July 30, 2013

Six


Oh, to be a child again. When Betsy announced that she and her sponsors would be hosting a link-up based around the question of how we would spend our day if we were six years old again, my imagination started to run wild. Would I be a six year-old with the knowledge and experience of my twenty-seven years? Would I be transported back in time? My thoughts started to tumble over one another, and I quickly realized that this question was more complex than I first realized.

But that doesn't seem right, does it? Being six isn't about over-thinking questions, and it's certainly not about planning multiple scenarios to a benign situation. That tendency is one I've cultivated through adulthood, and it doesn't fit into my imaginary escape to childhood.

No, being six is all about running around outdoors through the dandelions, trying not to step on bees. It's about tromping through the garden, marveling at how the vegetables grow above my head. It's about crawling up into the hammock and being a little afraid of rocking too hard and flipping over onto the ground. It's about stumbling over a rock and getting dirt on my knees, then laughing and getting back up to run over to the swingset.

Being six is all about hugging my stuffed animals as tight as possible before lining them up on my bed to teach them a lesson from school. It's about skipping through the house and talking to myself without self-consciousness, completely wrapped up in my imaginary world of play. It's about trying to dress up the cat in baby clothes and put him in the wicker doll carriage in my bedroom. It's about sitting underneath the piano, singing songs, and being tucked away from the grown-ups. 

Being six is about being my mom's shadow, never more than a footstep away. It's about gazing up at my dad as he plays the guitar and squealing for him to sing some more. It's about bouncing into my sister's room when her friends are over and smiling up at them expectantly as they play with my unruly hair. It's about curling into my grandmother's lap and being swung around by my uncles at weekend BBQs. It's about being so excited to jump from the tree stump in front of my grandfather's house.

Being six is about being six. It's about living in the present moment, taking a break to disappear into daydream worlds, and then coming back to eat chicken nuggets. It's about hearing grown-ups talk about being adults and telling my mom that I don't want to ever go to college, that I want to live at home forever. It's about coloring, dancing, wondering, napping, loving, laughing, and being. It's about being six forever and letting the days melt into each other until they all become one wavy line of being six. I will be six today and the day after and the day before, and so on. I will be six forever and always and never and maybe. Seven is so very far away.


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July 29, 2013

Growth

When the hubs and I moved into our house, it was an exciting change, but by far the best part was the chance to grow a garden. We both grew up in homes with great gardens, and I was eager to finally have the chance to create my own. I had images of climbing green vines, colorful blooms, and lush growth everywhere. In my imagination, we would create a wild English cottage garden in Northeast DC.

Yeah...

As it turns out, it's actually a bit labor-intensive to start a garden. There's consideration about what will grow well in the region, when certain plants should go in the ground, where they will thrive best in the yard... not to mention those squirmy worms that live in the ground. Oh boy, those worms. In all of my fantasizing, I had forgotten about the creepy-crawlies that live in the dirt and make themselves known as you start digging around. Those were a delightful surprise.

Are our gardens magazine-worthy? Maybe not. But they are ours, and though they are young, they reflect the joy and hard work we put into our first house in our first year of marriage. We will add to them over time, even if this house is only ours until next fall. Sometimes it's not about creating a magnificent space. Sometimes it's about creating a special space, digging in the dirt, feeling the sun on your shoulders, and knowing that you are so very alive.




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July 28, 2013

Sunday Currently : 29

There are so many different emotions and thoughts running through my mind right now. This Sunday marks a big ending in my life, as it is the last time I will be in my childhood home. My parents are moving this week, and as it turns out, saying goodbye to the home I grew up in has been exceptionally difficult. It's not something I've written about much in this space, and while I will eventually share what this has all been like, for now I'm going to try to focus on the good, like the calming sound of the waves at the beach and the comfort of the crook of a worn-in couch. Endings can also mean beginnings, and there's some hope in that, even it means grieving a loss along the way.



