Thursday, September 30, 2010

If I miss that 20 midget free for all, I'm gonna be super pissed.

So last Saturday I went to Lark Fest. It wasn't quite what I expected. My bro-in-law had me thinking it was an all weekend booze fest with crazy characters galore. He was only half right. Well, two thirds.

Lark Fest is kind of like the art fair, only bigger. Way bigger. I made a comment about how many people there were, and someone told me "There's actually not a very good turn out this year."

These were my humble attempts at showing how many people were there. There's this great spot about half way down lark street where the street starts to go downhill that would have been a great picture, but I was too short to see over everyone's heads. Oh well.

Anyway, so essentially Lark Fest is really just a craft fair. There were people there selling all kinds of stuff: jewelry, clothes, food, hats.

This is a friend and I wearing these cute little animal hats. They were actually really warm... Anyway, so there was lots of selling and buying and I had yummy pizza from a little joint called Soho Pizza.

There were definitely some characters there, though. I saw my first ever tranny. That's probably not the politically correct term, but whatevs. I don't think this person was particularly worried about it. When I asked if I could take a picture, they were more than happy to pose.

There was also this guy carrying an iguana around. I've actually seen him before. Seriously, I'm positive it was the same guy. He's a very good pet owner, taking his lil iguana out into the world to see the sights.

This isn't a very good picture. Sorry... Anyway, it actually wasn't a little iguana; it was rather large. And it looked like there was a little leash around his neck, so....

Albany also has this population of bottle collecters. By the way, tangent, NY doesn't have a sales tax on food, but they do on things in recyclable containers, like coke. Five cents extra for every bottle. Supposedly it's to motivate people to recycle so they can get their five cents back. I do recycle, but I don't get my five cents back. Anyway, so there are quite a few people around that collect bottles so they can turn them in for the money. You'll see them walking down the street with a cart full of bottles and cans or a giant trash bag. They were out in full force at Lark Fest because there were lots of recyclable containers being disposed of.

Again, this isn't a very good picture. Sorry. Next time I'll take my camera instead of just using my phone. Anyway, that entire cart is full of bottles and cans. I guess if law school doesn't work out, I can always be a bottle collecter.

Albany has a.. um... horse force? Anyway, there were a ton of cops at Lark Fest, but at a few of the intersections, there were cops on horses!Kinda cool, right? There were lots of people there taking pictures of themselves petting the horses. I'm not sure how the police felt about the photo op... still, it was kinda cool to see horse cops, or equestrian force, or whatever.

So Lark Fest was definitely an adventure. I'm glad I went! It was a lot of fun. I didn't buy any of the crafts, but it was fun to look at what was there. There were a lot of different booths with lots of different kinds of merchandise. And Nephi, if you ever come out to Albany in September, I'll take you to Lark Fest. We can take your picture with the tranny. Or the iguana.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wee wee! Pee pee!

