're the best thing since sliced cheese. I hope you have a lovely lovely day today, celebrating you! Happy birthday!!!


03 November 2009

When was the last time you filled out a survey?

I haven't done one of these in a while. Tina from English Muse posted this one, and it gave me a mild flashback to junior high e-mail surveys, so I thought I'd post it too. At least it isn't a chain letter, right?

1. Where is your cell phone: It's not misplaced or being dropped, which is out of the ordinary.
2. Your hair: is long, brown, thick, straightened at the moment. I usually can't be bothered to dry/style it, so it's in a French braid or slightly wavy/awkward.
3. Your favorite food: is cheese, alone or with anything: crackers, fruit, broccoli, noodles. My life motto is, "The more cheese, the better."
4. Your dream from last night: involved me getting in a huge fight with my dad's wife at dinner with like my entire family (Mom, etc. included). My family also got really angry that I couldn't just keep my mouth shut and thus ruined everything. (Yikes, right?)
5. Your favorite drink: is fresh squeezed orange juice.
6. Your dream/goal: has become a bit hazy. I used to be very sure of where I wanted to be. Now, I have a general direction but am open to life possibilities. I like my new view better.
7. What room are you in: my bedroom, on my bed. I should be going to sleep, actually.
8. What are your hobbies: blogging, reading, crafting, traveling, cooking.
9. What is your fear: My fear is always that someone close to me, especially my family, will be hurt or have trouble. I'm very protective over my fam, especially my sister.
10. Where do you want to be in 6 years: Hahaha. I've been thinking about this question a lot recently. Literally, I have no idea. But hopefully by then I'll know where I want to be. In general, I think I want to be living in the U.S. at that point, preferably in/near a city. And I want a nice apartment with a blue door and lots of sunlight. And if Jonty was there I wouldn't complain.
11. Where were you last night: Home, on the Internet. [I will say "ditto" to Tina, because I was home, on the Internet, being thankful that my flat is finally connected to the world again.]
12. Something you are not:
13. Muffins: are great with coffee, especially almond poppy seed muffins, which are my fave.
14. Wish list items: Some money for living expenses in Bristol would be superb. But second on my list is a Polaroid camera.
15. Where did you grow up: Sacramento, California--the best city in the world.
16. Last thing you did: Skyped with Jonty. I'd like to Skype with Sissa & Mummy sometime soon!
17. What are you wearing: black sweatpants and an olive green long sleeve t-shirt
18. Your TV: is in California, 5210 miles away. We don't have a TV in our flat, just the Internet, our laptops & a projector.
19. Your pets: are the coolest cats ever--Molly & McGee. Sometimes, I talked to them on Skype.
20. Your friends: all meet the following requirements: (1) slightly nerdy/goofy/random, (2) like to read, (3) funny, (4) have a creative side, (5) I slightly want to be like them. I'm pretty picky about who I surround myself with.
21. Your favorite store: is probably Borders. I also love independent book stores, especially those that sell used books, but the Paperchase section of Borders gets me every time. Plus, they usually have a Starbucks, at least here in the UK.
22. Your favorite color: is teal.

Bedtime for me. I'm meeting some classmates for breakfast tomorrow, in an attempt to motivate each other to be out of the house by 9am. Good idea, right? We'll see if it works, especially considering it's now past midnight...


Blogger Love

As of this afternoon (yesterday, actually, since it's just past midnight 'round these parts), my flat is finally connected to society via the world wide web. It has been an entire month since I have had easy access to Internet, as it's been available at nearby coffee shops and in university buildings only, plus my couple of visits to Jonty's house have given me my fix. Although I suppose I haven't exactly been living in a cave--I have had some connection to the world--it's so nice to be online in my pajamas in my own home.

And after a long session blog-checking (as well as procrastinating--hello again firefox), I realized how much I have missed the Blogger world. So this post is dedicated to some of my favorite blogs/bloggers--to tell them how much I missed them and to give you some pages to explore.

