Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sing with me!

I've rediscovered my guitar.
A good friend of mine had a small concert on campus this last week and after listening to her gorgeous voice and mad guitar skills, I got all inspired. I stayed up till 2am a couple days ago playing on it, googling chord progressions and how to finger-pick Mumford and Sons. It was super fun and now my fingertips are covered in blisters. Good blisters.

The problem is, I need someone to harmonize with....it totally doesn't work by yourself.

So yeah, seriously. No auditions required. ;)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

3 Strikes You're Out

I fell in love today. Seriously though, I did.

He was sitting right next to me in US-Latin American Politics and Economic Relations class and I kinda happened to notice numerous political pins covering his burlap man-purse. Interesting points = 5

As a class we were watching a sobering documentary on the Chilean coup of 1973 (wherein Allende was murdered and Pinochet established) and we were both quietly cussing under our breaths...in Spanish. The film was entirely in Spanish, so I feel like we were both culturally inspired, not nerds. Interesting points = 4

I also kinda happened to notice he was taking detailed notes...in Spanish. Interesting points = 5

I decided it would be a terrible waste to let all these interesting points go to waste, so when the 3-hr lecture finally ended, I had to talk to him....in Spanish.

"I'm sorry, I really don't mean to be nosy, but I couldn't help but notice you were taking notes in Spanish."

-- He gets this awkward little smile going like "uh yeah...that *is* kinda weird...". A green eye winks.

We get talking, and it turns out he's Troy from LA, a master's student studying Latin American politics, lived in Northern Spain (the Basque country to be exact) for a year, and conducted research in Argentina last summer. He thought I was from Spain. (Go ahead and read that sentence again....he thought I was from Spain.) Interesting points = off the wall. So there we were, two American kids fully capable of carrying on a conversation in English, chattering happily away in Spanish for over 20 minutes; both thrilled to have found a buddy to practice with.

We get to the bus station, our buses come, and we part ways.

I get to my dorm and breathlessly tell my roommates about this darling, green-eyed, Spanish-speaking, master's student who's traveled the world and thinks I'm from Spain. I guess smitten would be an appropriate word at this point. But one of my roommates, bent on bursting any romantic bubble I might ever create, slowly reveals a string of devastating facts: 1) he's her TA, 2) he has a girlfriend, 3) and when speaking english (so, 99% of the time) he's appallingly awkward. I guess the class secretly laughs at him he's so awkward.

Soooo, there goes that. Fail. I've therefore decided Troy from LA will officially just be my Spanish buddy and we'll sit in class and cuss together in our cultural outrage.

And I'll pretend I'm from Spain.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Little things...

...make a day beautiful.

Like a pet butterfly. Even if it's fake. ;)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Asian Pears

There's a little fruit stand outside our local Trader Joes. A tiny, colorful sign points to the red tent shading the many boxes of fruit, but dozens just pass by. They're too busy to even look.

My roommate and I were attracted by the low prices and the enticing smell of citrus. Walking over, I thought I'd died and gone to fruit heaven; you could smell the incredible ripeness of the fruit. Pineapples, guavas, raspberries, huge oranges, tomatoes the size of your fist, clusters of bananas...it was Eden.

And then I found the asian pears.

Golden brown, perfectly round, and so ripe you could smell their sweetness, they just sat there screaming my name. I'm on a ridiculously tight budget, but I bought ten. :)

Upon my first bite, I was instantly transported to late summer afternoons in the backyard. Sacramento is an oven in the summer; heat would waves ripple up from the concrete as we kids tromped around in our swimsuits. I remember waiting all summer for the asian pears to ripen...we'd feel them, smell them, watch them, waiting for them to turn golden and sweet. There was something so special about finally picking one. The cicadas were excruciatingly loud, the heat sticky, and we'd lay in the grass under the trees and let the pear juice trickle down our hands.

Good days.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I bought myself flowers this morning. They're so colorful, and beautiful, and happy and I love them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Failed Fashion

I was incredibly darling this morning, ifIdosaysomyself.

