Making Mondays Sunny

P’s Quote

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mom would always say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’  To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mothers words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.”

I know I already used this one this week but it’s so good I’m putting it on here twice. It was also really conducive to the week I’ve had.

Things I’m Grateful for This Week

Boston strong, the unity and community of this beautiful and strong city, police officers like Sean Collier, the BPD, the reactions to the bombings and shootings, how lucky I am to be alive and safe, that all of my friends are okay, and that fate somehow chose us to be the lucky ones.

I’m grateful for the millions of texts and phone calls and facebook messages I got from friends and family from all over.

I’m grateful that this week is over and that Boston and MIT are on their way back to how things used to be.

I’m thankful for the ability to move on from this, for impromptu dance parties in the thunderdome, for golf parties, for running across the Harvard bridge in shorts and sandals with the wind blowing in my face, for the amazing celebrations after the shooters were caught, the stunning view of the Boston skyline I have at all times, for the trees and flowers blossoming everywhere, the fact that p-setting is fun when you’re doing it with friends, jam sessions while studying, Sporcle, throwback Disney songs, throwback chick flicks that I watched with my friends this week like John Tucker Must Die and A Cinderella Story, my family, blogging, going to record stores with S, buying AWESOME records, the restaurant Veggie Galaxy where I had one of the best omelets I’ve ever eaten in my life, wearing hats, wearing bows, instant coffee, my tests for this week being done with, the feeling of finishing a pset, my absolutely hilarious friends, selfies at 4 am, talking to S until the wee hours of the night, delicious food at frat houses, dancing at the Estate, back massages late at night, B52 shots, polaroids, snuggling with your favorite people and froyo being delivered straight to your dorm.

Things to Make This Week Sunnier

Yea, this week is going to be sunnier no matter what I do, so I’m just going to enjoy the good weather, try to go running a lot, and explore the city as much as possible.

My thoughts will be with the affected individuals and families.

I love you so much E and I miss you and C loads and loads.

-P

Quotes:

“But stupidity is one of two things we see most clearly in retrospect. The other is missed chances.”

“I told him he was certainly welcome to his opinion; like assholes, everybody had one.”

“Artistic talent is far more common than the talent to nurture artistic talent.”

-11/22/63 by Stephen King

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Things I Loved This Week:

That twitter exists so that I could see all the times you were still alive this week (I still frantically called you- sorry, P), getting to home to see my mom, little bro, and grandparents, that I’m going to have an awesome summer, a great opportunity in the form of a summer fellowship, the perfectly ripe avocado I am currently devouring, and going to see the Lumineers with my friend J. Their opening act was called Shakes and Ropes and they were good, too – you should look them up. I’m grateful that my mom wasn’t even mad when I woke her up because I was crying so hard at the movie “My Girl”- it’s so sad, P. Only watch it if you are prepared to ball your eyes out. I’m grateful for my brilliant UT advisor who has helped me navigate my confusing and constantly changing schedule this week. I’m grateful for my massage yesterday and that I finished 11/22/63. I was a little disappointed at the ending, but, you know, we can’t have everything in life. I am grateful for the blogger James Altucher, whose stunning honesty makes his work absolutely groundbreaking. I’e been steamrolling through his fresh and interesting eBooks. I don’t completely agree with all of his ideas, but I like the gist.  I’ve been trying for total honesty this week, and so far it’s been very cathartic and no one I’ve talked to has been offended. We don’t even realize how much we censure ourselves.

Things to Make Next Week Sunnier

Follow Altucher’s rules on “How to be the Luckiest Guy on the Planet in 4 Easy Steps”, found here. I’ve been struggling a lot with the sleeping schedule, but I like the idea of going to sleep early so you can wake up early.

I’ve made plans to volunteer with kids twice this week! I’m so excited- I love chilluns!

Go through my full skin care routine every single night.

Keep up the momentum we’ve gathered on the blog this week! Your post was so moving and beautiful, P!

