Jubilation

July 3, 2011

I went to see the Cirque du Soleil show Alegria last night. This is a little taste:

It was so amazing that I have a renewed appreciation for what the human body can do. It kind of makes me want to do some yoga, and at least get to the point that I can reach past my knees…

It was also a great excuse to dress up, but sadly, I didn’t get any pictures, except for this bad one of a delicious meal at a Mediterranean restaurant from before the show:

Casbah

Fried jibneh (cheese), falafel, and spinach pies

You can listen to the soundtrack here, which is awesome. The theme song reminds me a little of Lady Gaga, particularly the chorus of Alejandro. But this just might be my favorite. I don’t know. I can’t decide.

Alegria!

Here’s to Introverts

June 29, 2011

I got this list from my friend Kristen (it’s originally from here) and I had to re-post. I first read about what it really means to be an introvert last year after filling out a long questionnaire about my personality, and I felt like it was the first time I’d seen a totally spot on description and analysis of my personality type, ever. In a way it helped me understand and accept my weird self. So I love this :)

10 Myths about Introverts

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.

Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

PS: A picture from my weekend that has everything to do with this post.

Beach diner

Back…with Skills

June 12, 2011

I return from Louisiana with new-found expertise (ha) in baking/ cooking/ cake decorating, sewing (an apron!), couponing, and more. Aside from staying busy doing all those things, my friend and I also found time to sunbathe at the pool, drink daiquiris on the porch, play with her adorable dog, and of course, talk each other’s ear off.

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June Bug!

June 7, 2011

First of all, thank you to WordPress for featuring my previous post, “Dunder Mifflin, this is Toni” on Freshly Pressed. That was the second time WordPress has featured my blog; the first time was my “NYC! (Photo Dump).”

Yum

Easy

Summer dessert

[Insert random photos of recent food here.]

Tomorrow I leave to go visit one of my oldest friends in Louisiana for a few days! We’ve decided it will be somewhat of a Martha Stewart weekend. My friend is excellent at baking, decorating, scrapbooking, and all things arts and crafts. When we were kids I loved spending time in her bedrooms because they were so pretty (we both moved from Missouri to Florida in the early 2000s and went to school together in both states!), and her scrapbooks were like masterpieces. I attempted to scrapbook in high school because of her and it. was. ugly. The captions alone are so bad I can never share them with anyone. Anyway, on this short trip, we will probably take on some artsy projects that she will excel at and I will fail at. And I can’t wait.

I’ve had some  fun and relaxing past few days, probably a little bit too much so for my own good. But I don’t regret it. This post-graduation “vacation” was much needed, or at least, much appreciated. I’ve been browsing through design books and murder mysteries, writing in my journal (of the non-digital sort) for the first time in 10 months, eating good food, spending time with friends and family, and more.

In my journal, I came across an entry from August 2009–a “Lifelong To-Do List” apparently inspired by Real Simple magazine that month (seriously, I love that magazine). After reading this post on the blog hithatsmybike (see her recent entries on spending a month in Paris, gah, amazing), I decided to post my 2009  list here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bounty

May 4, 2011

Farmer's market

Farmer's market

Farmer's market

Farmer's market

Summer Lovin’

May 3, 2011

Today I shipped three clothing returns (F21, Express, Zappos) and a cellphone rebate form. I’d been meaning to do that forever but just didn’t get around to it while school was still in session. It’s a nice weight lifted, especially since I just found out my cellphone rebate form had to be postmarked by tomorrow! Normally, I have the kind of luck where I’d have missed the deadline by a day, but instead I discovered it just in time, so that made me really happy. Then I went to lunch at a cafe down the street, alone, and for the very first time, found myself exhaling, relaxing, and enjoying the feeling of summer. Since I had my point-and-shoot on me, I even snapped some photos, just to celebrate the fact that I can go back into picture-taking mode again now!

Summer has begun

Summer has begun
Hummus and Swiss black bean burger, pasta salad, and chocolate chip cookie…yum.

Although I graduated on Friday, it took me until Sunday to wrap up the semester. Then, after I submitted my final paper (the writing of which felt like pulling teeth) I went into a sort of coma for the rest of the afternoon. I felt not relief, but numbness. Probably exhaustion, considering I slept until almost 1pm yesterday, and I despise sleeping late in the morning, let alone into the afternoon. Perhaps I needed all that rest, but as of today, it’s time to start taking care of myself again. Waking up at a decent hour, cooking real meals, exercising, getting the house back in order (or more like, purging items and paperwork and starting to prepare for the move out).

Also on my to-do list:

  • apply for passport
  • sell clothing and home items
  • get in touch with old friends/plan summer activities
  • keep job-hunting
  • repair desktop computer
  • take Herman to the vet
  • refresh some furniture

I’m also still in my driver’s ed class for the rest of the month. We left the driving range and started driving in the “real world” about two weeks ago, so it has gotten 100X more terrifying. But also exciting.

So my dinner tonight has almost everything I said I’m trying to cut back on–pasta, bread, butter, and cheese.

But it also has tomatoes, green beans, red peppers, mixed greens, and the pasta is whole wheat. For flavor I used balsamic vinegar (confession, I initially spelled that “balsalmic vinager”), freshly squeezed lemon juice, dried Italian herbs, and salt and pepper.

Dinner

Also, now that my Girl Scout cookies are, ahem, gone (and I don’t plan on re-stocking), I’ve found that small amounts of dark chocolate really do satisfy my sugar cravings, or sometimes making green or herbal tea does the trick too. Good to know.

It’s a start…

Dinner

I guess I should figure out what my goals are when it comes to eating well. It’s not about calories, although since I don’t know anything about calories I’m sort of interested to find out how many I generally eat in a day. Idk. It feels a bit like opening Pandora’s box; the more I read about it, the more I realize how complicated eating can be. And I just want simple. Michael Pollan style, like, eat mostly plants. I don’t want to suddenly start obsessing over food when I never have before in my whole life. I think I just want to establish better habits and break the routines that make me feel sluggish or that could contribute to health problems down the road.

And yeah, I like the idea of seeing physical change as I focus on exercising more and eating better. I’ve always been tall and slim and so far I’ve never needed to lose weight. I did begin putting on some pounds late in college but I sort of see that as a healthy growing out of my awkward, super-skinny adolescence. It’s not a problem, but I’d like to look more fit, muscular, toned, whatever.

Patrick and I went running for the third day in a row this afternoon (we’ve been doing it for longer than that, but not always daily) and I am just having a blast. I know a large part is that it’s an excuse to enjoy the beautiful weather, and frankly, if it were cold outside–or even much hotter–I’m not sure I’d be so enthusiastic. But never mind that; for now, setting aside 30 minutes to just get outside, be active, and forget about my worries for a little while has been great. I love my running shoes. I love my exercise clothes. They’re all just so much more comfortable than the clothing I wear on a daily basis. I’m having fun, if you can’t tell. I plan to start adding some other types of exercise into the regimen. I don’t really know what I’m doing but lord knows there are infinite resources out there to teach me.