Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Break Week 1

I don't want to believe that a week of break has passed. Because "a month off" sounds so cushy and wonderful and exactly where I want to stay. Now it's three weeks and that seems SO MUCH SHORTER. Wah. 

But the past six days have been full of busy happiness. Some highlights:

Angela got married on Sunday. My mom did the reception centerpieces/ceremony set-up. She and Denise are a dream team. Exhibit A:


Bride&Groom's baby girl, Natalie, and my girls.

I was up early helping my mom, changed and did myself up at the church, then became an attendee of the wedding! It was beauty and class on a budget, and it went off without a hitch. Everyone had a wonderful time. So crazy to see one of my high school friends (though 2 years older) getting married. I remember late night talks at cast parties about our futures. You never know what life will throw at you, but I think it always turns out for the best. She is blessed. 

Monday was my first day back at work! The olive oil store was just how I left it... with the addition of several new products, as always. I've worked every day this week and we have just been slammed. I think there was only 3 or 4 people each day that didn't want gift wrapping. Olive Oil & Balsamic is the bottle of wine as far as gifts are concerned. They're that good, though. I could absolutely live on oil, vinegar and bread. Yes.

Tuesday= more work and the first night of Hanukkah! I actually went to a birthday party with Megan, and met some new people. After living here my whole life and having the same friends for five years now, it's really refreshing to have new people in my life. When I got home my mom gave me a Yoga DVD as a gift. That will come in handy back in the dorms! Maybe. Hopefully. ...we'll see.

Wednesday was our first family dinner since I've been home. It felt amazing to just be spending time with my family around the dinner table. My mom has been very accommodating to my newfound vegetarianism (more on that in my next post); we had quinoa salad, roasted vegetables (with persimmons? I really liked but I've never seen it in full form), and LATKES, of course. My mama makes the best latkes. Dessert was homemade rugelach -- I am spoiled. I also gave my dad his Hanukkah present: One Village coffee, the Nor' Easter roast. Apparently it was delicious! 
Also on this day, I walked home from work after getting a Which Wich sandwich (yumyumyum) and when I approached the house my mom was waiting outside and we did a slow run towards each other. It was so funny and adorable. She had also prepared a caprese sandwich for then I felt bad for getting the which wich but I was still hungry so I ate it and I was SO HAPPY because I have the best mom.

Thursday. My mom made Nutella hot chocolate. That was the highlight of the day. Seriously, so delicious.

Today, work was nonstop. I am a bow expert. Almost. I surprise myself with how much I know about olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I can talk for like 10 minutes. But I don't, because I'm really paranoid that I'm being an overbearing salesperson.
I did Zumba with my sister tonight. It was nice to be active, and it's easier when you shout at the screen. Just sayin'. 

Dinner time is nowwww. Homemade mac and cheese. Seriously... the best mom.

Also, the best cat:
We had a bit of a photo shoot. Model cat.

Oh, and there's also this slice of happiness happening a lot:

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Currently sitting at the Phoenix airport. Gotta love free wi-fi!

I finally finished all of my work yesterday, and am now home free for the next 4 weeks! (still working on the home part, though. Just about 2 hours!) To finish that semester was more of a relief than any other semester of school, ever. I'm not entirely sure why. I believe it was a combination of harder work, a department show, and the tour guide job. It was a LOT that I hadn't had to deal with before this year. And I'm not sure that my work was significantly tougher, but I was definitely more invested in my classes, so I wanted to do better.

As always, this semester flew by while simultaneously dragging. But this morning, when my boyfriend's dad was driving me to the airport, it seemed like that had JUST happened. In reality, it was seven months ago, but man, it's hard to believe it has been that long.

My first flight was about 5.5 hours, and it definitely seemed that long. This one lady in the front was a piece of work. She was wearing a surgical mask and when someone coughed on the plane, she yelled "Please cover your mouth when you cough!" Not to mention that she refused to stow her purse and asked ridiculous favors from the flight attendants the whole time. Some people really, really need to learn how to adapt.

I watched The Kids Are All Right on the plane, which I'd been wanting to do for a while. I didn't realize how much sex was in it, which was awkward considering I had two elderly women sitting next to me. I kept exiting full screen mode so I didn't offend them, especially the one who was writing "Remember the Miracle of Christ" holiday cards to her friends. Whoops! Sorry, ma'am.

When I touch down in SD, I'm going straight to Aubrey's holiday party. Hopefully I won't be too wiped out. Either way, I'm stoked to see my family and friends. I've really missed them this semester. Just realizing how much I appreciate them.

More reflections on internal changes this semester will come later. I feel like there have been a lot of them.

I also never talked about Skin of Our Teeth. Which—though it was no doubt a great experience—is a fair representation of how big of a deal it was. (not too big). The production was amazing. Sets, acting, absolutely everything. But I didn't really get to break out my acting chops, and it was hard to feel fully satisfied at the end of every show. I like to feel worn out, proud, euphoric. With this one I just felt like I accomplished the tasks I was told to do. Still, very glad I did it. And can't wait for next semester's shows!