1. Observations and Musings of a Bystander
First & foremost is my baby sister's blog. Sissa is creative, stylish, nerdy, witty, and intelligent--& her blog definitely reflects this. Her posts always have something interesting to check out or somely lovely to look at. She's also terrible at spelling and doesn't proofread, but that's part of what makes Sissa so special.

2. Quiet Like Horses
Let's set aside the fact that this blog is one of the first I began following when I developed an interest in all-things-blog this past summer. Let's also set aside the fact that Sobrina is the closest thing I have to a blogger friend, as well as the thought that I would be friends with Sobrina in real life had I met her in the actual world rather than the virtual world. And please ignore the similarity between our names (Sobrina/Sabrina). Apart from all these packets of knowledge, Quiet Like Horses is still a great blog. Sobrina has a wonderful way with words, whether she writes about her struggles with her boyfriend Alan's cancer, a childhood memory, or jeggings. She will always make you either think or laugh--and many times you find yourself doing both.

3. you are my fave
With a name like this, how could this blog not be one of my faves? Some of the greatest things about it are: positivity, simplicity, great style, fantastic party ideas, bunting & polaroids. Plus Melanie is just too cute! Check out this interview on My Favorite Things to read more about her.

Joanna's style is classy, simple & vintage--three of my favorite things. My favorite part of following A CUP OF JO is that every Friday Joanna posts a list of links to lovely things on the web that we may have missed over the week; you can always find great stories and photos on that list, as well as new blogs to check out. I adore her & her blog to no end.

5. Des in Real Life
I love love love me a good quote, and Des in Real Life is full of them! My quote notebook has had quite a few entries from this blog, and I like to write them on Post-it notes and stick them to my walls as well. Des also posts interesting works of art, music, videos & more.

These are all Blogger bloggers. Perhaps sometime soon I'll give a list of external sites that I like. Also coming soon: music inspiration, a shout-out, & a tour of my (still new) flat!

I'm very excited to be back online--I missed you all!


12 October 2009

Life To Do List

I'm very much a list-maker. Lists make me feel organized, like life is going is some kind of forward-moving direction. And checking things off my lists make me happy. I even add things to my lists just so I can check them off (or 'tick them off,' as they say here in the UK)! I have decided to create a sort of Life To Do List--which will include overall ways to better my life, as well as just some things I want to do soon. Here are some items I've decided to include:

1) Learn to cook more meals/items from scratch.

2) On that note, be more inventive in the kitchen (and at the supermarket).

3) Sing in the shower, without fear of who's listening.

4) Get up before 9:00 on weekdays, even if I don't have any meetings/appointments/lectures.

5) Take my vitamins everyday! (And get a flu shot...)

6) Buy a rain-proof jacket. (It rains a lot in Bristol--usually lightly. They call it the Bristol drizzle.)

7) Plan a housewarming party in our new flat, and invite all of the tenants in our building. Perhaps it will be Gatsby themed, but more than likely it will simply be a classy affair. Planning ideas to come soon :.)


05 October 2009

Great New Bag for the Start of Term

I bought this bag on Friday at House of Fraser. Isn't it absolutely perfect?

Today begins my first official week as a postgraduate student. I'm currently in the Postgraduate Study Room in The University of Bristol's new Graduate School of Arts and Humanities. I'm using the 'net here because my flat isn't connected to the world yet (which explains my lack of posts lately). So far, my living situation is great. My housemates are nice, fun, and considerate. We've had a few communal dinners, which has helped us settle in quite nicely.

