Thursday, April 29, 2010

nyc day 3

The last two days have been mostly spent freaking out. I kept thinking, "what the hell am I doing here? Why do I think I can do this? I don't belong here and I'm being incredibly irresponsible." Today, however, was really lovely and I realized why I belong here. I am so comfortable in the city. I love all the people everywhere, all different kinds of people from all different kinds of backgrounds. I love the smells and the lights and the energy. I love how each neighborhood has a totally different personality.

I was freaking out because I don't have a strong reason to be here. I don't have a real job, just a little part time job that won't even pay for my food. So I decided that I would apply for internships and other jobs in the city. I decided that I need to interact with all these people that I see, that talking and smiling and helping them is something that I desperately want to do. So the plan tomorrow is to send out at least 3 resumes and cover letters to galleries, museums and other places needing interns or part timers. I decided that I would definitely come home at the end of summer, but that's not how I role. I live my life playing by ear, seeing what will come up. I don't make plans because plans never work out. Something else always comes up. Basically, I'm going to keep my options open.

So far it's been a busy few days. On Tuesday Jendar and I did a little shopping and went to Institute where a Muslim speaker (who is a civil rights activist for the Muslim community in Manhattan) presented a basic history/overview of Islam. It was incredibly interesting. I had a basic knowledge already but I liked hearing the passionate and tender way he spoke about his beliefs. Yesterday Jendar and I went to the Museum of Modern Art to see a performance artist, Marina Abramovic and her retrospective exhibit. This is the first retrospective of a performance artist in the history of the museum. Her stuff was very interesting, disturbing and engaging. She liked to push her body to its limits, and I loved the physicality of her work. Afterwards we shopped a little more and then went out to dinner for Jendar's birthday to this little vegetarian Chinese place in Hell's Kitchen. It ended up being pretty tasty and I had my first celebrity sighting, James Cromwell who is very tall and scary in real life. After dinner we got some frozen yogurt and then headed home where I proceeded to get lost and wandered around Harlem by myself at 11:00 pm. It was a little scary and at least now I know which direction I should go when I get off the train.

Today I met up with an old friend who lives in the area and we went and ate a famous soul food restaurant in Harlem called Sylvia's. Man was it tasty food. I got the golden fried pork chops and they were just perfect. Then my friend and I decided to walk over to Columbia University and down through the Upper West Side and in to Central Park. I checked on google maps after and figured out that we had walked almost 6 miles. And I only got to see a tiny corner of the city! It was really nice and I only have a little blister from it all. I got to see Tom's Restaurant (the one on Seinfeld and featured in that great song "Tom's Diner" which song I had in my head for the rest of the day). On the way to Central Park I passed a community garden and I was able to go in and talk to a couple of the gardners in there. It was a really adorable little place.

Central Park was lovely. We walked across to 5th Ave and then walked up and crossed through Harlem on St. Nicholas back to my house. I was going to write my thesis on Central Park and so it is always special to go in and see how calm and peaceful it is inside. After all the walking we did I rested for a few hours and then went back out to Lincoln Square to go to the temple. It was a really lovely session and I loved the spirit that was there in such a tiny little space. The whole experience was really special and I plan to go back as often as possible. After the temple Jendar and I went to a pizza place downtown called Artichoke and got a thick crust artichoke pizza slice that was huge and delicious. Definitely worth what seemed like 20 blocks that we walked to get there. On the way back we got a slirpy at the 7/11 and while filling my cup up my skirt fell down. I have no idea how or why, but there it went around my ankles. I quickly pulled it up and no one acted like they saw anything, but it was still weird and embarrassing. I guess i'd better take that skirt in a little before I wear it again.

So then we hopped on the train, and I got off at the right stop and walked in the right direction and got home fairly quickly. I live next to a bakery and I was considering rumaging through their trash, but I might just go in one night and ask if I can take anything they plan on throwing out.

