Thursday, December 23, 2010

That awkward moment when you realize the person in the car next to you is watching you rock out to the radio.

I like to sing. I'll sing anywhere. I'll sing while I'm walking around, while I'm in my room, while I'm at the mall, but most often, I sing in the car while I'm driving. And I don't just inconspicuously move my mouth along with the words of whatever song is playing, I sing. I'll belt it out with no shame at all.

Part of that stems from the fact that I frequently forget that there is actually no soundproof bubble around my car. So in the summer, when I'm driving around with the windows down, I'll be singing to my heart's content and think that the situation looks something like this:

The music and my voice don't carry outside the bubble. So in my imagination, when I'm driving on a multiple lane road, it looks something like this:

I could be stopped at a stop light with a car next to me and I'll just forget that the person in the other car can actually see and/or hear me. And I'll be singing and singing and then all of a sudden I notice this:

They're watching me. But it's to the point now where I might as well just keep on singing. They've already heard me perform most of the song, might as well finish it.

Yeah. The only things you should take away from this are:
  • Have no shame when singing in your car.
  • I am clearly not an artist.
  • Apparently, according to the last picture, I drive a purple bus-type vehicle. Because that's what it looks like.
Happy festivus.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The holiday season.

My favorite time of year has to be from October to the end of December. If I disregarded school and studying for exams and writing papers, it would be perfect and I would probably be in a good mood the entire time.

It starts with October, which is when the fall season really kicks in. Leaves are changing colors, becoming rich reds and oranges and bright yellows; the foliage is brilliant and perfect for picture taking. The end of October means its Halloween, and even though I didn't get to participate in the shenanigans of Mischief Night and trick or treating and dressing up, it's still one of my favorite holidays.

Once November rolls around, the hockey season is in full swing and the weather is becoming ever crisper and cooler. At times, it's frigid and makes me miserable, but I cheer up at the thought of being able to layer myself in sweatshirts and jackets and colorful hats and scarves and gloves. This year, November also meant the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One. November also means Thanksgiving, which, as I get older, I like more and more. When I was younger, I never really looked forward to Thanksgiving; I just looked forward to the holiday that followed it: Christmas. Because it of course meant presents and new toys and books. But now, as I'm approaching my twenties (god, how scary is that?) I start to actually look forward to Thanksgiving because as weird and crazy and sometimes annoying and frustrating my family might be, I actually enjoy going to parties and spending time with them now. There is never a lack of entertainment or stimulating conversation and I can flit between talking with the adults and hanging out with my cousin and brother. I am thankful that I have a wonderful family.

But sometimes I feel like Thanksgiving gets a bit overshadowed by the day that follows it: Black Friday. It's officially the start of the madness that is shopping for Christmas gifts. I ventured out to join the psychotic groups of people, though I chose not to go out at three in the morning. When I hear about people who have camped out overnight just to get a good deal on something, I wonder why it was so much more important than celebrating with your family. It shouldn't be. But in the society we live in today, 25% off a TV means that you have to abandon common sense and sleep outside Best Buy.

Then as December rolls around, it becomes winter and the cold makes me wish for snow. Snow is the only thing that makes the cold bearable (and as my friends can tell you, I get cold very easily, and I get made fun of for it). But I get to bundle up in as many layers as I can manage and when I'm inside I get to lounge around in sweatpants and cozy slippers and drink hot tea and watch movies and read books. December means I get a month off from school to relax and recuperate from the stresses of the first semester, and prepare myself for the second. December means I have searching the depths of my wallet, wondering why I bought this CD for myself when I could have spent the money on something for someone else, but I just couldn't resist. Somehow I always pull through and I love perusing stores and catalogs and the Internet, looking for something creative to give to my friends and family. December means going with my family out to Sussex County to cut down a tree and bring it home to decorate. From that moment on I become very festive, and I don't mind listening to Christmas songs on the radio.

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of year. We are in the thick of it right now, and I'm very much enjoying myself. I hope your holidays are just as wonderful as mine.

Monday, October 4, 2010

F is for friends that do stuff together.

I have the most amazing friends anyone could ever ask for. And I'm sure that's an overused, somewhat cliched phrase that applies to everyone and their friends, but it's never been more true for me than now.

Whether they're just across town, a half hour away, two hours away, or even four hours away, I know they're always there for me. Even if they take an hour to respond to my texts, I know in the end that they will get back to me. Even if they're not big on being overly emotional or affectionate, I know they've got my back.

Even if I don't agree with them on everything, even if we're studying different things, going to different places, I know that when I need them the most, they'll be there.

They offer me company, support, hugs and ice cream if I need it. They help me see things I didn't see before. They don't make fun of me when I'm a crying, puffy-eyed, sniffling mess. They know that even though I'm a strong person, I have my moments. And when I'm feeling down or I'm at my lowest, they are what helps me through it.

They know that I love them, and I appreciate every single thing they do for me. I might not say it to them often, and I would never be able to say it enough, but I love them and without them, I wouldn't know what to do half the time.

This is for them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

She said everything I would have to say.

I'm reblogging this. It was written here, by Kate Lieb. I can't say what she said better, so I'm passing this on to my readers...few as they may be.

"As Americans, we’re given the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for ALL. So why is the LGBTQ community not given these supposedly inalienable rights. I mean aren’t they Americans too? Does whom they fall in love with make them Un-American? Since when was choosing something against the “norm” Un-American, after all wasn’t that the concept America was founded on? I’m now going to analyze how each of the aforementioned principles in the Declaration of Independence are not granted for this community.

