Archive for the 'General' Category

All the rest

Friday, September 5th, 2008 at about 9:17 pm

Imported all the he.artbe.at posts just now. So if you didn’t find them before (whomever you are, fickle fine-fingered reader), they’re now here, too. I’m a packrat.

Posted in General
by j. android

I haven’t forgotten

Saturday, August 30th, 2008 at about 9:02 pm

But I did write elsewhere this summer. Posts from he.artbe.at I’ll try to move over here soon.

And I haven’t forgotten the sea, either. Joanna Newsom on my ears tonight, here at the shore.

Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie

Posted in General
by j. android

Sidetrip

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007 at about 5:41 pm

“Well, I didn’t want to say anything before, in order to not be rude,” Charlie said, “but if you want to see gardens you’ve really got to go to Suzhou.” Five days later, given the opportunity upon our arrival in Shanghai from Guangzhou (the location of the “lesser” establishments we had explored that formed the butt of Charlie’s comment) I took his word for it. Early in the morning on the second Wednesday of our two-week trip to China I prepared for a day trip to the city of Suzhou. In my bag were: a camera, map of Shanghai (for finding the train station), guidebook, a notebook in which I wrote the beginnings of this story, a Mandarin phrasebook, sunglasses, my iPod, an apple, orange, and granola bar, and some other assorted oddities of travel (pens, aspirin, etc.). After breakfast at the hotel, I was off.

The exceptionally punctual and gleamingly clean Shanghai subway deposited me within 100 meters of the railway station. Buying a ticket proved surprisingly easy, thanks to the presence of an English speaking service window. The next train wasn’t until just after noon, in a little over an hour and a half. I amuse myself by exploring the area around the station. Nothing too interesting, but there’s a post office, so I write and mail the few cards I had been carrying around in my bag for several days.

The train ride itself was splendid. I had some trouble finding my seat, not realizing they were assigned (the writing on the ticket is all in Chinese, so I just guess). I got kicked out of the seat I had claimed, then needed to ask the train attendant to help boot whoever was in my properly assigned seat out when I found it. The train reached speeds in excess of 200 km/h en route so the strikingly modern cars arrived in Suzhou a mere thirty minutes after leaving Shanghai.

An examination of the map in the guidebook revealed that there were two sites of interest within about a mile of the train station. I decided to hoof it rather than dealing with non-English speaking taxi or rickshaw drivers. It was a nice day anyway, so the walk into Suzhou is pleasant. Suzhou is the smallest city I visited (at a measly six million people it’s barely a blip on the map in China) so it’s interesting as a more local version of eastern mainland China, in contrast to the big cities of Shanghai or Beijing or Shanghai.

In a few minutes I arrived at the first of my two stops, the Bao’en temple. It features, among other things, the nine story Beisi pagoda. The pagoda towers above the surrounding temple and city, all of which doesn’t extend much above two stories. Inside the temple there’s a giant, amiable stone Buddha statue, past which is the pagoda and a series of temple buildings. I walked back past the tower and into some of the temple buildings, which are all full of ornate and beautiful altars to various deities (the temple seems devoted to the Chinese folk religion, with a lot of Buddhist and other influences. There are a lot of Buddhas and statues of other gods and goddesses). Tucked into the back corner of the temple complex is a lovely and wholly unexpected garden, just a pound surrounded by a couple buildings and on one side a hill. I walked across a picturesque little bridge and into this area, around the water and then to the small tea house that was set up next to the water. I sat down and had a drink next to a couple from Denmark; it was what was to be the first of several encounters that day. Westerners are rare enough even this far outside the big cities that they’re of interest, both to the locals and to any other Westerners who happen to find themselves there. We spoke for a few minutes, about our travels and ourselves. Then they were on their way to catch a train, and I decided to finally tackle the enormous pagoda. I walked up the nine flights of stairs to the top and looked out over the vast semi-urban expanse that stretched before me in every direction. In the distance there were some larger buildings that must form the downtown. Everywhere else there were just low one to three story buildings disappearing out of sight, although the outer edge of my vision was made closer by the ever-present pollution. The view was nevertheless commanding.