I'm still on Utah time, so I've been staying up late every night and "sleeping in" until 9:30 or so when my body tells me it's 7:30 and time to get up. I kind of like this system since all the fun stuff happens at night. I'll try to keep it until I get an internship and have to be up and about early again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring playlist

So my friend Jendar recently blogged about her spring playlist and it got me to thinking about the things I have been listening to this spring. My ipod broke a few weeks ago and I got an ipod shuffle as a temporary replacement. I figured I would just have to deal with the fact that I can't have the option of listening to my entire music library at any time. I don't like it all the time, but I have been really satisfied with the 150 songs that are on there now, and I think they make up a pretty good spring playlist. So here's a sampling of what I've been listening to the last few weeks since the trees started turning green again.

The Talking Heads- "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)
One of my favorites of all time. I will never get sick of this song.

Cat Power- "Empty Shell"
I have been meaning to listen to this album for years, and just barely managed to get it. I wish I had listened to it years ago because I love it.

Lykke Li- "Little Bit"
I have a thing for Swedish singers, and I downloaded hundreds of different songs a few years ago. She was in the mix, but I just barely got the whole album. I think she's adorable.

Okkervil River- "Lost Coastlines"
I've been listening to a LOT of Okkervil River lately. They're one of my favorie bands and I'm going to see them this summer in New York. I didn't love their last album, but the more I listen to it the more I'm appreciating it. This song features Jonathan Meiburg from Shearwater, the side project he and Will Sheff (from Okkervil River) started about 10 years ago. I love Meiburg's voice. It's like chocolate.

Peter Schilling- "Major Tom"
This is the funnest song and I can't get over how much I love it. I've made it my ringtone. I'm putting both the German and English videos up for your listening and viewing fernugen.

Camera Obscura- "Lloyd I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken"
Another long time favorite I can't get enough of.

Nouvelle Vague- "This Is Not a Love Song"
This is a cover of the PIL song, which I hadn't heard until the other day. I like this version better, but it's interesting to juxtapose the two, so I will.

Annie- "My Love is Better"
I just love Annie. She's so much fun.

Peaches- "Mommy Complex"
Thanks to Brock. She reminds me of Jerri Blank from Strangers With Candy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

where's Buffy?

I was at my mom's house today and we couldn't find the cat. We were worried she slipped outside and wandered away, which wouldn't be such a big deal but there's a fox in the area that likes to eat cats. We searched everywhere. She must have a hiding place somewhere in the house because she often disappears like that and she hasn't been eaten by a fox yet. Anyway, we finally did find her hiding spot, and I have to say it is a pretty clever little spot.

She's in this closet somewhere. Can you guess where?

There she is! In that green bucket thing underneath all the coats. Sneaky little bugger.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

i just came here to say i'm going away

I'm moving to New York in a week. I'm not really sure why I'm doing this. A month ago I was going to move to Salt Lake. Two weeks ago I was going to stay in Provo because it would be easier and cheaper and now I'm moving to New York to have a summer job working at Coney Island. I have a place to live, I bought my plane ticket, and it seems like this and perhaps another job will work out for me. But really, I'm not going to be making much money and will probably spend a lot more than I make. I'm leaving my home, my family, my friends. Why? To get out of Provo I guess, even though summer in Provo is wonderful and I love it. I love going to the farmer's market and swimming at Mona, and I had goals of working hard at the local community garden and maybe finding a boyfriend. And now I'm moving my whole life across the country so I can work part time at a museum shop in Coney Island?

Yep. That's what I'm doing. And I can't wait. It's really time for me to make this change. I get antsy staying in one place for very long, and I've been fantasizing leaving Provo for years. One of my closest friends lives out there and I'll make new friends and have a wonderful time getting to know a really great city. I feel good about it, and a lot of prayers have been answered to get me to this point, so I'm just going to take a leap of faith and see how it works out. I'm mostly sad to be leaving the people I love, people that I just barely started to be friends with, people I've been friends with for as long as I've been at BYU. But sometimes you just have to go away for a little while, and this is one of those times.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

5 reasons why today was a great day

1. I took five bags of old clothes to D.I.
2. I got three really great hugs all within the same half hour.
3. I sold my first item on etsy!
4. I got a bound copy of my thesis in the mail.
5. It was a beautiful, warm and semi productive day.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

hair story

I'm a little obsessed with my hair, so I thought I'd try to get all my thoughts and feelings about it out of my system and throw it out into the void of the internet.