Bake night with I tomorrow!

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I hope you have a super-fantastic week, P! Happy Earth Day!

-E

#BostonStrong

Dear E,

This week has been a hellish week.

On Monday it was the Boston Marathon. My friends and I woke up early in the morning to a day of perfect weather and tons of potential. We walked across the bridge to Boston and towards our sorority house, which is about mile 22 of the marathon. There we watched some of the most elite runners in the world run by us. We then went to UBurger where we chowed down on some delicious food and then we headed towards the Prudential Center, which is right next to the end of the finish line. On the way we stopped at a frat, where a couple of our friends live. The boys were playing cornhole and grilling and everyone was just hanging out and drinking and eating and laughing and chatting. We stood at mile 26 for a solid hour. We were at a corner so we would see masses of runners, running by.

It was CRAZY. The energy was incredible E. It was amazing. I saw all those runners going by and the tens of thousands of people cheering for complete strangers and it just made my heart so, so happy. We were standing at mile 26, but it seemed like we were standing at mile 1. The runners were flying by like it was nothing. I remember saying something like, “All 27,000 of these people are my heroes.” And they are. I think thats the thing about marathons. Here are these every day normal kind of people. They’re our friends and our neighbors and sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers and they’re running fucking 26.2 miles. At one point we tried to go to the finish line by following the marathon trail but it was way too crowded. The streets were literally packed and we couldn’t even move. So we headed back to a frat house an chilled there for awhile and watched the marathon and chatted.

After a while, my roomie K and I as well as two more of our friends decided that we were going to get to the finish line even if it took us forever because we were determined to see all the faces of the runners at the end. Because we live in Boston we kind of know the ins and outs of the city so we took a detour of sorts and ended up walking down Boylston street and towards the finish line. There were SO MANY PEOPLE, E, it was crazy. Here are some pictures from the day.

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The end of the flags is where the finish line is.

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This is mile 26.

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This is on Boylston street. You can see how packed it is.

All I can say from here is that I am so glad that we left when we did. About 20-30 minutes after we left the finish line, the bombs went off. My friends felt and heard the explosion and there was mass panic and confusion and chaos. Three people were killed and 60-70 people were injured. This is so saddening and heartbreaking and tragic, but in all the midst of the chaos has arisen a huge sense of community from Boston. I’ve gotten so many calls and texts and emails and Facebook messages from everyone back home asking if I’m okay.

Throughout this time this quote has popped up a lot and I love it. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mom would always say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’  To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mothers words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.” And man, were there helpers. People ran toward the explosion to help the wounded. Runners handed each other jackets, photographers walked through blood while holding back their own tears to capture the moment, and people performed CPR at the risk of being bombed again. Police officers and doctors and medics swarmed the scene of the crime. Marathon runners finished the marathon and then ran an extra two miles straight to Mass General Hospital to donate blood. People created google docs so loved ones could find one another. And that’s what my city is E. That’s who we are.

Here’s a link to what Stephen Colbert had to say about it….it’s pretty funny.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425527/april-16-2013/intro—4-16-13

“But here’s what these cowards really don’t get,” Colbert said. “They attacked the Boston Marathon, an event celebrating people who run 26 miles on their day off until their nipples are raw for fun. … When those bombs went off, there were runners who, after finishing a marathon, kept running for another two miles to the hospital to donate blood. So here’s what I know: these maniacs may have tried to make life bad for the people of Boston, but all they can ever do is show just how good those people are.”

There were statuses posted everywhere like this

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Tuesday was a day of reflection and worry. Everyone making sure everyone was okay and trying to figure out who did this and what was going on.

