Five Things Friday: July 19, 2013

Last Friday, there was still plenty of time left in July. Now, there is barely any (and also barely any money).

It’s been really hot, in the 90s every single day, and, as it’s New England, very humid. Like today. “Feels like 104.” I think the heat this week has really been getting to me. Here is why:

 

1. I have been near unable to get up in the morning. I just feel so sleepy and so unwilling to be awake and step out my door. Not for the reasons Bilbo Baggins cites, but more for the fact that it’s almost impossible to choose clothes when it’s so hot that I really don’t want to wear anything. Why can’t I be one of those girls who doesn’t need a bra?

2. I had such a bad, stupid dream last night. It was basically a terrible soap opera, but it also drew on some aspects of my personal life that make me especially frustrated or worried. Why am I blaming the heat for that? I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s involved somehow. See #1.

3. The second I step outside, it isn’t really so bad, but I’ve barely been outside a minute before my skin is all clammy and I’m sweating from several different places. I don’t like getting sweaty unless I’m working out (and therefore it’s justified) and/or I will be able to change into other clothes very soon. Working up a sweat just from walking and then having to sit in it all day is just not something I want to do.

4. As per #3, walking is not enjoyable. Therefore, what is usually the best part of my workday (yes, I know that’s sad) is made into yet another chore. As a result, this important part of improving my mood does the opposite.

5. Many cold beverages are purchased, and as a result my bank account dwindles. Thus, every time I look at the balance I feel a little more like crying.

 

Is it fall yet?

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Nostalgia*: Little Italian Towns

For no reason at all, I started thinking about my 2008 trip to Italy the other day. It happened during my semester abroad, which I spend at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland. My mom and I headed off to one of the lands of our ancestors (we’re both mutts) during the long study period between the end of classes and the start of exams. We were there for nine days, eight nights, I believe.

What came to mind? What was the aspect of that long-desired journey that popped up unbidden by any conscious process?

Part of our trip was spent in the small Tuscan town of Montespertoli, about an hour or two outside of Florence. It was rather secluded and quite beautiful around our lodgings, the house of a friend, but that is not what I remembered either. I thought instead of the few minutes we spent in the town, picking up a freshly baked loaf of bread that we would dress with salt and olive oil, sitting on a bench in the piazza with a small cup of gelato (the flavor escapes me. Stracciatella? bacio? Perhaps it was something with cherries and dark chocolate). The memory flashes in my mind, such a fleeting snapshot that I could never really describe what it looked like. I remember it being small. Not many people there, very different from the time we spent in the cities.

Is the feeling you get in a small town in a foreign country due to the place itself, or is it because you’re in a new place, unfamiliar and quieter than what you’re used to?

What would it be like to live in a place like that? Would you know everyone in town? Would you meet an attractive stranger and share a bacio on a patch of grass (either the gelato, or in the other sense)?

All I can think now is how much more I’m sure I could have appreciated what was around me at the time.

 

 

*I was going to call it a “Throwback thursday” post, but “Nostalgia” just sounds so much better. It sounds like either a flowering vine or one of those nebulous diseases that are so hard to diagnose. You decide… In fact, vote! In the comments!

Response to Rolling Stone’s Cover Choice

As it has come  up and generated a lot of strong feelings from many, many people, I feel that I want to say a few words about the Rolling Stone cover. I joined this facebook group concerning boycotting them. I mean, I don’t subscribe to them and I’ve barely ever read the magazine anyway, so it’s really just a gesture for me, but I felt it needed to be made.

As a Boston resident, I will be very confused if I actually see this magazine (that is, with this cover) sold anywhere in the area. Boston did a great job and recovered really well from the tragedy on Marathon Day, but that does not mean we’re not still affected by it and it DEFINITELY does not mean any of us can sit quietly with this guy’s face staring at us. I, in fact, refuse to even type his name, because as far as I’m concerned, he can exist as a person, just as long as it’s far away from me. For clarification’s sake, I was not personally affected by what happened–I was not at or near the finish line, and I did not know anyone who was hurt or killed–but I was strongly affected emotionally, as was pretty much anyone with any capacity for feeling.

Without knowing any details, one can assume that there is an article of some kind about the bomber in this issue of Rolling Stone. So the connection is obvious. I don’t have any objections to people writing articles about what happened. However, putting his picture on the cover is a step too far.  Whether the piece is complimentary, sympathetic, damning, or completely objective, featuring his face on the magazine cover glorifies him (if not his actions). This is utterly unacceptable and it was a conscious choice made by the magazine. I refuse to believe that a publication that’s been around as long as Rolling Stone could make a decision like that and not be aware of the repercussions they are incurring.

