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2010

February 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Goddammit. I can’t believe it’s been over two months since I last posted… but, above all, I can’t believe that I’m still posting up in this bitch.

Here’s a not-so-little update on the inane happenings in my life, including some random things that have been crossing my mind. Yaaaaaaaaaay 2010! Revel in the insignificance of this number for a little bit before I commence, hm?

Okay, time’s up.

1. Christmas and New Year’s Eve have come and gone; delicious food was made, consumed, digested, and evacuated: some kind of salad, roasted chicken, cauliflower gratin, mashed potatoes, caramelized leeks, chocolate mousse, cookies, etc. I’ve been getting into cooking lately. I think it’s really helping me appreciate food ten times more than I already did.

Some favorite foods of the moment:
– hot (spicy) pork sausage
– mashed potatoes with/out caramelized onions
– salt and pepper potato chips
– marble cheesecake
– sauteed potato cubes with garlic
– toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches with onions and mustard
– spring mix salad with radishes, onions, and fried parsnips and homemade vinaigrette
– stir-fry Shanghai bok choy

2. I buy useful things that are useless to me by virtue of the fact that I just don’t use them. Though, you know, I feel like I’ve been on the market for a planner for a good ten years now. Before that, I had this awesome planner. For some unknown reason, this country is completely retarded when it comes to office supplies. The aforementioned planner — as well as most planners sold in France — is a one-page-per-day type o’ thing. That is, enough room for you to write down notes and random memos for any given day. Compare this to the one fifth of a page that you get in most of the planners here… yeah, awesome, right? Then again I think about students and about how they all get out of school before the clock even rings 3pm, so whatever.

Anyway, point is, I bought a planner that I deemed somewhat adequate. I’m no longer a student, and I don’t really have tasks for work outside of the office, so I only need a planner to write down appointment times and the like. This is the planner that I bought, in navy, but not in leather; instead, it’s fabric. The year is stitched in lime green on the cover, and the satin bookmark is light blue. I dig it. I dig it even more because it was on sale — I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise, to be honest. Two pages per week; three days on the left and four on the right. Did you see the dimensions? It’s quite large, meaning that each day has an ok-sized fraction of the page. Meaning that I don’t have to write like I have limited mobility in my hands.

Except that I don’t look at it. Never. I open it to write down appointment times, mostly doctors’ appointments, but that’s about it. I have most things committed to memory, which basically means that I don’t need a planner. Attempt at getting organized FAIL. Moving on.

3. I need new clothes. I know, I’m always saying that I need new clothes, but that’s because I never actually buy new clothes. The vast majority of my wardrobe consists of items that I’ve owned for at least five years. How often do people go shopping anyway? If it still fits and doesn’t particularly stand out from anyone else’s clothes, why replace it? I, for one, don’t understand the appeal of clothes shopping. You have to try shit on, which means you have to disrobe at least twice when you find yourself in the fitting rooms. Seriously? What a pain in the ass! And as if that weren’t enough, you have to pay what will likely be an exorbitant amount of money for, say, a t-shirt.

Which brings me to: I can’t find a store that I like and suits my needs (and bank account).

Therefore: Why should I replace my old clothes, which fit just fine and were reasonably priced?

So I guess I don’t actually need new clothes. Just new jeans, maybe. Too cold to be walking around with random holes in your pants.

4. I had jury duty this past Tuesday and thankfully did not get picked. I fucking hate the fact that they pay you NINE DOLLARS for the entire day in the form of a bloody check. Really? A check? Oh, and a negligible discount for lunch? Why don’t you just fucking give me ten bucks in cash?

5. It’s been snowing. a lot. The second real snowfall of the winter started Tuesday night, prompting the city to close and Penn to declare a snow day. Actually two snow days. This, in turn, means that I didn’t go to work on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. This means that, instead of making $136 for those three days, I made $9. This also means that I didn’t get to go to the gym — and probably won’t until two weeks from now or so — because I have to walk home with my mom who’s terrified of the snow and ice.