OK, time to board.  yayayayay so close to home!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Three Days and Thoughts that are Clouding my Brain

It's Wednesday. I'll be home on Saturday. Literally 72 hours until I'm on a plane.

I cannot do this 8 page paper. My motivation level is in the negatives, which I feel doesn't make sense as it's one of the only things I have to do before I get to leave. But I'm spent. So spent and ready to relax and sleep for days.

(But not really because when I get home it goes like this: holiday party-->wedding-->work!)

So thankful that I get to work over winter break. I haven't taken any money from my parents this semester, and there's a definite pride in that. Though I hate learning how quickly money goes away, I do appreciate having it. And spending it on people that I love. I think this is the first year that I'm buying holiday gifts for everyone on my list. Nothing big, but still, a token of the way my heart beats for these people.

I have to take my Quantitative Analysis requirement next semester, and right now it's looking like Intro to Macroeconomics. Please, excuse me while I go cry. I only hope I can NRO it so I don't have to get a grade. As you can tell, I am not overly confident in the skills of my left brain.

Still, I have high hopes for next semester. Since coming to Vassar, every semester has improved on the last, and I would love that trend to continue. I cannot begin to explain my sadness that the conclusion of next semester marks halfway through this incredible chunk of my life. It goes too fast and I still feel so new.

It's really, really all about being present. Taking in as much as I possibly can.

My room is a construction zone. Already started packing. (that is how much i don't want to write this paper)

It also feels like I still haven't gotten all of the hairspray out of my hair, despite the numerous shampoos since Sunday.

I think I'm going to the dc to do my paper. Maybe if I'm surrounded by food I'll be more calm. And the library is too crowded.
Worth a shot, anyway.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


When I walk through the quad late at night, I am overcome by the insane possibilities and total grandeur of this life. And everything, everything is worth it.

Staying out until two to have girl time is worth it.

Spending in time in the Strong parlor to listen to your friend practice piano, taking breaks to play Beyoncé and sing together is worth it.

Researching prayer books and Greek theater and artists and spending hours in the library and checking out 20 books is worth it.

The struggle of meditation is worth it.

Reading for fun is worth it.

Countless hours of tech leading up to a show is worth it.

Money and time to show appreciation of your friends is worth it.

Hard conversations to make relationships better are worth it.

Waking up early is worth it.

It has been one hell of a semester. A whirlwind, that is for sure. Classes are pretty much over; 2 papers, 2 exams, 1 presentation is all that is between me and my reunion with California.

One week until I go home. And I am feeling so full of gratitude. SO full.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just the Way I Like It

It's later than I've stayed up in a while, so I don't feel too guilty. My paper isn't done but it will get done. So will the other ones. This I know, and I find comfort in it.

It's peaceful. I love the wee hours. I feel centered, creative, happy, blessed. Life seems grander. Maybe it's delirium.

Many hours were spent in the library. Then the Rose Parlor. I'm back in my room now. It's emptier without him here. But I treasure my alone time.

My sleeve smells faintly of Ralph Lauren Blue, which smells a bit like my first favorite perfume, Missoni Acqua. Takes me back to high school, spritzing it on by my window seat, preparing to face the day. I still miss it, that time in my life. I was different. Not as good as now. The world was so small. But nostalgia is a powerful beast. I keep it at bay when I can. The present is so good.

I love everyone here and sometimes forget there was a time I didn't know them. I've experienced more things with people I've known for a year than some of the people I knew for four.

College transforms. I've never witnessed something so beautiful.

I'm hungry for more, always hungry for more. I want to do everything, make it last. Feel every feeling, love every way there is to love, learn all that is learnable.

I love every moment and every person in the middle of the night. Counterintuitive. Also so wonderful. Let me just be here for awhile. Just breathe, appreciate, listen, feel.

Tick Tick Boom, Last 5 Years, OneRepublic is the soundtrack for the night.
Music fills the soul, even when people don't change and life is passing by and memories are slipping through your fingers and away forever.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where's the Fast-Forward Button?

I wish blogging had a due date or someone held me accountable so it didn't always get left to the wayside. All of the research and studying and paper writing is leaving me with little time and almost no articulacy for my blog.

I need this semester to be over. No matter what happens, I will be home in 17 days. But I have no idea how it's all going to get done.

Tech week for Skin of Our Teeth starts this Friday. 5-10pm. Saturday 11:30-10pm. Sunday 12-10pm. WHAT.

And what do I have to do?
Sources of World Drama research paper, Sources presentation, Sources final exam.
History of Fashion research paper, Hist. Fash. presentation.
French essay, French quiz, French final exam. (and still more regular French homework)
Nineteenth Century British Novels final paper. (about what??) Oh and have I finished the 565 page novel we're reading right now? Of course not.

I'm seeing Cornel West's lecture tonight. Honesty time: I don't know how actively I will be able to pay attention. I'll probably be thinking about all of the homework I have to do. BUT. I think I would regret not going, and I'm sure I'll get some nugget of wisdom. More on that later? Perhaps.

My mind cannot stay on one subject for too long lately. I feel this will continue right up until the end of the semester. Oh, California is calling my name! [And all of the food my mom taunts me with in her Mobile Uploads album on Facebook]

Monday, November 21, 2011

All She Wrote

My memories of life before age ten come in fragments.

