It is burning skin against leather seats
It is thighs and undersides drenched in sweat
It is heat waves rising above the street.
I’ll leave my pizza in the garage on top of the car, better than an oven.
I can’t remember what it’s like to feel a chill, see my breath, stomp through snow.
Perhaps I’ll be saying the same about summer in the dead of February, but this is the hottest hot.
It’s been about 4 months since I started my job at a bubble tea shop, and I still love it. 7 reasons:
1. The shop is constantly being updated – innovation is a lovely thing, and the theme of our bakery might as well be progress, because anything and everything that can be improved will probably be improved. We have one location as of now, but another’s grand opening taking place in a month or so, and another on the way. Besides that, we always have new baked goods and desserts on the shelves to accommodate the seasonal changes and the input that we receive. And our cup designs and backdrops themselves are continually re-imagined…even the concept of bubble tea itself is very contemporary. Progress refreshes me of monotony. Continue reading
Do you eat food on a regular basis?
Do you live in Atlanta?
Are you a young adult with a voracious appetite?
But is your slim wallet holding you back?
If you answered yes to the questions above, it looks like you and I have a lot in common, and you might be interested in my new food blog, Cat the Critic.
There are few feelings better than finding a logical combination of two of my favorite activities (writing and eating), and that’s the premise on which Cat the Critic was created.
Of course, there will be two chapters: Atlanta and Chicago, and I’ll be filling out the Atlanta chapter for the rest of the summer, as soon as I get over my darned tooth surgery. But come September, I’ll be updating my Chicago chapter as I venture out of its suburbs into the great urban city.
But for folks who live neither in Georgia nor Illinois, fear not, for I will be posting about food videos on Youtube, providing commentary about food trends as they sweep the nation, and more. You don’t have to be where I am to share a universal love of food.
So here’s my sell:
My perspective as a young adult eating on a budget is much different than what you find nowadays online and in magazines.
Some food critics speak with a lofty bias, or force you to pay a fee in exchange for their opinion. Not me.
Yelp and Urbanspoon reviews are helpful in a pinch, but are often based on a single visit, under-developed and not carefully thought through. Not this blog.
My Dearest Atlanta,
You weren’t my first city, but you’re the city in which I reside at this very moment. I think I’m writing this letter because soon I’ll have to part with you, and when that happens, the road on which I’ve been walking for the past 18 years will stop abruptly, and pick up in the suburbs of Chicago.
In my earliest years, you were foreign to me, a place to which I traveled often, though I still felt like merely a visitor. Continue reading
If you saw a diverse group of high school students waiting at the airport eagerly holding up signs, barely able to contain their excitement, the last thing you would expect is that they are part of a Chinese exchange student program.
But on that particular Sunday afternoon, the host students indeed attracted a great deal of attention with their enthusiasm and vivacity.
Students at our school were hosting students from both China and Argentina; the cultural exchange proved very enriching, bringing together American, Argentinian, and Chinese students, a rare occurrence.
In a society that often tends to stereotype people based on their race (among other things), this program really pushed interaction to overcome this sort of ignorance.
Our school community embraced their arrival with open-mindedness and made them feel unconditionally welcome in our hallways. Continue reading
What should have taken a half hour turned into a grueling commute that pressed my patience and confined me in the car with my mom and my sister for eight straight hours.
Snowpocalypse. Atlanta. Two inches of snow.
The logistics are still unclear, but I can only recall the taunts and smirks that I received from my friends up North as they frolicked around in their two feet of snow.
The effects of the snow that finally stuck were striking: an impromptu snow holiday for many, schools set back, cars ditched on the side of the road, everyday hills becoming a treacherous climb. Babies born on the highway and students stranded overnight in schools and buses. Continue reading
I miss everything and everyone so much, it hurts.
This is the first post published from Atlanta in 7.5 weeks, as the rest have all been from Ann Arbor.
I woke up this morning-er, afternoon, after a heavy 15-hour sleep and all of this emotion and soon-to-be nostalgia came flooding towards me. It finally materialized into withdrawal. Today is Sunday, and on Saturday when I left in the morning, I was mainly in shock. It was hard to comprehend that I would no longer wake up in my small dorm room and focus on debate for the next 12 hours or so.
No more practice debates. No more flow paper. No more speaking drills. No more independence, and no more walking long distances between the labroom and the dorms. No more beautiful scenery each and every day, no more waking up to my beautiful roommate Sarah, or randomly seeing darling Connor in the hallways and giving him giant hugs, no more of that. There shall be no more lab nationalism, or dance parties on the girls’ floor, or walking around in a city that I’ve grown to know so well, each and every crevice. No more of my favorite restaurants, coffee shops, or ice cream parlors…
I’m past that lifestyle. No more summer camp for me, unless I’d like to be a counselor. This was the last summer. In years past, I’d always cheer myself with the prospect of going back in the future, but this is really it. Even if I end up going to college there, it won’t be the same as debate camp in the summer, which really made the whole experience.
But at the same time, no more repetitive cafeteria food, no more dirty, unwashed clothes, no more worrying about not having a room-key on me at all times, and no more flip-flops in the shower.
So, there are definitely some aspects of camp that I will not be missing.
I come home to my diverse wardrobe, my big and comfy bed, home-cooked Chinese food, and my loving family.
I’ll listen to music I discovered while there or that was recommended to me by people I met while I was there, and I’ll make sure to make the greatest effort ever to stay in touch with all of the wonderful people I met while I was there, as I will be seeing them many times through the year.
This camp withdrawal will no doubt stay with me for the next few weeks, and I won’t fight it. I’ll scroll through the pictures on my phone, all of the selfies and candid shots. I’ll look receipts and ticket stubs like the sentimental person I am.
If you went somewhere over the summer or just had an amazing experience, don’t forget to remember. These memories won’t change, even if the people might. Freeze these moments in time, the important ones. Chances are, I’m not going to remember that one debate where we lost or won (unless it was an epic upset debate or something…*wink), but rather, the people that I spent it with.
I am never stationary. I left debate camp much more experienced and learned than I was when I left, and I rode an emotional roller coaster. I can say with confidence that I did not expect things to turn out the way that they did, but hey, I regret nothing.