Mari's Notebook

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Friday, June 21, 2013

happiness is...

happiness is...

1. summer barbecues
2. crickets chirping
3. planting petunias in a flower box
4. watching the stars on a clear night
5. bonfires
6. cold lemonade
7. flowy floral skirts
8. evening walks when it's still light out
10. weekend getaways

happy summer everyone! I thought I'd make this installment of "happiness" summer themed--all my favorite things I associate with this bright and luxurious season. 

what are you looking forward to this summer? what's making you happy today?

more happiness here, here, here and here

happy weekend! xx Marisol 

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

life lately... in pictures and bulletpoints

  • Bonjour! Is it Wednesday already? I started this week off thinking I'd be super productive since I was going to start training at my new internship and all...but mostly I've been reading and running errands in between perusing the best poetry of the 21st century. 
  • Some nights are warm, others are cold. On one particularly nice night my friend and I walked  on the beach, vined our hearts out and danced to the karaoke we could hear from across the water, at Playland. 

  • Yesterday I tried out this thing where I DID NOT OPEN MY LAPTOP. not even once. this is quite uncharacteristic of me (and maybe almost every other 20 year old college student). It was nice. Maybe I should try it again. 
  • Instead of spending time on the computer, I spent yesterday training at my internship, reading The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne, working out with a high school friend and catching up over salad (for her) and sweet potato and lobster soup (for me). 
  • One of our big summer projects is to go through the dozen or so shoe boxes of pictures we have in the coat closet. It's about time that we organize them, put them into albums and hang them up on the walls. It's been awesome looking at my and my brother's baby photos, our lives in New Haven, and all the vacation, birthday, christmas photos. Today I learned that my third birthday party was Pocahontas themed. 

  • I'm getting pretty good at this highway driving thing. Big trucks still scare me but I'm working on that. Thanks to this morning's commute, I have this song stuck in my head. 

What have you been up to lately?

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

denim & dresses

This weekend, as we were shopping for Father's Day gifts, I picked up this awesome denim biker jacket (for a fraction of the cost--I was so proud) and immediately knew it would be a summer favorite. In fact, I plan to live many many years in this jacket.

I've been in the market for a classic denim jacket for a while--I think it's a great addition to any wardrobe and is something you can wear year-round. To keep things light and summery, I'll definitely be wearing my jacket over simple, flowy dresses. A couple leather accessories--like a belt or wrap bracelet--compliment the denim nicely, I think.

Check out more of my style favorites here.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

five things

...that I'll be doing this weekend to get ready for my internship on Monday!

1. highway driving. So, being a college student on a very pedestrian-friendly campus means I'm really not seeing the inside of cars much. I'm really only driving during summer breaks, and there is something about merging lanes that scares me. I need to get this under my belt because I see lots of highway driving in my future.

2. brainstorming affordable and sophisticated brown bag lunches. I'm eager to try out different salads and sandwiches. But really I just want an excuse to buy this.

3. picking out work-appropriate outfits and packing my bag. It's important to make a good first impression. I want to be prepared and looking professional--but also comfortable.

4. mental preparation. basically, going over for the 1095240th time my job description and details, where I'm going, what I'll be doing and whom I'll be working with.

5. going to bed early! time to get back on a solid sleep schedule.

happy Friday!

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

signs of summer.

I don't know about you, but where I live, summer's been off to a pretty slow start. We've had stretches of days where it's cold and rainy and I find myself pulling on an extra-thick pair of socks and craving a mug of hot chocolate.

A few days so far the weather's been nice. Comfortable enough to walk outside without a jacket but never hot. Not hot enough to bring out the fans during the night. Not sunny enough for Harry the dog to prefer outside sleeping over inside. Not humid and sticky enough for me to curse myself for not keeping Purell in my bag.

And then Shutterfly sent me their Summer Decorating Inspiration Board. And I have to say, it was a nice reminder that sometimes mother nature doesn't have to always call the shots. Adding a touch of summery color--like greens, oranges and crisp whites--can make all the difference. Check it out:
Shutterfly Summer Decorating Inspiration Board: 

Kind of craving that iced tea.

So today, with the promise of morning and late afternoon thunderstorms, cold wind and some flash floods, I decided today would be a good day to chill out at home and take a page out of Shutterfly's book. There are so many signs of summer around the house and I wanted to take a second to really appreciate them...

- our giant bowl of fruit in the kitchen. I've been making strawberry, blueberry and banana smoothies almost daily. (sometimes adding in a bit of coconut milk, too!)
- the smell of Bath and Body Works beach themed candles. I have them constantly burning.
- the wall vase (what are they called?) that's always occupied by fresh garden flowers
- the sound of flip flops around the house
- the smell of fresh corn on the grill

Even if the weather doesn't fully have it's act together, my house is slowly and surely making its transition into summer.

What are you doing to keep in a summery mood? Any more home decoration tips?

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

10 course readings that are totally worth it

In college, if you aren't sleeping, eating or pretending to work out while you actually order in Mexican food with the roomie, you're reading. You're reading a lot.

If I could have told my pre-college self one thing, it would have been to welcome hundreds and hundreds of pages of reading a week with open arms and settle in. Each semester one of my goals is always to try to read a book or two for fun, but honestly once school is in full swing, I'm just trying to keep up.

It's unfortunate, but sometimes the work gets too overwhelming that I don't really get to enjoy what I'm reading and learning. And it's something I'm working on--because I do believe passion is a key part to success and personal development. I should engage with course material as best as possible. It would be a shame to go through the next four semesters of work and not stop to smell the roses.

