Tuesday, August 11, 2015


If you ask my dearest friend how she normally spends her day, you’d receive a sarcastic phrase you’d more likely expect from a seventeen-year-old narcissistic jock who spends his/her Saturday nights completely inebriated rather than a petite Buddhist attending Barnard college this fall. These obscenities I’d rather not publish. However, she is willing to alter her response to make this interview more reader-friendly. She asks, “Is this is school day? A summer day? A work day? What kind of day?” Pause. “Is this day characterized by self-loathing? Or is it a productive day?” My normal response would be, “Your choice,” but as she is as indecisive as I am, I must offer, “The ideal.”

It is as follows:

“I wake up at the sound of the first mourning dove. Time to catch the sunrise. (Did you catch the mourning dove bit? That part’s really important.)  I make myself a steaming mug of hot cocoa with four marshmallows and drink it whilst lounging on the front porch. Before my family has a chance to use all the hot water, I take a steaming shower, cleansing myself for a new day.” And this is just morning. “I don’t eat breakfast. Because I’m a punk.” She misses her mouth on the straw to her smoothie.

“After eating lunch and making sure I am adequately clothed and primped for the day, I gather my backpack consisting of one to two books, my wallet, coin purse, sunscreen, and whatever else is within reach, and hop on my bike for my day’s adventures… Adventures ensue.”

She pauses.

“I come home late enough for me to be in danger of being hit by a car because my bike does not have headlights-generally around eleven o’clock pm. I then plop down and converse with a comrade on snapchat-still in my clothes. Once all my friends have gone to sleep and I have spent some time reflecting on the mysteries of the universe… I sleep. [and to me, “I keep this PG, right?]” Yes. And you succeeded with flying colors. Thank you. Good God, thank you.

As aforementioned, she’s running off to college-ten. Hours. Away. Within the next two weeks (give or take a day), I’ll be joining her on her one-way jourIMG_7488ney to the bustling city of New York. My journey, however, will be a round trip. I’m doing the best I can to enjoy her presence while I can still see her in ways that don’t involve her electronic likeness. Today, this involved a jaunt downtown GRap on a mission to return Maija’s hordes of books she had to return. Little did I know that this was the main reason she suggested we venture into the city, but I tried my best to not feel like I was being used took her choice of me as a chauffeur as a compliment, and we stopped at a couple places between dropping off her books and our diversion of our course to attend Swing:

Madcap Coffee:

Reko Coffee: Delicious, multi-faceted, and nearly twenty bucks if you want twelve ounces of it to take home and brew yourself. Gee whiz.
Reko Coffee: Delicious, multi-faceted, and nearly twenty bucks if you want twelve ounces of it to take home and brew yourself. Gee whiz. (It’s worth it, though.)

Another close friend of mine, Kate, recently brought me here. It was a completely new experience, and although I had heard incredible things about their coffee, they make it… and they serve it. No nothing, nada. Kate is more of a coffee connoisseur than I, so her taste buds were stronger than my uncultured ones and I had to drown the poor thing in cream from the carafe on the table in the corner of the room.  This time, however, I found my tastebuds to have bulked up, and I rather enjoyed the roasted bean water as it was-until I caved and had to cool down the drink with a splash of cream. Maija, ever the aware, preferred her health-conscious smoothie beverage she had had earlier to my highly-caffeinated ‘wake up so you can dance” beverage, and let me enjoy the cuppa joe on my own.

Vault of Midnight: 

The comic industry is alive and well, folks; and it smells like freshly printed paper and flowers.
The comic industry is alive and well, folks; and it smells like freshly printed paper and flowers.

Prior to visiting Vault of Midnight, I had presumed that those who spoke of reading comics had purchased expensive rarities that were decades old from eccentric collectors in dusty shops and in the far-off corners of the internet. This place revolutionized my way of thinking. Never have I ever seen so many crisp copies of gorgeously illustrated pieces of literature. Even if you’re not into the genre, you can’t deny that this truly is an art form. I can draw a slightly-better-than-average stick figure at best; a cool eye if I try; an entire face (quality pending) if I dedicate 9+ hours to something that I vibe well with. That doesn’t happen more than once every two years. These graphic artists dedicate every single day to illustrating these books. Then, it’s up to a colorist to choose which hues compliment each other and characterize the illustrations as best they possibly can. Not to mention the STORYLINES-and I don’t even read comics. I’ve picked up a graphic-novel-ified Maximum Ride book or two in my day, but I’m not a loyal comic book reader. Props to those who are dedicated and appreciate those who create what they read. (Note: If you’re 21+, VoM is holding a speed dating event this September. The link to the FaceBook page is underlined-go find your WonderWoman/SuperMan.)

After I successfully downed my whitewashed darkness in a cup and Maija purchased pages of art with words on them, we maneuvered our behinds to SWING. It was my second time. It was her hundred and something-th. Girl’s been going since she was a wee child. Has taught me the very little I can do. She does it so much better-and with good reason.

This specific gathering was different, though. Swing is either held at Rosa Parks Circle, Ah-Nab-Awen Park, or the Blue Bridge. Tonight’s was held at the former. A plethora of human beings crowded around to dance with one another, and, though Maija and I ended up leaving early due to space constraints, we stayed long enough to witness a phenomenal proposal by a friend of hers. Luckily enough, the video is on the internet. The best of tidings to you two!

Posted by Firestorm Photography & Productions on Tuesday, 11 August 2015

As I said, Maija and I got out of dodge awhile before swing wrapped up. It just wasn’t our scene-normally the energy of crowds is something I believe both of us feed off of, but tonight’s was just a tad too stifling.

All in all, my eyes were opened to new worlds, and I consider today a major success.

Much love,


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