Monday, December 13, 2010

Not Your Average North Pole



For those of you who were not aware of the mass Exodus of Santas in NYC this past Saturday, a little thing called Santa Con was in action.  It's basically a "Santa crawl" though out the city. With many starting points conveniently placed around NYC and it's neighboring cities, the santas are given location points throughout the day so that they can meet up and spread some holiday cheer. While holiday costumes are a MUST, one does not have to rock the Santa look. Throughout the day I saw a wide variety of peoples creative minds at work...there were elves, the "north pole", candy canes, reindeer, Hanukkah Harry's, penguins, Santa "on vacation", Darth Vader Santa, the Grinch, green man, where's waldo Santa, the misfit toys, and many scrooges.



Out of all of New York's traditions this has been one of my favorites by far.  Santa con can be what you make of it... for some, its a flash mob of sorts, and for others its a "bar crawl"...however I have been advised not to actually call it a bar crawl...for every time you call Santa con a bar crawl a sugar plum fairy dies. It's another excuse to dress up and have fun with friends and family. AND the looks from people who have not heard of Santa con before, or are just visiting the city for the day are PRICELESS!



Towards the end of the night, your childhood, hallmark image of Santa has quickly deteriorated. I saw some pretty messed up Santa things...Just because you are in a Santa suit, does not mean that one can break the law...Santa con gets pretty rowdy once it gets dark out.



This was my second year participating in Santa con...And I would totally do it again...mostly for TWO reasons: 1) It's way too much fun to drink in a bar filled with that much holiday cheer and 2) It's not just for us "adults" its also for the kids...there were so many children who were having just as much fun as we spotting the different holiday characters throughout the day! I LOVE the holiday season  in NYC, and so should you!


Happy Santas and thier elves...




"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - Bruce Springsteen

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Thank You...Thank You Very Much

Well Thanksgiving 2010 was another successful year filled with good food, amazing friends and great times. This was my third year celebrating Thanksgiving in Croton-On-Hudson with one of my best friends and her family!  Traditions were kept and new new stories were made.

This year the girls made two pumpkin pies and one apple!

















It's tradition to open the holiday poppers before the meal...inside is a silly toy, a paper crown and a horribly amazing joke! This year I received a plastic pig paper clip...yeahhhhh










We then concluded the weekend by celebrating my friend's 23rd birthday! We went to Brother Jimmy's in NYC and began with the famous fishbowls filled with "swamp water." Although I'm a bit skeptical of the amount of alcohol that was really used for the beverage, it sure was tasty!  They played great music and we were able to catch up with some old pals!


This weekend seriously got me thinking of how thankful I am for the friends that I have kept over the years. As cheesy as it may sound, my friends really have become family. We've been through so much over the past couple of years and we still keep in touch and updated with our crazy lives. Whether we're finishing up grad school and pursing more dreadful applications for PhD programs; Acting as an Au-pair in a foreign country; or acting as a PR for a political campaign we will be in each others lives.

The trek through life can be a tough one. We've all have had our ups and downs, and it's a great feeling to know that you have a gaggle of supporters who are there to get you through life's little diddies.  Recently I've had a lot of support as I've been finishing up my numerous papers for grad school...as well as the help I've been receiving as I finish up applications for more education opportunities...both here and overseas! It's a wonderful feeling to know that I'm not alone on my pursuit of happiness!

I am also grateful for my actual family as well.  They have had to put up with my craziness for 23 years, and still claim me as their own. So thank you y'all...It's because of you that has made me who I am today.


"Pursuit of Happiness" - Kid Cudi ft. MGMT



Monday, November 15, 2010

There are not enough hours in a day to satisfy a grad student

So I've done it again. It's 9:00pm on a Monday night, and I have a 15-20 pager due at 4:00 on Wed! Great! I know that I will get the paper finished in time for class only because I have found myself at this point every semester thus far in my graduate student experience.

Looking back, I probably could have worked on such coursework instead of the mustache party, Dave Matthews Band, John Butler Trio, endless hours of watching Eureka on Netflix, or my friendly hellos to my neighbors next door...but in all reality, its those events that keep me sane in this crazy life I live.

I will continue to tell myself that I need to fix my time management skills. But its like they say...once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator. My nights will be filled with power naps, Barry's Gold Label tea and little laps around my apartment. It just gets me thinking though, if I can produce grade A papers on the dime, how good they would be if I actually took the time and wrote a decent paper...Untill next time I guess


"Where is My Mind" - Placebo with Francis Black


Friday, October 15, 2010

That was a crazy game of ....apples to apples?

