Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so grateful for health, happiness, and the wonderful people in my life. I wish you, faithful blog readers, a happy Thanksgiving full of love and peace.

Friday, November 13, 2009

happy friday

I can't believe my last post was only on Monday - this week has gone by so slowly, and Monday feels like ages ago. This has been a big week for me with a lot of ups and downs, and I'm glad it's coming to an end. This weekend should be good - yoga tonight followed by dinner and rock band at the neighbors', yoga Saturday, movie with friends, then I'm running a 5k (???) Sunday morning and will hopefully have enough energy for my 4:00 yoga class.

This past Wednesday I played a concert with the Orlando Concert Band at the Winter Park Raquet Club for Veteran's Day. It was a weird concert because I wasn't really prepared at all, and it was our new conductor's first show with us. The audience seemed to love it, so that is what really matters, but I felt kind of ambivalent about it. However last night at rehearsal we got a bunch of new music, and the next concert should be really great. We're playing Candide, an excerpt from Appalachian Spring, "Typewriter" by Leroy Anderson, and "The Cowboys" by John Williams. Should be fun!

This week I also got my first writing assignment from my new freelance employer. This is the first time ever I'll be paid to write something, and I'm so excited and terrified! I'll try to keep the juices flowing on my blog - just look at me already, 2 posts in one week! haha

So this post was all about me, so thank you for reading it. I must now go back to my cup of coffee and my desk job aka "reality" (c:

P.S. Here's a recommendation: Pomplamoose! Check them out on youtube - especially their version of "Single Ladies". Is it weird that I really can't get enough of that song?

oh oh oh

Monday, November 9, 2009

some things i like right now

1. Matt Nathanson. I was mocked for quoting his song "Come on, Get Higher" in my gchat status, but my love is not diminished. The song is sweet, catchy, and just generally nice. I downloaded his album "Some Mad Hope" and have no regrets.

2. Fall in Florida. I've talked about this before, but I just have to say it again. This weekend it was sunny, 78 degrees, and I went to two art festivals outdoors. The sky was blue and expansive, and the clouds were puffy and nice.

3. Empanadas. At the two art festivals, Lindzee and I got empanadas that were amazing and delicious.

4. Carrot chips. They're carrots cut like ruffles, basically, and kind of make me feel like I'm eating waffle-cut cheetos. Mmm.

5. Steve Ross. He's a yoga teacher and author of the book "Happy Yoga." Every time my teacher reads a passage from this book I feel hope and love just flooding into my heart. It's really amazing. One of these days I'll talk more about him, but for today I just wanted to update, since I'm trying to get in the habit of writing in my blog.

peace and love

Friday, October 30, 2009

darkness and light

I just read these two articles from the New York Times' "Happy Days" blog:

Number 1
Number 2

They both discuss despair as a vital aspect of happiness - the idea that without darkness we cannot experience light. I think this is a very interesting idea, but I believe that it's a philosophy more applicable to literature, art, and/or music than to life itself. It's true that we can appreciate happiness more when we have experienced despair or depression, but I don't believe that we need to cultivate suffering to heighten our experience of joy.

I think that what both these articles get at is this idea that a person has to go inward and discover their truest self, and accept that self, in order to be happy. The first article states that "despair is marked by a desire to get rid of the self, an unwillingness to become who you fundamentally are." In renaissance literature, if a character stated that they were in despair, it always meant that that character was going to commit suicide: the ultimate ridding of the self. What I conclude from the quoted statement above is that to end despair we must know and accept who we are. Only when we have taken this journey inward, really confronting our darkness and understanding it, can we come back into the light and experience compassion, sympathy, and empathy for our fellow humans.

The second author uses Coleridge rather than Kirkegaard to back up his point, which is that despair begets joy, and that experiencing intense longing is to be "suffused with love." I disagree, however. I think that to truly experience love and happiness is to be rid of longing. When we can let go and move through life with open hearts and open minds is when we can truly experience happiness. Although it is romantic to pine and be consumed with desire, it is not really the best way to live day-to-day. How exhausting to be constantly wanting! One of the noble truths of Buddhism is that to eliminate suffering, we have to let go of desires, and then we can experience peace. So, rather than cultivate or wallow in longing and despair, we can acknowledge those feelings, understand that they are transient, and move on. But once again there is this idea that we have to travel inward in order to experience happiness or peace: we're all going to experience despair, but rather than ignoring those feelings or identifying with them, we can accept them, release them, and move forward. It's this constant balance between darkness and light.

