30 March 2009

to whom this may concern

writing your own recommendation letter is just an awkward and odd place to be... this person seems to put it in the right light.

28 March 2009

my first meal

baked balsamic chicken + whole wheat penne, with broccoli along for the ride

this isn't to say that i don't eat or haven't cooked anything this past semester, but it's come to a point when the preparation of a full-out meal deserves recognition in my life. that's how life-swallowing school has become.

usually when i have a bit of free time, i can manage a simple stir fry or fried rice, the typical simple chinese comfort foods. when time is slimmer, i resort to dishes my mom ships to me (yes...she does do this even from PA) or sandwiches. when time is anorexic, i grab something from the student center - the food source of last resort.

but today, being the tail end of spring break, i was able to do a full-out trip to the grocery store and make what i would consider a real meal. i can't say it's culinary genius because it's not, but it was satisfying to prepare, smell it baking, and then eat afterwards. and it gives me enough for 3 more meals, which is great for anybody, not just busy grad students. i experimented w/ a variation on a recipe i had made before of baked balsamic chicken, with whole wheat penne and broccoli to go along w/ it. the baked tomatoes made the sauce a little watery, but all in all, it was yum. :D

for someone who likes taking pictures of her food, i could've plated my meal a bit better and gotten some better lighting. but a meal's photogenic-ness doesn't necessarily correlate with its taste, as i've learned.

+ + +

in other eating adventures, last night i met up with stef, a friend from college, and we ventured to casa romero, a quaint mexican restaurant recommended by quyen just off of newbury street. my enchilades verdes were tasty although not wow-making nor necessarily photo-worthy, so i'd say you could find better mexican elsewhere but it becomes worth it with the ambiance of the space itself (low ceilings, blue and white tiled tables, hand-painted animal masks on the walls). we also had ceviche for the first time, which was fresh and tangy but left me wondering what the hype is around it. maybe i need to try it elsewhere.

26 March 2009

2 hours...that's it?

the lemon ricotta pancake is attempting to smile at linda's 2+ hours with me

that's a reference to the amount of time i typically spend "catching up" with someone. now that i'm in grad school and am, for much of the time, removed from pre-mit friends and family, i end up doing quite my fair share of shuttling back and forth between cities and saying "hi's" and "bye's" on the way. i catch brief glimpses of people, encapsulated in a 1.5 to 2 hr. block of time that afterwards makes me think, "glad i got to catch up with that person."

but did we really? it's sad to think 2 hours can make up for the months or even years when you hadn't seen that person at all.

my visits to nyc make that ring particularly true, and my friends can attest to it. i often pack my schedule and end up hopping from one group of people to the next, which not only has become pretty tiring for me, but also makes me feel bad that i can't at least spend more than the requisite 2 hours with someone and chill out in a more relaxed manner.

what i've concluded is that 2 hours is usually enough time (unless the person is a huge talker) to get over the basics of the big milestones or things that have gone on in each other's lives: where you're living now, what you're doing (job/school), relationship status, etc. but then it takes the time beyond those initial 90-120 minutes to figure out how you're really doing, beyond the items that can be easily filled out in a form or online survey. i guess that's the time that starts to really count towards being plugged into each other's lives again, in a more daily sort of way.

but i guess you have to start small and start somewhere.

disclaimer: i love my friends and hope they don't think of themselves as 2 hour- or any number to me, but as genuine people to keep in touch w/ even when i can't see them face to face :) and i treasure any time we spend together, whether it be 2 minutes or 2 years. (cheesy but true)

_ general mood: in anticipation
_ currently (still) reading: the know-it-all by a.j. jacobs
_ finished reading: three cups of tea by greg mortensen
_ just acquired (from dianna): the great divorce by c.s. lewis