In conclusion, I’d like to address all them motherfuckers who’ve been wanting “another blizzard” because they’re either retarded or unemployed, or both, and say: FUCK YOU.

6. It just occurred to me that my life is incredibly boring. On that note, I’m gonna end this and either read a book or take a shower.

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This is my last night in Philly

August 21, 2008 Leave a comment

and I don’t want to go to sleep. Is it silly? I just want to hang out in my room a little longer.

Categories: Personal, Philly Tags: ,

SEPTA Increasing Subway Security

April 7, 2008 Leave a comment

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=6064476

concernedcitizen10 has a very good point. I’d like to add to that the fact that kids get out of school way too early. 3pm? Give me a break. That’s the time most schools have their mid-afternoon breaks in France.

The efforts to make people use public transportation instead of their cars are all in vain until this violence issue gets resolved. I’d rather pay an exorbitant amount of money for gas, waste my time in traffic jams, and get to where I’m going intact (barring any road-related injuries) than pay an exorbitant amount of money for a transpass and hand my life over to a bunch of punks.

Unfortunately, I don’t have car.

Categories: Facebook, Philly Tags: , ,

Post-Weekend Update, etc.

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Thursday afternoon, I rode Greyhound to Washington, DC for AU‘s CAS Graduate Studies Day. Lilly met me around Union Station, and we took the Metro to Bethesda to meet up with Chuck and An for dinner at Rock Bottom (we tried to hit up Union Jack’s, but it was too crowded). Before dessert, I had to take switch from contacts to glasses because something had been bothering my left eye for a while. After dinner (complete with DELICIOUS sundae), I was too full to walk!

Meteorologists had projected rain, but Friday turned out to be beautiful–sunny and warm. The day went by smoothly, and I got the chance to see more of the campus than I did the last time I was there. I almost met other prospective grad students, which made me happy–especially because I met another person interested in the French Translation program! I hope she gets in.

Lilly leaves for work around 8am every day. The event at AU wasn’t set to start until 10am (9:30am if you count registration), but I decided to leave with her. I got off after one stop at the Tenleytown-AU station to catch the AU shuttle to the main campus. It was about 8:30am, so I purposely missed two shuttles. I wanted to just stand around for a bit (as opposed to hanging around the campus… I don’t know why). I finally got on around 9am and proceeded to registration. I was given a name tag, a pen, and a folder containing various papers (agenda, map…).

Large round tables were set up. I put my things (heavy backpack, etc) down and got myself a cup of tea. Small talk was made as people entered the room and sat themselves down. After a brief introduction, we were all divided into our respective departments. I got up and headed toward a designated staff member as the Language and Foreign Studies department was called. As the eight of us gathered around the well-dressed, salt-and-pepper-haired woman, I noticed that she was speaking to everyone in Spanish. Maybe I got up too early. After introductions were made, I asked, “Is everyone here for Spanish?” The only boy of the group stepped forward and pointed at a tallish girl next to me: “She’s French!”

“Great!” It was only the two of us. The woman apologized, and led us out of the building. “Wait!” someone shouted behind us. “There’s one more!” A girl and two women walked towards us. A girl, her mother, and her aunt.

We walked to the building that houses the Language and Foreign Studies department (the name escapes me — Asbury?) and went down a set of stairs into the building. In between, I found out that the other “French” girl was from Fairfax. She had an accent. Was she actually French? We went down a narrow set of stairs into the building. We were briefly shown the computer lab where, “Shh, they’re taking a test.” We retreated to the tiny conference room, where we were to spend the remaining hour and a half. More folders. I looked at the French girl next to me. “It’s all Spanish.”

The woman told us that the two professors scheduled to speak were affiliated with the Spanish department.

Great.

She left and brought the faculty advisor for French Translation; we were thrilled. I asked questions, he answered. The French girl nodded approvingly.

A tall, slim woman peeked her head through the doorway. “Is this… Spanish?”

“I’m almost finished. Or I can be finished? Do you…?”