reading : Linger, a YA werewolf novel. I finally finished Catch-22 and even managed to read two Pretty Little Liars books this week, so I am officially back in the swing of reading. I haven't decided what my next books from the 100 Best Novels list will be, but I'll pick one soon. 

writing :  Some scheduled posts for the next couple of weeks. I'm especially excited for tomorrow's post, which features the gardening work the hubs and I have been doing, as well as a very special video treat. :) 

listening :  To a neighbor mow the lawn. Oh, the sounds of Sundays in suburbia. Lawn mowers, dogs barking, and birds chirping. 

thinking :  About too much. Every step of this house carries a dozen memories, and they've all been flooding my mind and making me very nostalgic for all the stories our house has held. 

smelling :   A hint of fall mixed in with summer. It's cool this morning, and wind is carrying in the scent of wet leaves and grass through the open window. 

wishing :  For a time machine so that I can relive my childhood. :) (Which, coincidentally, fits in very well with this Tuesday's post!)

hoping :   That the hubs and I don't hit traffic on our drive back to DC this evening. We probably will, but still... a girl can dream. 

wearing :   Mesh shorts and a t-shirt, both of which are covered in dust and grime from my little adventure earlier digging around our crawlspace attic. I wanted to say goodbye to all of the hidden corners of the house, and I had a feeling there were still some long-forgotten treasures up in the crawlspace. They were indeed propped up there, nestled on the beams and pink insulation, waiting patiently to be found again. Success.

loving :  This house! I can't say it enough. This was a lovely place to grow up, and it has always felt like home even after I graduated from college and moved out on my own. It has always been familiar and warm and peaceful. 

wanting :  To head down to the water in a little bit to chase seagulls on the docks. The water is good for satisfying feelings of nostalgia and longing, don't you think? I'm all about the romance of the ocean these days. 

needing :   To wash off the dust and cobwebs from my attic adventure. 

feeling :   Nostalgic, sad, upset, bittersweet, and so on. Sigh. 

clicking :   On not much at the moment, though I do need to catch up on blogs from last week. I'll be clicking around the Sunday Currently link-up on the drive back this evening! :)



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Last week on The Quixotic Chica:
Sunday CurrentlyHot Hot Heat / The Sands of Morocco / DC Brau

July 25, 2013

DC Brau

Last weekend the hubs and I decided to stop by one of DC's local breweries, the aptly-named DC Brau, to visit a friend who works there and to do a quick tour. It was the tail end of the crazy heat wave, yet the humidity wasn't showing any signs of mercy, so a cold beer sounded like the perfect afternoon treat.

The brewery is hidden away in one of the far corners of the city, and almost completely invisible. Its entryway is in the back of a strip mall, and unless you know where to look, you would probably completely miss it. Luckily, the hubs had been before and knew where to lead us. As we turned the corner, we saw lots of other like-minded twenty-somethings gathered around the food truck parked outside, and we mozied on indoors for our free tasting.

However, our friend ended up not being on the schedule to work that day (though we did see another friend who works there!), and for the first time in a very long while, there was no scheduled tour! Apparently the owners were off at a music festival in Ohio, so the brewery lacked any official tour guides. We were a tad disappointed, but we managed to entertain ourselves with a self-guided tour of the facility as we sipped on our pale ale.


It was really cool to just hang out in the space where they do all of their work, and everyone seemed to be having a good time as they tried out different beers and relaxed with friends. It's a no-frills, industrial type of environment, and I think that's what made it so fun. This isn't the type of place where you gather at high-top tables or munch on gastropub delicacies. Instead, you walk around with a beer in hand, peek in at the loading station, tie your shoe in front of the canning equipment, and lean back next to a crate of cans waiting to be shipped out. Want a snack? Sit down on the floor with a slice of pizza from the food truck outside. DC Brau is honest and open, and it's a chance to glimpse the day-to-day operations of a small brewery.

If you're in the mood to skip the formalities and flash and want to jump right to the production of beer, DC Brau is a place to check out. The hubs and I will definitely be back to fill up our growler... and maybe even to get that tour.



