Tuesday, May 10, 2011

birthdays, bagels, and graduations

this past weekend, i found myself in new york city for the first time in far too long. it was nice to catch up with a few friends that live there, but the main purpose of the trip was to celebrate tyler's 30th birthday. i have known tyler, literally, my entire life so i would not have missed this for the world. waiting outside the turkish restaurant in astoria for the rest of the of the party to arrive, i called my brother and then had to hang up shortly after as tyler waved to me through a car window. a few seconds later i noticed a woman that looked a whole lot like tyler's mother who i hadn't seen in at least 5 years. and it was! she surprised him by flying up from austin, texas just for the occasion. his brother and father (also surprisingly) came down from massachusetts too, so the whole family--my sort of extended-neighbor family--was all present. it was great. after dinner we ended up at a latin dance club in queens. continuing a tradition that began last may, tyler's girlfriend grisel and her sisters and cousins sang along to all their favorite tunes from growing up in colombia and we all danced like crazy. in between dj sets, some latin rock groups played while a dvd of live ramones concerts played on all of the bar's tv screens. quite surreal. and amazing.

this morning was bagel tuesday at the gym. even though i've been fighting off a cold the past couple days, i woke up determined to finally check out this monthly situation. it was nice that they provided free coffee as well, but the "bagels" were beyond disappointing. the thin-style they offered tasted exactly like a slightly thicker pita pocket--but even worse than that. this is all to say, i belong to a gym and that is weird and should be surprising to anyone reading this. i'm getting a little more comfortable being there, but the space is still foreign territory to me with its only particular culture and mores outside of my comfort zone; not dissimilar to casinos or stripclubs. despite this specific chain's commitment to being "safe" and a "judgement free zone," it is still a hypermasculine space with rigid gender norms and traditional, well, everything. i'm just trying to keep my heart healthy as i advance in years, and the price is right.

this coming weekend, my mother is graduating from elms in college in western mass in their rn to bsn program. we're all so proud of her. i'm taking the time off work so i can go up and celebrate. can't wait! my friend amanda, who i also work with now, is driving up to northampton for a bridal shower this weekend so we're gonna roadtrip it together from philly. i'm looking forward to seeing my family again, being there for my mom, and seeing some northampton friends sunday night. karaoke at bishop's anyone? 

Monday, May 09, 2011

an impending future of grad school

sometimes we have no choice but to focus on the future. and sometimes the future is only a couple months away. preparing for this moment can help us get through a present reality that is unfulfulling, or rife with day-to-day uncertainty. this vision inspires us to make it through, to make it happen.

my impending future begins in late-august. my vision is to return to studenthood, pursuing a masters degree. i am excited about dedicating my life toward one thing--a temporary autonomous zone free of neverending questions marks.

recently, i have had the state of vermont on my mind and began entertaining the idea, once again, of applying to goddard college as well as temple. the application deadline for both is mid-summer. both have start dates in august. when i woke up this morning i turned on the radio and an ad for temple's master of liberal arts (mla) program was playing on npr. i interpretted this as a peculiar sign, at least a mild inspiration for getting my shit together.

i'm just gonna go for it and apply to both programs over the next month. letters of recommendation will be requested, bureaucracies will be navigated, and a seemingly crippling personal financial situation will be addressed full-on. all in pursuit of a future of new possibilities.