No. 112: Tulips

Philly is in full spring mode. And it seems that everywhere I go, there’s a pink or yellow tulip somewhere. It’s a beautiful juxtaposition to the urban setting, but they’re also full of meaning for me.

Tulips remind me of my Grandma Maz. She passed away a few years ago, but I remember every Easter season going over to house with a flower, usually a tulip, and talking about whatever was going on in the string band world with either Entertainment Tonight or Wheel of Fortune playing in the background. I miss that so, so much.

Tulips are a welcome sign in my world, and I’m grateful to be seeing them everyday.

Related image

No. 111: Easter

Today, as I am sure you all know, is Easter Sunday, the day Jesus is resurrected from the dead (and also, coincidentally enough, the Queen’s birthday). While many see it as a day designated for pictures with the Easter bunny, Easter egg hunts, and tons of chocolate, it’s also a day that makes us believe in the impossible and in the goodness that ultimately prevails.

I’m grateful for that.

It’ll be a quaint day with just the three of us at our place, but I’m grateful for one of the more religious holidays full of food, family, and relaxing.

No. 110: The Pour House

Me, my mom, a family friend (hi Pam!), and my brother went out for my brother’s birthday, which is on Tuesday. We go out all the time whenever it’s someone’s birthday and this time, C.J. chose to go to The Pour House.

I guess he chose that after I came back last November after having gone my first time raving about their short rib cheese fries. And when I say “raving”, I am absolutely not kidding. They are the bomb. Literally the best cheese fries I have ever had.

What made yesterday even more fun at The Pour House was the fact that the Sixers were on, and thus the entire bar/restaurant was alive, clapping at the TV every time we scored and yelling at it when Butler was ejected. It was an exciting atmosphere to be part of, and a lot more fun than I thought it would.

Thank you for your delicious food and thrilling atmosphere, Pour House. You always give me a great time that I’m sure to remember.

No. 109: Higher-Than-What-I-Thought LSAT Score

I got my LSAT score back today. Just like my favorite vlogger (I see you there, Grace), I won’t tell you what I got, but I will say my score was the goldilocks of scores, and I couldn’t be happier with that.

I was an anxious mess last night, waking up three times with scores of “1603”, “101”, “0” (if you aren’t familiar with the LSAT, none of those scores are possible). In fact, right after I finished the LSAT three weeks ago, I had the number “138” in my mind (which is not a great score at all).

I’m on the other side of it now, and I’m grateful, even though I’m going to take it again in July to try and improve my score by (hopefully) 5/6-ish points. But even more so, I’m grateful to have done better than how I thought I did, and for knowing I have a fighting chance at being accepted into so many great schools.

No. 108: Swann Memorial Fountain

There’s a large fountain right by where I work on the Parkway. It’s called Swann Memorial Fountain, named after Dr. Wilson Cary Swann who founded the Philadelphia Fountain Society.

I love fountains. When I was in high school looking at colleges, one of my criteria was that there be a really nice fountain on the campus (true story, don’t judge- probably also why Fairleigh Dickinson was my top choice at the time). I love this fountain in particular, though, because it was where I sat right before my initial interview at Moore. Being someone that gets everywhere early by literally half an hour (also a true story), I had a lot of time to kill and decided to sit on a bench situated across from the fountain. It was calming, serene, and I like to attribute it to something akin to a good luck charm.

I’m grateful to be working near a structure I’ve come to love, and especially for it to officially be running as the temperatures have increased and the spring season is in full bloom.

Image result for swann memorial fountain

No. 107: Salad Prep

You already know how much I love salads (literally, favorite food). But do you know how much I love prepping salads?

A ton.

I love cutting every vegetable up in such a precise way. I also think what I like most is cutting everything up in small, bite size pieces, and looking at all of my ingredients displayed in such a neatly ordered fashion right before I mix it all up together.

Image result for salad prep
(Not mine, but communicates what I love about salad prep perfectly)

It’s a calming end to my evening any night I prep my salad for the next day, and I’m definitely grateful for it.