For the last several months I've been thoroughly dissatisfied with my hair, which may or may not have had negative effects on my overall sense of well being. Right now it's on the longer side, about shoulder length and curly. I've usually kept it short because when it gets long it weighs down the curls, and I really have no idea what to do with it. At any rate, for the last few months whatever shampoo and conditioner I was using was just crap. It seemed like it took all the curl out of my head. Before I had been using horse shampoo for about a year, and it was pretty good. My hair was usually shiny and bouncy. I switched however, which was just a huge mistake.

So I've been thinking lately about how to remedy my bad hair days for good. A couple of summers ago, before I switched to horse shampoo, I stopped shampooing my head altogether, with mixed results. I used baking soda to wash it followed by a vinegar rinse. After a while it looked good, but with it being summer and me being all sweaty it still seemed a bit flat. Also, I smelled like vinegar, especially when I sweat, which was all the time.

I wanted to try it out again, but I didn't want to smell like vinegar. While in the back of my mind for the last couple of weeks, I was still avoiding the whole vinegar thing when suddenly I realized the other day that I was probably just using too much vinegar. I never measured the amount, just poured a little in a cup and added water. So this time I was very precise and put 1 tablespoon of vinegar for 1 cup of water and put it in an old shampoo bottle. I did the same with the baking soda, since I also think I was using too much and it was drying out my scalp. 1 tablespoon for 1 cup of water. It's not that much, really. I also added a drop of lavender essential oil to the vinegar solution to add a nice smell to my hair.

I used it the other day and when I got out of the shower I instantly noticed a difference. My hair was so shiny! And it already felt light and bouncy. I left it alone, let it dry without adding any product (it dried very quickly I noticed) and voila! All day long I had big bouncy curls that kept their shape, and I didn't smell like vinegar at all. I've been doing it for the last week and getting the same result every day. Some people's hair has to get used to this sort of switch, but I think mine was craving it. So now, no shampoo, no conditioner, no product at all, and I think I have perfect hair. I may not even cut it any time soon (the only thing I knew to do to keep it curly). It's pretty awesome, even it if makes for a really boring story.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

good news and bad news and good news

I desperately hate the dentist. Eight years ago I went and the dentist had no patience for me after four shots and said he wouldn't give me another and that I needed to suck it up. I still hate that man. And so it was eight years before I would return to the dentist, which I did a couple of months ago and I have been back 4 times. I had 6 very deep cavities (my fault for not getting them taken care of years ago) and a cracked tooth which required a crown and may require a root canal (not my fault for not going to the dentist since it was in a tooth that already had a filling and was almost undetectable). The cavities are taken care of, and now I have to go back a couple more times for the problem tooth.

Unlike my last dentist this dentist is extremely nice and sweet, and I feel like he genuinely is bothered by the idea of causing anyone pain. Although I never want to go back to the dentist ever again, at least this experience has not be as unpleasant as the last. Oh, I also found out that Dr. Sweetypie is married and has three little babies, which only makes him more adorable in my opinion.

Today while at the dentist I missed a phone call from the University of Louisville, the school where I had applied and never heard back from. I called them back, mouth numb and all, and talked to the graduate program director. She told me that I was accepted into the program and that the letter they had sent me was sent back because of a wrong address. We figured out that I had put my "permanent" address down as my mom's street address, who doesn't have a mail box. I am used to putting this address as permanent on loan applications and such where they don't want a P.O. Box. I hadn't thought about that, and so the letter was sent there and then back to the school. Because of this delay I missed the deadline to apply for the teaching assistantship which would pay for tuition and give me a livable stipend. And so, she wanted to know if I would still consider going to the school this year, but told me that if I wanted to I could defer enrollment until next year and apply for the assistantship. Out of state graduate tuition is $9000 a semester. I think I'll defer.