Thursday I had two tests, so I basically spent ALL of Wednesday and Thursday studying as much as possible. Thursday night I finished my last test at about 9:30 and I walked back from the Stata Center by myself. My friends and I were glad that our hellish week was just OVER so we decided we were going to go out. Literally RIGHT as we are walking out of the door of our dorm we get an email saying to stay away from Stata Center because there’s been a shooting. So of course we are all freaking out. Another disaster? In the same week? We didn’t know if the bombing and the shootings were connected. We wake up the next day and school has been cancelled because the entire city of Boston was on lockdown. My friends and I spent a good chunk of yesterday listening to the news and tweeting/facebooking, etc. I got so many calls and texts and facebook messages again, and I feel so lucky to have such caring amazing friends and family.

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Unfortunately at the shooting an MIT police officer was killed. We hope that rests in peace and we all know we owe our safety to him. He and his family will be in our thoughts.

The entire city was put on lock down so that the police could find the other bomber. It looked like this:

http://www.businessinsider.com/eerie-photos-of-boston-looking-like-a-ghost-town-2013-4

There were tweets like this:

“Boston is probably the only major city that if you fuck with them, they will shut the entire city down…strop everything…and FIND YOU.” -happygilmore

Articles like this:

http://labs.huffingtonpost.com/highlights/quote/8322586/

” I started to notice the men and woman, civilians mostly, tearing down that fence and barrier with their bare hands as they, without hesitation, ran toward the area where those bombs went off. Toward the area. Not away. Toward the wounded, tearing their own clothes to make tourniquets, soaking their own pant legs in the blood flowing down the streets and mixing with the blood of our Revolutionary ancestors, not turning away from death. Their instincts were to save their fellow humans.”

“There are only a few other places on earth that I would expect to see these acts of bravery, like I saw on Monday. New York City, you will always be in my heart, but Boston, I have your back. Thanks for having mine. This week, you showed me what it means to love your city, love your people, love your heritage and above all, what it means to be human first, Bostonian second, American third.”

or this article

http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/jim-dowd-responds-to-the-attack-on-the-boston-marathon/

“This place will kick the screaming piss out of you, come up with a cure for having the screaming piss kicked out of you, give it to you for free, then win a Nobel prize for it and then use the medallion to break your knuckles. See what I’m talking about?”

They found him E.

They got him.

The city is no longer on lockdown.

Last night thousands of people gathered in Boston Commons to celebrate. People were singing the national anthem and chanting bostonstrong, USA, and BPD.

I’ll close with this video from Obama.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-every-one-of-us-stands-with-you/2013/04/18/62d669b6-a838-11e2-8302-3c7e0ea97057_video.html

“We finish the race, and we do that because of who we are, and we do that because we know that somewhere around the bend, a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody’s there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think that we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick us up if we fall. We know that. We know that.”

Proud to be a Bostonian and proud to call Boston and MIT my home away from home,

-P

One Hundred Cheerful Things to Do

This week has been hard on everyone.

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Here are E and P’s suggestions on ways to cheer up this weekend.

1. Pet a puppy

2. Curl your hair

3. Sing a Disney song. E’s favorites are The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea” and all of the Beauty and the Beast: “Be…Our…Guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test!” P loves “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan as well as “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story.

4. Eat ice cream. Outlandish flavors like Phish Phood and Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie Galore are even better. Our favorite is Green Tea!