No. 106: Holy Week

We are in the midst of what is called Holy Week in Christianity, the week where Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are observed. I’ve talked about religion a lot on this blog (actually, a lot more than I think I set out to do in the first place). It’s been a surprising element for me, but even so, I’m glad I’m tapping back into those spiritual roots I was raised with.

I’m thankful for Jesus’ story, one that encourages patience, forgiveness, love, and endurance, and for a week where we spend observing those values.

No. 105: Notre Dame

I literally did not know how I was going to start this post or even how it would end. I have no words to fully encapsulate my reaction to Notre Dame burning because I’m still in a state of shock right now.

Reading about and seeing Notre Dame in flames lit its own fire inside me. My mind wandered, trying to find clear answers and meaning to the following: how to reconcile this with my Catholicism and it being Holy Week, what this actually means for the church, for Paris, and the world, and, probably the most profound of them all, that I would never see the real thing in all its history in person, something I’ve dreamed about for years.

For one, it struck me on the basis of religion. The thing is, I’m really not even that stringent of a Catholic. I believe in its overarching values, am confirmed, and still observe Lent, but I don’t attend church every Sunday, I haven’t received ashes on Ash Wednesday since I finished CCD, nor have I ever visited the Vatican. So why did it matter so much to me, on that level? I don’t think I have an answer.

And then I thought, “I’ll never get to see Notre Dame”. And that scared me. I’ve been dreaming about going to Europe for years, with this landmark being one of the top three things I wanted to see, and now who even knows if I’ll really be able to. Watching Wolf Blitzer on CNN narrate that footage freaked me out in a way I wasn’t prepared for, and it’s something I’m still processing at this very moment.

How do we move past this horrific moment not only in my church, but in our world? I really don’t know. I think oftentimes I ask myself questions, expecting there to be some answer I need to discover. But in this situation, I don’t know how to make sense of it. I really don’t.

What I think I do know, though, is that our religion is more than concrete, stone buildings. And from this musical theatre Catholic who has indeed performed in Godspell, I think that, out of all the ruins and inevitable rubble, smoke, and this night of struggle, we can see a ray of hope. Because even if Notre Dame does collapse and burn to nothing but ruin and rubble, it will always represent the beauty and grandeur of a religion I have a deep and personal appreciation for. We’ll remember it for inspiring a countless number of people to go see the world, a gorgeously rich book by one of my favorite writers, one of the most underrated Disney movies of all time, and for being a place where people of so many different faiths, even atheists, gathered and convened to take in its legacy.

I’m grateful for that, and for the moments where the world comes together, singing “Ave Maria” to celebrate and hope for the best for a landmark that’s given the world countless blessings.

No. 104: Game of Thrones

Tonight is the night we have all been waiting for: the start of the final season of Game of Thrones.

It took me awhile to get into the show. I only binged it in August of 2017 because I had the free time and wanted to challenge myself to understand what all the hype was about. And even doing that, it took awhile. The first season dragged on for forever to me, that is until the last episode when literally everything goes down. Won’t be giving any spoilers for those unfortunate not to be in the fandom, but it’s pretty intense. Aside from all the blood, gore, and sex at its surface value, it’s a superbly written show that gives us characters that are supremely human, who are both good and evil, and who could easily fit into a good Shakespeare drama because such. Like any excellent show, it makes you think, and it’s why I admire it.

It’s hard to believe how much has passed since the last season of the show came and went: I’ve worked two adult jobs, started and finished grad school, and so much more. You best be on your game, GoT writers. We’ve been waiting a while for winter to get here and now that it has, it’s on.

Image result for Game of thrones daenerys meme
(Spoiler: fave character)

No. 103: Safety

Yesterday, while me and my family were over at my cousin’s new house for a small house warming party, the unexpected happened: a driver crashed into and totaled two of our cars.

(This is my moment to say that, no, Jasmine was not hurt. Endless thank yous to my mom for insisting on driving yesterday, and for her car also being fine).

It was a really scary moment full of anger, distress, and a two-hour frenzy of calling police, insurance companies, and tow trucks. Everyone was understandably freaked out. But the most important thing: nobody was hurt. Though they will have to go through the chaos and turmoil of insurance, purchasing new cars, and all that comes with it, I’m grateful no one was injured. I’m grateful for everyone’s safety.