It's true, I can't. Dorm life prevents it.
Kind of a disappointment- but this is something that I have known since freshman year... it just creeps up and saddens me once in a while. It's realy a shame... I hold some of my best performances in the ol' shower.
Oh well. That's all for now- off to a GREAT day! I hope yours is too!
Friday, September 30, 2005
It's true, I can't. Dorm life prevents it.
Posted by Claire at 8:20 AM
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Sorry that my titles keep coming out in Italian... I think the last two have ended up being written after class, so I'm still in the mode.
Anyway... I'm feeling a bit better today- yesterday I was feeling pretty, to put it simply, "poopy"- but today I'm feeling a bit better. The only problem now is that it is raining, and New York rain doesn't just mean your umbrella gets wet. Because we walk everywhere- we city dwellers- we find that our shoes and the back of our pants from ankle to knee pit are wetted with dirty gutter water. Any hope for dry feet can be tossed to the wind-- but the wind will most likely just throw it back black.
I'm fine with the rain- yesterday's weather was absolutely fabulous, so I figure I can handle some drops for a day or two. The only problem is now I'm going to stand in it for 6.5 hours. And that's really not THAT big of a deal... except that it is cold today. It hasn't been cold... but today it's cold AND windy... the windy kind of rainy day that prevents you from being able to hold your umbrella straight up for fear of pulling a Poppins. Living in this place teaches you to expertly stear your umbrella against the wind, dodging updrafts and the like.
This was scattered, but I'll have you know that I'm glad that it is thursday, that I don't have class tomorrow, and that I think I'll be able to get quite a bit of homework done tomorrow (which is good news for this girl's sanity, let me tell you!).
Avete un buongiorno, e ti vedo presto se siete in Utah- eh se non siete, poi dovete chiamarmi e dobbiamo incontrarci e cenare insieme, no?
Posted by Claire at 2:34 PM
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Earlier this summer I applied to go abroad Spring semester of this year and study in Paris. I decided to go ahead and apply to keep my options open. I knew that the program was only 90 people, sometimes less, and so I felt that I had barely any chance of getting in- so I applied for a roll of the dice. I had a great time in Italy, and why not use the system to get me to Parigi as well? I mean, when else will I live in Paris (my mind springs with possibilites, don't even tempt me!).
Today I got an e-mail from the Office of Global Education- I got in! I can go to Paris in the springtime... dreamy, right?
Well, not exactly. First- there's a baby coming who I'd like to know in the first months of his life. Second- I finally have a normal living situation in NYC- how can I pass this up? Third- I'm pretty sure they don't have the classes I need to help me on my way to taking over the world (or even finishing my degree... which at this point I feel may never happen. Dumb Cain strikes again!). And there are few other handsome reason why I don't want to be away from the US of A, including my love of ice, my longing for american cinema (though I've yet to see a movie here... this may be the longest I've gone without an in-theatre movie viewing in years...), my hatred of the dollar-euro exchange rate, and others...
But it is Paris. In the Spring time. Huh.
Posted by Claire at 6:42 PM
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what I do/what the apartment looks like. Actually, what our cool CD screens look like, our dishes, and me at the perch.
The CD screens- super cool, eh? That's staci peeking from behind them! They are two, and they fold opposite directions. They block off the open part of the room so we have some semblance of a wall! YAY!
The dishes- you can't really see what they look like, but trust me, they are neat! One set is white, and one a really cool dark blue- those are the ones I really like, but of course IKEA ran out of them, so I got a healthy mixture.
The perch- this is the step up to the doors to the balcony (which we cannot go out). I end up here at odd times- often while I'm on the phone I am standing on the perch looking out over the park, or starting at Staci's screen saver (which is usually pictures from our semester abroad!). Also, you see that I'm lifting up my foot- that is because I am often caught with my shoes on- that is a long story that you can ask me about if you care to, but really just trust that it's really quite funny.
Oh, and here's a picture of my view of the park- I'll take one of the grounds below our building tomorrow when the market is out cause it's really cute!
And so, there you have it!