The same fragment comes to me each time I stare at a clock.
Second grade. Ms. Hildebrand's class. Story time on the floor.
My eyes were glued to the clock, mystified that minutes passed but I couldn't see the big hand move.

I wanted to see the big hand move.

Today, I see the big hand move.
I know time.
I know its tricks.
I know how it works.

Yet still, I am mystified.

I don't want to see the big hand move.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Awkward & Awesome

I've seen the Awkward & Awesome Thursdays post here on Blogger, so I thought I'd join in, considering those are two very accurate adjectives every week for me. Also, it's already Friday, technically. OH WELL.

SO. The awkward:

  • Having to break up a fellow group birthday celebration by carefully tip-toeing between the cake and the bare feet. Even more awkward? The celebrators not even attempting to move.
  • Running into professors in long hallways. SO MUCH TIME to make strange and meaningless conversation.
  • When your friend gets way too surprised/offended that you don't know who Cornel West is. Like, whoa. 
  • Tripping over words during a small campus tour. Also, physically tripping.
  • Showing up to the dining hall 15 minutes before it opens for dinner. Hungry, much?
  • Drama rehearsals, sometimes.
  • French class, always.
And the awesome:
  • Becoming closer with people who used to be just acquaintances.
  • After-dinner/midday/anytime Beyoncé dance sessions. Reeve and I decided to learn part of the Countdown dance. It ended in him elbowing me in the head. It's on video. 
  • Watching Daily Grace videos. 
  • Skyping with best friends.
  • Participating in class and having a professor call your idea 'beautiful.'
  • Delicious international food from all of the great area restaurants for not so much $$.
  • Drama rehearsals becoming fun!
  • The days until boyfriend reunion being 6.
  • SO MANY fun things to look forward to this weekend.
  • Finally declaring my major!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Things have slowed down the tiniest bit over here, as Virginia Woolf wrapped up over the weekend and there are no papers staring me in the face. For now.

Still, I feel the increasing pressure of Junior Year Abroad forms, recommendation letters, family I haven't called, and final papers and exams in the not-so-distant future. I am so very glad I was raised to be a positive individual; some deep cleansing breaths and a fair amount of laughter are all I need to stay (somewhat) sane.

On Saturday we celebrated Charmaine's 20th birthday! Danielle and I woke up early to visit MyMarket, the Dollar Store, and The Three Arts for a birthday present... Chocolate, balloon, and a book on Frida Kahlo, wrapped all lovely and decorated with some fall leaves we picked up on the walk. Not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of that gift. Thoughtful, fun, and didn't make a big dent in our bank accounts! The 4 of us (Niya, Char, Danielle and I) had brunch at Babycakes, and Char loved her gift. Phew!
the gift! (and yummy coffee)

Later that day, I went to see Barefoot in the Park, which my friend Angela directed. I loved what she did with it, and the actors were great, but I didn't connect too much with the script. I feel like it's one of Neil Simon's plays that doesn't translate too well over the decades. Still, I enjoyed it.

I ran right from that show to grab some food and then make my 5:45 call for Virginia Woolf. Closing night was fabulous; everyone was raving about it. Immediately following, I ran to Charmaine's room to have a toast for her birthday, then ran back (so much running!) to Main building for The Goat, a staged reading by the cast of Virginia Woolf (hard workers, those four). After that, we toasted to them and then headed to the cast party!

The cast and crew!
(I think this was "Pose like you're in a 90's sitcom!")

I stayed out until 3, getting to know everyone better and really enjoying a party with people that I had never spent too much time with. That was awesome. Also, I think everyone needs a 3AM night every once in a while. Just... because.

Sunday was like most Sundays: not as productive as I wanted it to be but still nice. I discovered Daily Grace on YouTube and am now obsessed. I did my laundry and then let it hang around my room to dry. Seriously, every couple of weeks my entire wall becomes my laundry line. Another highpoint of Sunday? The sunset:
This is serious. 
Also, our library is the greatest addition to sunset shots.

Also, this?
The colors on this coast, I swear.

I painted my nails the other day and I can't stop looking at them. This is Revlon's Steel-Her Heart. A gorgeous, steely metallic color. Absolutely perfect for the holiday parties with your LBD. I'm thinking this will definitely be on my nails for New Year's Eve! So far it hasn't chipped at all (I use Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri top coat). I actually love the Revlon polish formula even more than my China Glaze/ Essie polishes.
It's so tough to get the lighting right on polish shots!

And something to maybe make you feel a bit better about yourselves. When I'm in the library, it usually  goes something like this: facebook, email, read blogs, YouTube, check facebook & email again, take pictures of myself. 
Exhibit A.

Productivity... it's a work in progress.

Friday, November 11, 2011


In honor of 11/11/11, I thought I'd post some of my wishes (mostly because I didn't really do anything cool today and I need some way to document that I was alive and kicking on this once-a-century occasion).

