Etre deux

Red has left us for eight months…

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She’s the shadow in the Mariners cap

so we replaced her with a cat:

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2 sassy 4 u

Press Play: Etre deux by Nicolas Michaux

She’s a five year old rescue cat from a SoHo cat cafe we’ve named Fitzgerald, so she + Red are pretty much interchangeable.

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Fitzgerald’s old home

More things happened since I last blogged:

Giants visited us

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We celebrated Lexi’s favorite holiday

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We celebrated Red’s birthday with a ferry ride + brunch

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And I wrapped up my first year of graduate school! I’ve made a list of places to check out before my summer internship starts but NYC weather is uncooperative. Cue in the smallest violin playing the world’s saddest song.

kisses from bed at 11am,
sem

London postcards

Someone once told me London was not much different from any major city in The United States. This person was wrong.

Press Play: “No One’s Here to Sleep” by Naughty Boy

Among many things, London is cleaner than any major city I’ve set foot in and holds more history in one wing of Piccadilly Circus‘ Eros statue than most US landmarks.

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NOT the Eros statue but still historic af

I quickly learned London does many things well (tea + Indian food, for instance; check out Dishoom if you get the chance) but coffee is not one of them. Luckily, the Aussies came through with Kaffeine near Oxford Circle.

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Barista most likely judging me for being the 80th person to photograph their sign that day

Not all English-owned coffee shops were disappointing. Climpson + Sons north of London Fields made a decent cup. The owner was inspired by Australian coffee, though, so that may be why.

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I still think about this tart late at night.
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Cute sign along Broadway Market, near Climpson + Sons

London is not as walkable as New York City, but their public transportation system is great. I took advantage of this and caught a train to Kent, Dover to check out the White Cliffs. So worth it:

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You know when you don’t photograph as well as you look in real life? Same applies to these cliffs. Amazing.

KC was a gracious host and kind enough to join me for touristy things like Brick Lane, Columbia Road Flower Market, Borough Market, etc. but we culminated my trip with afternoon tea at sketch. AKA the cutest tea party ever.

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same

Lately, I’ve found myself taking less pictures of my experiences and maybe one day, when I’m old and senile, I will regret it. But that’s a future problem. For now, this is it.

xxsem

l8r, losers

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This is a picture of folded clothes + a passport so you know I’m leaving

I wanted to share with y’all this killer playlist Lex so kindly curated for me. It will be my soundtrack as I skip around London for the next few days.

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Direct link, here.

For those of you who don’t have Spotify, here’s a list of the songs:

There She Goes by The La’s
London Calling by The Clash
Train in Vain by The Clash
That’s Entertainment by The  Jam
I’m Good by The Mowgli’s
Light Me Up by Bronze Radio Return
Gone by JR JR
Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend
Hello, Goodbye by The Beatles
Saturday Night by Natalia Kills
Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap
No One’s Here To Sleep by Naughty Boy, Bastille
R.I.P. 2 My Youth by The Neighbourhood
All Day by Kanye West
Black Water by Timber Timbre
California English by Vampire Weekend
Keep It Together by Fyfe
Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles
No No No by Beirut
Do My Thang by Miley Cyrus
Time Capsule by Little Simz
Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys
Someday by The Strokes
Lovely Day by alt-J
England by The National
Guess I’m doing Fine by Bob Dylan
Lost in My Mind by The Head and the Heart
Water by Ra Ra Riot (+ Rostam!)
London Beckoned by Panic! At The Disco
We’ve Been Dreaming by Echotape
Numb by Marina and the Diamonds
Hurricane by MS MR
Clearest Blue by CHVRCHES
This Could Be Love by Borgeous
Moments by Tove Lo
Kuaga by Pierce Fulton
Come Back Home by Two Door Cinema Club

The last one is because Lexi (like keg) wants to make sure I don’t extend my trip millions of times & never come back.

Will miss you so, NYC. Sure will.

xxsem

 

Don’t ask me questions

I take pride in the consistency of my character and refusing to blog for long periods of time without warning is part of who I am. So is being stubborn and loyal to a fault. It’s fine. You’re fine.

Press Play: Kamikaze by MØ

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Checking out Red’s favorite artist, he’s into astronauts

Living with two intelligent women who expose me to the scientific side of fashion has taught me that unlike fashion trends, personal style is unwavering. Sometimes, Lex will forward a photograph and mention it reminded her of me. I haven’t yet figured out what mold she thinks I fall into, but I enjoy noting her observations. This exercise has also made me aware that I project an image to those around me. We all do. Some stick to a classic approach, mixing basics, and others are more experimental.

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I dress like a scrub most times and if that is what identifies me, I don’t mind it one bit. There’s no harm in embracing the imperfect with a touch of insouciance.

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@ the adorable McNally Jackson Store Goods for the Study

The holidays came and went as quickly as New York entered Snowpocalypse 2016. Since moving to NYC, I’ve forged a few meaningful relationships that have been taking up most of my time and I couldn’t be more pleased with the arrangement. Activities include brunching for eight hours and apartment dance parties.

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The majority of Scrub Island

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Christmas happened two weeks before this!

Love Always,
sem

 

Charm your way

Yesterday was the last official day of lecture for Autumn ’15, culminating a semester of 211 lecture hours, 6 studios, 18 modules, 10 labs, 15 discussion sessions, 144 classes, 40 professors, 135 TA’s, 48 exams, quizzes, papers, and assignments. Living the dream–can you tell?

Press Play: Genghis Khan by Miike Snow

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Spring in December!

