When you get bored of me, I’ll be back on the shelf

You may declare some things with confidence. Run the numbers, analyze the data, and conclude earmarks and lobbying influence congress, for instance (as done by Cooper et al. on Section 508 legislation), or that trial overall survival adds incremental value over trial surrogates alone in real world populations for cancer (as done by Shafrin et al.). Yet most things are fraught with uncertainty – the future, our country, my commitments, you name it. That being said, we can also be certain of some things and be completely wrong (not always right but never in doubt, obv). Like when I thought this dog wouldn’t mind being snuggled at a bar. He did.

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He’s just not that into you

In that doggo’s defense, I was extra aggressive with the holding that day.

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Em keeping me from falling

I’m generally of the belief that inaction due to uncertainty (or in any case, really) perpetuates the status quo and breeds insecurity, opting instead to embrace Rebecca Solnit’s proactive definition of hope:

“To hope is to gamble. It’s to bet on the future, on your desires, on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty is better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it is the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk. I say all this because hope is not like a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. I say it because hope is an ax you break down doors with in an emergency; because hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal. Hope just means another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope.”

Scrolling Twitter and reading news about terror attacks a mile from my apartment leaves me feeling disillusion and contempt. When I further consider that it’s been a rough month for women, my confidence in society falters. However, I admire the women who have taken action and spoken out despite running the risk of being discredited or targeted.

I recently acquiesced to the idea that in uncertain times, hope may also be passive. A friend (AB) who’s a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique challenged Solnit’s quote in her monthly newsletter last month. She cited the direct translation for “hope” in Portuguese is “to wait,” and added that without the difference between hoping and waiting, hoping for the people in Mozambique seems to be more about waiting things out. AB proposed that passiveness isn’t always weak, it can be optimistic. And she’s not wrong. Perhaps self-preservation through hope can be both the act of courage and the patient wait – it’s a matter of context.

Given life begins anew (or at least I come alive) in the fall, and “to live is to risk,” I remain hopeful we can do better. It probably also helps that I went home for the first time in 8 months last weekend: California, the name of the Grimes song from which this blog post borrowed its name. (“You only like me when you think I’m looking sad,” seriously listen to it now.)

Why did I fly 5.5-hours for a weekend trip? A friend’s Malibu nuptials. He is among the most joyful and well-meaning people I know and has introduced me to a few New Yorkers I begrudgingly care about.

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“Hefe” because I’m a boss
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Nothing to see here

In classic SEM form, I’d forgotten how much I loved Los Angeles because its distance from my home in New York fades the memory. The problem is after a bite of an In-N-Out burger, Keith Moon snuggle, and pumpkin patch trek with NRM, I knew I’d actively miss Los Angeles for a few weeks. I suppose one could have worse problems.

This weekend, IJJ runs the NYC marathon. I’m writing about it because she has a negligible online presence, but I am BEAMING with pride for my favorite Connecticut bb and want everyone to know how much COOLER is she than me. Come join me as I scream her name until my lungs collapse.

Thx 4 the memories LA. Love u, mean it~
SEM

 

 

 

 

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Are you satisfied with an average life?

Last week, my roommate asked me, “If you had a billboard on which you could post a single message, what would it say?” Naturally – my response was “absolutely not.” Turns out she’d asked the same question two years ago, and I replied the same. I am nothing if not consistent…and this is coming from a person who hasn’t felt her feelings in real-time since 1996 (instead, noticing a psychosomatic reaction such as nausea that forces her to later identify and dissect a feeling before suppressing it). Consistency is key! As much as I appreciate consistency, I likewise admire self-discipline, finding them to be tightly correlated.

Discipline and consistency govern the morning rituals of successful individuals like Barack Obama (five hours of sleep, no coffee, and a 45-minute workout), Ariana Huffington (30-minute meditation, 40-minute workout), and Jack Dorsey (5am wake-up, 30-minute meditation, 7-minute workout). Sticking to a morning routine (or any rigid routine) remains challenging for me, but I push myself to expand my knowledge and be proactive in my approach to life. And that’s better than nothing. We should all strive for more discipline in our lives.

But just in case you still think I’m succeeding at the whole self-discipline thing, please find KōL skipping below as proof of my failed summer tennis experiment.

Anything SEM can do, KōL can do skipping

xx,
sem

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