While reading and thinking about both of these articles, in the back of my mind is Karen Armstrong, whose work I've been reading and listening to on TED.com. She talks a lot about compassion, and acknowledging that we humans are all connected. Also on my mind has been the writing of Rolf Gates, who says that in order to have compassion for our fellow man (an outward experience), we have to first travel inward. To truly love others, we first have to find love within.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

VegFest and Yoga

It's been a super long time since I've posted, and I apologize for that. I have been keeping busy with work, bands, yoga, friends, etc., and life is pretty good right now. This weekend was the Central Florida VegFest, and I went with my dad and friend Lindzee, and met up with some friends from the yoga studio as well.

VegFest brought forth the large and mysterious hipster population of Orlando. I have never seen so many plaid shirts and skinny jeans in one place on a day where the temperature was pushing 90. But there they were in all their glory, beards on the men and feathered headbands on the girls (disclaimer: I almost bought a feathered headband). All judgment aside though, I was happy to see so many peace-loving, like-minded people in Orlando. It was a relief to be surrounded by vegetarian food booths and guys playing acoustic guitars under trees. Even though we only stayed for 2 hours, I was really happy to be there.

I have been doing yoga 3-4 times a week at least for these past few weeks, and it has been one of the main things on my mind. I just really love it - it is helping me get in touch with God and spirituality in a new way. I keep surprising myself in class, whether it be by doing a full back-bend, a headstand without wall support, or just being able to breathe so deeply. I think it's really important to be reminded sometimes that we're all capable of more than we think.

Well that is all for now. Thanks for coming back even though I post so sporadically!

p & l

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

maybe it's the sugar talking...

I've been thinking a lot of deep thoughts lately: contemplative, confused, alliterative thoughts. And I've been trying to figure out what to write about in the old blog, and how to get all my thoughts out and worded correctly. But just now, I had a delicious snack, and decided to write about that instead.

Every day I eat yogurt - it was the hardest thing to give up during my brief foray into veganism. Lately I've been bringing a cup of Fage Greek yogurt to work, with honey and pecans to stir in. It's really good. I also always bring oatmeal to work, with a little baggie of fixins: brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins. WELL. Today, I didn't eat my breakfast, so when I was eating my yogurt, my little bag of sugar and raisins was sitting seductively on my desk, and I thought, "hey... that could work." So along with the honey and nuts I mixed in delicious brown sugar, raisins and cinnamon. I was hesitant at first - would it overpower the yogurt? Would I regret this decision to mar my healthy snack with extra sugar?

Turns out it was a whole lot of crap to put into a tiny cup of yogurt, but ultimately I'm glad I dove in and tried it. In short: carpe diem, my friends! Put too much stuff in your yogurt! It might be delicious.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall in Florida

If you know me, you know that I love Fall. I love the way the air gets crispy, and I love crunching leaves under my feet, and putting on a sweater for the first time. After spending the last 14 years in the northeast, I am looking around for signs of Fall here in the beachy south.

Some things remain the same: Starbucks unveils their myriad pumpkin products, kids go back to school, Halloween costume shops open. But of course the leaves here don't change color (or haven't yet), and the only time I need a sweater is indoors, because air-conditioning temperatures remain arctic. The thing that has been a pleasant surprise to me, though, is that I can really feel a difference in the air. It is noticeably less humid, easier to breathe. And in the afternoons, when I look out the office windows, the light is like pure crystal. The other day it was almost pinkish, and the clouds were less puffy and just a touch more wispy.

I can't wait to start cooking squash and other Fall veggies, and I really can't wait to put on some boots and walk around, looking for a magnolia leaf to crunch.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

some new recommendations

Hello faithful blog audience. I don't know how many of you are left, but if you're reading this - Thank you! I have been following the blog 1000awesomethings.com and it has inspired me to think about all the little things in life that I love. So, in that spirit I wanted to share some things I've been into lately.

1. The song "East" by The Weather Station. This band is from Toronto, and has intensified my love for Canada. I heard it on All Songs Considered (here) while driving to work one morning, and it was the first time a song made me cry just out of appreciation for its beauty. Also, the singer taught herself how to play the banjo, which is really awesome.

