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Winter break plans – dating edition

December 20, 2010

I’m not sure if it’s my own increase in energy surrounding my upcoming free time (i.e. winter break!), or all the crazy snowstorms that have been keeping everyone stuck inside, but my okcupid profile is finally getting some traffic and I’ve been getting promising messages from some potential cuties. In fact, I may have 3 dates lined up for this week – 3 nights in a row, no less!

One huge help is that my last final is tomorrow morning (hence the motivation to post here – read: procrastination).  So I’ve been scouring the blogs and weeklies I read, as well as checking my facebook events, for some happening events to make up for lost free time from the last 4 months of school.  And it just so happens that several old friends have shows this week.  When it rains it pours, and it makes for good entertainment to roll with musicians.  A few of these events are perfect things to invite new prospects to, so we’ll see if all goes as planned.

I’m really optimistic about 3 dates 3 nights in a row.  I think it’ll help me compare and contrast, if you will (not to sound crass).  It’s just that it can be difficult to assess chemistry with a total stranger.  Maybe this way I can just decide that I click more with some than others, or even that it’s just nice to have some decent and interesting guys to go to things with who may or may not turn into romantic partners.  I make this slow pace of romance very clear on the first date, which I’m sure makes me oh-so-attractive to them.  It goes something like this:

me: I find internet dating so interesting – meeting up with a total stranger with whom you have no context (like a mutual friend or common experience)

him: Yeah, it is pretty odd

me: Totally, and it’s just so difficult to know how you feel about someone from the first meeting.

him: sure, I suppose that’s true

me: That’s why I like to take it slow and just get to know the person for awhile, kinda like making a new friend

him: oh.  sure, I guess that makes sense.  Good to know.

I figure if he’s really interested, he’ll go along for the ride for a bit at least.  Seeing as I only went on more than one date with exactly one guy in NYC, I don’t think this strategy worked well there.  But in MN, guys are gentlemen (for the most part), and so I think I’ll give it a shot.  It can’t hurt to be honest, right?

So we’ll see how these dates go.  One is a second date, and the other two are firsts.  Wish me luck!

A week in, and gearing up for school

September 2, 2010

I’m sort of kind of starting to get settled in.  I have 1 and a half boxes left to unpack, and my list of things to get done before school starts is shrinking.  I’m getting less out-of-sorts by the day, as things become more settled.  There’s no routine yet by any means, since school starts next Tuesday, but at least I’m feeling prepared.  Books bought, car in the works (fingers crossed), faculty advisor and RA faculty member met, some networking done, many classmates introduced.  I feel like it’s the right place for me, most definitely.  We’ll see if I still think that when I have 4 papers due and 200 pages of reading every night.

I have been very low-key lately, just attending to school meetings and prep.  It’ll be fun to start getting social.  There’s plenty going on, as the local social media gossip blog, LOL/OMG, tells me.  Plus, Lady Gaga apparently likes the same places as me, as she showed up at my favorite bar last night after her show.  Wow!

As far as observations go, here are a few:

– I have not been walking AT ALL!  This is not good.  Today, I ditched the offer of free rides from my mom and got myself to campus, and it involved quite a bit of walking.  Yay for walking!

– Being on campus mostly feels like a new experience, compared to my undergrad years, because I’m in a building I didn’t spend much time in, and they’ve built and renovated quite a few buildings since I was there.  However, upon seeing an unchanged stairway that I used to take regularly, I almost broke out into a panic as if I was reliving my past.

– My student ID and email address is exactly the same as it was 15 years ago.  Yes, I started college in 1995.  If I still had my student ID card, they would let me use it.  Thankfully, they let me get a new one for free since it’s more than 5 years old.  I fear what the photo looked like on that one, taken when I was a wee pup of 18 years old.

– Everything takes less time here than in NYC.  Today, I accomplished a ridiculous amount of tasks on campus in about 3 hours, and that included all 3 areas of campus – the St. Paul campus, the East Bank, and the West Bank (that’s it’s real name).  The time spent waiting in lines alone is a drastic change.

– I am a TV addict when it is readily available.  This will have to change once school starts.

– I’m going to see a 1400 lb pig on Friday at the MN State Fair.

More later.  I need to resume my “Not miss vs. Miss” theme regarding NYC soon.

Musings on first days back in MN

August 27, 2010

Well, it’s been 3 days here in MN and so far I just feel like I’m on a regular trip to visit the fam. This will be an interesting transition…

Here are some first impressions:

– every time I check in on foursquare, the place I am is the first place listed
– there are no calorie counts at Starbucks or other chains
– people are tall here
– it’s not possible to go to Target without running into someone you know
– everywhere in the Twin Cities takes 20 minutes (Clueless reference anyone?)
– reverse sticker shock is great, but hipster bars have Brooklyn prices here too ($5 beers)

More observations to come…

New York City Bucket List

August 12, 2010

Well, I’ve been crossing things off my NYC bucket list left and right, as can be seen on my various photo diaries (“My last month in NYC” and “8:36pm“).  The bucket list, formerly known as “To do before leaving,” is a list of ideas, places, events, etc, that I’ve been keeping on my iPhone, things I must check out before I move away.

