Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One block

It's another beautiful night out -- a hammock night, though I don't have anyone with whom to share that, nor do I have easy access to a hammock (and so I let that thought go quickly after it arose).  No matter, however, as the undeniable comfort of the café is shortly ahead, unhealthy muffin satisfaction included.

The block from 41st to 40th is extra long.  This is a slightly frustrating reality as far as reaching the bus in the mornings goes, but it doesn't bother me so much now.  I walk amiably, passing the familiar elements along with the ones that never attract my attention much.

There's a place that I am pretty certain used to be a movie rental store, but now its focus appears to be comic books and the like.  It's tinged now with the time I looked for it with Mike.

The bowling alley, Strikes, appears to be just a shell now.  I was there once with Matt.  They played nothing but Daft Punk remixes the whole time we were there (and I couldn't have been happier about that).

Some little road, the name of which I've never bothered to find out, cuts the block halfway.  If I head down it, there's a parking lot with designated Philly Car Share spaces.  So I think of Steve, and the night he took me and David for a spontaneous random drive in and around the city.  It's just one of many reasons Steve is awesome.

Last, past a building I've never identified, is Saxbys.  It didn't hold much for me until this summer because Starbucks was my spot at Penn, but by now it's one of my regular cafés.  Occasionally I think of meeting Geoffroy or working on Flash with Ted here, as those were amongst my first times spent here.

Life is good.

Friday, September 24, 2010

characteristic #4

Cereal is one of my favorite things to eat.  I enjoy it at any time of the day or night.

Favorite cereals: Frosted Mini Wheats, granola, Cracklin' Oat Bran, Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Honey Bunches of Oats, ...

(image credit)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Map of Philly bars I have frequented

Because I think making infographics out of life data is cool, I have created a Google map to mark all the bars at which I've had a drink at least once.  I wish there was a bit more I could do with the map than just save a list of locations (attach dates to each place, categorize the reasons I was there, etc...) but it's an interesting start.

View Philly far! in a larger map

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Life threads

Sometimes I have a meta moment and try to think about the way people's lives intertwine.  I tend to visualize this like a line graph.  Each person's life is a horizontal thread running forward in time; when people meet, their threads touch; if they spend a portion of life together, their threads stay entwined; when they part, so do their threads. ...that was probably too many semi-colons in one sentence.

Tonight I've been reading a few friends' blogs, and I'm reminded of how interesting and talented these people are.  And then I think, I am lucky to be able to consider them friends.  This brings me again to marveling at the circumstances that bring me to meet people.  Many can be classified simply under "went to school together", etc., but sometimes an interesting sequence of connections had to occur, and if it hadn't, whatever part of my life I've experienced with that person would not have existed.

And so I am glad:

that my first-grade best friend's ex-girlfriend went to Penn too

that my mom happened to Google the right phrase when looking for a summer internship for me

that I went one night to a friend's dorm lounge to play DDR

that, for my minor, I signed up for a class otherwise completely full of music majors

that I left my seat for five minutes while at New Deck during Feb Club

that I asked a friend to wait for me to walk over to a party

that I got lost during one of the engineering school orientation tours

that I saw a particular poster for a performance in my dorm hallway, even though I never made it to the show

that I signed up to live on the music residential program floor for freshman year

that a friend of a friend took a bus to Philly

that I went to a lindy crash course

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

30th street station

Three years or so back, when the morning was still too early, a sleepy girl followed her boyfriend up to the train platform to wait.  The city and all it has was still new and scary, and she needed someone with her.  Of course, then she didn't really need to pay attention.

Much later, the station became a test.  It was one more step in figuring out independence: to find one's way home.  But it's not so bad, really.  Read the signs and watch the times.  It'll even tell you... "The scheduled - 7: - 42 - R7 - to Trenton - next to arrive - on track 3."

This turns to second nature, easily.  The emotion shifts to comfort.  When you know you're going home, everything is going to be okay.  There's no worry of being alone, no want of surrounding and immediate love, no need for the concerns of taking care of yourself.  So you step on board and leave to soak in that world for a couple of days.  When you come back, it's: here's my city, baby.  And the routine is ahead, like always.

There's a spot outside where I stood, holding, holding onto, one whom I had no idea of when I'd next see.  The seconds I had were not enough time to learn the process of parting.  So I decided quickly that maybe I didn't have to.

There's a bench, the first one you reach in the Amtrak waiting area, where we sat together.  Everything I had inside begged for this moment not to be the last.  So I stayed close while I could, said what was right, and waited.

There's an Auntie Anne's inside, along my walk to the corner doors.  That's where he said I shouldn't let him stop, and I didn't completely pay attention, because I was a little weak with the happiness.  It would be short, but it would be.

It was: everything.