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the wandering fire
02 October 2012 @ 02:21 am
Note: I know it's literally been months since my last post. So much is going on in my life; I'm back in Grenada, I'm knee deep in Physiology and other classes, I've got family stuff happening that I need to post about, the list goes on. But if I don't post about the summer now, I don't know if I ever will, and I need to do this logically and in order to keep my sanity and my memories.

Ok, so the first weekend after arriving in the Czech Republic, we all decided to go to Berlin. It came about as haphazardly and shoddily as you can possibly imagine. Basically the night before, we were all like, LET'S GO TO BERLIN! And the next day (Friday), Racine went to one place (train station) and I went to another (bus station) and we scrambled for the easiest, fastest way out. After an extended conversation with the ticket agent comparing prices, we secured a way there and back in time for Monday classes - then ran home to tell our housemates we bought bus tickets for them, assemble them, get them to pack, and - Oh yeah, sleeping! Beds! We need that! - find decent lodgings.

Thus began our mini-trip...
OH WOWWWWCollapse )

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
the wandering fire
23 May 2012 @ 03:21 pm
I'm back. I've been back for about ten days. I survived finals. I wasn't 100% pleased with my performance, but I'll make do. Medical school isn't so much about grades as much as it is your score on the big old standardized tests (beginning with Step 1, a year and a half way). And let's face it, there's always an excuse for test results. Too tired, not enough time, gnomes mysteriously stole my notes, whatever.  The day after finals, I spent it relaxing at the beach, at a baby shower, and at my family's hotel before getting to my flight the next morning. I was accompanied by classmates for the whole journey, and have never been so grateful to be back in the US. (Seriously, I missed the stupidest things. Woodland creatures. Traffic lights. NPR on an actual radio. Berries - yes, we didn't have berries. Proper libraries. Customer service.) I've been happily reuniting with friends, eating copious amounts of ethnic food, and reading books for pleasure since I've returned.

My parents have been making the house snazzier in hopes of selling it. There have been painters at the windows for days now, and it's kind of bizarre having to look out the windows to make sure I'm not being watched by men on rooftops. I came back from finals week remaining relatively hyperproductive, so I've been on a cleaning rampage. I've been donating books and clothes, which comprise the majority of my belongings. I'm going to be fitting my life into two suitcases for the next year and a half, so a whole room of stuff I won't be seeing or using for most of this time suddenly seems unnecessary. 

Today, I sat down by my bookshelf and started going through a lot of old papers from college. I sorted through stacks of books and notes that were several feet high, and most of it is getting thrown out. I looked through notes for Cancer Biology, Neuronal Cell Development, Darwinian Medicine, classes with generally impressive names. I started wondering about what it means to really learn a thing. The only real conclusions I came up with were that I didn't know how to study effectively in college, and doodled way too much all over everything printed on paper. These observations are probably why I under-performed in some classes, but I still made it to medical school, and I've never studied better or harder in my life.

I've got a whole mess of things I've been putting off for after finals which I may now commence worrying about. Financial aid, course evaluations, planning for Prague, blah blah blah. I mostly just want to burn incense and create things and/or watch Buffy or Downton or Merlin. I don't really have anything else of worth to say, so here's a picture from my flickr. It's an incense burner, much more elaborate than mine, I assure you:
Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful
the wandering fire
Student center at sunset. #medschoolisland #landscape #sunset #clouds
Well hello there, Friendslist.

It's time. For the update of the century. Because I drank a cappuccino earlier and can't properly focus on these Histology slides. And it's Saturday night!

I hereby invite you to click this cut and learn of the wonders and terrors of life living as a medical student thousands of miles from home.

I've survived so far. That much I can say...Collapse )
Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful
the wandering fire
17 November 2011 @ 08:00 am
Hey y'all. Some fun things in my life: I finally got a flickr pro account! This had been something I had wanted for YEARS. All the photos from Australia are up there now. Including adorable animals. I also gave my domain page a facelift. (Heck yeah!) And I renamed my twitter account. And gave my tumblr a new layout. And posted on my sketchblog after changing the layout there too. But what I really want to post about is the new music rotation/playlist that I put up. I've been consistently changing it at least every two seasons for about two years now. This time 'round there are some songs with really excellent lyrics.

