The $7/Day Challenge

August 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

August has been a terribly expensive month for me.

That’s a little bit of an understatement. It has been crazy/scary expensive. I finally tallied up everything I’ve spent money on, and it’s such a huge chunk of my savings and the most I’ve ever spent in a single month in my entire life by far. This was kind of expected because tuition was included that amount, but still, it’s a bit shocking. I also had a brokers fee and a rent deposit and a bunch of household items and furniture that I had to spend money on, but even the amount I spent on food, which is much more under my control, was mind-blowing. And, not to mention, way over budget.

This calls for drastic measures. And a little bit of a challenge. For the entire month of September, I am going to try to spend no more than $7 per day on food. That’s $49 per week, and $210 for the month, which includes groceries and eating out combined. While keeping up running. Anyway, running coach Joe Vigil suggests that while training you should eat like a poor person, right? Seven dollars per day isn’t too meager. And it’ll be so much easier once I can get over the fear of keeping food in my refrigerator (arriving tomorrow!) and kitchen cabinets. Until then, I’ll be trolling Union Square to find cheap places that provide me with the highest nutritional value per limited dollar.

I will keep you updated on my progress. Wish me luck!

P.S. Best diet plan ever.



August 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Maybe I could just eat out every single day and never have to deal with the kitchen. Maybe I could stay at the computer labs til 1:30 am (yes, they do open that late) and return to school at 8 the next morning. Maybe I will become so beaten down by the semester that this whole ordeal will seem insignificant in comparison.

One can dream, right?

I think the both of us will start to go a little batty. We are going to become paranoid clean freaks and have to toughen up a lot. Or move. Maybe we could invest hundreds of dollars in millions of boxes of boric acid roach traps to fill every cubic inch of drawer and cabinet space until they finally go away. Or maybe we could find little pest-free bubbles to live in. Yes, I think that would be very nice.

Yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck. I am such a wimp!

Settling in.

August 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hello again, dear readers! Just a quick entry to prove that I haven’t abandoned this blog again. I’ve been keeping myself busy with orientation week and getting my new apartment together little by little. It’s coming along, though my roommate and I are wrestling with a few hurdles along the way–our fridge doesn’t shut or keep milk fresh, we won’t be getting our mailbox key by the end of the month, and we’re afraid to eat or cook or store food in the apartment because we’ve been sharing the space with some uninvited six-legged “friends”–but, you know, our power outlets work, the shower functions, the neighborhood is safe and A and I get along really well, so things could definitely be worse! Traps have been set, the exterminator comes Monday, and hopefully the rest of the issues will get resolved shortly afterward. I’ve finally set up all my furniture in my bedroom, though, which is fantastic. No pictures yet, because our lack of internet has me typing up this entry on my phone.

I have a zen-like patience and positive attitude about all of this because, hey, I’m in New York.

Parsons is amazing. Every cent I’m paying in tuition appears to be put to good use, and it is so nice to be going to a school that isn’t poor. There are plenty of labs with 24″ computer monitors, different types of printers, and laser and plasma cutters in case I want to, you know, cut through inch-thick pieces of sheet metal. I get access to the libraries in NYU and Cooper Union, entry into museums like MOMA, lifetime career services and a server to host my own website lasting even after I graduate… and faculty that is dedicated to pushing us to achieve more and more and more all the time. Some of the projects that I’ve seen coming out of Parsons are so innovative and inspiring: there’s one called the “Eyewriter” that allows people who are paralyzed to continue to create artwork on a special computer program using their eye movement. I am so psyched to start classes on Monday, so ready to struggle and bleed through the semester and come out alive and kicking, so glad that I chose this school to attend and, yes, so going to train to PR at Boston while all of this is going on.

New York, I love you.

Brooklyn Bridge

August 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Visit No. 1 of Many

A Lazy Day, or Pre-Weekend Funk

August 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Figure 1

It’s a little unsettling how quickly an afternoon turns into evening without your having anything to show for it, when you wake up so late.

