Monday, May 31, 2010

Beach Day!

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have fought and died for the U S of A. I like to interpret it as a time of freedom, thanks to the very men and women we commemorate. On this day, I decided to celebrate freedom by attending the beach with friends! The weather was perfect, the company was divine, and the sun was in full force. Lots of sand and sea. Lots of good times. See for yourself.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Best. Week. Ever.

It's true--I've created a stress-free, leisurely summer break for myself. Don't judge me. It's probably the last summer I will have that is as relaxed and free as this one, so I don't feel guilty. For not having a "regular" schedule (i.e. full-time work and school), I'm doing well at keeping myself busy, so far. This week is a good example.

Walks along the water,getting paid to play with kids, temple work, picnic in Central Park,
pedicures with girlfriends, dumplings in Chinatown (ran into the sister missionaries there), crashing on friends' couches spontaneously, watching "Top Gun" on top of the Intrepid (an aircraft carrier that was used in war),

Saturday brunch, and a movie.

It really was an incredible week. This week will be off to a good start, with a trip to the beach with friends for Memorial Day, and to end the week, a trip to Salt Lake City and Las Vegas (aka: home sweet home).

Life is good. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Island

Living in this concrete jungle, it's easy to forget that it is surrounded by water.

Through those trees yonder lies the Hudson River. I haven't spent much time yet over on this side of Manhattan, and with the last few days free to myself, I've made it a point to spend my spare time outdoors. Yesterday I went to Central Park again to read. It was overcast and the trees and grass looked especially green. It started raining a misty rain and I was caught unprepared, so I found shelter under the nearest and biggest tree until there was a slight break in the rainfall. I wish I would've taken a photo there, because it was beautiful, but I refrained for fear of my phone getting wet. I've been told it rains here often during the summer months, hence, the humidity (what New York summers are known for). I can't say I'm looking forward to that aspect of the summer, but hey--this is the first time I've had a summer break in years. I can't complain. And right now, I wouldn't dare do such a thing. The weather is perfect.

Monday, May 24, 2010

'LOST' and Found

So, the end has come. I must say, I wasn't as emotionally hooked to this show as I have been in the past, and it showed during the series finale (i.e. I didn't cry and I wanted to. Other people did. Why didn't I?!). I'm actually quite ok with the fact that I didn't cry. I think the major time gaps between seasons disconnected me a lot. I am the type of person who gets easily emotionally invested in people (surprise, surprise), and I WAS very much so invested to the 'LOST' characters during the first half of the series. I think the disconnect happened mostly between these last two seasons 5 and 6 . This season was a total disappointment from the start. It just didn't have that same "umph" or the same strong writing that the others had. It seemed a lot more 'hokey'/fake, which sounds ridiculous, I know...'cause really, what was "real" at all about 'LOST'?? Half way through, the season did improve, and then the ending....well, it was happy and spiritual-esque, so I can't complain.
However, I'm the kind of person who appreciates when a movie or book doesn't end the way one hopes it will (which is usually happy). I guess I am more of a realist than an idealist, then. Or would that be a pessimist more than an optimist? Is it sinister to want something crappy or bad to happen, just to throw off the "happy ending" cliche? I'm not asking for it always. Just every once and awhile. But with that said, I am content with the way the creators wrapped up this crazy, confusing, cliff-hanging, nearly never-ending movie-quality television show called 'LOST'. Now what?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Patience Unto Perfection

I've been trying a new form of scripture study lately where I choose a topic that is applicable to the current moment in my life, find a scripture or two or three on that topic, and then write my thoughts about it pertaining to my life. About a month ago or so I chose "patience". Of course, this topic can be studied every day for the rest of my life and will never get old (I just may make it a monthly ritual, at least). During my study, I found a beautiful scripture that I think gets overlooked way too often. In the church, we often hear James 1:5 repeated because of its significance in Mormon church history, but the one before it is pure and profound poetry.

"But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
I just may make this scripture my mantra. Consider it done.
I finished reading my first book of the summer (and I don't think it's even officially summer, yet)! Again, I started out small, but it was powerful. If I haven't said this yet, something else that has been on my mind lately is that I have no room to complain about my life (though I do all too often). I have a fantastic life. There are billions of people in the world who have far more challenging and trying times to concur. "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" just confirmed that thought. It's the author's thoughts and experiences after he has a stroke, goes into a coma, and comes out totally paralyzed with "locked-in syndrome". He wrote the entire thing by blinking his eye and having an interpreter figure out, using a special alphabet chart, what he wanted to say. He died two months after it was published. Now, that kind of story brings life into perspective.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm a woman of my word.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Food For Thought

It must be the sensitive state that I am in at this moment in time, but some things people say, even totally out of context, hit right at home.

Just a bit ago, I was on the phone with someone at my last semester internship, where I am now working on occasion. He was telling me how the client we work with said she felt like this social event she went to last weekend was a waste of time. And like a good social worker, his response to her was, "It's better to have experienced it and know, rather than to be left guessing." If it never happened, you'd never know either way. No regrets. Seriously. That was profound for me right now. I totally needed to hear that and did. Loud and clear.