5. Hula hoop

6. Buy a bouquet of flowers for yourself

7. Jump rope

8. Kiss a frog

9. Take a bubble bath

10. Read modern fairytales. I love Gail Carson Levine.

11. Go to a museum

12. Paint a watercolor masterpiece. Just remember, put the colors on lightest to darkest.

13. Read a religious text. You should probably skip out on Revelations, though.

14. Read Eat, Pray, Love or The Happiness Project

15. Eat chocolate

16. Take a long, hot shower and then lather your entire body in lotion

17. Watch a show that makes you giggle, like “New Girl”

18. Make a root beer float

19. Babysit a kid younger than two

20. Braid your hair

21. Do your eye makeup in a new and interesting way

22. Change your hair. Dye it or get a new haircut.

23. Make your bed while rocking out to awesome music

24. Eat a peach- naked.

25. Sing in the shower. Also naked.

26. Make pancakes to bring to someone for breakfast

27. Write your grandma or another elderly person close to you a nice note

28. Get yourself a new pair of shoes.

29. Give someone a hug

30. Slip a note to someone telling them they’re beautiful

31. Slip ‘n slide

32. Go to the library

33. Make brownies

34. Go to the zoo or aquarium

35. Try yoga, meditation, and general mindfulness through breathing

36. Make a pet rock

37. Blow soap bubbles

38. Embark on a quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe

39. Watch awful, b-rated movies with friends.

40. Sleep. Just bask in the most natural of de-stressors.

41. Fly a kite

42. Go scuba-diving

43. Buy a pet fish

44. Form a back-rubbing chain (but not in a weird way)

45. Play twister (in a weird way)

46. Tell someone something you’ve never told anyone else

47. Get hypnotized here or here

48. Call your mom

49. Have a good, long cry. Possibly induced by “The Notebook”

50. Watch Amanda Bynes movies while reading her twitter

51. Go running at night time.

52. Watch old chick flicks like “John Tucker Must Die” and “A Cinderella Story”

53. Have communal snack time. (Everyone brings down snacks and then everyone shares. Its just like kindergarten all over again.)

54. Paint something.

55. Take a ridiculously and absurdly long bubble bath whilst drinking champagne and listening to Regina Spektor.

56. Write in your journal. Or cut up magazines and make sick collages.

57. Take photographs of pretty things like the clouds or flowers.

58. Just sit outside and let the wind blow in your face.

59. Take selfies.

60. Do anything except study.

61. Be grateful for how freaking lucky you are.

62. Think of clever tweets and then tweet them.

63. Go sailing.

64. Sit with your friends and let the crazyness ensue.

65. Play drinking games.

66. Sing songs while drunk at the top of your lungs.

67. Have mini races and sprint against all your friends.

68. Cuddle in bed with your favorite person.

69. Wear a baseball cap, backwards.

70. Buy stickers and then give them out liberally.

71. Buy a disposable camera and then take really epic pictures.

72. Go to Costco and buy ridiculous amounts of you favorite gum, your favorite dried fruit, and your favorite chocolates.

73. Spring clean your closet.

74. Hold a fashion show for all of your friends and try on all of the fabulous clothes and shoes you already own.

75. Discover wonderful playlists on grooveshark and 8tracks.

76. Get your inbox down to zero. (This always destresses me)

77. Kiss someone you like.

78. Nap as much as you please.

79. Decorate your office supplies with stickers or rhinestones, etc.

80. Chalk your walls! The walls in P’s dorm are brick so we can write and draw things everywhere.

81. Unpack all of your summer clothes! It’s time the shorts and tanks come out to play.

82. Lay out on the roof and soak up the sunshine.

83. Read all of your favorite blogs.

84. Give yourself a facial.

85. Paint each others’ nails.

86. Make gingerbread cookies (YUM)

87. Tend to your garden, which in my (P’s) case is a wine bottle filled with daffodils.

88. Take your vitamins!

89. Brush your teeth. I always feel better knowing I have a clean mouth.

90. Experiment with making different kinds of coffee and using different grounds/coffee mixes/amounts of milk/sugar, etc.

91. Go exploring in your city.

92. Dress up and then go out and get coffee. (P loves coffee in case you can’t tell.)

93. Take polaroid pictures.

94. Do some serious online window shopping.

95. Do jumping jacks.

96. Go to a record store and look through old music.

97. Learn to ride a skateboard.

98. Make tiny gifts or cards for everyone you love.

99. Go to a used bookstore.

100. Remember that everything happens for a reason.

Much love and happiness,

E&P

Fighting End-of-Semester Inertia

Dear P,

One of my friends wrote an interesting article this week about the Yerkes-Dodson Curve, which describes the relationship of stress and performance. The article is here and the Yerkes-Dodson curve looks like this:

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Lately, I have had trouble trying to motivate myself to do things. With my midterms over and the semester lagging, my adrenaline is at an all-time low, and I am having trouble fighting my own inertia. While Scott focuses on how to reduce distress, I have been trying to find ways to super-charge my calm so that I can remain productive at non-urgent tasks, like getting a head-start on finals.

