Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Location

Hey everyone, all three of you who read this, listen up:

This blog will now be published at - please note the spelling change.

It's extremely subtle, but it's simply because I wanted to consolidate a bunch of my accounts so I'm not constantly logging in and out. The content will be completely the same!

NOTE: I had to edit this post again. As of April 12 2009, the above URL is correct. :)

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Updated labels

Just a quick note with the purpose of directing your eyes to the right of the screen: I've finished de-cluttering my labels. I'm sure I might think of other stuff to put in that list, but for now this is a much better way of organizing the labels (tags) for my posts than what I had before. Now things are separated into clutter and life and stuff in between. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The Old Library II
Originally uploaded by (Erik)

Sometimes I wonder where human beings get off critiquing the value of what other human beings do or create. Honestly, what right do we think we have to say that something is "good" or "bad" or "right" or "wrong" based on our own insignificant judgments of quality? How dare we think we can decide the value of something belonging to someone else - especially their thoughts?

I'm getting really fed up with arrogance lately, and surprisingly, it's not solely because of any personal injustice that I feel. It's just something I'm observing more and more of in this academic community, and online as well. I would like to think it exists to a less outrageous extent in other sectors of the world and life, but I'll be honest - I can't know that. I'm stuck in this little bubble of bullshit for the next year and a half, and there's not a whole lot I can do about it while I'm under the control of tests, papers, self-righteous professors and university administration. I'm just glad I'm in this situation at the same time that I'm in a place like New York, where it's relatively easy to "get away" from it all.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Some days I love the Internet every day

Out of Reach
Originally uploaded by stephaniedan

Super awesome, thought-provoking link spam, for your everyday health. Some of these are via iCiNG, naturally.

1000 Awesome Things: Watching Something Download Really Fast. Remember the Internet in the 90s? If yes: Don't you love remembering the Internet in the 90s? If no: how fricking old are you anyway.

In 10 Words. This is an interesting linguistic exercise. It reminds me of this book my French translation/"voices of the projects" prof told us about that was written in French and avoided use of the letter e. Language is amazing, if entirely frustrating*.

More Music, Less Bullshit: Why Dudes Dress Bad. Hilarious and stylish. It also opened my eyes to the fact that, as a girl, I probably dress bad a lot out of laziness of the time too, without realizing it. Owning good clothes doesn't mean you are fashionable haha.

Si Dawson: These Are Not Your Stories. For your own peace of mind, I'll let you read it for yourself, and decide if you agree or not. Sometimes it's hard to remember that, on the Internet and elsewhere, no matter how convicted people sound or how retarded they seem, they might be smarter or less astute than their words make them appear.

jouez. Although a bit feminism- and politics-heavy for my taste, there are some really intelligent, debate-provoking things in this girl's blog. For the record, I don't know her.

Fathering On. It may be creepy that I'm reading the blog of jouez's father, but whatever, I like his idea, and I find it a really interesting concept: a "solo" father (not single, per se) trying to enlighten society's ignorance of the dad's experience of single parenting. It's a really interesting sociological question that really is not treated in the media.

CNN: Catcalling: creepy or a compliment? I've always felt uncontrollably offended when this happens to me, partly because of my upbringing, partly because of my own personal psychology, and apparently, partly because of a more general psychological female trend.

* - Another story for another day.

And there, ladies and gentlemen, goes my Friday night.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dear members of my Education class group,

Originally uploaded by Em.A~

Dear members of my Education class group,

You all are so fucking irresponsible. You are supposed to be teachers-in-training, but you aren't even disciplined enough to do ten minutes' worth of measly research on the educational system in England? I hand-fed you instructions on what to research and what to send me, and I sent out a million e-mail reminders and tried to make shit easy for you. I know that maybe the million e-mails was too much, but is it really my fault in the end, when none of you even had the balls to stand up and take responsibility for this project, for the constant e-mailing that it required? I'm looking at the syllabus and this is one of the main components going into our grade.

I sincerely hope that that ambiguous line in the syllabus about "class members grading each other" means that our group gets to grade each of its members, because I'm going to give all of you very honest grades that reflect your amount of effort in this ridiculous dance of not e-mailing me back/being late for meetings/refusing to offer suggestions/utter laziness.