I finally organized my room (for the most part) last night, so I finally feel ready for this week. Well, ready-er. I'm still quite nervous about this semester. I know it's silly to be nervous, but it can't be helped. I really just have to be confident because I have the ability to do well in a grad school environment. I love school, so if I can't do this then what can I do? I have a meeting with my adviser in two hours, and I have to tell him what essay topics I want to write on. I'm not sure if I need to decide about next semester, but this semester I want to write about the Philosophy of Education. The problem is... that's about as far as I know. I haven't really studied the topic much, so I don't have it narrowed down. I know Plato and John Dewey are two of the biggest influences in the field, and I'd like to discuss something about the purpose of education. And I don't really know if that's enough. I suppose I'll find out soon. The thing is, I chose the program here because in my undergraduate career I didn't get to study much of what I'm really interested in. (It's not that my classes weren't interesting; they just weren't in my particular areas of interest.) So I was hoping to use the opportunity to explore new areas. Therefore, I don't have a lot of past knowledge in the areas I want to write about (and, key word: research). Bleh, I'm blabbing on and on... That's exactly what I do when I'm nervous.

Anyway, there are a lot of really cool people in the Philosophy Department. I met quite a few people at the postgrad/faculty party last Thursday. [Wine + Philosophers = Entertainment] Despite the butterflies in my tummy, I'm really excited to begin.

On another note, I plan to set up an Etsy account soon to sell some of my handmade cards, which should be a lot of fun. Does anyone know what the copyright rules are? I'm wondering if it's okay to cut pictures/letters off flyers/bags/whatever to place on my cards (as I sometimes do when I make them for friends/family), or if that will somehow be claiming their images as my own? It would be good to know just in case... Also, what I really want to do is make invitations, announcements, etc by order. So if you know someone who is getting married, having a baby, throwing a halloween party, or who just wants some handcrafted Christmas cards to send out, please refer them to me! :.)

Off to decide what to say in my meeting! Once our flat gets the Internet I'll give a virtual tour.


01 October 2009

Moving Day

Today I finally move into my new place in Bristol! It will be nice to stop living out of suitcases and get my stuff organized. Also, I get to start decorating my room (and bits of the shared living room).

So excited! But it will be a long day...

And I won't have internet for a while :.(

But I'm sure I'll find a way to connect with the world. Whiteladies Road (near my flat) has lots of coffee shops, and some are sure to have WiFi.

Photos coming soon!


26 September 2009

A Sunny Day in London Town

On Thursday, Jonty and I went into London for the day. We had a rough start to the day, as parking in Oxford (where we caught the bus) was a disaster. Once we got into town, though, we had a great time.

First stop was a little Mexican restaurant Jonty had seen in Soho a couple of times before but always closed. Our luck turned around when we saw it was open! Anyone who has lived in the UK can identify with the difficulty of finding good Mexican food. Even good salsa is pretty hard to come by. Our burritos and nachos (ended up being way too much food) were pretty darn good!

We went shopping on Oxford Street for a while, then headed toward the Embankment. I saw Trafalgar Square, which had a lot of people--tourists and locals--hanging out on the steps and by the fountain.

Next, we went to the National Gallery. We saw lots of famous paintings and several pieces by some my favorite artists. A few we looked at are: Van Gogh's Chair, Sunflowers (Van Gogh), The Water-Lily Pond (Monet), and Bathers at La Grenouillรจre (Monet). It was amazing to see such well-known pieces of art just a few feet away from my face, and impressionist paintings are particularly amazing to see close-up. Unfortunately, Jonty's favorite painting was on exhibition elsewhere, so we didn't get to see it, but we'll go back once it's reinstated at the end of January.

Thanks to the woman who offered to take our photo!

We then headed back to Oxford Street to meet Jonty's grandparents. They took us out to dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant. The food was delicious, the service impeccable, and the company very enjoyable.

Thanks to the waiter for stopping everything to snap a photo!

After dinner, we said good-bye to his grandparents and hopped onto the London Eye as one of the last passengers for the night. We were lucky to have such a clear day in London. Any other day, we might not get such a clear view, but that night we were able to see the whole city lit up.