What I did do was work yet another Open House. We had about 550 people total today. I gave 3 tours, 2 of which had upwards of 25 people on them. Let me tell you, it's a lot more tiring than it sounds! My feet are begging for me to be horizontal. I'm also becoming an expert mingler. Though I am still struggling with how to end the conversation. It's just awkward.

I also majorly failed at waking up to my alarm. Got a call from a fellow tour guide, asking if I was coming down. Whoops. Thankfully I was able to get ready in less than 5 minutes (I'm always surprised by my ability to do this) and slipped in largely unnoticed.

Tonight I am blogging from the light booth once again, to the ambient sounds of disgruntled married couples and a very responsive audience.

So, my wishes.

I wish that I could get the chair of the department's signature to declare my major.

I wish the Junior Year Abroad forms would fill themselves out.

I wish I had closer relationships with professors so I wouldn't feel so uncomfortable asking for recommendation letters.

I wish I had more dining bucks.

I wish it was acceptable and nutritious to eat a croissant for breakfast every day.

I wish I had super cool blog post ideas.

I (sometimes) wish I could go home for the weekends. (Sometimes) 3,000 miles is too far.

I wish my boots weren't falling apart. Or that I had new boots.

I wish I could get to sleep earlier.

I wish I never procrastinated.

I wish I could stop running into doors and giving myself bruises.

And some deeper wishes:

I wish that all of the people in my life knew how grateful I am for them, and how much love pours out of my heart every day.

I wish I could reconnect spiritually and fill the place of yearning in my heart.

I wish I could plan ahead for birthdays and special occasions, and always go above and beyond for the people I care about despite how much I have to do.

I wish that I could commit myself to learning and become a sponge for knowledge.

I wish I could live entirely in the moment and not always be worrying about the time that's passing by when I could just be grateful for the time I have right now.

And I'm planning on turning I wish into I will.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blogging from the Booth

The light booth, that is.

Being cast in a Drama Department show also means receiving a production assignment; mine is light board operator for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a senior project (like a thesis). So I've spent the last week in the Powerhouse, programming light cues and subsequently running them. Though I am definitely an actor through and through, I have had the best time. It's refreshing to get outside your comfort zone, to work your brain in a new way and be part of something that breaks up the daily routine, if just for a week. And here's a bit of what the week looked like:

A super cute cast+director+stage manager huddle

Multi-tasking is the name of the game. Reading Mary Barton and running lights.
The caffeine was for the paper I would write on the aforementioned novel later that night.

Buttons I have become quite familiar with.

State of the art stuff, folks. Apparently this is the light board they 
are currently using on Broadway.

A great moment when the character George shoots an umbrella
out of a gun. Another moment of stagecraft genius from Paul.

I had never read this show, and watching it so many times has been wonderful. Edward Albee is really a family drama genius. I've picked up something different and found a new meaning every time they have run it. And the acting is brilliant. I knew all but one of the four, and had never really seen them perform. I was so impressed and inspired by them; they have really worked hard, and it shows. The director is a senior who I knew of last year, but hadn't really said more than one word to until this semester. I was very happy to have been assigned to work on her project, and was all the more happy when I saw this on the light board tonight:

To know someone feels a similar way about you is really gratifying. This is one of those things that will be a keepsake for a while. Maybe that's just me, though. I keep everything. 

SO. Here we are, opening night! I'm watching the house fill up and hearing the noise of the crowd grow. It's weird to watch a theater fill up and not be backstage, touching up my makeup and taking deep, cleansing breaths to rid myself of nerves. I haven't done tech for a show since freshman year of high school. I like it, though. I have realized that my passion for theater is not just a passion for acting, but for the entire theater process and experience. I really do love it all, and it makes me so happy to say that.

And even though I did virtually nothing to make this show a success, I can't help but feel a little pride and a little nervousness as well. It's just exhilarating. Being a part of something, it's exhilarating.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just Write.

Sometimes when I don't have time to do laundry and I need socks, I'll bring them to the shower with me and wash them there. I know, I know. But come on, it's kind of brilliant, right?

Tonight I put them on my hands, like mittens, to get all the soap out. Which reminded me how I dislike baby mittens. It's too weird. The water made a funny noise splashing against the wet cotton.

Next time I go into the bathroom and become paranoid by a strange noise, I'll think 'Maybe someone's washing their socks.'

My socks are now in front of my little Target fan. I'll watch them dry as I write the English paper I had no time to even think about in this whirlwind of a tech weekend.

I do so love this life.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mobile Upload?

I forget that I have this app on my phone. Probably because my battery sucks so much already. UGH. I'm thinking about ordering a new, stronger battery. Worth the money because I really cannot handle my battery lasting for 4 hours.

This has been a mobile upload.

(The picture is of the northeast's great irony. Snow melting on a beautiful day.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Countdowns and Happy Homesickness

Countdowns are in effect right now. As much as I am trying to live in the moment, I have to note these excitements:

19 days until I meet Dan at Grand Central (oh how romantic. my dad thinks so, anyway!)
44* days until I'm home for winter break!

Those numbers are crazy and SOON. Not surprising, though, as these days get busier and fly faster!

