chilly chily april weather

What a great start to spring, eh? Technically the first day of spring was a few weeks ago on March 20, but if you’ve been in the Northeast, you’d never’ve guessed it. On the first day of April, the weather was beautiful (only a light jacket required). On the second day of April, it snowed (winter coat and snow boots). Since then, the weather’s ranged from the 30s to upper 50s, but it’s expected to hit 75F this weekend.

I know it’s boring to complain about the weather. I know it’s pointless to complain about something that no one has any control over. But it’s so frustrating! Mostly because I keep putting things away (like coats, sweaters, boots) only to have to take them out again, and my tomato plants are getting bigger and are starting to crowd me out of my own apartment.

in your easter bonnet … in the easter parade

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I hope everyone had a happy Easter! Since I last posted, I got a job, I moved, I had family visit, and I joined in on the Easter Parade!

This was actually the first time I’d been to the Easter Parade, but it’s definitely been something I’ve always wanted to do … pretty much ever since I saw the 1948 film Easter Parade. I mean, who doesn’t love Judy Garland? Especially when she sings about walking down Fifth Avenue in Easter bonnets in the Easter Parade … and now I’ve done it! With my sister! Wearing pretty wreaths she made us.

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Technically it’s the New York City Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival, because it’s really all about the bonnets. And it’s really not a parade. It’s more like they just closed a bunch of streets so that people can gather and walk around and take pictures of each other. And although there’s nothing to actually do, it’s still pretty fun. Because New Yorkers are weird. And children are adorable.

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chillin’ on the west bund boardwalk

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It’s spring! Oh my, oh my! The weather these past few days has been amazing. Warm, sunny, vaguely blue skies! My perception of ‘sky blue’ has totally warped during my time in China. If it’s more blue than yellow, it’s blue! And blue-gray totally counts as blue. Yay spring!

Over the weekend I hung out down in the West Bund area and chilled for a bit on the boardwalk. Ah, so relaxing to just sit and stare out at sky and water. Reminds me a lot of Long Island City in the way that it’s technically still city and not too far from the action, but feels like it’s a world away. LIC is so much more awesome, but I’ll take what I can get!

the day of non-working

It’s a holiday! No work! Today is May 1, aka May Day, aka International Workers’ Day, aka Labor/Labour Day. I had heard of May 1 being a holiday, but having grown up in the States, it was always one of those random holidays that barely made it onto the calendar. It was that weird spring holiday where you might leave candy and flowers at your neighbors’ doors (but most don’t).

Well, no candy and flowers here in China. It is a national holiday though, so the work schedule gets all switcherooed to make it a three-day weekend (off Thursday, off Friday, off Saturday, work Sunday). I hear the holiday referred to as Labor Day (and I’ve seen both the American and British spellings), but I just can’t bring myself to call it that. Because Labor Day is the first Monday of September. It’s a goodbye to summer, the last hurrah before school starts, whereas May Day is decidedly a spring deal. So I’ll play the part and say “International Workers’ Day” … but in my mind I’m thinking flowers.

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Image is of a pile of rubble near a construction site in Zhujiajiao, Qingpu District, Shanghai. Construction in China – it’s not progress, it’s a way of life.

a pretty flower, a pretty city

I wouldn’t call Shanghai a pretty city. Despite all the shiny buildings, there’s an overall lack of finesse, a roughness that comes with looking so far into the future that there’s no attention to detail. But sometimes you’ll walk around the city, and despite the whirring madness going on around you – the honking horns, weaving taxis, daredevil e-bikes, pushy pedestrians, and wailing children – you’ll find a sense of peace. It’s the kind of peace that doesn’t come often in one of the world’s largest cities, and seems almost awkward in the context.

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Shanghai, for all its downfalls, has its moments of triumph.

spring … already?

Have you heard the news? It’s basically spring. Already. I’d expect this kind of weather for Texas, but up in New York? Oh wow. It’s been absolutely lovely. Flowers are blooming all over campus, I almost don’t mind going to class. Although when I’m stuck in the library scanning things, then a beautiful outdoors is just taunting.

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in love with purples

While blue is still my favorite color, purple is closing in ranks. I’ve always liked purple, but lately, it’s gained some additional significance over here.

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I have no idea what kind of flowers these are, but they’re blooming ALL OVER THE PLACE. It’s so pretty, there are petals all over the ground and it smells wonderful. Yep, it’s definitely spring here. Spring is probably my favorite season. I can finally break out the tank tops and flouncy skirts.

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Tassels! No, I haven’t graduated yet, but I’m well on my way. I finally plunked down the cash to buy my gown, so now I get to stare at it for the next two months. Excited, nervous, also a little in denial. Does this mean I have to grow up and act like an adult? Sheesh.

I hurt my arm and I’m sort of sick … again. So hopefully staying home, acting like a bum, and catching up on little errands (organizing that stack of papers, mending that hole, et cetera) will do me good. My chocolate stash will surely aid in that.

Happy Easter!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

springtime: a musing

There’s something about sitting outside on a worn wooden bench and rolling a fallen flower petal between your fingers that truly embodies spring.

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Enclosed in a limestone courtyard, the sky is a quiet blue gently sponged with soft whites. The tree branches overhead sway with tame wind gusts and drop petals around. I wore my hair down to feel the wind rustle through the strands, not minding when they get tangled up by my pearl earrings.

Today was such a fantastic day. I’m so glad it’s spring already. To me, this season epitomizes simple happiness. Days like this, I think I’ll never leave Austin.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

spring cleaning

Ah, that time of the year again, when you realize just how much crap you have accumulated. For me, it was mostly papers. Old notes and tests that I always told myself I’d go back and review, but never did and now have no inclination to ever do so. I think the oldest papers were from 2004 … five years! Sheesh, I can be such a pack rat. So I started the long process of going through all my folders and sorting the stuff I wanted to keep (a very small pile indeed) and papers for recycling. The latter stack is about eight inches high and I’m only about half done.

But I also found some pretty cool stuff mixed in with my old school papers. Namely, some black and white images my sister had found in some old book and some old bookmarks that match my summer reading! I borrowed “Mere Christianity” from a friend over a year ago, and since I still haven’t read it and we’re graduating next year, I figure I really need to read it and hand it back. And then my sister bought me “Prodigal Summer”, so I’ll read that. I was just uber-excited because I found both green and gray bookmarks that match the covers! Ah, the simple joys in life.

So yes, I’m supposed to be working on projects and what-not, but I’m cleaning and organizing for the time-being with a lot of planning on the side. Once I get back to my apartment and I start a more normal schedule with school, work, and reading, it’ll probably be easier to set aside some crafting time. Well, that’s the plan. And in even sadder news, froze the hard drive, did nothing, so now I’m kind of screwed. I could shell out for professional recovery of my files, but that costs money which I don’t really have.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]