Posted by Claire at 7:27 PM
Monday, September 26, 2005
Tonight was my first night helping at "Humanity Plaza"- which is really just Rockefeller Plaza, but it has a fancy name. Warner Music Group, NBC, and Habitat For Humanity are teaming together to create panels for houses that will be trucked down to the gulf coast states and then put together to give people shelter and homes.
Until Hurricane Katrina, Habitat for Humanity had never had a house they built (which is a number in the thousands) destroyed by a hurricane.
My title today was "wrangler"- which means that I told people where to go. I told the corporate big wigs and homeless people where to go- sign the form, sign the waived, get in line. They were all helping out- you don't have to have an income or an address to help out. That was something beautiful- a homeless person volunteering to help build another person a home. Hmm.
I never thought of volunteering as something that could be impulsive. The first thing that registers in my mind is an impulse buy- see it, gotta have it, get it. But in this case people were walking by, seeing what was happening, and saying "How can I get involved." It was neat. Sad, and yet exciting, is that we had to turn away dozens of people who wanted to help whom we simply could not accomadate.
Chris Matthews did his show 'Hardball' from Humanity Plaza today- Katie Couric was there too. Puff Diggity Dig was there to hammer a few nails for the four-to-six shift, and Christie Brinkley showed up for her eight-to-ten shift with a smile, despite the rain!
It is always fascinating to see how people behave- they want to be a part of something big- they want to be on TV- they want to help.
It was a privilege to aid in a way other than just tossing my 5$ bill in a bucket- though those 5$ bills are what are funding the project at Humanity plaza.
I think that's all for now. I just wanted to share some quick impressions/thoughts- though not poetic or detailed, hopefully you have an idea of what happened in my life tonight!
Posted by Claire at 10:28 PM
Sunday, September 25, 2005
I'm trying not to bat an eye at this.
Trying not to lose perspective.
Trying not to feel too sad.
Trying not to be selfish.
I'm trying not to miss you more already.
Trying not to let my heart weigh down.
Trying not to acknowledge.
Trying not to count the days until the next time.
I am supportive.
I am proud.
I am actually pretty excited that you have this opportunity to help in such a tangible way.
I wish I had a way to express all this to you without it being so canned.
I look forward to when I can tell you in person.
I'm not going anywhere- I'll be here when you get back.
I want to hear all about it.
I am praying for you.
Posted by Claire at 5:11 PM
Today has been a super busy Sunday, and it's only 2:22pm! But you know what? It's busy in a good way. Church at the Journey this morning was great, I love starting my days out with God- and doing it in a large group is very nice! Then I came home and ate, read a little bit (of course not enough) and learned all about the wines of Italy- why didn't I read this stuff BEFORE I went there? I'm a genius, that's why!
In about 10 minutes I'm off to a training session for how to be a 'wrangler' at the Habitat for Humanity/ Warner Brothers/ NBC Katrina building site (Rockefeller Plaza) which I'll be doing tomorrow night, and then maybe again later this week depending on how the week goes! It should be cool- i'm happy to be able to be a part of it in a tangible way.
Tonight Josh Z and I are going to the Gavin Degraw/ Joss Stone concert. I'm pretty excited to see Gavin! I wish that I wasn't feeling so burnt out on busyness, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it. It's going to be an absolutely INSANE week- so pray that I can keep it together! It should be fun though, I'm actually looking forward to it in a sort of sadistic way- or something like that.
Anyway, off to the Plaz.
Posted by Claire at 2:22 PM
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
One older man with a deep half-colored comb-over sat with his back to me in the outdoor cafe this morning. Another man, wearing nearly identical outfit to the already seated man, except with no hair left to comb, approached and greeted his fellow with a handshake.
“The order’s in,” the man with the slicked hair and loafers notified.
“Did you get the pie?” The bald and tennis shoe donning one asked.
“Oh of course. Oh, here’s our coffee,” the other explained.
They sat for a moment sipping their first tastes of coffee on this muggy and bright morning. As I sipped my coffee I looked around and noticed how alive Irving Street was for an early Friday morning (and then I realized I had never been on Irving Street that early, nor on a Friday morning).
“The streets are so alive. New York always bustling,” one of the men observed.
“It’s amazing- always busy, people have things to do, it’s really wonderful.”
These comments made me smile. These men sitting at breakfast, still marveling at the pace of New York life, and still loving it though their pace has changed. I imagine I’ll be the same.