This playlist touches on the light and dark parts of relationships, the willful destruction of relationships (and the world itself, in some songs) and eventual rebuilding, or at least being able to look back on what happened. I posted the lyrics I liked best in case anyone was remotely curious. I'm placing the lyrics behind a cut and whatnot because I imagine the post is going to get quite long.Break the silence -- Collapse )

Anyway hope everyone is doing well. I've had a heck of a lot of spam comments lately so this post might magically become friends-only in the near future.
Current Mood: determineddetermined
the wandering fire
12 July 2011 @ 12:08 am
 So today's my birthday, I didn't do anything to celebrate it because I'm a lazy mope, but that's okay because in honor of the silver shoes I bought myself I declare a 

and now a cut before everyone defriends me.

ADD MORE GIFS IN THE COMMENTS, for I dearly need a laugh.

the wandering fire
03 October 2010 @ 01:57 am
 I sat down tonight and went over the collective little scraps of paper that have accumulated over the years since I began college. I slowly read over each side of each little item, putting aside ones that were worth saving. Tickets from concerts, movie stubs, birthday cards, the rare piece of snail-mail, the even more rare photograph. Things that will have no meaning to anyone but me, but which together collectively built a mental mosaic of memories. Organizing gives me incredible piece of mind and clarity. Order and compartmentalization matter to me. Even if it means just taking papers out of several places and putting them into one or two, it's become more important to me to take stock of what exists and where it exists.

I'm sitting at my desk now, rewarding myself with tea and sweets, listening to Fleetwood Mac and burning a candle. It's an excellent candle -- it burns into lotion, not wax, and it smells like Paradise, which is the scent name. The candle comes from this company, one I encountered last month at the Renaissance Faire in upstate NY. That day was sweet and warm and perfect, spent with good friends. We watched jousting and an insanely talented act called Cast in Bronze which was like a combination of Quasimodo and The Phantom. I quite thoroughly impressed myself by driving there on highways, in the Bronx, and in New Jersey without too terrible a mishap, although at some point that day we circled around an IKEA thinking in all earnestness that it led to a highway entrance. :)

I realize it's been an incredibly long time since my last post. I spent summer working and saving money and reading delightful books and volunteering at a hospital. The moments I would steal for myself at the hospital, sitting in a corner sipping coffee and simply watching human traffic and reading the snapshots of people's lives, gave me some of the strongest moments of calm all summer. I realize I never really said anything about starting a new job - one that easily snapped up most of my time - but in that respect I'm trying to live in the moment. My job at Apple has definite ups and downs, but at this point I can safely say that I utterly adore my coworkers and that every time that I have to deal with a particularly prickly customer, it pleases me to smother them with kindness to the best of my ability. The summer was easily a time of talking to people and creating a comfortable method of communicating with people that I don't know. I had to do this in extremes --  talking to someone in a hospital bed in the Oncology ward,  explaining some element of technology to someone, or even getting to know a new coworker -- and I'm not sorry I spent less time than I'd have liked doing certain other things. I can afford to be methodical in my life right now, or I at least keep telling myself this.

At present, I'm still working at Apple, and I still volunteer with Medical Oncology, but as of this week that just passed, have added the following to my week's schedule: Another volunteering shift, now in in Child Life Services (I'm going to be with ickle children! Squee!), a tutoring job helping athletes with their writing/biology labs, a class I'm taking as a non-matriculating graduate student (it's called Darwinian Medicine and it's pretty fun, though we'll see how fun I find it after a few midterms), an English course I'm auditing about the fantastic as a place, and another prep course in hopes to retake the MCAT. Also, I'm Batman. Just kidding.

That all sounds like a ridiculous amount of stuff going on. I suppose it is, but the trick to it is to time things well and to keep them in small bursts. My volunteer shifts, for example, are only three hours in length. The only thing I have to make sure I can control is how often/much I study. I've been doing well while it's just the Bio class I have to deal with, but the MCAT isn't a laughing matter any more, and shouldn't be treated thusly.

I'll get through it, though.