I have been stupidly deleting items from the list as I do them.  I track them indirectly on the photo diaries and in my calendar, but I feel silly for not keeping a comprehensive list.  And so now I will attempt to recreate the list, and cross things off that I have done.  Check back to this post for edits of items completed.  Here goes:

Bronx Zoo
Queens Thai restaurant (SriPraPhai w/ Bryan & Chris on 8/10)
Queens Museum of Art (BeNoraMa w/ Ben & Marci on 7/31)
Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (w/ Vicky on 8/1)
Arthur Ave/Grand Concourse
Difara Pizza (w/ Ezra on 8/5)
Lots of bike rides (this will never be complete, but I have had some good rides lately)
Jamaica Nature Reserve
Carnegie Hall
Museum of the City of NY
ICP (Int’l Ctr of Photography)
Steinway Hall on West 57th St
Moto (w/ Ezra on 8/6)
The Moth
Liberty Island/Ellis Island
BK Historical Society
Dia Beacon
City Island
Night out in Greenpoint for old time’s sake (w/ Julie, Corin and Dave on 7/30)
Governor’s Island (w/ Andrea and Eric on 8/7)
Roberta’s (w/ Sarah on 6/24)
Roberta’s with Julie
SI Yankees vs. BK Cyclones at SI (w/ Marci, Ben, Corin, Dave, Julie, Alice, Vivi & friend, Cari & friend on 7/2)
Brighton Beach and Russian Food (w/ Marci, Ben, Alice & Grace on 7/5)

Most of the things I haven’t done yet are either far away or are museums, which are all basically relegated to weekend days, which have already been pretty jam-packed, often with museum trips.  Maybe I can squeeze a few more exciting adventures out of the next few weekends. I’ll be keeping you posted…

8:36pm

June 17, 2010

Due to cajoling by Corin, I decided to join the masses who are photo-blogging about their lives with the project called 8:36pm.  The mission of the project is to take a photo at 8:36pm every day in order to document your life, and to challenge yourself to take what could be mundane photos in a creative way (at least I think that’s the point).  It’s another one of Buster Benson’s creations, who also started 750words.com (which lasted for about 4 days for me – whoops!).

I’ve managed to post 6 days in a row, and I’m keeping the photos in a set on my flickr account here.   So far, I’m really enjoying it, as I love to keep a record of what I do every day anyway, and the photo idea is a good way to think creatively on the spot at least once a day.  Fun!  Here’s my photo from tonight, which was taken right after I heard the alarm I have set on my phone (only problem is, I didn’t hear the alarm until 9:38 when I was leaving work… still counts, right?).

View of 6th Ave, Bryant Park, the summer stage/movie screen, and the library

Old Me, Now Me

May 30, 2010

I came across an amazing website, via the l’etoile magazine blog, my favorite blog to keep up with MN news for my Minneapple project.  The site is called “Old Me / Now Me” by Zefrank.com.  Many contributors have rifled through their old family photos, then recreated them as they are today.  It is hilarious, heart-warming, touching, nostalgic and frightening all at once.  I wasted at least 15 minutes of precious work time with colleagues maniacally scrolling through the photos.  Some recreate their photos incredibly well, down to clothing choices and facial expressions.  Be prepared for some sadness, too, when some members of the original photo are not present in today’s version.  I love seeing how much people change and stay the same, equally, over the years.  Hope you like it as much as I do!

Click HERE to check it out.  And here’s a fave of mine:

Pandora radio gone wrong

May 2, 2010

I’m fighting the urge to start a new blog entirely devoted to Pandora Radio and it’s weird song selections.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of typing in an artist I’m in the mood to hear and getting a great playlist, all for free.  But sometimes the songs make no sense.

Today, I’m in the mood to hear romantic Frenchy music, so I typed in Edith Piaf.  And all I get are Edith Piaf songs interspersed with songs from cheesy 80’s rom-coms, like overplayed Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday songs.  I want French songs please!

I need a new source…

My guess is that a lot of people have this issue with Pandora.  That they expect one thing, and get something else entirely.  Or maybe not something drastically different but just not what they had in mind.  Or just the idiosyncrasies of the site in general. For instance, the fact that just about every modern music station I’ve created (Beirut, MGMT, etc) always bring up Radiohead, Spoon and Modest Mouse regularly.  Or that when I put in a female singer, I get a bunch more female singers, whether or not they are in the same style (i.e. Ingrid Michaelson every time I listen to She & Him or Bjork).

So much dissecting could be done!

It’s Friday night!

May 1, 2010

I decided just now that my life has had far too much structure lately.  Sure, a structured schedule helps me write a blog, keep up in my online Econ class, plan monthly happy hours, work a ton, and prevent NYC overwhelm.  But lately, it’s gotten ridiculous.

Managing NYC overwhelm is like a pendulum.  I used to be bored because I found NYC overwhelming.  I was practically paralyzed by the city, especially when I didn’t have specific plans.  Then, I founded a blog and a group (Minneapple in the Big Apple, for those of you not keeping up) in order to find myself again and stop the boredom.  And that has become the opposite.  Every night is planned to the tee – write this blog post, send these emails, read this chapter, call this friend for up to 15 minutes.

