2013

Jan. 2nd, 2014 12:38 pm
oceantheorem: (be careful pretending)
1. What did you do in 2013 that you've never done before?
So many things! Maybe the most notable was beginning to hike. On July 3rd I hiked 14 or 15 miles around Florence Lake with friends. That was pretty crazy, and unlike anything I'd ever done before.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I do not make resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My cat died in March. :-(

4.5 Did anyone close to you get married?
Nope.

4.75 Did anyone close to you have other critical, life-changing moments or revelations?
Yes. Holy crap, yes. Not mine to reveal here, but it was an eventful year for a lot of people close to me.
Oh, I guess I can reveal that my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer. That was (is)... bad.

5. What states/countries did you visit?
... just Michigan and Nevada, I think. It was a quiet year for travel.
ETA: Also Georgia for DragonCon!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
I guess I'm still hoping for more followthrough. I need to make myself work on leather and other creative pursuits. I need to make myself seriously examine my career and then plan out where I want it to go, and make it go there.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 17 and July 3. Also June 1st - I feel like I woke up on June 1st.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hmm, not sure. Successfully integrating into a circle of friends, and developing a strong social network?

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not doing a good job at work. Not doing anything at all to further my career in any way.
Not figuring out my relationship with my dad.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I hurt my knee pretty badly in October.

11. What was the best thing you created?
New social relationships? And a few neat leather items.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Jim's. Jim's been awesome.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'm gonna leave this blank this year for the sake of "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, actually. Also rent and loan repayments.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Corsets. I bought a lot of corsets.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Hmm, not sure. I listened to Lifehouse's Between the Raindrops a LOT. Walk the Moon's Anna Sun was my theme song for our housing search. Really like that song. Maybe also Peter Hollens' Shenandoah? I listened to that on repeat a lot, earlier in the year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? Much happier!
- thinner or fatter? A little thinner! Going mostly paleoish and cutting out almost all sugar helped me lose about 12 pounds. Some of that I put back on in the last month, though. Eesh, holiday food.
- richer or poorer? Monetarily I think richer. A little less debt, a lower rent rate. Emotionally, much much richer. Life feels so full now.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Learning. Working to build a stable future - I need to attend to my career path in 2014.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Wasting time. Surfing the internet. Crap. I'm doing that right now, aren't I?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I went into lab for a couple hours, then played video games and hung out with Jim. Our housemates and I started a tradition of making gingerbread houses, which was a lot of fun, and I hope we keep that up.

21. How will you be spending New Years?
A bunch of us went to Colleen's for dinner, which was delicious and fun. I got to meet her friends Nick and Erica, who are amazing. Eventually Chris and Colleen and I ended up watching the fireworks down at the Ferry Building, which was great. Jim worked, as usual.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Yes. :-)

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
BABYLON 5!!

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Peter Hollens

27. What did you want and get?
Meaning. Emotional connection.

28. What did you want and not get?
Direction. A plan.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
? Thor 2?

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
28. Jim took me to the ballet to see Cinderella! I wore my wedding dress. We got ice cream at Smitten.

31. What one thing would have made your year?
My year was made. It was a great year. :-)

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Same as always! Solid colors. Skirts whenever possible. Oooh, I did begin adding a lot of corsets.

33. What was the best book you read?
I really liked the Guild of the Cowry Catchers series by Abigail Hilton. Not sure it was the best thing of the year, but it was really good.

34. What kept you sane?
I don't think I was really in danger of insanity this year. I was pretty well-grounded by friends, loved ones, good books, good food, lots of intellectual stimulation... I'm not sure this question is still relevant.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Ummm, I dunno. I kinda started to tune out this year. It all just seemed like more of the same. I feel I can effect more change by starting conversations with the people around me than I can by closely following politics. Also, I kinda feel like Obama let me down, so I'm done paying attention to him.