In terms of other notable things I'd be remiss if I didn't mention, knowing full well that I'm about to forget things that deserve listing: 
-I met someone from the internet and didn't die! I hung out with stormydown  the week before her classes started and it was an amazing day of smiles and laughs and omlettes and homeless men yelling about lesbians in Union Square. I hope with my heart of hearts it won't be the last of our adventures, especially if visiting that second hand bookshop again is a possibility :).
-I bought some outrageous lipstick (among other things) from the new MAC collection that just came out featuring Disney Villains. And I finally bought a new watch! It is a lustrous rose-gold color and shines brilliantly, even though it's already been scratched due to my ~insane lifestyle~. I mention these things only because I tend to be very frugal when it comes to myself and having a job makes it easier to convince myself that I deserve nice things. I'm one of those people who tends to think she doesn't deserve nice things, which hinders me sometimes. It's surprising how much the simple act of rewarding oneself can help.
-I blog every Wednesday for Side B magazine. I mostly showcase illustrators, whether alive or dead. If you would like to be a part of our magazine or donate money, I'd appreciate it immensely!
-Jenny came to stay with me for a few days again in the tail-end of August. I adore that girl. Her honors college thesis is going to be Iliad-inspired poetry! I have raised her well. AND she's working with Dr. Manning, who we all know to be one of my favorites.
-I went to the Bodies exhibit with my friend Joe from Australia who was visiting NY for a week. It was magnificent. We stayed for hours, just staring at tissue and bone and lovingly crafted displays. It amplified my respect and admiration for humans and their bodies. Going to that exhibit was a long time coming (I'd wanted to go since 2007). I'm going to go back to Australia in February, but that's a post for another day.
-My friends are getting promotions and interesting jobs and internships all over the place! cellowraith  is moving libraries to work at the one that's in walking distance to my house. Can you guess who I'll be stalking soon?
- I caught dinner with alyza  last night, after she drove all the way from Staten Island and through piss-poor weather to see me. I am hopefully going to visit her as soon as I get the chance!
- This weekend is New York Comic Con. I'm going, and I took the entire weekend off, but it's remained so smack-dab in the back of my mind that I have no idea what I'm excited to see besides a huge screening of BBC's new Sherlock.
-Am, as always, reading. Most notably, I absolutely loved the ending of Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry. Y'all know how much I've grown to adore GGK over the past year; In other news, water is wet. I read The City & The City for the class I'm auditing, and it was breathtaking as well. I'm sure you won't be surprised to know I keep the most up-to-date record of my activities when it comes to cataloging the books I've read. I also have a twitter, in case anyone out there is so inclined as to follow me.
-Last, maybe? I spent a lot of late August/early September indulging in creativity. I was so busy working on top of it that I didn't realize how much I'd accomplished. My projects included a massive illustration that I may discuss in a private post later, and learning the wonders of my new camera. I updated with new photographs on my photo blog
Now, to update my playlist and blog for myself. Goals, goals, goals...
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
the wandering fire
Hi babies. WC final was today. Certainly what I'd call a mediocre game except for the last 15 minutes. Too many fouls given to the Oranje and too many ignored fouls by Spain IMHO. Germany was my team all the way this time 'round, though there were lulz aplenty from all the teams. I'm really happy with Muller getting the Golden Boot award and Forlan getting Golden Ball, as well as Sexy St. Iker getting the Golden Glove. I will not miss vuvuzelas. Friends were over and we watched it together; they made it more fun than the little men running around the screen, fossho.

For my birthday I posted a request for book recommendations on my facebook wall, and boy did my friends deliver! In case anyone out there in livejournal land wants to see the list, I've compiled it since facebook isn't very good at archiving things. If you have any recommendations feel free to leave 'em in comments! If you've read any mentioned here and want to comment, do that too!
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
the wandering fire
11 July 2010 @ 01:09 am
...and since I took a long time / procrastinated before I actually sat down to write this post, I suppose it's my first one as a 22 year old!

I'm tired so I'll be brief. This past year was filled with many an incredible and unexpected thing happening to me that I definitely could not have foreseen.