I can understand that, because we are future teachers, we are all busy. We are busier than anyone else could ever comprehend. I am not even a future teacher and I'm busy. But none of you are busier than me, and none of you should have ever gotten it into your head that my assuming the responsibility meant that I had to do all the work myself.

I'm sure I'm overreacting. In fact, I'm about 90% sure that this project is going to go down really well and be pretty well-received, because of our combined efforts. I am just extremely bitter and extremely pissed that I had to be the one constantly worrying about all our asses in this course that no one cares about, despite it being one of the most relevant and useful classes we will ever take. I don't judge any of you for not thinking it's valuable as a class, but I really wish you could see that everything you do has value, and everything you do affects other people.

In fact, that is what this class is about: EDUCATION AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION, bitches. Education is a social monster, life is a social monster, and you are all failing at it because all you're concerned with is managing your own lives instead of trying to interact with the people who have stumbled into it and are thus A PART OF IT, however minuscule and worthless, according to you.

Bitter, Self-Designated Group Leader

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

One Fell Swoop

Originally uploaded by Sofia Ajram

I've discovered a great new method for superfast de-cluttering. Yes, I am getting cluttery at school. I blame it on my high levels of busyness and low levels of actually caring about stuff other than food and sleep.

Anyway, my desk looks pretty horrible right now. My camera's dead, otherwise I'd show you. The desk looks like a colorful, toddler copy-machine android vomited on it. It got to be too much, so I took everything unnecessary off of my desk and put it on the floor. (The bed would also work.) Now the clutter was in my path, and at least for me, I can't stand a messy floor, because I feel quite obligated to clear it up. So, it got cleared up!

For those of you who don't mind paths obstructed by clothes and confused papier-mache gone wrong, the bed really would work better. Just pick somewhere that you're going to need to clear to use in the near future, and put all your clutter on it so you're motivated to clean it up. My desk was not a good place for my clutter, because I could easily work around it. Find what works for you, as always.

Now, this may end up taking you in circles, as you find more and more places to relocate your clutter, and eventually end up sleeping in a dresser drawer and bathing in the neighbors' kitchen sink. But it works short-term, and that's really all you need, to start.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's all been said before

Originally uploaded by Puss.In.The.Hood

I decided a moment ago that I wanted to post something, but I realized that there was a slight flaw in my plan, because I didn't have anything to say.

Now, this isn't entirely true, because I have lots of things to say; there is a lot floating around the caverns of my mind, but none of it is focused, none of it is meaningful enough to share. And that is what we do here, on the Internet, we share. Often we share ad nauseam, and I really think that cheapens the experience sometimes. If you just shell out every last token of thought that zooms around your head, how do I know what I should take seriously?

In an ideal world, everything everyone says should be worthy of my attention, because individuals are unique and important. But however true that might be about individuals in principle, the reality is that I cannot know the worth behind what you say unless I know you as a person. Lately I'm learning that all my perfect, self-righteous idealistic theories are naive bubbles waiting to be popped by the society that says "ideal isn't real," the mantra I have ignored all my life because people said it too much. You see my problem?

I suppose now is as good a time as any to learn that the cliches and dead metaphors of life may have been used in earnest by past generations trying to show new generations their own lives' beauty and strife, but that no matter how many words you throw at me, I won't learn to see unless I open my own eyes.

Incidentally, this reminds me of a hilarious quote, heard at the movie theater in 2002, where a British child watching the spider scene in Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets wailed, "Mummy, close my eyes, I'm scared!" Oh the ignorance of youth.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Domino Mag Does Creative, Cheap Rentals

Given the title of my blog, I think it's time I get back to its original purpose a little. Sure, people are flocking here cause they think it's the holy grail of the ever-enchanting Gramercy palace, but without my "clutter" purpose for writing, I think I'm getting a little off track. Don't get me wrong, I love thinking and digressing a whole stupid lot. But I also love projects like de-cluttering and finding cheap, creative solutions to doomed or even just mediocre living spaces.

Evidence: instead of studying for my midterm on bilingualism that I have tomorrow, I'm spending my time a) doing laundry, b) eating myself out of apartment and home, and c) rediscovering cool old bookmarks filed under "For 13YoC." Apparently Domino Magazine is shutting down soon, which is such a shame! The magazine is "the guide to living with style," and this article about decorating your rental place speaks a lot to their mission.