Because gays and lesbians aren’t allowed to get married, they aren’t given the same rights that married couples get. One right they aren’t fully given yet because they don’t have the right to marriage is end of life visitation. It wasn’t until this August that they were even given this right at all, but they’re only given this right if the hospital is funded by medicare or medicaid. So if you’re gay/lesbian and your loved one is being cared for in a hospital not funded by these two government agencies, the hospital could likely reject your visitation rights AND they would have the right to do so. This subject really hits home for me because my uncle Arthur developed multiple myeloma and when he was in the hospital, his partner wasn’t allowed to see him. Until the end of his life, Arthur tried his best to avoid going to the hospital so he could spend his final moments with his life partner. Sure, what Obama passed makes the likelihood of what happened to my Uncle Arthur less likely, but it doesn’t eliminate the problem. Until ALL hospitals are forced to let partners be at their ailing partner’s side or gay marriage is legalized, the LGBTQ community will still experience the pain of what my uncles went through.

First off, they don’t have the freedom to serve in our nations military. For the members of the LGBTQ community to serve, they have to conceal their identities and live a lie throughout their tour of duty. If they’re caught or even accused of being gay or lesbian, they’re dishonorably discharged. Since when does sexual orientation affect your ability to serve? Last I checked, they can do anything us straight Americans can do.

Pursuit of Happiness:
Gays are still not allowed to marry. Now why is that? Because people who are against marriage believe that it should be between a man and a woman. Now where is that stated? The bible. This is a direct violation of separation of church and state. Senators are using the scriptures of the bible to figure out where they stand politically. Could it also be for other reasons? Obviously, but those opposed to it still use the bible as the reason why they won’t support it. Until someone steps up and says using that excuse is an invalid reason to continue the ban, gay marriage will continue to be a figment of imagination instead of a reality." 

I've been reblogging a lot lately (for me, anyway). I'm kind of in an inspiration-dry rut right now.

But yeah.

I agree with everything she said.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen...

“Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ‘97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.”

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sunset at Yankees stadium.

This is a series of pictures I took yesterday at Yankees stadium. I liked them so much I decided to share them. Plus with blogging every day, I can't always think of something interesting to talk about.

I finally bought my textbooks for the fall semester. Between renting a few and finding better deals on Amazon, I managed to save a fair amount of money but it was still ridiculous.

Anyway, I must run. I hafta pack and then we're driving down to Cape May soon. Soon as in whenever we're all done packing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I like to dream big.

I want to travel. I want to see as much of the world as possible. I can't wait to study abroad.

And now that I'm going to Montclair, which is much more affordable than Northeastern, studying abroad is very possible. In fact, just before while I was thinking of what to blog about, I was on Montclair's website, reading about programs in England.

What I really want to do is backpack through Europe. That would be absolutely fantastic.

I've already compiled a list of places I want to travel to...I dream big, I know. A lot of these places have to do with movies that I like. New Zealand, for example. It's where Lord of the Rings was filmed. But it's a beautiful place, regardless, and I want to see it. I want to go to Austria (The Sound of Music). I want to go to Italy, but that's more because I took Italian for four years in high school.

After reading Eat Pray Love, I want to go to India and Indonesia. I want to go to China, because I'm half Chinese, and Germany, because that's the other half. Also, I want to drive on the Autobahn. I've already been to Taiwan, but I wouldn't mind going there again. I want to go to South Africa, because everyone who's been there says it's a fantastic place to go. I want to go to Egypt and see the pyramids. I want to go to South America because if I'm going to hit up most of the other continents, why not this one?

And I don't just want to see the world. I want to see as much of the U.S. as I can too. I want to go to Alaska and see the Northern Lights. I want to hike the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. I want to go to Mount Rushmore. I want to drive along the coast of California.

I wish I could be more like Ed Stafford. He set off more than two years ago to hike the approximately 4,000 miles that is the Amazon River. He did this to raise international attention about rain-forest destruction and also to raise funds to fight it. I wish I could do something like that. I like hiking and all, but I don't think I could do what he did. I can only admire him from afar.

I want to live everywhere. I want to throw myself in a completely new environment and live there and see what it's like. I don't want to be that person who doesn't stray far from where her family lives. I want to experience new and exciting things.

I want to live in New York City. I want to live in Texas. I want to live in Minnesota and California and Washington D.C. and Washington and Boston. I want to live in Canada and London. I don't want to limit myself to New Jersey or the surrounding area. Though I would be completely content with living in New York City.

Obviously living in all those places isn't a very feasible plan but I can dream. And I can work to make at least some of those dreams come true.

I feel that I have a limited view of the world. I want to see open up my eyes and mind to all these different places and situations.

Not to mention that all this traveling is good for me as a writer. It allows me to place my characters and events in more interesting places.

And maybe after I've traveled and written a few books and I'm older, I'll settle down somewhere. Who knows where? But then I'll have all these fantastic stories to tell people.

Or maybe I'll never settle down and I'll just be a nomad, traveling from place to place as I feel like it. I would crisscross the globe and back again if I could.

And I'm starting a new thing for this blog. I'm going to post one picture every day. And here's today's picture. It was taken at Sunfish Pond, which is located in the Delaware Water Gap. The trail to get to it is part of the Appalachian Trail. I wouldn't call myself a photographer by any stretch, but I do think this photo is particularly good. For me, anyway.

I love the colors and the ripples here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Maine is really just such a gorgeous place to go on vacation. I'm not going to label all these pictures; let me know if you want to know what a particular photo is from. If I could post every picture I would, but 400 photos is a lot. These are a few from the house I stayed at, some trails I hiked, some places we drove past, clouds and mountains, and the very last one is of a bridge we saw on the way home.