Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I have a new(ish) life goal

And it involves travel. Like, a lot.

See, here's the thing: I am an excellent traveller, which is to say that I am a pro at airports, I sleep on planes like a champ, I'm great at packing, I adore exploring new places, I'm reasonably good at not looking like a tourist, and I have a strong desire to learn new languages.


I am coming to realize I am extremely poorly travelled. I have been to 19/50 US states, and only 5 foreign countries, 2 of which are in North America. In 21 years. More to the point, I have not been out of this country in THREE YEARS.

With so many of my close friends claiming living relatives in foreign lands, combined with the good amount of these people that spent their summers abroad or traversed the globe studying abroad, it's tough to not start to feel... inadequate, if only because my own intense desire to travel is, in truth, so thoroughly unfulfilled.

So I'm making some lists, because that's what I do - I organize and I plan and I create goals. I figure at least several of these are achievable through theatre and the rest... well, I'll make a liiiiiittle money eventually, right?

Current top 10 list of places I would like to get in the next 10 years:
1. Spain. Spain Spain Spain Spain Spain.
2. Italy
3. Ireland
4. Greece
5. France
6. India
7. Russia
8. Czech Republic
9. Bermuda
10. Jamaica
...I started off in a sort of mental block about this and didn't get to 10 that easily at first but now, I must include the honorable mentions which are: China, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, the DR, Costa Rica, Turkey, and Morocco.

Places I have been that I would like to return (this is to say, all):
1. Japan, to see it as a grown-up
2. Canada, to explore beyond Toronto, and because I haven't been to Toronto in 5 years
3. England, to spend more time - possibly extended - there
4. Scotland, to go back to the Fringe specifically but also to experience more of the country
5. Mexico, to see places that aren't Puerto Vallarta


Perhaps I make it my goal to get to one of these places on my list in the next year. Even if it's the returns list... Montreal is cheap from New York... hmm.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

IDK, my bff coffee?

In high school, my friends and I made a bet I could stay caffeine free for an entire week. I believe the week ran Wednesday-Wednesday (see previous post about my memory for the inane and asinine - which yes, are faaaaairly synonymous but I love both of those words), and I was on the honor system for the weekend. Obviously therefore I cheated. Matt/Molly, if by chance you're reading this, my apologies.

I did, however, end up having to pay up anyway on the technicality that chocolate has caffeine in it, and since I had eaten chocolate during that week, I lost the bet.

The reasoning behind the bet was that at the time, at a mere 16, two local Starbucks branches already knew me by "name" and I was already well on my way to caffeine headaches when I did not start my day caffeinated. I had discovered, at the time, something that I know to be technically impossible but nonetheless still true somehow in my very backward psyche: coffee calms me down.

By this I mean to say DOES energize me (or gets me to zero, depending on the day), but since I was about 16, coffee has been a relatively integral part of my stress-management curriculum. I don't know what it is, but throughout high school and very often in college, those afternoons where everything seemed juuuuuust outside of my zone of rational control and I was dangerously close to lashing out at everything and everyone around me, a simple caramel macchiato/latte/hazelnut iced coffee/regular coffee usually did the trick to quell this antisocial and invariably counterproductive urge.

Logically and biologically speaking this should not be true and yet I find it is to this day. And yes, my time as an almost-psych major and then an almost-psych minor tell me that logically yes it's not all that strange it's the placebo effect and the strength of association and blah blah blah BUT I still think it's strange since chemically speaking, caffeine should make me MORE wired and inclined towards high-stress behaviors.

[If any of you hear a slight rotating noise, it's the collective sound of anybody who knew me in high school rolling their eyes that I bothered writing this.]

Mmmm, latte.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eyesight's the first to go, and I forget that other thing...

Despite the similarity in titles, this post bears no relationship to my previous ruminations over a silly film starring Rob Pattinson. Also, I am keeping said post, but would like to at least partially renege on the position posited in it for the following reasons:
1) Siobhan. The film stars Robert Pattinson for god's sake. I think you're just mad that you spent two hours of your life watching it and expecting it to become a quality film.
2) Hear that? That's the sound of your bullshit meter BLARING at you for pretentiousness and super false nationalism.