I walked from the temple to the Humble Administrator’s garden. Along the way there were plenty of people heckling tourists, and since there weren’t many other people around they all had plenty of attention to give to me. But they never followed or really bothered me. After gaining admission to the garden I took a relatively quick tour around it. It is, as Charlie had promised, the largest and most beautiful Chinese garden of all those I visited on my trip, although even this one was small. Chinese garden design emphasizes putting a lot of well-choreographed nature into  a small space, so even this magnificent garden was still easy to fully explore in an hour. As I walked through the entrance hall into the gardens proper a couple of girls tried to take a picture of my without me noticing (again, Westerners, especially Westerners who aren’t middle aged and on organized tours, are a rarity). I wandered through the gardens, admiring how well composed it is. There are a lot of small pavilion-like things on top of small hills that look like mountains; I chose one and sat down on it to eat an orange from my bag. While sitting a Chinese couple walked up the minute hill the pavilion was perched upon and sat down. “Where are you from?” the man asks, in what is the typical opener for Chinese trying to make conversation with a Westerner. We talked through some other basic questions for a few minutes (”First time to China?” “Where else are you going?”). I didn’t have quite the energy or desire to find out where they live and what they do, so I just answered their questions and in a few minutes they’re on their way.

The afternoon was wearing on, so I decided to head back to the railway station. It’s again a little over a mile’s walk, so I think about trying to get one of the rickshaws I saw on the way over to take me back. It could be fun, and I know exactly where I’m going and can ask how much it would be ahead of time, etc. I dug out my phrasebook to figure out how to say the necessaries in Chinese. The rickshaws that were everywhere and constantly asking if I needed a ride before, however, were nowhere to be found now, so I just walked back to the train station. The mess of construction surrounding the area the train station is in made it a little hard to find, but I eventually did. There’s an English sign for the ticket office, so I walked right in.

Buying a ticket back to Shanghai proved much more difficult than getting out to Suzhou. There was no English-speaking service window, so I just picked one at random and walk up armed only with my phrasebook and good intentions. I did manage to get a ticket, but for hours later on a local train. This was the only thing the girl behind the counter seemed able to sell me. I took it and explored the ticket office some more, hoping for some inspiration on how to improve this. I didn’t find any. I looked harder for any sign of someone or something in English, but there was nothing. I went outside to see if there was another ticket office elsewhere, but no luck. I stared at the Chinese timetable for a while, and was beginning to work out that there *were* sooner trains, and faster ones, but still had no idea why I couldn’t buy a sooner ticket when someone (finally! I had been hoping badly) came up and asked in broken English if I needed help. He was young and didn’t really speak much English, but was really willing to try. I eventually explained that I wanted to change my ticket for an earlier one. He took me to the one window that allowed you to change tickets (they were labeled, apparently, but I couldn’t tell). The woman behind the glass changed my local ticket for an express an hour earlier. This was still not for an hour and a half, but it was better than nothing.

I walked to the train waiting rooms. On the way I stopped by a convenience store and bought a can of beer and a bottle of the iced tea that I had learned was easy to drink (and quite tasty!). There were people selling food from carts, and I was hungry, so hankering for some adventure I threw caution to the winds and bought something that looked reasonably safe. It was a kind of think pancake or crepe with scallions, wrapped around some fried dough. It tasted quite all right. I went in to the train waiting room and drew in my notebook and listened to my iPod while waiting for the train. The girl sitting across from me was super cute, also listening to her iPod and looking a little bored, but even though this time I might have welcomed a conversation none came. I contented myself to draw.