Some of the first apps I downloaded on my wonderful phone that I love were news apps. I have NPR, BBC, and the New York Times. When I eat breakfast in the morning, I read the news. I should stop doing that because it just pisses me off.
I read an article today on npr that made me exceedingly angry. The CEO of CNN got fired (that didn't make me angry. I have no personal feelings about the CEO of CNN, although it does suck for him that he got fired. Anyway), so the article talked about how all of the news channels had a dwindling audience but CNN's audience was dwindling the fastest because people are increasingly gaining a preference for news that has been filtered through strong partisan biases. What? Are you kidding me? People would rather be lied to than hear the truth? Seriously? I can't even grasp that concept. Why would you want filtered bullshit rather than facts?
My poor mother has heard me rant about news talk show hosts for ages. I really hate them. Both sides. I hate that they portray themselves as journalists when they're really just entertainment and they deliver news that has been filtered through strong partisan biases and, a large majority of the time, is complete and total bullshit. And now NPR is telling me that's what people want? People want to be lied to, they want news organizations to spoonfeed them bullshit to further the agendas of a few wealthy men? Why would you want that? It's not even self-serving.
If a well-meaning politician announces that he's supporting a bill that says, I don't know, all eggs must come from free-range chickens, and then the egg companies funnel money into a particular news organization and then have those talk show hosts tell you that this politician is trying to turn your children into pot-smoking hippies (instead of the true motivation that, I dunno, free-range chickens are happy and happy chickens make healthier eggs), you'd rather hear the pot-smoking hippie spin? Even though it's stupid, supported by no empirical data, and told to you by someone who is paid by someone who has millions of dollars to gain by keeping their chickens in cages?
That's what npr is saying to me. People would rather hear something that doesn't even make sense then hear the truth and support something that might actually make healthier eggs or whatever the case may be. Why do people want to hear news filtered through strong partisan biases? On both sides. Conservative, liberal, it doesn't matter, if your information is being filtered through that partisan bias, you're being lied to. Why would you want to be lied to? How can we hold our congresspeople accountable and be active members of our own democratic government if we don't know what's really going on because our news organizations are lying to us?
We get so angry when we find out about politicians who are lining their pockets with money from corporate donors. Shouldn't we have the same standard for our news organizations? Journalists play an extremely important role in government. Their job is to make sure we know what the hell is going on, to make sure that the government knows that they can't screw around because if they do, we'll find out (thanks to the journalists) and march through the streets with their heads on a stick. Their metaphorical heads.
I'm tired of it. I'm tired of politicians being self-serving ass holes. I'm tired of news organizations allowing themselves to be overtaken by corporations, wealthy siblings, and oil tycoons. I'm tired of news talk show hosts lying through their damn teeth to spread an agenda that benefits two people and screws the rest of us. Most of all, I'm tired of people believing the bullshit. If everyone took the intitiative, or Heaven forbid journalists actually did their job, to research out a subject and find the facts, it doesn't mean we would all come to the same conclusion. What it does mean, is that we would all have the facts, the truth of the matter, and we could come together as a community to find the best possible solution, one that we could all live with and maybe even be happy about. We could work together, stop worrying about party lines and all that bullshit, and actually work together to make our community - our society - a better place, a place we could all be happy living. What a damn concept.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You better lose yourself in..the moment you own it

The other day, I went to the pharmacy to pick up some drugs (legal ones). It's a little, tiny pharmacy like the ones you see in Law and Order sometimes. It's next to an art exhibit and a movie theater that is totally falling apart. I was walking down the street to my car and realized, holy shit. I live in New York. Sometimes I have those moments, where I realize where I am and what I'm doing. And in that moment, I am happy. I am content. I am found. It sounds sentimental, and I suppose it is, but I'm certain I'm where I'm supposed to be. I don't know what it is Albany has to teach me, something fabulous I'm sure.
I just finished reading a friend's blog. She has a little boy and another one on the way. She wrote a blog about how her son is starting the whole potty train adventure. Then I had one of those "I live on a different planet" moments. The type of moment where I don't wonder how my life would be if I had made different choices. I don't wish I could have a different life. And that brings me to the realization moment: I am where I am supposed to be. And I am happy.
I wish I could say that 'happy' in this instance meant jubilance or everlasting joy. I haven't found my calling yet, but it's somewhere and I'm on the right path. Today, happy means being in that moment, the clarity of the knowledge that flutters throughout my mind and my soul. In that moment, I am who I am supposed to be, who I dream of being. The manifestation of that moment, the certainty that I feel, is freeing and beautiful.
It is ironic that I find clarity in moments when I still have no idea what I want to do with my life. I don't think it matters. Today, I'm sure. I'm sure that I'm supposed to be not just at law school, but at this law school, living in this apartment. And that's enough. Today, I'm right where I want to be, right where I need to be. And I'm happy.

Someone ask me during finals week if I still feel happy.... And bring me a bag of candy corn.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Are You A Fan of Delicious Flavor?

I've been venturing into the world of foreign food a lot since I moved here. I guess I figured if I'm going to be in Wonderland, I might as well try the food. Last night I went to a Vietnamese restaurant. It was pretty good. I would definitely eat there again. I got a chicken salad, so it was pretty basic, but I enjoyed it. It was even aesthetically pleasing!
See? It's like a carrot flower. It was great! Tonight during a little study break, I went to a sushi place with some friends.

Here it is friends, proof that I tried sushi. Ok, I didn't really try sushi; I got California rolls, but they have crab meat in them, so that counts, right? I even tried dipping them in soy sauce. They were awful. My digestive system did not appreciate that particular adventure, all though the edamame (I don't know how to spell it...) was really good. I might even try and make that someday. It seemed pretty simple....