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July 23, 2013

The Sands of Morocco

I unintentionally slipped away from posts about our honeymoon to Spain and Morocco, but I am back today with one of my favorite honeymoon moments. Essaouira, a seaside fishing town in Morocco, captured my heart and imagination in more ways than I had anticipated. My love letter to the town explains why, but it doesn't include just how much fun the beach's residents can be.

 
 If you walk down the beach for a bit, trudging again the powerful winds, you will eventually come to the land of the camels. Guides run up to you and try to offer various treks along the beach, and their camels perch in the sand, their backs strapped with colorful blankets, waiting for their next passenger.


 When I met Cappuccino, a sandy camel with beautiful dark eyes, it was love at first sight. I knew we had to go on this beach ride together. The hubs was paired with a white camel named Jimi, and off we went!


Our guide turned into a maniacal photographer, and in between leading Jimi down the beach towards a point of jutting rocks just begging to be climbed on and explored, he snapped away and probably took about one hundred photos of us riding our camels. As goofy as he was, I really can't complain. How many times in my life will I be able to ride a camel??

I must have been laughing or smiling the entire time. It was so much fun to loll down the beach, basking in the sun, taking in the views of the beautiful ocean. It might not have been a trek through the Sahara (which, by the way, remains on my "things to do" list), but it was fun and new, and it was a special experience to share with my husband.

 
 

We left Essaouira a bit wind-beaten, our skin turned tan from the powerful sun. For weeks afterwards I found sand in my pockets and shoes, and I smiled as I remembered our time with the camels. That's the wonder of a place like Morocco. The senses are dazzled and awakened by the different experiences, and you leave with your mind swirling with the fantastic adventures you had there. We will always have the camels.

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Pssst! Did you miss my other Morocco posts? Don't worry! You can wander the wonders of Marrakech (part 1 and part 2), Casablanca, and Essaouira right here!

July 22, 2013

Hot Hot Heat

It has been the type of hot where the heat seems to hang in the air and make each step exceedingly difficult, as though you are futilely trying to break through an impenetrable barrier of sludge. It smacks you in the face and clings to every single part of your skin. It seeps into every part of your being and just hangs there. Smothering. Suffocating. Sickening.

It's been the type of hot where even the air conditioner is sweating, and you snap more quickly than you used to. The heat has struck a match under every little annoyance, and then poof, there goes the fire. Your thoughts revolve around how hot it is, how great it would be not to be so hot, and when will it stop being so freaking hot. This, incidentally, does not make it any less hot.

It's been the type of hot where even the doorways are bloated, and the paint sticks to the doorframe and exposes the wood beneath. Every single surface seems to emanate heat, and they all do so in protest. You begin to memorize on which step the hot air hits you as you begrudgingly walk up the stairs, and you would give a big uugghhhh, but then you remember that speaking makes you feel hotter, so you just sweat some more.

It's been the type of hot where it brings out people's accents, as though the heat has somehow melted away our filters until each Midwestern twang and Southern drawl rattles around in our voices and exposes where we really came from. You almost want to make fun of these suddenly exaggerated pronunciations, but really, it's too hot to put too much effort into anything. It's better to just lean back into your chair, where you're suctioned to the seat anyway, and give in to your Long Island vowels. 

But then there's a gust of cold air from an open door, or a heroic breeze that lifts your heavy hair from your sticky neck. There's an ice cube, or a lemonade, or maybe an ice cream, and it bravely fights the heat and reminds you that you will get through this. You will find the shade. It won't last forever. It can't last forever.

There will be relief.

And sometimes, there will also be Bell's Oberon. 



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July 21, 2013

Sunday Currently : 28

Oh, heat wave, you really need to be done now. I'm thankful that I spent the brunt of the heat wave indoors at work, where the AC blasts and turns us into ice cubes, but since Friday was my last day of work, I must face the next week and a half on my own until my new job/clinical placement starts. I'm hoping that today is a little bit cooler, especially since the hubs and I are headed up to Baltimore this afternoon to see the U.S. Men's National Team play El Salvador, followed by a Honduras v. Costa Rica match. As long as we don't all die of heatstroke, it should be a fun day of soccer!