When the train was announced and everyone queued up I found myself once again talked at, however, this time by someone who (of all things) recognized my “Urbana, Illinois” shirt. “Illinois!” he said, “that’s where Abraham Lincoln is from?” This was so unexpected I had him repeat it twice before I understood what he was talking about. But indeed, he just really liked Abraham Lincoln. I told him Lincoln once practiced law in my town. This inspired a quiet awe in him that seemed so profound I almost felt bad saying it. We talked for a while. He was 24, a recently graduated English major from a local college. He was going to Shanghai to try to find a job. I told him I was a university student as well, and again about the requisite details of my trip (first time to China, Hong Kong/Guangzhou/Shangha/Beijing itinerary, etc). We went our separate ways when we boarded the train, since we were in different compartments.

On the train I put my headphones back in and drank my can of beer, enjoying the speed of the train and the scenery. Soon I was again interrupted by the man sitting to my right, though. We talked for the rest of the trainride, in a little bit more detail and with a bit more range than others because his English was better and we had nowhere to go. He looked to be about in his mid-thirties and worked for 3M doing some kind of IT services. I think he was out in Suzhou just on business. He had spent some time in the UK working, which explained the English. When the train arrived, he asked if I knew how to get where I was going. I assured him I did, although we were taking the same subway line so we left the station together. I hopped off at my stop and that was that.

I was too late to meet Charlie, my father, and the others for dinner, so I stopped by a small Cantonese place the guidebook recommended in the former French Concession near my hotel. I guessed my way through ordering and got some exceptionally tasty shrimp and dumplings and some rather uninspiring chicken. Washed down with a liter of Tsingdao, it made an excellent end to the day. Back in my hotel room an hour later, I gratefully slept off the day’s exertion 20 stories above ever-bustling, always-lit up Shanghai.

Posted in General
by j. android

late August

Thursday, August 30th, 2007 at about 11:13 pm

A few minutes ago the clock ticked into August 31st. The end of a month is here again, and again I cannot believe the rapidity with which it passed me. I distinctly remember being _surprised it was July_, and that doesn’t seem like very long ago. In a little over 24 hours I’ll be leaving for China, halfway across the ruddy world. I’ve been thinking and talking (and talking) about this trip for half a year now, always held up as the crowning jewel of what I was going to do with my summer (a question I get asked a lot). And here it is, after months due preparation the bubbling hyperbole is about to come to a full boil. I have the highest hopes, I think it should be an absolutely excellent trip. This is again something I have been saying for days to anyone who asks about it, but again I don’t think that means it isn’t true.

Beyond the mountain of this China trip lies school, a return to familiar things in one sense and a sort of new adventure in another. Things will be a little more serious in all ways this year, I think. Certainly the school work will be more… focused, out of necessity, but also I think my exposure to the larger campus will be much more broad and familiar though not in an uncomfortable way. It’s not really about newness anymore. Certainly there will be new things, indeed I’m frequently amazed by how absolutely little I took in during freshman year, but the entire experience isn’t novel anymore. But I hope that this will be advantageous. There are improvements to be made. I have this frantic drive within me to do everything, I am never convinced I am making the most out of the opportunities I have. It’s a bit compulsive. But I think I will very rarely have the kind of opportunities I do now, at least to do certain things. So I’d better do them! I’m glad I don’t take this impulse too seriously, it’s more of a nag than anything else. If I acted on it, I would be such an overachieving, exhausted person. As much as I’m frustrated with some people for overwhelming themselves with fascinating commitments (I’m looking at you here, Anita) they’re at least getting a lot done. That’s part of the compulsion. Needing to have “something to show for myself.”

But enough of that annoyance. Some nice things about August:

the last few days at the beach, absorbing the beauty
the fifth century party
Katie, and things
solitary night-time bike rides, possibly ill-advised

Less nice was saying goodbye to everyone (again! It gets easier, it seems). And not having my own space as much as I am used to, even when it’s just me and my dad as it often is in the summertime. But it was nice to have a full house, too, to have family again.

