Thursday, December 30, 2010

Everyday is a Daydream

Just sitting here, eating broccoli, contemplating where the year of 2010 has gone.

I'm older, fatter and maybe wiser?
Still working some identity issues, but I'm enjoying the process. No resolutions this year; just a focus on becoming who I want to be-- someone that I love.

I wish you all the best this New Year's Eve-- party safely and drink a lot of sparkling stuff--and cheers to what 2011 shall bring!
Listening: "Waving Flag (World Cup Version)" by K'naan

Monday, December 27, 2010

Much mistletoeing, Hearts will be glowing

This year's Christmas tree is comparatively smaller to what we've had in previous years. I mean, it's quite a lovely tree, very full-- but I burst out laughing when I first saw it! And yes, that is my bichon frisé Razzle wearing a canine snuggie she recieved for Christmas :D.

Huzzah for the holidays! These affairs are always held at our house because my mom makes unwieldly amounts of food, and this year I helped with the brunch preparation. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter-- always a family brunch, instead of dinner. But it's funny because my brothers and sisters will be over in the mid-morning, then gone within three hours! Haha so I spent the rest of the afternoon fiddling with my gifts! Did you have a good Christmas haul? :)
Biggest surprise/sickest gift for Christmas '10: A Kona acoustic guitar!!!
Apparently my parents have listened to my constant groveling about wishing that I could play the violin again, or learn the guitar. Haha, in my earnest effort to tune, I accidentally snapped the B string after playing for two hours. Nevertheless, this morning it was fixed and I bought a full set of strings at a music shop for $10.
I am overwhelmingly stoked to learn how to play! The biggest obstacle I'm finding so far is shifting chords without looking, so I'll just have to continue practicing. It's going to be a thrill bringing it back to school with me because I know several people with guitars, and now I can join the jam sessions!
I am finally becoming the pseudo-hippie free spirit that I've always admired :)).
Sunday we went on an entirely unecessary shopping spree anddd I went absolutely nuts. I mean, I had a mall giftcard from my brother and sister-in-law and I purchased that paisley tunic I'm wearing in the picture above from H&M, along with a black knit headband and a fringe black camisole from Charoltte Russe, but everything else... haha I dropped a lot of money.
At Teavana the teacups were clearanced, so I bought that floral porcelain one for $2.10-- a total steal! But I bought 2 oz. of 'Precious White Peach' white tea that was $16 o_O. Call me crazy, but I brewed a few cups today, and it was delicious! Oh, the things I do for tea (and food in general).
Then at Michael's Arts & Crafts, there were dozens of clearanced Christmas tins and I horded those to use as tea canisters. I also decided that I needed to pick up painting again because I'm taking studio art semester, and I figured it would be beneficial to engage in activities not so technology-related. Thus, I spent another $15 on new acrylic paints, paint brushes, palatte knives and a spray bottle. It was like Christmas, two days in a row.

Needless to say, I have temporarily confiscated my debit card from myself :B.
Hope you're all having a lovely week!
Listening: "Erase Me" - Kid Kudi, featuring Kanye West

Friday, December 24, 2010

Haul Out the Holly

Put up the tree before my, spirit falls again! :)
(classic Christmas music from the 40's - 60's is my absolute favorite)

Merry Christmas Eve to you all!
I spent the morning prepping with my mother for our tremendous, annual Christmas morning brunch. It's just unnecessary the amounts of food that is prepared! I never realized how many recipes used sour cream and mayo as well, but what can you do, it's the holidays... Do you have any family Christmas traditions?
We always wait for the morning to exchange gifts, and the tree has been raised and decorated since the beginning of December! Though after attending our once-a-year holiday church service (we used to be regulars, until we moved out of range of 'our' church), we will put all the gifts underneath the tree.

I would like to announce my new mission: cultural enlightenment.