2. Kashi Pumpkin Pie granola bars. Sweet, spicy, soft, crunchy, these things are weird at first but amazing later. Perfect mid-morning snack.

3. The song "Will You Return" by the Avett Brothers, especially the music video. I would link to it, but YouTube is blocked at work. Google it though, seriously. Also playing this song on guitar is super fun.

4. Eating potato chips after you've just been swimming, especially if you stay in the pool and eat them poolside. Your fingers are still a little wet, so the salt sticks to them and is more fun to lick off. There is just something luxurious about eating and drinking poolside, even more so if someone brings you the potato chips and/or drink. Mmmm.

5. Neil Gaiman. This guy is really a great writer. He wrote Coraline, and Neverwhere, which I'm currently reading. Both books have themes of an "other" world, and he creates these whole parallel universes without being hokey or gimmicky. He reminds me of Philip Pullman, another semi-geeky-but-pretty-profound sci-fi writer.

Okay that is all for now! I am going to try to update more consistently with lists like this. BONUS RECOMMENDATION: making lists of things you like. It's pretty uplifting!

peace, love, happiness.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

sweet potato fries and other things

Well, I used to use this blog as a place to put recipes, and it's been a long while since I've done that. But, this weekend I tried a super easy and delicious Rachel Ray recipe that I would recommend to you, faithful blog audience. Simply cut 4 large sweet potatoes into about 10 slices from each potato. In a bowl, pour olive oil on them, add salt & pepper, and mix them up so they're coated thoroughly. Then pour them out onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes at 425 degrees, flipping occasionally and voila! A healthy, delicious side dish.

Tonight I start playing with the Rollins Wind Ensemble, which should be a fun thing. I'm really glad to be getting more involved with music-related things - it's great to stay in touch with the music world without being a competitive participant in it.

Anyway, I don't have much else to say, but just wanted to update. Florida is good, although hurricane season is upon us.

Monday, August 17, 2009

where am i, and how did i get here?

My life lately has been in a state of upheaval, and it’s made me think about a lot of things. With many of my friends I’ve had conversations about faith and God and happiness, and I’ve always been open minded about different people’s opinions. But I realize that I don’t really have a solid opinion on the matter myself. I dabbled in atheism, but believing in nothing is crushingly lonely for me. I believe in a higher power, but organized religion, going to church, etc. doesn’t really work for me. I do believe that we humans are all connected to each other and to something greater than us. But the thing that I’ve been wondering about today is whether or not that higher power is something that guides us. When I’ve gone through hard times in the past I’ve relied on this mantra: everything is unfolding perfectly. In the past, it’s helped me remain optimistic. It’s reminded me to learn from difficult situations, and find peace within myself when there is none around me. But lately I’m just starting to wonder what that really means.

I’ve made a huge life change by moving to Florida. I left the northeast – my familiar, warm bubble – where my closest friends are. I truly felt that moving to Florida was the “right” thing to do. When I moved here everything happened really easily – I found great friends, a job, a band. The contrast between how difficult it was to establish a life in New York and establish one here is startling. And I guess the fact that it was so easy to get started here has made me feel impatient for more things to happen, but I have to remember that I’ve only been here 2.5 months. So, is everything unfolding perfectly? The thing is that I don’t feel satisfied, and some of the things I have are things that I don’t really want, and I’m plagued by this fear that I will succumb to complacency with my job the way I did in NYC and 2 years will go by, hardly noticed, and I’ll be in the same cubicle, still pining for something more. I wish I knew where I was going, and what exactly IS unfolding, if in fact it is unfolding perfectly. I don’t feel like I’m being guided by anything larger than me, and often I feel completely lost and uncertain.

Today I was reading an old friend’s blog, and he was writing about his life, and he had this period of time where several areas of his life bloomed simultaneously. He got engaged, found a perfect job in a city where he wants to live, and discovered that his fiancĂ© could be employed by the same school. That to me is everything unfolding perfectly. It gives me hope that that all happened to him. That he struggled, and was uncertain, but that there was this final release where everything just fell into place. I know that’s not the end of the story, but I still sometimes wish for my own happily ever after.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

pontificate

Lately I have been into reading these sites, fmylife.com, mylifeisaverage.com, and mylifeisg.com, all of which feature short, 2-3 sentence stories about various daily events. And after spending so many hours a day reading these things, I find that it's harder for my brain to think in long, compound sentences. And that is something that I find kind of scary.