First, however, is a farewell brunch for one of my friends who is leaving us for the beaches of Hawaii, where she starts her her internship next week. Most of our little group will be staying in DC, so it's especially hard to think of one of us being so far away. I think we'll need to do a lot of Skype and searching of airline deals to go visit her.... any reason for a Hawaiian adventure is a good one!!



reading : The very end of Catch-22. I'm almost done, I swear! I do, however, have to pick my next book to read while I'm up in New York later this week. Suggestions?

writing : Post ideas for this blog, mental to-do lists... I am finally putting up the rest of our honeymoon posts! I haven't even started on Barcelona yet, and that will probably require at least two or three posts. Stay tuned!

listening :  To the AC running and to the cats running around chasing each other. I'm glad that they've finally gotten to this point where they can play with each other, even if there is still the occasional bop on the head.

thinking :  About the balance between doing fun social things and doing enjoyable stay-at-home things. As much as I do truly love being out with friends or going out to big events, I find that I'm not recharged until I get some quiet time at home.

smelling :  The heat. It's just... hanging there.  

wishing :  For a plane ticket to Hawaii to visit my friend. I probably won't be able to visit until internship is over next summer, but maybe I pinch my pennies I can hop on over there? Maybe?

hoping :  That our backyard fence gets replaced soon so that I can plant some more flowers alongside it. We used to have excellent privacy and coverage from the giant shrubs that lined our property, but they were sadly ripped out to make room for the fence that is supposed to be installed. Now we have a shell of a fence and no shrubs, which is a major eyesore.

wearing :  My usual PJs combo, but since I have brunch and soccer later today, I'll need to change into real clothes pretty soon.

loving : How happy new flowers make me. There is something so exciting about planting flowers in the yard and tending to them that can make the whole experience the highlight of my day. It's nice to take care of something. 

wanting : New clothes. I put about a third of my closet (this might only be a sliiiiight exaggeration, but still) into a pile for donation, and now I must face the reality of not having enough work-appropriate clothes to get through my new full-time working gal status. Banana Republic, you have tempted me with your dresses and skirts, but I must wait for a discount code before I give in...

needing :  To get moving. It's just so hard when all I want to do on Sundays is laze around and move slowly!  

feeling :  A bit anxious about how quickly this summer seems to be going by and a little sad that I didn't really have much free time to have fun around town. There are the weekends, of course, but wouldn't it be great to have Tuesdays or Thursdays wide-open to visit museums or grab lunch at a downtown food truck? 

clicking :  On the New York Times. This week, I've loved this article about President Obama's reflections on the reality of being a Black man in this country, as well as the NY Times Magazine discussion on race. As a research nerd, I find the issue of the social constructions of race to be very interesting, and these articles made my mind work.

Linking up with Lauren for the Sunday Currently 

Also, I've added my Instagram account to my social media links down below, so feel free to start following me there!

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July 17, 2013

Tick Tock


Time is sliding away.

I grasp at it clumsily, but my fingers feel heavy like lead and move in all the wrong ways. I miss time by minutes and months, and I feel slow and dumb and dull. I blink, but my eyelids move too slowly, and by the time they have opened again, the field is blurry and wrong, and it is gone. Time has passed me again, leaving me behind, confused, sluggish, and too late.

In other moments, I forget about time, and I frantically whirl about, racing forward, tumbling onward. Time has no place, and we have never met, and I keep whirling whirling whirling, and the dizzness whirls and whirls and whirls. Then I suddenly remember, and all things halt. I frantically try to gather time around me, grabbing at it with both hands, inhaling it, devouring it, melting it. But then it is gone again, and it has left a mess, and I am alone, ravaged and askew. It is too late to make amends. It has left me, or maybe I have left it. I call out to it, begging, crying, full of regret. I'm sorry, time. I'm sorry.

