Saturday, April 26, 2014

"A" Is For "Amour"



Some days ago it was announced that there would be a poker night with friends. I turned down the invitation, and let Trey go by himself. At the time, it was because my sleep schedule was still so off,  I couldn't imagine how it would be better by today. It made his transport straight from work to the game a lot easier, but then I started feeling guilty for having said "no" originally. I'm still trying to make friends with these people, after all. (Despite how awkward I am.)

But then it turned out to be a bit of a blessing in its own way. It was incredibly quiet all day in the apartment, and I was able to relax a little, knowing that he wouldn't be back home until late (which means I get to put off cleaning for a little while longer). I started reading and my eyes kept wandering towards my sketchbook. I really hadn't drawn anything in some time. Not even a doodle. Then I got an idea. I got up, got dressed and headed outside. The day was bright and breezy. I love that about this place. It hasn't been hot yet. And, best of all, it's not humid.

I walked all the way through town, stopping to gaze at a few things here and there, just because. Luckily, I remembered I had some cash in my purse so I turned my butt around and walked all the way to the nearest Starbucks. In this state, they're kind of known for coffee, so finding one wasn't hard--I knew I had a good shot if I just walked about a mile or so down the road in one direction.

"One venti iced coffee with toffee nut and half-and-half." It's an order I grew accustomed to in college. And it's only about three or so dollars. I sat down at a table outside and started drawing a big "A." It's part of my typography project, I guess. I want to get through the alphabet. Then I'll see what else I can do. I even met a high schooler, and we geeked out about our Nintendo 3DS games. It's nice to know even with an age gap, two strangers found something in common.

When I got tired of Starbucks--and I realized my phone was down to 5% battery--I decided to get up again, presumably to go home. Then I remembered there was a trail just off of the road that I've passed before and got curious. I'm glad I went down it. I drew some more, I pet a pug and I watched a lot of people walk, jog, bike or even carry some fishing rods. It was a nice place to just stop and enjoy the outdoors. In hindsight, I probably should have brought extra batteries for one of my cameras and a charger for my phone, but it's been awhile since I've taken an extensive little adventure like that before. Either way, I headed home with one camera still working and was able to spot a bunny (that was too quick for my camera) and a bunch of baby ducks in the pond.

When I finally got close to finishing the picture, I changed the "A" into the word "amour." I really do love this place. But I won't be ditching the next poker night anytime soon. I know I would have had fun there, too.












Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pizza Lunch Date



There is a place nearby called Mod Pizza, and they're one of my new favorite places to eat. You get funky atmosphere and pizza. What more could you want? You can have your pizza custom-ordered, but I just went for something off of the menu--marinara, mozzarella, mushrooms, sausage, and I added red onions.

This town is full of interesting places to eat. I still have a ton of culinary exploring to do.






Today was a day full of errands, including watching that guy get all giddy over half-off Easter candy in the grocery store. He grabbed a jumbo bag of mixed Reese's candy, so I'm not gonna' complain.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Positivity

I've got a lot of reasons to smile. Just to name a few...


I love this windy road in our neighborhood.


Spring flowers.


This rainy view from last week.


Waking up to a FaceTime date with one of my best friends, Ariel.

Keep smiling, folks.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Academia



More and more lately, my dreams have begun to blend into memories and imaginations of another time in my life. For fear I might be pining, I try not to often think about it, but it struck me vividly today, as I woke from nearly three hours of sleep, and thought about how normal that used to be for me and how much I hate it now. Back when I lived amongst many in a complex that was more shallow and wavering than an apartment complex, and when the people I lived with were all nearly the same ages, I remember staying up late into each night either because of coffee or my own insomnia. I remember the bustle of sheets next to me, as my roommate tried to sleep through my inability to sleep. I remember texts that beckoned me out of bed at 2 a.m. to join someone for a trip through the town by foot. I remember when I knew that town backwards-and-forwards, by foot, in the middle of the night--we tread across every part of the town possible, because we could and for no other reason. I didn't have a reason for doing anything back then; I did as I pleased. It was a different time, for sure.

Days and nights drug on, back then, and I didn't sleep at all because a paper was due soon and I still needed to finish. The campus was always vibrant and busy. And when it wasn't, it was peaceful and welcoming--I felt freer when it was quieter. I went through my phases of cynicism, several times over, only to discover that was no way to survive. I existentially examined my life, for the sake of a writing assignment. I found that psychoanalysis was only intriguing on paper. More than once, I broke down because the weight of it all. In many ways, it's a dreary way to spend your early-20s, academia. You fall into this constant need to please others--professors, bosses, coworkers, peers--all the while finding out you never found yourself until now. You wax on and off about literary minds and figures, that unless subjected to, you would rather flip the middle finger to and keep walking. Still, academia expands your mind.

The world feels so large until you learn about it. But I've often found that that is what expands your mind even more. I remember the day I learned the Hindu believe in the existence of a third gender. I always regretted not minoring in anthropology. Gender, sex, race, class all seemed so superficial in that moment. While I didn't need that course to feel that way, it was that reinforcement that stopped me in my tracks, during that deciding time in my life, and made me realize just how ignorant so many people are--including myself at times. If the Hindu can recognize a third gender, why can't our free world accept homosexual marriages or transgender people? We're fed stories of other cultures being strict and punishing, and yet it's those same cultures who seem to have a better grasp on humanity than we do, somehow (at least, in theory). Eventually, the more you learn, the more your world's problems seem petty. And that thing called the "human condition" becomes nothing more than a scapegoat for why people should or shouldn't feel the way they do. In the end, you just have to stop analyzing why you are the way you are and just be. It's the only way to live.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

An Adjustment



There's still a lot to be learned about this city. I learned that calling those white tank tops typically worn as undershirts as "wife beaters" in Seattle is grounds for judgmental stares, but in some of the surrounding cities, it's fine. In Georgia, it's just a common name for them. The other night we walked to Subway and got some sandwiches and walked back, so I now know how far away food is from the apartment, if I'm ever feeling sushi or subs or even pizza.

Monday night, we went with a friend to see "Captain America: the Winter Soldier," and the theatre we went to had premium tickets where a waiter came to serve you, and every premium seat was actually a recliner with a pillow and blanket. There, I learned that I like turkey, brie and apple butter panini.

I can't say I'm disappointed in anything I'm learning about this city, but it is still an adjustment sometimes. The culture and the people in the south I still miss from time-to-time. We don't take things too seriously, and our cities aren't full of nothing but hipsters and grunge addicts. Georgia has a little bit of everything. But I am enjoying this city of nerds, I fit in here pretty well here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Poetry: "We Fight"

Like fire and ice, we sear and we burn
Hearts open, blood shed, we fight
In the moment, we're strong
But we all break the same
Through gain, through loss, we fight
Break down the damned walls
Build them up again
You don't want to see what's on the other side
Break down your damned spirit
Pray to God you're different
You don't want to see what's on the other side