As an endnote, the one thing I do have to show for myself this August is a set of poems. I tried to write one a day. I counted some of my more poetic blog entries (although I’m counting this one, which I admit is more than a bit of a stretch) but have basically kept with it. I’ll write a last one tomorrow, the day before leaving, and I will have 30 (I started this project the 2nd of the month)… things. Poorly written first drafts, mostly, but at least it’s something. I had been looking forward to fixing some of them up for the fall, but have discovered the only poetry class I have a chance of taking is a class exclusively on the prose poem. Still, there might be some adaptations in there. Time will tell, she’s such a gossip she always does.

Posted in General
by j. android

The Fifth Century Party and other recent phenomena

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 at about 3:30 pm

August has proven to be thus far almost exactly what I had hoped it to be: quiet, relaxing, but with no shortage of fun. I don’t feel useless as I normally might when unemployed and largely unoccupied because I’ve been writing regularly, if not terribly prolifically. I’ve been writing a poem a day and will continue for the duration of the month. I’m not sure this is necessarily the best way to write, but it’s certainly gotten some things out of me, and I’m again happy to just have something to show for myself. I convince myself there is nothing less than an infinite multitude of things to do in this world, yet spend a surprising portion of my days watching television or other such things (the latest incredibly delightful distraction: Neverwinter Nights 2, but best thing to happen to computer games since Baldur’s Gate II. Yes, I am a dork). But with a growing pile of things written down at least I’m documenting the experience. I think the documentation obsession stems from the desire to leave a mark on the world that can last longer than myself. It all goes back to the fear of one’s own mortality. But this isn’t the time for more circular introspection. It’s the time to once again catalogue recent activities, knowing that I won’t remember them and hoping that some day I will be happy to have a partial record of what the hell I did with my youth (or, say, early twenties).

For my birthday we had an amazing party, toga-adorned and game faces worn. I could ask for little better, my birthday falling on a Friday and a venue conveniently available. I wore golden laurel leaves along with DJ, whose birthday had been the week prior. We had 30 kids over, pretty much all old favorites (the elusive Mr. Berman even made an appearance). The dress code adherence was fairly high, to my delight, although eventually it was too hot and / or impractical to continue wearing togas and many people changed or shed theirs. I wandered upstairs to sleep around 3:30, woke up an ungodly 7 the next morning and cleaned the house with Katie. I caught a ride home with the last people to leave, went home and slept.

Last Thursday Anita and I went hiking at Fox Ridge State Park, located a few easy miles outside of Charleston. It rained torrentially in the morning and early afternoon and even on the drive down, but my careful study of the weather maps paid off: as soon as we arrived it cleared up, just as we had timed it. We walked up and down the ridges and around the lake until the humidity got the better of us and we retired back to the city. Still, it’s nice to get out, and save for one person working on something who we caught a brief glimpse of we were the only people in the park. The advantage of going on a rainy day, I suppose.

Yesterday I babysat for Suzanne’s stepkids in the morning, caught up with her when she got home, then went and saw Superbad with Lydia. It was funny, I cannot deny it. A little stupid, but definitely enjoyable. After the usual dinner at home I went to Colette’s for a “birthday wowohoww” hosted by Colette and Lucy. Another enjoyable all-class gathering (or at least, the part of the class who I ever actually see).

Today was all errands, the beginnings of a full-scale onslaught of China preparation. I leave in 12 days. This is intense. Summer, I love you unconditionally, but you know I can’t stay.

Posted in General
by j. android

Onward

Saturday, August 11th, 2007 at about 11:22 pm

Written on the first day of my twenty-first year

For all my fear of regret, its actual appearance as a real entity is rare at best: I am always too distracted by the ever-varied and wondrous present to dwell severely on could have or should have been. Paths not taken are recognized as such, and sometimes sadly, but always with the understanding that there was a fairly definite reason a different path was chosen. But even beyond that, there’s little time to think too hard on it without wasting the precious present and time spent on the infinitely-more-appealing-to-consider possibilities of the future. Indeed, my fear of the limitation of opportunities as time progresses and anxiety about capitalizing on the incredible variety of life is probably part of what stymies this regret; there’s just too much else to think about to waste time regretting too heavily. The fear of regret staunches it, in some unlikely way.