I have approached this problem from two different angles this week. The first involves changing myself and the second hinges around changing my surroundings.

There are many ways of changing yourself. Everyone plays with their brain chemistry every day, through food, caffeine, alcohol and exercise. To make myself more productive, I try to limit the amount of carbs that I eat, while maximizing protein, fruits, and vegetables. I realized that I have not been getting my necessary serving of fruits and vegetables, so I stocked up this Sunday at HEB on gala apples (the best!), kale, avocados, and carrots (the big kind- baby carrots have significantly less flavor and I hate how unnatural they are). I use one tea bag’s worth of Earl Gray tea every day. I’m sensitive to caffeine, so this keeps me super-charged without affecting my sleep. I have made a conscious decision not to drink, mainly because it messes with my REM sleep (see “My Sleep Obsession”) and reduces my productivity for several days. I like to sleep eight or nine hours a night. Last night, I fell asleep at eight and woke up at five. I was slightly more productive in the morning than I would have been at night and I am going to try to do this for at least the rest of the week. Since my marathon, I have not been as vigilant about my exercise regime. I have stepped it up again this week, biking as well as running to reduce wear and tear on my body. I know swimming is excellent exercise and gentle on your joints, but I just can’t bring myself to get in the cold, wet pool in the morning. Maybe I will work on that minor stress in the future.

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Studying in my room is very tempting, P. Since I am an introvert, studying with people around makes me slightly more stressed. However, I have found that this stress increases my attentiveness to my work and prevents me from browsing the internet, especially if I think people can see my computer screen. I have also found that changing up the places where I work can help me keep my edge. Earlier in the year, I was very vigilant about scheduling myself: since, I have gotten more slack about it. iCalendar is an amazing thing: I can put an event in my computer and it will automatically sync to my phone and remind me do it ten minutes beforehand. How could I not take advantage of this great technology? I am accountable to my calendar and it helps fight my inertia. If you still have trouble staying on task, sharing your calendar and goals with a friend you respect may help. I have also found that talking to people that intimidate me slightly helps me to stay focused. This mainly involves going to office hours and talking to my professors and TAs. Lastly, I reward myself frequently, usually with dark chocolate and time with people I love. I do not recommend that anyone eat the obscene amount of chocolate I do, so you should probably vary your rewards according to your tastes.

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The perfect person would be able to do all of these things AND keep up the relaxing, fun activities Scott recommends. When I manage to do that, I feel great and get a lot done. When I slip, I’m not as productive, but I’ve learned to be easier on myself. The world doesn’t rupture just because I haven’t gotten everything on my “Goals” list done.

I miss you and I hope you’re doing well, P!

Love,

E

On the Disaster Today

Dear P,

I am so, so grateful that you are safe. It makes my heart feel cold to think of how close you were to the explosions today.

I feel guilty for the powerful relief I have been feeling all day. While I didn’t lose my best friend, somebody else did. According to the CIA census, an average of 154,889 people die every day. Today, three of them were at the Boston marathon. Pictures and proximity aid my ability to empathize with the families, friends and witnesses of these catastrophes. But these aides are fickle.

Where do I stop feeling the pain of another human being? My heart hurts for everyone who was injured in Boston today. Should my heart hurt equally for the people who loved the 154,889 people who die every day? This would push me over the edge and render me incapable of doing anything to help. Should I only hurt for those I see horrific pictures of? That seems narrow.

The truth is, there are going to be people that ache and grieve in all sorts of ways every day. I think the best thing to do is say a prayer for those that suffer and do our best to improve the world around us. Chance is a terrifying thing and all we can do to fight the uncertainty of life is to enjoy every beautiful second to the best of our ability. Because even though people can be very cruel, love exists, which makes people beautiful. Even though fate can be very cruel, each and every one of us has received blessings to be thankful for.