My brother turned 21 last Friday, the 28th. I'm sorry, what? He can legally buy a drink at a bar now, which just seems like a milestone we would never get to. This puts me 20 months from that milestone. A year ago, I wrote about his turning 20 on my Tumblr. Ha. My sentiments have not changed at all. And I'm now at less than 8 months away from the no-longer-a-teenager milestone. No one really likes 20. I don't think I'll be different.

On my brother's birthday, I Skyped home for 2 hours. Lots of talking. My parents toasted my brother and his (over 21) friends with bourbon, which was funny to watch. My face was placed on the piano. Dad made a brief but sentimental speech and I cracked up, but not in a mean way. I love my dad, and that he feels comfortable sharing his feelings with us. I really wanted to be home at that moment.

I also got a tour of the new house, which is just lovely! I have my own room THANK GOD after that summer of couch-sleeping. My room also opens up onto the inner wraparound balcony, which looks over the inner courtyard. This all sounds so fancy. Really, it's just a lot more accommodating for us than the condo we moved out of. Also on the balcony is on our sauna. So glad we were able to find a place for it in this house, and even more excited that my room is right by it! Again, I want to go home!

I'm experiencing a lot more homesickness this semester than I did last year. I'm simultaneously happier this semester, so it's not as if I'm crying in my room missing Mom and Dad. I just adore the island lifestyle. I could WALK places, which was unheard of for the first 18 years of my life. And I'm also developing a more adult relationship with my siblings and my parents, which feels really good.

That being said, I am quite obsessed with Vassar and I'm going to fully soak up the next 44 days. No worries there.

Also on the 28th, I went to the gym. Monumental enough to post here.

*Pending approval from the Dean of Studies. UGH.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is This English Class or a Drama Lesson?

Two blog posts in one day might be a bit excessive, but I have to get this down while all the details and excitement are so fresh.

This week, the Actors from the London Stage are on campus to do a 5 person production of The Tempest. I will be seeing that on Saturday since I am an usher, so there will be a review of it for sure. BUT today, one of the actors came to my English class. This makes sense because of the name of the class (Nineteenth Century British Novels) as well as the fact that this actor is from Manchester, and we're currently reading Mary Barton, which is set in that town.

Our professor told us he was going to talk about the dialect in Manchester and the history of the place. He did do that, for about 20 or 25 minutes, which was really interesting. He was very engaging, and of course his accent was simply charming.

But about halfway into the class, he had us read a passage of Mary Barton out loud, alternating readers. He stopped us in between paragraphs to ask us what we noticed, what we learn about the characters in any given sentence. This is when the actor in him really started coming out. He was talking about how, as an actor, you have to be a detective. You have to look for clues within the script, and then flesh out the story of this character to play him/her to the best of your ability. I was so into this.

He then asked for volunteers to read an exchange between two servant characters. I volunteered to be the housemaid, and another girl in my class volunteered to be the footman, Thomas. But the actor (I can't for the life of me remember his name) said he'd read Thomas first, just so we could get a sense of how the dialect sounded. So I got to read with him, which was wonderful. It just flowed for him. Then he had me do it with Carly, kind of creating a romance between these very small characters, to show they still had importance in the context of the play.

He said when he goes to see a show, if the main roles are 'alive' in their acting, but everyone else on stage is 'dead,' then the show is over for him. He stressed the importance of even the smallest characters. Their story is just as vital as the story of the main characters. It makes the show complete.

All of this really resonated with me, considering my role in Skin of Our Teeth is quite small, and I'm a bit unsure how far to take it. I think I'm going to work on creating a character so all of my actions make sense. Another interesting thing he said, though, was that he loves contradictions in characters. He said we're all human, we're not consistent, so why does the character have to be? I loved that.

Basically, our class turned into a mini acting lesson, and I was totally engaged. It was awesome. I feel so lucky to have so many opportunities just handed to me at Vassar, and I plan to take advantage of all the great, talented visitors that we have the opportunity to host.

Here's the poster that's all around school right now:

The guy that visited us is the one in the middle!

The Joys of October Break

We here at Vassar are an incredibly lucky bunch, if only for the fact that we get a week long break, right after midterms. Officially, this is called October Break, and boy, is it lovely.

The first weekend I spent in the city with Aubrey, getting back to Vassar on Sunday evening. I think Sunday night was my favorite night of break. Reeve, Isaac and I all went over to Angela's room to have a mini-party. We ate Oreos, watched Sister Act 2, played games, shared feelings, and talked late into the night. Angela's room used to be a double; it's huge. She even has a futon in there, so I ended up crashing in her room for the night since it was so late and I was so tired from doing the whole car-train-taxi thing all afternoon. I wish I took pictures of that night just because it was so nice, but it wasn't really a 'photo-op' kind of get-together.

Monday was spent relaxing in the AM, and then hitting the library in the afternoon with a few friends. The library was a great place during break because it was SO quiet... I didn't get much work done the first day but I loved that we were some of the only people in there.

