Monday, July 5, 2010

More Lincoln

 This isn't inherently inspiring, but for some reason it struck me. Italics were not imposed by me. From Team of Rivals:
He understood, he told Speed later, that in times of anxiety it is critical to "avoid being idle," that "business and conversation of friends: were necessary to give the mind "rest from that intensity of thought, which will some times wear the sweetest idea threadbare and turn it to the bitterness of death" (Goodwin 100).

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lincoln, Power, and Library Cards.

About a week ago, I started reading Team of Rivals, a non-fiction book that biographically relates the "political genius" of Abraham Lincoln during his presidency as well as his rise to power. The book also gives back-stories on Lincoln's adversaries bidding for the Republican nomination in the Election of 1860: William Henry Seward, Salmon Chase, and Edward Bates... all brought up with ready access to superior educations, afforded them by their relatively well-off circumstances. On the other hand, Lincoln was the son of an illiterate father and could only afford any kind of formal schooling for a few years, after which he had to work to help support his family. From then on, he was completely self-taught through an incredible and insatiable love of reading. From those humble beginnings, he grew to become one of the greatest and most memorable leaders this country (and dare I say, the world) has ever known.

I am only about 100 pages into this very weighty book, but already I've been inspired by Lincoln's lesser-known past. Books are filled with knowledge, and as they say, knowledge is power... so, as evidenced by Lincoln and by logic, it would follow that reading is the greatest way to gain access to the power that any given person has brewing inside of them-- makes me think about Teach For America and how important their mission is.

TFA tangent aside (perhaps saved for another time), I have decided to tap into my potential with reading as my guide. A few days ago, I renewed my public library card... and today being a glorious (and free) day-off from work, I headed to that great building of books to take the first step toward improving my mind. I had to restrain myself from checking out every interesting spine that I saw! I am now the proud borrower of:

  • a set of Berlitz Beginning French audio cassettes (to be used in conjunction with my saved French I textbook and flashcards) Parlais-vous français? :)
  • 3 books on coffee-- I want to turn my current occupation as a barista into the optimal learning opportunity
  • 2 soundtrack CDs: Slumdog Millionaire and Juno (so excited!!)
  • and finally, a novel by an author recommended by a good friend (the best kind of novel in my book): A Pale View of the Hills
Again, this was me compromising with myself (and trying to be realistic about the number of books I can actually read in a certain time-frame). 

Now, I am sitting in a (different) Starbucks, bumming free wireless off the bagel shop next door, already two chapters into the very interesting Coffee: The Epic of a Commodity by German H.E. Jacob. Suggestible person that I am, I imbibed a deliciously caffeinated (and cheap!) Soy Cappuccino as I read... 

Goodness! I have missed reading. So glad college is done so I can learn on my own terms...

Back to the books for me. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Look out world...

I'm now officially Taste Spotting!

I just registered this afternoon. My Username: daffodilicioso :) I'm kind of proud of that one.

This comes as a result of a pretty substantial stint in the kitchen last night that kicked off what I hope will be a summer full of cooking adventures. I made this very simple and yummyBruschetta with Peppers and Gorgonzola out of my Barefoot Contessa cookbook, followed by a meal of Balsamic Chicken with Orange and Oregano Relish (delish), parsley and butter egg noodles, and roasted vegetables. Yum:

I am SO looking forward to the deliciousness in my future.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

10 random ramblings

1. I felt so collegiate today. It was lovely weather, people were passing, everything a bustle... The weird thing is I have had very few moments like that in my (almost) 4 years here. What's up with that? I've got a semester left... time to take advantage of it.

2. I'm too tired to sleep. Is that even possible?

3. When I'm tired and can't sleep, of course I (unconsciously) end up stalking people via facebook. Tonight I stumbled onto a girl's blog... we have mutual friends but don't know each other... and yet, I found myself intrigued and impressed by the way she just expressed herself. Something about the her writing style, I could just tell, even without knowing her, that she was speaking her mind, being herself and not really worrying about whatever people might think of her. And she was delightfully quirky. Funny how even (almost) a complete stranger can inspire you so.

4. I'm realizing a long unnoticed addiction to chips and salsa. They are staples in my kitchen... I will buy them even when they're are not on sale.

5. I really wish Smoothie King was not so expensive so I could get one every morning for breakfast.

6. I really wish Smoothie King was open right now.

7. I just got distracted from this for about 10 minutes and sent a message via facebook about canceling lunch with a friend :( I'm sad about having to cancel. I also wonder why I unconsciously try to multitask all the time. Why not just finish something and then move on to the next thing? I swear, my memory and attention span can be almost nonexistent at times.

8. Today, I found out that most stores only carry black, grey, and white leggings-- if they even carry any at all. Where did all the colors go? On a slightly different note, I'm intrigued by the newest trend... jeggeans (I believe... as in jeans+leggings) Not gonna lie: I'd buy a pair.

9. One of my roommates will be up and leaving the apartment in about 3 hours.

10. I should go to bed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The final semester of my undergraduate career begins tomorrow. That is unsettling on so many levels...

But on a higher level, one to which I try to elevate myself more often than not, it's exciting. After this semester, everything changes... so many new possibilities, new beginnings... just new everything happening to same old me.

Same old me is overwhelmed at times by all of these new prospects and endless number of question marks. Like this evening. I was alone in my apartment, freezing from this dismal weather, sniffly on account of a wretched cold and generally just feeling isolated. Those ugly question marks swooped in on me like a pack of dogs on a wounded animal... they could smell the fear...

Now, after a call to a friend (in which I became whiny and sappy and just plain pathetic), I am righted. A little disappointed in my momentary lapse of weakness, but glad that my rebound time is improving. Same old me is still overwhelmed but remembering to take each day as it comes.

As for the future, I'm just going to focus on the exciting side of things, like... my new internship, through which I'm going to learn SO much (if I put in the work); not having to worry about grades as much (GPA is pretty solid); graduating in May; the endless possibilities afterward...

But still, one day at a time.