Occasionally I am successful in remembering time, and we are one, languid and floating, laughing and dancing. Time is everywhere, and it is abundant. Time is golden, and I am golden, and together we glow like the fireflies and the candlelight and the stars, and everything is good again.

When it has flitted away, I try to beckon it back to me, recalling the quiet moments spent in peace, simply being. I can find it there in the sun, in the walks, in the laughter. What good times time and I had together then, when we relaxed and reclined as old friends. Perhaps time will slowly return to me, and I will be careful not to startle it by moving too fast or yelling too loud. I will approach it slowly, step by step, breath by breath. It will stand still, watching, waiting to see what happens next.

Tick tock.

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July 15, 2013

To Fire Island

 I am a child of the ocean. Arms outstretched in the sun, I let my fingers dangle over the railing. The ferry glides along the bay, and the spray from the surf below catches on my skin and clings in fine salty droplets, the wind slowly guiding them up my arm in tiny streams. I let the crash of water against the rudder wash away my thoughts, and I sit there, quiet and peaceful, as the waves cleanse me of my worries. For now, my mind is quiet, soaking in the bay waters, pure at last. The sun is warm and everywhere, and it wraps around me like an old friend, hugging me, soothing me, comforting me. Rest, it says. Be at peace. We will keep you safe. I am a child of the ocean, and this ferry is my vessel, guiding me everywhere and nowhere. I know this journey well, every bump of the wave, every seagull's cry, every gust of salt air. Take me, save me, nourish me, replenish me. My destination awaits, but for now we have this, these precious moments on water, floating, racing, waiting, being. Let me stay here for just one moment more. I am a child of the ocean.

















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July 14, 2013

Sunday Currently : 27

 Happy Sunday! This weekend, the hubs and I traded in damp, humid DC for the damp, humid Hudson Valley.  My family gathered at my sister's new house in Westchester to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday, and, predictably, the time has passed all too quickly. Can we just press the pause button on time, please? Can we just all win the lottery so that we can work part-time and have four-day weekends? I'm keeping my fingers crossed.




reading : Oh boy, not too much. I'm still unofficially reading Catch-22, but I don't think I've opened it at all this week. Must get back to it! In the meantime, I am also trying to catch up on all of the blogs I haven't had time to read this week. Work has been especially chaotic and long this week, and I've found that I'm too exhausted to do anything but sprawl pathetically on the couch when I get home. This will change! 

writing : Drafts of posts that I've been compiling but have yet to publish. I've been pretty bad lately with getting posts up lately, and it seems that there has just been so much going on the past couple of weeks. I don't mean to neglect this blog, and I'm definitely aiming to get back on track this week.

listening :  The clinks, clanks, and voices of my sister's house. There is so much going on!

thinking :   About this afternoon's scheduled adventure to track down night tables! My sister has picked up some amazing furniture  courtesy of neighbors who have put them out on the curb, and legend has it that Cold Spring and/or Peekskill has some similar treasures in their antique shops. Will we find something? I hope so!

smelling :   Coffee and eggs. Thanks, frister!

wishing :   For more time to explore the Hudson Valley this weekend. I love it up here along the river, and though I know more exploring will come in the future, I'd like be lazy and enjoy it all today.
hoping :   For minimal traffic on the drive back to DC. Ha!

wearing :  PJs. I think this has been my answer for the past few weeks, but it's all true! Comfort is key for sticky summer mornings.

loving :   How green it is up here. Our run near Silver Lake was so beautiful, and I loved running under the canopy of trees as the rain trickled down.

wanting :  Bedside tables!

needing :   Breakfast. Those eggs smell really good...

feeling :   Sore from our run, as I realized I haven't run outdoors in a very long time, and my running sneakers have been neglected ever since our move. It felt great to get moving and to push myself, and now my quads have been reminded of what physical activity feels like. 

clicking :   On the New York Times Magazine article about actress Gaby Hoffman. In it, she speaks about how NYC is no longer as open to artists and creativity as it was in the past, particularly because spaces have grown exclusively expensive, and it made me think of how, sadly, all places must change. It also made me wonder about the future of NYC as a creative haven and how artists respond to their physical space.