23 March 2009

the necessary pit stop

the luxury of leisure: a book, a cup of tea, a fluffy piece of brioche

6pm thursday, march 19th
was a time we were all anticipating, and now it officially came and went w/ that breath of relief announcing the start of spring break :D

well, not that i haven't enjoyed school, since this semester has actually been pretty enjoyable w/ (generally) interesting classes, passionate profs, and weather that hasn't been so bone-chillingly cold. but you know...it starts to wear on you. and the perpetual pile-up of deadlines made it a race to the end. now comes the post-race chill out, although the first couple days of break haven't exactly been the most restful.

friday, our class had a field trip down to new haven to check out yale's architectural marvels. our car never made it all the way there, though, because of a freak accident in which the front left wheel of flo's volvo came off the car: not just the tire, but the entire wheel, axle attachment and all. ?!?!?!! i was waking up from a nap just as the car started wildly rocking back and forth, and it was only thanks to God and flo's awesome driving instincts that brought us to a stop in the highway median rather than into the 18-wheeler next to us or into on-coming traffic.

truly God's hand at work protecting us. the car itself is a mess, but at least all 4 of us were surprisingly and thankfully unscathed. we're still not sure what happened, since it didn't seem like we hit anything. hopefully the insurance company will figure it out soon.

and...w/ all the shake ups from that episode, we weren't exactly in the right frame of mind to sit and sketch perspectives in a museum. instead, we hung out, watched juno, and prepped for the housewarming party to come. it was a lot of fun hanging out w/ studio friends outside of 3-414 (our second "home") and meeting flo and kurt's "real world" friends. their new house is huge and we helped decorate the walls and add some spice to the space:

a height chart... see the difference between "emily woo" and "sausage woo" aka sasa

here be reem, the queen of spoons

by the way, we were given permission to write on the walls...something not everyone gets to do, even as a child! hopefully flo and kurt won't change their minds and consider keeping the wallpaper...too late, anyways.

the rest of the weekend was filled w/ fun times in nyc, visiting study abroad friends, meeting boyfriends, enjoying the sun, and eating new foods (shake shack!). there was a bit of waiting in long lines, but it wasn't so bad this time around.

and now home. phew. i think i might go to bed at the late hour of 10pm.

_ current mood: happy but sleepy

08 March 2009


in anticipation of a hairy next couple weeks with several projects and midterms to come, a quick catch up on some projects that have passed:

one ] [ the portal of translation

i coined the name for our first project, although i don't think my partner minded. here it is, finally, in its lifesized fabricated glory! and how much we ran around trying to find materials for this thing... that is real white oak veneer over steel plate, so it's magnetic w/o seeming so (gasp!).

two ] [ folding paper

this is my design skills instructor's favorite pastime and the subject of his thesis. hence, we've done quite a bit of rhino modeling surfaces and then trying to make paper behave in the same way. here, i was trying to develop units that would nest to create an arch.

three ] [ sound pod

the 2nd project came and went well in the end. the sound pod doesn't look like it could hold books and insulate music listeners inside...but that's what a conceptual model gives you. trust me, i looked at the acoustics and i think it will! (with actual sound proofing instead of air between the slats, of course)

four ] [ field trip
went up to new hampshire to visit the exeter library by louis kahn a couple weeks back - nice break from the city and studio!

five ] [ 1st visitor
brian was up in boston doing some running w/ his alzheimer team, so we finally got to meet up after a year and a half of "i really will visit sometime...really!" it's been a while since we met at masonry camp (ages ago!), but it was fun grabbing a late lunch at brookline diner and hearing his endless apologies for being late.

ok, that's about all i have energy for, for now. daylight savings time!

general mood: sleepy, which i've realized isn't a mood at all
currently listening to: the whirl of my mac's fan, which doesn't keep it very cool

07 March 2009

reduced to a scrawl

this article on the death of handwriting makes me sad... how i love handwritten letters so much more than email and other types of communication! there's just something so nice and personal about a "how're you doing?" in ink and paper. and it just seems to mean much more...possibly because you know it actually took the person some effort to find time to sit down and handwrite as opposed to pounding out a 2-second email reply.

alas. although this reminds me of the 4+ letters i have yet to write back... i will do so soon!

general mood: distracted
currently listening to: a mix of starfield and downhere