Monday, November 5, 2012

The Weight of Love

I like the feel of being by myself, whether I’m calm or angry or sad.
I like being in a room and letting my emotion bounce off the walls in waves of heat. 
I like the feeling of wrapping my arms around myself, as if I’m holding myself together.
I like cracking the window open to listen to the rain, and letting myself cool off.
I like the cool of the sheets when I crawl into bed,
         and I like heating them up with friction by swishing my legs back and forth.
I like the simple things, like flowers, and fallen leaves.  
I like holding a pillow close, to sooth my aching heart.
I like painting and writing poetry, and tearing out pages from gaudy magazines to make crafts.
I like cleaning out my fishbowl,
         and I like the feeling I get when my fish swirls his fins in the new water afterwards. 
I like swinging at the park, and taking walks alone.
I like making toast and the crunchy sound it makes when I eat it.
I like the feel of a warm sweater, right as I pull it from the dryer.
I like sipping hot chocolate while my nose is cold and red from the chill of snow.
I like pumpkin pie, but only on Thanksgiving.
I like brushing my long hair to make it feel soft and smooth.
I like writing thank you notes, and sending letters in the mail.
I like dipping my toes in the pool, while deciding whether or not I’ll jump in.
I like hiking to the top of a mountain, and soaking up the view.

And by saying I “like” these things, instead of love,
(No matter how great they are)
The weight of the word LOVE is greater
And saved from being marred.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fall, a Book & Ice Cream

I took the bus downtown today to a job interview.  It went pretty well and I think that lady liked me well enough, but what I liked most about taking a trip downtown, was taking the trip back. 

I ended up getting off the bus in Queen Anne, and I walked over to Kerry Park, where I took a few pictures of the skyline and then sat to read The Giver.  I haven’t read it since 6th grade but I remembered loving it so I bought it used off Amazon.  (The used ones are the best since the pages are already crisp and smell a little dusty.) I’m already plowing through it at a phenomenal speed and it reminds me a bit of Thomas More’s Utopia.

I ended up pulling a bit of a Belle.  After I realized reading at Kerry Park wasn’t going to work to well, due to the various tourists having loud conversations around me (funny to think I used to be one of those), I picked up my book and began walking back to school.  Except I didn’t stop reading.  I kept reading, while I walked, and my nose was buried deep in my book. 

I wish I could say the leaves romantically crunched underneath my feet, but they more so squished than anything, due to how much rain we’ve been getting recently.  Regardless, it was still beautiful and hardly cold enough for a coat.

Follow me on Instagram @ea_carlson
At one point I remember looking up the street and seeing Molly Moons, a local ice cream shop with wonderful homemade ice cream.  I couldn’t resist walking in there and buying myself some, so I did just that.  Good ice cream is one of my week spots and I think I could eat it nearly every day if I had access to it.  My great-grandfather eats a bowl of ice cream every day and he’s 98 and still going strong.  Guess I know who I got my sweet tooth from.

After I purchased my ice cream, I put my book away and ate delicious mint ice cream as I walked back to school.  The temperature was perfect and I loved every moment of spending precious time on my own. 

I’ve realized that when I get time on my own, I’m happier and more willing to spend quality time with other people.  So today I took myself on a walk, with a book and ice cream.

Now I’m a happy girl.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Liquid Gold

Back home, my mom used to make me fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning before I left for school.  There were quite a few times when I didn’t finish it, either because I was rushed or I didn’t want to. 

Now, I look back on my high school self and wonder, what in the world was I thinking?

At school it’s rare to get truly fresh food.  Sure, the fruit is supposed to be “fresh” but a lot of the time it’s mediocre and probably pretty cheap. 

Except for the oranges. 

If you have the patience to peel one of those things it’s pretty delicious. 

Do I have the patience?


If I eat an orange it’s because Will took the time to peel one and I simply stole a couple slices.

I can’t believe it took me so long (more than a school year) to remember how often I used to have fresh squeezed orange juice at home.  And I suddenly had the most brilliant idea I’ve had in a long time.

Buy a juice maker!

The exact juice maker I bought...
I love it.
When it arrived in the mail a couple days later I couldn’t wait to try it, and I had a stock of oranges in my room since I grabbed a couple every time I ate in Gwinn.  After I unpacked the juicer and cleaned it, I grabbed my roommate’s knife and began slicing oranges in half, then pushing the individual halves down on the squeezer to extract the juice.

The juicer happens to make a terrible grinding noise when the top part turns to remove the juice, and when Taylor walked into the room she asked, “Is your printer choking??”  Dwight, my printer, has been known to chew up paper before and it actually makes a pretty similar sound.

I just laughed and showed her the juicer, and after I had squeezed 6 or 7 I was able to pour a glass for her and myself.  I’ll admit that I paraded my juice around a bit and showed other people, but I also promised to make them some as well. 

A couple days later I texted my friend Sarah, who was in Gwinn, and asked if she would grab me a couple oranges and have the other girls with her grab some as well.  When they walked into my room, oranges in hand, they asked, “What are you going to use all of these for?”

“To make fresh squeezed orange juice!” I told them. 

“Oh.  We thought you were going to give them to the boys so that they could throw them off the balcony.”

Their assumption is understandable.  The boys occasionally do things like that, especially because they are called the Orange Men, so it’s rather fitting.  Never will I give the boys oranges to throw off the balcony when I can turn them into juice. 

The $18 I spent on the juice maker is possibly some of the best money I’ve ever spent.  Every day I try to grab a couple oranges when I’m in Gwinn.  One day I managed to sneak out 8 in my backpack, which I will never do again because carrying all that weight up Ashton hill was a lot harder than I expected. 

The point is, as long as I’ve got fruit, I’ll have fresh juice.