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July 9, 2013

Yay, I Was Defrauded of $1000!

Ugh.

Honestly, when it rains, it pours. Despite having a rather lovely and perfect beach getaway this past weekend, this past week has overall been kind of rough. Most recently, on Sunday I decided to check my bank account balance from my phone while waiting for the train.... and immediately saw that someone had been withdrawing large sums of money from a hotel ATM in Greece. 

Insert panic here.

Naturally, I called my bank and reported the unauthorized activity. My account was frozen, a new debit card will be sent to me, and I should receive the full amount that was stolen from me. However, there are three things that keep running through my mind. First, how did my bank miss this? I was using my card in NYC at the same time the fraudulent copy was being used in Greece. It didn't look suspicious that I was supposedly in two different continents at the same time? The Fraud Department seriously messed up on this one. Second, it seems that the magnetic strip from my card was copied and used to make the fraudulent card being used abroad at the ATM. This means that one of the ATMs or retailers I went to recently is intentionally or unintentionally scamming people. Gross. Third, this person used the hotel ATM several times over the course of the weekend and withdrew over $1000 of my money. Again, although I should be getting my money back, it feels disgusting that this creep had a rockin weekend on my behalf.

This is such a violating experience. I am so grateful that I noticed the withdrawals before the thief managed to completely drain all of my accounts, but it still feels awful. Ugh. I want to literally shake this feeling off of me. If only it were that easy!

I don't want this to be a negative space, but I needed my little mini-rant about this. Blahhhh!!!!

Has anyone else been through something like this? Did the culprit ever get caught?

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July 7, 2013

Sunday Currently : 26


I needed this weekend, and it delivered. There is nothing so calming and safe as being home. The familiar creaks of the floorboards, the cats squinting at me from the linen closet, the hydrangeas everywhere.... they all reassure me that everything will be okay. 

We had perfect beach weather yesterday, and my mom and I spent the afternoon sprawled in the sand, followed by our tradition of margaritas and French fries as we waited for the ferry to arrive to take us home. We saw my grandmother for dinner, had flying saucers from Carvel, watched a movie before bed.... this is what summer should always be. Family, simple pleasures, and sunshine. I needed all of this so badly, and the universe delivered. Thank you so so much for that. 


reading : Catch-22. I know I've been reading it for a while, but I took a little break this past weekend to read Shiver, which I thought would be better beach reading material. I really liked it! I'm a sucker for YA fantasy novels, so....

writing : Thoughts and posts associated with my little trip home. There have been so many things going on lately, both good and bad, and it's made me reflect on what it means to grow up and the importance of home. 

listening : To a small plane flying overhead and the whirr of the air conditioner running in the living room. Otherwise, things are usually pretty quiet and peaceful here. 

thinking :  About so many things! With each step I take, I am flooded with so many vivid memories of growing up, like doing cartwheels on the front lawn, following my dad through the backyard garden, building a fort out of wicker headboards in the back corner of the fence... 

smelling :  Warm summer air. 

wishing :  For the ability to accept change. Everything has been changing at once, it seems, and I'd like to gracefully accept that this is part of life. Turns out that this is actually quite difficult. Sigh. 

hoping :  For a good work week. Last week dragged on and was full of chaos, and I just want this week to be kinder. 

wearing :  PJs. There's something about lazy summer mornings that makes you want to pad around in PJs for a while before getting ready for the day. 

loving :  My life. Amidst all of the changes, the fact is that I have loving people all around me, and I am really grateful for that. 

wanting :   The rest of my J. Crew Factory order to arrive this week! One of my shirts was a disappointment, so I'm hoping that #2 will be better. 

needing :  Time. 

feeling :  Nostalgic, pensive, wistful... but also very happy. Yesterday was perfect. Truly perfect. 

clicking :  On the Cup Song from Pitch Perfect, as I am learning how to do the cup part while singing "When I'm Gone." Slowly but surely, I'm getting there! :) 



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