From under eight blankets…

Ohhh hi. Nice to see you all after an unexpected little three week hiatus. I’d apologize, but I think anyone who knows me at all is quite familiar with my annual “it’s January and I feel like being a recluse” gig. If you don’t know me, hey, fun fact! I like hibernating in the winter.

Me, when I have to get up in the morning.

Me, when I have to get up in the morning.

Well if I haven’t been blogging during this period of hibernation, what have I been doing? Oh I’m so glad you asked.

  1. Having double-header indie movie nights. FrankSleepwalk With Me, and Your Sister’s Sister – all on Netflix, you are welcome.
  2. Eating shortbread cookies.
  3. Wearing this amazing denim jacket I bought secondhand practically every day and hoping no one notices…
  4. Reading about 1960’s Cuba and feeling more invested in a class than I have in quite some time (all the while adoring my professor, who is nothing short of spectacular).
  5. Shopping at Trader Joe’s and liking it 😦
  6. Attempting to marathon Jane the Virgin, even if it means I have to buy episodes on Amazon. In addition to faaar exceeding any expectations I have for a show on the CW, Jane the Virgin has Justin Baldoni’s face, which makes me want to cry. CRY, YOU GUYS.
  7. Listening to “Heirloom” by Sufjan Stevens and old Rattle and Hum-era U2 b-sides. I say this in the least pretentious/annoying way possible.
  8. Catching stunning sunrises on southbound buses. (this only happened once, but is worth mentioning)
  9. Actually cooking myself breakfast pretty much every morning.
  10. Thinking. Underthinking. Overthinking. Overbudgeting time. Underbudgeting iced mocha expenditures.

And that, my friends, is just about the extent of it. Perhaps I’ll keep up blog appearances from here on out. Perhaps I will continue to be a hermit. “That’s why people love me: I’m unpredictable,” she said sarcastically.

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Story, Goal, Song: part II

It is time for the second installment of this enthralling series (if you missed the first part, you can find it here). Ready? Okay.


A story: Sometime in October, I sent this shame selfie to my good friend and coworker:

photo (31)

At least my hair looks shiny.

Aside from being unquestionably one of my favorite people to text, she is also a music student who could both understand and laugh at a mistake I made as the only non-music major working in the music library. While trying to help a patron with looking up a piece in our catalogue, I made a “W.C.” out of what was really a quickly uttered “Debussy.” So I searched for this W.C., silently chastising the guy for arrogantly assuming I would understand his slangy nicknames for composers… until I realized he was actually asking for a very well-known piece by a very well-known composer. Oops.

Well, the aforementioned friend and coworker decided to give me a crash course in the pronunciation of composers’ names, much to her own amusement. I will say, I think I did an exceptional job considering I have little to no knowledge of classical music, and I do have witnesses – an elementary understanding of French, German, and Russian pronunciation certainly came to my aid. There were a few that tripped me up, I admit, and these were a source of raucous laughter for my teachers (WHATEVER PROKOFIEV). But I was given a passing grade, and as a reward I got to smile a smug little smile with the composer-laden sticky notes on my fingers. Good memories, good memories.

(yes, same sweatshirt as before)

(yes, same sweatshirt as before)

A goal: I like to think I’m a kind person, but I am also an intense critic. Like, needlessly. See, I have always fancied myself a pretty intuitive young lady – for a long time, this meant first impressions were sufficient to understand another person. I met them, I got them. And although thankfully I’ve moved on from this naive notion, I still find myself, from time to time, flattening people for my own convenience. In some cases this means I imagine a person as divine perfection (laughable), in others it means I caricaturize someone for a private laugh with my friends (can range from questionable to reprehensible). Nixing this practice is going to be a challenge, partly because I am so reliant on my so-called “keen social observations” for my day-to-day comedic bits, but I really want to be, first and foremost, a truly kind person, and I believe that starts with imagining people complexly. It’s a lot harder to sneer or scoff or criticize when everyone is perceived as fully human, singular, with experiences that are unique and unknown to any passing stranger. To put it concisely: I want to get better at recognizing the multi-facetedness of every person and, in so doing, lessen the unnecessary criticism and up the kindness (even if it’s just in me talking to myself).

A song: This song I have definitely mentioned before, and I mention it again because, seriously, I have listened to it at least three times a week for the past seven months (no wonder spotify recognizes it as my top-played song of 2014). Melancholy but powerful, “Byegone” by Volcano Choir stuck with me through spring, summer, fall, and winter, and I still have not grown tired of it. Atta boys.

Also, this video is literally just fluorescent lights strapped to a tree, but it might be one of my favorite music videos of all time…?


Catch you on the flipside.

Dear Santa Clause

I just had a moment. One where I picked up on something I should have gotten a very long time ago.

My sister and I, growing up, were firm believers in Santa – not abnormal for the culture in which I have been brought up. We made him cookies, we looked for reindeer tracks in the driveway on Christmas morning, and, naturally, wrote him the occasional letter/demanding wishlist. The only problem in all of this was that I was perpetually unclear on the spelling of Santa’s name.

I had seen “Santa Claus” in a lot of places, so it was always a strong contender. “Santa Klaus” had popped up as well, although somewhat less frequently. But what really messed me up was a slight variant of the first option – “Santa Clause.” I figured this was just a fancier way of addressing the jolly old man, maybe something invented by the posh people in England. So for the vast majority of my life, even after the figurative death of Mr. Kringle, I regarded “Santa Clause” as a perfectly valid spelling that everyone used. Tim Allen… you bastard.

Just thirty minutes ago, I was scrolling through Buzzfeed (as I do) and happened upon the poster for the 90’s Christmas classic. Let’s just revisit this for a second:

santa

Huh… how odd that they would make the “e” crooked and a different color than the rest of the text. That is no way to treat such a lovely and versatile letter of the alphabet. Oh wait.

It is understandable that this cruel play on words eluded me for the first 10 or 11 years of my life – that’s fine. But I am 20, guys. Two decades. Please tell me I’m not the only one who is just now realizing that this is actually a very cleverly named movie.

Everything makes sense now, but this sudden burst of clarity is somewhat dampened by my well-earned embarrassment. Happy holidays, everyone.

PS: “Santa Clause” still looks right to me. I NEED HELP

PPS: I didn’t figure out why toothpicks are called toothpicks until I was 16 years old

Find your fleece lining

fleece

I am welcoming the month of December in high style, and by that I mean I am wearing fleece-lined leggings under my jeans.

I’ve never really been much of a fleece person – by way of blankets, I generally prefer a down comforter or microplush Spider-Man throw – but I have recently come around. I got fleece-lined mittens a couple weeks ago ($3, I love H&M) and around that same time my mom sent me these leggings, which have actually changed my life. Winter is full of crisp, chilly mornings, especially when you refuse to turn your heater on, and these angel pants (did I just coin a new term of endearment?) are the perfect solution to the “freezing bare legs for five seconds while changing from pajamas to real person clothes” problem: wear them under your pajama pants, keep wearing them under your actual pants. And, of course, throw them in the wash every once in awhile. We are adults here.

Perhaps every cloud has a silver lining (I never remember to check), but not every pair of leggings has a fleece lining – find yours.

Other things I’ve been enjoying lately: sleep, the song “On Ice” by Chris Thile, family time, burning candles even though I’m not supposed to, Sufjan Stevens’ rendition of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” and, as usual, Zayn Malik’s face.

Happy last month of 2014!