37. Whom did you miss?
My cat, Claire. My friend Claire. My friends Stefan, Ann, Eliz, Mike, Mike, Andrea. The more I build a community here, the easier it is to let go of people who are far away. I don't know if that's good or bad.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Chris.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
You are not broken. You have great capacity to love. You have more power over your own life than you realize.

40. A quote or song lyric that sums up your year:
This is part of last year's, but it's oddly relevant this year too:
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some
But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours
Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damm you're free
Look into your heart and you will find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
We're just one big family
And it's our God-forsaken right to be loved loved loved


Also this bit, from Between the Raindrops:
...There's a smile on my face
Knowing that together everything that's in our way
We're better than alright
Walking between the raindrops
Riding the aftershock beside you
Off into the sunset
Living like there's nothing left to lose
Chasing after gold mines
Crossing the fine lines we knew
Hold on and take a breath...

Though, really, I'm not sure either of those sums up the year at all. It's a hard year to sum up. It was an adventure, and it was emotional, and there were PEOPLE, and I remembered parts of myself, and I hope I grow as much as a person in 2014 as I did in 2013.
oceantheorem: (Eek)
 I strongly dislike Christmas.

I like cookies, I like lights, I like heartwarming stories. But there's so much that I don't like...

First off, I can barely afford to buy fun things for myself, so buying fun things for other people is a financially unwise decision. So there's stress about whether I should give in to societal and cultural pressures to buy gifts I know I can't afford, or try to get out of the whole gift giving thing altogether, and disappoint friends and family.

Second, I hate giving gifts. Have you ever read The 5 Love Languages? The idea is that people express love and affection for each other in different ways. If you rank the different ways, gift-giving is my absolute bottom language. It just isn't how I express affection. I'd much rather hug you or spend some quality time with you. The idea of giving you a gift makes me anxious and nervous. What if I give you something you don't like? What if we exchange gifts and the one you gave me was more expensive? What if the one I gave YOU was more expensive? 

I would just handknit gifts for everyone, but a) my knitting time is limited, b) I'm a pretty slow knitter as it is, and c) it's really hard to knit things for non-knitters.

This means I spend a lot of December feeling extraordinarily guilty. I avoid giving gifts because doing so makes me anxious. But I know a lot of really amazing, generous people, for whom gift giving is not such a source of stress, and they give me wonderful and thoughtful things. And I love those things, and those gestures, and yet they fill me with guilt. Why can't I be more like those people? Why can't I be more giving? Why can't I take pride in giving nice gifts? Do people think I'm ungrateful? Do they think I'm cheap? How can I repay you for your kindness and friendship in a way that won't make you feel like you've spent money on me and gotten nothing of value in return?

And seriously, what's with all the emphasis on gifts anyway? Is that really what this holiday is supposed to be about? Let's ignore for a moment the fact that I don't believe in God or think Jesus was his son. If that IS what this holiday is about, why is there such pressure to give presents to everyone you know? Wouldn't it better serve the spirit of the Christian holiday to be nice to people, and spend quality time together? Or give gifts to underprivileged children or volunteer?

Finally, this whole holiday is kind of an amalgam of other holidays. If you go back far enough, the midwinter celebration is really about the fact that the nights start to get shorter and the days start to get longer. There is a festival to celebrate the rebirth of the sun, and to feast on the remainder of the food from the harvest that isn't going to last the winter if you don't eat it right now. It's to give people hope that winter will end and it will be warm again in a few months.

So, really, in my head the ideal way to celebrate this whole season is to make a lot of food, spend a lot of time with friends and relatives, and if you really feel you must give gifts, give them to people who are less fortunate than you are.

To sum up, if you didn't get something from me, or have never gotten something from me, it's not because I don't like you or didn't remember you or am too cheap. It's because I'm super poor, picking out gifts for you makes me physically anxious and tense, and I'd really just much rather spend an afternoon having coffee with you and catching up on each other's lives.

