Today, I’ve been a long time gone


(What beautiful harmonizing and an unexpected pairing from these two musicians!)

After 4 weeks, 3 exams, 2 decidedly unfestive holidays, and 1 lovely visit from my mom, I can finally say that the fall 2013 semester is in the books. I’m already dreading doing it again in May, but I’ll try to just live in the moment for a bit. It’s an odd feeling to be so free – kind of like when I stopped piano lessons after many years, and couldn’t shake that feel of “what am I forgetting?!” when I didn’t practice.

Now, I’m on a full-out media binge (TV shows, books, magazines, music I’ve neglected since October) and making plans for the next 2 weeks of break. Any recommendations to add to the list?

Today, I Remember September

Arkie summed up the state of things well in her last post when she said that life is happening, and it’s all-consuming. September was a stressful month, mostly because school has been a barrage of things to memorize. I’m starting to feel like less of a crazed worrier and more like myself now that there’s a routine and I know what to expect from the classes.

I saw this graffiti over the summer, and it's still humorously resonating with me.

I saw this graffiti over the summer, and it’s still humorously resonating with me.

Poster child for healthy living ... Rina and I shared some potato chips, cookies, and caffeine drinks (sugar free!) while reviewing before class.

Poster child for healthy living …
Rina and I shared some potato chips, cookies, and caffeine drinks (sugar free!) while reviewing before class.

The Basic Science Building is a bright place to study if there's a free table and not too many around.

The Basic Science Building is a nice, bright place to study if there’s a free table and not too many people around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The autumnal chill is in the air, and I can’t say I share Jarkie’s enthusiasm for the season (summer ftw!), but I will concede that it’s nice to bundle up at home with a warm beverage and books.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
-L.M. Montgomery

(Any other Anne of Green Gables fans among you? Top 5 childhood classic right there!)

Today, I’m leaving on a jet plane

… not sure when I’ll be back again, but I hope it will be soon. All my bags are not packed and I’m not ready to go either, but there we have it.

I’ve prepared some music and reading to distract me from the cramped quarters and stale cabin air.  What do you like to do during flights? Sometimes, I watch the in-flight shows and movies provided, but I prefer to come with entertainment of my own. Here’s what I have ready for today:


Garrison Starr’s appropriately titled album, The Girl That Killed September (2007) from Noisetrade, a site with music from tons of great independent artists. Starr’s 2012 album Amateur was one of my favorites from last year. Check her out if you like Brandi Carlile with a little more pop.

 

 

CuckoosCallingCover
This classic detective mystery only came to my attention when Robert Galbraith was revealed to be a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling.  Obviously, you’ve all read the Harry Potter series, otherwise we wouldn’t be friends (kidding, mostly).  The Casual Vacancy was great, too. I wish I could have stumbled upon it with less bias to have been part of the experiment.

If you’re in the U.S., have a happy Labor Day!

Today, I look back on the year [of blogging].

What a year! I’d toyed with the idea of blogging several times, beginning with my middle-school Xanga (remember those? eprops if you do!), but I guess it took a group effort supported by the -arkies to make it a reality.

Thanks to them and to our readers! Since we started, 365 “todays” ago, this blog has documented our transition from university life into the exciting, sometimes scary, chaos of the post-grad world. There have been new starts, false starts, heartbreak, tasty recipes, new faces, old places, all accompanied by a healthy dose of beauty reviews, football matches, and royal baby news.

Here are some of my personal favorites:
Arkie’s love note to Philly got me all sentimental about a city I barely know, and I so wanted to be at the get-together at the beginning of the summer.

Markie was often on the road this year; reading about her back-to-back trips nearly gave me whiplash! She’s always been a mother hen at heart, though, so it’s no surprise that her nesting habits kicked into high gear to compensate, resulting in lots of baking. She’s also taught me how soccer and life are sometimes the same thing.

Jarkie’s exuberance for food and skin care are fundamental themes of our blog. She was making wonton long before I did 🙂

Here’s to another year!

All aboard!

Phoster by Gail

Phoster by Gail

Part I of my summer – chillaxing and getting to know Budapest as a tourist – is over! At this point, school seems like a distant memory.

On Wednesday, my mom and aunt joined Gail and me. I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel and just be with all of them.

Tomorrow morning, the four of us are taking a train to Munich for the weekend, and then it’s on to Part II of the summer – summer nursing practice in Frankfurt. I haven’t been to Germany in a decade, despite the close ties I maintain with a few people there. Can’t wait to update you from Deutschland. Bis dann, meine Lieben 🙂

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Runnin’ ‘Round Town

My cousin Gail arrived on Tuesday, and we have been exploring Budapest. Wednesday, on our first full day together, we saw the Opera House, Basilica, Vaci utca, Déak ter, and that general area. It was my first time up close to the Basilica, and it is beautiful! Unfortunately, the lift was broken, so I couldn’t go in. We were out during the hottest part of the day, and by the time we got back, the heat had sapped our energy. Having learned our lesson, we started out in the late afternoon yesterday (oh yeah, also because I forgot to charge my wheelchair batteries overnight. tsk tsk), and ventured to Keleti train station to buy tickets, Heroes’ Square, the City Park, and the Szechenyi baths.

“Photos or it didn’t happen!” you say … well, luckily for me, Gail is a great photographer, so I will wait for her to upload her pictures. Here are just a few:

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Some other interesting sights along the way:
– a Chinese hot pot restaurant
– part of the Berlin Wall on Andrassy utca
– guys doing bike tricks on Heroes’ Square

The more I see of Budapest when visitors come, even though it’s often the same sites, the more I grow to appreciate its charm and beauty. More soon!

You don’t change the city
The city changes you

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See You Later, See You Soon

We’ve been sweating it out in the heat and doing major packing this weekend. My possessions are divided into “will need this summer” & “staying in BP”, most of them falling into the latter category so as not to lug them around for the next two months. Even though I won’t be leaving the city until the end of June, I’m putting things in storage this week at Anna’s cousin’s house. It was very kind of her to offer the space (and save me 2 months’ rent!); I hope she won’t regret it when she sees just how much STUFF I’m handing over.

Other than that, it’s been a social weekend – 3 outings in as many days! I guess I can’t claim hermit status anymore.

On Friday, I went to Gerbeaud, Budapest’s most famous café, for the first time. It’s in a beautiful part of the city teeming with tourists, and priced accordingly. Four of us shared this sampler platter:
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Then, we walked around for a bit on Vaci utca before heading home. Budapest is radiant in the summer sun.

Yesterday, five of us had dinner at The Big Fish, billed as “the only restaurant in town that offers fresh seafood, made in front of you”. It was excellent, and I’m definitely planning on returning to try the paella, which was sold out (a common occurrence, apparently). The only blight on the meal was an injured pigeon in the middle of the sidewalk behind us. It had a broken leg and was trying to launch itself to a safer corner, which it ultimately did, but seeing it suffer was terrible.

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There’s been an undercurrent of goodbyes as we part for the summer months, but we’ll be back at the books before we know it.

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