Relevance: we're in a recession, HI. I don't know that this fact necessarily affects me, because my family has always been pretty below-average, and then I became a college student, which automatically meant I became even poorer, as my friend S likes to remind us all, while she goes and gets herself temporarily suspended for protesting the cost of NYU.

But still Domino's slideshow appeals to me, because it applies to so many people right now, and they make cheap look awesome. I especially love their idea of lengthening the look of your sad little workspace, making it into something reminiscent of the tents at my epic 6th grade Greek & Roman activity day.

As a side note: I'm going to start de-cluttering (ha!) my tags, because somehow over the course of the past 9 months, this situation has turned really fruity and whimsical, with tags like "emotional" and "introspection" taking over. I'm just afraid that soon I'll be getting into tags like "existential rainbow speculation" if I don't end this soon.

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Society and Brunhilde's Seriousness

take [10]
Originally uploaded by KarensJilly

Lately I've been noticing a lot that people take themselves very seriously. Either that, or they realize that taking yourself seriously is kind of pointless (because people tend to judge you more on the external result: how you interact with others, than your own internal self-concept, which they obviously can't see) and resort to outwardly belittling the mere idea of taking themselves seriously.

Example, because I clearly cannot express myself properly:

Person X: let's call her Brunhilde because I love that name and it is the only one that doesn't really connote anyone I know who might be offended by this. Brunhilde thinks very seriously about life, which is awesome and definitely ideal. Thumbs up for Brunhilde. But Brunhilde knows that in Society Y (let's just call it Society for the sake of simplicity and truth), most people don't convey her ease for critical thought and heavy reflection.

It is certainly true that in Society, other people have Brunhilde's internal seriousness, but for whatever reason, in Society it is not so acceptable to just come out and say your honest thoughts about your serious views, at least in casual conversation. So, Brunhilde is considering the two routes most people in Society tend to take at this junction.

1. Accept that all is lost and that no one will ever appreciate your unique serious thoughts, so you turn to the totally un-serious side of life and get by on humor, drunkenness and superficiality. It works for some people, and they still have these serious, thoughtful thoughts, but they keep them to themselves or maybe one good friend.
2. Realize that Society will never change its narrow-minded ways but say "fuck them all" and just express every single serious thought without any regard for the ridiculous conventions of Society's non-serious ways.

However, both of these routes have their flaws. In 1 it's obvious: you keep yourself bottled up. In 2 you seem to be more liberated by expressing your serious thoughts, but then Brunhilde wonders: don't people just end up taking their own serious thoughts too seriously? And get boring? Just being serious all the time and having no fun with it?

What's a good compromise? Is there a way to balance Society's intolerance for uninhibited expression of critical thought without becoming serious to the extreme? I'm sure there is - countless renowned authors/artists/etc. have found it.

Am I making a huge, gross generalization? Probably. Prove me right or wrong. Bring me stories and advice, I know you have them. Then again, you may not want to share, because you take yourself too seriously. ?

Edit 7:53 p.m.: When I first wrote this, it was generally just a thoughtful, curious glob of snot dripping down my metaphoric nose. But actually there is serious mucous there and I'm realizing that people who take themselves too seriously actually really block up my sinuses.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Oh, the scattered contents of a college kid's brain

Originally uploaded by suprises

Lately I have been essentially consumed with two very different thoughts, and they alternate. One is a general sense of awe and overwhelmption (sure, why not) about the essence of life and how the main themes in my academic life are all colliding and exciting and blah blah blah. It's getting a little too pretentious even for me, I can tell you, so I can't imagine how annoyed the rest of the world is with me.

The other thought is a general, fretful feeling about how loud my CPU fan is on my laptop. :( I have this computer, a Vaio VGN SZ270P, to be exact. I even bought a can of pressurized air so that I could be all macho-nerdy and unscrew the back of my laptop and blow that canned air through the provided straw into my stupid fan. Anyway, I decided that when this computer completely dies, I would like the latest Macbook as a replacement. I'm sure there'll be a newer, more expensive version out by that time, but my point is that the Apple kingdom is really winning me over.

Anyway, I also wanted to share a lovely link with you fine people. It is called and has provided me with many minutes of entertaining reading about real life written funnier. Also one of the writers apparently went to NYU, because I found the site by Googling the 11-person suite at the dorm I want to live at next year. Read the article in question here.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Late nights

I can't sleep, because my sleep schedule is messed up, but also because tonight my roommate and I hosted a beautifully successful dinner party where the people didn't really know each other but clicked wonderfully. We had great food (lasagna by my roommate, cheese sticks by my good friend A, garlicky broccoli and vegan brownies by me, and numerous desserts brought by our friends) and, more importantly, great conversation. I love the human mind and the discussion of life and society and humor and old stuff and new stuff and... I like it all but it tires me out.

I wish my exhaustion could lead me to sleep, but I'm kept up by a racing mind and this song.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Take Back NYU's Sanity

Take Back NYU
Originally uploaded by kmg334

I really have no more words that adequately describe my shame and disappointment at being connected with Take Back NYU. I read through a lot of the articles on their site, but while I can understand some of their demands and mission, I still think that they went about the "occupation" and "protest" in a very immature, inconsiderate and unorganized way. Basically, my sentiment is this:

You should not attempt such immature defiance (and in such small numbers) of an administration you chose to subordinate yourself to by attending this university.

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Shark Tank

On a pleasant misty morning,
Originally uploaded by *~\[ Yuga ☼ Sunshine ]/~*

While walking to an NYU dorm in the West Village last night, I was making my way down Morton Street when a bluish light from overhead in one of the apartments stopped me. I peered up at the third-floor loft with its huge windows and I could vaguely make out a large cube shape full of water. The blue light was bathing the inhabitants of this cube - nothing less than actual, live SHARKS. They were little ones, kind of like this...

JK. More like this. But still, I was amazed that people were rich enough and pompous enough to get sharks for their apartment. I was about to just walk on by, shaking my head, but I realized that I just wanted to stand there and look at the sharks a little longer.

In life, I don't think we do that enough. We don't stop to take things in. It's been said many times many ways (much like "Merry Christmas," bad joke) but still, people see something crazy as they live out their lives and simply furrow their brow while they walk on by. Sharks, I definitely cannot just walk on by those.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Googlin' Gramercy

Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.
Originally uploaded by Em.A~

So I notice a lot of you are coming here from Googling something along the lines of "Gramercy Green NYU housing pictures show me show me show me." I do not mind so much. In fact, I enjoy seeing that people come here looking for Gramercy but stay a little while longer, presumably to read my rambling would-be existential thoughts. I just think it's funny that my blog is the third link on the Google lists when I only have one post about the search terms in question, and the post isn't even that informative.

Here is what I will say about Gramercy:

- It is luxury. Marble countertops, touch-screen microwaves, dishwashers, enormous fridges, talking elevators, seven or so lounges (2 with TVs) throughout the building, upscale subcellar gym and study lounges, a game room, and a great community.
- It is expensive. At almost $13,000 per school year, we are all paying out the ass for this, and you still have to sign non-NYU people in for a max of 3 consecutive nights.
- It is in a great location. Duane Reade is on our ground floor, we're across the street from Starbucks (doesn't take dining dollars unfortunately), blocks away from Chipotle (#1 priority), the Flatiron building, Madison Square Park, the Blender Theater, the Epiphany branch of the NY Public Library, thrift shops galore, and lots of old people. (Don't worry, Baruch, School of Visual Arts or whatever, and plenty of bars are also nearby. You can solve that equation.) It normally takes fast walkers 20 minutes to get to the NYU campus downtown, and 25 for me cause I never learned to walk good.

- I am leaving it for off-campus housing next year, which terrifies me and really makes me not want to talk about it on this blog, which I like to think I save for thoughts of prettiness and intellectualism. What I like to think and what is actually true, of course, are a bit like gold and silver: very good but also quite different. That was a simile.

I'm done.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Think Me

I wish I weren't already behind in schoolwork, because I find that not being on the same page as the professor hinders my ability to think critically in a progressive manner from day to day. Nevertheless, I am really enjoying the path along which my thoughts have been taking me lately.

Somehow, all my subjects seem to be connected to each other this semester. A class on the French ghetto recalls my Education reading about a Lower East Side school in the projects during the 70s and 80s. The social factors of education wind around each other and into the topic of bilingualism, another class I'm taking. I test and question my own degree of bilingualism in a French translation course while also wondering about the pedagogy and teachability of translation. Then there's my class entitled Metaphors of Modern Theater, where we read and discuss plays of the absurd, which kind of zooms back out onto life in general.

It's kind of silly how it has taken me five semesters already to get into the groove of college, but now because of that, I'm getting scared of releasing the pinched opening of the balloon that is my safe little college life, because that will mean I'm going to get flung out into the real world, zigzagging who knows where with no ideas of my future....alkafdlkjg

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Monday, January 19, 2009


Originally uploaded by randi brusokas!

Although I didn't really think about it while I was home, I spent a lot of my winter break pretty isolated. I kind of intended that, though; I intended to do a lot of thinking, which I did, and it was healthy I think. But when I look back at the past month, after being back at school and seeing some of my good friends again, I realized just how much I isolated myself.

Sure, I hung out with people at home. We had some really good times, and I spent some quality time with my friends, which I love. But at the end of the day, I was kind of alone with my thoughts, in a house where, although another person lived with me, I was literally separated from her by having my own room.

Now A is back and I enjoy our intermittent bursts of conversation. I chatted with L today, caught up on The Office with C yesterday, and went to the Met with S on Saturday. I'm excited to be around people again, as weird and recovering-sociopath-like that sounds.

However, I am not excited for the levels of stress this semester promises to bring. So much work lies ahead of me that I think I'm going to sit here and eat chocolate-hazelnut ice cream to let my mind drift.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009


I'm lost
Originally uploaded by Puss.In.The.Hood

I never really listen to music lyrics. Well, rarely. When the explosion of my music tastes occurred mid-high school and I bought a lot of CDs, I would make a point of sitting down to listen through the full albums with the jacket lyrics in front of me, so I could more easily memorize the words. But most of the time it became just that - memorization, and I hardly knew the stories and creations I was singing along to.

But lately I've been listening. I notice awe-inspiring metaphors, instead of just aurally pleasing cadences and chords. Don't get me wrong; the music part of music has and always will attract me. But I think I've been sadly blind to the lyrical potential of this beauty.

I am very grateful that Gala once linked these monthly mixes on Livejournal (you have to have an account and join the LJmixtape community to see and download, but it's worth it, if really only for this one girl's mixes). I love grand themes like that, and her musical mélanges are so wonderful. Here are some songs from her and some that, in general, are making me think lately.

Unusual - Stacy Clark

Wheels - John Mayer

Black and gold radio1 live lounge - Sam Sparro

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Monday, January 5, 2009


The magic umbrella
Originally uploaded by KarensJilly

It's funny how every day can have a different character. Sometimes we don't see it, because we let monotony get the best of us, but I think I'm noticing it more now that I don't have many responsibilities to worry about, because of break.

For example, yesterday I didn't shower and didn't get dressed all day. I was generally feeling like a disgusting, dirty human being because of this and because my friends are all leaving me to go back to school. Not to mention PMS. (Yay TMI!) But the entire quality of my day changed when I looked at my phone around 5:30 - the first time I had bothered to do so all day - and had a text from my friend L (who I had thought was already back at school) asking if I wanted to get Chipotle for dinner. I was elated by a) the idea of getting out of the house and b) the surprise of knowing she was still in town when I thought I was all alone! I called her back and we had a very adventurous dinner time eating our burrito bols up at a makeout point at Tilden Park haha. There was a great view, a wild fox, and some creepy guys smoking pot who tried to get us to roll down the window to talk to them, but we left at that point...

Today has been a pretty relaxed day, in comparison. I've spent some time thinking about how silly it is to separate the ideas of a fun, frivolous life and the mundane parts of life like worrying madly about money (which I am actually doing, unfortunately). "Real life" tends to be what I call that mundane part of my existence, and the fun, introspective side is too often deemed unrealistic. But both are real, sometimes too much so.

For example, I went to my grandfather's house today, where a piano lives, to try my hand at the keys after what is surely years of not playing seriously. I just played. I played arpeggios and old pieces, and my motor memory strained pathetically to re-create the chords and phrases. It was good for me, but very frustrating, very real.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009


Waiting from RhiannonDaire

As the new year begins and I return from a cozy party with friends, I click through a bunch of blogs. They catalog resolutions, antiestablishmentarian rejection of resolutions, self-help strategies, and a slew of advice that, when taken in all at once, is pretty useless. But through it all, an especially warm-hearted, apparently timeless old sentiment from Neil Gaiman stands out to me:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

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