Rainy Days and Reading

It's raining again in New York and I have to do laundry again. Go figure. Last time I did laundry it was raining. It's no biggie if you have a car to get into to drive your laundry to the laundry mat, or better yet, you don't have to go anywhere because you have a washer and dryer at home. But alas, these are not luxuries I enjoy at this time in my life. Carrying a load of laundry while trying to balance an umbrella and detergent is no easy task. I even took my push cart last time, and it was still difficult. Instead, I feel like staying in doors and curling up to a book. Yep, I said it. I am going to READ. I just read a friend's blog post about wanting to read a lot this summer, though she admitted to being not the greatest reader. I can relate. I have never been a big reader, and I take a really long time to get through a book. I also feel like I get bored quickly. Typically, if the book doesn't grab me within the first few pages, I have a hard time committing to it. Ha. It's like my relationships, only I'm the book, not the reader. If someone would just keep reading, for crying out loud...
This is a good depiction of how I feel about that above statement.

And that leads me to my renewed effort to READ often. I gotta give books a decent shot, right?! I can't be a hypocrite. I was talking to someone about this the other day, how I've never loved to read, but wish I did. And then I thought, well, have I ever really tried it long enough? I blamed the lack of desire on the fact that I've been forced to read things (in school) my entire life. But leisure reading is something entirely different. I love books themselves, especially used ones. I used to buy them from second-hand stores all the time, with the intent to read them. I usually would pick them up, begin to read them, and then get distracted with something else. I had an entire, tall bookcase full of 'em! I got rid of most of them when I moved to NYC.

A year or so back, I picked up some books and lost myself in them, and it was a good thing. Reading is a form of escape, no? It's an approved form of escape, even. So, I'm doin' it. I have my entire summer off, lots of free time on my hands, and I'm going to make a point to read, dangit! And this is where I'm going to start:
It was on my roommate's shelf. Only a hundred and something pages. Startin' out small. Don't judge me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Perfect Fit

My summer just got a whole lot better. I scored myself an adorable, vintage three-speed bike at a flea market in Hell's Kitchen yesterday. I hopped on and it was a perfect fit. Here she is:

I live two blocks away from Central Park. How could I NOT own a bike?! And this one has gears! I loved my vintage bike I took with me from Vegas to Salt Lake City, but it was a beach cruiser. No gears meant not riding very often. I also sold it when I moved to New York. The fact that my new/old bike has gears makes life a lot easier, or at least, riding will be. I probably won't be taking this one with me, either, when I leave this city, but I plan on enjoying her company in the meantime. Oh, and it says "Free Spirit" on the center bar. Couldn't be more fitting.:)

And here's the actual photo of me and Meleah from the last post.I dig it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

When The Smiths Come to Town

I get to spend the next five days with these kids:

They couldn't have come at a better time. I'm lovin it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nanny By Day, Genius By Semester. Ha.

I started babysitting last week, and it initially was going to be once a week for 8 weeks. But the two kids took to me so well, the mom asked me to come two additional days (though she only needs me half the time on those days). Today is my first day alone with them, for a full 9 hours, too. They're adorable children and really well behaved. The girl is 3 and the boy is 15 months. I would post pictures, but that is probably not a good idea without the mom's permission. You'll just have to take my word for it. They are adorable. Both have dark, curly mop tops, big, dark brown eyes and are very sweet. I must say, it's strange being around kids again. It seriously feels like ages since I've been around any. I get to play "mom" for the summer, and I'm totally ok with that. Maybe it will cure me of my maternal cravings. Below is a photo I took today during the kids' nap walk. I walk them in the stroller and they fall asleep. And I get to look out at the water and the Statue of Liberty. That's what is in the distance, behind the water taxi. Not too shabby.

On a more scholarly note, I received my grades for this semester. I can't believe my own two eyes, but the computer says it all. As all across the board! Seriously. Maybe grad school isn't as hard as undergrad, or maybe it has to do with the field I'm actually interested in that's doing it. Whatever it is, I'm just glad I'm doing something right. And I was totally kidding in the title. I am no genius. Just a girl with a big heart and more than decent writing skills.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Will...No...I DID Survive

No, I haven't received grades, yet, but I can safely say that I survived my first year of grad school at NYU. I'm not gonna lie, I'm feelin' pretty good about it. Duh. I just finished writing my last paper of the school year, to turn it in on Friday at my last class. SIGH of relief!!!! Now I get to focus on making some money via various jobs this summer (i.e. babysitting, possibly a paid internship at a senior center, and a paid respite job with my current internship), and having FUN with that money, New York City style! Things are looking up! I've babysat a few times over the last month, and while it's not big money, it sure feels good to be earning again! Seriously, to work and get paid for it...there's just something about it. I feel like I'm contributing to society and society is contributing CASH!!! Also, I get to pay tithing at church again. Once more, the ability to earn and contribute = good feelings, not to mention blessings.

The babysitting gig may be short-term and it's only once a week, but hey, it's something. I met the mom and the two kids today and the kids are SO ADORABLE! They both have dark brown, almost black adorable curly hair and dark brown, adorable eyes. And they totally took to me! I've always thought I had a knack with kids. I told the mom this, and she saw it in action and confirmed it. She was impressed. :) For some reason, kids just love me...probably because I love them first. They're like dogs. They can sense if you like them or not. Babies and dogs. I love them. They love me. There's a certain age range of love, though. Kids between the ages of 1 and 4, maybe 5, love me. Maybe that's just because that's the stage where they still rely on adults a lot. I like to think it's my golden blond hair and big smile that gets 'em every time. ;)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Old Places, Friendly Faces

This last weekend I went on a day-trip with my church to Palmyra, NY, a place full of Mormon church history. It just so happens that I spent much time there as a missionary awhile ago, so it was exciting to be going there on multiple levels.

Two of my roommates went, too. It was fun! Me and Alina in the Joseph Smith Frame home (above). And me and Jess with the Palmyra Temple in the background.