March 05, 2014

Musings & Snapshots: a quote

It's no secret that I read a lot. Adding to my endless reading list is a new subscription to the New Yorker. I was enjoying a great short story by Denis Johnson and within its pages I came across the following sentence, which is just so perfect. It's beauty stopped me in my tracks; I was compelled to drink it in repeatedly and felt the need to share it here.

"The day was sunny, fine for walking, brisk and getting brisker--and, in fact, as I cut a diagonal through a little plaza somewhere above Fortieth Street, the last autumn leaves were swept up from the pavement and thrown around my head, and a sudden misty quality in the atmosphere above seemed to solidify into a ceiling both dark and luminous, and the passerby hunched into their collars, and, two minutes later, the gusts settled into a wind, not hard but steady and cold, and my hands dove into my coat pockets."

February 25, 2014

One Year Ago Today: Makha Bucha in Chiang Mai

A year ago Jarrad and I boarded a songthaew, a pick-up truck with benches along the back that serves as makeshift public transportation in the smaller cities of Thailand. This particular songthaew's destination was the Wat Phrathat, perched high on the peak Doi Suthep, in the Thanon Thong Chai mountain range that borders the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.

February 18, 2014

Things I'm Digging

It can be troubling to live in an eternally optimistic society such as America. As a "misanthropic misery-gut," I often feel guilty for not being a constant beam of sunshine and positivity. As a matter of fact, feeling stress over negative feelings actually makes me feel worse than just feeling down! I do generally think positive thinking is a cult of bullshit, BUT people generally don't want to spend any time around you unless you are farting rainbows. So here's some stuff that keeps me momentarily happy.

1. Harry Potter

Talk about escapism. Nothing can whisk you away from your boring 9-5 like a story about a boy wizard who flies brooms in magical sports matches, battles trolls, and solves mysteries with his wizard friends. Harry Potter books were first released when I was in high school; they were an instant hit, and all my friends loved them. Sticking to my contrarian ways, I refused to read them. I lived in Texas, and went to school in a suburb that took us out of our AP classes to go judge cheerleading tryouts; I was miserable and hated anything "popular." In many ways I'm glad to have left the Harry Potter series to this part of my life. In your early 30s, a lot of your idealism has melted away, and you almost need that dose of magic. What isn't there to love about a brave, loyal and courageous wizard and his friends, one of whom is a big-haired girl who loves books?

2. Old School Netflix

When Jarrad and I lived in Austin, we did dvd Netflix and supplemented with local dvd stores (such as I Love Video &Vulcan) to discover new movies, as well as the library. Most people we knew stuck to streaming, so when we returned to the US, we subscribed to streaming. And it sucked. A short month later, we moved on to good old hard copy, because the variety is so much better. So far this year we've watched a great range of movies, including Casablanca, Hukkle, Blue Jasmine, Into the Abyss, Doubt, Stories We Tell, and Frances Ha, just to name a few.

February 12, 2014

One Year Ago Today...

Jarrad and I were coasting along on a flight to Moscow, with a final destination of Bangkok. It marked the beginning of an incredible four months. It's hard to not yearn for that sense of excitement and adventure on a daily basis, especially given the monotony of a Houstonian workweek. But I comfort myself with thoughts of what will be a year from now. There is no cure for wanderlust after all.