Following our weekly trip to the campus pub, we thought it would be a great idea to continue our fun and play apples to apples....with a box of wine, a handles of Beam, two bottles of  Long Trail Double Bags and Baileys (and no it was not drunk of a boot...). For those of you who have not experienced apples to apples....I am sorry...but it is a game where you receive 7 "noun" cards and you have to match it to an adjective the best you can with the cards which you are given...One person is to judge the options, and changes each round.  Sometimes a "correct" item is chosen, while other times a less appropriate, but more humorous card wins the round...those who have the most green cards at the end of the game is the "winner." However, when playing with a good bunch of friends on a drinking night, there really are no winners or losers.

It got me thinking though. How each one of us thinks so differently, when a given adjective is placed down...while some of us would appreciate the humor of a less appropriate noun, others might become appalled and be quick to discard such an opinion.

On ANOTHER NOTE,
all this drinking and fun had me on roll, and I thought why not bring up a touchy subject!! My favorite...Let's put a group of my closest and dearest, in an awkward situation while in a night of drinking of fun! My curious mind brought up the Abortion issue...deep...maybe too deep for some, but it was defiantly interesting to see what people had to say about the topic...just like the game of apples to apples, some agreed with each other, while others were appalled and disagreed full heartily.  It is important for me to state that I believe that there is no correct answer to such an issue, that valid points can be made for either side, and how I respect both opinions of the matter.  However like many issues there will those who agree with it, and those who don't, there are also those stuck in the grey area in between.

Regardless of this little social experiment that I threw at my friends, we still had a great time and stayed up til the wee hours of the next morning.  Thus creating the best game of apples to apples that I've played in a long time!

Apples to Apples to Apple, Fiona
"Fast as you Can" - Fiona Apple

Sunday, October 3, 2010

GO TEAM GO

Another aspect of a person's identity is to have similar beliefs in a common notion. Whether it's the music you listen to, the books you read, the food you eat, there are many qualities that unite a community together.

One of the most dedicated of these topics is the sports team. In retrospect, I consider it more of a culture. There are many different levels of fandom ranging from supporter to die-hard fanatic psychos.

Whether you watch the game on a TV at home with close friends and family, at the bar with new friends and family, on the radio, or live at the stadium/area itself. These supporters ban together into an community which creates it's own identity. An identity which gives you the feeling of belonging. You can watch the game 10,000 miles away, and if you spot another team supporter, you become instant friends, you are rooting for the same team, the same family, the same identity.

It's always the same goal in mind for these supporters of sport...whether you are a fair-weathered fan, or an over-obsessive fan...whether you have played the sport maybe once in the past, or have followed it religiously through newspapers, magazines and TV programs...we're all trying to make a community that we feel home at, no matter how far away from reality that it may be.

"The Sporting Life" - The Decemberists

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away

There has been an abnormal amount of rain in these parts of the woods lately. Its drving all of my friends mad, bonkers, crazy, etc. etc. AND it's not even a cool nice chilling rain, its hot, humid and sticky!

I supose there are some who have enjoyed the fruits that it has bared to the area. For instance, my neighbor loves the sound of the rain rapping against her window. It puts her in a trance and she is able to sleep better.

I personally blame all of this persipitation on myself. I have forgotten a rain jacket at a friend of mines house for over a month, and just to my luck the monsoons have flooded down upon us.

So take it as you may, enjoy it or hate it, because it's Jersey weather...and it's here to stay.

"The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" - Missy Elliott

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHcyJPTTn9w&ob=av2e

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

National Disasters

Prior to coming to Drew, my thoughts on national identity have been mostly positive.  It's a way for a people to embrace their culture, identify with others in their search for identity, and celebrate one's historical past. However many of these thoughts have changed after having to read for my classes in Irish History, the Fin de Siecle as well as my course in the history of disability.  Yes, maybe some of these readings have been a little more biased than others, but it still opened my eyes to new ideas.

Nationality has been around for a long time. However the trend towards nationality has really established itself during the Fin de Siecle.  In a time period of world warfare, it was important to have the support of the country to which you were fighting for.  It is no surprise that some of the most concise descriptions of national identity has been found in Joseph Stalin's personal writings.  In effort to making a socialist community, he made a list of requirements for such a culture to obtain a national identity: " a common language; a stable community; a territory; economic cohesion; and a collective psychology and character" (Davis 1995: 75). 