That said, if you're reading this, chances are I have something on the needles for you. No promises it will ever get finished...

Anyway, happy holiday. Be merry and be nice to each other and eat something yummy and celebrate the rebirth of the sun. Son. Whatever you like.
oceantheorem: (Default)








Merry Christmas!
oceantheorem: (keep searching answers come)
Christmas this year turned out to be sort of surprising.

For various reasons (I just tried-and failed-to write a post about them-I am slightly sick today and I think my writing skills are suffering for it), I don't like Christmas. That hasn't changed, but I definitely feel like... I dunno.

I didn't ask for anything this year, knowing I couldn't get gifts for anyone in exchange, and the whole obligatory gift exchange thing has always kind of irked me (shouldn't we buy things for each other because we like each other and because we find things that remind us of each other, and not just because it's December? doesn't December mean we celebrate the return of the sun? what does that have to do with gifts? even if Christmas is about the birth of some people's savior, what does THAT have to do with gifts? isn't that about giving thanks or something?).

Somehow, though, I ended up with a small mountain of gifts on Christmas morning. Friends from all over the country sent care packages. I got presents from New York, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, California.... And my family here also completely ignored my protests that I didn't need gifts, and added to the pile.

I think by far the best thing I got this year was the reminder that people care about me. To have friends remember me and send me things while I am hiding and trying to pretend Christmas doesn't exist... well, in the last couple months I have been becoming more and more of a sensitive sap (one of the notes that came with the gifts actually made me cry). So. I am touched, and humbled, by the outpouring of gifts I received this year. I don't think, looking back over the last 12 months, that I deserved anything at all.
So maybe gift-giving does convey what "Christmas" should be about. Love.
Thank you for your friendship. I hope to be worthy of it in the coming year.
oceantheorem: (climber silhouette)
Some things have changed quite a bit in the last month or two, so I did most of this meme with the first 8 or 10 months of the year in mind.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Gave up. Dropped out of graduate school.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never make resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
None.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A real career and a life goal. Happiness.

7. What day from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day I left Connecticut was actually rather painful and will be difficult to forget.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Deciding to take action to force my life in a different direction because I was unhappy and not because I thought it was the thing I "should" be doing.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Choosing to drop out right before the economy crashed. Losing my sense of direction in life.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Pretty severe depression for the first half of the year. Glad to have that past me.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmmm. I bought Claire on Dec 30,2007. Can I count her as the 2008 best purchase?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Hmmm. I think I'm going to abstain from comment on this and the next question.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, gas, rent.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Leaving Connecticut. And a certain new relationship. :-)

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Hmmmm. Dogtown Mines is the sound of driving west and trying not to feel guilty about leaving the east behind.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?
Happier. With promise of continued improvement.

ii. Thinner or fatter?
Thinner. I'm not eating much these days.

iii. Richer or poorer?
Quite a bit poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Singing. Dancing. Trying to be a human being and not worrying so much about what I'm "supposed" to do with myself. I still need to learn to let go.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Waiting.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I'll be flying back to Utah on Christmas Eve, and spending Christmas here.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Uhhhhhh. This... ummmm.... ask me again on New Year's.

22. How many one-night stands?
Zero.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Oh man, I love How I Met Your Mother. Weeds is really good, too. I miss Gilmore Girls. :-(

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.

25. What was the best book you read?
I didn't read much at all in 2008, actually. I will be remedying that in 2009. (is that really how remedying is spelled?)

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I think Darren Smith is actually a late 07 discovery, but I'm counting him anyway. I'll throw Blue October in there as well, just for the hell of it.

27. What did you want and get?
My personality and identity back from the vile clutches of the soul-crushing graduate program at Yale.

