May 29, 2011

A Beacon of Socialism.

Happy Memorial Day! Just finished a perfect day in DC and feel like a real little patriot. Enjoyed God and country - church, brunch, bike ride and cook out on top of the city, all followed by a moonlit bike tour of the monuments. Katie's roommate acted as our tour guide and told us a number of new and interesting facts; for example, Abraham Lincoln was the twelfth president. As was Jefferson and FDR. I wouldn't say she's an expert, but she knows all of the words to "Copacabana," and that's enough credibility for me. I find it most interesting that the memorial that requires the most walking is FDR's - this is actually true.

DC has been perfect and I don't want to leave. It's very different than NYC, yet very similar. I think their relationship is a lot like an extended family, think "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." NYC is Clark's side the family - a little more brash, lots of fighting, and not so put-together, but pretty open with it all, and embraces this about itself. It's the side of the family that has a holiday dinner where you dish up your own plate from pots on the stove, dishes on the counter, etc. DC is Ellen's side - the proper, more appearance-focused side of the family. Just as much crazy going on behind the scenes, but they wouldn't dare let you know, and they wouldn't think of hosting a dinner party without having the table properly set. It's all about presentation.

I have also discovered something about myself here: I am not good at museums. They are altogether too stimulating, not to mention all of the creepy displays with the cavemen that you swear you just saw blink standing in front of a painted prehistoric landscape that reminds you of a funeral home interior. Fake skies, etc. Can you imagine being stuck in there at night? I saw "Night at the Museum." I know what happens. I did enjoy the Star Spangled Banner exhibit at the Smithsonian, mainly because of the (creepily displayed) original Old Glory (30 x 42 feet!). And even though I hate them, I hope museums continue to survive so that things like this are safely housed and looked after forever. Free entrance in DC, too. Well played.

Another highlight was meeting a young man at tonight's rooftop cookout who works with cow and Haitian feces (as in the feces of people from Haiti and cows), looking for a way to harness the methane given off from both for use as fuel. What a crappy job, har har.

Palin's in DC on a motorcycle. Can we just admit that she's hot?

Tomorrow afternoon I leave for the last leg of my trip, Chicago, complete with a soiree with my study abroad friends and THE SCRIPT CONCERT!!!

Right now I'm a little nauseous because I just checked my bank account and realized that, for the first time in about two years, no money was directly deposited on Friday morning. On the flip side, I have enjoyed telling people that I'm "currently unemployed." Another highlight of the trip, Katie's giant tin of gourmet popcorn, might help take the edge off.

May 26, 2011

Say What?

A straight New York man: "Do they have iPhones and skinny jeans in Indiana?"

An African-American gentleman selling CDs: "Hey blondie, you get one for free because you ain't scared of negroes."

Philip Seymour Hoffman: "So do you live in New York now?"

I don't wanna leeeeeeave.

May 25, 2011

NYC Observations.

Another day, another step closer to never figuring this city out. I'm eating leftover carrot cake cheesecake for breakfast, sort of a delayed dessert from last night's Texas BBQ. After the atrocious "Texas Embassy" restaurant in London, I expect any Texas-themed eatery to be equally horrendous, but last night's brisket, green bean casserole, corn bread and drink in a mason jar (!) was pretty darn good, if I might say so myself. They even have Blue Bell ice cream shipped up regularly for your $4-a-serving pleasure.

On that subject, I've been somewhat surprised at how reasonable Manhattan seems to be. Minus the ridiculous "big" costs (rent, Metrocards, parking, etc.), the day-to-day costs aren't as inflated as I expected, although my only real experience (and comparison) to "big city living" consisted of not only the most expensive city in the world, but also an exchange rate that halved the value of my dollar. If your first grocery bill doesn't give you a stomach ache, you have no room to complain.

