Friday, March 2, 2018

Things learned, things relearned

Things I learned this week: 

-Nor'easters are serious things. And I guess that groundhog wasn't kidding about the 6 more weeks of winter.

- I can write decent poetry when I'm angry.

-There is a store in Princeton that sells really good green smoothies. I'm craving one right now.

-"I Dreamed a Dream" was actually written about grad school. Specifically grad school at Princeton. (Just think about it: "But the tigers come at night, with their voices soft as thunder/As they tear your hope apart, as they turn your dream to shame." We sang this at a karaoke/pizza party last night, and I lost it at this line--in laughter, not tears, mind you, but still. Lost it. Too true, too true.)

Things I relearned this week: 

-People actually read my blog.

-I actually can't do it all. Nor am I required to.

-People can be so lovely and helpful and think about you and find books for you to read that relate to your projects--that they remember your projects and interests is lovely. To be thought of kindly is lovely.

-If I had a Time-Turner, I would use it in the same way Hermione did, and that was the lesson I was not supposed to take from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Things I've been missing lately

-the skies of Utah
-seeing Magdalen Tower in morning sunlight as I walked across the bridge to class
-seeing Magdalen Tower in moonlight as I walked across the bridge to home
-free time
-the sun
-conversations with people who just know you--and not just those conversations, but
face-to-face conversations
-my brother
-my parents
-the streets of Ukraine
-Ukraine in springtime

February always brings a sense of melancholy. Especially the last part of February, when we wait for daylight and the sun. When we wait for the winds of March. Those winds of change and new life. But in missing things, that also means I've been reminiscing. And sometimes that leads to fun discoveries. Like how on Sam and my texting thread, I apparently like to send him videos of myself talking in very strange ways (or maybe that's just how I sound). And that I really like taking selfies with Chick-fil-a shakes.

And that we took some really fun pictures at the spice farm in Zanzibar. 

[I totally forgot about these pictures because they weren't in my phone. But they are very fun.]

[Probs the best one. All hail the king and queen.]

So missing things isn't all bad. What it means is that you care and that you made good memories and good relationships.

(But that doesn't mean that someone [read: me] isn't reallllllly excited to head home to Utah for Spring Break. Because man. Those mountains.]

Maybe it's Maybelline

A couple weeks ago, a very talented friend gave me a makeover for a Galentines' Day activity. She did a very good job and I decided to show Sam for fun. He was thrown off by the amount of makeup (since I usually wear very little). When I sent him with- and without-makeup pictures, he liked the ones without makeup better.

[With makeup]


Is there a difference? Yeah, I can tell. But I like them both. I know that some women really enjoy wearing makeup, while others don't. I don't really have issues with either choice. But I am grateful for the progress I've made over the years in feeling comfortable in my own skin. It's a work in progress--the work of a lifetime--to feel at home in your own body. 

And, I'm also grateful Sam. That he likes all shades of me (even if the contour lines are a bit much for him at times). He's a keeper. 

Some trips to the city

I've been pretty open with how I feel about New York City: I just don't get it. I really don't. It just feels so big and I don't know if I'll ever love it. (I am a basic white girl in many ways, but not in NYC love.)

But there are things I love about it. Like beautiful art museums and the New York Public Library.

A few weeks ago I went to the Met to see the Michelangelo exhibit. It was really beautiful. (But, confession: I took most of the pictures for an Instagram Story which I then did not post until two weeks after I went. Oh well. Hahaaaaa.)

[That red chalk art is beautiful.]

[In the room, the women come and go . . .

[. . . talking of Michelangelo.]

[Not Michelangelo. But still a beautiful picture of Joan of Arc (who I deeply admire).]

[My ticket covered the Met Cloisters, and since I had time, I decided to make the trek uptown. And I wasn't disappointed.]

[I remember learning about this triptych in Art History 202.]

[Look at that detail.]

[So lovely.]

[All alone with the unicorn tapestries. That was really cool to be the only person in that room.]

[Why I love Medieval art. So wacky.]

My most recent trip to the city was for archival research at the New York Public Library. I went up there on Valentine's Day, and it was a beautiful winter day, and the city was quite charming to me that day. So maybe I'm warming up to New York. Maybe. 


Especially when you can find views like this in New York. I do get some of its appeal. I have a few more years for New York to grow on me. We'll see what happens. But I do enjoy quiet uptown vistas like these.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

And I ached for my heart like some tin man

We're starting week 3 of this new semester at Princeton. It's weird to be starting so late. But Princeton has an infamous schedule. So week 3 it is.

I don't know how this semester will turn out. Last semester turned out better than I expected. I did well. Better than well, actually. And that was a huge relief. This semester I might have chewed off more than is good for me, but time will tell. Somehow I'll manage. I always do, right?