Tuesday I signed up for 3 tour times, so I was in the Admissions Office intermittently. I might have done some more homework, but let's be honest... probably not. This might have been the night we went to Twisted Soul. YUM

Wednesday I only had one tour time. Afterwards, I went to the Crafted Kup with Reeve and Angela, and then we hit up the library again, and went to dinner at the stroke of 5. Hah, so much hunger that day!

Thursday I had two tours. Largely uneventful. Spent the evening (like all the evenings) with Reeve and Ang, watched Modern Family before I fell asleep.

Friday, the three of us went to the mall, which was really fun, albeit expensive ($6 each for the taxi each way) UPSIDE: The taxi there looked like this:

So we sat in it like this:
(Angela and Reeve)
Not knowing what to do. Except laugh. It was like a mini taxi limo.

We spent a good long time in the mall, combing through every rack. I was on a tight budget looking just for essentials, and I lucked out! Found a dressy-casual $7 shirt in H&M, a $12.50 mustard yellow dress from Forever 21 that will double as my halloween costume (lion), $10 fleece lined leggings, and $16 flats (I was in desperate need of flat shoes that weren't boots or sneakers). I also picked up a new nail top coat and 2 mascaras for $10 (they're usually $8 a piece)

Just for a chuckle, this is me in Reeve's $1 sunglasses, being just a tad creepy.

As most breaks do, this one passed far too quickly, but I loved every second of it. I spent part, most, or all of every day with Reeve and Angela, which was awesome because it gave us a chance to really become closer friends. I love bonding with wonderful people! We ate lots of Oreos, drank lots of tea, watched/listened to a LOT of Beyoncé, and even had a spa night complete with geisha face masks! 
I adore those moments where you just stop and think "This is exactly where I want to be." And I felt that so many times during this week. The campus was quiet and beautiful, I had great friends to keep me company and late walks in the night to quiet my mind and process my thoughts. It was a week I wouldn't mind putting on repeat for a while. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

On NYC, Restaurants, and the Fight Against Breast Cancer

It feels like I wrote a post just a few days ago. How has it almost been two weeks? I cannot keep up with time.

I am in the final days of October break. It has been a lovely—albeit MUCH too quick—week! 'Midterms' last week were largely uneventful for me; I don't really take classes with big tests, so I just had a little English project and a French paper. Of course my week still found multiple ways to be stressful...deep breaths were certainly in order.

On Friday I set off for the city to meet Aubrey and 8 of her lovely Manhattanville friends.

 It had been too long since I had been in New York, and it electrified and revitalized me as always. I cannot wait to live there. We all took the subway to Times Square, and then walked to John's Pizzeria, which apparently used to be a church and is now an absolutely delicious Italian restaurant. I had a chicken pesto panini that was such a delight to my taste buds. Our waiter asked us if we wanted to take a picture by the pizza oven. Special privileges!
Love the pizza guy's face here, and the one in the back left!

After dinner, we walked the one block to see MEMPHIS! 

Though I am always excited to see a Broadway show, I have to say that since I knew quite little about this show (besides it's Best Musical Tony win in 2010...which should have been plenty) I wasn't overly pumped to see it. I didn't know what I was expecting or not expecting, but it was incredible. Probably one of the best musicals I've ever seen. Just in sheer production value. And everything was so spot on, from the dancing to the singing to the acting. I left the theater in want of nothing, which is such a good feeling!
Stupid truck.

After the show, we walked back to Grand Central instead of taking the subway, which I absolutely loved. It was around 10:45pm, a little windy but not too cold, the lights of the city still bright. No part of me wanted to leave. I've never felt that connection with any other place I've been, and I just hope that I never lose the excitement of being there. 

Back at Manhattanville, we all hit the hay fairly quickly, Aubrey and I sharing the top bunk, with Aubrey's roommate Kate and her friend from home on the top bunk. And there I stayed...until 12:30 the next day. It was glorious. I hadn't slept in for many days. Once I finally woke up, we all got lunch, and then Aubrey and I watched Bridesmaids with commentary before heading out to White Plains! We walked around for a bit after getting off the bus, trying to find a place to eat but failing because it was Saturday night and the waits were literally over an hour. WHO would wait that long for food? Even if it's P.F. Chang's? I don't get it. We finally found ourselves at Outback Steakhouse, which was a 30 minute wait but we just didn't care anymore! And then we were rewarded. There was an employee coming around to everyone with samples of cheesy fries, then bloomin' onion, and then small sodas for everyone who was waiting! Talk about customer service. I had never experienced anything like that, and it honestly made my night. It's the little things. 

On Sunday I completed my first ever breast cancer walk. It was a HUGE event at Manhattanville; I'm talking hundreds of people. 

It was really great to see so many people come together for this cause, and I'm very glad I did it (4.4 miles, woo!), but it just got me thinking... SO many people will rally behind a cause to find a cure for something, to fight against a disease... but no one really thinks about preventing it. We need to be raising awareness about how to prevent breast cancer, and other diseases like it. So that we can live in a conscious, cancer-free world. We need to educate ourselves, to listen to those that have knowledge, and to take seriously the hazards that will affect us later down the line. Just because we don't see the effects of the chemicals we subject our body to NOW, doesn't mean we should keep shoveling them into ourselves like it doesn't matter. It does. 
And at the end of the day, prevention is the best cure.

