Sunday, July 24, 2011

Today I put my clothes away!

Earlier this week, I broke open a fortune cookie and after reading the fortune said, True Story (a response I use all too often, which you know if you've had a conversation with me in the last year).

Getting a fortune @ Happy Yogurt, a place as cheerful as its name
It's not that I've experienced a change--besides turning the big "21," I am still very much the kid who lived on Wrightsville Beach.  But I'm not on WB any more!!  I'm in Texas and just about everything and everyone is new to me. Totally exciting most of the time, sort of lonely and scary on occasion.  My new habits and haunts are all chosen with a background awareness that my day-to-day actions and attitude in this new place is what will both define me and settle me in this place.  It's useful for me to think of myself as a plant that's been transplanted to a new and definitely larger (Everything's bigger in Texas, doncha know) pot of dirt and I'll just be making an exponential amount of adjustments before I am acclimatized to my new home.  I can already feel my self growing a lot though, as I'm learning and exploring (like) constantly.

    In my apartment, I have been constructing my awesome IKEA furnishings in my spare time when I feel like picking up a screwdriver.  That was Never during this past school week.  I was using a screwdriver (not to mention a whole host of other tools!) during the day and the last thing I wanted to do was build something when I came home from school.  Good news though!  The lab instrument is like 95% complete and I will in all likelihood begin running samples on it tomorrow (Monday) afternoon!  It was a lot of work and man! we re-adjusted things like the positions of the different components a million times--it was like one of those brain teaser wooden puzzles or something.  The scientist I was building the instrument wasn't very friendly to me, so that was def not a bright spot in the past few weeks, but I did learn a great deal from her about lab-built instruments.
     This morning though, I was totally up for finishing my dresser!  I put on some NPR and some Pandora radio and just hammered it out.  Ha.

Constructing a drawer for my classy birch IKEA dresser
    It came out really well!!  First off, I realized how to correct an error I had made on it earlier in its construction (my top was on wrong!) and it was smooth sailing from there.  By noon, I was putting away both my freshly laundered clothing, which had been in a heap on my floor where a dresser would normally go, and that which was still sitting in a box in my closet.  Dressers really are great.  And this one has really smooth drawers and a well-designed (those Swedes!) upward slanting edge for opening them, eliminating the need for drawer-pulls.
Dresser full o clothes!

Upward slanting edge for easy-opening
Shot of my bedroom as it is now! Window w/ curtain, dresser, and bed!
 I was so happy to complete it and then went to the gym for a good run.  Then I was off to meet my friend Cara in downtown Bryan at The Village, which was soooo cooooool.  Everything I dreamed and more.  A pocket, or rather 4 walls (which were covered in art by the way, a veritable gallery) acting as a haven for those who seek it!  Looking around at the people, I felt a rush of happiness and familiarity--people like me do exist in this town!  They're here!  I've found my way here!  It's different in Brazos Natural Foods--people aren't communing with each other there--there's no cafe/sit down area.  The BNF email tipped me off to this place, though!
Off to check out downtown Bryan for the first time this afternoon
 Cara, my new friend from Germany, and I really enjoyed hanging out together today, as usual.  We've been hanging out a bunch these past few weeks, getting to know each other and exploring new places.  We've gone twice to the Northgate area to eat at Freebirds, went swimming in the ginormous and awesome Student Rec Center, watched the World Cup Final between USA and Japan last Sunday at the Fox & Hound, and today enjoyed The Village.  We always talk so so much and have a fantastic time.  She's only here for a summer internship though, so our time here is short--I'm leaving in 11 days for Alaska!!!!  In light of this, we're planning a trip to Austin together this weekend--giant smiley emoticon.  Cara has been all over Europe, studies like every branch of oceanography at her university in Kiel, and speaks 4 languages (German, French, English, and Spanish, in order of fluency) and has studied Latin.  I had to pry this out of her over hours of conversation.
My new friend, Cara.  She's German and awesome.
We met by accident!  During my first week, I was looking for a room on the 8th floor where you set up some oceanography student computer ID thing, and popped in to a room with cubicle-like spaces.  I saw Cara and and asked her for directions to the GeoNet ID place, and she was like, "I have no idea, it's my 2nd day here."  And I told her that I was totally new too, and we set plans to eat our lunches together that day and have been enjoying hanging out since then!

      At The Village, I enjoyed the Cold Cuke sandwich and a glass of white wine.  Was it good?  No.  Totally sublime.   And a few hours later, I dared to try their S.O.B. Mocha, which has dark chocolate and adobo sauce, and it was bold!  Like I love spice and had to enjoy it in small sips!  LOVED it. So happy.  Speaking of happy..

Happy Yogurt!!   Gawd that place is so cheery!
    I have been to Happy Yogurt twice now and loved it!!! It's a wi-fi cafe and plays movies on a hi-def TV during the evenings.  It's a place where most of the customers come multiple times a week.The yogurt tasted like ice cream.  The owners are a girl named Koda and her mom, Momma Judy, and they are the sole employees I think.  I've had their chocolate yogurt, their red-bean coconut shake, and their shiitake mushroom happy buns.  Really good time!  I watched Modern Family on my iPad when I was there Friday and another evening I watched the movie they were showing, "Easy A," a modern day "Scarlet Letter," which I had watched at Shira's place in Cali.

    I realized that at this time last year I was getting ready to leave the Eastern Shore where I spent 12 weeks of the summer interning at a marine science camp.   I checked out my pictures from this time last year, and they were from when my dad had driven up to visit me! 

Dad and me on Assateague Island on July 24, 2010

      The highlight of his visit was showing him what I did literally every free chance I got--bicycling from our campus to the island of Chincoteague and on over to Assateague where I'd take the Hike & Bike beach access to reach the ocean.   It was an 11 mile distance to cover one-way, but you'd never know it because it was an incredibly scenic ride, across a long marshy causeway where I would often glimpse what came to be my favorite bird--the black-necked stilt.  I would wake up around 7 or 8 on a day off and head straight there (or to a Chincoteague hotel pool or hot tub!) and would also go over on a free afternoon, even if I'd already been to the island with a camp earlier. Some days I would even make the trip twice, seeking shelter in the middle of the day and returning as it cooled off. One day, I realized I had a flat just as I was departing the beach access--and it was noon and I had no water left!!  But a friend rescued me 3 miles later.  Dad loved the ride too, and the stretch of beach there was very unpopulated because you had to bike (or hike!) to get to it and all the people were over by the parking lot access a mile up the beach.  Aunt Lucy came with me on the H&B too!  And one time, my friend Allison and I rented a tandem bicycle and rode it to the H&B!!  So many happy memories.  And I always had my favorite green tea sunscreen with me.

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