The weather has been so strange. Saturday night it snowed. It was aggressive snow; it pounded against my window panes and my small air vent over my stove howled with the wind. Sunday it was a pleasant snow day. A walking snow day, where you can walk outside without gloves and the snow glistens in a warm February sun. Yesterday it rained and misted like London. And later this week? It's supposed to be 72 degrees. As warm as May. We're going through seasons and places faster than any normal cycle should. So strange, so strange.

Let me always remember the golf course covered with snow, the children and parents sliding on toboggans, and walks and runs around the Institute Woods with those who are becoming dear and those who are becoming dearest.

Let me always remember the carillon bells reminding me of noon, and let it remind me of bells in Provo, pealing out reminders of "no toil nor labor fear." Grace shall be as your day. And I have to believe that. That grace will be given. It is a gift. Daily bread. Just enough to see me through the day. And I do believe it because I have felt it. Seen it. Sometimes not in the moment, but looking back. It's there. It always has been. Grace shall be as my day. 

Let me always remember the kindness of people. Of tears noticed, of comfort given, of hot chocolates bought just for me since I don't drink coffee. Of conversations in the library, of smiles, and glances, and recognitions that yes, maybe we are friends after all.

There's a new art installation in the Firestone Library. It's made up of old card catalogs. And I love it. I can't explain why I love it so much. I just love it.

It's hard to believe that it has now been less than a year since I got my acceptance letter to Princeton. But it has. It has. I wonder if I'd choose it again. I think I would. For all its difficulty and uncertainty, I think I would.

Song of the Day: "Stable Song," by Gregory Alan Isakov

Monday, January 22, 2018

The engagement vanity post

Here it is, the moment every girl who ever creates a blog has ever waited for: the engagement photoshoot photo dump.

But really. This is the entire reason I created the blog 8 years ago (not really--or is it?).

In all seriousness, I know that looking at other people's engagement photos can be fun. So I'm posting a lot of them so family and friends can enjoy them with us.

I'd also like to thank the incredible Bailey Scott for taking incredible photos, for providing good company, and for knowing all the pro tips for good places to go in Philadelphia. We certainly owe you, Bailey, and we love the pictures. Thank you.

[It wasn't nearly as cold as it could have been for mid-January. Hence, I could survive without a coat for more than half-a-second.]

[This was typical of most of the shoot--laughing at our own PDA.]

[Just looking over the Schuykill River. Which is much easier to pronounce if you pretend it's a pastry name.]

[The ring! It is blue tanzanite and I love it.]

[So cute. I love him.]

[And I think he likes me, too.]

[Good morning, Philadelphia.]

[This is part of a series called "Sam Explains Things to Meg."] 

[Meg answers back.]

[Meg is slightly skeptical.]


[Also typical. I often look up like this.]


[Channeling inner model vibes.]

[Bridge series where we kiss a lot--avert your eyes if you do not like mushy-gushy stuff. Oh wait. You're looking at our engagement photos. And if you've made it this far, then you probably like mushy-gushy stuff. Enjoy at your leisure.]

[Again, can't take kissing too seriously.]

[Cover photo material right here.]

[Also a fan of this picture. Also so typical of us. And has that "can I carry your bag for you?" vibe.]

[Now it's time for an art museum. This picture is also part of the "Sam Explains Things" series.]

[I like this one and I don't have a reason why.]

[Now this is part of the "Meg Explains It All to Sam" series.]

[Meg Explains it All, pt. 2]

[Meg Explains it All, pt. 3]


[Can't help falling in love with you.]

[Someone decided to do a "prom pose."]

[We scared everyone away from this hall. Go us.]

[I actually can't do the "smile eyes." It's either Soviet stare or smile.]

[Case in point.]

[Okay, but this Cezanne is actually beautiful.]

[Surprise, I actually really like him.]

[So many cool blue paintings.]

[This hall was one of our favorites.]

[And now a Soviet stare. What I do best. Sam's not half-bad himself.]

[That floor, though.]

[Lovers under the gaze of Founding Fathers.]

[I have a feeling Ben Franklin would approve.]

[Getting our Main Line groove on.]


[This one is one of my absolute favorites.]

[Oh haiiiii]

[If you look closely, you can see the Philly Women's March happening on the Rocky Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.]

[That post-industrial vibe, though.]

[We weren't sure how these ones would turn out, but I'm a fan of the entire series.]


[So hipster-angsty.]

[Sam Explaining Things to Meg, cont.]

[I made a joke.]

[Sam makes a joke.]

[We both think the other is funny.]

[But apple-picking is a serious thing.]

[Five seconds after this photo, a delightful middle-aged man came by to get through this door (which is home to a drawing club) and invited us all to come see a Coen Brothers movie.]

[Street art for the win.]

[And after all of this, I desperately wanted a big, juicy burger. So we got some. And shakes. Naturally.]

If you've made it this far, I hope it didn't disappoint. Thanks again to the beautiful and amazing Bailey Scott for being such a wonderful photographer. And to you, dear reader, for indulging my vanity.