 After a nap and some food, Kate and Aubrey drove me to the train station, where I boarded a train, waited anxiously for train #2 at Harlem-125th Street, and finally arrived back at Vassar around 5:30pm, my bank account weeping silently and my heart quite content.

October break recap to come but a marathon post is not necessary!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple Picking, Open House, Week in Pictures

We are in the midst of midterm week. Thankfully, I don't have any big tests, but I have plenty going on without that added stress! Just in the past 24 hours I've written a French paper and taken a French quiz, worked Open House, and read Jane Eyre. And I just now got back from rehearsal (11pm).

Open House was insanity. I woke up at 6:55 this morning, to get to the Aula at 8am to 'mingle' with the prospective students and their families. Serendipitously, I chose possible drama majors to chat with, so I had a lot to tell them! Tours were going out every 5 minutes, and they were substantially larger than our normal tours. Mine left at 8:45; we had to snake our way around multiple other tours throughout. I got asked many a question. The coed bathroom one came up, as well as a woman who wanted to answer the questions for me, as her "son is a junior here." Honestly, how can you not understand the disrespect in that? I am the tour guide, lady. If you know everything, why do you need to be on this tour? After the tour, I answered questions until 10:15, and by an act of wondrous fate, my 10:30 class was cancelled, giving me a chance to eat an actual meal and study for my French quiz. At noon, I reported back to the Aula and took out another tour. This one was even larger, and it was my first backwards tour. Answered more questions upon my return, and then jetted off to French class with Spencer. Afterwards, it was off to the chapel to start the Arts tour! That lasted a little over an hour, and then I was finally done. I thought giving one tour was tiring; giving three in a span of 7 hours...rough. But still, I enjoyed it. Talking to people and answering questions really makes me feel energized and excited. (I realize the irony there)

Yesterday I went apple picking with Main! There were about twenty of us, and we all drove up to Weeds Farm, about 15 minutes away. We spent a couple hours there, filling our red bags with apples of all different varieties, checking out the pumpkin patch, sampling the jams, butters and salsas, ogling at the pies... it was blissful. The House Fellows paid for all of our apples, which was so sweet! I also bought some Apple Butter and some Black Raspberry Jam. Here's a bit of what the day looked like:

Rehearsals have started for The Skin of Our Teeth, and I am loving it so far. All we have done is one read-through and then some table work, but the energy and thrill of being back in the theater is brilliant and priceless. Every single time a show starts up, my passion for this art is reaffirmed. And everyone has been so nice thus far, which is lovely and honestly fairly rare in theater. Our rehearsal schedule is a little brutal—7-11pm every night—but at least we have break coming up for us to get caught up and ready for things to get busy! I'm realizing that I love how Vassar does a lot of shows that many people haven't heard of. The unconventional is not something I'm well-versed in as far as theater is concerned, so this is a great way to strengthen my foundation and increase my knowledge.

I see all the stress of the last couple of weeks in my skin...blech! But if I can just get through this week, I will have a week to recharge. And also get my voice back... I guess those three tours really did get to me! I sound like quite a dapper man at the moment.

So much text. A few other things that happened this past week: DayGlo Toga, Live Jazz at the Mug, my first group tour, VrDT First Showings, and FWA's first cabaret of the year! (fwawkward).

And finally, some photographic evidence of my life for the past 7 days:

Charmaine being fierce on the poster!!

Any given day.

Love Revlon's Vixen on my nails... Probably my new go-to polish.

Loving my glass water bottle... once was an iced tea bottle, now it's helping me be environmentally conscious; and healthy, too!

When a meager breakfast and lack of sleep combine with your 10:30 class. I don't even know what that face is. 

Waiting for the world premiere of "Countdown" with Reeve, Miranda and Sarah at the cab. Reeve actually brought his laptop to the cabaret because he couldn't miss it!

Jordan and Patrick (an amazing freshman) at the cabaret previewing She Loves Me!

Phew, I think that's it! It's a busy busy year already!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Am So In Love

And with the best person, too.

I know love. I've felt it. I've hated it. I've cried over it. I've been stupid about it.

This is real, true, healthy, honest, perfect love. The healing kind of love. The best friend kind of love. The lasting kind of love.

One of Those Days: Perception

There are some days where I feel like everyone I pass is thinking the same thing about me. Positive or negative, everyone is giving off the same energy.

I'm in the habit of smiling at people. No matter if I have a relationship with them or not, I'll smile. I try to give off the same happy vibe every day. I just think it's the right thing to do. And I learned in high school that some people had a negative impression of me because I was quiet before you got to know me. So I smile. It makes me feel good, and hopefully it makes someone else feel good, too.

The other day, I was doing my usual smiling routine, but I felt like no one was smiling back. No one cared, no one was happy to see me, it was like I didn't belong. It was kind of disheartening, and I felt a little out of place in what I consider my second home. I took refuge in my room, knowing it would probably change tomorrow.