28. What did you want and not get?
I'm gonna leave Zach's answer here: "A job, a job, o yeah, and a job."

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Ummmm. I'm wracking my brain and I can't remember any of the films I saw this year.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 23. My friends threw me a surprise party. It was absolutely wonderful. My wife carried a cake through the rain for me.
<3

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A more satisfying conclusion to the drop-out-of-grad-school thing. i.e. a real career.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
The same as always. I wear what is comfortable. Jeans, t-shirts, college sweatshirts. Lots of scarves (oh man, I love scarves).

33. What kept you sane?
Claire. Coffee. Loud music in my car.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Uhhh. Is this a romantic question? I really admire Obama, but not romantically.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The gay marriage issue and abortion. Don't even get me started.

36. Who did you miss?
Everyone, at one point or another, having moved across the country. I currently very deeply miss my east coast friends.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
*grin* Unequivocally, Jim.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Life is primarily something you go through alone, on your own power. You should therefore not do anything because you think other people will approve or disapprove; your actions have to be motivated by internal forces like desire for happiness and desire for success.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
So I'm putting my luck to the test, I'm bringing the eastern seabord's best. We'll be making it up someday, losing time along the way....

The same meme, two years ago
oceantheorem: (airplane)
So, I spent the weekend in Reno. And before that I spent Christmas and New Year's here in New Haven, largely by myself, and had a fabulous vacation during which I said I would go to work but really just sat around the house playing Warcraft and watching a TON of West Wing. And I got a kitten. She's a very tiny 11-month-old orange tabby whom I have finally decided to name Claire, although she was very nearly a Thomasina and a Guinevere. If I am not completely exhausted by the end of this post, I'll upload some pictures.

Christmas was great. I'm really glad I decided to stay here instead of spending it with my parents. I had a very low-key day. I cooked a turkey and had three of my labmates over, and we ate a ton of food and drank homemade eggnog and two bottles of wine and then watched the Emperor's New Groove. We also played cards and sat around talking for a while. I've got amazing labmates, and this is by far the best Christmas on memory. No stress, no pressure, no worrying about spending money on gifts people may or may not like. The week after was pretty similar. I didn't go into lab, even though I really should have. I think I really needed the time off (I think I could really use a decade off, after quals), and I didn't even have the energy to feel guilty about slacking (which is really saying something!!). I went cat-hunting for three days after Christmas and finally brought Claire home on December 30th.

For New Year's, Aaron had a couple people over, and we ate pizza and drank really terrible vodka and I learned how to play Guitar Hero. I'm fantastically bad at Guitar Hero. It was a great New Year's, and for the first year EVER I did not cry AND for the first year ever I had someone to kiss at midnight. It was great. Again, it was low-key and very relaxing and I just don't know why more people don't avoid going home for the holidays.

I went home on Thursday, just to spend this weekend with my parents and Elena, and we had a pretty good time. There was a huge blizzard on Friday and into Saturday, so Saturday morning we took Elena sledding, which really meant Phil pulled her up and down a small hill in a sled, while she yelled in her tiny two-year-old voice, "More? More?" Then she spent the rest of the weekend yelling, "No!! No!!!!" which we finally realized meant, "Snow," or, more accurately, "Please bring me a bowl of snow so I can eat it."
All in all, it was a pretty decent weekend. I had a couple of really good conversations with my mom, and I think I have largely decided that I'm sticking it out until the end of the semester and then I'm saying Screw You to graduate school and am finding something better to do with my life. I have no idea what that Something Better will be, or if I'll end up just taking a one-year leave of absence or a permanent opt-out, but at any rate it was neat to talk about leaving school with my mom and not have her tell me flat-out that it's a terrible idea and I'm wasting my life. We watched the series finale of Gilmore Girls Sunday night before I left and we both cried. It was a good bonding thing. I think we're doing better now.