Moral of the story: Vietnamese food=tasty. Sushi=not tasty. In my humble opinion, anyway. So those are my food adventures this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes when I finally try curry!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let it Rock

Hello! Sorry it's been so long since I posted; I've been a little busy, believe it or not. I can't believe I've only been here for three weeks! I feel like I've been in Albany for ages. I think I'm starting to figure life out here. New York is weird. In New Yorkers defense, they all think I'm weird. I still get funny looks, or looks of unabashed shock, when I tell people I'm from Utah. There are some people who are shocked I moved so far away from home, and there are some people who don't try to hide their disdain for someone who is from Utah. I have a friend who went to DC for school and told me she got so tired of the responses she got when she told people she was from Utah. She told me next time she moved out of state she was going to tell people she was from DC. Not me. I'm not ashamed to be from Utah. I love Utah! I'm really enjoying my time in New York. It's such an adventure, everything is so different, but I miss home. And it doesn't matter how far I go, or how long I'm gone, Utah will always be my home. And I'm not ashamed of that. So there.

Anyway, now that I've proclaimed my everlasting love for my home, I can tell you how much I'm enjoying New York. I've always wanted to experience something different from what I've known, and I definitely am experiencing something different from what I've known. I'm used to red rock; I'm not sure these people even have rocks, red or otherwise, just lots of trees. It's pretty though. I'm hoping to get some friends together when the leaves turn and hike some trails in the Adirondacks. In SG, night is quiet and you can see the stars. In Albany, the night is not quiet and everyone gathers on Pearl Street or Lark Street or a few other scattered places around town. Albany is never quiet.

Parking in Albany is atrocious. There is no where to park. Most of the apartments don't even have off street parking. Mostly, that means I walk everywhere. People park on the side of the street, but the streets are so narrow that the parked cars almost make the street into a single lane. Sometimes one car will have to stop and inch over so the other car can get around them. And people just stop in the middle of the road. It's so weird. I've learned not to wait because you never know how long they'll be sitting there. People just go around them, sometimes going into the other lane of traffic (usually there isn't anyone coming). If my car survives my 3 year sojourn here in Albany, it'll be a miracle.

I've had some new experiences here in New York. I went to a gay bar. Not as a patron, I just really had to pee and they had the closest bathroom. I've learned you can't smile at people you don't know here. In SG, I smile or say hello to everyone I pass, you know, just being friendly. Here, though, if I smile at a guy I don't know he thinks I'm hitting on him. They're not super charming. Maybe I'm just hard to please. They say really stupid stuff, and it's just awkward. So, I reserve my smiles for people I know. I feel so unfriendly...

I went to a dance club last night. Admittedly, that's not a "new" experience, but it was my first club in New York. All of the people I went with have either lived or visited New York City, and they all informed me that Jillian's was not a club. We're all gonna go to NYC sometime so they can show me what a real club is. I had fun though. I'm really bad at it, but I love to dance, so I had a blast.

I watched a football game on Thursday night. That was new too; I'm not really into football, but it was fun. There was a lot of excitement in the air. The Saints won, so I guess that's good... Everything here is so much more expensive than it is in Utah (Except internet. Random..) I went to a movie last weekend, and it cost me $10.75! That's $3.00 more than Utah. Holy Shit. And they don't even have a student discount. The nerve.

My classes are constantly offering new experiences. Some of the cases we've been reading are really interesting; some, not so much. Some of them make me really angry, and some fill me with a sense of justice served. In Contracts we read a case where a local union sued United States Steel for breach of contract, among other things (they lost); in Torts we've moved on to false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress (Seriously, you can sue people for that.) We read a case about this poor old man who gets accused of stealing an ascot, but he didn't steal it and sues the store for false imprisonment (he won.) In Civil Procedure, we're reading cases about personal jurisdiction (whether a court has the authority to hear the case based on "presence" or "consent"). We read about a case where Arnold Schwarzzaneger sued some poor schmuck from Ohio for using his image without his consent. The schmuck files a motion to dismiss saying California didn't have personal jurisdiction (He won. Schwarzzaneger then sued him in Ohio. I think they settled).

Anyway, all things considered, I'm really enjoying my time here. I'm meeting new people and trying new things. Everyday brings a new adventure, and I love that. It's hard to be so far from home, though, and sometimes I get really homesick. I love to get news from home! (Translation: Feel free to send me pictures, emails, texts, calls, and/or warm fuzzy thoughts!) In conclusion: I love it here; I really miss home; People think Utahns are weird; I don't give a damn that people think Utahns are weird; I'm gonna rock this city! After it's done rocking me. :)