I am so, so grateful for you, P. For a couple of seconds, I thought you were in very serious trouble, and it was the scariest couple of seconds of my life. Please stay safe.

Lovelovelove,

E

My Sleep Obsession

Dear P,

We were the perfect travel buddies on our adventures this summer. When you got hungry, you got grumpy, whereas my Achilles’ heel involves sleep. As long as we could stay either well-fed or well-rested, we were fine.

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(Including this Snickers ad because it blew my mind. Snickers has some rocking advertisements.)

My inability to deal with lack of sleep has been haunting me in college. Our university campuses are suffering from a pandemic of chronic sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation is just not my thing. Sleep and all its implications have become intensely interesting, especially as I’ve seen less of it in my life.

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Our sleep works in ninety minute intervals, cycling through stage one, two, three, and then REM sleep. In the first four hours, we spend more time in stage three sleep -“deep sleep”- and less time in REM sleep. Stages one through three relax our muscles and make our bodies feel well-rested, but the true magic happens in REM sleep.

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During REM sleep, your entire body is seized with paralysis. Your eyes, however, race around in a semblance of waking life: “REM” stands for “Rapid Eye Movement’. Even if you think of yourself as a non-dreamer, if you were awoken during this stage of sleep you would probably report vivid, fantastic dreams. REM sleep is supposedly when you consolidate all of your memories and thoughts from your waking life. Alcohol and sleep aids suppress REM sleep, and if you are suffering from a lack of REM sleep you will immediately slide into it when you fall asleep.

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Narcoleptics are the other group of people who fall instantly into REM sleep. People who suffer from narcolepsy have a hard time regulating their sleep cycles and often fall asleep at inappropriate times during the day. One of the things that sets off their snooze button is high emotional stress. Someone should make a soap opera about a person with narcolepsy. Every time a scene started getting good, they would just pass out.

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If you think this is interesting, you may want to check out the Sleep Cycle app on your iPhone. I usually refuse to buy apps because I think all the best things in life are free, but I am absolutely obsessed with this app and I don’t regret buying it.

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Sleep theory is so interesting: there are still so many mysteries surrounding why we sleep and how we can sleep better. We’ve talked about lucid dreaming before on this blog, and it is becoming more and more recognized as a way of treating phobias and improving memories. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep. I’m starting to think I needs to average out at about ten hours, whereas right now I’m getting about seven-and-a-half. When I get enough sleep, I have a good day. When I don’t get enough sleep, I feel like the grumpy Snickers man.

If you’re looking for ways to fall asleep better, yoga and meditation have helped me immensely. Tea also helps. I can’t read in my bed or I won’t be able to sleep there (I know this doesn’t apply to you at all, P. You do everything in your bed.).

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To conquer the sleep crises that my friends and I face every day, we will have to overcome the current social stigmas that come with sleep, perpetuated by ads like the one above. People take a weird kind of pride in not having time to sleep, to the point where they brag about it. Not sleeping is stupid. If you don’t sleep enough, you aren’t productive and life becomes significantly less fun.

Sweet dreams!

E

Making Mondays Sunny

P’s Quote:

“I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life. They are my children’s godparents, the people to whom I’ve been able to turn in times of trouble, friends who have been kind enough not to sue me when I’ve used their names for Death Eaters. At our graduation we were bound by enormous affection, by our shared experience of a time that could never come again, and, of course, by the knowledge that we held certain photographic evidence that would be exceptionally valuable if any of us ran for Prime Minister.”