“Oh go ahead, I’m here to speak for the Spanish–”

“Oh okay go ahead–”

“No, no it’s okay, I’ll wait here.”

I had more questions. I would have objected. And so I kept asking questions until I was satisfied.

“Thank you very much,” I said. I turned to the group. “Sorry.” That is what Americans do, no? They’re a very apologetic people, I find.

“Oh no, no, that’s okay!”
“Don’t worry about it!”
“No, no.”
“We’ll be saying sorry to you in a minute.”

“Exactly.” Second word uttered by the French girl.

The tall, slim woman took a seat at the head of the table. She talked a lot with her hands. She said she was “Spanish. From Spain.” Her voice was clear and firm. She spoke with a slight accent. She made eye contact and hesitated little. Her hair was short, brown, and neat. Her makeup looked flawless.

“Do you understand my English? Do you want me to speak Spanish?”

Did she really ask that?

“No, no we’re fine,” they all said.

The well-dressed, salt-and-pepper-haired woman came back with French documents for the French girl and me. We whispered “Thank you,” and the woman retreated, only to come back shortly after.

The Spanish woman was interrupted.

“I’m sorry, I just want to talk to the French girls a little bit–are you girls okay here or do you want to go out somewhere or…?”

The French girl and I looked at each other. I raised my eyebrows and nodded enthusiastically.

“Where should we go?” she asked.

“We can just sit outside,” I said.

We grabbed our things and left, but not before they gave us mugs and pens. More things to carry.

We sat with the woman on a stone bench in the little courtyard-ish area. I wrapped my new mug in my scarf that I didn’t have to wear. We talked–about translation, mainly. About languages, about the school. About ourselves. The salt-and-pepper-haired woman was Colombian. The French girl wasn’t French; she was Romanian.

I asked how long the campus tour–at 2:30pm–concluding the event would take. The Colombian woman asked if I was in a hurry.

“Oh no, it’s just that my bus leaves at 4:45pm; I don’t want to miss it, that’s all.”

“Well, we can take the campus tour now! We have some time.”

The now-Romanian girl echoed. “Yeah, we can take it now.”

It really was a nice day. The Colombian woman led us through the spotless hallways of the athletic facilities and the artworks displayed in the beautiful Katzen Center.

I stopped by the restrooms to take my contacts out; something was poking at my left eye again.

Before we knew it, it was noon; time to meet the others back at Asbury and head to lunch. The Colombian woman decided to stop by an office in the College of Arts and Sciences building (or something like that) to check on the rest of the group and learned that they had already left.

We hurried back to the building were everything started; they weren’t there yet. We were left there until the others showed up.

The Romanian girl and I started talking in French, and the others showed up not long after.

The boy approached us.

“Bonjour!”

Or at least that’s what I heard.

“Sorry for kicking you guys out.”

Or at least that’s what I think I heard.

“Oh, no that’s okay. How was it?” I inquired.

I think he said it was “fine” and that he “learned a lot.” But I could be making this up; I heard similar things all day long.

The group headed to lunch. The boy, the Romanian girl, and I talked a bit. We went to sit down. Each department was assigned a specific table. We picked three chairs that were unoccupied and next to each other. We grabbed food, the table got crowded, we moved.

Lunch felt short. I learned the Colombian woman’s name. I also learned the Romanian girl’s name. Two professors came to speak. I glanced at the boy’s name tag.

The first professor’s talk was enthusiastic. It felt prepared, but not overly rehearsed. He read an excerpt from one of his works; something about his mother. It was well delivered. It was sad and nostalgic, and I fought back tears at the end of it.

The second professor talked about the feminist movement in Uruguay, if my memory serves me right. By that time, I was feeling awful and needed to get up frequently to leave the room and get some air. At one point, before my return, the boy left.

The only thing left was a panel of graduate students. A few people started asking questions, and I couldn’t handle sitting in there any longer. I grabbed my phone and stepped outside until everything ended. I told Lilly that I would leave at 2:30pm and head to Union Station.

2:30pm rolled around, and the Romanian girl grabbed a few cookies for me to go.