“Oh look! Look at her hair!”
“It’s so red!”
“It’s a really deep red! That’s beautiful!”
“That is a beautiful color- just lovely! And she’s so young, so you know it’s not dyed.”
“I like red hair.”
“Oh yes, me too”
The men smiled as they watched a 2 year old trot down the street with one hand in her mother’s, the other flapping as she walked. Her hair was quite a bright red.
Their orders came- one fruit bowl, one piece of pie...
“And I brought two plates so you can share, is that right?” Said the waitress.
“That’s right Barbara, you got it!” They agreed, and happily inhaled the smells of their food.
“Did you see Sex in the City last night?” The bald one asked.
“No. No I didn’t. What happened?”
“Well Carrie has this friend...” the man began- and he recited the entire episode- each of the four plot lines, and didn’t fail to refer to Samantha as “the sexy one.”
They chatted on about the TV show, about Rita and her job, and how things at the house are going well.
“Oh there she is again! That hair is just gorgeous!” Comb-over exclaimed.
“Aw, just look at the way she walks! So happy!” Said the other, who was now well into his part of the pie, napkin tucked into his shirt.
They finished up their meal, paid their check, and parted with another hand shake. They had had their coffee and solved a few problems.
“Well, see you back at the house.”
“Yes, I’ll see you.”
Posted by Claire at 11:46 AM
Thursday, September 22, 2005
No. Not me. Other People.
And here's the thing. I REALLY don't have a problem with public displays of affection to some degree- holding hands is nice (in fact sometimes it seems off NOT to...), hugs hello or goodbye- lovely! Kiss on the cheek- that's a fantastic way to greet or sendoff. Quick kisses here and there: I can even deal with that!
So Claire, where are you going with this? Well HERE is where I'm going: PDA is fine, but don't make me watch you make out. And what do I mean by make out? In this case I mean really sensual kissing- like the kind that makes you feel like you're watching someone undress (like that scene in The Notebook where they stand across from each other and awkwardly un-layer)- you feel like a real creeper. And you may be saying "so just don't look"- but yeah, it doesn't always work! Cause when you are sitting directly below the glow of a park lamp in Union Square, sitting on a bench that squeezes you close to each other because of the homeless person nap-blockers, and this bench is the first in a half-circle curve where I'm headed to sit and chat on the phone... I can't escape the sight of your nauseatingly personal and intimate kiss.
I think it's great that these people are connecting physically- and honestly they were nowhere near as bad as some people I have seen. Actually it was really eye-catching because they were a bit different- rather than the traditional groping I-can't-wait-to-bed-you slobber fest that usually occurs by PDA sickos, this couple was so intent on just the kiss. They were at a seated embrace underneath the light of the park, and they were both so focused... just enraptured by the presence of the other person and blocking out all others. There were no desperate wandering hands or mislead tongues, no need for bodily advance. They were engaged with each other in a way that people are so rarely engaged- so personally and meaningfully- saying this I'm realizing how beautiful it was.
In the end I guess I'm ok with this particular pair- there is something quite romantic about their oblivion, and of course for some reason the park bench appeals to the more traditional and trite romantic in me. But other than this couple, I feel that most public make-outs are often malicious- a kind of "see, I'm making out and you're not" or an "I can do what I want... even have sex standing up with my clothes on in front of you." So folks... if you're a perpetrator of the PDAPMO (Public Display of Affection Public Make-Out) please cease and desist. Peck, shake, hug, hold, but for goodness sakes, don't make me bite my tongue to prevent myself from barking "OFF" at you when I see you.
Posted by Claire at 6:01 PM
Do you ever see people walking around or maybe at work, school- whatever- and you just feel like you want to tell them they look good? I'm not talking about being attracted to them- that has nothing to do with it. I mean you just have this moment where you are walking down the street and you see a guy with a great suit and tie- and you just want to tell him it looks good! Or you see a lady walking with her coffee and bag, she's got a great skirt and blouse on, and her hair looks nice... and you want to say "hey, you look really nice today!"
