5.31.2011

no unobstructed views, no perfect truths, just our love.





























After yesterday's rambling, bitter post, I think I should probably mention all of the awesome-amazing parts of my trip (which, to be honest, was everything else we did as soon as we got there). I guess I can just start where I left off and try to give you some of the highlights--although there may be too many highlights to give in just one post, for basically everything about New York City is a highlight.

The first thing I noticed the moment I stepped out into the city was the crazy cacophony of smells. Every few feet, new and exotic and wonderful aromas would wash over us until I felt I would drown in the vivacity of it all.

The second thing I noticed were the people. Not just the fact that there were hundreds of them, thousands of them, anywhere and everywhere and all talking at once. It was what they were saying, or rather, what I couldn't understand them saying. Alien languages hit me from all sides in a way that was uncomfortable and thrilling at the same time. Growing up in Kansas, everyone speaks either English or Spanish. However, here, everyone spoke everything, from languages I may have recognized to ones I couldn't even begin to guess at. 

My mother and I had only been walking for five minutes when I looked up and saw it: 





























Simon and Schuster.

A god of book publishing, a company I would probably sell my soul and first-born child to work for. It was just nonchalantly sitting there, right down the street from my hotel, casting a sort of reverent and yet unassuming glow over the middle of the block. I literally almost had a heart attack right there on the sidewalk next to the Halal food cart. 

Seriously.

It was fate.

I'd been in the city for 1/12 of an hour and I'd already located my destiny.

Which conveniently is right across the street from Magnolia Bakery, which makes some of the best cupcakes in all of New York.


Or so I'd been told. And I have to admit, they were pretty damn good.





























As we were walking to our restaurant, I was busy trying to balance being a tourist and not being too touristy. It was not easy. I did my best not to look completely awed and infatuated and (a little) overwhelmed, but I'm fairly certain I failed. 


Yes, the crazy eyes came out a lot during this trip.

Anywhere, as I was pathetically trying to look like it wasn't my first time ever in the greatest city on earth, I stumbled into Times Square.

And then I had to completely drop my cool facade and squeal like the tourist I inescapably was, because I had no idea we'd be going through Times Square.

And I had no idea Times Square would look like this:


My mother literally had to drag me away so we would make it to our dinner reservations on time (which is okay, because we ended up returning every night. I mean, how could you not?)

And I was really glad we made it to our restaurant, because it was the cutest little Italian restaurant I've ever seen, with delicious angel hair pasta and even more delicious deserts. 





 Yes, we got two.

After dinner, we headed to the Majestic Theater to see The Phantom of the Opera. Which blew me away. The theater was beautiful, the cast was beautiful, the singing was beautiful, the story was beautiful.

Basically, I liked it a little bit.

Or, you know, a lot bit. 





































Later, as we were walking home, I lost my sanity for a second and started trying to take pictures of New York at night without changing the camera's setting. 

They turned out something like this:


It doesn't matter anyway. No picture could ever do justice for New York City at night. It's indescribable.  I've never in my life seen anything more bewitching. 

And I won't again until I return to New York for good. 

As I was getting ready for bed, I happened to glance at the clock. It was 11:11.

Now, I'm not exactly a superstitious person, but I always figure it's better to be safe than sorry.

So I made a wish.

I won't tell you what I wished for, because if there is any power in this practice, my wish would never come true. However, I don't think I need to tell you.

I think you can probably guess.

Title song: "Unobstructed Views" - Death Cab for Cutie

'til you get to me on my morningside.





























Okay. So I posted (rather gushingly) a month ago about going to New York City with my mother. I haven't had internet access all weekend, so I haven't been able to post (and it's been killing me a little), and now I have so much to say that I think I'll split my trip into two or three posts. 

So.

Bad stuff first.

The morning we left for New York did not go as smoothly as I'd hoped, so I took a notebook out I had brought with me to document my experience. Or, to be honest, to complain about my experience. 

