Tuesday, May 22, 2012

De-cluttering to Move

We're getting ready to move out of the house that my parents have lived in for the last fifteen years. The idea has been in the works for at least the past year, but everything came together incredibly swiftly in the past month. I've been attempting to go through all of my belongings and weed out the unnecessary and it is hard. There's just so much sentiment attached to much of what you collect over the years. And on the other hand, a lot of it just seems silly when you look at it, and that stuff doesn't seem difficult to get rid of. More than anything, when I do decide to get rid of something, whether it be an old card, sweater, or treasure box, it usually just feels good, like I'm cleaning out my soul a little bit, freeing it of clutter, and making room for more exciting things to come. I'm excited. I still have too much stuff, but I'm excited.

Really, in the long run, less is more. I don't need most of the stuff I have, and I'd like to waste less money on stuff I don't need. I just need to keep that perspective in mind as I go through things. The one thing I'll likely have the most trouble with are my books. I'll probably go through them all again and carefully repack my book boxes, making sure they're all there and getting rid of the few I don't feel attached to.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Effusive Much?

I'm feeling rather...effusive...today. In one direction specifically. My main (my only) man headed off to the other side of the country yesterday and I head in the opposite direction out of the country in just a few weeks. There will be a very great distance between us for the stretch of this summer. And yet my heart remains untroubled. Physical distances can be closed in remarkably rapid ways in this day and age. I plan to take advantage of that fact before too long in the next several months.

In the meantime I remain entirely thankful for the many modes of instant and long distance communication that I have access to. Facebook. Email. Skype. Texts. Phone calls. Letters. Packages. Everything about these methods will make my life over the next several months entirely easier than it might otherwise be. And for that, I am very grateful. Much thanks to the inventors of such communication, even if I deem it appropriate to use each and every method on a regular basis. Text messages are wonderful, but a real letter never hurts. If I appear at all more than usually effusive, know that these circumstances most likely account for any extra levels of such emotion. I'm happy. Not 100% content as things are in this moment, but entirely and utterly happy otherwise.

Friday, May 11, 2012

This American Life - Live

Last night This American Life had a live show that they beamed into movie theaters across North America and Australia. It was wonderful. Two hours of laughter and excellent story telling and visual. For any of you who missed it and might be interested in seeing it again, some theaters are doing an encore on the 15th of May.

Let's see...there were all kinds of things shared...

There was a new short by Mike Burbiglia,

(Fresh Air 2: 2 Fresh 2 Furious)

And now I'd like to see "Sleepwalk With Me".

(Mike Birbiglia's "Sleepwalk With Me" Sneak Peek "Dustbuster Olympics")

Ok, Go! performed a couple of times. I won't spoil it, but if you do happen to go to the encore showing on the 15th, if you have a smart phone (iPhone/Android) make sure to download the Ok, Go! App for the show. It makes the whole experience a little more interesting.

There were also performances by David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Glynn Washington, and Ryan Knighton. The Monica Bill Barnes Dance Company Performed as well. Perhaps my favorite performer for the evening, though it is honestly difficult to choose, was Tig Notaro.

This was the story she shared, but it was so much more when you could see her. She's wonderfully expressive in a very subtle way. :)

(Tig Notaro Tells A Deeply Personal Story About Taylor Dayne)

It was wonderful.

And I almost forgot! One of the stories featured the work of Vivian Maier. Her story was interesting and unusual and her photography incredible. If you get a chance, take a look at her website.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Craziness in the Form of Everything

This past week has been insane. Crazy busy. Stressful. And awesome. :)

Let's see.

I took my finals for the pre-reqs I was taking. Don't know how I did on them, but honestly don't really care. I'm just happy to have them done.

We cleaned the house and some people came to look at it and it looks incredibly likely that it'll be selling some time soon. Crazy!

Alabama family came and we ran the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon again (my fourth time). I ran it mostly on my own this time...as much as you can in a crowd of 35,000 runners. That was a new experience for me. It meant I set my own pace (slow enough to never be breathing through my mouth...) and got to listen to This American Life the entire way. Awesome! Sprinted at the end like usual. :)

We meant to go blues dancing, but that fell through and we ended up going to see The Avengers (enjoyed it very much!).

Bid farewell to my parents as they headed off to Turkey. Made blueberry cinnamon rolls for breakfast for the family.

Pure awesome for awhile in there.

Was introduced to this beautiful poem.

Choose Something Like a Star

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud --
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn."
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

Had some girlfriends over to spend the night. Watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Sita Sings the Blues.


(Sita Sings the Blues - Trailer)

Visited friends in Cincy. Gave blood. Gave myself a self-guided tour of UC campus before resting in the Law Building Library with Brandon. :) Frozen Yogurt. Midnight in Paris. Dominoes. Good conversation.

Life is incredible right now. And I'm loving it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What to do in Cincinnati?

I've scoured city guides looking for things to do in the various cities I've lived in and visited. Sometimes the guides are helpful, often they're not. I think it is difficult to make a travel guide that really caters to a variety of audiences and interests. But, since I'm dissatisfied so frequently with those guides, I'm going to attempt to compile some of the best ideas for places to visit and things to do in Cincinnati, Ohio.

