Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Instant Gratification

 On Sunday, I made an enormous technological upgrade.  
I am now a proud owner of a 16G, white iPhone 4, courtesy of my gracious, wonderful father.  I have an iPod Touch, but not the one with a camera, so having this iPhone with all these picture and filming capabilities is addicting!  There is this fantastic camera app called Instagram, which is basically a photo-taking twitter, except you can edit the photos with a selection of different lenses.  I think I am obsessed-- and it's free.  Go download it if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch with a camera :).
I would like to present to you some of my amateur-but-I-wish-I-they-were-professional photographs.


I'm having so much fun.  It makes me yearn for an actual Lomographic or Hipstamatic camera with all these different lens and filters!  The photo above is one of the first I took with the app, and so far it's my favorite.  Which do you like best?

Listening: "Helena Beat" by Foster the People (their debut album, Torches, is now available!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Drive where?

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!  
This holiday to honor our past and current troops usually kicks off the summer season for families.  You know, barbeques, pool openings, lots of sun and ice cream!  I'm back again at the cafe in town, I've already worked five times and spent earlier this afternoon in the ice cream side.  We are making our own waffle cones and waffle bowls now, which I quite enjoy doing!  I'm trying not to be as reckless with my ice cream eating this year; it kind of sabotaged me last summer.  We stock Perry's though, and I love so many of their flavors!  Muddy Sneakers (white chocolate ice cream with chocolate peanut candies, milk chocolate flakes and caramel swirls, according to the Perry's website haha), anything cheesecake-related and Rocky Mountain Raspberry (white chocolate ice cream, chocolate raspberry flavored flakes and red raspberry swirls) are my favorites.  Although, I can never resist a fresh fruit sorbet.  Or the classic vanilla soft-serve!  I could go on about ice cream, but what are your preferred flavors?   I enjoy the interactions, although brief, with regular customers as well as visitors from out of town.  If I am able to deliver them low-priced, sweet satisfaction, then my job is done :).  Support your local ice creameries, restaurants and businesses -- I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

So another summer association is the drive-in!  You knowww, cars, blankets and chairs on the lawns, giant screens and a double-feature under the stars.  It's quite glamorous--in it's relaxed, liberated way.
 My family and I have been going to the same drive-in for as long as I can remember, and I was shocked and saddened to hear that many of my friends from college have never experienced one!  I invited my friend Jenny over Friday and we planned on watching the newest Pirates of the Caribbean and Kung Foo Panda 2 at said drive-in.  However, the erratic weather of Western New York won this battle.  We drove there under dense fog-cover and even when we had finished delicious pizza at the drive-in restaurant, the drizzly fog had not lifted.  Plan B was to stop at the regular movie theatre on the way home.  Nope, couldn't catch a movie there because we arrived too late, and the next showing was far later.  We returned to my house to watch a movie off of the cable pay-per-view and nope, that wasn't cooperating either! Haha, it seemed as if the world did not want us to see any movies that evening.
Still determined, we headed to the grocery store and used the Red Box rental system.  We picked up The King's Speech and Easy A for $3; not a bad deal at all!  I know these movies have been out for a while, but I wanted to write about them anyway.
This movie was wonderful. Even at two hours long, watching Colin Firth as King George VI battle his self-doubts and rise to become King of Great Britain was engaging.  It's definitely one of those feel-good movies, but not in a cliche way.  The acting was outstanding as well, thereby making the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler) and the dozen nominations extremely well deserved.  
On the more comical side was Easy A, directed by Will Gluck,which was how innocent gossip turns bad and high school becomes Puritan New England.  It took an exaggerated approach to personality stereotypes, ostracism and sexual pressures, yet the characters were outrageous enough to keep me interested.  Olive, played by Emma Stone, ultimately acts the way she does (or pretends to, anyway) to help other overlooked students and outcasts finally fit in.  All I can say is, I am so fortunate that my high school was not that insane.  At least not the people I associated with.

Without or without the drive-in, 'twas a lovely evening.  I hope to make it back there soon, though!  Have you watched any awesome movies lately?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Florida was such a glorious destressor after this year.  
I ate way too much and probably should have applied more sun screen, yet I was able to sleep, relax and not mope about missing college as much as I wanted to.  I realized that I have a penchant for palm trees.  There's something about them-- so many different sizes, species, bark growth, leaf formation --and possibly because of the toasty climate, I've decided that palm trees are just a feel good foliage.  In fact, I am so enraptured by them, that I walked up and down all the streets in our quaint development (it's 4 or 5 streets in a few square miles) and did a photographic inventory of every variation of palm tree I could find.  Needless to say, I tend to go overboard with things. 
I saw a few of these magnificent Cuban Laurel trees.
They're not native, and they actually remind me of "Fern Gully" Amazonian/jungle trees!
I don't discriminate with my tree hugging :).
The house that my parents bought isn't directly on the water, though it only takes less than 20 minutes to reach the Gulf Coast.  I have never stayed near the Gulf before, and I really enjoyed it!  That area in general seemed less commercial and fast-paced than the Atlantic coast.  This is a picture of my parents enjoying the sun at one of the beaches in Boca Grande.  There were pristine white sands, zillions of shells (no exaggeration!), mind blowing blues in the water and sky, and beautiful architecture.  All the shells I collected I'm turning into crafts: gluing them to frames, boxes, making jewelry and key chains.. not quite sure what else I should do with dozens of shells!  Any ideas??

