Monthly Archives: September 2011
Blog fail. I’m so sorry. It’s been too long.
And it’s gonna be a bit longer.
Don’t give up on me!
Laundry softener is not detergent.
- It looks the same
- It smells the same
- It’s cheaper, so more alluring to purchase <—that’s the killer
- The font for detergent and softener is in size zero
The best things come in one (or two or three or four) lines. And I’m happy when I’m a part of them.
In a meeting:
Lecturer: Our company wants to be great, not big. There’s a difference. Can you think of something that is big but not great?
Me (who speaks before thinks): Texas.
Lecturer: I’m from Texas.
On the street:
Oldish man: You look like Kate Hudson.
Me (in hat which hides my face): Is it the hat?
Oldish man: No, it’s the eyes, and the smile.
On the subway:
Another Oldish man (to me and another blond standing next to me): Sisters?
That’s all for now. ————-
In other news, let us talk mornings.
(This may or may not be a picture of a sunset, but who’s to know? I try to only use my own photos…)
Mornings. Crisp, fresh, and curious– as the mystery of an unlived day begins to unfold. (isn’t that nice? Hallmark material for a …”happy morning” card? eh?)
Mornings are something I saver. I adore. I wake up early whenever I can, and I cherish every single minute that I can relax and stretch my legs before I have to go “do” something. I have this idea where I want to travel the world and talk to different people in different places about their different morning routines. (Hi, Publisher. You reading this? Good idea? I’ll book my flight(s), and I promise not to use the word “different” three times in one sentence).
Mornings since high school surely have improved. I used to literally get up 15 minutes before I had to leave for that first bell. I’d take a three-minute shower, dress, get my backpack together, and head out the door with really wet hair. And on the weekends, I’d either be getting up at the crack of dawn for a track meet, or sleeping until noon to recover.
Noon-Are you one of those people who will sleep away the day? I may have to judge you, just a liiiittle.
Now, I strive to start my early mornings with a mimosa and/or bloody mary.
If I can’t find a bar that’s open at 8am I’ll stick to coffee or tea. In any case, I’ve found that no matter where I wake up, my Ante Meridiem is always one thing: simple.
My mornings in Ghana: I’d get up (at 5am, mind you), scramble out of my mosquito net, and go fill my large bucket with water several hundred yards from my dorm. I’d come back and take a brief, cold bucket shower, then quickly go out again to buy a large plantain. For breakfast, I’d make mashed plantain with oats and brown sugar, and serve it to the girls in my suite. We’d have tea. Some mornings I would go straight to my friend’s home in East Legon; Id take a taxi there and go to his “mother’s” house, where she would make us huge bowls of porridge. We’d all sit around and listen to the radio.
In Saratoga, I lived fantasy mornings. I usually had an hour or two before work, so I would wake up and make oats and tea, watch CNN, and play with our kitten. Then I would bike to the bakery I worked at and serve fresh muffins and baguettes. No complains there. DC was similar, although instead of a kitten, I played with my roommate’s dog, ate waffles, and watched the news before going on conference calls with my boss et al.
(How I love animals that aren’t really mine so I can play with them without shelling out money for food and vet bills).
And here I am now in Brooklyn, in a living room that is also a dining room that is also a kitchen that could also (arguably) be a foyer, mud room, and/or den. I have my coffee and a bowl of oats, and am catching up on work emails and freelance articles. After I’ve read the news, I’ll try to run or go to yoga before I bon voyage my morning and finally come face-to-face with the real world.
In celebration for this summer coming to an end, I figured I should recap the high points of these past few months. Now, I am celebrating summer’s termination because it was, to put it lightly, not the greatest. If I was an angsty teenager, I might have scribbled in my mead-journal “worst summer ever omg life is SoOoO unfair!” But luckily, I’m not an overdramatic thirteen year-old. And! What is so beautiful about all of this is that even amidst a couple not-so-great months, I realized that a lot of great shit still went down.
-I became a future sister-in-law. Aka, my brother got engaged!
(They even matched for the occasion). But, in all seriousness, one of the best things that happened to me was seeing my brother ask the love of his life to marry him.
-I got really, really tan
Yea! That was cool. I usually do not go out of my way to visit the beach, but I found myself there a lot this summer, along with being outside often in general. I have pretty fair skin, but when I’m out under the rays, my inner-African reveals itself.
-I was hired. Twice.
Finding myself back in NY, I had to act quickly and get the money re-rollin. I immediately got a job at a fancy tie-wearing restaurant (that I may or may not have hated), buuuut I was also hired to be head editor and write for a philanthropy website in New York City. Fun fun.
-My mom and I visited my grandma
Put this mother-daughter-daughter combination together in Florida, and you get hilarious conversations and loots of wine drinking. My mom and I try to visit together at least once a year to see my G, and each time never fails to be quite entertaining!
-I got back into shape
I’ve always tried to run on the regular, but this summer I really started challenging myself. There was a point where I was running around eight miles a day–fast. I also started seriously doing yoga, and kind of became addicted. It felt good to feel healthy and strong.
