Central Park

Central Park

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Song on repeat (part 2)

Sorry for the radio silence of several weeks now. You know what's not very fun or inspiring? Looking for work. But don't worry, I will at some point have fun again. Specifically next week, when I'm escorting my grandpa to his 70th reunion at Notre Dame (wow). Then I'll be staying in Ohio for a bit, which I'm excited for. 

So my current song on repeat, posted above, is from the season finale of Nashville, a show that I adore. Campy television is the greatest television. It's a lovely reminder that you have a responsibility to honor the talents you've been gifted. 

Last year, I kept a dry-erase wall decal above my bed with some inspiring quotes and reminders. Writing something down gives it power. If I still had that, the title of this song, "It ain't yours to throw away," would go on the board. 

Points to anyone who can identify the above. We've got a country music lyric, a theme from my favorite book, a quote from a Broadway musical, one from a giant in the world of sport and one I made up myself when I thought my prom date had become a woman. (Long story short, it was a prank, which he thankfully revealed before I messaged him saying I no longer felt guilty about the crush I had on his brother.)

And now for something completely different, I leave you with what I believe is a pet store, which I drove past in Flushing this week. Flushing is a weird place. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

NYC Consumption patterns: employed vs. unemployed

I've noticed a serious change in my shopping habits in the last few weeks. As an economic major, I thought I'd analyze that data.

Things you consume when you're working a soul-sucking 9-to-5 job in New York City:

They're cheap, they're fast and, in New York, they're gigantic, so you can eat one at 8 a.m. and be full until lunchtime.

Because you had to wake up at 6:45. And you had to be at the office at 8:45. And you're still at the office at 12:45. And if you offer to go get fancy coffee for your boss, you can have a blissful 10-minute walk at 2:45.

Overpriced soup from Fresh&Co
At $5 a cup, still cheaper than anything else you can get for lunch in Midtown.

Always an appropriate office conversation topic. Helps you decide when to take your made-up errand walk.

The classy way to forget your day.

Over-the-counter sleep aids
Because you've had six cups of coffee today and need to wake up at 6:45am tomorrow.

Things you consume when you're unemployed in New York City:

Because you have time to eat at your own house in the morning.

Because you have time to prepare your own hot beverage in the morning.

Scratch-off lottery tickets
Better chances than sending off a resume. Less painful rejection than sending off a resume.

It's Monday afternoon and you've got nowhere to be.

Ben & Jerry's
Screw you, Editor Pants.

Things you consume regardless of your employment status in New York City:

Friday, April 18, 2014

You That Pass: A little less levity on Good Friday

Until recently, all I knew about my great-grandfather, Fred Myers, was that he was an English professor at Notre Dame who died when my grandfather was young.

When I was in high school, my grandpa moved out of his big house into a small condo. My dad and I helped him with the cleaning and packing. My grandpa, the smartest man I know, who can still tell me stories about his day-to-day life as a switchboard operator in 1942, didn't feel the need to keep a lot of things around - turning my dad and myself into curators of what should be salvaged from the garbage cans.

Among the things we saved from the dump was a collection of more than 100 pages of poems, letters, stories, syllabi and more that had been my great-grandfather's. It was a fascinating insight into a man who'd died 52 years before I was born.

Among these items was a letter from The Sign, a Catholic magazine, regarding payment for a poem he had submitted.

After discovering that, I looked up the magazine, which no longer publishes but has a searchable archive. After finding out which issue contained the poem (August 1937), I contacted the archives for a photocopy.

At the time, they were moving. I emailed occasionally after that, and finally received an electronic copy this past fall.

I also looked into my great-grandfather's past, aided by the archives of the ND Scholastic. He was diagnosed with leukemia (which the Scholastic defined as a "rare blood disease") in 1933 and given two years to live. He doubled the prognosis and lived until June 1937 - two months before this poem was published.

I printed the poem and framed it for my grandpa's 90th birthday in December. I was reminded of it today during the first reading at Mass and realized that its message of human dignity in the face of suffering is something we should all be mindful of on Good Friday. The poem as printed is pictured above; if it's hard to read, the text:

You That Pass
by Fred Irwin Myers

Oh, you that pass me by upon the road
With face averted and an eye askance,
And ears stopped up complacently:
You reassure yourselves that here I lie
Through fault of mine.—
My friend, you cannot know the chill
Of wounds grown cold, the agony of one
Who faces death alone and comfortless.

I do not ask that you should carry me
Up to the inn; or that you extend yourself
For my amending; I would not have
You oil my wounds with hands that shake
Through fear of my contagion; you need not
Dip the water from the ditch to wash my face
Or bathe my aching throat and eyes:
I have become inured to these!

But could you tarry one short while
That I might sense the warmth of sympathy
The comfort of community and the feel
That though your flesh does shrink from me
You would not leave me quite alone,
Not utterly alone and comfortless.
Just stand across the road while you say
"Hail, brother!" and I shall bless you everlastingly.

A little levity on Good Friday

Happened to watch this episode on Netflix last week - good timing! Barney Stinson explains why Jesus waited three days:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

An early dispensation

Well, my Lenten promise hasn't fared too well this week. On Sunday, as has happened more than once in the last couple months, I became pretty sick. Like, no appetite for days sick. When moving makes you more sick, morale does not improve if there's nothing to do but stare at your cat.

He'd be pretty if he'd let me wipe the goop from his eyes.

So, I've given myself a sick dispensation (that's allowed, right?) and taken to Netflix while preparing dinner, and social media while watching basketball and eating my dinner. But, to make up for it (and to figure out why I'm keep getting sick/to attempt to get better), I've given up gluten, dairy and alcohol.

I would take wine over the internet any day. Trust me on this. You know what Wine Wednesday is without wine? It's a freaking Wednesday. 

My dinner every night this week. Not that I'm complaining.

But if a diet consisting of nothing but fruit, peanut butter and avocados fails to make me feel better, the answer may lie in my gall bladder, a tiny organ no longer possessed by several members of my family. In which case, I ask for some intentions that I win the billion dollar bracket next month. I could get so many gall bladders taken out of me if I won that. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Song on Repeat

I know I'm not the only one of my friends who does this, but I enjoy listening to the same song, on repeat, for long periods of time. If you've never tried it, do. Start with Adele's "One and Only." It's a very cathartic experience.

With no internet outside of work, I need to rely more on my limited iTunes collection. Because I can listen to the same songs all the time, it's not much of a problem. I've been rotating two songs very heavily in the past week, but this is my newest favorite.

Yes, Hunter Hayes is basically the male Taylor Swift. I'm actually pretty sure that several of his songs are about Taylor Swift. When I first heard him, I thought he was a Canadian "American Idol"-type show winner. But it turns out he's been doing this forever and once played at the White House for President Clinton. So, validated.

Anyway, this song is incredibly uplifting. It speaks to what I wrote about yesterday - namely, enjoying life as it happens. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


People spend nearly all of their time moving in ways they don't need to control consciously: breathing, blinking, swallowing, etc. We came into the world knowing how to do those things. Other movements have become so common that we no longer have to consider them. Feet on the sidewalk. Fingers on a keyboard. Once upon a time, I would have listed front crawl and flutter kick.

Last night, I realized I have another unconscious movement, something I do without even thinking about: thumb on a touchscreen.

Which brings us to Lent. I don't know about yours, but if my ashes had been a Pokemon, they were most definitely Squirtle.