I also was a wildlife spotter in Florida!  There were many varieties of birds and cranes, my favorite being the sand piper.  It scurries up and down the beach, jabbing it's beak into the sand for insects whenever the tide rolled in and out.  I also saw osprey, an iguana, two manatees (they just appear to be brown blobs in the water but I adore them!  I believe that I will be reincarnated as a manatee in the next life.. all they really do is chill out and eat :D), the alligator that lives in the lake in our community and this funny little crab at the beach!  Well, it was actually the size of my hand.  I think it was quite perturbed with me being in its face for photos, then attracting other beach-goers attention.  I guess if I were a crab just trying to live my life on the beach, I would be upset too.

As we were leaving Boca Grande and the beach, we pulled over the side of the road because we spotted a manatee in the distance! Anddd I decided that it would be a marvelous backdrop for my new sarong :). 
Sunsets at our community lake-- which is also the home to the alligator.
Even though I didn't have any interaction with people below the age of 60, it was a grand time.  I become miserable whenever heat mixes with humidity, but it was actually very mild and bearable!  Except for Thursday when it reached 95-100 degrees and I had a headache.  Anyways, vacations are always welcome.  Despite the sublime weather, I don't think I would live there permanently; I enjoy the seasons of the Northeast too much.  Do you like where you're living now, or would you move to another region in the country?
Yup, and now I should go to bed.  I'm back to my job at the cafe for the first time this year tomorrow!  I'm scheduled quite a few times this week, so hopefully I don't fumble too much...

Listening: traditional Bolivian music :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Where we are in Florida, my parents bought a modest house in a dominantly senior community (HA!), but it's quiet and lovely.  Internet, however, is only available at the Clubhouse.  It's mighty inconvenient to have to walk over here just to check my e-mails and such, though it's also a blessing because I haven't read magazines, books, written, nor slept this much in months.

The Holi Festival is a Hindu celebration of spring, renewal and colors.  All across the world it was celebrated on March 11th; in the North Country it was still winter, haha, so we saved our festivities for the last day of classes.  It was a slightly chilly, yet still mamagnificent Friday afternoon.  The ASIA club that I'm provided the powders and dyes.  People came in their worn and tattered clothes, I wore an unblemished white, and basically we had a battle of colors!  I'm fairly certain any onlookers thought we were maniacs (some people moved off the quad for fear of being sprayed with dye), but I had a blast.  My t-shirt and overalls are now sufficiently colored, but I did throw my contacts away and scrub my teeth.  If you want, look up Ke$ha's "Take It Off Video", they do a Holi reference in an empty swimming pool :).
On the last day of finals, my friends Annie and Elizabeth and I took advantage of the free Canoe shack and went on an adventure down the river.  There were dozens of kids paddling under the pristine sky, savoring their end to exams and the semester as well.  We sat and listened to the birds, and imagined what it would be like living in one of the small houses along the bank.  I spotted a musk rat (I didn't know for sure, but I called it correctly!), and we found the park-beach that's a few miles down from our school!  I had completely forgotten about it, so that was a thrilling discovery.  We exorcised our inner children on the bright, old metal playground, undisturbed except for the Canadian geese on the far side of the lawn.  We tumbled around in the beach for a bit and then paddled back to turn the canoe in on time.  The poor worker there had to deal with drunken students putting boats in the water 15 minutes before close!  At the same time, I couldn't blame them for wanting to be on the water for such a nice day. 
I almost forgot that I was leaving the next morning, that we were all leaving next morning.  Just for those solitary hours, I was able to row this twisted, distraught feeling aside.
On Facebook a few moments ago, my friend mentioned how he wanted to start a two-man traveling band. It kind of blew up and I declared that we will be hippy-gypsy-music-playing hobos, which was summed up in what he called vagabonds -- sounds delectable to me! Once I fall back into reality from Florida next week I'll probably be working all this summer, so I only need as much adventure as I can handle on my down time! I wish I had available funds and transportation to attend the amazing music festivals all over the country too (Outside Lands in San Fransisco, Bonnaroo in Tennessee, GrassRoots Festival in Ithaca..).
Any pending ventures in your summer?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pack and Go

HOLD UP, where were we again? 

I keep sporadically appearing and making false promises, but my first year of college is finally finished now -- my blogging commitment will potentially be reignited.  

I lied on my room mate's bed and took one last shot of my side of the room, before tearing it a part. Packing was nauseating, the walls become so stark and I'm bluntly reminded of all the foolish things I accumulated through the year.  I loved my room!  And my roomie.  *sigh
Goodbyes are hard for me.  I tend to become an emotional wreck or numb myself down and combust later.  I apologize to you, Mom and Dad, because departures make me anxious; my anxiety manifests itself in bad temperament and tears.  I just really know how to attach myself fully to things, then not ever want to let them go.  These last few weeks have been some of the best of the year ... I was [am] just so, so happy.
PhotobucketI'm thankful for all the people I've met who have helped make me this happy, and it simply pains me to see our college lives dissolve into summer.  Because I'm studying abroad in France next semester, I might not see some of them until January.  A few others are going abroad in the spring, so that's over a year before we'll be together again.  At the same time, I am exuberant for the opportunities we are seizing; I mean, we all still need to take our own paths to grow.  Regardless, am absolutely assured that we have enough love for each other to stretch beyond oceans, language barriers and time.

PhotobucketAt the moment, I'm in my bed, two small dogs restfully drifting in and out of sleep as I blog and listen to cds.  Twenty-four hours ago I was galavanting around campus with Justin, our typical atypical debauchery at hand; I hate how long it may be before that happens again.  It's utterly bizarre now, with bags and boxes and reminders of my dorm engulfing my room.  I have barely made an attempt to unpack because my parents and I are heading off to Florida in... oh, six hours.  I'll be there for the week then buckled down in my town for the summer, working to make as much money as humanly possible.

That's where I'll end this for tonight, though I want to re-emphasize what an unbelievable year I had.  I feel like I've come so far, and things could not have panned out any better.

Enjoy your weekend, and I'll be around soon :)