Tuesday, August 31, 2004

transpired, an interesting dream. perhaps it was provoked by the total physical and metaphorical absorption yesterday (crowded and sweaty orientation events, meandering and observing the eclectics of cambridge, yielding to comforting numb of the swimming pool).

i dreamt that i was in my room in sidpac, and i woke up to hear some noises. i got up, and saw that my roommate's room was ajar, and there were people in the bathroom, all sort of busying and giggling. karen's not supposed to be back until next week, i thought. then once they realized they were spotted, the friends all hastily hid their business and karen popped out. we wanted to surprise you; we've been planning your arrival ceremonies. apparently this was a sort of festive welcome ritual of sorts, something fun and extravagant. puzzled but pleasantly surprised, i walked back to my bedroom, and everything was rearranged for some sort of exhibition. there were props around, my bedsheets were changed, and all my belongings were packed and shifted around. the people skittered about, trying not to let me see what they were doing. don't worry, i cant see anything without my glasses anyway. then i freaked out, you guys are moving everything around. where are my glasses? scattered on tables were all sorts of accessories, other people's glasses and jewelry and knickknacks... it took me and many friends a while to seek my own out. i crawled back into bed, and then i felt myself being lifted (hydraulically?) up, while liquid cheese dripped from the ceiling. then a scavenger hunt of sorts began as i picked up some scribbled clues, leading on to more complex notes, colored graphic novels transcribed on thin tissue paper. i couldn't believe all of this had been done on my behalf. i loved the welcome, total turnaround confusion with all its messy intricacies, an initiation to remember.

then, i woke up.

my room was getting light, approaching 8 am. i stumbled to my feet, and looked on my nightstand for the reliable spot.

my glasses had disappeared.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

four swift changes observed:

1. the abercrombie and fitch in harvard square is finally gone! yay for the incoming greenies.
2. the mbta has put ridiculously huge signage up, pointing visitors and commuters to the right direction, courtesy of a large pseudo retro handpainted font (similar to the cambridge city hall announcement boards). i do adore the quirkiness of the city hall signs, in streaks of obsolete green and festive exclamation marks; but the subway signs are too big, too loud, and too tacky.
3. cocoon, my beloved stylish home decor store downtown on tremont street, is no more! as i saw the usual lush displays now transformed into bare vacancy, i could not deny my grief. [http://www.cocoonhome.com/] please tell me it's moved on to a posher location, say, south end or newbury. otherwise, i will miss it dearly!
4. the korean restaurant in central square on pearl street (whose windows display its house specials unappetizingly rendered in faded plastic) has departed, replaced soon by a thai place. i'm crossing my fingers for cheap and spicy! (i am what i eat...)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

here i am, sitting in my 8th floor apartment at the corner of sidney and pacific. on my left are cherry-red plastic boxes overflowing with books, sweaters, and an embarassing number of disposable chopsticks. on my right, the cambridge horizon unfurls its splendor; from central square and beyond, i can see the towers of my harvardian past, their tops poking proudly into the sky with shiny spires and bright colors.

i can see the sunset from here.

my day began at 4:30am, wide-awake in the softness of dark, a combination of excitement for the return trip to cambridge and some lingering jet-lag. i did most of the driving today, save for a two-hour hiatus when my parents forced me to rest. otherwise, i happily cruised to downtempo beats while my parents snored in tandem. tucked in breakfast at friendly's... nothing like eggs, ham, french toast, and pancake (in the singular) to wash down the coffee. lunch was a surprise discovery, an italian restaurant labeled "NINO'S", adjacent to the local motel 8. not terribly promising at first glance, but the pasta (handmade!) was magnificent. our gemelli with chicken and mushrooms tasted vaguely chinese-foodish, but we didn't mind in the least. a new foodie discovery: serving a tiny sliver of lemon peel along with a demitasse of espresso. why? the addition of rind counterbalances the acidity of the coffee. i thought i knew everything there was to know about food, but i'm relieved to realize there is so much more in store!

now that i'm here, everything seems alien and familiar at once. mass ave bustles and tempts with bookstores and fresh naan. but i live in new dorm with glass-lined industrial park styling and no grandiose staircases and antiqued leather. i'm rapidly reuniting with my friends from cambridge and boston. yet i'll be meeting an enormous number of new people, which will be emotionally challenging to manage. i used to associate being at school with relating intimately with jim, but now... again, it is different.

to undergo the metamorphosis.

hello, world.

yes, she is back.

for those of you who have noted countlessly again and again that my blog has been terribly ill-maintained (i can reassure you that senior year did indeed occur, whether it was apparent from the online observer or not), i have chosen to resurface and right (write?) the wrongs of my neglect. after a wonderfully jet-setting summer of exploration (both geographical and personal), i am ready to face the next step. not only mit (cambridge-or-bust commences in t-minus-367 minutes!) but also engaging myself in fresh faces and family traces.

only arriving home from shanghai two days ago, i've been taking tiny bites of myself and packing them into oblivion once again. stowed letters, old cds, pink shirts, everything turned inside-out and rustled as i manage to transport all my belongings to cambridge. it's comforting to know your material life fits nicely into a four-door sedan.

aim for non-linearity. on screen and on street.

this evening i flipped through some old photographs of my mother, in class poses from kindergarten to the first years of college. they're black and white, tinged with sepia at the edges. i see her youthful smile, her charming expressions; not quite ready for the shot, distracted by a friend, absently touching her skirt, unafraid. looking at each print one by one, i feel a peculiar feeling inside. it's difficult to capture this sensation of imagining my mother as a girl like me, wondering about the future, clasping hands with friends while viewing the naughty boys from afar. i wonder if i were a classmate, would i have been her friend, or a jealous enemy? now i look at my mother, lovely at 57, but the girl smiling from the pages is gone. i wonder when i, as i am now in youth, will start to vanish, only leaving photographs and memories in its wake...

fading into my own daughters, perhaps.

next: driving up to bahstahn.
postnext: eating lunch at mantra.
postpostnext: dreaming about shanghai dumplings.

it feels good.