What has happened to the long-winded letter? Some of my favorite things in the book Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood are the chapters that are letters from one character to another. The letters are long, artful, well thought-out, and personal. But now, I feel like daily communication has been chopped up, shortened, amputated, injured. Now we communicate (and sometimes I even think!) in acronyms: FML, OMG, WTF, BFF.

Don't get me wrong, I love how easy it has become to communicate with people. My small circle of friends is so spread out that it would be impossible to write letters to each of them, filling them in on various life events. And I think that a certain sense of intimacy can be felt when you can text your friend 1,000 miles away to say, "hey i got to this movie super early, aren't i an idiot," rather than wait until something big happens for which a letter would be appropriate. So I like quick, rapid-fire communication, but I just wish there was someway to balance that with the art of writing a beautiful letter.

I guess until I figure out how to write an artful text message, my little blog will suffice. Long live English!

Monday, June 29, 2009

rain, rain... i like you

The weather in Florida has a reputation for being great. Sunny all the time, hot, etc. Of course the humidity is formidable, and most people know that, but one thing that I didn't know about was the dependable, ferocious afternoon rainstorms in the summer.

I really like rain. And the rain in the sunshine state is the most serious rain I've ever seen. My favorite thing about it is its suddenness. Your day will be going along just fine, sun shining, puffy clouds, and then all of a sudden the sky will rip open and buckets and buckets of rain will pound down. The storms can last anywhere from 3 minutes to 3 hours, and you pretty much have to stop whatever you're doing if you happen to be outside in it.

In other news: two addictions have been rekindled in my life. Coffee and twitter. The two somehow go hand in hand, no? I'm going to try to ratchet myself back to tea drinking, because that at least doesn't incapacitate my brain as much as coffee does. And maybe once that calms down, twitter won't hold any appeal.

Monday, June 22, 2009

the first in a (likely) series of posts about florida

Ah, Florida. The first time I lived here lasted for about 3 months, and I hated it with intensity. I worked at Albertson's, the southern grocery store chain, where my supervisors thought I would be brilliant in the floral department because I accidentally told them that I took Floral Design in high school (I didn't mention that I got a C in it - my lowest grade ever in high school). So I worked at the floral counter, scrubbing moldy flower buckets and making small overpriced arrangements. I came home, practiced clarinet, went on IM, and went to bed under my too-hot-for-florida down comforter. I remember staring up at the ceiling fan, sweating, seething, thinking that my life was over (I was 18). In actuality it was pretty great: no expenses, no responsibilities, and I didn't have to sit in a fluorescent cubicle for 9 hours a day. Plus I love playing with flowers.

So now I am here again in a more permanent situation, but this time I love it. Everything is green or blue or brown, and the sun shines 90% of the time. Living in the north and in a city, I forgot how good it feels to have sunlight touch your skin every day. And I am still in awe at how nice everyone is here. People at supermarkets offer to help with your groceries (and don't steal them!), and people at cafes will make polite conversation with no hint of creepiness. It's quiet at night except for the frogs. It's just lovely.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

coming soon

a new post, with all-new and exciting details on my life in the sunshine state!

hold tight, kiddos.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

things that are cool about nyc

Well now here we are, mostly all the way through April. Time is moving so quickly! Lately I have really been hating on New York, so I wanted to relieve some of my irritation by writing about things that I like about it and will probably miss when I live elsewhere. So, here we go:

1. Yesterday when I was leaving work, a "Nuts 4 Nuts" vendor was trying to push his cart onto the sidewalk, but couldn't pull it over the apron. As I walked by he said "help! help!" so I pushed the cart up while he pulled it. It was funny, and it probably doesn't happen often in other cities.

2. The Brooklyn Bridge. I've walked over it twice, and even though it was crawling with tourists both times, I still loved it. It is the coolest bridge, and the best walk I've gone on in the city. And you can't beat the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory on the other side. Something about sitting on a pier and eating ice cream after a long-ish walk. Yum.

3. The Chrysler Building. It's so pretty, how can you not love it?

4. Extreme proximity of everything. While I sometimes find this overwhelming, it is really convenient. Need some gochujang? Got it. PG Tips Decaf? Also got it. Need a freaky costume when it isn't Halloween season? Check. However, if you need to buy shampoo and cereal in the same store, you're SOL (but that's for another list...)

