She’s a five year old rescue cat from a SoHo cat cafe we’ve named Fitzgerald, so she + Red are pretty much interchangeable.
More things happened since I last blogged:
Giants visited us
We celebrated Lexi’s favorite holiday
We celebrated Red’s birthday with a ferry ride + brunch
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
Our holiday break continued as we cheered for our respective college football teams and made a trip to Brooklyn.
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.
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.
December is in full swing, which means advent calendar, tree lighting ceremonies, and christmas music. Bet u didnt know I was this basic~
Someone recently asked me, “Do men find you intimidating?”
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.