― J.K. Rowling

Dear E, the week right after spring break is always a hard week, if only because we are trying to get back into the swing of things. I had a really nice week. The end to my week wasn’t so great but I guess that’s why we have next week to try all over again right? I’m sorry your week wasn’t too hot, but I know it will get better. That being said, I did do a lot of awesome things this week. I started shadowing this REALLY awesome doctor at Mass General Hospital and I absolutely LOVE IT. Doing that has reminded me how much I love working with people and how much I absolutely want to be a doctor. Sometimes its easy to forget what I’m doing here. And on top of that I’ve been putting my new camera to good use. I took loads of photos at a surprise birthday party we threw for A. Anyway, just wanted to give you a short update on my week. Love you!

Things I Love

when S makes me tea, friends who will come to frat houses in their PJ’s to come get you when you need them (K, my roomie4lyfe and this other really great guy named PH), basically everything about K and how I owe her so bad in basically all aspects of life, when you get into bed and just pass out, getting to scrub in on two surgeries this week, learning SO MUCH about laryngeal surgery and how our voices work, getting to see actual patients, walking around Charles Town, feeling like a master of the T, unwinding at yoga classes, my Essie nail polish named limo-scene that I am currently obsessed with (both my toenails and my fingernails are painted with this color haha), my new oversized Ray-Bans that I am IN LOVE WITH, how sunglasses make you feel like a movie star, the fact that there’s enough sun for me to actually wear sunglasses, walking around Nebury, shamelessly taking pictures with S and M, sushi mixers, chili chocolate, snuggling in bed with S and watching Revenge, my dads texts because they are hilarious and SO CUTE, empty notebooks waiting to be filled, surprise birthday parties for close friends, giving gifts that people really like, coupons, baseball caps itching to be worn, the fact that the weather is actually warming up, not having any tests this week, and the coming 4 day weekend we have.

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my new Ray-Bans

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Me and A on Saturday night

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This is right before A’s surprise birthday party (which was a huge success, she had no idea.) S and I were in charge of distracting her so we took her out to dinner on Newbury and then went to a coffee shop after and drank coffee and read magazines. I got a chocolatino, and it was delicious.

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^Me taking photos for Macy’s

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snapchat, because its a wonderful invention and I LOOOOOOVE ITTTTTT. I don’t even know what I did before this. S is photobombing me as uge.

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more coffee and magazines

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taken during our photoshoot escapades in B-town.

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Me and S

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Me and M

Things to Make This Week Sunnier:

Clean/organize my desk

Dress cute because its warm

Try to get ahead with my studies

Try to understand physics sigh

Stop drinking coffee late at night

Love you and miss you! ❤

Quote 

“Let me tell you about the nap. It’s absolutely fantastic. When I was a kid, my father was always trying to tell me how to be a man. And he said – I was maybe nine – he said, Philip, whenever you take a nap, take your clothes off and put a blanket over you and you’re going to sleep better. Well, as with everything, he was right. And so I now do that and I come back from the swimming pool I go to and I have my lunch and I read the paper and I take this glorious thing called a nap. And then the best part of it is that when you wake up, for the first 15 seconds you have no idea where you are. You’re just alive. That’s all you know and it’s bliss. It’s absolute bliss.”

— Philip Roth

I stole this quote (like an artist) from Austin Kleon’s blog, http://tumblr.austinkleon.com, today. I thought you would appreciate it, P. I absolutely love all your pictures! Give K a hug for taking care of you for me 🙂 Also, your floral pants are my favorite.

Things I’m Grateful for This Week

The super-spectacular-awesome I, who took me to ice cream and let me crash at her apartment after a Thursday night meltdown. I don’t know what I would have done without her this week. I’m grateful for great friends that go with you to Kirby Lane for queso on midnight on a Wednesday. I’m grateful for the chocolate cake and smiley faces my friend J brought to help me finish my lab report last night. I’m grateful for the C and S and our mutual acceptance of the fact that if a party is boring, we need to leave and find a different one. Preferably one with A in it:

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In order: Yours truly, C, the only person I know who is a more accomplished napper than you, S, looking hot as always, and A, who snuck us into the party.