I'm home for beyond a month and I may shrivel of boredom if I don't have actual plans, therefore I might as well make productive splendor of the available time! When I went to the Geva Theatre with my parents Tuesday, seeing everyone so dressed up and knowing how much money was spent for the sake of the arts, that rendered me thinking. My aim is to be able to bring more to the table in terms of conversation and general intelligence when I return to college. I want to become a more sophisticated being and create a presence-- silly, doesn't it seem?! Bear in mind this is a living list, therefore I am very open to suggestions for what I can do to heighten my cultural awareness! Currently:
  • Investigate on-the-verge and ethnic restaurants in Rochester, in lieu of chains and regulars; ex. The Owl House
  • Finish Three Cups of Tea then proceed to read at least 2 more novels (setting the bar a bit low for that one, but if I meet this goal that would be an immense amount of reading compared to what I've done these last two years..!)
  • Pore through the works of Walt Whitman; he's the one poet I am will to spend time considering.
  • Cook something daring (courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine)!
  • Blog twice a week about something.. meaningful
  • Discover some kickin' jazz and swing music
  • Learn a new vocabulary word everyday using the iPod app; chaffer: to bargain or haggle
  • Catch up on indie films
  • Study up on global geography and learn countries and capitals (if I can manage)
  • Drown in tea, brewing the perfect cup every time (that was assumed); I hope to reach connoisseur status one day, if such titles exist for tea-lovers :P
Alright, so I may be totally missing the mark in terms of 'enlightenment', but I just want to inrease my general knowledge on the world, you know?

One of my good friends has the first season of Glee on DVD now, and I watched it for the first time at her house last night! Anddd I like it, a bit too much, so the last 12 hours I have watched as many free episodes as possible on Hulu. Haha, the show is so over the top, I simply can't help but enjoy it.

I may be around the blogosophere tomorrow, but nevertheless I wish you all a positively Merry Christmas! I can't wait to read how they went-- 'tis the season!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why so serious?

Thanks to the unfailingly overcast climate conditions of Western New York, I missed the lunar eclipse that was the first to occur on a winter solstice since the 17th century. I do believe I would have woken up at 2:30 to watch it. Grr, too bad! Anyone else catch it? :)

Anyway, it is also amusing to consider that winter has officially started. There isn't as much snow here at home than at school, so I hope it falls more for Christmas and winter expeditions. I love cross-country skiing in my backyard and sledding down the ravine at my friend's house! What are your favorite winter activities? It's also nice to sip whip creamed-hot cocoa next to the wood stove with the morning paper or a Christmas-themed show in the background. I've realized that what I take the most pleasure out of is when the snow is actually falling, gently accumulating in sparkling drifts. I adore sparkling snow.

The last few days I've hung out with my friends a lot, and we're just trying to figure out what to do with ourselves. My friend Kristen and I posted a ridiculous music video on Facebook interpreting what our winter holiday will be :P. Yesterday a bunch of us visited our high school and it was... nauseating, to say the least. When I visited back in October for the first time I felt torn and oddly nostalgic, yet this visit I was more or less revolted. There are several teachers and a few friends, and it breaks my heart not being around them anymore, though aside from them I do not miss it at all. There was some petty drama brought up, tempting me to be sucked in, but noooo way; I don't go there anymore, leave me out.

One thing I did, however, was participate in the indoor track team's practice! The coach was also my cross-country coach and he still likes to keep up what I've been doing with my team at college, and he was more than welcome to have me join. You know, I was a cheerleader and tennis player, so this track concept is fairly new to me! And since I haven't been running fully, I have no idea which events I'll be competing in. I ran an easy 2 miles on the treadmill, sprint rowed 3 sets of 200 meters on the rowing machine, then did the body weight exercises; it was 200 body-weight squats and 100 push-ups. I alternated back and forth and took a few breathers, but my body did not thank me this morning!
Alas, I feel more hardcore for it. It's a pain of progress.

Today we went to the mall to catch up on family Christmas shopping, with me strategically dodging more people that I didn't want to see. Notice a trend here? There are an overwhelming amount of people here at home that I prefer not to be associated with-- is that wrong? I haven't decided yet.
Oh man, I am crossing my fingers that someone in my family bought me tea or tea paraphernalia from Teavana for Christmas! Otherwise that is where my post-holiday splurging is being conveyed. My parents picked me up and we headed into the city to watch an annual performance of A Christmas Carol. The threatre is intimate, yet this allows the audience to connect with the actors. We attended a Prologue with one of the actors prior, who explained how this presentation was newly-envision by the theatre's artistic director, Mark Cuddy. My mom pointed out how these settings weren't as elaborate as the prior performances, but I was content because it brought more attention to the acting. It was a great evening and I always appreciate any excuse to dress up and feel sophisticated.