Today I decided to take a look through the past four semesters' worth of folders, computer files, books and syllabi. It was an interesting walk down memory lane--the last two years at Yale, as told by my crazy reading schedule. Some book and article titles had me cringing, some I don't remember at all (sorry professors!) and some I can't help but smile at.

Here are a few of my favorites. These are the readings that engaged me most in class discussions. I find I keep them in mind constantly--eager to discuss the material with anyone who'd listen.

1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it for fun my senior year of high school and was thrilled to see it on the syllabus for my freshman year English class. Set in a dystopic near-future, Never Let Me Go tells the story of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy who unravel the secrets of their seemingly idyllic childhood and face the future society has coldly set out for them.

2.  Style: the Basics of Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams. This book had some really useful tips on writing concisely and effectively. It was a life-saver when writing my essays. I kind of wish I had bought the book instead of rented it--I could definitely use it now!

3. Righteous Dopefiend by Philippe Bourgois and Jeffrey Schonberg. I read this for my cultural anthropology class. A lot of times we think of anthropologists running off to far-away, exotic places to study the people, culture and traditions. Righteous Dopefiend did a wonderful job showing how each society needs to look itself in the mirror. This ethnography delves into the lives of homeless heroin addicts living in San Francisco--shining light on issues many Americans don't like to face, like violence, tensions between races, and a social and government system that is often unforgiving to the  plight of those who simply fall through the cracks.

4. Les Rites de Passage by Arnold van Gennep. I've only read sections of it, but this is definitely making the list. Van Gennep's exploration into the stages of rites of passages, particularly the liminal period, has changed the way I look and observe even the most simple and mundane of worldly activities. 

5. Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? by Lila Abu-Lughod.  Wonderful article and a perfect introduction to our class discussion of cultural relativism. 

6. Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday life in Brazil by Nancy Scheper-Hughes. Again--I've only read parts of this but can't wait to get my hands on my very own copy. Scheper-Hughes investigates the lives of poverty-stricken women living in the shanty-towns of Brazil. It made my discussion section question our standards of love and the lengths people are willing to go to survive. 

7. Urban Diaries by Walter Hood. When sociology and architecture mix: accounting for life's realities in architectural design. 

8. Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. My seminar class started reading this just as the Boston Marathon bombings occurred. The authors develop an interesting theory of cultural trauma--how societies engage with and collectively react to unexpected, identity-shaking events (like the Boston bombings and September 11). 

9. "A Crisis About the Theology of Children" by Robert A. Orsi. This article provided an interesting interpretation of what's caused this outbreak of church sex abuse scandals. As someone who didn't know much about the scandals before and made quick judgments about the adults involved, I appreciated Orsi's take on the matter. 

10. Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics by Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler. The authors present the idea that the American political polarization we see today is rooted in people's approval or rejection of authoritarian values. This is a fascinating look into how personality traits--characteristics that are arguably static throughout our lives--can predict political affiliations. 

It was kind of hard to choose just ten! 

Have a lovely Tuesday! 

xx marisol 

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Friday, June 7, 2013

five things

...that I did while visiting my friend in Bethesda, MD:

1. took the metro. It's much more tame than New York subways but I always love checking out different cities' subway systems.

2. ate! sushi in Chinatown, hazelnut frapuccinos at Starbucks, the strawberry spinach salad at Vapiano. (p.s. Vapiano gives out free gummy bears instead of mints. It was love at first site.)

3. met a mother and baby ducks during out trip to the National Mall.

4. hiked our way through the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls. the hike was beautiful and we definitely worked up a sweat!

5. watched movies. it was our favorite way of getting out of the heat! we say The Hangover Part III, Now You See Me and Love Actually.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Movie Review: Now You See Me

This past weekend I visited my friend in D.C. before she went off to California for her internship. It was crazy hot, and I was so not prepared for this weather since the previous few days in New York had been FREEZING COLD...but I'm happy to think summer's here to stay. To get away from the heat we decided to see a couple movies, one of them being Now You See Me. I was not disappointed.

The movie tells the story about a group of talented magicians brought together by an unknown sponsor. This sponsor has endowed them with the execution plans for a series of magic tricks that correct various injustices in the world. Only at the end is it revealed why they needed to right these wrongs and who exactly this "Fifth Horseman" is.

I love magic--especially card tricks. I was so amused by magic tricks these past couple months that looking up tricks on YouTube actually became one of my ever-famous procrastination techniques. So I was really really excited when I heard about this movie.

Honestly, I didn't have high expectations going in--I thought I'd see some cool things and it would be entertaining, but nothing amazing. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the plot was well done and came together quite nicely. I don't want to give anything away, but seriously I did NOT see that coming.

The cast couldn't be better. Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco? It's such a winning cast. Eisenberg was great with the sassiness and condescension. I was also really excited to see Fisher and Franco get some more screen time. Woody Harrelson was Woody Harrelson. Flawless.

I think the one thing I didn't like was the romance between Dylan Rhodes and Alma Dray (Ruffalo and Mélanie Laurent). I think it was unnecessary, and honestly I was never too invested in the development of their character relationship--professional or romantic. Now that I think about it, Alma was probably my least favorite character.

The movie is fast-paced, witty and fairly easy to follow along. It's my kind of movie. I definitely recommend it.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Goals

In June, I'd like to...

focus on making healthier food choices. the bagels need to go.
complete operation: expert driver.
spend time outside everyday.
start my internship with confidence.
read the news more often.
update my resume and professional sites, like LinkedIn.
write a letter to an old friend.
check in with my new year's resolutions.

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