Monday, February 27, 2012

T-21 Days

On March 19, Eric and I are leaving for Southeast Asia.  We're flying from New York to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and plan to travel around the area for the rest of the year.  (If you read Eric's blog, The Wandering Lawyer, this may be old news.)  We'll be back in December — I don't want to miss Christmas at home — but so far the itinerary is intentionally vague.  Depending on employment opportunities, we may stay in one city for a longer period of time, but so far nothing is decided.  There are a lot of places to see.  I'm ridiculously excited.

A photo of Eric's from the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Heart NY

Last weekend I fell in love with New York City.  I'd been to the city a few times before and had always had a great time.  My previous trips had been brief with specific events planned: Broadway shows, a tour of Ellis Island, a visit to the New York Historical Society.  This weekend was for a wedding, but on Sunday I found myself with a few hours with nothing planned.  After dropping off my duffel bag at the hotel and praying I could check in with enough time to primp before the wedding started I began carefully finding my way around the neighborhood.  

Our hotel was in Chinatown near Little Italy (on Broome Street and Bowery).  I set out in search of breakfast and coffee, hoping I could find somewhere to sit and read for the three hours I had before I could actually check into my room.  At first I was disoriented, seeming to find only small markets and stores that sold lighting equipment.  I was tempted to sit down and eat cannoli at the first Italian café I found.  I kept going, reached Lafayette Street and saw this:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First in Line

I'm always shocked by how quickly I can feel like I'm five years old again. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's a rapid transformation that leaves me frustrated and slouching. On the bright side, it usually doesn't last long enough for me to start wearing my hair in a whale spout.

On Saturday morning, I arrived extremely early to catch my 11:30 Megabus to New York. For the first time I can remember, I was the first person in line. I plopped my bag next to the "New York" sign and pulled out a book to read while I waited. Other people came to check if I was in line for the 11:30 bus and stood to my left. It seemed my travel day was off to a good start. The line grew, buses arrived to let off people from Harrisburg and Baltimore, and the area became more crowded.

At about 11:10, a girl with perfectly styled hair, full makeup and expensive boots walked up next to me and dropped her bag. My initial assumption was that she had just gotten off a bus and was waiting for her ride... right next to me, at the front of the line for the bus to New York. It seemed ridiculous that she had intentionally cut me in line. Who is that blatant about stepping in front of fifty people? No one is that obviously impolite, right? 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

No Really, It's a Vacation

I spent yesterday reading an entire book and it felt wonderful.  It wasn't War and Peace or any other six hundred page novel; I'm not trying to sound impressive.  The act of sitting with a book all day instead of working or being otherwise productive felt great.  Weekends often end up being times when I do the things that I couldn't do during the week — buying groceries, doing laundry, cleaning the apartment, writing blog posts, etc.  By the time it's Sunday night, I'm wishing for an extra day not just because I don't like waking up early on Mondays, but because I need some more down time.  

In this way, weekends are not that different from vacations.  When you travel, you go somewhere in order to see or do specific things.  What's the point of going to France if you sit in your hotel room all day reading a book in English?  If you're in Paris, you should be seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe and walking along the Seine and eating crepes.  If you're in Montana, you should be hiking up a mountain at Glacier National Park (location of my 2003 family reunion) and trying to look at a deer without spooking it and drinking huckleberry lemonade.  It's what you're there to do.

Olympic National Park in Washington
Beautiful location of our 2008 Family Reunion

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Songs of Love

"Beckett, how do you know you're in love?"
"All the songs make sense." - Castle

Many current pop songs revolve around going to the club, dancing at the club and imbibing great quantities of liquor (looking at you Ke$sha) while at said club. However, love seems to remain the most popular theme. I listen to music at work all day and with Valentine's Day approaching I've been paying more attention to the kind of love songs that I'm hearing. Here are a few of my favorite love songs, categorized by what type of love you might be in the mood for this Valentine's Day. I may have gotten a little carried away. Please add your own favorites in the comments!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Apartment Tour

I love apartment hunting. I get to imagine how I'd arrange my things in a new place. In my head, it's always much more organized than my current apartment. Additionally, if I'm viewing apartments that still have occupants, I get to see how other people organize their stuff! I get to look at their books and wall art and try to figure out what they're like. I can scan their DVD collections and guess whether or not we'd be good friends.
Yes, that chair is really comfy when it doesn't have coats on it.
Eric and I are moving in March, so our landlord has started showing our apartment. Suddenly I'm considering what magazines I've left lying around or if the sink is full of dirty dishes. Does the Iron Man poster make us seem fun or nerdy? What do they think if they look in our kitchen cabinets to see the jars of curry paste, the leftover Halloween candy, and the surprising number of coffee mugs? It's been an odd feeling to wonder who is walking through my apartment trying to figure me out.

I've only been on this side of things once before when the lease was up at my house in Ann Arbor. The people who toured it learned several key pieces of information about my roommates and me within the first few minutes of walking into our house: