Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 31st, it's Halloween!

Dear October,

You have been very fall. The trees are all different colors. My favorite are still the yellow ones. I tried to hang a little spinning mobile on a tall tree today, after it got dark. It was difficult because I looked for the shortest tree I could find by the canal (because it's windy and open there) and I picked one, but it's limbs were still much higher than I could reach. So I tied my "string" to a heavy metal hinge and just aimed it between the branches and threw, and if I was lucky it would fall back to me. Often though it just got caught in the branches up there, but with a little bit of tugging and odd maneuvering I got the end of the string back, and tied the mobile on the tree. I'm doing this, by the way, for my design midterm project. I'm a little worried though, because tomorrow it will be raining, and tomorrow is when I install my piece, which involves tissue paper. We'll see how it goes. My roommate and her friend and I went trick or treating today, but we only knocked on maybe six houses. It was especially awkward when college students opened the door. Also that one time we rang the doorbell to a probably college-dorm and this girl was walking past us and she said, "Oh, are you trying to get in?", and the three of us in cheetah, chimney sweep, and "ice climber" (my coat looked warm and could be buttoned up past my nose so that's what I went with) costumes look at her, and then my roommate the chimney sweep says, "No, um... we're trick or treaters!" (the girl stepped back and said, "oh." then kept walking) (my roommate was a chimney sweep because she had Drawing today and would inevitably get charcoal over her face and hands. also it is a good costume for fall/winter).

So I haven't posted for these past 10+ days, and that's mostly because of that one hectic week of big projects and midterms. I do have a few things written on some of those days though, so I will slowly fill up those blank dates after I post this. I really enjoyed writing to you though, October, and I didn't realize how nice it was to look back on previous posts and remember what happened on every day and what I was thinking of on that day at that time. I'm feeling a little nostalgic, and actually I've got to finish up my midterm project, but it feels good writing to you this last time (at least for now)! So sad things: I didn't wear a costume while trick or treating, but I have one in development! It will be prepped and ready for the Artist Ball that's happening tomorrow night and yes, it is a lazy one but it isn't quite as cliche or sad as it could have been, because I spent a long time trying to pick the easiest, cheapest, at least somewhat original last-minute do it yourself costume and now I am ok. Also, you totally snuck up on me. No one here has really mentioned Halloween at all, and suddenly yesterday my roommate and I were like, wait. Halloween is tomorrow. We went to grab midnight pancakes and when we got back my roommate saw the clock and said, "Oh... Happy Halloween!". The weird thing is, even though most everybody isn't in costume, and I wasn't even sure if the city celebrated Halloween (because there were no decorations!! except in a few houses), and it didn't feel like as big a halloween as it usually does, it was still nice. There was like this light feeling of festivity and that's all I think we really needed. :) Now back to work.

See you next year!
Indigo :D

music of the day: This is what it feels like by Armin van Buuren ft. Trevor Guthrie (honestly I think this is another day's song. I heard it when we went to the mall. I may change this out later)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 19th, the only thing I look forward to tomorrow is breakfast and buying granola bars and nuts and windex

from a week ago, but the light is my feelings
Dear October,

I am drawing a self-portrait on a large piece of paper. It is a sad time.


song of the day: rainy mood

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 16th, the sun was next to me

my friend warming her hands at our clay hatchery

Dear October,

I had a chai latte at a very nearby cafe today, plus a croissant with nutella. That croissant was delicious just by itself. It was crisp and brown on the outside, with crunchy delicate rings and then a warm interior, with just the right amount of nutella. I went to the cafe with a small group of people from my Spatial class. We'd been working with clay today, and the kind we were using was really hard, so we got a bunch of lamps that easily overheat and used it to help warm up the clay. The lamp was so bright though, I felt like the sun was setting next to me. It really made our table sleepy, and as soon as it was turned off it felt like we'd returned from a dream state. After working for a few hours, we asked for a break (since we usually have one in the morning and one in the afternoon) and , because the cafe was about ten strides away from our nature lab, we all went to the cafe for a snack/drink break. One of my classmates asked if they could have a "croissant with nutella" because the cafe was out of chocolate croissants, and I think the person behind the counter said they could do that, so once we saw that was a viable option, everyone got croissants with nutella. When I got to the cashier, I asked for a "chai latte... and a croissant with nutella" and the cashier closes her eyes and smiles and says something like you're the fifth person to get that (in a row). Lol. I wonder if that'll actually end up being an official menu item sometime.


song of the day: Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, covered by Bastille and Gabrielle Aplin. (wait till a minute)

October 15th, I am tired

no photos taken today, but someone cool visited and gave a talk yesterday
Dear October,

I love running outside at night when you're the perfect temperature for DDR. It's strange because I feel I'm being inducted into all these different cultures that before I would never have thought of joining, I guess. When I say cultures, I mean stuff like

playing DDR despite being terrible at it
encouraging the idea of karaoke
anime club
saying hello to classmates who aren't friends, when you see them in the hallways or outside
badminton (sort of)
not noticing when people are upperclassmen
being mistaken for a senior by a sophomore (lol)
waking up at 7am in the morning NATURALLY

Ok I deviated a bit from my idea of cultures, but you probably see what I mean. I honestly feel a lot less boxed in by my idea of me. So yay! I sing sometimes instead of humming, and dance when I want to (sort of). And if I feel like running down the steps to the next outside level, I do, even though it's at night and no one knows why I would be rushing anywhere. I feel strangely happy despite not always being on top of things, and I both look forward to and am extremely worried about the cold that you are bringing soon. I already get hints of it in the mornings and even though I thought I really liked the cold, I am reconsidering that a bit. Morning cold is not fun unless you have a warm jacket and did not just wake up. Cold is nice in the middle of the day though, because you feel prepared for it. I hope you won't be too chilly when I wake up!


 song of the day: Little Traveler by Clear (anime club is how I find many of these japanese songs lol)

October 14th, here's a haiku

it was a friend's birthday today! he seems to like floral shirts so (those are flowers, not fire!)
Dear October,

ate dinner late cause
chatting with friend who worries
now I go to sleep

Sorry it's short, but I'm sleepy!

(edit: wow I wrote this last night and I'm reading it now hahaha)

song of the day: Set Me On Fire by Bella Ferraro (same girl who auditioned w/ Skinny Love in a previous link)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October 13th, you saw me carry laundry

I zoomed into the sunset from the bathroom

Dear October,

So just now my friend and I were trying to get our laundry done. Before I go on about that, let me name the different sections of our dorms. There are four main ones in the building/structure/area that contains the Caf, and we shall call them North, Soot, Eats, and Ham. I live in the North Hall.

Soot Hall is famous for its air conditioning (because it's the only section of us 4 that has it) and it has a curving hallway on its first two floors. North Hall is unfortunately, the highest in elevation compared to all the other Halls, and I happen to live on the highest floor in North Hall, so everyone on my floor has to travel more than anyone else in the dorm area to get to their rooms. We try to feel better about it by telling each other that at least we're getting a lot of exercise.

All the halls are connected to each other, mostly. For instance, if you walk in the correct direction on the correct floor in North Hall, you can get to Eats Hall. And if you head uhh north(?) from the third floor of North Hall, you enter a breezy passageway that goes into Ham. Soot is the one that's a bit isolated from everyone else :( Theirs is the only one with an entrance into their hall after the very first flight of steps. Everyone else has entrances on either the next outdoor "floor"/level or the one after that. But they have air conditioning and they're right in front of the entrance to the dorms, so when carrying things they don't need to go up another 1-2-3-4 outdoor stairways to just get to the entrance of North Hall. I guess it all evens out.

So my friend (her name will be Pugs) and I brought our laundry down to the floor with a laundry room in North. We put all our clothes in the washers and I swipe my card--and the little card swiping machine doesn't work! It just has the same display on. I swipe it slowly and then my friend swipes hers too, but it doesn't work. So we put our laundry back in our bags, go up some stairs, and get into Ham. We enter their 2nd floor laundry room and try our cards and it works, but then we find that 2 of the 3 not-currently-washing washing machines have clothes in them. :( So we talk for a while and then this guy comes in to get his clothes and says 'oh yeah I kept checking back but those machines have been left full for a while'. So we take all the clothes out and pile them on the table that people usually put other people's clothes if they've been in the washer for too long. We feel bad, but then we put our clothes in and swipe and yay everything is good!

I forgot to mention, Ham has pretty much the most facilities of all of us. They have a very nice lounge by the entrance, which includes some pool and ping pong tables and maybe foosball (can't remember). They have the typical large tv hanging on the wall and new carpets and couches. Then right next to that is the kitchen, and outside the kitchen is a little reading area by the glass walls. It's very small, but at least there are couches and tables and its cute. Next to that, there's also the sole computer lab in the dorms. Then, if you go up a few floors, there's the sole DDR machine. There's also one of the "hidden" old pianos up there and a foosball table. So Pugs and I go up and play DDR as we wait for our laundry to dry. Unfortunately the front and back of the room are glass, so people from both the second and third level outside can see you play DDR. Also, the room is in the middle of this connection between the Caf and Ham, so occasionally people pass by behind you. So it's a little weird, but for some reason nobody really cares, and I don't either!

Beep beep alarm, so we go back to get our laundry. Then we find that another dryer has broken (there was one that was already not working before) so now only one dryer works, and there's someone in line for that dryer. So we hear about this laundry room on the ground floor of Ham, and so we sadly put our somewhat damp clothes into our bags and go down and yay there are two dryers! We hooray but then look at this girl standing next to one of the to dryers and Pugs asks if she's going to use it and she says yes, her boyfriend is just getting something so she's kind of holding it for him. So then Pugs says that I can use the dryer first, and then I say that maybe we could just both go to the Soot laundry room,
which our friend Cat said always worked (we made it so complicated lol) and then Pugs says I could just dry my clothes here and she'll go to South, and then I say that I'll come with her in that case because I felt bad about taking it first (oh laundry etiquette). So that's what happens. She lugs her laundry to Soot and then I carry it around the stairs in Soot until we get to the Soot laundry room, which is on the ground floor (which has nothing except a laundry room...). It's kind of creepy, all alone and with pipes creeping around and pretty blue paint that turns into tile that turns into something else, but there are plenty of open machines (no one wants to trek all the way to Soot if they don't live in Soot). Yay unload.

Back to DDR! I am steadily improving! Whilst before I always got D's I finally got a few C's and then once I got a B and I was so happy that it was sad because well it was DDR and also it was for a B. We were cheering whenever one of us got a C, and we were playing in the easiest mode possible that still gives you grades. So we're terrible at DDR but just ok enough that we hit enough arrows for it to be fun!

Before all this I went to the nature lab to finish my drawing homework, and I chatted about drawing and classes and majors and things with an acquaintance-friend, Ming, while drawing! Meanwhile she was setting up a very complicated self portrait, which was interesting. Later I had to move downstairs to set up a skeleton and finish that with the some of my drawing classmates.  I also talked to my parents over the phone today, which was something I missed doing, so that was nice.

Thanks for the perfectly chilly night (so nice after DDR and laundry hiking),

song of the day: Home by Gabrielle Aplin (!!!)

October 12th, it was a nice night

a bird I was drawing today
Dear October,

I forget that I'm addressing these letters to you sometimes, October. How has it been? You seem to be pretty happy lately. It was nice weather today, perfect for the parents weekend. My roommate introduced her parents to me yesterday and we all got dinner (I forgot to mention) and today we had a really good lunch. It was a little sad separating because they were so much nicer than I'd expected and they have really friendly faces and I like them. The streets were surprisingly busy, and you actually had to run if you wanted to jaywalk across the road. I bought a little graphic novel at the Library Book Sale today (all the events were going on today of course, in honor of parents weekend) purely for its colors, and my roommate got an even more beautiful graphic novel, watercolored and brown, and together they were only five dollars! Most of the other books were about art, which was nice, but then most of those were old and about various museums of art, and it's just so much more exciting to going to the museums rather than buying a book about them.

You finally let me see the moon on the nights after the night when I actually went out searching for you. This night was really pretty. I left the second floor cafeteria (let's call it the Caf from now on) after anime club and suddenly noticed this movement from above. You know those spotlights/searchlights that sometimes show up on clouds? There were about fifteen of those up there, little blurry ovals of dim light, all moving around in spastic circles. It was really amazing to look at, like something global was happening and I was the one person on campus who got to see it. I looked around to see if anyone else was noticing. There was a group of people by the wooden picnic tables who just recognized friends from another group of people who had just exited the dorms, and then there were some people in the kitchen of one of the dorm lounge areas, doing nothing, and then there was a lone guy playing DDR on the floor above, staring into a screen I couldn't see. None of them saw the blurry light circles though. When I looked up again, all the light circles were lined up in a semicircle, moving around its perimeter slowly, and for a moment I considered it as a UFO. I was just thinking that I should go get my friend (who I was carrying a scone for at the time) or my roommate and bring them out here to see this too (and also grab my camera), when the lights suddenly disappeared. I walked a bit farther to the side to see if the light show was going on beyond the tops of our campus buildings, and they were for a few seconds before those were gone as well. So then I just walked over to a ledge and looked around, contemplating this thought that one of my friends told me a while ago. I spent a few minutes there, admiring how nice it was in that space, and then I looked up again and the lights were back, moving around frantically like they were when I first saw them. They looked so surreal that I leaned in various directions under the trees to see the lights moving above the branches, and it was weird how real it all looked. I watched those for a while and then stepped inside, to the area with the kitchen of people doing nothing, found the stairs, and walked up a few floors to deliver my scone.

Got to wake up early tomorrow!

song of the day: Little Traveler by someone covered by Clear. wait till the chorus, about 1:30 minute in

October 11th, I missed you again

Dear October,

It was a Friday, and we were in Design. At some point that day, we were told to align ourselves along the walls and then were given three seconds to scream at each other as loud as we wanted (which is apparently a communication exercise in a princeton architecture course?). So that was fun, but most of us had nothing to scream about, so we just went ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! It was fun losing your voice in others but still being able to hear it somewhere. Later we were set loose into the city for an hour, with camcorders to experiment with and the assignment to film ourselves screaming. It was nice, walking around while it was fall, knowing you would never scream in public normally, but that it was ok for people to look at you strangely if you had your arm straight out in front of you, holding a camera as you walked nonchalantly down the sidewalk, screaming as loud as possible.


song of the day: Secret Base from Ano Hana (anime) but just guitar

Friday, October 11, 2013

October 10th, let's flash back to the 8th

So this picture is actually from Wednesday. Here we are in the nature lab, studying our objects!
Dear October,

Let me begin with what happened on Tuesday.
Basically I had my first work shift on Tuesday and it was very nerve wracking and exciting. I got there in the morning and the mailroom manager(?) guy led me downstairs to their package place, which I didn’t even know existed. He told me about the packets on the table, which were ordered by date of arrival of packages. So every package that arrived that day was in one thick packet, which had a long list of people’s names and and package numbers and such. I was supposed to get people to sign their name by their package on the list when they received them and beforehand had to check some stuff.

There were the shelves of packages, which were all numbered. Then there was the giant stack of boxes in the middle of the room, which was where the too-large packages went if they were too big for the shelves. Really though, Peter only told me about the packets and what I needed to ask people for, and then he left. I figured out most of the other stuff by myself, which was weird because then I wondered whether you were just thrown in for every job like this. There was another guy there named Shaun, who was friendly and somewhat upbeat and positive (all the walls were posted with very positive messages as well), and who seemed like a long-term worker, so he said hello and asked some cordial questions and such but then I went back to reading and he continued doing his thing at the computer. So I just sat on a stool by the door, which is one of those doors that split in half so that people can look in but they can’t walk through the doorway because the bottom half of the door is closed. I thought it was so cool that I was on the other side of that half door.

About 7 minutes into my shift, a boy comes up to the half-door and just stands there. Meanwhile, I’m still answering Shaun’s how-are-you-liking-it-here questions and I glance at the boy at the door and I think, I wonder why he’s there? So I finish answering pretty quickly and just wait for Shaun to ask him what he wants, because I don’t know what he wants. So I just stare at the boy and he kind of glances at me and the boxes and Shaun like he’s unsure what to do, and then Shaun says, “Now you get his package” and I’m like OH (my god) ok stand up uhhhh what’s your package number? Boy says three-three twenty-three and I think wow that’s a weird number and I go down the aisles and I see the labels on the shelves and I’m like ok so they go by 500’s ok uhh does it go up or down here oh ok it goes up in this direction ok I’m in the wrong aisle, switching aisles, nope this one only goes up to 2000, next aisle… wait there is no next aisle. Where are the other ones? Search the back shelves?? But those are labeled with departmental stuff! Wait maybe the big boxes. Search search search look at boxes there (big box pile is not organized in any way. You just read all the numbers) there is no 3000-anything oh god SHAUN HELP ME SHAUN NO DON’T LOOK I’M CAPABLE uhhhhhhhhhhh don’t look confused. No stop that spin. Go back to the shelves! Look around that second aisle again! That boy totally knows it’s your first day! Oh god he’s like oh no I got an incapable one to handle my package noooo keep looking. Boy says “Um, I think it’s right there” I turn around. “Uh, where?” Boy points kind of at me. Ok. Look at long boxes that are leaning against the sides of the shelves. Did I see those before? But no, these are all only in the hundreds. I need a three thousand! Boy says, ”That orange one?” ORANGE ONE?? THEY’RE ALL BROWN “It’s right behind you” Turn around. Wait which behind me. Like behind me from my perspective or behind me from your perspective, which is really my front (why was I even wondering this). And I look at this package that has a little orange stripe on the side made out of tape, and the box has 323 written on it in red (like they all are) and I take it and boy is like “Yeah” and shuffles around his pockets for his ID. I laugh and say haha I thought you said three-thousand twenty three! (he thinks, um that sounds nothing like three-twenty three. I really should have said three three twenty three but at the time I couldn’t remember how I got so confused) and bring this very long package over to the half door, and I’m trying to figure out how to pick it up (like a log? Over the shoulder? Just grab it? Tilt and roll a bit? Just lift? Am I breaking some kind of package-holding rule?? The guy over there, Shaun, is probably looking at me like oh god you aren’t supposed to carry long packages like THAT wow common sense) and I just end up scrabbling a bit at it and then lifting vertically and tilting slightly because making it horizontal wasn’t necessary until I got to the door and I didn’t want accidentally swing too hastily and knock some other packages, and the first thing that happens is I smile like wow I was so clueless thank god I (you) found it and I lift it a bit more and the package hits the ceiling tile with a little clonk and I’m still smiling and I say oops like oh it’s no big deal but inside I just slap my forehead. Then I do the whole check-sign-date ritual with the packet after I figure out which packet to get and familiarize myself with how many pages of same-first-letter-of-last-name people there generally are per letter so I can figure out where this boy’s name is without just flipping one page at a time, or forward and back several times like I don’t know the order of the alphabet. Yay! Then I scoot the package over the door and he picks it up also rather awkwardly and leaves. It’s all fine. I sit back on the stool. I laugh at my terrible first package and then read The Tempest. 

The next person comes about half an hour later, a girl with a friend. I think for this person I don’t even find their package. I even ask Shaun if there’s somewhere else they put packages and tell him the package number and he doesn’t see it so he tells the girl to come back later. The third person comes when the mailroom manager and Shaun are there, and for her I bypass her package because it’s on the floor and not on the shelf and I had tunnel vision apparently but luckily I checked again and found it. The fourth person is the first one that probably thought I was normal, and then for the fifth one the girl gave me two package numbers but I found three packages on the shelves with those numbers, so I brought them all over and she said oh yeah it’s possible I have three because I got a bunch of emails and wanted to get them all at the same time. So I find the several packets with her name on it (since each package arrived on a different day) and then on the last packet I say, wait. Why… are there two packages listed under your name here. I ask her and she says there might be a fourth one, so she asks me to check again and I go back to the shelves and find a fourth one and bring it back. So that was kind of a strange one too. But I learned so much! Package numbers aren’t restricted to just one package! Sometimes the same number is on two packages! You can be a person and ask them if they know when it arrived, if that helps, and they actually know sometimes! And various other things. After the first hour, Shaun left, and I wondered whether the only reason he was down there the first hour was just to make sure I knew what I was doing. Which was nice because that was comforting though scary also. Anyway in total, about 10 people came that day to get their packages, and I even met the guy who took the next shift because I stayed over my shift (is there another word for a shift) a bit since neither the mailroom manager nor shaun came by like I thought they would and I couldn’t go up to find them cause then the mailroom would be personless. But hooray the next guy came early! And in the end the mailroom manager guy saw me as I was looking around the upstairs area and it was fine and I left for my lecture.

Then I went to one of the city's public libraries and it was cute and old looking and I flipped through an encyclopedia that was out on one of the display desks like I've always wanted to do, and the first word of the page it was turned to was cool. The word was banausic. Isn't that great? Look it up and use it. Then I looked up my name and that was fun. It wasn't very interesting or useful though. I suppose we can't all have interesting names...

----back to the present
So I went to the mailroom today to apply for working Thursday morning too, and today there was another girl who was working there for the first time! She is a sophomore and her name is Cheyenne (not sure about the spelling). Our shift was two hours long, so at first we said hello and chatted a little, and then I took out The Tempest and she went back to her laptop. About an hour later, no one had come to pick up packages. No new packages were being rolled in either. It was a slow hour. Then I asked her about sophomore classes and we began talking again and this time it was less introductory, which was great! We talked about snow and New York and how peopleslip and slide a bit on your first step and then have to get down the hill somehow. We talked about classes
 from Texas really do live in cities, with highways and skyscrapers and such, and about how in the winter people shovel the snow out in New York, but here NO one shovels the snow, so you walk out and  a bit, and found out that my TA for drawing is this girl’s best friend, and my drawing teacher is one of her favorite teachers, even though he always picked on her (which I thought was great, really. That she liked him so much partly because of that). So it was a good day. What else happened. They had oreo/caramel/marshmallow pizza today, so I tried my first weird-dessert pizza and it was actually good! I sent in my answers to questions for everyone else’s sound project today, which was fun to do but frightening as all due-by-midnight online assignments are. 

Today was pants weather too. Are you going to just keep getting colder from now on? No more dips into cold and then “haha I was just joking, I’m actually going to be warm next week”’s? I suppose I am fine with either way but I just realized that long sleeve shirts are actually really necessary! I need more! Also my pants are even proving inadequate to your temperatures! Already! HOW DO YOU LAYER JEANS? The only other kind of pants I have are sweatpants, but they’re very thin and I wear them to sleep.

Problem to be solved later,

song of the day: Skinny Love by Bon Iver, Birdy's cover then covered by this girl, Bella Ferraro (phew) This is her audition for the X Factor.

I know it's not really just a song, but I really encourage you to watch this (I think you should watch the whole thing just to get the context and all, and don't just listen to her sing, look!). Try not to have high expectations from what I'm saying, because I didn't have high expectations when I watched it. It's beautiful and kind of amazing how the crowd and Bella interact with each other without meaning to. 

October 9th, I'm sorry I missed you

Dear past October,

Sorry I missed you! I went to my spatial class and we studied various objects at the nature lab. My leftover needed-sleep carried over, which was dispersed throughout the day today, so it was a long day that would have been fun if I had slept longer previously! Then I went to this meeting about important things that was optional but seemed important and pertinent enough to go, so I went with my roommate. Ever since that morning I’ve been falling asleep at inopportune moments, even with my nice amount of sleep that day. But so far it’s been good! I think I wore pants that day!


song of the day: Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia, covered by Sam Tsui & Kurt Schneider
(not part of the line-up but still good)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 8th, I should sleep

Dear October,

The most exciting thing today is I had my first work-study shift!!! SUPER EXCITING! More before than maybe after though. I worked in the mailroom, and I feel comfort in knowing that many first jobs have been spent in the mailroom. More later! Today was a late night. Also, forecast says you'll be cold. I was looking forward to wearing my winter clothes all month but now that the cold's here I don't know how I feel about giving up shorts and non-constricting clothing.

Also I had english class today, and our teacher has an interesting way of composing his notes on the board. It works with his handwriting. Hooray photo context! I stopped by the library too, to return a book and flip through the encyclopedia and investigate the children's section like a lost college student, but more on all that later.

Nap time,

song of the day: Cups by Sam Tsui, Alex G, Kina Grannis, and Kurt Schneider. It's pretty impressively put together.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 7th, it was lovely and foggy, and there was strange pizza

Dear October,

You surprised us today. I woke up via light chirping alarm, and feeling slightly drowsy, I looked out the window and immediately backed up because outside it was all a dim gray, somewhat pretty and really strange. Looking out the bathroom window (which by the way, has a great view of the sunrise and the tops of tall buildings. I don't know if it is sad that I mention this from the perspective of the bathroom window) I could see one clock tower and then just nothing, and walking out of the dorms, the fog was so thick that I could see it flowing past me as I walked. You didn't even have to look a few yards ahead to find someone submerged in fog; just looking at your hand, it was tinted white. It's weird how really thick fog makes everything look like an island. It's as if you're approaching things as an airplane, even the patio chairs and the canvas bag you're carrying, as it swings closer and further away. Things are instantly magnified. You kind of want to look at the veins of your hand more closely because it's like approaching a river from really high up. Keep zooming in on google maps and you'll see the details more clearly. It was kind of an amazing and short experience, and I enjoyed walking to class (although it was too bad that today's class was only a minute's walk from my dorm, so I didn't get to see much of the city like that). Then you surprised me again when I walked out of the dorms in the evening to go to the computer lab, and was immediately pelted by rain.

So I went to drawing class today and we had critique on our skellies, and did a bunch of figure armatures. The room we have class in is smaller than usual because our class is actually held on the second floor of the 'cafeteria', which has three rooms that are usually used for club meetings and small events. Our teacher really dislikes the size of this room because it does make it difficult to position all the easels so that everyone has room to work and has a good angle. The other major problem is the lack of wall space. There's a bathroom in this room plus a strange counter area and a wall that is entirely window. So we've got 3 strangely shaped walls to put our work on (the room is irregularly shaped too), and some of these walls are painted with some kind of paint that makes it difficult for tape to stick on it well. And then sometimes we use the projection screen, so then we have to move the easels all to the side to make sure they aren't blocking the projector. Still, with all its problems, the classroom is "a) very close to the dorms and the place where most of us eat breakfast and lunch (and grab coffee/tea/snacks during break), and b) it is pretty and has nice lighting because of the windows. So I took a picture of that.

Let me tell you about the food of today. I had a toasted rueben sandwich and cream of celery soup at one place that's covered by my meal plan for lunch. I have honeydew, almost always, for every meal. I had some okay fish, pasta, and a slice of chocolate cheesecake for dinner. I had a poppy and lemon seed scone for breakfast (the scones are always so good!), although I often have half a waffle instead. 

Speaking of waffles, once I got over my initial apprehension of the timer and the beeping, it became really fun to make waffles on the waffle maker! And it's so nice how you can determine exactly how much of a waffle you want today. Some days it's a half-waffle day, and other's you just need a whole one. Sometimes you start daydreaming while pressing the waffle mix button, so you fill your cup with too much mix and later split your waffle with a friend. I've really been wanting to make a mini waffle, where you just drizzle the mix in the center of the waffle maker, rather than in a quarter section of the waffle maker. I've also wanted to make one where there's a hole in the middle, but I keep forgetting. Maybe someday I can make a dinosaur waffle. It's really fun to just half fill part of the waffle maker so that when your waffle is done, it comes out with these frozen drips and eddies, which are textural and fun to eat. Is it just me who likes to eat things with weird shapes? For instance, when you are presented with a plate of pancakes or meatballs, do you always want to pick the pancake/meatball with the most deformed/interesting shape? Those really do always taste the best, and it makes sense. 

Also I haven't yet mentioned the strange midnight pizza that is here. On weekdays/school nights, the cafeteria is open from 9pm to 1am in case students are still working. At that special time, all the strange and frightening pizzas emerge from the oven, and four are presented every night. At first we all thought that there would just be normal pizzas there, the typical pepperoni and cheese, some sausage, and occasionally a Hawaiian. But the first night my friends and I stopped by, we found out that at midnight is really when the cooks experiment with their food. Of the times we've visited (sometimes people go purely to see what they've concocted that night) there's been salad pizza, paella (spanish rice) pizza, m&m and sunflower something pizza, chicken noodle pizza, broccoli pizza, giant-potato-chunks pizza, beef/sort of korean bbq pizza, and strawberry/caramel/pretzel pizza among others I've forgotten. It's really kind of amazing (and hilarious). Once we asked one of the female cooks(?) whether they just came up with this stuff and she said something like,  "Yeah! We just experiment with different ingredients. The hardest part is figuring out what you guys would want. For instance the sunflower something one was fine but we didn't think anyone would want it just like that because it was too something, so we thought we'd make it slightly sweet, hence the m&m's." I've tried a few of the pizzas, although I almost never go for the really out-there ones, like the m&m's one, but I'd like to try one of the weirder ones some day. For now though, I have to say the chicken noodle one was really delicious.

Thanks for the fog,

song of the day: Let Her Go by Passenger (cover by Jasmine Thompson)
also I found some really good music today, so get ready for a nice line-up in the next few days

Sunday, October 6, 2013

October 6th, you were uneventful

Dear October,

So today I went back to the nature lab and drew the skeleton some more :( The forecast wasn't so accurate, because it rained today even though my printout said it would be "warm and sunny". I also taste tested some kind of apple ice cream today. I didn't realize our 'cafeteria' made their own ice cream! It's kind of cool because that means we can really ask for whatever flavor we want and they can make it. In other news, nothing else happened today! Oh actually, just a funny short story from yesterday: Yesterday a bunch of kids from my drawing class were walking back to the dorms after the nature lab closed, and on the way back up the hill, a driver stops by us and asks whether we know where Richmond-something is. We all just shake our heads, but this Italian guy from our class, who's standing closest to the car, turns to the car driver and says completely seriously in his accent, "um... I have not yet acquired that information..." and the driver is like ok thanks and drives away.

See you,

song of the day: Waiting by IU

October 5th, I was in the audience

Dear October,

I went to anime club today for the first time. The club has been trying to get through the first episode of every new anime so that everyone gets a preview of each series, and then they can decide which ones they won't be following in the club, and which ones we'll continue watching as new episodes come out. Today we watched 4 first episodes, and we're currently in only the K's. 2 of the 4 were surprisingly good, so we kept those, although the latter of the two was just ridiculous, but the ridiculousness was great because it was hilarious and surprising in a way that makes you laugh and drop your jaw at how it just keeps going, and the animation is just extremely over the top. I never realized how enjoyable it was to watch anime with a group of strangers, but it seems fun no matter the quality of what we're watching.

At one point in the first anime we watched (Kyoukai no Kanata), there's this guy who is apparently "half-phantasm" and he's talking to this girl who's pretty clumsy (I know, stereotypical, but the way it's done is just perfect) and at some point runs into a mop closet or something and gets hit in the head by four mops in a row, which I don't think anyone's ever seen before in such an adorable manner. Anyway she seems so nervous and shy and we all think she's just following the guy because she likes him, but then the guy says something like, "Do you know how many times you've stabbed me this week?" and everyone who missed the beginning goes, whaaat?? Then we find out the girl is actually a phantasm hunter but doesn't have much experience, so since the guy is only half-phantasm, she's just been stabbing him after school for practice. LOL. And the guy is immortal so that's why she can just keep stabbing him. Later a real phantasm thing appears and it's giant, furry, and slobbery, with long swinging arms. It appears by flying, quickly growing larger through the window behind the talking male protagonist, and making impact while the guy's still mid-sentence. It's so unexpected that when it hits we all say WHOA WHAT and as the thing crashes into the room and we're all just realizing that the thing is a phantasm, a girl in the audience says of the guy, "Wait, so he's half of that??" And a second later while the thing's rampaging the room, someone squeaks, "I thought that was a squirrel!" because it did kind of look like a really big squirrel at first flying towards the window at high speed. The anime has beautiful art by the way, and looks really interesting. The other good one we watched that was ridiculous was called Kill La Kill and it involves an authoritarian school with different ranked uniforms that kind of give you superpowers. I didn't think I'd like it at first at all, but it's funny and won me over with its craziness. Everyone applauded after that one because it was so much fun guffawing at the visual effects and characters.

Afterwards I went to a casual open mic event, where people put their names in a bucket and are then picked randomly to go up on stage and perform whatever they like. So people sang, read poetry, did some stand-up comedy, told funny stories and bad jokes, read excerpts of bad books, and some weirder things. A lot of people played guitar while singing, and one guy brought his accordion and another brought a hand drum (my favorite was when this one RA sang Skinny Love by Bon Iver and then You and I by Ingrid Michaelson with her ukelele). It was early night, and we were all sitting and standing around a concrete "stage" that has a few folding chairs and microphones on it. Behind are some trees extending from the floor below, and some strung up christmas lights, lovingly colorful and mismatched. I was on the floor above, which conveniently has a sort of corner-balcony so you can easily see the stage from there. Anyway it was nice, and really wonderful when the trees above (there were really just trees everywhere, extending from dirt areas around the concrete tiles) let go of some of their leaves, because the lights that were above lit them up in the night so that they flashed and glistened a bit when they twirled into a patch of light, and then disappeared as they fell out of it. The leaves were small and yellow, and I think it's really cool that you have the trees change color here. It's so amazing seeing trees full of yellow leaves here, or even trees with only the tops of their bushes of leaves yellow. I keep trying to figure out the logic in how it's decided which leaves turn yellow, because there's clearly a pattern, but it doesn't seem to fit the explanation of "where the sunlight hits the tree most" or "where the leaves are furthest from the roots".

I also like that according to the forecast you'll be warm for at least another week!

See you then and tomorrow,

song of the day: You and I by Ingrid Michaelson (Couldn't resist. Note: learn to play this on the ukelele and sing it cause it's such a great group song.)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October 4th, nice rain

a picture my roommate took in the nature lab
Dear October,

I loved the rain today! It was good, timing that with the afternoon light. I was cooped up in the nature lab for seven hours with about ten of my drawing classmates today, and we were all drawing dynamic skeletons as accurately as possible. At some point after noon, small groups of us went downhill as it was raining and the sky was bright white, to go see the free stuff down at Market Square. There was a little art vendor event going on there, with little booths of branded art products under a big tent, and it was such a nice surprise being able to pick up a tube of gouache and technical pens and brush cleaner for free. I even got a really nice gray toned sketchbook! A bunch of students were standing around the table eyeing the sketchbooks displayed in stacks of two and three, and we all wanted them but we knew it would be too good to be true for sketchbooks like that to be free. But one daring student asked a vendor next to that table whether the sketchbooks were free, and he said we could just take them. So one girl picked up a tan toned sketchbook hesitantly and held it for a moment as if she was bracing herself for any objections, and then she walked away guiltily. Then the rest of us picked out sketchbooks, looked at each other with raised eyebrows, then walked away very slowly, and during that time the vendor who put up the sketchbook table came back and just sat down and watched it all happen without comment.

I really like having souvenirs of any kind, but especially the ones that can be opened or used for a while, because the happiness that comes from that lasts a long time. First there's the brimming excitement of having the potential for more happiness in little plastic packages, each of which can be opened at any time, and just thinking about it makes you happy. Then there's the fading happiness that is there after you've opened the package, so souvenir happiness comes in small bursts and layers. So that was how it was with us art students, I think, because we just got a whole bunch of high quality free art products and discounts, and that really cheered everyone up.

Also I got to spray paint on a slab of some kind of wall since there were art demos there too. So I did graffiti for the first and probably only time ever (except I suppose it's not really graffiti because we were allowed to do it)! I spray painted a red star over a bunch of other spray painted things. It was exhilarating.

Anyway, the timing with the rain was great. It made it all feel like an adventure, our small group running down the hill to find a tent with oil bars and spray cans and strangely absorbent claybord, and then running back up as if to return from our wardrobe.

I think I've been slamming my feet down on stairs and sloped sidewalks a bit too much, or else I've been twisting my feet in weird ways while standing in studio, because it's a little difficult walking! My feet hurt with this strange internal pressure whenever I step forward and put weight on the front of my feet, but not even my runner friends know what that means. I predict I will be limping for a few days, but at the same time that's fun too because it feels like I am enduring trials while traveling.


song of the day: Landfill by Daughter

Friday, October 4, 2013

October 3rd, the end was embarrassing

Dear October,

I am drinking Jasmine Green Tea right now because I just sent my teacher my sound art project. The project was due at midnight exactly, and I sent it 2 minutes late. The assignment requirements involve, among other things, a 3-5 minute .mp3 file and 3 questions that you want others to answer about your sound piece. My schedule today (estimated) in relation to my project:

9:00-ish: checked out audio recording device from Resources
1pm-2pm: tried recording a lot of things
5:30pm: upload files onto computer after classes
5:40pm: cannot find my files. computer says all files were last edited in 2008
a few min. later: realize audio recording device settings were set to a default Jan. 1 2008. fix the date.
a few min. later: identify which files are today's. find that there is no sound on any of the files
a few min. later: realize I was supposed to press a certain input button that was half wiped out so I didn't know what it was the whole time I was recording
a few min. later: record myself laughing and ranting and crying internally about not having recorded anything
a few min. later: record myself eating chips
throughout this whole process: think about using the 45 min. sound file my class partner and I recorded while testing this device in class.
for several hours: record things randomly. overhear people's conversations accidentally in the cafeteria and think about how terribly creepy this device can be.
10:00pm: a little worried.
10:10pm: plan to record something involving running down the hill to the store and back in 5 minutes. roommate is worried. asks if I want to wear her neon reflector vest so I don't get hit by a car.
10:13pm: leave dorm to run to test idea. running uphill is horrible as usual. I get back in 7 minutes.
11:00pm: worried. perusing through recordings, feeling despair
11:20pm: freaking out a bit. get random idea of embarrassing myself by shouting a phrase out loud while running through the halls quietly because it's quiet hours
11:30pm: I panic and grab my recording device and shout "there's a pig on the schoolbus" randomly in the residence halls, and then run to the next floor as quickly possible if there are people nearby
11:35pm: upload file and edit. though I tried to shout, it was more like I spoke louder than usual
for a while: try to decide on editing one of three possible sound files. play around with editing. the other two are normal but one is not original enough and the other is possibly too boring. pick the insecure sounding one
11:50pm: freaking out and trying to thinfk up wuqsutions for project!
11:56pm: try to export sound file as mp3 from sound editing program and IT TELLS ME I HAVE TO DOWNLOAD ANOTHER PROGRAM to export as an mp3.
11:58pm: downloading mp3 program and thinking up less stupid questions
12:01am: export file as mp3 and attach to email. try really hard to reword questions
12:02am: send email. freak out a bit about it being late and about how embarrassing everything is. roommate asks if I want tea

Otherwise today was good. 
Please stay warm for a while longer because I don't want to wear long pants.


song of the day: We Found Love covered by Ed Sheeran, originally by Rihanna

-------Also here's a letter to October by my roommate:

Dear October,

You were pretty warm today. You should like... cool down yo.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 2nd, you made it pretty to eat

Dear October,

Today was warmer than I expected. Even at night, when I went to grab some midnight pancakes with my roommate and we forgot where the midnight pancakes were, it was surprisingly just a bit cold, but not really chilly. At lunch I sat at the end of the table with two class friends and while they were laughing (they each laugh much more often than I do! which is weird!) I saw one of the staff wiping the tables with a wet towel and it was really mesmerizing. We were facing the windows, so you could see the reflection of the light from the windows on the table, and usually it just glows a tiny bit as it bounces off the tables, but once wiped with water, it shines. I know that's obvious, but it's really interesting watching table after table transform into these gleaming swishy reflectors. It's kind of like watching someone squeegee water off your windshield, or watching that girl in From Up on Poppy Hill (kind of a weird movie, but nice music and art) apply plaster onto the wall of the clubhouse. Just watching someone cover so much area so quickly and efficiently is really fun. Anyway I took a picture of the tables but didn't catch the staff person as he was wiping them. My friends suddenly stopped laughing to see what I was taking a picture of, and they asked if I was trying to take a picture of the group of guys at the far end of the tables.

At dinner I was talking to a friend about how I used to really hate having one class of food touch another class of food, but now I have chicken bits on my cantaloupe and scones soggy from waffle syrup (I don't know when I stopped hating pancakes and waffles, but it was a recent thing). I still find it slightly annoying and I look for an extra second at the honeydew at the end of my fork if it has a little bit of parsley or lasagna on it, but I find it to be an ok sacrifice because I really just want to stuff everything on one plate if possible and I try not to use the trays because they're so large and at most I'll probably only have 2 plates and a cup of water on it. It's fun to struggle with carrying all your food. The worst combination would probably be if I got soup, a plate of stuff from the main bar, a plate of fruit and pasta and stuff that couldn't fit in the other plate because of how much they overfill your plate, dessert on a plate, a bag of chips, a wrapped sandwich for later, and a cup of water. Imagine carrying that and then having to get your id out somehow at the checkout, hand it to the cashier, then take it back and run to the utensils station to grab that and napkins.

See you tomorrow,

song of the day: Near to You by A Fine Frenzy

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1st, you were nice and breezy

Dear October,

Your morning was pretty today. It was kind of a drowsy day, but in a nice mellow way. I woke up at 7 in the morning incidentally (even though I set my alarm for 9), wondering how I got to procrastinating over work yet again. At 9 I brought my camera with me as I headed off to the Homer Lab to print out

a. my revised essay on Candide
b. a list of my design assignments
c. the weather for you

Looking at the forecast between you and me, you get significantly chillier day to day. I think I’m going to need to start wearing pants on a regular basis now. Every time I put on pants these past few weeks, I've regretted it later because September always decides to be warm and sunny on those days I wear pants.

So I left the Homer Lab because the printer was out of toner, and I noticed that you lit up the leaves outside really nicely. It’s just ordinary trees surrounded by buildings, but there was one tree that was half lit bright yellow, because a building cut off its sunlight. I'm so excited for the leaves to turn colors. Your breezes came occasionally and ruffled the trees until tree dandruff drifted out (this is a term my friend coined. I thought it was fitting and cute and maybe nasty) in little flutters of confetti. I tried to get this on film but you were being disagreeable. I also spent some time trying to catch a leaf as it fell without looking stupid, and I succeeded and tucked the tiny yellow leaf in my pocket so that I could later sandwich it in my journal and call it the leaf that I caught as it fell.

Don’t forget to shower,

song of the day: Sayonara no Natsu by Aoi Teshima (From Up on Poppy Hill)

(psst read about the Letters to October project laurapoet's started here!)