5. The history. New York is old. Washington Square Park used to be where people were hanged for various treasons and then buried right there in the ground. Also Wall Street used to be an actual wall! Crazy. There is a lot to learn about this place, and I don't think I've even scratched the surface.

6. Public transportation. It is mostly nice.

7. The Met Opera. I have to say I am really bummed that I won't be here when they do Carmen. But maybe I'll come back for that!

Okay, that is all I can think of right now. 7 Things That are Cool About NYC (That I Will Probably Miss). There you have it! If it's another month before I post, I will be oh so close to leaving this town. And I have to say another nice thing about New York: it is really easy to leave.

Friday, March 27, 2009

what happened to march?

Well my friends, it seems that March has come and gone. I hardly noticed it, and I really can't believe how quickly time is flying. March was a busy and fun month for me - I had 2 band concerts, and I went to Maine to visit one Ms. Kate! Maine was so beautiful, full of snow and pine trees, and I really loved spending time with Kate and her boyfriend Ryan. They made delicious food for me, and apparently homemade ravioli, bread, waffles are all a normal thing for them!

This month I also made a speech in Toastmasters which was modeled after my last blog post. It was my third speech, and I thought it went really well considering that it was our membership drive and there were 50+ people in the room including some well-seasoned toastmasters! I have never been that nervous standing in front of a group of people.

Last weekend I went back to Hackettstown to visit Paris, Natalie and Abbie, and I have to say it was absolutely WONDERFUL. It made me so thankful that we have remained friends for so long, despite periods of time where we might have lost touch.

Well, I am excited for the weeks ahead, as my time in New York winds down. April and May are really nice months in the city, as you begin to see signs of life in the warmer weather.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This past weekend I went on a trip to Ithaca to see friends, hear music, and eat delicious food. It was a lovely trip, and although the weather was unbearably cold, I had a great time and was granted with a greater appreciation for the balmy NYC temperatures. On Saturday morning I had coffee with Chris, my unusually tall friend, and we had a conversation about how we each feel about Ithaca, now that we've moved on and started to carve out lives for ourselves. We agreed that, although we both love Ithaca (and probably always will), neither of us felt like it was home anymore.

At various times in the past 6 years I've thought of Ithaca as an answer to something. Before I was a student I was sure it would be the place where I would "find myself." It's been a refuge, a home, a place I wanted to get out of... but I guess that is the way with any place you live for an extended period of time. The last time I visited post-graduation it felt alive with memories. Anyway, the conversation with Chris reminded me that you can't go home again.

And it's true: you can't go home again. I have always found this phrase immensely depressing. I used to hate any reminder of the general impermanence of things in life, but this time I found the phrase comforting. Knowing that I can't go home again helps me resist the temptation to pine for that ever elusive and beautiful ghost: the past. Ithaca is not my home anymore, but I can enjoy it now with fresh eyes and a sense of possibility.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

to tweet no more

I left twitter. It was too weird.

The main reason is that I didn't like the false sense of community that it provided. I get enough false community from Facebook, thankyouverymuch. For instance, I have a friend who lives 135 miles away, who I talk to often, but rarely see. But, through twitter, I knew what he was doing every day, so I felt like I didn't need to talk to him, because I already knew what he was doing. And so rather than feeling closer to him, I felt further away. Anyway, it was too weird and distracting, so I quit.

In other news, I saw The Bridge Project's "The Winter's Tale" last night at BAM. I had never read it before, and didn't know much about it, but I thought it was really beautiful. I'm still processing it, so I don't have much to say about it other than that.

Yet another news item: going to Ithaca this weekend! I haven't been back since December of 2007, so I think it will be a nice treat to see it once more. I can't wait to eat at CTB and Viva, and see old friends and professors! Yay.

Ok friends it is back to work for me. Farewell.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

delicious

Since Kate is off in the mountains today, I have no one to talk about food with. So I decided to share this recipe with you all, and you can try it if you wish! It is simple, and you can really do lots of different things with it.

This is a kind of variation on the Korean bibimbap, and kind of a regular stir-fry.

Ingredients:
red chard (or any swiss chard)
carrots, sliced thinly
scallions
mushrooms, sliced
garlic
ginger (optional)
brown rice
firm tofu (or beef if that's your thang)
one egg (optional)
sesame oil
rice vinegar
soy sauce

First, start your rice cooker because brown rice takes a loooong time to cook. If you don't have a rice cooker, I would make the rice before you start any of the sauteing. Also if you don't have a rice cooker, you should get one because they are awesome.