The very next day, everyone was smiling at me. Even people that haven't in the past. I was feeling great, they were clearly feeling great. A complete 180 from the day before. And in just 24 hours, I went from feeling out of place to asking myself "Sarah, what were you thinking! Everyone loves you here; how could you not belong?" I ended the day in the best mood I'd been in all week, feeling nothing but love towards all of my peers.

I don't know if these days are all about me: what I'm thinking, how I feel, if I'm imagining things. I do think that, to an extent, we create our own reality. Or maybe a lot of people were just having an off day?
But I find it fascinating that our perception can change so quickly. I keep finding evidence that not much is as it seems. What you see is not always what you should be getting.

And I have one piece of advice: Smile! It won't kill you, and you just could be making someone's day. If it's that simple, why wouldn't you?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Email From My English Professor

Dear English 255, 

It's a good day for tea. I'll bring the kettle. 


I love her. And we have the same initials, which trips me out when I receive her emails.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vassar Living

It's been over two weeks since I've posted a mundane life update. So that's what this will be! Nothing of particular note has happened, but I have snapped quite a few pictures over the past few weeks. My phone [HTC Evo] is seriously a godsend... the pictures it takes are overall better quality than my camera. Plus, I always have my phone, and rarely carry around my camera. Actually, I'm not entirely sure where it is at the moment. It's 5 years old, and technology has progressed so much that it's almost pointless to have. Served me well, though. So anyways. My past two weeks in pictures (since I don't want to use the brainpower to  can't recall every minute detail).

 Fireworks the night of Serenading.  Didn't participate in actual serenading, but I did spend time with my lovely friends and caught the fireworks show over Main building. Such a spectacular sight, but non-fancy cameras aren't so awesome at capturing dimly lit scenes. Got these, though!

Enjoyed some sweet Strawberry Blossom tea that Dan sent me because he didn't like it. Ha. But I did! It's too sweet to be an every day thing, but it has a nice flavor (and it's pink!)
Tea a couple of days later. A lovely, relaxing Sunday morning. Clearly, I like my tea.
Saw a deer on the way to the dc. He turned away before I could snap this photo, but he was cute! And I haven't seen a deer in the fall here. Only in the dead of winter at 2am last year....which is strange, too, I guess. I might have some pictures of that!

The leaves are starting to turn!! I am taking pictures of this whenever I see it, because I find the transition SO beautiful and fascinating. YAY, favorite Vassar season. More pictures to come. That cluster of trees will be emblazoned perfection in a few weeks.
Shanna sent me a card! She is so fancy, and she made my week. 
(Also, hi Shann! Loooove you)

Char and I hit up the Arlington Street Fair this past Saturday afternoon. We went to see FlyPeople perform, but I totally missed this last year and I wanted to see it. Totally reminded me of the Gymkhana in Jamul. A little kitschy, some interesting people, but also a lot of adorable families. There were so many gnats flying around on the walk there, though. Absolutely horrendous.

The sunset Saturday night was pink and glorious. My phone decided to restart when I was trying to take a good picture (it really picks the greatest times), so these aren't really representative... but still have a pink hue!

Vanity Fair is too long. Listen, William Makepeace Thackeray. 900 pages is just not necessary. It's just not. However, it is still a lovely novel, even if I am 100 pages behind. 

That is not 02 points. That is one hundred and two points. On the simplest word ever. Triple Letter for the J and also a Triple Word. I was the most proud.

Reading the aforementioned novel in the library this afternoon. Quite a lovely view.

...More leaves. I told you, every chance I get.

I went to the Farmer's Market today and picked up some apples and almonds. I never really use this gate and don't notice it when I do. Isn't it beautiful? And also so 19th century and fancy and Vassar. I love this school, I do.

Saturday night I hung out with Char and Niya in Joss. We had a pizza/study/dance/movie party. I have so much fun with those girls... most of the time, I like those nights SO much more than going out. Though we did go to  jazz night at Ferry and BSU Mug Night on Friday, which wasn't a bad time either ;)

Tour Guide update! I'm still loving it, but not giving enough tours! If too much time elapses, I get super nervous again. I did get a lovely comment card from a student on my tour last week. Positive reinforcement! 

I went to a Study Abroad meeting last week too... Meh. So complicated. I have to declare my major and decide where I'm going and it's all due by December 5th... It got me really excited but I have a lot  of decisions to make. 

Recent obsession: Pinterest. For the love. I hope it's up for the next decade at least because I have a ton of wedding/home/kid ideas on my boards... Hey, at least it promotes planning! Whoever invented that is a genius. It's like, a streamlined Tumblr. 

I also caved to desire and ordered two China Glaze nail polishes for half off their retail price. Emerald Sparkle and 24 K. Beyond excited for those! It's nice that I've been able to relax about spending money, but I don't want to relax too much.

I don't think I ever talked about the care package Dan sent me about two weeks ago. It had seven different loose teas, candy, a mix CD, 5 movies and a pack of cards (for whatever reason). He also sent me a sweet, funny letter. Of course, that's him in two words. Thankful for that boy.

So a busy couple of weeks I've had... Feels like I never left though. Hard to believe it hasn't even been a month that I've been back. But yay! Because time passing quickly makes me very upset. And I love this place and this time and this life.