We left together and headed for the shuttle back to the Tenleytown-AU Metro stop. While waiting for the Metro to come, we exchanged contact information. One hour we hopped on the AU shuttle, I got off at Union Station.

I had about an hour to kill, so Lilly and I walked around. I told her about my day at AU and mentioned my contacts bothering me. That’s when I decided to check my eyes for redness with my mirror.

And that’s when I spotted a tiny white dot near the edge of my cornea.

“OH NO! Not again!” I whined. I thought for sure I had another corneal ulcer. I freaked. I stood at a windy corner and phoned my ophtalmologist’s office. I scheduled an appointment for Saturday at 10am. My enthusiasm for everything else quickly dissipated and we walked to the Greyhound station.

My bus was late.

I got back to Philly at 8:30pm and met my mom at the Greyhound station. We went to Sang Kee for dinner. Mom expressed anguish at the idea that she had to be on a clear liquid diet on Saturday and Sunday; she was scheduled for barium enema (rescheduled from last week) today.

I didn’t have a corneal ulcer. What I saw in my left eye–and later spotted in my right eye–was something that people tend to get when they have allergies. My contacts had irritated my eyes, and there it was. The faint dot I saw in my left eye in addition to the white dot was a scar–the scar from my previous corneal ulcer. About the dot in my right eye, the doctor said, “I can’t believe you saw that; even with the microscope it’s very subtle.”

I’ve got super vision.

With Mom being unable to eat pretty much anything, this past weekend was relatively uneventful.

We woke up early to prepare for the hospital. They were able to go on with the procedure this time, much to my mom’s relief–and mine, of course. We got back from the hospital around 11am and fixed ourselves something to eat, after which we decided to take a nap. It was 12:30pm.

We woke up at 3:30pm, groggy, tired, and generally uninterested.

It had been drizzling since this morning. It was cold, the sky was gray–thus casting a gray veil over the entire city–and everyone seemed miserable. It felt like a Sunday.

We were miserable. But then, nighttime came and everything was better. Have you ever noticed that? Nighttime makes things better because it masks the grayness.

The City of Brotherly Love

March 26, 2008 Leave a comment
Categories: Facebook, people, Philly Tags: , ,

Think vs. Worry

October 2, 2007 2 comments

I spent (most of) the weekend in DC; moderately eventful, incredibly satisfying. I wanted to get an idea of what the city was like–it’s always been impossible to (sort of) really experience DC because my uncle’s always been the one driving us there and around the area. Not to mention that we always only did the touristy shit.

dsc09055.JPG I took Greyhound to Washington, DC on Friday evening after work. After a three hour and forty five minute ride, I got to DC’s Greyhound station and walked to meet Lilly, my hostess, at Union Station. I was very impressed with my first Metro ride–mostly with the carpeted cars. The ride was smooth, and every Metro stop was so…spacious.

L’s neighborhood was quite dark but decent, and I appreciated the reigning silence. Quite a difference from Philly’s wailing sirens and reggaeton-blasting speakers. It was close to midnight and I was hungry, so I made myself some eggs and we stayed in. I had all of Saturday planned out in my head–well, sort of.

The red line was experiencing delays and we ended up waiting for at least half an hour before deciding to walk. Not far from Friendship Heights there was a bus station; it looked like the buses that stopped there could take us to AU, so we waited…and waited…and waited. Apparently the buses weren’t operating on schedule either, so we kept on trekking. We eventually arrived to our desired stop only to find out that we wanted to go to the main campus; clearly, we weren’t there. Took an AU shuttle to the main campus, where we wandered for a bit before stumbling upon the admissions office which closed, of course, an hour before we got there. Typical.

