Friday, December 16, 2011

ramblings - on the edge of glory

So I bought a bunch of colorful pens and wrote my personal statements. When the standardized exam results turned out to be better than I expected (knock wood!) I convinced myself to be more confident and risked applying to some of the best schools. Jeopardized by one of my recommenders, I still haven't been able to complete my application to HKS and I don't think I have much chance about it. Harvard may be a lost cause, but I hope and I actually have reasons to believe that I'll be in the States next summer. (Can you hear me, Alison?)

At first this was the only thing that kept me from sleeping at night, and now I'm almost an insomniac. Competency exams are fast approaching, so I always find new things to fill my mind with, but I'm also afraid of losing it - I mean my mind. It will be a huge relief if I see the end of January in good health.

One of the things on my mind is the books I'll read after the exams. To name a few: Kate Atkinson's "Started Early, Took My Dog" (cited as one of the best books of 2011 by Time Magazine), a book about Istanbul (given by a dear friend in Istanbul last year as an xmas present), "Gargantua" (given by Ms. Uzuner as a birthday present), Chuck Palahniuk's "Snuff" (banned in my country, so bought from Books-a-Million in D.C.) and the Stephanie Plums that I haven't read yet (roughly between 7 and 15).

I have a renewed interest in music, which I think is because I've been able to listen to the radio more often since I bought a car, which we affectionately call "cherry-mobile" - a most becoming name coined by B., and I-Touch, which has proven to be a brilliant device after several challenges including two transatlantic flights, my 2-year-old niece's reckless demands to play with Gina the Giraffe, and a bath in a giant pool of Starbucks coffee (oh, I almost forgot: it also survived the threatening eyes of an Iraqi soldier holding a gun on top of a tank).

I think Adele rocks, and she's the best until a better one appears on the stage, but I also like Kings of Leon, Hurts, and Sunrise Avenue. I have recently discovered some good musicians, such as Sun Kil Moon (hello Alison!), Serena Ryder, and Reba McEntire. I am delighted to hear that The Cranberries are coming back, as they are an all-time favorite, and I never get tired of listening to R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Roxette, Duran Duran, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and of course, Take That. I should also mention my old pals Melissa Etheridge, Ani DiFranco, poor dear Amy, Eddie Vedder, k.d. lang, KT Tunstall, Lily Allen, and the magnificient Haroula, whose 25th July concert in Istanbul was a dream coming true.

Here's the latest list that I compiled for a friend. I recommend you to listen to them in this order.
1- Elvis Costello - I Want You
2- The Rolling Stones - Wild Horses
3- Kings of Leon - The Immortals
4- U2 - The Hands That Built America
5- Eddie Vedder - Long Nights
6- Thirteen Senses - Into the Fire
7- Hooverphonic - Anger Never Dies
8- The Fray - How to Save a Life
9- Dredg - Bug Eyes
10- Jakob Dylan - Truth for a Truth
11- k.d. lang - Constant Craving
12- Adele - Set Fire to the Rain
13- Irma - I Know
14- Fredrika Stahl - Rocket Trip to Mars
15- Brandi Carlile - The Story
16- Natalie Imbruglia - Come September
17- Patti Smith - Because the Night
18- Belinda Carlisle - California
19- Serena Ryder w/ Melissa Etheridge - Broken Heart Sun
20- KT Tunstall - Come On, Get In
21- Adele - Tired
22- Damien Rice - Rootless Tree
23- 3 Doors Down - When You're Young
24- Songs: Ohia - The Black Crow
25- The Rolling Stones - Angie
26- Tom Waits - Hold On
27- Eddie Vedder - End of the Road
28- Hurts - Wonderful Life
29- Simply Red - Stars
30- Anna Nalick - Breathe (2 AM)
31- Oasis - Champagne Supernova
32- Sheryl Crow - Strong Enough
33- Beirut - Postcards from Italy
34- OMD - Walking on the Milky Way
35- Jimmy Somerville - Safe in These Arms
36- Coldplay - Beautiful World
37- R.E.M. - UBerlin
38- Kings of Leon - California Waiting
39- Brandi Carlile - Dreams
40- Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
41- The Hard Lessons - Wedding Ring
42- Take That - Wait
43- Empire of the Sun - We Are the People

Monday, June 6, 2011

fear of getting lost on the urban freeway

Saturday evening, B. and her brother were supposed to attend a wedding, so after a nice day, we went home and she got dressed and we drove to her mother's house and her brother got in the car and we drove past the weekend traffic in the city center and we reached the hotel ten minutes before the wedding started and I dropped them at the hotel. Everything was perfect.

Then I drove home, or I thought so. I went on the right track for about fifteen minutes, and I was five minutes away from my destination... when I missed my exit and took the next one.

There I was, on the wrong side of the highway, not knowing how to get to the other side or how to find a way back. So I panicked and I missed the second possible exit too and I turned right as soon as I saw a familiar road sign and I found myself on a huge road. I didn't realize it was the urban freeway and I thought I would have to keep driving until I arrive at a different city and I started to pray out loud for a gas station because I had enough fuel for approximately 90 kilometers and the road ahead of me looked like it would go on forever.

But it didn't go on forever and I saw a police car at some point and I stopped to ask for directions and he told me that I had ten kilometers to go before turning right and he warned me not to miss that turn. I knew somehow that I was going in the right direction but the confirmation made me feel better and I saw the city center sign after going for another ten kilometers and I took it and I found my way home after driving for fifty kilometers more than expected.

Here's what I did.

Now imagine how easy it would be to go home if I could just turn right in the first place.