Anyway, I feel a lot better now. Stuff with my mom is on the mend, my little sister is exponentially more fun than the last time I saw her and is clearly a brilliant little kid, I've decided I'm getting out of this miserable miserable grad school experience, I bought a cat, and I currently have a very good relationship with Aaron. I think my life is still in SERIOUS need of some shaping up and taping back together, but for this moment right now, I'm okay. I am not a trainwreck. At how many points in my life have I really been able to say that I'm not a trainwreck? It's kinda nice.

Unexpected babbling (and a strange dearth of commas) about the above decision that should maybe be in a friends-locked post but isn't going to be, so deal with it. )

I'm gonna go make some more tea now.

Part II

Jan. 5th, 2007 09:39 am
oceantheorem: (Default)
Anyway, where was I? )
oceantheorem: (airplane)
I really didn't want to leave that last entry at the top of the page.

So I'm heading home today. I printed out 13 papers on tRNA synthetases and the unfolded protein response, and I'll read them (in their 100+ page glory) on the plane. I really wanted to have this paper finished by the time I left, but I guess I'll have to settle for starting it after I arrive... It's not due until Friday, so if I don't sleep between now and then I can finish it. And then the holiday begins!

I'm gonna park my car at the airport, so I don't have to drag my luggage across town the the airporter shuttle stop. That'll be nice. I've never driven myself to an airport before. I feel very adult.

I've never been so happy to be going to Reno. I can't wait to get there. Probably won't update much from the west coast, but I promise I'll be having fun.

Happy holidays!
oceantheorem: (christmas home)
Going home tomorrow afternoon. I've never in my life been so excited about going to Reno. I cannot WAIT to get on that plane tomorrow. Flying west! Into the setting sun! Toward the correct ocean, the correct coast, home. (At this point "home" is anything east of Utah, so I use the term lightly.) (Speaking of Utah, another one of my cousins is having a baby, and she's naming her after my grandma, the one who died two years ago. Everyone together now: "Awww!")

I'm gonna make a trip over to SF after Christmas and stay with a friend for two nights, then go down to Santa Cruz for less than 12 hours and get a ride back up to Reno with Ann to go SKIING OVER NEW YEAR'S!!! Yay!!! I could not possibly be more excited about this series of events. Unless it involves continuous chocolate and a marriage proposal and the promise that I don't have to come back to New Haven afterward.

Again, in true Christmas spirit, I give you... the meme!
Sing about me! )

Yaaaaay

Dec. 14th, 2006 10:08 am
oceantheorem: (christmas home)
On the twelfth day of Christmas, oceantheorem sent to me...
Twelve roses sailing
Eleven starbucks sleeping
Ten calculus a-swimming
Nine blueberries reading
Eight icons a-climbing
Seven raspberries a-writing
Six dachshunds a-dancing
Five tra-a-a-aveling pants
Four weiner dogs
Three late-night conversations
Two toe rings
...and a bacteria in a biology.
Get your own Twelve Days:
oceantheorem: (light me up)
Because memes are what the holidays are all about... or something. )
oceantheorem: (fall sailing)
This week is starting out much better than last week.

For one thing, there's no more NSF grant, and I just can't emphasize enough how happy that makes me. I hate that thing. I don't even want to think about doing it again next year.

For another thing, the city put up lights downtown. And since I live absurdly close to downtown and walk through it every day, this makes me very happy. There are now lit-up snowflakes on every lamppost on Broadway! And lights draped over the fences! And supposedly there's a giant Christmas tree somewhere around the Green, which I haven't been over to see yet, but just knowing it's there adds to my happiness. I love the Christmas season. I'm not as crazy about Christmas itself, but I love the season. It's warm and cozy and everyone starts being NICE to everyone else, and you get to drape pretty lights all over everything and no one calls you crazy.

Also, today I bought another long-sleeve t-shirt thingy, which will help keep me from freezing in the coming winter. My dad also bought and sent me a winter coat and a pair of gloves, and while I think I might try to exchange them for smaller sizes, they are my new favorite clothing articles. They're brown and softly fuzzy and soooo smooth and probably really warm. I'm super excited. I haven't had gloves or a winter coat since... um... early high school or middle school?