Photo taken from the top of the London Eye. Lit up on the left is the Palace of Westminster
(aka the Houses of Parliament), complete with Big Ben, overlooking the River Thames.

We headed home tired but happy after a lovely day in London.

Photo taken from the Golden Jubilee Bridge. Left to right: London Eye, the Palace of Westminster.


23 September 2009

Golden Birthday

A few days ago was my Golden Birthday--I turned 22. I knew it would be a good day, but it turned out even lovelier than I expected.

The evening before, Jonty's family wished me a very purple happy birthday. They gave me a lovely, soft, warm robe, a coffee mug, hot cocoa mix, calming bath milk, & a nail file.

They also gave me gorgeous purple flowers, which I mixed in with the pretty white and pink ones Jonty gave me.

On my birthday, I woke up to breakfast in bed! The banana pancakes were so good that I couldn't wait to eat long enough to take a photo. We ate while watching Season One of LOST (our current series of choice) in bed.

Then he presented me with flowers (above) and a great mirror for my new room!

After breakfast/LOST/presents, I got ready and Jonty drove me to a small town nearby. We parked the car at a park and walked down the road.

He walked me to a restaurant next to a stream called The Trout. I immediately obsessed about the decor.

We sat outside and had a beautiful view. These chairs would be a great place to read in the summer.

There was a domesticated peacock that wanted to eat our food (which was amazing, by the way). Jonty had to stare him down.

We wandered in Oxford for a while, stopping in some cool vintage shops and a great bookstore. After everything shut, we read in Starbucks until our reservation at 7:00. Jonty wouldn't tell me where we were eating until we got there because he knows I love surprises. We had dinner at Brown's, a posh restaurant just outside of city centre.

The atmosphere and food were great, but the Pimm's & lemonade I ordered was the best!

And to top off a very sweet day with a very sweet boy, I saw a hedgehog for the first time in the backyard!

Isn't he the cutest???


20 September 2009


I woke up with a cold this morning and am slightly bitter about it. I knew last night that I would wake up ill, but I drank a few ciders anyway and I'm sure that's what really did it. So in a sense it's my fault that I feel like this right now.

Most of today wasn't too bad. My headache went away after a while and my sore throat got better after a hot cup of tea with honey and lemon. I was mostly just sniffly. But now that it's later in the day, my sinuses are starting to hurt from all of the nose-blowing and I'm getting really tired.

When I get sick, my most major symptom is exhaustion. It's a genre of tired that I've never gotten other than when I have a cold. It feels sort of like I could float away, or melt--like I could curl up in bed and just not move for days at a time. And today I realized something about that feeling... I kind of like it. Don't get me wrong; being sick sucks. But colds are life's way of telling you to take it easy. They're an excuse to get some rest. I'm quite thankful that my body is saying, "Just chill out, take care of yourself, and let me do my work."

But it is a bummer that I'll be sick on my birthday!


Lazy Sunday

I haven't seen this video in a long time and got the urge to watch it today. Enjoy!

I'm having a nice lazy Sunday myself.


19 September 2009

Birthdays Past & Present

After reading Sarah Jane's post on birthdays past, I've been thinking about my previous birthday celebrations. While I was lucky enough to have two birthday parties (one with Dad, one with Mom) for most of my childhood, my birthday experiences pretty much go downhill from there.

One year, I planned a day trip to San Francisco that my friends forgot about. After we rescheduled I ended up the fifth wheel, a bit left out from the group, and we ended up shopping at the mall rather than going to the Haite District and having dinner on the pier like I'd wanted.

Another year I decided to go to the beach. I couldn't convince any friends to go last minute, so my (now ex) boyfriend's friends were my crew for the day. While I had fun watching them play football on the sand and run into the freezing water, we had to leave early because one of the guys had brought his love interest--get this--who had gotten her wisdom teeth removed the day before (!!!) and she was tired (duh). Said person also requested no rock (my music of choice) on the two hour car ride (IN MY CAR ON MY BIRTHDAY). On top of that, my contact scratched my eye AND I got sick from the pre-mixed margaritas I drank at the beach and the blooming onion I decided to eat for dinner at Applebee's.