And armed with this knowledge I will hence enter my twenties in full acceptance of the ceaseless acceleration of time as well as my own inability to experience all but the slightest sliver of what life has to offer, but nevertheless empowered by my resolve to attempt to make that sliver as large as possible. Yes, it is scary and leaves an unpleasant feeling in my chest to consider the fact that I am no longer a teenager, and never again will be one. But lying before me is a whole vast array of new possibilities, and I would be a fool not to throw myself at them with a vigor that will, in the future, forestall any chance of regretting that I didn’t do enough.

Posted in General
by j. android

Against Age

Friday, August 10th, 2007 at about 12:19 am

Written on the eve of my twentieth birthday.

I am afraid of change. I am afraid of getting older, and of the ceaselessness of time. I am afraid of regret. I fear not what comes, but what remains undone: the limiting of possibilities, the paths untaken and their possible consequences, joys, and terrors. I wish only to experience the world to it’s utmost; that is to say, I wish for the impossible everything. Every passing day marks the further limitation of that which I can still achieve. Perhaps this is a disguised fear of mortality, of the inevitable end. But I consider it a passionate love affair with the glorious present: I am never ready to move on, there is always more to be discovered, to be done. It is with the deepest reluctance that I relinquish every conceivable division of time, as witnessing any period becoming static saddens me. Tomorrow my teenage years end. Already have I lost to stasis the freshman year of college, all of high school, my early childhood, most summer breaks, uncountable trips to places I may never visit again, and as many last nights spent before saying goodbye to friends, lovers, family. If there was anything I wanted to do as a teenager, I need to have done it by now. That periodic is now forever unchanging, that perspective no longer available. I regret only that I did not do more, as there is always more to do. It is a losing battle, to attempt to experience the everything. But it is one worth fighting.

Posted in General
by j. android

spoiler

Thursday, August 9th, 2007 at about 9:59 am

I feel the need to just say that Harry Potter 7 was amazing, and that I, for one, am sad that the entire Harry Potter saga has now drawn to a close. But what a way to go! The final book was excellent, not in some richly metaphorical, cultural, or even linguistic way, but just in terms of the sheer appeal of an intensely compelling story. Reading it is all I’ve done for the past several days. It infected my dreams; I was in the Battle of Hogwarts casting spells at some fictitious brainy things that then got stuck together, then finished them off with a killing curse. Waking up from this dream was alarming. So here’s to Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived and a kid that my generation grew up with.

Posted in General
by j. android

new york, late july

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007 at about 9:25 pm

I have slipped, somewhat unsuspectingly, into the very terrible state of not-doing that has frequently haunted my most idle of times. It’s not that I mind being inactive, but that being inactive renders me incapable of even occasionally actually doing something simply and effectively. The smallest of tasks seem suddenly insurmountable — writing this, for instance, or catching up on e-mail. Lydia says she finds it useful to periodically become so bored that one questions why one ever does anything to begin with. I find that in these situations I can only ever focus on one thing, and I allow it to consume most of my relatively little energy. I’m not sure how useful this is, but I can certainly get a lot of that one things done. It’s rarely anything terribly worthwhile, however. This activity is, at the moment, reading Harry Potter. This is somewhat different than usual, since generally the further I sink into sloth the less likely I am to read anything (I read books so pitifully rarely as it is). Lately (the last six months or so) I’ve been more fond of becoming engrossed in television series, but at the moment my mass-consumed medium of choice is the Harry Potter novel. I’ve gotten well over halfway through the series re-read that I have embarked upon in preparation for the seventh volume. It’s sitting, waiting for me, and I am frequently tempted to just give up and begin reading it instead, but I feel I’ll get the most out of the end of the series if I have the rest fresh in my mind. It has been, after all, nearly ten years since I read the first book — I read them all when they were published and never re-read any of them. My memory of the events of the books is fuzzy at best. So, yes, I think this a wise decision, overall.

