Jumping over the lazy dog

or, taking the bull by the horns.

A New Haven.

At this point, if you guys aren’t saying anything about my terrible sense of humor, I’m just going to keep bothering you with my shameless punning. What’s that, you say? You haven’t heard from me in ages, and in fact, you’ve been missing my puns terribly? Why, that’s kind of you! I’ll try and be more PUNctual with my posting in the future.

For now, let’s do a quick wrap up of the last six weeks: I got back from France (after a short trip to Britain – and Brighton – with the Brit).

A rocky beach that tore up my shoes, that also provides something akin to an acupuncture massage with blunt needles when you lie down instead of paying however many quid for a quaint deck chair...

Then, I hung out with my grandmother for a few weeks before she left for India, where she’s staying with my aunt and uncle. After that, I put on some disposable apparel and proceeded to cover it with blobs of yellow, red, green and cream paint. See below.

This bright yellow was carried around the living room and in the eat-in kitchen, and makes the space feel so bright and welcoming, it convinced me of the power of color much more than any design course I took as an undergraduate.

A short trip to Kentucky for a friend’s wedding…

That's Dino and Roomie's wedding, by the by. Twas a beautiful affair with plenty of dancing. So much dancing, as it were, that it resulted in a strained left calf muscle...

…and then a longer drive up to New Haven, where I’ve finally settled down in this new haven:

Ok, so that mess got cleaned up right after I took the picture, promise!

This is technically my temporary-not-temporary home. The bedroom itself won’t be mine in the long run, but I’m staying in the same apartment, just moving upstairs. Once I’m moved into the new room, and have managed to furnish and organize it, I’ll be sure to post an updated picture. But for now, you’ll have to believe me when I say my blue-green bedding and red IKEA dresser complement each other in that thrown-together-chic kind of way. I’m going for the “I liked it so I bought it” look. We’ll see how that goes – it’s a complete turn-about from the way I designed that residential interior junior year…but hopefully there’s no one grading this space!

I actually got to New Haven on Monday night in my dad’s truck, with my mom and dad in the front seat, the seat beside me piled high and the ‘trunk’ packed two-boxes high with stuff. But it all fit in the truck, and I was very impressed with that.

On Tuesday several trips to IKEA, Target and Walmart managed to cure me of this cheery attitude, when I realized that between the truck and new furniture (bed, dresser, bedside table) and whatever else I’d wind up purchasing in the next year (desk…rug…clothes) I’d never fit everything into one truck again. Oh well. Maybe there’s more culling to be done next year.

Wednesday was organizing day, and I managed to put away all of my clothes, though my books and desk supplies are still in boxes, since I don’t have shelves or a desk on which I can put these things. We snuck my studio supplies into the architecture building, where an administrator informed me that I was the only person in the history of the program to bring my own parallel board. Well, there’s one foot forward, though whether it’s the best one is TBD.

Today was my last visit with the parents, spent buying architectural supplies ($200+ worth, and that’s with a 20% discount AND without spending the $120 on a parallel straightedge), eating too much pizza at Pepe’s, a New Haven establishment, and happening upon a potential job opportunity as a French language assistant at a language institute down the street from my apartment. After bidding my parents farewell, I vegged out on my bed, exhausted after a long week.

There’s still plenty that needs figuring out before classes start on Monday: where do I get groceries (the last major grocery store in town closed down, and the Walmart is driving distance when I don’t have a car)? how does the bus system work (again, no car, and studio is a thirty minute walk away)? how broke will I be in three years (utility bills on this place jump to $300 in the winter…that’s over and above the $2250 rent)?

I’d like to document this first year at school as best as possible, for future Yalies who’re worried about what to expect both in the classroom and out. I know when I was trying to figure out what schools to apply to / which one to accept, reading student blogs made a huge difference. So what I’m trying to say is I know I won’t have much time, but I’m going to try my darndest to keep you guys posted every week!

Until next time, your faithful-yet-often-absent blogger, Amrita.

Filed under: Close to home, , , , , , , , , ,

City mouse, country mouse

My internet-silence these last few days is not because I’ve given up on this blog, but because I was taking a much needed vacation of sorts.  Now, you might be wondering why someone who is supposedly on summer break needs a break from said summer break (how’s that for a tongue-twister?), but sometimes you need a vacation from your vacation.  Life gets routine, even when you’re not in the midst of academic deadlines, and between studying for the GRE and early-mornings at the gym, my summer schedule has been pretty monotonous.

Lounging around on a lazy Saturday with puppies and a groomsman

Lounging around on a lazy Saturday with puppies and a groomsman

So this weekend I went to a wedding.  My friend’s sister got hitched at Beautiful Run Farm near Charlottesville, Virginia, and I’ve spent the last few days soaking in the sun by the pool, puppy-sitting and playing volleyball under a lightening storm.  My stay out on the farm was a very welcome respite from “city-living” – that is, the work-work-work atmosphere that’s reflective of busy-bodies that flock to the city (aka, me).  Granted, the City mouse learned that when you live out in the country, you still have to work, and don’t get me wrong – I was put to work. I got my hands dirty hauling supplies and setting tables for the wedding, making flower arrangements and putting up signs directing guests to the farm.  But all that hard work was more than worth the pool-lounging, sun-soaking, relaxing atmosphere that I found out in the middle of nowhere.

The bridal party takes a quick huddle during the wedding rehersal at Beautiful Run Farm.

The bridal party breaks for a quick huddle during the wedding rehearsal at Beautiful Run Farm.

The drive to the farm is about two and a half hours, door to door. But when I arrived at the farm on Thursday it felt as though I had been teleported into another reality, a world so much more vivid than the one I had just driven through.  And the moment I stepped off the farm on Sunday afternoon, I was once again in a more muted world, as though my sunglasses were tinted grey.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that you sometimes need a physical distance in order to liberate yourself from whatever mundanity your life has fallen into.

I felt that when I traveled in Europe, alone, wandering without a cellphone for three weeks, no laptop and paying a couple of euros twice a week to shoot emails to my parents.  Being untethered is a fantastic feeling, and I’m happy I got a chance to taste a bit of freedom this past weekend.  I’ve promised myself to take some more mini-vacations this summer.  They seem to rejuvenate me much more than any reading or painting ever does (perhaps because while I read and paint for fun, they’re also inexorably tied to my chosen profession – architecture and research). Hobbies that are too close to home, or work, as it were, aren’t quite hobbies after all, I suppose.

This rejuvenation is quite hedonistic, some might say, taking time to do nothing but enjoy living (through good food, good friends, good conversation, good atmosphere).  I see it as rather meditative.  It allows me to clear my mind from the clutters of every day life so that when I return, I return with more focus, more determination, and hopefully with an end in sight, i.e. the next retreat.

Filed under: Around the world, Close to home, , , , , , , , ,