on not having a niche

As I prep to come back to the United States for a month I have been thinking about starting something new on the blithe seaside, doing some style and travel posts. I love lifestlye blogs and I thought it would be neat to show you the capsule wardrobe that I packed for Spain, some holiday looks and what I wore as I jet around for my visa, visting family and a wedding. Often bloggers are encouraged to have some sort of niche, but who has a niche in real life? We are all made up of different interests and I think it’s beneficial to share those. In the future you can look forward to some monthly favorites posts, outfit ideas and maybe even some travel guides.

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put your records on: study music

Some people like to listen to music while they work, some people don’t. Funnily enough both groups have scientific research to back them up; there is the famous Mozart effect, but other studies have shown that listening to music impedes the ability to remember and recall information.

Personally, I like to listen to music when I am writing, or doing problem sets, but not as much if I am trying to memorize something or am doing a practice test. Maybe it does slow down my work, but at least my work is more enjoyable.

There are tons of study playlists out there on Spotify, and you probably have some of your own, but I recently divided up my gargantuan study playlist into different study aesthetics and moods. No song on any of these playlists has any words so hopefully they will help you to stay relaxed and focused.

study ep. 1

For the longest time Keaton Henson’s intrumental album Romantic Works and Andrew Bird’s Echolocations was the only study music I listened to. Now I have branched out to artists and composers like Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds, Bersarin Quartet and Dustin O’Halloran. One of my favorite songs right now is Soft Collared Neck by Helios and when I realized there was an instrumental version I knew I had to add it.

study ep. 2 and ep. 3

These playlists are by far the longest, at over 15 hours long combined, you won’t ever run out of music. I am a fan of Chopin’s Nocturnes for studying, as well as Debussy’s Preludes. If you like Chopin I would highly recommend Franz Liszt and Charles-Valentin Alkan who also feauture on these playlists and if you like Debussy, Gabril Pierné, Erik Satie and Maurice Ravel are all wonderful. I am still in the process of seperating all the classical music by relative time period, so please be patient with me.

study ep. 4

This is what I am currently listening to and it is such a blast. I chose some of my favorite classic jazz albums, and yes I do think that the music composed by Vince Guaraldi Trio for Charlie Brown is a classic! Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, a couple of works from Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson Trio’s Night Train are just a few that I have added. I always listen to jazz, but every year in the fall and winter I play a lot more than I normally do. Maybe it’s that I grew up with jazz around Christmastime, but I just love it a little more this time of year. I obviously biased but I think that this playlist would also work really well as background music for dinner.

I hope you enjoy these playlists and are having a wonderful autumn!

this is autumn in the park

wind flips maple and birch leaves
new pancakes cooked by the sun and creeping free
saxophone and birds call and plead
for the warmth to stay just a little longer
shivers and cigaretes lit by the cold hands of lovers
lamposts, tree trunks divide up the sky
while the people in twos and threes are moving lines
of color and shape against this pale bright
chartreuse and gold, burnt orange flight

suddenly a group of young men rush by
carrying packs on their backs- christmas come early
running who knows where to sell their wares
upon the tourist passing
this autumn in the park
branches lose their trappings
this autumn in the park
children’s fingers grasping
this autumn in the park
mother nature’s jewels all laughing

i can’t write: excercise #3

In which, I complete writing exercises for ‘fun’…

Write a poem incorporating words from a list of things in a certain familiar area, but change the symbolism. I chose the living room.

how is that not — turning out a
lamp flickering in a not quite warm enough room
media blitz on gunfire shouts
treated him like a king
given a tv remote to detonate
but killed him
can’t breathe under the white blankets and cushions of the couch
elephantine enveloping enormity of flashing lights
commentators argue over
use and force
forced to use the death
to see the death as system

there is sun streaming through the windows
morning after
cyclical rebirth
the power chords unable to charge the phone

sitting reading an old john grisham book
justice never coming—
 a moral issue?

how is that not a moral issue?

 

passing time

old relics of the past
otro tiempo, otro país
architechtural marvel tourists pass
i am one of them
sitting under the bird calls and leafy palms
all the idioms and tongues gathered
praising the human ability
que egypto está en madrid
bikes pedal by the fountain
fleeting as all things are
fleeing as all things are
from time

 

This particular poem is in reference to the Temple of Debod, an Egyptian temple in Madrid. You can learn more here.

a toast

never were together
just brief glimpses of deisre fufilled
maybe this way it’s better
i can’t be hurt if we weren’t real right?

years of longing
what do i have to show?
a half bandaged heart and nothing
only those whispered kisses
and “i don’t want to hurt you”

well here i am the fool
and you the good one
here i am thinking how cruel
when i pulled the butter knife on myself

maybe i’ll make some toast
maybe i’ll make a toast
to questions unaswered
and answers unasked for
and people you just can’t get over

but the butter’s not room temperature yet
and the champagne hasn’t been poured
so i keep quiet and get old

the first day it rained

the first day it rained i didn’t even realize
until i felt the faint mist turn into a drizzle
the weather was finally fall, and then my eyes
blinked, a droplet ran down my dusted cheek, the breeze
picked up, and i shivered. he wasn’t
lying when he said there isn’t
any transition from summer, no compromise
there is just this freeze

yesterday it was sunny and warm
and today not having an umbrella might do you harm

the first day it rained i didn’t even realize
until i felt the faint mist turn into a drizzle

the first day it rained i almost started crying
because i remembered that it had been raining at home for weeks