Yesterday I returned to Long Beach Island from a weekend trip away. I’m here at the beach for two weeks, beginning last Saturday and ending next Sunday, but that weekend in between I took as a vacation from vacation, a spot of adventure in the midst of an otherwise very calm fortnight here (this last clause I am adding mostly to use “fortnight,” however out-of-place it sounds). Thursday afternoon I took the bus to the city, where I met Nicole. We tried and failed to attend a taping of the Daily Show, being a scant dozen or so people back from the cutoff in the line. We walked back to her mid-town apartment, stopping at a small and very cute grocery store in Hell’s Kitchen on the way. We bought provisions for an excellent Central Park picnic (baguette, a good soft cheese, some Genoa salami, grapes, chips, the ever-unlikely Milka chocate bars we found next to the checkout, a bottle of decent champagne), swung by the apartment for cutlery and glasses, then headed uptown. There was a supposed novel reading in the park, but we took one look at where it was and opted instead to just enjoy ourselves in Sheep’s Meadow. It was lovely. The weather was nearly perfect, the view excellent, as was the company. We had a grand old time. The night ended with a walk from the apartment to Bryant Park.

Friday I walked Nicole halfway to her first day at work, then returned to Bryant Park to read for an hour or so. Kimmy called when she was finished with a printing job she had, so I hopped on the subway and met her at NYU. We had lunch and then went back uptown to Columbia, stopping at an art store to have one of her photos framed on the way. The guy at the framing shop was funny and friendly, we talked to him for a while. Kimmy’s friend John joined us and we all went to Columbia. The campus is nice and feels familiarly college-y, but it doesn’t expand for miles in every direction the way Stanford does. I saw Jenna’s apartment, then went to Riverside Park. As evening approached I went back to the fashion district to meet Leia and Revti; we walked for a while before stopping at a sushi place to get dinner. Afterwards, exhausted from a long week of work (or mucking around, in my case) we just went back to Leia’s apartment in Brooklyn. We drank whiskey cokes and sat around talking for a few hours, deciding against doing anything more ambitious. Revti eventually went home, Leia and I went across the street to the all-night grocery to buy pints of ice cream to eat while watching Jay Leno before calling it a night.

Saturday morning we met Revti again for brunch in Park Slope, which was excellent. We walked around the area, which was charming, and were particularly thrilled by the Brooklyn Superhero Supply that was just under Revti’s apartment but had never really been explored before. It’s quite something. Saturday afternoon was spent reading, then it was back to Manhattan to try to catch the Chinatown bus to DC. This proved untenable, since the bus never came, but the trains were still running reliably so the entire contingent of people waiting for the bus (which consisted of me, a dreadlocked employee of the Department of Education, his quiet companion, and what seemed to be a South American family of three) took the Amtrak instead. From there it was the Metro to Greenbelt, where Sascha and Faith had just moved. A cab to their house, since I beat them there, and then some groping around in the dark to find the key to get in. They soon arrived, we unloaded some things, then quickly went to sleep. The next morning yielded remarkably fast progress unloading the rest of the U-Haul; everything was in the house by noon. The rest of the afternoon and evening is something of a long, pleasant blur, marked by the shuffling around and gradual unpacking of some boxes and not a small amount of relaxing. The various people who came by to help were fascinating. I had a particularly good time talking to Faith’s father, who was there with them for the trip out from Champaign, and some of their other friends, ranging from Josh, a work friend of Sascha’s also down from New York for the weekend, to a guy whose name I never caught who was, among other things, working in Venezuela and friends with Chavez. Fascinating people.