Here's the thing though, guys- you can't really do that. Or at least we don't. I have done it before, and I think others take it as compliment, but most of the time I think "ahh, they'll think I'm a creep!" and so I say nothing. But why is that? Why is it that we can't bring ourselves to just tell people they are funny, or attractive, or that we like their outfit or hair or shoes or smile?
My challenge to you all, and to myself of course, is to say it outloud next time you think it- tell her she's pretty, tell him you like his shirt, tell them they have great taste, good laughs, whatever!
Posted by Claire at 3:37 PM
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Last night I went to the legendary Yankee Stadium.
I was fairly stressed out before my departure and was in many ways dreading the trip- fearing that instead of enjoying the ballpark atmosphere I would be making lists of things to do and counting down minutes until I could accomplish- or fail to accomplish- them. But as I walked through the New York City streets at 5:30 wearing my Baltimore Oriole's shirt (lent to me by their number one fan, of course) I got excited.
We arrived at the stadium in time for superfan to do her interviews for her journalism class- she might as well talk to these crazy Yankee fans because she'll need to know all the logistics and interests of fans when she buys the Orioles in a few years. Or becomes the first femail general manager. Either way- she got her interviews- one of which was with a couple on their honeymoon. Aw. Nothing says Romance like screaming drunken pot-bellied Long Islanders!
We got to our seats- the bleacher seats in the outfield- excellent! I enjoyed where we sat, and of course you know I enjoyed my Hebrew National Hot Dog! Oh yeah.
In the end the Yankees won- and though the Orioles won't make it to the playoffs it would be great it they can beat them the next few games so as to keep the Yankees OUT of the playoffs... I'd reap a sick sort of pleasure from that, I'll admit- and I don't even care that much!
The evening was nice, and though the announcer and stadium seem to be on their last legs, the game was fun. I ducked out a few early to come home and accomplish a few nagging things- which I did in fact do, and that is always a good thing. So the week has begun- I'm playing round three against the Violets today, and we'll see how she goes!
Posted by Claire at 12:00 PM
Sunday, September 18, 2005
The parents were here for a few days, as were Gavin and Kelley, plus Ian was in town, and then lovely Elizabeth was here of course! We had a fantastic time- great dinners every night, and some really fanatastic food!
I love the moment when I look around the table and everyone is mid-laugh- heads reared back, mouths wide with open-mouthed smiles, some silenced in giggles, some bursting with waves of expressive laughter. Is there anything more beautiful than that?
Posted by Claire at 3:14 PM
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Looks like its real. Really real.
Go to WeAreScientists.com and love them. Go to iTunes music store and buy their single. Go to Virgin Megastore and buy their import. Go to eBay and marvel at the fantastic prices the British fans are willing to pay for an old EP. Watch MTVU and see their first video. Go. See. Listen. Love.
That is all.
Posted by Claire at 10:06 PM
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Here I am between classes.
Tuesdays are extremely long days for me now.
The day began with a great class- Beverages. Have I told you about this class? Mais, non, I know I haven’t! It replaced the mysterious fourth class (previously and nevermore Writing for Television 1) and today was the first day I had the privilege of attending!
“But Claire,” you ask, “what on earth do you learn in a class called Beverages?” Well my friends, this I can answer! You, or more specifically I, will learn all about wine! And beer! And spirits! That’s right! I am taking a class on the finer alcoholic beverages for credit! Ahahaha! But here’s the neato thing- it’s legit! It’s not like we sit around and say “mm, I’m getting some oak in this one” and then slug the whole thing back in one fowl and uncultured gulp! Oh no, my friends, no indeed! We observe the color (lemon? gold?), we observe the nose (is it strong? approachable? Fruity? Nutty?), then we swirl and slurp (how’s the boldness? full-bodied?), and then we spit in to our spittoons (I always wanted one!) and discuss the finish (strong? light? memorable?). It’s SO FUN!
The great part is I’m learning too! We learned all about the evil Phyllorax parasite that threatened the world’s supply of wine, and how they defeated this clever beast (though say that name out loud in South Australia and it’s like yelling out the Scottish Play’s title on the eve before an opening...). It is really quite interesting! And the goal for me is to somehow tie the things I’ll be learning here into something to do with society and culture- what difference does wine make? And hopefully I’ll get to combine that with food, and then write about it, and then graduate from college and be no closer to having any idea what I want to do with my life, but hey- you can bet I can tell you what kind of grape they use in the Chablis vineyards of France!