I’m grateful for the awesome research opportunities here at UT and that I learn so much every day. I am grateful that my mom and dad are hanging out with my adorable cousins so that I can skype them. I’m grateful for the laughs that I get from Muggle Hustle (http://mugglehustle.com) and New Girl. I’m still making my way through 11/22/63, and it’s well worth the length.

Mostly, I’m grateful that every week is a fresh start and a new chance to create things to be grateful for.

Hugs and kisses,

E

I Know It’s a Sin to Kill a Mockingbird

Dear P,

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Mockingbirds are some of the meanest birds of the animal kingdom. Blue-jays are one of their few equals in spite. The reason mockingbirds imitate noises around them is that they want to intimidate other male mockingbirds. I am reporting this because a mockingbird just flew into my head.

You know which birds are not mean? Passenger Pigeons.

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Passenger pigeons were very friendly, lived in large groups, and benefited many different kinds of tree with their bird-poo. They became extinct because their flocks were so large that they seemed infinite.

Under Texas state law, it is illegal to kill a mockingbird, while we managed to kill off every single passenger pigeon that ever existed. The last one was named Martha and died in 1914.

I don’t know, P. Humankind is just kind of upsetting some days. We fail to appreciate lovely things in large quantities and place value on odd things for mysterious reasons.

Love,

E

Making Mondays Sunny

P’s Quote:

You were born with potential

You were born with goodness and trust

You were born with ideals and dreams

You were born with greatness

You were born with wings

You are not meant for crawling

You have wings

Learn to use them and fly.

-Rumi

Things I Loved This Week

being back in my home sweet home, my lovely family, my freaking AWESOME little brothers, baking with my mom, the way music sounds on my beats, catching my flight by literally sprinting through the airport, spending hours on hours in bookstores, Starbucks allday erryday, looking through old things, being on break and not having a care in the world, going swimming every single day, shopping til I dropped, weather in the 70-80’s all week, dark chocolate, how I feel when I’m literally dripping sweat, organic food, being able to hang out with my mom all day, my new camera (which I’m OBSESSED with and will do a post about later), the movie Bully, mangoes, new music, the movie Dead Poets Society, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, being reunited with all my wonderful friends at school, getting to scrub into the OR today and watch two super awesome surgeries, all the opportunities I have here at MIT, having my hair straightened by S, and curling up to watch the TV show Revenge (its so addicting!)

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I want to make this week sunnier by

working out

eating as healthily as possible

doing research for my shadowing job at MGH

doing well on my chem test!! Hopefully I slay this one!

E was probably super busy today so she’ll update tomorrow!

Much love,

P

AHHHHH I forgot MMS, you guys! I am so very sorry!

Quote of the Week:

“Do not let a moment go by that doesn’t remind you that your heart beats nine hundred times a day and that there are enough gallons of blood to make you an ocean.

Do not settle for letting these waves settle and the dust to collect in your veins.”

– “Shake the Dust” by Anis Mojgani

AND, speaking of Anis Mojgani…

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Look who I met yesterday! Meeting one of my favorite poets and personal heroes was absolutely everything I could have imagined, P. He is so incredibly humble and genuine and sparking with creativity. I was inspired to the point of tears.

P- I’m so excited about your new camera! I can’t wait to see all the beautiful pictures you take up there in Boston-town. I’m also excited that you read The Bell Jar! Wasn’t it great? With the author being Sylvia Plath and all, I kept expecting it to end badly, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Some Things I am Grateful for this Week

Seeing my mom and my little bro and going to fun restaurants with them (you know us, P- we eat well)

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Baking cupcakes

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Jumping into random swimming pool with the spectacular soul A

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Making homemade pizza with I

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painting butterflies and my friend J’s face, eating frozen yogurt for lunch with S and C, being able to run again, and learning about really cool stuff in class today like sleep psychology and cool neuroscience facts.

Believe it or not, I have a chemistry test to ace tomorrow too, so I’m going to get back to work.

Sending loads of love, P!

E