In an attempt to create a national identity, they have in reverse created a black and white set of rules with no grey areas in between.  By creating what it means to have a national identity, they have further created the ideal of the "other." If you don't fit into our national ideal image, then you don't belong at all.  While we live in a time where it is more accepting for the "grey areas" there are still instances to where this "other" is still lurking around today. In today's wars and political debates, we continue to label ourselves with our many different national identities. We continue to see people as the other in a negative way. Yes I understand that NOT everyone will hold the same view points, history and culture for that matter. Not everyone will get along, such rivals and enemies will still be had. I just hope that one day we will be able to embrace our national identities and just appreciate how long it has taken us all to get where our identifies are today. How far we have evolved from black/white ways of thinking, and that maybe we could add a little color in next to the shades of grey.

As with many good ideas, nationalism was an idea which may had good fundamental origins (to bring a culture together and to celebrate one's history and beginnings) and in turn has turned into a national disaster.

Davis, Lennard J. 1995. Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness and the Body. New York: Verso. pg 75.

I couldn't pick between these two songs...so I'm adding both :)
"American Girl" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers




"Star Spangled Banner" - Jimi Hendrix

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Feelin Good

So I just finished my first day at the archives! It was a general orientation of where things are and the rules and regulations for working at the institution. I then got to put my skills to work with a fun little scavenger hunt arround the stacks! I also got to assist one of the researchers in a memior project! Overall A successful day at the archives!

I'm looking forward to finally get some experience time in this field! I believe that it is super important to have an understanding of our past. One way to which we can accomplish this is by collecting primary souces from our own history. While secondary sources are great to work with, they often hint the author's bias of his/her interpretation of the document that is being looked at.  The archives will be a place where history can stay alive, and I'm excited that I get to be a part of it on some level!

"Feelin Good" - Nina Simone

Saturday, September 18, 2010

4th Anual LUAU @ Drew

So this years luau was another success! Thanks to Mike for hosting another great party filled with new friends and old!



Festive Pig Cake made by Shannon and Lauren










A Little Limbo Action










Standard Pictures in front of the ALOHA setup









Some of History and Culture's finest!










Some of the boys










Overall Good time

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" -Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo╩╗ole
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why?

This summer I had the privilege to get to work down at the Johns Hopkins Main Campus as well as Good Sam! I was able to help  a really awesome lady with a stressful job of an administrative position, but above all I got to work next to and meet some of the best doctors in orthopaedic surgery at Hopkins...one of the best facilities in the world. While some doctors were more personable than others, I was given a window of understanding to what their lives were really like...not some soap opera way of understanding that I have had before via Greys Anatomy and General Hospital...these men and women were real and live interesting and honorable lives!

This morning when I woke up I was reading a few of my friend's face book statuses that came on the main feed and realized that something had gone wrong at Hopkins and that it had been closed down with SWAT team members around the building...a gunman was at the hospital. Fear was the first thing that ran across my mind. Yes Yes, I know many people who work at the hospital, but one very important lady in my life works there as well! I quickly raced across my wooden floor to dial my mom! She was safe!

While talking on the phone with her I found out that the doctor who had been shot was one in the very department that I got to work in over the summer! The gunman was not happy with the surgery that the doctor had given so wanted "justice" by shooting the doc in the abdomen! News and rumors are flying amok down in Baltimore still. The gunman has been found and stopped...there are speculations that he might of killed himself as well as his mother.

We live in a crazy world, without this kind of unnecessary drama! Did it give the gunman satisfaction to shoot at the doctor and cause strife on his family let alone every other person who walked the halls of the hospital this morning? We have been told by officials that the doctor should be ok, and that in all places to be shot, Hopkins was the right place to be!

I just hope that one day we can live in a place where violence is not used to express one's feelings...


"One" -U2

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I wanna be sedated...

My nocternal ways are at it again!

Only one song could describe how I feel right now...Hopefully I nice yog at the gym will clear my racing mind and tucker me out for a nice nap before my afternoon class begins...


"I wanna be sedated" - the ramones

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

To a new year

It's been one year since I moved to the Madison area. I feel as if I had made myself a nice cozy little nitche of a family full of friends and advisors.  I have improved my knowledge of Irish studies, New York bars and above else Procrastination (although I am not so fonde on the later of the three). I have experienced many new challenges and adventures that grad school has called forth and what life has laid out.

However comfortable I would like to feel here, I know my time is limited. Graduation is only in a number of months and I will be challenging myself once again. Wheter it be a phD program, or actually begining a job. I will cherish my last months here at Drew! While still looking forward for what yet is to become. For like the Irish say "Home is not where you live but where they understand you."

"Lessons Learned" -Matt and Kim