It was 2PM and probably about time to eat, so we took a cab to Dupont Circle and settled at Cosi–where I saw a very cute guy; we exchanged some glances, but left it at that–for sandwiches. Walked down Connecticut and BAM! White House. Requisite tourist pictures, and onward. More pictures along the way, etc. Sculpture Garden (or whatever it’s called), CVS stop for gum and hydration, Chinatown.

dsc09051.JPGTiredness. Thirst. But mainly, Chinatown. Chinatown, where every sign had Chinese on it! We hopped back onto the Metro back to FH; we had to figure out a restaurant for dinner with Chuck. I also wanted to check out some stores on the way back to L’s place to try and find something for my mom’s birthday (next Monday), but no dice.

After much consideration, we decided to hit up Rí~Rá in Bethesda. My medium-rare Bistro Burger was excellent, as were the fries, my Stella, and the ultimate dessert: the upside-down apple pie, complete with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Holy shit; we were so full that walking was a difficult task. C drove us back to L’s place (which is really her grandmother’s place) before heading back home. L and I sat around for a bit and decided we were much too tired to stay up any longer. I had to catch the bus back to Philly in the morning anyway.

Bus that I almost missed, by the way. The red line was experiencing delays yet again, and I got to the Greyhound station just in time. I thanked L for her hospitality, she thanked me for keeping her company, and on the bus I went. Everything went fine until I woke up and we were pulled over to the side of the highway. Now, I had never heard this one before: “We are having a major problem with the bus. We have an oil leak.”

Awethome! The driver decided he should take us to the next (nearby) rest area, after which he called a mechanic who told him to keep driving to Philadelphia.

Driver: Keep going? … It’s low. … It’s really low. We’ve practically lost all the transmission fluid. It’s a big leak. … You want me to keep driving? … You think we can make it? … Alright… Here we go…

Three blocks away from the Greyhound station in Philly, the driver, relieved, made an announcement along the lines of, “We are now in Philadelphia, if you are transferring buses blah blah blah…” He stopped, mid-sentence, and graced us with an emphatic “Oh shit!” The bus then proceeded to crawl to the station. And I mean c…r….a…..w……l………

Once we made it, I took a phenomenal piss and met my mom in Chinatown for a late (3PM) lunch. We went to Ong’s, possibly my favorite restaurant in C-town–and possibly underrated, or at least it’s one of the lesser-known eateries in the area.

So, man, DC; quite a different atmosphere. Philadelphia’s definitely grungier, and I think that’s one of the things I will miss the most about this city. It’s so urban, so vibrant. DC’s vibrant, too, but in a different way. It’s hard to explain, you just have to see it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve hated Philadelphia. I never thought there was anything for me here, I didn’t think I could fit. Not “fit in,” just “fit.” I wasn’t sure Philly and I were a good match…until maybe my last semester of college. I guess I just never had the opportunity to really appreciate this city, but things have changed. I like the streets of Philadelphia. I like the way the sky reflects on its skyscrapers, and I like how the sunset changes the skyline. The only thing I don’t like is not having someone to share these things with.

Every time I’m downtown around sunset, I look up at the buildings and see the beautiful pink and orange sky reflected on the glass panes. Do you have any idea how breathtaking that is? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who’s blown away by this–the only one who even notices this. I could stare at it forever. You probably think that a sunset at the beach is much more beautiful and romantic; I happen to think otherwise.

How much time do you, or should you, think about the future? your future? How much of that time is spent not only thinking, but worrying? I don’t know where I stand on this issue. I tell everyone I know what I want–and I tell myself, too–but is it true? Am I sure? Sure sure? Are we ever certain that we want to go in a certain direction? How do you know? How can you tell? And don’t give me any of that “You just know” shit, because I don’t believe any of it. At any given moment there is a huge number of options; an infinite number of paths that you can take–any of which could be the one. Choosing the right one is a difficult task, it really is. Consider the pros and cons of each one. Consider instant gratification versus delayed gratification. Consider what you have, what you don’t. What you want, what you don’t. What you’ll gain, what you’ll lose. Consider what you think is the best, versus what actually is the best–and this is something you don’t know, so naturally you go with what you think is best. How do you get to that conclusion?

And why do I still not have a boyfriend?

Life: a mystery.

Categories: Personal, Trips Tags: , , , ,