So that’s good news! And the other great news? I GOT A JOOOOOB! WAHOO! Thank you Lord, what an answer to prayer! I was thinking it was going to be quite a while, but here it is! I have no idea how many hours or when I’ll work, but knowing that I have some sort of opportunity to get a paycheck is really exciting! And it makes me feel less like an awful, spoiled, moochy, you-have-no-idea-what-its-like-to-support-yourself kid- though I still am all of the above.
So there’s my update for now. I have lots to write about but have had so little time to do it! In the future please look for and bug me about the following entries:
1- the silence of the first day of class
2- Profile: the bubble man
3- Making out in Union Square park
4- Thai food
Have a great one! And hey- if you just read this-- leave me some comments! I never get any, it’s very sad, really!
Posted by Claire at 12:37 PM
Friday, September 09, 2005
It has been a while, and I said I would write the other day, after that first fateful day, and alas, I did not. So here is my formal bloggalicious apology! And so also, here, we have my statement that you will not receive an actual blog this evening, but you will undoubtedly hear from me later this weekend and hopefully I can knock out a blog or two from the list of blog-filled visions floating in my head!
How many times can you say Bloggalicious? FASTER!
Posted by Claire at 11:55 PM
Monday, September 05, 2005
Just a quick note to say that IKEA is pretty neato, the apartment is looking more and more like humans are the species of inhabitance, and school starts tomorrow! You can expect a good update tomorrow, and you can also anticipate an excellent home-grown scene featuring whipped cream and Jason Statham... please write in with suggestions, and I'll have a draft for your review quite soon!
Posted by Claire at 9:02 PM
Sunday, September 04, 2005
I recently received a message from a friend in California stating that he had heard that I leave, according to another friend in California, the longest voicemail messages. I'll take that. You know me? You know this to be all too true.
But here is the thing: He said that he was dubbed second best long-voice-message-leaver next to yours truly- and so he was calling to leave a ridiculously long message on my cell phone to prove himself.
My friend, I respect your efforts, but you can only qualify for world's longest voice message leaver if you repeatedly and un-prompted leave insanely lengthy messages to multiple and unsuspecting loved ones. So- good effort, and I'll give you some credit- your rehashing of minutes 1-54 of your day in detail, plus the explanation of something to do with Bill Frist (also, dear, annunciation is required) was quite impressive- yet totally irrelevant, and therefore, leaves you in second place where you will undoubtedly stay for quite some time.
Several quick tips:
1- always state the reason you are calling, especially if you are returning a call.
2- always inquire about the other person's well being.
3- always crack at least one really bad joke that will make you laugh for several minutes with silent clicking sounds caused by the air catching in the back of your throat as your abdomen heaves with silliness instigated by your own stupid comment that the receiver will not understand, but at which they will probably laugh because they think it's funny that you think you're so funny.
4- always review the contents of your message at the end of your message.
5- always state and re-state your availability for a call return.
I offer free consultations if anyone should wish to pursue this matter further. And to you, longest-message-leaver-number-two: best of luck!
Posted by Claire at 8:02 PM
I walked home from dinner with the family, a lovely night with a light breeze and even a few stars in view. We wandered around the West Village after dinner at Markt, a Belgian restaurant in the meat packing district, and then found ourselves on thirteenth street walking back towards Union Square. As we walked, chatting and laughing, we heard the clinking of change in the bottom of a waxed cup. Up ahead I could see a haggard man standing on a ledge- worn and torn clothing with the street's dirt clinging to the edges. He was silent as we approached, only the sound of the change clanging in the bottom of the cup was heard. Only that sound- until we came directly upon him and he burst out (with more enthusiasm and rasp than can be conveyed here....)
"If you want my body! AND you think I'm SEXY, common baby let me in!"
"IF you want my body! AND you thinkig I'm SEXY! Common baby LET ME IN!"
This guy had exuberance like... well he really had it. And it was great. It was laugh out loud great- and not cause it's funny, but because it's so odd and off and wonderful you have to let it out. Nothing like the joy of desperation to make you sing, I suppose!
Posted by Claire at 7:53 PM