My indolence is tumbling me downhill like a snowball without emergency brakes. This can happen so easily when you have no roommate to hold you accountable for your actions, or lack thereof. Like, for not doing anything productive and instead walking around the apartment in your underwear, listening to 80’s pop while eating cookies in bed with your head still reeling from the previous night’s insomnia hangover, as I like to call it. Please tell me I’m not the only one who this kind of thing happens to.

If I allow this to go on, I will die fat and alone, and sat upon by rogue cats. (See Figure 1.)

Anyway, tomorrow will be different and better, I promise. I promise to myself, to my parents, to the great force that makes the Earth spin so responsibly on its axis, to those inspirational people in my life who set such a good example for me,* to everyone who has wished me good wishes and given me monetary and moral and emotional support, to everyone who is looking for me to succeed and has provided the sacrifices and generosity so that I can make it all happen. Don’t worry. You have my word. I will make this right and will peg away at my studies with a devotion that few will rival. Because this is what I’ve come here to do.

And on that note, here’s a little teaser for my next entry. Stay tuned:

An afternoon on Orchard Street

August 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

or, “Book Love”

This afternoon I went with my roommate Albert and his cousin Asuka to the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. We took a tour inside one of the buildings and learned about life conditions for Irish immigrant families during the 1860’s. It was really fascinating to see the layout of the buildings, the various designs of the wallpapers layered on top of each other throughout the years, and the places where children would scribble their names with pencil. But I also to appreciate what a difference in lifestyle we have now—we don’t have to worry about chalk and water and ammonia being mixed into the milk we buy, electricity and plumbing are an integral part of building setups, and rent does not make up half of a single person’s income. I think that when the internet on my cell phone fails me from time to time, I’ll be able to deal with it a little more cheerfully.

On a different note, isn’t the Tenement Museum logo simply marvelous? I love it! The placement of the letters is so graphic… and I’m liking their website design, too.

And while I was perusing the gift store before our tour began, I came across this gorgeous book:

I’ve never read it, but I’d definitely heard of it, and I was drawn to it by the little blurbs about it on the book flaps. But the design—oh my goodness. I was infatuated and desperately in love with it from the moment I felt the cover in my hands and gazed at the illustration on the front.

Everything about this book design delights me—where can I begin?? I love how the cover isn’t glossy like most books, but instead feels so soft and organic and touchable. And then there’s the beautiful debossing on the trees and swirls and type, the magnificent color palette, the rough edges of the pages (which is a detail that I adore), and the way the book jacket folds in as though for a hard-cover book despite it being a paperback. So many exquisite details, and all without even turning a single page! But then you do, and the text is set in such an elegant typeface (I wish I could identify it!) that works equally beautifully in such a choice variety of styles, in such a graceful point size and leading. I don’t know if I’ve ever worshiped any book that wasn’t a cookbook like I do this one.

Seriously, if anyone ever wonders how on earth actual tangible books will continue to sell after the invention of the Kindle or whatnot, this book is your answer. Yes, I am crazy and totally geeked out right now, but this book is the reason why you buy books instead of simply borrowing them from the library.

The cover design, by the way, is by Mary Schuck, senior art director at Harper Perennial. Brava!


August 16, 2010 § 4 Comments

Hello, dear friends! I wrote three checks today and signed the lease for my first New York apartment this afternoon! I’m a Queens girl now, and Ridgewood will be my new home. I think it’s a good set-up for me and my roommate Amber, rent is much less than what I originally was planning on paying, and just look at this delicious 20-mile route conveniently located in my vicinity!

The timing is very nice. After a week of stressful and tiresome search after search, it’s good to finally have things settled. I move in next week, at the start of orientation week at The New School, and then I begin classes the week after that. Perfect, isn’t it? In the meantime, I can kick back and enjoy myself for a bit, run as far and long into Central Park as my heart desires and my legs allow (still working on conquering this humid climate), and maybe even… enjoy this wonderful city a bit more? Explore with my digital camera and get into design mode?

Yes. I think that is a fine idea.

And now, little treats for your entertainment and pleasure.

Where Am I?

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