I thought I was being stupid in lab, but it turns out I wasn't. My grad student (the one training me) was out sick on Thursday and Friday, and I sort of flailed about the lab in despair, but it turns out that all the stuff I did was right. I have to re-do one thing because my culture was undergrown when I transformed it, but beyond that I did everything right. I'm awfully proud of myself for sitting down and reading my lab notebook and figuring out what the hell I was doing all on my own.
Even if I did assemble the spectrophotometer backwards on Friday and spend an hour trying to figure out why I had -0.0007 DNA.

Anyway. Life is good. Or at least, life is much, much better.
Can't thank you guys enough for your support. You rock.

*****
P.S. I need new icons. I need winter icons and icons about friendship and icons about happiness and maybe a couple about sadness. Where are your favorite icon-getting places, besides [livejournal.com profile] obsessive_icons?

P.P.S. This article in the Harvard Crimson, about persuading Yalies to attend The Game next week despite the suckage that is the Harvard laundry list of restrictions for tailgating, is absolutely hilarious. Someone can write.
oceantheorem: (human desire)
So, I was wandering around on the internet yesterday afternoon instead of working on my NSF grant. There's a girl at Columbia University, a junior, who writes a sex column for the Columbia daily newspaper. I found a link to her site through IvyGate, which is a blog dedicated to the happenings of the Ivies.
IvyGate
Miriam Datskovsky

Anyway, so one of the links on the side of Miriam's page leads to an interview she participated in with NPR, about love among 20-somethings. It was a fascinating discussion. One of the main points touched upon was that "men are the new women," meaning that, these days, women ask out men, and men are the coy ones who get to choose. It was also suggested that women are becoming more promiscuous while men are beginning to hold back, possibly because they (the men) want more romance and possibly because they think they can do better. Sixty percent of college students are female, which translates to a huge discrepancy once we graduate and move to urban areas. Men have all these choices now, and women don't. They also discussed how, because of this phenomenon, and maybe also partly because of TV, women feel like they have to sleep with a guy straight off, or someone else will. It's a matter of competition. Fascinating. And it's a horrible thing, but I definitely think it's true. If I look around, at myself and at UCSC and Yale, that's what I see. Men are holding back, and women are throwing themselves at them, desperate to hang on to one but largely unable to do so.

Anyway.

As long as we're posting links, I'm getting my sister a magnetic dachshund for Christmas.

What are you getting your mom for Christmas?
oceantheorem: (tame me/petit prince)
I bought Christmas lights Sunday when I went to IKEA, and put them up in my living room a couple nights later, to help add to the atmosphere. My apartment is clean and cozy now. It's kind of exciting to have my own little warm space. I left the Christmas lights on tonight when I went out for sushi and sake, because it's always dark when I get home and I trip over myself trying to find the lightswitch on the other side of the room, and since I wasn't in the best of moods, I thought that coming home to softly glowing Christmas lights would be a nice surprise. It was a nice idea, but I had to go and spoil the surprise for myself by thinking about them as I was walking home. Oh well. It was still nice to open the door to a softly lit, warm and cozy room, even though I knew it was coming.

A friend actually called me shortly after I got home and invited me to the grad student bar, so I went for an hour. As I was walking back from that, I went between the two undergrad colleges that separate my street from downtown. As I was coming out from between them, I heard random beautiful violin music, which I had heard once before there (I have a thing for violins, so the memory stuck). I stopped and turned around and looked up, and there was this guy standing sort of in the window, with his back to me, on the fourth floor, playing a violin. It was the saddest and sweetest thing I've heard in a long time, and for a few moments I just stood there and stared up at the fourth floor and wondered what he was playing and who he was and if he was lonely too. His violin sounded lonely. But his dorm room was glowing warmly and maybe he has Christmas lights up to keep him company too.

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