-Fire Island happened
Beach, bacon, burgers, bloody mary’s, beer showers, spoons, spades, swimming, mohitos, margaritas, dancing, dt……
dare I say Fire Island was perfect?
-I made a pie.
…with the help of Cyndi and Emma, of course! Making a pie from scratch was on my bucket list, and it’s now properly removed. Not to say I’m not going to do it again…it’s just that right now, our oven starts to smoke and it smells like something is burning. And this is all before we put any food in it.
-I met a mature, committed prince charming that treated me like gold and bought me presents.
Oh wait, that was a romantic comedy I watched. Fuck.
-Even better, I spent a ton of time out with my best girl-friends. We often went dt.
Let’s talk quotes. Usually…. I don’t like them. I don’t like them because the quotes you often hear are the ones you hear over… and over… and over again. Introducing: the cliché. I don’t care if you’re supposed to live as if you’ll die tomorrow, or shoot for the moon with the realization that you’ll at least land among the stars, or know that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I just…oy. Don’t care.
With that in mind, there is a small collection of quotes I do enjoy, and I’ve been keeping track of them. They’re the ones that don’t make me cringe, but rather make me think..or smile..or laugh. They inspire me to hopefully one day have my very own quote (!!!), where people will read it and go “ah, that Laura Schwecherl is a genius.”
And yes, they’ll say Schwecherl flawlessly. It will simply roll off le tongue.
“Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.” -Henry David Thoreau
Well said, HDT. I have never been a fan of people doing good for the sake of themselves; so many people strive to go out of their way to simply show others that they are in fact being charitable. Don’t be “good” just because you think it’s right. Be good about something specific that is meaningful to your life and that positively impacts another’s.
“By letting go it all gets done.” -Lao-Tzu
My good friend Lao has never been so right. If you hold on to anger, frustration, sadness, or any other negative emotion, then you’ll never be able to make that final step: moving forward. Once you can let go and empty your mind can you really refill it with positive energy, emotion, and progress. (This is yoga-Buddha Laura talking to you right now).
“You can do anything, but not everything.”-David Allen
Did you know that David Allen is famous for creating a time-management method? I never knew the guy, but had heard the quote before. And while rather simple, it’s also straight forward and honest. Too often do we tell ourselves that the sky’s the limit and stretch ourselves too thin. Don’t we all answer the interview question “what is your biggest weakness” with the ol’ “I’m so motivated and enthused that I try to do everything but it’s because I’m so hardworking and hire me please”? Just remember…have your goals, dreams, and what have you… but be realistic. Be choosy. Focus.
“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”- Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is one of my favorite writers; we share the same humor and travel itch, although he is far funnier, intelligent, and well-traveled than me. No matter-his quote here is something I truly thrive off of. I live for the unknown, the challenge of being in a new place, getting lost, and learning, learning, learning! Don’t take me to the Bahamas, Take me to India. Tanzania. Heck, I’ll go to South Dakota. Never been.
“I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.” -Marsha Doble
Now, I like this a lot. I often trick myself into running first thing in the morning by jumping out of bed, putting on my sneakers, and hitting the road before I have time to yawn. It takes me a couple of miles for my body to realize something’s up, and by that point, I’m almost halfway done with my run! More importantly though, Doble’s quote really highlights the whole “mind of matter” thing, for I truly believe that running is mostly mental.
“Perhaps that you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.” – Herman Hesse
From my favorite book. Perhaps my favorite author, too. Too often are we blinded by these mapped out plans we create for ourselves that we don’t let life just …happen. We become too narrow minded and miss out one other opportunities that can also be in plain sight.
“People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe.” -Eckhart Tolle
I love this. Absolutely love this. It’s better than the simple “you are in control of your own happiness” saying; it takes away the focus on the self and has us think about actions and events that we think define our happiness. And Tolle is right-these dependent happenings in our life are chaotic and random. Can something so unstable really create our stability? Or do we do it ourselves? Hmmm.
“I will not wait to love as best as I can. We thought we were young and that there would be time to love well sometime in the future. This is a terrible way to think. It is no way to live, to wait to love. “- Dave Eggers
Oy. This quote came from What is the What, a book I highly recommend you pick up…today. It’s not an easy read, but it’s important. Very important. That being said, this quote is obviously different out of context, but it’s message is more or less the same. It’s message rings true for my generation especially…I think. We’re living in an age where women are working beside men, we’re marrying later, we’re all being independent, and a result-love has become preeetty complicated. Are we all being selfish? No, absolutely not. But I think the idea of love and marriage is shifting, and it’s become something along the lines of sacrifice as all of us motivated individuals grab life by the reigns, not letting stupid boys/girls distract us! This thought inadvertently reminds me of another Hesse line, where he states: ”Oh, love isn’t there to make us happy. I believe it exists to show us how much we can endure.” Oof. Make of that what you will.