Seeing that numerical breakdown is strange because I have not yet felt overwhelmed by school.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I do half of my work from a bed (mine or keg’s) or that New York’s weather has been kind to my Los Angeles bones. (In fact, today it was warmer in NYC than LA…joke was still on me, though, as I did not expect rain and got caught in downtown drizzle.)

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a keg + her pet

Though the days are beautiful and sunny, the downside is Christmas is around the corner and New York does not seem as Christmas-y as I hoped. I will be utilizing this weekend to get into the holiday spirit, which may be a challenge given finals AKA Nightmare Before Christmas.

It’s beginning to look at lot like–

F it,
sem

Uncomfortably Close

I’ve been hesitant to blog because I’ve been more cynical than usual lately and I’m contemptuous on the reg, so that’s really saying something. (See: climate change, terrorism, bacon now a level 1 carcinogen, etc.)

Press Play – New York City by The Chainsmokers

They say the city changes you but yesterday marked the end of my third month in New York and, thus far, it’s only made me be more true to myself. I’m learning about behaviors that bother me while reinforcing my boundaries. For example, if we’re meeting for the first time and you hug me, I do not think you’re outgoing–I think you’re strange. Similarly, I despise being pressured once I’ve made up my mind. I’m not sorry. In a city as restless as NYC, pretending I’m okay with being uncomfortable is inefficient. On the other hand, New York has also reminded me to appreciate what makes me happy and to be grateful for All The Wonderful People in my corner.

One of these is my roommate Alexis. Knowing I was upset about missing my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving), she called her mom and grandmother for recipes. We baked pumpkin pie and made dressing AKA the tgivz essentials.

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Our holiday break continued as we cheered for our respective college football teams and made a trip to Brooklyn.

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Where the decor is adorbs but the drinks + food leave something to be desired

I want to like BK, I really do. But until I move downtown, I don’t think the relationship can be sustainable. We checked out Gather and were underwhelmed.

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Gold details

We’ve done quite a bit of decorating. New additions include an Anderson Cooper + doughnut shrine on our fridge and a picture of RBG from the Chanel “Super Women” campaign. Above is a picture of my wall. I purchased the Bill Clinton/JFK picture after a boozy lab session at school and wrote “Something else they had in common: Interns” behind it. Typical.

In other news, my role as Dad in our little MeUnger family upholds as I continue to love people from a distance.

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Courtesy of Red’s Snap Chat

December is in full swing, which means advent calendar, tree lighting ceremonies, and christmas music. Bet u didnt know I was this basic~

Love Always,
sem

All they do is stay

Someone recently asked me, “Do men find you intimidating?”

Love you, too, NY.
Tbh same, Bowery

Being back on the school grind after a two-year hiatus required I polish my skimming skills. This semester sets the foundation for my degree, meaning classes range from technical skills (epidemiology, biostatistics, etc.) to broader issues (health systems & policy, program planning & evaluation, global health). I’m in school every day; which is essentially everything I stand against. (You may read about that here, where I talk about the ideal undergrad class schedule to capitalize on time spent intoxicated/curing a hangover.) Thank God the subject interests me. I don’t understand how people can go into academia when they don’t love the field.

Press Play: Hudson by Vampire Weekend

I’ve deliberated with myself (do I need a therapist?), asking if I should state the name of my school. Decided against it–possibly as a reaction to the fear of sharing too much of myself online. Though, the more realistic reason is that I’m half-assing my way through graduate school & I’d like to keep that on the DL. Also, this blog’s three followers should already know where I’m enrolled (Hi, mom).

Most of my classes are on the medical campus–admittedly, a less glamorous setting than the stone + grass of the main campus. But it’s bustling with doctors, students, & ER-bound ambulances. Located so far uptown I sometimes wonder if I’m still in Manhattan, the school services surrounding neighborhoods in need. As to my peers? Some of them are really intense & others are more my speed. This is evident during amphitheater lectures, where the people at the front shout questions & ferociously type every single word the professor utters. Laptop users in the middle or the back alternate between note-taking & Facebooking. Amidst the patter of laptop keys, others opt for handwritten notes. I fall somewhere in between, depending on the class & my level of caffeination.

I’m quickly learning public health in the United States & abroad is marked by a very shady past of unethical research & human rights violations. The best option, now, is to learn from it & honor our oath as a public health practitioners.

Moving to a new city means meeting new people. Thus, I’m occasionally  caught in unwanted small-talk. During one of these chats, I mentioned I am earning a masters in public health. I forget how polarizing health issues can be, mostly because I assume everyone agrees humans have a right to healthcare. I found myself in the middle of a conversation about universal health coverage where this stranger opined the government should have no role in healthcare. Here, I abandoned my passive role. Government has & should continue to play a role in healthcare, I explained. See: Medicare &/or Veterans Health Administration System. Then, he asked if men found me intimidating.

Prancing around New York at my 5’4” stance, my initial answer is, “No.” However, because simply challenging a man’s beliefs raised this question…I’m learning the appropriate answer is, “Yes, I can be intimidating; but perhaps, not to a real man.”

Overall, life is weird here & everyone is chatty. I spend half of my week uptown & the rest of it downtown. A stark contrast, but I’m okay with it. I enjoy looking out at the Hudson from my classroom window as much as I enjoy strolling along Houston St. with my roommates or sipping a morning cappuccino with a non-coffee drinker in the East Village.

Lex and Joey Ramone in NoHo
Lex + Joey Ramone in NoHo

Love Always,
sem