So now we move on to today's subject, one about which I have periodically ruminated for some time.

Today I left to have lunch with a friend, realizing that I was wearing an outfit which, though I've worn the component parts dozens of times, haven't worn precisely together since just under a year ago. With this friend. The occasion on which I'd last worn it occurred to me as I was dressing, but it didn't fully dawn on me until such time as I was walking out the door that that was the last time. My friend, being male, did not, of course, remember my having ever worn this outfit and nor did he comment. Or if he did notice, he wisely did not comment and it was likely less awkward for both of us that he did not.

A few nights ago, my dad presented my mom and I with cards at dinner that featured a picture of me at around age 10 (this is my guess - I am still wearing glasses, which changed circa 7th grade, and I am pre-braces, a sixth grade development). My mom posited that she knew exactly where the picture was taken, to which my dad and I both disagreed - what was interesting, however, was that I could identify the dress. I knew my mom thought it'd been taken in Baton Rouge, at my cousins' house, because it was an Easter dress. And though I recognized it instantly as an Easter dress, I knew instinctively that I was re-wearing it for a particular occasion, though what it was I couldn't recall.

I have always, it seems, had a peculiar memory for the seemingly insignificant details of my life - particularly those that happened a long time ago. I could not tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday (okay, trick question, half the time the answer to that is nothing) BUT I can tell you a vividly detailed story about something that happened five or more years ago.

Incidentally this has served me extremely well in my studies of the Method - I am (or, well, was, I guess) continually surprised what I could dredge up in terms of insignificant but somehow very important detail in the context of doing, say, a personal object or a private moment or a place. Both the monumental and the totally insipid - if it happened a long time ago, I likely have it stored somewhere in my brain in at least fragments of extremely clear detail.

Nowhere is this more crystalline than in how I remember what I was wearing (note to self: should have seen that play, Love, Loss, and What I Wore - would probably relate).

I know what I wore for my grandpa Don's funeral (age: 4.5). I know what Lydia and I wore the day we planned to come to school dressed as twins (probable age: 6), and what we wore the time we truly endeavored to convince everyone around us we were twins (probable age: 6.5). Partially cheating, because I owned all the dresses for sometime after, but I can tell you IN DETAIL about each competition dress I ever owned for skating. And I could probably give you a rundown of most of the rest of my dresses as well. I remember owning an American flag print bikini when we still lived in Toronto that I clearly must only have worn once, the April that Jess and Rach came to visit and we had a contest, in the frigid Canadian spring-winter, of who could stay out of our (very heated) pool the longest. I won, by default of the two piece bikini. I notably CAN'T tell you what I wore the day we moved from Toronto, which these days strikes me as ironic.

I remember what I was wearing the day I got into NYU and the day I moved into Rubin, and I can tell you what I was wearing for each of my significant firsts with boys. If you're a former boyfriend of mine/boy I was involved with/boy I dated and you're reading this (hahahahah. so very doubtful.) you're probably rolling your eyes in disbelief, given my seemingly shocking lack of sentimentality, but it's true. Quiz me sometime (haha that'd be a fun game, because how on earth could a boy prove me wrong on this? It's not like they remember).

It stands to reason from this that I'm a pretty good memorizer, and it's true - I learn lines quickly, and I've never really had any problem memorizing for class either. Yet I can know you for years and know, for example, what week of what month your birthday is in (first, middle, near [insert holiday in your birthday month here]) but I'm telling you now, unless you've told me the date literally DOZENS of times or more, I don't know it. I must, by absolute necessity, write something down in my calendar and my planner to remember to do it. And I routinely walk out of my bedroom both at in my apartment or at home (or at home or in my house, depending on how you want to look at it - I've strayed) to other rooms only to forget what I'm doing there. These also are all detail oriented things.

This is surely only further proof that it's possible I'm insane. But hey! If you want to know a detail about an incident that you were involved in that I was there for that happened 3 years ago, I'm your girl.