I want to make one thing clear: my objections to glorifying the bomber (the live one, the dead one, or anyone else who might have been involved) has nothing to do with the possibility of it encouraging other people to seek infamy through horrific acts. It is simply because he intentionally did something awful, deplorable, that resulted in death and destruction, and he does not deserve personal recognition for such a thing. Trying to “understand” why these actions were taken is one thing. Putting him on the cover of the magazine is disrespectful to all the people who were affected by the bombing.

 

In conclusion, Rolling Stone editors and etc., stop trying to sell through sensationalism and think for a second about having a little human decency.

Five Things Friday: July 12, 2013

Is it really only the 12th?… but then, at the end of the month I will be thinking, where did July go?

 

One

Some condensation from my water glass drips onto my foot as I take a drink. The touch of the water droplet is surprisingly light.

Two

Behind my eyes is that sensation of sleepiness–the struggle to make them stay open, the strangely dull sting that persists until I finally give in and let my eyelids meet. A moment later they flutter apart again the the miniscule respite was enough to let me continue on for a little while longer.

Three

I sometimes leave books and other items on the sides of my bed rather than moving them. The edge of a hardcover Jane Austen pokes just a little bit into my thigh. It’s not uncomfortable, really.

Four

Throughout the day, one eyelash continues to point itself right into my eye. It’s doing so now. I poke at it to make it move, but it seems quite determined.

Five

There is no chill in the air, but the recent heat sort of makes it seem that way. I sit rather cool, wondering if I should retrieve a sweater, or just go to sleep, wrapping myself in a blanket cocoon until morning.

 

Five Things Friday: July 5, 2013

This is a bit later than I planned, because Friday night happened, as it sometimes does, and I did not end up having time. Then I just totally blanked for a while on anything I could write about. So now I’m just going to wind back some metaphorical clock or other and pretend it’s Friday while I write this.

July 4th edition

One

The first thing was waking up around 9. After waking up much earlier, thinking, “That’s too early,” and going back to sleep.

Two

Sometimes people make you waffles. Waffles are tasty with maple syrup and a giant pile of cut-up fruit on top. And coffee. But most things are tasty with coffee, so why even bother mentioning it?

Three

The movies are an excellent place to go when it’s Hellishly hot outside. They always have air conditioning. I saw Man of Steel. It was entertaining. Since then I have developed an impression of drunk Superman that is very entertaining.

Four

DON’T go to The Gourmet Dumpling in Chinatown on a holiday. Just don’t. But, DO go. They have really tasty food and considering the portions, it’s going to be well worth your money. Unless you hate Chinese food, in which case, I’m sorry about your taste buds.

Five

I should have known that Friday, being the day after a holiday, would not be a productive work day. I should have known. I thought that I could be all focused and just knock out all this work in no time. …Nope. I blame the heat and my need for tons and tons of sleep right now. You know that feeling you get sometimes, when you just want to spend an entire day in bed, napping, maybe reading or watching a movie if you feel too awake, but otherwise not being conscious, and maybe wake up the next day super-rested? That’s what I would have liked to do on Friday.

 

And also, Happy 4th of July. I prefer to express that sentiment AFTER the 4th, when most people are over it. 😉

Writing Update!

Want a little snippet of info on what might be coming up? Watch THIS…

 

 

And if you’re interested in reading more, consider poking me about these projects once every week or two. Sometimes I need to know someone else is actually waiting for me to do the writing, and it’s not just me.

 

Last but not least, check back tomorrow morning for a Five Things Friday post. I’ll try to make it a really good one.

On Watching Fireworks

These are some things I really do not understand:

1. Yelling “America!” or “USA!”

Now, it’s great that you feel pride in your country and the 4th of July seems like the perfect time to express it. But really… what is the aim there? Are you trying to remind people where they are? I think we remember. Really, you’re just stating the obvious. It would be so much more interesting if people did that on totally random days. You’re sitting on the train and the person sitting across from you just says, “America.” And it just happened over and over again throughout the day/week/whatever. I can see a surreal element to that, which in my mind gives it much more of a point than saying it on the 4th of July. It’s pretty much redundant at that point.

2.  Taking pictures or video of the fireworks on your phone.

First of all, pretty much the point of fireworks is to experience them firsthand. They’re much prettier in person. Viewing a video or picture is a huge step back from that. Still, it can be worth it… if you have a good camera and a good view of the fireworks. Other than that, there’s really nothing distinguishing one set of fireworks from another, so what is your mediocre recording of it really adding to youtube?

 

It took over an hour from when we got downtown to get seated at the Gourmet Dumpling (really good food, though), but after we finally ate I felt ok enough to last through the fireworks. They were very nice. The Boston-dedicated segment got me a little, I’m not gonna lie. But OH my god, so many people… this was not a surprise or anything, but it was still a bit difficult to deal with. I am not at all a fan of huge crowds and areas where I don’t have a straight path to get to my destination. I don’t want to go into town for the fireworks next year.