First off, as I've already mentioned my new love of geocaching, there are geocaches all over Cincinnati. So, no matter where you go, if you have one of the latest and greatest phones with both internet connection and a GPS, all you need is a (free) account on geocaching.com, and you've got everything you need. Do it. You won't regret it.


Cincinnati has a great abundance of beautiful parks. Take your pick. Eden Park is one of my favorites. The Cincinnati Art Museum and Krohn Conservatory are located there. I've only ever walked by the conservatory, but I've been to the museum several times.

The Cincinnati Observatory.

I've looked a number of times at the calendar and hours of the observatory, and they seem rather odd and fickle, but at some point I'm determined to visit when they're open.


There are a number of areas with access to trails and pathways that go along with Ohio River and some of the connection smaller rivers. I've found these trails to be enjoyable, particularly if you're in the mood to bike or roller-blade. The only one I've specifically visited has been the Warren County Bike Trails along the Little Miami.


Obviously, I've already mentioned the Cincinnati Art Museum. There's also the Taft Museum of Art (which I've never been to but heard was interesting), the Contemporary Arts Museum, The Fire Museum of Cincinnati (never been there either), and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (I'm not sure how I've not been there yet....). There's also the American Sign Museum, but I don't really know anything about it.

The best of the museums, in my opinion, can be found at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. There you have the Cincinnati History Museum (I've never been but I've heard really good things about this one), the Museum of Natural History and Science (went here many times as a kid), and the Duke Energy Children's Museum (one of my favorites!). They also have an Omnimax theater there, a guarantee that there is probably something interesting showing. There also is usually a rotating/visiting exhibit to check out. And then, of course, just visiting the building is cool. Great architecture.


Newport Aquarium is definitely worth visiting at least once. Newport-on-the-Levee has a lot more to offer than just the aquarium, but if it is the aquarium that takes you there, that's not such a bad thing.

The Cincinnati Zoo is wonderful. Most recently I was there for the Festival of Lights where everything was decked out in beautiful displays of twinkle lights. That was pretty fantastic.

Gentle Queen Hot Air Balloon Rides.

Pretty self-explanatory, this is yet another one of the things I've never done but would like to do. I'd imagine that this would give you a nice view of Cincinnati. :) Another option in this direction is Bella Balloons. If you're interested in other air activities, I know there are options in Cincinnati for sky diving and airplane rides.

Findlay Market

Findlay Market is special. I've visited parts of Europe but never really lived there, but from the perspective of my parents who lived in Germany for several years, Findlay Market is like a market in Germany. The Market is mostly one long building that has an abundance of meats and other food products to sell. On nice days there is a wide variety of produce outside. There's just something real about the food you buy there, as if it is coming to you more from the source than the removed experience of going to the grocery store. There are a some shops that line the market and some stands with other wares, but food is really what it is mostly about.

Fountain Square.

There are a variety of events and festivals that are held at Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati. Most recently I went to the Cincinnati Celtic Festival which is now held there.

Holy Cross Immaculata.

We climbed the steps to reach Immaculata and it was a beautiful view of Cincinnati and a beautiful church. I've also heard that Carew Tower has a beautiful view of Cincinnati, but I have yet to do that.

Spring Grove Cemetery.

The Spring Grove Cemetery is the second largest in the United States. This is just another beautiful location to walk and explore, as there are several miles of roadway.

Underground Railroad Walking Tour of Springboro.

This is another I've never done, but which sounds quite interesting. It can be done on your own for free, or by guide for a small price.

Queen City Underground.

If you're looking for something slightly outside the norm, or if you're looking for some way to get an interesting look at Cincinnati, this might be a good activity for you. It is essentially a tour of some of Cincinnati's landmarks and older buildings, giving you a glance at the history of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Dinner Train.

This is one that I haven't done but would really love to do. It requires some planning ahead and is a bit pricey, but it is basically tour by train of Cincinnati in combination with a nice dinner.

Cincinnati BB Riverboats.

Another unique view of Cincinnati, a ride on the BB Riverboats might be a thought, whether for dinner, sightseeing, holidays or something else. 

Aronoff Center for the Arts.

The Aronoff always has something showing, so if you're in the mood for a musical or show, unless you're looking for something more independent, this is a good place to go. There's also the Cincinnati Ballet,

Festivals and Events.

There are, of course, always interesting events and festivals coming and going in Cincinnati. For example, this weekend we have the Flying Pig Marathon (one which I've never gone to as the Indy 500 Mini-Marathon is always the same weekend).  A quick internet search can help you find what's going on whenever you're looking to visit Cincinnati.

Kings Island.

I would feel neglectful if I failed to mention Kings Island. I grew up going here each summer to ride the rollercoasters and eat funnel cake. This is a pretty good park as they go. Ceder Point is close enough to be an attraction of the same nature, but Kings Island is local.


This really isn't my area of interest of expertise, but during their respective seasons, you might considering going to a Reds or Bengals game.  Although, I'd probably be interested in going to see the Cyclones...

Jungle Jims.

Only the most awesome grocery store ever. Seriously.

I'm fairly certain I've only scratched the surface of possibilities, but hopefully this will provide you with a few ideas of things to do in the beautiful and colorful city of Cincinnati. :)