I discovered I can write longform fiction. I started honing my digital illustration techniques and finally got excited about making things again.
I took up a little bit of fencing, and found out that I quite like running. On a whim, I plunged into learning Italian and got excited about languages again. I started to volunteer at a hospital. I did not die in a car crash, though I did total a car. I started to drive to school rather than stay in a dorm, so as not to be afraid of roads. As expected, I graduated from Uni, but I did not expect my future unravel into uncertainty as it did in the last few months. I also didn't expect to speak at graduation and have it be received so well. Despite not having the satisfaction of knowing where my graduate school destination will be, I think it will make me a more disciplined and decisive person as I own up to steering my own existence.

I read incredible books from authors I never knew I'd love so much who've woven wonders of which I would never have dreamed. I made new friends who were so fantastic they showed me how clouded and toxic older friendships were simply by being themselves. I met mentors who graced me with kindness I'd been missing for years. I felt minor stings of betrayal and let them wash away as quickly as they came. I learned to let go of some things and found that the minute I let go was the minute the issues resolved themselves; similarly, I made deliberate decisions to be indulgent; by gratifying desires, I learned that they didn't have the power I thought they held, or perhaps realized that they weren't as important as they were when they were temptations.

On a more recent note, I didn't expect to leave age 21 employed! But, again, tiredness takes hold -- to bed with me! Tomorrow is an exciting World Cup Final, and ~FREE SLURPEE DAY~ :)
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
the wandering fire
04 July 2010 @ 01:16 am
~*~HOT MEN~*~
feel free to add more pictures in comments in case there is someone who should be mentioned here/brought to my attention.
join the objectification under this cutCollapse )
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
the wandering fire
06 June 2010 @ 12:12 am
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest (unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1).
6. Tag five people.

He was distracted by the braying laughter of Menelaus, a thick-headed bully whose ill breeding was evident in the offhand contempt with which he treated Penelope, who hovered near him, her eyes fixed on his face, filling his wine cup and laughing at jokes intended for Helen.

"I must have Helen or die," Odysseus thought, "though she does not seem like the sort of thing that can be had. More like a raptor, bright-eyed, poised over the world, inaccessible, rarely descending, swiftly striking. It would be worth my life to get her." Just then Mentor, Odysseus's father's man who had come with him from Ithaca, appeared as though from out of a mist and pulled him aside. Eyes shining, Mentor said he had noticed that though every man was smitten with Helen and could scarcely tear his eyes from her face, no two of them described her the same way. This effect was so pronounced that they might have been describing different women altogether.

-The Lost Books of The Odyssey, Zachary Mason

HEAR YE, this book, which I randomly stumbled upon while staring at shelves at a nearby library, is simply fantastic. I'm a huge fan of The Iliad and The Odyssey, and this is a gem, a pearl of a book. It is essentially a series of drabbles, vignettes, what have yous, that work within the conceit that these are actually just books from the Odyssey that have been recently found. The book is both incredibly poetic and old-worldly in a way that respects Homer, but it also has shining moments of incredibly lucid modernity that don't seem forced at all. Like Odysseus, the tales are clever, twisting and turning and explore the many sides to the Odyssey that should perhaps have been discussed from different angles much earlier. And it's especially fun because they're all short and sweet and moving in one way or another. WHICH IS WHY I AM GOING TO POST THIS WHOLE STORY UNDER A CUT.

Book 21: Helen's ImageCollapse )

Anyhoodles, I have to tag people now! I hope they read this entry, hahaha. Ummm, how about omgitshbc , ebeda  (who has been inundated with memes recently, yeeeehaw), savepureness , sanguinerose , & hashishinahooka.
I'm not sure if anyone I tagged has done this meme already, so ANYONE ELSE WHO WANTS TO DO THIS MEME SHOULD DO IT. I hate selectivity.

In other news, last night I went running because I was bored since I had locked my key in my car (yes, I only have ONE SINGLE KEY to my car. it's okay, we're laughing about it now) and my childhood neighbor (someone I grew up with, whom I consider a sister) had an engagement party tonight. Some super awesome things will be shaping up in the next week, so stay tuned, dear viewers.
Current Mood: bouncybouncy