My brother referred to it as “liquid gold”, which I would agree is very true.  

Follow me on Instagram @ea_carlson

I Don't Always Clean My Room, but when I do...

I possibly just experienced the least productive day of my life.  Everything this morning was scheduled out perfectly and I was going to be right on track, but it all changed when I got a phone call during class.  After I got out of class I listened to the message on my phone, then called the lady back.  “Sure,” I said.  “Moving the interview to Friday at the same time will work just fine for me.” 

Changing the interview time for a job downtown meant I had three more hours of time to spare, so I kicked off my boots, climbed up onto my bunk bed, and snuggled under my cover while I watched an episode of Hart of Dixie.  (Let me tell you, watching the pilot episode of that TV show on Netflix is going to be the death of me, because now I’m outright addicted no matter how bad the acting may be.) 

Before I knew it, it was lunchtime, so I unwound myself from my cocoon and scrambled off my bed to grab some left over spaghetti out of the fridge.  People tell me it’s terribly unhealthy to warm up food in Tupperware containers since they’re plastic, but I do it anyway.  After my food had been nuked for a solid 2 minutes I climbed back into bed and watched another episode of my show.  As soon as that one finished I knew I had to start studying but, like any normal procrastinating college student, I had to check FB first. 

Which meant that I saw a post on my floor wall from one of the girls reminding the rest of us that the floor had to be decorated for Ashton Haunted Ball, which was occurring in 5 hours.  Other floors had started decorating a couple days ago. 

Let me tell you how much time we had invested into decorating.


So I took it upon myself, instead of studying, to walk down the hallway and pick up a wad of cotton “spider web-making” material to help aid in the decorating process.  For a solid hour I worked on my own, stringing spider web around the elevator and throughout the hallway.  Then a couple other girls joined me in the decorating process and I got sucked even further into it.  I couldn’t just leave after I had already done so much. 

Around 4pm I called it quits and went back to my room to study and get ready to go to dinner with my dad. 

I ended up cleaning my room instead.  Ironically, my roommate posted this photo on my wall right as I was in the middle of the cleaning process and it couldn’t have been more correct.

*sigh* I was wasting time away and I knew it. 

Needless to say, I didn’t study.  When my dad showed up (flowers in hand!) I took him through my hall, introducing him to various people and then I walked him to the guy’s side to show them that they had decorated for Halloween… with a Christmas theme.  They even had a TV, playing a never-ending clip of a crackling fireplace.  The last time I saw one of those was in a nursing home.

My dad and I left after a bit and drove to Ballard to find a restaurant I had chosen online, called “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, which is apparently named due to an Alice and Wonderland reference.  When we walked in and discovered it was a 45-minute wait we put our names on the waiting list and walked down the street to eat dessert at “Hot Cakes”

Delicious.  Always has been. 

We walked back to the restaurant and a blissful night of eating ensued.  When I eat real food it’s as if my stomach is a bottomless pit and I think I can proudly say I might have eaten just as much, or more, than my dad did.  We made sure we documented every food we tried on Forkly, a wonderful iPhone app that I highly recommend.  (If you want to read about my dad's last visit to Seattle, nearly a year ago, read Eating Happiness.)  

After dinner I got back to my room around 9:30pm since my dad and I first went to Will’s room to say hello.  They talked a lot about sports, no surprises there, and I would occasionally try to interject with something slightly smart and knowledgeable sounding.  Compared to most girls, I know a lot more about sports.  But, when a hearty conversation about terrible team-management is occurring between two guys, it’s hard to get a word in. 

So, eventually I get back to my room.  Did I study?  A little bit.  But a lot of other things happened within the span of three hours that were pretty distracting, and most of them won’t be served justice in a few words so I’ll save myself the trouble of trying to summarize.  After all, it was Halloween and no one wanted to settle in for a normal night. 

Welcome to my college life.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Returning in Style (or Trying)

Anyone you ask who knows me well could probably tell you I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl.  There’s not much to my fashion beyond that and when I went to SPU for my freshman year (a year ago now) I often felt like a total scrub in comparison to some of the other girls there.  I’ve never been one to really care about what others thought of me fashion wise and I paraded through the year in my jeans and my t-shirts and my sweatshirts and sweatpants.

I even wore a pair of plaid pajama pants to class one morning and then to lunch and I got a ton of compliments from different guys about how cool they were.  I’m pretty sure the girls thought I was out of my mind though and after that I didn’t wear them out in public anymore. 

I didn’t realize how into fashion Seattle is in general and after a certain amount of time I got to the point when I decided I kind of wanted to look really cute some days too.  Sure, I dressed up really nicely if I ever went on a date with Will or out somewhere special with friends, but otherwise I didn’t really bother very much.  At least in my mind I hardly tried. 

When spring in Seattle hit it was as if the clouds were producing sundresses instead of raindrops since they seemed adorn every girl on campus.  The few sundresses I owned had been left at home since I had no idea that 70 degrees in Seattle was basically considered sundress weather, or summer for that matter. 

Let’s just say I finally decided it was time to add some clothing improvements to my closet.  This summer I bought a new pair of boots, some new jeans, new cardigans, scarfs, and lots of different things that could be layered.  I even bought some new dresses!  My mom spent a lot of time shopping with me this morning and she helped me pick new things out.  I had a lot of fun spending some time with her before I head off to school and even she bought a new sweater for the fall. 

I feel like I’m ready to return to Seattle in style.  Sure, I’m going to have a lot of days when I dress like my casual self and forget what the word makeup means but at least I know I’ll have options if I ever feel like looking cute.  (It seems like people hardly recognize me when I really try, which makes me laugh a little.) 

One more day of packing tomorrow and then I’m returning to my college home!