Monday morning I took the metro back to the city center, walked around the Capitol because I couldn’t help it, once again couldn’t figure out the Chinatown bus and instead took the train back to New York. I quickly hopped the subway from Penn Station to the Port Authority, and from there a bus back to Tom’s River. I was back at the beach in time for dinner.

Today was quiet, marked primarily by my not-doing-anything-but-reading-Harry-Potter business. I love it here, it’s so pleasant. I enjoy it more than I used to. Or, rather, it feels different than it used to. Nicer, somehow, and more luxurious. It’s probably because I’m not a twelve year old kid grubbing in the sand all day anymore. Or maybe it’s just all an illusion. But whatever the cause, I really appreciate how idyllic it is here.

There is much more to say, about my recent thinking about the frantic but inevitable search for a major / career I’m going through, and my recent thinking about my cat’s mortality, and any number of other things. But I think that is enough for now, that little highly literal weekend recap. I don’t even have a poem to add, because I haven’t written anything in a month and a half. Unimpressive. But I’m thinking about it. Maybe once I’m done with Harry Potter.

background noise: sufjan stevens and “inmates” by the good life

Posted in General
by j. android

‘idylls of the king’

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 at about 6:52 pm

My post-home bliss has essentially continued all week. Every night I’m usually socializing, and the bulk of afternoons as well. It’s perfectly lovely. After last weekend I settled into this fairly regular pattern, which coincided nicely with my decision of around the same time to not get a job. I see a lot of Sergei and Julie, who were, until recently anyway, equally unemployed. And of course Katie, who wanders in and out in highly singular style. I occupy my down time cooking and cleaning, doing grocery shopping, and of course re-reading Harry Potter. My productivity is perhaps low, but I don’t feel restless yet. I’m going to paint something one afternoon soon, I’m working myself up to it. Perhaps a self-portrait. Something emotionally relevant, just to see if I can eke it out with any success.

Last night was the premiere of Harry Potter 5. It was a perfectly lovely time, we went to Collete’s house to mingle and prepare, then trooped over en masse to the Savoy. Along with, it turns out, as many as 1,500 other enthusiastic souls, including the largest collection of Uni alumni and current students I’ve seen outside of the building itself in quite a while. It was great fun, the movie enjoyable, and the night quite long.

The night before I saw Ben E., along with his typically crazy but thoroughly interesting roommates. Katie was there, so I headed over to High Street after dinner with family friends and their new baby (reasonably adorable). It was good to catch up with Ben, as always, but around 11pm I walked the two blocks to Kinzie’s apartment, in order to be (finally, after six months) reunited with Alison and Maya. It was a happy reunion, although the evening had progressed sufficiently so I could barely do the meeting justice. But I tried, I tried.

The night before was Sunday, a good night for a long, meandering drive with Katie. The night before that was perfect for capture the flag in Carle Park followed by an on-campus party with Kimmy and then a ride around the country club and suburbia in her new golf cart. The night before that, Friday, was a party from which Sergei and I walked home. It was over two miles, and I have run more than that earlier in the evening (it nearly killed me). A bit scary, a bit long, but overall definitely worth doing. If, perhaps, only for the story. Early that day we had been to Allerton, which was a very nice afternoon in the park. Friday was an incredibly long day, though: from pancakes with Julie and Sergei and Katie at 10:30am to swimming at Al’s house in the early afternoon to Allerton and then back to home for dinner and that ill-conceived run with Sergei, finished just in time to be half an hour late for Julie to pick the both of us up to go to a party from which we (deservedly, and happily) walked home. The day was as long as that sentence.

And so on the recollection goes: one day after the next, all the way back to my arrival. I absolutely love it. And now I’m off to Alison’s birthday, and then another night ride with Kimmy. It should be wonderful.

background noise: The Avalanche, Sufjan Stevens

Posted in General
by j. android