No Bah Humbugs this winter for me! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Challenge what's possible

I'm certainly more eloquent in writing than I could ever desire to be in person.
I'm a fumbling, inarticulate mess. I "aa..uhhmm" way too often and, in my attempt to think before I speak, pause for too long.. thereby rendering myself to appear a lot less than intelligent than I [think] am. I enjoy listening to adults and good speakers who seemlessly omit these burdensome 'thinking' words, and I hope that one day I will be able to do the same.

As of 11 AM today, my winter break commenced. I have survived finals week, which was lacked stressed though became mentally exhausting from the perpetual study sessions, and I have officially finished my first semester as a college student. Everyone keeps saying, "One-eighth of the way done!" with a sort of an enthused awe, but I prefer not to regard this milestone in that way. You know, panic sets in.
However, I am home now for five weeks -- which equivilates to mega-blogging-time! [insert whoops and hollers]

I also hope to keep things hot in spite of the single-digit temperatures and dance to overplayed Top 40 music. How I have missed Food Network, Travel Channel and VH1 marathons! Oh, to be home :).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A December to Remember

School was blanketed in the lovely white stuff last weekend. Now it's just a miserable brown slush from the sleet this morning. Although it's warmer (mid-thirties), I prefer the single-digit temperatures for beautiful snow.

The week coming back from Thanksgiving break was basically one biggg party. Every night there was a theme and I had a blast! The final night was our Saturday formal and it was very exciting to dress up and take pictures, just like high school. This is a photo of some of the freshmen cross-country girls and myself!

This past week we only had classes Monday through Thursday, which was a bit more stressful yet oddly exciting because I have completed my first semester of college. This coming week is strictly for tests and I have to stick around because I have exams Wednesday and Friday morning, so in general I consider the semester finished-- and it is utterly unbelievable.
You know me (maybe not); I freak out when time passes too quickly. I mean I can absolutely declare that I am comfortable and adjusted here now, but I can't grasp how far I and everyone else has come. I literally restarted my life here without friends. Now, I know several dozen people and I'm on a DIII athletic team (I'm competing in the track meets after winter break!), the freshmen student government, the senior class gift committee and our literary magazine. The whole concept of college... is so wierd. But I like it!
Whoo, I should not be on right now. I have a final paper due tomorrow morning hahaha. Alas, one of my friends has stopped by for tea, sooo another interlude and then back to work.
I hope everyone else had a great weekend, and we shall be in touch soon. ♥

Sunday, December 5, 2010


My tea obsession has manifested itself into literature! At last I was able to spend the remaining money on Border's giftcards from my graduation party. I scoured the site for the best bargain deals and then the books gradually arrived at my house during break from around the country.

Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover's Soul is unfortunately not as engaging as other compilations in the Chicken Soup series, but I sure enjoy reading the testaments of those who are as nuts about tea as I! One cute thing about this book is that every few stories there's interesting facts or advice on how to properly brew tea and enjoy the tea-drinking experience.
When I typed 'tea' in the search box at Borders, Three Cups of Tea is one of the first novels that appeared. In 1993 a mountaineer named Greg Mortenson unsuccessfully attempted to summit the mountain K2 in Pakistan. After being resusitated by an isolated village, he realized that the greatest thing he could do for them is build a school. The concept is creating peace and understanding with tribal cultures in a land known for its hostility, religious extremism, etc. A significant tradition in the culture is to share tea, thus alluding to the title. I've been reading the novel when I have downtime in between school work, and it is a pretty incredible story.
PostSecret you might have heard of, it's an ongoing community project of anonymous post card secrets. I never fully understood it until I purchased the first book, and I think it could be a new obsession. Reading other peoples' confessions, reflecting upon my own, wondering who these people could be and why they feel a certain way or acted as they did-- I love it. I'll definitely be putting the successive books on future holiday gift lists. I'm also considering sending one of my own secrets...
Yay for reading!