I was sporting knee-high leather boots from Spain, a flowy white camisole from Italy, a blue belt, and fun, sparkly Mediterranean beads. I even curled my hair a bit. Yeah, I was fashion herself. I spent plenty of time in the mirror admiring myself, telling myself how cute and international I was, and feeling my self-confidence swell to embarrassing levels.

But then I stepped outside and froze. I mean, frozefroze. Like, when did La Jolla turn into freaking Antarctica?

Sooooo, now I'm in my uggs and UCSD sweatshirt and officially not darling. Or cute. Or international.

I'm a grey blob...but I'm warm. That counts for a lot, I've decided. Warmth is where it's act. So! I've got my blue shades instead of my sexy blue belt...and I'm gonna go rock this freezing cold day. Kapow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Josh Groban and Powerful Adjectives

I'm camped out at my little desk, mocha in hand, listening to Boston's More Than a Feeling and Eric Carmen's Hungry Eyes. Pandora's been a bit of a life-saver as I've spent way too many hours here already studying away. I've started creating different stations for different subjects: soft rock for global medicine, funk for mental illness, indie for ethnic studies, and my latin american politics class is a strange mix of samba and reggae. Pro: it definitely preserves my attention span, but Con: I've realized that when certain genres of music come on the radio now, I immediately revert to the respective class....I think I'm scarring myself. That's a little frightening.

Meanwhile, opera has been the defining soundtrack for my scholarship applications. There are a bunch due in February, so my studies are punctuated with working on personal statements and ridiculously concise essays. Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Celtic Women...they've all kept me company as I try to transform myself into a deity for the scholarship committees. Hopefully it works, getting even one or two of the scholarships would make my future life *so* much easier. Here's to crossing my fingers and using powerful adjectives.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Unnamed Sister

I've been thinking and writing about my classes lately. I'm learning, discovering, exploring many new concepts and realities and I have to write about them. That's how I process.

Many times, my writings are rather dismal outpourings of a frustrated heart and restless mind. They're not cheery, but they're real. Real problems and real people.

And yet, I feel I want to preserve this blog as a slightly more upbeat place of expression. I therefore created a new blog: http.unnamedsister.blogspot.com where I can write, rant, theorize, and post without hesitation for fear of readers' depression. Not that all on this blog is depressing and kleenex-worthy...but the world is full of tragedy as well as beauty, and I want to write about it. A lot.

Visit it if you want. It's mostly there for me, but it could easily become communal food for thought as well.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hermit's Secret

I've spent the last two days as a hermit.

Yesterday I didn't do my makeup, ate cereal all day, worked on scholarship apps and watched three movies. I did crunches and made a huge batch of cookies (seems counterproductive, I know). I didn't answer the door or my cellphone. I didn't even respond to texts.

Today was pretty similar, though the morning was spent at an orientation for my new job. But I came home, changed into my jammies, and holed up. I wrote letters to overseas friends. I watched the sun set over the ocean. I ignored the doorbell. I skyped with my mom. I took a nap. I rediscovered Loreena McKennitt. And I spent a lot of time thinking.

I've been doing a lot of intellectual consuming lately, but not much digesting. My classes are intense, challenging, fascinating, dark, cynical, and inspiring...but I haven't really processed what I'm reading and hearing. I liked just curling up in my big blue swivel chair and thinking. Or not thinking. Just being.

Hermits are onto something.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Small, glowing embers

Watchman, what of the night? So many victims in so many places need help. We need, above all, to be shaken out of our indifference - the greatest source of danger in the world.

Indifference leads to silence. There must be words for those who care. Ignorance leads to silence. There must be records of past and present cruelties done in the world so that each generation can remember - not only the evil of the past, but also the glowing goodness, the courage and decency, which exists in the darkest days.

Words...destroy indifference and awaken remembrance. The words are small, glowing embers of despair. And hope. They are history, and they are prayers.

-Elie Wiesel & Albert Friedlainder

Thanks to Juliet for the quote