The following is completely unedited and uncensored. Therefore, forgive me, because I think I started to lose it (by it, I mean my mind) after a few hours of this.
Anywhere, here we go.

Monday morning, May 27, 2011:

3:30 a.m. - So I wake up after only three hours of sleep. Yes, I know this is my fault. Yes, I know I chose to stay up watching Dawson's Creek (correction: I stayed up watching Pacey and Joey's adorable relationship) until 12:05 a.m. Yes, I know this was a really stupid move. And yes, I think it is obvious that I am not a morning person, no matter that I'm getting up to go to my dream city.

4:18 a.m. - We leave my house. I am still in a stupor of sorts. I mean, it is 4-freaking-18 in the morning.

4:21 a.m. - I remember that I haven't eaten, and even though it is 4-freaking-18 in the morning, I am absolutely starving. My mother assures me we will eat at the airport. Mmmm, airport food. Little nutritional value, ghastly overpriced, and yet oddly satisfying.

 6:02 a.m. - We get to the airport. As soon as we arise from the escalator, I know there is something wrong. The lines around the baggage check in are a mile long. (Okay, I know they aren't a mile long, but if anyone corrects me on this, I will rip their heads from their bodies with my bare hands. Remember, I am not a morning person). 

6:05 a.m. - Can't get boarding passes for our flight from Chicago to New York. Yesterday, they canceled our original flight out of Chicago at 8:50. Now, we will not be leaving Chicago until 11:10. Or we may not be leaving Chicago at all if we cannot get our boarding passes.

6:29 a.m. - Stood in line for exactly 24 minutes. They called last baggage call for our plane when there were still 3 people ahead of us in line. We somehow manage to shove our way to the front, where the trainee is checking in the baggage. He says he's not sure if our baggage will get on our plane, but he will try. Then his computer freezes. The man stares at it in confusion for a few minutes before calling over someone over to help him. This man is incompetent. I hate him.

6:40 a.m. - Finally board plane after being violated mind, body, and soul by airport security. Because of the incompetence of Mister I-can't-figure-out-how-to-work-the-computer-system, we did not have time to stop and get something to eat. Out of lack of sustenance, my stomach has begun to eat itself. Hey, at least I have a window seat. Perhaps this morning is starting to look up.


This was supposed to be a frazzled picture, but apparently when I say, "Okay, look frazzled," this is the look my mother gives.





























6:42 - Found out our pilot's name is Captain Kirk.

6:50 a.m. - Plane is supposed to leave. It doesn't.

7:03 a.m. - Plane starts moving. Let the adventure begin.

7:09 a.m. - Plane lifts off. I pray that this flying hunk of metal will stay in the air long enough to get my mother and I safely and in one piece to Chicago.

7:15 to 8:00 a.m. - I attempt to sleep. I don't. My head keeps lolling forward. It would be rather comical if it wasn't so freaking awful.

Goodbye, Kansas. Goodbye, thousands and thousands of fields.




























8:05 a.m. - Our plane lands. We're alive. So far. 

8:20 to 9:20 a.m. - We eat breakfast at the Macaroni Grill. I really want French toast, but I settle for eggs. They taste a little fake. But I'm not really complaining. At least it's food.

9:30 a.m. - We find out that our flight (our new flight) has been pushed back until 12:00, meaning it won't leave until 12:30, and we won't make it to New York until 3:45, and we won't make it to the hotel until 4:30, and we have dinner reservations at 5:30. If this causes me to miss our dinner/show, I will never fly American Airlines again. Actually, that is a weak threat. Instead, I will devote my life to force their airlines into ruin. I don't know exactly how I will go about this. I suppose I now have an extra hour to plan it out, though.

12:00 p.m. - We finally board the flight. Seeing as how we were scheduled depart at 12:00, I'm calling bullshit on American Airlines.

12:15 p.m. - Our captain comes on the intercom and says our crew has just gotten back from another flight and that it would take them about 15 minutes to check the plane before we are ready to leave (the terminal, of course, because it will be another 25 before we actually take off). American Airlines, this is not looking so good for you.