Anyway, here's what I've learned:
  • Don't karaoke - the musical theater actors surrounding you will get up on stage next.
  • Everyone here works for a cool company - The Onion, Wall Street Journal, Sesame Street, Time Magazine...
  • Don't try to find religious books in used book stores - people are either hoarding them or they never bought them in the first place.
  • Trader Joe's is the cheaper alternative for groceries - what?!
  • Walk around at night - it's cooler, less-crowded and the crazies are even crazier.

Enjoy some pics from yesterday's Central Park visit.

May 24, 2011


Well, if you're reading this, you've made it through 5/21's predicted rapture. I'm not sure whether I should say "Congrats" or "Sorry about that...".

In NYC for a about six days (is that a short or long trip?) and so far, it's been magical. Kristi from IU is playing host and we're doing a lot of walking, eating, talking about Jesus (was he funny? stocky?), and disputing the "take a room full of unmarried Christians, put the guys on one side, the girls on the other, number them off, and marry them" idea older, happily married Christians seem to love.

Kristi hasn't changed. She lives above a Chipotle, she was eating Chipotle when I arrived, and she closed her eyes while we were eating pizza yesterday. She thinks heaven will smell and sound like opening a can of Coke, and she uses the term "super holy" to describe boys she has a crush on. Love her, I do.

I've asked everyone for suggestions for things to do while here, and so far the top award goes to Sally: carrot cake cheesecake from Junior's in Times Square. Holy buckets.

Related, they post calorie counts on everything here. Not that it matters, because most everyone seems to be an actor or model and has, I assume, a diet consisting of cigarettes and caffeine, but for tourists like myself and Kristi "I'm-in-a-relationship-with-Chipotle" Oloffson, it's confusing. I'm assuming the point is to push you away from the bad things, but it's hard not to see it as a challenge. You'll take the 6-piece chicken nuggets for 690 calories? I will up you one, sir, and take the 8-piece for 920 calories.

It's noon and Kristi and I are sitting across from each other, in our pjs, eating cold, leftover pizza and talking on gchat. Maybe the world did end - this feels pretty heavenly.

May 22, 2011


"I take it that the highest proof of Christ’s power is not that he offers salvation, not that he bids you take it if you will, but that when you reject it, when you hate it, when you despise it, he has a power whereby he can change your mind, make you think differently from your former thoughts, and turn you from the error of your ways."

"Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom."

"Of two evils, choose neither."

Viva Forever.

Dug up this little gem, circa fifth grade. I'm a very awkward Baby Spice.

May 3, 2011


Katie's gone. Moved out. Moved on. It's my first day without her. I don't think I've realized it yet, thanks to the power of the text message, but it will set in soon enough. She's onto better things. A better future. Probably a better roommate. One that doesn't put unrinsed dishes in the dishwasher and cook fish.

I suppose I should write a sappy goodbye post about how much she's meant to me over the past year and a half. About how I can't imagine having done this Dallas thing without her. About how she's absolutely ruined me for the future and I'll never be able to live with anyone else as easily as I have lived with her. About how our Friday nights at home have been my favorites (except for that one night...downtown...). About how I want to marry her husband's best friend so that we can go on family vacations together and spend holidays at the kitchen sink together. About how I'll miss her blueberry muffins but not her banana pudding. About how much I like that grocery shopping together just became habit. About how she always lets me pick the movie we watched. About how she's the only person around me that gets that I want surgery. About how she somehow manages to take the least flattering pictures of me I've ever seen. About how she treasures my mix tapes more than anyone else ever will. About how she listens to the same songs over and over with me. About how she listens to the same stories over and over from me. About how she tolerates the same rants over and over by me. About how she is the sole source of the nine love touches I need every day.

About how I hope this grad school business is just a quick two-year dream and then we'll wake up and start another adventure together.

About how she just gets me and I don't have to explain why I am like I am or why I do what I do or why I think like I think.

About how at a time when there are a million decisions to make, and everyone else seems to be settling down with the other half I'm not ready for yet, she has been that other half for all of the times when I didn't even realize I need someone, and we just settled in, side-by-side, doing life together.

Luckily, I'm visiting her in three weeks. So I don't have to write that goodbye yet.