STOP THE MADNESS!

I miss spontaneity!  I miss novelty!  I miss happening upon things!  And I’m saying this from an extremely stimulating and exciting city!

This realization struck while I was sitting at my computer tonight on a Friday night with no plans and no strong urge to find any plans, feeling an old familiar feeling – boredom.  I pulled up my iTunes and created a new version of “shuffle” – type in 2 letters in the search field and hit play.  I did “ko” and was surprised to get Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance,” among other random old favorites.  No “ko” in that Lady Gaga title there, but was glad to hear it nonetheless.

Anyway, I loaded up my most recent photos onto flickr, heard some old favorite songs that reminded me of how I want to learn the accordion, checked out some real estate blogs from Mpls, then searched on craigslist for some things.  And suddenly I recalled a fateful craigslist message from about 3 years ago in the “musician” section where the poster was seeking a cute keyboardist to write adorable pop songs with.  So began my first crush in NYC.

And that brought me down memory lane with some old photos and reading my old livejournal, reflecting particularly on that spring/summer of 2007, which held promise, excitement, romances, crushes, disappointments (always follow crushes, don’t they?), discoveries, budding friendships.  Ah, it was like being 24 again.  But with a better job and in the most exciting city in the world.  And by that I mean Brooklyn.  Williamsburg to be precise (how I miss those pool parties!!!).

Central Park Cherry Blossom Tree - May 5, 2007

All this to say that I miss my free-wheelin’ self.  I’ve gotten too much direction, perhaps.  I mean, I like accomplishing what I set out to do, and setting out to do some big things (at least bigger than I had set out for before this point in my life).  But it’s time for balance.

Can I be both structured and spontaneous?  Can I be a little less focused?  Can I leave a little free-time in my life to just be and create and write and play and read and explore?  I’m going to try.  Try to not try so hard, actually.

Somehow, this photo says it all…

Union Pool after the first pool party (Superchunk) - June 24, 2007

My new favorite thing

March 22, 2010

Alice told me about a website called 750 words today, and it could be the death of this blog.

Basically, 750words.com is a place to free write.  The website offers a private journal where the user is to write at least 750 words, every day.  That’s the goal at least.  It’s based on a book and process called “The Artist’s Way” which helps people tap into their creativity.  A major part of The Artist’s Way is “morning pages” where you write 3 pages every morning.  The creator of 750words.com (Buster Benson, a friend of many of my friends) has equated this to about 750 words. The idea is that free writing helps get out the crap and distractions that are blocking your creativity

The website gives statistics about each entry – such as how many words per minute, how many words typed each minute to track distractions, and even mood and topic area based on your word choices.  Very impressive!  I think this could be my favorite feature of it.

I tried it tonight (I know it’s not morning, but I was curious), and so far, I think I could get addicted.  This blog was supposed to fulfill that “get out my other ideas” purpose, but I’ve been so bad about it.  Maybe 750words.com is truly what I need more than this blog, or maybe it’ll free up mind space to devote to this.   Or maybe I’ll write on 750words a few times and never do it again.  Anything is possible.

p.s. I think my 3 cups of coffee, the last of which I drank around 3pm, could be contributing to my late-night writing.  Or maybe it’s my anxiety…

Signature Song

February 22, 2010

I was asked on Friday night, by a regular Minneapple happy hour attendee at the LookBook show, what my “signature karaoke song” is.  This after telling her I used to host a karaoke night back in Seattle.  Well, I’m not sure I have one anymore.  Have I gotten too broad in my song selections?  Have I lost my style and niche?  Let’s see…

My signature songs lately
“I Was Made to Love Her” Stevie Wonder
“When You Were Young” The Killers
“Mad About You” Belinda Carlisle
“Always Be My Baby” Mariah Carey
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” Whitney Houston

Past Signature Songs
“Fox on the Run” The Sweet
“Cold As Ice” Foreigner
“Anything, Anything” Dramarama
“Head Over Heels” The Go Gos
“Heartbreaker” Pat Benatar
“Life on Mars” David Bowie
“Hanging on the Telephone” Blondie

Good Duet Songs
“Always” Atlantic Starr
“Young Folks” Peter Bjorn & John
“All My Life” K-Ci & JoJo (preferably a duet with Jun, my work-wife)

Songs Soon To Be Debuted
“Just Dance” Lady Gaga (as a duet – probably with Alice)
“Rock’n’Roll Suicide” David Bowie
“Weak” SWV

There are a few others to be debuted soon, but I can’t remember at the moment.  I’ll have to write them down when they come to me because that list of new songs is WAY too short!  Most of them come to me while shopping at drugstores – they always have the best music playing!  That’s where I was inspired to do the Mariah and Whitney songs.

As far as the current and past songs, I do think my list is pretty diverse, but I’m not willing to narrow it down at the moment.  Ha!

My 3-year NYC anniversary party is just around the corner, and it’s going to be a karaoke party at Hope & Anchor in my neighborhood, so I need to get my debut list ready!  Good times!