But not all of my birthdays were that bad. Most were just dull. Theater rehearsal, studying for a test, birthday cake after dinner. I think my family did try to make it fun, but I guess I hyped up the day a bit too much to enjoy something ordinary.

A couple of birthdays stand out as being pretty good. For my 18th birthday, I had just moved into the dorms at UC Santa Barbara, and I worried that I'd have no one to celebrate with. Thankfully, my amazing roommate Roya paid attention. She surprised me with some earrings I'd pointed out a few days before, which was really sweet. I went with her and her friend Derek to get my nose pierced in Isla Vista, and we went back to our room and fell asleep watching a movie.

My 21st birthday was simple but nice, too. I was doing an international exchange in Oxford and yet again was surrounded by people I had just started getting to know. More than anything, I really didn't want to have to plan anything, especially since my plan to go punting was ruined by the weather. My new friends planned a dinner in the city centre and then brought me back to our flat for a surprise apple crumble. While it was hardly how most Twenty-First Birthdays go, I still had a nice time and was touched at the thought the girls put into it.

This year, I've already had some birthday celebration, since my family wanted to do something before I crossed the pond. My mom, Doug, Sissa and I went for pizza at Steve's and then saw the original Parent Trap at the Screen on the Green (a free movie in the park) down the street from our house. I opened some nice gifts, and my sister made me red velvet cake with rainbow chip frosting (mmm!).

The actual day of my birth, though, is this coming Tuesday. I tell people that I'm used to having not-so-great birthdays, but the truth is that every year I still look forward to the day expectantly. There's something exciting about having a whole 24 hours that count as "my day." I think that I won't be disappointed this year. Just the fact that Jonty has put a bit of thought into some plans makes me feel good. He has a restaurant in Oxford chosen for dinner (but hasn't told me which one--yay for surprises!)... and he also mentioned breakfast in bed (my fingers are crossed!). But as far as the rest of the day goes, I haven't decided what I want to do.

Some options:
* a lazy day watching House/LOST/X-Files
* a trip into London (perhaps including London Eye, British Museum, National Gallery and/or afternoon cream tea?)
* reading and a picnic (weather pending)
* wandering, shopping and cocktails before dinner Oxford

I feel like the perfect idea is right at the edge of my brain, but I just can't locate it. If I was at home, I would throw a creative party like this one!


17 September 2009

Season of Love

With summer quickly coming to an end, it seems everyone is settling into all the good things that the change of seasons brings. Fall fashion has been a hit blog topic, especially with Fashion Week in full force last week. Thoughts of sweaters and scarves also hint toward cups of tea, pumpkin muffins, walks in the wind, and evenings inside with those you love.

And it seems that the blog topic du jour is Love. Something about autumn emphasizes the warm feeling that love brings. It reminds us to bring life down a notch and to enjoy what we have. I'm enjoying spending time with Jonty lately. And the coming of fall is reminding me to slow down. For a person so obsessed with planning and organizing, it's surprising that I'm so content with just going with the flow--watching a movie inside, having a nice meal, going to the fair, whatever--as long as I'm with him.

But autumn hasn't arrived quite yet, so I'm going to hold onto summer as much as I can these next few days.

Speaking of summer, if you haven't seen 500 Days of Summer yet, go right now! The colors, clothes, interior design, and cinematography are all worth noting, not to mention Zooey Dechanel's beauty and charm!

[photo from IMDb]


16 September 2009

The World at my Fingertips

Now that so much more of the world is within reach, I'm loving globes. I really want one on my desk to make me look scholarly and to help me brush up on my geography, since Jonty is always besting me in that field. Vintage-looking designs like this one are my fave.

I need to start looking in thrift stores and on eBay for some cheap ones...