And lastly, this one just makes me laugh. Another Bryson here:
“And I find chopsticks frankly distressing. Am I alone in thinking it odd that a people ingenious enough to invent paper, gunpowder, kites and any number of other useful objects, and who have a noble history extending back 3,000 years haven’t yet worked out that a pair of knitting needles is no way to capture food?”- Bill Bryson
He’s just…really right.
WordPress is fancy. It tells me how many people (anonymously) view my site a day, which posts they read, what links they click, and how they were referred to the site (facebook, blogspot, etc). Another interesting frill is “search engine terms”; basically, WordPress lets me know what people type into google that somehow leads them to my site. These “terms” usually directly relate to what I’m talking about, but sometimes they make absolutely no sense. There are my favorite three that I thought I’d share:
“a sweating problem” –> Do I really talk about sweating that much? :/
“beer showers” –> I’m proud of this one. Beer showers are on my list of top 10 things to do in… life.
“goat island” –> You tell me?
In other news, I went to Northport for 24 hours to be reintroduced to trees and have a bbq with friends and family. I came home to learn that Charlie has learned the “join us for dinner on top of the table” trick. I’m so proud of him!
I don’t really understand the difference between body creme, body wash, body lotion, body cleanser, body butter, etc. WHY so many options? I get remarkably confused; which do you have to wash off, and which do you just rub in? I’ve apparently been layering up face creme that you are supposed to rinse. Woops. And, body wash, can that include hair? Isn’t soap just soap? Can’t I wash my body with shampoo? (How about Tide?) And… body butter? Is that different from body creme? Why all these things. Why.
These are figs that grow in our backyard. How do they turn them into newtons?
If you’re ever unsure (and without a bottle opener), test to see if a beer is twist-off. Just try it. This is much easier than almost slicing your hand off with the corner of a granite countertop. It took a 12-pack for us to realize that, well, the champagne of beers just needs a little lefty-loosey.
We have a special little guest in our backyard. Can you see it?
This might help:
McCarren Park is an urban anthropologist’s dream. I thought it was just filled with hipsters eating prosciutto arugula wraps and drinking margaritas from the Turkey’s Nest, but I’m wrong. They only occupy the southern half of the park that’s closer to Bedford. The northern half is populated with older, Polish folk, and women with their babies. The park on the west end that has the track is often filled with Latinos playing soccer, high school athletes at football practice, and African-American adolescents hanging out near the inner field. This section of the park is almost hipster-free, minus the few that also enjoying getting a workout in.
There is a glorious farmer’s market every Saturday that is also only a few steps from my home. I was able to pick up this bundle of kale for an easy $2. It’s also the size of my head x’s 3.
That’s all the pondering for now. Going back to reading this. Happy Labor Free Weekend!
Hello from my new room in Williamsburg! Or maybe Greenpoint! I’m not really sure. Anyhoo, I am currently* sitting on my air mattress* (which likes to deflate on me over night) with a pile of clothes to my right (no dresser yet*) and a beautiful window that looks out to our back padio– fully equipped with peach and fig tree–on my left.
I went for a run early this morning to beat the heat, and discovered that there are actually Pros (!!) to running in the city. But, alas, there are cons too. A list, shall we?
- There are so many interesting things to look at! People with their faces covered in tattoos, hipsters walking their pugs, old polish men selling pastries and perogies, and film crews at the East River Park. Who can think of being tired and/or sweating away thee existence when you can look at all of that?
- There’s a really nice track in McCarren Park right around the corner from me. I can run a mile on there to pretend I’m warming up for a high school workout and then NOT have to run one! I can also watch people take their kick boxing/personal defense classes on the inner field. That’s fun.
- I can explore new neighbors I normally don’t travel to by foot: Ft. Green and Park Slope, to name ..two.
- Running can mean heavy breathing. And heavy breathing in New York City can mean inhaling some sketchy air.
- I have to stop at the occasional light, or risk being run over by a huge truck :/
- There are no hills! Absoutely flat. Meh.
- I miss running on trails for less impact and pretty scenery. Here, while the scenery is distracting, I don’t know if I’ll ever find any city pretty. That’s just my own personal opinion.
Anyhoo, the past few days have been incredibly busy. I’ve moved out, and moved in, and hauled heavy furniture, and bought necessary “life” household items (ie. garbage can, can/wine opener, soap?). I’ve continued commuting to Manhattan for work, and continued going to stress-induced interviews.
Aaaand it’s all quite lovely.
And before we acquire more furniture, I have to enjoy my post-run oatmeal and the NYtimes comfortably on my floor. I don’t mind.
* * * I now have a dresser and a real mattress! And..lies..I am now sitting at our dining room/living room/kitchen table. The delay in posts is due to my nearly new macbook pro not wanting to let me switch fonts. I need to borrow another person’s comp in order to do so. SIGH. But, get ready for lots of urban anthropological thoughts after this first week of exploring Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Let me tell you now–it aint just full of hipsters. Thank God.