Our flight is the (only) La Guardia flight that was pushed back. Really, AA? Really?

Sad.























































12:17 p.m. - The captain comes on the intercom again to tell us: "Everyone can either turn off our cell phones and other electronic devices or we can not leave at all. It's your choice." Pilot-flying-our-plane, I'll try not to be too snappy with you because I'm entrusting my life in your hands, but shut the fuck up.

12:25 p.m. - A woman 2 seats behind us has a baby. If that's not annoying enough, she keeps standing up to comfort her little bundle of joy while the plane is trying to take off. I could excuse once, but this woman has been told to sit down 3 times now. Just smother the thing. That should keep it quiet.

12:27 p.m. - WE MOVE!!!

12:36 p.m. - We lift off at last. Okay. I suppose I will rethink my plan to cherry bomb our crew's mailboxes. 

3:20 p.m. - Our plane touches ground in New York City! We have arrived!!

4:50 p.m. - After taking a 45 minute taxi, checking in, and trekking up to our room, we find the maid is only half-finished cleaning. Our check-in time was 3:00! What the hell has she been doing all day? My mother and I have to be walking out of the room at 5:20 for our dinner reservations. We are frazzled, angry, and tired, but we kick the maid out (rather rudely, which I'm sure I will feel bad about later) and get to work making ourselves beautiful (which, after being at an airport or on a plane since 6:40, is a bit difficult).

5:23 p.m. - We leave the room, somehow managing to look super hot despite the scant amount of time we had to get ready.





























5:30 p.m. - After getting directions to our restaurant, we are on our way. After everything that went wrong today, as soon as my mother and I step out into the city, I know it will be magic, pure and simple.

And it was. But more of that tomorrow.

Title song: "Morningside"- Sara Bareilles 


5.22.2011

i wanna sunburn just to know that i'm alive.

Summer flowers

I can't believe summer is here at last (well, okay, not officially, but at least from my point of view). This has been a crazy year. In some ways, it feels like just yesterday that I was returning to Lawrence for my sophomore year of college, and yet at the same time so much has happened since then. I've changed. I've grown up a little.

I know what I want out of life now. 

At least, I'm pretty sure I do...

While I was out with my mother at our pool today, we were talking about the summers of our past, and something a little disconcerting occurred to me.I've never had a really memorable summer.

I mean, sure, I've had good summers: swimming with friends, late-night movies, truck-bed stargazingBut for the most part, my summers just blend together with little to distinguish them. I've just never experienced one of those summers, that one that changes your life. 

That one you remember forever.

And this saddens me. I suppose I've always been a little sheltered. I'm shy; I can't help it. And still, that really is no excuse. I know I only have a couple true summers left before I'm shoved out in this "real world" everyone keeps talking about. And I want to make these final summers count.

I refuse to let this summer pass me by without making a few lasting memories. 

So.
Here's to growth. 
Here's to change.
Here's to adventure. 

Here's to a summer I'll never forget.

Title song: "Angels on the Moon" -Thriving Ivory

5.18.2011

i guess we'll just have to adjust.

keep on keepin' on

























"Ends and beginnings - there are no such thing.
There are only middles."
— Robert Frost

I've been searching so long for meaning in the chaos of transitions: The beginning of something, the end of something else.

It had to be significant. There had to be some lesson to learn from that tumultuous passage of time as you realign your life to match your new direction. 

Then I saw this quote. 

What if I've had it all wrong? Maybe life cannot be neatly packaged into distinct periods of existence. Could it all just bleed together into one long story, no chapters necessary? Or not even a story - stories have beginning and endings - but a circle where beginnings and endings intersect so often that they cease to exist in the first place.

And then I realized that maybe I don't have to force context into every aspect of living.  Perhaps some things have no meaning.

And perhaps that's okay.

Title song: "Wake Up" -The Arcade Fire



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