19 December 2013

Feeling a Little Bah Humbug

As upside down as I feel
As much as I try, I have a hard time with Christmas. I am not really sure why, but this year especially, I am feeling rather bah humbug about it all. Maybe because it came on so quickly after Thanksgiving? Maybe because my life is in the same place it was last year, when I hoped things would change?

I don't know, but I am definitely in the spirit to opt out of it all this year (feel free to give me a lump of coal, Santa). Of course, that isn't a choice, and I am trying, trying to get into it. This year it has been so cold in SF that it feels almost like it would snow (but we've barely seen any rain even since last year) -- we've gotten to bundle up and snuggle by a fire, so you would think it would be easier to feel the season. I even went to NYC to see the holiday decorations...but, still...

Is there a trick to get into the season?

17 December 2013

About Me

I was zoning out, deep in though the other day, and it dawned on me: I am a romantic.

Not sure from where it stems -- is it being a Libra? A writer at heart? I don't know. I've had a lot of thoughts lately, done a few things, seen a few things, and this has been on my mind.  I've been feeling a bit nostalgic, a bit hopeful and wistful at the same time, and just thinking about things that really confirm this romantic aspect of my nature:

  • Art where you can feel the passion. Most of the wall decorations in my house are pictures I have taken, except two. One, a picture of a statue in the Louvre, literally took my breath away one day when I was walking down a street in Florence. It is a poster of a statue, yes, but the lighting and angle are such that you feel the subjects of the statue felt, at some point, a passion. The other is a print of a painting I saw at the Reina Sofia in Madrid -- two lovers lolling around on the beach. Somehow, in my eyes, the artist was able to capture the feeling of being so enamored with someone all you want to do is be beside them.
  • The Before Sunrise trilogy. These movies feel so natural to me. I feel like many of us that have traveled have had a similar experience (I know I have!). They inspire wanderlust. But, these movies also seem realistic. Sure, it isn't something that happens in every day life, but it happens. And above all, the movies, to me, say isn't it better to take the risk and know, than not take a risk and wonder*?
  • The Look. My first year in college, one of my best friends was super in love with my very good friend. (Of course, I had a bit of a crush on him, but that is neither here nor there.)What I remember most of all was the way that he looked at her. This look -- it was like she was the only person in the room, even if it was a crowded party and people were pushing and shoving. This look -- it was like the sun was shining only on her, and the rest of us were always in shadow. It was the first time I had ever seen anything like that, and all I knew was...

    Someday, I want someone to look at me like that.

    A long time has since passed. We were 18 at the time. 18. Life was so full of light, possibility, the great unknown. The Look -- it was full of the hope of an 18 year old. Life moves forward, gets more complicated, a little jaded, a little clouded. But still...THE LOOK!

There are so many other things, as well, but, as I was noodling on a few things, these three came to mind.

*and while I may not seem like a big risk taker on the surface...this is actually how I live my life. Carpe diem.

15 December 2013

In New York City: Empire State Building Tour

One thing I had never done on any of my trips to New York City was go to the top of the Empire State Building. I was lucky enough this summer to go to the top of Rockefeller Center, where I could SEE the Empire State Building, but this time I wanted to go to the place where the affair was remembered, where you could see the top of the shiny Chrysler building, and where Annie and Sam figured out they could make it even though they lived on separate coasts.  

My NYC-based friend agreed to go on this tourist lark with us, and off we went. We booked tickets online, and were excited when we got there and saw no line (this summer, when I walked by, the line seemingly snaked out of the building). This was very misleading, as once we got in, there was a line. A line that moved at a snail's pace. And, while in this line, we were bombarded with weird messaging about electricity. Eventually we almost got to the elevators, and they tried to force us into taking a picture that made it look like we were in front of the building. (I immediately became curious about how many people bought these pics. My friend A predicted 60% of people. If that was the case, they are raking in a lot of dough!). 

After probably an hour, we got to the elevators and headed up to the 80th floor...where we were greeted with ANOTHER line to get to the 86th floor. A worker let us know that we were welcome to walk up those six flights -- which we did. Finally being on the 86th floor made the wait (almost) worth it. We got to see a beautiful view of New York City -- from bridge to bridge, Central Park to Brooklyn. It was pretty awesome to see how vast this City is. We also were very lucky that it was a really clear night. Chilly, yes, but the sky was without a cloud and we could see for miles.

We had also paid to go to the 102nd floor -- so up we went. This was cool, though I don't think worth the extra money. You are in a tight space, can't go outside, and I know personally I was affected by the altitude (and saw another woman with her head between her knees so am assuming she was having a worse reaction). It was cool to be up there, but I think the view from the 86th, and being able to go outside, was the better bet.

I am very grateful my friend A indulged me in this activity and didn't even roll his eyes when I asked if we could go, even though I know it probably isn't so cool for people who live there to do these things. It was something I had always wanted to do, and I can now cross it off my list!

13 December 2013

Thoughts on a Dog

Hard to feel sad with this face.
It's been a while since I've talked about Luca, but today seemed as good a day as any.

Much like me, my pooch is a sensitive little thing. This means sometimes he gets a little shaky, and he gets a little scared when I am watching sports and shouting at the TV.

But it also means he is sensitive to how I am feeling, and seems to know when I am feeling low. When this happens, this dog is next to me at all times, generally acting a little self-centered (pet me, pet me, PET ME NOW). But, it works to make me feel better, which I think is his whole point.

I have no real, meaningful insight about this, other than how lucky I am to be a pet owner. The days when he frustrates the hell out of me (read: pees all over my house) are way balanced out by the times he tries to take my sadness and make it better.