If you are making this dish with ground beef, you will want to cook it before you do the vegetables. Cook it up in a frying pan until it is almost done - medium rare - because you will cook it more later.

Heat a couple tablespoons of sesame oil in a large frying pan or wok. When hot, add diced garlic (or a whole clove if you just want the flavor without eating the actual garlic) and ginger and heat until you hear it sizzling. Then add the carrots, mushrooms, and scallions (and whatever veggies you like!) and saute for about 5-7 minutes, until the carrots soften a little. Then add the firm tofu, crumbled (or beef), and saute for a minute or two longer. Finally, add the swiss chard and saute until the leaves are wilted, but not mushy. Then add a splash of rice vinegar, mix it up, and add a splash of soy sauce.

When the rice is done, add it to your frying pan and mix everything together. Crack an egg in the frying pan and stir until egg is cooked. If you have Korean chili paste, or any hot sauce you like, add it now. It's delicious!

Well this was my first try at writing out a recipe that I semi-made up. I hope it works if you try it. You will be in for a treat!

Monday, February 2, 2009

tweet tweet

Today I joined twitter, despite my skepticism about ambient awareness. But I think it's kind of cool to see little random updates from my friends throughout the day. Even though it is cyber, it still makes me feel connected to people. Technology is weird.

Also, today is Groundhog Day! Apparently Phil saw his shadow so we are in for six more weeks of winter, which stinks. All day I was thinking about the movie Groundhog Day, and everything I did I thought, "would I do this again if this day kept repeating itself?" Most of the time the answer was no. If this day repeats itself tomorrow, I think I will get up and make my oatmeal and tea the same way, but then I would go outside and bask in the 50 degree weather. I would not go to midtown, or to my office. I'd go to a museum and walk around the city for a while, during the day when it is relatively empty. I would rent a boat and paddle on Central Park Lake. I would also plan for what I would do the next day, and the next, and the next...

So happy Groundhog Day, my fair readers. I hope the next 6 weeks of winter are a little warmer than the last.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pancakes and some music

For the last 2 weeks I've been adhering to a new diet called Macrobiotics. It is pretty complicated, so for simplicity's sake I will say that it is basically like being vegan, except you eat sea vegetables a lot, and you can eat fish. It's also about balance, so it's not super restrictive and there is no holier-than-thou attitude about it. Anyway this morning I made amazing vegan pancakes that I found at vegweb.com. It's a very simple recipe:

1 c. plus 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp brown sugar (I used dark brown)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp applesauce
1 c. plus 2 tbsp water or soy milk (I used vanilla soy milk - it added a nice extra bit of sweetness)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then add the applesauce and water/soy milk and stir well, until batter drips from a spoon but is not runny. Heat the griddle or frying pan and spray with olive oil or cooking spray. When the pan is hot, ladle the batter onto it. Flip the pancakes over when they bubble a little bit on the edges. Keep them warm in the oven or microwave while you cook the rest of them. This recipe makes 8 medium-sized pancakes. They are delicious plain or even with a tiny bit of Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter spread on them.

I enjoyed my pancakes with some Iron and Wine too, who I've been obsessed with for the past week or so. I even learned 2 songs on the guitar, and am trying to work my way up to the finger picking - although it is hard to know where to start with that. I guess it'll be best to just dive right in! I've also been listening a lot lately to Neko Case and The New Pornographers, and I highly recommend TNP's album Twin Cinema and Neko Case's album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.

So there you go - a new recipe and some music recommendations! How do you like that.

Also, happy new era with President Obama.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

syntax: challenge!

A friend of mine mentioned this exercise on his website (www.derekorth.com) and I thought I'd try it in the waning minutes of my Tuesday. Basically, you take a couple sentences you've written recently (I used the beginning of my last blog post), and then you mix up all the words and add new punctuation. It's an exercise that challenges syntax, and ultimately challenges you to see outside the box. Here is what I got:

Day here: the impending woo in I flew my Thursday out of last Chicago. Early night I to heard midway—about on Thursday a flight was of the ones. Leave snowstorm airport! Am apparently night; Florida I on Well when one?

My favorite is the last line. It seems to me like I subconsciously asked Florida if I should move there.

If you partake in the challenge, please post your exercises as comments. How fascinating!