So, if I defer, which will likely be the case, I will have a year off. What should I do in that year? I'm thinking I'll find new and interesting ways to make and spend money. That's a good plan, yeah? I think I'll start by moving to New York.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I love horror films, and I love talking about and writing about horror films. You would think this would desensitize me a little bit so that when faced with mildly gross or distasteful things in real life, I wouldn't be bothered as much. In fact, the opposite is true. I think it has sensitized me. I know the stuff on screen is fake, which makes stuff in real life that much more real and intense for me. I saw a dead duck today on the way to campus. Someone had tried to cover it up with a piece of cardboard, but with its little head peeking out, the cardboard only made it that much more abject. I don't like seeing dead animals like that. Then a block later I crossed the street and there was blood on the road. Blood. It must have been real blood. Probably from an animal getting run over. It made me sick. I almost couldn't go to campus. Now, this is ridiculous. That dead duck was not the first time I've seen a dead duck. I grew up on a ranch where we killed ducks (and chickens and geese and turkeys) all the time. I've seen blood; I've participated in slaughtering animals. So why was what I saw today so abject? Probably because it's out of a context of the farm. It's a dead duck and blood on the street in the city where I live. Definitely not expected. About an hour later some girls came to class late saying they had seen a girl get hit by a car, right where I saw the blood apparently. Freaky.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

sing me Happy Birthday

This is going to sound awful and pessimistic, but I'm going to say it. I am not a fan of birthdays and holidays. While holidays are not always so bad because it forces us to spend time with our loved ones, I really hate birthdays. It's like I have 2 designated days of the year to remember what a crappy day it was: my birthday and Christmas. Yesterday, as some may know, was my birthday. It was just another day. I felt sick in the morning, had a terrible headache, went to a couple of panels at the conference, went to lunch and dinner. As far as days go it was mediocre at best, definitely not as great as Thursday and Friday were, but because it was designated my birthday it suddenly went from an ok day to kind of a crappy day that I would rather have not called my birthday.

Another thing I hate about birthdays is this weird attitude that we have about them. It's YOUR day and you are supposed to be selfish (you pick what you want to do for dinner, you pick the cake you want to eat, and some people ask you to pick the present you want), but at the same time, if you are selfish at all people will think you are a total brat. I feel like I'm doing something wrong when I have a birthday, like people are obligated to say happy birthday and they are annoyed with me when I don't tell me every little thing I want. I don't want the day to be my day. I don't want to say "It's my birthday and I want to do this." I don't want the day to arbitrarily be a "special day" because I happened to have been born on the date so many years ago. I want the day to be special because people go out of their way and make it a special day, without me asking or demanding or even being aware of their plans to make it special. Maybe this is the most selfish way to want a birthday, but I don't want it to be MY day, I want it to be YOUR day to make me feel special, if you think I am special and want to bother. If you don't it's fine.

And so I'm going to put this out there to the world. Please don't ever feel obligated to give me a present of any kind, not for Christmas or my birthday or anything. If something makes you think of me, then by all means, but you don't have to wait for some arbitrary date to give such a thing to me, I'd rather you try to make next Thursday a special day than my stupid birthday. We can celebrate the day of my birth any day of the year if you really want to celebrate it at all.

I do have to say that I had an excellent birthday dinner last night, thanks to my sister and our friend. We went to a tapas place and spent a LOT of money trying all the different little entrees. We had duck, quail, tuna, gnocchi, risotto, beef tenderloin, a lobster salad, and two other things that I can't remember, and for dessert I had gelato with caramel and a basil cream. I loved the basil cream with the gelato, it was the most interesting flavor ever. Basil should be sweet, I've decided.

So, I'm still in St. Louis but I'm leaving today. The PCA Conference was great this year, even if I didn't get to do as much site seeing as I did in New Orleans, but it turns out there's just not that much to see. I spent most of my time geeking out with my fellow academic nerds about popular culture, which was just as fun as anything I can think of. I presented my paper on zombie origins, and was pretty proud of it. There weren't any zombie people there though because I had been stuck on the panel at the last minute and so they didn't know another zombie paper was given, which was really too bad. I was hoping to have a zombie discussion. It was fun nevertheless. I had worked on the paper the few days before and was really proud at how it turned out.

Anyway, I'll blog more about the conference later. I just needed to get my feelings about birthdays out of my system.